Accepted in the Beloved
Christ says, If I go away, I will send you the Comforter, and when we have the Holy Spirit we have everything. We have knowledge, wisdom, power, and we have a connection with the God of wisdom. When heaven was opened to man, and God said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” He said it to us.
Your prayers, through faith in your substitute, Jesus Christ, are accepted. God accepts Christ, our substitute. He took human nature upon Himself and fought the battles that human nature is engaged in. He is connected with the divine and was to fight the battles with Satan.
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Now, what we want you to see is the relation which you sustain to the work of God. What condescension God has shown that He should give His Son that we might defeat the powers of darkness! God was not the originator of sin, in order that He might rid the human race of sin.
Here was the law of God, and He could not alter it a jot or tittle. It was a representation of His character. He could not change it because it is by that law that we are to be judged in the last day. It is no excuse to say that iniquity abounds, and that the law of God is done away or changed or altered. It is this that causes the existence of iniquity. This is the very work that Satan commenced in heaven, and he will carry it forward to the end.
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I ask you what position shall we take that we may be partakers of the divine nature? Why should we not see in that law the righteousness of Jesus Christ? Christ comes in and imputes to me His righteousness in His perfect obedience to that law.
God and Man Met at the Cross
Here the battle is before us. We see the battle, how Christ contended with the powers of darkness; and we see what He has done, and why the cross of Calvary had been erected between God and man. Then what? Man comes to Christ, and God and man are united at the cross, and here mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and truth have kissed each other.
This is drawing man to the cross, where Christ died in behalf of man, to elevate the law of Jehovah, but not to lessen it one iota. Could He have done this, Christ need not have died. The cross of Calvary will stand in the judgment and testify to everyone the immutability and changeless character of the law of God, and not a word can be offered for sin in that day.
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
What does that mean? The work must be carried on, and this little world was chosen in which to carry on this work. All the universe of heaven was interested in the great work. Every world that God has created is watching to see how the battle between the Lord of light and glory and the powers of darkness will end.
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The Great War—The Grand Interest of Heaven
Here is Satan, who has been seeking with all his power to shut out the true character of God, so that the world could not understand it, and under a garb of righteousness he works upon many who profess to be Christians, but they represent the character of Satan instead of the character of Jesus Christ. They misrepresent my Lord. They misrepresent the character of Jesus every time that they lack mercy, every time that they lack humility.
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Satan, by instigating in man a disposition to transgress the law of God, mystifies the character of God. Someone must come to vindicate the character of God, and here is Christ, who stands as the representation of the Father, and He is to work out the salvation of the human race.
That wonderful plan of salvation will bear investigation. All heaven is interested in this work. Up to the time when Christ died, though He was human, He was without sin, and He must bear His trials as a human being. There was to be no miracle interposed for Him.
All can testify that God has wrought in these cases; then just such things will take place with us as did with Christ. He was to work no miracle for Himself, but angels protected His life till the time came when He was to be betrayed by one of His disciples, till He was to give His life on Calvary’s cross, and Satan stirred up the minds of men to think that the angels of heaven were indifferent.
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But everyone was watching the contest with interest. From the moment that Christ knelt in prayer on the sod of Gethsemane till He died on the cross and cried out, “It is finished,” the angels and all the universe of God looked on with the greatest interest.
When those words were spoken, the plan was completed—the plan whereby Satan’s power should be limited and broken, and whereby Christ should finally die. And when Christ rose from the dead His triumph was complete. Satan knew that his battle with Christ was lost, but yet he is at enmity with God.
It is man who has apostatized from God. Satan works on men’s minds, trying to instill his devices into their minds and make them think that he is at last to be sovereign of this world. But not so, for the God of heaven lives and reigns, and has children on the earth that He will translate to heaven without their seeing death, when He shall come with power and great glory.
Christ Plead—That They Might Be With Me
We want to ask, What excuse have you when this has been done in your behalf? Just as soon as the trial was ended and Christ was hanging on the cross, Satan thought he had gained the victory; but as soon as Christ arose that thought was uprooted forever for every world that God had ever created. It was final. Never again could he have the least power over the worlds or in heaven.
The justice of God was seen in that He gave Christ to die to save man, for the law condemned man to death; but the righteousness of Christ was brought in and imputed to him that he might be brought back to his loyalty to God. And when Christ’s work was done, the news was heralded through the heavenly hosts.
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When Jesus arose triumphant over the grave, and when He ascended from the Mount of Olivet, He was not only in sight of a few disciples, but many were looking on. There was a multitude of angels, thousands upon thousands who beheld the Son of God as He ascended on high. And as He approached the city of God their voices were raised and the highest angels sang,
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
The question arises,
Who is this King of glory?
Then the answer comes back,
The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.
Then the gates are thrown back and the heavenly train enter in, and the angels would bow in adoration before the Son of God, but He waves them back. Not yet; He must first hear from the Father that the sacrifice has been accepted, and He says, I have a request.
What is that request? That those whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am. Then comes the answer, Let all the angels worship Him; and they bow in adoration before Him, and they touch their golden harps, and raise their voices in praise, saying, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and lives again, a conqueror. And how the arches of heaven ring with rejoicing!
Now Christ is in the heavenly sanctuary. And what is He doing? Making atonement for us, cleansing the sanctuary from the sins of the people. Then we must enter by faith into the sanctuary with Him, we must commence the work in the sanctuary of our souls. We are to cleanse ourselves from all defilement. We must “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Satan will come and tempt you and you will give way to his temptations. What then?
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Why, come and humble your hearts in confession, and by faith grasp the arm of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. Believe that Christ will take your confession and hold up His hands before the Father—hands that have been bruised and wounded in our behalf—and He will make an atonement for all who will come with confession. What if you cannot understand about this matter? He says,
He that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins (2 Peter 1:19).
Now brethren and sisters, I want you to see that you must
add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now when you commence to work, Satan is going to work in an opposite direction; and if you are unkind and harsh, and if you are not seen in the house of God bearing your cross, you have not the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ; you do not discern Him in His love and matchless purity.
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[W]e have a wonderful friend in Jesus, who came to save His people from the transgression of the law. What is sin? The only definition of sin is that it is the transgression of the law. Then here is Jesus Christ, who comes right in and imparts His righteousness to us; we cannot overcome in our own strength, but by faith in Him.
Christ Jesus Wrought the Victory
If you will believe on Jesus Christ, you will have Him today. You must believe that He is your Saviour now, and that He imputes to you His righteousness because He has died, and because He has been obedient unto every requirement of that transgressed law of God. If you do this, you will have a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Adam and Eve lost Eden because they transgressed that law, but you will lose heaven if you transgress it.
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We can be filled with all the fullness of God. Our lives may measure with the life of God. Then can we press back the powers of darkness. Glory to God in the highest! I love Him because He first loved me. I will magnify His name. I rejoice in His love, and when we shall enter in through the gates into the city it will be the highest privilege to cast my crown at His feet. Why? Because He gave me the victory, because He wrought out the plan of salvation.
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And when I look at the glory, and at the saints redeemed, just like a flash will I cast my crown at the feet of my Redeemer. It is His; it was He who purchased my redemption. Glory to God in the highest! Let us praise Him and talk of His mightiness and of what He will do for us. Let us keep His law and then He can trust us, for He has a law and He will reward obedience to that law; He will give us a crown of glory.
Now, brethren, we are almost home; we shall soon hear the voice of the Saviour richer than any music, saying, Your warfare is accomplished. Enter into the joy of thy Lord. Blessed, blessed, benediction; I want to hear it from His immortal lips. I want to praise Him; I want to honor Him that sitteth on the throne. I want my voice to echo and re-echo through the courts of heaven.
Will you be there? Then you must educate your voice to praise Him on earth, and then you can join the heavenly choir and sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. God help us, and fill us with all fullness and power, and then we can taste of the joys of the world to come.
Editorial Note: This article was adapted from the book 1888 Materials, Chapter 12, “Sabbath Talk; Advancing in Christian Experience,” p. 124-128.