Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    January 20, 1898

    “Forgiveness and Overcoming” The Present Truth 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “I have confessed my sins, and have confessed Christ, and believed, or thought I did, that He gave me His righteousness; and He has helped me in many things; but now I see in myself the sin of impatience in little things; is that an evidence that I was mistaken, and that I did not really believe, and so did not really receive Him?”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 33.1

    This is a question that has been asked, not once merely, but very many times, and therefore an answer may be of benefit to many. The answer, in short, is, No. You have things directly turned round, and are looking in the wrong place for evidence of acceptance with God. We are made “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph i. 6), and not in ourselves; for what He is worth, and not for what we are worth. We believe in Christ, not because we see ourselves sinless, but because we see ourselves sinful, and He is sinless.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 33.2

    Never yet did any person overcome sin by looking at it, either in himself or in somebody else. Sin is darkness; righteousness is light. God's glory is His sinlessness. See Rom. iii. 23. How do we get that sinlessness?—“We all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor. iii. 18. We get righteousness by beholding the righteousness of God in Christ, and in no other way; and we retain it in the same way; never by gazing at our own imperfections.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 33.3

    For example, we have a harsh, unforgiving nature. If one injures us, we find it difficult, yes, impossible to forgive the wrong. Stop now, and think of God's tender, forbearing, forgiving disposition. See how gentle He is to all, how patient and considerate with the erring, and especially how patient He has been and is with us, and how much He has freely forgiven us. As we gaze and meditate, our impatience and bitterness vanishes, we know not how. Certain it is, that no person can contemplate the wondrous love of God in Christ, and at the same time harbour resentment towards anyone. Whatever the sin that besets you, consider the absence of that sin the corresponding righteousness-in Christ, and you have the remedy.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 33.4

    When you first trusted the Lord for salvation, why was it? What was the ground of your confidence? Was it the good things that you had done? or was it the goodness and mercy of God?—Certainly it was the latter, for you had no good things in which to trust. Your very helplessness was what led you to trust the Lord. Now read this text: “We are made of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” Heb. iii. 14.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 33.5

    The beginning of your confidence was in the goodness of God, while you were nothing; that is to be your confidence unto the end. Do not get the idea that after living the Christian life for awhile, you can go in self-confidence. Do not think that whereas your confidence in the beginning was in the Lord's goodness your confidence now may be in your own goodness. Never! He is the beginning and the end. Whatever goodness we may have, even in eternity, will be the Lord’s, and we shall retain it then, even as now, only by “looking unto Jesus.” “As ye have, therefore, received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Col. ii. 6, 7.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 33.6

    “He Is Able” The Present Truth 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” 2 Cor. ix. 8.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 33.7

    “For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” Heb. ii. 18.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 33.8

    “Wherefore, He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him.” Heb. vii. 25.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 33.9

    “He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.” Phil. iii. 21.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 33.10

    “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory, with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 24, 25.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 33.11

    “The Epistle to the Galatians. Only One Gospel” The Present Truth 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Having in our minds the opening words of the Epistle to the Galatians, we will proceed directly to the subject matter of it. The apostle at once comes to the point, saying:—PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.1

    “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel; which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men,or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by revelation of Jesus Christ.” Gal. i. 6-10.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.2

    QUESTIONS ON THE TEXT

    What did the apostle say of his state of mind as he wrote to the Galatians?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.3

    “I marvel.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.4

    At what did he marvel?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.5

    “That you are so soon removed;” or, as in the Revised Version, “so quickly removing.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.6

    From what or whom were they removing?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.7

    “From Him that called you.” How had they been called?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.8

    “In the grace of Christ.” R.V.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.9

    To what were they removed?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.10

    “Unto another Gospel.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.11

    Yet what was true of this “other Gospel”?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.12

    It “is not another.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.13

    What were some doing to the Galatians?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.14

    “There be some that trouble you.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.15

    How would these trouble the Galatians?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.16

    They “would pervert the Gospel of Christ.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.17

    What sort of Gospel then had some been preaching to the Galatian brethren?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.18

    A perverted Gospel.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.19

    What is said of anyone who should presume to preach a different Gospel from that which Paul had preached?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.20

    “Let him be accursed.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.21

    Would it make any difference how high the rank of the one who preached a new Gospel?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.22

    “Though we, or an angel from heaven preach any other Gospel, ... let him be accursed.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.23

    Was this a hasty, ill-advised utterance on the part of Paul?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.24

    “As we said before, so say I now again.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.25

    What would be the case if the apostle preached to please men?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.26

    “I should not be the servant of Christ.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.27

    Of what could he assure the brethren?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.28

    “That the Gospel which was preached of me is not after man.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.29

    What connection had any man with Paul's knowledge of the Gospel?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.30

    “I neither received it,” “neither was I taught it,” “of man.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.31

    How then did he receive it?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.32

    “By revelation of Jesus Christ.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.33

    A careful consideration of exactly what is said in these first verses in Galatians, will save the student much trouble and confusion later on. It is here that we learn the subject of the epistle. We saw last week that the introduction, the salutation, embraced the whole Gospel; surely such an introduction could lead to nothing else but a setting forth of the Gospel. In the verses that constitute this week's lesson, we find this emphasised. Let us study them closely.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.34

    Who Calls Men? -“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Col. i. 9. “The God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus,” etc. 1 Peter v. 10. “The promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts ii. 39. Those that are near, and those that are afar off, include all that are in the world: therefore God calls everybody. Not all come, however. “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.” 1 Thess. v. 23, 24. It is God who calls men.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.35

    Separating from God .—Since the Galatian brethren were separating from Him that had called them, and as God is the one who graciously calls men, it is evident that they were separating from God. Thus we see that it was no slight thing that called forth this epistle. Paul's brethren were in mortal danger, and he could not spend time on compliments, but must needs get at once to the subject, and present it in as clear and direct terms as possible.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.36

    It may be well in passing to note an opinion that sometimes obtains on account of hasty reading, namely, that Paul referred to himself as the one who had called the Galatian brethren, and from whom they were removing. A little thought should convince of this idea. First, consider the positive evidence, a little of which is already noted, that it is God who calls. Remember also it was Paul himself who said that the apostasy would be the result of men's seeking to draw away disciples after themselves (Acts xx. 30), and he as the servant of Christ would be the last man to draw people to himself. It is true that God uses agents, of whom Paul was one, to call men, but it is God nevertheless that calls. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself;” we are ambassadors for Christ, so that now it is God beseeching men by us instead of by Christ, to be reconciled to Himself.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.37

    It is a small matter to be joined to or separated from men, but a matter of vital importance to be joined to God. Many seem to think that everything depends on being joined to this or that body of religious people; if they are only “members in good standing” in this or that church, they feel secure. But the only thing worth considering is, Am I joined to the Lord, and walking in His truth? If one is joined to the Lord, he will very soon find his place among God's people, for those who are not God's people will not have a zealous, consistent follower of God among them very long. See Isa. lxvi. 5; John ix. 22, 33, 34; xv. 18-21; xvi. 1-3; 2 Tim, iii. 1-5, 12. When Barnabas went to Antioch, he exhorted the brethren that with purpose of heart they would “cleave unto the Lord.” Acts xii. 22, 23. That was all that was necessary. If we do that, we shall certainly be with God's own people.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 34.38

    Another Gospel .—The Gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Rom. i. 16. God Himself is the power, so that separation from God means separation from the Gospel of Christ, who is the power of God. Nothing can be called a gospel, unless it professes to give salvation. That which professes to offer nothing but death, cannot be called a gospel. “Gospel” means “joyful news” “good tidings,” and a promise of death does not answer that description. In order for any false doctrine to pass as the Gospel, it must pretend to be the way of life; otherwise it could not deceive men. It is evident, therefore, that the Galatians were being seduced from God, by something that promised them life and salvation. The question consequently would be, “Which is the true Gospel? Is it the one that Paul preached? or the one the other men set forth?” Therefore again we see that this epistle must be an emphatic presentation of the true Gospel as distinguished from every false gospel.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 35.1

    No Other Gospel .—Just as Jesus Christ is the only power of God, and there is no other name than that of Jesus, given among men, whereby salvation can be obtained, so there can be only one Gospel. A sham is nothing. A mask is not a man. So this other gospel, to which the Galatian brethren were being enticed, was only a perverted gospel, a counterfeit, a sham, and no real Gospel at all. Some versions give verses 6 and 7 thus: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed ... unto another Gospel, although there is not any other.” Since there is no other Gospel now, there never could have been any other, for God changes not. So the Gospel which Paul preached to the Galatians as well as to the Corinthians,-“Jesus Christ and Him crucified,”—was the Gospel that was preached by Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Isaiah.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 35.2

    “Accursed.” -If any man, or even an angel from heaven should preach any other Gospel than that which Paul preached, he would bring himself under a curse. There are not two standards of right and wrong. That which will bring a curse to-day would have produced the same result five thousand years ago. Thus we find that the way of salvation has been exactly the same in every age. The Gospel was preached to Abraham (Gal. iii. 8), and the prophets preached the Gospel. 1 Peter ii. 11, 12. But if the Gospel preached by them had been different from that preached by Paul, they would have been accursed.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 35.3

    But why should one he accursed for preaching a different Gospel?—Because he is the means of fastening others in the curse. “Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way.” Deut. xxvii. 18. If this be so of the one who causes a physically blind man to stumble, how much more must it apply to one who causes a soul to stumble to its eternal ruin? To delude people with a false hope of salvation, to cause them to put their trust in that which can by no means deliver them, what could possibly be more wicked? It is to lead people to build their house over the bottomless pit. Well might the apostle deliberately reiterate his anathema. And here again we see the gravity of the situation that called forth this epistle. The Galatian brethren, having been led astray by accursed teachers, were themselves in danger of damnation.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 35.4

    “An Angel from Heaven.” -But is there any danger, any possibility, that an angel from heaven would preach any other than the one, true Gospel?—Most assuredly, although it would not be an angel recently come from heaven. We read of “the angels that sinned” (2 Peter ii. 4), and “kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation” (Jude 6), and that the habitation from which they were cast was heaven. Rev. xii. 7-9. Now “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness.” 2 Cor. xi. 14, 15. It is they who come professing to be the spirits of the departed, bringing messages fresh from the realms above (where the departed are not), and preaching invariably “another Gospel” than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Beware of them. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.” 1 John iv. 1. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isa. viii. 20.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 35.5

    Not Men-Pleasers .—The Apostle Paul exhorts servants to be obedient to their “masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but with singleness of heart, fearing God.” Col. iii. 3. How much more then should it apply to those who are preaching the Gospel. So Paul declares that he is not seeking to persuade, to conciliate, to gain the favour of, or to please men, but God. The Lord alone is his Master. “We are ambassadors for Christ,” and this is true of every Christian to the extent of the ability that God has given him. The position of an ambassador was thus very concisely put by a daily paper, in connection with a circumstance that occurred a little over a year ago:—PTUK January 20, 1898, page 35.6

    The fundamental basis of the influence and authority of any ambassador is the universal knowledge that he personally is absolutely beyond the reach of praise or blame, of loss or gain, of reward or punishment, in the foreign country where he represents his own. To his sovereign alone, through an official channel, and to no other human being, may a diplomatist look for recompense or fear rebuke.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 35.7

    This is pre-eminently true of Christ's ambassador. To Him, and to no human being, are they answerable. To please Him is their sole business. As soon as they seek to please men, they cease to serve Him.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 35.8

    Unbounded Freedom .—“He that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman.” 1 Cor. vii. 22. Paul, “an ambassador in bonds” desired the prayers of his brethren, that utterance might be given him, that he might open his mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel. Eph. vi. 19, 20. He who recognises his relation to Christ as ambassador, is absolutely free. He need fear no man. Nay, it is impossible for him to fear man, since he knows the infinite power that sustains him. He can proclaim the Gospel as boldly before kings as before peasants. How can he fear kings, when he serves the King of kings? And if he does present his message in the presence of God and the angels, how can he fear the face of any man? Such holy boldness is worth untold worlds.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 35.9

    Not of Man .—Paul declared that he did not receive the Gospel from any man, but that it came to him directly from Christ. In the account of his conversion (Acts ix. 1-22; xxii. 10), we see that a man was sent to Paul with a message from the Lord; nevertheless it is true that Paul did not receive the Gospel from man. If he had, then he would have been a servant of men. But as he was sent, not by any man, but Jesus Christ and God, who raised Him from the dead (Gal. i. 1), so he carried only the message which the Lord Himself gave him. Note how he repeats that what he tells he received of the Lord: 1 Cor. xi. 23; 1 Thess. iv. 15. “The things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 1 Cor. xiv. 37. That was the secret of his boldness. He had no doubts about his message, as he must have had if he had received it from man.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 35.10

    We may have this same confidence, and indeed must have it if we are Christ's servants. If we receive the Gospel from men, then we are not sure of our ground. Not but what God employs human agents, for the Gospel is committed to men, but, no matter whose form we see, no matter what man God uses, we must recognise God's voice, and receive the message fresh from Him, else we have no assurance of it correctness. We need not depend on any man or any church to substantiate the Word of God, or for our knowledge that this or that is or is not His Word. “Ye know all things.” “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and it truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” 1 John ii. 20, 26, 27. Even though a man has truth, and if he has received it through some man as the instrument of the Spirit,-if he traces his reception of it to that man, or his mind runs to that man and to what he said, as assurance for what he holds, he has not yet the truth as he ought to have it. When a man recognises the voice of God in a truth that he hears, and receives it as coming directly from the Lord, then it is his own, and he knows it for a certainty. He is then free from men.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 36.1

    The Revelation of Jesus Christ.— Note that it is not simply a revelation from Jesus Christ, but the “revelation of Jesus Christ.” It was not simply that Christ told Paul something, but that Christ Himself revealed Himself to Paul, and in him, and He is the truth. That this is what is meant here may be seen from verse 16, where we read that God revealed His Son in Paul, that he might preach Him among the heathen. So we read: “We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” 1 John iii. 20. The mystery of the Gospel is Christ in the believer, the hope of glory. Col. i. 25-27. Thus it is that every Christian not only may but must be as sure of the Gospel which he believes, and which he makes know to others, as the apostle Paul was. Thank God that He has not left us to follow “cunningly-devised fables.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 36.2

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lesson. How to Pray.—Matt. vi. 5-15” The Present Truth 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    JANUARY 30

    The Bible contains a great deal more on the subject of prayer than is found in the verses constituting this lesson; for to know how to pray is to know how to live the Christian life. Space does not allow anything like a detailed consideration even of these verses, much less a study of the others bearing on the subject; but we may refer to some of them that the student may read them in connection with the lesson. Read especially Mark xi. 24; Luke xi. 1-13; xviii. 1-14; John xiv. 13, 14; Rom. viii. 26, 27; James i. 5, 6; v. 13-18 R.V.; 1 John v. 14, 15. He who makes these scriptures his own, need never lack any good thing.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 36.3

    PUBLIC PRAYER

    In Matt. vi. 5, 6 we are told that we should not pray as do the hypocrites, in public places to be seen of men, but should pray to God in secret. That this is not a prohibition of all prayer in public is evident from the example of our Lord Himself, The seventeenth chapter, of John is the prayer of Jesus in the presence of His disciples, just before His arrest; in the eleventh chapter of John we read His prayer at the grave of Lazarus, in the presence of His disciples and a multitude of the Jews. Matt. xi. 27, 28 and John xii. 28 also note public prayers of Christ. The eighth chapter of 1 Kings contains the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the temple, in the presence of thousands. Elijah prayed in the presence of hundred and fifty prophets of Baal for “all Israel,” including the king; and the Lord answered the prayer in a remarkable manner. 1 Kings xviii. 17-37. Paul prayed with the elders of Ephesus (Acts xx. 36), and with the church at Tyre, together with his travelling companions on the sea-shore. Acts xi. 5.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 36.4

    The gist of the exhortation lies in the statement that the hypocrites pray “to be seen of men,” and that in the notice and the applause of men, they get all that they pray for. God is in secret, and He “seeth in secret.” Now while it is true that men ought literally to go alone, into secluded places to pray, it is not always absolutely necessary that one should be physically alone in order to pray in secret. By the blood of Jesus we have boldness “to enter into the holiest of all” (Heb. x. 19), even into God's inner sanctuary; and not only may we occasionally enter in, but it is our privilege to dwell “in the secret place of the Most High,” and to “abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Ps. xci. 1. He who has this knowledge of God may be alone with the Lord in the presence of thousands.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 36.5

    The true prayer, therefore, is that which the petitioner loses himself in the thought of God, and prays from the heart to Him who sees the heart. Such a prayer, although uttered in the hearing of people, is not directed to them, but nevertheless the hearers may be greatly strengthened by hearing a man talking with God by the aid of the Spirit. Obedience to the exhortation, “Let nothing he done through strife or vainglory” (Phil. ii. 3), would shut off anything like making an exhibition in prayer. Ostentation and display have no place in the worship of God. “God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” John iv. 24.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 36.6

    UNNECESSARY WORDS.—LONG PRAYERS

    “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them; for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 36.7

    God is our Father; we are His children. His care for us, His solicitude for our welfare, and His ability to do all that His love conceives, are as much greater than the care and oversight of any earthly parent, as God is greater than man. It is the duty of a parent to provide for his children. “Provide” means to “see before,” to look after beforehand. If parents did not think about food and clothing for their children before their children remind them of their need, the children would starve and freeze. When hunger makes the child conscious of its need of food, it finds that the parent has thought of it long before, and has provided for its wants.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 36.8

    Now it would be folly and affectation for the child to make a long, flowery speech, in asking for food, and to multiply words for the purpose of making the request in as many ways as possible, so as to impress the parent with a sense of its need, when the parent already has the things that he needs ready to give him. Such a course would indeed be most disrespectful to the parent. How much more so, then, to act in the same way toward God, who is the loving Father of all, the universal Provider.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 37.1

    Long prayers find no warrant in the Bible. The longest prayer on record is that of Solomon at the dedication of the temple. That was a great occasion, and the prayer was very comprehensive; yet it can be read slowly in six minutes. The prayer of Jesus in John xvii. may be read with deliberation in four minutes. Of the other prayers recorded in the Bible, including the Lord's Prayer, none of them would occupy a whole minute. Contrast Elijah's prayer with those of the prophets of Baal. They prayed from morning till evening, saying, “O Baal, hear us,” and leaped and cut themselves, with of course no result. Elijah quietly addressed the Lord in a prayer less than half a minute long, and fire came down and consumed the sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones of the altar, and the water that was in the trench. The heathen gods cannot hear; therefore those who trust them, not getting any response when they pray, must needs vociferate and multiply their words; but why should the servants of the living God give the impression by their prayers that he is like the gods of the heathen?PTUK January 20, 1898, page 37.2

    Prayer is not for the purpose of making God acquainted with our needs, not to make Him willing to give, for He knows what we need before we ask Him, and has prepared the gifts for us. We come to Him only in response to His call. Therefore true prayer is simply the manifestation and expression of our willingness to receive the good things that come down from the Father of lights. God is not like the unjust judge, so that He needs to be nagged into granting our requests, but He assures us that He will do us justice speedily. Luke xviii. 1-8. It is because of this readiness on the part of God to hear, that His servants “cry day and night unto Him.” See Ps. cxvi. 1, 2. We do indeed read that Jesus on more than one occasion spent the entire night in prayer, but it was by Himself, and not in company with others. When men get something of the acquaintance with the Father that He had, they also will delight to hold long conversations with Him alone, as friend with friend; but for one to pray all night just because the Lord did, without the Spirit that led Him to do it, would be mockery.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 37.3

    Not only is it not necessary to use repetitions in asking for anything, but it is not necessary to multiply words in order to ask for the many, many things that we need. This is shown in the model prayer before us, which includes every possible want of man. We cannot go into a detailed study of the separate petitions in this prayer; if we should attempt to analyse them, we could no exhaust them, for they are infinite. We shall best arrive at an understanding of this prayer by reverently praying it, and by carefully studying the Word.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 37.4

    In short, when we pray it is necessary for us to remember the commandment: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Men can take the name of God in vain in other things than profane swearing. Any unnecessary repetition of “that glorious and fearful name” is a taking of it in vain. To ask for unnecessary things, is to take it in vain. To pray without faith, is also to take the name of God in vain. Remember that God is, He knows, He cares, and He is almighty, and that He has already given us all things; then study His will, and in the simple directness of faith make your requests to God with thanksgiving. See Phil. iv. 6, 7. “God is in heaven, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few.” Eccl. v. 2. “The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Hab. ii. 20. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Ps. xlvi. 10.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 37.5

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The lifeboats round our coasts last year rescued 534 shipwrecked persons. It was a year of unusually violent storms.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.1

    “No crisis at home or abroad,” said Professor Bryce the other day, “created half the interest that was excited by a football match or cricket match in England or Australia.” To this sport mania he attributed some of the ground lost in recent years in Britain's industrial supremacy.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.2

    The Jesuit order holds its power not by weight of numbers, but by reason of its unscrupulous methods and its perfect organisation. A Bavarian Roman Catholic journal says that the order has not 14,251 members, of whom 6,000 are priests. The organisation covers the entire world.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.3

    Germany tried for many years to drive the Jesuit order from the country by special laws. The uselessness of such effort is shown by the fact that now Germany has more Jesuit priests within her borders than any other country. When Luther set the Word free in Germany by giving it to the people in their own tongue, and cried hands off to Governments and princes, he led out in the one way of resisting the papal spirit.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.4

    A report from one of our Society's workers in Brazil says that just as they were preparing to establish a school at some point for the education and training of the youth, the Lord provided the facilities needed for it. Through one of the brethren, the worker writes, “we have come into possession of a good tract of land, with buildings on it for a mission farm, and his hotel is to be turned into a home for our mission school.”PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.5

    At the meeting of the Anti-Opium Society last week it was stated that “during the reign of the Queen we had forced upon China no less than 260,000 tons of opium.” The Chinese call opium “foreign smoke,” although now it is grown largely in China. When missionary at the meeting declared that about seventy per cent. of the natives of one province have become opium smokers. Thousands of acres which formerly yielded rice crops, in the Western provinces with which he was most familiar, but now given up to the baleful poppy, and rice had to be imported from other districts.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.6

    We hear from Calcutta of a great interest among many there to hear the Gospel message of the coming of the Lord and of the preparation to meet him, and the few workers have their hands more than full. We know that the Lord will raise up many in that field amongst Europeans and natives to join in carrying on the message that must go to “every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” Rev. xiv. 6.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.7

    Once again we would call the attention of our readers to the magazine Good Health, which may be obtained from this office through any of our agents.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.8

    “Threatening the Government” The Present Truth 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Threatening the Government .—In a plea for a united and vigorous effort for Sunday-closing, in view of the fact that Parliament soon meets, a writer says in one of the religious journals: “Against the united voices of the Christian churches of our land, no Government dare turn a deaf ear.” We have been searching the Bible with the special object of finding where Christ or Christians ever made even covert threat against the Government if it did not meet their mind, and we find no such thing. We do find these words of Christ: “If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not.” John x. 47. We are therefore forced to conclude that the Christianity which that writer has in mind is a sort that has come up since the days of Christ and the apostles. Beware of it.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.9

    “‘Suffering as a Christian’” The Present Truth 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The newspapers bring us the following note:—PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.10

    For refusing to touch a gun a young Hungarian and conscript, Francis John Kiss, has been sentenced to five years’ penal servitude with hard labour. The Pester-Lloyd of Buda-Pest gives details. Kiss was ordered to leave his home in the country and join the famous Honved Husars in the capital. On the drill ground no persuasion or threat could induce him to shoulder arms; Christianity, he declared, forbade the use of deadly weapons. On being court-martialled, and he was given the above sentence.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.11

    Christ said, “All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Matt. xxvi. 52. As a positive command, He also said, “Resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matt. v. 39. Now we know nothing of the young Hungarian's life, except what is told in the newspaper paragraphs; but we do know that in that one thing he acted according to the precept of Christ; therefore it is an undeniable fact that he is now undergoing a cruel punishment for nothing else than for being a Christian, for following Christ.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.12

    “But no Government on earth could exist, if all men should act as this young man did, and refuse to bear arms,” is the universal cry. Of course they could not, and the sentence passed upon the young man is strictly in accordance with the law. There must be soldiers as long as there are earthly Governments; but that very fact shows that these Governments are not Christian, but anti-Christian. Let no one decry human Government, or revile soldiers; everybody has a right to be a soldier, who wishes to be one. The Christian must speak evil of no man, nor of men united to form a Government; but every loyal follower of Christ is in duty bound to give a clear testimony as to what Christianity is, and, so far as his influence extends, to make it impossible for anybody to suppose that in killing men, or in learning to do so, he is serving Christ. Christ's kingdom is not of this world; therefore His servants do not fight. John xviii. 36. Earthly Governments cannot exist without fighting; therefore they are directly opposite in character to that of Christ, the Prince of Peace. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal.” “If any man suffered as a Christian, let him not be ashamed.” 1 Peter iv. 16.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.13

    “The Arch Revolutionist” The Present Truth 14, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Arch Revolutionist .—The Pope's Christmas allocution, as it is called, was all about his desire for “peace,” and there was promised that his views would be further explained. And now the chief Vatican organ comes out boldly inviting a political revolution in Italy. The Pope desires a “real sovereignty,” among the princes of this world, and cannot tolerate that a king shall sit in Rome as the head of State. He suggests overthrowing the monarchies and setting up a republic, and in the confusion he would doubtless expect to make sure of dominating the republican federation. It shows the Pope as the arch-revolutionist, stirring up strife, resisting the “powers that be,” and generally making plain the anti-Christian character of the Papacy.PTUK January 20, 1898, page 48.14

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents