Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16.
Men are inspired by Satan to execute his purposes against God. The Lord has said, “Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations” (Exodus 31:13). None should disobey this command in order to escape persecution. But let all consider the words of Christ, “When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another” (Matthew 10:23). If it can be avoided, do not put yourselves into the power of men who are worked by the spirit of antichrist. If the payment of a fine will deliver our brethren from the hands of these oppressors, let it be paid…. Everything that we can do should be done that those who are willing to suffer for the truth’s sake may be saved from oppression and cruelty.
We have the history of religious persecution from the fall of Adam down to the present time. How much of cruelty, perfidy, and corrupt intrigue is revealed. Satan is still leading men to strive for the mastery over other minds, and all this striving is designed to counterwork a “Thus saith the Lord.”
Christ died a victim to the mob spirit created by the religious prejudice of His own nation. Others will suffer in like manner. But they will not have to stand under the curse of the transgression of the law of God, as did Christ in behalf of the sinful world….
The Lord encourages all who seek Him with the whole heart. He gives them His Holy Spirit, the manifestation of His presence and favor. But those who forsake God in order to save their lives will be forsaken by Him. In seeking to save their lives by yielding the truth, they will lose eternal life.
Natural affection for relatives and friends should not lead any soul who sees the light to reject the light, to dishonor God the Father and Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. Every possible excuse for disobedience will be framed by men who choose, as many did in Christ’s day, the favor of men rather than the favor of God. If one chooses wife or children, father or mother, before Christ, that choice will stand through eternal ages, with all its weight of responsibility….
The greater man’s influence for good, under the control of the Spirit of God, the more determined will be the enemy to indulge his envy and jealousy toward him by religious persecution. But all heaven is on the side of Christ, not of antichrist. Those who love God and are willing to be partakers with Christ in His sufferings, God will honor.—Manuscript 9, January 26, 1900, “Our Duty Under Persecution.”
The Upward Look p. 40
Prayer Requests
—- please pray for a friend of mine who has a cancerous lump in the left lung. john
—-Please pray for my daughters and their families. One had cancer last year and her mother-in-law’s presently dying from cancer. The other daughter has cancer surgery next Monday and her husband’s grandmother just died yesterday. Lord, give them strength. Vickie
Dear Friends,
A month or so ago, we had to take Eileen to the ER as she was extremely sick. They kept her and the next day they removed her gall bladder. How well I remember the years From the time I was a teenager until I was in my forties, I also suffered with gall bladder problems. Yet I was afraid of going to the hospital and getting my gallbladder removed even though I knew that would take care of the problem. All of the horror stories that I had heard about surgeries gone wrong filled me with dread. Having worked in various hospitals over the years, confirmed that those sorts of things do happen.
By the time I was 43, it was obvious that something had to be done. I could eat nothing. Still I was very sick. The thought of leaving my children and going into the hospital seemed like a trial that I could not bear. I was terrified.
One day, as I was weeding the garden, I felt so very ill, that I knew that I could not go on much longer. I prayed that God would take control of the situation. I fully expected to get better and have no more problems. Surely God would heal me. Instead of being healed, I got worse. That night my temperature dropped to 94 and I shivered uncontrollably. I felt forsaken. Why hadn’t God answered my prayer?
Ron insisted that I go to the emergency room. Despite my protests, we went. They found that I had a terrible infection in my gallbladder and would have died if I had waited much longer. The doctor on duty that night was a specialist in removing gallbladders and the surgery went well. If I had gone the next night, he would have been on vacation.
Even though my prayers were not answered exactly the way I wanted them to be, our Great Redeemer had answered them in a way that was best for me. Through this and other happenings in my life, I learned that He will take control of any situation if we will ask Him and then allow Him to work “to will and to do of His good pleasure.” He does not force His way into our lives, we must invite Him. He promises us, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Ps 32:8 Think of it! The great Creator of the Universe, He Who upholds “all things by the word of his power,” is willing to guide our life. (Heb 1:3) We will get ourselves into trouble if we try to do what we think is best without finding out God’s way. Solomon warns, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Prov 14:12
I learned that in any area of life, nothing can happen unless it is allowed by the One Who loves us more than we love ourselves. Paul assures us, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Rom 8:28 “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor 10:13 With David we can say, “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” Ps 145:9
I also learned that our Loving Saviour does not always answer our prayer in just the way we ask, but He answers by giving us what we need. Sometimes, in His wisdom, He allows things to get much worse before they get better; yet He promises, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.” Isa 43:1-3 He knows just what we need to go through to refine us. These trials have a purpose: they draw us into a closer relationship to Him. He says, I “will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” Zech 13:9
Often through the trials that we experience, we become changed into His likeness. Paul admonishes, “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Heb 12:5-14
May we trust our Dear Saviour no matter what our circumstances. May we place our hand in His powerful hand and allow Him to lead us on the path that leads to His Great Kingdom above. May we trust fully in the leading of the One Who loves us so.

Wise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves