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    April 6, 1899

    “Building on Sand” The Present Truth 15, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:26, 27.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 209.1

    It is impossible to imagine more foolish conduct than that which the Saviour describes. No man in his senses builds a house unless he expects it to stand, and provide him a shelter and dwelling-place, and therefore a builder will look carefully to his foundation, choosing the best he can find, and even strengthening that if it appears necessary. If a man took no thought for the foundation, but built his house on the sand, he would be counted a fool.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 209.2

    Yet this folly is nothing to be compared with the madness of hearing the words of Christ and not doing them. The man who builds his house on the sand loses only temporal things. The man who neglects to do Christ's sayings loses eternal life. Yet how many are doing as Christ bids? Take the instruction given in the sermon on the mount, the very occasion when this solemn warning was uttered. Men who profess to be Christians say openly that it is foolish to think of carrying out all the instruction that the Saviour gives in this sermon. They profess to admire very much the more spiritual interpretation He put upon the duty of men, than was set forth “by them of old time,” but when it comes to yielding obedience to the words He spoke, they assert that this is impossible in the present state of things.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 209.3

    “Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” was the question put to the disciples at this time, and addressed to every one who names the name of Christ. The mere profession is nothing. No matter how lofty and splendid the edifice built on the sand, when the storm comes it is doomed. It is not the man or woman whose nature makes meditation enjoyable, and whose intellect, exerted upon sacred things, can wander at will among far-reaching speculations which dazzle slower minds, that is necessarily in touch with Christ. There may be all of this, and it may be spoken to others with the tongues of man and of angels, yet to some who will say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?” the unexpected answer will be given, “I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.”PTUK April 6, 1899, page 210.1

    These are the fools whom Christ described. Priding themselves on spiritual attainments, it seems a small matter to them that their own lives are not exactly in accord with the words of Christ. Surely, they think, our splendid services to the cause of religion are of far more importance than the small defects of our daily life. But it is not enough to have the external righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. If the experience stops there, “ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”PTUK April 6, 1899, page 210.2

    “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” The man who makes light of sin is also accounted light, less than nothing, by beings of true spiritual insight. These words do not promise that the transgressor shall have a low place in heaven. It simply states that the man who transgresses the law of God in any degree and teaches others to do so, will be esteemed at his true value in the kingdom, no matter what his pretensions may be.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 210.3

    Of course, it is a good deal easier to make anything out of sand than out of rock, which calls for patient, long-continued toil. Men get impatient sometimes at the slow methods of the Gospel; and want to see something accomplished quickly. So they try to accuse men, and find that this quickly draws. But that which is so easily gained is just as easily lost. It is true that to the careless observer great results seam to be attained, but unless the hearing and doing of the words of Christ is the means employed to build up a church, when the storm comes the structure will fall into ruin. Splendid ritual, plans for securing the assistance of the laws, and every form of enterprise outside of the Word of God is as foolish as the building of a house on sand.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 210.4

    The builders on the rock seldom achieve distinction among men. Their work seems small in amount, and it does not advertise itself. Yet it goes on quietly, gradually, effectively, building nothing that is not on the true foundation. In humility and faithfulness, the words of Christ are allowed free course in the life, and the Word of God alone is resorted to for guidance and wisdom and strength. It is these who are doing the work. Others fill the public eye and ear, and are accounted the pillars of the church, but when the storm comes, it will be seen that the faithful application of the Word to one's own life was the real agent in accomplishing all that was permanently effected. Do not envy others their high position, and seemingly vast opportunities. So faithful in the little details that come to you, and God will see that they grow into great things.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 210.5

    “Studies from the Gospel of John. Jesus Teaching Humility. John 13:1-17The Present Truth 15, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (John 13:1-17)

    The scripture that forms the lesson for this week is so rich, and so comprehensive in the instruction that it gives, that we quote it entire, from the Revised Version. The mere reading of the text cannot fail to benefit the reader. Give it careful and prayerful attention.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 210.6


    “Now before the feast of the passover, Jesus knowing that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end. And during supper, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He came forth from God, and goeth unto God, riseth from supper, and layeth aside His garments; and He took a towel, and girded Himself. Then He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded. So He cometh to Simon Peter. He saith unto Him, Lord, dost Thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, what I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt understand hereafter. Peter saith unto Him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me. Simon Peter saith unto Him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit; and ye are clean, but not all. For He knew him that should betray Him; therefore He said, Ye are not all clean.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 211.1

    “So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments, and sat down again, He said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call Me Master, and Lord; and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, A servant is not greater than his lord, neither one that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.” John 13:1-17.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 211.2

    There we have the story; let us consider some of the wealth of instruction it contains for us. We cannot exhaust it. The most that can be done in this article will be merely to suggest some things for thought.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 211.3


    In the first place let it be noted that this was no common occurrence. Some people have imagined that this act of feet-washing was a thing rendered necessary by the fact that people wore low sandals, so that the feet became readily soiled and needed frequent washing, and that it was a common act of courtesy for a host to perform such a service for his guests. This is wholly imaginary. Suppose it were true, what kind of host would he be, who should neglect a thing that ought to be done when the guests first entered the house, if at all, until after they had sat down to supper? What would you think if you were invited to a feast, and in the midst of it were invited by your host to take a bath? No; the claim that the washing of feet was a common act of courtesy only sets Jesus forth as neglectful; and that fact alone disproves it.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 211.4

    It was indeed common for hosts to provide water for the feet of their guests, but not to wash their feet. Each one did that for himself. The host would no more think of washing the feet of his friends than we would think of washing the hands and faces of our friends when they arrive after a journey. We provide water for them, and leave them to make their own toilet. Even so it was in ancient times. Abraham was a pattern of hospitality, but he did not wash the feet of the three men whom he so courteously received. He ran to meet them, and bowing down to the ground, invited them to come in, saying, “Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree; and I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts.” Genesis 18:1, 5. Here we see very clearly that the guests were expected to wash their own feet. Hence it aroused the utmost astonishment on the part of the disciples, when they saw Jesus begin to wash their feet. They had never before seen or heard anything like that.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 211.5


    Who was it that did what even a common servant was not expected to do? It was Jesus, the Son of God. Was it because He lost sight of the dignity of His position, that He did it? Not at all; He did it in full consciousness that He came from God and was going to God. He knew that He was their Lord and Master, and nothing that He did was inconsistent with that fact. He did not lower Himself. Not one of His disciples had any the less respect for Him because of what He did. His was the true dignity that does not have to be hedged about in order to be preserved, but which preserves itself, and dignifies whatever it undertakes.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 211.6

    This was a lesson of service. Jesus said: “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28. On this very occasion He said: “Whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? but I am among you as He that serveth.” Luke 22:27. Jesus was greatest of all, because He did the humblest service.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 211.7

    “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:5-7. Notice that it was the form, not the character, of a servant, that Jesus took on Himself. Why did He not, in coming to earth, take the character of a servant?-Because He already had that. He came to earth to let the world see and know just what He was, but He had to come in a form that they could appreciate. Men's ideas were so perverted that if Jesus had come to earth in royal state and heavenly glory, they could never have associated Him with service, and so could not have learned the lessons of service that they ought. So He changed His form, and let His life show who He was. Those who recognise Him as Lord, and acknowledge Him as such, even while He bears the form of a servant, will one day have the privilege of seeing Him serve, and of being served by Him, when He is arrayed as King of kings, and Lord of lords; for He says to us: “Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching; verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” Luke 12:37.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 211.8


    What an honour to be served by the King of glory! Yet just that honour we are all receiving every day; for the God of the universe has set and keeps all nature in operation to serve us. Day and night He waits to attend to every want. Every moment He watches, to see that we lack nothing. He gives to us life, and breath, and all things, and does service for us that no earthly servant could be hired to do, even if he had the power. Remember that Jesus was the revelation of God to men. Whoever saw Him saw the Father. John 14:9. Therefore the act of Jesus, in washing the feet of His disciples was designed to show us that the Most High God is the servant of all. Jesus Christ was “God manifest in the flesh.” When Jesus said, “Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart,” He was declaring the character of God. One does not ordinarily expect meekness and humility in kings’ courts or in kings themselves; but the King of kings is meek and lowly in heart. Although He is “the high and lofty One,” who dwells in “the high and holy place,” He dwells also with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit. Isaiah 57:15. His meekness constitutes His greatness, and it is only His gentleness that makes us great. Psalm 18:37.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 211.9

    We call Him Lord and Master; do we mean it? Is He our Lord? If so, then we are, and acknowledge ourselves to be, servants. “As He is, so are we in this world.” He is Lord of servants, for He is Lord simply because He is servant. He is not to us the Lord unless we, like Him, are servants. He is Lord, not to domineer over His followers, but to lead them. The very name “disciples” or “followers,” indicates that He is leader. And this shows absolute unity of purpose and character between them. They are as He is. He is different from them in degree only, not in kind. He is Lord, not because He rules while they serve, but because He does more service than they do. When we learn this, we shall know what our duty is in any position of authority in which we may be placed in the body of Christ.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 211.10


    The example of Christ in washing the feet of His disciples teaches us a lesson concerning the dignity of labour, and shows us that there is no such thing as “menial” labour. Any man who is ashamed of honest work, is not a follower of Christ, for the greater portion of His earthly life was spent as a carpenter. Anybody who looks with even the slightest degree of contempt upon one who is employed in the very lowest service, or who feels himself in any degree superior to a servant who is doing legitimate work in the very lowest position, is putting himself above Christ, and despising Christ. So long as the world stands there must be some who are what the world calls servants. There must necessarily be division of labour. No one person can do everything. Some are adapted to one thing, and others to another. But that which everybody ought to be taught is that all classes of honest and necessary work stand on an exact level. All who meet the end of their existence in this world, are servants. Read Colossians 3:22-24; and 4:1: “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; and whatsoever ye do; do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ.” “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.” Thus we see that all,-rich and poor, high and low, are servants of the one Master. The fact that many refuse to recognise the relation does not nullify the truth. We see that for one to despise another who is called a servant, or who wears the garb of a servant, is to deny that he himself is a servant, and to despise his Master, who is, in both form and fact, a servant. It is not what one works at, but the spirit in which he works, that determines the grade of his service. Sweeping floors and blacking boots is just as honourable service as is preaching sermons or writing books. To guide a team of horses is in itself as dignified a calling as to guide a State; and the man who guides his team well, and as a worker for Christ, is more honourable than the one who guides the State without any thought of his responsibility to God. Learn from Christ that work is God's gift to man, and, when rightly done, allies man with God.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 212.1


    Look again at that upper room where Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. Judas was among them, although the devil had already put it into his heart to betray his Lord, and, the bargain had already been made with the chief priests. Jesus well knew what was in the heart of Judas, but the fellow-disciples of Judas did not. Jesus had all the time known the covetousness that was in the heart of Judas, and He knew that this covetousness would make him His betrayer. He knew the anger that filled the heart of Judas at his failure to secure the value of the ointment that had been poured out upon the Master. He saw Judas as he went to the chief priests and made the bargain which really meant murder. Nevertheless the Lord proceeded to wash the feet of Judas just the same as He did the others. No shade of difference was noticed in His treatment of them. Not by word, look, or gesture did Jesus give any intimation that He knew that Judas was not as loyal as the rest of the twelve. His intercourse with Judas, the traitor, was marked by the same tenderness as with John, the beloved disciple. Let those who are wont to consider feet-washing as an act of courtesy look at this phase of it for an example in courtesy such as the world has never seen.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 212.2

    But this was not an act of mere courtesy . It was the courtesy that naturally springs from perfect love. There was nothing “put on” with Jesus. He was just what He seemed to be. He did not force Himself to any line of action. In the world, the height of “good breeding” is manifested in the man who can maintain a calm exterior while boiling with indignation and rage within; but Jesus had that perfection of good breeding that the world never can know. It was the breeding that marks the oldest of “old families”-the family of God. He acted calmly, because He was calm within. He made no difference in His treatment of the disciples, because He felt none. His was the character of God, who “maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:15. “He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” Luke 6:35. Jesus treated Judas kindly, because He felt kindly toward him. In His heart there was not a trace of bitterness, no rising of anger, revenge, or what men delight in calling “righteous indignation.” Yet Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are.” Hebrews 4:15. He had our nature, so that injustice would tend to arouse Him as much as us. The perfect love which He manifested to all is a proof of the power of the Divine nature to swallow up the human. God gave Him “power over all flesh,” so that the same unselfish love may be manifested in us.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 212.3

    The love that Jesus manifested in washing the feet of Judas was the same as that which prompted the prayer for those who crucified Him, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” He who washed the feet of Judas would just as readily have washed the feet of Pilate or the chief priests. And not only would He have washed the feet of these men, if occasion had called for it, but He would have performed any other service for them; for the feet-washing stood as the representative of all kinds of service for others. No man ever did a baser deed than Judas did; and the fact that Jesus did for him the most humble service, knowing that he was at the time under the direct influence of the devil, and planning the most heartless perfidy against his chief Benefactor, is evidence to us that Christ would gladly and lovingly serve His worst enemies. This is a strong ground of consolation to us, making it possible to come to Him with confidence, in spite of our sins against Him: but it is more than that; it is a lesson to us as to how we should treat those who might be considered our enemies.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 213.1


    There are very few of the professed followers of Christ who follow Him in the act of feet-washing, yet the commandment to do so is as explicit as any commandment found in the Bible. Listen: “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” Ye ought to wash one another's feet. That is, it is a duty; ye owe it to one another to do this. Suppose one could find in the Bible similar language concerning Sunday; how it would be seized upon. What would not the advocates of Sunday observance give for one such statement about that day. And if there were one such statement it would be decisive. When Jesus says that we ought to do anything, that should settle the matter with all of His disciples; we ought to do it without any questioning. Things that we may not understand will be made clear to us in the performance. In keeping the commandments of the Lord there is great reward. Psalm 19:11. “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”PTUK April 6, 1899, page 213.2

    If ye know what things?-If ye know that “the servant is not greater than his Lord; neither is he that is sent greater than He that sent him.” If one knows that (and it is so simple that everybody ought to know it), it will be his greatest pleasure, and will be considered an honour, to be permitted to do as his Lord does. Some have said that they “thought too much of themselves” to engage in any such act as the washing of feet. That is a sad condition to be in. That is to think more highly of self than one ought to think. It is to think ourselves greater than the One who sent us. No one can find any excuse for not following the example of Jesus, that will not be a condemnation of the Lord of glory.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 213.3

    But although the words of Jesus leave us no escape from a literal following of His example, the mere literal act of feet-washing is not a following of that example. We cannot do as He did, except in the same Spirit. If we have not the mind that was in Christ, we cannot do the works that He did. He who washes the feet of a brother, and at the same time cherishes the faintest shadow of ill will towards him, or has the slightest unbrotherly feeling, is not following the example of Christ. More than this, if there is in his heart any feeling of bitterness toward any soul on earth, he is not following the example of Christ, no matter how often he washes the feet of the brethren. If there is a lurking grudge in his heart, if he feels hurt and grieved because somebody has mistreated him, then he is not following the example of the Master; for Christ had no such feelings, and it is the condition of the heart that determines the value of any action. It is self-evident that no one can do as Christ did unless he is just as Christ was. Therefore it must be very plain to all that this ordinance of feet-washing is calculated to bring all believers into absolutely perfect unity and harmony with Christ; and this would mean absolute harmony with one another, and perfect love for all men, even such love as led Jesus to give His life for His enemies. What a marvellous ordinance this is, that Christ has left in the church, to bring the members frequently to face the question whether they are imbued with His Spirit, and walking in His steps, or whether unconsciously they have been slipping away from Him!PTUK April 6, 1899, page 213.4

    One thing more should be noted: Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power, and He “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.” Acts 10:38. He who follows Christ's example must likewise go about doing good, and ministering healing for all the ills that the devil brings upon men. He must be ready to give to any person any kind of help that is needed. He must be ready to give Christian help to all who need help, be they brethren in the faith or those who despise and hate the faith. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10, The ordinance of feet-washing, which Christ Himself established in the church, is our profession of faith and practice-a natural declaration that we have given ourselves to Christ, to do as He did,-a declaration that what we are doing for one another we are ready to do for anybody. If it does not mean this it is but an empty form. But the Lord has no more ceremonies in the church. The church is His body, and so must be filled with His life. What a blessed gift is this which He has provided for all His followers, that they may know that they are one with Him. Here we may know, as the visitor to old Jerusalem cannot, that we are walking in the footsteps of Christ, and that He is with us as we walk.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 213.5

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. The Devouring Curse. Isaiah 24:1-28The Present Truth 15, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. Behold, Jehovah emptieth the land, and
    maketh it waste;
    He even turneth it upside down, and scattereth
    abroad the inhabitants.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.1

    2. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the
    As with the servant, so with his master;
    As with the handmaid, so with her mistress;
    As with the buyer, so with the seller;
    As with the borrower, so with the lender;
    As with the usurer, so with the giver of
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.2

    3. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly
    For Jehovah hath spoken this word.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.3

    4. The land mourneth, it withereth.
    The world languisheth, it withereth;
    The lofty people of the land do languish.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.4

    5. The land is even polluted under her inhabit-
    For they have transgressed the law, they have
    changed the decree:
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.5

    6. They have broken the everlasting covenant.
    Therefore hath a curse devoured the land;
    Because they are guilty that dwell in her.
    Therefore are the inhabitants of the land
    And few are the mortals that are left in her.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.6

    7. The new wine mourneth; the vine languisheth;
    All, that were glad of heart, sigh.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.7

    8. The joyful sound of the tabour ceaseth;
    The noise of exultation is no more;
    The joyful sound of the harp ceaseth;
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.8

    9. With songs they shall no more drink wine;
    The palm-wine shall be bitter to them that
    drink it.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.9

    10. The city is broken down; it is desolate;
    Every house is obstructed, so that no one can
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.10

    11. There is a cry in the streets for wine;
    All gladness is passed away;
    The joy of the whole land is banished.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.11

    12. Desolation is left in the city;
    And with a great multitude the gate is battered
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.12

    13. Yea, thus shall it be in the very centre of the
    land, in the midst of the people;
    As the shaking of the olive; as the gleaning
    when the vintage is finished.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.13

    14. But these shall lift up their voice, they shall
    The waters shall resound with the exaltation
    of Jehovah.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.14

    15. Wherefore in the distant coasts, glorify ye
    In the distant coasts of the sea, the name
    of Jehovah, the God of Israel.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.15

    16. From the uttermost part of the land we have
    heard songs. Glory to the righteous!
    But I said, Alas, my wretchedness, my
    Woe is me! the plunderers plunder;
    Yea the plunderers still continue their cruel
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.16

    17. The terror, the pit, and the snare,
    Are upon thee, O inhabitant of the land:
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.17

    18. And it shall be, that whoso fleeth from the
    He shall fall into the pit;
    And whoso escapeth from the pit,
    He shall be taken in the snare;
    For the floodgates from on high are opened;
    And the foundations of the earth tremble.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.18

    19. The land is grievously shaken;
    The land is utterly shattered to pieces;
    The land is violently shattered out of its
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.19

    20. The land reeleth to and fro like a drunkard;
    and moveth this way and that, like a
    lodge for a night;
    For her iniquity lieth heavy upon her,
    And she shall fall, and rise no more.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.20

    21. And it shall come to pass that day,
    Jehovah shall summon on high the host that
    is on high,
    And on earth the kings of the earth;
    And they shall be gathered together, as in a
    bundle for the pit;
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.21

    22. And shall be closely imprisoned in the prison;
    And after many days, account shall be taken
    of them.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.22

    23. And the moon shall be confounded, and the
    sun shall be ashamed;
    For Jehovah God of Hosts shall reign
    On Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem;
    And before His ancients shall He be glorified.
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.23

    The reading of this chapter makes more deep the impression that the book of Isaiah is emphatically a book for the last days. To the prophets of old it was revealed “that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.” 1 Peter 1:12. This chapter tells us not only what shall take place in the last days, but also the cause of it. Study the chapter through as a whole, and note that it is a unit, presenting only one thing.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.24

    Note that which is to come upon the earth; it is to become empty, turned upside down, “devoured by the curse,” “clean dissolved,” is to reel to and fro like a drunkard, and be removed like a cottage. These are very strong expressions; they mean nothing less than utter destruction at the coming of the Lord.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.25

    The terms languish, fade away, indicating weakness, sickness, are frequent in this chapter. The verb in the expression “turneth it upside down,” means “beset with pain.” So in verse 4, “the world languisheth,” we have the fact that the earth becomes sick. It is getting old and feeble, hence it staggers and totters, instead of going steadily.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.26

    Why does this take place? Verse 5 tells. It is “because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” In the beginning man was given dominion over the earth; not simply over the beasts and birds, and the fishes, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the face of the earth, but over the earth itself. Genesis 1:26. Now when the governor cannot control himself, when he transgresses the laws, and makes them void, what can result but that all that is under him should be out of order? The earth sympathises with its lord. Man having lost his dominion, the earth runs wild. The curse eats up the earth, not because God arbitrarily sends it, but because man's disobedience to the laws which he should keep and execute, brings the curse.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 214.27

    “Few men left.” Thank God, He sends His messenger before His face, to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers, and the fathers to the children, so that He need not come and smite the earth with utter destruction. See Malachi 4:5-6. When the Lord has “removed men far away,” and there is a “great forsaking in the midst of the land,” yet “the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.” Isaiah 6:12, 13. Who will be one of the few? “Whosoever will” may come.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 215.1

    Compare verses 21, 22 with Revelation 20:4-6. At the coming of the Lord all the wicked who are then alive will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:8. They cannot endure the sight. A thousand years the earth will lie desolate, while God's people, caught up at Christ's coming, both living and dead made immortal (1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) will be with the Lord. At the end of the thousand years the wicked who have been gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit, shall be visited. Then will their iniquity be visited upon them, and the earth will be purified, and “the first dominion” will return. Micah 4:8. “Then the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and before His ancients gloriously.”PTUK April 6, 1899, page 215.2

    Note verse 20: “The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard,” and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it. Here we see plainly that it is the weight of sin, that causes the earth to be removed, even as it does men.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 215.3

    “The earth is clean dissolved.” Verse 19. Compare this with 2 Peter 3:11. Read the whole of this latter chapter, and it will be seen even more clearly that the coming of the Lord is under consideration in the prophecy of Isaiah. But although all these things shall be dissolved at that time, “nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”PTUK April 6, 1899, page 215.4

    Do not lose sight of the fact that in that day “the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones on high.” Verse 21. Compare this with Ephesians 6:12, margin, “wicked spirits in high places.” Compare the last part of the second chapter of Isaiah. The day of the Lord is against every thing that is proud and lofty. Let us, then, in order that we may escape, hide ourselves in Him who is meek and lowly in heart, that the storm may pass over our heads, so that we shall be among those who glorify God from the ends of the earth, and “sing for the majesty of the Lord.” Verses 13-15.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 215.5

    “Little Folks. The Gospel of the Spring. The Real Spring” The Present Truth 15, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Have you thought why this first season of the year is called “Spring”? Your dictionary will tell you that it is because it is the time when everything “springs or grows,” “begins to appear,” “to come into being.”PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.1

    The spring is the source or beginning of anything, and this Spring season is the beginning of the new life of the year, the time of the beginning, spring, or birth of the new plants, of insects, birds, lambs, and other living creatures.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.2

    The Word of God tells us that Jesus is the real Beginning of all things, the One by whom and from whom all things are brought forth, and come into being, and so He is the true Spring of the whole creation of God.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.3

    When the father of John the Baptist spoke of the coming of Jesus to our world, he called Him “the Dayspring from on high.” Jesus is the Dayspring, or the spring of day. God “called the light Day;” and Jesus said, “I am, the light.” He is the spring of the light that makes the day; it all comes from Him, the Sun of Righteousness, the Dayspring.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.4

    Think, too, what makes the bright Spring season. It is the earth turning again towards the sun from which it had been turned away all the winter. Then the warm sun causes the buds and leaves to spring from the trees, and the plants and flowers to spring from the ground.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.5

    This new springing of all life is caused by the sunlight, and Jesus is the true Light, the real Sun. So He is the Spring, not of the day only, but of the seasons, of all the life and growth, the beauty and fruitfulness, the seedtime and harvest, that the sun brings to our earth.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.6

    And as the sun comes nearer and nearer,PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.7

    “Thou wak’st again, O Earth,
    From Winter's sleep;
    Bursting with voice of mirth
    From icy keep,
    And laughing at the sun,
    Who hath their freedom won,
    Thy waters leap.”
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.8

    But where do these laughing, leaping waters really come from?PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.9

    “Whence came the river, so strong and clear,
    That waters the meadows far and near?
    From a clear little spring
    Like a lustrous pearl,
    Where the mosses cling,
    And the fern leaves curl,
    On the hill-top's height,
    Bubbling up so bright,
    Fed by mountain rain,
    Without taint, without stain.”
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.10

    But this “clear little spring” “bubbling up so bright” is not the real beginning of the water. Like everything else in all creation, it comes from Jesus, the Beginning, “the fountain of living waters.” All the water in the world is His Word, His life, made visible so that we can see it, and drink it, and get life from it. He is the true Spring of the water, just as He is of the light.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.11

    Spring is the time of life and motion. The waters that have been bound in “icy keep” are set free by the warm sun, and the streams flow to the rivers, and the rivers rush to the sea. Everything that has been resting and sleeping awakes and moves.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.12

    The cause of all this movement is life, new life, coming into everything. Jesus is “the Life,” and so He is the real cause of all motion.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.13

    Look at the hands of a watch or clock, and you will see them gradually moving round the face of it. Although you cannot see what moves them, you know it is the hidden spring that is keeping all the works of the watch moving in perfect order.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.14

    Perhaps you think that you can move of yourself, because you are alive, but this is not so, for it is “in Him” that “we live and move.” The very life that is the spring of all your movements is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of life which, we learned last week, in the beginning “moved upon the face of the waters.”PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.15

    Every movement that has ever been made in this world has been because of the moving of this Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Because of this moving of His Spirit, the waters flow, the plants grow, the birds fly and you are able to move and walk and run.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.16

    Jesus, from whom all things come, and whose life is in them all, is the hidden an, secret spring that is keeping in order and harmony all the works of His great universe. Nothing moves of itself, because nothing has life in itself, butPTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.17

    “There lives and works
    A soul in all things, and that soul is God.”
    PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.18

    When we think that we can move our selves and go our own way, this is what brings sin and trouble and confusion. So remember always that you have no life or power in yourself, and let Jesus be the Beginning, the Spring, of your every thought and word and act, and move you all the time in just the way that He want you to go.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 218.19

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -In France there are 1,130,391 foreigners, while in foreign countries there are only 517,000 Frenchmen.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.1

    -A sum of 225,000 has been donated to the Royal Geographical Society for the purposes of Antarctic exploration.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.2

    -The Paris-Lyons-Mediterranean Railway have tried an electric locomotive of 611 horse-power. The engine drew 100 tons at a speed of nearly seventy miles an hour.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.3

    -One steamer is reported at Newfoundland with 42,000 seals. Thirteen other steamers are loaded also with a similar freight, “and the news has caused great rejoicings.”PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.4

    -The Kettering guardians have decided to substitute wood chopping for oakum picking as a task for casuals. This decision was reached after two of the guardians tried the oakum picking themselves.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.5

    -A steamer which has been imprisoned in the ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for fifty-two days, is still drifting helplessly to and fro, and getting short both of provisions and coal. It is impossible to reach her.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.6

    -Severe fighting has taken place between the American troops and the Filipinos, with heavy Ioss on both sides. The native defences give evidence of considerable military skill, but the Amercans are carrying all before them.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.7

    -According to a French paper, experiments of a most conclusive character, which have been made with armour-piercing shells, have demonstrated the possibility of a shell passing through the armour of a warship and exploding inside at a given moment.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.8

    -Communication between England and France by means of wireless telegraphy has been established. The station on the English side is situated at the South Foreland Lighthouse, and that on the French side near Boulogne. The stations are thirty-two miles apart. Messages passed backwards and forwards with the greatest ease.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.9

    -Some of the Socialist members of the French Chamber of Deputies moved that the words “God Protect France” should be removed from the coins of the Republic, and that the Government be requested not to place France under the protection of any divinity. The Minister of Finance said be saw no objection to the motto complained of, though, personally, he was a freethinker, and believed France was able to protect herself. Similar mottoes appeared on the coins of the United States and Switzerland. The motion was rejected.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.10

    -The results achieved by the great engineering strike have not yet all been made manifest. Recently one railway company ordered twenty engines from the States, and another company is getting thirty made there. America has also obtained the contract for the bridge at Atbara, as none of the British ironmasters could guarantee delivery within the time specified. The Egyptian government had to wait four months for one small bridge of thirty-one tons ordered in England. This delay is attributed to the block of work caused by the strike. For the same reason, the first lot of engines for the Soudan Railway will come from America.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.11

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 14.

    E. J. Waggoner

    An Archdeacon of the Church of England, preaching in Carlisle Cathedral, went to the root of the present Church difficulties in ascribing them to ignorance of the Scriptures. This is bad enough among the people, but when it is found in those who teach, false doctrines are inevitable. The Archdeacon said,-PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.12

    At the last ordination in a neighbouring diocese, three candidates for deacon's orders failed to satisfy the examiners, and they all failed in one subject-in knowledge of the Bible. He was persuaded that the mischief which had come upon them had arisen because they had been going away from the Bible. They had not been making the Bible their first and deepest study.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.13

    The Christian, commenting on this, says it is true in Nonconformist as well as in Church circles. Religious journals also are to blame because they deal with these questions from almost every standpoint but the right one, of setting forth what the Lord says.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.14

    Articles in what were called religious journals took the place of the study of the inspired Epistles and Gospels; and until they went back to the well-spring and the fountain of truth, he saw nothing for it but going on fin the same condition of anxiety in which they now found themselves. He read article upon article in newspapers and magazines upon the subject, and not once in fifty times did he find an appeal made to the Word of God in these questions which was disquieting them now. What they wanted was a better trained ministry, and particularly a ministry better trained in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.15

    This clear statement of the cause of Church divisions and errors of doctrine makes clear what is the only hope of amendment. Reform will not come by petitions to Parliament, indignation meetings, violent speeches, and political organisations. The one effectual means is to take up the work which has become neglected and preach the Word of God. It was this that made the Reformation worth anything, and nothing else will save men from the darkness of error. Light is what is needed, and “the entrance of Thy Word giveth light.”PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.16

    Although the world is all the while receiving blessings from God without the least response of gratitude, it is very quick to lay the blame upon Him if anything goes wrong, even when the calamity is entirely due to man's disobedience of His commands. This is instanced in the following extract from the Spectator:-PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.17

    The terrible explosion at Toulon raises once more the old, old question, Why does God permit such events to happen? Here are scores of innocent people killed and injured (some of the latter for life) by an unforeseen and sudden catastrophe, due either to “accident” or, as it is whispered, to some diabolical act of treachery. How can it be justified? If society puts to death the man who causes sets like this, must we not impeach the Providence which permits the act and sustains the arm of the miscreant who effects it? The question is still asked by man whose faith in a divine and beneficent order to shocked by the occurrence of a tragedy which overtakes innocent victims, and who ask in the desolation of their souls, Can God be just?PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.18

    This is a good specimen of the injustice that underlies all human charges against God. How much was the Creator to blame for the existence of that arsenal at Toulon? Was not its sole purpose the destruction of His creatures? Its premature explosion with small loss of life most likely prevented a much larger number of deaths. Had God's voice been heeded, the arsenal would never have existed, but since God was shut out of the matter, it is not His fault that His exclusion left the way open for Satanic agencies to precipitate the deadly work which men intended to execute in their own way against their fellows.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.19

    Men want to be left free to sin and then to be shielded from the consequence of their wrong-doing. They require God to protect them while they do the devil's work. Because God lets them experience the evil results of their course, they revile Him as unjust. But suppose God did save men from all punishment, that they might follow iniquity unchecked. Every one would be lost, because no one would be compelled to stop and think where he was hastening. God in mercy allows men to see where their course leads, that they may turn back in time. If the explosion of one arsenal and a few sudden deaths can send a thrill of horror through the country, what will happen when the contents of every arsenal are directed with murderous intent and skilled effort at individual lives? Satan is a hard master, and his payment is death. The Lord lets men see it sometimes that they may reconsider whom they will serve.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.20

    The complaint against the Sunday newspapers, which are about to be issued, and to which we referred last week, grows in volume. One man writes the following pitiful letter to a religious journal:-PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.21

    As a bookseller and a large newsagent, I feel it difficult to know what to do. I know what Jesus would do, but I have to consider my business-my only means of livelihood. What effect will these Sunday papers have on my business? I have had several applications to supply the papers, and if I am not prepared to send the Sunday edition, I am not to send it on the other days, my customer will get them where he can get his Sunday edition, the result to me is probably a great lose in business and possibly bankruptcy.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.22

    Again, I shall be debarred from work in the Sunday-school. I shall be unable to get to a place of worship-at least on Sunday mornings; I shall be compelled to keep my shop open and send out my paper boys with the papers, and thus my influence as a Sunday-school teacher is destroyed.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.23

    The present test is the best thing that could come to this man. He thinks he is a Christian, and working for the Lord, but his business is his god. He will follow where that calls him to go even against his conscience. Such a teacher can have no real influence for good, for acts speak louder than words. “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and thou art dead.” God does not ask men to honour Sunday. “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord,” but those who do not obey the first commandment will not keep the fourth, even though they see clearly that it has never been changed.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.24

    A gentleman who has recently visited Rome writes ad follows in the Christian World:-PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.25

    Rome would, if she had the power, still force her creeds by fire and faggot. I was talking ore, day while in Rome with a prelate of the Church on the question of heresy. “As a matter of fact,” I said to him, “I could not believe many of your doctrines. They are to me simply unbelievable.” “Ah, well,” he replied, “we distinguish in cases of heresy.” “In what way?” I asked. “Well,” he said, “there are two kinds of heresy-there is passive heresy and active heresy. Passive heresy is simply to doubt, but active heresy is to propagate the doubt. In the former case the Church is very merciful.” “But,” I asked, “suppose you as a Church had supreme power to-day as you once had, and suppose I felt it my duty to openly oppose certain articles of your faith. What would the Church do?” “It would stop at nothing to stamp out the heresy,” was his reply.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.26

    There is nothing to be surprised at in this, but there is danger that men will regard Rome as having a monopoly of the persecuting spirit. Persecution began with Cain. It was seen in Ishmael, and it will appear in everyone who is not born of the Spirit. As then, “he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even suit is now.” People may think that they will never persecute, but they certainly will unless they be born of the Spirit. Those who do not gather with Christ scatter abroad, and this is persecution. There is no such thing as “passive heresy” against the false doctrines of Rome.PTUK April 6, 1899, page 224.27

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