The Review and Herald



January 7, 1890

Christ Revealed the Father


“And 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.” Christ came to the world to reveal the character of the Father, and to redeem the fallen race. The world's Redeemer was equal with God. His authority was as the authority of God. He declared that he had no existence separate from the Father. The authority by which he spoke, and wrought miracles, was expressly his own, yet he assures us that he and the Father are one. John bore witness of Christ, and pointed all men to him as the promised Messiah. When he beheld Jesus before him, he declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me; for he was before me.” “And of his fullness have we all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” RH January 7, 1890, par. 1

As legislator, Jesus exercised the authority of God; his commands and decisions were supported by the Sovereignty of the eternal throne. The glory of the Father was revealed in the Son; Christ made manifest the character of the Father. He was so perfectly connected with God, so completely embraced in his encircling light, that he who had seen the Son, had seen the Father. His voice was as the voice of God. Mark Christ's prayer before his crucifixion: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” Again he says, “I am in the Father, and the Father in me.” “No man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” RH January 7, 1890, par. 2

Christ was misjudged by the Jews, because he did not dwell constantly on the law as written in the tables of stone. He invited men to learn of him, for he was a living representation of the law of God. He was the only one in human garb that could stand among a nation of witnesses, and, looking round upon them, say, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” He knew that no man could point out any defect in his character or conduct. What power his spotless purity gave to his instructions, what force to his reproofs, what authority to his commands! Truth never languished on his lips, never lost any of its sacredness, because it was illustrated in the divine character of its Advocate. How simple, how clear and definite, were his utterances! Jesus declared his mission before Pilate, saying, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” RH January 7, 1890, par. 3

When Jesus spoke, it was not with hesitating uncertainty, with repetition of words and familiar figures. The truth came from his lips clothed in new and interesting representations that gave it the freshness of a new revelation. His voice was never pitched to an unnatural key, and his words came with an earnestness and assurance appropriate to their importance and the momentous consequences involved in their reception or rejection. When his doctrines were opposed, he defended them with so great zeal and certainty as to impress his hearers that he would die, if need be, to sustain the authority of his teachings. RH January 7, 1890, par. 4

Jesus was the light of the world. He came forth from God with a message of hope and salvation to the fallen sons of Adam. If men would but receive him as their personal Saviour, he promised to restore to them the image of God, and to redeem all that had been lost through sin. He presented to men the truth, without one thread of interwoven error. When he taught, his words came with authority; for he spoke with positive knowledge of the truth. RH January 7, 1890, par. 5

The teaching of men is wholly different from the teaching of Christ. There is a constant tendency on the part of man, to present his own theories and opinions as matter worthy of attention, even when they have no foundation in truth. Men are very tenacious for their erroneous ideas and idle opinions. They will hold firmly to the traditions of men, and defend them as vigorously as if they were the veritable truth. Jesus declared that every one that was of the truth would hear his voice. RH January 7, 1890, par. 6

How much more power would attend the preaching of the word today, if men dwelt less upon the theories and arguments of men, and far more upon the lessons of Christ, and upon practical godliness. He who had stood in the counsel of God, who had dwelt in his presence, was well acquainted with the origin and elements of truth, and understood its relation and importance to man. He presented to the world the plan of salvation, and unfolded truth of the highest order, even the words of eternal life. RH January 7, 1890, par. 7

Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles spoke as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and they plainly stated that they spoke not by their own power, nor in their own name. They desired that no credit might be ascribed to them, that no one might regard them as the originators of anything whereof they might glory. They were jealous for the honor of God, to whom all praise belongs. They declared that their ability and the messages they brought, were given them as delegates of the power of God. God was their authority and sufficiency. Jesus had imparted a knowledge of God to patriarchs, prophets, and apostles. The revelations of the Old Testament were emphatically the unfoldings of the gospel, the unveiling of the purpose and will of the infinite Father. Through the holy men of old, Christ labored for the salvation of fallen humanity. And when he came to the world it was with the same message of redemption from sin, and restoration to the favor of God. RH January 7, 1890, par. 8

Christ is the Author of all truth. Every brilliant conception, every thought of wisdom, every capacity and talent of men, is the gift of Christ. He borrowed no new ideas from humanity; for he originated all. But when he came to earth, he found the bright gems of truth which he had intrusted to man, all buried up in superstition and tradition. Truths of most vital importance were placed in the frame-work of error, to serve the purpose of the arch-deceiver. The opinions of men, the most popular sentiments of the people, were glossed over with the appearance of truth, and were presented as the genuine gems of heaven, worthy of attention and reverence. But Christ swept away erroneous theories of every grade. No one save the world's Redeemer had power to present the truth in its primitive purity, divested of the error that Satan had accumulated to hide its heavenly beauty. RH January 7, 1890, par. 9

Some of the truths that Christ spoke were familiar to the people. They had heard them from the lips of priests and rulers, and from men of thought; but for all that, they were distinctively the thoughts of Christ. He had given them to men in trust, to be communicated to the world. On every occasion he proclaimed the particular truth he thought appropriate for the needs of his hearers, whether the ideas had been expressed before or not. RH January 7, 1890, par. 10

The work of Christ was to take the truth of which the people were in want, and separate it from error, and present it free from the superstitions of the world, that the people might accept it on its own intrinsic and eternal merit. He dispersed the mists of doubt, that the truth might be revealed, and shed distinct rays of light into the darkness of men's hearts. He placed the truth in clear contrast with error, that it might appear as truth before the people. But how few appreciate the value of the work that Christ was doing! How few in our day have a just conception of the preciousness of the lessons which he gave to his disciples. RH January 7, 1890, par. 11

He proved himself to be the way, the truth, the life. He sought to attract the minds of men from the passing pleasures of this life to the unseen and eternal realities. Views of heavenly things do not incapacitate men and women for the duties of this life, but rather render them more efficient and faithful. Although the grand realities of the eternal world seem to charm the mind, engross the attention, and enrapture the whole being, yet with spiritual enlightenment there comes a calm, heaven-born diligence, that enables the Christian to take pleasure in the performance of the commonplace duties of life. Our daily cares and responsibilities are tests by which it is manifested whether or not we will be found faithful in little things, that we may be intrusted with greater responsibilities. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” He who has faithfully employed his talents for his Master, will hear from his lips the words of approbation, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” RH January 7, 1890, par. 12

Satan has worked continually to eclipse the glories of the future world, and to attract the whole attention to the things of this life. He has striven so to arrange matters that our thought, our anxiety, our labor might be so fully employed in temporal things, that we should not see or realize the value of eternal realities. The world and its cares have too large a place, while Jesus and heavenly things have altogether too small a share in our thoughts and affections. We should conscientiously discharge all the duties of every-day life, but it is also essential that we should cultivate above everything else, holy affection for our Lord Jesus Christ. The greatest hindrance to our spiritual growth is a neglect to exercise the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. There is much blind unbelief in the promises that have been left on record for our comfort and support. We need a more intelligent knowledge of the Bible, that we may understand what is the revealed will of God. RH January 7, 1890, par. 13

The objects of time and sense engross the mind so fully that we scarcely look heavenward. The spiritual and eternal are so obscured by common, earthly things that we do not appreciate their worth and importance. We do not improve our opportunity to study the word of God as we should. The contemplation of the love of God, manifested in the gift of his Son for the salvation of fallen men, will stir the heart and arouse the powers of the soul as nothing else will. The work of redemption is a marvelous work, it is a mystery in the universe of God. But how indifferent are the objects of such matchless grace! The apostle says, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” If our senses had not been blunted by sin, and by contemplation of the dark pictures that Satan is constantly presenting before us, a fervent and continuous flow of gratitude would go out from our hearts toward Him who daily loads us with benefits of which we are wholly undeserving. The everlasting song of the redeemed will be praise to Him who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; and if we ever sing that song before the throne of God, we must learn it here. If we meditate upon the love of God, all our habits will indicate that we are preserved in a well-balanced, healthful condition, and our spiritual powers will increase as we exercise them in faith and prayer, and active service for God. We need that living faith that works and by works is made perfect. RH January 7, 1890, par. 14