Spiritual Gifts 1
The Fall of Satan
Satan was once an honoured angel in heaven, next to Christ. His countenance,
like those of the other angels, was mild and expressive of happiness. His
forehead was high and broad, showing great intelligence. His form was perfect;
his bearing noble and majestic. But when God said to His Son, "Let us make
man in our image," Satan was jealous of Jesus. He wished to be consulted
concerning the formation of man, and because he was not, he was filled with
envy, jealousy, and hatred. He desired to receive the highest honours in heaven
next to God.
Until this time all heaven had been in order, harmony, and perfect subjection
to the government of God. It was the highest sin to rebel against His order and
will. All heaven seemed in commotion. The angels were marshalled in companies,
each division with a higher commanding angel at its head. Satan, ambitious to
exalt himself, and unwilling to submit to the authority of Jesus, was
insinuating against the government of God. Some of the angels sympathised with
Satan in his rebellion, and others strongly contended for the honour and wisdom
of God in giving authority to His Son. There was contention among the angels.
Satan and his sympathisers were striving to reform the government of God. They
wished to look into His unsearchable wisdom, and ascertain His purpose in
exalting Jesus and endowing Him with such unlimited power and command. They
rebelled against the authority of the Son. All the heavenly host were summoned
to appear before the Father to have each case decided. It was there determined
that Satan should be expelled from heaven, with all the angels who had joined
him in the rebellion. Then there was war in heaven. Angels were engaged in the
battle; Satan wished to conquer the Son of God and those who were submissive to
His will. But the good and true angels prevailed, and Satan, with his followers,
was driven from heaven.
After Satan and those who fell with him were shut out of heaven, and he
realised that he had forever lost all its purity and glory, he repented, and
wished to be reinstated in heaven. He was willing to take his proper place, or
any position that might be assigned him. But no; heaven must not be placed in
jeopardy. All heaven might be marred should he be taken back; for sin originated
with him, and the seeds of rebellion were within him. Both he and his followers
wept, and implored to be taken back into the favour of God. But their sin--their
hatred, their envy and jealousy--had been so great that God could not blot it
out. It must remain to receive its final punishment.
When Satan became fully conscious that there was no possibility of his being
brought again into favour with God, his malice and hatred began to be manifest.
He consulted with his angels, and a plan was laid to still work against God's
government. When Adam and Eve were placed in the beautiful garden, Satan was
laying plans to destroy them. In no way could this happy couple be deprived of
their happiness if they obeyed God. Satan could not exercise his power upon them
unless they should first disobey God and forfeit His favour. Some plan must
therefore be devised to lead them to disobedience that they might incur God's
frown and be brought under the more direct influence of Satan and his angels. It
was decided that Satan should assume another form and manifest an interest for
man. He must insinuate against God's truthfulness and create doubt whether God
did mean just what He said; next, he must excite their curiosity, and lead them
to pry into the unsearchable plans of God-- the very sin of which Satan had been
guilty--and reason as to the cause of His restrictions in regard to the tree of
The Fall of Man
Holy angels often visited the garden, and gave instruction to Adam and Eve
concerning their employment and also taught them concerning the rebellion and
fall of Satan. The angels warned them of Satan and cautioned them not to
separate from each other in their employment, for they might be brought in
contact with this fallen foe. The angels also enjoined upon them to follow
closely the directions God had given them, for in perfect obedience only were
they safe. Then this fallen foe could have no power over them.
Satan commenced his work with Eve, to cause her to disobey. She first erred
in wandering from her husband, next in lingering around the forbidden tree, and
next in listening to the voice of the tempter, and even daring to doubt what God
had said, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
She thought that perhaps the Lord did not mean just what He said, and venturing,
she put forth her hand, took of the fruit and ate. It was pleasing to the eye
and pleasant to the taste. Then she was jealous that God had withheld from them
what was really for their good, and she offered the fruit to her husband,
thereby tempting him. She related to Adam all that the serpent had said and
expressed her astonishment that he had the power of speech.
I saw a sadness come over Adam's countenance. He appeared afraid and
astonished. A struggle seemed to be going on in his mind. He felt sure that this
was the foe against whom they had been warned, and that his wife must die. They
must be separated. His love for Eve was strong, and in utter discouragement he
resolved to share her fate. He seized the fruit and quickly ate it. Then Satan
exulted. He had rebelled in heaven, and had gained sympathisers who loved him
and followed him in his rebellion. He had fallen and caused others to fall with
him. And he had now tempted the woman to distrust God, to inquire into His
wisdom, and to seek to penetrate His all-wise plans. Satan knew that the woman
would not fall alone. Adam, through his love for Eve, disobeyed the command of
God, and fell with her.
The news of man's fall spread through heaven. Every harp was hushed. The
angels cast their crowns from their heads in sorrow. All heaven was in
agitation. A council was held to decide what must be done with the guilty pair.
The angels feared that they would put forth the hand, and eat of the tree of
life, and become immortal sinners. But God said that He would drive the
transgressors from the garden. Angels were immediately commissioned to guard the
way of the tree of life. It had been Satan's studied plan that Adam and Eve
should disobey God, receive His frown, and then partake of the tree of life,
that they might live forever in sin and disobedience, and thus sin be
immortalised. But holy angels were sent to drive them out of the garden, and to
bar their way to the tree of life. Each of these mighty angels had in his right
hand something which had the appearance of a glittering sword.
Then Satan triumphed. He had made others suffer by his fall. He had been shut
out of heaven, they out of Paradise. -
The Plan of Salvation
Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realised that man was lost, and that world
which God had created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness,
and death, and there was no way of escape for the offender. The whole family of
Adam must die. I saw the lovely Jesus and beheld an expression of sympathy and
sorrow upon His countenance. Soon I saw Him approach the exceeding bright light
which enshrouded the Father. Said my accompanying angel, He is in close converse
with His Father. The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was
communing with His Father. Three times He was shut in by the glorious light
about the Father, and the third time He came from the Father, His person could
be seen. His countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and doubt, and shone
with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express. He then made
known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He
told them that He had been pleading with His Father, and had offered to give His
life a ransom, to take the sentence of death upon Himself, that through Him man
might find pardon; that through the merits of His blood, and obedience to the
law of God, they could have the favour of God, and be brought into the beautiful
garden, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life.
At first the angels could not rejoice; for their Commander concealed nothing
from them, but opened before them the plan of salvation. Jesus told them that He
would stand between the wrath of His Father and guilty man, that He would bear
iniquity and scorn, and but few would receive Him as the Son of God. Nearly all
would hate and reject Him. He would leave all His glory in heaven, appear upon
earth as a man, humble Himself as a man, become acquainted by His own experience
with the various temptations with which man would be beset, that He might know
how to succour those who should be tempted; and that finally, after His mission
as a teacher would be accomplished, He would be delivered into the hands of men,
and endure almost every cruelty and suffering that Satan and his angels could
inspire wicked men to inflict; that He would die the cruellest of deaths, hung
up between the heavens and the earth as a guilty sinner; that He would suffer
dreadful hours of agony, which even angels could not look upon, but would veil
their faces from the sight. Not merely agony of body would He suffer, but mental
agony, that with which bodily suffering could in no wise be compared. The weight
of the sins of the whole world would be upon Him. He told them He would die and
rise again the third day, and would ascend to His Father to intercede for
wayward, guilty man.
The angels prostrated themselves before Him. They offered their lives. Jesus
said to them that He would by His death save many, that the life of an angel
could not pay the debt. His life alone could be accepted of His Father as a
ransom for man. Jesus also told them that they would have a part to act, to be
with Him and at different times strengthen Him; that He would take man's fallen
nature, and His strength would not be even equal with theirs; that they would be
witnesses of His humiliation and great sufferings; and that as they would
witness His sufferings, and the hatred of men toward Him, they would be stirred
with the deepest emotion, and through their love for Him would wish to rescue
and deliver Him from His murderers; but that they must not interfere to prevent
anything they should behold; and that they should act a part in His
resurrection; that the plan of salvation was devised, and His Father had
accepted the plan.
With a holy sadness Jesus comforted and cheered the angels and informed them
that hereafter those whom He should redeem would be with Him, and that by His
death He should ransom many and destroy him who had the power of death. And His
Father would give Him the kingdom and the greatness of the kingdom under the
whole heaven, and He would possess it forever and ever. Satan and sinners would
be destroyed, nevermore to disturb heaven or the purified new earth. Jesus bade
the heavenly host be reconciled to the plan that His Father had accepted and
rejoice that through His death fallen man could again be exalted to obtain
favour with God and enjoy heaven.
Then joy, inexpressible joy, filled heaven. And the heavenly host sang a song
of praise and adoration. They touched their harps and sang a note higher than
they had done before, for the great mercy and condescension of God in yielding
up His dearly Beloved to die for a race of rebels. Praise and adoration were
poured forth for the self-denial and sacrifice of Jesus; that He would consent
to leave the bosom of His Father, and choose a life of suffering and anguish,
and die an ignominious death to give life to others.
Said the angel, "Think ye that the Father yielded up His dearly beloved
Son without a struggle? No, no. It was even a struggle with the God of heaven,
whether to let guilty man perish, or to give His beloved Son to die for
Him." Angels were so interested for man's salvation that there could be
found among them those who would yield their glory and give their life for
perishing man, "But," said my accompanying angel, "that would
avail nothing. The transgression was so great that an angel's life would not pay
the debt. Nothing but the death and intercessions of His son would pay the debt
and save lost man from hopeless sorrow and misery."
But the work of the angels was assigned them, to ascend and descend with
strengthening balm from glory to soothe the Son of God in His sufferings, and
minister unto Him. Also, their work would be to guard and keep the subjects of
grace from the evil angels and the darkness constantly thrown around them by
Satan. I saw that it was impossible for God to alter or change His law to save
lost, perishing man; therefore He suffered His beloved Son to die for man's
Satan again rejoiced with his angels that he could, by causing man's fall,
pull down the Son of God from His exalted position. He told his angels that when
Jesus should take fallen man's nature, he could overpower Him and hinder the
accomplishment of the plan of salvation.
I was shown Satan as he once was, a happy, exalted angel. Then I was shown
him as he now is. He still bears a kingly form. His features are still noble,
for he is an angel fallen. But the expression of his countenance is full of
anxiety, care, unhappiness, malice, hate, mischief, deceit, and every evil. That
brow which was once so noble, I particularly noticed. His forehead commenced
from his eyes to recede. I saw that he had so long bent himself to evil that
every good quality was debased, and every evil trait was developed. His eyes
were cunning, sly, and showed great penetration. His frame was large, but the
flesh hung loosely about his hands and face. As I beheld him, his chin was
resting upon his left hand. He appeared to be in deep thought. A smile was upon
his countenance, which made me tremble, it was so full of evil and satanic
slyness. This smile is the one he wears just before he makes sure of his victim,
and as he fastens the victim in his snare, this smile grows horrible. -
The First Advent Of Christ
I was carried down to the time when Jesus was to take upon Himself man's
nature, humble Himself as a man, and suffer the temptations of Satan.
His birth was without worldly grandeur. He was born in a stable and cradled
in a manger; yet His birth was honoured far above that of any of the sons of
men. Angels from heaven informed the shepherds of the advent of Jesus, and light
and glory from God accompanied their testimony. The heavenly host touched their
harps and glorified God. They triumphantly heralded the advent of the Son of God
to a fallen world to accomplish the work of redemption, and by His death to
bring peace, happiness, and everlasting life to man. God honoured the advent of
His Son. Angels worshiped Him.
Angels of God hovered over the scene of His baptism; the Holy Spirit
descended in the form of a dove and lighted upon Him, and as the people stood
greatly amazed, with their eyes fastened upon Him, the Father's voice was heard
from heaven, saying, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.
John was not certain that it was the Saviour who came to be baptised of him
in Jordan. But God had promised him a sign by which he should know the Lamb of
God. That sign was given as the heavenly dove rested upon Jesus, and the glory
of God shone round about Him. John reached forth his hand, pointing to Jesus,
and with a loud voice cried out, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away
the sin of the world!"
John informed his disciples that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Saviour
of the world. As his work was closing, he taught his disciples to look to Jesus,
and follow Him as the Great Teacher. John's life was sorrowful and self-denying.
He heralded the first advent of Christ, but was not permitted to witness His
miracles, and enjoy the power manifested by Him. When Jesus should establish
Himself as a teacher, John knew that he himself must die. His voice was seldom
heard, except in the wilderness. His life was lonely. He did not cling to his
father's family, to enjoy their society, but left them in order to fulfil his
mission. Multitudes left the busy cities and villages and flocked to the
wilderness to hear the words of the wonderful prophet. John laid the axe to the
root of the tree. He reproved sin, fearless of consequences, and prepared the
way for the Lamb of God.
Herod was affected as he listened to the powerful, pointed testimonies of
John, and with deep interest he inquired what he must do to become his disciple.
John was acquainted with the fact that he was about to marry his brother's wife,
while her husband was yet living, and faithfully told Herod that this was not
lawful. Herod was unwilling to make any sacrifice. He married his brother's
wife, and through her influence, seized John and put him in prison, intending
however to release him. While there confined, John heard through his disciples
of the mighty works of Jesus. He could not listen to His gracious words; but the
disciples informed him and comforted him with what they had heard. Soon John was
beheaded, through the influence of Herod's wife. I saw that the humblest
disciples who followed Jesus, witnessed His miracles, and heard the comforting
words which fell from His lips, were greater than John the Baptist; that is,
they were more exalted and honoured, and had more pleasure in their lives.
John came in the spirit and power of Elijah to proclaim the first advent of
Jesus. I was pointed down to the last days and saw that John represented those
who should go forth in the spirit and power of Elijah to herald the day of wrath
and the second advent of Jesus.
After the baptism of Jesus in Jordan, He was led by the Spirit into the
wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. The Holy Spirit had prepared Him for
that special scene of fierce temptations. Forty days He was tempted of Satan,
and in those days He ate nothing. Everything around Him was unpleasant, from
which human nature would be led to shrink. He was with the wild beasts and the
devil, in a desolate, lonely place. The Son of God was pale and emaciated,
through fasting and suffering. But His course was marked out, and He must fulfil
the work which He came to do.
Satan took advantage of the sufferings of the Son of God and prepared to
beset Him with manifold temptations, hoping to obtain the victory over Him,
because He had humbled Himself as a man. Satan came with this temptation:
"If Thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread."
He tempted Jesus to condescend to give him proof of His being the Messiah, by
exercising His divine power. Jesus mildly answered him, "It is written,
That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."
Satan was seeking a dispute with Jesus concerning His being the Son of God.
He referred to His weak, suffering condition and boastingly affirmed that he was
stronger than Jesus. But the word spoken from heaven, "Thou art My beloved
Son; in Thee I am well pleased," was sufficient to sustain Jesus through
all His sufferings. I saw that Christ had nothing to do in convincing Satan of
His power or of His being the Saviour of the world. Satan had sufficient
evidence of the exalted station and authority of the Son of God. His
unwillingness to yield to Christ's authority had shut him out of heaven.
Satan, to manifest his power, carried Jesus to Jerusalem, and set Him upon a
pinnacle of the temple, and there tempted Him to give evidence that He was the
Son of God, by casting Himself down from that dizzy height. Satan came with the
words of inspiration: "For it is written, He shall give His angels charge
over Thee, to keep Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any
time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone." Jesus answering said unto him,
"It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Satan wished to
cause Jesus to presume upon the mercy of His Father and risk His life before the
fulfilment of His mission. He had hoped that the plan of salvation would fail;
but the plan was laid too deep to be overthrown or marred by Satan.
Christ is the example for all Christians. When they are tempted, or their
rights are disputed, they should bear it patiently. They should not feel that
they have a right to call upon the Lord to display His power that they may
obtain a victory over their enemies, unless God can be directly honoured and
glorified thereby. If Jesus had cast Himself from the pinnacle of the temple, it
would not have glorified His Father; for none would have witnessed the act but
Satan and the angels of God. And it would have been tempting the Lord to display
His power to His bitterest foe. It would have been condescending to the one whom
Jesus came to conquer.
"And the devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, showed unto Him all
the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, All
this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto
me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If Thou therefore wilt worship me, all
shall be Thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind Me, Satan:
for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou
Satan presented before Jesus the kingdoms of the world in the most attractive
light. If Jesus would there worship him, he offered to relinquish his claims to
the possessions of earth. If the plan of salvation should be carried out, and
Jesus should die to redeem man, Satan knew that his own power must be limited
and finally taken away, and that he would be destroyed. Therefore it was his
studied plan to prevent, if possible, the completion of the great work which had
been commenced by the Son of God. If the plan of man's redemption should fail,
Satan would retain the kingdom which he then claimed. And if he should succeed,
he flattered himself that he would reign in opposition to the God of heaven.
Satan exulted when Jesus laid aside His power and glory and left heaven. He
thought that the Son of God was then placed in his power. The temptation took so
easily with the holy pair in Eden that he hoped by his satanic power and cunning
to overthrow even the Son of God, and thereby save his own life and kingdom. If
he could tempt Jesus to depart from the will of His Father, his object would be
gained. But Jesus met the tempter with the rebuke, "Get thee behind Me,
Satan." He was to bow only to His Father. Satan claimed the kingdom of
earth as his and insinuated to Jesus that all His sufferings might be saved:
that He need not die to obtain the kingdoms of this world; if He would worship
him He might have all the possessions of earth and the glory of reigning over
them. But Jesus was steadfast. He knew that the time was to come when He would
by His own life redeem the kingdom from Satan, and that, after a season, all in
heaven and earth would submit to Him. He chose His life of suffering and His
dreadful death, as the way appointed by His Father that He might become a lawful
heir to the kingdoms of earth and have them given into His hands as an
everlasting possession. Satan also will be given into His hands to be destroyed
be death, nevermore to annoy Jesus or the saints in glory. -
The Ministry of Christ
After Satan had ended his temptations, he departed from Jesus for a season,
and angels prepared Him food in the wilderness, and strengthened Him, and the
blessing of His Father rested upon Him. Satan had failed in his fiercest
temptations; yet he looked forward to the period of Jesus' ministry, when he
should at different times try his cunning against Him. He still hoped to prevail
against Him by stirring up those who would not receive Jesus, to hate and seek
to destroy Him. Satan held a special council with his angels. They were
disappointed and enraged that they had prevailed nothing against the Son of God.
They decided that they must be more cunning and use their power to the utmost to
inspire unbelief in the minds of His own nation as to His being the Saviour of
the world, and in this way discourage Jesus in His mission. No matter how exact
the Jews might be in their ceremonies and sacrifices, if they could be kept
blinded as to the prophecies and be made to believe that the Messiah was to
appear as a mighty worldly king, they might be led to despise and reject Jesus.
I was shown that Satan and his angels were very busy during Christ's
ministry, inspiring men with unbelief, hate, and scorn. Often when Jesus uttered
some cutting truth, reproving their sins, the people would become enraged. Satan
and his angels urged them on to take the life of the Son of God. More than once
they took up stones to cast at Him, but angels guarded Him and bore Him away
from the angry multitude to a place of safety. Again, as the plain truth dropped
from His holy lips, the multitude laid hold of Him and led Him to the brow of a
hill, intending to cast Him down. A contention arose among themselves as to what
they should do with Him, when the angels again hid Him from the sight of the
multitude, and He, passing through the midst of them, went His way.
Satan still hoped that the great plan of salvation would fail. He exerted all
his power to make the hearts of the people hard and their feelings bitter
against Jesus. He hoped that so few would receive Him as the Son of God that He
would consider His sufferings and sacrifice too great to make for so small a
company. But I saw that if there had been but two who would have accepted Jesus
as the Son of God and believed on Him to the saving of their souls, He would
have carried out the plan.
Jesus began His work by breaking Satan's power over the suffering. He
restored the sick to health, gave sight to the blind, and healed the lame,
causing them to leap for joy and to glorify God. He restored to health those who
had been infirm and bound by Satan's cruel power many years. With gracious words
He comforted the weak, the trembling, and the desponding. The feeble, suffering
ones whom Satan held in triumph, Jesus wrenched from his grasp, bringing to them
soundness of body and great joy and happiness. He raised the dead to life, and
they glorified God for the mighty display of His power. He wrought mightily for
all who believed on Him.
The life of Christ was filled with words and acts of benevolence, sympathy,
and love. He was ever attentive to listen to and relieve the woes of those who
came to Him. Multitudes carried in their own persons the evidence of His divine
power. Yet after the work had been accomplished, many were ashamed of the humble
yet mighty teacher. Because the rulers did not believe on Him, the people were
not willing to accept Jesus. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
They could not endure to be governed by His sober, self-denying life. They
wished to enjoy the honour which the world bestows. Yet many followed the Son of
God and listened to His instructions, feasting upon the words which fell so
graciously from His lips. His words were full of meaning, yet so plain that the
weakest could understand them.
Satan and his angels blinded the eyes and darkened the understanding of the
Jews, and stirred up the chief of the people and the rulers to take the
Saviour's life. Others were sent to bring Jesus unto them; but as they came near
where He was they were greatly amazed. They saw Him filled with sympathy and
compassion, as He witnessed human woe. They heard Him in love and tenderness
speak encouragingly to the weak and afflicted. They also heard Him, in a voice
of authority, rebuke the power of Satan and bid his captives go free. They
listened to the words of wisdom that fell from His lips, and they were
captivated; they could not lay hands on Him. They returned to the priests and
elders without Jesus. When asked, "Why have ye not brought Him?" they
related what they had witnessed of His miracles, and the holy words of wisdom,
love, and knowledge which they had heard, and ended with saying, "Never man
spake like this man." The chief priests accused them of being also
deceived, and some of the officers were ashamed that they had not taken Him. The
priests inquired in a scornful manner if any of the rulers had believed on Him.
I saw that many of the magistrates and elders did believe on Jesus; but Satan
kept them from acknowledging it; they feared the reproach of the people more
than they feared God.
Thus far the cunning and hatred of Satan had not broken up the plan of
salvation. The time for the accomplishment of the object for which Jesus came
into the world was drawing near. Satan and his angels consulted together and
decided to inspire Christ's own nation to cry eagerly for His blood and heap
upon Him cruelty and scorn. They hoped that Jesus would resent such treatment
and fail to maintain His humility and meekness.
While Satan was laying his plans, Jesus was carefully opening to His
disciples the sufferings through which He must pass--that He would be crucified
and that He would rise again the third day. But their understanding seemed dull,
and they could not comprehend what He told them.
The faith of the disciples was greatly strengthened at the transfiguration,
when they were permitted to behold Christ's glory and to hear the voice from
heaven testifying to His divine character. God chose to give the followers of
Jesus strong proof that He was the promised Messiah, that in their bitter sorrow
and disappointment at His crucifixion, they would not entirely cast away their
confidence. At the transfiguration the Lord sent Moses and Elijah to talk with
Jesus concerning His sufferings and death. Instead of choosing angels to
converse with His Son, God chose those who had themselves experienced the trials
Elijah had walked with God. His work had been painful and trying, for the
Lord through him had reproved the sins of Israel. Elijah was a prophet of God;
yet he was compelled to flee from place to place to save his life. His own
nation hunted him like a wild beast that they might destroy him. But God
translated Elijah. Angels bore him in glory and triumph to heaven.
Moses was greater than any who had lived before him. He had been highly
honoured of God, being privileged to talk with the Lord face to face, as a man
speaks with a friend. He was permitted to see the bright light and excellent
glory that enshrouded the Father. The Lord through Moses delivered the children
of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Moses was a mediator for his people, often
standing between them and the wrath of God. When the anger of the Lord was
greatly kindled against Israel for their unbelief, their murmurings, and their
grievous sins, Moses' love for them was tested. God proposed to destroy them and
to make of him a mighty nation. Moses showed his love for Israel by his earnest
pleading in their behalf. In his distress he prayed God to turn from His fierce
anger and forgive Israel, or blot his name out of His book.
When Israel murmured against God and against Moses because they could get no
water, they accused him of leading them out to kill them and their children. God
heard their murmurings and bade Moses speak to the rock, that the people might
have water. Moses smote the rock in wrath and took the glory to himself. The
continual waywardness and murmuring of the children of Israel had caused him the
keenest sorrow, and for a little time he forgot how much the Lord had borne with
them, and that their murmuring was not against him, but against God. He thought
only of himself, how deeply he was wronged, and how little gratitude they
manifested in return for his deep love for them.
It was God's plan to bring often His people into strait places, and then in
their necessity to deliver them by His power, that they might realise His love
and care for them, and thus be led to serve and honour Him. But Moses had failed
to honour God and magnify His name before the people that they might glorify
Him. In this he brought upon himself the Lord's displeasure.
When Moses came down from the mount with the two tables of stone and saw
Israel worshipping the golden calf, his anger was greatly kindled, and he threw
down the tables of stone and broke them. I saw that Moses did not sin in this.
He was wroth for God, jealous for His glory. But when he yielded to the natural
feelings of his heart and took to himself the honour which was due to God, he
sinned, and for that sin God would not suffer him to enter the land of Canaan.
Satan had been trying to find something wherewith to accuse Moses before the
angels. He exulted at his success in leading him to displease God, and he told
the angels that he could overcome the Saviour of the world when He should come
to redeem man. For his transgression, Moses came under the power of Satan-- the
dominion of death. Had he remained steadfast, the Lord would have brought him to
the Promised Land, and would then have translated him to heaven without his
Moses passed through death, but Michael came down and gave him life before
his body had seen corruption. Satan tried to hold the body, claiming it as his;
but Michael resurrected Moses and took him to heaven. Satan railed bitterly
against God, denouncing Him as unjust in permitting his prey to be taken from
him; but Christ did not rebuke His adversary, though it was through his
temptation that the servant of God had fallen. He meekly referred him to His
Father, saying, "The Lord rebuke thee."
Jesus had told His disciples that there were some standing with Him who
should not taste of death till they should see the kingdom of God come with
power. At the transfiguration this promise was fulfilled. The countenance of
Jesus was there changed and shone like the sun. His raiment was white and
glistening. Moses was present to represent those who will be raised from the
dead at the second appearing of Jesus. And Elijah, who was translated without
seeing death, represented those who will be changed to immortality at Christ's
second coming and will be translated to heaven without seeing death. The
disciples beheld with astonishment and fear the excellent majesty of Jesus and
the cloud that overshadowed them, and heard the voice of God in terrible
majesty, saying, "This is My beloved Son; hear Him."
The Betrayal of Christ
I was carried down to the time when Jesus ate the Passover supper with His
disciples. Satan had deceived Judas and led him to think that he was one of
Christ's true disciples; but his heart had ever been carnal. He had seen the
mighty works of Jesus, he had been with Him through His ministry, and had
yielded to the overpowering evidence that He was the Messiah; but Judas was
close and covetous; he loved money. He complained in anger of the costly
ointment poured upon Jesus. Mary loved her Lord. He had forgiven her sins, which
were many, and had raised from the dead her much-loved brother, and she felt
that nothing was too dear to bestow upon Jesus. The more precious the ointment,
the better could she express her gratitude to her Saviour by devoting it to Him.
Judas, as an excuse for his covetousness, urged that the ointment might have
been sold and given to the poor. But it was not because he had any care for the
poor; for he was selfish, and often appropriated to his own use that which was
entrusted to his care to be given unto the poor. Judas had been inattentive to
the comfort and even to the wants of Jesus, and to excuse his covetousness he
often referred to the poor. This act of generosity on the part of Mary was a
most cutting rebuke of his covetous disposition. The way was prepared for
Satan's temptation to find a ready reception in the heart of Judas.
The priests and rulers of the Jews hated Jesus; but multitudes thronged to
listen to His words of wisdom and to witness His mighty works. The people were
stirred with the deepest interest and anxiously followed Jesus to hear the
instructions of this wonderful teacher. Many of the rulers believed on Him, but
dared not confess their faith lest they should be put out of the synagogue. The
priests and elders decided that something must be done to draw the attention of
the people from Jesus. They feared that all men would believe on Him. They could
see no safety for themselves. They must lose their position or put Jesus to
death. And after they should put Him to death, there would still be those who
were living monuments of His power. Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, and
they feared that if they should kill Jesus, Lazarus would testify of His mighty
power. The people were flocking to see him who was raised from the dead, and the
rulers determined to slay Lazarus also, and put down the excitement. Then they
would turn the people to the traditions and doctrines of men, to tithe mint and
rue, and again have influence over them. They agreed to take Jesus when He was
alone; for if they should attempt to take Him in a crowd, when the minds of the
people were all interested in Him, they would be stoned.
Judas knew how anxious they were to obtain Jesus and offered to betray Him to
the chief priests and elders for a few pieces of silver. His love of money led
him to agree to betray his Lord into the hands of His bitterest enemies. Satan
was working directly through Judas, and in the midst of the impressive scene of
the last supper, the traitor was devising plans to betray his Master. Jesus
sorrowfully told His disciples that all of them would be offended because of Him
that night. But Peter ardently affirmed that although all others should be
offended because of Him, he would not be offended. Jesus said to Peter:
"Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have
prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted,
strengthen thy brethren." Luke 22:31,32.
I beheld Jesus in the garden with His disciples. In deep sorrow He bade them
watch and pray, lest they should enter into temptation. He knew that their faith
was to be tried, and their hopes disappointed, and that they would need all the
strength which they could obtain by close watching and fervent prayer. With
strong cries and weeping, Jesus prayed, "Father, if Thou be willing, remove
this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done." The Son of
God prayed in agony. Great drops of blood gathered upon His face and fell to the
ground. Angels were hovering over the place, witnessing the scene, but only one
was commissioned to go and strengthen the Son of God in His agony. There was no
joy in heaven. The angels cast their crowns and harps from them and with the
deepest interest silently watched Jesus. They wished to surround the Son of God,
but the commanding angels suffered them not, lest, as they should behold His
betrayal, they should deliver Him; for the plan had been laid, and it must be
After Jesus had prayed, He came to His disciples; but they were sleeping. In
that dreadful hour He had not the sympathy and prayers of even His disciples.
Peter, who was so zealous a short time before, was heavy with sleep. Jesus
reminded him of his positive declarations and said to him, "What, could ye
not watch with Me one hour?" Three times the Son of God prayed in agony.
Then Judas, with his band of armed men, appeared. He approached his Master as
usual, to salute Him. The band surrounded Jesus; but there He manifested His
divine power, as He said, "Whom seek ye?" "I am He." They
fell backward to the ground. Jesus made this inquiry that they might witness His
power and have evidence that He could deliver Himself from their hands if He
The disciples began to hope as they saw the multitude with their staves and
swords fall so quickly. As they arose and again surrounded the Son of God, Peter
drew his sword and smote a servant of the high priest and cut off an ear. Jesus
bade him to put up the sword, saying, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray
to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of
angels?" I saw that as these words were spoken, the countenances of the
angels were animated with hope. They wished then and there to surround their
Commander and disperse that angry mob. But again sadness settled upon them, as
Jesus added, "But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it
must be?" The hearts of the disciples also sank in despair and bitter
disappointment, as Jesus suffered Himself to be led away by His enemies.
The disciples feared for their own lives, and they all forsook Him and fled.
Jesus was left alone in the hands of the murderous mob. Oh, what a triumph of
Satan then! And what sadness and sorrow with the angels of God! Many companies
of holy angels, each with a tall commanding angel at their head, were sent to
witness the scene. They were to record every insult and cruelty imposed upon the
Son of God, and to register every pang of anguish which Jesus should suffer; for
the very men who joined in this dreadful scene are to see it all again in living
The Trial of Christ
The angels as they left heaven, in sadness laid off their glittering crowns.
They could not wear them while their Commander was suffering and was to wear a
crown of thorns. Satan and his angels were busy in the judgement hall to destroy
human feeling and sympathy. The very atmosphere was heavy and polluted by their
influence. The chief priests and elders were inspired by them to insult and
abuse Jesus in a manner the most difficult for human nature to bear. Satan hoped
that such mockery and violence would call forth from the Son of God some
complaint or murmur; or that He would manifest His divine power, and wrench
Himself from the grasp of the multitude, and that thus the plan of salvation
might at last fail.
Peter followed his Lord after His betrayal. He was anxious to see what would
be done with Jesus. But when he was accused of being one of His disciples, fear
for his own safety led him to declare that he knew not the man. The disciples
were noted for the purity of their language, and Peter, to convince his accusers
that he was not one of Christ's disciples, denied the charge the third time with
cursing and swearing. Jesus, who was at some distance from Peter, turned a
sorrowful reproving gaze upon him. Then the disciple remembered the words which
Jesus had spoken to him in the upper chamber, and also his own zealous
assertion, "Though all men shall be offended because of Thee, yet will I
never be offended." He had denied his Lord, even with cursing and swearing;
but that look of Jesus' melted Peter's heart and saved him. He wept bitterly and
repented of his great sin, and was converted, and then was prepared to
strengthen his brethren.
The multitude were clamorous for the blood of Jesus. They cruelly scourged
Him, and put upon Him an old purple kingly robe, and bound His sacred head with
a crown of thorns. They put a reed into His hand, and bowed to Him, and
mockingly saluted Him, "Hail, king of the Jews!" They then took the
reed from His hand and smote Him with it upon the head, causing the thorns to
penetrate His temples, sending the blood trickling down His face and beard.
It was difficult for the angels to endure the sight. They would have
delivered Jesus, but the commanding angels forbade them, saying that it was a
great ransom which was to be paid for man; but it would be complete and would
cause the death of him who had the power of death. Jesus knew that angels were
witnessing the scene of His humiliation. The weakest angel could have caused
that mocking throng to fall powerless and could have delivered Jesus. He knew
that if He should desire it of His Father, angels would instantly release Him.
But it was necessary that He should suffer the violence of wicked men, in order
to carry out the plan of salvation.
Jesus stood meek and humble before the infuriated multitude, while they
offered Him the vilest abuse. They spit in His face--that face from which they
will one day desire to hide, which will give light to the city of God and shine
brighter than the sun. Christ did not cast upon the offenders an angry look.
They covered His head with an old garment, blindfolding Him, and then struck Him
in the face and cried out, "Prophesy, who is it that smote Thee?"
There was commotion among the angels. They would have rescued Him instantly; but
their commanding angels restrained them.
Some of the disciples had gained confidence to enter where Jesus was and
witness His trial. They expected that He would manifest His divine power, and
deliver Himself from the hands of His enemies, and punish them for their cruelty
toward Him. Their hopes would rise and fall as the different scenes transpired.
Sometimes they doubted, and feared that they had been deceived. But the voice
heard at the mount of transfiguration, and the glory they there beheld,
strengthened their faith that He was the Son of God. They called to mind the
scenes which they had witnessed, the miracles which they had seen Jesus perform
in healing the sick, opening the eyes of the blind, unstopping the deaf ears,
rebuking and casting out devils, raising the dead to life, and even calming the
wind and the sea. They could not believe that He would die. They hoped that He
would yet rise in power, and with His commanding voice disperse that
bloodthirsty multitude, as when He entered the temple and drove out those who
were making the house of God a place of merchandise, when they fled before Him
as if pursued by a company of armed soldiers. The disciples hoped that Jesus
would manifest His power and convince all that He was the King of Israel.
Judas was filled with bitter remorse and shame at his treacherous act in
betraying Jesus. And when he witnessed the abuse which the Saviour endured, he
was overcome. He had loved Jesus, but had loved money more. He had not thought
that Jesus would suffer Himself to be taken by the mob which he led on. He had
expected Him to work a miracle, and deliver Himself from them. But when he saw
the infuriated multitude in the judgement hall, thirsting for blood, he deeply
felt his guilt; and while many were vehemently accusing Jesus, Judas rushed
through the multitude, confessing that he had sinned in betraying innocent
blood. He offered the priests the money which they had paid him, and entreated
them to release Jesus, declaring that He was entirely innocent.
For a short time vexation and confusion kept the priests silent. They did not
wish the people to know that they had hired one of the professed followers of
Jesus to betray Him into their hands. Their hunting Jesus like a thief and
taking Him secretly, they wished to hide. But the confession of Judas, and his
haggard, guilty appearance, exposed the priests before the multitude, showing
that it was hatred that had caused them to take Jesus. As Judas loudly declared
Jesus to be innocent, the priests replied, "What is that to us? see thou to
that." They had Jesus in their power, and were determined to make sure of
Him. Judas, overwhelmed with anguish, threw the money that he now despised at
the feet of those who had hired him, and, in anguish and horror, went and hanged
Jesus had many sympathisers in the company about Him, and His answering
nothing to the many questions put to Him amazed the throng. Under all the
mockery and violence of the mob, not a frown, not a troubled expression, rested
upon His features. He was dignified and composed. The spectators looked upon Him
with wonder. They compared His perfect form and firm, dignified bearing with the
appearance of those who sat in judgement against Him, and said to one another
that He appeared more like a king than any of the rulers. He bore no marks of
being a criminal. His eye was mild, clear, and undaunted, His forehead broad and
high. Every feature was strongly marked with benevolence and noble principle.
His patience and forbearance were so unlike man that many trembled. Even Herod
and Pilate were greatly troubled at His noble, Godlike bearing.
From the first, Pilate was convicted that Jesus was no common man. He
believed Him to be an excellent character, and entirely innocent of the charges
brought against Him. The angels who were witnessing the scene marked the
convictions of the Roman governor, and to save him from engaging in the awful
act of delivering Christ to be crucified, an angel was sent to Pilate's wife,
and gave her information through a dream that it was the Son of God in whose
trial her husband was engaged, and that He was an innocent sufferer. She
immediately sent a message to Pilate, stating that she had suffered many things
in a dream on account of Jesus and warning him to have nothing to do with that
holy man. The messenger, pressing hastily through the crowd, placed the letter
in the hands of Pilate. As he read, he trembled and turned pale, and at once
determined to have nothing to do with putting Christ to death. If the Jews would
have the blood of Jesus, he would not give his influence to it, but would labour
to deliver Him.
When Pilate heard that Herod was in Jerusalem, he was greatly relieved; for
he hoped to free himself from all responsibility in the trial and condemnation
of Jesus. He at once sent Him, with His accusers, to Herod. This ruler had
become hardened in sin. The murder of John the Baptist had left upon his
conscience a stain from which he could not free himself. When he heard of Jesus
and the mighty works wrought by Him, he feared and trembled, believing Him to be
John the Baptist risen from the dead. When Jesus was placed in his hands by
Pilate, Herod considered the act an acknowledgement of his power, authority, and
judgement. This had the effect to make friends of the two rulers, who had before
been enemies. Herod was pleased to see Jesus, expecting Him to work some mighty
miracle for his satisfaction. But it was not the work of Jesus to gratify
curiosity or to seek His own safety. His divine, miraculous power was to be
exercised for the salvation of others, but not in His own behalf.
Jesus answered nothing to the many questions put to Him by Herod; neither did
He reply to His enemies, who were vehemently accusing Him. Herod was enraged
because Jesus did not appear to fear his power, and with his men of war he
derided, mocked, and abused the Son of God. Yet he was astonished at the noble,
Godlike appearance of Jesus when shamefully abused, and fearing to condemn Him,
he sent Him again to Pilate.
Satan and his angels were tempting Pilate and trying to lead him on to his
own ruin. They suggested to him that if he did not take part in condemning Jesus
others would; the multitude were thirsting for His blood; and if he did not
deliver Him to be crucified, he would lose his power and worldly honour and
would be denounced as a believer on the impostor. Through fear of losing his
power and authority, Pilate consented to the death of Jesus. And notwithstanding
he placed the blood of Jesus upon His accusers, and the multitude received it,
crying, "His blood be on us, and on our children," yet Pilate was not
clear; he was guilty of the blood of Christ. For his own selfish interest, his
love of honour from the great men of earth, he delivered an innocent man to die.
If Pilate had followed his own convictions, he would have had nothing to do with
The appearance and words of Jesus during His trial made a deep impression
upon the minds of many who were present on that occasion. The result of the
influence thus exerted was apparent after His resurrection. Among those who were
then added to the church, there were many whose conviction dated from the time
of Jesus' trial.
Satan's rage was great as he saw that all the cruelty which he had led the
Jews to inflict on Jesus had not called forth from Him the slightest murmur.
Although He had taken upon Himself man's nature, He was sustained by a Godlike
fortitude, and departed not in the least from the will of His Father. -
The Crucifixion of Christ
The Son of God was delivered to the people to be crucified; with shouts of
triumph they led the dear Saviour away. He was weak and faint from weariness,
pain, and loss of blood by the scourging and blows which He had received; yet
the heavy cross upon which He was soon to be nailed was laid upon Him. Jesus
fainted beneath the burden. Three times the cross was placed upon His shoulders,
and three times He fainted. One of His followers, a man who had not openly
professed faith in Christ, yet believed on Him, was next seized. Upon him the
cross was laid, and he bore it to the fatal spot. Companies of angels were
marshalled in the air above the place. A number of Christ's disciples followed
Him to Calvary, in sorrow, and with bitter weeping. They called to mind His
triumphal ride into Jerusalem but a few days before, when they had followed Him,
crying, "Hosanna in the highest!" and strewing their garments and the
beautiful palm branches in the way. They had thought that He was then to take
the kingdom and reign a temporal prince over Israel. How changed the scene! How
blighted their prospects! Not with rejoicing, not with cheerful hopes, but with
hearts stricken with fear and despair they now slowly, sadly followed Him who
had been disgraced and humbled, and who was about to die.
The mother of Jesus was there. Her heart was pierced with anguish such as
none but a fond mother can feel; yet, with the disciples, she still hoped that
Christ would work some mighty miracle and deliver Himself from His murderers.
She could not endure the thought that He would suffer Himself to be crucified.
But the preparations were made, and Jesus was laid upon the cross. The hammer
and the nails were brought. The hearts of the disciples fainted within them. The
mother of Jesus was bowed with agony almost beyond endurance. Before the Saviour
was nailed to the cross, the disciples bore her from the scene, that she might
not hear the crashing of the spikes as they were driven through the bone and
muscle of His tender hands and feet. Jesus murmured not, but groaned in agony.
His face was pale, and large drops of sweat stood upon His brow. Satan exulted
in the suffering through which the Son of God was passing, yet feared that his
efforts to thwart the plan of salvation had been in vain, that his kingdom was
lost, and that he must finally be destroyed.
After Jesus had been nailed to the cross, it was raised and with great force
thrust into the place which had been prepared for it in the ground, tearing the
flesh and causing the most intense suffering. To make the death of Jesus as
shameful as possible, two thieves were crucified with Him, one on each side. The
thieves were taken by force, and after much resistance on their part, their arms
were thrust back and nailed to their crosses. But Jesus meekly submitted. He
needed no one to force His arms back upon the cross. While the thieves were
cursing their executioners, the Saviour in agony prayed for His enemies,
"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." It was not
merely agony of body which Christ endured; the sins of the whole world were upon
As Jesus hung upon the cross, some who passed by reviled Him, wagging their
heads as if bowing to a king, and said to Him, "Thou that destroyest the
temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself. If Thou be the Son of God,
come down from the cross." Satan used the same words to Christ in the
wilderness-- "If Thou be the Son of God." The chief priests, elders,
and scribes mockingly said, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He
be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe
Him." The angels who hovered over the scene of Christ's crucifixion were
moved to indignation as the rulers derided Him and said, "If He be the Son
God, let Him deliver Himself". They wished there to come to the rescue of
Jesus and deliver Him, but they were not suffered to do so. The object of His
mission was not yet accomplished.
As Jesus hung upon the cross during those long hours of agony, He did not
forget His mother. She had returned to the terrible scene, for she could not
longer remain away from her Son. The last lesson of Jesus was one of compassion
and humanity. He looked upon the grief-stricken face of His mother, and then
upon His beloved disciple John. He said to His mother, "Woman, behold thy
son!" Then He said to John, "Behold thy mother!" And from that
hour John took her to his own house.
Jesus thirsted in His agony, and they gave Him vinegar and gall to drink; but
when He tasted it, He refused it. The angels had viewed the agony of their loved
Commander until they could behold no longer, and they veiled their faces from
the sight. The sun refused to look upon the awful scene. Jesus cried with a loud
voice, which struck terror to the hearts of His murderers, "It is
finished." Then the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom,
the earth shook, and the rocks rent. Great darkness was upon the face of the
earth. The last hope of the disciples seemed swept away as Jesus died. Many of
His followers witnessed the scene of His sufferings and death, and their cup of
sorrow was full.
Satan did not then exult as he had done. He had hoped to break up the plan of
salvation; but it was laid too deep. And now by the death of Christ he knew that
he himself must finally die, and his kingdom be given to Jesus. He held a
council with his angels. He had prevailed nothing against the Son of God, and
now they must increase their efforts and with their power and cunning turn to
His followers. They must prevent all whom they could from receiving the
salvation purchased for them by Jesus. By so doing Satan could still work
against the government of God. Also it would be for his own interest to keep
from Jesus as many as possible. For the sins of those who are redeemed by the
blood of Christ will at last be rolled back upon the originator of sin, and he
must bear their punishment, while those who do not accept salvation through
Jesus will suffer the penalty of their own sins.
The life of Christ had ever been without worldly wealth, honour, or display.
His humility and self-denial had been in striking contrast to the pride and
self-indulgence of the priests and elders. His spotless purity was a continual
reproof of their sins. They despised Him for His humility, holiness, and purity.
But those who despised Him here will one day see Him in the grandeur of heaven
and the unsurpassed glory of His Father.
In the judgement hall He was surrounded by enemies who were thirsting for His
blood; but those hardened ones who cried out, "His blood be on us, and on
our children," will behold Him an honoured King. All the heavenly host will
escort Him on His way with songs of victory, majesty, and might to Him that was
slain, yet lives again, a mighty conqueror.
Poor, weak, miserable man spat in the face of the King of glory, while a
shout of brutal triumph arose from the mob at the degrading insult. They marred
with blows and cruelty that face which filled all heaven with admiration. They
will again behold that face, bright as the noonday sun, and will seek to flee
from before it. Instead of that shout of brutal triumph, they will wail because
Jesus will present His hands with the marks of His crucifixion. The marks of
this cruelty He will ever bear. Every print of the nails will tell the story of
man's wonderful redemption and the dear price by which it was purchased. The
very men who thrust the spear into the side of the Lord of life will behold the
print of the spear and will lament with deep anguish the part which they acted
in marring His body.
His murderers were greatly annoyed by the superscription, "The King of
the Jews," placed upon the cross above His head. But then they will be
obliged to see Him in all His glory and kingly power. They will behold on His
vesture and on His thigh, written in living characters, "King of kings, and
Lord of lords." They cried to Him mockingly, as He hung upon the cross,
"Let Christ, the King of Israel, descend from the cross, that we may see
and believe." They will behold Him then with kingly power and authority.
They will demand no evidence of His being King of Israel; but overwhelmed with a
sense of His majesty and exceeding glory, they will be compelled to acknowledge,
"Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord."
The shaking of the earth, the rending of the rocks, the darkness spread over
the earth, and the loud, strong cry of Jesus, "It is finished," as He
yielded up His life, troubled His enemies and made His murderers tremble. The
disciples wondered at these singular manifestations; but their hopes were
crushed. They were afraid that the Jews would seek to destroy them also. They
felt assured that such hatred as had been manifested against the Son of God
would not end with Him. Lonely hours they spent in weeping over their
disappointment. They had expected that Jesus would reign a temporal Prince, but
their hopes died with Him. In their sorrow and disappointment, they doubted
whether He had not deceived them. Even His mother wavered in her faith in Him as
Notwithstanding the disciples had been disappointed in their hopes concerning
Jesus, they yet loved Him and desired to give His body an honoured burial, but
knew not how to obtain it. Joseph of Arimathaea, a wealthy and influential
councillor of the Jews and a true disciple of Jesus, went privately yet boldly
to Pilate and begged from him the Saviour's body. He dared not go openly,
because of the hatred of the Jews. The disciples feared that an effort would be
made by them to prevent the body of Christ from having an honoured resting
place. Pilate granted the request, and the disciples took the lifeless form down
from the cross, while in deep anguish they mourned over their blighted hopes.
Carefully the body was wrapped in fine linen, and laid in Joseph's new
The women who had been Christ's humble followers while He lived, would not
leave Him until they saw Him laid in the tomb and a stone of great weight placed
before the door, lest His enemies should seek to obtain His body. But they need
not have feared; for I saw that the angelic host watched with untold interest in
the resting place of Jesus, earnestly waiting for the command to act their part
in liberating the King of glory from His prison house.
Christ's murderers feared that He might yet come to life and escape them.
They therefore asked of Pilate a watch to guard the sepulchre until the third
day. This was granted, and the stone at the door was sealed, lest His disciples
should steal Him away and say that He had risen from the dead. -
The Resurrection of Christ
The disciples rested on the Sabbath, sorrowing for the death of their Lord,
while Jesus, the King of glory, lay in the tomb. As night drew on, soldiers were
stationed to guard the Saviour's resting place, while angels, unseen, hovered
above the sacred spot. The night wore slowly away, and while it was yet dark,
the watching angels knew that the time for the release of God's dear Son, their
loved Commander, had nearly come. As they were waiting with the deepest emotion
the hour of His triumph, a mighty angel came flying swiftly from heaven. His
face was like the lightning, and his garments white as snow. His light dispersed
the darkness from his track and caused the evil angels, who had triumphantly
claimed the body of Jesus, to flee in terror from his brightness and glory. One
of the angelic host who had witnessed the scene of Christ's humiliation, and was
watching His resting place, joined the angel from heaven, and together they came
down to the sepulchre. The earth trembled and shook as they approached, and
there was a great earthquake.
Terror seized the Roman guard. Where was now their power to keep the body of
Jesus? They did not think of their duty or of the disciples' stealing Him away.
As the light of the angels shone around, brighter than the sun, that Roman guard
fell as dead men to the ground. One of the angels laid hold of the great stone
and rolled it away from the door of the sepulchre and seated himself upon it.
The other entered the tomb and unbound the napkin from the head of Jesus. Then
the angel from heaven, with a voice that caused the earth to quake, cried out,
"Thou Son of God, Thy Father calls Thee! Come forth." Death could hold
dominion over Him no longer. Jesus arose from the dead, a triumphant conqueror.
In solemn awe the angelic host gazed upon the scene. And as Jesus came forth
from the sepulchre, those shining angels prostrated themselves to the earth in
worship, and hailed Him with songs of victory and triumph.
Satan's angels had been compelled to flee before the bright, penetrating
light of the heavenly angels, and they bitterly complained to their king that
their prey had been violently taken from them, and that He whom they so much
hated had risen from the dead. Satan and his hosts had exulted that their power
over fallen man had caused the Lord of life to be laid in the grave, but short
was their hellish triumph. For as Jesus walked forth from His prison house a
majestic conqueror, Satan knew that after a season he must die, and his kingdom
pass unto Him whose right it was. He lamented and raged that notwithstanding all
his efforts, Jesus had not been overcome, but had opened a way of salvation for
man, and whosoever would might walk in it and be saved.
The evil angels and their commander met in council to consider how they could
still work against the government of God. Satan bade his servants go to the
chief priests and elders. Said he, "We succeeded in deceiving them,
blinding their eyes and hardening their hearts against Jesus. We made them
believe that He was an impostor. That Roman guard will carry the hateful news
that Christ has risen. We led the priests and elders on to hate Jesus and to
murder Him. Now hold it before them that if it becomes known that Jesus is
risen, they will be stoned by the people for putting to death and innocent
As the host of heavenly angels departed from the sepulchre and the light and
glory passed away, the Roman guard ventured to raise their heads and look about
them. They were filled with amazement as they saw that the great stone had been
rolled from the door of the sepulchre and that the body of Jesus was gone. They
hastened to the city to make known to the priests and elders what they had seen.
As those murderers listened to the marvellous report, paleness sat upon every
face. Horror seized them at the thought of what they had done. If the report was
correct, they were lost. For a time they sat in silence, looking upon one
another's faces, not knowing what to do or what to say. To accept the report
would be to condemn themselves. They went aside to consult as to what should be
done. They reasoned that if the report brought by the guard should be circulated
among the people, those who put Christ to death would be slain as His murderers.
It was decided to hire the soldiers to keep the matter secret. The priests and
elders offered them a large sum of money, saying, "Say ye, His disciples
came by night, and stole Him away while we slept." And when the guard
inquired what would be done with them for sleeping at their post, the Jewish
officers promised to persuade the governor and secure their safety. For the sake
of money, the Roman guard sold their honour, and agreed to follow the counsel of
the priests and elders.
When Jesus, as He hung upon the cross, cried out, "It is finished,"
the rocks rent, the earth shook, and some of the graves were opened. When He
arose a victor over death and the grave, while the earth was reeling and the
glory of heaven shone around the sacred spot, many of the righteous dead,
obedient to His call, came forth as witnesses that He had risen. Those favoured,
risen saints came forth glorified. They were chosen and holy ones of every age,
from creation down even to the days of Christ. Thus while the Jewish leaders
were seeking to conceal the fact of Christ's resurrection, God chose to bring up
a company from their graves to testify that Jesus had risen, and to declare His
Those risen ones differed in stature and form, some being more noble in
appearance than others. I was informed that the inhabitants of earth had been
degenerating, losing their strength and comeliness. Satan has the power of
disease and death, and with every age the effects of the curse have been more
visible, and the power of Satan more plainly seen. Those who lived in the days
of Noah and Abraham resembled the angels in form, comeliness, and strength. But
every succeeding generation have been growing weaker and more subject to
disease, and their life has been of shorter duration. Satan has been learning
how to annoy and enfeeble the race.
Those who came forth after the resurrection of Jesus appeared to many,
telling them that the sacrifice for man was completed, that Jesus, whom the Jews
crucified, had risen from the dead; and in proof of their words they declared,
"We be risen with Him." They bore testimony that it was by His mighty
power that they had been called forth from their graves. Notwithstanding the
lying reports circulated, the resurrection of Christ could not be concealed by
Satan, his angels, or the chief priests; for this holy company, brought forth
from their graves, spread the wonderful, joyful news; also Jesus showed Himself
to His sorrowing, heartbroken disciples, dispelling their fears and causing them
joy and gladness.
As the news spread from city to city and from town to town, the Jews in their
turn feared for their lives and concealed the hatred which they cherished toward
the disciples. Their only hope was to spread their lying report. And those who
wished this lie to be true accepted it. Pilate trembled as he heard that Christ
had risen. He could not doubt the testimony given, and from that hour peace left
him forever. For the sake of worldly honour, for fear of losing his authority
and his life, he had delivered Jesus to die. He was now fully convinced that it
was not merely an innocent man of whose blood he was guilty, but the Son of God.
Miserable to its close was the life of Pilate. Despair and anguish crushed every
hopeful, joyful feeling. He refused to be comforted and died a most miserable
Herod's heart had grown still harder; and when he heard that Christ had
risen, he was not much troubled. He took the life of James, and when he saw that
this pleased the Jews, he took Peter also, intending to put him to death. But
God had a work for Peter to do, and sent his angel to deliver him. Herod was
visited with the judgements of God. While exalting himself in the presence of a
great multitude, he was smitten by the angel of the Lord, and died a most
Early in the morning of the first day of the week, before it was yet light,
holy women came to the sepulchre, bringing sweet spices to anoint the body of
Jesus. They found that the heavy stone had been rolled away from the door of the
sepulchre, and the body of Jesus was not there. Their hearts sank within them,
and they feared that their enemies had taken away the body. Suddenly they beheld
two angels in white apparel, their faces bright and shining. These heavenly
beings understood the errand of the women and immediately told them that Jesus
was not there; He had risen, but they could behold the place where He had lain.
They bade them go and tell His disciples that He would go before them into
Galilee. With fear and great joy the women hurried back to the sorrowing
disciples and told them the things which they had seen and heard.
The disciples could not believe that Christ had risen, but, with the women
who had brought the report, ran hastily to the sepulchre. They found that Jesus
was not there; they saw His linen clothes, but could not believe the good news
that He had risen from the dead. They returned home marvelling at what they had
seen, also at the report brought them by the women. But Mary chose to linger
around the sepulchre, thinking of what she had seen, and distressed with the
thought that she might have been deceived. She felt that new trials awaited her.
Her grief was renewed, and she broke forth in bitter weeping. She stooped down
to look again into the sepulchre, and beheld two angels clothed in white. One
was sitting where the head of Jesus had lain, the other where His feet had been.
They spoke to her tenderly, and asked her why she wept. She replied, "They
have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him."
As she turned from the sepulchre, she saw Jesus standing near, but knew Him
not. He spoke to her tenderly, inquiring the cause of her sorrow and asking whom
she was seeking. Supposing that He was the gardener, she begged Him, if He had
borne away her Lord, to tell her where he had laid Him, that she might take Him
away. Jesus spoke to her with His own heavenly voice, saying, "Mary!"
She was acquainted with the tones of that dear voice, and quickly answered,
"Master!" and in her joy was about to embrace Him; but Jesus said,
"Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My
brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My
God, and your God." Joyfully she hastened to the disciples with the good
news. Jesus quickly ascended to His Father to hear from His lips that He
accepted the sacrifice, and to receive all power in heaven and upon earth.
Angels like a cloud surrounded the Son of God and bade the everlasting gates
be lifted up, that the King of glory might come in. I saw that while Jesus was
with that bright heavenly host, in the presence of God, and surrounded by His
glory, He did not forget His disciples upon the earth, but received power from
His Father, that He might return and impart power to them. The same day He
returned and showed Himself to His disciples. He suffered them then to touch
Him; for He had ascended to His Father and had received power.
At this time Thomas was not present. He would not humbly receive the report
of the disciples, but firmly and self-confidently affirmed that he would not
believe unless he should put his fingers in the prints of the nails and his hand
in the side where the cruel spear was thrust. In this he showed a lack of
confidence in his brethren. If all should require the same evidence, none would
now receive Jesus and believe in His resurrection. But it was the will of God
that the report of the disciples should be received by those who could not
themselves see and hear the risen Saviour. God was not pleased with the unbelief
of Thomas. When Jesus again met with His disciples, Thomas was with them; and
when he beheld Jesus, he believed. But he had declared that he would not be
satisfied without the evidence of feeling added to sight, and Jesus gave him the
evidence which he had desired. Thomas cried out, "My Lord and my God!"
But Jesus reproved him for his unbelief, saying, "Thomas, because thou hast
seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have
In like manner those who have had no experience in the first and second
angels' messages must receive them from others who had an experience and
followed down through the messages. As Jesus was rejected, so I saw that these
messages have been rejected. And as the disciples declared that there is
salvation in no other name under heaven, given among men, so also should the
servants of God faithfully and fearlessly warn those who embrace but a part of
the truths connected with the third message, that they must gladly receive all
the messages as God has given them, or have no part in the matter.
While the holy women were carrying the report that Jesus had risen, the Roman
guard were circulating the lie that had been put into their mouths by the chief
priests and elders, that the disciples came by night, while they slept, and
stole the body of Jesus. Satan had put this lie into the hearts and mouths of
the chief priests, and the people stood ready to receive their word. But God had
made this matter sure, and placed this important event, upon which our salvation
depends, beyond all doubt; and it was impossible for priests and elders to cover
it up. Witnesses were raised from the dead to testify to Christ's resurrection.
Jesus remained with His disciples forty days, causing them joy and gladness
of heart as He opened to them more fully the realities of the kingdom of God. He
commissioned them to bear testimony to the things which they had seen and heard
concerning His sufferings, death, and resurrection, that He had made a sacrifice
for sin, and that all who would might come unto Him and find life. With faithful
tenderness He told them that they would be persecuted and distressed; but they
would find relief in recalling their experience and remembering the words which
He had spoken to them. He told them that He had overcome the temptations of
Satan and obtained the victory through trials and suffering. Satan could have no
more power over Him, but would bring his temptations to bear more directly upon
them and upon all who should believe in His name. But they could overcome as He
had overcome. Jesus endowed His disciples with power to work miracles, and told
them that although they should be persecuted by wicked men, He would from time
to time send His angels to deliver them; their lives could not be taken until
their mission should be accomplished; then they might be required to seal with
their blood the testimonies which they had borne.
His anxious followers gladly listened to His teachings, eagerly feasting upon
every word which fell from His holy lips. Now they certainly knew that He was
the Saviour of the world. His words sank deep into their hearts, and they
sorrowed that they must soon be parted from their heavenly Teacher and no longer
hear comforting, gracious words from His lips. But again their hearts were
warmed with love and exceeding joy, as Jesus told them that He would go and
prepare mansions for them and come again and receive them, that they might be
ever with Him. He promised also to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to guide
them into all truth. "And He lifted up His hands, and blessed them." -