Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 235

have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now”? John 16:12. They grieved that their faith had been so feeble, that they had so failed of comprehending the reality.

The wonderful Person whom John had announced had been among them for more than thirty years, and they had not really known Him as the One sent from God. The disciples had allowed the prevailing unbelief to cloud their understanding. They often repeated His conversations and said, “Why did we allow the opposition of the priests and rabbis to confuse our senses so that we did not comprehend that Someone greater than Moses was among us, that One wiser than Solomon was instructing us? How dull were our ears!”

When they were brought before councils and put into prison, the followers of Christ rejoiced “that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Acts 5:41. They recognized the glory of Christ, and they chose to follow Him even if it meant losing all things.

The kingdom of God does not come with outward show. The gospel, with its spirit of self-denial, can never be in harmony with the spirit of the world. But today many people want to make our Lord the ruler of the kingdoms of this world, the ruler in its courts, legislative halls, palaces, and marketplaces. They expect Him to rule through legal enactments, enforced by human authority. Since Christ is not here in person now, they themselves will act in His place. Such a kingdom is what the Jews wanted in the days of Christ. But He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36.

The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive. Everywhere were terrible abuses—extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Savior attempted no civil reforms, attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority of those in power. He who was our example kept His distance from earthly governments, not because He was indifferent to human woe, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. The cure must regenerate the heart.

The kingdom of Christ is not established by courts, councils, or legislative assemblies but by implanting Christ’s nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. Here is the only power that can elevate mankind. And the human agency to accomplish this work is the teaching and practicing of the Word of God.

Now, as in Christ’s day, the work of God’s kingdom does not lie with those who clamor for recognition and support from earthly rulers and human laws. Rather, it lies with those who declare to the people in Christ’s name the spiritual truths that produce in the receivers the experience of Paul: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20.

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