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From Heaven With Love

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    The Multitudes Were Amazed

    The people had come to think that happiness consisted in the possession of the things of this world, and that fame and honor were to be coveted. It was very pleasing to be called “Rabbi” and to be extolled as wise and religious. But Jesus declared that earthly honor was all such persons would ever receive. A convincing power attended His words. Many were convinced that this remarkable Teacher was actuated by the Spirit of God.HLv 201.4

    After explaining how true happiness may be obtained, Jesus pointed out the duty of His disciples. He knew that they would often be insulted, and their testimony rejected. The humble men who listened to His words were to bear calumny, torture, imprisonment, and death, and He continued:HLv 201.5

    “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”HLv 202.1

    The world loves sin and hates righteousness, and this was the cause of its hostility to Jesus. The light of Christ sweeps away the darkness that covers their sins, and the need of reform is made manifest. Those who yield to the Holy Spirit begin war with themselves; those who cling to sin war against the truth and its representatives.HLv 202.2

    Thus Christ's followers are accused as troublers of the people. But it is fellowship with God that brings them the world's enmity. They are treading the path trodden by the noblest of earth. Each fiery trial is God's agent for their refining. Each conflict will add to the joy of their final triumph. Having this in view, the test of their faith will be cheerfully accepted rather than dreaded.HLv 202.3

    “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Do not withdraw yourselves from the world in order to escape persecution. You are to abide among men, that the savor of divine love may be as salt to preserve the world from corruption. If those who serve God were removed from the earth, this world would be left to destruction. The wicked owe even the blessings of this life to the presence in the world of God's people whom they despise and oppress. But if Christians are such in name only, they are like salt that has lost its savor. Through misrepresentation of God they are worse than unbelievers.HLv 202.4

    “Ye are the light of the world.” Salvation is like sunshine; it belongs to the whole world. The religion of the Bible is not to be confined between the covers of a book, nor within the walls of a church. It is to sanctify the daily life and manifest itself in all our social relations. The principles of righteousness must be enshrined in our hearts. The consistent life, the unswerving integrity, the benevolent spirit, the godly example—these are the mediums through which light is conveyed to the world.HLv 202.5

    Jesus knew that spies stood ready to seize every word that might be wrested to serve their purpose. He said nothing to unsettle faith in the institutions committed through Moses. Christ Himself had given both the moral and the ceremonial law. He did not come to destroy confidence in His own instruction. While He set aside false interpretations of the law, He carefully guarded against yielding up the vital truths committed to the Hebrews.HLv 203.1

    To the Pharisees the Saviour's words sounded like heresy. As He swept away the rubbish under which truth had been buried, they thought He was sweeping away the truth itself. He read their thoughts, and answered them, saying, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” His mission was to vindicate the sacred claims of that law which they charged Him with breaking. If the law of God could have been changed or abrogated, then Christ need not have suffered the consequences of our transgression. He came to explain the relation of the law to man, and to illustrate its precepts by His life of obedience.HLv 203.2

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