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    February 23, 1899

    “Knowing the Doctrine” The Present Truth 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It was the feast of Tabernacles, when every Jew was expected to be in Jerusalem. Every road that led to the city would be thronged with rejoicing multitudes going to the feast, glad of the opportunity of a whole week's holiday, and the chance to greet old acquaintances and to form new ones. It was expected to be an occasion of general enjoyment and relaxation from toil, while commemorating the wonderful deliverance which God had wrought for Israel, although, since mankind are always the same, we may believe that with many present associations, more than past mercies, and thought of God's goodness, were the cause of their good feeling.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 113.1

    With this crowd of merry-makers Jesus did not mingle. He was not anxious for more advertisement. He knew how to estimate the verdict of a crowd, and that popular clamour and popular applause are alike vanity. Even when Jesus worked and taught in the presence of multitudes, He would do so in quietness. “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench.” Isaiah 42:2, 3. To minister healing to a single afflicted soul in secret was more to Him than to win the passing plaudits of thousands. So Jesus waited until the people had all gone up to the feast, and then He Himself proceeded to Jerusalem in the most quiet manner.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 113.2

    “About the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me. 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 7:14-17. Where did this Man get His knowledge? was the question asked by the people. The doctors and scribes had never had Him for a pupil, yet He taught with authority that the scribes had not. Ah, He had been taught from above. His teaching was not human speculation, but Divine revelation. It is not by searching that man find out God, but by opening their eyes and hearts to God a revelation of Himself.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 113.3

    Here is a school in which all may learn, and none are so poor that they cannot pay the price. If any man willeth to do His will he shall know the teaching. Whoever is willing to do the will of God, will certainly know that will. He will not only be taught, but he will know without doubt the source and authority of the teaching. God has set teachers in the church, whose business it is to assist people to see the light, to lead them to the truth, but God has never appointed any man to tell another what the truth is, that is, to be his authority for him as to what he should believe, and what he should not. To every man is the right and power given to decide for himself on the most momentous questions. The teacher may hold up the light; the man must for himself know that it is light. Open a man's eyes, and you do not need to go with him to tell him what is light and what is darkness.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 113.4

    While Jesus was teaching in the temple some of the people were listening and learning, but others were speculating, whether he was the Christ or not have the rulers settled that this is the very Christ? Has it become a part of “our faith,” so that we may venture to believe it, without fear of arraignment for heresy? Never mind, we know all about this Man; “but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is.” Then Jesus cried aloud as He taught in the temple: “Ye both know Me, and ye know whence I am; and I am not come of Myself, but He that sent Me is true, whom ye know not. But I know Him; for I am from Him, and He hath sent Me.” Verses 27-29.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 113.5

    Yes; it was true that they know Him, and whence He was; and therefore they were without excuse for not knowing that He was the Christ; for the Scriptures plainly set forth the circumstances and place of His birth. Seeing, they did not see, and hearing, they did not understand. The same condition of things exists to-day. People pass by common things because they are so common, not realising that it is by such means, and not in some startling manner, that God reveals Himself. He who despises “the day of small things” will never stand in “the great day.”PTUK February 23, 1899, page 114.1

    “Studies from the Gospel of John. The Test of Truth. John 8:12, 31-36The Present Truth 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There is no uncertainty in the Gospel of Christ. The difficulties which men imagine they see in it are all in themselves, and these will vanish as soon as they accept it. This assurance which Jesus gave is true: “I am the light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:13. The light of life is the very essence, the perfection, of light; it is light which one has in himself even as he has life, because it is his life.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 114.2

    Life, light, and love, are three things that agree in one. “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” There is, however, no need for anybody to walk in darkness, “because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.” 1 John 2:8-11. Whoever walks in darkness walks only in the darkness that is in himself. “Darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:2. If the darkness were primarily upon the earth, it would be deeper there than on the people; but inasmuch as the denser darkness covers the people, it is evident that the seat of darkness is in the people themselves. “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12. When love waxes cold, the light goes out, and death comes.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 114.3

    “Love; is of God,” for God is love. He is love because He is life and light. “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5. Jesus Christ is “the brightness of His glory.” Hebrews 1:3. He is the true light that lighteth every one that comes into the world, because His light is His own life, and none live except by Him; the life is the light of men. John 1:4, 9. He is the Word, and so it is that the entrance of the Word of God gives light. But this light is the light of life and love, for His commandment is life everlasting (John 12:50), and “this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” 1 John 5:3.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 114.4

    Note: how the words of Jesus are introduced: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world.” When had He said this before?-At no time had He said it directly, that we have any record of, but He had said only the day before, “He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38. Believing on Him is receiving Him (John 1:12); thus the living water that flows from the one who believes on Him, is from the indwelling Christ, who is the fountain of living waters. We see therefore that since life is light, the water of life is the source of the light of those who follow Christ. How often we speak of “sparkling water.” That may most truly be said of the river of life, because it is “a flood of light.”PTUK February 23, 1899, page 114.5

    The blood is the life. We are saved by the life of Christ, that is, we have redemption through His blood. Everything therefore that is life to us is but a manifestation of the blood of Christ. We must not think that the blood of Christ is merely that portion that issued from the wound of His body on Calvary, and that it fell on the ground and was drunk up by it, so then all talk about being washed in the blood and drinking the blood is only figurative. Not by any means. His blood is incorruptible, and it is real. It is to-day the life of every man on earth. It comes to us in the food that we eat, in the water we drink, in the air we breathe, and in the light that warms and warms and cheers us. We must get rid of our narrow and gross ideas of Christ's life. His life is the Spirit, since the indwelling Spirit is Christ come to dwell in the heart. God manifests Himself in an infinite variety of ways. We have in our own bodies proof of the fact that the blood of Christ-our life-exists in all things that support our life, for our blood is formed from the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the sunlight. If we would see and ac knowledge Christ in all these blessings of life, we should be walking in the light as He is in the light, and the blood of Christ would cleanse us from all sin. Is not the Gospel indeed good news? It is the good news that to every man is salvation come in the life of Christ, which shines in the light, and which breathes in the air. Truly, he who is not saved has no cause of complaint against God.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 114.6

    “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, if ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31, 32. Again we repeat that certainty accompanies the Gospel of Christ. Whoever wishes to do the will of God, shall know. By faith we understand. We are not to guess at truth, not to speculate about it, not to be ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, but to know it absolutely. Is it too much for a man to say that he knows that he lives? Do you chide a man for saying, “I am alive”? That is knowledge that a man has not to learn; he has not to go outside of himself for it; he does not need to ask anybody's opinion about it. But Jesus Christ is “the way, and the truth, and the life;” the life is the truth; the true light that lights every man is the truth itself. So every man may and should be able to know the truth as absolutely as he knows that he lives.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 114.7

    By what means can, it be determined that a man is alive?-By seeing if there is motion. If the heart beats, if we can detect the faintest flutter in any artery, showing that the blood is moving, we know that the man is alive. So even a dying man will demonstrate to us that life is not yet extinct, by moving a finger or turning his eyes. How much more can that man in whom there is abundance of life be sure of the fact. He can move his arms freely; he can leap and shout; there is free action in every muscle. He knows that he lives, and if some croaking sceptic should chide for his positiveness, saying, “You should not express yourself so confidently; you may say that you think you live, or you hope you are alive, but it is altogether too presumptuous for you to say that you know you are alive, at least until you have had a council of doctors,” he would laugh in his face. This same joyous confidence may anybody have as to his absolute knowledge of the truth.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 115.1

    Just as we know that we live, by the working of life in us, so may we know the truth by what it does. It gives freedom. “Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin. And the bondservant abideth not in the house for ever; the Son abideth ever. If, therefore, the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” There is no bondage but sin, even as sin alone is death. But the truth is life, and the truth of life makes the conscious possessor of it free from sin. Truth is not a theory, a dogma, a creed, but it is life-the life. Whatever a man holds that does not make any difference in his life, is not truth; but everything that gives a man freedom from something that binds him, is truth.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 115.2

    The statement of truth is not the truth itself, any more than the recipe for making bread is food. A man might have a perfect knowledge of the proper food elements for the nourishment of the body, and might know how they should be combined, and might be able to tell just how every dish should be prepared, and might starve to death while telling it. Even no man may have a perfect theory of truth and yet not know the truth, because he has not yielded himself to its quickening influences; he may die while talking about life. A man knows only what he experiences, and experience is life. Only that man knows the truth, in whom the truth is that life.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 115.3

    There is no attempt in this to disparage statements of truth. It is well to have a perfect form; but the form of a man, without life, is nothing. A man may say, “I believe,” and go on to recite a creed in which the keenest theologian or Bible student can detect no flaw, and still be densely ignorant of the truth. No creed or formula, however true it is, is the truth, for the truth is the life. For example, chemists tell us that the formula for sugar is C 6 H 12 O 6 . That is, sugar is composed of six molecules of carbon, twelve of hydrogen, and six of oxygen. Now a person may know all that, and may repeat the formula a thousand times without once having a sweet taste in his mouth. That formula is not sugar; it simply stands to the eye of the chemist instead of the word; it is a description, but it is not the thing itself.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 115.4

    There is not a soul that has not been at some time conscious of being in bondage. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Galatians 5:17. This is something real; it is no theory. When a man wishes to do something, and finds himself bound, or is compelled to do something that he does not wish to do, he is painfully conscious of the reality. Now if that which he holds as truth enables him to do the good that he would do, and to refrain from the evil that he would not do; yea, more than this, if it enables him to wish to do the good which before he shrank from, and to abhor the evil which he once loved, then to the extent that this is true, he has the truth. The truth makes free. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17), “because the Spirit is truth.” 1 John 5:6.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 115.5

    Let nobody rest content that he has all the truth, because he knows something of this freedom. Many a near-sighted man has supposed that he could see as well as anybody, until he put on spectacles. It is possible for a person to become so accustomed to a cramped position as to feel quite comfortable in it. To move from it may cause him pain, but when he is fully aroused he is conscious of a buoyancy and freedom that he did not know before. The ignorant man may think that he knows everything; but when knowledge actually comes to him, he knows it, and knows that formerly he was ignorant. A man may be mistaken in his ideas of knowledge and freedom while he is ignorant and in bondage, but when light and freedom come there is no mistaking them. “Always more to follow” is true of God's gifts; so let every soul know that there is always greater measure of freedom and larger measure of life yet before him.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 115.6

    Jesus Christ is the truth. Notice how He uses the words “the Son” as synonymous with “the truth.” He says: “If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.... If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” So just as one may know the truth, an may we know Christ. It is possible to make His personal acquaintance, and know Him better than we, know anybody else in the world. “We, know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20. He who knows not this knows nothing; he who knows this truth has the key to “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”PTUK February 23, 1899, page 115.7

    God's promises are like the rainbow, high as the heavens, yet bending low, they touch our every need.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 115.8

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. Strength Out of Weakness. Isaiah 11:1-9The Present Truth 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. But there shall spring forth a rod from the
    trunk of Jesse; and a scion from his
    roots shall become fruitful.
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.1

    2. And the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon Him;
    The Spirit of wisdom, and understanding;
    The Spirit of counsel and strength;
    The Spirit of the knowledge, and the fear of
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.2

    3. And He shall be of quick discernment in the
    fear of Jehovah:
    So that not according to the sight of His eyes
    shall He judge;
    Nor according to the hearing of His ears shall
    He reprove.
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.3

    4. But with righteousness shall He judge the poor;
    And with equity shall He work conviction in
    the meek of the earth.
    And He shall smite the earth with a blast of
    His mouth,
    And with the breath of His lips shall He slay
    the wicked one.
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.4

    5. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His
    And faithfulness the cincture of His reins.
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.5

    6. Then shall the wolf take up his abode with the
    And the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
    And the calf and the young lion, and the
    fatling shall come together;
    And a little child shall lead them.
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.6

    7. And the heifer and the she-bear shall feed
    Together shall their young ones lie down;
    And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.7

    8. And the suckling shall play on the hole of the
    And upon the den of the baslisk shall the
    weaned child lay his hand.
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.8

    9. They shall not hurt, nor destroy, in all My holy
    For the earth shall be full of the knowledge
    of Jehovah,
    As the waters that cover the depths of the sea.
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.9

    It will be seen that this chapter is a continuation of something begun in the preceding chapter. Read verses 33 and 34 of chapter 10, and you will see that a general destruction is foretold. “Behold Jehovah shall lop the flourishing branch with a dreadful crash; and the high of stature shall be cut down, and the lofty shall be brought low; and He shall bew the thickets oft with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty hand.” But, although there shall be this cutting off of the mighty trees of the forest, “there shall spring forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a scion from his roots shall be fruitful. And the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon Him,” so that He shall do great things.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.10

    “There shall spring forth a rod.” The Hebrew word here rendered “rod,” occurs in but one other place in the Bible, namely, Proverbs 14:3. “In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride.” A rod, a stick, only a stick, yet of more value than all the trees of the forest because of the Spirit of Jehovah resting upon Him. This also is for our learning and comfort. Did you never feel that you were but a useless stick? Never mind; it is with a stick, a rod such as one might cut as a useless thing, that God will judge the world. “I can of Mine own self do nothing.” “I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of man, and despised of the people.” This is what Christ said of Himself. No man can possibly feel himself more helpless and useless. But it is not what we are, but what God is, that determines what shall be done. He is. That is enough. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is.”PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.11

    “Yes, but I am so”-PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.12

    Stop! It is not you are, but He is. If you come to God believing that He is, you will not straightway begin to say of yourself, “I am.”PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.13

    “But hear me out. I was only going to say that I am nothing at all.”PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.14

    Of course you are not; that is embraced in the statement that He is. As long as He is, you don't need to be. Let Him be what He is,-everything,-and then you will find your happiness in the fact that you are nothing. But don't forget that the only proper way for you to declare that you are nothing is to acknowledge that God, and God only, is.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.15

    The Spirit of Jehovah shall abide upon Him. The same Spirit is given to us, that He may abide with us for ever. He will be to us all that He was to Jesus, for He is “the eternal Spirit.” The spirit of man is the life of man, since “the body without the spirit is dead.” So the Spirit of God is the life of God. “The Spirit is life because of righteousness.” When the Spirit of Jehovah rests upon one, that one has the power of the life of Jehovah,-“the power of an endless life.” What can be done by that one then (Mind, it is not what that one can do, but what can be done through him. See Acts 2:22), is measured only by God's own purposes for him. When the life of Jehovah animates a person, it matters not how insignificant he is,-he is then the instrument of Almighty power. When God breathed His life into a lump of earth, the clod became a man having dominion over all the earth.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.16

    How diversified are the manifestations of the Spirit? Here are set forth at least six of “the seven Spirits of God.” The Spirit of God is pre-eminently wisdom and power for eyes are a synonym for perception, and horns indicate power; and the slain Lamb in the midst of the throne has “seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” Revelation 5:6. Why are they sent forth into all the earth? Is it to spy upon people!-By no means; they are sent forth to be our wisdom; for Christ is to us “the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.17

    “The Spirit of wisdom and understanding; the Spirit of counsel and might.” Wisdom is practical, not theoretical; it is real, and not simply a conception. The wisdom of God does not exhaust itself in formulas and statements. That which God in His wisdom counsels, He does. The counsel of peace is between the Father and the Son, and Christ our peace has come making peace for us. “He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous.” Proverbs 2:7. This word, wisdom, and also in Job 12:16, “with Him is strength and wisdom,” are the same as the words “substance” and “working” in the following texts: “Thou dissolvest my substance.” (Job 30:22), and “the Lord of hosts... wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.” Isaiah 28:29. There is in His wisdom the performance of the thing. “He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion.” Jeremiah 10:12. This is the wisdom that God gives us. It is the wisdom that succeeds. It is not the wisdom of man, which plans, and then tries the plans to see if they will work; God's plans always work. His plan works itself. Why need any man fall? He cannot, if he accepts the free gift of God. The wisdom of God and the power of God must overcome everything; and they are ours in Christ. Of the man who walks in the counsel of God, it is said that “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 116.18

    “And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord.” The two words “quick understanding” are from a single Hebrew word, the verb meaning “to smell.” It is the verb from which comes the Hebrew word for wind, air, spirit. It is the name word that is rendered “smell” in Genesis 8:21, “the Lord smelled a sweet savour,” in Psalm 115:6, “noses have they, but they smell not,” and in other places. So we may read this verse, “The Spirit of the Lord shall cause Him to smell the fear of the Lord.” But one smells by breathing, drawing in the air. So we have the most literal rendering by Segond, “Il respirera la craintede l'Eternal,”-He shall breathe the fear of the Lord. That is to say, the fear of the Lord is His life, He breathes it in with every breath. And since it is only because of our breath that we are able to have any pleasure, and breathing is itself a delight, we can see in the text the rendering also of the Revised Version: “His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.”PTUK February 23, 1899, page 117.1

    Remember that Jesus is the representative Man. The one here referred to is from “the stem of Jesse.” Christ was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. Romans 1:3, 4. Therefore it is “the Man Christ Jesus” upon whom this Spirit of understanding rests. Therefore in Him the same gift is ours. Every one whose delight is in the law of the Lord, shall have prosperity in everything; and the Spirit of God is given in order that we may have our delight in the fear of the Lord. If in the air that we breathe we recognise God's own Spirit of life, life itself will be a greater pleasure than ever before, and the delight of our life will be the presence of the Lord. So it was with Jesus.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 117.2

    Can the breath of God make a man good?-Most certainly. Christ breathed upon the disciples, and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” John 20:22. In the beginning God made man of the dust of the ground. The man was perfect in form, but there was no life in him. As a man he was good for nothing. Then God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul-a “very good” man. As soon as God had made the man perfect by breathing into him, He saw everything that He had made, and, behold, “it was very good.” But that could not have been said of man before the breath of God was put into him. Therefore it was the breath of God that made man good-very good. But it was the breath of God-that made him good, and it is by that that we are saved. See Romans 5:10. As freely as the air is the Holy Spirit given to us, and He comes to us in the very gift of the air. God gives us air, breathing it moment by moment into our lungs, in order that we may live. But He expects us to live righteously, and He gives us the means whereby to live righteously, for the life which He gives to all men is His own life, and His life is righteousness. If we but recognised the Lord as He is, we should breathe in righteousness with every breath. The Spirit of God would be our life, so that we should be wholly spiritual. See Romans 8:9, 10. The Spirit would be our wisdom and our power. We should know the will of God, because God would do our thinking in us, thus working to will; and we should do His will, because He would at the same time work to do of His good pleasure. There are infinite possibilities before the man who accepts the Spirit of God as his life. What eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, and what the mind of man has never conceived, God hath revealed unto us by His Holy Spirit.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 117.3

    He shall not judge according to appearance nor according to hearsay. But that is just the way men judge, and the only way they judge. Note the contrast: “He shall not judge after the His eyes, nor reprove after the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness shall He judge.” That is to say, He judges with righteousness because He does not judge after sight nor hearing. Therefore to judge after the sight of one's eyes, and after the hearing of one's ears, is to judge unrighteously. But since this is the only way by which judgment in the world is rendered, it follows that there is not on earth any such thing as righteous judgment. A well-known London magistrate said to a man who came to his court seeking justice: “You must know that law and justice are two entirely different things; you can get the law here, but not justice.” This is so, not because there are no men yet in the world who have right desires, but because the best human judgment must be faulty. It is absolutely impossible that there should be a perfectly just human government.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 117.4

    “With righteousness shall He judge.” He Himself is righteousness; His life is righteousness. He judges with righteousness because He judges by Himself. It is personal experience with Him. He has passed through every possible phase of human experience. Although in Him was never any sin, He was made to be sin for us, and as a sinner He experienced the punishment due to sin. “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him.” Now He was made to be sin for us, in order “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him;” therefore when this purpose is fulfilled in us, we do not come into judgment at all (see John 5:24); but if not, then we experience the punishment that inevitably follows the rejection of His life. When in the judgment it appears that God's perfect, eternal life has been given to all men, each soul will pronounce sentence on himself, and declare that God is just. No one can say that it is unfair in God to give us exactly what He gave His only begotten Son.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 117.5

    With the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked one. Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:8. “Our God is a consuming fire.” His life is constantly working to consume evil,-all that tends to death,-else we could not live. The life of God in the sunlight, the air, and the water, is continually at work to purify the earth. Waste products are consumed. This shows us how God a Spirit is working for our cleansing. But if, in spite of the goodness of God, we cling to evil, so that we ourselves are evil, then at the last that life which is given us for our support, and which works for our good by consuming that which is corrupt, will necessarily consume us as plague-spots on the earth. So the slaying of the wicked at the last day is by the life of God, and is in keeping with the working of God to preserve life. The working of the life will result in the destruction of death, by destroying every cause of death.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 117.6

    Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard lie down with the kid; the cow and the bear, and their young ones, shall feed and lie down together; so gentle will these beasts be that a child can lead them at pleasure; and the now venomous beasts will be the harmless playmate of the prattling babe: “they shall not hurt nor destroy,” because the whole earth will then be full of the knowledge of the Lord; and “the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits.” James 3:17.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 118.1

    See what a change is to take place in the nature of the now ferocious beasts; but do not suppose that this involves any new plan; it is only the restoration of that condition of things which existed at the beginning. God never made one beast to prey upon another. In the beginning, when God gave to man his diet of fruits and grains, He said, “And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat; and it was so.” Genesis 1:30. The wolf, the leopard, and the lion, were therefore vegetarians in the beginning, just as the ox is.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 118.2

    God is the Good Shepherd, who feeds His flock, watching over it for its own good, and giving His life that the sheep of His pasture may have life. He does not tend His flock in order that He may live off them. Satan is the roaring lion going about seeking whom he may devour. From him man has learned to destroy life in order that he may live, and by so doing has shortened his own life; for destruction can never produce life, any more than the wrath of man can work the righteousness of God. And when man, creation's lord, began to develop the Satanic instinct of preying on animals that were placed under him for protections and care, they also themselves developed the same traits, the strong devouring, instead of shielding, the weaker. Thus the earth became so full of violence that God was compelled to cleanse it by a flood of water. Now after so long a time is the condition that existed in those days returning (Matthew 24:37), so that God will be compelled to cleanse the earth again by a flood of fire. “Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field, and the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever;” and God's “people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” Isaiah 32:16-18.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 118.3

    From all this it is easy to see that in the new earth, which will simply be the earth as it was first made for the abode of man, there will be no flesh-eating among men. Slaughter houses will be unknown. No streams of blood will flow, and no beast will groan out its life to satiate the instincts of its cruel master. Man will then rejoice to live as God designed that he should. Life will be sustained by life, and not by death, and so life will be perfect.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 118.4

    There is probably no one who will dispute this. The most ravenous devourer of flesh would not think, if he should stop to think, of slaying and eating in the abode of God, when “the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them.” Revelation 21:3. But cannot all see in this a reason for now leaving off the use of flesh as food, and adopting in its stead the abundant bill of fare which God gave man? This time is given us in which to prepare for the future world. We must now begin to live the life that is to continue to eternity. No man would think that he should continue to indulge hatred and envy, expecting God to change his character to love and peace at His coming; then why should anyone think that any other habit is to be continued, which will not exist in the perfect state.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 118.5

    Some one may urge that the beasts still prey upon one another, and that the nature of animals will not be changed until the coming of the Lord. True; and that very thing contains a reason why men should correct their habits. Men are not beasts, but are made with moral natures, so that they may be associates of God. If man were not endowed with a free will, which allies himi to God, then he would have no responsibility, and would depend on God to effect all changes in him, without his co-operation; but as it is, man must perfect holiness in the fear of God. What a humiliating thing for any man to admit that he is waiting for God to effect changes in his character, just as He does in the beasts. God's kingdom is to come, and His will be done in earth as it is in heaven, by the yielding of individuals at this present time to the perfect will of God. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 118.6

    “Little Folks. The Gospel of the Spring. Flowers” The Present Truth 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner


    How we love them, and how eagerly we watch for the first blossoms of Spring! Think of the love of God in giving us the flowers. So many of the things that we have talked about together, He has provided to supply some need of ours, something that we could not live without, and the air which brings us the breath of life, the sunshine, and the food that He brings for us out of the earth. But have you ever thought thatPTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.1

    “God might have made the earth bring forth
    Enough for great and small,
    The oak tree and the cedar tree,
    Without a flower at all.
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.2

    “Our outward life requires them not;
    Then wherefore had they birth?
    To minister delight to man,
    To beautify the earth.”
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.3

    Yes, our Heavenly Father, when He prepared a home for His children, did everything that could be done to give them pleasure. He made things “pleasant to the sight,” as well as “good for food.” And think, too, of the delightful odours of so many of the Spring flowers, the sweet breath of the violet, the hyacinth, and the cowslip.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.4

    All this God has done on purpose for us His children; for as the great and good poet George Herbert has truly and sweetly sung:-PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.5

    “Nothing we see but means our good,
    As our delight or as our treasure;
    The whole is either our cupboard of food,
    Or cabinet of pleasure.”
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.6

    It is told of the great naturalist Linnaeus that when he first came to England and saw our common gorse or furze bush in its blaze of yellow flowers, he fell on his knees and thanked God for letting him see such a beautiful sight.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.7

    Is not a flower a beautiful gift for one friend to give to another? For not only is it so sweet in itself, but we love it all the more because of the kind thought of the giver; of whom it makes us think every time that we look at it.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.8

    Now if you will take each one of the sweet blossoms of Spring as just what it is,-a gift to you from your Heavenly Father, how much sweeter they will be to you than ever before. Then every time you see one you will think of Him who made it with His own hands for you, who painted it with lovely tints of colour to please your eyes, and scented it with delicious fragrance for you to smell. Then every flower you see will preach the Gospel to you, for is it not “good news” that your Father in Heaven loves and thinks of you so much?PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.9

    Let me tell you one thing more about the flowers. Not only has God made them for you, but in them He is giving Himself to you. The life that the flowers have is God's own life, their beauty is “the beauty of the Lord.”PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.10

    When in the beginning God said, “Let the earth bring forth,” “the Spirit of God moved” upon the earth, and His living Word sprang up from it clothed in all these beautiful forms. God wanted His children to see His loveliness, so that they might be attracted to Him and learn to love Him more and more.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.11

    Now as you “consider the lilies, how they grow,” they will teach you how you, too, may grow in grace, and show forth the beauty of the Lord, so that others may see and learn to love Him.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.12

    It is just by hearing His Word, by letting His Word, which He says is “Spirit and life” come in and move upon your heart, and work there as you can now see it working in the earth, making the grass and flowers to spring up from it.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.13

    If you keep the precious and powerful words of God in your heart, this good seed will bring forth in you aft the sweet graces of His Spirit, love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, temperance.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.14

    “Sweet is the opening flower
    Which just begins to bloom,
    Which every day and every hour
    Fresh beauties will assume.
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.15

    “But sweeter that young heart
    Where faith and love and peace
    Blossom and bloom in every part,
    With sweet and varied grace.”
    PTUK February 23, 1899, page 122.16

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Over 60,300 oil wells have been sunk in the United States.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.1

    -In India the average duration of life of the natives is 24 years as against 44 in Britain.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.2

    -A serious hitch has occurred in the Anglo-American negotiations, and complete failure is anticipated.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.3

    -An emu, kept by a gentleman at Lyndhurst, died from swallowing a packet of tobacoo, which it had extracted from the pocket of a workman.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.4

    -The German War Minister stated in the Reichstag that the French Army war now equal to the German. It was voted to increase the infantry to 625 battalions.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.5

    -Iloilo has been captured by the American troops after being bombarded. The rebels set fire to the place before leaving it, and considerable damage was done.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.6

    -The most wonderful astronomical photograph in the world is that which has recently been prepared by London, Berlin, and Parisian astronomers. It shows at least 68,000,000 stars.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.7

    -During the recent blizzard in New York, when 10,000 persons were declared to be actually starving, and 60,000 more were on the verge of destitution, a banquet costing $14,000 was given by a municipal official to the Mayor and forty friends. A saloon of the Waldorf Hotel was fitted up as an Arcadian glade, and the guests, like those at the feasts described by Horace, sat and plucked overhanging grapes, peaches and nuts from vines and trees.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.8

    -Hygienic Bibles have been provided for police courts in New York. The covers are glazed, set easily disinfected.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.9

    -Mr. John Keneit has been asked to contest Mr. Balfour's seat at Manchester when the next Parliamentary election is held.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.10

    -Colonel Kitchener's dying column has reconnoitred the Khalifs's position, and found it to be a strong one on the shore of Lake Sberkella. The column has returned to the Nile without encountering the enemy.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.11

    -A man employed at a City club accidentally cut off his nose while sharpening a knife. The nose was replaced and stitched on by a doctor half an hour afterwards. The union is said to be perfect, only showing a slight scar.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.12

    -Nearly the whole of the Thames Valley has been seriously affected by the recent heavy rains. At Oxford there is forty-four inches above high water, and there is every probability of a much further rise.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.13

    -A feature of the Paris Exhibition neat year will be a moving pavement. The proposal is to have two pavements working in opposite directions, one on each side of the roadway. Pedestrians will be able to slip on aid off without inconvenience.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.14

    -The introduction of the Imperial penny post is already beginning to take affect. Letters between India and the British Isles have increased to greatly during the last few weeks that the sorting staff on the mail steamers is hardly able to get through its work.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.15

    -Ten years ago Russia occupied the seventh place among the iron-producing countries; now she has advanced to the fifth place, her output during 1897 exceeding that of Austria-Hungary and Belgium. During the year 1897, Russia produced 2,043,000 tons of iron.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.16

    -A correspondent of the Daily Chronicle states that during 1898, 124,800 cases; or 3,207 tons of cheap gin were shipped to the territory controlled by the Royal Niger Company, from Rotterdam and Hamburg. He says that the cost of the gin is threepence per bottle, and it is sold to the natives at a profit of 100 per cent.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.17

    -The United States have been visited by a terrific snow-storm and blizzard, which extended over 1,000 miles, as far south as Florida. Railway and steamship traffic was suspended, and the large cities were completely out off from the surrounding country, with the result that the price of fuel and provisions rapidly doubled. A number of large liners were unable to enter New York, owing to the blinding snow.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.18

    -In New York a boy of sixteen was charged with attempting suicide, but was dismissed by the magistrate who said: “I believe in suicide. When a man is through with this world let him shuffle off. When I am no longer useful to anyone else or to myself that's what I intend to do.” Magistrates stand as much in need of the saving power of the Gospel as the poor wretches who are brought before them, and the magistrate who does not trust in the Lord is as badly off as any criminal, although it does not appear so plainly in every case as it does in this one.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.19

    -Some consternation has been caused in the United States by a statement of a high official that Congress has been entirely too prodigal in voting away money, and that unless greater economy were exercised a bond issue this summer would be inevitable. At present the deficiency in at the rate of ?32,000,000 a fiscal year. This did not include ?4,000,000 for the obligation assumes in the peace treaty, or the extraordinary expense for the Army and Navy, to say nothing of the appropriation for the construction of the Nicaragua Canal.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 126.20

    “Introduction to the Study of the Bible” The Present Truth 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Introduction to the Study of the Bible .-There is a popular idea, fostered, and indeed fathered, by the theological schools, that the Bible is so difficult a book that one must needs study almost everything else before beginning it. Even then the student must have what is called an “Introduction to the Study of the Bible,” which is a book telling him what to expect to find in the Sacred Book, and how much credence he may venture to give each particular portion of it.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.1

    Now the best way to introduce two men is to bring them together as soon as possible, and let them become acquainted, and not spend months biassing the minds of each about the other. So the best way to introduce one to the study of the Bible is to open its pages to him, and bid him get acquainted as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. Let the Bible tell its own story, and reveal its own character to the enquirer, instead of diverting his mind from it to yourself.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.2

    This is just what is done in a book of nearly seven hundred pages, entitled “The Great Empires of Prophecy,” recently published by the “Review and Herald Publishing Company,” Battle Greek, Mich., U.S.A. The author is A. T. Jones, with whose name and writings the regular readers of PRESENT TRUTH have become familiar. In the language of the Bible itself, together with contemporary history as recorded on the monuments and tablets, the history of the various empires mentioned in prophecy is given in connected order and in full, and the reader is enabled to see their relation to the great purpose of God for this earth. Many maps, made especially for this work, help to fix the mental picture made by the text. The book is intensely interesting, and no one who begins to road it will wish to leave it unfinished. By it history is made more of a living thing than is usually the case, and not so much a matter of mere records.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.3

    This book, together with its companion, “Empires of the Bible,” published by this same author two years ago, may be obtained at this office. It contains 696 pages and the price is 8s. 6d.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.4

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Count Leo Tolstoy has written a long letter to the Daily Chronicle, in which he points out the futility of expecting that the forthcoming Peace Conference will do anything to lessen the risk of war. He asserts that it is not within the power of any government to control or arrest the forces which make for war, and that the only hope is in the moral enlightenment of individual consciences. He says:-PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.5

    At the very time when the Russian Government was making known to the whole world its quasi peace-loving measures, it was torturing, ruining, and exiling the most peaceable and peace-loving people in Russia, simply because they refused to do military service. All the European Governments have acted in the same way, and do still sit towards those who refuse to serve in the army. The Governments know very well what is important to them and what is not. Therefore they gladly allow crackling speeches and Socialistic demonstrations, knowing that all these are very useful phenomena, because they drew the attention of people from what is really dangerous to the business of governing-namely, the means of liberation. But more than everything else in the world do they fear the awakening in individual persons of the sense of human worth, and, as an immediate consequence of this, the refusal to take part in military service.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.6

    It may be wondered why we refer so frequently to the suggested Peace Conference. It is because this is one of the signs of the last days. The second chapter of Isaiah, which describes the pride of man and his confidence in the works of his own hands just before the coming of the Lord, when He alone is exalted, shows in the second verse that the Church and the world are one in spirit at this time.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.7

    In that time all will join in professing peace, and saying that the nations shall beat their swords into plough-shares and their spears into pruning-hooks, and God shall rule over them all. Why not? Have not all the nations flowed into the Church? Yet at that very time God has forsaken His people, because they get everything, not from Him but from the east, and are become soothsayers like the Philistines.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.8

    The present situation and cry of peace do not entirely fulfil this prophecy, but they show that it is on the road to fulfilment. Where do men get those pleasing visions of a peaceful future? They get them from the soothsayers. A soothsayer is one who has a spirit of divination, a Spirit which it is the work of Christ's followers to cast out. See Acts 16:16-18. Instead of doing this professed Christians themselves become soothsayers, and so are led to cry, Peace, Peace, when there is no peace. In this connection, it is interesting if not instructive, to notice that the man who is most prominent in the work of the “peace crusade” in this country, Mr. W. T. Stead, is the editor of a Spiritualist magazine, and openly avows himself to have dealings with a spirit, to whose guidance he submits.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.9

    “Elusive Peace” The Present Truth 15, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Czar's peace proposals are still attracting attention, but there seems to be no definite idea as to how they are to be carried out. Each nation would gladly be relieved of the strain imposed upon it by the steady increase of its armament, but none has sufficient confidence in the pacific intentions of any other to be the first to begin the work of disarming, or even of stopping the increase. The following paragraph from the Daily Mail shows how the matter stands. After recounting the proposals, it says:-PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.10

    There are, however, great practical difficulties in the way of carrying out those proposals. England, for instance, has not as yet fully replied to the enormous Russian cruiser programme of last year, while she has also to make up the ground lost during the strike of 1897. Then she has to meet the great French and Russian increase in outlay on ship-building, which has marked their programmes for 1897. When she has done this, a work absolutely necessary for her safety, she will be ready to agree to no further increase if other and rival powers will do so too-indeed to make a substantial decrease.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.11

    But when England has met Russia's increase in cruisers, it will doubtless be discovered that she has more than met it, by a few hundred tons, and Russia will again be forced to build, and this will again be regarded by England as an additional Monaco. Indeed, Russia has already placed new orders for a new first-class cruiser, and two torpedo boats, to be ready in 1900, and plans are ready for several new ironclads. The sum to be devoted to armaments this year by Russia, exceeds that of last year by ?5,000,000.PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.12

    So it appears that while they talk peace, they prepare war. For this they must not be taxed with insincerity. They mean what they say, but they have no confidence in one another. Now where there is no mutual confidence there can be no peace. But there is nothing in human nature to inspire confidence. Only in Christ, who is our peace, can there ever be any perfect peace. But people do not put on Christ as nations, but as individuals, and the mass will ever reject Him. So it is impossible to hope for peace until after the battle of the great day of God has been brought, in which all who do not accept the Gospel will suffer everlasting destruction. Then “the meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”PTUK February 23, 1899, page 128.13

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