Ye shall be brought before governors, etc. - "This affords a striking proof of the prescience of Christ. Who could have thought, at that time, that these despised and illiterate men could excite so much attention, and be called upon to apologize for the profession of their faith before the tribunals of the most illustrious personages of the earth?" Wakefield.
By governors and kings we may understand, the Roman proconsuls, governors of provinces, and the kings who were tributary to the Roman government, and the emperors themselves, before whom many of the primitive Christians were brought.
For a testimony against them and the Gentiles - That is, to render testimony, both to Jews and Gentiles, of the truth and power of my Gospel.
And ye shall be brought - This prediction was completely and abundantly fulfilled, Acts 5:26; Acts 12:1-4; Acts 23:33; Acts 26:1, Acts 26:28, Acts 26:30. Peter is said to have been brought before Nero, and John before Domitian, Roman emperors; and others before Parthian, Scythian, and Indian kings. They were to stand there to bear a testimony against them; or, as it might be rendered, to them. That is, they were to be “witnesses to them” of the great facts and doctrines of the Christian religion; and if they rejected Christianity, they would be witnesses “against” them in the day of judgment. The fulfillment of this prophecy is a signal evidence that Christ possessed a knowledge of the future. Few things were more improbable when this was uttered than that the fishermen of Galilee would stand before the illustrious and mighty monarchs of the East and the West.
Not a sparrow falleth to the ground without the notice of your heavenly Father. Then let men be careful how, by word or action, they cause one of God's little ones sorrow or grief. If the little sparrow that has no soul cannot fall to the ground without the notice of our heavenly Father, surely the souls of those for whom Christ has died are precious; and will not God judge those who cause pain or disappointment to the hearts of those for whom Christ has given His life? ... UL 364.6Read in context »
The world is to be warned, and no soul should rest satisfied with a superficial knowledge of truth. You know not to what responsibility you may be called. You know not where you may be called upon to give your witness of truth. Many will have to stand in the legislative courts; some will have to stand before kings and before the learned of the earth, to answer for their faith. Those who have only a superficial understanding of truth will not be able clearly to expound the Scriptures, and give definite reasons for their faith. They will become confused, and will not be workmen that need not to be ashamed. Let no one imagine that he has no need to study, because he is not to preach in the sacred desk. You know not what God may require of you. It is a lamentable fact that the advancement of the cause is hindered by the dearth of educated laborers who have fitted themselves for positions of trust. The Lord will accept of thousands to labor in His great harvest field, but many have failed to fit themselves for the work. But every one who has espoused the cause of Christ, who has offered himself as a soldier in the Lord's army, should place himself where he may have faithful drill. Religion has meant altogether too little to the professed followers of Christ; for it is not the will of God that any one should remain ignorant when wisdom and knowledge have been placed within reach. FE 217.1
How few have qualified themselves in the science of saving souls! How few understand the work that should be done in building up the church, in communicating light to those who sit in darkness! Yet God has given to every man his work. We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. In the work of salvation there is a co-operation of human and divine agencies. There is much said concerning the inefficiency of human effort, and yet the Lord does nothing for the salvation of the soul without the co-operation of man. The word of God is clear and distinct on this point, and yet when so much depends upon our co-operation with the heavenly agencies, men conduct themselves as though they could afford to set aside the claims of God, and let the things of eternal importance wait their convenience. They act as though they could manage spiritual things to suit themselves, and they place eternal interests in subordination to earthly and temporal matters. But how presumptuous is this to deal thus with that which is most essential, and most easily lost. FE 217.2
Where are those who would be wise laborers together with God? The apostle says, “Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” But will men trust that they may be able under pressure of circumstances to step into some important position, when they have neglected to train and discipline themselves for the work? Will they imagine that they may be polished instruments in the hands of God for the salvation of souls for whom Christ died, when they have neglected to use the opportunities placed at their command for obtaining a fitness for the work? “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Every one needs to improve his God-given faculties and opportunities, that individually we may be laborers together with God. FE 218.1Read in context »
The Lord wants us to come into harmony with Him. If we will do this, His Spirit can rule our minds. If we have a true understanding of what constitutes the essential education, and endeavor to teach its principles, Christ will help us. He promised His followers that when they should stand before councils and judges, they were to take no thought what they should speak. I will instruct you, He said. I will guide you. Knowing what it is to be taught of God, when words of heavenly wisdom are brought to our mind, we shall distinguish them from our own thoughts. We shall understand them as the words of God, and we shall see in the words of God wisdom and life and power.... FE 538.1
We are to educate the youth to exercise equally the mental and the physical powers. The healthful exercise of the whole being will give an education that is broad and comprehensive. We had stern work to do in Australia in educating parents and youth along these lines; but we persevered in our efforts until the lesson was learned that in order to have an education that was complete, the time of study must be divided between the gaining of book-knowledge and the securing of a knowledge of practical work. Part of each day was spent in useful work, the students learning how to clear the land, how to cultivate the soil, and how to build houses, using time that would otherwise have been spent in playing games and seeking amusement. And the Lord blessed the students who thus devoted their time to acquiring habits of usefulness. FE 538.2
Instruct the students not to regard as most essential the theoretical part of their education. Let it be more and more deeply impressed upon every student that we should have an intelligent understanding of how to treat the physical system. And there are many who would have greater intelligence in these matters if they would not confine themselves to years of study without a practical experience. The more fully we put ourselves under the direction of God, the greater knowledge we shall receive from God. Let us say to our students: Keep yourselves in connection with the Source of all power. Ye are laborers together with God. He is to be our chief instructor.—The Review and Herald, November 11, 1909. FE 539.1Read in context »
Continuing His instruction to His disciples, Jesus said, “Beware of men.” They were not to put implicit confidence in those who knew not God, and open to them their counsels; for this would give Satan's agents an advantage. Man's inventions often counterwork God's plans. Those who build the temple of the Lord are to build according to the pattern shown in the mount,—the divine similitude. God is dishonored and the gospel is betrayed when His servants depend on the counsel of men who are not under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Worldly wisdom is foolishness with God. Those who rely upon it will surely err. DA 354.1
“They will deliver you up to councils, ... yea and before governors and kings shall ye be brought for My sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.” Matthew 10:17, 18, R. V. Persecution will spread the light. The servants of Christ will be brought before the great men of the world, who, but for this, might never hear the gospel. The truth has been misrepresented to these men. They have listened to false charges concerning the faith of Christ's disciples. Often their only means of learning its real character is the testimony of those who are brought to trial for their faith. Under examination these are required to answer, and their judges to listen to the testimony borne. God's grace will be dispensed to His servants to meet the emergency. “It shall be given you,” says Jesus, “in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” As the Spirit of God illuminates the minds of His servants, the truth will be presented in its divine power and preciousness. Those who reject the truth will stand to accuse and oppress the disciples. But under loss and suffering, even unto death, the Lord's children are to reveal the meekness of their divine Example. Thus will be seen the contrast between Satan's agents and the representatives of Christ. The Saviour will be lifted up before the rulers and the people. DA 354.2
The disciples were not endowed with the courage and fortitude of the martyrs until such grace was needed. Then the Saviour's promise was fulfilled. When Peter and John testified before the Sanhedrin council, men “marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13. Of Stephen it is written that “all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.” Men “were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.” Acts 6:15, 10. And Paul, writing of his own trial at the court of the Caesars, says, “At my first defense no one took my part, but all forsook me.... But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me; that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” 2 Timothy 4:16, 17, R. V. DA 354.3Read in context »