Post Info TOPIC: Christmas
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Nearly two thousand years ago, a voice of mysterious import was heard in heaven, from the throne of God, "Lo, I come." "Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me ... Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God." Hebrews 10:5-7. In these words is announced the fulfillment of the purpose that had been hidden from eternal ages. Christ was about to visit our world, and to become incarnate. He says, "A body hast Thou prepared Me." Had He appeared with the glory that was His with the Father before the world was, we could not have endured the light of His presence. That we might behold it and not be destroyed, the manifestation of His glory was shrouded. His divinity was veiled with humanity, -- the invisible glory in the visible human form.  {DA 23.1} 

This great purpose had been shadowed forth in types and symbols. The burning bush, in which Christ appeared to Moses, revealed God. The symbol chosen for the representation of the Deity was a lowly shrub, that seemingly had no attractions. This enshrined the Infinite. The all-merciful God shrouded His glory in a most humble type, that Moses could look upon it and live. So in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, God communicated with Israel, revealing to men His will, and imparting to them His grace. God's glory was subdued, and His majesty veiled, that the weak vision of finite men might behold it. So Christ was to come in "the body of our humiliation" (Philippians 3:21, R. V.), "in the likeness of men." In the eyes of the world He possessed no beauty that they should desire Him; yet He was the incarnate God, the light of heaven and earth. His glory was veiled, His greatness and majesty were hidden, that He might draw near to sorrowful, tempted men.  {DA 23.2}



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Christ might have continued to abide in the heavenly courts, clothed in garments whiter than the whitest white, and sitting as a prince at God's right hand. He was not compelled to step down from the throne, to lay aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and come to this earth to receive hatred, abuse, rejection, scourging, and a crown of thorns. The humiliation that He endured, He endured voluntarily, to save a world from eternal ruin.  {12MR 397.2} 



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The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Romans 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.  {DA 48.5} 

Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.  {DA 49.1} 

The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. "Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!  {DA 49.2} 



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Amen something deep to contemplate. 



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The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us. It is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God. This is to be our study. Christ was a real man; He gave proof of His humility in becoming a man. Yet He was God in the flesh. When we approach this subject, we would do well to heed the words spoken by Christ to Moses at the burning bush, "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5). We should come to this study with the humility of a learner, with a contrite heart. And the study of the incarnation of Christ is a fruitful field, which will repay the searcher who digs deep for hidden truth.  {1SM 244.1}



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Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw, the base resting on the earth, and the topmost round reaching to the gate of heaven, to the very threshold of glory. If that ladder had failed by a single step of reaching the earth, we should have been lost. But Christ reaches us where we are. He took our nature and overcame, that we through taking His nature might overcome. Made "in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8:3), He lived a sinless life. Now by His divinity He lays hold upon the throne of heaven, while by His humanity He reaches us. He bids us by faith in Him attain to the glory of the character of God. Therefore are we to be perfect, even as our "Father which is in heaven is perfect."  {DA 311.5} 



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Man's need for a divine teacher was known in heaven. The pity and sympathy of God were aroused in behalf of human beings, fallen and bound to Satan's chariot car; and when the fullness of time was come, He sent forth His Son. The One appointed in the councils of heaven came to this earth as man's instructor. The rich benevolence of God gave Him to our world, and to meet the necessities of human nature He took humanity upon Himself. To the astonishment of the heavenly host the eternal Word came to this world as a helpless babe. Fully prepared, He left the royal courts and mysteriously allied Himself with fallen human beings. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." John 1:14.  {CT 259.2} 



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T. v 8 p. 27

 

God finally sent His Son to reveal to men the character of the Unseen. Christ came and lived on this earth a life of obedience to Gods law. He gave His precious life to save the world and made His servants His stewards. With the gift of Christ all the treasures of heaven were given to man. The church was freighted with the food of heaven for starving souls. This was the treasure that the people of God were commissioned to carry to the world. They were faithfully to perform their duty, continuing their work until the message of mercy had encircled the world.

 

 



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When we want a deep problem to study, let us fix our minds on the most marvelous thing that ever took place in earth or heaven -- the incarnation of the Son of God. God gave His Son to die for sinful human beings a death of ignominy and shame. He who was Commander in the heavenly courts laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and clothing His divinity with humanity, came to this world to stand at the head of the human race as the pattern-man. He humbled Himself to suffer with the race, to be afflicted in all their afflictions.  {7BC 904.6}



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Before he came to this earth, Jesus was a great king in heaven. He was as great as God, and yet he loved the poor people of this earth so much that he was willing to lay aside his kingly crown, his beautiful robe, and come to this earth as one of the human family. We cannot understand how Christ became a little, helpless babe. He could have come to earth in such beauty that he would have been unlike the sons of men. His face could have been bright with light, and his form could have been tall and beautiful. He could have come in such a way as to charm those who looked upon him; but this was not the way that God planned he should come among the sons of men. He was to be like those who belonged to the human family and to the Jewish race. His features were to be like those of other human beings, and he was not to have such beauty of person as to make people point him out as different from others. He was to come as one of the human family, and to stand as a man before heaven and earth. He had come to take man's place, to pledge himself in man's behalf, to pay the debt that sinners owed. He was to live a pure life on the earth, and show that Satan had told a falsehood when he claimed that the human family belonged to him forever, and that God could not take men out of his hands.  {YI, November 21, 1895 par. 1} 

Men first beheld Christ as a babe, as a child. His parents were very poor, and he had nothing in this earth save that which the poor have. He passed through all the trials that the poor and lowly pass through from babyhood to childhood, from youth to manhood. Nearly two thousand years ago a voice was heard in heaven from the throne of God saying, "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire: mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 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."  {YI, November 21, 1895 par. 2} 

The more we think about Christ's becoming a babe here on earth, the more wonderful it appears. How can it be that the helpless babe in Bethlehem's manger is still the divine Son of God? Though we cannot understand it, we can believe that he who made the worlds, for our sakes became a helpless babe. Though higher than any of the angels, though as great as the Father on the throne of heaven, he became one with us. In him God and man became one, and it is in this fact that we find the hope of our fallen race. Looking upon Christ in the flesh, we look upon God in humanity, and see in him the brightness of divine glory, the express image of God the Father.  {YI, November 21, 1895 par. 3} 



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At the first advent of Christ, darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. Light and truth seemed to have departed from among men, and Satan appeared to reign in undisputed power. Rival sects existed, and among those who professed to be the servants of God were displayed love of preeminence and strife for power and position. Souls who were desirous of light were filled with perplexity and sorrow. Many were sighing, "What is truth?" Ignorance prevailed, but many were looking for something better, looking for light that would illuminate the moral darkness of the world. They were thirsting for a knowledge of the living God, for some assurance of a life beyond the tomb. There were men not of the Jewish nation who prophesied that an inspired instructor would come to teach them of the truth. There were among the Jews men who had not polluted their integrity, who read with eager anticipation the sure word of prophecy that pointed to the advent of the Redeemer. They rejoiced in the promise that God had made to his servant Moses: "I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."  {ST, January 20, 1890 par. 1}

Again they read how the Lord should anoint Him to preach good tidings unto the meek, to bind up the broken-hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. They read how he would set judgment in the earth, how the isles should wait for his law, how the Gentiles would come to his light, and kings to the brightness of his rising.  {ST, January 20, 1890 par. 2} 

Christ came just as prophecy had foretold. He was the "way, the truth, and the life," and the beams of the Sun of Righteousness dispelled the moral darkness so that the honest in heart might see the truth. The absence of outward display and worldly grandeur, called forth comments of disapprobation from the people. Doubt and criticism met him on every side. Christ himself had chosen the human conditions of his life. He had selected the lowliest place in society. He was the Majesty of heaven, and he knew that the world would bear sway by magnificence, carrying everything before its display and grandeur; but Jesus honored those whom the world looked upon with contempt. Christ's birthplace was devoid of conveniences, not to speak of riches and luxury. And his entire life in this world was in keeping with the humble home of his early experience.  {ST, January 20, 1890 par. 3}

The Saviour of the world proposed that no attraction of an earthly character should call men to his side. The light and beauty of celestial truth alone should be the drawing power. The outward glory, the worldly honor, which attracts the attention of men, he would not assume. He made himself accessible to all, teaching the pure, exalted principle of truth as that which was only worthy of their notice. But although so humbly born, so unpretending in life, God did not leave him without a witness. The principalities of heaven did him homage. Wonders in the heavens above and signs in the earth beneath attested his power and majesty. At his baptism a voice from heaven fell upon the ears of men, declaring, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The bright glory of God in the form of a dove of burnished gold encircled him. John declared: "That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not."  {ST, January 20, 1890 par. 4} 

Christ came to represent the Father. We behold in him the image of the invisible God. He clothed his divinity with humanity, and came to the world that the erroneous ideas Satan had been the means of creating in the minds of men, in regard to the character of God, might be removed. We could not behold the glory of God unveiled in Christ and live; but as he came in the garb of humanity, we may draw nigh to our Redeemer. We are called upon to behold the Lord our Father in the person of his Son. Christ came in the robe of the flesh, with his glory subdued in humanity, that lost man might communicate with him and live. Through Christ we may comprehend something of him who is glorious in holiness. Jesus is the mystic ladder by which we may mount to behold the glory of the infinite God. By faith we behold Christ standing between humanity and divinity, connecting God and man, and earth and heaven.  {ST, January 20, 1890 par. 5} 



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The deep necessity of man for a divine teacher was known in heaven. The pity and sympathy of God were exercised in behalf of man, fallen and bound to Satan's chariot-car; and when the fullness of time was come, He sent forth His Son. The One appointed in the counsels of heaven came to the earth as an instructor. He was no less a being than the Creator of the world, the Son of the Infinite God. The rich benevolence of God gave Him to our world; and to meet the necessities of humanity, He took on Him human nature. To the astonishment of the heavenly host, He walked this earth as the Eternal Word. Fully prepared, He left the royal courts to come to a world marred and polluted with sin. Mysteriously He allied Himself to human nature. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." God's excess of goodness, benevolence, and love was a surprise to the world, of grace which could be realized, but not told.  {FE 399.4} 



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Beautiful thoughts to contemplate.

By God's grace, I was able to use this Christmas season to tell a few Japanese children about how Jesus Christ was God in heaven from eternity, but became a human 2021 years ago.  That fact caused many of them to wonder, and one even said "Wow!  Some of them seemed a bit nervous when I said he is coming back and all the dead will be raised and judged and you will either live forever in heaven, or will be dead forever.

Praise the Son of God and Son of Man for his great condescension in becoming a human!



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Clad in the vestments of humanity, the Son of God came down to the level of those he wished to save. In him was no guile or sinfulness; he was ever pure and undefiled; yet he took upon him our sinful nature. Clothing his divinity with humanity, that he might associate with fallen humanity, he sought to regain for man that which, by disobedience, Adam had lost for himself and for the world. In his own character he displayed to the world the character of God. He pleased not himself, but went about doing good. His whole history, for more than thirty years, was one of pure, disinterested benevolence. By his words, his influence, and his example, he made men feel that it was possible for them to return to their loyalty and be reinstated in God's favor. He led them to see that if they repented, if their characters were transformed after the divine similitude, they would win immortality.  {RH, December 15, 1896 par. 7} 



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