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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 5

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    April 7, 1903

    “Study of Education” The General Conference Bulletin 5, 11.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    By E. J. Waggoner, Tuesday, April 7, 8:00 A.M.

    I think there is not one here who is not familiar with this expression (you will recognize it, and know where it comes from), that the cross of Christ will be the science and the song of the redeemed throughout eternity. We accept that as a true statement; and for every truth of that kind there is Bible authority, because the Bible is the sum of all truth. I will call your attention to two or three texts that will prove it, and you can read the thing out of the Bible just as well as you can read it anywhere else. You have these words of the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 9:23, 24): “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”GCDB April 7, 1903, page 175.1

    Here we find that only one thing is to be gloried in. The Lord tells us here that the only thing any man should glory in is in the knowledge of Him. There are three things that men are most likely to boast of in this world,-wisdom, the wisdom of the world; power, or influence, and riches; but however wise a man may be in this world, however powerful he may be, however rich, only one thing is worth glorying in, and that is that he knows the Lord.GCDB April 7, 1903, page 175.2

    Now put with that this other text: “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 6:14. That was dictated by the same spirit. The apostle Paul knew what Jeremiah had written, and he exercised himself continually to continue in all things that were written in the law and in the prophets, and he, moved by the Spirit, did not desire anything except what the Lord had indicated. The Lord said, Do not let anybody glory except in this, that he understandeth Me. Paul, by the same Spirit, said, Do not let me glory except in the cross of Christ. Can you tell what the conclusion is from that? Is it not self-evidently just this, that in the cross of Christ we find the revelation of God? It is in the cross that we know God. You might add another text to that, with which you are well familiar, and that is in the second chapter of Colossians, where we read in short that in God the Father and in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Then he who knows the Lord has access to all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. That is the plain statement of the fact.GCDB April 7, 1903, page 175.3

    Take another text: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5.GCDB April 7, 1903, page 175.4

    Take another one in the second chapter of Proverbs. It is a wonderful text, and we can read it, and read it again, and many times: “My son, if thou wilt receive My words, and hide My commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding: yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom; out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of His saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.”GCDB April 7, 1903, page 176.1

    There we have all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Every good path and all knowledge must come from the Lord. There you have the science that is in the cross. The cross of Christ is the science of the saints, not only in the world to come, but in this world as well; because it is the cross of Christ that reveals God. And he who knows God has all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge at his command. This is the science in the cross; now for the song. “They sang a new song: Thou art worthy, O Lord, ... for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood, out of every kindred, tongue, and people, and nation.” Revelation 5:9. So we have before us the Bible statement of the fact that the cross of Christ is the science and the song of the redeemed.GCDB April 7, 1903, page 176.2

    Now shall we read that and say. “It is so,” and then go on and allow it to have no effect upon us? How often we are like the man beholding his own face in the glass, who goes away and straightway forgets what manner of man he was-forgets what he has read. You know the Saviour upbraided the lawyers because they had taken away the key of knowledge. They would not come in themselves, and they would not let others enter in. What is the key of knowledge? It is the Lord Jesus. It is the cross of Christ. That is the key that unlocks all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Everybody who really believes in the Lord has open before him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and he may attain to them if he will only persevere; if he will only have as much desire for them as a man has for wealth; if he will seek for it; if he will cry for it; if he will think about it day and night, he will apply himself to it. For, although it is through the cross that we get the knowledge of God, there is searching, there is application, too, in order that one may attain to it. I know, and there is no guess work about it, that we neither know nor appreciate the Bible. If we appreciated the Bible, if we had any adequate conception of what the Bible is, of what the Bible says, and what the Bible reveals, and what it can do for us, we should be a denomination of Bible students, which we are not. I am not bringing any railing accusation against anybody. I am myself convicted every day of ignorance of the Bible. I am myself made to feel painfully how much I have neglected opportunities in the past, and how far short I come of having that knowledge of the Bible that I ought to have.GCDB April 7, 1903, page 176.3

    Let me ask you-I won’t ask you to answer, and expose yourselves if you do not want to, but I wonder how many of this congregation there are who would be ready at a moment’s notice to stand an examination, or conduct an examination, in any book of the Bible-in any one book. Of course, when I say any one book, that gives you a good deal of leeway. You could take the book of Jude. There is only one chapter in that, and it ought not to be a very difficult thing to learn that; but I wonder how many of this congregation including a good many ministers, would be ready at a moment’s notice to stand or conduct an examination on any considerable book of the Bible. What I mean is that you could tell the subject of every chapter; that you could walk right along through the book with the Bible shut; that you could take a class and drill them in it with the Bible lying on the table, asking them questions on it, and knowing if their answers were correct, for example: What is the subject of this chapter? What different things are told in this chapter? Where in the book will you find this thing? How many times in the book do you find this thing mentioned? In how many different places, and where, do you find this subject mentioned? That is what I mean by knowing the Bible, and standing an examination in it, or conducting the examination. Brother Jones asks, “How many could do it with the book of Daniel?” I ask, How many could do it with the book of Genesis? Now we profess to be Bible students. Let us think a minute. Are we acquainted with the Bible?GCDB April 7, 1903, page 176.4

    Suppose, for comparison, we had a man who professed to be a teacher in mathematics, very skillful. Wouldn’t you think his pretensions were altogether pretensions only, if he could not stand an examination in the fundamental principles of arithmetic? He professes to be a profound mathematician, and he can not stand an examination in the first book of Euclid, or he can not pass an examination in the very beginning of arithmetic. Surely, then, unless we are able to stand an examination in the very beginning of the Bible, we certainly can not very justly call ourselves Bible students, can we? Now I am sure that the great reason why people do not understand the Bible is that they have no idea of what it contains, and what it can do for them, and what it can reveal for them. One reason why they have no idea of it is because they do not believe what it tells them. The Bible reveals God. It is the revelation of God’s thought. In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and we can learn anything that God designs that the people should know in this world better through the Bible than through anything else.GCDB April 7, 1903, page 176.5

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