Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font


    “I and my Father are one.” John 10:30

    The Father and the Son were one in man’s creation, and in his redemption. Said the Father to the Son, “Let us make man in our image.” And the triumphant song of jubilee in which the redeemed take part, is unto “Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever.”LIFIN 343.1

    Jesus prayed that his disciples might be one as he was one with his Father. This prayer did not contemplate one disciple with twelve heads, but twelve disciples, made one in object and effort in the cause of their master. Neither are the Father and the Son parts of the “three-one God.” They are two distinct beings, yet one in the design and accomplishment of redemption. The redeemed, from the first who shares in the great redemption, to the last, all ascribe the honor, and glory, and praise, of their salvation, to both God and the Lamb.LIFIN 343.2

    But if it be true that the law of the Father and the gospel of the Son are opposed to each other, that one was to take the place of the other, then it follows that those saved in the former dispensation are saved by the Father and the law, while those of the present dispensation are saved by Christ and the gospel. And in this case, when the redeemed shall reach Heaven, at last, and their redemption shall be sung, two songs will be heard, one ascribing praise to God and the law, the other singing the praises of Christ and the gospel.LIFIN 343.3

    This will not be. There will be harmony in that song of redemption. All the redeemed will sing the facts as they have existed during the period of man’s probation. All will ascribe the praise of their salvation to God and the Lamb. Adam, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses, will join with the disciples of Jesus in singing of the redeeming power of the blood of the Son, while those who have lived since the crucifixion of Christ, saved by his blood, will join the patriarchs and prophets in the song of praise to the Father, the creator and lawgiver. Therefore the law and the gospel run parallel throughout the entire period of man’s probation. The gospel is not confined to some eighteen centuries. The dispensation of the gospel is not less than about six thousand years.LIFIN 343.4

    The word gospel signifies good news. The gospel of the Son of God is the good news of salvation through Christ. When man fell, angels wept. Heaven was bathed in tears. The Father and the Son took counsel, and Jesus offered to undertake the cause of fallen man. he offered to die that man might have life. The Father consented to give his only Beloved, and the good news ran through heaven, and resounded on earth, that a way was opened for man’s redemption. In the first promise made to man that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head, was the gospel of Jesus Christ, as verily as in the song the angels sung over the plains of Bethlehem, to the shepherds as they watched their flocks by night, “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth and good will to men.”LIFIN 344.1

    Immediately after the fall, hope of a future life hung upon Christ as verily as we can hang our hopes on Christ. And when the first sons of Adam brought their offerings to the Lord, Cain in his unbelief brought the first fruits of the ground, which were not acceptable. Abel brought a firstling of the flock, in faith of Christ, the great sacrifice for sin. God accepted his offering. Through the blood of that firstling, Abel saw the blood of Jesus Christ. He looked forward to Christ, and made his offering in the faith and hope of the gospel, and through it saw the great sacrifice for sin, as verily as we see the bleeding Lamb as we look back to Calvary, through the broken bread and the fruit of the vine. Through these emblems we see Christ crucified. Abel saw the same through the lamb which he offered. Do we hang our hopes in faith upon Christ? So did Abel. Are we Christians by virtue of living faith in Christ? So was Abel.LIFIN 344.2

    Abraham had the gospel of the Son of God. The apostle says that the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen, preached before the gospel unto Abraham. Galatians 3:8.LIFIN 345.1

    Paul testifies of the Israelites in the wilderness, that they “were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:2-4. The gospel was preached to the children of Israel in the wilderness. The apostle says, “Unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Hebrews 4:2.LIFIN 345.2

    Moses and the believing Jews had the faith and hope of the gospel. Through the blood of the sacrificial offerings, they saw Christ, and by faith embraced him. Their hopes of the future life were not in the law, but in Christ.LIFIN 345.3

    “The law,” says Paul, “having a shadow of good things to come.” The typical system is but the shadow. The good things, of which Christ as a sacrifice and mediator is the center, are the body that casts its shadow back into the Jewish age. The bleeding sacrifices of the legal system were but the shadow; Christ, bleeding on the cross, was the great reality. Every bleeding sacrifice offered by the Jews, understandingly and in faith, was as acceptable in the sight of heaven as what Christians may do in showing their faith in the sufferings, death, and resurrection of Christ, in baptism and the Lord’s supper. The one was done in the faith and hope of redemption through the blood of the Son of God, as verily as the other may be. The gospel dispensation, which is the dispensation of the good news of redemption through Christ, has been six thousand years long.LIFIN 345.4

    The dispensation of the law of God is longer than that of the gospel. It commenced before the fall, or there could not have been in the justice of God any such thing as the fall. It existed as early as there were created intelligences subject to the government of the Creator. It covers all time, and extends to the future, running parallel with the eternity of God’s moral government. Angels fell, therefore were on probation. They, being on probation, were consequently amenable to law. In the absence of law, they could not be on probation, therefore, could not fall. The same may be said of Adam and Eve in Eden.LIFIN 346.1

    The ten commandments are adapted to fallen beings. As worded in the sacred Scriptures given to man in his fallen state, they were not adapted to the condition of holy angels, nor to man in his holy estate in Eden. But the two grand principles of God’s moral government did exist before the fall, in the form of law. These are given in the Old Testament, and are quoted by Christ in the New, as the two great commandments: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40. Compare Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18.LIFIN 346.2

    These two commandments require supreme love to the Creator, and love to fellow-creatures equal to that bestowed upon one’s self. Angels could do no more than these require. Adam could do no more. We can do no more. The two great commandments embrace all that is required by the ten precepts of the decalogue. They are the grand circle inside of which is the will of God to man. No precept, and no principle, of the Book of God, extends beyond this circle. PICTURELIFIN 347.1

    Soon after the fall, we see this circle in ten parts. The two principles of God’s moral government are seen in ten precepts, worded to meet man’s fallen condition.LIFIN 347.2

    Love to God is taught in the first four commandments, and love to our fellow-man is taught in the last six. The prophets of the Lord, the Son of God, and the apostles of Jesus, have all spoken in harmony with the ten precepts of the law of Jehovah. The whole duty of man, says Solomon, is to fear God and keep his commandments.LIFIN 348.1


    The ten precepts of the decalogue, adapted to man’s fallen condition, were enforced as early as the circumstances demanded them. The first three were applicable to Adam immediately after the fall. And although the Sabbath of the fourth precept was instituted at the close of the first week of time, before the fall, and we have evidence that Adam was directed to observe it as a memorial of creation, yet that portion of the precept adapted to the fallen state, relative to the man-servant, the maid-servant, and the stranger, could not exist till a later period when such relations existed. The fifth commandment could not be enforced, until applicable to Adam’s children. The sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth, were enforced as early as the parties existed to whom they could properly apply.LIFIN 348.2

    There is nothing in the moral condition of man in his fallen state, not in the nature of the ten commandments themselves, to restrict them to any one dispensation more than another. Man’s moral wretchedness is the same, only more deplorable as he advances from the gates of Paradise toward the close of probation. And the law of God, adapted to his fallen state, is applicable and necessary throughout the entire period of his fallen condition, from Paradise lost to Paradise regained.LIFIN 349.1

    The reign of sins runs parallel with the reign of death, from Adam until sin and sinners shall cease to be. And parallel with these, stretching through all dispensations, there has been the knowledge of the principles of the ten commandments, consequently a knowledge of sin.LIFIN 349.2

    The means of this knowledge has been the law of God. “By the law,” says the apostle, “is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20. “I had not known sin but by the law.” Chap. 7:7. As proof that this knowledge did exist immediately after the fall, see Genesis 4:7, 23, 24; 6:5, 11, 12. Also, Noah was righteous before God. Chap. 7:1. He was a preacher of righteousness. 2 Peter 2:5. By his preaching right-doing, reproving the sins of the people of his time, he condemned the world. Hebrews 11:7. The men of Sodom and Gomorrah were great sinners, excepting one man. Abraham interceded, saying, Wilt thou destroy the righteous with the wicked? Genesis 13:13; 18:20, 23, 25; 19:7. The blessing of God came upon Abraham, because he obeyed his voice and kept his commandments. Genesis 26:5. Those who refused obedience, experienced his wrath for their transgressions. The cities of the plain were condemned for their unlawful deeds. 2 Peter 2:6-8.LIFIN 349.3

    As an illustration of this subject, I will briefly notice the murder of righteous Abel. Cain killed his brother, and, as a sinner, received the mark of God’s displeasure. Sin, says the apostle, is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4. Cain broke the sixth commandment; hence that precept existed in the time of Cain. Otherwise he did not sin; for where no law is, there is no transgression. Romans 4:15.LIFIN 350.1

    The foregoing positions relative to the law of God would meet with but little opposition were it not for the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. The proper observance of the Bible Sabbath is not only crossing, but with many inconvenient, and not favorable to the successful prosecution of their worldly plans. The fearful and unbelieving shun its claims, brand it as a Jewish institution, and frequently assert that it was unknown to men until the Sabbath law was proclaimed from Sinai. Sacred history, however, proves this statement to be false. It is true that Sabbath-keeping is not mentioned in the book of Genesis. But this does not prove that it did not exist during the long period covered by that brief record. The facts connected with the giving of the manna show that the Israelites understood the obligations of the Sabbath, that some of the people violated them, and were reproved by Jehovah, thirty days before they saw Mount Sinai. See Exodus 16-19.LIFIN 350.2

    I come to the New Testament. The first four chapters of Matthew are devoted to a sketch of the genealogy of Christ, Joseph and Mary, the birth of Jesus, Herod slaying the children of Bethlehem, John the Baptist, the temptation of Christ, and his entering upon his public ministry. The fifth chapter opens with the first record of his public instructions. In that memorable sermon upon the mount, Christ warns his disciples against a terrible heresy that would soon press its way into the church.LIFIN 350.3

    The Jews boasted of God, of Abraham, and of the law, but despised and rejected Jesus. The great facts connected with his resurrection were soon to be so convincing that many would believe. And as the Jews were to reject and crucify the Son, while boasting in the law, Christians would run to the opposite and equally-fatal heresy of trampling upon the authority of the Father, and despising his law, while receiving Christ and glorying in the gospel. It has ever been Satan’s object to separate, in the faith of the church, the Father and the Son. With the Jews was the cry, The Father, Abraham, the law; but away with Jesus and his gospel. With Christians the cry was to arise, Christ, the cross, the gospel; but away with the law of the Father. To meet this heresy, ere long to arise in the Christian church, the Master, in his first-recorded sermon, spoke pointedly. Listen to his appeal to his disciples in the presence of the assembled multitudes:LIFIN 351.1

    “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of Heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.”LIFIN 351.2

    These words of warning from our Lord fully meet the case. They need no comment. The history of the church, showing how loosely, great and apparently good men have held the law of God, and the present, closing controversy respecting it, gave them especial force.LIFIN 351.3

    Jesus did not come to legislate. In no case did he intimate that he would give a new law to take the place of that of his Father. Speaking of the Son, the Father says, “He shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” Deuteronomy 18:18. Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” John 7:16. “I do nothing of myself, but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” Chap. 8:28. “The word which ye hear, is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” Chap. 14:24.LIFIN 352.1

    Let us consider the grave question of the great apostle to the Gentiles, relative to the law of God and the faith of Jesus: “Do we then make void the law through faith?” Romans 3:31. This question points directly to the true issue between us, and the men of this day who teach that the gospel of the Son makes void the law of the Father. Paul decides the question in these emphatic words: “God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”LIFIN 352.2

    The gospel is a necessity in consequence of law transgressed. Where there is no law, there is no transgression, no sin, no need of the blood of Christ, no need of the gospel. But the gospel teaches that Christ died for sinners, on account of their sins. Sin is the transgression of the law. He came, therefore, as the great sacrifice for those who transgress the law. The gospel holds him up as the bleeding sacrifice for the sins of those who transgress the law. This fact establishes the existence of the law of God. Remove the law, and we have no further need of Christ and his gospel.LIFIN 352.3

    In the gospel arrangement for the salvation of man, there are three parties concerned; the Lawgiver, the Advocate, and the sinner. The words of the apostle are to the point: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. Sin is the transgression of the law of the Father; hence the sinner offends the Father, is in trouble with the Father, and needs Jesus to plead his cause with the Father. But if the Father’s law has been abolished, and Christ sustains to the sinner the relation of lawgiver, who is his advocate? “Mother Mary,” or “father Joseph,” or some other one of the multitude of canonized saints will answer for the Papist; but what will the Protestant do in this case? If he urges that Christ, and not the Father, is the lawgiver, and that in the present dispensation, sin is the transgression of the law of Jesus Christ, then I press him to tell me who the sinner’s advocate is. And I ask him to harmonize his position with the words of the beloved John, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”LIFIN 352.4

    Paul addresses the elders of the church at Miletus, relative to the fundamental principles of the plan of salvation, thus: “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:20, 21. The apostle has here set before the men of the present dispensation two distinct duties. First, the exercise of repentance toward God, for his law is binding upon them, and it is his law that they have transgressed. Second, the exercise of faith toward Christ as the great sacrifice for their sins, and their advocate with the Father. These are both indispensable. Paul presented both. He kept back nothing pertaining to the plan of salvation, that was profitable.LIFIN 353.1

    The closing words of the third angel point directly to a body of Christian commandment-keepers. “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. The Jew takes no stock in this text, because he sees in it the despised Jesus of Nazareth. Many professed Christians find it as objectionable as the Jew, for the reason that they find in it the equally-despised commandments of God. But said the adorable Jesus, “I and my Father are one.” So the law of the Father and the gospel of the Son pass through all dispensations of man’s fallen state, in perfect harmony. Oh! that both the blind Jew and the blind Christian might see this, and embracing the whole truth, instead of each a part, might keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and be saved.LIFIN 354.1

    But here let it be distinctly understood that there is no salvation in the law, that is, there is no redeeming quality in law. Redemption is through the blood of Christ. The sinner may cease to break the commandments of God, and strive with all his powers to keep them, but this will not atone for his sins, and redeem him from his present condition in consequence of past transgression. Notwithstanding all his efforts to keep the law of God, he must be lost without faith in the atoning blood of Jesus. And this was as true in the time of Adam, of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the Jews, as since Jesus died upon the cross. No man can be saved without Christ.LIFIN 354.2

    On the other hand, faith in Jesus Christ, while refusing obedience to the law of the Father, is presumption. An effort to obtain friendship with the Son, while living in rebellion against the Father, is Heaven-daring.LIFIN 354.3

    No greater insult can be offered to either the Father or the Son. What! Separate the Father and the Son, by trampling on the authority of the one, and making a friend of the other? “I and my Father are one.” The Jew insults the Father, in his rejection of the Son; and the Christian flings in the face of Heaven equal insult, in all his acts of worship in which he vainly thinks to make Jesus his friend while, with light upon the subject, he breaks the commandments of God.LIFIN 355.1

    The oneness of the Father and the Son is seen at the transfiguration. That voice which is the highest authority in the universe, is there heard saying, “This is my beloved Son; hear him.” It is also seen in the closing benediction of the Son, in the last chapter of the Bible, which presents before those who are loyal, the glories of the reward in reserve for the obedient. “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”LIFIN 355.2

    I briefly call attention to three grand events, which have taken place in connection with the sad history of fallen man, either one of which is sufficient to establish the perpetuity of the law of God.LIFIN 355.3

    First, the fall, with all its terrible consequences. If the law of God was of such a nature that it could, in any particular, be changed at any time, it would have been thus changed when there were but two fallen beings, Adam and Eve, just before leaving Eden. If the plan of God’s moral government could be changed, it would then have been changed, so as to set them free, and save the tide of human wretchedness and agony, which has followed. But, no; it could not be changed. The curse must fall on man, and upon the earth for man’s sake; and the blight and mildew of sin must follow everywhere, and hang upon creation like a pall of death. Why? Because God’s law that had been transgressed, could not be changed - could not be abolished. Every fading flower and falling leaf, since man left Eden, has proclaimed the law of God changeless. This has been the result of sin. It is the result of the terrible fall. And this has all come about because of the transgression of that law which is as changeless as the throne of Heaven. If that law could ever be changed in any particular, it would have been changed when there were but two fallen beings, in such a way as to free them from the sentence of death, and raise them from their degradation, and the race from continued sin, crime, and woe.LIFIN 355.4

    Think of the recent American war, with all its terrible agony. But this is only an item in the vast catalogue. For six thousand years, the tide has been swelling, and creation has been adding groan to groan. Oh! the sorrow, the wretchedness, the agony! Who can compute it? The fall, then, with all its accumulated wretchedness, proclaims God’s law changeless. I hasten to notice the next great event which proclaims this truth.LIFIN 356.1

    Second, the announcement of the ten commandments from Sinai with imposing display. It was not left for Moses to proclaim this law. It was not left for an angel to assemble the tribes of Israel, and utter these ten holy precepts in their hearing. It was not even left to the Son of God to do this. But the Father, the great Eternal, descends in awful grandeur, and proclaims these precepts in the hearing of all the people.LIFIN 356.2

    Do you say that that was the origin of the law of God? Do you say that God descended on Sinai, and there legislated? And do you say that he has since abolished that code, or changed it? When did he do this? Where did he do it? Has any prophet foretold that such an event should take place? And has any apostle recorded that such a work was ever done? Never.LIFIN 356.3

    The commonwealth of Michigan sends her legislators to Lansing to enact laws. These laws are published throughout the commonwealth. The people understand them. Some of these laws are repealed or changed. It is done in secret, and the people permitted to know nothing about it? No. The same body that enacts laws, also changes, amends, or abolishes them, and the people are apprized of the fact. This is made as public as the enactment of the law. And has not the all-wise and merciful God manifested as much wisdom in managing affairs in which man has so great an interest, affairs which effect his eternal welfare? He came down upon Sinai, and proclaimed his law under such circumstances as to impress the people with its grandeur, dignity, and perpetuity. Who can suppose that he would abolish, or alter it, and say nothing about it?LIFIN 357.1

    Third, the Crucifixion establishes the law of God. If that law was of such a nature that it could be abolished, or any of its precepts changed, why not have this done, and set man free, instead of the Son of God laying aside his glory, taking our nature, living the sad life he lived here upon the earth, suffering in Gethsemane, and finally expiring upon the cross? Oh! why should the divine Son of God do all this to save man, if that law which held him as a sinner could be changed, so that he could be set free? But no; nothing could be done in that direction. Man had sinned, had fallen, and was shut up in the prison-house of sin. His sins were of such a nature that no sacrifice was adequate but the sacrifice of Him to whom the Father had said, “Let us make man.” The death of an angel was not sufficient. He only who engaged with the Father in the formation of man, constitutes a sufficient sacrifice to open the door of hope by which he might find pardon, and be saved. In the language of the hymn we sing, “Come, O my soul, to Calvary,” and there behold love and agony mingled in the death of the Son of God.LIFIN 357.2

    Behold him groaning in Gethsemane. His divine soul was in agony as the sins of man were rolled upon him. “My soul,” said he, “is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” The weight of man’s sin in transgressing God’s immutable law was such as to press from his pores as it were drops of blood.LIFIN 358.1

    He then bears his cross to Calvary. The nails are driven into his hands and feet. The cross is erected. There the bleeding Lamb hangs six terrible hours. The death of the cross was most agonizing. But there was in his case the additional weight of the sins of the whole world. In his last expiring agonies he cries, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” and bows his head in death.LIFIN 358.2

    The sun, the brightest luminary of heaven, can no longer view the scene, and is vailed as with sackcloth. The vail of the temple, the noblest work of man, is rent in twain. Christ, the noblest being in the universe save One, is dying in agony. Creation feels the shock, and groaning and heaving, throws open the graves of many of the saints, who come out of their graves after his resurrection. This great event transpired because it was the only way by which sinners could be saved. The law must stand as firm as the throne of Heaven, although the earth shake, and the whole creation tremble, as the Son of God dies in agony.LIFIN 358.3

    The law of God was given to man as his saviour. He broke it. Could it then redeem him? It is not in the nature of law, either human or divine, to redeem the transgressor. Those who transgress the law of this commonwealth, must suffer the full penalty, unless the Governor shall pardon the transgressor. This is his only hope of escaping the full sentence of the law. It is said by those who do not fully understand our position, that we trust in the law, and the keeping of the Sabbath for salvation. No, friends, you may observe all these precepts, to the best of your ability, conscientiously; but if you look no further than the law for salvation, you can never be saved. The hope of eternal salvation hangs upon Christ. Adam hung his hope there. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and the believing Jews, hung theirs there. We can do no more. The hope of the next life depends upon Jesus Christ. Faith in his blood can alone free us from our transgressions. And a life of obedience to the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will be a sufficient passport through the golden gates of the city of God.LIFIN 359.1

    Larger font
    Smaller font