Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

March 15, 1898

Go, Preach the Gospel—No. 1

Mrs. E. G. White

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

Before leaving his disciples, Christ gave them their commission. Standing but one step from the throne, his last instruction to them was, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” “Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Again and again the words are repeated, that they may not lose their significance. Upon all creatures under heaven, high and low, rich and poor, was the light of heaven to shine in clear, strong rays. The disciples were to be colaborers with him, their Redeemer, in the work of saving the world. Christ assured them, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” They were to go forth in his name, and he promised them the ministry of his Spirit. He did not lay before them a plain and easy path. They were to be partakers of his sufferings. But he told them of the legacy they would receive. If they united with one another and with him, his righteousness would shine upon them, and from them to a world constantly increasing in wickedness.

The disciples were to catch the radiance of the light from the Saviour's presence, and were to let that light shine upon those walking in the shadow of death. They were commissioned to begin their work in Jerusalem. They were to bear witness to Christ in the city which had been the scene of his great humiliation. Here they were to give evidence of their strength and efficiency by lifting Christ up before those who had resisted his mercy and his love. Under the inspiration of Satanic agencies, those whom God had made the depositaries of sacred truth had denied and crucified their Messiah. To them the wondrous power of God was to be revealed. But the work of the disciples was not to begin and end in Jerusalem. They were to carry the truth to all nations.

Christ carried the minds of his disciples to an eminence, and showed them the vast confederacy arrayed against him who came as the light and life of men. He told them that they were to fight not merely against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the ruler of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. He reminded them that they were engaged in a warfare on which eternal results depended. In view of the heavenly universe, they were warring against principalities and powers. But they were not left to depend on human wisdom or human facilities. They were to work as seeing him who is invisible.

In his name the warfare of truth against error was to be carried forward, subverting the strongholds of idolatry and sin. People were to be stirred to carry the truth to all tongues and nations, giving the trumpet a certain sound, and rousing the slumbering nations from spiritual apathy and death. The disciples were to be his witnesses. Their every action was to fasten attention on his name, as possessing that vital power by which men may be brought into oneness with him who is the source of all power and efficiency. They were to center their faith in him who is the fountain of mercies, blessings, and power. They were to present their petitions to the Father in his name, and then their prayers would be answered. They were to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Christ's name was to be their watchword, their badge of distinction, their bond of union, the authority for their course of action, and the source of their success. Nothing was to be recognized in his kingdom that did not bear his name and superscription.

In order that his disciples might engage in this great work, and fulfil their commission, Christ declared that they would have power as God's peculiar people: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Christ read the minds of his disciples, and he saw that they were awake to the peculiar dangers that would assail them. He assured them that if they would go forward in faith to fulfil their commission, they would move under the shield of Omnipotence. He made every provision for the success of their mission. He took the responsibility of the work upon himself.

This was his last instruction to his disciples. He had told them his will concerning their work. He had opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. He had plainly assured them that they were to begin their work in Jerusalem, the very hardest field they could enter, and were to preach the remission of sins to all nations. “Ye are witnesses of these things,”—his trial, his rejection, his crucifixion, his rising from the dead, and being on the earth for forty days. “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

“And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.” While the Saviour's hands were still outstretched in blessing, he was taken from them; and as they stood gazing upward, to catch a last glimpse of their ascending Lord, the sound of the voices of the angels that escorted him was wafted down to them. “While they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” “And they ... returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.”

“And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.”

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

By the power of the Holy Spirit the disciples were fitted to act out the impression that had been left upon their minds by Christ's words,—that they held in trust the most sacred truths ever committed to mortals. The church was fitted for the work of representing Christ. The messengers of God spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance. In accordance with the directions given, they prayed in the name of Jesus. So were the words of Christ fulfilled: “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.... The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Shortly before his ascension, Christ had prayed, “For their sakes I sanctify myself.” He had given himself wholly to the work of human redemption. Charged with this exalted office, Christ stood as the head of humanity, the visible representative of an invisible God. “He that hath seen me,” he declared, “hath seen the Father;” and again, “I and my Father are one.” And having embodied in himself the love of God, Christ has imparted it to those who believe on his name, that the copies of his character may be multiplied.

“As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” They are a part of the great firm in the science of salvation, which is to work the works of Christ. “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”

To us as well as to the disciples, Christ has given the work of carrying the truth to the world. But before engaging in this great and aggressive warfare, upon which eternal results depend, Christ invites all to count the cost. He assures them that if they take hold of the work with undivided hearts, giving themselves as light-bearers to the world, if they will take hold of his strength, they will make peace with him, and obtain supernatural assistance that will enable them in their weakness to do the deeds of Omnipotence. If they go forward with faith in God, they will not fail nor become discouraged, but will have the assurance of infallible success.

The hour came for the lifting up of the Son of God on the cross, and the hour has now come for him to be lifted up from the earth. Impelled and stimulated by the love of Christ, as God's people advance in the work marked out for them, they will conquer through faith. By faith they may behold even more than angels in their ranks; for the abundant aid of the General of armies is ready for them in every emergency. He leads them on from victory to victory, proclaiming at every step, “I have overcome the world.” Your leader goeth forth, conquering and to conquer. Never forget that you are fighting the battle of the Lord of hosts, in full view of the invisible world.

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