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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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NEXT: The First Principle: God is One


The Subject Itself


PAGES 45-46

We now purpose to set forth some of the things extant pertaining to the subject itself. But, in turning to the Bible, which we regard as the only reliable source of information concerning God, we are met by the inquiry of Zophar, the Naamathite, saying, "Wilt thou find out 'Eloahh' by searching? Or to perfection, wilt thou find out 'Shaddai'? The height of the heavens, what wilt thou do? Deeper than sheol, what wilt thou know? The lengthening out is more than earth's measure, and broader than the sea" (Job 11:7-9). The subject is indeed great, for God is great; and when we come to contemplate it aright, we are led with the apostle to exclaim: "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who knows the mind of the Lord? Or who becomes His counsellor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed to Him again? For out of Him, (ex autou) and through Him, and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory for the Aions. Amen" (Rom. 11: 33-36).

To Zophar we reply, that "by searching" through the height of the heavens, or the depth of the unfathomed abyss, we cannot find out Eloahh Shaddai. "That known of God is made manifest among men; for God makes manifest to them: (for His invisible things from the creation of the world being understood by the works, are discerned, both His ever-existing (aidios) power and deity) that they may be inexcusable" (Rom. 1:19). But to discern this by a contemplation of the heavens, earth and sea, is not to "find Him out to perfection." They proclaim an "EVER- EXISTING POWER" and that this power is superior to "corruptible man," and, therefore "incorruptible (Theos), incorruptible power; or, as we say, "God." But while they proclaim this, they do not reveal the mode of His existence, the place of His throne, His


mode of thinking, His character, purpose, and so forth. The wisest of men, who have speculated upon these apart from a written revelation, have only become vain in their imaginations; and, though professing to be wise, become fools. They have thought to define the Deity; and in so doing, have imagined that He was such an one as themselves. But all their speculations have been stamped with the seal of His reprobation; for both Old and New Testaments testify that "the world by wisdom knew Him not" (Ps. 14:1,2; Rom. 3:11).

The Deity delights in stimulating the intellect of His creatures. In revealing Himself, therefore, to them, He manifests Himself mysteriously. "It is the glory of Elohim," says Solomon, "to conceal a word, but it is the glory of kings to search out the word." A word is concealed when it is enigmatically expressed; and it is the glory of those whom God has chosen for His kings in the future government of the world, to search out the wisdom He hath hidden from the wise in their own conceit. "The world by wisdom," saith Paul, "knew not God . . . but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, 'the hidden', which none of the chiefs of this Aion knew, for had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Cor. 1: 21; 2:7, 8). Paul was sent to turn the Gentiles to the knowledge of the true and living Deity, and in so doing taught them the mystery which it was the glory of the apostolic proclamation to explain or reveal. Hence their preaching came to be styled, "the Revelation of the Mystery," and is thus alluded to by Paul (who taught "the gospel which God had promised through His prophets in the holy Scriptures") in Rom. 16:25 -- "To him that is of power," says he, "to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus anointed; according to the revelation of mystery concealed during Aionian times (chronois aionios) but now made manifest also through the prophetic writings according to the commandment of the God of the Aion (tou aioniou Theou) for obedience of faith made known to all the nations: to God only wise, through Jesus anointed, to him be the glory for the Aions. Amen."

This mystery, which as we see, was the burden of the apostolic preaching, was a great enigma -- an enigma, dramatically, as well as doctrinally, explained. "Without controversy," says Paul, "great is the mystery of godliness -- 'Deity manifested in flesh', justified by spirit, made visible to messengers, preached among nations, believed on in the world, received again to glory" (1 Tim. 3:16).

It would be premature to go into the consideration of these six points of godliness. It is sufficient just now to bear in mind that they exist; and constitute integral parts of "God-manifestation" as far as at present developed.