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WHEN WILL THE CHURCH BE RESURRECTED?

WHEN WILL THE CHURCH BE RESURRECTED?

I believe that the church will be resurrected at Christ’s phaneroo as described in Col. 3:4. That passage reads, “When Christ Who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear (Gr. “phaneroo”) with Him in glory”. The question is however, when will that take place in relation to the Lord’s return? This paper is a study of that question.

We will look at the following topics:

Two Passages Concerning The Resurrection

When Will The Epiphania and the Phaneroo Occur in Relation to the Parousia?

A Consideration Of The Meaning Of The Greek “Phaneroo”

Manifested “With” Christ

Conclusion

Appendix: A Study Of Every Occurrence Of “Phaneroo”

TWO PASSAGES CONCERNING THE RESURRECTION

I Thess. 4:15-17 tells us that the rapture and the resurrection will take place when the Lord Jesus Christ appears in the clouds. Let us consider this passage. “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive, and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”.

The language and the dispensational character of the I Thess.4:15-17 makes it quite clear that the church is not included in that passage. That is to say, the trumpet and the archangel are connected to Israel and I Thess. was written in the previous dispensation, i.e. in the Acts period. Therefore, this passage does not include the church of the dispensation of the mystery. But I Cor. 15:22-24 is not dispensational in character, it is a universal truth and therefore includes all believers, even though the church of the dispensation of the mystery had not yet come into existence. Let us look at that passage from I Corinthians.

I Cor. 15:22-24 reads, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.“.  I Corinthians is an Acts period epistle. Are believers of the dispensation of the mystery included in the phrase “in Christ”? Are believers of the dispensation of the mystery included in the phrase “they that are Christ’s”? Certainly the church was not in Paul’s mind when he penned these phrases, but I believe that the context will show that those phrases include all believers of every dispensation. That is to say, this passage in I Corinthians speaks of universal truths, not of dispensational truths. Let me explain.

A universal truth is one that is true throughout all dispensations, it never changes. For example, “God is love”. While the Old Testament speaks less of that character of God than does the New Testament, God has always been a God of love, that has never changed. A dispensational truth, on the other hand, is one that changes from one dispensation to another. For example, that “Nations are joint heirs, joint bodies and joint partakers of the promise…….” is a truth that is peculiar to the dispensation of the mystery.

I Cor. 15:22-24 is, in my opinion a universal truth. That is to say it is a truth for all dispensations. How do we know that? We know that from the context. Consider for example that we read in verse 22 of “all in Adam”. That of course, applies to all human beings no matter the dispensation in which they lived. But let us consider the entire message of the passage.

In verse 12 Paul raises the argument that some have said that there is no resurrection. In verse 13 he explains that if there is no resurrection, then Christ has not risen. And in verse 14 he wrote, “if Christ has not risen then….our faith is in vain”. We read in verses 16-19, “If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised; and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain…………If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable”. But he then writes with all triumph, “But now is Christ risen from the dead….” Paul states that there is indeed a resurrection. Furthermore, Paul included all that are in Christ in this blessed truth when he wrote, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive, but each in his own turn.  Christ is the firstfruits of those who are His.

As we consider the phrase “in Christ” in other passages I believe the reader will see further evidence that the phrase “in Christ” in I Cor. 15:22-24 applies to the believers of all dispensations, including those of the dispensation of the mystery.

Rom. 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ…….”. We do not read this exact truth in the prison epistles, but it is clear that this applies to all believers in Christ, including, of course, believers of the dispensation of the mystery.

II Cor. 5:17, “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature….”. This exact truth is also not mentioned in the prison epistles, but it is clear that this is a universal truth and applies to all believers including members of the church which is His body.

Because it is clear that I Cor. 15:22-23 is a universal truth concerning resurrection, and that in this context all believers, in every dispensation are “in Christ”, we may conclude that, in spite of the fact that I Corinthians was written before the dispensation of the mystery, it includes believers of every dispensation, including those of this present dispensation. Furthermore, this passage tells us when the resurrection of those in Christ will take place, i.e. “when He comes“. In other words, this passage tells us that all believers will be raised at Christ’s coming.

WHEN WILL THE EPIPHANIA AND THE PHANEROO OCCUR IN RELATION TO THE PAROUSIA?

Many believe that because the Greek word “parousai” is used only in the Acts period epistles that it must occur at a different time (earlier) than the epiphania and/or the phaneroo. As we consider just a few occurrencs of “epiphania” and “phaneroo” the reader will see that they will occur at the same time as the parousia.

“Epiphania” is one of the words used in connection to the hope of believers, that is used in reference to the hope of the church and is, of course, found in the prison epistles.  But it is also found in an Acts period epistle, i.e. II Thessalonians.  II Thess. 2:8 reads, “And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor (epiphania) of His coming (parousia) “.  The King James has “by the brightness of His coming”. Note that in this verse, the “epiphania” is at His coming, i.e. the “parousia”. The other occurrences of the word are found in I Timothy 6:14, II Tim. 4:1, 4:8, Titus 2:13.

There is one other word used in the prison epistles that is used in connection with the hope of the church. It is the Greek word “phaneroo”, and we see it in Col. 3:4, “when Christ, Who is our life shall appear then we shall appear with Him in glory”.  This word is also found in Acts period epistles. I John 2:28 is important in that it tells us when this appearing will occur. “And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when he appears (phaneroo) we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming (parousia)”. The “phaneroo” is at His coming.  (The section below on when, in relation to the parousia the phaneroo will occur will give a fuller account of Col. 3:4.)

It is significant that the two words associated with the hope of the church, which is His body are also associated with the hope of the Acts period believers. It is also significant that the epiphania and the phaneroo occur at the time of the second coming (parousia) of our Lord. What is of the utmost significance is the fact that we are told exactly when the phaneroo and the epiphania, i.e. the hope of the church will take place. It will occur at the second coming of Christ. How do we know that? We know that from II Thess. 2:8, which reads, “And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the epiphania of His parousia”.  And I Jn, 2:28 tells us the same in regard to “phaneroo”, it will be at Christ’s coming, at His parousia. “And now little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear (phaneroo), we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (parousia)”.

A CONSIDERATION OF THE MEANING OF THE GREEK “PHANEROO”

Some believe that the sequence of events connected to our Lord’s return is: 1) His appearance in heaven, at which time the church will be resurrected, 2) some time later He will appear in the clouds, at which time all other believers will be resurrected, 3) His return to earth. Let us examine that belief.

We read in Col. 3:4, “When Christ, Who is our life shall appear (Gr. “phaneroo”) then we shall appear (Gr. “phaneroo”) with Him in glory”. Because the KJV translation of “phaneroo” is “appear” most misunderstand this verse to say that Christ will be seen in heaven. (The Appendix at the end of the body of this paper discusses all 49 occurrences of the word “phaneroo” and will prove that it means “manifest” and not “appear” or “to be seen”.) It seems logical to conclude from that, that Christ will appear in heaven first since He is already there, and then at some point after that, be seen in the clouds. But the question is, does Col. 3:4 really say that Christ will be seen, i.e. appear in heaven?

As mentioned above, the Greek word translated “appear” in this verse is “phaneroo”. The Companion Bible defines “phaneroo” as, “to bring to lightmake manifest“. As we consider a few more uses of this Greek word, I hope the reader will agree that “appear” is not the way we should understand this word, that the word means “to be made manifest” and is usually translated “manifest”.

We read, for example in John 1:31 the words of John the Baptist concerning Christ, “and I knew Him not: but that He should be made manifest (Gr. “phaneroo”) to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water”. John the Baptist is saying that he is baptizing with water to make Christ manifest to Israel. Does John the Baptist mean that he wants Israel only to see Christ? Of course not. He was saying that he wanted Israel to know Christ, their long promised King and Messiah. That is to say, John the Baptist wanted Christ to be made manifest to Israel as their King and Messiah. The point is that “phaneroo” cannot be understood as “to be seen” in this passage, it must be understood as “made manifest”.

Let us consider John 17:6 where John records Christ’s prayer to the Father concerning His disciples. “I have manifested (Gr. “phaneroo”) Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world…..”. What is meant by the phrase “manifested Thy name”. I believe that “name” is used here as a figure of speech, i.e. Metonymy of Adjunct which is defined in the Companion Bible as, “When something pertaining to the subject is put for the subject itself”. In this case “name” is put for the subject Which is God. I believe that Christ said in this verse that He had manifested God to His disciples so that they would know Who God is through Christ Himself. While it is true that His disciples did indeed see God in Christ because Christ is God, I believe that Christ did much more than allow His disciples to see God, Christ manifested God to them. He made God known to them. There is a great difference between seeing God and having God manifested to them. Again, the point is that “phaneroo” means so much more than “to be seen”, it means “to be made manifest in a particular role”, “to be made known in a role”.

We see this same truth in I Tim. 3:16 where we read, “God was made manifest (Gr. “phaneroo”) in the flesh”. This tells us so much more than just that one could see God in Christ. It tells us that God could be known through Christ. If we understand “phaneroo” to mean “appear” or “to be seen” we miss the profundity of this verse.

Let us consider I Peter 5:4, “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear (Gr. “phaneroo”)…..”. I have tried to show that “appear” misses the profundity of the meaning of the Greek “phaneroo”. It does not mean “appear”, it means “to be made manifest”. Furthermore, this verse is an excellent example of the context telling us what Christ shall be made manifested as. That is to say, Peter tells us in this context that Christ will be made manifest as “the chief Shepherd“.

I Jn. 2:28 is  helpful in determining when, in relation to the parousia, the phaneroo will occur. We read in that verse, “And now little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear (Gr. “phaneroo”) we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (Gr. “parousia”). John is not saying here that they should have confidence at one time (His appearing , i.e. the phaneroo) and not be ashamed at another time, i.e. His coming (parousia). John is saying that they should have confidence and not be ashamed when Christ is made manifest at His parousia. In other words, His being made manifest is the exact same time as His coming in the clouds.

We read in I Jn. 1:2, “For the life was manifested (Gr. “phaneroo”), and we have seen it…and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested (Gr. “phaneroo”) unto us”. Let us consider the phrase “that eternal life which was with the Father”. It is clear that the “eternal life” is in reference to Christ Himself, it was Jesus Christ Who was with the Father and had in Himself eternal life. (“I am the resurrection and the life”.) In this verse then, we see that Christ was made manifest as the “eternal life”.

And that brings us back to Col. 3:4. I have tried to prove from the way in which the Holy Spirit used the word “phaneroo” that “appear” or “to be seen” is not a correct translation/understanding. As difficult as it may be to divest one’s self of the sense of “to be seen” in the word “phaneroo”, “to be seen” is not the correct meaning of “phaneroo”. Certainly, when something is made manifest it is “seen” figuratively, but not necessarily literally.

What Col. 3:4 does tell us is that Christ will be made manifest. Manifested as what, we might ask? Again, the immediate context gives us the answer to that question, i.e. He will be manifested as “resurrection life“. Note verse 1, “If ye then be risen with Christ”. And verse 3, “…your life is hid with Christ in God”.

I am suggesting therefore, that Col. 3:4 does not tell us that Christ will be literally seen in heaven, it tells us that as believers are resurrected, Christ will be made manifest as “the Resurrection”. Just as we read in I Jn. 1:2 that Christ is manifested as “the eternal life” so too in Col. 3:4 Christ will be made manifest as “resurrection life”.

The point is that neither Col. 3:4 or any other passage of God’s Word tells us that Christ will be seen literally in heaven before He will be seen in the clouds. And as we have seen above in the discussion of  I Jn.  2:28, the phaneroo of Christ will occur at the same time as His coming (parousia). Because the church will be resurrected at His phaneroo which is at the same time as the parousia, we must conclude that the church will be resurrected at the same time as all believers of every dispensation, i.e. when Christ appears in the clouds.

MANIFESTED “WITH” CHRIST

But what about the phrase in Col. 3:4 which reads, “then shall ye also be manifested [as having received resurrection life] with Him”. Does the preposition “with” tell us that we will be manifested in the same place as Christ? If it did we must conclude that Col. 3:4 does not tell us that the church will be resurrected when Christ appears in the clouds, because the church is called to heaven far above the clouds. Let us consider the Greek preposition translated “with” in Col. 3:4.

The Greek preposition translated “with” is “sun” and is defined in the Companion Bible as, “denotes proximity to and hence conjunction or coherence”. The word itself does not tell us whether this conjunction or coherence is in reference to time or to place or to anything else, but the context will always make that clear. Let us consider some passages in which the Holy Spirit used the word “sun” in order to establish the fact that “with” (“sun”) does not necessarily mean “in the same place” .

Matt. 26:35, “Peter said, ‘Though I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee…..”. Peter did not say that he would die in the same place as Christ, but that he would join Him in His death.

Acts 8:20, “That money perish with thee”. This verse does not tell us that money perishes in the same place as people perish, it tells us that money is joined together with us in our perishing.

Acts 15:22, “Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church to send chosen men ….to Antioch….”. This verse does not tell us that the apostles and elders were in the same place as the “whole church” when it “pleased” them to send some to Antioch. It tells us that they were together in their decision.

Acts 23:15, “Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you….as though ye would inquire something….concerning him…..”. The council was to signify to the chief captain in conjunction with others, but this verse does not tell us that they signified this in the same place.

Rom. 6:8, “Now if we be dead with Christ….”. Paul is not saying that we are dead and in the same place as Christ, but the we are dead together with Him.

Eph. 3:18, “May be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth……”. This verse does not tell us that this comprehension is in the same place as “all the saints”, it says that it is together with them.

Bearing in mind that “sun” means “together with” but not necessarily in the same place, let us review Col. 3:4. “…..then shall ye also be manifested with Him in glory”. In other words, the church will be manifested together with Christ, but this verse does not tell us that it will be in the same place.

We know that Christ will be made manifest as the resurrection life when He appears in the clouds, as that is when those “in Christ” will be resurrected.. But the church will be manifested as having received resurrection life in heaven. Therefore the preposition “with” (Gr. “sun”) cannot mean “with” in terms of place. That is to say that as Christ is made manifest as resurrection life in the clouds, the church will be made manifest together with Him (at the same time) as having received resurrection life in heaven.

CONCLUSION

In my opinion. the only reason there is any controversy as to when the church will be resurrected is that most do not understand the meaning of the Greek word “phanerooo” translated “appear” in Col. 3:4. That may seem like an oversimplification, but it is not. Once we see that “phaneroo” means “manifest” all is clear.

Further, because there is at least one passage that has been quoted above that tell us that the manifestation of Christ as resurrection life will be at His parousia, i.e. His being seen in the clouds, there can be no question as to when the church will be resurrected. The church of the dispensation of the mystery will be resurrected when Jesus Christ is seen in the clouds.

Because the importance of the correct understanding of the Greek word “phaneroo” cannot be overstated, I hope the reader will look at the Appendix to this paper which considers every occurrence of “phaneroo” in its context. I believe once the reader will have done that, the question of when the church will be resurrected will be answered.

APPENDIX

A STUDY OF ALL THE OCCURRENCES OF THE WORD “PHANEROO”

The Greek word “phaneroo” is used 49 times. It is translated “manifested” or “made manifest” 32 times. It is translated “appear” or “appeared” 12 times. It is translated “shew” or “shewed” 5 times. “To show” is, in my opinion, very close to the concept of “manifest” which leaves us with the translation of “appear” in a definite minority of 5 out of 49 occurrences.

But we cannot determine the meaning of a word by simply counting the number of times it is translated in a certain way. The only reason I mention the number of times it is translated “appear” is to say that because the majority of the times it is translated “manifest” (or something close to it) I believe that we should give that meaning more weight in considering each occurrence. So for example in Mark 16 where we read that Christ appeared to His disciples, we should consider a more profound meaning than just the obvious one of “appeared”.

As the reader will discover, what is manifested is often not specifically stated as being manifested, but what is manifested is always explained in the near or far context.

1) Mark 4:21-22, “And He said unto them, ‘Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not to be set on a candlestick: for there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested (phaneroo) neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad'”. This statement follows immediately the telling of the parable of the seeds which represent truth that is rejected for various reasons, and truth that is accepted. The context, therefore, tells us that it is truth that shall be made manifest, i.e. shall be made known.

2-3) Mark 16:9-14, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, He appeared (Gr. “phaino”) first to Mary Magdalene….and she went and told them that had been with Him…… And when they had heard that He was alive, and been seen (Gr. “theaomai”) of her, believed not. After that He appeared (phaneroo) in another form unto two of them and they went and told it unto the residue; neither believed they them. Afterward He appeared (phaneroo) unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen (Gr. “theaomai”) Him after He was risen”.

Does this passage tell us simply that Christ appeared to, i.e. was seen by, His disciples? I think not. If Mark had wanted to say that he could have used the word “optomai” which is translated “appear” 17 times and “see” 22 times. But he used, instead, the word “phaneroo”. Why? I believe that the context will answer that question.

It is clear that none of the disciples believed the report when they were told by those who had seen Christ that He was alive. But when Mark used the word “phaneroo” he was saying that Christ had been manifested to the disciple as being alive. I hope it is clear that by using the word “phaneroo” rather than “optomai” Mark revealed a more profound truth than merely that Christ was seen by His disciples. He revealed in the use of the word “phaneroo”, the fact that Christ did much more than simply appear to His disciples, He manifested Himself as being alive and risen from the dead. His resurrection from the dead is after all, the key to the gospel of salvation.

4) Jn. 1:31, “And I knew Him not: but that He should be made manifest (phaneroo) to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water”. John the Baptist is saying that he is baptizing with water to make Christ manifest to Israel. Does John the Baptist mean that he wants Israel only to see Christ? Of course not. He was saying that he wanted Israel to know Christ, their long promised King and Messiah. That is to say, John the Baptist wanted Christ to be made manifest to Israel as their King and Messiah. The point is that “phaneroo” cannot be understood as “to be seen” in this passage, it must be understood as “made manifest”. John wanted Christ to be made manifest to Israel as King and Messiah.

5) Jn. 2:11, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested (phaneroo) forth His glory…..”. “This beginning of miracles” was Christ turning water into wine at the wedding feast. Of course, the miracle was seen, but the miracle was more than just seen, the miracle manifested Christ’s glory. That is to say, the miracle was understood by those who saw it to be just that, i.e. a miracle, and therefore, that miracle manifested forth the glory of Christ. In short, to be seen is one thing, but “phaneroo” means so much more than that, it means to be made known, i.e. to be manifested. In this context, the miracle was understood to be the manifestation of the glory of Christ.

6) Jn. 3:20-21, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But He that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, (phaneroo) that they are wrought of God”. It is obvious in this context that the deeds are much more than just seen, they are made manifest as being “wrought of God”.

7) Jn. 7:4-6 “For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew (phaneroo) Thyself to the world. (For neither did His brethren believe in Him). Then Jesus said unto them, ‘My time is not yet come….'”. The Lord’s answer tells us that He did not understand them to say that He should be merely seen because it was not His being seen that would lead to Christ’s death. Our Lord knew very well that it was being made manifest as Israel’s King and Messiah that would provoke the Jews to seek His death.

8) Jn. 9:3, “Jesus answered, ‘Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest (phaneroo) in him”. Christ healed this blind man. Are we to assume that when Christ healed him, that Christ wanted His disciples to merely see Him do it? I don’t think so. The only reason Christ wanted them to see Him heal the man was so that they might see the “works of God” and by seeing them, they might believe that Christ Himself was the Son of God. I say that because that is the expressed reason for John’s recording the miracles as given in John 20:30-31. In other words, the healing of this blind man manifested to those who saw it that Christ was the Son of God.

9) John 17:6, “I have manifested (phaneroo) Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world…..”. What is meant by the phrase “manifested Thy name”. I believe that “name” is used as a figure of speech, i.e. Metonymy of Adjunct which is defined in the Companion Bible as, “When something pertaining to the subject is put for the subject itself”. In this case “name” is put for the subject, Which is God. I believe that Christ said in this verse that He had manifested God to His disciples so that they would know Who God is through Christ Himself. While it is true that His disciples did indeed see God in Christ because Christ is God, I believe that Christ did much more than allow His disciple to see God, Christ manifested God to them. He made God known to them. There is a great difference between seeing God and having God manifested to them. Again, the point is that “phaneroo” means so much more than “to be seen”, it means “to be made manifest”.

10-11) Jn. 21:1, “After these things Jesus shewed (phaneroo) Himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed (phaneroo) He Himself”. Did our Lord merely make Himself seen by the disciples or did He manifest Himself to them as their Lord? Let us look at the context for the answer to that question.

Verses 2-6 describe Christ’s telling the disciples where to cast their nets and having done as they were told, brought up a large number of fish. We read in verse 6, “…..They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore the disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, ‘It is the Lord'”. Note the word “therefore”. It tells us that once they had brought up their nets with the large number of fish, then they knew it was the Lord.

So when John wrote in verse 1 that Christ showed (phaneroo) Himself to the disciples “on this wise”, i.e. in this manner, John was telling us that it was when the disciples had filled their nets that Christ had been manifested to them as their Lord. In short, in this context, the Lord was made manifest to His disciples as their Lord.

12) Jn. 21:14, “This is now the third time that Jesus shewed (phaneroo) Himself to His disciples, after that He was risen from the dead”. Please see the note above on Jn. 21:1.

13) Rom. 1:19, “because that which may be known of God is manifest (phaneros) in them; for God hath shewed (phaneroo) it unto them”. The NASB reads, “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident (phaneroo) to them”. I believe that this verse is telling us that there is something in man that allows them to know God because God has made Himself manifest to them as God. Here again, God is manifesting Himself, making Himself known, as God,

14) Rom. 3:21, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested (phaneroo), being witnessed by the law and the prophets”. It is clear in this verse that righteousness has not been seen, it has been made manifest, i.e. made known by the law and the prophets.

15) Rom. 16:26, “But now is made manifest (phaneroo), and by the scriptures of the prophets….”.  It was the secret that was made manifest. Here too, it is clear that to be “made manifest” is not to be seen, but to be made known.

16) I Cor. 4:5, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest (phaneroo) the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God”. Here too it is clear that the “counsels of the hearts” will not merely be seen, they will be made manifest, they will be made known for what they are.

17) II Cor. 2:14, :”Now thanks be unto God, Which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest (phaneroo) the savior of His knowledge by us in every place”. Again, His knowledge is made known, i.e. made manifest, not merely seen.

18) II Cor. 3:3, “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly (phaneroo) declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us….”. The note in the Companion Bible reads, “manifestly declared = manifested”. And the NASB reads, “being manifested that you are a letter of Christ….”. In this verse Paul is telling believers that they are the “epistles of Christ” which in themselves manifest Christ.

19) II Cor. 4:10, “…..that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest (phaneroo) in our body”. Here, Paul speaks of his body making Jesus known.

20) II Cor. 4:11, “For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest (phaneroo) in our mortal flesh”. See note above on II Cor. 4:10.

21-23) II Cor. 5:10-11, “For we must all appear (phaneroo) before the judgment seat of Christ…..but we are made manifest (phaneroo) unto God; and I trust also are made manifest (phaneroo) in your consciences”. At first reading it may seem that believers must all simply be seen at the judgment seat of Christ. But in the next verse Paul goes on to say that we are “made manifest to God”. Let us take a step back and consider the judgment seat of Christ.

Paul is writing to believers, i.e. it is believers who will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ. Believers have “passed from death unto life” and will “not come into judgment” (Jn. 5:24). That being the case, it must be a judgment of rewards. I say that to make the point that it is his deeds that are made manifest. But his deeds in turn make manifest his worthiness, or lack thereof, of receiving rewards.

In my opinion, because the context and the fact that the word “phaneroo” is never used only in the sense of “to be seen” it is deeds that will be made manifest to God at the judgment seat of Christ. That is to say, when Paul wrote that “we must all be made manifest” he is saying that deeds, which is what will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ, will be made manifest. What this verse is saying, in my opinion, is that believers must be made manifest by their deeds at the judgment seat of Christ.

24) II Cor. 7:12, “Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, not for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear (phaneroo) unto you”. That Paul is saying that his care for them might be manifested is so obvious as to not require further comment.

25) II Cor. 11:6, “….we have been thoroughly made manifest (phaneroo) among you in all things”. Here too, the meaning is so obvious as to not require further comment.

26-27) Eph. 5:13, “But all things that are reproved are made manifest (phaneroo) by the light. for whatsoever doth make manifest (phaneroo) is light”.

28) Col. 1:26, “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest (phaneroo) to His saints”. Here it is the mystery that is made known.

29-30) Col. 3:4, “When Christ Who is our life, shall appear (phaneroo), then shall ye also appear (phaneroo) with Him in glory”. The context is about resurrection life. Verse 1, “If ye then be risen with Christ”. Verse 3, “….your life (i.e. resurrection life) is hid with Christ…”. To interpret “phaneroo” as “appearing” does not fit the context and it is not in keeping with the way the word is used by the Holy Spirit in any other passage. I believe therefore, that this verse tells us that Christ is made manifest. Made manifest as what? Again, that question is answered by the immediate context. Christ is made manifest as “Resurrection life”. “(I am the resurrection and the life”.) How will Christ be made manifest as the Resurrection life? That too is answered in the immediate context. When believers are resurrected, Christ will be made manifest as that Resurrection life. In the phrase “then shall ye also be made manifest” the context, which is resurrection life, explains that believers will be manifested as having received resurrection life.

31) Col. 4:4, “That I may make it (the mystery of Christ, vs. 3) manifest (phaneroo), as I ought to speak”.

32) I Tim. 3:16, “God was made manifest (phaneroo) in the flesh”. This tells us so much more than just that one could see God in Christ. It tells us that God could be known through Christ. If we understand “phaneroo” to mean “appear” or “to be seen” we miss the profundity of this verse.

33) II Tim. 1:10, “But is now made manifest (phaneroo) by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”. I believe that it is God’s “purpose and grace” spoken of in the previous verse that is “now made manifest”. It was made known by the appearing of Christ.

34) Titus 1:3, “But hath in due time manifested (phaneroo) His word through preaching……”.

35) Heb. 9:8, “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest of all was not yet made manifest (phaneroo)…..”. Obviously, it was not yet made known.

36) Heb. 9:26, “For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared (phaneroo) to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself”. This is another passage that, in my opinion, speaks of Christ manifesting yet another office that He had come to fulfill. By interpreting “phaneroo” as “appear” we do not see that profound truth, we see only that Christ was seen. But this verse speaks of Christ and His sacrifice in His office of “Lamb of God”. In other words, I believe that this verse is saying much more than that Christ appeared, I believe that it is saying that Christ was made manifest as the Lamb of God.

37) I Peter 1:20, “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest (phaneroo) in these last times for you”. In this verse the KJV does not simply say that Christ “appeared”, it says, correctly, that Christ was manifested. And once again the immediate context tells us Who Christ was manifested as. We read in the previous verse, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot”. I Peter 1:19-20 tells us that Christ was made manifest as the Lamb of God.

38) I Peter 5:4, “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear (Gr. “phaneroo”)…..”. I have tried to show that “appear” misses the profundity of the meaning of the Greek “phaneroo”. It does not mean “appear”, it means “to be made manifest”. Furthermore, this verse is an excellent example of the context telling us Who Christ shall be made manifested as. That is to say, Christ will be made manifest as “the chief Shepherd“.

39-40) I Jn. 1:2, “For the life was manifested (phaneroo), and we have seen it…and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested (phaneroo”) unto us”. Let us consider the phrase “that eternal life which was with the Father”. It is clear that the “eternal life” is in reference to Christ Himself, it was Jesus Christ Who was with the Father and had in Himself eternal life. (“I am the resurrection and the life”.) In this verse then we see that Christ was made manifest as the “eternal life”.

41) I Jn. 2:19, “…..but they went out, that they might be made manifest (phaneroo) that they were not all of us”.

42) I Jn. 2:28, “And now little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear (phaneroo), we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming”. I believe that as we consider the theme of the context from verse 18 we will see that here too Christ is made manifest in one of the offices which He came to fulfill. We read in verse 18, “as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists….”. Verse 22, “who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son”. John was writing to believers warning them of antichrists who would deny “that Jesus is the Christ”. But when He comes, He will be made manifest as the Christ. If we interpret the word “phaneroo” as “appear” we miss the point of this verse in relation to the context.

43-44) I Jn. 3:2,”Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear (phaneroo) what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear (“phaneroo”) , we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is”. It is obvious that in the phrase, “it doth not yet appear what we shall be” the meaning of “phaneroo” is that it has not yet been manifested what we shall be”. But how should we understand “phaneroo” in the phrase, “when He shall appear, we shall be like Him? Is John saying here that we shall know what Christ will look like? I do not believe that is the meaning of this verse. I believe that we are missing a profound truth by not considering verse 1 which reads, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.…”. And again in verse 2 we read, “now are we the sons of God“. As we take that into account I believe that we will see that John is making the point here that when Christ will be manifested as the Son of God, we will be be like Him in that we too are sons of God.

45) I Jn. 3:5, “And ye know that He was manifested (phaneroo) to take away our sins…..”.

46) I Jn. 3:8, “…..For this purpose the Son of God was manifested (phaneroo) , that He might destroy the works of the devil”.

47) I Jn. 4:9, “In this was manifested (phaneroo) the love of God toward us because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him”.

48) Rev. 3:18, “I councel thee to buy of Me …..white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness does not appear (phaneroo) ….”. I believe that the sense of this statement is that the shame is manifested by nakedness.

49) ….all nations come and worship before Thee, for Thy judgments are made manifest (phaneroo)”.

This paper was written by Joyce Pollard. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please E-mail me at: janjoyce@aol.com

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