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    April 27, 1899

    “The Speaking Blood” The Present Truth 15, 17.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “We are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just man made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Hebrews 12:22-24.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 257.1

    “Cain was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his works were evil, and his brother's righteous.” 1 John 3:12. Cain and Abel each brought an offering to the Lord. Cain's offering was of the fruit of the ground, and Abel's of the firstlings of the flock, and of the fat thereof. Abel's offering was accepted, while Cain's was rejected; therefore Cain was envious, and slew his brother as they were alone in the field. Then said God to Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” “The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground.” Genesis 4:10.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 257.2

    What did Abel's blood say to the Lord, as it cried from the ground? It cried for vengeance. A life had been taken, and nothing but life could satisfy the demand of justice. It cried just as does the hire of the labourers who have reaped the fields of the rich, which has been kept back by fraud. James 5:4. All the innocent blood that has been shed on the earth, cries to the Lord for punishment which will be meted out to the violent ones who have shed it; “for, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no moreover her slain.” Isaiah 26:21.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 257.3

    But what about “the blood of sprinkling,” to which we have come: what does it speak? It speaks peace and pardon. Christ, like Abel, was put to death because His works were righteous, but His blood calls not for vengeance. On the contrary, that blood is the only means by which even those who shed it can find salvation. It was a most cruel and wicked thing, to crucify “the Lord of glory,” and yet “through the blood of His cross” He reconciles all things to God, “whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:20. What a marvellous thing! that the blood of the slain one procures pardon for the slayer!PTUK April 27, 1899, page 257.4

    “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh.” Hebrews 12:25. The blood is the life, and therefore represents Christ Himself. The speaking of the blood is the very voice of Christ Himself. Christ said of those who with wicked hands nailed Him to the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. This therefore is what is said by the sprinkled blood unto which we all have come, and by which we are brought near to God. Even though we ourselves have been guilty of the blood of Christ, by it we have boldness to enter into the holiest, even into the secret place of the Most High. Hebrews 10:19. There the blood brings us, and there the blood cleanses us from all sin.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 257.5

    Abel knew of this blood, and of its cleansing power, for “by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous.” Hebrews 11:4. Abel was not by nature any more righteous than Cain was; but even those who were “aforetime foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another” (Titus 3:3), are made perfectly righteous through faith in His blood. Being made righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Then they can “offer the sacrifices of righteousness.” Psalm 4:5.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 257.6

    It must be remembered that there was no virtue in the offering which Abel brought to the Lord, even though it was a more excellent sacrifice than that of Cain. There is only one sacrifice in the universe, and that is Christ, “who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God.” His blood will purge the conscience from dead works, so that all the works will be wrought in God. He was made a propitiation for sins before the foundation of the world, and faith in His blood, and that alone, without any act whatsoever, makes the believer righteous. But faith works, and the justified one by the same faith through which he receives pardon, can “offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God.” 1 Peter 2:5. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.” Psalm 51:17. This is a spirit that acknowledges that self is nothing but dust, and that the Christ of God is everything.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 258.1

    The voice of the blood of Christ still speaks to us from heaven, inviting us, pleading with us, to come and receive pardon. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? “To-day, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 258.2

    “Studies from the Gospel of John. The Vine and the Branches. John 15:1-14The Present Truth 15, 17.

    E. J. Waggoner

    John 15:1-14

    “I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away, and every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 258.3

    The passover supper had been eaten. Jesus had performed the last loving act of humble service for His disciples, the closing hymn had been sung, and now they were on their way to the garden that was to be the scene of the Saviour's greatest struggle with the powers of darkness. Nothing is more common than a vine forming an arbour; and Jesus, who was always ready to impress a lesson by the things that were before Him, took advantage of the sight of a vine that they passed to teach His disciples an important lesson on the reality of things. He would have them know that the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are unseen are real and eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18), so that they might endure “as seeing Him who is invisible.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 258.4

    Jesus is the true vine. All vines that we gee growing out of the earth, and bearing fruit, are but visible proofs of the presence or the invisible vine-the reality. The seed of everything that grows is the Word of God. Luke 8:11. In the beginning, when the earth was first created, and there was nothing in it, God said: “Let the earth bring forth grass, the yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind.” Genesis 1:11. And it was so. God's word was the seedPTUK April 27, 1899, page 258.5

    whence every plant of every kind sprung. Just as He sent His word out into darkness, and light shone forth, so He sent His word into the vacant earth, and vegetation appeared. But Jesus is “the Word of God.” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God.... All things were made by Him.” John 1:13. Hence Christ is the Seed. This is true in the most comprehensive sense. Our confidence in Him as the righteous seed that shall beget righteousness in us, is made perfect by seeing the efficient working of that seed in all creation. “The Word was made flesh” dwelling among us “full of grace and truth;” and the possibility of this is shown to us, even before we experience it, by the fact, seen everywhere, that the word was made grass, herbs, and tress. The life that is able to bring the vegetable creation to perfection, is also able to make our way perfect, when faith is given free course.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 258.6

    Evidence of the truth of the statement that Christ is the true vine was given at the very beginning of His ministry. At the wedding in Cana Jesus turned the water into wine. Water was put into the jars, and wine was drawn out. The same miracle is wrought every year. Water falls from heaven upon the ground, and is drawn up into the vine, and comes out wine. The miracle wrought in Cana was for the purpose of letting us know that every particle of water that is turned to wine in all the vines on earth, is changed only by the presence and power of Christ, the true vine.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 258.7

    The water that makes the earth fruit as is the water of life from the river of God. Psalm 65:9-11. The water comes from the slain Lamb in the midst of the throne (Revelation 5:6; 7:17), just as the water which the Israelites drank in the desert came from Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:4. The Spirit of God is the water of life (John 7:37-39), and the Spirit and the water and the blood agree in one. 1 John 5:8. This is shown by the water and the blood that flowed from the pierced side of Christ as He hung on the cross. John 19:34, 35. The blood is the life. Thus we see that when Jesus gave “the fruit of the vine” to His disciples, at the last supper, He stated the literal truth when He said, “This is My blood.” The fruit of the vine, which refreshes man, imparting to him life, is the blood of Christ, the true vine.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 258.8

    But this is not all. We can never exhaust the wonder that Christ is the real vine; but more wonderful still to our comprehensions is the fact that we are the branches, and as such are to bear fruit. It is the branches that bear the fruit. This is no cause for boasting, for it is the vine that bears the branches, and the branches produce nothing, but are wholly dependent on the parent stock; but when they are joined to the vine by a vital connection they bear the fruit. “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” John 15:16.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 259.1

    From this we see that Christ expects us to do the work that is done on this earth, or, rather, that He expects the work to be done through us. He Himself said, “I can of Mine own self do nothing.” John 5:30. “The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.” John 14:10. So the “miracles and wonders and signs” were what “God did by Him.” Acts 2:22. So we can do nothing apart from Him. He is the motive power, and we are the ones in whom the results are to be seen, and the fruit that is seen is counted to us as ours. God has placed us here in this world instead of Christ, who is with the Father. The Father is the keeper of the vineyard whose root and stock are in heaven, and the branches on the earth.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 259.2

    “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” The fruit borne is “the fruit of the light.” Ephesians 5:9, R.V. Therefore we are exhorted, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. The last message that goes forth,-the last proclamation of the Gospel, which announces the hour of God's Judgment already come,-is a message exhorting to fruit-bearing, in these words: “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His Judgment is come; and worship Him that made heaven, and earth and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:6, 7. God is glorified by us only as we bring forth fruit; and it is by His power that is manifest in all creation, that we are to do this.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 259.3

    Thus it is that the last message to mankind calls special attention to God as Creator. When the Lord comes His glory is to cover the heavens, uniting with the glory that fills the earth. The glory of the Lord is to be revealed so that alI flesh can see it together before the Lord comes. Isaiah 40:3-5. The cry, “Behold your God!” will be sounded in the ears of all, and they will be directed to the things that He has made in order to see it. Romans 1:18-20. When they see Him working in the rest of creation, those who wish to bring forth fruit to the glory of God will be convinced that He is able to work as mightily in them, to cause them to bring forth the fruit for which He created them.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 259.4

    But in spite of the fact that that which may be known of God is manifest in all men, and that the invisible things of Him, even His everlasting power and Divinity, are clearly revealed in the things that He has made, people are apt to get so absorbed in themselves that they will walk in the midst of the revelations of His life and power as though they were blind. Therefore God has given us a memorial of Himself, that His wonderful works, and so He Himself, may be remembered. Psalm 111:2-4. He says, “I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” Exodus 20:12. This memorial endures to all generations. Week by week the Sabbath calls our attention anew to the fact that God is the Creator of all things, and that He creates all things very good. Thus we are continually reminded to put our trust in Him for salvation. He is the husbandman, and He keeps His vineyard day and night, watering it every moment. Isaiah 27:2, 3.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 259.5


    “Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” And what does He command us?-To bear fruit. Strange that immediately after reading the first part of this chapter, in which the conditions of fruit-bearing are so clearly set forth, and it is shown that we ourselves do nothing of ourselves, but simply bear the fruit which the life of the parent stock begets in us, men will read this fourteenth verse, and imagine that they must by their own power do something to recommend them to the Lord, and gain His friendship! “This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him whom He hath sent.” John 6:29. His commandment to us is fulfilled by our trust in Him; “even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Galatians 3:6.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 259.6

    Without faith it is impossible to please God. Abraham our father was justified by works when he had offered up Isaac, his son upon the altar, because “faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect. And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness; and he was called the Friend of God.” James 2:21-23. God was Abraham's friend before this, but Abraham thus became God's friend. God is the Friend of all men, the Friend of sinners; but the sad fact is that very few will consent to be friendly with God. They have no confidence in Him.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 259.7

    “The friendship of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant.” Psalm 25:14, R.V., margin. As other versions have it, God's confidential association is with them that fear Him. To such He makes known secrets about Himself, that only those can know who come close enough to Him for Him to whisper in their ears.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 259.8

    Friendship must be mutual. Friends exchange confidences. Jesus says: “I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.” Whoever has friends must show himself friendly. If we wish to retain the friendship of God, and have a share in His secrets, we must not withhold from Him anything concerning ourselves. We must not have any secrets from Him. We must tell Him all, confessing all our sins. Not that He does not already know them, but this is the proof of our friendship. Then He reveals to us the secret of His salvation. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from al, unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. He will not betray our confidence. No; not only will He conceal our sins from public gaze at the last day, casting them into the depths of the sea, so that although they are sought for by our adversary the devil, the accuser they cannot be found (Jeremiah 1:20), but even He Himself will forget them. Hebrews 8:12. What a wonderful inducement to make friends with God! Delay not; for now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 259.9

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. God's Care for His People. Isaiah 26:19-21; 27:1-6The Present Truth 15, 17.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Isaiah 26:19-21, 27:1-6, LOWTH'S TRANSLATION.)

    19. Thy dead shall live; My deceased, they shall rise:
    Awake, and sing, ye that dwell in the dust!
    For thy dew is as the dew of the dawn;
    But the earth shall cast forth, as an abortion, the deceased tyrants.
    PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.1

    20. Come, O My people; retire into thy secret apartments;
    And shut thy door after thee;
    Hide thyself for a little while, for a moment;
    Until the indignation shall have passed away.
    PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.2

    21. For behold, Jehovah issueth forth from His place,
    To punish for his iniquity the inhabitant of the earth;
    And the earth shall disclose the blood that is upon her;
    And shall no longer cover her slain.
    PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.3


    1. In that day shall Jehovah punish with His sword,
    His well-tempered, and great, and strong sword.
    Leviathan the rigid serpent,
    And Leviathan the winding serpent;
    And shall slay the monster that is in the sea.
    PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.4

    2. In that day,
    To the beloved Vineyard, sing ye a responsive song.
    PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.5

    J. 3. It is I, Jehovah, that preserve her;
    I will water her every moment;
    I will take care of her by night;
    And by day I will keep guard over her.
    PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.6

    V. 4. I have no wall for my defense;
    O that I had a defense of the thorn and the briar!
    Against them should I march in battle.
    I should burn them up together.
    PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.7

    J. 5. Ah, let her rather take hold of My protection.
    V. Let them make peace with me!
    Peace let Him make with me!
    PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.8

    J. 6. They that come from the root of Jacob shall flourish, Israel shall bud forth;
    And they shall fill the face of the world with fruit.
    PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.9

    The student will notice the initials “J” and “V” before a few of the verses in the beginning. These stand for Jehovah and Voice, respectively, indicating a colloquy between the Lord and His people, which the translator supposes to be transcribed in the first part of the chapter. They are no part of the text, but simply express the translator's idea of it. The student will compare this rendering with that in his Bible, and take the suggestion for what he considers it worth.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.10

    Promise of the Resurrection .-“Thy dead shall live; My deceased, they shall arise.” This is much plainer and more forcible than as it is rendered in our common version. There it is made to appear as though it were simply the prophet saying that his dead body shall arise; but the fact is that it is God who is speaking of His own dead,-of those who die in the Lord. Israel has been mourning, and God comforts her with the assurance that her dead shall live, for He claims her deceased ones as His own; and he that believeth in God, “though he were dead, and yet shall he live.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.11

    Joy in Dust .-“Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust!” Out of the dust the Lord God formed man in the beginning, and set him over the works of His hands. God took the dust to make a king, and a king that should bear rule over things in heaven as well as on earth. This is the assurance to us that “He taketh up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory.” 1 Samuel 2:8. A heart broken and crumbled into dust (contrite), the Lord does not despise, because He knows the possibilities in dust. Indeed, that is the only material out of which a perfect man can be made. Therefore when man has in his pride and self-exaltation departed out of the way, and has fallen, God turns him again to dust, and says, “Come again, ye children of men.” Conversion is the pledge of the resurrection, for it is but the working of resurrection power. God's people can rejoice over the grave, for since they have been created from the dust, and made to sit with Christ in the heavenly places, they know that death cannot separate them from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus their Lord.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.12

    The Dew of the Morning .-There is not so much difference as there might seem at first glance between the rendering, “Thy dew is as the dew of herbs,” and “Thy dew is as the dew of the dawn,” which is found in other versions besides that of Lowth; for the dew of herbs is the dew that falls in the morning. The French of Segond has it, “a vivifying dew,” which is very pertinent. The Hebrew expression is thus given in one lexicon, “a light-reflecting dew.” How expressive this is of the joy and freshness of the resurrection, when God's people reflect the light of life.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.13

    But why is it that the dew of God's people is as the dew of the morning? the answer is found in Psalm 133. It is because they have brotherly kindness and unity, which is “the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.14

    The Enemies Cast Out .-The reader will notice that instead of, “the earth shall cast out the dead,” Lowth renders it, “the earth shall cast out, as an abortion, the deceased tyrants.” If you examine the margin of the Revision, you will see that the word in the Hebrew is “Rephaim,” which is the name of one of the wicked nations that the Lord promised to cast out of the land of Canaan, before the children of Abraham. See Genesis 14:5; 15:20. So here we find an intimation of the fact that the resurrection is the time when the promise to Abraham shall be fulfilled.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 260.15

    The Avenger of Blood .-“Behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” All the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from that of Abel, cries to God for vengeance. Ever since nations have legalised murder if only committed by wholesale, it has been thought only a light thing to cause the death of men. Worldly men are so bent on carrying out their schemes, that they think nothing of it if a few just men are destroyed in the process. The slain sink out of sight, the earth covers them up, and drinks up their blood, and the oppressors think that the transaction is ended. Not so; soon will the earth give up her dead, and will no more be an unwilling accomplice in bloody deeds.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 261.1

    Safety for God's People .-It will be a terrible time when God comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth shall be “utterly broken down,” and “clean dissolved.” The prophet Habakkuk had a vision of that day, when God “drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow.” “Before Him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at His feet.” “The sun and moon stood still in their habitation; at the light of Thine arrows they went, and at the shining of Thy glittering spear. Thou didst march through the land in indignation, Thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.” When the prophet saw the “great and terrible day of the Lord,” he trembled; his lips quivered, and his very bones seemed to become rotten, and he desired for himself that he might rest in the day of trouble. Read Habakkuk 3. So God has promised that in the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, His people shall be delivered. Daniel 12:1. He says, “Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” The ninety-first Psalm tells where they will hide. There they will be during the thousand years that intervene between the first and second resurrections (Revelation 20), and during the time when the fire of God's wrath consumes the wicked; but they will be no more safe then than during the seven last plagues, when they are here on the earth, in the midst of the destruction. All the time “the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:9-16.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 261.2

    God's Vineyard .-“A vineyard of red wine.” Let it not be forgotten that “the new wine is found in the cluster,” and that “a blessing is in it.” Isaiah 65:8. The best wine is that which is procured by pressing the grape direct into the cup. See Genesis 40:10, 11. Such wine it was that the Saviour furnished by a miracle for the wedding guests at Cana, which the governor of the feast pronounced the best. But the vineyard of the Lord is His people. Isaiah 5:1-7. The miracle at Cana shows how the Lord's servants are to bear fruit to His glory. The servants obeyed the words of the Lord to the letter. They are nameless, and very little thought is given to them; yet they acted a most important part in the miracle. It was done by them. The vessels stood empty, and Jesus said, “Fill the water pots with water.” This the servants did without any objection, although it must have seemed to them an unnecessary act. Then said Jesus, “Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.” This was seemingly a more foolish command than the other, and one likely to cost the servants their position; for they might have reasoned: “It is not water, but wine, that is wanted; if we carry this water to the governor of the feast, he will think that we are insulting him, and we shall not only make ourselves the laughing-stock of the guests, but shall be discharged for unseemly action.” Let it be remembered that it was water that was in the pots, and that it was water that the Lord told the servants to draw out and carry to the governor. They did as they were commanded, and some time in the process, we do not know at what point, the water became wine. Through the servants as agents of the Lord, the transformation was effected.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 261.3

    Thus would the Lord show us how we are to be branches of the true Vine. It is the branches that bear the fruit, yet they do not bear it of themselves. They are simply the channels for transmitting the water from the root to the clusters. They do not make the wine, but are servants used in the performance of the miracle. Those servants in Cana acted the part of branches in a vineyard. The Lord did by them what He ordinarily does by the branches of the grape vine. If we, like them, do whatever He says to us, we shall also be fruit bearing branches of the living Vine.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 261.4

    God's Care for His Vineyard .-“I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.” This agrees with what we have just learned. If we abide in His Word, He will water us continually, so that we may be fruitful. Read Psalm 1:1-3. A vineyard that is gently watered night and day, cannot but be a flourishing one. And not a moment does God forget His charge. “He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper; the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.” Psalm 121:3-6. This is a most pertinent and cheering promise; for in the day when the Lord “with His great and strong sword” shall punish “that crooked serpent,” which is the dragon and Satan (Revelation 12:9; 20:2), the sun will have power to scorch men with fire. Revelation 16:8, 9; Joel 1:19, 20. But during all the time when the fire of God's rejected grace shall be consuming the wicked, “there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and rain.” Isaiah 4:6. Yet the safety of the people of God in that day will be by nothing else than by very same loving protection that is given them now day by day.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 261.5

    The Consummation .-“Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.” This will be the completion of the work of the Gospel, the last proclamation of which is, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come; and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:7. It is by our bearing fruit, that God is glorified. John 15:8. When Israel fills the face of the world with fruit, then will the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. And this will be accomplished by recognising and honouring God as the Creator, the One by whose direct care and attention all the processes of nature are effected; “For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 261.6

    “Confessing Christ” The Present Truth 15, 17.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Saviour promises to those who overcome that He will confess their names before His Father and before His angels. Revelation 3:5. This does not mean merely that in the judgment the Saviour will acknowledge that He knows the man whose name is called, but He will answer to the name as to His own. He has fully identified Himself with His people, so that they stand as His representatives on earth, and He appears for them in heaven. They are to be so entirely one with Him that His name can fitly rest upon them, and He will not be ashamed to bear theirs. “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 263.1

    We would think naturally that Christ would be ashamed to have us bearing His name before our fellows, but if we are not ashamed to confess Him, He will see that there is no cause for shame. “He is not ashamed to call them brethren” whom He sanctifies (Hebrews 2:11), and “whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” Romans 9:33. “In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.” Psalm 71:1. If we had undertaken presumptuously to set forth the character of God, we might well fear to be put to shame, but it is God who has chosen to reveal Himself in us, and He will justify the putting of His name upon us. “Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.” “This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise.” Isaiah 43:12, 21.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 263.2

    “Little Folks. God's Messengers” The Present Truth 15, 17.

    E. J. Waggoner

    All of you know the story of Jacob,-how he had to flee from his home because his brother Esau threatened to kill him. This was because of his sin in deceiving his blind old father Isaac, so that he might steal away his blessing from his older brother.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.1

    The first night after he left his home, he lay down to rest in a lonely place, with his mind full of sad thoughts. How lonely he felt, cut off from his mother and father, his brother anxious to take his life, and, worst of all, his sin separating him from the God of his fathers.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.2

    “And he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And behold the Lord stood above it.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.3

    Do you think that this was something new and strange, some special favour that God showed to Jacob? Oh, no; but in his dream God opened the eyes of Jacob so that he saw what is really going on all the time, although he had not known it; for when he awoke, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.4

    In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, we learn what is this wonderful ladder that rests on the earth, and reaches right up to the throne of God. Jesus said to Nathanael, “Ye shall see and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.5

    Jesus Himself is “the Way,” the only way by which any good thing can come to us from God. When man by his sin had cut himself off from God his Father, Jesus came to be the Way by which God could come down to him, and he could come back to God.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.6

    Jesus is called “the Arm of the Lord,” because by Him God reaches down to His fallen children upon this earth, to comfort them, to help them, and to bring them back to Himself. Nothing good can come to us except through Jesus, but by this Way “every good and perfect gift cometh down.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.7

    This is what God was teaching Jacob in his sad and sinful condition, showing him that through Jesus, the Friend of sinners, He could still send His angels with messages of love to him, to help him and keep him on his journey.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.8

    The earth is full of God's messengers not those only that we cannot see, the angels who are “all ministering spirits sent forth to minister” for us; but all things that we see around us are God's messengers to us. They all come to us by the one Way, Jesus, and bring as sweet messages from God as the angels carried to Jacob.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.9

    For Jesus is “the Life,” as well as “the way,” and wherever we can see that there is life, we know that there is Jesus, the Way from heaven to earth, and from and from earth to heaven, God reaching down to help and bless and keep us.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.10

    He is everywhere, for He fills heaven and earth, but He gives us all these sweet little messengers filled with His life, the birds, the flowers, the trees, and all living things, so that we may see that He is near, and not be like Jacob, who knew it not. “For that Thy name is near, Thy wondrous works declare.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.11

    The sweet, happy song of the bird, the fresh face of each wayside blossom, every butterfly and bee and tiny insect, is God's little messenger, sent to you, telling you to “rejoice evermore,” because He is with you always.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.12

    The well-known traveller Mungo Park was once left alone in a dry desert place, without friends, no food, no water, no clothing, and his strength all gone. He sank upon the ground in despair unable to go any farther, and thought he was quite forsaken and that he must die there.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.13

    But just then one of God's messengers came to him. He saw a tiny plant springing from the dry sand, a little speck of green moss. And as he looks upon it, and listened to the message that it brought it filled his heart with the same joy and peace and hope that the angel messenger brought to Jacob. Like him, he said, “The Lord is in this place,” and he began to rejoice, for “this little gleam of life assured him that God must be near.” So with fresh strength and courage pressed on his way, and very soon found the help that he was sure would come.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.14

    Little children, do you not want to hear all the messages that your Father in as many sweet ways is sending to you all time? Listen, and all the things that He has made will tell you that Jesus is not the Way by which God can reach you, talk with you, and lead you, and bring you to Himself to dwell in His house ever.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.15

    “O give me Samuel's ear.
    The open ear, O Lord,
    Alive and quick to hear
    Each whisper of Thy Word;
    Like him to answer at Thy call,
    And to obey Thee first of all.”
    PTUK April 27, 1899, page 266.16

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 17.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Jamaica has decided to join the Imperial penny postage.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.1

    -Since the introduction of the Imperial penny postage the correspondence between the United Kingdom and Canada has doubled.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.2

    -A tariff war is feared between Canada and the United States in consequence of the failure of the Commission to arrange for reciprocal terms on exports and imports between the two countries.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.3

    -Germany's trade with Persia and the East generally, is growing rapidly in volume. A field of English merchant vessels has passed into German hands.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.4

    -A Vienna engineer has invented an electrical apparatus by which sixty thousand words per hour can be transmitted to any reasonable distance on one line of wire.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.5

    -A general strike throughout the Belgian coal fields has been decided on. The men demand a considerable increase in wages. The army is to be mobilised to preserve order.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.6

    -Trams are now being run in New York by compressed air at a speed of twelve miles an hour. It takes two minutes to charge the cylinders, and one charge is sufficient for a journey of sixteen miles.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.7

    -The Chinese object to the British taking possession of Kowloon, in the rear of Hong Kong, and fighting has taken place. The place is said to be foul and insanitary beyond description, and apparently the Chinese prefer to keep it so.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.8

    -The Anti-Roman movement in Austria is making rapid progress. A great number of Catholics in Vienna have decided to go over to the Protestant religion on the same day next month. The event will be marked by much ceremony.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.9

    -The Russian Government has just decreed that women fleeing completed the necessary courses of study and obtained their diplomas shall have the right to practise as doctors with exactly the same status and rights as are accorded to men.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.10

    -The latest combination reported from America is one organised by the beggars of Philadelphia. The city is divided into districts which are divided among subscribers. Blacklegs are crushed out by organised and overwhelming competition, or by complaints from the union beggars, masquerading as indignant citizens.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.11

    -The New York city officials intend to dismiss the large force of office boys from the various departments and replace them by office girls. The boys were found to be lazy, insolent, and given to smoking cigarettes and reading penny dreadfuls. In fact, they proved a general nuisance. Experience shows that girls are more satisfactory.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.12

    -Investigation into police corruption in New York is bringing to light the existence of secret arrangements between saloon-keepers and some of the police officers by which the latter were to receive a certain sum monthly, and one half of all robberies committed in the saloons. A further payment was made to the police for not interfering whenever complaints were made.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.13

    -The outlook in the Philippines is not reassuring from the American standpoint. A party of U.S. troops has been ambushed and captured, and their fate is unknown. General Lawton declares that it will take 100,000 men to subdue the islands, and the American troops, who are mostly volunteers, complain that they did not enlist for the kind of work they are now doing. It is said that only seven per cent. of them are willing to remain, although extra pay is offered.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.14

    -Cardinal Vaughan announces that the Roman Catholic Church would celebrate the incoming of the twentieth century by pilgrimages to Loretto, Jerusalem and Rome. Crosses would be erected in cathedrals and all the principal churches, bearing a Latin inscription commemorating the movement. The Blessed Sacrament would be solemnly exposed from the evening of December 30, 1900, till the morning of January 1,1901, when it will be administered to the people. On the same night, in country places, and specially on lofty eminences, bonfires should be lighted. Rome was to be the crowning point of the celebration by solemnities which would take place at that time.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.15

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 17.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.16

    Did you ever stop to think that he did not say, “As for me, I will serve the Lord, and I will try to get my family to serve Him too.” He spoke with positiveness, both concerning himself and his house.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.17

    He knew what his family would do. He was a true son of Abraham, of whom the Lord said, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” Genesis 18:19.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.18

    This shows that the obedience of Abraham's family was not forced obedience. Abraham's commands were not arbitrary nor harsh orders, but consisted of instruction of such nature that the children would grasp it and be built up by it. So Joshua knew what he would teach his children, and what the result would be.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.19

    From these two men we learn what ought to be the case with every Christian's family. God expects that the children of Christians will also be Christians. This is shown also by the fact that He commanded the Israelites to circumcise their children. Circumcision was the sign and seal of righteousness by faith, and the giving of this sign to children indicated that there was no other expectation but that they would grow up in the faith.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.20

    When the children of professed Christians grow up and depart from the faith, there is something radically wrong with the parents as well as with the children. This of course does not refer to instances where the parents have themselves come to the faith after their children were come to years of understanding. But if children who are born to Christians do not become Christians as they grow up, there is a serious flaw in the Christianity of the parents. They are not born Christians, it is true; but they should become Christians as a matter of course, just as surely as they grow into men's clothing. If all parents realised this possibility, and their own responsibility in the matter, there would be fewer divided families.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.21

    It is said that on one occasion C?sar gave a very valuable present, and the receiver remonstrated, saying that it was too costly a gift. The emperor answered that it was not too great for C?sar to give. So it is with God. He delights to give good gifts to His children. All heaven was emptied for the sake of fallen man, and now He says He “gives us all things richly to enjoy.” Why not take them?PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.22

    Mr. Moody in one of his sermons told this incident and made the application of it:-PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.23

    I remember reading of a blind man who was found sitting at the corner of a street in a great city with a lantern beside him. Some one went up to him, and asked what he had the lantern there for, seeing that he was blind, and the light was the same to him as the darkness. The blind man replied, “I have it so that no one may stumble over me.” Dear friends, let us think of that. Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me. That is what Paul meant when he said, “we are to be living epistles known and read of all men.” I would not give much for all that can be done by sermons, if we do not preach Christ by our lives. If we do not commend the Gospel to people by our holy walk and conversation, we shall not win them to Christ.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.24

    “Children obey your parents.... Honour thy father and mother; ... that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long upon the earth.” This is a wonderful commandment, and means much. It is not that the Lord's blessing is given simply because the child obeys its parents, or honours its father and mother, for the parents might require some things not right. But there is a principle involved. The implicit obedience that will lead a child to obey its parents when they speak, will also lead it to obey God when He speaks. Then when the child comes into harmony with God's laws, physical and spiritual, it will be well with him, and long life will be given. It cannot be otherwise, for here is the promise, and God's word is sure. Samuel must have known what it was to obey the first time spoken to, else he would not at his age, and in the night-time, have responded so quickly when the Lord spoke to him. If we would have our children grow up in the Lord, teach them obedience, for this is a small child's religion.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.25

    “‘Turned unto Fables’” The Present Truth 15, 17.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the charge which the Apostle Paul gave to Timothy, the Spirit of God has spoken directly to every minister of the Gospel concerning his duty, and has at the same time foretold a condition which we see quite fully developed in the church at the present time. Here is the inspired charge:-PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.26

    “I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the quick and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom; preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching cars, will beep to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their can from the truth, and turn aside unto tables.” 2 Timothy 4:1-4.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.27

    A most literal fulfilment of this last statement is furnished by the pastor and congregation of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. A new man has just been called to succeed Dr. Lyman Abbott, who recently resigned, and in order to make the Sunday evening services popular, he has adopted the plan of selecting themes and characters from popular novels, instead of the Bible. “Three of his recent, sermons were founded on Hawthorne's ‘Scarlet Letter,’ Hugo's ‘Les Miserables,’ and one of George Eliot's novels. The innovation won popular approval, and the church was crowded, the congregation being intensely stirred by the pathos of the stories. The Brooklyn booksellers are doing enormous business owing to the demand for the standard novels used in the sermons.”PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.28

    This is not an isolated instance. The writer calls to mind a series of ten sermons that were preached a few years ago by a popular clergyman from Poe's “Raven;’ and similar cases are of frequent occurrence. See the quotation from The Christian, on gage 263 of this week's PRESENT TRUTH. It is true that no sensationalism is there reported, but out of twenty sermons listened to, in only three of them was there “any approach to a clear statement of the Gospel way of salvation by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Nor was there any reference to the necessity of conversion, nor to the work of the Holy Spirit.” It is also stated that there is very little in the sermons we now hear, to convince of sin, and to lead to genuine repentance and conversion.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.29

    Why is this? Simply because the time has already come when men will not endure the sound doctrine. Solid, Bible teaching is at a discount, and when men turn away their ears from the truth, the very next thing is to turn to fables. But just as light is most needed when it is darkest, so whom men turn away from the truth to fables is there the more need of faithful preaching of the Word.PTUK April 27, 1899, page 272.30

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