“The Spirit driveth Him into
the wilderness.” (Mark 1:12).
During His growing and
developing years in Nazareth Jesus had been blossoming and blooming through the
eternal life coming from His Father, as a living root in dry, dead dirt. “He
shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty
that we should desire Him.” (Isa. 53:2). Compared to the sword-jangling and
hard-hearted, beaten down by life people, all around Him, Jesus had
righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. And He had been healing
people by the healing power of love.
“Jesus was the healer of the
body as well as of the soul. He was interested in every phase of suffering that
came under His notice, and to every sufferer He brought relief, His kind words
having a soothing balm. None could say that He had worked a miracle; but
virtue—the healing power of love—went out from Him to the sick and distressed.
Thus in an unobtrusive way He worked for the people from His very childhood.
And this was why, after His public ministry began, so many heard Him
Yet through childhood, youth, and manhood,
Jesus walked alone. In His purity and His faithfulness, He trod the wine press
alone, and of the people there was none with Him.” Desire of Ages
, p. 92.
But, now, newly baptized and
having heard His Father address Him personally, “Thou art My beloved Son, in
whom I am well please.” (Mark 1:11), a new power came upon Jesus. A new
aggressiveness, a newly laid burden weighed upon Him. He was of age, and no
longer a “stripling” (1Sam. 17:56) like David when he took down Goliath. In
childhood and youth Jesus had already taken down many Goliath wicked spirits in high places. Now He was prepared to enter a larger stage. His age
of 30 had begun the appointment of everyone dedicated to the service of
“All those that were numbered
of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chief of Israel numbered, after
their families, and after the house of their fathers, from thirty years old and
upward even unto fifty years old, every one that came to do the service of the
ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation.”
Ever after the time of Jesus’
new birth and dedication to His Father’s service at Jordan a new power took
hold of Him. Without measure His virtue would go forth from Him, matching His gift
of God’s measureless Spirit. That Spirit of His Father would drive the Son of
God as never before. This gift from the God of peace was His greatest delight.
Christ moved His Father’s heart; therefore, His Father filled Him with greater
drive to please His Father in every thought, word, and act. But, God’s blessedness
of infinite peace placed on His Son a greater duty. That love from the God of
peace empowered the Son to boldly and confidently speak the plain, unvarnished
truth. Thus, the Son of God was prepared to speak the truth in love, infinite
truth in infinite love.
To a lesser degree this was
the experience given to Ezekiel. “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in
the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by
the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In
the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s
captivity.” (Eze. 1:1,2). Ezekiel’s dedication came when in vision he was given a
scroll to eat. This time it was not God empowering His Son, but it was the Son
empowering His son, Ezekiel, in his thirtieth year of life. Ezekiel had moved the heart
of the Son, and the Son dedicated and drove His son to speak boldly and
confidently the plain, unvarnished truth through Christ’s Spirit of peace and love.
“And He said unto me, Son of
man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
And the Spirit entered into
me when He spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard Him that spake
And He said unto me, Son of
man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath
rebelled against Me: they and their fathers have transgressed against Me, even
unto this very day.
For they are impudent
children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto
them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.
And they, whether they will
hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet
shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
And thou, son of man, be not
afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be
with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words,
nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
And thou shalt speak My words
unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are
But thou, son of man, hear
what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open
thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
And when I looked, behold, an
hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
And He spread it before me;
and it was written within and without: and there was written therein
lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
Moreover He said unto me, Son of man, eat that
thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
So I opened my mouth, and He
caused me to eat that roll.
And He said unto me, Son of
man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give
thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
And He said unto me, Son of
man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with My words unto them.
For thou art not sent to a
people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;
Not to many people of a
strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand.
Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.
But the house of Israel will
not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto Me: for all the house of
Israel are impudent and hardhearted.
Behold, I have made thy face
strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.
As an adamant harder than
flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their
looks, though they be a rebellious house.
Moreover He said unto me, Son
of man, all My words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and
hear with thine ears.
And go, get thee to them of
the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell
them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will
Then the Spirit took me up,
and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory
of the LORD from His place.
I heard also the noise of the
wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the
wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.
So the Spirit lifted me up,
and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the
hand of the LORD was strong upon me.” (Eze. 2:1-3:14).
Driven by the power of
God, Ezekiel was ordained, matured, enabled to speak with a voice he did not previously
possess. Christ’s unencumbered Spirit uninvested of the personality of humanity
spoke through Ezekiel, giving his voice authority. This is the same power that
moved every spokesman. “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.” (1Pet. 1:11). “For the prophecy came
not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were
movedG5342 by the Holy Ghost.” (2Pet. 1:21). The Holy Ghost was the Spirit of Christ, moving or driving His human representatives.
to “bear” or carry (in a very wide application, literally and
figuratively: be, bear, bring (forth) drive, be driven, endure, go on, move,
the impression of power, such as speaking in powerful authority.
“And suddenly there came a
sound from heaven as of a rushingG5342
mighty wind, and it filled
all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven
tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled
with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave
them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4).
“But not long after there
arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was
caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her driveG5342
The maturity and empowerment
that comes with the increased measure of God’s Spirit through His Son to the
servant of God drives him or her to heights of self-denial and self-abnegation
and self-abdication that they didn’t have before, and no one around them has
“But what things were gain to
me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count
all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my
Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but
dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in Him, not
having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through
the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
That I may know Him, and the
power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made
conformable unto His death….
Not as though I had already
attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may
apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count not myself
to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are
behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for
the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:7-14).
They are made confident in
Christ’s love and confident in His power; they trust in His promises. He is
their surety to justify them before God. Jesus breathes “upon them the Holy
Ghost. In that breath [is] light, power, and much love, joy, and peace.” Early Writings
, p. 55. The receivers of
Christ’s Spirit represent the true Spirit in opposition to those who accept
Satan’s spirit. “I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, ‘Father, give us
Thy Spirit.’ Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it
there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace.” Early Writings
, p. 55, 56.
The recipients of the Spirit
of God change from child to adult.
“Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD!
behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.” (Jer. 1:6).
“When I was a child, I spake
as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a
man, I put away childish things.” (1Cor. 13:11). “Thou therefore, my son, be
strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus…. Thou therefore endure hardness,
as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2Tim. 2:1,3).
Yet, as mothers of all
living, they keep the warm friendliness of Jesus, the great Mother of all
living. The law of kindness in His mouth is in their mouths. The tender plant in His
heart is in theirs, “that our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth.” (Ps.
144:12). Jeremiah’s lamentations show the young heart of Jesus in the prophet
as he previewed the coming troubles upon the people he loved.
“Oh that my head were waters,
and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the
slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jer. 9:1). Yet Jeremiah was empowered by Christ “according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His
Spirit in the inner man.” (Eph. 3:16).
“Behold, I have made thee
this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the
whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against
the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.” (Jer. 1:18). Are
kings powerful? Are princes powerful? Are priests powerful? Are the people
times four. All have the power to destroy. All have persecuting
power. But, all the prophets had set their love upon Jesus. He says,
“Because he hath set his love
upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath
known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I
will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour
With long life will I satisfy
him, and shew him My salvation.” (Ps. 91:14-16).
Jeremiah needed the strength
of Jesus’ tenderness and His power. He needed to see and know His justice and
mercy. The leadership and people needed that also. They had all set their love
upon a god by another name, Baalim. Baalim was not a loving lord. He was
mean-spirited, abusive to children and women, and especially toward the
servants of Elohim. Everyone soft-hearted was Baalim’s enemy, because Baalim
was Satan and his hosts. Baalim was Beelzebub, Lord of the buzzing demons
of schizophrenia and glossolalia and confusion.
Isaiah also knew Jesus’
“The Lord GOD hath opened
mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
I gave my back to the
smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face
from shame and spitting.
For the Lord GOD will help
me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a
flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
He is near that justifieth
me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let
him come near to me.
Behold, the Lord GOD will
help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a
garment; the moth shall eat them up.” (Isa. 50:5-9).
“As many as received Him, to
them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His
name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the
will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12,13).
“Lo, children are an heritage
of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward.
As arrows are in the hand of
a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath
his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with
the enemies in the gate.” (Ps. 127:3-5).
“For every one that useth
milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong
meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:13,14).
When we are of full age in
the gospel and experienced with God, then we desire hardships and challenges
to our comfort zones. We crave to die to self. We are thankful for every
difficulty, knowing that God permits them all for our continued development. Even though knowing that living godly in Christ means persecution, we follow in the steps of Him “who
did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: who, when He was reviled,
reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself
to Him that judgeth righteously.” (1Pet. 2:22,23).
“The Sovereign of the
universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a
co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving
happiness to created beings.” Patriarchs and prophets
From the very beginning, the Son of God loved to serve. He was the great Helper. High and low He helped, even before leaving heaven for our salvation. The Son has always loved to
serve His Father and Their family of heaven and earth. He has ever needed but
one thing—the happiness of His Father and Their children. The great Mother of
all living has set the precedent for all women. He has also created that propensity
for motherhood in them all. From childhood to aged, they all love to help,
please, serve, and nurture.
Will we be children, help-meets, servants, which naturally want to make everyone happy, and live under the strong, fatherly rulership of God? Or will we be great Sovereigns of our own little universe and end up ruled dogmatically by Satan?
“Unto the woman He said, I
will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring
forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over
thee.” (Gen. 3:16). Her pangs in childbirth, which was a blessing in disguise,
would ensure the faithful love and upbringing of her gaggle, her brood, her
flock. Her husband’s power over her would add to her blessing by driving her to
heights of self-sacrificing service unexperienced without her husband’s loving demands. Her self-abasement and servitude also imitates the ministering angels. “For this cause ought the
woman to have power on her head because of the angels.” (1Cor. 11:10).
greatest love was for His Father to rule over Him, to submit to His Father’s demands. This was especially revealed
in Gethsemane, when the Almighty ruled over His Son in infinite wrath because
of Their human children. And the Father’s expectations were satisfied in our Mother
Mediator working as our Shield and Protector. His flesh as a veil transmitted
the message from the Most High against our sin, but filtered out Divinity’s fatal high
voltage. Thus the Son has been our access to justification and sanctification. The
helper children of God, who have known the difficulties of walking in the steps
of their Mother of all living, will desire the same power on their head from
the angels and from their Commander, which the armies of the Lord know from
God. The prayer to God from the mature children is the same prayer from the
angelic hosts and their Commander, “Rule strongly over me.” “How love I Thy
Like the angels who excel in strength, the mature children of
humanity yearn to come under Christ’s power. They happily accept His invitation, “If
thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before Me: and
if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as My mouth: let
them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.” (Jer. 15:19).
His spiritual power dominates
their will, their conscience, and their thoughts. They see in themselves the
utter corruption of sin. Yet, it is always their choice whether or not they will live under His dominion. As Daniel experienced,
“Then I lifted up mine eyes,
and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded
with fine gold of Uphaz:
His body also was like the
beryl, and His face as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of
fire, and His arms and His feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice
of His words like the voice of a multitude.
And I Daniel alone saw the
vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking
fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
Therefore I was left alone,
and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my
comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
Yet heard I the voice of His
words: and when I heard the voice of His words, then was I in a deep sleep on
my face, and my face toward the ground.
And, behold, an hand touched
me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
And he said unto me, O
Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and
stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word
unto me, I stood trembling.
Then said he unto me, Fear
not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to
understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I
am come for thy words.
But the prince of the kingdom
of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief
princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Now I am come to make thee
understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision
is for many days.
And when he had spoken such
words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
And, behold, one like the
similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and
spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my
sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
For how can the servant of
this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained
no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.” (Dan. 10:5-17).
The sons of God follow their Master in His burden bearing. “I beseech thee, shew me Thy glory.” (Ex.
33:18). “Rule over me strongly! Drive me! Let me know Your burden.”
“And out of the throne
proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of
fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” (Rev. 4:5).
“And before the throne there
was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round
about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind… and …
within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God
Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Rev. 4:6, 8).
“Thou hast a mighty arm:
strong is Thy hand, and high is Thy right hand.
Justice and judgment are the
habitation of Thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before Thy face.
Blessed is the people that
know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of Thy
In Thy name shall they
rejoice all the day: and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted.” (Ps.
“The law of love being the
foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings
depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness.
God desires from all His creatures the service of love—service that springs
from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced
obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him
So long as all created beings acknowledged
the allegiance of love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of
God. It was the joy of the heavenly host to fulfill the purpose of their
Creator. They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth His praise.
And while love to God was supreme, love for one another was confiding and
unselfish. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies.” Patriarchs and prophets
, p. 33, 34.
Total surrender means total
happiness. We were made to be loved. And we were made to serve. We were made to love acceptance and need
acceptance, or we die slowly. Because he was tempted to think that he could rule without his uppermost service to God, Adam died. “And all the days that Adam
lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” (Gen. 5:5). Adam believed he could be God.
We can’t handle being the
person at the top. The divine nature of God loves to sacrifice Himself for the
health and happiness of His children. He is driven to lay down His life for His
creation. But His creation doesn’t have that drive apart from Him. We need to have
someone else above us. We are happier looking up at another than looking down
over everyone. Even Jesus, the great Mother of all living, the greatest of servants,
the great Help of helpers, preferred to look up to His Father than be the one
looking down over everyone. His constant prayer to His Father was, “Rule
strongly over Me.”
“From His earliest years
[Jesus] was possessed of one purpose; He lived to bless others. For this He
found resources in nature; new ideas of ways and means flashed into His mind as
He studied plant life and animal life. Continually He was seeking to draw from
things seen illustrations by which to present the living oracles of God. The
parables by which, during His ministry, He loved to teach His lessons of truth
show how open His spirit was to the influences of nature, and how He had
gathered the spiritual teaching from the surroundings of His daily life.” Desire of Ages
, p. 70.
Only God can endure the
unique position of having no one to look up to. No doubt He also would dearky love
to have the privilege of depending on someone higher, but it doesn’t exist for Him. The buck stops at Him, and it is lonely at the top. “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there
was none with Me.” (Isa. 63:3).
What Jesus suffered as King
of earthly kings in Gethsemane—all the loneliness of being top ruler over His
Earth, and therefore being fully responsible for our redemption—all the same aloneness
that the Father has suffered infinitely more over the universe and during His
great controversy. But, He gave His Helpmeet the privilege of tasting it, and
knowing its utter emptiness and gravity. From eternity past, perfectly
immaculate, unerring, and total responsibility for the protection of everything
good is what had always filled the mind of the one great Sovereign. No one
knew, or wanted to know, or could handle knowing, the pressures of those duties that come with being the Sovereign. The closest person to knowing His burden was His only
begotten Son. But, even the Son who dwelled in the bosom of the great Sovereign
and stood before His powerful rulership, wouldn’t know the fullest duty as
owner of the topmost position until Gethsemane to Golgotha. After His victory at the cross God received His Son with great rejoicing and honor because He had another who now knew His burdens.
“All things are delivered
unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither
knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will
reveal Him.” (Matt. 11:27).
We have had our chance to be
the top dog, to need no one to look up to and to serve. We have accepted Satan’s
new way of life, of being the receiver of all service and of serving self. But,
the wages of that has been death. That new regime, which we were not created to
hold, has meant death to us, to everyone around us, to our societies
surrounding us, and to our world at large.
Creatures cannot be Creators.
Only the Creator is the self-existent One. We aren’t self-existent, therefore
there exists in each of us a need for help from the One who created us.
“As many as received Him, to
them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His
name.” (John 1:12).
And when we receive the quickening Spirit of Him who created us, we are born of Him; we are Boanerges.
“And He ordained twelve, that
they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach,… and to
have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
And James the son of Zebedee, and John the
brother of James; and He surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder.”
But, while we receive power as sons of thunder, we “let nothing be done through
strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind [we] let each esteem other better than
themselves.” (Phil. 2:3).