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    February 24, 1888

    “The Spirit of Antichrist. No. 10” The Signs of the Times, 14, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    From a sermon preached at Cornell University, by Rev. Henry M. Field, D. D., and published in the Christian Union of November 3, 1887, we take the following extract:-SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.1

    “As I stand here, I have before me the vision of one in all the grace and charm of womanhood, the idol of her home, who in an instant vanished out of sight. It was the flashing of an angel’s wings as the shining gates were opened and she passed into the heavenly city. How precious are these memories of the dead, without which this world would be poor indeed! The conversation of the living is but tame and commonplace compared with that which is whispered to us from those lips of air. Oh, may the dead ever be with us, walking by our side, taking us by the hand, smoothing the cares from the troubled brow, and pointing us upward to the regions of everlasting light and peace!”SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.2

    If anybody can tell us the difference between this and Spiritualism, we should like to know it. Instead of looking to Christ for comfort and guidance, the dead are invoked for that purpose. Is not this the spirit of antichrist?SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.3

    On Sunday, November 20, 1887, services in memory of Dr. Parker were held in the First Baptist Church at Los Angeles, Cal., at which Mrs. P. W. Dorsey, the wife of the Baptist minister, read a “Tribute,” of which the following [printed in the Herald of Truth] is an extract:-SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.4

    “Another soul has taken its place among the great cloud of witnesses, and to-day looks on with clearer, juster, kindlier vision than earth can know at the battle you and I are still waging. Have you thought with what loving interest he is watching our work and lives? Not with the imperfect vision of men, and with the unjust judgments of earth, but with the clear and just discrimination of Heaven we are seen by him to-day as we in turn shall see.SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.5

    “There is for us who meet in Parker Chapel a new tie binding us to Heaven, and there is just as surely a new motive for more earnest, more worthy, more holy living and work on earth. If there be any incentive to worthy endeavor in the thought that the great and good of all ages are witnesses of our efforts, then the knowledge that he who so recently was with us has taken his place in the great host of heavenly witnesses, should be a fresh motive for us to lay aside every weight, and run our race with patience.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.6

    “‘Do we indeed desire the dead
    Should still be near us at our side?
    Is there no baseness we should hide?
    No inner vileness that we dread?
    SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.7

    “‘Shall he for whose applause I strove,
    I had such reverence for his blame,
    See with clear eyes some hidden shame,
    And I be lessened in his love?
    SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.8

    “‘I wrong the grave with fears untrue;
    Shall love be blamed for want of faith?
    There must be wisdom with great Death;
    The dead shall look us through and through.
    SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.9

    “‘Be near us when we climb and fall.
    Ye watch, like God, the rolling years
    With larger, other eyes than ours,
    To make allowance for us all.’”
    SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.10

    Who is it that is near us, watching over us, protecting us, inspiring us to noble action, looking us through and through, judging us with clear and just discrimination, and making allowance for us all? Is it “God the Judge of all?” Oh, no; it is the dead! What greater power could they give to God himself? Such an utterance is nothing less than a deification of the dead. Can it be possible that the papers from which we have quoted all these Spiritualist utterances, profess to teach and hold to the Bible and the religion Jesus Christ? Oh, the far-reaching influence and the blinding power of Satan’s lie in Eden! Of a truth, we may now say of him as was once said of Christ, “Behold, the world is gone after him.” With very few exceptions, all have accepted the lie by which he caused our first parents to fall. If it caused Adam and Eve to lose Eden, will it not likewise cause those who are now deceived by it to lose the eternal life which it professedly holds out to them? How can it be otherwise?SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.11

    But we have yet a few more quotations to give. In her address of welcome at the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union Convention, held in Nashville, Tenn., November, 1887, Mrs. Meriwether spoke as follows of her dead sister:-SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.12

    “In this work I have had her daily companionship, her inspiration, and her help, and I know I shall have it until I, too, cross the river, and meet her face to face, upon the other side. The morning has come for me. The sun has risen, and shall set no more. Bird nor bee nor blossom, wind nor wood, nor wave, shall ever again sigh to me, ‘only one,’ for we two walk together once more, and shall never again lose each other’s hands. We walk and talk together, just as when, on the sunny, upland slope of this century, we clasped our little hands, and roamed the daisied fields together. She lives in my life, works through me, thinks through my brain, speaks through my voice. Very rarely, if ever, have I stood upon the platform, but words of hers came to me unbidden, and I spoke her message with my own, and to-night as I stand here and bid you welcome, down through the blue fields of ether comes the solemn sound of her prophetic measure, and salutes you through my lips.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.13

    We have very closely scanned the pages of Spiritualist papers, but we have never seen from the lips of a professed medium any more explicit declaration of belief in spirit control than this from Mrs. Meriwether; and yet Mrs. Meriwether would no doubt be indignant if she were told that she is a Spiritualist. So would Mrs. Dorsey and Rev. Henry M. Field, and all the others from whom we have quoted. But if they are not Spiritualists, what are they?SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.14

    And now we will hear from the talented Dr. T. De Witt Talmage. Dr. Talmage is a learned and eloquent man, a Presbyterian. In his tabernacle, Brooklyn, N.Y., he probably preaches to more people every Sunday, than any other preacher in the United States. More than this, his sermons are printed in scores of papers, so that there are few, if any, preachers in the world, whose influence extends farther than his does. Some time in the summer of 1887 he preached a sermon on “The Employments of Heaven,” in which he told how all the dead are busying themselves at their several callings. Among other things, he said:-SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.15

    “What are our departed Christian friends, who in this world had their joy in the healing art, doing now? Busy at their old business. No sickness in Heaven, but plenty of sickness on earth, plenty of wounds in the different parts of God’s dominion to be healed, and to be medicated. You cannot understand why that patient got well after all the skillful doctors of New York and Brooklyn had said he must die. Perhaps Abercrombie touched him-Abercrombie, who, after many years’ doctoring the bodies and the souls of people in Scotland, went up to God in 1844. Perhaps Abercrombie touched him.SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.16

    “I should not wonder if my old friend, Dr. John Brown, who died in Edinburgh-John Brown, the author of ‘Rab and His Friends’-John Brown who was as humble a Christian as he was skillful a physician and world-renowed author-I should not wonder if he had been back again and again to see some of his old patients. Those who had their joy in healing the sickness and the woes of earth, gone up to Heaven, are come forth again for benignant medicament.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.17

    It is quite the fashion with some to mildly sneer at Talmage’s extravagant statements, but nobody sneers at that. Such statements as the above find ready entrance anywhere. Well, the devil does make a pretense of doing a big business in the healing line; and with those words of Dr. Talmage’s in their minds, thousands of people will readily visit any “healing medium” who professes to be controlled by the spirit of Abercrombie shall appear more readily still, when Abercrombie shall appear to come back in person to heal the sick. Be assured that the devil will treasure up that sermon by Dr. Talmage, and will reap a harvest of souls from it. But read further:-SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.18

    “What are our departed Christian friends doing in Heaven, those who on earth found their chief joy in the gospel ministry? They are visiting their old congregations. Most of those ministers have got their people around them already. When I get to Heaven-as by the grace of God I am destined to go to that place-I will come and see you all. Yea, I will come to all the people to whom I have administered in the gospel, and to the millions of souls to whom, through the kindness of the printing press, I am permitted to preach every week in this land, and in other lands-letters coming from New Zealand and Australia, and uttermost parts of the earth, as well as from near nations, telling me of the souls I have helped-I will visit them all. I give them fair notice. Our departed friends of the ministry are engaged in that delectable entertainment now.SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.19

    “But what are our departed Christian friends who in all departments of usefulness were busy, finding their chief joy in doing good-what are they doing now? Going right along with the work. John Howard visiting dungeons; the dead women of Northern and Sourthern battle-fields still abroad looking for the wounded; George Peabody still watching the poor; Thomas Clarkson still looking after the enslaved-all of those who did good on earth busier since death than before.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.20

    If this is not Spiritualism, where can Spiritualism be found? See how Dr. Talmage has prepared the way for thousands to be deceived. He assures the people that when he dies he is coming back to them. Says he, “I will visit them all. I give them fair notice.” Having been thus taught, they will not be surprised when they see a form that looks like him, and claims to be him. And then when he shall tell them that the churches have held wrong views of the Bible, and confirm them in some erroneous doctrine which they already hold, of what account will a plain declaration from the word of God be to them? Who of those that accept the teaching of his sermon, will presume to take the simple, commonsense statement of Scripture, in opposition to the declarations of what they believe to be a saint direct from glory?SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.21

    Another thought. If a man disbelieves one plain, unequivocal statement of the Bible, what is there to hinder his disbelieving the whole Bible? If he reads the statement that the dead know not anything, and straightway declares that they know everything, he shows that he does not believe the Bible according to what it says, but according to his fancy. He shows that he has not received “the love of the truth,” but rather the love of his own opinion. Now when Satan comes to such an one, in the form of some highly esteemed friend, and declares that the Bible is all a fiction, designed to teach certain “spiritual” truths, what is to hinder his discarding the Bible entirely? Nothing at all. Well, the whole world is in just that condition now. And when confidence in the Bible has been shaken, when the atonement is regarded as a myth (and Spurgeon says that it is so regarded now by very many Baptist ministers), and when men have gained so high an opinion of themselves, as immortal beings, that they lightly regard God and his law, vice and immorality must flood the land to an extent not known since the days before the flood.SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.22

    Then it will be that the churches will have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof, and Spiritualism will work wonders to resist the truth. W.SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.23

    “In the Beginning” The Signs of the Times, 14, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The brother who sent the following questions, says that there has been some dispute over them in the Sabbath-school:-SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.24

    “1. What does ‘in the beginning’ refer to in the first verse of the Bible? to the beginning of the first week or to some other time?SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.25

    “2. Was the earth created during the first week, or was it simply fitted up then, and created ages before?SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.26

    “3. Were the sun and moon created during the first week, as the Bible says, or were they created ages before?”SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.27

    1. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. In the beginning of what? Not of God’s existence, because he is from eternity. Not the beginning of eternity, because eternity has no beginning. Then the text must mean that in the beginning of time God created the heaven and the earth.SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.28

    2. Time, then, begun with the first act of the creation of this earth. Now read the first verses of Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:1-5.SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.29

    Here we have the work of the first day. What was it? It was the creation of the heaven and the earth, the creation of light, and the separating of the light from the darkness, thus forming day and night. The measurement of time by days and nights must, of course, have begun as soon as time began. So “in the beginning” refers to the first day of the first week of time, in which the heaven and the earth were created.SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.30

    3. “Were the sun and moon created during the first week, as the Bible says, or were they created ages before?” We are quite inclined to believe that it was just as the Bible says. We know it is not fashionable nowadays to believe the Bible in all particulars, and those who do so are considered as old-fogyish; but we have never yet found any more reliable authority than the Bible. We would advise our Sabbath-schools to stick to the Bible, and not to run after the speculations of “science, falsely so-called.” W.SITI February 24, 1888, page 118.31

    “Different Kinds of Righteousness” The Signs of the Times, 14, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Bible recognizes two classes of righteousness. In his sermon on the mount, Christ said to his disciples, and to the multitude, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20. The Pharisees were the best people in the Jewish nation, and it may be said, in the world. That is, so far as outward acts were concerned. The name Pharisee signifies “separated;” and they took this name because they were separated from the common people by their superior goodness. They were full of zeal for the law, yet Jesus said to his hearers, and to us, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.1

    Some have erroneously concluded from these words that Jesus was finding fault with them for keeping the law so strictly, and that he would have us ignore it. But on the contrary, he says that our righteousness must exceed theirs. That is, it must go as far as theirs, and farther still. Then we must keep as much of the law as they did, and more. How can that be? Matthew 23:27, 28 explains: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” The Lord wants righteousness that comes from the heart. He did not object to having the scribes and Pharisees outwardly righteous; he would not have us openly break the law; but he wants outward service, and inward service, too.SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.2

    These two degrees of righteousness are really two kinds of righteousness. These two kinds of righteousness are named by Paul in Philippians 3:8, 9: “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.3

    In these words Paul recognizes his own righteousness as a righteousness entirely distinct from the righteousness which is of God by faith. The former was such righteousness as the scribes and Pharisees find; the latter is the kind which we must have,-a kind far exceeding that of the Pharisees,-if we would enter into the kingdom of Heaven.SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.4

    On one occasion Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” Matthew 21:31. How could it be that the publicans and harlots, the scum of the earth, could get to Heaven more readily than those strict Pharisees? One would naturally think, “Surely the publicans and harlots have a great deal more to do to get ready for Heaven, than the Pharisees have.” Luther has explained this matter in the following words:-SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.5

    “Wherefore they that seek to be quickened and justified by the law, are much further off from righteousness and life than the publicans, sinners, and harlots. For they cannot trust to their own works, seeing they be such that they cannot hope to obtain grace and forgiveness thereby. For if righteousness done according to the law do not justify, how can sins justify, which are committed contrary to the law? Therefore in this case they are in far better ease than the justiciaries; for they have no affiance in their own works; which greatly hindereth true faith in Christ, if it do not utterly take it away. Contrariwise, the justiciaries, which abstain outwardly from sins, and live holily and without blame in the sight of the world, cannot be without the opinion of their own righteousness, with which the true faith in Christ cannot stand. And for this cause they be more miserable than the publicans and harlots, who offer not their good works to God in his displeasure, that for the same he may recompense them with everlasting life, as the justiciaries do, for they have none to offer; but desire that their sins may be pardoned for Christ’s sake.”-Luther on Galatians, chap. 5.SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.6

    Christ’s statement in Matthew 21:31, is repeated by Paul, in other words, in Romans 9:30, 31: “What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.” Then in answer to the question, “Wherefore?” he continues: “Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.” Verse 32. “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Romans 10:3.SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.7

    Now we have the whole thing before us. The Jews followed the law, and so far as anybody could see, they kept it strictly. Then they trusted to their own works, and did not submit to the righteousness of God. But the Gentiles, and the publicans and harlots, had no good works to trust in, and therefore they willingly accepted the righteousness which is of God by faith. Thus the publicans and harlots receive the blessing of God more readily than the Pharisees.SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.8

    But why is it that the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees could not count for something? and why could they not be counted as nearer the kingdom of God than those who were openly vicious? For the reason given in Romans 14:23: “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” How can this be? Just this way: Simple outward righteousness is as much righteousness as any man can attain by himself; but this is so far below the righteousness that God requires that it is indeed sin. It isn’t real righteousness at all. Thus Isaiah says: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6. Anyone who has any just conception of God, must acknowledge the truth of this. Whose righteousness can bear any comparison to the righteousness of God? Compared with the spotlessness of his character, the righteousness of the best of men (that is, their own natural or acquired righteousness), must be acknowledged to be but filthy rags.SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.9

    Then what will be the condition of the man who looks at is own good works with complacency, and who thinks to atone for his short-comings by his own good deeds? He is simply trying to cover one filthy, ragged garment by putting on some more filthy rags. Instead of making himself better, he is in a worse plight.SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.10

    To like import Paul says: “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident; for, The just shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:10, 11. That is, a curse is pronounced upon all who do not keep the whole law. But “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and moreover, no man is able of himself to keep the law, no matter how hard he may try. Galatians 5:17. Therefore, all who trust in their own works, are necessarily under the curse of the law.SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.11

    How foolish then for one sinner to compare himself with another; for one to think that he has not so great a work to do to be saved, as some other one has, because he has not lived so wicked a life as that other one has! Both have been wicked, although perhaps not to the same degree; and therefore both need the cleansing blood of Christ. They cannot be saved without Christ “for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. There is nothing but the blood of Jesus that can wash away sin. Therefore sinners, both great and small, must all do the same thing; they must go to Christ for cleansing. There is just as much for one to do as for another. And since the love of God in Christ is infinite, it is just as easy for him to cleanse the vilest sinner as the most scrupulous Pharisee.SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.12

    And when the sinner has been justified by faith, what then? Then “the just shall live by faith.” “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” Romans 10:4. Then the one who has the most faith, will live the most upright life. Of course, for human righteousness is of no more worth after a man is justified than it was before. Says Christ, “Without me ye can do nothing.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.13

    “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3. How highly ought a man to think of himself? Just as much as upright Job did after he had seen the righteousness of God. Said he, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:6. Then how much have we to do, to prepare to meet Christ in peace? We have to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and to exercise much faith,-the real faith that works by love. Then will Christ be made unto us “wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption.” “And this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” W.SITI February 24, 1888, page 119.14

    “Abraham and Lot” The Signs of the Times, 14, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Commentary.

    Lesson 9.—Sabbath, March 3

    1. When Abraham left his native land, whom did he take with him?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.1

    “And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.” Genesis 12:5.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.2

    2. After his sojourning in Canaan, where did he go?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.3

    “And there was a famine in the land; and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.” Verse 10.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.4

    3. Why did he go there?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.5

    4. How was he prospered while there?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.6

    “And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” Chap. 13:1, 2; 12:16.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.7

    5. How was Lot situated as regards wealth?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.8

    “And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.” Genesis 13:5.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.9

    6. What was the consequence of the great wealth of both Abram and Lot?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.10

    “And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together; for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle; and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.” Verses 6, 7.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.11

    7. How was Abraham affected by this strife?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.12

    “And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.” Verse 8.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.13

    8. What generous part did Abraham act?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.14

    “Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me; if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.” Verse 9.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.15

    9. How did Lot respond to this generous offer?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.16

    “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east; and they separated themselves the one from the other.” Verses 10, 11.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.17

    10. What alone seemed to influence Lot in his choice?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.18

    11. Near what city did Lot pitch his tent?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.19

    “Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” Verse 12.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.20

    12. What was the character of the men of Sodom?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.21

    “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” Verse 13.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.22

    13. Did Abraham lose anything by his generosity?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.23

    “And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.” Verses 14-17.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.24

    14. What great battle was fought some years after?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.25

    “And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim; with Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.” Genesis 14:8, 9.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.26

    15. What happened to the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and their people?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.27

    “And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.” Verses 10, 11.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.28

    16. Who else was taken captive?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.29

    “And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.” Verse 12.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.30

    17. What do you think was the indirect cause of Lot’s misfortune?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.31

    18. What charge is given to the rich?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.32

    “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.33

    19. How sure may a man be of retaining riches?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.34

    “Labor not to be rich; cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” Proverbs 23:4, 5.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.35

    20. What proverb was fulfilled in the case of Lot?SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.36

    “He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.” Proverbs 15:27.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.37


    In the transaction which forms the basis of this lesson, there is a striking contrast presented. Lot was the nephew of Abraham, and an orphan (see Genesis 11:27, 28), and seems to have been the ward of his grandfather Terah (Genesis 11:28), and, after his death, of his uncle Abraham. Lot accompanied Abraham to Canaan, then down to Egypt, and then back to Canaan. By that time both men had become so very rich that it was impossible for their flocks to be pastured together. The herdsmen of the two flocks began to quarrel over the pasturage; but Abraham took the precaution to prevent any of this strife from extending to their masters. He generously said to Lot: “If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.” It was very fitting that Abraham, as the elder, should make this proposition; but it would have exhibited Lot in a much better light if he had as generously waived the right of choice thus tendered to him, and had insisted that Abraham choose first. The record does not indicate that he did anything of the kind. He immediately chose the plain of the Jordan, because he saw that “it was well watered everywhere,” “even as the garden of the Lord.” Peter bears record that Lot was a just man (2 Peter 2:7), but Abraham certainly appears to the better advantage in this transaction.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.38

    Now note the result: Abraham was unselfish, and was willing to take whatever should be left, yet his wealth increased right along: Lot eagerly took the first choice, looking out for his own interests, and lost everything. It doesn’t always pay, even from a worldly standpoint, to be too eager for gain. We would not dwell unduly on the course of Lot, for the Bible makes no comment upon it; but we cannot but note that Abraham appears as the grand patriarch worthy of our admiration.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.39

    While the Bible says nothing directly concerning Lot’s course, there is a great deal suggested in the statement that “the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” It is strongly implied that Lot knew this, and that he ought therefore to have kept away from there. He “pitched his tent toward Sodom,” but we find that before long he was in Sodom. No doubt it was a good business town, affording a good market. Having started towards Sodom with the idea of bettering his fortunes, it was a very natural thing for Lot to go into Sodom for the same purpose. “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” 1 Timothy 6:9. We do not learn that Lot himself was at all swerved from virtue by the wickedness with which he was surrounded; on the contrary, we know that he was very much vexed by it; but he suffered terribly in the loss of his family and his property.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.40

    “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy,” is the exhortation of the apostle Paul. Riches themselves are not an evil; but trusting in them is. Money is a good thing; but the love of it is the root of evil. When men set their hearts on riches, then they show where their trust is. The man who didn’t know what to do with his goods, and so pulled down his barns and built greater, and said to his soul, “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:18, 19), trusted in his riches, and not in God. So does every man who hoards up his wealth. Such a man is an idolater; he sets gold ahead of the Lord; he tacitly says that his sole dependence for support is in his hoarded treasure, thus grieving God. The warnings in the sixth chapter of first Timothy are not all for the rich. The poor may love money, and by their strivings after it for its own sake, even though they strive in vain, they may show that they trust in uncertain riches, rather than in the living God. W.SITI February 24, 1888, page 122.41

    “Christ Entering Jerusalem” The Signs of the Times, 14, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Matthew 21:1-16. March 11.)

    This event is recorded by all four of the evangelists. The other accounts are found in Mark 11:1-11, 15-18; Luke 19:20-46; John 12:12-19, and all should be studied together. It is an account of a wonderful fulfillment of prophecy. The Saviour was going up to attend the last Passover, when he sent two of his disciples ahead to bring an ass’s colt to him. He told them where the colt would be found, and told them that the owner would willingly send it, if they said, in answer to his inquiries, “The Lord hath need of him.” All took place as he said, and the disciples spread their clothes upon the unbroken colt, and placed Jesus thereon. Thus Jesus proceeded to Jerusalem, while palm branches were strewed along the road.SITI February 24, 1888, page 123.1

    “As they proceeded, the multitude was continually increased by those who had heard of the coming of Jesus and hastened to join the procession. Spectators were constantly mingling with the throng, and asking, Who is this? What does all this commotion signify? They had all heard of Jesus, and expected Him to go to Jerusalem; but they knew that He had heretofore discouraged all effort to place Him on the throne, and they were greatly astonished to learn that this was He. They wondered what could have wrought this change in Him who had declared that His kingdom was not of this world.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 123.2

    “While they are wondering and questioning, the eager crowd silence their queries with a shout of triumph that is repeated again and again, and is echoed from the surrounding hills and valleys. And now the joyful procession is joined by crowds from Jerusalem, that have heard of the grand demonstration, and hasten to meet the Saviour and conduct him to Jerusalem. From the great gathering of the Hebrews to attend the passover, thousands go forth to welcome Jesus to the city. They greet him with the waving of palm branches and a burst of sacred song. The priests at the temple sound the trumpet for evening service, but there are few to respond, and the rulers say to each other in alarm, ‘The world has gone after him.’”SITI February 24, 1888, page 123.3

    “The Saviour during his earthly life had hitherto refused to receive kingly honor, and had resolutely discouraged all attempts to elevate him to an earthly throne; but this occasion was intended by Jesus to call public attention to him as the world’s Redeemer. He was nearing the period when his life was to be offered a ransom for guilty man. Although he was soon to be betrayed and to be hanged upon the cross like a malefactor, yet he would enter Jerusalem, the scene of his approaching sacrifice, attended by demonstrations of joy and the honor belonging to royalty, to faintly prefigure the glory of his future coming to the world as Zion’s King.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 123.4

    This was in its peculiar features the most remarkable day in the earthly experience of our Saviour. To his disciples it was the great day of their lives. What emotions of triumph, what anticipations of glory, as in their imaginations they saw only a very short distance between them and the establishment of Jesus’ kingdom, with themselves at the right hand of power. But as with many earthly experiences it was the sunny, joyous day before a night of gloom and tempest.SITI February 24, 1888, page 123.5

    “A very great multitude” attended his way, and spread it with their garments in sign of their submission to royalty, and cutting branches from trees, these were used to decorate the path, and as a mark of respect and honor to the new-found King. At the time of the passover Jerusalem was full to overflowing. In Nero’s time a census showed the number to be 2,700,000. These were attracted by the excitement; they knew of the fame of Jesus and readily caught the enthusiasm. From one end of the vast procession to the other arose loud shouts of Hosanna! “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord;” showing the intense feelings by which they were moved. All Jews were longing for the coming of the Messiah. In him they looked for salvation from earthly tyranny. It is not strange, then, that they should be so moved, and forget for a moment the voice of discretion, and that in the city, throughout the day, while they witnessed his healing power, even the children should partake of the enthusiasm, and join their “hosanna to the Son of David” to the acclamations of the throng. And he was the children’s friend.SITI February 24, 1888, page 123.6

    The jealousy and vindictive wrath of the Pharisees were deeply stirred as they witnessed this demonstration. They protested in the name of order. Their sense of propriety was shocked. What will the Romans say? Jesus replied, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” Luke 19:40. Because, long ago this entry into Jerusalem had been foretold and described. Zechariah 9:9; Isaiah 62:11; Psalm 118:26, and God’s word cannot fail in one jot or tittle. This was one of the reasons for which the Saviour brought these circumstances about, “All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 123.7

    Another purpose before the Saviour’s mind is well expressed as follows:-SITI February 24, 1888, page 123.8

    “It was the purpose of Jesus to draw attention to the crowning sacrifice that was to end his mission to a fallen world. They were assembling at Jerusalem to celebrate the passover, while he, the antitypical Lamb, by a voluntary act set himself apart as an oblation. Jesus understood that it was needful in all future ages that the church should make his death for the sins of the world a subject of deep thought and study. Every fact connected with it should be verified beyond a doubt. It was necessary, then, that the eyes of all people should be directed to him, that the demonstrations which preceded his great sacrifice should be such as to call the attention of all to the sacrifice itself. After such an exhibition as that attending his entry into Jerusalem, all eyes would follow his rapid progress to the final end.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 123.9

    But with all the marks of popular homage which were bestowed upon the Saviour this day, there was his ever-present meekness and lowliness. The show of real earthly pomp and kingly power did not attend this strange triumphal procession. He had, as yet, no kingdom to share with his disciples; but he brought them that which was of infinitely greater value, salvation. Not freedom from the Roman yoke, but from Satan’s bondage. Not release from taxes and tribute, but from sin and death.SITI February 24, 1888, page 123.10

    Another significant action of the Saviour in this connection was the cleansing of the temple. This was, according to Mark, the next day. Jesus looked about the temple until “eventide” and saw much that caused him sadness as he witnessed the trafficking and bartering, and listened to the clink of money and the voice of greed within the sacred inclosure. He retired to Bethany to spend the night, and the ardor of the throng quickly subsided. Returning on the morrow he directed his way at once to the temple and drove therefrom all those who were making merchandise of God’s service. These traders occupied booths and stalls in the court of the Gentiles or outer inclosure, and seem to have been introduced as a matter of convenience, where people coming to offer could exchange their foreign coin for sanctuary money, and where those who wished animals for sacrifice could buy them. But the spirit of covetousness prevailed, and dishonesty and extortion were so prevalent that the Lord exclaims, “Ye have made it [his Father’s house] a den of thieves.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 123.11

    Upon another occasion he had, in the early part of his ministry, found a similar state of things, and performed a similar work, when these voracious money-makers fled in confusion, apparently before a whip of small cords (John 2:13-16); but in reality it was the craven fear of conscious guilt in the presence of a righteous rebuke. It is as sinful to-day as in the days of Christ to make merchandise of sacred things and sacred places. Doubtless these men quieted all conviction by the thought that while they defiled the sacred with the profane, and added oppression and dishonesty to their unholy traffic, they were thus “supporting the cause.”SITI February 24, 1888, page 123.12

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