The Review and Herald


February 7, 1899

Judge Not


“And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” RH February 7, 1899, par. 1

After Christ had fed the five thousand, the people determined to make him king. Hundreds were ready to rally round his standard; and the enthusiasm ran so high that a purpose was formed to take him by force, and place him on the throne. But with an authority they dared not resist, Jesus dismissed the multitude. RH February 7, 1899, par. 2

From this time his popularity appeared to wane, and the disciples began to have a clearer conception of his mysterious character. He had given them many lessons showing the relation in which he stood to his Father; and apparently they were overcoming the hope they had so firmly entertained,—that he would reign as a temporal prince in Jerusalem. Christ told them of the trials he must endure, of the final rejection of his work, and of his betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection. He told them that events were fast ripening for the closing scenes of his life, and declared that he must go again to Jerusalem, to be present at the Passover feast. RH February 7, 1899, par. 3

He sent messengers before him, to prepare for his coming. But the people refused to receive him, because he was on his way to Jerusalem. This they interpreted as meaning that Christ showed a preference for the Jews, whom they hated with an intense bitterness. They had hoped that Christ would acknowledge their temple and worship; and when they saw him going to Jerusalem, they broke forth into bitter accusations against him. Their insulting words showed open contempt for the Son of God. RH February 7, 1899, par. 4

James and John, Christ's messengers, were greatly annoyed at this insult. They loved their Lord, and were filled with indignation because he had been so rudely treated by the Samaritans, who he was honoring by his presence. They had recently been with him in the mount of transfiguration, and had seen him glorified by God, and honored by Moses and Elijah. This manifest dishonor on the part of the Samaritans should not, they thought, be passed over without marked punishment. RH February 7, 1899, par. 5

Coming to Christ, they reported to him the words of the people, telling him that they had even refused to give him a night's lodging. They thought that a grievous wrong had been done him; and seeing Carmel in the distance, where Elijah slew the false prophets, they said, “Wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” They were surprised to see that Christ was pained by their words, and still more surprised as his rebuke fell upon their ears: “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” RH February 7, 1899, par. 6

What a lesson this is to those who are fired with religious zeal, and who would cause to suffer those whose belief is not in accord with their own! What a rebuke to those who are quick to speak harshly, and who manifest an overbearing, condemnatory spirit toward those who entertain ideas out of harmony with their theories! RH February 7, 1899, par. 7

The rebuke given to James and John sounds down along the line to our time. Many reveal the attributes of Satan by trying to compel their fellow men to believe as they believe. They desire to punish those who, they think, dishonor Christ. They may say that they are working for truth and liberty, they may claim to be doing honor to God; but if they exercise a zeal that brings pain to the bodies and spirits of those who dare to differ with them, they are controlled by the enemy of God. Such may think themselves righteous; but Christ says to them, as to the disciples: “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” By his dealing with the Samaritans, Christ has shown us that although men manifest unmistakable contempt for him, his followers are not to harbor thoughts of hatred and revenge. RH February 7, 1899, par. 8

Many choose the world before Christ. Paul wrote to Timothy, “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: for Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.” This we shall meet. Those whom we have loved and trusted will leave the faith, and by their falsehoods do us harm. But we are to work on, lifting up Christ, the sin-pardoner, higher and still higher. We must not be overwhelmed because good and bad are gathered into the church. Judas was numbered among the disciples. He had every advantage a man could have; but although he heard the truth, and listened to the principles so plainly laid down, Christ knew that he did not receive the truth. He did not eat the truth. It did not become part of himself. His old habits constantly asserted themselves. But Christ did not take forcible means to cut Judas away from the disciples. RH February 7, 1899, par. 9

There is a time coming when those who have joined the church, but have not joined Christ, will be manifest. Their corrupt principles can not blend with Christ. The heart must be made new before it can receive the truth that sanctifies the receiver. But to sit in judgment on those who, we think, are wrong—to condemn them and cast them out—is not for mortals to do. God has not given this work to any human being. “Let both grow together until the harvest,” Christ says. He has bought men with a price, even his precious blood; and he would not lose one soul. His experience with Judas is recorded to show his long patience with perverse human nature. He came not to “destroy men's lives, but to save them.” He will decide who are worthy to dwell in perfect unity with the saints in the family of heaven. RH February 7, 1899, par. 10

God can not reveal himself through some who have been entrusted with work for him. He can not make them channels through which his compassion and love can flow; for they insult his goodness by exhibiting a masterful spirit toward those whom they regard as being in error and needing reproof. By their own unsanctified passions they eclipse Christ's love and mercy. The enemy of all good is allowed to rule in their hearts, and their lives reveal his attributes. They claim that the word of God directs them; but by their actions they say, We want not thy way, O Lord, but our own way. RH February 7, 1899, par. 11

By their words, their works, and their spirit, those who pursue such a course are making a record in the books of heaven that they will not care to meet; for God does not value them as they value themselves. Men are abusing their probationary opportunities, and are grievously neglecting the high privileges conferred upon them. Though finding nothing in the word of God to vindicate their actions or countenance their opinions, they persist in having their own way. In the day when judgment is passed upon all, the sentence will be pronounced against them, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” RH February 7, 1899, par. 12

Let those who desire to control their fellow men read God's declaration on this subject. He says: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” RH February 7, 1899, par. 13

The work of saving souls is to be carried forward amid opposition, peril, loss, and suffering. Christianity is to be wrought out by self-denial and cross-bearing. Christ did not mark out an easy path to heaven. He declares to his followers: “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.” Christ is our example. When he was reviled, he reviled not again. When the cruelty of men caused him to suffer painful stripes and wounds, he threatened not, but committed himself to One who judges righteously. “Let this mind be in you,” writes Paul, “which was also in Christ Jesus.” Our interests must be submerged in Christ, that we may be able to say, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” RH February 7, 1899, par. 14

Christ came from his heavenly home to raise up workers to be his messengers, to co-operate with him in presenting his message of mercy to the world. They are to be the ministers of his grace, and their hearts should throb in unison with the heart of Christ. It should be their meat and drink to do the will of him who has called them to his service. If Christ abides in them, they will be brought into captivity to him. They will no longer live the common life of selfishness; for Christ will live in them. His character will be produced in them. Then the bitter, poisonous root of selfishness will be uprooted. Tender feelings, full of sympathy for the erring, take possession of the man or woman who has fallen on the Rock, and been broken. RH February 7, 1899, par. 15