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    June 8, 1899

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. The New Life in Christ. Colossians 3:1-15The Present Truth 15, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    This portion of Scripture contains material for many lessons, yet the real lesson which it teaches cannot be learned from the text referred to as composing the lesson. The first words of the chapter show this: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” We see that here is an allusion, to something that has preceded, without which this cannot be understood. Going back in the preceding chapter, to verses 10-13, we find the connection. The whole of this lesson is contained in those verses. With them in mind, the statements in this chapter are seen to follow most naturally.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 355.1

    Christ is the one in whom “dwelleth all the fulness of the, Godhead bodily.” This was its true of Him on this earth as it is now, for He is now the same Being that He was here on earth. “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens that He might fill all things.” Ephesians 4:10. And the same Jesus that ascended to heaven, shall come in like manner as He went into heaven. Acts 1:11. He was born of a woman, was here on earth a Man, yet was filled with all the fulness of God. “And ye are complete [literally, “made full”] in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power, in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him, through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.”PTUK June 8, 1899, page 355.2

    Now we see that this new life in Christ must be preceded by a death and burial and resurrection. What a change for a human being to undergo while still here in the flesh, walking among men, the most of whom will not know anything about the fact of his having a new life! Crucified with Christ, yet living in the flesh, and yet not the same man who lived before his crucifixion, for it is Christ who lives in his flesh! Was ever anything more wonderful? But it is true, and whoever does not know it repeats but foolishness and falsehood when he says, “I believe in the resurrection of the dead.”PTUK June 8, 1899, page 355.3

    We are “by nature the children of wrath,” walking after the course of this world, “fulfilling the desire of the flesh and of the mind,” under the control of “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2, 3), “foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.” Titus 3:3. It is not a pleasant picture, but it is a true one; it is what we should see every time we look at ourselves, if our eyes were not blinded. It is an empty life; the fulness comes only in Christ; but it is only when we are conscious of this emptiness in our own selves, that we are partakers of His fulness.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 355.4

    And now to die; to be circumcised with the circumcision of Christ, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, which is the same as putting off the flesh itself, since this flesh is only sin-utterly opposed to the Spirit of truth and righteousness. See Galatians 5:17-21. The only way any man can get free from the bondage of these sins, which are inherent in the flesh, is to die. He is to die and yet live; to be in the flesh, yet as though out of it. That is the life which Jesus lived, and it can be accomplished only through Him. He was filled with all the fulness of God; He ascended to heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, for the purpose of filling all things; and by His Spirit we, also may “be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 355.5

    When Christ died He said, “Father, into Thy hand I commit My Spirit.” That was what He had done through the whole of His earth life. He could speak of Himself as “the Son of man which is in heaven.” John 3:13. So we are to resign ourselves unconditionally into the hands of God. If we are moved, like Nicodemus, to ask, “How can these things be?” we are for answer simply reminded of the power of God as seen in the winds and in all creation. God works in ways and by means that are infinitely beyond the range of human comprehension. That life of God, which makes the air a means of life to plants and animals, which permeates matter, and manifests itself in countless myriads of ways, can work in human flesh to manifest its highest forms. The proof of this we have in Jesus of Nazareth, and may have in ourselves also. But we must consent to die, to be wholly separated from “this present evil world.” Galatians 1:4.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 355.6

    Death must be followed by burial. It is not fitting that a living man should be buried, nor that a dead man should remain unburied. So when we die with Christ, “we are buried with Him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4. “Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who raised Him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12. It is for us to know, here and now, in our own bodies, “what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which Ho wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 1:19, 20.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 355.7

    Who that has given himself to the contemplation of this wondrous truth, can ever descend to parley about the “mode of baptism”? As if there could be any question about the matter! To be buried beneath the water, completely covered up in the likeness of Christ's burial, is the emblem of our passing from this life of the flesh to that of the Spirit. Our immersion in the water signifies our absorption into Christ, “the Fountain of living waters.” “As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:27. When one has come to the point of dying with Christ, of being crucified unto the world, he will never stop to quibble about whether or not be shall be buried. That will follow as a natural consequence. And he will not be content without being buried with Christ in baptism. Just as the sprinkling of a small handful of dust upon a corpse could not by any stretch of language be called burial, even so the sprinkling of a few drops of water on a person cannot be called baptism.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 355.8

    You believe that God raised Jesus from the dead? Very well, then remember that the resurrection of Jesus was simply the declaration, the demonstration, of the fact that He was the Son of God, with the power of holiness. Romans 1:3, 4. The power by which Jesus was raised from the dead was the power by which He lived the whole of His life on this earth. Only God can understand the mystery, and He alone needs to understand it, since He alone can perform it; but we may know the fact. That which God did for and in Jesus of Nazareth, He is anxious to do for and in every human being. Will you let Him? Your faith in the working of God in Christ, makes the same power operative in your age. But we must remember that faith means humility, self-surrender. We can have no real faith in God's working until we are willing that He should work in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 356.1

    It is finished! You are dead with Christ, and by being buried with Him in baptism you have signified the fact to the world. What then?-“Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” What those things are, we cannot recount to you; for “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for those that love Him.” God alone can reveal them to you by the Holy Spirit, and this He will do, for “the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God, and is freely given to us, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-12. Your life, being hid with Christ in God, can comprehend things that are hidden from those who know only the earth life. Christ is in heaven; you are to live in heaven; “for our citizenship is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour.” Philippians 3:20. And when He shall appear, we also shall appear with Him in glory.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 356.2

    When Christ was raised from the dead, He was raised to heaven; therefore those who are raised with Him are made to sit with Him in the heavenly places. Ephesians 2:4-6. Sons of God on earth, yet Iiving in heaven, even as Christ on earth was “in the bosom of the Father.” The remaining portion of the third chapter of Colossians now naturally follows. Read it. What wondrous possibilities it unfolds. In the bosom of the Father, our life hid with Christ in God, it is possible to be unmoved by whatever agitates this world. Strong temptations may come, but they cannot ruffle even the surface of that life that is covered by the Divine Presence. Here is the secret of deliverance from irritability, impatience, anger, and passion. Therefore “let the peace of God rule in your heart.”PTUK June 8, 1899, page 356.3

    “Excessive Zeal” The Present Truth 15, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    After God had miraculously delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace, Nebuchadnezzar was very willing to acknowledge the God of heaven, but immediately with that acknowledgment, he made a decree “that every people, nation, and language which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill.” It is a great deal easier to make a decree to tear in pieces every one who does not believe in God, than it is to simply trust Him yourself. The trouble with the king then was that he had not learned what it is to have the kingdom of God within him; that with God there is no such thing as compulsion. “If any man hear My words and believe not, I judge him not,” are the words of Christ. He had no more right to make the decree that the God of heaven should be worshipped than he had to make the one that all people, nations and languages should bow down and worship the golden image that he had set up. The same difficulty exists with many of Christ's professed followers today. In their zeal to promote the cause of God, they resort to measures that abridge religious liberty. The religion of Jesus Christ never persecutes.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 356.4

    “Contending for the Faith” The Present Truth 15, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Apostle Jude exhorts all believers to “contend for the which was once delivered to the saints.” Few texts of scripture have been more abused and misunderstood than this one. Men have supposed that it was a command for each one to attack every other one who did not hold to the faith, or who did not at any rate believe just as he did; and generally have taken it as a warrant for all sorts of controversy, from that conducted by tongue or pen to that which ended in the weaker party's being brought to the stake. Men have quoted this text as though it made controversy obligatory, in face of the statement that “the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing them that oppose themselves.” 2 Timothy 2:24, 25.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 356.5

    It is worth while to give the exhortation a little careful thought, for it ought to be obeyed, and it cannot be heeded by those who do not pay enough attention to it to understand what it says. In the first place, it is very evident that the contention for the faith is for the purpose of preserving it when it is in danger of being destroyed. Now the truth of God cannot be destroyed, as truth, since it is as eternal as God Himself; therefore we know that whoever contends for the faith which was once delivered to the saints, must do so with the view of preserving that portion of faith which God has dealt to him personally. That is, each one must give diligence to guard his own faith, to keep himself in the faith.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 356.6

    Now how can this be? With whom must we contend? It is with every one who contradicts is, and who denies the truth which we believe? Not by any means; for no one can destroy our faith in that way. If I know a thing to be so, nobody can destroy any knowledge by saying that it is not so. Even so, some other person's unbelief cannot overthrow my faith. The only way that I can lose faith is to listen to doubt, and to give heed to the insinuations of the devil.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 356.7

    It is therefore with the devil, and not with any man on earth, that we are to contend, in order to preserve the faitf inviolate? Exactly that, and nothing else. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12, margin.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 356.8

    How shall we contend with the devil? Here are the instructions: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist steadfast in the faith.” 1 Peter 5:8, 9. It is by using faith, that we are able to preserve it. Yes; the more one uses faith, the more of it he will have. And “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17. Continual prayerful study of the Bible is the only way to preserve one's faith, and that will so it always. Therefore we find that instead of being obliged to go about like a prize-fighter, challenging everybody to a combat, or even accepting somebody's challenge to debate, we have on the contrary only to take heed to our own ways, according to the Word of God. Psalm 119:9. So may we preserve the faith which God has delivered to us.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.1

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. Worldly Alliance a Failure. Isaiah 30:1-15The Present Truth 15, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. “Woe unto the rebellious children, saith
    Who form counsels, but not from Me;
    Who ratify covenants, but not by My Spirit:
    That they may add sin to sin.
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.2

    2. Who set forward to go down to Egypt;
    But have not enquired at My mouth:
    To strengthen themselves with the strength of
    And to trust in the shadow of Egypt.
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.3

    3. But the strength of Pharaoh shall be your
    And your trust in the shadow of Egypt your
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.4

    4. Their princes were at Tsoan;
    And their ambassadors arrived at Hanes;
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.5

    5. They were all ashamed of a people that
    profited them not;
    Who were of no help, and of no profit;
    But proved even a shame, and a reproach
    unto them.
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.6

    6. The burden of the beasts traveling south-
    Through a land of distress and difficulty.
    Whence come forth the lioness, and the fierce
    The viper, and the flying fiery serpent;
    They carry on the shoulders of the young
    cattle their wealth;
    And on the bunch of the camel their
    To a people that will not profit them.
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.7

    7. For Egypt is a mere vapour; in vain shall
    they help;
    Wherefore have I called her, Rahab the in-
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.8

    8. Go now, write it before them on a tablet;
    And record it in letters upon a book;
    That it may be for future times;
    For a testimony for ever.
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.9

    9. For there is a rebellious people, lying children;
    Children who choose not to hear the law of
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.10

    10. Who say to the seers, See not;
    And to the prophets, Prophesy not right
    Speak unto us smooth things, prophesy de-
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.11

    11. Turn aside from the way; decline from the
    straight path;
    Remove from our sight the Holy One of
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.12

    12. Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel:
    Because ye have rejected this word;
    And have trusted in obliquity, and perversion;
    And have leaned entirely upon it:
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.13

    13. Therefore shall this offense be unto you
    Like a breach threatening ruin; a swelling in
    a high wall;
    Whose destruction cometh suddenly, in an
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.14

    14. It shall be broken, as when one breaketh a
    potter's vessel;
    So that there shall not be found a shard
    among its fragments,
    To take up fire from the hearth,
    Or to dip up water from the cistern.
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.15

    15. Verily thus saith the Lord Jehovah, the Holy
    One of Israel;
    By turning from your ways, and by abiding
    quiet, ye shall be saved;
    In silence, and in pious confidence, shall be
    your strength;
    But ye would not hearken.”
    PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.16

    One of the earliest things taught by the prophet Isaiah is that the name of the Mighty God,-the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, on whose shoulder the Government rests, and in whom alone there is stability and everlasting dominion,-is Wonderful, Counsellor. Isaiah 9:6, 7. He only is “wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.” Isaiah 28:29. Therefore it is easy to understand the woe pronounced upon those who do indeed take counsel, but not of the Lord. It is not an arbitrary curse captiously uttered, as though the Lord were angry because He has been slighted, but the simple statement of the inevitable result to those who despise the counsel of the Lord. There is no real counsel except from Him.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.17

    The text itself gives us the picture of the circumstances that called it forth. The Israelites, threatened by the Assyrians, were seeking help from Egypt, their ancient house of bondage. The Egyptians had evidently promised them assistance, which the prophet assured them would never be rendered. This is seemingly the sum of the transaction, but the case was not an ordinary one, and it has lessons for God's people to the end of time.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.18

    In the first place, we must consider what Egypt really is. We will not take time and space here to go into it in detail, but we find a key in Revelation 11:8, where we read that the dead bodies of God's “two witnesses,” who are slain for the true testimony that they give, shall lie in the street of “that great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” Now it was “this present evil world” that crucified Christ, because “it knew Him not.” See 1 John 3:1; 1 Corinthians 2:7, 8; John 16:1-3. The cross of Jesus is that by which we are crucified unto the world, and since we are to be crucified with Him, it is that by which He was crucified unto the world. Galatians 6:14; 2:20. By it we are delivered from this present evil world. Galatians 1:4. We may therefore set it down as a fact that Egypt represents the world, as opposed to Christ.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 357.19

    Christ as a little child went down into Egypt, that the saying might be fulfilled. “Out of Egypt have I called my Son.” Matthew 2:15. Israel was brought out of Egypt in order that they might keep God's commandments. Psalm 105:43-45. All the children of God, therefore,-all Christians, must come out of Egypt; so long as they remain in Egypt they cannot render God the service due Him, for Egypt is “the house of bondage.” Exodus 20:1-3. The recognition of God as the one, true God, to the exclusion of all false gods, means coming out of Egypt.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 358.1

    Think what a marvellous change had taken place when the children of Israel could think of making the alliance with Egypt, and could deliberately seek help against their enemies, from the people who had made them “serve with rigour,” and had “made their lives bitter with hard bondage.” Exodus 1:13, 14. “All the service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.” “And the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried” (Exodus 2:23), for the Egyptians “evil entreated” them, “so they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.” Acts 7:19. Yet to this same people the Israelites were now turning for assistance in their time of need. What a change time had wrought.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 358.2

    What and in whom was this change? Had the Egyptians become converted? Did they now acknowledge and worship the true God? Not at all. They were heathens the same as of old, and were as much opposed to God as their fathers ever were. They had crucified Christ in the days of Moses, for Moses esteemed it great riches to share “the reproach of Christ,” and that reproach is the cross. See Hebrews 13:12, 13; Psalm 69:7, 9, 20, 21. What then did it mean when the people of Israel turned to Egypt for deliverance?-It meant that they had forsaken God, the Rock of their salvation. The change was in the Israelites, not in the Egyptians. What blindness was there manifested! to go to the house of bondage to find deliverance!PTUK June 8, 1899, page 358.3

    Listen to the talk of some of the “progressive” leaders of the people on those days: “Why shouldn't we make an alliance with the Egyptians, for mutual help? Why should we always keep in memory the ancient differences? The Egyptians are very good fellows, when you come to know them; in fact, they are not so very much different from us. The world has made much progress in the last thousand years, and we ought to be liberal-minded enough to make some concessions to it. It's all very fine to talk about trusting in the Lord, but it isn't practical; “God helps those who help themselves,” and common sense should teach us that our only hope of existence as a people is in joining our forces with the Egyptians. On some things we will “agree to disagree,” and so we shall gain influence with them at the same time that they afford us material aid.” Ah yes, we have all heard them talk.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 358.4

    What says the Lord? “The strength of Pharaoh shall be your shame; and your trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.” “For Egypt is a mere vapour; in vain shall they help; wherefore have I called her, Rahab the inactive.” The help of the world is in vain, for, “the world passeth away, and the lust thereof.” 1 John 2:17. “But he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” “It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in princes.”PTUK June 8, 1899, page 358.5

    Notice the various readings of the 7th verse. The common version has it, “Their strength is to sit still.” That expresses the idea very well, but we need to know the meaning of the word “Rahab,” in order to appreciate the text. In Job 9:23 the word occurs, and is rendered “proud helpers;” and in Job 26:12 it occurs in the sentence rendered, “He smiteth through the proud.” In two or three other places in the Bible it is to be found, as in Psalm 89:10, and Isaiah 51:9, but always as something hateful to God. The idea, it is plain to be seen, is that of proud boasting. “Rahab” is connected with Babylon, in Psalm 87:4, and we know that Babylon originated in pride, and boasting was its ruin. So Egypt is called the people which make great promises and boasts, but do nothing. So their strength of which they boast, is nothing but emptiness. Recall the history of Pharaoh's haughty opposition to God in the days of Moses, and think how empty it was, and you will understand the force of this text, and will also better see the folly of Israel's going to the Egyptians for help. They say, and do not.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 358.6

    Going back to the first verse, we notice that where our version has “cover with a covering,” Lowth has it, “ratify covenants.” The margin of our Bibles has, however, “weave a web,” or “make a league.” In some versions it is rendered, “pour out a drink offering,” which was a common way of ratifying a league, and which is perpetuated to this day in the custom which many have of pledging friendship with a glass of wine. The covenant which the Israelites were making with the Egyptians was designed as a covering, a protection; but the trouble was, it was not the covering of the Spirit of God. It was a flimsy web that they were weaving.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 358.7

    Why was it wrong for Israel to make a covenant with the Egyptians or with any other people?-Because such a covenant would have been a rejection of God, who had chosen them as His special people. He had made a covenant with them, to be their God, and to take them for His people. It was not because these people were better than others, that they were called God's people, but because they bore the name “Israel,” and gloried in it. “Israel” means “a prince of God,” a Christian, for all followers of Christ are kings and priests of God. Revelation 1:6. Whenever a people bear that name,-no matter what the form, whether Christian or Israelite,-they thereby proclaim that Jehovah is their God and their protector; for such to make any alliance with the world is to be untrue to God, for “the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 358.8

    The children of Israel were expressly warned, on going into the land of Canaan, not to make any league with the inhabitants of the land. God's plan for them was this: “The people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” Numbers 23:9. Yet this did not mean that they should be exclusive and misanthropic. On the contrary, they were to be exponents of God's unselfishness and loving kindness to mankind. Any people might join them, and share the blessings God had for them, but in so doing these other peoples were to give up their distinct nationality, and become simply Christians; for in Christ “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all and in all.” Colossians 3:11. Christians are a peculiar people, a nation with an invisible Ruler. They have everything to give “to all people,” but no other people have anything to give them. For them therefore to make any alliance whatever with the world, is to deny their King and their profession. It is the same as saying that they do not receive all they need from the Lord, and to put the world in His place. It is to weaken the force of the Gospel to those other people, by conveying the idea that to be a citizen of any earthly country is as good or the same as being a Christian.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 358.9

    All that is said in this chapter applies to us as much as to the people who lived when it was written, because it was written “for a testimony for ever.” The rebellious people are those who do not choose to hear the law of Jehovah; they are not willing to hear the law. Jehovah is the rightful King of all the earth; all who do not regard His law are rebels and outlaws, no matter though they rank as kings on earth. For Israel to make an alliance with Egypt,-for the professed Church of Christ to enter into any sort of alliance with the world,-is to declare that “the rudiments of the world” are as good as the law of God. God's law is the only law for all mankind; whatever is contrary to that law is rebellion and idolatry.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 359.1

    But the church has taken upon itself to make laws, calling them God's laws. “After their own lusts” have men “heaped to themselves teachers, having itching ears,” and have turned aside from the truth unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:3, 4. They “say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not right things; speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.” Men choose their own teachers-those who will say the things that they like to hear-and then will quote the sayings of those teachers as authority, in opposition to the law of God. This is identical with the course of the heathen, who makes his own god, and then says, “Deliver me, for thou art my god.” Yet these professed people of God will not believe that what the Bible says of the heathen applies to them.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 359.2

    What will be the result of all this?-Because men reject the word of the Lord, even the “Holy one of Israel;” sudden destruction shall come upon them, and they shall not escape; they shall be broken in pieces like a potter's vessel, and their destruction will be complete. Compare verses 12, 14 with 1 Thessalonians 5:3 and Psalm 2. They who put their trust in men will come to nothing, while “they that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.” Psalm 125:1.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 359.3

    “For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” This, coming in the connection that it does, shows that the Lord affords practical, material aid. The Israelites were in great danger: the Assyrians were threatening their destruction; according to all human calculations they needed just such help as the Egyptians could afford,-men and horses and munitions of war. But God said, No; they will be your ruin; your strength is in quietly trusting in Me, in returning to Me, and in absolute rest on My word, you will find complete deliverance. They did not believe Him, and people do not believe it now.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 359.4

    We know as a fact that they preferred to trust in men, whom they could see, rather than in God, whom they could not see, and that the Assyrians took them captive. Why should we not learn the lesson? It is for each individual, as well as for the whole church. It is recorded for the purpose of teaching the church that its strength lies in strict adherence to the Word of God, and in departing from the world. Conformity to the world, whether for the avowed purpose of winning worldlings to the church, or to induce the world to lend the church material aid, is ruin. The world can do nothing for the church, except to corrupt it, but it cannot do that as long as the church trusts in God alone.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 359.5

    But the individual lesson is the one that concerns us most; for if the individuals are faithful, the church must be right. Each person has troubles of various kinds; in the Lord alone is there help. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 27:5. We all know the ways of the world: Self-assertion, insisting on one's rights, bitterness, revenge; everybody who does not know the Lord, shows how he acts when he is in difficulty, when he is tempted, and when people irritate or injure him, and everybody who does know the Lord, can remember how he once did and how he is still tempted to do. Well, that is the way not to do; that is the way of the world; that is going down into Egypt for help-to the house of bondage for freedom. It is all in vain. “God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble.” There is infinite strength in quietly giving up one's self, and resting in the Lord. “Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”PTUK June 8, 1899, page 359.6

    “Ancestral Worship” The Present Truth 15, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is stated that in China ?26,000,000 is spent annually for paper money burned in ancestral worship. The people believe that the spirits of their departed friends remain near the home they occupied during life and the grave in which their body rests. As they are powerful to work good or ill to their descendants, these spirits must be propitiated by offerings. The more ignorant classes believe that the sham money burned in the ceremony is, by some unexplained process, transmuted into coin current in the world of spirits, and there serves to pay their expenses.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 359.7

    “Little Folks. The Birds of the Air” The Present Truth 15, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Lord Jesus is teaching us precious lessons in everything that He has made, and He has especially told us to “Behold the birds!” In the Spring we learned how He is working to multiply them in the earth, how at this season the birds, taught by His Word which is working in them, build their wonderful little nests, and lay in them the eggs which develop into baby birds.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 362.1

    During the past month or two, the trees and bushes have held many of those tiny cradles full of dear little living creatures. You may have seen the happy parents flying home to their nests with food for their little ones, or hovering over them with anxious love and care, to see that all their needs were provided for.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 362.2

    The mother bird devotes herself entirely to her young ones. From the time that the eggs are laid she scarcely leaves the nest at all, except for a short “constitutional” each day for the good of her health, while the father bird takes her place on the nest. To “the queen of the air,” always on the wing, this must be a great sacrifice, but lone makes it sweet, and these Spring seasons when her nest is full, are the happiest times in her life.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 362.3

    But now the time comes for the little ones to leave the nest, to try their little wings, and find their home in the air; for this is what God made the birds for, “to fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” The parent birds, you will see if you are able to watch them, seem to take great pride and pleasure in teaching the little ones to use their wings, encouraging them to make the first flight, and watching near to see that they do not get into danger.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 362.4

    God uses this to show His tender love and care for His children. He says: “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad bar wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings,” so He guides and teaches and keeps His people. When the young eaglets are weary, the mother bird flies down underneath them, and catching them on her own wings, carries them until they are able to fly again.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 362.5

    The wings of the young birds soon get strong, and their flights longer and longer, until by the early autumn they are ready to fly away with the rest, over seas and oceans, to other lands where the they spend the winter.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 362.6

    Did you ever think as you have watched the free, graceful flight of the birds, what a wonderful and delightful experience it must be? Of all the creatures that God has made, the birds seem to have the fullest and freest life. This is because they are the most filled with the air, which we have found to be the breath of God, His own life-giving Spirit. Read the article that follows this one on “The flight of Birds,” and you will see how their bodies are formed so that the air that enters their lungs is carried through the whole body, making them light, and bouyant and free, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”PTUK June 8, 1899, page 362.7

    But God did not mean that any of its creatures should have any advantage over man; for He made him His own son, in His own image, to be above all, and to have dominion over all. He was to have dominion over the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea, as well as over the beasts of the earth. But in order to rule the “birds of the air,” he must have dominion over the air; and in order to rule “the fish of the sea,” he must have dominion over the water. He must be more free in the air than the birds, and more free in the water than the fish and other creatures that God made to live there.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 362.8

    This is how God made man in the beginning, but through disobedience he lost the image of God in which he had been made, and so lost his liberty and his dominion-his kingdom. But when Jesus came to this earth as a man, He had the dominion over all things, because He had the perfect image of God. He was the Son of God, and in His life we can see what is “the glorious liberty of the sons of God.”PTUK June 8, 1899, page 362.9

    Jesus could walk upon the stormy waters just as easily as upon the dry land. He had dominion over the waters. And when there was “a great storm of wind,” Jesus “rebuked the wind,” and “the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” He had dominion over the air. Then after His resurrection, when the time had come for Him to return to the Father, He could rise right above the earth and ascend in the air with perfect freedom.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 362.10

    Dear children, if we now let Jesus come into our hearts, He will restore His own perfect image there, and make us indeed the children of God. Then when He comes, as He is soon to do, and it is clearly shown who have really become His children, we shall rise from the earth as He did, to “meet Him in the air.” We shall be able to “soar to worlds unknown,” even to the very throne of God, to be with Him for ever.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 362.11

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -A Trust has been formed in England to control the wall-paper trade, the capital to be ?3,000,000.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.1

    -The Suez Canal receipts last year were the highest on record, almost reaching 88,000,000 francs.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.2

    -Three-fourths of all the letters that enter the mails of the world are written in the English language.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.3

    -The Finnish Diet is making a stand against Russia, virtually rejecting the Army Bill submitted by the latter for one of its own making, which provides for the continuance of Finnish in-dependence.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.4

    -St. John, the most important town in New Brunswick, has been devastated by fire. A hundred buildings have been destroyed. The damage is estimated at ?80,000, the half of which is covered by insurance.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.5

    -A recent consignment of funds from the United States to pay the soldiers at Manila, was paper money, enclosed in wooden boxes. Ants attacked it in the store house, and nearly the whole of it was mutilated beyond and recognition.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.6

    -On the day appointed for the Cuban soldiers to bring in their arms and receive seventy-five dollars each from the United States officials, not a single Cuban soldier put in an appearance, except a number of Cuban officiers who ridiculed the proceedings.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.7

    -At the Tuberculosis Conference just held at Berlin, which was attended by a large number of eminent physicians, it was agreed that tuberculosis of the lung was curable, and that consumption was essentially a disease brought about by defective social conditions and by unhealthy occupations. Sanatoria provided the best means of combating the disease, but a course of treatment at these must not be followed by a return to the old unhealthy conditions.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.8

    -Education in Porto Rico is at a low ebb. A careful computation regarding the illiteracy of the inhabitants show that about eighty-seven per cent. can neither read nor write. There is a compulsory school law, but it remains a dead letter.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.9

    -During the last thirty-four years the main channel at the mouth of the Thames has narrowed from one and a-half miles to half a mile. At this rate it will not be long before large vessels will be unable to navigate the Thames with safety. The matter is receiving attention from the authorities.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.10

    -Coney Island, a famous summer resort of New York City, was almost totally destroyed by fire on the 27th ult. Two hundred hotels, saloons, etc., were wiped out of existence. The fire is supposed to be of incendiary origin, due to the late order to suppress gambling and liquor selling within its precincts.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.11

    -Five million people are starving in Russia and appeals are being made to England for assistance. This is one of the results of vast military expenditure, yet at the same time one Russian paper demands that the army be increased by 800,000 men, so that it may bear the some proportion to the total population that the German army does.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.12

    -The German government is making an experiment in the feeding of artillery horses by dieting them on a patent food, composed of fresh blood from the slaughter houses, mixed with sugar refuse and the screenings of barley, wheat and the like. The principal argument in behalf of this diet is that the cost of maintenance will be materially, decreased.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.13

    -Dr. Wise, of Montreux, Switzerland, states in the Lancet, that household feathered pets, especially canaries, are often affected with tuberculosis, and the bacilli are easily communicated. In his investigation of the matter he found eighty cases of tuberculosis, a large number of which, it was believed, could be traced directly to diseased birds kept in the family.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.14

    -The Legislature of Michigan has enacted a law which requires the public-house drinker to carry a license. The charge, for the license is $5, and payment of this fee confers on the holder of the license the privilege of drinking in a public bar; while no publican may sell liquid refreshment to anyone unable to produce his license which is not transferable.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.15

    -It is stated that a Dr. Blyden has been empowered by the Executive of the Liberian Republic to place before the American Government, on behalf of the Liberian people, a unanimous demand for an American protectorate over the territories of the republic. Failing the assent of the United States, Dr. Blyden is empowered to approach the British Government on the subject.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.16

    -Russia's only reply to to the Chinese refusal to allow the Russian railway to be extended to Peking, is an intimation that Russian engineers will at once proceed with the survey of the best route, in accordance with their recent demand. And this at the very time when representatives of the two countries are meeting in a conference which is to establish the peace of the world.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.17

    -Mr. John Morley, in a recent speech, referred to the way in which ministers of religion glorify war, one of them having said that “war evokes some of the noblest qualities of mankind.” Mr Morley said, “It used to be the fashion at public dinners to that propose ‘The Army and Navy,’ and then by-sad-by ‘The Bishops and Clergy,’ but if this goes on these toasts will have to be fused into one, and we shall have ‘The Army, Navy, Reserve Forces, and the Ministers of all Denominations.’”PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.18

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. And the base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are.” 1 Corinthians 1:27, 28. This is not according to the wisdom of the world; this is not as we would do. If we would confound the wise, we would not chose those of little knowledge, nor those that are weak to confound the mighty. But God does not work that way. When He would have a king for Israel, He passed by all the stalwart, well-favoured sons of Jesse and took David, the despised shepherd boy. When the Lord Jesus would have representatives upon the earth, He chose humble fishermen rather than the learned priests of the temple. And why was all this? “That no flesh should glory in His presence.”PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.19

    “All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field.” Therefore to glory in any flesh is a fatal mistake, whether it be our own or another’s, God wants men to glory, but He wants them to glory in something satisfying and durable. So He gives them Himself to glory in. “That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” When the Word emphasises the truth of human insignificance, it is never to discourage us, but to turn our minds to the unfailing source of boundless encouragement. It promises strength to the weak, wisdom to the foolish, and a kingdom to the beggar. It stops the mouth of those who protest that they are base and rightly despised, with the comforting assurance that such are the chosen of God.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.20

    An old man once said that it took him forty years to learn three simple things. The first was that he could not do anything to save himself; the second was that God did not expect him to; and the third was that Christ had done it all, and all he had to do was to accept the accomplished fact. There are many professed Christians who never know the sweets of Christian living, simply because they, like the old man, have failed to learn the secret.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.21

    “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him He shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:28. God does not desire that anyone should perish, but that all should live. The whole aim of the Gospel is to give life. But when this life is refused, turned away from, then the very means that He has ordained unto life becomes death. For in that day, those who know not God are “punished with everlasting destruction.” It is not arbitrary on God's part that some are to be saved, and others destroyed; “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved.” 1 Timothy 2:3, 4. When this salvation is in the hands of everyone, whoever turns from it condemns himself to death. “Turn ye, for why will ye die?”PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.22

    Looking at it as a whole, it is not very difficult to see that the Lord was leading Joseph through all his experience, from the time he left the door of his father's tent to visit his brethren, till he was practically king of Egypt. When we read of the deliverance of the three Hebrew children from the fiery furnace, and Daniel from the den of lions, we say with the king, “there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” But where many of no fail in our Christian experience, is, we begin to murmur and complain when trials came. We forget that God is leading us just as He led Joseph; and that the perplexities, the hardships, the injustice, that we are called upon to bear will, if we will but let them, work out for us such a character as they did for him. We never hear of his complaining at his hard lot, or murmuring at the injustice done him; but while in prison, or working as a slave, he was just as true to God, and as faithful in his work as when he stood at the head of the kingdom. It was this faithfulness, when only God's eye was upon him, that gave him the character of a king, and the fitness for the place he ultimately occupied. God wishes us all to be “kings and priests” unto Him. We may be, but first we must learn to have dominion over ourselves; to recognise God's leading hand in every detail of life; then whatsoever we do will prosper.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.23

    So many people are worrying about their own salvation, but the Lord has promised that He will carry the good work on in us, when we consecrate our lives to helping others to know the salvation that is oars. Hear what Paul says: “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom.” 2 Timothy 4:17, 18.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.24

    The Commercial Intelligence says that half the “dust teas” brought into England should be confiscated, since in one thousand pounds of it there is often two hundred pounds of sand and earthy matter. “Sometimes there is as much as thirty-five per cent of mineral rubbish.” No honest man can uphold fraud, but it is comforting to know that in this case it works beneficially rather than otherwise. The “mineral trash” with which the tea is adulterated is not one-tenth part as harmful as the “vegetable trash” that remains. The more sand in the tea, the less poison to be consumed, for the sand will go to the bottom of the tea-pot and the consumer will get his hot water just so much nearer pure.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.25

    What God desires in the world is simply men-men through whom He can work to do His good pleasure. Everything that is accomplished in the world for men, has been by man. All the wonders that have been wrought of God in man's behalf, have been through men who were surrendered to God. He gives to everyone the privilege of yielding his members as instruments of righteousness unto Him, and with this yielding comes the power. The more complete it is, the more power there will be in the life. God is longing for men to come into such a relation to Him that He can demonstrate to the world that He can do through human instruments.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.26

    “Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58.PTUK June 8, 1899, page 368.27

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