Inspiration – Heaven’s Part in Life’s Conflict

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10–17.

“Now do we do it?…Do we take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God?

“I wish to call your attention…to the importance of everyone understanding that we cannot keep ourselves, that God has angels. These angels from heaven communicate with the children of men, and not one of us, by anything we may do, can uphold or keep ourselves. We are where we are, kept every moment by the power of God. I have thought that we do not make the ministration of heavenly angels as important as we should.

“We do not…keep in remembrance that every soul with whom we are connected has the guardianship of heavenly angels, sent forth to minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation.

“I want you to consider this point, What should we do without them? I want you to consider what kind of position we should be left in if we had not the ministry of holy angels.

“From my text we see that ‘we wrestle not against flesh and blood.’ We meet the opposition of men, but there is someone behind that opposition. It is the prince of the powers of darkness, with his evil angels, who is constantly at work. We want to consider, all of us, that our warfare is against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.

“Who is it that is ruling the world today? And who is it that has chosen to stand under the banner of the prince of darkness? Why, it is nearly the whole world at large. All the world that has not accepted Jesus Christ has chosen for their leader the prince of darkness, and just as soon as they stand under his banner, they have connection with evil angels.

“Either the evil angels or the angels of God are controlling the minds of men. Our minds are given to the control of God or to the control of the powers of darkness, and it will be well for us to inquire where we are standing today—whether under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel or under the black banner of the powers of darkness. We must make every preparation in our power in order to resist the enemy of souls. Every provision has been made; everything in God’s plan has been arranged so that man should not be left to his own impulses, to his own finite powers, to carry on the warfare against the powers of darkness in his own finite strength, because he would certainly fail if he were thus left to himself. I thank the Lord that we have a power provided for us.

“When Christ bowed on Jordan’s banks He encircled the race with His own human arm, while with His divine arm He grasped the throne of the Infinite. And what does that mean? It means that finite man, who is connected with the earth, is again united with God through the merits of Christ, and earth is again united with heaven.…

“In the Psalms David speaks of God’s being a refuge and a strong tower, a refuge and a fortress; unto Him we can run and we can be saved. How precious is the thought that God is our refuge and that He will be our helper in all times and in all places, and that in every emergency we have God with us. He says that He will give His angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways.

“But why can we not take this matter in? As we walk the streets, or wherever we are, Satan is on our track. When Christ engaged to fight the battles for man on this little speck of a world, He engaged to stand as our substitute and surety, and God put all heaven into His hands, with all the facilities and all the powers that heaven could afford. Now heaven is open to man, and the light and the glory of heaven is imparted to him through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord.

“Then in our God we have a helper, and we will trust in Him. We must constantly look in that direction, believing that the angels of God are round about us, and that heaven is in communication with us, because these heavenly messengers are…watching and guarding the children of men. They keep us from the influence of sin and sinning, and when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord lifts up for us a standard against the enemy.…

“There will be constant temptations that will come to a church, large or small, no matter where it is, and the temptations will come just according to the circumstances. How is it with us? Are we standing with the whole armor on, so that we can work in harmony with the angels of God who are working for us? If we separate ourselves from these angels by taking our own course of action, then we place ourselves where the wicked one can tempt us.…

“Curiosity is something bewitching, as says the apostle: ‘Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?’ [Galatians 3:3]. Do you think the devil is asleep? He is not asleep, he is wide-awake, and he is on the track of every one of us. We are right upon the very borders of the eternal world. While some are at strife on little points of doctrine—oh my soul!—they had better be fasting and praying and seeking God with all their hearts that they may find Him.…

“We are nearing the end; we are nearing the judgment; and every power that can break up our unity, our harmony, our pressing together, is at work to hinder our sustaining…[what] God has established. Every influence that can be brought to bear to bring us in connection with tendencies that are evil will arise, and Satan will use his power to confuse the minds. We want to stand as men and women of God.…

“Brethren and sisters, we need a great deal more of God. The angels of God are in our midst, and we want to put ourselves under their guardianship. We must be pressing together, and sustaining one another. In the place of drawing one another down, in the place of beating on the wrong track, we want to work where God works; we want to exert a telling influence in behalf of God’s people, and we want to listen for the voice of God. We want to hear what it saith.

“We are now coming down to the last days, and the devil wants to shake and confuse the confidence of His people.…He wants to bring persons where they will have a bad influence, where they have no love for the truth and things which we believe to be of God.

“Those who are doing…missionary work had better find out from whom they get their orders; they had better find out who has commissioned them to do this wonderful missionary work. We want to see that they are sailing under the proper colors. We want to see that they are laboring in harmony with the influence of the Spirit of God.…

“We want to stand as a unit, and those who stand ready to quibble over little points of doctrine to maintain their ideas are not really converted. Just as soon as you are truly converted, this quibbling will cease. You need to go to God with your Bible, with fasting and prayer. God wants us to be united in bringing this people up to a right standard,…for Satan is playing a deep game for their souls and many will be ensnared.

“Angels of God are all around us. You do not discern them with your human vision. Satan and his angels are here…today. Oh, we want to know these things, and fear and tremble, and to think much more of the power of the angels of God that are watching over and guarding us than we have done hitherto.

“We want to place ourselves under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. We do not want to be serving Baal. We do not want to be giving ourselves up to the powers of darkness. Angels of God are commissioned from heaven to guard the children of men, and yet they draw away from their restraining influences and go where they can have communication with the evil angels. And then the evil angels fasten impressions in their minds that they will never get rid of so long as they live, just as going to the theater, billiard hall, and all such places lead them from the path of God to stand under the black banner of the prince of darkness. Oh, that we might all obey the injunction of the apostle (read 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18).…

“The vials of God’s wrath and the sprinkling of them, are already coming. What is the matter that we do not discern it? It is because the light of truth does not affect the heart. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the world.

“You hear of calamities by land and by sea, and they are constantly increasing. What is the matter? The Spirit of God is taken away from those who have the lives of men in their hands, and Satan is coming in to control them, because they give themselves to his control. Those who profess to be the children of God do not place themselves under the guardianship of the heavenly angels, and as Satan is a destroyer, he works through those men and they make mistakes.…

“And see the storms and tempests! Satan is working in the atmosphere; he is poisoning the atmosphere, and here we are dependent upon God for our lives—our present and eternal life. And being in the position that we are, we need to be wide-awake, wholly devoted, wholly converted, wholly consecrated to God. But we seem to sit as though we were paralyzed. God of heaven, wake us up!

“Don’t you read the newspapers and see the casualties? And don’t you feel afraid to place yourself out of the guardianship of the holy angels, under the control of the evil angels by going right where they are? Will you invite them to connect with you? Can we afford it? Why, you insult the living God if you do; and you are not converted, whoever you may be, rich or poor, high or low, in office or out of office; it is an abomination in the sight of God. And not only is it an abomination in the sight of God, but it is an abomination in our land. Let us stand clear from all these things, that the converting power of God may come into our midst.

“May God help us, brethren and sisters, to realize that this is missionary soil. We claim to be missionaries and workers for Christ, but while you are laboring, be sure that you are seeking to build up what God is building up. Be sure that you are working with all the powers of your being to build up the church, to establish it, and to bring all the piety and all the devotion that the Spirit of God will impart to you, into the church that it may be a living church, and that you may be light bearers to the world.…

“Shall we take hold of this work? Shall we take hold of it right? God help us to work where the angels work; God help us to work where Christ works; God help us to work where God works, that we may see the salvation of God.—Manuscript 1, 1890.” [Sermon at Battle Creek, Michigan, February 1, 1890.]

Sermons and Talks, vol. 2. 57–70.