From Eternity Past


Chapter 32—The Grace of Christ and the New Covenant

Adam and Eve at their creation had a knowledge of the law of God; they were acquainted with its claims; its precepts were written upon their hearts. When man fell by transgression, the law was not changed, but the promise of a Saviour was given. Sacrificial offerings pointed to the death of Christ as the great sin offering. EP 254.1

The law of God was handed down from father to son through successive generations. But few rendered obedience. The world became so vile that it was necessary to cleanse it by the Flood from its corruption. Noah taught his descendants the Ten Commandments. As men again departed from God, the Lord chose Abraham, of whom He declared, “Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Genesis 26:5. To him was given the rite of circumcision, a pledge to remain separate from idolatry and obey the law of God. The failure of Abraham's descendants to keep their pledge was the cause of their bondage in Egypt. In their intercourse with idolaters and forced submission to the Egyptians, the divine precepts became still further corrupted with the vile teachings of heathenism. Therefore the Lord came down upon Sinai and in awful majesty spoke His law in the hearing of all the people. EP 254.2

He did not even then trust His precepts to the memory of a people prone to forget, but wrote them upon tables of stone. And He did not stop with giving them the Decalogue. Moses was commanded to write judgments and laws giving minute instruction as to what was required. These directions were only the principles of the Ten Commandments amplified in a specific manner, designed to guard their sacredness. EP 254.3

If the descendants of Abraham had kept the covenant, of which circumcision was a sign, there would have been no necessity for God's law to be proclaimed from Sinai or engraved upon tables of stone. EP 255.1

The sacrificial system was also perverted. Through long intercourse with idolaters, Israel had mingled many heathen customs with their worship; therefore the Lord gave them definite instructions concerning the sacrificial service. The ceremonial law was given to Moses, and by him written in a book. But the law of Ten Commandments had been written by God Himself on tables of stone and preserved in the ark. EP 255.2