By T.M. Anderson
"Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us..
"He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."
A man can express much in a few words of prayer. When Philip made this request for a revelation of the Father, he voiced the deepest longing of a human heart; no man can be satisfied without a full revelation of God. Philip did not ask the Savior for the impossible, because He said to Philip, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."
It was not the exclusive privileges of the disciples to see the Father revealed in the Son. If the immortal Christ could satisfy the heart of an earnest seeker after God in the days of His flesh, He is the same Christ today, and He is rich in mercy toward all that seek Him. Christ only, can satisfy our hungry hearts by a revelation of the Heavenly Father. No man hath seen God at any time, but the only begotten Son hath declared Him. Jesus came into this world to make the Invisible God visible to mankind; for Jesus Christ is the brightness of the glory of God, and the express image of His Person. This immutable truth abides: the fleeing centuries have not impaired its eternal worth, and the dust of the ages has not obscured it.
I am a witness to this living truth. During the peaceful hours of the morning, in January, 1950, I was praying and waiting in worship before the Savior, when suddenly He stood before me, and I saw Him clearly with the eyes of my understanding. I ceased praying and remained silent in His Presence. The moment was too sacred for me to speak to Him. I do not know how long He continued with me; the passing of time was not noticed: to me, eternity had begun, and time had ceased.
When my Lord manifested Himself to me that eventful morning, He opened a door into the heavenly world to me; and by His good grace, I have not lost sight of His Blessed Face for one moment since that momentous hour.
The manifestation of the Savior marked an epoch in my life; it was an entrance into a new realm of eternal light to me. I had come into a world of unlimited possibilities in spiritual achievements. I remembered the promise, "Behold I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it." The Eternal Christ is the Door: and He had opened to me a measureless expanse of moral and mental development. From that hour of gladness, my soul has felt no restrictive limitation; I am free to explore the infinite resources of God; for He has set my feet in a large room.
This gracious revelation of the Savior enabled me to understand what David meant when he said, "I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is at my right hand, that I should not be moved." (Acts 2:25, Psalm 16:8) No language can adequately express my boundless joy when the Savior stood before me that morning. I know it was not a beautiful dream, I walked about the room and rejoiced in His Presence.
Someone may ask if there is a scriptural basis for believing that the Savior will reveal Himself to us in this age of reason. I asked myself the same question, and began to seek diligently for a word of revealed truth to support my faith in the reality of the experience which I had received.
Was I a misguided soul, led astray by my own over-wrought imagination? Was I a hapless victim of a mental disorder? Could it be that the vision was a hallucination created out of my wishful thinking? These were some of the questions presented to my mind.
My searching of the Scriptures was rewarded by finding revealed truth to assure my heart before Him. I recalled the words of Jesus spoken to His disciples: "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also ... He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him." The Savior spoke these words following the request of Philip, "Shew us the Father."
These words of the Savior glowed with a new light, and imparted a new meaning to my rejoicing heart. This promise was sufficient to confirm my faith in the reality of the Savior's manifestation. I needed no other promise to support my faith, and substantiate my sincere claim.
The Scriptures affirm that the disciples did see the Savior after His passion: "He shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of things pertaining to the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)
It is the fact of a living Christ that establishes the foundation of our faith for eternal life: because He lives, we shall live also. How could one know that Christ lived if He never revealed Himself at any time after His death? The fact of a living Savior makes the new birth a reality to an immortal soul. It is a living Christ that makes the experience of entire sanctification a vital reality in life.
We know that the Savior manifests Himself to a penitent soul seeking for pardon. We do not doubt the fact that Christ reveals Himself to the believer seeking to be sanctified. In view of these fundamental facts, shall we say it is incredible to think that the Savior would manifest Himself to an humble seeker in prayer?
Shall we take the unwarranted position that the only time the Savior manifests Himself is in the two epochs of grace known as pardon and purity? God's infallible Word declares He did manifest Himself to His people in the ages past. A prophet foresaw Him revealed in the flesh, and called His Name Immanuel, which means, God with us.
If the only time that men have seen God is in the dateless past, then we, in this age of the gospel are deceived in our hearts; and there is no truth to support our faith in a risen Savior. If God has clothed Himself in perpetual silence, and wills to remain invisible to mortal man in this dreary world, then our faith is vain, and our hope of life is a delusion. I am not presenting these truths from the Word of God to defend my claim to have seen the Savior while praying in the early morning. I was not seeking such an experience: I was praying and worshipping when suddenly He manifested Himself to me. To my own heart it was a confirmation of the promise, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:19)
If this promise contains no reality, and He is not present with us always, even unto the end of the world, then it has no place of value in our faith.
It is utterly meaningless, and stands as a vain and pretentious claim of the Savior. This is the cold logic to which one is driven, if the Savior is not manifestly Present with us in all time, and throughout all eternity. If our minds fail to grasp the import of this revealed truth; and if our faith is too feeble to appropriate the promises, it may be because we have substituted ritualism for reality, and have emphasized the figurative rather than the factual in religion. There is a faith which obtains the substance of the things hoped for, and brings to the soul the evidence of things not seen.
It is deplorable to see how far the church has drifted into rationalism. She has apparently lost sight of Divine revelation as a basic fact of saving faith. Many of the devout people in the church are obviously lacking in spiritual discernment; some refer to these realities as mysticism.
To the world the promised manifestation of the Savior is unknown. He was in the world, and the world knew Him not. In the estimation of the world, we are crazy to profess to have received a manifestation of the Savior. The unbelievers in the church voice the same disbelief that characterizes this rationalistic generation. They are like Festus who said with a loud voice, "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad." But the ages have felt the spiritual impact of this dynamic man, who said to Jesus, "What wilt thou have me do."
The manifestation of the Savior in answer to prayer should not be considered the unusual in Christian experience; it is evidently the norm of spiritual life. It is recorded that the place was shaken where they were assembled together in prayer, and the believers were filled with the Spirit.
This was a filling subsequent to the fullness of the Spirit received on the day of Pentecost. It was not a "third blessing"; it was a mighty visitation of God, reaffirming His promise to be with them to the end of the world. I do not expect a manifestation of God's power sufficient to shake a building, but in the light of this truth, I have a scriptural foundation for my faith to expect a manifestation of the Savior in answer to an importunate prayer offered in a time of desperate need.
Unless the preachers and people in the Holiness movement take time to pray, and give less time to programs and plans, the movement will soon be in woeful want of spiritual power to withstand the evils of the modern age. The Almighty God revealed in His beloved Son is our refuge and strength. We must prevail in prayer in these last days or utterly perish. Our hope and our help cometh from God, Who has promised to answer the agonizing prayers of His people.