They shall put you out of the synagogues - They will excommunicate you, and consider you as execrable, and utterly unworthy to hold any commerce with God by religion; or with man by civil fellowship. See on John 9:22; (note). In these excommunications they were spoiled of all their substance, see Ezra 10:8, and see also Hebrews 10:34, and deprived of their character, their influence, and every necessary of life. Though the Jewish people had the most humane laws, yet they were a most vindictive and cruel people.
That whosoever killeth you, etc. - This Paul found; for more than forty Jews bound themselves under a curse that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed him, Acts 23:12, Acts 23:13; and agreeably to this, it is said, in that Tract of the Talmud which is entitled Bammidbar, R. xxi. ad. Numbers 25:13; : "He who sheds the blood of the ungodly, is equal to him who brings an offering to God." What the Zealots did is notorious in history. They butchered any person, in cold blood, who, they pretended to believe, was an enemy to God, to the law, or to Moses; and thought they were fulfilling the will of God by these human sacrifices. We had the same kind of sacrifices here in the time of our Popish Queen Mary. May God ever save our state from the Stuarts!
Whosoever killeth you - This refers principally to the Jews. It is also true of the Gentiles, that in their persecution of Christians they supposed they were rendering acceptable service to their gods.
God‘s service - The Jews who persecuted the apostles regarded them as blasphemers, and as seeking to overthrow the temple service, and the system of religion which God had established. Thus, they supposed they were rendering service to God in putting. them to death, Acts 6:13-14; Acts 21:28-31. Sinners, especially hypocrites, often cloak enormous crimes under the pretence of great zeal for religion. Men often suppose, or profess to suppose, that they are rendering God service when they persecute others; and, under the pretence of great zeal for truth and purity, evince all possible bigotry, pride, malice, and uncharitableness. The people of God have suffered most from those who have been conscientious persecutors; and some of the most malignant foes which true Christians have ever had have been in the church, and have been professed ministers of the gospel, persecuting them under pretence of great zeal for the cause of purity and religion. It is no evidence of piety that a man is full of zeal against those whom he supposes to be heretics; and it is one of the best proofs that a man knows nothing of the religion of Jesus when he is eminent for self-conceit in his own views of orthodoxy, and firmly fixed in the opinion that all who differ from him and his sect must of course be wrong.
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 »
Create a Bulwark Around New Believers—Just after the decisions are made, the forces of the powers of darkness take these minds that have been convicted, and that have resisted the conviction of the Spirit of God. They have a superstition, and Satan works upon those minds until there is an intensity of opposition to the truth and everybody that believes it, and they think they are in God's service, as Christ told us, “Whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” Ev 339.1
Now we can see the intensity of their minds. Where is the intensity on the other side? Unite with the Spirit of the living God to present a bulwark around our people and around our youth, to educate and train them. This must be met, and we must carry right through the truth of God at any cost. We understand something about it, but there are many who do not understand anything about it, therefore we need to lead them along, to instruct them kindly and tenderly, and if the spirit of God is with us, we will know just what to say.—Manuscript 42, 1894. Ev 339.2
Comprehension of God's Over-all Purpose—The student should learn to view the Word as a whole, and to see the relation of its parts. He should gain a knowledge of its grand, central theme, of God's original purpose for the world, of the rise of the great controversy, and of the work of redemption. He should understand the nature of the two principles that are contending for supremacy, and should learn to trace their working through the records of history and prophecy, to the great consummation. He should see how this controversy enters into every phase of human experience; how in every act of life he himself reveals the one or the other of the two antagonistic motives; and how, whether he will or not, he is even now deciding upon which side of the controversy he will be found.—Education, 190 (1903). Ev 339.3Read in context »
“The angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” We see here that the men in authority are not always to be obeyed, even though they may profess to be teachers of Bible doctrine. There are many today who feel indignant and aggrieved that any voice should be raised presenting ideas that differ from their own in regard to points of religious belief. Have they not long advocated their ideas as truth? So the priests and rabbis reasoned in apostolic days: What mean these men who are unlearned, some of them mere fishermen, who are presenting ideas contrary to the doctrines which the learned priests and rulers are teaching the people? They have no right to meddle with the fundamental principles of our faith. TM 69.1
But we see that the God of heaven sometimes commissions men to teach that which is regarded as contrary to the established doctrines. Because those who were once the depositaries of truth became unfaithful to their sacred trust, the Lord chose others who would receive the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and would advocate truths that were not in accordance with the ideas of the religious leaders. And then these leaders, in the blindness of their minds, give full sway to what is supposed to be righteous indignation against the ones who have set aside cherished fables. They act like men who have lost their reason. They do not consider the possibility that they themselves have not rightly understood the word. They will not open their eyes to discern the fact that they have misinterpreted and misapplied the Scriptures, and have built up false theories, calling them fundamental doctrines of the faith. TM 69.2Read in context »