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    January 6, 1888

    “The Sure Word (Continued.)” The Signs of the Times, 14, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Now read from the word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah:-SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.1

    “I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord. I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; and them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the Lord, and that swear by Malcham; and them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor inquired for him.” Zephaniah 1:2-6.SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.2

    Here we learn again that this destruction is not going to be a local affair. Although the prophecy came to the Jews, it was directed not only against those of them that turned back from the Lord and worshiped Baal and the host of heaven, but against “those that have not sought the Lord, nor inquired for him.” In confirmation of this, we read again:-SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.3

    “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” Zephaniah 3:8.SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.4

    We close this list of quotations from the prophecies of the Old Testament, by a portion of “the burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.” Says the Lord through this prophet:-SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.5

    “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:1-5.SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.6

    And after this solemn question and warning, the following view is presented, not only of the destruction that shall attend the coming of the Lord, but also of what shall follow that:-SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.7

    “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 4:1-3.SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.8

    Thus we have seen, although we have selected only a few instances, that the sure word of prophecy is fairly burdened with references to “the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” More extended investigation would reveal the fact that the great body of prophecy was given for the sole purpose of giving instruction concerning either the first or the second advent of Christ. Thus the apostle Peter says to those who are in heaviness through manifold temptations, that it is,-SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.9

    “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.... Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you; searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:7-11.SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.10

    What the sufferings of Christ brought to mankind is known to all in so-called Christian lands, and to nearly all in the world. He suffered for sin, “The just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” Through his spilled blood, all who believe on him may be justified freely by the grace of God, receiving the remission of sins; and being thus justified by faith, they may have peace with God. At Christ’s first advent, he was made an offering for sin, and he “bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24); but when he comes the second time, he comes “without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:28. Concerning this coming there is less knowledge among men than of the first; yet it brings the consummation of the gospel and of this world’s history. Without “the glory that should follow,” the sufferings of Christ, would be to no purpose. But as we have seen, that glory which the justified and sanctified ones are to share with him (Romans 8:17), when he comes, will also destroy the wicked. Therefore, since that event is of such overwhelming importance, how true the words that we “do well” to “take heed” to the sure word of prophecy “as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise.”SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.11

    This present age is called night. Says Paul, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Romans 13:12. And this he says in view of the fact previously stated, that it is high time to wake out of sleep, because our salvation is near. The dawning of the day, and the arising of the day-star, refer to the coming of Christ, who is “the bright and morning star.” Revelation 22:16. So Isaiah, like Paul, tells of the night of darkness, and the coming of the dawn. Looking with prophetic sight down the ages, he says:-SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.12

    “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isaiah 60:1-3.SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.13

    This is commonly applied simply to the spread of the gospel; but what follows, taken in connection with parallel passages in the New Testament, shows that the prophet saw the triumph of the gospel in the final destruction of the wicked, and the salvation of the righteous in the New Jerusalem. Read the following, and compare with the 21st of Revelation:-SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.14

    “Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” Isaiah 60:11-14, 18-21.SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.15

    The dawning of the day, and the rising of the day-star, will be when the glory of the Lord shall fill the earth, and the people shall be righteous. This present time is night because the darkness of sin covers the people. In the midst of this night, our only light is that which shines from God’s word. David said: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. The lamp of prophecy, lighted from the glory that surrounds the throne of God, sheds its beams amidst the darkness that overspreads the earth, and is the wayfaring man’s only guide till the glory of the Lord shall arise in full splendor upon him. Whosoever takes heed to it, his path shall be “as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18. W.SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.16

    “Extent of the Sabbath Commandment” The Signs of the Times, 14, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Although there is no limitation either in the Sabbath commandment as spoken from Mt. Sinai, or as recorded in Genesis 2:1-3, the fact that many claim that it was limited in its application, makes it necessary for us to consider the question, For whom was the Sabbath sanctified? or, in other words, who were commanded to keep the Sabbath holy? When we consider that the day was sanctified, i.e., appointed or commanded, in Eden, there can be but one answer: The commandment was given to those then living. It is not possible that it could have been otherwise; that the account here is anticipative, and that the Sabbath was then sanctified for the use of some future generation. For to every command there must be two parties: the one commanding and the one commanded. A command cannot be made unless someone is present to receive it. In this case God issued the command, and Adam and Eve were the ones to whom it was directed. But they represented all who should afterward live upon the earth. See Genesis 3:20. It follows, then, that the Sabbath commandment embraces the whole world; all who have descended from Adam and Eve.SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.17

    In harmony with this conclusion we have the words of our Saviour, in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man.” This can mean nothing less than the whole human race, for the word “man,” when used without any limiting word, means “mankind; the totality of men.” When the word is limited, it means man to the exclusion of women, and no one will claim that the women of whatever race or class of people to whom the commandment is given are not under obligation to keep the Sabbath. No one will be found bold enough to claim that the word “man” in Mark 2:27 has a different meaning from what it has in Genesis 1:27; 2:7.SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.18

    It is also most evident from the Scriptures that God designed to have the Sabbath kept by all men in all parts of the world. Christ said that “the Sabbath was made for man,” and the inspired apostle declared that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” Acts 17:26. The God who made the round earth, and made all men to dwell in all the face of it, also made the Sabbath for man-all men-to keep as his holy day. What further evidence is needed to show that God designs that “all men everywhere” should keep the Sabbath?SITI January 6, 1888, page 6.19

    This being the case, it is manifestly improper to speak of the Sabbath as the “Jewish Sabbath,” for it belongs to no special class of men. It belongs to no man at all, but is the property of God; he claims it as his own. See the commandment, also Isaiah 58:13. If men, regardless of the commandment, choose to rest on some other day, they may call it their Sabbath, or give it any name they please; but “the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.” There is just as much difference between keeping man’s Sabbath and the Sabbath of the Lord as there is between worshiping man and worshiping God.SITI January 6, 1888, page 7.1

    We see that the commandment, as given at creation and renewed on Sinai, furnishes no warrant whatever to the idea that the Sabbath was to be local, or was given simply to the Jews. Not only this, but even in the Old Testament it is expressly stated that the Sabbath was not designed for the Jews alone. Thus we read: “Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.... Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” Isaiah 56:2, 6, 7.SITI January 6, 1888, page 7.2

    The position of the commandment in the law of God is also enough of itself to convince anyone that it is binding upon all men. Even profane persons will admit that it is wrong to take God’s name in vain; and none claim that there is any privileged class who may swear with impunity. The fifth commandment is almost universally disregarded, yet no one thinks of asserting that its obligation does not extend to all mankind. The sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth are admitted to be of universal obligation, yet they are not more emphatic than the fourth, and the penalty for disregarding them is no more severe than that for violating the Sabbath commandment.SITI January 6, 1888, page 7.3

    It is true that the Sabbath rests solely on the commandment. This is urged by some as an objection. They say that it was always wrong to kill or to steal, but was not always wrong to break the Sabbath, since the Sabbath did not always exist. Hence they claim that the Sabbath is not moral. To this we reply (1) that the Sabbath has existed ever since day and night existed; (2) that God has always been the Supreme Being, and it always has been wrong to disobey him. Therefore, whenever he issues a command it is man’s moral duty to obey. (3) The Lord claims the Sabbath as his own; he calls it “my holy day;” he has set bounds about it, and forbidden man to trespass upon it; he warns us not to venture to take it for our own use. Now if we violate this commandment, we take that which is not our own, and are guilty of theft, a thing which is admitted by all to be immoral. Many other proofs might be adduced to show the morality of the fourth commandment.SITI January 6, 1888, page 7.4

    But although “the Sabbath was made for man,” it does not thereby become his property, to do with as he pleases. It was made for his use, not for his abuse. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:9, says that the woman was made for the man. He does not mean that she was made to be the slave of man, who could be taken or put away at his pleasure, as in heathen lands, but that she was made as a help, a blessing to man. So the Sabbath was made for man, i.e., not against him; it was designed to aid him both spiritually and physically. A farmer who has hired servants may, in order to lighten their labor, buy certain tools for them. But no one would suppose that the servants would have any right to sell those tools which their employer had thus purchased. All would understand that he bought them for the servants to use, and to use in his service only. On this subject the “Speaker’s Commentary” uses the following forcible language:-SITI January 6, 1888, page 7.5

    “On what principle of legislation can it be maintained that, because laws are imposed by the ruler for the benefit of the subject, therefore they may be dispensed with by the subject at his own convenience? This is utterly untenable as regards the laws of man; still more as regards the laws of God.” W.SITI January 6, 1888, page 7.6

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 1.

    E. J. Waggoner

    According to the Government Signal Officer’s report, the highest temperature in the United States on the 30th of December was about San Francisco Bay.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.1

    An opponent of the Sabbath of the Bible says: “When the word ‘Sabbath’ was used of the seventh day, it was used simply as the long-established name of that day.” Very true. No better reason could be given for calling the seventh day the Sabbath than that that is its name. “The seventh day is the Sabbath.” God himself gave it its name, and it is daring presumption on the part of any man to deprive it of its rightful title, or to transfer it to another day.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.2

    If there was ever an exhibition of cool assurance it is for a Spiritualist to manifest righteous indignation over the “infidelity” of Adventists. How long will it be before Spiritualists will pose as the only defenders of the Bible, and all who differ with them will be called heretics? Only till the National Reformers succeed in their schemes. When the National Reform kingdom is set up, then it will be considered the unpardonable sin to speak against the manifestations of the devil.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.3

    We are in receipt of a letter from a man who signs himself “Christian,” who thinks that Ecclesiastes wasn’t inspired when he said that “all go to one place.” Well, we can’t help it, we can’t stop quoting the Bible just because it doesn’t suit some people. And we must say, in all candor, that we think that one who has not read the Bible enough to know that Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Ecclesiastes, etc., are not the names of men who wrote those books, is hardly competent to sit in judgment on any part of it.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.4

    A true Protestant is not one who believes in everything just as did Luther, or Melanchthon, or Zwingle; but a true Protestant is one who is animated by the same spirit that they were. They were Protestants indeed, and were imbued with the true spirit of Protestantism,-in other words they were true followers of Christ,-yet they did not have all the truth, and held to some errors. The man who believes what Luther did, no more and no less, cannot be a true Protestant. What made them Protestants, followers of Christ, was the fact that they walked in the light, and protested against the error that advancing light revealed to them. As a matter of fact, there are very few Protestants in the world to-day.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.5

    A correspondent of the Golden Gate has an article “Addressed to the Seventh-day Adventist,” which is entitled, “Christian or infidel-Which?” The object of the article is to show that Seventh-day Adventists are infidels, because they do not accept the heathen doctrine that men are by nature immortal, and therefore gods. He starts out thus: “I first propose to let ‘Buck’s Theological Dictionary’-a standard author among Christians-settle the definitions of soul and spirit.” All we have to say is that “Buck’s Theological Dictionary” may settle the definition of soul and spirit to his satisfaction, but not to ours. We do not recognize any man in this world as authority on any doctrinal point. We once listened to a sermon designed to show that Adventists are infidels, and the way the speaker “proved” his point was by reading certain portions of his creed, and then showing that Adventists held different views. Our Spiritualist friend does the same thing. He quotes some Spiritualist definitions from “Buck’s Theological Dictionary,” and has no difficulty in showing that we do not accept them; hence he says we are infidels. That is, we are infidels because we do not believe as he does. Well, nobody could do us any better favor than to emphasize the fact, and keep it before the people continually, that we are diametrically opposed on every point to the theories advocated by Spiritualists.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.6

    Every little while we see inquiries about the “Star of Bethlehem.” Sometimes it is claimed that certain astronomers have predicted its early re-appearance, and country newspapers will gravely tell how often it has been seen. Just now Venus is the morning star, and is unusually bright, and wiseacres who get up early in the morning, delude themselves, and try to delude others, that the Star of Bethlehem is now shedding its light upon the earth. The facts are that no astronomer has ever predicted the return of the Star of Bethlehem, and none pretend to know of any such star in the heavens. The star that appeared to the wise men, and guided them to the place of the Saviour’s birth, has never been seen since that memorable night when “it came and stood over where the young child was.” A little thought would suffice to show anybody that it was not an ordinary star that kept just ahead of the wise men, and finally stood over a little hut so as to distinguish that place from all the other houses in the town. That star was a special light sent by God to guide the devout wise men to the place where Jesus lay.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.7

    The following notice of a book entitled “Romanism and the Reformation,” by H. Grattan Guinness of England, which appeared in the Christian Union, gives a good idea of the tender regard which the so-called Protestantism of to-day has for the Roman Catholic Church:-SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.8

    “Dr. Guinness, who is alarmed and distressed at the growth which the Roman Catholic Church has made during the last half-century, especially in his own country, finds in the prophetic writings of Daniel and the Apocalypse the most trenchant of anti-Papal arguments. He has accordingly elaborated these arguments in a series of popular lectures, delivered last spring in Exeter Hall, and now sent out for a larger audience. Without discussing his principles of prophetic interpretation, which have probably few adnerents, we doubt that he will lead many not otherwise notified to avoid the ‘horned beast.’ When he urges a return to the Reformation methods of dealing with the Papacy, he ignores too much the changes which three centuries have wrought.”SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.9

    There was a time when no doubted that ‘the most trenchant anti-Papal arguments” could be found in the prophetic writings of Daniel and the Apocalypse. But that was in the days of Sir Isaac Newton, and other men who studied the Bible, and were Bible expositors. Now the Protestant churches have adopted the Papal custom of studying the Fathers, and it has become exceedingly unfashionable to say anything against “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.” Yet three centuries have wrought wonderful changes, but not in the Roman Catholic Church. Who will awake to the danger, and be true Protestants.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.10

    The Indianapolis Journal tells the following story illustrative of how far some professed Christians come form realizing what the gospel is for:-SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.11

    “A former minister of Indianapolis mixed with the common people, and from the highways and byways drew all classes-gamblers, topers, Magdalenes, among the rest-to hear his pulpit teachings. A worthy official, scandalized by this irruption of sinners into the sanctuary, could only gasp in horrified response to congratulations on the ‘drawing’ power of his pastor. ‘But think of the kind of people who come!’”SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.12

    When Jesus was on earth he gave as one evidence that he was the Messiah, the fact that “the poor have the gospel preached unto them.” And yet sometimes churches in which the prevailing spirit is that of the official referred to above, are called churches of Christ.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.13

    The Christian Advocate makes the following very just observation:-SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.14

    “It is amazing how readily some godly people are to employ evangelists without inquiry as to their antecedents. A good voice, a commanding presence, and large audacity seem to be sufficient endorsement for a revivalist in many sections of our country. Last summer a horse-thief posed as an evangelist in certain towns of Indian Territory, and is reported to have ‘made many converts.’ In Missouri, a few weeks later, he was arrested for theft and convicted. He sawed and filed his way out of the prison, and hastening to Arkansas, assumed a new name, and began a new series of ‘revival meetings.’ Detectives traced him, and after what is described as ‘an earnest sermon’ he was again arrested. Nothing tends more directly to belittle the cause of Christ than the culpable thoughtlessness of Christians in engaging irresponsible parties as leaders in spiritual endeavor.”SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.15

    And if the churches had more spirituality, they would have a good deal less of this “culpable thoughtlessness.” If they cared more for righteousness than for “revivals,” they could not be so easily taken in by rascally revivalists. If they cared more for the law of God and less for the sentimentalism, that now passes for the gospel, they would not be so ready to take up with horse-thief evangelists.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.16

    It would seem as though no man professing to believe the Bible could deny the pre-existence of Christ. It is not a question that needs argument, because we read the explicit declarations of Scripture concerning the matter. Says John, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:1-3. Read also Colossians 1:14-17 and Hebrews 1:1-3 for further evidence that Christ was the active agent in creation. If he created all things, he certainly existed before he was born in Bethlehem. But the words of Jesus himself are even more explicit. In his prayer for his disciples he said: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” John 17:5. There can be no argument on the subject; it is simply a question of whether we believe Christ or not. To say that Christ had no pre-existence is to deny the declaration of Christ, and to say that the mystery of godliness is not great, and that God was not manifest in the flesh.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.17

    The pertinacity with which the friends of the Sunday-sabbath insist that their movement is part and parcel of the temperance question, is worthy of a better cause. Every man who insists that the saloons must be closed on Sunday, tacitly admits that they may remain open on other days; and thus he acknowledges that the business of selling liquors is as legitimate six days in the week as other branches of trade.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.18

    If the man who owns two horses, a gray and a bay, says to his son, “John, you must not ride the gray horse,” he implies that he may ride the bay; for it is equally within his power to say, “John, you shall not ride either horse;” and his neglect to exercise his parental authority in the case of the bay horse, is a tacit permission to his son to ride that horse. And just so it is with the liquor question. Those who have the power to close saloons on Sunday, can also close them on Monday, and on every other day; and their failure to do so shows that they are zealous, not in the cause of temperance, but for the Sunday. They only are worthy the name of temperance men who favor prohibition seven days in the week.SITI January 6, 1888, page 16.19

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