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    September 4, 1884

    “The Sabbath-School” The Signs of the Times, 10, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. What question did Job ask concerning death? Job 14:14.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.1

    2. Until what event did he say he would wait?SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.2

    3. In what place did he say he would wait for this change? Job 17:13.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.3

    4. When does this change come? 1 Corinthians 15:51-54.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.4

    5. What did Job say the Lord would do? Job 14:15.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.5

    6. When does the Lord thus call for his people? Psalm 50:3, 4.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.6

    7. From what place does he call them? John 5:28, 29.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.7

    8. Then when is it that the saints are changed to immortality?SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.8

    9. How did Paul regard whatever earthly possessions he might gain? Philippians 3:7, 8.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.9

    10. What was he willing to undergo? Verse 10.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.10

    11. Why was he so willing to suffer these hardships? Verse 11.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.11

    12. Did he have any other incentive to labor and suffer except the promised to resurrection of the dead? 1 Corinthians 15:32.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.12

    13. What fact gives us the assurance that the dead will be raised? 1 Corinthians 15:12, 13.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.13

    14. How strong an array of evidence have we that Christ was raised from the dead? 1 Corinthians 15:3-8.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.14

    15. If we say that there is no resurrection, what do we virtually deny? 1 Corinthians 15:16.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.15

    16. Why did Paul say that his sufferings for Christ were to no profit if the dead rise not? 1 Corinthians 15:18.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.16

    17. What is the meaning of “perish”?SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.17

    18. Then what must be the condition of those who have fallen asleep in Jesus?SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.18

    19. By whom will they be rescued from this condition? 1 Corinthians 15:22.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.19

    “If a man die, shall he live again?” Job 14:14. This most important question was asked by Job when he was apparently near the end of his life. The reader will notice that the preceding verses, and the question itself, recognize the difference between life and death. The are dead not living, else the question could not with propriety be asked, Shall they live again? If the question should be asked concerning an individual, “Is he coming again?” everybody would understand that the person referred to is not now present; if he were present, or did not design to go away, the proper question to ask would be, “Will he remain?” So of the case in hand. If death is something the direct opposite of life, Job’s question was all right; but if the dead are alive, he should have asked, “If a man die, shall he continue to live,” or, still more appropriately, “Shall a man always live?” But we will accept Job’s question as having the correct form; for we are not to understand the Bible according to our theories, but to correct our theories by the Bible.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.20

    The patriarch did not ask the above question because he was skeptical, or in doubt. In the very next verse he says: “Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee; thou wilt have a desire to the work of thy hands.” So he expected to die, and expected also that the Lord would call for him. When does the Lord call for his people? Turning to the fiftieth psalm, we read the answer in verses three and four: “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.” The calling of the dead takes place, then, when the Lord comes in power and great glory.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.21

    But did not Job expect to be called immediately, as soon as he died, and not be obliged to wait until the coming of the Lord? Let him answer. We quote the remainder of the verse first noticed, chap. 14:14: “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” Then he says, as already quoted, “Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee.” The “change,” therefore, does not take place until the Lord calls, and until that time Job expected to wait. Now in what place did he say he would wait? He gives the answer in chap. 17:13: “If I wait, the grave is my house; I have made my bed in the darkness.” He expected to remain in the grave until the Lord should call him forth to his change. And this agrees with the words of Christ concerning the dead, in John 5:28, 29: “Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.22

    “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” What is the change of which the patriarch spoke? We have seen that it is to take place at the coming of Christ; and we shall therefore have no difficulty in deciding what it is. Paul says to the brethren: “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52. Here is the change for the dead,-they shall be raised “incorruptible.” Will the change for the living be anything different? He continues: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” Verse 53. That is the change; from mortal to immortal. We have then found that immortality is not the possession of man in this life, neither does it become theirs at death, but that it is to be “put on” at the coming of the Lord; and this is the “change” for which Job expected to wait in the grave.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.23

    The apostle Paul was, without doubt, one of the most active, energetic men that ever lived. It is doubtful if any other man ever labored so hard, and suffered so much for the gospel as he did. Read the brief narrative of his life in the Acts of the apostles, and his statement in 2 Corinthians 11:23-33. Before he became a Christian he was held in high repute by the Jews, and occupied a leading place in the national council. There was nothing that, with his abilities, he might not have possessed. Yet he says: “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith; that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” Philippians 3:7-10. And what was the grand thing to be gained, for which he so willingly suffered the loss of all earthly gain? The next verse contains the answer: “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” This, to Paul, was more than all things else.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.24

    From the above we should suppose that the doctrine of the resurrection is one of great importance. We shall see that Paul had no other hope but in the resurrection of the dead. In 1 Corinthians 15:32 we read: “If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die.” That is to say, “If there be no resurrection of the dead, all my labor and self-denial has been to no purpose. We might as well get all the enjoyment out of this life that we can, for this life will be the sum total of our existence.” His only hope of a future life was based on the resurrection. According to Paul, then, whoever says that there will be no resurrection virtually says that there is no hereafter for man.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.25

    In this chapter (1 Corinthians 15) Paul bases his argument for the resurrection on the fact that Christ was raised. “If there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen.” Verse 13. Of course. If one individual has ever been raised from the dead, it is proof that there is such a thing as a resurrection. That Christ was raised, he cites the most conclusive testimony. “He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve; after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.” 1 Corinthians 15:5-7. No court could ask for better evidence that a certain thing was done, than that it was seen by above five hundred trustworthy witnesses. There is no effective history better established than is the resurrection of Christ. But if Christ is raised, then all men will be raised, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall be made alive.” Verse 22.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.26

    Having shown the close connection between the resurrection of Christ and the general resurrection,-a connection so close that the establish one establishes the other,-Paul sums the whole thing up in verses 16-18, and shows the consequence to man if there should be no resurrection. He says: “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised; but and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” And this is why so much prominence is given in the Bible to the doctrine of the resurrection.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.27

    The word “perish” is defined by Webster as follows: “To be destroyed; to go to destruction; to pass away; to come to nothing; to be blotted from existence; to be ruined; to be lost.” Now if there is no resurrection, those that have fallen asleep are perished. Let us take a single case, that of Abraham, for instance. He died nearly two thousand years before Christ. He died in hope of a resurrection, but that hope was based on the fact that Christ was to die and be raised from the dead. Suppose now, for a moment, that Christ had not come, and the dead were to have no resurrection; what would be Abraham’s condition? Perished, says Paul. But was his condition any different after Christ came than it was before? If the plan of salvation had been overturned, would there have been a change in Abraham’s condition in the grave? Certainly not. Then he must now be in exactly the same state that he would be if there were no such thing as a resurrection. And what is that? Out of existence. And this is just the state of the dead untill the resurrection takes place. That event marks a great change for the dead, but if it did not take place, they would forever remain in the state in which they are now. Or, to state the case more plainly, the dead are now in just the condition that they would be to all eternity if there were no resurrection. The only hope for the dead is the promise of God, and that cannot fail. E. J. W.SITI September 4, 1884, page 534.28

    “Under the Law (Continued.)” The Signs of the Times, 10, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner


    Besides Romans 6:14, which was examined last week, there are several other instances of the use of the term “under the law.” We wish to examine these also, to see if we are justified in our conclusion that the expression is used to denote a state of condemnation. We will first, however, take up Romans 6 where we left off. In the fifteenth verse Paul expresses his astonishment that any one who is a subject of grace should think of again sinning. In the sixteenth verse he says: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Here the idea of service is introduced. If they should yield themselves to sin, they would hereby become its servants. In the two following verses the same idea is expressed. Whereas they were bound by sin, in a bondage that could end only in death, they are now made free, and are the servants of righteousness. But the servants of righteousness,-those who keep the law,-are free men; for the law itself is a law of liberty (James 1:25), and David is authority for the statement that those who keep the law walk at liberty. Psalm 119:45. Christ also says to his disciples: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32.SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.1

    In the book of Galatians the term “under the law” occurs several times, and in such connection as to leave no doubt as to its meaning. We first turn to the fifth chapter and read: “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” Verse 16. The reader will find the parallel to this in Romans 8:9: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” In the seventeenth verse the enmity between the flesh and the Spirit of God is stated. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Compare this with Romans 8:7, 8: “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Also with the account of the struggles of the convicted sinner, as recorded in the latter part of Romans 7.SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.2

    Now read Galatians 5:18: “But if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” We have seen that they alone can please God who are led by the Spirit, and here we learn that such are not under the law. Now what is done by those who walk after (or are led by) the Spirit? Paul says that “God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness (requirement) of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:3, 4. If we fulfill the righteousness of the law, we must conform to its slightest requirement, that is, obey it perfectly. That is what it is to be led by the Spirit; and we have read (Galatians 5:18) that those who are led by the Spirit are not under the law. It is very clear, then, that spiritually minded persons-those who keep the law-are not under the law; and so we again arrive at the unavoidable conclusion that those who do not keep the law are under it.SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.3

    This may be made still more evident. We have already read that the works of the flesh are the direct opposite of the works of the Spirit. And what are the works of the flesh? Paul answers: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murder, drunkenness, revelings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in times past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21. These things are all forbidden by the law. For proof, see the law itself, and Christ’s comments on it in the fifth chapter of Matthew. Now, bearing in mind that doing the works of the flesh make one under the law, we learn that to be under the law one has only to violate it.SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.4

    Again: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” Galatians 5:22, 23. That is what is done by those who are led by the Spirit, and Paul says: “Against such, there is no law.” The law does not condemn a man who does those things, because he is led by the Spirit; but it is against the things enumerated as the works of the flesh. It condemns the doers of such things.SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.5

    In harmony with the above are Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 1:9, 10: “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for man slayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men-stealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.”SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.6

    The word “made” in the above text is from keimai, to lay, or place, and the meaning is that the law is not laid or placed against a righteous man, but against the lawless. That is, it does not interfere with the actions of a righteous man, but it comes in direct conflict with a wicked man. That this is the meaning, is shown by the preceding argument. Paul says in verse 5 that the end, or object, of the commandment is love. In other words, as has been shown in a previous article, the design of the law is that it should be kept. Now a righteous man is one who keeps the law-fulfills its requirements-and therefore the law has no controversy with him. The man who keeps the law, has no fear of it. But some, the apostle says (verse 6), not having aimed at the law, have turned aside unto vain jangling. Because they have not tried to keep the law, they have got into trouble. “But,” he continues, “we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.” Verse 8. Can this mean that a man’s acts will have any effect on the law to make it either better or worse than it was when it was given? Is the law a good law when it is obeyed, and a bad law when it is disobeyed? By no means. Whatever a man may do, the law remains the same,-holy, and just, and good. If a man use it lawfully, that is, if he obeys the law (for that is the only way a law can be used lawfully), it is good to him; it then finds no fault with him. But if a man does not use it lawfully, if he does things that are unlawful, the law is not good to him; it is against him at once. If the law lies against a wicked man, how very natural to speak of man as under it.SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.7

    Dr. Adam Clarke, speaking of the moral law in his comments on 1 Timothy 1:9, says:-SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.8

    “It was, therefore, not made for the righteous as a restrainer of crimes, and an inflicter of punishments; for the righteous avoid sin, and by living to the glory of God, expose not themselves to its censure. This seems to be the mind of the apostle; he does not say that the law was not MADE for a righteous man; but ou keitai it does not lie against a righteous man, because he does not transgress it. But it lies against the wicked, for such, as the apostle mentions, have broken it, and grievously too, and are condemned by it. The word keitai, lies, refers to the custom of writing laws on boards, and hanging them up in public places within reach of every man, that they might be read by all; thus all would see against whom the law lay.”SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.9

    In our next article we shall consider a passage that brings out more clearly than anything yet noticed the meaning of the term “under the law.” E. J. W.SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.10

    (To be continued.)

    “Immortality” The Signs of the Times, 10, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In all investigation of Bible doctrines it must be borne in mind that the Bible was written by inspiration of God, and must, therefore, be perfectly consistent with itself. If we find passages which seem to conflict, we must conclude that we do not fully understand them. Besides this, we must always interpret those parts that are obscure and indefinite by those that are definite and plain. This is but reasonable. If we have a friend whom we know to be perfectly honest, and two expressions of his that seem contradictory are reported to us, we do not condemn him until he has had an opportunity to explain. We expect that when we learn all that he said, we will find that the two statements agree. Neither would we take a statement definitely and emphatically expressed, and offset it by words from which, taken by themselves, we might infer something directly the opposite. It is thus fairly that we must deal with the Bible. We are not at liberty to draw, from in the passage, an inference that is up but opposed to the plain declarations of the word.SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.11

    Now we have brought forward texts of Scripture that have no double meaning, which prove that God’s people are rewarded only at the coming of Christ and the resurrection, and that all men are dependent on Christ for eternal life. There are no doubt other texts from which the reader gathers that men are essentially immortal; these will be considered in due time, but in the meantime we ask the reader to let the plain statements that we quote have their full weight.SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.12

    Last week we quoted Christ’s words: “He that believeth on the Son have everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life.” John 3:36. This is a plain statement that those who do not believe in Christ will not live eternally. The question now arises, In what sense do those who believe on Christ have eternal life now? Let us read the answer: “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11. Now turn and read the introduction to Paul’s second letter to Timothy: “Paul, and apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.” Here we have the answer complete. Eternal life is ours by promise, if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom alone it may be obtained. If a young man possesses the writings which show that he is heir to a certain estate, he will speak of the estate as his, even though he is not in possession of it, and has no voice in its control.SITI September 4, 1884, page 537.13

    When many of Christ’s disciples became offended and left him, he turned to the twelve and asked, “Will ye also go away question?” “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of the eternal life.” John 6:66-68. The twelve believed as Christ had said, that “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life.” If this be not true, what a chance for retort the unbelieving Jews had when Christ said to them: “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5:40. They might have said, “We have no need to come to you for life, for we are immortal by nature.” And is not this a logical position for those to take who believe that the essential part of man, the real man, can never die? We may not openly repudiate Christ as did the Jews, yet if we say that we already have that which he came to bestow, do we not thereby signify our independence of him? The only inducement that he holds out for our accepting him is that he can give us life. Now if we proudly insist that we have life, do we not treat his offer with contempt, and so dishonor him? So long as we insist that we are not dependent on him for eternal life, our professions to accept him have a good deal the air of patronizing condescension.SITI September 4, 1884, page 538.1

    Let us have some more plain declarations. In 1 Timothy 6:12 Paul charges Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.” A man cannot “lay hold” of something that he already has hold of. And how should he “lay hold” on eternal life? By exercising faith: and this again is in harmony with Christ’s words in John 3:16, 36. The apostle then charges Timothy to “keep this commandment without spot, and blemish, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; which in his times he shall show who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see.” Verses 13-16. This language must refer to God the Father, for although Christ in Revelation is called “King of kings and Lord of lords,” it is he in this instance who is going to make known the “blessed and only potentate;” and further, the one here spoken of is one “whom no man hath seen, neither can see;” but Christ has been seen many times.SITI September 4, 1884, page 538.2

    But to the gist of the statement. It is that God only hath immortality. So long as the Bible remains, this text will be a standing rebuke to those who claim immortality as theirs by right. That is an attribute of God alone. “But,” says one, “is not Christ immortal? and do we not read of the angels that they cannot die?” Yes; and we turn to John 5:26 and read Christ’s words: “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” Christ, then, being the only begotten Son of God, partakes of his attributes, and has life in himself. That is, he is able to impart life to others. The text in Timothy does not shut off any one from obtaining immortality, but if it is obtained it must be as a gift from God. It is in this way that the angels are immortal.SITI September 4, 1884, page 538.3

    Turn now to Romans 2:5-7. There Paul states that God will render “to every man according to his deeds.” “To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, [he will render] eternal life.” “Immortality” means the condition in which one cannot die, and “eternal life” means unending existence; the terms, therefore, are synonymous, and the verse is equivalent to the statement that God will render immortality to those who seek for it. Two points are here made: 1. In order to gain eternal life we must seek for it. Then those who do not seek for it will never receive it. 2. The only proper way to seek for immortality is by “patient continuance in well-doing.” Then those who do not do well, will not obtain eternal life, even though they may desire it.SITI September 4, 1884, page 538.4

    Again: In 2 Timothy 1:9, Paul says that the purpose and grace of God, which was given us in Christ Jesus, “is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Here then we learn the place in which we are to seek for immortality. It is in the gospel. Whoever looks for it in any other place will fail to find it.SITI September 4, 1884, page 538.5

    Having learned how immortality may be obtained, we have only one thing to consider, and that is when it will be bestowed; when believers in Christ will come into possession of their promised inheritance. This is definitely settled by Paul in the fifteenth of 1 Corinthians, in a text which we have before quoted. We begin with verse 50: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherent in corruption.” This statement might raise a query in the minds of some, so Paul adds: “Behold I show you [that is, make known to you] a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.” Verses 51, 52. This, then, explains how we may get into the kingdom of God, even though flesh and blood cannot inherit it. “We shall be changed.” And when does this change take place? “At the last trump.” And what will the change be? “For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” Verses 52, 53.SITI September 4, 1884, page 538.6

    “This mortal must put on immortality.” The Bible writers never speak of man as being anything else than mortal. “Shall mortal man be more just than God?” Job 4:17. How could they speak otherwise, since God only has immortality? The contrast is sharply drawn in Romans 1:23. Paul speaks of the heathen, who had “changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image like unto corruptible man.” God is immortal, incorruptible; man is mortal, corruptible. But we are to be changed, and then we shall be like him, immortal.SITI September 4, 1884, page 538.7

    “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:54. And this occurs, as the preceding verses show, at the coming of the Lord.SITI September 4, 1884, page 538.8

    We have now quoted, besides several texts that speak of “eternal life,” every text in the Bible that contains the word “immortality.” Let us see what we have found. 1. God alone has immortality. This, of course, applies to Christ, who, as the Son of God, partakes of his nature, and who is entitled to be called God. 2. If man would have immortality, he must seek for it. 3. The only proper way to seek for it is by patient continuance in well-doing. 4. Man can find immortality only in the gospel, for it is there that it is brought to light. 5. It belongs to everyone who believes in Christ, but only by promise. This life is now in Christ, and whoever has Christ, has eternal life, because he is in possession of that which will bring it to him. 6. This promise of life will be fulfilled, and man’s search for the immortality will be crowned with success, when “the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.” Then those who have fought the good fight of faith will be crowned as victors with “a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” E. J. W.SITI September 4, 1884, page 538.9

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