Sermons and Talks, vol. 2


Chapter 29—The Divine-Human Christ Set Forth in Revelation

Manuscript 155, 1902

[Sermon preached Sabbath, November 22, 1902, at the Sanitarium Chapel, St. Helena, California. One line from this manuscript appears in Manuscript Release No. 115.]

“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: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw” [Revelation 1:1, 2]. In the next verse a blessing is pronounced by the Lord through His servant John upon all who read and all who hear the book of Revelation: “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” 2SAT 213.1

It is our privilege to know something in regard to this book that many ministers say cannot be understood. To many, the Revelation is a closed book. But we are to know “what saith the Scriptures,” and we are also to understand their meaning. We should understand the book of Revelation much better than we do. The blessing pronounced upon those who read, and hear, and keep the words of this prophecy may be ours. If we take up the study of this book in a receptive frame of mind, with hearts susceptible to divine impressions, the truths revealed will have a sanctifying influence upon us. 2SAT 213.2

The Revelation was written to the seven churches of Asia, which represented the people of God throughout the world. “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come: and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.” Banished to the solitude of the Isle of Patmos, John was favored with the presence of Jesus Christ. 2SAT 213.3

How comforting are the words of the aged apostle as he wrote of his Saviour to the churches! “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” Many, many times these words have comforted me. 2SAT 213.4

“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.” Let us consider this prophecy. We should realize that whether we be saved or whether we be lost, we shall sometime see the Saviour as He is, in all His glory, and shall understand His character. At His second coming conviction will be brought to every heart. Those who have cast Him aside, those who have turned from Him to the trivial things of this earth, those who in this life have sought their own interests and glory, will in the day of His coming acknowledge their mistake. These are the ones who, in the language of the Revelator, are spoken of as “all kindreds of the earth” who “shall wail because of Him.” Let us not be content to be numbered among the “kindreds of the earth.” Our citizenship is in heaven, and we are to lay hold on the hope set before us in the gospel. 2SAT 213.5

“And they also which pierced Him.” Not only does this apply to those who last saw Christ when He hung on the cross of Calvary, but to those who by wrong words and actions are piercing Him today. Daily He suffers the agonies of crucifixion. Daily men and women are piercing Him by dishonoring Him, by refusing to do His will. And did He not suffer before He came to this earth as a man among men? The nation that He purposed to lead from Egypt into Canaan rejected Him more than once. During the forty years of wilderness wandering, even though He fed His chosen people with manna and protected them from harm, they resisted His evidences of truth, failed to recognize His light and power, were unmindful of His miracles, and as the result fell in the wilderness, never entering the promised land. The Lord could not fulfill His purpose through them. And why? Because they never left their childhood ways. They failed to overcome their wrong traits of character. Although grown up to the full stature of men and women, they brought into manhood and womanhood the defects of childhood. 2SAT 214.1

So it is today. The Lord desires us to be men and women in Christ Jesus. Our natural dispositions are to be softened and subdued by His grace. Then we shall not be continually crucifying Him afresh. We have a Saviour who has lived a perfect life on this earth. He is our Example. He gave His life for our redemption. If in this life we follow Him, doing His will in all things, in the future life we shall live with Him forever. 2SAT 214.2

So long as I live, I desire to keep Christ in view. This is my life purpose. This is what I am living for—to glorify Christ and to make sure of life eternal. This is the great purpose that should inspire everyone. We want to know Him whom to know aright is peace and joy and life everlasting. 2SAT 214.3

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. I, John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ [we need to cultivate Christlike patience], was in the isle that is called Patmos.” Why was he there? “For the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” 2SAT 214.4

In his old age the apostle was talking of Christ, and the people were tired of hearing his testimony, which was a rebuke of their stubborn refusal to accept Christ as their Saviour. They rejected the One who, if they had repented and believed on Him, could have given them power to become the sons of God. They thought that if they could rid themselves of John's testimony, so annoying to their peace of mind, they would feel much more comfortable. So they banished him to this rocky isle. 2SAT 215.1

But in sending him here, they did not place him beyond the reach of Jesus, for on this very isle John was given a most wonderful revelation of His Saviour and of things that were to come to pass on the earth. And it was on the Isle of Patmos, too, that he wrote out the record of his visions that we are studying today. This testimony that Christ commanded John to write to all the churches was light that God designed should be immortalized and remain present truth until all the events foretold should come to pass. 2SAT 215.2

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day,” the prophet declared, “and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying” [Revelation 1:11-20, quoted]. 2SAT 215.3

It may seem wonderful to us that John saw Christ as He is, and that Christ addressed Himself to the churches. But we should remember that the church, enfeebled and defective though it be, is the only object on earth on which Christ bestows His supreme regard. He is constantly watching it with solicitude, and is strengthening it by His Holy Spirit. Will we, as members of His church, allow Him to impress our minds and to work through us to His glory? Will we hear the messages that He addresses to the church, and take heed to them? We desire to be among the number who shall meet Him with joy when they see Him as He is. We do not wish to be among those who “shall wail because of Him” when they see Him as He is. Let us make our redemption certain by listening to and obeying the messages that He gives to His church. 2SAT 215.4

[Revelation 2:1-3, quoted.] 2SAT 215.5

“Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.” Christ's presence is constantly with His church. Constantly He is imparting knowledge and grace to His representatives; and He expects them to impart to others the gifts they receive. To His disciples He says, “Go, go!” As the disciples were conversing with Him just before His ascension, He gave them the gospel commission. “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth,” He declared. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” 2SAT 215.6

Do we believe Christ's words? If I did not, I assure you I would not be traveling from place to place as I have traveled for so many years, to bear my testimony at large general meetings. Even this year I have attended three camp meetings. The twenty-sixth of this month I shall be seventy-five years of age. Since I was sixteen years old, I have been working continuously, speaking in public congregations to the people as God bade me speak. I have passed through much suffering and affliction, but the Saviour has ever sustained me. What could I have done without His help? 2SAT 216.1

He sympathizes with me in every pang of anguish that I feel. Manifold are the times that His hand has been upon me for good. Time and again He has restored me from sickness and suffering to health. Even when my friends have thought I was dead, the Lord has brought me to life again and given me the message, “Go, go, and tell others the things that I have revealed to you.” This has been my work. The comfort of the Holy Spirit is worth everything to me. I understand what it means. I know that my Saviour is more glorious and lovely than any language can picture. He is the One altogether lovely, the Chiefest among ten thousand. I know by experience that He is a loving, compassionate Redeemer, and I desire that everybody else shall learn to love Him. 2SAT 216.2

The brethren and sisters in the Ephesian church were admonished to cherish love for Christ and for one another. After commending their good works, the Saviour said, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” 2SAT 216.3

We need all the light we can receive from our Saviour. We cannot afford to walk in darkness, without God, without hope. Christ is walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks—His church—beholding the works of His professed disciples. We need to pray for His Spirit, that we may work the works of God. 2SAT 216.4

In the third chapter we read: [Revelation 3:1-4, quoted]. 2SAT 217.1

Are we among the number who are “worthy”? or have we cherished the defects of our childhood? Those who desire to be representatives of Christ must put away everything that is unlike Him. He came to our world in order that He might give to mankind a representation of His Father's character. 2SAT 217.2

He came not in His glory, surrounded by a retinue of holy angels to minister to His every need. He came not to show His superiority. Leaving His high command in the heavenly courts, and laying aside His kingly crown and royal robe, He clothed His divinity with humanity, and entered the world as a helpless babe. For our sake He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. 2SAT 217.3

If His divine nature had not been clothed with the garb of humanity, Christ could not have associated with the fallen race and have become their Redeemer. It was necessary for Him to know the power of all our temptations, to pass through all the trials and afflictions that we are called to pass through, in order to be indeed a Saviour. In all our afflictions He was afflicted. Satan, the powerful foe who had been turned out of heaven, had long claimed to have dominion on the earth, and Christ came to conquer this foe, in order that we might, through divine grace, also obtain the victory over the enemy of our souls. Standing at the head of humanity, Christ by His perfect obedience demonstrated to the universe that man could keep the commandments of God. 2SAT 217.4

Under all circumstances—whether in prosperity or in adversity, whether received or rejected, whether at the marriage feast or suffering the pangs of hunger—Christ remained faithful to every precept of God's law, and wrought out for our example a perfect life. He has endured every hardship that comes to the poor and the afflicted. Without sin He has suffered weariness and hunger. He understands every inconvenience to which we may be put. From childhood to manhood He stood the test of obedience. 2SAT 217.5

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 into 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 must travel. But Satan knew that the Saviour had gone into the wilderness, and he thought this was the best time to approach Him. Weak and emaciated from hunger, worn and haggard with mental agony, Christ's “visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.” Now was Satan's opportunity. Now he supposed that he could overcome Christ. 2SAT 217.6

The first temptation was on the point of appetite. There came to the Saviour, as if in answer to His prayers, one in the guise of an angel from heaven. He claimed to have a commission from God to declare that Christ's fast was at an end. The Saviour was faint from hunger, He was craving for food when Satan came suddenly upon Him. Pointing to the stones which strewed the desert, and which had the appearance of loaves of bread, the tempter said, “If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” 2SAT 218.1

Though he appears as an angel of light, these first words betray his character. “If Thou be the Son of God.” Here is the insinuation of distrust. Should Jesus do that which Satan suggests, it would be an acceptance of the doubt. If Christ's confidence in God could be shaken, Satan knew that the victory in the whole controversy would be his. He hoped that under the force of despondency and extreme hunger, Christ would lose faith in His Father and work a miracle in His own behalf. 2SAT 218.2

Not without a struggle could Jesus listen in silence to the arch-deceiver. But the Son of God was not to prove His divinity to Satan. He met the tempter with the words of Scripture. “It is written,” He said, “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” In every temptation the weapon of His warfare was the Word of God. 2SAT 218.3

When Christ said to the tempter, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” He repeated the words that, more than fourteen hundred years before, He had spoken to Israel. And the same words are written for our admonition. We are to commune with the One who gives us life, the One who keeps the heart in motion and the pulse beating. God is giving the breath of life to every member of His great family here below. He deserves your sincere reverence, your earnest devotion. When you consider what He has done for you, how can you help but love Him? He has given His Son as a propitiation for sin, in order that you might stand on vantage ground with God. 2SAT 218.4

If the world should recognize the claims of God upon them, we would not see and hear of the awful sins that are now so common; we would not read of the murders, the wickedness, and the tyranny daily chronicled in the newspapers. Like the antediluvians, the inhabitants of the world have almost entirely forgotten God and His law. 2SAT 218.5

The second temptation was on the point of presumption. “The devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.” Satan now supposes that he has met Jesus on His own ground. 2SAT 218.6

The wily foe himself presents words that proceeded from the mouth of God. He makes it evident that he is acquainted with the Scriptures. But when he quoted the promise, “He shall give His angels charge over Thee,” he omitted the words, “to keep Thee in all Thy ways,” that is, in all the ways of God's choosing. Jesus refused to go outside the path of obedience. He would not force Providence to come to His rescue, and thus fail of giving man an example of trust and submission. Never did He work a miracle in His own behalf. His wonderful works were all for the good of others. Jesus declared to Satan, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” God will preserve all who walk in the path of obedience, but to depart from it is to venture on Satan's ground. There we are sure to fall. The Saviour has bidden us, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” 2SAT 219.1

Jesus was victor in the second temptation, and now Satan manifests himself in his true character, claiming to be the god of this world. Placing Jesus upon a high mountain, Satan caused the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, to pass in panoramic view before Him. The eyes of Jesus, so lately greeted by gloom and desolation, now gazed upon a scene of unsurpassed loveliness and prosperity. Then the tempter's voice was heard, “All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If Thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be Thine” [Luke 4:6]. 2SAT 219.2

Christ's mission could be fulfilled only through suffering. Before Him was a life of sorrow, hardship, and conflict, and an ignominious death. But now Christ might deliver Himself from the dreadful future by acknowledging the supremacy of Satan. But to do this was to yield the victory in the great controversy. Christ declared to the tempter, “Get thee behind Me, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Christ's divinity flashed through suffering humanity. Satan had no power to resist the command to depart. Humiliated and enraged, he was forced to withdraw from the presence of the world's Redeemer. 2SAT 219.3

After the foe had departed, Jesus fell exhausted to the earth. He had endured the test, but He now was fainting on the field of battle. What hand was there to be put beneath His head? How was He to be given care and nourishment, that He might regain His strength? Was He to be left to perish after gaining the victory? Oh, no; the angels of heaven had watched the conflict with intense interest, and they now came and ministered to the Son of God as He lay like one dying. He was strengthened with food, comforted with the message of His Father's love and the assurance that all heaven triumphed in His victory. He returned from the wilderness to proclaim with power His message of mercy and salvation. 2SAT 219.4

What if Satan had gained the victory? What hope would we have had? Christ came to reveal to worlds unfallen, to angels, and to men that in God's law there is no restriction that man cannot obey. He came to represent God in humanity. He met every requirement that man is asked to meet. It was just after submitting to the rite of baptism that He received His final preparation for the great work before Him. 2SAT 220.1

When Jesus came to be baptized, John shrank from granting His request. How could he, a sinner, baptize the sinless One? “I have need to be baptized of Thee,” he exclaimed, “and comest Thou to me?” Jesus answered, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” John yielded, and buried his Lord beneath the water. Straightway coming up out of the water, Christ bowed in prayer on the riverbank. And for what did He pray? He lifted up His soul unto God in behalf of fallen humanity, and for strength to fulfill His mission. Upon His arm depended the salvation of the fallen race, and He reached out His hand to grasp the hand of Omnipotent Love. He asked for the witness that God accepted humanity in the person of His Son. 2SAT 220.2

The Father Himself answered the petition of His Son. Direct from the throne issued the beams of His glory. The heavens were opened, and upon the Saviour's head descended a dove of burnished gold—fit emblem of Him, the meek and lowly One. A heavenly light encircled the Son of man; and from the highest heaven was heard the words, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 2SAT 220.3

This answer to Christ's prayer is to us a pledge that God will hear and answer our petitions. In His humanity Christ cleaved through Satan's hellish shadow and reached the throne of the Infinite. His prayer was heard by the Father. In like manner our prayers find acceptance in the courts of heaven. The voice that spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, “This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.” 2SAT 220.4

Having access, as we do, to the Source of all strength, why should we be content to remain so weak that we yield to the temptations of the enemy? Having so great an assurance of power to enable us to overcome, why are we so faithless? Why do we not overcome every time we are tempted to be hasty in speech? We should pray much more than we do. In every hour of trial we may find victory through the strength given in answer to prevailing prayer. 2SAT 221.1

As Satan failed utterly in his attempt to cause Christ to sin, so he will fail of overcoming us, if we will act sensibly, in accordance with the light given in God's Word. Years ago I made up my mind that when the enemy tempted me to speak hastily because I felt that I was treated unjustly and wickedly, I would not open my lips. If I should speak even one word in reply, the enemy would be almost sure to gain the victory. We must learn to keep silent. In silence there is eloquence. When fighting battles with the forces of darkness, let us keep our tongues bridled. Then we shall be victorious. 2SAT 221.2

The wicked will finally perish. We do not desire to perish with them. We desire to live a life that measures with the life of God. We desire to see the King in His beauty. We desire to behold the Lord Jesus when He comes with power and great glory. To this end we desire to overcome in every trial, for Christ declares, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” 2SAT 221.3

There is a heaven to win and a hell to shun. Men and women should be in earnest in regard to matters of eternal interest. Our work is to lead others to lay hold on the strength of the Mighty One. With His long human arm Christ encircles the fallen race, while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite. He has opened the way, so that the most sinful may find access to the Father. He declares, “I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” 2SAT 221.4

In God's sight we are all little children. Those who have grown up to manhood and womanhood, those who have acquired the greatest amount of learning, those who stand at the head of the nobility of this earth, those to whose lot has fallen much of the riches and honor of this world, are in God's sight no more than little children. They are counted by Him as the small dust of the balance. “What is man,” the psalmist inquires, “that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?” “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing.” 2SAT 221.5

Notwithstanding the small value of the inhabitants of this world in comparison with all the rest of the universe, Christ volunteered to take upon Himself the nature of humanity, and to bear on His own divine soul all the sins of mankind, in order that He might redeem the fallen race and enable them to gain life eternal. In view of His infinite sacrifice, how cruel it is for men and women to refuse to accept the great salvation offered them, or to misrepresent their Saviour after professing to give themselves wholly to His service! How cruel of them to doubt that He will hear their prayers! He says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” 2SAT 222.1

Christ represents Himself as sustaining the same tender relation to us that a father sustains to his children. “What man is there of you,” He inquires, “whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” He is willing to give the Holy Spirit to everyone who asks in faith. Why are we so weak, so faithless? Why do we cherish defects of character? Why do we not always come to our heavenly Father, to ask in simple, childlike faith for the things that we need? 2SAT 222.2

John speaks of Christians as “little children,” and this is what all the members of God's family on earth are. In knowledge and understanding we are nothing but babes. Christ volunteered to teach us in a language so simple that all can understand. No one needs to use a dictionary in order to comprehend the meaning of the simple words He uses in telling us how to gain eternal life. 2SAT 222.3

To His church Christ bears the consolation: “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” 2SAT 222.4

When Christ ascended to heaven at the close of His earthly ministry, the gates of the city of God were thrown back upon their glittering hinges, and He entered as a conqueror, there to take up in the heavenly sanctuary His ministry in behalf of those for whom He had given His life. The divine-human Son of God is now standing before the Father, pleading our cases and making atonement for our transgressions. Thus He confesses our names before His Father and before the angels. His hands still bear the marks of the crucifixion. He exclaims, “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands!” He desires that we shall finally enter the heavenly city as conquerors. 2SAT 222.5

Through the grace that He constantly imparts to humanity, He is preparing a people to live with Him throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. And every one who chooses to follow Him may receive this preparation. Let us glorify His name by accepting the salvation so freely offered to us. 2SAT 223.1

[Revelation 3:7, 8, quoted.] 2SAT 223.2

Christ has wrought for us and obtained an everlasting victory, in order that He might open the door of heaven and close the door of Satan's devices. He does not restrict His blessings to a few. In the first chapter of the gospel of John we read, “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” 2SAT 223.3

[Revelation 3:10-12, quoted.] 2SAT 223.4

Every advantage has been given us to make possible our salvation. For us Christ hung on Calvary's cross. For our sake He was laid in the tomb. When He rose from the dead He proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” He is indeed our life, if we are faithful representatives of Him. We cannot afford to be representatives of Satan and do as sinners do, for we should have to endure the suffering that comes to them and share their final reward. 2SAT 223.5

The path of disobedience leads to eternal death. The path of obedience leads to eternal life. “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” When the redeemed from all the nations of the earth enter their heavenly home, they will have free access to the tree of life. No angel with flaming sword will stand guard, as it was necessary for an angel to do after Adam and Eve sinned. 2SAT 223.6

To the overcomer is promised a crown of immortal glory and a life that measures with the life of God. The overcomer will have a whole heaven of bliss, with no tempting devil, no sorrow, sickness, pain, or death. I desire to know more about heaven, and I am determined by God's grace to be there. Let us all strive to obtain an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, where we shall be surrounded with beautiful objects surpassing by far anything that we could imagine. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” 2SAT 223.7

Oh, we desire that the sick and the suffering and the afflicted shall see the beautiful glories that Christ is preparing for us. Dear friends, we hope to meet you around the throne of God. I want to be there. I want to see the King in His beauty. I want to see the whole heavenly host casting their glittering crowns at the feet of Jesus, and then touching their golden harps, and filling all heaven with rich music and with songs to the Lamb. 2SAT 224.1

Will you be there? God wants you to be there; Christ wants you to be there; the angels want you to be there. To this end let us diligently study the book of Revelation, remembering always that the Lord declares, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” Let us ever remember the promise, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”—Ms 155, 1902 (MR 900.68). 2SAT 224.2

Ellen G. White Estate
Silver Spring, Maryland
May 9, 1991. Entire Ms.