Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 48, 1893

Diary. Christ and the Law.

Wellington, New Zealand

May 6-9, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in TMK 292; FLB 114; HP 38.

May 6

Wellington, New Zealand

I spoke in the skating rink. But few were present. Some who claim to believe in Jesus Christ as their Saviour have said, “No one can keep the law.” On this point the words of Christ are decisive. He states, “I have kept my Father’s commandments.” [John 15:10.] And He is our Example in all things. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 1

Christ came as One able to expound the law of God, which was misunderstood and misinterpreted by priests and rulers. They piled tradition and the imaginations and sayings of men upon the law, burying it beneath a mass of rubbish. The common was mingled with the sacred. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 2

Having rejected Christ, the Jews could not obey the law. All they could do was to go through a round of formal ceremonies, as did Cain when he presented his offering to God. And no one who rejects Christ can possibly keep the law. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 3

In the Sermon on the Mount Christ plainly declared His mission. “Think not,” He said, “that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” [Matthew 5:17.] He came to carry out literally every specification concerning which the prophets had borne testimony. He who existed with the Father before the creation of the world, Himself gave the prophecies recorded by holy men—the prophecies that He came afterward to fulfill. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 4

Christ separated jewels of truth from the companionship of error and placed them in their proper setting in the framework of truth. “Verily I say unto you,” He said, “till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Verses 18-20.] 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 5

Christ’s position with His Father is one of equality. This enabled Him to become a sin offering for transgressors. He was fully sufficient to magnify the law and make it honorable. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 6

The Pharisees accused Christ of breaking the law. They vainly hoped to prove their charge, that they might condemn and crucify the Son of God. Because they could not sustain their charge, they suborned witnesses to testify to a lie that they might accomplish their purpose. Today some ministers of the gospel stand in the pulpit and voice the suggestions of Satan, saying that Christ broke the law. The men who, notwithstanding Christ’s declaration that He was guiltless and the evidence He presented to prove His innocence, still accuse the Saviour thus, array themselves with the Jews who accused Him. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 7

May 7

I spoke to the people assembled in the skating rink. Oh, how much I desire to reach the hearts of the people and to open before them precious treasures of truth! The ministers have prejudiced the people by telling them that Seventh-day Adventists do not believe in Christ. They falsely accuse us, as the scribes and priests and rulers falsely accused Christ. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 8

Christ came as the Expositor of the prophecies that He Himself had given to His people by holy men of old. He separated the precepts of Jehovah from the maxims and traditions of men. He held up the Ten Commandments as an expression of truth in all its purity. Of the leaders and the teachers of the people He declared: “In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” [Mark 7:7.] And to them He said: “Ye have made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” [Matthew 15:6; 22:29.] 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 9

Christ came to the world to counteract Satan’s falsehood that God had made a law which men could not keep. Taking humanity upon Himself, He came to this earth, and by a life of obedience showed that God has not made a law that man cannot keep. He showed that it is possible for man perfectly to obey the law. Those who accept Christ as their Saviour, becoming partakers of His divine nature, are enabled to follow His example, living in obedience to every precept of the law. Through the merits of Christ, man is to show by his obedience that he could be trusted in heaven, that he would not rebel. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 10

Christ possessed the same nature that man possesses. He was tempted in all points like as man is tempted. The same power by which He obeyed is at man’s command. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 11

May 8

The Lord is good. I will put my entire trust in Him. He is my Helper and my God. Oh, I beseech my heavenly Father to give me the Holy Spirit, that I may be able to set forth Jesus Christ crucified among us as One mighty to “save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” in faith, believing on Him as their personal Saviour! [Hebrews 7:25.] 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 12

In the councils of heaven it was determined that there must be given to mankind a living exemplification of the law. Having decided to make this great sacrifice, God left nothing obscure, nothing indefinite, in regard to the salvation of the human race. He gave to mankind a standard by which to form character. With an audible voice and in awful grandeur He spoke His law from Mount Sinai. Distinctly He stated what we must do in order to render acceptable obedience to Him, and what we must not do if we remain loyal to His law. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 13

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” [Matthew 22:37-40.] 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 14

So deep was the Lord’s interest in the beings He had created, so great His love for the world, “that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Christ came to bring moral power to man, to elevate, ennoble and strengthen him, enabling him to be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 15

He proved to the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds and to human beings that the law can be kept. While possessing the nature of man, He obeyed the law of God, vindicating God’s justice in demanding that it be obeyed. In the judgment His life will be an unanswerable argument in favor of God’s law. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 16

All who possess the faculty of reason may learn the measure of their duty. Christ is our Pattern. In humanity He lived a spotless life. He was merciful, compassionate, obedient—full of goodness and truth. By His life of obedience He gave a true representation of the law. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 17

By uniting with Christ, fallen, sinful human beings may conform the life to the divine precepts. By keeping the commandments of God, they become laborers together with Him who came to the world to represent the Father by keeping all His commandments. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 18

May 9

Giving a most impressive account of our Lord’s work, Isaiah says: “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winevat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.” [Isaiah 63:1-5.] 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 19

To the church Christ is now saying: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” [Isaiah 60:1-3.] 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 20

God has a work for His people to do. Both at home and in the regions beyond there is work to be done. No one who is reckless of his God-given time and talents is excused. 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 21

“Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” [Verses 4, 5.] 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 22

“For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” [Isaiah 61:11.] 8LtMs, Ms 48, 1893, par. 23