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    August 24, 1899

    “Christ Is the Tree of Life” The Present Truth 15, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Christ “knew no sin.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. It is not at all necessary therefore that man should be acquainted with sin, in order to develop a strong, perfect character, for no character ever was known on earth as strong as Christ’s. One knows only what one has experienced. Now one may be sorely tempted by sin, yet if he resists, as Christ did, so that there is no taint of the sin on him, he does not know the sin. Sad to think, we have all known sin; but we do not need to continue to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Christ is the tree of life, and if we eat of Him we shall learn only the good. The ever new life will make us new creatures, so that “the former shall no more be remembered, nor come into mind.” Blessed, glorious thought! We may in Christ forget all about sin, although we shall never forget that we were sinners, and eternally indebted to Him for His salvation. The black abyss of sin from which He saves us will only be to us as the memory of a horrid dream whose details are forgotten on awakening, Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 530.1

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. Rebuilding the Temple. Ezra 3:10; 4:5The Present Truth 15, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Ezra 3:10; 4:5

    At the return of the Jews to Babylon, each family went to its own city and dwelt there. In the seventh month of the year however, “the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem,” and an altar was erected on which they might offer their burnt offerings. At that time the foundation of the temple was not laid, but steps were taken to prepare the necessary material, and, seven months later, the builders commenced operations, under the oversight of the priests and Levites.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 530.2

    When the foundation stones were laid, there was great rejoicing among the people. Musical instruments were brought, and songs of praise and thanksgiving arose to God “because He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever toward Israel.” “And all the people shouted with a great shout.” It was indeed an occasion for thanksgiving that God had not cast off His people, but had again delivered them out of the hand of their enemies. Another chance was being given to Israel to be unto God a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, exalted high above all other peoples as the children of the Most High, a wise and understanding nation.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 530.3

    We may learn a lesson from Israel's joy on this occasion. To outward appearance their situation was not an enviable one. Hostile nations were all around them, and they themselves were poor and few in number. How came they to be shouting for joy! It was the blessing of the Lord that brought the rejoicing, and they had opened the way for the blessing to come by their liberality in contributing to the erection of the temple. Although Cyrus had undertaken to meet the expenses, the people desired to have their part in the work, and they offered freely for the house of God according to their ability (chap. 2:68, 69). The times of greatest rejoicing in IsraeI’s history had been the occasions when they gave freely of their substance to the work of God. The Gospel calls upon men to show liberality of spirit, not because its object is to impoverish its recipients, but because God gives everything freely. We are called to be channels of the manifold grace of God, and we never can give it away as fast as God will pour it into us. The only reason why men lack is because they refuse to be channels to others. God tells why some are cursed. It is because they rob Him of His own. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:8-12. So if we would find comfort in adversity, and joy in tribulation, let us open our hearts as Israel did, and remember God's claims on us, and bless the poor and the needy. “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily.” Isaiah 58:7-11.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 530.4

    Yet while many shouted aloud for joy, there were some among the people, “ancient men, that had seen the first house,” who wept with a loud voice as they thought of the old-time splendour of the temple. Their lamentation was so loud “that the people could not discern the noise of the about of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people.” The old man may have been wrong in allowing themselves to cast a cloud of discouragement over the day's rejoicings, but it may be too, that the younger generation needed to be reminded of the evil that had befallen their backsliding fathers. The Lord deals tenderly with all, and He declared later by His prophets to those who lovingly recalled the glories of the earlier temple, that “the glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former,” for the Desire of all nations should come and fill it with His glory. Haggai 2:3-9. The discontented were warned by another prophet not to despise the day of small things. Zechariah 4:9.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 531.1

    Satan was determined to thwart, if he could, the re-establishment of God's people in their own land. He had rejoiced to see Jerusalem laid low and its people go into captivity. His feelings are expressed in the rejoicing of Tyre. “Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people she is turned unto me; I shall be replenished now she is laid waste.” Ezekiel 26:2. Satan himself was the king of Tyrus as plainly appears from Ezekiel 28:11-19, and so expected to have complete control over the earth, now that he had gained the victory over the one nation which withstood him. But in the captivity of His people, God's strength had been made perfect in weakness, and He had won for Himself a glorious name. Now that Satan saw Israel returning to Jerusalem he set himself once more to the work of their destruction.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 531.2

    The adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple of the God of Israel, and they came to offer their services. They claimed to worship the true God, and said that they had sacrificed unto Him since the days that Esar-haddon, king of Assyria, had brought them to the cities of Samaria. But the superstitious character of their perverted worship can be seen from the record in 2 Kings 17:24, 41. “They feared the Lord and served their graven images.” The Lord had warned Israel not to enter into relations with the surrounding peoples, because they had made the land unclean, from one end to the other, with the filthiness of their abominations. Ezra 9:11, 12. Zerubbabel and the rest of the fathers of Israel acted on this instruction and refused to allow the people of the land to co-operate with them. Then these showed their true colours, by opposing the work all they could, hiring counsellors at the Persian court to frustrate the purpose of Israel, and writing complaints to the king. Satan's most deadly devices often come in the guise of offers of friendly assistance. But if we hold fast to the Word of God, and make no move that He does not command, it will not be long before the cloven hoof of the tempter will show itself, as it did on this occasion.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 531.3

    It will be noticed that when Israel repulsed the offer of their would-be allies, they rested their position on the commission given to them by Cyrus. We might wonder that they did not take higher ground, but it was true that they were as much the servants of Cyrus as ever. They recognised this. Ezra in his prayer, recorded in the ninth chapter, said, “For we are bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia” (verse 9, R.V.), and Nehemiah confessed also, “Behold, we are servants this day, and as for the land that Thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold we are servants in it. And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom Thou hast set over us because of our sins also they have power over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.” Nehemiah 9:36, 37.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 531.4

    In all this God's infinite patience and long-suffering stand out. Since His people would not serve Him in prosperity, He goes with them into poverty and servitude. “In all their affliction He was afflicted.” Isaiah 63:9. He “delivered His strength into captivity, and His glory into the adversary's hand.” Psalm 78:61. He desired to have a throne among a kingdom of priests and an holy nation, but He had to be content with an enslaved, backsliding and despised people. Yet, for all this, He did not forsake them. No matter how low we fall, we may know that God has not cast us off, and that even in the depths of sin and misery, He is able to make known the exceeding greatness of His power toward those who believe. So let no one think that God cannot do a great work for such as him for He has chosen to hamper Himself with every possible phase of human weakness in order that He may display to men how strong He is to save. The base and despised are His elect. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 531.5

    There is one most important feature about this period of Bible history with which every Christian should be acquainted. The time of “the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem,” marks the commencement of a prophetic period, revealed to Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27), which gives the time of Christ's first advent. Seventy weeks are mentioned, divided into three portions,-seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and one week. In prophecy, a day stands for a year, so that the full term here brought view is one of 490 years. Now it is important to fix the date of the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, for from this point the years must be reckoned. Without, going into details, it is clear that the command was not fully given until the twentieth year of Artaxerxes (See Ezra 7), which was B.C. 457. The Scripture (Ezra 6:14) shows that the decree of Artaxerxes must be included in the commandment. Therefore in B.C. 457, the 490 years began. In seven weeks, or 49 years, the city of Jerusalem was rebuilt. Another sixty-two weeks equal 434 days, or 434 years, and Messiah appeared on the same in A.D. 27. In the midst of the last week, after three and a half year's ministry, He was cut off, but not for Himself, and in another three and a half years, the period closed with the stoning of Stephen and the preaching or the Gospel in every direction.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 531.6

    We saw, in the last lesson, that the restoration of the temple under Cyrus was but the beginning of a great work which Christ was to do for His holy temple, the church. To Daniel was revealed the time when Christ would come “to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness.” Daniel 9:24. In a previous vision he had seen how long the sanctuary of God should be defiled and trodden under foot. It was to be for 2,300 days, or years. Daniel 8:14. Both of the periods we have mentioned refer to the same subject, and both begin at the same time, B.C. 457. The 2,300 years, therefore, ended in 1844. Then began the work of the cleansing of the sanctuary. What took place in 1844? Great light began to shine into the hearts of many at that time from the prophetic Word, and many rejoiced in the discovery that the coming of the Lord was nigh. They saw the importance of being sanctified through the truth, and living by every word of God. At this very time, the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14, which are to be proclaimed just before the second coming of Christ (Revelation 14:7-16), began to be studied and understood, and one of those declare, that Babylon is fallen, and all must come out of her. As we saw last week, these who come out of Babylon must be observers of God's Sabbath, and in that very year of 1844, light came on the Sabbath truth, and many began the observance of the seventh day. From that time to this, the Word of God has been opening more and more, and its purifying power has been working on men's hearts, to make them meet temples for the spirit of God, cleansing the sanctuary. It is true that men have been slow of heart to believe, but because God has waited to be gracious for so many years, let no reader conclude that it was a mistake to believe that the end of all things is at hand. Let him rather “account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation,” and see that he cause no delay himself by refusing to walk in the light that comes to him. Meantime, the message of the everlasting Gospel with its final appeal to men, is encircling the earth, and it will not be long before the Israel of God will be gathered from all places where they have been driven.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 532.1

    Remember that when the Jews left Babylon in the days of Cyrus, they were a feeble and despised people, yet the arm of their God was not shortened, and although they were confronted with hardship and contempt, yet their lot was more to be desired than that of any people on the earth. So now, although the wealthy and the learned turn away from God's call to come out of Babylon, rest in His power, and be sanctified through His truth, so that only the humble and despised are connected with the message, it will be better to share the reproach of Christ than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. “Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 532.2

    “The Gospel of Isaiah. The Comfort of the Gospel” The Present Truth 15, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Isaiah 40:1, 2: “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received at the Lord's hand double for all her sins.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 532.3

    1 John 2:1, 2, R.V., margin: “My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have a Comforter with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 532.4

    John 14:16-18: “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 532.5

    John 14:26: “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 532.6

    John 16:7, 8: “It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of Judgment.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 532.7

    2 Corinthians 1:3-5: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort them that are in any affliction, through the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound unto us, even so our comfort also aboundeth through Christ.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 532.8


    John 16:33: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 532.9

    Ephesians 6:11-13: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in heavenly places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 532.10

    Hebrews 2:14: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 532.11

    Colossians 2:15, margin: “And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in Himself.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.1

    1 Peter 4:1: “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind; for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.2

    John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.3

    1 John 5:4, R.V.: “Whatsoever is begotten of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.4


    Hebrews 1:3: “God ... hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son... who... when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.5

    Romans 5:20: “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.6

    John 1:16: “And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.7

    Isaiah 55:7, margin: “Our God... will multiply to pardon.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.8


    Recall the marginal rendering of the second verse, as given in the study last week, which is literal: “Speak ye to the heart of Jerusalem.” When God speaks words of comfort to His people He speaks to the heart. A great many people have an abundance of words at their command, which they can pour into the ears of the afflicted, but which do not really comfort, although they may all be true, and very appropriate to the occasion. Only those who have shared the same experience as the sufferer can speak to the heart; and they may do this without many words.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.9


    Doubtless some one will say, “But I am not one of the Lord's people, and therefore His words of comfort are not addressed to me.” Do not allow the devil to cheat you out of your comfort in that way. It may be that you have not acknowledged the Lord, but He has never cast you off; He claims you as His own. The prodigal son is a son nevertheless, no matter how far away he has wandered. The whole of the book of Isaiah shows that it is not merely the good people whom God claims as His own. Read the first chapter, and that alone is sufficient to show that the comfort here offered is for those who are “laden with iniquity.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.10


    “Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4. There is no exception. Christ does not specify a certain class, and say that they that mourn in a certain way, or for certain things, shall be comforted. His comfort is for all that mourn. Christ was anointed with the Holy Ghost, and sent “to comfort all that mourn.” Isaiah 61:1, 2. Doubtless the words from the talk on the mount are generally applied to those who mourn departed friends. Well, they apply there, but they go deeper. Death and pain are but the consequence of sin. It is sin that has caused all the sorrow and mourning in the earth. Therefore the Lord sends comfort to all who mourn because of sin, that is, to all whom sin has in any way caused to mourn. His comfort is as boundless as His life and His love.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.11


    God is the “God of all comfort,” and “the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” John 1:18. So Christ is the Comforter which we have with the Father. Note the close connection of the statement that He is the Comforter with the one that “He is the propitiation for our sins,” and for those of the whole world. It is the comfort of pardon, and freedom from the bondage of sin, that He gives. He comforts us by giving us Himself.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.12

    The Holy Spirit is Christ's Representative. He is Christ present in the flesh of all men, and not simply in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, He comes in the name of Christ; not merely taking His name, but revealing the living Christ. Therefore He is another Comforter. His comfort is the comfort of Christ. “The comfort of the Holy Ghost” has the effect to multiply believers. Acts 9:31. This is because the Holy Ghost teaches all things that pertain to Christ.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.13


    Comfort does not always consist merely of smooth words. The surgeon has sometimes to use a knife, and for a time add to the pain, before he can give a sufferer complete relief. So when the Holy Ghost comes to us, He reproves us of sin the first thing. He comes with conviction. In this way He often causes pain where there was before only numbness and insensibility. Shall we complain of this?PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.14

    Shall we say that we do not wish any such comfort? By no means. Is it not a good thing to rouse the man who is fast becoming insensible through cold? When a man is freezing to death he falls into a condition of insensibility to the cold. He feels as though he were falling into a delicious sleep. But it is the sleep of death. When the rescuer finds him, and begins to restore him to life, he experiences great pain. It may be that he will wildly say that it would have been far better to leave him in his former painless condition; but when he comes to himself, and understand what has been done, he will for ever thank the one who brought him to life at the cost of much suffering. Just as much comfort as there is in life, so much comfort was the rescuer giving the frozen man when he was causing him the pain of experiencing his condition.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.15

    Let us never forget, therefore, that the Holy Spirit is always the Comforter. In convicting of sin, He is imparting comfort. If the way of life leads by the cross, then there is just as much comfort in the cross as there is in the life that is gained by it. We must never think that God is angry with us because He makes us know how greatly we have sinned. He is not doing it to taunt us, but to comfort us.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.16


    Remember that conviction does not mean condemnation. This is true even in an earthly court. A man may stand convicted of a crime, and still not be under sentence. But this is but a feeble illustration; for we are all condemned already. We are “born under the law.” Therefore the conviction of the sin-the bringing home to our consciences the fact that we are sinners-does not make matters any worse than they were. That conviction is but the first and the necessary step towards our freedom from the sin; for we must know and acknowledge the sin before we will accept the remedy for it.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.17


    It is by the revelation of the righteousness of God, that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin. “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20. But the law is not sin; on the contrary, it is “holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:7, 12. No man could ever become convicted of sin by looking at sin. It is by looking at the righteousness of God that we may become conscious of the fact that we are sinners. He who knows nothing of any better state than the one he is in, never desires anything better. Dissatisfaction with one's condition comes only with the knowledge of something better. God produces a feeling of dissatisfaction with our sinful condition, by revealing to us His own perfect righteousness.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 533.18


    This is a most wonderful and blessed thing. That which causes the conviction is that which saves. Therefore we need not be condemned at all. Neither need we go a long time mourning under conviction of sins. If we will but grasp God's way of working, we shall in the very moment of conviction find the comfort of pardon. The righteousness that is revealed for the purpose of taking away the sin, is that which makes it known to us; therefore if we will but believe God's word our suffering for sin may be but as the lightning's flash; the moment of the revelation of sin may be its departure. To be sure the Spirit abides with us as the continual reprover of sin; but since He does this by the revelation of the righteousness of God, we may be in a state of continual justification, although continually conscious of the fact that we are sinners. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1. “It is God that justifieth. Who is he that comdemneth?” Romans 8:33, 34. Every soul that is condemned is self-condemned; and even wherein our heart condemns us, we may have confidence, and may assure our hearts before Him, because God is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things, and by His knowledge He justifies. 1 John 3:19-21, R.V.; Isaiah 53:11.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 534.1

    “Tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience.” Romans 5:3, 4. Patience means suffering, endurance. No man has patience unless he has something to suffer, for without suffering there is no need of patience. The word is from the Latin word that means, to bear, to suffer. Therefore the possession of patience necessarily imposes suffering. It is not suffering that makes people impatient; it is the lack of faith that does that; suffering works patience, when our faith in Christ makes us suffer with Him.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 534.2


    Patience works experience. If we wish experience, we must not shun suffering, nor refuse to bear burdens. No matter how great the tribulation, God has comfort enough to enable us to endure it. He comforts us in all our affliction and tribulation. Do not forget this; His comfort is inexhaustible. “My grace is sufficient for thee.” And why does He comfort us?-In order that we may be able to comfort those who are in any sort of tribulation with the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. We are to accept God's comfort, and pass it along. God thus makes us sharers in His own work. The Holy Spirit takes us into co-partnership, as it were. He makes us comforters.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 534.3


    Nobody can give to another that which he himself does not possess. We cannot comfort another unless we have been comforted. And if we never have any tribulation, then we have no need of comfort. There are burdens and tribulations enough in this world for everybody, and we do not need to seek them; but the fault with us is that we often refuse to bear those that naturally and legitimately fall to us; and thus we refuse the comfort that God would bestow upon us. But when we reject the comfort of the Holy Ghost, we reject the possibility of comforting others. Thus we see that by refusing to bear burdens, and by refusing to face tribulation, we are simply refusing to be fitted for the work of helping those who are in trouble. What would be thought of a man who should see people in great distress, perishing before his eyes, and should have the means wherewith to help them, but should turn away, saying, “It is none of my business; I don't care; I shall not lift a finger to help them?” We can scarcely conceive of so heartless a man; and yet that is what we virtually say whenever we refuse to bear some burden that falls to our lot. We are saying, “I do not wish to be a helper of the poor and needy; I do not care to comfort those that mourn.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 534.4


    God comforts us by telling us that our warfare is accomplished. We are enjoined to “fight the good fight of faith;” but we do so by laying hold on eternal life. 1 Timothy 6:12. We are to fight only in the armour of God, which is Christ Himself; and He has overcome the world. Note the various pieces of armour. We are to have our loins girt about with truth; and Christ is the truth. John 14:6. Next comes the breastplate of righteousness; and Christ is made unto us righteousness. 1 Corinthians 1:30. Our feet are to be shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; and Christ is our peace. Ephesians 2:14. Most important of all is the shield of faith. Now “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God;” and Christ is the Word. It is by the faith of Christ that we are saved. Then we must have the helmet of salvation; and God in Christ is become our salvation. Isaiah 12:2. Jesus Christ is the Saviour. “And the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Christ is the Word. So we see that to put on the whole armour of God is but to put on Christ. That armour has been tested in the fiercest fight, and has been proved invincible.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 534.5

    We have to fight with principalities and powers and wicked spirits; but Christ has “spoiled principalities and powers,” and has led them openly in His triumphant procession. He triumphed over them in Himself. He is the Conqueror. He has won the victory. Therefore the foe with whom we wage our warfare is already defeated. What is it then but that our warfare is accomplished? We have but to share in the victory already gained.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 534.6

    We are promised tribulation in this world, but in the midst of it we may be of good cheer. What we have already learned as to the use of tribulation should be enough to make us cheerful; but here we have additional reason: “I have overcome the world.” We are in danger of forgetting that all that Jesus did and suffered was for us. He did not need to come to this earth on His own account. It was our sins that He bore, our battle that He fought. Therefore the victory that hath overcome the world is the faith that lays hold of Jesus Christ. He is our peace, because He is our victory. “Thine, O Lord, is the greatest, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty.” 1 Chronicles 29:11.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 534.7

    Because Christ is our peace, in Him we have peace. But peace means a victory won. The fact that in Christ we have peace, shows that the warfare is accomplished. When we fight in the strength of Christ, the battle is won before it is begun. Read the twentieth chapter of 2 Chronicles. See how Israel gained the victory by faith. They began to sing a song of victory, and, lo, the battle was won. There is therefore no need of ever being defeated. Who would run from a defeated foe? Moreover, Christ has disarmed the principalities and powers; for that is the meaning of the statement that He “spoiled them.” In some versions it is so rendered. Surely there is no excuse for defeat, when we have invincible armour, and the foe has none at all. Is not this comfort enough for anybody in any tribulation whatsoever.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 534.8


    Remember that it is through our own sinful disposition that the devil works, and therefore it is our own sins, our sinful nature, that we have to contend with; and it is this that has been overcome. Do you doubt this? Then tell me whose sins it was that Jesus bore. With whose sinful nature did He contend? Was it with His own? Did He have sins of His own, that He must overcome? “Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5. All that He suffered was altogether for our sakes. It was our sins that He bore, our sinful nature that He took upon Himself. Therefore the victory that He gained was gained over our own personal sins, our own peculiar besetments. So whenever we are tempted by our own lusts, and enticed, we have only to remember that that particular sin has been overcome. What then?-Why, we have only to give thanks to God, who “giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57. What glorious comfort the Lord gives us!PTUK August 24, 1899, page 535.1


    “But what about the double that we are to receive?” How many people have been troubled over that, and in their trouble they have consulted doctors who did not heal their hurt even slightly. Some translators have even gone to the length of inserting the word “punishment” in the passage. It is not there, and nobody has any right to put it there, or to think of it as being there. Poor souls stand appalled at the thought that they must suffer punishment equal to double the amount of their sins, and of course they see no hope of escape. Strange comfort that! Can anybody extract any comfort from the thought that they are to receive double punishment for their sins? Certainly not. But this is a message of comfort, and therefore there can be in it no such thought.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 535.2

    Even if it were punishment that is referred to, bear in mind that the text does not say that we are to receive double. A good deal is lost by a too hasty reading of the Word. “She hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.” Suppose it is punishment; we are alive, and the subjects of the mercy of God; therefore if we have already received double punishment for our sins, we have abundant cause for rejoicing. Surely that is enough, and we are entitled to go free.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 535.3

    There is in this the key to the mystery. God has made to light on Him the iniquity of us all. “He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-6. Christ has suffered in His own body all that any unrepentant sinner will ever have to suffer; therefore there is no need that any sinner should suffer for sin. If we but accept the sacrifice of Christ, that is, accept the person of Christ in our own lives, we are freed from all the consequences of sin. We are “dead to the law by the body of Christ.” We are counted as having already received our punishment, and therefore are free.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 535.4


    Thus it is that in Christ grace and peace are multiplied to us. And it is the grace of God that bringeth salvation; therefore we have received of the Lord's hand double salvation. Grace abounds over all sin. God is not niggardly. He gives “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” He has enough, and to spare, and of His fulness have all we received. Let us then accept it, and rejoice in the Lord.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 535.5

    That this is not in the least a straining of the text, is provided by the text itself. “Her iniquity is pardoned.” Of whom is this spoken? Of a people “laden with iniquity.” Has God already pardoned my sins? Certain He has; He says so; can you not believe Him? You never heard of such a thing? Well, then hear it now, and rejoice as you never did before. Let me recall to your mind something that you surely have heard at some time in your life. It has come into your own experience. You have, wilfully or otherwise, committed a wrong against somebody. Afterwards you have gone and confessed it, begging pardon, and have been stopped before you could finish your confession, with the words, “Don't mention it; it was forgiven long ago.” Perhaps you have yourself used just such language, and have spoken from the fulness of your heart. If you have, then you know the free pardon of God, for it was only His love in your heart that could have made you do so. Can you not admit that God is better than any man, even though that man be a saint? If a man can refuse to hold a grudge, cannot God do the same? Is it so strange a thing that the God who is love should forgive our sins even before we ask forgiveness, and should be longing for us to come and accept the reconciliation? He took all our sins on Himself, and in giving His life for us, He made a purging of sins. Christ “His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 535.6

    “Christ hath for sin atonement made;
    What a wonderful Saviour!
    We are redeemed!-the price is paid;
    What a wonderful Saviour!
    PTUK August 24, 1899, page 535.7

    “He gives me overcoming power;
    What a wonderful Saviour!
    And triumph in each trying hour;
    What a wonderful Saviour!”
    PTUK August 24, 1899, page 535.8

    “Little Folks. The Power of God” The Present Truth 15, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A little while ago we told you something about the power of steam, and showed you what this power really is, the power of God's own life, for “there is no power but of God.” Steam is water in another form, into which it is changed by heat which the sun brings to the earth. So you will see whose is the power; it all belongs to God, who is “the Fountain of living waters,” and “the Light of the world.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.1

    I hope you will remember, too, what we have told you about the laws which are working in all created things, being the laws of God's own life, of which they are all but different forms, and then you will learn from them precious lessons of the power of God to fulfil His own will in all the things that He has made . When there is nothing in the way of their fulfilment, these laws bring life and blessing. But when there are obstacles and hindrances in the way, the purpose of God is carried out just the same, only, it brings destruction and death to everything that would hinder it. So “that which is ordained to life, is found to be unto death.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.2

    Sometimes we are reminded of the awful power of God which is in the water, by hearing of some accident which has been caused by something which has stood in the way of the carrying out of His laws which are in it. How often in the winter we hear of burst water pipes and water jugs; and even solid stones and rocks will split open in the frosty weather. Do you know why this is?PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.3

    It is because the water expands as it freezes, and the jugs, or whatever holds the water, is burst open to make room for the increasing volume. When the moisture that is in the rocks and stones freezes and expands, even the rock is shattered. The water is the life,-the visible Word of God, and He says, “Is not My Word like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.4

    You have sometimes heard of a boiler explosion, or perhaps other accidents caused by the expansion of steam when there has been no outlet for it. Nothing can then withstand its terrible force; it bursts whatever would confine it. Boiling water, if there is an opening, expands upward and runs over, as you have often seen it, and the steam escapes into the air. But if it has no way of escape, it makes a way for itself by bursting open and destroying whatever is in the way of its fulfilling the law which is in it.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.5

    Did you know that earthquakes and volcanoe eruptions are also caused by the power of steam? (Read Mr. Kingsley's description of this in the article following this one, and perhaps next week we will tell you more about it). These things are becoming more and more frequent as the earth “waxes old,” and Jesus has told us that they are one of the signs of His coming “to restore all things,” to “make all thing new” again.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.6

    This is to be a warning to the people to prepare for His coming, and let His power working in them make them “new creatures,” and take away from them everything that is not in harmony with His law of life, instead of destroying them at His coming.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.7

    “When the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make Thy name known to Thine adversaries, that the natioms may tremble at Thy presence.” “He putteth forth His hand upon the flinty rock, He overturneth the mountains by their roots.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.8

    But these things should not make afraid, but lead us to rejoice in the mighty power of our God, and of His life that is in us. If “God is our refuge and strength” and we are letting Him do His own will us, we shall be able, even in such terrible times, to say, “Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed, and thou the mountains be carried into the midst the sea.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.9

    An old woman who remained perfectly peaceful in the midst of an earthquake was asked why she was not afraid. She answered that she was “glad that she had a God who could shake the earth.” So to His children everything that shows the power of their Heavenly Father is a cause of rejoicing and not of fear. They know how safe they are in His keeping, and how strong He is to “perform all things for them.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.10

    There is power in His life in us to overcome and remove every obstacle that would hinder Him from doing His own will in us. So let us yield ourselves to Him in loving trust, knowing that He is able to “make us perfect in every good work to do His will, working in us that which well-pleasing in His sight.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.11

    “Let mountains from their seats be hurled
    Down to the deep, and buried there,
    Convulsions shake the solid world,
    Our faith shall never yield to fear.
    PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.12

    “Loud may the troubled ocean roar;
    In sacred peace our souls abide;
    While every nation, every shore,
    Trembles, and dreads the swelling tide.”
    PTUK August 24, 1899, page 538.13

    “Health and Temperance. Something About Drinking” The Present Truth 15, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The matter of eating and drinking is always an important one, since it is by eating and drinking that we live, and those acts must be repeated every day; but in the hot weather of summer it is necessary to give more attention to our drink than at any other time, because we now feel the need of drink more than at any other time. The principles, however, that should guide us at this time are always applicable.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 541.1


    Our bodies are composed largely of water. The blood, by means of which all the nourishment we receive is conveyed to the body, is seventy-nine per cent. water. If it were not liquid, so as to hold all the solid substances of our food in solution, the extremities of the body would be deprived of nourishment, and would starve. Our vital organs, as the heart and lungs and brain, are encased in water, and depend on it for free movement. Our muscles have a large portion of water in their composition; if they were to become dried, they would be utterly useless; we should be palsied; and so it is with all the organs of the body. Even the bones have a portion of water in their composition, so that fully two-thirds of the entire body is water.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 541.2

    Evaporation is continually taking place from the body. There is always in health insensible perspiration, and moisture is given off with every breath. In order, therefore, for the body to be kept in a normal condition, water must be taken in every day. A portion, of course, is taken in with our food, even though it is dry, but not sufficient to make up for the lose, and we must therefore drink.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 541.3


    Water is the universal solvent; it is the cleansing fluid. It not only serves to clean our clothing and houses, and to cleanse the outside of our bodies, but it also removes the impurities from the interior; and it is water that God has given for the drink of all living creatures. Men have adopted many other drinks, but whatever fluid it be, water is the basis of it, and is the portion from which we receive the benefit. Only man has added to the original drink which God gave; beasts are content to drink water, refusing all other drink, and they are strongest and healthiest.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 541.4

    If alcoholic liquors be taken into the system, they tend to increase thirst, instead of to diminish it. Alcohol extracts water, so that in drinking it men make the conditions of life more difficult. The various organs become dried, so that every vital function is carried on at a disadvantage. Beer, therefore, is not an improvement upon water, but a degeneration of it. it is not food, and it is a very poor drink, not really satisfying the need of the body, but actually increasing it.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 541.5

    Even so it is with tea and coffee. It is true that the water which is the basis of these drinks, does good, in that it supplies fluid to the body, but this good is to a great extent counteracted by the active poisons which are conveyed throughout the system at the same time. No one who has any respect for his stomach will dose it with these poisons, which hinder digestion, and destroy the nerves.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 541.6

    The only thing that may properly be added to the water as it comes from the heaven and the earth, is the fresh, natural juice of fruits, lemons, grapes or any other kind. Fruit is one of the means God has provided for conveying to us both food and drink. “The blood of the grape,” “the fruit of the vine,” is the “wine that maketh glad the heart of man.” It is the only wine that gives real gladness, in that there are no sorrowful after effects.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 541.7


    If people drank only at the right time, there would be far less drinking of substances that are injurious; for it is a fact that the greater portion of the tea, coffee, chocolate, etc., which ought never to be drunk, are taken at meal time, when one ought not to drink anything. If it we not for the “table beer” and wine, a great deal less of those harmful beverages would be swallowed.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 541.8

    Drinking at meals is injurious in that leads one to eat more than is really needed for satisfying hunger, and it dilutes the digestive fluids, so that the result is indigestion. No one knows better than the writer, how difficult it is to eat dry food when the habit of drinking at meals has become established; but a little perseverance, together with the adoption of proper diet, will make it a matter of enjoyment; and the gain in strength of body and clearness of mind will amply repay the preliminary self-denial.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 541.9

    If people would take pains to satisfy their thirst from half an hour to an hour before eating, they would not care to drink when they come to the table; and if at table they eat proper food, masticating slowly and thoroughly, they will not feel the need of drinking immediately at the close. Those who have not tried this do not know the real satisfaction there is in eating and drinking,-a satisfaction the great recommendation of which is that continues without interruption from one meal to the next.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 541.10

    Even though we may feel somewhat thirsty when the meal begins, if we slowly eat a little dry food we shall soon find this thirst quite disappear; and if there should still be a slight thirst at the close of the meal, if it be resisted, the process of digestion, which will be accelerated by the refraining from drink, will remove it. Thus after two or three hours, where one is in ordinary health, water may be drunk freely. One may also drink freely at night and this will well replace the late supper which so many imagine that they need.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 541.11


    This is an important matter in hot weather, especially if one is engaged in exercise that increases the heat of the body. Do not, when hot and thirsty, swallow a glassful of water at a drought. Exercise a little self-control, and wait a bit before drinking. Take the mouth full of water hold it for a moment, and then spit it out. Do this several times, letting it run down the throat as far as possible without swallowing it, until mouth and throat are cooled off. This will materially assuage the thirst. Then little sips of water may be swallowed until the thirst is wholly quenched. By so doing there will be no danger of injury.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 541.12

    It should also be stated that much unnatural thirst may be avoided by keeping the teeth clean, and the mouth well washed. We ought to drink all the water that the system requires, but we must guard against artificial thirst. All the drinking that is done to satisfy artificial thirst, is an injury, and not a benefit. So the mouth should be kept free from any portions of food that by fermenting, will produce inflammation.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.1

    These are some of the things which, if heeded, will add materially to one's welfare. If there be any who think that this matter is out of place in a Gospel journal, let them read the inspired words: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 2.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.2

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 15, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -Anthrax has reappeared at Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, in a virulent form, and the cattle owners are fearing serious results.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.3

    -In Louisiana, a mob recently caught a negro supposed to be guilty of a crime, and without investigating, at once lynched him. It was afterwards found that their victim was the wrong man.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.4

    -According to the report of the Prison Commissioners just issued, there has been a marked increase in crime and committals to prison in both Wales and England since the last report was rendered.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.5

    -An unknown man, who escaped, shot Ms. Labori, one of Dreyfus's counsel, in the back, as he was on his way to the court-martial, August 10. The evident plan was to secure important documents which the counsel had in his possession. The shot was not fatal.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.6

    -The Pope of Rome claims the honour of inducing the Czar of Russia to call the late Peace Conference, yet through the influence of the Italian Government, no papal delegation is present at the Congress. Now Cardinal Rampolla, the Papal Secretary of State, has sent out a note in the name of the Pope, denouncing the attitude of the Italian Government in the matter, and attributing the failure of the Conference to accomplish what it was hoped it would, to the fact that no delegate of the Papacy was present.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.7

    -The General Post Office Department of the United States will ask the next session of Congress for an appropriation for the use of automobiles in collecting the mails at all first-class post-offices.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.8

    -The plague has appeared in Europe. There have been twenty-six cases and eleven deaths at Oporto, Portugal. Other countries are taking precautions against goods and passengers from the infected country.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.9

    -An American tender has been accepted by the Glasgow Corporation for driving power for their electric tramway plant. This is caused much comment in Glasgow, the centre of an immense engineering industry.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.10

    -The first day all of this year's American cotton crop has been sold by auction at many towns in the States, bringing as high as ?400 in some places. The proceeds of every sale have been given to the sufferers from the Texas floods.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.11

    -The Report of the Government Laboratory shows that there have been thirty-six prosecutions against the sellers of “temperance drinks” for mixing them with an excess of proof spirit. People who wish to be temperant had better leave all such uncertain compounds alone.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.12

    -Greenland has only one newspaper. It is owned and edited by a man who at first used a little more than rough illustrations. Gradually he taught his subscribers to read, first words then sentences. After the paper is printed, he dons his snowshoes and goes out over the ice fields to distribute it to his subscribers.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.13

    -As an instance of what litigation costs, in 1851 a money lender in San Francisco foreclosed a mortgage on a property for ?320. The case was contested by the owner, and has been in the courts ever since until a few days ago, when it was settled and judgment rendered to the defendant for ?4,250,000, including interest and costs.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.14

    -The plague continues to rage in Poona, and there is little likelihood of its being checked for some time to come. The natives are fleeing from the town. The victims of the scourge are cremated outside the city, but this work is only partially done, and jackals and vultures are devouring the partially burnt bodies.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.15

    -The action of the Council of American Catholic bishops, recently held in Rome, has been ratified by the Pope, decreeing that all the decisions of the Council of Trent and the subsequent decrees of the Pope are valid in America. This is regarded as a mortal blow to the aspirations of those who desired a Catholicism in conformity with the social conditions of the New World.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.16

    -During the first week of this month a hurricane passed over portions of the West Indies with terrible results. Thousands of lives were lost, whole towns blotted out of existence and the crops and live stock over large areas were destroyed. The worst havoc occurred in the Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico was devastated, and several hundred were drowned. In Ponce and surrounding districts the loss of life is estimated to be nearly 2,000. This calamity, following the peri of commercial depression, has produced a terrific state of distress, and appeals are ever were being made for help.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.17

    -The third Zionist Congress has been held in Basle. Dr. Herzi stated that the movement was progressing, they had 1,000 subscribers and the executive were in possession of ?2,000,000 sterling. All that was needed was Turkey's permission of the Jewish colonists to settle in Palestine. It might be thought that the history of the Jew would have cured them of any tendency to put their trust in princes. Besides, why should any of Abraham's descendants look for their inheritance in a country where he counted himself a pilgrim and a stranger. He looked for a better country, that is an heavenly, and only those who are Christ's are Abraham's seed. Galatians 3:27.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 542.18

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 15, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    At one time when Jesus stood by the multitude, He lifted up His voice and said, “Father, glorify Thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it and will glorify it again. The people therefore that stood by, and heard it, said it thundered.” John 3:28, 29.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 544.1

    That was the voice of God, and was perfectly intelligible to Jesus, but to the others it sounded like thunder. Why? Simply because they did not understand the voice of God; they were not sufficiently acquainted with Him to recognise His voice, and so to them it was only a loud noise.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 544.2

    The Lord is now speaking in the ears of the people a message of salvation. “Turn ye from your evil ways”-“why will ye die?” It is the personal word of God Himself to every waiting soul, “Behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.” Plain and definite as that message is, and easy to be understood, yet if it is refused to-day, it becomes as thunder to-morrow, and so is meaningless.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 544.3

    As with the hearing, so with the sight. There is no need that anyone walk in darkness, for Jesus is “the light of men”-“the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” But the reason why so much darkness exists is because when that light is not received, the eyes become blinded to it, and the power to see is lost. So Jesus says: “Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.” And “if therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness?”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 544.4

    God has “dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3), and “unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Ephesians 4:7. The power by which Jesus overcame is given to every one. Out part is to keep the faith, as Paul did. 2 Timothy 4:7. Christ alone is righteous; He has overcome the world, and He alone has power to overcome it. In Him dwelleth all the fulness of God, and if he dwells in our hearts by faith we shall be filled with the same fullness. Ephesians 3:17-19. He has kept the law to perfection, for it was in His heart; by His faith,-by living faith, that is, the faith that comes by His life in us,-can we be made and kept righteous-obedient to God's holy law. “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 544.5

    The law of God convicts us of sin, and condemns us to death. But instead of waiting to be driven to execution, we willingly and gladly suffer death with Christ, who gave Himself willingly for us, and who for our sakes “was reckoned among the transgressors.” It is in Christ that we receive the penalty of the law-death. So long as the “old man,” “the body of sin,” that transgressed the law, and which the law condemned to death remains destroyed, and a “new man” lives in his stead, the law has nothing against us, any more than it has against Christ. We are to remain dead to sin, but alive unto God.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 544.6

    “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20. The law which condemns also kills. The law condemns all, and therefore it will kill all; but each one has his choice as to how he will die. He may either die now willingly, or have his life taken from him at the last day. If in Christ we willingly allow the law to take our life now,-yielding it up even as Christ did,-then so long as we remain in Christ we are considered dead by the law, doing nothing to offend it; and at the last day it will have no occasion to take our life. It cannot do it then, for there will be no cause of death in us. “In those days and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon them whom I reserve.” Jeremiah 50:20.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 544.7

    Christ is “the Holy and Righteous One.” Acts 3:14, R.V. “He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5. Therefore it is impossible that He should impart any sin to anybody. In the stream of life that flows from the heart of Christ, there is no trace of impurity. It is impossible that he should be the minister of sin, that is, that He should minister sin to anyone. If in any persons who seek righteousness through Christ, or who have actually found it, there appears any sin, it is only because they have dammed up the stream, and allowed it to become stagnant; they have not kept the channel open, so that the water of life could flow freely. The Fountain is pure, but the purest water becomes corrupt if it is confined after it has left its source. Keep the channel constantly open; let the stream of life from the slain Lamb in the midst of the throne flow through you, and cleansing from sin will be constant.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 544.8

    It is through much tribulation that we enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many put the kingdom of heaven entirely in the future, and think that the Scripture means that only those who suffer persecution from wicked men or who suffer severe affliction, can get to heaven. With this thought in mind, they often wonder how it can be that so many godly people have led such quiet, peaceful, uneventful lives. The erroneous thought leads many to seek persecution, in order to make sure of reaching heaven. That, of course, is pure heathenism, of the same class as that which leads the Hindu devotes to try to throw himself before the car of juggernaut.PTUK August 24, 1899, page 544.9

    The fact is that “the kingdom of God is at hand.” It is now. It is “within you.” It is a hidden treasure waiting for discovery. We enter into the kingdom of God when we enter into perfect fellowship with God, sitting with Christ on His throne. It is only through tribulation that this is attained. The Psalmist says, “Before I was afflicted, I went astray.” Deep sorrow,-the very deepest, so deep that nobody but the one who has it is conscious of it,-is necessary in order to make us acquainted with the fulness of the joy of Christ. He suffered alone, and “as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. Therefore we glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”PTUK August 24, 1899, page 544.10

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