Home | Newsletters | Books | Tracts | Guest Book | Links | Contact Us | Donate | Search   


Present Truth Articles Online


2 Peter 1:12

Dear Readers,

October 2007

“Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philemon 1:3). I pray that each day you will find more grace and peace to sustain you through the trials of life. This can only come from God, through Christ.

Obituary Notice: Brother Hans Stump (son of Allen Stump, pastor of Smyrna Sabbath Chapel) passed away on September 18. His memorial service was held in West Virginia on September 30. Please pray for Hans’ family as they go through this time of sorrow. Hans was a very special young man who will be greatly missed.

Change of Address Notice: I am currently doing evangelistic work for Smyrna in the western states. Please notice the new address for Lynnford Beachy, located on page 12. Use this address for direct communication or for theological questions or correspondence. To request literature, including back issues of Present Truth, please write to Smyrna Gospel Ministries, Present Truth Department, HC 64 Box 128B, Welch, WV 24801, phone: 304-732-9204.

In this Issue

Christ in You

by Lynnford Beachy

Upcoming Meetings in Your Area

Waggoner on Romans (Part 19)

by Ellet J. Waggoner

The Light of the World

by Nevins

Fundamental Principles of Health

by Curtis Kline

A Full Surrender

by R. S. Hutton

Christ in You

by Lynnford Beachy

In the last few months we have seen the necessity of allowing Christ to live in us. This is just as vital to our salvation as His death on the cross.

Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” (John 6:53-56). Eating His flesh and drinking His blood is partaking of His life, allowing Him to dwell in us, and makes us part of His body, in this way we also dwell in Him. By allowing Christ to “dwell in your hearts by faith” (Ephesians 3:17), you can be “partakers of the divine nature.” (2 Peter 1:4). Without this experience, Jesus said, “ye have no life in you.” “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:12).

Paul exclaimed, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27). This is our only hope of salvation. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9). We must all be able to say, with Paul, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).

When Christ was here, He cried out to God, addressing Him as, “Abba, Father.” (Mark 14:36). This term expresses a close, personal relationship with His Father. This same relationship is given to us. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15). When we receive this Spirit, we also cry, “Abba, Father.” Paul explained, “Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:6). It is Christ in you crying “Abba, Father.” By giving us the Spirit of His Son, God is giving us that close, personal relationship with Himself that His Son has with Him. That is beautiful!

The best gift that God ever gave is the gift of His only begotten Son, whom He gave to die for our sins that we might live forever. (See John 3:16.) Not only did He give His Son to die for us, He gave Him to live within us. In His final discourse to His disciples, the night before His death, Jesus told His disciples about this wonderful gift.

The Comforter Promised

Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;” (John 14:15, 16). The purpose of the gift of the Comforter is that He may abide with the disciples forever. This was excellent news to the disciples, for they were sad to hear of Christ’s soon departure. Jesus continued His discourse, stating that He would send “the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17).

Jesus said that the world could not receive the Spirit of truth, because it did not see him nor know him. The world cannot receive the good gift of the Comforter because it does not recognize this gift. It does not see that this gift is available to them nor does it know the Person who is the Comforter.

Immediately following this explanation, Jesus said something startling. He told His disciples, “but ye know him.” How could the disciples know the promised “Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit,” (v. 26) [1] if Jesus had not yet prayed for the gift, and it evidently had not yet been given? John stated, “the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:39).

Jesus explained, “ye know him; for [or because] he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17). Who was dwelling with the disciples? Jesus Christ, of course! Jesus explained that soon this Person who was dwelling with them would be in them. It certainly would be better for the Comforter to dwell in the disciples rather than dwelling outside of them. That is exactly what Jesus said a short time later. In the same discourse, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth; It is expedient [profitable] for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7).

Jesus said that His disciples would be better off if He left them, went to His Father, and sent the Comforter to dwell in them. He also pointed out that the coming of the Comforter depended upon His departure, and glorification. As long as Christ was living on the earth as a man, it was not possible for this promised Comforter to come to live in the disciples.

As we continue reading in John 14 we find that Jesus did not end His conversation in verse 17. In the next verse He said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:18). This sheds a great deal of light on the subject. It explains why the Comforter could not come until after Christ went away and was glorified, for Christ said that He, Himself, would come back to His disciples to comfort them.

Let’s continue reading Christ’s discourse to see if He reinforced this point. He said, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” (John 14:19, 20). A few moments earlier Jesus had said to His disciples that the Comforter “shall be in you.” Now, Jesus says that when the Comforter comes, “Ye shall know that I am in you.” Jesus assured His disciples that He would not send someone else to comfort them, but that He would come Himself to be their Comforter. Isn’t that beautiful! The disciples had become close friends of Christ, so close that John felt comfortable leaning on His bosom. It was a comfort to them when Christ was near. Now Jesus tells them some wonderful news. He tells them that after He goes to His Father, He would come back to them as the Comforter, and they would know that it was He who was dwelling in them—they would recognize that the same Person who was dwelling with them was now in them, by His Spirit.

Next, Jesus said something that caused one of His disciples to inquire of Him how this could take place. Jesus said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:21-23).

To remove any possibility of being misunderstood, Jesus made it abundantly clear that after He left the world, He would come back to make His abode in the hearts of His disciples. Not only would He return, but His Father would come with Him, so that both of them would live in the hearts of His children, not physically, but by God’s Spirit. In this way, the disciples could have intimate communion and fellowship with both the Father and His Son. John emphasized this when he wrote, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3).

John expressed this lovely truth of both God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, living in us in several other verses. He wrote, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 1:9). In 1 John 2:22, 23 he wrote, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” It is truly a blessing to have personal fellowship with both the Father and His Son, and I am very thankful that God has made this available to us.

Waiting for the Promise

As Jesus was about to ascend to heaven, He commanded His disciples “that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.” (Acts 1:4). Jesus pointed His disciples forward to the day when the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon them with great power. He continued, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).

The disciples waited in the upper room at Jerusalem for the Spirit to be poured out, as promised. Then it came, and they preached the gospel of Jesus Christ with power to the many Jews who were assembled at Jerusalem. Concerning the outpouring of the Spirit, Peter said, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” (Acts 2:32, 33).

The gift that was poured out at Pentecost is still available to us today, and we can have it if we recognize and accept it. Yet, the gift of the Holy Spirit was not always available in the same way. In fact, the Bible tells us that God has provided something better for us than He did for all those who lived before Christ came to this earth. We read about this in Hebrews chapter 11. After giving an account of the mighty faith of the patriarchs and prophets, the chapter ends by saying, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39, 40). That is wonderful! God has provided something better for us than He provided for all those mighty men and women of faith in Hebrews. They all died without receiving the promise of the Comforter that Jesus spoke about in John 14 and in Acts 1.

Please do not get me wrong—the Holy Spirit was working upon the hearts of people long before the day of Pentecost, helping them to overcome sin. The Patriarch David wrote, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.” (Psalms 51:11). This shows that the Holy Spirit was at work before Christ came to earth. Not only that, but to be more specific, the Bible says that the Spirit of Christ worked in Old Testament times. Peter wrote about the prophets, “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1 Peter 1:10, 11). The Spirit of Christ was living in the prophets, long before the day of Pentecost, but, according to Scripture, there was something special about the coming of the Comforter at Pentecost; something different and better than had ever been poured out before. Let us read about this better gift.

Something Better

In Hebrews 2:18 we find the key that explains what was better about the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It says: “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour [help] them that are tempted.” Here is the answer! This is something better that is available to us, today, that could not have been available to the prophets of old. Even though the Spirit of Christ lived in the prophets, Christ had not yet been tempted, and therefore He could not help them in the same way that He can help us now. The word “succour” in this verse was translated from the Greek word bohqew, which means, “to aid, to relieve, to help,” and, as Thayer’s Greek Lexicon puts it, it also means, “to run to the cry of those in danger.” I like that definition! The verse is telling us that because Christ has suffered being tempted, He is able to come to us swiftly to help us, when we cry unto Him for help with our temptations. The Bible says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” (Psalms 50:15). When we are being tempted, we are in serious trouble, and if we call upon the Lord for help, He will come to our aid immediately and give us the victory we so desperately need. Christ is able to do this for us in a way that He could not do it for the prophets of old because today He has already experienced what it is like to be tempted. This is why Jesus called the Comforter, “another Comforter.” The Greek word alloV, which was translated “another” in this verse, was used in the Greek version of the Old Testament in 1 Samuel 10:6. Here it says of Saul, “And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.” (1 Samuel 10:6). Saul became another man because of the experience he went through. Jesus became another Comforter because now He has experienced what it is like to be tempted.

Think about something for a minute. Suppose your teenage son died in a plane crash, and the next week your spouse died in a car accident. Now suppose that I come up to you and say, “I know exactly what you are going through,” even though I had never been through that experience. Would I be able to comfort you with these words? Certainly not! If I have never been through what you are going through, it is very hard for me to understand what you are going through or how to help you through it.

The Bible says that Jesus Christ “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus Christ experienced what we are going through when we are tempted and, because of this, He is able to help us when we are tempted in a greater way than He could before He came to earth. Praise the Lord that our Comforter knows what we are going through in our struggles with temptation. We are given a precious promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13. It says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” The way of escape that God has ordained for us is to call upon the Lord for help. Whenever we are tempted, if we call upon Him, He will help us. And God has promised that He has made this way of escape for every temptation. That old saying, “the Devil made me do it,” is absolutely false. The Devil cannot make you do anything. He can use strong enticements, but he can never force you to sin. There is always a way of escape, and our Comforter is eager to give us the victory. “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Jesus said that when the Comforter is come, “he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John 16:8). This is exactly what the Bible says Jesus would do when He comes back to us as our Comforter. In the book of Acts we read, “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3:26). After God raised His Son from the dead, He sent His Spirit into our hearts, to bless us in turning us away from our sins. Jesus Christ is the best Person qualified to do this job, because He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15). Praise the Lord that we have a Comforter who knows what we are going through in our struggles with temptation, and can help us through it better than anyone else. This is our blessed hope of glory.

This is the gift that God is eager to give to all those who ask. (Luke 11:13). This is the gift that “the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.” (John 14:17). The world does not recognize that this gift exists; they do not know who their Comforter is; and, therefore, they cannot receive Him. Friends, God does not want you to be like the rest of the world. He wants you to know who your Comforter is so you can receive the full benefits of this blessed gift. Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:18). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our Comforter. In fact, John told us exactly that in 1 John 2:1. Notice what he wrote: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate [paraklhtoV: Comforter] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” The other four times paraklhtoV was used in the Bible it was translated, Comforter.

What is a Spirit

We have learned that God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts to comfort us, but what is a spirit? Some people think that a spirit is a ghost, some bodyless phantom that floats around. Is this what God sends to the world to comfort us? Certainly not! According to The American Heritage Dictionary, ghost means: “The spirit of a dead person, especially one believed to appear in bodily likeness to living persons or to haunt former habitats.” The Holy Spirit is not a ghost as described above. Let us read the Bible and see what it has to say about a spirit.

In the book of Job it says, “There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” (Job 32:8). Daniel explained, “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body.” (Daniel 7:15). A spirit is the part of a person that can be grieved. In Mark’s gospel we read, “And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?” (Mark 2:8). A spirit is the part of a person that can perceive or understand things. The king of Babylon had a dream, and he told his wise men, “I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.” (Daniel 2:3). A spirit is the part of a person that can be troubled. These few Bible texts confirm the definition of “spirit” found in The American Heritage Dictionary, which says, “The part of a human being associated with the mind, will, and feelings.”

Man has a spirit, but does God have a Spirit? Notice how Paul compared the spirit of man with the Spirit of God: “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:11). Here the spirit of man is likened to the Spirit of God. Just as man has a spirit, so God has a Spirit, and His Spirit, just as man’s spirit, is the part of Him “associated with the mind, will, and feelings.” The Holy Spirit is “the holy Spirit of God.” (Ephesians 4:30). Just as the spirit of man, God’s Spirit can be grieved or vexed. God’s Spirit belongs to God, just as my spirit belongs to me.

Suppose a friend and I came to you, and I told you, “I would like to introduce you to my spirit. He is my friend who is standing beside me.” What would you think? You would immediately recognize that I have a twisted concept of what my spirit is. It is not some other person, separate and distinct from me. My spirit is really me; it is who I am. If I say, “My mother is very pleasant to be around; she has an excellent spirit,” you would not suppose that I am talking about two persons. I would only be talking about one person, my mother, who has a pleasant personality and character.

I would like you to notice something about how the term “Holy Spirit” is used in the Bible. Luke records a conversation that Jesus had with His disciples. Jesus said, “When they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” (Luke 12:11, 12). Matthew records this same conversation, but notice the different words he uses to describe the Holy Spirit: “When they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” (Matthew 10:19, 20).

Here we see that the Holy Spirit is called, “the Spirit of your Father.” This is very appropriate, because later Jesus said, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” (John 15:26). Here Jesus explained that “the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit” (John 14:26), proceeds from the Father. In other words, the Father is the source of the Holy Spirit, because it is His Spirit. Please do not get confused here. We saw earlier that Jesus Christ is our Comforter. Notice, in the verse we just read, Jesus said that He would send the Comforter, which comes from the Father. This is just what Peter said on the day of Pentecost, when he explained that Jesus, “being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” (Acts 2:33). The Comforter comes from the Father, through the Son, to us. Paul explained it this way, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” (Titus 3:5, 6).

So we see that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father, which He sends to us through Jesus Christ, and when we receive the Spirit, we are receiving both the Spirit of the Father, and the Spirit of His Son. Two Persons come to live in us, and we have fellowship with both the Father and His Son.

Two Divine Persons

Some people get confused regarding the Holy Spirit, as if it was a third individual, separate and distinct from God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. I would like you to notice some facts from the Bible.

There are twenty-seven books in the New Testament. Fifteen of them begin with a greeting similar to this: “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:3). Out of all of these greetings, not one of them mentions the Holy Spirit as a separate individual. [2]

When Jesus’ authority and truthfulness were challenged by the Jews, Jesus mentioned two individuals that bear witness of Him: Himself, and His Father. He said, “If I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.” (John 8:16-18). If Jesus knew of a third divine being who could bear witness in His behalf, He would have mentioned him here, but He didn’t.

When Jesus spoke of the Jews who hated Him, He said, “He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.” (John 15:23, 24). Jesus spoke repeatedly about Him and His Father, with no mention of another individual.

When Paul charged Timothy to observe the things that he had been taught, he called heaven to witness this solemn charge. He wrote, “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.” (1 Timothy 5:21). If Paul knew of a third divine individual, he would have mentioned him here, but he did not. Instead, Paul even mentioned the angels instead of him. Obviously, Paul did not believe that a third divine person existed.

When John speaks of fellowship with divine persons, he only mentions two: “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3). John also wrote, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 1:9).

Think about something for a moment. There are many places in the Bible where the Son speaks to the Father. There are also many places where the Father speaks to His Son. But, there is never any record that the Father spoke to a third person called, “the Holy Spirit.” Neither is there any record of the Son speaking to the Holy Spirit. Nor is there any record of the Holy Spirit speaking to either the Father or the Son.

Also, please consider something. We know that God loves us very much because He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins. We know that Jesus Christ loves us very much because He came down to earth to die for us. But, if the Holy Spirit is a third individual, we have no way of knowing that he loves us because he neither gave his son nor gave himself. In fact, he gave nothing for us, so his love is unrecognizable. Nor are there any verses in the Bible that speak of the love that the Holy Spirit has for us. When Jesus spoke of God’s love, He always directed people to the love of the Father. Jesus told His disciples, “For the Father himself loveth you.” (John 16:27). Yet, Jesus never explained that the Holy Spirit loves us, as if the Holy Spirit was a third distinct individual from the Father and the Son.

Jesus said, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3). If the Holy Spirit is a third being or person, separate from God and Christ, then your eternal life does not depend upon knowing him. Life eternal is only dependent upon you knowing God, the Father, and His only begotten Son.


The gift of God’s Spirit is one of the most precious gifts God has ever given to us. To receive the benefits of this gift as God intended, we must recognize it for what it is. The gift of God’s Spirit is the impartation of His life in us, the means by which He and His Son can personally live in our hearts. The great blessing of the Pentecost experience is the reception of God’s Spirit coming to us with the added benefit of the Spirit of God’s victorious Son coming into our hearts to help us in our struggle against sin and temptation. Satan would like you to think that Jesus Christ is not in us but that He sent someone else to take His place. Friends, that is an invention of Satan specifically designed to take away your hope of glory. Paul wrote, “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.” (Colossians 1:27). Christ is omnipresent. He said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20).

Don’t let anyone take away this hope, this precious gift of Christ in you. If a gift is not recognized, it will not be utilized. Take full advantage of the ministry of Christ in your behalf; let Him come into your heart and do a work that only He can do. Ask Christ into your heart, and He will come in and bring His Father with Him. Jesus says to you now, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20). Let Him come in, and you will be glad you did. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I asked Him into my heart. Even though I was a very wicked sinner involved in many wicked things, when I opened the door of my heart to Him, He gladly came in.

Friends, no matter how wicked you may be, Jesus has promised that He will accept you if you come to Him. He said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37). Come to Him now, accept Him as your Saviour, and accept the gift of His Spirit into your life to help you when you are tempted. You will never, never be sorry you made this decision.

[1] Every time in the Bible where you find the term, “Holy Ghost,” it should have been translated “Holy Spirit.” Sometimes the translators of the Bible chose to translate pneuma agion into “Holy Ghost,” and other times they translated the same phrase as “Holy Spirit.” Holy Spirit is the most accurate translation, and I will use it throughout this article.  Back to Article

[2] Revelation 1:4 mentions “the seven Spirits which are before [the Father’s] throne,” but this does not refer to a separate individual called, “the Spirit.” If so, it would refer to seven individuals. In Revelation 3:1 Jesus is said to have “the seven Spirits of God,” showing that the seven Spirits belong to God. Seven is a perfect number, indicating completeness. The seven Spirits of God represent the complete manifestation of God’s Spirit, rather than a separate individual from God, the Father.  Back to Article

Waggoner on Romans — The Gospel in Paul’s Great Letter(Part 19)    by Ellet J. Waggoner

(We are continuing a series of articles commenting on Paul’s epistle to the Romans. We pray that they will be a blessing to you.    Editor)

“Accepted in the Beloved”—Romans 9:19-33

Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Replying Against God—This is a very common thing, and its commonness has caused most people to lose sight of its wickedness.

The man who begins indignantly to ask, “Why does God do so and so?” or to say, “I can’t see the justice in such a course,” as though he were especially and personally affronted, makes it impossible for himself to understand even that which a mortal may comprehend of God. It is very foolish and wicked to blame him because we are not equal to him in wisdom. The only way to come to the knowledge of the little that may be understood of God is to settle it once for all that he is just and merciful, and that everything he does is for the good of his creatures. Reverence, and not clamorous questioning, becomes a creature in the presence of the infinite God. “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).

The Potter and His Vessels—The one who thinks himself competent to criticize the Lord thinks that he has a sure case against him in verses 21-24 of this chapter. “Surely,” says he, “this text teaches us that God has made some men to be saved, and others to be destroyed.”

Most certainly we find nothing of the kind! There is a vast difference between what the text actually says, and what men imagine that it says. The potter has power over the clay, and so the Creator has power over his creatures, of natural and unquestionable right. Consider the figure: the potter has power over the clay to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor. Very true; but who in the world ever heard of a potter who busied himself making vessels for the sole purpose of destroying them? He makes vessels of different kinds for various purposes, but they are all intended for use, and not for destruction. So God never made anyone for the purpose of destroying him.

God’s Long-suffering—The fact that God does not plan the destruction of any one is shown in that he hesitates long before allowing any to suffer the destruction which their own evil deeds have justly earned. He “endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” They fitted themselves for destruction after their hardness, by treasuring up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath. (Romans 2:5). Note that God endured with much long-suffering these “vessels of wrath.” Now we are to “account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation.” (2 Peter 3:15). He “is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (Vs. 9). The fact, therefore, that God endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath, even after they were fitted to destruction, shows that he longed for their salvation, and would give them every possible chance for it.

“Whom He Hath Called”—God’s long-suffering is also for the purpose of making known the riches of his glory “on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.” And who are these? “Even us, whom he hath called.” And who are they who are called? Are they of some particular nation? “Not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.” The entire chapter is a vindication of God’s choice of men even before their birth, as illustrated in the case of Jacob; and this verse shows that the choosing of Jacob did not mean that God had special privileges for the Jewish nation, but that he bestows his favors impartially on Jews and Gentiles alike, if they will accept them.

God’s People—This is still further shown by verses 25, 26: “As he saith also in Osee [Hosea 1:9, 10], I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” God visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. The apostle Peter described this visit in these words: “God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” And further, “We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” (Acts 15:7-11).

And so “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” (Romans 10:12).

The Remnant—“Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.” Therefore “at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” (Romans 11:5). No matter how many there may be who can trace their genealogy to Jacob according to the flesh, it is only they who are willing subjects of the grace of God who will be saved. There is positively no chance for boasting save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gentiles Ahead—The Jews professed to keep the law, but did not; the Gentiles were not associated with the law, yet they met its requirements. Now, if the reader will recall Romans 2:25-29, he will see that real circumcision consists (and always did consist) in keeping the law. Therefore since the Gentiles by their faith kept the law, and the Jews through their lack of faith did not keep it, it appears that they had changed places; the Gentiles were really “Jews,” and the Jews by nature were the same as the heathen.

Missing the Mark—The Jews followed after the law of righteousness, but did not attain to it. Why not? “Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.” How forcefully this sets forth that of which the entire Epistle is a demonstration, namely, that faith does not clear one from its transgression, but that by faith alone can the law be kept!

The Jews are not blamed for following after the law of righteousness, but for not following after it in the right way. It is not by works, but by faith, that the works which the law requires can be attained. That is to say that bad works can not produce good works; good can not come of evil. There is no discount upon good works. They are the most necessary things in the world. They are the result of the keeping of the law by faith. But there can not by any possibility be good works without faith; for “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23).

The Stumbling-Stone—Do not fail to connect the last part of this chapter with the first part. Remember that the beginning presents Israel according to the flesh as accursed from Christ. To them pertained, among other things, the giving of the law, but they came miserably short of it. Why? “For they stumbled at that stumbling-stone.” What stumbling-stone? Christ. They were in the very same condition that so many people are to-day, they would not believe that the promises of God to Israel were wholly and solely in Christ. They thought, as many professed Christians now do, that God honored them for their own sake, without any regard to Christ. Christ is the stumbling-stone over which all stumble who regard the promises to Israel as made to a certain earthly nation, to the exclusion of all others.

A Sure Foundation—Strange to say, that very stumbling-stone is a stepping-stone, and a sure foundation. That over which some fall, is the means of lifting up and building up others. “The ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the transgressors shall fall therein.” (Hosea 14:9). Christ is a rock of offense to those who disbelieve, but a sure foundation to those who have faith. He is “the Holy One of Israel,” “the King of Israel,” “the Shepherd of Israel,” and at the same time the fold, and the door into the fold. Without him there could be no such thing as a nation of Israel.

Those who think to claim an inheritance in Israel because of their birth and without respect to Christ, will be ashamed at the last because whosoever comes not in at the door, the same will be proved to be “a thief and a robber.” But “whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame,” because his faith will show him to be Abraham’s seed, and thus an heir of God according to the promise.

(To be continued)

(This article was taken from a series of articles printed in The Signs of the Times from October 1895 through September 1896. Some editing has been done for this publication.    Editor)

Fundamental Principles of Health

by Curtis Kline

Clean Blood

“The life of the flesh is in the blood…” (Leviticus 17:11). This month I would like to touch on the importance of good clean blood. I have had the blessing of looking at the blood of many individuals under a microscope. It never ceases to amaze me how much you can tell about a person’s health just by looking at the blood. Most of us have heard the expression “What you see on the outside is a reflection of what is going on inside.” Let me suggest that from a health and wellness standpoint, “What is going on in the blood of a person is usually a good indicator of the condition of his health.”

Having said this, let me just say that sometimes people might have bad looking blood and feel relatively well or visa-versa for that matter. However, let us also remember that our overall state of health isn’t always reflected by how we feel at any given moment. Let me give you a couple examples. Let’s say you have a young person with a bad diet and bad blood but he feels quite well most of the time. This could be attributed to genetics or to the fact that he is young and God has, in his mercy, made our bodies extremely resilient and adaptive. You may also have someone who is cleansing and cleaning up their act, who feels quite terrible. Sometimes when we start cleaning house, some old dust and dirt gets stirred up.

Having made these points, however, we have to ultimately remember that we are all constantly moving towards a state of health or towards a state of death and decay. If we are following God’s eight laws of health (Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Temperance, Air, Rest, Trust in God) and our blood is clean and pure, then we are more prone to be moving towards good health. If we are violating these laws and our blood is impure and filthy, then we are simply an accident waiting to happen. Just like bad oil in your car leads to problems, unclean blood leads to health problems.

You may ask, “What do you mean by unclean blood?” Well, some of the symptoms of unclean blood are: red blood cells sticking together due to acidity, lack of movement in the macrophage (white blood cells), parasites, fungi and viruses, anemia, or low oxygen in the blood cells. These are just a few of the signs of bad blood. Good, clean blood, on the other hand, will be just the opposite: cells not sticking together, good movement of the white blood cells, cleaning up all the viruses and parasites and fungi, good oxygenation. These are some of the things we are looking for in the blood.

In closing, what are some of the things that will keep the blood clean? Following the eight laws of health (mentioned in past articles) and eating a plant-based diet is a good start. The enemies of good blood include: alcohol and other fermented products (this includes fermentation caused in the stomach by bad digestion), cigarettes, meat, dairy products, white sugar, and processed foods are a few, to start with. So let’s remember to keep the blood clean and stay on the road to better health.

If you wish to see your own blood, you might try to find a licensed live-blood cell analyst in your area.

(The above article was provided by Curtis Kline, Director of Bible Health Solutions. For more in-depth information he can be contacted at (661) 392-8153 or curkli@yahoo.com. The above information is for informational purposes only and are the opinions and religious belief’s of the author. They are not intended to treat diagnose or cure any disease.    Editor)

Upcoming Meetings in Your Area

Here is the currently-planned 2007 itinerary for Lynnford Beachy:

Sep. 28-Oct. 1    Rainier, Oregon Camp Meeting, contact Kristen Dreyer, 503-556-4190.

Oct. 6    Riverton, Wyoming, contact Andy Whitehurst, (307) 851-3630.

Oct. 8-13    Evangelistic Series in Riverton, Wyoming, contact Andy Whitehurst, (307) 851-3630.

Between these meetings, we will be available to visit people in their homes and to have additional meetings. If you would like to host meetings in your area, please contact Lynnford Beachy at (304) 633-5411.

Many of these meetings will be broadcast live by telephone conference. Often we will be broadcasting at seven o’clock Friday evening, eleven o’clock Sabbath morning, and Sabbath afternoon and evening at three and seven o’clock. (These are local times for wherever I am scheduled to speak. Some meetings will not be broadcast depending upon unavoidable circumstances.) To listen to these sermons in the US call: 605-475-8590. You will be prompted to dial the room number: 5225823. In Austria call: 0820 4000 1574, Belgium: 070 35 9989, Spain: 0902 886 051, Switzerland: 0848 560 195, Ireland: 0818 270 034, Italy: 0848 390 175, France: 0826 100 277, Germany: 01805 00 7649, Australia: 61 283 078 824, UK: 0870 738 0763, Netherlands: 0870 001 932. These sermons will also be broadcast over the Internet via Skype.com. You can dial directly using Skype at: +990008275225823. (When you use Skype, it is a free call from anywhere in the world.)

The Light of the World

by Nevins

How are we to know whether, being nominally Christians, we are also really Christians? It is important to know if we possess the thing signified by Christianity. The mere name and fame of the thing will be of little use to us.

Now the Bible tells us what Christians are. If then, we are what the book says Christians are, we are Christians. Everybody admits this—that a scriptural Christian is without doubt a real one. But some seem to hesitate about admitting the converse of the proposition, that if we are not what the Bible says Christians are, we are not Christians. The reason they hesitate can only be that they perceive or fear the latter conclusion makes against themselves: for the one is as clearly and certainly true as the other. What use could there be in statements declaring what Christians are, if individuals may be Christians without being what Christians are thus declared to be? Indeed, what truth would there be in such statements? That is no characteristic of a class, which does not belong to all the individuals of the class. The declaration, “If any man be in Christ Jesus he is a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17), is neither useful nor true, if some are in Christ who are not new creatures. The same may be said of the assertion, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1), if a solitary individual is pardoned and freed from condemnation who still walks after the flesh. There is neither sense nor sincerity in it; nor in this other passage, “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24), if some are Christ’s who have never put the flesh and its lusts to that kind of death.

It must be admitted that if we are not what the Bible says Christians are, we are not Christians in fact. We may as well admit it first as last. Christ says we are to be judged by his word; not by any favorite author of ours, Blair or Paley, or whoever he may be; not by any sermon we may have heard from this or that minister; not by the standard that may have been set up in some conversation with an eminent divine; not by the opinion entertained in the circle in which we move; nor by what seems to stand to our reason. There will be no spreading out of these, when the Judge shall sit. The Bible will be the only book of law and authority opened then.

I know very well there is nothing new in what I am saying. Anybody can say it, and say it as well. Everybody knows it already. But it is one of the old things that we need to be often reminded of. I know nothing we are more prone to forget than these common-place truths. It is what we know best, and most firmly believe, that we fail most to consider and lay to heart. The most familiar truths have always been the truths by men most disregarded.

But let us hear what the Bible says Christians are, for I did not intend so long an introduction. Well, the Bible says, among other things, that they are the light of the world. The blessed Jesus himself is the speaker, and he is addressing his disciples, and he says to them, “YE ARE the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14). Observe, he does not say, “Ye may be, if you are careful to live up to your privileges;” or “Ye ought to be—it is your duty;” or “Ye shall be—by and by, when you have made greater progress in religion:” but he speaks of it as a present matter of fact, “Ye are the light of the world.” So it seems that Christians shine. We talk of a shining Christian, meaning to distinguish such a one from Christians in general. But there is no Christian who is not a shining one. Every Christian emits light. Paul testifies of the Christians at Philippi that they shone as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:15). They were what Christ said his disciples were. And must not Christians of our cities and villages be the same?

It also appears that Christians are not merely receivers. They give out—they communicate. That is their character. They do not live merely or mainly for themselves. A candle is not lighted for its own convenience, but for the benefit of others, that it may give light unto all that are in the house. Some people think it is enough if they personally enjoy religion. But that is not the case. No man liveth to himself—much more does no Christian.

There are two objects for which Christians shine. One is to discover themselves, that the world may know what Christians are, and so be led to emulate the character. This our Saviour contemplates when he says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). We are to emit light for others to see by; and it is that they may see our good works. All Christians perform good works. They are all of them doers. They are the most practical men in the world, though regarded by many as visionaries. There are, to be sure, speculators and theorists enough in the church, but real Christians are working men. But what is the use in our good works being seen? Why is it not enough that they be done. Does not humility dictate that they should be concealed, rather than exposed? The thing is impracticable. “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” (Matthew 5:14). Were the thing possible the attempt at concealment might be proper enough, if there were no other to be influenced by the sight of our good works. Whether a candle in an uninhabited house be on a candlestick or under a bushel, is a matter of little consequence; but not so if there be people in the house. The Christian’s good works are to be visible; not that he may be applauded for them, but that men may thence be led to glorify God. Now, a question. Do we shine? And by the light which we evolve, do observers see our good works? Have we any good works for them to see? And are they such good works as, they seeing, will instinctively refer to the grace of God as their cause, and so be led to glorify him? We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that we should shew forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9).

I would not have any one suppose that a Christian is to make an effort to let his good works be seen—to be ostentatious of them. No, he is only to let his light shine. He is active in doing good works, but quite passive in shewing them. A luminous body makes no effort in emitting light. Indeed it cannot help shining. A Christian has only in all his intercourse with men to act out the Christian spirit, and be governed by the fear of God, and the principles of his holy religion, and the thing is done. The light is emitted, and the good works are seen. And this is the way, under God, to commend truth to the conscience, to reach the hearts of men, and make converts to God. Yes, this is the way. “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:12). Another question. Is this what we are doing—shining so that men, knowing we profess the religion of Jesus, see, in looking at us, how pure, lovely, excellent, and divine a religion it is, and are led to say, “Verily, it must be from God, and we must embrace it too—we will be Christians.”

The other object for which Christians shine is to enlighten others. But on this I cannot now enlarge. Only this I would observe. See how far Christians shine! They do not merely illumine some little sphere. They are the light of the world. Their influence reaches to the ends of the earth.

Would we make good our Saviour’s assertion with respect to ourselves—would we be the light of the world, let us first take heed that the light which is in us be not darkness: and let us next have a care that our light make discovery to others of good works. Let us do them. Then, as for those who see us, it is their fault, not ours, if they are not converted. And as for those who are too far off to see us, it only remains that we carry them the light, or send it to them.

(This article was taken from the November 24, 1863 edition of The Review and Herald.)    Editor)

A Full Surrender

by R. S. Hutton

“My son, give me thy heart.” (Proverbs 23:26). Make a full surrender; keep back nothing; give yourself up wholly to the Lord. He will not be satisfied with anything short of your entire being. All that you are and all that you have are his; and if you do as he requires, you will devote yourself heartily to him.

A full surrender is the only safe course. There can be no security without it. An unwillingness to abandon all for Christ, betrays a lingering love of self and the world. With half-heartedness God can not be pleased. Satan would persuade you that it is enough. He has not been able to prevent your being anxious. In spite of all his endeavors to keep you asleep, you have waked to a sense of your guilt and danger; you have become alive to the vast importance of the soul and eternity. But he would urge you to a partial sacrifice. He would persuade you that you may enjoy the world as you did before, and be religious too. He would convince you that there is no necessity of taking any decided step, and being different from what you were. But all this is hollow sophistry. Be on your guard against his devices; heed not his suggestions. See how God would have you act. Halting between two opinions is emphatically condemned. Against those who are neither cold nor hot terrible judgment is threatened. And Jesus Christ says, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” (Matthew 12:30).

A full surrender is the only happy course. Would you have solid peace? Would you know what true spiritual joy is? Would you possess assurance of the divine favor, and a good, firm hope of eternal life? There must be decision. An attempted neutrality is a foe to all happiness. Never can you enjoy religion without an entire and thorough giving up of yourself to God. In an undecided life there is much to dim the spiritual vision, and to disturb the spiritual peace. A single evil desire indulged is sufficient to rob you of happiness.

A full surrender is the only course conducive to holiness. Do you long to walk with God? Do you long to grow in grace? Do you long to be such as you ought to be? Then give yourself up wholly to Christ. Open your whole heart to the influx of heaven’s affections. Seek to live wholly under the presiding authority of heaven’s principles. Let it be your honest endeavor to breathe wholly the spirit of heaven’s Lord. Then you cannot fail to advance; you will go from strength to strength; you will appear at length before God in Zion.

A full surrender is needed to commend the religion of Christ to the world. Alas, for the numbers of professing disciples, who are neither one thing nor another! They are cautious, selfish, worldly. They don’t commit themselves. They hope they do no harm, but they certainly do no good. They are afraid to confess Christ, and they are afraid to deny him. They are idle, useless, undecided. How is the world to be impressed by such men as these? They put forth no effort for the good of their fellow-men. but make a full surrender to Christ, and yours will be no such life. You will be one with him; you will gather with him. Something within you will prompt and stir to holy toils for Christ, and men will see in you the beauty of holiness. As living epistles of Christ, you will be seen and read of all men.

Do you hesitate to make a full surrender? Think well, indeed, on what you are about to do. Count the cost. Consider the nature and character and conditions of the service of Christ. Do this, and then deliberately and solemnly decide. Let this be your language on your knees at the Throne of Grace:

Lord! thou hast won; at length I yield;
My heart, by mighty grace compelled,
Surrenders all to thee:
Against thy terrors long I strove,
But who can stand against thy love?
Love conquers even me.

Now, Lord, I would be thine alone;
Come, take possession of thine own,
For thou hast set me free;
Released from Satan’s hard command,
See, all my powers in waiting stand,
To be employed by thee.

(This article was taken from the November 24, 1863 edition of The Review and Herald.    Editor)


To view or print this issue of Present Truth in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) click here.

Present Truth is published monthly by Present Truth Ministries. It is sent free upon request. Duplication of these papers is not only permitted but strongly encouraged, as long as our contact information is retained. Present Truth is available online at www.presenttruth.info.

Editor: Lynnford Beachy, PO Box 315, Kansas, OK 74347, USA. Phone: (304) 633-5411, E-mail: webnewsletters@presenttruth.info.

Top of page               Home



Home    E-mail    Contact Us