And the Word was made flesh - That very person who was in the beginning - who was with God - and who was God, John 1:1, in the fullness of time became flesh - became incarnated by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin. Allowing this apostle to have written by Divine inspiration, is not this verse, taken in connection with John 1:1, an absolute and incontestable proof of the proper and eternal Godhead of Christ Jesus?
And dwelt among us - Και εσκηνωσεν εν ἡμιν, And tabernacled among us: the human nature which he took of the virgin, being as the shrine, house, or temple, in which his immaculate Deity condescended to dwell. The word is probably an allusion to the Divine Shechinah in the Jewish temple; and as God has represented the whole Gospel dispensation by the types and ceremonies of the old covenant, so the Shechinah in the tabernacle and temple pointed out this manifestation of God in the flesh. The word is thus used by the Jewish writers: it signifies with them a manifestation of the Divine Shechinah.
The original word, σκηνοω, from σκια, a shadow, signifies:
The doctrine of vicarious sacrifice and the incarnation of the Deity have prevailed among the most ancient nations in the world, and even among those which were not favored with the letter of Divine revelation. The Hindoos believe that their god has already become incarnate, not less than nine times, to save the wretched race of man.
On this subject, Creeshna, an incarnation of the supreme God, according to the Hindoo theology, is represented in the Bhagvat Geeta, as thus addressing one of his disciples: "Although I am not in my nature subject to birth or decay, and am the Lord of all created beings, yet, having command over my own nature, I am made evident by my own power; and, as often as there is a decline of virtue and an insurrection of vice and injustice in the world, I make myself evident; and thus I appear from age to age, for the preservation of the just, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of virtue." Geeta, pp. 51, 52.
The following piece, already mentioned, Luke 1:68, translated from the Sanscreet, found on a stone, in a cave near the ancient city of Gya in the East Indies, is the most astonishing and important of any thing found out of the compass of the Sacred Writings, and a proper illustration of this text.
"The Deity, who is the Lord, the possessor of all, Appeared in this ocean of natural beings, at the beginning of the Kalee Yoog (the age of contention and baseness.) He who is omnipresent, and everlastingly to be contemplated, the Supreme Being, the eternal One, the Divinity worthy to be adored - Appeared here, with a Portion of his Divine Nature. Reverence be unto thee in the form of (a) Bood-dha! Reverence be unto the Lord of the earth! Reverence be unto thee, an Incarnation of the Deity, and the Eternal One! Reverence be unto thee, O God! in the form of the God of mercy! the dispeller of Pain and Trouble, the Lord of All things, the Deity who overcometh the sins of the Kalee Yoog, the guardian of the universe, the emblem of mercy towards those who serve thee! (b) O'M! the possessor of all things, in Vital Form! Thou art (c) Brahma, (d) Veeshnoo, and (e) Mahesa! Thou art Lord of the universe! Thou art under the form of all things, movable and immovable, the possessor of the whole! And thus I adore thee! Reverence be unto the Bestower of Salvation, and the ruler of the faculties! Reverence be unto thee, the Destroyer of the Evil Spirit! O Damordara, (f) show me favor! I adore thee who art celebrated by a thousand names, and under various forms, in the shape of Bood-dha, the God of mercy! Be propitious, O most high God!" Asiatic Researches, vol. i. p. 284, 285.
(b) O'M. A mystic emblem of the Deity, forbidden to be pronounced but in silence. It is a syllable formed of the Sanscreet letters a, o o, which in composition coalesce, and make o, and the nasal consonant m. The first letter stands for the Creator, the second for the Preserver, and the third for the Destroyer. It is the same among the Hindoos as יהוה Yehovah is among the Hebrews.
(c) Brahma, the Deity in his creative quality.
(d) Veeshnoo. He who filleth all space: the Deity in his preserving quality.
(c) Mahesa. The Deity in his destroying quality. This is properly the Hindoo Trinity: for these three names belong to the same God. See the notes to the Bhagvat Geeta.
This refers to the transfiguration, at which John was present, in company with Peter and James.
The glory as of the only begotten - That is, such a glory as became, or was proper to, the Son of God; for thus the particle ὡς should be here understood. There is also here an allusion to the manifestations of God above the ark in the tabernacle: see Exodus 25:22; Numbers 7:89; and this connects itself with the first clause, he tabernacled, or fixed his tent among us. While God dwelt in the tabernacle, among the Jews, the priests saw his glory; and while Jesus dwelt among men his glory was manifested in his gracious words and miraculous acts.
The only begotten of the Father - That is, the only person born of a woman, whose human nature never came by the ordinary way of generation; it being a mere creation in the womb of the virgin, by the energy of the Holy Ghost.
Full of grace and truth - Full of favor, kindness, and mercy to men; teaching the way to the kingdom of God, with all the simplicity, plainness, dignity, and energy of truth.
And the Word was made flesh - The word “flesh,” here, is evidently used to denote “human nature” or “man.” See Matthew 16:17; Matthew 19:5; Matthew 24:22; Luke 3:6; Romans 1:3; Romans 9:5. The “Word” was made “man.” This is commonly expressed by saying that he became “incarnate.” When we say that a being becomes “incarnate,” we mean that one of a higher order than man, and of a different nature, assumes the appearance of man or becomes a man. Here it is meant that “the Word,” or the second person of the Trinity, whom John had just proved to be equal with God, became a man, or was united with the man Jesus of Nazareth, so that it might be said that he “was made flesh.”
Was made - This is the same word that is used in John 1:3; “All things were made by him.” It is not simply affirmed that he was flesh, but that he was made flesh, implying that he had pre-existence, agreeably to John 1:1. This is in accordance with the doctrine of the Scriptures elsewhere. Hebrews 10:5; “a ‹body‘ hast thou prepared me.” Hebrews 2:14; “as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.” 1 John 4:2; “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” See also 1 Timothy 3:16; Philemon 2:6; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Luke 1:35. The expression, then, means that he became a man, and that he became such by the power of God providing for him a body. It cannot mean that the divine nature was “changed” into the human, for that could not be; but it means that the λόγος Logosor “Word,” became so intimately united to Jesus that it might be said that the Logos, or “Word” “became” or “was” a man, as the soul becomes so united to the body that we may say that it is one person or a man. And dwell among us - The word in the original denotes “dwelt as in a tabernacle or tent;” and some have supposed that John means to say that the human body was a tabernacle or tent for the λόγος Logosto abide in, in allusion to the tabernacle among the Jews, in which the Shechinah, or visible symbol of God, dwelt; but it is not necessary to suppose this. The object of John was to prove that “the Word” became “incarnate.” To do this he appeals to various evidences. One was that he “dwelt” among them; sojourned with them; ate, drank, slept, and was with them for years, so that they “saw him with their eyes, they looked upon him, and their hands handled him,” 1 John 1:1. To “dwell in a tent with one” is the same as to be in his family; and when John says he “tabernacled” with them, he means that he was with them as a friend and as one of a family, so that they had full opportunity of becoming familiarly acquainted with him, and could not be mistaken in supposing that “he was really a man.” We beheld his glory - This is a new proof of what he was affirming - “that the word of God became man.” The first was, that they had seen him as a man. He now adds that they had seen him in his proper glory “as God and man united in one person,” constituting him the unequalled Son of the Father. There is no doubt that there is reference here to the transfiguration on the holy mount. See Matthew 17:1-9. To this same evidence Peter also appeals, 2 Peter 1:16-18. John was one of the witnesses of that scene, and hence he says, “we beheld his glory,” Mark 9:2. The word “glory” here means majesty, dignity, splendor. The glory as of the only-begotten of the Father - The dignity which was appropriate to the only-begotten Son of God; such glory or splendor as could belong to no other. and as properly expressed his rank and character. This glory was seen eminently on the mount of transfiguration. It was also seen in his miracles, his doctrine, his resurrection, his ascension; all of which were such as to illustrate the perfections, and manifest the glory that belongs only to the Son of God. Only-begotten - This term is never applied by John to any but Jesus Christ. It is applied by him five times to the Saviour, John 1:14, John 1:18; John 3:16, John 3:18; 1 John 4:9. It means literally an only child. Then, as an only child is especially dear to a parent, it means one that is especially beloved. Compare Genesis 22:2, Genesis 22:12, Genesis 22:16; Jeremiah 6:26; Zechariah 12:10. On both these accounts it is bestowed on the Saviour. 1.As he was eminently the Son of God, sustaining a special relation to Him in His divine nature, exalted above all human beings and angels, and thus worthy to be called, by way of eminence, His only Son. Saints are called His “sons” or children, because they are born of His Spirit, or are like Him; but the Lord Jesus is exalted far above all, and deserves eminently to be called His only-begotten Son. 2.He was especially dear to God, and therefore this appellation, implying tender affection, is bestowed upon him. Full of grace and truth - The word “full” here refers to the “Word made flesh,” which is declared to be full of grace and truth. The word “grace” means “favors,” gifts, acts of beneficence. He was kind, merciful, gracious, doing good to all, and seeking man‘s welfare by great sacrifices and love; so much so, that it might be said to be characteristic of him, or he “abounded” in favors to mankind. He was also “full of truth.” He declared the truth. In him was no falsehood. He was not like the false prophets and false Messiahs, who were wholly impostors; nor was he like the emblems and shadows of the old dispensation, which were only types of the true; but he was truth itself. He represented things as they are, and thus became the “truth” as well as “the way and the life.”
And dwell among us - The word in the original denotes “dwelt as in a tabernacle or tent;” and some have supposed that John means to say that the human body was a tabernacle or tent for the λόγος Logosto abide in, in allusion to the tabernacle among the Jews, in which the Shechinah, or visible symbol of God, dwelt; but it is not necessary to suppose this. The object of John was to prove that “the Word” became “incarnate.” To do this he appeals to various evidences. One was that he “dwelt” among them; sojourned with them; ate, drank, slept, and was with them for years, so that they “saw him with their eyes, they looked upon him, and their hands handled him,” 1 John 1:1. To “dwell in a tent with one” is the same as to be in his family; and when John says he “tabernacled” with them, he means that he was with them as a friend and as one of a family, so that they had full opportunity of becoming familiarly acquainted with him, and could not be mistaken in supposing that “he was really a man.” We beheld his glory - This is a new proof of what he was affirming - “that the word of God became man.” The first was, that they had seen him as a man. He now adds that they had seen him in his proper glory “as God and man united in one person,” constituting him the unequalled Son of the Father. There is no doubt that there is reference here to the transfiguration on the holy mount. See Matthew 17:1-9. To this same evidence Peter also appeals, 2 Peter 1:16-18. John was one of the witnesses of that scene, and hence he says, “we beheld his glory,” Mark 9:2. The word “glory” here means majesty, dignity, splendor. The glory as of the only-begotten of the Father - The dignity which was appropriate to the only-begotten Son of God; such glory or splendor as could belong to no other. and as properly expressed his rank and character. This glory was seen eminently on the mount of transfiguration. It was also seen in his miracles, his doctrine, his resurrection, his ascension; all of which were such as to illustrate the perfections, and manifest the glory that belongs only to the Son of God. Only-begotten - This term is never applied by John to any but Jesus Christ. It is applied by him five times to the Saviour, John 1:14, John 1:18; John 3:16, John 3:18; 1 John 4:9. It means literally an only child. Then, as an only child is especially dear to a parent, it means one that is especially beloved. Compare Genesis 22:2, Genesis 22:12, Genesis 22:16; Jeremiah 6:26; Zechariah 12:10. On both these accounts it is bestowed on the Saviour. 1.As he was eminently the Son of God, sustaining a special relation to Him in His divine nature, exalted above all human beings and angels, and thus worthy to be called, by way of eminence, His only Son. Saints are called His “sons” or children, because they are born of His Spirit, or are like Him; but the Lord Jesus is exalted far above all, and deserves eminently to be called His only-begotten Son. 2.He was especially dear to God, and therefore this appellation, implying tender affection, is bestowed upon him. Full of grace and truth - The word “full” here refers to the “Word made flesh,” which is declared to be full of grace and truth. The word “grace” means “favors,” gifts, acts of beneficence. He was kind, merciful, gracious, doing good to all, and seeking man‘s welfare by great sacrifices and love; so much so, that it might be said to be characteristic of him, or he “abounded” in favors to mankind. He was also “full of truth.” He declared the truth. In him was no falsehood. He was not like the false prophets and false Messiahs, who were wholly impostors; nor was he like the emblems and shadows of the old dispensation, which were only types of the true; but he was truth itself. He represented things as they are, and thus became the “truth” as well as “the way and the life.”
We beheld his glory - This is a new proof of what he was affirming - “that the word of God became man.” The first was, that they had seen him as a man. He now adds that they had seen him in his proper glory “as God and man united in one person,” constituting him the unequalled Son of the Father. There is no doubt that there is reference here to the transfiguration on the holy mount. See Matthew 17:1-9. To this same evidence Peter also appeals, 2 Peter 1:16-18. John was one of the witnesses of that scene, and hence he says, “we beheld his glory,” Mark 9:2. The word “glory” here means majesty, dignity, splendor.
The glory as of the only-begotten of the Father - The dignity which was appropriate to the only-begotten Son of God; such glory or splendor as could belong to no other. and as properly expressed his rank and character. This glory was seen eminently on the mount of transfiguration. It was also seen in his miracles, his doctrine, his resurrection, his ascension; all of which were such as to illustrate the perfections, and manifest the glory that belongs only to the Son of God.
Only-begotten - This term is never applied by John to any but Jesus Christ. It is applied by him five times to the Saviour, John 1:14, John 1:18; John 3:16, John 3:18; 1 John 4:9. It means literally an only child. Then, as an only child is especially dear to a parent, it means one that is especially beloved. Compare Genesis 22:2, Genesis 22:12, Genesis 22:16; Jeremiah 6:26; Zechariah 12:10. On both these accounts it is bestowed on the Saviour.
1.As he was eminently the Son of God, sustaining a special relation to Him in His divine nature, exalted above all human beings and angels, and thus worthy to be called, by way of eminence, His only Son. Saints are called His “sons” or children, because they are born of His Spirit, or are like Him; but the Lord Jesus is exalted far above all, and deserves eminently to be called His only-begotten Son.
2.He was especially dear to God, and therefore this appellation, implying tender affection, is bestowed upon him.
Full of grace and truth - The word “full” here refers to the “Word made flesh,” which is declared to be full of grace and truth. The word “grace” means “favors,” gifts, acts of beneficence. He was kind, merciful, gracious, doing good to all, and seeking man‘s welfare by great sacrifices and love; so much so, that it might be said to be characteristic of him, or he “abounded” in favors to mankind. He was also “full of truth.” He declared the truth. In him was no falsehood. He was not like the false prophets and false Messiahs, who were wholly impostors; nor was he like the emblems and shadows of the old dispensation, which were only types of the true; but he was truth itself. He represented things as they are, and thus became the “truth” as well as “the way and the life.”
The light of the Sun of Righteousness is to shine forth in good works—in words of truth and deeds of holiness. COL 416.1
Christ, the outshining of the Father's glory, came to the world as its light. He came to represent God to men, and of Him it is written that He was anointed “with the Holy Ghost and with power,” and “went about doing good.” Acts 10:38. In the synagogue at Nazareth He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18, 19. This was the work He commissioned His disciples to do. “Ye are the light of the world,” He said. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14, 16. COL 416.2
This is the work which the prophet Isaiah describes when he says, “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.” Isaiah 58:7, 8. COL 417.1Read in context »
One has come from the heavenly courts to represent God in human form. The Son of God was made man, and dwelt among us. “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.... That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” TM 365.1
There are but two parties. Satan works with his crooked, deceiving power, and through strong delusions he catches all who do not abide in the truth, who have turned away their ears from the truth and have turned unto fables. Satan himself abode not in the truth; he is the mystery of iniquity. Through his subtlety he gives to his soul-destroying errors the appearance of truth. Herein is their power to deceive. It is because they are a counterfeit of the truth that spiritualism, theosophy, and the like deceptions gain such power over the minds of men. Herein is the masterly working of Satan. He pretends to be the savior of man, the benefactor of the human race, and thus he more readily lures his victims to destruction. TM 365.2
We are warned in the word of God that sleepless vigilance is the price of safety. Only in the straight path of truth and righteousness can we escape the tempter's power. But the world is ensnared. Satan's skill is exercised in devising plans and methods without number to accomplish his purposes. Dissimulation has become a fine art with him, and he works in the guise of an angel of light. God's eye alone discerns his schemes to contaminate the world with false and ruinous principles bearing on their face the appearance of genuine goodness. He works to restrict religious liberty, and to bring into the religious world a species of slavery. [See Appendix.] Organizations, institutions, unless kept by the power of God, will work under Satan's dictation to bring men under the control of men; and fraud and guile will bear the semblance of zeal for truth and for the advancement of the kingdom of God. Whatever in our practice is not as open as day belongs to the methods of the prince of evil. His methods are practiced even among Seventh-day Adventists, who claim to have advanced truth. TM 365.3Read in context »
Because of the ransom paid for him, man, by his own choice, by obedience, may accomplish the design of God, and through the grace given of God bear the image that was first impressed upon him, and afterwards lost through the fall.... 3SM 135.1
Christ's Obedience Not Altogether Different From Ours—The great teacher came into our world, not only to atone for sin but to be a teacher both by precept and example. He came to show man how to keep the law in humanity, so that man might have no excuse for following his own defective judgment. We see Christ's obedience. His life was without sin. His lifelong obedience is a reproach to disobedient humanity. The obedience of Christ is not to be put aside as altogether different from the obedience He requires of us individually. Christ has shown us that it is possible for all humanity to obey the laws of God.... 3SM 135.2
The work of Christ was not a divided heart service. Christ came not to do his own will but the will of Him that sent Him. Jesus says, “Step in the footprints of my Sonship in all obedience. I obey as in partnership with the great firm. You are to obey as in co-partnership with the Son of God. Often you will not see the path clearly; then ask of God, and He will give you wisdom and courage and faith to move forward, leaving all issues with Him.” We want to comprehend so far as possible the truly human nature of our Lord. The divine and human were linked in Christ, and both were complete. 3SM 135.3Read in context »
The owner of all our earthly treasures came to our world in human form. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. We cannot appreciate how deeply interested He must be in the human family. He knows the value of every soul. What grief oppressed Him as He saw His purchased inheritance charmed with Satan's inventions! CS 136.1
The only satisfaction Satan takes in playing the game of life for the souls of men is the satisfaction he takes in hurting the heart of Christ. Though He was rich, for our sake Christ became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. Yet in view of this great fact, the majority of the world permit earthly possessions to eclipse heavenly attractions. They set their affections upon earthly things, and turn away from God. What a grievous sin it is that men will not come to their senses, and understand how foolish it is to permit inordinate affections for earthly things to expel the love of God from the heart. When the love of God is expelled, the love of the world quickly flows in to supply the vacuum. The Lord alone can cleanse the soul temple from the moral defilement. CS 136.2Read in context »
The Son of God stooped to uplift the fallen. For this He left the sinless worlds on high, the ninety and nine that loved Him, and came to this earth to be “wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities.” Isaiah 53:5. He was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He knew what it meant to be hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He was a stranger and a sojourner on the earth—in the world, but not of the world; tempted and tried as men and women of today are tempted and tried, yet living a life free from sin. Tender, compassionate, sympathetic, ever considerate of others, He represented the character of God. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. AA 472.1
Surrounded by the practices and influences of heathenism, the Colossian believers were in danger of being drawn away from the simplicity of the gospel, and Paul, in warning them against this, pointed them to Christ as the only safe guide. “I would that ye knew,” he wrote, “what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. AA 473.1
“And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.... As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” AA 473.2Read in context »
When truth becomes an abiding principle in the life, the soul is “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” This new birth is the result of receiving Christ as the Word of God. When by the Holy Spirit divine truths are impressed upon the heart, new conceptions are awakened, and the energies hitherto dormant are aroused to co-operate with God. AA 520.1
Thus it had been with Peter and his fellow disciples. Christ was the revealer of truth to the world. By Him the incorruptible seed—the word of God—was sown in the hearts of men. But many of the most precious lessons of the Great Teacher were spoken to those who did not then understand them. When, after His ascension, the Holy Spirit brought His teachings to the remembrance of the disciples, their slumbering senses awoke. The meaning of these truths flashed upon their minds as a new revelation, and truth, pure and unadulterated, made a place for itself. Then the wonderful experience of His life became theirs. The Word bore testimony through them, the men of His appointment, and they proclaimed the mighty truth, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and truth.” “And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” John 1:14, 16. AA 520.2
The apostle exhorted the believers to study the Scriptures, through a proper understanding of which they might make sure work for eternity. Peter realized that in the experience of every soul who is finally victorious there would be scenes of perplexity and trial; but he knew also that an understanding of the Scriptures would enable the tempted one to bring to mind promises that would comfort the heart and strengthen faith in the Mighty One. AA 521.1Read in context »
The lessons of Christ, setting forth meekness and humility and love as essential to growth in grace and a fitness for His work, were of the highest value to John. He treasured every lesson and constantly sought to bring his life into harmony with the divine pattern. John had begun to discern the glory of Christ—not the worldly pomp and power for which he had been taught to hope, but “the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. AA 544.1
The depth and fervor of John's affection for his Master was not the cause of Christ's love for him, but the effect of that love. John desired to become like Jesus, and under the transforming influence of the love of Christ he did become meek and lowly. Self was hid in Jesus. Above all his companions, John yielded himself to the power of that wondrous life. He says, “The life was manifested, and we have seen it.” “And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” 1 John 1:2; John 1:16. John knew the Saviour by an experimental knowledge. His Master's lessons were graven on his soul. When he testified of the Saviour's grace, his simple language was eloquent with the love that pervaded his whole being. AA 544.2
It was John's deep love for Christ which led him always to desire to be close by His side. The Saviour loved all the Twelve, but John's was the most receptive spirit. He was younger than the others, and with more of the child's confiding trust he opened his heart to Jesus. Thus he came more into sympathy with Christ, and through him the Saviour's deepest spiritual teaching was communicated to the people. AA 545.1Read in context »
In Christ's parable teaching the same principle is seen as in His own mission to the world. That we might become acquainted with His divine character and life, Christ took our nature and dwelt among us. Divinity was revealed in humanity; the invisible glory in the visible human form. Men could learn of the unknown through the known; heavenly things were revealed through the earthly; God was made manifest in the likeness of men. So it was in Christ's teaching: the unknown was illustrated by the known; divine truths by earthly things with which the people were most familiar. COL 17.1
The Scripture says, “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; ... that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 13:34, 35. Natural things were the medium for the spiritual; the things of nature and the life-experience of His hearers were connected with the truths of the written word. Leading thus from the natural to the spiritual kingdom, Christ's parables are links in the chain of truth that unites man with God, and earth with heaven. COL 17.2Read in context »
This chapter is based on Matthew 13:45, 46.
The blessings of redeeming love our Saviour compared to a precious pearl. He illustrated His lesson by the parable of the merchantman seeking goodly pearls “who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Christ Himself is the pearl of great price. In Him is gathered all the glory of the Father, the fullness of the Godhead. He is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God is expressed in His character. Every page of the Holy Scriptures shines with His light. The righteousness of Christ, as a pure, white pearl, has no defect, no stain. No work of man can improve the great and precious gift of God. It is without a flaw. In Christ are “hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3. He is “made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30. All that can satisfy the needs and longings of the human soul, for this world and for the world to come, is found in Christ. Our Redeemer is the pearl so precious that in comparison all things else may be accounted loss. COL 115.1Read in context »
Christ was the greatest teacher the world has ever known. He came to this earth to shed abroad the bright beams of truth, that men might gain a fitness for heaven. “For this cause came I into the world,” He declared, “that I should bear witness unto the truth.” John 18:37. He came to reveal the character of the Father, that men might be led to worship Him in spirit and in truth. CT 259.1
Man's need for a divine teacher was known in heaven. The pity and sympathy of God were aroused in behalf of human beings, fallen and bound to Satan's chariot car; and when the fullness of time was come, He sent forth His Son. The One appointed in the councils of heaven came to this earth as man's instructor. The rich benevolence of God gave Him to our world, and to meet the necessities of human nature He took humanity upon Himself. To the astonishment of the heavenly host the eternal Word came to this world as a helpless babe. Fully prepared, He left the royal courts and mysteriously allied Himself with fallen human beings. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John 1:14. CT 259.2Read 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 »
“He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day.” DA 139.1
If John and Andrew had possessed the unbelieving spirit of the priests and rulers, they would not have been found as learners at the feet of Jesus. They would have come to Him as critics, to judge His words. Many thus close the door to the most precious opportunities. But not so did these first disciples. They had responded to the Holy Spirit's call in the preaching of John the Baptist. Now they recognized the voice of the heavenly Teacher. To them the words of Jesus were full of freshness and truth and beauty. A divine illumination was shed upon the teaching of the Old Testament Scriptures. The many-sided themes of truth stood out in new light. DA 139.2
It is contrition and faith and love that enable the soul to receive wisdom from heaven. Faith working by love is the key of knowledge, and everyone that loveth “knoweth God.” 1 John 4:7. DA 139.3Read in context »
As the disciples searched the prophecies that testified of Christ, they were brought into fellowship with the Deity, and learned of Him who had ascended to heaven to complete the work He had begun on earth. They recognized the fact that in Him dwelt knowledge which no human being, unaided by divine agency, could comprehend. They needed the help of Him whom kings, prophets, and righteous men had foretold. With amazement they read and reread the prophetic delineations of His character and work. How dimly had they comprehended the prophetic scriptures! how slow they had been in taking in the great truths which testified of Christ! Looking upon Him in His humiliation, as He walked a man among men, they had not understood the mystery of His incarnation, the dual character of His nature. Their eyes were holden, so that they did not fully recognize divinity in humanity. But after they were illuminated by the Holy Spirit, how they longed to see Him again, and to place themselves at His feet! How they wished that they might come to Him, and have Him explain the scriptures which they could not comprehend! How attentively would they listen to His words! What had Christ meant when He said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now”? John 16:12. How eager they were to know it all! They grieved that their faith had been so feeble, that their ideas had been so wide of the mark, that they had so failed of comprehending the reality. DA 507.1
A herald had been sent from God to proclaim the coming of Christ, and to call the attention of the Jewish nation and of the world to His mission, that men might prepare for His reception. The wonderful personage whom John had announced had been among them for more than thirty years, and they had not really known Him as the One sent from God. Remorse took hold of the disciples because they had allowed the prevailing unbelief to leaven their opinions and becloud their understanding. The Light of this dark world had been shining amid its gloom, and they had failed to comprehend whence were its beams. They asked themselves why they had pursued a course that made it necessary for Christ to reprove them. They often repeated His conversations, and said, Why did we allow earthly considerations and the opposition of priests and rabbis to confuse our senses, so that we did not comprehend that a greater than Moses was among us, that One wiser than Solomon was instructing us? How dull were our ears! how feeble was our understanding! DA 508.1
Thomas would not believe until he had thrust his finger into the wound made by the Roman soldiers. Peter had denied Him in His humiliation and rejection. These painful remembrances came before them in distinct lines. They had been with Him, but they had not known or appreciated Him. But how these things now stirred their hearts as they recognized their unbelief! DA 508.2Read in context »
God can and will do a great work for every human being who will open the heart to the word of God, and let it enter the soul-temple and expel every idol. Summoned to the effort, mind and heart take in the wonderful disclosures of the revealed will of God. The soul that is converted will be made stronger to resist evil. In the study of the Bible the converted soul eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God, which He himself interprets as the receiving and doing of His words, that are spirit and life. The Word is made flesh, and dwells among us, in those who receive the holy precepts of the word of God. The Saviour of the world has left a holy, pure example for all men. It illuminates, uplifts, and brings immortality to all who obey the divine requirements. This is my reason for writing to you as I did. God forbid that through lack of discernment errors should be committed through misunderstanding of my words addressed to you. I have had no other feeling than that of pleasure in knowing that students could come forth from the study of the words of life with minds expanded, elevated, ennobled, and with their slumbering powers aroused to engage in the study of the sciences with a keener appreciation; they may become learned as did Daniel, with a purpose to develop and employ every power to glorify God. But it becomes every student to learn of God, who giveth wisdom, how to learn to the best advantage; for all are candidates for immortality. FE 378.1
The Lord God came down to our world clothed with the habiliments of humanity, that He might work out in His own life the mysterious controversy between Christ and Satan. He discomfited the powers of darkness. All this history is saying to man, I, your substitute and surety, have taken your nature upon Me, showing you that every son and daughter of Adam is privileged to become a partaker of the divine nature, and through Christ Jesus lay hold upon immortality. Those who are candidates for this great blessing should in everything act in a manner to represent the advantages of their association with the Lord through His revealed truth and through the sanctification of his Holy Spirit. This will enlarge the mind of the human agent, fasten it upon sacred things, set it to receive truth, to comprehend truth, which will lead to the working out of truth through the sanctification of heart, soul, and character. FE 379.1
Those who have this experience will not condescend to engage in the amusements that have been so absorbing and so misleading in their influence, revealing that the soul has not been eating and drinking the words of eternal life. The departure from the simplicity of true godliness on the part of the students was having an influence to weaken character and lessen mental vigor. Their advancement in the sciences was retarded, while if they were like Daniel, hearers and doers of the word of God, they would advance as he did in all branches of learning they entered upon. Being pure minded, they would become strong minded. Every intellectual faculty would be sharpened. Let the Bible be received as the only food for the soul, as it is the very best and most effectual for the purifying and strengthening of the intellect.—Special Testimonies On Education, April 22, 1895. FE 379.2Read in context »
The human family was to consider Him in the light of the holy Scriptures, which were to testify of the manner of His coming. Had He come, displaying His glory that He had with His Father, then His pathway toward the cross would have been thwarted by the purpose of men, who would have taken Him by force, and made Him king. He was to close His life by making a solemn oblation of Himself. Type was to reach antitype in Jesus Christ. His whole life was a preface to His death on the cross. His character was a life of obedience to all God's commandments, and was to be a sample for all men upon the earth. His life was the living of the law in humanity. That law Adam transgressed. But Christ, by His perfect obedience to the law redeemed Adam's disgraceful failure and fall. FE 382.1
The prophecies are to be studied, and the life of Christ compared with the writings of the prophets. He identifies Himself with the prophecies, stating over and over again, They wrote of Me; they testify of Me. The Bible is the only book giving a positive description of Christ Jesus; and if every human being would study it as his lesson book, and obey it, not a soul would be lost. FE 382.2Read in context »
Those who are daily learning of Jesus Christ are fitted to take their position as laborers together with God, and whatever their trade or business may be, they may exert their God-given powers after the similitude of Christ's character while He tabernacled in the flesh. The young will carry with them just the influence they received in their home life and school education. God holds teachers responsible for their work as educators. They must learn daily in the school of Christ, in order to uplift the youth who have had a lax training at home, who have not formed studious habits, who have little knowledge of the future immortal life, for which the highest price was paid by the God of heaven in giving His only-begotten Son to live a life of humiliation and die a most shameful death, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” FE 397.1
God has given us a probation in which we may prepare for the higher school. For this school the youth are to be educated, disciplined, and trained by forming such characters, moral and intellectual, as God will approve. They are to receive a training, not in the customs and amusements and games of this worldly polluted society, but in Christ's lines, a training which will fit them to be colaborers with the heavenly intelligences. But what a farce is that education obtained in literary lines, if it must be stripped from the learner if he is accounted worthy to enter upon that life which measures with the life of God, he himself saved as by fire. FE 397.2Read 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 »
The Bible is the revelation of God to our world, telling us of the character we must have in order to reach the paradise of God. We are to esteem it as God's disclosure to us of eternal things,—the things of most consequence for us to know. By the world it is thrown aside, as if the perusal of it were finished, but a thousand years of research would not exhaust the hidden treasure it contains. Eternity alone will disclose the wisdom of this book. The jewels buried in it are inexhaustible; for it is the wisdom of an infinite mind. FE 444.1
At no period of time has man learned all that can be learned of the word of God. There are yet new views of truth to be seen, and much to be understood of the character and attributes of God,—His benevolence, His mercy, His long forbearance, His example of perfect obedience. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” This is a most valuable study, taxing the intellect, and giving strength to the mental ability. After diligently searching the word, hidden treasures are discovered, and the lover of truth breaks out in triumph, “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” FE 444.2Read in context »
The love of the Father toward a fallen race is unfathomable, indescribable, without a parallel. This love led Him to consent to give His only begotten Son to die, that rebellious man might be brought into harmony with the government of Heaven, and be saved from the penalty of his transgression. The Son of God stepped down from His royal throne, and for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be rich. He became “a Man of sorrows,” that we might be made partakers of everlasting joy.... God permitted His beloved Son, full of grace and truth, to come from a world of indescribable glory to a world marred and blighted with sin, shadowed with the shadow of death and the curse. AG 79.2Read in context »
Written in different ages, by men who differed widely in rank and occupation, and in mental and spiritual endowments, the books of the Bible present a wide contrast in style, as well as a diversity in the nature of the subjects unfolded. Different forms of expression are employed by different writers; often the same truth is more strikingly presented by one than by another. And as several writers present a subject under varied aspects and relations, there may appear, to the superficial, careless, or prejudiced reader, to be discrepancy or contradiction, where the thoughtful, reverent student, with clearer insight, discerns the underlying harmony. GC vi.1
As presented through different individuals, the truth is brought out in its varied aspects. One writer is more strongly impressed with one phase of the subject; he grasps those points that harmonize with his experience or with his power of perception and appreciation; another seizes upon a different phase; and each, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, presents what is most forcibly impressed upon his own mind—a different aspect of the truth in each, but a perfect harmony through all. And the truths thus revealed unite to form a perfect whole, adapted to meet the wants of men in all the circumstances and experiences of life. GC vi.2
God has been pleased to communicate His truth to the world by human agencies, and He Himself, by His Holy Spirit, qualified men and enabled them to do this work. He guided the mind in the selection of what to speak and what to write. The treasure was entrusted to earthen vessels, yet it is, nonetheless, from Heaven. The testimony is conveyed through the imperfect expression of human language, yet it is the testimony of God; and the obedient, believing child of God beholds in it the glory of a divine power, full of grace and truth. GC vi.3Read in context »
This appeal was rapidly circulated throughout Germany and exerted a powerful influence upon the people. The whole nation was stirred, and multitudes were roused to rally around the standard of reform. Luther's opponents, burning with a desire for revenge, urged the pope to take decisive measures against him. It was decreed that his doctrines should be immediately condemned. Sixty days were granted the Reformer and his adherents, after which, if they did not recant, they were all to be excommunicated. GC 141.1
That was a terrible crisis for the Reformation. For centuries Rome's sentence of excommunication had struck terror to powerful monarchs; it had filled mighty empires with woe and desolation. Those upon whom its condemnation fell were universally regarded with dread and horror; they were cut off from intercourse with their fellows and treated as outlaws, to be hunted to extermination. Luther was not blind to the tempest about to burst upon him; but he stood firm, trusting in Christ to be his support and shield. With a martyr's faith and courage he wrote: “What is about to happen I know not, nor do I care to know.... Let the blow light where it may, I am without fear. Not so much as a leaf falls, without the will of our Father. How much rather will He care for us! It is a light thing to die for the Word, since the Word which was made flesh hath Himself died. If we die with Him, we shall live with Him; and passing through that which He has passed through before us, we shall be where He is and dwell with Him forever.”—Ibid., 3d London ed., Walther, 1840, b. 6, ch. 9. GC 141.2
When the papal bull reached Luther, he said: “I despise and attack it, as impious, false.... It is Christ Himself who is condemned therein.... I rejoice in having to bear such ills for the best of causes. Already I feel greater liberty in my heart; for at last I know that the pope is antichrist, and that his throne is that of Satan himself.”—D'Aubigne, b. 6, ch. 9. GC 141.3Read 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 »
Those who are emptied of self, the thoughtful and conscientious, cannot raise their eyes to Christ, the living Saviour, without feelings of awe and the deepest humility. To behold Jesus continually will make the soul alive unto God. We shall love Jesus, we shall love the Father who sent Him into the world, for we see Him in a wondrous light, full of grace and truth. Jesus declares, “All things are delivered unto me of my Father” (Matthew 11:27); ... “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). What for? That He may give gifts unto men, that they may lay all their powers under tribute to make known the wondrous love wherewith He hath loved us.... HP 60.4Read in context »
Look steadfastly to Jesus. Behold Him, full of grace and truth. He will make His goodness pass before you while He hides you in the cleft of the rock. You will be enabled to endure the seeing of Him who is invisible, and by beholding you will be transformed. HP 111.5Read in context »
In this age, the Word of God is not considered reliable. The word of Christ, that cuts directly across human desires and indulgences, and condemns popular habits and practices—the Word which was made flesh and dwelt among us—is ignored and despised. The teachings and example of Christ are not made the criterion for the life of the professed follower of Christ. Many who name the name of Christ are walking in the light of the sparks of their own kindling, rather than following in the footsteps of their professed Master. They do not represent the same character that Christ represented in His pure, sincere love to God, and in His love for fallen man. They do not take God at His word, and identify their interests with Jesus Christ. They do not form the habit of communing with Jesus, of taking Him as a guide and counselor, and thus learn the trade of living a well-defined Christian life. LHU 124.4Read in context »
The Lord God of heaven collected all the riches of the universe, and laid them down in order to purchase the pearl of lost humanity. The Father gave all His divine resources into the hands of Christ in order that the richest blessings of heaven might be poured out upon a fallen race. God could not express greater love than He has expressed in giving the Son of His bosom to this world. This gift was given to man to convince him that God had left nothing undone that He could do, that there is nothing held in reserve, but that all heaven has been poured out in one vast gift. The present and eternal happiness of man consists in receiving God's love, and in keeping God's commandments. Christ is our Redeemer. He is the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. He is the fountain in which we may be washed and cleansed from all impurity. He is the costly sacrifice that has been given for the reconciliation of man. The universe of heaven, the worlds unfallen, the fallen world, and the confederacy of evil cannot say that God could do more for the salvation of man than He has done. Never can His gift be surpassed, never can He display a richer depth of love. Calvary represents His crowning work. It is man's part to respond to His great love, by appropriating the great salvation the blessing of the Lord has made it possible for man to obtain. We are to show our appreciation of the wonderful gift of God by becoming partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. We are to show our gratitude to God by becoming a coworker with Jesus Christ, by representing His character to the world.... The Lord looks upon souls as precious pearls.... LHU 232.3Read in context »
As religious aggression subverts the liberties of our nation, those who would stand for freedom of conscience will be placed in unfavorable positions. For their own sake they should, while they have opportunity, become intelligent in regard to disease, its causes, prevention, and cure. And those who do this will find a field of labor anywhere. There will be suffering ones, plenty of them, who will need help, not only among those of our own faith, but largely among those who know not the truth. The shortness of time demands an energy that has not been aroused among those who claim to believe the present truth.—Counsels on Health, 506. MM 321.1Read in context »
The early years are the time for the training process, not only that the child may become most serviceable and full of grace and truth in this life, but that he may secure the place prepared in the home above for all who are true and obedient. In our own training of children and in the training of the children of others, we have proved that they never love parents and guardians less for restraining them from doing evil.—The Review and Herald, May 10, 1898. 1MCP 171.2Read in context »
Christ is our redeemer. He is the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. He is the fountain in which we may be washed and cleansed from all impurity. He is the costly sacrifice that has been given for the reconciliation of man. The universe of heaven, the worlds unfallen, the fallen world, and the confederacy of evil cannot say that God could do more for the salvation of man than He has done. Never can His gift be surpassed, never can He display a richer depth of love. Calvary represents His crowning work.... The Lord would have His followers enraptured with God through the knowledge of His paternal character. OHC 13.4Read in context »
The lamb was to be eaten with bitter herbs, as pointing back to the bitterness of the bondage in Egypt. So when we feed upon Christ, it should be with contrition of heart, because of our sins. The use of unleavened bread also was significant. It was expressly enjoined in the law of the Passover, and as strictly observed by the Jews in their practice, that no leaven should be found in their houses during the feast. In like manner the leaven of sin must be put away from all who would receive life and nourishment from Christ. So Paul writes to the Corinthian church, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump.... For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:7, 8. PP 278.1
Before obtaining freedom, the bondmen must show their faith in the great deliverance about to be accomplished. The token of blood must be placed upon their houses, and they must separate themselves and their families from the Egyptians, and gather within their own dwellings. Had the Israelites disregarded in any particular the directions given them, had they neglected to separate their children from the Egyptians, had they slain the lamb, but failed to strike the doorpost with blood, or had any gone out of their houses, they would not have been secure. They might have honestly believed that they had done all that was necessary, but their sincerity would not have saved them. All who failed to heed the Lord's directions would lose their first-born by the hand of the destroyer. PP 278.2Read in context »
Christ is to be all and in all to the believer. There must be none of self, and all of Christ, whose we are by creation and by redemption. The Holy Spirit takes the most attractive excellencies of the One who is altogether lovely, and presents them in such a way as to engage the attention and receive the best attention of the renewed heart. God designs that the Holy Spirit shall keep before the mind's eye scenes that will attract and absorb all there is of the newborn soul. We need not any external representations of the person of Christ. The imagination must take in the only begotten of the Father, “full of grace and truth,” the One altogether lovely and the chiefest among ten thousand.—Manuscript 131, 1899. PM 220.2Read in context »
Christ might, because of our guilt, have moved far away from us. But instead of moving farther away, He came and dwelt among us, filled with all the fullness of the Godhead, to be one with us, that through His grace we might attain perfection. By a death of shame and suffering He paid our ransom. From the highest excellency He came, His divinity clothed with humanity, descending step by step to the lowest depths of humiliation. No line can measure the depth of His love.... RC 17.5Read in context »
“The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands; and in the varied style of its different books it presents the characteristics of the several writers. The truths revealed are all ‘given by inspiration of God’ (2 Timothy 3:16); yet they are expressed in the words of men. The Infinite One by His Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of His servants. He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures; and those to whom the truth was thus revealed, have themselves embodied the thought in human language. 1SM 25.1
“The Ten Commandments were spoken by God Himself, and were written by His own hand. They are of divine, and not human composition. But the Bible, with its God-given truths expressed in the language of men, presents a union of the divine and the human. Such a union existed in the nature of Christ, who was the Son of God and the Son of man. Thus it is true of the Bible, as it was of Christ, that ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us’ (John 1:14). 1SM 25.2
“Written in different ages, by men who differed widely in rank and occupation, and in mental and spiritual endowments, the books of the Bible present a wide contrast in style, as well as a diversity in the nature of the subjects unfolded. Different forms of expression are employed by different writers; often the same truth is more strikingly presented by one than by another. And as several writers present a subject under varied aspects and relations, there may appear, to the superficial, careless, or prejudiced reader, to be discrepancy or contradiction, where the thoughtful, reverent student, with clearer insight, discerns the underlying harmony. 1SM 25.3
“As presented through different individuals, the truth is brought out in its varied aspects. One writer is more strongly impressed with one phase of the subject; he grasps those points that harmonize with his experience or with his power of perception and appreciation; another seizes upon a different phase; and each, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, presents what is most forcibly impressed upon his own mind—a different aspect of the truth in each, but a perfect harmony through all. And the truths thus revealed unite to form a perfect whole, adapted to meet the wants of men in all the circumstances and experiences of life. 1SM 25.4Read in context »
The Lord calls upon those connected with our sanitariums to reach a higher standard. No lie is of the truth. If we follow cunningly devised fables, we unite with the enemy's forces against God and Christ. God calls upon those who have been wearing a yoke of human manufacture to break this yoke, and no longer be the bond servants of men. 1SM 194.1
The battle is on. Satan and his angels are working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. They are untiring in their efforts to draw souls away from the truth, away from righteousness, to spread ruin throughout the universe. They work with marvelous industry to furnish a multitude of deceptions to take souls captive. Their efforts are unceasing. The enemy is ever seeking to lead souls into infidelity and skepticism. He would do away with God, and with Christ, who was made flesh and dwelt among us to teach us that in obedience to God's will we may be victorious over sin. 1SM 194.2Read in context »
That God should thus be manifest in the flesh is indeed a mystery; and without the help of the Holy Spirit we cannot hope to comprehend this subject. The most humbling lesson that man has to learn is the nothingness of human wisdom, and the folly of trying, by his own unaided efforts, to find out God. He may exert his intellectual powers to the utmost, he may have what the world calls a superior education, yet he may still be ignorant in God's eyes. The ancient philosophers boasted of their wisdom; but how did it weigh in the scale with God? Solomon had great learning; but his wisdom was foolishness; for he did not know how to stand in moral independence, free from sin, in the strength of a character molded after the divine similitude. Solomon has told us the result of his research, his painstaking efforts, his persevering inquiry. He pronounces his wisdom altogether vanity. 1SM 249.1
By wisdom the world knew not God. Their estimation of the divine character, their imperfect knowledge of His attributes, did not enlarge and expand their mental conception. Their minds were not ennobled in conformity to the divine will, but they plunged into the grossest idolatry. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:22, 23). This is the worth of all requirements and knowledge apart from Christ. 1SM 249.2Read in context »
But the labors of the Sabbath were not in vain. On Sunday morning there was decided evidence that the Spirit of God was working great changes in the moral and spiritual condition of those assembled. There was a surrendering of the mind and heart to God, and precious testimonies were borne by those who had long been in darkness. One brother spoke of the struggle that he had experienced before he could receive the good news that Christ is our righteousness. The conflict was severe, but the Lord was at work with him, and his mind was changed, and his strength renewed. The Lord presented the truth before him in clear lines, revealing the fact that Christ alone is the source of all hope and salvation. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:4, 14). 1SM 356.1
One of our young ministering brethren said that he had enjoyed more of the blessing and love of God during that meeting than in all his life before. Another stated that the trials, perplexities, and conflicts which he had endured in his mind had been of such a character that he had been tempted to give up everything. He had felt that there was no hope for him, unless he could obtain more of the grace of Christ; but through the influence of the meetings he had experienced a change of heart, and had a better knowledge of salvation through faith in Christ. He saw that it was his privilege to be justified by faith; he had peace with God, and with tears confessed what relief and blessing had come to his soul. At every social meeting many testimonies were borne as to the peace, comfort, and joy the people had found in receiving light. 1SM 356.2
We thank the Lord with all the heart that we have precious light to present before the people, and we rejoice that we have a message for this time which is present truth. The tidings that Christ is our righteousness has brought relief to many, many souls, and God says to His people, “Go forward.” The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to our condition. How plainly is pictured the position of those who think they have all the truth, who take pride in their knowledge of the Word of God, while its sanctifying power has not been felt in their lives. The fervor of the love of God is wanting in their hearts, but it is this very fervor of love that makes God's people the light of the world. 1SM 357.1Read in context »
We call ourselves commandment-keeping people, but we do not comprehend the exceeding breadth of the far-reaching principles of the law of God; we do not understand its sacred character. Many who claim to be teachers of the truth, have no real conception of what they are doing in teaching the law of God, because they do not have a living knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 1SM 402.1
As we read of Luther, Knox, and other noted Reformers, we admire the strength, fortitude, and courage possessed by these faithful servants of God, and we would catch the spirit that animated them. We desire to know from what source they were out of weakness made strong. Although these great men were used as instruments for God, they were not faultless. They were erring men, and made great mistakes. We should seek to imitate their virtues, but we should not make them our criterion. These men possessed rare talents to carry forward the work of the Reformation. They were moved upon by a power above themselves; but it was not the men, the instruments that God used, that should be exalted and honored, but the Lord Jesus who let His light and power come upon them. Let those who love truth and righteousness, who gather up the hereditary trusts given to these standard-bearers, praise God, the Source of all light. 1SM 402.2
If it should be announced that angel messengers were to open before men the treasures of the knowledge which relate to heavenly things, what a stir would it create in the Christian world! The atmosphere of heaven would be about the messengers, and how eagerly would many listen to the words that should fall from their lips! Men would write books calling attention to the angels’ words, but a greater Being than angels has been in our world; the Lord Himself has come to reflect upon men the light of heaven. He has announced Himself as one with the Father, full of grace and truth, God manifest in the flesh. 1SM 402.3Read in context »
By many, the words which the Lord sent will be rejected, and the words that man may speak will be received as light and truth. Human wisdom will lead away from self-denial, from consecration, and will devise many things that tend to make of no effect God's messages. We cannot with any safety rely upon men who are not in close connection with God. They accept the opinions of men, but cannot discern the voice of the true Shepherd, and their influence will lead many astray, though evidence is piled upon evidence before their eyes, testifying to the truth that God's people should have for this time (Letter 1f, 1890). 4BC 1147.1
1-3. Christ's Grace and Virtue Did Not Appeal to Jews—[Isaiah 53:1-3 quoted.] These words do not mean that Christ was unattractive in person. In the eyes of the Jews, Christ had no beauty that they should desire Him. They looked for a Messiah who would come with outward display and worldly glory, one who would do great things for the Jewish nation, exalting it above every other nation on the earth. But Christ came with His divinity hidden by the garb of humanity, unobtrusive, humble, poor. They compared this man with the proud boasts they had made, and they could see no beauty in Him. They did not discern the holiness and purity of His character. The grace and virtue revealed in His life did not appeal to them (Manuscript 33, 1911). 4BC 1147.2Read 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 »