Attending Bible school at age 17, it was expressed there is a need for modern day Christian writers. So I have accepted the challenge.
The Mystery of Godliness
Writer: Michael O. Jones
Introduction: Truth in the Bible is our security of belief in God and our salvation. Understanding truth is both a personal challenge and the responsibility given to ministers, to teach the word in season, out of season, (II Timothy 4:2) “with all long-suffering and doctrine”. This being said, the New Testament exposes the “Mystery of Godliness”, which is not really a mysterious matter, but rather is referring to our having a correct understanding of how in the beginning God both created the heavens and the earth, and as well how he shadowed the fallen first family, Adam and Eve and his descendants.
-This was with the purpose of eventually coming to them as a redeemer and savior. (II Corinthians 5:19) “to wit, God was in Christ, reconciling the world (the lost) unto himself with the purpose, for us to be reconciled to God”. One day we will all be called before the judgement seat of God, (of Christ) (II Corinthians 5:10) ... that every one may receive the things done in his body, according that he hath done, whether it be good or evil.
But the Key of this Mystery of Godliness is set within the context of the statement “God was in Christ”. It was his eternal plan from the beginning to bring Adam and Eve, the fallen first family, back into full fellowship with Himself, God. The only way that he could was to come to the earth in the form of a man and give himself as the offering of scapegoat, and of his own blood to redeem this fallen race. Please read carefully:
What is the Mystery About?
It was God who visited us while robed in human flesh: This is the revealing of the mystery.
I Timothy 3:16; Without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness, God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world and received up into glory. Also, (Philippians 2:6-8) "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Who, being in the form of God, though it not robbery to be equal with God." -Though he was “fashioned as a man”. God had come to us “incognito”. It was a dramatization in God's theatre for all the world to see!
Ephesians 3:1-4 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery, whereby when you read, you may understand my knowledge of the mystery of Christ. And back to Ephesians 3:9; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.
Also, Ephesians 1:7-11, having made known unto us the mystery of his will: that all things be gathered together in Christ: By the purpose of him who worketh all things by the counsel of his own will: also, Ephesians 1:17-23. “That God may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.”
So why is “the “Mystery of Godliness” the greatest point of contention in the religious world today? If they all understood the mystery as Apostle Paul understood and declared, then there would be no contention over the doctrine of salvation or the relationship of Christ the Savior and God the Eternal Savior. Yes, they are both called the savior in our Bible, because Christ of the flesh came forth from God and was already God. But I believe we are always right to differentiate; and say “there is One God, and One Jesus Christ, and One Holy Spirit”. Why? Because in the salvation plan, they are all parts of the One True God: But not 3 separate Gods or Deity's. Within the Mystery of Godliness, they are the one and selfsame spirit and same eternal deity. (St: John 10:30) Additionally when Jesus spoke of the Holy Ghost being sent, he said, “this will be Christ in You” “If I go not away, then the Holy Spirit, (the spirit of himself) cannot come to you” the Holy Spirit is both the Spirit of Jesus and the Spirit of God, designed for indwelling the believer.
We cannot argue or dispute that there is but ONE GOD: (Deuteronomy 6: 4) “Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord.” also Mark 12; 29-34, very specific teaching by Jesus, vs. 29; “The first of all commandments is, Hear, oh Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord!” vs 32; "for there is one God and no other but he.” This is part of the greatest commandment. We know too when Jesus discussed himself with the woman of Samaria, John 4:23-24, he related “but the hour comes and now is when true worshipper's shall worship the father in Spirit and in truth, For God is a Spirit”. God the creator himself is invisible to human eyes, except we see him through the son of God, and truly some have seen him in moments of revealed Glory. But the woman at the well confessed “I know that the Messiah cometh, and He is the Christ and will tell us all things”. Jesus very simply spoke back to her; “I that speak to you am He”. It’s interesting to note that when she told all of her family and friends, they went to meet him and they testified, (John 4:42) “Now we believe, not because of what you said, but we have heard him ourselves and know this indeed is the Christ, The Savior of the world.”
II Corinthians 5:19 Says “to wit, God was in Christ, reconciling the World unto Himself.” -This is a claim of God being part and parcel of the redemptive plan, how he was hiding inside of the only begotten. He indeed was the Deity factor of the Christ. God designed this plan in order to bring Adam, Eve and all of his descendants back into his Holy Presence. Colossians 1:15-17; The Father, having made us partakers, delivering us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the son, giving us redemption through his blood and the forgiveness of sins, (the son of God), vs. 15; who is the image of the invisible God, vs. 16; all things created by him, and for him; vs. 17; and he is before all things and by him all things consist. and in verse 25-28, it mentions the mystery of Christ having been hid since the beginning, but God would make known the riches of his glory of this mystery to the Gentiles. Colossians 2: 2, Paul is wanting them to have understanding and to acknowledge the mystery of God, and the Father and of Christ. vs 8-9, Not being spoiled of the traditions of men, but “In him (Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” He goes on in this chapter to authenticate Christ being the head of the church, sitting on the right hand of God (the right hand of power) Col.3 and our lives are being hid with Christ in God.
We should not overlook that God declared there is only one savior, or Holy one of Israel. Isaiah 43:10-11 says “Before me there is no God, and neither shall there be after me. I even I am the Lord, and beside me there is no savior.”
Isaiah 43:15 “I am the Lord. Your holy one, the creator of Israel, Your King.” Isaiah 48:12 “hearken unto me oh, Jacob and Israel, my called. I am He; I am the first and the last.” also, ref: Isaiah 44:6
Zechariah 14:9 “and the Lord shall be king over all the earth. In that day shall there be one Lord and his name One.”
Ephesians 4:5-6 “One Lord, one faith, one baptism; One God and Father of all, who is above all, through all and in you all.” There is no getting around that the nature and purpose of God was to reclaim all unto himself.
Jesus made specific claim that he and his Father were one and the same. John 14:7, If you had known me, you would have known my father also. And from this day forward, you have known him and seen him! John 16:24 “before this you have asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. I have spoken to you in proverbs, but the time comes when I shall show you plainly of the father.”
Christ as a man had a human spirit. He was both Human and Divine. As a man he had need to pray. John 17:6 “I have manifested thy name unto those which you gave me out of this world”. Vs. 26: “and I have declared to them thy Name.” he simply declared to them his name Jesus. Jehovah, Old testament, became Yeshua, New Testament, "God who has come to save.”
This Mystery of Godliness and the Revelation of Jesus Being God incarnate, or in human flesh, was continuously taught to the disciples. As God and As the Christ He was the Savior of the World. The baby Jesus that was born of Mary and wrapped in swaddling clothes was merely the incarnation. He was God divine come as the Son of God. He was not another God. He was called and appointed as the Son of God. God had fulfilled his covenant he made way back in the beginning with Adam and Eve, to bring them back to his presence. If you don’t believe or haven’t heard of this covenant then go read, the forgotten book of Eden, the Story of Adam and Eve. A clue for you is if you study history, you will discover this book was once part of the Holy Bible. You can’t really add it or take it away, but you have to accept that according to history, it’s the primitive and fantastic story of the first family and the record of their beginnings. I have a printed copy one hundred or more years old and there are copies way older than that.
Back to the truth that as God incarnate, Whereas God IS the only Savior, (Titus 1: 3) Jesus Christ was and IS the Savior. (Titus 1:4) You can read this for yourself; “Grace, mercy and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.” - And for the saints of God, there is no confusion, for Eternal God became flesh, yes robed himself in human flesh and became the sacrificial lamb to bear our sins and pay the ultimate penalty so that we can be redeemed. Does that mean there is a conflict of power of deity? No, there is no conflict. It is simply a bible truth. Titus 2:10-15 makes it very simple and understandable. Titus 2:10 “Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity: that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.” Vs 11, For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared unto all men, vs 12; that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Vs 13; looking for that blessed hope and appearing of the Great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. vs. 14; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify us unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Now let me ask you Who gave himself for us, to bring us back to himself? Was it not God of the ages who in sundry times orchestrated a redemptive plan and hid himself in the body of Jesus, as our Eternal Savior? Do you not see? The above scriptures all refer to “God (Who IS) our Savior”. This is the mystery of Godliness. This is what Apostle Paul talks about. This was the only way a God who has no flesh and bones and indeed fills the heavens could become like one of us and yet remain eternal and glorious. This is the only method that would ever hope to be accepted by his creation.
I am reminded of Abraham being asked by God to give up his son on Mt. Moriah. It is a shadow or a type of God giving of his Son at Calvary. Only with Isaac, it was showing him as the lost world, deserving to die, but a scapegoat was found, and as a type of Christ, the sacrifice was made and Abraham was shown by God what his salvation really meant. It also was a supreme test of his faith, and of Gods purpose to not let us die eternal death, but instead to be re-united with Himself. Abraham's great joy at the intervention symbolizes Gods great joy when we are redeemed from the curse of death and we get to share eternity with our heavenly father. Isaac also received solace in the lesson of a father’s love. Abraham put his entire trust in his God, that God would provide. He even told his son this on the way up the mountain... Have you ever asked, God, where is my go-between? And just the moment you ask; God is saying, “I have provided a way.” Jesus is the Go-between between God and man. Jesus kept teaching his disciples, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father except by me! (John 14:8)
Jude vs 25; Jude closed his one chapter with the words, “Now unto the only wise God our savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever, amen.” - So, Jude was one of the apostles who understood that God was within Christ, otherwise there would be no Savior, but wait, aren’t they both our Savior? Yes, because Jesus was God come in the flesh to save us from our sins. Romans 5:6 says “while we were yet without strength; In due time Christ died for the ungodly”. Jesus asked his disciple, who do you say that I am? in another place we will study how Jesus boldly required, “except you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.”. Who do you think He wants you to confess? One of his apostles, cried, My Lord and My God!
Revelation 4:2 “And immediately I was in the spirit, and behold, a throne was sat in heaven. And one set on the throne.” Colossians 4:3 Paul asks in prayer for a door of utterance to be able to speak the mystery of Christ. You better just sit and ponder some of these things, until God shows you also how to utter and speak of his divine nature and mystery. I’m here to tell you, that If Jesus as a man had already existed in the heavens with a human body; it would be seen as totally weird for God to stick him back in the womb and have him born again as a newborn baby by Mary in Bethlehem. God did it this way because it was the only Way. As a spirit Jesus was eternal, and when the bible says he created all things, he did it as eternal God.
John 8:19 Jesus said, “If you had known me, you should have known my father also.” John 8:24 “Except ye believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” Ephesians 3:4-9; vs. 4 “when you read that you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.” vs. 8, unto me who is less than the least of all saints, “that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” vs 9 “and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who has created all things by Jesus Christ.” And he keeps talking about the profound love of God and Christ, vs 19; “which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
When Did the Sonship begin? Answer: Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law.” Answer: prophecy of old by Isaiah: Isaiah 9:6, “for unto us a child is born, a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulders and his name shall be called wonderful counselor, mighty God and everlasting Father.” Answer: In Luke we are told the story of the visitation of an angel to Mary and Joseph and how they are told of her being overshadowed by the Holy Ghost and giving birth to the Christ Child. Luke 1: 26, Gabriel came in the sixth month to a virgin called Mary and she was told, vs 31 “And behold thou shall conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name Jesus.”
Matthew 1: 23 “and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is God with us.”
In other words, He, the Son of God, received the name and the authority of God Almighty, because he was the word incarnate, “in flesh”; John 1:14 “and the word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus was the living word of God. HE was also the living bread which came down from heaven. (John 6:51) also John 7:37-38 declares “In the last day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believed in me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Jesus was higher than even the prophets of old. He was God incarnate, or all the power of God in flesh. Indeed, the religious scribes challenged him for saying he forgave people their sins, for in their words, only God can forgive sins. In their mind he was declaring himself as God, and he was. And he did forgive sin. He was Almighty, alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. He was just temporarily on a mission to redeem his people who he loved so much. John 3:16; “for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life!”
“THE REVELATION OF GOD MANIFESTING HIMSELF IN FLESH IS THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS”
I Corinthians 15:44-49 “Christ was made an earthly, natural body, but after crucifixion he was raised a spiritual, glorified body after his death burial and resurrection. “First that which is natural and then that which is spiritual.” We also shall receive a spiritual body. As an illustration, Picture your human spirit becoming quickened and fused into one with Gods, and at the resurrection, your human body changes like that of a moth becoming a butterfly. At least we shall be changed and quickened Like the Lord Jesus was when he resurrected from the dead. His new body allowed him to be caught up from the earth into the heavens.
I carefully ask when is the role of sonship relinquished? I also answer that we have one scripture that indicates when all the works and administration of salvation is complete then sonship authority is relinquished back to the father. Ready? I Corinthians 15:22-28 (I’m going to open several tidbits here) vs 22; “for as in Adam all die, even so IN Christ shall be made alive” vs 23; “man in his own order, and Christ as the first fruits” vs 24; “THEN comes the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the father, when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. Vs25; for he must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet.” vs 26; “ the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” NOW, vs 28; And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the son be subject unto him that put all things under him, THAT God might be made all in all.” Now don’t start jumping the horse around. WE know that the lamb is eternal, and the righteous King lives eternally. but maybe the role of savior of the earth has been completed as this scripture states? So, as he was born into this world, at some point he is no longer in that role or capacity. He is now ruling and reigning in the heavens as our high priest and perhaps as some suggest he is Melchizedek? One thing for sure that we know, He is the First and the Last. He is the one that was, that is and is to come, the Almighty!
One thing is Real for a believer, that we must know the truth and the truth shall set us free!
Fossett’s Bible Encyclopedia declares that Jesus means Jehovah- Salvation; or Jehovah has become Savior.
Perfectly good scriptures, and not in conflict.
The Lord God is creator- Isaiah 42:5
The Lord Jesus is the creator- John 1: 3-10
The Lord God said “I am He” - Isaiah 43:10
The Lord Jesus said “I am He” John 8:24
The Lord God is the only Savior- Isaiah 43:10-11
The Lord Jesus is the Savior- Titus 1:4
The Lord God shall reign forever- Psalm 146:10
The Lord Jesus shall reign forever- Luke 1:33
The Lord God is the King of Israel- Isaiah 43:15
The Lord Jesus is the King of Israel- Matthew 27:37
The Lord God is he first and the Last- Isaiah 44:6
The Lord Jesus is the first and the Last. Revelations 1:8
The Lord God is almighty- Genesis 17:1
The Lord Jesus is almighty- Revelations 1:8
Again: Ephesians 4:5-6 Declares there only to be One Lord and One God. “One lord one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all, who is above all, through all and in you all. Vs 23 peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name. At the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, of thing in the earth, and things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the father.”
Conclusion: We recognize God as our Father, and The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the mystery that has been hid throughout the ages, but what Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ said we are to seek to understand. God Veiled himself before the world within a cloak of humanity. Additionally, Jesus had a dual Nature.
Human Side of Christ____________Divine Side of Christ
Lamb of God- I Peter 1:19______Everlasting Father- Isaiah 9:6
Servant- Philippians 2:7 _______Chief Shepherd- I Peter 5:4
High Priest- Hebrews 2:17_____King of Kings- Revelation 17:14
Mediator- I Timothy 2:5 _______Lord God- John 20:28
Son of Man- Luke 9:22 _______Almighty- Revelation 1:8
In Jesus, God came to save the sinner from their sins in the form of a man, all the way from his regal throne in Heaven, down to a rugged cross on Golgotha’s hill. He reached us through Salvation's Story; But yet it's not just a story. It is a reality of God enacted in the fullness of time, effective to save mankind to the very uttermost isle of the earth.
I John 5:20 “And we know that the son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his son Jesus Christ, THIS is the true god and eternal Life. Little children, keep yourself from Idols.”
Declare his message to the World, that they might know who our Jesus really is. He is the one who designed a way for us to come back to the garden of Eden, or the New Paradise of God. WE call it the City of God, the New Jerusalem. Jesus is the Light of that City. There will be no more darkness. Just think, No more candles. There will be a river there that flows from the throne of God. It is called the River of Life. John 5:43; Jesus said “If another had come in his own name, ye would have received, but because I come in my father’s name, you receive me not.” John 5:1; The word of God declares that to defeat sin you must be born of Jesus Christ, and whoever is born of Jesus Christ is born of God. Friends, the mystery is revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Some people have set the bar really low, saying you don’t have to really know all about the salvation plan and the godhead, but ok, if that’s what you want to believe, just do me a favor and read I John chapters 1-5; I feel confident that God will reveal his divine urgency to save you through these chapters. And please know YOU ARE meant to be saved. It’s his will for you to know that once born of God and of the Holy Spirit, and have Jesus in your heart, you are no longer of this world. You have a reservation and responsibility to your heavenly calling. He’s calling today. The mysteries of God are like a mountain, standing tall and visible to those who dare to focus their life and breath and eyes on him.
Message By Michael O. Jones circa 1983, Anchorage Ak.
Dedicated to Elder J.R. Blackshear Sr.
© 2021 Oscar Jones