The Signs of the Times


January 13, 1898

The Way, the Truth, and the Life—No. 2


In the announcement, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” Christ by no means pointed His disciples to a new way. Since the days of Adam, the Lord has had His representatives, men who have kept alive the influences imparted to them from heaven. Since the first Gospel sermon was preached, when in Eden it was declared that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, Christ has been uplifted as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The same Christ that is at work today among all classes of people, was at work in the days when Adam lived, when Abel died by the hand of his brother because he presented to God the blood of the slain lamb, representing the blood of Christ. Abel's faithful adherence to God's commands in bringing a lamb as his sacrifice, offended Cain. He had another way, and this way he wanted Abel to follow, instead of following the way of the Lord. Abel would not yield God's way for the way of his brother, and he was murdered. But tho dead, Abel yet speaks. ST January 13, 1898, par. 1

Enoch was one of God's representatives. During his life on earth he walked with God, and God took him to heaven without seeing death. Enoch prophesied of the great event which is the consummation of all things earthly,—the second coming of Christ. Noah's persevering righteousness and faith made him a representative man. The deep, earnest fidelity of Abraham cause him to be called by God “the father of the faithful.” For his self-sacrificing zeal Moses received the testimony that he was the meekest and most humble of all the human family. These were characters illustrious for spirituality and moral excellence. ST January 13, 1898, par. 2

In every age Christ has been the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He was the Originator and foundation of the Jewish economy. In the pillar of cloud He guided the children of Israel in their wanderings. Everything was adjusted and arranged by the hand of Divinity. And all the knowledge that came direct from God to them, all the power and glory of that ancient economy, had been poured into the treasury of the Christian church. Nothing has been lost. The accumulated light of generations is given to the church of today, not to be hoarded, but to be circulated. Messengers are to be sent to every part of the earth, proclaiming Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. ST January 13, 1898, par. 3

The earthly temple is no more. Its mysterious vail has been rent asunder; its sacred vessels have been demolished, and the Jewish people are scattered to every part of the world. But the judgments that fell on that nation are a symbol of those that will fall on all who, like Jerusalem, know not the time of their visitation. Let not man mock the ancient Jewish economy, of which Christ was the Originator, and the One to whom the types and shadows pointed. In these types and shadows is revealed the everlasting Gospel. ST January 13, 1898, par. 4

The idea that the Old Testament no longer possesses vital interest because the New Testament has been written, is an idea fatal to the soul of him who believes it. Both the Old Testament and the New are necessary. The New Testament does not contain another Gospel, a new religion. It is but the unfolding of the Old. The past ages are of peculiar value to us; and those who are ignorant of the Scriptures, and of the power of God as manifest in the history of His people, understand but dimly the manner of His working. ST January 13, 1898, par. 5

In the Scriptures the past is brought down to our time. The Word of God offers us the treasures of inspired wisdom that have been accumulating from age to age. Before us are examples of piety and devotion. The lives of these men have been placed on record, not to exalt them, but to make us wise unto salvation, to show us the errors and mistakes of good men, and to lead us to imitate their virtues. Let those who talk of the patriarchal and prophetic age as a Christless age, read their Bibles with humble heart, praying for power to follow the example of holy men of God. ST January 13, 1898, par. 6

Christ was the way by which patriarchs and prophets were saved, and to pour contempt upon this way is to pour contempt upon Christ, enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, and giving directions to Moses to be given to the children of Israel. There was plenty of light in the old way to lead every soul to the abodes of bliss. ST January 13, 1898, par. 7

The prophets of God spoke less for their own time than for the ages to come, and especially for the generation that would live amid the last scenes of this earth's history. “Not unto themselves but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, which things the angels desire to look into.” “All these things happened unto them for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” The prophets and apostles meet and unite their witness, testifying of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. The wonderful events in the history of the children of Israel are not to be lost sight of or ignored because of the lapse of time. They are jewels of truth that have been placed in false settings. Christ came to redeem them from error, and to reset them in the framework of truth, that they might shine in their native purity and attractive loveliness. By Him they have been made to give forth a brighter and more powerful luster than ever before. ST January 13, 1898, par. 8

The patriarchs and prophets were representative men, and through them, from century to century, a flood of knowledge was poured into the world. Adam, repentant and converted, was a Christian; Abel was a Christian; Enoch was a Christian; Noah was a Christian; Abraham was a Christian. In types and symbols the Gospel was revealed to those of former dispensations. The Old Testament Scriptures show us the power possessed by those who looked to Christ. The glorious beams of continually-increasing light are all concentrated in our time. All testify of Christ, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” But never was this truth so clearly defined as in Christ's answer to the words, “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest, and how can we know the way.” Christ is revealed to us in His first advent. We see Him sacrificing riches, power, and glory for poverty, temptation, privation, and suffering. ST January 13, 1898, par. 9

Christ is indeed the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There are not many ways to heaven. Each one may not choose his own way. Christ says: “I am the Way.... No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” Unless we are individually in this way, we can not reach the heavenly mansions. The Question for each one to ask himself is, Am I following Christ because I know that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life? Am I in the path that leads to perfect obedience? Those who walk in this way never lose their strength, but constantly receive new power for their heavenward march. ST January 13, 1898, par. 10

Mrs. E. G. White