Ellen G. White Writings

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From the Heart, Page 284

Learning From Peter's Experience, September 29

If I have to die with You, I will not deny You! Mark 14:31.

The reason so many of Christ's professed disciples fall into grievous temptation is that they have not a correct knowledge of themselves. Here is where Peter was so thoroughly sifted by the enemy. If we could understand our own weakness, we should see so much to do for ourselves that we would humble our hearts under the mighty hand of God. Hanging our helpless souls upon Christ, we would supplement our ignorance with His wisdom, our weakness with His strength, our frailty with His enduring might....

Mark the course pursued by Peter. His fall was not instantaneous, but gradual. Step after step was taken until the poor, sinful one denied his Lord with cursing and swearing....

The crowing of the cock reminded Peter of the words of Christ, and, surprised and shocked, he turned and looked at his Master. At that moment Christ looked at Peter, and beholding that grieved look, in which compassion and love for him were blended, Peter understood himself. With startling vividness his self-confident words flashed upon his mind, “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.” “I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.” And yet he had denied his Lord with cursing and swearing!

But Peter was not left in hopelessness. The look that Christ had given him brought a ray of hope to the erring disciple. He read there the words, “Peter, I am sorry for you. Because you are sorry and repent, I forgive you.” While Peter's soul was passing through such deep humiliation, through the awful struggle with satanic agencies, he remembered the words of Christ, “I have prayed for thee,” and they were to him a precious assurance....

In Peter's fall we have before us our own individual cases. Just as verily as did Peter, many of the professedly commandment-keeping people of God dishonor and bring reproach upon their best Friend—the One who can save them to the uttermost. But the Lord would restore to Himself all who have put Him to shame by their unscriptural course of action.

Peter sinned against light and knowledge and against great and exalted privileges. It was self-confidence that caused him to fail, and it is this same evil that is now working in human hearts. It may be our purpose to be right and to do right, but we shall most surely err unless we are constant learners in the school of Christ. Our only safety is in walking humbly with God.—Youth's Instructor, December 15, 1898.

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