The Signs of the Times


October 3, 1892

Faith Brings Light


Jesus hath said: “I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts; and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” We should be thankful that the Lord knows our circumstances and experiences. Jesus is near, close to us, and he has given the precious promise, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” What reason we have for encouragement! We are assured that the Lord hears our prayers. The promise is, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Who is this that speaks? Is it one whose word is doubtful, one who does not know what he is talking about?—No, it is the world's Redeemer. He who so loved us that he died on Calvary, that “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” ST October 3, 1892, par. 1

Shall we take his pledged word as truth? The Lord hears our sincere prayers, and knows how to answer; for nothing is hidden from him. The Psalmist says: “Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.” The Lord looks upon the heart; he seeth all its workings, and he “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. ST October 3, 1892, par. 2

The Holy Spirit indites all genuine prayer. I have learned to know that in all my intercessions the Spirit intercedes for me and for all saints; but his intercessions are according to the will of God, never contrary to his will. “The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities;” and the Spirit, being God, knoweth the mind of God; therefore in every prayer of ours for the sick, or for other needs, the will of God is to be regarded. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” If we are taught of God, we shall pray in conformity to his revealed will, and in submission to his will which we know not. We are to make supplication according to the will of God, relying on the precious word, and believing that Christ not only gave himself for but to his disciples. The record declares, “He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” ST October 3, 1892, par. 3

Jesus is waiting to breathe upon all his disciples, and give them the inspiration of his sanctifying spirit, and transfuse the vital influence from himself to his people. He would have them understand that henceforth they cannot serve two masters. Their lives cannot be divided. Christ is to live in his human agents, and work through their faculties, and act through their capabilities. Their will must be submitted to his will, they must act with his spirit, that it may be no more they that live, but Christ that liveth in them. Jesus is seeking to impress upon them the thought that in giving his Holy Spirit he is giving to them the glory which the Father has given him, that he and his people may be one in God. Our way and will must be in submission to God's will, knowing that it is holy, just, and good. ST October 3, 1892, par. 4

John says, “This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us; and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” Let us dwell much upon these points before the people, that their ideas may be enlarged, their faith increased. They should be encouraged to ask largely, and expect without a doubt the riches of his grace; for through Jesus we can come into the audience chamber of the Most High. Through his merits we have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Oh, that we may have a deeper experience in prayer! With confidence we may come to God, knowing what it is to have the presence and power of his Holy Spirit. We may confess our sins, and right there, while asking, know that he pardons our transgressions, because he has promised to forgive. We must exercise faith, and manifest true earnestness and humility. We can never do this without the grace of the Holy Spirit. We must lie low at the feet of Jesus, and cherish no selfishness, reveal no self-uplifting, but in simplicity seek the Lord, asking for his Holy Spirit as a little child asks bread of his parents. ST October 3, 1892, par. 5

We should act our part, take Christ as our personal Saviour, and, standing under the cross of Calvary, “look and live.” God sets his children apart for himself. And as they connect themselves with him, they have power with God, and prevail. Of ourselves we can do nothing; but through the grace of his Holy Spirit, life and light are imparted, and the soul is filled with longing, earnest desire for God, for holiness. Then it is that Christ leads us to the throne of grace, and clothes us with his righteousness; for the Lord God of heaven loves us. We would be willfully blind and stubborn to doubt that his heart is toward us. While Jesus, our Intercessor, pleads for us in heaven, the Holy Spirit works in us, to will and to do of his good pleasure. All heaven is interested in the salvation of the soul. Then what reason have we to doubt that the Lord will and does help us? We who teach the people must ourselves have a vital connection with God. In spirit and word we should be to the people as a wellspring, because Christ is in us a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. Sorrow and pain may test our patience and our faith; but the brightness of the presence of the Unseen is with us, and we must hide self behind Jesus. ST October 3, 1892, par. 6

Talk courage to the church; lift them up to God in prayer. Tell them that when they feel that they have sinned, and cannot pray, it is then the time to pray. Many feel humiliated at their failures, that they have been overcome by the enemy in the place of overcoming. Worldliness, selfishness, and carnality have weakened them, and they think it is no use to approach unto God; but this thought is one of the enemy's suggestions. Ashamed they may be, and deeply humbled; but they must pray and believe. As they confess their sins, He who is faithful and just will forgive them their sins, and cleanse them from all unrighteousness. Though the mind may wander in prayer, be not discouraged, bring it back to the throne, and do not leave the mercy seat until you have the victory. Are you to think your victory will be testified by strong emotion?—No; “this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” The Lord knows your desire; by faith keep close to him, and expect to receive the Holy Spirit. The office of the Holy Spirit is to control all our spiritual exercises. The Father has given his Son for us that through the Son the Holy Spirit might come to us, and lead us unto the Father. Through divine agency, we have the spirit of intercession, whereby we may plead with God, as a man pleadeth with his friend. ST October 3, 1892, par. 7