THE FATHER MADE MANIFEST, Sermon #806
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word (JOH 17:6).
The first five verses of Christs intercessory prayer record the relationship between the Father and His only begotten Son. There is no competition, jealousy or self-exaltation. The Son puts His Father ahead of Himself.
In verse six He begins to intercede, pleading the relationship He has purchased for His Bride. He has purchased our redemption. Because of our shameful fall, mans knowledge of the Father has become blinded through ignorance of who God is and by pride. A spirit of self-exaltation brought about the fall. We want to be something more than what God has created us to be. God put man in Paradise and placed him in dominion over all things, but pride said, I want to be like God.
Our Saviour uses three arguments as He pleads for His church:
First, they are acquainted with their Fathers name. "I have manifested thy name." That knowledge of the personal relationship that man must have with God the Father is what He has taught His sheep.
Second, they were among those whom He had chosen unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit as it says, "the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me."
Third, their calling was effectual unto bearing the fruit of the Spirit- "and they have kept thy word." We can preach the gospel, but most do not want to hear it, though it was effectual for some.
What do we understand from our Saviours plea, "I have manifested thy name"? This word manifest comes from the Greek word phaneroo [fan-er-o-o], which means "to make manifest, visible, or known, what was hidden or unknown-by deeds or teaching." Man by nature does not know God the Father, but He gave them a knowledge that they did not have. By His miracles, by His walk of life, by His example, He taught us who the Father was. Christ is the person of the Father. The Father and He are one. The character of the Father is manifest in the conduct and in the self-sacrificial love of the Son. As we learn to know Christ, we learn to know the Father.
So what was it that our Lord made known? "I have manifested thy name." This word name comes from the Greek word onoma, which includes everything the name covers-thoughts, feelings, rank, authority, interests, pleasure, deeds and commands. The name of the Father includes that which pleases Him, that which displeases Him, His commandments and all of His wonderful works. When He did wonders for the children of Israel in the land of Canaan, it was the Great I-Am who did these things. What is thy name? Moses asked. And the Lord replied, My name is I-Am. He is the great Jehovah, that wonder-working God. That is all contained in His name. In connection with His name, we learn to know the Lord Jesus Christ, we learn to know the Father, we learn to know His character and what pleases Him and what displeases Him.
The entire person of the Father is reckoned in His name. This principle comes through in PRO 22:1, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold." We must have awe and reverence for the name of the Father.
In His plea, "I have manifested thy name," He revealed His faithfulness to the work of glorifying His Father and bringing His people into His service. JOH 17:4 says, "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." The work that the Father gave Him to do was to glorify His name.
Having proceeded from the Fathers bosom, His teaching, His walk of life, and the internal illumination of the soul accomplished Christs manifestation of His Fathers name. You cannot properly manifest the name of God with words alone. No human vocabulary would ever understand what constitutes glorifying the Father. It begins by having a feeling sense of who we are, when we rightly understand how we have forsaken God, how we have marred His character with our sins. The more I understand Christ, the more I understand the sinfulness of sin, and the greater I see the wonder of His salvation. These work in harmony.
JOH 1:18 says, "No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." The Son has declared who the Father is because He is the image of the Father.
Our Saviour not only declared the Father verbally, but He opened the hearts of those whom the Father had given Him to understand hidden mysteries that are unknown to the human mind. This is why we find humanists and atheists trying to prove the Bible wrong because they cannot understand certain mysteries. MAT 13:10-11 says, "And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." What seems so simple to you and me as Christians is something they cannot take hold of. That is the mystery of the kingdom of heaven, that He sits as king in our hearts, that we are not as gods, that we serve Him according to His will. That is such a mystery to those who are as god. They decide what is right and what is wrong, and they cannot comprehend that simple message that Christ becomes enthroned upon the heart and that we become as little children by desiring and serving under His standards.
This distinction of manifesting the Father unto His own only was prophesied of in PSA 22:22, "I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee." It does not say "unto the world."
Our Saviour was faithful to His charge. He opened all the mysteries of Gods name. This example is also the charge of the head of every household as well as every minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Fathers and mothers and all ministers are given the same charge the Lord Jesus Christ was given to manifest the name of God unto their little flocks, their children. ACT 20:20-21 says, "And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." We must have a change of attitude toward God, that we start understanding the love of God, that He is not a hard master, that He is not a slave driver. He is a tender loving Father who has been grievously offended by our sins, but His love is so deep that He gave His own Son to redeem and pay the penalty of the sins of those He loves so dearly. We have faith toward Jesus Christ, faith to take hold of the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is not enough that we live honestly and blamelessly. We must teach people to read Gods name in all His doings. The result of Christs manifestation of the Father was that "they have kept thy word." When our words and actions show the love of God and not seeking revenge or blaming someone who may have been used by God to teach us something, we respond with love, with the Spirit of Christ. GEN 18:18-19 says, "Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."
Do you want to see Gods blessings on your family? Do you want to see Gods blessing on your children? Then we must be imitators of Christ. We must manifest the Father unto our little flock or church. The Holy Father in heaven has given us our children. We shall all give account of our stewardship as Christ did as He approached His dreaded hour. Will we be able to say of our little flock as Christ said of His in JOH 17:6? "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word."
Do we think that manifesting the Father or the Son of God is to be reserved for pastors? I know a pastor who gave up his salary because he did not want his flock to think he had all the responsibility of teaching and preaching. He wanted it known that that responsibility lay with the head of every house.
I asked a dying neighbor whether he knew what it was to have faith in Christ. He replied, "I leave that to my pastor. He takes care of that." I asked, "What if you come before the judgment seat before your pastor gets there? What if you have to give an account and your pastor is not there to answer your questions?"
It is so dangerous to give our trust unto a human being who we hold in reverence. See the ignorance often revealed in those who are the most reverenced by man. Think of the scribes and Pharisees. They were the doctors of theology. They were the members of the Sanhedrin. They were the authorities in the Word of God. In JOH 9:24-27 we see the history of the man born blind and the treatment he got from those who were held in reverence. "Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?"
The man born blind is now teaching the religious leaders. See how this man who had just found Christ, manifest Christ unto these proud, blind, leaders of the blind. JOH 9:28-33 says, "Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing." This man had just a glimpse of Christ but he is teaching these hypocrites who held themselves as the theological authorities. He reflected so much light that he was blinding the eyes of the religious leaders.
It is unto just those whom the worldly are too proud to hear that Christ manifests Himself and the Father. God is so jealous that we do not look to a man but that we look to Christ. We look to His Word. We look to the manifestation of the Father. JOH 9:34-39 says, "They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. [They were too proud to be taught by a man who was born in sin. See their spiritual blindness and how Christ manifested Himself unto just such a man.] Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind."
The man born blind was not proud. He did not consider himself an authority. He did not have all the answers. He was just speaking plain logic of the little bit of light he had. The Lord did not manifest Himself to the proud Pharisees, but to the man born blind. He had nothing to claim of his own wisdom. He did not attend a school of theology. All he knew was that he had had a revelation from Jesus Christ, and he shed that light to these proud hypocrites, and he was put out of the church. If they had admitted their blindness and had been teachable, the Lord would have forgiven them.
There is a great lesson to be learned from this. The gospel of Christ is not sent to us by angels, but by fallen men with like passions as us. The Lord recorded in His Word the sin of Moses and that he was not able to enter the Promised Land to avoid the very thing the Pharisees were doing, and that was to worship Moses. The Lord recorded the sin of David so that we would not worship David. The slips and falls of Peter are recorded so we would not worship Peter. Why do some churches worship Peter and build their foundation on him? Peter was human. We must take our eyes off of the man. That is where Christ becomes manifest. That is where the Father must be manifest. The Lord did not use scribes and Pharisees. He used unlearned fisherman because no one would give them any credit for anything. They could not claim any credit for what they taught.
See the account of Paul, the chief of the apostles, gave of himself. He was a Pharisee brought up at the feet of Gamaliel. This man did have a doctors degree in theology, and the Lord had a reason for using him because He would help him to understand the Old Testament, which would help him to understand the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, Paul gives an account of himself in 1CO 15:8-10, "And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." The Lord took a man who was not only a blasphemer, but who also compelled the church of Christ to blaspheme. He took one who was the ugliest form of a sinner. Paul was a blasphemer and compelled the church to blaspheme. He took one who was the ugliest form of a sinner to send him to preach the gospel so no one would worship him. It takes the eye off of man and fixes it on Christ.
This should encourage some heads of households who think they are incapable or that they do not have enough teaching. It is those who do not have the ability in themselves who God can work through. We need to beg God for grace to be able to be the head of a household, to be the head of a church.
It was by the manifestation of Christ that this proud Pharisee became a lamb in the flock of Christs fold. PHI 3:4-9 says, "Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." Paul was so blind as a Pharisee, but then Christ was manifest to him and this brought repentance toward God.
See what takes place when Christ is manifest in the heart, when pride is melted down in humility, when the proud theologian becomes a humble sinner before God. When we have a true manifestation of the character of God we see that all of this proud hypocrisy is not pleasing to God. That manifestation of the name of God reveals what is pleasing to Him. Paul saw that his works religion, his duty religion, his law religion, was not pleasing to the Father. What the Father wanted was repentance toward Him, a complete change of attitude, a different heart toward the will of God.
When such proud Pharisees come to the manifestation of the name of God and come to confess their own vile nature, they no longer cast out those who were altogether born in sin! Now their checklist of what you must do to stay in the church is gone. When we rightly understand who we are then we are able to preach the gospel to sinners, to those who need the gospel, to those who were altogether born in sin. We get to where we are able to listen to those who were altogether born in sin and came to the manifestation of Christ.
2CO 4:5-7 says, "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." A pastor should never tell his call to his church so they will not fall on their knees and worship their pastor. Pastors should come to their flock telling them they are there to serve them for Christs sake. As we learn to know the character and person of Christ through the Word of God, we learn to see the glory of the knowledge of God. That is how the Father is manifest to you and me. However, we have this treasure in earthen vessels. Pastors are men of like passions as their flocks. We do not preach ourselves. We preach Christ Jesus.
Some pastors will not accept you into the church unless he may claim that you were converted under his preaching.***I have never heard of any pastors doing this.*** This is exactly the opposite of what we see in the revelation of the Spirit of God.
Receiving the gospel from those who were altogether born in sin not only tries our faith but it takes our eye off Moses and Abraham and raises it unto Christ as the object of our faith. When we see someone taken in a fault we can relate to that. We understand the depravity of our own hearts. We understand the dangers that befall men and then we can sympathize and not be critical, not put them out of the church. That is what the Lord told Peter to do after he denied Him. "When you are converted, go and strengthen your brother." Now you can talk from experience what it is like to fall. Now you can intimately relate to that.
JOH 8:31-32 says, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." It was Jews who believed who put out the man who was born blind. They never learned to know the deceitfulness of their own wretched hearts. Continuing in verses 33 and 34 we read, "They answered him, We be Abrahams seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."
Christ comes to us in disguise. Have we learned to see Christ in those poor unto whom we give a cup of cold water? Receiving one of His little ones is receiving Christ. Many today say that all you have to do is receive Christ, but what does it mean to receive Christ? LUK 9:46-48 says, "Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him, And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great."
When we receive those little ones of Christ and when we take them and nurture them and we manifest Christ unto them, that is receiving Christ. We must humble ourselves and minister unto the needs of those the Pharisees cast out.
The Apostle Peter could better relate to these little ones in faith after he had been converted from being so strong in himself. Those who have a keen sense of the feelings of their infirmities make much better counselors. After David had fallen in sin with Bathsheba, he said in PSA 51:11-13 after he had come to know his own heart, "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee." He realized that he deserved to be cast away. David would be able to come to them as a sinner himself, feeling and knowing and understanding the power of sin. Then he could come as an affectionate pastor.
Learning from Christ enables us to become profitable teachers. The more we have Christ manifest in us, the more we understand what pleases Him, the more we understand who He is, the more qualified we are to be teachers. HEB 4:14-16 says, "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
The scribes and Pharisees could not be touched by the infirmities of a man born in sin. They were righteous in themselves. Christ is so qualified because He can intimately relate to the power of sin that we struggle against. He can intimately relate to the temptations we have.
It is as we come to see Christ by the eye of faith that we can begin to understand what our Saviour pleaded in our behalf, saying in JOH 17:6, "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world." Now we begin to understand who and what it is that He manifests to us.
Seeing Christ is seeing the Father! JOH 12:42-45 says, "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me." They had never received new hearts. If you have a right knowledge of the person of Christ as it is revealed in the Word, that in itself is the manifestation of the Father.
Those who have learned to know the Man of Sorrows as a pattern of their life are not critical of another mans faults. When you hear someone who is critical of another mans faults, you know that he is ignorant of the manifestation of Christ.
GAL 6:1-3 says, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."
When our eye is fixed upon Christ instead of His instrument, we learn to understand why "it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" as we read in 1CO 1:21.
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