Knowledge of the Law of God

“A breach was made in the law of God when the Sabbath was changed; but the time has come for that institution to be restored.”

“Adam and Eve, at their creation, had a knowledge of the law of God. They were acquainted with its claims upon them; its precepts were written upon their hearts. When man fell by transgression, the law was not changed, but a remedial system was established to bring him back to obedience. The promise of a Saviour was given; and sacrificial offerings pointing forward to the death of Christ as the great sin-offering, were established.

“Adam taught his descendants the law of God, and it was handed down from father to son through successive generations. But notwithstanding the gracious provision for man’s redemption, there were few who accepted it and rendered obedience. . . .

“The precepts of the Decalogue are adapted to all mankind, and they were given for the instruction and government of all. Ten precepts, brief, comprehensive, and authoritative, cover the duty of man to God and to his fellow man; and all based upon the great fundamental principle of love. They stand forth alone, bearing the distinct, awful significance of their supreme importance. They mean life to the obedient, and death to the disobedient.

“The law of God is as sacred as Himself. It is a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the expression of divine love and wisdom. Through the ages that law has been preserved as the highest standard of morality. Not all the inventions of science or the imaginations of fruitful minds have been able to discover one essential duty not covered by this code.

“God’s law is the security of life and property, of peace and happiness. It was given to secure our present and eternal good. A thoughtful kindness runs through every enactment. Each commandment is an enactment of mercy, love, and saving power.

“The Sabbath institution originated in Eden, and is therefore as old as the world itself. In six days the great work of creation had been accomplished; and God ‘rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested.’ The Sabbath was observed by all the patriarchs, from creation down. During the bondage in Egypt, the Israelites were forced by their taskmasters to violate the Sabbath, and to a great extent they lost the knowledge of its sacredness. When the law was proclaimed from Sinai, the very first words of the fourth commandment were, ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,’ showing that the Sabbath was not then instituted; we are pointed back for its origin to creation.

“Before the law was given from Sinai, God wrought a miracle each week to impress the people with the sanctity of the Sabbath. He rained manna from heaven for their food, and each day they gathered this manna; but on the sixth day they gathered twice as much, according to the directions of Moses: ‘The Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore He giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.’

“ ‘The children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; . . . unto the borders of the land of Canaan.’ Thus for forty years God worked each week a miracle before His people, to show them that His Sabbath was a sacred day.

“God gave the Sabbath to His people to be a continual sign of His love and mercy, and of their obedience. As He had rested upon this day and been refreshed, so He desired His people to rest and be refreshed. It was a continual reminder to them that they were included in His covenant of grace. Throughout your generations, He said, the Sabbath is to be My sign, My pledge, to you that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you; that I have chosen you, and set you apart as My peculiar people.

“When the Sabbath was changed, the seal was taken from the law. Now the disciples of Jesus are called upon to restore it, by exalting the Sabbath of the fourth commandment to its rightful position as the Creator’s memorial and the sign of His authority. The prophet Isaiah thus points out the ordinance which has been forsaken: ‘Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.’

“This prophecy also applies in our own time. A breach was made in the law of God when the Sabbath was changed; but the time has come for that institution to be restored. The breach is to be repaired, and the foundation of many generations to be raised up. The Lord has His messengers, whom He bids to proclaim His law to be changeless in its character, as enduring as eternity.

“Thus the Sabbath is a token between God and His people. It is God’s holy day, given to man as a day on which to rest and reflect upon sacred things. God designed it to be observed through every age, as a perpetual covenant. His people are to regard the Sabbath as a peculiar treasure, a trust to be carefully cherished.

“As we observe the Sabbath, let us remember that it is the sign Heaven has given to man that he is accepted in the Beloved; that if he is obedient, he may enter the city of God, and partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life. As we refrain from labor on the seventh day, we testify to the world that we are on God’s side, and are striving to live in perfect conformity to His commandments. Thus we recognize as our Sovereign the God who made the world in six days, and rested on the seventh.

“From beginning to end, God’s law is a law of love. John says: ‘I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as tho I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after His commandments.’ ‘Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.’ ”*


* Signs of the Times, February 1, 1910.