The Review and Herald

707/1902

February 13, 1894

Peril of Resisting the Holy Spirit

EGW

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.... Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The heart is the citadel of the whole man, and until the heart is wholly on the Lord's side, the enemy will find unguarded entrances through which he can take possession. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” If you would have light, you must intelligently cherish it, and constantly exercise faith, and not be controlled by feeling. It is evident that truth has been planted in the heart by the Holy Spirit when it is loved and cherished, and regarded as a sacred endowment. Love will then spring up in the heart like a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life. When this love is in the heart, the worker will find no weariness in the work of Christ. RH February 13, 1894, par. 1

Let not one ray of light from heaven be held in questioning and doubt. In great power the Lord has revealed to you his grace, his mercy, and his love; and he who charges the work of God to undue excitement, and calls it fanaticism, is certainly standing on dangerous ground. If such do not retrieve their steps, their consciences will become less and less sensitive, and they will have less and less appreciation of the Spirit of God. It will become harder and harder for them to understand the message of God. Why?—Because they are sinning against the Holy Ghost; and as a result of their resistance, they place themselves where they cannot recognize the Spirit of God, but set themselves against every instrumentality that God might use to save them from ruin. “What sign showest thou?” said the Jews to Christ, when at the same time his life and character, his lessons and miracles, were continual signs of his holy mission and divinity. RH February 13, 1894, par. 2

When God moves upon the hearts of men to draw them to Christ, it seems that a compelling power comes over them, and they believe, and give themselves up to the influence of the Spirit of God. But if they do not maintain the precious victory that God has given; if they permit old practices and habits to revive, and indulge in amusement or worldly luxury; if they neglect prayer, and cease resisting evil, then Satan's temptations are accepted, and they are led to doubt the verity of their former experience. They find that they are weak in moral power, and Satan declares to them that it is of no use for them to try the experiment of living a Christian life. He says, “The experience you thought was of God was only the result of undue emotion and impulse.” As soon as the human agent entertains these suggestions of the evil one, they begin to appear plausible, and then those who ought to know better, who have had a longer experience in the work of God, second the suggestions of Satan, and the Holy Spirit is grieved from the soul. There are those who almost imperceptibly come to take this position, who will immediately recover themselves when they realize what they are doing; but there are others who will continue to resist the Holy Spirit, until resistance appears to them as a virtue. RH February 13, 1894, par. 3

It is a dangerous thing to doubt the manifestations of the Holy Spirit; for if this agency is doubted, there is no reserve power left by which to operate on the human heart. Those who attribute the work of the Holy Spirit to human agencies, saying that an undue influence was brought to bear upon them, are cutting their souls off from the fountain of blessing. Whatever may be the sin, if the soul repents and believes, guilt may be washed away by the atoning blood of Christ; but he who rejects the revealings of the Spirit of God, and charges the work of God to human instrumentalities, is in danger of placing himself where repentance and faith will not come to him. He refuses to permit the Holy Spirit to melt his heart into tenderness and contrition, and that which should have softened him is looked upon as fanaticism; thus he is led to refuse the heavenly gift. Whatever plan God may devise by which to impress his heart, will be thwarted through this suggestion of Satan. The evil one casts his hellish shadow between the soul and God, and the work of God is looked upon as excitement and delusion. The Spirit strives in vain; for all the sufficiency of the gospel is inefficient to subdue the soul and correct the error. The habit of resistance is so fixed, he has so long interpreted light to be darkness and fanaticism, that the most manifest working of God's Holy Spirit becomes to him not a savor of life unto life, but through his unbelief, a savor of death unto death. RH February 13, 1894, par. 4

We hope and pray that those who have been visited by the Holy Spirit of God, may not come under the control of Satan, and so incase themselves in unbelief that they will misunderstand, misinterpret, and turn aside the deep movings of the Spirit of God, until darkness like the pall of death shall cover them, and not a ray of light from heaven penetrate the dense darkness in which they have become enshrouded. May no one resist the Spirit of God until the Lord shall say, “He is joined to his idols; let him alone.” RH February 13, 1894, par. 5

But those who have failed to preserve their consecration to God, which they made when under the influence of his Spirit, have dishonored their Redeemer, and scattered from Christ. They have grieved the Holy Spirit. They have brought reproach upon the cause of God, and Satan has exulted in his power. The church of God is to hold high her holy ensign, proclaiming the fact to the world that she has been chosen of God out of the world, that through grace and truth she may be in the world, but not of it. A mere profession of godliness, a name registered on the church-books, does not constitute one a child of God. To be a true Christian, it is necessary to be renewed in knowledge and true holiness, to come out from the world, and be separate and distinct from its customs and spirit. RH February 13, 1894, par. 6

Those who are laborers together with God will see, as did our Saviour, the moral degradation that abounds in the world, and will make every possible effort to point men to the sin-pardoning Saviour. They will manifest an intense interest to arouse those who are dead in trespasses and sin. They will not only pray for the perishing, but will seek earnestly to save them. Wisdom must be exercised; great tact, gentleness, and patience must be manifested toward some; while others we must save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted with the flesh. Many seem to be asleep, to be wholly unconcerned about their soul's salvation. We must array before them the terrors of the day of God and urge home upon the conscience the requirements of God's law. Those who labor to win souls must be wise; therefore they need to be much with God in prayer, seeking for wisdom that they may present the truth as it is in Jesus, and use every means to save the perishing. The laborers together with God are not to fail nor become discouraged. RH February 13, 1894, par. 7

I have a burden upon my soul that does not seem to grow lighter, but heavier, as I converse with responsible men and women in Battle Creek. In the night season I am engaged in giving the most earnest appeals to those who ought to be far in advance of what they are at the present time, because of the mercy and grace that the Lord has bestowed upon them. I shall trace out the substance of the conversations I have with you in your meetings in the Tabernacle and in your school-room. Although I have written plain statements, still the burden of appeal, reproof, warning, is upon me, and I am directed to address you in Battle Creek, and through you those in other places. RH February 13, 1894, par. 8

The school established in Battle Creek is not the savor of life unto life to those who attend that God designed it should be. To a large degree the simplicity of true godliness has departed. The record of the past year, and of the years previous has passed into eternity, but the grace and mercy of God, that have been so abundantly bestowed, have not met with a proportionate response in good works. Grace and truth have been shining forth in distinct rays the past year; but Satan has worked to make of none effect the heaven-sent refreshing of the shower of grace. At the very time when it was necessary that the greatest spiritual discernment should be exercised in educating and disciplining the youth who were then being moved upon by the Holy Spirit so that they might use the rich blessing aright, and progress from light to a greater light, nearly all the educators at Battle Creek had lost their clear spiritual discernment, because they did not maintain the victory by determined watchfulness. RH February 13, 1894, par. 9

I have had light from God that it is entirely contrary to his plans so heavily to center important interests at Battle Creek; for they are fast becoming as was Jerusalem in the days of Christ, when the people did not appropriate the heaven-sent opportunities nor cherish the rich blessing that God had given them. God has given his blessing to his people, in order that they may be faithful stewards of his grace. But every blessing that is not appreciated, that is not used to advance his work, is misapplied; and that which was given for a blessing is turned into a curse. Men waste their Lord's goods in poor management, and thus reflect dishonor upon God. RH February 13, 1894, par. 10

The people of God need ever to keep the evidences of his workings fresh in their minds. They need to consider the sacred, heavenly character, and realize how easily they can grieve the Holy Spirit away, by walking contrary to its ennobling, sanctifying, sacred influence. O, how the gift has been abused! Make haste to retrieve the error; for you have given Satan an opportunity to entangle souls, to confuse and perplex them, so that if they do not repent right speedily, and work in an opposite direction, they will have no more divine enlightenment; because they have neglected and misused that which God has already given them. I am afraid for you who have been so greatly favored of God. The heart, the conscience, the affections, and the memory have suffered by the course you have pursued. Draw nigh now to God, humble your hearts before him, and the holy things you have lost, may be restored. The Holy Spirit would bring back to the mind those things that you have forgotten. The peace you have lost will again be left with you. O how different is the peace of Christ from the world's peace! Jesus says, “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” The words of Christ are echoes of the words of the Father. RH February 13, 1894, par. 11

Christ said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Satan has planted himself between God and man, and seeks to intercept every ray of light that God would have come to man. He casts his awful shadow across the earth, and envelops the human race in spiritual darkness. But through Jesus Christ, the Father is pleased to reveal his character to his chosen people. O, then walk in the light, appreciate the light, and step by step advance from light to a greater light. O that God might arouse his human agents, so that they would lay aside their schemes and inventions, their love for earthly amusements, and cherish his revealed grace and truth! Shall the Comforter be treated as a common thing, and be cast aside for some earthly, sinful, sensual enjoyment? My heart cries out in pain, “O God, pity thy people; for they will never discern the light from the throne of God, unless they walk circumspectly, and put away their foolishness, and take the cup, the full cup of the Lord's blessing.” RH February 13, 1894, par. 12

The apostle holds out before us the assurance that we may be complete in Christ. What a beautiful character was manifest in him! what a grand example he presented! We can have no higher joy than to be laborers together with God, rescuing souls from the slavery of sin; and upbuilding the kingdom of Christ. This joy is Christ's joy, and every soul who partakes of it has his joy full. Again and again we may drink of this fountain of joy, and rejoice in it, knowing that no other joy can bear any comparison to it. RH February 13, 1894, par. 13