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    August 1, 1895

    “Saved by His Life” The Signs of the Times, 21, 30.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Every lost soul will one day acknowledge that God has done everything for him, and that God gave him life and he would not hold it. God has given eternal life to every soul on this earth. “Therefore, as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Romans 5:18.SITI August 1, 1895, page 464.1

    “The law entered that the offense might abound.” How many have offended against God?—“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Sin abounds in the heart of man. The natural heart is the most prolific soil in the world. Men have tried to cut off the weeds of sin and dig them out, but they have sprung up and overshadowed everything. That is abounding sin. But the statement is that where sin abounded grace did much more abound. Therefore every soul is surrounded with an atmosphere of grace. God has done everything for men. “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” says the Lord. Every power to act that the man has, every capability of sinning, has been because of the grace of God perverted. Our very existence is because of the grace of God. Our life is the breathing in of the grace of God; but if we do not consciously accept God, if we do not yield to him, of what use is the life? “What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Then those who breathe in the grace of God do it in vain if they do not acknowledge it.SITI August 1, 1895, page 464.2

    How much of the grace of God we have squandered! How much we have perverted and abused! We have used it as a common thing. This thing comes to us with a force that would be crushing were it not for the knowledge that grace brings salvation. There is no room for condemnation; for the moment we recognize the grace we have squandered, the breath we have used in idle talk and to deny Christ, the powers we have used to work our own evil way of selfishness, the very recognition of that fact brings knowledge of the grace that forgives sin.SITI August 1, 1895, page 464.3

    O, the wonderful patience of God! Day after day and year after year he showers his grace. He causes his sun to shine on the evil and on the good, and sends his rain on the just and the unjust. He sends the fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. He is witnessing of himself all the time, and has patiently kept it up year after year, while we were groveling like the beast, not recognizing it. But if we begin to recognize it, what can we not expect of the Lord.” “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10. We are saved by the same thing that reconciles us. In his death he gave his life to us, and when we recognize that, and as we are recognizing it, we are saved by his life. E. J. W.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.1

    “Hardening Pharoah’s Heart” The Signs of the Times, 21, 30.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When the Lord sent Moses to demand the release of the children of Israel, he said, “I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand,” “but by a strong hand;” and again, “I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.” Exodus 3:19; 4:21.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.2

    This is by many supposed to show that Pharaoh could not help himself, but that he was obliged to exhibit stubbornness, and to refuse to allow Israel to go forth. As a consequence, they doubt the justice and mercy of God. They think that God purposely made Pharaoh just what he was, in order that he might make an exhibition of him.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.3

    If that were true, it would be an exhibition of God’s denial of himself; for justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne; mercy and truth go before his face. Psalm 89:14. He is love. 1 John 4:8. “He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.” Lamentations 3:33. He is longsuffering, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.4

    God says that he raised up Pharaoh in order to show in him his power, and that his name might be declared throughout all the earth. Is it not strange that people should from this at once jump to the conclusion that God raised up Pharaoh on purpose to cast him down? Is that the only way that God has of showing his power and making his name known?—Most assuredly not. His power is shown in his salvation; and his wondrous works declare his excellent name. See Psalm 8. To conclude that God willfully hardens men’s hearts and makes it impossible for them to do right, in order that he may torment them, argues very little, if any, acquaintance with God.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.5

    Let us note a few points in the narrative of God’s dealings with Pharaoh, which will indicate how Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. When Moses and Aaron first appeared to Pharaoh, certain miracles were performed. These were counterfeited by the magicians, so that the king, who loved a lie better than the truth, refused to believe the divine message, although evidence was given that the power with Moses was superior to that with the magicians. This was repeated several times.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.6

    The magicians, however, could not remove the plagues that they brought in imitation of those brought by the Lord, and so when the plague of frogs became intolerable, Pharaoh appealed to the servants of God, saying, “Entreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lord.” Exodus 8:8. It will be seen that Pharaoh had learned who the Lord is. According to his request, Moses cried unto the Lord, “and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields.” “But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.” Verse 15.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.7

    Again, swarms of flies plagued the people, and Pharaoh again relented. “And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the Lord. And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one. And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.” Exodus 8:30-32.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.8

    Other plagues were sent, all the details of which are not given, and Pharaoh still refused to keep his word. Then the terrible hail came, mingled with fire, so that the crops and flocks were destroyed. “Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail. And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Intreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.” Exodus 9:26-28.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.9

    Here was a confession of sin and an acknowledgment of the Lord and his righteousness. The result showed that Pharaoh’s sorrow was not a godly sorrow, but only the sorrow of the world, produced by fear; nevertheless God took him at his word. This is an evidence of the kindness of the Lord, and of his unwillingness that any should perish. Although he can read the heart, and knew Pharaoh’s insincerity, and that he would not hold fast to his confession and promise, that made no difference. God acted as though Pharaoh’s repentance was sincere, so that he could have no excuse.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.10

    “And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the Lord; and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the Lord had spoken by Moses.” Exodus 9:33-35.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.11

    Thus we see that it was the mercy of the Lord that hardened Pharaoh’s heart. When the judgments of God came, he repented; but as soon as favor was shown him, he became stubborn again. Thus he mocked the Lord and despised his mercy. Where can the Lord be blamed in this affair? If a man will not be moved either by judgments or by favors, what can be done for him? He despises the goodness and forbearance and longsuffering of God, and after his hardness and impenitent heart treasures up unto himself wrath. He brings his own destruction upon himself, and God is clear.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.12

    The mercy of the Lord endureth forever. Even in the punishment of the wicked, God does not forget mercy. The sun that melts the wax, hardens the clay. The same glory that transforms those who yield themselves to God, consumes those who are contentious and do not obey the truth. And so the dealing of God with Pharaoh is cited by the apostle, in the ninth of Romans, as an evidence of the mercy and longsuffering of God. E. J. W.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.13

    “Not of Man” The Signs of the Times, 21, 30.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The writer once talking with an infidel, who, in the course of the conversation, referred to the course which one of his neighbors had taken in a business transaction. The action referred to was evidently dishonest, and the infidel said with some warmth, “Now I don’t think there was any Christianity in that.” “Of course there was not,” was the reply; “but the fact that you think so, shows that you know that Christianity does not sanction such things. It shows that you know in your heart that Christianity is good; why then do you not accept and practice what you know to be the truth?” This was a new way of looking at the matter, and he acknowledged that he had no excuse.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.14

    The Gospel does not derive its character from the character of the men who profess it. It comes from God. Men may live ungodly lives, but that does not disprove the Bible. On the contrary, it makes the truth the more vivid by the contrast. Men may deny the faith; they may apostatize and say that it is all a sham; but that does not shake the Gospel any more than it would make the fortress of Gibraltar fall down if some of the men who are now stationed there should desert, and say that it is built of cardboard. It is solid rock, no matter what may be said of it.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.15

    So whenever we hear that some professed follower of Christ has dishonored the name, or is teaching some wild doctrine, we can say, as Paul said when some fell into the error of supposing that the resurrection was already past, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure.” God is true, his word is sure, though every man be false. E. J. W.SITI August 1, 1895, page 465.16

    “Judaism and Christianity” The Signs of the Times, 21, 30.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Many people speak familiarly about “Judaism,” who have very faint ideas of what it is. When they hear of some who keep the Sabbath according to the fourth commandment, they speak of them as “Judaizing,” because they think that Judaism means the religion enjoined in the Old Testament. But that is a great mistake.SITI August 1, 1895, page 466.1

    Judaism means the religion of the Jews, but neither in the days of Christ and the apostles, nor since that time, have the Jews understood and believed the teaching of the Old Testament. If they had, they would have been Christians; for the religion of the Old Testament is Christianity.SITI August 1, 1895, page 466.2

    Jesus said to the unbelieving Jews: “Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” John 5:46, 47. From these words we learn that the Jews did not believe the writings of Moses. Therefore it is evident that the religion of the Jews-Judaism-was not and is not the religion taught by Moses. The religion taught by Moses was that which he received directly from the Lord, and it set forth Christ and him only.SITI August 1, 1895, page 467.1

    The apostle Paul says that in his earlier days he made great progress in “the Jews religion,” “being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions” of the fathers. Galatians 1:13, 14. The Jews’ religion, therefore, or Judaism, consisted in following tradition. But this was directly opposed to Old Testament teaching, for Jesus told them that by their traditions they made void the commandments of God (Matthew 15:3), and said of them, “In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Verse 9. Here again we see that Judaism is the rejection of the Old Testament, instead of the acceptance of it. No man, therefore, who faithfully follows the religion of the Old Testament, can be called a Judaizer. On the contrary he is a Christian.SITI August 1, 1895, page 467.2

    Again, the apostle Paul tells us that a veil was upon the hearts of the Jews, even in the days of Moses, so that they could not understand what Moses delivered to them. See 2 Corinthians 3:13-16. He says, “Even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.” But he adds that when the heart turns to the Lord the veil is taken away. This shows still further that the religion of the Old Testament is Christianity, and that the Jews who reject Christ, do so solely because they do not really believe the writings of Moses.SITI August 1, 1895, page 467.3

    What then is Judaism?—It is the rejection of the Gospel, as set forth in the Old Testament, and a following of tradition. When, therefore, we find people who know that the fourth commandment requires the observance of the seventh day of the week, commonly called Saturday, and who keep Sunday instead of that day, although they know that the Scriptures nowhere sanction it, neither in the Old Testament nor the New, but that Sunday observance stands wholly on tradition and custom, we may know that they are following the essential principles of Judaism, which consists in substituting tradition for the commandments of God. They may differ from the Jews in regard to the tradition which they follow, but they are one with them in principle.SITI August 1, 1895, page 467.4

    Further, we have read the words of Jesus to the Jews, telling them that they could not believe him, because they did not believe Moses. The reason is that Moses wrote of Christ. It is evident, therefore that they do not see Christ in the Old Testament, even in the writings of Moses, do not understand and believe the Old Testament. But they who do not believe the Old Testament, including the writings of Moses, do not really believe in Christ. Therefore they who reject the Old Testament writings, do really also reject the New Testament. They are in precisely the same condition as the Jews, for both fail to see Christ in the Old Testament.SITI August 1, 1895, page 467.5

    Every word of God is pure and true, and has life. A person, therefore, who knows only a very small portion of the Bible, may know and believe in Christ. But it is impossible for any to be real believers in Christ, when they reject any portion of the word which he has spoken, and which testifies of him. And it was his Spirit that testified in all the writers of the Old Testament. 1 Peter 1:10, 11.SITI August 1, 1895, page 467.6

    Let no one fear that by keeping the commandments of God, as set forth in the Old Testament, he will be a Judaizer. He can not keep those commandment except by faith in Christ. They are in Christ and Christ is in them. The keeping of the commandments of God, by the faith that appropriates the life of Christ, is true Christianity. He kept the commandments (John 15:10), and he is the same to-day that he was when on earth in the flesh. Hebrews 13:8. All that he did on earth was in order “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” Romans 8:4. It is by his obedience that we are made righteous. Romans 5:19. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” 1 John 2:6. E. J. W.SITI August 1, 1895, page 467.7

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