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Home » Resources » Adventist Publications on Church-State Subjects » Spirit of Prophecy Counsels Relating To Church-State Relationships » Section I: Some Basic Principles—God’s Government and Earthly Governments

Section I: Some Basic Principles—God’s Government and Earthly Governments

Section I: God’s Government and Earthly Governments

God The Supreme Ruler—Man A Free Moral Agent

As the Supreme Ruler of the universe, God has ordained laws for the government not only of all living beings, but of all the operations of nature. Everything, whether great or small, animate or inanimate, is under fixed laws which cannot be disregarded. . . . But while everything in nature is governed by natural law, man alone, as an intelligent being, capable of understanding its requirements, is amenable to moral law. To man alone, the crowning work of His creation, God has given a conscience to realize the sacred claims of the divine law, and a heart capable of loving it as holy, just, and good; and of man prompt and perfect obedience is required. Yet God does not compel him to obey; he is left a free moral agent.—Selected Messages, Bk. 1, 216.

God Does Not Coerce The Will

To deprive man of the freedom of choice would be to rob him of his prerogative as an intelligent being, and make him a mere automaton. It is not God’s purpose to coerce the will. Man was created a free moral agent.—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 331, 332.

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Principles Of God’s Government

The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened.—Desire of Ages, p. 22.

God Never Forces Man’s Conscience

God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satan’s constant resort—to gain control of those whom he cannot otherwise seduce—is compulsion by cruelty. Through fear or force he endeavors to rule the conscience, and to secure homage to himself. To accomplish this, he works through both religious and secular authorities, moving them to the enforcement of human laws in defiance of the law of God.—Great Controversy, p. 591.

Man Not Compelled To Comply

The Lord Jesus came to our world full of mercy, life, and light, ready to save those who should come unto Him. But He can save no one against his will. God does not force the conscience; He does not torture the body that He may compel men to compliance with His law. All this work is after the order of Satan. . . .

The Lord has made it apparent that He proffers to the sinner the privilege of cooperating with God. He gives light, and furnishes evidence of the truth.—Youth’s Instructor, Aug. 17, 1893; reprinted in Sons and Daughters of God, p. 182.

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God Rules By Love, Not Compulsion

The laws of God are designed to bring His people closer to Himself. He will save them from the evil and lead them to the good if they will be led, but force them He never will.—Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 445.

God does not employ compulsory measures; love is the agent which He uses to expel sin from the heart.—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 77.

It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him.—Desire of Ages, p. 480.

Comment On Joshua 24:15

Joshua desired to lead them [the Israelites] to serve God, not by compulsion, but willingly. Love to God is the very foundation of religion. To engage in His service merely from hope of reward or fear of punishment, would avail nothing. Open apostasy would not be more offensive to God than hypocrisy and mere formal Worship.—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 523.

Laws Of Earthly Governments Should Be In Harmony With Law Of Jehovah

God would have the rulers of the nations know that He is the Supreme Ruler. Those who preside over the affairs of nations should realize that there is a King of kings. The man who does not know God as his Father, and Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of the infinite God, can not rule wisely. He who has been placed where he has authority over others should seek the Lord for wisdom, that he may govern wisely the subjects of God’s kingdom. An earthly ruler can not exercise authority wisely or set an

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example that is safe to follow, unless he obtains wisdom from the God who is too wise to err and too good to do injustice to His human subjects.

In the law of the kingdom of God who rules the sinless inhabitants of heaven are to be found the principles that should lie at the foundation of the laws of earthly governments. The laws of these governments should be in harmony with the law of Jehovah, the standard by which all created beings are to be judged. No man should be forced to act in harmony with human laws that are in direct opposition to the law that God has given.—E. G. White Letter 187, 1903, p. 5.

Freedom Of Choice A God-Given Right

(See Daniel 3:29)

The king of Babylon endeavored to spread abroad before all the peoples of earth his conviction that the power and authority of the God of the Hebrews was worthy of supreme adoration. And God was pleased with the effort of the king to show Him reverence, and to make the royal confession of allegiance as widespread as was the Babylonian realm.

It was right for the king to make public confession, and to seek to exalt the God of heaven above all other gods; but in endeavoring to force his subjects to make a similar confession of faith and to show similar reverence, Nebuchadnezzar was exceeding his right as a temporal sovereign. He had no more right, either civil or moral, to threaten men with death for not worshiping God, than he had to make the decree consigning to the flames all who refused to worship the golden image. God never compels the obedience of man. He leaves all free to choose whom they will serve.—Prophets and Kings, pp. 510, 511.

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Christ’s Kingdom Not Established by Force of Arms But by Implanting A New Principle in The Heart

They [the Jews] expected the Messiah to prove His claims by mighty deeds of conquest, to establish His empire on the ruins of earthly kingdoms. This expectation Christ answered in the parable of the sower. Not by force of arms, not by violent interpositions, was the kingdom of God to prevail, but by the implanting of a new principle in the hearts of men.

“He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man.” Matt. 13:37. Christ had come, not as a king, but as a sower; not for the overthrow of kingdoms, but for the scattering of seed; not to point His followers to earthly triumphs and national greatness, but to a harvest to be gathered after patient toil aid through losses and disappointments.—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 35.

God’s Government In Contrast With Earthly Governments

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 of 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. The Holy Spirit represents worldly kingdoms under the symbol of fierce beasts of prey; but Christ is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. In His plan of government there is no employment of brute force to compel the conscience. The Jews looked for the kingdom of God to be established in the same way as the kingdoms of the world. To promote righteousness they resorted to external measures. They devised methods and plans. But Christ implants a principle. By implanting

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truth and righteousness, He countertworks error and sin.—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 77.

The Kingdom Of Christ Not An Earthly Dominion

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. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. 2:14.

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.” John 18:36. He would not accept the earthly throne.

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

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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.

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. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12, 13. 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 practicing of the word of God.—Desire of Ages, pp. 508-510.

Settling Temporal Affairs Not A Part Of Christ’s Work

“And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.”. . .

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?”

Jesus could have told this man just what was right. He knew the right in the case; but the brothers were in a quarrel because both were covetous. 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.

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In Christ’s treatment of this case is a lesson for all who minister in His name. When He sent forth the twelve, He said, “As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” 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.—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 253, 254.

Christ’s Kingdom A Spiritual Kingdom

Again and again Christ had been asked to decide legal and political questions. But He refused to interfere in temporal matters. He knew that in the political world there were iniquitous proceedings and great tyranny. But His only exposure of these was the proclamation of Bible truth. To the great multitudes that thronged His steps He presented the pure, holy principles of the law of God and spoke of the blessing found in obeying these principles. With authority from on high He enforced the importance of justice and mercy. But He refused to become entangled in personal disputes.

Christ stood in our world as the Head of the great spiritual kingdom that He came to our world to establish—the kingdom of righteousness. His teaching made plain the ennobling, sanctifying principles that govern this kingdom. He showed that justice and mercy and love are the controlling powers in Jehovah’s kingdom.—Testimony for the Church, Vol. 9, p.218.

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Subjects Of Christ’s Kingdom Not Recognized By Worldly Kingdoms

Contrary to worldly kingdoms, Christ does not find His subjects—He makes them. Those who stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel are the subjects of a kingdom not recognized by worldly kingdoms, whose subjects have wandered from their allegiance to God, from their obedience to the law of His kingdom. . . .

I am come, Christ said, to set up a new kingdom. Except a man be born of the Spirit, he cannot be enrolled as a subject of My kingdom. . . .

God’s commandment-keeping people stand under the broad shield of Omnipotence; the commandment-breakers under the ensign of the man of sin, who thought to change times and laws. But he could not do this; he only claimed to do it.—Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church, pp. 10, 11.

Christ Does Not Compel—He Desires Only Voluntary Service

It is no part of Christ’s mission to compel men to receive Him. It is Satan, and men actuated by his spirit, who seek to compel the conscience. Under a pretense of zeal for righteousness, men who are confederated with evil angels sometimes bring suffering upon their fellowmen in order to convert them to their ideas of religion; but Christ is ever showing mercy, ever seeking to win by the revealing of His love. He can admit no rival in the soul, nor accept of partial service; but He desires only voluntary service, the willing surrender of the heart under the constraint of love.—Acts of the Apostles, p. 541.

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Freedom Through A Knowledge Of Truth

“If ye continue in my words, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

These words offended the Pharisees. The nation’s long subjection to a foreign yoke, they disregarded, and angrily exclaimed, “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man; how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?” Jesus looked upon these men, the slaves of malice, whose thoughts were bent upon revenge, and sadly answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” They were in the worst kind of bondage,—ruled by the spirit of evil.

Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Christ came to break the shackles of sin—slavery from the soul. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” sets us “free from the law of sin and death.”

In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, a man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan’s control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.

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The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible, is that of becoming one with Christ. “The truth shall make you free;” and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one’s self,—to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is “the law of liberty.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 466.

True Object Of National Government

To Nebuchadnezzar the king the true object of national government was represented under the figure of a great tree, whose height “reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: the leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all;” under its shadow the beasts of the field dwelt, and among its branches the birds of the air had their habitation. Daniel 4:ll, 12. This representation shows the character of a government that fulfills God’s purpose—a government that protects and upbuilds the nation.—Education, p. 175.

A Government That Savors Not Of Oppression

In the dream of Nebuchadnezzar the true object of government is beautifully represented by the great tree “whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation.” Now if God had called a man, or any set of men at Battle Creek to rule in any sense, that representation of the tree shows the only kind of ruling acceptable to Him,—a government that protects, restores, relieves, but never savors of oppression. The poor especially are to be kindly

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treated. . . . Aid is to be given to the oppressed, and not one soul that bears the image of God is to be placed at the footstool of a human being. The greatest possible kindness and freedom are to be granted to the purchase of the blood of Christ.—MS 29, 1895.

Duty Of State To Protect Liberty Of Conscience

To protect liberty of conscience is the duty of the state, and this is the limit of its authority in matters of religion. Every secular government that attempts to regulate or enforce religious observances by civil authority, is sacrificing the very principle for which the evangelical Christians so nobly struggled.—Great Controversy, p. 201.

Rights Of All To Be Acknowledged

The Lord Jesus demands our acknowledgement of the rights of every man. Men’s social rights, and their rights as Christians, are to be taken into consideration. All are to be treated with refinement and delicacy, as the sons and daughters of God.—Gospel Workers, p. 123.

All Earthly Power Under God’s Control

All earthly powers are under the control of the Infinite one. To the mightiest ruler, to the most cruel oppressor, He says, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further.” God’s power is constantly exercised to counteract the agencies of evil: He is ever at work among men, not for their destruction, but for their correction and preservation.—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 694.

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All Rulers Are Under God’s Rule

Who, then, is to be regarded as the Ruler of the nations?—The Lord God Omnipotent. All kings, all rulers, all nations, are His, under His rule and government.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 505.

Kings And Nations Under God’s Rule

The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. All kings, all nations, are His, under His rule and government. His resources are infinite. The wise man declares, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”

Those upon whose actions hang the destinies of nations, are watched over with a vigilance that knows no relaxation by Him who “giveth salvation unto kings,” to whom belong “the shields of the earth.”—Review and Herald, March 28, 1907. Republished in Bible Commentary, Vol. 4 Supplement, p.1170.

God Over All

In the annals of human history, the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as if dependent on the will and prowess of man; the shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, above, behind, and through all the play and counterplay of human interest and power and passions, the agencies of the All-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will.—Prophets and Kings, pp. 499, 500.

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The Secret Of National And Individual Prosperity

In His law God has made known the principles that underlie all true prosperity, both of nations and of individuals. To the Israelites Moses declared of this law: “This is your wisdom and your understanding.” “It is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life.” Deut. 4:6; 32:47. The blessings thus assured to Israel are, on the same conditions and in the same degree, assured to every nation and to every individual under the broad heavens. . . .

In the history of nations the student of God’s word may behold the literal fulfillment of divine prophecy. Babylon, shattered and broken at last, passed away because in prosperity its rulers had regarded themselves as independent of God, and had ascribed the glory of their kingdom to human achievement. The Medo-Persian realm was visited by the wrath of Heaven because in it God’s law had been trampled underfoot. The fear of the Lord had found no place in the hearts of the vast majority of the people. Wickedness, blasphemy, and corruption prevailed. The kingdoms that followed were even more base and corrupt; and these sank lower and still lower in the scale of moral worth.

The power exercised by every ruler on the earth is Heaven imparted; and upon his use of the power thus bestowed, his success depends. To each the word of the divine Watcher is, “I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.” Isa. 45:5. And to each the words spoken to Nebuchadnezzar of old are the lesson of life: “Break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.” Dan. 4:29.

To understand these things,—to understand that “righteousness exalteth a nation;” that “the throne is established by righteousness,”

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and “upholden by mercy;” (Prov. 14:34; 16:12; 20:28) to recognize the outworking of these principles in the manifestation of His power who “removeth kings, and setteth up kings,” (Dan. 2:21)—this is to understand the philosophy of history.

In the word of God only is this clearly set forth. Here it is shown that the strength of nations, as of individuals, is not found in the opportunities or facilities that appear to make them invincible; it is not found in their boasted greatness. It is measured by the fidelity with which they fulfill God’s purpose.—Prophets and Kings, pp. 500-502.

Rulers Need To Realize Their Amenability To God’s Law

During the night season I was greatly perplexed. I wished to portray the responsibilities of the rulers of nations and of those who are united with them. The Lord instructed me plainly how to do this. These men are the very ones who need most fully to realize their amenability to God’s law, and to obey all His requirements.

I am instructed to point every one standing in a position of responsibility, to the divine law as the basis of all right conduct.—Letter 188, 1903, p. 3.

Rulers Of Nations Responsible To Be Representatives Of God

The record of the corruption in our cities cannot be traced by human pen. Political strife, bribery, fraud, are seen on every hand. Men seem determined to rule or ruin. They are ready to ill-treat and even to kill those who will not be ruled by them. Who can doubt but that the evils which existed before the flood exist today?. . .

O that those who are rulers of nations would realize the responsibility

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resting upon them to be representatives of God, to set a right example, to shun the use of intoxicating liquor, that they may never be found off their guard. Judges, lawyers, senators, should give evidence to those who look to them for guidance that they acknowledge themselves to be under the control of a supreme Ruler, even Christ. They are to heed the invitation, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls: for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” No man who ignores his obligations to God has succeeded, or can succeed.—Letter 246, 1903, p. 3.

Rulers Are God’s Servants

One of the most deplorable things upon the earth is the fact that there are passionate governors and unjust judges. They forget that they are under the authority of the great Governor, the all-wise God, and that He is above every ruler, prince, governor, or king. Rulers are God’s servants, and they are to serve their time as His apprentices. It is for their good that they faithfully follow the plain “thus saith the Lord,” keeping the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment. They are to exercise their powers without partiality and without hypocrisy, refusing to be bought or sold, scorning all bribes, and standing in moral independence and dignity before God. They are not to connive at one act of dishonesty or injustice. They are not to do a base, unjust action themselves, nor to sustain others in acts of oppression. Wise rulers will not permit the people to be oppressed because of the envy and jealousy of those who disregard the law of God.—Review and Herald, Oct.. 1, 1895. Republished in Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, p. 1081.

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No Place For Man’s Theories

In the commission to His disciples, Christ not only outlined their work, but gave them their message. Teach the people, He said, “to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” The disciples were to teach what Christ had taught. That which He had spoken, not only in person, but through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament, is here included. Human teaching is shut out. There is no place for tradition, for man’s theories and conclusions, or for church legislation. No laws ordained by ecclesiastical authority are included in the commission. None of these are Christ’s servants to teach. “The law and the prophets,” with the record of His own words and deeds, are the treasure committed to the disciples to be given to the world. Christ’s name is their watchword, their badge of distinction, their bond of union, the authority for their course of action, and the source of their success. Nothing that does not bear His superscription is to be recognized in His kingdom.—The Desire of Ages, p. 826.

Correcting “Heretics” Through Civil Power Is Satan’s Method

The spirit that instigates accusation and condemnation in the church which results in uprooting those that are looked upon as evil-doers, has manifested itself in seeking to correct wrongs through the civil power. This is Satan’s own method for bringing the world under his dominion; but the Lord Jesus Christ has given us no such example for thus dealing with the erring. God has been misrepresented through the church by this very way of dealing with heretics; He has been represented as the one who empowered the church to do these wicked things.

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Those who have differed from the established doctrines have been imprisoned, put to torture and to death, because the dignitaries of the church could not endure those who dissented from ideas which these leaders deemed to be true. . . .

All persecution, all force employed to compel conscience, is after Satan’s own order; and those who carry out these designs are his agents to execute his hellish purpose. In following Satan’s cruel proposals, in becoming his agents, men become the enemies of God and His church, and will be judged in that great day by that man whom God hath ordained; for He hath committed all judgment into the hands of His Son.—Review and Herald, January 10, 1893.

“God Was Preparing The Hearts Of Kings"

(Comment on Dan. 9:2)

While those who had remained loyal to God in the midst of Babylon were seeking the Lord and studying the prophecies foretelling their deliverance, God was preparing the hearts of kings to show favor to His repentant people.—Review and Herald, March 21, 1907. Republished in Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p. 1172.

Angels, Good And Bad, Influence Rulers

[Dan. 10:12, 13 quoted]. By this we see that heavenly agencies have to contend with hindrances before the purpose of God is fulfilled in its time. The king of Persia was controlled by the highest of all evil angels. He refused, as did Pharaoh, to obey the word of the Lord. Gabriel declared, He withstood me twenty-one days by his representations against the Jews. But Michael came to his help, and then he remained with

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the kings of Persia, holding the powers in check, giving right counsel against evil counsel. Good and evil angels are taking a part in the planning of God in His earthly kingdom. It is God’s purpose to carry forward His work in correct lines, in ways that will advance His glory. But Satan is ever trying to counterwork God’s purpose. Only by humbling themselves before God can God’s servants advance His work. Never are they to depend on their own efforts or on outward display for success.

An Invisible Struggle.—We have before us in the Word of God instances of heavenly agencies working on the minds of kings and rulers, while at the same time satanic agencies were also at work on their minds. No human eloquence, in strongly set forth human opinions, can change the working of satanic agencies. Satan seeks continually to block the way, so that the truth shall be bound about by human devising; and those who have light and knowledge are in the greatest danger unless they constantly consecrate themselves to God, humiliating self, and realizing the peril of the times.

Heavenly beings are appointed to answer the prayers of those who are working unselfishly for the interests of the cause of God. The very highest angels in the heavenly courts are appointed to work out the prayers which ascend to God for the advancement of the cause of God. Each angel has his particular post of duty, which he is not permitted to leave for any other place. If he should leave, the powers of darkness would gain advantage. . . .

Day by day the conflict between good and evil is going on. Why is it that those who have had many opportunities and advantages do not realize the intensity of this work? They should be intelligent in regard to this. God is the Ruler. By His supreme power He holds in check and

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controls earthly potentates. Through His agencies He does the work which was ordained before the foundation of the world.

As a people we do not understand as we should the great conflict going on between invisible agencies, the controversy between loyal and disloyal angels. Evil angels are constantly at work, planning their line of attack, controlling as commanders, kings, and rulers, the disloyal human forces. . . . call upon the ministers of Christ to press home upon the understanding of all who come within the reach of their voice, the truth of the ministration of angels. Do not indulge in fanciful speculations. The written Word is our only safety. We must pray as did Daniel, that we may be guarded by heavenly intelligences. As ministering spirits angels are sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. Pray, my brethren, pray as you have never prayed before. We are not prepared for the Lord’s coming. We need to make thorough work for eternity.—Letter 201, 1899. Published in Bible Commentary, Vol. l , p. 1173.

Angels Speak In Councils

Though the rulers of this world know it not, yet often in their councils angels have been spokesmen. Human eyes have looked upon them; human ears have listened to their appeals; human lips have opposed their suggestions and ridiculed their counsels; human hands have met them with insult and abuse. In the council hall and the court of justice, these heavenly messengers have shown an intimate acquaintance with human history; they have proved themselves better able to plead the cause of the oppressed than were their ablest and most eloquent defenders. They have defeated purposes and arrested evils that would have greatly retarded the work of God, and would have caused great suffering to His people. In the hour of peril and distress, “the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”—Great Controversy, p. 632.