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Hello friends, and welcome to the last episode of this twelve-part series which examined the underlying principles of the 1888 message and the everlasting gospel. In this last presentation we are going to look at the relationship between the covenants that God established with his people to see how they are related to the everlasting gospel that was to be preached to the four corners of the earth.

The word Covenant is defined as “a mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing; a contract; stipulation.” {Noah Webster’s Dictionary}

This term is used over 270 times in Scripture and is related to one of the most important aspects of righteousness. When the word covenant is mentioned, it draws the mind immediately to the covenants that God made with man, which are presented all throughout the Bible and which have become a central theme of Scripture. For this very reason, we are now going to explore what the Bible has to say about the old or Mosaic covenant, the new covenant of grace, and how these covenants are related to another covenant, called the everlasting covenant.

The old covenant, as widely understood by people, took place at Mount Sinai. In fact, the passages found in Exodus, particularly between chapters 20 to 23, are referred to as the book of the covenant. It is in the beginning of chapter 19, where we find the establishment of this covenant:

“In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.” Exodus 19:1-8

Another passage related to this covenant is found in Deuteronomy chapter 30. There we read:

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:15-20

The moral law of Ten Commandments was a central figure within this covenant, and upon obedience to this law, Jehovah gave a promise of blessings upon the people. Many Christians today see the Old Covenant and the giving of the law on Sinai as inconsistent with the gospel. They have concluded that the covenant given on Sinai represents a dispensation where salvation was based on obedience to the law, but since the Jewish people failed to live up to the demands of that law, God offered humanity a new covenant, called the covenant of grace, which is through the merits of the blood of Jesus Christ. Of this new covenant, both Jeremiah and Ezekiel, spoke many years prior to Christ’s coming upon the earth. We find the following promise in their writings:

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jeremiah 31:31-33

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.” Ezekiel 36:26-28

We also find a confirmation of this covenant in the book of Luke:

“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:19-20

As we can clearly see from these texts, the moral law of Ten Commandments, is still the central theme of this new covenant. Let’s read it again from Jeremiah and Ezekiel:

“I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts;” Jeremiah 31:33

“I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:27

As mentioned already, most Christians divide the experience of God’s people into two dispensations – the old, where obedience to the law was required, and the new, living under grace and having the law being abolished at the cross. Yet, as the previous verses have clearly demonstrated, this is not the case.

Granted, it is important to mention here that there were certain types and ceremonies, which were a shadow of better things to come, and which are indeed no longer part of the Christian experience. For instance, we no longer sacrifice animals, nor do we follow the Levitical priesthood and the ordained typical feasts. Today, we follow Christ, and for this very reason, since 1844, we have been living in the antitypical Day of Atonement. It was then, at the commencement of the 2300 day prophecy, that Jesus went from the Holy to the Most Holy place. However, the law of God, being the transcript of His character, remains the central focus of the new covenant. It is this very law, that God Himself has promised to write within the believer’s heart. Grace is not limited to justification only. Justification by faith is “the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself…
The thought that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, not because of any merit on our part, but as a free gift from God, is a precious thought. The enemy of God and man is not willing that this truth should be clearly presented; for he knows that if the people receive it fully, his power will be broken.” {Ellen White, FLB 111}

It is unfortunate, but in recent years, a similar ideology of the covenants have led some to conclude that under the new covenant, God has allowed for a higher attainment of righteousness. God’s law is presented only as a limited expression of his character and as we learnt in our previous presentation, some have made the assertion that the moral law that governs the universe is not the Ten Commandments, but rather a natural law. Such a line of thinking however, does not hold up to the teachings of Scripture, and as we just learnt from Jeremiah and Ezekiel, the new covenant has to do entirely with God writing the Ten Commandments upon the hearts of those who believe. Having the Spirit within, causes us to walk in His statutes and keep His judgments. No higher standard than the one found within the Commandments was ever introduced by any of the Bible writers.

Both of these incorrect understandings of the new covenant eliminate the true moral law, the Ten Commandments, as the standard for righteousness by which every Christian character will be judged. An improper understanding of the covenants would also lead one to a wrong conclusion about God’s character. In order to fully understand this, we ought to first understand the relationship between the old and the new covenant, why were they put into place and how they relate to the everlasting covenant, which we are yet to learn of.

An excellent portion of Scripture to start with, is the fourth chapter in the book of Galatians, and then allow the 1888 messengers to give their opinion on this very important subject.

Here is what Paul tells us:

“Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” Galatians 4:21-31

There is a lot to digest in these verses and my prayer is that you would re-read them and mediate upon them. But for the sake of this presentation, let’s examine what Paul has stated. He is giving us an allegory of the two covenants that we have been discussing so far.

In this passage we are presented with the two wives of Abraham who were a symbol of the two covenants. Hagar was in bondage or a slave together with her children, Ishamel being of the flesh. This is a clear representation of the covenant established upon mount Sinai which according to Paul generates bondage. Sarah on the other hand was a free woman, her son being of the Spirit. This relates to the new covenant of grace which was based entirely on the promises of God, and is linked not to Jerusalem here upon the earth, but the Jerusalem above.
Aside from what we see at first glance, a question immediately comes to mind that should be answered. Were both covenants available in the times of Abraham and the Galatians as Paul seems to be suggesting? Weren’t these covenants limited to particular time periods, from Sinai to the cross and from the cross onward? Let us look at another passage from the same writer which elaborates upon this very point:

“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:5-18

In this passage, Paul presents again the same idea. It has been years since the old dispensation was done away with, but we clearly see it repeated in the hearts of many. Thus we can conclude that the covenants are not dealing with particular times, but rather with the condition of the heart.

Consider the following statements from E. J. Waggoner in reference to this subject:

“Note the statement which the apostle makes when speaking of the two women, Hagar and Sarah: ‘These are the two covenants.’ So then the two covenants existed in every essential particular in the days of Abraham. Even so they do to-day; for the Scripture says now as well as then, ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son.’ We see then that the two covenants are not matters of time, but of condition. Let no one flatter himself that he can not be under the old covenant, because the time for that is passed.” {E. J. Waggoner, SITI, March 22, 1899}

“Christ is the “Lamb that hath been slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8, R.V. We are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot; who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world.” 1 Peter 2:19, 20.

Ever since the foundation of the world, men have had “redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:14. It is through “faith in His blood,” that righteousness is declared. Romans 3:21, 25. Now “by faith Abel offered unto God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous.” Hebrews 11:4. So we see that “the blood of His cross” was available for righteousness and peace as soon as there was sin in the world. He is the propitiation “for the sins of the whole world,” not merely for a certain age of the world.

But as surely as Christ was slain from the foundation of the world, He was raised from the dead from the foundation of the world; for He saves men by His life. Therefore the “Christian dispensation” began for man as soon, at least, as the fall. There are indeed, two dispensations, a dispensation of sin and death, and a dispensation of righteousness and life, but these two dispensations have run parallel from the fall. God deals with men as individuals, and not as nations, nor according to the century in which they live. No matter what the period of the world’s history, a man can at any time pass from the old dispensation into the new. It is when men know Christ after the Spirit, that “old things are passed away,” and “all things are become new;” but Moses “endured, as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27), and therefore Moses was in the new dispensation. {E.J. Waggoner, PTUK September 7, 1893}

Waggoner very clearly understood what Paul presented in regard to righteousness. He understood that God’s intention ever was to do for man that which he could not do for himself. There has ever only been one way of righteousness, that which comes through faith. The covenant of grace is and ever was the everlasting covenant which the Father and the Son initiated in the days of eternity.

In Zechariah we read:

“And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Zechariah 6:12-13

Many today want to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, but remember, the Jerusalem on earth leads to bondage. It is Jerusalem above that is free.

We find further confirmation of this within the writings of Ellen White. She presented exactly what we have been discussing thus far.

“The terms of this oneness between God and man [oneness, not separation] in the great covenant of redemption were arranged with Christ from all eternity [Notice who the two parties behind the covenant are – God and Christ]. The covenant of grace was revealed to the patriarchs. The covenant made with Abraham four hundred and thirty years before the law was spoken on Sinai was a covenant confirmed by God in Christ, the very same gospel which is preached to us. ‘The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.’ The covenant of grace is not a new truth, for it existed in the mind of God from all eternity. This is why it is called the everlasting covenant. The plan of redemption was not conceived after the fall of man to cure the dreadful evil; the apostle Paul speaks of the gospel, the preaching of Jesus Christ, as ‘the revelation of the mystery, which hath been kept in silence through times eternal, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known unto all the nations unto obedience of faith.’” {ST August 24, 1891, par. 10}

“’For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.’ The spirit of bondage is engendered by seeking to live in accordance with legal religion, through striving to fulfill the claims of the law in our own strength. There is hope for us only as we come under the Abrahamic covenant, which is the covenant of grace by faith in Christ Jesus. The gospel preached to Abraham, through which he had hope, was the same gospel that is preached to us today, through which we have hope. Abraham looked unto Jesus, who is also the Author and the Finisher of our faith.” {YI September 22, 1892, par. 1}

And in the book Patriarchs and Prophets she spends a few pages elaborating upon this point:

“As the Bible presents two laws, one changeless and eternal, the other provisional and temporary, so there are two covenants. The covenant of grace was first made with man in Eden, when after the Fall there was given a divine promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. To all men this covenant offered pardon and the assisting grace of God for future obedience through faith in Christ. It also promised them eternal life on condition of fidelity to God’s law. Thus the patriarchs received the hope of salvation.
This same covenant was renewed to Abraham in the promise, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 22:18. This promise pointed to Christ. So Abraham understood it (see Galatians 3:8, 16), and he trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It was this faith that was accounted unto him for righteousness. The covenant with Abraham also maintained the authority of God’s law. The Lord appeared unto Abraham, and said, “I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect.” Genesis 17:1. The testimony of God concerning His faithful servant was, “Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Genesis 26:5. And the Lord declared to him, “I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee.” Genesis 17:7.
Though this covenant was made with Adam and renewed to Abraham, it could not be ratified until the death of Christ. It had existed by the promise of God since the first intimation of redemption had been given; it had been accepted by faith; yet when ratified by Christ, it is called a new covenant. The law of God was the basis of this covenant, which was simply an arrangement for bringing men again into harmony with the divine will, placing them where they could obey God’s law.” {Ellen White, PP 370.4}

Ellen White, Jones and Waggoner very well understood the writings of Paul. The subject of the everlasting covenant, and thus the everlasting gospel, was a central theme in the 1888 message. The ideas that Waggoner boldly presented were rejected by many, even by some of the churches prominent leaders at the time. Nevertheless, God himself stood behind his teachings.

“Night before last I was shown that evidences in regard to the covenants were clear and convincing. Yourself, Brother Dan Jones, Brother Porter and others are spending your investigative powers for naught to produce a position on the covenants to vary from the position that Brother Waggoner has presented. Had you received the true light which shineth, you would not have imitated or gone over the same manner of interpretation and misconstruing the Scriptures as did the Jews… The covenant question is a clear question and would be received by every candid, unprejudiced mind, but I was brought where the Lord gave me an insight into this matter. You have turned from plain light because you were afraid that the law question in Galatians would have to be accepted. As to the law in Galatians, I have no burden and never have.” {Ellen White, Letter to Uriah Smith, March 8, 1890}

Ellen White was clearly shown the truth and she herself, alongside Waggoner, presented the same light to the world. The covenant of grace began as soon as sin entered into the world. God gave man a second chance, and put man on a second probation, providing every person who ever lived with an arrangement where they could choose Christ and promising them eternal life on condition of fidelity to the moral law. This is why no one can ever say that we are born separated from God. He has provided for everyone’s righteousness. It was not God, but we who separated from him, through our individual choice to transgress His law. In like manner, it was not God who put the Israelites under bondage with the old covenant. We serve a God of love, and a God of love would never create something that is to our disadvantage. Was God the creator of a covenant of bondage? If the everlasting covenant was always there, why was another covenant formed at Sinai? These are vital questions and I would like us to consider the following statements which offer clear and direct answers:

“Another compact—called in Scripture the “old” covenant—was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the “second,” or “new,” covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant. That the new covenant was valid in the days of Abraham is evident from the fact that it was then confirmed both by the promise and by the oath of God—the “two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie.” Hebrews 6:18. {PP 371.1}
But if the Abrahamic covenant contained the promise of redemption, why was another covenant formed at Sinai? In their bondage the people had to a great extent lost the knowledge of God and of the principles of the Abrahamic covenant. In delivering them from Egypt, God sought to reveal to them His power and His mercy, that they might be led to love and trust Him. He brought them down to the Red Sea—where, pursued by the Egyptians, escape seemed impossible—that they might realize their utter helplessness, their need of divine aid; and then He wrought deliverance for them. Thus they were filled with love and gratitude to God and with confidence in His power to help them. He had bound them to Himself as their deliverer from temporal bondage. {PP 371.2}
But there was a still greater truth to be impressed upon their minds. Living in the midst of idolatry and corruption, they had no true conception of the holiness of God, of the exceeding sinfulness of their own hearts, their utter inability, in themselves, to render obedience to God’s law, and their need of a Saviour. All this they must be taught. {PP 371.3}
God brought them to Sinai; He manifested His glory; He gave them His law, with the promise of great blessings on condition of obedience: “If ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then … ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:5, 6. The people did not realize the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God’s law; and they readily entered into covenant with God. Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” Exodus 24:7. They had witnessed the proclamation of the law in awful majesty, and had trembled with terror before the mount; and yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image. They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken; and now, seeing their sinfulness and their need of pardon, they were brought to feel their need of the Saviour revealed in the Abrahamic covenant and shadowed forth in the sacrificial offerings. Now by faith and love they were bound to God as their deliverer from the bondage of sin. Now they were prepared to appreciate the blessings of the new covenant. {PP 371.4}
The terms of the “old covenant” were, Obey and live: “If a man do, he shall even live in them” (Ezekiel 20:11; Leviticus 18:5); but “cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them.” Deuteronomy 27:26. The “new covenant” was established upon “better promises”—the promise of forgiveness of sins and of the grace of God to renew the heart and bring it into harmony with the principles of God’s law. “This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts…. I will forgive their iniquity, and will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:33, 34. {PP 372.1}
The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth “the fruits of the Spirit.” Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts. Having the Spirit of Christ, we shall walk even as He walked. Through the prophet He declared of Himself, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8. And when among men He said, “The Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.” John 8:29. {PP 372.2}

“Moreover, Ishmael was “born after the flesh.” And as Ishmael represents the children of the covenant, so they were “after the flesh” and knew only the birth of the flesh. Knowing only the birth of the flesh, and minding only the things of the flesh, they thought themselves capable of fulfilling all the righteousness of God. The Lord knew full well that they could not do it; but they did not know it, and they would not believe that they could not do it. In order to convince them that they could not do it, and enable them to see it so plainly that they themselves would confess their inability to do it, the Lord gave them a full and fair opportunity to try. Within forty days they had fully demonstrated their utter inability to do what the Lord had told them, and what they had freely promised to do. They were in deeper bondage than ever. They were then willing to have the Lord deliver them from the bondage of sin to the liberty of righteousness by his own power, through his own word, in his own promise, even as he had delivered their father Abraham. In a word, they were then willing to attain to righteousness, to be justified, by faith, instead of trying to obtain it by works. They were willing to be children of promise, instead of children of the flesh. Having found by this experience that “the minding of the flesh is enmity against God, and it not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be,” they were willing to be born again and of the Spirit of God, rather than to trust longer to the ways of the birth of the flesh. Having found that by this old and temporary covenant they were lost, they were willing to be saved by the new and everlasting covenant, which is this: “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people; and they shall not teach every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know me from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” In this covenant there is no “if.” It depends not upon what we shall do, but upon what God will go “unto all and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” {A.T. Jones, AMS May 31, 1894, p.171}

See friends, the problem with the old covenant was not with God nor with His holy law, but rather with the desire of the Jews to fulfil themselves that which the Lord had promised to do for man. So did Abraham, and many of us today fall into the same deception, trying to rely upon self to do righteousness. The Bible is clear, only a life of faith can fulfil this for us. We need to die to self daily, and be joined with Christ, partakers of the divine nature, which in turn will work out the righteousness of God in us. The covenant of grace is available to us today as it was to the patriarchs of old. Enoch was righteous by faith, and so were Moses and Elijah. All of them understood the plan of salvation and had direct access to the Word of God. It was so because:

“faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

And it was this very Word that came down from heaven, to save us from our sins.

May the Lord helps us to understand the principles found behind the 1888 message, for they are directly related to what Christ accomplished for us in the plan of salvation. May we never forget that:

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15

This Son of Man, friends, was a man like you and I, and every attempt to separate Him from the rest of humanity leaves us without a gospel and without a Saviour. The 1888 messengers and many others throughout the years understood the importance of this. It is for this very reason that we were given the following counsel:

“The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us. It is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God. This is to be our study.” {Ellen White, YI October 13, 1898, par. 6}

My appeal to all of us is to go back to the Bible and study the beautiful promises of the gospel so that God can have a people upon this earth that will demonstrate a character shaped for eternity.