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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Ms 77, 1899

    God’s Law Immutable


    May 14, 1899 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in LDE 18, 217; 1BC 1102; 4BC 1147-1148; 5BC 1131.

    The Jews as a people claimed to be very particular in keeping the law of God, but they completely ignored the principles underlying the law—love for God and for their fellowmen. Though blessed with every temporal and spiritual advantage, they remained in spiritual ignorance, and led the people in false paths. Teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, they made void the law of God. The messages sent them they misinterpreted to suit their own ideas. Christ declared them ignorant both of the Scriptures and the power of God.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 1

    Because of their spiritual degeneracy, Christ uttered against the leaders of the nation scathing denunciations. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites,” He said, “for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. ... Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 2

    “Even so ye also appear outwardly righteous, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Then in words of lamentation He declared, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” [Matthew 23:13, 27, 28, 37-39.]14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 3

    The ceremonial piety of the Jews was of no value with God, and calamity was permitted to come upon the nation, because they refused the only means which would bring them light and knowledge. Christ forewarned His disciples of the destruction of Jerusalem and the signs to take place prior to the coming of the Son of man. The whole of the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew is a prophecy concerning the events to precede this event, and the destruction of Jerusalem is used to typify the last great destruction of the world by fire. “This gospel of the kingdom,” He said, “shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth let him understand:) then let them which be in Judea flee unto the mountains. ... But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.” [Verses 14-16, 20.]14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 4

    Christ did not tell His disciples that after His crucifixion they were to have a new Sabbath. The Sabbath of creation was still to be observed.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 5

    In His answer to the lawyer Christ revealed the spiritual condition of the Jews. “Behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy strength, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do: and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.] While the Jews claimed to be so exact in keeping the law, they ignored its principles. The question asked by the lawyer received the answer, You must obey the law of God, which requires that you love God supremely, and your neighbor as yourself. Your only hope as a transgressor is to believe in Christ as your Redeemer.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 6

    All the sacrificial offerings of the Jews pointed to the Saviour, who was to give Himself an offering for sin. The disciple John writes: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us:) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly, our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 7

    “And these things write we unto you that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” [1 John 1:1-7.]14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 8

    A belief in Christ is the only hope of the world. Paul declares: “If thou shalt confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. ... The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? ... So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” [Romans 10:9-14, 17.]14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 9

    “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ, shall tribulation, or distress, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor death, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:32-35, 37-39.]14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 10


    The twentieth chapter of Exodus should be studied by everyone who professes to keep the commandments of God. The proclamation of that law from Sinai will stand to witness against the world in the day of judgment; its principles will decide the destiny of every soul. In the twenty-first and twenty-second chapters also, the keeping of the law is plainly enjoined. Those who keep the law of God in truth and righteousness will obey every command. God requires that His people shall respect the laws He instituted in Eden. In the bosom of the Decalogue He has placed the fourth commandment which declares who is the living God.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 11

    He who created the world in six days, and rested on the seventh, blessed and hallowed it and gave it to the world as a memorial of His creative work. The record states, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended the work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all the work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he rested from all the work which God had created and made.” [Genesis 2:1-3.]14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 12

    God was particular in regard to every specification He gave to Moses for the children of Israel. When He was about to build the tabernacle He commanded Moses to “speak unto the children of Israel that they bring me an offering: of every man that bringeth it willingly with his heart shall ye take my offering.” [Exodus 25:2.] In asking these offerings of His people, God was only asking a return of the gifts He had entrusted, that He might have everything necessary for His service.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 13

    In Exodus twenty-five the furniture of the sanctuary was described. An ark was made to contain the law of God which had been written by His finger on two tables of stone. God commanded, “In the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I shall give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” [Verses 21, 22.] This chapter should be read and studied.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 14

    By a miracle God preserved the Sabbath law through the forty years of wilderness wandering. When the children of Israel murmured against the Lord saying, “Would God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and we did eat bread to the full,” “the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you: and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law or no. And it shall come to pass that on the sixth day, they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 15

    “And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then shall ye know that the Lord hath brought you up out of the land of Egypt; and in the morning, then shall ye see the glory of the Lord. ... And it came to pass, that at even, the quails came up and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold there lay upon the face of the wilderness a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. ...14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 16

    “And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. And it came to pass that on the sixth day, they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord: bake that ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe: and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up until the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worms therein. And Moses said: Eat that today, for today is the Sabbath unto the Lord: today ye shall not find it in the field. Six days shall ye gather it: but in the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.” [Exodus 16:3-7, 13-15, 21-26.]14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 17


    Satan would deceive men into the belief that Christ died that He might abolish the law of God. But Christ did not die to immortalize transgression. He died that the probation we are now having might be granted us. Every blessing that heaven could bestow was given to man in Christ. He clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, and divinity lay hold with the throne of God. He desired to demonstrate to man that humanity connected with divinity by faith in Christ, might become partaker of the divine nature. It is possible for every man to keep the law of God, for Christ in His humanity kept the law, and he says to every soul, If ye love me, keep my commandments.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 18

    Christ is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible, and invisible; whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” [Colossians 1:15-17.] This first chapter of Colossians is a wonderful chapter to enlighten the mind as to the truth as it is in Jesus. If we will study it, we will understand how it is that Christ has made it possible for man, fallen through disobedience and transgression, to keep all the commandments of God.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 19

    The death of Christ reveals that not one jot or tittle of the law of God can be altered to meet man in his fallen condition. The Saviour assures us that as long as the heavens and the earth remain, not one jot or tittle of the law shall fail. Christ’s death on the cross did not exterminate the heavens or the earth; both still remain; therefore God’s law remains unchanged. Far from lessening the claims of God’s law, Christ’s death testifies through all generations to the immutability of the law of Jehovah. Its claims are eternal.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 20

    “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] What speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible Father. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the Word of God. God sent His Son into the world, His divinity clothed with humanity, that man might bear the image of the invisible God. He made known in His words, His character, His power and majesty, the nature and attributes of God. Divinity flashed through humanity in softening, subduing light. He was the embodiment of the law of God, which is the transcript of His character.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 21

    The world saw God imaged in the purity and benevolence of Christ, but because of their depravity and darkness men did not recognize Him as the Son of God. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, (the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14.] He was “that true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” [Verses 9-11.] In spite of overwhelming evidence, men manifested an unbelief which only Satan could inspire.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 22

    It was not alone by dying on the cross that Christ accomplished His work of saving men. The ignominy and suffering and humiliation was a part of His mission. “He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:5.] This penalty Christ bore for the sins of the transgressor; He has borne the punishment for every man and for this reason He can ransom every soul, however fallen his condition, if he will accept the law of God as his standard of righteousness. He who sees the guilt of his transgression, and sees the infinite sacrifice made in his behalf will not continue in sin. He asks, “What must I do to be saved?” and is pointed to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. [Acts 16:30; John 1:29.] He accepts the truth as it is in Jesus and commences his life of loyalty to God.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 23

    It is a great and blessed truth that God is love. The superhuman efforts God has put forth for the good of humanity, in taking away their sins, reveals that His love is without a parallel. Through Christ the love of God is constantly expended for men. In the gift of His Son, He has made every provision that they may be prepared for the courts of heaven. The heavenly universe is in constant activity in behalf of the sons of men. They work that sinners may be convicted of sin. The cry of despair from souls calls forth the tenderest love of God, and this is salvation to every one that believeth. His love is freely bestowed upon all.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 24

    But man is not to deceive himself with the idea that because God is a God of love, He has not a perfect standard of righteousness. The revelation of His love, in giving His Son to die the shameful death of the cross, shows that God has a standard of character. If men continue to resist light and evidence, they will exhaust God’s forbearance and mercy and then will come the ministry of wrath. The love of God is immeasurable to those who repent, but His justice is firm and uncompromising to those who abuse His longsuffering love.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 25

    Why was it that God destroyed the inhabitants of the old world by a flood? The record states, “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at the heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” [Genesis 6:5-7.] Had they not eaten of the tree of knowledge and every kind of wickedness, God would not have destroyed them. But God “looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” [Verses 12, 13.]14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 26

    Human beings do not consider these things. Satan gives them no time, hurrying them from one temptation to another. Man may repulse the enemy on one point and think himself secure. But rest assured that the wily foe has still another scheme in readiness to present. He follows them at every step. He will use every circumstance of life to cause men to regard him with favor, for he is playing the game of life for the soul. He institutes every amusement he can devise to absorb time and keep God out of the thoughts. He is at work also in the religious world. He has had a practical experience in this line. He began this work with our first parents, using his powers to cause them to distrust God. If he could interpose himself between their souls and God, he knew he would succeed. These tempted ones knew not the subtlety of the serpent. They realized that they were listening to a false god, but the prospect of becoming gods to know good and evil was powerful, and they yielded.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 27

    This temptation has come down the line to our time. The result of this knowledge of good and evil does not confine itself to one’s self; it extends to and decides the cases of others. In gaining a knowledge of good and evil men, feel that a great honor is being conferred upon them; but the tempted ones do not understand the real purpose of Satan. There is a great desire on the part of men to be in authority, to control minds, to be able to judge between good and evil; and the world today supposes that it has reached this point.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 28

    Men do not seem to understand that they are taken in Satan’s snare when they attempt to tamper with the law of God. Satan has them in just the position he wants them when they manufacture laws to control the world and place those laws where God’s laws should be. The enemy knows that if the church can be controlled by political enactments, she will lose her garments of light as did Adam and Eve. If he can lead the church to unite with the world, and accept worldly enactments, they virtually acknowledge him as their head. Then the authority of man-made commandments will work to oppose the rule of the government of heaven. Under the leadership of Satan the knowledge of good and evil will work to dispense with the righteous, holy enactments of God concerning the Sabbath, the observance of which is to be a sign between God and His people forever.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 29

    Satan’s plan has taken with the religious world. He has created an order of things entirely his own, making void the law of God. He sits in the temple as God. Through his deceptive workings he has gained in the professedly Christian world all that he thought to gain in heaven—an abrogation of the law of Jehovah. Through the Roman power he has worked to remove God’s memorial and has erected a memorial of his own, to sever God from His people; and today the Protestant world is estranged from God by their worship of a spurious sabbath. They cannot find one iota of divine authority for doing this, yet, full of zeal, they assert that the Lord’s memorial given at creation should be ignored, despised, and trampled upon, and the first day of the week take its place.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 30

    We need at this time to send up the prayer to God, “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart that I may judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad.” [1 Kings 3:9.] This discernment between good and evil is righteous judgment. There is a time coming when every case will be judged. Then those who have given themselves to the Lord to do His will will know in the fullest sense what it means to judge between good and evil. “Know ye not,” says the apostle, “that the saints shall judge the world?” [1 Corinthians 6:2.]14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 31

    If we will study the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah we will understand the work to be done by the people of God. God declares, “They that be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” [Verse 12.] What is this breach? It is the broken Sabbath of the Lord.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 32

    “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride on the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” [Verses 13, 14.]14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 33

    “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” [Philippians 2:5-8.] There must be no assumption of power on the part of God’s chosen people. Those who take their orders from Christ must not snatch at power and seek to compel everyone else to observe the law of Jehovah. This is not to be. Even Christ, as the Prince of life, could not seize the scepter of power and carry out His laws of righteousness.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 34

    Man must wait patiently until the time when the work shall be accomplished, and every human being has had an opportunity to decide upon the light given. Decisions will be made for and against God. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment will be the test. Every man will decide his own case by his decision in regard to the law of Jehovah. Then the world will be ripened for the harvest. Both classes will be developed, the sentiment of every heart will be revealed. Each party will gather under the chosen leader, as loyal to God and His commandments, or as transgressors of the law, with the first great rebel at their head.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 35

    All must wait for the appointed time, until the warning shall have gone to all parts of the world, until sufficient light and evidence has been given to every soul. Some will have less light than others, but each one will be judged according to the light received. Not until the fullness of the time shall come will the crucified and risen Saviour assume His equality with God. Patiently has He waited in the heavenly courts in behalf of His people who have suffered for their loyalty to Him. Patiently has He waited for the gospel of the kingdom to be preached in all parts of the world, until all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples have received the light of God’s Word.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 36

    Christ secured probation for man at an infinite cost. He must suffer for the life of the world, that God’s purpose in creating man might not be defeated. He must destroy the apostate, for His death meant life to all who believe and death to all who will not be obedient. Nothing less than His own life would atone for man’s life. He must restore men by placing them on vantage ground, everyone who would believe in Him as a personal Saviour.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 37

    God’s thoughts are not man’s thoughts, neither are man’s ways God’s ways. When there was no eye to pity, His arm brought salvation. God laid help on One that was mighty, saying, Save them from destruction. The Son of God accepted the work joyfully. He became man’s substitute and surety, not to save him in his sin, but from his sin, to call him away from continual transgression to obedience. He pledged himself to take man’s nature, and stand at the head of the human race. He took upon His divine soul all the depths of sin, and satisfied every claim made against the human race as a people bound in the slavery of sin. Through this gift of God to the world man has been given every opportunity of knowing God and the laws of His government.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 38

    Christ was the image of the invisible God. The divine signature was upon His words and works. He declared, I can do nothing of mine own self, but what I see the Father do, that I do. Christ represented the power and glory of the Father. All that humanity could bear of the glory of God was revealed in Christ. Had He come to them in all His glory, the human race would have been consumed. The truth could only come to man through the humanity of Jesus Christ. In Him the Father was imaged. He was truth and light and life.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 39

    It is because the gospel is a communication from heaven that it gains a hold upon human hearts. “This is life eternal,” Christ said “that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.]14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 40

    “What more could I do to my vineyard, that I have not done?” Christ asks. [Isaiah 5:4.] No deeper wound could be inflicted upon God than to ignore His holy day, and place in its stead a spurious sabbath that bears no mark of sanctity. God gave His Sabbath to the world to remind men that in six days He made the world, and that the seventh He set apart for His name’s glory. He says, “It is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. ... The children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant.” [Exodus 31:13, 16.]14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 41

    God means just what He has said. The day He has sanctified and blessed is to be a sign between Him and His people. Let all ask themselves if they have made of no account God’s sign. Those who discard a plain “Thus saith the Lord” will cast off their allegiance to God and exalt in His stead human power. The Christian world is reposing her faith in this deception. She is revealing the same spirit that was manifested at the trial of Christ. Professing Christians are bringing in a false, deadly, murderous administration. By thus placing themselves in opposition to the law of the God of heaven, they fail to receive the mark or sign by which the people of the world are to know God’s true followers. There is no justification for those who, having the light, close their eyes to a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” They have taken up the weapons of their warfare against God, and their guilt is made manifest.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 42

    The sign of God is sanctification through obedience to the truth. Sanctification makes the loyal subject like his great head, Jesus Christ. He is brought into peculiar and eternal relation to Christ on condition that he maintains his allegiance and stands fast to the end. It is by sanctification through the truth that humanity may reveal the attributes of Christ.14LtMs, Ms 77, 1899, par. 43

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