After the fall of Adam in Eden, the Lord said, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The enmity is developed and made manifest in one class by the reception of truth, while it is developed in others by their antagonism to truth and righteousness. One class vindicate the law of God, preserving order, arresting wickedness, and vindicating the honor of God.
The other class make void his law, and persecute those who render obedience to God’s commandments. The Searcher of hearts said of Abraham, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” There would be on the part of Abraham no betrayal of sacred trust, no yielding to any power or any guide but One.
Abraham recognized the fact that Jehovah had a law, and he determined that he would keep that law as the apple of his eye. He recognized the fact that he was amenable to the Lawgiver, and he would not be turned aside from his duty. God rules by the combined influence of authority and affection, and blessings follow in the track of those who obey his law.
The Holy One has given us rules by which we are to be guided to the courts of heaven, and these rules form the standard, from which there can be no turning aside. The first principles of holiness are yet to be learned when God’s voice is not heard and obeyed as the supreme authority.
Satan, with all his masterly power, has interposed himself between man and the law of God, that through falsehood and sophistry he may inspire men with the same rebellion against God and his law as actuates himself.
Those whom he can not deceive, he hates. He misinterprets their words and actions, and causes the world to persecute and destroy, in order that earth may hold no soul who is not in league with the prince of this world and the ruler of its darkness. History testifies to the fact that no man can serve God without coming in conflict with the united forces of evil.
The conflict between the believer and his foes may be painful and protracted, and at times the soul may, through manifold temptations, yield to the power of the evil one; but God will not give his servant up to be the prey of the destroyer as long as he cries unto him. The pitiful Saviour knows his weakness, and through his servant John, he has sent the repenting sinner a message of consolation: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”
Of those who honor Jesus, and keep the commandments of the Lord, Christ has said, “Marvel not if the world hate you.” We can expect no better treatment from the world than the treatment given to the law of God.
Those who vindicate the law of God by keeping the commandments, will be targets for the wrath of the dragon, and opposition to righteousness will not end until evil is destroyed; for as long as human nature is under the control of the enemy of all righteousness, enmity to the righteous will be manifested through the children of men.
The offense of the cross has not ceased by any means. Satan has his most efficient batteries masked under pretensions to godliness, and he will cause them to open fire upon the followers of Jesus Christ. The servants of God must expect that they will be reviled, misrepresented, maligned, persecuted, and oppressed; for all who “will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” The people of God will stand firm to the faith only through the grace of God.
“The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” The great rebel against God is leading his armies to the conflict; but let the followers of Christ bear in mind the fact that he can bruise only the heel, while those who are loyal to Christ by their fidelity and piety shall bruise the head of the serpent.
While men are making void the law of God, we must pray, as did David, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law.” Through Christ believers will gain the mastery, and inch by inch they will contest the ground, and obtain the victory.
Let the followers of Christ do all that is possible to teach repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. One soul gained brings joy to the Father and to the Son, and there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of heaven, and an anthem of praise goes up from countless harps and voices through the heavenly courts.
Those who break the law of God, and teach others to break God’s commandments, are not following Jesus, who says, “I have kept my Father’s commandments;” they are following another leader. It was Christ’s own voice that proclaimed on Mount Sinai the Ten Commandments, and he will not countermand his statutes.
Satan in his rebellion in heaven sought to find some flaw in the law of God, in order to support his argument that the law of God must be changed; but his efforts were in vain. He did not succeed, and after he had deceived thousands of angels, and had drawn them to his side, he was cast out of heaven.
But the law of God was not changed in one jot or tittle. God is wise and unchangeable, and those who flatter themselves that they can find a safer rule of life than that which God has given, are deceived by the same delusions that led the angels of heaven to join the ranks of Lucifer in questioning the authority of God’s law and the justice of his government.
Those who have true Bible religion will yield their will to God’s will as supreme, and will reverence God by rendering obedience to his righteous and just laws. They will place themselves under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, and acknowledge themselves as under the control of the Ruler, not only of earthly intelligences but of the hosts of heaven.
Can man frame a constitution for the governing of the world that is better adapted to the purpose than that which God has framed? In what particular is the moral code wanting? Can it be amended by finite men? If so, then man can exalt himself to the place of God. Can the human family afford to do without one of the commandments that God has given? Read the Ten Commandments carefully, and see which one can be dropped out.
The man of sin thinks himself able to change the times and the laws of God, and the Protestant world have accepted the authority of the papal power, and in so doing have apostatized from God. All nations have been made drunk by partaking of the wine of Babylon, by accepting the presumptuous work of the man of sin, who has tampered with the law of God, and thought to change the precepts of Jehovah.
But the original law of God is safely deposited in the ark in the heavenly sanctuary, and will be presented to man just as God engraved it on the tables of stone. To the king on his throne and the humblest of his subjects, the law of righteousness will constitute the standard of character, and by its precepts will every work be tried and every thought be brought into examination.
The fourth commandment will be found in the bosom of the Decalogue just as it was written by the finger of God, and every soul who has presumed to exalt the false sabbath above the Sabbath which was sanctified and blessed and given to mankind for respect and observance, will be found out of harmony with the law of God.
God gave the Sabbath to be a sign between him and his people, that they might know that it was the Lord who was their sanctifier. Those who have knowingly trampled upon the true Sabbath, while they have exalted to its place a spurious institution, will have to answer for their action before the Lord who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is therein. God has proclaimed himself a jealous God.
Can men presume to think that a better path can be found than that which Jehovah has marked out for them? Obedience to God’s commandments places the feet of man in the royal path that leads to holiness and heaven. Paul inquires, “Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?” Well may this question be asked of those who have minds by which to search for reasons as to why men should depart from God. Satan could present no defined reasons as to why he wished the law of God changed or abolished. He simply declared his conviction that the angels would be better off without the law, but could not tell in what way they would be advantaged. He desired to exalt himself above God, and to convince the hosts of heaven that his wisdom was superior to that of the Omnipotent.
The human family have been made drunk with the wine of Babylon, and drunken men will not reason. They have taken large drafts of Satan’s sophistry, and they are determined that they will not see the foolishness of accepting another standard, while casting aside the law of the Lord of hosts.
True sanctification is found in yielding the will to the will of God, in rendering obedience to his commandments, and in making his standard of righteousness the aim of our life. If men would consent to follow the Lord fully, if they were not confused with the wine of Babylon, they would see that to tamper with the Lord’s standard, to depart from his commandments, is the worst species of rebellion. This is well represented as the wine of the wrath of the abomination of Babylon, the cup which she has presented to all nations to drink.
Were it not for this, thousands, yes, millions, would be found in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. But the will of God, expressed in his law, the direction which he has given to guide men in the path to heaven, is authoritative and divine.
We have more than a royal road to heaven, we have a divine pathway in which to travel. The opinions of men are not to weigh as amendments to the law of God; for the law of God is the expression of the will and mind of God, of him who is unchanging in counsel.
The precepts of the law are not given to the human family as propositions to criticize. They are the positive declarations and decisions of an infallible Judge, and they will stand through eternal ages.
They are the very laws that will test character, by which we are to be judged for the deeds done in the body. Who hath bewitched you, that you who are finite by nature, who are sinful and erring, should presume to handle the law of God in the manner in which you do? How is it that you think yourselves at liberty to cancel the decisions of Jehovah, to remove the ancient landmarks, and substitute in place of the true guideboards false waymarks that will lead men to follow the path of the first great apostate in place of following Jesus Christ? God has not left his law to be endorsed, reviled, or annulled according to the pleasure of his creatures.
The wise man declares the true attitude of man to the law, and says: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil ST November 14, 1895, par. 2 – ST November 14, 1895, par. 9