Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15

247/339

Ms 21, 1900

God’s Love Manifested

NP

February 16, 1900 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in AUCR 06/01/1900.

True love is not merely a sentiment or an emotion. It is a living principle, a principle that is manifest in action. True love, wherever it exists, will control the life. Thus it is with the love of God. “God is love” [1 John 4:8], and in all His works, in all His dealings with mankind, His character is revealed. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 1

God manifested His love in the work of creation. When the earth was created, it was holy and beautiful. God pronounced it “very good.” [Genesis 1:31.] Every flower, every shrub, every tree, answered the purpose of its Creator. Everything upon which the eye rested was lovely, and filled the mind with thoughts of the love of God. Every sound was music, in perfect harmony with the voice of God. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 2

The things of nature, upon which we look today, give us but a faint conception of Eden’s beauty and glory; yet the natural world with unmistakable voice proclaims the love of God. Even now “the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” [Psalm 33:5.] It still reveals the working of the great Master-Artist. It declares that One omnipotent in power, great in goodness and mercy, has created all things. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 3

The green fields, the lofty trees, the glad sunshine, the clouds, the dew, the solemn silence of the night, the glory of the starry heavens, and the moon in its beauty all bear witness to His wonder-working power. Not a drop of rain falls, not a ray of light is shed upon our unthankful world, but it testifies to God’s long forbearance and His great love. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 4

Through tempting man to sin, Satan hoped to counteract the tide of divine love flowing to the human race; but instead of this, his work resulted in calling forth new and deeper manifestations of God’s mercy and His goodness. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 5

In redemption God has revealed His love in sacrifice, a sacrifice so broad and deep and high that it is immeasurable. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 6

When Adam’s sin plunged the race into hopeless misery, God might have cut Himself loose from fallen beings. He might have treated them as sinners deserve to be treated. He might have commanded the angels of heaven to pour out upon our world the vials of His wrath. He might have removed this dark blot from His universe. But He did not do this. Instead of banishing them from His presence, He came still nearer to the fallen race. He gave His Son to become bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14.] Christ by His human relationship to men drew them close to God. He clothed His divine nature with the garb of humanity, and demonstrated before the heavenly universe, before the unfallen worlds, how much God loves the children of men. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 7

The gift of God to man is beyond all computation. Nothing was withheld. God would not permit it to be said that He could have done more or revealed to humanity a greater measure of love. In the gift of Christ He gave all heaven. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 8

The highest, who was with the Father before the world was, submitted to humiliation, that He might uplift humanity. Prophecy withdraws the veil, that we may behold the throne of heaven; that we may see upon that throne, high and lifted up, One who in human form, came to our world to suffer, to be lacerated with stripes, and bruised for our iniquities. “The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:5.] Before the heavenly universe the Lord of glory suffered in human form, that sin might be pardoned and sinners redeemed. He died that the love of God, as a mighty helper, might flow to all suffering human beings. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 9

Through yielding to sin, man placed his will under the control of Satan. He became a helpless captive in the tempter’s power. God sent His Son into our world to break the power of Satan, and to emancipate the will of man. He sent Him to proclaim liberty to the captives, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free. By pouring the whole treasury of heaven into this world, by giving us in Christ all heaven, God has purchased the will, the affections, the mind, the soul, of every human being. When man places himself under the control of God, the will becomes firm and strong to do right, the heart is cleansed from selfishness and filled with Christlike love. The mind yields to the authority of the law of love, and every thought is brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. The powers, hitherto “members of unrighteousness,” and “servants of sin,” are consecrated to the service of the God of love. [Romans 6:13, 17, 18.] 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 10

That this redemption might be ours, God withheld not even the sacrifice of Himself. He gave Himself in His Son. The Father suffered with Christ in all His humiliation and agony. He suffered as He saw the Son of His love despised and rejected by those whom He came to elevate, ennoble, and save. He saw Him hanging upon the cross, mocked and jeered at by the passers by, and He hid as it were His face from Him. He saw Christ bearing the sin of the world and dying in the sinner’s stead. The human heart knows the love of a parent for his child. We know what a mother’s love will do and suffer for her beloved one. But never can the heart of man fathom the depths of God’s self-sacrifice. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 11

O, the cross, the cross! It is set up that we may know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Only the cross can measure the length and breadth, the depth and height, of infinite love, the greatness of the Father’s sacrifice for lost humanity. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 12

And the Lord Jehovah did not deem the plan of salvation complete while invested only with His own love. By His appointment He has placed at His altar an Advocate clothed with our nature. As our Intercessor, Christ’s office work is to introduce us to God as His sons and daughters. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 13

Christ has pledged Himself to be our substitute and surety, and He neglects no one. There is an inexhaustible fund of perfect obedience accruing from His obedience. In heaven His merits, His self-denial and self-sacrifice, are treasured as incense to be offered up with the prayers of His people. As the sinner’s sincere, humble prayers ascend to the throne of God, Christ mingles with them the merits of His own life of perfect obedience. Our prayers are made fragrant by this incense. Christ has pledged Himself to intercede in our behalf, and the Father always hears the Son. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 14

This is the mystery of godliness. That Christ should take human nature, and by a life of humiliation elevate men in the scale of moral worth with God; that He should carry His adopted nature to the throne of God and there present His children to the Father, to have conferred upon them an honor exceeding that conferred upon the angels, this is the marvel of the heavenly universe, the mystery into which angels desire to look. This is love that melts the sinner’s heart. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 15

*****

And God has manifested His love in ministry. In Him all unselfish ministry has its origin. Our Father in heaven is constantly engaged in upholding the things which He has created. Every leaf grows, every flower blooms, every fruit develops, by the power of God. In Him “we live, and move, and have our being.” [Acts 17:28.] Each heartbeat, each breath, is the inspiration of Him who breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life—the inspiration of the ever-present God, the great I AM. The great and infinite God lives not unto Himself, but for the benefit and blessing of every being and every object of His creation. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 16

Satan’s principle is self-serving. The principle he attributed to God, misrepresenting His character to the world. And he led man to accept the principle of selfishness. He caused him to believe that in serving himself he would find happiness. By the Son of God this principle was to be demonstrated as false. By Him the Father was to be rightly represented. The ideal of true ministry God committed to His Son, and bade Him work it out in humanity. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 17

That His people might not be misled by the selfishness which dwells in the natural heart, and which strengthens by self-serving, Christ Himself set an example of true service. His whole life on earth was spent in ministering to others. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 18

In all the afflictions of humanity He was afflicted. He saw the work of Satan revealed in all their woe, and He made every cause of sorrow His own. With a power that never quailed, He cast out the evil spirits that possessed both mind and body. The power of love was in all His healing, and of the suffering multitudes that were brought to Him it was said, “He healed them all.” [Matthew 12:15.] 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 19

The Saviour saw a still greater need than bodily suffering. He saw symptoms of a deeper illness. The sufferings of the body excited His pity, but He was moved to still greater pity by the need of the soul. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 20

With a love that never faltered, Christ spoke to men the words of eternal life. The Word of God, which the teachers of Israel had obscured with their traditions and man-made commandments, Christ opened to the people in its purity and divine beauty. Men marvelled at His teaching, and said, “Never man spake like this man.” [John 7:46.] To the weary and sin-burdened He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He invited them, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 21

Before men and angels, by His life of obedience and ministry, Christ represented the character of God. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” [2 Corinthians 5:19.] 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 22

*****

In His work on earth, Christ lifts the veil that conceals the invisible world from our view, and reveals the power that is constantly exercised for our good. The same ministry which He performed on earth was continued after His ascension to heaven. Through His representative the Holy Spirit, God in Christ still ministers to the children of men. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 23

Before He ascended to heaven, Christ gave the disciples the promise, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever: even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him. But ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you.” [John 14:16-18.] 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 24

To those who in faith claimed this promise, it was speedily fulfilled. After Christ’s ascension the disciples were gathered together of one accord in one place. Ten days they spent in heart-searching and self-examination, each taking his own case in hand, for it had to be an individual work. As the disciples made humble supplication to God, their differences were swept away. They became of one mind. Then the way was prepared for the Holy Spirit to enter the cleansed, consecrated soul temples. Every heart was filled with the Spirit, whose influence came with copiousness and power as if it had been held in restraint for ages. What was the result? Thousands were converted in a day. The sword of the Spirit seemed new-edged with power, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow. The idolatry that had been mingled with the worship of the people was overthrown. New territory was added to the church of God. Places that had been barren and desolate sounded forth His praise. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 25

The church became a vitalizing power. Believers, themselves reconverted, were a living power for God and for His kingdom. A new song was put into their mouth, even praises to our God. Every one converted saw in His brethren and sisters the faces of angels. One interest prevailed, one subject of emulation swallowed up all others—to be like Christ, to do the works of Christ. The earnest zeal felt was expressed in kindly helpfulness, in kindly looks and brotherly love, all strove to see who could do the most for the enlargement of Christ’s kingdom. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 26

This ministry is the great need of the church today. And in Christ’s promise we are included. To us is offered the great and measureless gift of the Holy Spirit. It is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to men. If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with the Spirit. When God’s people will believe, when they will turn their attention to that which is true and living and real, the Holy Spirit, in strong heavenly currents, will be poured upon the church. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 27

*****

All the principalities and powers of the heavenly world are enlisted in the work of ministering for fallen man. Angels are actively engaged in executing God’s plans to bring man back from rebellion to reconciliation with God. With intense earnestness they are cooperating with God to bring to man moral efficiency, that in Christ he may be more than conqueror. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 28

Invisible armies of light and power attend the meek and lowly ones who believe and claim the promises of God. Cherubim and seraphim, and angels that excel in strength—“ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands”—stand at His right hand, “all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” [Revelation 5:11; Hebrews 1:14.] 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 29

*****

God has manifested His love to men by making them partakers with Himself in the work of salvation. All to whom the heavenly inspiration has come are put in trust with the gospel. “We are laborers together with God,” called to represent Him as ambassadors of love. [1 Corinthians 3:9.] We are to cooperate with the work of the delegates of heaven. And to us is committed a work which even the angels cannot do. Men must be the channel to communicate with men. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 30

Through the ministration of angels, God sends light to His people, and through His people the light is to be given to the world. Man is to be connected with his fellow men, and as God’s instrumentality work in their behalf. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 31

To us in a sense that angels cannot know it is given to unite with God in His travail for the salvation of humanity. To us it is given to swell the tide of His joy, and to bring honor and praise to His exalted name. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 32

*****

In creation and in redemption, by gift and sacrifice and service, God has manifested His love to us. And He invites us to show our love for Him. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 33

He says, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me.” [Psalm 50:23.] He desires us to appreciate the great plan of redemption, to realize our high privilege as the people of God, and to walk before Him in obedience, with grateful thanksgiving. He desires us to serve Him in newness of life, with gladness every day. He longs to see gratitude welling up in our hearts because we have access to the mercy-seat, the throne of grace, because our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life; because we may cast all our care on Him who cares for us. He bids us rejoice because we are the heritage of the Lord, because the righteousness of Christ is the robe of His saints, because we have the blessed hope of the soon coming of our Saviour. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 34

To praise God in fulness and sincerity of heart is as much a duty as is prayer. We are to show to all the heavenly intelligences that we appreciate the wonderful love of God for fallen humanity, and that we are expecting larger and yet larger blessings from His infinite fullness. Far more than we do, we need to speak of the precious chapters in our experience. After a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, our joy in the Lord and our efficiency in His service will be greatly increased by recounting His goodness and His wonderful works in behalf of His children. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 35

Such a testimony will have an influence upon others. No more effective means can we employ for winning souls to Christ. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 36

And our love is to be shown, not only in words, but in deeds, in personal ministry and sacrifice. Christ says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 7:21.] In His prayer to His Father He said of His disciples, “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” [John 17:18.] In the commission which He gave to His disciples He included all who should believe in Him to the end of time. “Go ye into all the world,” He said, “and preach the gospel to every creature.” [Mark 16:15.] “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8.] 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 37

And by the Holy Spirit through the apostle Peter, we are admonished, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” [1 Peter 4:10.] 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 38

Thus it is that God desires to fulfill for us His purpose of grace. By the power of His love, through obedience, fallen men, a worm of the dust, is to be transformed, fitted to be a member of the heavenly family, a companion through eternal ages of God and Christ and the holy angels. Heaven will triumph, for the vacancies made by the fall of Satan and his host will be filled by the redeemed of the Lord. 15LtMs, Ms 21, 1900, par. 39