The Signs of the Times


October 25, 1905

Man's Utter Need


Man was originally endowed with noble powers and a well-balanced mind. He was perfect in his being, and in harmony with God. His thoughts were pure, his aims holy. But through disobedience his powers were perverted, and selfishness took the place of love. His nature became so weakened through transgression that it was impossible for him, in his own strength, to resist the power of evil. He was made captive by Satan, and would have remained so forever had not God specially interposed. It was the tempter's purpose to thwart the divine plan in man's creation, and fill the earth with woe and desolation. And he points to all this evil as the result of God's work in creating man. ST October 25, 1905, par. 1

In his sinless state, man held joyful communion with Him in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. But after his sin he could no longer find joy in holiness, and he sought to hide from the presence of God. ST October 25, 1905, par. 2

It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we can not change them. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?—Not one.” “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Education, culture the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they can not change the heart; they can not purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before man can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness. ST October 25, 1905, par. 3

“When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, ... to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” In Christ God has provided means for subduing every sinful trait and resisting every temptation, however strong. But many feel that they lack faith, and therefore they remain away from Christ. Let these souls, in their helpless unworthiness cast themselves upon the mercy of their compassionate Saviour. Look not to self, but to Christ. He who healed the sick and cast out demons when He walked among men is the same mighty Redeemer today. Faith comes by the Word of God. Then grasp the promise, “Him that cometh to Me, I will in nowise cast out.” Cast yourself at His feet with the cry, “Lord, I believe[;] help Thou mine unbelief.["] You can never perish while you do this—never. ST October 25, 1905, par. 4

Jesus knows the circumstances of every soul. He turns no weeping, contrite one away. He does not tell to any one all that He might reveal, but He bids every trembling soul take courage. Freely will He pardon all who come to Him for forgiveness and restoration. ST October 25, 1905, par. 5

Christ might commission the angels of heaven to pour out the vials of His wrath on our world, to destroy those who are filled with hatred of God. He might wipe this dark spot from His universe. But He does not do this. He is today standing at the altar of incense, presenting before God the prayers of those who desire His help. ST October 25, 1905, par. 6

The souls that turn to Him for refuge, Jesus lifts above the accusing and the strife of tongues. No man or evil angel can impeach these souls. Christ unites them to His own divine-human nature. They stand before the great Sin-bearer, in the light proceeding from the throne of God. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” ST October 25, 1905, par. 7

The work of Christ in cleansing the leper from his terrible disease is an illustration of His work in cleansing the soul from sin. The man who came to Jesus was “full of leprosy.” Its deadly poison had permeated his whole body. The disciples sought to prevent their Master from touching him, for he who touched a leper became himself unclean. But in laying His hand upon the leper, Jesus received no defilement. ST October 25, 1905, par. 8

His touch imparted life-giving power. The leprosy was cleansed. Thus it is with the leprosy of sin—deep-rooted, deadly, and impossible to be cleansed by human power. “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it, but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores.” But Jesus, coming to dwell in humanity, receives no pollution. His presence has healing virtue for the sinner. Whoever will fall at His feet, saying in faith, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean,” shall hear the answer, “I will; be thou clean.” ST October 25, 1905, par. 9

The Saviour never passed by one soul, however sunken in sin, who was willing to receive the precious truth of heaven. To publicans and harlots His words were as the beginning of a new life. Mary Magdalene, out of whom He cast seven devils, was the last at the Saviour's tomb, and the first whom He greeted in the morning of His resurrection. It was Saul of Tarsus, one of the most determined enemies of the Gospel, who became Paul, the devoted minister of Christ. ST October 25, 1905, par. 10

The dying thief, seeing in Jesus the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world, cried, “Lord, remember me when Thou comest in Thy kingdom.” ST October 25, 1905, par. 11

Quickly the answer came, full of love, compassion, and power: “Verily I say unto thee today, Thou shalt be with Me in Paradise.” ST October 25, 1905, par. 12

As Christ spoke the words of promise, the dark cloud that seemed to enshroud the cross was pierced with a bright and living light. To the penitent thief came the perfect peace of acceptance with God. Christ in His humiliation was glorified. He who in all other eyes appeared to be conquered was a conqueror. He was acknowledged as the Sin-bearer. Men might exercise power over His human body. They might pierce the holy temple with the crown of thorns. They might strip from Him His raiment, and quarrel over its division. But they could not rob Him of His power to forgive sins. In dying He bore witness to His own divinity and to the glory of the Father. His ear is not heavy that it can not hear, neither is His arm shortened that it can not save. It is His royal right to save unto the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” ST October 25, 1905, par. 13