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God's Amazing Grace

Chap. 1 - Good News of the Kingdom

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom. Matt. 4:23. {AG 9.1}

"He opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:2, 3). As something strange and new, these words fall upon the ears of the wondering multitude. Such teaching is contrary to all they have ever heard from priest or rabbi. They see in it nothing to flatter their pride or to feed their ambitious hopes. But there is about this new Teacher a power that holds them spellbound. The sweetness of divine love flows from His very presence as the fragrance from a flower. . . . {AG 9.2}

In the throng that surrounded Jesus there were some who had a sense of their spiritual poverty. . . . There were souls who, in the presence of His purity, felt that they were "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Rev. 3:17); and they longed for "the grace of God that bringeth salvation" (Titus 2:11). . . . {AG 9.3}

Of the poor in spirit Jesus says, "Their's is the kingdom of heaven." This kingdom is not, as Christ's hearers had hoped, a temporal and earthly dominion. Christ was opening to them the spiritual kingdom of His love, His grace, His righteousness. ... His subjects are the poor in spirit, the meek, the persecuted for righteousness' sake. The kingdom of heaven is theirs. Though not yet fully accomplished, the work is begun in them which will make them "meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light" (Col. 1:12). {AG 9.4}

All who have a sense of their deep soul poverty, who feel that they have nothing good in themselves, may find righteousness and strength by looking unto Jesus. . . . He bids you exchange your poverty for the riches of His grace. We are not worthy of God's love, but Christ, our surety, is worthy, and is abundantly able to save all who shall come unto Him. Whatever may have been your past experience, however discouraging your present circumstances, if you will come to Jesus just as you are, weak, helpless, and despairing, our compassionate Saviour will meet you a great way off, and will throw about you His arms of love and His robe of righteousness. {AG 9.5}


Chap. 2 - For Sinners Only

 

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Titus 2:11. {AG 10.1}

By disobeying the commands of God, man fell under the condemnation of His law. This fall called for the grace of God to appear in behalf of sinners. We should never have learned the meaning of this word "grace" had we not fallen. God loves the sinless angels, who do His service, and are obedient to all His commands; but He does not give them grace. These heavenly beings know naught of grace; they have never needed it; for they have never sinned. Grace is an attribute of God shown to undeserving human beings. We did not seek after it, but it was sent in search of us. God rejoices to bestow this grace upon every one who hungers for it. To every one He presents terms of mercy, not because we are worthy, but because we are so utterly unworthy. Our need is the qualification which gives us the assurance that we shall receive this gift. {AG 10.2}

But God does not use His grace to make His law of none effect, or to take the place of His law. . . . God's grace and the law of His kingdom are in perfect harmony; they walk hand in hand. His grace makes it possible for us to draw nigh to Him by faith. By receiving it, and letting it work in our lives, we testify to the validity of the law; we exalt the law and make it honourable by carrying out its living principles through the power of the grace of Christ; and by rendering pure, whole-hearted obedience to God's law, we witness before the universe of heaven, and before an apostate world that is making void the law of God, to the power of redemption. {AG 10.3}

Not because we first loved Him, does God love us; but "while we were yet sinners" (Rom. 5:8) Christ died for us, making full and abundant provision for our redemption. Although by our disobedience we have merited God's displeasure and condemnation, He has not forsaken us; He has not left us to grapple with the power of the enemy in our own finite strength. Heavenly angels fight our battles for us; and co-operating with them, we may be victorious over the powers of evil. Trusting in Christ as our personal Saviour, we may be "more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Rom. 8:37). {AG 10.4}


Chap. 3 - At God's Appointed Time

When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, . . . to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Gal. 4:4, 5. {AG 11.1}

In heaven's council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined. When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. . . . Providence had directed the movements of nations, and the tide of human impulse and influence, until the world was ripe for the coming of the Deliverer. . . . {AG 11.2}

The deception of sin had reached its height. All the agencies for depraving the souls of men had been put in operation. The Son of God, looking upon the world, beheld suffering and misery. With pity He saw how men had become victims of satanic cruelty. He looked with compassion upon those who were being corrupted, murdered, and lost. . . . It was demonstrated before the universe that, apart from God, humanity could not be uplifted. A new element of life and power must be imparted by Him who made the world. {AG 11.3}

With intense interest the unfallen worlds had watched to see Jehovah arise, and sweep away the inhabitants of the earth. . . . But instead of destroying the world, God sent His Son to save it. . . . At the very crisis, when Satan seemed about to triumph, the Son of God came with the embassage of divine grace. Through every age, through every hour, the love of God had been exercised toward the fallen race. Notwithstanding the perversity of men, the signals of mercy had been continually exhibited. And when the fullness of the time had come, the Deity was glorified by pouring upon the world a flood of healing grace that was never to be obstructed or withdrawn till the plan of salvation should be fulfilled. {AG 11.4}

Satan was exulting that he had succeeded in debasing the image of God in humanity. Then Jesus came to restore in man the image of his Maker. None but Christ can fashion anew the character that has been ruined by sin. He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will. He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character, and to make it beautiful with His own glory. {AG 11.5}


Chap. 4 - The Message of the First Advent

Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:14, 15. {AG 12.1}

As Jesus travelled through Galilee, teaching and healing, multitudes flocked to Him from the cities and villages. Many came even from Judea and the adjoining provinces. Often He was obliged to hide Himself from the people. The enthusiasm ran so high that it was necessary to take precautions lest the Roman authorities should be aroused to fear an insurrection. Never before had there been such a period as this for the world. Heaven was brought down to men. Hungering and thirsting souls that had waited long for the redemption of Israel now feasted upon the grace of a merciful Saviour. . . . {AG 12.2}

The gospel message, as given by the Saviour Himself, was based on the prophecies. The "time" which He declared to be fulfilled was the period made known by the angel Gabriel to Daniel. . . . "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks" (Dan. 9:25), sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three years. The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, as completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see Ezra 6:14; 7:1, 9, margin), went into effect in the autumn of 457 B.C. From this time four hundred and eighty-three years extend to the autumn of A.D. 27. According to the prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In A.D. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and soon afterward began His ministry. Then the message was proclaimed, "The time is fulfilled." . . . {AG 12.3}

The time of Christ's coming, His anointing by the Holy Spirit, His death, and the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles, were definitely pointed out. . . . "The Spirit of Christ which was in them" "testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" (1 Peter 1:11). . . . As the message of Christ's first advent announced the kingdom of His grace, so the message of His second advent announces the kingdom of His glory. {AG 12.4}


Chap. 5 - A Spiritual Kingdom

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. John 18:36. {AG 13.1}

The kingdom of God comes not with outward show. The gospel of the grace of God, with its spirit of self-abnegation, can never be in harmony with the spirit of the world. The two principles are antagonistic. . . . {AG 13.2}

But today in the religious world there are multitudes who, as they believe, are working for the establishment of the kingdom of Christ as an earthly and temporal dominion. They desire to make our Lord the ruler of the kingdoms of this world, the ruler in its courts and camps, its legislative halls, its palaces and market places. They expect Him to rule through legal enactments, enforced by human authority. Since Christ is not now here in person, they themselves will undertake to act in His stead, to execute the laws of His kingdom. The establishment of such a kingdom is what the Jews desired in the days of Christ. They would have received Jesus, had He been willing to establish a temporal dominion, to enforce what they regarded as the laws of God, and to make them the expositors of His will and the agents of His authority. But He said, "My kingdom is not of this world." He would not accept the earthly throne. . . . {AG 13.3}

Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. . . . Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practising of the Word of God. . . . {AG 13.4}

Now, as in Christ's day, the work of God's kingdom lies not with those who are clamouring for recognition and support by earthly rulers and human laws, but with those who are declaring to the people in His name those spiritual truths that will work in the receivers the experience of Paul: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2:20). {AG 13.5}


Chap. 6 - Unlike Earthly Kingdoms

And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? Mark 4:30. {AG 14.1}

Christ found the kingdoms of the world corrupt. After Satan was expelled from heaven, he erected his standard of rebellion on this earth, and sought by every means to win men to his standard. . . . His purpose was to establish a kingdom which would be governed by his own laws, and carried on with his own resources, independent of God; and so well did he succeed, that when Christ came to the world to establish a kingdom, He looked upon the governments of men, and said, "Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God?" Nothing in civil society afforded Him a comparison. . . . {AG 14.2}

In striking contrast to the wrong and oppression so universally practised were the mission and work of Christ. . . . He planned a government which would use no force; His subjects would know no oppression. . . . Not as a fierce tyrant did He come, but as the Son of man; not to conquer the nations by His iron power, but "to preach good tidings unto the meek;" "to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;" "to comfort all that mourn" (Isa. 61:1, 2). He came as the divine Restorer, bringing to oppressed and downtrodden humanity the rich and abundant grace of Heaven, that by the power of His righteousness, man, fallen and degraded though he was, might be a partaker of divinity. . . . {AG 14.3}

Christ taught that His church is a spiritual kingdom. He Himself, "the Prince of peace," is the head of His church. In His person humanity, inhabited by divinity, was represented to the world. The great end of His mission was to be a sin-offering for the world, that by the shedding of blood an atonement might be made for the whole race of men. With a heart ever touched with the feelings of our infirmities, an ear ever open to the cry of suffering humanity, a hand ever ready to save the discouraged and despairing, Jesus, our Saviour, "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38). . . . {AG 14.4}

And all who are members of the kingdom of Christ will represent Him in character and disposition. {AG 14.5}


Chap. 7 - The Ensign of Christ's Kingdom

Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29. {AG 15.1}

To Daniel was given a vision of fierce beasts, representing the powers of the earth. But the ensign of the Messiah's kingdom is a lamb. While earthly kingdoms rule by the ascendancy of physical power, Christ is to banish every carnal weapon, every instrument of coercion. His kingdom was to be established to uplift and ennoble fallen humanity. {AG 15.2}

To Adam, the offering of the first sacrifice was a most painful ceremony. His hand must be raised to take life, which only God could give. . . . As he slew the innocent victim, he trembled at the thought that his sin must shed the blood of the spotless Lamb of God. This scene gave him a deeper and more vivid sense of the greatness of his transgression, which nothing but the death of God's dear Son could expiate. And he marvelled at the infinite goodness that would give such a ransom to save the guilty. {AG 15.3}

The types and shadows of the sacrificial service, with the prophecies, gave the Israelites a veiled, indistinct view of the mercy and grace to be brought to the world by the revelation of Christ. . . . Only through Christ can man keep the moral law. By transgression of this law man brought sin into the world, and with sin came death. Christ became the propitiation for man's sin. He proffered His perfection of character in the place of man's sinfulness. He took upon Himself the curse of disobedience. The sacrifices and offerings pointed forward to the sacrifice He was to make. The slain lamb typified the Lamb that was to take away the sin of the world. . . . {AG 15.4}

The law and the gospel are in perfect harmony. Each upholds the other. In all its majesty the law confronts the conscience, causing the sinner to feel his need of Christ as the propitiation for sin. The gospel recognizes the power and immutability of the law. "I had not known sin, but by the law" (Rom. 7:7), Paul declares. The sense of sin, urged home by the law, drives the sinner to the Saviour. In his need man may present the mighty arguments furnished by the cross of Calvary. He may claim the righteousness of Christ; for it is imparted to every repentant sinner. {AG 15.5}


Chap. 8 - God's Kingdom in the Heart

Behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21. {AG 16.1}

The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses--extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart. {AG 16.2}

Some of the Pharisees had come to Jesus demanding "when the kingdom of God should come" (Luke 17:20). More than three years had passed since John the Baptist gave the message that like a trumpet call had sounded through the land, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 3:2). And as yet these Pharisees saw no indication of the establishment of the kingdom. . . . {AG 16.3}

Jesus answered, "The kingdom of God cometh not with outward show [margin]: neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." The kingdom of God begins at the heart. Look not here or there for manifestations of earthly power to mark its coming. {AG 16.4}

The works of Christ not only declared Him to be the Messiah, but showed in what manner His kingdom was to be established. . . . It comes through the gentleness of the inspiration of His word, through the inward working of His Spirit, the fellowship of the soul with Him who is its life. The greatest manifestation of its power is seen in human nature brought to the perfection of the character of Christ. . . . {AG 16.5}

When God gave His Son to our world, He endowed human beings with imperishable riches--riches compared with which the treasured wealth of men since the world began is nothingness. Christ came to the earth and stood before the children of men with the hoarded love of eternity, and this is the treasure that, through our connection with Him, we are to receive, to reveal, and to impart. {AG 16.6}


Chap. 9 - Like Mustard Seed

The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, . . . which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Matt. 13:31, 32. {AG 17.1}

The germ in the seed grows by the unfolding of the life-principle which God has implanted. Its development depends upon no human power. So it is with the kingdom of Christ. It is a new creation. Its principles of development are the opposite to those that rule the kingdoms of this world. Earthly governments prevail by physical force; they maintain their dominion by war; but the founder of the new kingdom is the Prince of Peace. . . . Christ implants a principle. By implanting truth and righteousness, He counterworks error and sin. . . . {AG 17.2}

The kingdom of Christ in its beginning seemed humble and insignificant. Compared with earthly kingdoms it appeared to be the least of all. By the rulers of this world Christ's claim to be a king was ridiculed. Yet in the mighty truths committed to His followers the kingdom of the gospel possessed a divine life. And how rapid was its growth, how widespread its influence! When Christ spoke this parable, there were only a few Galilean peasants to represent the new kingdom. . . . But the mustard seed was to grow and spread forth its branches throughout the world. When the earthly kingdoms whose glory then filled the hearts of men should perish, the kingdom of Christ would remain, a mighty and far-reaching power. {AG 17.3}

So the work of grace in the heart is small in its beginning. A word is spoken, a ray of light is shed into the soul, an influence is exerted that is the beginning of the new life; and who can measure its results? . . . {AG 17.4}

In this last generation the parable of the mustard seed is to reach a signal and triumphant fulfilment. The little seed will become a tree. The last message of warning and mercy is to go to "every nation and kindred and tongue" (Rev. 14:6-14), "to take out of them a people for his name" (Acts 15:14; Rev. 18:1). And the earth shall be lightened with His glory. {AG 17.5}


Chap. 10 - Like Yeast

The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. Matt. 13:33. {AG 18.1}

In the Saviour's parable, leaven is used to represent the kingdom of heaven. It illustrates the quickening, assimilating power of the grace of God. . . . {AG 18.2}

The grace of God must be received by the sinner before he can be fitted for the kingdom of glory. All the culture and education which the world can give will fail of making a degraded child of sin a child of heaven. The renewing energy must come from God. . . . As the leaven, when mingled with the meal, works from within outward, so it is by the renewing of the heart that the grace of God works to transform the life. . . . {AG 18.3}

The leaven hidden in the flour works invisibly to bring the whole mass under its leavening process; so the leaven of truth works secretly, silently, steadily, to transform the soul. The natural inclinations are softened and subdued. New thoughts, new feelings, new motives, are implanted. A new standard of character is set up--the life of Christ. The mind is changed; the faculties are roused to action in new lines. . . . The conscience is awakened. . . . {AG 18.4}

The heart of him who receives the grace of God overflows with love for God and for those for whom Christ died. Self is not struggling for recognition. . . . He is kind and thoughtful, humble in his opinion of himself, yet full of hope, always trusting in the mercy and love of God. . . . {AG 18.5}

The grace of Christ is to control the temper and the voice. Its working will be seen in politeness and tender regard shown by brother for brother, in kind, encouraging words. An angel presence is in the home. The life breathes a sweet perfume, which ascends to God as holy incense. Love is manifested in kindness, gentleness, forbearance, and long-suffering. The countenance is changed. Christ abiding in the heart shines out in the faces of those who love Him and keep His commandments. . . . As these changes are effected, angels break forth in rapturous song, and God and Christ rejoice over souls fashioned after the divine similitude. {AG 18.6}


Chap. 11 - Established by Christ's Death

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:24. {AG 19.1}

At the very time when they [Christ's disciples] expected to see their Lord ascend the throne of David, they beheld Him seized as a malefactor, scourged, derided, and condemned, and lifted up on the cross of Calvary. . . . {AG 19.2}

The announcement which had been made by the disciples in the name of the Lord was in every particular correct, and the events to which it pointed were even then taking place. "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1:15), had been their message. . . . And the "kingdom of God" which they had declared to be at hand was established by the death of Christ. This kingdom was not, as they had been taught to believe, an earthly empire. Nor was it that future, . . . everlasting kingdom, in which "all dominions shall serve and obey him" (Dan. 7:27). As used in the Bible, the expression "kingdom of God" is employed to designate both the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory. . . . {AG 19.3}

The kingdom of grace was instituted immediately after the fall of man. . . . Yet it was not actually established until the death of Christ. Even after entering upon His earthly mission, the Saviour . . . might have drawn back from the sacrifice of Calvary. In Gethsemane the cup of woe trembled in His hand. He might even then have wiped the blood-sweat from His brow, and have left the guilty race to perish in their iniquity. . . . But when the Saviour yielded up His life, and with His expiring breath cried out, "It is finished," then the fulfilment of the plan of redemption was assured. The promise of salvation made to the sinful pair in Eden was ratified. The kingdom of grace, which had before existed by the promise of God, was then established. {AG 19.4}

Thus the death of Christ--the very event which the disciples had looked upon as the final destruction of their hope-- was that which made it forever sure. . . . The event that had filled them with mourning and despair was that . . . in which centred the future life and eternal happiness of all God's faithful ones in all the ages. {AG 19.5}


Chap. 12 - Its Principles of Government

Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Rom. 7:12. {AG 20.1}

The law of God, from its very nature, is unchangeable. It is a revelation of the will and the character of its Author. God is love, and His law is love. Its two great principles are love to God and love to man. . . . The character of God is righteousness and truth; such is the nature of His law. . . . {AG 20.2}

In the beginning, man was created in the image of God. He was in perfect harmony with the nature and the law of God; the principles of righteousness were written upon his heart. But sin alienated him from his Maker. He no longer reflected the divine image. His heart was at war with the principles of God's law. . . . But "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son," that man might be reconciled to God. Through the merits of Christ he can be restored to harmony with his Maker. His heart must be renewed by divine grace; he must have a new life from above. This change is the new birth. . . . {AG 20.3}

The first step in reconciliation to God is the conviction of sin. . . . "By the law is the knowledge of sin" (Rom. 3:20). In order to see his guilt, the sinner must test his character by God's great standard of righteousness. It is a mirror which shows the perfection of a righteous character and enables him to discern the defects of his own. The law reveals to man his sin. . . . It declares that death is the portion of the transgressor. The gospel of Christ alone can free him from the condemnation or the defilement of sin. He must exercise repentance toward God, whose law has been transgressed; and faith in Christ, his atoning sacrifice. . . . {AG 20.4}

In the new birth the heart is brought into harmony with God, as it is brought into accord with His law. When this mighty change has taken place in the sinner, he has passed from death unto life, from sin unto holiness, from transgression and rebellion to obedience and loyalty. . . . {AG 20.5}

The followers of Christ are to become like Him--by the grace of God to form characters in harmony with the principles of His holy law. This is Bible sanctification. {AG 20.6}


Chap. 13 - Our Top Priority

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt. 6:33. {AG 21.1}

The people who listened to the words of Christ were still anxiously watching for some announcement of the earthly kingdom. While Jesus was opening to them the treasures of heaven, the question uppermost in many minds was, How will a connection with Him advance our prospects in the world? Jesus shows that in making the things of the world their supreme anxiety they were like the heathen nations about them. . . . {AG 21.2}

"All these things," said Jesus, "do the nations of the world seek after" (Luke 12:30). . . . I have come to open to you the kingdom of love and righteousness and peace. Open your hearts to receive this kingdom, and make its service your highest interest. Though it is a spiritual kingdom, fear not that your needs for this life will be uncared for. . . . {AG 21.3}

Jesus does not release us from the necessity of effort, but He teaches that we are to make Him first and last and best in everything. We are to engage in no business, follow no pursuit, seek no pleasure, that would hinder the outworking of His righteousness in our character and life. Whatever we do is to be done heartily, as unto the Lord. {AG 21.4}

Jesus, while He dwelt on earth, dignified life in all its details by keeping before men the glory of God, and by subordinating everything to the will of His Father. If we follow His example, His assurance to us is that all things needful in this life "shall be added." Poverty or wealth, sickness or health, simplicity or wisdom--all are provided for in the promise of His grace. {AG 21.5}

Difficulties will be powerless to hinder him who is determined to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. . . . Looking to Jesus,. . . the believer will willingly brave contempt and derision. And help and grace sufficient for every circumstance are promised by Him whose word is truth. His everlasting arms encircle the soul that turns to Him for aid. In His care we may rest safely, saying, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee" (Ps. 56:3). {AG 21.6}


Chap. 14 - Entrance Requirement

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3. {AG 22.1}

In the interview with Nicodemus, Jesus unfolded the plan of salvation and His mission to the world. {AG 22.2}

He came directly to the point, saying solemnly, yet kindly, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3, margin). . . . Raising His hand with solemn, quiet dignity, He pressed the truth home with greater assurance, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.". . . {AG 22.3}

By nature the heart is evil. . . . The fountain of the heart must be purified before the streams can become pure. He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian's life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. . . . It can no more be explained than can the movements of the wind. . . . {AG 22.4}

While the wind is itself invisible, it produces effects that are seen and felt. So the work of the Spirit upon the soul will reveal itself in every act of him who has felt its saving power. When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven. . . . The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God. . . . {AG 22.5}

Like Nicodemus, we must be willing to enter into life in the same way as the chief of sinners. Than Christ, "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). {AG 22.6}


Chap. 15 - By God's Grace

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Rom. 3:24. {AG 23.1}

In many of His parables, Christ uses the expression, "the kingdom of heaven," to designate the work of divine grace upon the hearts of men. . . . The kingdom of grace was instituted immediately after the fall of man, when a plan was devised for the redemption of the guilty race. It then existed in the purpose and by the promise of God; and through faith, men could become its subjects. {AG 23.2}

The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God's government; He desires only the service of love. . . . To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. . . . {AG 23.3}

The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of "the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal" (Rom. 16:5, R.V.). It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God's throne. . . . God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only-begotten Son, "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." {AG 23.4}

As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. Christ knew that He would have to suffer, yet He became man's substitute. As soon as Adam sinned, the Son of God presented Himself as surety for the human race, with just as much power to avert the doom pronounced upon the guilty as when He died upon the cross of Calvary. {AG 23.5}

What love! What amazing condescension! The King of glory proposes to humble Himself to fallen humanity! He would place His feet in Adam's steps. He would take man's fallen nature, and engage to cope with the strong foe who triumphed over Adam. He would overcome Satan, and in thus doing He would open the way for the redemption from the disgrace of Adam's failure and fall, of all those who would believe on Him. {AG 23.6}


Chap. 16 - The Royal Robe

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. Rev. 19:8. {AG 24.1}

The parable of the wedding garment [Matt. 22:1-14] opens before us a lesson of the highest consequence. . . . By the wedding garment in the parable is represented the pure, spotless character which Christ's true followers will possess. . . . The fine linen, says the Scripture, "is the righteousness of saints." It is the righteousness of Christ, His own unblemished character, that through faith is imparted to all who receive Him as their personal Saviour. {AG 24.2}

The white robe of innocence was worn by our first parents when they were placed by God in holy Eden. They lived in perfect conformity to the will of God. . . . A beautiful soft light, the light of God, enshrouded the holy pair. . . . But when sin entered, they severed their connection with God, and the light that had encircled them departed. Naked and ashamed, they tried to supply the place of the heavenly garments by sewing together fig leaves for a covering. {AG 24.3}

We cannot provide a robe of righteousness for ourselves, for the prophet says, "All our righteousness are as filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6). There is nothing in us from which we can clothe the soul so that its nakedness shall not appear. We are to receive the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven, even the spotless robe of Christ's righteousness. {AG 24.4}

God has made ample provision that we may stand perfect in His grace, wanting in nothing, waiting for the appearing of our Lord. Are you ready? Have you the wedding garment on? That garment will never cover deceit, impurity, corruption, or hypocrisy. The eye of God is upon you. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. We may conceal our sins from the eyes of men, but we can hide nothing from our Maker. {AG 24.5}

Let the youth and the little children be taught to choose for themselves that royal robe woven in heaven's loom--the "fine linen, clean and white," which all the holy ones of earth will wear. This robe, Christ's own spotless character, is freely offered to every human being. But all who receive it will receive and wear it here. {AG 24.6}


Chap. 17 - An Inheritance in Heaven

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:4. {AG 25.1}

Christ was teaching, and, as usual, others besides His disciples had gathered about Him. . . . But there were many who desired the grace of heaven only to serve their selfish purposes. They recognized the marvellous power of Christ in setting forth the truth in a clear light. . . . Would He not lend His power for their worldly benefit? {AG 25.2}

"And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me" (Luke 12:13). . . . In the midst of the solemn instruction that Christ had given, this man had revealed his selfish disposition. He could appreciate that ability of the Lord which might work for the advancement of his own temporal affairs; but spiritual truths had taken no hold on his mind and heart. . . . [Jesus] was opening to him the treasures of divine love. The Holy Spirit was pleading with him to become an heir of the inheritance that is "incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away." . . . [But] his eyes were fixed on the earth. . . . {AG 25.3}

The Saviour's mission on earth was fast drawing to a close. Only a few months remained for Him to complete what He had come to do, in establishing the kingdom of His grace. Yet human greed would have turned Him from His work to take up the dispute over a piece of land. But Jesus was not to be diverted from His mission. His answer was, "Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?" . . . Christ virtually said, It is not My work to settle controversies of this kind. He came for another purpose, to preach the gospel, and thus to arouse men to a sense of eternal realities. . . . {AG 25.4}

When He sent forth the twelve, He said, "As ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. . ." (Matt. 10:7, 8). They were not to settle the temporal affairs of the people. Their work was to persuade men to be reconciled to God. In this work lay their power to bless humanity. The only remedy for the sins and sorrows of humanity is Christ. The gospel of His grace alone can cure the evils that curse society. . . . He alone, for the selfish heart of sin, gives the new heart of love. {AG 25.5}


Chap. 18 - The Gracious Invitation

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28. {AG 26.1}

Christ sought to teach the disciples the truth that in God's kingdom there are no territorial lines, no caste, no aristocracy; that they must go to all nations, bearing to them the message of a Saviour's love. {AG 26.2}

Christ tears away the wall of partition, the self-love, the dividing prejudice of nationality, and teaches a love for all the human family. . . . He teaches us to look upon every needy soul as our neighbour and the world as our field. As the rays of the sun penetrate to the remotest corners of the globe, so God designs that the light of the gospel shall extend to every soul upon the earth. {AG 26.3}

All over the world men and women are looking wistfully to heaven. Prayers and tears and inquiries go up from souls longing for light, for grace, for the Holy Spirit. Many are on the verge of the kingdom, waiting only to be gathered in. . . . {AG 26.4}

In the trust given to the first disciples, believers of every age have shared. Every one who has received the gospel has been given sacred truth to impart to the world. God's faithful people have always been aggressive missionaries, consecrating their resources to the honour of His name, and wisely using their talents in His service. . . . {AG 26.5}

Everyone who has received Christ is called to work for the salvation of his fellow men. "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come" (Rev. 22:17). The charge to give this invitation includes the entire church. Every one who has heard the invitation is to echo the message from hill and valley, saying, "Come." . . . {AG 26.6}

Long has God waited for the spirit of service to take possession of the whole church, so that every one shall be working for Him according to his ability. When the members of the church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in fulfilment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory. {AG 26.7}


Chap. 19 - Embraces the Whole World

Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Ps. 2:8. {AG 27.1}

"The field is the world" (Matt. 13:38). We understand better what this saying comprehends than did the apostles who received the commission to preach the gospel. The whole world is a vast missionary field. {AG 27.2}

The terrible condition of the world would seem to indicate that the death of Christ has been almost in vain, and that Satan has triumphed. . . . But we have not been deceived. Notwithstanding the apparent triumph of Satan, Christ is carrying forward His work in the heavenly sanctuary and on the earth. . . . {AG 27.3}

The solemn, sacred message of warning must be proclaimed in the most difficult fields and in the most sinful cities, in every place where the light of the great threefold gospel message has not yet dawned. Every one is to hear the last call to the marriage supper of the lamb. From town to town, from city to city, from country to country, the message of present truth is to be proclaimed, not with outward display, but in the power of the Spirit. {AG 27.4}

Before man can belong to the kingdom of Christ, his character must be purified from sin and sanctified by the grace of Christ. . . . Christ longs to manifest His grace, and stamp His character and image upon the whole world. He was offered the kingdoms of this world by the one who revolted in heaven, to buy His homage to the principles of evil; but He came to establish a kingdom of righteousness, and He would not be bought; He would not abandon His purpose. This earth is His purchased inheritance, and He would have men free and pure and holy. . . . Though Satan works through human instrumentalities to hinder the purpose of Christ, there are triumphs yet to be accomplished through the blood shed for the world, that will bring glory to God and to the Lamb. His kingdom will extend, and embrace the whole world. . . . Christ will not be satisfied till victory is complete. But "he shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied." "So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun" (Isa. 53:11; 59:19). {AG 27.5}


Chap. 20 - Ambassadors of the Kingdom

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Cor. 5:20. {AG 28.1}

Since His ascension, Christ the great Head of the church, has carried forward His work in the world by chosen ambassadors, through whom He speaks to the children of men, and ministers to their needs. The position of those who have been called of God to labour in word and doctrine for the upbuilding of His church, is one of grave responsibility. In Christ's stead they are to beseech men and women to be reconciled to God. . . . {AG 28.2}

Christ's ministers are the spiritual guardians of the people entrusted to their care. Their work has been likened to that of watchmen. In ancient times, sentinels were often stationed on the walls of cities, where, from points of vantage, they could overlook important points to be guarded, and give warning of the approach of an enemy. Upon their faithfulness depended the safety of all within. . . . {AG 28.3}

To every minister the Lord declares: "O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me ..." (Eze. 33:7-9). These words of the prophet declare the solemn responsibility resting upon those who are appointed as guardians of the church, stewards of the mysteries of God. . . . {AG 28.4}

It is the privilege of the watchmen on the walls of Zion to live so near to God, and to be so susceptible to the impressions of His Spirit, that He can work through them to tell sinners of their peril, and point them to the place of safety. {AG 28.5}

The heart of the true minister is filled with an intense longing to save souls. . . . He watches for souls as one that must give an account. With his eyes fixed on the cross of Calvary, beholding the uplifted Saviour, relying on His grace, believing that He will be with him until the end, as his shield, his strength, his efficiency, he works for God. With invitations and pleadings, mingled with the assurances of God's love, he seeks to win souls to Jesus, and in heaven he is numbered among those who are "called, and chosen, and faithful" (Rev. 17:14). {AG 28.6}


Chap. 21 - The Army of the Lord

Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Eph. 6:13. {AG 29.1}

The strength of an army is measured largely by the efficiency of the men in the ranks. A wise general instructs his officers to train every soldier for active service. He seeks to develop the highest efficiency on the part of all. If he were to depend on his officers alone he could never expect to conduct a successful campaign. He counts on loyal and untiring service from every man in his army. The responsibility rests largely upon the men in the ranks. {AG 29.2}

And so it is in the army of Prince Immanuel. Our General, who has never lost a battle, expects willing, faithful service from everyone who has enlisted under His banner. In the closing controversy now waging between the forces for good and the hosts of evil He expects all, laymen as well as ministers, to take part. All who have enlisted as His soldiers are to render faithful service as minutemen, with a keen sense of the responsibility resting upon them individually. {AG 29.3}

All who enter the army are not to be generals, captains, sergeants, or even corporals. All have not the care and responsibility of leaders. There is hard work of other kinds to be done. Some must dig trenches and build fortifications; some are to stand as sentinels, some to carry messages. While there are but few officers, it requires many soldiers to form the rank and file of the army; yet its success depends upon the fidelity of every soldier. One man's cowardice or treachery may bring disaster upon the entire army. {AG 29.4}

There is earnest work to be done by us individually if we would fight the good fight of faith. Eternal interests are at stake. We must put on the whole armour of righteousness, we must resist the devil, and we have the sure promise that he will be put to flight. The church is to conduct an aggressive warfare, to make conquests for Christ, to rescue souls from the power of the enemy. God and holy angels are engaged in this warfare. Let us please Him who has called us to be soldiers. {AG 29.5}


Chap. 22 - A Girdle of Truth

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth. Eph. 6:14. {AG 30.1}

There is absolutely no safeguard against evil but truth. No man can stand firm for right in whose heart the truth does not abide. There is only one power that can make and keep us steadfast--the power of God, imparted to us through the grace of Christ. {AG 30.2}

There are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe; but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. When separated from those of like faith and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth. . . . {AG 30.3}

The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us. This light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures and a most critical examination of the positions which we hold. . . . Believers are not to rest in suppositions and ill-defined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith must be firmly founded upon the word of God so that when the testing time shall come and they are brought before councils to answer for their faith they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear. . . . {AG 30.4}

The erroneous teachings of popular theology have made thousands upon thousands of skeptics and infidels. There are errors and inconsistencies which many denounce as the teaching of the Bible that are really false interpretations of Scripture. . . . Instead of criticizing the Bible, let us seek, by precept and example, to present to the world its sacred, life-giving truths, that we may "show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light" (1 Peter 2:9). {AG 30.5}

The truth stands firmly established on the eternal Rock--a foundation that storm and tempest can never move. . . . Do not lower the banner of truth . . . in order to unite with the solemn message for these last days anything that will tend to hide the peculiar features of our faith. {AG 30.6}


Chap. 23 - A Breastplate for Safety

And having on the breastplate of righteousness. Eph. 6:14. {AG 31.1}

We must put on every piece of the armour, and then stand firm. The Lord has HONOURED us by choosing us as His soldiers. Let us fight bravely for Him, maintaining the right in every transaction. . . . Put on as your breastplate that divinely protected righteousness which it is the privilege of all to wear. This will protect your spiritual life. {AG 31.2}

Ample provisions have been made for all who sincerely, earnestly, and thoughtfully set about the work of perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Strength, grace, and glory have been provided through Christ, to be brought by ministering angels to the heirs of salvation. None are so low, so corrupt and vile, that they cannot find in Jesus, who died for them, strength, purity, and righteousness, if they will put away their sins, cease their course of iniquity, and turn with full purpose of heart to the living God. He is waiting to strip them of their garments, stained and polluted by sin, and to put upon them the white, bright robes of righteousness. {AG 31.3}

The truly righteous, who sincerely love and fear God, wear the robe of Christ's righteousness in prosperity and adversity alike. Self-denial, self-sacrifice, benevolence, kindness, love, patience, fortitude, and Christian trust are the daily fruits borne by those who are truly connected with God. Their acts may not be published to the world, but they themselves are daily wrestling with evil, and gaining precious victories over temptation and wrong. {AG 31.4}

All who have put on the robe of Christ's righteousness will stand before Him as chosen and faithful and true. Satan has no power to pluck them out of the hand of the Saviour. Not one soul who in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power. {AG 31.5}

Each one will have a close struggle to overcome sin in his own heart. This is at times a very painful and discouraging work; because, as we see the deformities in our character, we keep looking at them, when we should look to Jesus and put on the robe of His righteousness. Everyone who enters the pearly gates of the city of God will enter there as a conqueror, and his greatest conquest will have been the conquest of self. {AG 31.6}


Chap. 24 - Gospel Shoes for a Mission of Peace

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Eph. 6:15. {AG 32.1}

We are living in the midst of an "epidemic of crime," at which thoughtful, God-fearing men everywhere stand aghast. . . . Every day brings its heart-sickening record of violence and lawlessness, of indifference to human suffering, of brutal, fiendish destruction of human life. Every day testifies to the increase of insanity, murder, and suicide. Who can doubt that satanic agencies are at work among men with increasing activity to distract and corrupt the mind, and defile and destroy the body? {AG 32.2}

And while the world is filled with these evils, the gospel is too often presented in so indifferent a manner as to make but little impression upon the consciences or the lives of men. Everywhere there are hearts crying out for something which they have not. They long for a power that will give them mastery over sin, a power that will deliver them from the bondage of evil, a power that will give health and life and peace. {AG 32.3}

The gospel is a message of peace. Christianity is a system, which, received and obeyed, would spread peace, harmony, and happiness throughout the earth. The religion of Christ will unite in close brotherhood all who accept its teachings. {AG 32.4}

The peace of Christ is born of truth. It is harmony with God. The world is at enmity with the law of God; sinners are at enmity with their Maker; and as a result they are at enmity with one another. . . . Men cannot manufacture peace. Human plans for the purification and uplifting of individuals or of society will fail of producing peace, because they do not reach the heart. The only power that can create or perpetuate true peace is the grace of Christ. When this is implanted in the heart, it will cast out the evil passions that cause strife and dissension. {AG 32.5}

The faces of men and women who walk and work with God express the peace of heaven. They are surrounded with the atmosphere of heaven. For these souls the kingdom of God has begun. {AG 32.6}

The Lord is soon coming. Talk it, pray it, believe it. Make it a part of the life. . . . Gird on the Christian armour, and be sure that your feet are "shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." {AG 32.7}


Chap. 25 - A Shield for Defence

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Eph. 6:16. {AG 33.1}

Satan watches his opportunity to seize the precious graces when we are unguarded, and we shall have a severe conflict with the powers of darkness to retain them, or to regain a heavenly grace if through lack of watchfulness we lose it. But . . . it is the privilege of Christians to obtain strength from God to hold every precious gift. Fervent and effectual prayer will be regarded in heaven. When the servants of Christ take the shield of faith for their Defence, and the sword of the Spirit for war, there is danger in the enemy's camp. {AG 33.2}

Amidst the snares to which all are exposed, they need strong and trustworthy defences on which to rely. Many in this corrupt age have so small a supply of the grace of God, that in many instances their Defence is broken down by the first assault, and fierce temptations take them captives. The shield of grace can preserve all unconquered by the temptations of the enemy, though surrounded with the most corrupting influences. By firm principle, and unwavering trust in God, their virtue and nobleness of character can shine, and, although surrounded with evil, no taint need be left upon their virtue and integrity. {AG 33.3}

The work of conquering evil is to be done through faith. Those who go into the battlefield will find that they must put on the whole armour of God. The shield of faith will be their Defence and will enable them to be more than conquerors. Nothing else will avail but this--faith in the Lord of hosts, and obedience to His orders. Vast armies furnished with every other facility will avail nothing in the last great conflict. Without faith, an angel host could not help. Living faith alone will make them invincible and enable them to stand in the evil day, steadfast, unmovable, holding the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end. {AG 33.4}


Chap. 26 - A Helmet for Protection

And take the helmet of salvation. Eph. 6;17. {AG 34.1}

God bids us fill the mind with great thoughts, pure thoughts. He desires us to meditate upon His love and mercy, to study His wonderful work in the great plan of redemption. Then clearer and still clearer will be our perception of truth, higher, holier, our desire for purity of heart and clearness of thought. The soul dwelling in the pure atmosphere of holy thought will be transformed by communion with God through the study of the Scriptures. {AG 34.2}

The mind must be educated and disciplined to love purity. A love for spiritual things should be encouraged; yea, must be encouraged, if you would grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. . . . Good purposes are right, but will prove of no avail unless resolutely carried out. Many will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians; but they made no earnest effort, therefore they will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. The will must be exercised in the right direction. I will be a wholehearted Christian. I will know the length and breadth, the height and depth, of perfect love. Listen to the words of Jesus: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matt. 5:6). Ample provisions are made by Christ to satisfy the soul that hungers and thirsts for righteousness. {AG 34.3}

We should meditate upon the Scriptures, thinking soberly and candidly upon the things that pertain to our eternal salvation. The infinite mercy and love of Jesus, the sacrifice made in our behalf, call for most serious and solemn reflection. We should dwell upon the character of our dear Redeemer and Intercessor. We should seek to comprehend the meaning of the plan of salvation. We should meditate upon the mission of Him who came to save His people from their sins. By constantly contemplating heavenly themes, our faith and love will grow stronger. Our prayers will be more and more acceptable to God, because they will be more and more mixed with faith and love. They will be more intelligent and fervent. There will be more constant confidence in Jesus, and you will have a daily, living experience in the willingness and power of Christ to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. {AG 34.4}


Chap. 27 - A Sword for Battle

And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Eph. 6:17. {AG 35.1}

God has provided abundant means for successful warfare against the evil that is in the world. The Bible is the armoury where we may equip for the struggle. Our loins must be girt about with truth. Our breastplate must be righteousness. The shield of faith must be in our hand, the helmet of salvation on our brow; and with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, we are to cut our way through the obstructions and entanglements of sin. {AG 35.2}

The first Adam fell; the second Adam held fast to God and His Word under the most trying circumstances, and His faith in His Father's goodness, mercy, and love did not waver for one moment. "It is written" was His weapon of resistance, and it is the sword of the Spirit which every human being is to use. {AG 35.3}

In these days of peril and corruption, the young are exposed to many trials and temptations. Many are sailing in a dangerous harbor. They need a pilot; but they scorn to accept the much needed help, feeling that they are competent to guide their own bark, and not realizing that it is about to strike a hidden rock that may cause them to make shipwreck of faith and happiness. . . . There is a disposition with many to be impetuous and headstrong. They have not heeded the wise counsel of the word of God; they have not battled with self, and obtained precious victories; and their proud, unbending will has driven them from the path of duty and obedience. {AG 35.4}

There are great things expected from the sons and daughters of God. I look upon the youth of today, and my heart yearns over them. What possibilities are open before them! If they sincerely seek to learn of Christ, He will give them wisdom, as He gave wisdom to Daniel. . . . "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." . . . "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Ps. 111:10; Prov. 3:6). {AG 35.5}

Let the youth try to appreciate the privilege that may be theirs, to be directed by the unerring wisdom of God. Let them take the Word of truth as the man of their counsel, and become skilful in the use of "the sword of the Spirit." Satan is a wise general; but the humble, devoted soldier of Jesus Christ may overcome him. {AG 35.6}


Chap. 28 - The Battlefield

We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph. 6:12. {AG 36.1}

The fallen world is the battlefield for the greatest conflict the heavenly universe and earthly powers have ever witnessed. It was appointed as a theatre on which would be fought out the grand struggle between good and evil, between heaven and hell. Every human being acts a part in this conflict. No one can stand on neutral ground. Men must either accept or reject the world's Redeemer. All are witnesses, either for or against Christ. Christ calls upon those who stand under His banner to engage in the conflict with Him as faithful soldiers, that they may inherit the crown of life. {AG 36.2}

Battles are to be fought every day. A great warfare is going on over every soul, between the prince of darkness and the Prince of life. . . . As God's agents you are to yield yourselves to Him, that He may plan and direct and fight the battle for you, with your cooperation. The Prince of life is at the head of His work. He is to be with you in your daily battle with self, that you may be true to principle; that passion, when warring for the mastery, may be subdued by the grace of Christ; that you come off more than conqueror through Him that hath loved us. Jesus has been over the ground. He knows the power of every temptation. He knows just how to meet every emergency, and how to guide you through every path of danger. {AG 36.3}

God will have a people zealous of good works, standing firm amid the pollutions of this degenerate age. There will be a people who hold so fast to the divine strength that they will be proof against every temptation. Evil communications in flaming handbills may seek to speak to their senses and corrupt their minds; yet they will be so united to God and angels that they will be as those who see not and hear not. They have a work to do which no one can do for them, which is to fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold on eternal life. . . . {AG 36.4}

The youth may have principles so firm that the most powerful temptations of Satan will not draw them away from their allegiance. {AG 36.5}


Chap. 29 - Loyalty a Must

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Tim. 2:3. {AG 37.1}

We are soldiers of Christ; and those who enlist in His army are expected to do difficult work, work which will tax their energies to the utmost. We must understand that a soldier's life is one of aggressive warfare, of perseverance and endurance. For Christ's sake we are to endure trials. We are not engaged in mimic battles. {AG 37.2}

Resolve, not in your own strength, but in the strength and grace given of God, that you will consecrate to Him now, just now, every power, every ability. You will then follow Jesus because He bids you, and you will not ask where, or what reward will be given. . . . {AG 37.3}

When you die to self, when you surrender to God, to do His work, to let the light that He has given you shine forth in good works, you will not labour alone. God's grace stands forth to cooperate with every effort to enlighten the ignorant and those who do not know that the end of all things is at hand. But God will not do your work. Light may shine in abundance, but the grace given will convert your soul only as it arouses you to cooperate with divine agencies. You are called upon to put on the Christian armour and enter the Lord's service as active soldiers. Divine power is to cooperate with human effort to break the spell of worldly enchantment that the enemy has cast upon souls. {AG 37.4}

The Lord has HONOURED us by choosing us as His soldiers. Let us fight bravely for Him, maintaining the right in every transaction. Rectitude in all things is essential to the warfare of the soul. As you strive for the victory over your own inclinations, He will help you by His Holy Spirit to be circumspect in every action, that you may give no occasion for the enemy to speak evil of the truth. {AG 37.5}

We are soldiers of Christ. He is the Captain of our salvation, and we are under His orders and rules. We are to wear His armour; we are to be marshalled only under His banner. . . . We are to keep on the whole armour of God, and work as in view of the universe of heaven. {AG 37.6}


Chap. 30 - Marching Orders

Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward. Ex. 14:15. {AG 38.1}

The history of the children of Israel is written for the instruction and admonition of all Christians. When the Israelites were overtaken by dangers and difficulties, and their way seemed hedged up, their faith forsook them, and they murmured against the leader whom God had appointed for them. . . . The divine command was: "Go forward." They were not to wait until the way was made plain, and they could comprehend the entire plan of their deliverance. God's cause is onward, and He will open a path before His people. . . . {AG 38.2}

There are times when the Christian life seems beset by dangers, and duty seems hard to perform. The imagination pictures impending ruin before, and bondage or death behind. Yet the voice of God speaks clearly above all discouragements: "Go forward." We should obey this command, let the result be what it may, even though our eyes cannot penetrate the darkness and though we feel the cold waves about our feet. . . . {AG 38.3}

Those who think it impossible for them to yield to the will of God and have faith in His promises until all is made clear and plain before them, will never yield at all. Faith is not certainty of knowledge; it "is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). To obey the commandments of God is the only way to obtain His favour. "Go forward" should be the Christian's watchword. {AG 38.4}

Continual progress in knowledge and virtue is God's purpose for us. His law is the echo of His own voice, giving to all the invitation, "Come up higher; be holy, holier still." Every day we may advance in perfection of Christian character. {AG 38.5}

Putting our trust in God, we are to move steadily forward, doing His work with unselfishness, in humble dependence upon Him, committing to His providence ourselves and all that concerns our present and future, holding the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end, remembering that we receive the blessings of heaven, not because of our worthiness, but because of Christ's worthiness and our acceptance, through faith in Him, of God's abounding grace. {AG 38.6}


Chap. 31 - The Victory

Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 15:57. {AG 39.1}

Victories are not gained by ceremonies or display, but by simple obedience to the highest General, the Lord God of heaven. He who trusts in this Leader will never know defeat. {AG 39.2}

The largest share of the annoyances of life, its daily corroding cares, its heartaches, its irritation, is the result of a temper uncontrolled. . . . The government of self is the best government in the world. By putting on the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, ninety-nine out of a hundred of the troubles which so terribly embitter life might be saved. . . . The natural man must die, and the new man, Christ Jesus, take possession of the soul, so that the follower of Jesus may say in verity and truth: "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2:20). {AG 39.3}

Self is difficult to conquer. Human depravity in every form is not easily brought into subjection to the Spirit of Christ. But all should be impressed with the fact that unless this victory is gained through Christ, there is no hope for them. The victory can be gained; for nothing is impossible with God. By His assisting grace, all evil temper, all human depravity, may be overcome. . . . You may be overcomers if you will, in the name of Christ, take hold of the work decidedly. {AG 39.4}

The temptations of Satan are greater now than ever before, for he knows that his time is short, and that very soon every case will be decided, either for life or for death. It is no time now to sink down beneath discouragement and trial; we must bear up under all our afflictions, and trust wholly in the Almighty God of Jacob. . . . His grace is sufficient for all our trials; and although they are greater than ever before, yet if we trust wholly in God, we can overcome every temptation and through His grace come off victorious. . . . {AG 39.5}

When temptations and trials rush in upon us, let us go to God and agonize with Him in prayer. He will not turn us away empty, but will give us grace and strength to overcome, and to break the power of the enemy. {AG 39.6}

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