The Review and Herald

946/1902

August 9, 1898

The True, or the False?

EGW

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid.” The apostle decidedly denies the assertion: “Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.” RH August 9, 1898, par. 1

What is sin?—It is the result of Satan's administration. It is his work to make of no effect the law of God. He is determined that man shall do what God has forbidden him to do. By his deceptive, artful temptations, he strives to make men disobey. This he did with Adam and Eve in Eden, and this he will continue to do till the close of time. RH August 9, 1898, par. 2

“For I was alive without the law once,” Paul continues; “but when the commandment came, sin revived, and [the law died?—No] I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.” But because of this does Paul say, I am opposed to the commandment?—No; he declares : “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” RH August 9, 1898, par. 3

“Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” Here we are plainly shown that the commandments of God are true and righteous, and that they are to be honored and obeyed. Right down on this side of the crucifixion, Paul declares, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” RH August 9, 1898, par. 4

Satan has invented thousands of errors to counterfeit God's truth. And the false paths that he has made have been followed as if they were paths of right. Thousands of false steps he has taken, and men seem eager to endorse the false, rather than to follow the path of truth and righteousness. RH August 9, 1898, par. 5

Counterfeits are made so as to resemble the true as nearly as possible. The Lord has specified the seventh day as the day that is to be kept holy. He has said, “Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” This day is God's great memorial, established to celebrate the work of creation. On this day God rested, sanctifying and blessing it as the day of his rest. RH August 9, 1898, par. 6

But a false sabbath has been instituted. Who instituted it?—The man of sin, who has thought to change times and laws. The world has turned from the true and living God to serve an idol, but because of this has Satan accomplished what he desired?—No; the Lord's word reads just as it did when it was given. Satan's counterfeits do not bear God's signature. Though every son and daughter of Adam should endorse these falsehoods, God's truth would not be annihilated. Not the smallest jot or tittle of the law has ever been given over to Satan, to be manipulated according to his fancy. If this could have been done, it would have been when the matter was first agitated in the heavenly courts. But there the first intimation of a change in God's law was met by a decided No. This led to a battle in heaven, and Satan, next to Christ the most exalted being in the heavenly courts, was overcome, and with his sympathizers cast out of heaven. Thus it was shown that Satan was not in the right, and that God had not abrogated or changed his law. This law is the transcript of his character; and throughout the eternal ages it will remain Yea and Amen, perfect and unalterable, without variableness or shadow of turning. RH August 9, 1898, par. 7

The principles of God's law are contained in the two precepts, “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.” When we realize this, there will be a searching after truth, a deep conviction of the far-reaching claims of God's law. RH August 9, 1898, par. 8

That law takes cognizance of the thoughts of the heart, as well as of the actions of the life. A man may be a lawbreaker in heart, yet if the outward action is wanting, he is treated as loyal by the world. He may in heart be an adulterer, yet by his fellow men he may be regarded as possessing great integrity. But God's law looks into the secrets of the heart, and pours a flood of light on things that have been buried in darkness. Why, then, do not the teachers of the people search for truth as for hidden treasure? Why do they not humble their souls in the dust, lest they be deceived, as were Adam and Eve in Eden? RH August 9, 1898, par. 9

By his deceptions, Satan has led the people away from God. The sayings of men are exalted above the word of God. The world has accepted a false sabbath, discarding the holy, sanctified day of the Lord of hosts. Men have shut themselves away from the light, saying, by word and action, Seek no further. And God says, Shall I not judge for these things? Why do not the religious teachers of today instruct the people regarding the traitorous movement that Satan has made in putting a common working-day in the place of the day that God has set apart as holy? RH August 9, 1898, par. 10

The fourth commandment is the only one to which “remember” is prefixed. God says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Do not forget it. “Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.” The Lord presents himself as the authority for his requirements. There is to be no departure from the word of God in order to exalt the word of man. God is authority and what he says is to be done. RH August 9, 1898, par. 11

The whole matter centers here. Obedience means eternal life; disobedience means eternal death. Error never becomes truth, though it may be hoary with age. Then shall intelligent beings decide that in this world, to which Satan was banished as an exile, God has given the rebel what he claimed and failed to gain in heaven? Shall the professed Christian churches change leaders, taking a “Thus saith Satan” in the place of a “Thus saith the Lord”? RH August 9, 1898, par. 12

When there is so much at stake, why do not those who claim to be God's delegated messengers go to the Word of life, and make honest, wise, prayerful research, saying, We will know what saith the Lord in this matter? If the search is undertaken in the spirit of Christ, it will be awarded. But if the teachers of the people echo the words of the great apostate, it will be found to their shame and ruin; and they will carry with them those whom they have deceived, as Satan in his rebellion carried out of the heavenly courts those who accepted his words instead of the words of God. RH August 9, 1898, par. 13

Sin lies at the door of those who do not allow their ignorance to be expelled by the rays of light from God's word. They are doing what the Jews did in the days of Christ,—teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. By their actions they say, We do not wish to be disturbed. Let us alone. Do not disturb our peace. To God's messengers, sent to them with words of warning and reproof, they say, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” RH August 9, 1898, par. 14

God purchased men by giving his only begotten Son to die for them. If those who claim to be light-bearers in the world lead the people in paths of transgression, they are not only answerable for their own souls, but for the souls of those whom they mislead. By their profession of sanctity, they lead the unwary into disobedience, and their names are recorded on the books of heaven as workers of iniquity. God will not accept the inventions of men who in their work enter the inner circle of God, where only the Holy One, whose form is that of the Son of God, has a right to tread. In the great day of judgment, what will those who have taken sides with the apostate plead as an excuse for their conduct? How contemptible to them will appear the sparks which they have kindled, in contrast with the holy fire of God's kindling! RH August 9, 1898, par. 15

Sin is the most fearful thing in the whole universe. So fearful is it that it could be pardoned only by the sacrifice of the Son of the infinite God. If unpardoned, it must be followed by eternal death. There is a time coming when every unrepentant transgressor of God's law will know what it means to be a sinner, standing in God's sight uncovered, without the robe of Christ's righteousness, and with a full sense that there is no power in the law to save the transgressor. RH August 9, 1898, par. 16

Shall all the efforts that Heaven has made to restore in the human race the image of God be in vain because men teach for doctrines the commandments of men? Shall we sell our Lord, in order to be in harmony with the rebellious multitude? Shall our names be recorded in heaven as the names of those who have corrupted the way of the Lord? Shall we be of that number who say, “Lord, Lord,” but refuse to do his will? Shall we be among those who present their supposedly good works to God, because they think he needs to be reminded of his duty toward them? He, the God of heaven, will one day present their own case before them, and they will see clearly that they were the ones who needed to be reminded. RH August 9, 1898, par. 17

God will say to all such, Why did you not keep sacred my memorial of creation? Why did you not hear my warnings? “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” He who ventures to corrupt truth and exalt error,—he who sells his intellect or integrity at any price, in order to gain worldly advantage,—will one day be denied in sorrow. RH August 9, 1898, par. 18