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    February 18, 1897

    “Studies in the Book of Hebrews. No.—6” General Conference Daily Bulletin 7, 5.


    E. J. Waggoner

    (Monday Afternoon, Feb. 15, 1897.)

    We begin with the ninth verse: “We see Jesus.” Where are we looking?GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 67.1

    (Voice) “To man in his fallen state.”GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 67.2

    Yes, our gaze is directed to man’s first dominion; as we look we see him fall, and, still looking, we see Jesus taking man’s fallen condition, and crowned with glory and honor. We, as well as the rest of the professed Christian world, have been for the most part looking at what is rather than at what ought to be. When we have read of the dealings of God with his people in the Old Testament, we have lost sight of his design for them, and have seen what they took, rather than what God intended them to have. God’s design was one thing, and what they took was something else. If they had accepted God’s plan, and taken what he had for them, their history would have been vastly different.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 67.3

    God was with them all the time; he did not forsake them; but that was no proof that what they did was right. If it were, that would be an end to any improvement in Christian living whatever. “God has been with me in the past when I kept Sunday,” says one. That is all right. “God has been with me, and I won’t change.” He was with such, but he will not remain with them long if they proceed on that basis. If they think they have nothing still to receive, they are leaving the Lord. The Lord was with Israel that by all means within his power he might lead them to take what he had for them in the beginning.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 68.1

    Now we look at the wonderful dominion that God gave to man, every man, for Jesus in winning it back tasted death for every man, — and that is what we want to look at a great deal, — the completeness of the dominion, the dignity conferred on man. So wonderful was the honor placed on man, that although God himself is the supreme ruler of the universe, his purpose was that he would rule the earth only through man, and that he would not interfere outside of man. But man is dust. And here is a lesson of what God can do through dust. But while looking there we do not now see all things put under man, but we see Jesus — Jesus lower than angels, that is, man. The Word was made flesh. God was manifest in the flesh, in human flesh in the beginning, because the power that worked in Adam was God’s power. Then when man sinned, and repudiated God, God did not take him at his word, and leave him alone, but went down with him as low as he fell, and said, Poor man, I will help you; and He stayed with him. So we see Jesus lower than the angels; that is, we see him as man. But we see Him crowned with honor and glory as the son of man. Mark this, it is as the Son of man, not as the Son of God, that we see him crowned with glory and honor. It was not necessary for the Son of God to come to this earth to suffer in order that he might be crowned with glory; for he was the very shining forth of the bright glory of God. But he made himself of no reputation, emptied himself, and became man; took human flesh, in order that man might again be crowned with glory and honor.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 68.2

    “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor.” Notice that in this verse we have the whole of Christ’s work for man. We have his humiliation and death, and his resurrection and ascension. When Christ was raised from the dead, how high was he raised? Read again: “The exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.” Ephesians 1:19-21.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 68.3

    When Christ was raised from the dead he was raised to the throne of God. “And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.” He “hath raised us up together with him.” Christ was raised from the dead to glory just the same way as when the righteous are raised from the dead they are raised to glory. But even now through the power of the resurrection we are raised with him who sits in heavenly places as the man Christ Jesus. All this was done for Christ as man, for Christ as one of us. There is no question about that. We all understand that. If we do understand it, we understand a great deal.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 68.4

    I do not mean to say we comprehend it, but we understand it in the way that we understand any truth. “By faith we understand.” That does not mean to say that we can figure it out and explain it; that cannot be done. That cannot be known even in eternity; it cannot be explained. That is the mystery of God. Only the mind of God can fathom it; only God can understand it; but we can understand it and get the good of it by believing it, and it then becomes a practical experience to us.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 68.5

    Jesus by the grace of God tasted death for every man: “For it became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering.” It became him; it was a fitting thing; it was a necessary thing, it was exactly the thing to do. Whom did it become? Look closely at that verse. He who brings many sons unto God, makes the Captain of their salvation — Christ — perfect through suffering. So we have in this verse God the Father, the many sons who are brought to glory, and the Captain through whose sufferings they are brought to glory. It became God to make their Captain perfect through sufferings. He tasted death for every man. It was a fitting thing to do, and the only thing that could be done to carry out the original plan of giving the earth to man, — that eternal purpose that could not be changed even by man’s fall.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 68.6

    All judgment is committed to the Son, to Christ, not because he is the Son of God, but because he is the Son of man. As we studied a few minutes ago, God has designed (and he does not change his purpose) to rule the world, the dominion which he gave to man, — not this world, but the world to come, — solely through man. Because dominion was given to man, therefore to man is given judgment. But do not forget that God’s people are not to rule in this world. It is not this world, but the world to come, that God has put in subjection to man, — a perfect world under the dominion of perfect man. Now just note in passing how the simple truth takes the bottom out of every false theory.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 69.1

    Take the theory that Christians are the people above all others that have the right to rule in this world, because they are the only ones that are fit to rule. But they are the only ones that have no right to rule in this world. They have nothing to do with it. To them is given the world to come. O, let us not be selfish; when God has given to us the world to come, let us not try to rob the people of this world of all the comfort they can get out of it. Do not rob them of it; it is not fair. Instead of Christians being the only ones who are to rule this world, they are the ones who are to keep their hands off. Let those rule it to whom it pertains. To God’s people pertains the world to come. Then what have we to do? — Our part is to get away from this world, and to gather into our arms as many poor souls as we can get, and take them along.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 69.2

    So in the pursuance of God’s original plan, the dominion being lost by man, man must win it back, because if some other being than man wins it back, then the plan is not carried out. But we say it is God in man. Of course it is, because it was God in man in the beginning. It is God in man all the time. Who could rule the world in the beginning? Man could not rule it; dust could not lift itself up to do anything; but God in man could do all things. So as by man came death, by man came also the resurrection from the dead. O, there is a wonderful honor God has placed upon man, but man must not think that he is God. He is dust, but God’s presence in him glorifies him.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 69.3

    “For both he that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are all one.” Wherefore Christ is not ashamed to call them brethren. We have seen instances of men who were ashamed of their families — men who, having come into better circumstances, acquired a little bit of learning perhaps, or a little extra money, are ashamed to have it known that they belong to their family. They do, nevertheless; they are the same blood. But he who sanctifies, and they who are sanctified, are all one. Wherefore he is not ashamed to acknowledge the family relation. Do not you see that that binds the Lord Jesus to us, in indissoluble bonds? He acknowledges he is not ashamed to own us as brethren. What is the proof of it? — Saying, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren.” To whom is he speaking when he says, I will declare thy name? — Christ speaks to the Father, and says, I will declare thy name unto my brethren. Who is that? — It is we. Is it because we are so good that He is not ashamed to call us brethren? If we were good, would there be any use of saying that he is not ashamed? There must be something that, under ordinary circumstances, would make him ashamed. O, there is enough, under ordinary circumstances, to be ashamed of. But the proof that he is not ashamed is found in the fact that he says, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren.”GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 69.4

    Now, what condition is it that would make it necessary that Christ should declare God’s name to any one? What is the only condition under which he should need to declare the name of the Father? — It is that they do not know the name. There would be no use in declaring the name if they knew it. Then those to whom he declares the name of God, are those who do not know the name of the Father, and they are his brethren. What do we call those who do not know the name of the Lord? — Heathen, are they not? Such we were before we were converted. You can remember the time when you did not know him. I can remember the time when I did not know him any more than if I had been born in the heart of Africa. I had heard the name, but I did not know him. Then those to whom Christ says, I will “declare the name of the Lord,” are the heathen people — not necessarily the heathen in Africa, but the heathen in America, or Europe, and all over the world. The Lord says, They are my brethren.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 69.5

    God would bring many sons to glory. He calls them sons. They are his sons, dishonored, disgraced. Adam is said in the genealogy in Luke, to have been the son of God. When he fell, what then? — A fallen son, a prodigal son. The prodigal son took his father’s goods, and then went and wasted it: but he was a son nevertheless. The father said, “This, my son, was dead, and is alive; was lost, and is found.” So we read, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” On whom? — On us — on poor fallen wretches. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.” Who? — Me; that I should be called the son of God. That is love. Christ is up there in heaven. We are groping in darkness and ignorance, and he says to the Father, I will go down and declare thy name to my brethren. I will show my brethren who you are. They do not know you. They are aliens and foreigners. They have been misled, and have talked against you; I will go and declare your name to them.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 70.1

    And what is that name? In Exodus 34:6, 7, we read:—GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 70.2

    The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 70.3

    That is the name of the Lord. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower.” Now Christ says, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren.” It makes no difference what the color of the skin, where the men are born, what they have done, where they have lived, how poor, despised, and weak. Christ says, I will go and “declare thy name unto my [their] brethren.” So every follower of Christ will say, “I will go and declare thy name unto my brethren” in China, in India, in the slums of the city. We will go and declare his name to all of our brethren whom we can find. And that is the only thing that will put life into the missionary work. We are all brethren — there is no such thing as “foreign missionary work.” The field is the world. It is all the same field. In one sense we are all foreigners, pilgrims, strangers, in a foreign field; but there is no foreign field in the sense that one part of the world is foreign to the other. Christ regards himself as one with all mankind, and that is why he saves man; and we can really share his work of saving sinners only as we recognize our relation to them.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 70.4

    Take the tenth chapter of Romans for a moment, beginning with the sixth verse: “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)” This text is quoted from Deuteronomy 30:12-14, when Christ is called the “Word:” —GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 70.5

    It is not in heaven that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 70.6

    Say not in thy heart, who shall ascend into heaven and bring Christ down. Why not? — Because he is already here. The coming down is the humiliation, the crucifixion: coming down, he humbled himself, and became obedient, even to the death of the cross. Or, say not, who shall descend into the deep, to bring Christ up. Why not? — He has risen. But where is this crucified and risen Christ? — “The Word is nigh thee.” How near? — “In thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach: that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 70.7

    What kind of people are addressed when it is said, “Keep these commandments that I command thee this day?GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 70.8

    (A voice) “Sinners.”GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 70.9

    But they say they cannot do it. They may say, I do not know what the commandment is. The word is to those people who do not know it, or if they do know it, they do not do it; at any rate the word comes to sinners. Yes, God sends the word to all peoples, to let them know the eternal truth. He has come here, in the flesh. God is made flesh, and in that flesh he is glorified, because he has tasted death for every man.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 70.10

    Christ has come in the flesh, my flesh. Why? Is it because I am so good? — O, no; for there is no good flesh for Christ to come into. Christ has come in the flesh, in every man’s flesh. “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” The life is the light, and lights every man. In other words, every man in this world lives upon the grace of God. “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed;” and that is true of the man who blasphemes God. Where did that man get his breath? — From God. God continues breath to him in his wickedness, in order that the gift may reveal God’s goodness and he repent; for it is the goodness of God. He is kind to the evil and the good; he sends rain upon the just and the unjust; that is God.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 70.11

    He [God] giveth to all life, and breath, and all things, and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Acts 17:25-28.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 71.1

    What am I doing now? — Moving. How am I able to move? — By the power of God. It is God’s power by which I move. Now, as I am moving, making this motion [throwing out the arms], I am not doing any harm. But suppose I get nettled at some one, and I come so close to him that his head should be near where my fist is as I strike out, and I should hit him; would it be a different force which I use? — No; the strength that we use to fight even against God is simply the power of God in us, — Christ’s power in the man. The goodness and long-suffering of God is such that he will stay with us, and let his power be so prostituted and turned against him, in hope that we shall be brought to repentance. Here is the glorious truth — in him we move. If we are willing to allow God to use his own power, his own way, then all our movements will be just such as God prompts. Fourteenth verse:—GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 71.2

    Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life-time subject to bondage.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 71.3

    Some one asks, Is the power of God in man when he sins? How are you going to find out? Look to the Word. The Word was made flesh. How many kinds of flesh are there? — One flesh of man. All men are of one flesh. We are all sons of Adam. We are all brethren. We are all relations, and we need not be ashamed to deny the relationship, because the best man is of himself no better than the vilest. Christ is not ashamed. Where does power come from? “Power belongs to God.” Is there any other originator of power, or source of power? — No; but there is perverted power. That is rebellion. Suppose the United States should have war with Spain; would that be rebellion? — No. They are two independent nations. But suppose the State of Nebraska should begin war with the United States. O, that is rebellion, because the United States are one power. Men are in rebellion against God because they have turned his power against him. But the fact that we are in rebellion against God, shows that we are his children, fallen, but living only by the power of his life.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 71.4

    I do not want any one to make a purely theoretical thing of this; it is the joy of salvation. It is the power of the gospel to me personally. It is everything to me. It is what gives me the hope of salvation, and courage to work for fallen humanity who are just as bad, some of them, as I was. I never saw any one in the world that I thought was any worse than I was. Here is a man that does not know the Word. He may say, I don’t know anything about it. He may say in his heart, How can I find the way? how can I know how to be right? I can’t find God. Say to him, Did you make yourself? — No.Do you support yourself, even when you say you are earning your living? Who gives you your strength? Now, there is one thing we need all the time to keep our lives going. It is air. Did you make this air? Where did you get the air you breathe? It is God’s air; it is the breath of God.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 71.5

    God put his own breath into man’s nostrils, in order that he might live. That is the way we continue to breathe. It is the breath of God that keeps us alive, the Spirit of God in our nostrils. Well, that man must acknowledge what is so patent that he cannot help but acknowledge it; namely, that he did not bring himself into existence, and that he cannot perpetuate his existence for one instant. He is brought face to face with the power of God in him, keeping him alive. It is Christ in fallen man, it is Christ in cursed man, it is Christ with the curse on him, it is Christ crucified. Christ taking fallen, sinful humanity upon him, is Christ crucified. Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend up into heaven to bring Christ down to me, that is to be crucified? No; he is here in the flesh.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 71.6

    “If thou wilt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus.” What is it to confess him? To confess a thing is not to make it so, but it is to acknowledge that the thing is so. Now the fact that we are to confess is, that Christ is come in the flesh. O, let me read a word here. Romans 1:18-20: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold down the truth in unrighteousness.” What is the truth? Christ says, “I am the truth.” Thus the truth that is stated is that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” who hold back Christ in them. “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them;” for ever since the creation of the world, the invisible things of God are clearly seen, “being understood by the things that are made.”GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 71.7

    Look at the trees; we see the power and the divinity of God in the trees and grass, and in every thing that God has made, and see it clearly, too. But I read that text for years, and forgot that I was one of the things that God made. Am I not one of the things of the creation, just as well as a tree? Then what is seen and understood in the things that God has made, even man not excluded? — His eternal power and divinity. So we are without excuse. Now if thou wilt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, that he is in your flesh, — but do not stop with that confession, — “and shalt believe in thy heart that God has raised him from the dead,” lifted him up to his own right hand in the heavenly places, “thou shalt be saved.” That is Christ crucified, and raised in every man. When he will confess the truth, and believe the truth, then he has Christ in him, crucified and risen, with the resurrection power, to do whatsoever God says. I tell you there is power in the gospel that can lift a man out of the ditch to the throne of God, and I am glad of it.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 72.1

    Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; that he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. Psalm 113:5-8.GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 72.2

    Thank God for that!GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 72.3

    “We love him because he first loved us.” “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”GCB/GCDB February 18, 1897, page 72.4

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