The Human Nature of Christ

 

By

J. Wilfred Johnson

March 10, 1976

 

www.jwilfredjohnson.com

 

Transcribed from C/Ds #34, #35, #36, #37, and #38

December 12, 2012 thru September 26, 2013

 

(Wilfred) The last two weeks we have been dealing with a subject and there are just a few things I didnít clear up or that might have been added to it. Iím not going to take a great deal of time tonight to tie back into it. But there is one passage that I think maybe I should bring to your attention tonight just to tie in with what we had before. It will be something for you to think about and I refered to this thought but I did not bring you the passage. Itís found in the fifth chapter of John and starting at verse thirty, 30 ďI can of mine own self do nothing:Ē Said Jesus. ďAs I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. Now the next verse is the one I would like you to pay particular attention to along with others further down. 31 ďIf I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.Ē In other words He is suggesting that people cast doubt on someone who bears witness of himself. That is that it takes someone else to bear witness of Him. 32 ďThere is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.Ē What witness was He referring to? Who was bearing witness of Him?

 

(A man in the Audience) John the Baptist.

 

(Wilfred) John the Baptist, right. 34 ďBut I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35 He was a burning and a shining light:Ē Talking about John now. ďAnd ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.Ē Now, what is He appealing to as a witness that He is true?

 

(John) His miracles.

 

(Wilfred) The works that He is performing and whom did He say was actually performing the works?

 

(John) His Father.

 

(Wilfred) His Father was and so His Father was bearing witness of Him by the power of the Holy Spirit, which was given to Him whereby He was able to perform these works and to speak these truths. Now He had power in himself to do all this and we have gone over this, and He laid down this power, He laid down his life and He accepted only that which the Father gave him in performing his works on Earth in behalf of mankind. And He used no power in his own behalf, which is not freely available to us. Did you get that? 37 ďAnd the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me,Ē When did He do that? 

 

(John) At his baptism.

 

(Wilfred) At his baptism. Thatís right.

 

(John) He said this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

 

(Another man in the audience) And at the transfiguration.

 

(Wilfred) And at the transfiguration to those three, but remember those three were asked not to say anything about that experience to any of the others until after his resurrection. ďYe have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.Ē Now He is talking to those unbelievers. You donít have the Word of God abiding in you because you donít believe him. Now note this first in verse 39, this is the one that ties in with the one we have been talking about the last two weeks. ď39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.Ē The witnesses of Jesus are the scriptures, the Old and New Testaments. Now the New Testament had not yet been written it was in the process of being formulated in the minds of the men who were with Jesus.

 

Now, if you will turn to Revelation 11 and just tie that in youíll see what I am driving at. Revelation 11 verse 3. ďAnd I will give power unto my two witnesses,Ē Who were these two witnesses?

 

(John) The Old and New Testaments.

 

(Wilfred) The Old and New Testaments. Do you see the connection? These are the ones that bear witness of Christ. But we found out in the last two weeks that there are two other witnesses, that this passage has a more profound meaning, a deeper meaning. And as we read on we catch the key. 3 ďAnd I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.Ē How long was this?

 

(A woman in the audience) Three and a half years.

 

(Wilfred) Three and a half years. Right. 4 ďThese are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And that is the key phrase. And do you recall that we pursued that phrase, Standing before the God of the earth and we found two people who fulfilled this? Whom God took to heaven to become personal witnesses to what was going on and to receive understanding of the Covenant and how here on Earth Moses talked with the Personal God, Christ. And received the literal tables of stone and delivered them to the literal children of Israel, and He saw the literal Christ. Do you understand that? And then we found the other one who went onto the same mount of God, Horeb, who heard the still small voice, not the literal voice of God and did not get any tables of stone that the New Covenant is going to be delivered by the agency of the Holy Spirit through the still small voice. And we found the promise that this delivering of the New Covenant was to occur before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. For the same purpose that the Old Covenant was delivered which was in fact the New Covenant but the Old Covenant aspect entered into it because of the peopleís response and we wonít go into that.

 

We noted that Moses was a type of Christ, but that Elijah was a type of the Holy spirit, and in view of this fact the Holy Spirit being a universal agency, where as Christ is an individual person. The Holy Spirit will motivate the minds of many people, that some are to receive the spirit and power of Elias. Remember? Now, we also went through the experience of Christ and showed that as Jesus appeared on Earth He did receive in essence the spirit and power of his former existence that it was in fact Christ and He did receive of his former power and Spirit. Remember that? Now there is a parallel between that and the experience of Elijah in the sense that there will be men on the Earth who are to partake of the spirit and power of Elijah. Thatís what it says. And they will have a message, which will have to do with the preparation of coming of the Lord and the reestablishment of the Kingdom, the fulfillment of the Everlasting Covenant. Whereas Moses delivered the literal covenant to literal Israel, see? In the New Testament the Everlasting Covenant will be delivered through the agency of the Spirit of God through individuals who are possessed with the spirit and power of Elijah or at least they have the same characteristics as the spirit and power of Elijah. And John the Baptist was the first one of these who came to perform the work of preparing the people for the first coming of Jesus. And we read to you the statement, which says that a similar work is to be preformed before the second coming of Jesus.

 

Now, I donít want to get wrapped up in a total review of this, but I wanted you to see that the two witnesses, those who bear witness of Jesus, who stand before the God of the Earth are the Old and New Testaments. But I would also like you to see that there are two literal people who represent that witness, and who in personal fact fulfill a measure of that particular truth. Moses bore personal witness of the Covenant to literal Israel. And in a sense Elijah is to bear personal witness of the New Covenant experience, the unfolding of the Everlasting Covenant to spiritual Israel today in preparation for the second coming of Jesus, because Jesus cannot come until the terms of the Everlasting Covenant are fulfilled in the lives of Godís people. It says that until Jesus sees the reflection of the perfect image of his character in his people He will not come, but when He sees it He will come. So what is the message that John the Baptist came to give? The Bible says He came to turn the hearts of the father to the children and I explained that once, I wonít go into that again, and to turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. There is one other thought, it slips me.

 

(John) Calls men to repentance.

 

(Wilfred) Yes. There was another thought in there. Well, itís no matter we can deal with that at some other time. I am just briefly reviewing.

 

These are the essential things that are to take place today to prepare people to meet the Lord. It is a calling back to the Covenant of God, to the Commandments of God, and youíll find it in the last two verses of the Old Testament, the very last words that Jesus spoke to his prophets before He laid down his life in the heavenly sanctuary and made that great condescension and became incarnate in a human body. When He was in the manger in Bethlehem He was essentially totally unconscious, the Great God, unconscious, tremendous condescension. But before He went through that process He instructed these two witnesses that He had called up there. And they understood and they were witnesses of what happened. They are to bear witness of the sacrifice of Christ and the terms of the Covenant and how that Covenant is being fulfilled, thatís their job. Well I donít know whether we need to say any more about that, there is a great deal more that could be said.

 

Our subject tonight is fairly extensive and I think weíd better get into it. I just wanted you to see that passage where Jesus talked about bearing witness of himself and that it is John the Baptist and the Scriptures that He is pointing to as being his witnesses. Right? But there are two of them; at that time there was only the Old Testament, right? So there was only John the Baptist, there was only one witness so to speak. But there are two of them and those two came down to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration and they counseled with him concerning his sufferings and death. What a tremendous experience, here was the King of the universe who had originally instructed these men and now He was in a position of humiliation where He had stripped himself of his former glory that He might partake of the nature of man and provide an example for man to follow using no power but what is available to man. Yet at any time He could have tapped into his former power and his former memory and his former body, if you wish, which He had relinquished and which weíve already covered as to what He did with it and what its purpose was and how He disposed of it and the Everlasting Covenant, itís all in the Bible.

 

So now, letís deal a little bit with this topic of the human nature of Christ. I want to read one or two statements to set the pace here. Practically all the statements that Iím reading are taken from the summary of statements, which is given in the back of this book called ďQuestions on DoctrineĒ. They are gleaned from a number of sources and this is the handiest source to get them from, although they are published in other places. Some of them. So if you want the references they are going on the tape here but you may want to copy them down.

 

Questions on Doctrine page 647.1. ďThe humanity of the Son of God is everything to us,Ē Now that says a lot. If Christ did not become human then that word ďeverythingĒ disappears and the plan of salvation just doesnít exist. The plan of salvation hinges on the fact that Christ assumed humanity. ďIt is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God.Ē The humanity of the Son of God is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ and through Christ to God. ďThis is to be our study. Christ was a real man; He gave proof of his humility in becoming a man. Yet He was God in the flesh. When we approach this subject, we would do well to heed the words spoken by Christ to Moses at the burning bush, "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place where on thou standest is holy ground." We should come to this study with the humility of a learner, with a contrite heart. And the study of the incarnation of Christ is a fruitful field, which will repay the searcher who digs deep for hidden truth.Ē .... In other words unless the searcher is digging deep for hidden truth the incarnation of Christ will not become a fruitful field. But if he is digging deep it will become one, nevertheless it is a subject we should reverence.

 

Christís Object Lessons page 114, ďNo one can search the Scriptures in the spirit of Christ without being rewarded. When a man is willing to be instructed as a little child, when he submits wholly to God, he will find the truth in His Word. If men would be obedient, they would understand the plan of God's government. The heavenly world would open its chambers of grace and glory for exploration. Human beings would be altogether different from what they now are, for by exploring the mines of truth men would be ennobled.Ē And incidentally thatís one of the signs or symptoms as to whether one is exploring the mines of truth or whether one is exploring deceptive error. The individual will be ennobled when he explores the mines of truth. ďThe mystery of redemption, the incarnation of Christ,Ē Which is what we are talking about. ďHis atoning sacrifice, would not be as they are now, vague in our minds.Ē That means they are not very clear. ďThey would be not only better understood, but altogether more highly appreciated."

 

Now can I summarize the things that statement brings up? Here are the conditions for understanding the Word more clearly; (1) Search the scriptures in the Spirit of Christ. (2) Be willing to be instructed as a little child. (3) Submit wholly to God and (4) be obedient, those four things. If we do those four things then we may understand the plan of Godís government. I wonder how many understand the plan of Godís government in the world today? The way we hear the cursing and swearing and tearing God apart itís obvious that they donít understand it. I wonder how many in Godís churches understand the plan of Godís government? The confused thinking that we see and hear in connection with the plan of salvation is evidence that not too many people really understand it. But did you realize that itís in the books? Itís in there, clear as it can be. But it is here a little and there a little and you have to put the pieces together to get the total picture. You just donít get it by wishing you had it. And the second thing youíll understand, youíll better understand the mystery of redemption, the incarnation of Christ, and his atoning sacrifice.

 

Now let me go back to Questions on Doctrine page 652.3. It says here, ďAvoid every question in relation to the humanity of Christ which is liable to be misunderstood. Truth lies close to the track of presumption. In treating upon the humanity of Christ, you need to guard strenuously every assertion, lest your words be taken to mean more than they imply, and thus you lose or dim the clear perceptions of His humanity as combined with divinity. His birth was a miracle of God. ... Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to corruption rested upon Christ, or that He in anyway yielded to corruption. He was tempted in all points like as man is tempted, yet He is called "that holy thing." It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet be without sin. The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain, a mystery. That which is revealed is for us and for our children, but let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such a one as ourselves; for it cannot be.Ē I would like to contrast one thought with that, page 648.5 and Iíll be doing quite a bit of reading here and I hope youíll forgive me but this is too difficult a subject for me to just tell you. You would tend to rebel against what I said in spots so Iím going to read most of it, with a few comments. Now we have to balance that statement with this other statement. She says here, concerning Christ, ďWas the human nature of the Son of Mary changed into the divine nature of the Son of God? No, the two natures were mysteriously blended in one person ó the man Christ Jesus. In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.Ē Now notice. ďThis is a great mystery, a mystery that will not be fully understood in all its greatness until the translation of the redeemed shall take place.Ē Now when you read the other statement where it says; it will always remain a mystery, then you see this statement where it says; it will remain a mystery until translation, what conclusion do you come to?

 

(Several voices in the audience) Unintelligible

 

(Wilfred) Would you understand ďAll shall remain a mysteryĒ or ďever remain a mysteryĒ to be qualified? Or would you think of it being unqualified? It would appear to be qualified. But I am a little suspicious that there will be some things about the incarnation that will not be understood. That there will be an unfolding of understanding relative to this subject for a long, long time to come. But there will be some things about the incarnation, which will remain a mystery until the translation, and then they will be understood.

 

Well, I think thatís enough on that, I just wanted you to be cautious about this subject and donít jump in with a lot of speculation and a lot of ideas that are not grounded on the sound evidences of the Word.

 

All right, the first point, Christ when He came to this world took upon himself humanity He became a man and He took upon himself the nature of man, in fact He took upon himself not just the human nature of man, He took upon himself the fallen, sinful nature of man. And I will read the references for that, 653.5 is the first one.

 

"Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth to help man. In behalf of the race with the weaknesses of fallen man upon him He was to stand the temptations of Satan upon all points wherewith man would be assailed." There it talks about taking the infirmities of the race and bearing the sins, now just hold that in abeyance and donít jump to conclusions on it yet. He bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth. You see, there are different definitions for sin and sins we must be careful not to confuse this term with the actual act of sin. The act of sin is the transgression of God law and it goes deeper then that, it is actually an attitude towards God because the law is based on the principle of Godís character. And you know what Godís character is now, donít you?

 

(John) Love.

 

(Wilfred) Which kind of love? Self-renouncing love. And a rebellion against that principle is sin. It will lead one to transgress the literal commandments, which is sin. Jesus never did that, never, and Iím going to read you that. He never sinned but when He came into humanity He took upon himself a human form that bore the infirmities of the race as they existed at that time including the sins of the world. Now that doesnít mean his individual sins that means the accumulated results actually of the sins of the people of the world which have been recorded in the human genetic system and caused the degeneration of the race.

 

Iím going to read you more statements Iím just sort of ad-libbing here a bit so you get thinking on the right channel.

 

And He took on the weaknesses of fallen man.

 

The next one, 656.2. "Wondrous combination of man and God. He might have helped his human nature to withstand the inroads of disease by pouring from his divine nature vitality and undecaying vigor to the human." Do you get the picture here? He was a combination of God and man. Wondrous combination of man and God! He might have helped His human nature to withstand the inroads of disease and degeneration and what have you, by pouring from His divine nature vitality and undecaying vigor to the human. But He humbled Himself to man's nature. God became man.

 

656.2 Oh, I read the wrong statement; I meant to read this one first. Thatís all right weíre going to come to that one anyway.

 

ďIt would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden.Ē Even if He would have taken human nature as it was perfect in Adam before He sinned. That would have been a tremendous humiliation for Christ. But listen. ďBut Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations,Ē Now listen. Why did He do this? ďTo give us the example of a sinless life.Ē Now I want to submit to you that there would be no point in his giving us an example of a sinless life if it was not possible for anybody else to live it. How could He be an example, an example is one that does what somebody else can follow and do. Isnít it? Now if He had taken humanity without its degeneration, without its sinfulness, without its fallen and deteriorated nature, would that have been an example of living a sinless life that could have any meaning to us? Two different classes of people. So it is obvious that He was willing to take humanity in its degenerated form and stand on the same ground that you and I have to stand on. And show us that it is possible to live a sinless life how could we benefit from such an example? But He did it and today there are people who say it canít be done and the reason they say it canít be done is because they have come to the conclusion that Jesus took humanity with its degenerate form alright but He took it in some sort of a mystical fashion I canít quite comprehend in which Adam lived before he fell. Now I say if He took the form in which Adam lived before he fell then the sinlessness of his example has no meaning to me because I am not in the form of sinlessness in which Adam existed in before he fell. Are you? So if thatís the case then there must be some other secret to the plan of salvation, which we havenít discovered.

 

656.6 ďIn our humanity, Christ was to redeem Adam's failure.Ē In whose humanity?

 

(John) Ours.

 

(Wilfred) Ours. ďBut when Adam was assailed by the tempter, none of the effects of sin were upon him.Ē Is that right? He hasnít sinned yet. He was created pure, holy, and perfect. ďHe stood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the full vigor of mind and body. He was surrounded with the glories of Eden, and was in daily communion with heavenly beings. It was not thus with JesusĒ. Could that be any planner? These are the words of Godís prophet. Just as plan as they can be written. ďIt was not thus with Jesus when He entered the wilderness to cope with Satan. For four thousand years the race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral worth; and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity.Ē Is that not clear? ďOnly thus could He rescue man from the lowest depths of his degradation.Ē That makes sense to me. I donít know if it does to you. But letís move on. Weíve got a lot of these statements and I donít want to keep you too late.

 

656.9 ďClad in the vestments of humanity, the Son of God came down to the level of those He wished to save.Ē What level did He come down to?

 

(John) To the level of those He wished to save.

 

(Wilfred) They were sinless?

 

(John) No.

 

(Wilfred) Was Christ sinless?

 

(John) Yes.

 

(Wilfred) So here we have a conundrum again. He came down to the level of those He wished to save and they were a bunch of sinners. And yet He was sinless. Now I hope that before we are through tonight we are going to understand this. I hope we are. Iíll do my level best to bring out from these statements what God has given to us. And weíll trust that the Spirit of the Lord will help us see through it. It took a long time before I saw it. I was completely confused for a long time and then I thought I saw it, but I was still partly confused. And I wonít be so bold to say I may not be confused yet, but Iím going to give you the best I have. Then you can come back after weíre through and give us the best that you have if you have anything to add.

 

ďClad in the vestments of humanity, the Son of God came down to the level of those He wished to save. In Him was no guile or sinfulness; He was ever pure and undefiled; yet He took upon Him our sinful nature.Ē Well I can hardly resist showing you right here the key to this thing and it may be a good idea because sometimes we have to be shown it more than once before it really sinks in. Let me read it carefully. ďIn Him was no guile or sinfulness;Ē In who?

 

(John) Christ.

 

(Wilfred) Where did he come from? Heaven. Was He the same Christ when He came to this earth as He was when He was in Heaven?

 

(John) He had a different form.

 

(Wilfred) Hold it. It says He took upon him humanity. That is He didnít destroy him and become somebody else, He was him and He took upon him humanity in the form of a human body. The Bible says in Hebrews and I intend to read it. That a body was made up for him, it was prepared for him, it was structured for him to live in. For him. For who?

 

(John) Christ.

 

(Wilfred) And what kind of a Christ was He? A Holy Christ, a sinless Christ, a divine Christ, He came into a human temple. Was He still the same Christ? He was still the same Christ. Was He still holy? He was still holy. Was He still sinless? He was still sinless. Did he have any sinfulness in him? No. But what about that body He took on. Listen, let me read it. Yet he took upon him our perfectly holy body? No, Sinful body. Iím reading it, itís right here. What kind of a body did He take upon himself? A sinful body. Do you know what a sinful body is? One like Iíve got. Now, if He had not taken upon himself a sinful body could He have had the same kind of temptations reach his divine soul that reached your human soul? I donít see how He could. And yet there are some very brilliant minds in this world who say that He did. But Iím going to place my conclusions on the plan teachings of The Spirit of Prophecy and the word of God. Now some of you may feel that we should be starting from the Bible and teaching it from there. Iím going to tell you something about that Bible. Nobody can understand that Bible without the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is the life of the Word. The Spirit of Truth will guide you into all truth. But there are conditions, if we donít fulfill the conditions the Spirit of Truth cannot guide us into all truth. And for many, many, years down through the ages people have been studying this book and studying this book and they have not found some of the truths that are in here. Why not? They must not have been fulfilling the conditions.

 

One of the conditions is diligent study of the word. I read you some of them here didnít I? Search the scriptures in the Spirit of Christ, willing to be instructed as a little child, some of us follow up on that one. We donít like to be instructed as a little child, we come in there with our chest sticking out. We are theologians, we understand the Bible, when someone brings us a thought and itís just a little different than what we thought before, oh, the Lord hasnít revealed that, thatís heresy better stay out of that. Do you understand?

 

Now look, we cannot understand that Bible unless we come to it willing to be instructed as a little child. Have you seen a little child come to be instructed? Those of you who are parents, youíve seen it havenít you? Submit wholly to God, I wonder where is the man or woman even in this room who has submitted wholly to God. Wholly, be obedient, where is the man or women even in this room who has been obedient. Oh yes, up to a point. Now, do you know what God did, and I think He did it for a good reason not just because we havenít totally fulfilled the conditions, I think He did it for a good reason. He put a prophecy in the Old Testament way back in Joel chapter 2 in which He said He was going to pour upon his people the former rain and the later rain and He said something was gong to happen when He did that. What did He say was going to happen?

 

(John) Your sons and daughters will prophesy.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right. And your old men will dream dreams. And at what time in the period of this earthís history was this going to take place? Thatís also in the very same chapter. Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord and itís going to be what kind of a day? A terrible day and what are the people supposed to do? Weeping and fasting, itís a terrific trial, but we canít go into all that but I just wanted to call it back to your attention. God said that He was going to send prophets before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. Thatís what He said. Well, He sent us a prophet and for a long time I didnít believe it when I was the same age as you young people, I didnít believe it. And then for awhile I thought well there looks like there is something in there alright, but itís not all inspired there must be mistakes in it. And every once in a while I would bump into something that I thought that that canít be right, it just doesnít fit my philosophy. Thatís the way we are you know, like little children, is that the way little children are? Not at all, but thatís the way I was and I think thatís the way most of us are at one stage of our experience or other.

 

The longer I live the fewer of those passages I find. Fewer and fewer. Sooner or later what looks to be a contradiction, what looks to be impossible fits into the picture. I finally find a place where that little segment of the jigsaw fits in and as the pieces come together and thereís the picture. Do you understand? I am thoroughly convinced in the inspiration of The Spirit of Prophecy. This woman was one of Godís last day prophets. And after I have read what it says in here I find this much easier to read even though sometimes it isnít too easy as this particular subject isnít. After I read whatís in here then I can go back into the Bible here and I read texts that I learned when I was a kid, you know rhyme them off. I never thought much about them and all of a sudden I see what that means, I understand that. I donít know whether any of you have had that experience. So this is my procedure, I want to see what God says, if God sent a prophet to us to help us understand that book, and thatís what she was for, thatís what she said, I think I aught to read it. So I read it and then I go back to the book, and then I find the truth. And I say thank God for the prophet, because if I had gone here, me with all my shortcomings and besetments and mistakes and sins I am not capable of understanding everything in that book. And furthermore, why should God show to me everything in this book personally, without this when Heís provided this? God doesnít waste his material. If He provides a better tool to do a job with, how silly is it not to use that tool. Isnít it? Well, forgive me for digressing on that.

 

So here it is then, He took upon him our sinful nature in his own character, whose character?

 

(John) His own.

 

(Wilfred) Where did He come from?

 

(John) Heaven.

 

(Wilfred) What kind of a character did He have? 

 

(John) Sinless.

 

(Wilfred) In that character He displayed to the world the character of God. Does that make sense?

 

(John) Yes.

 

(Wilfred) All right.

 

Now page 657.6. ďNotwithstanding that the sins of a guilty world were laid upon Christ, notwithstanding the humiliation of taking upon Himself our fallen nature,Ē I canít help but stop here to suggest to you that the key to understanding what it means to Ďtake upon him the sins of a guilty worldí is given right in that statement. There are different meanings of the idea of taking upon himself the sins of the world, it has a deeper meaning and as I have shown you the words of the prophet all of these things relative to Christ have deeper meaning. We canít say after weíve taken a certain view of a thing that thatís all there is to it and there is nothing more to it. We must be cautious on that. There is always a deeper meaning involved.

 

But listen here, let me read it again. ďNotwithstanding that the sins of a guilty world were laid upon Christ,Ē How were they laid upon Christ? Well, of course He was totally conscience of everything that took place in his universe, wasnít He? Here was a great parent that had a lot of children and the children were disobedient and they messed up his created works. When He put a window in the basement and told them not to throw stones so they wouldnít break it, they threw stones and broke the window, they messed up his creation and He had to go put a new window in. Well, in that sense of course He takes upon himself the sins of the world He accepts the responsibility for them and has to patch it up. Whatís He going to have to do with this world after we get through messing it up?

 

(John) Create it over again.

 

(Wilfred) Create it over again. And donít think that doesnít involve a bit of work. We have this notion that all God has to do is think and everything happens, donít fool yourselves. Why do you suppose He made us the way we are? My Bible says we are made in the image of God, when things that we create and make and manufacture are destroyed by our kids does it bother us at all? Do we have to put forth an effort to recreate it? Well, in my book that means that God has to too and if you donít believe it take a look at the cross. How much is it costing God to restore His original Kingdom?

 

(John) Everything!

 

(Wilfred) Everything! Well, I hope it sinks in.

 

Now, it says here that He took upon himself the sins of a guilty world. Look, when He came forth in the sinful body of a human being with his pure character and personality and soul, his divine nature of holiness, what do you suppose that did to him?

 

(John) He recoiled against it.

 

(Wilfred) Oh, He recoiled. And He was so sensitive. Iíve got a statement on that. The sensitivity. It pained Him far more than it could possibly pain us. He had the sins of the whole world, all the transgressions that have been taken place are affecting his kingdom, which has to be restored with a tremendous effort, and you and I are going to be involved in that effort in restoring it. Heís going to enlist us in the work of restoration, is that not right? I could prove it, but we have already dealt with it in another study.

 

All right, ďNotwithstanding that the sins of a guilty world were laid upon Christ,Ē ... ďNotwithstanding the humiliation of taking upon Himself our fallen nature,Ē Do you see how it ties right together in those two statements? ďThe voice from heaven declared Him to be the Son of the Eternal.Ē It must have been a little difficult for some of those Jews looking at this fellow to think, the Son of God? Why, we were expecting something a little brighter than this to come along. After his temptation in the wildness He came back in what physical condition? 

 

(John) Emaciated.

 

(Wilfred) Tremendously emaciated and began His ministry. It must have been a rather sad picture for some of these bigoted Jews to look upon this man and to try to conceive of Him as the Son of God and of course they didnít believe it. What kind of people took up with this?

 

(John) The simple people.

 

(Wilfred) The simple people. Thatís right! Well doesnít the Bible say, He has given his word, his truth to the babes and withheld them from the wise, not many wise. Do you understand? I canít think of the correct text at the moment. Can you think of it pastor?

 

(Pastor Farag) He hid it from the wise and prudent and revealed unto babes. 

 

(Wilfred) Right. The voice from heaven declared him to be the Son of the Eternal. Now listen, of his character, what part of him was it that did not have any sin on it?

 

(John) His character.

 

(Wilfred) His character. What is His Character?

 

(A man in the audience) Himself, His person.

 

(Wilfred) That brings us to definitions. Now, if I go into definitions fully tonight we wonít get through so I wonít go into it fully, but let me skim it. The basic narrow sense of character is this; now I have to go back one step further. Character hinges on freedom of choice, the free will, Human beings are different from animals in that they have a freedom of choice this is the distinguishing feature. In addition to that of course is that they have a more complex brain and they have reasoning power to a greater extent then animals. Although animals can reason up to a point and memory and all these other characteristics. But a human being has a distinct feature, freedom of choice. The brain plant is the factory that produces the soul, the thinking part of a person, Iím going to call this the soul, now there are other definitions for soul but right now Iím going to call the soul that part which is me. Maybe Iíd better illustrate it so nobody will misunderstand because this thing is a little difficult and I donít want misunderstanding.

 

This is a little gruesome but Iím going to do it anyway. Suppose I have an accident and lost this leg and it sits over there, where am I, in the leg or here? That leg is not me, that belongs to me. Now the other one goes, the same thing, the arms go, the same thing, now, I keep whittling down, at what point can I say thatís me and Iím no longer here?

 

(Woman in the audience) Unintelligible

 

(Wilfred) You are agreed then that "me" is someplace relative to the brain plant? All right, now just where is it in the brain plant? Shut one eye, Vern is over there, John is over there, how do I know that? Well, I can see it. If Vern moves and goes back here, Iím still here, here, Iím measuring where Vern is relative to where that eye is and John. Now if I switch eyes, I shut this eye and Iím looking through this one, John shifts position just a little bit because Iím looking from a different spot, Iím now over here, Iím not here, I canít visualize myself in here, Iím here. And if I shut the other eye, now I'm over here. Now look, I donít shift position from one eye to the other and yet thatís the way I visualize myself. When I shut both eyes Iím just somewhere and I can be way over in Denmark or I can be down in California or I can be home sleeping in bed. I can visualize myself any place, now where am I? Well I'm someplace in here because if you knock this thing out I wonít have the ability to project myself anyplace. I can project my personal position by imagination and thatís what I do because I am not in any one particular locality and as yet science cannot tell us precisely what the individual soul is, if they will ever be able to and neither can I. All I know is that it is a constituent part of a chemical/electrical process that takes place in the brain area where there are glands and nerve cells and brain cells and what have you, some combination of energy functioning in there is capable of producing something, now get this, this is tricky, of producing something that is an individual which is independent of what made him in the sense that he can make a decision of his own creative choice and over-rule the mechanism that functions in the physical body. Now, by instinct if you were to flash your hand in front of my eye there that would blink if I didnít know that you were going to do it. It would just blink, there is a built-in mechanism and it functions instinctively, independently of me. But I have a will up here someplace, me, I can decide that I am not going to blink and you can go ahead and flash by me and I donít blink. Now some people who donít have a very strong willpower will blink anyway they are not able to over-rule that little thing. Now listen, thatís character, the will that is able to over-rule the inherited tendencies and the cultivated or habit tendencies, the will that is able to do that is a strong will and that person has a strong character, thatís character in the narrow sense.

 

Now character in a broader sense, if I consistently make choices the same way, like learning to type. I used to teach typing, show these kids how to use this finger for that key that finger for that key and just what kind of strokes to make and we work on that one and we work on that one and we try to get the technique just perfect and correct, you know. And if we continue to make the same movements over and over again by conscience decision we move those fingers deliberately we are over-ruling or ruling over the body, which is a gift God gave us, then it will become a habit so that I no longer have to think consciously of what finger to use for what key and or just how to make the stroke, you following me? All I need to do is take a look at the word I want to type and up it goes, as a matter of fact I can actually type from a book and be thinking about something else and not make any mistakes. As a matter of fact I can even talk to somebody while I am typing and still be typing. I know a man who used to be able to work out a mathematical problem while he was typing something and not make any mistakes.

 

Now, thatís how God made your body, He gave you the privilege of programming your own computer, you know, hooking up the wiring for certain behaviorisms. He gave you by birth instinctive ones, nobody had to teach you how to suck when you were first born, that was instinctive. Nobody had to teach you how to cry or to defecate or some of these other things. But God left the human being with a vast area of un-programmed behavior and He did it purposely because He wanted man to be able to build his own personality to a large extent. With the training that a child gets from his parents and with the decisions that the child makes on its own it eventually develops into a human being who is a mixture of instinctive behaviors and habitual behaviors and some of those habitual behaviors have over-ruled the instinctive behaviors so the instinctive ones are no longer operative, the habitual ones are. And while Iím on it, there is a statement in the Spirit of Prophecy that says that there is no inherited tendency, no cultivated tendency that can not be overcome through the power that is available to the Christian.

 

(John) She says, no cultivated or inherited tendency to evil; you left out the words; to evil.

 

(Wilfred) I know, I am sorry. So then you can overcome every cultivated and inherited tendency to evil. And what is the mechanism you use to do it with?

 

(John) The will.

 

(Wilfred) The will. Now I am getting sidetracked but we need to understand this or weíre not going to get a hold of this.

 

The character in a broader sense is the sum total of all your decisions, and I say that with my tongue in my cheek because if you just make a few casual decisions they donít really affect your behaviorism very must....

 

(The end of C/D #34 and the beginning of C/D #35)

 

Itís like driving a car over a lawn you see the track where itís been but if you donít drive over there again after a few weeks what happens? Itís all obliterated, but if you keep driving over the same track day after day what happens? Well, you wear a path in there and pretty soon you have a deep rut. I used to have to teach school down on the prairies there in the early days and we had a lot of these trails going across the prairie and some of them were so deep that the center of the car would scrape in the middle and you would have to drive up on the edge so that you didnít scrape. But if it wasnít quite that deep you could set the car in there, and if you had a good car you could take your hands off the wheel and it would sort of follow the track by itself. And thatís the way the mechanism of habit building is.

 

Now character is habit of choosing, itís sort of a habit of choosing according to the way you have chosen in the past. You build up a habit of choosing. For instance, suppose you decide that you are going to stop eating three meals a day you are going to go on two. Well, at first it's kind of tough, you have got to put your attention to it and your will power to it and you will have tendencies and urges to go ahead and eat when you normally eat and have to restrict yourself and you work into the new time schedule for the two meals. If you continue to do that you will eventually get into the habit of doing that, not only will your body conform, and thatís the physical habit, but your mind will conform and even if you had a bodily urge to eat in between those meals your mind would instinctively bring you away from that temptation because you have developed the habit of thinking in that direction. The character has been built and programmed and is a protection against the temptation, Follow? Character in a broader sense.

 

Now, what kind of a character did Christ have when he came to this world?

 

(A woman in the audience) A perfect character.

 

(Wilfred) A perfect character. Thereís one other aspect in connection with this that is very important in character building. In the original Kingdom of God, remember the statement that said we would understand the method of Godís government better under certain circumstances. Let me give you a key as to how the government of God really functions. Heís given us the freedom of choice now and He asks us to surrender our will to Him. That seems a little contradictory and I can think of the devil laughing a little bit up his sleeve on that one, what kind of a God are we serving? And he probably pokes us with a temptation, serve a God like that? He gives you freedom of choice and then you have to obey him everywhere alone the route and you canít do as you please. Well, you know what your kids do to, donít you? I hear them in school sometimes about how their parents are, you know, he makes me do this, my parents make me do this, and I want to do that and I have to do this. How come they have to surrender their will to their parents?

 

(John) They donít have the experience.

 

(Wilfred) They donít have the experience to guide themselves through this mess. Now how come we donít have the experience to guide ourselves through?

 

(John) Because there is a devil always trying to get us to do the wrong things.

 

(Wilfred) Because of the devilís temptations. And there is a second point. The inherited sinfulness, when Adam sinned that decision altered some of the chemistry his body, and this goes back to the tree of life, he was eating of the tree of life and he had a vitality in his body that was tremendous. The power that he had to implement his will was many times the power that we have today. And the power of his physical body was so great that even when he was cut off from the Garden of Eden he lived for over nine hundred years before deterioration final took his life. We are quite puny as compared to those first people but we are fortunate in another way, that when we make a mistake it is not recorded and seared into our genetic mechanism by one exposure so that our children are going to suffer because of that sin, that one thing, do you understand? We have to persist in doing the wrong thing for a while before it becomes deeply ingrained into our system. Thatís a protection, thatís a safeguard. God has permitted us to die a little so that we can overcome sin. There is no way to get rid of sin except through death and there is more meaning than one to that. And regeneration, we must die to the old pattern and diligently work towards regenerating new ones and it is the same power that does it.

 

(John) The Holy Spirit.

 

(Wilfred) All right, I lost my train with all this character business. Oh, why we have to submit our will to the Lord. The reason is that there's only one way that we can place ourselves in a position where the Lord can beat the devil through us. I donít mean beat him physical but overcome him and enable us to overcome the evil and build a righteous character, just one way, we have to submit to Him. There is no way we can do it in our own thinking and in our own selves. There are too many temptations about, there are too many misjudgments and our hearts are evil. The Bible says the heart is deceitful above all things and disparately wicked, who can know it. The heart in scripture has various meanings but itís major meaning and the meaning in connection with the plan of salvation is generally this one; it is the seat of the emotions and feelings. When Jesus Christ came to this world what was his attitude towards Godís law?

 

(John) He loved it.

 

(Wilfred) He loved it. It says; I delight to do thy will, Oh my God. You give me a nice rosy red delicious apple and I delight to eat it. No problem for me to eat a nice big rosy red delicious apple. Now there is nothing wrong with eating a good delicious apple. Iím lucky that way I can do as I please and be fulfilling the law of righteousness. But suppose I love to eat six pieces of banana cream pie, I just love banana cream pie. I like it but not that much. I just love it. But now, suppose banana cream pie is bad for me, I have an allergy to it and I mustnít eat it or Iím going to have problems. Maybe I could have taken tobacco or something or alcohol or some of these other things. As long as my heart is hankering for sinful things I have to exercise a resistance against my nature in order to do right, do you understand? Now, there is where character comes in. We have to build a character so that we can resist the innovations of an evil heart, the temptations that come to us through our evil heart. If I have that particular degenerate love in my nature John could come along and tempt me by putting six pieces of banana cream pie in front of me, there would be the temptation. Now, if he didnít put those pieces in front of me I might not think about it if I kept myself busy and I wouldnít be tempted and nothing will happen. But the moment I see those six pieces of banana cream pie, Oh boy, then I would have to start exercising my resistance, my freedom of choice, my will power. Now, if I have developed a strong character and I am accustomed to meeting up with things that I donít want to do and I know I have to do them or meeting up with things I have to do and I donít want to do or visa-versa then I donít have any problem do I? I build a character to the point where I can do it but if I havenít got a character, I canít. All right, now suppose that I donít know whatís right or wrong, I have a double disadvantage and thatís the situation of the person who comes to the Lord the first time. He doesnít know what is right and he hasnít built the character perhaps, now he may be lucky and have built one anyway. You can build a character without reference to the Word of God, thatís possible. So, we have to learn the truth and then we have to make decisions in favor of the truth and if we do that we are building a character as we do it and in due time when the Lord makes the decision He will transform the heart. Heís told us that. Itís one of the terms of the New Covenant when we have attained to the stature that He sees we are capable of attaining or as high as we are able to attain and are willing to go then He can perform a miracle and He usually does this over a period of time in which He transforms the heart. Now there is a process by which this thing functions and if you follow the process the heart will change. Iíll give you an example; I used to hate mustard and I still do, I used to hate olives but I donít now, what makes the difference?

 

(John) Choice.

 

(Wilfred) Choice. Olives are good for me; I found that out, see. So I decided that I was going to eat olives so I ate olives. Do you know whatís happened now? I love olives and if there arenít too many people at the table that like olives I take a few more and itís not hard to do it. Itís easy to do it. What about mustard? I found out that mustard is not good for me so I didnít bother making the choices and I can hardly down the stuff. When I come to some place where they offer me a sandwich that has a relish on it and with mustard in it I almost perish getting it down. Well, this just illustrates my point. If we are obedient to the truth the nature of the heart can change relative to that thing so that I can delight to do the right thing. Now when Godís Kingdom is totally restored, listen, when Godís Kingdom is totally restored you will delight to do the will of God and the law of God and your heart will be in harmony and I could read you statements that in doing your own will you are automatically at the same time doing the will of God. Now I canít think of any better form of government than that. There has been all kinds of governments in the world you know, progressive, conservatism, social credit, communism, and fascist, dictatorships and all the rest and even democracy, you name them, there is no government that will surpass that and do you know where the ruler-ship is? Not on a bunch of statute books. Jesus said, the Kingdom of God is within you. It will be in the heart. You see, under the New Covenant He says, I will put my laws where? In your mind and in your heart. Both places, and you shall be my people and I shall be your God and I will forgive all your iniquities and they shall no more say come let us learn of God. No, they shall all know me form the least to the greatest. Weíre all going to know what kind of a God we are serving and you know what kind it is and we are going to have the law of God in the heart and we are going to love that law and when you love that law it is no problem to do it. You just do what you feel like doing and you are doing the law of God. What a Kingdom, no execution chambers, no jails, no coercion of any kind. The only power that God uses to bring allegiance to himself is the power of love. And how does He get you to love Him? By displaying his love, thatís how. And love begets love. Brothers and Sisters thatís the gospel in a nutshell.

 

 

657.6 in Questions on Doctrine. ďThough He had no taint of sin upon His character, yet He condescended to connect our fallen human nature with His divinity.Ē Now thatís plain isnít it? Did you get that or is there a question about it? ďHe showedĒ Oh get this. ďHe showedĒ Remember the example? He set the example. Here it says He showed, like any example does. ďWhat it might becomeĒ What does the ĎItĒ refer to? ďHaving taken our fallen nature, He showed what it might become.Ē    

 

(John) Our fallen nature.

 

(Wilfred) Good for you. ďHe showed what our fallen nature might become by accepting the ample provision He has made for it, and by becoming a partaker of the divine nature.Ē Now we are getting some place. Do you see? Here was Christ who came down to earth with a perfect divine nature, perfect character. He was Christ and donít ask me to explain how that came about. The Holy Ghost was his father or something that took the place of his father. His mother was Mary and through Mary He received the inheritance of humanity but through the Holy Ghost He received the other part of his being, He was a dual, He was a wondrous combination, she says, of divinity and humanity. He partook of the divine nature, she says that. But he came in his divinity and took upon himself humanity and so that divinity recoiled at sin so that he hated sin. He couldnít make himself commit sin in spite of the temptations of the human flesh.

 

Now, the reason that we sin is because we donít have the divine nature. We have the sinful nature and we love sin, we love sin thatís why we do it. The remedy is for us to partake of the divine nature and He has made ample provision for that. And we have already discussed that. Weíve gone through that process and what He did to do it and it is a tremendous thing. The divine nature of Christ is available to humanity, everything that Christ received and used in his behave to overcome the sinfulness of his human nature and to overcome temptation that came through that sinfulness, everything that Christ received to enable him to do that is available to us. Therefore He had no advantage, some people say; well he had an advantage because He was divinity, but He solved that by making available to us the same power. Got that? And I canít help but tell you right here and remind you right here that to do it, it cost him his eternal life. He had to lay down his eternal life to do it. Thatís the sacrifice, the supreme sacrifice, it cost God all the treasures of Heaven, He gave them into the hands of the Son to be used, what for?

 

(Several voices in the audience) Unintelligible

 

(Wilfred) And in what particular technique? Itís in the books. Use these gifts to convince man that there is no love greater than mine; the Father is speaking, in all the universe than my love for man. There is no love greater than that and that man will gain his greatest happiness in loving me. Thatís what those gifts were to be used for and when God has finally revealed his love totally to you as completely as it is possible to reveal it to you He has no other cards to bring out. Thatís it, if you donít accept him on that bases youíre going to be lost. 

 

Now you can continue to reject the Holy Spirit right on down the line but when God has shed upon you the fullness of his love and He has nothing more to reveal to you. Youíre not willing to accept what He has given, thatís it. Now, I canít understand this and I donít profess to but the love of God is something we will not understand throughout all eternity, itís immeasurable, too big. He showed what it might become by accepting the ample provision He has made for it and becoming a partaker of the divine nature.

 

Now I must hurry on Iím getting side-tracked too much here and Iím not going to get through and I feel badly about it, Iím not but I hope that Iím making it plain as far as I got.

 

Now letís just read a few on the perfect sinlessness of the humanity of Christ, I wonít need to read very many, I think you are convinced already.

 

651.1 Questions on Doctrine, ďIn the fullness of time He was to be revealed in human form. He was to take His position at the head of humanity by taking the nature but not the sinfulness of man.Ē Now here it says that while He took human nature He did not take on Him the sinfulness of man. Look, Iíve got to settle this right here so we donít get confused. He took upon himself the sinful nature of man; Iíve read you that didnít I? Now it says, He did not.

 

(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible

 

(Wilfred) Well, the other one said the same thing, the sinful nature.

 

(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible

 

(Wilfred) What is the difference?

 

(John) One was, he took upon himself the sinful body but He had the sinless character of God.

 

(Wilfred) The key here is understanding this dual nature of Christ, thatís the key. The sinful nature of humanity He inherited, the degraded and sinful nature. Do you understand? Now, this sinful nature is what causes us to sin. It makes it easy for us to decide to transgress Godís law. In fact it goes deeper than that, it makes it easier to be selfish which is the basic transgression of the law. And so we make decisions, which create in us the sinful nature in the sense of sinfulness, the habit of sinning, do you get that? Now I asked what is the difference but I didnít wait for an answer and the pastor said quite a bit. I recognize that some of these terms we use interchangeably but we have to be careful that we define how we are using the term, because sinfulness and sinful nature can mean the same thing and many times they are used interchangeably but there is a difference in the application and thatís what I am concerned about. I donít care whether you call it sinful nature or whether you call it sinfulness. I am concerned about whether you understand how it applies in this particular statement, Christ never sinned even in his sinful body, his fallen body, do you understand? So therefore He created no sinfulness in himself. And in his divinity He was sinless. There was not sinfulness. So when He came to take his place as the head of humanity He took the nature of man but He did not accept the sinfulness of man. He only accepted the deteriorated, degenerated condition of the human body. Do you understand that?

 

(John) I think brother that this is plain and the statement you made earlier, when you said real sin is a decision of the will and in this sense Jesus never chose to do anything that was contrary to Godís law.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right and He never sinned there was never a taint of sin upon him.

 

Questions on Doctrine page 659.7. Iíll go fast here because our time is running on us and I donít want to keep you too long. It says here; ďIn taking upon Himself man's nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not in the least participate in its sin.ď Is that clear? That means that He did not in any way sin. Him who came from Heaven in all his purity and holiness and became incarnate in humanity, Him, He, was still the sinless one who never chose to sin even though his body that He inherited was degenerate and carried the marks of sin that He inherited, Got it?

 

651.6 ďWe should have no misgivings in regard to the perfect sinlessness of the human nature of Christ.Ē Now, What about that one? ďWe should have no misgivings in regard to the perfect sinlessness of the human nature of Christ.Ē Let me point out the word ďnatureĒ is used in different senses. When you say, human nature, you can be speaking about human nature as Adam had it before He sinned. Thatís human nature. Or you can be speaking about it as we have it. Thatís human nature too. But there are two different kinds of human nature. Do you understand? Now when you are reading the Spirit of Prophecy youíve got to read it in context and youíve got to read it in reference to all the other statements. If you donít you can sure enough come to some odd conclusions that donít fit the picture. Now, see if we can figure out what she means here. She said, ďWe should have no misgivings in regard to the perfect sinlessness of the human nature of Christ.Ē What human nature is she talking about here? Is she talking about human nature as we have it now or is she talking about human nature as God created it?

 

(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible

 

(Wilfred) How would you explain it?

 

(John) I would explain it this way, If Christ wrought out a sinless character in humanity and that that nature corresponded with the nature of Adam before he ever did sin. When He came forth from the tomb his human character was not developed but through the divine character.....

 

(Wilfred) You donít mean from the tomb you mean when He came forth from the cradle.

 

(John) When He came forth from the cradle and during his lifetime He wrought out or built in that human nature of his, He built a human character, which is a pattern for us.

 

(Wilfred) Ok, thatís a very good thought and I agree that it could mean that. There is one thing sure, it does not mean that He did not take a degenerate human nature, it does not mean that because we have ample statements to substantiate that feature, and that is the point I would like you to get. I would like to caution you that when you are reading from the Spirit of Prophecy that you do not jump to some conclusion as the result of one statement. You may tentatively come to a conclusion but donít regard it as irrefutable until you have gathered as many statements you can find that bear on the subject and see how it fits.

 

Now, letís get a few more because we have some contentious ones here, 651.8. I think Iíll start at about .7 and go through it, it makes more sense if I read it all.

 

ďBe careful, exceedingly careful as to how you dwell upon the human nature of Christ. Do not set Him before the people as a man with the propensities of sin. He is the second Adam. The first Adam was created a pure, sinless being, without a taint of sin upon him;Ē See how Adam was created? Pure, sinless without a taint of sin. ďHe was in the image of God. He could fall, and he did fall through transgressing. Because of sin his posterity," Thatís you and me. "Was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. He took upon Himself human nature, and was tempted in all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen, but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity.Ē Now that is a tricky statement and we are going to have to look at it very closely. If we just read the first part of it weíre going to come to a false conclusion.

 

Let me read it again. ďThe first Adam was created a pure, sinless being, without a taint of sin upon him; he was in the image of God. He could fall, and he did fall through transgressing. Because of sin his posterity was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. He took upon Himself human nature, and was tempted in all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen, but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity. He was assailed with temptations in the wilderness, as Adam was assailed with temptations in Eden.Ē It looks like that statement means that when Jesus came into this world He received a human inheritance that had no tendencies to evil, no sinfulness, no degeneracy, the same as Adam had before he fell. Thatís what it looks like. Do you see? But listen, take another look at it. There are certain things you know that it canít mean because of other statements we have read. So there must be a thought process here that is different from what it looks and if we read it carefully I think we can see it. So letís go cautiously and she tells us to be careful. ďBe careful she says, exceedingly careful as to how you dwell upon the human nature of Christ. Do not set Him before the people as a man with the propensities of sin.Ē Do you know what a propensity is?

 

(A man in the audience) An Inclination.

 

(Wilfred) An inclination, yes, a tendency, a urge towards sin. Now who is it talking about?

 

(A man the audience) Christ.

 

(Wilfred) Christ. Where did He come from?

 

(A man the audience) Heaven.

 

(Wilfred) Heaven. Was He still the same Christ?

 

(John) Yes, He recoiled from sin.

 

(Wilfred) He was still the same Christ. Therefore He had no propensity to evil. You got that? Now letís see if we can go on. ďHe is the second Adam. The first Adam was created a pure, sinless being, without a taint of sin upon him;Ē .... How was the first Adam? 

 

(John) Without a taint of sin.

 

(Wilfred) ďHe was in the image of?

 

(John) God.

 

(Wilfred) How was Christ?

 

(John) In the image of God.

 

(Wilfred) He was God.

 

(John) He was God.

 

(Wilfred) So He was the same as Adam, wasnít He? No tendency to sin, no propensities to sin. ďHe could fall and he did fall through transgressing.Ē Now the next statement is the one that throws us. She is simply telling us here what happened because of Adams fall. Now, watch it. ďBecause of sin his posterity was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God.Ē Who was He?

 

(A man in the audience) The only begotten Son of God.

 

(Wilfred) Where did He come from?

 

(A man in the audience) Heaven.

 

(Wilfred) What nature did He take?

 

(A man in the audience) Human nature.

 

(Wilfred) Human nature, but who was he?

 

(John) The Son of God.

 

(Wilfred) What kind of a person was He?

 

(John) Sinless.

 

(Wilfred) Sinless. What kind of a nature did He have?

 

(John) Sinless.

 

(Wilfred) Sinless. What tendencies did He have?

 

(A man in the audience) Sinless.

 

(Wilfred) Sinless tendencies. No propensities to evil. But what about Adams posterity?

 

(John) They had sinful propensities.

 

(Wilfred) But wasnít Jesus Adam's posterity?

 

(A man in the audience) The body was.

 

(Wilfred) The body was, now watch. When she talks about this, the sin of his posterity was born with the inherent propensities of disobedience she contrasts Jesus and she says, But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. See?

 

(A man in the audience) His father wasnít Jewish.

 

(Wilfred) Right, He was the Son of Man in the sense that He had a body born of man, but He himself was God, the sinless One. ďHe took upon himself human nature,Ē He took upon himself human nature. Was He still God?

 

(John) Yes.

 

(Wilfred) Was He still without any propensities to evil?

 

(John) Yes.

 

(Wilfred) Was He still sinless?

 

(A man in the audience) Yes.

 

(Wilfred) All right. He ďWas tempted in all points as human nature is tempted.Ē Now listen, to me itís as plain as day, but for a long time it wasnít. He was tempted. Who was tempted?

 

(John) Jesus.

 

(Wilfred) Where did He come from?

 

(John) Heaven.

 

(Wilfred) What nature was he of?

 

(John) Sinless.

 

(Wilfred) He was tempted through what agency?

 

(John) The body.

 

(Wilfred) The body. What did He inherit in that body?

 

(John) The degeneracyís of the human race.

 

(Wilfred) And the sinfulness and the fallen nature of mankind, thatís what I read.

 

(A man n the audience) unintelligible

 

(Wilfred) All right, just listen to this now. Who was Christ?

 

(A man n the audience) The Son of God.

 

(Wilfred) Make sure you get this. What inclination did He have? 

 

(John) Sinlessness.

 

(Wilfred) Recoiled at sin, no propensities to evil, but he was tempted through what agency?

 

(A man in the audience) His body.

 

(Wilfred) What kind of a body?

 

(A man n the audience) A sinful body.

 

(Wilfred) A sinless body?

 

(Several voices at once) Unintelligible

 

(Wilfred) Well then she doesnít mean that in his........

 

(Pastor Farag) What makes you think that He was tempted through the body? This is what I want to know.

 

(Wilfred) May I finish this then we will discuss this question? How was He tempted?

 

(John) Through the body.

 

(Wilfred) You sure?

 

(John) Yes.

 

(Wilfred) Iíll be reading it later.

 

(John) Because it says thatís the part of him when...

 

(Wilfred) Thatís what it says here. He took upon himself human nature. And what is human nature?

 

(John) It was the body not the character.

 

(Wilfred) It was the body He got from his mother. Now, who tempts through the body?

 

(A man in the audience) The devil.

 

(Wilfred) All right. If the body was pure and holy and clean and had no degeneracy in it what kind of temptation would it be compared to ours? Would it be the same as we have?

 

(A man in the audience) No.

 

(Wilfred) It couldnít have been.

 

(John) The Bible says He was tempted on all points like as we are.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís like as we are. All right. So then, He took upon himself human nature and was tempted on all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity. Now, I want to point out that Jesus not only overcame sin as He might have overcome it in a perfect human body and shown that it could have been done, that Adam flunked out, but He overcame sin in a body that was degenerated for four thousand years. I read it to you didnít I? So, why did He do this?

 

(John) To be our example.

 

(Wilfred) To be our example. And if He hadnít done that his example would have been of no value to me. I donít know about you. And Iím thankful that He did it. I donít know how He did it, but Iím thankful that He did it. He was assailed with temptations in the wilderness as Adam was assailed with temptations in Eden. Now, this passage unless it is understood in relation to all the other passages that are written, you are going to mistake it. Because you are going to think like many people do think that He was only tempted as Adam was tempted before he fell. Thatís what you are going to think unless you follow through with the other statements as I have tried to bring them to you and I have tried to show you how she states it here that you can see the truth in it. I donít know whether I have been successful and Iím going to give you a chance to have a rebuttal after Iím through and Iíve got a little time yet.

 

Now, 654.1 ďAs one with us, He must bear the burden of our guilt and woe. The Sinless one must feel the shame of sin. Every sin, every discord, every defiling lust that transgression had brought, was torture to his spirit.Ē Thatís how it affected him. Now, if He did not have the feeling of our infirmities He could not bear the burden of our guilt and woe nor would He have had the same sensation as we have, the same temptation, but in fact He had it to a higher degree than we have it because of the perfection of his character and his divine spirit, his sensitivity, that it effected him far more deeply than it does us. And not until we partake of that divine nature, watch this, not until we partake of that divine nature and we share the divine nature of Christ will we have that same sensitivity which will make it impossible for us to sin because we will recoil at it. By beholding we become changed and there are many texts that bear on the subject.

 

655.2, and weíll have to go fast here. ďHe was free from the taint of sin, the refined sensibilitiesĒ Notice, the refined sensibilities. ďOf His holy nature rendered contact with evil unspeakably painful to Him.Ē Unspeakably painful. Sister White says that the cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain, which entered the heart of God at the inception of sin. The real pain, the real suffering that He went through was that pain and the cross is that thing that reveals it to us. Thatís why we make so much of the cross. There were other people who were crucified, there were other people who were tortured, that is a pain in itself and that was difficult but the real pain that Christ suffered was the pain to his spirit.

 

655.3 Itís interesting to note that, Not even by a thought could Christ be brought to yield to the power of temptation,Ē I thank him for that.

 

657.3 ďHe for our sakes laid aside His royal robe, stepped down from the throne in heaven, and condescended to clothe His divinity with humility, and became like one of us except in sin,Ē Thatís the only exception. He did not sin. Now get the significance of that will you. He became like one of us except in sin, in all other respects he is like us. To me thatís plain. ďThat His life and character should be a pattern for all to copy, that they might have the precious gift of eternal life. I would like to dwell on that too but we must move on.

 

658.5 ďWe should have no misgivings in regard to the perfect sinlessness of the human nature of Christ.Ē Thatís a tricky one again. Johnís explanation here would certainly apply, in his human nature, I donít think I brought the statement where it says that He wrought out a character in his humanity, He built a human character and that in that human character He never sinned and therefore He would be perfectly sinless in his humanity.

 

(John) I do have a statement here that I think would be very relevant.

 

(Wilfred) Ok.

 

(John) Hebrews 2:17 says, ďWherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren,Ē If we have to bear anything which Jesus did not endure then upon this point Satan would represent the power of God as insufficient for us. Therefore Jesus was in all points tempted like as we are. He endured every trial to which we are subject. And then it goes on to say; "He exercised on his own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us."

 

(Wilfred) All right, very good, I have the scripture text at the end of the study, but I will not get to them tonight. We may have to continue some of this next week if we want to finish it completely. But I would like to get the essentials here.

 

659.1 ďHe was a mighty petitioner, not possessing the passions of our human, fallen natures,Ē Look, youíre going to have to accept that statement in the light of the other statements. He did not possess the passions of our human, fallen natures. Now, who was He?

 

(A man in the audience) The Son of God.

 

(Wilfred) Where did He come from?

 

(A man in the audience) Heaven.

 

(Wilfred) He was still the same Christ here? He did not possess the passions of our fallen human nature. But the body had the same chemistry as yours and mine. Thatís what she says. So, you can draw your own conclusions.

 

660.1 ďHe was perfect, and undefiled by sin. He was without spot or blemish.Ē Now that reminds me of Ephesians 5:27 where the Lord talks about his church and He is going to raise up to himself a glorious church not having either spot or wrinkle. Now here is Jesus, He was perfect, undefiled by sin, he was without spot or blemish, He came to give us an example of a sinless life. He came to take a degenerate body and show us what degenerate humanity can do when connected with divinity. Right? Then in the Bible the apostle tells us that the Lord is going to prepare such a church for himself. Do you get the message?

 

Same page 660. ďBut Jesus, coming to dwell in humanity, receives no pollution. ď ďHis spirit of stainless purity shrank from the spectacle.Ē Again. ďin the presence of Infinite Purity. Iím just picking out a few statements so I can get going here.

 

Now, the paradox, and I think I have already dealt with it. 

 

657.3 Before I give you that statement let my read this little comment that I put together here. It must therefore be possible to have a fallen sinful nature with all the liabilities and weaknesses of a degenerate human race and yet to be untainted and uncorrupted by sin and having no passions of a fallen nature and no propensities to evil. That must be possible. That must be possible for us. And we are still going to live in this same degenerate body, right? Weíre not going to get rid of this until translation. And yet weíre going to follow the example of Jesus. No propensities to evil, no passions to evil, and no passions of a fallen nature.  Iím going to read you another statement to verify this. Untainted, uncorrupted by sin and still having this degenerate body. You probably donít believe it. Well, itís in there.

 

657.3 ďHe was born without a taint of sin, but came into the world in like manner as the human family.Ē

 

657.4 ďChrist, who knew not the least taint of sin or defilement, yet took our nature in its deteriorated condition.Ē There it has it, see? No defilement, no taint of sin and yet He took our deteriorated condition.

 

659.1 Not possessing the passions of human fallen nature and He recoiled from evil.

 

653.6 ďIn all things He was like unto His brethren." Yet He was the blameless.... His character is to be ours.

 

The problem of course is partly in the definition of terms and I think I have dealt at least in part with that and if we need to in the rebuttal we may deal with it a little further.

 

Now, how is the resolution of the paradox? Here are some statements I think that sort of bring about the integration.

 

657.8 Though He had no taint of sin upon His character, yet He condescended to connect our fallen human nature with His divinity. He showed what it might become, by accepting the ample provision He has made for it, and by becoming partaker of the divine nature. I read you that one.

 

658.5 He was perfectly sinless in his human nature; he had perfect and complete humility in his human character. He had perfect obedience to all of Godís requirements. These are all taken from 658.5 plus in his human nature He maintained the purity of his divine character. Isnít that clear? In his human nature he maintained the purity of his divine character. Now, we havenít got a divine character yet, weíve got a very messed-up human character with all the stuff that goes with it. Now, we are going to have to have a transformed nature, a transformed character, so that we end up with a perfect character in our divine nature of which we partake. So that we will be like him, we will have an experience like him, And it says of the hundred and forty four thousand that they sing a new song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty four thousand and it says that that song is a song of their experience, so I think there is a connection there. Note that He had a divine character as well as a human character, He was a dual, He was a combination of divinity and humanity. In his humanity He wrought out a perfect character and He offers to give this character to us. I think it is in Christís Object Lessons but I didnít get time to look it up. I donít have the reference; I have it at home I can get it for you.

 

654.5 ďHe took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature,Ē Thatís plain too, isnít it? ďHe took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature,Ē

 

And on the same page it goes on to say, that He could have tapped into his divine nature to forestall the inroads of disease, Adam had no infirmities nor effects of sin when he first sinned but Christ after four thousand years of degeneracy He came to the human level yet He had no guile or sinfulness, He was ever pure and undefiled. He took our sinful nature He clothed divinity with humanity He displayed the character of God to the world, He became like one of us except in sin. His life and character is a pattern for us to copy. That summarizes pretty well the statements I read.

 

650.7 Christ came to show that man as God created him could obey every divine requirement when connected with the Father and the Son. Does that give it to you? 650.7 Christ came to show that man as God created him could obey every divine requirement when connected with the Father and the Son, otherwise he couldnít do it.

 

Now, Christís Object Lessons page 313 in the old edition and I donít have the new edition but it is very close to that.

 

(John) Brother Johnson donít rush take your time weíve got lots of time.

 

(Wilfred) All right. Thank you. I donít have much to go here but I do want to finish the sequence. I got talking too much at the beginning there. Listen, sheís talking here about the parable of the wedding you know and the wedding garments. Listen to what she says, ďThe parable of the wedding garment opens before us a lesson of the highest consequence.Ē How important is this? The highest consequence. ďBy the marriage is represented the union of humanity with divinity;Ē Iíll say it again, ďBy the marriage is represented the union of humanity with divinity;Ē Now weíve talked about a marriage havenít we? Does it ring a bell now? ďThe wedding garment represents the character which all must possess who shall be accounted fit guests for the wedding.Ē

 

Then go over to page 320 and I find this; there is a lot more in this chapter, read the whole chapter if you have the book. ďHe who becomes a partaker of the divine nature will be in harmony with God's great standard of righteousness, His holy law.Ē Well, isnít that logical? If you partake of the nature of Christ what kind of heart are you going to have? And what are you going to like to do?

 

(John) Godís will.

 

(Wilfred) Godís will. ďThis is the rule by which God measures the actions of men. This will be the test of character in the judgment.Ē

 

Now down here ďSatan had claimed that it was impossible for man to obey God's Commandments;Ē And he is pretty nearly right. Do you agree with him? Have you tried? How many of you have managed to do it? Then Satan must be right, so far. ďAnd in our own strength it is true that we cannot obey them.Ē So then, if we are not obeying them we must be doing it in our own strength or trying to do it in our own strength and we havenít got the strength necessary to do it. Whatís missing? Let me read it. ďBut Christ came in the form of humanity, and by His perfect obedience He provedĒ He proved scientific demonstration ďThat humanity and divinity combined can obey every one of God's precepts.Ē Now I canít find it any plainer than that, itís about as plain as I can find it.

 

ďWhen a soul receives Christ,Ē And weíve talked about how we receive Christ, you know what that means. ďHe receives power to live the life of Christ.Ē Tell me what is the power that enables a man to live without sin?

 

(A woman in the audience) The Holy Spirit.

 

(Wilfred) The Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes, Romans 5:5, what does it deliver?

 

(John) It sheds abroad the love of God in the heart.

 

(Wilfred) Youíve got it. Youíve got it. That is the power, the only power that God has to save a man from sin, love. And when that love transforms the heart you will delight to do the law. Youíll have the energy necessary to implement that decision to cease from sin. Youíll have it. Youíve heard about the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which is to come to Godís people before the closing of probation, have you heard about that? Whatís it going to do? Itís going to deliver the terms of the Everlasting Covenant and write the law of God in the heart so that Godís people will attain to the measure of the fullness of the stature of Christ and live without sin according to their example and then Jesus will see the reflection of his character, his perfect character in his people and then He will close the door and permit the demonstration to take place through the seven last plagues to prove the devil wrong that here is a people that are keeping Godís Commandments who have been saved from sin, not in sin, and then He will finish it off and come to receive us.

 

Listen, ďGod requires perfection of His children. His law is a transcript of His own character, and it is the standard of all character. This infinite standard is presented to all that there may be no mistake in regard to the kind of people whom God will have to compose His kingdom.Ē And I am glad thatís the kind of people He is going to have. If thatís not the kind He is going to have I donít want to go there. But Iím not one; Iím not perfect, are you? What do you say we take God up on his promise? What do you say we make some decisions here, some real good ones and we stick to them, just do it. God asks us to do nothing, He has no requirement that He has not made provision to do, to accomplish.

 

(John) Everything that he asks us to do He promises to give us power to do it.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right. All his biddings are enablings. Our trouble is we say we have faith, but maybe we donít have enough faith, maybe we have the faith but not the works. You see, if you donít have the works itís an indication that the faith isnít there either. If you have the faith the works come afterwards, they follow. Works are an expression of faith. So when you donít do it, the conclusion really is, you donít have the faith. Now faith is a gift, what are the conditions for receiving it? And thatís another study and we have gone over that before too although there are some people in our group that we've not gone over it with and we may be able to get back to it, but not tonight. ďThe life of Christ on earth was a perfect expression of God's law, and when those who claim to be children of GodĒ Do you claim to be a child of God? If you do, Heís talking to you. ďWhen those who claim to be children of God become Christ-like in character, they will be obedient to God's commandments. Then the Lord can trust them to be of the number who shall compose the family of heaven.Ē And I have said before and I say again, if thatís not the kind of people that God is going to wait for to fill his Kingdom with I donít really want to go there, I would just as soon go to sleep.

 

And I think that is getting awfully close to the miscellaneous ones where we have some of the problems. But, I am going to skip some of this and if it comes up in the discussion Iíll go back to it.

 

I have one here though, 654.5. ďHe took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature,Ē We read that, hereís a comment, This is my comment, That is to say, his own personal nature is one of sinlessness, you know the one who came down from heaven, his nature is one of sinlessness. And when He took upon himself our sinful nature He did not part with his own personal nature, He was still the same Christ. Do you agree? He came into humanity with his own personal identity, his very own soul identity, He was in very fact the very same person of Christ who had existed as God the Son in the eternal Kingdom and He had not changed his character, He had not changed his personality, He was the same person without sin, without propensity to sin, without any evil tendencies, but He was living in a sinful human body. And I am living in a sinful human body but He has promised to give me the privilege of partaking of the Divine nature so that I too may be a combination of divinity and humanity and the marriage union may take place in me. So I will have no propensities to evil, I will recoil at evil, I will have a character of righteousness, you get it from Him, which will enable me to resist.....

 

(The end of C/D #35 and the beginning of C/D #36)

 

With that divine nature I will be able to resist evil. But there will be a struggle and I wonít take time to go into that. Some people say, No struggle, just let go, let God, Heíll take care of it, everything will work out automatically, just sit back in your armchair, you will float to heaven, Heíll make up for all your deficiencies. There is truth in that, but you have got to take the other side of the coin. We receive our ticket to heaven through imputed righteousness, itís a gift. But God had to do that so that our obedience to the commandments would not be based on our endeavor to earn our way to heaven. If He didnít give us eternal life and take away from us the penalty of sin, eternal death, first, then we would always be doing these works of righteousness with the idea that if I donít do them I wonít get to heaven. Do you understand? The self-interest is dominate, not the character of God, self-renunciation, If God is ever going to prove to the universe and the devil that I am keeping the law of God out of a motive of self-denial not out of self-interest. There is only one way He can do it, that is to give me the conviction, the proof, so to speak, that He has now given me eternal life, that I have now escaped eternal death, that I have my ticket to heaven, and then He says, If you love me, keep my commandments. Because as long as I continue to sin He has to continue as my mediator and sin bearer, and He continues to get that pain that I read about. Do I want to continue to give him that pain and suffering of the cross and crucify him afresh? How long do I want to keep on doing this after He has given me eternal life? Donít you see the point? Now, you may question me on that but youíll find it in 5 volume of the Testimonies for the Church in the chapter that deals with Joshua and the Angel. Itís in there. There comes a day when the judgment is settled and my name has been retained in the Lambís book of Life and sealed and from there on in I know that I have eternal life. Iím going to continue to sin? I can, I have a free will, Christ could have sinned, Adam could have and he did, but by that time I will have learned some lessons and I will have had a revelation of the love of God in a manner I have not so far had, although I have had a pretty strong one. And that power of love in my heart, love begets love, will constrain me to obey. In fact, I will want to obey to the point where I will delight to do his will. Well, Iím going over the same ground again. But God could not do that for me without first taking away from me the penalty of sin, eternal death and leave me free to decide to serve him on the motive of love rather than on the motive of gaining heaven. Do you get the point? Now thatís imparted righteousness. And that is the part of the Everlasting Covenant, which remains yet to be understood and fulfilled in the lives of Godís people. I think you will agree. Is there one here tonight that has made it? Then you will have to accept my statement. And God is going to do it and He has told us in his Word that He is going to do it and He has told us how He is going to do it.

 

(John) On the statement in Joshua and the Angel it talks about the time, it says, ďNow they are eternally secure from the temperís devises.Ē

 

(Wilfred) Yes, there is quite a bit in there. Some evening maybe Iíll go through that chapter. Now I thought I had one more thing but I canít recall it so Iím going to call it at this point. I have some other things, I have scripture passages here that deal with this but I think Iíll leave those and weíll see what comes up now in the discussion and if we find it expedient we may take part of next weeks period and deal with it.  Itís been a long two hours and I know you are tired and I vow that Iím not going to take the full time on the tape and I always do.

 

(Pastor Farag) Actually Brother Johnson this has been a very excellent presentation, very excellent and very clear and I definitely agree with your conclusion that we are given power to live without sin and that God will enable us to live without sin completely, and I agree with all of that. You have said a lot of gems all over and they are fantastic in every way. I donít know but it seems to me that we should emphasize, what does it mean that Christ had the sinful nature yet doesnít have the propensity to sin? And we should also emphasis that Christ is tempted in all things like we are. All right, now let us see what that means. What does it mean that he was tempted in all things like me? Am I tempted in everything thing like our friend?

 

(Wilfred) Not in detail.

 

(Pastor Farag) I am tempted but not in my action to it. For example, here is something that she also states, she states, watch your first one the second will be easier. You see? For example, a young man who commits adultery once, the second time is easier and easier and easier and easier until he doesnít know. If he guards the first one, heís much stronger. Since we touched on this matter of breaking the seventh commandment the intensity of breaking this to someone who has made himself calmer it is not the intensity of someone who has resisted this all along, not at all, not at all and yet we are tempted like each other. We both see the nude woman, we are tempted, I am tempted in seeing that but another one is tempted but I donít react the same way because I disciplined my mind differently. Now, when it comes to Jesus, What does it mean that He has upon Him the sinful nature? And what does it mean that He doesnít have the propensities of sin? In fact, this makes all the difference, the difference between heaven and Earth is that I have the propensities and He doesnít. This makes all the difference, all the difference; it is natural for me to sin because I have the propensity of sin. It was not natural for Jesus to sin because He did not have the propensity of sin. Yet we were both tempted with the same thing, adultery, coveting, and everything else. He met it without the propensity, I meet it with the propensity and that makes the difference between heaven and earth and a million times that much. There is a lot of difference in whether you have the propensity of sin or not.

 

Now we should also go a little further, Jesus took the nature of Adam after it was degenerated, thatís find, thatís find, But after all of this degeneration He didnít have the propensity, what did He take then? What did He take? All right, the Bible says there will be no sorrow or there shall be no hunger or thirst or death or a lot of things that will not be in heaven. Adam experienced before the fall what he did not experience after the fall there was a lot of difference that Adam met before the fall then after the fall. After the fall he began immediately to feel hunger, nature took a different form. The lions began to be after him so he had to react a little differently. You see? Jesus when He came to Earth when it was corrupted by four thousand years of degeneration, all along when He ate an apple it was a degenerate apple, when Adam ate an apple it was not a degenerate apple. However, he also even with all the degenerate body as you like to say, he never had the propensity or the inclination, what he has as an advantage over you is that he never had number one in anything and you began with it. Whether you like it or not you inherited that. Joseph gave Him nothing because it was the Holy Spirit, he was born of the Holy Spirit not of Joseph and yet he was tempted in all things like we are.

 

What I am trying to say here that with all the weak body and the weak atmosphere and the microbes all over and the apple with the worm and all of that after four thousand years of degeneration He still didnít have the propensity, the number one sin, or the tendency. Mrs. White said that before Adam sinned it was natural for him to do the right, after he sinned it became natural to do the opposite and unnatural to do the right. Now Jesus never had number one and that is the difference between Heaven and Earth.

 

Now, Brother Johnson explained to us very well what Christ came to do is to give us His nature; He wants to give us His divine nature so that we can live without sin.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right.

 

(Pastor Farag) And I agree to that. I agree that we can live without sin. But, let us never think, as far as Iím concerned; let us never think that Jesus and me meet a nude woman with the same attitude.

 

(Another man in the audience) There was nothing in Him that responded.......

 

(Pastor Farag) Because He doesnít go down, He never went down, you see? He met it like Adam would before sin except with a much more degenerate vessel but the propensity wasnít there. Now, when you sin, when you sin you really donít sin with your body even when you commit adultery you donít commit adultery with your body, you commit adultery with your mind. If you look, you committed adultery; he that lusteth with his own eyes has committed adultery. You see? Now, I didnít even touch anybody but I have committed adultery. What is the adultery then? Itís an attitude of the mind. You see? It is an attitude of the mind. This attitude of the mind Jesus never had. Never had like Adam never had it before he sinned. But I have it. However, His death gives me the possibility to have his nature so I will live without sin. This is the crux of the whole thing. This is the crux of the whole thing that I can be through Him and through his gift, you see, He will make me a partaker of the divine nature. Like he partook of my humanity I will also partake of his divinity and I can live without sin even on this Earth. Even on this Earth. As far as I can see the explanation that was given is tremendous although I do not want to minimize the fact that if He doesnít have the propensity and I have it that we are about the same. No. No. Brother Johnson explained a lot of wonderful points all along. For example, why is it that I am as fat as I am? Let me take this. Because I have the propensity that when this banana split comes, it comes right down to me I weakened the first time, He never weakened any time and He never had the tendency to weaken. You see, now in what way was Christ tempted as we are, like we are? Now, let me say, was Adam tempted before sin?

 

(John) Yes, Oh yes.

 

(Pastor Farag) Temptation can come to the person before he ever tastes sin even in a holy nature. Temptation can come to anybody. You see? But it depends on what kind of vessel you meet that temptation in, what kind of a vessel you meet it. Adam before sin met temptations, the angels before sin met temptations and failed and Adam before sin met temptations and failed. And Christ when He came here met all the temptations. Now what did Christ come to prove then? He wanted to prove that Adam when God created him and gave him these temptations he could have won. Because He came in the very same nature that Adam had when he weakened except that He had far better advantage of a better body and a better apple without a worm and a better air without microbes and a better everything without everything and yet He won. But the propensity was not there so He was in a far less advantageous point than Adam. Let us not ever think that He had my nature, that He had a Joseph, like my father gave me this sinful nature, I am down by nature. You see when I preach in the pulpit I appreciate every person in front of me is a sinner it never occurs to me for one moment that is one who never sins, it never occurs to me I know that all of them got licked and have that nature. But if Jesus was sitting in my audience I would be different. I know that this is a different thing. He never had the propensity, I do, He doesnít.

 

(John) I see something here I donít know how to fit it in between the two. Before I was converted I loved to do certain things, I like to lie, I like to do many things that were wrong. Now after I was converted that changed. And I had a conversion like Saul on the road to Damascus, it was a sudden thing and I had the experience of the apostle Paul, the apostle Paul said, I think the things I used to love I now hate and the things I used to hate I now love. Those propensities that were in me before were changed, new purposes through the new birth of the Holy Spirit; new purposes were given in spite of my body. Now, I was a colporteur for years and as a colporteur I would go into home after home after home of young married women. I never had a wrong temptation now that wasnít me that was the keeping power of God that did that. But in the same sense when Christ came here He said, That He received all things from his Father what I received by the new birth, Christ came here with what He was born of Mary and He grew up with that. But to place us on the same vantage ground that He is on, if we want to put it that way, He has made provision that a man may be born again and receive this divine nature, these new purposes so that when these things come to us we can repel them and be on the same ground Christ was.

 

(Another man in the audience) There will be nothing in us to respond to these things.

 

(John) Thatís right.

 

(Pastor Farag) In other words, you see now, you said that these propensities left you. Now could Jesus say that these propensities left me?

 

(Several voices in the audience) No!

 

(Another man in the audience) You never had them.

 

(John) But I find this, If I get busy with business and Iím not studying my word like when I was colporteuring when I was studying four hours a day, when I get busy with business and I am looking after the interest of John Wells and North Star Developments and I get all caught up in these things and I neglect eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God and partaking of his Word those old propensities start to creep back into the life they come back in or through discouragement if I kind of give up faith in God then Satan starts to gain a foothold. Now that possibility existed with Jesus, that possibility for Him to sin, Sister White says existed, but he said, Of my own self I can do nothing, and He didnít allow the cares of this world to crowd out the spiritual food and the reception of the holy Spirit for those propensities could come alive. The possibility for the birth of those propensities to spring up in his life existed but by his life He gave us an example to show that we can partake of that divine nature where they will not spring up, the problem is that we give them opportunity to spring up by conforming to the world by disobedience to his Word, by failing to spend time in prayer and communion with Him, by putting self first, Now I donít know if I have said enough...

 

(Pastor Farag) By getting entangled with, you see the Bible speaks of they that were choked because of the affairs of this life. Now Jesus always spent time in prayer and nights in prayer and we could do the same. We could do the same, we should set our values right.

 

Well I really would like to listen to this once again because it is very well put together and a thorough study indeed I donít think anybody can do a better job.

 

(John) Do you have a remark or two to make Brother Johnson?

 

(Wilfred) Thank you. Yes, I have a couple. What you said, I think I did illustrate that with the mustard and the olives. See, now, with the olives you see, I had a change of desire, the inclination changed, so that it was not difficult for me to eat olives, I did it in just the opposite direction than you did. I had more on here but Brother Farag that I did not present to you because I didnít want to take all the time, see? So the very point that you were bringing out here I thought I had dealt with it fairly well during the study but maybe I didnít get it across. Iím going to listen to it myself again and assess it. I tried to point out very strongly that Christ was still Christ and that He had that same characteristic that he had when He was here on Earth. The only place where I think that we may be crossing a road here is in the concept of what it means for Christ to have taken on the fallen nature or the sinful nature. You may have a slightly different idea of what that means to what I have and Iím still open-minded ready to accept that as soon as that becomes a clear concept. As I read these statements I have not been able to see that, we have discussed this before, and I have checked on it, I have thought on it, I have dreamed on it, it is a question that Iím not so sure that we can really understand.

 

(Pastor Farag) I think Brother Johnson let us not underestimate the number one thing and inclination to sin. You see every child that is born in the world, if you just take him away from his parents and put him on an island he still has a tendency to do that which, is....

 

(Wilfred) Yes,

 

(Pastor Farag) Christ never had that initial tendency.

 

(Wilfred) But only because of His divine nature, He had it in his humanity.

 

(Pastor Farag) No, No. You see when He came here He didnít use the divine nature to do anything that Adam would not have used, thatís where He could face Adam and us and tell us ďI wonĒ. Now if He won because of His divinity then Adam would tell him, Sir, you cheated. You won through your divinity. But I didnít have that divinity Christ never once used His divinity, He won through the nature of Adam only.

 

(Wilfred) Then He did not receive the fallen sinful nature of man.

 

(Pastor Farag) Who?

 

(Wilfred) Christ.

 

(Pastor Farag) Absolutely, He did not receive the sinful propensity of man.

 

(Wilfred) Well, how do you interpret those statements?

 

(Pastor Farag) I just want to say. Now let me say this, Let us me go backwards maybe we can understand it if we go backwards. Can you, do you believe that you can live without sin before translation? That God can enable you to live without sin?

 

(Wilfred) Yes, I believe that.

 

(Pastor Farag) All right, do you think that when He enables you to live without sin you will still look like Wilfred Johnson?

 

(Wilfred) You mean physically?

 

(Pastor Farag) Yes.

 

(Wilfred) I would expect so.

 

(Pastor Farag) Yes, but I tell you, you look very very degenerate compared to Adam. You know if Adam stepped into this room we would be so embarrassed we would like the floor to open and we would just bury ourselves and yet, you have absolutely conquered and lived without sin. You see, you will still have your bad kidney and you will still have your sinus and you may still have all of that but you have won and yet you have the sinful nature but you donít have the propensity, you won in that. Now, Christ never felt the way I do if my wife puts this pie with a lot of beef in it, it immediately makes me want another one and another one. You see? Because I have that evil tendency, He never had that, not for a moment, not for a moment. And yet, He could choose to have had it, Heís tempted. Satan tells him eat, did you try? Try again. Again. Satan tempts Him the way he tempts me, but I have the evil propensity. But now he also tempts him the way he tempted Adam when Adam didnít have evil propensity. But Adam said; Iím going to eat it. You see? Adam wasnít gullible he knew that Eve sinned. He knew, but he said, Iím going to try it anyway. Now, Christ never had that. Once he tired it then it became natural for him to do this and all this nature it is all down hill. Before that it was up hill, with him it was up hill, he could have chosen to be down hill but he didnít chose that under far worse circumstances. And after four thousand years of adverse circumstances in everything, in body structure and in the environment and yet, he still won. So, compared with you, you have an evil propensity, He never had it. So, He had an advantage over you. Compared to Adam He had a less advantage than Adam. Because Adam was in paradise and He was in the world after four thousand years of sin, but both of them had no evil propensity.

 

(Wilfred) I follow your reasoning. I still have some questions on that.

 

(John) I think I see something that may answer this. I see your point Pastor and I see the point Brother Johnson is making. Now, when Christ had this degenerate body,

 

(There is a short break in the tape here)

 

The Father woke him early in the morning and I have had the experience of asking God to wake me early in the morning and like that (snapping his fingers) sometimes at 4;00 oíclock, I know I should get up and study. Iíve asked God to wake me up but what do I do because Iím tired I turn around and go to sleep. That sinful propensity to sleep if you want to call it that makes me do that. When Jesus awoke early in the morning to go up to prayer, it says, arising a great while before morning, it wasnít a propensity, but that human body of his wanted to sleep. It didnít feel the freshness of the morning.

 

(Pastor Farag) That is not a reason. You and I never had a body without propensity so we donít know. No eye has seen nor experience felt.

 

(John) You see He was tired. When He was at the well, He was tired and He was thirsty. Now if that was me, that thirst which came through the avenue of the body would lead me to satisfy my thirst first, but He didnít even drink. His interest over-ruled the desires of his degenerate body and the law of self-denying love for the soul of that woman prevailed. This is the best illustration that I can think of where we are on sound Biblical ground.

 

(A woman in the audience) But if it doesnít touch you, is it touching you?

 

(Pastor Farag) What touches you?

 

(Same woman) I mean if you donít have any inclination.

 

(Pastor Farag) If you have no inclination, you have no temptation.

 

(Wilfred) Then Christ didnít have any temptation.

 

(Pastor Farag) No, Christ had temptation.

 

(Same woman) Well, how did He have temptation if He didnít have inclination to temptation?

 

(Pastor Farag) Iíll tell you. All right, let me give you an illustration of Adam and Eve. The serpent said, Did God say to you that you should eat of it? And Eve said, God said that you can eat of all the trees in the garden but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, neither shall ye touch it, she added, which God never said. She exaggerated it. I was surprised, this is one thing I havenít solved yet, that you can exaggerate and the Holy Spirit will divorce you. (Much laughter) This is something I was battling with for the last two weeks. You can exaggerate in the Holy Spirit without sin and so Satan took advantage of that according to the book Confrontation chapter number 1. He took advantage of that and took an apple and put it in Eveís hand and she felt nothing wrong. So he said, do you feel anything wrong? She said, No. So she tired number two. You see? Now here are steps of temptation to a holy person, to a person who has never sinned. And she never felt the results immediately, in fact she felt void and she went to her husband and she was more void. But her husband immediately saw the temptation, she said eat. He saw the temptation and made the decision. Now when he made the decision he fell under the temptation. Once he fell under temptation, a little after that they began to feel the results, always down, always down and never up. Just as natural, she says, as it was for them to do right it became natural now to do wrong and unnatural to do right. So it reversed, this reverse condition Jesus never had, never, because of number 1 and number 2. It is just like me, the temptation for example, if you put supper before me and my wife, my wife is tempted, to me that is not a temptation at all. You see. This is not a sin. Iím just telling you of the tendency here, you conquer on this one. Also you have no idea of how the persistence of sin can corrupt. How that some people really almost satanic in nature in their reactions to sin, in their reaction to murder, in their reaction to adultery, they have developed this to an inth degree so that they donít react by nature the way you react. You see? Because they kept slipping, slipping and slipping until they began a nature to slip and unnatural not to slip. Now Christ never had the number one, never had the number one.

 

(A woman in the audience) Well, then He was an example for Adam but He wasnít an example for me.

 

(Pastor Farag) No, oh, yes. Thatís why sister you will never be punished because you sinned; God will never punish you because of your sin. Because you cannot but sin.

 

(Another man in the audience) Pastor, perhaps part the key was the statement that you made that Eve did this exaggerating before sin. I donít think her sin began by taking an apple; her sin began by leaving the side of Adam. She broke the relationship. And that is where Christ maintained his ability to not have any propensity to sin by the relationship He maintained by the Father.

 

(Pastor Farag) You know, I think he gave me the answer; I even discussed it with Dick. She said the Lord said of all the trees in the garden you are free to eat but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it neither shall you touch it. Mrs. White said she over.......

 

(John) She over stated it.

 

(Pastor Farag) God never said that you shall not touch it. She added that and so Satan put it into her. Then I immediately thought how could someone not be accurate in stating facts in a similar state? And I pondered on this for two weeks and he gave the answer today. How sin started maybe ten minute before when she left the side of Adam because God said you should never leave each other, always be together. She had already started in the wrong direction.

 

(John) The other point I wanted to make though Pastor was in this respect, and ah, my brain was soaked in alcohol in the past so Iím not very smart and I donít perceive many things. When Adam wanted to get up if he didnít feel tired, you understand? It was time to get up. Christ with that body that He came into this world with experienced all the results of degeneracy and sin and He had to implement a righteous decision that went against what His body was trying to tell his mind to do.

 

(Pastor Farag) The vessel was weak.

 

(John) The vessel was weak and trying to rule the mind or the soul but He never permitted that, He kept under his body and brought it into subjection lest by any means when he had preached to others he himself should be a castaway. But He had it; the difference is that He had the new birth from the cradle. That divine nature, which is the only way that we may overcome with all of my efforts, the greatest, strongest willpower in the world canít live a life pleasing to God. But as Christ received strength and power from God so can we and itís by being a partaker of that divine nature only that we can come and follow in his footsteps.

 

(Pastor Farag) And isnít this the essence of Christianity? It is not the debate in which nature did Christ win, more than in the final analysis that we can win.

 

(John) I have a statement I just gave Brother Johnson here which says, That He came with our same nature and we by partaking of his grace and his divine nature can follow in his footsteps.

 

(Pastor Farag) Amen, I believe that with all my heart. I believe that brethren before I leave this country I want to say that I believe that God as brother Johnson has emphasized so beautifully who He is and how many people who donít believe that but Iím one of those that believe that God is going to have a people who are sinless in every sense of the word.

 

(Wilfred) Amen.

 

(Pastor Farag) As far as Iím concerned I want to be among such and the knocks He is giving me to make me one and I sort of enjoy that because God does not waste his work on useless material.

 

(John) Thatís right.

 

(Pastor Farag) I want to say that whenever we pass through troubles or difficulties we should know that God is trying to produce in us his very same nature. Because He was tempted on all points just like we are, He was despised, He was rejected, the Bible says, He was spate upon, you see? When a human person despises me and I know he doesnít know a lot of facts which maybe I know it irritates me, you see? Mrs. White said that when they began to slam Christ and spit on him and said prophesy if you are the Messiah. She said the fact that He was God and could in a moment, you know, just an agreement made the completion that much greater, that much greater and yet He stood it. Iíve never had that much of a temptation.

 

(John) He had temptations far beyond which we endure.

 

(Pastor Farag) Much more. Because He is God, you see. He could, what do they say? Well, if they put me on a cross and they say, if you are God come down, well, I canít come down Iím not God. But He can, so He had a bigger temptation.

 

(Another man in the audience) He couldnít come down and save us.

 

(Pastor Farag) So He had the bigger temptation, yet He won, He won.

 

(A woman in the audience) unintelligible

 

(Pastor Farag) Yes,

 

(John) Desert the human race and on the cross He made the decision to become one with us forever.

 

(Pastor Farag) Brother I want to tell you, listen, letís be frank about it. I believe that if God knew that Vern Custerson, our fathers and our wives could have done a better job than Adam and Eve He would have started with Vern Gusterson. So really in a sense in Adam all of us fell because this is us, he is our father and this is us, we chose that.

 

(A woman in the audience) Did Christ have to strive against evil?

 

(John) Oh yes, He had fearful temptations much worse than...

 

(Same woman) In Gethsemane He sweat blood, was He striving against something?

 

(Pastor Farag) He was striving against not paying the price. This was a terrible price for Satan kept telling him this is useless material, sometimes we as humans despise other humans who are degenerate to the extent that we say they are useless. You sit in a committee for example of a rotten boy in a school and you hear someone say heís useless, get rid of him anyway. Now you see, to tell you frankly Satan made it so obnoxious to him, he kept telling Him, what are you dying for? The nation you came to, your own choice they have rejected you. You see, one of your own disciples you yourself said would deny you, twice. Another one will betray you. The twelve will run away and leave you. So itís a hopeless case and you are going to make everybody spit at you and crucify you, for what? Is it worth it? Thatís a big temptation. That was a big temptation because He was feeling everything, now why He does not have the propensity of sin He is suffering because of sin is a billion times more than your suffering because of sin. Because He doesnít have sin, because He doesnít have sin his suffering was far greater because He doesnít have sin. So when they smote him, when they spate on his face and when they pierced him, he felt everything the way you feel. Because this has nothing to do with propensity, this is humanity, feeling the sorrow and feeling the hunger and feeling the.....

 

(A Woman in the audience) Maybe He hadnít developed a taste for banana cream pie so maybe that would be no big temptation for Him, but what about something that was his favorite food then in that time.

 

(Pastor Farag) Yes, Christ always made the right decision in eating and drinking...

 

(The woman and Pastor Farag are raising their voices and talking at the same time)

 

(John) I think Brother Johnson has one or two statements that he would like to read now.

 

(Wilfred) Well, Just before on this point. In Gethsemane was his conflict not a conflict between paying the price and being relieved from paying the price. Is this not a conflict between self and self-denial? Was He not facing eternal death? And was it not a question of, I do this or do I go back and forget about man. So it seems to me that we do have then a desire on the part of Christ to escape this painful situation. Now, is there a way of finding a self-denying motive for that? If not, then He was beset with self-interest.

 

(A man in the audience) He even indicated that He wanted that removed unless there was another way.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right.

 

(Same man in the audience) He said; if it be possible let this cup pass by me.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right.

 

(Same man in the audience) That indicates to me that since there was no other way He was perfectly willing to go through with it.

 

(Wilfred) But physically, from the physical standpoint, from the suffering and pain He didnít want to drink that cup. But it is a very find point in there; I donít think we should belabor it.

 

I have a statement here I would like your comments on Pastor and I appreciate what youíve been saying. A good deal of what you said I have here that I didnít present. I have about three more sheets here of material that I have planned to go through on which I would be touching on quite a bit of what you said. But Iím glad you are here and did it, you do it better then I do. There is one point where you and I are not on the same railroad track but I think you are on one track and I am on the other track and itís the same railroad.

 

(Much laughter)

 

(Wilfred) But I really believe that there is something here that neither one of us really understands quite right and itís a question of definition, we donít really understand what it means for Christ to take humanity with all itís liabilities. What does it mean to him? I think in order to understand it weíve got to go into an analysis of what is freedom of choice, what is character, what is propensity, what is habit, what is reasoning and all the other aspects of mentality and what part of these belong to the flesh or the bodily nature or the chemistry of the body, what part belongs to that element that I was calling the soul which rises over and above the body and can control the body within limits. How much of it belongs to each one? What do we really mean by the spiritual nature? What do we really mean by the carnal nature? And if we had all these things clarified which we didnít do tonight maybe this thing would just resolve itself. I donít know whether it is worthwhile to go into it that deeply. The main purpose for studying this at all is simply that the Bible says, that unless you believe that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh you are none of his. So there is something about believing that this man Jesus was the Christ and I have said it at least twelve times tonight. I emphasized it over and over again. That is the essential point that we believe. Just what propensities or feelings or urges or what have you that came to him through the flesh may be a debatable point. But in my thinking at the present time, and my thinking isnít the best, I cannot conceive of itís being a temptation unless it bothered him. Now, I can go and.....

 

(Pastor Farag) Oh brother, a temptation is a call for a decision

 

(Wilfred) A call for a decision?

 

(Pastor Farag) Yes, thatís right. Itís calling you.....

 

(Wilfred) All right, I understand. I understand what you mean. But now, is there not a difference in the degree of the effect of that call? Do I not get a bigger urge to do the thing that requires a greater resistance then He did if he had no urge? Let me read this now and you have a comment on it I would appreciate it but if not itís fine.

 

Many claim that it was impossible for Christ to be overcome by temptation then He could not have been placed in Adams position, He could not have gained the victory that Adam failed to gain. Now here is the part that Iím concerned about. If we have in any sense a more trying conflict than Christ had then He would not be able to succor us. All right, now hereís a man that goes to the door and he is selling stuff, like John mentioned, and here is a young women in there and there is nobody in the house. Now, he has a propensity weíll say, in this direction. He is tempted, am I right?

 

(Pastor Farag) Yes.

 

(Wilfred) Now Christ comes to the door and He is not tempted in the same degree. Now, I know this from my own personal experience, I mean I can go to the door and bang on the door and a women can come to the door and the thought doesn't even enter my head in fact I can like a person and even love a person, and the Bible says that there is no law against that, but today when we talk about love, the world has this word so besmirched that 99% of the people immediately think of lust not love. Ok? Now there is such a thing as pure love, now Jesus would come to the door and have pure love for that Samaritan women. Somebody else could come to that Samaritan women and he could have pure lust. Now, who was tempted the most?

 

(Pastor Farag) The one who had pure lust.

 

(Wilfred) All right. In what sense was Christ tempted that we donít have to strive more for then He did?

 

(Pastor Farag) Mrs. White said, ďTreat the most degraded with respect,Ē She says that in Thoughts From The mount of Blessings, Treat the most degraded with respect and all day long this thought was, you know, was the message of God to me. And as you know I like books so I went to Philadelphia and said do you have old books? They said yes we have old books and I said where? They said over there in another room. I was thinking to find some of the original Miller books because some of these are still floating around. And so finally when I insisted the man said, all right you go with him. So we crossed the street to another room and he took me from one room to another dark room and he put the light on and I was with this man alone and I was scared to death, I really was. The man was a Negro but he had the features of an animal and the looks of a criminal, but that was not all, that was not all. You see your nails and every nail is different and has a shape, you see, all these nails of his looked like the nails of your big toe and all of them the same size and clumsy. It didnít look human at all to me and when this man put his hand on the book to give it to me and as anxious as I was to get into that room, I said yes, yes, I have an idea about your books maybe Iíll come some other day. And I was trying as fast as I can to get out of this place. And as soon as I went out into the daylight I looked at that man and he looked terrible and he knew I was scared. Everyone who meets him must be scared. I have to meet that man with respect. Now, let me tell you, he was a man like me, he was a man like me. For Jesus to do this, the condescension is eternally different to treat him with respect. I had no condescension at all to treat him with respect. No condescension, he was just like me. But it was a temptation to me. But for him to treat us like this it was eternally much more difficult because he is God and look at that. With everything it was far more. This does not mean that there is a propensity or no propensity, but being what He is and we being degraded as we are, you go to India, you go to the poor people and see how they eat and how we treat each other and how we react as if we are gods and the one at fault is a sinner there all a bunch of sinners. And yet the temptation for Jesus would be greater in that respect but yet He made the right decision on every point. This does not mean that He had any propensity at all.

 

(A man in the audience) Could He not have developed a propensity to sin?

 

(Pastor Farag) He couldnít.

 

(Same man) This is what I think is the key it was the relationship with the Father and his hours spent in prayer, this was his source of strength for the day. And I think that we could get rid of our propensities to sin, like you said John, by developing a closer relationship with the Father.

 

(John) What we need is that we need to partake of that same divine nature that he has.

 

(Same man) Where He had no power that wasn't available to us.

 

(John) Brother Johnson, would you dismiss us with prayer?

 

(The end of C/D #36 and the beginning of C/D #37)

 

(Wilfred) Well itís nice to see you all together again. We wonít have a meeting next week; I hope you all understand, the Wells are going to be away so we decided to just drop it. And our next meeting will be two weeks from tonight.

 

Last week we were studying the human nature of Christ and we read profusely from Ellen G. White with reference to it and found a number of statements that appear to contradict one another and we pointed out that there are two views, two conclusions that different minds in our denomination have come to. One is that Christ in his humanity took our nature as it was before Adam transgressed and that while he did take the degeneracy in the sense that He had the weaknessí of humanity upon him He did not in any way take the propensities toward evil which we are saddled with. And the other view is that He was in all points tempted like as we are, that is in the same manner that we are. And He had the same feelings and the temptation that we get when we get our temptations. And the idea is that unless He had this identity with us He would not have this experience the same nature of temptations as we experience. Now those two views are current among thinkers in our denomination.

 

I didnít quite finish last week after the hour I left the remaining portion and Elder Farag spent some time bringing to our attention arguments in favor of the specific view that he feels is correct and a number people in our denomination have espoused. 

 

Now you wonít mind if I try to finish it tonight will you? I would like to give you everything there is that I can dig out on it. I have spent upwards of twenty hours this week going over those statements again and looking up references, recording thoughts and putting them together and thinking up some way that I could present this thing so that it would make some sense to you. Iím not boasting about that, I am keenly concerned about this subject because the apostle says, that whosoever believes that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is born of God. Now that could have a very profound significance. What does it mean to believe that He is come in the flesh? Does it mean just that Jesus was in fact Christ the Son of God and nothing more than that? Or does it have some implications as to the particular nature of humanity that He took? And I for one feel that we need to understand as much as is revealed to us on the subject. And because there are statements that appear to diametrically oppose one another and that we can jump to two conclusions that are quite a bit different I think itís only fair that we closely evaluate each aspect of those statements donít you?

 

Now I am not an artist but I thought I would try my hand at it tonight. I want to illustrate something about how the mind operates to conceive of truth. So that when we get into these thoughts here youíll have a little idea of how it is that a mind can conceive of a certain conclusion and another mind might conceive of another conclusion.

 

I donít know whether you can see this? There are a few symbols on this piece of paper, can you see them? They are of no particular pattern that is recognizable to us, I mean you can look at that and try to visualize one thing or another thing; maybe something occurs to you when you look at it. But it was not designed to illustrate any particular pattern that we are familiar with. Now, Iím going to rearrange those a little bit, these are the same strokes that are on this piece of paper and they are rearranged. Theyíre still not assembled in a very close unit but if you have any imagination at all, if you have any physiological fusion ability you might think in terms of some kind of a football player or something running on the field, I donít know. But the strokes are not put together. Ok? Now letís pull them a little closer yet. Now does that bring anything to your mind? What would you call it?

 

(A man in the audience) A stick man.

 

(Wilfred) Anybody else have an idea?

 

(John) Itís a childís drawing of a man.

 

(Wilfred) How do you know itís not a woman?

 

(Larry) Thatís what I was going to say; itís a stick drawing of a figure.

 

(Another man n the audience) There is no hair.

 

(Wilfred) Thereís no hair on a man either, no eyes.

 

(Larry) Itís a stick drawing of a figure.

 

(Wilfred) Yes, itís probably a human being of some type. Can you tell whether itís a child or a grown up? Not particularly, you canít tell whether itís a man or a woman or a boy or a girl, as though that made much difference.

 

Now letís start with another one here. That looks like the sun with some rays of light radiating from it. Now take those same strokes and rearrange them, theyíre not too close together yet so you may not catch anything significant from that. Do you see? Thereís the sun up there on top of the teepee or the mountain or whatever it is. There are some hills in the background here and couple of trees here, See?

 

But if you bring the strokes in a little closer together, why look at what you get. What is it?

 

(John) A girl.

 

(Wilfred) A girl or a woman. Now how do you know? How do you come to that conclusion? Because thatís no more a girl than I am the man in the moon. Well, your mind associates certain things about that pattern with your idea of a girl. You visualize this as a dress, you visualize those two sticks as arms, and this as a head, and these two as legs and thatís all youíve got. No feet, no hands, no eyes, no nose, no mouth, there is very little there just enough to suggest something. But immediately your mind closes in the gaps and gives you the concept of a woman, right?

 

That illustrates another thing which is known as Gestalt psychology. The idea that the sum total of the parts that go to make up something is more than the parts that make it up. This is not just a conglomeration of ingredients. When the ingredients are related to one another in a certain fashion it creates a concept which is made up of the unit, something more than the things in itself. Do you understand?

 

Letís take those same strokes again. See, there they are, now, Iím going to rearrange them, but not quite the same way. I have taken the horizontal stroke and put it on the top and Iíve interchanged the two sides of the triangle. Itís not quite together yet so you probably donít get the gist but being intelligent adults and sort of anticipating what Iím going to show you, some of you no doubt know what it is. No? Are you scared to say in case youíre wrong? Thatís pride Incidentally. Well, here it is a little closer together. What do you think it is?

 

(John) A man.

 

(Wilfred) Yes, How come? How do you know?

 

(John) Broad shoulders.

 

(Wilfred) There are certain characteristics there that you recognize which are typical of men. Not all of them have broad shoulders but when you put the two of them together I think that you can see that one is a man and one is a woman. Ok, All that I wanted to do that for was just to show you how when you get certain knowledge facts and put them into the computer up here your mind has the ability of relating those facts, and if you happen to relate them in a certain way youíll get a certain pattern and you come to a certain conclusion but if you rearrange those facts a little bit you may come to an entirely different conclusion. Do you understand? Same facts but in a different concept. Science is full of this type of thing and therefore the scientific mind has learned how to be open or at least it tries to be. So in case some additional facts show up or some bright light comes along and indicates that they have the facts arranged incorrectly they can get a new concept that might improve their concept, it will fit the demonstration of the facts a little better then the theory they had previously. This idea of a man in Edmonton is an example of this very thing.

 

(John) They may have to rearrange all the weight that the facts were thought of before.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right. Now Iíve read you statements about our truth, do you remember? Some of you may not have been here when I read them. But Sister White, our prophet, has given us warning, sufficient statements to indicate that we may have to do some rearranging in our minds about some of the facts about our truth. Are you with me on that? Iím not suggesting that this is what we are trying to do but Iím simply holding the door open. Here is a topic in which there is room for some rearranging because there is not agreement on it.

 

What is temptation? Temptation, I looked it up in the dictionary so I would have something solid to go on from that standpoint. And I found this one. It has slight variations according to the derivation, it occurs in Old French and in Old Latin and there are slight variations in the concept of the word. But, it is summarized in this way to entice to do wrong by promise of pleasure or gain, to allure to evil. To entice to do wrong by promise of pleasure or gain. In other words you present something to a person that promises to give him something he wants or would be enjoyable or acceptable if he will do a certain thing that is evil. Thatís temptation or something wrong. Now, it is sometimes used, not in the sense of evil necessarily but as you temp somebody to do something that is not necessarily evil, that use of the word does occur.

 

We have three directions in which temptation may go, we may be temped from God, What kind of temptation does God utilize? Well briefly, to try or to test someone. He may tempt someone to try him or test him. He did this with Abraham you will find it in Genesis 22:1; it says that God tempted Abraham. The second one from man, man can tempt God. But God doesnít want him to do that. Matthew 4:7 says, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Isaiah 7:12 the Lord challenged Ahaz to ask for Him a sign and Ahaz wouldnít do it. This is a form of temptation, not in the sense of doing evil, but in a sense of proving God, putting him on the spot to see if He fulfill what He said He would do. Thatís tempting God, in a sense. Unless it is in conformity with his promise, a direct promise that we can except without any thought of temptation. But when you bring something to God that is in a sense.... I donít think I said that right, I donít remember what I said but it will be on the tape there. Iíll correct it if it is wrong. Itís the idea of presumption more than temptation. When you ask God to do something that He has not promised to do youíre going out on a limb, twisting his arm so to speak. You are in a sense tempting God. But I donít want to draw on that one, itís another phase and I certainly havenít given the total concept of it. There is more in the Bible on it. And finally from Satan, Satan is the main instigator of temptation and that is the form in which we normally think of it. Itís an endeavor to cause a man to commit sin.

 

James 1:14 says; ďBut every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.Ē What do you make of that? Iíll open it up for your comment here.

 

(A woman in the audience) (Something about Jesus, mostly unintelligible)

 

(Wilfred) Letís leave him out for the time being.

 

(A man in the audience) Can you read that again please?

 

(Wilfred) ďBut every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.Ē

 

(A man in the audience) In actuality you canít be yourself.

 

(Wilfred) Sounds like it, doesnít it? What is it that draws you away?

 

(John) Your own desires.

 

(Wilfred) Your own lust. Where did you get that from?

 

(Larry) Born in iniquity and...

 

(Wilfred) Good. Thatís the point I wanted you to get. Now Sister Proud your point is very pertinent. Did Christ get that in his human inheritance or did He not? Thatís the issue. Now, letís just leave the thing like that. Letís just leave it in suspension and weíll see what comes up.

 

A man is tempted when he is faced with an appeal to indulge a desire in the interest of himself. Did I go too fast? If the indulgence cuts across Godís law then the temptation is to do evil or to sin. The term tempted is sometimes used in reference to an acceptable behavior but such use is not strictly accurate in its connotation. We normally think of the word in connection with evil.

 

Now I want to deal with some of these contradictions. My question here first is; Was Christ actually tempted?

 

(A man in the audience) That we know.

 

(Wilfred) Are you sure He was tempted?

 

(Same man) It says so in the Bible.

 

(Wilfred) James 1:13. ďLet no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth HE any man;Ē Now donít forget the pictures I showed you. I have just read a statement here that says God does not tempt any man. And I gave you a text Genesis 22:1 which says He tempted Abraham.

 

(Same man) He doesnít tempt for evil He tempts for trials and for fire.

 

(Wilfred) Right. Good for you. Hereís a man who caught that one. With Abraham, He did not tempt Abraham to do evil. He was tempting Abraham on his trust and confidence on the Word of God. Now you might argue, and I am coming to this later anyway, you may argue that that is evil to distrust God. So if God temped him on the point of faith He was tempting him to do evil. You might argue that. But youíve got to take the other statement that God tempts no man. Similarly the converse, God cannot be tempted, thatís what it says. If you want to read it, it is James 1:13. Genesis 22:1 the temptation of Abraham was a test. And Christ was tempted according to Matthew 16:1, 19:3 and 22:35 and Mark 10:2. But James 1:13 says that God cannot be tempted, so my question is; Was Christ God?

 

(John) Yes He was.

 

(Wilfred) Yes, He was. If God cannot be tempted can Christ be tempted?

 

(John) Yes, in his humanity but not his divinity.

 

(Wilfred) Now youíve got it!!! Youíve got it right there. Divinity cannot be tempted but humanity can. Do you get the point? Now we are coming back to that too. These examples of Matthew 16:1, 19:3, and 22:35 and Mark 10:2 are all attempts on the part of people to trick Christ in his theology or in his council. They are not temptations to do evil, unless you want to get sticky on the definition of the word evil. Now if God cannot be tempted to do evil then neither could the divine person of Christ be tempted to do evil because He was God. Divinity cannot be tempted to do evil the Bible says it very plainly. God cannot be tempted to do evil. Therefore Christ in his divinity could not be tempted to do evil. Is that clear? Thatís why it says of him, and we read these statements last week, that there was nothing in him that responded to the temptation. There was in him no propensity to do evil; He couldnít be tempted with it, in him, that is in his divinity in his very own divine soul. Who was Christ?

 

(Another man in the audience) He was God.

 

(Wilfred) He was God wasnít He? And God cannot be tempted. The soul of Christ was as the soul of the Holy Spirit. I read you that statement. In fact it says that the Holy Spirit is the very soul of the life of Christ.

 

In him, in that soul there was no propensity to evil even though that divine person dwelt in a human body, which harbored the sinful nature of fallen man. We read you the statements last week that Christ took fallen sinful humanity. He inherited a body, it was prepared for him to inhabit through the laws of heredity and while He lived in this body He himself, his soul had no propensity to evil and was not tempted to sin. Do you get that point or is that a little too difficult to grasp?

 

I have some references on that if you want to take them down. Iím not going to read them all tonight; we read them all last week. Questions on Doctrine 659.1, .2 and .9. John 14:30, Matthew 4:4, 7, and 10.

 

Now if Christ could not be tempted in his divinity, was He actually tempted? If the soul of Christ being divine was not tempted then was Christ actually tempted at all? That was my next question.

 

Hebrews 4:15, ďFor we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.Ē Now, He did not respond to the temptation but He was tempted. How could He be tempted if his divinity could not be tempted? How could He be tempted?

 

(John) It was his humanity that was tempted through the avenue of his body.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right. We are touching here on the mystery of the incarnation and we are warned of some aspects of it and this is one of them. We cannot understand how He could have a divine soul and a human counterpart and yet He was just one person, but he had, He was both divine and human and it is in his humanity, and donít ask me to describe that in detail because I canít do it. I can only tell you that the Bible says that He was tempted and that He could not be tempted in his divinity. There is only one other way He could be tempted and that is in his humanity and He obtained by inheritance a body like yours, through which you are tempted and He was tempted on all points like as you are. And if He did not have the same feelings as you have when you are tempted then was He tempted like you are? No. So He must have had. Iím going to read some more statements that will substantiate that. Let me read on here so that I donít miss a point. Was this a temptation to do evil? You might say now, ok, He was tempted but not tempted to do evil. Did you notice what the text said? It said He was on all points tempted like as we are, yet,

 

(Several voices) Without sin.

 

(Wilfred) Now, would he have put that in there if He wasnít tempted to sin? No. He was tempted to sin but He did not sin. Do you understand? Christ was tempted then to do evil.

 

(Larry) Can you correlate this with the quotations in Christís Object Lessons?

 

(Wilfred) Yes. The Bible plainly says that Christ was tempted. But it also plainly says that Christ as the divine being of God cannot be tempted. Therefore if Christ was tempted and God cannot be tempted it must of necessity have been that the temptation was in his human nature. This could certainly be logically true, now get this now, this could certainly be logically true if compared to his death, divinity could not die and did not die, yet Christ, the person of Christ did die and was personally unconscious in the tomb for one and a half days. Sister White plainly says that it was in his humanity that Christ died and not in his divinity.

 

Now, letís look at that one just for a minute. Questions on Doctrine 650.6. ďWas the human nature of the Son of Mary changed into the divine nature of the Son of God? No; the two natures were mysteriously blended in one personóthe man Christ Jesus. In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. When Christ was crucified, it was His human nature that died. Deity did not sink and die; that would have been impossible.

 

Alright, if it is possible then for Christ to die in his human nature but not to die in his divine nature do you see the parallel that it would be possible for him to be tempted in his human nature but not to be tempted in his divine nature? Do you see that? If you question what I am saying let me read to you from The Desire of Ages to show that the climatic and most crucial temptation of Jesus took place through his humanity and through his humanity only. Would you accept it if I read it? The Desire of Ages 687.1. I donít know what we would do without Sister White. I donít know how we can have people in our denomination profess to be genuine solid Adventist and not believe in The Spirit of Prophecy. They will never see Godís truth in its fullness, never. God is not going to duplicate The Spirit of Prophecy. And if they donít study those words and absorb those things that are in those books they are not going to get the picture. There is no two ways about it.

 

So, here it is. I think Iíll start at the bottom of 686. ďAs the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was suffering under divine justice.Ē This was in the garden of Gethsemane. ďHe saw what justice meant. Hitherto He had been as an intercessor for others; now He longed to have an intercessor for Himself.Ē {DA 686.4}

 

ďAs Christ felt His unity with the Father broken up,Ē Whatís happening? Severance of the two natures. ďAs Christ felt his unity with the Father broken up. He feared that in His human nature He would be unable to endure the coming conflict with the powers of darkness.Ē Isnít that plain? He was afraid that in his human nature He wouldnít be able to handle it. Had He been afraid when He had the divine nature? No, no problem. But now that it was breaking up, now that He was going to stand alone He was afraid that in his humanity He couldnít handle it. Well you want to read those chapters on Gethsemane. You should read this chapter on Gethsemane, she says that, well what does she say?

 

(John) We should spend a thoughtful hour in contemplation of the life of Christ especially the closing scenes.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís the one I wanted. Thank you John youíre a God send to me, you are my encyclopedia.

 

All right, I could read a little more here just to reemphasize this.

 

(A woman in the audience) Mr. Johnson how did He in his divine nature bring himself back to life? How did He do that?

 

(Wilfred) That is another one of these that we need the picture to explain because it says in several places in the New Testament as clearly as my nose is on my face that God brought him forth from the tomb.

 

(Another man) Then would it be right to say that if He was separated before the cross that only the human was on the cross.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right.

 

(Same man) That the divine part was not on the cross? 

 

(Wilfred) The divine part was not dying.

 

(Larry) The divine couldnít die.

 

(Wilfred) Remember what He said? My God My God why have thou forsaken me.

 

(John) Brother Johnson there is a statement relevant on this point where Sister White says there was a sundering of the divine powers. He was on the cross in Gethsemane and it will never occur again.

 

(Wilfred) If you can find that I sure would like to have it because that answers it right to a tee.

 

Now, if a nature is sinful then we may speak of the sinfulness of that nature. You may remember last week that when I asked something about the meaning of the word sinfulness and sinful nature and what the difference was and I was challenged on that. I didnít respond to it at that point because I wanted to give it a little more study. But I am responding to it now. If a nature is sinful then we may speak of the sinfulness of that nature. Any of you who have taken grammar, you can check into this, sinful is the adjective form modifying the noun nature and sinfulness is the noun form, stating the quality, the nature was one of sinfulness. Sinfulness and sinful have precisely the same meaning. The word sinful is the adjective and the word sinfulness is the noun. We may say the quality of the human nature is sinful or we may say, with equal accuracy of meaning the quality of human nature is one of sinfulness. We are saying the same thing. Sinfulness is the noun form of the adjective sinful. So, what Sister White is really saying is that the human nature of Christ was at the same time both sinless and sinful. And Iíd better read that.

 

Questions on Doctrine 656.9. You can easily see why we can get into trouble on some of these things.

 

ďClad in the vestments of humanity, the Son of God came down to the level of those He wished to save.Ē It was the son who came down, it was the person of Christ who actually came down and was the person of Jesus. ďIn Him was no guile or sinfulness; He was ever pure and undefiled; yet He took upon Him our sinful nature.Ē .... And I have just shown you that you could just as well have said, and yet He took upon him our sinfulness. He came down to the level of those He wished to save yet in him was no guile or sinfulness, He was ever pure and undefiled. And thatís the key to understanding it, He was ever pure and undefiled, that means He never sinned. Thatís why He was sinless, and thatís the meaning of his sinlessness. Yet He took upon him our sinfulness, thatís what that means, our sinful nature. ďClothing His divinity with humanity, that He might associate with fallen humanity, He sought to regain for man that which, by disobedience, Adam had lost for himself and for the world.Ē Now here is another key as to what it means, that He had no sinfulness and at the same time He took the sinfulness of man upon him. Hereís another key. ďIn His own character He displayed to the world the character of God.

 

We really need to get into some definitions as to the constituent parts of the human being, and I worked on this this week but I do not feel quite prepared to present it yet. However I can present a little of it and I will do that.

 

He was sinless in his character, He had a sinless character. There was no sinfulness in his character; there was no sinfulness in his spiritual nature. I have a statement on that coming up somewhere. But He took upon himself the sinfulness of man. Now, how did He get the sinfulness of man upon him? Did it float down like dove from heaven? He got it through the laws of inheritance, we read those statements. So then the sinfulness that Christ received through inheritance was the same sinfulness that we have. Donít you see? He took upon himself man's sinful nature, manís sinfulness through inheritance, thatís how we get it. But there is one difference from Christ and us, we continue to sin, adding to the sinfulness of our nature and creating a sinful character. Do you see? He didnít do that He lived without sin. So you cannot say that in his humanity He was exactly like we are. We are warned about that, you canít say that because He wasnít. He was the sinless one she says. Are you getting to see these parts? All right, she says He took upon his sinless nature our sinful nature. Thatís Questions on Doctrine 654.5. He took our sinful nature upon his sinless nature. I donít think I need to read it, she says it in just those words I believe.

 

The obvious conclusion must certainly be in some way that He had both a sinless nature and a sinful nature in his humanity. I know this is heavy going and youíre probably contemplating one thought while I am going on to the next one so Iím probably losing some of you. Shall I go back and repeat that so we all get it? The obvious conclusion must be in some way that He had both a sinless nature and a sinful nature in his humanity because it says He took our sinful nature upon his sinless nature so He must have had both of them and he was in humanity, wasnít he? So He had both of those natures in his humanity. That would be correct to say that. Ellen G. White is very clear in setting forth the truth that by physical inheritance Jesus assumed the same kind of sinful body as we inherit. 656.2 Maybe Iíll look at that one. 656.2, ďIt would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin.Ē Did Jesus take the same humanity that Adam had before he sinned? No, it was different. ďLike every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.Ē Now what good would that example of a sinless life be if He came in a human nature that is different from ours?

 

(Larry) Can you explain that a little further when you said He had both natures in his humanity?

 

(Wilfred) Nothing more than what she says. He took our sinful nature upon his sinless nature.

 

(Larry) Would He have had an advantage over us when He had both natures?

 

(Wilfred) He does have until we partake of the divine nature. Iíll answer in a nutshell without going into details because if I get off my track I wonít get through here. It was the sacrifice of Christ, the eternal sacrifice of Christ whereby He relinquished his eternal spirit of life that made available to us the divine nature in the abundant form necessary to cope with sin. Now I can prove all that to you, we have gone through it with the group before and itís all on tape someplace.

 

(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible

 

(Wilfred) Right. Iíll read you a statement a little later on that, we'll touch on it and maybe we can add a little bit to it at that point.

 

But I want to get this point about the example here while weíre at it so we donít miss it. He could not be an example if He did not have the same experience. If he in any way had a different humanity then what we have, then how could He be an example in his victory over temptation and sin? Do you see the point?

 

(John) Ellen White says; Christ who knew not the least taint of sin and defilement took our nature in its deteriorated condition.

 

(Wilfred) Yes, and here she says in The Desire of Ages 117.1 ďIn our humanity, Christ was to redeem Adam's failure. But when Adam was assailed by the tempter none of the effects of sin were upon him. He stood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the full vigor of mind and body. He was surrounded with the glories of Eden, and was in daily communion with heavenly beings. It was not thus with Jesus when He entered the wilderness to cope with Satan. For four thousand years the race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral worth;Ē You know what moral worth is donít you? ďAnd Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. Only thus could He rescue man from the lowest depths of his degradation.Ē And I will add, and only thus could He be our example.

 

(A woman in the audience) In Hebrews chapter 2 verse 16, 17, it says, ďFor verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.Ē And it goes on to say that, "Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like his brethren;Ē And it goes on to say, ďThat He himself hath suffered, being tempted, so He is able to succor them that are tempted.

 

(Wilfred) So you see donít you that He had an experience that paralleled ours in this question of temptation and victory over temptation. Right? The difference is, that He never yielded, He never sinned but we do. Consequently we add to our mental pattern the propensities to evil as a result of our own sins. But there is power in the gospel of Jesus Christ to overcome the whole bit. Because you see, when He grants to us the divine nature the divine nature cannot sin. And then there is the transformation of the heart and the Bible says that He destroyed sin in the flesh. Now, there are two senses in that, He had the sinful nature of man by inheritance, He destroyed it in a sense that He overcame it, He never gave into it and He was translated and weíre going to go through the same experience.

 

(John) Translated?

 

(Wilfred) Yes, Weíre all going to be translated.

 

(John) But you said Jesus was translated.

 

(Wilfred) He was.

 

(John) Well, thatís right.

 

Much laughter.

 

(Wilfred) He got rid of the sinful...

 

(John) He was resurrected and then translated. Is that what you are referring to say?

 

(Wilfred) Well yes, there are both types. We are going to receive the divine nature, which is the nature of Christ, which is Christ in you and in our human body He is going to destroy sin in the flesh. Do you believe that?

 

(John) Before the close of probation.

 

(Wilfred) Yes. Now then, what part of Christís human nature was untainted by sinfulness? If his body had the same characteristics that ours have what part of Christ was it that was untainted? Again I say we need to go into some definitions.

 

(A man in the audience) The human part?

 

(Wilfred) Yes, the human part. What part of the human part was untainted?

 

(John) It was his character, it says He wrought out in humanity a character and He was in that sense the Pattern Man.

 

(Wilfred) Yes. Youíre on the track. 657.7 Questions on Doctrine.

 

ďNotwithstanding that the sins of a guilty world were laid upon Christ, notwithstanding the humiliation of taking upon Himself our fallen nature,Ē What nature?

 

(John) Fallen.

 

(Wilfred) The fallen nature. ďThe voice from heaven declared Him to be the Son of the Eternal. Though He had no taint of sin upon His character, yet He condescended to connect our fallen human nature with His divinity.Ē Now what character is that talking about?

 

Iíd better read it again.

 

(A man in the audience) He only had our human nature.

 

(Wilfred) Wait a minute Iíll read it again. ďThough He had no taint of sin upon His character, yet He condescended to connect our fallen human nature with His divinity.Ē What do you think?

 

(A man in the audience) His divine character.

 

(Wilfred) Sounds like it doesnít it? ďBy thus taking humanity, He honored humanity. Having taken our fallen nature, He showed what it might become,Ē Thereís the example ďBy accepting the ample provision He has made for it, and by becoming partaker of the divine nature.Ē

 

Look here, having taken our fallen nature, He showed what it might become,Ē Thereís the example ďBy accepting the ample provision He has made for it, and by becoming partaker of the divine nature.Ē

 

Now you think it was his human character?

 

(Larry) Yes. Because thatís what the provision is all about.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right.

 

(Larry) Because otherwise it is no point because I have no divine nature, itís imparted sure but I have a human character that has to be developed and itís through this same potential that I too can have a perfect character as Christ established and it is a human character in which He was perfect because simply going back to the rule of nature unless you feed your propensities they in time will die. Atrophy you do it in your body, you put a cast on your leg, we have a witness over there that could amply prove this, and gradually the muscles deteriorate and atrophy and thus it is when we donít feed our evil propensities they die and gradually we develop the prefect character this is the way Christ did it.

 

(John) There is this statement that says He wrought out a perfect character in his humanity He built it and this is the character He offers to give to us.

 

(Wilfred) Iím going to read that.

 

(Larry) But character has to be developed.

 

(Wilfred) Here again we need to go through these definitions and Iím sidestepping them tonight and Iím purposely doing it. He did have a divine character before He ever came to this world and she says here that He took upon him the human nature. Did He dispense with his former character or did He still have it?

 

(John) He still had it.

 

(Wilfred) At the same time He built up or wrought out a character in his humanity after the pattern of his divinity. Now our problem is the definition of this character thing. We donít have a clear concept of what character is and I donít want to go into it tonight. Just accept those facts, and sooner or later weíll get them cleared up.

 

(John) I see it. He had his divine character. He took our sinful human nature and by the combination of the two He developed and built a human character that withstood that fallen physical nature that He had taken on.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís correct.

 

(John) And He was without sin at all times.

 

(Wilfred) That is how come the character is built.

 

(John) Because sin is a decision of the will.

 

(Wilfred) And character is the sum total of those decisions.

 

(A woman in the audience) So when He gave up that divinity in the garden of Gethsemane all He had to fall back on was that human character.

 

(Wilfred) Absolutely,

 

(John) Thatís it.

 

(Wilfred) Good for you.

 

(Same woman) Is that going to be the way with us?

 

(Larry) Thatís the way it has to be with us.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís where your time of Jacobís trouble comes in.

 

(Another man in the audience) There is going to be a parallel almost.

 

(Many voices at once)

 

(John) The divine nature of Christ through the Holy Spirit is offered to us now, freely offered that we might build the character before the close of probation after the Pattern Man. I mean this is the way I see it. Is that correct Brother Johnson?

 

(Wilfred) Yes. What I heard of it was correct. I was tending to my machine here.

 

(Larry) And after the close of probation the Spirit is withdrawn and weíll have to stand.

 

(Wilfred) Well, the Spirit is withdrawn from the Earth.

 

(John) But we are sealed.

 

(Same woman) I thought it was done to Godís people.

 

(Wilfred) Yes, thatís prior to the close of probation. But we are on another point here now and I think we should be cautious. You will taste the experience that Jesus went through. But you will not have to save mankind.

 

(Larry) You donít save all of the sins that He had to save.

 

(Wilfred) You donít save anybody as a matter of fact. All you are doing is demonstrating that the experience that Jesus went through was a genuine experience and that the provision He made for you to be saved from sin is adequate. Yes, that is what you are doing. And it will be your character, which you have developed through the agency of the Holy Ghost after the pattern of his character, which is the same thing as saying that He has imparted to you his character, it will be that character that will carry you through.

 

Questions on Doctrine page 653.7. ďThe human nature of Christ is likened to ours, and suffering was more keenly felt by Him;Ē Why? ďFor His spiritual nature was free from every taint of sin.Ē So He felt it more keenly. Now when our nature is purified and becomes like his do you know whatís going to happen? We are going to feel sin that much more deeply too, and we are going to recoil and abhor sin as He did.

 

(John) Doesnít it say in the New Covenant that you will hate yourself for your iniquities?

 

(Wilfred) Right. Yes. ďTherefore His desire for the removal of suffering was stronger than human beings can experience. ...Ē He doesnít want suffering, He wants it removed and yet we have gone over this, there is only one way to purification. And thatís to go through the fire. He doesnít want to do it but it has to be done if we are going to be saved. And we have volunteered to do it. We volunteered.

 

(Larry) And thatís part of the test where God tempts us?

 

(Wilfred) All right, Iíll go for that.

 

Now, we must get on here weíre not getting along very fast as usual but I guess itís all right, thereís always another day coming.

 

Now, is it possible to be tempted if there is no urge or enticement or inclination involved? Is it really a temptation if there is no struggle? What does Hebrews 12:4 say? Anybody want to read it?

 

(A man in the audience) ďYe have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.Ē

 

Wilfred) ďYe have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.Ē You read the description of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and you well see what that means. He sweat as it were great drops of blood. Terrible agony. Mrs. White describes it there. Well, we havenít done that. Is there a struggle involved when you are really tempted?

 

If Christ had no human propensity towards sin, Now listen, If Christ had no human propensity towards sin then there could be no striving against sin. Is that right? If you donít have any urge towards it youíre not striving. If you offer me a cigarette there is no struggle. If you offer me a cigarette thereís no temptation to me. Why not?

 

(A man in the audience) There are no propensities.

 

(Wilfred) There are no propensities. Do you think Christ had any temptation the way we get temptations if He had no urge? If Christ had no human propensities towards sin then there could be no striving against sin and if there were no striving against sin then how could He have been tempted like as we are? You offer me anything that is sinful and if I have no urge towards it I am not tempted. Not in my book. You could just as well offer me something that had no meaning to me; itís of no consequence. Not unless I have a sinful propensity in that direction am I tempted. How is it with you? Do you see my point?

 

Now Lorna do you remember what it was that you were asking?

 

(Lorna) If He was tempted like we are how could it be if He had a perfect character. If He had a perfect character He wouldnít have a temptation.

 

(Wilfred) Well you are jumping to a conclusion there.

 

 

(The end of C/D #37 and the beginning of C/D #38)

 

 

(Wilfred) That is right. That is right. Iíve read you statements to that effect here. That there was no evil, no propensity, no tendency, no sinfulness in his character, in his spiritual nature. I have read you those statements but He got the same sinful nature that we get. And you know what it is like donít you? I donít have to describe it. If He got the same one you know what He felt donít you? I mean itís that simple to me. I canít understand how some folks can come to a different conclusion. Itís very difficult for me to see it. I have struggled with this thing. I have thought about it for hours and there is no way I can reconcile it.

 

(A man in the audience) I am lost here. She just said that he did not have natural propensities to sin in his character but in his body, yes. It seems like that is a separation of two.

 

(Wilfred) Of two what?

 

(Same man) Well, character and body. Where as my character is within my body, itís within...

 

(Wilfred) Well, itís within anybody so was his divinity within his body. I again say we need to get some of these definitions and know what these various terms mean. I started to work out a presentation of that and Iím not finished with it and I canít do it tonight.

 

(A woman in the audience) ...you canít build up unless you start smoking.

 

(Wilfred) The pastor explained this last week that Christ did not, even though He was tempted on all points as we are there are certain things in detail that He was not tempted on as we are. They did not have tobacco in those days so He was never tempted to smoke. Nor could He be tempted in some things that maybe a woman could be tempted in because He wasnít a woman. You see you have got to be reasonable. When it says He was tempted in all things like as we are He was tempted in all the basic concepts of sin. And actually you can boil them down to one if you want to do it.

 

(John) Selfishness.

 

(Wilfred) Yes. So we canít really go into the details on that area.

 

But now with reference to your point Larry.

 

(Another man) It seems that we have separated character and nature. And a...

 

(John) You mean character and body.

 

(Same man) Yes, character and body. In my conclusion character and body are together.

 

(Wilfred) Well, the reason is that your concept of how this thing functions is incomplete and I hope you will pardon me for saying that but the sensory input comes through the body. And it reaches the consciousness and is affected by the character that you have built, the inherited tendencies you have gotten from your ancestors and the reasoning power and you come to a conclusion and decide how to deal with that input. And your will determines which direction that sensory input is going to be dealt with. The body is different from the character but the character is part of the body. The eye is not the body it is a part of the body. Do you separate the eye from the body? Yes when you are thinking in terms of the purpose of the eye. The body canít see but the eye can. So, in that sense we are separated but not in any other sense.

 

(Same man) Character and body should develop your character, you body wants to do one thing and you force your character to try to get your character to go the other way. Thatís the separation.

 

(Wilfred) You see, your inherited tendencies to sin want to deal with that input in a certain direction and if you donít use your will power youíll function automatically according to your instincts and habits, like all animals do. And 99% of all our functioning is on that basis or close to 99%.

 

(Same man) She called them animal propensities.

 

(Wilfred) Yes, animal propensities.

 

And God has given the human being a feature, a characteristic known as individual freedom of choice. Which is related to consciousness but is not the consciousness because a dog is conscious but it does not have a freewill. It has a will but not a freewill. We have a characteristic of the will that enables us as an individual soul over and apart from our body to make a decision to over-rule what the body would normally do.

 

(Larry) Or what the body wants to do.

 

(Wilfred) What it is programmed to do? We can actually change the programming in our computer by freedom of choice and that is what character building is all about. When you dispose of the inherited tendencies to evil and the cultivated tendencies through the power that is available by the agency of the Holy Ghost all of these tendencies can be overcome she says. When you do that you can reprogram your computer so that you will instinctively do the right things without having to push yourself. Your heart becomes changed. That is what conversion is all about. And ultimately when God gets us back to the original plan of his government our hearts will delight to do the will of God and will instinctively do it. We wonít have to be aware that there is a law or scarcely aware of it. We just instinctively do it. We love to do it, like He did; He delights to do Godís will. But now while weíre in this sinful body and we have all of these propensities that are pulling us in the wrong directions we have a struggle and Christ participated in that struggle, He felt that struggle He had the weight of the sins of the whole world on him in Gethsemane.

 

(John) And He withstood it in his humanity.

 

(Wilfred) And He withstood it in his humanity, right. And an angel came to strengthen him but not to strengthen his...

 

(John) Divine nature.

 

(Wilfred) No, no, the devil comes in when we are weakest. Thatís when he can over-rule our will. And when Christ was in Gethsemane He was at a very weak spot and his willpower was very low, very low He was depressed and The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that he made his way through that and the cross by virtue of the habit of trusting God. He had programmed his computer and He wasnít using his willpower or his divine nature. He had created a character that carried him through.

 

(Another man in the audience) And that is what carries us through.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right. Thatís right. And if you donít have that character built by that time youíre not going to build it.

 

All right, Iím going on.

 

If Christ had no human propensity toward sin then there could be no striving against sin, and if there was no striving against sin then how could He have been tempted like as we are? But the Bible says He did strive against the temptation to become released from the final sufferings at Gethsemane and the cross and that He did sweat great drops of blood. Luke 22:24, 44. Did He not in the weakness of his humanity have any inclination at all to renounce the plan of salvation? If not why did He have to strive so hard? Well, He did have and youíll find it in The Desire of Ages page 690.5. ďTurning away, Jesus sought again His retreat, and fell prostrate, overcome by the horror of a great darkness. The humanity of the Son of God trembled in that trying hour.Ē What of the Son of God?

 

(John) His humanity.

 

(Wilfred) ďHe prayed not now for His disciples that their faith might not fail,Ē That wasnít what He prayed for. ďBut for His own tempted, agonized soul. The awful moment had come - that moment which was to decide the destiny of the world. The fate of humanity trembled in the balance. Christ might even now refuse to drink the cup apportioned to guilty man. It was not yet too late. He might wipe the bloody sweat from His brow, and leave man to perish in his iniquity. He might say, Let the transgressor receive the penalty of his sin, and I will go back to My Father. Will the Son of God drink the bitter cup of humiliation and agony? Will the innocent suffer the consequences of the curse of sin, to save the guilty? The words fall tremblingly from the pale lips of Jesus, "O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done." Now look, when He was praying to be released from that cup whose interest did He have in mind?

 

(John) His... no, He had his own.

 

(Wilfred) And what does that represent in reference to the law of God?

 

(Several voices) Selflessness, Self-interest.

 

(Wilfred) And what does that represent in reference to the law of God? SIN. Sin. You see, the devil said God will not keep His own law. Itís an unfair law, didnít he? Here was the test. Would Christ keep Godís law?

 

Now, if Christ had refused to drink the cup, would he have died?

 

(John) No.

 

(Wilfred) Why not? He was the sinless one. How come the Law would not condemn him?

 

(Another man) Because he was without sin.

 

(John) Then the universe would have been lost because Satanís accusations would have proved true.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right.

 

(Larry) But Christ would have gone back to...

 

(John) He could have gone back and wiped the whole thing out and stated over again.

 

(Larry) Yep.

 

(Wilfred) I want to tell you something. The one who makes the law has the privilege of changing it. If Christ had not taken that cup He would have transgressed the law of God, as it existed, which is the essence of his character. He would have done like Lucifer did He would have made a decision contrary to his own nature.

 

But listen, the nature of divinity was no longer there, it was humanity, thatís why the struggle. Thatís why the struggle. Now we could pursue this further but letís not. He did not fail and thatís what is important to us.

 

(John) Amen.

 

(Wilfred) Now you are going to get into a predicament where if you fail, whatís going to happen? And I was going to take that tonight. I donít know whether Iíll get to it tonight. I may have to delay it to the next meeting. Whatís going to happen at the close of probation, just before the close of probation? What is Christ going to do for his people? Itís a very very important and fascinating subject. You are going to get the privilege, if it is a privilege, and it is, of facing a similar situation and you are not going to fail. The Bible says He wasnít going to fail, I mean the Bible predicted what was going to happen didnít it? Didnít Jesus himself say what was going to happen after his resurrection?

 

(John) Isaiah said He would not fail or become discouraged.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right. But now in Gethsemane completely enshrouded in that cloud of darkness with only his humanity and the character that He built in his humanity to carry him through everything closed in. And you will never understand that until you share it. We can talk about it but you wonít understand it. Only when you share it will you understand it and the one hundred and forty four thousand are going to share the experience of Christ. They will sing the new song, the song of Moses and the Lamb and she says itís the song of their experience. That no other man can sing. Well, we just touched on that.

 

You might argue that He was not striving against sin and I think I have touched on that now too. That He was not struggling against a propensity to evil rather that He was fighting against the temptation to renounce the plan of salvation and that He had a perfect right to renounce this since He was proceeding with it on a strictly voluntary bases and in a sense this is true. Nevertheless, to renounce it and escape the cross would be to choose in favor of himself at the lose of the souls of the world and the freedom of the creatures of the universe and that is selfish. This would have substantiated Satanís claim that Christ was unwilling to keep His own law or even that He was unable to do so. If He had failed on this point would it not have been a transgression of the law of God? The principle of self-sacrifice on behalf of others? And is not the transgression of Godís law sin or evil? Was it not the Fathers will that Jesus drink the cup at Gethsemane? What did He pray? Father...

 

(John) If it be thy will.

 

(Wilfred) Was it the Fathers will?

 

(John) Yes.

 

(Wilfred) If Christ had not drunk it He would have transgressed the Fathers will? Never before had He done that. And He didnít do it now. If it was the Fathers will then would it not have been a transgression of the Fatherís will for Jesus to have refused the cross. I think the answer is obvious. For Jesus to take upon himself the nature of humanity in itís weakened condition and not to have taken the altered chemistry which provides for the inherited urges and inclination towards sin, that would have left him essentially free from any tendency towards sin and thus free from any true temptation in the same sense that we know temptation. Iím I being too repetitious here? But Jesus took humanity so that He might experience and understand the force of all temptations wherewith man is beset. No, you didnít get that.

 

Why did Jesus take on humanity?

 

(John) So that He could experience it.

 

(Wilfred) So that He could experience and understand the force of all temptations. Now he could not understand and experience the force of all temptation if He did not have the same urges in his physical body that we have, could He?

 

(John) No. So that He could sympathize with humanity Sister White says.

 

(Wilfred) 655.5 will verify this, ďI perceive that there is danger in approaching subjects which dwell on the humanity of the Son of the infinite God. He did humble Himself when He saw He was in fashion as a man, that He might understand the force of all temptations wherewith man is beset. On not one occasion was there a response to his manifold temptations. Satan found nothing in Him to encourage his advances.Ē

 

(John) That was very significant that part that says, ďOn not one occasion was there a response to his manifold temptations.Ē

 

(Wilfred) Yes, Yes. So He was tempted but didnít respond. I missed another statement a little further down.

 

655.6 ďMany claim that it was impossible for Christ to be overcome by temptation. Then He could not have been placed in Adam's position; He could not have gained the victory that Adam failed to gain.Ē Now listen. ďIf we have in any sense a more trying conflict than had Christ, then He would not be able to succor us.Ē

 

Ok. ďIf He did not experience the bodily urges to sin with the same force by which we experience them how could this quotation be true? He must have experienced propensities of the flesh. But He did not experience propensities of the spirit or the character in his human nature. The key to understanding these contradictory statements is to discern the two aspects of human nature involved in the idea of propensity or inclination towards sin. The spirit was willing and strong to resist temptation but the flesh was as weak as our flesh.Ē

 

(Larry) Now where did you get that quote?

 

(Wilfred) Thatís a J. W. Johnson quote page one. 

 

But the statement says that, ďOn not one occasion was there a response to his manifold temptations. Satan found nothing in Him to encourage his advances.Ē We do not in any sense have a more trying conflict then He had, we have nothing to bear, which He has not endured. He endured the severest test and exercised a self-control stronger then hunger or death.

 

If no urges or inclinations reached his conscience where was the need for such a severe struggle for the self-control? And if they did reach his consciousness then He did experience propensities through the avenue of his human body. But there was in him, that is in his divine human soul no inclination, no propensity to evil, nothing that responded to the temptation. There was no yearning for sin only abhorrence for it and a recoiling from it. So it is true, that Christ met temptation as the second Adam and over-came where the first Adam failed. He did verily pass over the same ground as the first Adam having a perfectly sinless spiritual nature and character even as Adam. He was pure and holy He had this divine nature while in his humanity, His soul was the divine soul of Christ in humanity, a divine human soul. And it was by virtue of this divine nature of purity and holiness that He found it impossible to bring himself to choose to yield to sin. By consistently choosing righteousness in spite of the severe temptations to yield He wrought out a character, a righteous character in his humanity and this character pattern He offers to give to us.

 

Now, Christ Object Lessons, page 318.6. Sorry, this is the old edition; the other one will be slightly different. Itís the chapter ďWithout the Wedding GarmentĒ. Here it is.

 

ďThis robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has in it not one thread of human devising.Ē This is the robe of his righteousness. ďChrist in His humanity wrought out a perfect character, and this character He offers to impart to us.Ē Now the impartation is not a magic thing. The impartation is a pattern that we choose to follow. And in choosing to follow it we build a character after that pattern. We canít implement our choice to follow it of ourselves. Only as He gives us the divine power of the Holy Spirit, the divine nature, can it be done. But it can be done.

 

ďBy the marriage is represented the union of humanity with divinity; the wedding garment represents the character which all must possess who shall be accounted fit guests for the wedding.Ē Now the marriage is divinity and humanity combined, right?

 

Now letís tie it in with that marriage we talked about between Christ the head and the church his bride. There is going to be a marriage union there and itís going to be such a close union that they twain shall be one flesh, Paul says. He says itís a mystery, you canít understand this, but I am speaking of Christ and his church. It is the restoration of the broken body of Christ. He relinquished it in heaven before he came to this world. He did not come to this world in his heavenly body; a new body was prepared for him. Hebrews tells us this and you know this from history. He told his disciples what happened to his former body at the last supper. Because thatís the time when He made the final decision to go through with it otherwise he could have gone right back and there would have been no body and blood for the saints. The blood of the body of Christ is the life of course and He shed that everlasting life and he broke that everlasting body. Now the details of that donít ask me, Iím simply repeating what the Bible says, what Jesus taught. And in John chapter 6 He taught that unless you eat that flesh and drink that blood you have no life in you and Heís talking about eternal life. If you read it youíll find out.

 

(John) Heís not talking about his human body.

 

(Wilfred) No, no way. And this was part of the Everlasting Covenant which is the last will and testament of Christ. Where He stipulated what was to be done with his inheritance, with his heritage because he was going to die. Anybody who has possessions who is going to die makes out his last will and testament and he says what he wants done with it and he appoints an administrator. Who is the administrator of the everlasting covenant?

 

(Several voices) God the Father.

 

(Wilfred) God the Father. What was the lifeblood that he shed?

 

(John) The Holy Ghost.

 

(Wilfred) His Spirit. The Holy Spirit. Was the soul of the life of Christ. And He shed it. And after that it is called the?

 

(John) The Holy Ghost.

 

(Wilfred) The Holy Ghost. And who is going to get the Holy Ghost? Mankind. Who was the first one to receive all that body and blood of Christ? Jesus. He becomes the head of the new mystical body. Who else is going to get the same spirit? He says I will pray the father and He will send you another Comforter. He says I will come to you. Do you see that the coming of Christ to his saints is the coming of his Spirit to his saints? And I can show you more texts that indicate that the body and the blood are all wrapped up in the spirit. And where does it come from? The Father. How did He get it? Because Jesus gave up the Ghost and it went back to the father who had given it. Now watch that one, It says that He had life in himself, that he had always been one with the Father. So many people come to the conclusion that what I am telling you canít be truth. Let me ask you, where did Christ get his life in himself?

 

(Several voices at once) From the Father.

 

(Wilfred) How do you know?

 

(John) It says the Father has given him to have life in himself.

 

(Wilfred) Because Jesus said so. He says, as the Father has life in himself even so had He given the Son to have life in himself. Now when the Father gave it to the Son to have life in himself was He ever going to lose it?

 

(John) No.

 

(Wilfred) No. Was there ever a time when He didnít have it?

 

(John) Yes,

 

(Wilfred) I canít answer that because I donít know what eternity is.

 

(John) In Gethsemane there was a sundering of the divine powers.

 

(Wilfred) Iím talking about Christ originally.

 

(John) Oh.

 

(A women in the audience) It says He gave back the scepter.

 

(Wilfred) It says He gave back the scepter so that means He got his scepter from the Father right? In other words, He was the true Son of God.

 

But He gave his life and he gave his kingdom. I can read you that. He gave the scepter back to the Father. Whoís going to get that scepter? Early Writings, at the close of probation. The Kingdom was given into the hand of Jesus and the saints. Here is this new mystical body again, the head and the body they are all one. They are sons of God, joint heirs with Christ. Tremendous, just tremendous. Well, thatís the marriage union. And that takes place before the close of probation too. That is also in Early Writings. Itís in the very same paragraph where it talks about the kingdom.

 

Now, let me read one more little part here, By his perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey all of Godís commandments. Satan had claimed that it was impossible for man to obey Godís commandments and in our own strength it is true that we cannot obey them, but Christ came in the form of humanity and by his perfect obedience He proved that humanity and divinity combined can obey every one of Godís precepts. "As many as received him to them he gave power to become the sons of God.Ē Hereís your rebirth again, Even to them that believe on his name. This power is not in the human agent it is the power of God. When a soul receives Christ, John 14. What does he receive when he receive Christ?

 

(John) The Holy Spirit.

 

(Wilfred) The Holy Spirit. And what was the Holy Ghost?

 

(John) The soul of the life of Christ.

 

(Wilfred) The soul of the life of Christ. So when he receives the Holy Ghost what is he receiving? The eternal life of Christ that was in him which He relinquished. His blood and He said now you drink my blood. Donít you see it? He says, He whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Heís got eternal life but He is going to raise him up at the last day. Which goes to show that He is talking about a different life than just this physical life. Doesnít it? Heís got eternal life but he still sleeps. But heís got it, and he is going to have life in himself as Jesus has life in himself.

 

(John) It says that this mortal will but on immortally.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right. And I am not going to have time tonight to go into the 5th volume of the Testimonies for the Church. Itís a beautiful passage. It takes about three quarters of an hour to read it through and at the rate we go with our amplification and discussion and questions it will probably take us more than an hour so I canít do it tonight. I wish I could, I would like to follow this right up with it, it just ties right in.

 

(John) Where in the Testimonies for the Church?

 

(Wilfred) Itís in the chapter about Joshua and the angel.

 

(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible

 

(Wilfred) Yes. The only way you will lose eternal life is to lay it down like Jesus did. If you ever want to get rid of your eternal life youíll have to lay it down. But you have that privilege but He will never take it away from you and you will never take it away from Christ, never.

 

(John) Brother Johnson, Satan wanted to share or sit on the throne of God, this was not permitted of him but to the over-comers, the saints, it says that they will sit down with me on my throne even as I also over-came and sat down with my Father on his throne.

 

(Wilfred) It says that to certain saints.

 

(John) The one hundred and forty four thousand.

 

(Wilfred) How do you know?

 

(John) Because the Laodiceans are the over-comers.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right. The over-comers in the last church. Thatís right.

 

When the soul receives Christ he receives power to live the life of Christ. And I read you other statements that said the power is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings the power to live the life of Christ. And the Bible explains what that is. It is the love of God, the motivating power of Godís love. That is what enables you to live the life of Christ. That is the power that recreates the image of God in the soul. I could read you that. That is the power that created this world because she says that it is the same power that created this world that will recreate the image of God in the soul. So the power that created this world is the power of love. Can I tell you that love is an electromagnetic force? Emotional energy can be measured in the brain. Now God has a tremendous volume of that power and I canít explain it but all substance including all living substance is made up of that power. I can show by physics the potential possibility for that to occur but I canít show you how it happens. But all matter in this universe, as we know it is made up of electromagnetic energy, which radiates constantly in the form of waves. And because of the different wavelengths there are different characteristics of the energy in the same sense that because of sound waves of different wavelengths we have different characteristics of sound. We can distinguish a violin from a piano playing the same note because there are different over-tones, different mixtures of wave lengths that give the quality to the violin from those that give the quality to the piano. In the same sense material substances made up of focused energy of specific wavelengths and you have all these different particles which are nothing more or less than manifestations of localized energy and they always have vibration frequencies that identify them. Well there is a lot in here. Thatís light; the Bible says that in the beginning there was light. Light as we see it is only one octave of electro magnetic energy and itís a very narrow band of the total band of light. There is far more light that is invisible than light that is visible. Our radio waves are just one example of them.

 

(John) The Bible says that God is light.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right. Well, I get wound up here and I get off the topic because Iím so wrapped up in some of these fascinating scientific things that I can hardly tear away from them. God requires perfection of his children, his laws are a transcript of his character and it is the standard of all character and He has provided a means by which we can attain to it. Iím just about through.

 

Meanwhile, our experience is a progressive one. We partake of the divine nature, you see, and we receive power to overcome sin but our experience is progressive. An experience involving the conflict with evil and the struggle against temptation, yielding a character, growing in strength and coming ever closer to fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ. When the sanctuary, that is the body temple is finally cleansed through the continued sprinkling of the sacrificial blood which is the life spirit of Christ, then will be restored the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression. The body temple will be endowed with the divine nature of Christ the righteous character of the Son of God and those human propensities toward evil will have become forever dissipated. The love of sin will be gone and in its place will be an abhorrence to evil in all its forms. You will recoil from sin and delight to do Godís will. The Kingdom of Heaven will have been restored in the human soul and voluntary allegiance to the King of Kings will be the joy of every transformed heart, the love of God will reign supreme. God has been patiently waiting to accomplish this for many years but his people have clung to their worldly idols. How much longer are we going to cling to these idols? I am personally determined in my heart to break into pieces and cast down every idol in my life with Godís help. Are you willing to stand with me on that?

 

How foolish we are to delay the salvation of the Lord. Why do we do it? Because we love the world and we love self more than we love God. We are scorning his supreme sacrifice; can you keep on doing that any longer? I donít want to continue to crucify my Savior afresh any longer; wonít you for his sake stand with me on that?

 

Now, I am finished with this subject but Iím willing to entertain questions or comments or ideas or thoughts, problems, whatever you might have on it. There is not much point in going ahead with the next one because I wouldnít get finished. But if you do have some thoughts or questions I have about twenty or twenty-five minutes left on the tape we donít have to use but if you want to stay and discuss something we can do it.

 

(A woman in the audience) Did Jesus think of himself as a good Christian or did He kind of wished He hadnít done something the way He did?

 

(Wilfred) I canít answer you. I havenít found anything...

 

(John) He was at peace with God and man at all times.

 

(Another man in the audience) He said I do always those things that please my Father...

 

(Wilfred) He knew of his sinlessness. But I thought you were talking about the Gethsemane experience, maybe I was just jumping to a conclusion there.

 

(Same woman) In general.

 

(Wilfred) In general. Well, the answer has been given I think.

 

(John) The other statement, brother, that comes to my mind, in The Desire of Ages. It says, from his earliest years He was possessed with one purpose, He lived to bless others. That was the law of His life, He lived to bless others.

 

(Wilfred) It was His divine nature that did that for Him. And you say He had an advantage? Yes, He did. But no advantage that we cannot have.

 

(John) Through the new birth,

 

(Wilfred) Through the new birth, thatís right.

 

(John) It takes a while for that to develop.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís true.

 

(John) He had it from His birth.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís right.

 

Now thatís one reason why your sins are not accounted to you when you confess them. Can you see that? He can justifiably account you as righteous because of the fact you had that sinful nature to start with whereas He didnít.

 

(John) I never saw that ... but thatís right.

 

(Wilfred) So the devil canít complain, even though he goes. I am going to read it to you from The Testimonies for the Church, the devil complains anyway but he has no right to.

 

(Another man in the audience) So we can in all actuality live the life of Christ then?

 

(Wilfred) We can.

 

(Same man) Because we can be participants of divine nature so we can have the divine nature as Christ had it and we can also have the humanity He had.

 

(Wilfred) Right. But we cannot command the divine nature, we ask for it. But the Bible says, how much is the world not willing to give us this, you know, if the son asks his father for bread does he give him a stone? And Jesus said well, how much more will your heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit when you ask him. He will do it but He does it in measure, He doesnít flood the whole thing on you all at once. And Iíve explained this before, He gives you a little at a time as you need it, but He wants you to build a character, and you cannot build a character without resistance.

 

(Another man) Striving.

 

(Same woman) He is not giving us the Holy Spirit except as he can trust us with it.

 

(Wilfred) Thatís true. And there again there is a little touchy point. If you state it just that way somebody is gong to say, Oh, but the Bible says, you canít use the Spirit, the Spirit has to use you. So God gives you the Spirit, can you not use it? The Bible says you canít. But listen, youíve got to read these texts in the Bible with a magnifying glass and comb them with a fine tooth comb to get the essence of the thought. You cannot use the Spirit but bless your hearts; you can use the power that the Spirit gives you. You canít command the Spirit, it is a personality, it will do what it is told to do. Sometimes it is called it, sometimes it is called He, the Spirit is a mystery. Some day Iím gong to talk about that. There is seven spirits of God. But you cannot command the Spirit, you cannot use the Spirit, but when the Spirit gives you power God has given you that in the same sense that He gave to Christ life in himself, it was his for keeps.

 

(Same woman) Thatís why He wonít give it to us until He trusts us.

 

 (Wilfred) You are now going through your investigative judgment. You are being tried to see how far you can go and He will take you as far as you can go and if you can go no further you are going into the tomb before probation closes. But if you can go right on up to the fullness you are going through to the end. Itís that simple.

 

(John) And Heís calling for a hundred and forty four thousand.

 

(Wilfred) Heís calling, Heís calling. Until He can get a hundred and forty four thousand that will do it He has to keep delaying it. He has determined to have a hundred and forty four thousand. And thatís another story.

 

(Same woman) And they all have to be ready at the same time.

 

(Wilfred) And they all have to be ready at the same time. But He is in control and Heís doing it.

 

(Same woman) ...our testimony of Him and our faith in Him that He will do it.

 

(Wilfred) No question about it.

 

(John) It says that He, I know we have said this before but it is such a profound thought that He staked his very throne on the perfection of his people.

 

(Wilfred) Did you get that point? That the throne of God is jeopardized by our decisions. It was jeopardized by Christís decision at Gethsemane, and youíre going to taste it. And if you donít make the right one you are doing the same things that he is. Do you know what it says in there? It says that He got a view of the importance of that decision. He saw what would happen if He made the wrong decision. I could read it in The Desire of Ages; itís there in that chapter. And when He saw that He decided that He was going through with it.

 

(John) It says that He would save man at any cost.

 

(Wilfred) At any cost, thatís what it says. Now when you taste that experience youíre going to realize what it will cost him if you fail. Donít you see? And your motive for keeping the commandments of God and doing the will of God is not self-interest. You already have your eternal life, fixed for eternity, itís yours. The only way to get rid of it is to lay it down voluntarily. So you have no incentive to keep the commandments of God just to get to heaven. How else could God prove that you are keeping his law from a motive of love if he didnít give you eternal life without the necessity to keep the law? Oh yes, you will complain, youíll say, but Brother Johnson it says that the condition for eternal life is still the same today as it always been, perfect obedience to the commandments of God, and I say amen, it is. But you are not perfectly obeying the commandments of God and if you die tonight you wonít get in, right? Right? No, wrong. How do you get in? Through the imputed righteousness of Christ, which is accounted to you and youíll always get in on that basis. Not until you understand that can you ever understand how to work through the imparted righteousness of Christ because the imparted righteousness of Christ doesnít come by faith it comes by love, Imputed righteousness comes by faith, imparted righteousness is keeping the commandments of God out of love not self-interest. Do you get it?

 

(John) Brother Johnson, Now I donít know just where it is but in the Spirit of Prophecy it makes very plain that those who go through the time of Jacobís trouble after the close of probation theyíre searching their hearts to see if there is any sin left there, not because itís going to keep them out of heaven but because it would cast reproach upon their savior.

 

(Wilfred) Correct.

 

(John) Could I read one other statement here? This is taken from page 623 of The Great Controversy, it says, Now, In other words, before the close of probation. Now while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself: "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me." John 14:30. Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father's commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who will shall stand in the time of trouble.

 

(Another man) In the Desire of Ages she makes the statement that even in his childhood if He had even indicated that there might be any excuse for sin all would have been lost.

 

(Wilfred) He must have had a terrific risky experience.

 

(John) And didnít even know that He was the Son of God. The first inkling He had when He was twelve. It tells us that in the Desire of Ages.

 

(Wilfred) It was that divine nature of love and unity with his Fatherís will, instinctively that carried Him through.

 

(John) It says somewhere for the joy that was set before Him, his joy was to save his people.

 

(Same woman) You said to build a character, in order to build character you have to have resistance, in order for Christ to build his character He had resistance.

 

(Wilfred) He surely did. You read what it says in The Desire of Ages about His childhood.

 

(John) Thereís another statement that says that we canít build a character after the close of probation.

 

(Wilfred) And it wonít change after death, your character is fixed.

 

(John) Itís fixed at the close of probation. If God, out of love, doesnít keep us here in this world of sin just because He wants to torture us. The cure for sin lies in us resisting that sin otherwise He would take us to heaven now to develop a perfect character.

 

(Wilfred) The character is forever fixed at death or at the close of probation if you live that long. What you make of yourself in probationary time she says that you will remain through all eternity. Now if you want to be like you are now through all eternity just sit down on your hunches and do no more.

 

(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible

 

(A man in the audience) What was that question again?

 

(Wilfred) She wants to know if you canít build character after the close of probation how could you build it before sin? For instance, Adam before he sinned, how would he build a character if he had never sinned? Thatís what she is asking. Anybody want to answer that? Do you want to answer that? Go ahead.

 

(John) No, there is a mystery here that we canít understand. It says that if Adam had remained faithful his character would have been molded in accordance with the character of God. He had a perfect character when he was born there was no sinful propensity....

 

(Wilfred) He didnít have a character when he was born. You see, there are definitions again,

 

(John) You go ahead I... was created a mature man...

 

(Wilfred) Right.

 

(John) He had a character; he had the potential to build...

 

(Wilfred) He was equipped with a set of instincts.

 

(John) Yes, that were all good.

 

(Wilfred) That were all good.

 

(John) And if he would have followed those instincts his character would have been... Well can I just read this statement?

 

(Wilfred) He would have built a character but the strength of character would not have been the same as the one you build with resistance. You see he would have built a character in the sense that he would still have been making decisions relative to the situations that arose in his life-span and those would have been registered in his brain cells and become sort of a pantry where the storage is kept of those decisions and they become the influence of future decisions. And that is what is called character in a broader sense.

 

(Same woman) What about his personality?

 

(Wilfred) Well, personality is the outward expression of the character. Itís very similar; Sister White uses character and personality interchangeably at times. And itís the will which makes the decision and it is the decisions that make up the character. But there is another definition of character in the narrow sense and I think this is the sense in which Sister White is using it when she says that character doesnít change at death. Because you are still going to be developing throughout eternity the same way Adam would have continued to develop. So in that sense you would continue to build upon your character.

 

(Same woman) ...but it has been definitely different when Satan reigns.

 

(Wilfred) Yes.

 

(John) As we resist against evil there is something that we can develop. I think that God designed the human race, well, it says it. God designed the human race to inherit the throne of God. Now that statement is in The Great Controversy, I canít find it right now; I can go down stairs and get the page number. It says Jesus asked for his people not only pardon full and complete but He asks that Godís purpose for the human race be carried into effect as if man had never sinned. He asks for man to share in his glory and a seat upon his throne. So it was his purpose before man sinned that he should share the throne of God.

 

(Larry) Even the angels developed a character didnít they? 

 

(Wilfred) yes.

 

(Larry) The overtures of Satan were resisted by the good angels therefore to that sense they developed that resistive character and all the angels were involved in this conflict in heaven so all of them to that point have built and we are also told that on the other planets that are inhabited there are trees of life. Now whether Satan was permitted to tempt them at that tree is not indicated but theyíve all had the opportunity of sinning and when they resist this then this builds character.

 

(Wilfred) Right.

 

(Larry) So the unfallen worlds have built character, the angels have built character,

 

(Another man) In order for them to build character they must have been tempted.

 

(Larry) Well, they have been.

 

(Another man) Resistance is instinctive.

 

(Wilfred) But the strength of the character that is built is in proportion to the exposure to...

 

(John) Sin.

 

(Wilfred) To the resistances.

 

Now, I still didnít answer her question and I sure would like to do it before I forget it.

 

Character in the narrow sense simply means you are either self-denying or selfish. The character of God is self-renunciation. The character of the devil is selfishness. That is character in the narrow sense and that is the character that will not change when you die. You are either selfish or unselfish. You are either like God or you are like the devil.

 

(John) Brother, the thing I wanted to bring up in connection with this, The Bible says that man was created lower than the angels but through resistance to sin and by overcoming by the blood of the lamb we will be higher than the angels. And that statement is found in Christís Object Lessons page 163. It says, ďTo human beings striving for conformity to the divine image there is imparted an outlay of heaven's treasure, an excellency of power, that will place them higher than even the angels who have never fallen.Ē So though we are lower than the angels we will be higher than the angels. And also in volume six on the SDA Commentary you will find a similar statement on page 1113. But you see to our selfish way of looking at it we say Oh boy, we are going to have a higher place than the angels. Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven does not operate like the kingdoms of this world. He who would be greatest must be a servant of all. It is the amount of service; the depths of self-denial that we reach that determine our position in heaven. It is just the opposite of that which determines position on this earth.

 

(Wilfred) Before we wind this up I would just like to make this statement. Larry is new with us tonight and some of us have only been to just a few of the meetings and have only started since we began this year, since January. We have now had 10 and last winter we had about 15 or 16. The average length was somewhere in the neighborhood of two hours which as you can see is a total of approximately 50 hours. Now those of you who have come in recently youíll understand that when we talk about some of these things you may not grasp really what we are saying and you may wonder whether we are off on a tangent or something but the folks who have been with us right on through the whole series they have had the background and they immediately connect back with things that we have said before and can interpret what is being said now. Do you understand? The thing builds up and as truth expands it builds on what has gone before it is not something that is out on a limb someplace. I just wanted to explain that. Now if any of you in any of these discussions have come against a problem in you thinking and you have been tempted to wonder whether we are not on the right track here or something I am very sensitive to this type of thing because I have been accused of that so many times in the past by people who have never taken the time to follow the thing through and so therefore they can immediately conclude that this is all wrong and it is a very simple thing to do. I have read to you people also statements that caution us about this or how we should regard these things. But our people in general are very narrow minded they are just like the Bible says, the testimony of Jesus, that they are lukewarm and that they think that they have need of nothing, they are rich and increased with goods and they are stuck-up, you know and they donít need anything else and that is the typical attitude of the Seventh-day Adventist because the Lord has showered so much upon him that he figures that he has it, like the old Jews used to do. So we are warned about that. God is going to do a work within the next few months and at the outside, in the next few years which is going to separate Godís people into two camps. Some are going to go up and some are going to go down. And the separation is going to be centered around the Spirit of Prophesy and this is all given in the Spirit of Prophesy and in the Bible, itís very clear. Itís going to be a painful experience weíre going to have a similar type of thing that took place when Jesus was on earth. The same type of thing and the persecution is going to start up again and the strongest persecution is going to come from within the church first and after the close of probation it will come from without the church. But before the close of probation the great and dreadful day of the Lord will come upon his people, his sword will come upon his people and they will be tried and tested and the testing point will be the expanding nature of Godís truth the sword that comes out of his mouth. He spews them out of his mouth these lukewarm people. And the thing that comes out of his mouth is his sword and thatís his Word. They are going to be spewed with the Word of God and that is going to test them and try them, Ezekiel explains that. Well I just thought I would say those few words so you would kind of get the gist of what we are actually doing. We are simply sharing from the Word of God, from the Spirit of Prophesy the things that are unfolding and some of them have been known for many years but they have not been shared because Godís people have not been ready to except them. Minds are being electrified all over our denomination now. God has taken the work into his own hands now, there is no question about it and the