THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS


Forgiveness is not mere clearing us of our sinful act in the court of heaven but an actual making one righteous. The story of the paralytic in Matthew 9:1-8 is an illustration of how I and you can receive the life of Christ to keep us from sin. The article below was originally written by E. J. Waggoner in may 1894 under the title: The Power of forgiveness. Except for slight editing, the following article we originally his.

Waggoner wrote as follows:

“So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city. Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he arose and departed to his house. Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.” Matthew 9:1-8

One of the most common expressions to be heard among professed Christians when speaking of religious things, is this:

“I can understand and believe that God will forgive sin, but it is hard for me to believe that he can keep me from sin.”

Such a person has yet to learn very much of what is meant by God’s forgiving sins. It is true that persons who talk that way do often have a measure of peace in believing that God has forgiven or does forgive their sins, but through failure to grasp the power of forgiveness, they deprive themselves of much blessing that they might enjoy.

Bearing in mind the statement concerning the matters that “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name,” not as simply the miracle before us. John 20:31. The scribes did not believe that Jesus could forgive sin (see Mark 2:7). In order to show that he had power to forgive sins, he healed the palsied (or paralytic) man. This miracle was wrought for the express purpose of illustrating the work of forgiving sin, and demonstrating its power. Jesus said to the palsied man, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house,” that they and we might know his power to forgive sin. Therefore the power exhibited in the healing of that man is the power bestowed in the forgiveness of sin.

Effect of Christ Word

Note particularly that the effect of the words of Jesus continued after they were spoken. They made a change in the man, and that change was permanent. Even so it must be in the forgiveness of sin. The common idea is that when God forgives sin the change is in himself, and not in the man. It is thought that God finally ceases to hold anything against the one who has sinned. But this is to imply that God had a hardness against the man, which is not the case. God is not a man; he does not cherish enmity, nor harbor a feeling of revenge. It is not because he has a hard feeling in his heart against a sinner that he forgives him, but because the sinner has something in his heart. God is all right, the man is all wrong, therefore God forgive the man that he also may be all right.

When Jesus, illustrating the forgiveness of sin, said to the man, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house,” the man arose obedient to his voice. The power that was in the words of Jesus, raised him up, and made him well. That power remained in him, and it was in the strength that was given him on removing the palsy that he walked in all the time to come, provided, of course, that he kept the faith. This is illustrated by the Psalmist, when he says: “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.” Psalm 40:1, 2.

There is life in the words of God. Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63. The word received in faith brings the Spirit and the life of God to the soul. So when the penitent soul hears the words, “Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee,” and receives those words as for living words of the living God, he is a different man, because a new life has begun in him. It is the power of God’s forgiveness, and that alone, that keeps him from sin. If he continues in sin after receiving pardon, it is because he has not grasped the fullness of the blessing that was given him in the forgiveness of his sins.

Christ illustration of forgiveness

In the case before us, the man received new life. His palsied condition was simply the wasting away of the natural life. He was partially dead. The words of Christ gave him fresh life. But this new life that was given to his body, and which enabled him to walk was but an illustration, both to him and to the scribes, of the unseen life of God which he had received in the words, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” and which had made him a new creature in Christ.

With this simple and clear illustration before us, we may understand some of the words of the apostle Paul, which otherwise are “hard to be understood.” First read Col. 1:12-14: “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” See the same statement concerning redemption through Christ’s blood, in 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Rev. 5:9.

Redeemed by His blood

Mark two points,-we have redemption through Christ’s blood, and this redemption is the forgiveness of sins. But the blood is the life. See Gen. 9:4; Rev. 17:13, 14. Therefore Col. 1:14 really tells us that we have redemption through Christ’s life. But does not the Scripture say that we are reconciled to God by the death of his Son? It does, and that is just what is here taught. Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity.” Titus 2:14. He “gave himself for our sins.” Gal. 1:4. In giving Himself, He gives his life. In shedding His blood, He pours out His life. But in giving up His life, He gives it to us. That life is righteousness, even the perfect righteousness of God, so that when we receive it we are “made the righteousness of God in Him.” It is the receiving of Christ’s life, as we are baptized into His death, that reconciles us to God. It is thus that we “put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,” after the image of Him that created him.” Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10.

Now we may read Rom. 3:23-25, and find that it is not so very difficult: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified [that is, made righteous, or doers of the law] freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission [sending away] of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”

All have sinned, not all should sin

All have sinned. The whole life has been sin. Even the thoughts have been evil. Mark 7:21. And to be carnally minded is death. Therefore the life of sin is a living death. If the soul is not freed from this, it will end in eternal death. There is no power in man to get righteousness out of the holy law of God, therefore God in His mercy puts His own righteousness upon all that believe. He makes us righteous as a free gift out of the riches of His grace. He does this by His words, for He declares-speaks-His righteousness into and upon all who have faith in the blood of Christ, in Him is God’s righteousness, “for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” And this declaring or speaking the righteousness of God upon us, is the remission or taking away of sin. Thus God takes away the sinful life by putting His own righteous life in its place. And this is the power of the forgiveness of sin. It is “the power of an endless life.”

How to keep us from sinning

This is the beginning of the Christian life. It is receiving the life of God by faith. How is it continued?-Just as it is begun.

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” Col. 2:6.

For “the just shall live by faith.” The secret of living the Christian life is simply that of holding fast the life which, received at the beginning, forgives the sin.

God forgives sin by taking it away. He justifies the ungodly by making him godly. He reconciles the rebel sinner to himself by taking away his rebellion, and making him a loyal and law-abiding subject.

It is sometimes said, “But it is difficult to understand how we can have the life of God as an actual fact; it can’t be real, for it is by faith that we have it.” So it was by faith that the poor palsied man received new life and strength; but was his strength any the less real? Was it not an actual fact that he received strength? “Cannot understand it”? Of course not, for it is a manifestation of “the love of God that passeth knowledge.” But we may believe it, and realize the fact, and then we shall have an eternal life in which to study the wonder of it. Read again and again the story of the healing of the palsied man, and meditate upon it until it is a living reality to you, and then remember that “these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name.” 

Image resultWaggoner, Ellet Joseph (1855-1916). Physician, minister, teacher, editor, and writer. Well known for his messages on Righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus in the 1880’s.

HOW TO KILL YOUR HUSBAND (Part two)


The title might sounded absurd when some saw the first article some days ago. Some might even be thinking:

“why would someone decide to write on such a topic like this. Why would someone teach others on how to kill another. This is rubbish.”

I am not going about teaching people on how to take another man’s life. Far be it from me!

My mission is to relate our everyday life experience to spiritual truths. Probably this topic scared Facebook operators to the point that i was blocked from posting any further information or writing on other peoples wall. I am only thinking out loud!

In Part one  we concluded with the thought that the only condition for this woman who desire to gain deliverance form the bondage of her despotic husband is by killing her husband. But the question not answered in part one is:

“Who does the killing; the woman or another?”

This is what we will be seeking to answer in this second part as we study from the Bible.

WAIT A MINUTE!

Do not read further unless you read part one of this topic. Your understanding of part two is based entirely on part one. Do well to read it before forging ahead.

THE FIRST MARRIAGE

We have identified that the woman married to Satan (under the auspices of the old husband, old man, body of sin and carnal mind) is all humanity- all born of Adam. Therefore for us to successfully kill our husband, we need to know how we initially got ourselves into this unpleasant marriage. We need to ask:

“When was the first marriage with Satan consummated?”

It is written:

“Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men (including you and I), for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12. (Emphasis supplied)

The following statement will clarify this text better:

“As a result of Adam’s disobedience every human being is a transgressor of the law, sold under sin. Unless he repents and is converted, he is under bondage to the law, serving Satan, falling into the deceptions of the enemy, and bearing witness against the precepts of Jehovah.”- Heavenly Places, p. 146.

“When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity between sinful man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy.” – The Great Controversy (1911), p. 505.

Adam and Even dissolved their original marriage with Christ, which was consummated on the sixth day of creation, and joined themselves to another husband when they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Gen 2:16, 17; 3:1-7). The result of that disobedience was a natural bent to evil that was transferred to their offspring. Adam and Eve lost their first marriage through spiritual adultery and married Satan. Ellen G. White, commenting on Genesis 3, wrote the following:

“The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist.”- Education, p. 29.

Our marriage was consummated on our behalf at Eden by our first parents. We were born into this world with a sinful, fallen, degraded nature. We came with a carnal mind bent to do evil and desperately wicked. We all are naturally in harmony with Satan and love to do his bidding.

Satan becomes the first husband the moment a child is born into this world. No one is born holy except the Son of God, although the Son of God, Jesus Christ, came into this world with a sinful flesh to do that which man could not do. He received all that Adam could pass to his posterity.

It is written of Christ:

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:3, 4.

Mrs. White also wrote:

No man inherits holiness as a birthright, nor can he, by any methods that he can devise, become loyal to God. “Without me,” Christ says, “ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Human righteousness is as “filthy rags.” But with God all things are possible. In the strength of the Redeemer, weak, erring man can become more than conqueror over the evil that besets him.”- Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 310.   

Our birthright is sinfulness and filthiness. All are born with a carnal mind which is enmity with God. (Romans 8:7). None of us were consulted in the first marriage with Satan. Our first parent contracted the marriage on our behalf and we all found ourselves in this pathetic situation. By nature, humanity became the lawful captive of Satan. We were plunged into the bondage and despotic power of Satan the sin master.

Again Mrs. White wrote beautifully:

By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: “Dead in trespasses and sins;” “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint;” “no soundness in it.” We are held fast in the snare of Satan, “taken captive by him at his will.” Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6; 2 Timothy 2:26.” – Steps to Christ, p. 43.

THE STRONGER MAN

To recap: The woman represent all humanity from the fall of Adam to the end of time. We were given to marriage against our will into the captive of Satan and we all long to be delivered from his cruelty. We are powerless to deliver ourselves because the flesh is weak. Since that which is born of the flesh is flesh we can not obey the Law of God. We may will it but to perform that which is willed is not there. Satan, through his despotic power of the carnal mind or the evil seed planted in us, is far stronger than us to deliver ourselves from his bondage or unpleasant marriage.

As we struggle daily in our own futile strength and plead for deliverance from this body of death, a glimpse of light from another Man, Jesus Christ, shone in our heart. As this Man continue to woo us and convict us through His Holy spirit to accept Him as our new husband, we begin to see the sinfulness of our sin and greatly desire to contact a new marriage with Him. The most fascinating thing about this New Man is His supernatural power. His divine power is exceedingly and abundantly greater than the old husband. This New Man is far stronger than the old man making it possible for Him to totally eradicate and destroy the old man and give deliverance to the woman which in this case is you and I.

Jesus emphatically said:

“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” Luke 11:21-22.

The first strong man that keeps his goods is Satan. His rightful goods which he keeps is man or humanity. And no one can rightfully take man out of his hand because he is strong and armed. All born of Adam are in bondage to his cruel power through the carnal mind or sinful mind that all were born with. This carnal mind is the power of Satan to led us to sin. But the good news is this: There is another stronger than he and His name is JESUS CHRIST.

This stronger man “shall come upon him, and overcome him” if only we surrender our helpless will to Him. Jesus Christ will take from him all his goods and make them free. For it is written of Christ, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36.

The Son does not just set of free while the sin-master is living, rather the Son of God make us free. This is the exact reading of the text. The Son of God, according to Luke 11:22, said, he “shall come upon him, and overcome” Satan. Mark, writing of the same account of the strong and stronger man said, “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Mark 3:27. Jesus will not only set us free but he will make us free while at the same time He binds the strong man.

Please it should be clearly noted that Satan is not yet literally bounded when we are delivered from sin or experience this new life, he will experience the literal bounding at the beginning of millennium reign when Christ shall come the second time.

The experience noted in this article is a spiritual work that Christ does in us and for us. It is only Christ that can deliver us from the despotic power of the carnal mind. What is bounded is the power of Satan which is the power of sin that reside in the flesh. This power is the carnal mind that is enmity towards God. This power must be taken away and destroyed by Christ.

Satan, after we experience this new life in Christ, will still be well and alive, even to tempt us and test us. He will persecute us, bring sickness, and throw blocks before us to make us stubble as we walk the new life in the Spirit. But we must not succumb to his tactics and allurement. So long we put on the lord Jesus Christ and we doe not make provision for the flesh which shall not sin or fulfill the lust thereof (Romans 13:14).

But it is a sad news that many of us do not really desire to be made free from the attachment of the old husband. We enjoy to do his bidding because sin is sweet. Until we come to the point in our life when we say with Christ, “Lo, I come . . . to do thy will, O God” we shall continue to do the will of Satan which is nothing but transgressing the Law of God (Hebrew 10:7).

The question we need to ask ourselves is this: “HOW IS THE OLD MAN DESTROYED?”

We have seen that Christ is the one who does the killing of the despotic husband but we have not yet answered how he does this. This would be answered in Part three.

HOW TO KILL YOUR HUSBAND (Part One)


As a married woman, have you ever wished your husband were dead in order to have peace of mind and freedom to do whatever you desire doing?

Someone might say right now:

“I do hate my HUSBAND. He is rude, controlling, unbearable, immoral, demanding, wicked, insulting, harsh, dictatorial, unloving, fornicator etc. I hate him. I know when he goes out with his friends, he is busy watching other women. He is such a creep! He is such a pervert! I am so full of rage right now and I feel like breaking something. I wish to God I had never met him. Why can’t he just die or something? My God I can’t stand it anymore! HOW CAN I KILL THIS WICKED HUSBAND OF MINE?

Well i have a good news for you. THERE IS A WAY OUT! But in this case we are not talking about your literal husband but your spiritual husband, even Satan.

You are not left alone in this predicament. All born of Adam are experiencing this issue and the Bible has given us the answer to your question. To know how to KILL YOUR HUSBAND, you must follow this series of article till the end in order to grasp the solution. Let us begin with the marriage problem.

THE MARRIAGE PROBLEM

Just as the earthly sanctuary was given to Moses as an illustration of the heavenly Sanctuary, God has designed the earthly marriage between male and female to be an illustration of the heavenly/spiritual marriage between Christ and His church. For it is written:

“But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual.” 1 Cor. 15:46 (RSV).

The physical or natural (KJV) comes first before the spiritual. The Lord uses the earthly or physical things of this world to liken the things of heaven because our feeble mind cannot fully comprehend the kingdom of God. Christ during his earthly ministry used the things of nature; the things around us to explain the kingdom of God. Thus, Paul in Romans 7 chose the marriage relationship as a proper illustration of the Gospel truth.

Roman 7:1-6 is what I regard as the Gospel of Jesus Christ simplified. Although much of what Paul wrote is “hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest . . . unto their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:16. But as we shall see in this study that Romans 7 is one of the simplest illustration of the Gospel truth that one could ever find in the scripture.

Let us carefully and prayerfully read what the following verses:

Romans 7:1-6

“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

An Explanation

God said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Gen 2:24.

It is the law of God that binds both parties together to become one flesh and not two. The man and the woman are united together in mind and spirit and no man is allowed to separate them because the Lord has joined them together (Matthew 19:5, 6). The Law has dominion over a man (or woman) as long as he (or she) lives. (Rom 7:1; 1 Cor. 7:39). He (or she) cannot leave the marriage or break the marriage covenant to marry another person without any genuine reason. If he or she leaves the marriage or break the marriage covenant for another marriage relationship, the Law will condemn such person for committing adultery (Rom 7:3).

The nature of this marriage is explained as follows:

We see a woman who is tired and frustrated of her marriage. She finds herself bound to the law of marriage against her will. She didn’t bargain for such a marriage. Her husband is cruel, wicked, abusive, harsh, unloving, controls her against her will to do evil. He is a dictator; forcing her to perform the evil which she wouldn’t want to perform. She finds herself under a severe bondage. She cries daily to be delivered from such unsympathetic and inconsiderate husband. As she lay on her bed daily, she often thinks of how to kill her husband. She reason daily, “How on earth can I free myself from my evil Husband?”

She only has two options before her. These two options were given by Jesus and Apostle Paul.

  1. Adultery: The woman can give her husband a letter of divorce to terminate the marriage if she catches her husband in the act of adultery. By doing this she is permitted to marry another person of her choice and she is free from the condemnation of the law. She can also decide to commit adultery with another man in order to receive a letter of divorce from her husband which will bring freedom from her cruel husband. “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Mat 5:31-32 (c.f Matt 19:7-9).
  2. Death: When the man dies then the woman is free to marry another person of her choice. “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” Rom 7:2-3 (c.f 1 Cor. 7:39).

The first option of adultery is broken into two. That is, the man committing adultery or the woman committing adultery. In the case of the desperate and frustrated woman illustrated above, the husband would not opt for the option of committing adultery. He is so attached to the woman that he wouldn’t have time to commit adultery with another woman. Even if he commits adultery with another, he is so clever in the act that he can never be caught. Therefore the cruel husband would not choose to leave the woman in any way. The option of committing adultery by the woman is very dangerous. If the woman is caught committing adultery, the Law that binds her to her husband is the same law that will condemn her to death. In fact, like the woman taken in adultery in John 8:1-11, the law demands her life by stoning her to death (vs. 5). Therefore she cannot choose the option of committing adultery because she will either be jailed or put to death depending on the law of the land and this will even give the husband an upper hand of marrying another woman. She is not as clever as the husband for she would be caught if she commits adultery.

The woman is then left with the second option which is also broken into two.

The option of committing murder by killing her husband is in the same manner dangerous. The husband is far intelligent than her. He is smarter, wiser, and stronger than her. Therefore, she cannot even succeed a hairsbreadth. If she is caught in the act of trying to kill her husband by her strength or in her own power, the law will condemn her and she shall be found guilty. The knowledge of this truth leads to a deeper frustration. She thought within herself:

“if only I can find a way to kill my husband and at the same time remain vindicated by the law for doing so, then I will be free. But how can I accomplish this plan?”

As she contemplates daily on how to accomplish her mission, Lo, she met another handsome looking man who is in direct opposite in every respect to her present husband. This new man is kind, loving, gentle, good, sympathetic, strong (even far stronger than her husband), smarter, far intelligent, caring, joyful and patient. “Living with him”, she reasoned, “will bring life, blessing, fruitfulness and peace to her bitter soul.”

But the problem is this: The Law forbids any marriage outside her present marriage while her husband is alive even though she desires to marry this new man that is showing her all the love and kindness. It is impossible to marry this new man because the law will regard the act adulterous despite the much wooing from the new man. The solution to her despicable marriage is for her husband and her children to be done away with and eradicated before a new marriage can be consummated. The only way she can achieve this solution is to look for someone who can kill her husband and her children and at the same time remain vindicated or justified.

But the question yet to be answered is this: Who can deliver her from this mess she has plunge into?

THE APPLICATION

“Why all this” some one might ask.

In Romans 7:1-6 Paul was using the analogy of earthly marriage to explain our spiritual marriage or union with Satan (flesh and all its passion) and Christ. The questions we now need to ask ourselves are these:

  1. Who is the woman in Romans 7?
  2. Who is the first husband?
  3. Who is the second man wooing her?
  4. What are the fruit unto God and fruit unto death?

The Woman

We are represented as the woman. It is clearly stated in Romans 7:4 which says:

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

The First husband

The first husband in the actual and primary sense is Satan but in the secondary sense is the flesh. Paul said, “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” Rom 7:5.

When we were in the flesh could be compared to a woman living in the house with a man whom you are not in love with. The phrase “the motions of sins” reads “our sinful passions” in RSV. These sinful passions reside in the flesh. That means sin is in our very nature. It is woven directly into our very being.

Ellet Joseph Waggoner rightly puts it:

Sin is in the heart of man; “for from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; all these evil things come from within.” Mark 7:21-23. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jer.17:9. Sin is in every fiber of our being by nature. We are born in sin, and our life is sin, so that sin can not be taken from us without taking our life. What I need is freedom from my own personal sin, – that sin which not only has been committed by me personally, but which dwells in the heart, – the sin which constitutes the whole of my life . . . Sin is in all flesh.”- The Glad Tidings, p. 86-88.

It is through the flesh that Satan arouses us to disobey the Law of God. He tempts us by what we see, feel, smell and eat. Through the senses of the soul he seeks to gain control of the mind of man.

The works of the flesh are nothing but the works of Satan. The works of righteousness, done through faith in Jesus, are nothing but the fruit of the Holy Spirit. In the writings of Paul the sin that dwells in the flesh is regarded as “body of sin,” “our old man,” “body of this death,” “carnal mind.” (Romans 6:6; 7:24; 8:7). The flesh is evil because it accommodates another power which is regarded as the sin-master or carnal mind that controls use against our will.

The flesh is also weak and cannot obey the law of God. The law of sin is in our member which is continually warring against the law of God in our mind. (Romans 7:23). The war between the flesh and the Spirit is seen pointed out in Gal 5:17

“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would” (RSV).

This warfare between the flesh and Spirit is preventing us to do the good we would have desired to do. Gal 5:17 validates what Christ said in Gethsemane about the ability of the flesh. He said:

“watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41.

The flesh is weak and incapable of doing any God things that we might be willing to do no matter how hard we try. Therefore, the first husband, the husband whom the woman got married to is none other than Satan who controls us against our will through our sinful flesh, carnal mind and sinful heart desires.

The second husband

The second man or husband is Jesus Christ. Paul said:

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Romans 7:4

Who was raised from the dead?

“Jesus Christ our Lord . . . the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:3, 4.

The fruits

The fruit unto God are the fruit of the Spirit listed in Gal 5:22, 23. While fruit unto death are the fruit of Satan or works of the flesh listed in Gal 5:19-21. It should be remembered that, the first marriage with Satan had led the woman to bear fruit unto death. Both her self-righteous and sinful deeds were done through the help of Satan. All are righteousness, before God, are filthy rags because they were done through the spirit of Satan.

Killing the Children

There was a time the woman once thought of killing the children. The children represent her actions, fruits and deeds that reveal to the world who she was actually married to, either to Satan or to Christ.

She was busy cutting the branches and plucking the fruits to solve the problem. But the more she cuts the branches and plucks the fruits, the more the branches and fruit reappears, even in a greater degree. Little did she know that Satan will continue to use her and implant in her his evil seed even against her own will. Provided the husband is still alive and she still stays with him, she will continue to bear fruit for him no matter how many of her children she kills daily.

The solution therefore is not how hard she needs to try in destroying the children; the solution to her problem of bearing sinful fruits is the death of her husband. The problem is not the fruits, the problem is the source of fruits. That is why in the plan of salvation, revival must precede reformation. Mrs. White beautifully differentiate the two work of grace that God need to do in man before he can be accepted into His heavenly bliss. She penned the following:

“Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.”- Review and Herald, February 25, 1902 par. 8

Reformation is the cutting of the branches and plucking of the fruits and the reorganization of ones lifestyle which can only be done through the help of the Holy Spirit when one has experience true and genuine revival—the spiritual death of the first husband.

Destroying the Law

Another option that has once occurred to her is the doing away or destroying the Law that binds her to her husband. The problem is not with the Law. A change or alteration of the Law would not solve the problem. This has led many professed Christians to regard the Law of God (Ten Commandments) as irrelevant.

They say, “We are not under the Law but under grace” and by doing so they tend to abolish the law to their own damnation, while in reality the Law is absolutely still binding upon all. Paul, in the same Romans 7 verses 7, 12-14, 16, 22, 25, has the following to say about the perpetuity of the Law:

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet . . . Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. . . I consent unto the law that it is good . . . For I delight in the law of God after the inward man . . . I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Rom 7:7-25.

Thus the issue is not with the Law because it’s the same law which binds the first marriage that will bind the second marriage. The Law of marriage is an eternal principle as long as life shall last. The change that must come in to solve the problem is the death of her husband– the old man, the sin-master, the carnal mind, the mind of Satan or the stoning heart.

The old husband must die before the new Husband can come in. It is the old husband that is to be eradicated and done away with not the Law that condemned’s adultery or fornication.

It should be clearly noted by all that:

The same law that condemns any marriage contract outside the present marriage is the same Law that commends or encourage remarriage when the husband dies. The condition for freedom from the present marriage is the death of the first husband. When the husband dies, then a new marriage relationship can be consummated and the peace the woman seeks can finally be secured. Without this experience we shall continue to serve Satan and bear fruits unto his honor.

To be continued in part two