I just love the night sky. When I was a little girl I used to lay on the grass at night for hours looking up into the sky mesmerized by the immensity and beauty of the universe, galaxies and systems. It seemed that God's treasure baskets were spilling and angels were strewing millions of twinkling stars like diamonds, sapphires, and pearl dust across the span of the heavens. Today, I take every opportunity to be outside at night to view the glorious display of God's luminaries. Somehow, I feel closest to God when I behold and contemplate the vastness and awesomeness of His wonderful creation. Read Psalms 8.
One day, it was announced that there was going to be a total lunar eclipse at 10 o'clock eastern standard time. I'm not going to miss this for anything!' I thought to myself. True to my word, around the specified time, my dog Sasha and I were camped outside in the backyard. I sat in a lounge chair waiting expectantly while she roamed about harassing toads and chasing moths. The night, for the most part, was crystal clear, and the moon was full and bright. The breeze was gentle, soothing, and caressing my face.
A perfect night, indeed, for a lunar eclipse. I moved the lounge chair to a more strategic location away from the neighbor's oak tree that seemed to reach up to the clouds. I sat and waited. Then, it happened. I saw it clearly. Slowly, the shadow of our earth, a tiny dark sliver at first, started to pass across the surface of the moon. What a wondrous sight to behold! The moon was exceptionally beautiful for it had a glowing blue halo around it. It was absolutely gorgeous. I couldn't keep such beauty and splendor to myself. Quickly, I ran back in the house announcing to family members to come outside and behold this historic sight--an eclipsing moon with a glorious blue halo around it!
My son was getting ready for bed for he had to get up at 3:30 in the morning to work, but he quickly responded. He and I and the dog all ran outside almost tripping each other in the process to view this unique phenomenon in the heavens. Outside, our faces were uplifted into the sky gazing in wonder and amazement at the now almost half-darkened moon with a glowing blue halo.
I was completely caught up with the emotion and grandeur of the moment that I nearly jumped out of my skin when my son spoke. "Mom!" a tinge of disappointment in his voice, "There's no blue halo! You're eyes are bad; you need glasses!"
I blinked several times. I rubbed my eyes to clear away the cobwebs. But the blue halo around the moon only became more intense, more pronounced, more beautiful.
The other day I was thinking about this blue-halo-around-the-moon episode and the spiritual lesson that could be gleaned from it. I couldn't help but think of how the Word of God, today, has been grossly distorted and falsely interpreted because of faulty vision and discernment. I did not tell a lie to my son when I said the moon had a glowing blue halo around it. I saw the blue halo plainly and clearly. My intentions were good. I was sincere. I was honest, but the fact remained that I saw something that wasn't there! I distorted the truth because of faulty eye sight, faulty discernment, faulty interpretation.
Many honest and sincere people today are reading, interpreting, and preaching the Word of God with a blue halo around it. Many are wresting the scriptures to suit their own theories, ideas, and agendas. They take its warnings, counsels and admonitions, its prophecies and histories out of context and interpret them incorrectly. They turn something plain and simple into something complex. They pick and choose which commandment to keep and which to disregard depending upon convenience.
Some believe that the law is abolished which prompts me to ask: How will people know they are sinners in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus without a standard of righteousness to go by? The answer, of course, is without God's moral looking-glass, they will not see, they will not know. 'What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.' Rom 7:7.
Doesn't sound like the law of God is done away with, does it? You see, we keep the law not to be saved but because we have been saved. The law of God is the most logical rule of life the Christian must go by. It is our spiritual mirror. It helps us see if our faces are dirty and need washing. Perhaps this concept is best described by the hymn 'At Calvary' that we used to sing when we were going to the Yigo General Baptist Church in Guam. Yes, we Guam Baptists believed in the rightful place of God's moral law in our lives. Here's the second stanza:
Then I trembled at the law I'd spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty,
Furthermore, how will the judgment be set if there are no established rules of law to judge with? Every tribunal judge in the land knows the absurdity of judgment without rules of law. It is no different in the spiritual realm. 'Because he (God) hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world. . .' Acts 7:31. 'For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.' 2 Cor 5:10. 'For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.' Eccl 12:14.
Continuing: 'For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.' Rom 2:12. 'So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.' James 2:12.  '. . . for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.' Ps 96:13. 'Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.' Ps 119:142.
We will be judged by His truth, and His truth is His law.
The erroneous assumption that the moral law of ten commandments is abrogated set the stage for the Once-Saved-Always-Saved doctrine to be fabricated and popularized by the proponents of the peace-and-safety theology which offers nothing to the sinner but carnal security. Believers and advocates of this erroneous teaching have no moral obligations toward God and their fellowmen because they've been 'saved by grace' and they're not 'under the law'. Still, many do not differentiate between the common and the uncommon, the holy and the unholy. They interpret sin to be righteousness. They make black appear to be white.
But none should be left alone to flounder about like a feather in the fierce winds of doctrines that are blowing. The Lord has promised that if we hunger and thirst after righteousness, we will be filled; we will be anchored on the Word, the solid Rock of Ages. If we come to Him in faith and humility and contrition of heart, He will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). If we are obedient to His Will which is expressed in His law, He will teach us His doctrines.
'I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.' --Ps 40:8. 'If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.' --John 7:17. 'My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.' --John 10:27. The Holy Spirit will give us the eye-salve we sorely need to discern between good and evil and to correctly interpret the Word of God--'For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.' --Isaiah 28:10.
Click here  to see a comparison between the moral law of God which is eternal and the ceremonial law of Moses which was nailed to the cross.
The True Witness counsels, "Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed," "and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see." The gold of faith and love, the white raiment of a spotless character, and the eye-salve, or the power of clear discernment between good and evil,--all these we must obtain before we can hope to enter the kingdom of God. But these precious treasures will not drop upon us without some exertion on our part. We must buy,--we must be zealous and repent of our lukewarm state. We must be awake to see our wrongs, to search for our sins, and to put them away from us. --The Review and Herald, September 4, 1883 para. 5.
So great has been the spiritual blindness of men, that they have sought to make of none effect the word of God. They have declared by their traditions, that the great plan of redemption was devised, in order to abolish, and make of none effect, the law of God; when Calvary is the mighty argument that proves the immutability of the precepts of Jehovah. The fact that God had to give his only begotten Son to die for a race condemned by the law, is sufficient to prove that the law could not be altered one jot or tittle. The professed Christian world is indeed in need of eye-salve, that they may see the character of God and his law. Their prayer should be as was David's of old, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." --The Review and Herald, July 24, 1888 para. 7.
The moral law was never a type or a shadow. It existed before man's creation, and will endure as long as God's throne remains. God could not change nor alter one precept of His law in order to save man; for the law is the foundation of His government. It is unchangeable, unalterable, infinite, and eternal. In order for man to be saved, and for the honor of the law to be maintained, it was necessary for the Son of God to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin. He who knew no sin became sin for us, He died for us on Calvary. His death shows the wonderful love of God for man, and the immutability of His law. . . . --God's Amazing Grace, Page 80.3.
The glory of Christ is revealed in the law, which is a transcript of His character, and His transforming efficacy is felt upon the soul until men become changed to His likeness. They are made partakers of the divine nature, and grow more and more like their Saviour, advancing step by step in conformity to the will of God, till they reach perfection. --God's Amazing Grace, Page 80.4.
The eyes of fallen men may be anointed with the eye-salve of spiritual comprehension, and they may see themselves as they really are,--poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked. They may be brought to realize their need of repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. --The Review and Herald, July 24, 1888 para. 5.
Very many feel impatient and jealous because they are frequently disturbed with warning and reproofs which keep their sins before them. Says the True Witness, "I know thy works." The motives, the purposes, and the unbelief, suspicions, and jealousies may be hid from men, but not from Christ. The True Witness comes as a counselor; "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous, therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." --The Review and Herald, September 16, 1873 para. 16.
This message of the True Witness has not accomplished the design of God. The people slumber on in their sins. They continue to declare themselves "rich, and having need of nothing." Many inquire, Why are all these reproofs given? Why do the testimonies continually charge us with backsliding and grievous sins? We love the truth. We are prospering. We are in no need of these testimonies of warning and reproof. But let these murmurers see their hearts, and compare their lives with the practical teachings of the Bible; let them humble their souls before God; let the grace of God illuminate the darkness, and the scales will fall from their eyes, and they will sense their true spiritual poverty and wretchedness. They will feel the necessity of buying gold, which is pure faith and love; white raiment, which is a spotless character, made pure in the blood of their dear Redeemer, and eye-salve, which is the grace of God, and will give clear discernment of spiritual things, and detect sin. These attainments are more precious than the gold of Ophir. --The Review and Herald, September 16, 1873 para. 9.
The state of the Church represented by the foolish virgins, is also spoken of as the Laodicean state. The message of the True Witness applies: '...Anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in the throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." --The Review and Herald, August 19, 1890 para. 10.
Wherever there has been a departure from God, there must be a returning to him, and a doing of the first works. Jesus says, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent." In order to repent, it is necessary to examine the life and character by the great standard of righteousness, that the peculiar sins which have dishonored God and have been an offense to him, may be discovered. That which has quenched the first love must be forsaken, whether it has been pride, sensuality, or the turning of the grace of God into lasciviousness. Those who make a profession of being Christians, that is, Christlike, and who yet live a life of sin, cast dishonor upon the truth of God. Many of this class trample upon the law of God, and teach others that its precepts are not binding, and yet they presume to take the name of Jesus upon their lips, and talk of being saved by his grace. Such teaching tends to enfeeble the moral tone of the church, and true godliness is banished while a miserable, heartless, outward form of godliness remains. Such come under the rebuke of Christ when he says, "I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." "Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." --The Review and Herald, August 28, 1894, para 7.
The eye is the sensitive conscience, the inner light, of the mind. Upon its correct view of things the spiritual healthfulness of the whole soul and being depends. The "eye-salve," the Word of God, makes the conscience smart under its application; for it convicts of sin. But the smarting is necessary that the healing may follow, and the eye be single to the glory of God. The sinner, beholding himself in God's great moral looking-glass, sees himself as God views him, and exercises repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. --The Review and Herald, November 23, 1897, para 5.
This is the work of the Holy Spirit. Said Christ: "Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father." --The Review and Herald, November 23, 1897, para 6.
Self-sufficiency is the fatal danger of a lukewarm state. The Laodiceans boasted of a deep knowledge of Bible truth, a deep insight into the Scriptures. They were not entirely blind, else the eye-salve would have done nothing to restore their sight, and enable them to discern the true attributes of Christ. Says Christ, By renouncing your own self-sufficiency, giving up all things, however dear to you, you may buy the gold, the raiment, and the eye-salve that you may see. --The Review and Herald, November 23, 1897, para 7.
The Lord sees the necessities and the peril of the soul. He came to our world in the garb of humanity, that his humanity might meet our humanity. While we were in sin, he pledged his life for us. He loves the sinner, but hates the sin. Therefore he does not leave his tempted ones with eyes that are nearly blind to their own imperfections. The man who uses the eye-salve is enabled to see himself as he is. His wretchedness is discovered; he feels his imperfections, his spiritual poverty, and his need of being healed of his spiritual malady. --The Review and Herald, November 23, 1897, para 8.
The word of God is to be our spiritual food. "I am the bread of life," Christ said; "he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." The world is perishing for want of pure, unadulterated truth. Christ is the truth. His words are truth, and they have a deeper significance than appears on the surface, and a value beyond their unpretending appearance. Minds that are quickened by the Holy Spirit will discern the value of these words. When our eyes are anointed with the holy eye-salve, we shall be able to detect the precious gems of truth, even though they may be buried beneath the surface. --The Review and Herald, February 14, 1899, para 1.
Truth is delicate, refined, elevated. When it molds the character, the soul grows under its divine influence. Every day the truth is to be received into the heart. Thus we eat Christ's words, which he declares are spirit and life. The acceptance of truth will make every receiver a child of God, an heir of heaven. Truth that is cherished in the heart is not a cold, dead letter, but a living power. --The Review and Herald, February 14, 1899, para 2.
. . .Remember that you have today pledged yourselves to live wholly for God. You have declared your determination to serve him. Let your lives be so pure and holy that Christ will not be ashamed to call you brethren. In such a day as ye think not, the Son of man cometh. Get ready to meet him in peace. Theories are being presented that say, My Lord delayeth his coming. But look at the world, at its wickedness. The life of no one is safe, except for God's protection. The world is fast becoming as Sodom and Gomorrah. It is fast becoming as it was in the days of Noah. We are to be as wholly consecrated to Christ and his service as the world is wholly given over to evil. The enemy will present his sophistries, with little fibers that would take hold of your experience and undermine your faith. I pray that your eyes may be anointed with the heavenly eye-salve, that you may discern what is truth and what is error. We need to put on the white garments of Christ's righteousness. We need to walk and talk with God.
God requires that the church arouse from her lethargy, and see what is the manner of service demanded of her at this time of peril. The lambs of the flock must be fed. The Lord of heaven is looking on to see who is doing the work he would have done for the children and youth. The eyes of our brethren and sisters should be anointed with heavenly eye-salve, that they may discern the necessities of the time. We must be aroused to see what needs to be done in Christ's spiritual vineyard, and go to work. --The Review and Herald, February 13, 1913, para 4.
Oh, it makes every difference with those who study the Scriptures as to what and how they shall understand the Word, whether they eat it or not. The Word of God, if eaten, will give spiritual sinew and muscle. Those who eat and digest this Word will practice it. Their eyes, anointed with the heavenly eye salve will see other lessons in the Holy Word than those seen by readers whose hearts are not cleansed, refined, and elevated. Under the working of the Holy Spirit the conscience will recognize a pure, high standard of righteousness that puts to shame the low, cheap ideas of the surface reader, whose mind is corrupted with sin. They see that the doers of the Word alone are justified before God. Those who hear and fail to do are in no wise better, morally or spiritually, for hearing. Those who will deny self, and make any and every sacrifice for Christ's sake will be able to teach because their precept and example harmonize.--Letter 34, 1896. --The Review and Herald, August 13, 1959, para 20.
In the hour of need we can gain no power by looking to ourselves. Our eyes need to be anointed with the heavenly eye-salve, that we may discern our spiritual poverty and lack of faith. God is declared in all his dealings with his people; and with clear, unclouded eye, in adversity, in sickness, in disappointment and trial, as well as in prosperity, we are to behold the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus, and trust to his guiding hand. Remember the power and love God has shown us in time past. He "so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Then will he not find a way for us out of our difficulties? --Signs of the Times, September 10, 1896, para 7.
A great crisis is coming upon us. If men still yield to men. . .they will lose their own souls, and their example will lead others astray. God's soldiers must put on the whole armor of God. We are not required to put on human armor, but to gird ourselves with God's strength. If we keep God's glory ever in view, our eyes will be anointed with the heavenly eye salve; we will be able to look deeper, and see afar off what the world is. As we discern its dishonesty, its craftiness, its selfish eye service, its pretence, and its boasting, its want of fair honest dealing in the ordinary intercourse of life, and its grasping covetousness, we can take our stand, by precept and example, to represent Christ, and convert souls from the world by our sound principles, our firm integrity, our hatred of all dissembling, and our holy boldness in acknowledging Christ.
Through living faith and earnest prayer the sentinels of God must become partakers of the divine nature, or they will be found professedly working for God, but in reality giving their service to the prince of darkness. Because their eyes are not anointed with the heavenly eye-salve, their understanding will be blinded, and they will be ignorant of the wonderfully specious devices of the enemy. Their vision will be perverted through their dependence on human wisdom, which is foolishness in the sight of God. --Special Testimonies (TA02b) Page 112.1.
To be without the graces of the Spirit of God is sad indeed; but it is a more terrible condition to be destitute, and yet try to justify ourselves by telling those who are alarmed for us that we need not their fears and pity. The True Witness counsels us to buy of him gold tried in the fire, white raiment, and eye-salve. The gold here recommended as being tried in the fire, is faith and love. It makes the heart rich; for it has been purged until it is pure, and the more it is tested, the more brilliant is its luster. The white raiment is purity of character, the righteousness of Christ imparted to the sinner. This is indeed a garment of heavenly texture, that can be bought only of Christ for a life of willing obedience. The eye-salve is that wisdom and grace which enable us to discern between evil and good, and to detect sin under any disguise. Christ is the depositary of all these graces. He says, "Buy of me." --Youth Instructor, April 22, 1897, para 5.
In conclusion, we need the eye-salve of the Holy Spirit of God to heal us of our spiritual blindness. Once healed of this terrible malady, we will be able to comprehend our true condition, our lack of faith, our spiritual poverty, our nakedness. We will come to a realization of our need of repentance toward God and acknowledge that His holy standard of righteousness, His moral law, is not abolished but guides us into the path that we should go. We will be able to discern sin (for sin is the transgression of the law - 1 John 3:4) and put it away.
We will realize our awesome responsbility before God to work in His vinegard and share the Gospel with others. We will rightly divide the Word of God and learn to dig deeper into His mines of truths. We will interpret its precepts with clarity and accuracy. We will grow in our knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and reflect His image fully in our lives. Our spiritual vision will be clear and our moral perception will be keen for we have depended totally on Him. In other words when our eyes are anointed with the eye-salve of the Holy Spirit, we will not read, interpret, and preach the Word of God with a blue halo around it.
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.
Open my mouth, and let me bear,
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.
--Clara H. Fiske Scott