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    September 21, 1888

    “Work of the Holy Spirit” The Signs of the Times, 14, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    What a marvelous change the Holy Spirit is able to work in those of whom it takes possession! We have a striking example of this in the case of the apostles. On the morning of the ascension they asked Jesus: “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Even with the instruction that they had received since Christ’s resurrection, they clung with childish pertinacity to their own crude ideas of his work. They all looked for a temporal kingdom, and a speedy deliverance from the Roman yoke. They were familiar with the prophecies, yet they did not understand them.SITI September 21, 1888, page 579.1

    Look at them ten days later, and know the difference. When the multitude began to enquire the meaning of what they saw, and others began to ridicule, the apostles at once rebuked the scoffers with dignity, and began to unfold the prophecies. There was no hesitation, no apologies. They spoke with authority, as though they had long been familiar with what they were teaching. What made this difference? They were “filled with the Holy Spirit.” This was all.SITI September 21, 1888, page 579.2

    But let no one think that the Holy Spirit can accomplish such results for all indiscriminately, and do away with the necessity of the exertion on the part of the individual. By no means. These men had been with one mind persevering in prayer for this very object. They were also of that class mentioned in John 7:17; they had been, and were still, followers of Christ; so it was to be expected that they should know of the doctrine. And lastly, they had studied the word of God for themselves, and had done all they could to understand it. To use a homely illustration, the wood was laid in position, and the kindlings were all prepared for a fire; all that was needed was the application of the spark to set the whole into a blaze.The Holy Spirit accomplished these wonderful results, because the way was prepared for it to work. Let us remember that that same Spirit will be given as freely to-day, if the necessary conditions are only fulfilled. Whose fault is it that Christians do not have more of the Spirit?SITI September 21, 1888, page 579.3

    “The Majesty of Bible Precepts” The Signs of the Times, 14, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There is no weakness in them. No one of them is emasculated by the modern prefix “try.” The Bible says, “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye doubled-minded.” “Cease to do evil, learn to do well.” “Depart from evil and do good.” And thus through the whole book from Genesis to Revelation, a moral precept is never prefixed with the enfeebling “try,” now so universally common.SITI September 21, 1888, page 580.1

    Just think of the Bible saying, Try to depart from evil! Try to cleanse your hands, ye sinners! Try to speak the truth, to one another! And instead of, “Do not kill.” “Do not steal.” “Do not commit adultery,” suppose we had, Do try not to kill! Do try not to steal! Do try not to commit adultery! It is time to stop experimenting in morals. None of it is from above. It is all from beneath, a device from the devil to break down the force and majesty of the precepts of the Bible.SITI September 21, 1888, page 580.2

    That glorious book never uses the word “try” in any such connection. It knows nothing of experimental morals. “Try” is never properly used except where a failure may be justifiable. A failure in morals never was and never can be justified.SITI September 21, 1888, page 580.3

    “Custom Against Truth” The Signs of the Times, 14, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The student of church history is well aware of the fact that there was less perversion of the ordinance of baptism in the early centuries, than of any other. Of course, in the general religious declension of that age, the real spirit of this ordinance, as of every other, was largely lost. When faith gave way to form, as did when the pagans, with whom religion was nothing but form, came into the church in droves, the church in general lost sight of the fact that it is faith that saves, and attached saving virtue to the water of baptism. Of this we have evidence in the writings of Tertullian. Various additions to the rite were made, such as the blessing of the water, the anointing of the candidate, marking him with the sign of the cross, giving him milk and honey, etc.; but the act of baptism itself remained unchanged.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.1

    All church historians, no matter what their own belief and practice, are forced to agree that sprinkling and what is termed infant baptism were unknown at least in the first two centuries. Nevertheless, after giving the facts in the case, they often make queer attempts to nullify their force, by ingenuous theories and artless sophistry. A good instance of this is given in a new work, entitled “Christian Archaeology,” by Chas. W. Bennett, D.D. Professor of Historical Theology in Garrett Biblical Institute, Evanston, Illinois, with an introductory commendation by Dr. Ferdinand Piper, of the University of Berlin. It is the fourth volume of the “Biblical and Theological Library,” edited by George R. Crooks, D.D., and Bishop John F. Hurst, D.D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is very highly recommended by the religious press. Both the author and the editors are fully committed to the custom of sprinkling, and of administering the rite to infants, and therefore their testimony is of the more value, since it is directly opposed to their practice, and to their argument in the book itself.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.2

    On page 392 of “Christian Archaeology” we find the following:-SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.3

    “While no positive statement relative to infant baptism is met in the Scriptures, or in the writings of any Fathers earlier than Irenaeus and Tertullian, by the end of the second century mention is made of the baptism of children, and in the third, of infants. But even in the fourth, the practice of infant baptism is not general, since eminent Fathers, whose parents were Christians, did not receive baptism till adult age.... From the fourth century the propriety of the baptism of infants was unquestioned, and the practice was not unusual; nevertheless, adult baptism was the more common practice for the first six centuries.”SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.4

    On page 396, under the heading of “The Mode of Baptism,” we find the following statement:-SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.5

    “There is not the slightest evidence that, during the apostolic period, the mere mode of administration underwent any change. The customary mode was used by the apostles in the baptism of the first converts. They were familiar with the baptism of John’s disciples, and of the Jewish proselytes. This was ordinarily by dipping or immersion. This is indicated not only by the words used in describing the rite, but the earliest testimony of the documents which have been preserved gives preference to this mode.”SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.6

    Finally, on page 467, we find the following:-SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.7

    “We are compelled to believe that while immersion was the usual mode of administering baptism from the first to the twelfth century, there was very early a large measure of Christian liberty allowed in the church, by which the mode of baptism could be readily adjusted to the peculiar circumstances.”SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.8

    Every student will know how much value to place on the “Christian liberty” that existed in the early centuries of the church, and which consisted in the unchristian practice of perverting the plainest precepts of the Bible, to suit the notions of the interpreter. This is not liberty at all, but license, and most unwarranted license. Christian liberty lies in only one direction, and that is liberty to do right; and right is nothing else than what the Bible enjoins. When men take the liberty to depart from the rules laid down in the Bible, they cease to be Christian, and their acts are not to be followed. Therefore that which in the preceding paragraph is called “Christian liberty” was nothing but pagan license. It was the same kind of “Christian liberty” as that which leads people to attend horseraces, theaters, and dances, etc., and to gamble in church fairs.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.9

    The effect of the author to overthrow what he could not deny, is most amusing. On pages 390-406 there are ten cuts, which are copied from ancient frescoes representing (or rather caricaturing) baptismal scenes, some of them evidently intended to represent the baptism of Christ. The author has inserted these pictures in order to counteract as much as possible the testimony which truth compelled him to give concerning baptism; for in none of these pictures is the candidate represented as being immersed. In some of them, the candidate is represented as just coming out of the water, so that it is impossible to tell whether the rite that had evidently just been performed was immersion or pouring. In others, however, the administrator is represented as laying his hand on the candidate’s head, or else pouring water upon it from a vessel. From these cuts the author finds authority enough to warrant the substitution of sprinkling or pouring for immersion. This is what might be termed pictorial theology.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.10

    But in these very pictures the inconsistency of those who appeal to custom instead of to the Bible is most clearly revealed. We quote the author’s own description of the first caricature:-SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.11

    “Christ stands in the Jordan, whose waters reach to about the middle of the body, while John, standing on the land, and holding in his left hand a jeweled cross, is pouring water from a shell held in the Baptist’s right hand. The symbolic dove, descending directly upon the head of Jesus, completes the baptismal representation. The Jordan, IORD, symbolized by a vicegerent bearing a reed, introduces into the scene a heathen demon.”-P. 404.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.12

    The italics are ours. It is passing strange, and a wonderful instance of the blindness which custom induces, that a Christian author can put forth as authority for the practice of Christians, a picture in which he acknowledges that there are heathen elements, and this too in the face of his previous acknowledgment that the scriptural and apostolic baptism is immersion.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.13

    This, however, is not all. In all of these ancient caricatures (with two exceptions), the candidate who is being sprinkled or poured is perfectly nude. In the two exceptions he has on a single garment. Therefore, according to the testimony of these pictures, there is the same authority for sprinkling instead of immersing that there is for stripping the candidate of his clothes. As a matter of fact, which is attested by Bingham, people were baptized naked before sprinkling was substituted for baptism.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.14

    To sum up the case: Immersion is the only baptism known to the Bible writers. Sprinkling, and the administration of the rite to infants, was not known in the church until the third century, and did not become common before the sixth century. It is therefore an institution of the Catholic Church. All the authority that Protestants can claim for it is the custom of that church. Some pictures, however, have been found, which represent the candidate for church-membership as being sprinkled; and in order to get sprinkling as near apostolic times as possible, some archaeologists are quoted as supposing that these pictures were made in the second century, notwithstanding the statement of the author that sprinkling was not known so early in the church. But however this may be, the pictures represent the candidate as naked, and introduce a confessedly heathen element. So that whoever cites them as warrant for the practice of Christians stultifies himself. To such contemptible shifts does custom force its devotees to resort. How much better to acknowledge the Scripture truth that “the customs of the people are vain,” and to follow the Bible and that alone. W.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.15

    “The Apostolic Church” The Signs of the Times, 14, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    From a failure properly to discriminate between pure religion and the practices of many who profess religion, two grave errors have arisen: 1. Infidels have concluded that Christianity is but little, if any, in advance of many forms of heathenism, or of atheism. Judging Christianity by false professors thereof, they lose sight of the fact that there is such a thing as “pure religion.” 2. Believers are in danger of thinking that whatever has been done by “the church” must of necessity be in harmony with religion. This second error is as bad as the first, for in either case the individual will fall far short of the true standard. To know what true religion is, we must look only at the Bible and the life of Christ as therein portrayed. Of all those who have stood this earth, he alone had no sin; in him religion was revealed pure and undefiled. There have been men “of whom the world was not worthy,” and yet the record of their lives is not altogether perfect. If we should take for a model the most perfect mortal, we should be led into error; how much greater, then, must be our danger, if we follow those whose lives were far below the standard of pure and undefiled religion.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.16

    It is not to be supposed, of course, that Christians would think of taking the course of irreligious people as models for their own lives; but a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and since the conscientious, people in the professed churches, is evident that whosoever follows “the church” instead of Christ will be led into error. That the professed church of Christ has always had in it elements of corruption which would make it an unsafe guide, is as evident as is the fact that Christ has a church here on earth which is composed of frail, erring mortals.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.17

    If we go back to the first followers of Christ, we find one who was so utterly base as to sell his Lord for a paltry sum of money. Naturally avaricious, Judas yielded little by little to the temptations of Satan, who always attacks men on the side of their natural inclination, until the devil finally had complete control of him; yet all this time he was numbered among the followers of Christ.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.18

    But the weakness of the early disciples was not confined to Judas. They were all men, and consequently were liable to err even when full of zeal for the Master. James and John wished to call down fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans, because these people were not willing to receive Christ. Jesus rebuked his rash followers, saying, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” See Luke 9:51-56. Peter, who was so often reproved by Jesus for his hasty spirit, at one time denied his Lord with oaths; and, still later, he used dissimulation to such a degree that Paul was forced to withstand him to the face. Galatians 2:11-14. Even the grave and upright Barnabas was carried away with the dissimulation, which met with such a stern rebuke from Paul. And later these two yoke-fellows who had labored together under the direction of Heaven, showed that they were still human, by falling into so sharp a contention that they were obliged to separate. Acts 15:36-41.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.19

    Let no one think that we speak slightingly of these men. They were divinely appointed to their work, and we honor them as devoted men who hazarded their lives for the sake of Christ, whose chosen servants they were. We love them for what they were, as well as for their work’s sake. It was necessary that Christ should commit to men the preaching of the gospel, and those to whom he first committed it were men of like passions with others. They were men who, like those to whom they preached, had to depend on Christ and go on unto perfection. And we know of no reason why Inspiration has placed on record some of their failures, except that we might learn not to look even to the best of men, for an example. The message which they bore was pure, but they, in common with all mankind, stood in need of its sanctifying influence; and which they strove to be “ensamples to the flock,” they directed the minds of all only to Jesus, the author and finisher of the faith.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.20

    If there were imperfections among the immediate disciples of Christ, it is no more than could be expected that those who believed on him through their word would also exhibit human imperfections before they were perfectly sanctified through the truth. And if among the twelve there was one who had a devil, why need we wonder that hypocrites should continually contaminate the church by their presence? Said the apostle Peter, in his letter to the church: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you; whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:1-3.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.1

    Paul in his address to the elders of the church at Ephesus, said: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:28-30.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.2

    These two scriptures show that the inspired apostles knew that there would be not only imperfect, erring members in the church, but also false teachers, who, like Judas, would deny the Lord that bought them. Among the elders of the church, there were to arise unprincipled men who would bring in “damnable heresies.” We need not be surprised, therefore, when we find the professed church, soon after the days of the apostles, largely filled with the abominations of heathendom.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.3

    Even in the days of the apostles, while their straight testimony was being delivered, this spirit of corruption crept into the church. To the Thessalonians Paul wrote that long before Christ’s second advent there would come a “falling away,” and that the “man of sin” would be revealed, sitting in the temple of God, virtually professing to be God, and opposing all that pertains to God and his true worship, and then he added that “the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-7. Paul knew that even in the churches of his own planting there were elements of corruption that would eventually contaminate the whole body. If we examine the record, we can detect these incipient evils for ourselves.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.4

    The church at Corinth was raised up by the personal labors of Paul, yet he was obliged to reprove the members for the spirit of contention and division (1 Corinthians 1:11-13), which was carried so far that they went to law with one another in the heathen courts (1 Corinthians 6:6-8). So little spiritual discernment did they have, that they made the Lord’s Supper an occasion for feasting and drunkenness (1 Corinthians 11:17-22), and they tolerated incest of a kind that was disapproved even by the licentious heathen (1 Corinthians 5:1, 2), and did not feel that for it they had any cause for shame.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.5

    In Paul’s second letter to Timothy we find mention of one of the “damnable heresies” which were brought into the church. Says Paul: “But shun profane and vain babblings; for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” 2 Timothy 2:16-18.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.6

    A single passage in Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia shows the danger to which all the converts from among the heathen were exposed. Said he: “Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” Galatians 4:8-11. Of course the Galatians, in common with all heathen, were given to immoral practices and senseless ceremonies before their conversion. And as men when they lose their faith and love, begin to go back to the things to which they were addicted before conversion, so the Galatians were on the point of going back to the “weak and beggarly elements” to which they had formerly been in bondage. They had gone so far back as to “observe days, and months, and times [see Deuteronomy 18:10], and years,” and Paul feared that his labor for them had all been thrown away.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.7

    Still later the apostle John wrote: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 2 John 7.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.8

    Again he wrote to the well-beloved Gaius: “I wrote unto the church; but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words; and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.” 3 John 9, 10.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.9

    Here was a man in the church setting himself in direct opposition to the apostle John. He was not a private member, but one who had to such a degree the pre-eminence which he loved, that he could cause people to be cast out of the church. This leader in the church refused to receive the instruction which the apostle had written, and cast out of the church those who were willing to receive it. Not content with this, he railed against the inspired servant of the Lord. Surely it cannot with reason be claimed that “the church,” even in the apostolic age, ought to be taken as a model.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.10

    Once more testimony concerning some in the early church must suffice. Another apostle thought it necessary to exhort the faithful to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints, and the following is the reason: “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 4. Further on he brings this fearful charge against these men: “But these speak evil of those things which they know not; but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” Jude 10. And still further on, the apostle plainly states that bribery was practiced in the church. He says: “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.” Verse 16.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.11

    Our object in quoting these passages has not been to dwell upon the shortcomings of men in the early church, but simply to make prominent the fact that bad men were in the church from the earliest period. There were many good men also in the church at that time; but the question is, How are we to decide as to who were bad and who were good? “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” By comparing their lives with the standard of the Bible, we readily ascertain what actions were good and what were evil. W.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.12

    (To be concluded in No. 38.)

    “Christianization of Japan” The Signs of the Times, 14, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Fifteen years ago, “when the edict forbidding the profession of Christianity was revoked, there was not a prominent man in Japan who dared acknowledge that he believed in Christ.” Now, however, we are told that “sentiment has changed, and the leading men desire the Christianization of the empire.” But why? Because it is becoming popular.SITI September 21, 1888, page 593.13

    “The Commentary. The Wrath of the Dragon” The Signs of the Times, 14, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Lesson 11. Sabbath, October 6, 1888.)

    1. Just after what notable working will the Saviour come?SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.1

    “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10.SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.2

    2. How great will be the signs and wonders?SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.3

    “For there shall are rise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24.SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.4

    3. Why is it they deceived them that perish? 2 Thessalonians 2:10, last part.SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.5

    4. What special manifestation of the truth have we found that there will be just before the coming of the Lord?SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.6

    “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” Revelation 14:9, 10, 14.SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.7

    5. Are the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus the truth?SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.8

    “Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.” Psalm 119:151.SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.9

    “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.10

    6. Are the commandments of God in the faith of Jesus righteousness?SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.11

    “My tongue shall speak of thy word, for all thy commandments our righteousness.” Psalm 119:172.SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.12

    “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:5, 6.SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.13

    7. What is the object of Satan is deceiving, line miracles and wonders?SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.14

    “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” Revelation 13:14.SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.15

    8. What is the object of the Third Angel’s Message?-To save men from the worship of the beast and his image.SITI September 21, 1888, page 584.16

    9. Then with what will be Satan’s last conflict before the coming of the Lord.”-With the Third Angel’s Message and with those who receive the love of it.SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.1

    10. What does this message lead men to do?SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.2

    “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.3

    11. In what manner does the second beast of Revelation 13 speak?SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.4

    “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” Verse 11.SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.5

    12. What power, and seat, and authority as the first beast?SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.6

    “And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Verse 2, last part.SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.7

    13. What is the great dragon?SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.8

    “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:9.SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.9

    14. What then is the source of the dragon spirit?SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.10

    15.Through what power did he manifest his wrath when the Saviour was on the earth?-Pagan Rome. Verses 4, 5; Matthew 2:1, 2, 8, 16; John 18:31; 19:12, 15, 16.SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.11

    16. Through what power did he manifest the wrath in the Dark Ages?-The beast. Revelation 13:2, 5-7; 12:14-16; Daniel 7:23, 24; Matthew 21:21, 22.SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.12

    17. Through what power will his wrath be poured out against the last of the church?-The image of the beast in association with the beast. Revelation 13:12, 14.SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.13

    18. What will specially excite his wrath against the poor remnant in this last effort?SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.14

    “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17.SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.15

    19. What will the Third Angel’s Message do just at this time?-It will go to every nation, and people, urging them to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.16

    20. What is it then that will cause the devil to be a particularly wrathful, and to put forth all of his power?-The Third Angel’s Message.SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.17

    21. Which side will get the victory?SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.18

    “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire; and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.” Revelation 15:2.SITI September 21, 1888, page 585.19

    “The Commentary. The Working of Satan” The Signs of the Times, 14, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Lesson 15. Sabbath, October 13, 1888.)

    1. What will be said to the people just before the Lord comes? Compare Isaiah 8:19 with verse 17.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.1

    2. What is the object of their seeking unto them that have familiar spirits?-To obtain communication with the dead. Verse 19, last part.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.2

    3. What is that doctrine called?-Spiritualism.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.3

    4. Do the dead know anything?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.4

    “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.5

    5. What are the familiar spirits which these persons have, and with which men are invited to communicate?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.6

    “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Revelation 16:14.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.7

    6. What have we found to be one great object of these miracles and lying wonders?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.8

    “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” Revelation 13:14.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.9

    7. What does this prove?-That Spiritualism will act a most important part in making the image to the beast, and enforcing the worship of the beast and his image.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.10

    8.When the National Reformers secure their National Constitutional acknowledgment, what do they expect?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.11

    “Let us acknowledge God as our Father and Sovereign, and Source of all good, and his blessing will be upon us. Crime and corruption will come to an end, and the benign reign of Jesus, our rightful Lord, will be established.” “Either like them [the Jews] we will reject him and perish, or, become a kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, we shall fill the earth and endure for ever.” “And when we reached the summit... the train will move out into the mild yet glorious light of millennial days, and the cry will be raised, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.’”-New York National Reform Convention, 1888, pp. 49, 75, 47.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.12

    9. When they shall have set up what they call his kingdom, what then do they expect?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.13

    “When we finish our testimony, then Christ will come and finish his work.”-Secretary J. M. Foster, in Reformed Presbyterian and committee, December, 1887, p. 403.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.14

    10. By whom will there be great signs and wonders wrought to deceived?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.15

    “For there shall are rise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.16

    11. Who will finally manifest, and work with, all power?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.17

    “Then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit is mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of is coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.18

    12. As these great wonders are to be wrought by false christs, and as Satan is to work the greatest of them, then in what form will Satan present himself in this?-In the form of a false christ.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.19

    13. When the National Reform kingdom shall have been formed, and Satan, by this great wonder-working power, shall be transformed into an angel of light, and thus shall come impersonating Christ, then what will be the universal shout?—“Christ is come;” “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.20

    14. Then who will be the king of the National Reform government?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.21

    15. Is Spiritualism expecting such a new messiah?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.22

    Spiritualism promises a new messiah, and announces his coming “to this very generation.” The World’s Advance Thought is the avant-courier of the new spiritual dispensation, and in its issue of April 5, 1886, says:-SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.23

    “Another sun of righteousness is called for on earth, and the messenger cannot be far off whose life mission it shall be to practically illustrate the new truths that will be vouchsafed. He will not be a mere racial messiah, nor a half-world messiah, as was the great Nazarene; but steam locomotion and lightning communication, and the harmonizing influences of commercial intercourse, have made a whole world messiah possible, and such the next one shall be. Though themselves ignorant of the fact, as the body, the great and multiplying army of mediums are his avant couriers.” “The unanimity of the answers may thrill the world with the promise of a new messiah.”SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.24

    12. What says infidelity?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.25

    “Now I think I can safely say that if the National Reform movement succeeds, and God will sign and send his edicts, so that there can be no doubt about their authority, the disbelievers will cheerfully obey them, and if Jesus will come and sit visibly on the throne, where we can see and talk to him, there will be no unbelievers, and all will obey.”-P. F. Shumber, First Creek, La., in a letter to the editor of the American Sentinel, September 1, 1887.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.26

    17. What says the National W.C.T.U.?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.27

    “The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, local, State, National, and world-wide, has one vital, organic thought, one all-absorbing purpose, one undying enthusiasm, and it is that Christ shall be this world’s king. Yes, verily, this world’s king in its realm of cause and effect; king of its courts, its camps, its commerce; king of its colleges and cloisters; king of its customs and its constitutions.”-Union Signal, December 1, 1887, p. 2.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.28

    18. Taking all these with the other different bodies that now favor the National Reform movement, and how general will be the acceptance of the king of the National Reform government?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.29

    19. What have we found is given to save men from this terrible deception?SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.30

    20. Then who alone will refuse to acknowledge the National Reform king?-Those who receive the love of the truth of the Third Angel’s Message.SITI September 21, 1888, page 586.31

    “Back Page” The Signs of the Times, 14, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We are glad to announce that Elder S. N. Haskell has returned to this country, after an absence of eighteen months, and that he expects to be with us during the last week of our California camp-meeting.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.1

    We print two Sabbath-school lessons and to sets of International Notes in this number of the SIGNS, that there may be no break in the series on account of the omission of the paper next week.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.2

    In accordance with our usual custom of omitting one paper during the annual camp-meeting, no paper will be issued next week. The subscribers, however, will receive their full number. This paper is No. 37; and No. 38 of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES will bear date of October 4.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.3

    The unusual experience of a very heavy thunder shower was the lot of the people of Central and Northern California on the 14th and 15th inst. While some damage has been done to fruit, especially to the raisin crop, the damage is not very extensive, and is more than counterbalanced by the good that has been done in a sanitary direction. The air has been purified, accumulated filth has been washed away, and the face of nature is refreshed as in the springtime. The shower, just preceding the camp-meeting, will very much increase the comfort of the campers.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.4

    The Congregationalist says: “The fact that many foreigners are accustomed to use Sunday as a day for picnics, though a fact greatly to be lamented, by no means proves that they are disloyal to American institutions, or at all in sympathy with anarchy.” We don’t quote this as an item of news, but because, through the efforts of the National Reformers, the idea is becoming so prevalent that Sunday work or recreation is at least “un-American,” if not absolutely traitorous. The fact that men who do not keep Sunday may be as good and loyal citizens as it is possible for men to be, will need to be repeated a great many times in the next few years.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.5

    The Southern Evangelist, the organ of Sam Jones and Sam Small, amuses itself and its readers with the following bit of sophistry concerning the millennium: “In spite of the spirit of jealousy between the nations of Europe, and their immense armaments, we believe that the world is growing more peaceful. One thing that makes it so is the fact that the enginery of war is so powerful now that armies would soon be destroyed.” That is to say, that extensive preparations for war are the best indications of peace. Personally, we should feel much safer in the presence of a man of bad character, if we knew that he was unarmed, then we should if he was armed. And just think what kind of a millennium these men will be satisfied with, when the chief reason they can give for the peace which they predict is that men will be afraid to fight.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.6

    The workers’ meeting on the camp-ground began at the appointed time, with about forty present. The comparatively small attendance at the first may be accounted for in two ways: First, a workers’ meeting is a new feature, and probably many had not fully comprehended its nature; and second, our regular camp-meeting covers twelve days, so that for those who attend the preliminary meeting, there is in reality a three weeks’ camp-meeting. But the attendance has steadily increased, and the interest, which was excellent from the beginning, has deepened. Three public meetings have been held daily, besides numerous meetings for consultation. Both the temporal and spiritual interests of the meeting are being provided for; and we believe that hereafter the workers’ meeting will be as sure a thing as the camp-meeting, even though camp-meeting itself should be even longer than the present appointment.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.7

    The Chicago correspondent of the New York Evangelist tells of the success of the effort to close the saloons in Hyde Park on Sunday. That place has about eighty thousand inhabitants, and about two hundred saloons, many of which are said to be “of the worst class.” The writer says that “to close these and all other saloons, has been apparently a very easy work.” He says also that the people proposed to keep the saloons closed on Sunday. And now we want to know why those good people do not keep those saloons “of the worst class,” and all others, closed on every day of the week. We are unable to understand why a people who are strong and determined enough to close two hundred saloons with apparently very little effort, cannot make a little appreciable effort, and close them all the time. Is it because they are willing to compromise the matter, and allow the saloon men full swing for six days, if they can be left in the undisturbed possession of their Sunday?SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.8

    The New York Breweries Company has opened an agency in London for the sale of New York lager beer, and several other large brewery companies are about to do the same. Of course, in order to get rid of their slop in England, they must sell it as low at least as English beer is sold, and so New York beer will be sold in London at a trifle over half what it sells for in New York. The fact that American brewers can ship beer to London, and sell it for half what they receive for it in this country, and still make money, shows what an immense profit is made on the stuff. Yet in all the cry about hard times, and the strikes organized by so-called labor unions, we have heard no voice raised against the beer. If the money which laboring men give to the brewers were given to their own families, there would be very little need for complaint. There is no other monopoly that grinds the poor man so much as the liquor traffic does.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.9

    For some time a so-called “gospel” tent has been erected in this city, in which certain “Evangelists” hold forth nightly. A few evenings ago one of the preachers gave utterance to the following comforting remarks:-SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.10

    “People are dying now and going to either Heaven or hell. Some of you may have a husband in hell, wife in hell, brothers or sisters in hell, a father or mother in hell, or children in hell.”SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.11

    And then he concluded his address with some thoughts calculated to encourage his hearers. He said:-SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.12

    “Dear ungodly people, you who think God’s people are a trouble to you because we warn you of your danger and tell you about the way of salvation, have a little patience. You will soon be in hell, and God’s people will not trouble you there, for there will not be a Christian in hell.”SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.13

    It is such stuff as this, miscalled gospel preaching, that makes infidels.SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.14

    “Spiritualist Church-Members” The Signs of the Times, 14, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Oakland Tribune of the 15th has the following, which is exactly in harmony with testimony that we have often given in the columns of the SIGNS:-SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.15

    “A young widow lady of this city in conversation with a Tribune reporter a few days since, said she had received frequent visits from her husband, who died two years ago-that he fully materialized, and while sitting in a chair near her, talked and acted just as he used to. ‘There can be no mistake,’ she said, ‘about this; but you must not mention it in connection with my name, as it might make me a great deal of trouble. I am a member of the Presbyterian Church here, and wish to remain so. But if it was known that I had become a believer in Spiritualism and was having séances in my house, there is so much prejudice against it that I would have to suffer.’ The lady would not release the reporter till he had explicitly promised not to make any such use of what she had told him as to compromise her in her church relations. Mentioning the circumstances, but not the name, to one of her city pastors a few days later, he said: ‘I am not at all surprised, for I have reason to believe that there are many secret Spiritualists among our church-members. They are very quiet about it, though, fearing to lose caste.’”SITI September 21, 1888, page 592.16

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