Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

May 30, 1899

God's Purpose in the Gift of His Son

Mrs. E. G. White

“Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”

In carrying out his plan for the salvation of man, Christ represented his Father in all things. The history of his life is an exact record of the purposes of God toward man, and the instruction he desires man to have in the manifestation of perfection in humanity. Christ took upon him the nature of man, that he might carry man with him, and place him in the domains of mercy, in the arms of the infinite God. Through disobedience, man had divorced himself from God, and had become an apostate against his government. But it was God's design that man should be restored, and again have access to the tree of life.

It is only by a clear discernment of spiritual things that the original apostasy can be understood. The controversy in heaven began with selfish strife for position, a desire on the part of Lucifer to be equal with God. The disaffection of Satan in entertaining the thought that he should stand as head of the heavenly order at first seemed a small thing, but by dwelling upon this thought, it was strengthened. Step by step he miscalculated the position that had been assigned him by God, to be maintained only in God, until he finally came to look with enmity upon everything coming from Jesus Christ. Satan rebelled against the laws governing the heavenly intelligences; and by representing these in a deceptive light, by his unbelief and complaints, he drew others with him into rebellion.

Christ, as commander of heaven, was appointed to put down the rebellion. Satan and all his sympathizers were cast out of heaven. Then was begun the work which, before the foundations of the world were laid, Christ had engaged to do. At the appointed time he came to our world in human flesh, that he might become man's substitute and surety. Christ came to prove that “God is love.” This was disputed by him who was once a covering cherub in heaven, and who, in consequence of his ambitious project, developed a character that made him at war with God. This world became the scene of the great conflict between Christ and Satan.

Christ joined himself with the nature of man, that through him man might again become one with God, preserving the closest union with his fellow men,—the same that exists between the Father and the Son. Christ lived not to please or glorify himself. He came to live and work in behalf of fallen man. Every moment of his life, every deed that he performed, was an expression of his unselfish love. That the Son of the infinite God should bind himself so closely with man was condescension and mercy so wonderful that its mysteries could scarcely be understood.

Christ sought to teach the grand truth so needful for us to learn, that God is always with us, an inmate of every dwelling, that he is acquainted with every action performed on earth. He knows the thoughts that are framed in the mind and indorsed by the soul. He hears every word that falls from the lips of human beings. He is walking and working in the midst of all our transactions in life. He knows every plan, he measures every method. And yet by many his hand is not recognized, his wonderful footsteps are not discerned.

It is through the machinations of the enemy that men become disloyal to God, and are identified with Satan. They are deceived; and when temptation comes, they do not discern that it is temptation. Their mistake lies in failing to enter fully into sympathy with God's appointed agencies, in the accomplishment of the work assigned them by God. Did they strive to meet his royal standard of righteousness, this would elevate their minds to a divine level, and bring them into healthful sympathy with Christ.

All heaven is looking upon God's commandment-keeping people of this age. Its inhabitants view the dissension and strife among the nations of the earth, who are controlled by the power of the prince of darkness. Strife, strife, is on every hand. Men are striving for place and position in the world, and will use every means possible in their efforts to gain the end they seek. But shall they see this spirit permeating the church? Shall strife and dissension hold sway among the people who have seen great light? Shall corruption leaven the people whom God has set to be the light of the world? Shall not, rather, the pure, holy truth of God be cherished, and be kept burning upon the altar of every heart, and be diffused to the world?

In every institution in our ranks there are dangers threatening us. In every place where large interests are centered, Satan will work with all his deceiving power upon every mind that he can use to hinder the work that God designs shall be accomplished. Thus it has been in the past, and thus it will continue to be. The spirit of the world, the ambitious strife for the supremacy, will eventually bring every soul who cherishes this spirit to discord and disunion. Deception will come to human minds, paralyzing spiritual discernment, and the deceiver will succeed in mingling the common fire with the sacred, until sacred things are brought down to a level with common, earthly imaginations, and conducted after the manner of worldly maxims, meeting the world's standard, but having not the superscription of heaven.

Christ was appointed to be the light of the world: and if those who are in darkness will receive that light, will permit themselves to be enlightened; if they will no longer walk in the sparks of the fire of their own kindling, but in the light of him who is to lighten every man that cometh into the world, they will shine amid the darkness of the world.

Observe the Christian who is walking in that light, and you will see Jesus Christ manifested in his every act. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith, he becomes divested of self-serving and self-glorification. He does not flash about him the sparks of human inventions, but the light kindled from the altar of sacred sacrifice. John declares: “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

The disciples of Christ are bound by their character to reveal him to the world. Their obligation to God in this respect is imperative. God has given his Son to the world as an entire offering, and the object of this sacrifice was that his disciples might be one with him, as he is one with the Father. We are not to fix our eyes upon man, and take our position with him in his defective character and movements. We are to stand with Christ in God, keeping our minds clear, our actions holy.

It is the design of God that through man his glory shall be revealed to the world; but it is only those who connect themselves with God in Jesus Christ, who can reveal that goodness and that fidelity which Christ manifested in his life. As the branches of the vine are united in the parent stock, so will the children of God be united as one in Christ. They are to reveal to the world the character of God. They must study the Scriptures with the purpose in view of living the unselfish life of Christ. The true Christian will not become self-centered or conservative in his plans. “Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” As God's grace is given us freely, so it must be imparted to others. Through the apostle we are admonished, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.”

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