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

    September 30, 1886

    “How We May Know” The Signs of the Times, 12, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Some people refuse to accept the Bible because there are so many things in it they cannot understand. If they could understand the Bible, they would accept it and Christ. Such need never expect to understand the Bible, for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14. If a man would understand the Bible, to begin with it is necessary for him to understand and believe, only these two simple verses: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:15. If he has mastered these two texts and all he has to do to master them is to believe them with his whole heart, then he is a child of God, by faith in Christ Jesus, and being in Christ, he has the Spirit of Christ, and may discern spiritual things. If he grows in the knowledge of Christ, he must necessarily grow in wisdom, for Christ is our wisdom as well as all or redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30. In Christ “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3. Therefore in Christ we may obtain all wisdom, but out of him we must remain ignorant. So we say to all, if you wish to understand the Bible, confess your sins to God, accept the sacrifice which he has provided, and receive his pardon. There is no Biblical knowledge which is not possible to the thoroughly converted man.SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.1

    “The Sabbath and Conversion” The Signs of the Times, 12, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The following question and answer we find in the report of a “gospel service” in San Francisco on a recent Sunday night:-SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.2

    “Is the Sabbath done away with?”SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.3

    “If you are a Jew, No. But it is deplorable to see a person claiming to be a Christian, and going back to Judaism. The Sabbath is the seventh day, but they are not converted people who keep it. Some people devote so much attention to the Sabbath question that their religion is all Sabbath and no Christ.”SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.4

    That is, the thing is done and it is not done. We leave the question as to how a thing can at the same time both be and not be, to those who are more skilled in casuistry than we are. We read that “the Sabbath was made for man;” then if it is abolished, it must be abolished for man; and if it is not abolished, it must remain for man. We have great respect for the Jews, but we do not believe that they were any more entitled to be called men that we are; therefore we do not believe the Sabbath was made specially for them. The Sabbath was made for all who are included in the general term “man.” If there are any people to whom the term “man” does will not apply, then perhaps the Sabbath was not made for them. Keeping the Sabbath is no more Jewish than is worshiping the true God, or refraining from blasphemy, murder, and adultery. Therefore to keep the Sabbath is not to go back to Judaism.SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.5

    “The Sabbath is the seventh day, but they are not converted people who keep it.” The seventh-day Sabbath is the Sabbath commanded in the law, and the psalmist says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalm 19:7. The law, including the Sabbath, is that which converts the soul, and brings it to Christ; now if a man, having come to Christ, rejects that which alone could bring him to Christ, he necessarily, in so doing, rejects Christ. Therefore to say that the Sabbath-keeper cannot be a converted man is unscriptural and false.SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.6

    If the man had said that not all could keep the Sabbath are converted, we should be obliged to agree with him. Not all who profess to worshiped the true God, are converted. Not all who profess to accept Christ as their Saviour, are converted. Said Christ: “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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22, 23. But this does not prove that no one can be converted if he worships God or prophesies in the name of Christ. Yet we might as well say that it does as to say that a Sabbath-keeper cannot be converted.SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.7

    Answers such as the one quoted above may satisfy those who “love to have it so;” but the fact that these questions are continually being asked, shows that people are thinking about the Sabbath; and in these investigations many will reject the foolishness of men, and will accept the word of the Lord which “endureth forever.”SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.8

    “The Pork Question Again” The Signs of the Times, 12, 38.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Some time ago we wrote a short article for the SIGNS in answer to a question concerning the use of swine’s flesh. Shortly after, we gave an explanation of Peter’s vision, in reply to one who gave that as divine authority for pork eating. In that we showed that God did not give Peter a vision for the purpose of teaching him that it was his duty to eat pork, but to teach him that he should call no man common. We also stated the fact that the distinction of clean and unclean beasts was not peculiar to the Levitical economy, but that it existed from the earliest ages, and that consequently the abolition of the ceremonial law had no effect upon the hog. As proof that the distinction of clean and unclean beasts existed before the Jewish age, we referred to Genesis 7:2, 8; 8:20.SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.9

    A friend, however, takes exception to this, and claims that Genesis 9:3 shows that there was no distinction, but that all beasts were alike good for food. That verse reads thus, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” Every moving thing that liveth would include not only the hog but rats, toads, lizards, bats, buzzards, porcupines, centipedes, spiders, and scores of lesser vermin, which we think even our pork-loving friend would not wish to have included in his bill of fare. But our friend will say the text says, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you,” and we are not at liberty to say that it does not mean what it says, even though it may appear unreasonable. It is true that we are not at liberty to put our construction on the text, but we must allow one text to explain another.SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.10

    We often find that a comprehensive statement is made in one place, and that exceptions to it are noted in another. For instance we read in Exodus 16:4: “Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day.” If we should confine our attention to this text we should suppose the people gathered manna seven days in the week, but in the 26th verse we read: “Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, and yet there shall be none.” Now when we read Exodus 16:4 we read it in the light of the other verse, and know that the Lord meant that they should gather manna every working day; so, likewise, when we read Genesis 9:3, we read it in the light of Genesis 7:2, 8; Leviticus 11:7, 8; Isaiah 65:3, 5; 66:17, and others, which say that certain animals, the swine among them, are unclean and unfit for food. Therefore we know that the Lord meant that he had given to Noah every living thing of clean beasts for meat, and Noah must certainly have so understood it.SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.11

    Our friend brings up Romans 14:2, 3, 14 as evidence that pork eating is allowable. But these texts have no reference whatever to the eating of pork. The question here as in 1 Corinthians 8 is concerning things offered to idols. There is no reason to suppose that the word meat means flesh simply; on the contrary, it must necessarily include fruits and grains as well, for these were offered to idols. Now the question was, Is it lawful to eat any food that has been dedicated to an idol? Paul declares that it is, but he would not make it a matter of dispute. If a brother newly come to the faith thought that to eat food that had been offered to an idol was a recognition of that idol, he should be permitted to abstain from it and select food that had not been so dedicated. Neither should those who knew that there was no harm in it cause the weak brother to stumble by partaking of it. Almost all food which the heathen used was dedicated to their gods, so that Christians could scarcely have found anything to eat if it had been true that such a food was not lawful to be eaten. But Paul declared that an idol was nothing and that to dedicate food to it had no affect upon it, and so he said, “Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience’ sake.”SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.12

    1 Corinthians 10:27 is quoted as proof that we are at liberty to eat anything and everything. That reads, “If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.” The next verse, however shows what is referred to for it says, “But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” If the matter of pork eating had been under discussion it would not have been necessary to say, “asking no questions for conscience’ sake,” for the man could tell if the dish were pork without asking any questions; but he could not tell that food had been offered to idols, unless he should ask, and this Paul tells them not to do because it is of no consequence.SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.13

    Again we read, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:4, 5 this text is quoted in favor of pork eating, but like Genesis 9:3 it is too comprehensive. There must be exceptions, for there are creatures whose flesh is unwholesome and poisonous. The fifth verse in this case deprives the pork eater of all the comfort which he seeks to draw from it, for no one can find where swine has been sanctified by the word of God.SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.14

    One more text we must notice. Our friend quotes Colossians 2:16, 17, but what has already been said covers of this text. Paul is speaking here of the ceremonial law, and we have already seen that the distinction between clean and unclean animals was before the ceremonial law. All must admit that this distinction was made in the very beginning, for immediately after the fall sacrifices were made to God, and no right-minded person could think that the sacrifice of a hog or other unclean animal would be acceptable to God, even if the Bible said nothing about it. Therefore the distinction of clean and unclean beasts could be no part of the shadow of which Christ is the body. But if our friend thinks that he can trace some connection between pork eating and the mystery of Christ, we should like to have him show it to us.SITI September 30, 1886, page 598.15

    We have considered these texts at this length before an explanation of them was asked, and we wish to give the true sense of them. We still adhere to our belief that the eating of swine’s flesh is forbidden by the word of God. We cannot believe that the Lord delights in what twenty-five hundred years ago he called an abomination. And we emphatically protest against such a low view of Christ’s sacrifice as would lead to the supposition that it was made largely in order that men might be at liberty to eat whatever their perverted appetites might crave. W.SITI September 30, 1886, page 599.1

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents