Lost in Eden, part 2

And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13. Adam and Eve were lost in Eden but, horrifying thought, could it be possible that while we are within God’s true church, surrounded with the loving care of God and His marvelous doctrines of truth and His precious standards, that we might personally become separated, disconnected from God and totally lost? Well, let me awaken you to reality; this is what will happen to millions within the Adventist church. We have been warned of this by God’s servant. The majority within our church will think they are connected with God but will believe the lies that are now being preached from some of our pulpits, and they will find out too late that, while they thought they were connected to God, they have become separated from Deity and are under a power and a control of another spirit.

Ellen White wrote of this because she saw in vision that it would happen in the end time. “I saw that Satan was working through agents in a number of ways. He was at work through ministers who have rejected the truth and are given over to strong delusions to believe a lie that they might be damned. While they were preaching or praying, some would fall prostrate and helpless, not by the power of the Holy Ghost, but by the power of Satan breathed upon these agents, and through them to the people. While preaching, praying, or conversing, some professed Adventists who had rejected present truth used mesmerism to gain adherents, and the people would rejoice in this influence, for they thought it was the Holy Ghost. Some even that used it were so far in the darkness and deception of the devil that they thought it was the power of God, given them to exercise. They had made God altogether such a one as themselves and had valued His power as a thing of nought.” Early Writings, 43, 44.

Just a few days ago I had one of our good, faithful Seventh-day Adventist ministers phone me from the East. He said, “You don’t know me. We have never met, but I have listened to some of your tapes.” He said, “Let me tell you what is happening in the area where I live. In one of our large churches they have brought in a minister who has so many degrees back of his name that whenever he speaks they think that he talks as God. They believe everything that he tells them.

“On Sabbath afternoon he is now having healing services. He strikes these people who come forward to be healed, on the head, and they fall backward. Somebody has to grab them, and they lay on the floor sometimes for 30 minutes. I just couldn’t believe that this would ever happen in my church. If you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about,” he said, “just turn on the television and look at some of these Pentecostal healing programs, and this is exactly what this man is doing in the Seventh-day Adventist church today.” I said, “Elder, I believe we are beginning to come into a great false revival within this church. Not only will there be healing such as you have seen, but you will see these men speaking in tongues and preaching doctrines of devils in these last days.”

“I saw that Satan was at work in these ways to distract, deceive, and draw away God’s people, just now in this sealing time. I saw some who were not standing stiffly for present truth. Their knees were trembling, and their feet sliding, because they were not firmly planted on the truth, and the covering of Almighty God could not be drawn over them while they were thus trembling. Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the sealing was past, until the covering was drawn over God’s people, and they left without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues.” Ibid., 44.

“I saw that the mysterious signs and wonders and false reformations would increase and spread. The reformations that were shown me were not reformations from error to truth.” Ibid., 45. If ever we needed a Divine power, we need it today to discern error from truth in the coming crisis that is breaking upon this church. In last month’s article, “Lost in Eden” part one, we discovered that the human race, whether before or after the fall of Adam, must reach above the level of humanity by divine power in order to maintain a vital connection with God. This connection is absolutely necessary if we are to overcome Satan’s masterful temptations. Why did Adam fall? “Adam did not reach above his humanity for divine power.” Signs of the Times, December 3, 1902. You see, he believed Satan when he said, “Each of you are gods.”

Jesus left heaven, came down to earth, and took upon Himself fallen, human nature. Yet, because He maintained a daily connection with God His Father, He never once broke His Father’s law. He accomplished this wonder, which Satan said was impossible, because He daily partook of the Holy Spirit.

Earnest Prayer

“Christ during His life on earth sought His Father daily for fresh supplies of needed grace.” Acts of the Apostles, 56. This is why we read in the Scriptures that Christ often spent the entire night in communion with God. We read of Him getting up early before the sun came up, spending time with God.

Jesus did not come to earth to demonstrate that a man, separated from God, sold into sin, could live a sinless life. Jesus came to demonstrate just the opposite—that only humanity connected with divinity would find it possible to overcome as He overcame. “Christ left His heavenly home and came to this world to show that only by being connected with divinity can man keep the law of God. In itself humanity is tainted and corrupted, but Christ brought moral power to man and those who live in communion with Him overcome as He overcame.” Signs of the Times, December 3, 1896.

The following statement makes it very clear. “Christ came to this earth taking humanity and standing as man’s representative to show in the controversy with Satan that man, as God created him, connected with the Father and the Son, could obey every divine requirement.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 926. We can understand how Christ demonstrated by His connection with His Father that a man having a fallen, human nature is enabled to obey every divine requirement if he truly becomes a partaker of divine nature. “He [Christ] assumed the liabilities of human nature, to be proved and tried. In His humanity He was a partaker of the divine nature.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 226. “In Christ were united the human and the divine.” Testimonies to the Church, vol. 2, 201.

Born of the Spirit

Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit, and as we compare inspired writings, we discover that “a connection with God” and the new birth are synonymous terms. “There must be a new birth, a new mind through the operation of the Spirit of God . . . This connection with God fits man for the glorious kingdom of heaven.” Signs of the Times, November 15, 1883.

Are you following me? When sinful man repents and chooses to connect with God, we refer to this experience as a new birth, having been born of the Spirit, which makes it possible to declare such a person as being “a new man in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus was born with a connection with God. Notice how clearly this is revealed as to the source of His power. “The Father gave the Spirit without measure to His Son.” Signs of the Times, February 24, 1888. That is tremendous. All heaven was given, but then notice these words, “And we also may partake of Its fullness.” Ibid. Marvelous, how God has made provision for us to be overcomers. “In Christ dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This is why although He was tempted in all points like as we are, He stood before the world from His entrance into it untainted by corruption, though surrounded by it.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 907. Then these words, “Are we not also to become partakers of that fullness and is it not thus, and thus only, that we can overcome as He overcame?” Ibid.

The divine secret of Christ’s victory over sin, from the moment of His entrance into this world as a human, was because He was filled with the Holy Spirit. “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:7, 8. Jesus was connected with God, not sold unto sin, even though He voluntarily bore our sins. “Satan charmed the first Adam by his sophistry . . . He believed the words of Satan. But the second Adam was not to become the enemy’s bondslave.” Signs of the Times, December 3, 1902.

Fallen Man to Have Power Over Sin

Christ proved that man bearing a fallen, sinful nature may obey and live without sin. “The only begotten Son of God came to our world as a man, to reveal to the world that men could keep the law of God.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 136. “Christ came to this world as a man to prove to the angels and to men that man may overcome; that in every emergency he may know that the powers of heaven are ready to help him.” Signs of the Times, December 3, 1902. What a promise! Oh, praise God!

All the fullness of the power of God is available to us. “The Lord Jesus declares, ‘I have kept My Father’s commandments.’ ” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 138. And then Mrs. White continues. “How? As a man.” Ibid. “He [God] sent His Son to this world to bear the penalty of sin. Why? To show men how to live a sinless life.” Signs of the Times, March 30, 1904. Why am I dwelling on the fact that we must have in our humanity the power of divinity connected with us? Because I believe that Jesus is coming soon and we must get ready. The sealing will soon be over, and only those who have taken of this divine power and learned to live as Jesus lived are going to make it. “His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin.” Ministry of Healing, 180. “Christ came to reveal the Source of His power, that man might never rely on his unaided human capabilities.” Review and Herald, February 18, 1890.

Do not let anyone ever mislead you by reading the following passage which may at first appear to contradict what I have just said. “Let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human such a one as ourselves for it cannot be. The exact time when humanity blended with divinity is not necessary for us to know.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1129. We do not need to know the exact moment, but if this quotation perplexes you in any way, would you notice the clue: In Christ “humanity was blended with divinity. In His humanity He was a partaker of the divine nature.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 226. “Christ did not possess the same sinful, corrupt, fallen disloyalty we possess, for then He could not be a perfect offering.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 131.

Again and again this is so plainly revealed. “Laying aside His royal crown, He condescended to step down, step by step, to the level of fallen humanity.” Ibid., 128. “His human nature was created, it did not even possess angelic powers.” Ibid. He did not even have the power when He was here as a human that the angels have. “It was human, identical with our own.” Ibid. Never could it be written more plainly. In Romans 1:3 the Scripture says the same; “Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” And in Romans 8:3, “God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”

Not a Lesser God

The obedience of Christ was not that of a god, but that of a man who was connected with divine power. “Christ’s overcoming and obedience is that of a true human being. In our conclusions we make many mistakes because of our erroneous views of the human nature of our Lord. When we give to Him, His human nature, a power that it is not possible for man to have in his conflicts with Satan, we destroy the completeness of His humanity. His imputed grace and power He gives to all who receive Him by faith. The obedience of Christ to His Father was the same obedience that is required of man. Man cannot overcome Satan’s temptations without Divine power to combine with his instrumentality. So with Jesus Christ, He could lay hold of divine power. He came not to the world to give the obedience of a lesser god to a greater, but as a man to obey God’s holy law and in this way He is our example. The Lord Jesus came to our world, not to reveal what a God could do, but what a man could do through faith in God’s power to help in every emergency.” Manuscript Releases, vol.1, 1892.

That is wonderful! We have an example Jesus has shown us. “Man is through faith to be a partaker in the divine nature, and to overcome every temptation wherewith he is beset. The Lord now demands that every son and daughter of Adam through faith in Jesus Christ, serve Him in human nature which we now have. The Lord Jesus has bridged a gulf that sin has made. He has connected earth with heaven and finite man with the infinite God. Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, could only keep the commandments of God in the same way that humanity can keep them.” Ibid. That gives me courage. And I trust it gives you courage. Wonderful! Oh, praise God! We are assured that every son and daughter of Adam when connected with the infinite God through faith may obey God in the human nature which we now have.

Forever let it be known that the Spirit of Prophecy clearly makes a distinction between sinful nature and sinfulness. “In Him was no guile or sinfulness; he was ever pure and undefiled, yet, He took upon Him our sinful nature.” Review and Herald, December 15, 1896. “He began life, passed through its experiences and ended its record with a sanctified, human will. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet, because He kept His will surrendered and sanctified, He never bent in the slightest degree toward the doing of evil or toward manifesting rebellion against God.” Signs of the Times, October 29, 1894. Here then is the key that unlocks this mystery. Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Of every true Christian it must be said before He comes that “We have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16. Why? Because Christ came to this earth. “That He might restore to man the original mind which he lost in Eden through Satan’s alluring temptations.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 926.

I would like to recap for you what Christ did when He came to this earth to demonstrate victorious living. What did Christ come to earth to demonstrate? Christ came to this earth to show that man, as God created him, connected with the Father and the Son, could obey every divine requirement. His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin.

And so my friends, this is no time to be lost in the church. We need a connection with Christ that the divinity of God can be combined with our humanity; for in such an experience we will not commit sin. How is it with you, brother? How is it with you, sister? Young man? Young woman? Are you reaching out for this divine power? The divinity of God is promised to us in its fullness that we might be ready to meet Jesus. I appeal to you now to make this most important decision. Give your heart fully to God; allow the Holy Spirit to write His law within you and fill you with the power of divinity.

The End