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From Heaven With Love

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    Chapter 33—How Jesus Related to Family Problems

    This chapter is based on Matthew 12:22-50; Mark 3:20-35.

    The sons of Joseph were far from being in sympathy with Jesus in His work. The reports in regard to His life and labors filled them with dismay. They heard that He devoted entire nights to prayer, that through the day He was thronged by people, and did not even take time to eat. His friends felt He was wearing Himself out; they were unable to account for His attitude toward the Pharisees; and some feared that His reason was becoming unsettled.HLv 213.1

    His brothers felt keenly the reproach that came upon them through their relation to Jesus. They were indignant at His denunciation of the Pharisees. He must be persuaded to cease this manner of labor, and they induced Mary to unite with them, thinking that through His love for her they might prevail on Him to be more prudent.HLv 213.2

    The Pharisees had reiterated the charge, “He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.” Matthew 9:34. Christ told them that those who spoke against Himself, not discerning His divine character, might receive forgiveness; through the Holy Spirit they might see their error and repent. But he who rejects the work of the Holy Spirit is placing himself where repentance cannot come to him. When men willfully reject the Spirit, and declare it to be from Satan, they cut off the channel by which God can communicate with them.HLv 213.3

    The Pharisees did not themselves believe the charge they brought against Jesus. Those dignitaries had heard the Spirit's voice in their own hearts declaring Him to be the Anointed of Israel. In His presence they had realized their unholiness and longed for righteousness. But after rejecting Him, it would be too humiliating to receive Him as the Messiah. To avoid acknowledging truth, they tried to dispute the Saviour's teaching. They could not prevent Him from working miracles, but they did everything in their power to misrepresent Him. Still the convicting Spirit of God followed them, and they had to build up barriers to withstand the mightiest agency that can be brought to bear upon the human heart.HLv 213.4

    God does not blind the eyes of men or harden their hearts. He sends them light to correct their errors; by rejection of this light the eyes are blinded and the heart hardened. Often the process is almost imperceptible. But when one ray of light is disregarded, there is a partial benumbing of spiritual perceptions, and the second revealing of light is less clearly discerned. So the darkness increases, until it is night in the soul. Thus it had been with these Jewish leaders. They attributed the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan. In doing this they deliberately chose deception, and henceforth were controlled by Satan's power.HLv 214.1

    Closely connected with Christ's warning in regard to the sin against the Holy Spirit is a warning against idle and evil words. Words are an indication of character. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Words also have power to react on the character. Men are influenced by their own words. Often under a momentary prompting by Satan, they give utterance to that which they do not really believe; but the expression reacts on the thoughts, and they come to believe what was spoken at Satan's instigation. Having once expressed an opinion or decision, often they are too proud to retract it. They try to prove themselves right, until they believe they are.HLv 214.2

    It is dangerous to utter a word of doubt, dangerous to question and criticize light. Careless and irreverent criticism reacts upon the character, fostering irreverence and unbelief. Many a man has gone on until he was ready to criticize and reject the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”HLv 214.3

    Then Jesus added a warning to those who had been impressed by His words, but had not surrendered themselves for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return unto my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there.”HLv 215.1

    Many in Christ's day, as today, through the grace of God were set free from evil spirits that held dominion over the soul. They rejoiced in the love of God but did not surrender themselves to God daily, that Christ might dwell in the heart; and when the evil spirit returned, with “seven other spirits more wicked than himself,” they were wholly dominated by the power of evil.HLv 215.2

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