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    July 15, 1897

    “Editorial. Christ as Teacher” The Signs of the Times, 23, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Christ as Teacher. —“And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.” John 7:31, 32.SITI July 15, 1897, page 417.1

    The trouble with the Pharisees and the chief priests was that their character and teaching suffered by comparison with that of Jesus. “Never man spake like this man,” was the testimony of the officers who were sent to seize him. “He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” The people listened to him more readily than to them, and this aroused their jealousy. And the people knew that the priests sought his life.SITI July 15, 1897, page 417.2

    Yet the priests and rulers might have retained the confidence of the people, even in the presence of Jesus, if they had only been willing to learn of him, and accept his Spirit and the wisdom that filled him. For that, however, they were too proud, and so they took away the key of knowledge; they entered not in themselves, and those that would enter in, they hindered by every means in their power. Luke 11:52.SITI July 15, 1897, page 417.3

    There was another reason why the wrath of the leaders of the Jews was aroused against Jesus. It was that the people who heard his living words of truth, not only lost relish for the old traditions that the elders retailed, but they actually came to know more than the leaders themselves. “If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the doctrine.” The rulers were not willing to do, and therefore they did not know; while the poor people who desired to do God’s will knew the truth. David said, “I understand more than the aged, because I have kept thy precepts.” Psalm 119:100.SITI July 15, 1897, page 417.4

    It is the earnest desire of every true teacher that the people shall learn, and the more they learn, the better he is pleased. If in time they surpass him in knowledge, then he will be but the more pleased. Even that is a testimony to the value of his teaching. This will often be the case when one leads his hearers to the Word. If he does not limit it by his own construction, but opens it, and allows the people to see for themselves, it will often be that souls will see more than he does. He who is not willing that this should happen, seeks his own glory, and not that of God; he preaches himself, and not the Word. E. J. W.SITI July 15, 1897, page 417.5

    “Prove All Things” The Signs of the Times, 23, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21. A very reasonable exhortation this, and one that should commend itself to everybody’s good sense; yet few heed it, and many of those who profess to regard it misapply it.SITI July 15, 1897, page 418.1

    How are we to prove all things? By what standard shall we test them? Here is where so many fail. Most people will use their own feelings and impulses as the standard. Their natural likes and dislikes determine what they shall hold fast and what they will reject. What they think to be good, they will follow; but since human judgment is naturally controlled or at least biased by inclination and desire, it is an unsafe guide. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 16:25.SITI July 15, 1897, page 418.2

    For this reason alone, if for no other, it should be apparent to all that we are not to prove all things by sampling them. A thing may taste good, and yet contain a deadly poison. He who makes it his practice to eat everything he sees, in order to find out if it is good to eat, may have his probation cut short. It is far better to apply well-known tests for poisons, and then to eat only that which is proved to be good.SITI July 15, 1897, page 418.3

    So in the mental and spiritual world. A man is not obliged to dabble in every theory in order to prove it. He who thinks that he must prove every form of teaching by trying its effects on himself will fare worse than the one who tries physical poisons on himself. The system can not stand it. His nature would soon become so corrupted that he would be unable to distinguish the good, even if he got hold of it. But he would never find the good; for the forms of error are infinite, and he who sets himself to the task of investigating all error, so as to know how to avoid it, will never finish. The only thing that he will prove will be his own folly.SITI July 15, 1897, page 418.4

    Just as there are tests for physical poisons, which can be applied without subjecting ourselves to the influence of those poisons, so we have an infallible test of truth and error. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. The Word of God is truth, and whatever is not in harmony with that is of course error. If we become thoroughly familiar with the Word, error will be revealed on its first approach, and we need have nothing whatever to do with it. The Word of the Lord is his voice, and all that is necessary is for us to know that; for we do not need to talk with a stranger hours or days in order to find out if the voice is that of our most intimate friend.SITI July 15, 1897, page 418.5

    Least of all must it be supposed that we are to prove the Word of God itself, to see whether or not we should hold to it, or to how much we should hold fast. No; that is the standard that is already proved. “The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Psalm 12:6. “Every word of God is pure.” Proverbs 30:5. The Word itself is good; hold it fast, and prove all things by it, holding only that which the Word declares to be good. E. J. W.SITI July 15, 1897, page 418.6

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