Third Angel's Message
Justification by Faith
And the Mind of Christ
Sermon #12
Talks given at the 1993 General Conference Session
by A.T.Jones

A.T. Jones was one of the speakers at the 1888 conference. The sermons of 1888 were not recorded. But following is a sermon from 1893 conference.

Last night we came to this: that in order to have the righteousness of God--which is the latter rain, which is the preparation for the loud cry--we must have the mind of Christ only; it cannot come in any other way. This is precisely the advice that is given to us in the Scriptures: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." Phil. 2:5,6. What is the thing that that text shows that the mind of Christ does? What did it do in Him? It "emptied himself." When that mind is in us, what will it do there? The same thing. It will empty us of self. Then the first thought that that text gives is that the mind of Christ empties of himself the one in whom it is.

When that mind that was in Christ emptied himself, then what came? God filled Him. When that mind that was in Him is in us and does in us what it did in Him--empties us of self--what then will fill the place? God in Christ will fill us. Then God in Christ dwells in us. But that takes self out of the way.

Now what mind is in us to start with? The mind of self. What does that mind do? It exalts self. What kind of mind is it we have to start with? The natural mind. A man has a natural mind, and he must have another mind. He must have the mind that was in Christ, but that mind that is in Christ only empties of self the one in whom it dwells. Therefore as we have a mind to start with and must have another than that, while that other empties of self the one in whom it is, does it not follow inevitably that the mind which we have to start with, is a mind only of self?

God made man to start with, at the real start in Eden. Did God put in that man the mind of self? [Congregation: "No, sir."] Whose mind was it in that man? The mind of God. Brother Haskell has read to us in his lessons the wonderful wisdom that was in Adam and that wisdom was of God that was reflected in the life of Adam--his mind, his thoughts, his whole make-up reflecting the Maker. When God said, "Let us make man in our image," it meant a great deal more than the shape; it meant that if you and I could have seen Adam and Eve as they came from the hand of God, we would have seen the image of God reflected and would have been caused to think of somebody back of them, far back of them and far superior to them. Who is that? God.

But they did not stay as God made them. Satan came into the garden. God had said to them certain words, his words, the expression of his mind, his thought concerning them. If they had received those words, had retained those words and the thoughts of God in those words, whose mind would they have retained? God's. When this other one, Satan, came and told them other words, expressing his thoughts and the product of his mind and they accepted that and yielded to that, then whose thoughts did they receive and whose mind did they receive? [Congregation: "Satan's"]

We need not go back into the depths of Satan's experience; we all know what it was that caused his fall. What was that? [Congregation: "Pride."] But self was the root of the pride; self is the root of everything;; pride is the fruit of self only. Satan looked at himself before he got proud of himself. If he had looked into the face of Him who sits upon the throne he never would have become proud. He would have reflected the image of Him who sits upon the throne, as that image is manifested in Jesus Christ. But when he turned His look from the face of Him who sits upon the throne and turned it upon himself, then it was that he became proud of himself. Then it was that he considered how beautiful he himself was, and his heart was lifted up because of his beauty, and he began to give himself credit for what he was. What he was came from God. But Lucifer gave himself credit for all that he was and for what he was. Did he not in that count himself as self-existent--in fact put himself in the place of God? But it all came from self, and that is the thought of it all. He said, "I will be like God. I will be like the Most High." He would be in the place of Christ, and anyone who puts himself in the place of Christ puts himself in the place of God, because God is in Christ.

Then that being so, that being Satan's mind, when he came to our first parents and they received of that mind, what mind was that? The mind of self, because it is the mind of Satan who is self, and the same ambition was set before them that he set before himself that made himself what he is himself. "Ye shall not surely die, for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired to make one wise." To be desired to do what? To make one wise. Wise as what? Like God. "Ye shall be like God," knowing more than you know now. Knowing such and such things. O yes, then that tree is a tree to be desired to bring to me that knowledge, to give me that wisdom, and this tree is the channel through which I can accomplish that object of being like God. That is it. Then what is the mind that is in us? [Congregation: "Self."] The natural mind is the mind of Satan. That is self always.

Now the Lord did not leave it there alone. The Lord did not stop right there. If He had stopped there, there never could have been in any man's mind in this world any impulse other than that of Satan himself, because the whole natural mind is of self and Satan only. But God said, I will break that up. "I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed." God put the enmity there, the hatred against Satan's power, the hatred against the things that are in that mind even. God has planted that hatred there, and that is the source of every impulse to good, or to right, or anything of the kind that ever comes into any man's mind in this world.

But when God put that hatred of evil there, it also begets the desire for something better than this evil which we hate. But what is that better thing? What is the object of that desire? [Congregation: "Jesus Christ."] Because Jesus Christ and His presence, God's mind, comes back to the place whence it has been taken away. God's image comes back to the place from whence it has been banished by this deception of Satan. Christ is the image of God, the express image of His person, and when we receive Jesus Christ in His fulness the image of God is returned to the place where it belongs. Therefore His putting that enmity sets the will--the choice--free, so that man can choose this other mind. This is that Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. If a man will follow that light he will find Jesus Christ, as Abraham did, as Cornelius did, as everyone does who will follow that ray of light. So He is the Desire of all nations. Haggai 2:7. Christ is that.

The man who finds that hatred of evil, that desire for something better, that will to do good, is that the doing of good? [Congregation: "No."] Can He do the good that He is drawn to, by that impulse? [Congregation: "No."] Let us read in Romans and see what is done. Rom. 3:10, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." And the 12th verse: "They are all gone out of the way; they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Is that so? [Congregation: "Yes, sir."] Then how can we talk about a heathen doing good? Does he do good? "There is none that doeth good, no, not one." [A voice: "If a man has Christ, he can do good."] But if he has Christ, he is not a heathen. What we are talking about is the heathen.

No, even this need not be. We need not go to the heathen to inquire. All we need is to go to the Jews. Here is one that was a Jew, like you and I. Romans 7:14, "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin." The carnal mind is the natural mind. Whose mind is the natural mind? Satan's, that is the mind of self; that is the mind of Satan. Well, let us read further. "For that which I do, I allow not." What is the reason I do not allow what I do? What is the matter with it? Why can't I allow it? Because I know it is wrong. It is not good. If it were good could I not allow it? "That which I do, I allow not." What is actually done then? The good? No, the not good. The bad. The wrong.

"For what I would, that I do not." What would he do? [Congregation: "Good."] That which I would I do not. What would he do? [Congregation: "Good."] What did he do? [Congregation: "Wrong."] Then on both these points what was done? The evil.

"But what I hate, that do I." What did he hate? Sin. He hated the evil, the wrong, the bad. But what did he do? The evil. He did the evil; he did the wrong; he did the bad.

Then how much good does the natural man do? None. Although he hates the bad, how much good does he do? None. He would do the good, but how much of the good that he would does he actually do? None. Now is that so? [Congregation: "Yes."] It is so, for the Bible says so. Then what in the world is the use of anybody's talking about the heathen doing good or even a Jew doing good or any man doing good, who has only the natural mind and is only the natural man? This is not saying whether he has impulses to good or not; that is not the question. He had these impulses all the time, didn't he? He had the knowledge of good, so much that he hated the bad things that he was doing.

Now think of that. There was the natural man: there was a man like you and I and every other man born into this world. He had impulses to good; he had the knowledge of good; he hated the evil; but what did he do? Not what did he think? Not what did he know? But what did he do? He did the evil. It is not a question of what he knew. Did he do anything else than evil? No. He knew something else; he knew better, didn't he? [Congregation: "Yes, sir."] Then let us not pass off our right knowing for right doing. Let us not pass off our right knowledge for right deeds. Knowledge of right is not doing right. So he did not do any good. Who is that? It is you and I--the natural man. Is that I? Yes. Without the mind of Christ itself is that I? Yes. Then though I profess to believe in Christ, if the mind of Christ itself is not there is that I? Yes. Is it you? [Congregation: "Yes, sir!"] All right, then, let us go together.

"If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it." No. I said I would not do it. I said that I hated it and declared that I would never do it again. But I did do it. Then when I hated it and resolved and re-resolved and determined that I would never do it again and yet did it, what in the world was the matter with me? I had the knowledge but did not have the power. Now the gospel of Christ, "which is Christ in you," that is power. It is the power of God to every one that believeth.

Well, then, the natural man is not free, is he? [Congregation: "No, sir."] He is not in a condition where he can do what he would, even with the bedimmed intellect and the obscured mind that he has. He cannot live up to his own standard. But is what he would do as he sees it, is that as God would have him do it? [Congregation: "No."] Or as God would do it? [Congregation: "No."] Whose right-doing are we to have? [Congregation: "God's."] Yes, for God's righteousness is what we are to have. and righteousness is right doing. So that it is God's right doing that we must have. Then our understanding is exceedingly low, even with the light which God has let shine into our hearts. Then where is the good doing of any man in this world who has not the mind of Jesus Christ?

"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will in present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." What is it that is present with us? To will to do good. Then what did that putting of enmity there against Satan--what was that the doing of? Is not it setting the man free to will? Yes. Was it anything more than that? [Congregation: "No."] Now think carefully of this; I mean on this point. There are other things in it, of course, but did that do any more for the man to enable him to do right things and glorify God, did it do any more for him than to set free his will, that he might choose which master he would have? [Congregation: "No."] It put the hatred there, and gave him the knowledge of something better. It gives the hatred of evil, leads him out towards the good, but does it enable him to do the good? [Congregation: "No."]

Now just another thought there. He hates the evil and declares he never will do it, and yet against his will and against all his being for that matter, it is done. But what is it, and who is it, that actually does it? [Congregation: "'Sin that dwelleth in him."] And who rules that? [Congregation: "Satan."] Who is the master of that man? [Congregation: "Satan."]

Now when the man is set free from that carnal mind, that mind of self and Satan, who controls that man? Who then is his master? [Congregation: "Christ."] Yes. He who sets him free. It is Christ Jesus. Then when we are free from Satan's mastery we become bound to another Master. Satan's mastery is slavery and ruin; Christ's mastery is freedom and everlasting life, everlasting joy, and everlasting prosperity.

Now carry that thought a little further. When we had the mind of Satan and he was ruling, we said we would not do those evil things, but just those were done. Who did it? [Congregation: "Sin that dwelleth in us."] We said we will do so and so. We did not. Who kept us from it? [Congregation: "Satan."] But now in Christ we are free from him: we have the other mind. We say we will do that. Who does it? [Congregation: "Christ."] While in the natural mind we refuse and who does it? [Congregation: "Satan."] And when in the mind of Christ we choose and who does it? [Congregation: "Christ."] Is that so? [Congregation: "Yes."] It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do, of His good pleasure.

This thought will come more fully at another time, but we want to get the thought before you tonight.

"For the good that I would, I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" What is the condition of the man who has only the natural mind? [Congregation: "Wretched."] Yes, and in captivity. And the more intense the hatred of the evil the more wretched the condition, because there is no deliverance from it in anything the man can do for himself. Well, then, who shall deliver? "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit."

Now Romans 8:6,7: "For to be carnally minded is death." What is the condition of that man who has only the natural mind? [Congregation: "Dead."] "But to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind [the natural mind] is" AT enmity with God [Congregation: "No. IS enmity against God."] No, it is not at enmity with God, but it itself is enmity. It "is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God," until the man is converted? [Congregation: "Neither indeed can be."] Can't be? Cannot God make that mind subject to His law? [Congregation: "No."] Now, can't the Lord make that mind that is in you and me--the natural mind--can't He make that subject to His law? [Congregation: "No."] what is that mind? It is enmity against God. Cannot the Lord make that which is enmity against Him--can't He make it love for Him? [Congregation: "No."]

There is the point: If it were AT enmity, then it might be reconciled, because the thing that would make it at enmity would be the source of the trouble. And therefore take away the source of the trouble, then the thing that is at enmity would be reconciled. WE are AT enmity, but when He takes the enmity away, WE are RECONCILED to God. In this matter of the carnal mind though, there is nothing between; it is the thing itself. That is the root.

Then it cannot be subject to the law of God. The only thing that can be done with it, is to destroy it, uproot it, banish it, annihilate it. Whose mind is it? [Congregation: "Satan's."] It is the mind of self, and that is of Satan. Well then, what can a man do in the way of righteousness? What can be done in him, even, in the way of righteousness, until that other mind is there? [Congregation: "Nothing."] Well, that is the mind that is in all mankind. Now let us see how this carnal mind, this natural man, works in the matter of righteousness in the matter of justification.

Romans, first chapter, tells us this, verses 20-22: "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." Who was the first inhabitant of this world that professed to follow wisdom at the suggestion of self, at the suggestion of Satan? Eve. She was the first one that reached out after wisdom in this way. What did she get? [Congregation: "Foolishness."] She became a fool. And we are all there. Who leads the natural mind? Satan. Who works it? Satan. Then when those that he is speaking of here, had gone away from God, became fools; "and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things"--that is heathendom.

Fifteenth chapter of Gibbons' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, paragraph 17; he says of the heathen in the inquiry after the immortality of the soul:

"In the sublime inquiry, their reason had been often guided by their imagination, and their imagination had been prompted by their vanity."

Mark it. Reason of what kind of a mind? [Congregation: "the carnal mind."] Guided by the imagination of what kind of a mind? [Congregation: "The carnal mind."] And the imagination prompted by the vanity of what kind of a mind? [Congregation: "The carnal mind."] Is not that exactly the mind of Satan? Vanity the root of the inquiry, and self the root of the vanity. This is the best comment upon that verse of Scripture you will find in this world. I read on:

When they viewed with complacency the extent of their own mental powers, when they exercised the various faculties of memory, of fancy, and of judgment, in the most profound speculations, or the most important labors, and when they reflected on the desire of fame, which transported them into future ages, far beyond the bonds of death and of the grave; they were unwilling to confound themselves with the beasts of the field or to suppose that a being, for whose dignity they entertained the most sincere admiration, could be limited to a spot of earth and to a few years of duration.

What is that but the description of Satan's career when he started. His reason prompted by his imagination; his imagination guided by his vanity, and viewing with complacency the extent of his own mental powers; the desire for fame beyond that of God, and unwilling to allow that a person for whose dignity he entertained the most sincere admiration could be properly confined to a subordinate place in the universe of God. Is not this an exact description of mankind in a heathen condition, written by a philosopher, looking only at the question from man's side of it? Could there be a clearer description of the working of Satan in his original career?

Well, what then?

With this favorable prepossession they summoned to their aid the science, or rather the language, of metaphysics. They soon discovered that as none of the properties of matter will apply to the operations of the mind, the human soul must consequently be a substance distinct from the body, pure, simple and spiritual, incapable of dissolution, and susceptible of a much higher degree of virtue and happiness after the release from its corporeal prison. From these specious and noble principles, the philosophers who trod in the footsteps of Plato deduced a very unjustifiable conclusion, since they asserted, not only the future immortality, but the past eternity of the human soul, which they were too apt to consider as a portion of the infinite and self-existing spirit, which pervades and sustains the universe.

What is that but the mind of Satan? Self-existing, like God. Equal with God. What is that then but the action in man of that very mind which in Lucifer in heaven, aspired to be equal with God? The mind that would exalt self to equality with God. That is the natural mind. That is the mind that is natural in every man in the world. That is the mind of Satan. And that is the working of this natural mind in open, bold heathenism. Then does not every such one need another mind--even the mind of Jesus Christ, that thought it not a thing to be seized upon to be equal with God, but emptied Himself? Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him.

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