Friday, May 30, 2014

Christ, the Law and the Gospel

Sabbath School Today
With the 1888 Message Dynamic 
Christ and His Law
Lesson 9: Christ, the Law and the Gospel
Ellen White declared in 1889 that "we have preached the law, the law, until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa." In that corporate sense "we" thought we were doing great, fulfilling Revelation 12:17 and 14:12 which say that the "remnant" church is distinguished before the world by "keeping the commandments of God." "We" were sincere.
The question naturally arises, How does the gospel/1888 message (which Ellen White endorsed so heartily) relate to God's law? Does it proclaim cheap grace? Does it encourage disobedience to the law of God? Does the message lower church standards? Does it dwell too much on the cross of Christ and what happened there, and then neglect to remind us of our works, the obedience we must continually demonstrate?
We know that Ellen White was overjoyed to hear Jones and Waggoner present the message. She declared it to be the clearest presentations of the gospel she had heard publicly "for the past forty-five years." [1] She also said that if they had not brought the message, we wouldn't have had it, meaning that the Lord laid a burden on them He had not laid on her. [2] If in any way their message weakens obedience to God's law, it could not be "precious," let alone "most precious." What made her so happy was that their understanding of justification by faith was fresh, unique, and dynamic. It set the law before the people in its true light. [3]
She was painfully aware that the views held by the Sunday-keeping Evangelical churches denigrated God's law, declaring either (a) that it had been abolished at the cross or (b) it was impossible for us fallen humans to obey. Either way, this popular view of justification by faith was employed to refute the Sabbath truth. She rejoiced that the 1888 message presented the Ten Commandments as ten promises--glorifying obedience.
The 1888 view became clear as follows: Justification by faith is far more than a legal declaration. The legal proclamation (or declaration) of "acquittal for all men" was made at the cross (John 12:32, 33; Rom. 3:23, 24; 5:15-18; anything that Christ accomplished at His cross cannot be restricted or denied to anyone). The 1888 message went a step further; it made the believer become "obedient to all the commandments of God."
Justification by faith now became a personal experience. The heart of the one who believes is now reconciled to God. And since no one can be reconciled to God and not at the same time be reconciled to God's holy law, it follows (says Ellen White) that genuine justification by faith makes the believer manifest "obedience to all the commandments of God." [4] That of course includes the Sabbath commandment (but it also includes obedience to the seventh commandment). In the 1888 era, Ellen White was especially concerned: a minister who breaks the seventh commandment "is a traitor of the worst type. From one such tainted, polluted mind the youth often receive their first impure thoughts. ... A second trial would be of no avail ..." [5]
Thus the 1888 message proved to be a first "clear" message in Adventism that joined "the faith of Jesus" to God's law. The message produces the kind of obedience that will enable "His people to stand in the day of God." Ellen White so recognized it, which is why she declared it to be the initial "showers from heaven of the latter rain" and "the beginning" of the message of Revelation 18:1-4 that will close the great gospel commission. [6]
All "obedience" which is motivated by fear of punishment or by the egocentric hope of reward comes far short of true obedience. It is the righteousness of the Pharisees. Outward compliance with the stipulations of the law when the heart is unreconciled is the lukewarmness plague of the "church of the Laodiceans." This was the problem which "the Lord in His great mercy" sought to heal by sending His 1888 message.
Thus Jones and Waggoner caught a vision of the cross in the third angel's message. They glimpsed what will be the light that enlightens the world at last: the proclamation of Christ and Him crucified which leads to self being crucified with Him.
But we must beware of the counterfeits. Movies about the cross cannot proclaim "the third angel's message in verity," which is "Christ and Him crucified." Movies have not made "the foolishness of preaching" passé. Audiences cry "buckets of tears" as people are led to an infatuation with the human character portrayed in the movie as "Jesus," and then mourn as "he" is tortured in the crucifixion pain. But those tears are human emotion, easily aroused; the audience can go out of the theater as world-loving as they entered. Movies do not (cannot!) portray "Jesus" as dying the second death for the sins of the world. That truth is still left to be proclaimed by flesh-and-blood people.
But is there danger that presenting too strongly the truth of what happened on the cross may lead people to neglect obedience to the law? The 1888 message has the answer: "The theme that attracts the heart of the sinner is Christ, and Him crucified. ... Present Him thus to the hungering multitudes, and the light of His love will win [people] from darkness to light, from transgression to obedience and true holiness. Beholding Jesus upon the cross of Calvary arouses the conscience to the heinous character of sin as nothing else can do." [7] That phrase "nothing else can do" must include our famous preaching "the law, the law, until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa." "We" learned a better way in the 1888 message. And the future still awaits lightening the earth with glory (Rev. 18:1-4).
Never in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist church has a message been more powerfully demonstrated to produce obedience to God's holy law. The opponents of a century-plus ago were afraid that too much grace would undermine obedience. Paul says that nothing but proclaiming that "grace of God" can motivate us to "say No to ungodliness, and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age" (Titus 2:11, NIV). Fear won't do it; hope for heavenly real estate won't do it; only Christ's grace can do it.
--Paul E. Penno
[1] "Christ Preached Unity Among the Disciples," Review and Herald(March 11, 1890).
[2] The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 608; Ellen White never claimed that she herself was bringing the message of the latter rain or the loud cry; she said that of their message.
[3] Cf. Waggoner on Romans, p. 368, 69.
[4] Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91, 92. See also Waggoner on Romans, p. 3.77.
[5] General Conference Bulletin, 1893, p. 162.
[6] Special Testimonies, Series A. No. 6, p. 19; Review and Herald, Nov. 22, 1892; cf. Early Writings, pp. 277, 278.
[7] "The Perils and Privileges of the Last Days," Review and Herald(Nov. 22, 1892).
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Lesson 8: The Law of God and the Law of Christ

Sabbath School Today
With the 1888 Message Dynamic 
Christ and His Law
Lesson 8: The Law of God and the Law of Christ

Some theologians try to set up a divide between the law of God and the law of Christ. They say the law of God is the legalism of the Old Testament and the law of Christ is love in the New Testament. They argue that Jesus abrogated God's law. He taught "a newcommandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you" (John 13:34). How does the 1888 message help us to resolve this false dichotomy?
First, Jesus said, "keep My commandments" (John 15:10). Jesus claims the law as His.
Second, Jesus helps us to see that the commandments have a deeper or "new" meaning in view of the fact that "I have loved you" (John 13:34). The motivational force of His law is agape,--the Divine, self-sacrificing love. Again He emphasizes, "Keep Mycommandments" and "ye shall abide in My love" (John 15:10).
Third, any attempt to distinguish the law of God from the law of Christ creates division between the Father and His Son. Jesus says, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). One of the 1888 messengers, E. J. Waggoner, concludes that "the law of God is the law of Christ." [1]
So we ask, How has Christ "loved you"? (John 13:34). To answer this question it's important to understand what Jesus accomplished on His cross. The 1888 message helps us to focus on this theme in the Scriptures.
God's good news is very good news. The Son of God accomplished far more on His cross than most people think because He abolished death (2 Tim. 1:10). He saved the world (John 4:42). He gave the gift of eternal life to "all men" (John 3:166:33). He died the second death for "every man" (Heb. 2:9). Thus He forgave the sins of the world (Eph. 1:7).
Eternal life begins here now (1 John 5:12). We are adopted into the family of God (Eph. 1:5). The burden of guilt is lifted (Rom. 8:1). Christ has become our "last Adam," reversing the condemnation brought upon us by the "first Adam" (Rom. 5:15-18). A new motivation possesses us--agape (2 Cor. 5:14, 15).
Thus it becomes easy to be saved and hard to be lost if we believe truth (John 3:16-19). Jesus said it and we must not discount His words. "My yoke is easy" (Matt. 11:29). We may not have thought of the law in this way, but the yoke of Christ is His commandments. Waggoner writes, "He who seeks to cast off the law of the Lord, is rejecting the yoke of Christ." [2] A yoke is what joins oxen together in labor. So the commandments join us to Christ in service for God to humanity.
Jesus said, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart" (Psalm 40:8). "I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me" (John 6:38). He invites us to "bear with Me the yoke of service for the glory of God and the uplifting of humanity, and you will find the yoke easy and the burden light." [3]
The rich young ruler asked, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matt. 19:16). Jesus bade him keep the commandments. The ruler replied, "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" (Matt. 19:20). Then Jesus invited him, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me" (Matt. 19:21). The commandments involve following Jesus in service to the poor from an unselfish heart, but the young man loved his riches.
The all-important question in the Judgment will be, Have we learned to love? Not how many "works of the law" we have toted up. Jesus separates the sheep and the goats on that one score of true love (Matt 25:31-46).
In John's magnificent chapter on agape--love reveals the test of whether or not we know God: "Everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not [with agape] knoweth not God" (1 John 4:7, 8).
The Apostle enjoins us to "bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2). But how can we "fulfill" the law of Christ in doing so?
"Consider thyself lest thou also be tempted" (tried, or burdened is the meaning of "tempted," Gal. 6:1). In other words, put ourselves in that suffering person's place; to tell that person that we are doing so will be to him or her a distinct element of encouragement.
The best of mountaineers have achieved their summits with a guide. Sir Edmund Hillary reached the summit of Mt. Everest with his mountain guide Sherpa Tenzing. The Sherpa's live in high altitudes year-round. The mountains are their home and workplace. They are acclimated to the thin air and physically fit. Both Hillary and Tenzing needed each other for their near superhuman achievement.
Ellen White writes: "We must be bound together by the cords of truth and love. Let us press together, allowing nothing to weaken the bonds of union, so that if one should slip and fall, others can lift him up. We must not think that no responsibility rests upon us in the case of our brother; but we should ever manifest the tenderest interest in one another's welfare, and should seek to be helpful to those around us. Being thus bound together, and to the great heart of Infinite Love, the powers of darkness cannot harm us." [4]
The Lord Jesus taught us to pray The Lord's Prayer, in which we plead with the Father, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Giving our hearts in compassion for someone suffering, even far away, is the Father's will being "done."
A close network exists between heaven and earth that is far more intricate than anything on our computer's Internet on earth; our "bearing ... one another's burdens" strengthens the ties between heaven and earth. Every thought and prayer of compassion brings earth and heaven closer in anticipation of when the entire universe is reconciled to God and at last the Father's will can "be done in earth."
In giving Jesus to the world, the Father has given Himself, too; "God [is] in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself" (2 Cor. 5:19).
At present, the situation does not seem (after 2000 years) that the blessed work has made much progress; the world is still "at enmity against God" (Rom. 8:7); the reconciliation is largely yet future.
But the Book of Revelation does not close until it assures us that the earth is to be "lightened with the glory" of a final message of reconciliation: "I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with His glory."
--Paul E. Penno
[1] E. J. Waggoner, "A Lesson for All Time," Signs of the Times, July 4, 1895.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ellen G. White, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 16. Cf.The Desire of Ages, p. 329.
[4] Ellen G. White, "Christian Helpfulness," Signs of the Times, Dec.10, 1885.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

SST #7 | 'Christ, the End of the Law' | Pastor Paul Penno

Christ, the End of the Law

Sabbath School Today
With the 1888 Message Dynamic 
Christ and His Law
Lesson 7: Christ, the End of the Law
The 1888 message clarifies the relationship of grace to a legal justification effected at the cross. In other words, the message clarifies the relationship between law and grace. Does "mercy" require a legal justification? No, the correct word must be "grace." One can show mercy to a suffering animal, but grace involves a moral, spiritual, and legal quality. There is a vast difference.
Some Christians have objected to the idea that Christ effected a legal justification for "all men" by His sacrifice on the cross. They have said that His sacrifice only made a provision of grace for all men and therefore grace is not effective until one believes in Jesus.
These brethren have not realized that such a position is the essence of antinomianism, because we can't have grace without a legal foundation for it. God's holy law has been transgressed by the sinner; grace cannot now be extended to him unless the just demands of that broken law are first satisfied in his behalf. Why?
First, let us define "grace." Ellen White says it is "unmerited favor." [1]
Only sinners can receive grace, not sinless beings such as the unfallen angels. [2]
Why? Only sinners have broken God's law. Grace was never understood until after the fall. [3] Grace therefore is directly related to God's broken law.
The common antinomian, perhaps evangelical, idea is that God doesn't mind if we have broken His law; He can simply overlook our sin, be merciful, pardon us cheaply, and by His sovereign authority He can forget about His broken law. It's not important. But the idea of grace without that law being upheld and satisfied is the teaching of the popular churches. What does His grace accomplish for "all men"? They are "justified by His grace" (Titus 3:7). Therefore, if we tell someone that he can be justified without that law being satisfied by a legal justification, we are teaching antinomianism whether we realize it or not.
Here is the reason why grace requires justification: "The righteousness of God without law is manifested, ... even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all [unbelievers] and upon all them that believe [believers]: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Rom. 3:21-26).
The Greek verb translated "have sinned" is in the aorist tense, meaning "all sinned," that is, at some given point in time. We all sinned "in Adam," when he sinned. The phrase "being justified" is a participle that relates the justification to the time when "all sinned."
Therefore this passage is parallel with Rom. 5:12-18 which tells us that what Adam did to bring condemnation upon the human race Christ reversed by bringing justification upon the human race: "If through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many ... By the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." And Paul goes on to say in the same passage that "grace did much more abound" by the fact that this "justification of life" has been given to "all men" (vs. 20).
Thus the justification and the grace are linked together, and cannot be separated: "The law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace" (Rom. 4:15, 16). Do you see it? The "wrath of the law" must be satisfied before there can be grace. When someone is "under the law" he cannot be "under grace" (Rom. 6:14).
Paul goes on to explain that we cannot be under grace unless first "God has sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8:3). Thus when Christ satisfied the broken law by His sacrificial death, by necessity He effected a legal justification for all men. Otherwise we could not even live so as to have another trial.
That broken law is satisfied only by the righteousness of Christ. The point is that law cannot be satisfied by a righteousness that is effected instead of us, but only to us. In other words, Christ must enter the corporate stream of fallen mankind, and fully identify with us. This does not deny the substitutionary aspect of Christ's sacrifice. It only defines it more clearly.
When that "wrath" of the law was poured upon Christ in the sinner's behalf, He has "tasted death for every man." Upon Him was laid "the iniquity of us all." Unless we recognize this truth, we lapse into cheap grace, even while declaiming against it. It was "by the grace of God [that Christ] should taste death for every man" (Heb. 2:9).
This is very expensive grace. If all Christ endured was the "rest" which we call death, that is, a sweet sleep as a brief relief, then it necessarily becomes cheap grace. But if He endured the equivalent of the second death, the complete pouring "out of His soul unto death," the real thing, the giving of Himself unto eternity, going to hell in our behalf, then it is extremely expensive grace. Christ's sacrifice on the cross as accomplishing infinitely more than "merely deferring" the original punishment for sin. "The punishment or wages of sin--eternal death" was neither "waived," "deferred," nor "delayed," but was inflicted totally on Christ.
This is the only foundation on which grace can rest. Grace that does not rest on Christ's complete sacrifice must be "cheap grace." He actually and truly paid the debt of every man's sin, and therefore fully died the second death of "every man." Thus there is no reason for any human soul to die that second death except for his own personal unbelief, his refusal to appreciate what Christ has actually (not provisionally) accomplished for him on the cross (John 3:17-19). This view of the cross may take one's breath away, but we see it as stark Bible truth, the "objective gospel." This truth is practical godliness, for it motivates the human heart to do what nothing else can do--to live "henceforth" not for self, but for Him.
There is evidence that Ellen White agrees. She says that it is Christ's death that gives efficiency to His grace. "His grace can act with unbounded efficiency." [4] In other words, there could be no grace apart from His death.
This grace was so expensive that it is impossible to "measure" what it cost Heaven to give it. Grace was paid for by a price impossible to measure. "The grace given cost Heaven a price it is impossible for us to measure." [5]
Again, that grace is inseparable from law. "That precious grace offered to men through a Saviour's blood, establishes the law of God." [6] She says it's a "deception" to speak of grace without the law being satisfied. Brethren would never dream of disparaging the law of God. But if they seek to establish grace apart from a legal justification, they are unwittingly falling into this trap that Ellen White speaks of:
"It is the sophistry of Satan that the death of Christ brought in grace to take the place of the law. ... 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." [7]
"The gospel of Christ is the Good News of grace, or favor, by which man may be released from the condemnation of sin and enabled to render obedience to the law of God." Ellen White says that grace releases from condemnation. "The gospel of Christ is the Good News of grace, or favor, by which man may be released from the condemnation of sin and enabled to render obedience to the law of God." [8] Paul says that the legal justification effected at the cross releases from condemnation (Rom. 5:18), then the two truths must go together. We may conclude therefore, that the grace manifested through the cross is founded upon the legal justification effected there.
--Paul E. Penno
Endnotes (Ellen G. White):
[1] Christ's Object Lessons, p. 394.
[2] God's Amazing Grace p. 10; In Heavenly Places, p. 34.
[3] God's Amazing Grace, p. 10.
[4] That I May Know Him, p. 69.
[5] In Heavenly Places, p. 220.
[6] The Faith I Live By, p. 89.
[7] Faith and Works, p. 30.
[8] Mind, Character and Personality, vol. 2, p. 563.
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Lesson 6: Christ's Death and the Law

Sabbath School Today
With the 1888 Message Dynamic 
Christ and His Law
Lesson 6: Christ's Death and the Law

At the very end of our lesson there is a discussion question that asks, what are reasons why the belief that God's law was abolished after the cross is false; what do people really mean, and what commandment do they say was abolished?
Opponents of the Sabbath truth for decades have used Colossians 2:13-17 in an effort to overthrow the Christian observance of the seventh-day Sabbath. "The Ten Commandments were nailed to the cross," they exult. "The seventh-day Sabbath was only 'a shadow of things to come.' Now that Christ has come, 'let no man therefore judge you ... in respect of .. the Sabbath.'" We know that the Ten Commandments were not nailed to the cross, and we know that the Sabbath is still the true Lord's day.
But what was "contrary to us" that was "taken out of the way, nailing it to His cross"? Ellen White comments on this passage:
"There is a law which was abolished, which Christ 'took out of the way, nailing it to His cross.' Paul calls it 'the law of commandments contained in ordinances.' This ceremonial law, given by God through Moses, with its sacrifices and ordinances, was to be binding upon the Hebrews until type met antitype in the death of Christ as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world." [1]
In another passage Ellen White goes deeper into the spiritual significance of Paul's idea. It's more than the Jew-Gentile alienation that was a local problem two thousand years ago. Ellen White sees that Paul is speaking of the spiritual problem in our own hearts today:
"The mercy seat upon which the glory of God rested in the holiest of all, is opened to all who accept Christ as the propitiation for sin, and through its medium they are brought into fellowship with God. The veil is rent, the partition walls broken down, the handwriting of ordinances cancelled. By virtue of His blood the enmity is abolished. Through faith in Christ Jew and Gentile may partake of the living bread." [2]
While it is true that the ceremonial law with its provisions about "meat" and "drink" and the "new moon" was abolished by the sacrifice of Christ, obviously she saw that is not all that Paul intended to say. Why was it that abolishing the ceremonial law "disarmed principalities and powers, ... triumphing over them in it" (vs. 15)? To say that the ceremonial law was nailed to the cross is correct; but what lies beneath the surface here?
Was the ceremonial law "against us, ... contrary to us"? The Hellenistic Jews considered that at least one provision of it was circumcision. But we understand that the Levitical system in general foreshadowed the ministry and sacrifice of Christ. In Old Testament times it pointed "our" faith forward to Him.
What were the evil "principalities and powers" that were "triumphed over" at the cross? According to Paul's context, there was something fundamentally bad in what was "nailed" there, something "against us."
Insights from the 1888 message put focus on the selfish pride that exists in the flesh. The problem was "enmity" in human hearts, which Ellen White recognizes in her phrase, "The enmity is abolished" so that we "are brought into fellowship with God." That enmity indeedwas "against us"! The Greek word translated "handwriting" ischeirographon, which means "a document written by hand." In Paul's day the word referred to a legal document or bond signed by a debtor--a mortgage, in our language. The "blotting out" was the washing of the water-soluble ink, thus erasing the handwritten evidence of the debt. Perhaps the clearest modern equivalent for us would be the burning of a mortgage with the resultant sense of exultation that no more debt hangs over us.
Did Christ accomplish something like this for us on His cross? Paul's vigorous thought says, yes. His immediate context is his exulting praise to God for "having forgiven you all trespasses" (vs. 13). Then in the same sentence, using the participial form of the verb, he explains how Christ forgave us all our trespasses--it was by "blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" (vs. 14, KJV). Knowing how Paul loves to glory in the cross of Christ, it becomes clear that he is speaking of the record of our trespasses being blotted out. It was a legal document which was indeed truly "against us, ... contrary to us," and which was erased and taken "out of the way" at the cross.
What was "abolished in [Christ's] flesh" was not the law itself but the age-old enmity which was encouraged by a fear-motivated legalism. Peter in Acts 15:10 referred to the "yoke ... which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear" as circumcision and "the law of Moses." Circumcision was instituted because of Abraham's unbelief in taking Hagar (Gen. 16, 17). "The law of Moses" was imposed on the people because of their unbelief in bringing on themselves the old covenant at Sinai (Ex. 19:8). What was "abolished" at the cross was the fear-laden enmity and guilt generated by that unbelief. Thus circumcision and "the law of Moses" came to an end at the cross; but in principle something more fundamental also came to an end there, says Paul--sin itself was conquered, with its resultant alienation from God.
Christ indeed redeemed the entire human race by His sacrifice, "abolished [the second] death," uprooted the fear that haunts mankind, has "drawn the sting of all the powers ranged against us," chained Satan and his evil "principalities" to His triumphal chariot in His victory procession, cancelled the "handwritten" record of our trespasses which we ourselves had signed as our indebtedness to be paid for by our own second death, and reversed the "condemnation" that came on "all men" in Adam, pronouncing on "all men" a glorious "verdict of acquittal."
The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, and prompts us to continual overcoming. But in view of the cross, we are to "let no man therefore judge you" or lay upon us a guilt trip for trespasses paid for by Christ's sacrifice. We are to "let no man beguile" us of our "reward" through the false teachings of a "fleshly mind" (Col. 2:16-18). Paul's meaning for the Colossians of his day included deliverance from the regulations of the ceremonial law, but it also had reference to the infinitely greater good news of deliverance from every vestige of Satan's tyranny over our souls. That is the idea which is at the heart of the "third angel's message in verity"--deliverance from the galling yoke of sin. [3] It is possible for a people to prepare for the second coming of Christ!
That's good news for these last hours of earth's history. Untold millions are waiting to hear it.
--From the Writings of Robert J. Wieland
[1] Bible Echo, April 16, 1894.
[2] Letter 230, 1907; Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1109.
[3] In referring to the Minneapolis 1888 General Conference Session, Ellen G. White wrote: "Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel's message, and I have answered, 'It is the third angel's message in verity.'
"The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders [E.J.] Waggoner and [A. T.] Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God" (Last Day Events, pp. 199-200).
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