Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 58, 1897

The Truth As It Is In Jesus


June 21, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1BC 1104; 3BC 1166; 4BC 1184; 5BC 1147; 8MR 290.

If we would win souls to the truth, we must have the truth as it is in Jesus. When prophets stood in defense of the truth, it was the words of God that were given to them. They understood the work and plan of salvation to be entered upon by the Messiah to come. But after Christ did come, after He did die as man’s sacrifice, after the typical sacrifices were fulfilled by the antitype, the old truth in the typical service was revealed in its true significance. The light from the cross of Calvary is reflected back into the Jewish age, giving character and significance to the whole Jewish economy; and on this side of the cross, in a special manner, we have the truth as it is in Jesus. Truth communicated through our Redeemer becomes indeed present truth. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 1

What a truth is presented to our senses as we gaze upon Jesus on the cross of Calvary, as we see this Wonderful, Counsellor, this mysterious Victim stooping beneath the amazing burden of our race. One clothed with humanity, although one with the Deity, was our remission. It was the transgression of the law of God that made this necessary, and yet men who are deceived and blinded by the great transgressor cannot see to the end of that which was to be abolished. They tell the people that there is no law, or that if they keep the commandments of God in this dispensation, they have fallen from grace. Amazing ignorance connected with amazing sin! 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 2

Was the penalty of transgression borne by our Surety that men might have permission to always continue in transgression of the law of God, the foundation of all law, all governments, in nations and families? What a delusion is this that Satan has fastened upon human minds in order to destroy the human family. The death of Christ was to be the convincing, everlasting argument that the law of God is as unchangeable as His throne. The agonies of the garden of Gethsemane, the insult, the mockery, and abuse heaped upon God’s dear Son, the horrors and ignominy of the crucifixion, furnish sufficient and thrilling demonstration that God’s justice, when it punishes does the work thoroughly. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 3

The fact that His own Son, the Surety for man, was not spared is an argument that will stand to all eternity before saint and sinner, before the universe of God, to testify that He will not excuse the transgressor of His law. Every offense against God’s law, however minute, is set down in the reckoning, and when the sword of justice is taken in hand, it will do the work for impenitent transgressors that was done to the divine Sufferer. Justice will strike, for God’s hatred of sin is intense and overwhelming. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 4

That the transgressor might have another trial, that man might be brought into favor with the Father, the eternal Son of God interposed Himself to bear the Father’s punishment of transgression. But in the place of the great Sacrifice abating one jot or one tittle of the Father’s law, this very fact exalts the law, elevates it, and proclaims to the worlds unfallen and to the fallen race that God’s law, the transcript of His character, is changeless, and that He will maintain His authority and sustain His law. It is Satan, the first great rebel, who has accomplished this work of deception. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 5

The destruction of the inhabitants of the old world is worthy of consideration. Why did the Lord destroy man from the face of the earth? “And the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 6

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. ... The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted His way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them, and behold, I will destroy them from the earth.” [Genesis 6:5-8, 11-13.] Sodom also was destroyed. Fire from heaven descended upon the wicked inhabitants. But Lot was saved because he did not corrupt his way before God. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 7

The very earth shook and reeled at the spectacle of God’s dear Son suffering the wrath of God for man’s transgression. The Heavens were clothed in sackcloth to hide the sight of the divine sufferer. How can any who really desire to understand be deceived in this matter? How can men harbor the thought and give expression to the deceitful suggestions of Satan the apostate, through those who trample upon the law of God, that all this suffering was to make of none effect that law? Could the Lord have done this work, and yet maintain His honor as Governor of the universe? Could He have abolished His law in order to meet man in his fallen condition? If He could have done this, Christ need not have died. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 8

Why will men be so deceived and rush on in transgression, breaking God’s law and teaching others to do the same, rushing on to the thick bosses of Jehovah’s buckler? Why will man make trial for himself? Why will he test the justice of God, whether He will venture to deal out to man unsparingly and unflinchingly the portion that is expressly declared in the Scriptures for all transgressors of His law? 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 9

God is love. He has shown that love in the gift of His only begotten Son. Yet the love of God does not excuse sin. It did not excuse it in Satan, in Adam, in Cain, nor will it be excused in any other of the children of men. The perverted nature of man distorts the love of God into attributes of weakness; but the cross of Calvary is given that man may have correct views and hold theories that are not perverted. If his senses were not bewitched with Satan’s philosophy, he could see to the end of that which was to be abolished. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 10

Those who do not close their hearts and minds to conviction will learn what the love of a holy and righteous God is. It is an amazing principle, which works in a mysterious and wonderful manner to secure the salvation of the race. And when the test is over, when men have taken sides for or against the law of Jehovah, the season of mercy and probation is ended. Then God will move in the straight line of justice to give to every man as his works have been. Some will receive the reward of well doing, others the reward of their evil deeds. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 11

The truth as it is in Jesus will teach most important lessons. It will show that the love of God is wide, and broad, and deep—that it is infinite, and that the penalty awarded to the disobedient, those who have made void His law, will be uncompromising in its penalty. This is the love and justice of God combined. It reaches to the very depths of human woe and degradation to lift up the fallen and oppressed who lay hold of the truth by repentance and faith in Jesus. God works for the good of the universe, for the good of the rebellious sinner by causing the sinner to suffer the penalty of his sin, the second death, which is death without the hope of a resurrection. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 12

The whole plan of salvation is a noble theme which is but dimly comprehended by the Christian world. Man, as now taught by men who claim to have a knowledge of the Scriptures, can never know the extent of his fallen, degraded condition. But the work and mission of Christ will reveal the truth as it is in Jesus. Man can only know the depths to which he has sunk by the wondrous chain of redemption employed to draw him up. When the theory, artfully formed by Satan, that the law of Jehovah is not binding upon the human family, is adopted and taught, man’s terrible ruin is eclipsed to his senses, so that he cannot discern it. Then God has no moral standard by which to measure character and govern the heavenly universe, the worlds unfallen, and this fallen world. The extent of our ruin can only be discerned in the light of the law of God exhibited in the cross of Calvary. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 13

The wonderful plan of redemption must be discerned in the death of Christ. There is to be a seeing to the end of that which was to be abolished, that the complete restoration may be understood. Man is not able to save himself, but the Son of God fights his battles for him, and places him on vantage ground by giving him His divine attributes. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” [2 Peter 1:2-4.] 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 14

How is man to become so favored as to have this vital connection with God? He can only receive it through Christ the Sin-bearer in behalf of all who shall repent of their sins and believe in Him. The apostle Paul speaks of this. Hear him speak: “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” [1 Corinthians 1:21.] 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 15

We know that the world by its own wisdom cannot acquire a correct knowledge of the true and living God. When Christ came to this world, clothing His divinity with humanity, the treatment He received, from the highest authorities of a nation who professed to know God, made fully manifest the strength of human reason, and wisdom. Their heart could not form correct views of God through His way and His works. A new revelation came by Jesus Christ, who represented the Father. He declared Him to the world in living His law in humanity, every specification of it. And through faith in Jesus Christ He makes it possible for man to live that law. As man accepts the righteousness of Christ, He is a partaker of the divine nature. He may keep the commandments and live the law of God as the apple of His eye. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 16

Here is the whole story of human apostasy, of human corruption, of human helplessness, and of restoration through Jesus Christ. The law of God is made void, and it is time for Him to work. He will cut short His work in righteousness. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 17

God has given His law for the regulation of the conduct of nations, of families, and of individuals. There is not one worker of wickedness, though his act be the lightest and the most secret, that escapes the denunciation of that law. The whole work of the father of lies is recorded in the statute books of heaven, and those who lend themselves to the service of Satan, to put forth and present to men the lies of Satan by precept and practice, will receive according to their deeds. Root and branch will be destroyed by the fires of the last days. Satan, the great general of apostasy, is the root, and all his workers, who teach his lies in regard to the law of God, are the branches. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 18

The truth as it is in Jesus is an acquaintance with the holy, just, and good law of God, as elevated and its immutability demonstrated by Christ. He magnified the law, expanded its every precept, and in His obedience left man an example that he also may meet its demands. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 19

Were the law understood disconnected from Christ, it would have a crushing power upon sinful men, blotting the sinner out of existence. But by understanding the law in connection with Christ, receiving Him by faith as his substitute and surety, man sees himself as a prisoner of hope. Jesus died to save men, and by thus doing He demonstrated the immutability of the law of God. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 20

The truth as it is in Jesus is obedience to every precept of Jehovah. It is heart work. Bible sanctification is not the spurious sanctification of today, which will not search the Scriptures, but trusts to good feelings and impulses rather than to the seeking for truth is for hidden treasure. Bible sanctification is to know the requirements of God and to obey them. There is a pure and holy heaven in store for those who keep God’s commandments. It is worth life-long persevering, untiring effort. Satan is on your right hand and on your left; he is before and behind; he has a dish of fables cooked up for every soul who is not cherishing the truth as it is in Jesus. The destroyer is upon you to palsy your every effort. But there is a crown of life to be won, a life that measures with the life of God. 12LtMs, Ms 58, 1897, par. 21