Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 226

Prefer Tradition Rather Than Obedience to God's Law, August 7

And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. Mark 7:9.

The most learned men in the days of Christ—philosophers, legislators, priests, in all their pride and superiority—could not interpret God's character.... When, in the fullness of time, Christ came to our world, it was darkened and marred by the curse of apostasy and spiritual wickedness. The Jews had wrapped themselves about with the dark mantle of unbelief. They kept not the commandments of God....

Those whom He addressed regarded themselves as exalted above all other peoples. To them, they proudly boasted, had been committed the oracles of God. The earth was languishing for a teacher sent from God, but when He came just as the living Oracles specified He would come, the priests and instructors of the people could not discern that He was their Saviour, nor could they understand the manner of His coming. Unaccustomed to accept God's Word exactly as it reads, or to allow it to be its own interpreter, they read it in the light of their maxims and traditions. So long had they neglected to study and contemplate the Bible that its pages were to them a mystery. They turned with aversion from the truth of God to the traditions of men.

The Jewish nation had reached a critical time in its history. Much was at stake. Would human ignorance give way? Would there be a thirsting for a deeper knowledge of God? Would this thirst develop into a longing for spiritual drink, as the thirst of David developed into a longing for water from the well of Bethlehem? Would the Jews turn from the influence of false teachers, which had perverted their senses, and call upon God for divine instruction? ...

When Christ came as a human being, a flood of light was shed upon the world. Many would have received Him gladly, choosing to walk in the light, if the priests and the rulers had only been true to God and had guided the people aright by giving to them a true interpretation of the truths of the Word. But so long had the leaders misapplied the Scriptures that the people were misled by falsehoods....

The Jews, as a nation, refused to accept Christ. They turned from the only One who could have saved them from eternal ruin. A similar condition of things exists in the so-called Christian world today. People who claim to understand the Scriptures are rejecting God's law and exerting a strong, determined influence against it.... What is the result? Look at the course of the youth growing up around us.—Manuscript 24, 1891 (Manuscript Releases 19:252-254).

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