“My People Have Committed Two Evils”

In reference to Jeremiah 2, Ellen White wrote an article in the Signs of the Times of Octiober 2, 1893. To the point thoughts for our time.

“My People Have Committed Two Evils”

“Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” “For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot. Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed; how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? For though thou wash thee with niter, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord.”{ST October 2, 1893, par. 1}

Why is that the people in this age are so easily drawn away from the observance of God’s commandments? Why is it that they relish the mockery of those who profess to be teachers of righteousness, who yet cast contempt upon the commandments of Jehovah? Is it not because the heart of this people is carnal? In the scriptures quoted the Lord presents his reproof to those whom he terms “my people,” who have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns that can hold no water. “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Those who profess to be the children of God, cast contempt upon his law, and trample upon the fourth precept,—“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; 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 Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” {ST October 2, 1893, par. 2}

Instead of keeping the commandments of God, and hallowing the Sabbath day, the churches have substituted for God’s holy Sabbath, a day instituted by the Papacy, and do not observe the one of divine appointment. The man of sin, who has “exalted himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God,” has thought himself able to change the time and the law of God, and has given to the world a spurious sabbath, thus making a breach in the law of God. The Christian world have accepted the papal sabbath, and have cherished it as a day of divine appointment. Thus they have forsaken the plain commandment of Jehovah, and have honored an institution nowhere approved by the Scriptures. In this, surely, they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water, and have hewed for themselves broken cisterns that can hold no water. The Lord of heaven will inquire of the Christian churches, “Who hath required this at your hands?” {ST October 2, 1893, par. 3}

The sin of those who have been enlightened as to the origin and support of Sunday, is very grievous in the sight of God, when they cling to the tradition of men, and thus make void the commandment of God. When the binding claims of the fourth commandment are presented, many use every subterfuge to avoid the conclusion that God requires the observance of the day which he sanctified and blessed. When every other argument against keeping the commandments of God is shown to be vain, the opposers of his law take refuge in the delusion that there is no law, that the commandments of God were abolished by Christ at the cross. What an astonishing statement, that God has no law! Kings of the earth have laws whereby the nations are governed, and has the God of the universe no law? Those who advocate this doctrine say they rejoice in the glorious liberty wherewith Christ has made them free; but from what have they been made free?—Not from sin surely, since sin is the transgression of the law, and where there is no law, there is no transgression. If there is no law, then it is right for every man to follow the depraved impulses of his own heart; for there is no standard by which evil can be detected. It is plain from the results of this doctrine who is the originator of such a theory, for it is manifestly of Satan’s devising, since Christ came to save his people from their sins. Christ is not the minister of sin, and the idea that he came to give liberty to men to break his Father’s law, and to free them from the penalty of willful transgression, is utterly out of harmony with his example and teaching. {ST October 2, 1893, par. 4}

The world and the church are both standing in a position of rebellion against God in casting aside his law, and trampling upon his holy commandment. The larger proportion of the Christian world accept the observance of Sunday, knowing that it is an institution of the Papacy, and keep the day, that they may be in harmony with the customs and practices of the world, thus choosing to honor the tradition of men rather than the commandment of God. To this state of apostasy the words of Moses under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit are appropriate,—“He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment, a God of truth without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves; their spot is not the spot of his children; they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise?” God chose his people, and planted them a noble vine; how is it that they are turned into a degenerate vine? The description that has been given of the apostasy of Israel, has an application to the churches that have made void the law of God. Isaiah says, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, children that are corrupters; they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.” {ST October 2, 1893, par. 5}

The great sin of God’s ancient people was their disregard of the commandments of the Lord, and especially their disregard of the day that God had sanctified and blessed. Because of their disregard of his commandments and ordinances, the Lord removed his defense from them, and permitted their enemies to afflict them and scatter them. Has the Lord changed? Did his holy commandments need to be amended?—Not at all. He says, “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that has gone out of my lips.” Has, then, the Majesty of heaven, the Governor of the universe, no law?—Only Satan’s sophistry could induce men to entertain such a thought. {ST October 2, 1893, par. 6}

Jesus was the invisible leader of his ancient people, and every command and direction given to the people through Moses, was the command and direction of Jesus Christ. Jesus has brought before us the importance of giving heed to what has been written in the law and the prophets. In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, the rich man is represented as begging that someone be sent back to warn his five brethren, that they come not to the place of torment in which he is found, but the answer is: “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham; but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” {ST October 2, 1893, par. 7}

Jesus in the New Testament does the same work as Jesus in the Old Testament did; but men are so determined to do away with the law of God, in order that they may find a way of avoiding the observance of the Sabbath, that they array Jesus in the New Testament against Jesus in the Old Testament. These blind leaders of the blind, who are ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God, pour contempt on the law of God, and at the same time seek to hold up Christ in contrast to the law. But this they cannot do; for Christ gave the law to his chosen people, and in seeking to make void the law of God on the ground that Christ abolished it, they do insult to both the Father and the Son. Jesus says, “I and my Father are one.” {ST October 2, 1893, par. 8}

The blind teachers of this age, who seek to turn the people away from the law of God, tell the people that the law is Jewish, given only to the Jews, and spoken only for their observance. Where is their authority for such a statement? The prophet says, “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” The Lord gave his law before there was a Jew in the world. Heavenly intelligences were governed by God’s law before man was created, and the Sabbath was blessed and set apart for holy use immediately after God had made the world, and had rested from his work of creation. {ST October 2, 1893, par. 9}

Oh, that I had language to present these lofty themes! I lay down my pen in sorrow that my words are so feeble to deal with grand and awful truth; as I contemplate, I seem to shrink into nothingness before its vast significance. The themes connected with the law and the gospel seem too great for such a weak, ignorant mortal as I to handle. From time to time I venture in the simplest language to present that which has been revealed to me concerning the plan of salvation, but again and again I mourn that my expression falls so far short of the glory of the truth as it is in Jesus. {ST October 2, 1893, par. 10}

My brethren, be not satisfied with a superficial knowledge of truth, with a surface view of the law of God. Dig deep in the Scriptures of truth, and with an understanding enlightened by the Holy Spirit, dwell upon the holy requirements of the law of Jehovah, until you can reveal to the people their spiritual and eternal character. Your researches have not been deep enough. You need the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to aid you to search into the truth with reverence and awe, bringing your mind to the task with intense desire, that will not be quenched until you see wondrous things out of the law. Dig deep into the mine of truth, and be not satisfied until you have a more perfect comprehension as to what constitutes the strength of the law of God. You need to search and search, and to weep and fast and pray, in order that you may have revealed unto you such a view of the law of God that you will be fitted to go forth and watch for souls as they that must give an account. {ST October 2, 1893, par. 11}

Erken nu met geheel uw hart en ziel, dat niet een van alle goede beloften die de HERE, uw God, u gegeven heeft, onvervuld gebleven is. - Jozua 23:14

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