In the beginning - That is, before any thing was formed - ere God began the great work of creation. This is the meaning of the word in Genesis 1:1, to which the evangelist evidently alludes. This phrase fully proves, in the mouth of an inspired writer, that Jesus Christ was no part of the creation, as he existed when no part of that existed; and that consequently he is no creature, as all created nature was formed by him: for without him was nothing made that is made, John 1:3. Now, as what was before creation must be eternal, and as what gave being to all things, could not have borrowed or derived its being from any thing, therefore Jesus, who was before all things and who made all things, must necessarily be the Eternal God.
Was the Word - Or, existed the Logos. This term should be left untranslated, for the very same reason why the names Jesus and Christ are left untranslated. The first I consider as proper an apellative of the Savior of the world as I do either of the two last. And as it would be highly improper to say, the Deliverer, the Anointed, instead of Jesus Christ, so I deem it improper to say, the Word, instead of the Logos. But as every appellative of the Savior of the world was descriptive of some excellence in his person, nature, or work, so the epithet Λογος, Logos, which signifies a word spoken, speech, eloquence, doctrine, reason, or the faculty of reasoning, is very properly applied to him, who is the true light which lighteth every man who cometh into the world, John 1:9; who is the fountain of all wisdom; who giveth being, life, light, knowledge, and reason, to all men; who is the grand Source of revelation, who has declared God unto mankind; who spake by the prophets, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, Revelation 19:10; who has illustrated life and immortality by his Gospel, 2 Timothy 1:10; and who has fully made manifest the deep mysteries which lay hidden in the bosom of the invisible God from all eternity, John 1:18.
The apostle does not borrow this mode of speech from the writings of Plato, as some have imagined: he took it from the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and from the subsequent style of the ancient Jews. It is true the Platonists make mention of the Logos in this way: - καθ 'ὁν, αει οντα, τα γενομενα εγενετο - by whom, eternally existing, all things were made. But as Plato, Pythagoras, Zeno, and others, traveled among the Jews, and conversed with them, it is reasonable to suppose that they borrowed this, with many others of their most important notions and doctrines, from them.
And the Word was God - Or, God was the Logos: therefore no subordinate being, no second to the Most High, but the supreme eternal Jehovah.
In the beginning - This expression is used also in Genesis 1:1. John evidently has allusion here to that place, and he means to apply to “the Word” an expression which is there applied “to God.” In both places it clearly means before creation, before the world was made, when as yet there was nothing. The meaning is: that the “Word” had an existence before the world was created. This is not spoken of the man Jesus, but of that which “became” a man, or was incarnate, John 1:14. The Hebrews, by expressions like this, commonly denoted eternity. Thus. the eternity of God is described Psalm 90:2; “Before the mountains were brought forth, etc.;” and eternity is commonly expressed by the phrase, before the foundation of the world.” Whatever is meant by the term “Word,” it is clear that it had an existence before “creation.” It is not, then, a “creature” or created being, and must be, therefore, uncreated and eternal. There is only one Being that is uncreated, and Jesus must be therefore divine. Compare the Saviour‘s own declarations respecting himself in the following places: John 8:58; John 17:5; John 6:62; John 3:13; John 6:46; John 8:14; John 16:28.
Was the Word - Greek, “was the λόγος LogosThis name is given to him who afterward became “flesh,” or was incarnate (John 1:14 - that is, to the Messiah. Whatever is meant by it, therefore, is applicable to the Lord Jesus Christ. There have been many opinions about the reason why this name was given to the Son of God. It is unnecessary to repeat those opinions. The opinion which seems most plausible may be expressed as follows: 1. A “word” is that by which we communicate our will; by which we convey our thoughts; or by which we issue commands the medium of communication with others. 2. The Son of God may be called “the Word,” because he is the medium by which God promulgates His will and issues His commandments. See Hebrews 1:1-3. 3. This term was in use before the time of John. (a)It was used in the Aramaic translation of the Old Testament, as, “e. g.,” Isaiah 45:12; “I have made the earth, and created man upon it.” In the Aramaic it is, “I, ‹by my word,‘ have made,” etc. Isaiah 48:13; “mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth.” In the Aramaic, “‹By my word‘ I have founded the earth.” And so in many other places. (b)This term was used by the Jews as applicable to the Messiah. In their writings he was commonly known by the term “Mimra” - that is, “Word;” and no small part of the interpositions of God in defense of the Jewish nation were declared to be by “the Word of God.” Thus, in their Targum on Deuteronomy 26:17-18, it is said, “Ye have appointed the word of God a king over you this day, that he may be your God.” (c)The term was used by the Jews who were scattered among the Gentiles, and especially those who were conversant with the Greek philosophy. (d)The term was used by the followers of Plato among the Greeks, to denote the Second Person of the Trinity. The Greek term νοῦς nousor “mind,” was commonly given to this second person, but it was said that this nouswas “the word” or “reason” of the First Person of the Trinity. The term was therefore extensively in use among the Jews and Gentiles before John wrote his Gospel, and it was certain that it would be applied to the Second Person of the Trinity by Christians. whether converted from Judaism or Paganism. It was important, therefore, that the meaning of the term should be settled by an inspired man, and accordingly John, in the commencement of his Gospel, is at much pains to state clearly what is the true doctrine respecting the λόγος Logosor Word. It is possible, also, that the doctrines of the Gnostics had begun to spread in the time of John. They were an Oriental sect, and held that the λόγος Logosor “Word” was one of the “Aeones” that had been created, and that this one had been united to the man Jesus. If that doctrine had begun then to prevail, it was of the more importance for John to settle the truth in regard to the rank of the Logos or Word. This he has done in such a way that there need be no doubt about its meaning. Was with God - This expression denotes friendship or intimacy. Compare Mark 9:19. John affirms that he was “with God” in the beginning - that is, before the world was made. It implies, therefore, that he was partaker of the divine glory; that he was blessed and happy with God. It proves that he was intimately united with the Father, so as to partake of his glory and to be appropriately called by the name God. He has himself explained it. See John 17:5; “And now, O Father, glorify thou we with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” See also John 1:18; “No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” See also John 3:13; “The Son of man, which is in heaven.” Compare Philemon 2:6-7. Was God - In the previous phrase John had said that the Word was “with God.” Lest it should be supposed that he was a different and inferior being, here John states that “he was God.” There is no more unequivocal declaration in the Bible than this, and there could be no stronger proof that the sacred writer meant to affirm that the Son of God was equal with the Father; because: 1.There is no doubt that by the λόγος Logosis meant Jesus Christ. 2.This is not an “attribute” or quality of God, but is a real subsistence, for it is said that the λόγος Logoswas made flesh σάρξ sarx- that is, became a human being. 3.There is no variation here in the manuscripts, and critics have observed that the Greek will bear no other construction than what is expressed in our translation - that the Word “was God.” 4.There is no evidence that John intended to use the word “God” in an inferior sense. It is not “the Word was a god,” or “the Word was ‹like God,‘” but the Word “was God.” He had just used the word “God” as evidently applicable to Yahweh, the true God; and it is absurd to suppose that he would in the same verse, and without any indication that he was using the word in an inferior sense, employ it to denote a being altogether inferior to the true God. The meaning of this important verse may then be thus summed up: 1.The name λόγος Logosor Word, is given to Christ in reference to his becoming the Teacher or Instructor of mankind; the medium of communication between God and man. 2.The name was in use at the time of John, and it was his design to state the correct doctrine respecting the λόγος LogosThe “Word,” or λόγος Logosexisted “before creation” - of course was not a “creature,” and must have been, therefore, from eternity. 4.He was “with God” - that is, he was united to him in a most intimate and close union before the creation; and, as it could not be said that God was “with himself,” it follows that the λόγος Logoswas in some sense distinct from God, or that there was a distinction between the Father and the Son. When we say that one is “with another,” we imply that there is some sort of distinction between them. 5.Yet, lest it should be supposed that he was a “different” and “inferior” being - a creature - he affirms that he was God - that is, was equal with the Father. This is the foundation of the doctrine of the Trinity: 1.that the second person is in some sense “distinct” from the first. 2.that he is intimately united with the first person in essence, so that there are not two or more Gods. 3.that the second person may be called by the same name; has the same attributes; performs the same works; and is entitled to the same honors with the first, and that therefore he is “the same in substance, and equal in power and glory,” with God.
1. A “word” is that by which we communicate our will; by which we convey our thoughts; or by which we issue commands the medium of communication with others.
2. The Son of God may be called “the Word,” because he is the medium by which God promulgates His will and issues His commandments. See Hebrews 1:1-3.
3. This term was in use before the time of John.
(a)It was used in the Aramaic translation of the Old Testament, as, “e. g.,” Isaiah 45:12; “I have made the earth, and created man upon it.” In the Aramaic it is, “I, ‹by my word,‘ have made,” etc. Isaiah 48:13; “mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth.” In the Aramaic, “‹By my word‘ I have founded the earth.” And so in many other places.
(b)This term was used by the Jews as applicable to the Messiah. In their writings he was commonly known by the term “Mimra” - that is, “Word;” and no small part of the interpositions of God in defense of the Jewish nation were declared to be by “the Word of God.” Thus, in their Targum on Deuteronomy 26:17-18, it is said, “Ye have appointed the word of God a king over you this day, that he may be your God.”
(c)The term was used by the Jews who were scattered among the Gentiles, and especially those who were conversant with the Greek philosophy.
(d)The term was used by the followers of Plato among the Greeks, to denote the Second Person of the Trinity. The Greek term νοῦς nousor “mind,” was commonly given to this second person, but it was said that this nouswas “the word” or “reason” of the First Person of the Trinity. The term was therefore extensively in use among the Jews and Gentiles before John wrote his Gospel, and it was certain that it would be applied to the Second Person of the Trinity by Christians. whether converted from Judaism or Paganism. It was important, therefore, that the meaning of the term should be settled by an inspired man, and accordingly John, in the commencement of his Gospel, is at much pains to state clearly what is the true doctrine respecting the λόγος Logosor Word. It is possible, also, that the doctrines of the Gnostics had begun to spread in the time of John. They were an Oriental sect, and held that the λόγος Logosor “Word” was one of the “Aeones” that had been created, and that this one had been united to the man Jesus. If that doctrine had begun then to prevail, it was of the more importance for John to settle the truth in regard to the rank of the Logos or Word. This he has done in such a way that there need be no doubt about its meaning.
Was with God - This expression denotes friendship or intimacy. Compare Mark 9:19. John affirms that he was “with God” in the beginning - that is, before the world was made. It implies, therefore, that he was partaker of the divine glory; that he was blessed and happy with God. It proves that he was intimately united with the Father, so as to partake of his glory and to be appropriately called by the name God. He has himself explained it. See John 17:5; “And now, O Father, glorify thou we with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” See also John 1:18; “No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” See also John 3:13; “The Son of man, which is in heaven.” Compare Philemon 2:6-7.
Was God - In the previous phrase John had said that the Word was “with God.” Lest it should be supposed that he was a different and inferior being, here John states that “he was God.” There is no more unequivocal declaration in the Bible than this, and there could be no stronger proof that the sacred writer meant to affirm that the Son of God was equal with the Father; because:
1.There is no doubt that by the λόγος Logosis meant Jesus Christ.
2.This is not an “attribute” or quality of God, but is a real subsistence, for it is said that the λόγος Logoswas made flesh σάρξ sarx- that is, became a human being.
3.There is no variation here in the manuscripts, and critics have observed that the Greek will bear no other construction than what is expressed in our translation - that the Word “was God.”
4.There is no evidence that John intended to use the word “God” in an inferior sense. It is not “the Word was a god,” or “the Word was ‹like God,‘” but the Word “was God.” He had just used the word “God” as evidently applicable to Yahweh, the true God; and it is absurd to suppose that he would in the same verse, and without any indication that he was using the word in an inferior sense, employ it to denote a being altogether inferior to the true God.
The meaning of this important verse may then be thus summed up:
1.The name λόγος Logosor Word, is given to Christ in reference to his becoming the Teacher or Instructor of mankind; the medium of communication between God and man.
2.The name was in use at the time of John, and it was his design to state the correct doctrine respecting the λόγος LogosThe “Word,” or λόγος Logosexisted “before creation” - of course was not a “creature,” and must have been, therefore, from eternity.
4.He was “with God” - that is, he was united to him in a most intimate and close union before the creation; and, as it could not be said that God was “with himself,” it follows that the λόγος Logoswas in some sense distinct from God, or that there was a distinction between the Father and the Son. When we say that one is “with another,” we imply that there is some sort of distinction between them.
5.Yet, lest it should be supposed that he was a “different” and “inferior” being - a creature - he affirms that he was God - that is, was equal with the Father.
This is the foundation of the doctrine of the Trinity:
1.that the second person is in some sense “distinct” from the first.
2.that he is intimately united with the first person in essence, so that there are not two or more Gods.
3.that the second person may be called by the same name; has the same attributes; performs the same works; and is entitled to the same honors with the first, and that therefore he is “the same in substance, and equal in power and glory,” with God.
In speaking of His preexistence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as one brought up with Him. LHU 17.7Read in context »
Christ came into the world to represent the Father to man; for Satan had presented Him before the world in a false light. Because God is a God of justice, of terrible majesty, who has power to destroy as well as to preserve man, Satan caused men to regard Him with fear, to look upon Him as a tyrant. Jesus had been with the Father from the everlasting ages, before the creation of man, and He came to reveal the Father, declaring, “God is love.” Jesus represented God as a kind Father, who careth for the subjects of His kingdom. He declared that not a sparrow falls to the ground without the notice of the Father, and that the children of men are of more value in His sight than many sparrows, that the very hairs of their head are all numbered. LHU 36.2Read in context »
But while God's Word speaks of the humanity of Christ when upon this earth, it also speaks decidedly regarding His preexistence. The Word existed as a divine being, even as the eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His Father. From everlasting He was the Mediator of the covenant, the One in whom all nations of the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, if they accepted Him, were to be blessed. “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God.... LHU 74.5Read in context »
“In him [Christ] was life; and the life was the light of men.” It is not physical life that is here specified, but immortality, the life which is exclusively the property of God. The Word, who was with God, and who was God, had this life. Physical life is something which each individual receives. It is not eternal or immortal; for God, the Life-giver, takes it again. Man has no control over his life. But the life of Christ was unborrowed. No one can take this life from Him. “I lay it down of myself,” He said. In Him was life, original, unborrowed, underived. This life is not inherent in man. He can possess it only through Christ. Mar 302.4Read in context »
What speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible Father. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the Word of God. God sent His Son into the world, His divinity clothed with humanity, that man might bear the image of the invisible God. He made known in His words, His character, His power and majesty, the nature and attributes of God.2 TMK 38.4Read in context »
Jesus in the Discourse—“And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” [John 17:3]. The eternal Word became flesh and dwelt among us. This theme will quench unbelief; and yet, sad to say, Jesus has been dropped out of many, many discourses that have been preached by Seventh-day Adventist ministers. And why? Because these ministers had not Jesus abiding in their hearts by faith; they were not clothed with Christ's righteousness.—Manuscript 16, 1890. VSS 315.2Read in context »
“His name shall be called Immanuel, ... God with us.” “The light of the knowledge of the glory of God” is seen “in the face of Jesus Christ.” From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was “the image of God,” the image of His greatness and majesty, “the outshining of His glory.” It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world. To this sin-darkened earth He came to reveal the light of God's love,—to be “God with us.” Therefore it was prophesied of Him, “His name shall be called Immanuel.” DA 19.1
By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God,—God's thought made audible. In His prayer for His disciples He says, “I have declared unto them Thy name,”—“merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”—“that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” But not alone for His earthborn children was this revelation given. Our little world is the lesson book of the universe. God's wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which “angels desire to look,” and it will be their study throughout endless ages. Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which “seeketh not her own” has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto. DA 19.2Read in context »
The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. His “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting.... When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” Proverbs 8:22-30. PP 34.1
The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. “By Him were all things created, ... whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.” Colossians 1:16. Angels are God's ministers, radiant with the light ever flowing from His presence and speeding on rapid wing to execute His will. But the Son, the anointed of God, the “express image of His person,” “the brightness of His glory,” “upholding all things by the word of His power,” holds supremacy over them all. Hebrews 1:3. “A glorious high throne from the beginning,” was the place of His sanctuary (Jeremiah 17:12); “a scepter of righteousness,” the scepter of His kingdom. Hebrews 1:8. “Honor and majesty are before Him: strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.” Psalm 96:6. Mercy and truth go before His face. Psalm 89:14. PP 34.2
The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love—service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service. PP 34.3Read in context »
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:3. SD 21.1
Who is Christ?—He is the only begotten Son of the living God. He is to the Father as a word that expresses the thought,—as a thought made audible. Christ is the word of God. Christ said to Philip, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father.” His words were the echo of God's words. Christ was the likeness of God, the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person.46The Youth's Instructor, June 28, 1894. SD 21.2Read in context »
In the work of creation Christ was with God. He was one with God, equal with Him.... He alone, the Creator of man, could be his Saviour. No angel of heaven could reveal the Father to the sinner, and win him back to allegiance to God. But Christ could manifest the Father's love, for God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself. Christ could be the “daysman” between a holy God and lost humanity, one who could “lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:33).... He proposed to take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin—sin so offensive in the sight of God that it would necessitate separation from His Father. Christ proposed to reach to the depths of man's degradation and woe, and restore the repenting, believing soul to harmony with God. Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, offered Himself as a sacrifice and substitute for the fallen sons of Adam.26 TMK 18.4Read in context »
Jesus Christ “counted it not a thing to be grasped to be equal with God.” Because divinity alone could be efficacious in the restoration of man from the poisonous bruise of the serpent, God Himself, in His only begotten Son, assumed human nature, and in the weakness of human nature sustained the character of God, vindicated His holy law in every particular, and accepted the sentence of wrath and death for the sons of men. What a thought is this! He who was one with the Father before the world was made had such compassion for a world lost and ruined by transgression that He gave His life a ransom for it. He who was the brightness of the Father's glory, the express image of His person, bore our sins in His own body on the tree, suffering the penalty of man's transgression until justice was satisfied and required no more. How great is the redemption that has been worked out for us! So great that the Son of God died the cruel death of the cross to bring to us life and immortality through faith in Him. TMK 35.2Read in context »
All heaven was given to us in Christ Jesus.... O honor Jesus by giving to Him the heart's best and holiest services! He has given His life for you. Who is He that hath done this? The only begotten Son of God, He that was One with the Father before the world was. TMK 341.4Read in context »
The One here referred to as the Word is the Son of God, who was the Commander in the heavenly courts, and who came to this world to open heavenly things to fallen human beings. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Word that was with God before the world was. In clothing His divinity with humanity, He became possessed of two natures, the divine and the human. And because of this, He was fully able to accomplish for the human race their complete redemption, and their restoration to the privileges of the higher life. UL 196.3Read in context »
47. Let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, and flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin, and will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature.—[The Review and Herald, January 25, 1881] Counsels on Health, 67 CD 43.1
48. With our first parents, intemperate desire resulted in the loss of Eden. Temperance in all things has more to do with our restoration to Eden than men realize.—The Ministry of Healing, 129, 1905 CD 43.2
49. The transgression of physical law is the transgression of God's law. Our Creator is Jesus Christ. He is the author of our being. He has created the human structure. He is the author of physical laws, as He is the author of the moral law. And the human being who is careless and reckless of the habits and practices that concern his physical life and health, sins against God. Many who profess to love Jesus Christ do not show proper reverence and respect for Him who gave His life to save them from eternal death. He is not reverenced, or respected, or recognized. This is shown by the injury done to their own bodies in violation of the laws of their being.—Manuscript 49, 1897 CD 43.3
50. A continual transgression of nature's laws is a continual transgression of the law of God. The present weight of suffering and anguish which we see everywhere, the present deformity, decrepitude, disease, and imbecility now flooding the world, make it, in comparison to what it might be and what God designed it should be, a lazar house; and the present generation are feeble in mental, moral, and physical power. All this misery has accumulated from generation to generation because fallen man will break the law of God. Sins of the greatest magnitude are committed through the indulgence of perverted appetite.—Testimonies for the Church 4:30, 1876 CD 43.4Read in context »
The Sabbath was hallowed at the creation. As ordained for man, it had its origin when “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Job 38:7. Peace brooded over the world; for earth was in harmony with heaven. “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good;” and He rested in the joy of His completed work. Genesis 1:31. DA 281.1
Because He had rested upon the Sabbath, “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it,”—set it apart to a holy use. He gave it to Adam as a day of rest. It was a memorial of the work of creation, and thus a sign of God's power and His love. The Scripture says, “He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered.” “The things that are made,” declare “the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world,” “even His everlasting power and divinity.” Genesis 2:3; Psalm 111:4; Romans 1:20, R. V. DA 281.2
All things were created by the Son of God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.... All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:1-3. And since the Sabbath is a memorial of the work of creation, it is a token of the love and power of Christ. DA 281.3
The Sabbath calls our thoughts to nature, and brings us into communion with the Creator. In the song of the bird, the sighing of the trees, and the music of the sea, we still may hear His voice who talked with Adam in Eden in the cool of the day. And as we behold His power in nature we find comfort, for the word that created all things is that which speaks life to the soul. He “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.” 2 Corinthians 4:6. DA 281.4Read in context »
The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.—Special Testimonies, Series B, 7:62, 63. (1905). Ev 615.1
The Pre-existent, Self-existent Son of God—Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God.... In speaking of his pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as one brought up with Him.—The Signs of the Times, August 29, 1900. Ev 615.2
He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent.... He is the eternal, self-existent Son.—Manuscript 101, 1897. Ev 615.3Read in context »
That Christ, during His childhood, should grow in wisdom, and in favor with God and man, was not a matter of astonishment; for it was according to the laws of His divine appointment that His talents should develop, and His faculties strengthen by exercise. He sought neither the schools of the prophets nor the learning received from the rabbinical teachers; He needed not the education gained in these schools; for God was His instructor. When in the presence of the teachers and rulers, His questions were instructive lessons, and He astonished the great men with His wisdom and deep penetration. His answers to their queries opened up fields of thought on subjects in reference to the mission of Christ, which had never before entered their minds. FE 400.1
The stores of wisdom and the scientific knowledge Christ displayed in the presence of the wise men, were a subject of surprise to His parents and brothers; for they knew He had never received from the great teachers instruction in human science. His brothers were annoyed at His questions and answers; for they could discern that He was an instructor to the learned teachers. They could not comprehend Him; for they knew not that He had access to the tree of life, a source of knowledge of which they knew nothing. He ever possessed a peculiar dignity and individuality distinct from earthly pride or assumption; for He did not strive after greatness. FE 400.2
After Christ had condescended to leave His high command, step down from an infinite height and assume humanity, He could have taken upon Him any condition of humanity He might choose. But greatness and rank were nothing to Him, and He selected the lowest and most humble walk of life. The place of His birth was Bethlehem, and on one side His parentage was poor, but God, the Owner of the world, was His Father. No trace of luxury, ease, selfish gratification, or indulgence was brought into His life, which was a continual round of self-denial and self-sacrifice. In accordance with His humble birth, He had apparently no greatness or riches, in order that the humblest believer need not say that Christ never knew the stress of pinching poverty. Had He possessed the semblance of outward show, of riches, of grandeur, the poorest class of humanity would have shunned His society; therefore He chose the lowly condition of the far greater number of the people. The truth of heavenly origin was to be His theme: He was to sow the earth with truth; and He came in such a way as to be accessible to all, that the truth alone might make an impression upon human hearts. FE 401.1Read in context »
Everything not comprehended in truth is the guesswork of man. Professedly high and learned men may be fools in the sight of God, and if so, the high and learned statements of their doctrines, however they may please and humor the senses, and though they may have been handed down from age to age, and rocked in the cradle of popular faith, are a delusion and a falsehood if not found in the inspired lessons of Christ. He is the source of all wisdom; for He placed Himself directly on a level with the eternal God. In His humanity the glory of heavenly illumination fell directly upon Him, and from Him to the world, to be reflected back by all who receive and believe on Him, mingled with His perfection of character and the luster of His own character. While Christ stood forth distinctly in His human personality, and appealed in striking but simple language to humanity, He was in such perfect oneness with God that His voice came with authority, as the voice of God from the center of glory. FE 406.1
In the record John was charged by the Holy Spirit to present, he says of Christ, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” This is the most precious unfolding of definite truth, flashing its divine light and glory upon all who will receive it. What more important knowledge can be received than that given in the Book which teaches of the fall of man and the consequences of that sin which opened the floodgates of woe upon our world; which teaches also of the first advent of Christ, a helpless babe, born in a stable and cradled in a manger. The history of Christ is to be searched, comparing scripture with scripture, that we may learn the all-important lesson. What are the terms of salvation? As intelligent agents, invested with personal attributes and responsibilities, we can know in regard to our future, eternal destiny; for the Scripture record given by John, at the dictation of the Holy Spirit, contains no terms that cannot be easily comprehended, and that will not bear the most searching and critical investigation. FE 406.2
Christ was a teacher sent from God, and His words did not contain a particle of chaff or a semblance of that which is nonessential. But the force of much human instruction is comprised in assertion, not in truth. The teachers of the present day can only use the educated ability of previous teachers; and yet with all the weighty importance which may be attached to the words of the greatest authors, there is a conscious inability to trace them back to the first great principle, the Source of unerring wisdom, from which teachers derive their authority. There is a painful uncertainty, a constant searching and reaching for assurances that can only be found in God. The trumpet of human greatness may be sounded, but it is with an uncertain sound; it is not reliable, and the salvation of human souls cannot be ventured upon it. FE 407.1Read in context »
In this life we can only begin to understand the wonderful theme of redemption. With our finite comprehension we may consider most earnestly the shame and the glory, the life and the death, the justice and the mercy, that meet in the cross; yet with the utmost stretch of our mental powers we fail to grasp its full significance. The length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of redeeming love are but dimly comprehended. The plan of redemption will not be fully understood, even when the ransomed see as they are seen and know as they are known; but through the eternal ages new truth will continually unfold to the wondering and delighted mind. Though the griefs and pains and temptations of earth are ended and the cause removed, the people of God will ever have a distinct, intelligent knowledge of what their salvation has cost. GC 651.1
The cross of Christ will be the science and the song of the redeemed through all eternity. In Christ glorified they will behold Christ crucified. Never will it be forgotten that He whose power created and upheld the unnumbered worlds through the vast realms of space, the Beloved of God, the Majesty of heaven, He whom cherub and shining seraph delighted to adore—humbled Himself to uplift fallen man; that He bore the guilt and shame of sin, and the hiding of His Father's face, till the woes of a lost world broke His heart and crushed out His life on Calvary's cross. That the Maker of all worlds, the Arbiter of all destinies, should lay aside His glory and humiliate Himself from love to man will ever excite the wonder and adoration of the universe. As the nations of the saved look upon their Redeemer and behold the eternal glory of the Father shining in His countenance; as they behold His throne, which is from everlasting to everlasting, and know that His kingdom is to have no end, they break forth in rapturous song: “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His own most precious blood!” GC 651.2
The mystery of the cross explains all other mysteries. In the light that streams from Calvary the attributes of God which had filled us with fear and awe appear beautiful and attractive. Mercy, tenderness, and parental love are seen to blend with holiness, justice, and power. While we behold the majesty of His throne, high and lifted up, we see His character in its gracious manifestations, and comprehend, as never before, the significance of that endearing title, “Our Father.” GC 652.1Read in context »
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:1-3, 14).... HP 41.3Read in context »
In the creation of man was manifest the agency of a personal God. When God had made man in His image, the human form was perfect in all its arrangements, but it was without life. Then a personal, self-existing God breathed into that form the breath of life, and man became a living, intelligent being. All parts of the human organism were set in action. The heart, the arteries, the veins, the tongue, the hands, the feet, the senses, the faculties of the mind, all began their work, and all were placed under law. Man became a living soul. Through Christ the Word, a personal God created man and endowed him with intelligence and power. MH 415.1
Our substance was not hid from Him when we were made in secret; His eyes saw our substance, yet being imperfect, and in His book all our members were written when as yet there were none of them. MH 415.2
Above all lower orders of being, God designed that man, the crowning work of His creation, should express His thought and reveal His glory. But man is not to exalt himself as God. MH 415.3Read in context »
To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator, had become the purpose of this prince of angels. To this object he was about to bend the energies of that master mind, which, next to Christ's, was first among the hosts of God. But He who would have the will of all His creatures free, left none unguarded to the bewildering sophistry by which rebellion would seek to justify itself. Before the great contest should open, all were to have a clear presentation of His will, whose wisdom and goodness were the spring of all their joy. PP 36.1
The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father's throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng—“ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11.), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity. Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father's will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God's plan, but would exalt the Father's glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love. PP 36.2
The angels joyfully acknowledged the supremacy of Christ, and prostrating themselves before Him, poured out their love and adoration. Lucifer bowed with them, but in his heart there was a strange, fierce conflict. Truth, justice, and loyalty were struggling against envy and jealousy. The influence of the holy angels seemed for a time to carry him with them. As songs of praise ascended in melodious strains, swelled by thousands of glad voices, the spirit of evil seemed vanquished; unutterable love thrilled his entire being; his soul went out, in harmony with the sinless worshippers, in love to the Father and the Son. But again he was filled with pride in his own glory. His desire for supremacy returned, and envy of Christ was once more indulged. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as God's special gift, and therefore, called forth no gratitude to his Creator. He gloried in his brightness and exaltation and aspired to be equal with God. He was beloved and reverenced by the heavenly host, angels delighted to execute his commands, and he was clothed with wisdom and glory above them all. Yet the Son of God was exalted above him, as one in power and authority with the Father. He shared the Father's counsels, while Lucifer did not thus enter into the purposes of God. “Why,” questioned this mighty angel, “should Christ have the supremacy? Why is He honored above Lucifer?” PP 36.3Read in context »
1, 2 (Matthew 28:1; Luke 24:1; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:26). Resurrection Did Not Consecrate First Day—Christ rested in the tomb on the Sabbath day, and when holy beings of both heaven and earth were astir on the morning of the first day of the week, He rose from the grave to renew His work of teaching His disciples. But this fact does not consecrate the first day of the week, and make it a Sabbath. Jesus, prior to His death, established a memorial of the breaking of His body and the spilling of His blood for the sins of the world, in the ordinance of the Lord's supper, saying “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.” And the repentant believer, who takes the steps required in conversion, commemorates in his baptism the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. He goes down into the water in the likeness of Christ's death and burial, and he is raised out of the water in the likeness of His resurrection—not to take up the old life of sin, but to live a new life in Christ Jesus (The Spirit of Prophecy 3:204). 5BC 1113.1
6 (John 1:1-3, 14; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:6, 8; 2:14-17; 4:15). Deity Did Not Die—Was the human nature of the Son of Mary changed into the divine nature of the Son of God? No; the two natures were mysteriously blended in one person—the man Christ Jesus. In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. When Christ was crucified, it was His human nature that died. Deity did not sink and die; that would have been impossible. Christ, the sinless One, will save every son and daughter of Adam who accepts the salvation proffered them, consenting to become the children of God. The Saviour has purchased the fallen race with His own blood. 5BC 1113.2Read in context »
Jesus took the nature of humanity, in order to reveal to man a pure, unselfish love, to teach us how to love one another. 5BC 1126.1
As a man Christ ascended to heaven. As a man He is the substitute and surety for humanity. As a man He liveth to make intercession for us. He is preparing a place for all who love Him. As a man He will come again with power and glory, to receive His children. And that which should cause us joy and thanksgiving is, that God “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.” Then we may have the assurance forever that the whole unfallen universe is interested in the grand work Jesus came to our world to accomplish, even the salvation of man (Manuscript 16, 1890). 5BC 1126.2Read in context »
6 (John 1:1-3, 14; see EGW on John 1:1-3; Revelation 12:10). Equality Between Christ and the Father—Christ's position with His Father is one of equality. This enabled Him to become a sin-offering for transgressors. He was fully sufficient to magnify the law and make it honorable (Manuscript 48, 1893). 7BC 905.1Read in context »
10 (ch. 5:8, 9; Isaiah 53:10). Sundering of the Divine Powers—The Captain of our salvation was perfected through suffering. His soul was made an offering for sin. It was necessary for the awful darkness to gather about His soul because of the withdrawal of the Father's love and favor; for He was standing in the sinner's place, and this darkness every sinner must experience. The righteous One must suffer the condemnation and wrath of God, not in vindictiveness; for the heart of God yearned with greatest sorrow when His Son, the guiltless, was suffering the penalty of sin. This sundering of the divine powers will never again occur throughout the eternal ages (Manuscript 93, 1899). 7BC 924.2
14 (see EGW on Matthew 27:50; John 3:14-17). Satan Vanquished at the Cross—He [Christ] vanquished Satan in the same nature over which in Eden Satan obtained the victory. The enemy was overcome by Christ in His human nature. The power of the Saviour's Godhead was hidden. He overcame in human nature, relying upon God for power (The Youth's Instructor, April 25, 1901). 7BC 924.3
(Ch. 12:3; Genesis 3:15; 2 Timothy 1:10; 1 Peter 2:24.) Christ Triumphant in Death—Christ was nailed to the cross, but He gained the victory. The whole force of evil gathered itself together in an effort to destroy Him who was the Light of the world, the Truth that makes men wise unto salvation. But no advantage was gained by this confederacy. With every advance move, Satan was bringing nearer his eternal ruin. Christ was indeed enduring the contradiction of sinners against Himself. But every pang of suffering that He bore helped tear away the foundation of the enemy's kingdom. Satan bruised Christ's heel, but Christ bruised Satan's head. Through death the Saviour destroyed him that had the power of death. In the very act of grasping his prey, death was vanquished; for by dying, Christ brought to light life and immortality through the gospel. 7BC 924.4
Never was the Son of God more beloved by His Father, by the heavenly family, and by the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds, than when He humbled Himself to bear disgrace, humiliation, shame, and abuse. By becoming the sin bearer, He lifted from the human race the curse of sin. In His own body He paid the penalty of that on which the power of Satan over humanity is founded—sin (The Youth's Instructor, June 28, 1900). 7BC 924.5
14-18 (ch. 1:3; John 1:1-3, 14; Philippians 2:5-8; see EGW on Mark 16:6; Luke 22:44; Romans 5:12-19; Hebrews 3:1-3). God Reached Humanity Through Humanity—Christ alone was able to represent the Deity. He who had been in the presence of the Father from the beginning, He who was the express image of the invisible God, was alone sufficient to accomplish this work. No verbal description could reveal God to the world. Through a life of purity, a life of perfect trust and submission to the will of God, a life of humiliation such as even the highest seraph in heaven would have shrunk from, God Himself must be revealed to humanity. In order to do this, our Saviour clothed His divinity with humanity. He employed the human faculties, for only by adopting these could He be comprehended by humanity. Only humanity could reach humanity. He lived out the character of God through the human body which God had prepared for Him. He blessed the world by living out in human flesh the life of God, thus showing that He had the power to unite humanity to divinity (The Review and Herald, June 25, 1895). 7BC 924.6
Christ Took Our Place in the Universe—Under the mighty impulse of His love, He took our place in the universe, and invited the Ruler of all things to treat Him as a representative of the human family. He identified Himself with our interests, bared His breast for the stroke of death, took man's guilt and its penalty, and offered in man's behalf a complete sacrifice to God. By virtue of this atonement, He has power to offer to man perfect righteousness and full salvation. Whosoever shall believe on Him as a personal Saviour shall not perish, but have everlasting life (The Review and Herald, April 18, 1893). 7BC 924.7Read in context »
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6. SD 81.1
You are safe only as, in perfect submission and obedience, you connect yourselves with Christ. The yoke is easy, for Christ carries the weight. As you lift the burden of the cross, it will become light; and that cross is to you a pledge of eternal life. It is the privilege of each to follow gladly after Christ, exclaiming at every step, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” But if we would travel heavenward, we must take the Word of God as our lesson-book. In the words of inspiration we must read our lessons day by day.... SD 81.2Read in context »
The Father and the Son engaged in the mighty, wondrous work they had contemplated—of creating the world. The earth came forth from the hand of the Creator exceedingly beautiful. There were mountains and hills and plains; and interspersed among them were rivers and bodies of water. The earth was not one extensive plain, but the monotony of the scenery was broken by hills and mountains, not high and ragged as they now are, but regular and beautiful in shape. The bare, high rocks were never seen upon them, but lay beneath the surface, answering as bones to the earth. The waters were regularly dispersed. The hills, mountains, and very beautiful plains were adorned with plants and flowers and tall, majestic trees of every description, which were many times larger and much more beautiful than trees now are. The air was pure and healthful, and the earth seemed like a noble palace. Angels beheld and rejoiced at the wonderful and beautiful works of God. SR 20.1
After the earth was created, and the beasts upon it, the Father and Son carried out their purpose, which was designed before the fall of Satan, to make man in their own image. They had wrought together in the creation of the earth and every living thing upon it. And now God said to His Son, “Let us make man in our image.” As Adam came forth from the hand of his Creator he was of noble height and of beautiful symmetry. He was more than twice as tall as men now living upon the earth, and was well proportioned. His features were perfect and beautiful. His complexion was neither white nor sallow, but ruddy, glowing with the rich tint of health. Eve was not quite as tall as Adam. Her head reached a little above his shoulders. She, too, was noble, perfect in symmetry, and very beautiful. SR 20.2Read in context »
Oh, was there ever suffering and sorrow like that endured by the dying Saviour! It was the sense of His Father's displeasure which made His cup so bitter. It was not bodily suffering which so quickly ended the life of Christ upon the cross. It was the crushing weight of the sins of the world, and a sense of His Father's wrath. The Father's glory and sustaining presence had left Him, and despair pressed its crushing weight of darkness upon Him and forced from His pale and quivering lips the anguished cry: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” 2T 209.1
Jesus had united with the Father in making the world. Amid the agonizing sufferings of the Son of God, blind and deluded men alone remain unfeeling. The chief priests and elders revile God's dear Son while in His expiring agonies. Yet inanimate nature groans in sympathy with her bleeding, dying Author. The earth trembles. The sun refuses to behold the scene. The heavens gather blackness. Angels have witnessed the scene of suffering until they can look no longer, and hide their faces from the horrid sight. Christ is dying! He is in despair! His Father's approving smile is removed, and angels are not permitted to lighten the gloom of the terrible hour. They can only behold in amazement their loved Commander, the Majesty of heaven, suffering the penalty of man's transgression of the Father's law. 2T 209.2
Even doubts assailed the dying Son of God. He could not see through the portals of the tomb. Bright hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the tomb a conqueror and His Father's acceptance of His sacrifice. The sin of the world, with all its terribleness, was felt to the utmost by the Son of God. The displeasure of the Father for sin, and its penalty, which is death, were all that He could realize through this amazing darkness. He was tempted to fear that sin was so offensive in the sight of His Father that He could not be reconciled to His Son. The fierce temptation that His own Father had forever left Him caused that piercing cry from the cross: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” 2T 209.3Read in context »
What, then, is the example that we are to set to the world? We are to do the same work that the great Medical Missionary undertook in our behalf. We are to follow the path of self-sacrifice trodden by Christ.—Special Testimonies, Series B 8:31, 32. WM 54.1
Christ Moved With Compassion—When Christ saw the multitudes that gathered about Him, “He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” Christ saw the sickness, the sorrow, the want and degradation of the multitudes that thronged His steps. To Him were presented the needs and woes of humanity throughout the world. Among the high and the low, the most honored and the most degraded, He beheld souls who were longing for the very blessings He had come to bring.... WM 54.2
Today the same needs exist. The world is in need of workers who will labor as Christ did for the suffering and the sinful. There is indeed a multitude to be reached. The world is full of sickness, suffering, distress, and sin. It is full of those who need to be ministered unto—the weak, the helpless, the ignorant, the degraded.—Testimonies for the Church 6:254. WM 54.3Read in context »
Christ, Creator and Life-giver
[This article appeared in The Signs of the Times, April 8, 1897.]Read in context »
[The articles in this section are from Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church, 3 (1896). This article, pages 3-18.]Read in context »