Jesus Christ the same yesterday - In all past times there was no way to the holiest but through the blood of Jesus, either actually shed, or significantly typified. To-day - he is the lamb newly slain, and continues to appear in the presence of God for us. For ever - to the conclusion of time, he will be the way, the truth, and the life, none coming to the Father but through him; and throughout eternity, εις τους αιωνας, it will appear that all glorified human spirits owe their salvation to his infinite merit. This Jesus was thus witnessed of by your guides, who are already departed to glory. Remember Him; remember them; and take heed to yourselves.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday - As this stands in our common translation, it conveys an idea which is not in the original. It would seem to mean that Jesus Christ, the unchangeable Saviour, was the end or aim of the conduct of those referred to, or that they lived to imitate and glorify him. But this is by no means the meaning in the original. There it stands as an absolute proposition, that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever;” that is, that he is unchangeable. The evident design of this independent proposition here is, to encourage them to persevere by showing that their Saviour was always the same; that he who had sustained his people in former times, was the same still, and would be the same forever. The argument here, therefore, for perseverance is founded on the “immutability” of the Redeemer. If he were fickle, vacillating, changing in his character and plans; if today he aids his people, and tomorrow will forsake them; if at one time he loves the virtuous, and at another equally loves the vicious; if he formed a plan yesterday which he has abandoned today; or if he is ever to be a different being from what he is now, there would be no encouragement to effort. Who would know what to depend on? Who would know what to expect tomorrow? For who could have any certainty that he could ever please a capricious or a vacillating being? Who could know how to shape his conduct if the principles of the divine administration were not always the same? At the same time, also, that this passage furnishes the strongest argument for fidelity and perseverance, it is an irrefragable proof of the divinity of the Saviour. It asserts immutability - sameness in the past, the present, and to all eternity but of whom can this be affirmed but God? It would not be possible to conceive of a declaration which would more strongly assert immutability than this.
If there is anything in our world that should inspire enthusiasm, it is the cross of Calvary. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Christ is to be accepted, believed on, and exalted. This is to be the theme of conversation—the preciousness of Christ. TM 81.1Read in context »
Christ's love for His children is as tender as it is strong. And it is stronger than death; for He died to purchase our salvation, and to make us one with Him, mystically and eternally one. So strong is His love that it controls all His powers, and employs the vast resources of heaven in doing His people good. It is without variableness or shadow of turning—the same yesterday, today, and forever. Although sin has existed for ages, trying to counteract this love and obstruct its flowing earthward, it still flows in rich currents to those for whom Christ died. TM 519.1
God loves the sinless angels, who do His service and are obedient to all His commands; but He does not give them grace; they have never needed it, for they have never sinned. Grace is an attribute shown to undeserving human beings. We did not seek after it; it was sent in search of us. God rejoices to bestow grace upon all who hunger and thirst for it, not because we are worthy, but because we are unworthy. Our need is the qualification which gives us the assurance that we shall receive the gift. TM 519.2
It should not be difficult to remember that the Lord desires you to lay your troubles and perplexities at His feet, and leave them there. Go to Him, saying: “Lord, my burdens are too heavy for me to carry. Wilt Thou bear them for me?” And He will answer: “I will take them. ‘With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee.’ I will take your sins, and will give you peace. Banish no longer your self-respect; for I have bought you with the price of My own blood. You are Mine. Your weakened will I will strengthen. Your remorse for sin I will remove.” TM 519.3Read in context »
“Through my vicegerent, I will exalt myself. The first day will be extolled, and the Protestant world will receive this spurious sabbath as genuine. Through the nonobservance of the Sabbath that God instituted, I will bring His law into contempt. The words, ‘A sign between Me and you throughout your generations,’ I will make to serve on the side of my sabbath. PK 184.1
“Thus the world will become mine. I will be the ruler of the earth, the prince of the world. I will so control the minds under my power that God's Sabbath shall be a special object of contempt. A sign? I will make the observance of the seventh day a sign of disloyalty to the authorities of earth. Human laws will be made so stringent that men and women will not dare to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. For fear of wanting food and clothing, they will join with the world in transgressing God's law. The earth will be wholly under my dominion.” PK 184.2
Through the setting up of a false sabbath, the enemy thought to change times and laws. But has he really succeeded in changing God's law? The words of the thirty-first chapter of Exodus are the answer. He who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, has declared of the seventh-day Sabbath: “It is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations.” “It is a sign ... forever.” Exodus 31:13, 17. The changed signpost is pointing the wrong way, but God has not changed. He is still the mighty God of Israel. “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity.” Isaiah 40:15-17. And He is just as jealous for His law now as He was in the days of Ahab and Elijah. PK 184.3Read in context »
I am so sorry that men who want to be obedient to God put so much confidence in human sympathy and human help which disappoint so often. But God, the living God, is unchangeable. He is the same kind, tender, pitiful, loving Saviour today, yesterday, and forever. Satan is now working with all his might, and leaving no means untried to unsettle minds because they see men of long experience make mistakes. But Jesus is faultless.... Make God your entire trust. Pray, pray, pray, pray in faith. Then trust the keeping of your soul to God. He will keep that which is committed to Him against that day.... Walk humbly with God. The Lord sees every sorrow, every grief, every trial that besets the human soul, and He knows how to apply the balm.... TMK 268.2Read in context »