The law of God is the expression of his character. God possesses absolute, invariable, and immutable independence, and his law is without variableness, unalterable, eternal, because it is the transcript of his character. No event can take place that will in any sense make it necessary to declare a law of a contrary nature. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Any change in the law would mar its perfection. The slightest variance in its precepts would give reason to the hosts of heaven and to unfallen worlds to think that God’s counsels and declarations are not to be relied upon, but need to be remodeled, because they are of a faulty character. Should any change be made in the law of God, Satan would gain that for which he had instituted controversy.
Satan has sought to cast contempt upon the law of God, and to fasten reproach upon God before his created intelligences. He has sought to make men believe that the law must be modified, because it does not meet the needs and possibility of men. But God is truth itself, and in no instance can Satan find a flaw with his will or character. If his law could be changed in one jot or tittle, Satan would have an advantage in the controversy, and would carry the human family with him in fastening reproach upon God; for if one jot or tittle is in need of change, all may be faulty. But in the future the evil one himself will have to confess that his charges against God have been unjust, for with God is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. He will make this confession before the fallen world, before unfallen worlds, before the hosts of heaven. He will acknowledge that God has spoken immutable, eternal truths, and that he can not alter the thing that has gone out of his lips.
Satan and his confederacy of evil have tempted the world to believe a lie as they tempted Adam and Eve in Eden. It has been the purpose of the enemy to unsettle the whole fabric of truth, and to set the world adrift in the mazes of skepticism; but truth is immutable. A wily foe has perverted the senses of men so that they have chosen falsehood rather than truth. The Christian world has accepted the falsehoods of Satan, and has believed and advocated a change in the fourth commandment, which was given as a commemoration of God’s creative power in making the world. This falsehood has been working out its baleful results in making of no effect the whole law, in placing upon the human mind the impression that God is not invariable, invincible truth. This is the cup of intoxication that the Christian world is drinking, with which the inhabitants of the earth are becoming drunken. Satan is seeking to destroy the force of the Ten Commandments, urging his agents to declare that Christ nailed them to his cross. The cross is an immutable argument of the unchangeable character of the law of God. Christ died in order that a way might be provided for saving the sinner, in meeting the demands of the broken law. The law was written with the finger of God upon tables of stone, and John saw the temple of God open in heaven, and in the temple the ark of his covenant. “I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened; . . . and the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.”
In the book of Revelation the prophet describes the scenes of the Gospel age, and he sees in heaven the ark of the testimony. There the holy law of God shines in holy dignity, just as when God wrote it with his own finger on tables of stone. John describes the work that will be done in the last days, when the Protestant churches form a confederacy with the Catholic power, and work against the law of God and against those who keep his commandments. John says, “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” The Protestant world have cherished an institution of the Papacy,–they have observed Sunday in preference to the Sabbath of the Lord their God,–and in compelling men to keep Sunday, under penalty of law, they are exalting the first day of the week, a spurious sabbath, and casting dishonor upon the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. But the Lord says: “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.” “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them; he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.”
Had the generations in the past given the religion of the Bible a welcome, had they received the message born by Christ and his apostles, we should see a different state in the world that we see today. The Gospel would long since have been preached to every family under heaven; but men have not followed on to know the Lord, that they might know that his goings forth are prepared as the morning. It is men that have ceased to make progress. God has been willing to fulfill his word to his people. The promise is, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Everything was provided whereby men might have become laborers together with God in spreading the knowledge of the truth to those who are nigh, and to those that are afar off. The Gospel has been published to a large part of the human race; but the law of God, the foundation of his government, has been clouded by the superstitions and inventions of men. Even the priests, who should have published the law of God, have presumed to declare that it has no claims upon the human race. At the very time when it is most essential for us to understand the sacred claims of the law, and conform to its claims as the standard of righteousness, so that we might be justified in the judgment, false shepherds are educating the world to make void the law of God through their traditions.
The Lord would have his people take a different course. He says: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God.” The Lord speaks to his people, saying: “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord; look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. . . . My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arm shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner; but my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool; but my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation from generation to generation.”
– The Signs of the Times, March 12, 1896