Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 36, 1889

The Ministry of Angels



Formerly Undated Ms 154. Previously unpublished.

“Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.” Acts 19:19. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 1

This scene occurred at Ephesus, a celebrated city of Asia Minor, which contained the temple of the goddess Diana which was one of the wonders of that age. The Ephesians made curious arts a matter of study. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 2

The gospel preached by the apostle Paul was successful in bringing many souls to accept Jesus Christ. God meets men where they are. The Ephesians were approached by the apostle in the line of the things with which they were most familiar. With men who had given themselves up to the study of witchcraft, they could be reached only in a certain way; for these were having unlawful intercourse with Satan, who could represent angels. The work, then, of Paul, was to show there were unseen agencies that he was connected with [who were] far superior to those [of] the Ephesians; for many possessed of evil agencies were dispossessed and healed by the power of God. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 3

The magicians and sorcerers could not imitate these wonderful miracles [performed by] the power of the Lord God of Israel through the apostle Paul. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 4

Not all that has passed by the name of sorcery can be explained as sleight-of-hand deception and trickery. There is a power that lies behind the scenes that we are looking upon. A man who is connected with God has the angels of God enlisted in his behalf, and these angels have a watchcare over those who are seeking to love and to serve God. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 5

Could our eyes be opened, we would see the angels of God guarding us. These angels are sent to minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation. These angels Jacob saw in his vision, ascending and descending the ladder of shining brightness, the base of it resting upon the earth, the topmost round reaching to the highest heavens. God was above the ladder, and the beam of His light and glory shone upon the whole length of the ladder. Here the communication is kept up between the heavenly world and the fallen world, that man should not be left to the invisible foe, to be led into his snares and to be deluded and his spiritual and eternal interest imperiled. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 6

The church at this present time may be determined in growth and success by the spiritual influences that seem to control her actions. Justification by faith must act a prominent part in the growth and healthful condition of any church. He who fails to recognize in all its fulness this point of scriptural doctrine fails to recognize in all humility that we are not sufficient of ourselves in the great combat with the powers of darkness. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 7

We are not at any time to conclude that we can be independent of supernatural teaching and that we can of our own selves act a part in the justifying of ourselves by our own works. All the good works we may do are [done] directly under the heavenly influence, unable to be done without these influences; so it is not of ourselves, but of the Spirit of God through His divine agencies. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 8

The Holy Spirit can alone guide into all truth. If it were not for the guiding and teaching of the divine, we would be led by the influences of deceptive spirits, evil angels claiming to be angels of light which lead not into truth but into error upon the important matter of the acceptance of a sinner with God. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 9

Wherever the church is in a healthful, flourishing condition, the depth of piety will be manifested by the cherished faith in the divine agencies of the Spirit of God, and the professed follower of Christ will grow in grace in that proportion that he depends upon the teaching and leading of divine agencies. There are angels, good or evil, that are continually acting upon us by power, secret but most efficient. Very much is lost, and coldness in the church seen because they do not set the Lord ever before them and recognize Him at our right hand to help us. They do not consider that angels of heaven are by their side beholding their works and their necessities, and bear the tidings up the shining ladder to the throne of God. Altogether too little has been thought and said of angelic ministration. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 10

God’s Word has not left angelic ministration in obscurity, or unimportant. Let us consider this matter attentively, for there are many who, if they considered this matter as it is, that heavenly messengers are by their side to guide them, to shield them from evil, to admonish them from yielding to temptation, would [not] commit sin so readily, would [not] degrade both body and soul with heavenly angels looking upon them. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 11

The Word of God forces this matter upon us that we will not be betrayed into sin. God presents the matter to our minds, weaving it into one of His most encouraging promises, to show man that he is never alone, that a helper is at hand. Consider these words: “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” Psalm 91:9, 10. The agencies in this work, though unseen, shall accomplish the work, “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” verse 11. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 12

Satan would put these things out of our minds, for in proportion as we lose sight of these things, and that good angels are round about us, ministering spirits, we will forget that our great adversary the devil, with his evil angels, is continually laboring to effect our destruction. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 13

If all are keenly alive to the fact of their exposure to the assaults of malignant and invisible agents, [they] should [not] feel any degree of safety without having on their side the armies of [the] Lord’s host. The evil angels would soon overcome with their destroying power if the angels of God did not meet them as their antagonists, that they shall not obtain the ascendancy over the workmanship of God. If we all realize that we have heavenly angels engaged in the contest with us, ... [page torn] the fallen foe will voluntarily place themselves on the side of the Lord’s enemies in the battle which is waged on their account and give themselves away to the powers of Satan. The subject of angelic ministration has not had the attention it deserves. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 14

Ministers of Christ need to keep these matters before their congregations to strengthen the weak and to lead the strong to feel that it is dangerous to depend upon their own strength, for, says Christ, “Without Me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 15

Every soul that is truly converted will hold in manifest abhorrence not only sins which are general, but sins [in] which [they] themselves have indulged. Those who provoked God by the practice of curious arts were no sooner led to a true belief in Christ, than they burned their magical books before all men. They knew that their only safety was in not only renouncing their arts, but the books which had initiated them into these mysteries of witchcraft. The costly books should not educate other minds. To retain the books would keep them constantly exposed to temptation. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 16

Those who are guardians of youth, who have come out on the Lord’s side, should teach their children to walk the clear, plain path of duty, to keep the way of the Lord, to hold fast their integrity. If anyone through his own choice of hardihood shall walk on the enemy’s ground, the evil angels at once begin to bring his agency to bear upon him and angels of God withdraw from him and he becomes the sport of Satan’s temptation. Through repentance and the converting power of God he may again turn with his whole heart to the Lord, feeling his feebleness and constant dependence upon a power above his own. 6LtMs, Ms 36, 1889, par. 17