Beginning of the End


The Grace of Christ and the New Covenant

At their creation Adam and Eve knew about the law of God. They had been introduced to its claims, and its principles were written on their hearts. When they fell to sin, the law was not changed but God gave the promise of a Savior. Sacrificial offerings pointed to the death of Christ as the great sin offering. BOE 177.1

The law of God was handed down from father to son through each generation, but only a few people obeyed. The world became so evil that it was necessary to cleanse it from its wickedness by the Flood. Noah taught his descendants the Ten Commandments. As they again departed from God, the Lord chose Abraham, of whom He said, “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” (Genesis 26:5). God gave him the rite of circumcision, a pledge to be separate from idolatry and obey the law of God. The failure of Abraham’s descendants to keep their pledge was the cause of their slavery in Egypt. In their contact with idol worshippers and their forced submission to the Egyptians, the divine principles became still more corrupted with the shameful teachings of heathenism. So the Lord came down on Mt. Sinai and spoke His law in awesome majesty in the hearing of all the people. BOE 177.2

He did not even then trust His laws to the memory of a people so likely to forget, but wrote them on tablets of stone. And He did not stop with giving them the Ten Commandments. He commanded Moses to write judgments and laws giving detailed instruction about what He required. These directions only amplified the principles of the Ten Commandments in a specific manner, designed to guard their sacredness. BOE 177.3

If Abraham’s descendants had kept the covenant, of which circumcision was a sign, there would have been no need for God’s law to be proclaimed from Mt. Sinai or engraved on tablets of stone. BOE 177.4

The sacrificial system was also perverted. Through long contacts with idolaters, Israel had mixed in many heathen customs with their worship, so the Lord gave them specific instructions concerning the sacrificial service. The ceremonial law was given to Moses, and he wrote it in a book. But the law of Ten Commandments had been written by God Himself on tablets of stone and preserved in the ark. BOE 177.5