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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    OUR attention has been called in our studies together to the divine-human family, and some of the benefits of membership in that family. While it might be profitable to carry this phase of the subject much further, yet in view of the shortness of the time that we have to study together, we will turn this evening to another branch of the subject, which will be how we gain membership in this family. In order that we may properly comprehend the subject, it seems necessary to consider for just a moment what would have been our situation, had not Jesus Christ come to this world. By that act of sin through which we were constituted sinners, in which sin was admitted into the flesh, we were utterly and entirely cut off from God and heaven, and had it not been for the condescension of Jesus Christ in coming down from heaven to make a connection once more between this earth and heaven, then the human race would indeed have been as though it had not been, — utterly and entirely cut off from heaven. There would not have been a single bond of union between humanity and heaven, not a single point of contact between them; but Jesus Christ came and by taking our nature, our sinful flesh, he made a connection again between earth and heaven, and he came to this earth to bring heaven to this earth, not to mingle it with earth, but to make a connection again between this earth and heaven, and he was divinity here in the world; yet he was not of the world, he was entirely and wholly of heaven and not of this world at all. And he by coming did not mingle earth and heaven together on this earth; but he came to establish a new kingdom; to establish a kingdom in which those who are members of that kingdom shall be just as thoroughly cut off from the world as the world was cut off from heaven before he came. He came to establish a kingdom in this world wherein those who are members should, of their own choice, connect themselves to this kingdom to their utter separation from the kingdom of this world, so that, while in this world, they should not be of this world any more than when he actually and bodily takes them out of this world. That is, every tie that connects them with the kingdom of this world was to be severed by their own will while they are in this world, so that while they are in this world they will be no more of this world than was Jesus Christ of this world, and then when he comes to call them actually and bodily out of this world there will not be a single tie to be broken that would bind them to this world.GCB February 11, 1895, page 107.7

    Now when he came to this world, he did not bind himself up with the world by a single tie, and when he went back to the heavenly courts he did not break a single earthly tie, for he had not made any. He did not join himself to this world in any way whatsoever. He had nothing more in common with the things of this world, the kingdom of this world, than before he came, yet he did unite himself to sinful flesh and he came to connect earth with heaven; he came to open and to establish his kingdom upon earth, one entirely opposite to the kingdom of this world, just as light is contrasted with darkness, just as righteousness is contrasted with unrighteousness, just as Christ is contrasted with Belial, just as Spirit is contrasted with flesh, just as the world is contrasted with heaven. In all these comparisons it is to show that they are utterly and entirely opposite, and so, “What communion hath light with darkness? what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” What is there in common between Christ and his kingdom and Belial and his kingdom?GCB February 11, 1895, page 108.1

    Now Jesus Christ came and opened up the way into the heavenly kingdom for humanity by coming down into the very place where humanity was, by bringing himself under the very circumstances under which humanity was, by taking upon himself the very load that rested upon humanity, and then by going back. And he established the new and the living way, and he, himself, is the way.GCB February 11, 1895, page 108.2

    And inasmuch as these two kingdoms are so exactly opposite, having nothing whatever in common the one with the other, it is necessary that there should be a complete change when one goes from one kingdom to the other, and as is always the case when one thing goes from one kingdom to another, it must be by the power of God, and the change is from one kingdom up into a higher kingdom, and that always by the power of God. The tree reaches down into a lower kingdom and takes up out of that lower kingdom that which it transforms into its own life. So we must be born again, or born from above. There was no possibility that we who are in this lower kingdom should in any way transform ourselves, or lift ourselves up into a higher kingdom. So that which made the connection, which is always a life connection, must be life from above, because it is through the power of life that the tree transforms that which is in the lower kingdom and brings it up into a higher kingdom. So there must be a life come down from above into this lower kingdom and it by its power must transform. “Except ye be born again (or born from above) ye cannot see the kingdom of God.” So the new birth is the condition of membership in this divine-human family.GCB February 11, 1895, page 108.3

    Now let us be definite, and inquire what the new birth really means, and how it is accomplished. It seems to me that some light may be thrown upon this by going back to the beginning of this trouble. Man was created in the image of God, and being so created, he possessed a well balanced mind, and was in perfect harmony with god; but Satan came in with his temptation and sin entered, and that well-balanced mind was thrown out of balance and every person who commits sin has an unbalanced mind. And I suppose on that basis, we may say that we are all more or less insane, and it is simply a question of degree.GCB February 11, 1895, page 108.4

    But the special point is this, that a mind that consents to sin becomes unbalanced, it cannot remain well-balanced, else it would remain in harmony with God. It would run just as he intended it to run, — perfectly in harmony with him, — and when it gets out of that harmony, it is out of balance, and the difficulty began in the mind, and was caused through the mind. The translation which Dr. Young gives of Genesis 3:13 suggests this idea very clearly. When the woman was asked about her eating the fruit, she said: “The serpent hath caused me to forget” and I did eat.GCB February 11, 1895, page 109.1

    Now that one act of the mind when it consented to sin by forgetting the commands of God, not simply admitted that sin, but threw that mind and all minds that have descended from that mind, out of balance, and the mind, of itself, is no more able to put itself back into balance than a wheel that is out of balance is able to put itself back into balance. There must be a power outside of itself to put it back into balance, and it is the same way with the mind; when once thrown out of balance by sin, it is utterly unable to put itself back into balance. But that mind must be balanced, that injury that was done must be remedied. The way back to perfection is by the same road by which we lost perfection, and we lost it through the mind, and the way back is through the mind, by the power of God in Christ.GCB February 11, 1895, page 109.2

    Now let us read a scripture that expresses this clearly: “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.”GCB February 11, 1895, page 109.3

    Now how did we learn that Christians are to walk? “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” But the Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind; Christians are to walk in him, in Christ Jesus.GCB February 11, 1895, page 109.4

    “As the Gentiles also walk, in the vanity of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their hearts: Who being past feeling gave themselves up to lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness, But ye did not so learn Christ; If so be that ye heard him and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus: That ye put away as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, which maketh corrupt after the lusts of deceit; And that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And put on the new man, which after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.”GCB February 11, 1895, page 109.5

    It reads it out so plainly that it hardly seems that any particular comment is necessary. That it is through the darkening of the mind and through ignorance that they became alienated from the life of God. Now he says, If you have learned this truth as truth is in Jesus, you are to put off the old man which is corrupt, and you are to be renewed in the spirit of the mind, and put on the new man which after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. And is it not perfectly clear from the Scriptures that it is by a change of the mind that we put on the new man? And we are instructed to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof;” and the new man we have learned to be humanity with divinity controlling. And all new men now created in him, when Jesus Christ, the second head of the family, was created, not in the sense that he was a created being, but in the sense that this new arrangement was consummated, that union of divinity with humanity; when that was done, all new men in Christ Jesus were created in him, just as all were created in Adam.GCB February 11, 1895, page 109.6

    Now we are to be renewed in the spirit of the mind. Read this in Romans 12:2: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” This is the way the change is made from this world to the heavenly kingdom. “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed.” How? By making new your mind; by renewing the mind. But what is the agency that renews the mind? And what mind is it that is thus obtained? “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:5, 6. R. V.GCB February 11, 1895, page 109.7

    Now there is not the least thing in common between life and death. They are just as opposite, and just as extreme the one from the other as two things can possibly be. They are no more opposite, and just as extreme the one from the other as two things can possibly be. They are no more opposite, no more extreme in their separation the one from the other, than the flesh and the Spirit, because the mind of the flesh is death, and the mind of the Spirit is life, “because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” You cannot take this mind of flesh and put something into it that will change it and make it what it ought to be, because it is not subject to the law of God and the things of God, and the kingdom of God, and it cannot be.GCB February 11, 1895, page 109.8

    Read on in the eighth of Romans, “And they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” It does not say they do not, but they cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you, and if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his; and if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Read with this 1 John 3:14: “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” Now in the place of death and life, put these terms in the 8th of Romans. We know that we have passed from a carnal mind, from the mind of the flesh, into the mind of the Spirit, because we love the brethren, and the contrast between the two is all the time that sharp and striking contrast as between light and darkness. Just as marked a contrast as between Christ and the devil, utterly and entirely at variance the one with the other, nothing in common. That is the difference between the mind of the flesh and the mind of the Spirit.GCB February 11, 1895, page 109.9

    Now every one who is born into this family, who gains membership into this divine-human family, must have a new mind. That is the condition of membership, that is the means of membership, and it means exactly that to be renewed in the spirit of the mind, a new mind entirely. Nicodemus did not understand that. How is this to be? Let us read the answer:—GCB February 11, 1895, page 110.1

    Jesus answered, Verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is Spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth: So is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:5-8.GCB February 11, 1895, page 110.2

    Only those who are twice-born are members of this divine-human family, and the second birth is just as real, just as literal a thing, and is just as essential in order to be members of this divine-human family as is the first birth. It is just as absolutely necessary that we should be born of the Spirit as that we should be born of the flesh in order that we may be members of this family; and the agency by which we are born the second time into this family, is the same agency by which divinity and humanity were united in the second head of the family; because “the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Now just as in the birth of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit was the agency by which divinity and humanity were united, so also with this, through the agency of the Holy spirit, divinity must be united with humanity in us, and Jesus Christ must come in our flesh by the agency of the Spirit just as he came in the flesh then, and this is all to be accomplished by the renewing of the mind; because the mind is that which controls the being, and if we yield our minds to God, and he can work freely and by our consent through the mind, he will control all the actions; all will be subject to him.GCB February 11, 1895, page 110.3

    In 2 Corinthians 10:5, this thought is still further suggested: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Now that can only be done, and is only possible when the Spirit of God controls the mind, and when the Spirit of God controls the mind in that way so that every thought is brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, all the outward acts which are but the expression of the thoughts, will be in harmony with God.GCB February 11, 1895, page 110.4

    Read further in John 1:11:—GCB February 11, 1895, page 110.5

    He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which are born not of blood, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.GCB February 11, 1895, page 110.6

    They were born of God. How? By receiving him; and what is it to receive him? By believing on his name. Take the same thought in 1 John 5:1, first clause, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” That is the new birth. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” Now the whole tenor of the Scriptures shows that that means more than to consent to the fact that that person who came then was the Messiah, because the devils did that, and they said, “We know thee, who thou art, the Holy One of God.” But, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” To show the force of that, read in Matthew 16, beginning with the 13th verse:—GCB February 11, 1895, page 110.7

    When Jesus came into the coast of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of man, am? And they said: Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, but whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.GCB February 11, 1895, page 110.8

    And “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Upon this foundation principle, that I, Jesus of Nazareth, am the Son of the living God, and that in me is united this principle that divinity dwells in humanity, upon that eternal and everlasting principle, I will establish my church, and the gates of hell, or the gates of death, shall not prevail against it, and they did not prevail against it; they did not prevail against it in him; they will not prevail against it in his followers, because he could not be holden of death. The sting of death is sin, and there being no sin in him, although he was treated like a sinner, yet there being no sin in him, the grave could not prevail against him, and he came forth from the grave, and it is worthy of note further in this connection, that he says, “I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”GCB February 11, 1895, page 110.9

    By sin, the kingdom of heaven was utterly and entirely shut against man, and mankind was shut away from God entirely, and he was as it were cast out of heaven and the door shut and he locked out, and the devil’s plan was that, knowing that death would come as the result of sin, he should be shut up and locked up in death. But Jesus Christ came down from heaven, and coming down to take humanity, he brought with him the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and he delivered those keys into the hands of humanity once more; he opened the way again into the kingdom of heaven for humanity. He went right into the very prison-house of death, right into the devil’s stronghold, and when he came out, he took the keys with him, and as the scripture says in Revelation the first chapter, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell and of death.” And he went back to heaven and he took those keys back with him, but he left the keys of the kingdom of heaven here upon earth, and so he came down to exchange keys, and to put into the hands of humanity once more the power to be sons of God; and when he came, he took out of the hands of the devil the power to shut humanity away from the kingdom of heaven. That is what Jesus Christ has done in coming to this world.GCB February 11, 1895, page 111.1

    Now the membership in this divine-human family is by birth just as literally as the membership in a purely human family is by birth. It is spiritual while that was natural; this is spiritual while that was of the flesh; and this is of the mind while that was of the body, but none the less real, none the less literal. And it is accomplished by giving up our minds wholly to God. It is accomplished by believing in his name; but this believing included more than an assent to something as being true; believing on Jesus as the Messiah and faith in him and believing in his name means that submission of the will to him, that yielding of the heart to him, that placing of affection upon him, without which there can be no real faith. It is not simply an intellectual act; it includes the whole being. It is forsaking all, then it is receiving all. But it is impossible to forsake part and receive part. This transformation is complete, and this question of turning to God is not something to be done in a half hearted way; the distinction is just as clean-cut and just as sharply defined as it can be, — utterly and entirely distinct, — and I say there is no more bond of union, no more connection between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of heaven than there would have been between this world and heaven, had the plan of salvation never been devised.GCB February 11, 1895, page 111.2

    Now sin is just as wholly and entirely separate from God as ever, and he who holds to sin or to the things of the kingdom of this world, in any degree shuts himself off just as irrevocably from the kingdom of heaven as though he never had thought of the kingdom of heaven.GCB February 11, 1895, page 111.3

    These two things cannot mingle in the least. They are just as distinct as the human and the divine can be. And so this new birth means something. This becoming a member of the divine-human family means something. it means to give up every kind of connection or thought of a connection with the other family. It means the willingness to abandon everything that is of the flesh and connected with the flesh, and turn to God for all that he is to us in Jesus Christ.GCB February 11, 1895, page 111.4

    Now these things are contrary the one to the other. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: that ye may not do the things that ye would.” Galatians 5:17 R.V.GCB February 11, 1895, page 111.5

    Now I read one more thought in Romans 7:18: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.” In my flesh dwelleth no good thing; not a single good thing; not a sign of a good thing in my flesh. “For to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Now that is just where the religion of Jesus Christ comes in, and with the religion of Jesus Christ, the difference is just this: what we will now we are able to perform in him.GCB February 11, 1895, page 111.6


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    WORD continues to come to us of the suffering that exists in the West and this is greatly increased since the colder weather came on. Our people should feel a deep interest for their suffering brethren and for others. The General Conference Committee announce that they will be glad to receive donations for the sufferers; and request that such be sent to their treasurer, W. H. Edwards, Battle Creek, and they will see that they are judiciously used. It seems that food and fuel are most needed now, and as these can be purchased reasonably on the ground, it will be better to send the money; still, contributions of clothing are wanted. Those preferring to do so, may send donations directly to the Relief Committees, E. O. Burgess, Vilas, South Dakota; or James Skinner, 1505 E St., Lincoln, Nebraska. the time to act is now.GCB February 11, 1895, page 112.1

    ELDER DAN T. JONES of Guadalajara, Mexico, arrived in the city on Friday afternoon and was welcomed by a large number of friends. He is accompanied by brother Miguel Placencia, of Guadalajara, the first Mexican Seventh-day Adventist we have seen. May he be one of a numerous company that the truth will gather from that nation.GCB February 11, 1895, page 112.2

    IT is a pleasure to have with us Elder John A. Brunson, lately pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Asheville, N. C., who came to a knowledge and acceptance of the truth under the labors of Elder G. I. Butler last summer. Sister Brunson is undergoing some treatment at the Sanitarium, and we are happy to report that she is making good progress.GCB February 11, 1895, page 112.3

    THE regular issue of the BULLETIN is ten thousand copies. This number is sufficient to supply the lists and leave some extra copies from which to supply those who may wish to order back numbers. As long as they last, the first who come will be first served.GCB February 11, 1895, page 112.4

    THE world-wide extent to which our work has now attained may be judged by a glance at the list of delegates and others in attendance at this meeting. There are representatives of nearly if not quite every State in the Union, and of Canada. Mexico is represented by missionaries and native converts, as are South America, Japan, and the Protestant countries of Europe and Australasia. Missionaries are here from Central America, Oceania, India, and natives of Armenia and Syria.GCB February 11, 1895, page 112.5

    ELDER G. A. IRWIN was on the sick list with la grippe for four days, but we are happy to say that he is at his post again in charge of the Institute meetings. Elder Loughborough supplied his place.GCB February 11, 1895, page 112.6

    PROF. R. B. TAGGART, teacher of ancient languages in Harriman (Tenn.) University, is with us. Having obtained a few days release from his duties, he improved the opportunity to attend the Institute and Conference for a week or ten days. We all extend a hearty welcome.GCB February 11, 1895, page 112.7

    THE faculty of the College have decided to omit afternoon exercises in order the better to permit students and teachers to attend the meetings. The Biblical studies in the General Conference have been suspended for the same purpose.GCB February 11, 1895, page 113.1

    THE classes in oratory number about fifty members. They meet daily at 8 A. M. and 4:30 P. M. The interest is good, and Prof. Humphrey has won the confidence of his students by his practical knowledge, and manner of teaching the art of public speaking.GCB February 11, 1895, page 113.2

    Two purposes are placed before us in the discourses by Elders Prescott and Jones: One is, to become separate from the world; the other, to draw near to God. It is a blessed thought that as the world is about to cast off his people, God is drawing them to himself by the revelation of his wonderful love in Christ Jesus. Separation from the world means nearness to God.GCB February 11, 1895, page 113.3

    CALIFORNIA is seldom behind in any laudable enterprise, but, so far, the delegation from the Golden State has been conspicuously absent. They are expected to-day, however, and we hope in our next to announce their safe arrival. Perhaps they count their attendance from the time of leaving home. If so, they are not far behind, after all.GCB February 11, 1895, page 113.4

    DR. KELLOGG’S representation of the manner in which some people live out the health reform will be read with peculiar interest. Perhaps some will feel a thrill of conscience because it comes so near their own experiences.GCB February 11, 1895, page 113.5

    How many there are who have made some blind attempt to reform their habits and have run into even worse habits than those they professed to forsake. These lectures and subsequent ones are worthy of careful thought. The lesson from the heathen given in this number will be followed in our next by one on the same subject based on the Bible.GCB February 11, 1895, page 113.6

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