The Heart of the 1888 Message

Posted Mar 04, 2011 by Adrian Ebens in Everlasting Gospel Hits: 15,841

 

 

Sermon Notes:

Introduction.

The Adventist message is built upon a prophetic basis that traces several lines of prophecy down to the last days.

This prophetic frame work is not an end in itself but rather a structure for which to place a most precious stone. The stones rests upon the carefully crafted structure but the focus of the message is the stone not the structure.

Of the 1000’s of books produced by God’s remnant people if you were to boil it down what is the core of that message? What is a one line sentence that sums it up?

Is it the details of the Sanctuary system carefully laid out for us?

Is it the health message with its eight natural laws?

Is it a correct knowledge of the king of the north in Daniel 11?

Is it Daniel Chapter 2 and the stone that smashes the image?

One text that comes to mind when thinking of a central focus is 1 Cor 2:2

1 Cor 2:2  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Christ and Him crucified is indeed the centre of our message and there was a time in the Advent movement when this theme was preached with such power that God’s messenger Ellen White said that the Latter Rain had begun to fall. Notice how she described this message that came in 1888.

cross1. A Most Precious Message

The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.  {TM 91.2}

2. The Key to the Message – Likeness to God as basis for likeness to man

The key to this message was a presentation of Christ as the Son of God from Hebrews chapter 1 and Christ as the Son of man in Hebrews chapter 2. Notice how A.T Jones describes the key for understanding how Christ is like man.

Christ's likeness to God, as set forth in the first chapter of Hebrews, is only introductory to the setting forth of His likeness to men, as in the second chapter of Hebrews.  His likeness to God, as in the first chapter of Hebrews, is the only basis of true understanding of His likeness to men, as in the second chapter of Hebrews. And this likeness to God, as given in the first chapter of Hebrews, is likeness--not in the sense of a mere picture or representation--but is likeness in the sense of being actually like in very nature--the very "impress of His substance," Spirit of Spirit, substance of substance, of God. Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection Page 17

3. How is the likeness obtained? – By Inheritance

The question is – How did Christ obtain this likeness?

A.T Jones

Next, of the Son of God Himself we read: "Who being the brightness of His [God's] glory, and the express image of His [God's] person ["the very impress of His substance," margin R.V.], and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."

This tells us that in heaven the nature of Christ was the nature of God, that He in His person, in His substance, is the very impress, the very character, of the substance of God. That is to say that in heaven as He was before He came to the world the nature of Christ was in very substance the nature of God.

Therefore it is further written of Him that He was "made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." This more excellent name is the name "God," which, in the eighth verse, is given by the Father to the Son: "Unto the Son He [God] saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever."

Thus, He is "so much" better than the angels as God is better than the angels. And it is because of this that He has that more excellent name --the name expressing only what He is in His very nature.

And this name "He hath by inheritance." It is not a name that was bestowed but a name that is inherited.

This holds the thought of the more excellent name spoken of in the previous verse. For He, being the Son of God--God being His Father, thus hath "by inheritance" the name of His Father, which is God and which is so much more excellent than the name of the angels as God is better than they. Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection Page 13,14

E.J Waggoner

This is how E.J Waggoner expressed it.

This name was not given to Christ in consequence of some great achievement, but it is His by right of inheritance. Speaking of the power and greatness of Christ, the writer to the Hebrews says that He is made so much better than the angels, because "He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." Heb. 1:4. A son always rightfully takes the name of the father; and Christ, as "the only begotten Son of God," has rightfully the same name. A son, also, is, to a greater or less degree, a reproduction of the father; he has to some extent the features and personal characteristics of his father; not perfectly, because there is no perfect reproduction among mankind. But there is no imperfection in God, or in any of His works, and so Christ is the "express image" of the Father's person. Heb. 1:3. As the Son of the self- existent God, He has by nature all the attributes of Deity. {1890 EJW, CHR 11.4}

Christ inherited all from the Father as the Son of God

Therefore He inherits all that belongs to man to become our representative. This is the point made over and over by Jones and Waggoner. Jones goes to great lengths in his book Consecrated Way to show that Christ inherited all of man’s nature in order to fully represent Him. Notice the chapter headings in his book from chapter 3 onwards

Chapter 3 Christ as Man
Chapter 4. He took part of the same
Chapter 5. Made under the Law
Chapter 6. Made of a Woman
Chapter 7. The Law of Heredity.
Chapter 8. In all things Like

Chapter after chapter showing that:

Heb 2:17,18  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Christ is able to fully represent His Father because He fully inherited everything from His Father. All the fullness dwells in Him.

4. Our Blessed Inheritance in Christ

The ability of Christ to fully become our representative depends upon how fully He inherits from us our nature, our station and our likeness. If He does not fully inherit our nature then He cannot fully represent us and speak with authority as a human being.

The ability of Christ to be the chief corner stone to fully represent both God and Man finds its focal point in the Word spoken at the baptism of Jesus.

You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

As the Son of God, Jesus inherits the Father blessing and acceptance

As the Son of Man, He becomes the fountain of Life to pass the Father’s blessing to us.

So that the words spoken to Christ are spoken directly to us.

And the word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," embraces humanity. God spoke to Jesus as our representative. With all our sins and weaknesses, we are not cast aside as worthless. "He hath made us accepted in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:6… The light which fell from the open portals upon the head of our Saviour will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation. The voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased. DA 113

The only way possible for the Words of the Father at the Baptism can apply to us is if Jesus is fully our representative, meaning He has to inherit all of our nature. The pattern for this inheritance is set forth through the inheritance has as the Son of God. He fully represents God because He fully inherited all things. He fully represents man because He inherited all that man is.

This then is the core of the message in one sentence

Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name

1Cor 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ

1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.