Our Redeemer Lives

Our Redeemer Lives

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The 1888 message truths for this presentation are: 1) The humanity of Christ and its resulting meaning to us; 2) He is our Substitute in that He substitutes Himself for us, and we appear no more; and 3) Creation and redemption are the same thing.

In addressing these themes, we admit that we can but only touch the surface. All eternity these themes will occupy our study. Links are provided at the end for some of the articles referenced. 

Job knew His Redeemer lived (Job 19:25-27) and it is of this living Redeemer that we write. He bares our griefs and sorrows, but not from a distance. (Isa. 53:4).

God inhabits eternity and all time is present with Him, therefore all His promises and blessings are in the present tense. His promise is, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of age” (Matt. 28:20), this is a constant present presence of our Redeemer.

1) The Humanity of Christ and its resulting meaning to us. 

“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14). Here it speaks of Christ taking the flesh and blood, not of Adam, but of the children - after the fall and after the exile from Eden. He took our sinful fallen nature, yet He was without sin. (Heb. 4:15). The reason for this was to destroy death and the works of the devil.

In 1894, A. T. Jones wrote this in the Present Truth: “The presence of Christ with his people is thus an assured fact. Nor is it only with them in an outward and separate sense, but with them in the inward and essential sense of oneness with them. He is with them by being in them. And so it is written, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 2 Cor. 6:16. . . . It is by the presence of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer that the real presence of Christ is manifested to those and in those that are his.  . . . The Lord’s own definition of the Gospel is that it is Christ in believers, the hope of glory. And here it is: “Be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel which ye have heard . . . Whereof I Paul am made a minister . . . to fulfil the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints; to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles which is Christ in you, the hope of glory whom we preach.” Col. 1:23-28. Christ in men, the hope of glory; God manifest in the flesh; this, and this alone, is the Gospel of Christ.” [1]

The Spirit of Prophecy says, “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.” [2] “Christ could have done nothing during His earthly ministry in saving fallen man if the divine had not been blended with the human. . . . And yet man is privileged to be a partaker of the divine nature, and in this way he can to some degree enter into the mystery.” [3]

In 1893, E. J. Waggoner wrote in the Present Truth: “It is by these "exceeding great and precious promises" that we are "made partakers of the Divine nature." The glories of the world to come will be but the revealing of that which we have now in the personal presence within us of the Lord Jesus Christ. The only hope of glory is Christ in us.” . . . “Christ came in the flesh eighteen hundred years ago, just for the purpose of demonstrating the possibility. That which He did once, He is able to do again. He who denies the possibility of His coming in the flesh of men now, thereby denies the possibility of His having ever come in the flesh.” [4] 

And then we have this profound statement from the White Estate which is in total harmony with the 1888 message and Ellen White: “The incarnation of Jesus Christ, the divine son of God, “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” is the great theme of the gospel. “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” [5]

Looking at how closely Christ relates to us in our sorrows and struggles, Ellen White writes the following in the Signs of the Times, 1905: “In its power [the power of the Bible and its principles], men and women have broken the chains of sinful habit. They have renounced selfishness. The profane have become reverent, the drunken sober, the profligate pure. Souls that have borne the likeness of Satan, have been transformed into the image of God. The change is itself the miracle of miracles. A change wrought by the Word, it is one of the deepest mysteries of the Word. We can not understand it; we can only believe, that, as declared by the Scriptures, it is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” [6] 

Again in an 1895 issue of The Present Truth, E. J. Waggoner writes of the practical results of Christ taking our humanity: The mystery of God made flesh is to be repeated in us. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1.27), is the mystery of the Gospel. Since Christ is in the Word, when it is received in faith, we have the Word made flesh, even our flesh, by yielding ourselves to do all the requirements of the Word. . . . He is “the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever” (Heb. 13.8). Therefore if He dwells in our heart by faith, He will render in us the same obedience to the law that he did of old. The righteousness of the law will be fulfilled in us.” [7] 

Waggoner asks the question, “What is the Gospel?” He answers by saying that “It is present power applied to the salvation of the one who has present faith. He then adds,  “The Gospel is the power of God to save men from sin. But it is present power, for sin is ever present. . . . Yesterday's faith will not answer for to-day, any more than the breathing of the man yesterday will keep him alive to-day.” [8] 

2) He is our Substitute in that He substitutes Himself for us, and we appear no more: 

The 1888 message teaching regarding substitution goes far beyond what is normally thought of as how a substitute works: “In the fullest sense of the word, and to a degree that is seldom thought of when the expression is used, He became man's substitute. That is, He permeates our being, identifying Himself so fully with us that everything that touches or affects us touches and affects Him. He is not our substitute in the sense that one man is a substitute for another, in the army, for instance, the substitute being in one place, while the one for whom he is substitute is somewhere else, engaged in some other service. No; Christ's substitution is far different. He is our substitute in that He substitutes Himself for us, and we appear no more. We drop out entirely, so that it is "not I, but Christ." Thus we cast our cares on Him, not by picking them up and with an effort throwing them on Him, but by humbling ourselves into the nothingness that we are, so that we leave the burden resting on Him alone.” [9]

3) Creation and Redemption are the same thing:

The very thing that we are redeemed from is that which caused the fall of angels and of men, the lawless spirit of weighing God's commands against human imaginations or desires. But it is worth notice that redemption is comprised in creation, so that the two are really the same thing. Further, since creation and redemption are identical, it becomes evident that no one can honour the redemption unless he keeps the Sabbath which commemorates the creation. It is the Sabbath which reveals the oneness of creation and redemption. [10] 

In his book, The Gospel in Creation, E. J. Waggoner addresses the question about creation and redemption: “There has been a great deal of idle speculation as to which is the greater, redemption or creation. Many have thought that redemption is a greater work than creation. Such speculation is idle, because only infinite power could perform either work, and infinite power cannot be measured by human minds. But while we cannot measure the power, we can easily settle the question of which is the greater, because the Scriptures give us the information. Neither is greater than the other, for both are the same. Redemption is creation. Redemption is the same power that was put forth in the beginning to create the world and all that is in it, now put forth to save men and the earth from the curse of sin.” [11] 

Some today, with the magicians and astrologers of old, still say: “It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” (Dan. 2:11). Sadly today, many so called theologians have progressed no further in their understanding than had the magicians and astrologers of old.

The apostle Paul gives Scriptural evidence supporting the Spirit of Prophecy and the 1888 messengers when he writes:“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” (2 Cor. 13:5). Another Bible example of one who did examine himself was Job.

Such is the Scripture doctrine of the presence of Christ with and in His people. It is the presence of Christ Himself in the believer by the creative power and overshadowing of the Spirit of God. This truth is real, yet it remains a mystery.

—Daniel Peters


[1] A. T. Jones, The Real Presence, The Present Truth, July 12, 1894.

[2] E. G. White, Selected Messages Vol. 3, p. 140.

[3] Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 332.

[4] E. J. Waggoner, A Present Salvation, The Present Truth, May 18, 1893, pp. 145-146.

[5] Written by the EGW Estate: CET (Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White), p. 246. They add to the above quoted section: “The acceptance or rejection of this vital truth is one of the divinely appointed tests of one who claims to have the gift of prophecy.”

[6] E. G. White, Signs of the Times, April 25, 1906, par. 5

[7] E. J. Waggoner, The Word Made Flesh, The Present Truth, Dec. 19, 1895.

[8] E. J. Waggoner, A Present Salvation, The Present Truth, May 18, 1893, pp. 145-146.

[9] The Glad Tidings (As originally printed in 1900.), Ch. 4, p. 169.

[10] E. J. Waggoner, The Present Truth, Aug 17, 1899, p. 528.

[11] E. J. Waggoner, The Gospel in Creation.