One of these little ones - One of my simple, loving, humble disciples.
Their angels - always behold - Our Lord here not only alludes to, but, in my opinion, establishes the notion received by almost all nations, viz. That every person has a guardian angel; and that these have always access to God, to receive orders relative to the management of their charge. See Psalm 34:8; Hebrews 1:14.
Always behold the face - Hence, among the Jews, the angels were styled פנים מלכי , malakey panim, angels of the face, and Michael is said to be הפנים סר , sar ha -panim the prince of the face. This is an allusion to the privilege granted by eastern monarchs to their chief favourites; a privilege which others were never permitted to enjoy. The seven princes of Media and Persia, who were the chief favourites and privy-counsellors of Ahasuerus, are said to see the king's face. Esther 1:14; see also 2 Kings 25:19, and Jeremiah 51:25. Our Lord's words give us to understand that humble-hearted, child-like disciples, are objects of his peculiar care, and constant attention. The clause, εν ουρανοις, in the heavens, is wanting in several MSS., versions, and fathers.
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones. - That is, one who has become like a little child, or a Christian.
For I say unto you - Jesus then proceeds to state the reason why we should not despise his feeblest and obscurest follower. That reason is drawn from the care which God exercises over them. The first instance of that care is, that “in heaven their angels do always behold his face.” He does not mean, I suppose, to state that every good man has his guardian angel, as many of the Jews believed; but that the angels were, in general, the guards of his followers, and aided them and watched over them. See the notes at Hebrews 1:14.
Do always behold the face of God - This is taken from the practice of earthly courts. To be admitted to the presence of a king; to be allowed to see his face continually; to have free access to him at all times, was deemed a mark of special favor 1 Kings 10:8; Esther 1:14, and was esteemed a security for his protection. So, says our Saviour, we should not despise the obscurest Christian, for he is ministered to by the highest and noblest of beings by beings who are always enjoying the favor and friendship of God.
By all that has given us advantage over another,—be it education and refinement, nobility of character, Christian training, religious experience,—we are in debt to those less favored; and, so far as lies in our power, we are to minister unto them. If we are strong, we are to stay up the hands of the weak. MH 105.1
Angels of glory that do always behold the face of the Father in heaven, joy in ministering to His little ones. Angels are ever present where they are most needed, with those who have the hardest battles with self to fight, and whose surroundings are the most discouraging. Weak and trembling souls who have many objectionable traits of character are their special charge. That which selfish hearts would regard as humiliating service, ministering to those who are wretched and in every way inferior in character, is the work of the pure, sinless beings from the courts above. MH 105.2
Jesus did not consider heaven a place to be desired while we were lost. He left the heavenly courts for a life of reproach and insult, and a death of shame. He who was rich in heaven's priceless treasure became poor, that through His poverty we might be rich. We are to follow in the path He trod. MH 105.3Read in context »
“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Romans 15:1. No soul who believes in Christ, though his faith may be weak, and his steps wavering as those of a little child, is to be lightly esteemed. By all that has given us advantage over another,—be it education and refinement, nobility of character, Christian training, religious experience,—we are in debt to those less favored; and, so far as lies in our power, we are to minister unto them. If we are strong, we are to stay up the hands of the weak. Angels of glory, that do always behold the face of the Father in heaven, joy in ministering to His little ones. Trembling souls, who have many objectionable traits of character, are their special charge. Angels are ever present where they are most needed, with those who have the hardest battle with self to fight, and whose surroundings are the most discouraging. And in this ministry Christ's true followers will co-operate. DA 440.1
If one of these little ones shall be overcome, and commit a wrong against you, then it is your work to seek his restoration. Do not wait for him to make the first effort for reconciliation. “How think ye?” said Jesus; “if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” DA 440.2
In the spirit of meekness, “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted,” (Galatians 6:1), go to the erring one, and “tell him his fault between thee and him alone.” Do not put him to shame by exposing his fault to others, nor bring dishonor upon Christ by making public the sin or error of one who bears His name. Often the truth must be plainly spoken to the erring; he must be led to see his error, that he may reform. But you are not to judge or to condemn. Make no attempt at self-justification. Let all your effort be for his recovery. In treating the wounds of the soul, there is need of the most delicate touch, the finest sensibility. Only the love that flows from the Suffering One of Calvary can avail here. With pitying tenderness, let brother deal with brother, knowing that if you succeed, you will “save a soul from death,” and “hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:20. DA 440.3Read in context »
No barrier of coldness and reserve should be allowed to arise between parents and children. Let parents become acquainted with their children, seeking to understand their tastes and dispositions, entering into their feelings, and drawing out what is in their hearts. MH 394.1
Parents, let your children see that you love them and will do all in your power to make them happy. If you do so, your necessary restrictions will have far greater weight in their young minds. Rule your children with tenderness and compassion, remembering that “their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10. If you desire the angels to do for your children the work given them of God, co-operate with them by doing your part. MH 394.2
Brought up under the wise and loving guidance of a true home, children will have no desire to wander away in search of pleasure and companionship. Evil will not attract them. The spirit that prevails in the home will mold their characters; they will form habits and principles that will be a strong defense against temptation when they shall leave the home shelter and take their place in the world. MH 394.3Read in context »
Angels are keeping back the destroying agencies; for they have an intense interest for these rebellious sons, and they want to help them to return to the fold in safety and peace, that they may finally be overcomers, and be saved, eternally saved with the family of God in heaven (Manuscript 29, 1900). 7BC 923.1
(John 17:21.) Heavenly Atmosphere Brought to Earth—The work of these heavenly beings is to prepare the inhabitants of this world to become children of God, pure, holy, undefiled. But men, though professing to be followers of Christ, do not place themselves in a position where they can understand this ministry, and thus the work of the heavenly messengers is made hard. The angels, who do always behold the face of the Father in heaven, would prefer to remain close by the side of God, in the pure and holy atmosphere of heaven; but a work must be done in bringing this heavenly atmosphere to the souls who are tempted and tried, that Satan may not disqualify them for the place the Lord would have them fill in the heavenly courts. 7BC 923.2
Principalities and powers in heavenly places combine with these angels in their ministration for those who shall be heirs of salvation. But how sad it is that this work is hindered by the coarseness, the roughness, the worldly-mindedness of men and women who are so desirous of securing their own ends, of gratifying their own wishes, that they lose sight of the Word of God, which should be their instructor and their guide. 7BC 923.3Read in context »