The Review and Herald

1122/1902

April 30, 1901

A Teacher Sent From God

EGW

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruit.” RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 1

There are some who have departed from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and who by falsehood and misrepresentation seduce others. These false teachers are represented by Christ as ravening wolves. Their work is to tear down that which God through His agencies is seeking to build up. “Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets which make my people to err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded; yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.” RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 2

False prophets are described by Paul in his second letter to Timothy: “Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” Paul warns his son in the gospel, saying, “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.” RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 3

Men oppose the truth with falsehood, and those who do not desire a knowledge of the truth listen eagerly to the fables presented to them. Their hearts are imbued with the same spirit of opposition to the truth that fills the hearts of the false teachers. They act toward God's commandment-keeping people in this time as the Jews acted when they refused to accept the truths that Christ unfolded before them. Christ presented to them the prophecies of the Old Testament, showing them that by their rejection of Him they were fulfilling these prophecies. But they continued in their evil course, and followed, to the end, the works that stand registered against them in the books of heaven, which have brought eternal infamy upon them as a nation. RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 4

What accusation did the Jews bring against Christ?—“He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.” Eagerly they received the testimony of false witnesses. They hired men to report against Christ, that they might have some pretext for condemning Him. They did everything that could be done to make themselves and others believe that He was a criminal. His every word and action was watched, and reported in a distorted light. Spies were constantly upon His track, saying, Show us a sign. Work some miracle. RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 5

When Christ said to the sick of the palsy, “Be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee,” He gave His enemies a sign which they could not set aside. “And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” Knowing their unspoken thoughts, Jesus said, “What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins (He said unto the sick of the palsy), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things today.” RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 6

Did this evidence that Jesus was the Son of God cause the scribes and Pharisees to believe in Him?—No; this demonstration of His power only exasperated them. It was not evidence that He was the teacher sent from God, that they wanted, but evidence that He was a deceiver. Their hearts were not open to conviction. They were filled with intense hatred and bitter prejudice, and they were ever seeking to find some occasion to manifest their wrath. RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 7

“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 8

Next in Christ's work came a call from a ruler, saying, “My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did His disciples.... And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, He went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. And the fame thereof went abroad into all that land. RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 9

“And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.” RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 10

Notwithstanding this charge, the restored men, “when they were departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country.” This added fuel to the fire of prejudice. His enemies interpreted His works of mercy and compassion as a wrong done to themselves. The people were leaving them and listening to the teachings of Christ. RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 11

“As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.” These words, contrasting the works and mercy of Christ with the course pursued by the priests and Pharisees, exasperated the leading men. Every additional proof given them provoked them to increased resistance. When they saw that they could not prevent Him from working miracles, they put forth their skill to misrepresent and falsify Him. They could bear false witness, and this they did. They said, “He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.” But Jesus worked on, heeding not censure, prejudice, or opposition. The genuineness of His power and His work was kept before the people, and His enemies could not turn the multitude from following after Him. RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 12

In Christ's mighty works there was sufficient evidence to convince any one. But the Jewish rulers did not want the truth. They could not but acknowledge the reality of the works of Christ, but they cast condemnation upon them all. They were forced to acknowledge that supernatural power attended His work, but this power, they declared, was derived from Satan. Did they really believe this?—No; but they were so determined that the truth should not lead to their conversion that they charged the work of the Spirit of God to the devil. Thus they committed the sin against the Holy Ghost, which has no forgiveness in this world or in the world to come. RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 13

We read again of Christ: “When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.” RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 14

All-compassionate Redeemer! what love, what matchless love, is thine! Charged by the great men of Israel with doing His works of mercy by the power of the prince of devils, He was as one who saw and heard not. The work He came from heaven to do must not be left undone. Truth must be unfolded to men. The Light of the world must flash His beams into the darkness of sin and superstition. The truth found no place in the hearts of those who should have been foremost to receive it, because they were barricaded with prejudice and wicked unbelief. Among those who had not such exalted privileges, Christ prepared hearts to receive His message. He made new bottles for the new wine. RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 15

Every truth is invested by the God of heaven with an influence proportionate to its character and importance. The plan of redemption, which means everything to a lost and ruined world, was to be proclaimed, and the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus was brought into vital contact with the heart of the world. Light and truth vibrated through the universe. The plan of redemption was made known, which thrills the soul and prepares it for the great power of God. A truth so large, so deep, so full and complete, it could be the center of all truth hitherto revealed. RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 16

By Christ the truth was proclaimed. The hearts of those who professed to be the children of God were barricaded against it; but those who had not been so highly privileged, those who were not clothed with the garments of self-righteousness, were drawn to Christ. Their minds were convinced and quickened into activity. RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 17

The cross stands as the great center of the world, bearing a certain testimony which will be the condemnation of every transgressor of the law of God. Today Satan endeavors to keep hidden from the world the great atoning sacrifice, which reveals the love of God and the binding claims of His law. He wars against the work of Christ. His evil angels unite with evil men in opposing this work. But while He is carrying on this work, heavenly intelligences are combining with God's human instrumentalities in the work of restoration. RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 18

The children of God are not to expect an easy time in this life. There are battles to be fought. “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.” We are not left alone to engage in this conflict. Jesus is the captain of our salvation. He clothed His divinity with humanity, and took the field himself, that He might teach us how to fight the battles of the Lord. He says, “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” RH April 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 19