Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Ms 8, 1900

The Ministry of Angels

NP

January 25, 1900 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in ML 88; 6BC 1109, 1120. +Note

Many narratives of the inspired Word are given to teach us that the human family is the object of the special care of God and heavenly beings. Man is not left to become the sport of Satan’s temptations. All heaven is actively engaged in the work of communicating light to the inhabitants of the world, that they may not be left in the darkness of midnight without spiritual guidance. An Eye that never slumbers or sleeps is guarding the camp of Israel. Ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of angels are ministering to the needs of the children of men. voices inspired by God are crying, This is the way, walk ye in it. If men will hear the voice of warning, if they will trust to God’s guidance and not to finite judgment, they will be safe. 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 1

A wonderful change took place in Saul when he was on his way to Damascus to persecute the saints. Full of zeal, he determined to take all, both men and women, and punish them with imprisonment and death. The record states that he was “exceedingly mad” against the believers in Christ. [Acts 26:11.] But the Commander of heaven beheld the suffering brought upon His church and He made His voice heard to arrest the bold persecutor. As he journeyed, “suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven, and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 2

“And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man; but they led him by the hand, and they brought him unto Damascus.” [Acts 9:3-8.] This chapter reveals that all heaven is interested in the believing church of God, and that God will open ways before those who will put their trust in Him. 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 3

Angels who minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation will work in behalf of those who are honestly seeking for light. This is shown in the experience of Philip with the Ethiopian. The record states, “The angel of the Lord spake unto Philip saying, Arise, and go toward the south, unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert: And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.” [Acts 8:26-28.] 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 4

Angels of God were taking notice of this seeker for light. The Ethiopian could not comprehend the written prophecies, and the Spirit directed Philip to go and teach him, saying, “Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 5

“The place of the Scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: in his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 6

“And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water: what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.” [Verses 29-39.] 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 7

When God pointed out to Philip his work, the disciple did not say as many are saying today, God does not mean that. I will not be too confident, or I shall make a mistake. Philip learned a lesson of conformity to God’s will that day which was worth everything to him. He learned that every soul is precious in the sight of God, and that angels will bring to the appointed agencies light for those who are in need of it. The heavenly messengers do not undertake the work of preaching the gospel. Through the ministration of angels God sends light to His people, and though His people this light is to be given to the world. The Holy Spirit will guide and instruct men and women if they will be guided, by placing them in positions where they can communicate the light received. 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 8

Again in the case of Cornelius we see the co-operation of heavenly agencies with human instrumentalities. We are taught that God is interested in every human being, that Christ died to redeem every soul, and that He communicates His will through heavenly intelligences. 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 9

Cornelius was following on to know the Lord, and this won for him the salvation of all his house. Inspiration says of this man that he was one that “feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it Lord? And he said, unto him, Thine alms and thy prayers are come up for a memorial before God. And now send to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: he lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him constantly. And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.” [Acts 10:2-8.] 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 10

The Lord knows every child of His by name. When we truly comprehend this, we shall have courage, faith, and patience to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for we shall know that it is God that worketh in us, to will and to do of His good pleasure. With fear and trembling we shall co-operate with God. 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 11

There are good and evil angels. Satan is ever on the alert to deceive and mislead. He is using every enchantment to allure men into the broad road of disobedience. He is working to confuse the senses with erroneous sentiments, and remove the landmarks by placing his false inscription on God’s sign posts, turning them so that they will point the wrong way. It is because these evil agencies are striving to eclipse every ray of light from the soul that heavenly beings are appointed to do their work of ministry, to guide, guard, and control those who shall be heirs of salvation. None need despair because of the inherited tendencies to evil, but when the Spirit of God convicts of sin, the wrongdoer must repent and confess and forsake the evil. Faithful sentinels are on guard to direct souls in right paths. 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 12

We are justified by faith. The soul who understands the meaning of these words will never be self-sufficient. “We are not sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves.” [2 Corinthians 3:5.] The Holy Spirit is our efficiency in the work of character building, in forming characters after the divine similitude. When we think ourselves capable of molding our own experience, we make a great mistake. We can never of ourselves obtain the victory over temptation. But those who have genuine faith in Christ will be worked by the Holy Spirit. 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 13

The soul in whose heart faith abides will grow into a beautiful temple for the Lord. He is directed by the grace of Christ. Just in proportion as he depends on the Holy Spirit’s teaching he will grow. In every time of perplexity, when unable to discern truth from error, he will turn, and not in vain, to the One who has said, “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, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 15LtMs, Ms 8, 1900, par. 14