He saith unto him, Friend - Rather, companion: so εταιρε should be translated. As this man represents the state of a person in the visible Church, who neglects to come unto the master of the feast for a marriage garment, for the salvation which Christ has procured, he cannot be with any propriety called a friend, but may well be termed a companion, as being a member of the visible Church, and present at all those ordinances where Christ's presence and blessing are found, by all those who sincerely wait upon him for salvation.
How camest thou in hither - Why profess to be called by my name while living without a preparation for my kingdom?
He was speechless - Εφιμωθη, he was muzzled, or gagged. He had nothing to say in vindication of his neglect. There was a garment provided, but he neither put it on, nor applied for it. His conduct, therefore, was in the highest degree insulting and indecorous. As this man is the emblem, by general consent, of those who shall perish in the last day, may we not ask, without offense, Where does the doctrine of absolute reprobation or preterition appear in his case? If Christ had never died for him, or if he had applied for the garment, and was refused, might he not well have alleged this in behalf of his soul? - and would not the just God have listened to it? But there is not the smallest excuse for him: Christ died, the sacrifice was offered, for him; the ministers of the Gospel invited him; the Holy Spirit strove with him; he might have been saved, but he was not: and the fault lies so absolutely at his own door that the just God is vindicated in his conduct, while he sends him to hell, not for the lack of what he could not get, but for the lack of what he might have had, but either neglected or refused it.
Then said the king to the servants - To the ministering angels, executors of the Divine will.
Cast him into outer darkness - The Jewish marriages were performed in the night season, and the hall where the feast was made was superbly illuminated; the outer darkness means, therefore, the darkness on the outside of this festal hall; rendered still more gloomy to the person who was suddenly thrust out into it from such a profusion of light. See all this largely treated of on Matthew 8:12; (note).
Friend - Rather, “companions.” The word does not imply friendship.
He was speechless - He had no excuse. So it will be with all hypocrites.
Christ declares, “He that will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Those who have on the wedding garment, the robe of Christ's righteousness, will not question whether they should lift the cross, and follow in the footsteps of the Saviour. Willingly and cheerfully they will obey His commands. Souls are perishing out of Christ. How inconsistent, then, is all striving after position and wealth. How feeble are the motives which Satan may present, which selfishness and ambition can furnish, in comparison with the lessons which Christ has given in His word! How worthless the reward the world offers beside that offered by our heavenly Father!—The Review and Herald, September 19, 1899. CS 227.1Read in context »
Following a Self-established Standard—Many, many are trusting to their own righteousness. They set up a standard for themselves and do not submit to the will of Christ and allow Him to clothe them with the robe of His righteousness. They form characters according to their own will and pleasure. Satan is well pleased with their religion. They misrepresent the perfect character—the righteousness—of Christ. Themselves deceived, they deceive others. They are not accepted of God. They are liable to lead other souls into false paths. They will at last receive their reward with the great deceiver—Satan.—Manuscript 138, 1902. 1MCP 41.1Read in context »
All these heavenly beings have one object above all others, in which they are intensely interested—His church in a world of corruption. All these armies are in the service of the Prince of heaven, exalting the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. They are working for Christ under His commission, to save to the uttermost all who look to Him and believe in Him. These heavenly intelligences are speeding on their mission, doing for Christ that which Herod and Pilate did against Him. They confederate together to uphold the honor and glory of God. They are united in a holy alliance, in a grand and sublime unity of purpose, to show forth the power and compassion and love and glory of the crucified and risen Saviour. 7BC 968.1
In their service, these armies of heaven illustrate what the church of God should be. Christ is working in their behalf in the heavenly courts, sending out His messengers to all parts of the globe, to the assistance of every suffering one who looks to Him for relief, for spiritual life and knowledge. 7BC 968.2
The church of Christ on earth is amid the moral darkness of a disloyal world, which is trampling upon the law of Jehovah. But their Redeemer, who has purchased their ransom with the price of His own precious blood, has made every provision that His church shall be a transformed body, illumined with the Light of the world, possessing the glory of Emmanuel. The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, shining through His church, will gather into His fold every lost, straying sheep, who will come unto Him and find refuge in Him. They will find peace and light and joy in Him who is peace and righteousness for ever (Letter 89c, 1897). 7BC 968.3Read in context »
“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.” He feels that he is the purchase of the blood of Christ and bound by the most solemn vows to glorify God in his body and in his spirit, which are God's. The love of sin and the love of self are subdued in him. He daily asks: “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” The true Christian will never complain that the yoke of Christ is galling to the neck. He accounts the service of Jesus as the truest freedom. The law of God is his delight. Instead of seeking to bring down the divine commands, to accord with his deficiencies, he is constantly striving to rise to the level of their perfection. 5T 220.1
Such an experience must be ours if we would be prepared to stand in the day of God. Now, while probation lingers, while mercy's voice is still heard, is the time for us to put away our sins. While moral darkness covers the earth like a funeral pall, the light of God's standard-bearers must shine the more brightly, showing the contrast between heaven's light and Satan's darkness. 5T 220.2
God has made ample provision that we may stand perfect in His grace, wanting in nothing, waiting for the appearing of our Lord. Are you ready? Have you the wedding garment on? That garment will never cover deceit, impurity, corruption, or hypocrisy. The eye of God is upon you. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. We may conceal our sins from the eyes of men, but we can hide nothing from our Maker. 5T 220.3Read in context »