Because they know not him that sent me - This is the foundation of all religious persecution: those who are guilty of it, whether in Church or state, know nothing about God. If God tolerates a worship which professes to have him for its object, and which does not disturb the quiet or peace of society, no man has the smallest right to meddle with it; and he that does fights against God. His letting it pass is at least a tacit command that all should treat it as he has done.
My name‘s sake - On my account. Because you are my followers and possess my spirit. See the notes at John 14:13.
Because they know not him that sent me - They will not believe that God has sent me. They do not so understand his character, his justice, or his law, as to see that it was fit that he should send his Son to die. They are so opposed to it, so filled with pride and opposition to a plan of salvation that is so humbling to people, as to be resolved not to believe it, and thus they persecute me, and will also you.
“Herein is My Father glorified,” said Jesus, “that ye bear much fruit.” God desires to manifest through you the holiness, the benevolence, the compassion, of His own character. Yet the Saviour does not bid the disciples labor to bear fruit. He tells them to abide in Him. “If ye abide in Me,” He says, “and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” It is through the word that Christ abides in His followers. This is the same vital union that is represented by eating His flesh and drinking His blood. The words of Christ are spirit and life. Receiving them, you receive the life of the Vine. You live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. The life of Christ in you produces the same fruits as in Him. Living in Christ, adhering to Christ, supported by Christ, drawing nourishment from Christ, you bear fruit after the similitude of Christ. DA 677.1
In this last meeting with His disciples, the great desire which Christ expressed for them was that they might love one another as He had loved them. Again and again He spoke of this. “These things I command you,” He said repeatedly, “that ye love one another.” His very first injunction when alone with them in the upper chamber was, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” To the disciples this commandment was new; for they had not loved one another as Christ had loved them. He saw that new ideas and impulses must control them; that new principles must be practiced by them; through His life and death they were to receive a new conception of love. The command to love one another had a new meaning in the light of His self-sacrifice. The whole work of grace is one continual service of love, of self-denying, self-sacrificing effort. During every hour of Christ's sojourn upon the earth, the love of God was flowing from Him in irrepressible streams. All who are imbued with His Spirit will love as He loved. The very principle that actuated Christ will actuate them in all their dealing one with another. DA 677.2
This love is the evidence of their discipleship. “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples,” said Jesus, “if ye have love one to another.” When men are bound together, not by force or self-interest, but by love, they show the working of an influence that is above every human influence. Where this oneness exists, it is evidence that the image of God is being restored in humanity, that a new principle of life has been implanted. It shows that there is power in the divine nature to withstand the supernatural agencies of evil, and that the grace of God subdues the selfishness inherent in the natural heart. DA 678.1Read in context »
In First John we read: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” In Paul's Epistle to the Romans he beseeches them, by the mercies of God, that they present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is their reasonable service. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” And James declares: “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” 2T 492.1
I entreat you to carefully consider the instructions in Paul's Epistle to the Galatians: “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” I fear that you are in great danger of making shipwreck of faith. You consider that you have sacrifices to make to obey the truth. We believe that you have made some sacrifices, but had you been more thorough in this work, your feet would not now be stumbling, your faith wavering. I do not refer now to sacrifice of means, but to what comes closer than this, to that which would cause you a more painful conflict than to give your means, to that which touches self especially. You have not yielded your pride, your love of the approbation of an unbelieving world. You love to have men speak well of you. 2T 492.2
You have not received and practiced the truth in its simplicity. You have, I fear, felt somewhat as though you were condescending to receive the unpopular truth as advocated by Sabbathkeeping Adventists. You have sought, to quite a degree, to retain the spirit of the world and yet adopt the truth. This cannot be. Christ will accept of nothing but the whole heart, the entire affections. The friendship of the world is enmity with God. When you desire to so live as to shun reproach, you are seeking a position above your suffering Lord; and while engaged in this, you are separating from your Father in heaven, exchanging His love for that which is not worth obtaining. 2T 493.1Read in context »
Like Israel, Christians too often yield to the influence of the world and conform to its principles and customs, in order to secure the friendship of the ungodly; but in the end it will be found that these professed friends are the most dangerous of foes. The Bible plainly teaches that there can be no harmony between the people of God and the world. “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” 1 John 3:13. Our Saviour says, “Ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.” John 15:18. Satan works through the ungodly, under cover of a pretended friendship, to allure God's people into sin, that he may separate them from Him; and when their defense is removed, then he will lead his agents to turn against them and seek to accomplish their destruction. PP 559.1Read in context »
This class do not know what they really believe, or the reasons for their belief. They are ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. One man arises with wild, erroneous views, and claims that God has sent him with new and glorious light, and all must believe what he brings. Some who have no established faith, who are not subject to the body, but are drifting about without an anchor to hold them, receive that wind of doctrine. His light shines in such a manner as to cause the world to turn from him in disgust and to hate him. Then he blasphemously places himself by the side of Christ and claims that the world hate him for the same reason that they hated Christ. Another rises, claiming to be led of God, and advocates the heresy of the nonresurrection of the wicked, which is one of Satan's great masterpieces of error. Another cherishes erroneous views in regard to the future age. Another zealously urges the American costume. They all want full religious liberty, and each acts independent of the others, and yet they claim that God is especially at work among them. 1T 418.1
Some rejoice and exult that they have the gifts, which others have not. May God deliver His people from such gifts. What do these gifts do for them? Are they through the exercise of these gifts, brought into the unity of the faith? And do they convince the unbeliever that God is with them of a truth? When these discordant ones, holding their different views, come together and there is considerable excitement and the unknown tongue, they let their light so shine that unbelievers would say: These people are not sane; they are carried away with a false excitement, and we know that they do not have the truth. Such stand directly in the way of sinners; their influence is effectual to keep others from accepting the Sabbath. Such will be rewarded according to their works. Would to God they would be reformed or give up the Sabbath! They would not then stand in the way of unbelievers. 1T 418.2
God has led out men who have toiled for years, who have been willing to make any sacrifice, who have suffered privation, and endured trials to bring the truth before the world, and by their consistent course remove the reproach that fanatics have brought upon the cause of God. They have met opposition in every form. They have toiled night and day in searching the evidences of our faith that they might bring out the truth in its clearness, in a connected form, that it might withstand all opposition. Incessant labor and mental trials in connection with this great work have worn down more than one constitution and prematurely sprinkled heads with gray hairs. They have not worn out in vain. God has marked their earnest, tearful, agonizing prayers that they might have light and truth, and that the truth might shine in its clearness to others. He has marked their self-sacrificing efforts, and He will reward them as their works have been. 1T 419.1Read in context »