For we wrestle not against flesh and blood - Ουκ εστιν ἡμιν ἡ παλη προς αἱμα και σαρκα· Our wrestling or contention is not with men like ourselves: flesh and blood is a Hebraism for men, or human beings. See the note on Galatians 1:16.
The word παλη implies the athletic exercises in the Olympic and other national games; and παλαιστρα was the place in which the contenders exercised. Here it signifies warfare in general.
Against principalities - Αρχας· Chief rulers; beings of the first rank and order in their own kingdom.
Powers - Εξουσιας, Authorities, derived from, and constituted by the above.
The rulers of the darkness of this world - Τους κοσμοκρατορας του σκοτους του αιωνος τουτου· The rulers of the world; the emperors of the darkness of this state of things.
Spiritual wickedness - Τα πνευματικα της πονηριας· The spiritual things of wickedness; or, the spiritualities of wickedness; highly refined and sublimed evil; disguised falsehood in the garb of truth; Antinomianism in the guise of religion.
In high places - Εν τοις επουρανιοις· In the most sublime stations. But who are these of whom the apostle speaks? Schoettgen contends that the rabbins and Jewish rulers are intended. This he thinks proved by the words του αιωνος τουτου, of this world, which are often used to designate the Old Testament, and the Jewish system; and the words εν τοις επουρανιοις, in heavenly places, which are not unfrequently used to signify the time of the New Testament, and the Gospel system.
By the spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, he thinks false teachers, who endeavored to corrupt Christianity, are meant; such as those mentioned by St. John, 1 John 2:19; : They went out from us, but they were not of us, etc. And he thinks the meaning may be extended to all corrupters of Christianity in all succeeding ages. He shows also that the Jews called their own city עולם של שר sar shel olam, κοσμοκρατωρ, the ruler of the world; and proves that David's words, Psalm 2:2, The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, are applied by the apostles, Acts 4:26, to the Jewish rulers, αρχοντες, who persecuted Peter and John for preaching Christ crucified. But commentators in general are not of this mind, but think that by principalities, etc., we are to understand different orders of evil spirits, who are all employed under the devil, their great head, to prevent the spread of the Gospel in the world, and to destroy the souls of mankind.
The spiritual wickedness are supposed to be the angels which kept not their first estate; who fell from the heavenly places but are ever longing after and striving to regain them; and which have their station in the regions of the air. "Perhaps," says Mr. Wesley, "the principalities and powers remain mostly in the citadel of their kingdom of darkness; but there are other spirits which range abroad, to whom the provinces of the world are committed; the darkness is chiefly spiritual darkness which prevails during the present state of things, and the wicked spirits are those which continually oppose faith, love, and holiness, either by force or fraud; and labor to infuse unbelief, pride, idolatry, malice, envy, anger, and hatred." Some translate the words εν τοις επουρανιοις, about heavenly things; that is: We contend with these fallen spirits for the heavenly things which are promised to us; and we strive against them, that we may not be deprived of those we have.
For we wrestle - Greek, “The wrestling to us;” or, “There is not to us a wrestling with flesh and blood.” There is undoubtedly here an allusion to the ancient games of Greece, a part of the exercises in which consisted in wrestling; see the notes on 1 Corinthians 9:25-27. The Greek word used here - πάλη palē- denotes a “wrestling;” and then a struggle, fight, combat. Here it refers to the struggle or combat which the Christian has to mainrain - the Christian warfare. Not against flesh and blood - Not with people; see the notes on Galatians 1:16. The apostle does not mean to say that Christians had no enemies among men that opposed them, for they were exposed often to fiery persecution; nor that they had nothing to contend with in the carnal and corrupt propensities of their nature, which was true of them then as it is now; but that their main controversy was with the invisible spirits of wickedness that sought to destroy them. They were the source and origin of all their spiritual conflicts, and with them the warfare was to be maintained. But against principalities - There can be no doubt whatever that the apostle alludes here to evil spirits. Like good angels, they were regarded as divided into ranks and orders, and were supposed to be under the control of one mighty leader; see the notes on Ephesians 1:21. It is probable that the allusion here is to the ranks and orders which they sustained before their fall, something like which they may still retain. The word “principalities” refers to principal rulers, or chieftains. Powers - Those who had power, or to whom the name of “powers” was given. Milton represents Satan as addressing the fallen angels in similar language: “Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers.” Against the rulers of the darkness of this world - The rulers that preside over the regions of ignorance and sin with which the earth abounds, compare notes on Ephesians 2:2. “Darkness” is an emblem of ignorance, misery, and sin; and no description could be more accurate than that of representing these malignant spirits as ruling over a dark world. The earth - dark, and wretched and ignorant, and sinful - is just such a dominion as they would choose, or as they would cause; and the degradation and woe of the pagan world are just such as foul and malignant spirits would delight in. It is a wide and a powerful empire. It has been consolidated by ages. It is sustained by all the authority of law; by all the omnipotence of the perverted religious principle; by all the reverence for antiquity; by all the power of selfish, corrupt, and base passions. No empire has been so extended, or has continued so long, as that empire of darkness; and nothing on earth is so difficult to destroy. Yet the apostle says that it was on that kingdom they were to make war. Against that, the kingdom of the Redeemer was to be set up; and that was to be overcome by the spiritual weapons which he specifies. When he speaks of the Christian warfare here, he refers to the contest with the powers of this dark kingdom. He regards each and every Christian as a soldier to wage war on it in whatever way he could, and wherever he could attack it. The contest therefore was not primarily with people, or with the internal corrupt propensities of the soul; it was with this vast and dark kingdom that had been set up over mankind. I do not regard this passage, therefore, as having a primary reference to the struggle which a Christian maintains with his own corrupt propensities. It is a warfare on a large scale with the entire kingdom of darkness over the world. Yet in maintaining the warfare, the struggle will be with such portions of that kingdom as we come in contact with and will actually relate: (1)to our own sinful propensities - which are a part of the kingdom of darkness; (2)with the evil passions of others - their pride, ambition, and spirit of revenge - which are also a part of that kingdom; (3)with the evil customs, laws, opinions, employments, pleasures of the world - which are also a part of that dark kingdom; (4)with error, superstition, false doctrine - which are also a part of that kingdom; and, (5)with the wickedness of the pagan world - the sins of benighted nations - also a part of that kingdom. Wherever we come in contact with evil - whether in our own hearts or elsewhere - there we are to make war. Against spiritual wickedness - Margin, “or wicked spirits.” Literally, “The spiritual things of wickedness;” but the allusion is undoubtedly to evil spirits, and to their influences on earth. In high places - ἐν τοῖς ἐπουράνιοις - “in celestial or heavenly places.” The same phrase occurs in Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:6, where it is translated, “in heavenly places.” The word ( ἐπουράνιος epouranios) is used of those that dwell in heaven, Matthew 18:35; Philemon 2:10; of those who come from heaven, 1 Corinthians 15:48; Philemon 3:21; of the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, and stars, 1 Corinthians 15:40. Then the neuter plural of the word is used to denote the heavens; and then the “lower” heavens, the sky, the air, represented as the seat of evil spirits; see the notes on Ephesians 2:2. This is the allusion here. The evil spirits are supposed to occupy the lofty regions of the air, and thence to exert a baleful influence on the affairs of man. What was the origin of this opinion it is not needful here to inquire. No one can “prove,” however, that it is incorrect. It is against such spirits, and all their malignant influences, that Christians are called to contend. In whatever way their power is put forth - whether in the prevalence of vice and error; of superstition and magic arts; of infidelity, atheism, or antinomianism; of evil customs and laws; of pernicious fashions and opinions, or in the corruptions of our own hearts, we are to make war on all these forms of evil, and never to yield in the conflict.
Not against flesh and blood - Not with people; see the notes on Galatians 1:16. The apostle does not mean to say that Christians had no enemies among men that opposed them, for they were exposed often to fiery persecution; nor that they had nothing to contend with in the carnal and corrupt propensities of their nature, which was true of them then as it is now; but that their main controversy was with the invisible spirits of wickedness that sought to destroy them. They were the source and origin of all their spiritual conflicts, and with them the warfare was to be maintained.
But against principalities - There can be no doubt whatever that the apostle alludes here to evil spirits. Like good angels, they were regarded as divided into ranks and orders, and were supposed to be under the control of one mighty leader; see the notes on Ephesians 1:21. It is probable that the allusion here is to the ranks and orders which they sustained before their fall, something like which they may still retain. The word “principalities” refers to principal rulers, or chieftains.
Powers - Those who had power, or to whom the name of “powers” was given. Milton represents Satan as addressing the fallen angels in similar language:
“Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers.”
Against the rulers of the darkness of this world - The rulers that preside over the regions of ignorance and sin with which the earth abounds, compare notes on Ephesians 2:2. “Darkness” is an emblem of ignorance, misery, and sin; and no description could be more accurate than that of representing these malignant spirits as ruling over a dark world. The earth - dark, and wretched and ignorant, and sinful - is just such a dominion as they would choose, or as they would cause; and the degradation and woe of the pagan world are just such as foul and malignant spirits would delight in. It is a wide and a powerful empire. It has been consolidated by ages. It is sustained by all the authority of law; by all the omnipotence of the perverted religious principle; by all the reverence for antiquity; by all the power of selfish, corrupt, and base passions. No empire has been so extended, or has continued so long, as that empire of darkness; and nothing on earth is so difficult to destroy.
Yet the apostle says that it was on that kingdom they were to make war. Against that, the kingdom of the Redeemer was to be set up; and that was to be overcome by the spiritual weapons which he specifies. When he speaks of the Christian warfare here, he refers to the contest with the powers of this dark kingdom. He regards each and every Christian as a soldier to wage war on it in whatever way he could, and wherever he could attack it. The contest therefore was not primarily with people, or with the internal corrupt propensities of the soul; it was with this vast and dark kingdom that had been set up over mankind. I do not regard this passage, therefore, as having a primary reference to the struggle which a Christian maintains with his own corrupt propensities. It is a warfare on a large scale with the entire kingdom of darkness over the world. Yet in maintaining the warfare, the struggle will be with such portions of that kingdom as we come in contact with and will actually relate:
(1)to our own sinful propensities - which are a part of the kingdom of darkness;
(2)with the evil passions of others - their pride, ambition, and spirit of revenge - which are also a part of that kingdom;
(3)with the evil customs, laws, opinions, employments, pleasures of the world - which are also a part of that dark kingdom;
(4)with error, superstition, false doctrine - which are also a part of that kingdom; and,
(5)with the wickedness of the pagan world - the sins of benighted nations - also a part of that kingdom. Wherever we come in contact with evil - whether in our own hearts or elsewhere - there we are to make war.
Against spiritual wickedness - Margin, “or wicked spirits.” Literally, “The spiritual things of wickedness;” but the allusion is undoubtedly to evil spirits, and to their influences on earth.
In high places - ἐν τοῖς ἐπουράνιοις - “in celestial or heavenly places.” The same phrase occurs in Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:6, where it is translated, “in heavenly places.” The word ( ἐπουράνιος epouranios) is used of those that dwell in heaven, Matthew 18:35; Philemon 2:10; of those who come from heaven, 1 Corinthians 15:48; Philemon 3:21; of the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, and stars, 1 Corinthians 15:40. Then the neuter plural of the word is used to denote the heavens; and then the “lower” heavens, the sky, the air, represented as the seat of evil spirits; see the notes on Ephesians 2:2. This is the allusion here. The evil spirits are supposed to occupy the lofty regions of the air, and thence to exert a baleful influence on the affairs of man. What was the origin of this opinion it is not needful here to inquire. No one can “prove,” however, that it is incorrect. It is against such spirits, and all their malignant influences, that Christians are called to contend. In whatever way their power is put forth - whether in the prevalence of vice and error; of superstition and magic arts; of infidelity, atheism, or antinomianism; of evil customs and laws; of pernicious fashions and opinions, or in the corruptions of our own hearts, we are to make war on all these forms of evil, and never to yield in the conflict.
Our Duty in the Moment of Respite—Angels are now restraining the winds of strife, until the world shall be warned of its coming doom; but a storm is gathering, ready to burst upon the earth, and when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.... Ev 704.1
A moment of respite has been graciously given us of God. Every power lent us of heaven is to be used in doing the work assigned us by the Lord for those who are perishing in ignorance.... Ev 704.2
God's people should make mighty intercession to Him for help now. And they must put their whole energies into the effort to proclaim the truth during the respite that has been granted.... Ev 704.3Read in context »
Where are those who would be wise laborers together with God? The apostle says, “Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” But will men trust that they may be able under pressure of circumstances to step into some important position, when they have neglected to train and discipline themselves for the work? Will they imagine that they may be polished instruments in the hands of God for the salvation of souls for whom Christ died, when they have neglected to use the opportunities placed at their command for obtaining a fitness for the work? “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Every one needs to improve his God-given faculties and opportunities, that individually we may be laborers together with God. FE 218.1
God is continually working for us that we may come behind in no gift. He has given us our physical, mental, and moral powers, and if we improve as we should, we shall be able to meet the supernatural powers of darkness and conquer them. Jesus has pointed out the way of life, He has made manifest the light of truth, He has given the Holy Spirit, and endowed us richly with everything essential to our perfection. But these advantages are not acknowledged, and we overlook our privileges and opportunities, and fail to co-operate with the heavenly intelligences, and thus fail to become noble, intelligent workers for God. Those to whom their own way looks more attractive than does the way of the Lord, cannot be used in His service, for they would misrepresent the character of Christ, and lead souls away from acceptable service to God. FE 218.2
Those who work for the Master must be well-disciplined, that they may stand as faithful sentinels. They must be men and women who will carry out the plans of God for the wise improvement of the minds of those who come under their influence. They must unite with all the agencies who are seeking to fulfill the will of God in saving a lost world. Christ has given Himself, the just for the unjust, He has died on Calvary's cross, and He has intrusted to human agencies the work of completing the great measure of redeeming love; for man co-operates with God in His effort to save the perishing. In the neglected duties of the church we read the retarding of the fulfillment of the purpose of God; but if men fail to accomplish their work, it would be better had they never been born. Great evil will follow the neglect of co-operating with God; for eternal life will be lost. Our success as candidates for heaven will depend on our earnestness in fulfilling the conditions upon which eternal life is granted. We must receive and obey the word of God, we cannot be idlers, and float with the current. We must be diligent students of the word of God. We must train and educate ourselves as good soldiers of Christ. We must advance the work, becoming laborers together with God.—The Review and Herald, February 14, 1893. FE 219.1Read in context »
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13. HP 259.1
There are many who do not understand the conflict that is going on between Christ and Satan over the souls of men. They do not realize that if they would stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel they must be willing to be partakers of His conflicts and wage a determined war against the powers of darkness. HP 259.2Read in context »
(Matthew 7:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12.) An Unfailing Test—Satan has come down in these last days to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. His satanic majesty works miracles in the sight of false prophets, in the sight of men, claiming that he is indeed Christ Himself. Satan gives his power to those who are aiding him in his deceptions; therefore those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the law of Jehovah. The Lord tells us if it were possible they would deceive the very elect. The sheep's clothing seems so real, so genuine, that the wolf can be discerned only as we go to God's great moral standard and there find that they are transgressors of the law of Jehovah (The Review and Herald, August 25, 1885). 6BC 1106.1
Preparing for the Final Act—This world is a theater. The actors, the inhabitants of the world, are preparing to act their part in the last great drama. God is lost sight of. There is no unity of purpose, except as parties of men confederate to gain their ends. God is looking on. His purposes in regard to His rebellious subjects will be fulfilled. The world has not been given into the hands of men, though God is permitting the elements of confusion and disorder to bear sway for a season. A power from beneath is working to bring about the last great scenes in the drama—Satan coming as Christ, and working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are binding themselves together in secret societies. Those who are yielding to the passion for confederation are working out the plans of the enemy. The cause will be followed by the effect (Letter 141, 1902). 6BC 1106.2
(Ephesians 6:10-12.) Constant Vigilance Demanded—[Ephesians 6:10-12 quoted.] Every one who has enlisted under the bloodstained banner of Christ has entered upon a warfare that demands constant vigilance. Satan is determined to keep up the warfare to the end. Coming as an angel of light, claiming to be the Christ, he will deceive the world. But his triumph will be short. No storm or tempest can move those whose feet are planted on the principles of eternal truth. They will be able to stand in this time of almost universal apostasy (Manuscript 74, 1903). 6BC 1106.3Read in context »
(2 Corinthians 5:19; Philippians 2:6.) Satan Uprooted From Affections of the Universe—In carrying out his enmity to Christ until He hung upon the cross of Calvary, with wounded, bruised body and broken heart, Satan completely uprooted himself from the affections of the universe. It was then seen that God had in His Son denied Himself, giving Himself for the sins of the world, because He loved mankind. The Creator was revealed in the Son of the infinite God. Here the question, “Can there be self-denial with God?” was forever answered. Christ was God, and condescending to be made flesh, He assumed humanity and became obedient unto death, that He might undergo infinite sacrifice (Manuscript 50, 1900). 7BC 974.1
(John 3:14-17; Galatians 6:14; Hebrews 9:22.) Accusing Power of Satan Broken—Christ on the cross, not only draws men to repentance toward God for the transgression of His law—for whom God pardons He first makes penitent—but Christ has satisfied justice; He has proffered Himself as an atonement. His gushing blood, His broken body, satisfy the claims of the broken law, and thus He bridges the gulf which sin has made. He suffered in the flesh that with His bruised and broken body He might cover the defenseless sinner. The victory gained at His death on Calvary broke forever the accusing power of Satan over the universe, and silenced his charges that self-denial was impossible with God and therefore not essential in the human family (Manuscript 50, 1900). 7BC 974.2
11 (Deuteronomy 33:25; see EGW on 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). Power to Conquer Day by Day—All who will can be overcomers. Let us strive earnestly to reach the standard set before us. Christ knows our weakness, and to Him we can go daily for help. It is not necessary for us to gain strength a month ahead. We are to conquer from day to day (Manuscript 28, 1886). 7BC 974.3Read in context »
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:17. SD 15.1
All who enter into a covenant with Jesus Christ become by adoption the children of God. They are cleansed by the regenerating power of the Word, and angels are commissioned to minister unto them. They are baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. They pledge themselves to become active members of His church in the earth. They are to be dead to all the allurements of worldly desires; but in conversation and godliness, they are, through sanctification of the Spirit to exert a living influence for God. SD 15.2Read in context »
When ministers thus take advantage of the confidence the people place in them and lead souls to ruin, they make themselves as much more guilty than the common sinner as their profession is higher. In the day of God, when the great Ledger of Heaven is opened, it will be found to contain the names of many ministers who have made pretensions to purity of heart and life and professed to be entrusted with the gospel of Christ, but who have taken advantage of their position to allure souls to transgress the law of God. 5T 143.1
When men and women fall under the corrupting power of Satan, it is almost impossible to recover them out of the horrible snare so that they will ever again have pure thoughts and clear conceptions of God's requirements. Sin, to their deluded minds, has been sanctified by the minister, and it is never again regarded in the loathsome light that God looks upon it. After the moral standard has been lowered in the minds of men, their judgment becomes perverted, and they look upon sin as righteousness, and righteousness as sin. By associating with these, whose inclinations and habits are not elevated and pure, others become like them. Their tastes and principles are almost unconsciously adopted. 5T 143.2
If the society of a man of impure mind and licentious habits is chosen in preference to that of the virtuous and pure, it is a sure indication that the tastes and inclinations harmonize, that a low level of morals is reached. This level is called by these deceived, infatuated souls, a high and holy affinity of spirit—a spiritual harmony. But the apostle terms it “spiritual wickedness in high places,” against which we are to institute a vigorous warfare. 5T 143.3Read in context »
The apostle exhorts the brethren, saying, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand ... in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Oh, what a day is before us! What sifting will there be among those who claim to be the children of God! The unjust will be found among the just. Those who have great light and who have not walked in it will have darkness corresponding to the light they have despised. We have need to heed the lesson contained in the words of Paul, “But I keep under my body, and bring it in subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” The enemy is diligently working to see whom he can add to the ranks of apostasy; but the Lord is soon coming, and erelong every case will be decided for eternity. Those whose works correspond with the light graciously given them will be numbered on the Lord's side. TM 163.1
We are waiting and watching for the grand and awful scene which will close up this earth's history. But we are not simply to be waiting; we are to be vigilantly working with reference to this solemn event. The living church of God will be waiting, watching, and working. None are to stand in a neutral position. All are to represent Christ in active, earnest effort to save perishing souls. Will the church fold her hands now? Shall we sleep as is represented in the parable of the foolish virgins? Every precaution is to be taken now; for haphazard work will result in spiritual declension, and that day will overtake us as a thief. The mind needs to be strengthened to look deep and discern the reasons of our faith. The soul-temple is to be purified by the truth, for only the pure in heart will be able to stand against the wiles of Satan. TM 163.2Read in context »
The doctrines must be plainly understood. The men accepted to preach the truth must be anchored; then their vessel will hold against storm and tempest, because the anchor holds them firmly. The deceptions will increase, and we are to call rebellion by its right name. We are to stand with the whole armor on. In this conflict we do not meet men only, but principalities and powers. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Let Ephesians 6:10-18 be read carefully and impressively in our churches. 2SM 395.1
Those who apostatize are voicing the words of the dragon. We have to meet the satanic agencies who went to make war with the saints. “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). Those who apostatize leave the true and faithful people of God, and fraternize with those who represent Barabbas. “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). 2SM 395.2
I write this because many in the church are represented to me as seeing men like trees walking. They must have another and deeper experience before they discern the snares spread to take them in the net of the deceiver. There must be no halfway work done now. The Lord calls for stanch, decided, whole-souled men and women to stand in the gap, and make up the hedge. [Isaiah 58:12-14 quoted.] 2SM 395.3Read in context »
Christ came to our world not to aid Satan in working up rebellion, but to put down rebellion. Wherever men start out in rebellion they will work secretly and in darkness, as they will not come as Christ has told them to do to the ones they have any matter against but will take their budget of falsehoods and enmity and evil surmisings and Satanic representations, as did Satan to the fellow angels under him, and gain their sympathy by false representations (Letter 156, 1897). 1BC 1115.1
1-3. Princes Enlisted in Rebellion—Those men of Israel were determined to resist all evidence that would prove them to be wrong, and they went on and on in their course of disaffection until many were drawn away to unite with them. Who were these? Not the weak, not the ignorant, not the unenlightened. In that rebellion there were two hundred and fifty princes famous in the congregation, men of renown (Letter 2a, 1892). 1BC 1115.2
3. Moses Accused of Hindering Progress—They accused Moses of being the cause of their not entering the promised land. They said that God had not dealt with them thus. He had not said that they should die in the wilderness. They would never believe that He had thus said; but that it was Moses who had said this, not the Lord; and that it was all arranged by Moses to never bring them to the land of Canaan (Spiritual Gifts 4a:30). 1BC 1115.3
Korah Deceived Himself—Korah had cherished his envy and rebellion until he was self-deceived, and he really thought that the congregation was a very righteous people, and that Moses was a tyrannical ruler, continually dwelling upon the necessity of the congregation's being holy, when there was no need of it, for they were holy (Spiritual Gifts 4a:31). 1BC 1115.4
19. The People Deceived Themselves—The people thought if Korah could lead them, and encourage them, and dwell upon their righteous acts, instead of reminding them of their failures, they should have a very peaceful, prosperous journey, and he would without doubt lead them, not back and forward in the wilderness, but into the promised land. They said that it was Moses who had told them that they could not go into the land, and that the Lord had not thus said. Korah in his exalted self-confidence gathered all the congregation against Moses and Aaron, “unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation” (Spiritual Gifts 4a:31.). 1BC 1115.5Read in context »
But unless we are constantly on guard, we shall be overcome by the enemy. Although a solemn revelation of God's will concerning us has been revealed to all, yet a knowledge of His will does not set aside the necessity of offering earnest supplications to Him for help, and of diligently seeking to cooperate with Him in answering the prayers offered. He accomplishes His purposes through human instrumentalities (Manuscript 95, 1903). 6BC 1119.1
11-17. The Breastplate of Righteousness—We must put on every piece of the armor, and then stand firm. The Lord has honored us by choosing us as His soldiers. Let us fight bravely for Him, maintaining the right in every transaction. Rectitude in all things is essential to the welfare of the soul. As you strive for the victory over your own inclinations, He will help you by His Holy Spirit to be circumspect in every action, that you may give no occasion for the enemy to speak evil of the truth. Put on as your breastplate that divinely protected righteousness which it is the privilege of all to wear. This will protect your spiritual life (The Youth's Instructor, September 12, 1901). 6BC 1119.3Read in context »
If apostasy arises, and rebellion is manifested, you do not hear them say, in words of encouragement and lofty cheer: Brethren, faint not; be of good courage. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His.” Men who are thus affected by circumstances should remain at their homes and employ their physical and mental strength in a less responsible position where they will not be liable to meet such strong opposition. If everything moves smoothly, they may pass for very good, devotional men. But these are not the ones whom the Master will send to do His work, for this is opposed by those who are emissaries of Satan. Satan also, and his host of evil angels, will be arrayed against them. God has made provision for the men whom He has called to do His work, that they may come off conquerors in every contest. Those who follow His directions will never meet with defeat. 2T 515.1
The Lord, speaking through Paul, Ephesians 6:10-18, tells us how to fortify ourselves against Satan and his emissaries: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” 2T 515.2
We are engaged in an exalted, sacred work. Those who profess to be called to teach the truth to those who sit in darkness should not be bodies of unbelief and darkness themselves. They should live near to God, where they can be all light in the Lord. The reason why they are not so is that they are not obeying the word of God themselves; therefore doubts and discouragements are expressed, when only words of faith and holy cheer should be heard. 2T 516.1Read in context »
Now the church is militant. Now we are confronted with a world in midnight darkness, almost wholly given over to idolatry. But the day is coming in which the battle will have been fought, the victory won. The will of God is to be done on earth, as it is done in heaven. Then the nations will own no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving—the robe of Christ's righteousness. All nature, in its surpassing loveliness, will offer to God a constant tribute of praise and adoration. The world will be bathed in the light of heaven. The years will move on in gladness. The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold greater than it is now. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy, while God and Christ will unite in proclaiming: “There shall be no more sin, neither shall there be any more death.” 8T 42.1
This is the scene that is presented to me. But the church must and will fight against seen and unseen foes. Satan's agencies in human form are on the ground. Men have confederated to oppose the Lord of hosts. These confederacies will continue until Christ shall leave His place of intercession before the mercy seat and shall put on the garments of vengeance. Satanic agencies are in every city, busily organizing into parties those opposed to the law of God. Professed saints and avowed unbelievers take their stand with these parties. This is no time for the people of God to be weaklings. We cannot afford to be off our guard for one moment. 8T 42.2
“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17. 8T 42.3Read in context »
There are continuous battles to fight, and we are not safe a moment unless we place ourselves under the guardianship of One who gave His own precious life to make it possible for everyone who will believe in Him as the Son of God, while meeting the strain of Satan's varied science, to escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust. He is fully able, in response to our faith, to unite our human with His divine nature. We are, while trusting in and partaking of the divine nature and strengthening our own efforts, proclaiming Christ's mission on earth to be peace on earth and good will toward men. We are bound to speak of the dangers of the warfare with invisible foes, and to keep the armor on, for we war not merely against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places.... Therefore we need to keep under the constant guardianship of holy angels. HP 117.2Read in context »
I am bidden to call upon the churches to awake out of sleep. We must contend with invisible, supernatural foes. We are to put on the whole armor of God, that we may be prepared for the battles we have daily to fight. RC 201.2Read in context »
This has always been applicable to God's people in every age of the world, but how much more so to the remnant church who have to meet the constant and most powerful masterly workings of the power of darkness for this last time. The words of the apostle come sounding down the lines to this time: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11, 12). TMK 346.2Read in context »
Amid the error that is overspreading the whole earth, let us strive to stand firm on the platform of eternal truth. Let us put on the whole armor of God; for we are told that in this time Satan himself will work miracles before the people; and as we see these things, we must be prepared to withstand their deceptive influence. Whatever is presented by the enemy as truth, ought not to influence us; for we should be under the instruction of the great Author of all truth.—The Review and Herald, June 14, 1906. 3SM 39.4Read in context »
It may be that some are thirsting for distinction in some way. If they are thirsting for a battle with satanic agencies, let them be sure that they first have on every piece of the armor of God. If they have not, they will surely be worsted, and make for themselves grievous trials and disappointments which they are not prepared to meet. Let all seek the Lord most earnestly for that deep and rich experience that is to be found in the subject of heart preparedness to follow Christ where He shall lead the way. 3SM 252.2Read in context »
A Spurious Sabbath the Issue—A spurious sabbath is presented to be legislated into power, compelling the observance of a sabbath which God has not enjoined upon man. The persecutions of Protestants by Romanism, by which the religion of Jesus Christ was almost annihilated, will be more than rivaled, when Protestantism and popery are combined.... 3SM 387.1
Our own land is to become a battlefield on which is to be carried on the struggle for religious liberty—to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. Then can we not discern the work of the enemy in keeping men asleep who ought to be awake, whose influence shall not be neutral, but wholly and entirely on the Lord's side? Shall men cry, Peace and safety, now, when sudden destruction is coming upon the world, when God's wrath shall be poured out?—Manuscript 30, 1889. 3SM 387.2Read in context »
But God in heaven is weighing moral worth. He will judge righteously. The wicked will not always remain unchecked. Nothing but grace and truth brought into the inner life, inwrought in the character, is sufficient to keep the greatest, the most talented, men morally erect. If intellectual greatness could have been sufficient, their characters would have been firm as a rock. But they needed virtuous characters. Paul says, I am what I am by the grace of God that is in me. God's people must arise, and gird themselves with the whole armor of righteousness.—The Review and Herald, May 24, 1887. TSB 92.1Read in context »
Brethren and sisters, will you put on the Christian armor? “Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,” you will be prepared to walk from house to house, carrying the truth to the people. Sometimes you will find it trying to do this kind of work; but if you go forth in faith, the Lord will go before you, and will let His light shine upon your pathway. Entering the homes of your neighbors to sell or to give away our literature, and in humility to teach them the truth, you will be accompanied by the light of heaven, which will abide in these homes. PM 312.2Read in context »
While Paul possessed high intellectual endowments, his life revealed the power of a rarer wisdom, which gave him quickness of insight and sympathy of heart, and brought him into close touch with others, enabling him to arouse their better nature and inspire them to strive for a higher life. His heart was filled with an earnest love for the Corinthian believers. He longed to see them revealing an inward piety that would fortify them against temptation. He knew that at every step in the Christian pathway they would be opposed by the synagogue of Satan and that they would have to engage in conflicts daily. They would have to guard against the stealthy approach of the enemy, forcing back old habits and natural inclinations, and ever watching unto prayer. Paul knew that the higher Christian attainments can be reached only through much prayer and constant watchfulness, and this he tried to instill into their minds. But he knew also that in Christ crucified they were offered power sufficient to convert the soul and divinely adapted to enable them to resist all temptations to evil. With faith in God as their armor, and with His word as their weapon of warfare, they would be supplied with an inner power that would enable them to turn aside the attacks of the enemy. AA 307.1
The Corinthian believers needed a deeper experience in the things of God. They did not know fully what it meant to behold His glory and to be changed from character to character. They had seen but the first rays of the early dawn of that glory. Paul's desire for them was that they might be filled with all the fullness of God, following on to know Him whose going forth is prepared as the morning, and continuing to learn of Him until they should come into the full noontide of a perfect gospel faith. AA 307.2Read in context »
The apostle warned Timothy against the false teachers who would seek to gain entrance into the church. “This know also,” he declared, “that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy; ... having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” AA 502.1
“Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,” he continued, “deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.... All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” God has provided abundant means for successful warfare against the evil that is in the world. The Bible is the armory where we may equip for the struggle. Our loins must be girt about with truth. Our breastplate must be righteousness. The shield of faith must be in our hand, the helmet of salvation on our brow; and with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, we are to cut our way through the obstructions and entanglements of sin. AA 502.2
Paul knew that there was before the church a time of great peril. He knew that faithful, earnest work would have to be done by those left in charge of the churches; and he wrote to Timothy, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” AA 502.3Read in context »
Help them also to appreciate its wonderful beauty. Many books of no value, books that are exciting and unhealthful, are recommended, or at least permitted to be used, because of their supposed literary value. Why should we direct our children to drink of these polluted streams, when they may have free access to the pure fountains of the word of God? The Bible has a fullness, a strength, a depth of meaning, that is inexhaustible. Encourage the children and youth to seek out its treasures, both of thought and of expression. CT 182.1
As the beauty of these precious things attracts their minds, a softening, subduing power will touch their hearts. They will be drawn to Him who has thus revealed Himself to them. And there are few who will not desire to know more of His works and ways. CT 182.2Read in context »
“I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” ... MM 113.1
“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” MM 113.2Read in context »
You can help us, my brother, in many ways. But I am commissioned of the Lord to say to you that you are not to be self-centered. Take heed how you hear, how you understand, and how you appropriate the Word of God. The Lord will bless you in drawing in even lines with your brethren. Those whom He has sent forth to proclaim the third angel's message have been working in unison with the heavenly intelligences. The Lord does not lay upon you a burden to proclaim a message that will bring discord into the ranks of believers. I repeat, He is not leading anyone by His Holy Spirit to frame a theory that will unsettle faith in the solemn messages He has given His people to bear to our world. 2SM 115.1
I advise you not to regard your writings as precious truth. It would not be advisable for you to immortalize by putting in print that which has cost you so much anxiety. It is not the Lord's will that this matter should be brought before His people, for it will work to hinder the very message of truth they are to believe and practice in these last days of peril.... 2SM 115.2
Theories will be continually agitated to divert the mind, to unsettle the faith. Those who have had the actual experience in the unfolding of the prophecies, have been made what they are today, Seventh-day Adventists, by these prophecies. They are to stand with their loins girt about with truth, and with the whole armor on. Those who have not had this experience are privileged to hold the message of truth with the same confidence. The light that God has been pleased to give His people will not weaken their confidence in the path in which He has led them in the past, but will strengthen them to hold fast the faith. We must hold the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. 2SM 115.3Read in context »
I entreat you to awake and to seek God for yourselves. While Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, cry most earnestly unto Him, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David,” and you will receive sight. Through the grace of God you will receive that which will be more valuable to you than gold or silver or precious stones. 7T 190.1
If there is ever one time above another when men need to preserve their connection with God, it is when they are called to bear special responsibility. It is not safe for us, when going into battle, to cast away our weapons. It is then that we need to be equipped with the whole armor of God. Every piece is essential. 7T 190.2Read in context »
I pray that the Lord will change the hearts of those who, unless they receive more grace, will enter into temptation. I pray that He will soften and subdue every heart. We need to live in close fellowship with God, that we may love one another as Christ has loved us. It is by this that the world is to know that we are His disciples. Let there be no self-exaltation. If the workers will humble their hearts before God, the blessing will come. They will all the while be receiving fresh, new ideas, and there will be a wonderful revival of gospel medical missionary work. 9T 219.1
The great work before us all, as Christians, is to extend Christ's kingdom as rapidly as possible, in accordance with the divine commission. The gospel is to advance from conquest to conquest, from victory to victory. The greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, and they shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever and ever. 9T 219.2Read in context »
Christ did not tell His disciples that their work would be easy. He showed them the vast confederacy of evil arrayed against them. They would have to fight “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12. But they would not be left to fight alone. He assured them that He would be with them; and that if they would go forth in faith, they should move under the shield of Omnipotence. He bade them be brave and strong; for One mightier than angels would be in their ranks—the General of the armies of heaven. He made full provision for the prosecution of their work and took upon Himself the responsibility of its success. So long as they obeyed His word, and worked in connection with Him, they could not fail. Go to all nations, He bade them. Go to the farthest part of the habitable globe and be assured that My presence will be with you even there. Labor in faith and confidence; for the time will never come when I will forsake you. I will be with you always, helping you to perform your duty, guiding, comforting, sanctifying, sustaining you, giving you success in speaking words that shall draw the attention of others to heaven. AA 29.1
Christ's sacrifice in behalf of man was full and complete. The condition of the atonement had been fulfilled. The work for which He had come to this world had been accomplished. He had won the kingdom. He had wrested it from Satan and had become heir of all things. He was on His way to the throne of God, to be honored by the heavenly host. Clothed with boundless authority, He gave His disciples their commission, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end.” Matthew 28:19, 20. AA 29.2
Just before leaving His disciples, Christ once more plainly stated the nature of His kingdom. He recalled to their remembrance things He had previously told them regarding it. He declared that it was not His purpose to establish in this world a temporal kingdom. He was not appointed to reign as an earthly monarch on David's throne. When the disciples asked Him, “Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” He answered, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power.” Acts 1:6, 7. It was not necessary for them to see farther into the future than the revelations He had made enabled them to see. Their work was to proclaim the gospel message. AA 30.1Read in context »
Terrible is the struggle that takes place between the forces of good and of evil in important centers where the messengers of truth are called upon to labor. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood,” declares Paul, “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.” Ephesians 6:12. Till the close of time there will be a conflict between the church of God and those who are under the control of evil angels. AA 219.1
The early Christians were often called to meet the powers of darkness face to face. By sophistry and by persecution the enemy endeavored to turn them from the true faith. At the present time, when the end of all things earthly is rapidly approaching, Satan is putting forth desperate efforts to ensnare the world. He is devising many plans to occupy minds and to divert attention from the truths essential to salvation. In every city his agencies are busily organizing into parties those who are opposed to the law of God. The archdeceiver is at work to introduce elements of confusion and rebellion, and men are being fired with a zeal that is not according to knowledge. AA 219.2
Wickedness is reaching a height never before attained, and yet many ministers of the gospel are crying, “Peace and safety.” But God's faithful messengers are to go steadily forward with their work. Clothed with the panoply of heaven, they are to advance fearlessly and victoriously, never ceasing their warfare until every soul within their reach shall have received the message of truth for this time. AA 220.1Read in context »
Victory Will Be Given—The canvasser need not be discouraged if he is called to encounter difficulties in his work; let him work in faith, and victory will be given. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.” Whenever a book is presented that will expose error, Satan is close by the side of the one to whom it is offered, and urges reasons why it should not be accepted. But a divine agency is at work to influence minds in favor of the light. Ministering angels will oppose their power to that of Satan. And when through the influence of the Holy Spirit the truth is received into the mind and heart, it will have a transforming power upon the character.—Manuscript 31, 1890. CM 115.1
Look Heavenward in Faith—Take the word of Christ as your assurance. Has He not invited you to come unto Him? Never allow yourself to talk in a hopeless, discouraged way. If you do, you will lose much. By looking at appearances, and complaining when difficulties and pressure come, you give evidence of a sickly, enfeebled faith. Talk and act as if your faith was invincible. The Lord is rich in resources; He owns the world. Look heavenward in faith. Look to Him who has light and power and efficiency.—Christ's Object Lessons, 146, 147 (1900). CM 115.2
Believe God's Promise—Those who work for God will meet with discouragement, but the promise is always theirs: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. God will give a most wonderful experience to those who will say: “I believe Thy promise; I will not fail nor become discouraged.”—Testimonies for the Church 6:335, 336 (1900). CM 115.3Read in context »
As in his human strength man could not resist the power of Satan's temptations, Jesus volunteered to undertake the work and to bear the burden for man, and overcome the power of appetite in his behalf. In man's behalf He must show self-denial, perseverance, and firmness of principle paramount to the gnawing pangs of hunger. He must show a power of control stronger than hunger and even death. Con 37.1
When Christ bore the test of temptation upon the point of appetite He did not stand in beautiful Eden, as did Adam, with the light and love of God seen in everything His eye rested upon; but He was in a barren, desolate wilderness, surrounded with wild beasts. Everything around Him was repulsive. With these surroundings, He fasted forty days and forty nights, “and in those days he did eat nothing.” He was emaciated through long fasting and felt the keenest sense of hunger. His visage was indeed marred more than the sons of men. Con 37.2Read in context »
The authors of these books, which have sown the seeds of doubt and infidelity broadcast over the world, have been under the training of the great enemy of God and man, the acknowledged head of principalities and powers, the ruler of the darkness of this world. The word that God has spoken concerning them is, “They ... became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools;” “because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful.” Romans 1:21, 22. They rejected divine truth in its simplicity and purity for the wisdom of this world. CT 424.1
Whenever books by these infidel authors are given the precedence, and the word of God is made secondary, there will be sent out of the schools a class of students no better fitted for the service of God than they were before they received their education. CT 424.2Read in context »
Whenever the Lord has a work to be done, He calls not only for the commanding officers, but for all the workers. Today He is calling for young men and women who are strong and active in mind and body. He desires them to bring into the conflict against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places their fresh, healthy powers of brain, bone, and muscle. But they must have the needed preparation. Some young men are urging their way into the work who have no real fitness for it. They do not understand that they need to be taught before they can teach. They point to men who with little preparation have labored with a measure of success. But if these men were successful, it was because they put heart and soul into the work. And how much more effective their labors might have been if at the first they had received suitable training! CT 538.1
The cause of God needs efficient men. Education and training are rightly regarded as an essential preparation for business life; and how much more essential is thorough preparation for the work of presenting the last message of mercy to the world! This training cannot be gained by merely listening to preaching. In our schools our youth are to bear burdens for God. They are to receive a thorough training under experienced teachers. They should make the best possible use of their time in study, and put into practice the knowledge acquired. Hard study and hard work are required to make a successful minister or a successful worker in any branch of God's cause. Nothing less than constant cultivation will develop the value of the gifts that God has bestowed for wise improvement. CT 538.2
A great injury is often done our young men by permitting them to begin to preach when they have not sufficient knowledge of the Scriptures to present our faith in an intelligent manner. Some who enter the field are novices in the Scriptures. In other things also they are incompetent and inefficient. They cannot read the Scriptures without hesitating, mispronouncing words, and jumbling them together in such a manner that the word of God is abused. Those who cannot read correctly should learn to do so, and should become apt to teach, before they attempt to stand before the public. CT 539.1Read in context »
The words of Christ pointing to His death had brought sadness and doubt. And the selection of the three disciples to accompany Jesus to the mountain had excited the jealousy of the nine. Instead of strengthening their faith by prayer and meditation on the words of Christ, they had been dwelling on their discouragements and personal grievances. In this state of darkness they had undertaken the conflict with Satan. DA 431.1
In order to succeed in such a conflict they must come to the work in a different spirit. Their faith must be strengthened by fervent prayer and fasting, and humiliation of heart. They must be emptied of self, and be filled with the Spirit and power of God. Earnest, persevering supplication to God in faith—faith that leads to entire dependence upon God, and unreserved consecration to His work—can alone avail to bring men the Holy Spirit's aid in the battle against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and wicked spirits in high places. DA 431.2
“If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed,” said Jesus, “ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove.” Though the grain of mustard seed is so small, it contains that same mysterious life principle which produces growth in the loftiest tree. When the mustard seed is cast into the ground, the tiny germ lays hold of every element that God has provided for its nutriment, and it speedily develops a sturdy growth. If you have faith like this, you will lay hold upon God's word, and upon all the helpful agencies He has appointed. Thus your faith will strengthen, and will bring to your aid the power of heaven. The obstacles that are piled by Satan across your path, though apparently as insurmountable as the eternal hills, shall disappear before the demand of faith. “Nothing shall be impossible unto you.” DA 431.3Read in context »
The Christian's warfare is not a warfare waged against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against spiritual wickedness in high places. The Christian must contend with supernatural forces, but he is not to be left alone to engage in the conflict. The Saviour is the captain of his salvation, and with Him man may be more than conqueror. FW 92.3Read in context »
One thing I wish you to understand, that I have not been in harmony with the expelling of students from the school, unless human depravity and gross licentiousness make it necessary, that others shall not be corrupted. There has been an error in sending students from the school as in the case of—, of—, and other cases, which has been a great evil, and souls thus treated have opened before them a course of action that has secured them in the ranks of the enemy as armed and equipped enemies. Again as to making public the errors of the students to the school,—I have been brought in to see and hear some of these exposures, and then been shown the after-influence. It has been harmful in every respect, and has no beneficial influence upon the school. Had those who acted a part in these things had the spirit and wisdom of Christ, they would have seen a way to remedy the existing difficulties more after the likeness of Jesus Christ. It never helps a student to be humiliated before the whole school. It creates a wound that mortifies. It heals nothing, cures nothing. There are students who are suspended from school. They are in this action thrust upon Satan's battle ground to cope with principalities and powers without armor or defense, to become an easy prey to Satan's devices. Let me speak a word to you in the name of the Lord. When there is a proper course taken, in cases where students seem so easily led astray, there will be found no necessity for suspension or expulsion. There is a right way, and the Spirit of the Lord must move the human agent or else there will be grave mistakes made. It is the nicest work that was ever entered upon by the human agent, the dealing with human minds. Teachers are to consider that they are not dealing with angels, but human beings with like passions as they themselves have. Characters are not formed in one mold. There is every phase of character received by children as an inheritance. The defects and the virtues in traits of character are thus revealed. Let every instructor take this into consideration. Hereditary and cultivated deformity of human character, as also beauty of character, will have to be met, and much grace cultivated in the instructor to know how to deal with the erring for their present and eternal good. Impulse, impatience, pride, selfishness, and self-esteem, if cherished, will do a great amount of evil which may thrust the soul upon Satan's battle ground without wisdom to navigate his bark, but he will be in danger of being tossed about at the sport of Satan's temptations until shipwrecked. Every teacher has his own peculiar traits of character to watch lest Satan should use him as his agent to destroy souls, by his own unconsecrated traits of character. The only safety for teachers is to learn daily in the school of Christ, His meekness, His lowliness of heart, then self will be hid in Christ, and he will meekly wear the yoke of Christ, and consider that he is dealing with His heritage. I must state to you, that I have been shown that the best methods have not always been practiced in dealing with the errors and mistakes of students, and the result has been that souls have been imperiled and some lost. Evil tempers in the teachers, unwise movements, self-dignity have done a bad work. There is no form of vice, worldliness, or drunkenness, that will do a more baleful work upon the character, embittering the soul, and setting in train evils that overbear good, than human passions not under the control of the Spirit of God. Anger, getting touched, stirred up, will never pay. How many prodigals are kept out of the kingdom of God by the unlovely character of those who claim to be Christians. Jealousy, envy, pride, and uncharitable feelings, self-righteousness, easily provoked, thinking evil, harshness, cold, unsympathetic, these are the attributes of Satan. Teachers will meet with these things in the students’ characters. It is a terrible thing to have these things to deal with; but in seeking to cast out these evils, the worker has in many instances developed similar attributes which have marred the soul of the one with whom he is dealing. FE 277.1
There is really no place in heaven for these dispositions. A man with such a character will only make heaven miserable, because he himself is miserable. “Except ye be born again,” said Christ, “ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” To enter heaven, a man must have Christ formed within, the hope of glory, and take heaven with him. The Lord Jesus alone can fashion and change the character. For want of patience, kindness, forbearance, unselfishness, and love, the revealings of the traits flash forth involuntarily when off guard, and unchristian words, unchristlikeness of character burst forth sometimes to the ruin of the soul. “Rejoiceth not in iniquity.” Mark it. The apostle meant where there is a cultivation of genuine love for precious souls, it will be exhibited for those most in need of that patience which suffereth long and is kind, and will not be ready to magnify a small indiscretion or direct wrong into large unpardonable offenses, and will not make capital of others’ misdoings. The love for souls for whom Christ died will not do that which has been done through misconceptions of that which was due to the erring, exposing their errors and weakness before a whole school. How do you think Jesus has looked upon such transactions? Had He been present He would have said to those doing these things, “Ye know not the Scriptures nor the power of God.” For in the Scriptures it is plainly shown how to deal with the erring. Forbearance, kindly consideration, “Consider thyself lest thou also be tempted,” would meet the stubborn, obdurate heart. Love of Jesus will cover a multitude of sins, that they shall not prey upon the offender neither be exposed to create feelings of every stripe and character in the human breast of those to whom these errors and mistakes are laid open, and in the one thus dealt with. He is too often driven to desperation. His mind is beyond the healing. Now the work is to have the grace of Christ in the soul which will never, never be guilty of exposing another's wrongs, unless it is a positive necessity. Practice in the line of Christ. The true witness speaks in Revelation 21:5. Practice love. There is nothing in Christianity that is capricious. FE 279.1Read in context »
In these last days, when iniquity shall abound, and the love of many shall wax cold, God will have a people to glorify His name, and stand as reprovers of unrighteousness. They are to be a “peculiar people,” who will be true to the law of God when the world shall seek to make void its precepts; and when the converting power of God works through His servants, the hosts of darkness will array themselves in bitter and determined opposition.... There will be a constant conflict from the time of our determination to serve the God of heaven, until we are delivered out of this present evil world. There is no release from this war.... AG 333.2Read in context »
It is our privilege to have daily a calm, close, happy walk with Jesus. We need not be alarmed if the path lies through conflicts and sufferings. We may have the peace which passeth understanding; but it will cost us battles with the powers of darkness, struggles severe against selfishness and inbred sin. The victories gained daily through persevering, untiring effort in well-doing will be precious through Christ who has loved us, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a “peculiar people, zealous of good works”.... LHU 98.5Read in context »
By faith look upon the crowns laid up for those who shall overcome; listen to the exultant song of the redeemed, Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain and hast redeemed us to God! Endeavor to regard these scenes as real. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, in his terrible conflict with principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places, exclaimed, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” The Saviour of the world was revealed to him as looking down from heaven upon him with the deepest interest; and the glorious light of Christ's countenance shone upon Stephen with such brightness that even his enemies saw his face shine like the face of an angel. LHU 280.5Read in context »
God's workmen must continue to bear the blame of being troublers of Israel, but they are not at liberty to make such assertions true. Go not into the assembly of scoffers, sit not in the seat of the scorners, keep away from the gatherings of those who will make your presence an occasion to speak to you humiliating things, and will pour contempt upon your faith. Have no controversy with these men. You have not to do with men only, but with Satan and his synagogue. When compelled to meet them, remember the Saviour's words, “I send you forth as lambs among wolves.” The Lord must be your dependence; He will clothe you with a divine panoply, and His Holy Spirit will influence your mind and heart so that your voice shall not catch the notes of the baying of the wolves. LHU 323.3Read in context »
As we near the time when principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places will be fully brought into the warfare against the truth, when Satan's deceptive power will be so great that, if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect, our discernment must be sharpened by divine enlightenment, that we may not be ignorant of Satan's devices.... By giving us the cooperation of the holy angels, God has made it possible for our work to be ... a glorious success. But success will seldom result from scattered effort. The united influence of all the members of the church is required. Mar 110.3Read in context »