Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Ms 99, 1894

For Zion’s Sake


December 16, 1894 [typed]

Previously unpublished.

“For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake will I not rest until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as the lamp that burneth, and the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory, and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hands of thy God.” [Isaiah 62:1-3.] 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 1

The world’s Redeemer could have entered Samaria triumphantly. Angel hosts could have accompanied Him. But His kingdom was not to be advanced by any outward display. He was working as a member of the human family. He had come as the prophet had foretold: “To be despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” [Isaiah 53:3.] He did not urge His way into Samaria when forbidden; neither did He resent the disrespect they showed for Him. His love was not quenched or His interest abated, though He passed on to bestow His rich blessing upon those who would receive Him. 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 2

It was not the work of Christ to force any man, woman, or child to accept the richest blessings that heaven could bestow upon them. He came to bestow mercy, love, and peace, for He was the mighty Healer. Oh, if everyone in the cities and the villages had known who the humble Teacher was and that He had the words of eternal life, how quickly would they have opened their doors to Him. 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 3

The most ancient heathen were taught that they must make special preparation when coming into their presence of their idols. They approached their senseless gods with the greatest reverence. They devoted days to self purification through the offering of sacrifices, through contemplation and self denial. They did not think that it would honor their gods to come into their presence without solemnity and ceremony, believing that the gods would not condescend to give them favor unless they recognized their dignity. But when the Son of God, He who made the world, came into the world how few showed respect and reverence to His name! The gods of the heathen could give no blessing, do men no good, but they believed in these false deities, and their works corresponded with their faith. 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 4

The truth as it is in Jesus casts down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and brings into captivity every thought into obedience to Christ. Christ is the light of the world, the light that shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. The Samaritans did not recognize the Majesty of heaven, but Jesus used no force to bring them into subjection. It was far from His thought to afflict or torture them for their rejection of Him. Who is it that has done this kind of work? It has been Satan and his co-workers—evil men who are confederated with evil angels. Under the garb of religion many have imprisoned and tortured those who disagreed with them in faith, and have taken hellish satisfaction in bruising the bodies of men while striving to convert them to their own ideas of religion. Christ ever showed mercy, ever sought to win men to the surrender of the soul to the guidance of the Holy Spirit who leads into all truth. 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 5

The Holy Spirit takes the precious words of peace, of instruction, that have fallen from the lips of Christ and brings them with power into the obedient heart, that it may be transformed into the image of Christ. In tenderest love and compassion men are led to have faith and to render obedience, but they are never compelled to serve God. Satan works in altogether a different line, and those who come under his generalship, who are imbued with his spirit, will reveal his attributes. They will use his strongest arguments which they are in possession of, and those will be falsehood, threats, persecution, and compulsion. These were the arguments which Cain used against Abel. 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 6

Those who are commissioned to bear the message of peace and salvation to the inhabitants of the world have always—and will always—have to bear opposition. When the Lord sent out the seventy they were to bear the message of the gospel to the Samaritans, notwithstanding the fact that the Samaritans were bitterly prejudiced against the Jews, and the disciples themselves had been educated to regard the Samaritans as the worst of all people. When the twelve had been sent out on their trial trip, they had been instructed not to go into Samaria or to preach to the Gentiles, for by so doing they would arouse the prejudice of the Jewish people, [to whom] they were seeking access. 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 7

Besides this, the disciples were so narrow and exclusive in their ideas that it would be inadvisable for them to come into connection with the Samaritans. They were leavened with the spirit of the Pharisees to a greater degree than they thought possible. The theories and maxims of the rabbis still exerted considerable influence over them, but Christ had given them many lessons to counteract these teachings. He had cleansed the ten lepers and one had returned to give Him thanks and to glorify God, and this one was not a Jew, but a Samaritan. The Lord called attention to this fact, saying to His disciples, “Were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” He “fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.” [Luke 17:16-18.] 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 8

These lessons were full of significance and sank deep into the hearts of the disciples, and the manifestation of tender sympathy and love on the part of Christ for the Gentiles qualified the seventy to better appreciate the mission upon which they were sent. He sent them to the Samaritans first. They had heard of the merciful works of Christ which He had performed to the Samaritans, and decided that He did not hate them. The Samaritans were sorry and ashamed that they had refused hospitality to Christ and were more ready to welcome His messengers, while the disciples were better prepared to represent the Spirit of Christ in their labors. They were not to enter into controversies, or to stir up prejudice, but in meekness and lowliness they were to present the truth as it is in Jesus, manifesting tenderness and love for the souls of those who had been their bitterest enemies. 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 9

“A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory and in his name shall the gentiles trust.” [Matthew 12:20, 21.] The entire life of Christ was in fulfillment of inspired prophecy. His lowly life had been predicted by Isaiah, and every step in the history of Jesus revealed the accuracy of the inspired Word. Christ was ever touched with human woe and was ready to relieve those who were suffering and in need. How truly Jesus could say to the multitude, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:28, 29.] Christ chose solitude rather than the praise and honor of men. Meek and lowly Lamb of God, we would learn of Thee, that we may reflect in deeper lines thine own image, and represent thy work of love, compassion, and grace. 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 10

All these precious lessons were to make an impression upon the hearts of His disciples, and were to be revived and deepened by the Holy Spirit. They were to mold and fashion the character in order that they might represent Christ to the world and show the spiritual character of His kingdom. They learned of Christ that they must give up forms and maxims and customs in order to reach minds and bring souls to Him, but not to please the whole world were they to surrender one jot or tittle of vital truth. Christ was the way, the truth, and the life; He was the Sun of Righteousness. He was fully aware that darkness had covered the earth, and gross darkness the people, and were He to withdraw His beams the world would be left in eternal night. But as many as received Him were go to forth to show the praises of Him who had called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” [John 1:11.] He said unto them, “Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life.” [John 5:40.] 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 11

Light had come into the world, but men chose darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. This is the reason that men do not choose light and truth in this age of the world. To receive truth, to believe and practice truth, means to come out of the darkness of error into the pure atmosphere of heaven’s light, to live in the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 12

Christ was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them which believe on his name.” [John 1:10, 12.] Those who accepted Christ by faith became living witnesses for Him. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” [Verse 14.] 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 13

Those who choose deception will easily find it. Men can have truth or error, light or darkness, according to their preference. But to practice a wrong course will never convert error into truth. However sincere men may be in their practice of deception, they cannot be justified in an evil course. Many will pursue the same course as did the unbelieving Jews—misinterpret the Scriptures while claiming to believe them. While professing to keep God’s commandments they taught for doctrines the commandments of men. The Christian world in this age is following the very same course. Many will not open their eyes to see truth and are enshrouded in as dense a cloud of deception as were the Jews. They believe themselves righteous as did the Jews who perished in their sins. 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 14

Saul was not imbued with the Spirit of God when he persecuted the saints who believed in Jesus. It was true he was inspired with religious zeal, but it was not the inspiration of heaven or of true religion; it was the zeal that animates many religionists of today to cause distress to the sons and daughters of God. 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 15

Saul was as sincere as a man could possibly be in his false religious ideas. He imprisoned the believers, caused them to be scourged, to be put in the stocks, and to be killed. He consented to the death of Stephen, and took charge of the clothes of those who were stoning him. But the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to Saul and asked him, “Why persecutest thou me?” From his pale and terrified lips came the words, “Who art thou, Lord, and the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” [Acts 9:4, 5.] Saul had been very conscientious in his attitude toward the Christian church, but it was an erroneous conscientiousness that led him to take his stand on Satan’s side instead of on the Lord’s side. 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 16

In this age many are zealous in a similar manner. They have false religious views and manifest the same spirit, persecuting Christ in the person of His saints. It is as true today as it was in the time of Christ that “The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” [John 1:5.] 9LtMs, Ms 99, 1894, par. 17