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Part I—Those Things Which Are


THE LAW

CHAPTER 1

The law is like a mountain; it is there and your belief about it will not change it.

Thought: Law is the truth about all that exists.

Word: Deut. 10:12: And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and His statutes, which I command you this day for your good.

Eccl. 12:13: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God, and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man.

Conclusion: All that a man has to do is to be in harmony with law for his own good to be realized.

There is nothing that has ever existed or that shall ever exist that is not governed by law. Everything animate or inanimate, all matter, and everything not functioning in the material realm, all exist and have their being within the divine mind; and all function within perfect law and order.

In his book, Cosmos, Dr. Carl Sagan describes the size of the known universe. He starts with our own solar system: one sun, nine planets and a few dozen moons. Next, we see our own galaxy, the Milky Way, as a vast pool of stars that is slowly spinning (once every 250 million years). Our galaxy has about 400 billion stars in it. It is on the larger side as galaxies go. The number may seem large to us; however, on the grand cosmic scale, it is mighty small indeed. There are many more galaxies than just our Milky Way. It is a member of a group of about twenty other island universes called the "local group." The other members of that local group are about the same size as our galaxy.

As far as our most powerful telescopes can reach, we can see many more galaxies and groups of galaxies. We believe our universe has about 100 billion galaxies, some smaller and some larger than ours. The average galaxy has about 200 billion stars. Each one of those stars is a sun, much like our own. Around how many of the stars are planets with intelligent life? We can only speculate. It is obvious, though, that our universe contains an abundance.

100 billion galaxies x 200 billion stars/galaxy
=
20 million, million billion stars

Let us make that a bit more real. If we were to stack pennies in a stack, one for each star in the universe, we would have enough pennies to make one hundred million round trips from the earth to the sun. Put another way, if each star were a penny, there would be enough pennies to cover the entire surface of the earth to a depth of over twenty feet. Let us say, for arguments sake, that one in every 10 billion suns has a planet with intelligent life; that would be a total of two trillion inhabited planets.

We are but one small planet near the edge of one galaxy. When you think that we may be only one in two trillion inhabited worlds, and probably much higher odds really exist, you get an idea that we are not very significant. On this speck of cosmic dust we call home, we live, breathe, and have our being. Since man first appeared here on earth, nine billion people have lived and are living. You are but one of that nine billion.

Imagine now for a moment that there might be two trillion inhabited planets. Along with this several trillion other planets, there are also many billions of suns and within this trillions of stones, dust particles and hairs all functioning and being preserved within the divine mind of God according to law at the same time. The Bible teaches that God has numbered the hairs of your head and that not even a sparrow falls without His notice. Now we must multiply that by the many trillions of such creatures in the universe and the billions and trillions of such hairs. The God of the universe knows it all. He knows the beginning from the end. That is, He knows all that has ever been, all that is, and all that will ever be, all at the same time. How does a prophet see the future if it is not God who has simply shown him what God can see as if it were today? Imagine the God we serve who is the originator and controller of all this.

If we are to have any significance in this vast universe, there must be a God, One who is personally involved in the lives of men. Our only meaning can be found in a harmonious relationship to God and His divine mind. Since He pervades all the universe, our relationship to Him is significant on the grand scale. King Solomon ends his discussion on the vanity of man and his accomplishments on this positive key: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. Eccl. 12:13.

Everything in this world is transient. Only in sharing God's purposes can your life have any meaning and worthwhile acts be done. In this book we will get a view of God's purposes and how His universe is set up to work. It is designed to support you. Life itself is designed to support you in your goals and needs: God cannot be arbitrary, if there is any truth at all in believing Him. This lack of arbitrariness is the basis for our entire approach to an understanding of life and the process that facilitates a harmonious existence within the laws of God.

There are many things about our lives, and those of others, for which we would like explanations. Most of the important questions that we have can be summed in the questions: Why does man suffer from things that are not his fault? Why do children starve, or refugees die of malaria in some far-off place? We see what appears to be injustice on every side: the rich of the earth make fortunes of many millions of dollars a year, and an elderly lady freezes to death in her Boston home because she can't afford heating oil.

As we study the perfection of God and His laws, we will discover the truth that all things work in perfection. The curses and blessings are not accidents and every blessing and curse has its perfect cause. Either the God of the universe is fair or He is not. Either He tells the truth or He lies. The author of this book takes the position that not only does God tell the truth, and He does it all the time; but He is also fair, and that He is fair all the time.

The universe is orderly. Everything in it follows the laws of God. We see examples of the more obvious laws in nature around us. The most obvious law with which we have to deal most often is the law of gravity. We don't question the law, nor the reason for the results if we break the law. It is not difficult to see that if a man jumps from a high building, he is controlled by the law of gravity, and since he is controlled by that law, he will surely be injured or die at the sidewalk. We do not have to wonder why that man suffered; it is rather obvious. Other laws, laws of physics and chemistry, make our lives regular and predictable. We know the result of placing a sprinkle of salt in our soup. We might be frustrated if every time we salted our soup, we got a sweet taste. Many wild animals obey the laws of migration; if they didn't, they might freeze the first winter. We have sent men to the moon by obeying thousands of laws. If any of those laws had been undependable, we might have landed men some other place.

The universe, all of it, operates upon laws. These laws are perfect. If they were not perfect, the universe would have ceased to exist long ago. King David had these observations: Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. 0 how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Psalm 119:18,97.

Here David has accepted and implemented an important truth. We must live within the laws of the universe. Just as it is foolish to place one's hand in a fire, so it is foolish to go against any law. The universe obeys the laws of the God who created it. Again, David says: The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night utters knowledge. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right; rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is your servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Psalm 19:1,2,7-11.

God is in His universe, whole and perfect. The universe is whole and perfect in Him. Just as rules are essential for the correct playing of a game, they are essential for the smooth operation of the universe. Without law there would be havoc and disorder, and we would cease to exist. Whether we choose to harmonize with law or not is our decision alone. Try and break the law of gravity and see how far you get. Notice that gravity does not get broken; you do. Other laws are the same, the consequences just may not be as readily obvious. David, the Psalmist, again observed: The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. Psalm 37:31.

Just as the universe has physical laws, it has spiritual laws. We can choose to be either in harmony with those laws, or not. We may obtain the benefits of harmony, or the ruin of disharmony.

Perhaps the most fundamental truth of the universe is that God is not arbitrary. He is completely predictable. His actions, based on a given situation, are the same today as they were three thousand years ago or in the future. God does not change His laws.

This, of course, brings up the question of miracles: how can a miracle occur which seems to violate a law? This is explained this way. The law of gravity is operating with an airplane; however, the law of aerodynamics is keeping it in flight. The fact that the airplane flies does not violate the law of gravity. When God causes one law to work within another, it isn't a violation of the original law.

The universe has been designed to provide health, joy and happiness to its inhabitants. God still loves us when we are not observing the laws that give us these things, but He cannot cause us to have good if we intentionally break the laws that He designed. Every law we harmonize with has its rewards; and every one we are against works against us.

Contrary to what many think, universal law is not arbitrary. It is just how it works. Just as we must harmonize with physical law to remain safe, we have to pay attention to spiritual laws for mental and spiritual health. You may fight and resist these laws, but they work for all just the same.

The laws of God were designed so that we have knowledge of how to live in harmony with the universe. They are perfect, and observing them will always produce the same results. This is true of all the laws in the universe; our actions toward any given law will always produce the same results. There is perfect consistency.

It is rather common to feel that God is not fair. If an injustice or pain is seen, God's unfairness sometimes receives the blame. The ancient Hebrew people also leveled this charge against God. This was His reply: Yet you say, the way of the Lord is not fair. Hear this, people of Israel; is not my way fair? Are not your ways unfair? Ezekiel 18:25.

Imagine the perfect existence: peaceful, happy, joyful, not wanting, free to be successful and a host of other great things. The laws in the universe are designed to give you all of these things. The only condition is your harmony with them. Actually, it is easier to keep them than break them. We cannot emphasize enough that these laws are not arbitrary; they always work in the exact same way. If you observe them, you cannot help but have a life that is satisfying to you, and if you rebel against them, you will receive the unerring results of rebellion. This satisfying life is your experience, whatever your circumstances, if you have found existence in the life of God.

When did these laws begin? Where were they spoken? Some of the most ancient references can be found in Proverbs 8:27-29. Jesus the Son is speaking, When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth.... This describes the setting in motion of the laws that govern us. Some of the laws we accept with little difficulty, some we resist, thinking that they might not be fair.

The study of universal law is like having a chest full of diamonds and we take time to study and own each one. There are those who think that God does not want us to have a good time so He made laws for us to do. The truth is that good times don't begin until we stop smashing our heads against the pavement. We must bring ourselves into harmony with the laws of safety and security. Universal law is safety and security, peace and joy. Universal law is set up to guarantee us all that we desire.

We have been created with desires and the will to fulfill those desires in perfect ways. God gave to Joshua the secret of success: Be strong and very courageous, that you may do everything according to law which Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it in any direction so you can prosper wherever you go. You will not stop speaking these laws, but you will think about them all the time so you will continue to observe them, for when you do this, you will prosper and have success in all that you do. Joshua. 1:7-8.

In the following chapters of this book, the author will be sharing some of these laws. You will also find in these pages how these laws bring to pass the final expression of God's love to the world. This involves the translation of God's people to heaven as well as the destruction of all earthly things which have broken the peace of man.

The Law - Bible Study

1. Where did law have its beginning?

Prov. 8:27-29: "When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth...."

2. Troubles are good for us to learn how to be in harmony with law.

Ps. 119:71: "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn your statutes."

3. We must learn to love and be in harmony with law or die.

Ps. 119:92: "Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction."

4. Perfect harmony with law brings you prosperity and success.

Joshua 1:7-8: "Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."

5. By rejecting God's perfection, we are given the fruit of our thoughts.

Jer. 6:19: "Hear O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it."

6. So, our whole work is to be in harmony with law.

Deut. 10:12: "And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul; to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?"

7. After all is said and done, what conclusions can we make of life?

Eccl. 12:13: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."

8. After men do their whole work they stand at liberty and free.

Ps. 119:45: "And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts."

Law - E.G. White

"As the Supreme Ruler of the universe, God has ordained laws for the government not only of all living beings, but of all the operations of nature. Everything, whether great or small, animate or inanimate, is under fixed laws which cannot be disregarded. There are no exceptions to this rule; for nothing that the divine hand has made has been forgotten by the divine mind." 1SM 216.

"Intellectual power, physical strength and longevity depend upon immutable laws." CD 29

Self-Knowledge Resumé

  1. Do I resist the idea of a law which has authority over me?
  2. Do I reason that I might be able to do things in secret that will not be noticed?
  3. Do I appreciate afflictions because I know they are good for me?
  4. Do I always know that the evil that comes upon me is only my fruit?
  5. Do I seek to know the laws of God and carefully observe them, or do I secretly resent them?
  6. When I am about to undertake a project, do I consider what the effects might be being that the laws in operation most certainly will bring about an effect?
  7. When I see pain and suffering in others, do I look for how I might help those who are hurting understand the ways in which they might avoid their situation?
  8. When I see pain and suffering in others, do I look at it as hard luck , or simply fate?
  9. Is my eyesight earthly or do I always recognize the spiritual as the true reality?
  10. Am I willing to submit to whatever the law brings me?
  11. Do I ever complain because someone does something to me or treats me in a way I do not appreciate?
  12. Do I always see that any mistreatment I receive is working out natural law?

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