Milton Charles Wilcox
Milton C. Wilcox
Signs of the Times November 17, 1914, pg. 714, “Question Corner”
Source link: https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Periodicals/ST/ST19141117-V41-45.pdf
48 — VARIOUS TEXTS ON THE DEITY I. How are we to understand the following scriptures : Ps. 90:2 ; Isa. 42:8; I Cor. 8 : 6; Deut. 6:4? 2. Can we conclude, from Rev. 3 : 14 and Col. I: 15, that our Lord Jesus had a beginning, and there was a time when God the Father was alone? T. A. Z
1. Some of these scriptures are so plain that it seems as though we cou4d have no question concerning them at all. The one in Psalms would seem to apply to our Lord. The term used is not “Jehovah,” but Adonai, which, without question, is applied to Christ; and this is the One whom Moses is addressing. He declares, “Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.” And this is in harmony with Micah 5: 2. Isa. 42:8 evidently has reference to God. It is Jehovah Himself who speaks : “I am Jehovah, that is My name; and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise unto graven images.” That is the very family name of the Godhead. Sometimes our Lord is called Jehovah. This is emphatically true in Jer. 23: 6. In verse 5 He is called the Branch. “In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is His name whereby He shall he called : Jehovah our righteousness.”
I Cor. 8 : 6 presents before us the agencies by which the earth is created, the relative positions of the two Persons : “To us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through Him.” The same thought is expressed in John t : 1-3 and in Col. 1 : 16,— that all the creation was wrought through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Deut. 6:4 is simply an expression of the unity of the Godhead: “Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.” Many times, when mention is made of God, it simply implies the Godhead. Of course there is absolute unity in that, just as truly as though there were but one Person; and therefore it is spoken of as one. Our Lord’s prayer in John 17 indicates the same thing : “As Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee.” And then He prays that the same unity may exist among His followers.
2. Yes, some do conclude, from Rev. 3: 14, that there was a time when the Son did not exist, save in the all-comprehending purpose and potency of God. And yet there are others who still hold — and there is nothing to the contrary in the text — that the beginning of the creation of God means the One in whom the creation began, as declared in Col. I: 17, “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” The finite can not grasp the infinite. Let this suffice, — that our. Lord is God with the Father from the “days of eternity”; that “He is before all things, and in Him all things consist,” and He brings to all those who believe in Him the plenitude of the power of the Deity according to our needs. Of course, sometimes the expression, such as is used in Col. 1: 15, “the First-born,” refers to preeminence rather than to priority. God calls Ephraim His first-born, although Manasseh was the first-born. He calls Israel His first-born, while Esau was the first-born of Jacob. That is, God had adopted these as such. They became preeminent because of character. So Jesus is called the First-born of the dead, and is preeminent above them all, and only by His power do all the others live.
The Church of the Living God—No. 13 The Gift of the Holy Spirit
By MILTON CHARLES WILCOX; Review and Herald March 6, 1930, pgs 7, 8
In this study there will be no attempt to define the Holy Spirit. Suffice to say that the Spirit is that power that is omnipresent, that makes everywhere present God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. He is not a power and person manipulated or worked by man, but always working in harmony with the law and word of God. There is no teaching in the Scriptures of truth that sets the Spirit against the living law or the word of God, or the law or word against the Spirit. If men are to be filled with the Holy Spirit, it must be in the Spirit’s way.
This may be said, that the personal God is in some one place as He is no other. This is true of our Lord Jesus Christ. But we know the Holy Spirit makes present the Father and Son in various places at the same time. We need not know how ; we know the fact.
In this office when this is written we have twenty-five different departments, some of them many feet apart. It is perfectly feasible for the manager in his office to connect up with each one of the twenty-five departments, and give the same identical message at the same time to men in charge of each department. We know his voice; we know that he is speaking. All this is very crude, but it illustrates in a poor way how the infinite God or Jesus our Lord can, through the Holy Spirit, talk at the same time with any soul on earth. The Comforter is a part of God’s plan.
The Holy Spirit is the great power of God that in the beginning brooded over chaos and transformed it into cosmos, order, and beauty. Gen. 1: 2. It was by that Spirit that the heavens were garnished by stars and suns and constellations, till it declared the glory of God. Job 26 : 13 ; Ps. 19 :1. God sends out His Spirit over the waste land of death, and the face of the earth is renewed. Ps. 104: 30. That Spirit is the power by which Jesus our Lord wrought His great miracles. Matt. 12: 28. The Spirit moved holy men to write the inspired word. 2 Peter 1: 21.
We can neither measure the Holy Spirit’s power nor its influence. Men like Ananias set themselves against its holy working, and die. The Jews, condemned under the powerful preaching of the Spirit-filled Stephen, stoned. him to death (Acts 7: 51-60), but God’s work goes on with greater scope and intensity. The Spirit turns the murderous Saul into the powerful and pleading Paul. The Spirit rests upon the erstwhile denier of his Lord, Peter, and three thousand are converted by his simple, straightforward sermon, and the sick seek healing from his shadow. Peter and John are imprisoned, but by the mighty Spirit of God two thousand more were added to the believers.
Ugliest Characters Changed
The Holy Spirit received by faith transforms the ugliest characters into saints of God. It is doing it today in the cannibal islands of the South Seas. It is doing it in darkest Africa. God longs to re-create and endow every soul with His Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us how to obtain it, and how willing God is to bestow it. Listen to the Master :
“I say unto you, Ask, And it shall be given you; Seek, And ye shall find; Knock, And it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh Receiveth; And he that seeketh Findeth; And to him that knocketh it Shall be opened. And of which of you that is a father Shall his son ask a loaf, And he give him A stone? Or a fish, and he for a fish give him A serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, Will he give him A scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give Good gifts Unto your children,
how Much more Shall your heavenly Father give. The Holy Spirit To them that ask Him?” Luke 11:9-13.
Learn the glorious passage by heart, hungry soul, and so keep its blessed assurance ever with you.
The Holy Spirit is life to the receiver. It is a life the sinner does not know. He sees its effects upon others, but he goes on in his sin and selfishness.
Jesus Christ, the Son of the infinite God, came to this world, not alone to save from sin and clothe the sinner with His own spotless garments of righteousness, but to give life—life not of fleshly generation, life not of soul and blood, but the life divine. Said Christ : “The thief [ Satan] cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy : I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” John 10 :10.
And when the sinner by faith receives the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that faith also should grasp the life of the Spirit of God, the eternal life that gave His beloved Son that we might possess. “If Christ is in you, the body is dead [it no longer controls] because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, He that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Rom. 8 : 10, 11. Here also is many times healing to the sick who receive the Spirit of God.
Again : “Always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” 2 Cor. 4: 10, 11.
Before we knew Christ, the members of our bodies, both mental and physical, were servants to uncleanness and to iniquity; but when we are made free from sin, the new life of the Spirit enables the Christian to present his “members as servants to righteousness unto holiness.” (See Rom. 6 : 17-23.)
The power of the Spirit of God enabled Paul to say : “I have been crucified with Christ ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me : and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself up for me.” Gal. 2 : 20. That life of Jesus is the Holy Spirit, and to every one who receives it by faith it is the beginning of eternal life in the soul.
Do not confound this eternal life with immortality. The eternal life that God gives by faith is the power that enables the human soul to overcome his sins and achieve by His grace a character worthy of immortality at the second coming of our Lord.. 1 Cor. 15 : 51-54. Eternal life is the power of the Spirit of God received and held by faith. Immortality is God’s seal of an incorruptible character at the end of life’s battles. Over and over God declares the believer has that life, and yet how slow is he to grasp it. Read the great text again :
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, That whosoever believeth on Hiikt should Not perish, but have Eternal life.” John 3:16.
“He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life.” Verse 36. “These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5: 13.
The Spirit Awaits Our Demand and Reception
Why deprive ourselves of this precious gift of God? God longs for us to have it. (Read Luke 11 : 9-13 again.) As one has strongly said, “The Spirit awaits our demand and reception.” The Bible appeals to us through a prophet who speaks of the last days • “Ask ye of Jehovah rain in the time of the latter rain, even of Jehovah that maketh lightnings ; and He- will give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” Zech. 10:1. (Cf. Joel 2 : 28, 29.) Ask for His Spirit, and receive, that the greenness of God’s growth may enter your life, lift you above the power of sin, clothe you with His robe of righteousness. Let His Holy Spirit write on your heart God’s holy law, and make you a messenger of life and hope to others. Heb. 8 : 10 ; Acts 1: S.
Reader, yield the old life of self and sin, of worldliness and wrath, of darkness and doubt, and let the Spirit of God enter and have His way. Then will you meet in your life the assurance of Christ, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6: 63.
Receiving the Holy Spirit brings this assurance, I am of God ; I am “born from above;” I have the right, the privilege, of a son of God. John 1: 12. I can banish the old fear, Am I His, or am I not ? The spirit of bondage is mine no longer. The spirit of adoption is mine, and I can cry, “Abba, Father,” Father, my Father, forever.
This blessed and abundant’ assurance that God gives us, which it is the Christian’s privilege to have, will not lead to self-exaltation, or boasting, or extravagance, or fanaticism. God gives to His children by His Spirit the “spirit of power and love and discipline.”
Never strive to separate the Spirit from the word. The word is “the sword of the Spirit.” By the inspiration of the Spirit is the word given. The reception of the Spirit exalts the word, turns from the traditions of error, however old they may be, and hears ever speaking in the word of God the voice of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
The Spirit of truth, the Spirit of life, the Spirit of the living God, the divine Spirit of Christ, the Comforter, the Spirit of power, and love, is God’s endowment of His church, and all the assurances and power of this word to the heart of faith still hold steadfast.