The Signs of the Times


April 11, 1892

The Knowledge of God is Life Eternal


Jesus saw how Satan had control of the souls and bodies of men, how he had cast his shadow athwart the path of humanity, so that men could not discern the love of the Father toward the fallen race. Satan claimed to be the prince of this world, and he held men under his power, and Jesus came to break this bondage. The mission of Jesus is set forth in his words by the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” ST April 11, 1892, par. 1

From the time when Jesus entered into the world Satan was upon his track. The evil one was determined that the power of Christ should not be exercised to break men's bondage, and Satan and his angels, in league with evil men, were united against Christ and his work. But Jesus was not to fail nor be discouraged, and he steadily went forward to accomplish his mission. He worked his works of mercy, and rolled back the shadow of misrepresentation that Satan had cast athwart the pathway of humanity that they might not behold the love of the Father. Satan had filled the minds of men with heresy, and the truth of heaven was obscured by human opinion, superstition, and tradition. Jesus came to bring to light the precious jewels of truth, and to place them in their proper setting in the framework of truth, where their true luster might appear. He came to represent the Father. He said, “I and my Father are one.” “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” ST April 11, 1892, par. 2

The enemy is continually seeking to misrepresent the character of God to us, and we should have the words of Christ abiding in us, so that when the enemy comes in like a flood the Spirit of the Lord may lift up a standard for us against Satan. We want to have the precious jewels of truth to adorn our knowledge. We should prize the truth above everything else, and be like the man who sold all that he had to buy the field that contained the treasure. We need the light and peace of Christ in our hearts, we need to have our souls barricaded with truth, that we may know God and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent; for the knowledge of God is life eternal. If we have a correct knowledge of the character of God, Satan will not be able to overwhelm our souls with doubt and discouragement. The enemy will come to you and say: “It is of no use for you to pray. Did you not do that evil thing? Have you not transgressed against God? and have you not violated your own conscience?” Answer him, “Yes; but Christ has bidden me to pray.” He has said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ST April 11, 1892, par. 3

Do not listen to the enemy's suggestion to stay away from Christ until you have made yourself better, until you are good enough to come to God. If you wait till then, you will never come. You might wait till the judgment, but you would not be fit to come to Christ. It is today that you are to yield to the drawing power of Christ, and come to him as you are. He will continue to draw you as you come, until every thought shall be brought into captivity to him. When the enemy seeks to keep you from your Saviour, tell him that Jesus has said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” And why does Christ draw you to himself?—It is that he may make you more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir. One soul is of more worth to Jesus than the whole world. ST April 11, 1892, par. 4

Then if we are so precious to Jesus, shall we not seek to come into as close relation to him as is the branch to the vine? Shall we not abide in him as he has commanded us to do? The moment we separate from Jesus, the enemy knows it, and he begins to cast his shadow across our pathway, that we may lose sight of Jesus. Satan presents his specious temptations, that we may fall into sin, and then when we yield to his allurements, he has more power over us, and will keep the mind in darkness. Oh, let the tempted soul rise up, and in the strength of Jesus say: “I will have no more connection with the enemy. I stand under the blood-stained banner of the Prince Emmanuel.” ST April 11, 1892, par. 5

Satan will point to the filthy garments of those who have been in his power when they seek to come to the Saviour. But let the repenting soul repeat the promise of Jesus, “Him that cometh to me, I will in nowise cast out.” Let him tell the enemy, “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” Tell the enemy that you know your garments are stained with sin, but that by faith you claim the righteousness of Christ. Turn to Jesus, and tell him all your trouble. Christ sees all your circumstances, and knows all your temptations and sorrows. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” What is it that is expected of you?—You are expected to open the door of the heart, that your soul may be illuminated with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, that you may be all light in the Lord. ST April 11, 1892, par. 6

When the enemy tells you that you are a sinner, tell him, “Yes, I know it.” The accuser of the brethren told the repenting publican that he was a sinner, and he dared not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, but cried, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner,” and he went down to his house justified. If you are a sinner, you need to seek Jesus. Your coming will not be unwelcome to him, for he invites all those that are weary and heavy laden to come to him, and find rest unto their souls. In the days when Christ was upon earth, certain Greeks came, saying, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” All about the Master were those who were cruel and vindictive, who were seeking an opportunity to put Jesus out of the way, who rejected the Lord of glory, and how welcome was the request to see Jesus. The Master's heart warmed with satisfaction that someone wanted to see Jesus. When the voice of God speaks to the heart, and the heart responds to it, we shall hear the inquiry, “Sir, I would see Jesus.” Heaven is all ready to receive those who would see Jesus. And now let us come to him, asking for the very things we need, believing that we shall receive them. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” ST April 11, 1892, par. 7

There are many who desire an evidence from the Lord as to what course they shall pursue. They want some tangible proof that they are in the path of duty. When the General Conference advised that I should visit Australia, I wanted an evidence that it was my duty to make the journey. In a few days after boarding the steamer I should be sixty-five years old, and it seemed like a great undertaking for a woman of my age to come across the ocean; but no evidence came, so I took my journey, trusting in the Lord, and wholly by faith. I had no evidence but the word of God, for Christ has declared, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me ... unto the uttermost part of the earth.” I knew that if God had directed me to this land, it was that I might give the message that he had given me, and I have every reason to praise God, for he has preserved me in health on the voyage. Thank God for that. ST April 11, 1892, par. 8

The best evidence that we can have is the word of God. There are many who, like the Jews, are ready to cry out, “Show us a sign, work us a miracle.” But is there not a miracle performed every time a soul who is at enmity with God is converted, and learns to love God and to keep his commandments? Is it not a miracle that we can break from the bondage of Satan? Enmity against Satan is not natural to the human heart. It has to be put into the heart by the manifestation of divine power. It is a miracle when the heart is changed, and we love Jesus, and desire to do those things that please him. We then want to come into close unity with him, and be connected with him as is the branch with the vine. How closely the branch adheres to the vine, drawing sap and nourishment from the stock, until it blossoms and bears fruit. Those who truly know the Lord do not regard it a task to serve their Master. They do not count it a hardship to deny self for his sake, and to be colaborers with him for the salvation of souls. ST April 11, 1892, par. 9

Let us elevate our souls by faith in Christ, for he alone can cleanse us from sin, and purify us from all unrighteousness. Without him we can do nothing. Let us be true to God; let us pray that the Holy Spirit may be poured out upon us. The Lord has said, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” The Holy Spirit is the gift of God; will we take it? Will we say, “I will place my hand in the hand of Jesus; I have no power, no merit, of my own”?
“Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to thy cross I cling.”
ST April 11, 1892, par. 10

I point you to the cross of Calvary. The cross is everything to us. It is the pledge of our salvation, the pledge that we shall receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away. It is to be our support in every trial, our refuge in every sorrow. It is the assurance to us that the Father loves us, and has given his Son for us. It is the assurance to us that our joy may be full. ST April 11, 1892, par. 11

Oh, shall we go mourning along the way to Mount Zion?—No; let us make melody in our hearts unto the Lord. There is a path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, and we are on our way to the haven of rest. Let us go forward united to Christ as closely as is the branch to the vine, with our life hid with Christ in God. ST April 11, 1892, par. 12