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Character development is said to be the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. During the next hour, we will explore both our privilege and our responsibility to become Christ-like in character. Join us now for this powerful time of personal renewal as Pastor Stephen Wallace takes us “From Glory to Glory.”

Good morning, good morning. So good to see you this morning. Thank you for coming. I appreciate your presence. You’ve gone overboard, making me feel like I’m home. I think you broke a record, just to make me feel at home. It was downright chilly this morning. It felt just like Montana. What a delightful day. Brisk, invigorating. You know I love to start my day with a straight cold shower after a hot one, and this morning the straight cold was quite cold. It really felt great, an invigorating experience.

Well, we’re down to the home stretch, as the pastor mentioned. It seems like it’s gone fast, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, and I want you to know that I deeply appreciate the privilege you’ve given me of studying diligently together the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. Education, page 225. Come on, this is the last day, it was a course requirement, I warned you about that right at the very beginning, you had to have it memorized – no cheating now. Don’t look, okay? It’s got to be by memory. Here we go, Education, 225: “Character building is the most important work ever entrusted to human beings; and never before was its diligent study so important as now.” Now. Why so important now? Because the King is coming soon. Amen? {Amen} But we have a work to do, don’t we? We have a gospel to take to every nation, kindred, tongue and people, and we have our own lives to prepare. {Rev 14:6, 7} But as you’ve heard me say before, I must say again: The successful accomplishment of both of those tasks depends upon the same thing, and what is that, my dear friends? The development of a Christ-like character. Why? Because we can be neither effective witnesses for the King, nor fit citizens for the Kingdom unless we have a Christ-like character; and since the King is coming soon, I insist on the truthfulness of that statement. “Character building is the most important work ever entrusted to human beings; and never before was its diligent study so important as now.”

We have come to our last two studies, not because we have come to the end of the series, but because we’ve come to the end of our time together; and who knows whether we’ll be able to get together some time in the future for the rest of the story. But let’s at least finish our study on the law of, what? Reciprocal influence, the law of reciprocal influence. Very, very important principle of Christian character development, and one that is often overlooked; many are totally unaware of it. We have come to recognize that not only does mental input directly form and shape and influence our character, so does mental output. Not only what we behold, in other words, but how we behave. Mental input, that’s what we behold. Mental output, that’s how we behave. Our words and our actions: “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” {Mat 12:34} “Keep the heart with all diligence, for out of it are the,” what? “…issues of life.” {Prov 4:23} Mental output is our behavior, our words and our actions. My dear friends, by the law of reciprocal influence, our behavior, our words and our actions, have a direct and dramatic affect upon our character. Because, because – and here’s the law of reciprocal influence – just as our thoughts and feelings influence our words and actions, so our words and actions, in turn, influence our thoughts and feelings. That is the reciprocal influence.

Now we have been focusing on this principle as it applies particularly to the behavior of the tongue – better known as our words. Friends, our words have a powerful influence on our character, a powerful influence on our character, and this is precisely why it is so imperative that we pray, “Lord, set a guard over my mouth.” {Ps 141:3} And this is precisely why it’s so important to pray with David, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight O, LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” {Ps 19:14} You see, by virtue of the law of reciprocal influence, one cannot be acceptable without the other being acceptable. The words can’t be acceptable unless the meditation of your heart is acceptable, and the meditation of your heart can’t be acceptable unless your words are acceptable because of that avenue called the avenue of influence that goes from the brain to the tongue; the thoughts to the words. That avenue, you remember, is a two-way street. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} This is review, getting us ready to forge ahead here. It’s a two-way street, and the influential traffic that flows from the brain to the tongue, the thoughts to the words, is matched by the influential traffic that returns from the words to the thoughts; the tongue to the brain. Everything we say, everything we say, has a powerful influence upon us. That’s why the servant of the Lord says, the governance of the tongue is bound up with personal religion. {ST, Mar 1, 1905 par. 1}

My dear friends, we cannot possibly have a thriving, growing Christian experience if our tongues are not under the control of the Holy Spirit. {Amen} With that principle in mind, last study – the last study we had – we looked at some of the things we should not give utterance to, okay, what we should not give utterance to. We listed several things; we can’t review them. Our last focus was on the importance of not giving utterance to angry words, and we came to recognize the secret of controlling the temper, didn’t we? Very important. Whoever is “slow to wrath” must be, what? “slow to speak,” {Jas 1:19} and if we are not going to be wrathful, we must learn to not speak any angry words. That’s where we either lose or gain control of our temper. Remember Christ’s marvelous self-control under the most incredibly irritating and aggravating circumstances is revealed to us in Isaiah 53, “He opened not His mouth.” Twice it’s repeated, and then in the middle it says He was, what? …silent. Three times God is reiterating the crucial secret to being able to maintain calm and composure even under the most incredibly aggravating and irritating circumstances; and my dear friends, if anyone – if anyone had a legitimate right to get angry, it was Jesus under those circumstances. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} I mean, He didn’t deserve any of it. We get angry when we get what’s coming. He didn’t deserve anything, and He still didn’t get angry. You’ve got to love a Lord like that. You’ve got to admire a Lord like that; and you’ve got to be like a Lord like that. Amen? {Amen} God help us, in beholding be changed, {2 Cor 3:18} and learn to govern the tongue like Jesus did. Only thereby can we govern the thoughts and feelings like Jesus did. Okay, little review, and we’re ready to push ahead; but before we open inspiration, to consider what we should give utterance to, what must we pause to do? Personally invite God’s Spirit into our hearts and minds. As you pray for yourself, please pray for your brother.

Father God, we come rejoicing in the privilege of calling You Father. It is so good to belong to You. By creation, and then again by redemption. We are blood-bought children. Father, we are so grateful for the way that You care for us, so consistently, so abundantly You provide for our every need. In confidence, we approach You just now to ask for what we need above all else, and that is Your Holy Spirit. Please Lord, we are about to open Your Word for the purpose of coming to experience more fully the liberating, sanctifying power of the truth therein. But if we are going to do that, we have to have help. We have to have the help of Your Holy Spirit. So please, Father, be gracious to us and pour it out upon us. Lord, you know how desperately I need Your Spirit. I have the undeserved privilege of leading out in this study of truth. But unless the Spirit of Truth takes full possession of me, body, mind and spirit, and uses me in spite of myself, I cannot possibly rightly present the truth. So please work a miracle, and let me be a channel of the blessing of truth. Father, thank You that You have blessed us in the past. Bless us again that we, in turn, might be a blessing to others. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

What page are we on? Page 79. You’ve got your handout, the last one – did you – for today’s study? Lesson 36, “Let the Words of My Mouth…” Title taken from Psalm 19:14. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O, LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” By virtue of the law of reciprocal influence, one cannot be acceptable without the other; always keep that in mind. That’s a very appropriate prayer to pray, my friends.

The law of reciprocal influence, I want to just reiterate as it’s most clearly and succinctly stated in the Spirit of Prophecy. Ministry of Healing, page 251: “It is a law…” It is a, what? “a law,” just as much as the law of gravity. Works whether you like it or not, whether you believe it or not, no matter who you are. It’s inexorable. “It is a law of nature that our thoughts and feelings…” What are we talking about class? Character. {5T 310.1} “…are encouraged and strengthened as we give them utterance.” Now in light of that fact, we’ve been looking at what we shouldn’t give utterance to. I want to now look at what we should give utterance to. “While words express thoughts, it is also true that thoughts follow words.” There you have it, the reciprocal influence, two-way street, that avenue. “If,” here’s the condition: “If we would give more expression to our faith, rejoice more in the blessings that we know we have, the great mercy and love of God, we should have more faith and greater joy.” Amen? {Amen} Do you want more faith, do you want more joy, in your Christian experience? Then what must you do? You must use, rather than abuse, the law of reciprocal influence. You must get your tongue in gear and speak of, praise God for, His blessings that you know you have. You know you have them, my dear friends, and every time you give utterance to those blessings, and express that faith, your joy and your faith get stronger for having done so. That’s a law! Use it, please. It’s a tremendous blessing in the Christian experience.

In light of this law, please notice what Scripture, by exhortation, but most often by example, encourages us to give utterance to. Here’s an example, Isaiah 63:7, “I will mention the loving-kindnesses of the LORD,” Oh, I like that. “I will mention the,” what? “the loving-kindnesses,” what a beautiful word, and I can’t think of any word that would better describe God’s bountiful blessings. You see, God is love {1 Jn 4:16}, He loves us, but love is expressed continually in deeds of kindness. That’s why Jeremiah, or Isaiah refers to “the loving-kindnesses” of God. These are the tangible manifestations of His love for us, His blessings that He continually pours out upon us. “I will mention the loving-kindnesses of the LORD and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, according to the multitude of His loving-kindnesses.” There you have it, my friends. That is what you need, that is what I need, to educate our tongues to talk about, and praise God for, His loving-kindnesses. There is tremendous blessing to be had in so doing.

But please, please notice: we will mention these loving-kindnesses only if we have come to recognize them and appreciate them, and they have captured our thoughts and our affections. You see, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth,” what? “…speaketh.” {Lk 6:45} You have got to have in your heart, cherish in your heart, the evidences of God’s loving-kindness towards you if your mouth is going to talk about them. Right here’s the problem. You see, most of us have not allowed God to draw us into a loving relationship with Himself, by revealing to us those loving-kindnesses. He has revealed them, but we haven’t allowed Him to enable us, by His Spirit, to see and appreciate them.

You see, listen, Jeremiah 31:3, “The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying, ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving-kindness I have,” what? “drawn you.'” How many of us has He loved? How many of us has He drawn with His loving-kindness? All of us, my friends; but how come not all of us respond? Because not all of us choose to appreciate, or even recognize, these loving-kindnesses of God; and you’ve got to come to recognize them if they are going to draw you to Him, and win your heart and capture your mind. Have we let the loving-kindness of God draw our hearts and our minds to Him? Have we? If so, our mouths will most definitely give evidence of that fact. You see, my friends, right here is the reason why we are so remiss to speak of God’s loving-kindnesses and praise Him for them, because our hearts don’t appreciate them like they ought to. They don’t! Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. {Lk 6:45} We talk about what’s really valuable and important to us, and unfortunately, it’s often something quite different than God and His loving-kindnesses, isn’t it? Steps to Christ, page 102: “If we would but think of God as often as we have evidence of His care for us we should keep Him ever in our thoughts and should delight to talk of Him and to praise Him.” You see, if you delight to talk of Him and praise Him, you’ve got to, what? Keep Him in your thoughts; and if you’re going to keep Him in your thoughts, you’ve got to appreciate the evidence of His love and goodness towards you. It’s all closely related. Reading on: “We talk of temporal things because we have an interest in them. We talk of our friends because we love them; our joys and our sorrows are bound up with them. Yet we have infinitely greater reason to love God than to love our earthly friends; it should be the most natural thing in the world to make Him first in all our thoughts, to talk of His goodness and tell of His power.” It should be! The question is, is it? Is it?

Bless your hearts, you know… We’re going to have a testimony meeting here at the close of our studies today, and unfortunately, for a lot of people, they’re just not comfortable. It’s not natural, it’s very unnatural for them to stand up and praise God for His goodness. It should be the most natural thing. Amen? {Amen} We should eagerly look forward to opportunities to do so. Amen? Yes, and we’re going to give you an opportunity to do so.

You see, God is continually lavishing His loving-kindnesses upon us, my dear friends, continually. The trouble is that most of us either don’t notice them or we take them for granted. We don’t notice them, or we take them for granted. May God help us see them and appreciate them. Amen? Psalm 26:3, “For Your loving-kindness is before my eyes…” Yes, they’re there, my dear friends, they’re there… before our eyes, but some of us don’t even see them. Spiritual things are only spiritually discerned. {1 Cor 2:13-14}

Signs of the Times, October 17, 1892; Why are we so often blind to these loving-kindnesses of God that are lavished upon us constantly? Why? Listen: “Satan is seeking to veil Jesus from our sight, to eclipse His light, for when we get even a glimpse of His glory we are attracted to Him.” You see why Satan is so desperately trying to keep us from seeing the loveliness and loving-kindnesses of God? Because they, what? They powerfully attract us to Him. So he is constantly, desperately trying to veil our eyes so we don’t see them. Reading on: “Sin hides from our view the matchless charms of Jesus; prejudice, selfishness, self-righteousness, and passion blind our eyes…” We just identified there why it is we don’t see the loveliness and the loving-kindnesses of God. Did you notice that? Why is it that we don’t see them? “Sin hides from our view the matchless charms of Jesus; prejudice, selfishness, self-righteousness, and passion blind our eyes, so that we do not discern the Savior. Oh, if we would by faith draw nigh to God, He would reveal to us His glory, which is His character, and the praise of God would flow forth from human hearts, and be sounded by human voices. Then we would forever cease to give glory to Satan by sinning against God and talking doubt and unbelief. We would not longer stumble along grumbling, and mourning, and covering the altar of God with our tears.”

Oh, my dear friends, you know when we read the story of the children of Israel and their deliverance from Egypt and their sojourn in the wilderness, what were they continually doing? {Murmuring…} Murmuring and complaining and griping and groaning. {Num 14:27} Just after God would work wonderful miracles for them, and bless them in a wonderful way, they would still gripe and complain; and we read it and we think, “Those people, what was their problem?” My dear friends, that’s us on display. That’s us on display. {1 Cor 10:1-11} The great Exodus is a type of the deliverance of the human race from the bondage of sin and their wandering in the wilderness until finally, by God’s merciful, amazing grace, they get to the kingdom, but all the way, what are we doing? {Murmuring} We’re griping and complaining and moaning and groaning. God forgive us! Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} We are so like Israel of old.

You see, sometimes, sometimes though, Satan succeeds in making our circumstances pretty dark, doesn’t he? Sometimes because of his hellish shadow, we find it very hard to penetrate those clouds and see the sun still shining upon us. But whenever that happens, my dear friends, go to where you last saw the light {MH 250.1}, and rejoice in it. You know, I fly often in my ministry and there are times when it is a gloomy, overcast, dark, dismal day. And I get in that plane, and it’s bouncy and it’s rough, but then we break through the clouds. And do you know what’s happening up there? The sun is still shining. It’s still shining. God help us realize it when we’re under the clouds. Amen? {Amen} God help us have faith that will penetrate those clouds. {19MR 384.2} Or at least, God help us remember when we last saw the sun. No matter how dark it gets, you can still rejoice, even in the midst of your trials. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} You can, my dear friends, you can. “The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:2

And even when it’s dark as midnight, if we, by faith, keep our eyes on Him, what will be our experience? Proverbs 4:18, “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” You see, as we keep our eyes on the Sun of Righteousness, His love, His goodness, His joy, His peace, we will reflect that in our lives even in the midst of trials and tribulations. My dear friends, we are facing some pretty heavy-duty trials and tribulations just down the road a little ways. {5T 213.1} God help us prepare for that by learning to keep our eyes on the Sun of Righteousness. As we do, we will speak of His righteousness. Amen?

You talk about what you think about. Psalm 35:28, “And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long.” Now that, my dear friends, is true Christian maturity. {COL 65.2} You see, David, because he is so obsessed with the loveliness of the Sun of Righteousness talks about Him all day long. May we have that experience. May we have that experience. Christian Education, page 57, “As we meditate upon the perfections of the Saviour, we shall desire to be wholly transformed, and renewed in the image of His purity. There will be a hungering and thirsting of soul to become like Him whom we adore. The more our thoughts are upon Christ, the more we shall speak of Him to others, and represent Him to the world.” That’s it, my friends, that’s the secret to – as David did – praising Him “all the day long.” {Ps 35:28} “The more our thoughts are upon Christ, the more we shall speak of Him to others, and represent Him to the world.”

By the way, please know that this praising Him all the day long, this speaking of Him continually to others, doesn’t mean just that we’re always talking about Jesus, it means that we are being living epistles. {2 Cor 3:3} It means that our lives are always revealing Jesus as praiseworthy. As we reflect His loveliness, we speak much more with our lives than we do with our mouths, you know that. {MH 470.1} By the way, if our lives aren’t ratifying what comes out of our mouths, no one can be convinced, can they? But if we continually behold Christ, my dear friends, our mouths whenever it is appropriate, and the Holy Spirit will reveal when it’s appropriate to speak a word in due season {Prov 15:23}, our mouths will eagerly look for opportunities to actually praise God with our words, but our lives will always do so by reflecting His character. Always do so.

Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the LORD,” how much of the time? “…at all times.” Do you get a consistency here? …a recurring theme here? This is not something we do occasionally, this is something we do, what? …continually, always. “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” “His praise shall,” what? “…continually be in my mouth.” Now, what does that mean? Does that mean that all day long we go around saying, “Praise the, praise the Lord, praise the Lord”? Well, we could, that would be appropriate, if we meant it.

By the way, let me just interject something here. You know, I’ve heard people say, “Praise the Lord,” in a way that I think is blasphemous. Be careful with that one. Make sure you really mean it if you say it.

What is David talking about, though, when he says, “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” I insist, my friends, that that means that everything that comes out of David’s mouth – his conversation, his vocabulary – reveals consistently that God is praiseworthy. {Amen} Because you see, David is an ambassador of the Kingdom, and so are you, and so am I. We represent Him, my dear friends; may God help us represent Him aright. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Do so by everything that comes out of our mouths; everything that comes out of our mouths.

Here is a remarkable thought. Please understand it. It’s enfolded in Psalm 50:23, in these simple words: “Whoever offers praise glorifies Me…” “Whoever offers praise,” does what? “…glorifies Me.” Now don’t ever fail to use your exegetical key that we gave you at the beginning of this seminar. Whenever you come across the word “glory” in any of its forms, what do you think? “Character.” So what is this saying? What is David saying here? Or what is God saying to us through David? “Whoever offers praise glorifies Me.” {Ps 50:23} How is it that offering praise to God glorifies Him? …characterizes Him? Well, in two ways: When we praise God, typically we are talking about the virtues that constitute His character. Right? We are extolling His virtues. {Amen} But secondly, whoever offers praise is exemplifying His virtues. {Amen} Not only extolling them, but what? Exemplifying them.

How? By two laws. By what? Two laws, the two key principles of Christian character development that we’ve been focusing on in these last studies. What’s the first one? In beholding we are, what? …changed. {2 Cor 3:18} If you are praising God’s virtues, what are you beholding? Come on, what are you beholding? Those virtues, and in beholding you are changed. And then secondly, by the law of reciprocal influence {MH 251.4}, if you are expressing your admiration and appreciation for those virtues, by that law you are strengthening and reinforcing and developing them in yourself. So when we praise God with our mouths, my dear friends, by those two laws, we are developing the very virtues that we are extolling, in ourselves, and we are exemplifying them. Do you see how that works? By the law of reciprocal influence, there is tremendous blessing in praising God.

You know, my friends, this is precisely why, please understand this. This is precisely why we are so frequently exhorted in Scripture to do, what? To praise God, over an over and over again, praise God. You know, I had a friend once who had a real hard time with that. He said, “If God is so humble, why is He always exhorting us to praise Him?” Maybe that question never came to your mind, but it is an interesting question. If God is so humble… Is God humble? Yes. You see, Jesus was infinitely humble, infinite humility. The Sovereign Creator washing the feet of the man who was going to betray Him with a kiss. {DA 645.2} That’s humility! He says, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve,” what? “…you’ve seen the Father.” {Jn 14:9} So God is humble. Now, if God is humble then, why is He always encouraging us, exhorting us, even commanding us, to praise Him? Is it for His sake? Does He need His ego bolstered? No. For whose sake is it? For our sake. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} That’s why we are continually exhorted to praise God, because of the tremendous blessing that we receive in so doing, not to mention the blessing that we pass on to others by calling their attention to God’s goodness and His loving-kindnesses. Who gets the greatest blessing when we praise God? We do. It’s more blessed to give than to receive. {Acts 20:35} That’s the reason why Scripture so continually exhorts us to praise God.

My dear friends, are we depriving ourselves of that blessing? Come on now, are we? {Yes} Altogether too much. God help us stop cheating ourselves. Amen? {Amen} Let’s get our tongue helping us, not hindering us. We spend an awful lot of time mourning and groaning and complaining and griping, and talking about all of our trials and our tribulations and our doubts and our fears, and we wreak havoc on our character by so doing. Let’s start using the tongue to praise God all the day long. Amen? {Amen} So that all the day long we can receive the tremendous blessing that comes by so doing. God help us. It might be tough at first, especially if you’re not accustomed to it. But I want to share an encouraging statement with you. Bible Commentary, Volume 3, page 1143, “As you confess before men and women your confidence in the Lord, additional strength is imparted to you. Determine to praise Him. With firm determination comes increased will power; and soon you will find that you cannot help praising Him.” Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Take courage! You’ve got to make a decision, though. You’ve got to decide. You see, the will is the governing power in the nature of man. {MH 176.1} That’s what she’s saying when she says, “Determine to praise Him. With firm determination comes increased,” what? “will power.” And as you go ahead and praise Him, even though it’s tough at first to do it, what will you soon find? “Soon you will find that you cannot help praising Him.” Can’t help it! Because you see, as you praise Him, He becomes more precious to you, and the more precious He is to you, the more you praise Him. And the more you praise Him, the more precious He is to you, by the law of, what? Reciprocal influence, until He becomes your magnificent obsession, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth continually speaketh. {Lk 6:45} Do you see how it works? Please use it, my dear friends. Use it; it’s a tremendous blessing. Use it.

Now, this law of reciprocal influence, I want you to consider with me how its use or abuse can dramatically determine whether or not we overcome the temptations of the enemy, or yield to them. The use of this law, the correct use of this law of reciprocal influence is, I insist, the best defense against temptation, as well as the best offense when under temptation. Now, work with me on this. I want you to understand this. This is so precious to understand. The use of this law, the proper use of this law of reciprocal influence is, what? It’s the best defense against temptation, and it is the best offense when under temptation.

Okay, best defense… How is it the best defense? Well, understand with me first, that Satan cannot read our minds. {TMK 279.4} He’s not allowed to. He cannot read our minds. He doesn’t know what we are thinking. Well, then, of course the question arises, how does he manage so often to come up with tailor-made temptations that take advantage of us in our moment of greatest weakness? How does he manage to pull that off if he can’t read what’s going on here? My dear friends, though he can’t read the mind, he can sure listen to the mouth, and he’s real good at reading “body English.” Are you hearing me? By carefully watching us, we reveal where our heads are at, and he is quick to take advantage.

Now do you see how this law used judiciously would be the best defense against temptation? Listen: Review and Herald, April 8, 1884: “There are many who are really troubled because low, debasing thoughts come into the mind, and are not easily banished. Satan has his evil angels around us; and though they cannot read men’s thoughts they closely watch their words and actions. Satan takes advantage of the weaknesses and defects of character that are thus revealed, and presses his temptations where there is the least power of resistance. He makes evil suggestions, and inspires worldly thoughts, knowing that he can thus bring the soul into condemnation and bondage.” What do we do? We set ourselves up for the fall by giving ourselves away with our own mouths.

Here’s another one: Review and Herald, March 22, 1887, “The adversary of souls is not permitted to read the thoughts of men; but he is a keen observer, and he marks the words; he takes account of actions, and skillfully adapts his temptations to meet the cases of those who place themselves in his power. If,” listen, here it is, best defense: “If we would labor to repress sinful thoughts and feelings, giving them no expression in words or actions, Satan would be defeated;” Why? “…for he could not prepare his specious temptations to meet the case. But how often do professed Christians, by their lack of self-control, open the door to the adversary of souls!” God help us stop opening the door to the adversary of souls. Amen? And how do you close the door? Close the mouth. Close the mouth! Don’t verbalize your problems, your struggles, your weaknesses, your tough times.

Not only is it the best defense, it’s the best, what? …offense. Use this weapon against the enemy, my dear friends. Use it against the enemy. Signs of the Times, September 4, 1893; Listen: “Train and educate the mind to think and to talk of Jesus.” Please note, you can’t separate those. You won’t talk of Jesus unless you’re, what? …thinking of Jesus. “Train and educate the mind to think and to talk of Jesus, and Satan will lose his power over you.” Listen! “He cannot long bear to be in the company of those who meditate and converse upon the love of God.” {Amen} I love this! “In this way the mind is strengthened. Moral power increases by dwelling upon the goodness, beauty, mercy, and love of Christ. Training the mind in this way will make it natural for you to inquire at every step: ‘Is this the way of the Lord? Will Jesus be pleased to have me do this? Will this course please self, or my Lord?'” My dear friends, anyone who is talking like that, Satan knows full well he’s wasting his time trying to get them to yield to temptation.

He is going to go and find someone who is moaning and groaning, and talking about all of their weaknesses and their discouragements, because he knows he’s got it made with that one. Please, brother, sister, please use this law. It’s a powerful offensive weapon. Talk about Jesus. {YI, Jan 1, 1856 par. 4} Talk about Him, rejoice, and he can’t stand to be in your presence. You see, Scripture says, “Resist the devil, and he shall,” what? “…flee from you,” {Jas 4:7} flee from you, and the best way to drive him away is to praise God for His power and the victory that is yours in Christ Jesus. He can’t stand to hear anyone talk like that; and by the way, here’s one I love to use: remind him that he is a defeated foe. {Amen} I love to say, “Father God, I’m so thankful that Jesus Christ has crushed the serpent’s head, and that he’s a mortally wounded enemy, and because of Jesus’ victory over him, he cannot hurt me.” Do you think Satan is going to hang around and listen to that kind of talk? “Resist the devil and he will,” what? “…he will flee from you,” by talking that way. You can resist him, and drive him away.

Under temptation, under temptation, this is a tremendous offensive weapon as well, my dear friends. In the Scriptures, in the Scriptures, yes, we have described to us the Christian’s armor. Most of it is defensive, isn’t it? But there is an offensive weapon, what is it? The Sword, and what is the Sword? The Word of God. {Heb 4:12} What is the best weapon when under temptation? “It is written…” “It is written…” {Mat 4:4} But my dear friends, please notice that our Example, Jesus Christ, didn’t just quote Scripture in His memory, He actually quoted it with His mouth. Are you following this? Why? Because Satan can’t read our thoughts, and because by the law of reciprocal influence, what is Jesus doing for Himself? Tremendously strengthening and reinforcing His faith in the Father. “It is written…” {Mat 4:4} Quote Scripture under temptation, please.

No wonder David says in Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You!” What does it mean to hide God’s Word in your heart, my dear friends? What does it mean? It means to memorize it. Please, dear fellow Christian soldier {18MR 257.3}, stock the arsenal with Scripture, memorized Scripture. {CT 137.2} When under temptation, take out the Sword and use it against the enemy. Quote it out loud, “It is written…” You see, the advantage of having it in your memory, is that it’s instantly available. Do you instantly need help, many times? You sure do. You see, Jesus would have been in trouble in the wilderness if under temptation He had said, “You know, Satan, just hang on there a minute, there’s a text… Can’t really remember it, but you know…” Please, my friend, hide it in your heart that it might be instantly available to use against the enemy, instantly available. Review and Herald, April 8, 1884, “For every class of temptation there is a remedy.” I ought to hear an “amen” for that one. {Amen} By the way there’re only three classes of temptation. Come on, what are they? Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life, only three. {1-Jn 2:16} We’re not dealing with an overwhelming variety of temptations here. “For every class of temptation there is a remedy. We are not left to ourselves to fight the battle against self and our sinful natures in our own finite strength.” Do I hear an “amen” there? {Amen} “Jesus is a mighty helper; a never-failing support… The mind must be restrained and not allowed to wander. It should be trained to dwell upon the Scriptures and upon noble, elevating themes. Portions of Scripture, even whole chapters, may be committed to memory, to be repeated when Satan comes in with his temptations…” There you have it. “When Satan would lead the mind to dwell upon earthly and sensual things, he is most effectually resisted with,” what? “‘It is written.'” “It is written; it is written.” {Mat 4:4} Take out that powerful weapon. Use it against him, use it against him.

Here’s another weapon; use it: it’s song. It’s what? …song. Is song a weapon? Yes, you better believe it. Psalm 105:2-3, “Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!” My dear friends, one of the best ways to resist temptation is to experience the fact that “the joy of the Lord is your,” what? “…strength.” {Neh 8:10} What is one of the best ways to augment your joy in the Lord? Singing praises to Him. Amen? {Amen} Yes! Sing praises to Him. Do it out loud, and it will be a tremendous blessing. Education, page 166, note our Lord’s example: “With a song, Jesus in His earthly life met temptation.” I love that! Who knows, in the wilderness, He might have even sung that verse, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone,'” and I would suggest that His mother helped Him learn Scripture {DA 70.1} by putting it to music. All the Psalms were songs, and they were all intended to be memorized by singing them. I strongly recommend Scripture songs, my friends. If you don’t know Scripture songs, then take those promises and ask the Lord to help you put them to music, and it’ll be your special song, your special weapon under temptation. This is a powerful weapon, I promise you, it is. It’s a powerful weapon. Ministry of Healing, page 254: “Let praise and thanksgiving be expressed in song. When tempted, instead of giving utterance to our feelings, let us by faith lift up a song of thanksgiving to God… Song is a weapon…” {Amen} It’s a weapon! Use it! It’s a weapon! The enemy doesn’t like you to learn these things. But my dear friends, not only learn them, use them! Okay? Otherwise the enemy’s got nothing to fear.

2 Chronicles 20:22, Listen to Israel’s experience. Against incredible odds they march out, and who’s at the head of the army? The choir! One of the most extraordinary sorties into battle that has ever been witnessed on planet earth. The choir is out leading the army, and what do they do? “Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.” When were the enemies defeated? When they began to, what? …sing! Try it; it works! Amen? It works!

Some of you might be saying, “Well, that might work for you, you can sing. I can’t sing.” Well, we can all make a joyful noise unto the Lord, right? {Ps 100:1} And by the way, compared to the angels, even the best of the singers here are pretty minimal. Yes, we’ll discover that when we get real voices there. {EW 66.1}

If you can’t sing, you can talk, and here’s something you can say. Please, please hear it and say it with me. It’s found in the book, That I May Know Him, page 16. I want you to commit this to memory, my dear friends. This is a powerful weapon. “We have the right to say, ‘In the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror.'” Oh, I love that! Say it with me; come on! “We have the right to say,” what? “In the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror.” Come on, I need a higher conviction level than that, folks. I don’t want you to just mouth the words. I want your whole heart and mind to be saying it because you really believe it. Let’s go. “In the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror.” I still don’t believe you. Come on, you can do better than that. Much better than that! Here we go: “In the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror.” Come on, you’re just getting warmed up. Let’s do it again. “In the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror.” Do you feel what that’s doing for you? Do you sense it? Let’s say it again! “In the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror.” My dear friend, with us going around saying that, would Satan even bother to try to tempt us? Would he? He’s not going to waste his time on people who are saying, “In the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror.” What a powerful weapon this is. Amen? {Amen} What a powerful weapon this is.

Did you sense what happened in this room? I’ll tell you what happened. Manuscript Release, Volume 9, page 17: “Talk courage, talk faith, and you may create an atmosphere of hopefulness and brightness.” {Amen} That’s what we just did. Will you do it again? Let’s say it once more. “In the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror.” Let’s stand for prayer.

Father in heaven, I thank You so much for the law of reciprocal influence, and I pray Father that we will use this as a powerful offensive weapon. Help us to hide Your Word in our hearts, and help us to be able to instantly bring up, “Thus saith the Lord…” and to be able to quote it. Help us to be able to put it to music and to sing songs that will become powerful weapons. Help us to always remember that in the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.



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