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    APPENDIX

    WHO IS OUR LAWGIVER?

    THERE is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. James 4:12. Who is this “one law giver?” is an inquiry of vital importance to the Sabbath question, which we shall endeavor to answer from the Scriptures of truth.SDSL 33.1

    By very many it is assumed, first, that Christ is the Christian’s lawgiver: and, second, that he has given, in person and by his inspired Apostles, contained in the New Testament, a perfect code of laws for the dispensation of the gospel; then it is asserted that, as the Sabbath law is not repeated in the New Testament, the seventh-day Sabbath is not binding on Christians. This fabric seems very fair; but it rests upon sand.SDSL 33.2

    Deuteronomy 18:15-18, is offered as proof that Christ is our lawgiver; but it may be seen that it teaches the reverse. “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him shall ye hearken.... And the Lord said unto me, they have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” Deuteronomy 18:15, 17, 18. Peter speaking of Christ, says, “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you,, of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” Acts 3:22.SDSL 33.3

    Christ, as a prophet, or teacher, was like Moses. We now inquire, Did Moses legislate? Did he make laws for the people? He did not. Moses received words from the mouth of God and spake them to the people. There is no record that he ever assumed the position of an independent lawgiver; while the inspired record furnishes facts quite the reverse. In the case of the man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath, [Numbers 15:32-36,] Moses did not presume to decide his case, but left that for the great Law-giver. “And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done unto him. And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death.” See also Numbers 27:5-7; Leviticus 24:11-14.SDSL 34.1

    That Christ, as a prophet, or teacher, was like Moses, we have the united testimony of Moses, [Deuteronomy 18:15,] the Lord, [verse 18,] and Peter, [Acts 3:22,] therefore he was not an independent lawgiver. Says the eternal Father when speaking of his Son, “He shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” Jesus testifies of himself on this subject, and his testimony agrees with that of his Father. Mark well the following declarations of the Son of God: —SDSL 34.2

    “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” John 7:16.SDSL 34.3

    “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” Chap 8:28.SDSL 34.4

    “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” Chap 12:49, 50.SDSL 35.1

    “He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” Chap 14:24.SDSL 35.2

    By these testimonies from the Father and Son we learn that it was not the work of our Lord Jesus Christ to legislate; but he received the doctrines which he taught, from the mouth of the Father, and spake them to the people. In this respect, as a prophet, or teacher, he was like Moses. In both cases the Father is the lawgiver.SDSL 35.3

    The transfiguration is referred to as proof that Christ is the lawgiver in the gospel age. It is said that the presence of both Moses and Christ, (the teachers of both dispensations,) and Moses, being placed upon the back-ground by the voice from heaven, saying “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear him,” shows that Christ is the lawgiver of the present age, and that his teachings take the place of the law of God. But a very important personage is overlooked by those who take this position. It is the Father. He also appears at the mount of transfiguration. His voice is heard as the highest authority — “This is my beloved Son,” “Hear him.” However much the glory of Christ excelled that of Moses, it did not eclipse the glory of the Author of the ten commandments. The great God spoke the ten precepts of his holy law in the hearing of all the people. He did not leave them with Moses to write, and deliver to the people: neither was it the work of the Son of God to deliver them, or any portion of them, over a second time for the men of the present dispensation. Under circumstances of awful grandeur the great Lawgiver spoke the ten commandments directly to the people, and wrote them in the tables of stone.SDSL 35.4

    Christ quotes several of them at different times to enforce the doctrines he taught, but not in the sense of giving a new law. He leaves them upon their original basis, as the law of Jehovah, and affirms their immutability. Matthew 5:17-19. He did not take the position of a lawgiver, but, rather, that of a teacher of the law.SDSL 36.1

    If Christ be our lawgiver, who is our advocate? We have none. But the Apostle says, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. Here are three parties introduced: (1) the sinner, or transgressor of the law, [Chap 3:4,] (2) the Advocate, and (3) the Father whose law the sinner transgresses. The truth on this subject, then, plainly set before us, is that in the dispensation of the gospel, the Father is the lawgiver, and Jesus Christ is the advocate, or mediator, between the offending sinner and an offended Lawgiver.SDSL 36.2

    Now take the view that Christ is the Christian’s lawgiver. Then “sin is the transgression of the law” of Christ. “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with” Jesus Christ! But who is this advocate? The Papist may answer, The Pope, while the Protestant remains silent.SDSL 36.3

    We frequently hear it asserted, “It is very strange that nine of the commandments are given in the New Testament, and the fourth left out, if the Sabbath is binding on Christians.” But is it not indeed strange that professed Bible students should thus expose their ignorance of the subject of which they speak? It is a fact that the first four commandments are not repeated in the New Testament. Does this prove that we should not regard the first, second and third? If it does not prove this, then it does not prove that the fourth is not binding upon Christians. Is it said that an equivalent is given to those commandments not repeated in the New Testament? we invite the attention of the caviler to New Testament testimony in regard to the Sabbath.SDSL 36.4

    1. The testimony of Christ in regard to the duty of Christians relative to the Sabbath, as late as the destruction of Jerusalem, and probably much later. “But pray ye that your flight be not in the Winter, neither on the Sabbath-day.” Matthew 24:20. Again, “The Sabbath was made for man.”SDSL 37.1

    2. The testimony of the apostle Luke relative to the holy women. “And they returned and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the Sabbath-day according to the commandment.” Luke 23:56. If the Sabbath law was abolished at the crucifixion, several years before this fact was recorded, of what commandment does the historian speak?SDSL 37.2

    3. The testimony of the same Apostle in regard to Paul’s manner. “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath-days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures.” Acts 17:2. “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” Chap 18:4.SDSL 37.3

    “And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.” “And the next Sabbath-day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.” Acts 13:42, 44. “And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down and spake unto the women which resorted thither.” Acts 16:13.SDSL 37.4

    Turn to the “Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him,” etc. and mark the distinction made between the commandments of God, and the testimony [teachings] of Jesus. Revelation 12:17; 14:12.SDSL 38.1

    Read the testimony of Jesus in Chap 22:14. “Blessed are they that do his [the Father’s] commandments,” etc. Now if Jesus is the Christian’s lawgiver, he would have said of men in the Christian’s age, Blessed are they that do my commandments. True, we should keep all the sayings of Christ; but what does he say of his teachings? “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.”SDSL 38.2

    If it be said that the Apostles in their writings have given a code of laws for the gospel age, we reply, that this view makes twelve lawgivers, whereas James says, “There is one lawgiver.”SDSL 38.3

    See the commission to the eleven: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19, 20. Christ taught the Apostles what he had received of the Father, and this they were to teach men to observe. Notice also the work of the Holy Spirit, and from whom it proceeds. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” Verse 16. The Holy Spirit came from the Father, and one object for which it was sent, was to call to the disciple’s memory the words of divine truth which the Son had received of the Father, and had spoken to them. We have, then, the plainest testimony that all revealed truth proceeds from the Father, who is the Christian’s lawgiver. W.SDSL 38.4

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