Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 51, 1902

God’s Unchangeable Law


April 17, 1902 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in 18MR 133-136.

Throughout the ages God’s law will endure. In His sermon on the mount Christ said, “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 haven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” [Matthew 5:17, 18.] I have no come to destroy the law, but to show its immutability and the holiness of its claims. 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 1

God could not change His law to meet man in his fallen condition. By suffering the penalty of transgression, I will redeem the race. I have become man’s substitute and surety. I have taken human nature and have come to this earth to pass over the ground where Adam stumbled and fell. In humanity I will bear the test and proving of God. Satan has declared that man cannot keep the law. I will show that his statement is false, that man can keep the law. I have come to remove deception from the minds of men, to make plain that which Satan is trying to make obscure. I have come to establish the law that Satan is seeking to make void, to show how far-reaching are the principles of this law. I have come to strip from it the burdensome exactions with which man has loaded it down. I have come to show its length and breadth, its dignity and nobility. I will open before men the purity and spirituality of God’s commandments. Not to introduce a new law have I come, but to establish the law which to all eternity will be the standard of obedience. 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 2

For the benefit of future generations, Christ made plain the meaning of the precepts of God’s law. Himself the author of this law, He proclaimed its immutability, declaring that while God’s throne remained, His law would also remain. Not the least part of it would ever be annulled. “One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” [Verse 18.] In these positive terms Christ declares the immutability of the law. His words leave no room for doubt or evasion. 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 3

Some claim that the commandments are not binding on those who are led by the Spirit. What spirit? we inquire. Certainly not the Spirit of Christ; for He declared, I came not to destroy the law. “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments,” He said, “and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” [Verse 19.] He is a rebel against God’s government. He is sinning himself and is leading others in the path of disobedience. “He shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” For him there will be no place in God’s kingdom. He is a transgressor of God’s law, and into the holy city no transgressors are admitted. 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 4

“But whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” [Verse 19.] 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 5

God has given us a test by which all may be tried. “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.] 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 6

In the clear light of the Word of God, we may read plainly the meaning of sin. John declares that sin is “the transgression of the law.” [1 John 3:4.] Paul tells us that he had not known sin but by the law. When the commandment came home to his conscience, he saw sin in its true character, and he died to sin to live unto Christ. 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 7

Those who belittle the claims of the law are warring against Jehovah. Unless they repent, they will be dealt with as were the inhabitants of the old world. Those who array themselves against the law, array themselves against Christ, giving the lie to His positive declarations. They betray the Son of man while professing to exalt the gospel. 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 8

Cannot men see that to belittle the law of God is to reproach Christ? Why did He come to this world to suffer and die if the law is not binding on men and women? Who could have spoken more plainly than He did regarding the immutability of the law? He came to bring light and immortality to light by exalting the law and making it honorable. Where can be found those who preach the binding claims of God’s law more plainly and decidedly than did Christ when He was upon the earth? 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 9

False teachers are trying to lead men away from obedience to the law of God. Let all beware of whose voice they heed. God is calling His people into the path of His commandments. 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 10

Those who claim to be light-bearers, and yet take sides with Satan in putting human laws in the place of God’s law, are the most dangerous of all rebels against God’s government. They are Satan’s most useful agents in leading souls into darkness. In their deception they carry with them a multitude of souls. There are those who hold up the difference between the law and the gospel. But between the law and the gospel there is no contradiction, but the closest union. They are in perfect harmony. One does not supersede the other. The law points to the gospel, while the gospel reflects its glory on the law, and on the whole Jewish economy, revealing Christ in every offering. The animals daily slain at the tabernacle—the victims of sin—pointed to the Lamb of God, who was to be slain for the sin of the world, not to save sinners in their sin, but from sin, and to lead them to loyalty to God’s law. 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 11

One who has authority has borne testimony regarding the law of God. It is the word of Him who spake as never man spake. Throughout the universe His word is law. It is the end of all controversy in heaven and earth. Let God be true and every man a liar. 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 12

From every one, God demands perfect obedience. Of himself, man cannot obey God’s law. Never could he have paid the debt incurred by transgression. The Redeemer came to the world to bring man power to obey. He came in human nature that He might know the temptations and trials to which man is subjected. He who accepts Christ as a personal Saviour will receive divine aid in the struggle against sin. Through the merits of the Saviour, he will become an obedient subject of God’s kingdom. In the strength of Christ he will overcome every temptation of the enemy. 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 13

In the day of judgment, those who are now uniting with the enemy in an effort to destroy the foundation of God’s government are brought face to face with the false statements they have made. With what remorse they will look upon their work. 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 14

They will see what a fearful mistake they have made. God will ask, Who hath required this at your hands? Why have you placed this affront upon the Majesty of heaven? Why have you thrown down my memorial of creation, exalting in its stead a day I have not sanctified? What can they say in excuse for co-operating with the enemy to break the law of Jehovah? 17LtMs, Ms 51, 1902, par. 15