Lesson 10 *May 27 - June 2       

Life Through the Holy Spirit

Memory Text: John 6:63 KJV 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

"Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION". Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Used by Permission.

Sabbath Afternoon

The Desire of Ages, p. 671

The Comforter is called "the Spirit of truth." His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself. {DA 671.1}

In describing to His disciples the office work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus sought to inspire them with the joy and hope that inspired His own heart. He rejoiced because of the abundant help He had provided for His church. The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church. {DA 671.2}

Of the Spirit Jesus said, "He shall glorify Me." The Saviour came to glorify the Father by the demonstration of His love; so the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing His grace to the world. The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people. {DA 671.3}

"When He [the Spirit of truth] is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." The preaching of the word will be of no avail without the continual presence and aid of the Holy Spirit. This is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. Only (p. 672) when the truth is accompanied to the heart by the Spirit will it quicken the conscience or transform the life. One might be able to present the letter of the word of God, he might be familiar with all its commands and promises; but unless the Holy Spirit sets home the truth, no souls will fall on the Rock and be broken. No amount of education, no advantages, however great, can make one a channel of light without the co-operation of the Spirit of God. The sowing of the gospel seed will not be a success unless the seed is quickened into life by the dew of heaven. Before one book of the New Testament was written, before one gospel sermon had been preached after Christ's ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the praying apostles. Then the testimony of their enemies was, "Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine." Acts 5:28. {DA 671.4}


Salvation and the Spirit

John 14:6 NKJV 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 16:13 NKJV 13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

1 Corinthians 2:2 NKJV 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

John 3:15-17 NKJV 15 "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Romans 3:22-24 NKJV 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 1:6-7 NKJV 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Romans 8:1 NKJV 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.


Death to Self: The Spirit in Us

Romans 8:6-11 NKJV 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.


The Spirit and Life

Ephesians 2:1 NKJV 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

Romans 6:11 NKJV 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Galatians 5:16-25 NKJV 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.



"Born of the Spirit"

John 3:3-6 NKJV 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Ephesians 2:1 NKJV 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

Titus 3:5 NKJV 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Colossians 2:6 NKJV 6 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

Luke 9:23 NKJV 23 Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

Romans 12:1 NKJV 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Romans 6:19 NKJV 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.



John 14:18 NKJV 18 "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Hebrews 9:24 NKJV 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Jan. 24, 1893

January 24, 1893 "Seek First the Kingdom of God." By Mrs. E. G. White "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." The Lord Jesus will scrutinize every talent, and expect interest in proportion to the amount of capital intrusted. By his own humiliation and agony, Christ has paid the purchase money for our salvation, and he has a right to our services. The very name of servant implies the doing of work, the bearing of responsibility. All our capabilities, all our opportunities, have been intrusted to us for wise improvement, that Christ may receive his own with usury. The heavenly Master ascended on high, and led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men,--divine treasures of truth to be presented to all the world. What use are we individually making of these gifts, the talents in our hands? Are we like the unwise and unfaithful servant, burying these talents in the world, where they will bring no returns to God? It behooves all with careful fidelity to improve the talents intrusted to them; for talents will increase as they are used for the good of humanity and the glory of God. {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 1}

Every soul should seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. We are not to use up all the strength of brain, bone, and muscle in worldly business interests; for if we do, we imperil our spiritual interests, and we shall lose an eternity of bliss. The whole unfallen universe is interested in the great work which Jesus came to our world to accomplish, even the salvation of our souls. And shall not man on earth co-operate with our Redeemer, who has ascended into heaven to make intercession for us? Shall we show no special zeal, no devoted interest, in the work that was devised in heaven to be carried forward in the world for the good of men? Shall we who have been bought with the precious blood of Christ refuse to do the work left in our hands,--refuse to co-operate with the heavenly agencies in the work of saving the fallen? Shall we not go even to the ends of the earth to let the light of truth given to us of heaven shine forth to our fellow-men? {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 2}

We are to be diligent workers; an idle man is a miserable creature. But what excuse can be offered for idleness in the great work which Christ gave his life to accomplish? The spiritual faculties cease to exist if they are not exercised, and it is Satan's design that they shall perish. All heaven is actively engaged in the work of preparing a people for the second coming of Christ to our world, and "we are laborers together with God." The end of all things is at hand. Now is our opportunity to work. "The night cometh, in which no man can work." We should proclaim Christ and him crucified, thus preparing the way for his second appearing. Lift him up, the Man of Calvary. Place yourselves where you may receive heavenly inspiration and be able to point the weary, the heavy-laden, the brokenhearted, the perplexed soul, to Jesus, the source of all spiritual strength. Be faithful minutemen, to show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. With pen and voice proclaim that Jesus lives to make intercession for us. Unite with the great Master-worker, follow the self-denying Redeemer through his pilgrimage of love on earth. The same Jesus that walked with his disciples, that taught them upon earth, that toiled and suffered in his human nature, is with us in his divine power. He is at our right hand to help in every emergency. Let us lift up Jesus, and reveal the Bible foundation for our faith. We are all to proclaim the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Jesus came to magnify the law, and make it honorable. He died to exalt the law of God, testifying of its changeless character; and as we proclaim God's law, we may look unto Jesus and be comforted with the assurance, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 3}

Satan is now working with all his insinuating, deceiving power, to lead men away from the work of the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with mighty power. When the enemy sees that the Lord is blessing his people, and preparing them to discern his delusions, he will work with his masterly power to bring in fanaticism on one hand and cold formalism on the other, that he may gather in a harvest of souls. Now is the time to watch unceasingly. Watch for the first step of advance that Satan may make among us. {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 4}

There are dangers to be guarded against on the right hand and on the left. Those who are inexperienced, who have newly come to the faith, will need to be strengthened, and to have a correct example set before them. Some will not make a right use of the doctrine of justification by faith. They will present it in a one-sided manner, making everything of faith, and belittling works. Others will seize the points that have a leaning toward error, and will ignore works altogether. Now, genuine faith always works by love; it supplies a motive power. Faith is not an opiate, but a stimulant. Looking to Calvary will not quiet your soul into nonperformance of duty, but will create faith that will work, purifying the soul from all selfishness. In laying hold of Christ by faith, we but just begin our work. Every man has corrupt and sinful habits, that must be overcome through vigorous warfare. Every soul must fight the fight of faith. He who is a follower of Christ, cannot deal deceitfully; he cannot be hard-hearted and devoid of sympathy. He cannot be coarse in speech. He cannot be a surmiser of evil, an accuser of the brethren. He cannot be full of pomposity and self-esteem. He cannot be overbearing, using harsh words, and censuring and condemning those around him. {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 5}

The labor of love springs from the work of faith. You are to "let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." We are to "be zealous of good works;" "be careful to maintain good works." And the True Witness says, "I know thy works." While it is true that our busy activities will not in themselves insure salvation, it is also true that faith which unites us to Christ will stir the soul to activity; and good fruit, which is good works, will be the result of faith. {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 6}

Those who have no time to give attention to their own souls, to examine themselves daily whether they be in the love of God, and to place themselves in the channel of light, will have time to give to the suggestions of Satan, and the working out of his plans. Satan will insinuate himself little by little, until he can have a controlling influence on the soul, and induce men gradually to adopt worldly policy. The specious devices of Satan will be brought to make of none effect the special work of God at this time. {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 7}

There are men who are careless in regard to the spirit which they carry with them in their business. They hide their light under a bushel. They say, Religion is religion, business is business. But all our work in this world, even in a business line, is God's work, and should be done with a heart full of his love, and of heavenly enlightenment. But if we need the heavenly enlightenment in business employments in the world, how much more do we need his grace and help in the business especially connected with his precious cause. There must be no coldness, no formality, no deadness in his work. The hardness of heart that is manifest in business lines among us as a people, is an offense to God. {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 8}

Men connected with our institutions in responsible position are intrusted with sacred interests, and they cannot be safe men unless they make God their trust every moment, unless they are men of earnest prayer and fervent piety, in their home life, in the work appointed them, in all their business. There is danger that these men will cheat their souls by neglecting to receive the ever-present help of the Holy Spirit, because they have not a true sense of their own weakness. They fail to become channels of light, and if they will continue to be devoid of light, they will fail of the eternal blessedness hereafter. No one can stand safely in a neutral position. {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 9}

The workers in our institutions need the divine endowment daily. But instead of drawing nearer to God when they accept positions of trust, many think they have so much to do, that they cannot attend religious meetings, and their voices are seldom heard in the congregation of the saints. They act as if they were now so far advanced that they needed not to engage in fervent prayer to God. They do not feel their constant need of education and training in the school of Christ, that they may learn his meekness and lowliness of heart, and they become lifted up in self. Traits of character are manifested by them which are unchristlike. They must be transformed, or they will do harm; for with these unchristlike characteristics they are not qualified for the place. They need to bring their powers under the control of the Spirit of God, that they may realize the necessity of seeking spiritual help, of "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Those who desire wisdom from God, who wish to follow Jesus at every step, will seek for the light, and it will shine in their hearts. "They that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name." {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 10}

Satan is constantly at work to wound and poison the soul. In order to withstand his efforts, we must breathe the atmosphere of heaven. We must individually get hold and keep hold of Christ. The truth of God, dwelling in the heart, and guiding the life, will be our safeguard. With the truth in our possession, we may humbly and firmly advance from light to a greater light, and we shall be guided into every good and holy way. Unless the truth of God transforms the character, it is of no value to the receiver. Those who are in earnest about the future life, will not neglect the opportunities within their reach in this life. They will not only place themselves with the learners of the truth, but will feel that they are under obligation to God to learn all that is possible for them to know of spiritual and heavenly things; they will carry every matter in prayer to God. {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 11}

Coming nigh to God inspires confidence, and stimulates the soul to action. The body would die if deprived of suitable nourishment, and so with the soul; in order to have spiritual strength, or even life, it must be nourished by the word, which is spirit and life. It must be constantly fed by the truth, which connects the soul with Him in whom we live, and move, and have our being. Every man in a responsible position needs the sunbeams of Christ's righteousness constantly to illuminate his soul, or his course will do much harm. Every person who is in a position to command, needs to come as often as possible into association with the worshiping assemblies, that he may be surrounded with a spiritual atmosphere, and have greater depth of experience in divine things. {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 12}

To keep your soul in the love of God you must place yourselves in the channel of light, and breathe in a holy atmosphere; for through neglect of any means of grace which God has ordained to impart spiritual strength and grace, you bring blindness upon your souls, and hardness into your hearts, and Satan will lead you to look at things in a perverted light. If you have no respect for the messages which God sends you by his chosen servants, what power has he in reserve that will reach your case and correct your errors, so that you shall not be led into false paths? The garden of your heart must be cultivated. The poisonous, Satanic plants must be uprooted, the soil must be prepared, thoroughly plowed by the word of God, and the precious seeds of truth must be sown and tended by a wise, skillful gardener. {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 13}

"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first." The parable of the man from whom an evil spirit had been cast out, who did not fill the soul with the love of Christ, illustrates the necessity of not only emptying the heart, but of supplying the vacuum with a divine occupant. The demon desired to return to the heart from which he had been expelled. He came, and though it was swept and garnished, he found it still empty, and entered in with seven other spirits more evil than himself, so that the last state of the man was worse than the first. The man in this parable refused to do the work of Satan; but the trouble with him was that after the heart was swept and garnished, he failed to invite the presence of the heavenly guests. It is not enough to make the heart empty; we must have the vacuum filled with the love of God. The soul must be furnished with the graces of the Spirit of God. We may leave off many bad habits, and yet not be truly sanctified, because we do not have a connection with God. We must unite with Christ. There is a reservoir of power at our command, and we are not to remain in the dark, cold, sunless cave of unbelief; or we shall not catch the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. {RH, January 24, 1893 par. 14}

To be a Christian requires more than a profession of faith. There must be an earnest effort to conquer through the grace freely given of God. All things around us must be made to be helps to growth in grace and the knowledge of Christ. Satan, the great rebel, is ever seeking to entice us to sin against God. He will introduce false imaginings, and sway the understanding against the revealed will of God, the lower passions against purity and self-denial, the independent judgment against God's decisions, the wisdom from beneath against the wisdom from above. But the Holy Spirit has come into the world to subdue all things unto himself, and shall God's will be put in the background, and man's will be held as supreme? Can man's will be the controlling power in God's great contest for the recovery of his own?--No, for those who are laborers together with God must have the mind of Christ, and work with pen and voice in the Spirit of Christ to meet wrong tendencies, to correct errors, that have been coming in among us. The truth must no longer be kept in the outer court, but be brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul. The religion of Christ requires not only the putting away of pride, malice, covetousness, injustice, but the cultivation of the precious graces of humility, unselfishness, kindness, love, generosity, and nobility of soul. The Christian should be constantly aspiring, pressing on from grace to grace, from faith to a greater faith, from glory to a greater glory.


Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 226-231

The reproof of the prophet is applicable to many in our day. They cannot gainsay the clear and convincing arguments that sustain the truth, but they accept it more as the result of human reasoning than of divine revelation. They have no true sense of their condition as sinners, they manifest no real brokenness of heart; but, like the Pharisees, they feel that it is a great condescension for them to accept the truth. {5T 226.1}

None are further from the kingdom of heaven than self-righteous formalists, filled with pride at their own attainments, while they are wholly destitute of the spirit of Christ; while envy, jealousy, or love of praise and popularity controls them. They belong to the same class that John addressed as a generation of vipers, children of the wicked one. Such persons are among us, unseen, unsuspected. They serve the cause of Satan more effectively than the vilest profligate; for the latter does not disguise his true character; he appears what he is. {5T 226.2}

God requires fruit meet for repentance. Without such fruit our profession of faith is of no value. The Lord is able to raise up true believers among those who have never heard His name. "Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." {5T 226.3}

God is not dependent upon men who are unconverted in heart and life. He will never favor any man who practices iniquity. "And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." (p. 227) {5T 226.4}

Those who laud and flatter the minister, while they neglect the works of righteousness, give unmistakable evidence that they are converted to the minister and not to God. We inquire: "Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" Was it the voice of the Holy Spirit or merely the voice of man which you heard in the message sent from God? The fruit borne will testify to the character of the tree. {5T 227.1}

No outward forms can make us clean; no ordinance, administered by the saintliest of men, can take the place of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of God must do its work upon the heart. All who have not experienced its regenerating power are chaff among the wheat. Our Lord has His fan in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor. In the coming day He will discern "between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not." {5T 227.2}

The spirit of Christ will be revealed in all who are born of God. Strife and contention cannot arise among those who are controlled by His Spirit. "Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord." The church will rarely take a higher stand than is taken by her ministers. We need a converted ministry and a converted people. Shepherds who watch for souls as they that must give account will lead the flock on in paths of peace and holiness. Their success in this work will be in proportion to their own growth in grace and knowledge of the truth. When the teachers are sanctified, soul, body, and spirit, they can impress upon the people the importance of such sanctification. {5T 227.3}

To talk of religious things in a casual way, to pray for spiritual blessings without real soul hunger and living faith, avails little. The wondering crowd that pressed close about Christ realized no vital power from the contact. But when the poor, suffering woman, in her great need, put forth her hand and touched the hem of Jesus' garment, she felt the healing virtue. Hers was the touch of faith. Christ recognized that touch, and He determined there to give a lesson for all

(p. 228) His followers to the close of time. He knew that virtue had gone out of Him, and turning about in the throng He said: "Who touched My clothes?" Surprised at such a question His disciples answered: "Thou seest the multitude thronging Thee, and sayest thou, Who touched Me?" {5T 227.4}

Jesus fixed His eyes upon her who had done this. She was filled with fear. Great joy was hers, but had she overstepped her duty? Knowing what was done in her, she came trembling and fell at His feet and told Him all the truth. Christ did not reproach her. He gently said: "Go in peace, and be whole of thy plague." {5T 228.1}

Here was distinguished the casual contact from the touch of faith. Prayer and preaching, without the exercise of living faith in God, will be in vain. But the touch of faith opens to us the divine treasure house of power and wisdom; and thus, through instruments of clay, God accomplishes the wonders of His grace. {5T 228.2}

This living faith is our great need today. We must know that Jesus is indeed ours, that His spirit is purifying and refining our hearts. If the ministers of Christ had genuine faith, with meekness and love, what a work they might accomplish! What fruit would be seen to the glory of God! {5T 228.3}

What can I say to you, my brethren, that shall arouse you from your carnal security? I have been shown your perils. There are both believers and unbelievers in the church. Christ represents these two classes in His parable of the vine and its branches. He exhorts His followers: "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing." {5T 228.4}

There is a wide difference between a pretended union and a real connection with Christ by faith. A profession of the truth places men in the church, but this does not prove that (p. 229) they have a vital connection with the living Vine. A rule is given by which the true disciple may be distinguished from those who claim to follow Christ but have not faith in Him. The one class are fruit bearing, the other, fruitless. The one are often subjected to the pruning knife of God that they may bring forth more fruit; the other, as withered branches, are erelong to be severed from the living Vine. {5T 228.5}

I am deeply solicitous that our people should preserve the living testimony among them, and that the church should be kept pure from the unbelieving element. Can we conceive of a closer, more intimate relation to Christ than is set forth in the words: "I am the Vine, ye are the branches"? The fibers of the branch are almost identical with those of the vine. The communication of life, strength, and fruitfulness from the trunk to the branches is unobstructed and constant. The root sends its nourishment through the branch. Such is the true believer's relation to Christ. He abides in Christ and draws his nourishment from Him. {5T 229.1}

This spiritual relation can be established only by the exercise of personal faith. This faith must express on our part supreme preference, perfect reliance, entire consecration. Our will must be wholly yielded to the divine will, our feelings, desires, interests, and honor identified with the prosperity of Christ's kingdom and the honor of His cause, we constantly receiving grace from Him, and Christ accepting gratitude from us. {5T 229.2}

When this intimacy of connection and communion is formed, our sins are laid upon Christ; His righteousness is imputed to us. He was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. We have access to God through Him; we are accepted in the Beloved. Whoever by word of deed injures a believer thereby wounds Jesus. Whoever gives a cup of cold water to a disciple because he is a child of God will be regarded by Christ as giving to Him. (p. 230) {5T 229.3}

It was when Christ was about to take leave of His disciples that He gave them the beautiful emblem of His relation to believers. He had been presenting before them the close union with Himself by which they could maintain spiritual life when His visible presence was withdrawn. To impress it upon their minds He gave them the vine as its most striking and appropriate symbol. {5T 230.1}

The Jews had always regarded the vine as the most noble of plants and a type of all that was powerful, excellent, and fruitful. "The vine," our Lord would seem to say, "which you prize so highly, is a symbol. I am the reality: I am the True Vine. As a nation you prize the vine; as sinners you should prize Me above all things earthly. The branch cannot live separated from the vine; no more can you live unless you are abiding in Me." {5T 230.2}

All Christ's followers have as deep an interest in this lesson as had the disciples who listened to His words. In the apostasy, man alienated himself from God. The separation is wide and fearful; but Christ has made provision again to connect us with Himself. The power of evil is so identified with human nature that no man can overcome except by union with Christ. Through this union we receive moral and spiritual power. If we have the spirit of Christ we shall bring forth the fruit of righteousness, fruit that will honor and bless men, and glorify God. {5T 230.3}

The Father is the vinedresser. He skillfully and mercifully prunes every fruit-bearing branch. Those who share Christ's suffering and reproach now will share His glory hereafter. He "is not ashamed to call them brethren." His angels minister to them. His second appearing will be as the Son of man, thus even in His glory identifying Himself with humanity. To those who have united themselves to Him, He declares: "Though a mother may forget her child, 'yet will not I forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.' Thou art continually before Me."

(p. 231) {5T 230.4}

Oh, what amazing privileges are proffered us! {5T 231.1}

Will we put forth most earnest efforts to form this alliance with Christ, through which alone these blessings are attained? Will we break off our sins by righteousness and our iniquities by turning unto the Lord? Skepticism and infidelity are widespread. Christ asked the question: "When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" We must cherish a living, active faith. The permanence of our faith is the condition of our union. {5T 231.2}

A union with Christ by living faith is enduring; every other union must perish. Christ first chose us, paying an infinite price for our redemption; and the true believer chooses Christ as first and last and best in everything. But this union costs us something. It is a union of utter dependence, to be entered into by a proud being. All who form this union must feel their need of the atoning blood of Christ. They must have a change of heart. They must submit their own will to the will of God. There will be a struggle with outward and internal obstacles. There must be a painful work of detachment as well as a work of attachment. Pride, selfishness, vanity, worldliness--sin in all its forms--must be overcome if we would enter into a union with Christ. The reason why many find the Christian life so deplorably hard, why they are so fickle, so variable, is that they try to attach themselves to Christ without first detaching themselves from these cherished idols. {5T 231.3}

After the union with Christ has been formed, it can be preserved only by earnest prayer and untiring effort. We must resist, we must deny, we must conquer self. Through the grace of Christ, by courage, by faith, by watchfulness, we may gain the victory. {5T 231.4}

Believers become one in Christ, but one branch cannot be sustained by another. The nourishment must be obtained through the vital connection with the vine. We must feel our utter dependence on Christ. We must live by faith on the (p. 232) Son of God. That is the meaning of the injunction: "Abide in Me." The life we live in the flesh is not to the will of men, not to please our Lord's enemies, but to serve and honor Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. A mere assent to this union, while the affections are not detached from the world, its pleasures and its dissipations, only emboldens the heart in disobedience. {5T 231.5}

As a people we are sadly destitute of faith and love. Our efforts are altogether too feeble for the time of peril in which we live. The pride and self-indulgence, the impiety and iniquity, by which we are surrounded have an influence upon us. Few realize the importance of shunning, so far as possible, all associations unfriendly to religious life. In choosing their surroundings, few make their spiritual prosperity the first consideration. {5T 232.1}

Parents flock with their families to the cities because they fancy it easier to obtain a livelihood there than in the country. The children, having nothing to do when not in school, obtain a street education. From evil associates they acquire habits of vice and dissipation. The parents see all this; but it will require a sacrifice to correct their error, and they stay where they are until Satan gains full control of their children. Better sacrifice any and every worldly consideration than to imperil the precious souls committed to your care. They will be assailed by temptations, and should be taught to meet them; but it is your duty to cut off every influence, to break up every habit, to sunder every tie, that keeps you from the most free, open, and hearty committal of yourselves and your family to God. {5T 232.2}

Instead of the crowded city seek some retired situation where your children will be, so far as possible, shielded from temptation, and there train and educate them for usefulness. The prophet Ezekiel thus enumerates the causes that led to Sodom's sin and destruction: "Pride, fullness of bread, and (p. 233) abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." All who would escape the doom of Sodom must shun the course that brought God's judgments upon that wicked city. {5T 232.3}

Selected Messages, book 2, pp. 38-39

Those things which have been in the past will be in the future. Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted. God calls upon His people, who have the light before them in the Word and in the Testimonies, to read and consider, and to take heed. Clear and definite instruction has been given in order that all may understand. But the itching desire to originate something new results in strange doctrines, and largely destroys the influence of those who would be a power for good if they held firm the beginning of their confidence in the truth the Lord had given them. {2SM 38.1}

"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip [margin: "run out as leaking vessels"]. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him?" (Heb. 2:1-3). "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end" (Heb. 3:12-14). {2SM 38.2}

Brother and Sister Haskell, we must put on every piece of the armor, and having done all, stand firm. We are set as a defense for the gospel, and we must compose a part of the Lord's grand army for aggressive warfare. By the Lord's faithful ambassadors the truth must be presented in clear-cut lines. Much of that which today is called testing truth is twaddle which leads to a resistance of the Holy Spirit.... {2SM 38.3} Defective Presentation Regarding the Holy Spirit Much is being said regarding the impartation of the Holy Spirit, and by some this is being so interpreted that it is an injury to the churches. Eternal life is the receiving (p. 39) of the living elements in the Scriptures and doing the will of God. This is eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. To those who do this, life and immortality are brought to light through the gospel, for God's Word is verity and truth, spirit and life. It is the privilege of all who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour to feed on the Word of God. The Holy Spirit's influence renders that Word, the Bible, an immortal truth, which to the prayerful searcher gives spiritual sinew and muscle. {2SM 38.4}

"Search the scriptures," Christ declared, "for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). Those who dig beneath the surface discover the hidden gems of truth. The Holy Spirit is present with the earnest searcher. Its illumination shines upon the Word, stamping the truth upon the mind with a new, fresh importance. The searcher is filled with a sense of peace and joy never before felt. The preciousness of truth is realized as never before. A new, heavenly light shines upon the Word, illuminating it as though every letter were tinged with gold. God Himself has spoken to the mind and heart, making the Word spirit and life. {2SM 39.1}

Every true searcher of the Word lifts his heart to God, imploring the aid of the Spirit. And he soon discovers that which carried him above all the fictitious statements of the would-be teacher, whose weak, tottering theories are not sustained by the Word of the living God. These theories were invented by men who had not learned the first great lesson, that God's Spirit and life are in His Word. If they had received in the heart the eternal element contained in the Word of God, they would see how tame and expressionless are all efforts to get something new to create a sensation. They need to learn the very first principles of the Word of God; they would then have the word of life for the people, who will soon distinguish the chaff from the wheat, for Jesus left His promise with His disciples.--Letter 132, 1900. {2SM 39.2}

The Desire of Ages, pp. 171-176

Nicodemus had come to the Lord thinking to enter into a discussion with Him, but Jesus laid bare the foundation principles of truth. He said to Nicodemus, It is not theoretical knowledge you need so much as spiritual regeneration. You need not to have your curiosity satisfied, but to have a new heart. You must receive a new life from above before you can appreciate heavenly things. Until this change takes place, making all things new, it will result in no saving good for you to discuss with Me My authority or My mission. {DA 171.1}

Nicodemus had heard the preaching of John the Baptist concerning repentance and baptism, and pointing the people to One who should baptize with the Holy Spirit. He himself had felt that there was a lack of spirituality among the Jews, that, to a great degree, they were controlled by bigotry and worldly ambition. He had hoped for a better state of things at the Messiah's coming. Yet the heart-searching message of the Baptist had failed to work in him conviction of sin. He was a strict Pharisee, and prided himself on his good works. He was widely esteemed for his benevolence and his liberality in sustaining the temple service, and he felt secure of the favor of God. He was startled at the thought of a kingdom too pure for him to see in his present state. {DA 171.2}

The figure of the new birth, which Jesus had used, was not wholly unfamiliar to Nicodemus. Converts from heathenism to the faith of Israel were often compared to children just born. Therefore he must have perceived that the words of Christ were not to be taken in a literal sense. But by virtue of his birth as an Israelite he regarded himself as sure of a place in the kingdom of God. He felt that he needed no change. Hence his surprise at the Saviour's words. He was irritated by their close application to himself. The pride of the Pharisee was struggling against the honest desire of the seeker after truth. He wondered that Christ should speak to him as He did, not respecting his position as ruler in Israel. {DA 171.3}

Surprised out of his self-possession, he answered Christ in words full of irony, "How can a man be born when he is old?" Like many others when cutting truth is brought home to the conscience, he revealed the fact that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God. There is in him nothing that responds to spiritual things; for spiritual things are spiritually discerned. {DA 171.4}

But the Saviour did not meet argument with argument. Raising His hand with solemn, quiet dignity, He pressed the truth home with greater (p. 172) assurance, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Nicodemus knew that Christ here referred to water baptism and the renewing of the heart by the Spirit of God. He was convinced that he was in the presence of the One whom John the Baptist had foretold. {DA 171.5}

Jesus continued: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." By nature the heart is evil, and "who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one." Job 14:4. No human invention can find a remedy for the sinning soul. "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." "Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies." Rom. 8:7; Matt. 15:19. The fountain of the heart must be purified before the streams can become pure. He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian's life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. {DA 172.1}

Nicodemus was still perplexed, and Jesus used the wind to illustrate His meaning: "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit." {DA 172.2}

The wind is heard among the branches of the trees, rustling the leaves and flowers; yet it is invisible, and no man knows whence it comes or whither it goes. So with the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. It can no more be explained than can the movements of the wind. A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place, or to trace all the circumstances in the process of conversion; but this does not prove him to be unconverted. By an agency as unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working upon the heart. Little by little, perhaps unconsciously to the receiver, impressions are made that tend to draw the soul to Christ. These may be received through meditating upon Him, through reading the Scriptures, or through hearing the word from the living preacher. Suddenly, as the Spirit comes with more direct appeal, the soul gladly surrenders itself to Jesus. By many this is called sudden conversion; but it is the result of long wooing by the Spirit of God,--a patient, protracted process. {DA 172.3}

While the wind is itself invisible, it produces effects that are seen and felt. So the work of the Spirit upon the soul will reveal itself in every act of him who has felt its saving power. When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven. No one sees the hand that lifts the burden, or beholds the light descend from the courts above. The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God. {DA 173.1}

It is impossible for finite minds to comprehend the work of redemption. Its mystery exceeds human knowledge; yet he who passes from death to life realizes that it is a divine reality. The beginning of redemption we may know here through a personal experience. Its results reach through the eternal ages. {DA 173.2}

While Jesus was speaking, some gleams of truth penetrated the ruler's mind. The softening, subduing influence of the Holy Spirit impressed his heart. Yet he did not fully understand the Saviour's words. He was not so much impressed by the necessity of the new birth as by the manner of its accomplishment. He said wonderingly, "How can these things be?" {DA 173.3}

"Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?" Jesus asked. Surely one entrusted with the religious instruction of the people should not be ignorant of truths so important. His words conveyed the lesson that instead of feeling irritated over the plain words of truth, Nicodemus should have had a very humble opinion of himself, because of his spiritual ignorance. Yet Christ spoke with such solemn dignity, and both look and tone expressed such earnest love, that Nicodemus was not offended as he realized his humiliating condition. {DA 173.4}

But as Jesus explained that His mission on earth was to establish a spiritual instead of a temporal kingdom, His hearer was troubled. Seeing this, Jesus added, "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" If Nicodemus could not receive Christ's teaching, illustrating the work of grace upon the heart, how could he comprehend the nature of His glorious heavenly kingdom? Not discerning the nature of Christ's work on earth, he could not understand His work in heaven. {DA 173.5}

The Jews whom Jesus had driven from the temple claimed to be children of Abraham, but they fled from the Saviour's presence because (p. 174) they could not endure the glory of God which was manifested in Him. Thus they gave evidence that they were not fitted by the grace of God to participate in the sacred services of the temple. They were zealous to maintain an appearance of holiness, but they neglected holiness of heart. While they were sticklers for the letter of the law, they were constantly violating its spirit. Their great need was that very change which Christ had been explaining to Nicodemus,--a new moral birth, a cleansing from sin, and a renewing of knowledge and holiness. {DA 173.6}

There was no excuse for the blindness of Israel in regard to the work of regeneration. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Isaiah had written, "We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." David had prayed, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." And through Ezekiel the promise had been given, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes." Isa. 64:6; Ps. 51:10; Ezek. 36:26, 27. {DA 174.1}

Nicodemus had read these scriptures with a clouded mind; but he now began to comprehend their meaning. He saw that the most rigid obedience to the mere letter of the law as applied to the outward life could entitle no man to enter the kingdom of heaven. In the estimation of men, his life had been just and honorable; but in the presence of Christ he felt that his heart was unclean, and his life unholy. {DA 174.2}

Nicodemus was being drawn to Christ. As the Saviour explained to him concerning the new birth, he longed to have this change wrought in himself. By what means could it be accomplished? Jesus answered the unspoken question: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." {DA 174.3}

Here was ground with which Nicodemus was familiar. The symbol of the uplifted serpent made plain to him the Saviour's mission. When the people of Israel were dying from the sting of the fiery serpents, God directed Moses to make a serpent of brass, and place it on high in the midst of the congregation. Then the word was sounded throughout the encampment that all who would look upon the serpent should live. The people well knew that in itself the serpent had no power to help them. It was a symbol of Christ. As the image made in the likeness of the (p. 175)

destroying serpents was lifted up for their healing, so One made "in the likeness of sinful flesh" was to be their Redeemer. Rom. 8:3. Many of the Israelites regarded the sacrificial service as having in itself virtue to set them free from sin. God desired to teach them that it had no more value than that serpent of brass. It was to lead their minds to the Saviour. Whether for the healing of their wounds or the pardon of their sins, they could do nothing for themselves but show their faith in the Gift of God. They were to look and live. {DA 174.4}

Those who had been bitten by the serpents might have delayed to look. They might have questioned how there could be efficacy in that brazen symbol. They might have demanded a scientific explanation. But no explanation was given. They must accept the word of God to them through Moses. To refuse to look was to perish. {DA 175.1}

Not through controversy and discussion is the soul enlightened. We must look and live. Nicodemus received the lesson, and carried it with him. He searched the Scriptures in a new way, not for the discussion of a theory, but in order to receive life for the soul. He began to see the kingdom of heaven as he submitted himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit. {DA 175.2}

There are thousands today who need to learn the same truth that was taught to Nicodemus by the uplifted serpent. They depend on their obedience to the law of God to commend them to His favor. When they are bidden to look to Jesus, and believe that He saves them solely through His grace, they exclaim, "How can these things be?" {DA 175.3}

Like Nicodemus, we must be willing to enter into life in the same way as the chief of sinners. Than Christ, "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12. Through faith we receive the grace of God; but faith is not our Saviour. It earns nothing. It is the hand by which we lay hold upon Christ, and appropriate His merits, the remedy for sin. And we cannot even repent without the aid of the Spirit of God. The Scripture says of Christ, "Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." Acts 5:31. Repentance comes from Christ as truly as does pardon. {DA 175.4}

How, then, are we to be saved? "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness," so the Son of man has been lifted up, and everyone who has been deceived and bitten by the serpent may look and live. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the (p. 176) world." John 1:29. The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things to Himself. Then the law of God is written in the mind and heart, and we can say with Christ, "I delight to do Thy will, O my God." Ps. 40:8. {DA 175.5}

In the interview with Nicodemus, Jesus unfolded the plan of salvation, and His mission to the world. In none of His subsequent discourses did He explain so fully, step by step, the work necessary to be done in the hearts of all who would inherit the kingdom of heaven. At the very beginning of His ministry He opened the truth to a member of the Sanhedrin, to the mind that was most receptive, and to an appointed teacher of the people. But the leaders of Israel did not welcome the light. Nicodemus hid the truth in his heart, and for three years there was little apparent fruit. {DA 176.1}

But Jesus was acquainted with the soil into which He cast the seed. The words spoken at night to one listener in the lonely mountain were not lost. For a time Nicodemus did not publicly acknowledge Christ, but he watched His life, and pondered His teachings. In the Sanhedrin council he repeatedly thwarted the schemes of the priests to destroy Him. When at last Jesus was lifted up on the cross, Nicodemus remembered the teaching upon Olivet: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth

(p. 177) in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." The light from that secret interview illumined the cross upon Calvary, and Nicodemus saw in Jesus the world's Redeemer. {DA 176.2}

The Desire of Ages, pp. 209-210

Israel had chosen their own ways. They had not builded according to the pattern; but Christ, the true temple for God's indwelling, molded every detail of His earthly life in harmony with God's ideal. He said, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart." Ps. 40:8. So our characters are to be builded "for an habitation of God through the Spirit." Eph. 2:22. And we are to "make all things according to the pattern," even Him who "suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps." Heb. 8:5; 1 Peter 2:21. {DA 209.1}

The words of Christ teach that we should regard ourselves as inseparably bound to our Father in heaven. Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work, and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfill our appointed part in His great plan. But the one who depends upon his own wisdom and power is separating himself from God. Instead of working in unison with Christ, he is fulfilling the purpose of the enemy of God and man. {DA 209.2}

The Saviour continued: "What things soever He [the Father] doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. . . . As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will." The Sadducees held that there would be no resurrection of the body; but Jesus tells them that one of the greatest works of His Father is raising the dead, and that He Himself has power to do the same work. "The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead. Christ declares that even now the power which gives life to the dead is among them, and they are to behold its manifestation. This same resurrection power is that which gives life to the soul "dead in trespasses and sins." Eph. 2:1. That spirit of life in Christ Jesus, "the power of His resurrection," sets men "free from (p. 210) the law of sin and death." Phil. 3:10; Rom. 8:2. The dominion of evil is broken, and through faith the soul is kept from sin. He who opens his heart to the Spirit of Christ becomes a partaker of that mighty power which shall bring forth his body from the grave. {DA 209.3}

The humble Nazarene asserts His real nobility. He rises above humanity, throws off the guise of sin and shame, and stands revealed, the Honored of the angels, the Son of God, One with the Creator of the universe. His hearers are spellbound. No man has ever spoken words like His, or borne himself with such a kingly majesty. His utterances are clear and plain, fully declaring His mission, and the duty of the world. "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him. . . . For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man." {DA 210.1}

The priests and rulers had set themselves up as judges to condemn Christ's work, but He declared Himself their judge, and the judge of all the earth. The world has been committed to Christ, and through Him has come every blessing from God to the fallen race. He was the Redeemer before as after His incarnation. As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. He has given light and life to all, and according to the measure of light given, each is to be judged. And He who has given the light, He who has followed the soul with tenderest entreaty, seeking to win it from sin to holiness, is in one its advocate and judge. From the opening of the great controversy in heaven, Satan has maintained his cause through deception; and Christ has been working to unveil his schemes and to break his power. It is He who has encountered the deceiver, and who through all the ages has been seeking to wrest the captives from his grasp, who will pass judgment upon every soul. {DA 210.2}

And God "hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man." Because He has tasted the very dregs of human affliction and temptation, and understands the frailties and sins of men; because in our behalf He has victoriously withstood the temptations of Satan, and will deal justly and tenderly with the souls that His own blood has been poured out to save,--because of this, the Son of man is appointed to execute the judgment. {DA 210.3}

But Christ's mission was not for judgment, but for salvation. "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the (p. 211) world through Him might be saved." John 3:17. And before the Sanhedrin Jesus declared, "He that heareth My word, and believeth Him that sent Me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life." John 5:24, R. V. {DA 210.4}

The Desire of Ages, p. 388

In the words, "They shall be all taught of God," Jesus referred to the prophecy of Isaiah: "All thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children." Isa. 54:13. This scripture (p. 388) the Jews appropriated to themselves. It was their boast that God was their teacher. But Jesus showed how vain is this claim; for He said, "Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me." Only through Christ could they receive a knowledge of the Father. Humanity could not endure the vision of His glory. Those who had learned of God had been listening to the voice of His Son, and in Jesus of Nazareth they would recognize Him who through nature and revelation has declared the Father. {DA 387.5}

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life." Through the beloved John, who listened to these words, the Holy Spirit declared to the churches, "This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life." 1 John 5:11, 12. And Jesus said, "I will raise him up at the last day." Christ became one flesh with us, in order that we might become one spirit with Him. It is by virtue of this union that we are to come forth from the grave,--not merely as a manifestation of the power of Christ, but because, through faith, His life has become ours. Those who see Christ in His true character, and receive Him into the heart, have everlasting life. It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us; and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal. {DA 388.1}

The people had referred Christ to the manna which their fathers ate in the wilderness, as if the furnishing of that food was a greater miracle than Jesus had performed; but He shows how meager was that gift when compared with the blessings He had come to bestow. The manna could sustain only this earthly existence; it did not prevent the approach of death, nor insure immortality; but the bread of heaven would nourish the soul unto everlasting life. The Saviour said, "I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever." To this figure Christ now adds another. Only through dying could He impart life to men, and in the words that follow He points to His death as the means of salvation. He says, "The bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." {DA 388.2}

The Jews were about to celebrate the Passover at Jerusalem, in commemoration of the night of Israel's deliverance, when the destroying angel smote the homes of Egypt. In the paschal lamb God desired them (p. 389) to behold the Lamb of God, and through the symbol receive Him who gave Himself for the life of the world. But the Jews had come to make the symbol all-important, while its significance was unnoticed. They discerned not the Lord's body. The same truth that was symbolized in the paschal service was taught in the words of Christ. But it was still undiscerned. {DA 388.3}

John 16:8 NKJV 8 "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Ezekiel 36:26 NKJV 26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

The Desire of Ages, p. 407

When the message of truth is presented in our day, there are many who, like the Jews, cry, Show us a sign. Work us a miracle. Christ wrought no miracle at the demand of the Pharisees. He wrought no miracle in the wilderness in answer to Satan's insinuations. He does not impart to us power to vindicate ourselves or to satisfy the demands of unbelief and pride. But the gospel is not without a sign of its divine origin. Is it not a miracle that we can break from the bondage of Satan? Enmity against Satan is not natural to the human heart; it is implanted by the grace of God. When one who has been controlled by a stubborn, wayward will is set free, and yields himself wholeheartedly to the drawing of God's heavenly agencies, a miracle is wrought; so also when a man who has been under strong delusion comes to understand moral truth. Every time a soul is converted, and learns to love God and keep His commandments, the promise of God is fulfilled, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." Ezek. 36:26. The change in human hearts, the transformation of human characters, is a miracle that reveals an ever-living Saviour, working to rescue souls. A consistent life in Christ is a great miracle. In the preaching of the word of God, the sign that should be manifest now and always is the presence of the Holy Spirit, to make the word a regenerating power to those that hear. This is God's witness before the world to the divine mission of His Son. {DA 407.1}

Those who desired a sign from Jesus had so hardened their hearts in unbelief that they did not discern in His character the likeness of God. They would not see that His mission was in fulfillment of the Scriptures. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus said to the Pharisees, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:31. No sign that could be given in heaven or earth would benefit them. {DA 407.2}

Jesus "sighed deeply in His spirit," and, turning from the group of cavilers, re-entered the boat with His disciples. In sorrowful silence they again crossed the lake. They did not, however, return to the place they had left, but directed their course toward Bethsaida, near where the five thousand had been fed. Upon reaching the farther side, Jesus said, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the (p. 408) Sadducees." The Jews had been accustomed since the days of Moses to put away leaven from their houses at the Passover season, and they had thus been taught to regard it as a type of sin. Yet the disciples failed to understand Jesus. In their sudden departure from Magdala they had forgotten to take bread, and they had with them only one loaf. To this circumstance they understood Christ to refer, warning them not to buy bread of a Pharisee or a Sadducee. Their lack of faith and spiritual insight had often led them to similar misconception of His words. Now Jesus reproved them for thinking that He who had fed thousands with a few fishes and barley loaves could in that solemn warning have referred merely to temporal food. There was danger that the crafty reasoning of the Pharisees and the Sadducees would leaven His disciples with unbelief, causing them to think lightly of the works of Christ. {DA 407.3}