Love Under Fire


Chapter 25—God's Law Unchangeable

“The temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple” (Revelation 11:19). The ark of God's covenant is in the Holy of Holies, the second apartment of the sanctuary. In the services of the earthly tabernacle, which served as “the copy and shadow of the heavenly things,” this section was opened only on the great Day of Atonement for the cleansing of the sanctuary. So the announcement that the temple of God was opened in heaven and the ark of His testament was seen points to the opening of the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 as Christ entered there to perform the closing work of the atonement. Those who followed their great High Priest by faith as He began His ministry in the Most Holy Place took notice of the ark of His covenant. As they had studied the subject of the sanctuary, they had come to understand the Savior's change of ministry, and they saw that He was now officiating before the ark of God. LF 179.1

The ark in the tabernacle on earth contained the two tablets of stone on which God had inscribed His law. When the temple of God was opened in heaven, the ark of His covenant was seen. Within the Holy of Holies in heaven, the divine law is enshrined—the law that God Himself spoke and also wrote with His finger on the tablets of stone. LF 179.2

Those who came to understand this point saw, as never before, the importance of the Savior's words, “Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law” (Matthew 5:18). As a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the law of God must endure forever. LF 179.3

In the heart of the Ten Commandments is the Sabbath commandment. The Spirit of God impressed those students of His Word that they had ignorantly broken this law by disregarding the Creator's rest day. They began to examine the reasons for keeping the first day of the week. They could find no evidence that God had abolished the fourth commandment or changed the Sabbath. They had been honestly seeking to know and to do God's will. Now they showed their loyalty to God by keeping His Sabbath holy. LF 179.4

Many people tried to overthrow the faith of the believers. None could fail to see that accepting the truth about the heavenly sanctuary involved the claims of God's law and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Here was the secret behind the determined opposition to the harmonious explanation of Scriptures that revealed Christ's ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. People tried to close the door that God had opened and to open the door that He had closed. But Christ had opened the door to the ministry of the Most Holy Place. The fourth commandment was included in the law enshrined there. LF 179.5

Those who accepted the light about Christ's mediation and the law of God found that these were the truths of Revelation 14, a three-part warning to prepare the earth's inhabitants for the Lord's second coming. (See Appendix.) The announcement “The hour of His judgment has come” highlights a truth that must be proclaimed until the Savior's intercession ends and He returns to take His people to Himself. The judgment that began in 1844 must continue until the cases of all are decided, both of the living and the dead; so it will extend to the close of human probation.* LF 180.1

So that we may be ready to stand in the judgment, the message commands us to “fear God and give glory to Him, ... and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” The Bible tells us the result of accepting these messages: “Here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:7, 12.) LF 180.2

To be prepared for the judgment, we should keep the law of God, the standard of character in the judgment. Paul declares: “As many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law ... in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.” “The doers of the law will be justified.” Faith is essential in order to keep the law of God, for “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” “Whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Romans 2:12, 16, 13; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 14:23.) LF 180.3

The first angel calls us to “fear God and give glory to Him” and to worship Him as the Creator of heaven and earth. To do this, we must obey His law. Without obedience no worship can be pleasing to God. “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3; see Proverbs 28:9). LF 180.4