The Review and Herald

668/1902

May 2, 1893

Results of Casting Away the Law of God

EGW

All may read the signs of the times, and see whither the world is drifting. Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” RH May 2, 1893, par. 1

The signs of the times are plain and startling. Look into the papers that flood our world, filled with recitals of daily crimes, committed not only in the lower walks of life, but also among the higher classes. Those who occupy positions of trust, who are placed as guardians of the peoples’ interest, are untrue to their responsibility. There is embezzlement and fraud. Public money is stolen, and not one tithe of these corrupt transactions come to the light of day, and we do not see to what extent the wickedness of the world exists. The youth of our time are receiving their education from the evil doings of these wicked, but honored men of the world. Theft, murder, adultery, corruption, every sin that has a name, prevails to an awful extent. Does the wickedness of the world exist because men have kept the commandments of God?—No. It is the result of the working of the enemy of God and man, who has had the world under his training for many ages. He has taught them to trample under foot God's great moral standard, and lawlessness, corruption, and crime are the result. Jesus spoke to his people Israel from the pillar of cloud and fire. He said, “Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” The same voice that gave directions to the children of Israel from the pillar of cloud and fire has given lessons to his people of today. When he stood upon the earth clothed in the habiliments of humanity, he gave this same command. He said, “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.” The instruction of Christ was not to be passed by indifferently, but transmitted from parents to children, from one generation to another. “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” RH May 2, 1893, par. 2

Had fathers and mothers followed the direction given by Christ, we should not now read and hear of sins and crimes committed not only by adults, but even by youth and children. The evil condition of society exists because parents have disregarded this instruction, and neglected to train and educate their children to respect and honor the holy commandments of God. Even religious teachers have failed to present the holy standard by which character is measured, because they have ceased to respect every one of the precepts that God has given, which are holy, and just and good. Men have taken upon themselves the responsibility of erecting a standard in harmony with their own ideas, and the law of Jehovah has been dishonored. This is why there is so great and wide-spread iniquity. This is why our days are becoming like the days of Noah and Lot. RH May 2, 1893, par. 3

The evil one has arranged things to suit his Satanic majesty, that he may lead the world captive. Crime is looked upon with far more indifference than it used to be, and the penalty due to the offense is not executed. Were criminals punished as they should be, there would be a restraint upon men who regard no entreaty and heed no warning. Because God manifests long forbearance, many are so hardened that they do not think it possible that certain punishment will fall upon the evil doer. “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Instead of being softened by the patience and forbearance and longsuffering of God, wicked men encourage themselves in more obstinate resistance. Because immediate retribution is not visited upon them, they despise the mercy and forbearance of God. RH May 2, 1893, par. 4

O that every living teacher would teach both in word and doctrine that there are limits to God's longsuffering. Many have gone beyond the limits of his forbearance. The world should be aroused to a wholesome fear of the Lord God of hosts. The time and age in which we live is one of marked depravity; for many disregard the precepts of the law of God. The commandment of God is treated with indifference, and even with open contempt, and the inhabitants of the world are fast approaching the limits of the forbearance of the grace of God. Erelong God will arise and vindicate his honor. RH May 2, 1893, par. 5

We are living in perilous times, and because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. Shall those who profess to love God be carried away with the prevailing wickedness? Shall they be tempted to disregard the law of Jehovah, and render less reverence to the holy commandment, because the tide of evil brings to bear so strong a current against goodness and righteousness? The zeal and love of the children of God should rise in proportion as they see the law of Jehovah set aside and treated as non-essential. They should cry, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” RH May 2, 1893, par. 6

As iniquity increases, and contempt is manifested against the law of God, those who truly love God will reach for a higher state of holiness. Let us all bear in mind the fact that we are fast approaching that crisis in human iniquity when it will be necessary for God to interfere. The Amorites were inhabitants of Canaan, and the Lord had promised the land of Canaan to the Israelites; but a long interval must pass before his people should possess the land. He stated the reason why this interval must pass. He told them that the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full, and their expulsion and extermination could not be justified until they had filled up the cup of their iniquity. Idolatry and sin marked their course, but the measure of their guilt was not such that they could be devoted to destruction. In his love and pity God would let light shine upon them in more distinct rays; he would give them opportunity to behold the working of his wondrous power, that there might be no excuse for their course of evil. It is thus that God deals with the nations. Through a certain period of probation he exercises longsuffering toward nations, cities, and individuals. But when it is evident that they will not come unto him that they might have life, judgments are visited upon them. The time came when judgment was inflicted upon the Amorites, and the time will come when all the transgressors of his law will know that God will by no means clear the guilty. “Though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it will be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.” RH May 2, 1893, par. 7

The Jews rejected light and truth, and the Son of God who died to save the worst sinners, who had said, “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out,” declared that the blood of all the prophets which had been shed from the foundation of the world should be required of the Jewish nation. Great light had been given the Jews, but they would not heed it. To substantiate truth, evidence had been piled upon evidence; but as a nation, they rejected the counsel of God against themselves. When the judgment of God did fall upon the Jews, it was an evidence that they were finally impenitent, and set stubbornly against light and truth, against the messages and warnings of God. They pursued a course similar to that of their fathers, and had filled up the measure of their iniquity. They had worn out the divine patience by their repeated sins, and so great was their influence for evil upon the human family, that God made an example of them before the world. RH May 2, 1893, par. 8

Let us consider solemnly the dealings of God with nations and individuals, that we may avoid taking a course that will ruin us through transgression of the law of God. Let us treasure up every blessing, every heaven-sent ray of light, in warnings, in reproofs, in tokens of mercy given unto us. Let us not be among those who lightly regard God's forbearance. The figures of their iniquity are traced with unerring accuracy in the records of heaven, and are rapidly accumulating to the full measure of their guilt. God is still sending his precious messages of truth; he is still revealing precious gems of truth that have been hidden beneath the rubbish of error. He is still making plain his overtures of mercy, his willingness to pardon transgression and sin. He is still offering the wedding garment woven in the loom of heaven, even the righteousness of Christ, that men may be clothed, and prepared to enter the marriage supper of the Lamb. RH May 2, 1893, par. 9

God does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. With tearful utterance the husbandman says, “What more could I do for my vineyard that I have not done in it?” The unrivaled mercies and blessings of God have been showered upon our nation, it has been a land of liberty, and the glory of the whole earth. But instead of returning gratitude to God, instead of honoring God and his law, the professed Christians of America have become leavened with pride, covetousness, and self-sufficiency. The love of money, which is the root of all evil, has had a large place in their hearts. Many whose names are upon the church records have oppressed the poor, and grasped every possible advantage over those who were under them. They have lived to gratify appetite, to make extravagant display; and pride is fast making a Sodom of our world. But God is keeping his reckoning. The treatment of the poor, the robbery of the widow and the fatherless by those who are lifted up against the weak and helpless, is all written in the book of heaven. The cries of those who are oppressed have reached the ears of him who judgeth righteously. RH May 2, 1893, par. 10

The time has come when judgment is fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter, and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey. But the Lord's arm is not shortened that it cannot save, and his ear is not heavy that it cannot hear. The people of the United States have been a favored people; but when they restrict religious liberty, surrender Protestantism, and give countenance to popery, the measure of their guilt will be full, and “national apostasy” will be registered in the books of heaven. The result of this apostasy will be national ruin. RH May 2, 1893, par. 11

The voices of those under the altar who have been slain for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus, are still saying, “It is time for thee, O Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.” To the people who will be keeping the commandments of God when under the hand of oppression, will come these words of comfort: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly. Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and I will write upon him my new name.” RH May 2, 1893, par. 12