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Manuscript Releases, vol. 16 [Nos. 1186-1235]

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    MR No. 1198—The Teacher Sent from God

    “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits” [Matthew 7:15, 16].16MR 89.1

    There are some who have departed from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and these in their turn seduce others through falsehood and misrepresentation. These false teachers are represented by Christ as ravening wolves. Their work is to tear down that which God through His agencies is seeking to build up. “Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make My people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded; yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God” [Micah 3:5-7].16MR 89.2

    False prophets are described by Paul in his letter to Timothy: “Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” [2 Timothy 3:2-5]. Paul warns his son in the gospel, saying, “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck” [1 Timothy 1:18, 19].16MR 89.3

    When those who controvert the truth of God send for men to oppose truth with falsehood and error, this is the time to watch the influence their words have upon the congregation. Those who do not want a knowledge of the truth will greedily partake of the dish of pleasing fables presented to them. They will listen diligently to the falsehoods and ravening of the wolves in sheep's clothing. They are of those who rejoice in iniquity. They infuse into the hearts of those who do not want God's way the same wicked opposition that is in their own hearts. And they will act out the same spirit toward God's commandment-keeping people in this time as the Jews did when they refused to believe the truths which Christ unfolded before them. Christ presented before this people the prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures, showing them that by their rejection of Him they were fulfilling those prophecies. But they continued in their evil course, and followed to the end the works which stand registered against them in the books of heaven, and which have brought eternal infamy upon them as a nation.16MR 90.1

    What accusation did they bring against Christ? The same which men today bring against the commandment-keeping people of God—scandal, reproach, and falsehood. Greedily they receive the testimony of false witnesses. They hired men to report against Christ, that they might have some pretext for condemning Him. Everything that could be said or done was done to make themselves and others believe Him a criminal. His every word and action was watched and reported to His enemies in a distorted light. Spies were constantly upon His track, saying, “Show us a sign. Work some miracle.”16MR 90.2

    When Christ said to the sick of the palsy, “Be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee,” He gave His enemies a sign which they could not set aside. “And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” But Jesus, knowing their unspoken thoughts, said, “What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (He said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things today” [Luke 5:21-26].16MR 91.1

    Did this evidence that Christ was the Son of God cause the scribes and Pharisees to believe in Him? No; this demonstration of mercy and wonderful restoration only exasperated them. It was not evidence that He was the great Teacher sent from God that they wanted, but that He was a deceiver. Again and again they were on His track, to see and hear His words and works. Their hearts were not open to conviction. They were filled with intense hatred, with bitter prejudice, and they were ever seeking to find some occasion to work out their bitterness and wrath against Him. “And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” [Matthew 9:10-13].16MR 91.2

    Next in His work came a call from a ruler, saying, “My daughter is even now dead; but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did His disciples.” As He went, the people pressed about Him, until He was followed by a vast multitude. “And, behold, a woman which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment: for she said within herself, If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned Him about, and when He saw her, He said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.”16MR 92.1

    “And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, He said unto them, Give place; for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, He went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. And the fame thereof went abroad into all that land.16MR 92.2

    “And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us. And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him; and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto Him, Yea, Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it” [Verses 18-30].16MR 92.3

    Notwithstanding this charge, the restored men “when they were departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country.” This added fuel to the fire of prejudice. His enemies interpreted His works of mercy and compassion as a wrong done to themselves. The people were leaving them and listening to the teachings of Christ.16MR 93.1

    “As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.” These words, contrasting the works and mercy of Christ with the course pursued by the priests and Pharisees, exasperated the leading men, and in the place of the evidence softening their proud, ungodly hearts, they were filled with prejudice. Every additional proof given them provoked them to increased resistance.16MR 93.2

    When they saw that they could not prevent Him from working miracles, they put forth their skill to misrepresent and falsify Him. They could bear false witness, and this they did. They said, “He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.” But Jesus worked on, irrespective of censure and prejudice, resistance and determined opposition. The genuineness of His power and work was kept before the people, and His enemies could not turn the multitude from following after Him.16MR 93.3

    In Christ's mighty works there was sufficient evidence for faith. But these men did not want truth. They could not but acknowledge the reality of the works of Christ, but they cast condemnation upon them all. They must acknowledge that supernatural power attended His work, but this power, they declared, was derived from Satan. Did they really believe this? No; but they were so determined that the truth should not affect their hearts and they be converted, that they charged the work of the Spirit of God to the devil. In this they blasphemed God and committed the sin against the Holy Spirit, which has no forgiveness in this world or in the world to come.16MR 93.4

    “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then said He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.”16MR 94.1

    All-compassionate Redeemer! What love, what matchless love, was Thine! Charged by the great men of Israel with doing His works of mercy through the prince of devils, scorned and maligned, He was yet as one who saw and heard not. The work He came from heaven to do must not be left undone. He saw that truth must be unfolded to men. The light of the world must flash His beams into the darkness of sin and superstition, and reveal error in contrast with truth. That truth found no place in the hearts of those who should have been foremost to receive it, because they were barricaded by prejudice and wicked unbelief, and among those who had not such exalted privileges He prepared hearts to receive it. He made new bottles for the new wine.16MR 94.2

    Every moral and spiritual truth is invested by the God of heaven with a power of influence proportionate to its character and importance. The work of Christ was tested and brought forth prominently. The plan of redemption, which means everything to a lost and ruined world, was to be proclaimed, and the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus was brought into vital contact with the heart of the world, in order to draw the world to its divine Author, the Truth, the Word, and the Life. Christ declared, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.”16MR 94.3

    Christ does not use force or compulsion in drawing men to Him. But while truth was being proclaimed, the hearts of those who professed to be children of God were barricaded against it, and those who had not been so highly privileged, those who were not clothed with the garment of self-righteousness, were drawn to Christ. Their minds were convinced and quickened into activity, and light and truth vibrated through the universe. It was the plan of redemption, which was to call forth the intellect, to thrill the soul, and prepare it for the great power of God, which is salvation to all who believe—a truth so large, so deep, so full and complete, it could be the center of all truth hitherto revealed, presenting in a more exalted manner that which had been buried beneath a mass of rubbish and error. The work of Christ was to replace old truths in the framework of the gospel, and by bringing clearly to view neglected obligations, renovate the world.16MR 95.1

    Satan endeavored to keep hidden from the world the great atoning sacrifice which reveals the law in all its sacred dignity, and impresses hearts with the force of its binding claims. He was warring against the work of Christ, and united all his evil angels with human instrumentalities in opposition to that work. But while he was carrying on this work, heavenly intelligences were combining with human instrumentalities in the work of restoration. The cross stands as the great center of the world, bearing a certain testimony that the cross of Christ will be the condemnation of every transgressor of the law of God. Here are the two great powers, the power of truth and righteousness and the working of Satan to make of none effect the law of God. The human agent, magnetized by the power of Satan, works in the lines of the enemy; the Saviour employs His human instrumentalities to be laborers together with God.16MR 95.2

    Those who expect to be children of God are not to expect an easy time in this life. There are battles to be fought. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness in this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. We are not left alone to engage in this conflict. Jesus Christ is the Captain of our salvation. He clothed His divinity with humanity, and took the field Himself, that He might teach us to fight the battles of the Lord. He says “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart” [Psalm 40:8].16MR 96.1

    Who is this? We ask Isaiah, and he answers, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” [Isaiah 9:6]. John the Baptist tells us who He is: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” [John 1:29]. And the beloved disciple adds his testimony, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” [John 1:1].—Manuscript 61, 1899.16MR 96.2

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D. C.,

    June 5, 1986.

    Entire Manuscript.