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The 1888 Message Sees the Cross
From Another Perspective

Part I: The Old Testament Evidence


Jones and Waggoner saw the sacrifice of Christ as far more glorified and effective than our current presentations of righteousness by faith make possible. They saw how as our second Adam Christ literally "saved the world" which Adam had ruined by his sin — reversing the "condemnation" in Adam by "justification" "in Christ." By His great sacrifice He has accomplished this salvation for "all men." Thus He has actually given the gift of salvation to every man inasmuch as He has died the second death of every man. Jones and Waggoner saw this truth as the refutation of Universalism, for they saw unbelief as a far more deadly sin than is usually understood; the lost by their unbelief thrust from them the gift which Christ has already placed in their hands. 1 Bound up with this truth is a far more effective motivation in soul-winning.


Genesis 3:15. For every person, as "the seed of the woman" Christ conquered Satan, not merely wounded him. He did more than merely offer us a provisional deliverance.

Genesis 12:3. In Abraham's "seed" (Christ), "all families of the earth" are in fact "blessed," not merely provisionally, or possibly, or perhaps. 2

Genesis 28:12-14. The vision of Jacob's ladder during his time of despair teaches that the "blessing" of the gift of salvation is again assured to unworthy sinners— "all." 3

Exodus 29:38-42. Christ's universal sacrifice for sin was typified by the daily burnt offering for "all men" including the unbelieving stranger and the foreigner within the Land. 4

Numbers 21:5-9. Healing was not "offered" on condition of anything the wounded soul could do first. Rather, it was freely given, but was received by his "looking." Repentance and obedience were not required before "every man" could look and be healed. They followed the thankful realization that he was healed by looking to the serpent.

Psalm 23:1. The Lord invites anyone to pray this prayer. He is already every person's Shepherd who will acknowledge that He has made Himself such by virtue of His sacrifice. We don't work to earn His care as our Shepherd. 5

Psalm 107. Illustrates the effects of Christ's universal justification for "the children of men," whether Israelites or Gentiles, worthy or otherwise. If this were not true, all would perish in these various disasters.

Isaiah 9:6. The "us" to whom "a child is born" is the entire human race. All these blessings are theirs "in Him."

Isaiah 53:2-6. Sixteen first personal plural pronouns — all refer to the entire human race.

Isaiah 53:4. The human race do not bear their rightful grief's or sorrows; Christ bore them.

Isaiah 53:5. A cosmic, divine justice demands that "our peace" ("all men's") be balanced by a corresponding and equitable "chastisement" — which Christ suffered as our second Adam, corporately one with us. "All men" are infinitely in debt to Him already.

Isaiah 53:6. As surely as "all sinned" so surely has the Lord already laid that iniquity upon Christ. 6

Jeremiah 23:5, 6. In context, the phrase THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS is seen to apply to "the earth," that is "all men." But He is received thus only by believers.

Zechariah 5:1-4. "Over the face of the whole earth" the Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin because the sacrifice of the Lamb of God has been applied to atone For every "curse." Conviction of sin is possible only if Christ has already paid the penalty for that sin.

[To be continued in Bible Study Six, Part II, The New Testament Evidence.]


From the beginning, Israel's mission was to tell the world of a universal sacrifice for sin, not try to hoard the blessings to themselves alone. The purpose of their presence in the world was to win souls from everywhere. If they had understood their own message, they would have enlightened the world effectively, and the four cruel world empires would never have arisen as they did.

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  1. Some clear expressions of this idea are found in The Glad Tidings (Waggoner), pp. 11, 13, 14, 61, 66, 107; Waggoner on Romans, pp. 69, 71, 81, 89, 101; General Conference Bulletin (Jones), 1895, pp. 268, 269; The Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection (Jones), pp. 82, 83. [return to study]
  2. In Net 98 (which was excellent in many ways) the thought was continually urged that Christ offers "a forever friendship." Seldom if ever was the thought expressed that this "forever friendship" has been given us in Christ so that only by unbelief and rejection can the sinner fail to realize the friendship that Christ has already given him. Motivation is intrinsically involved in this issue. [return to study]
  3. The "if" in Jacob's response (vss. 20-22) suggests an old covenant mindset on his part, reminiscent of his grandfather's old covenant affair with Hagar — a failure to believe God's promise totally. The difference between Jacob-lost and Jacob-saved was the difference between unbelief and faith. [return to study]
  4. This "continual" offering did not make unnecessary the regular sin-offerings which required faith and repentance, but its universal nature underlaid all the sacrificial offerings as their common denominator. Repentance, confession of sin, obedience, did not precede the offering of the daily burnt offering, but resulted from appreciation for it. "The continual burnt offering" was the basis for Paul's doctrine in Romans 3 and 5 of a universal legal justification for "all men," or "judicial verdict of acquittal for all men" (NEB). [return to study]
  5. Obviously, "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness" (Romans 10:10). [return to study]
  6. In other words, Christ has already paid the full debt of "every man's" sin. But the sinner carries that burden on his sinful heart and conscience until someone tells him the gospel and he believes the Good News. [return to study]

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