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

    April 20, 1888

    “Let Them Laugh” The Signs of the Times, 14, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    From a Spiritualist we have received a series of questions, which he evidently thinks cannot be answered without scattering to the four winds our recent articles on Spiritualism. First, he wants to know how it is that in forty years Spiritualism has made so many converts, while comparatively few accept the doctrine of our Lord’s soon coming. This is easily answered. It is because the human heart naturally loves error. Ever since our first parents listened to Satan’s great lie, “Thou shalt not surely die,” error has been courted, while truth has had to fight its way to recognition. Says Bacon: “In general let every student of nature take this as a rule, that whatever his mind seizes and dwells upon with particular satisfaction is to be held in suspicion.” The heart of man is naturally the spring of evil thoughts, and of vice, and so he is predisposed to error; if he learns to love truth, it is because some influence or power outside of himself has been brought to bear upon him. The argument that we ought to do or believe a certain thing because others do, is well adapted to sheep, which go in flocks, the hindmost following blindly whichever way the current sets; but men should “not follow a multitude to do evil.”SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.1

    He asks, “Did you ever investigate Spiritualism? or are you too timid?” etc. Yes, we have fully investigated Spiritualism. We claim that we know more of its nature and tendency than any Spiritualist who lives. But we are too timid to venture into it. We submit that the man who stands at the mouth of a dark cave and views its interior by the aid of an electric light, whose bright rays he causes to be reflected into it, is in a position to know more of it than the one who stumbles into it without any light. Having examined Spiritualism by the light of God’s word, we are too timid to venture near it. The wolf may twit the lamb with cowardice for not coming to examine his teeth and nails; but all will agree that timidity in such a case is wisdom. We know the nature and effects of arsenic; we know that it is a deadly poison, although we were never poisoned with it.SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.2

    Again, “If your Jesus is a delusion, where do you stand?” We reply, Nowhere. We are free to confess that without Jesus we are nothing. That is why we pity Spiritualists, who reject Christ. He will not fail us, and we have no fear. The implied idea that we should cast off our faith in Christ, simply because if he were not a reality our faith would be vain, and we should be lost, is most absurd. There is a man walking across the Brooklyn bridge. If that bridge should fall, what would become of him? Why, he would be killed. Suppose the bridge upon which he is walking were not a bridge at all, but were only a streak of fog, what then? Why, then of course he could not walk upon it. But because he couldn’t walk there if the bridge were not there, shall he refuse to walk on the solid bridge which is there? Shall he refuse to stand upon its firm structure, because he couldn’t stand upon it if it were not in existence? What nonsense! So we shall not be frightened from “the everlasting arms,” because someone cries that we should fall into perdition if they were not there. That is just why we stay in that secure place; it is the only place of safety.SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.3

    Finally, we are told that if we would lay aside our opposition to Spiritualism, we “would not run any risk to become the laughing stock for over two millions of converts to Spiritualism.” No doubt. But we are perfectly content to be laughed at by Spiritualists, whether they be two million or two hundred million. “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughing of the fool; this also is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 7:5, 6. We would rather have their laughter than their commendation. W.SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.4

    “The Rest that Remains” The Signs of the Times, 14, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We return once more to Abraham, and the promise to him and his seed. We have learned that the promise was confirmed to him in Christ; and certainly this was the case when a son was promised to him, for the record says, “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6. This counting his faith for righteousness was nothing else but the forgiveness of his sins, through Christ. This is plainly declared to be the case, in Romans 4:3-9. Now at the very time when the promise was thus confirmed to him, the Lord said to him: “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge; and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” Genesis 15:13, 14.SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.5

    In this text we have the sojourn in Egypt foretold; but we have more than that, for the children of Israel were not in Egypt four hundred years. It was only four hundred and thirty years from the time that the promise was made to Abraham until the giving of the law, immediately after the departure from Egypt. Galatians 3:17. We can easily make up this time thus: From the time that the promise was made, till the birth of Isaac, was twenty-five years. Compare Genesis 12:1-4 and Genesis 21:5. From the birth of Isaac till the birth of Jacob was sixty years. Genesis 25:26. From the birth of Jacob till the going down into Egypt was one hundred and thirty years. Genesis 47:8, 9. Therefore from the promise to Abraham, until the going down into Egypt was (25 + 60 + 130) 215 years. And Josephus says (“Antiquities,” chap. 15, par. 2) that the length of the sojourn in Egypt was two hundred and fifteen years, thus making the four hundred and thirty years of Galatians 3:17.SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.6

    But how about the four hundred years of affliction, which the Lord said that the posterity of Abraham should suffer? It is evident from the text, and also from Acts 7:6, 7, that the four hundred years ended at the exode, the same time when the four hundred and thirty years ended. Thus they must have begun thirty years after the promise was first made to Abraham, or when Isaac was about five years old. Now in Galatians 4:29 Paul says that “he that was born after the flesh,” namely, Ishmael, persecuted Isaac, who was “born after the Spirit;” and this cannot refer to any other time than that when Ishmael “mocked” Isaac, which resulted in the expulsion of Ishmael and his mother. Genesis 21:9, 10. This is the only recorded instance of the persecution of Isaac by Ishmael, and was, as nearly as can be calculated, about thirty years after the promise, and four hundred years before the deliverance from Egypt. So there were one hundred and eighty-five of the four hundred years’ affliction, that were endured in the land of Canaan, and in adjoining countries. Yet all this time they were sojourning in a country that was not theirs. Compare Genesis 15:13 and Hebrews 11:9.SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.7

    We pass over the bondage in Egypt, and come to the time of the exode. When Moses was sent down into Egypt to deliver the people, the Lord gave him the following message: “Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments; and I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage; I am the Lord.” Exodus 6:6-8.SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.8

    Here the promise to Abraham, which was renewed to Isaac and to Jacob, was renewed again to their descendants. And in pursuance of that same promise, the Lord said to them when they had gone out of Egypt: “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Exodus 19:4-6.SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.9

    Now that this was the same promise that was made to Abraham, we have an explicit statement in the following words, found in Deuteronomy 7:6-8: “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.10

    When we read the promise recorded in Genesis 22:17 we noted that in the words, “Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies,” it included rest from oppression. So likewise the promise to the Israelites included not only possession of land, but rest. Thus when Moses allowed two tribes and a half to settle in the country across the Jordan, he said to them:-SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.11

    “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.12

    When we read the promise recorded in Genesis 22:6, we noted that in the words, “Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies,” it included rest from oppression. So likewise the promise to the Israelites included not only possession of the land, but rest. Then when Moses allowed two tribes and a half to settle in the country across the Jordan, he said to them:-SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.13

    “The Lord your God hath given you this land to possess it; ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all that are meet for the war... until the Lord have given rest unto your brethren, as well as unto you, and until they also possess the land which the Lord your God hath given them beyond Jordan.” Deuteronomy 3:18-20.SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.14

    Again, just a little while before they refused the land of Canaan, Moses said to them:-SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.15

    “For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you. But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose the cause of his name to dwell there,” etc. Deuteronomy 12:9-11.SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.16

    Thus we find that rest from their enemies was as much a part of the promise as was the inheritance of the land.SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.17

    Joshua was the one to lead the people over Jordan into the land of promise; and the record expressly states that before he died the land was divided among the people, “and the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers; and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand.” Joshua 21:44.SITI April 20, 1888, page 246.18

    Yet in the face of this record, the apostle declares that Joshua did not give them rest. For some reason we know not what, the translators of King James Version sometimes gave an incorrect translation in the body of the text, and placed the correct rendering in the margin. So it is in Hebrews 4:8. We quote with the correct marginal reading: “For if Joshua had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.” The “another day” of this text is the “to-day” of Psalm 95:7-11, when the Lord said through his servant:-SITI April 20, 1888, page 247.1

    “To-day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness; when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways; unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.”SITI April 20, 1888, page 247.2

    Now, although a very few of those who came out from Egypt did enter into the land of Canaan, and the Lord gave them rest, it is certain that that was not the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham, because (1) Abraham had no part in it (Acts 7:5): “Neither did Isaac and Jacob, to whom the promise was made, as well as to Abraham; and (2) the apostle speaks of “Gideon, and of Barak, and of Sampson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets” (Hebrews 11:32), all of whom lived after the days of Joshua; and of them he says:-SITI April 20, 1888, page 247.3

    “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise; God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39, 40.SITI April 20, 1888, page 247.4

    Here we learn that the promise will not be fulfilled to them until we share it with them; and so the apostle says: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” Hebrews 4:9. At the same time, however, he utters a word of caution, saying: “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Hebrews 4:1, 2.SITI April 20, 1888, page 247.5

    From this we learn that the promise of rest was made known to the ancient Jews through the preaching of the gospel. We have already read the statement of Paul, that the gospel was preached to Abraham. Galatians 3:7, 8. But the Jews, as a nation, did not have faith and so they were debarred from the final rest which the Lord promised to Abraham. The same promise is left to us, but we, like them, shall come short of it, unless we have the faith of Abraham.SITI April 20, 1888, page 247.6

    That the rest here referred to is the rest in the earth when it shall be freed from the curse, is manifest from verses 3-5 of Hebrews 4. The apostle says:-SITI April 20, 1888, page 247.7

    “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, as I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter [that is, they shall not enter] into my rest; although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, and God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.”SITI April 20, 1888, page 247.8

    The apostle is not making any argument here concerning the Sabbath. He simply refers to the record of Genesis 2:3, in proof of his statement that “the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” The earth was designed to be inhabited by man. Isaiah 45:18. The dominion of the earth, as it came pure and undefiled from the hand of the Creator, was given to man. Genesis 1:28. And so, on the seventh day, when God rested from all his works, his rest was prepared for his people. That rest, which was simply the possession of the whole earth kingdom, was lost through transgression; yet it is certain that some must enter in (Hebrews 4:6) and so the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2) is granted. This is the day that is spoken of in Psalm 95:7, the day secured to us through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, as spoken of in Psalm 118:29-24; the day which Abraham saw, and which caused him to rejoice. John 8:56. In this day of grace all who will may become enrolled as children of Abraham, through birth, becoming “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;” and to them that Lord will say when he comes, sitting upon the throne of his glory: “Come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34. Compare Hebrews 4:3, and the comments upon it.SITI April 20, 1888, page 247.9

    Thus we learn that “the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance;” and that “the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation.” 2 Peter 3:9, 15. W.SITI April 20, 1888, page 247.10

    “The Victims of Strikes” The Signs of the Times, 14, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A recent number of a Philadelphia paper says that “the saddest results of the late strike on the Reading Road are now coming to light, and its victims are beginning to realize their own folly in obeying the orders of their malignant leaders.... They left their work wilfully and without just cause; others have taken their places; and now they have no work and no means of support. Their situation is pitiable indeed.”SITI April 20, 1888, page 248.1

    These misguided men have asked to be taken back into the employe of the Railroad Company, but President Corban has firmly but kindly told them that “he cannot break the promises made to the new men, and discharge them to make room for the old ones, who voluntarily left the service of the company when ordered to do so by the leaders of the Knights of Labor.” He was offered, however, to recommend for places elsewhere all old employés against whom there is no complained except that they went on strike. This is all, and more than these unfortunate men could reasonably expect of the Railway Company, whose business was damaged by the strike to the amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars.SITI April 20, 1888, page 248.2

    The employés of that company had no just cause for the strike; they went out, not because they had grievances, but because they were ordered to do so by irresponsible leaders of the Knights of Labor, who had nothing at stake but there reputation, and very little of that.SITI April 20, 1888, page 248.3

    Though a strike always entails heavy loss to a corporation against which it is directed, the most serious loss is that sustained by the strikers themselves; their violent dealings generally come down upon their own pates; or, as is too often the case upon the heads of their helpless families-they are its real victims. The Lutheran Observer pertinently says:-SITI April 20, 1888, page 248.4

    “Such folly and presumption have been so often repeated in the labor organizations of this country in recent years, that their sad and disastrous consequences should be held up as a warning to all others from pursuing a similar course.”SITI April 20, 1888, page 248.5

    “Plotting Against the Just” The Signs of the Times, 14, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. Where did Jacob dwell?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.1

    “And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.” Genesis 37:1.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.2

    2. In what light did the patriarchs consider their residence in the land of Canaan?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.3

    “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.4

    3. To what did they look forward as a permanent residence?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.5

    “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:16.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.6

    4. How many sons had Jacob?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.7

    “Now the sons of Jacob were twelve.” Genesis 35:22, last clause.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.8

    5. Which one did Jacob love the most?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.9

    “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.” Genesis 37:3.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.10

    6. How did Joseph’s brethren regard him?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.11

    “And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.” Verse 4.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.12

    7. What made them hate him still more? Verses 5-11.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.13

    8. Upon what errand did Jacob send Joseph?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.14

    “And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again.So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.” Verses 13, 14.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.15

    9. When his brethren saw him coming, what did they propose to do?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.16

    “And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” Verses 18, 20.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.17

    10. What did they do with him when he came?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.18

    “And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on him; and they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.” Verses 23, 24.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.19

    11. How did they afterwards dispose of him? Verses 25-27.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.20

    12. For how much did they sell him?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.21

    “Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver; and they brought Joseph into Egypt.” Verse 28.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.22

    13. How do the wicked ever regard the just?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.23

    “The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.” Psalm 37:12.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.24

    14. What trait was it that moved Joseph’s brethren to sell him into Egypt?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.25

    “And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt; but God was with him.” Acts 7:9.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.26

    15. What scripture was verified in their case?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.27

    “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.28

    16. In what class is envy placed?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.29

    “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, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.30

    17. What is said of those who do such things?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.31

    18. What course did they take to deceive their father?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.32

    “And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; and they sent the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found; know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.” Genesis 37:31, 32.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.33

    19. When Jacob saw the coat, what did he at once conclude?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.34

    “And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.” Verse 33.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.35

    20. How did this affect Jacob?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.36

    “And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.” Verses 34, 35.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.37

    21. Can you recall any actions of Jacob that were of a similar character to this wicked deception? Relate them.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.38

    22. When had Jacob been forgiven for his wicked deeds?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.39

    23. What important lesson may we draw from this?-That although a sin may be forgiven, the results of it may remain, and the one who committed it will often have it brought before him, and will suffer in consequence.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.40

    24. What scripture is fulfilled even in this life?SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.41

    “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:2.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.42


    In this lesson we have an exemplification of the proverb of Solomon: “Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein; and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.” Proverbs 26:27. Jacob had greatly deceived his father, and his sons in turn deceived him. By Jacob’s deception, his parents were deprived of his society for long years; and he in turn suffered the same sorrow, only in a greater degree, by being deprived of his beloved son. It is true even in this life, that as we measure to others it will be measured to us again, and that without regard to our repentance of the evil. Another example is found in the case of David, who, although he bitterly repented of his great sin, had to suffer the same at the hands of others. It is nowhere claimed that this being forced to receive measure for measure is just but the fact cannot be gainsaid. It is unjust that a man’s sin should be remembered against him after he has repented of it, and God does not do so; but unregenerate men will remember a sin to a man’s injury, no matter how thorough his repentance may have been. And not only so, but from the very nature of things, certain results must follow certain causes. The man who gets in motion a train of circumstances that will result in evil, may repent of his rash act, but he cannot stop what he has begun. How much sorrow we might avoid if we could always remember to “leave off strife before it be meddled with,” and to do to others just as we would wish them to do to us.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.43

    Joseph has been the subject of a great many moral lectures against tale-bearing. Well-meaning but ignorant persons have censured him as the cause of all the discord in Jacob’s family. Such censure is most unjust. Joseph’s brothers were envious of him; but their envy was only the outgrowth of their own wicked hearts, “For where envy and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” A corrupt heart is the only soil in which envy can grow. There is not a particle of evidence that Joseph did any wrong. He is one of the few Bible characters concerning whom no evil is recorded. His father loved him more than all the rest of his sons, because he was more worthy of his love than they were. The same thing moved his brothers to think of killing him, and afterward to sell him, that moved Cain to kill Abel; because their own works were evil, as his were righteous. We do not mean to intimate that Joseph was born without faults; but he certainly had the fear of God before his eyes.SITI April 20, 1888, page 250.44

    It is worth while in passing, to note the features in which Joseph’s experience resembled that of Christ. Joseph was hated by his brethren; Christ came unto his own, and his own received him not, neither did his brethren believe in him. Joseph was sold into slavery; Christ was sold to his enemies. And both suffered thus, not on their own account, but that they might deliver others. Of course it is not designed to place Joseph on the same plane with Christ, but he may be considered as in some respects a type of Christ.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.1

    If it was wrong to allow envy and jealousy to control the heart in those days it is equally wrong now. Indeed, it would seem that in this age of gospel light and privileges, with the experience of men for ages past written out for our learning, it must be worst then to indulge in such feelings now than then. And, so, it is more dangerous now than then. The nearness of the coming of the Lord is given as a special reason why peace and love should prevail. Says the apostle: “Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned; behold, the Judge standeth before the door.” James 5:9. What a terrible thing it would be if he should open the door and find us thus engaged. “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby; if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:1-5. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” W.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.2

    “The Consequence of Pleasing God” The Signs of the Times, 14, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. To whom did Joseph’s brethren sell him?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.3

    “Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver; and they brought Joseph into Egypt.” Genesis 37:28.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.4

    2. What did the Midianites do with him?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.5

    “And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.” Verse 36.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.6

    3. Who was with Joseph in this strange hand?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.7

    “And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.” Genesis 39:2.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.8

    4. What was the consequence to Joseph of the Lord’s being with him?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.9

    “And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.” Genesis 39:3, 4.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.10

    “And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt; but God was with him, and delivered him out of all his affliction, and gave him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.” Acts 7:9, 10.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.11

    5. What was the result to Potiphar, from having a godly man in his house?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.12

    “And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.” Genesis 39:5.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.13

    6. How much responsibility was placed upon Joseph?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.14

    “And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.” Verse 6.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.15

    7. How old was Joseph when he was sold into Egypt?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.16

    “These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.” Genesis 37:2.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.17

    8. When he was strongly tempted in Potiphar’s house, what noble stand did he take?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.18

    “But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; there is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife; how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Genesis 39:8, 9.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.19

    9. Did he stand firm to this resolution?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.20

    “And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.” Verse 10.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.21

    10. What was the immediate result of his upright conduct?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.22

    “And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound; and he was there in the prison.” Verses 19, 20. Read also verses 11-18.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.23

    11. Who was with Joseph still?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.24

    “But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” Verse 21.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.25

    12. What can always be said by one who has the Lord for a companion?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.26

    “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.27

    13. How was this verified in Joseph’s case?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.28

    “But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” Genesis 39:21.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.29

    14. What trust was committed to Joseph in the prison?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.30

    “And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.” Verse 22.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.31

    15. Why was this?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.32

    “The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.” Verse 23.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.33

    16. What scripture was fulfilled in Joseph’s case?SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.34

    “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.35


    Said the Saviour to his disciples, “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Salt is a preservative; that which would soon decay, if left to itself, may be preserved indefinitely by the addition of a little salt. It is thus that the true followers of Jesus are the salt of the earth. A corrupt generation would soon become so offensive as to necessitate its removal from the earth; but the presence of a humble few who walk in the Spirit, checks the flood of iniquity, and stays the wrath of God. The presence of righteousness has often served to save the lives of wicked men. So God blessed Potiphar, and all that he had, for Joseph’s sake. And since God uses means, it is not presumptuous to suppose that part at least, of the blessing upon Potiphar’s house was because an honest man was administering his affairs. The wicked despise the righteous, yet they owe to them more than they can realize.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.36

    When David had committed the grievous sin of taking the wife of Uriah, and his sin had been brought home to his conscience, he cried out to the Lord: “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.” Psalm 51:4. He realized that his sin was primarily against God. So when Joseph was tempted to wrong his master, he recalled how his master had trusted him by putting everything into his hand, he said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Every act which shows a lack of love for our neighbor, shows a lack of love for God; the wrong which one may do to his fellow-man is only secondary; the greater wrong is against God. Only conscientious souls realize this; those who have not the “fear of God” before their eyes, will not stop to consider the interest of their neighbor, when it comes in conflict with their own pleasure. W.SITI April 20, 1888, page 251.37

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There will be no paper issued next week. The next number of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES, No. 17, will be dated May 4. For this reason we publish to Sabbath-school lessons in this number.SITI April 20, 1888, page 256.1

    It is announced that Professor Huxley is making inquiries into the phenomena of Spiritualism, with a view to elucidate all there is in it. We shall await with interest the result of his investigations, not because we have any doubt as to the origin of those phenomena, but because Professor Huxley is doubtless an unbiased investigator, and his report will influence many people.SITI April 20, 1888, page 256.2

    The Pacific Press has just issued a new sixteen-page, illustrated catalogue of Oxford Teachers’ and Reference Bibles, also of Apocraphas and helps to the study of the Bible. They have a large stock and a fine assortment of Oxford Bibles, ranging in price from one dollar to sixteen dollars, and no one can fail to find what will suit him. Send for catalogue. Address Pacific Press, Oakland, Cal.SITI April 20, 1888, page 256.3

    Elder G. C. Tenney and family will sail on the Zelandia for Australia May 3. We are informed that fruit is exceedingly dear in that country; and if any of our brethren and sisters have dried fruit which they would be glad to donate to the mission for the benefit of the faithful laborers there, we are certain that it would be highly appreciated. Any such can bring the fruit with them when they come to the Oakland meeting.SITI April 20, 1888, page 256.4

    Instances of the ascendancy of Catholicism in this country, are multiplying with startling rapidity. The latest thing is the news that the mayor of Boston ordered the public library to be closed on St. Patrick’s day, and the Chicago Board of Education ordered the public schools of that city to be closed on Good Friday. The Advance rightly says that in each case the action was a public impertinence; but if the people were not so generally imbued with the dread of appearing bigoted by opposing Catholic presumption, such impertinence could not be indulged in. Such servility is not only disgusting, but it is alarming.SITI April 20, 1888, page 256.5

    There are few words more abused than the word “liberty.” Charlotte Conday exclaimed, when on the way to the guillotine, “Oh, liberty, how many crimes are committed in thy name!” In truth it is; for most of the so-called liberty of the present age, or of any age, is sin. Men think that the throwing off of restraint is liberty. They chafe against the restrictions of law, and think to find liberty by breaking through these restraints. But when they find themselves behind prison bars, they learn that liberty is found only in obedience. Said David: “I will walk at liberty; for I seek thy precepts.” Psalm 119:45. The law of God is the will of God. It is that by which the universe is governed. It is as pure as God himself, and as boundless as God’s infinity. Within its just and mild sanctions, there is room for the largest freedom of action. It comprises all the thought and actions of God. What larger scope could one what? It will eventually give the one who walks in it here, the freedom of the universe of God; while on the other hand, the transgressor is always in bondage here, and will at last be deprived not only of liberty, but of life itself. There never was a greater mistake than for a man to think that he could find liberty in having his own way in opposition to the law of God. Far better would it be to make God’s way our way. The grace of God can, if a man will allow it to, so transform him that his highest employment and pleasure will be found in keeping the commandments of God.SITI April 20, 1888, page 256.6

    “Liberty” The Signs of the Times, 14, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Says the apostle, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” This text is often given a narrow application. Almost everybody has heard the leader of a prayer-meeting urge the people to be free to take part, by saying that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, meaning ... pray or bear testimony. This is no doubt true, but only in the secondary sense. What the apostle meant is that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom from sin. It is the same as in Galatians 5:18: “But if ye be led of the Spirit ye are not under the law.” There can be no condemnation to one who is walking in the Spirit, and in whose life its fruits are manifested. The law of God is spiritual, the one who transgresses it, grieves the Holy Spirit, and falls into condemnation; he is in bondage; but whoever repents and walks in the law, the peace of God abides in his heart, and the Spirit bears witness with his spirit that he is no more a servant, but a son, and if a son then an heir of God through Christ.... the natural result will be that the man’s heart shall be filled with praise, and that he should ... give utterance to it on every proper occasion.SITI April 20, 1888, page 256.7

    Larger font
    Smaller font