The Character Reshaped .--Our work for the tempted and fallen will achieve real success only as the grace of Christ reshapes the character and the man is brought into living connection with the infinite God. This is the purpose of all true temperance effort.-- Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 111.
Christ Works From Within .--Men will never be truly temperate until the grace of Christ is an abiding principle in the heart. . . . Circumstances cannot work reform. Christianity proposes a reformation in the heart. What Christ works within, will be worked out under the dictation of a converted intellect. The plan of beginning outside and trying to work inward has always failed, and always will fail.-- Counsels on Diet and Foods, page 35.
Power of Self-Control Must Be Regained. --One of the most deplorable effects of the original apostasy was the loss of man's power of self-control. Only as this power is regained, can there be real progress.
The body is the only medium through which the mind and the soul are developed for the upbuilding of character. Hence it is that the adversary of souls directs his temptations to the enfeebling and degrading of the physical powers. His success here means the surrender to evil of the whole being. The tendencies of our physical nature, unless under the dominion of a higher power, will surely work ruin and death.
The body is to be brought into subjection. The higher powers of the being are to rule. The passions are to be controlled by the will, which is itself to be under the control of God. The kingly power of reason, sanctified by divine grace, is to bear sway in our lives.-- The Ministry of Healing, pages 129, 130.
Futility of Attempts to Stop by Degrees .--Shall those who have had more opportunities and much precious light, who enjoy the advantages of education, make the plea that they cannot cut away from unhealthful practices? Why do not those who have excellent reasoning powers reason from cause to effect? Why do they not advocate reform by planting their feet firmly on principle, determined not to taste alcoholic drink or to use tobacco? These are poisons, and their use is a violation of God's law. Some say, when an effort is made to enlighten them on this point, I will leave off by degrees. But Satan laughs at all such decisions. He says, They are secure in my power. I have no fear of them on that ground.
But he knows that he has no power over the man who, when sinners entice him, has moral courage to say "No" squarely and positively. Such a one has dismissed the companionship of the devil, and as long as he holds to Jesus Christ, he is safe. He stands where heavenly angels can connect with him, giving him moral power to overcome.--Manuscript 86, 1897.
A Hard Battle, but God Will Help .--Do you use tobacco or intoxicating liquor? Cast them from you; for they becloud your faculties. To give up the use of these things will mean a hard battle, but God will help you to fight this battle. Ask Him for grace to overcome, and then believe that He will give it to you, because He loves you. Do not allow worldly companions to draw you away from your allegiance to Christ. Rather let your mind be drawn from these companions to Christ. Tell them that you are seeking for heavenly treasure. You are not your own; you have been bought with a price,
even the life of the Son of God, and you are to glorify God in your body and in your spirit, for they are His.--Letter 226, 1903.
Seek Help of God and the Righteous .--I have a message from the Lord for the tempted soul who has been under the control of Satan, but who is striving to break free. Go to the Lord for help. Go to those who you know love and fear God, and say, Take me under your care; for Satan tempts me fiercely. I have no power from the snare to go. Keep me with you every moment, until I have more strength to resist temptation.--Letter 166, 1903.
Personal Relationship With God .--Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears, before God. . . . "The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." His heart of love is touched by our sorrows, and even by our utterance of them. . . . Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son.-- Steps to Christ, pages 104, 105.
Indulgence Is Sin .--The indulgence of unnatural appetite, whether for tea, coffee, tobacco, or liquor, is intemperance, and is at war with the laws of life and health. By using these forbidden articles a condition of things is created in the system which the Creator never designed. This indulgence in any
of the members of the human family is sin. . . . Suffering, disease, and death are the sure penalty of indulgence.-- Evangelism, page 266.
When the Holy Spirit Works Among Us .--The very first and the most important thing is to melt and subdue the soul by presenting our Lord Jesus Christ as the Sin Bearer, the sin-pardoning Saviour, making the gospel as clear as possible. When the Holy Spirit works among us, . . . souls who are unready for Christ's appearing are convicted. . . . The tobacco devotees sacrifice their idol and the liquor drinker his liquor. They could not do this if they did not grasp by faith the promises of God for the forgiveness of their sins.-- Evangelism, page 264.
Man's Great Need .--Christ gave His life to purchase redemption for the sinner. The world's Redeemer knew that indulgence of appetite was bringing physical debility and deadening the perceptive faculties so that sacred and eternal things could not be discerned. He knew that self-indulgence was perverting the moral powers, and that man's great need was conversion,--in heart and mind and soul, from the life of self-indulgence to one of self-denial and self-sacrifice.-- Medical Ministry, page 264.
Man Will Fail in His Own Strength .--The tobacco habit . . . beclouds so many minds. Why do you not give up this habit? Why not arise and say, I will serve sin and the devil no longer? Say, I will let alone this poisonous narcotic. You never can do it in your own strength. Christ says, "I am at thy right hand to help thee."--Manuscript 9, 1893.
Why So Many Fail .--Temptations to the indulgence of appetite possess a power which can be overcome only by the help that God can impart. But with every temptation we have the promise of God that there shall be a way of escape. Why, then, are so many overcome? It is because they do not put
their trust in God. They do not avail themselves of the means provided for their safety. The excuses offered for the gratification of perverted appetite, are therefore of no weight with God.--Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, page 22.
The Only Remedy .--For every soul struggling to rise from a life of sin to a life of purity, the great element of power abides in the only "name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12. "If any man thirst," for restful hope, for deliverance from sinful propensities, Christ says, "let him come unto Me, and drink." John 7:37. The only remedy for vice is the grace and power of Christ.
The good resolutions made in one's own strength avail nothing. Not all the pledges in the world will break the power of evil habit. Never will men practice temperance in all things until their hearts are renewed by divine grace. We cannot keep ourselves from sin for one moment. Every moment we are dependent upon God. . . .
Christ lived a life of perfect obedience to God's law, and in this He set an example for every human being. The life that He lived in this world we are to live, through His power and under His instruction.
Perfect Obedience Required .--In our work for the fallen, the claims of the law of God and the need of loyalty to Him are to be impressed on mind and heart. Never fail to show that there is a marked difference between the one who serves God and the one who serves Him not. God is love, but He cannot excuse willful disregard for His commands. The enactments of His government are such that men do not escape the consequences of disloyalty. Only those who honor Him can He honor. Man's conduct in this world decides his eternal destiny. As he has sown, so he must reap. Cause will be followed by effect.
Nothing less than perfect obedience can meet the standard of God's requirement. He has not left His requirements
indefinite. He has enjoined nothing that is not necessary in order to bring man into harmony with Him. We are to point sinners to His ideal of character, and to lead them to Christ, by whose grace only can this ideal be reached.
Victory Assured Through Christ's Sinless Life .--The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity, and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us "partakers of the divine nature," and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin.
The Saviour overcame to show man how he may overcome. All the temptations of Satan, Christ met with the word of God. By trusting in God's promises, He received power to obey God's commandments, and the tempter could gain no advantage. To every temptation His answer was, "It is written." So God has given us His word wherewith to resist evil. Exceeding great and precious promises are ours, that by these we "might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4.
Bid the tempted one look not to circumstances, to the weakness of self, or to the power of temptation, but to the power of God's word. All its strength is ours. "Thy word," says the psalmist, "have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." "By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer." Psalms 119:11; 17:4.
Linked With Christ Through Prayer .--Talk courage to the people; lift them up to God in prayer. Many who have been overcome by temptation are humiliated by their failures, and they feel that it is in vain for them to approach unto God; but this thought is of the enemy's suggestion. When they have sinned, and feel that they cannot pray, tell them that it is then the time to pray. Ashamed they may be, and deeply humbled; but as they confess their sins, He who is
faithful and just will forgive their sins, and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.
Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness, and relies wholly on the merits of the Saviour. By prayer, by the study of His word, by faith in His abiding presence, the weakest of human beings may live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold them by a hand that will never let go.-- The Ministry of Healing, pages 179-182.
Health and Strength to the Overcomer .--When men who have indulged in wrong habits and sinful practices yield to the power of divine truth, the application of that truth to the heart revives the moral powers, which had seemed to be paralyzed. The receiver possesses stronger, clearer understanding than before he riveted his soul to the eternal Rock. Even his physical health improves by the realization of his security in Christ. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is of itself health and strength.-- Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene,page 13.
Power for Victory in Christ Alone .--Men have polluted the soul-temple, and God calls upon them to awake, and to strive with all their might to win back their God-given manhood. Nothing but the grace of God can convict and convert the heart; from Him alone can the slaves of custom obtain power to break the shackles that bind them. It is impossible for a man to present his body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, while continuing to indulge habits that are depriving him of physical, mental, and moral vigor. Again the apostle says, "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2.-- Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, pages 10, 11.
In the Strength of Christ .--Christ fought the battle upon the point of appetite, and came off victorious; and we also can
conquer through strength derived from Him. Who will enter in through the gates into the city?--Not those who declare that they cannot break the force of appetite. Christ has resisted the power of him who would hold us in bondage; though weakened by His long fast of forty days, He withstood temptation, and proved by this act that our cases are not hopeless. I know that we cannot obtain the victory alone; and how thankful we should be that we have a living Saviour, who is ready and willing to aid us!
I recall the case of a man in a congregation that I was once addressing. He was almost wrecked in body and mind by the use of liquor and tobacco. He was bowed down from the effects of dissipation; and his dress was in keeping with his shattered condition. To all appearance he had gone too far to be reclaimed. But as I appealed to him to resist temptation in the strength of a risen Saviour, he rose tremblingly, and said, "You have an interest for me, and I will have an interest for myself." Six months afterward he came to my house. I did not recognize him. With a countenance beaming with joy, and eyes overflowing with tears, he grasped my hand, and said, "You do not know me, but you remember the man in an old blue coat who rose in your congregation, and said that he would try to reform?" I was astonished. He stood erect, and looked ten years younger. He had gone home from that meeting, and passed the long hours in prayer and struggle till the sun arose. It was a night of conflict, but, thank God, he came off a victor. This man could tell by sad experience of the bondage of these evil habits. He knew how to warn the youth of the dangers of contamination; and those who, like himself, had been overcome, he could point to Christ as the only source of help.-- Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, pages 19, 20.
No Genuine Reform Apart From Christ .--Apart from divine power, no genuine reform can be effected. Human
barriers against natural and cultivated tendencies are but as the sandbank against the torrent. Not until the life of Christ becomes a vitalizing power in our lives can we resist the temptations that assail us from within and from without.
Christ came to this world and lived the law of God, that man might have perfect mastery over the natural inclinations which corrupt the soul. The Physician of soul and body, He gives victory over warring lusts. He has provided every facility, that man may possess completeness of character.
When one surrenders to Christ, the mind is brought under the control of the law; but it is the royal law, which proclaims liberty to every captive. By becoming one with Christ, man is made free. Subjection to the will of Christ means restoration to perfect manhood.
Obedience to God is liberty from the thralldom of sin, deliverance from human passion and impulse. Man may stand conqueror of himself, conqueror of his own inclinations, conqueror of principalities and powers, and of "the rulers of the darkness of this world," and of "spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12.-- The Ministry of Healing, pages 130, 131.
A Hand-to-Hand Battle .--When men are content to live merely for this world, the inclination of the heart unites with the suggestions of the enemy, and his bidding is done. But when they seek to leave the black banner of the power of darkness, and range themselves under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel, the struggle begins, and the warfare is carried on in the sight of the universe of heaven.
Every one who fights on the side of right, must fight hand to hand with the enemy. He must put on the whole armor of God, that he may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.--Manuscript 47, 1896.
Man Must Do His Part .--God cannot save man, against his will, from the power of Satan's artifices. Man must work with his human power, aided by the divine power of Christ, to resist and to conquer at any cost to himself. In short, man must overcome as Christ overcame. And then, through the victory which it is his privilege to gain by the all-powerful name of Jesus, he may become an heir of God and joint heir with Christ.
This could not be the case if Christ alone did all the overcoming. Man must do his part. Man must be victor on his own account, through the strength and grace that Jesus gives him. Man must be a co-worker with Christ in the labor of overcoming, and then he will be partaker with Christ of His glory.-- Review and Herald, Nov. 21, 1882.
"Show Thyself a Man." --The victims of evil habit must be aroused to the necessity of making an effort for themselves. Others may put forth the most earnest endeavor to uplift them, the grace of God may be freely offered, Christ may entreat, His angels may minister; but all will be in vain unless they themselves are roused to fight the battle in their own behalf.
The last words of David to Solomon, then a young man, and soon to receive the crown of Israel, were, "Be thou strong, . . . and show thyself a man." I Kings 2:2. To every child of humanity, the candidate for an immortal crown, are these words of inspiration spoken, "Be strong, and show thyself a man."
The self-indulgent must be led to see and feel that great moral renovation is necessary if they would be men. God calls upon them to arouse, and in the strength of Christ win back the God-given manhood that has been sacrificed through sinful indulgence.
He Can--He Must Resist Evil .--Feeling the terrible power of temptation, the drawing of desire that leads to indulgence,
many a man cries in despair, "I cannot resist evil." Tell him that he can, that he must resist. He may have been overcome again and again, but it need not be always thus. He is weak in moral power, controlled by the habits of a life of sin. His promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. The knowledge of his broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens his confidence in his own sincerity, and causes him to feel that God cannot accept him or work with his efforts. But he need not despair.
Those who put their trust in Christ are not to be enslaved by any hereditary or cultivated habit or tendency. Instead of being held in bondage to the lower nature, they are to rule every appetite and passion. God has not left us to battle with evil in our own finite strength. Whatever may be our inherited or cultivated tendencies to wrong, we can overcome through the power that He is ready to impart.
The Power of the Will .--The tempted one needs to understand the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man,--the power of decision, of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. Desires for goodness and purity are right, so far as they go; but if we stop here, they avail nothing. Many will go down to ruin while hoping and desiring to overcome their evil propensities. They do not yield the will to God. They do not choose to serve Him.
We Must Choose .--God has given us the power of choice; it is ours to exercise. We cannot change our hearts, we cannot control our thoughts, our impulses, our affections. We cannot make ourselves pure, fit for God's service. But we can choose to serve God, we can give Him our will; then He will work in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus our whole nature will be brought under the control of Christ.
Through the right exercise of the will, an entire change may be made in the life. By yielding up the will to Christ,
we ally ourselves with divine power. We receive strength from above to hold us steadfast. A pure and noble life, a life of victory over appetite and lust, is possible to everyone who will unite his weak, wavering human will to the omnipotent, unwavering will of God.-- The Ministry of Healing, pages 174-176.
If the Will Is Set Right .--The will is the governing power in the nature of man. If the will is set right, all the rest of the being will come under its sway. The will is not the taste or the inclination, but it is the choice, the deciding power, the kingly power, which works in the children of men unto obedience to God or to disobedience.
You will be in constant peril until you understand the true force of the will. You may believe and promise all things, but your promises and your faith are of no account until you put your will on the right side. If you will fight the fight of faith with your will power, there is no doubt that you will conquer.
When We Put the Will on the Side of Christ .--Your part is to put your will on the side of Christ. When you yield your will to His, He immediately takes possession of you, and works in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. Your nature is brought under the control of His Spirit. Even your thoughts are subject to Him. If you cannot control your impulses, your emotions, as you may desire, you can control the will, and thus an entire change will be wrought in your life. When you yield up your will to Christ, your life is hid with Christ in God. It is allied to the power which is above all principalities and powers. You have a strength from God that holds you fast to His strength; and a new life, even the life of faith, is possible to you.
You can never be successful in elevating yourself, unless your will is on the side of Christ, co-operating with the Spirit of God. Do not feel that you cannot; but say, "I can, I will."
And God has pledged His Holy Spirit to help you in every decided effort.
The Feeblest Cry for Help Is Heard .--Every one of us may know that there is a power working with our efforts to overcome. Why will not men lay hold upon the help that has been provided, that they may become elevated and ennobled? Why do they degrade themselves by the indulgence of perverted appetite? Why do they not rise in the strength of Jesus, and be victorious in His name? The very feeblest prayer that we can offer, Jesus will hear. He pities the weakness of every soul. Help for everyone has been laid upon Him who is mighty to save. I point you to Jesus Christ, the sinner's Saviour, who alone can give you power to overcome on every point.
Crowns for All Who Overcome .--Heaven is worth everything to us. We must not run any risk in this matter. We must take no venture here. We must know that our steps are ordered by the Lord. May God help us in the great work of overcoming. He has crowns for those that overcome. He has white robes for the righteous. He has an eternal world of glory for those who seek for glory, honor, and immortality. Everyone who enters the city of God will enter it as a conqueror. He will not enter it as a condemned criminal, but as a son of God. And the welcome given to everyone who enters there will be, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matthew 25:34.
Gladly would I speak words that would aid such trembling souls to fasten their grasp by faith upon the mighty Helper, that they might develop a character upon which God will be pleased to look. Heaven may invite them, and present its choicest blessings, and they may have every facility to develop a perfect character; but all will be in vain unless they are willing to help themselves. They must put forth their own
God-given powers, or they will sink lower and lower, and be of no account for good, either in time or in eternity.-- Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, pages 147-149.
Importance of Living Healthfully .--Those who are struggling against the power of appetite should be instructed in the principles of healthful living. They should be shown that violation of the laws of health, by creating diseased conditions and unnatural cravings, lays the foundation of the liquor habit. Only by living in obedience to the principles of health can they hope to be freed from the craving for unnatural stimulants. While they depend upon divine strength to break the bonds of appetite, they are to co-operate with God by obedience to His laws, both moral and physical.
Employment; Self-Support .--Those who are endeavoring to reform should be provided with employment. None who are able to labor should be taught to expect food and clothing and shelter free of cost. For their own sake, as well as for the sake of others, some way should be devised whereby they may return an equivalent for what they receive. Encourage every effort toward self-support. This will strengthen self-respect and a noble independence. And occupation of mind and body in useful work is essential as a safeguard against temptation.
Disappointments; Dangers .--Those who work for the fallen will be disappointed in many who give promise of reform. Many will make but a superficial change in their habits and practices. They are moved by impulse, and for a time may seem to have reformed; but there is no real change of heart. They cherish the same self-love, have the same hungering for foolish pleasures, the same desire for self-indulgence. They have not a knowledge of the work of character building, and they cannot be relied upon as men of principle. They
have debased their mental and spiritual powers by the gratification of appetite and passion, and this makes them weak. They are fickle and changeable. Their impulses tend toward sensuality. These persons are often a source of danger to others. Being looked upon as reformed men and women, they are trusted with responsibilities, and are placed where their influence corrupts the innocent.
Total Dependence on Christ the Only Solution .--Even those who are sincerely seeking to reform are not beyond the danger of falling. They need to be treated with great wisdom as well as tenderness. The disposition to flatter and exalt those who have been rescued from the lowest depths, sometimes proves their ruin. The practice of inviting men and women to relate in public the experience of their life of sin, is full of danger to both speaker and hearers. To dwell upon scenes of evil is corrupting to mind and soul. And the prominence given to the rescued ones is harmful to them. Many are led to feel that their sinful life has given them a certain distinction. A love of notoriety and a spirit of self-trust are encouraged that prove fatal to the soul. Only in distrust of self and dependence on the mercy of Christ can they stand.
The Rescued to Help Others .--All who give evidence of true conversion should be encouraged to work for others. Let none turn away a soul who leaves the service of Satan for the service of Christ. When one gives evidence that the Spirit of God is striving with him, present every encouragement for entering the Lord's service. "Of some have compassion, making a difference." Jude 22. Those who are wise in the wisdom that comes from God will see souls in need of help, those who have sincerely repented, but who without encouragement would hardly dare to lay hold of hope. The Lord will put it into the hearts of His servants to welcome these trembling, repentant ones to their loving fellowship. Whatever may have been their besetting sins, however low they may have fallen,
when in contrition they come to Christ, He receives them. Then give them something to do for Him. If they desire to labor in uplifting others from the pit of destruction from which they themselves were rescued, give them opportunity. Bring them into association with experienced Christians, that they may gain spiritual strength. Fill their hearts and hands with work for the Master.
When light flashes into the soul, some who appear to be most fully given to sin will become successful workers for just such sinners as they themselves once were. Through faith in Christ, some will rise to high places of service, and be entrusted with responsibilities in the work of saving souls. They see where their own weakness lies, they realize the depravity of their nature. They know the strength of sin, the power of evil habit. They realize their inability to overcome without the help of Christ, and their constant cry is, "I cast my helpless soul on Thee."
These can help others. The one who has been tempted and tried, whose hope was well-nigh gone, but who was saved by hearing a message of love, can understand the science of soulsaving. He whose heart is filled with love for Christ because he himself has been sought for by the Saviour, and brought back to the fold, knows how to seek the lost. He can point sinners to the Lamb of God. He has given himself without reserve to God, and has been accepted in the Beloved. The hand that in weakness was held out for help has been grasped. By the ministry of such ones, many prodigals will be brought to the Father.-- The Ministry of Healing, pages 176-179.
Helped by Helping Others .--One who is weakened, and even degraded by sinful indulgence, may become a son of God. It is in his power to be constantly doing good to others, and helping them to overcome temptation; and in so doing he will reap benefit to himself. He may be a bright and shining light in the world, and at last hear the benediction,
"Well done, good and faithful servant," from the lips of the King of glory.-- Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene page 149.
When Presented From the Standpoint of the Christian .-- In Australia I met a man considered free from everything like intemperance, except for one habit. He used tobacco. He came to hear us at the tent, and one night after he went home, as he afterward told us, he wrestled against the habit of tobacco using, and obtained the victory. Some of his relatives had told him that they would give him fifty pounds if he would throw away his tobacco. He would not do it. "But," he said, "when you present the principles of temperance before us as you have done, I cannot resist them. You present before us the self-denial of One who gave His life for us. I do not know Him now, but I desire to know Him. I have never offered a prayer in my house. I have cast away my tobacco, but that is as far as I have gone."
We prayed with him, and after we left him we wrote to him and later visited him again. He finally reached the point where he gave himself to God, and he is becoming the very pillar of the church in the place where he lives. He is working with all his soul to bring his relatives to a knowledge of the truth.-- Evangelism, pages 531, 532.
A Fisherman Gains the Victory .--In this place a fisherman has recently been converted to the truth. Although formerly a habitual user of the poisonous weed, he has, by the grace of God, determined to leave it alone for the future. The question was asked him, "Had you a hard struggle in giving it up." "I should think I did," he answered, "but I saw the truth as it was presented to me. I learned that tobacco was unhealthful. I prayed to the Lord to help me to give it up, and He has helped me in a most marked manner. But I have not yet decided that I can give up my cup of tea. It braces me, and I know that I should have a severe headache did I not take it."
The evils of tea drinking were laid before him by Sister Sara McEnterfer. She encouraged him to have moral courage to try what giving up tea would do for him. He said, "I will." In two weeks he bore his testimony in meeting. "When I said that I would give up tea," he said, "I meant it. I did not drink it, and the result was a most severe headache. But I thought, Am I to keep using tea to ward off the headache? Must I be so dependent on it that when I let it alone I am in this condition? Now I know that its effects are bad. I will use it no more. I have not used it since, and I feel better every day. My headache no longer troubles me. My mind is clearer than it was. I can better understand the Scriptures as I read them."
I thought of this man, poor as far as worldly possessions are concerned, but with moral courage to cut loose from smoking and tea drinking, the habits of his boyhood. He did not plead for a little indulgence in wrongdoing. No; he decided that tobacco and tea were injurious, and that his influence must be on the right side. He has given evidence that the Holy Spirit is working on his mind and character to make him a vessel unto honor.--Manuscript 86, 1897.
Stand in His Strength. --The Lord has a remedy for every man who is beset by a strong appetite for strong drink or tobacco, or any other hurtful thing which destroys the brain power and defiles the body. He bids us come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing. We are to set an example of Christian temperance. We are to do all in our power by self-denial and self-sacrifice, to control the appetite. And having done all, He bids us stand,--stand in His strength. He desires us to be victorious in every conflict with the enemy of our souls. He desires us to act understandingly, as wise generals in an army, as men who have perfect control over themselves.--Manuscript 38 1/2, 1905.
"Take My Yoke Upon You." --Jesus looked upon the distressed and heart-burdened, those whose hopes were blighted, and who with earthly joys were seeking to quiet the longing of the soul, and He invited all to find rest in Him.
Tenderly He bade the toiling people, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:29.
In these words, Christ was speaking to every human being. Whether they know it or not, all are weary and heavy-laden. All are weighed down with burdens that only Christ can remove. The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us. But the Sinless One has taken our place. "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6.
He has borne the burden of our guilt. He will take the load from our weary shoulders. He will give us rest. The burden of care and sorrow also He will bear. He invites us to cast all our care upon Him; for He carries us upon His heart.
Christ Knows the Weaknesses of Humanity. --The Elder Brother of our race is by the eternal throne. He looks upon every soul who is turning his face toward Him as the Saviour. He knows by experience what are the weaknesses of humanity, what are our wants, and where lies the strength of our temptations; for He was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15. He is watching over you, trembling child of God. Are you tempted? He will deliver. Are you weak? He will strengthen. Are you ignorant? He will enlighten. Are you wounded? He will heal. The Lord "telleth the number of the stars;" and yet "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." Psalm 147:4, 3.
Whatever your anxieties and trials, spread out your case before the Lord. Your spirit will be braced for endurance.
The way will be open for you to disentangle yourself from embarrassment and difficulty. The weaker and more helpless you know yourself to be, the stronger will you become in His strength. The heavier your burdens, the more blessed the rest in casting them upon your Burden Bearer.-- The Ministry of Healing, pages 71, 72.
Power to Meet Every Temptation. --He who truly believes in Christ is made a partaker of the divine nature, and has power that he can appropriate under every temptation.-- Review and Herald, Jan. 14, 1909.
Because man fallen could not overcome Satan with his human strength, Christ came from the royal courts of heaven to help him with His human and divine strength combined. Christ knew that Adam in Eden with his superior advantages might have withstood the temptations of Satan and conquered him. He also knew that it was not possible for man out of Eden, separated from the light and love of God since the Fall, to resist the temptations of Satan in his own strength. In order to bring hope to man, and save him from complete ruin, He humbled Himself to take man's nature, that with His divine power combined with the human He might reach man where he is. He obtained for the fallen sons and daughters of Adam that strength which it is impossible for them to gain for themselves, that in His name they might overcome the temptations of Satan.-- Redemption, or the Temptation of Christ, page 44.
Help for Self-Inflicted Disease. --Many of those who came to Christ for help had brought disease upon themselves; yet He did not refuse to heal them. And when virtue from Him entered into these souls, they were convicted of sin, and many were healed of their spiritual disease as well as of their physical maladies.-- The Ministry of Healing, page 73.
Power to Free the Captive. --Over the winds and the waves,
and over men possessed of demons, Christ showed that He had absolute control. He who stilled the tempest, and calmed the troubled sea, spoke peace to minds distracted and overborne by Satan.
In the synagogue at Capernaum, Jesus was speaking of His mission to set free the slaves of sin. He was interrupted by a shriek of terror. A madman rushed forward from among the people, crying out, "Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth? art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God."
Jesus rebuked the demon, saying, "Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not." Mark 1:24; Luke 4:35.
The cause of this man's affliction also was in his own life. He had been fascinated with the pleasures of sin, and had thought to make life a grand carnival. Intemperance and frivolity perverted the noble attributes of his nature, and Satan took entire control of him. Remorse came too late. When he would have sacrificed wealth and pleasure to regain his lost manhood, he had become helpless in the grasp of the evil one.
In the Saviour's presence he was roused to long for freedom; but the demon resisted the power of Christ. When the man tried to appeal to Jesus for help, the evil spirit put words into his mouth, and he cried out in an agony of fear. The demoniac partially comprehended that he was in the presence of One who could set him free; but when he tried to come within the reach of that mighty hand, another's will held him; another's words found utterance through him.
The conflict between the power of Satan and his own desire for freedom was terrible. It seemed that the tortured man must lose his life in the struggle with the foe that had been the ruin of his manhood. But the Saviour spoke with authority
and set the captive free. The man who had been possessed stood before the wondering people in the freedom of self-possession.
With glad voice he praised God for deliverance. The eye that had so lately glared with the fire of insanity now beamed with intelligence, and overflowed with grateful tears. The people were dumb with amazement. As soon as they recovered speech they exclaimed one to another, "What is this? a new teaching! with authority He commandeth even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him." Mark 1:27, R.V.
Deliverance for Those in Need Today. --There are multitudes today as truly under the power of evil spirits as was the demoniac of Capernaum. All who willfully depart from God's commandments are placing themselves under the control of Satan. Many a man tampers with evil, thinking that he can break away at pleasure; but he is lured on and on, until he finds himself controlled by a will stronger than his own. He cannot escape its mysterious power. Secret sin or master passion may hold him a captive as helpless as was the demoniac at Capernaum.
Yet his condition is not hopeless. God does not control our minds without our consent; but every man is free to choose what power he will have to rule over him. None have fallen so low, none are so vile, but they may find deliverance in Christ. The demoniac, in place of prayer, could utter only the words of Satan; yet the heart's unspoken appeal was heard. No cry from a soul in need, though it fail of utterance in words, will be unheeded. Those who consent to enter into covenant with God are not left to the power of Satan or to the infirmity of their own nature.
"Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? . . . Thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that
contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children." Isaiah 49:24, 25.
Marvelous will be the transformation wrought in him who by faith opens the door of the heart to the Saviour.-- The Ministry of Healing, pages 91:93.
The Saviour's Love for Ensnared Souls. --Jesus knows the circumstances of every soul. The greater the sinner's guilt, the more he needs the Saviour. His heart of divine love and sympathy is drawn out most of all for the one who is the most hopelessly entangled in the snares of the enemy. With His own blood He has signed the emancipation papers of the race.
Jesus does not desire those who have been purchased at such a cost to become the sport of the enemy's temptations. He does not desire us to be overcome and perish. He who curbed the lions in their den, and walked with His faithful witnesses amid the fiery flames, is just as ready to work in our behalf, to subdue every evil in our nature. Today He is standing at the altar of mercy, presenting before God the prayers of those who desire His help. He turns no weeping, contrite one away. Freely will He pardon all who come to Him for forgiveness and restoration. He does not tell to any all that He might reveal, but He bids every trembling soul take courage. Whosoever will, may take hold of God's strength, and make peace with Him, and He will make peace.
The souls that turn to Him for refuge, Jesus lifts above the accusing and the strife of tongues. No man or evil angel can impeach these souls. Christ unites them to His own divine-human nature.-- The Ministry of Healing, pages 89, 90.
Precious Promises. --These precious words every soul that abides in Christ may make his own. He may say: "I will look unto the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation:
My God will hear me.
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy;
When I fall, I shall arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The Lord shall be a light unto me.
"He will again have compassion on us,
He will blot out our iniquities;
Yea, Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of
the sea!" Micah 7:7, 8, 19, Noyes's translation.
God has promised: "I will make a man more precious than fine gold;
Even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir."
Isaiah 13:12. "Though ye have lain among the pots,
Yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with
And her feathers with yellow gold." Psalm 68:13.
Those whom Christ has forgiven most will love Him most. These are they who in the final day will stand nearest to His throne.
"They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads." Revelation 22:4.-- The Ministry of Healing, page 182.