The Youth’s Instructor


October 26, 1899

Against Principalities and Powers


God has need of workers who, as they labor with him, will comprehend the sacredness of the work, and the conflicts they must meet in order to carry it forward successfully,—workers who will not grow despondent as they see the arduous task before them. The Lord does not try to conceal from his people the stern conflicts they will meet in these last days. Instead, he shows the plan of battle; he points out the hazardous work to be done; he lifts his voice in warning, bidding men count the cost of their discipleship: but he encourages all to take up the weapons of their warfare; for the heavenly host will stand with them in the defense of truth and righteousness. YI October 26, 1899, par. 1

On every side God's people will meet the specious temptations of Satan. The enemy knows how desirable a place heaven is to every human being. He has a keen sense of what he has lost; and when he was cast out of heaven, he determined to use all the knowledge and power he possessed in warring against God, and taking from him the beings he had created. He knows that the work which Christ has purposed will be accomplished; he knows that the Scriptures will be fulfilled, and that a host that no man can number will encircle the throne where he so often stood as chorister, to sing songs of praise and adoration to God and the Lamb. And in accordance with his purpose, he is working to make of no effect the labors of Christ's followers. YI October 26, 1899, par. 2

Christ presents before his people their source of power and efficiency to meet the wiles of Satan, and his words of admonition are full of encouragement. “Be strong in the Lord,” he says, “and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” YI October 26, 1899, par. 3

Those who unshrinkingly stand in the forefront of the battle will feel the special attacks of the enemy; and realizing their need of help from God, they will flee to the stronghold for refuge. Perseverance, faith, and a perfect trust in God will insure success. In every stern conflict, feeble man will have strength to do the deeds of Omnipotence. YI October 26, 1899, par. 4

The mighty general of armies leads the hosts of heaven in defense of his people as verily as he led the armies of Israel at the taking of Jericho. Not one soul in all the hosts of Israel could boast of his strength to throw down the walls of that city. It was the Captain of the Lord's host who planned that battle, and his name alone could receive the glory. So the servants of Christ labor in the strength of their Master; and every victory they gain leads them, not to exalt self, but to lean more securely on the arm of God. Deep and fervent gratitude is awakened in their hearts, and they rejoice in tribulation. These willing servants are gaining experiences and forming characters that will do honor to the cause of God. YI October 26, 1899, par. 5

Writing to the church in Rome, Paul says: “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and we are without excuse if we fail to avail ourselves of the provision made. Christ sacrificed everything in order to make it possible for man to gain heaven. Now it is for man to show what he will sacrifice for Christ's sake. Those who have any just sense of the magnitude of the plan of salvation, and of its cost, will never murmur that their sowing must be in tears, and that conflict and self-denial must be the Christian's portion. Why should we be unwilling to endure, to suffer, and to sacrifice, in order to secure an imperishable treasure,—a life that runs parallel with the life of God,—a crown of immortal glory, that fadeth not away? YI October 26, 1899, par. 6

When the follower of Christ meets with trial and perplexity, he is not to become discouraged. He is not to cast away his confidence if he does not realize all his expectations. When buffeted by the enemy, he should remember the Saviour's life of trial and discouragement. Heavenly beings ministered to Christ in his need, yet this did not make the Saviour's life one of freedom from conflict and temptation. He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. If his people will follow this example, they will be imbued with his Spirit, and heavenly angels will minister to them. YI October 26, 1899, par. 7

The temptations to which Christ was subjected were a terrible reality. As a free agent, he was placed on probation, with liberty to yield to Satan's temptations and work at cross-purposes with God. If this were not so, if it had not been possible for him to fall, he could not have been tempted in all points as the human family is tempted. The temptations of Christ, and his sufferings under them, were proportionate to his exalted, sinless character. But in every time of distress, Christ turned to his Father. He “resisted unto blood” in that hour when the fear of moral failure was as the fear of death. As he bowed in Gethsemane, in his soul agony, drops of blood fell from his pores, and moistened the sods of the earth. He prayed with strong crying and tears, and he was heard in that he feared. God strengthened him, as he will strengthen all who will humble themselves, and throw themselves, soul, body, and spirit, into the hands of a covenant-keeping God. YI October 26, 1899, par. 8

Upon the cross Christ knew, as no other can know, the awful power of Satan's temptations; and his heart was poured out in pity and forgiveness for the dying thief, who had been ensnared by the enemy. YI October 26, 1899, par. 9

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” But Christ has promised us “all power” for the conflict. “Lo, I am with you alway,” he says, “even unto the end of the world.” And the promise is “unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” As we see the stubborn unbelief of men, and understand the risks that must be taken in the work, we must learn to listen to the voice of Jesus, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Yes, Christ is conqueror, and we can advance with him to victory. Because he lives, we shall live also. YI October 26, 1899, par. 10

Mrs. E. G. White