Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 44, 1897

Christ’s Representatives


May 13, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 142; CTr 260; SW 09/13/1898, 10/25/1898.

Christ attaches a weight of importance to the obedience of His people to the commandments of God. They are to have an intelligent knowledge of them, and bring them into their daily life. Man cannot keep the commandments of God only as he is in Christ, and Christ in him. And it is not possible for him to be in Christ, having light on His commandments, while disregarding the least of them. By steadfast, willing obedience to His Word they evidence their love for the Sent of God. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 1

Not to keep the commandments of God is not to love Him. None will keep the law of God unless they love Him who is the only begotten of the Father. And none the less surely, if they love Him, they will express that love by obedience to Him. All who love Christ will be loved of the Father, and He will manifest Himself to them. In all their emergencies and perplexities they will have a helper in Jesus Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 2

That Christ should manifest Himself to them, and yet be invisible to the world, was a mystery to the disciples. They could not understand the words of Christ in their spiritual sense. They were thinking of the outward, visible manifestation. They could not take in the fact that they could have the presence of Christ with them, and yet He be unseen by the world. They did not understand the meaning of a spiritual manifestation. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 3

The great Teacher longed to give to the disciples all the encouragement and comfort possible, for they were to be sorely tried. But it was difficult for them to comprehend His words. They had yet to learn that the inward spiritual life, all fragrant with the obedience of love, would give them the spiritual power they needed. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 4

The promise of the Comforter presented a rich truth to them. It assured them that they should not lose their faith under the most trying circumstances. The Holy Spirit, sent in the name of Christ, was to teach them all things, and bring all things to their remembrance. The Holy Spirit was to be the representative of Christ, the Advocate who is constantly pleading for the fallen race. He pleads that spiritual power may be given to them, that by the power of One mightier than all the enemies of God and man, they may be able to overcome their spiritual foes. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 5

He who knows the end from the beginning has provided for the attack of satanic agencies. And He will fulfil His word to the faithful in every age. That word is sure and steadfast; not one jot or tittle of it can fail. If men will keep under the protection of God, His banner will be over them as an impregnable fortress. He will give evidence that His Word can never fail. He will prove a light which shineth in a dark place until the day dawn. He, the Sun of Righteousness, will arise with healing in His beams. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 6

The very image of God is to be impressed upon, and reflected in, humanity. The cold heart is to be quickened and glow with divine love—a love that beats in union with the love the Redeemer has evidenced for you. No longer shall you complain that you cannot understand, for your Teacher has ascended to heaven, and His first interest is to advocate the cause of all who believe in Him. He has assured you that the Holy Spirit was given to abide with you forever, to be your pleader and your guide. He asks you to trust in Him, and commit yourself into His keeping. The Holy Spirit is constantly at work, teaching, reminding, testifying, coming to the soul as a divine Comforter, and convincing of sin as an appointed Judge and Guide. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 7

Christ was the Spirit of truth. The world would not listen to His pleadings. They would not accept Him as their guide. They could not discern unseen things; spiritual things were unknown to them. But His disciples see in Him the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And they shall have His abiding presence. They shall have an experimental knowledge of the only true God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent. To them He says, You will no more say, I cannot comprehend. No longer shall you see through a glass darkly; you shall comprehend with all saints what is the length and depth and breadth and height of the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. He who has begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of Christ Jesus. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 8

The honor of God, the honor of Jesus Christ, is involved in the perfection of your character. Your work is to co-operate with Christ, that you may be complete in Him. In being united to Him by faith, believing and receiving Him, you become part of Himself. Your character is His glory revealed in you. And when you shall appear in His presence, you will find the benediction awaiting you, “Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:23.] 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 9

Christ seeks to make the lessons which they [His disciples] do not understand, as clear as possible to their befogged minds. But the time is not far distant when every word will be made plain. Then that which Jesus has spoken to them, and which they could not grasp, is clearly comprehended as living truth. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 10

The thought that their Teacher was going to leave them filled the disciples with sorrow; but He comforted them with the assurance that He was coming again to take them to the place He would prepare for them. He assured them that if He went not away, He could not provide them with an Advocate: that if they only knew of the future blessings that were to come because of His departure, they would not mourn; they would rejoice in the presence of the Holy Spirit who was to be with them always. He told them that if He went not away, they could not do a greater work. But that deprived of His personal presence, by faith they would see and know Him, and by continuance in His love, by showing their appreciation of the truth by revealing to others what the truth is; in obeying His commandments and bearing a living, vital testimony; in doing His work that He had left in their hands, carrying it forward to completion, they would become representatives of Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 11

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you.” [John 14:27.] The world in its busy activity will try to give us peace. Its cry is, “Peace and safety,” but no dependence is to be placed in its alluring representations. [1 Thessalonians 5:3.] The spirit of truth the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not neither knoweth Him. “There is no peace, saith my God, for the wicked.” [Isaiah 57:21.] Jesus Christ is the Prince of peace. And from Him alone comes that true peace which the world can neither give nor take away. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 12

In the East the customary greeting when visiting the house of a friend was, “Peace be to this house,” and in leaving it the same words were used. [Luke 10:5.] But Christ’s farewell is of an altogether different character. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” [John 14:27.] Much is embodied in these words. They are of richest import, and will be re-echoed to earth’s remotest bounds. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 13

“For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.” [Isaiah 9:6.] Christ brought that peace with Him to the world. He came to impart that peace, that all who will believe on Him, might have a peace that passeth understanding. He, the world’s Redeemer, had carried that peace with Him throughout His earthly life, and now He had come to the time when He must give His life that the treasure of peace might ever abide in the heart by faith. He left that peace with His disciples, and He is implanting and maintaining it in the hearts of all who will welcome its presence. Many of the gifts that are made by friends do not work out for their good; but the peace that Christ leaves as His legacy, He gives not as the world giveth. His gift is of higher value than can be computed; it is eternal. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 14

“If ye loved me,” said Christ, “ye would rejoice because I said, I go unto the Father; for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, as the Father hath given me commandment, even so I do.” [John 14:28-31.] 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 15

The time had come for Satan’s last attempt to overcome Christ. But Christ declared, He hath nothing in me, no sin that brings me in his power. He can find nothing in me that responds to his satanic suggestions. No other being could say this but the One who was offering up His life as a sinless sacrifice for a sinful race. This makes Christ the Bright and Morning star, the light and the life of the world. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 16

“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” [Hebrews 9:13-15.] “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” [1 John 3:5.] “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” [2 Corinthians 5:21.] 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 17

“But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise let us go hence.” [John 14:31.] Why this severe conflict with the prince of the world, when Jesus, through His childhood, youth, and manhood, had lived the law of God? The same temptations had overtaken Christ that always afflict humanity. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 18

By a word Christ could have mastered the powers of Satan; but He came into the world that He might endure every test, every provocation, that it is possible for man to bear, and yet not be provoked or impassioned, or retaliate in word, in spirit, or in action. For the honor and glory of God He was to offer Himself a living, spotless sacrifice to the Father. This was symbolized by the red heifer upon which was to be no mar. Christ was a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. The worlds unfallen, the heavenly angels, and the fallen race, were watching every movement made by the representative of the Father, and the representative of perfect humanity. And His character was without a flaw. In His mouth was found no guile. All the humiliation which He endured was in behalf of the fallen race, that man might have the mind of Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 19

The honor of Christ must stand complete, and that honor is concerned in the perfection of the character of God’s chosen people. He desires that they shall represent His character to the world. In the work of redemption, in the sufferings He was called upon to endure, Christ was exhibiting to the world the love of God for fallen man and the perfect love which He bore His Father. He must bear under fierce temptations the test that Adam failed to endure. He suffered, being tempted; but there was no yielding to the temptations of Satan. He did as the Father had given Him commandment. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 20

The last assault would soon come. The great victory to be achieved was union with His chosen people, that, although Christ was to be removed from earth to heaven, His church might have communion with Him. And this communion, if perfected, would lead to love for one another. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 21

The church militant is not the church triumphant. At times our trials do not come singly, followed by a period of peace and rest; temptations come in as an overwhelming wave to destroy all before it. The afflictions do not create Christians, but simply develop in them the mind and will of Christ, the living principles of virtue and holiness. Even then will come temptations. And then the sons of Belial will make manifest under whose banner they are serving. While no trials arise to disturb the people of God, the faith of that people will never be known, nor the strength of the anchor that holds the human barque in safety. 12LtMs, Ms 44, 1897, par. 22