The Signs of the Times


March 24, 1898

In the Master's Service


“Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Philip was a real home missionary. In an interview with Jesus he had received light and knowledge. As he listened to the gracious words that fell from the Saviour's lips, he believed, and his first thought was that he must communicate to some one else the light he had received. He told Nathanael of the Saviour. Nathanael was walking in the light as far as he had received it, and God did not permit him to stumble along in ignorance and blindness. As he was praying under a fig tree, Philip, with glad notes of joy in his voice, interrupted him, saying, “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write.” ST March 24, 1898, par. 1

The words that fell on Nathanael's ear were words of assurance. Philip did not speak of the Saviour in a hesitating manner; his voice was full of hope as he said, “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write.” But, altho a sincere seeker after truth, Philip was not yet fully convinced. He added doubtfully, “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” ST March 24, 1898, par. 2

When Nathanael heard the words, “Jesus of Nazareth,” the prejudice that he had received by inheritance and education, filled his mind, and he answered, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” But Philip did not stop to enter into a controversy, but answered: I have no arguments to advance. Jesus is here. Come and see Him for yourself. ST March 24, 1898, par. 3

On Philip's face Nathanael saw an expression he had never before seen there,—an expression of heavenly peace,—and he immediately left his place of prayer, and hastened with him to Jesus. When Christ saw him coming, He said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” “Whence knowest Thou me?” questioned Nathanael. “Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee,” Christ answered. ST March 24, 1898, par. 4

Before this evidence Nathanael's traditional prejudice was swept away. Christ's words captivated his soul; he saw the Saviour by divine enlightenment, and, turning to Him, his face aglow with the light that had flashed into his mind, he said, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel.” He had advanced into more perfect light than had Philip; his perception went farther; his faith meant more; for he saw in Jesus of Nazareth the Son of God. ST March 24, 1898, par. 5

This conversion from ignorance to light pleased the Saviour, and he said, “Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.” You have opened your mind and heart and have confessed Me without one word of questioning unbelief. “Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” ST March 24, 1898, par. 6

There is in this narrative a lesson which all need to learn and practise. Christ gave His life that those who have sinned might be saved; and He calls upon His children to make personal efforts for the saving of souls that are ready to perish. That which Christ has taught and done, His representatives are to teach and do; His influence is to be diffused to others by the well-ordered lives and godly conversation of His followers. God's people are to be links in the golden chain that binds souls to one another and to God. ST March 24, 1898, par. 7

Those who have received light from Him who is the light of the world can, if they will consecrate themselves to Him, be instruments in His hands of enlightening many souls. As they share their light with others, it is not lessened, but increased and made more brilliant. As we give to others the riches of the grace of Christ, we too grow in grace; for as we bestow, we receive from the Source of all, light and power to bestow. ST March 24, 1898, par. 8

Preaching the Word is one way of spreading the truth, but it is not the only or the most effectual way. It is by personal interviews that the truth is most effectually communicated. Visiting the people in their homes, speaking to them personally, not in regard to worldly matters, but about Christ's power to save to the uttermost all who come to Him—this makes the deepest impression. A few simple words, spoken from a heart filled with the love of Christ, will frequently do more good than the most powerful sermon. Speak calmly, tenderly; drop the seeds of truth into the minds of your hearers, praying that God will bless your work; and your words will spring up and bear fruit to the glory of God. ST March 24, 1898, par. 9

This is the work God would have His children do. Whatever may be our circumstances, we can be laborers together with God. We are not all called upon to preach, but each one can tell those around him of the wonderful love of Jesus. Those who have not been blessed with our privileges, those who have not received the light that has flashed into our minds, are to be sought out and labored for. To these souls we must go, saying as did Philip, “We have found Jesus.” And as they see our earnestness for the Master, they too will be led to look and live. ST March 24, 1898, par. 10

All heaven co-operates with Christ in His work of making plain the heavenward path, and co-operates also with those who strive to follow His example. If we could only realize how much is accomplished by personal effort for those in darkness, there would be one hundred at work where now there is but one. But this work is a solemn work, and unless we have the co-operation of heaven, we can not do it effectually. We may speak words of warning, but they will lack power. The words that are accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit will find an assent in the judgment of candid, unprejudiced minds. The consciences of those who hear these words will be awakened. The soul hungering and thirsting after righteousness, admits the truth of the evidence presented by those who with power hold forth the words of life. The truth is sought for as hidden treasure; the eye of faith, receiving the heavenly anointing, beholds the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. ST March 24, 1898, par. 11

As individuals and members of the church of God, we need to remember the work that has been committed to us. We are living in a time when every believer must show growth, or he will dwarf into nothingness. Paul writes to Timothy, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” As the Word of God is received into the heart, it transforms the life and character; and then the influence that flows from us is a positive, life-giving power. “Unto me, whom am less than the least of all saints,” Paul writes again, “is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ. To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ST March 24, 1898, par. 12

Those who look at human souls in the light of the cross of Calvary need not err in regard to the estimate which should be placed upon them. But as witnesses chosen by God do we value Christ's purchased possessions as we should? Are we pleading with God that He will help us to help the souls that are wounded and bruised and struggling with temptation, and lead them to Him? Are we improving the light God has given us, that we may impart it to others? Are we making it evident that we love the souls for whom Christ has died, or are we passing them by on the other side? Are we ready to make any sacrifice within our reach to co-operate with Him, to be laborers together with God. ST March 24, 1898, par. 13

No one who has true love for Christ will remain indifferent and indolent. All who are bearing the test of God, who obey His commandments, love the perishing human race. They follow the example of their Saviour, by putting forth earnest, self-sacrificing efforts for those around them, by seeking out, in the highways and hedges, the high and the low, the rich and the poor, bearing to all the message that they are the objects of Christ's special love and guardian care, and inviting them to come to Him. ST March 24, 1898, par. 14

The Lord Jesus expects more of His children than they give, yes, a great deal more. He has called and chosen them; and every man according to his several ability has been given his work. All are to be “laborers together with God,” and, as His agents, they are to strive earnestly to win souls for Him. Why then are there so many who have no burden for the souls for whom Christ has died? The angels are constantly seeking to set every one at work in the vineyard of the Lord. They rejoiced when by the sacrifice of Christ the world was brought into favor with God, and again connected with heaven; and they sorrow when they see that those for whom so much has been done have no interest to win souls for Christ. ST March 24, 1898, par. 15

Every soul who claims to know God and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent, should seek to do his utmost for the enlargement of His kingdom, praying, “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and working in harmony with the prayer. Entire consecration and unity are needed in this work. How can any one be silent when they know what Christ expects from every human being? I implore all who name the name of Christ to be no longer selfishly indifferent to their duty. Live unto Christ, who died and rose again. God will greatly bless self-denying, self-sacrificing workers. Each angel has his mission, and is at his post of duty, ready to co-operate with you, and, by combining divine power with human effort, make of none effect the opposition of foes. They will make a place for you to walk, even among principalities and powers, beating back spiritual wickedness in high places. ST March 24, 1898, par. 16

Mrs. E. G. White