The Review and Herald

1224/1902

October 14, 1902

Christ the Missionary's Example

EGW

Christ said to his disciples, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” RH October 14, 1902, par. 1

Satan's efforts against the advocates of the truth will wax more bitter and determined to the very close of time. As in Christ's day the chief priests and rulers stirred up the people against him, so today the religious leaders will excite bitterness and prejudice against the truth for this time. The people will be led to acts of violence and opposition which they would never have thought of had they not been imbued with the animosity of professed Christians against the truth. RH October 14, 1902, par. 2

And what course shall the advocates of truth pursue? They have the unchangeable, eternal Word of God, and they should reveal the fact that they have the truth as it is in Jesus. Their words must not be rugged and sharp. In their presentation of truth they must manifest the love and meekness and gentleness of Christ. Let the truth do the cutting; the Word of God is as a sharp, two-edged sword, and will cut its way to the heart. Those who know that they have the truth should not, by the use of harsh and severe expressions, give Satan one chance to misinterpret their spirit. As a people we must stand as did the world's Redeemer. When in controversy with Satan in regard to the body of Moses, Christ durst not bring against him a railing accusation. He had every provocation to do this, and Satan was disappointed because he could not arouse in Christ a spirit of retaliation. Satan was ready to misrepresent everything that was done by Jesus; and the Saviour would give him no occasion, not the semblance of an excuse. He would not turn from his straightforward course of truth in order to follow the wanderings, and twistings, and turnings, and prevarications of Satan. RH October 14, 1902, par. 3

We read in the prophecy of Zechariah that when Satan with all his synagogue stood up to resist the prayers of Joshua the high priest, and to resist Christ, who was about to show decided favor to Joshua, “the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” RH October 14, 1902, par. 4

The course of Christ in dealing even with the adversary of souls, should be an example to us in all our intercourse with others, never to bring a railing accusation against any; much less should we employ harshness or severity toward those who may be as anxious to know the right way as we are ourselves. RH October 14, 1902, par. 5

The Truth as it is in Jesus

Those who have been educated in the truth by precept and example should make great allowance for others who have had no knowledge of the Scriptures except through the interpretations given by ministers and church members, and who have received traditions and fables as Bible truth. They are surprised by the presentation of truth; it is as a new revelation to them, and they cannot bear to have all the truth, in its most striking character, presented to them at the outset. All is new and strange, and wholly unlike that which they have heard from their ministers, and they are inclined to believe what the ministers have told them, that Seventh-day Adventists are infidels, and do not believe the Bible. Let the truth be presented as it is in Jesus, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. Speak of the love of God in words easy to be understood. Bible truth, presented in the meekness and love of Jesus, will have a telling influence upon many minds. RH October 14, 1902, par. 6

Many souls are hungering for the bread of life. Their cry is, Give me bread; do not give me a stone. It is bread that I want. Feed these perishing, starving, souls. Let our ministers bear in mind that the strongest meat is not to be given to babes who know not the first principles of the truth as we believe it. In every age the Lord has had a special message for the people of that time; so we have a message for the people in this age. But while we have many things to say, we may be compelled to withhold some of them for a time, because the people are not prepared to receive them now. RH October 14, 1902, par. 7

When a discourse is given, the people may listen with interest, but it is all strange and new to them, and Satan is ready to suggest to their minds many things that are not true. He will seek to pervert and misrepresent the speaker's words. What shall we do? The discourses presenting the reasons of our faith should be published in little leaflets, and circulated as widely as possible. Thus the falsehoods and misrepresentations which the enemy of truth constantly tries to keep in circulation would be revealed in their true character, and the people would have an opportunity of knowing just what the minister said. Those who introduce the leaven of truth amid the mass of false theories and doctrines may expect opposition. Satan's batteries will be opened upon those who advocate the truth, and the standard bearers must expect to meet many sneers, and much reviling that is hard to bear. RH October 14, 1902, par. 8

The message of warning is to be given in all the highways and byways. The cities are to be worked, not merely preached to; there must be house-to-house labor. After the warning has been given, after the truth has been presented from the Scriptures, many souls will be convicted. Then great carefulness is needed. The human agent cannot do the work of the Holy Spirit, we are only the channels through which the Lord works. Too often a spirit of self-sufficiency comes in, if a measure of success attends the efforts of the worker. But there must be no exaltation of self, nothing should be attributed to self; the work is the Lord's, and his precious name is to receive all the glory. Let self be hid in Jesus. RH October 14, 1902, par. 9

There is danger of indulging a controversial spirit. But those who really love the truth, who have received it into the heart as a living principle, will have the greatest desire to reveal in words and actions the sanctifying power of truth upon the life. They will be representatives of the truth, showing its transforming power upon their own character. When opposed, they will not retaliate. Children and youth cannot, unless they are under the direct influence of the Spirit of God, correctly represent the sanctifying power of truth upon mind and character. And there are many grown-up persons who need to enter the school of Christ and learn his meekness and lowliness of heart, else they will venture to do that which Michael the Archangel dared not do. The railing accusations will be at their tongue's end. There are many fathers and mothers who would today engage in the work of God if encouraged, but who, in their own home life, prove themselves unfit to handle sacred responsibilities. They are only grown-up children. There are very few parents who represent the character of Jesus in the home. RH October 14, 1902, par. 10

The Believer is Complete in Christ

Christ represented his Father; he knew how the Father would do under any and every circumstance, and he did just as the Father would do. He made manifest in his work the ways of God. The living God was working through his Son. Jesus, when he was found in fashion as a man, had a realizing sense of the world's needs, and he employed his human, God-given powers for the benefit of men, while in every act of mercy and healing he drew upon the divine power, even the power that made the worlds. The Lord Jesus is all ready to impart the very same aid to all who will consecrate their powers to his service, who feel the need of the impartation of his grace. To all who desire to be recipients of his Spirit, the virtue flows out from Christ. And it is in this way that the character of God, the perfection of Christ and the Father, is brought before the world. The human agent is complete in Christ. Learning in the school of Christ, daily studying his life, we become one with him, and reflect the virtues of his character. RH October 14, 1902, par. 11

He who is daily a learner in the school of Christ can say, “As the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.” Thus did the Son of God in his human life, leaving us an example of perfect obedience, prefacing every deed with such words as these: That which the Son seeth the Father do, he doeth also. “This commandment have I received of my Father.” The history of Christ's human life in our world is the record of his purpose toward us for the manifestation of his divine perfection. He was the light shining in darkness; and what is the record? “And the darkness comprehended it not.” The standard is high, for Christ is our standard, and he could justly claim perfection in all his works. But how few, in their practice, will follow the Lamb of God whithersoever he goeth. Following Jesus, imbued with his Spirit moment by moment, the human agent would represent Christ, as Christ represented the Father. RH October 14, 1902, par. 12

(To be concluded.)