Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 31, 1889

Paragraphs and Diary Entries on Various Subjects



Portions of this manuscript are published in 3SM 43; VSS 77-78, 131-132; 1BC 1092; 3BC 1156; 4BC 1147; 5BC 1083, 1089, 1135-1136; 6BC 1076, 1111, 1118-1119; 7BC 988; 17MR 32; CTr 234. +Note

True Wisdom

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than silver, and the gain of it than pure gold.” [Proverbs 3:13, 14.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 1

True wisdom is a treasure as lasting as eternity. Many of the world’s so-called wise men are wise only in their own estimation. Content with the acquisition of worldly wisdom, they never enter the garden of God to become acquainted with the treasures of knowledge contained in His holy Word. Supposing themselves to be wise, they are ignorant concerning the wisdom which all must have who gain eternal life. They cherish a contempt for the Book of God, which, if studied and obeyed, would make them truly wise. The Bible is to them an impenetrable mystery. The grand, deep truths of the Old and New Testaments are obscure to them because spiritual things are <not> spiritually discerned. They need to learn that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and that without this wisdom, their learning is of little worth. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 2

Those who are striving for an education in the sciences but who have not learned the lesson that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom are working helplessly and hopelessly, questioning the reality of everything. They may acquire an education in the sciences, but unless they gain a knowledge of the Bible and a knowledge of God, they are without true wisdom. The unlearned man, if he knows God and Jesus Christ, has a more enduring wisdom than has the most learned man who despised the instruction of God. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 3

On One Side or the Other

Christ is the greatest teacher that this world has ever known. Truth never languished on His lips, never suffered in His hands. “He that is not with me is against me,” He said, “and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] Christ gives to every man his work. Every one is to exert an influence in the earth for the upbuilding of God’s kingdom. The work of the Spirit in the heart is to produce a profound conviction that he who is not working for Christ is working against Him. Man cannot be an unconcerned spectator in the great conflict between the Prince of life and the prince of darkness. Each one must take a position for or against the Saviour. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 4

A Rejected Saviour

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised and we esteemed Him not.” [Isaiah 53:1-3.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 5

These words do not mean that Christ was unattractive in person. In the eyes of the Jews, Christ had no beauty that they should desire Him. They looked for a Messiah who would come with outward display and worldly glory, one who would do great things for the Jewish nation, exalting it above every other nation on the earth. But Christ came with His divinity hidden by the garb of humanity, unobtrusive, humble, poor. They compared this man with the proud boasts they had made, and they could see no beauty in Him. They did not discern the holiness and purity of His character. The grace and virtue revealed in His life did not appeal to them. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 6

Success the Reward of Persevering Effort

Many are longing for special talent with which to do a wonderful work, and yet, notwithstanding their longing, their life is an apparent failure. Let such ones go to work, taking up the duties lying directly in their pathway. These duties may seem uninviting and uninteresting, nevertheless some one must perform them. Success does not depend half so much on talent as on energy and willingness. The mere possession of talent will avail nothing without earnest effort. Energy, patience, and perseverance are needed in applying talent. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 7

If one has a fitness for a special line of service, this will be seen as he does his best in the work nearest him. Be faithful and thorough in all that you do. Do not be discouraged if the beginning you make is small, but set your mark high, and put forth earnest efforts to reach it. Do not allow obstacles to dishearten you. Concentrate your efforts on the surmounting of these obstacles. Persevere, and you will succeed. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 8

“And There Shall Be No More Sea.” [Revelation 21:1.]

The sea divides friends. It is a barrier between us and those [whom] we love. Our associations are broken up by the broad, fathomless ocean. In the new earth there will be no more sea, and there shall pass there “no galley with oars.” [Isaiah 33:21.] In the past many who have loved and served God have been bound by chains to their seats in galleys, compelled to serve the purpose of cruel, hardhearted men. The Lord has looked upon their suffering in sympathy and compassion. Thank God, in the earth made new there will be no fierce torrents, no engulfing ocean, no restless, murmuring waves. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 9


March 18, 1889

The question is asked, How does Sister White know in regard to the matters of which she speaks so decidedly, as if she had authority to say these things? I speak thus because they flash upon my mind <when in perplexity> like lightning out of a dark cloud in the fury of a storm. Some scenes presented before me years ago have not been retained in my memory, but when the instruction then given is needed, sometimes even when I am standing before the people, the remembrance comes sharp and clear, like a flash of lightning, bringing to mind distinctly that particular instruction. At such times I cannot refrain from saying the things that flash into my mind, not because I have had a new vision, but because that which was presented to me, perhaps years in the past, has been recalled to my mind <forcibly.> 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 10


Keeping Pace with God’s Purposes

April 17, 1889

Battle Creek, Michigan

“[So then] it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.” [Romans 9:16.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 11

Let us no longer walk in our own finite strength, but trust in the living God. I see light and hope and comfort in committing the keeping of my soul to God as unto a faithful Creator. He will keep that which I have committed unto His care against that day. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 12

How much weary struggling there is to find the light. To many God seems afar off. The thought of His holiness, His purity, His exaltation, arouses within the minds of men a weary hopelessness of ever attaining to perfection. Why do not such ones accept the invitation contained in the words, “Let him take hold of my strength, and make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] Why do they not cast away their own righteousness and accept the righteousness of Christ? Then the cry of hopelessness and despair would no longer be heard. The beams of the Sun of Righteousness would shine into the darkened heart, and songs of praise would rise to heaven. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 13

Recently we have been hearing the precious doctrine of justification by faith. This is not a new doctrine, for Paul declares, “The just shall live by faith.” [Romans 1:17.] But it has been buried under the rubbish of error, and now, by diligent, persevering effort, it has been rescued, and placed in the framework of truth. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 14

We find the Saviour when we seek for Him with the whole heart. Earnest, continuous prayer will give us humble hearts, ready to receive the truth as it is in Jesus and to teach the lessons learned in the school of Christ. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 15

Satan’s work is to misrepresent the Father and the Son. False, dishonoring ideas of God prevail in this world to a large degree. Of many who claim to know God, it may be said as it was of Cyrus, “I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.” [Isaiah 45:5.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 16

The Lord will give light to His people. To those who are willing to discern spiritual things, He will give knowledge, and this knowledge they are to give to others. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 17

To know the Father and the Son is the highest knowledge that man can obtain. The Lord is raising up men to proclaim the truth for this time. His Word is ringing out, “Go forward.” [Exodus 14:15.] And yet I am pained to see that some who are standing in the front ranks are listless and faithless, waiting for an impelling power to move them against their own will. The Lord’s providences are not discerned, and our people are far behind where they should be. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 18

Providence is going before us, and infinite power is working with human effort. Blind indeed must be the eyes that do not see the working of the Lord, and deaf the ears that do not hear the call of the true Shepherd to His sheep. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 19

The efforts of God’s light-bearers are to be constant and earnest. A living church will reflect light to all around, and God’s name will be glorified. Those who open their hearts to the knocking of Jesus will understand how to reach those who are in the same condition as they themselves once were. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 20

It makes my heart sad as I see our people repeating the history of the past. In my experience, since the Minneapolis meeting, I have been compelled to see the influence that prejudice exerts on the mind. It fills the chambers of the heart with the darkness of midnight, distorts the reasoning power, misapplies and misinterprets the Word of God, and leaves the mark of confusion on the mind. Under its guidance, the blind lead the blind. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 21

Many search the Bible, not to discover truth, but with a desire to find something by which they can sustain their favorite theories. And as they present these theories, they wrench and twist the Scriptures out of their true meaning. The spirit of humility would lead them to read the Word of God with softened hearts, placing themselves in God’s hands in entire willingness to receive the light shining from the Scriptures. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 22

But when prejudice has closed the door of the heart to the light of truth, what will convince man? If our ministering brethren would take the Scriptures as their authority, asking the Lord to teach them what is truth, they would not make my work so hard, and the instruction given me would not have to be so often repeated. But like the Jews of old, many are saying, “Can any good come out of Nazareth?” [John 1:46.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 23


True Religion

The Saviour did not come to make men religious, but to make them Christlike. He came to reveal the nature and character of God. Man had distorted ideas of God. He had gods many and lords many. Christ came to represent the Father, to make men pure, holy, undefiled. He came to teach human beings the meaning of true religion. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 24

A man’s character is in harmony with the knowledge that he has of God. Then how important that we have right ideas of God. Those who look upon God as a hard master, reaping where he has not sown, will themselves be hard, exacting, denunciatory, cruel in their estimate of others. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 25

There are those who claim to be holy, who talk of the mercy and love of God, but never of His justice. They regard the law of God with indifference and contempt while they exalt the laws of man as supreme. This testifies to their false ideas of God. They have no true sense of the holiness of His character. In their minds His commandments are vague. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 26

From the beginning, false religion has bewitched and captivated minds, and the <more> false the religion, the greater man’s devotion to it. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 27

A religion is tested by what it does for the receiver. However boastful the claims of a religion may be, if it bears not the divine credentials, it is from beneath. No matter how many subscribe to it, or what wealth is lavished upon it, if it bears no fruit to God’s glory, it is spurious, fit only to be consumed by the fire of God’s wrath when He gathers His wheat into His garner. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 28

The truth as it is in Jesus does not make men cold, unsympathetic, unforgiving. It does not lead men to say to an erring brother, I am holier than thou. God is not only just, He is a God of love. A religion that is from above will make men kind and loving. “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, [gentle, and] easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” [James 3:17.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 29

Those who follow the Lord in humble trust will stand firm for His truth. He who is truly converted will be humble and truthful, for God is fashioning his character after the divine similitude. Many who claim to be followers of Christ deny their Lord by exhibitions of self. <Thus is God dishonored.> The true follower of Christ will give the heart and mind to Jesus in trustful, loving obedience, working out in the life the teachings of the Word. <God’s ways are ways of pleasantness and all His paths are peace and surety.> 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 30

What Is Holiness?

April 19, 1889

Holiness is wholeness to God. The soul is surrendered to God. The will and even the thoughts are brought into subjection to the will of Christ. The love of Jesus fills the soul and is constantly going out in a clear, refreshing stream to make glad the hearts of others. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 31


November 1889

Let us ask ourselves, How is it with my soul? Have I been born again? 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 32

In order for a man to be born again, there must be a transformation of the entire nature. A modification or an improvement of the former experience will not avail. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 33

The Christian must draw his spiritual nourishment from the heart of Christ. All sin is an offence to God; therefore sin will be expelled from the soul as the hateful thing that it is. “The life that I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” “I live, but not I, for Christ liveth in me.” [Galatians 2:20.] “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. But when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory.” [Colossians 3:3, 4.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 34


April 19, 1889

I fear that the strangers and the youth who come to Battle Creek are not given all the thoughtful attention that Jesus would give them were He upon this earth. Every soul we meet is the purchase of the blood of Christ, and kind words and thoughtful attentions are due those who come among us. The youth need the help of kindly words and deeds. There are those who come from homes where a watchful care has ever been exercised toward them, and when they are treated with indifference or totally passed by, they feel the neglect. Satan tempts them to think that no one cares for them, and they become discouraged and reckless. Christ said to Peter, “Feed my lambs.” [John 21:15.] The lambs of God’s flock are often neglected. Let those who are older in years and experience give special attention to the youth. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 35


April 20, 1889

The life of the Christian is not all smooth. He has stern conflicts to meet. Severe temptations assail him. “The flesh warreth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.” [Galatians 5:17.] The nearer we come to the close of this earth’s history, the more delusive and ensnaring will be the attacks of the enemy. His attacks will grow fiercer and more frequent. Those who resist light and truth will become more hardened and unimpressible and more bitter against those who love God and keep His commandments. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 36

It should be our aim to bring all the pleasantness possible into our lives and to do all the kindness possible to those around us. Kind words are never lost. Jesus records them as if spoken to Himself. Sow the seeds of kindness, of love, and of tenderness, and they will blossom and bear fruit. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 37


June 29, 1889

Wexford, Michigan

“Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” [John 6:53.] The Saviour explained this statement, which seemed greatly to offend His disciples, as requiring an impossibility. “When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [Verses 61-63.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 38

Christ explained the meaning of His words so clearly that none need stumble over them. His statement regarding eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God is to be taken in a spiritual sense. We eat Christ’s flesh and drink His blood when by faith we lay hold upon Him as our Saviour. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 39

Christ used the figure of eating and drinking to represent that nearness to Him which all must have who are at last partakers with Him in His glory. The temporal food we eat is assimilated, giving strength and solidity to the body. In a similar manner, as we believe and receive the words of the Lord Jesus, they become a part of our spiritual life, bringing light and peace, hope and joy, and strengthening the soul as physical food strengthens the body. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 40

“After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him. Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto Him, Depart hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth anything in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, show thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him.” [John 7:1-5.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 41

The brethren here referred to were the sons of Joseph, and their words were spoken in irony. It was very painful to Christ that His nearest relatives should so dimly understand His mission and should entertain the ideas suggested by His enemies. But the Saviour did not answer the cruel sarcasm with words of like character. He pitied the spiritual ignorance of His brethren and longed to give them a clear understanding of His mission. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 42

“Then said Jesus unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.” [Verses 6-8.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 43

He must go to the feast secretly, because in Judea Satan had aroused the prejudice and hatred of the people against Him. He must mingle secretly with the throng of worshipers so as not to be distinguished as the One whom the Jews desired to kill. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 44

“When His brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.” “Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, Where is He?” [Verses 10, 11.] They were watching for Christ, and were disappointed that they did not find Him among His relatives. They had determined that once the authorities should get possession of Him, He should never again have opportunity to speak boldly and as one having authority, reproving their sins and laying bare the secrets of their guilty hearts. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 45

“And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but He deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of Him for fear of the Jews.” [Verses 12, 13.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 46

Before these people Christ had spoken with the authority of heaven. He had done works that no other man had done or could do. The fruit of His work testified that it was wrought in God. Yet at this feast not one dared openly avow faith in Him. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 47

“Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” [Verses 14, 15.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 48

Those of the priests who had not given their hearts up to prejudice and hatred were charmed by the truths that the Saviour uttered. The Holy Spirit was impressing their hearts. The education that these men had gained in the schools of the rabbis consisted largely in a knowledge of the traditions with which men had loaded down the law of God. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 49

“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me.” [Verse 16.] My words are in perfect harmony with the Old Testament Scriptures, and with the law spoken from Sinai. I am not preaching a new doctrine. I am presenting old truths rescued from the framework of error and placed in a new setting. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 50

Christ came to this world just as the Old Testament Scriptures foretold that He would come, but notwithstanding this He was misapprehended and misjudged. The Pharisees were filled with a frenzy of hatred against Him, because they could see that His teaching had a power and an attractiveness that their words were utterly devoid of. They decided that the only way to cut off His influence was to pass sentence of death upon Him; and therefore they sent officers to take Him. But when these officers came within hearing of His voice, and listened to His gracious words, they were charmed into forgetting their errand. On their return, the plotters against His life asked them, “Why have ye not brought Him?” And they replied, “Never man spake like this man.” [Verses 45, 46.] In the presence of Christ, their prejudice had disappeared like ice before the sun. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 51

“Are ye also deceived?” the elders asked. “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on Him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. Nicodemus saith unto them, ... Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” [Verses 47-51.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 52

The lesson that Christ had given to Nicodemus had not been in vain. Conviction had fastened upon his mind, and in his heart he had accepted Jesus. Since his interview with the Saviour, he had earnestly searched the Old Testament Scriptures, and he had seen truth placed in the <true> setting of the gospel. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 53

The question asked by him was wise and would have commended itself to those presiding at the council had they not been deceived by the enemy. But they were so filled with prejudice that no argument in favor of Jesus of Nazareth, however convincing, had any weight with them. The answer that Nicodemus received, was, “Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look; for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.” [Verse 52.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 54

The priests and rulers had been deceived, as Satan meant them to be, into believing that Christ came out of Galilee. Some who know that he was born in Bethlehem, kept silent, that the falsehood might not be robbed of its power. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 55

The facts were plain. There was no dimness of the light. But the work of Christ was interpreted by different ones in accordance with the state of their minds. The minds of some were warped by prejudice, by their hereditary tendencies and their education, and these misapplied the plainest Scriptures to suit their own ideas and wishes. Instead of bringing their own opinions to the Word of God, they used the Word of God to sustain their deceptive reasoning. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 56

The scribes and Pharisees had taught the people that the Messiah was to come as a victorious conqueror to break from the neck of Israel the Roman yoke. They overlooked the prophecies which foretold that He was to come in humiliation, to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. They declared that the Messiah was to shine before His ancients gloriously, to take the kingdom and to reign from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 57

When Christ came, just as prophecy had predicted that He would come, bearing no resemblance to the conqueror they had led the people to expect, they were bitterly disappointed and refused to receive Him. The truths that He uttered were not agreeable to their proud hearts. To accept the declaration of Christ that His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom was more than they could bring themselves to do. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 58

Christ declared that those who should become His disciples must take up a daily warfare against sin. But the priests and rulers could talk of only one side of the subject—a triumphant Messiah reigning as a temporal prince on the throne of David. They closed their eyes to everything that did not harmonize with their own teachings. They closed their eyes to the prophecies of His life of humiliation and sorrow and the manner of His death. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 59

For hundreds of years the Jewish nation had been offering sacrifices which foreshadowed the death of Christ. But it was too humbling a thought that the Messiah should die; and they rejected Him. They turned with contempt from the antitype of their sacrifices. They made the false assertion that He came out of Galilee, that Galilee was His birthplace. But the prophet Micah says, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old.” [Micah 5:2.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 60

The Prince of Peace came to proclaim truth that was to bring harmony out of confusion. But He who came to bring peace and goodwill to men started a controversy that ended in His crucifixion. Why was the messenger of peace called a deceiver? Why was it said that He performed His miracles through the power of Beelzebub? Because men with the Scriptures in their hands read them with the veil of unbelief over their eyes. They interpreted the Scripture according to their own preconceived opinions and traditions of men. And the common people accepted the decisions of the priests and rulers as the voice of God. They were deceived by their spiritual guides. Had they opened the Scriptures for themselves, had they used their God-given reason, they would not have believed a lie. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 61

Christ declared, “I came not to send peace, but a sword.” [Matthew 10:34.] Why? Because men would not receive the Word of life. Because they warred against the message sent them to bring them joy and hope and life. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 62

We look upon the Jews as inexcusable because they rejected and crucified Christ. But today the messages that the Lord sends are often received in a manner similar to the way in which the Jews received Christ’s message. If the instruction of the Lord does not harmonize with the opinions of men, anger takes control of reason, and men play into the enemy’s hands by opposing the message that God sends. Satan uses them as sharp instruments to oppose the progress of truth. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 63

But controversy is safer than lethargy. The controversy that breaks up a deathlike stupor is preferable to stagnation. Notwithstanding the disputes that prevailed in the days of Christ because men wanted their own way and cherished pride of opinion, yet there were those who felt the convincing power of truth, and who, notwithstanding the opposition, said, “This is the Christ.” [John 7:41.] Many are in danger of being deceived as were the Jews. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 64


Satan the Instigator of Evil

Could human beings know the number of the evil angels, could they know their devices and their activity, there would be far less pride and frivolity. Satan is the prince of demons. The evil angels over whom he rules do his bidding. Through them he multiplies his agencies throughout the world. He instigates all the evil that exists in our world. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 65

But, though the principalities and powers of darkness are both many in number and unceasing in activity, yet the Christian should never feel hopeless or discouraged. He may not hope to escape temptation through any lack of satanic efficiency. He who sent a legion to torture one human being cannot be repulsed by human wisdom or power alone. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 66

Speaking of Satan, the Lord declares that he abode not in the truth. [John 8:44.] Once he was beautiful, radiant in light. But God’s Word declares of him, “Thou wast lifted up because of thy brightness.” [Ezekiel 28:17.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 67

Satan instigated others to rebel, and after they were cast out of heaven he bound them together in a confederacy to do all the evil possible to man, as the only means of striking God. Excluded from heaven, he resolved to be avenged by injuring the workmanship of God. Around the standard of rebellion that he planted, evil workers of all generations have rallied. Evil angels have united with evil men in a warfare against Christ’s kingdom. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 68

Satan’s aim had been to reproduce his own character in human beings. No sooner was man created than Satan resolved to efface in him the image of God and to place his stamp where God’s should be. And he has succeeded in instilling into the heart of man the spirit of envy, of hatred, of ambition. In this world he has set up a kingdom of darkness, of which he, the leader in guilt, is prince. He desired to usurp the throne of God. Failing in this, he has worked in darkness, in crookedness, in deception, to usurp his place in the hearts of men. He has set up his throne between God and man to appropriate the adoration that belongs to God alone. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 69

Christ came to our world to dispute Satan’s sovereignty, to remove from the minds of men the false impressions that they had received of God. He came in human form that he might come close to the fallen race and through divine power break the hold that Satan had obtained over them. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 70

When he came, vice in every form was popular. Demons were standing as sentinels over every soul. No sooner did Satan hear the announcement of the heavenly messenger to the shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem, than he began to lay his plans to destroy the Prince of life. The tempter saw in Christ a power that if not checked, would supplant his authority, and he went forth to meet him in the wilderness of temptation. He brought against him the three great temptations which to the close of time are to beset man. He asked the Saviour to bow to his authority, promising that if he would do so, the kingdoms of the world would be His. [Matthew 4:9.] He pointed Christ to his success in the world, enumerating the principalities and powers that were subject to him. He declared that what the law of Jehovah could not do, he had done. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 71

But Jesus said, “Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” [Verse 10.] This was to Christ just what the Bible declares it to be—a temptation. Before His sight the tempter held the kingdoms of the world. As Satan saw them, they possessed great external grandeur. But Christ saw them in a different aspect, just as they were—earthly dominions under the power of a tyrant. He saw humanity full of woe, suffering under the oppressive power of Satan. He saw the earth defiled by hatred, revenge, malice, lust, murder. He saw fiends in the possession of the bodies and souls of men. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 72

Oh, it was this sight that had brought Christ from heaven to fight the battle with the apostate, to dispute his right to rule over the human race, and to wrench his spoil from him. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 73

Satan called his agents and set them in array against Christ. He himself conducted the warfare. He declared that if Christ tried to limit his power, he would set in motion against Him the whole artillery of evil. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 74

“The prince of this world cometh,” Christ declared, “and hath nothing in me.” [John 14:30.] In the heart of Christ, the enemy found no place to sow the seeds of evil. Christ’s life was hid in God, and Satan could obtain no advantage over Him. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 75


The Lord places men where He can use them as channels of light. He gives them wisdom and imparts to them divine grace. But often they abuse the mercy and loving kindness of their heavenly Father. They become self-inflated as if they were the originators of the gems of thought given them and of their ability to plan and execute. Forgetting the Lord of heaven, they take glory to themselves. With the example before them of the great apostate who fell from the courts above because of his pride, what folly this is! 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 76


Instruments of Righteousness

The times in which Elijah and Elisha acted their part were dark and troublous. Wickedness had reached a fearful pass. But notwithstanding the idolatry of Ahab and Jezebel, the Lord sent His prophets to the nation with messages of warning. He had then, as He has always had, men whom He used in fighting the battles of Zion. He sees the impiety of men, the violence and wickedness that curse the world, and He chooses men to be the bearers of divine wisdom, to fight the battles of the Lord. He chose Elijah as a preacher of righteousness, a man who would be ruled and guided by the Holy Spirit. And working under God’s direction, Elijah accomplished a grand and noble work. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 77


The Dangers of the Youth

To the young, the world has many charms and is more dangerous because so pleasurable. Do what you can to lead the youth to Jesus, who knows their ignorance of Satan’s snares. With a Christlike, loving interest, parents are to guard their children. Do not enshroud religion in gloom. Do not make the Christian life unattractive. There is no need of this; for in the service of God there is joy and consolation and happiness. God’s people are to walk in the sunlight of Christ’s righteousness. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 78

A minister should pay special regard to the children and youth. He should watch for their souls as one that must give an account, teaching them that the grace of Christ will be freely and graciously given to help them in every emergency. Let him remember that the young man or the young woman whom he is trying to help may be chafing against the fetters of an unwise restraint in the home. It is right always that parents should control their children and that children should obey and respect their parents. But there are parents who exert in the home a compelling power that drives children away from the truth. The wise shepherd must think of all this and do all in his power to win children and youth to Jesus. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 79


Christ said to the Pharisees, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.” [John 8:56.] How did Abraham know of the coming of the Redeemer? God gave him light in regard to the future. He looked forward to the time when the Saviour should come to this earth, His divinity veiled by humanity. By faith he saw the world’s Redeemer coming as God in the flesh. He saw the weight of guilt lifted from the human race and borne by the divine Substitute. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 80

In the synagogue at Nazareth Christ declared, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” [Luke 4:18, 19.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 81

Ambition did not enter into Christ’s plans. When Satan took Him to the top of a high mountain and, showing Him all the kingdoms of the world, said, “all this will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me,” Christ looked upon the scene as one who saw it not. “Get thee hence, Satan,” He said, “for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” [Matthew 4:10.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 82

Christ could have opened before Satan the close of the conflict. He could have shown him the sinners He came to save, glorified saints in His kingdom. But He did not do this. His ears were open to the cry of misery rising from the earth. He heard the impenitent imploring mercy as they beheld the love of God revealed on the cross of Calvary. He saw a world under the mastery of the destroyer. In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead, and His life was a sacrifice for the saving of the world. “I sanctify Myself,” He said, “that they also may be sanctified.” [John 17:19.] At the altar of God He consecrated Himself to the work of rolling back the clouds that covered the world. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 83


Somewhere I have read the statement that if truth were to come down from heaven and in its glory appear on this earth, all would fall down and worship it. But this is not so. Truth did come down from heaven. Christ declares, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” [John 14:6.] And at the Saviour’s baptism, God declared, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” [Matthew 17:5.] “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” [John 1:1-5.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 84

“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” [Verses 9-11.] 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 85

The Jewish people rose up against Christ. Priests and rulers joined with the mob in shouting, “Away with him! Crucify him!” [John 19:15.] One who was a robber and a murderer was chosen before Him who is the truth itself. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 86

God glorified Christ and presented Him to the world as the object of supreme adoration, one who was to be admired [by] all them that believe. Truth always unifies, and those who believe in Christ see distinctly that there never was and never can be any righteousness in the world but the righteousness of Christ. When the door of the heart is open to the truth, Christ enters, and receiving Him, we receive the Father. 6LtMs, Ms 31, 1889, par. 87