"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
THE CHARACTER OF OUR FATHER
First Printing, 1987
Second Printing and Updating, 1988
Third Printing and Updating, 1990
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THE CHARACTER OF OUR FATHER
Fundamentals of Christian Education, p 444: "The Bible is the Revelation of God to our world, telling us of the character we must have in order to reach the paradise of God....At no period of time has man learned all that can be learned of the word of God. There are yet new views of truth to be seen, and much to be understood of the character and attributes of God,--His benevolence, His mercy, His long forbearance, His example of perfect obedience....This is a most valuable study, taxing the intellect, and giving strength to the mental ability."
Ministry of Healing, p 425: "The knowledge of God as revealed in Christ is the knowledge that all who are saved must have. It is the knowledge that works transformation of character. This knowledge, received, will re-create the soul in the image of God. It will impart to the whole being a spiritual power that is divine."
So by knowing and understanding the true character and attributes of God the Father, we will be transformed and re-created in the image of God. We would receive a spiritual power from God, and this knowledge is what we need to be saved.
Don't you think that Satan realizes this also, and is doing all he can to misrepresent the true character of the Father? If he can deceive us into believing that the Father's character is different than what it really is, then how could we be re-created in the image of God? How could we be saved?
Testimonies, vol 5 (5T), p 746: "Satan is to work to misrepresent the character of God, that he may 'seduce, if possible the very elect.'"
When did Satan start to misrepresent the Father's character?
Desire of Ages (DA), p 21: "Sin originated in self-seeking. Lucifer, the covering cherub, desired to be first in Heaven...Therefore he misrepresented God, attributing to Him the desire for self-exaltation...Because God is a God of justice and terrible majesty, Satan caused them to look upon Him as severe and unforgiving."
Has he been successful?
5T 174: "Thousands have a false conception of God and his attributes."
What is one of the greatest lies that Satan has used to misrepresent the true character of the Father to us? The eternal torment of the wicked, or the immortality of the soul with God being a tyrant ready to punish the sinner.
Early Writings (EW), p 219: "...the way was prepared for Satan to work through his representatives and hold up God before the people as a revengeful tyrant,--one who plunges all those into hell who do not please Him...Satan knew that if this error should be received, God would be hated by many, instead of being loved and adored..."
Which other false doctrines have originated out of this great error?
EW 219: "...many would be led to believe that the threatenings of God's word would not be literally fulfilled, for it would be against His character of benevolence and love...Another extreme which Satan has led the people to adopt is entirely to overlook the justice of God, and the threatenings in his word, and to represent Him as being all mercy, so that not one will perish..."
In other words "God does not kill or condemn"! Are we seeing these false doctrines being advocated by Satan's representatives today? Yes, and did you know that these advocates of "God does not kill or condemn" are actually, whether they know it or not, involved in and are preaching spiritualism!
Sons and Daughters of God (SD), p 46: "...spiritualism assents that...'God doth not condemn.'"
This spiritualistic doctrine and other variations of the same, are spreading faster each day. Did you also know that Sister White wrote that some people would go insane by believing these false doctrines of the Father's character?
5T 444: "Sickness of the mind prevails everywhere....There are erroneous doctrines also...that, by giving exaggerated and distorted views of the character of God, have produced the same result upon sensitive minds."
The advocates of "God does not kill or condemn" even say that all the judgments of God--like the flood, or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and etc., was not from God at all but was through the power of Satan. This same error was advocated three times before in history; once during the time of Noah, once during the time of Moses, and the other in Christ's time--and terrible were the results of those who believed it.
In Noah's period of history:
Patriarchs and Prophets (PP), p 96-103: "...they finally declared that the divine law was no longer in force; that it was contrary to the character of God to punish transgression; and they denied that his judgments were to be visited upon the earth....but their minds had become so blinded by rejection of light that they really believed Noah's message to be delusion.
"It was not multitudes or majorities that were on the side of right....'The threatenings of God,' they said, 'are for the purpose of intimidating, and will never be verified. You need not be alarmed. Such an event as the destruction of the world by the God who made it, and the punishment of the beings He has created, will never take place.'...
"Love, no less than justice, demanded that God's judgments should put a check on sin. The avenging waters swept over the last retreat, and the despisers of God perished in the black depths....
"'By the word of God...the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men' 2 Peter 3:5-7. Another storm is coming. The earth will again be swept by the desolating wrath of God, and sin and sinners will be destroyed....The God of nature, the maker and controller of her laws, can use the works of His hands to serve His own purpose."
During Moses's period and history:
PP 405: "...Korah and his companions rejected light until they became so blinded that the most striking manifestations of his (God's) power were not sufficient to convince them; they attributed them all to human or satanic agency. The same thing was done by the people, who the day after the destruction of Korah and his company came to Moses and Aaron, saying, 'Ye have killed the people of the Lord'....They dared to attribute His (God's) judgments to Satan, declaring that through the power of the evil one, Moses and Aaron had caused the death of good and holy men. It was the act that sealed their doom. They had committed the sin against the Holy Spirit..."
And during Christ's period and history:
Review and Herald, vol 3 (3RH), p 535, col 3: "They attributed to satanic agencies the holy power of God...Thus the Pharisees sinned against the Holy Ghost. Stubborn, sullen, iron-hearted, they determined to close their eyes to all evidence, and thus they committed the unpardonable sin." (see also DA 321, and Great Controversy, p 543).
I know that one of the major stumbling blocks to those who believe that God does not kill, is that they will not take the word of God just as it reads. When the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy states plainly that God does kill in strict justice, they reason that it doesn't mean that at all. They claim that it means just exactly the opposite, and they state that satan was really the one who killed the people. Thus the Bible is made out to be a bunch of lies, which in turn makes God a liar because He is the author of the Bible. They are truly snared in Satan's trap; yet they think that they are upholding God's true character, and proclaiming the message that will obtain salvation to all who believe and teach it to others--and what a masterful deception they are under.
Selected Messages, book 2 (2SM), p 52: "Satan is a cunning worker, and he will bring in subtle fallacies to darken and confuse the mind and root out the doctrines of salvation. Those who do not accept the Word of God just as it reads, will be snared in his (Satan's) trap." (see also Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 417, and 5RH 251, col 3).
Who will be saved from being snared in Satan's trap? They must believe and take the Word of God just as it reads--putting aside their own fallible and erring human reasoning and wisdom and stand firmly upon a plain "thus saith the Lord." And what does God--not satan--plainly state?
Deuteronomy 32:39-41: "See now that I (God) even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand...I will render vengeance to mine enemies..."
This is just one of the many scriptural passages dealing with destruction coming directly through God's power. And yes, there are a few scriptural passages which state that "God killed them," when it was not God at all; but what needs to be understood is that when a situation arose in which there was no clear reason or knowledge as to why it happened, it was stated that God did it, because they had no other answer. In these instances, God Himself does not state that He was responsible for the death, yet it was written that He was anyway. But these few passages can in no way be the rule of interpretation for every other Scripture dealing with God killing the wicked--especially when God Himself states that He did or will do so! Can God lie? Then who is there that is foolish enough to say that God did not or will not do what He Himself states? Let God be true, and every man a liar!
And what does God--not satan--plainly state through the Testimonies?
Pamphlets, vol 2, p 227: "The men (10 spies) that brought up an evil report of the promised land died by the plague, while Caleb and Joshua lived...the Lord thus manifested His power to slay and to keep alive..."
This is just one of the many testimonies dealing with destruction coming directly through God's power. But some might quote the testimony from Christ's Object Lessons, p 84, which states: "God destroys no man. Everyone who is destroyed will have destroyed himself." This statement is true, and understood in the same context of what Sister White was writing about, is in perfect harmony with the testimony above about the spies.
God arbitrarily destroys no one, nor will He lead or force anyone into the paths of unrighteousness. So "everyone who is destroyed will have destroyed himself" because they themselves willingly chose to follow in the paths that led to destruction. They chose to be destroyed and received the end result of what they had sown, but God did not force them into that downward path of destruction. Hence, "God destroys no man."
This is the context of which Sister White was writing in this testimony, and for anyone to use this Testimony as a rule of thumb, to try and teach that God will not destroy anyone, under any conditions--even when He Himself states that He will--is but wresting and twisting the Scriptures and the Testimonies to their destruction; and not only their destruction, but the destruction of all those who follow them.
Also the perfect harmony that exists and is to be held up between one scripture and testimony with every other scripture and testimony is obliterated by their misinterpretation, because it is made to appear that one text or testimony really contradicts and says something entirely different that others! Thus people are led to believe that the Bible has error in it and thus cannot be the guide of life, and Sister White is not the messenger of God because she wrote two different things about the same issue. Oh, what a harvest of wickedness and corruption these people will reap if they continue to believe and teach such twisting and false theories originating from satan himself!
Manuscript 35, 1906 (MR #1511, p 2, 5-6): "In the destruction of the old world by a flood of waters, God gave evidence that men had exceeded the bounds prescribed through His long-sufferance. And whenever a people, with a 'thus saith the Lord' to guide them, presume upon His mercy, and go decidedly counter to His will, despising all His warnings, they finally exceed the limits of grace. Then God interferes and vindicates the honor of His law. He represses the increase of unrighteousness, by blotting out the race who become indifferent to His law which had been made known to the inhabitants of the Noatic [world]. Thus the Lord reveals to the whole human family that it is possible to go so far in sin and disgraceful transgression of His law, that it becomes necessary for Him to limit human life, and interpose in His wrath to prevent their spoiling one another in continual disobedience and defiance of His law....
"We have now reached a time when souls must be saved from becoming completely deceived by falsehoods in the lips of satan's followers. Long has God's law been made void. The necessity of divine interference will soon be manifest. Incorrect conceptions of our God have been formed by many who ought to have known better, and would have known better had they heeded the warnings that God has given....
"May the Lord give me grace to conclude this matter, is my prayer, in order that some souls shall refuse to be spoiled through the various turnings and twistings of falsehood."
Satan has truly snared these people in His trap to the loss of their souls because to believe that God does not kill, and that His wrath will not be poured out upon the wicked, means that they do not believe in the real third angel's message--nor are they preaching or teaching this precious message to others, because it plainly states:
Revelation 14:9-11: "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture...and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb."
Did this say "the wrath of satan?" No, "the wrath of God." What is God's wrath that will be poured out without mixture upon the unrepentant sinner? The 7 last plagues! "Seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God...seven golden vials full of the wrath of God" Rev 15:1, 7. And Revelation 16 tells of these plagues (please also read EW 64-5). And can anyone who refuses to believe in or teach the third angel's message be saved? No! They will receive the mark of the beast, and reap eternal death!
These people are not working for the up-building of God's kingdom, but are really the enemies of God, working for its destruction! I plainly write these things in all sincerity--not with a heart to try and tear up my erring brother's and sister's, but with a heart of compassion and yearning to see them awaken before it is too late. But God's true character will not be compromised with this lie of the devil and his followers.
4RH 241: "The character of God will not be compromised. Under the wrath of God, universal desolation will soon reach all parts of the known world....Those who in mind and heart are turning away from the Lord's special work for this time, those who do not co-operate with him in establishing souls in the faith by leading them to heed His words of warning, are doing the work of the enemy of Christ."
The question that now needs to be asked and clarified is--when then does God destroy?
PP 405: "God works by the manifestation of His Spirit to reprove and convict the sinner, and if the Spirit's work is finally rejected, there is no more that God can do for the soul. The last resource of divine mercy has been employed. The transgressor has cut himself off from God; and sin has no remedy to cure itself. There is no reserve power by which God can work to convict and convert the sinner. 'Let him alone,' is the divine command. Then 'there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries'."
So God punishes and kills the wicked only after their probation is past, and there is no possible way that they will ever come back to him. Oh, what a merciful and loving God we serve.
1SM 313: "The love of a holy God is an amazing principle, which can stir the universe in our behalf during the hours of our probation and trial. But after the season of our probation, if we are found transgressors of God's law, the God of love will be found a minister of vengeance. God makes no compromise with sin. The disobedient will be punished. The wrath of God fell upon His beloved Son as Christ hung upon the cross of calvary in the transgressor's place. The love of God now reaches out to embrace the lowest, vilest sinner that will come to Christ with contrition. It reaches out to transform the sinner into an obedient, faithful child of God; but not a soul can be saved if he continues in sin.
"Sin is the transgression of the law, and the arm that is now mighty to save will be strong to punish when the transgressor passes the bounds that limit divine forbearance. He who refuses to seek for life, who will not search the Scriptures to see what is truth, lest he should be condemned in his practices, will be left to blindness of mind and the deceptions of Satan."
These people who advocate and believe that God does not kill, will only acknowledge that God has the attributes of love and mercy, while they ignore and reason away the other attributes of God, like justice and wrath. They dwell only upon the attribute of the love of God toward the sinner, and His justice against sin is entirely kept out of the picture--the same as those who teach and spread spiritualism! (see Great Controversy, p 558).
They quote Sister White in stating that "God does not stand against the sinner as an executioner," so they reason that God will never destroy anyone. God does not stand against the sinner as one who just waits, as is pictured of an medieval executioner, for someone to kill; yet God will execute and carry out the punishments that have been determined upon those who have spurned His love, and exhausted all the efforts made to save themselves from destruction!
Manuscript 5, 1876 (Manuscript Release (MR) #963, p 2): In no kingdom or government is it left to the lawbreakers to say what punishment is to be executed against those who have broken the law. All we have, all the bounties of His grace which we possess, we owe to God. The aggravating character of sin against such a God cannot be estimated any more than the heavens can be measured with a span. God is a moral governor as well as a Father. He is the Lawgiver. He makes and executes His laws. Law that has no penalty is of no force."
They also quote the sixth commandment--"Thou shalt not kill"--and state that God will not kill anyone, under any conditions, because He will not break His own commandment. The Hebrew word for "kill" translates in Strong's Concordance--"to murder" (#7523), and "murder" means "to kill unlawfully and with malice" (see Websters New World Dictionary). God will not murder anyone, but He will in strict justice, lawfully and without the least bit of malice, kill and destroy determined sinners after their period of probation is forever closed!
But to some, no matter how many conclusive statements are given showing that they hold to a false doctrine, they will continue to hide behind this refuge of lies that God does not kill or will, at any point, destroy the wicked. Yet God does have a point in which His mercy will no longer shield the wicked from His justified wrath!
2SM 372-73: "Men are prone to abuse the long-suffering of God, and to presume on His forbearance. But there is a point in human iniquity when it is time for God to interfere; and terrible are the issues. 'The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked' (Nahum 1:3). The long-suffering of God is wonderful, because He puts constraint on His own attributes; but punishment is nonetheless certain. Every century of profligacy has treasured up wrath against the day of wrath; and when the time comes, and the iniquity full, then God will do His strange work. It will be found a terrible thing to have worn out the divine patience, for the wrath of God will fall so signally and strongly that it is represented as being unmixed with mercy; and the very earth will be desolated."
Who will take the word of God just as it reads and escape from the snare of the devil, and refuse to hide behind the refuge of lies that God does not kill? Who will give up that spiritualistic darkness and error and stand in the light of God's revealed word?
Testimonies to Ministers (TM), p 182: "The world is soon to be left by the angel of mercy, and the seven last plagues are to be poured out...God still holds out to the souls of men the precious privilege of exchanging darkness for light, error for truth, sin for righteousness. But God's patience and mercy will not always wait. Let not one soul think that he can hide from God's wrath behind a lie; for God will strip from the soul the refuge of lies. The bolts of God's wrath are soon to fall, and when He shall begin to punish the transgressors, there will be no period of respite until the end. The storm of God's wrath is gathering, and those only will stand who are sanctified through the truth in the love of God."
Manuscript #5, 1876 (MR #963 p 1-3): "As they reasoned in Noah's day they reason today, when the warning message is proclaimed to fear God and keep His commandments for the wrath of God is soon to fall on all the sinful and disobedient and they will perish in the general conflagration. Professed servants of Christ who are unfaithful, who do not reverence God and with fear prepare for the terrible future event, will lull themselves to carnal security with their fallacious reasoning, as they did in Noah's day. God is too good and to merciful to save just a few...this, they reason, is not in accordance with God....
"God's love is represented in our day as being of such a character as would forbid His destroying the sinner. Men reason from their own low standard of right and justice. 'Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself.' (Ps 50:21) They measure God by themselves. They reason as to how they would act under the circumstances and decide God would do as they imagine themselves would do.
"God's goodness and long forbearance, His patience and mercy exercised to His subjects, will not hinder Him from punishing the sinner who refused to be obedient to His requirements. It is not for man, a criminal against God's Holy law...to dictate to God. After all this effort on the part of God to preserve the sacred and exalted character of His law, if men, through the sophistry of the devil, turn the mercy and condescension of God into a curse, they must suffer the penalty....
"The plea may be made that a loving father would not see His children suffering the punishment of God by fire, while He had the power to relieve them. But God would, for the good of His subjects and for their safety, punish the transgressor. God does not work on the plan of man. He can do infinite justice that man has no right to do before His fellow man. Noah would have displeased God to have drowned one of the scoffers and mockers that harassed him, but God drowned the vast world. Lot would have had no right to inflict punishment on his sons-in-law, but God would do it in strict justice.
"Who will say God will not do what He says He will do? Let God be true and every man a liar. The Lord is coming in flaming fire to take vengeance on those sinners who know not God and obey not His gospel."
I hope and pray that these people who believe this great error of "God does not kill" will wake up, give up this delusive teaching--that the power of God manifested in destruction of determined sinners was really the power of satan--and stand for the truth before it is too late.
5BC 1092, col 2: "To ignore the Spirit of God, to charge it with being the spirit of the devil, placed them in a position where God had no power to reach their souls. No power in any of God's provisions to correct the erring can reach them."
Satan has truly been successful at misrepresenting God's character to the world.
Christ's Object Lessons (COL) 415: "It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted."
That I May Know Him (KH), p 262: "We are not to think of God only as a judge and to forget Him as our loving Father. Nothing can do our souls greater harm than this, for our whole spiritual life will be molded by our conceptions of God's character."
As this is true, that "our whole spiritual life will be molded by our conceptions of God's character," it is extremely important that we have the correct conception and understand what our heavenly Father's character is really like. That is why in this study we are going to deal with the true character of God the Father. Not in speculation, and not from human reasonings, but from that which has already been revealed to us through the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy--through an "it is written."
What is the character of our heavenly Father really like?
KH 288: "Jesus came to represent the character of God..."
SD 125: "The Lord Jesus came to strengthen every earnest seeker for truth, He came to reveal the Father."
Then by looking at the life of Jesus, we can see the Father's character! So as we read about the life of Christ, and the works of Christ, think about the Father.
In Heavenly Places (IHP), p 18: "We are not to estimate the character of God by the stupendous works of nature alone, but by the simple, lovely life of Jesus, who presented Jehovah as more merciful, more compassionate, more tender, than our earthly parents. Jesus presented the Father as one to whom we could give our confidence and present our wants. When we are in terror of God, and overwhelmed with the thought of His glory and majesty, the Father points us to Christ as His representative. What you see revealed in Jesus, of tenderness, compassion, and love, is the reflection of the attributes of the Father."
8T 286: "Tender, compassionate, sympathetic, ever considerate of others, He represented the character of God..."
Medical Ministry (MM), p 19-20: "So full of sympathy and love was His attitude that the poorest was not afraid to come to Him. He was kind to all, easily approached by the most lowly. He went from house to house, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, comforting the mourners, soothing the afflicted, speaking peace to the distressed. He took the little children in His arms and blessed them, and spoke words of hope and comfort to the weary mothers. With unfailing tenderness and gentleness He meet every form of human woe and affliction. Not for Himself, but for others did He labor. He was willing to humble Himself, to deny Himself. He did not seek to distinguish Himself. He was the servant of all. It was His meat and drink to be a comfort and a consolation to others, to gladden the sad and heavy-laden ones with whom He daily came in contact....His love, pure and holy, blessed all who came within the sphere of its influence. His character was absolutely perfect, free from the slightest stain of sin. He came as an expression of the perfect love of God..."
As Christ was healing the sick from all manner of their diseases, how was it done? It was a miracle of God through Christ our mediator. But was this all that there was to it? Or was there more involved?
The Bible states in Matthew 8:17, that "(Christ) took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." And in Isaiah 63:9, that "in all their affliction he was afflicted." So in healing the people Christ took their infirmities, He bare their sicknesses, and He Himself was afflicted.
But did our Saviour really feel their afflictions and pains as they were being healed through Him? Did He love us so much that He would heal the people, of even the worst of afflictions, even though He knew that He would feel pain by doing so?
KH 48: "Christ alone was able to bear the afflictions of the many....He never bore disease in His own flesh, but He carried the sickness of others. With tenderest sympathy He looked upon the suffering ones who pressed about Him....With a power that never quaked He cast out the evil spirits that possessed mind and body, while the pain of the sufferers thrilled through His whole being. The power of love was in all His healing. He identified His interests with suffering humanity....Thus He expressed His love for the children of men. His miracles were part of His mission."
Our Saviour loved us so much that He would literally feel pain just so we could be healed of our infirmities. I believe this is how Christ knew that someone, in all that vast crowd which pressed against Him, had been healed by just touching the hem of His garment. And our Saviour turned no one away--no matter how bad their affliction was--"great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all" Matthew 12:15. Oh what love is shown here, and Christ was a representative of the Father.
5T 738-39: "Christ came to reveal God to the world as a God of love, full of mercy, tenderness, and compassion. The thick darkness with which Satan had endeavored to enshroud the throne of Deity was swept away by the world's Redeemer, and the Father was again manifest to men as the light of life...Christ declares Himself to be sent into the world as a representative of the Father. In His nobility of character, in His mercy and tender pity, in His love and goodness, He stands before us as the embodiment of divine perfection, the image of the invisible God."
Has the Father's character always been like this? The Bible says that God changes not, but was His character ever this way, even before we were created? Lets look at the plan of our redemption and salvation which was even before the world was created.
DA 20-21: "The plan of our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of 'the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.' It was a unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God's throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan , and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only begotten Son, 'that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'"
When we chose to sin what happened? We were cut off from our Father; we could no longer communicate with God because of sin; satan claimed us as his subjects; and we instantly came under the penalty of death. Why then didn't God destroy us instantly?
2RH 26, col 2: "He (God) has worlds upon worlds that give Him divine honor, and heaven and all the universe would have been just as happy if He had left this world to perish..."
So if all the universe would have been just as happy if God destroyed our world, then why were we not left to perish?
1SM 340-41: "Man through sin has been severed from the life of God....The bewitching power of Satan is upon him. All the ingenious subterfuges the devil can suggest are presented to his mind to prevent every good impulse. Every faculty and power given him of God has been used as a weapon against the divine Benefactor. So, although He loves him, God cannot safely impart to him the gifts and blessings He desires to bestow.
"But God will not be defeated by Satan....Justice demands that sin be not merely pardoned, but the death penalty must be executed. God, in the gift of His only-begotten Son, met both these requirements. By dying in man's stead, Christ exhausted the penalty and provided a pardon....He sent His Son into the world, that through His taking the human form and nature, humanity and divinity combined in Him would elevate man in the scale of moral value with God. There is no other way for man's salvation."
Put yourself in the Father's position if you will. His loving power, through Christ, created man, and now man has sinned--to be eternally separated from Him--to be destroyed in justice and never to know God's true character of love and compassion. The Father knows that He cannot command any being to save man; that only a part of Himself must be sacrificed in order to save man from destruction. He even foresaw that only a few would appreciate this gift and be saved in the end. What would you do?
Manuscript 21, 1900: "In redemption God has revealed His love in sacrifice, a sacrifice so broad and deep and high that it is immeasurable ....When Adams's sin plunged the race into hopeless misery, God might have treated them as sinners deserved to be treated. He might have commanded the angels of Heaven to pour out upon our world the vials of His wrath. He might have removed this dark blot from His universe. But He did not do this. Instead of banishing them from His presence, He came still nearer to the fallen race. He gave His Son to become bone of our bone and flesh or our flesh....He clothed His divine nature with the garb of humanity, and demonstrated before the heavenly universe, before the unfallen world, how much God loves the children of men. The gift of God to man is beyond all computation. Nothing was withheld. God would not permit it to be said that He could have done more or revealed to humanity a greater measure of love. In the gift of Christ He gave all heaven."
Steps to Christ, p 21: "The heart of God yearns over His earthly children with a love stronger than death. In giving up His son, He has poured out to us all heaven in one gift."
So instead of taking Himself and eternal life away from us because of our sins, the Father still came closer to us in giving us all heaven in Christ.
1SM 323: "The Lord could have cut off the sinner, and utterly destroyed him; but the costlier plan was chosen. In His great love He provides hope for the hopeless, giving His only-begotten Son to bear the sins of the world. And since He has poured out all heaven in that one rich gift, He will withhold from man no needed aid that he may take the cup of salvation, and become an heir of God, joint heir with Christ."
KH 60: "John cannot find adequate words to describe the amazing love of God to sinful man, but he calls upon all to behold the love of God revealed in the gift of His only begotten Son. Through the perfection of the sacrifice given for the guilty race, those who believe in Christ...may be saved from eternal ruin....He was willing to step down and submit to insult, mockery, suffering, pain, and death, in order to answer the claims of the immutable law of God, and made a way of escape for the transgressor by His death and righteousness....
"He (Christ) was willing to step down...and submit to insult, mockery, suffering, pain, and death, in order to answer the claims of the immutable law of God, and make a way of escape for the transgressor by His death and righteousness. This was the work which His Father gave Him to do...Every human being should look to Heaven with reverence and gratitude, and exclaim with amazement, 'Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us."
Our loving Saviour was willing to go through all that He did in order to save us. The things that He had to pass through for us is hard to understand with our finite minds. Christ not only went through the first death, but He suffered the wrath of God because of our sins upon Him in order to save His followers from God's wrath which will be poured out upon the unrepentant sinner at the time of the second death. Christ has saved us from this second death if we choose to live and reflect His life. (Please read 2T 200-214 if you want more insight into what Christ really went through. Other testimonies regarding Christ's experiencing and tasting the second death: 5BC 1102-03; 5BC 1127; God's Amazing Grace, p 168; SD 81, 230, 367; KH 289, 369; The Faith I Live By, p 50, 75, 97; IHP 37).
2T 200-01 "The glorious plan of man's salvation was brought about through the infinite love of God the Father. In this divine plan is seen the most marvelous manifestation of the love of God to the fallen race. Such love as is manifested in the gift of God's beloved Son amazed the holy angels.... Christ consented to die in the sinner's stead, that man, by a life of obedience, might escape the penalty of the law of God....In Christ was united the human and the divine."
What is this saying to you; "that in Christ was united the human and the divine?" What does this mean?
Christ was both God and human. He was uniting divinity and humanity in one being. His divinity was united with the Father and His humanity was united with us. Are you now beginning to sense some of the tremendous love of God for us in a greater measure? God the divine Father was personally uniting Himself in Christ, and Christ was personally uniting Himself in humanity.
IHP 77-78: "Christ is the connecting link between God and man."
2 Corinthians 5:19: "...God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself..."
God the Father was uniting Himself through Christ with humanity. What a thought. The Father, from whom all blessings and holiness emanates, from whom sin would be instantly destroyed in His glorious presence, loved man so much that He should unite Himself, through Christ, to fallen, sinful, and wicked humanity in order to try and save man from the sin and death which he chose!
DA 25-26: "God has adopted human nature in the person of His son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven....Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite Love."
The Father gave Himself, in Christ, to save fallen man from destruction and the power of Satan. Who are we to deserve such amazing and infinite love from the Father and Christ?
COL 191: "God gave Himself in His Son that He might have the joy of receiving back the sheep that was lost."
KH 35: "Because divinity alone could be efficacious in the restoration of man from the poisonous bruise of the serpent, God Himself, in His only begotten Son, assumed human nature..."
In John 14:11, Jesus states: "...I am in the Father, and the Father in me..." How is this possible? I don't know--the elect of God will be studying this theme for eternity and they still will not be able to exhaust the theme of God's love for us.
PP 64: "God was to be manifest in Christ, 'reconciling the world unto himself."
MM 19: "Christ came to this world as the expression of the very heart and mind and nature and character of God."
KH 288: "Christ was hid in God, and God stood revealed to the world in the character of His Son....Love for a lost world was manifested every day, in every act of His life....In Christ the light and love of God were manifested in human nature."
6T 230: "God in human form has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel..."
8T 265: "As a personal being, God has revealed Himself in His Son."
6BC 1053, col 1: "Christ came to earth as God in the guise of humanity."
Did Christ reveal the Father's character completely--100%--by His life on earth?
KH 338: "Had God the Father come to our world and dwelt among us, humbling Himself, veiling His glory, that humanity might look upon Him, the history that we have of the life of Christ would not have been changed....In every act of Jesus, in every lesson of His instruction, we are to see and hear and recognize God. In sight, in hearing, in effect, it is the voice and movements of the Father."
Christ said "He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father" (John 14:9).
KH 38: "What speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible Father. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the Word of God. God sent His son into the world, His divinity clothed with humanity, that man might bear the image of the invisible God. He made known in His words, His character, His power and majesty, the nature and attributes of God."
Can you begin to grasp the deeper meaning of the plan of salvation for fallen humanity--for us? Can you begin to understand the verse in Isaiah: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulders: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" Isaiah 9:6.
The Father and Jesus are so closely linked in our plan of salvation, they are as one working together. An example of this is that we cannot come to the Father except through Jesus (see John 14:6), and we cannot come to Jesus except the Father, through the Holy Spirit draws us to Him (see John 6:44).
What tremendous love is here shown! Overwhelming and unmeasurable love. The Father is not holding Himself aloof from His creation, but is drawing us towards Him, through Jesus, with outstretched arms of love.
COL 174: "You who feel the most unworthy, fear not to commit your case to God. When He (Father) gave Himself in Christ for the sin of the world, He undertook the case of every soul."
As the Father is so closely united in Christ with humanity, did God our Father feel the suffering that Christ's nature went through? Did our heavenly Father love us so much that He literally suffered with Christ for our salvation and redemption?
7BC 913, col 1: "Justice demanded the sufferings of man; but Christ rendered the sufferings of a God."
KH 69: "The love of God was Christ's theme when speaking of His mission and His work....Well did the disciples understand this love as they saw their Saviour enduring shame, reproach, doubt, and betrayal, as they saw His agony in the garden, and His death on Calvary's cross. This is a love the depth of which no sounding can ever fathom. As the disciples comprehended it, as their perception took hold of God's divine compassion, they realized that there is a sense in which the sufferings of the Son were the sufferings of the Father."
3RH 302, col 1 (Oct 22, 1895): "The great condescension on the part of God is a mystery beyond our fathoming. The greatness of the plan (of redemption) cannot be fully comprehended, nor could infinite Wisdom devise a plan that would surpass it....Through this plan the great, the dreadful God can be just, and yet be the justifier of all who believe in Jesus, and who receive Him as their personal Saviour....
"God so loved the world that he gave Himself in Christ to the world to bear the penalty of man's transgressions. God suffered with His son, as the divine being alone could suffer, in order that the world might become reconciled to Him."
Just how much did our beloved Father suffer with our beloved Saviour? Just how much love did He give and manifest to us?
KH 70: "'In Him (Christ) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily' (Colossians 2:9). Men need to understand that Deity suffered and sank under the agonies of Calvary."
KH 369: "No line can fathom, no measurement compute, the love revealed by the cross of Calvary....In every pang of anguish endured we behold the throes of paternal love. The Father Himself travailed in the greatness of His almighty love in behalf of a world perishing in sin. By the sacrifice that has been made, the gift of eternal life has been placed within the reach of every son and daughter of Adam."
KH 35: "When we look with the eye of faith upon the cross of Calvary, and see our sins laid upon the victim hanging in weakness and ignominy there--when we grasp the fact that this is God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace--we are led to exclaim, 'Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.'"
Our dear heavenly Father was not just watching our Saviour suffer on the cross, He was suffering right along with Him. He is one with Jesus and as He was united through Jesus with humanity, He felt what Jesus was going through. The Father suffered as only God could suffer. But this is not the end of His love, it even goes beyond this.
5BC 1108, col 2: "Christ submitted to crucifixion, although the heavenly host could have delivered Him. The angels suffered with Christ. God Himself was crucified with Christ; for Christ was one with the Father."
Oh, my dear brothers and sisters, God so loved the world that the Father gave Himself with Christ to be crucified for our sins, that we might have eternal life and be with Him once again! What amazing, infinite, and limitless love is here shown! How can we even begin to measure it? How can our finite minds begin to grasp infinite love? The more we dwell on the Father and Jesus, the more we begin to understand the plan of our salvation, the tremendous cost they went through for us, and the love that it took to carry through with it.
The Father knew exactly what was going to happen. He knew that He would have to suffer--not only in His physical being, but by watching His only begotten Son being beaten and horribly tortured--not by the world--but by His own professed people. Yet those who are truly following Christ--who are living the truth as quickly as it is revealed to them--are able to call God--"our Father." What love--beyond our earthly language! I don't even think that heavenly language is adequate to explain it!
KH 338: "We have an inexhaustible storehouse, an ocean of love in the God of our salvation. He has placed in the hands of Christ all the treasures of the heavenly resources and says, 'All these are for man, in order to convince fallen, sinful man of My love...and that for his happiness I am working and will work.' The happiness of man is to know God and Jesus Christ who He hath sent. It was to make this vast treasure house of all good available that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. He sprinkled every gift with His own blood....The gift to our world in sending Jesus is an exhibition of His grace which God Himself cannot surpass....But one thing is impossible with God--the power of eclipsing the greatness of His gift in showing His love for fallen man."
Sister White wrote that not only is Jesus working for our salvation, but that our Father is working and will work.
DA 21: "So in the heavenly courts, in His ministry for all created beings; through the beloved Son, the Father's life flows out to all; through the Son it returns, in praise and joyous service, a tide of love, to the great Source of all."
Colossians 1:12-13: "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son..."
How are we to become partakers of the inheritance of the saints?
IHP 129: "The work of transformation from unholiness to holiness is a continuous work. Day by day God labors for man's sanctification, and man is to co-operate with Him by putting forth persevering efforts in the cultivation of right habits....Sanctification means habitual communion with God. There is nothing so great and powerful as God's love for those who are His children."
This is our duty to God and Jesus--perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
COL 326: "We are not our own. We have been 'bought with a price'...with the precious blood of Christ....All men have been bought with this infinite price. By pouring the whole treasury of heaven into this world, by giving us in Christ all heaven, God has purchased the will, the affections, the mind, the soul, of every human being....All men are the Lord's property."
Satan has tried to picture our Father as a tyrant and cruel ruler who gives no love, but demands perfect service from us. But praise the Lord this is not true. Truth has gained the victory over this great error of Satan's. Our Father loves us more than we can ever understand.
2RH 26, col 2 (March 9, 1886): "When you look at the cross of Calvary you cannot doubt God's love or His willingness to save. He has worlds upon worlds that give Him divine honor, and Heaven and all the universe would have been just as happy if He had left this world to perish; but so great was His love for the fallen race that He gave his own dear Son to die that they might be redeemed from eternal death. As we see the care, the love, that God had for us, let us respond to it; let us give to Jesus all the powers of our being, fighting manfully the battles of the Lord."
Our heavenly Father is not a tyrant. Although He will justly and mercifully destroy all those who reject His offerings of love and mercy after probation closes, yet He is not a cruel and mean revengeful ruler, but He is working and doing all He can to save us from being destroyed. And when even one person accepts, and becomes a child of God, our heavenly Father Himself joys over that one soul that decides to follow Him and is saved.
Zephaniah 3:17: "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing."
6T 124-25: "The parable of the straying sheep should be treasured...The divine Shepherd leaves the ninety and nine, and goes out into the wilderness to seek the one that is lost....This speck of a world was the scene of the incarnation and suffering of the Son of God. Christ did not go to the world's unfallen, but He came to this world, all seared and marred with the curse....We must bear in mind the great joy, manifested by the Shepherd at the recovery of the lost....And all Heaven echoes the note of joy. The Father Himself joys over the rescued one with singing."
This is our Father, the great and marvelous God of all, who rejoices with singing over one repentant sinner giving his whole heart to Him.
Please let our hearts become broken, and let our love flow back to God in giving our hearts and souls completely to Him through Jesus. Accept the word of God exactly as it reads--giving up all erroneous beliefs, working with Him to save our dear brothers and sisters from destruction before it is too late.
Though we are told but few will respond, and the majority will spurn and reject all entreaties to join us in giving up all false theories in order to accept and live the truth, yet as long as we are connected with God, we need not fear of ever being alone or of standing alone because we have these precious promises.
Acts of the Apostles, p 590: "In comparison with the millions of the world, God's people will be, as they have ever been, a little flock; but if they stand for truth as revealed in His word, God will be their refuge. They stand under the broad shield of Omnipotence. God is always a majority."
Hebrews 12:22-24: "But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant..."
SD 195: "Standing under the broad shield of Omnipotence, we do not feel that we are in the minority. God is a majority."
Please never fear to stand alone if God is on your side. He will never leave nor forsake you, though it seems that all others have. May God help us to see the errors that we hold, and willingly to cast them away from us so that we can live the truth as it is in Jesus, and hold the precious truth out to others to take a hold of.