Lesson 12 September 9 - 15

Errors and Setbacks in Witnessing

Memory Text: (Acts 14:21-22 NKJV) And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, {22} strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."

"Scripture from the NEW KINGS JAMES VERSION" Copyright © 1982: Used by permission


Sabbath Afternoon

Read Acts chapter 17

(2 Cor 2:2 NKJV) For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?

The Acts of the Apostles, p. 252

Paul's efforts in Corinth were not without fruit. Many turned from the worship of idols to serve the living God, and a large church was enrolled under the banner of Christ. Some were rescued from among the most dissipated of the Gentiles and became monuments of the mercy of God and the efficacy of the blood of Christ to cleanse from sin. {AA 252.1}

The increased success that Paul had in presenting Christ, roused the unbelieving Jews to more determined opposition. They rose in a body and "made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat" of Gallio, who was then proconsul of Achaia. They expected that the authorities, as on former occasions, would side with them; and with loud, angry voices they uttered their complaints against the apostle, saying, "This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law." (p. 253) {AA 252.2}

(Acts 5:28 NKJV) saying, "Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!"

(Acts 14:4 NKJV) But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles.

(Acts 16:20-21 NKJV) And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, "These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; {21} "and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe."

(Acts 17:6 NKJV) But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.

(Acts 17:18 NKJV) Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.

(Acts 18:13 NKJV) saying, "This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law."

(Acts 19:26-27 NKJV) "Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. {27} "So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship."


Ethnic Divisions

(Acts 6:1-7 NKJV) Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. {2} Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. {3} "Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; {4} "but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word." {5} And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, {6} whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. {7} Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

(Num 11:10-16 NKJV) Then Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent; and the anger of the LORD was greatly aroused; Moses also was displeased. {11} So Moses said to the LORD, "Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me? {12} "Did I conceive all these people? Did I beget them, that You should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carries a nursing child,' to the land which You swore to their fathers? {13} "Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep all over me, saying, 'Give us meat, that we may eat.' {14} "I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. {15} "If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now; if I have found favor in Your sight; and do not let me see my wretchedness!" {16} So the LORD said to Moses: "Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 3, 1885, p. 559

November 3, 1885 The Swiss Conference and the European Council, By Mrs. E. G. White. The Swiss Conference was held at this place Sept. 10-14, and was followed by the European Council, which continued until the 28th. The Conference was quite generally attended by our Swiss brethren, and by representatives from Germany, France, Italy, and Roumania. There were nearly two hundred brethren and sisters assembled ; and a more intelligent, noble-looking company is seldom seen. Although gathered from different nations, we were brought near to God and to one another by our eyes being fixed upon the one object, Jesus Christ. We were one in faith, and one in our efforts to do the will of God. The influence of the gospel is to unite God's people in one great brotherhood. We have only one model to follow, and that is Christ. Worldly maxims and differences of nationalities are lost sight of in him. The love of God, sanctifying the soul, breaks down the wall of partition between the customs and practices of different individuals and nations. The great principles of Bible truth bring all into perfect harmony. The ten commandments, accepted as the one rule, the one measurement of character, unite all in the precious bonds of Christian fellowship.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 3, 1885, p. 559 (continued)

This was the work of the Holy Ghost when it descended upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost. {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 1}

As I looked over the congregation of dear friends, so ardent and cheerful in the truth, and so anxious to catch every ray of additional light, my reflections were indeed solemn. I thought, These are members of Christ's body, and we are members one of another. The Morning-star has arisen in their hearts; the rays of the Sun of Righteousness have shone upon their minds. Happy people indeed who are thus highly favored. Truly, "it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." To me this was a precious place, a precious assembly. In answer to earnest prayer, the Lord gave freedom to his servants in speaking words which were meat in due season to his waiting people. {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 2}

The meetings increased in interest from the first. The congregations was divided into three parts, those speaking German, French, and English, each company occupying a different part of the hall. Two interpreters followed the speaker. If the sermon or testimony was given in English, it was translated into French and German. If given in French, it was translated into German and English, and into French and English if given in German. This way of speaking was rather embarrassing at first; but this soon wore away, and it has been far less taxing to me than my usual manner of continuous speaking, and has given more time for meditation on what has been said. {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 3}

Sabbath and Sunday were precious seasons for those assembled. The Lord especially blessed in speaking Sunday afternoon. All listened with the deepest interest, and at the close of the discourse an invitation was given for all who desired to be Christians, and all who felt that they had not a living connection with God, to come forward, and we would unite our prayers with theirs for the pardon of sin, and for grace to resist temptation. This was a new experience for many of our brethren in Europe, but they did not hesitate. It seemed that the entire congregation were on their feet, and the best they could do was to be seated, and all seek the Lord together. Here was an entire congregation manifesting their determination to put sin away, and to engage most earnestly in the work of seeking God. In every company there are always two classes, the self-complacent and the self-abhorring. To the first class the gospel has no charms except as they can construe detached portions to flatter their vanity. They love those peculiar features of lofty morality which they think they possess. But many of those who view Jesus in the perfection of his character see their own imperfections in such a light that they are almost in despair. Such was the case here; but the Lord was present to instruct and reprove, to comfort and bless as the several cases required. Earnest prayer was then offered, not for a happy flight of feeling, but for a true sense of our sinfulness, and of our hopelessness without the atoning sacrifice. Never did Jesus seem dearer than on this occasion. There was weeping throughout the congregation. The promise was grasped, "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." If the vail could have been withdrawn, we should have seen angels of God standing ready to minister to the humble, penitent ones. After prayer, one hundred and fifteen testimonies were borne. Many of these showed a real, genuine experience in the things of God. {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 4}

The Holy Spirit operates the same the world over. When it is received into the heart, the whole character is changed. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Old habits and customs and national pride and prejudice are broken down. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." When these are abiding in the soul, there will be unity of thought and action. {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 5}

I felt grateful for the privilege of speaking to a people who seemed to appreciate all that was said. It was not to them as idle tales. {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 6}

Monday afternoon I spoke upon the necessity of laboring for unity and cultivating Christian courtesy, "endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." The effect of truth upon the heart is to cleanse it from every defilement. It will not increase self love, but will lead the receiver to humble his heart, and to ascribe nothing to self, but all to God. He ceases to esteem himself more highly than his brethren.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 3, 1885, p. 559 (continued)

His former sensitiveness to reproach, neglect, or contempt disappears, and he is not so easily irritated; he becomes gentle and condescending, and exemplifies the simplicity of Christ who was meek and lowly of heart. His own nation and personal friends are no longer the boundary lines of his love. He loves Jesus with all his heart, and all who are trying to be the children of God he loves as himself. There is an entire change in his life. Whereas he once lived for himself, he now lives for God's glory, and holds up the cross of Christ as his banner, to be adored by all. {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 7}

A baptism followed the discourse. Fourteen went forward in the ordinance. This was the first time the baptistery connected with the new meeting hall had been used, and it is to be hoped that many others may follow these dear souls. God grant that none of these may ever forget their baptismal vows; but they may take heed to the words of the apostle: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Will those who have recently taken the cross of Christ, both here and in America, continue to climb the ladder of progress? Will they grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth? Will they live upon the plan of addition, so that God can work for them upon the plan of multiplication in bestowing his grace and salvation? It remains for each to answer these questions for himself. {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 8}

At the close of the Conference many of our Swiss brethren were obliged to return to their homes, but some remained to the close of the Council, although it was continued one week longer than was expected. The Council was attended by laborers from England, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, and Roumania. Besides the regular business meetings each day, there were held two Bible readings, a class for the benefit of canvassers and colporteurs, and one for those who wished to learn English. There were also several ministers' meetings, besides the sermons and regular morning meetings for social worship. These meetings were interesting, and according to the universal testimony, very profitable. The testimonies of the brethren were good, and the hearts of all seemed tender and humble. I felt urged by the Spirit of God throughout the meetings to impress upon all the importance of cultivating love and unity. I tried to present the danger of building up separate interests between nationalities. We are all bound together in the great web of humanity, and all that we do has a relation to others. There is a great work before us, and our hearts must be open to receive of God's light and love, that we may reflect it to others. There is a light in truth and a power in example, which will reach the indifferent and the unconverted. In the days of the apostles the Holy Spirit was the efficient agent in reaching hearts, and it would be now if there was that exercise of living faith now that there was then. True piety and earnest zeal are greatly lacking. There is too much half-hearted religion. Many are superficial. They confess their sins without realizing the hatefulness of sin in God's sight, and without repenting with brokenness of heart. This is renouncing the world, but not forsaking it. The truth, the sacred, sanctifying truth, does not abide in the heart. {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 9}

The end of all things is at hand. Our time to work is short, and there is a world to be warned. We feel the need of having more thorough missionary work done. The calls are urgent for more laborers, but where are the light-bearers to the world? God has sent the truth to our doors, but are we doing all in our power to send it to the dark corners of the world? How can you who believe the truth, and who repeat the Lord's prayer, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," sit at ease in your homes without helping to carry the torch of truth to others? How can you lift up your hands before God and ask his blessing upon yourselves and your families when you are doing so little to bless others? The living and the dead are to be judged according to the deeds done in the body. What are you doing to show that you are the light of the world? {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 10}

The work of God must go forward. The world must be warned; but where are the men and the means to carry it forward? One brother in Italy, who is doing what he can to spread the light of truth, said, "I fear I will have to give up my work. I have a wife and five children to support, and I see there are no means in the treasury. We live on the simplest fare, but we must live." The question was asked how much he would have to receive to support himself and family. He said he thought that one hundred dollars a year would supply his wants.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 3, 1885, p. 559 (continued)

He stated that his mouth had often watered at the smell of a dish cooking upon the fire. And what was this delicious dish? Chopped hay and coarse corn meal. Few know how the poor live in these countries, and yet there are no complaints. They are willing to do all they can. Now I wish you, my American brother, to compare figures with this earnest worker, and then begin to retrench. Cut down your expenses. Exercise economy in building and furnishing your houses, and in eating and dressing. Souls are to be saved. "Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not." {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 11}

We have tried to set before the workers here the necessity of strict economy. We are sorry that all our missionary workers at home and abroad do not realize the value of money. When the lesson of frugality is not learned early in life, it is difficult to weave into one's experience the self-denying, self-sacrificing part of religion. What is needed now is not preachers merely, but laborers, those who will give themselves heartily to the work of the Master; those who will visit from the house to house, and bring the truth home to the hearts of the people. Here is a vast field which our sisters can enter. If devoted to God, women can do fully as much good by opening the Scriptures in families as the ministers can. {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 12}

If we have the truth, the work must enlarge in these countries. New fields will be continually opening, and the church must extend her efforts by entering these fields. The message must go, notwithstanding the hard times. We must make special efforts in this direction now, while the angels are holding the four winds. Soon the time to labor will be past. Who does not want to have a part in this closing work? All can do something. Those who cannot give themselves can give of their means, and all can pray that the Lord will not only raise up laborers, but that the treasury, now empty, may be supplied with the necessary funds to extend the work. Pray, brethren, pray earnestly, that the hearts of some who are doing very little, and of others who have as yet done nothing, may be opened, and that the means that God has intrusted to them may be used to his glory. The truth must go to all nations, tongues, and people, and that speedily. Bale, Suisse. {RH, November 3, 1885 par. 13}


Dissension Among Witness

(Acts 13:13 NKJV) Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem.

(Acts 15:37-40 NKJV) Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. {38} But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. {39} Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; {40} but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God.

The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 169 - 170

Elymas was not a man of education, yet he was peculiarly fitted to do the work of Satan. Those who preach the truth of God will meet the wily foe in many different forms. Sometimes it will be in the person of learned, but more often of ignorant, men, whom Satan has trained to be successful instruments to deceive souls. It is the duty of the minister of Christ to stand faithful at his post, in the fear of God and in the power of His might. Thus he may put to confusion the hosts of Satan and may triumph in the name of the Lord. {AA 169.1}

Paul and his company continued their journey, going to Perga, in Pamphylia. Their way was toilsome; they encountered hardships and privations, and were beset with dangers on every side. In the towns and cities through which they passed, and along the lonely highways, they were surrounded by dangers seen and unseen. But Paul and Barnabas had learned to trust God's power to deliver. Their hearts were filled with fervent love for perishing souls. As faithful shepherds in search of the lost sheep, they gave no thought to their own ease and convenience. Forgetful of self, they faltered not when weary, hungry, and cold. They had in view but one object--the salvation of those who had wandered far from the fold. {AA 169.2}

It was here that Mark, overwhelmed with fear and discouragement, wavered for a time in his purpose to give himself wholeheartedly to the Lord's work. Unused to hardships, he was disheartened by the perils and privations of the way. He had labored with success under favorable


circumstances; but now, amidst the opposition and perils that so often beset the pioneer worker, he failed to endure hardness as a good soldier of the cross. He had yet to learn to face danger and persecution and adversity with a brave heart. As the apostles advanced, and still greater difficulties were apprehended, Mark was intimidated and, losing all courage, refused to go farther and returned to Jerusalem. {AA 169.3}

This desertion caused Paul to judge Mark unfavorably, and even severely, for a time. Barnabas, on the other hand, was inclined to excuse him because of his inexperience. He felt anxious that Mark should not abandon the ministry, for he saw in him qualifications that would fit him to be a useful worker for Christ. In after years his solicitude in Mark's behalf was richly rewarded, for the young man gave himself unreservedly to the Lord and to the work of proclaiming the gospel message in difficult fields. Under the blessing of God, and the wise training of Barnabas, he developed into a valuable worker. {AA 170.1}

Paul was afterward reconciled to Mark and received him as a fellow laborer. He also recommended him to the Colossians as one who was a fellow worker "unto the kingdom of God," and "a comfort unto me." Colossians 4:11. Again, not long before his own death, he spoke of Mark as "profitable" to him "for the ministry." 2 Timothy 4:11. {AA 170.2}

After the departure of Mark, Paul and Barnabas visited Antioch in Pisidia and on the Sabbath day went into the Jewish synagogue and sat down. "After the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto (p. 171) them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on." Being thus invited to speak, "Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience." Then followed a wonderful discourse. He proceeded to give a history of the manner in which the Lord had dealt with the Jews from the time of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage, and how a Saviour had been promised, of the seed of David, and he boldly declared that "of this man's seed hath God according to His promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: when John had first preached before His coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not He. But, behold, there cometh One after me, whose shoes of His feet I am not worthy to loose." Thus with power he preached Jesus as the Saviour of men, the Messiah of prophecy. {AA 170.3}

(Acts 15:40-41 NKJV) but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. {41} And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

(Phil 2:1-2 NKJV) Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, {2} fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

(Phil 4:2 NKJV) I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.


Lack Of Contextualization

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, June 13, 1912, p. 255

Overcoming Prejudice, Mrs. E. G. White Those who labor in word and doctrine have an important work before them in removing from the minds of those for whom they labor fatal and lifelong deceptions, and impressing upon them the importance of aiming to reach God's great standard of righteousness. These workers should pray earnestly for divine enlightenment, and for wisdom to present the truth as it is in Jesus. Sympathy, tenderness, and love, woven into their discourses and manifested in their lives, will disarm opposition, weaken prejudice, and open the way to many hearts. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 1}

Christ came to break the yoke from the necks of the oppressed, to strengthen the weak, to comfort the mourning, to set at liberty those who are bound, and to bind up the broken-hearted. His servants are to take up the work where he left it, and carry it forward in his name. But it is Satan's constant aim so to shape circumstances that the workers will become disconnected from God and labor in their own strength. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 2}

Our workers need more of the wisdom that Paul had. When he went to labor for the Jews, he did not first make prominent the birth, betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ, notwithstanding these were the special truths for that time. He first brought them down step by step over the promises of a coming Saviour, that had been given, and over the prophecies that pointed him out. After dwelling upon these until the specifications were distinct in the minds of all, he then declared that this Saviour had already come, and had fulfilled every specification of prophecy. This was the "guile" with which Paul caught souls. He presented the truth in such a manner that their former prejudices did not arise to blind their eyes and pervert their judgment. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 3}

Brethren, as you go forth to labor for those who are bound in chains of prejudice and ignorance, you will need to exercise the same divine wisdom that Paul manifested. When, as you labor in a place, you see that the scales are beginning to fall from men's eyes, that they see people as trees walking, be very careful not to present the truth in such a way as to arouse prejudice and close the door of the heart to further light. Agree with the people on every point where you can consistently do so. Let them see that you love their souls, and want to be in harmony with them as far as possible. If the love of Christ is revealed in all your efforts, you will be able to sow the seeds of truth in some hearts. God will water the seed sown, and the truth will spring up and bear fruit to his glory. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 4}

O that I could impress upon all the necessity of laboring in the spirit of Jesus! for I have been shown that souls have been turned away from the truth because of a lack of tact and skill in presenting it. In kindness and love seek to instruct those who oppose you. Preach the truth with the meekness of simplicity, remembering that it is not your words, but the Word of God that is to cut its way to the heart. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 5}

It should ever be manifest that we are reformers, but not bigots. When our laborers enter a new field, they should seek to become acquainted with the pastors of the several churches in the place. Much has been lost by neglecting to do this. If our ministers show themselves friendly and sociable, and do not act as if they were ashamed of the message they bear, it will have an excellent effect, and may give these pastors and their congregations favorable impressions of the truth. At any rate, it is right to give them a chance to be kind and favorable if they will. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 6}

Our laborers should be very careful not to give the impression that they are wolves stealing in to get the sheep, but should let the ministers understand their position and the object of their mission,--to call the attention of the people to the truths of God's Word. There are many of these which are dear to all Christians. Here is common ground, upon which we can meet people of other denominations; and in becoming acquainted with them, we should dwell mostly upon topics in which all feel an interest, and which will not lead directly and pointedly to the subjects of disagreement. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 7}

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, June 13, 1912, p. 255 (continued)

On entering a new place to labor, we should be careful not to create prejudice in the minds of the Catholics, or do anything to lead them to think us their enemies. The Lord has shown me that there are many among them who will be saved. God will just as surely test this people as he is testing us; and according to their willingness to accept the light he gives them, will be their standing before him. We should sow the seed beside all waters, for it is God that gives the increase. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 8}

The apostle Paul, in describing his manner of labor, says: "Though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ), that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 9}

Many people had assembled where John was baptizing in Jordan. As Jesus walked among them, the observing eye of John recognized him as the Saviour, and with kindling eye and earnest manner he cried, "Behold the Lamb of God!" Two of John's disciples, whose attention was thus directed to Jesus, followed him. Seeing them following him, he turned and said, "What seek ye? They said unto him, . . . Master, where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see." And when they had come and seen where he dwelt, he opened to them the great plan of salvation. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 10}

The words that he there spoke to them were too precious to be kept to themselves, and the disciples immediately went and found their friends and brought them to Jesus. At that very time Nathanael was praying to know whether this was indeed the Christ of whom Moses and the prophets had spoken. While he continued to pray, one of those who had been brought to Christ, Philip by name, came to him and said, "We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 11}

Notice how quickly prejudice arises. Nathanael says, "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Philip knew the strong prejudice that existed in the minds of many against Nazareth, and he did not try to argue with him, for fear of raising his combativeness, but simply said, "Come and see." {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 12}

Here is a lesson for our ministers and colporteurs and missionary workers. When you meet those who, like Nathanael, are prejudiced against the truth, do not urge your peculiar views too strongly. Talk to them at first upon subjects upon which you can agree. Bow with them in prayer, and in humble faith present your petitions before the throne. As you come into a closer connection with heaven, prejudice will be weakened, and it will be easier to reach the heart. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 13}

To those who expect to go to other lands to labor, I wish to say: Remember that you can break down the severest opposition by taking a personal interest in the people whom you meet. Christ took a personal interest in men and women while he lived on this earth. Wherever he went, he was a medical missionary. We are to go about doing good, even as he did. We are instructed to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the sorrowing. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 14}

The sisters can do much to reach the heart and make it tender. Wherever you are, my sisters, work in simplicity. If you are in a home where there are children, show an interest in them. Let them see that you love them. If one is sick, offer to give treatments; help the careworn, anxious mother to relieve her suffering child. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 15}

Some of you expect to go abroad as canvassers. Sometimes you may wish to canvass a man whose time is fully occupied. You may have to put off your canvass, and it may be possible that you can join him in his work, and talk with him then. The sermon which you thus preach by your helpfulness will be in harmony with the sermon which you preach with your tongue; and the two, together, will have a power that words alone could never have. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 16}

When staying at the homes of the people, share the burdens of the household. Be thoughtful enough to keep the water bucket filled. Help the tired father do the chores. Take an interest in the children. Be considerate.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, June 13, 1912, p. 255 (continued)

Work in humility, and the Lord will work with you. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 17}

Christ drew the hearts of his hearers to him by the manifestation of his love, and then, little by little, as they were able to bear it, he unfolded to them the great truths of the kingdom. We also must learn to adapt our labors to the condition of the people,--to meet men where they are. While the claims of the law of God are to be presented to the world, we should never forget that love -- the love of Christ -- is the only power that can soften the heart and lead to obedience. All the great truths of the Scriptures center in Christ; rightly understood, all lead to him. Let Christ be presented as the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, of the great plan of redemption. Present to the people such subjects as will strengthen their confidence in God and in his Word, and lead them to investigate its teachings for themselves. And as they go forward, step by step, in the study of the Bible, they will be better prepared to appreciate the beauty and harmony of its precious truths. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 18}

God's workmen must have breadth of character. They must not be men of one idea, stereotyped in their manner of working. They must be able to vary their efforts, to meet the needs of the people under different circumstances and conditions. God would have his servants, young and old, continually improving, learning better how to minister to the wants of all. {RH, June 13, 1912 par. 19}

Read Acts chapter 15

(Acts 16:1-3 NKJV) Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. {2} He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium. {3} Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.

(1 Cor 9:19-22 NKJV) For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; {20} and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; {21} to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; {22} to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.


Fear Of Criticism

(Acts 21:20 NIV) When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law.

(Acts 21:20 NKJV) And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, "You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law;

(Acts 15:1-2 NKJV) And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." {2} Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.

(Acts 15:6-11 NKJV) Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. {7} And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: "Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. {8} "So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, {9} "and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. {10} "Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? {11} "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they."

(Acts 15:19-21 NKJV) "Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, {20} "but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. {21} "For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath."

(Acts 15:28 NKJV) For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:

(Acts 21:20-25 NKJV) And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, "You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law; {21} "but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. {22} "What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come. {23} "Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow. {24} "Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law. {25} "But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality."

(1 Cor 9:19-23 NKJV) For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; {20} and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; {21} to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; {22} to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. {23} Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

(Acts 21:36-39 NKJV) For the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, "Away with him!" {37} Then as Paul was about to be led into the barracks, he said to the commander, "May I speak to you?" He replied, "Can you speak Greek? {38} "Are you not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a rebellion and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?" {39} But Paul said, "I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city; and I implore you, permit me to speak to the people."


Language Barriers

(Acts 14:11 NKJV) Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!"

(Acts 14:1-7 NKJV) Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed. {2} But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.

{Acts 14:3-7} Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. {4} But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles. {5} And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them, {6} they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region. {7} And they were preaching the gospel there.

(Acts 14:9-11 NKJV) This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, {10} said with a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet!" And he leaped and walked. {11} Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!"

(Acts 2:4-11 NKJV) And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. {5} And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. {6} And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. {7} Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? {8} "And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? {9} "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, {10} "Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, {11} "Cretans and Arabs; we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God."

(Acts 2:1 NKJV) When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

(Acts 2:44 NKJV) Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,


(Exo 20:16 NKJV) "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

(Lev 19:16 NKJV) 'You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.

(Psa 15:1-3 NKJV) LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? {2} He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; {3} He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;

(James 1:26 NKJV) If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.

Christian Service, pp. 257 - 265 (not included with lesson help)

Evangelism, pp. 301 - 306 (not included with lesson help)

Gospel Workers, pp. 473 - 504 (not included with lesson help)

Testimonies, vol. 9, pp. 147 - 148

Christ is the foundation of every true church. We have His unalterable promise that His presence and protection will be given to His faithful ones who walk in His counsel. To the end of time Christ is to be first. He is the source of life and strength, of righteousness and holiness. And He is all this to those who wear His yoke and learn of Him how to be meek and lowly. {9T 147.1}

The duty and delight of all service is to uplift Christ before the people. This is the end of all true labor. Let Christ appear; let self be hidden behind Him. This is self-sacrifice that is of worth. Such self-sacrifice God accepts. Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Isaiah 57:15. {9T 147.2}

Meeting Opposition Often, as you seek to present the truth, opposition will be aroused; but if you seek to meet the opposition with argument you will only multiply it, and that you cannot afford to do. Hold to the affirmative. Angels of God are (p. 148) watching you, and they understand how to impress those whose opposition you refuse to meet with argument. Dwell not on the negative points of questions that arise, but gather to your minds affirmative truths, and fasten them there by much study and earnest prayer and heart consecration. Keep your lamps trimmed and burning, and let bright rays shine forth, that men, beholding your good works, may be led to glorify your Father which is in heaven. {9T 147.3}

If Christ had not held to the affirmative in the wilderness of temptation, He would have lost all that He desired to gain. Christ's way is the best way to meet our opponents. We strengthen their arguments when we repeat what they say. Keep always to the affirmative. It may be that the very man who is opposing you will carry your words home and be converted to the sensible truth that has reached his understanding. {9T 148.1}

I have often said to our brethren: "Your opponents will make statements about your work that are false. Do not repeat their statements; but hold to your assertions of the living truth, and angels of God will open the way before you. We have a great work to carry forward, and we must carry it in a sensible way. Let us never get excited or allow evil feelings to arise. Christ did not do this, and He is our example in all things. For the work given us to do we need much more of heavenly, sanctified, humble wisdom, and much less of self. We need to lay hold firmly on divine power." {9T 148.2}

Those who have departed from the faith will come to our congregations to divert our attention from the work that God would have done. You cannot afford to turn your ears from the truth to fables. Do not stop to try (p. 149) to convert the one who is speaking words of reproach against your work; but let it be seen that you are inspired by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and angels of God will put into your lips words that will reach the hearts of the opposers. If these men persist in pressing their way in, those who are of a sensible mind in the congregation will understand that yours is the higher standard. So speak that it will be known that Jesus Christ is speaking through you. {9T 148.3}

(Acts 18:18 NKJV) So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow.

(Acts 20:16 NKJV) For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.