The Signs of the Times


January 20, 1898

The Way, the Truth, and the Life—No. 3


In answer to Christ's words, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Philip Said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip?” Christ said, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” ST January 20, 1898, par. 1

Christ came to our world to reveal the Father. Whatever attractions He possessed, He manifested only those that dwell in the character of God. His words revealed the goodness, mercy, and love of the Father. His excellence was the perfection of the Father. In His every word and work may be seen the manifestation of the attributes of His Father. ST January 20, 1898, par. 2

In Christ dwelt all the fulness of the God-head. But the only way in which He could reach men was to vail His glory by a garb of humanity. The angels beheld the hiding of His glory, that divinity might touch humanity. Christ ever retained the utmost hatred for sin, but He loved the purchase of His blood. He suffered in the place of sinful men, taking them into union with Himself. This is the mystery into which angels desire to look. They desire to know how Christ could live and work in a fallen world, how He could mingle with sinful humanity. It was a mystery to them that He who hated sin with intense hatred felt the most tender, compassionate sympathy for the beings that committed sin. ST January 20, 1898, par. 3

Satan had worked long to efface the true impression of God, and to represent Him as a God having no love. This is Satan's character. He is destitute of mercy and compassion. Overbearing and revengeful, he delights in the misery that he brings on the human family. With these attributes he attempted to clothe the God of heaven. ST January 20, 1898, par. 4

Christ came to remove these unjust impressions. He came to assure men that they need not fear to approach God because of His greatness and majesty. He constantly sought to carry the attention of His hearers to God. He presented the greatness of the Father's love, declaring that He had so great a care for His children that even the hairs of their head are numbered. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without the notice of the heavenly Father. He sympathizes with all the creatures He has made, and if the heart is given into His hands, and attuned by His power, it will respond by strains of melody and thanksgiving. ST January 20, 1898, par. 5

In His wisdom the Saviour teaches us to approach God with the confidence of a child. He instructs us to call Jehovah by the endearing name of “Father,” that we may not separate from Him in awe and coldness. Constantly He points us to the emblems of fatherly love, seeking to encourage faith and confidence in God. He pleads with us to have a correct idea of the Father. He throws back the accusation of the enemy, declaring, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” He would have the memorials of redeeming grace arrest our attention, that we may know that all the goodness, mercy, patience, forbearance, seen in Him, belong to God. ST January 20, 1898, par. 6

But notwithstanding the fact that the disciples were privileged to be with Christ, and were greatly blessed by His instruction, they were slow to appropriate His words to themselves, and many times they remained in ignorance of the true meaning of the precious utterances that fell from His lips. He pleaded with them to have faith in Him. “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Is not the fruit I bear sufficient evidence? ST January 20, 1898, par. 7

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me [not with a fluctuating faith, but as the only-begotten Son of God, and a personal Saviour], the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” This promise the disciples held fast by faith, and on the day of Pentecost it was graciously fulfilled by the Lord. They were bidden not to leave Jerusalem till they had been endued with power from on high. They therefore remained in Jerusalem, fasting and praying. They emptied from their hearts all bitterness, all estrangement, all differences; for this would have prevented their prayers being as one. And when they were emptied of self, Christ filled the vacancy. The Holy Spirit came upon them, and filled all the house where they were sitting. Then was the promise fulfilled: “If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.’ ST January 20, 1898, par. 8

The Holy Spirit leads men to co-operate with God. This is the design in divine help. And in our turn we are to lead others to Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. As we engage in this work with heart and soul, we are blessed and strengthened. God stands ready to co-operate with us, but this He can not do till we do our duty. If ministers and teachers would learn the lessons given here so clearly and explicitly, a great change would take place in the ministry of the Word. They would realize their entire dependence upon God, and would work for Him with whole-hearted earnestness. The Holy Spirit would work in and through them, and the unconverted would be rescued from their insensibility. ST January 20, 1898, par. 9

The great reason why the church has not more efficiency and power is that its members love the world. They reject the Spirit of God, and fill their hearts with idols. They love the world, and the things of the world, and of all such the words of inspiration declare, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” They are not, as was Christ, in the world but not of the world. The Lord can not manifest Himself to professed Christians who love the world; for spiritual things are spiritually discerned. ST January 20, 1898, par. 10

The Holy Spirit is given to bring to our remembrance the words and works of Christ, spoken for the salvation of the soul; and if this Spirit were recognized and appreciated, spiritual life would increase one hundred-fold. But many do not choose to remember. They seek rather to forget the good impression made on mind and heart. They do not desire to yield their way for God's way. God bears long with them, and his Spirit is constantly employed to bring spiritual things to their remembrance, that subjects of vital importance may find a lodgment in their hearts. The Spirit takes of the things of God, and presents them to mind. Constantly the mind is given glimpses of God. If men listen for the voice of God, these spiritual impressions become more and more frequent, and extend from one to another till the leaven seems to go through the whole church. A divine presence hovers over the people, and a revival is the result. Souls are converted. The sympathies and energies of the people are enlisted on the side of the truth. God works in them, to will and to do of his good-pleasure, breaking the spell of the world, and engrossing the thoughts with subjects of eternal interest. ST January 20, 1898, par. 11

The most powerful motives and attractions that can be imagined are offered to reclaim man, and win him from the path of transgression to the path of humble obedience. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things?” No stronger inducement could be offered. Nothing is withheld. In Christ God gave Himself. He has enriched the world with a gift beyond all parallel. This gift is the source of all patience, forbearance, and mercy. In it is love sufficient to fill the whole world. It is of infinite value; for with it was given all that heaven could bestow. ST January 20, 1898, par. 12

Our great peril is in regarding the Lord's plans with cool indifference. All heaven is actively engaged in working out the plans of God for the salvation of an unbelieving world. How then do finite men dare to put aside God's plans for their own? By doing this, they place their souls in great peril. Shall we not respond to God's love by giving ourselves to Him without reservation, by walking in His way, by determining to do His will? Angels are enlisted in this work. They do the bidding of God by co-operating with human endeavor. They are filled with amazement; for they are unable to measure the greatness of God's love. The chosen instruments of righteousness join in the testimony, saying, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” As the followers of Christ see Him, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, they exclaim, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Charged with a special message, they proclaim Christ, and Him crucified. ST January 20, 1898, par. 13

Mrs. E. G. White