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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Ms 133, 1899

    The Importance of the Law of God


    September 20, 1899 [typed]

    This manuscript is published in entirety in 21MR 408-411. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    Before the children of Israel were given into the charge of Joshua, the Lord directed Moses to rehearse to them the incidents of their journeyings since leaving Egypt. Their wandering tent-life was about to cease. They were to take possession of Canaan, after the Lord had manifested His power in their behalf by opening a passage for them through the Red Sea, and levelling the walls of Jericho.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 1

    Moses told the people how the Lord had declared to them His holy commandments. After repeating the words of the law, He said, “These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice; and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 2

    “And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders, and ye said, Behold the Lord our God hath showed us his glory, and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire; we have seen this day that God doth talk with man and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die; for this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 3

    “Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say, and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee, and we will hear it, and do it. And the Lord heard the voice of your words, when ye spoke unto me; and the Lord said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee; they have well said all that they have spoken. O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep my commandments always, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! Go, say to them, Get you into your tents again.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 4

    “But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, which they shall do in the land which I give them to possess it. Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you; ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.” [Deuteronomy 5:22-33.]14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 5

    God’s law comes sounding down along the line to our time. If the words of this law were hung up in prominent places, as are the pictures on our walls, would they not have a more powerful influence for good than do these pictures? The words of God’s law could be printed on cards and hung up on the walls of your houses. The attention of some will be arrested as their eyes fall upon the ten commandments. Thus the Lord will impress hearts and minds. The law of the Lord is holy, just, and good, and it is of the greatest importance that men and women read and understand this law, God’s pledged word to all who dwell upon the earth.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 6

    The Lord has instructed me that the money expended in photographs might better be used in feeding the poor and clothing the naked. It might better be invested in buying pamphlets and books for those who cannot buy them for themselves. Can we not practice self-denial and self-sacrifice in regard to photographs? Would it not be pleasing to the Lord for us to make a covenant with Him by sacrifice, and cease to fill our what-nots and walls with multitudinous idols, [in] placing the means thus saved where it will help to enlighten souls?14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 7

    The salvation of men and women depend upon their obedience to every word of God. Then should not His commandments be made prominent? He declares, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth.” [Exodus 20:3, 4.] Do we give these words the consideration they demand? Would it not be safe, wholly safe, for us to bind about our inclinations in regard to photographs, lest by our carelessness in regard to the Lord’s instruction we educate our children to desire only the pictures which will be consumed in the fire of the last day? In view of the plain, decided utterances of the Lord, would it not be well for us to bind about our desires?14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 8

    We see a dearth of means in the Lord’s treasury. Our people have grown to be a large number, but this number would have been very much larger if there had been more loyalty, more willingness to obey the words of the Lord. God’s people should carefully avoid every species of idolatry. Take from your walls and shelves all that comes under the Lord’s instruction regarding images, all that is robbing Him of the honor you should give Him. Invest the money the Lord has given you in that which will abound to His glory.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 9

    The Lord said to Israel, “Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you; ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.” [Deuteronomy 5:32, 33.] Are not these words spoken just as surely to us as to the children of Israel? Then let us take heed to the instruction given by Him who purchased the world with His own life.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 10

    The sixth chapter of Deuteronomy contains instruction which it is important for all to follow. “These are the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it. ... Hear, therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of your fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 11

    “Hear O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 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.” [Verses 1, 3-9.]14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 12

    Because the world is disloyal, because it refuses to walk in the way of life, shall those who claim to be the chosen of God become careless and regardless of His Word, turning to the right hand or to the left according to their own pleasure? There is need of a reformation in every church, in every family. We have no time to devote to pleasure-loving, no means to invest in buying the pictures of human faces.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 13

    Invest your means in the cause of God. Guard carefully your example. It is of the greatest consequence to every soul to love and fear God, to obey His commands. We all need to become better acquainted with the laws of God’s kingdom, lest we lose our life insurance policy and fail to find entrance into the city of God.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 14

    On many the Word of God has lost its impression because of the prevalence of the disregard of His law. As God’s chosen people we are to be in every sense what He desires us to be. We are to render strict obedience to the law spoken by Christ from Sinai. This law is God’s standard of character, and there can be no comparison between it and anything the human mind can frame. It is an unchangeable standard of absolute perfection, set up by the infinite God. Unaided, the human mind cannot comprehend it. An expression of the character of God, it is as high as heaven and beyond measurement in its power to sanctify.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 15

    Love the Fulfilling of the Law

    We cannot by searching find out God. But He has revealed Himself in the character of Christ, who is the brightness of the Father glory, and the express image of His person. If we desire a knowledge of God, we must be Christlike. When Philip said to Christ, “Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us,” the Saviour answered, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father, and now sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” [John 14:8, 9.]14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 16

    He who does not seek each day to be more like Christ, cannot know the character of God. Living a pure life through faith in Christ as a personal Saviour brings the believer to a clearer, higher conception of God. No man whose character is not noble and Christlike can set forth God in a correct light. He may preach Christ, but he does not show his hearers that Christ is an abiding guest in his heart.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 17

    “This do and thou shalt live,” Christ said to the lawyer who had answered His question in the words, “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.” [Luke 10:27, 28.] Eternal life is the reward that will be given to all who obey the two great principles of God’s law—love to God and love to man. The first four commandments define and enjoin love to God; the last six, love to our fellow men. Obedience to God’s commands is the only evidence man can give that he possesses a genuine, saving knowledge of God. And supreme love for God is demonstrated by love for those for whom Christ has died.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 18

    While enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, Christ gave direction regarding this love. Distinctly and clearly He laid down the principles of heaven as rules which His chosen people are to observe in their dealings one with another. These principles Christ lived out in His life of humanity. In His sermon on the mount He presented the motives and obligations which should govern the lives of His followers. “All ye are brethren,” He said. [Matthew 23:8.] “Treat the purchase of my blood as I have given you example.”14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 19

    God has manifested the most wondrous love for fallen man. He “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.] Those who are partakers of Christ’s love through a reception of the truth will give evidence of this by making earnest, self-sacrificing efforts to give the message of God’s love to those who are in error.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 20

    Thus they become laborers together with Christ. Love for God and for one another unites the soul to Christ by the golden links of love. The soul is bound up with Him in sanctified, elevated union. True sanctification unites believers to Christ and to one another in the bonds of tender sympathy. This union causes to flow continually into the heart rich currents of Christlike love, which flows forth again in love for one another.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 21

    The qualities which it is essential for all the possess are those which marked the completeness of Christ’s character—His love, His patience, His unselfishness, and His goodness. These attributes are gained by doing kindly actions with a kindly heart. But Christ’s requirements are not met by His people today. A strange deception is upon the people of God. Selfishness prevents the union with should exist. True love for one another is rare in our churches. This lack of love reveals most certainly that the members do not love God as they suppose they do. They give evidence that they need to be sanctified.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 22

    It is the greatest and most fatal deception to suppose that a man can have faith unto life eternal, without possessing Christlike love for his brethren. He who loves God and his neighbor is filled with light and love. God is in him and all around him. Christians love those around them as precious souls for whom Christ has died. There is no such thing as a loveless Christian, for “God is love,” and “hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 23

    “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him. ... A new commandment I give unto you, which thing is true in him and in you, because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” [1 John 4:8; 2:3-5, 8-11.]14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 24

    Christ declared, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another.” [John 13:34, 35.] “This is my commandment, That ye love one another as I have loved you.” [John 15:12.] This is the fruit that is to be given back to God.14LtMs, Ms 133, 1899, par. 25

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