Shall be beaten with many stripes - Criminals among the Jews could not be beaten with more than forty stripes; and as this was the sum of the severity to which a whipping could extend, it may be all that our Lord here means. But, in some cases, a man was adjudged to receive fourscore stripes! How could this be, when the law had decreed only forty? Answer: By doubling the crime. He received forty for each crime; if he were guilty of two offenses, he might receive fourscore. See Lightfoot.
Which knew his lord‘s will - Who knew what his master wished him to do. He that knows what God commands and requires.
Many stripes - Shall be severely and justly punished. They who have many privileges, who are often warned, who have the gospel, and do not repent and believe, shall be far more severely punished than others. They who are early taught in Sunday schools, or by pious parents, or in other ways, and who grow up in sin and impenitence, will have much more to answer for than those who have no such privileges.
If we desire to reform others we must ourselves practice the principles which we would enforce upon them. Words, however good, will be powerless if contradicted by the daily life. Ministers of Christ, I admonish you: “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine.” Do not excuse sins in yourselves which you reprove in others. If you preach on meekness and love, let these graces be exemplified in your own life. If you urge others to be kind, courteous, and attentive at home, let your own example give force to your admonitions. As you have received greater light than others, so is your responsibility increased. You will be beaten with many stripes if you neglect to do your Master's will. 5T 160.1
Satan's snares are laid for us as verily as they were laid for the children of Israel just prior to their entrance into the land of Canaan. We are repeating the history of that people. Lightness, vanity, love of ease and pleasure, selfishness, and impurity are increasing among us. There is need now of men who are firm and fearless in declaring the whole counsel of God; men who will not sleep as do others, but watch and be sober. Knowing as I do the great lack of holiness and power with our ministers, I am deeply pained to see the efforts for self-exaltation. If they could but see Jesus as He is, and themselves as they are, so weak, so inefficient, so unlike their Master, they would say: If my name may be written in the obscurest part of the book of life, it is enough for me, so unworthy am I of His notice. 5T 160.2
It is your work to study and to imitate the Pattern. Was Christ self-denying? so must you be. Was He meek and lowly? so must you be. Was He zealous in the work of saving souls? so must you be. Did He labor to promote the glory of His Father? so must you. Did He often seek help from God? so must you. Was Christ patient? so will you be patient. As Christ forgave His enemies, so will you forgive. 5T 160.3Read in context »
Had you trained your mind to dwell upon elevated subjects, meditating upon heavenly themes, you could have done much good. You could have had an influence upon the minds of others, to turn their selfish thoughts and world-loving dispositions into the channel of spirituality. Were your affections and thoughts brought into subjection to the will of Christ, you would be capable of doing good. Your imagination is diseased because you have permitted it to run in a forbidden channel, to become dreamy. Daydreaming and romantic castle-building have unfitted you for usefulness. You have lived in an imaginary world; you have been an imaginary martyr and an imaginary Christian. 2T 251.1
There is much of this low sentimentalism mingled with the religious experience of the young in this age of the world. My sister, God requires you to be transformed. Elevate your affections, I implore you. Devote your mental and physical powers to the service of your Redeemer, who has bought you. Sanctify your thoughts and feelings that all your works may be wrought in God. 2T 251.2
You have been in a sad deception. God would have you investigate closely every thought and purpose of your heart. Deal truly with your own soul. Had your affections been centered upon God as He requires, you would not have passed through the trials you have. There is a restlessness of spirit with you which will not be relieved until your thoughts are changed; until daydreaming and castle-building cease, and you do the work of the present. 2T 251.3Read in context »
“If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” These words were proved true in the history of the Jewish nation. Christ's last and crowning miracle was the raising of Lazarus of Bethany, after he had been dead four days. The Jews were given this wonderful evidence of the Saviour's divinity, but they rejected it. Lazarus rose from the dead and bore his testimony before them, but they hardened their hearts against all evidence, and even sought to take his life. (John 12:9-11.) COL 265.1
The law and the prophets are God's appointed agencies for the salvation of men. Christ said, Let them give heed to these evidences. If they do not listen to the voice of God in His word, the testimony of a witness raised from the dead would not be heeded. COL 265.2
Those who heed Moses and the prophets will require no greater light than God has given; but if men reject the light, and fail to appreciate the opportunities granted them, they would not hear if one from the dead should come to them with a message. They would not be convinced even by this evidence; for those who reject the law and the prophets so harden their hearts that they will reject all light. COL 265.3Read in context »
“Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed; and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth; lo, there thou hast that is thine.” COL 362.1
Thus men excuse their neglect of God's gifts. They look upon God as severe and tyrannical, as watching to spy out their mistakes and visit them with judgments. They charge Him with demanding what He has never given, with reaping where He has not sown. COL 362.2
There are many who in their hearts charge God with being a hard master because He claims their possessions and their service. But we can bring to God nothing that is not already His. “All things come of Thee,” said King David; “and of Thine own have we given Thee.” 1 Chronicles 29:14. All things are God's, not only by creation, but by redemption. All the blessings of this life and of the life to come are delivered to us stamped with the cross of Calvary. Therefore the charge that God is a hard master, reaping where He has not sown, is false. COL 362.3Read in context »