Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 125, 1901

The Unchangeable Law of God


December 9, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in SD 55, 325; LDE 155; 1SM 107-108; UL 357; 4BC 1178; 7MR 334; 8MR 346; 17MR 28. +Note

God chose Israel as the depository of priceless treasures of truth for all nations, and He gave them His law as the standard of the character they were to develop before the world, before angels, and before the unfallen worlds. Thus they were to represent to the world the laws of the government of heaven. By precept and example they were to bear a decided testimony for truth. God’s purpose for His people is expressed in the words spoken to them by Moses: 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 1

“Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.” [Deuteronomy 4:5-13.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 2

But through disobedience and disloyalty God’s chosen nation developed a character exactly opposite to the character God designed them to develop by obeying His law. They placed their own mold and superscription upon the truth, removing from it the superscription of God. Their minds were quickened into activity by their own ambitious projects. Satan, stirring them with a power from beneath, infused into their minds subtle sentiments derogatory to the character of God. He invented theories and opinions of every degree of merit to ensnare all classes. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 3

The law of God was being buried beneath the minutiae of outward forms—such as the frequent washing of the hands before eating, and the washing of pots and cups. Tithes were exacted on simple garden herbs. To those who made so much of these minor things, Christ said, “Ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” [Matthew 23:23.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 4

Their religion consisted of outward ceremonies. Laying great stress upon the commandments of their own invention, and teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, they filled the minds of the people with theories and doctrines that made void the law of God. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 5

Amid all this confusing din of voices there was need of a teacher direct from the heavenly universe to speak from inspired lips to human hearts, and to proclaim the <testing> truths so important to every one. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 6

Christ saw the condition of the world. He came to change the order of things. The Commander of all heaven laid aside His glory, His kingly crown, His royal robe, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that in His humanity He might touch humanity. For our sakes He became poor, that we might come into possession of eternal riches. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 7

As a Teacher sent from God, Christ’s work was to explain the true significance of the laws of God’s government. He rescued truth from the gloomy framework of error, superstition, tradition, and worldly maxims with which men had surrounded it. Resetting truth in the framework of God’s own law, He caused it to shine in its original, heavenly luster. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 8

Christ separated truth from error and doubt, tradition and superstition—the mass of rubbish which man had piled around it. Tearing away the framework of error which obscured the brightness of truth, He enthroned the divine precepts in companionship with the royalty of eternal, uncorrupted truth bearing the sanction of God, the Source of all truth. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 9

Had the Jewish nation received the Teacher sent from God, they would have given up the traditions and maxims handed down from rabbi to rabbi, and accumulating from age to age as other <nonessential> theories were invented. But instead of advancing from light to greater light, they took the wrong way. By sinful indulgence they expelled from the heart the love of God, the love of the principles of His holy law. The love of the world filled their hearts, prompting them to disobey. If they had hidden the law of God in their hearts, if they had given due respect to the sacred principles of this law, it would have exerted a corrective influence on the entire life, and would have remodeled their selfish, avaricious dispositions after the character of God. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 10

Christ, the way, the truth, and the life, came to our world to sweep away the speculative opinions formulated by men. His work was an important one; for He sought to present truth in contrast to many false theories so destructive to the salvation of all who entertained them. He came not to abrogate the law, but to be in His life a correct expositor of the character of God as revealed in the law. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 11

To remove the confusion of opinions existing everywhere concerning the meaning of the law, Christ Himself lived the law in its purity. Notwithstanding the fact that the prince of darkness unceasingly followed Christ, accusing Him and contending with Him, Christ vindicated the law of God. In His life He demonstrated that He is the word and the wisdom of God. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 12

In the heavenly courts Satan claimed that the law of God’s government needed amendment. If he could have made it appear that the slightest jot or tittle in the ten commandments was not based on the highest principles of justice, he would thereby have shown that the entire code is defective; for in a code of laws, no law is of more force than the one regarded as the least essential. To prove that a change should be made in one of the commandments would have been the strongest argument Satan could have used against the infallibility of God. Thus he would have made void not only one precept, but all the other precepts of Jehovah. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 13

Christ came not only to vindicate the law before the inhabitants of this world, but by His life to settle forever the immutability of God’s law. With intense interest the heavenly intelligences watched the conflict between Christ and Satan during Christ’s life upon the earth. God designed that before the world, before angels unfallen, and before worlds unfallen, Satan should work out his principles. God would permit him to carry out to the very end his principles of rebellion against the government of heaven. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 14

The treatment that the Son of God received from the manger to the cross demonstrated before unfallen worlds and the inhabitants of this world the falsity of Satan’s position and the murderous character of his administration. In the place of revealing sympathy, the enemy developed his cruelty, plainly showing his deception and his guilt. The dishonor he had cast upon the principles of the government of heaven was prevailing in the human family, and the world at large was rallying under the black banner of rebellion. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 15

Satan has great powers of misrepresentation and accusation. He represented the government of God in a false light. His suggestions and temptations have been presented so ingeniously, so plausibly, that the so-called Christian world has taken its stand under his banner. By pen and by voice they are endeavoring to tear down the standard of God’s government, and in its place to erect a human standard. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 16

We are approaching the end of this earth’s history, and Satan is working as never before. He is striving to act as director of the Christian world. With an intensity that is marvelous he is working with his lying wonders. Satan is represented as walking about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He desires to embrace the whole world in his confederacy. Hiding his deformity under the garb of Christianity, he assumes the attributes of a Christian and claims to be Christ Himself. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 17

The Word of God declares that when it suits the enemy’s purpose, he will through his agencies manifest so great a power under a pretense of Christianity that “if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” [Matthew 24:24.] The enemy is revealed in persons to whom he has given power to work miracles. He creates sorrow and suffering and disease. Seeming to change his attributes, apparently he heals those whom he himself has tortured. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 18

The Word of God is sure, standing fast forever. Peter declares: “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” [2 Peter 1:16-21.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 19

Deceptions of every kind will be invented. So-called higher critics will set their ingenious minds to work in an attempt to invalidate the Word of God. But there is a Higher Critic, greater than any human mind. God is light. In Him is no darkness at all. He has spoken. The human family has His decision. Those who are saved must stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 20

Men who criticize the law of Jehovah, or who by example lead men to disregard it, rebel against God. They misinterpret Him and bear false witness against Him. By their actions, <by their theology,> they bear a false testimony before the world against the character of the infinite God, placing the darkest stain upon His honor, His righteousness, His justice. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 21

The plan of salvation represents to the world the character of God. God never lets go a soul that trusts in Him, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. He never lets go one who commits the keeping of the soul to His care. Having loved them because of their love of Jesus, He loves them to the end. He has laid help upon One that is mighty. His only begotten Son is the Saviour of every one. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 22

Christ paid the ransom by giving His own life. Gladly He accepted the charge, becoming man’s substitute and surety, responsible for the salvation of the race. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” [John 1:12.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 23

When a sinner accepts Christ as his personal Saviour, all his disgrace and sins are charged to Christ’s own account, and there is joy in heaven that Jesus has not died in vain for that soul. To atone for the sins of every soul who accepts Him as the Redeemer, Christ would again gladly do all that is required on His part. And He will hold fast the faith of every one in Him. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 24

Zechariah pictures the elect of God, showing their allegiance to His holy law in a time of unrivaled depravity, when by pen and by voice the so-called Protestant world shows marked contempt for the law of God, revealing by its actions that it has decided not to recognize His standard as the rule of life. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 25

Men have thrown off the restraint of God’s law. Even the professedly Christian world has, in union with the adversary, erected a standard of its own, counterworking the work of God. [Men] have reached a point of stubborn resistance to light and knowledge. Insolent and disobedient in character, they are becoming Satan’s allies to oppress and to perform acts of cruelty. In their lives the arch-deceiver’s attributes are fully manifested. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 26

Let there go forth from unfeigned lips the prayer, “It is time, O Lord, for thee to work; for they have made void thy law.” [Psalm 119:126.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 27

In connection with wicked men, Satan has attempted to make of none effect God’s holy law. Because sentence against their evil work has not been “executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” [Ecclesiastes 8:11.] Men are fast becoming imbued with an intense hatred of even hearing the law mentioned. They are fast approaching the bounds set by a longsuffering God. Soon the limits of His grace will be reached. Then He will interfere, vindicating His own name, and before all the world magnifying His law as holy, just, and good, as unchangeable as His own character. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 28

The eye of the Lord is upon His people. They will suffer for the truth’s sake. Not always have they been firm and true to principle. Some have erected idols and served them. This has separated them from God. In the warning to the Laodicean church, the Lord sends to the erring ones a message of rebuke, calling them to repentance. He says: 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 29

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” [Revelation 3:14-21.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 30

Some may say, Why is this message sounded so constantly in our ears? It is because you do not thoroughly repent. You do not live in Christ and have Christ abiding in you. When one idol is expelled from the soul, Satan has another prepared to supply its place. Unless you make an entire consecration to Christ and live in communion with Him, unless you make Him your Counselor, you will find that your heart, open to evil thoughts, is easily diverted from the service of God to the service of self. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 31

At times you may have a desire to repent. But unless you decidedly reform and put into practice the truths you have learned, unless you have an active, working faith, a faith that is constantly increasing in strength, repentance is as the morning dew. It will give no permanent relief to the soul. A repentance caused by a spasmodic exercise of the feelings is a repentance that needs to be repented of; for it is delusive. A violent exercise of the feelings which does not produce in you the peaceable fruits of righteousness leaves you in a worse state than you were in before. Every day the tempter will be on your track with some delusive, plausible excuse for your self-serving, your self-pleasing, and you will fall back into your old practices, neglecting the work of serving God, by which you would gain hope and comfort and assurance. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 32

God calls for willing service—a service inspired by the love of Jesus in the heart. God is never satisfied with half-hearted, selfish service. He requires the whole heart, the undivided affections, and a complete faith and trust in His power to save from sin. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 33

The one whose heart is wholly given to God, the one who by faith receives Jesus Christ as a personal Saviour, will reveal a steady growth in spirituality, in vigor of piety, in fixedness of purpose, in fidelity at any cost to the principles of our faith. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 34

In this age of apostasy, our influence for good depends on our trust in God and our living connection with Him. We should allow no side issues to draw our feet into selfish paths. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Matthew 16:24.] If we do this, we shall increase in earnest, sanctified zeal, and shall be purified from all selfishness. “If we follow on to know the Lord,” we shall know that “his going forth is prepared as the morning.” [Hosea 6:3.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 35

God will honor and uphold every true-hearted, earnest soul who is seeking to walk before Him in the perfection of the grace of Christ. The Lord Jesus will never leave nor forsake one humble, trembling soul. Shall we believe that God will work in our hearts? that if we allow Him to do so, He will make us pure and holy, by His rich grace qualifying us to be laborers together with Him? Can we with keen, sanctified perception appreciate the strength of the promises of God and appropriate them to our individual selves, not because we are worthy, but because Christ is worthy? Not because we are righteous, but because by living faith we claim the righteousness of Christ in our behalf? 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 36

Those who honor God and keep His commandments are subject to the accusations of Satan. The enemy works with all his energy to lead persons into sin. Then he pleads that on account of their past sins, he should be allowed to exercise his hellish cruelty on them as his own subjects. Of this work Zechariah has written, “And he showed me Joshua the high priest”—a representative of the people who keep the commandments of God—“standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” [Zechariah 3:1.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 37

Christ is our High Priest. Satan stands before Him night and day as an accuser of the brethren. With his masterly power he presents every objectionable feature of character as sufficient reason for the withdrawal of Christ’s protecting power, thus allowing Satan to discourage and destroy those whom he has caused to sin. But Christ has made atonement for every sinner. Can we by faith hear our Advocate saying, “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” [Verse 2.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 38

“Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments.” [Verse 3.] Thus sinners appear before the enemy who, by his masterly deceptive power, has led them away from allegiance to God. With garments of sin and shame the enemy clothes those who have been overpowered by his temptations, and then he declares that it is unfair for Christ to be their Light, their Defender. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 39

But, poor, repentant mortals, hear the words of Jesus, and believe as you hear: “And he answered (the accusing charge of Satan) and spake unto those (angels) that stood before him (to do his bidding), saying, Take away the filthy garments from him.” I will blot out his transgressions. I will cover his sins. I will impute to him My righteousness. “And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” [Verse 4.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 40

The filthy garments are removed; for Christ says, “I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee.” [Verse 4.] The iniquity is transferred to the innocent, the pure, the holy Son of God; and man, all undeserving, stands before the Lord cleansed from all unrighteousness, and clothed with the imputed righteousness of Christ. Oh, what a change of raiment is this! 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 41

And Christ does more than this for them: “And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.” [Verses 5-7.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 42

This is the honor that God will bestow on those who are clothed with the garments of Christ’s righteousness. With such encouragement as this, how can men continue in sin? How can they grieve the heart of Christ? 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 43

We are compassed with the infirmities of humanity. So also was Christ. That He might by His own example condemn sin in the flesh, He took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh. Constantly He beheld the character of God, and constantly He represented that character to the world. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 44

As followers of Christ, it is our duty continually to look unto Jesus. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory [from character to character], even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 4:6; 3:18.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 45

What is this character into which we are changed? Moses, earnestly interceding with God, presented one urgent necessity after another. He besought God to forgive the sin of apostasy into which the Israelites had fallen. He acknowledged that their sin was great, but he said: “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” The Lord answered, “Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” He told Moses that if he would go before the children of Israel as their leader, he could claim the promise, “Behold, mine Angel shall go before thee.” [Exodus 32:32-34.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 46

The people were required by the Lord to put off their ornaments. The course that He would pursue toward them was to be determined by their attitude toward Him. “And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb. And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp. And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door; and all the people rose up and worshiped, every man in his tent door. And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.” [Exodus 33:6-11.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 47

Moses, feeling the weight of his responsibility, continued to plead with God. He said unto the Lord, “See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.” This assurance was not all that Moses desired. This man of God, a representative of the nation and of the time in which he lived, sought God for more than even this promise included; and he pressed his petition: “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.” [Verses 12, 13.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 48

Again the Lord declared: “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” [Verse 14.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 49

Who was conversing with Moses? The only begotten Son of God, enshrouded in the pillar of cloud. Moses said, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.” [Verses 15-17.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 50

Was Moses now satisfied? Did he cease his intercession? No. He pressed his request still further: “I beseech thee,” he said, “show me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” [Verses 18, 19.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 51

Now the glory of the Lord is revealed: “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” [Exodus 34:6, 7.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 52

The glory of God is His character, and this character was represented in the life of Jesus Christ. He declares: “The glory (character) which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” [John 17:22, 23.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 53

What a wonderful possibility Christ presents before us! What fulness every one of Christ’s followers has the privilege of receiving! Nothing greater than the character that He revealed can Christ ask His Father to bestow on those who believe on Him. What largeness there is in this request! 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 54

“That he might sanctify and cleanse it [the church] with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” [Ephesians 5:26, 27.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 55

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” [Ephesians 1:4-6.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 56

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 57

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” [2 Timothy 1:9.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 58

God is not pleased to have His commandment-keeping people—those who have acknowledged the laws of His kingdom—cover the altar with their tears, as though they were in slavery to a tyrant. God does not require His people to walk mournfully before Him. As the representatives of Christ travel heavenward, they should not make their journey one of mourning, as though sighing and crying were virtues. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 59

We should rejoice in the Lord that we have the high and ample assurance that it is possible for us to keep the windows of the soul open toward the Sun of Righteousness. If we do this, we shall not be peevish and gloomy, but all light in the Lord. When His light shines into our hearts, we shall not be mournful; we shall not give the world the impression that the service of God is severe, taxing, and unjust. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 60

As Christ ascended, His hands outstretched to bless His disciples, a cloud of angels received Him and hid Him from their sight. As the disciples looked with straining eyes for the last glimpse of their ascending Lord, two angels from the rejoicing throng stood by them, and said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” [Acts 1:11.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 61

Mark’s record is: “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” [Mark 16:19, 20.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 62

Luke’s testimony is: “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father unto you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.” [Luke 24:49-53.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 63

The disciples were filled with great joy. Over and over again they repeated the words Christ had spoken to them in His last lessons, as recorded in the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth chapters of John; and every one had something to say about the instruction, especially with regard to the words of the fourteenth of John: 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 64

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” [John 14:1-3.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 65

The promise that He would come again, and also the thought that He had left them His peace, filled their hearts with joy. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” [Verses 27, 28.] “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” [Verses 11, 12.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 66

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come,” his office work will be to “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” [John 16:7-11.] 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 67

Satan has made men and women his prisoners, and claims them as his subjects. When Christ saw that there was no human being able to be man’s intercessor, He Himself entered the fierce conflict and battled with Satan. The First Begotten of God was the only One who could liberate those who by Adam’s sin had been brought in subjection to Satan. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 68

The Son of God gave Satan every opportunity to try all his arts upon Him. The enemy had tempted the angels in heaven, and afterwards the first Adam. Adam fell, and Satan supposed he could succeed in ensnaring Christ after He assumed humanity. All the fallen host looked upon this engagement as an opportunity to gain the supremacy over Christ. They had longed for a chance to show their enmity against God. When the lips of Christ were sealed in death, Satan and his angels imagined that they had obtained the victory. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 69

It was the thought of standing under the guilt of the whole world that brought the inexpressible anguish to Christ. In the death-struggle the Son of God could rely only upon His heavenly Father. All was by faith. He Himself was a ransom, a gift, given for the freeing of the captives. By His own arm He has brought salvation to the children of men; but at what a cost to Himself! 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 70

All heaven and the unfallen worlds watched the conflict between Christ, the Prince of life, and Satan, the prince of darkness. What a spectacle was this conflict! It resulted in demonstrating to the heavenly universe the justice of God. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 71

Two classes have ever been before the world—the obedient and the disobedient, the genuine and the counterfeit. Amid all the temptations and the deceptions of Satan, let every one remain loyal to all of God’s commandments. Then Christ will restore in man the moral image of God and will finish the work He has begun in the plan of redemption, presenting man before God clothed in His righteousness. 16LtMs, Ms 125, 1901, par. 72