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From Heaven With Love

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    Superstition Excited Fears

    The manifestation of supernatural power excited the fears of the people. Further calamities might follow from having this Stranger among them. Those who had crossed the lake with Jesus told of their peril in the tempest and how the wind and the sea had been stilled. But their words were without effect. In terror the people pleaded with Jesus to go away, and He complied, taking ship at once for the opposite shore.HLv 227.2

    The people of Gergesa were so fearful of endangering their earthly interests that He who had vanquished the prince of darkness before their eyes was treated as an intruder, and the Gift of heaven was turned from their doors. Still there are many who refuse to obey Christ's word because obedience would involve the sacrifice of some worldly interest. Lest His presence cause pecuniary loss, many reject His grace and drive His Spirit from them.HLv 227.3

    But the restored demoniacs desired the company of their Deliverer. In His presence they felt secure from the demons that had tormented their lives and wasted their manhood. As Jesus was about to enter the boat, they kept close to His side and begged Him to keep them near Him. But Jesus told them to go home and tell what great things the Lord had done for them.HLv 227.4

    Here was a work for them to do—to go to a heathen home and tell of the blessing they had received from Jesus. It was hard for them to be separated from the Saviour. Difficulties were sure to beset them. Long isolation from society seemed to disqualify them for the work He had indicated. But as soon as Jesus pointed out their duty, they were ready to obey. They went throughout Decapolis, everywhere declaring His power to save and describing how He had freed them from the demons. In doing this work they could receive a greater blessing than if they had remained in His presence. In working to spread the “good news” of salvation we are brought near to the Saviour.HLv 228.1

    The two restored demoniacs were the first missionaries Christ sent to preach in the region of Decapolis. For a few moments only these men had been privileged to hear the teachings of Christ. But they bore in their own persons the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. They could tell what they knew, what they had seen and heard and felt of the power of Christ. This is what everyone can do whose heart has been touched by the grace of God. See 1 John 1:1-3.HLv 228.2

    If we have been following Jesus step by step, we shall have something to tell concerning the way in which He has led us: how we have tested His promise, and found the promise true. This is the witness for which our Lord calls us.HLv 228.3

    Though the people of Gergesa had not received Jesus, He did not leave them to the darkness they had chosen. They had not heard His words. They were ignorant of that which they were rejecting. Therefore He again sent light to them by those to whom they would not refuse to listen.HLv 228.4

    The destruction of the swine roused the whole country as nothing else could have done and directed attention to Christ. The men He healed remained as witnesses to His power, channels of light, messengers of the Son of God. A door was opened throughout that region. When Jesus returned to Decapolis, thousands heard the message. Even the working of evil is overruled for good.HLv 228.5

    The demoniacs of Gergesa, dwelling in the place of graves, in bondage to uncontrolled passions and loathsome lusts, represent what humanity would become if given up to satanic jurisdiction. Satan's influence is constantly exerted on men to control the mind and incite to violence and crime. He darkens the intellect and debases the soul. Whenever men reject the Saviour's invitation, they are yielding themselves to Satan. Multitudes in the home, in business, and even in church are doing this today. Because of this, violence and crime overspread the earth, and moral darkness enshrouds the habitations of men. Satan leads men to worse and worse evils, till utter depravity and ruin are the result. The only safeguard against his power is the presence of Jesus. Before men and angels Satan has been revealed as man's enemy and destroyer; Christ, as man's friend and deliverer.HLv 229.1

    God has called us to be “conformed to the image of His Son.” Romans 8:29. And souls that have been degraded into instruments of Satan are still through Christ transformed into messengers of righteousness and sent forth to tell “what great things the Lord hath done for thee.”HLv 229.2

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