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    October 2, 1884

    “The Sabbath-School” The Signs of the Times, 10, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. Upon what did Paul exhort Timothy to lay hold? 1 Timothy 6:12.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.1

    2. By what means was he to lay hold of it? Ib.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.2

    3. Would it be consistent to exhort one to “lay hold” of the eternal life if he has it by nature?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.3

    4. To whom must we come in order to have life? John 5:40.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.4

    5. For what purpose did Christ say he came? John 10:10.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.5

    6. Then if men possess immortality by nature, did not Christ come in vain?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.6

    7. What is proved by the fact that he came to give life?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.7

    8. Who does Christ say have everlasting life? John 3:36.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.8

    9. In what sense do we have it now? 2 Timothy 1:1.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.9

    10. In whose keeping is this gift? 1 John 5:11.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.10

    11. Can one do anything more for Christ than to give up everything for his sake?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.11

    12. What does Christ say that those who do so shall receive in this present time? Mark 10:29, 30.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.12

    13. What shall they receive in the world to come? Ib.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.13

    14. Then when will eternal life be enjoyed?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.14

    15. At what time will immortality be bestowed? 1 Corinthians 15:51-54.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.15

    16. How is it that we receive immortality? Verses 52, 53.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.16

    17. Can a person “put on” that which he already has on?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.17

    18. Then what can you say as to man’s present possession of immortality?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.18

    19. What is due to Christ from all men? John 5:23.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.19

    20. How much honor is due him? Ib.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.20

    21. What does Christ alone have? John 6:68.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.21

    22. Through whom does eternal life come? Romans 6:23.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.22

    23. If men were by nature in possession of immortality, would they be dependent upon Christ for it?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.23

    24. Then is it not robbing Christ of the honor due him, to say that man possesses immortality whether they believe in him or not?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.24


    1. Concerning what did Paul wish the brethren not to be ignorant? 1 Thessalonians 4:13.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.25

    2. What is sleep often used to represent? John 11:11-14; Psalm 13:3.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.26

    3. What is the condition of a man in a sound sleep?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.27

    4. Then what must we conclude as to the Bible idea of the condition of man in death?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.28

    5. In what place are the dead sleeping? Daniel 12:2; Job 7:21.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.29

    6. What does Paul say that God will do for those who sleep in Jesus? 1 Thessalonians 4:14.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.30

    7. When will he do this? Verses 15, 16.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.31

    8. From what place will he bring them? John 5:28, 29.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.32

    9. In what sense, then, is it that God brings them “with him,” i.e. with Christ? Hebrews 13:20.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.33

    10. Who are they who go into the grave? Psalm 89:48.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.34

    11. What kind of a place is the grave? Job 10:20-22.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.35

    12. How is it described by the psalmist? Psalm 88:11, 12.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.36

    13. What does Solomon say as to the activity of those who go to the grave? Ecclesiastes 9:10.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.37

    14. Are we to understand, then, that the dead are entirely unconscious? Verse 5.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.38

    15. Do they not feel any of the emotions which sway the living? Verse 6.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.39

    16. Are they not affected even by the success or adversity of their best loved ones? Job 14:21.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.40

    17. If a tree is cut down, what may happen? Job 14:7-9.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.41

    18. What is said of the death of man? Verse 10.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.42

    19. How complete is the “wasting away” of man when he dies? Verses 11, 12.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.43

    20. How long will it be before the dead shall be raised out of their sleep? Verse 12.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.44

    21. When is it that the heavens shall pass away? 2 Peter 3:10.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.45

    22. Then at what time did Job locate the resurrection?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.46

    23. Where did he expect to stay while waiting for this event? Job 14:13; 17:13.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.47

    Since there was no paper last week, we this week print the questions for two Sabbaths, in order that those who are following the series may not lose the connection.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.48

    In John 10:10 we have Christ’s statement of the object which brought him to earth to die: “I am come that they [believers in him] might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Compare this with his words in John 3:16. He came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15); and since the wages of sin is death, it must follow that he gives life, as he says. And this statement cannot be turned aside from its literal meaning by saying, as Dr. Barnes does, that the word “abundantly” “denotes that which is not absolutely essential to life, but which is superadded to make life happy;” for it is not merely the ‘abundance” of life which he came to bestow, but life itself. “I am come that they might have life, and [something else] that they might have it more abundantly;” that is, to all eternity. But the fact that Christ came to give life, proves conclusively that we cannot have it without him, unless we are willing to admit that he came in vain-for a purpose wholly unnecessary.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.49

    The fact that life comes only through Christ is again and again repeated in the Bible. “He that believeth on the Son have everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life.” John 3:36. Here we have a most positive declaration; a plainer statement of the case could not be made. There are some, however, who misapply the first portion of the verse, and claim that even now, in this present life, Christians have the eternal life. But the beloved disciple, in repeating the words of Christ, says: “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11. And this is how it is that “He that hath the Son hath life.” We have it in Christ. It is not ours in the sense of actual possession, but by promise. See 2 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:2.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.50

    And when shall we receive this promise? Christ himself tells us. Said he: “There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions.” This will be the portion of a follower of Christ in this world; but this is not all. He continues: “And in the world to come eternal life.” Mark 10:29, 30. So the eternal life is ours in this world only by promise; in the world to come it will be ours in fact. But so surely does Christ give life, that if we have him, we may say that we have life.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.51

    One word of explanation on John 3:36. “He that hath not the Son shall not see life.” Of course this can have no reference to this present life; it must refer to eternal life. That is the object for which man was created. This brief existence is but a preparation for eternal life. The Lord gives us a little period of time to see how we will use it. If we are faithful, he will at his coming give us that for which he has designed us. But if we do not appreciate this life, if we are not faithful in that which is least, what object could there be for him to give us that which is greatest, eternal life? None at all. If we do not gain that, our lives will have been spent in vain. The wicked will “be as though they had not been” (Obadiah 1:16), and so it can be said of them that they do not see life.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.52

    The great reason that we urge why men should accept the doctrine of conditional immortality is that it honors Christ. If we say that we possess immortality by nature, we deprive Christ of his highest honor. We virtually make ourselves independent of him. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. Now if we claim immortality as ours by birthright, we may not deny the first part of this text, but we do the second. We may admit that immortality is the gift of God; but we must honor the Son even as we honor the Father. We must also admit that it comes only through Christ.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.53

    Few people realize it, but it is a fact that the doctrine that men are by nature immortal is really a denial of Christ. If Christ came to give life, and we claim to have it without him, do we not thus cast him off? Spiritualists have carried the doctrine of inherent, unconditional immortality to its legitimate conclusion, and openly repudiate Christ as a Saviour. If we hold the same doctrine, what warrant have we that we will not go to the same lengths as they? The doctrine of conditional immortality is the only safeguard against Spiritualism. Can anyone say that it is not a practical doctrine?SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.54

    Having learned that man is mortal and possesses no principle of immortality until the coming of the Lord and the resurrection, when he puts on immortality, we would naturally conclude that the dead are unconscious, extinct. And so the Bible represents them. Sleep is a common symbol of death. David says that when Michael stands up, “many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.” Daniel 12:2. Christ said when Lazarus was dead, “our friend Lazarus sleepeth.” John 11:11-14. David prays the Lord to remember him lest he “sleep the sleep of death.” Psalm 13:3. And Paul says of David after he had served his own generation, he “fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption.” Acts 13:36. Sleep is thus defined by Webster: “A natural and healthy, but temporary and periodical, suspension of the functions of the organs of sense.” Of the verb he says: “To take rest by a suspension of the voluntary exercise of the powers of the body and mind, an apathy of the organs of sense; to become unconscious.” Sleep is a synonym for unconsciousness. When a man is in a perilous position and knows nothing of it, we say that he is asleep to his danger. So death, in order to be fitly represented by sleep must be a total suspension of the functions of the organs of sense, and of all the powers of body and mind. And such we shall find the Bible declares it to be.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.55

    The dead go to the grave. They are said to “sleep in the dust.” It is a place to which both good and bad go. This of itself would prove that men do not go to Heaven at death. The following description of the place of the dead also shows that it is not Heaven: “A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.” Job 10:22. It is the “land of forgetfulness.” Psalm 88:12. It is from this place that the Lord will bring his faithful ones when he comes. Paul says concerning them that sleep: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus shall God bring with him.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14. This does not mean that he will bring them from Heaven, but from the grave. See John 5:28, 29. The apostle in verse 14 has not yet introduced the coming of the Lord from Heaven. He has simply spoken of the death and resurrection of Christ. It was God who “brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 13:20), and if we believe in Jesus, he will bring us from the dead also, even as he did him.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.56

    But until the coming of the Lord, the dead remain in their graves, unconscious of passing the events. Read Solomon’s statements concerning them in Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10. They “know not anything.” “There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave.” Even the prosperity or adversity of their best loved relatives, produces no emotion either of joy or sorrow. “His sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.” Job 14:21. The utter extinction of man in the grave is brought out in this fourteenth chapter of Job. If we cut a tree down, there will be enough life left in the stump to cause it to sprout again; “but man dieth, and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?” Verse 10. This is equivalent to saying that he has no existence. But this extension is not final; it lasts until a fixed time. “As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up; so man lieth down, and riseth not; till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.” Verses 11, 12. We can here only refer to the texts which locate this time. Peter says (chap. 3:10) that in the day of the Lord the heavens shall pass away with a great noise. It is the voice of God, which at Sinai shook the earth, which is yet once more to sound, and shake the heavens. Hebrews 12:26. And this voice is (the trump of God) that is to arouse the sleeping dead. So Job’s words are equivalent to the statement that at death man becomes utterly extinct, and remain so until the coming of the Lord. E. J. W.SITI October 2, 1884, page 582.57

    “Is a State Religion Contemplated?” The Signs of the Times, 10, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the thirteenth chapter of Revelation two beasts are brought to view, representing two earthly powers. The first beast, having seven heads and ten horns, the body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion, can be no other than the papal power, and so commentators have generally regarded it. It combines the characteristics of all the beasts of Daniel 7, showing that its dominion has extended over all of the territory occupied by the powers represented by those beasts, that is, nearly all of the Old World. It speaks great things and blasphemy; it blasphemes God and his name; it makes war with the saints and overcomes them, and continues forty-two months, or twelve hundred and sixty years, when it goes into captivity. All of these specifications are met in the papal power, and in no other. Its going into captivity was in A. D. 1798, when Pope Pius VI. was taken prisoner to France, and the papacy for two years had no head. This was indeed a deadly wound, which, however, in accordance with the prophecy, was healed by the enthronement of another pope, and the restoration of the papacy to at least the semblance of its former power.SITI October 2, 1884, page 585.1

    Just at this time “another beast” was “coming up but of the earth.” Since all of the Old World was already occupied, it is evident that we must look to the New World for the rise of this other power. In 1798, when the papacy went into captivity, the United States of America was just “coming up,” and there was no other power then establishing itself. The first president had, at that time, barely completed his term of service, and the eyes of the world were being tuned to this new nation, which was so rapidly and yet unostentatiously arising to take its place among the foremost nations of the earth. Its peaceable, lamb-like appearance has always been preserved, and even the dragon voice (i.e., the persecuting disposition) has been heard to a slight degree. If space allowed, we might go on to show many more reasons why this two-horned beast must represent the United States. This much we can say, that if this beast does not symbolize the United States, then there is one symbol of prophecy for which no place can be found.SITI October 2, 1884, page 585.2

    This power is to make an image to the first beast. That beast, the papacy, was simply an ecclesiastico-civil power,-a union of church and State. The State existed to serve the ends of the church, and to enforce its dogmas. The church itself never put heretics to death; it simply decided who were heretics, and then handed them over to the civil power, over which the church had supreme control, to be punished. An image to that beast must be something like it-another union of church and State. All that is required to effect such a union is for the civil power to enforce, under penalty, some practice which the religious leaders declare ought to be observed. This is just what must be done in the United States, if we are correct in our application of the prophecy. And this is what Seventh-day Adventists have for thirty years declared would be done in this country.SITI October 2, 1884, page 585.3

    It is well known that for about twenty years a party has been in existence, known as the “National Reform Party,” whose avowed object is to secure such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States as will “place all Christian laws, institutions, and usages on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land.” To show that this movement contemplates “sufficiently practical ends,” the leaders make no secret of the fact that the observance of Sunday is one of the “Christian institutions” which they desire to see enforced by the laws of the State, declaring that when the desired amendment shall be obtained, no one who violates the Sunday shall be eligible to any office. They openly declare, also, that the State should exist only as the servant of the church, to carry out its decrees. When, therefore, a national Sunday law shall have become an actual fact, the image to be papal beast will be fairly set up in the United States.SITI October 2, 1884, page 585.4

    The New York Independent has been very outspoken against such a movement as this. Although advocating the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath, it has deprecated any attempt to make such observance compulsory. We will quote from its pages to show that we are not alone in regarding legal enactments for the observance of Sunday as a union of church and State. The reader will please bear in mind that in these quotations the word “Sabbath” is used for Sunday. In its issue of Dec. 14, 1882, in an article concerning “Sunday laws,” the Independent said:-SITI October 2, 1884, page 585.5

    “There is no doubt that much of the earlier Sabbath legislation of this country, the relics of which still remain to some extent in the law, and to a larger extent in the minds of some of the earnest advocates for the sanctity of the Sabbath, was based upon the principle of a State religion, and that Christianity, with its Sabbath, was that religion. This theory, however, has been thoroughly exploded by judicial decisions in later and wiser times; and it cannot stand a moment without surrendering the fundamental principles upon which the American governments are organized. The State has nothing to do with the Christian Sabbath as a religious day, except to protect from improper disturbance those who, on religious grounds, keep it as holy time. It has no right to pass to the breadth of a hair beyond this point, any more than it has to enact a doctrine of God or the Trinity, which the people shall believe. The moment the State exceeds protection, and undertakes the work of direction, it becomes a trespasser upon the rights of conscience, and assumes a function for which it is not adapted, and for which it has no warrant. The State has no right to compel a man to treat the first day of the week as ‘holy time.’ Whether he shall do so or not is for him to determine, and not for the State to determine for him.”SITI October 2, 1884, page 585.6

    To all of this we give our consent; we believe it is in accordance with sound reason and strict justice. In its next issue, that of Dec. 21, 1882, the Independent says further:-SITI October 2, 1884, page 585.7

    “The State has nothing to do with Sunday as a purely religious day, or with the reasons which demand and enforce its observance as such a day. Its sole function is to regulate it as a rest day, and that, too, for reasons that apply equally to all the people, and not particularly to Christians, who keep it as ‘holy time.’ Christians have an unquestionable right so to keep the day, and by moral means to persuade others to keep it in the same way, and to be fully protected in so doing; but they have no right to demand that the State shall compel others to adopt either their creed or their practice in regard to the religious sanctity of the Sabbath. It should be enough for them if the State, for its own reasons, and not theirs as religionists, makes Sunday a rest day within the limits of a reasonable propriety. When they ask the State to do more, they virtually ask it to establish a State religion.”SITI October 2, 1884, page 585.8

    The Independent seems to be a little confused in this quotation, in that it says that the function of the State is to regulate Sunday as a rest day. But whatever it may mean by that statement, it is clear enough when it says that Christians have no right to ask the State to compel others to adopt either their creed or their practice in respect to the religious sanctity of the Sunday. So long as the State does not seek to compel us to adopt the practice of the majority of professed Christians in regard to Sunday, we care not how much it legislates concerning it. To say that the State has no right to compel anyone to adopt their practice in regard to Sunday, is equivalent to saying that it shall not compel anyone to rest on that day. In this it is correct, as it is also in the statement that such compulsion would be the establishment of a State religion. Again, it its issue of Dec. 28, 1882, in an editorial on “The Sabbath and Railroads,” it says:-SITI October 2, 1884, page 585.9

    “We would resist to the very last any attempt to put the civil statute behind the Sabbath [Sunday] as a religious institution, since this cannot be done without involving in principle the whole doctrine of religion and State. It is, however, not less a duty of the church, and of Christians in their individual capacity, to do what the State cannot properly do, and, therefore, should not do; and that is to enforce the Sabbath as a sacredly religious day, and by moral means, by example, and by precept.”SITI October 2, 1884, page 585.10

    With this we have no fault to find. We do not question the right of Christians, as individuals, to enforce the observance of Sunday by example and by precept, nor of anybody to keep the Sunday of their own free will. What we do protest against is a State religion,-the compelling of individuals to rest on Sunday against their will.SITI October 2, 1884, page 586.1

    But since 1882 the Independent has undergone a radical change, and now approves what it once condemned. The issue of Aug. 28, 1884, contains an editorial on “The Working Man’s Interest in the Day of Rest,” in which it says that all legislation which allows any work to be performed on Sunday is a failure, and they move to deprive the laborer of his right. This wrong to the working man, it says, can be relieved by nothing but the religious observance of the day. From this article we quote a few paragraphs:—SITI October 2, 1884, page 586.2

    “The net result [i.e., of laws which permit any person to labor on Sunday] is to put more terror into toil, and to add so much more of burden to the existence of a class of people whose life is already hard enough, and who, without the powerful arm of the law and of social custom to protection, are unable to vindicate themselves.SITI October 2, 1884, page 586.3

    “There is no secular nor semi-secular theory of the day that can meet this abuse. If it is handed over to the amusement, money-making enterprise will only lay itself out on that day in another way, and drive its wheels and push its methods so much the harder as the time is shorter.SITI October 2, 1884, page 586.4

    “The only possible protection lies in supporting by law and by social observance the religious character of the day. In the name of religion a halt may be called, and the weary to be ended. Religion is rest in peace. It is still and recuperative to the body and mind. It keeps a people in their homes, and engages them in a wholesome thought, and it speaks in the name of an authority which is sacred enough to rise superior to the pressing claims and urgency of business.”SITI October 2, 1884, page 586.5

    It then states that the right of the laborer to his rest holds good for domestics, for coachmen and stable-boys, in the railway and the steamer, as well as in mills and manufactories, and says further:-SITI October 2, 1884, page 586.6

    “It is a right on whose recognition the religious observance of Sunday depends. If Christian people will not consent to some sacrifice in matters like these, they cannot hope to retain the great boon to themselves and to the world around them of a religious state. If they consider that price too high, they cannot have their jewel of a well-kept Sabbath.”SITI October 2, 1884, page 586.7

    The article closes with these words. “A religious Sunday gives the only hope a weary world can have a regular day of rest.”SITI October 2, 1884, page 586.8

    We do not give these quotations in order to take the Independent to task for its change of base; that is its own affair, not ours. But we give them to show how public sentiment is shaping. When the strongest opponent of the “National Reform” movement, the most influential popular religious journal of the country, favors that movement, it indicates no little progress toward the end sought by that party. That that end is in reality a union of church and State, no thinking person, least of all the Independent, can deny. The agents of the so-called Reform Party are not idle, and the prejudice which they have to overcome is only nominal. The friends of the Sunday feel that something must be done since there is no divine command for Sunday observance, nothing by which they can appeal to the conscience of the people, Sunday desecration is increasing rapidly. In their desperation they see no remedy but to adopt a plan which, as the Independent says, is the surrender of the fundamental principle upon which the American government is based.SITI October 2, 1884, page 586.9

    The student of prophecy and of the signs of the times can see clearly that the time is near it hand when the people of the earth will respond with alacrity to the demand “that they should make an image to the beast which had the wound by the sword, and did live.” When that time comes, may we be found among those who are heeding the command from Heaven, to “worship Him that made Heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” E. J. W.SITI October 2, 1884, page 586.10

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