Ellen G. White Writings

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The Advent Review, and Sabbath Herald, vol. 7

We are taught that if we suffer with Christ we shall also reign with him; and Jesus promises a seat on his throne to the overcomers. Then if we reign as kings with Christ, sitting upon his throne, is it too much to believe that Christ reigns as a King with the Father, while sitting on the Father’s throne? It may be contrary to our ideas of Christ’s position during the present dispensation, but if our ideas conflict with such plain teachings of Scripture, let them be discarded at once. The Word says he shall rule and be a priest on the throne of the LORD; and as the counsel of peace is “between them both” during his priestly rule, therefore he is at once “King of Peace and Priest of the Most High God.” When I read the words of the risen Saviour to his disciples, that all power in heaven and earth is given to him; [Matthew 28:18;] that men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father; [John 5:23;] and learn that the Father hath highly exalted him, even to a seat on his own universal throne. My soul rejoices at the thought that “we have such a High Priest” to make intercession for us. Surely they that put their trust in such a Savior shall not be ashamed.

It is greatly to be feared that we have not considered the Apostle and High Priest of our profession,” in all respects, in the light in which he is presented in the Word. It is necessary that we recognize his exalted position, in order that we give him that honor which the Father requires we should bestow upon the Son while in the joint occupancy of the throne of universal dominion.

Another point claims our attention, which is this: As Christ is a royal priest, or king and priest at once, these offices being united in Melchisedec, it is necessary, to fulfill the type of Melchisedec, that there be no genealogical reckoning in regard to either his priesthood or kingship. We should search in vain to find who was king before Melchisedec, or who succeeded him, or from whom he, as king descended. What is applicable to him as priest, is true of him also as king. And so it is with Christ in regard to that kingship which is united with his priesthood. He is exalted to the throne of God, not by right of descent, but to fulfill his priestly work there, in which descent was not reckoned. And as he is the “one mediator,” having neither predecessor nor successor in that office, so he is the only one that ever will enjoy the high privilege of sharing the power and honors of the throne of the Most High. This fact alone would render it certain that Christ’s kingly priesthood is not upon his own throne, or on the throne of Israel, for when he takes that throne it is as the Son of David; and it is as necessary that his genealogy be traced to David in order for him to occupy that throne, as it was for the sons of Aaron to prove their descent from Levi, or from Aaron, in order to be permitted to minister in the sanctuary on earth. The objection urged on the priesthood of Christ, is clearly invalid. A correct understanding of his priestly work confirms the view that every case is decided at, or before, his coming, and that his saints will be redeemed, and his enemies, including all the unredeemed, will be “dashed in pieces” at that time. J. H. W.

(To be Continued.)

“YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.” John 3:7

(Concluded.)

WE pass to show

WHEN THIS BIRTH TAKES PLACE

II. When does this change take place? I answer, At the second advent of Christ. For as He was born at his resurrection who is the HEAD, so also will his disciples at their resurrection, who are the MEMBERS of that same body of which he is the head. 1 Corinthians 15:23. “Christ the first-fruits; afterwards they that are Christ’s.” When? “At his coming.” Again, [verse 50-53,] “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” When? “At the LAST TRUMP: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” Isaiah 66:14. After speaking of the birth or resurrection of Zion’s children, and their being comforted in Jerusalem, he adds, “When ye see it, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb; and the band of the Lord shall be known toward his servants and his indignation toward his enemies. For, behold, the Lord will come with fire and his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.” Read also chapters 25:8, 9; 26:19-21, and compare with 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10. From which scripture we learn it is at the last trump. When the Lord himself descends from heaven in flaming fire to take vengeance on the wicked, and with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. Then shall we be born of the Spirit, and come forth into a new and eternal life. When God shall be glorified in all his saints! How glorified in them? By their birth when they receive immortal and glorified bodies like unto Jesus’ glorious body. Every one reflecting the image and glory of Christ. Thus we see the birth of the Spirit, which is the resurrection, is at the coming of our God from heaven, instead of at conversion and a point in the past. And this is the only birth that will ensure us an entrance into the kingdom. As Paul teaches, [1 Corinthians 15:14,] ‘And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” Verses 17, 18. “And if Christ be not raised your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are PERISHED.” Again, [verse 32,] “If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink: for to-morrow we die.”

We see from this that conversion cannot be the second birth, neither can it insure us an entrance into the kingdom. For, although we may have faith, and suffer for Christ here, and die in its triumphs and sleep in Jesus; yet all is vain without a resurrection. With what power then comes thundering home the declaration, “Ye must be born again;” even by the Spirit of the eternal God that raised Jesus from the dead, or ye can in no wise see or enter the kingdom of God. And it gives new force to such passages as Philippians 3:11, “If by any means I might attain unto a (ex anastasis) resurrection out from among the dead.” And also, Romans 2:6, 7, “God will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory and honor and immortality: eternal life.” “For [Revelation 20:6,] blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” And how this truth harmonizes, and lights up with new rays of glory the word of God. See 1 John 3:9. “Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him and he CANNOT sin, because he is born of God.”

Now, although we may allow that men may live here, and sometimes do by the assistance of God’s grace without sin for a season, yet are any prepared to take the ground that the best men that ever lived attained a state here that rendered it impossible for them to sin? I presume not. Then are they not born of God. But if any doubt lingers in your mind, this same writer settles it. Chap 2:1. “Little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father.” Here John supposes we may sin after conversion. And provision he assures us is made for such. But in the other place he assures us that if born again we CANNOT sin. I am aware many efforts have been made to pervert this passage by modifying its meaning to suit our theories. But there it stands a positive declaration, and eternal refutation of all such theories. They cannot sin because they are born of God. Then conversion we see clearly is not the new birth.

We will here notice an objection that may arise in the minds of some, in 1 John 5:1. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born (begotten) of God: and every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him.” We are to remember that this translation was made in view of the position that conversion is the new birth. Now in this sense the words born, begat, and begotten, are all from one and the same verb in the original - Gennao - the first definition of which is, to beget, generate, and the word here rendered born should be rendered begotten. This is evident, 1st, from the whole tenor of his epistle; 2nd, from what follows in the same verse, “he that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him;” 3rd. but still more so from his own explanation in the 18th verse of this same chapter, where he distinguishes between being born and begotten. “We KNOW that whosoever is BORN of God sinneth not.” How do you know? In chap 3:9, he tells you, “his seed remaineth in him, he cannot sin because he is born of God.” “But he that is BEGOTTEN of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” Says Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:27; “but I keep my body under, etc., “lest I myself become a castaway.” By which teaching I understand that when we are born of God we are in a state rendering it impossible for us to sin. But when begotten of God we keep ourselves by the use of those means God has appointed for our salvation. Or in other words, by conversion; we are begotten of God by the truth when we receive the spirit of adoption, which is the first-fruits of the Spirit and pledge of our adoption. But we are not born until the resurrection; which is the order of nature and accords with the teachings of the sure word of prophecy, as we will endeavor now to show. James 1:18. “Of his own will BEGAT he us with the word of truth.” The word here rendered begat is Apouka. 1 Corinthians 4:15. “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet there are not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have BEGOTTEN you through the Gospel.” See also Philm.10. “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds.” Romans 8:15-23. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear: but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father.” Here mark, we have not received the adoption, but the SPIRIT of adoption; and in the 23rd verse he tells us when we receive the adoption, for “ourselves also which have the FIRST FRUITS of the SPIRIT, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for (for what?) the adoption; (what is the adoption, Paul?) to wit, the redemption of our body.” From these passages and many others we might quote, we perceive that through the truth we are begotten sons of God but not yet born. But having the spirit of Christ, which is the earnest, the first-fruits and pledge of our adoption, we wait, groaning for the adoption; to wit, the redemption of our body in the resurrection morn, when we shall be born (born free) of the free woman; [Galatians 4;] born into the kingdom unto eternal life. Glory to God! Whom the Son maketh free is free indeed. “For as soon as Zion travailed she brought forth her children.” Unto which we are sealed (made sure) by the spirit of adoption. For, says God in the next verse, [Isaiah 66:9,] (and I will quote the verse with the marginal readings, and I wish you to notice its power and glory and assurance of hope unto the end,) “Shall I bring to the birth, and not BEGET to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I beget to bring forth and shut the womb? saith thy God.” No! is the implied answer. Having of my own will begotten you through the truth, [James 1:18, etc.,] I will not shut the womb. No. “I will open your graves and ye shall come forth out of your graves and I will put my spirit in you and ye shall live.” Ezekiel 37:14. “Awake and sing ye that dwell in dust, for your dew is as the dew of herbs, for the earth shall cast out her dead.” Isaiah 26:19. “For her children shall break forth on the right hand and left.” Isaiah 54:3. So here, [Isaiah 66,] after representing them as already begotten for the express purpose of bringing forth and assuring us that he will not shut the womb. He represents the children as nursing, [verses 10, 11,] “Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her; that ye may suck and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out and be delighted with the brightness of her glory.” And the reason follows, for [because, verse 12] “Thus saith the Lord, behold I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the

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