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    December 18, 1884

    “The Sabbath-School. Spiritualism” The Signs of the Times, 10, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. What did Paul say should come in the last days? 2 Timothy 3:1.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.1

    2. What causes these perilous times? Verses 2-5.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.2

    3. What sort of persons are they who do these things? Verse 6.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.3

    4. What all-important requirement do they lack? Verse 7.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.4

    5. How do they resist the truth? Verse 8.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.5

    6. How was it that the magicians of Egypt withstood Moses? Exodus 7:10-12.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.6

    7. For what purpose will miracles be performed just before the Lord’s coming? Matthew 24:23, 24.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.7

    8. By what power did the heathen magicians perform their miracles? 1 Corinthians 10:20.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.8

    9. Then must we not expect, from the words of Paul and Christ, that by the aid of devils, miracles will be performed in the last days? Revelation 16:13, 14.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.9

    10. For what purpose do these spirits of devils work miracles? Ib.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.10

    11. What immediately follows their deceitful miracles? Verse 15.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.11

    12. What did Paul say the coming of Christ would immediately follow? 2 Thessalonians 2:8, 9.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.12

    13. Among other things what do these wonder-working spirits profess to be? Matthew 24:23, 24.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.13

    14. What is the specific work of Christ? John 5:40; 10:10.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.14

    15. What has Christ brought to light? 2 Timothy 1:10.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.15

    16. Then if the spirits claim to be Christ, what will they claim to have demonstrated?SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.16

    17. By what is this now fulfilled?SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.17

    18. Who originated the doctrine of the natural immortality of man? Genesis 3:4.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.18

    19. Who is this serpent? Revelation 20:2.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.19

    20. What effect does this doctrine have upon the wicked? Ezekiel 13:22.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.20

    21. How is it that people are deceived by these lies? 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.21

    22. When we are urged to seek unto them that have familiar spirits, to what should we turn? Isaiah 8:19, 20.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.22

    23. How is it that we can resist the adversary? 1 Peter 5:8, 9.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.23

    24. In order to successfully resist the devil, where must we have the word of God? Psalm 119:11.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.24

    “This know also, that in the last days perilous time shall come.” Reference is here made to the time immediately preceding the coming of the Lord. The reason why the times are then so perilous, is contained in the first clause of the second verse: “For men shall be lovers of their own selves.” The sins that are afterward enumerated are simply different forms of the one great sin-supreme love for self; men will love themselves, and pleasures, more than they love God. There is no form of idolatry that is any more debasing than this.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.25

    “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” Those who commit these crimes are professed followers of God. Here, then, we find that there are heathen who have a knowledge of the true God, and who profess to worship him. The sins that are imputed to them are of the same class exactly as those which are common among the ancient heathen. See Romans 1:28-32. How is it that they deny the power of godliness? By their evil practices. Paul elsewhere speaks of certain unbelieving ones, who “profess that they know God, but in works they deny him.” Titus 1:16. The apostle does not say that these persons have no power; but it is the power of godliness that they lack. They are of the class that the prophet speaks of, who take delight in approaching to God, who fast, and afflict themselves, and are very fervent in their devotions, yet the Lord sees them not. These are they of whom the Lord speaks in Matthew 7:22: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” Surely, such zeal and power must indicate true Christianity; but the Saviour says he will say to them, “I never knew you.” They will be told to depart from him. Why? Because, with all their profession, they “work iniquity,” or do unlawful deeds.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.26

    One sin seems to especially characterize this class. Not content with saying that they are “without natural affection” and “incontinent,” the apostle continues. “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women, laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.” From the fact that they are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” we conclude that these people do not regard their wicked practices as sinful. They have not that “knowledge of the truth” which would enlighten them, and so they “call evil good, and good evil.” They are “despisers of those that are good,” and in their blindness they “resist the truth.”SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.27

    How do they resist the truth? “As Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these resist the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:8. This sheds a flood of light on the subject, for in Exodus 7:11, and onward, we learn that Pharoah’s magicians withstood Moses “with their enchantments.” They withstood him by performing, up to a certain point, miracles, the object of which was to make the king believe that his gods were as powerful as the God of Israel. Enchantment is the same as sorcery, and witchcraft; it is “intercourse with evil spirits.” Then the magicians, Paul tells us were Jannes and Jambres, resisted Moses by means of their intercourse with evil spirits. What evil spirits? The spirits of devils, for heathen worship was nothing but devil worship; when the heathen offered sacrifices, they offered them to devils. 1 Corinthians 10:20. Now since people in the last days will resist the truth just as the magicians did, we know that they will oppose the spread of the truth by means of miracles which, through the power of Satan, they are unable to perform.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.28

    This conclusion is verified still further by the prophet, who saw, just before the coming of the Lord, the “spirits of devils working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world.” Revelation 16:14, 15. Paul also tells us that the coming of Christ follows “the working of Satan with all power and signs and wonders.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9. Christ spoke of these wonders as being signs of his coming, and said that they would be so great that, if it were possible, they would deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:23, 24. These verses also give us a clue to the nature of these deceptions. “For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets.” Now if certain people profess to be Christ, they must necessarily profess to do the work which the Bible says Christ alone has power to do. Christ says, “I am come that they might have life.” Paul says that Christ has “brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Modern Spiritualists claim that Spiritualism alone demonstrates the immortality of the soul. They say that while Christians believe that man is immortal, they prove it. By their so-called materialization of dead persons, they seem to prove it, but this is the delusion against which we are warned.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.29

    Satan’s first recorded lie, the one which has formed the basis of all his deceptions, was the statement to Eve, “Ye shall not surely die.” There in the garden of Eden he proclaimed the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. By this same doctrine he deceives the people in the last days. The great truth of the Bible is salvation in Christ alone; salvation from sin and its penalty, death; “He that believeth on the Son have everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life.” John 3:36. Those who do not receive this true, who teach that there will be endless life for the wicked, and that the dead are not really dead, are open to this deception of Satan. The devils, personating individuals who have died, can appear to their friends who believe in the immortality of the soul, and thus “demonstrate” it to them. When people accept this as truth, the miracles which they perform will also be attributed to the Spirit of God. Then those who say anything against the doctrines taught by these wonder-working spirits, will be accused of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, and will be persecuted. Thus these last-day apostates become “despisers of those that are good.”SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.30

    The only safety is in having the word of God hidden in the heart. If the word has been “engrafted” into life of the individual, he will always have wherewith to resist the devil. “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the [the Spirit of prophecy; see Revelation 19:10] if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:19, 20. E. J. W.SITI December 18, 1884, page 758.31

    “The Lord’s Day. (Concluded.)” The Signs of the Times, 10, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner


    It would seem that the many Bible proofs that the seventh day of the week is “the Lord’s day” should be sufficient to silence all cavil among those who claim to regard the Bible as the only rule of faith and practice. But some will say, “You have entirely ignored the claims of the first day of the week; if you examine the record concerning that day, you might find cause to change your mind.” We do not believe that we should; for when a thing is positively proved to be right, its opposite is, by the same argument, just as surely shown to be wrong. If the seventh day is “the Lord’s day,” then the first day cannot be. But in order that there may be no dissatisfaction, we will see what the Bible has to say about the first day. With the aid of a concordance we can easily find every text in the New Testament, which contains reference to the first day of the week.SITI December 18, 1884, page 760.1

    The first text is Matthew 28:1: “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.” Simply an incidental mention of the day, so we will go on.SITI December 18, 1884, page 760.2

    Mark 16:1, 2: “And when the Sabbath was passed Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him [Jesus]. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came under the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.” This is but a repetition of what we found in the other texts. One point, however, we would call attention to. The Sabbath is the Lord’s day, as we have proved at length. See Isaiah 58:13. Now the first day of the week did not come until after the Sabbath was passed; therefore these texts, instead of showing the first day to be the Lord’s day, prove positively that it is not. But we will look further.SITI December 18, 1884, page 760.3

    Luke 24:1: “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they [the women, see chap. 23:55] came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.” Here again the evidence is damaging to the claims of Sunday to be the Lord’s day. First, we notice that the disciples took the first day of the week to do a work of love for Jesus, which they would not do on the day of his crucifixion, because “the Sabbath drew on.” Second, we find (chap. 23:54-56) that that Sabbath day immediately preceded the first day, and that they rested upon it “according to the commandment.” That says “the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord” (Exodus 20:10); showing that the first day is not the Lord’s day. We will try again.SITI December 18, 1884, page 760.4

    John 20:1: “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher.” Simply a reiteration of the statement that on the first day of the week certain Christian women set out to perform a piece of work. We must evidently look elsewhere for our Sunday Lord’s day.SITI December 18, 1884, page 760.5

    Mark 16:9: “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” It would have been strange indeed, if Christ had not shown himself to his disciples as soon as he was risen, in order to comfort them, and to confirm their faith in him. It would be equally strange if the evangelists, whose great aim was to establish the fact of Christ’s resurrection, should not mention the particulars connected with it. In this text, again, we have only a simple statement of an incident that might occur on any day.SITI December 18, 1884, page 760.6

    John 20:19: “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” The remarks on the preceding text will also apply to this. To the plea that the disciples were at this time celebrating the resurrection of Christ on the day which they had resolved to devote to his honor, we reply (1) That this was not a religious meeting, but that the disciples were in their own place of abode (see Acts 1:13, 14); (2) They were partaking of their evening meal (see Luke 24:33; Mark 16:14); (3) They did not yet believe that Jesus was risen from the dead. After Mary Magdalene had seen him, “she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.” Mark 16:10, 11. They continued in sorrow and unbelief throughout all that day (Luke 24:13-17; Mark 12:13), and did not believe until they saw him for themselves in their room, in the evening of the day of his resurrection. “Then where the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.”SITI December 18, 1884, page 760.7

    The six instances of the use of the term the first day of the week are all concerning the particular day on which Christ rose from the dead. If that day that were designed to have any effect upon the practice of the disciples, in regard to the day of rest, these texts must certainly have contained a statement of that fact; but they do not. The evangelists mention the first day of the week in their narrative as a matter of course, and state in the most matter-of-fact manner possible, that the day preceding it is the Sabbath, the Lord’s day. We will continue our search.SITI December 18, 1884, page 760.8

    Acts 20:7: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” Here is a religious meeting on the first day of the week. Can it be that we have found what we are after? If you say “Aye,” and that the disciples evidently regarded this day as the Lord’s day, then we will venture to inquire, By what authority did they so regard it? We have no record of its being exalted to the honor of Lord’s day, and we dare not accept any custom without authority. As we have read the text again, however, our enthusiasm ebbs, as we find that it gives no intimation that the day on which they came together had any sacredness whatever. It is simply “the first day of the week.” It is true that they came together to perform a religious act-the breaking the bread-but this act was not confined to any particular day, but was done “every day.” Acts 2:46. Our Sunday friends are wont to comfort themselves not a little with the thought that the disciples did hold a meeting on the first day of the week; but they seem to forget that they also held meetings, and that, too, among the heathen, on the seventh day of the week. See Acts 13:42, 44; 17:2; 18:4, 11. Thus we have one instance, and only one, of a religious meeting on the first day of the week, and no less than eighty-four meetings on the seventh day of the week. “But,” says a friend, “the fact that the disciples worshiped on Saturday proves nothing for Saturday observance, because they held meetings on every day of the week.” Exactly so; but if the mere example of the disciples in regularly worshiping on the seventh day, does not prove that day to be the Sabbath, how in the name of reason can a single instance of Sunday worship prove the first day to be the Sabbath?SITI December 18, 1884, page 760.9

    In considering this text we have not thought it necessary to show that the meeting was on what is known as Saturday night, and that Paul and his companions traveled all the next day, he on foot, and they by sea, although that is the case, and is admitted by many first-day authors. The obvious fact that the day is given no sacred title, and just mentioned, and nothing more, is sufficient to show that we have not yet found what we seek. We will try once more.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.1

    1 Corinthians 16:1, 2: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as that given order to the churches in Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week led every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings but I come.” Well, what have we here? No Lord’s day, at any rate. The phrase, “lay by him in store,” indicates that the appropriation for the poor was to be done at home. The phrase, “as God hath prospered him,” shows that the individual was to look over his accounts to see what his gains had been during the previous week, a work suitable only for a secular day. The fact that it was to be done on a specified time-the first day of the week-shows the duty of system in our offerings to be poor. Dr. Barnes, who most sincerely believed in the sacredness of Sunday, said on this text: “Let him designate a certain portion; let him do this by himself, when he is at home, when he can calmly look at the evidence of his prosperity. Let him do it not under the influence of pathetic appeals, or, for the sake of display when he is with others, but let him do it as a matter of principle, and when he is by himself.”SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.2

    “Nor ought we to leave unnoticed the method which he recommends of laying aside week by week what is devoted to God (1 Corinthians 16:2)-a practice equally remote from the excitement of popular appeals and the mere impulse of instinctive benevolence.”—Conybeare and Howson.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.3

    And now, what next? There is nothing more. We have examined every text in the New Testament (eight in all), which mentions the first day of the week, and with what success the reader has seen. Not the shadow of a hint have we found that would show that Sunday has any sacredness.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.4

    We have heard it stated from the pulpit, that Revelation 1:10 must refer to the first day of the week, because the term “Lord’s day” is not elsewhere in the Bible applied to the seventh day. As much as to say, “Revelation 1:10 cannot refer to Saturday, because that day is nowhere else in the Bible called Lord’s day; but it must refer to Sunday, because that day is uniformly called ‘the first day of the week.’” That is a fair specimen of Sunday logic. It is a simple fact, however, as we have already seen (Exodus 20:8-11; Isaiah 58:13; Mark 2:28, etc.) that the seventh day of the week is called the Lord’s day.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.5

    And here we leave the matter. We have carefully and candidly considered the subject of the Lord’s day, in the light of the Scriptures. As a very brief summary of the whole matter, and to remind the reader of the necessity of making a correct decision, we beg him to read these three texts:SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.6

    “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy works; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Exodus 20:8-10.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.7

    “If thou want to turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, all wholly of the Lord honorable; and shalt honor him [by keeping the Sabbath as he directs], not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.” Isaiah 58:13, 14.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.8

    “For them that honor me I will honor; and they that despise me [by disobedience] shall be lightly esteemed.” 1 Samuel 2:30. E. J. W.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.9

    “Punishment of the Wicked” The Signs of the Times, 10, 48.

    E. J. Waggoner


    In the preceding articles on the punishment of the wicked, we have confined ourselves principally to a consideration of those texts which are popularly supposed to teach the endless existence of the wicked in torment. We have found that, on the contrary, they teach most emphatically their final utter extinction. Indeed, the strongest proofs in favor of the position which we have taken concerning the future destiny of the impenitent, is to be found in those texts which are generally used by the opponents of that doctrine. We will now proceed to the consideration of a few texts that are so plain that they of themselves should be allowed to settle the question. Some of these we shall quote without comment.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.10

    “Fret not thyself because of the evil-doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass and wither as the green herb.” Psalm 37:1, 2.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.11

    “For evil-doers shall be cut off; but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be; yea, thou shalt diligently considered his place, and it shall not be.” Psalm 37:9, 10. Compare this with Obadiah 16: “For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.” We should like to know how these texts can be harmonized with the doctrine of the endless existence of the wicked. That theory cannot be held except by denying these texts, or, what is the same thing, ignoring them.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.12

    “For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.” Psalm 37:22.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.13

    “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! ... which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 5:20-24.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.14

    “And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves. Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.” Hosea 13:2, 3. Dr. Scott, after quoting this text, says, “i.e., violently and speedily made to banish and disappear.” The “Speaker’s Commentary” says of this passage: “The tone of indignant derision passes into that of stern wrath the inflexibility of the purpose to punish is expressed by the accumulation of four several images, all describing utter extermination.” That is just what the language signifies,-“utter extermination.” If it does not mean that, we do not see how it can be anything.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.15

    The preceding texts have compared the wicked to the most combustible material-stubble and chaff. In the following, the prophet makes the case stronger yet; the wicked are declared to be stubble:-SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.16

    “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 4:1, 3. With this agree the words of John the Baptist: “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:12.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.17

    We turn once more to the 37th psalm. In verse 20 we read: “But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lamb; they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.” The psalmist could have given no illustration of the final destiny of the wicked that would have been more forcible to the minds of the Jews. Every morning and every evening, according to the law, a lamp was placed on the altar and consumed. Beside this, the fact every sin-offering, whether it was a bullock, a goat, or a lamb (Leviticus 4), was burned upon the altar. They sought the fat of lambs continually vanishing into smoke, and in that column of the ascending smoke they had an ever-present reminder of the fate of the incorrigibly wicked. They knew that when the fat was placed in that sacrificial fire, it was not preserved, but was speedily destroyed; and so when the psalmist said, “The enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs; they shall consume; and the smoke shall they consume away,” they knew that the fate of the unrepentant sinners would be utter extinction. The last part of the verse only confirms the first clause: “The wicked shall perish;” for as we have already seen, the word “perish” means, “To be destroyed; to go to destruction; to pass away; to come to nothing; to be blotted from existence.”SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.18

    “Why,” says one, “you are an annihilationist.” Our reply is, We believe what we have just been reading from the Bible; if that is what you call and annihilationism, all right; we shall not be frightened from our position, whatever name may be applied to us. This word “annihilation” is a great bug-bear to many. Say they, “It is impossible for a matter to be annihilated.” Now while we should not dare place any limit to God’s power, we do not believe that he will blot out of existence any of the matter which he has created; but that he will and does change the form or combination of parts of many things, we have the most abundant evidence. Webster defines “annihilate” thus: “1. To reduce to nothing; to destroy the existence of; to cause to cease to be. 2. To destroy the form or peculiar distinctive properties of, so that the specific thing no longer exists, as, to annihilate a forest by cutting and carrying away the trees, though the timber may still exist.” The Bible says that the wicked “shall not be;” that “they shall be as though they had not been.” There was a time once when they were not; they had no existence; but the matter of which they are composed was even then in existence. So likewise the matter of which they are composed will remain after they cease to be. When the fat was placed on the altar it was destroyed; no one removed it, yet in a little while there was no fat there. What had become of it? It had become smoke. The fat was annihilated, if you please; but the matter which had composed it was not. Thus, we are told, will it be with the wicked. If any one disagrees with the statements concerning the wicked, his quarrel is with the Bible, not with us. E. J. W.SITI December 18, 1884, page 761.19

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