Ellen G. White Writings

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The Watchman

October 10, 1905

The Law of God the Standard in the Judgment

Mrs. E. G. White

The first angel of Revelation 14 calls upon men to “fear God and give glory to him,” and to worship him as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In order to do this, they must obey his law. The wise man says, “Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13. Without obedience to his commandments, no worship can be pleasing to God; for “this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” 1 John 5:3; Proverbs 28:9.

Many religious teachers say that Christ, by his death, freed us from the law; but not all take this view. Prof. Edward Park, in setting forth the current religious perils, ably says:

“One source of danger is the neglect of the pulpit to enforce the divine law. In former days the pulpit was an echo of the voice of conscience.... Our most illustrious preachers gave a wonderful majesty to their discourses by following the example of the master, and giving prominence to the law, its precepts, and its threatenings. They repeated the two great maxims, that the law is a transcript of the divine perfections, and that a man who does not love the law does not love the gospel; for the law, as well as the gospel, is a mirror reflecting the true character of God. This peril leads to another, that of under-rating the evil of sin, the extent of it, the demerit of it. In proportion to the rightfulness of the commandment is the wrongfulness of disobeying it.”

“Affiliated to the danger already named is the danger of underestimating the justice of God. The tendency of the modern pulpit is to strain out the divine justice from the divine benevolence, to sink benevolence into a sentiment rather than to exalt it into a principle. The new theological prism puts asunder what God has joined together. Is the divine law a good or an evil? It is a good. Then justice is good; for it is a disposition to execute the law. From the habit of underestimating the divine law and justice, the extent and demerit of human disobedience, men easily slide into the habit of underestimating the grace which has provided an atonement for sin.”

The law of God, from its very nature, is unchangeable. It is a revelation of the will and character of its Author. God is love, and his law is love. Its two great principles are love to God and man. “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” The character of God is righteousness and truth, and such is the nature of his law. The psalmist says, “Thy law is the truth;” “all thy commandments are righteousness.” And the apostle Paul declares, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Such a law, an expression of the mind and will of God, must be as enduring as its Author.

And this law is the standard by which the lives and characters of men will be tested in the judgment. After pointing out our duty to obey his commandments, Solomon adds: “For God shall bring every work into judgment.” The apostle James admonishes his brethren, “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.”

Jesus will appear in the judgment as the advocate of his people, to plead in their behalf before God. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 9:24; 7:25.

In the judgment all who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life. The Lord declares, by the prophet Isaiah, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”

Jesus said, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

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