The Review and Herald

902/1902

October 12, 1897

Judas

EGW

The love of money grew in the heart of Judas with the exercise of his shrewd abilities. His practical financiering ability, if exercised, enlightened, and molded by the Holy Spirit, would have been of great service to the little church; and by the sanctification of his spirit, he would have had a clear insight, a correct discernment to appreciate heavenly things. But worldly policy plans were constantly cherished by Judas. There was no outbreaking sin on his part; but his sharp scheming, the selfish, parsimonious spirit that took possession of him, finally led him to sell his Lord for a small sum of money. RH October 12, 1897, par. 1

He might have obtained a larger sum; but Satan had impressed upon his mind that Christ, who had so often defeated the purposes of the scribes and Pharisees, would not suffer himself to be taken. How often he had seen the scribes and Pharisees, as Jesus taught them the truth in parables, carried away with the striking figures presented! When questions were given for their decision, they pronounced judgment against themselves, condemning the course they themselves were pursuing. How often when Christ had made the application of the word to their hearts, and showed that they were the ones whose course he was illustrating, the plain truth sent home enraged them, and in their mortification and madness they had taken up stones to cast at the world's Redeemer! Again and again he would have been killed had it not been for the heavenly angels who attended him and guarded his life until the time when the case of the Jews as a nation should be decided. This human life must be kept by the power of God until his day of work was ended. RH October 12, 1897, par. 2

If Christ could escape so many snares set to destroy him, thought Judas, he certainly would not allow himself to be taken by the scribes, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees; and he decided to put the matter to the test, and bring the crisis. He, Judas, would act his part in selling his Lord, and the priests would be cheated out of their money. If Christ really were the Son of God, the Messiah, the people for whom he had done so much in relieving them from the oppressive power of Satan, would rally, and come to his assistance. Then he, Judas, would have the credit of having placed him on David's throne. This would forever settle many minds that were now in such uncertainty. And this act would place him as first, next to Christ, in the new kingdom. RH October 12, 1897, par. 3

There are two kinds of experience,—the external showing and the inward working. The divine and the human were at work in the character of Judas. Satan was working the human, Christ the divine. Jesus longed to see Judas rise to his appointed privileges. He had the privilege of being conformed to the image of Christ's character. This regeneration, this new birth, would have come to him through a vital connection with Christ. The Saviour's abiding presence would have been to him a daily renewal of consecration and progressive sanctification of the entire man. But the human side of the character of Judas was confused with his religious sentiments, and was treated by him as essential. By taking this view of things, he left an open door for Satan to enter and take possession of him. RH October 12, 1897, par. 4

When unbelief and envy are allowed even utterance, they become agents to expel calm, living, trusting faith. Truth is misunderstood, and perverted to mean error. Evidence might be piled upon evidence, but Satan is close at hand to see that the word spoken shall be misapplied, and become a matter of suspicion and distrust. How careful, then, should every person be that he does no despite to the Spirit of grace! RH October 12, 1897, par. 5

Those who resist the Spirit of God, and provoke him to depart, know not to what lengths Satan will lead them. When the Holy Spirit departs from the man, he will imperceptibly do those things which once he viewed, in a correct light, to be decided sin. Unless he heeds the warnings, he will wrap himself in a deception that, as in the case of Judas, will cause him to become a traitor and blind. He will follow, step by step in the footsteps of Satan. Who, then, can strive with him to any purpose? Will the ministers plead with him and for him? All their words are as idle tales. Such souls have Satan as their chosen companion, to misconstrue the word spoken, and bring it to their understanding in a perverted light. When the Spirit of God is grieved away, every appeal made through the Lord's servants is meaningless to them. They will misconstrue every word. They will laugh at and turn into ridicule the most solemn words of Scripture warnings, which, if they were not bewitched by satanic agencies, would make them tremble. Every appeal made to them is in vain. They will not hear reproof or counsel. They despise all the entreaties of the Spirit, and disobey the commandments of God which they once vindicated and exalted. Well may the words of the apostle come home to such souls, “Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?” They follow the counsel of their own heart until truth is no more truth to them. Barabbas is chosen, Christ is rejected. RH October 12, 1897, par. 6

It is essential to live by every word of God, else our old nature will constantly reassert itself. It is the Holy Spirit, the redeeming grace of truth in the soul, that makes the followers of Christ one with one another, and one with God. He alone can expel enmity, envy, and unbelief. He sanctifies the entire affections. He restores the willing, desirous soul from the power of Satan unto God. This is the power of grace. It is a divine power. Under its influence there is a change from the old habits, customs, and practises which, when cherished, separate the soul from God; and the work of sanctification goes on in the soul, constantly progressing and enlarging. RH October 12, 1897, par. 7