Ms 31a, 1898


Ms 31a, 1898

“His Own Received Him Not”


March 7, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 80; CC 34; 12MR 307. +Note

“At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.” [Matthew 12:1.] Ms31a-1898.1

The word here translated corn means wheat. The disciples rubbed the wheat in their hands, and ate the kernels. But the Pharisees were continually on Christ’s track; for the enemy was working through them to counteract Christ’s work of healing the sick and preaching the gospel to the poor. “When the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him: how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests, or have ye not read in the law how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?” [Verses 2-5.] Ms31a-1898.2

Then Christ referred to His own prerogative. “But I say unto you,” He said, “That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.” [Verses 6-8.] Ms31a-1898.3

“And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue and, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered.” [Verses 9, 10.] This man had come to the synagogue hoping to receive the great blessing of healing. This the Pharisees knew, and they felt sure that Christ meant to heal him. They determined to let Him know their mind on the matter. They asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day? That they might accuse him.” [Verse 10.] Ms31a-1898.4

“And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into the pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?” This it was the practice to do, and that very morning they had performed this act. “How much then is a man better than a sheep,” Christ continued. “Therefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath day.” [Verses 11, 12.] Ms31a-1898.5

“Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand.” [Verse 13.] By faith the man was to do this, and as he made the effort to move his useless hand, virtue from Christ gave vitality to the nerves and sinews and muscles, and the hand was perfectly restored. Ms31a-1898.6

Full of faith in the great Healer, the man became His disciple. And many others, as they beheld the work of restoration, gave glory to God. But did this evidence, added to the multitude of evidences already given, cure the Pharisees of their prejudice and unbelief? No; rather than that this work of healing should have been done before the people, they would have had the afflicted man carry about his helpless arm. With what grief Christ looked upon these leaders of the people. They were professedly in advance of all others on the face of the earth, yet they were continually interposing between God and the people. Ms31a-1898.7

Then the Pharisees went out, and held a counsel against Him, “how they might destroy him,” because He was the Restorer of human maladies. [Verse 14.] When Jesus knew their purpose, He withdrew Himself from them, and great multitudes followed them, and He healed them all; and charged them that they should not make Him known. He was desirous of continuing His work of healing, and relieving those who were under the cruel power of Satan. He knew that He alone could break that power. Ms31a-1898.8

In Luke we read of Christ, “It came to pass in those days that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” [Luke 6:12.] Men of the world often spend whole nights planning, in order to secure success, and Jesus spent many nights in prayer. He was along with His Father, earnestly seeking the Lord with strong crying and tears. He seemed to be in an agony of distress. Why was this? He had come to his vineyard to claim His own, but he was rejected, abused. <The people to whom He came were even then laying plans to crucify Him.> He was more and more hardly beset by satanic agencies. Ms31a-1898.9

The resistance shown by the priests and rulers to His work corresponded to the convincing evidences of His divinity. They were jealous of Him because He possessed a power that drew the people to Him. His tongue was like the pen of a ready writer. He was the very treasure house of knowledge, and His parables and illustrations made the truth plain to the unlearned. Under His teaching those who could not learn the truth from books could learn it from nature. Ms31a-1898.10

But those who had been entrusted with the oracles of God, that they might be faithful expositors of the Scriptures, rejected and denied the Teacher sent from heaven. Christ saw that their spirit and principles were entirely contrary to the Scriptures. He saw that the Word of God was misinterpreted and misapplied. He saw how difficult it would be to instruct the people to read the Scriptures correctly, when their teachers read them in the light of their perverted judgment. What could He do to soften and subdue their hearts? This was the burden of His prayer. Ms31a-1898.11

The Jewish people might have repented if they would, but they were clothed with the garments of their own self-righteousness. They claimed to be the descendants of Abraham, and looked upon every promise made to Israel as theirs. But the Israel of God are those who are converted, not those who are the lineal descendants of Abraham. “What advantage then hath the Jews? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” “For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” [Romans 3:1, 2; 2:28, 29.] Ms31a-1898.12

The priests and rulers gloried in their exalted privileges, till they became proud and arrogant. In word and action, by their numerous forms and ceremonies, they said, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord are we. But they were separating themselves from God, loading the cloud of retribution soon to break over them. Christ declared of them, “For my love they are my adversaries. ... Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise. For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They compassed me about also with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause. ... And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.” [Psalm 109:4, 1-3, 5.] Ms31a-1898.13

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” Christ cried as He stood on Mount Olivet, and looked down over the city, “Thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” [Matthew 23:37.] It was this generation, then acting its part under the guidance of Satan, that was guilty of the murder of the Son of God. A solemn responsibility rested upon the Jewish people when Christ was among them; but the wisdom of His appeals could not reach their hard, impenitent hearts. “Ye would not come unto me that ye might have life,” He declared. [John 5:40.] “Ye would none of my counsel: ye despised all my reproof. If thou art destroyed, thou thyself art responsible.” Ms31a-1898.14

Christ’s heart was wrung with intense anguish as He realized the outcome of the course of action pursued by the Jewish action. He saw those who should have cooperated with Him in His work refusing God and His Son, and accepting Satan. He heard the tramp, tramp of the assailing armies. He heard the plans laid by the enemies of the Jews. With prophetic eye He saw the flames bursting from the beautiful temple, in which the people had worshiped while they refused its Maker. He saw the city laid level with the ground, and the ploughshare going deep [into] its ruins. He saw the unhappy people, Israelites only in name, scattered in every land. He saw them flowing to every nation, but citizens of none; and he cried out in sorrow, How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? He did not want to give them up to their own perverse way. But the warnings and entreaties of the prophets, and the work of the great Teacher, were in vain. Ms31a-1898.15

“Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.” [Matthew 12:22.] This was Christ’s work; and had the people of Jerusalem received the truth He brought, what a great missionary center their city would have been. Backslidden Israel would have been converted. A vast army would have been gathered for the Lord. But the leaders of the people refused to assimilate with Christ. Ms31a-1898.16

The Saviour had received His commission from heaven to speak to those who would hear, and to help those who would be helped. But His work was made exceedingly hard by the priests and rulers. They would not cooperate with Him in His work of relieving the afflicted. They would not cease their bitter opposition to Him who was doing this great and wonderful work. When the man possessed with an evil spirit was healed the people were amazed, and said, “Is not this the Son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.” [Verses 23, 24.] Ms31a-1898.17

“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: and if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods except he first bind the strong man? And then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” [Verses 25-30.] Ms31a-1898.18

“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” [Verses 31-36.] Ms31a-1898.19

In 1898 we have the same difficulties to encounter that our Saviour encountered. When in His own way and by His own instruments the Lord gives a message to His people, and to the world, there are those who see that this message is in advance of their views, or contrary to that which they have been teaching. These offer all the opposition in their power to God’s message. So it was in Christ’s day. By His miracle-working, He showed that He was from God. Again and again He demonstrated His power by works of mercy. At His word suffering of every kind and degree was relieved. But the priests would not believe the evidence of what they did not wish to be true. Ms31a-1898.20

Christ showed no respect to their views in regard to the observance of the Sabbath. He plainly stated that the object of the law was not to oppress but to bless all who were obedient to its requirements. But pride, obstinacy, jealousy, rose in the hearts of the priests, because the people were learning to love Christ’s teaching. They cherished a spirit more satanic than divine. Ms31a-1898.21

In this our time we find the priests and rulers no more inclined to study carefully and candidly whether there are not truths they ought to know than were the priests and rulers who opposed Christ. The Lord may give success to His messengers as they bear the message He has given them; but if the truth made known is not in harmony with the ideas of false religious teachers, they seem to think that they are being injured. Ms31a-1898.22

Those who lived before the flood were only a few steps from God, the Creator of the world and its inhabitants. The long life and large intellect given to these men might have been used in God’s service. But their intellectual strength, that mighty power, was perverted to dishonor God. God looked upon them as they disregarded the law given when the foundations of the earth were laid. He saw that they were being used by the great apostate to do battle against good. He saw wickedness and pride budding and blossoming. Ms31a-1898.23

In that age of almost perfect physical health, men forgot their God. Those who could do cunning work, who could have become more and more capable of acquiring tact and ingenuity, perverted their talents. Their God-given powers ripened into wickedness and all kinds of selfish gratification. The imagination of the heart was only evil and that continually. Ms31a-1898.24

There was violence in the land. The people advanced in crime as they advanced in knowledge, and grew in wickedness as they grew in intellectual cultivation. The belief was cherished that man would never die, or at least would live a thousand years. Ms31a-1898.25

Man’s wickedness made the race offensive to God. He would not leave them to hand their sins to their posterity. “God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt: for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come up before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them, and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” [Genesis 6:12, 13.] Ms31a-1898.26

When men separate from God, they place themselves under the control of Satan. Talents have been given to men that they may be used in God’s service. From the day that Noah’s family came out of the ark, these talents have been accumulating. There is only one safe way for any man, and that is the way of obedience to a “Thus saith the Lord.” Ms31a-1898.27