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    April 21, 1897

    “The Counsel of God” The Present Truth, 13, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    What a wonderful assurance is this: “Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me into glory.” It shows us that the counsel of God will, if followed, lead one to glory. God's purpose for men is that they shall be glorified.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 241.1

    One may say, “I thought that God's purpose was that He Himself should be glorified.” Yes; but when we are told to give glory to God, it is only that we shall give Him the glory or honour that is due Him. We cannot add anything to His glory; for all glory is His. Matthew 6:13. He is “the God of glory;” “the King of glory.” All glory comes from Him, and He desires us to give Him glory, or render Him homage, only that we ourselves may be glorified. God gave Himself to us in Christ, in order that He might bring “many sons unto glory.” Hebrews 2:10.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 241.2

    And how will He do this?—By His counsel. That which distinguishes the Lord above all others, is His skill as Counsellor. The name of the Lord is “Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6), and therefore He is “wonderful in counsel.” Isaiah 28:29. The council of the heathen will come to nothing, but “the counsel of the Lord shall stand for ever; the thoughts of His heart to all generations.” Psalm 33:11.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 241.3

    The Lord says: “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.” Isaiah 46:10. Whatever He hath promised, He is able also to perform, for even as He is “great in counsel,“ He is “mighty in work.” Jeremiah 32:19. He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11). How comforting, then, for us to be assured that His counsel is to bring us to glory. His thoughts toward us are “thoughts of peace, and not of evil,“ to give us hope in our latter end. Jeremiah 29:11, R.V.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 241.4

    There is no chance for doubt in this matter, for God is made has it as sure as the sun in the heavens. “When God made promise to Abraham,“ which promise is what we depend on when we flee for refuge to Christ, “because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself.” Being “willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel,“ He “confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope that before us.” Hebrews 6:13-18.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 241.5

    God “hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion.” Jeremiah 10:12. The same power and wisdom that created all things, still upholds them; therefore the existence of the earth and the heavens is positive proof to us of the steadfastness of the counsel of God. We can see it with our own eyes.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 242.1

    Lord says to us: “I will instruct thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will counsel thee with Mine eye upon thee.” Psalm 32:8, R.V. He takes the responsibility upon Himself; He leads us in the way that we should go. He will ensure are going in the right way, and having success here and hereafter, provided we will but submit to His counsel. Is it not well? Can we not trust Him, since He has placed such testimony to His faithfulness before us in plain sight?PTUK April 21, 1897, page 242.2

    In contrast to the counsel of the Lord, is the counsel of the ungodly. What about that? It comes to nothing, for the ungodly are themselves “like the chaff, which the wind driveth away.” The counsel which proceeds from such ones, no matter how plausible it seems, is nothing but deception. But God is “from everlasting to everlasting,“ and His counsel is as enduring as Himself; therefore all who abide in His counsel will live for ever, and live in prosperity.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 242.3

    Where shall we find this counsel?—In His Word, for that is but the expression of His thought toward us. He says: “Have I not written unto thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge; to make thee know the certainty of the words of truth, that thou mayest carry back words of truth to them that send thee?” Proverbs 22:20, 21, R.V. Let us therefore say in sincerity: “Thy testimonies also are my delight, and the men of my counsel.” Psalm 119:24, margin.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 242.4

    “The Epistle to the Galatians. ‘Faith Which Works by Love’” The Present Truth, 13, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Since the last two lessons have included quite a general review of what has been passed over, we will proceed at once withPTUK April 21, 1897, page 242.5

    THE LESSON FOR THE WEEK

    “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded; but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. I would they were even cut off which trouble you. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:1-13.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 242.6

    There is nothing in this portion of Scripture that is difficult for one who has followed the study of the Epistle closely from the beginning. Therefore the whole of this study will really be little more than a review. Let us consider some of the supposedly difficult expressions.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 242.7

    CIRCUMCISION OPPOSED TO CHRIST

    When the Apostle says that Christ is no profit to those who are circumcised, it is easy to understand that he is not referring to the mere fact that one had been circumcised, for he himself had undergone that rite. Moreover, he preached Christ to the Jews as well as to the Gentiles. We must recall the circumstances which called out this Epistle. There were those who were persuading the new converts that belief in Christ was not sufficient for salvation, but that they could not be saved if they were not also circumcised. This, it will be seen, was in reality a rejection of Christ; for if Christ be not accepted as a complete Redeemer, He is not accepted at all. That is to say, if Christ be not accepted for what He is, He is rejected. He cannot be other than what He is. Christ is not divided; and He does not share with any other person or thing the honor of being Saviour. Therefore it is easy to see that if any one were circumcised with a view to receiving salvation thereby, that would show absence of faith in Christ as the only and the all-sufficient Saviour of mankind.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 242.8

    From the statement that Christ is of no profit to those who are circumcised, we see that it means a rejection of Him; for Christ is always the same, and is always a perfect Saviour. The only ones in the world to whom He is nothing are those who do not accept Him. So, then, what the apostle really says is this: If you are circumcised for salvation, you reject Christ and His salvation.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 242.9

    WHAT CIRCUMCISION MEANS

    This has been stated in the language of the Scripture so many times that we will do no more here than merely to refer to the passages. Read again Romans 2:25-29; 4:11, where it appears very plainly that circumcision means the righteousness of the law. As God gave it to Abraham, it was a sign that he already had righteousness through faith in Christ; but as it became perverted by the Jews, it came to signify in their minds the fact that they themselves were doers of the law. And finally it came to be considered as a substitute for the doing of the law, or as conferring the righteousness of the law. God gave it as a sign of faith in Christ; they perverted it into a substitute for faith. So when a Jew boasted in his circumcision, he was boasting of his own righteousness. This is shown by Galatians 5:4: “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” This is no disparagement of the law, but of man's ability to keep the law. It is the glory of the law that it is so holy, and its requirements are so great, that no man is able to attain to the perfection of it. Only in Christ is the righteousness of the law ours; and true circumcision is to worship God in Spirit, to rejoice in Christ Jesus, and to put no confidence in the flesh. Philippians 3:3.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 242.10

    A DEBTOR TO THE LAW

    “I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.1

    “There!” exclaims some one, “that shows that the law is a thing to be avoided; for Paul says that those who are circumcised have got to do the whole law; and he warns them not to be circumcised.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.2

    Not quite so hasty, my friend. Stick a little more closely to the text. Read it again, and you will see that the bad thing is not the law, nor the doing of the law, but that the thing to be avoided is being a debtor to the law. Is there not a vast difference? It is a good thing to have food to eat and clothes to wear, but it is a sorrowful thing to be in debt for these necessary things. Sadder yet is it to be in debt for them, and yet to lack them.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.3

    “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.4

    What does one understand by “a debtor?”—One who owes something. Then one who is in debt to the law, owes the law righteousness and holiness. But what one owes, is what he ought to pay. Therefore this Scripture teaches us that one ought to do the law. No one ought to be in debt to it; but the only way we can avoid being in debt to it is to do it.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.5

    If one is debtor to do the whole law, that shows that while he ought to do it all, he has not done any portion of it. So then we are forcibly taught by this scripture that whoever seeks righteousness by his own efforts, and not by Christ, has no righteousness at all. But the fact that by rejection of Christ one is a debtor to do the whole law, shows that by acceptance of Christ one yields to the law all that it demands, and satisfies it in very particular.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.6

    “THE RAGS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS”

    “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.7

    Don't pass this verse by without reading it more than once, or you will think that it says something that it does not say. And as you read it, think of what you have already learned about the promise of the Spirit.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.8

    Don't imagine that this verse teaches that, having the Spirit, we must wait for righteousness. Not by any means; the Spirit brings righteousness. When He is come, He will convince the world of sin and of righteousness. John 16:8. Whoever, therefore, receives the Spirit, has the conviction of sin, and has also the righteousness which the Spirit shows him that he lacks, and which the Spirit alone can bring.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.9

    What is the righteousness which the Spirit brings?—It is the righteousness of the law; this we know, “for we know that the law is spiritual.” Romans 7:14.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.10

    What then about the “hope of righteousness,“ for which we wait through the Spirit? Notice that it does not say that we through the Spirit hope for righteousness, but that we wait for the hope of righteousness by faith, that is, the hope which the possession of righteousness brings. Let us briefly go over this matter in detail. It will not take long, for we have already studied it, and all that we have to do is to refresh our minds.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.11

    1. The Spirit of God is “the Holy Spirit of promise.” Not the Spirit promised, but the Spirit the possession of whom insures to us the promise of God.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.12

    2. That which God has promised to us, as children of Abraham, is an inheritance. The Holy Spirit is the earnest or pledge of this inheritance, until the purchased possession is redeemed and bestowed upon us. Ephesians 1:13, 14.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.13

    3. This inheritance that is promised is the new heavens and the new earth, “wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.14

    4. The Spirit brings righteousness; for the Spirit is Christ's representative, the means by which Christ Himself, who is our righteousness, comes to dwell in our hearts. John 14:16-18.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.15

    5. Therefore the hope which the Spirit brings is the hope which the possession of righteousness brings, namely, the hope of an inheritance in the kingdom of God, the earth made new.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.16

    6. The righteousness which the Spirit brings to us is the righteousness of the law of God, which by the Spirit is written in our hearts, instead of on tables of stone. Romans 2:29; 2 Corinthians 3:3.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.17

    7. The sum of the whole matter, therefore, is this, that if we will wholly distrust ourselves, and will acknowledge that in us there dwelleth no good thing, and that consequently no good thing can come from us; and so instead of thinking ourselves so powerful that we can do the law, will allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, that thus we may be filled with the righteousness of the law, we shall have living hope dwelling in us. The hope of the Spirit-the hope of righteousness by faith-has no element of uncertainty in it; it is positive assurance.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.18

    WORKING FAITH

    “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.19

    The word here rendered “availeth” is the same word that is rendered “able” in Luke 13:24; Acts 15:10; 6:10. In Philippians 4:13 it is rendered “can do.” The statement, therefore, amounts to this: Circumcision is not able to do anything, neither is uncircumcision; but faith alone, which works by love, can do anything. This faith which works by love is found only in Christ Jesus.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.20

    But what is it that there is talk about doing?—Nothing else than the law of God. No man can do it, whatever his state or condition. One may boast of his circumcision, and another may boast of his uncircumcision, but both are alike vain. By the law of faith boasting is excluded (Romans 3:27); for since the faith of Christ alone can keep the righteousness of the law, there is no chance for us to tell what we have done.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.21

    “All to Christ I owe.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.22

    LIBERTY TO SERVE, NOT TO SIN

    “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh; but by love serve one another.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.23

    The two preceding chapters tell about bondage, imprisonment. Before faith comes, we are shut up under sin, debtors to the law. The faith of Christ sets us free, but as we are set at liberty, the admonition is given us, “Go, and sin no more.” We have been set at liberty from sin, not at liberty to sin. How many make a mistake here! Many sincere people imagine that in Christ we are at liberty to ignore the law, and to set it at defiance, forgetting that the transgression of the law is sin. 1 John 3:4. To serve the flesh is to commit sin, “because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:7. So when the apostle exhorts us not to use our liberty for an occasion of the flesh, he simply warns us not to misuse the liberty which Christ gives us, and to bring ourselves into bondage again by transgressing the law. Instead of this, we should by love serve one another; for, as we shall learn in our next lesson, “all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 243.24

    The substance of the whole exhortation is, Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. Not dead in sin, but dead to sin and alive unto righteousness.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 244.1

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. The Triumphal Entry. Matthew 21:6-16” The Present Truth, 13, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    MAY 1

    Every incident in the life of Jesus while here upon earth is of far-reaching significance. Even in the apparently common-place experiences of His daily life there is a depth of meaning, each one having its place in revealing the great scheme of redemption for fallen man. Much more then may we expect that such an event as His entry into Jerusalem, described in the lesson for this week, will be full of meaning.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 244.2

    FULFILLING THE SCRIPTURE

    The public ministry of our Lord was now drawing to its close, and with His disciples He was on the way to Jerusalem to the last Passover. The prophecies concerning the Messiah, marking out the course of His life with great definiteness, had found their fulfilment in Him. He was the Word made flesh, and naturally we read “that it might be fulfilled” and “as it was written” as the key notes to all His experiences. So it is in this case. Jesus had so carefully studied “in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself,“ and had found His own mission and work so plainly set forth in them, that His every act was guided by them. So He sent His disciples for the ass and the colt, and “all this was done that it might be fulfiled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” Verses 4, 5.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 244.3

    A ROYAL PROCESSION

    So it was as “King” that He entered Jerusalem. His disciples and those who had witnessed His works had long desired that He should take the throne, and on one occasion Jesus “perceived that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a king,“ but He had hitherto firmly restrained any such tendency. Now however the hopes of the disciples were raised to the highest pitch, for He had allowed them to put their own garments under Him (see 2 Kings 9:11-13), “and a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.” Moreover they see that Jesus does not attempt to quiet the multitude as they shout with one accord, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” Surely, thought they, the time of deliverance has come, and He is about to set up the throne. And this was true, but not as they were anticipating. It was an infinitely greater deliverance than from the Roman yoke that He was about to make sure for them, even “from the power of darkness;” and while the Scripture was now to be fulfilled, “and the Lord shall give unto Him the throne of His father David,“ yet that throne was in the New Jerusalem above, and not in old Jerusalem below. And they did not understand that the way to the throne was by the cross of Calvary.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 244.4

    And so the procession moved on. And “much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him,“ and they also joined in the cry, “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” John 12:12, 13. “And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?” So great was the stir that when the priest blew the trumpets to call the people to the temple at the time of the evening sacrifice, there was not one to answer to their call to worship, and they, stirred to envy, said, “Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after Him.” John 12:19.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 244.5

    THE TROPHIES OF VICTORY

    But let us take a closer look at the procession which attends Jesus in His triumphal march into the city. Who are these who are thus raising their voices in honour of “the Son of David”? And what is the significance of their presence in His train? The record speaks of “a very great multitude,“ and of “the multitudes that went before, and that followed,“ but who are they? The closing part of the twentieth chapter will indicate the answer to this question. There were “two blind men sitting by the way,“ and they cried, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” And when their request was granted, “they followed Him.” And so it was that His followers were largely those whom He had relieved from disease, or affliction of some kind. And among the rest was Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead, for some had come “not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead.” John 12:9.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 244.6

    In the days of Rome, when some leader had been especially successful in conquest, it was customary for the Senate to grant him a triumph, and in the triumphal procession there would often be led some captives brought from the conquered province as evidences of the victory gained. Now it was the mission of Jesus to this world “to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound,“ and to wrest this world from the hands of the enemy by His death on the cross. And as evidence of His Messiahship, Jesus told His inquiring disciples, “Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them.” Matthew 11:4, 5.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 244.7

    Thus Jesus, in proof of the success of His mission, was attended in His triumphal entry by those whom He had released from the power of His and their enemy. There was Lazarus, who had been rescued “from the power of the grave,“ leading on the way; there were those who had been dumb, now using their tongues to shout His praise; there were those who had been deaf, who now hear their own voices calling the chorus of shouts; there were those who had been blind, looking with gratitude upon their benefactor; there were those who had been lame, now conspicuous among those “that went before.” This is a triumphal procession indeed, and the evidences of victory are abundant. No such triumphs as this had ever been accorded to any Roman consul, since no such victory could be gained by force of arms. Infinite love had gained the victory and it was Love's triumph.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 245.1

    But after all, this triumphal entry into old Jerusalem is but typical of that triumphal entry into the New Jerusalem which was then so near. It was when He ascended up on high, after His resurrection, that he “led a multitude of captives” (Ephesians 4:8, margin) who had been raised from the dead at His crucifixion and resurrection (Matthew 27:52, 53), and then as He neared the gates of the heavenly city, the cry was raised, “Who is this King of glory?” And the answer was given, “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” This was the same Jesus who rode into Jerusalem “meek, and sitting upon an ass.” His meekness was a genuine meekness of true greatness.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 245.2

    CLEANSING THE TEMPLE

    At the beginning of His ministry Jesus had cleansed the temple (John 2:13-16) and had said, “Make not My Father's house an house of merchandise,“ but the same practices had continued, and had grown worse in the face of His divinely attested rebuke, and so He now declares, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but ye make or [are making] it a den of robbers.” R.V. The profits in the sales in the temple precincts were very large, and the priests permitted the traffic to go on because they were given a share of the profits. If Jesus should visit the modern church bazaar, what would He say? Would He approve of such a method of bringing money into the Lord's (?) treasury? Is there any need for one to appear now who shall say, “Make not My Father's house an house of merchandise?” The principles which Jesus taught are for all time.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 245.3

    THE ARGUMENT OF PRAISE

    In speaking of His relation to the Father Jesus could say, “I do always those things that please Him,“ but this did not make His course acceptable even to those who claimed to be the religious leaders of His time, for “when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David, they were sore displeased.” Evidently that which “displeased” them was that more attention was being directed to Jesus than to themselves. In His reply to their objection Jesus uses those words which they have heard before, “Have ye never read?” and then He quotes the scripture which was being fulfilled in the happy shouts of the children: “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou established strength [perfected praise], because of thine adversaries, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2, R.V. And so on that day the children glorified God with their shouts of hosanna, while those who have enjoyed much light and many privileges grew only the more determined in their purpose to destroy Him who came to bring them life. “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.” Matthew 6:23.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 245.4

    A MORE MAGNIFICENT TRIUMPH

    The final triumph is near, “for the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Are we prepared to join the “great multitude” who shall raise their voices in that grand chorus, “Hallelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth”?PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.1

    “‘Not Guilty.’—‘Discharged’” The Present Truth, 13, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the March number of Tongues of Fire, the organ of the “Pentecostal League,“ there appeared a question which interested us very much, since it was concerning the Sabbath, and we know that more than one member of the League is seriously considering whether perfect holiness can be found outside of the law which “is holy, and just, and good.” The question was this:—PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.2

    “Ought Christians to keep holy the first day or the seventh day of the week? Can we be holy if we break the fourth commandment?”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.3

    The answer that was given to this question was in part as follows:—PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.4

    “The seventh day Sabbath is apart of the Mosaic law. The Christian has become dead to this law (Romans 7:4), and is discharge from the law. Romans 7:6, R.V.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.5

    This is all right in its self, but unfortunately the editor means it as a proof that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment ought not to be kept. Since there are readers of Tongues of Fire who are also readers of PRESENT TRUTH, we take the liberty to call their attention to the real meaning of the Scriptural answer which the leader of the League has given. This we do, not in the way of criticism, but in the same spirit in which we would come to the help of a man on the road, if we heard him ask the way, and the one of whom he made inquiry had unwittingly misdirected him.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.6

    It is true that the seventh day Sabbath is a part of the Mosaic law.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.7

    It is also true that in a prophecy which warns us against the fire of the last day, in which the proud, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble, and shall be consumed, we are commanded by the Lord, “Remember ye the law of Moses My servant;” and as we are nearing “the great and dreadful day of the Lord,“ (Mal. iv.) this warning and commandment are specially directed to us.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.8

    It is further true, according to the scriptures quoted, that Christians are dead to the law, and discharge from it.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.9

    But it is not at all true that because they are discharged from it, they are therefore at liberty to violate it, and treat it with contempt. Notice how obvious this truth is.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.10

    AN ILLUSTRATIVE CASE

    The editor of Tongues of Fire is an eminent lawyer, and therefore we will address him personally, and ask his counsel. We will suppose that I have been charged with a violation of one of the laws of the land, and I retain him as my advocate. He conducts my case skilfully, and shows to the perfect satisfaction of the court that I am innocent. The jury have returned a verdict of “Not Guilty,“ and the judge has declared that I am “discharged.” Now as my learned counsellor, “Does the judge's declaration that I am discharged mean that I am at liberty to violate the law at pleasure? Can I now go out and ignore the law with impunity? I was charged with breaking the law forbidding theft; now that I am discharged, can I freely and with impunity take anything I choose, no matter to whom it belongs?”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.11

    The reader will see that this is an important matter. Well, we will suppose that my counsel is consistent, and that he deals with the law of the land just as he does with the law of God, and tells me that I do not any longer need to regard the law that forbids stealing. We will suppose that I believe him, and as I am in need of some better clothing than I have at present, I take the first pair of trousers that I see displayed in a shop. What will be the result? Anybody can tell me that it will be disastrous to me, and that this time when I am brought into court, I will not be discharged. Yes, and if I can succeed in proving that my learned counsel has by his advice led me into this crime, the result will doubtless be somewhat unpleasant for him as well. He may be condemned to share my punishment, and will most likely be disqualified from practising, or rather, perverting, the law any more.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.12

    THE APPLICATION

    I have been charged with violation of the law of God, or, as it is sometimes called, since Moses had so much to do with recording it and teaching it, “the law of Moses.” What is more, I have been convicted, and declared guilty. Sentence of death has been pronounced upon all violators of God's law, and therefore it falls upon me. “I consent unto the law that is good,“ and meekly submit to death. But since I meekly submit to the law, I received my sentence in Christ, “who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” I die with Him, and am “baptized into His death.” Romans 6:3. But it is not possible that the grave should hold the Lord Jesus, and therefore I rise with Him, “to walk in newness of life.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.13

    DECLARED INNOCENT, AND DISCHARGED

    Now then “I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Galatians 2:19, 20. I am dead to the law, although alive: for the law, having executed the death penalty upon me, has released its grasp upon me. In the case above supposed, I was discharged from the law, because I was innocent; in this real case I am discharged from the law because I have received the penalty. But I am alive, although I have died, because I died in Christ, “who ever liveth,“ and in Him I am as innocent as though I had never violated the law. Thanks be unto God “who justifieth the ungodly.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.14

    “WHAT SHALL WE SAY, THEN?”

    What now? Shall I ignore the law, because I am discharged from it? Nay verily, for transgression of the law is sin; and “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1, 2. That is to say, How shall we, who are discharged from the law, transgress the law? Why did I die to the law?—Solely in order that I might keep it perfectly. To use the exact language of the apostle, which has already been referred to, “But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that wherein we were holden; so that we may serve in newness of the Spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.” Romans 7:6, R.V.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.15

    This, and this alone, is “holiness, without which no man shall see God.” How can we expect to perfect holiness in the fear of God, if we trample on the law, which “is holy, and just, and good”? If we would be holy, we must mind spiritual things, and “the law is spiritual.” What a glorious thing that holiness is possible, because Christ, in whose heart is the law of God, has given Himself for us, to dwell in us, and to be our life.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 246.16

    THE WORK OF GOD's SERVANT

    In this connection it will be of interest to read what the Father has said of the Son, His servant, who is our model of what a servant should be, and who will serve in us if we will allow Him to serve in His own way. We quote Isaiah 42:1-4, in the vivid language of the latest translation:—PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.1

    “Behold, My servant whom I uphold;
    My Chosen, in whom My soul delights;
    I have put My Spirit upon Him,
    He will set forth the law to the nations.
    PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.2

    “He will not cry aloud, nor roar as a lion,
    Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
    A cracked reed He will not break,
    And a dimly burning wick He will not
    quench.
    PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.3

    “Faithfully will He set forth the law;
    He will not burn dimly nor be crushed in
    Spirit,
    Till He have set the law in the earth,
    And for His instruction the far countries
    wait.”
    PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.4

    THE POWER THAT SANCTIFIES

    One more thing should be said with reference to the question as to whether we should keep the first day or the seventh day holy. The question is easily answered: Keep the day holy, which is already holy. In the beginning God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it, or made it holy. In the fourth commandment He says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” The seventh day of the week is the only day of which there is any record that it has been made holy. Therefore it is the only day that can possibly be kept holy.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.5

    God alone is holy, and He alone can create. Therefore He alone can make a thing holy. We have no power whatever to make anything, not even ourselves, holy. All we can do is through the Spirit to keep holy that which God has made holy, and thereby be made holy ourselves.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.6

    He who has the power to make the day holy, has likewise the power to make us holy. If we had the power to make a day holy, we should also have the power to make ourselves holy. Now it is a fact that the first day of the week has never been made holy by the Lord. All the holiness it has is that which man has presumed himself able to put upon it. But the assumption of ability to make one thing holy, makes the assumption of ability to make everything holy. Therefore it follows as a self-evident truth, that the setting apart of the first day of the week,-commonly known as Sunday,-as a sabbath, instead of the seventh day, which God Himself set apart as the Sabbath, and which He made holy, is the mark of self-righteousness. The Sunday is the sign of the rejection of Christ as the sanctifier, and the setting up of self as the sanctifier of self. If one could keep a day holy, which God has never made holy, then he could keep himself holy without any help from the Lord, and even in spite of the Lord. It is this self-assertion, of which Sunday is the sign.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.7

    Let it be understood that the utterance of the self-evident truth is not designed as a charge against any person or persons. We know that there is a system of religion-the Papacy-which is the deliberate and systematic rejection of Christ, and the setting up of man in His stead; but we by no means believe that the mass, even of those who honour the Pope, have wilfully or even consciously rejected Christ. They have simply followed what has been taught them from infancy, without thinking of the possibility of its being error. Of course this sincerity of purpose must likewise be attributed, even in larger measure, to those who do not admit the claims of Papacy. So our words are not condemnation, but warning. If all were wilfully rejecting the truth, then there would be no use in saying anything. But there are many of those who have not heard the Lord's call, who will yet gladly accept Him; and there are many of those who have accepted Him, who have not realised that the Word which was in the beginning with God, and which was God, cannot possibly be opposed to or out of harmony with any word that God has spoken. To them we appeal, not to cast away the experience that they had, but to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” We thank the Lord that there are thousands now keeping Sunday, who are among those whom God hath from the beginning chosen unto salvation “through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13), not of a part merely, but of every true word that has proceeded out of the mouth of God.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.8

    “Rejoicing Because Believing” The Present Truth, 13, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Of the gaoler at Philippi, who was witness to God's wonderful care for His servants, and who asked and found a way of life, and was baptized after Paul and Silas had preached Jesus to him and his house, it is said:—PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.9

    “And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.” Acts 16:34.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.10

    Instead of the present participle in the case of the word rendered “believing,“ the Greek has the perfect, so that the Revised Version has it more exactly thus:—PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.11

    “And he brought them up into his house, and set meat before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having believed in God.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.12

    The participle, whether present or perfect, is often used to indicate cause, as in the sentence, “Having been present, I can speak with authority.” That is, I can speak with positiveness, because I was there. Or this, “Having suffered the same thing, I could not help sympathising with him.” Or this again, “Being a child, he was naturally fond of play.” In each of these cases everybody understands that the participle indicates the cause of that which is afterward stated.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.13

    Now read again what is said of the gaoler: He rejoiced greatly, having believed in God. It is easy to see that the reason why he rejoiced was because he had believed or was believing in God. Several translations which I have give this rendering plainly.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.14

    Well, that was only natural, because joy is the consequence of believing on the Lord. Jesus indicated the same thing when He said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11. Fulness of joy comes with belief of the words of Christ. So Paul wrote, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.15

    The peace of God passes all understanding, because it is not such as the world gives, as well as because of its infinite fulness. It does not depend on circumstances. Men of the world feel joyful when they have prosperity, and everything goes well with them; but when adversity comes, then they are cast down. But the joy and peace which come with real belief of the words of the Lord, is as unchanged by the coming of adversity and affliction, as the torrent of Niagara is by the coming of winter.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 247.16

    Affliction or trials in manifold forms will come, and we may at first be overwhelmed by the shock, and may fall into despondency for the moment, but as soon as the words of the Lord are given place in our hearts, the cloud disperses like the mist before the bright shining of the sun: yet the affliction or trial may remain. This is not imagination, but fact. It is not imagination that gives one relief when a soothing poultice is applied to a boil, but it is the grateful warmth. It is the healing power of the living words of Christ, that gives joy in the midst of sorrow and pain. The religion of Jesus is not a mere formula to be assented to. It is not a mere passport to ensure one a safe entrance into another world; but it is an all-powerful, living force, that in the present time lifts the believer out of this world into the joy and power of the world to come. Its reality cannot be described, for “eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. Human language cannot describe it and there is nothing in human experience with which it can be compared. Nevertheless God hath revealed it unto us by His Spirit. Receive ye therefore the Holy Spirit,-“the oil of gladness,“ which is given to all who believe,-and you will begin to experience the joy of the Lord.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 248.1

    “For the Children. Beautiful Garments” The Present Truth, 13, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Have you read what we told you last week, about little children being plants in the Lord's garden? If so, you will remember that it is the light which makes the plants grow strong and bear fruit. Now let us see something else that the light will do for us.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 253.1

    Do you know what it is that gives the flowers all their different colours, and makes them so beautiful? Jesus tells us to “consider the lilies,“ and says: “I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Then He says that it is God who so clothes the grass of the field. Each little flower of the field has a garment, not made by its own toiling and spinning, but given to it by its Creator who clothes it with beauty.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 253.2

    Although the flowers look so different one from another, and wear so many beautiful shades and tints of colour, yet their garments are all made from exactly the same material. And now you can tell what this is?PTUK April 21, 1897, page 253.3

    It is the light, the beautiful sunlight, with which each little flower is clothed. The light which looks white to us is made up of all the colours of the rainbow. The flowers, like the rainbow, reflect these different colours, and shows how beautiful the light really is.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 253.4

    Some things swallow up a part of the colour, and reflect, or give back, the rest, and it is what they give back that gives them their colour. Those things which swallow up all the light, and do not give back any, are black, like coal. But that which gives back all, and swallows up none, is pure white, like the snow.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 253.5

    This is how the flowers get their colours. Some swallow up all but the red colours, and give that back, like the red rose; some, like the forget-me-not, give back only the blue; and others, like the pure white lily, reflect all the light which shines upon them.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 253.6

    Of course the flowers can reflect these colours only when the light is shining. At night, when the sun goes down and the light is withdrawn, their beautiful garments are put off for a time, until the light returns and clothes them again.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 253.7

    Jesus says, “I am the Light.” The sun is not the light, but only a light-bearer. It reflects to this world the glory which shines upon it from the face of Jesus Christ, who is the true “Light of the world.” And so the flowers that show the beautiful colours that are in the light, are really revealing to us the beauty of the Lord, and are clothed with His glory.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 253.8

    You will now see that the Book of nature, about which you will perhaps remember that we talked a little while ago, is a great mirror, into which we may look, and “behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord.” All the beautiful things with which He has filled the earth, are the reflection of God Himself. Many cannot see Him in His works, because sin has put a veil on their hearts and blinded their eyes. But Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 253.9

    Dear children, ask Jesus to cleanse your hearts from all sin, and to open your eyes to see Him in all the things that He has made. Then as you look into His Word and works, the light of His countenance will shine out upon you, and as you reflect or give out this light to others, you too will be clothed with the glory of the Lord, “the beauty of holiness.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 253.10

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The bells of a Protestant church have just been heard in Jerusalem, to the surprise of the residents. For several centuries the use of bells by Christians in Palestine or elsewhere within the Ottoman Empire, was forbidden by the Sultan. It has now been conceded to his friend the Kaiser for use in connection with the new German church.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.1

    In reply to the inquiry of a correspondent, Dr. R. F. Horton, in a letter printed in the Church Times, says that the report of his lecture on “Protestantism,“ as given in the Daily Chronicle, from which we quoted a paragraph last week, “is certainly inaccurate.” He does not say whether the inaccuracy extends to the particular statement which we quoted.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.2

    During the past week several important steps have been taken in the Hispano-American situation, and everyone points toward war. The United States Congress has passed a resolution favouring armed intervention in Cuba, and by the time these lines are read, war may have actually begun. There is a widespread apprehension that war between Spain and America may involve other nations. A prominent French statesman is reported as saying: “This will only be the opening of the ball of famous European wars so long expected.” M. Guido Baccelli, the eminent Italian scientist and statesman, in an interview “spoke of war as inevitable, and said it would have far-reaching results and establish important precedents.” It is a good time to remember the gracious promise: “The Lord will bless His people with peace.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.3

    Mr. John Kensit, the publisher, of Patternoster Row, has been tried for wilfully disturbing the congregation of St. Cuthbert's Church, Philbeach Gardens, Kensington, on Good Friday, during the service of the veneration of the Cross. The principal witness, one of the regular worshippers, was asked whether this particular service was found in the Common Prayer Book. His reply was: “No, no doubt it is part of the ritual of the Roman Catholic Church.” Mr. Kensit was found guilty of a fine of ?3 imposed. In default of payment he was sentenced to be imprisoned for seven days. The defendant elected to go to gaol.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.4

    There was a very significant passage in Mr. Balfour's recent speech in the House of Commons, announcing the policy of the Government in relation to China. He said, “The History of the world presented no such spectacle as that which China presented at this moment, an empire with a people possessing many of the qualities which went to make great nations, which was yet wholly unable to repel almost the feeblest form of attack.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.5

    That tells the secret of the partition of China, and shows the standard of honour among the so-called Christian nations of earth. China cannot resist attack, therefore she is good spoil. “Why do you beat that poor fellow?” “Why shouldn't I? He can't defend itself.” That seems to be the policy of the nations. By the way, it is some little time since we heard anyone say that nations no more wage wars of conquest. That saying will doubtless be off duty for a while, until there is no specially desirable bit of country open to capture.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.6

    The foundation of true peace is found in righteousness. “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” And so He who is “The Lord our Righteousness” is also “our peace.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.7

    Amid all the strife and violence which will prevail during these last days, the believer in Jesus is to live in peace. This is because “the peace of God” rules in his heart. It is the privilege of the Christian to be surrounded by trouble and yet not be troubled. “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me.” “Let not your heart be troubled.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.8

    The Gospel is the “Gospel of peace” because it is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” To be saved from sin is to be brought into the enjoyment of peace. It is primarily “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,“ but as a result of this comes at peace with all men: for “when a man's ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” This is the peace which the world cannot give, neither can it take away. It is a gift from “the God of peace.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.9

    The time prophesied of by our Lord is upon us. The daily record shows it. “Upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear; and for looking after those things which are coming upon the earth.” And yet the promise is, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because He trusteth in Thee.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.10

    “Peace! Perfect peace! in this dark world of sin?
    The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.”
    PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.11

    “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” “Wherefore, beloved.... be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace.”PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.12

    “Straining Out—What?” The Present Truth, 13, 16.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Religion “after the commandments and doctrines of men,“ often leads its devotees into awkward, not to say inconsistent situations. An amusing instance is furnished by the case of the will of the late Mr. Lenox, of New York, concerning his library. This library is to be added to the Astor Library, but by the terms of the will, it must not be used on Sundays, while the Astor Library is open to public every day. How the committee dealt with the matter, is thus told by the New York Sun:—PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.13

    To the committee in charge of the consolidated library this fact has been not a little disconcerting. The Lenox collection was too valuable either to leave out altogether or to shut from view on a certain day of the week. Some one at length suggested that the difficulty could be solved by applying the rule only to those books which had belonged personally to Mr. Lenox. This it was decided to do, and a sub-committee was appointed to look into the matter. But when this sub-committee made its investigations it found that, of all the collection, those volumes possessed individually by Mr. Lenox consisted of a number of Bibles. These were accordingly set aside as coming under the law of the bequest, and on coming Sundays when the public throngs the new library, the only books that will be hidden from its view will be a number of Bibles.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.14

    So the users of the library will show their reverence for Sunday by refraining from reading the Bible on that day! Why not? Sunday and the Bible have nothing in common. This will be an object lesson.PTUK April 21, 1897, page 256.15

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