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    May 26, 1887

    “What and Where Is Paradise?” The Signs of the Times, 13, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42, 43. This language will be recognized at once as the request of the penitent thief who was crucified with Jesus, and the reply of our Lord. It has been the subject of an unlimited amount of controversy, and doubtless will be, as long as men choose to interpret the Bible according to their system of theology, instead of deriving their system of theology wholly from the Bible. We do not design at this time to give a detailed exposition of the text, but simply to note a few points concerning paradise.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.1

    From Christ’s language to Mary, recorded in John 20:17, three days after the crucifixion, it is very evident that he did not go to Heaven on the day when he gave the thief the solemn assurance that they should meet in paradise. On account of this text, many who cling tenaciously to the idea that Jesus did not actually die, argue that Christ did go to paradise that day, but that paradise is not in Heaven. Then they connect this text with their erroneous reading of 1 Peter 3:18-20, and conclude that paradise is a sort of half-way house-an intermediate place between earth and heaven-where all souls, both good and bad, are retained until the Judgment. In short, paradise is made identical with hades. A very few texts will suffice to show that this is a most erroneous conclusion.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.2

    First, however, we wish to call attention to the fact that if this definition of paradise were true, the Saviour’s promise to the thief would be made nonsense. If paradise were only a place where souls remain between death and the final judgment, then Christ’s promise to the penitent thief would amount simply to this: To-day shalt thou be with me in the place of the dead! There would certainly be nothing very comforting about that, and nothing that would require the exercise of much faith, seeing both Jesus and the thief were at that time hanging on the cross; but this is what Christ’s answer meant, if the theory be true that paradise and hades are identical. This fact alone should be sufficient to show the fallacy of such a view.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.3

    There are only three places in the Bible where the word “paradise” is used. One is in the text quoted at the beginning of this article. The second is in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, which we quote:-SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.4

    “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell; God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell; God knoweth;) how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.5

    This text proves conclusively that paradise is not an intermediate place between earth and Heaven, but that it is Heaven itself. In the first place, Paul says that he (for he speaks of himself) was caught up into the third Heaven, and then in repeating the statement for emphasis, he says that he was caught up into paradise. Then Christ’s promise to the thief on the cross involved nothing less than that the thief should be with him in the third Heaven.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.6

    In Revelation 2:7 we find the following promise, given by the Spirit:-SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.7

    “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.8

    From this text we learn that paradise contains the tree of life. Turn now to Revelation 22:1, 2, and read: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life.” Here we learn that the tree of life is in the midst of the New Jerusalem, which contains the throne of God. But the tree of life is in the midst of the paradise of God (Revelation 2:7); therefore we must conclude that the paradise of God is in the midst of the city of God, and that whoever goes to paradise goes into the immediate presence of God.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.9

    “Paradise” is an Anglicized Greek word meaning a park or a beautiful garden. Earthly cities have parks and pleasure gardens, and the heavenly Jerusalem has one also, but as much more beautiful than earthly gardens as the city whose builder and maker is God, is grander than cities built by man. Now compare this with Ezekiel 28:13: “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold.” Read with this the description of the New Jerusalem, in the twenty-first of Revelation, and it will be seen at once that the Garden of Eden and paradise are the same.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.10

    When Adam sinned, he was driven from the Garden of Eden; nothing sinful could be allowed to remain there. So we read of the New Jerusalem which contains the paradise of God, that “there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:27. This, together with Revelation 2:7 and 22:14, teaches us that entrance into paradise, and enjoyment of its delights, is to be the reward of those who shall overcome through faith in Christ. But the righteous are rewarded only at the coming of the Lord in his kingdom and the resurrection of the just (Matthew 16:27; 25:31; Luke 14:14); and that was just what the thief asked for in the words, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” W.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.11

    “One Probation Enough” The Signs of the Times, 13, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.” Isaiah 26:10. This text is of itself sufficient to show the folly of the claims that after death there will be another probation for those who have not accepted Christ in this life. Of course the text does not mean that the grace of God is entirely in vain, and that no wicked persons will turn from their wicked ways, for Paul says that the grace of God does bring salvation (Titus 2:11); and if it were not for the grace of God, as manifested in the gift of his Son, it would be impossible for anybody to repent. But it does mean that those who will not repent in consequence of the ordinary manifestations of God’s favor, would only be hardened still more by greater manifestations of it.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.12

    The case of Pharaoh is right to the point. In the first place he had the same call that is extended to all the world: “Ho, everyone that thirsteth, ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” This call is to all the world, and included Pharaoh. It cannot be said that he had no chance, for the chosen people of God were right in his own land.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.13

    Then Moses came to him with a message direct from the Lord, saying “Let my people go.” And in order that he might know from whom the message came, miracles were wrought, showing the power of God. Here he had additional opportunity to acknowledge God, but he refused.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.14

    Then God’s judgments began to come, and when the agents of Satan, the magicians, could no longer counterfeit these wonders, the proud king was constrained to beg for the favor of God, whom he had despised. His request was granted, and the frogs were removed: “But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them.” Exodus 8:15.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.15

    Again the power of God was manifested in judgments, and again the king sent for the servants of the Lord, and begged that the plague of flies might be removed. “And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the Lord. And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one. And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.” Exodus 8:30-32.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.16

    Still closer and closer came the judgments, so that it was absolutely impossible for anyone to doubt the power and majesty of God. The cattle were destroyed, terrible boils broke out upon man and beast, and finally a fearful storm of thunder, hail, and fire, was sent, which destroyed everything in its path. “And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time; the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Entreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.” Exodus 9:27, 28. “And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the Lord: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the Lord had spoken by Moses.” Verses 33-35.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.17

    Here we have a perfect illustration of the truth spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “Let favor be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness.” The more favor was showed to Pharaoh, the more hardened he became. It was not until a plague was sent from which there could be no respite, that he relented long enough to let the people go as the Lord had commanded; and even then, when there seemed to be a prospect of no more judgments, he hardened his heart and rushed forth to his own destruction.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.18

    Thus it would be with the wicked if God should grant them a second probation. In this life they have had a chance to see the power of God manifested in both mercy and judgment. Sometimes they have trembled at the near approach of danger, but have hardened their hearts as soon as the danger was past. By and by the Lord will be “revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8. “A fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.” Psalm 50:3. Then “the lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.” Isaiah 2:11. Everyone will then be willing to confess “that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.19

    Now what would be the result if after all this God should grant the wicked another probation? Both revelation and experience show that they would be worse than they ever were before. To give them another probation, would be worse than casting pearls before swine. The reason for this is, that God never cuts off any sinner while his heart is tender, and when his heart has ceased to be tender, nothing but terrible judgments can make any impression upon him, and the only impression they can make is that of cowardly fear.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.20

    It is true that many of the advocates of a second probation claim that it will be granted only to those who in this life have “not had a fair chance.” That this is a direct charge against the justice of God, will be shown at another time; it is sufficient here to remind the reader that a “second probation” necessarily implies a first, and a probation is a trying, a testing. Therefore to say that any will have a second probation, is to admit that they have been tried once and found wanting. In other words, they have “had a fair chance,” and having refused it, they would count any additional favor an evidence of weakness on the part of God, and would deride him for it. W.SITI May 26, 1887, page 310.21

    “The Days of Creation” The Signs of the Times, 13, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the notes on the current International Sunday-school Lesson, we find the following comment on the expression, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth,” etc.:-SITI May 26, 1887, page 311.1

    “Not in six periods of twenty-four hours; for during the first three, when the sun was not made, there were no such twenty-four-hour days. But divine days (doubtless long periods), beginning from the darkness, and going on with the dawn, or beginning, and to their full maturity.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 311.2

    The writer thinks that the only reason why the days of creation were not twemty-four-hour days was because (as he says) the sun was not created till after the third was passed. That would imply that after the sun was created the days might be literal days. But if the remaining days were literal days, the first then must have been literal also. Now it is a matter of fact that the sun was made to rule the day; and it would be doing gross violence to the language to say that the word day in Genesis 1:16 means anything different from what it does in every other place where it occurs in the same chapter. But the sun does not rule an indefinite period of time, but simply a twenty-four-hour day. Hence, the days of creation were literal days such as we are familiar with, of which it takes seven to make a week.SITI May 26, 1887, page 311.3

    Moreover, the first three days were days of twenty-four hours, just the same as the last four, and every day since. The day is not made by the sun but by the revolution of the earth on its axis, and the earth could revolve if the sun and moon, it did not shine, the language indicates that this was the case. There was “the first day,” “the second day,” and “the third day.” Each of these days was composed of a period of darkness succeeded by a period of light, but the sun did not shine. And the sun and moon were made to be light-bearers, to rule the day and night. The sun was made to rule the day. What day? The day which was already formed by the revolution of the earth on its axis, and which could henceforth be more distinctly marked than before.SITI May 26, 1887, page 311.4

    It is a mistaken idea that the sun was not created till the fourth day. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The sun and moon were created “in the beginning,” on the first day, but were not made to be light-bearers until the fourth day. And probably they were not made to assume their present shape until that time.SITI May 26, 1887, page 311.5

    There is not a single argument that can be deduced to show that the days of creation were not literal days. The obvious meaning of the text requires that they should be so considered. It is a forced an awkward assumption which makes them long periods,-an assumption which was devised by certain devotees of “science falsely so-called,” in order to avoid excepting the simple truth of the Bible, and which is followed by certain professors of religion, and in order to avoid keeping the Sabbath of the Lord.SITI May 26, 1887, page 311.6

    “Within Thy Gates” The Signs of the Times, 13, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The fourth commandment says of the Sabbath, “in it thou shalt not do any work.... nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.” On this expression, Peloubet’s “Select Notes on the International Lessons” says:-SITI May 26, 1887, page 311.7

    “Those who come to live in your village or city. Gates are those of the town, not the doors of the house or yard. If heathen come to live in your cities, they must conform to the Sabbath laws; if strangers can do business on the Sabbath, they will soon lead others to do it.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 311.8

    This is a new interpretation of the commandment, and shows the influence of “National Reform” teachings. The only fault to be found with it is that it makes nonsense of the commandment, and is untrue. 1. The commandment is addressed to the heathen just as much as it is to anybody. They are under just as much obligation to keep the Sabbath in their own land as they are when in a so-called Christian land. 2. The commandment is addressed to individuals, not to committees or towns. Note the language: “In it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter,” etc. This is addressed to the individual, not to the town; for the town does not have any son nor daughter. Then since the “thy” before son and daughter necessarily refers to an individual, and not to a collection of individuals, it follows that the “thy” before “gates” has reference to a single individual, for there is no change in the subject. Therefore, “the stranger that is within thy gates,” means the stranger that is within the gates of any man’s house or yard. 3. This language also applies to the heathen in his own land. He is not only commanded to keep the Sabbath, but to see that the Sabbath is not violated by the stranger who visits him. If he fails to do this, he is guilty. The Sabbath law is as binding in a heathen land as in any other.SITI May 26, 1887, page 311.9

    By no legitimate interpretation can the commandments be made to have more than an individual application. It is not necessary that they should be applied to nations, as such, for if they are observed by all individuals, they will be observed by nations, and if any individuals do not observe them, they are accountable to God alone for their sin.SITI May 26, 1887, page 311.10

    “‘Great Words’” The Signs of the Times, 13, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The prophet Daniel, describing the little horn that came up among the ten horns of the great and terrible beast which symbolizes the Roman power, said: “And, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” Daniel 7:8. These “great words” were said by the angel who interpreted the vision, to be “great words against the Most High.” Verse 25. The prophet John, in describing the same power under the symbol of a beast like a leopard, says: “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.” Revelation 13:5.SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.1

    In no other thing have commentators been so fully agreed as they have in applying these words to the Roman Catholic Church, with the Pope at its head. As the actual fulfillment of a prophecy is the best proof of whether or not any given interpretation is correct, we quote a few of the titles and appellations which have been given to the Pope at various times by his zealous followers, and which the so-called “Holy Father” has received with complacency as rightly belonging to him. The list from which we quote, contains sixty-two different titles; it was collected by S. Francis de Sales, and may be found in Monsignor Capel’s book entitled, “The Pope: The Vicar of Christ; the Head of the Church.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.2

    “Most Divine of all Heads.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.3

    “Holy Father of Fathers, Pontiff Supreme over all Prelates.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.4

    “Overseer of the Christian Religion.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.5

    “The Chief Pastor; Pastor of Pastors.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.6

    “Christ by Unction.” (That is, the Anointed Christ.)SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.7

    “Abraham by Patriarchate.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.8

    “Melchisedec in Order.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.9

    “Moses in Authority.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.10

    “Samuel in the Judicial Office.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.11

    “High Priest, Supreme Bishop.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.12

    “Prince of Bishops.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.13

    “Heir of the Apostles; Peter in Power.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.14

    “Key-Bearer of the Kingdom of Heaven.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.15

    “Pontiff Appointed with Plenitude of Power.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.16

    “Vicar of Christ.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.17

    “Sovereign Bishop of Bishops.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.18

    “Sovereign Priest.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.19

    “Ruler of the House of the Lord.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.20

    “Apostolic Lord, and Father of Fathers.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.21

    “Chief Pastor and Teacher and Physician of Souls.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.22

    “Rock, against which the proud gates of Hell prevail not.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.23

    “Infallible Pope.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.24

    “Head of all the Holy Priests of God.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.25

    “Head of all the Holy Churches.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.26

    “Chief of the Universal Church.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.27

    “Bishops of Bishops, that is, Sovereign Pontiff.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.28

    In addition to the list of which the above is only a part, Mgr. Capel gives the following quotations from a letter which “the great S. Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux,” wrote to Pope Engenius III., A.D. 1150:-SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.29

    “Who art thou? The High Priest, the Supreme Bishop. Thou art the Prince of Bishops, thou art the Heir of the Apostles. Thou art Abel in primacy, Noah in government, Abraham in the patriarchal rank, in order Melchisedec, in dignity Aaron, in authority Moses, Samuel in the judicial office, Peter in power, Christ in unction. Thou art he to whom the keys of Heaven are given, to whom the sheep are intrusted. There are, indeed, other doorkeepers of Heaven, and other shepherds of the flocks; but thou art the more glorious in proportion as thou hast also, in a different fashion, inherited before others both these names. The former have the flocks assigned to them each one his own; to thee all are intrusted, One Flock for the One. Not merely for the sheep, but for all the shepherds also thou art the One Shepherd. Whence do I prove this, thou askest? From the word of the Lord. For to whom-I say not among the Bishops, but among the Apostles-have the whole flock been committed in a manner so absolute and undistinguishing? ‘If thou lovest Mr. Peter, feed my Sheep? What sheep? The inhabitants of this or that city or country, those of a particular kingdom? ‘My sheep,’ He saith. Who does not see that He designates not some, but all? Nothing is excepted where nothing is distinguished. The power of others is limited by definite bounds; thine extends even over those who have received authority over others. Canst thou not, when a just reason occurs, shut up Heaven against a Bishop, oppose him from his Episcopal office, and deliver him over to Satan? Thus thy privilege is immutable, as well in the keys committed to thee as in the sheep instructed to thy care.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.30

    It would seem as though men had exerted all their ingenuity to invent flattering titles for the Pope. This thing itself would be sufficient to condemn the whole system. Elihu said: “Neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my Maker would soon take me away.” Job 32:21, 22. And we have no reason to suppose that the giving and receiving of flattering titles is not displeasing to God, for our Saviour himself said: “How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?” John 5:44. The giving and receiving of flattering titles is an evidence of departure from God, for the honor that comes from God only is given only to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5. In this case, however, the titles are not simply flattering, but are blasphemous, and show the one to whom they are applied, to be the “man of sin,” “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” W.SITI May 26, 1887, page 312.31

    “Ten Commandments” The Signs of the Times, 13, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Commentary.
    (June 12.-Exodus 20:1-11.)

    The lesson for this week covers the first four commandments. Our notes must be merely suggestive, as each one of the commandments furnishes ample material for an entire lesson. Before entering upon the lesson proper, the student should read carefully the 19th chapter of Exodus, where we have an account of the circumstances attending the giving of the law. These were of the utmost grandeur and impressiveness. The Lord came down upon Sinai amid fire and smoke (Exodus 19:18; Deuteronomy 4:11, 12), accompanied by his angels (Deuteronomy 33:2; Psalm 68:17), and not only the mountain but the earth shook when God spoke. Exodus 19:18; Psalm 68:7, 8; Hebrews 12:25, 26. The circumstances attending the giving of the law were calculated to impress the people with a sense of the power and majesty of God, and, consequently, of the sacredness of his law.SITI May 26, 1887, page 314.1


    “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” Exodus 20:1, 2. Here God identifies himself. He is the God that brought them forth from bondage. In giving his law, he makes himself known as their Redeemer. When he sent Moses to call them from bondage, he made himself known to them as “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:15, 16); and he also declared his name to be, “I AM THAT I AM.” Exodus 3:14. This was a declaration that he is the living God, the self-existent One, the Creator of all things. So when from the mount God made himself known to the assembled multitude as the one who had brought them out of Egypt, it would recall the fact that he is the self-existent Creator, who has a right to make and enforce laws. It would also recall his power as manifested in their behalf.SITI May 26, 1887, page 314.2


    “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3. This was placed at the head because it is the foundation of everything. We may say that all the rest of the law is summed up in this first commandment. For having no other gods before the true God, means sincere heart worship of him, and perfect worship of God means obedience to all his requirements. The first four commandments embody our duty to God, and the last six our duty to man. But the last six are secondary to the first four, since love to God is first. Love to God necessarily presupposes love to man; “for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” 1 John 4:20.SITI May 26, 1887, page 314.3

    Paul says that “there be gods many and lords many.” 1 Corinthians 8:5. A god is an object of worship. Worship is reverence; one worships whatever his thoughts center upon. As everyone must think, and must have some object toward which his thoughts and efforts are directed, so everyone must have some god. If it is not the living God, it is some god in his stead. Some trust in riches (1 Timothy 6:17); such make money their god. See Job 31:24-28. In Colossians 3:5, also Ephesians 5:5, covetousness is declared to be idolatry. The covetous man’s mind is absorbed in the contemplation of some earthly object, which shuts out thoughts of God. It is not the rich alone who become idolaters by trusting in uncertain riches instead of the living God, for a poor man may make gold his hope, and long for it to the exclusion of every other object of thought, and thus he is an idolater.SITI May 26, 1887, page 314.4

    Others worship appetite and the baser passions. Paul speaks of some “whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” Philippians 3:19. There are thousands in so-called Christian lands whose principal thought is, What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? Thousands have let liquor deprive them of their hope of eternal life. Thousands who use the filthy weed tobacco, when they learn that God requires purity of flesh as well as of spirit (2 Corinthians 7:1), have said, “Well, I can’t give up my tobacco.” Thus they have made a god of a pipe, or a plug of tobacco. Is not such idolatry fully as debasing as the crocodile worship of the Egyptians? But we have not space to pursue this subject further. Suffice it to say that the first commandment forbids anything that is not done to the glory of God.SITI May 26, 1887, page 314.5


    “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6.SITI May 26, 1887, page 314.6

    This commandment does not, as many suppose, forbid the simple making of pictures or statuary. It does not forbid the use of postage-stamps or coins having the mark of some Government. No mechanical art could be carried on without making something that is like something else, and the commandment does not forbid this. What the commandment does forbid is the making of any image for the object of worship. The Catholic Church has omitted the second commandment from the list, claiming that it is the same as the first. But this is an error and is done simply that they may seem to have Bible authority for image worship. When Catholics are charged with worshiping images, as, for instance, images of Christ, they reply that they do not worship the image, but the One who is represented by it. That is just what is forbidden by the second commandment. Ancient heathenism originated in the same way,-God was thought to be represented by certain images, while the people knew that the images themselves were not God. This was the case with the Israelites when they made the golden calf. See also Acts 17:29. But such worship necessarily soon degenerated into the worship of the images. Making a graven or molten image, and putting it in a secret place, was one of the things against which a curse was pronounced. See Deuteronomy 27:15.SITI May 26, 1887, page 314.7

    The second commandment manifests God’s love and mercy. This shows that the law of God is a law of love. God gave his law in love, as we read: “The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from Mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of his saints; from his right hand went a fiery law for them. Yea, he loved the people.” Deuteronomy 33:2, 3. As it is a law of love, so obedience to it is the test of love on our part; “for this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:3.SITI May 26, 1887, page 314.8

    In the second commandment we have a refutation of the charge that the law was designed to be merely temporary. The iniquity of the fathers is, as a natural consequence, visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation, but the mercy of God is to be shown unto thousands of generations of them that love God and keep his commandments. Compare Deuteronomy 7:9. The world has not yet stood even half of a thousand generations, and so the commandments of God are still the test of loyalty to the Creator.SITI May 26, 1887, page 315.1


    “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7. This commandment forbids not only what is called “profane swearing,” that is, the use of blasphemous oaths, but all irreverence. Substitutes for oaths which contain the name of God are condemned equally with the oaths themselves. By this commandment all “by-words” and unnecessary expletives, are forbidden.SITI May 26, 1887, page 315.2

    This commandment may be violated even in worship. The unnecessary or vain use of titles belonging to Deity in prayer or exhortation, is taking the name of God in vain. Those who regard this commandment will not use the name of the Creator except when it is absolutely necessary, and then only with great reverence. The repetition of profane expressions which others have used, is also a violation of the commandment.SITI May 26, 1887, page 315.3

    In Psalm 138:2 we read: “Thou has magnified thy word above all thy name.” Then irreverence for God’s word, and disobedience of his commandments, are both violations of the third commandment. Perversion of Scripture, and the quoting of texts in jest or to give point to a joke, are gross violations of this commandment.SITI May 26, 1887, page 315.4

    Still further, this commandment enjoins reverence for places of worship. The sanctuary of old was a sacred place where God’s name was. Deuteronomy 16:6. To act irreverently in the sanctuary is to dishonor God. When the children of Israel were in captivity, God promised that he would be to them “a little sanctuary.” Ezekiel 11:16. This was equivalent to the promise recorded in Matthew 18:20. Now a place that is sacred because of God’s presence, should be regarded with reverence; and irreverent conduct in such a place is showing disrespect to God; and disrespect to God is a violation of the third commandment, and of the first as well.SITI May 26, 1887, page 315.5


    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11.SITI May 26, 1887, page 315.6

    On this commandment we have space for only a few points, whereas pages might be written. It is not because the commandment is obscure that so much might be written upon it, but because it is so comprehensive, and because so many people, either willfully or through wrong education, misinterpret its plain terms. We ask the student to note these points:-SITI May 26, 1887, page 315.7

    The Sabbath-day is the seventh day. Since the Sabbath is to be remembered, that is, it is of constant recurrence, it follows that “the seventh day” means the seventh day of a period of seven days. Hence it must mean the seventh day of the week. That this is so will be seen by comparing Luke 23:54-56; 24:1, where the Sabbath-day “according to the commandment” is the day before the first day of the week, and is, consequently, the seventh day of the week.SITI May 26, 1887, page 315.8

    It is contended by some that the commandment does not enjoin rest on a specific seventh day, but on any day that has been preceded by six days of labor. This matter can be readily settled. In Exodus 16 we have the account of the fall of the manna, where the terms “sixth day” and “seventh day” are employed. Now it is very evident that in this place the sixth day means the sixth day of the week, and the seventh day, the seventh day of the week. There is nobody who imagines that the Israelites were left to choose the day of their rest, or that the manna would keep over one day for one family or tribe, and would spoil at the same time for another family or tribe who might not have had the same day of rest. Thus, since the terms “sixth day” and “seventh day” refer to the week in this instance, they certainly must mean the same thing in the fourth commandment.SITI May 26, 1887, page 315.9

    Further; all admit that it is necessary that there should be uniformity in the observance of the Sabbath. If each one were to choose the day that pleased him, there would be confusion. But how could this uniformity be secured? Not by the dictum of any man, for there is no man whose authority all men would recognize. God alone has authority in matters pertaining to morals, and he alone could direct which day shall be observed as the Sabbath. This he has done. “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 315.10

    From the part of the commandment just quoted, it appears that the Sabbath-which is the name of the seventh day of the week-is the Lord’s day. In Isaiah 58:13 the Lord calls it his “holy day,” and in Mark 2:28 Christ declares himself to be Lord of the Sabbath. He was speaking to the Jews of the day which they observed; hence it is the seventh day of the week which is the Lord’s day. This shows us the impropriety of calling the seventh day “the Jewish Sabbath.” There is not, and never was, anything Jewish about it; it is the Lord’s. But someone may say that it was given to the Jews, and they were required to keep it. So God made himself known to the Jews (Exodus 3:13-16), and declared himself to be their God; and they were required to worship him. But we do not therefore call Jehovah the Jewish God. He is the God of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews. Romans 3:20. And since he is the God of the Gentiles, just the same as he is the God of the Jews, he requires the Gentiles to keep the same commandments, that he imposes on the Jews. And he promises rich blessings to the Gentiles who shall keep his Sabbath. Isaiah 56:6, 7. W.SITI May 26, 1887, page 315.11

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 13, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Hebrews standard very aptly says: “There are lots of people who mix their religion with their business, but forget to stir it up well. As the result the business invariably rises to the top.” Such a mixture is no better than none at all.SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.1

    “Since these meetings opened,” said Dr. Pentecost speaking of his Cleveland revival series, “fifty young women, and as many young men, have confessed Christ. And not one of those was from a worldly home. Why? It is the curse of unconsecrated property, and of this awful spirit of worldliness.” Truthfully did the great Teacher say, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.2

    The gifted writers for the Homiletic Review find exercise for their minds in the discussion of such subject as, “Where was the Creator before the creation?” The Independent disposes of this question in the following eminently sensible manner: “It is a good thing in reasoning the subject of religion, as well as upon other matters, to know what are the boundaries of human thought, and always keep within them. If we get beyond them, we simply overwhelm ourselves in the great deal of our own ignorance.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.3

    We are asked by a subscriber in an Eastern State, whether or not the Bible teaches that the Jews will all return to the land of Palestine just previous to the second coming of Christ. He also wishes us to give our views through the SIGNS, with all the Scripture references on the subject. At some future time we may furnish an article or two on the subject, but it would take more than one article to give all the Scripture references on the subject, with even the briefest comment. We can simply state the fact now, that the Bible does not teach that the Jews will go to Jerusalem before the coming of the Lord. All the passages which speak of the gathering of Israel refer either to the gathering after the Babylonian captivity or else to the gathering of the true Israel to the New Jerusalem, after the coming of the Lord. For a full exposition of this subject see pamphlet entitled, “Refutation of the Doctrine of the Age to Come,” for sale at this office. See advertisement on the preceding page.SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.4

    The Sunday closing law is being rigidly enforced in New York City. The Observer says of a recent Sunday that it “was probably the most quiet day that these cities [New York and Brooklyn] have seen in many years.” Even the hotels refused to serve wine or other liquors to their guests, and it seems that prohibition does prohibit, at least on Sunday, which shows that it could also prohibit on every day. Morally it is no worse to sell liquors on Sunday than on Monday or Tuesday, but because so many people are idle on that day probably there is more drunkenness where liquor is sold freely, than on other days.SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.5

    In this Sunday closing movement, however, we do not see zeal for the cause of temperance, but only legislation in behalf of Sunday. The power which can close saloons on Sunday, can close them every day of the week, if it is so inclined; and the fact that the zealous “reformers” of New York and Brooklyn can close saloons on Sunday, but allow liquor to be sold freely on every other day, shows that they have no special love for temperance. By their action they virtually say to the saloon-keeper, “Your business is all right, and we will find no fault with you, provided you do not pursue it on Sunday.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.6

    The San Francisco Morning Call, in answer to a question as to the possibility of keeping the Sabbath in all parts of the world, revives the old threadbare story that if a man who observes Saturday should start from San Francisco and go westward around the world, he would, on arriving at the starting-point, find himself keeping Sunday; but that if he went eastward, he would be keeping Friday. It was not long since that the Argonaut had something to the same effect. One would suppose that the writers of such stuff never heard that people do actually cross the ocean and go clear around the world. The fact that observers of the seventh day have crossed the Pacific Ocean in both directions, and each time have found themselves keeping Saturday when they landed, ought to convince anybody that the Sabbath can be kept anywhere. Yet notwithstanding this fact, and the fact that every month people are crossing the ocean from west to east and from east to west, and still find no hitch in their reckoning of the days of the week, certain wiseacres will persist in saying that the thing can’t be done. Perhaps it is not to be wondered at, since there are still some people who believe that “The sun do move.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.7

    “Horrible Case of Hydrophobia” The Signs of the Times, 13, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The telegraph dispatches bring us full accounts of a hegira of New Yorkers, which took place on Sunday, May 15. Over 250,000 persons are reported to have fled to Jersey City and its suburbs on that day. The following description of the flight shows that the case was extremely urgent, and that the aroused populace did not stand upon the order of their going:-SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.8

    “It was just about church-time when the extent of the exodus began to be manifested. On all the thoroughfares leading to the ferries there were seemingly endless processions of men, women, and children, on foot, and in carriages and street-cars. Around the ferry-houses they spread out into crowds, unceremoniously pushing and scrambling, in their efforts to get through the narrow spaces over which the fare-taker held sway. Even then their petty troubles were not over, for the number of berths was inadequate and people were compelled to remain from fifteen minutes to an hour in poorly ventilated and ill-smelling waiting-rooms.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.9

    But what was the cause of this impetuous flight? Had pestilence broken out in the city, and were the people fleeing for their lives? Not at all; they were going after a drink. What! was there no water in all the city of New York? Certainly; plenty of it, and of a very good quality, too. But no beer or whisky could be obtained in New York on that day, and those people were almost wild with the thought they might have to pass an entire day with nothing to drink but water. It was a warm day, and they were thirsty, so they fled from the pure Croton water, in order to find some liquor which would increase their thirst, thus enabling them to drink more liquor, to aggravate their thirst, in order to drink more liquor, etc.SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.10

    Talk about hydrophobia! No brute, except the human brute, was ever afflicted with such a disease. Some unreasoning quadrupeds are occasionally afflicted with a disease which makes it impossible for them to drink when they wish to, but they never fear the water, and they never substitute anything else for it. It is only beings that are made in the image of God, and endowed with faculties capable of the highest development, who can make a god of their belly, and glory in their shame. The old catechism evidently made a mistake in its definition of man’s chief end. A modern catechism, if true to the times, would say that man’s chief end is to glorify himself and to enjoy his depraved appetites. And still God lets the world stand.SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.11

    “A Little Mixed” The Signs of the Times, 13, 20.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Christian at Work of May 12 gives its readers the astonishing information that “the Supreme Court of Tennessee has decided that a blacksmith belonging to a Christian sect that keeps the seventh instead of the first day of the week as Sunday, violates the law by working at his trade on the day observed by the general community as Sunday.” Now we happen to know something about this case, and are sure that the Tennessee blacksmith does not belong “to a Christian sect that keeps the seventh instead of the first day of the week as Sunday.” If there is any such sect the members composing it should be carefully collected, and placed in some house for the feebleminded.SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.12

    There are thousands of Christian people who observe the seventh day of the week instead of the first, because it is the divinely appointed Sabbath, but that anybody keeps the seventh day as Sunday, is a figment of the imagination of people who fail to distinguish between the terms Sabbath and Sunday, and improperly use the one as a synonym of the other.SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.13

    Sabbath is the name which the Bible gives to the seventh day of the week, while Sunday is the heathen name of the first day; and there is no more propriety in speaking of keeping the seventh day as Sunday, than there would be in speaking of keeping it as Monday or Friday. There are a great many people who keep Sunday as the Sabbath, which it is not, but it is safe to say that there is no sect the members of which keep the seventh day of the week “as Sunday.”SITI May 26, 1887, page 320.14

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