Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Ms 69, 1896

Upholding The Law Of God

NP

1896

Formerly Undated Ms 145. Portions of this manuscript are published in 1SM 115; 3BC 1133, 1152; 4BC 1143-1144.

All who advocate truth in distinction to error have a special work to do in vindicating the law of God. Men inspired by a power from beneath have considered it their duty to uphold as the Sabbath of the Lord, the first day of the week. By thus disregarding the claims of God, ministers who claim to preach the gospel are echoing the words of old to Adam and Eve in Eden, that if they transgressed the law, they would not die, but would be as gods, knowing good and evil. By their influence and example, these false shepherds have caused a lie to be received as truth. With persevering energy they have labored to establish a spurious sabbath, and this man-made institution has received the homage of the greater part of the world. But this does not make a day holy which God has given us as a common working day. Though their error be hoary with age, though the world bow in reverence to it, it still remains an error and a delusion, for God says, “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” [Isaiah 8:20.] 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 1

Well-nigh universal contempt is shown to the law of God, and all who are loyal to Him have a sacred and solemn work to do in magnifying the law, and making it honorable. God placed His sanctity upon the seventh day, and gave it to men to keep holy; and He says, “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my mouth.” [Psalm 89:34.] By rendering obedience to His commandments, we uphold the honor of God in the earth. 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 2

Satan works against the law with untiring energy, and God calls upon His people to be witnesses for Him by pressing the battle to the gates. This work must advance, or it will go backward. In this war there is no release. Those who take part in it must put on the whole armor of God, that they may fight manfully in the warfare against evil. 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 3

Often God’s soldiers find themselves brought into hard and difficult places, they know not why. But are they to relax their hold because difficulties arise? Is their faith to diminish because they cannot see their way through the darkness? God forbid. They are to cherish an abiding sense of God’s power to uphold them in their work. They cannot perish, neither can they lose their way, if they will follow His guidance, and strive to uphold His law. 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 4

Jesus says, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil, for verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled. Whosoever shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so (by precept and example) shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:17-19.] In the councils of heaven the violators of the least commandments of God are registered as of least value among men. This decision is pronounced in the councils of the kingdom of heaven to show that not one of these moral precepts is to be trifled with. Men are not to consult their convenience or pleasure when it is a question of obeying God. 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 5

God will bring them into judgment for disregarding His law. They will not be taken into the kingdom of heaven and treated as inferior subjects; they will never enter the kingdom of heaven, but in that kingdom God and Christ and the holy angels in counsel pronounce them as the least in all God’s creation. God does not regard those who mislead the inexperienced as proper religious teachers. He says, “Whosoever shall do and teach them (the commandments), the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” [Verse 19.] Those who do and teach the commandments of God are recognized in heaven as those who are one with Christ and with God, and they are accounted great by the angelic hosts. How careful should we be to obey the commandments of God, and exercise our entrusted talents in showing to a disobedient world that we honor God by keeping His law which is a transcript of His character. All human intelligences are to obey the law of God, not making for themselves a lower standard than that which the Lord has given through Jesus Christ, the world’s Redeemer. 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 6

David was greatly tried in his day in seeing men pouring contempt upon God’s law. Men threw off restraint, and depravity was the result. The law of God had become a dead letter to those whom God had created. Men refused to receive the holy precepts as the rule of their life. Wickedness was so great that David feared lest God’s forbearance should cease, and he sent up a heart-felt prayer to heaven, saying, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work, for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold, yea, above fine gold.” [Psalm 119:126, 127.] If David thought in his day that men had exceeded the limits of God’s mercy, and that God would work to vindicate the honor of His law, and bring the wickedness of the wicked to an end, then what influence should the widespread iniquity of our day have upon those who love and fear God? 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 7

When there is widespread disobedience, when iniquity is increasing to a swelling time, will the professed Christian world be evil with the evil, unrighteous with the unrighteous? Shall we place our influence on the side of the great apostate, and shall universal scorn be heaped upon God’s law, the great standard of righteousness? Shall we be swept away by the strong tide of transgression and apostasy? Or shall the righteous search the Scriptures, and know for themselves the conditions upon which the salvation of their souls depend? Those who make the Word of God the man of their counsel will esteem the law of God, and their appreciation of it will rise in proportion as it is set aside and despised. Loyal subjects of Christ’s kingdom will re-echo the words of David and say, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” [Verses 126, 127.] This is the position those will occupy who love God sincerely and their neighbors as themselves. They will exalt the commandments in proportion as contempt increases. 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 8

The point is fast being reached when the iniquity of transgressors will be to the full. God gives nations a certain time of probation. He sends light and evidence that, if received, will save them, but if refused as the Jews refused light, indignation and punishment will fall upon them. If men refuse to be benefited, and choose darkness rather than light, they will reap the results of their choice. “Behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no longer cover her slain.” [Isaiah 26:21.] 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 9

The professed Christian world is advancing, as did the Jewish nation, from one degree of sinfulness to a greater degree, refusing warning after warning, and rejecting a thus saith the Lord, while crediting the fables of men. The Lord god will soon arise in His wrath, and pour out His judgments upon those who are repeating the sins of the inhabitants of the Noachic world. Those whose hearts are fully set in them to do evil, as were the hearts of the inhabitants of Sodom, will like them be destroyed. The fact that God had long forbearance, patience and mercy, the fact that His judgments have been long delayed, will not make the punishment any less severe when it does come. 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 10

The Jewish nation is before us as an example of the termination of God’s long forbearance. In the destruction of Jerusalem the destruction of the world is typified. The lips of Him who ever pronounced blessings upon the penitent, and spoke encouragement to the poor and suffering, and brought gladness to the humble, pronounced a curse upon those to whom He had presented light, who would not appreciate or accept light. Those who thought to evade the clear, distinct Word of God, and cherish man-made traditions, He declared would be found guilty of all the blood of the prophets which had been slain from the foundation of the world. [Luke 11:50.] 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 11

Again and again God had arrested the Jews in their wicked course by severe chastisement, but they provoked Him by their wicked works, casting away the law of the Lord of Hosts, and finally refusing to reverence His only begotten Son. Each century of transgression treasured up wrath against the day of wrath. Jesus bade the stubborn and impenitent nation to fill up the measure of their iniquity. Their wicked works were not forgotten nor overlooked. When the time of retributive judgment was fully due, the mandate was sent forth from the sacred place of the Most High for the vindication of God’s honor and the magnifying of His law. 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 12

In these last days the history of the Jewish nation is being repeated in the Christian church. Notwithstanding the fact that they have before them the example of the Jewish nation in rejecting light, they are doing as they did, and doing despite to the Spirit of grace. The time is drawing near when it will be fully demonstrated that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. There shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, and the severest of punishment will fall upon those who have educated the people to accept error in place of truth, to walk in paths that have not been cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 13

God keeps a reckoning with nations, and when men fully make His law void, then destruction cometh. The Lord is permitting him who is a hater of God and man to do his will on land and sea. God’s protecting mercy is gradually being withdrawn. Calamities on land and sea are warnings from God, telling the earth what shall be when His light is wholly rejected. Overtures of mercy are still presented to the human family, but this will not long continue, for the figures of iniquity are steadily increasing. The fallen churches are uniting with the world and apostatizing from the truth, and the ministry of wrath is about to begin. On the register above, the summing of impiety is kept with unerring accuracy, and the figures are fast reaching their limit. Still God is at work calling to repentance, presenting promises of forgiveness and favor. God would use every entrusted capability, every jot of consecrated influence [to work against the] ingratitude, contempt of the restraining grace of Christ, which would keep men back from presumptuous sins, from pride, selfishness, and covetousness which prevail on every hand. 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 14

Now is the time when every particle of influence should be put to exercise, not to work on Satan’s side of the question, but on the Lord’s side. Not a new commandment, but the old commandment which we had from the beginning, is to be vindicated. Vigorous piety is to increase and make for itself a place on the earth. The standard of truth is to be elevated in new places, and to be carried into regions beyond. God calls for men to consecrate themselves wholly, and to place themselves and their means upon the altar for the building up of the interests of His kingdom in the world. Everything is to be done that can be done to shed forth light into the darkened places of the earth, and we have but little time in which to do a great work. Will you be on the Lord’s side in the last battle of the controversy? 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 15

He who has moral courage to be true to principle, to obey a “thus saith the Lord,” will always be an annoyance among his neighbors who do not regard the Word of the Lord, and who think it matters little whether men obey or disobey God. But the duty remains to conscientiously take the position of rendering loving service to god, because He had shown His love toward the human agent in giving His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. He who takes this position, which is sustained by the Word of God, will find that it disturbs his neighbors, it disturbs the members of his family who will not yield their hearts to the claims of the truth. But in spite of this painful situation, Christ will have His witnesses in all parts of the world. Far and near the rays of light from those who fear God and keep His commandments are spreading, and many who now walk in darkness will place themselves wholly on the Lord’s side. 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 16

The law of God is being trampled under foot; the blood of the covenant is being despised; and can we fold our hands and say we have nothing to do? Let us arouse! The battle is raging. Truth and error are nearing their final conflict. Let us march under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel, and fight the good fight of faith, and win eternal honors, for the truth will triumph, and we may be more than conquerors through Him who loved us. The precious hours of probation are closing. Let us make sure work for eternal life, that we may glorify our heavenly Father, and be the means of saving souls for whom Christ died. 11LtMs, Ms 69, 1896, par. 17