Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 22, 1905

Christ Our Only Hope

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

March 7, 1904

Portions of this manuscript are published in 17MR 31.

The message given to John on the Isle of Patmos is to come to the people as it is. The whole of the instruction found in the book of Revelation is to be dwelt upon with an intense earnestness that has not yet been seen. There are many who treat this book with as little concern as if it were a sealed book, which contains no light for the present time. But it is not sealed. It was given to John to give to the churches. 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 1

The origin of the book is given in the first verse of the first chapter: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 2

All the divine revelations given to human beings come through Christ. He is the priest and king of His church, and He unfolds to His people in every place the methods that He will use in His government. He is the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega, and He makes known that which will be hereafter. He is our Lord and Saviour. He has all light and life in Himself; and as the mediator between God and man, He presents to us that which is made known to Him by the Father. Although endowed with the attributes of God, He receives His instruction from the Father. To those who in faith receive Him as a personal Saviour, He gives power to become the sons of God, members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. He is their teacher, their guide. 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 3

Christ is declared in the Scriptures to be the Son of God. From all eternity He has sustained this relation to Jehovah. Before the foundations of the world were laid, He, the only begotten Son of God, pledged Himself to become the Redeemer of the human race should men sin. Adam fell, and He, who was partaker of the Father’s glory before the world was, laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown and stepped down from His high authority to become a babe in Bethlehem, that He might redeem fallen human beings by passing over the ground where Adam stumbled and fell. He subjected Himself to the temptations that Satan brings against men and women, and not all the assaults of the enemy could make Him swerve from His loyalty to the Father. By a sinless life, He testified that every son and daughter of Adam can resist the temptations of the one who first brought sin into the world. 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 4

Christ brought men and women power to overcome. He came to this world in human form, to live a man among men. He assumed the liabilities of human nature, to be proved and tried. In His humanity He was a partaker of the divine nature. In His incarnation he gained in a new sense the title of the Son of God. Said the angel to Mary, “The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” [Luke 1:35.] While the son of a human being, Christ became the Son of God in a new sense. Thus He stood in our world—the Son of God, yet allying Himself by birth to the human race. 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 5

Christ came to our world in human form to show the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds and the inhabitants of the fallen world that ample provision had been made to enable human beings to live in loyalty to their Creator. He endured the temptations that Satan was permitted to bring against Him and resisted all his assaults. He was sorely afflicted, and hard beset, but God did not leave Him without recognition. When He was baptized of John in Jordan, as He came up out of the water, the Spirit of God, like a dove of burnished gold, descended upon Him, and a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:16, 17.] 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 6

It was directly after this announcement that Christ was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Mark says, “Immediately the Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts.” “And in those days He did eat nothing.” [Mark 1:12, 13; Luke 4:2.] 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 7

When Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted, He was led by the Spirit of God. He did not invite temptation. He went to the wilderness to be alone, to contemplate His mission and work. By fasting and prayer He was to brace Himself for the blood-stained path He was to travel. How should He begin His work of freeing the captives held in torment by the destroyer? The voice of God said, “Meet him.” During His long fast the whole plan of His work as God’s medical missionary was laid out before Him. He must meet the one who was once an honored angel in the heavenly courts. 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 8

When Jesus entered the wilderness, He was shut in by the Father’s glory. Absorbed in communion with God, He was lifted above human weakness. But the glory departed, and He was left to battle with temptation. It was pressing upon Him every moment. His human nature shrank from the conflict that awaited Him. For forty days He fasted and prayed. Weak and emaciated from hunger, worn and haggard with mental agony, “His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.” [Isaiah 52:14.] Now was Satan’s opportunity. Now he supposed that he could overcome Christ. 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 9

There came to the Saviour, as if in answer to His prayers, one in the guise of an angel of light, and this was the message that he bore, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” [Matthew 4:3.] 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 10

Jesus met Satan with the words, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” [Verse 4.] In every temptation the weapon of His warfare was the Word of God. Satan demanded of Christ a miracle as a sign of His divinity. But that which is greater than all miracles, a firm reliance upon a “thus saith the Lord,” was a sign that could not be controverted. So long as Christ held to this position, the tempter could gain no advantage. 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 11

A familiarity with the Word of God is our only hope. Those who diligently search the Scriptures will not accept Satan’s delusions as the truth of God. No one need be overcome by the speculations presented by the enemy of God and Christ. We are not to speculate regarding points upon which the Word of God is silent. All that is necessary for our salvation is given in the Word of God. Day by day we are to make the Bible the man of our counsel. 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 12

From all eternity Christ was united with the Father, and when He took upon Himself human nature, He was still one with God. He is the link that unites God with humanity. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same.” [Hebrews 2:14.] Only through Him can we become children of God. To all who believe on Him, He gives power to become the sons of God. Thus, in a scripture sense, the heart becomes the temple of the living God. It is because Christ took human nature that men and women can become partakers of the divine nature. In Him all our hopes of eternal life are centered. 20LtMs, Ms 22, 1905, par. 13