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Manuscript Releases, vol. 14 [Nos. 1081-1135] - Contents
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    MR No. 1133—God's Holy Law, the Unchanging Standard

    “Thus saith the Lord; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates: Thus saith the Lord; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.14MR 343.1

    “For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by Myself, saith the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation” [Jeremiah 22:1-5].14MR 343.2

    These words show plainly that God's promises are fulfilled on condition of obedience to God's commandments. These commandments are not grievous. God has given them for the good of His people. His law is the hedge which He has built around His vineyard for its protection. The Lord has plainly stated the laws of His kingdom, and has declared that He will abundantly bless His people if they will obey them. It is their life to obey. In keeping God's commandments there is great reward.14MR 343.3

    God sends messengers to tell His people what they must be and do in order to obey His laws of righteousness, which if a man do, he shall also live in them. They are to love God supremely, having no other gods before Him; and they are to love their neighbor as themselves, doing to him as they would wish him to do to them.14MR 343.4

    Not one tittle of God's holy law is to be treated lightly or disrespectfully. Those who transgress a “Thus saith the Lord,” stand under the banner of the prince of darkness, in rebellion against their Maker and their Redeemer. They claim the promises given to the obedient, saying, The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we, while they dishonor God by misrepresenting His character, by doing the very things He has told them not to do. They set up a standard which God has not given. Their example is misleading, their influence corrupting. They are not lights in the world, for they do not follow the principles of righteousness.14MR 344.1

    Men cannot show greater treachery toward God than by disregarding the light He sends them. Those who do this mislead the ignorant, for they set up false waymarks. They are continually perverting pure principles.14MR 344.2

    “Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbor's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work; that saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.14MR 344.3

    “Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him? He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know Me? saith the Lord. But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it” [Verses 13-17].14MR 344.4

    In the words of Holy Writ we are plainly told why desolation came upon the Jewish nation. They had great light, rich blessings, and wonderful prosperity. But they proved unfaithful to their trust. They did not care faithfully for the Lord's vineyard, or render Him the fruits thereof. They acted as though there were no God, and therefore calamity overtook them.14MR 345.1

    During the journeyings of the children of Israel through the wilderness, Jesus Christ, enshrouded in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night, led them on their way, indicating where they should march and where they should pitch their tents. Christ guarded them from all the beasts of the wilderness and from the poisonous serpents. This they had reason to know; for when God removed His restraining power from the serpents, great was the affliction in the camp of the Israelites. Their murmuring was a constant offense to God. He saw that they had thrown off all fear of Him, and He permitted fiery serpents to attack them, that they might realize how in the past His power had guarded them from untold dangers.14MR 345.2

    Those bitten by the serpents cried out in their dying anguish, entreating Moses to call upon the Lord for deliverance. Moses cried to the Lord, and the Lord heard him, and told him to make a serpent of brass, and lift it up in the sight of all the people. To this serpent the people were to look, and those who looked were healed.14MR 345.3

    God desires men and women to awaken to a sense of His great mercy and lovingkindness. Every blessing we receive comes from Him. The Governor of the universe, He takes cognizance of the words and actions of human beings. He knows whether His children are deserving of praise or of condemnation. Each human being will be rewarded or punished according to his works. Retribution must come upon those who disregard the laws which God has made known. Those who are loyal and obedient will be rewarded with the richest blessings. Those who are disloyal and presumptuous, who dishonor the laws of God's kingdom, refusing to repent, will surely be punished with death.14MR 345.4

    It is Satan's studied plan to keep God out of men's thoughts. He has great success in carrying out this plan. He is constantly bringing forward inventions to keep the mind absorbed in pleasure and money-making. The minds of the great majority of men are so taken up with the things of time, with worldly devices, that the things of eternity make no impression on them. Irrespective of the warnings in the Word of God, they show a most surprising indifference to the laws of His kingdom.14MR 346.1

    Selfishness, covetousness, and fraud bear sway in the world. There are thousands and millions who know nothing of their true relation to God, nothing of the laws which He has given them, nothing of the consequence of disobedience. Many are not ignorant of the facts, but they do not duly consider these facts as applied to their own case. All know that they must die, but not all ask themselves the question, “What shall be the future of my soul?” They know that there is a judgment to come, but their minds are so darkened that they are utterly unconcerned regarding what this judgment will bring to them. They have no realization of the selfishness of sin. They follow a course which the Lord of heaven has told them not to follow.14MR 346.2

    God will not let those who dishonor His name go unpunished. Unless they repent as they see the signs of His displeasure, unless they change the course of action which is dishonoring to His name, He will stretch forth His hand to punish again and again.14MR 346.3

    Satan calls intrigue, selfishness, [and] idolatry, proper and commendable. The children of disobedience are controlled by a spirit from beneath, which works with an intensity of effort against God.14MR 347.1

    God's character is revealed in the precepts of His holy law. This is the reason why Satan wishes this law to be made of none effect. But notwithstanding all his efforts, the law stands forth holy and unchanged. It is a transcript of God's character. It cannot be impeached or altered.14MR 347.2

    Wonderful inducements are held out to us to lead us to strive to attain to the glory and virtue manifested in Christ. Every encouragement is offered. Every provision has been made that we may be so conformed to the divine character that Christ can take us to live with Him in heaven. Exceeding great and precious promises have been made to us, but they are fulfilled to us only as we gain a knowledge of God. Divine knowledge is given to those who become partakers of the divine nature. Those who are saved must in this life gain a fitness to dwell with the royal family in the courts of heaven.14MR 347.3

    If we have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul, we shall gain an experience of more value than gold or silver or precious stones. The Holy Spirits works in the children of obedience. He who is a partaker of the divine nature will think the thoughts of God. His perceptions will be sanctified by the grace of Christ. He will work in Christ's lines, manifesting His kindness, thoughtfulness, mercy, and love, helping and not discouraging those around him.14MR 347.4

    “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Wonderful are the possibilities placed before us, and to these possibilities we may attain by studying and practicing the Word of God. But if we do not lay hold of Christ, if we do not daily gain an experimental knowledge of Him as our sufficiency, we are constantly losing ground. Many professed Christians have not yet reached the height and breadth of Christlikeness. We are to behold Christ by faith as the One whose perfection of character we are to obtain. With an intense, prayerful desire to be like Him, we are to behold Him, full of tenderness and love. Then, as we behold, we shall be changed into His likeness. He is the author and finisher of our faith.14MR 347.5

    In every trying situation we are to ask, “Were Christ placed as I am, what would He do?” We are to go to God in humble faith, and on our knees give ourselves wholly and entirely to Him. We are to make it our choice to do as Christ would do. Christ has placed every one of us on vantage ground. “For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able also to succor them that are tempted” [Hebrews 2:16-18].14MR 348.1

    Christ assumed human nature that He might reach humanity and at the same time through His divinity lay hold of divine power. He became a man that men and women might become one with Him as He is one with the Father. While on this earth, He was tempted in all points like as we are. He says to every believing child, Fear not; I have overcome the world. The victories that I obtained make it possible for you to be more than a conqueror.14MR 348.2

    I am instructed to present the rich and gracious assurance that by faith we may be partakers of the divine nature, having overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust. Christ has endured all the suffering and overcome all the temptation that we shall be called upon to endure and overcome. He knows what it means to be tried and tested. His experience in suffering with humanity has given Him a tender, sympathetic heart for all human suffering. He is willing to give grace to all who are tempted.14MR 349.1

    He who claims to be a teacher, a shepherd of the flock, a guide and an instructor, should show that his perverse heart has been changed by a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. By his kindness and tenderness he is to show what the truth can do for one who will practice it. As precious jewels, words of sympathy are to fall from his lips, strengthening and encouraging and blessing the needy. Those whose hearts are filled with the love of Christ will express this love in word and action.14MR 349.2

    God is in earnest with us. Only those who are converted will enter into the kingdom of heaven. What would we think of Christ manifesting no warmth of love, no disposition to help those in need? Yet thus do many who claim to be His followers. They are cold and unsympathetic. They make no efforts to help those with whom they come in contact. They show that they are not transformed in character. Their words show that they are not converted. They have none of Christ's tenderness. Their unamiable traits of character, their lack of sympathy, show that they have lost their first love.14MR 349.3

    They need to repent and be converted, for Christ is greatly dishonored by their selfishness. The Saviour does not abide in their hearts, or they would be touched with the feelings of others’ infirmities. They are self-centered, harsh, unaccommodating. They choose to represent the spirit that dwells in the children of disobedience.14MR 350.1

    If when Christ comes the second time, they are as they are now—harsh in words, coarse in spirit, destitute of Christian love—their candlestick will be removed out of its place. They will be unready to meet their Lord. Oh, that they would feel the necessity of putting on the Lord Jesus! Oh, that they would seek to understand what is due from man to God!14MR 350.2

    I tell you in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, that there must be an individual reformation. Unless men reveal Christlikeness in all their dealings with their fellow men, unless they obey the law of heaven in every particular, they will never enter the city of God. There is no excuse for anyone to fail. Christ's character is before all, for study and imitation.14MR 350.3

    When, like Christ, men manifest good will toward men, the truth will sanctify the soul. But preaching the truth while the practice is corrupt makes the truth of none effect. God is dishonored by those who honor Him in theory only.14MR 350.4

    If one does a piece of work which is not wholly perfect, shall his brethren pull it to pieces, speaking of it scathingly and contemptuously? The one who has made mistakes may be doing his very best. Did Christ treat the work of His disciples thus? If He should treat erring human beings as their shortcomings deserve, what would become of them? Well may every mortal say, “Let me fall into the hands of the living God, rather than into the hands of men.” God is too wise to err, and too good to do us harm.14MR 350.5

    There are those who are driven away from Christ by the harshness of professing Christians. They might have done a good work in saving souls, but they have been stung to death by the inconsistency of those claiming to follow Christ, those who are Christians in name only. These weave into the web of life unsightly threads of selfishness, but their eyes are not anointed with the heavenly eyesalve, therefore they assert that the pattern is correct. But the threads of selfishness are there.14MR 351.1

    To some it appears degrading to wear Christ's yoke of submission and obedience. Many prefer to wear the yokes which they have manufactured for themselves. They choose the way that seems right in their own eyes. Their actions testify that they have not an experimental knowledge of God.14MR 351.2

    Those who are connected with God's service should be sanctified, soul, body, and spirit, else they will mar God's work and put Christ to open shame. What does God's Word mean when it declares that Christ will present to Himself a church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing? It means that God's people can and must reach the standard of Christian perfection. But in order to do this they must learn of Christ His meekness and lowliness. “This is life eternal,” the Saviour said, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”14MR 351.3

    Study the instruction given in the first chapter of First Peter. It points out to us the source of our strength. By the sacrifice of Christ every provision has been made for believers to receive all things that pertain to life and godliness. God calls upon us to reach the highest standard of glory and virtue. The perfection of Christ's character makes it possible for us to gain perfection.14MR 351.4

    He who desires to rise to true greatness must walk humbly before God, not with a forced humility, but with a genuine sense of his own inefficiency and of God's greatness. He is to strive earnestly to make the soul temple a place where God delights to dwell.14MR 352.1

    He whose heart God touches is filled with a great love for those who have never heard the truth. Their condition impresses him with a sense of personal woe. Taking his life in his hand, he hurries away, a God-sent, God-inspired messenger, to do a work in which angels can cooperate.—Manuscript 73, 1901.14MR 352.2

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D.C.,

    April 11, 1985.

    Entire Ms.

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