Manuscript Releases, vol. 19 [Nos. 1360-1419]


MR No. 1387—The Lot of God's People in a World of Sin; Peter's Denial and Jesus’ Trial; Satan's Confederacy of Evil Angels and Evil Men

[John 18:12-14, 19-23, quoted.] The followers of Christ should bear in mind that all the evil speeches made against Christ, all the abuse that He received, they must, as His followers, endure for His name's sake. The piety of the church may professedly be of a high order; but when the truth of the Word of God is brought to bear upon the heart, and when conviction of truth is rejected and despised that they may keep in friendship with the majority, they place themselves—that humanity which might be sanctified, refined, purified, ennobled, by obedience to the commandments of God—as rejecters of truth and light, on the side of the enemy. Satan stirs them up, by a power from beneath, with an intensity that reveals his enmity to God and His laws. They enact human laws that are oppressive and galling. 19MR 162.1

[John 15:18-25; 16:1-4, quoted.] The truth of these words of Christ has been a reality in the experience of those who have been loyal and true to the God of heaven, according to the light received. “If they have persecuted Me,” He said, “they will also persecute you; if they have kept My sayings, they will keep yours also” [John 15:20]. “All that will live [not merely profess] godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” [2 Timothy 3:12]. “And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known [by experimental knowledge] the Father, nor Me” [John 16:3]. 19MR 162.2

As Christ was hated without cause, so will His people be hated without cause, merely because they are obedient to the commandments of God and do His works in the place of working directly contrary to them. If He who was pure, holy, and undefiled, who did good and only good in our world, was treated as a base criminal, and condemned to death without a vestige of evidence against Him, what can His disciples expect but similar treatment, however, faultless may be their life and blameless their character? Human enactments, laws manufactured by satanic agencies under a plea of goodness and restriction of evil, will be exalted, while God's holy enactments are despised and trampled underfoot. And all who prove their loyalty by obedience to the law of Jehovah must be prepared to be arrested, to be brought before councils that have not for their standard the high and holy law of God, but have made stringent laws inspired by him whose attributes were manifested at the trial of Christ. “We have a law,” these men said, “and by our law He ought to die” [John 19:7]. 19MR 163.1

“Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early” [John 18:28]. The night was the most appropriate hour for their works of darkness, In these religious zealots, we have a sample of what humanity will do when they have the Word that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and work directly contrary to it, irrespective of the consequences, the future retribution upon their neighbors or themselves. “We have a law,” they say, “and by that law He ought to die” [John 19:7]. 19MR 163.2

But these priests, scribes, and rulers were so exact in regard to their own maxims and traditions that they would not enter the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled, and that they might [might not be able to] eat the passover. The passover was a ceremony instituted by Christ Himself before His incarnation, but He who was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy was in their midst, His divinity clothed with humanity. Type was meeting antitype. And they had done unto Him as Satan had worked upon their deceived, deluded, hardened hearts to do. 19MR 163.3

The kingdom of darkness is extending over the world, and is embracing every sphere of action of men. There are evil spirits working effectually upon every mind that can be led into apostasy through any cause whatever. The spirit of evil energizes the children of rebellion. These evil agencies were at work with Cain when he slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh” [Hebrews 11:4]. “And to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven” [Hebrews 12:24, 25]. 19MR 164.1

The same spirit that was moving the priests and rulers had moved the heart and mind of Cain to slay his brother. It is the apostasy from truth that worketh in the children of disobedience to silence the voice of those who are calling them to obedience, and provoke the loyal to become disloyal as Cain tried to provoke Abel. A demoniacal spirit takes possession of men in our world. They combine the perverted animal life with the perverted human animal, intelligence making them human demons, detestable in the sight of God in proportion as they manifest the attributes of the satanic. Demon intelligence, by culture, will rend and destroy man formed in the divine similitude because he cannot control the conscience of his brother and make him disloyal to God's holy law, because he himself is unrighteous like Cain who was disobedient. 19MR 164.2

Satan was not a rough specimen of humanity. He had been one of the highest angels next to Christ. All his beauty, and intelligence, and excellence was derived from God. But he misapplied his powers, broke his connection with God, and apostatized. And by practice he has an ever-increasing knowledge of transgression. He has an ever-increasing energy in using that acquired knowledge. Thought is poisoned, and the force of wickedness, the abuse of his powers to hurt and destroy God's heritage, will measure the daring of humanity, and their cruel satanic treatment of man against his fellow man. The more pain they can cause, the more complete is their work in destroying God's heritage, and the more joy they give to the fallen apostate. 19MR 165.1

The world is represented in the apostate churches who are trampling upon the Word of God, transgressing His holy law. They know not what spirit they are of, nor the end of the dark tunnel through which they are passing. They are hastening forward, deceived, deluded, blind, to the first and second death. The vast tide of human will and human passion is leading to things they did not dream of when they discarded the law of Jehovah for the inventions of man, to cause oppression and suffering to human beings. They have exalted phantoms, and eternal realities are naught to them. 19MR 165.2

But He who came to our world to seek and to save that which was lost has pledged His own life that men might have a second probation. He has pity, and compassion, and love that are without a parallel; and He has made every provision in behalf of men that none need perish. The divine Son of God came into our world, its Light and Life, to encompass the whole world and to attract and unite to Himself every human being who is under Satan's discipline and rule. He invites them, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” [Matthew 11:28, 29]. Thus He unites with Himself by a new inspiration of grace all who will come unto Him. He puts upon them His seal, His sign of obedience and loyalty to His holy Sabbath. 19MR 165.3

The wicked rulers, the apostate churches, have been converted to the world, and they show just exactly what they would do in this age of the world if they dared. If Christ were on the earth today, they would have no more desire for Him than had the Jewish nation at His first advent. They would do as did the Jews. Were it in their power, they would crucify Christ because He tells them the truth. They are educating up to this point. Rulers and teachers who have caused souls to stumble over their perverted teachings, statesmen, senators, governors, all people who might have understood the prophecies, but who did not read and search to see if they were applicable for this time and concerned their individual selves, will be taken in the snare. They will reap eternal loss. They will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. 19MR 166.1

The close study of Daniel's visions and warnings is essential. The first words of the Revelation mean, not a book closed, but a book opened. Where did John get the light? Did it originate with the aged disciple?—No. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein” [Revelation 1:1-3]. 19MR 166.2

Simon Peter had followed Jesus, and so had another disciple, “that disciple [John] was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter” [John 18:15, 16]. 19MR 167.1

The look of dejection on Peter's face suggested to the woman the thought that this was one of the disciples of Christ. She was one of the servants of Caiaphas’ household, and was curious to know. She said to Peter, “Art thou not also one of this Man's disciples?” [John 18:17]. Peter was startled and confused; the eyes of the company instantly fastened upon him. He pretended not to understand her, but she was persistent, and said to those around her that this man was with Jesus. Peter felt compelled to answer, and said angrily, “Woman, I know Him not” [Luke 22:57]. This was the first denial, and immediately the cock crew. Oh, Peter! so soon ashamed of thy Master! so soon to cowardly deny thy Lord! The Saviour is dishonored and deserted in His humiliation by one of His most zealous disciples. 19MR 167.2

Peter had confidently asserted, “Though all men should forsake thee, yet will not I.” “I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison and to death” [Luke 22:33]. Where now was the confidence of this self-assured disciple? Where his loyalty to his Master? O Peter, this was the time when thou shouldest have confessed thy Lord, and that without shame and unwillingness! But another opportunity was given him. The palace of the high priest was surrounded by a piazza or open court, into which the soldiers and chief priests and multitude had gathered. And Peter took a place among the multitude. But attention was called to him the second time, and he was again charged with being a follower of Jesus. “This fellow was also with Jesus,” said one [Matthew 26:71]. He now denied the accusation with an oath. The cock crew the second time; but Peter heard it not, for he was now thoroughly intent upon carrying out the character which he had assumed. One of the servants of the high priest, being a near kinsman to the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked him, “Did I not see thee in the garden with Him?” [John 18:26]. “Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereto” [Mark 14:70]. 19MR 167.3

At this Peter flew into a rage, and to fully deceive his questioners, and to justify his assumed character, he denied his Master with cursing and swearing. And immediately the cock crew the third time. Peter heard it then, and he remembered the words of Jesus. “Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice” [Matthew 26:34]. 19MR 168.1

Christ was weary and faint from fasting when the denial of Peter reached Him; and while the degrading oaths were fresh upon his lips, and the shrill crowing of the cock was yet ringing in his ears, the Saviour turned His face from the frowning judges and looked full upon His poor disciple. At the same time Peter's eyes were involuntarily fixed upon his Master. He read in that gentle countenance deep pity and sorrow; but there was no anger there. That face, pale with suffering, those quivering lips, seemed to speak to Peter. “Not know Me, Peter?” The look was blended with pity, compassion, and forgiveness for the unfaithful one; and it pierced Peter's heart like an arrow. He fled from the now crowded courts, he cared not where. At last he found himself in the garden of Gethsemane and in the very spot where Jesus had poured out His soul in agony to His Father. He fell on his face stricken and wounded, and so overwhelmed with what he had done that he wished he could die there. 19MR 168.2

“And 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]. 19MR 168.3

Here we see how professedly righteous men can act out the spirit of Satan to carry their wicked purposes through envy and jealousy and religious bigotry. That enmity was spoken of in the first gospel sermon in Eden. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel” [Genesis 3:15]. This enmity was revealed as soon as man transgressed God's holy law. His nature was changed. It became evil. He was in harmony with the prince of darkness, and there was a confederacy formed. There is no warfare between Satan and the sinner, between fallen angels and fallen men. Both possess the same attributes, both are evil through apostasy and sin. Then let all who read these words understand for a surety that, wheresoever transgression against God's holy law exists, there will always be a league against good. Fallen angels and fallen men will unite in desperate companionship. Satan inspires the disloyal elements to work in harmony with his spirit. 19MR 169.1

The prediction given in Eden refers in a special manner to Christ, and to all who accept and confess Him as the only begotten Son of God. Christ has pledged Himself to engage in the conflict with the prince and power of darkness and bruise the serpent's head, and all who are the sons of God are His chosen ones, His soldiers, to war against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. It is an unwearied conflict of which there is to be no end, until Christ shall come the second time without sin unto salvation to destroy him who has destroyed so many souls through his masterly deceiving power. 19MR 169.2

“And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led Him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us. And He said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: And if I also ask you, ye will not answer Me, nor let Me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all, Art Thou then the Son of God? And He said unto them, Ye say that I am. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of His own mouth” [Luke 22:66-71]. 19MR 170.1

“And the whole multitude of them arose, and led Him unto Pilate” [Luke 23:1].—Manuscript 104, 1897. 19MR 170.2

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

May 12, 1988.

Entire Ms.