Be not deceived - Neither deceive yourselves, nor permit yourselves to be deceived by others. He seems to refer to the Judaizing teachers.
God is not mocked - Ye cannot deceive him, and he will not permit you to mock him with pretended instead of real services.
Whatsoever a man soweth - Whatsoever kind of grain a man sows in his field, of that shall he reap; for no other species of grain can proceed from that which is sown. Darnel will not produce wheat, nor wheat, darnel.
Be not deceived - That is, in regard to your character, and your hopes for eternity. This is a formula of introduction to some admonition that is especially weighty and important. It implies that there was danger that they would be deceived in reference to their character. The sources of the danger were the corruption of their own hearts, the difficulty of knowing their true character, the instructions of false teachers, etc.; see the note at 1 Corinthians 6:9.
God is not mocked - He cannot be imposed on, or mocked. He knows what our real character is, and he will judge us accordingly. The word rendered “mocked” ( μυκτηρίζω muktērizō), means, properly, to turn up the nose in scorn; hence, to mock, or deride, or insult. The sense is, that God could not be imposed on, or could not be insulted with impunity, or successfully. To mock is, properly:
(1) To imitate, to mimic: to imitate in contempt or derision.
(2) to deride, to laugh at, to ridicule.
(3) to defeat, or to illude, or to disappoint.
(4) to fool, to tantalize - Webster.
Here it cannot mean to imitate, or to mimic, but it refers to the principles of the divine administration, and must mean that they could not be treated with contempt, or successfully evaded. They could not hope to illude or impose on God. His principles of government were settled, and they could not impose on him. To what the reference is here, is not perfectly plain. In the connection in which it stands, it seems to refer to the support of the ministers of the gospel; and Paul introduces the general principle, that as a man sows he will reap, to show them what will be the effect of a liberal and proper use of their property. If they made a proper use of it; if they employed it for benevolent purposes; if they appropriated what they should to the support of religion, they would reap accordingly. God could not be imposed on in regard to this. They could not make him think that they had true religion when they were sowing to the flesh, and when they were spending their money in purchasing pleasure, and in luxury and vanity.
No zeal, however ardent; no prayers, however fervent or long, no professions, however loud, would impose on God. And to make such prayers, and to manifest such zeal and such strong professions, while the heart was with the world, and they were spending their money for every thing else but religion, was mocking God. Alas, how much mockery of God like this still prevails! How much, when people seem disposed to make God believe that they are exceedingly zealous and devoted, while their heart is truly with the world! How many long prayers are offered; how much zeal is shown; how many warm professions are made, as if to make God and man believe that the heart was truly engaged in the cause of religion, while little or nothing is given in the cause of benevolence; while the ministers of religion are suffered to starve; and while the “loud professor” rolls in wealth, and is distinguished for luxury of living, for gaiety of apparel, for splendor of equipage, and for extravagance in parties of pleasure! Such professors attempt to mock God. They are really sowing to the flesh; and of the flesh they must reap corruption.
For whatsoever a man soweth - See the note at 2 Corinthians 9:6. This figure is taken from agriculture. A man who sows wheat, shall reap wheat; he who sows barley, shall reap barley; he who sows cockle, shall reap cockle. Every kind of grain will produce grain like itself. So it is in regard to our works. He who is liberal, shall be dealt with liberally; he who is righteous, shall be rewarded; he who is a sinner, shall reap according to his deeds.
Every act of the parents tells on the future of the children. In devoting time and money to the outward adorning and the gratification of perverted appetite, they are cultivating vanity, selfishness, and lust in the children. Mothers complain of being so burdened with care and labor that they cannot take time patiently to instruct their little ones, and to sympathize with them in their disappointments and trials. Young hearts yearn for sympathy and tenderness, and if they do not obtain it from their parents, they will seek it from sources that may endanger both mind and morals. I have heard mothers refuse their children some innocent pleasure, for lack of time and thought, while their busy fingers and weary eyes were diligently engaged on some useless piece of adorning, something which could only serve to encourage vanity and extravagance in the children. “As the twig is bent, the tree is inclined.” As the children approach manhood and womanhood, these lessons bear fruit in pride and moral worthlessness. The parents deplore the children's faults, but are blind to the fact that they are but reaping the crop from seed of their own planting. FE 156.1
Christian parents, take up your life burden, and think candidly of the sacred obligations that rest upon you. Make the word of God your standard, instead of following the fashions and customs of the world, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. The future happiness of your families and the welfare of society depend largely upon the physical and moral education which your children receive in the first years of their life. If their tastes and habits are as simple in all things as they should be, if the dress is tidy, without extra adornment, mothers will find time to make their children happy, and teach them loving obedience. FE 156.2
Do not send your little ones away to school too early. The mother should be careful how she trusts the molding of the infant mind to other hands. Parents ought to be the best teachers of their children until they have reached eight or ten years of age. Their schoolroom should be the open air, amid the flowers and birds, and their textbook the treasure of nature. As fast as their minds can comprehend it, the parents should open before them God's great book of nature. These lessons, given amid such surroundings, will not soon be forgotten. Great pains should be taken to prepare the soil of the heart for the Sower to scatter the good seed. If half the time and labor that is now worse than wasted in following the fashions of the world, were devoted to the cultivation of the minds of the children, to the formation of correct habits, a marked change would be apparent in families. FE 156.3Read in context »
God wants the youth to become men of earnest mind, to be prepared for action in His noble work, and fitted to bear responsibilities. God calls for young men with hearts uncorrupted, strong and brave, and determined to fight manfully in the struggle before them, that they may glorify God and bless humanity. If the youth would but make the Bible their study, would but calm their impetuous desires, and listen to the voice of their Creator and Redeemer, they would not only be at peace with God, but would find themselves ennobled and elevated. It will be for your eternal interest, my young friend, to give heed to the instructions in the Word of God, for they are of inestimable importance to you. MYP 21.1
I entreat you to be wise, and consider what will be the result of leading a wild life, uncontrolled by the Spirit of God. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.” For your soul's sake, for Christ's sake, who gave Himself to save you from ruin, pause on the threshold of your life, and weigh well your responsibilities, your opportunities, your possibilities. God has given you an opportunity to fill a high destiny. Your influence may tell for the truth of God; you may be a colaborer with God in the great work of human redemption.... MYP 21.2Read in context »
(Matthew 12:31, 32). God Gave Pharaoh Into Hands of Self—Every additional evidence of the power of God that the Egyptian monarch resisted, carried him on to a stronger and more persistent defiance of God. Thus the work went on, finite man warring against the expressed will of an infinite God. This case is a clear illustration of the sin against the Holy Ghost. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Gradually the Lord withdrew His Spirit. Removing His restraining power, He gave the king into the hands of the worst of all tyrants,—self (The Review and Herald, July 27, 1897). 1BC 1100.1
(Galatians 6:7). Pharaoh Sowed Obstinacy, Reaped Obstinacy—“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Pharaoh sowed obstinacy, and he reaped obstinacy. He himself put this seed into the soil. There was no more need for God by some new power to interfere with its growth, than there is for Him to interfere with the growth of a grain of corn. All that is required is that a seed shall be left to germinate and spring up to bring forth fruit after its kind. The harvest reveals the kind of seed that has been sown (Manuscript 126, 1901). 1BC 1100.2
Rebellion Produces Rebellion—After the plague was stayed, the king refused to let Israel go. Rebellion produces rebellion. The king had become so hardened with his continual opposition to the will of God, that his whole being rose in rebellion to the awful exhibitions of His divine power (Spiritual Gifts 3:215). 1BC 1100.3
Israel Would Be Preserved, Even if Pharaoh Had to Die—Pharaoh hardened his heart against the Lord and he ventured, notwithstanding all the signs and mighty wonders he had witnessed, to threaten that if Moses and Aaron appeared before him again they should die. If the king had not become hardened in his rebellion against God, he would have been humbled under a sense of the power of the living God who could save or destroy. He would have known that He who could do such miracles, and multiply His signs and wonders, would preserve the lives of His chosen servants, even if He should have to slay the king of Egypt (Spiritual Gifts 3:220). 1BC 1100.4Read in context »
Those who have trained the mind to delight in spiritual exercises are the ones who can be translated and not be overwhelmed with the purity and transcendent glory of heaven. You may have a good knowledge of the arts, you may have an acquaintance with the sciences, you may excel in music and in penmanship, your manners may please your associates, but what have these things to do with a preparation for heaven? What have they to do to prepare you to stand before the tribunal of God? 2T 267.1
Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Nothing but holiness will prepare you for heaven. It is sincere, experimental piety alone that can give you a pure, elevated character and enable you to enter into the presence of God, who dwelleth in light unapproachable. The heavenly character must be acquired on earth, or it can never be acquired at all. Then begin at once. Flatter not yourself that a time will come when you can make an earnest effort easier than now. Every day increases your distance from God. Prepare for eternity with such zeal as you have not yet manifested. Educate your mind to love the Bible, to love the prayer meeting, to love the hour of meditation, and, above all, the hour when the soul communes with God. Become heavenly-minded if you would unite with the heavenly choir in the mansions above. 2T 267.2
A new year of your life now commences. A new page is turned in the book of the recording angel. What will be the record upon its pages? Shall it be blotted with neglect of God, with unfulfilled duties? God forbid. Let a record be stamped there which you will not be ashamed to have revealed to the gaze of men and angels. 2T 268.1Read in context »