Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 71, 1902



May 29, 1902 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 163. +Note

Satan’s Work

Satan works through human beings to weaken and destroy. He leads them to speak words of deception. Ever since the fall, he has been carrying on the work he began in Eden. He afflicts the bodies of men and women, and then through his agencies relieves them in a marked manner from his oppression, that he may have the glory. He brings sickness on them, then ceases to exercise his destroying power; and his agents declare that a miracle has been wrought. In their own wisdom, men cannot discern his falsehoods or the deception of his arts. 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 1

Through every divided heart, every unchristlike trait of character, every tendency to wrong, he works to confuse judgment and weaken faith. He misconstrues the Scriptures to serve his own purposes, applying them in a way that helps him to carry out these purposes. Through faith in Christ we may overcome his temptations, but if we attempt to do this in our own strength, we shall fall a prey to his devices. 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 2

Unconverted Believers

As in the parable there were tares among the wheat, so there are unworthy members in the church. The trials that, because of false brethren, come on those who are earnestly trying to do God’s will are often very severe. There are those connected with our institutions who strive to bring in wrong principles. Their advice and counsel are not in harmony with the Word of God. Some separate friends by their unkind criticism. Those who yield themselves to the control of Satan are sharp and cruel. Their leader was once an exalted angel in the heavenly courts. There he rebelled against God. So strong were his powers of deception that many of the angels joined him in rebellion. With his sympathizers, he was cast out of heaven, never again to occupy his holy, exalted position. He is still working with untiring energy against the government of God. Through the human beings who unite with him he carries out his schemes. 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 3

In the church there are converted men and women who do God’s will in accordance with the word “It is written.” There are those also who are not converted, who have not given themselves to God to carry out His purposes. These are always a hindrance to the church. If on boards or committees, such ones bring confusion into the meetings they attend by taking a negative position when they should stand on the affirmative side. They claim to be working for the upbuilding of the cause. They are so dull of perception that they cannot see that if their plans were followed, the spiritual tone of the Lord’s institutions would be lowered. Their suggestions, if carried out, would undermine the principles which are the foundation of these institutions. 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 4

Knowing the trials that would come to His church through unconverted believers, Christ spoke the words of encouragement found in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth chapters of John. These chapters are full of encouragement and hope. To those who study them, they impart a courage that will enable them to stand fast in the most trying hour. As long as time shall last, these chapters will bring to the true believer strength and assurance. 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 5

“Let not your hearts be troubled,” Christ said; “ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” [John 14:1-3.] 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 6

Christ knew the terrible ordeal that awaited Him, but His thoughts were not of Himself. His words of comfort and consolation were spoken for His disciples. He knew how severely their faith and courage would be tried. He desired to strengthen them to endure without failing. 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 7

So simple are His words that all, even children, may understand them. But the words He spoke were contrary to the wishes and desires of the disciples. They could not comprehend them. Their beloved Teacher to be betrayed, scourged, and delivered up to death! It could not be! 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 8

Words to Parents

We, living far down the passage of ages, have the privilege of studying the Old Testament in connection with the New. Our faith and courage should be strong as we see prophecies fulfilling. But how many there are who are unbelieving. How many there are who reveal selfishness and unkindness in their dealings with one another. How many professing Christians seem never to be satisfied unless they are engaged in strife. How many home circles are broken because the members receive and act upon Satan’s suggestions. 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 9

No unpleasant words are spoken in heaven. There no unkind thoughts are cherished. There envy, evil-surmising, hatred, and strife find no place. Perfect harmony pervades the heavenly courts. 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 10

Well does Satan know what heaven is, and what the influence of the angels is. His work is to bring into every family the cruel elements of self-will, harshness, selfishness. Thus he seeks to destroy the happiness of the family. He knows that the spirit governing in the home will be brought into the church. 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 11

Let the father and mother always be guarded in their words and actions. The husband is to treat his wife, the mother of his children, with due respect, and the wife is to love and reverence her husband. How can she do this if he treats her like a servant, to be dictated to, ordered about, scolded, found fault with before the children. He is forcing her to dislike him and even to hate him. 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 12

May God help fathers and mothers to open the windows of the soul heavenward, and let the sunshine of Christ into the home life. Unless they do this, they will be surrounded by a mist and fog most injurious to spirituality. 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 13

Fathers and mothers, bring sweetness and brightness and hopefulness into the lives of your children. Kindness and love will work wonders. Never punish a child in anger. When you do this, you are acting like grown up children, who have not left behind them the unreasonableness of childhood. Will you strive earnestly to be able to say, “When I became a man, I put away childish things”? [1 Corinthians 13:11.] 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 14

Be sure, before correcting your child, to talk with your heavenly Father. When your own heart is so softened by sympathy, talk with the erring one. If the matter can be adjusted without the use of the rod, so much the better. 17LtMs, Ms 71, 1902, par. 15