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    May 19, 1898

    “The Flock of God” The Present Truth 14, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” Ps. xcv. 6, 7. “Know ye not that the Lord He is God; it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.” Ps. c. 3.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 305.1

    “Who are His sheep? Is it just those who acknowledge and serve Him? or is it all?—Evidently the latter; for in the Psalm whence the first text is cited, the exhortation follows, “To-day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts;” and the other text intimates that His sheep consist of those whom He has created.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 305.2

    Still more positive proof that all men are originally considered as God's flock, is found in Isa. liii. 6: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Everyone who has gone astray, and every one for whom Christ died, belongs to His flock. “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 305.3

    The Lord Jehovah is the Shepherd. Ps. xxiii. 1. Jesus says, “I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” John x. 11. Christ died for all; by the grace of God He tasted death for every man. So we see that all people on earth are rightfully His sheep. Ah, what infinite comfort there is in that thought, when it is accepted; every one who will allow that he is one of the Lord's flock can say with confidence, “I shall not want.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 305.4

    Sad to say, not all will acknowledge the Lord as their Shepherd. We cannot tell who they are, who by their own unbelief take themselves out of His flock; but He knows. Jesus says, “I am the good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine.” John x. 10. To some He said, “Ye believed not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Verses 26, 27.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 305.5

    Jesus stands and calls, and those who hear and follow Him thereby prove that they are indeed His sheep. Those who gather to Him at His call form what is commonly termed His church; for the Greek word that is rendered “church” is composed of two words which means literally “called out.” The words “church” and “flock” are used interchangeably, as in Acts xx. 28, in the words of Paul to the elders of the church in Ephesus: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 305.6

    The word which is used in the Old Testament, however, and which ought still to be used instead of “church,” is “congregation.” It would be vastly better if “congregation” were always used when speaking of the body of Christ, and the word “church” were wholly abandoned. The word “congregation” comes directly from the Latin word which means “flock.” It means literally, “flocked together,” and aptly designates those who gather together from all directions, at the Shepherd's call. When the Lord calls, His sheep hear His voice, and flock to Him. Thus being “called out” of this present evil world, they form one body, a congregation. Of course they are not all in one single place on this earth; so there are many little congregations, and yet only one congregation, since they are all one in Christ.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.1

    Since the flock has come in response to the Lord's voice, they will not, after having assembled, listen to any other voice. “Hear Him” is the command from above. If any other voice is listened to, the only result is the dividing and scattering of the flock. Remember that the only test of whether or not any are Christ's flock, is the voice of Christ. All who listen to it are His sheep; those who will not hear it are goats that are at last to be separated from the flock (Matt. xxv. 31, 32); and those who use other than Christ's voice, that is, His words, are “grievous wolves” or else thieves and robbers.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.2

    It will readily be seen that the flock of God, “the congregation of the righteous, is not a law-making, but a law-keeping body. The flock does not rule, but is ruled. The ruling, however, is by Christ, the great Shepherd, whose ruling consists in feeding. Compare Micah v. 2 with Matt. ii. 6, margin. It would manifestly be most absurd for a flock of sheep to lay down rules for its own guidance; much more to presume to be rulers of others.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.3

    From this we can see the impropriety of the use of the word “church,” as applied to the Lord's flock. That word means “lordly,” and came into use with the rising up of the men of whom Paul gave warning,-men “speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Acts xx. 30. These men began to lord it over God's heritage, and soon the idea became prevalent that they themselves constituted the church. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, introduced or at least gave prominence to the idea, which soon became prevalent, that-PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.4

    “The church is founded upon the bishops, and every act of the church is controlled by these same rulers.” “Whence you ought to know that the bishop is in the church, and the church in the bishop; and if anyone be not with the bishop, that he is not in the church.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.5

    and as a consequence the bishops, instead of considering themselves as under-shepherds, soon claimed to be “the church,” that is the lords of the people. Instead of giving their lives for the flock, they slaughtered the flock for their own pleasure. But lordship is not a thing that has any place in the house of God. To us there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ. Him will we hear. From any other voice than His we will flee.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.6

    The word “church” has obtained such a foothold, that it is not at all probable that it will ever be replaced by the rightful word, “congregation;” but when we use it we must remember that the church of Christ is not a house of lords but is a flock, feeding on the words of the “one Lord.” How much better this position than the former. If we assume the lordship, we have all the burden and worry, with the fear, nay the certainty, of making mistakes; while if we are content to be humble sheep, led by the good Shepherd, we are sure to be kept safe, and brought into the everlasting kingdom.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.7

    With what confidence we may rest! “Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. He shall feed His flock like a Shepherd; He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isa. xl. 10, 11. His own life is answerable for the life of each member of the flock.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.8

    Therefore “the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom the glory for ever and ever. Amen.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.9

    “The Power by Which God Draws” The Present Truth 14, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Last week we had a brief study of the matter of calling and election, in which we saw that God calls all men to repentance, and has chosen or elected all men in Christ unto salvation, and that it rests with each individual to make his calling an election sure. At the close of the study the question arose, “Can anybody come to the Lord unless he is drawn?” and the answer was, of course, No; since Jesus said: “No man can come unto Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him.” John vi. 44. But this must not be taken as indicating that there are some who are not drawn, and who therefore cannot come, because Christ also said, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” John xii. 32. And He has been “lifted up” from the earth, on the cross, which was what He referred to.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.10

    “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.” 2 Cor. v. 19. Therefore in the cross of Christ, the Father, who sent Him, is drawing all men unto Him. According to promise, we will now have a brief study of the power by which God is drawing us to Himself and salvation, so that we may see how utterly without excuse we shall be if we neglect “so great salvation.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.11


    The prophet Jeremiah writes: “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have by drawn thee.” Jer. xxxi. 3. This loving-kindness that draws men to God is manifested in the cross; for “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. v. 8. “And He died for all, that they which should live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto Him who for their sakes died and rose again.” 2 Cor. v. 15, R.V. So we come again to the fact that in the cross God is drawing every man to salvation.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.12

    Before we go any further, let it be understood that the fact that Christ is drawing all men to salvation does not prove that all men will be saved, for men may and do despise and resist the love of God. We merely state this, in passing, so that no one need be troubled by the thought that we are claiming that all men will be saved. What we are concerned with is to show that all men might be saved if they would, and to show that so strongly does God desire the salvation of all men, that they are obliged to labour for destruction, and to put forth positive resistance, to avoid being saved. “Whosoever will,” that is, whosoever is willing, is sure to be saved.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 306.13

    The fact just stated, together with the truth set forth in Jer. xxxi. 3, is seen in Rom. ii. 3-6, where the apostle addresses himself to every sinner in particular, saying, “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the righteous judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after the hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.1


    What we have thus far learned is that God is drawing all men by the power of the cross. Now we wish to see what all men may know of the greatness of that power. True, we are told that the “exceeding greatness” of His power is manifested in the resurrection of Christ from the dead; but we want to know if that power is actually manifested so that we can see its action, instead of merely reading the statement of the fact. The answer is given in God's own Word. Let us read and see.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.2

    1. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Rom. i. 16.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.3

    2. The preaching of the cross is also the power of God to salvation. 1 Cor. i. 18.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.4

    3. So the Gospel is the preaching of the cross of Christ, as plainly appears when we read 1 Cor. i. 17, 18.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.5

    4. That which may be known of God, that is, “His everlasting power and divinity,” has been manifest ever since the creation of the world, “being perceived through the things that are made.” Rom. i. 20, R.V. Therefore putting these things together, namely, that the Gospel, by which men are saved, and which is “to all people,” is the preaching of the cross of Christ; that it is the power of God; and that the power of God is seen in His creation, we learnPTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.6

    5. That the power of the cross, the power by which God draws men to Himself, is the power that is manifested in the visible as well as the invisible creation.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.7

    This agrees with the statement that “in Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible” (Col. i. 16, R.V.), and Christ's own words of encouragement to those whom He sends to preach the Gospel: “All power is given unto Me, in heaven and earth.” Matt. xxviii. 18.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.8

    The psalmist sung:PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.9

    For Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through
    Thy work;
    I will triumph in the works of Thy hands.
    Ps. xcii. 4.
    PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.10


    It is by the work of God that we are saved; “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.” Eph. ii. 10. Therefore the exhortation of Elihu (chapter xxxvi. 24-29) is most worthy to be heeded:—PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.11

    Remember that thou magnify His work,
    Whereof men have sung it.
    All men have looked thereon;
    Man beholdeth it afar off.
    Behold, God is great, and we know Him not;
    And the number of His years is unsearchable.
    For He draweth up the drops of water,
    Which distill in rain from His vapour:
    Which the skies pour down
    And drop upon man abundantly.
    Yes, can any understand the spreadings of the
    The thunderings of His pavilion?
    PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.12

    Think of the mighty power by which the water is drawn up from the earth to the clouds. Every day, every hour, every minute the work is going on, yet so silently is it accomplished that few give it a thought. People will wonder at the power displayed by a machine that will pump a few million gallons of water a day; but in God's great waterworks thousands of millions of tons of water are daily drawn up, not merely a few hundred feet, but miles into the air, and they are stored up till the proper time comes for it to be sent down gently in rain.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.13

    That is most literally drawing power; and it is the same power that God exerts to draw us to Him; for the Gospel is the power of God, and the power of God is seen in the things that are made.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.14

    “Can any understand the spreading of the clouds?” asks Elihu; and to this day the most learned scientist is compelled to answer, “None.” “He bindeth up the waters in His thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them.” Job xxvi. 8. Think of the weight of water contained in a single rain cloud. If it should all come down at once everything would be swept away before it, and the very ground would be furrowed as with a gigantic plough. Some idea of the amount of water in a single cloud may be formed when we consider that to cover merely a single acre of land an inch deep, would take more than one hundred and thirty tons of water. Now remember that in a single rain shower several inches of rain have been known to fall upon thousands of acres, and we can realise what vast reservoirs the clouds are! What held that water in the sky until the time came for it to be poured on the earth? No scientist has any theories to account for how it is done; but we know the fact, that it is held up by the power of God, the same power that drew it up. This is the power that is exerted to draw us to Him.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.15


    Again: the magnetic needle points to the north. Everybody knows the facts, but nobody knows why. There is a mysterious attraction in the north. Mysterious indeed, for the Hebrew word for north means, concealed, hidden. What is this power, which men arbitrarily called magnetism, which fills the whole earth, and by which matter is kept from becoming a chaotic mass and going to destruction?—It is God's own personal influence, for “there is no power but of God.” His secret dwelling-place is “Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the Great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge.” Ps. xlviii. 2, 3. Lucifer, in his mad ambition to set his throne above the stars of God, and to be like the Most High, said:—PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.16

    “I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” Isa. xiv. 12-14.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.17

    “He stretched out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” Job xxvi. 7. The earth hangs upon nothing, upheld by that mighty power that emanates from “the secret place of the Most High,”—the north. That power pervades every particle of matter in the universe, and holds it in its place. In Christ “are all things created, ... for He is before all things, and in Him all things consists,” or “cohere.” Col. i. 16, 17. He upholdeth “all things by the word of His power.” Heb. i. 3.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 307.18

    The mind cannot grasp such mighty power. It is but the working out of “the love of God which passeth knowledge,” which is devoted to the well-being of mankind. “The earth is full of the loving-kindness of the Lord” (Ps. xxxiii. 5), and it His loving-kindness that draws us to Him. All the force in nature, by whatever name men know it, whether cohesion, chemical attraction, magnetism, gravitation, or what not, is simply the influence of the Spirit of God, from whose presence none can flee, whether he ascend to heaven, or descend into the depths of the earth, or dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea. Ps. cxxxix. 7-10.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 308.1

    Here we may well stop and meditate. What more could God do than He has done for the salvation of all mankind? That wonderful power-God's loving-kindness-is manifested also in our own bodies, so that if we are but willing that the Holy Spirit should dwell in us, and the peace of God should rule there, it cannot be otherwise than that we shall be “kept by the power of God unto salvation.” God has caused His goodness to pass before us; He invites us to look at it. Oh, may our eyes ever be directed to that Divine goodness, that its power may transform us and make us wholly like God!PTUK May 19, 1898, page 308.2

    “The Epistle to the Galatians. Improving the Opportunity” The Present Truth 14, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Although we have studied the first three verses of the sixth chapter of Galatians, we will for the sake of the connection include them in the text for this week, and without further review begin the study.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 308.3

    “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Gal. vi. 1-10.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 308.4

    Burden-Bearing. -It can well be said that there is much in this portion of Scripture, as well as in others, which no one as yet understands, especially in verses two and five, which, seem to be directly contrary to each other. One says that we should bear one another's burdens, and the other says that every one shall bear his own burden. Without speculating upon what we do not know, we can find abundance of instruction in what is evident. Each one must have the Spirit of Christ, which is that of burden-bearing. He devoted His life to the service of others. But His own burdens He carried to God. He did not ask others to carry them for Him. Even so it should be with us. If every one in the house of God, to say nothing of the world, acted according to this plan, how easy it would be to get on! There would really be no burdens for any one to bear. Each one thoughtful only of others, studying their burdens, that he might help them, would find his own burdens carried in turn by others. The only burden that any one would then carry would be Christ's burden, which He calls us to take, because it is light. Let us learn of Christ, who bore the burden of the world, and asked none to share it with Him; yet He found it easy and light. When we try to unload our burdens on others, we are always in trouble, always heavy-laden; but when we are wholly devoted to bearing the burdens of others, we find them light.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 308.5

    Communicating Good Things. -“Let him that is taught in the Word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” There can be no doubt but that this refers primarily to temporal support. “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” If a man gives himself wholly to the ministry of the Word, it is evident that the things necessary for his sustenance must come from those who are taught. But this by no means exhausts the meaning of the injunction. The one who is taught in the Word must communicate to the teacher “in all good things.” Mutual help is the burden of this chapter. “Bear ye one another's burdens.” Even the teacher who is supported by those who are taught, is to assist others pecuniarily. Christ and the apostles, who had nothing of their own,-for Christ was the poorest of the poor, and the disciples had left all to follow Him, nevertheless distributed to the poor out of their little store. See John xiii. 29. As the teachers contribute not only the Word but temporal support as well, so those who are taught in the Word should not confine their liberality merely to temporal things. It is a mistake to suppose that ministers of the Gospel never stand in need of spiritual refreshment, or that they can not receive it from the weakest in the flock. No one can ever tell how much the souls of teachers are encouraged by the testimonies of faith and joy in the Lord, which come from the mouths of those who have heard the Word. It is not simply that the teacher sees that his labor is not in vain. The testimony may have no reference whatever to anything that he has done; but a humble soul's joyful testimony to what God has done for him, will often, through the refreshment it gives the teacher of the Word, be the means of strengthening the souls of hundreds.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 308.6

    Sowing and Reaping .—“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” A simple statement of fact, that can not be made plainer by any amount of talk. The harvest, which is the end of the world, will reveal what the sowing has been, whether wheat or tares. Verse 8 is so plain and striking a statement that comments only weaken its force. “He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea x. 12.” He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool,” and equally foolish is he who trusts in other men, as is seen from the next verse: “Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies; because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of mighty men.” “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm,” whether it be his own flesh or that of some other man. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” Jer. xvii. 5, 7.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 309.1

    Faint Not. -“In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.” Eccl. xi. 6. This is the thing that is taught in verse 9. We can not tell how much we shall reap, nor from which of the seed that we sow. Some may fall by the wayside, and be snatched away before it has time to take root, and other may fall on stony ground, where it will wither, and still other may fall among thorns, and be choked; but one thing is certain, and that is that we shall reap. Notice the statement in Ecclesiastes: We do not know whether the morning sowing or the evening sowing will prosper, or whether both shall alike be good. There is no possibility that both can be bad. One or the other alone may prosper, or else both may be good. Isn't that encouragement enough for us not to be weary in well-doing? The ground may seem poor, and the season may not be favorable, so that the prospect for a crop may be most unpromising, and we may be tempted to think that all our labor is wasted. Not so; “in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor. xv. 58.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 309.2

    Make No Difference. -“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” In this we see that the apostle speaks of temporal help, for it needs no special exhortation to preach the Word to those who are not of the household of faith; they are the ones to whom it is specially to be preached; but there is a natural tendency-natural, I say, not spiritual-to limit charities to those who are called “deserving.” We hear much about “the worthy poor.” But we are all unworthy of the least of God's blessings, yet He showers them upon us continually. “If ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” Luke vi. 33-35. The most of Christ's ministry on earth was among those who cared nothing for Him personally. In some instances they would not even take the favors bestowed; but that made no difference with Him. He gave just as freely of what He had to give. Let us learn more of Him, that we may “fulfil the law of Christ.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 309.3

    Seek the Opportunity. -Note especially the beginning of the tenth verse. “As we have therefore opportunity,” let us do good unto all men. Doing good to others is to be considered a privilege to be enjoyed, and not an irksome duty to be discharged. Men do not speak of disagreeable things as opportunities. No one says that he had an opportunity to injure himself, or that he had an opportunity to lose some money. On the contrary, a man will speak of an opportunity to make some money, or to escape from some threatened danger. It is thus that we are to consider doing good to the needy. But opportunities are always sought for. Men are always on the lookout for an opportunity to get gain. So the apostle teaches us that we should be seeking opportunities to help some one. This Christ did. He “went about doing good.” He travelled about the country on foot, a tramp, if you please, but a glorious one. He was searching opportunities to do some good, and He found them. He did good, “for God was with Him.” His name is Immanuel, which means, “God with us.” Now as He is with us all the days, even to the end of the world, so God is with us, doing good to us, that we also may do good. “We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” To this end, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 309.4

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. The Lord's Supper. Matt. xxvi. 18-30” The Present Truth 14, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    MAY 29

    No mere empty form has any place in the Gospel of Christ. Every act which Jesus did while here upon the earth, and every ordinance which He instituted, is full of meaning. The meaning may not always lie upon the surface, and the words addressed to Peter, when the Lord established the ordinance of feet-washing, may often be applicable; “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” But the whole life of Jesus was simply a revelation of the Gospel, and every deed had its place and its significance.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 309.5

    From the account given in another place concerning the institution of the Lord's Supper we learn what its meaning is: “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till the come.” 1 Cor. xi. 26. That is to say, all that is accomplished by the work of Christ, which centres in His death on the cross, is designed to be set forth in the Lord's Supper. This gives to it a fulness of meaning which it is impossible for us to grasp all at once, or adequately to consider within the limits of a single article. We shall hope, however, to call attention to some of the great principles involved, from which each one may be able to draw other lessons, according to the extent of his own experience in the Gospel.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 309.6


    The record tells us that “as they were eating, Jesus took the bread [a loaf, R. V. margin] and blessed it, and break it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body.” The previous verses speak of the preparations which had been made for the passover supper, and it was this which they were eating. The bread, or the loaf, which Jesus took from the table, was therefore the bread provided for the passover supper. And this we know was unleavened bread. “Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it, [the passover]; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith.” Deut. xvi. 3. When Jesus took the bread from the table, just such bread as they had been eating, He did nothing which would even suggest transubstantiation, but He simply blessed it (gave thanks, margin) just as He did when He fed the hungry multitude (Mark vi. 41), and said, “This is My body.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 310.1


    The force of this statement may be more clearly seen if we consider briefly the real purpose of the work of Christ in behalf of man. He found the whole human family “alienated from the life of God,” “dead in trespasses and sins,” and He declared the aim of His mission in these words: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John x. 10. All life is of God, the Father, whose distinguishing characteristic is that He is “the living God.” This life has been revealed in His only begotten Son. “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.” John v. 26.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 310.2

    God is independent and self-existent. His name is I AM. But man is neither independent nor self-existent. God through Jesus Christ is the source and the preserver of his life. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” This was just as true before sin entered into the world, as it has been since that time. “Ere sin entered into God's fair universe, and while as yet there was no estrangement between Him and any of His creatures, and so no need as yet of atonement and reconciliation, there was for all this, need of One who should stand between the Uncreated and the created Life.” Now the original sin of man was the refusal to recognise this fact. “It was the lust of independence at whatever cost; the longing for a separate kingdom of his own, the assertion of self and of self-sufficiency, the dethronement, the annihilation of God, the deification of self.” The inducement which Satan held out for disobedience was, “Ye shall be as God.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 310.3


    But Jehovah is “the only true [real] God,” and beside Him there is none else, and the exaltation which was promised on condition of disobedience and departure from God proved to be a fall, and dependent man would at that moment have ceased to exist, if it had not been for the Gospel of Jesus Christ “who gave Himself for us.” He through whom all things were created and sustained before sin appeared, accepted the additional burden of sin, and still offered to minister life to the human family. But this involved His taking our flesh and suffering in it the penalty of sin, and so uniting Himself with us as the Son of man in the experience of death that we might be united with Him in the experience of life. “For if we have become united with the likeness of His death, we shall be also with the likeness of His resurrection: ... knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died unto sin once: but the life that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.” Rom. vi. 5-11. R.V.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 310.4


    Now it was God's plan that man, even in his state of innocence, should receive life by eating such food as the Lord provided for him. “And God said, Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Gen. i. 29. And the lesson which it was necessary to teach to man after he had sinned, and which it is necessary for us to learn to-day, is that in the bread which we eat every day we are receiving life from God through Jesus Christ, who said: “My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.... This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of the bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John vi. 32-51.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 310.5

    We are now better prepared to understand the meaning of His statement, “This is My body.” The life of God, from which man cut himself off by his own sin, has been restored to him in the gift of Jesus “who is our life.” The curse, which is death, came upon all things, but “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” By His death on the cross the channel of life from God to man was kept open for all, and through the acceptance of Christ by faith this gift of life may be continued to us throughout eternity. While “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” yet this life is supplied to us in the food which God provides for us, of which bread, being in itself a perfect food, is a complete representative. The grain, from which the bread is prepared, is simply the body in which the life of the Word is brought to us. “The seed of the Word of God.” “But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed His own body.” And so all unleavened bread, which is simply bread in which there is no element of decay or death, is the body which the Lord Himself has given to His own life, in order that by eating it we might receive life from Him. Those who recognise it as being wholly a gift of God, brought to us by the Gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and so receive it by faith as the manifested life of Jesus, will enjoy this blessing of life for ever and will “have right to the tree of life.” “And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.” Isa. xlv. 21.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 310.6


    The claim that any human being has the power by any words of his to change the bread into the Lord's body is simply the assertion of that spirit which “opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” It is a refusal to recognise what God has already done, for “God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him,” and an assuming of the prerogatives of God the Creator. It is the same denial of man's dependence which cut man off from the life of God in the first place. Man is simply the creature, and not the creator, and his only hope is in recognising this fact, and receiving life from God in harmony with His plan, without pretending to any power which would render him independent of God, and a Saviour unnecessary. “Take, eat; this is My body.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 310.7


    “And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood of the new testament [covenant], which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” The principles already set forth will apply with equal force to the statement of Jesus concerning the wine. The blood is the life. Gen. iv. 4. Jesus has said, “I am the true vine.” In the pure, unfermented juice of the grape, the product of the vine, we have the nearest possible approach to liquid life just as God has prepared it. But, just as in the case of the bread, this gift of life comes to us through Jesus and His work in our behalf, and is in very truth His life, His blood. At the marriage of Cana of Galilee, Jesus changed the water into wine by His own life-giving power, and so gave them His own life to drink, just as He gave the multitude His own life to eat when He multiplied the loaves by the same power. The pretended power assumed by man to change the wine of the Lord's supper into His blood, is a rejection of the fact of man's entire dependence upon God for life, a putting of himself in the place of God, and the assertion of his ability to save himself.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 311.1

    Thus does the Lord's supper show forth His death, and the fact that we receive life through His death, and lifts eating and drinking above the mere gratification of appetite, and teaches us how to eat and drink to the glory of God. It is designed to show us that there is but one life and that is the life of God, and that it is only through the Gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus that we have life now, and that through our faith in the same Gospel that same life will be continued to us as long as God Himself shall live. How glorious it will be to realise this experience in the “new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.” “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” “And there shall be no more curse.” “As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 311.2

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Commenting on the present situation, and the outlook for the future, a prominent daily says: “The prospect which opens before Europe is not a pleasant one.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.1

    It is very plain that war does not foster ability to see things as they are, or to tell the truth. Reading to reports of a battle, one from Washington, and the other from Madrid, both on the same page of a newspaper, one would scarcely suppose that they had reference to the same thing. Some are perhaps troubled to know which report to believe. Those who are wise believe neither.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.2

    In Madrid a mass was said last week for the repose of the Spanish soldiers who perished in the naval battle at Manila. On the other hand, the Archbishops of the Catholic Church in the United States have decided to address a letter to the clergy and laity of the country, asking their prayers for the success of the American arms, and for the repose of the soldiers who fall in battle.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.3

    News comes that on the 11th inst. a terrible gale visited the Prefecture of Swate, on the north-east coast of Japan, which was ravaged by the great tidal wave in 1896, and that over 200 fishing boats and 1,500 men are missing. “The prince of the power of the air, the spirit which now worketh in the children of disobedience,” inciting them to deeds of violence and destruction, is using the elements in the same service. Soon, however, the creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.4

    Every declaration of war by any nation is a declaration that might makes right. The proof is seen in this, that two hundred thousand men are licensed to do what is forbidden to a single individual. If one man deliberately slays another, he is denounced as a villain unfit to live; but if several thousand combined kill a few hundred men, even lying in wait for them, and attacking them unawares, they are lauded and publicly thanked. The United States Government is now supplying the Cuban insurgents with provisions and munitions of war, employing many armed men in the service, while at the same time a ship's owner is undergoing a sentence of two years’ imprisonment by the same Government, for having attempted to do the very same thing.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.5

    All the world has read within the last week of the riots which, first breaking out in Milan, have spread over nearly the whole of Italy. The Marquis de Rudini is said to be in possession of documents, which he has laid before the Ministry, showing that a long-organised conspiracy has existed, especially in Milan, which had elaborated treasonable plots down to the smallest details. “The plan was to overpower Lombardy and turn it into a Republic, which should have connection with the rest of Italy in the same manner as the Federated Cantons of Switzerland bear relation to each other.”PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.6

    Prompt and drastic measures were taken by the Government, and the rioters are now held in check, only, however, after the slaughter of some 500 persons (men, women, and children), the wounding of 2,000 more, and the destruction of millions of pounds worth of property. A good portion of the country is under martial law, and the military patrols have orders to shoot all persons caught with arms in their hands.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.7

    The disturbances have ceased for the present, because of superior force, but the causes and the spirit that started them still exist. The causes are excessive taxation (12s. in the pound) in order to maintain Italy's standing as a military power, scarcity of food, and political ambition on the part of persons who are ready to take advantage of the general discontent, in order to advance their own ends. To all this must certainly be added the scheming of the agents of the Catholic Church, which will never rest so long as another than the Pope rules in Rome. That this outbreak will be successfully used by the Papists to show the necessity of the restoration of the Pope's rule, is a matter of course. The Papacy has always flourished best when there was tumult and anarchy.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.8

    The fact is noted with regret that all that Garibaldi fought for is virtually lost; but none think of what this teaches, namely, that nothing is ever really gained by force of arms. Nothing that seems to be gained by fighting is ever held. No evil is ever put down, so long as men's hearts remain unchanged. But this is a lesson that the mass of men will not learn, and so troubles will increase until the end comes.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.9

    While none can fail to sympathise with the poor Italian peasants and labourers who in a most productive land find it almost impossible to get enough food to keep them alive, that should not be regarded as a warrant for using violence. The Bible speaks of the oppression of the poor by the rich, but tells us that the just do not resist, although condemned and killed. The God of peace alone can give redress for the ills that the poor suffer.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.10

    When people clamour, and attempt to overthrow Government, because bread is scarce and dear, unreasonable as such a course is, Government has only itself to thank for it. It is a natural result of the promises that every party makes when seeking power, namely, that is placed in power it will bring about a better state of things, and ease the burdens of the people. When these promises fail, as they always must, it is but to be expected that the people will hold the ruling class responsible. It is much easier to make promises than to fulfil them.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.11

    At the present time men are being prosecuted in the United States for peacefully and quietly pursuing their ordinary labour on Sunday, and the people are repeatedly told from pulpits in legislative halls that in the observance of Sunday is the only hope of the stability of the nation. But Admiral Dewey steamed into the harbour of Manila, on a recent Sunday morning, surprised the Spanish fleet, kept the hundreds of men under his command hard it work for several hours until it was destroyed, and several hundred Spaniards were killed, and Congress thanks him, and gives him a sword. Can the reader fail to see what these things teach?PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.12

    A correspondent of the Daily Mail, at Ala (South Tyrol), says that on the Italian express arriving at the station from Milan, May 13, the conductors and officials wore military uniforms, and were armed with swords and revolvers.PTUK May 19, 1898, page 320.13

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