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    August 18, 1898

    “The Joyful Sound” The Present Truth 14, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “The voice of the Lord is upon the earth; the God of glory thundureth; the Lord is upon many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.” Ps. xxiv. 3, 4.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 513.1

    “When He uttereth His voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; He maketh lightnings for the rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasures.” Jer. x. 13.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 513.2

    “Hear attentively the noise of His voice, and the sound that goeth out of His mouth. He directeth it under the whole heaven, and His lightning unto the ends of the earth. After it a voice roareth; He thundereth with the voice of His excellency; He will not stay them when His voice is heard. God thundereth marvelously with His voice; great things doeth He which we cannot comprehend. For He saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of His strength.” Job xxxvii. 2-6.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 513.3

    What a grand thing it would be if every child were taught this truth-this fact of science! If they were taught whenever it thunders to recognise it as the voice of “the Lord God merciful all gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,” who speaks peace to His people, they would never cower in terror at the sound of it. There are many men and women who cannot hear the crashing thunder without fear, because they have not learned that it is the voice of God; and there are doubtless many more who would be still more terrified at its sound if they did know that it is God's own voice, because they do not know the Lord, and have not learned that He is love.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 513.4

    One day when Jesus was talking to a crowd of people He broke out into the prayer, “Father, glorify Thy name.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 513.5

    “Then there came a voice from heaven saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” John xii. 28. Jesus understood these words perfectly, because He was thoroughly well acquainted with the voice and words of God; but the people who stood by said that it thundered. There were indeed some who said that an angel spoke to Him, but even they could not distinguish any articulate sounds. To the most it was only ordinary thunder, and that is really what it was; for ordinary thunder is the voice of God speaking words which our dull ears and minds have not learned to comprehend. “How small a whisper do we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?” Job xxvi. 14, R.V.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 513.6

    God does not wish that we should be afraid of His voice. The “everlasting Gospel” of salvation is to be proclaimed “with a loud voice,” and that speaks only comfort. Men are simply to take up the call of the Spirit and the bride, and say, “Come;” and the loud cry which they are to utter can be nothing but the resounding of the mighty voice with which God first speaks it, for He says, “I have put My words in thy mouth.” Isa. li. 16. See also 2 Cor. v. 18-20.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 513.7

    We are exhorted to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb. iv. 16. By the blood of Jesus we have boldness to enter into the holy place where God Himself dwells. Heb. x. 16; Isa. Ivii. 15. We may come there as boldly as a little child to its mother, and we shall hear gracious words of life spoken to us, if we can but learn to recognise the loving voice of God in the thunder.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 514.1

    For “the God of glory thundereth,” and the throne of grace is the throne of glory (Jer. xiv. 21) where God gives grace “according to the riches of His glory.” John, who was permitted to see into the holy place of God, says: “Out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices; and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” Rev. iv. 5.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 514.2

    “In the midst of the throne” whence the thunders proceeded, “stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” Rev. v. 6. So we see that the thunders come from the very place where the crucified and ascended Saviour sends forth the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 514.3

    When Jesus hung on the cross “the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.” There was God's throne. The body of Jesus was the temple of God, and His heart was God's throne. When He was slain, there came forth from that throne blood and water,-which is the Holy Spirit,-“for there are three that bear record, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one.” Calvary was the throne of the living God made visible to men; for the throne of God, as the cross of Calvary, contains the slain Lamb; and from that throne, as from Christ on the cross, comes the pure water of life-the Holy Spirit. Yet there are lightnings and thundering and voices from that throne of grace and mercy. What is that but an indication of the fact that God proclaims His grace in tones of thunder, so that none may fail to hear it, and all may know the greatness of His salvation?PTUK August 18, 1898, page 514.4

    “I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for He will speak peace unto His paeple.” Ps. lxxxv. 8. But all have not been as willing to hear as was the psalmist. The Lord says to His people, “O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been like a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” Isa. xlviii. 16. So we learn that God speaks peace when He speaks His law, and that those who will hearken will find peace. That peace comes from Christ, by the power of His cross; for in the heart of Christ was the law of God (Ps. xl. 8), and it flows out to us in His life.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 514.5

    Even so, the law is in the throne of God in heaven; for “righteousness and judgment are the foundation of Thy throne.” Ps. lxxxix. 14. The ark of God in the most holy place of the tabernacle built by Moses was a type of the throne of God, because upon it, from between the cherubim, God appeared in glory, and spoke mercy to His people. But within the ark, underneath the mercy seat, were the tables of the law, showing that righteousness, even the righteousness of the law, is the foundation of the throne. The law was there on dead stone, it is true, because that was only a picture, and not the reality; but it indicated the fact that in the real throne in heaven is the Lamb slain, the Living Stone,-in whose heart is the living law.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 514.6

    “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the sanctuary.” Ps. lxiii. 17, R.V. Mount Sinai was the sanctuary, the throne, of God, when “He descended upon it in fire,” and proclaimed His law. “And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.” Ex. xix. 18, 19. “And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpets, and the mountain smoking.” Ex. xx. 16. Now when we remember that from this same mountain there was at that very hour living water flowing forth, flowing directly from Christ, the smitten Rock, we see that we have in Sinai the perfect picture of the throne of God in heaven. But that throne is “the throne of grace;” yes, and so was Sinai, because “the law entered that sin might abound; but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Rom. v. 20. So Sinai, Calvary, and Mount Zion all agree in one; all are the throne of God's glorious grace, where God speaks righteousness and peace.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 514.7

    When the people heard the voice of God as thunder, speaking His law, they said to Moses, “Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not; for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.” Ex. xx. 19-21. What was the matter with the people? Ah, they didn't know the joyful sound. They didn't know that all the commandments of God are promises. They did not know that great as are the requirements of God's law, so great is His grace to put the righteousness of the law into and upon us. They did not know that God's mercy is as great as His judgments, and that though truth-the law of God, Ps. cxix. 142-goes before His face, mercy accompanies it. Ps. lxxxix. 14. He had sworn to Abraham, that He would make him and his seed righteous, and this proclamation of the law was but the exhibition of the greatness of His sure promise.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 514.8

    “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance. In Thy name shall they rejoice all the day, and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted.” Ps. Ixxxix. 15, 16, Let us learn the joyful sound. Let us know that the thunders that come from Sinai, that are heard on Calvary, and that proceed from the throne of God in heaven, are but the assurances of His grace and mercy, and of the righteousness with which He will till and refresh every soul that believes. Let us then come boldly to the throne of grace, not frightened by the thunders, but rejoicing in them as in the voice of a loving Father.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 514.9

    There will come a time when God's voice will shake not only the earth, but also heaven. Heb. xii. 26. That will be “when God ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” Isa. ii. 91. At that time many will “go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty.” Yet at the same time others will not fear even though the shaking earth be removed (Ps. xlvi. 1, 2), but will say; “Lo, this is the Lord, we have waited for Him, we will he glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Isa. xxvi. 9. And why?—Because they have learned to know the joyful sound of the thunder of God's power. That thunder which will shake the earth, and strike terror to the hearts of the wicked, will be but the voice of God repeating the covenant of peace to His people. Blessed sound! How fearful to think that any should flee from the God who speaks peace!PTUK August 18, 1898, page 514.10

    Would you be able to rejoice at the coming of the Lord when His thunders shake the earth? Then learn the joyful sound now. Say from the heart, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak.” Yes; hear Him!” Hear, and your soul shall live.” Listen to the voice of His law, and learn from it the joy of the Lord, the joy of His salvation.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 515.1

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. Elisha at Dothan. 2 Kings vi. 8-18” The Present Truth 14, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    AUGUST 28

    In this lesson is seen the powerlessness of men to do ought against those who are under the Divine protection. It has been a source of encouragement in innumerable instances in the past, and will continue to be so until the last enemy of God's people is destroyed. It is not recorded that we may envy Elisha for the remarkable way in which his life was safe-guarded, but that we may know for ourselves the nature and efficiency of the protection on which we may rely.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 515.2

    The Syrians had resumed their policy of harassing Israel by repeated forays, and seemed desirous of capturing the king. More than once they laid an ambush for him, but in some way he became aware of the danger and managed to avoid their encampment. The king of Syria began to suspect treachery in his own ranks, as one plot failed after another, and reproached his servants with their unfaithfulness to him in warning Jehoram. One of them replied that the discovery of the ambuscades was due to no defection on their part, but to the presence of Elisha the prophet in the ranks of Israel. He was repeating to the king of Israel the words uttered in Benhadad's chamber.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 515.3

    GOD’S VIGILANCE

    Who could hope to circumvent such a foe as this? No deep-laid schemes could be relied upon, for the utmost cunning of the Syrians could not surprise a man who knew their thoughts. Yet this is the advantage enjoyed by those who array themselves under the banner of the cross. Many fear the power of Satan because he has gained dominion so largely over their minds, but this does not render his position an impregnable one. It is true that he often lies in wait for us, and when we least look for it, some sudden temptation is sprung upon us which too often finds us unprepared for resistance; but whoever commits the keeping of his soul to a faithful Creator may rest in the confidence that God cannot be surprised, or found off His guard. “Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Ps.cxxi. 4. “I the Lord do keep it; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.” Isa. xxvii. 3. “Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off.” Ps. cxxxix. 2. Although our sinful thoughts may spring upon us unawares, they are not unknown to God. He knows all about them afar off. “Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance.” Ps. xc. 9. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape.” 1 Cor. x. 13. None need feel that the odds are against them in their quest of the kingdom of God and His righteousness, for it is as true now as it was in Elisha's day that the advantages are all with the servants of God.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 515.4

    NO POWER AGAINST THE LORD

    The king of Syria might be expected to recognise that he could not hope to capture an enemy who knew his most secret plane, but having learned that Elisha was at Dothan, he sent thither “horses, and chariots, and a great best, and they came by night, and compassed the city about.” It was an imposing expedition for the capture of one man, but its very size and strength only emphasised its inability to do anything at all against Elisha.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 515.5

    It is not a matter for discouragement when difficulties come thick and fast around us, but rather for rejoicing, because then the victory of faith will be so much the greater and more manifest; “for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.” Elisha's servant saw the host compassing the city, when he went forth in the early morning, and his heart was filled with dismay. Returning to his master he cried, “Alas I how shall we do?”—Eisha was not alarmed, “and he answered, Fear not: For they that be with us are more than they that he with them.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 515.6

    MINISTERING SPIRITS

    In the course of earthly history it has often seemed that the truth was in a minority. Witnessing alone for God, men have faced angry multitudes, who thirsted for their blood, and to human eyes it seemed a contest of one against many, with all the power and influence on the side of the crowd. But it has not been so in reality. Angels, that excel in strength, never forsake the side of those who trust in God. Amid snares and perils, their ministry preserves and guides those who shall be heirs of salvation. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.” Ps. xxxiv. 7.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 515.7

    At Elisha's request the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; “and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” They were not sent there to be shown to the young man, but were there before, as EIisha's bodyguard. The only difference was that the servant's eyes were opened, so that now he saw how matters stood.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 515.8

    INVISIBLE BEINGS

    We may learn from this incident why it is that men do not see angels. Abraham saw and talked with them, so did Jacob, and so did many others. They have not become extinct, or diminished in number or power, nor are they less present about us. The reason we do not see them is that our eyes are closed. The difficulty is in ourselves. If we would accept their service, and submit ourselves to their influence, we would quickly learn how irresistible was their power, and how comforting their fellowship. Their sympathies are keenly unlisted in our behalf, and their greatest desire is to use their strength in our defence against the powers of evil, but while men array themselves determinedly against these ministers of blessing, it is not to be wondered at that they are so seldom seen.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 515.9

    To Elisha the presence of the living God was a reality, and, continually beholding God, his eyes were opened. When we learn to see God in all places where He is revealed, when He lifts up the light of His countenance upon us, and is always before our face that we should not be moved, when we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not scen, our own eyes will he anointed with eyesalve and we shall see much that is now hidden from our vision. “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing.” Isa. xxxv. 5, 6.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 515.10

    LEADING THE BLIND

    Elisha's next request was that the Lord would smite the Syrians with blindness. This was done, and they were led helpless into Samaria, which suggests another reason why blindness in part has come upon men, so that they cannot discern spiritual things. Had sinful man been still allowed the privilege of beholding the angels and spiritual beings, he might have proved as intractable as Satan and his fallen hosts. One who is blind will sometimes submit to be led, just as Benhadad's army followed meekly the leading of Elisha. The Lord says, “I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 516.1

    The mercy of the Lord is over all His works and endureth for ever, and it will yet be seen that all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth. It is only that He may make His mercy known to men, that their eyes are now blinded, and when they submit to God, and acknowledge Him in all their ways, He will speedily direct their paths into the visible, unbroken, everlasting communion of the whole family in heaven and earth.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 516.2

    “‘The Recompense of the Reward’” The Present Truth 14, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The reward of the Christian is something that is much talked about, yet little understood. This misunderstanding on the part of so many who profess Christianity is the cause of many encore on the part of infidels, who scoff at the professors as cowardly people who are afraid to meet the consequences of their own actions, and who therefore invest in a sort of life insurance, the policy to be paid at the end of life. “They are looking out for what they will get by and by,” say they. As for themselves, they do not think it worth while to give up something that they at present possess, for the prospect, which to them seems altogether uncertain, of getting something better by and by.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 516.3

    It is a fact also that this view of the case affects not a few professed Christians, and is one great cause, if not the solo cause, of their low living. Regarding the Christian's reward as something wholly future, and the Christian life as simply one of “giving up” something that they cherish, they very naturally lose courage, and are unable to “hold out.” It is not in human nature to labour long in uncertainty, or continually to keep in mind a reward that lies only “at the end of the race.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 516.4

    Now it is true that there is a reward for the well-doer, and that the coming of the Lord will put every Christian in eternal possession of that reward; but why?—Simply because the coming of the Lord destroys all the curse, and takes both dead and living to be for ever with the Lord, who is the reward.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 516.5

    The Lord says: “Behold, I come quickly and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as His work shall be.” Rev. xxii. 12. “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.” Isa. xl. 10. What is this reward that is “with Him”?—It is Himself-His own presence. To Abraham, the father of all the faithful, God said: “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Gen. xv. 1. And the psalmist wrote: “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; Thou maintainest my lot. The lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” Ps. xvi. 5, 6.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 516.6

    God gives His Holy Spirit, His own personal representative, to be with His people for aver, so that Jesus says: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matt. xxviii. 20. By the Spirit we are made “heirs of God.” Rom. viii. 17. It is not that we are heirs of His property, but that we are heirs of Himself. He is our portion; He is our reward. Jesus brings His reward with Him, because His coming assures His eternal presence with His people, and it is “with Him that God freely gives us all things.” When the heavens and the earth shall shake, and be removed, “the Lord will be the hope of His people.” Joel iii. 16.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 516.7

    We are exhorted to “run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of faith.” Yes, but we are not told to look far away or to some distant time; no; “He is not far from every one of us.” Look to Jesus, not simply as One who “is to come,” Out as One “who is.” Our only hope in the coming of the Lord is our personal acquaintance with Him now. If we know Him, and love His presence with us, then we shall “love His appearing.” When Jesus comes, all those to whom His coming is indeed a reward, will say, “Lo, this is our God.” The Lord can never be the eternal reward of any of whom He is not the present reward.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 516.8

    And the Lord, the “very present help in trouble,” is the reward. No one can have anything worth having outside of Himself. Take the case of Moses. “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” Heb. xi. 24-27.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 516.9

    Take that word “respect” in its primitive significance, namely, to look toward, and you have the exact idea of the text. Moses looked continually at the reward. How often have we read this passage, and thought that Moses was sustained in his arduous labours by the thought that by and by he would get something that would recompense him for it all. What a mistaken idea! We have tried to revive our flagging zeal, and that of others, by appeals to think of the reward that will come by and by, but we have not by any means always been successful. That which is distant is uncertain; only that which we have are we sure of. And so our Christian life has been a mixed career, success and failure, and possibly more failure than success, because we had not a steady spring as its source. In the business of the present, we naturally forgot the future, and so lost our only incentive.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 516.10

    Not so with Moses. He looked constantly at the reward, which was present; that is, he looked to Jesus, whose presence went with Him. “He endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” No matter how pressing the cares of the present time, no matter how numerous were the daily duties, nothing could distract his attention from “the recompense of the reward,” because like the Psalmist when he said, “The Lord is the portion of Mine inheritance,” He could say, “I have set the Lord always before we; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Ps. xvi. 8. He saw the invisible God, his reward, and therefore there was no uncertainty in his actions.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 516.11

    The reality and the fulness of this present reward is seen by the fact that Moses, who had had ample experience, esteemed “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.” This word “reproach” is the same that occurs in Matt. xxvii. 44, where it is rendered “cast in the teeth.” That is the meaning of the word. How expressive! It conveys to us the idea of bitter taunts, and especially of taunts over our helplessness or our seeming failures. Yet Moses found that this very reproach contained more of reward than all the riches of Egypt, because it was the reproach of Christ. “The unsearchable riches of Christ,” which are Christ's own personal presence, His own life, are so great that even though accompanied by reproach and suffering, they outweigh all the riches of earth.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.1

    “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Cor. xii. 9, 10.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.2

    Let us then bear in mind that the Lord Himself is our reward, and that He is always present. Then we get our reward as we go along, and that which comes at the last is so much extra. So shall we always be satisfied, and to the end that our zeal and courage may not abate, but that we may ever have before us the recompense of the reward as an incentive to action, let us heed the message, “Behold your God!” “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.3

    “The Everlasting Gospel: God's Saving Power in the Things That Are Made” The Present Truth 14, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    CLOUDS AND RAIN

    Gen. i. 6-8: “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and lot It divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, end divided the waters which wore under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.4

    Ps. xix. 1: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament showeth His handiwork.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.5

    Eph. ii. 10: “We are His workmanship, created In Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.6

    Ps. xcvli. 1, 2: “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness ore round about Him; righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.7

    Ps. civ. 1-8: “Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment; who stretchest out the heavens as a curtain; who layeth the beams of His chambers in tile waters; who maketh the clouds His chariot; who walketh upon the wings of the wind.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.8

    Nahum i. 3: “The Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm; and the clouds are the dust of His feet.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.9

    Jer. x. 10, 12, 13: “The Lord is the true God He is the living God, and an everlasting King.” “He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion. When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasuries.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.10

    Job xxxvi. 26-28: “Behold, God is great, and we know Him not; 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.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.11

    Job xxxvii. 2-6: “Hearken ye unto the noise of His voice, and the sound that goeth out of His mouth. He sendeth it forth under the whole heaven, and His lightning unto the ends of the earth. After it a voice roareth; He thundereth with the voice of His majesty; and He stayeth them not when His voice is heard. God thundereth marvellously with His voice; great things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend, For He saith to the snow, Fall thou on the earth; likewise to the shower of rain, and to the showers of His mighty rain.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.12

    Job xxxvi. 30, 32: “Can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, the thunderings of His pavilion?” “He covereth His hands with the lightning; and giveth it a charge that it strike the mark.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.13

    Job xxxvii. 16: “Didst thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of Him which is perfect in knowledge?”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.14

    Job. xxvi. 8: “He bindeth up the waters in His thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.15

    Read these texts as the living words of the living God. The whole of understanding them is in believing that they mean just what they say.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.16

    Man, as well as the firmament, shows the handiwork of God. In Christ are all things created, and we also are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. If we believe that God is personally present “in the firmament of His power” (Ps. cl. 1), then when we consider the power that is revealed there we shall know and rejoice in “the power which worketh in us.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.17

    Look in the margin of the Revised Version, in Gen. i. 6, and note that the word rendered “firmament” is the Hebrew for “expanse.” God made an expanse, a vast space to divide the waters from the waters. The stars are set in the expanse of the heavens. This idea of an expanse is found in Ps. civ. 2: “who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.18

    That God is actually and really present “in the firmament of His power,” is seen in the, statement that He “maketh the clouds His chariot,” and “hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm.” “The clouds are the, dust of His feet.” “Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud.” Isa. xix. 1.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.19

    “When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens.” “He thundereth with the voice of His majesty.” “God thundereth marvellously with His voice; great things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend.” If children were taught the truth about the thunder and the storm, “as the truth is in Jesus,” they would never cower in terror when the voice of God is heard in the heavens. “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance. In Thy name shall they rejoice all the day; and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted.” Ps. lxxxix. 15, 16.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.20

    “Hath the rain a father?” Has it? Read the answer in the Bible. Where does the rain come from?—From the clouds. How does it get there?—“He draweth up the drops of water, which distil in rain from His vapour; which the skies pour down and drop upon man abundantly.” If thePTUK August 18, 1898, page 517.21

    Poor Indian, whose untutored mind
    Sees God in cloud, and beers Him In the wind,
    PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.1

    to be pitied for his ignorance? Is he in reality so “untutored” as the civilised man whose learning has caused him to leave God out of all his so-called science?PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.2

    “Can any understand the spreadings of the clouds?” “Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous workings of Him which is perfect in knowledge?” These are questions to which no man even in these days is presumptuous enough to say, “Yes.” “He bindeth up the waters in His thick clouds, and the cloud is not rent under them.” No scientist can explain the power by which the clouds are upheld in the slay. Only the first and only Book of science, the Bible, tells us what it is. It is the “eternal power” of the Creator, which is clearly seen in the clouds as well as in all other things that He has made.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.3

    By a little calculation we can form a slight idea of the wonderful power by which the waters are bound up in the thick clouds so that the cloud is not rent under them. This calculation can easily be made if we remember that a cubic foot of water weighs sixty-two and one-half pounds. Let us take a comparatively small space. Perhaps the area best known by all is the space covered by the Parliament buildings. A cloud holding sufficient water to cause it to rain to the depth of just fan inch over that space alone, would contain over twelve hundred and fifty tons of water.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.4

    A better idea of this weight can be obtained if we consider it as coal instead of water, for we are accustomed to seeing tons of coal. Think then of twelve hundred and fifty tons of coal being suspended over that small area. And think of the great clouds that send down their contents over miles and miles of country. What an infinite weight of water is floating about in the air over our heads!PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.5

    What holds this water thus suspended? There can be but one answer: It is the hand of God. He “hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand.” Isa. xl. 13. “The balancings of the clouds” reveal the “wondrous workings of Him which is perfect in knowledge.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.6

    Jesus said, “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all [men] unto Me.” Now we know that the power by which He draws is very real. It is power that is constantly in operation before our eyes, drawing up the drops of water, “which distil in rain from His vapour.” It is a real, tangible power, to which we are to submit. Why should we not quietly yield to this power that tends to draw us upward to God, instead of, by our stubborn resistance, compelling it to “strive” with us?PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.7

    When the Apostle sets Christ forth as the One who by Himself purges our sins, he speaks of Him as “upholding all things by the Word of His power.” Heb. i. 3. The clouds of water give us something tangible by which we can grasp the power that saves us when we believe. We may trust Him, because all “power” “in heaven and in earth” is His. ThenPTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.8

    Praise ye the Lord.
    Praise God in His sanctuary;
    Praise Him in the firmament of His power.
    Praise Him for His mighty acts;
    Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
    Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens,
    And ye waters that be above the heavens.
    Let them praise the name of the Lord;
    For He commanded, and they were created.
    He hath also established them for ever and ever;
    He hath made a decree which shall not pass
    away. Ps. cl. 1, 2; cxlviii. 4-6.
    PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.9

    In the latest rendering of the Psalms, this last verse, as it is also indicated in the margin of the Revised Version, reads thus:—PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.10

    He established them for ever and ever;
    He gave them a law which they may not transgress.
    PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.11

    “Peace Negotiations” The Present Truth 14, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” John xiv. 27.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.12

    How does the world give peace?—A striking answer is furnished by the nations of the world. Take for instance the recent struggle between Spain and the United States. After much blood and treasure had been spent, Spain began to negotiate for peace. The United States of course responded, but let it be distinctly understood that while the matter was under consideration the war would be vigorously prosecuted. And so war and “peace” measures were considered at the same time between the same parties. Out of the same fountain both sweet water and bitter are supposed to be sent forth.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.13

    Take the nations of Europe. Peace is now supposed to prevail. There is no actual fighting anywhere. But what is the attitude of every power?—Armed to the teeth, and industriously increasing their armaments. They stand with weapons in hand, waiting only a threatening movement on the part of another, to let fly. The “peace” of which there is so much boast is exactly the same “peace” that prevails between two pugilists, who stand with clenched fists, and who have not yet come to blows because each wishes to let the other begin, so that he may learn his antagonist's plan of attack.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.14

    “But that is not peace at all,” you say. Just so; for the world does not give any real peace. “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” The world cannot give what it has not. An “armed peace” is not peace; yet the only way the world has of preserving peace is by maintaining armies so strong that others will not dare attack them. But those very armies are a preparation for war, and a constant menace to peace. So the peace which the world gives is in reality war.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.15

    Not so the Lord. He speaks pence, because He is peace. God is “the very God of peace;” the Gospel is “the Gospel of peace;” Jesus Christ is “the Prince of peace.” God's rule is a reign of peace. To the helpless, tempest-tossed sinner the Lord says: “Let him take hold of My strength, that lie may make peace with Me.” Isa. xxvii.5. But He does not throw the burden of peace negotiations upon the rebels. No; “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” He takes the initiative, and makes peace with rebellious man. “Not imputing their trespasses unto them.” He takes the responsibility of the sin all upon Himself.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 518.16

    God does not stand upon His dignity. He does not demand that everything shall be done to satisfy His wounded feelings. No; the mind of God in Christ showed itself in that He “made Himself of no reputation.” The One who is sinned against takes the blame upon Himself, and makes the way very easy for the offending one to lay down his weapons. He has no enmity against the sinner, nay, He does not fight the sinner; He is only love and perfect peace, and His sole effort is to induce the rebel to accept His peace.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 519.1

    Let the people learn God's character before they talk about conducting war on Christian principles. War on Christian principles is just such war as Christ wages. He has no hatred in His heart, and He does not kill His enemies. On the contrary, He is filled with infinite love and pity for them, and He gives His life for them. “The Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” Instead of taking life, He gives life, even His own life of righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 519.2

    “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Not simply are we at peace with Him, but we have His peace dwelling in our hearts, and sanctifying us. Then “let the peace of God rule in your hearts,” and “the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 519.3

    “For the Children. ‘The Firmament of His Power’” The Present Truth 14, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “And God said, Let there be a firmament.” The firmament is sometimes called the atmosphere. But instead of the “firmament” and the “atmosphere” we usually speak of the “sky” and “air.” These are little words easy to say and to remember.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 522.1

    When you look up into the beautiful blue sky you are really looking straight away into the air. Although the air around us seems to have no colour, it appears blue as we look up into the sky. Next week we will talk about the clouds which float in the blue sky or firmament, but to-day we will learn something about the firmament or air itself.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 522.2

    In one of his beautiful psalms, David speaks of “the firmament of His power.” The power of God is in the air, for, as we have learned already, it is His breath or Spirit of life; so all the power of God's own life is in it.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 522.3

    We do not realise the power that there is in the still air about us, but when it is stirred and set in motion by the storm, and rushes over the earth, it mighty wind, tearing up tall trees by their roots, and rolling up the waves of the ocean into great mountains, we can see something of the power that there is in the air. But this same power of God is in all the air about us, and if you think a little, you will see some ways in which this great power is shown.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 522.4

    What is it that gives you life, and makes you able to move, to run and jump, to see and hear, and talk and work? It is life you say, but where does this life come from? Oh, you breath it in, in the air, which is the breath of God, the Spirit of power. So the power that works in you and makes you able to do anything at all, is the power of God which is in the firmament, or the air that He breathes into you.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 522.5

    It is the Spirit of God in the air which gives us the power of seeing and hearing. The air conveys to us the light of the still, and not only carries sounds to us, but also enables us to make them. Without the air we could not make the slightest pound nor hear anything at all.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 522.6

    We have been learning how God has given us eyes so that we way see Him in all His works. He has made our ears also that we may hear Him, that He may speak to us. And just as in the light He enters by our eyes into our hearts, and shines through us to give light to others, so by our ears His Spirit of power, which carries the sound of His words to us, comes into us to give us the power to obey the word that He speaks. The Word of God tells us that we may receive the Holy Spirit by “the hearing of faith.” That is, by simply hearing and believing what God says to us.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 522.7

    And we can hear His voice not only it, the words of the Holy Scriptures, but in the songs of the birds, in O beautiful music, and in all lovely sounds. If in all these things we hear Him we shall in them all receive His Holy Spirit to teach us and make us like Him.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 522.8

    “He that planted the ear” is able to give you “the hearing ear” as well as “the seeing eye.” To each of you He says, “Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear, and your soul shall live.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 522.9

    Jesus said of the Holy Spirit whom He would send to comfort His disciples: “He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you.” This is just what He is doing for us continually by the air which surrounds and fills us. The air reflects the light of His countenance to us, and so enables us to see His beauty; it carries to us the sweetness of His voice in all beautiful sounds, His fragrance in the sweet scent of the flowers, and in other ways reveals Him to us. Let us think of all these things that He is doing for us by His power in the air, and “Praise Him in the firmament of His power.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 522.10

    “Wonders on earth, and wonders in air,
    Wonders around us everywhere,
    Wonders which show forth the marvellous plan
    Of One who is greater, far greater than man.”
    PTUK August 18, 1898, page 522.11

    “Artificial Food” The Present Truth 14, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Considerable sensation has been caused in the scientific world by a discovery announced to the Chemists, Congress, just held at Vienna. This is no less than the artificial production of albumen, the most important of all the food elements. Dr. Lilienfeld has been at work on the invention for many years, and now claims to have completed it. The production is simple and rapid, the albumen being obtained from the waste of coal tar and ammonia, and it is claimed that by chemical test, the product cannot be distinguished from that provided by nature.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 525.1

    It has not yet been demonstrated, however, that the nourishing effect of the now product is equal to the natural albumen, and on this depends the whole value of the invention. All that is certainly known so far is that it has been built up in the same chemical proportions as albumen, but whether it will give life to the eater as the natural product does is the question. It is generally admitted that if it shall be found to possess this quality, the value and importance of the discovery is inconceivable. No food is of value except in so far as it imparts life. To take inorganic minerals and produce therefrom a substance capable of sustaining life would be something which only God can do. Man may build up the very semblance of a living thing, in the exact chemical proportions of the thing copied, but he cannot give it life, or derive life from it. Only God can command stones that they become bread, because only God can put into matter His own life.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 525.2

    This is the point at which all human science and skill has to confess its impotence. Men may analyse a compound and divide it into its several elements, yet never discover the life which will alone account for the mysterious forms of energy revealed; or they way reconstruct the various constituents and appear to have the same compound again, yet never be able to invest it with the life.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 525.3

    Men have tried to construct diamonds, and so have procured the necessary material and subjected it to the proper conditions, but no one can ever yet made a diamond. Much stir was made a little while ago by an attempt to transmute silver into gold. It was observed that the only difference between the two metals was in the relative density of their respective atoms. What more simple than to bring to bear the required pressure and change silver to gold? The attempt was made but it was a failure, and Argentaurum has gone to join the philosopher's stone of the middle ages.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 525.4

    God has opened up the treasures of His universe to the minds of men, but instead of beholding therein “His everlasting power and Divinity,” and glorifying Him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters, they have failed to recognise the Divinity, and render the Creator worship. Instead, they have become vain in their imaginations, and have supposed that they could do what God alone is able to accomplish.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 525.5

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 33.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come find see.” John i. 45, 46.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.1

    The name by which Jesus was distinguished while on earth was “Jesus of Nazareth.” Joseph “came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.” Matt. ii. 33. And after the ascension of Christ, that name was used in the performance of a mighty miracle. To the man who had never had the use of his legs, Peter said, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Acts iii. 6.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.2

    In the economy of God there are no accidents. It was not an accident that Jesus was brought up from infancy in the town of Nazareth, and that He is known to this day as “Jesus of Nazareth.” There is something for us in the frequent use of that title. What is it?PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.3

    Consider the reputation of the people of Narareth, and you have the answer. The estimation in which the place was held is indicated by Nathanael's question: “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip expressed no surprise at this question, for nobody expected to hear of any good from Nazareth, and he did not attempt to defend the place, or to argue the case at all. The only thing he could say was, “Come and see.” The place was so thoroughly bad that nobody would believe that there was any good in it unless he saw it for himself.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.4

    The word Nazareth means “separated.” But the city of Nazareth was separated or distinguished by its general worthlessness. It was in that place that Jesus was brought up, yet He was a Nazarite indeed, separated and distinguished because of the goodness of His character. Under the very worst conditions, he developed a perfect character.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.5

    Was not this written for our encouragement and strength. How often we wish that we could get out of the conditions in which we find ourselves through no fault of our own, into a place where the conditions are more favourable for serving God. And because we are where we are, and our associates are so wicked and so much opposed to the truth, we persuade ourselves that we cannot be expected to do right. So we, like Felix, wait for a more convenient season, which too often never comes.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.6

    It is for help in just such cases that we are directed to Jesus of Nazareth. He was faithful to Him that called Him. He was just as good in Nazareth as in Bethany. Circumstances and associations had no effect on Him, for He trusted in God from childhood. He “went about doing good,” “for God was with Him;” and the good which He did to suffering people was only the shining forth of the good that was in Him. If He had not resisted the evil influences which the devil threw around Him in Nazareth, He could not have healed those who were oppressed by the devil.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.7

    There is not a phase of human experience that Jesus has not passed through. No one is in such unfavourable circumstances for doing God's will as Jesus was. He knows all about us. And He is with us every day, even, to the end of the world. He does not simply point to His achievements, to how He “endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself,” but by the blessed and all-powerful Holy Spirit He comes into our hearts, to endure the same things still, and to make us “strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.8

    Therefore “consider Him.” “Take the name of Jesus with you,” even the name of Jesus of Nazareth. There are no associations so bad that Jesus cannot live a holy life in the midst of them, and it is He, not we, who gains the victory. “Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.9

    On Friday afternoon, the 12th, the terms of peace between the United States and Spain were signed in Washington by the representatives of the two Governments, and the officers in command of the various forces in the West Indies and the Philippines were notified that hostilities must cease. The terms are these: Spain to relinquish all sovereignty over Cuba; Puerto Rico and all other Spanish islands in the West Indies, together with certain islands in the Ladrones, to be ceded to the United States; all these islands to be at once evacuated by Spain; the United States to occupy the city, bay, and harbour of Manila till the future of the Philippines shall be determined by treaty, said treaty to be concluded by ten commissioners, five appointed by each nation, to meet in Paris by October 1.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.10

    From this it will appear that, financially considered, the United States have made a very good thing out of their “humanitarian war.”PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.11

    The Tent Services to which reference was made in a recent issue, were held at Bath as announced. Over three hundred of our friends were present from different parts of the country and, at the evening meetings, a considerable number of the Bath residents attended. The occasion was one of deep blessing to those who were present as the reality of the Gospel and the fulness of the Divine gifts were presented from day to day with increasing force and clearness, the hearing of the word brought faith to believe that God Himself had become, our salvation, so that we might trust and not be afraid. At the daily gathering for prayer and praise the time was well filled with testimonies of gratitude and rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord. Many who were present have devoted their lives to the proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom, which is to be preached in all the world for a witness before the end come, and all felt that they could take up their work with greater courage than over before and go forward to victory in the strength of the Lord. Several were baptized during the week.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.12

    If any desire a detailed report of the Bath meetings, it will be forwarded on Orders should be received at once.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.13

    The state of affairs in the Far East is considered really alarming. In spite of the protests of the British Minister, the Chinese Government has sanctioned the Belgian-Russian contract for a railway from Peking to Hankow, in the very heart of the Yang-tse valley, which has been held by Great Britain to be within her “sphere of influence.” This seems to give Russia a great commercial advantage over Great Britain, and whenever commercial interests are seriously threatened, the mutterings of war are heard.PTUK August 18, 1898, page 528.14

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