Day 21

Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed -- John 5:8-10.

The restored paralytic stooped to take up his bed, which was only a rug and a blanket, and as he straightened himself again with a sense of delight, he looked around for his Deliverer; but Jesus was lost in the crowd. The man feared that he would not know Him if he should see Him again. As he hurried on his way with firm, free step, praising God and rejoicing in his new-found strength, he met several of the Pharisees, and immediately told them of his cure. He was surprised at the coldness with which they listened to his story.

With lowering brows they interrupted him, asking why he was carrying his bed on the Sabbath day. They sternly reminded him that it was not lawful to bear burdens on the Lord's day. In his joy the man had forgotten that it was the Sabbath; yet he felt no condemnation for obeying the command of One who had such power from God. He answered boldly, "He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk." They asked who it was that had done this, but he could not tell. These rulers knew well that only One had shown Himself able to perform this miracle; but they wished for direct proof that it was Jesus, that they might condemn Him as a Sabbath-breaker. In their judgement He had not only broken the law in healing the sick man on the Sabbath, but had committed sacrilege in bidding him bear away his bed.

The Jews had so perverted the law that they made it a yoke of bondage. Their meaningless requirements had become a byword among other nations. Especially was the Sabbath hedged in by all manner of senseless restrictions. It was not to them a delight, the holy of the Lord, and honourable. The scribes and Pharisees had made its observance an intolerable burden. A Jew was not allowed to kindle a fire nor even to light a candle on the Sabbath. As a consequence the people were dependent upon the Gentiles for many services which their rules forbade them to do for themselves. They did not reflect that if these acts were sinful, those who employed others to perform them were as guilty as if they had done the work themselves. They thought that salvation was restricted to the Jews, and that the condition of all others, being already hopeless, could be made no worse. But God has given no commandments which cannot be obeyed by all. His laws sanction no unreasonable or selfish restrictions -- Desire of Ages, pp. 203, 204.

Day 22

But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on -- Acts 13:14, 15.

Jesus in the New Testament does the same work as Jesus in the Old Testament did; but men are so determined to do away with the law of God, in order that they may find a way of avoiding the observance of the Sabbath, that they array Jesus in the New Testament against Jesus in the Old Testament. These blind leaders of the blind, who are ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God, pour contempt on the law of God, and at the same time seek to hold up Christ in contrast to the law. But this they cannot do; for Christ gave the law to his chosen people, and in seeking to make void the law of God on the ground that Christ abolished it, they do insult to both the Father and the Son. Jesus says, "I and my Father are one."

The blind teachers of this age, who seek to turn the people away from the law of God, tell the people that the law is Jewish, given only to the Jews, and spoken only for their observance. Where is their authority for such a statement? The prophet says, "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." The Lord gave his law before there was a Jew in the world. Heavenly intelligences were governed by God's law before man was created, and the Sabbath was blessed and set apart for holy use immediately after God had made the world, and had rested from his work of creation. . . .

My brethren, be not satisfied with a superficial knowledge of truth, with a surface view of the law of God. Dig deep in the Scriptures of truth, and with an understanding enlightened by the Holy Spirit, dwell upon the holy requirements of the law of Jehovah, until you can reveal to the people their spiritual and eternal character. Your researches have not been deep enough. You need the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to aid you to search into the truth with reverence and awe, bringing your mind to the task with intense desire, that will not be quenched until you see wondrous things out of the law. Dig deep into the mine of truth, and be not satisfied until you have a more perfect comprehension as to what constitutes the strength of the law of God. You need to search and search, and to weep and fast and pray, in order that you may have revealed unto you such a view of the law of God that you will be fitted to go forth and watch for souls as they that must give an account -- Signs of the Times, 10-02-1893.

Day 23

And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God -- Acts 13:42-44.

God repeated his holy law upon Sinai, precept by precept, that his people might not be left to dishonour him in disobeying his statutes, and he declares that we shall live in them if we obey them. Yet the Christian world claims that Christ died upon Calvary's cross to abolish the law of God. We have the types and the shadows in the ceremonial laws, and these were to last until they should meet the reality. The sacrificial offerings were continually revealing the fact that Christ was coming to our world, and when type met antitype in the death of Christ, then the sacrificial offerings, typifying Christ, were no more of any value, but the royal law of God could not be changed. Jesus addressed his disciples and the Pharisees in these words: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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 shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven." The words of Christ in the day of God's retributive judgement will be sufficient to condemn the transgressor if there was not another evidence of the perpetuity of the law of Jehovah. There is no shadow in the precepts of the decalogue. The ten commandments are not a type. God gave his law, and in the fourth precept of the Decalogue is his Sabbath, the very day on which we have turned aside from worldly business in order to observe it as a memorial of the creation of the heaven and the earth; and just as long as heaven and earth shall remain, just so long will this law be binding upon those who are living upon the earth. The instruction which Moses gave to the children of Israel concerning the statutes and the precepts of God, did not originate with Moses, but with the God of heaven. We are told that Christ was in the pillar of the cloud by day, and in the fiery pillar at night. Men are enshrouded in darkness, and when they array Christ in the New Testament against Christ in the Old Testament, surely wisdom has departed from them. The Israelites of old were saved by Christ as verily as we are saved by Christ in this day. We read in the word of God, "Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you." -- Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 07-15-1890.

Day 24

And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ -- Acts 17:2, 3.

We want the sanctification that God himself gives, and that sanctification comes through doing his law. We hear the heavenly benediction pronounced upon the obedient by Christ himself: "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." The only remedy that could be found for fallen man was the death of Christ upon the cross. Thus the penalty of transgression could be paid. Did the Father spare his Son one jot of the penalty? Behold him when he was in the garden praying, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me," and the bloody sweat pressed through his pores, and moistened the sod of Gethsemane. Jesus carried out the plan to its very end, and on the cross cried out. "It is finished." The law finished?--No. The plan that had been proposed to rescue man from the degradation of sin, was carried out to the very letter. Could it have been possible for Jehovah to change his law to meet man in his fallen condition, then Christ need not have left his glory, his majesty. It was because the law of God was changeless as his throne, that Christ consented to take humanity, to die in man's behalf to save him from eternal ruin. But Satan is continually at work with his devices to carry out his plan,--opposition against God's holy law. He commenced his work in heaven in trying to deceive the angels. He blinded the eyes of the Jewish nation so that they could not discern Christ as the Messiah, and the very nation that Christ came to save cried with the murderous throng, "Crucify him, crucify him." And again the hoarse and terrible cry was raised, that called maledictions upon themselves, "His blood be on us, and on our children," and they crucified the Lord of glory.

When Satan found that the tomb could not hold the Son of God, but that he had arisen and ascended to the Father, he came to man with another lie, and told him that the law of God that Jesus in such a wonderful manner had magnified and exalted, was done away when he died upon the cross. No greater deception could have come upon the world; but people receive it, and teach that the law of God is done away, notwithstanding the heavens and the earth which their eyes look upon speak to them every day that this is a fallacy. Hear what Christ himself says: "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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." And again, "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." -- Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 07-15-1890.

Day 25

After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks -- Acts 18:1-4.

The New Testament has not changed the law of God. The sacredness of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is as firmly established as the throne of Jehovah. John writes: "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth {transgresseth the law} hath not seen him, neither known him" (1 John 3: 4-6). We are authorised to hold in the same estimation as did the beloved disciple those who claim to abide in Christ, to be sanctified, while living in transgression of God's law. He met with just such a class as we have to meet. He said, "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning" (verses 7, 8). Here the apostle speaks in plain terms, as he deemed the subject demanded.

The epistles of John breathe a spirit of love. But when he comes in contact with that class who break the law of God and yet claim that they are living without sin, he does not hesitate to warn them of their fearful deception. "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:6-10) -- Sanctified Life, pp. 68, 69.

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