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.
The disciples were not intimidated or cast down by this treatment. The Holy Spirit brought to their minds the words spoken by Christ: “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not Him that sent Me.” “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” “These things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them.” John 15:20, 21; 16:2, 4. AA 79.1
The God of heaven, the mighty Ruler of the universe, took the matter of the imprisonment of the disciples into His own hands, for men were warring against His work. By night the angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and said to the disciples, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” This command was directly contrary to the order given by the Jewish rulers; but did the apostles say, We cannot do this until we have consulted the magistrates and received permission from them? No; God had said, “Go,” and they obeyed. “They entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught.” AA 79.2
When Peter and John appeared among the believers and recounted how the angel had led them directly through the band of soldiers guarding the prison, bidding them resume the work that had been interrupted, the brethren were filled with amazement and joy. AA 80.1Read in context »
Hatred Springs From Desire for Revenge—Satan contested every claim put forth by the Son of God and employed men as his agents to fill the Saviour's life with suffering and sorrow. The sophistry and falsehood by which he had sought to hinder the work of Jesus, the hatred manifested through the children of disobedience, his cruel accusations against Him whose life was one of unexampled goodness, all sprang from deep-seated revenge. The pent-up fires of envy and malice, hatred and revenge, burst forth on Calvary against the Son of God, while all heaven gazed upon the scene in silent horror.—The Great Controversy, 501 (1888). 2MCP 528.1
Hatred Toward Parents (words to a young woman)—Especially have you a work to do to confess with humiliation your disrespectful course toward your parents. There is no reason for this unnatural manifestation toward them. It is purely a satanic spirit, and you have indulged in it because your mother has not sanctioned your course. Your feelings amount not only to positive dislike, decided disrespect, but to hatred, malice, envy, jealousy, which are manifested in your actions, causing them suffering and privation. You do not feel like making them happy, or even comfortable. Your feelings are changeable. Sometimes your heart softens, then it closes firmly as you see some fault in them, and the angels cannot impress it with one emotion of love. 2MCP 528.2
An evil demon controls you, and you are hateful and hating. God has marked your disrespectful words, your unkind acts to your parents, whom He has commanded you to honor, and if you fail to see this great sin and repent of it, you will grow darker until you will be left to your evil ways.—Testimonies for the Church 2:82, 83 (1868). 2MCP 528.3Read in context »
A Violation of the Sixth Commandment—All acts of injustice that tend to shorten life—the spirit of hatred and revenge, or the indulgence of any passion that leads to injurious acts toward others or causes us even to wish them harm (for “whoso hateth his brother is a murderer”)—are, to a greater or less degree, violations of the sixth commandment.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 308 (1890). 2MCP 527.1
Satan Inspires With His Own Energies of Hate—When Satan is permitted to mold the will, he uses it to accomplish his ends. He instigates theories of unbelief and stirs up the human heart to war against the Word of God. With persistent, persevering effort, he seeks to inspire men with his own energies of hate and antagonism to God and to array them in opposition to the institutions and requirements of heaven and the operations of the Holy Spirit. He enlists under his standard all evil agencies and brings them into the battlefield under his generalship to oppose evil against good.—The Review and Herald, February 10, 1903. (Messages to Young People, 54.) 2MCP 527.2
World Hated Christ Because He Was Different—The difference between the character of Christ and the character of other men of His day was everywhere apparent, and because of this difference the world hated Him. It hated Him for His goodness and His strict integrity. And Christ declared that those who manifest the same attributes would be likewise hated. As we near the end of time this hatred for the followers of Christ will be more and more manifest. 2MCP 527.3Read in context »
“If the world hate you,” said Christ, “ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.” You have entertained the opinion that the reason why the world is so much opposed to us as a people is that we are too unsocial, too plain in our dress, and too strict in regard to amusements, withdrawing ourselves from them too much in practice as well as in precept. You have thought that if we would be less exclusive and would mingle more with the world, their opinions and impressions of us would be greatly modified. But no greater mistake could affect the human mind. Said Christ: “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not Him that sent Me.” 5T 433.1
These are the words of One of whom even His enemies were forced to admit: “Never man spake like this Man.” The words of men express their own human thoughts; but those of Christ are spirit and life. “If ye continue in My word,” He says, “then are ye My disciples indeed.” “He that is of God heareth God's words,” but these divine utterances find no place in the heart of one who is of the world and loves its pleasures. 5T 433.2
God has given us specific directions so that no one need err. “Man shall not live by bread alone,” He says, “but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The truth given by inspiration “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Not by one word, not by many words, but by every word that God has spoken, shall man live. You cannot disregard one word, a single injunction that He has given, however trifling it may seem to you, and be safe. “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Whosoever will willfully break one command cannot in spirit and in truth keep any of them. He may claim that, with the exception of what he may regard as slight deviations, he keeps them all; yet if he willingly offends in one point he is guilty of all. 5T 434.1Read in context »