Present Truth Articles Online
Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits [Angelssee Revelation 3:1; 4:5; 5:6; 8:2; Zechariah 4:10; Hebrews 1:14; 1 Timothy 5:21; and Adam Clarkes Commentary.] which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. (Revelation 1:4, 5) I pray that the Lord is treating you well. This months issue is calling us back to the foundation of our Christian experience. We are also reprinting a study from the first issue of another newsletter entitled Present Truth. I pray that this issue will be a rich blessing to you.
Getting Back to the Foundation
by Lynnford Beachy
At times in our Christian experience we tend to be walking on such a high plane that we almost forget about the necessity of making certain we are still on the true foundation. This study is to call us back, to remind us to examine our foundation to make certain it will stand the test of trial and persecution.
Jesus said, And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. (Luke 6:46-49)
Notice that in this parable both men built a house. Both of them were trying to get to heaven, yet the one man, who refused to do what the Lord said, chose to build his house on the earth, while the other digged deep and placed his foundation on a rock. One man had a foundation for his house and the other man did not.
Paul said, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house. (1 Peter 2:5) You and I, and every believer, are the house which is being built. A house for the Lord to dwell in. (See 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:17.) We are building a relationship with God. Some people build that relationship on sand, hearing the Word of God but not doing what that Word says. Others hear the Word of God and do what it says, building their house upon the true foundation, the solid rock. My friends, let us make sure our house is built on the true foundation.
We are continually adding stones to our house, building higher and higher, one stone after another. We may say to ourselves, I have given a meal to a poor manone more stone in my house, or I have donated money to a good causeone more stone in my house, etc. We may think to ourselves, The higher I build my house, the more sure it is that God will accept me into His kingdom. My friends, that is a tragic mistake. It is not how high the house is built but whether it is built on the foundation or not. Please do not get me wrong, these advancements in our Christian experience are good, but they, of themselves, can never save us.
How high do you think the thief on the cross built his house? Certainly not very high, but Jesus assured him that he would be with Jesus in paradise. Though the thief on the cross had no time to build his house high, he placed his house on the true foundation. Is your house built on the true foundation?
The Foundation of Christs Church
Jesus told us about the foundation of His church. He told us about the rock upon which He would build His church. Notice this interesting conversation He had with His disciples. When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:13-18)
Did Jesus suddenly change the subject of the conversation and say that He would build His church upon Peter? Certainly not! Jesus said He would build His church upon the truth that He is the Son of God. That is the true foundation of His church. Our Christian experience is based upon the truth that Jesus is the Son of God. Understanding that truth gives life and vigor to our Christian experience because it reveals the immense love of the Father in giving up His only begotten Son to die for us. This is why Paul could say, That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)
Our Christian experience must be rooted and grounded in a love relationship with God and His only begotten Son. That is the true foundation of our Christian experience. Intricately connected with this love relationship with God and His Son is an understanding of what they have done for us. The principal thing they have done for us is forgiving us of our sins.
Accepting Gods Forgiveness
I was talking with a dear sister and I asked her, Do you know that your sins have been forgiven? She replied, I was always taught to answer that question by saying, by Gods grace I shall be forgiven. Dear friends, this is a sad testimony. This is a very sad condition to be in. What does the Bible say about Gods forgiveness of sins?
John wrote, 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) There is no need to doubt the Word of God, for it is sure and will be fulfilled to the letter. When God promises to forgive our sins if we repent, He will certainly do it. If you have confessed and forsaken (Proverbs 28:13) your sins you can be sure that God has forgiven them and will not even mention them to you again. If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. (Ezekiel 33:15, 16)
This is something we can be certain of. There is no room for doubt or uncertainty here. If you have confessed and forsaken your sin, God has certainly, without a shadow of a doubt, forgiven that sin. But, some say, I am not certain if my repentance was genuine. If you are not certain, then by all means make certain! Genuine repentance includes a sorrow for sin, a confession to God of your wrongdoing and a turning away from it. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. (Psalms 38:18) He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
If you find you do not have a sorrow for your sins, nor a desire to turn from them, ask God to give this to you and He will. For Jesus said, And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:22) Peter said, 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) Repentance is a gift of God. (See also 2 Timothy 2:25; Proverbs 16:1)
Confession of Past Sins
Some people have the mistaken idea that every sin that was ever committed since childhood must be mentioned by name before it can be forgiven. While it is true we must be specific in our confession of sins, it is not possible to recall and recite every instance of every wrongdoing that we have ever done in the past. We can be as specific as possible by saying, Lord please forgive me for all the times I have lied in the past, I am sorry for it and I am determined not to do it again, and continue with the other commandments we have transgressed.
David was not even this specific when he said, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. (Psalms 51:1, 9) God is able to forgive all of our sins and we can stand before God as though we had never sinned.
Please dont get me wrong. There is a time for mentioning specific sins as the children of Israel did in the days of Joshua. And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king. (1 Samuel 12:19) If we knowingly sin against God after we have given our lives to Him, it is not difficult for us to remember the specific sin in which we have transgressed, and therefore that sin should be confessed specifically.
It is a dangerous error to doubt whether God has forgiven our sins if that doubt is based upon the idea that we are required to specifically mention every incident that we have sinned against God. If you have come to God in humility and sorrow for your sins, asking God for pardon, and then forsaken those sins, you can be sure that God has forgiven you. God wants us to have an assurance that we have been forgiven. Jesus said, as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. (Matthew 8:13) Let us consider how serious this statement is when we apply it to our own sins being forgiven.
The Assurance of Salvation
John wrote, And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (1 John 2:25) God has promised us eternal life. Do you think God keeps His promises? And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:11-13) John understood it to be very important for us to know that we have eternal life. In fact he said that was the purpose of him writing this letter.
Paul wrote, Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12) It takes faith to lay hold on eternal life. We must have unwavering faith in what the Word of God says.
Some people came up to Jesus one day and asked Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:28, 29) The work of God is to get you to believe. Whatever happens in your life, whatever experiences you are going through, God is trying to get you to believe. This also is the work that God has commissioned His people to do. John wrote, But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31) The goal of John, in writing his gospel, was to get us to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God so that we might have everlasting life. This is the work of God.
One night Paul and Silas were in prison when a great earthquake shook the prison, opening all the doors and loosening all the chains of the prisoners. The keeper of the prison awoke from his sleep and saw all the doors open. Being certain everyone had escaped, he determined to kill himself rather than meet a worse fate by the hands of his overseers. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:28-31)
Here a man in desperate need to understand the way of salvation was told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Believing is vitally important to obtain salvation. Jesus said, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16)
When is a man saved?
Paul wrote, God 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 Timothy 1:9) He also wrote, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8) The RSV reads, by grace you have been saved, which is more accurate to the original Greek, being in the past tense.
According to Paul, he, along with his fellow Christians, were already saved. What were they saved from? And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21) Jesus came to save His people from their sins. This mission was not a partial mission but a mission to completely save His people from their sins. He is able and willing to save us from the penalty of sin by forgiving us of our past sins, from the power of sin by giving us the power to overcome temptations, and from the existence of sin by finally destroying sin and the devil after the thousand years of Revelation 20.
Paul was not ashamed to declare that he had been saved. Yet Paul also said that we shall be saved in the future. He wrote, Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:9-10)
Here Paul makes it very clear that we have already been justified or forgiven, but shall, at some point in the future, be saved from wrath. Evidently there is more than one aspect to salvation. First we are saved from the penalty and power of sin, and in the future we shall be saved from wrath. This is what the Bible is referring to when it speaks of us being saved in the future. Jesus said, But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13) It is this aspect of salvation that is not sure to us until we have endured unto the end. It is only after we have endured unto the end that we can be saved from wrath.
At the second coming of Christ there will be two groups of people on this earth. One group will be crying for the rocks to fall on them and hide them from the presence of Christ, while the other group will proclaim, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. (Isaiah 25:9) If we have taken part in the first two aspects of salvation (being saved from the penalty and the power of sin) and we endure unto the end, we shall take part in the last aspect of salvation, which is a physical salvation from this world and wrath to come.
Anyone who will take part in the last aspect of salvation will have already been saved from the penalty and the power of sin. But being saved from the penalty and the power of sin does not guarantee that you will endure unto the end and be saved from this world and wrath to come. For being once forgiven of your sins, and even walking in victory over sin, does not guarantee that you will not fall into sin tomorrow and remain in that condition. If we are in that condition at either the end of our life or the second coming of Christ, we will not be saved from this world and wrath to come. We will then proclaim with the rest of the lost world, The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. (Jeremiah 8:20) I pray that each of us will endure unto the end and be saved from wrath to come.
We can be certain that we have been forgiven of our sins. We can be certain that we have been saved. Certainty of our salvation and current condition is a necessity in our Christian walk. Paul wrote, Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Corinthians 13:5) Paul admonishes us to examine ourselves and know for sure whether we are in the faithto know what is our current condition and standing with God. This is not only something we can know, but must know.
Although it is necessary to be certain of our salvation we can be led to believe a lie and have a false hope of salvation when we are living in wickedness. Paul wrote, Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21) There are people who commit such things yet boldly proclaim that they are saved. This is a sad delusion of the enemy. All such people, if they do not change their course, will find out too late that they have been sadly mistaken.
We must have a certainty of our salvation. Not a certainty based upon suppositions and assumptions, but, rather, based upon the plain statements of the Word of God. We must know where we stand with God based upon what His Word says. Having an assurance of our salvation is necessary. However, to make the claim that we are now beyond the reach of Satan is foolishness, for some of the strongest Christians have been deluded and turned out of the way of salvation.
Being saved from the penalty of past sins and the power of current temptations does not guarantee that you will be saved from wrath to come, for at any time in the future you could turn your eyes away from God and forfeit your salvation. It is only he who endures unto the end who will be saved from wrath to come. Let us fight the good fight of faith, endure unto the end, and lay hold on eternal life. ?
The Present Truth
by James White
WHEREFORE, I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the PRESENT TRUTH. (2 Peter 1:12)
It is through the truth that souls are sanctified, and made ready to enter the everlasting kingdom. Obedience to the truth will kill us to this world, that we may be made alive, by faith in Jesus. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. (John 17:17) This was the prayer of Jesus. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3 John 4)
Error darkens and fetters the mind, but the truth brings with it freedom, and gives light and life. True charity, or LOVE, rejoiceth in the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6) Thy law is the truth. (Psalm 69:142)
David, describing the day of slaughter, when the pestilence shall walk in darkness, and destruction waste at noon-day, so that, a thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand, says -
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; his TRUTH shall be thy SHIELD and BUCKLER. (Psalm 41:4)
The storm is coming. War, famine and pestilence are already in the field of slaughter. Now is the time, the only time to seek a shelter in the truth of the living God.
In Peters time there was present truth, or truth applicable to that present time. The Church has ever had a present truth. The present truth now, is that which shows present duty, and the right position for us who are about to witness the time of trouble, such as never was. Present truth must be oft repeated, even to those who are established in it. This was needful in the apostles day, and it certainly is no less important for us, who are living just before the close of time.
For months I have felt burdened with the duty of writing, and publishing the present truth for the scattered flock; but the way has not been opened for me to commence the work until now. I tremble at the word of the Lord, and the importance of this time. What is done to spread the truth must be done quickly. The four Angels are holding the angry nations in check but a few days, until the saints are sealed; then the nations will rush, like the rushing of many waters. Then it will be too late to spread before precious souls, the present saving, living truths of the Holy Bible. My spirit is drawn out after the scattered remnant. May God help them to receive the truth, and be established in it. May they haste to take shelter beneath the covering of the Almighty God, is my prayer.
The Weekly Sabbath Instituted at Creation, and Not at Sinai
And on the seventh day GOD ended his work which he had made; and he 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 from all his work which GOD created and made. (Genesis 2:2, 3)
Here God instituted the weekly rest, or Sabbath. It was the seventh day. He BLESSED and SANCTIFIED that day of the week, and no other; therefore the seventh day, and no other day of the week, is holy, sanctified time.
GOD has given the reason why he blessed and sanctified the seventh day. Because that in it he had rested from all his work which GOD had created and made. He rested, and set the example for man. He blessed and set apart the seventh day for man to rest from his labor, and follow the example of his Creator. The Lord of the Sabbath said, Mark 2:27, The Sabbath was made for man. Not for the Jew only, but for MAN, in its broadest sense; meaning all mankind. The word man in this text, means the same as it does in the following texts. Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. (Job 14:1) Man lieth down and riseth not, till the heavens be no more. (Job 14:12)
No one will say that man here means Jews, or Christians; but the whole human race. The Sabbath was made for man, for the whole race of man. Adam, Noah, and Abraham were men, therefore the Sabbath was made for them, as well as for Moses, and the Jews. We are men, and the Sabbath is made for us.
GOD has given the following reason in the decalogue, why man should keep his holy Sabbath - FOR in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord BLESSED the seventh day and HALLOWED it. (Exodus 20:11)
Here our minds are directed back more than twenty-five hundred years, to the creation and holy rest in Eden, for the origin of the Sabbath. This plain fact every candid mind must see. GOD did not bless and hallow the Sabbath day at Sinai - no, no. This He had done in Eden twenty-five hundred years before.
And GOD blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it. (Genesis 2:3)
The Sabbath was marked and guarded with miracles by Jehovah and kept by Israel in the wilderness of Sin, thirty days before they came to Sinai.
And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: to morrow is the rest of the Holy Sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to-day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over, lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
And Moses said, eat that to-day, for to-day is a Sabbath unto the Lord: to-day ye shall not find in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none.
And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath. So the people rested on the seventh day. (Exodus 16:22-30)
The children of Israel departed from Egypt on the fifteenth day of the first month, and came to the wilderness of Sin on the fifteenth day of the second month. Here GOD gives them bread from heaven, and reminds them of the Sabbath. From the wilderness of Sin they journeyed to Rephidim, and from Rephidim they came to the desert of Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the third month.
Mark this. GOD gives them manna, reminds them of his Sabbath, and guards it with miracles thirty days before they saw Mount Sinai, and thirty-two days before GOD spake from the smoking mount, the ten commandments.
We frequently hear the assertion, that the Sabbath is not mentioned in the Bible till after the law was given from Mount Sinai; therefore, the seventh day Sabbath is the Sabbath of the old Jews, and is abolished. Not long since, a second advent preacher made this false statement to me. Another person repeated this statement to me not two weeks since. Now, I hope all who are laboring under this mistaken view will look again. Please read the history of the journey of Israel from Egypt to Mount Sinai, found in Exodus.
The Lord said to Moses, thirty-two days before he gave the law of commandments, How long refuse ye to keep MY COMMANDMENTS and MY LAWS? See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath. The Sabbath is not mentioned here as a new institution, but an old one, that they had not kept while in bondage to the Egyptians. GOD brought Israel out of the house of bondage to prove them, and see if they would keep his commandments. They had been from Egypt but thirty days when GOD reminded them of his Sabbath.
And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy GOD led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thy heart, whether thou wouldst keep his commandments, or no. (Deuteronomy 8:2) They could not keep His Sabbath in Egypt. They could not keep it; neither can we keep it when bound by sectarian creeds. Therefore GOD has brought us out of the churches to prove us, to try us, to know what is in our hearts, whether we will keep his commandments.
The Sabbath a Perpetual Weekly Memorial
Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me an you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth SANCTIFY you. 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 FOREVER: FOR in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed. (Exodus 31:13-17)
The Sabbath then is a sign, or seal between GOD and his people forever. It is a perpetual covenant between them. Will some one show us the end of a perpetual covenant, given for a sign forever? The only reason here given why the Sabbath is a perpetual sign is, for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh he rested. This shows that the Sabbath was given for a weekly memorial. The Passover was given for a memorial to Israel to remind them of their deliverance from bondage, and that they should not forget GOD, who passed over their houses in slaying their first-born, and with strength of hand brought them out of Egypt.
The communion of the body and blood of Christ was given for a memorial to the Church, that we may not forget the sufferings and death of the Lamb of GOD.
So the Sabbath was given to man for a weekly memorial, that on the seventh day he might dismiss all servile labor and care, and look back to the creation and holy rest, and thus call to mind, worship and adore the great Jehovah. If man had kept the weekly rest, he would never have forgotten GOD, who made heaven and earth. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget GOD. (Psalm 9:17)
This view gives the Sabbath its just weight of importance. How wise and wonderful the plan of Jehovah, laid out in the beginning. Man was to labour six days, and on the seventh day rest from servile labour and care. He was to look to the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all things, even himselfthe noblest of creation, and thus call to mind the Living God.
The two Laws
There is a clear distinction between the law of Moses, and the law of God in the Holy Scriptures.
The law of Moses, was a law of carnal ceremonies, written by the HAND of Moses in a BOOK.
The law of God, is the ten commandments, written by the FINGER of GOD on TWO TABLES OF STONE.
One is called the BOOK of the COVENANT, the other, the TABLES of the COVENANT.
The law of Moses, was a law of shadows, which were abolished when the new, second, and better covenant came. Its carnal rites, burnt offerings and sacrifices, meats and drinks, and divers washings, were all nailed to the cross when the Lamb of God shed his most precious blood.
The law of God is a law of realities, bodies, never to be abolished.
Those who confound these two laws in one, cannot see, and feel the force of the commandments of God, and are in great danger of settling down on the modern view, that the seventh day Sabbath is abolished. I will here introduce the two classes of texts which distinctly show the two laws, praying the Lord to guide the candid reader to a thorough examination of this subject.
The Law of Moses
And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a BOOK, until they were finished, that Moses commanded the Levites which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, take this BOOK of the law, and put it in the SIDE of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 31:24-26; See also verses 9-11.)
And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found a BOOK of the law of the Lord, given by the HAND of Moses. (2 Chronicles 34:14; See margin.)
And he read in their ears all the words of the BOOK of the COVENANT that was found in the house of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 34:30)
And he read in their ears all the words of the BOOK of the COVENANT which was found in the house of the Lord. (2 Kings 23:2)
And the king commanded all the people, saying, keep the passover unto the Lord your God, as it is written in the BOOK of this COVENANT. (2 Kings 23:21)
And they spake unto Ezra the scribe, to bring the BOOK of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. (Nehemiah 8:1; See also verses 2, 3.)
Then said I, lo, I come (in the volume of the BOOK it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (Hebrews 10:7; See also Galatians 3:10.)
Have ye not read in the BOOK of Moses. (Mark 12:26)
The Law of God, or the Ten Commandments
And the Lord said unto Moses, come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee TABLES OF STONE, and a law, and commandments which I HAVE WRITTEN; that thou mayest teach them. (Exodus 24:12)
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone written with the FINGER OF GOD. (Exodus 31:18)
And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the WRITING OF GOD, graven upon the tables. (Exodus 32:16; See also verse 15.)
And he wrote upon the tables the words of the COVENANT, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. (Exodus 34:28; See also verse 29.)
And he declared unto you HIS COVENANT, which he commanded you to perform, EVEN TEN COMMANDMENTS; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. (Deuteronomy 4:13)
And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the Lord gave me the two tables of stone, EVEN THE TABLES OF THE COVENANT. (Deuteronomy 9:11; See also verses 9, 10 & 5:22.)
Here we see two laws, and two covenants; one written by the hand of Moses in a book, the other written with the finger of God on two tables of stone.
The ark of the covenanta small chest, four feet six inches and eleven sixteenths long, and two feet, eight inches and thirteen sixteenths wide, and high, was made purposely to contain the covenant of commandments. (See Exodus 25:10-16; Deuteronomy 10:5; 1 Kings 8:9; & Hebrews 9:4.) The place for the ark in the tabernacle and temple, was the most holy within the second veil. Here in the holiest place on earth God placed his covenant, his law, his testimonies, even the ten commandments. St. John in holy vision, in the isle, Patmos, A. D. 96, saw the true sanctuary which the Lord pitched, and not man, (Hebrews 8:2) of which Christ is a minister or priest, in the third heavens, and has written:
And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament. (Revelation 11:19)
The typical sanctuary, pitched by man on earth, in which was placed the ark of the testimony, was destroyed A. D. 70, 26 years before John had his revelation; therefore he could see no other Temple of God, and ark, but those in the third heavens. John while in prophetic vision, looked down the stream of time to the great anti-typical tenth day of the seventh month atonement, and saw the most holy of the Heavenly sanctuary opened, and in it he saw the ark of the ten commandments. Yes, reader, Gods covenant of commandments is an everlasting covenant, perpetuated and preserved in the Heaven of Heavens. A change of dispensations has not broken, nor altered it.
If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgressions. My covenant will I NOT BREAK NOR ALTER THE THING THAT IS GONE OUT OF MY LIPS. (Psalm 89:31-34) God first spake the ten commandments from Sinai, then with his holy finger wrote them on tables of stone. The Pope has altered the Sabbath commandment from the seventh, to the first day of the week. God has not done it. He said he would not break, nor alter his covenant.
Read what God has said on this important subject in Isaiah 24:1-6. Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoke this word. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; BECAUSE they have transgressed the LAWS, changed the ORDINANCE, broken the EVERLASTING COVENANT. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are BURNED, and few men left. All this is to come upon the inhabitants of the earth, (with the exception of the few men who keep the whole law,) for changing the ordinance, (the Sabbath, from the seventh to the first day of the week,) and breaking the law of God. If men could see, and feel the awful importance of keeping Gods holy law, they would tremble at the word of the Lord.
The ten commandments are the foundation of the whole Bible. They are Gods moral, royal law, given to man to live by, and by it he will be judged. In our courts of justice, men are tried by the same laws that are given them to live by. Then we cannot avoid the conclusion that we are to meet the ten commandments in the day of judgment, at the bar of God.
So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. (James 2:12) This law is called the royal law verse 8, for it came forth from the King Eternal. James has quoted two of the commandments from the decalogue in verse 11, which shows that the royal law of liberty by which man is to be judged, is the ten commandments. Reader, how will you feel before the great white throne, when judged by the law of God, if you break the fourth commandmentthe Sabbath law.
The Two Laws in the New Testament
This is a very important subject. By not having a correct view of this subject many have stumbled, and have been kept from the Sabbath truth. It is my object to show that the word law, in the New Testament, does not apply to one and the same law; but sometimes it applies to the ceremonial law of Moses, and sometimes to the moral law of God, the ten commandments.
If the word law, so often used by St. Paul, refers to only one law, then certainly, the apostle has often contradicted himself. Here I will give two texts from his epistles, which speak of the law, that the reader may plainly see the contradiction, if but one law is meant.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4)
For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Romans 2:13)
Has the Apostle contradicted what he wrote to the Galatians, in his letter to the Romans two years after? This, no believer in the Bible will admit. When we apply the word law as we should there is no contradiction. The language of the text, and its connection, will determine the application.
When Paul speaks of the law in Romans 2:12-22, he refers to the moral law of commandments. This fact he settles in verses 21, 22, by quoting three commandments from the decalogue.
When he speaks of the law in Galatians 5:4, he refers to the ceremonial law of Moses. This is clear, and established by the fact that Paul is speaking of circumcision, and eating with the Gentiles, and does not refer to the moral law.
St. Pauls letter to the Romans was written A. D. 60. Read what he says to them of the law, 27 years after the law of Moses was abolished and dead.
Wherefore the law IS HOLY, and the commandment holy, and JUST, and GOOD. (Romans 7:12) For we know that the law is spiritual. (Verse 14) For I DELIGHT in the law of God after the inward man. (Verse 22)
I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God. (Verse 25)
No one will say that Paul calls the law of Moses spiritual, holy, just and good, and that he delighted in it, and SERVED it 27 years after it was dead; therefore he is speaking of another law, the ten commandments. This plain fact is made still more evident, if possible, by the 7th verse, where the Apostle quotes the last commandment in the decalogue. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, THOU SHALT NOT COVET.
We are often referred to Romans 7:6, for proof that the law of God is dead. But it proves no such thing. Please read this verse with the marginal reading, and you will see that it is the Christian that is dead to the law, and not the law that is dead.
But now we are delivered from the law [the sentence of the law], that being dead [to that] wherein we were held. The law of God is the instrument to convict the sinner of sin, and slay him, as it did Paul, that he might be justified, and made alive through faith in Jesus Christ. For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. (Romans 7:9) Here, the letter [or law] killeth, but the spirit giveth life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. (Romans 3:31) Any unprejudiced mind may see the two laws in the New Testament, by carefully searching for the truth. One is called a yoke of BONDAGE; Galatians 5:1; the other is called a royal law of LIBERTY; James 1:25; 2:8. One was a law of carnal ceremonies; Hebrews 9:10; the other was the Apostles delight, holy, just, good, and spiritual. Here I will add the testimony of Jesus in his sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:17-33.
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (Matthew 5:17) How many are thinking that Jesus abolished, and destroyed the law of commandments, the very thing he has told them not to think. He came to fulfil the law. The way to fulfill the law is to keep it. This Jesus did, in keeping his Fathers commandments. (See John 15:10.)
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. (Matthew 5:18) This text proves that all ten of the commandments, in the moral law are to continue in full force, not one relaxed, or taken away, while heaven and earth remain. The next verse shows that Jesus was speaking of the ten commandments.
Whosoever, therefore, shall violate, or teach others to violate, were it the least of these commandments, shall be in no esteem in the reign of heaven; but whosoever shall practice and teach them, shall be highly esteemed in the reign of heaven. (See Campbells translation.)
The first four commandments, on the first table of stone, show man his duty to his God. They are the great commandments in the law, as they are laws relating to mans duty to God.
The last six, on the second table, show man his duty to his fellow man. They are the least commandments in the law as they are laws relating to mans duty to his fellow man.
Jesus here quotes three of these least commandments from the second table of stone, which establishes the fact, without a shadow of a doubt, that he is speaking of the ten commandments. (See verses 21, 27 and 33.)
Men may teach for a few days that the moral law is abolished, or that the fourth commandment is changed, or RELAXED, but how their false assertions, and sophistry withers before the plain testimony of the Son of God who has said, Till heaven and earth pass, ONE JOT or ONE TITTLE shall in NO WISE pass from the law. And how they will wither and fall in the day of slaughter, and in the judgment.
Reader, be not deceived by those who are trampling under their feet the holy law of God. Do not, I beg of you, let them turn you from the plain teachings of the Saviour, and his holy Apostles, in relation to the law of God. Are you violating the fourth, the Sabbath commandment in that law? If you are, do it no longer. It is one of the great commandments. If those who break the least, will be of no esteem in the reign of heaven, how and where will you appear, if you violate one of the greatest commandments?
Dear Brethren and Sisters
I hope this little sheet will afford you comfort and strength. Love and duty have compelled me to send it out to you. I know you must be rooted, and built up in the present truth, or you will not be able to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. (Ezekiel 13:5)
The time has come when we must be whole hearted in the truth. Every thing is to be shaken that can be; therefore those whose feet are not planted on the rock, will be shaken all to pieces. Those only will be able to stand in the day of slaughter, who shall be found keeping the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. It is no small thing to be a Christian. We must be pure in life and conversation here in time, if we would enter the Holy City.
The keeping of the fourth commandment is all-important present truth; but this alone, will not save any one. We must keep all ten of the commandments, and strictly follow all the directions of the New Testament, and have living active faith in Jesus. Those who would be found ready to enter the saints rest, at the appearing of Christ, must live wholly, WHOLLY for Jesus now. ?
(This article was taken from the first edition of a newsletter entitled
The Present Truth, written by James White and first published in Middletown,
Connecticut in July 1849. This article has undergone minor editing for
printing in this newsletter. We will be printing more of these studies
in future issues. We pray they will be a blessing to you.
Taped Messages From the West Virginia Camp Meeting
The requested donation for each video tape is $7.00 and $2.00 for each audio cassette. We already have several requests for the video tapes and the duplication process is very slow. Please allow several weeks for the video tapes after you have made your request. Please send your request to: Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128B, Welch, WV 24801-9606. (All tapes are available in either audio or video format unless otherwise noted.)
Be Ye Not Deceived
The Golden Rule For All Men
How Readest Thou
Prophecy, Salvation & the 21st Century (part 1)
Prophecy, Salvation & the 21st Century (part 2)
Demons Versus the Impregnable
The Enoch Factor * (Video only)
Philadelphias Open Door
Some History and Definitions
Lifes True Goal
Measuring Up in Christ
Bringing the Flesh Under Subjection
The Plowman Shall Overtake the Reaper
A Vital Connection (Audio only Editors Favorite)
Prospering in Health (Audio only)
A Committee of 300
The Bed is Too Short and the Sheet Too Narrow (Audio Only)
Getting Back to the Foundations
Communion Service *
* (These two messages are on the same video tape)
Letters from our Readers
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trinity concept. Im certainly interested in learning more about the origin
of this doctrine
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Thank so much for sending me the first issue of the Present Truth magazine. It was really a blessing to get it. I am eagerly waiting for the back issues.
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your work. I am receiving your letter Present Truth every month and I am
happy to study your well explained topics. I want to write you my new address
and also the addresses of other friends of mine.
Jesus is coming soon and the devil is trying to give the last attack against the people of God through false doctrine. Jesus needs people like you to explain the truth in its purity and simplicity so that even a child can understand it. We pray for you to go on by faith as is still this time of freedom. See you faithfully together with Jesus in the heavenly mansions.
I would like to thank you for all the Present Truths and the books that you have sent me. Also for the Bible studies and for your very informative pamphlets. I would like to let you know that before I had even knew about you guys brother _____ showed me one of your June editions of Present Truth and the part about the trinity really opened my eyes. You see I was beginning to believe in it. But thanks to our heavenly Father He showed me through your newsletter. Also in your pamphlet The Reward of the Wicked helped open my eyes about hell. I always believed that the wicked would burn forever in torment, but now I see that God is not like that. I am so thankful that our heavenly Father has brought me to you guys that I may know the truth about His Word. Thank you very much and God bless you! If you could, would you send me another copy of September. Thank you.
While in my quest for knowledge I happened across a pamphlet you printed. If you would please send me your free book on last day events and start me in your Bible studies. Any other book that you feel would help me along the way would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Your literature is very useful to me in my personal life and for my family. Especially these are helpful when I am giving messages and Bible studies. Really I am very thankful to God and you for the help of the literature.
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articles which I hope will be accepted for careful consideration.
A careful study of Galatians would convince anyone of the seriousness of mixing the Old Covenant with the New. You are welcome to make copies of the enclosed and send to the writers of your September issue, and I welcome my name and address being sent to them also.
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Here is an article on the Sabbath. I thought you might enjoy it. I appreciate your newsletter very much.
Please send me the books What the Bible Says About Hell and The Reward of the Wicked. Thank you.
I just received today your letter of September and in a couple of hours
I read it without stopping. I feel like saying that somehow these letters
from different saints from all over the world are stronger than the studies.
Not really stronger but encouraging me and those who read them. They are
like living reports which brings hope of victory to my life and tells me
that I am not alone. There are also another 7000 which did not yield before
By the way I am from Romania, now I live in Finland. One reason
is because I refused army service. There was no other possibility than
going to the prison. So I took the advice of Jesus to be a witness everywhere
He sends me. Now I spread leaflets in Finland about the mark of the beast
and especially the 3rd angels message. Im not supplied because the leadership
thinks it is best to sell books and then put in pamphlets. I say
time for leaflets to bring the message out like the leaves of autumn. So
they dont know I spread leaflets otherwise who knows, maybe they would
disfellowship me. Even that doesnt scare me, for I know God is keeping
I read your letters so fast sometimes I read them again like a Bible study. Im sorry I am not able to give you any money for what I have is nothing, I would be happy for you to send me those blessed tapes from the [West] Virginia Camp and also the book about last day events. Jesus is coming soon and we need to get ready to meet Him! I pray for you and please change my address.
I have read the material you sent me at least twice (I'm on the third reading now), and I have to admit the more I read, the more it makes sense. I need to take my time to read and fully digest it. Remember, the beliefs I held on for so long are being challenged. It's not easy to let go. I realize the importance of having a correct knowledge and understanding of God. Not to do so would be in violation of the First Commandment. I will continue to study the material you sent and read more of the material (newsletters and studies) on your web site.
I am enjoying your articles and that is making me a sharp Theologian. I am open for more studies.
I would like to write and express my gratitude to God for giving you discernment regarding the doctrine of the trinity. I guess it is only fair to say that God blessed me with this understanding before I read your study [The Truth About God], but nevertheless I always receive a rich blessing from reading truth such as is found in your study. If possible I would like to correspond with you from time to time, if that is alright. Press together, press together, press together. God bless you in your search for truth. P.S I write to you from the land of downunder - sunny South Australia. Spring is in the air, and the blossoms ablooming.
Twice now I have received messages from you. But I have been quiet for a reason which I cant express to you now. Thank you very much and now I am studying the message. Only keep on sending me more books and messages, Ecclesiastes 11:1-4. My kind request is can you visit me in Uganda? The Lord bless you as you think about the issue. I work in hardship but I know that the Lord has many messengers like you and the rest there. Please aid us to take the present truth to those souls which are in need.
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