Lesson& References Index 

Lesson 12: September 9 - 15

Living by the Spirit

(All Bible texts are in the NKJV Bible unless otherwise indicated)

Sabbath Afternoon

Memory Text: Galatians 5:16

Walking in the Spirit

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Sunday – Walking in the Spirit

Galatians 5:16
Walking in the Spirit

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Deuteronomy 13:4, 5

4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.

Romans 13:13

13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

Ephesians 4:1
Walk in Unity

1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

Ephesians 4:17
The New Man

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,

Colossians 1:10

10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Acts 11:26

26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

John 14:6

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Acts 22:4

4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women,

Acts 24:14

14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.

Exodus 16:4

4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.

Leviticus 18:4

4 You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God.

Jeremiah 44:23

23 Because you have burned incense and because you have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord or walked in His law, in His statutes or in His testimonies, therefore this calamity has happened to you, as at this day.”

Galatians 5:25

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Romans 8:4

4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Galatians 5:18

18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Monday - The Christian’s Conflict

Galatians 5:17

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.

Romans 7:14-24

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Romans 8:7

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

John 3:6

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Tuesday – The Works of the Flesh

Galatians 5:18-26

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. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Jeremiah 7:9

9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know,

Hosea 4:2

2 By swearing and lying,
Killing and stealing and committing adultery,
They break all restraint,
With bloodshed upon bloodshed.

Mark 7:21, 22

21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.

1 Timothy 3:2, 3

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;

1 Peter 4:3

3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

Revelation 21:8

8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Wednesday - The Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–24)

Galatians 5:22-24

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.

Matthew 5:21, 22
Murder Begins in the Heart

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

Matthew 5:27, 28
Adultery in the Heart

27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 22:35-40

35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Galatians 5:6

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

Galatians 5:13

13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

2 Corinthians 6:6

6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,

1 Timothy 4:12
Take Heed to Your Ministry

12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

1 Timothy 6:11
The Good Confession

11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

2 Timothy 2:22

22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

1 Corinthians 13:13

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Romans 5:5

5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

John 13:34, 35

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Thursday –  The Way to Victory

Galatians 5:16-26
Walking in the Spirit

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. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Romans 8:14

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

1 Corinthians 12:2

2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.

Friday – Further Thought

Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1111, quoting MS 33, 1911 filed as MS 31, 1889.
What Is Holiness?

Holiness is wholeness to God. The soul is surrendered to God. The will and even the thoughts are brought into subjection to the will of Christ. The love of Jesus fills the soul and is constantly going out in a clear, refreshing stream to make glad the hearts of others

Let us ask ourselves, How is it with my soul? Have I been born again?

 In order for a man to be born again, there must be a transformation of the entire nature. A modification or an improvement of the former experience will not avail.

The Christian must draw his spiritual nourishment from the heart of Christ. All sin is an offence to God; therefore sin will be expelled from the soul as the hateful thing that it is. “The life that I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” “I live, but not I, for Christ liveth in me.” [Galatians 2:20.] “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. But when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory.” [Colossians 3:3, 4.] 

I fear that the strangers and the youth who come to Battle Creek are not given all the thoughtful attention that Jesus would give them were He upon this earth. Every soul we meet is the purchase of the blood of Christ, and kind words and thoughtful attentions are due those who come among us. The youth need the help of kindly words and deeds. There are those who come from homes where a watchful care has ever been exercised toward them, and when they are treated with indifference or totally passed by, they feel the neglect. Satan tempts them to think that no one cares for them, and they become discouraged and reckless. Christ said to Peter, “Feed my lambs.” [John 21:15.] The lambs of God’s flock are often neglected. Let those who are older in years and experience give special attention to the youth. 

The life of the Christian is not all smooth. He has stern conflicts to meet. Severe temptations assail him. “The flesh warreth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.” [Galatians 5:17.] The nearer we come to the close of this earth’s history, the more delusive and ensnaring will be the attacks of the enemy. His attacks will grow fiercer and more frequent. Those who resist light and truth will become more hardened and unimpressible and more bitter against those who love God and keep His commandments.

It should be our aim to bring all the pleasantness possible into our lives and to do all the kindness possible to those around us. Kind words are never lost. Jesus records them as if spoken to Himself. Sow the seeds of kindness, of love, and of tenderness, and they will blossom and bear fruit. 

 “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” [John 6:53.] The Saviour explained this statement, which seemed greatly to offend His disciples, as requiring an impossibility. “When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [Verses 61-63.]

Christ explained the meaning of His words so clearly that none need stumble over them. His statement regarding eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God is to be taken in a spiritual sense. We eat Christ’s flesh and drink His blood when by faith we lay hold upon Him as our Saviour.

Christ used the figure of eating and drinking to represent that nearness to Him which all must have who are at last partakers with Him in His glory. The temporal food we eat is assimilated, giving strength and solidity to the body. In a similar manner, as we believe and receive the words of the Lord Jesus, they become a part of our spiritual life, bringing light and peace, hope and joy, and strengthening the soul as physical food strengthens the body.

“After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him. Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto Him, Depart hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth anything in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, show thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him.” [John 7:1-5.]

The brethren here referred to were the sons of Joseph, and their words were spoken in irony. It was very painful to Christ that His nearest relatives should so dimly understand His mission and should entertain the ideas suggested by His enemies. But the Saviour did not answer the cruel sarcasm with words of like character. He pitied the spiritual ignorance of His brethren and longed to give them a clear understanding of His mission.

“Then said Jesus unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.” [Verses 6-8.]

He must go to the feast secretly, because in Judea Satan had aroused the prejudice and hatred of the people against Him. He must mingle secretly with the throng of worshipers so as not to be distinguished as the one whom the Jews desired to kill.

“When His brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.” “Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, Where is He?” [Verses 10, 11.] They were watching for Christ, and were disappointed that they did not find Him among His relatives. They had determined that once the authorities should get possession of Him, He should never again have opportunity to speak boldly and as one having authority, reproving their sins and laying bare the secrets of their guilty hearts.

“And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, May; but He deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of Him for fear of the Jews.” [Verses 12, 13.]

Before these people Christ had spoken with the authority of heaven. He had done works that no other man had done or could do. The fruit of His work testified that it was wrought in God. Yet at this feast not one dared openly avow faith in Him.

“Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” [Verses 14, 15.]

Those of the priests who had not given their hearts up to prejudice and hatred were charmed by the truths that the Saviour uttered. The Holy Spirit was impressing their hearts. The education that these men had gained in the schools of the rabbis consisted largely in a knowledge of the traditions with which men had loaded down the law of God.

“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me.” [Verse 16.] My words are in perfect harmony with the Old Testament Scriptures, and with the law spoken from Sinai. I am not preaching a new doctrine. I am presenting old truths rescued from the framework of error and placed in a new setting.

Christ came to this world just as the Old Testament Scriptures foretold that He would come, but notwithstanding this He was misapprehended and misjudged. The Pharisees were filled with a frenzy of hatred against Him, because they could see that His teaching had a power and an attractiveness that their words were utterly devoid of. They decided that the only way to cut off His influence was to pass sentence of death upon Him; and therefore they sent officers to take Him. But when these officers came within hearing of His voice, and listened to His gracious words, they were charmed into forgetting their errand. On their return, the plotters against His life asked them, “Why have ye not brought Him?” And they replied, “Never man spake like this man.” [Verses 45, 46.] In the presence of Christ, their prejudice had disappeared like ice before the sun.

“Are ye also deceived?” the elders asked. “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on Him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. Nicodemus saith unto them, ... Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” [Verses 47-51.]

The lesson that Christ had given to Nicodemus had not been in vain. Conviction had fastened upon his mind, and in his heart he had accepted Jesus. Since his interview with the Saviour, he had earnestly searched the Old Testament Scriptures, and he had seen truth placed in the <true> setting of the gospel.

The question asked by him was wise and would have commended itself to those presiding at the council had they not been deceived by the enemy. But they were so filled with prejudice that no argument in favor of Jesus of Nazareth, however convincing, had any weight with them. The answer that Nicodemus received, was, “Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look; for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.” [Verse 52.]

The priests and rulers had been deceived, as Satan meant them to be, into believing that Christ came out of Galilee. Some who know that he was born in Bethlehem, kept silent, that the falsehood might not be robbed of its power.

The facts were plain. There was no dimness of the light. But the work of Christ was interpreted by different ones in accordance with the state of their minds. The minds of some were warped by prejudice, by their hereditary tendencies and their education, and these misapplied the plainest Scriptures to suit their own ideas and wishes. Instead of bringing their own opinions to the Word of God, they used the Word of God to sustain their deceptive reasoning.

The scribes and Pharisees had taught the people that the Messiah was to come as a victorious conqueror to break from the neck of Israel the Roman yoke. They overlooked the prophecies which foretold that He was to come in humiliation, to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. They declared that the Messiah was to shine before His ancients gloriously, to take the kingdom and to reign from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.

When Christ came, just as prophecy had predicted that He would come, bearing no resemblance to the conqueror they had led the people to expect, they were bitterly disappointed and refused to receive Him. The truths that He uttered were not agreeable to their proud hearts. To accept the declaration of Christ that His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom was more than they could bring themselves to do.

Christ declared that those who should become His disciples must take up a daily warfare against sin. But the priests and rulers could talk of only one side of the subject—a triumphant Messiah reigning as a temporal prince on the throne of David. They closed their eyes to everything that did not harmonize with their own teachings. They closed their eyes to the prophecies of His life of humiliation and sorrow and the manner of His death.

For hundreds of years the Jewish nation had been offering sacrifices which foreshadowed the death of Christ. But it was too humbling a thought that the Messiah should die; and they rejected Him. They turned with contempt from the antitype of their sacrifices. They made the false assertion that He came out of Galilee, that Galilee was His birthplace. But the prophet Micah says, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old.” [Micah 5:2.]

The Prince of Peace came to proclaim truth that was to bring harmony out of confusion. But He who came to bring peace and goodwill to men started a controversy that ended in His crucifixion. Why was the messenger of peace called a deceiver? Why was it said that He performed His miracles through the power of Beelzebub? Because men with the Scriptures in their hands read them with the veil of unbelief over their eyes. They interpreted the Scripture according to their own preconceived opinions and traditions of men. And the common people accepted the decisions of the priests and rulers as the voice of God. They were deceived by their spiritual guides. Had they opened the Scriptures for themselves, had they used their God-given reason, they would not have believed a lie.

Christ declared, “I came not to send peace, but a sword.” [Matthew 10:34.] Why? Because men would not receive the Word of life. Because they warred against the message sent them to bring them joy and hope and life.

We look upon the Jews as inexcusable because they rejected and crucified Christ. But today the messages that the Lord sends are often received in a manner similar to the way in which the Jews received Christ’s message. If the instruction of the Lord does not harmonize with the opinions of men, anger takes control of reason, and men play into the enemy’s hands by opposing the message that God sends. Satan uses them as sharp instruments to oppose the progress of truth.

But controversy is safer than lethargy. The controversy that breaks up a deathlike stupor is preferable to stagnation. Notwithstanding the disputes that prevailed in the days of Christ because men wanted their own way and cherished pride of opinion, yet there were those who felt the convincing power of truth, and who, notwithstanding the opposition, said, “This is the Christ.” [John 7:41.] Many are in danger of being deceived as were the Jews. 

Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1112, quoting  MS 41, 1897.
Words of Comfort

 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

These words were spoken during the last moments that Christ spent with His disciples before the power of darkness came to rend His soul with superhuman anguish. Words of heavenly sympathy flowed from His sacred lips. He did not call upon His disciples for sympathy. His heart was drawn out in love for them, for He knew that they would be grievously disappointed by His crucifixion. He knew that they would be assailed by the enemy. Satan’s craft is most successful when carried on against those who he sees will become depressed by difficulties.

Christ’s intercourse with His disciples when sitting around the communion table was of intense interest to Him, and was the opening of a most earnest conversation. He was soon to pass through scenes which would be the severest test to His disciples. He would not leave them in darkness regarding His work and mission. Not only did He see distinctly His own humiliation and suffering; He saw also the effect that it would have upon His disciples.

While sitting around the table Christ gave His disciples an evidence that although Judas had been among them as one of the twelve, although he had been treated as courteously as the other disciples, yet he would betray his Saviour. All the work of Judas was known to Christ; none of his secret, underhand work was concealed from Christ’s eyes. By telling Judas that he would betray Him, Christ gave another evidence of His divinity. He had already told Peter that before the cock crew, he would deny Him thrice.

“Little children, yet a little while I am with you,” Christ said. “Ye shall seek me, and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.”

Christ, who can read the hearts of all, knew that this was a great shock to His disciples, and in answer to Peter’s inquiry, “Lord, whither goest thou?” He said, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.” These words were remembered when Peter himself was crucified.

Peter said unto him, “Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.” These words were indeed fulfilled. After Peter had denied his Lord [and] had been converted, he remembered them. When He was called up before His persecutors he remembered his shameful denial of Christ, and urged that he be crucified with his head downward. He did die for the Master he loved; and even in the manner of his death, he followed his Lord.

During these last sorrowful hours, Christ told His disciples that on the night of His trial they would all be offended because of Him. He would not be left alone. He told them that for a little while after His death they would be sorrowful, but their sorrow would be turned into joy.

He told them that the time was coming that they would be put out of the synagogue, and that those who killed them would think that they were doing God a service. He stated plainly why He told them these things while He was with them—that when they should transpire, they would remember that He told them of them before they came to pass and believe on Him as their Redeemer. Thus is expressed the great love and tender compassion of the Son of God. In prefiguring His future He was plain and definite that in their coming trials and difficulties, the disciples might know that the Most High would not forget or forsake them, but would send them the Holy Spirit, to remain with them always.

The statements made by Christ were saddening to the disciples. They were amazed. But they were followed by the comforting assurance, “Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go, ye know, and the way ye know.” “For your sakes I came into the world. I am working in your behalf. If I go away, I shall still work earnestly for you. I came into the world to reveal myself unto you, that you might believe. I go to my Father and yours, to co-operate with Him.”

How plain are these words! How simple the language! A child could understand it. But the disciples were perplexed. Thomas, always troubled with doubts, said to Him, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”

The object of Christ’s departure was the opposite to that which they feared. It did not mean a final separation from Him; He went to prepare a place for them. Then He would come again and receive them unto Himself.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” When the apostle Paul, through the revelation of Christ, was converted from a persecutor to a Christian, he declared that he was as one born out of due time. “For me to live is Christ,” he declared. This is the most perfect interpretation in a few words in all the Scriptures, of what it means to be a Christian. This is the whole truth of the gospel. Paul understood that which many seem unable to comprehend. How intensely in earnest he was. His words show that his mind was centered on Christ, that his whole life was bound up with his Christ. Christ was the author, the source, and the support of his life.

In the last scenes of this earth’s history, war will rage. There will be pestilence, plague, and famine. The waters of the deep will overflow their boundaries. Property and life will be destroyed by fire and flood. This should show us that the souls for whom Christ died should be fitting up for the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for them. There is a rest from the earth’s conflict. Where is it? “That where I am, there ye may be also.” Heaven is where Christ is. Heaven would not be heaven to those who love Christ if He were not there.

Are we individually fitting up characters which well be meet for the society of Christ and the heavenly angels? Philip said to Christ, “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believe thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.”

Philip’s doubt was answered with words of reproof. He wished Christ to reveal the Father in bodily form; but in Christ God had already revealed Himself. Is it possible, Christ said, that after walking with me, hearing my words, seeing the miracle of feeding the five thousand, of healing the sick of the dread disease leprosy, of bringing the dead to life, of raising Lazarus, who was a prey to death, whose body had indeed seen corruption, you do not know me? Is it possible that you do not discern the Father in the works that He does by me. Do you not believe that I am to testify of the Father? “How sayest thou then, Show us the Father.” “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” I am the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person. “How sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very work’s sake.”

Christ emphatically impressed upon them the fact that they could see the Father by faith alone. God cannot be seen in external form by any human being. Christ alone can represent the Father to humanity. This representation the disciples had been privileged to behold for over three years.

As Christ was speaking these words, the glory of God was shining in His countenance, and all present felt a sacred awe as they listened with rapt attention to His words. They felt their hearts more decidedly drawn to Him, and as they were drawn to Christ in greater love, they were drawn to one another. They felt that heaven was very near them, that the words to which they listened were a message to them from the heavenly Father.

The wonderful works which Christ had done, which were so full of convincing power, ought to have removed prejudice, unbelief, and malice from the hearts of the Jews. Christ had given a convincing proof of His divinity in raising Lazarus from the dead. Through Christ, the Father had been revealed to believers and unbelievers. If the disciples believed this vital connection between the Father and the Son, their faith would not forsake them when they beheld Christ’s sufferings and death to save a perishing world. He desired them to see that their faith must lead up to God, and be anchored there.

“Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me, or else believe me for the very work’s sake.” Their faith might safely rest upon the evidence given by Christ’s works, works that no man had ever done or ever could do. They could reason that humanity alone could not do these wonderful works. Christ was seeking to lead them up from their low state of faith to the experience that they might have received by seeing what He had done in giving a higher education, and in imparting a knowledge of what He was, God in human flesh. How earnestly and perseveringly our compassionate Saviour sought to prepare His followers for the storm of temptation that was soon to beat about them. He would have had them hid with Him in God.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to my Father.” Christ’s work was largely confined to Judea. But though His personal ministry did not extend to other lands, people from all nations listened to His preaching, and carried the message to all parts of the world. Many heard of Jesus by hearing of the wonderful miracle He performed.

When Christ said that His disciples should do greater works than He had done, He did not mean that they would make any more exalted exertion of their powers; He meant that their work should have greater magnitude. He did not refer merely to miracle working, but to all that would transpire under the working of the Holy Spirit. The scenes of His suffering and death, to be witnessed by the large numbers in attendance at the Passover, would be spread from Jerusalem to all parts of the world. The apostles, used as His representatives, would make a decided impression on all minds. Being humble men would not diminish their influence, but increase it. The minds of their hearers would be carried from the men to the Majesty of heaven, who though unseen, was still working, and performing miracles upon the suffering and diseased.

The teaching of the apostles, the special doctrines taught, their words of trust, would assure all that it was not by their own power that they did their works, but that they were continuing the same line carried forward by the Lord Jesus when He was with them. Humbling themselves, the apostles would declare that the man the Jews had crucified was the Prince of Life, the Son of the living God, and that in His name they did the works He had done.

“Greater works than these shall ye do, because I go to my Father.” He would then intercede for them, and would send them His own Representative, the Holy Spirit, who would attend them in their work. This Representative would not appear in human form, but by faith would be seen and recognized by all who believe in Christ.

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye will ask anything in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments.” “This is the confidence that we have in him,” writes John, that, “If we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.”

These promises are all given on conditions. The Ten Commandments, Thou shalt and Thou shalt not, are ten promises, assured to us if we render obedience to the law governing the universe “if ye love me, keep my commandments.” Here is the sum and substance of the law of God. The terms of salvation for every son and daughter of Adam are here outlined.

“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto Him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” Here it is plainly stated that the condition of gaining eternal life is obedience to the commandments of God.

The whole universe is under the control of the Prince of Life. Fallen man is subject to Him. He calls upon them to obey, believe, receive, and live. He has paid the ransom money for the whole world. All may be saved through Him. He will present all those who believe on Him to God as loyal subjects of His kingdom.

He will be their Mediator as well as their Redeemer. He would gather together a church embracing the whole human family, if all would leave the black banner of rebellion and apostasy, and place themselves under His banner. He will defend His chosen followers against Satan’s powers, and will subdue all their enemies. Through Him they will be conquerors and more than conquerors.

Paul writes to the Ephesians, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.”

“Many shall be purified, and made white and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.” “I will be as the dew unto Israel; He shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as the Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall receive as the corn, and grow as the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him; I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the transgressors shall fall therein.”

Those who dishonor God by transgressing His law may talk sanctification, but it is of that value, and just as acceptable, as was the offering of Cain. Obedience to all the commandments of God is the only true sign of sanctification. Disobedience is the sign of disloyalty and apostasy.

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” Christ was about to depart to His home in the heavenly courts. But He assured His disciples that He would send them another Comforter, who would abide with them forever. To the guidance of this Comforter all who believe in Christ may implicitly trust. He is the spirit of truth, but this truth the world can neither discern nor receive.

Before He left them, Christ gave His followers a positive promise that after His ascension He would send them the Holy Spirit. “Go, ye therefore,” He said, “and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father (a personal God) and of the Son (a personal Prince and Saviour), and of the Holy Ghost (sent from heaven to represent Christ); teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”

“The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you these things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I.” This positive assurance was given to the disciples, to be given to all who should believe on Him to the close of this earth’s history.”

Christ desired His disciples to understand that He would not leave them orphans. “I will not leave you comfortless,” He declared; “I will come unto you. Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also.” Precious, glorious assurance of eternal life. Even though He was to be absent, their relation to Him was to be that of a child to its parent.

The influence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in the soul. We do not see Christ and speak to Him, but His Holy Spirit is just as near us in one place as in another. It works in and through every one who receives Christ. Those who know the indwelling of the spirit reveal the fruits of the spirit—love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.

“Ye have an unction from the Holy One,” writes John, “and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. ... If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.”

“At that day,” said Christ, “ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” Christ sought to impress the minds of the disciples with the distinction between those who are of the world, and those who are of Christ. He was about to die, but He would impress on their minds the fact that He would live again. And although after His ascension He would be absent from them, yet by faith they might know Him and see Him. And He would have the same loving interest in them that He had while with them.

Christ assured His disciples that after His resurrection, He would show Himself alive to them. Then every mist of doubt, every cloud of darkness, would be rolled away. They would then understand that which they had not understood—that there is a complete union between Christ and His Father, a union which will always exist.

“He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” Again Christ repeated the conditions of union with Him. This promise is made to every sincere Christian. Our Saviour speaks so plainly that no one need fail to understand that true love will always produce obedience. The religion of Jesus Christ is love. Obedience is the sign of true love. Christ and the Father are one, and those who in truth receive Christ will love God as the great center of their adoration, and will also love one another.