I found in traveling through Europe that I was not acquainted with some of the minor laws of the country, and I was under the necessity of being informed as to the customs of the people lest I should be found a transgressor.
Faith and Doctrine, Law and Testimony
Yes, they do work together!
By Ellen G. White
I found in traveling through Europe that I was not acquainted with some of the minor laws of the country, and I was under the necessity of being informed as to the customs of the people lest I should be found a transgressor. But how particular we should be to understand the law of God, so that we may not be under condemnation as law-breakers. It is the willing and obedient that God will bless. If we are desirous of understanding the law of earthly governments, how much more should we desire to know what God requires of us. If we are anxious to understand our duty, He will not leave us to be enshrouded in darkness, but will enlighten our understanding so that we shall know for ourselves what is truth.
We do not want to be found receiving dangerous error as truth.
We do not wish to imperil our souls by rejection of God’s messages of warning and counsel. Our greatest danger lies in our tendency to refuse increased light, and our only safety is to see and understand for ourselves “what saith the Lord.” Says the prophet, “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 Word of God alone is to be the rule of our faith and doctrine. A great contest is coming in regard to the law of Jehovah in our own day; but we read in Isaiah these words of instruction: “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion.” The controversy in regard to the law of God has begun, and we must be prepared to give a reason of the hope that is in us, with meekness and fear. We must know where our feet are standing.
Loyal Servants of Heaven
Although the law of God will be almost universally made void in the world, there will be a remnant of the righteous that will be obedient to God’s requirements. The wrath of the dragon will be directed against the loyal servants of Heaven. Says the prophet, “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” We can see from this scripture that it is not the true church of God that makes war with those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is the people who make void the law, who place themselves on the side of the dragon, and persecute those who vindicate God’s precepts.
There are many who will tell you that if you keep the law of God you have fallen from grace. They make strong assertions for which they have no foundation, to lead people astray, for they do not know whereof they speak. The prophet says, “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” Those who are seeking to destroy the law are not of the class who are sealing the law among the disciples of Christ, but they are of the class who “shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.” . . .
John writes concerning scenes that have to do with our own time. He says, “The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” That ark contains the tables whereon is engraven the law of God. On the Isle of Patmos, John beheld in prophetic vision the people of God, and saw that at this time the attention of the loyal and true followers of Christ would be attracted to the open door of the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary. He saw that by faith they would follow Jesus within the veil where He ministers above the ark of God containing His immutable law. The prophet described the faithful ones, saying, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” This is the class that excite the wrath of the dragon because they obey God, and are loyal to His commandments.
Winds of Doctrine
The winds of doctrine will blow fiercely about us, but we should not be moved by them. God has given us a correct standard of righteousness and truth—the law and the testimony. There are many who profess to love God, but when the Scriptures are opened before them, and evidences are presented showing the binding claims of God’s law, they manifest the spirit of the dragon. They hate the light, and will not come to it, lest their deeds should be reproved. They will not compare their faith and doctrine with the law and the testimony. They turn away their ears from hearing the truth, and impatiently declare that all they want to hear about is faith in Christ. They claim to be guided by the Spirit, and yet their spirit leads them contrary to the law of Heaven. They refuse to acknowledge the fourth commandment, which requires men to keep holy the Sabbath day. They declare that the Lord has instructed them that they need not keep the Sabbath of His law.
The Word of God declares, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.” It is not enough to nominally assent to the truth, we must have its principles interwoven with the life, and wrought into the very character. We may well be afraid of any class who refuse to compare their faith and doctrine with the Scriptures. There is safety alone in taking the Scriptures as our rule of life, and as the test of our doctrines. Martin Luther exclaimed, “The Bible, and the Bible alone, is the foundation of our faith!” Our work is to hold up the law of God; for Christ has said that “it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than for one tittle of the law to fail.” He has said, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” n
This is taken from the article “Preparation for the Testing-Time,” published in Signs of the Times, April 22, 1889. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.