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The title of this particular study, this presentation, is “The Word Made Flesh,” and it is a very important topic to consider. We need to consider the divinity of Jesus Christ, and its significance, not only to us as our substitute but its significance to us as our example as well. This is a precious and deeply spiritual truth, one that we must understand but cannot understand except we have God’s Holy Spirit working in our behalf. {Audio starts from this point:} So again, would you please join me on your knees and let’s ask for God’s Spirit to be with us.

My Father in heaven, in Jesus’ name, I come, confident that because he is my intercessor you hear this prayer just now. Oh, I thank you for the blood and I thank you for the righteousness that, added to this prayer, makes it acceptable to your ears. Father, without the blood and without the righteousness, I would have no hope of an audience with you, but with such I’m confident that I do. And Lord, I have a request; please grant it. And that is for your Holy Spirit for myself and for my blood-bought brothers and sisters here. Father, we’re not deserving of such a precious gift but we are needy and Jesus is deserving. Bless us with it in and through him, I pray. Lord, I pray that you would take this earthen vessel and, in spite of its limitations, in spite of the smallness of my understanding of these precious truths, oh, Father, I’m but a child and the truth is so grand and so marvelous, so deep, so broad, so infinite that as I even get just glimpses of it, I’m so overwhelmed with my inadequacies to rightly present the truth. But Father, in spite of all the limitations of that which is finite, not only finite but that which is sin-damaged, I pray, Lord, that you would proclaim the truth through me in a way that by your Spirit will come home to the hearts and to the understanding of those here who are willing and ready to hear. My Father, may all that is said and done be to your name’s honor and glory. Seal my lips, Lord, I pray thee, from saying anything that would mislead anyone. You know that is my greatest fear, my Father. Prevent me from distorting the truth, I pray, for the sake and in the name of him who is the truth. Amen.

Turn with me to John, please, in your Bibles. Chapter 1. John 1. Familiar words to us. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” These words clearly point to the eternal pre-existent, self-existent nature of the Word who became flesh, the Son of God. In the beginning was the Word. Not began or came into beginning but was. What is this beginning? Verse 3: “All things were made through him and without him nothing was made that was made.” It is the beginning of the creative work of God. At that point when God first began to create, the Word existed already. He already was. The Word was with God. Not with men or angels or any other created being, for there were no other created beings in the beginning. Only the self-existent Creator, Godhead, the Us of Genesis 1:26, that said: “Let us make man in our image.”

Now tell me, how long was there only the self-existent Godhead prior to the creation of the first being? For an eternity. Precisely. For God is without beginning. For an eternity. During these ceaseless ages without beginning, of necessity God always existed in plurality, the Us, the triune God. Why? For God is love and by definition love must be shared. With no created being with whom to share his love, he can still be a God of love. Why? For even then, before there was a created being, there always had been the Word with whom he could share his love. “And the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

Verse 3: “All things were made through him and without him nothing was made that was made. Note. All things. Not all other things, himself excluded. But what? All things. All worlds, all creatures, all created intelligent beings. And without him nothing was made that was made. If he made all things, he had to exist before all things and could not himself be created or made. Is that not the only conclusion we can come to?

Review and Herald, April 5, 1906: “If Christ made all things, he existed before all things. Christ was God essentially and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore. The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person yet one with the Father.” Praise God that he was God, this Word that became flesh.

Colossians 1:15-17 puts it this way: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for by him all things are created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for him and he is before all things and in him all things consist.” Language so clear that it seems amazing that there are those who claim to be Christians that deny the eternal pre-existence of the Son of God.

Evangelism, page 615: “Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God. There never was a time when he was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent.” Brothers and sisters, this is the one, the Word who became flesh. But I ask you, when he became flesh, did he cease to be the Word who is God? No. He did not cease to be God when he became flesh.

Signs of the Times, May 10, 1899: “But although Christ’s divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by his assuming humanity, yet he did not cease to be God when he became man. The human did not take the place of the divine nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness.” The two expressions human and divine were in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality. Though Christ humbled himself to become man, the Godhead was still his own.” Now brothers and sisters, this is a point that is so often almost entirely overlooked on discussions regarding the nature of Christ. Typically, we zero in on his humanity and we forget that, just as fully as he was human, he was divine as well.

Colossians 2:9, 10: “In him dwelt the” what? “The fullness of the Godhead” how? “Bodily, and we are complete in him.” The Godhead was still his own, even when he became man. Let’s bear that in mind and we shall discuss it as we proceed. As God, though incarnate, what was in him then? Look at verse 4 of John 1. “In him was” what? “Life. And the life was the light of men.” In him. Whose that him? That’s the Word. The word that became flesh. That Word that had life unborrowed, underived, exhaustless, limitless, eternal; that word was made flesh and in his incarnate state, everything that he was as God, he was in his incarnate person. He had life unborrowed, underived in him, the man who walked the dusty roads of Galilee. Absolutely unique he was. A man fully? Yes, but not only. God fully as well.

Note with me how Paul speaks of this marvelous, marvelous truth. Turn with me to Philippians 2:5: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Profound passage of scripture. Paul tells us that he made himself of no reputation. What does that mean? That means that he, by his own choice, he made himself, no one made him do this, by his own choice he relinquished all the rights and prerogatives that were his to exercise as God. He surrendered the right to exercise his divine powers. He gave them up, the right to exercise them, that is. He did not give up the powers themselves though, and we must recognize this. He simply surrendered the right to determine when and where or for what purpose they could be used. And he surrendered that right to whom? To his Father. We will consider this further a bit later.

But did this surrender of the right to exercise the divine power and prerogatives that were his by nature to the Father make him in any way inferior to the Father? Oh, no. Thus Paul says he did not consider it robbery to be equal with God. I read from Manuscript 72, 1901: “Although his (Christ’s) divinity was clothed with humanity, he thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Thought it not robbery to be equal with God. What does that mean? In other words, he felt that he was not taking something that was rightfully his when he claimed equality with God. He said, I and the Father are one. He used the name exclusively God’s in reference to himself. And what was that? I am. And he thought it not robbery to do so. Why? Though he had relinquished the right to exercise his divine powers to the Father, he didn’t relinquish the powers but he relinquished the right to exercise them. He still recognized that he was fully equal to the Father. The Father did not make him relinquish those rights, he chose to do so for the sake of whom? Fallen man.

From all appearances, though, having relinquished the glory, the splendor, and having relinquished the rights to exercise his powers, from all appearances he was just a man. But we must not decide who he was on the basis of appearances. Thus Paul says of him, in Philippians 2:7: “Taking the” what? “The form of a servant, and coming in the” what? “Likeness of man. And being found in fashion or appearance as a man, he humbled himself.” Note the parallel structures there. The form of a servant, the likeness of men, in appearance as a man. Now, does that mean and is Paul trying to say that he wasn’t actually a servant, he wasn’t actually a man? Oh, no. It means that he was more than just a servant, just a man. He was also God the sovereign of the universe. Not just a servant. He took the form of a servant but he still was the sovereign God of the universe. Not just a man, because he was still God.

Consider the expression “likeness of men” with me. This becomes very, very important, brothers and sisters, to our study just a little later on when we deal with the expression “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” So please follow. This is the same word in the Greek that is used in that phrase, the very same word. Likeness of men is the same word as likeness of sinful flesh. Now this word likeness is used when we want to point out that there are aspects that are the same, and yet there are aspects that are different. Why else do you use the word likeness. If it’s entirely the same, what do you say? The same or just as, identical. But if there are aspects that are the same and yet there are aspects that are different, you use the word likeness.

Now, let’s consider likeness in the sameness dimension, and then we’ll consider likeness in the, if you’ll allow me, the differentness dimension, okay? Likeness in the sameness dimension. In that he was fully human, fully human. Hebrews 2. Turn with me there. Hebrews 2:14: “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh of blood, he himself likewise shared in the same that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil. And release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed he does not give aid to” whom? “Angels.” He didn’t come to save angels. Who did he come to save? Man. But he does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, because he didn’t come to give aid to angels but to the seed of Abraham, humans. “Therefore, in all things he had to be made like his brethren that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

In other words, Paul is pointing out that he took a fully human nature. He didn’t have higher supernatural faculties and capacities. I read from Manuscript 94, 1893: “His human nature was created. It did not even possess angelic powers. It was human, identical to ours.” Identical to ours in what realm? In the realm of its powers. In his human nature all his faculties of mind, body and spirit were identical to ours. He had no supernatural angelic powers or powers of any higher order of being than the human being whom he came to be one with. Okay?

Bible Commentary, volume 5, page 1131: “Had Christ come in his divine form, humanity could not have endured the sight. The contrast would have been too painful, the glory too overwhelming. Humanity could not have endured the presence of one of the pure bright angels from glory. Therefore Christ took not on him the nature of angels, he came in the likeness of men.”

Bible Commentary, volume 5, page 1130: “When Jesus took human nature and became in fashion as a man, he possessed all the human organism. His necessities were the necessities of a man.” So Paul uses the word likeness because, the realm of sameness because he was fully human. He had all of the faculties of the human organism. All of the necessities of man were his necessities.

Now, let’s consider likeness in the differentness dimension. The word likeness not only includes sameness but it includes differentness as well. In what way was he different? Why does Paul say likeness of men, wanting to imply a difference? Because he was not just man; he was also God.

Desire of Ages, page 663: “Christ had not ceased to be God when he became man. Though he humbled himself to humanity, the Godhead was still his own.” Therefore, he was very essentially and radically different than man, because he was also what? He was also God.

Manuscript 151, 1903. The burning bush symbolizes the incarnate Christ. Listen to the insights that we gain from this comment. “The burning bush in which Christ appeared to Moses revealed God. The symbol chosen for the representation of the deity was a lowly shrub that seemingly had no attractions. This enshrined the infinite. The all-merciful God shrouded his glory in a most humble type that Moses could look upon it and live. God’s glory was subdued and his majesty veiled that the weak vision of finite men might behold it. So Christ was to come in the body of our humiliation in the likeness of men.” And because he was not just man but also God, he could say, I and my Father are one. As a man on our soil, he could say, I and my Father are one; he could claim equality without robbery because it was his right.

Why does Paul say he took the form of a servant? Let’s turn back to Philippians 2. Why does he say he took the form of a servant? Because he was not just a servant but also the sovereign majesty of the universe who willingly and consciously took and maintained a servant’s role, though all the time he knew himself to be the sovereign God of the universe.

I read from Bible Commentary, 928: “Christ took humanity that humanity might touch humanity. In the form of a man, he humbled himself and became a servant but as the son of God, he was higher than the angels.” He humbled himself and took the form of a servant while not only higher than the angels but equal with whom? Equal with God.

Bible Commentary, volume 5, page 1129: “Equal with the father, honored and adored by the angels, in our behalf Christ humbled himself and came to this earth to live a life of lowliness and poverty.” In other words, to take the form of a servant. “To live a life of lowliness and poverty, to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Yet the stamp of divinity was upon his humanity.” Because he was not just man but God as well. Paul says, in our passage, he humbled himself and became what? Obedient unto death.

Now, think of that with me. That is a most unusual thing to say if it’s just a man that you’re talking about. Do any of us humble ourselves and become obedient unto death? No. Why? Because we are by nature mortal, death bound. We don’t have any choice in the matter, do we? It’s not something that we must become obedient to do–die. We have no choice. But this one that Paul is talking about, who is in the likeness of men, had to do what in order to die? Humble himself and obey.

In other words, he had to choose to yield his life in order to die. John 10. Turn with me there. Verse 17. What does he say? “I lay down my life that I may take it up.” Who lays down his life? He does. Note what he goes on to explain. “No one takes it from me but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to” what? “To take it again. This command I have received from my Father.”

Now please note, we said earlier that when Christ became a man, he did not relinquish the powers of his divine nature, but he relinquished the right to exercise them, the authority over the use of them. Do you see how that’s clearly brought out here? I lay down my life of myself. I have power to lay it down. I have power to take it again. But, though the power was in himself, where did he get the authority to do it? What does he go on to say? “This command I have received from my father.” You see, he had all the powers of divinity inherit within himself but what he had surrendered to the Father was the authority and the right to exercise those powers.”

Now this becomes very important to recognize in the realm of Christ’s temptations, my brothers and sisters. This may seem to be a bit theoretical at this point but it has very experiential applications in Christ’s daily life. Follow me. He had these powers in himself but by his own choice he had submitted the exercise of them to the Father. Note the full significance of his claim, though. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again, in reference to his life.

I read from Youth’s Instructor, August 4, 1898: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who said, I lay down my life that I might take it again, came forth from the grave to life that was in himself. Humanity died. Divinity did not die. In his divinity Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death. He declares that he has life in himself to quicken whom he will. All created beings live by the will and power of God. They are recipients of the life of the Son of God. However able and talented, however large their capacities, they are replenished with life from the source of all life. He is the spring, the foundation of life. Only he who alone hath immortality dwelling in light and life should say, ‘I have power to lay down my life and I have power to take it again.'” He had this power in himself as a man. Think on this and the significance of it with me.

Who did he surrender the right to exercise authority over the use of his powers to? To his Father. But how did he surrender it? Before he became incarnate only? In a once surrendered always surrendered way? No. Oh, no. For then the obedience and humility that Paul is talking about–he humbled himself and became obedient unto death. If he had only surrendered the authority to exercise his powers to God before he became incarnate, then the obedience and humility would have been that of God the Son to God the Father only. But this obedience and humility was his as a man. It was humility for the man Christ Jesus to die, for there was a power within him to resist death. If in becoming obedient to the power of death he humbled himself even as a man, there can be no doubt that even as a man, his dying was a voluntary act. In other to die as a man, he had to deliberately choose not to sustain himself from the infinite resource of life that was his innately, within himself, within his divine nature.

Now, think on this with me. Not only was he obedient unto his final death, which Paul is referring to here, the death of the what? The cross. But he also had to be consciously, moment by moment, obedient to the mortality, the gradual death, with all of the suffering and weakness of the human nature that he had chosen to take upon himself. Think of this with me. Listen to the insight.

In the Atlantic Union Gleaner, March 7, 1906, this is a most remarkable insight that we get from inspiration. “He humbled himself and took mortality upon him. As a member of the human family, he was mortal. But as a God, he was the fountain of life to the world. He could in his divine person ever have withstood the advances of death and refused to come under its dominion, but he voluntarily laid down his life that in so doing he might give life and bring immortality to light. He died not through being compelled to die but by his own free will. This was humility.”

Same reference. Wondrous combination of man and God. “He might have helped his human nature to withstand the inroads of disease by pouring from his divine nature vitality and undecaying vigor to the human. But he humbled himself to man’s nature.” So constantly, brothers and sisters, he was resisting the temptation to derive from that limitless source of life within him energy and vitality to his decaying, mortal, human nature. Can you imagine the temptation that must have been, at the end of a hard, hard day? He who could say, I am the resurrection and the life, had within him life unborrowed, underived, infinite, exhaustless. Can we even imagine the temptation when suffering the pain and weariness due to the infirmities of the mortal human nature he had assumed to draw just for a moment from that limitless supply sufficient to relieve his suffering? If you think a drug addict has a strong temptation to get a boost, I submit that that temptation is nothing compared to Christ’s.

So then, Paul is not here saying in this passage that our Lord gave up or forfeited his deity or its inherent powers in becoming incarnate and entering upon his life on earth. Just the opposite. He is here asserting that he retained his deity with all its powers throughout his life on earth and in the whole course of his humiliation, up to the death itself–the final death–was consciously exercising self-denial and self-abnegation. He was living a life which did not by nature belong to him, which in fact stood in direct contradiction to the life which was naturally his.

Now please hear me, and this is the point to which we’ve been coming. Do you see the parallel here in the Christian’s experience? I want to challenge you to think on that. He was continually, consciously exercising self-denial, living a life which did not by nature belong to him, which in fact stood in direct contradiction to the life which was naturally his. Now, note the Christian’s parallel.

I read from Review and Herald, April 1, 1875: “It was a difficult task for the Prince of life to carry out the plan which he had undertaken for the salvation of man in clothing his divinity with humanity. He had received honor in the heavenly courts and was familiar with absolute power.” Now, let me just interject this here. Think of the habit patterns that Christ must have had. How long had he been exercising freely those powers that he had? From eternity. You think you’re up against habit patterns! He had received honor in the heavenly courts and was familiar with absolute power. Listen. “It was as difficult for him to keep the level of humanity as for men to rise above the low level of their depraved natures and be partakers of the divine nature.” Do you see that point? Brothers and sisters, a lot of us rise up in arms and say, Well, if he didn’t have the same sinful nature that I have to overcome, he had an advantage. Oh, brothers and sisters, would you please stop and consider the truth of this statement? It was as difficult for him to keep the level of humanity as for men to rise above the low level of their depraved natures and be partakers of the divine nature.

Tell me, which is harder, to hold a steel drum full of air below sea level or to hold a steel drum full of water above sea level? Now, that is an illustration that is very applicable here. At sea level I would suggest that it’s just about parallel, although I don’t know the laws of physics here. But the higher you leave sea level, either going up, or the lower you leave sea level going down, what happens? It gets easier going up, doesn’t it, because there’s less and less gravity? But what about the increasing pressure as you take that down further and further? Do you see what we’re illustrating? It was difficult for him to keep the level of humanity. He was that steel drum, divine, who became a partaker of the human nature. That steel drum full of air. He became a partaker of the human nature. He clothed himself in humanity. It was as difficult for him to keep the level of humanity as for men to rise above the low level of their depraved natures and become partakers of the divine nature.

And how low did he take his humanity, brothers and sisters? How low did he take that assumed humanity? Right down to the utter depths, the utter depths. Oh, no, he had no advantage. And how did he keep the level of humanity? By choosing to make himself totally and constantly dependent upon the Father. How can we remain partakers of the divine nature. By choosing to keep ourselves totally and constantly dependent and submitted to Jesus Christ, Just as he remained a partaker of humanity, we can remain partakers of divinity. By total submission to the Father.

John 5:30. What does he say? “I can of myself do” what? “Do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent me.” Now, the fact that he said, I can of mine own self do nothing, was that because of inability; because he in himself was impotent? No. Oh, no. In his divine self he was omnipotent. It was because of choice that he said, I can of myself do nothing, because I do not seek my own what? My own will but the will of the Father who sent me. His utter dependence was by choice. He was utterly dependent upon the Father by choice.

You see, part of the agreement between the Father and the Son regarding Christ’s earthly ministry involved Christ yielding to his Father the right to exercise any of the powers of his own divine nature. The agreement was that he would use his powers only as the Father should indicate, never by his own initiative or by his own authority. It is so important, though, to recognize that that which Christ agreed with the Father to give up during his earthly ministry was not his divine powers themselves. It was the right to determine how, when, where and under what circumstances to exercise them. It is also important to recognize that, during his earthly ministry, the yielding of this right had to be maintained by continual conscious choice, for throughout his life as a man he had infinite powers at his disposal within himself, and could have used them at any moment for any purpose. But to be true to the covenant, he must constantly yield to the Father the right to determine the appropriate circumstances in which to exercise them. Why?

August 18, 1874, Review and Herald: “It was not any part of the mission of Christ to exercise his divine power for his own benefit to relieve himself of suffering. This he had volunteered to take upon himself. He had condescended to take man’s nature and was to suffer the inconveniences, ills and afflictions of the human family. You see, if he, brothers and sisters, had at any point exercised his own divine powers in his own behalf, at that very moment he would have ceased to be our sympathetic Elder Brother and valid Example. If at any moment he had exercised his divine powers in his own behalf, he would have ceased to be a sympathetic Brother and valid Example. But do you think Satan was tempting him to do that? Constantly. When tempted, though, by Satan to exercise his divine powers under trial, in critical circumstances, his response was emphatic, No, I must face life as a man. Though I am God, I will live like a man. I will reckon myself dead indeed unto divinity but alive unto humanity.

Do you see a Christian parallel? Do you see how he can be sympathetic? He died daily, my brother, my sister, to a corrupt sinful nature. He died daily to those temptations to exercise his own infinite resources to relieve his crying needs. To face trials, temptations, even death with only human faculties, he refused to exercise his divine faculties in his own behalf. He was entirely, consistently and constantly dependent upon the resources of another alone for victory. And who was that? His Father. I cannot, he would say to Satan, at any time depend upon what I am in myself for success in my mission or victory over my enemy, for then I could not be a sympathetic Elder Brother and valid Example for this poor, fallen race.

Review and Herald, August 18, 1874: “Fallen man, when brought into straightened places, could not have the power to work miracles on his own behalf to save himself from pain or anguish, or to give himself victory over his enemies. It was the purpose of God to test and prove the race and give them an opportunity to develop character by bringing them frequently into trying positions to test their faith and confidence in his love and power. The life of Christ was a perfect pattern. He was ever, by his example and teachings, teaching man that God was his dependence and that in him should be his faith and firm trust.” He was a valid Example then, wasn’t he, because he never faced trials in any other way than you and I can and must learn to face them.

But was such self-abnegation, such self-denial easy for our Lord? I read from Bible Commentary, volume 6, page 1081: “To keep his glory veiled as the child of a fallen race, this was the most severe discipline to which the Prince of life could subject himself.” Do you see what we’re talking about here? We’re talking about the master passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s quite different than our master passions though, isn’t it? What was the master passion of our Lord and Savior? I read it again: “To keep his glory veiled as the child of a fallen race. This was the most severe discipline to which the Prince of life could subject himself.” The discipline required to keep divinity under, I insist, was much more severe than the discipline required to keep the body under. Much more severe. Advantage? Brothers and sisters, let it never escape our lips.

Though he never used his divine powers in his own behalf, does that mean he never used them at all? Oh, no. There are many examples of his using them. But consider with me just a couple. John 11:43: “Now when he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave-clothes: and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, Loose him, and let him go.”

Now, please note: Jesus did not say, Lazarus, in the name of somebody, come forth. Have there been incidences where men have raised the dead? Yes. But always in whose name? In Jesus’ name. This is quite a different case here, isn’t it? In no one’s name does he raise Lazarus. Why? Because it is with his own divine power that he does it. He exercises this power. He did so frequently throughout his life. But only in behalf of whom? Of others. But consider with me brothers and sisters, how that must have augmented to temptation to use it in his own behalf. When on a daily basis he was freely accustomed to use it in others’ behalf and knew the potential, by experience as a man, that was within him. He knew it, on a daily basis, what he could do because he was constantly doing it for others, but he was never to do it for himself. Never.

I read to Youth’s Instructor, in reference to this raising of Lazarus. Listen. Youth’s Instructor, December 29, 1898: “Christ was health and strength in himself and when sufferers.…” Note that. “Christ was health and strength in himself.” Did you hear it? “And when sufferers were in his immediate presence, disease was always rebuked.” Remember when he went through a town. What happened? They were all healed. Why was that? You just heard it. “Christ was health and strength in himself, and when sufferers were in his immediate presence, disease was always rebuked. It was for this reason that he did not go at once to Lazarus when the message came, He whom thou lovest is sick. He could not witness suffering and not bring relief. He could not look upon disease or death without combating the power of Satan. The death of Lazarus was permitted that through his resurrection the last and crowning evidence might be given to the Jews that Jesus was the Son of God.” That’s why he let Lazarus die.

I read on. This time Desire of Ages, page 536: “As he speaks.…” This is in reference, in the contest of his cry, Lazarus, come forth. “As he speaks, divinity flashes through humanity.” And by the way that often happened. That was very tangible, physical, observable evidence of the fact that he was God. “As he speaks, divinity flashes through humanity. With intense and painful interest all wait for the test of Christ’s divinity, The evidence that is to substantiate his claim to be the Son of God.”

Desire of Ages, page 528: “Had he restored him (Lazarus) from illness to health, the miracle that is the most positive evidence of his divine character would not have been performed.” So, indeed, brothers and sisters, he did exercise those powers as the Father granted him to do so, and it was always for others. How else, another example, did he exercise his divine powers?

John 2:24. There are many, but consider this one with me. These are things we often overlook in our discussion on the nature of Christ. “But Jesus did not commit himself to them because he knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” Now, there are some who put a very interesting interpretation on that and say that he knew what was in man because he had, in himself, everything that was in man. But brothers and sisters, that is not at all what John is communicating. What is John communicating?

Listen. Bible Commentary, volume 5, page 1124: “He was compassed with infirmities but his divine nature knew what was in man. He needed not that any should testify to him of this.” How was it that he knew what was in man? It was what? His divine nature knew what was in man. He needed not that any should testify to him of this. In other words, he had divine powers that allowed him, as incarnate, to read the thoughts of man.

Listen. Several quick excerpts. Christ’s own divine powers could be used to save others. In reference to Christ with Nicodemus, Desire of Ages, page 168: “In his infinite wisdom, he saw before him a seeker after truth.” Now who’s that talking about? The man Christ Jesus. And yet, as the man Christ Jesus, what did he have? Infinite wisdom that read the heart of Nicodemus. He was using that divine power but in whose behalf? In Nicodemus’ behalf.

Note. In commenting on the incident of the woman caught in adultery, she indicates that: “He read the heart and knew the character and life history of everyone in his presence.” Desire of Ages, page 460.

Desire of Ages, page 655: “By reading the secret purposes of the traitor’s heart, Christ gave to Judas the final convincing evidence of his divinity.” The fact that his reading the secret purpose of Judas’ heart was convincing evidence of his divinity makes it very clear that it was by his own personal divine powers that he could do this and not by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, such as a prophet might experience. It was by his own divine power. Only such could prove his own divinity. Right? Of course.

Desire of Ages, 456: “Jesus gave the rabbis an evidence of his divinity by showing that he read their hearts.” And what Old Testament text should they have borne in mind? Amos 4:13. They had this in their scrolls. “For behold he who forms mountains and creates and wind, who declares to man what his thought is and makes the morning darkness, who treads the high places of the earth, the” what? The Lord God of Hosts is his name. What is the sure proof of divinity? Declaring to man what his thoughts are. Only God can do that. So that was proof of his divinity.

Not only did he read men’s hearts, but what could he say in John 10:15: “As the Father knows me” what? “Even so I know the Father.” What kind of knowledge is that? That’s omniscience. Contrast that to our experience in I Corinthians 13: “For now we know in part, but then shall I know just as I also am known.”

It was not, brothers and sisters, until after his test and trial was over, however, that he ever exercised divine power in his own behalf. And when did he exercise divine power in his own behalf? On resurrection morning. Bible Echoes, April 13, 1903: “When the voice of the mighty angel was heard at Christ’s tomb saying, Thy Father calls thee, the Savior came forth from the grave by the life that was in himself. Now was proved the truth of his words, I lay down my life that I might take it again. Now was fulfilled the prophecy he had spoken to the priests and rulers, Destroy this temple and in three days,” who will raise it up? “I will raise it up.”

My brother, my sister, how eternally grateful we should be that the Word became flesh. For in him, not only do we see the glory of God, his character perfectly revealed, but in him, the Word made flesh, we have the law of God, the transcript of his character, perfectly fulfilled. And only in him do we have all that the law requires of us. John 1:14: “And the word became flesh and” what? “Dwelt among us.” And we did what? “We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.” And what is God’s glory? It is his character.

The Upward Look, page 260: “The gospel set forth the character of Christ as infinitely perfect.” Did you hear it? “The gospel set forth the character of Christ as” what? “Infinitely perfect.” Why did it have to be infinitely perfect? Because the law is a what? An infinite standard. It is the transcript of God’s own character. And in order to meet that infinite standard, what did his life have to reveal? An infinitely perfect character.

In Letter 1E, 1890. This is from Manuscript Release, 448: “Christ is the perfection of the divine character.” In Bible Commentary, volume 7, page 904, no wonder she says this: “The excellence of character found in him, which never had been found, neither could be, in another, it was unique.” It was infinitely righteous, that character. And, brothers and sisters, that’s precisely what we need, infinitely righteous character to be imputed to us.

Bible Commentary, volume 7, 929: “Jesus was free from all sin and error. There was not a trace of imperfection in his life or character. He maintained spotless purity under circumstances the most trying. True, he declared, there is none good but one, that is God, but again he said, I and my Father are one. Jesus speaks of himself as well as the Father as God, and claims for himself perfect righteousness.” And why did he develop that perfect righteousness? For himself? For us.

In the morning watch book, The Faith I Live By, page 219, this remarkable statement: “Christ unites in his person the fullness and perfection of the Godhead and the fullness and perfection of sinless humanity.” Did you hear it? Christ unites in his person the fullness and perfection of the Godhead and the fullness and perfection of what? Sinless humanity. What is the Word made flesh? He is everything that we need, my brothers, my sisters. Only such a unique being could accomplish the mission that he came to accomplish, to reveal perfectly God’s glory and to fulfil perfectly God’s law. To reveal perfectly God’s glory to us and to fulfil perfectly God’s law for us. Only such a being could accomplish that task. Only one who in his own person was the fullness and perfection of the Godhead and the fullness and perfection of sinless humanity. Only such a one could go to the cross for you and for me.

And brothers and sisters, that is precisely what he did. Philippians 2, in closing. What does Paul sum up his discussion by saying? “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men: and being found in appearance as a man, he” what? “He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Oh, brothers and sisters, he not only laid down his life but he laid it down on that rugged timber, and allowed that precious, sinless body to be nailed to the cross for us. Praise God for One who became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. The Word God omnipotent and omniscient became flesh and dwelt among us to do that for us.

Education, page 132: “The hand that sustains the worlds in space, the hand that holds in their orderly arrangement the tireless activity of all things throughout the universe of God, is the hand that was nailed to the cross for us. The greatness of God is incomprehensible.”

Shall we pray.

 

Quotes from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy as used in this lesson for your reference 😉

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

John 1:3 “All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

Gen 1:26 “Let us make man in our image.”

John 1:3 “All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

RH Apr 5, 1906 “If Christ made all things, He existed before all things. Christ was God essentially and in the highest sense.  He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore.  The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father.”

Col 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn over all creation, for by Him all things are created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him and He is before all things and in Him all things consist.”

Evangelism 615 “Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God. …there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God….He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent.”

ST May 10, 1899 “But although Christ’s divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet He did not cease to be God when He became man.  The human did not take the place of the divine, nor the divine of the human.  This is the mystery of godliness.  The two expressions human and divine were in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality.  Though Christ humbled Himself to become man, the Godhead was still His own.”

Col 2:9,10 “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are complete in Him.”

John 1:4 “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.”

Phil 2:5-9 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Manuscript 72, 1901 “Although His (Christ’s) divinity was clothed with humanity, He thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”

John 10:30 “I and My Father are one.”

John 8:58 “Before Abraham was, I AM.”

Phil 2:7 “taking the form of a servant and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself.”

Heb 2:14-17 “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil.  (15) And release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.  (16) For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. (17) Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

Manuscript 94, 1893 “His human nature was created.  It did not even possess angelic powers.  It was human, identical to ours.”

5BC 1131 “Had Christ come in His divine form, humanity could not have endured the sight.  The contrast would have been too painful, the glory too overwhelming.  Humanity could not have endured the presence of one of the pure bright angels from glory.  Therefore Christ took not on Him the nature of angels, He came in the likeness of men.”

5BC 1130 “When Jesus took human nature and became in fashion as a man, He possessed all the human organism.  His necessities were the necessities of a man.”

DA 663 “Christ had not ceased to be God when He became man.  Though He humbled Himself to humanity, the Godhead was still His own.”

Manuscript 151, 1903 “The burning bush in which Christ appeared to Moses revealed God.  The symbol chosen for the representation of the deity was a lowly shrub that seemingly had no attractions.  This enshrined the infinite.  The all-merciful God shrouded His glory in a most humble type that Moses could look upon it and live.  God’s glory was subdued and His majesty veiled that the weak vision of finite men might behold it.  So Christ was to come in the body of our humiliation in the likeness of men.”

7BC 928 “Christ took humanity that humanity might touch humanity.  In the form of a man, He humbled Himself and became a servant, but as the Son of God, He was higher than the angels.”

5BC 1129 “Equal with the Father, honored and adored by the angels, in our behalf Christ humbled Himself and came to this earth to live a life of lowliness and poverty, to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  Yet the stamp of divinity was upon His humanity.”

Phil 2:8 “He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death.”

John 10:17 “I lay down my life that I may take it up.  (Verse 18)  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.  This command I have received from My Father.”

YI Aug 4, 1898 “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who had said, I lay down My life that I might take it again, came forth from the grave to life that was in Himself.  Humanity died.  Divinity did not die.  In His divinity Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death.  He declares that He has life in Himself to quicken whom He will.  All created beings live by the will and power of God.  They are recipients of the life of the Son of God.  However able and talented, however large their capacities, they are replenished with life from the Source of all life.  He is the spring, the foundation of life.  Only He Who alone hath immortality dwelling in light and life could say, ‘I have power to lay down My life and I have power to take it again.”

AUG March 7, 1906 “He humbled Himself and took mortality upon Him.  As a member of the human family, He was mortal.  But as God, He was the fountain of life to the world.  He could in His divine person ever have withstood the advances of death and refused to come under its dominion, but He voluntarily laid down His life that in so doing He might give life and bring immortality to light.  He died not through being compelled to die, but by His own free will.  This was humility.”

RH Apr 1, 1875 “It was a difficult task for the Prince of life to carry out the plan which He had undertaken for the salvation of man, in clothing His divinity with humanity.  He had received honor in the heavenly courts and was familiar with absolute power.  It was as difficult for Him to keep the level of humanity as it is for men to rise above the low level of their depraved natures, and be partakers of the divine nature.”

John 5:30 “I can of myself do nothing.  As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is just (righteous), because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father Who sent Me.”

RH Aug 18, 1874 “It was not any part of the mission of Christ to exercise His divine power for His own benefit to relieve Himself of suffering.  This He had volunteered to take upon Himself.  He had condescended to take man’s nature and was to suffer the inconveniences, ills and afflictions of the human family.”

RH Aug 18, 1874 “Fallen man, when brought into straightened places, could not have the power to work miracles on his own behalf, to save himself from pain or anguish, or to give himself victory over his enemies.  It was the purpose of God to test and prove the race, and give them an opportunity to develop character by bringing them frequently into trying positions to test their faith and confidence in His love and power.  The life of Christ was a perfect pattern.  He was ever, by His example and teachings, teaching man that God was his dependence and that in God should be his faith and firm trust.”

6BC 1081 “To keep His glory veiled as the child of a fallen race, this was the most severe discipline to which the Prince of life could subject Himself.”

John 11:43, 44 “Now when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  (44) And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth.  Jesus said to them, loose him, and let him go.”

YI Dec 29, 1898 “Christ was health and strength in Himself, and when sufferers were in His immediate presence, disease was always rebuked.  It was for this reason that He did not go at once to Lazarus when the message came, ‘he whom Thou lovest is sick.’  (John 11:3)  He could not witness suffering and not bring relief.  He could not look upon disease or death without combating the power of Satan.  The death of Lazarus was permitted that, through his resurrection, the last and crowning evidence might be given to the Jews that Jesus was the Son of God.”

DA 536 “As He speaks, divinity flashes through humanity.  With intense and painful interest all wait for the test of Christ’s divinity.  The evidence that is to substantiate His claim to be the Son of God.”

DA 528 “Had He restored him (Lazarus) from illness to health, the miracle that is the most positive evidence of His divine character would not have been performed.”

John 2:24 “But Jesus did not commit Himself to them because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man; for He knew what was in man.”

5BC 1124 “He was compassed with infirmities but His divine nature knew what was in man.  He needed not that any should testify to Him of this.”

DA 168 “In His infinite wisdom, He saw before Him a seeker after truth.”

DA 460 “He read the heart and knew the character and life history of everyone in His presence.”

DA 655 “By reading the secret purposes of the traitor’s heart, Christ gave to Judas the final convincing evidence of His divinity.”

DA 456 “Jesus gave the rabbis an evidence of His divinity by showing that He read their hearts.”

Amos 4:13 “For behold He who forms mountains and creates the wind, Who declares to man what His thought is and makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth, the Lord God of Hosts is His name.”

John 10:15 “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father.”

1 Cor 13:12 “Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

Bible Echoes Apr 13, 1903 “When the voice of the mighty angel was heard at Christ’s tomb saying, ‘Thy Father calls Thee,’ the Savior came forth from the grave by the life that was in Himself.  Now as proved the truth of His words, ‘I lay down My life, that I might take it again.’ (John 10:18).  Now was fulfilled the prophecy He had spoken to the priests and rulers, ‘destroy this Temple and in three days, I will raise it up.’” (John 2:19).

UL 260 “The gospel set forth the character of Christ as infinitely perfect.”

Letter 1E, 1890  (MR# 448) “Christ is the perfection of the divine character.”

7BC 904 “The excellence of character found in Him, which never had been found, neither could be, in another.”

7BC 929 “Jesus was free from all sin and error, there was not a trace of imperfection in His life or character.  He maintained spotless purity under circumstances the most trying.  True, He declared, ‘there is none good but One, that is God’, (Matt 19:17)  but again He said, ‘I and My Father are one’. (John 10:30)  Jesus speaks of Himself as well as the Father as God, and claims for Himself perfect righteousness.”

FLB 219 “Christ unites in His person the fullness and perfection of the Godhead and the fullness and perfection of sinless humanity.”

Ed 132 “The Hand that sustains the worlds in space, the Hand that holds in their orderly arrangement the tireless activity of all things throughout the universe of God, is the Hand that was nailed to the cross for us.  The greatness of God is incomprehensible.”

😉

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