Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 145

the heart. Often the process is almost imperceptible. But when we disregard one ray of light, we numb our spiritual perceptions a little and don’t recognize as clearly the second revealing of light. So the darkness increases, until it is night in the heart. This is what had happened with these Jewish leaders. They credited the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan. In doing this, they deliberately chose deception, and from that time on, they were controlled by Satan’s power.

Closely connected with Christ’s warning about the sin against the Holy Spirit is a warning against idle and evil words. Words are an indication of character. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Words also have power to react on the character. People are influenced by their own words. Often under a sudden prompting by Satan, they say something that they do not really believe. But the expression reacts on the thoughts, and they come to believe what they spoke at Satan’s prompting. Having once expressed an opinion or decision, often they are too proud to retract it. They try to prove themselves right, until they believe that they are.

It is dangerous to speak a word of doubt, dangerous to question and criticize light. Careless and irreverent criticism reacts on the character, strengthening irreverence and unbelief. Many people have gone on until they were ready to criticize and reject the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Then Jesus added a warning to those who had been impressed by His words but had not surrendered themselves for the Holy Spirit to live in them. “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.

Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there.”

Like today, through the grace of God many in Christ’s day were set free from evil spirits that controlled their being. They rejoiced in the love of God, but then they did not surrender themselves to God daily to allow Christ to live in the heart. When the evil spirit returned, with “seven other spirits more wicked than himself,” they were completely dominated by the power of evil.

A New Power Takes Possession

When anyone surrenders to Christ, a new power takes possession of the heart. A change takes place that we can never accomplish for ourselves. The life that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a world that has revolted, and He intends no authority to rule in it but His own. A life that heaven’s agencies keep in this way cannot be conquered by Satan’s assaults.

But unless we yield ourselves to the control of Christ, the wicked one will dominate us. It is not necessary to choose the kingdom of darkness deliberately in order to come under its rule.

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