Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 40, 1897

Christ or Barabbas?



Portions of this manuscript are published in 6BC 1107; 3SM 415-418; 10MR 338; see RH 01/23/1900 and 01/30/1900.

God sent His Son into the world to save men, although they did not deserve such a revelation of the Father’s love, because of their sins. How did the world treat the One who was “altogether lovely, and the chiefest among ten thousand”? [Song of Solomon 5:16, 10.] We read of Him at His trial, “The men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him, and when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.” [Luke 22:63-65.] Prophecy, inspired by Christ Himself, had declared the treatment which Christ would receive at the hands of men. On one occasion Paul was smitten on the mouth. He was indignant at the insult, and said to the cruel actor, “Sitteth thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?” [Acts 23:3.] Paul had not become as meek and lowly as his Master. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 1

But in spite of the cruel treatment Christ received, He declared, “I came not to condemn the world, but to save the world; not to crush, but to heal; not to judge and condemn, but to save and uplift, to ennoble and bless.” 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 2

“Now at the feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.” [Matthew 27:15-18.] The Prince of life, bearing the signature of heaven, was placed before the people, with Barabbas by His side. The contrast between light and darkness, sin and righteousness, truth and falsehood, could be seen by all. But the people refused to receive the Lord of glory, choosing Barabbas, a robber and murderer in the place of the only begotten Son of God. By this they showed that they preferred the society of a murderer to One who was sinless, full of goodness, mercy, and truth. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 3

Pilate was not left to grope his way in darkness. He had stated before that he found no fault in Christ. Not only was he convinced by the testimony and evidence of the witness that the charges brought against Christ were false, but an angel of God communicated light to his wife, and before the terrible deed was done, she gave this light to Pilate. “When he was set down in the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.” [Verse 19.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 4

Pilate asked the people, “Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?” And with satanic madness the people said, “Not this man, but Barabbas.” [Verse 17; John 18:40.] Satan was working through the religious element, and religious bigotry and prejudice prevailed. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 5

“Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus, which is called Christ?” And as if inspired by satanic frenzy the people cried out, “Let him be crucified.” Their voices sounded like the bellowing of wild beasts. “Why, what evil hath he done?” Pilate asked. “But they cried out the more saying, Let him be crucified.” [Matthew 27:22, 23.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 6

“When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” [Verse 24.] Did this farce make him guiltless? O Pilate, if you could have washed from your convicted conscience the terrible guilt that will ever oppress your soul because of this cowardly deed, your future history would not have been laid in such dark colors. Will you refuse to listen to the warning from the Lord? when you know that it was for envy, and not for any evil deed, that Jesus was delivered? Do you think that the act of washing your hands will cleanse you from the sin of condemning a man, when your own reason told you that He was delivered into your power because of jealousy and envy? You declared Him innocent, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person.” 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 7

“When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; and went again into the judgment hall, and said unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou unto me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?” [John 19:8-10.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 8

“I have power.” By this saying Pilate showed that he made himself responsible for the condemnation of Christ, for the cruel scourging, and for the insult offered Him before any wrong was proved against Him. What would be more humiliating to a human being than for men to spit in His face! Pilate had been chosen and appointed to administer justice, but he dared not do it. Had he exerted the power he claimed and which his position gave him, had he protected Christ, he would not have been guilty of Christ’s crucifixion. Christ would have been crucified, but Pilate would not have been held guilty. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 9

Listen to the response made when Pilate said to the people, “See ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them; and when he had scourged Jesus he delivered him to be crucified.” [Matthew 27:24-26.] He had pronounced Him innocent, but still he delivered Him up to the most ignominious and cruel death a man can suffer. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 10

Here we have a picture portrayed before us. Here the Light of the world, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, without one charge proved against Him, without being convicted of a single crime, is given by the ruler to a shameful death. But who is responsible? In the day of God, before the assembled universe, who will suffer punishment for this act? Those who claimed to be the most pious people on the earth. Who crucified the Lord? “Then assembled together the chief priests and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety and kill him. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.” [Matthew 26:3-5.] The people would not have permitted harm to come to Jesus; therefore the priests must do their work in secrecy. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 11

“And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude, with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the elders of the people.” [Verse 47.] “When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: and when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” [Matthew 27:1-5.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 12

The religious leaders, the guides and instructors of the people, the men who ought to have pointed the people to Jesus, saying as did John, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” [John 1:29], followed in the lead of the enemy of all good. They persuaded the poor ignorant people, who knew not the Scriptures testifying of Christ, to reject the Son of God and let them to choose in His stead a murderer and a robber. “The chief priests and elders persuaded the people that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.” [Matthew 27:20.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 13

Why did the rulers of the people do this? Because of envy and jealousy. Prejudice is ever blind, unreasonable, vindictive, and cruel. Under its maddening draught people are insane. “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous, but who is able to stand before envy?” [Proverbs 27:4.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 14

The four apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, all bear record that Jew and Gentile, rulers, kings, and governors, priests and people, all classes and tongues, were represented in rejecting and crucifying Christ, the Son of God, a man who was innocent, and against whom they could find no proof. The synagogue of Satan, the prince of darkness and his evil agents, united in a desperate companionship with disloyal, evil men. They resolved to put the whole power of their corrupt energies to work to put out of the world the light of truth. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 15

He who had been sent into the world by the Father an ambassador of mercy, bringing a message of love, was not accepted. He came to live the law in human nature. He came to testify to the worlds unfallen, to seraphim and cherubim, to angels and archangels, that Satan’s rebellion and falsehood against God and His law were without foundation or excuse, that God had given in His own law His own character. This character Christ represented by living that law in human nature, thus vindicating it, and showing its immutability. This Satan could not tolerate. He could not bear to lose all that he had attempted in heaven to do, and in attempting which had lost heaven. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 16

The worlds unfallen and the heavenly universe looked with amazement [at] the hatred felt and acted toward the only begotten Son of God. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] But notwithstanding the priceless gift, He was scorned as a deceiver, hunted down as a malefactor, and betrayed and crucified as the worst of criminals, although by Pilate He was pronounced innocent. This is what human nature will do when under the control of satanic agencies. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 17

The scene transacted in Jerusalem at the betrayal and rejection of Christ represents the scene which will take place in the future history of the world, when Christ is finally rejected. The religious world will take sides with the first great rebel, and will reject the message of mercy in regard to the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 18

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him, privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered, and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers of places, all these are the beginning of sorrows. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 19

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another, and many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” [Matthew 24:3-14.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 20

“If any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christ’s and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth, behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 21

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” [Verses 23-31.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 22

The world is asleep. The people know not the time of their visitation. “If thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.” [Luke 19:42.] All need to be aroused. They cannot afford to be rocked to sleep in the cradle of indifference or carnal security. The record of the shameful trial in the judgment hall has passed up to heaven, and is the standard by which all are measured who choose to stand under the banner of Jesus Christ, or under the black banner of the prince of darkness. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 23

There are only two classes. Each party is distinctly stamped, either with the seal of the living God, or with the mark of the beast or his image. Each son and daughter of Adam chooses Christ or Satan as his general. All who place themselves on the side of the disloyal are under Satan’s black banner, and stand charged with rejecting and despitefully using Jesus Christ. They are charged with deliberately crucifying the Lord of life and glory. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 24

God has a controversy with the world and with the professed Christians who accept the fallacies of the great Apostate, which are prepared to suit every class in the Christian world, and who discard the law of God pronounced by the inspiration of God’s Spirit to be “holy and just and good.” [Romans 7:12.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 25

Each one has a very important question to answer: Are you on the side of Satan, and a transgressor of God’s law, or are you loyal to that God who declared Himself to Moses to be, “The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” [Exodus 34:6, 7.] Justice is as much an expression of love as mercy. God’s character was here displayed as His glory. God has delivered all judgment into the hands of His Son, and as a righteous judge He must pass sentence on every work, whether it be good or bad. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 26

The scene in the judgment hall in Jerusalem is a symbol of what will take place in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. The whole world will accept Christ, the truth, or they will accept Satan, the first great Rebel, an apostate, robber, and murderer. If they accept Satan, they identify their interests with the chief of all liars, and with all who are disloyal, while they turn from no less a personage than the Son of the infinite God. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 27

When the world is at last brought up for trial before the great white throne to account for their rejection of Jesus Christ, God’s own messenger to our world, what a solemn scene it will be! What a reckoning will be made for nailing to the cross One who came to our world as a living epistle of the law. He lived the law of God’s government; He was an expression of God’s character. And men who now reject God’s law crucify the Son of God afresh. They identify themselves with those who crucified Him on the cross of Calvary between two thieves. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 28

The world is not improving. Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. The world will not improve till God goes out of His place to punish the world for her iniquity. Then the earth shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. By the death of Christ is shown the changeless character of the great moral standard of righteousness. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 29

When Christ was upon this earth the world preferred Barabbas. And today the world and the churches are making the same choice. The scenes of the betrayal, rejection, and crucifixion of Christ have been reenacted, and will again be reenacted on an immense scale. People will be filled with the attributes of Satan. The delusions of the arch enemy of God and man will have great power. Those who have given their affections to any leader but Christ will find themselves under the control, body, soul, and spirit, of an infatuation that is so entrancing that under its power souls turn away from hearing the truth to believe a lie. They are ensnared and taken, and by their every action they cry, “Release unto us Barabbas, but crucify Christ.” [Luke 23:18, 21.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 30

Even now this decision is being made. The scenes enacted at the cross are being reenacted. In the churches which have departed from truth and righteousness, it is being revealed what human nature will be and do when the love of God is not an abiding principle in the soul. We need not be surprised at anything that may take place now. We need not marvel at any developments of horror. Those who trample under their unholy feet the law of God have the same spirit as had the men who insulted and betrayed Jesus. Without any compunctions of conscience they will do the deeds of their father the devil. They will ask the question that came from the traitorous lips of Judas, “What will ye give me if I betray unto you Jesus the Christ?” [Matthew 26:15.] Even now Christ is being betrayed in the person of His saints. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 31

The world is growing no better. Those who choose Satan as their ruler will reveal the spirit of their chosen master, who caused the fall of our first parents. By rejecting the divine Son of God—the personification of the only true God, who possessed goodness, mercy, and untiring love, whose heart was ever touched with human woe—and accepting a murderer in His place, the people showed what human nature can and will do when the restraining spirit of God is removed, and men are under [the control of] the great apostate. Just to that degree that light is refused and rejected will there be misconception and misunderstanding. Those who reject Christ and choose Barabbas will work under a ruinous deception. Misrepresentation, the bearing of false witness, will grow under open rebellion. The eye being evil, the whole body will be full of darkness. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 32

In view of the history of the life and death of Christ, can we be surprised if the world is hollow and insincere? Can we in our day trust in man, or make flesh our arm? Shall we not choose Christ, who alone can save from sin. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 33

“And as some (the disciples) spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come that there shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.” [Luke 21:5, 6.] Jesus made this the occasion of giving the disciples lessons of great consequence to them. When speaking of the great calamity which was to come upon Jerusalem, the world’s Redeemer made the things which their eyes rested upon a lesson book. As they looked upon the rich adornments of the temple, He spoke to them of the calamity which was to come upon it. And carrying their minds on, He spoke of the close of this earth’s history, when not merely nations would be destroyed, but the whole world. In the words spoken to the disciples at this time, Christ has left lessons which are especially applicable to our time. “These things are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” [1 Corinthians 10:11.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 34

“And they asked him, saying, Master, when shall these things be? and what sign will these be when these things shall come to pass? And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.” [Luke 21:7, 8.] The prophetic eye of Christ took in not merely the destruction of Jerusalem, but the destruction of a world. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 35

“But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines and pestilences: and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate before what ye shall answer: for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” [Verses 9-15.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 36

From those who thus boldly witness for Christ, men will hear sacred truth that never before heard it. In some hearts the seed will take root. The converting power of God will win souls from darkness to light. [Some] of the very men on the judgment seat, lawyers and jurors, will embrace the truth, and in their turn will confess Christ before kings and rulers by their loyalty to all the commandments of God, especially the Sabbath command, which will be made the test question, as it has ever been. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 37

In speaking of the close of the world’s history, Christ shows that there will be a repetition of the deeds done to our divine Lord. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 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 words 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 sayings, they will keep yours also. ... But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me, and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.” [John 15:18-20, 26, 27.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 38

Christ shows that without the controlling power of the Spirit of God humanity is a terrible power for evil. Unbelief, hatred of reproof, will stir up satanic influences. Principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places will unite in a desperate companionship. They will be leagued against God in the person of His saints. By misrepresentation and falsehood they will demoralize both men and women who to all appearances believe the truth. False witnesses will not be wanting in this terrible work. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 39

“And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your heads perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.” [Luke 21:16-19.] Christ will store the life taken, for He is the lifegiver, and He will beautify the righteous with salvation and immortal life. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 40

After speaking of the end of the world, Jesus comes back to Jerusalem, the city then sitting in pride and arrogance, and saying, “I sit a queen, ... and shall see no sorrow.” [Revelation 18:7.] As His prophetic eye rests upon Jerusalem, He sees that as she was given up to destruction, so the world will be given up to its doom. The scenes that transpired at the destruction of Jerusalem will be repeated at the great and terrible day of the Lord, but in a more fearful manner. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 41

How terrible was it to Christ, whose heart overflowed with love for those whom He had purchased with human agony, to see Jerusalem fast filling up the figures of the reckoning that Christ keeps with nations and individuals. With tears in His eyes and voice He exclaimed, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye (could not? no; ye) would not.” [Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34.] You would not yield up your determination to turn from the light, and to resist every measure which heaven has ordained for your peace and salvation. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 42

You have refused and rejected until mercy has exhausted her last resource. What more could I have done to my vineyard than I have done? I left no means untried to see if I could not lead you to repentance and to God, that you might live. But the arm strong to support, to shield, and to save will [be] found strong to execute the commands of a long suffering God, who keeps mercy for thousands, “forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children to the third and to the fourth generation.” [Exodus 34:7.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 43

“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” [Ecclesiastes 8:11.] The Lord wills not that any man shall perish, but that all shall come to Him and be saved. But in place of the Lord’s loving-kindness softening and subduing the soul, many of the objects of His love and mercy are encouraged to more obstinately resist. O that man would consider that there is a limit to the long forbearance of God. As men throw off all restraint, and make void His law themselves, as they establish their own perverted law, and try to force the consciences of those who honor God and keep His commandments to trample the law under their feet, they will find that the tenderness which they have mocked will be exhausted. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 44

Angels are co-operating with human intelligences. They are watching and working to draw the world to Christ, as Christ worked to draw the Jewish nation to God. Christ’s eye takes in the retribution that will be visited upon all the adversaries of God. The temporal retribution upon Jerusalem could be delayed but a short period of time. A world is represented in the destruction of Jerusalem, and the warning given then by Christ, comes sounding down the line to our time: “And there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring.” [Luke 21:25.] Yes; they shall pass their borders, and destruction will be in their track. They will engulf the ships that sail upon their broad waters, and with the burden of their living freight, they will be hurried into eternity, without time to repent. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 45

There will be calamities by land and by sea, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming upon the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken, and then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with power and great glory.” In just the same manner as He ascended will He come the second time to our world. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” [Verses 26-28.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 46

In this perilous time who will be found traitors? Who will choose the friendship of the enemies of Christ? Who will accept the bribery of the world at the expense of the principles of righteousness and truth. Of such it will be said, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.” [Luke 19:42.] O if men would only hear the last call of mercy God has sent to our world, telling of temperance, righteousness, and judgment to come, truth and light and grace would be given to them, to be given to the world. But ministers and teachers have resisted the light, refused the grace of heaven that God has richly provided for them, and abused the opportunities He has graciously presented to them. He looks from His home and sees warnings despised, convictions set aside, and the truth buried beneath the rubbish of tradition. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 47

A “Thus saith the Lord” is counted as an idle tale. Fables are chosen before the truth of heavenly origin. Warnings are unheeded, invitations to repentance are slighted, and the convictions of the Spirit of God. Confirmed impenitence is the result of refusing light and walking in the sparks of our own kindling. Those who follow this course follow unsafe paths, which lead to perdition. They are called upon to come out from the world and be separate. But the straight and narrow path does not look attractive; it is hard to enter in at the strait gate, and their eyes turn with longing desire to the wide gate and the broad road. “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” [Matthew 7:13.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 48

Fatal hardness of heart! The peace, the mercy, the grace, the exceeding great reward of obedience are now hidden from their eyes. The irrevocable sentence of condemnation must come from the divine lips. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Verses 22, 23.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 49

The warning of Christ, given in plain words, comes sounding down the line to our time: “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” [Luke 21:34-36.] 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 50

When the cases of all come up before the God of heaven for decision, He will ask each one the question, “What have you done to my only begotten Son?” What will those who have refused to accept the truth answer? They will be obliged to say, “We hated Jesus, and cast Him out. We cried, Crucify Him, crucify Him. We chose Barabbas instead of Christ.” If those to whom the light of heaven is presented, reject it, they reject Christ. They reject the only provision whereby they may be cleansed from pollution. They crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame. To them it will be said, “Depart from me; I never knew you.” God will assuredly avenge the death of His Son. 12LtMs, Ms 40, 1897, par. 51