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    March 2, 1897

    “Studies in the Book of Hebrews. No.—10” General Conference Daily Bulletin 7, 13.


    E. J. Waggoner

    (Sunday Afternoon, Feb. 28, 1897.)

    We have come to the closing verses of the second chapter of Hebrews; there is where we have read to:—GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 208.1

    Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.1

    What for? — That he might destroy him that had the power of death. And do what? — Deliver. Deliver whom? — Those who were all their lifetime subject to bondage. And what was their bondage? — Fear; they were frightened, terrorized. Who is it that has the power of death? — Satan. How does he go about? — As a roaring lion. There is something fearful, something terrorizing, about a lion’s roar. So he terrorizes and holds people in bondage by his roaring. What brings death? — Sin. How does sin bring death? Does it pick it up and carry it along as something apart from itself? “Lust, when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is full grown, bringeth forth death.” So sin carries death in itself, for sin is death. It is fear that brings men to bondage. Christ died that he might deliver from what? — From fear of death.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.2

    Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.3

    What is the particular thing we shall consider about him? — He is faithful. He suffered, being tempted, but he was faithful to him that appointed him. We are to consider him on that account. It is the same thought that is expressed in the twelfth chapter, where it says:—GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.4

    For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.5

    Consider him, lest ye be weary and faint in your minds. Now, if we had to consider Christ simply as he was eighteen hundred years ago when he was tempted and did not yield, but was faithful, — if it were simply to look at his example, and try to imitate it, would we not become weary and faint?GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.6

    How can you be like him?GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.7

    (A voice) “By beholding we become changed.”GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.8

    Of what was he made partaker?GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.9

    (A voice) Flesh and blood.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.10

    To what was he like? — His brethren in all things. And where is he still?GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.11

    (A voice) In our flesh.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.12

    “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” When did the Word cease to be made flesh?GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.13

    (A voice) He was made so; and whatsoever God does shall be forever.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.14

    Very well. The Word was made flesh, and suffered. We have one perfect instance of it in the flesh, without any failure, simply to show what it is possible for God to do in flesh. Now we read that he suffered, being tempted. There is a verse that comes to my mind, 1 Peter 4:1:—GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.15

    Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.16

    How can we arm ourselves with the same mind? The Word tells us: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Just let it be so. There is one of the let-it-be’s, one of God’s creative words. Where do you find that word first? — First chapter of Genesis. “Let there be light.” “Let the waters be gathered together.” “Let the earth bring forth grass.” “Let the waters bring forth abundantly.” And what invariably followed? — “And it was so.” So when we have the Word of the Lord, “Let this mind be in you,” what will be the result if we receive it as God’s Word? — It will be so. I say, Lord, amen, even so, let it be; and it is so. That is not simply a form of speech.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.17

    Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.18

    We might feel like saying about this as the Jews once did to Christ’s words: “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” Who can hear it? “He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” Of course that depends on a person’s mind as to whether that is a desirable position or not. I can speak for myself that I know a good deal about the time as a matter of fact, when I did not regard that as desirable at all in ceasing from sin. Afterward I did not want to sin very much, but just a little. That seemed all right; I thought that was desirable; it was pleasing to me. I did not want to be a very bad sinner — in fact, I did not want to be called a sinner at all; but I did not want to cease from sin. Now, that is my public confession. I do not know whether any of you would duplicate it or not.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.19

    (Voices) I can.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.20

    Now here is a way by which if any one thinks more than that is desirable, that may be obtained; and if he does not think it is desirable, of course he will never obtain it. Christ hath suffered, being tempted, and is able to succor them that are tempted. Whoever arms himself with the same mind, by letting it be in him, and desires to be freed from sin so greatly that he is willing to endure suffering in the flesh in the struggle, may cease from sin. Christ suffered for us in the flesh being tempted. That is to say, his resistance of sin was so real, so powerful, the sin that was presented to him to resist was so strong, that it drew on the very fibres of his body, his very existence. How did he resist? — By faith. He struggled, — there was that which caused him suffering in the flesh because of the sin in the flesh.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 209.21

    Now let us read Isaiah 40:1, 2: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith the Lord.” Here is a message of comfort. We have referred to this chapter several times before, and we have found that its special application is now, because it contains the message that is to prepare the way of the Lord when he shall come with his reward. So to us apply the words, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak comfortably to Jerusalem,” literally, “speak to the heart of Jerusalem,” that is, so that they will understand, “and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” What has she received double? — Mercy; because when the Lord pardons sins, gives grace to pardon, he does not measure it to fit the exact size and need. No, “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” There is more than enough. “Return unto your God, and he will abundantly pardon;” as the margin has it, “multiply to pardon.” “Cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished.” Here is something that is to be told to the people — Your warfare is accomplished. Does that mean that men may now sit down and have an easy time? — Oh, no; far from it; it means action. It means the taking of the victory that has been gained. Christ has accomplished the warfare; therefore what are you to do? — Rejoice in it. How can you rejoice in it? — By faith. Well, what is meant by that — by having victory in him? We get victory because his victory is our victory. His victory is our victory, because he gained it for us, and we get the benefit of it by allowing him to dwell in us in his fullness. The enemy is just as powerless against Christ in us, as he was against Christ eighteen hundred years ago.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 210.1

    Christ has gained the victory, — complete, perfect, absolute. He did no sin. He did not know sin in the sense of doing it; but he knew it in the power of it. Christ knows the power of sin better than anybody in this house, because he resisted to the utmost, and we have not. Now when one sets out to resist sin to the utmost, he will know the power of sin as he never knew it before, because if he lets himself be swept along, he will never know the power at all; but when he sets out to resist sin to the utmost extent, he will know the full power of it. Christ knows the power; he has gained the victory, complete, spoiled principalities and powers, and taken the weapons from the enemy. If we are in bondage, then, what are we in bondage to? — Sin. What is it that puts us in bondage? — Fear. There is no need of it, because liberty has been proclaimed, and when the Lord proclaims liberty, there is liberty. The Lord stands and cries to the captives, “Liberty.” Now when the Lord cries, Liberty, there is liberty. But to how many has he proclaimed liberty? — To all that are bound. Christ has brought liberty, absolute freedom. Men were in bondage to sin; Christ has brought absolute freedom from sin to every individual in the world; and he has taken the one who had the power of sin, the author of sin, the originator of sin, and spoiled him, made a show of him; so that he had no power at all in Christ’s hand. With Christ how much power has Satan? — None at all. His power is gone. In any contest with Christ he has no power at all. He is helpless.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 210.2

    Here is a contest, here is a battle; two armies drawn up; here is one army well armed; that is, they have access to the best armor, their magazines are full, they are well equipped, and everything is perfect. The other army has nothing, and they are cowed, defeated. What would you think of this well-equipped army to let itself be taken captive by the other? It would be very foolish.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 210.3

    The message is that the warfare in every particular has been accomplished, has been fought, and won, absolutely. That is a thing for us to believe. Now if we believe that all the time, who is going to be foolish enough to be defeated? For do you suppose — is it possible that any man, believing and knowing that a foe with whom he had to contend was completely defeated, would be taken captive by him? — He could not.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 210.4

    Now arm yourself with the same mind. The devil has learned perfectly Christ’s power. He has contested that, he knows it. He knows perfectly well that he cannot affect him in the slightest particular. Then when it is demonstrated to the devil’s satisfaction that we are armed with Christ’s mind, that we have encased ourselves in him, he will know that he can do nothing with us.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 210.5

    I do not mean to say that the devil will go away, and never come back again, because he has had so much experience with human kind that he knows that if he finds them on their guard one time, the next time he will very likely find them off. Because here is the way with us: when we have gained one victory, we get so elated over it that we begin to spend all our time thinking about it, and then we lose the next one. We think, “Now I am getting pretty good. I have learned how to do it; now I can gain victories all the time; I am all right.” But are we good? — No; it is not I who gained the victory, but Christ. We have no right to take credit to ourselves. No man can ever in his Christian experience say that he is better than he once was; but he can acknowledge Christ’s presence and power in him, and give to him the glory. Suppose I gain a victory, it is Christ who did it; it was not I. I could not do it; but the thing is done. Because the work is all of God, no man can boast. We are not to keep looking back to see how much progress we have made, but keep looking forward and upward to see how much greater things God has to show us.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 211.1

    Now, about arming ourselves with the same mind. “Let this mind be in you.” That is, let Christ himself be in you; let Christ dwell in you. On these words, “Comfort ye,” turn to the fourteenth chapter of John, sixteenth and eighteenth verses: “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter.” Now that word Comforter is from the very same Greek word that is used in 1 John 2:1: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father.” That word “advocate” is identical with this word “Comforter.” So that verse should read, “If any man sin, we have a Comforter with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Now returning to the passage in John: “And he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” Christ says: I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you. Now, when does he mean that he will come?GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 211.2

    Elder A. F. Ballenger: “When spoken, when did it mean?”GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 211.3

    Well, we can answer that. It meant the same thing to those who heard it that it does to us. The same thing that was spoken to them is spoken to us, for the Word is a living Word. Now when will Christ come, when does he come, and how does he come to us according to this promise? — By the Spirit. Christ’s promise to send the Holy Spirit was his proof of the statement that he would not leave us lone orphans, but would come to us. The Spirit, then, is Christ’s representative on earth, and Christ comes and dwells in us by the Spirit. So he says, he shall take of mine, and show them to you. We are well provided with comfort. We have a Comforter with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; that assures an open communication at the end of the line; and we have also “another Comforter” with us, to abide with us forever, so that the communication is open all along the line. “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” The Spirit dwelling in us brings Christ himself to dwell in us; and he in whom Christ dwells by the Spirit, is armed with the same mind that Christ was, is he not?GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 211.4

    Question:— These two Comforters agree, do they not?GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 211.5

    Of course they do. It is all the same comfort; for it is by the other Comforter that Christ dwells in us. Do you believe it?GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 211.6

    (A voice) Yes, it is so.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 211.7

    How do you know it is so? The world cannot receive him, but you know him. How do you know him? — “He dwelleth in you, and shall be in you.” When Christ is made in us righteousness, what is that righteousness? — Absence from sin; “what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” Then Christ is made unto us freedom from sin; are we willing to accept him as that? But this is not all. He is made unto us wisdom. What fellowship has wisdom with ignorance? “In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God and the power of God. Then how can a man, if he believes the Lord, and believes that this is all for us, — how can we (it is a practical thing for us here as delegates) — how can we go on in the dark as to what we ought to do, any more than we can go on living in sin? Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith, so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. That is a good deal. Then why should we not allow God to manifest himself in us for all that he desires to do with us? Remember that we are not able to say anything as of ourselves, but “our sufficiency is of God.” While a man holds himself to this, there is no danger at all. There is no danger in truth. There is no danger in accepting the truth. There never was a man in this world who was fanatical because he believed the Bible.GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 211.8

    We have the promise of wisdom. Not only is Christ our righteousness, but our wisdom. What, then, is the use of our coming together and guessing about things? What is the use of a company of delegates coming together, and using their own human judgment, and then calling their conclusions the will of the Lord? Brethren, there is no need of a single mistake being made in this Conference. There is no need of a single thing being done from first to last that will ever have to be taken back. But I am afraid there will be; for there has never yet been a Conference among us where there was nothing done that had to be taken back. As I have been absent and have read the Conference reports in the BULLETIN, and seen that this one was to go here, and that one to go there, and then in the next number seen the recommendations reversed, and then when the Conference was over, and we received the Review, and would find that some of the recommendations were rescinded and others changed, I have wondered what was the use of wasting so much time in making the first decisions. There never has been a time in our history when mistakes have not been made; but that is no reason why we should go on at haphazard. “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.” That would save much time in our councils. Whoever talks in this Conference, recommending any plan, ought first to be so well acquainted with God that he knows his will in that particular, and then the brethren will recognize it as such, and there will be no discussion over it. And thus, when we act, we may know that it is just the thing that God would have us do. Now when there is a possibility of knowing just exactly what the Lord would have done, what fearful responsibility rests upon the man that goes ahead and does not know. If we say that we don’t know how to speak as the oracles of God, he tells us that he will pour out his Spirit upon us, and make known his words unto us. What, then, is the thing for us to do, brethren?GCB/GCDB March 2, 1897, page 212.1

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