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

    July 27, 1888

    “Paradise and Hades” The Signs of the Times, 14, 29.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A portion of the Christian Evangelist, published at St. Louis, Mo., has been sent to us with the request that we give a little attention to an article which it contains on the “Intermediate State of the Dead.” The letter states also that the writer of the article, who is one of the editors of the paper, is one of the best educated ministers in the “Christian” denomination. If that is true, and we have no reason to doubt it, it is simply another evidence that the best educated men may be darkly ignorant of Bible truth.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.1

    The article is in answer to the question, “Do the spirits of the dead enter hades since Jesus’s soul came forth therefrom? We quote the first paragraph of the reply to the question, and will confine our comment this week to that portion. It is as follows:-SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.2

    “In discussing this subject, it must be assumed, for lack of space as well as condition, and that paradise was that part of hades into which the disembodied spirits of the righteous entered prior to the resurrection of Christ. We think that part of hades was abolished when the Saviour’s spirit came out of it, and that ever since then the spirits of God’s people have gone directly to the Father at death.”SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.3

    The utter falsity of this assumption may be shown in a few words. Hades in Greek is the same as sheol in the Hebrew, and so, to avoid confusion, we shall give simply the Greek form hades in all the texts. Now let us learn something about hades.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.4

    1. It is a place into which people go bodily. In Numbers 16:32, 33 we are told concerning the rebellious princes of Israel that “the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit [into hades], and the earth closed upon them.” Again Jacob said that he would go down into hades unto his son, mourning (Genesis 37:35), and again that his sons would bring down his gray hairs to hades. Genesis 42:38. And the psalmist said: “Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth [the mouth of hades], as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.” Psalm 141:7.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.5

    2. There is nothing going on in hades. Says Solomon: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.6

    3. It is a place of silence. David said: “Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee; let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave [in hades].” Psalm 31:17.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.7

    4. Those who go there have ceased to live, and they have no knowledge of God, and are not able to praise him nor hope in him. Thus Hezekiah speaks: “I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave [hades]; I am deprived of the residue of my years. I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of the living; I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.” “For the grave [hades] cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.” Isaiah 38:10, 11, 18.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.8

    5. Lastly, the righteous will remain in hades until the sounding of the last trump, at the end of the world. When the Lord shall come with all his holy angels, to give every man according as his work shall be, it will be “with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16. At the sounding of that trumpet “the dead shall be raised incorruptible,” and not till then will be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave [hades], where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:52-55. And this passage alone is sufficient to scatter to the four winds the fanciful assumption that all the righteous dead left hades at the resurrection of Christ, and that none have gone there since. One plain text of Scripture is worth ten thousand pages of human assumption.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.9

    Now a few words concerning Paradise. Has it any connection with hades? and has it been abolished? To both questions we answer emphatically and unqualifiedly, No. If Paradise were abolished at the resurrection of Christ, then there would be no salvation for any man. One or two texts will show the utter folly and wickedness of such an assumption.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.10

    The book of Revelation was written more than sixty years after the resurrection of Christ, yet in that revelation Jesus himself said to his people, through his servant John: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7. Would Christ make a promise to his people of pleasure to be enjoyed in a place that has no existence? Impossible. This promise applies to us in this age as well as to overcomers in all ages, and proves beyond question that Paradise has not been abolished.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.11

    The tree of life is “in the midst of the Paradise of God.” The tree of life is on either side of the river of life. Revelation 22:2. And, further, the river of water of life proceeds directly from the throne of God. Revelation 22:1. Still further, when Paul was “caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words,” he was in “the third heaven.” 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. Therefore Paradise,-the place where are found the tree and the river of life,-is in the third heaven, and is the dwelling-place of God. It is the place to which the saints will be taken when they are raised from the dead and made immortal at the second advent, for “they shall see is face,” and shall be “before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple.” Therefore if Paradise had been abolished at the resurrection of Christ, not only would the saints have no place of reward, but the tree of life and the river of life would also have been abolished, and God’s dwelling-place destroyed.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.12

    The fact that Paradise is the place of God’s throne, the place of final reward, is sufficient to show that it is not part of hades, and is not and never was a half-way house for the dead. Next week we shall notice another portion of the article, if it is possible for anything to be worse than a theory which abolishes God’s dwelling-place, and turns Paradise into chaos. W.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.13

    “A Wonderful and Horrible Thing” The Signs of the Times, 14, 29.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We do not like to speak of the short-comings of others, but it sometimes becomes necessary, in order to point a moral or to show the fulfillment of some word of prophecy. It is for these reasons that we mention the following case:-SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.14

    The pastor of a Baptist congregation not many miles from the Golden Gate went East last spring to attend the Baptist convention at Washington, and is now giving his flock a series of Sunday evening discourses concerning his trip. His subject last Sunday evening was, “From Richmond to Washington,” in the course of which he said, among other things more or less edifying:-SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.15

    “The railroad journey continued to Old Point Comfort, which is now one of the favorite watering-places of the East. Here the Baptist preachers left the cars and went out to take in the town. The first thing they took in was oysters. They made a bargain with the oysterman that they should have all the oysters they could eat for twenty-five cents a head. Such a slaughter of oysters as was made that day is seldom seen.”SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.16

    Just think of such a thing as that being gravely told by a professed minister of the gospel to his Sunday evening congregation. We make no comment on the incident related-a body of ministers on their way to a religious assembly making themselves conspicuous by gorging themselves with oysters-but what kind of gospel is it to give to a congregation? Of course it will be said that this was not a sermon but a Sunday evening lecture; that the sermon is preached in the morning, but in the evening something else must be done in order to get a congregation. Very well; then we think that one moral is apparent to all. The close observer may discover several.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.17

    But we pass on to another paragraph in the published report of the sermon:-SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.18

    “From Point Comfort to Washington the preachers-called ‘the gang’ by some of their members-took passage on a steamboat, and they made an evening of it. They organized an impromptu minstrel troupe, and the old Virginia darkey was imitated to perfection by some of the clerical gentlement. After a couple of hours of this sport, they had prayers and went to bed.”SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.19

    We assure our friends that this is taken from a straightforward report, without comment, appearing in the regular list of notices of sermons preached. We have a right to think that it does not misrepresent the discourse in the least, for neither the minister nor any of his flock have offered the slightest protest. When we read the last paragraph quoted, we no longer wonder that the man could have so little spiritual sensibility as to give such stuff to his people. A minister who, in company with a “gang” of other ministers, could make a public exhibition of himself as a minstrel performer, without realizing that he was doing anything out of place, might be expected to think it good matter with which to feed his congregation.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.20

    But the fact that such a thing was done is worse even than the telling of it to a congregation. Think of it! a body of ministers on their way to attend a meeting where the interests of the denomination in the United States are to be considered, organizing themselves into a minstrel troupe, and engaging in songs and dances on a steamboat. We do not speak of this with pleasure. To us it is a terrible thing to think of. When we think that thousands of people are depending on those very men for their religious instruction, we feel profound pity for them. We claim that instead of getting an increase of spiritual strength by that convention, every one of those ministers was the worse spiritually, because of the trip. A Pentecostal revival could scarcely have made any impression upon them after such an exhibition of themselves-such a breaking away from all restraint. And so we say that the religious tone of the people to whom they minister the next year will be distinctly lowered; their consciousness of right and wrong will be less acute than ever before. They have before them the trifling example of their pastors, who are supposed to be ensamples to the flock, and by listening to such sermons as that under consideration, they are educated to a disrelish for sober truth.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.21

    “After a couple of hours of this sport, they had prayers and went to bed.” So they didn’t forget the form of godliness; they did not forget that they were ministers of the gospel, and that it was their duty to hold up the light; they were not ashamed to show their colors. Perhaps some may see in this circumstance a redeeming feature, but it is not. If they had concealed their identity; if they had let the people think that they were a “gang” of politicians going to Washington to seek a Government position instead of a “gang” of preachers going to meeting, it would have shown that they had some sense of propriety, and knew how professed ambassadors for Christ ought to conduct themselves. Then the cause of religion would not have been lowered in the estimation of those who looked on. But the fact that they didn’t forget to have prayers after their show, told to all that they had acted all the time with a full consciousness of their position.SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.22

    The same spirit of boisterous hilarity seems to have characterized the convention to a certain extent. It would be a surprising thing if it had not. One day an invitation to visit the White House was sent by President Cleveland, and “the convention received it with deafening cheers.”SITI July 27, 1888, page 454.23

    And this was a religious convention. What may we expect when politics and religion become united, according to the desire of the National Reformers and their numerous allies, and these same ministers meet as a political convention? Think you that the cause of religion will be greatly advanced? When that time comes every one of those preacher minstrels will be active in the cause of “religion.” It will be a place of religion exactly suited to them. It will be so much easier to evangelize the nation by voting than by preaching. We speak advisedly, for we know that the minister who preached the sermon that we have referred to, has been active in his efforts to secure a rigid persecuting Sunday law.SITI July 27, 1888, page 455.1

    This matter, it will be seen, is not a local affair. It is, perhaps a small thing that one minister had regaled his congregation with an account of his wild pranks while on his way to a religious assembly; but the fact that two hundred and fifty ministers on the same trip as a body could make themselves so conspicuous in their eating and drinking and boisterous revelry as to be known as “the gang,” is not a small matter. We have stated the case very mildly and dispassionately, but we should be remiss in our duty to delineate as of the signs of the times if we did not call attention to the extent to which men have become “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” May God pity the people who are inclined to place their civil and religious liberty in the hands of such men, and may he arouse many to a knowledge of the fact that these things show the end to be near. W.SITI July 27, 1888, page 455.2

    “Anarchism in America” The Signs of the Times, 14, 29.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When the Anarchist conspirators were executed in Chicago on the 11th day of last November it seemed to be taken for granted that Anarchy had received its death-blow in this country, and that whatever sentiments men might entertain they would not dare to life a hand against the dignity of American law. But recent events have shown how vain were such hopes; only a few days since the telegraph announced that a gigantic conspiracy had been discovered in Chicago to murder Judge Grinnell, Judge Gary, Inspector Bonfield, Frank Walker, and others prominent in the prosecution of Spies, Parsons, and the rest of the executed Anarchists.SITI July 27, 1888, page 456.1

    Dynamite was to be placed beneath the houses of these men, and was to be touched off simultaneously, and a wholesale reign of terror inaugurated. The board of trade building was to be blown up at the same time. Only three men have been arrested, but others may be taken into custody if thought best by the police. If this foul conspiracy had been carried out the scenes of the Haymarket riot would have paled into insignificance, for hundreds of lives would certainly have been sacrificed.SITI July 27, 1888, page 456.2

    It seems that Anarchists have increased rapidly in Chicago since the Haymarket riot, and that they now number in that city over 5,000 men fully armed with Winchester rifles, revolvers, and dynamite bombs. The execution of their leaders, while it taught them caution, filled them with still greater hatred for law and order, and increased their determination to overthrow the present order of things. Besides their guns the Anarchists, it is said, “have bombs without number and dynamite without limit.” Said a Chicago detective recently, “I have no idea when the trouble will come, but there will be serious work some day.” And so it is true that even in the favored land “of peace and plenty,” men’s hearts are “failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.”SITI July 27, 1888, page 456.3

    “The Development of the Beast” The Signs of the Times, 14, 29.

    E. J. Waggoner

    1. What power is represented by the first beast of Revelation 14?-The Papacy.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.1

    2. From what was it developed?-“A falling away.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.2

    3. In what was shown the first definite evidence of falling away from the truth of God?SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.3

    The adoption of heathen rites and customs. “The bishops augmented the number of religious rites in the Christian worship, by way of accommodation to the infirmities and prejudices, both of Jews and heathens, in order to facilitate their conversion to Christianity.” “For this purpose, they gave the name of mysterious to the institutions of the gospel, and decorated particularly the holy sacrament with that solemn title. They used in that sacred institution, as also in that of baptism, several of the terms so far, at length, as even to adopt some of the ceremonies of which those renowned mysteries consisted.”-Mosheim’s Church History, cent. 2, part 5, chap. 4, par. 2, 3.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.4

    4. How early was this manifested?SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.5

    “This imitation began in the Eastern provinces; but, after the time of Adrian [emperor A.D. 117-138], who first introduced the mysteries among the Latins, it was followed by the Christians who dwelt in the western parts of the empire.”-Mosheim, Church History, cent. 5, part 2, chap. 4, par. 5.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.6

    5. What worship was the most widely prevalent among all ancient nations?SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.7

    Sun worship-“the oldest, the most widespread, and the most enduring of all the forms of idolatry known to man, viz., the worship of the sun.”-Tulled W. Chambers, in Old Testament, January, 1886.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.8

    6. When this worship was not directed to an image, how was it performed.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.9

    “Before the coming of Christ, all the Eastern nations performed divine worship with their faces turned to that part of the heavens where the sun displays his rising beams. This custom was founded upon a general opinion that God, whose essence they looked upon to be light, and whom they considered as being circumscribed within certain limits, dwelt in that part of the firmament, from which he sends forth the sun, the bright image of his benignity and glory.”-Mosheim, Church History, cent. 2, part 4, chap. 3, par. 7. See Ezekiel 8:16.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.10

    7. Was this custom adopted by some who called themselves Christian?SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.11

    “The Christian converts, indeed, rejected this gross error [of supposing that God dwelt in that part of the firmament], but they retained the ancient and universal custom of worshiping toward the east, which sprang from it. Nor is that custom abolished even to our times, but still prevails in a great number of Christian churches.”-Mosheims, Ib.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.12

    8. What day was especially devoted to the sun?SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.13

    9. What day was adopted by these Christians also?SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.14

    “That very day was the Sunday of their heathen neighbors and respective countrymen; and patriotism gladly united with expediency in making it at once their Lord’s day and their Sabbath.”-North British Review as quoted in History of the Sabbath, chap. 16.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.15

    10. Upon what is the Papacy built?-Self-exaltation. 2 Thessalonians 2:4.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.16

    11. In behalf of what was manifested the first arrogant claims of the Papacy?-In behalf of Sunday.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.17

    12. By whom?-By victor, who was bishop of Rome, A. D. 193-202.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.18

    13. What did he command?SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.19

    “He wrote an imperious letter to the Asiatic prelates commanding them to imitate the example of the Western Christians with respect to the time of celebrating the festival of Easter [that is, commanding them to celebrate it on Sunday]. The Asiastics answered this lordly requisition... with great spirit and resolution, that they would by no means depart in this manner from the custom handed down to them by their ancestors. Upon this the thunder of excommunication began to roar. Victor, exasperated by this resolute answer of the Asiatic bishops, broke communion with them, pronounced them unworthy of the name of his brethren, and excluded them from all fellowship with the church of Rome.”-Mosheim, Ib., chap. 3, par. 11.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.20

    14. How early in the second century had this question been made an important one?SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.21

    “About the middle of this century, during the reign of Antonius Pius [about 101], the venerable Polycarp went to Rome to confer with Anicet, bishop of that See, upon this matter.”-Ib. par 10.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.22

    15. What is the great characteristics of the Papacy as a world power?SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.23

    The union of Church and State,-the religious power dominating the civil power and using it to further its own ends.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.24

    16. When was the union of Church and State formed, out of which grew the Papacy?-In the reign of Constantine, A. D. 414-447.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.25

    17. What was the condition and work of most of the bishops at this time?SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.26

    “Worldly-minded bishops, instead of caring for the salvation of their flocks, were often but too much inclined to travel about, and entangle themselves in worldly concerns.”-Neander, vol. 1, p. 16, Turley’s edition, Boston, 1856.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.27

    18. What had these bishops determined to do?SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.28

    “This theocratical theory was already the prevailing one in the time of Constantine; and... the bishops voluntarily made themselves dependent on him by their disputes, and had their determination to make use of the power of the State for the furtherance of their aims.”-Ib., p. 142.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.29

    19. What is the “theocratical theory”?-The theory of government of a State by the immediate power or administration of God.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.30

    20. What then is the effect of a man-made theocracy?-To put man in the place of God.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.31

    21. Was this the outcome of the theocratical theory of the bishops of the fourth century?SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.32

    “Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4.SITI July 27, 1888, page 459.33

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 29.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Don’t fail to read the appointment for the California camp-meeting on page 462 of this paper. See also the notices on this page. Now is the time to begin to prepare for the meeting.SITI July 27, 1888, page 464.1

    The Committee of the Boston Board of Aldermen, to whom the subject was referred, has reported against the repeal of the ordinance forbidding preaching on the common without a license. As Boston is ruled by the Catholics, this result is no more than was to be expected.SITI July 27, 1888, page 464.2

    According to the Baltimore Methodist, the twelve thousand itinerant ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, contributed one-tenth of the million dollar missionary fund that was raised last year. If the two millions of lay members had contributed at the same rate as the ministers did, the missionary money would have amounted to $17,000,000 instead of $1,000,000. The ministers truly show themselves “ensamples to the flock,” but it would seem that there was a lack on the part of the flock in following the example.SITI July 27, 1888, page 464.3

    The Rev. Henry M. Field, D.D., is one of the most prominent men in the Presbyterian Church in America, and editor of the Evangelist, one of the leading papers in the denomination. In writing a letter from the Rock of Gibraltar, in the Evangelist of July 12, he tells how a certain telegraph manager gave him a letter to all their offices on both sides of the Mediterranean, and then remarks, “His letter was almost like one of Paul’s epistles ‘to the twelve tribes scattered abroad greeting’”! No doubt the likeness is very striking, especially in view of the fact that not one of Paul’s epistles was never written “to the twelve tribes scattered abroad.” The Doctor’s simile is not exactly the happiest one that might have been struck, but it is rather suggestive nevertheless.SITI July 27, 1888, page 464.4

    We have seen lately several repetitions of the old story to the effect that “Tom” Paine sent to Benjamin Franklin the manuscript of his “Age of Reason,” before publishing it, and that Franklin told him not to “unchain the tiger,” etc. It seems that to some this appears to be a very weighty argument in favor of Christianity. We doubt the force of the argument even if the story were true, and much more when there is not a particle of truth in it. To all who have been repeating the story, we would suggest that, before they do it again, they will please bear in mind that Franklin died in 1790, and the first part of the “Age of Reason” was not written till about three years afterward. There are enough good arguments in favor of Christianity without resorting to the support of palpable falsehoods.SITI July 27, 1888, page 464.5

    A curious example of recklessness of some men in conducting an argument, and of all men who have no ground for their argument, occurred in the Oracle of July 5. A certain writer in arguing for Sunday, and as proof of its sacredness, says: “It is a universal practice of the church, unquestioned by any. We stop a moment at St. Augustine, about A.D. 380-420. I will quote from the Anti-Nicene Fathers in eight volumes, which contain all their writings. Augustine says, ect.” Of course he meant Ante-Nicene Fathers, instead of Anti-Nicene Fathers. That means the “Fathers” who lived and wrote before the Nicene Council, which took place A.D. 325. But Augustine was not born till more than fifty years after that council. Then how is it that his writings are found in the eight volumes of the Ante-Nicene Library? They are not. Well, then, why did this writer profess to quote Augustine’s words from that set of books? We give it up. It might have been ignorance; it might have been something else.SITI July 27, 1888, page 464.6

    The emperor of Germany has arranged to visit the King of Italy in Rome next October, and the Pope has sent a vigorous protest to Prince Bismarck, declaring that the emperor’s presence at Rome would be a note of hostility toward the Vatican, especially during the pending crisis with the Italian Government.The Vatican is also endeavoring to have Bavaria and Austria use their influence against the visit.SITI July 27, 1888, page 464.7

    Pope Leo XIII. is the most inveterate political meddler that has occupied the Papal throne for years. Pius IX. was crafty, but Leo is both sagacious and aggressive, and is meeting with marked success in securing from the great powers of earth the recognition which he claims as his due. The facts concerning his bloodless conquest of Protestant Germany some two years since are still fresh in the mind of everyone, and this protest indicates that “his holiness” does not mean to relinquish his hold upon the German Empire. It remains to be seen whether William II. will servilely yield to this haughty demand of the Vatican or not.SITI July 27, 1888, page 464.8

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents