God's Amazing Grace

Chap. 121 - Before Creation

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 2 Tim. 1:9. {AG 129.1}

The purpose and plan of grace existed from all eternity. Before the foundation of the world it was according to the determinate counsel of God that man should be created, endowed with power to do the divine will. But the defection of man, with all its consequences, was not hidden from the Omnipotent, and yet it did not deter Him from carrying out His eternal purpose; for the Lord would establish His throne in righteousness. God knows the end from the beginning. . . . Therefore redemption was not an afterthought . . . but an eternal purpose to be wrought out for the blessing not only of this atom of a world but for the good of all the worlds which God has created. {AG 129.2}

The creation of the worlds, the mystery of the gospel, are for one purpose, to make manifest to all created intelligences, through nature and through Christ, the glories of the divine character. By the marvellous display of His love in giving "his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life," the glory of God is revealed to lost humanity and to the intelligences of other worlds. {AG 129.3}

Jesus encircles the race with His human arm, while with His divine arm He lays hold upon infinity. He is the "daysman" between a holy God and our sinful humanity--one who can "lay his hand on us both" (Job 9:33). {AG 129.4}

The terms of this oneness between God and man in the great covenant of redemption were arranged with Christ from all eternity. The covenant of grace was revealed to the patriarchs. The covenant made with Abraham . . . was a covenant confirmed by God in Christ, the very same gospel which is preached to us. . . . Paul speaks of the gospel, the preaching of Jesus Christ, as "the revelation of the mystery, which hath been kept in silence through times eternal, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known unto all the nations unto obedience of faith" (Rom. 16:25, 26, R.V.). {AG 129.5}


Chap. 122 - Everlasting

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Isa. 55:3. {AG 130.1}

The salvation of the human race has ever been the object of the councils of heaven. The covenant of mercy was made before the foundation of the world. It has existed from all eternity, and is called the everlasting covenant. So surely as there never was a time when God was not, so surely there never was a moment when it was not the delight of the eternal mind to manifest His grace to humanity. {AG 130.2}

From the opening of the great controversy it has been Satan's purpose to misrepresent God's character, and to excite rebellion against His law. . . . But amid the working of evil, God's purposes move steadily forward to their accomplishment; to all created intelligences He is making manifest His justice and benevolence. Through Satan's temptations the whole human race have become transgressors of God's law, but by the sacrifice of His Son a way is opened whereby they may return to God. Through the grace of Christ they may be enabled to render obedience to the Father's law. Thus in every age, from the midst of apostasy and rebellion, God gathers out a people that are true to Him--a people "in whose heart is his law." {AG 130.3}

God's work is the same in all time, although there are different degrees of development and different manifestations of His power, to meet the wants of men in the different ages. Beginning with the first gospel promise, and coming down through the patriarchal and Jewish ages, and even to the present time, there has been a gradual unfolding of the purposes of God in the plan of redemption. . . . He who proclaimed the law from Sinai, and delivered to Moses the precepts of the ritual law, is the same that spoke the sermon on the mount. . . . The Teacher is the same in both dispensations. God's claims are the same. The principles of His government are the same. {AG 130.4}

In the closing work of God in the earth, the standard of His law will be again exalted. . . . God will not break His covenant, nor alter the thing that has gone out of His lips. His word will stand fast forever as unalterable as His throne. {AG 130.5}


Chap. 123 - In Eden

I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Gen. 3:15. {AG 131.1}

The covenant of grace was first made with man in Eden, when after the fall, there was given a divine promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. To all men this covenant offered pardon, and the assisting grace of God for future obedience through faith in Christ. It also promised them eternal life on condition of fidelity to God's law. Thus the patriarchs received the hope of salvation. {AG 131.2}

Adam and Eve, at their creation, had a knowledge of the law of God. It was printed on their hearts, and they understood its claims upon them. {AG 131.3}

The law of God existed before man was created. It was adapted to the condition of holy beings; even angels were governed by it. After the fall, the principles of righteousness were unchanged. Nothing was taken from the law; not one of its holy precepts could be improved. And as it has existed from the beginning, so will it continue to exist throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. {AG 131.4}

After the transgression of Adam the principles of the law were . . . definitely arranged and expressed to meet man in his fallen condition. Christ, in counsel with His Father, instituted the system of sacrificial offerings; that death, instead of being immediately visited upon the transgressor, should be transferred to a victim which should prefigure the great and perfect offering of the Son of God. . . . Through the blood of this victim, man looked forward by faith to the blood of Christ which would atone for the sins of the world. {AG 131.5}

The mission of Christ on earth was not to destroy the law, but by His grace to bring man back to obedience to its precepts. . . . By His own obedience to the law, Christ testified to its immutable character and proved that through His grace it could be perfectly obeyed by every son and daughter of Adam. {AG 131.6}


Chap. 124 - Shared with Noah

And God spake unto Noah, . . . saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you. Gen. 9:8, 9. {AG 132.1}

Wickedness was so widespread that God said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth. . . . But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. . . . Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Gen. 6:7-9). {AG 132.2}

Noah was to preach to the people, and also to prepare an ark as God should direct him for the saving of himself and family. He was not only to preach, but his example in building the ark was to convince all that he believed what he preached. {AG 132.3}

Noah did not forget God who had so graciously preserved them, but immediately [on coming out of the ark] erected an altar and. . . offered burnt offerings on the altar, showing his faith in Christ the great sacrifice, and manifesting his gratitude to God for their wonderful preservation. The offering of Noah came up before God like a sweet savour. He accepted the offering, and blessed Noah and his family. . . . {AG 132.4}

And lest man should be terrified with gathering clouds, and falling rains, . . . God graciously encourages the family of Noah by a promise. "And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood. . . . And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations. I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. . . . And the bow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth" (Gen. 9:11-16). {AG 132.5}

With the assurance given to Noah concerning the flood, God Himself has linked one of the most precious promises of His grace; "As I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith Jehovah that hath mercy on thee" (Isa. 54:9, 10). {AG 132.6}


Chap. 125 - Renewed to Abraham

I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. Gen. 17:7. {AG 133.1}

After the Flood the people once more increased on the earth, and wickedness also increased. . . . The Lord finally left the hardened transgressors to follow their evil ways, while He chose Abraham, of the line of Shem, and made him the keeper of His law for future generations. {AG 133.2}

This same covenant [the covenant of grace] was renewed to Abraham in the promise "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 22:18). This promise pointed to Christ. So Abraham understood it, and he trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It was this faith that was accounted to him for righteousness. The covenant with Abraham also maintained the authority of God's law. The Lord appeared unto Abraham, and said, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect" (Gen. 17:1). The testimony of God concerning His faithful servant was, "Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws" (Gen. 26:5). . . . {AG 133.3}

Though this covenant was made with Adam and renewed to Abraham, it could not be ratified until the death of Christ. It had existed by the promise of God since the first intimation of redemption had been given; it had been accepted by faith; yet when ratified by Christ, it is called a new covenant. The law of God was the basis of this covenant, which was simply an arrangement for bringing men again into harmony with the divine will, placing them where they could obey God's law. {AG 133.4}

If it were not possible for human beings under the Abrahamic covenant to keep the commandments of God, every soul of us is lost. The Abrahamic covenant is the covenant of grace. "By grace are ye saved" (Eph. 2:8). Disobedient children? No, obedient to all His commandments. {AG 133.5}

Abraham's unquestioning obedience was one of the most striking instances of faith and reliance upon God to be found in the Sacred Record. . . . Just such faith and confidence as Abraham had the messengers of God need today. {AG 133.6}


Chap. 126 - Terms of the Covenant

If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people. Ex. 19:5. {AG 134.1}

In the beginning, God gave His law to mankind as a means of attaining happiness and eternal life. {AG 134.2}

The ten commandments, Thou shalt, and Thou shalt not, are ten promises, assured to us if we render obedience to the law governing the universe. "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Here is the sum and substance of the law of God. The terms of salvation for every son and daughter of Adam are here outlined. . . . {AG 134.3}

That law of ten precepts of the greatest love that can be presented to man is the voice of God from heaven speaking to the soul in promise, "This do, and you will not come under the dominion and control of Satan." There is not a negative in that law, although it may appear thus. It is DO and Live. {AG 134.4}

The condition of eternal life is now just what it always has been--just what it was in Paradise before the fall of our first parents--perfect obedience to the law of God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled. The way would be open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be immortalized. {AG 134.5}

Christ does not lessen the claims of the law. In unmistakable language He presents obedience to it as the condition of eternal life--the same condition that was required of Adam before his fall. . . . The requirement under the covenant of grace is just as broad as the requirement made in Eden--harmony with God's law, which is holy, just, and good. {AG 134.6}

The standard of character presented in the Old Testament is the same that is presented in the New Testament. This standard is not one to which we cannot attain. In every command or injunction that God gives there is a promise, the most positive, underlying the command. God has made provision that we may become like unto Him, and He will accomplish this for all who do not interpose a perverse will and thus frustrate His grace. {AG 134.7}


Chap. 127 - The Promises of Men

All the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord. Ex. 19:8. {AG 135.1}

Another compact [other than the Abrahamic covenant]-- called in Scripture the "old" covenant--was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the "second", or "new" covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant. {AG 135.2}

Soon after the encampment at Sinai, Moses was called up into the mountain to meet with God. . . . Israel was now to be taken into a close and peculiar relation to the Most High--to be incorporated as a church and a nation under the government of God. The message to Moses for the people was: ". . . if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Ex. 19:4-6). {AG 135.3}

Moses returned to the camp, and having summoned the elders of Israel, he repeated to them the divine message. Their answer was, "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do." Thus they entered into a solemn covenant with God, pledging themselves to accept Him as their Ruler, by which they became, in a special sense, the subjects of His authority. {AG 135.4}

In their bondage the people had to a great extent lost the knowledge of God and of the principles of the Abrahamic covenant. . . . Living in the midst of idolatry and corruption, they had no true conception of the holiness of God, of the exceeding sinfulness of their own hearts, their utter inability, in themselves, to render obedience to God's law, and their need of a Saviour. . . . God brought them to Sinai; He manifested His glory; He gave them His law, with the promise of great blessings on condition of obedience. . . . The people did not realize . . . that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God's law. . . . Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, "All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient" (Ex. 24:7). {AG 135.5}


Chap. 128 - Better Promises

He is the mediator of a better covenant which was established upon better promises. Heb. 8:6. {AG 136.1}

The Israelites had been specially charged not to lose sight of the commandments of God, in obedience to which they would find strength and blessing. {AG 136.2}

They had witnessed the proclamation of the law in awful majesty, and had trembled with terror before the mount; and yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image. They could not hope for the favour of God through a covenant which they had broken; and now, seeing their sinfulness and their need of pardon, they were brought to feel their need of the Saviour revealed in the Abrahamic covenant and shadowed forth in the sacrificial offerings. Now by faith and love they were bound to God as their deliverer from the bondage of sin. Now they were prepared to appreciate the blessings of the new covenant. {AG 136.3}

The terms of the "old covenant" were, Obey and live: "If a man do, he shall even live in them" (Eze. 20:11; Lev. 18:5); but "cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them" (Deut. 27:26). The "new covenant" was established upon "better promises"--the promise of forgiveness of sins and of the grace of God to renew the heart and bring it into harmony with the principles of God's law. {AG 136.4}

The blessings of the new covenant are grounded purely on mercy in forgiving unrighteousness and sins. . . . All who humble their hearts, confessing their sins, will find mercy and grace and assurance. Has God, in showing mercy to the sinner, ceased to be just? Has He dishonoured His holy law, and will He henceforth pass over the violation of it? God is true. He changes not. The conditions of salvation are ever the same. Life, eternal life, is for all who will obey God's law. . . . {AG 136.5}

Under the new covenant, the conditions by which eternal life may be gained are the same as under the old--perfect obedience. . . . In the new and better covenant, Christ has fulfilled the law for the transgressors of law, if they receive Him by faith as a personal Saviour. . . . In the better covenant we are cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ. {AG 136.6}


Chap. 129 - Written on the Heart

After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. . . . I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jer. 31:33, 34. {AG 137.1}

The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone, is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth "the fruits of the Spirit." Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts. Having the Spirit of Christ, we shall walk even as He walked. {AG 137.2}

There are two errors against which the children of God --particularly those who have just come to trust in His grace --especially need to guard. The first . . . is that of looking to their own works, trusting to anything they can do, to bring themselves into harmony with God. He who is trying to become holy by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility. . . . {AG 137.3}

The opposite and no less dangerous error is, that belief in Christ releases men from keeping the law of God; that since by faith alone we become partakers of the grace of Christ, our works have nothing to do with our redemption. . . . If the law is written in the heart, will it not shape the life? . . . Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience. . . . {AG 137.4}

Where there is not only a belief in God's Word, but a submission of the will to Him; where the heart is yielded to Him, the affections fixed upon Him, there is faith--faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. Through this faith the heart is renewed in the image of God. And the heart that in its unrenewed state is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, now delights in its holy precepts, exclaiming with the psalmist, "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day" (Ps. 119:97). And the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:1). {AG 137.5}


Chap. 130 - The Gift of Repentance

Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5:31. {AG 138.1}

Repentance is one of the first fruits of saving grace. Our great Teacher, in His lessons to erring, fallen man, presents the life-giving power of His grace, declaring that through this grace men and women may live the new life of holiness and purity. He who lives this life works out the principles of the kingdom of heaven. Taught of God, he leads others in straight paths. He will not lead the lame into paths of uncertainty. The working of the Holy Spirit in his life shows that he is a partaker of the divine nature. Every soul thus worked by the Spirit of Christ receives so abundant a supply of the rich grace that, beholding his good works, the unbelieving world acknowledges that he is controlled and sustained by divine power, and is led to glorify God. . . . {AG 138.2}

Read and study the thirty-fourth chapter of Ezekiel. In it we are given most precious encouragement. "I will save my flock, and they shall be no more a prey," the Lord declares. ". . . And I will make with them a covenant of peace. . . ." {AG 138.3}

The most striking feature of this covenant of peace is the exceeding richness of the pardoning mercy expressed to the sinner if he repents and turns from his sin. The Holy Spirit describes the gospel as salvation through the tender mercies of our God. "I will be merciful to their unrighteousness," the Lord declares of those who repent, "and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb. 8:12). Does God turn from justice in showing mercy to the sinner? No; God cannot dishonour His law by suffering it to be transgressed with impunity. Under the new covenant, perfect obedience is the condition of life. If the sinner repents and confesses his sins, he will find pardon. By Christ's sacrifice in his behalf, forgiveness is secured for him. Christ has satisfied the demands of the law for every repentant, believing sinner. . . . {AG 138.4}

The atonement that has been made for us by Christ is wholly and abundantly satisfactory to the Father. God can be just, and yet the justifier of those who believe. {AG 138.5}


Chap. 131 - The Gift of Pardon

Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. Neh. 9:17. {AG 139.1}

Justice demands that sin be not merely pardoned, but the death penalty must be executed. God, in the gift of His only-begotten Son, met both these requirements. By dying in man's stead, Christ exhausted the penalty and provided a pardon. {AG 139.2}

God requires that we confess our sins, and humble our hearts before Him; but at the same time we should have confidence in Him as a tender Father, who will not forsake those who put their trust in Him. . . . God does not give us up because of our sins. We may make mistakes, and grieve His Spirit; but when we repent, and come to Him with contrite hearts, He will not turn us away. There are hindrances to be removed. Wrong feelings have been cherished, and there have been pride, self-sufficiency, impatience, and murmurings. All these separate us from God. Sins must be confessed; there must be a deeper work of grace in the heart. . . . {AG 139.3}

We must learn in the school of Christ. Nothing but His righteousness can entitle us to one of the blessings of the covenant of grace. . . . We look to self, as though we had power to save ourselves; but Jesus died for us because we are helpless to do this. In Him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness. . . . {AG 139.4}

Jesus is our only Saviour; and although millions who need to be healed will reject His offered mercy, not one who trusts in His merits will be left to perish. . . . {AG 139.5}

You may see that you are sinful and undone; but it is just on this account that you need a Saviour. If you have sins to confess, lose no time. These moments are golden. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled; for Jesus has promised it. Precious Saviour! His arms are open to receive us, and His great heart of love is waiting to bless us. {AG 139.6}


Chap. 132 - Accepted by Faith

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:26. {AG 140.1}

To talk of religion in a casual way, to pray without soul hunger and living faith, avails nothing. A nominal faith in Christ, which accepts Him merely as the Saviour of the world, can never bring healing to the soul. The faith that is unto salvation is not a mere intellectual assent to the truth. He who waits for entire knowledge before he will exercise faith cannot receive blessing from God. It is not enough to believe about Christ; we must believe in Him. The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour; which appropriates His merits to ourselves. Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigour, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power. {AG 140.2}

True faith is that which receives Christ as a personal Saviour. God gave His only-begotten Son, that I, by believing in Him, "should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). When I come to Christ, according to His word, I am to believe that I receive His saving grace. The life that I now live, I am to "live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2:20). {AG 140.3}

The apostle Paul clearly presents the relation between faith and the law under the new covenant. He says: "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law." "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh"--it could not justify man, because in his sinful nature he could not keep the law --"God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 5:1; 3:31; 8:3, 4). {AG 140.4}


Chap. 133 - God's Law is its Standard

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Eccl. 12:13. {AG 141.1}

Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the covenant was made that all who were obedient, all who should through the abundant grace provided, become holy in character, and without blame before God, by appropriating that grace, should be children of God. This covenant, made from eternity, was given to Abraham hundreds of years before Christ came. With what interest and what intensity did Christ in humanity study the human race to see if they would avail themselves of the provision offered. {AG 141.2}

In His teachings, Christ showed how far-reaching are the principles of the law spoken from Sinai. He made a living application of that law whose principles remain forever the great standard of righteousness--the standard by which all shall be judged in that great day when the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened. He came to fulfill all righteousness, and, as the head of humanity, to show man that he can do the same work, meeting every specification of the requirements of God. Through the measure of His grace furnished to the human agent, not one need miss heaven. Perfection of character is attainable by every one who strives for it. This is made the very foundation of the new covenant of the gospel. The law of Jehovah is the tree; the gospel is the fragrant blossoms and fruit which it bears. {AG 141.3}

God's law is the transcript of His character. It embodies the principles of His kingdom. He who refuses to accept these principles is placing himself outside the channel where God's blessings flow. {AG 141.4}

The glorious possibilities set before Israel could be realized only through obedience to God's commandments. The same elevation of character, the same fulness of blessing--blessing on mind and soul and body, blessing on house and field, blessing for this life and for the life to come--is possible for us only through obedience. {AG 141.5}

Let us not lower the standard, but keep it lifted high, looking to Him who is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. {AG 141.6}


Chap. 134 - The Pledge of Obedience

He took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. Ex. 24:7. {AG 142.1}

The covenant that God made with His people at Sinai is to be our refuge and defence....This covenant is of just as much force today as it was when the Lord made it with ancient Israel.... {AG 142.2}

This is the pledge that God's people are to make in these last days. Their acceptance with God depends on a faithful fulfilment of the terms of their agreement with Him. God includes in His covenant all who will obey Him. To all who will do justice and judgment, keeping their hand from doing any evil, the promise is, "Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off" (Isa. 56:5). {AG 142.3}

The Father sets His love upon His elect people who live in the midst of men. These are the people whom Christ has redeemed by the price of His own blood; and because they respond to the drawing of Christ, through the sovereign mercy of God, they are elected to be saved as His obedient children. Upon them is manifested the free grace of God, the love wherewith He hath loved them. Everyone who will humble himself as a little child, who will receive and obey the Word of God with a child's simplicity will be among the elect of God. {AG 142.4}

To make God's grace our own, we must act our part. The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. {AG 142.5}

Let the human agent compare his life with the life of Christ. ...Let him imitate the example of Him who lived out the law of Jehovah, who said, "I have kept my father's commandments." Those who follow Christ will be continually looking into the perfect law of liberty, and through the grace given them by Christ, will fashion the character according to the divine requirements. {AG 142.6}


Chap. 135 - The Role of Baptism

We are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Rom. 6:4. {AG 143.1}

Christ made baptism the entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Those who receive the ordinance of baptism thereby make a public declaration that they have renounced the world, and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. . . . {AG 143.2}

Christ enjoins those who receive this ordinance to remember that they are bound by a solemn covenant to live to the Lord. They are to use for Him all their entrusted capabilities, never losing the realization that they bear God's sign of obedience to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, that they are subjects of Christ's kingdom, partakers of the divine nature. They are to surrender all they have and are to God, employing all their gifts to God's glory. {AG 143.3}

Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have accepted the invitation, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" (2 Cor. 6:17, 18). "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (chapter 7:1). . . . {AG 143.4}

Let those who received the imprint of God by baptism heed these words, remembering that upon them the Lord has placed His signature, declaring them to be His sons and daughters. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, powers infinite and omniscient, receive those who truly enter into covenant relation with God. They are present at every baptism, to receive the candidates who have renounced the world and have received Christ into the soul temple. These candidates have entered into the family of God, and their names are inscribed in the Lamb's book of life. {AG 143.5}


Chap. 136 - Not a Substitute for the Law

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Rom. 6:15. {AG 144.1}

It is the sophistry of Satan that the death of Christ brought in grace to take the place of the law. The death of Jesus did not change or annul, or lessen in the slightest degree, the law of ten commandments. That precious grace offered to men through a Saviour's blood, establishes the law of God. Since the fall of man, God's moral government and His grace are inseparable. They go hand in hand through all dispensations. {AG 144.2}

The gospel of the New Testament is not the Old Testament standard lowered to meet the sinner and save him in his sins. God requires of all His subjects obedience, entire obedience to all His commandments. {AG 144.3}

Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are, that He might know how to succour those who should be tempted. His life is our example. He shows by His willing obedience that man may keep the law of God and that transgression of the law, not obedience to it, brings him into bondage. . . . {AG 144.4}

Man, who has defaced the image of God in his soul by a corrupt life, cannot, by mere human effort, effect a radical change in himself. He must accept the provisions of the gospel; he must be reconciled to God through obedience to His law and faith in Jesus Christ. His life from thenceforth must be governed by a new principle. . . . He must face the mirror, God's law, discern the defects in his moral character, and put away his sins, washing his robe of character in the blood of the Lamb. . . . {AG 144.5}

The influence of a gospel hope will not lead the sinner to look upon the salvation of Christ as a matter of free grace, while he continues to live in transgression of the law of God. When the light of truth dawns upon his mind and he fully understands the requirements of God and realizes the extent of his transgressions, he will reform his ways, become loyal to God through the strength obtained from His Saviour, and lead a new and purer life. {AG 144.6}

It is not the work of the gospel to weaken the claims of God's holy law, but to bring men up where they can keep its precepts. {AG 144.7}


Chap. 137 - Includes Love to God and Man

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. . . . And . . . thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Matt. 22:37-39. {AG 145.1}

The whole work of grace is one continual service of love, of self-denying, self-sacrificing effort. During every hour of Christ's sojourn upon the earth, the love of God was flowing from Him in irrepressible streams. All who are imbued with His Spirit will love as He loved. The very principle that actuated Christ will actuate them in all their dealing one with another. {AG 145.2}

This love is the evidence of their discipleship. . . . When men are bound together, not by force or self-interest, but by love, they show the working of an influence that is above every human influence. Where this oneness exists, it is evidence that the image of God is being restored in humanity, that a new principle of life has been implanted. It shows that there is power in the divine nature to withstand the supernatural agencies of evil, and that the grace of God subdues the selfishness inherent in the natural heart. {AG 145.3}

When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within--when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed in the countenance. {AG 145.4}

It is not possible for the heart in which Christ abides to be destitute of love. If we love God because He first loved us, we shall love all for whom Christ died. We cannot come in touch with divinity without coming in touch with humanity; for in Him who sits upon the throne of the universe, divinity and humanity are combined. Connected with Christ, we are connected with our fellow men by the golden links of the chain of love. Then the pity and compassion of Christ will be manifest in our life. . . . It will be as natural for us to minister to the needy and suffering as it was for Christ to go about doing good. {AG 145.5}

The law of God requires that man shall love God supremely, and his neighbour as himself. When through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, this is perfectly done, we shall be complete in Christ. {AG 145.6}


Chap. 138 - Involves Character Building

Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. 1 Peter 2:9. {AG 146.1}

Obedience to the laws of God develops in man a beautiful character that is in harmony with all that is pure and holy and undefiled. In the life of such a man the message of the gospel of Christ is made clear. Accepting the mercy of Christ and His healing from the power of sin, he is brought into right relation with God. His life, cleansed from vanity and selfishness, is filled with the love of God. His daily obedience to the law of God obtains for him a character that assures him eternal life in the kingdom of God. {AG 146.2}

But Christ has given us no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter. A noble, all-round character is not inherited. It does not come to us by accident. A noble character is earned by individual effort through the merits and grace of Christ. God gives the talents, the powers of the mind; we form the character. It is formed by hard, stern battles with self. Conflict after conflict must be waged against hereditary tendencies. We shall have to criticize ourselves closely, and allow not one unfavourable trait to remain uncorrected. {AG 146.3}

The truth is no truth to the one who does not reveal, by his elevated spiritual character, a power beyond that which the world can give, and influence corresponding in its sacred, peculiar character to the truth itself. He who is sanctified by the truth will exert a saving, vital influence upon all with whom he comes in contact. This is Bible religion. {AG 146.4}

We need constantly a fresh revelation of Christ, a daily experience that harmonizes with His teachings. High and holy attainments are within our reach. Continual progress in knowledge and virtue is God's purpose for us. His law is the echo of His own voice, giving to all the invitation, "Come up higher. Be holy, holier still." Every day we may advance in perfection of Christian character. {AG 146.5}


Chap. 139 - Demands Purity

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 1 Thess. 4:7. {AG 147.1}

Life is a gift of God. Our bodies have been given us to use in God's service, and He desires that we shall care for and appreciate them. We are possessed of physical as well as mental faculties. Our impulses and passions have their seat in the body, and therefore we must do nothing that would defile this entrusted possession. Our bodies must be kept in the best possible condition physically, and under the most spiritual influences, in order that we may make the best use of our talents. Read 1 Cor. 6:13. {AG 147.2}

Our bodies belong to God. He paid the price of redemption for the body as well as the soul. . . . God is the great caretaker of the human machinery. In the care of our bodies we must cooperate with Him. Love for God is essential for life and health. In order to have perfect health our hearts must be filled with hope, and love, and joy. {AG 147.3}

The lower passions are to be strictly guarded. The perceptive faculties are abused, terribly abused, when the passions are allowed to run riot. When the passions are indulged, the blood, instead of circulating to all parts of the body, thereby relieving the heart and clearing the mind, is called in undue amount to the internal organs. Disease comes as the result. The man cannot be healthy until the evil is seen and remedied. {AG 147.4}

"He that is joined unto the Lord"--bound up with Christ in the covenant of grace--"is one spirit. Flee fornication" (1 Cor. 6:17,18). Do not stop for one moment to reason. Satan would rejoice to see you overthrown by temptation. Do not stop to argue the case with your weak conscience. Turn away from the first step of transgression. {AG 147.5}

Would that the example of Joseph might be followed by all who claim to be wise, who feel competent in their own strength to discharge the duties of life. A wise man will not be governed and controlled by his appetites and passions, but will control and govern them. He will draw nigh to God, striving to prepare mind and body to discharge aright the duties of life. . . . Satan is the destroyer; Christ the restorer. {AG 147.6}


Chap. 140 - Encourages Christlikeness

He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 1 John 2:6. {AG 148.1}

The gospel is to be presented, not as a lifeless theory, but as a living force to change the life. God desires that the receivers of His grace shall be witnesses to its power. . . . He would have His servants bear testimony to the fact that through His grace men may possess Christlikeness of character, and may rejoice in the assurance of His great love. He would have us bear testimony to the fact that He cannot be satisfied until the human race are reclaimed and reinstated in their holy privileges as His sons and daughters. {AG 148.2}

God's people are to be distinguished as a people who serve Him fully, wholeheartedly, taking no honour to themselves, and remembering that by a most solemn covenant they have bound themselves to serve the Lord and Him only. {AG 148.3}

God requires perfection of His children. His law is a transcript of His own character, and it is the standard of all character. This infinite standard is presented to all that there may be no mistake in regard to the kind of people whom God will have to compose His kingdom. The life of Christ on earth was a perfect expression of God's law, and when those who claim to be children of God become Christlike in character, they will be obedient to God's commandments. Then the Lord can trust them to be of the number who shall compose the family of heaven. Clothed in the glorious apparel of Christ's righteousness, they have a place at the King's feast. They have a right to join the blood-washed throng. {AG 148.4}

Everything must be viewed in the light of the example of Christ. He is the truth. He is the true Light that lighteth every man who cometh into the world. Listen to His words, copy His example in self-denial and self-sacrifice, and look to the merits of Christ for the glory in character which He possesses to be bestowed on you. Those who follow Christ live not to please themselves. Human standards are like feeble reeds. The Lord's standard is perfection of character. {AG 148.5}


Chap. 141 - With All the Heart

This day the Lord thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. Deut. 26:16. {AG 149.1}

In God's covenant with His people in ancient times, directions were given for the faithful recognition of the gracious and marvellous works which He had done for them. God delivered His people Israel from bondage in Egypt. He brought them into their own land, and gave them goodly heritage and sure dwelling places. And He asked of them a recognition of His marvellous works. The first fruits of the earth were to be consecrated to God, and given back to Him as an offering of gratitude, an acknowledgment of His goodness to them. . . . {AG 149.2}

These directions, which the Lord has given to His people, express the principles of the law of the kingdom of God, and they are made specific, so that the minds of the people may not be left in ignorance and uncertainty. These scriptures present the never-ceasing obligation of all whom God has blessed with life and health and advantages in temporal and spiritual things. The message has not grown weak because of age. God's claims are just as binding now, just as fresh in their importance, as God's gifts are fresh and continual. {AG 149.3}

Lest any should forget these important directions, Christ has repeated them with His own voice. He calls His followers to a life of consecration and self-denial. He says: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matt. 16:24). This means what it says. Only by self-denial and self-sacrifice can we show that we are true disciples of Christ. {AG 149.4}

Christ counted it essential to remind His people that obedience to the commandments of God is for their present and future good. Obedience brings a blessing, disobedience a curse. Besides, when the Lord in a special manner favours His people, He exhorts them publicly to acknowledge His goodness. In this way His name will be glorified; for such an acknowledgment is a testimony that His words are faithful and true. "Thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee" (Deut. 26:11). {AG 149.5}


Chap. 142 - A Mutual Pact

You have recognized the Lord this day as your God; you are to conform to his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, and his laws, and to obey him. The Lord has recognized you this day as his special possession, as he promised you, and to keep his commandments. Deut. 26:17, 18, N.E.B. {AG 150.1}

There must be no withholding on our part, of our service or our means, if we would fulfill our covenant with God. . . . The purpose of all God's commandments is to reveal man's duty not only to God, but to his fellow man. In this late age of the world's history, we are not, because of the selfishness of our hearts, to question or dispute the right of God to make these requirements, or we will deceive ourselves, and rob our souls of the richest blessings of the grace of God. Heart and mind and soul are to be merged in the will of God. Then the covenant, framed from the dictates of infinite wisdom, and made binding by the power and authority of the King of kings and Lord of lords, will be our pleasure. . . . It is enough that He has said that obedience to His statutes and laws is the life and prosperity of His people. {AG 150.2}

The blessings of God's covenant are mutual. . . . God accepts those who will work for His name's glory, to make His name a praise in a world of apostasy and idolatry. He will be exalted by His commandment-keeping people that He may make them "high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour" (Deut. 26:19). {AG 150.3}

By our baptismal pledge we avouched and solemnly confessed the Lord Jehovah as our Ruler. We virtually took a solemn oath, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that henceforth our lives would be merged into the life of these three great agencies, that the life we should live in the flesh would be lived in faithful obedience to God's sacred law. We declared ourselves dead, and our life hid with Christ in God, that henceforth we should walk with Him in newness of life, as men and women having experienced the new birth. We acknowledge God's covenant with us, and pledge ourselves to seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. By our profession of faith we acknowledged the Lord as our God, and yielded ourselves to obey His commandments. {AG 150.4}


Chap. 143 - Blessings of the Covenant

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38. {AG 151.1}

God blesses the work of men's hands, that they may return to Him His portion. He gives them the sunshine and the rain; He causes vegetation to flourish; He gives health and ability to acquire means. Every blessing comes from His bountiful hand, and He desires men and women to show their gratitude by returning Him a portion in tithes and offerings--in thank offerings, in freewill offerings, in trespass offerings. . . . They are to reveal an unselfish interest in the building up of His work in all parts of the world. {AG 151.2}

In the great work of warning the world, those who have the truth in the heart, and are sanctified through the truth, will act their assigned part. They will be faithful in the payment of tithes and offerings. Every church member is bound by covenant relation with God to deny himself of every extravagant outlay of means. Let not the want of economy in the home life render us unable to act our part in strengthening the work already established, and in entering new territory. . . . {AG 151.3}

I entreat my brethren and sisters throughout the world to awaken to the responsibility that rests upon them to pay a faithful tithe. . . . Keep a faithful account with your Creator. . . . {AG 151.4}

He who gave his only-begotten Son to die for you, has made a covenant with you. He gives you His blessings, and in return He requires you to bring Him your tithes and offerings. . . . God calls upon His human agents to be true to the contract He has made with them. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse," He says, "that there may be meat in mine house" (Mal. 3:10). {AG 151.5}

How great was the gift of God to man, and how like our God to make it! With a liberality that can never be exceeded He gave, that He might save the rebellious sons of men and bring them to see His purpose and discern His love. Will you, by your gifts and offerings, show that you think nothing too good for Him who "gave his only begotten Son"? {AG 151.6}


Chap. 144 - Ratified by Christ's Blood

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew forth the Lord's death till come. 1 Cor. 11:26. {AG 152.1}

In instituting the sacramental service to take the place of the Passover, Christ left for His church a memorial of His great sacrifice for man. "This do," He said, "in remembrance of me." This was the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals. The one was to close forever; the other, which He had just established, was to take its place, and to continue through all time as the memorial of His death. . . . {AG 152.2}

In this last act of Christ in partaking with His disciples of the bread and wine, He pledged Himself to them as their Redeemer by a new covenant, in which it was written and sealed that upon all who will receive Christ by faith will be bestowed all the blessings that heaven can supply, both in this life and in the future immortal life. This covenant deed was to be ratified by Christ's own blood, which it had been the office of the old sacrificial offerings to keep before the minds of His chosen people. Christ designed that this supper should be often commemorated in order to bring to our remembrance His sacrifice in giving His life for the remission of the sins of all who will believe on Him and receive Him. {AG 152.3}

In the Saviour's death the powers of darkness seemed to prevail, and they exulted in their victory. But from the rent sepulchre of Joseph, Jesus came forth a conqueror. {AG 152.4}

Jesus refused to receive the homage of His people until He had the assurance that His sacrifice was accepted by the Father. He ascended to the Heavenly courts, and from God Himself heard the assurance that His atonement for the sins of men had been ample, that through His blood all might gain eternal life. The Father ratified the covenant made with Christ, that He would receive repentant and obedient men, and would love them even as He loves His Son. Christ was to complete His work, and fulfill His pledge to "make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir" (Isa. 13:12). {AG 152.5}


Chap. 145 - Sealed by Christ's Atonement

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. Eph. 1:7. {AG 153.1}

Christ on the cross not only draws men to repentance toward God for the transgression of His law--for whom God pardons He first makes penitent--but Christ has satisfied Justice; He has proffered Himself as an atonement. His gushing blood, His broken body, satisfy the claims of the broken law, and thus He bridges the gulf which sin has made. He suffered in the flesh, that with His bruised and broken body He might cover the defenceless sinner. The victory gained at His death on Calvary broke forever the accusing power of Satan over the universe and silenced his charges that self-denial was impossible with God and therefore not essential in the human family. {AG 153.2}

Christ was without sin, else His life in human flesh and His death on the cross would have been of no more value in procuring grace for the sinner than the death of any other man. While He took upon Him humanity, it was a life taken into union with Deity. He could lay down His life as priest and also victim. . . . He offered Himself without spot to God. {AG 153.3}

The atonement of Christ sealed forever the everlasting covenant of grace. It was the fulfilling of every condition upon which God suspended the free communication of grace to the human family. Every barrier was then broken down which intercepted the freest exercise of grace, mercy, peace, and love to the most guilty of Adam's race. {AG 153.4}

In the courts above, Christ is pleading for His church---pleading for those for whom He has paid the redemption price of His blood. Centuries, ages, can never lessen the efficacy of His atoning sacrifice. Neither life nor death, height nor depth, can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus; not because we hold Him so firmly, but because He holds us so fast. If our salvation depended on our own efforts, we could not be saved; but it depends on the One who is behind all the promises. Our grasp on Him may seem feeble, but His love is that of an elder brother; so long as we maintain our union with Him, no one can pluck us out of His hand. {AG 153.5}


Chap. 146 - Christ the Mediator

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Heb. 9:24. {AG 154.1}

The sin of Adam and Eve caused a fearful separation between God and man. And Christ steps in between fallen man and God, and says to man: "You may yet come to the Father; there is a plan devised through which God can be reconciled to man, and man to God; through a mediator you can approach God." And now He stands to mediate for you. He is the great High Priest who is pleading in your behalf; and you are to come and present your case to the Father through Jesus Christ. Thus you can find access to God. {AG 154.2}

Christ Jesus is represented as continually standing at the altar, momentarily offering up the sacrifice for the sins of the world. He is a minister of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. The typical shadows of the Jewish tabernacle no longer possess any virtue. A daily and yearly typical atonement is no longer to be made, but the atoning sacrifice through a mediator is essential because of the constant commission of sin. Jesus is officiating in the presence of God, offering up His shed blood, as it had been a lamb slain. . . . {AG 154.3}

The religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin, ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary: but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. . . . All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ. He holds before the Father the censer of His own merits, in which there is no taint of earthly corruption. He gathers into this censer the prayers, the praise, and the confessions of His people, and with these He puts His own spotless righteousness. Then, perfumed with the merits of Christ's propitiation, the incense comes up before God wholly and entirely acceptable. . . . {AG 154.4}

O, that all may see that everything in obedience, in penitence, in praise and thanksgiving must be placed upon the glowing fire of the righteousness of Christ. {AG 154.5}


Chap. 147 - The Blood of the Covenant

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will. Heb. 13:20, 21. {AG 155.1}

To many it has been a mystery why so many sacrificial offerings were required in the old dispensation, why so many bleeding victims were led to the altar. But the great truth that was kept before men, and imprinted upon mind and heart, was this, "Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9:22). In every bleeding sacrifice was typified "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). {AG 155.2}

Christ Himself was the originator of the Jewish system of worship, in which, by types and symbols, were shadowed forth spiritual and heavenly things. Many forgot the true significance of these offerings; and the great truth that through Christ alone there is forgiveness of sin, was lost to them. The multiplying of sacrificial offerings, the blood of bulls and goats, could not take away sin. . . . {AG 155.3}

A lesson was embodied in every sacrifice, impressed in every ceremony, solemnly preached by the priest in his holy office, and inculcated by God Himself--that through the blood of Christ alone is there forgiveness of sins. {AG 155.4}

Anciently believers were saved by the same Saviour as now, but it was a God veiled. They saw God's mercy in figures. . . . Christ's sacrifice is the glorious fulfilment of the whole Jewish economy. . . . When as a sinless offering Christ bowed His head and died, when by the Almighty's unseen hand the veil of the temple was rent in twain, a new and living way was opened. All can now approach God through the merits of Christ. It is because the veil has been rent that men can draw nigh to God. They need not depend on priest or ceremonial sacrifice. Liberty is given to all to go directly to God through a personal Saviour. {AG 155.5}

The whole mind, the whole soul, the whole heart, and the whole strength are purchased by the blood of the Son of God. {AG 155.6}


Chap. 148 - The Covenant and the Sabbath

Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever. Ex. 31:16, 17. {AG 156.1}

When the Lord delivered His people Israel from Egypt and committed to them His law, He taught them that by the observance of the Sabbath they were to be distinguished from idolaters. . . . {AG 156.2}

As the Sabbath was the sign that distinguished Israel when they came out of Egypt to enter the earthly Canaan, so it is the sign that now distinguishes God's people as they come out from the world to enter the heavenly rest. The Sabbath is a sign of a relationship existing between God and His people, a sign that they honour His law. It distinguishes between His loyal subjects and transgressors. . . . The Sabbath given to the world as the sign of God as the Creator is also the sign of Him as the Sanctifier. The power that created all things is the power that recreates the soul in His own likeness. To those who keep holy the Sabbath day it is the sign of sanctification. True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character. It is received through obedience to those principles that are the transcript of His character. And the Sabbath is the sign of obedience. He who from the heart obeys the fourth commandment will obey the whole law. He is sanctified through obedience. {AG 156.3}

To us as to Israel the Sabbath is given "for a perpetual covenant." To those who reverence His holy day the Sabbath is a sign that God recognizes them as His chosen people. It is a pledge that He will fulfill to them His covenant. Every soul who accepts the sign of God's government places himself under the divine, everlasting covenant. He fastens himself to the golden chain of obedience, every link of which is a promise. {AG 156.4}

The fourth commandment alone of all the ten contains the seal of the great Lawgiver, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Those who obey this commandment take upon themselves His name, and all the blessings it involves are theirs. {AG 156.5}

The Sabbath has lost none of its meaning. It is still a sign between God and His people, and it will be so forever. {AG 156.6}


Chap. 149 - God's Eternal Pledge

He hath remembered his covenant forever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Ps. 105:8. {AG 157.1}

God stands back of every promise He has made. With your Bibles in your hands, say: "I have done as Thou hast said. I present Thy promise, 'Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you' (Matt. 7:7)." . . . {AG 157.2}

The rainbow about the throne is an assurance that God is true; that in Him is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. We have sinned against Him and are undeserving of His favour; yet He Himself has put into our lips that most wonderful of pleas: "Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us" (Jer. 14:21). He has pledged Himself to give heed to our cry when we come to Him confessing our unworthiness and sin. The honour of His throne is staked for the fulfilment of His word to us. {AG 157.3}

To everyone who offers himself to the Lord for service, withholding nothing, is given power for the attainment of measureless results. The Lord God is bound by an eternal pledge to supply power and grace to everyone who is sanctified through obedience to the truth. {AG 157.4}

Nehemiah pressed into the presence of the King of kings and won to his side a power that can turn hearts as rivers of waters are turned. [See Nehemiah 1 and 2.] {AG 157.5}

To pray as Nehemiah prayed in his hour of need is a resource at the command of the Christian under circumstances when other forms of prayer may be impossible. Toilers in the busy walks of life, crowded and almost overwhelmed with perplexity, can send up a petition to God for divine guidance. . . . In times of sudden difficulty or peril the heart may send up its cry for help to One who has pledged Himself to come to the aid of His faithful, believing ones whenever they call upon Him. In every circumstance, under every condition, the soul weighed down with grief and care, or fiercely assailed by temptation, may find assurance, support, and succour in the unfailing love and power of a covenant-keeping God. {AG 157.6}


Chap. 150 - Perpetual and Unalterable

Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord, in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten. Jer. 50:5. {AG 158.1}

A covenant is an agreement by which parties bind themselves and each other to the fulfilment of certain conditions. Thus the human agent enters into agreement with God to comply with the conditions specified in His Word. His conduct shows whether or not he respects these conditions. {AG 158.2}

Man gains everything by obeying the covenant-keeping God. God's attributes are imparted to man, enabling him to exercise mercy and compassion. God's covenant assures us of His unchangeable character. . . . We must know for ourselves what His requirements and our obligations are. The terms of God's covenant are, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." These are the conditions of life. "This do," Christ said, "and thou shalt live" (Luke 10:27, 28). {AG 158.3}

The law of God was written with His own finger on tables of stone, thus showing that it could never be changed or abrogated. It is to be preserved through the eternal ages, immutable as the principles of His government. . . . Christ gave His life to make it possible for man to be restored to the image of God. It is the power of His grace that draws men together in obedience to the truth. {AG 158.4}

My brethren, bind up with the Lord God of hosts. Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. . . . Troublous times are before us, but if we stand together in Christian fellowship, none striving for supremacy, God will work mightily for us. . . . {AG 158.5}

He knows our every necessity. He has all power. He can bestow upon His servants the measure of efficiency that their need demands. His infinite love and compassion never weary. With the majesty of omnipotence He unites the gentleness and care of a tender shepherd. We need have no fear that He will not fulfill His promises. He is eternal truth. Never will He change the covenant that He has made with those that love Him. His promises to His church stand fast forever. He will make her an eternal excellence, a joy of many generations. {AG 158.6}


Chap. 151 - The Symbol of the Covenant

And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. Gen. 9:12, 13. {AG 159.1}

What compassion for erring man, to place the beautiful, variegated rainbow in the clouds, a token of the covenant of the great God with man! . . . It was His design that as the children of after generations should see the bow in the cloud, . . . their parents could explain to them the destruction of the old world by a flood, because the people gave themselves up to all manner of wickedness, and that the hands of the Most High had bended the bow, and placed it in the clouds, as a token that He would never bring again a flood of waters on the earth. This symbol in the clouds was to confirm the belief of all, and establish their confidence in God, for it was a token of divine mercy and goodness to man. . . . {AG 159.2}

A rainbow is represented in Heaven round about the throne, also above the head of Christ, as a symbol of God's mercy encompassing the earth. When man by his great wickedness provokes the wrath of God, Christ, man's intercessor, pleads for him, and points to the rainbow in the cloud, as evidence of God's great mercy and compassion for erring man. {AG 159.3}

Angels rejoice as they gaze upon this precious token of God's love to man. The world's Redeemer looks upon it; for it was through His instrumentality that this bow was made to appear in the heavens, as a token or covenant of promise to man. God Himself looks upon the bow in the clouds, and remembers His everlasting covenant between Himself and man. . . . As we gaze upon the beautiful sight, we may be joyful in God, assured that He Himself is looking upon this token of His covenant, and that as He looks upon it He remembers the children of earth, to whom it was given. Their afflictions, perils, and trials are not hidden from Him. We may rejoice in hope, for the bow of God's covenant is over us. He never will forget the children of His care. {AG 159.4}