Chapter 7—How to Tell if God is Leading
Portion of morning talk at Copenhagen, Denmark, July 21, 1886, titled “Search the Scriptures.” published in The Review and Herald, April 3, 1888.
You will meet, as I have, with people who profess to be sanctified, holy. Now, there is a bewitching influence carried with this doctrine. They will state to you wonderful exercises of mind to show you that the Lord is leading them and teaching them. Then how can you tell but that the Lord is leading them? Well, there is a test: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).
If it stirs up the enmity of the human heart when the Lord, the great Jehovah, is mentioned, you may know the person has no connection with God. People may claim that they have great faith in Jesus and that there is nothing you can do but that Christ will do for you. Now, when Christ shall call forth the dead, it depends wholly upon your course of action whether you have a resurrection to life eternal or a resurrection to damnation. Thus they get these truths all mixed with error, and they cannot tell what is truth; and if asked to sit down and search the Scriptures with you to see what saith the Lord, I never knew a case but the answer was that they had no need to search the Scriptures, for the Lord told them what to do.
The voice of God is speaking to us through His Word, and there are many voices that we will hear; but Christ has said we should beware of them who will say, “Here is Christ, or there is Christ.” Then how shall we know that they have not the truth unless we bring everything to the Scriptures? Christ has warned us to beware of false prophets who will come to us in His name, saying that they are Christ. Now, if you should take the position that it is not important for you to understand the Scriptures for yourselves, you will be in danger of being led away with these doctrines. Christ has said that there will be a company who in the day of retributive judgment will say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?” But Christ will say, “Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22, 23).
Now, we want to understand what sin is—that it is the transgression of God's law. This is the only definition given in the Scriptures. Therefore we see that those who claim to be led of God, and go right away from Him and His law, do not search the Scriptures. But the Lord will lead His people; for He says that His sheep will follow if they hear His voice, but a stranger will they not follow. Then it becomes us to thoroughly understand the Scriptures. And we will not have to inquire whether others have the truth, for it will be seen in their characters.
Satan Will Work Miracles
The time is coming when Satan will work miracles right in your sight, claiming that he is Christ; and if your feet are not firmly established upon the truth of God, then you will be led away from your foundation. The only safety for you is to search for the truth as for hid treasures. Dig for the truth as you would for treasures in the earth, and present the Word of God, the Bible, before your heavenly Father, and say, “Enlighten me; teach me what is truth.”
And when His Holy Spirit shall come into your hearts, to impress the truth into your souls, you will not let it go easily. You have gained such an experience in searching the Scriptures that every point is established. And it is important that you continually search the Scriptures. You should store the mind with the Word of God; for you may be separated and placed where you will not have the privilege of meeting with the children of God. Then you will want the treasures of God's Word hidden in your hearts, and when opposition comes around you, you will need to bring everything to the Scriptures.
Chapter 8—God's Commandment- Keeping People
Portion of a sermon at South Lancaster, Massachusetts, January 19, 1889, titled “In Him is Light,” published in The Review and Herald, February 26, 1889.
All heaven has been looking with intense interest upon those who claim to be God's commandment-keeping people. Here are the people who ought to be able to claim all the rich promises of God; who ought to be going on from glory to glory and from strength to strength; who ought to be in a position to reflect glory to God in the works that they do. Jesus has said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
We have received the rich blessing of God, but we must not stop here. We are to catch more and more the divine rays of light from heaven. We are to stand just where we can receive the light and reflect it, in its glory, upon the pathway of others. There has never been a time when we could feel more courage and confidence in the work than at the present time. There are many in our world who do not keep the commandments of God or make any profession of so doing, and yet they claim all His blessings. They are willing to accept and appropriate His promises without heeding the conditions upon which they are based. They have no right to the blessings they claim.
But why should not those who are keeping His commandments lay hold of the promises that have been given to the children of God? We can see Christ's righteousness in the law. In the cross of Calvary, “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psalm 85:10). This is the blending that there should be in our work.
Truth and righteousness must be presented with the love of God as it was manifested in Jesus. What purity will then be seen! What a cleansing of every moral defilement will be shown to be necessary! Then, when this is done, the stubbornness of the will which has kept so many away from the light, as they behold the preciousness of the Redeemer, His mercy and pity, will all be melted away from their souls.
Every one of us must fall on the Rock and be broken. Will there be one who will retain his stubbornness? Will there be one who will cling to his self-righteousness? Will there be one who will not catch sight of the preciousness of Christ? Is there a heart here that will not be subdued by the love of Jesus? Will any retain one particle of self-esteem?
We need to come still closer to God.... Why is it that our hearts have been so insensible to the love of God? Why have we had so hard a judgment of our heavenly Father? From the light that God has given me, I know that Satan has misrepresented our God in every possible way. He has cast his hellish shadow athwart our pathway, that we might not discern our God as a God of mercy, compassion, and truth. This is why the iron has entered into our souls.Then we have talked of the darkness that the evil one has cast upon us, and we have bemoaned our condition; and in so doing, we have only spread the shadow over other souls, and that which has injured us was an injury to them. As we have uttered our words of unbelief, others have been enshrouded in darkness and doubt.
We cannot afford to do this work. We thus put our kind heavenly Father in a false light. All this should change. We must gather up the rays of divine truth and let our light shine upon the darkened pathway of others. Heaven's light shines for those who will follow Christ, the light of the world. He says, “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
What kind of recommendation do you give to the world of the religion of Christ if you go repining and complaining and filled with sorrow? Those who keep the commandments of God should make it manifest that the truth is sanctifying the soul, refining and purifying the thoughts, and elevating the character and life. Christ has died that the moral image of God might be restored in our souls and might be reflected to those around us.
We need to drink deeper and deeper of the fountain of life. I hope that not a soul will be satisfied without making thorough work for eternity, and from this time on may it be seen, both by precept and example, that you are representatives of Christ. You may have a living testimony to bear: “Hear what the Lord has done for my soul.” The Lord is ready to impart still greater blessings.He permitted all His goodness to pass before Moses; He proclaimed His character to him as a God full of mercy, long-suffering, and gracious—forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. Moses was to represent this character to the people of Israel, and we are to do the same.
We are to go forth to proclaim the goodness of God and to make plain His real character before the people. We are to reflect His glory. Have we done this in the past? Have we revealed the character of our Lord by precept and example? Have we not joined in the work of the enemy of souls and misrepresented our heavenly Father? Have we not been passing judgment on our brethren, criticizing their words and actions? Then the love of God has not been enthroned in our souls. Let us make a decided change.
This newly updated inspirational packet, compiled by Jerry and Janet Page, contains many resources on prayer including topics like: Praising God, abiding in Jesus’ love, guidelines for those desiring anointing, encouraging promises and quotes on healing, principles of intercessory prayer, how to pray with your spouse, powerful promises for parents, what to pray for non-Christians, when Satan called a worldwide meeting, and much more. (Download the entire packet or choose topics individually.)
Jesus showed His disciples through His daily life how to maintain a connection with His Heavenly Father. What He taught them is also vitally important for us today. We pray that you are blessed by this short devotional sharing time with Elder Wilson.
Total Member Involvement
Listen to this amazing and inspiring story, shared by Cami Oetman, and others in Adventist World Radio, of how God inspired the start of a massive cell phone evangelism effort. This initiative really is a great way to get involved. It's practical, relevant, and anyone, anywhere can participate. Watch this story and pray about how God might want you to take part.