Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

June 27, 1892

Christ's Mission to the World

By Mrs. E. G. White

Christ came into the world to represent the Father to man; for Satan had presented him before the world in a false light. Because God is a God of justice, of terrible majesty, who has power to destroy as well as to preserve man, Satan caused men to regard him with fear, to look upon him as a tyrant. Jesus had been with the Father from the everlasting ages, before the creation of man, and he came to reveal the Father, declaring “God is love.” Jesus represented God as a kind Father, who careth for the subjects of his kingdom. He declared that not a sparrow falls to the ground without the notice of the Father, and that the children of men are of more value in his sight than many sparrows, that the very hairs of their head are all numbered.

The Lord is represented in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament not only as a God of justice but as a Father of infinite love. The Psalmist says: “The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.... The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.... He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.... But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.”

Satan had clothed the Father in his own attributes, but Christ represented him in his true character of benevolence and love. In the character in which Christ presented him to the world it was as if he gave a new gift to man. Jesus said in his prayer to the Father: “O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” “Neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”

The Son of God declared in positive terms that the world was destitute of the knowledge of God; but this knowledge was of the highest value, and it was his own peculiar gift, the inestimable treasure which he brought into the world. In the exercise of his sovereign prerogative he imparted to his disciples the knowledge of the character of God, in order that they might communicate it to the world. The only nation who claimed to be worshiping the true God at the advent of Christ had not a proper conception of his character. They were sitting in Moses’ seat, but they did not present God as Moses presented him, but after the distorted representation of Satan. The character of God was falsified before the people. Truth was so overlaid with tradition, religion was so burdened with man-made tests and commandments, that the purity and luster of truth were completely hidden, and virtue was considered unattainable. The existing religion left man without God and without hope in the world. But the Sun of Righteousness shines forth into the midnight darkness of superstition and error, and rolls back the cloud, and presents himself as the one in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, as the exact representation of the Father. This is his message to the world: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

As a transgressor of the law man was condemned as hopelessly ruined; for he was the enemy of God, without strength to do any good thing; but Christ came to reveal to him the justice and love of God, to give repentance to Israel and remission of sins. When the sinner beholds Jesus lifted up upon the cross, suffering the guilt of the transgressor and the consequences of sin, he beholds God's abhorrence of evil in this fearful manifestation, and sees his love for fallen man: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The Lord could have cut off the sinner and utterly destroyed him; but the costlier plan was chosen. In his great love he provides hope for the hopeless in giving his only-begotten Son to bear the sins of the world. Since God has poured out all heaven in that one rich gift, he will withhold no needed aid from man. All the agencies of heaven are at the command of the believing soul, that he may be successful in the warfare against the powers of darkness. He who believes in Jesus Christ as fully able to save his soul, believes the gospel, and hath eternal life. This is the point to which every soul must come, and everyone who believes the message of God should lift up Jesus, point men to Christ, and say, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” This is the message that everyone will bear who believes in Jesus Christ as his Saviour. This is the message we are to bear to warn the impenitent, encouraging those who love and fear God, inducing souls to look to the cross of Calvary, to behold the Lamb of God. The soul imbued with the love of Christ is one with him; he communes with Christ, Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, and the Christian goes forth to represent the Father and the Son to the world.

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