Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 121, 1897

Wessels, Brother and Sister [Peter]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

February 20, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in TMK 291, 363.

Dear Brother and Sister Wessels:

Our future, eternal happiness depends upon having our humanity, with all its capabilities and powers, brought into obedience to God, and placed under the control of divinity. Many have no faith in Jesus Christ. They say, “It was easy for Christ to obey the will of His Father; for He was divine.” But His Word declares, “He was tempted in all points like as we are.” [Hebrews 4:15.] He was tempted according to, and in proportion with, His elevation of mind; but He would not weaken or cripple His divine power by yielding to temptation. In His life on earth Christ was a representative of what humanity may be through the privileges and opportunities granted them in Him. 12LtMs, Lt 121, 1897, par. 1

“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied unto you, through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” [2 Peter 1:1-4.] Take particular notice of the fourth verse: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 12LtMs, Lt 121, 1897, par. 2

When Satan tempted our first parents, he said, “Hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? ... Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day that ye eat thereof, ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” [Genesis 3:1, 4, 5.] Thus he tried to flatter them into believing that they should be raised above the sphere of humanity. 12LtMs, Lt 121, 1897, par. 3

But Christ, by the example He has set before us, encourages the members of the human family to be men, obeying the Word of God within the sphere of their humanity. He Himself became a man, not a bond slave to Satan to work out his attributes, but a man in moral power, obedient to the law of God which is a transcript of His character. Those who would rebel against subjection to a wise and good law emanating from God, are slaves to an apostate power. Jesus became a man that He might mediate between man and God. He clothed His divinity with humanity, He associated with the human race, that with His long human arm, He might encircle humanity, and with His divine arm grasp the throne of Divinity. And this, that He might restore to man the original mind, which he lost in Eden through Satan’s alluring temptation, that man might realize that it is for his present and eternal good to obey the requirements of God. Disobedience is not in accordance with the nature which God gave to man in Eden. 12LtMs, Lt 121, 1897, par. 4

Through the moral power Christ has brought to man, we may give thanks unto God who hath made us meet for the inheritance with the saints in light. Through Jesus Christ every man may overcome in his own behalf and on his own account, standing in his own individuality of character. The Word comes to him, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] How important is the Christian faith! How our whole earthly solace hangs upon Him whose mission to earth was to give power unto men. Through His servant He declares, “For as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” [Verse 12.] 12LtMs, Lt 121, 1897, par. 5

Christ has declared that in His Father’s house are many mansions. “And if I go and prepare a place for you,” He says, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also.” [John 14:3.] When Christ lay in the tomb, His disciples called to mind these words. They pondered over them, and wept because they could not fathom the meaning of them. No faith and hope relieved the broken-hearted disciples. They could only repeat the words, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also.” 12LtMs, Lt 121, 1897, par. 6

Mansions are prepared for all who have subjected themselves in obedience to the divine law. And in order that the human family might have no excuse because of Satan’s temptations, Christ became one with them. The only Being who was one with God lived the law in humanity, descended to the lowly life of a common laborer, and toiled at the carpenter’s bench with His earthly parent. He lived the life which He requires of all who claim to be His children. Thus was cut off the powerful argument of Satan that God required of humanity a self-denial and subjection that He would not Himself render. And thus was taken from Satan’s hands the weapons he designed to use against God. 12LtMs, Lt 121, 1897, par. 7

Jesus asks no more of men than that they shall follow in His footsteps. He was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory; but for our sakes He became poor that we through His poverty might be made rich. Almost His last words to us are, “Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” [Verse 1.] In the place of being sorrowful, your hearts troubled, you should rejoice. I came into the world for your sakes. My time here is now accomplished. I shall henceforth be in heaven. For your sakes I have been an interested worker in the world. In the future I shall be engaged, just as devotedly, in a more important work in your behalf. I came into the world to redeem you; I go to prepare an abiding place for you in My Father’s kingdom. 12LtMs, Lt 121, 1897, par. 8