Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 4a, 1898

The True and the False


January 9, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in RH 08/09/1898.

Sunday, May 18, 1895, with Elder Corliss, Sister Corliss, W. C. White, and May White, I attended a meeting of our people at Williamstown. We found a goodly number assembled in the hall. I spoke to them from the first chapter of First Peter, connecting with it the first chapter of Second Peter. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 1

In this place the ministers of other denominations have offered every opposition to a “Thus saith the Lord.” But notwithstanding this, a goodly number have had the moral courage to claim the privilege of searching the Word of God for themselves, and have accepted the truth for these last days. The Holy Spirit has worked on many hearts, softening and subduing the natural temperament and bringing the powers into subjection to Christ. They have been convicted and converted. The truth—the presentation of the law that tells the human race what sin is—has had the same effect on them as it had on the mind and heart of the apostle Paul. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 2

Truth still remains truth, although it may be falsified, misstated, and wrested by unfaithful shepherds and laymen. In spite of the masterly efforts men make, they cannot change truth into falsehood, for it stands fast forever, as immutable and eternal as the throne of God. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 3

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid.” The apostle decidedly denies the assertion. “Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law, sin was dead.” [Romans 7:7, 8.] 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 4

What is sin? The result of Satan’s administration. It is his work to make of none effect the law of God. He was determined that man should do what God had said he should not do. By his deceptive, artful temptations, he strove to make men disobey God. This he did with Adam and Eve in Eden, and this he will continue to do till the close of time. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 5

“For I was alive without the law once,” Paul continues: “but when the commandment came, sin revived, and (the law died? No;) I died. And the commandment, which was ordained unto life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it, slew me.” [Verses 9-11.] Because of this does Paul say, “I am opposed to the commandment”? No: he declares, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good.” [Verse 12.] 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 6

“Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” [Verse 13.] Here we are plainly shown that the commandments of God are true and righteous, and that they are to be honored and obeyed. Right down on this side of the crucifixion Paul declares, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good.” [Verse 12.] 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 7

Satan has invented thousands of errors to counterfeit God’s truth. And the false paths that he has made have been followed as though they were genuine paths of right. Thousands of false steps he has taken, and men seem eager to endorse the false rather than to follow in the path of truth and righteousness. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 8

Counterfeits are made so as to resemble the true as nearly as possible. There are those who pretend to be Christ. They have many followers, but this does not destroy the evidence that there is a true Prince, a genuine Christ. So with the Sabbath. The Lord has specified the seventh day as the day that is to be kept holy. But a false Sabbath has been instituted. Who created it? The man of sin, who has thought to change times and laws. Has he done what he desired because the world has turned from the true and living God to serve an idol? No; the Lord’s Word reads just as it did when he gave it. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 9

Not the smallest jot or tittle of His law has ever been given over to Satan to be manipulated according to his fancy. If this could ever have been done, it would have been when the matter was first agitated in the heavenly courts. But there the first intimation of a change in God’s law was met by a decided No. This led to a battle in heaven, and Satan, next to Christ the most exalted being, in the heavenly court, was overcome, and with his sympathizers cast out of heaven. Thus it was shown that Satan was not right, and that God has not abolished His law, as the prince of darkness claimed that He should. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 10

Satan’s counterfeits do not bear God’s signature. Though every son and daughter of Adam should endorse these falsehoods, God’s truth would not be annihilated. God’s law is a transcript of His character, and throughout the eternal ages it will remain Yea and Amen, perfect and unalterable, with[out] any variableness or shadow of turning. Then shall intelligent beings decide that in this world, to which Satan was banished as an exile, God has given the rebel what he claimed and failed to gain in heaven? Shall the professed Christian churches change leaders, taking a “Thus saith Satan” in the place of a “Thus saith the Lord”? 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 11

Error never becomes truth, though it may be hoary with age. God has spoken: “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” [Exodus 20:9-11.] This day is God’s great memorial, established to celebrate the work of creation. On this day God rested, sanctifying and blessing it as the day of His rest. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 12

The fourth command is the only command to which “Remember” is prefixed. God says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” [Verse 8.] Do not forget it. “Ye shall do my judgments and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments; which if a man do he shall live in them: I am the Lord.” [Leviticus 18:4, 5.] The Lord presents Himself as the authority for His requirements. There is to be no departure from the Word of the Lord in order to exalt the word of man. God is authority, and what He says is to be done. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 13

The whole matter centers here. Obedience means eternal life, disobedience, death. When there is so much at stake, why do not those who claim to be God’s delegated messengers go to the Word of life, and make honest, wise, prayerful research, saying, We will know what saith the Lord in this matter. If the search is undertaken in the Spirit of Christ, it will be rewarded. But if the teachers of the people voice the words of the great apostate, it will be found to be to their shame and ruin, and they will carry with them those they have deceived, as Satan in his rebellion carried out of the heavenly courts those who accepted his words instead of the words of God. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 14

If men cherish ignorance that they will not allow to be expelled by rays from God’s Word, sin lies at their door. They are doing in this what the Jews did in the days of Christ—teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. By their actions they say, We do not wish to be disturbed. Let us alone. Do not disturb our peace. To God’s messengers, sent to them with words of warning and reproof, they say, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 15

The sayings of men are exalted above the sayings of God. The world has accepted a false Sabbath, discarding the holy, sanctified day of the Lord of hosts. Men shut themselves away from light, saying by word and action, Seek no further. And God says, “Shall I not judge for these things?” [Jeremiah 5:9.] Why do not the religious teachers of today instruct the people regarding the traitorous movement that Satan has made in putting a common working day in the place of the day that God has set apart as sanctified and holy. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 16

The principles of God’s law are contained in the two great precepts, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” [Luke 10:27.] When we realize this, there will be a searching after truth, a deep conviction of the far-reaching claims of God’s law. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 17

God’s law takes cognizance of the thoughts of the heart, as well as of the outward actions of the life. A man may be a lawbreaker in heart, yet if the outward action is wanting, he is treated as loyal by the world. He may be in heart an adulterer, yet by his fellow men he may be regarded as possessing great integrity. But God’s law looks into the secrets of the heart, and pours a flood of light on things that have been buried in darkness. Why then do not the teachers of the people search for truth as for hidden treasure? Why do they not humble their souls in the very dust, lest they be deceived as were Adam and Eve in Eden. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 18

God will not accept the inventions of men who in their work enter the inner circle of God, where only the Holy One, whose form is that of the Son of God, has a right to tread. In the great day of judgment, what will those who have taken sides with the apostate plead as an excuse for their conduct? How contemptible to them will appear the sparks which they have kindled in contrast with the holy fire of God’s kindling. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 19

Shall all the efforts that heaven has made to restore in the human race the image of God be in vain because men teach for doctrine the commandments of men? Shall we sell our Lord in order to be in harmony with the rebellious multitude? Shall our names be recorded in heaven as the names of those who have corrupted the way of the Lord? Shall we be of that number who say, “Lord, Lord,” but who refuse to do His will? Shall we be among those who present their supposed good works to God, because they think that He needs to be reminded of His duty toward them? He, the God of heaven, will one day so present your case before you that you will see clearly that you were the one that needed to be reminded, because you did not remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 20

God will say to all such, Why did you not keep sacred My memorial of creation? Why did you not hear My warnings? “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Matthew 7:21-23.] He who ventures to corrupt truth and exalt error, he who sells his intellect or integrity at any price to gain worldly advantage, will one day be denied in sorrow. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 21

Sin is the most fearful thing in the whole universe. So fearful is it that it was decided in the councils of heaven that it could be pardoned only by the sacrifice of the Son of the Infinite God. If unpardoned, it must be followed by eternal death. There is a time coming when every transgressor of God’s law will know what it means to be a sinner, standing in God’s sight uncovered, without the robe of Christ’s righteousness, and with a full sense that there is no power in the law to save the transgressor. God purchased men by giving His only begotten Son to die for them. If those who claim to be lightbearers in the world lead the people in paths of transgression, they are not only answerable for their own souls, but for the souls of those whom they mislead. By their profession of sanctity, they lead the unwary into disobedience, and they are recorded on the books of heaven as workers of iniquity. 13LtMs, Ms 4a, 1898, par. 22