Friday, May 11, 2018

1888 Glad Tidings : Insight #6 May 12, 2018

SECOND QUARTER 2018
SABBATH SCHOOL INSIGHT #6
MAY 12, 2018
THE "CHANGE" OF THE LAW
 
The real New Testament "change" of the law was Messiah as a human for the first time keeping the law, thus changing the relation of the entire human race to the law. His faith established the law, and His love fulfilled the law.[1] These comprise His righteousness, which He gives to all in that He "believes all things"[2] about them (what they can be in His plan), and in that He "loves" them more than Himself.[3] In this way, as the last Adam He redeemed "them that were under the law."[4] What does this new relation to the law mean for every human, especially those that respond to His faith with faith, and to His love with love? And what has happened when, in spite of this infinite gift of "all the riches of the universe,"[5] typified from Eden, some have felt they could equal this extravagance in some creaturely way?

One group who "change" the law is blinded on creature merit. They think they can keep the law, and thus trust "in themselves that they [are] righteous, and [despise] others."[6] Jesus illustrated them in a parable of a Pharisee who boasted of his goodness but ended unjustified. Later the former Pharisee Paul confessed he had "blameless" "righteousness which is in the law."[7] But then he met Messiah, and encountered the commandment in His sinless, unselfish life and substitutionary death. Paul saw his own covetousness and realized that when Messiah died for the sins of the world, he was included. His proud, Pharisaical ego died.[8]

As he realized that this new, last Adam reversed the sin and condemnation that the first Adam brought on all men,[9] Paul could enter for the first time into the deep battle against the sin and condemnation residing in his first-Adam nature, the flesh, with the freedom that came through "no condemnation" in Jesus.[10] He found the sin dwelling in him had a paralyzing effect on the law of God. But he also found God's solution. "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" made him "free from the law of sin and death" which was in his body. This law of life was at work in Messiah Himself when He came "in the likeness of sinful flesh." Paul affirmed that Jesus' victory over sin and death "condemned sin in the flesh" and brought "justification of life"—freedom from condemnation, enabling "the righteousness of the law" to "be fulfilled in us" by the Spirit dwelling in us, where the sin dwells. The result is a walk "after the Spirit" and "not after the flesh."[11]

The Pharisee's misuse of the law becomes evident in one's battle with indwelling sin. In their failure to grasp what Jesus' mission was, they "change" the law by shrinking it and dishonoring it. Jesus came to correct that—"to magnify the law and make it honorable."[12] And thus the "change" of the law in Jesus is the only way the condemnation inherent in sin can be turned for any Pharisaical human into the full life that results from the justification that the faith of Jesus brought. When one truly believes this (Jesus' creative faith meeting a believer's responsive faith), the blessing of probationary life turns into eternal-life blessings, and one, like Paul, can relegate their own "law righteousness" to the dung heap.

Another group who "change" the law is also based on creature merit. These mistakenly think they can improve on God's stipulations of worship. As prophesied,[13] these arose within Christianity, claimed God's prerogatives, and attempted to alter the worship elements of God's law. What unfolded was an ingenious (and lengthy but limited) amalgamation of pagan philosophies and practices with God's law.[14] The gospel given Paul by revelation remains the only bulwark against the sophistries of this counterfeit of Christianity. For the "gospel of Christ" wherein "the righteousness of God [is] revealed from faith to faith" is held back and hindered by these who reject the lessons of the Creator God. These end up changing "the truth of God into the lie," and worshiping and serving "the creature more than the Creator."[15] This is the end-time worship scenario that Revelation addresses at length.

The revelation of Messiah in His earthly life addressed this error. His teaching and example affirmed "the commandment of God" with its "doctrine" in the face of their worship-destroying "tradition" which was nothing but "the commandments of men."[16] In his teaching of Messiah's "gospel" that revealed "the mystery of God" with His faith that roots, builds up, and establishes us, Paul warned of these man-made teachings of "philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men"—"after the commandments and doctrines of men"—not "after Christ." These "spoil" us from experiencing Messiah's "fullness of the Godhead" and our completeness "in Him."[17] Man-made teachings cannot free us from condemnation.

Revelation shows messengers with the victorious final message—"the everlasting gospel" that is the only effective antidote to the law-changing "wine of Babylon" that intoxicates the world. Those carrying this final call to "worship Him that made" (as revealed in the fourth commandment) are noted to "keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus"—"the law and the gospel going hand in hand."[18] Their life witness unmasks the deception involved in this attack on God's character by redefining his law with pagan traditions, and by presuming to promote His faith while rejecting His word on everything from creation to redemption.[19]

This last message of mercy is carried by a Laodicean church that has finally opened the door to Jesus, accepting His diagnosis and remedy. As Paul found the answer for his wretchedness in Jesus, so the final passages of Revelation reveal a Laodicea which has the eye salve, seeing her true condition in herself and the true solution in Jesus; she has the gold, knowing the faith of God is the answer to her unbelief,[20] and the love of God is the answer to her love waxing cold;[21] she has the white raiment, accepting His righteousness as the only there is, to cover her lack of it.[22]
 
Summary of the Role of the Law in the Gospel
The law, being a description of what love does and does not do, helps us to see what God is really like. But in so seeing, we also see how unlike Him we are as a result of Eve and Adam rejecting the truth of the image of God in which they were made, while believing the lie that by taking for themselves they could be like God. Instead of making them like Him, they lost, almost completely, the likeness they did have. So, the law has two sides: a description of righteousness, what faith and love look like, and a description of their lack, what it looks like to be "under the law." Jesus came under this law in His incarnation, by identifying with us, but in a victorious way. He overcame sin in the suffering of temptation, by condemning sin while justifying the sinner. He overcame death in the suffering of death, by the resurrection from the dead. The law is in partnership with Jesus, actually being an expression of His heart, letting us know our need, so we can be led to the Lawgiver Who is also the Redeemer. In Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection, He fulfilled the law that it might be fulfilled in us—the image of God restored in us by the abiding Spirit.
 
A. T. Jones on "The Law Without Christ, and With Christ"
Only in Christ can the law be understood. Christ is God's own exposition and explanation of his own law. Nobody but God can fathom or reveal the wide meaning of his law. In Christ, God has done this. Whoever, therefore, would understand the law of God, must study not the law, but Christ,—not the law as it is in the law, but the law as it is in Christ. To study the law as it is in the law is to court destruction. To study the law as it is in Christ is to court salvation.

"By understanding the law in connection with Christ, receiving him by faith as his substitute and surety, man sees himself a prisoner of hope. The truth as it is in Jesus is an acquaintance with the holy, just, and good law of God, as this law is elevated, and its immutability demonstrated, in Christ."

Christ is God's own explanation of all law—moral, ceremonial, natural, or what not. Then study Christ, and Christ alone. In studying Him, and Him alone, you are studying everything that can ever be known; for He is the truth, and "in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him."[23]
 
E. J. Waggoner on "Civil Government and the Law of God"
"And he shall speak great words against the Most High and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." Daniel 7:25. The apostle Paul, writing by inspiration of God, sets forth the Papacy as "that man of sin" "that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God." 2 Thessalonians 2:4, R.V.

These characteristics are met in every case where men think that they can enforce the law of God. For to say that men can enforce the law of God, is to say that man has the power of God; and that is for those who make the laws to set themselves forth as God. So, every nation that enforces religion by law puts itself in the place of God. But when a nation puts itself in the place of God, it turns the attention to just that degree away from God, since it is not indeed God, and has none of His attributes; therefore, such enforcement of religion is nothing else than idolatry. Therefore, we find that the professed enforcement of even the Christian religion is heathenism. The union of Church and State, or the union of religion and the State, which is the same thing, is the very essence of Paganism.[24]
 
~Fred Bischoff
 
[1] Romans 3:31; 13:10
[2] 1 Corinthians 13:7
[3] John 3:16; Philippians 2:5-8
[4] Galatians 4:4, 5
[5] Ellen White, Christ's Object Lessons, page 118.2
[6] Luke 18:9-14
[7] Philippians 3:6
[8] Romans 7:7-9; 1 John 2:2; 2 Corinthians 5:14
[9] Romans 5:16, 18
[10] Romans 7:14 to 8:1; the word "condemnation" in 8:1 Paul used only two other times, in 5:16, 18, both to describe what Adam brought, as a background for what Jesus brought—a new relation to law call justification.
[11] Romans 8:2-11, in light of 5:18; 7:17, 20, 23
[12] Isaiah 42:21
[13] Daniel 7:25, Acts 20:29, 30, 2 Thessalonians 2:4, 1 Timothy 4:1, and Revelation 13:4-7
[14] See Ellen White, The Great Controversy, page 49.2, for an excellent one-paragraph summary of this process, before and after Constantine.
[15] Galatians 1:11, 12; Romans 1:16-25. Note the reciprocity of faith—the implied dynamic "from [the] faith [of Jesus] to [the] faith [of the believer]." Rejecting this gospel is what leads to "the lie" (the definite article is in the Greek of 1:25) of creature worship that Revelation details prophetically.
[16] Matthew 15:6-9
[17] Colossians 1:23 to 2:10, 22; do a word study on paradosis (tradition) and didaskalia and didache (doctrine).
[18] Revelation 14:6-12; Ellen White, The EGW 1888 Materials, page 217.3; this is the "gospel … obedience of faith" (Romans 16:25, 26).
[19] For a recent example of this philosophy and technique, see "The Easter Effect and How It Changed the World" by George Weigel that explicitly repudiates the seventh-day Sabbath worship, and claims a first-century origin of Sunday in Christianity. (https://eppc.org/publications/the-easter-effect-and-how-it-changed-the-world/; accessed 5/3/18). Research also the influence of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin on the Catholic view of evolution.
[20] Romans 3:3, 4
[21] Revelation 2:4; 1 John 4:19; Matthew 24:12-14
[22] Isaiah 54:17
[23] Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, March 8, 1898, page 156.5-7; paragraph 6 quotes Ellen White in Review, February 8, 1898 par. 5, from an article "The Truth Revealed in Jesus."
[24] The Present Truth, January 26, 1893, page 20.8&9

http://www.1888msc.org/article/554/resources/sabbath-school-insights/2018-quarter-2-apr-june/insight-6-may-12-2018

Friday, May 04, 2018

1888 Glad Tidings : Insight #5 May 5, 2018

SECOND QUARTER 2018
SABBATH SCHOOL INSIGHT #5
MAY 5, 2018
"CHRIST IN THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY"
 
Society's sharp descent into moral relativism became more acute throughout the 1960s with even the secular psychiatrist, Karl Menninger expressing his alarm in a 1973 book, Whatever Became of Sin? That question brings into focus the moral compass of some Adventist Christians heralding the extremity of our need to re-examine the great Truths of the Heavenly Sanctuary of which the Old Testament Sanctuary was but a type.  Is there only forgiveness of sin found in the Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary or is there also a cure for the disease found in its Holy of Holies?  A study of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary provides a most enlightening and encouraging answer and outcome!
 
Virtually all Christians will agree with the fact that Christ is our High Priest and is the Lamb slain and risen, the efficacious Savior of the World and the Example of the believer!  The stumbling block for many, however, is whether any action or event beyond the AD 31 Ascension has relevance for Christians today.  Within the environs of the two-apartment Sanctuary is where the critical distinction and difficulty emerges.
 
In the Old Testament type, the Daily Sacrifice offered in the Courtyard symbolizing Christ's earthly ministry of Atonement, is the acknowledgement of our sin(s) and need of a Savior.  Christians of all stripes agree; but overwhelmingly the majority of Christians, including a growing number of Seventh-day Adventists, stop with an application of the blood shed on the Cross for the forgiveness of sins only. What about the blotting out of sin(s) in the Most Holy Place as clearly taught in the Day of Atonement Type? This leaves me asking: Upon His ascension, as many believe, did Jesus go directly into the Holy of Holies thereby whitewashing the critical antitypical Day of Atonement ministry in which sins were not only forgiven, but blotted out?

This segues us to the stumbling block of 1844 and whether Daniel 8:14 is still the major distinguishing feature of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs.  "… then shall the Sanctuary be cleansed."
 
Ellen White framed these salient words: "As a people, we should be earnest students of prophecy; we should not rest until we become intelligent in regard to the subject of the Sanctuary, which is brought out in the visions of Daniel and John." Evangelism p. 222. Quite a vital topic indeed!  "… then shall the Sanctuary be cleansed."  In the typical Day of Atonement as outlined in Leviticus 16 and 23, we very clearly note that the cleansing of the Sanctuary was symbiotic to the cleansing of the individual believer within the Body of believers.  Daniel 8:14 does more than imply that something special in the extreme was to commence at the end of the 2300 day (years) prophecy.  Its context communicates an urgency of understanding!  Daniel 8:9-13 outlines two entities that are in a death struggle with God.
 
The early pioneers of Adventism saw these two usurpers as Paganism (the "Daily") and the Papacy ("transgression of desolation").  It is noteworthy to see that the apostate Church, the Papacy, was not the result of Christianity absorbing Paganism, but the other way around.  God was displaced by an imposter.
 
Since then, the enemy has been working overtime to undermine this truth that the Sanctuary would be cleansed of the defilement that sin through apostasy has wrought.  History and the ongoing delay of Jesus' return demonstrate that Satan's frantic efforts to defile and destroy have yielded him a bountiful harvest of error.  Too often we have been silent as he has "stolen a march" on the understanding of many resulting in the cacophony of confusion swirling around the return of Jesus.  Let us never forget that the original "light bearer" was transformed into a "bearer of darkness" who ingenuously masquerades as a bearer of light.
 
So, why the 1844 prophecy that the Sanctuary would be cleansed, and what could possibly be its connection to 1888?  If indeed the 2300 Day prophecy reached its conclusion in 1844, we must carefully look at ramifications of the message of Daniel 8:14.
 
A study of the typical Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 and 23 provides insight for living in today's antitypical Day of Atonement since 1844.  We could say that the forgiveness of sin in the Holy Place was individualistic only, and that the blotting out of sin in the Most Holy Place pertained not only to the individual but to the Body—that is, antitypical Laodicea.  In summary, the individual and, by extension, the congregation—today's Laodicea—was called to do four things that were symbiotic actions corresponding to the work of the High Priest as He not only forgave sins but blotted them out! That is, provided a permanent cure!  These four acts of worship were/are:
 
  1. The day was a holy convocation of the Body, a Sabbath.  No one was to be an island but must seek the fellowship of believers.
  2. Each individual was to "afflict his soul" that is, to search his heart and put away sin.
  3. Offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord."  God desires that the "whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
  4. All work laid aside and entire thought given to understanding and cooperating with God in His character and work. "…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" 1 Cor 10:31.
 As the 1888 Message was brought into focus by Ellen White, A.T. Jones, E.J. Waggoner, W.W. Prescott, S.N. Haskell, and others, one overarching theme began to emerge.  The whole focus of the beginning of the Latter Rain (teacher of Righteousness, Joel 2:23) with the attendant Loud Cry (Revelation 18) was inherent in the cleansing of the Sanctuary!  The 1888 Message was, and still is, the call of God for His people to stop their rebellious resistance to His grace, justice, and mercy and embrace Him fully!
 
The rhetorical question that is its own answer is this: Is the delay His doing or ours? Many times, over many years, God's servant made it clear it's ourdoing— which clearly evidences our lack of cooperation with Christ's "Daniel 8:14" work.  1888 was another major intervention by Christ to underscore His commitment to cleanse and blot out our sin!  Sadly, Ellen White applied Zechariah 13:6 to our corporate rejection. Christ "was wounded in the house of His friends:
 
At this point, I think it is vital to refer to a must-read book by one of the 20th century servants God used to illuminate the Cleansing of the Sanctuary aspect of the 1888 Message.  "And Then Shall the Sanctuary Be Cleansed", by Donald Karr Short clearly develops the distinction between the forgiveness of sin and the blotting out of sin.  The former a Holy Place process and the latter a Most Holy Place process.
 
As already noted, knowledge of the forgiveness of sin is widespread, but there exists a very low level of familiarity with the blotting out of sin, especially unknown sins, in the Most Holy Place.  The key difference is illustrated in the Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers in Matthew 21, Mark 12 and Luke 20.  Here Jesus vividly illuminates the core issue of the Fall—The SIN-- that afflicts us all.  The desire to kill the SON of the Owner of the vineyard shouts that our real issue with a holy God far transcends such everyday thoughts and actions as pride, anger, lust, intemperance, etc. The stunning revelation of man's true nature as revealed in the parable couples quite naturally with the words of Jesus when He spoke to the Jews: "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, …" John 8:44.
 
Now connect those texts with Isaiah 14's five "I" statements related to Satan and there we have it—our base carnal nature.   A desire to displace (KILL) God!  This is the unconscious sin of the ages which the Cleansing of the Sanctuary is designed to expose, cleanse, and cure!  And, as modern Laodicea, we continue in our state of blissful denial …
 
Listen to A.T. Jones in the 1893 GC Bulletin pp225-6: 

"Now some of the brethren…they came here free; but the Spirit of God brought up something they never saw before.  The Spirit of God went deeper than it ever went before, and revealed things they never saw before, then instead of thanking the Lord that it was so, and letting the whole wicked business go, and thanking the Lord they had ever so much more of Him than they ever had before, they began to get discouraged… Isn't it too bad that a person whom the Lord has loved so much as to give Himself for him, should act that way with the Lord, when the Lord wants to reveal more of Himself?  Brethren, if any of you have got into discouragement, let us quit.  It the Lord has brought up sins to us that we never thought of before, that only shows that He is going down to the depths, and He will reach the bottom at last; and when He finds the last thing that is unclean or impure, and that is out of harmony with His will, and brings that up, and shows that to us and we say, 'I would rather have the Lord than that'—then the work is complete and the seal of the living God can be fixed upon that character."
 
Doesn't that sound like the cure for sin is found in the cleansing of the soul sanctuary and the corresponding blotting out of sins is in the Heavenly Sanctuary?  The Investigative Judgment is then over!  As His wayward Bride has finally made herself ready (Revelation 19:7), our merciful and just High Priest will rise in the Holy of Holies (Daniel 12:1) and pronounce the words recorded by the aged apostle John in the Revelation of Jesus Christ: "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still" (Revelation 22:11). Praise the Lord, cleansed Laodicea will cease to seek cheap self-serving relief as she repents down to her core!  Our God is thereby vindicated, or justified, as the One who has not only revealed His Righteousness through Jesus Christ but has demonstrated to the on-looking Universe that He can reproduce His righteousness even in the fallen flesh of His Bride!  Little wonder then, that the cleansed ones give all glory to him and we declare with the Psalmist! "Your way, O God, is in the Sanctuary: Who is so great a God as our God?" (Psalms 77:11). 
 
~Kenneth Dale Martin

http://www.1888msc.org/article/553/resources/sabbath-school-insights/2018-quarter-2-apr-june/insight-5-may-5-2018

Friday, April 27, 2018

1888 Glad Tidings : Insight #4 April 28, 2018

SECOND QUARTER 2018
SABBATH SCHOOL INSIGHT #4
APRIL 28, 2018
"SALVATION AND THE END TIME"
 
Christ our Righteousness

What happens when we reject, ignore or misinterpret a message from the Lord? Consider Sarah and Abraham. Ishmael is the answer, and with it, the many centuries of conflict and violence. Consider Lot's wife – a pillar of salt is the answer. Consider Jonah – even though he was a prophet, he, refusing to heed God's message, turned and fled in the opposite direction. Consequently, he suffered through a terrible storm, was thrown into the sea, and swallowed by a big fish.

What if the word comes from a prophet? Is there any difference when we reject, ignore, or misinterpret a message from the Lord through one of His prophets? Consider Jezebel and Ahab. Jezebel did not repent; instead, she died as was predicted as opposed to Ahab, who listened to the prophet. What happens when we listen and heed? Since Ahab heeded and repented, he did not die the horrible death which was predicted of him. The people Jonah spoke to also repented and they were spared from earthly destruction and possibly eternal death.

What happens when we emphasize part of a prophecy and not the other? We end up like the Jews in Jesus' time, expecting the wrong Messiah. We are not too far from them. We do just that with the first part of the 1st Angel's Message. Let's read what Apostle John wrote,

Revelation 14:6, 7 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

When talking about what the angel has to say, many focus on verse seven. Thus, they emphasize the judgment and the law – specifically the Sabbath. But, they ignore verse six. What does verse six say? It says that the angel has the everlasting Gospel to preach to the entire world. The Gospel is the good news of Salvation. This is the news that salvation which has already been given to us, is made ours personally by faith through grace. It is the news that the righteousness of Christ which saves us, is His, and not our own. In other words, it is the good works of Christ that saves us, not our faulty works. This is why Sister White said that the Three Angels' Message is Righteousness by Faith in verity. Let us read the quote,

 "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 Review and Herald, April 1, 1890. {1SM 372.2}

What is the message of Justification by faith? Ellen White declares,

"What is justification by faith? It 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.'' Ellen G. White, —Testimonies to Ministers, p. 456.

Elsewhere Ellen White stated that, "As the increasing glory of Christ is revealed, the human agent will see no glory in himself; for the concealed deformity of his soul is laid bare, and self-esteem and self-glorying are extinguished" (Review and Herald, Sept. 18, 1894.)

There is nothing in us that can save us.

As the glory of Christ increases in us – as our character becomes more like His - "Light is to shine forth from God's people in clear, distinct rays, bringing Jesus before the churches and before the world. ... If through the grace of Christ His people will become new bottles, He will fill them with the new wine. God will give additional light, and old truths will be recovered, and replaced in the framework of truth; and wherever the laborers go, they will triumph. As Christ's ambassadors, they are to search the Scriptures, to seek for the truths that have been hidden beneath the rubbish of error. And every ray of light received is to be communicated to others. One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other—Christ our righteousness." —Ibid., Dec. 23, 1890.

Many, who profess to believe, declare that the message of Justification by Faith makes the law void. However, Sister White had this to say,

"Some of our brethren have expressed fears that we shall dwell too much upon the subject of justification by faith, but I hope and pray that none will be needlessly alarmed; for there is no danger in presenting this doctrine as it is set forth in the Scriptures. If there had not been a remissness in the past to properly instruct the people of God, there would not now be a necessity of calling a special attention to it.... The exceeding great and precious promises given us in the Holy Scriptures have been lost sight of to a great extent, just as the enemy of all righteousness designed that they should be. He has cast his own dark shadow between us and our God, that we may not see the true character of God. The Lord has proclaimed Himself to be "merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth."" {1SM 372.1}

Indeed, Justification by Faith exalts the Law. Christ's righteousness is the perfect keeping of the Law. And, that righteousness becomes ours when we allow Christ to dwell in us.

In Romans 3: 19 – 31 Paul expounds on this topic. Let us read the passage,

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ 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; 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. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."

So, it is the good news -- of salvation by grace through faith in the Righteousness of Christ -- which the 1st Angel preaches unto the whole world. The keeping of the law and the knowledge of the judgment will come as a result of that faith. As we live by faith, the Holy Spirit renews our minds into the likeness, perfection, maturity, and stature of Christ. Trying to live by the law so we can stand in the judgment will not help us. We will be found wanting. By letting the Spirit fill us with the fullness of Christ, we are transformed into holy and selfless beings who meet God's approval, and the Law's requirements. Will you let the Spirit do this work in you?

~Raul Diaz

http://www.1888msc.org/article/552/resources/sabbath-school-insights/2018-quarter-2-apr-june/insight-4-april-28-2018