A man sent from God - See John 20:31. To do this, it was proper, in the beginning, to prove that “John” was not the Messiah; and this might have been at that time an important object. John made many disciples, Matthew 3:5. Many persons supposed that he might be the Messiah, Luke 3:15; John 1:19. “Many of these disciples of John remained” at Ephesus, “the very place where John is supposed to have written this gospel, long after the ascension of Jesus,” Acts 19:1-3. It is not improbable that there might have been many others who adhered to John, and perhaps many who supposed that he was the Messiah. On these accounts it was important for the evangelist to show that John “was not the Christ,” and to show, also, that he, who was extensively admitted to be a prophet, was an important “witness” to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ. The evangelist in the first four verses stated that “the Word” was divine; he now proceeds to state the proof that he was a “man,” and was the Messiah. The first evidence adduced is the testimony of John the Baptist.
The greatness and power with which the Creator endowed Lucifer he has perverted; and yet, when it suits his purpose, he can impart to men sentiments that are enchanting. Everything in nature comes from God; yet Satan can inspire his agents with thoughts that appear elevating and noble. Did he not come to Christ with quotations of Scripture when he designed to overthrow Him with his specious temptations? This is the way in which he comes to man, as an angel of light disguising his temptations under an appearance of goodness, and making men believe him to be the friend rather than the enemy of humanity. It is in this way that he has deceived and seduced the race,—beguiling them with subtle temptations, bewildering them with specious deceptions. FE 176.1
Satan has ascribed to God all the evils to which flesh is heir. He has represented Him as a God who delights in the sufferings of His creatures, who is revengeful and implacable. It was Satan who originated the doctrine of eternal torment as a punishment for sin, because in this way he could lead men into infidelity and rebellion, distract souls, and dethrone the human reason. FE 176.2
Heaven, looking down, and seeing the delusions into which men were led, knew that a divine Instructor must come to earth. Men in ignorance and moral darkness must have light, spiritual light; for the world knew not God, and He must be revealed to their understanding. Truth looked down from heaven and saw not the reflection of her image; for dense clouds of moral darkness and gloom enveloped the world, and the Lord Jesus alone was able to roll back the clouds: for He was the Light of the world. By His presence He could dissipate the gloomy shadow that Satan had cast between man and God. Darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. Through the accumulated misrepresentations of the enemy, many were so deceived that they worshiped a false god, clothed with the attributes of the satanic character. FE 176.3Read in context »
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 »