The Review and Herald

934/1902

May 24, 1898

Words of Warning

EGW

When Christ sent forth the twelve, he warned them of the persecution they would receive for his sake. “Behold,” he said, “I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues.” They will do this while they apparently wish you to regard them as your friends. By the deceptive attitude which they assume to retain your confidence, they will betray you. They hide the spirit of the wolf under the appearance of the sheep. Their lips may speak words as smooth as oil, but the poison of asps is under their tongues. RH May 24, 1898, par. 1

The truth of Christ's words was verified in the case of Lazarus. Those who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus were unable to keep silence; the miracle was the burden of the conversation of thousands. God designed that there should be witnesses to give publicity to this, Christ's crowning miracle. At the feast of the Passover, many were drawn from their homes to see and hear Jesus. “And they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.” Many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus. Those who saw Lazarus told others, and thus the news spread. Such a thing had never before been heard of. That he who had been cut off from among the living, now stood among them with the love of God expressed in his face, was the subject on all lips. RH May 24, 1898, par. 2

“The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.” The evidences of the resurrection of Lazarus were so clear that the rulers could not resist them; neither could they frame their falsehoods so long as he stood to bear testimony against them. All the false statements of the priests and rulers, all their hatred and jealousy, could not draw the people to them as long as Lazarus was living to say: He spoke, and I was released from the bonds of death. “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” The same omnipotent power that made the world has conquered death. And as long as Lazarus lived, his testimony could not be silenced. RH May 24, 1898, par. 3

“The chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.” As they had laid their plans to kill Jesus, so they consulted together how they might, in some secret manner, employ men to rid them of the presence of Lazarus. If he were removed, they thought, they could more easily accomplish the death of Christ. When men open the door of the heart to let Satan in as their guest, they follow his promptings, and let unbelief bear sway. They misinterpret and misapply the Scriptures; for they read the Word in the light of their own perverted imagination. While they put on an appearance of sanctity, and profess to be doing the service of God, there is no end to the crimes they will commit if circumstances but favor them. RH May 24, 1898, par. 4

“And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake,” Christ continued, “for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought [be not anxious] how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.” RH May 24, 1898, par. 5

From the burning bush the Lord reproved Moses for unbelief when he pleaded his inability to speak. “Who hath made man's mouth?” he said, “or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” When the word of Lord came to Jeremiah, he said, “Ah, Lord God! behold, I can not speak: for I am a child.” But the Lord said to him: “Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.” RH May 24, 1898, par. 6

The same God who gave his messages to Moses and Jeremiah will give his word to his witnesses in this generation. “For it is not ye that speak,” Christ declares, “but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” This word of the Lord has been verified in all ages, and it will be verified to the close of time in all who hold the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end. The most powerful testimony will be given in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints. The Holy Spirit is close beside those who are called to witness for truth and righteousness. He orders the testimony that is borne before earthly authorities, that the glorious truth may appear. RH May 24, 1898, par. 7

The history of Judas is written for our learning. He was a betrayer of sacred trusts. He had an opportunity to become converted, heart and soul, to Christ. The Saviour bore long with his perversity and defects of character. He gave no personal rebuke; he dealt with him by revealing principles of righteousness. But this was not enough. Before he left his disciples, he desired them to know the true character of Judas, and he reproved him for his covetousness in rebuking Mary for her use of the ointment. RH May 24, 1898, par. 8

Christ washed the feet of Judas. This was the time for Judas to confess his sin, and ask the forgiveness of Christ. This was his opportunity to accept Christ, or to shut the door of his heart against the light. The promptings of the Spirit were repressed. Judas partook of the broken body and spilled blood of his Lord, and went out from the table to betray his Master. He would not receive counsel nor reproof; he was determined to have his own way, to follow his own impulses. RH May 24, 1898, par. 9

We have far greater light than Judas had. We have a crucified, risen, and ascended Saviour, who ever liveth to make intercession for us. The Lord reveals to men their danger, and warns them to put away all selfishness, that they may have that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. Yet, notwithstanding this, Satan works upon human minds to do as Judas did. The deadly, groveling passions that take possession of the heart in these last days, when self once becomes lifted up, bring all kinds of evil. Those who sympathized with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram in their apostasy, brought blight and death upon themselves. So it will be in these last days. The cause of Christ will be betrayed. Those who have had the light of truth, and have enjoyed its blessings, but who have turned away from it, will fight down the Spirit of God. Inspired with a spirit from beneath, they will tear down that which they once built up, and show to all reasonable, God-fearing souls that they can not be trusted. They may lay claim to truth and righteousness, but their spirit and works will testify that they are betrayers of their Lord. The attributes of Satan they call the movings of the Holy Spirit. RH May 24, 1898, par. 10

“Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” RH May 24, 1898, par. 11

There are but two classes in our world, and they are thus described in the word of God: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” RH May 24, 1898, par. 12

The warning of Christ comes sounding down the line to our time: “Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” RH May 24, 1898, par. 13

Said Christ: “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” RH May 24, 1898, par. 14

Men will have great opportunities and privileges, and great light; and they will either go forward unto the perfection of Christ's character, or they will follow their own peculiar traits of character. Under the sway of Christ, they will be mild and teachable; under the inspiration of Satan, they will reveal a harsh spirit, and become betrayers of their brethren. They will walk frowardly, in the way of their heart. If those who have light will open the chambers of the mind, they will see as the Lord sees; they will take counsel and reproof; they will open the door of the heart of Jesus, and will welcome him in as an honored guest. Then the soul will be a temple where Christ can dwell. RH May 24, 1898, par. 15