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From Eternity Past

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    Partial Obedience Not Acceptable

    God cannot accept partial obedience. It was not enough that in this solemn worship nearly everything was done as He had directed. Let no one deceive himself with the belief that a part of God's commandments are nonessential, or that He will accept a substitute for that which He has required. God has placed in His Word no command which men may obey or disobey at will and not suffer the consequences.EP 252.2

    “Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, ... for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you.” The great leader reminded his brother of the words of God, “Before all the people I will be glorified.” Aaron was silent. The death of his sons in so terrible a sin—a sin which he now saw to be the result of his own neglect of duty—wrung the father's heart with anguish. But by no manifestation of grief must he seem to sympathize with sin. The congregation must not be led to murmur against God.EP 252.3

    The Lord would teach His people to acknowledge the justice of His corrections, that others may fear. The divine rebuke is upon that false sympathy for the sinner which endeavors to excuse his sin. The wrongdoer does not realize the enormity of transgression, and without the convicting power of the Holy Spirit he remains in partial blindness to his sin. It is the duty of Christ's servants to show these erring ones their peril. Many have gone down to ruin as the result of false and deceptive sympathy.EP 252.4

    Nadab and Abihu would never have committed that fatal sin had they not first become partially intoxicated by the free use of wine. By intemperance they were disqualified for their holy office. Their minds became confused and their moral perceptions dulled so that they could not discern the difference between the sacred and the common. To Aaron and his surviving sons was given the warning, “Do not drink ... when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die.” The use of spirituous liquors prevents men from realizing the sacredness of holy things or the binding force of God's requirements. All who occupied positions of responsibility were to be men of strict temperance that their minds might be clear to discriminate between right and wrong.EP 253.1

    The same obligation rests upon every follower of Christ. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people.” 1 Peter 2:9. When intoxicants are used, the same effects will follow as in the case of those priests of Israel. The conscience will lose its sensibility to sin and a hardening will take place, till the common and the sacred will lose all difference of significance. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31. To the church of Christ in all ages is addressed the solemn and fearful warning, “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians 3:17.EP 253.2

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