The Review and Herald


October 21, 1902

Christ the Missionary's Example



Jesus has revealed to men that while the hatred of God against sin is as strong as death, his love to the sinner is stronger than death. Christ, in his life and his death, has forever settled the deep and comprehensive question whether there is self-denial with God, and whether God is light and love. This was the question agitated in the heavens above, which was the beginning of Satan's alienation from God. The change or abolition of the laws of his government in the heavenly courts was demanded as the evidence of the love of God. We see that the controversy has been kept up, Satan creating enmity against God because of his holy law. The satanic agencies are constantly at work, sowing and watering the seeds of rebellion against the law of God, and Satan is gathering souls under his black banner of revolt. He forms a confederacy with human beings to contend against purity and holiness. He has worked diligently, perseveringly, increasing the number who will confederate with him. By his representations he seeks to widen the distance between heaven and earth, and he grows into the conviction that he can wear out the patience of God, extinguish his love for man, and bring condemnation upon the whole human family. RH October 21, 1902, par. 1

God has given all heaven in the gift of Christ to our world; but the great gift is so interpreted as to work in behalf of Satan's schemes to annul the law of God, the very work that Satan began in heaven. God has given Christ to take the penalty of transgression, and die to ransom the world. This, his heaven-sent reconciliation, is to be proclaimed, and the condition of eternal life, that men obey the laws of the divine government. But when this message of mercy is proclaimed, Satan inspires men to scowl back in defiance, and exclaim, “Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways, O God.” Nevertheless God sends his delegated messengers to entreat attention. But too often their message is not respected. Hatred against the law of God has continued to increase in intensity. Men have beaten one of the messengers of God, and killed another, and stoned another. New methods are continually devised to turn men away from the truth. The materials for the last great warfare are collecting; already the conflict has reached large proportions. And as iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. As the occasion requires, the Lord giveth more grace to his chosen, tempted, tried ones. Jesus knows the strength of Satan's temptations, and with every temptation he makes a way of escape. RH October 21, 1902, par. 2

Just prior to the crucifixion of Christ, the whole universe of heaven was with intense interest watching every move of Satan and his evil confederacy. They were watching to see what move would next be made against Jesus, and what would be his action under the circumstances. He had carried the human nature triumphantly through every period of test and trial, assailed by the whole confederacy of fallen angels leagued with evil men. He finished his mission by committing his work to the human agents who were to carry it forward in his name. The message of repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, was to be given to a fallen world. Beginning at Jerusalem, it was to go to all nations, tongues, and peoples. RH October 21, 1902, par. 3

Christ has demonstrated that through his grace humanity can keep the law of God. He has demonstrated to the universe of heaven and to the fallen world, that, by the invitation of our gracious Sovereign, all who will believe on him may receive pardon, and be restored to the favor of God. He would take those whose course had been the most offensive to God, impart to them his divine power, place them in the highest positions of trust, and send them forth into the camp of the disloyal to proclaim his grace, and offer a full pardon to all who will turn from sin unto God. “Ye have not chosen me,” he says; “but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” Some of the very ones that were brought into closest connection with the work of Christ had not only felt, but said, “Come, let us kill him,” and had thought that in this act they were doing God service. Our Saviour redeemed them, loaded them with divine favor, and sent them forth as lambs in the midst of wolves. He made them one with himself, and declared that those who refused to accept them and to hear the heaven-sent message, rejected the Lord Jesus himself. “If the world hate you,” he said, “ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.” RH October 21, 1902, par. 4

Presenting the Truth in New Places

But let every one bear in mind that we are in no case to invite persecution. We are not to use words that are harsh and cutting. Keep them out of every article written, drop them out of every address given. Let the Word of God do the cutting, the rebuking; let finite men hide and abide in Jesus Christ. Let the Spirit of Christ appear. Let all be guarded in their words, lest they place those not of our faith in deadly opposition against us, and give Satan an opportunity to use the unadvised words to hedge up our way. Do nothing before the time. When God gives a close, cutting message, it will be his work, not prompted by the impulse of finite beings. Man's cutting and slashing with the two-edged sword will hedge up our way, so that we shall find doors closed and locked against us. RH October 21, 1902, par. 5

We all need more of the deep love of Jesus in the soul, and far less of the natural impetuosity. We are in danger of closing up our own path by arousing the determined spirit of opposition in men in authority, before the people are really enlightened in regard to the message God would have us bear. God is not pleased when by our own course of action we bar the way so that the truth is prevented from coming to the people. RH October 21, 1902, par. 6