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- Weighted Relevancy
- Content Sequence
- Earliest First
- Latest First
March 1, 1894
“Doubt” The Present Truth 10, 9.
Doubt.-Doubt means devil. You can keep this in mind by the fact that both words have the same number of letters, and both begin with the same letter; and they mean the same thing. Belief comes from Christ; for He is the Author and Finisher of faith. He is the faithful One. Doubt is simply the whispering of the devil. Belief is the acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 129.1
“The Ways of God” The Present Truth 10, 9.
The Ways of God.-It is common for God to do good. It is common for Him to show great power; He cannot help it, for He is power. It is common for God to shower blessings. That is His way. It is common for God to show great mercy and love. That is His name. We must learn now to recognise Him, and we shall have no trouble about being thankful to the Lord. Nature is only God’s way of working. God Himself has always been near us although we have thought Him afar off.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 129.2
“In the Light of His Countenance” The Present Truth 10, 9.
In the Light of His Countenance.-It is written in the Psalms, “Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance.” . How many have thought that the Lord was holding them there against us, over our heads, and have found no comfort in this word of the Lord? But He is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity. . Then when He sets our sins before His face, that iniquity is gone, consumed by the glory of the Lord. In the light of His countenance there is health and righteousness. That light dispels sin, just as the light of the same glory in the sunlight purifies a dark unhealthful place, and destroys the germs of disease.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 129.3
“Talking with a Friend” The Present Truth 10, 9.
Talking with a Friend.-When we meet our friends to have a conversation with them, we do not approach them with stilted forms and set phrases, but we simply talk with them, and if we are honest we say the things we have in mind. We tell that which we wish them to know, and if we want something, we ask directly for that thing. So the Lord wishes us to know Him as a Friend. He calls us friends, because He will make known to us His secrets. We are to be on intimate terms with God the Maker of all things. His life is ours. We should expect Him to do great things because He is great. Prayer is simply talking to a wealthy Friend, who is our loving Father. And the talk is not to be one-sided. If we really talk to Him, we shall hear Him talking to us.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 129.4
“Living with Him” The Present Truth 10, 9.
Living with Him.-We are to dwell in the house of the Lord continually, and the Lord doesn’t have a spare chamber for visitors. He has nothing that is not for every-day use. The best robe, the robe of righteousness, is not too good to be worn every day. His best room, the “secret place of the Most High,” is for us. When we leave a good meeting, we need not leave the Lord behind. We may go to the house of worship with Him, and go away in His company. And do not think the love of the Lord is going to forsake you when you get into the routine of daily work. The Lord loves a woman just as much when she is washing the dishes, as when praying in a prayer-meeting. Do not let this idea of the love of God be a thing for occasional use. He is not ashamed to associate with us in our daily tasks. His presence, if we let Him go with us, will keep us from vanity, and will keep us humble.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 129.5
“‘Every Word’” The Present Truth 10, 9.
“Every Word.”—Man shall live by every word of God. Every word has the life of God in it. Wherever we get one word, that is the life, whether we understand another or not. But when we get the life in one word, we cannot reject it in another word, and still retain the life. While each word has life for us, and one word is enough to give us life, we must live by every word that comes to us. Thus we shall have life, and have it more abundantly.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 129.6
“God’s Glory His Gospel” The Present Truth 10, 9.
When Isaiah saw the Lord on the throne, high and lifted up, surrounded by the seraphim, he heard those beings crying one to another, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.” . These words were spoken hundreds of years ago. Are they true now, and is the earth now full of the glory of the Lord?—Most certainly; all the while the word has been, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” .PTUK March 1, 1894, page 129.7
The whole earth is full of the glory of God. He has revealed it in every blade of grass, and every flower, and everything that He has made. “His glory covers the heavens, and the earth is full of His praise.” The plant springing up and yielding its fruit, is showing forth the glory of God; for when in Cana of Galilee Christ accelerated the process, and, instead of waiting six months for the rain to come down and be taken up into the vine and converted into the juice of the grape, changed the water into wine by the power of the same word which sends the rain and is the life of the plant, it was written that this beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, “and manifested forth His Glory.”PTUK March 1, 1894, page 129.8
POWER AND GLORY
The power of God is the glory of God. He showed His mighty power in the resurrection of Christ from the dead; but Christ was raised from the dead “by the glory of the Father.” The power of God is also shown in the things that He is made, and the Gospel, which is this power manifested unto salvation, it is the “glorious Gospel” of God. The Gospel is glory; it is also power.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 130.1
And the whole earth is full of it. The earth preaches no set sermons. It does not begin with firstly, secondly, thirdly, and deliver an artistic address. What does the earth do? It receives the light from God, and manifests it forth. It simply receives the gifts that God sends upon it, and glorifies God in returning the fruits of the life. That is the Gospel. The Gospel is “the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth,” “for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.”PTUK March 1, 1894, page 130.2
WHY ALL DO NOT GLORIFY GOD
Someone may ask, “Then why am I not as much to the praise of God as the heavens?” Simply because you do not desire to be. We are all exactly what we wish to be. It is a fact that God satisfies the desire of every living thing. The trouble with some is that they do not want to be satisfied.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 130.3
If you really want to know the Lord, nothing in the world can hinder; because the Lord wants you to know Him. There is no use in standing off, and saying we want to know the Lord, and want to serve Him, when for many years He has been seeking for us, and knocking for us to open the door and let Him in, and has been speaking to us in every way He could. He has spoken to eyes, and ears, into every sense we have; for there is not a thing in heaven or earth that does not proclaim the power and the glory of God.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 130.4
Therefore as soon as we are willing to believe that the Lord is better than we are, that He is more at peace and rest than we are, we shall have Him; for we shall then be willing to give up our ways, and our poverty, and our unrest and disquietude, and have the peace and rest of God, and the riches and righteousness which He has given to us. But this is a giving up of all there is of self. To give up our ways means to confess that we do not know as much as we thought we did, and that is hard. It is a difficult thing to say that we are mistaken, and that we have no wisdom, or might, anything that is good and worth having. This hurts; but it is only saying that the Lord is greater than we are, and that we are willing that His life in us shall manifest forth His glory, that we also may be to the praise of the glory of His grace.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 130.5
“Messengers of God” The Present Truth 10, 9.
Human eyes are often dazzled, and human minds bewildered, by the imminence and splendour of earthly potentates; but there is a position open to men that is far higher than any held by these. Above all the imminence of kings and queens, emperor or president, is the calling and station of a messenger of the Lord of hosts.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 130.6
Human hands place a crown upon the head of an earthly potentate, or administer to him the oath of office, and human wills commission him to the place of earthly dominion; but how inferior is this to the commission given by the eternal God and sanctioned by the infinite host who stand in His presence!PTUK March 1, 1894, page 130.7
The prophet Isaiah presents before us a picture of the scene attending his own commission as a messenger from God to Israel. “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of Him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 130.8
“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And He said, Go!” .PTUK March 1, 1894, page 130.9
What earthly scene of coronation or investment with the authority of man, could ever be compared with this? And who that could be commissioned with the authority and power of the King of kings would ever thirst for the honour that comes from men? Yet all God’s servants may be so commissioned, for God desires that they shall be. For they are to be His witnesses, witnessing to His power (unto salvation) by revealing it in themselves before all men. They are to be ambassadors of God unto the world, clothed with the glory and authority of the Divine government which they represent. This is the position open to all who will become, by faith, the children of God.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 130.10
Who will choose this honour in preference to worldly fame and distinction,—the honour that is seen and recognised by “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life”? To-day “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” . To-day the call is sounding, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Who is willing to have his sins purged and his iniquity taken away by a live coal from the altar of the Lord, in order that he may say, “Here am I; send me”? The altar of the Lord represents sacrifice; and only those who possess the spirit of sacrifice, even “a broken and a contrite heart” ( ) for their undone condition in sin, can become the messengers of God. It is ours to repent and believe, and His to do the sending.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 130.11
“An Unideal World” The Present Truth 10, 9.
An Unideal World.-In building a house not only a plan but materials are necessary. The best kind of a plan would be unworkable with useless and unsatisfactory material. This is the reason why, after all the centuries of time, and the patient and impatient labour of philosophers, the ideal society or commonwealth has never been seen except on paper. Mr. Herbert Spencer confesses in the last Fortnightly Review that the theories which he and his school had originally conceived cannot be worked out except by people of a certain type, and this type cannot be found in actual society. Before the French Revolution the philosophers had beautiful theories of fraternity and peace, but when it came to actually putting these things into operation it was a massacre rather than a millennium that followed.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 130.12
When God is left out of the plan there must be failure, the matter how correct it may be in form; and the only way to get the Lord into it is to take His own plan. He makes no plan that is not perfect, and, as a perfect plan requires perfect material, He first of all sends the Gospel of power to transform and perfect those who are willing to be delivered from their own evil ways. This Gospel knows nothing of reforms in masses and communities, but takes hold of individuals. This Gospel of salvation from sin and self may look very barren to those who stand aside from it, and are impatient to see wrongs righted in social and political matters; but as it was sin that brought every evil, so in the Gospel is the only remedy for wrong of every kind. Men will not believe this; for the natural man has always thought himself wiser than God. But the first chapter of Romans, taught to a man by the Spirit of God, contains more wisdom on social economy than all that the world knows outside of the Lord.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 131.1
“Debatings” The Present Truth 10, 9.
The religion of Jesus Christ is a life to be lived, and not a theory to be debated about. Christ did not debate with the devil in the temptation in the wilderness; He simply lived. There is no debating the question of actual life; and anything less than this is not worth debating about.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 131.2
Suppose a man should, in order to “defend the truth,” get up and debate the question as to whether he is alive or not. Anyone who would do that would show that his life is not of sufficient value to give him good sense.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 131.6
The truth as it is in Jesus, is the life of God, and the life of God lived in His own way. All that we have to do is to let Him work in us, so that the injunction may be obeyed, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life.” .PTUK March 1, 1894, page 131.7
The word to us is, “Arise, shine,”—not debate. The lighted gas jet is very quiet. We may argue with it all we please, that it has no light, nevertheless it shines, and by the power of its shining it silences all cavilling. The sun shines, and men may rail at it all they wish, but it has not time to stop shining to go to arguing. The religion of Christ is the life of Christ, and it is the life that is the light. Let it spring up, and do not try to stop the flow. It is a fountain; do not be afraid of exhausting the supply.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 131.8
“How Do You Know?” The Present Truth 10, 9.
“But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” .PTUK March 1, 1894, page 131.9
This is the way of righteousness and this we want to learn. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Righteousness comes by Him; but where shall we find Him? Who knows anything about Him? We have in the Bible the story of His life, and have read about His crucifixion and resurrection and ascension to heaven; but how do we know that it is true? We never saw the men who wrote the Bible, nor anybody who did see them. Who knows that Christ ever came into the world to save sinners, about which we have read? If we should ask the average man whom we meet to-day, if he believes there was and is such a being as Jesus of Nazareth, he would say, “Yes, of course.” You say you believe in it; but what reason have you for believing it? Can you give any evidence of it?PTUK March 1, 1894, page 131.10
This is a fair question, and one that we ought to expect that the world will ask. The Lord expects that people will ask us a reason of the hope that is in us, and tells us that we should always be ready to give an answer. There are different ways people have of answering this question; but there is only one right way. Now and again we see in papers professedly devoted to Christian evidences, efforts to substantiate the truth of the Gospel by references to contemporary heathen writers who had mentioned the Scriptures, or by quotations from the ancient fathers, who professed faith in them. We sometimes see quotations from the sayings of great men of past days, or from men still living, who say they believe the Bible; and if they, with all their learning and greatness, believe it, why should not we? But that is no reason to us at all. We cannot believe it because somebody else does. We may believe the person to be honest in his belief, but that cannot make us know it. No man, however great and learned, can believe for another, no matter how mean and ignorant he may be.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 131.11
Now the question comes to every professor of Christ, How do you know that such a person as Jesus of Nazareth ever lived? It is a question which every disbeliever in the Bible has a right to ask, and to which he has a right to expect an answer. It will do no good to berate him as an infidel; that will only serve to confirm him in his unbelief, by leading him to think that his questions cannot be answered. How will you answer?PTUK March 1, 1894, page 131.12
You may tell him you believe in it. Very good; but that will not convince him, for there are other people who believe other things that are not true. He does not question the fact that you believe, but wishes to know why. You may quote him great men, but what of that? The Lord Himself would not admit that as evidence. On one occasion He said, “I receive not testimony from men.” It makes no difference how many men the questioner might be referred to, he would still want to know how they knew it was true.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 131.13
KNOWING BY FAITH
There is only one way of knowing, and these words of Paul in Romans point that out. We have searched for Him, but the scripture says we have not to ascend into heaven to bring Him down, or into the deep, to bring up Christ, but “the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith which we preach.” “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” This is the righteousness of faith; and in we read that Christ dwells in the heart by faith. We can really know nothing in this world about Christ, except that which we know by personal experience. The testimony of hearsay is valueless. We must tell only what we know. We have read about the crucifixion and resurrection, that Christ “suffered for sins, the just for the unjust;” that, “in that He died, He died unto sin, and in that He liveth, He liveth unto God;” and that “death hath no more dominion over Him;” but how do we know this is true?—By proving it.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 131.14
WITNESSING TO THE TRUTH
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus.” Now to confess a thing means to tell the truth about it. We are here as witnesses for God, just as the believers were sent out after Pentecost to be witnesses unto the Lord in Jerusalem, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. “Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord.” . We are to be witnesses with Him, who is the “faithful and true witness.” When the Saviour was asked before the Roman governor if He was a King, He “confessed and denied not.” And Paul says He “witnessed a good confession” before Pontius Pilate. . In doing this He said, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” . We are to confess with Him to the truth.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 132.1
One who is a witness must run no risk in his testimony. When we go into the witness box, we are put under oath to tell the truth, and only what we know to be truth. It will not do to tell what we think is true, we run the risk of perjuring ourselves. So we dare not speak of things which we do not know positively.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 132.2
Is Jesus of Nazareth raised from the dead? It may be you have talked about Christ and the resurrection. Do you know that He was dead, and is risen? The whole Gospel is summed up in that. The angels announced to the shepherds the birth of Christ, and said that the message was one of glad tidings of great joy, which should be to all people. Then if you have known the fact and do know it, it is joy to you, and you must have found joy in proclaiming it. If you have not found all joy and peace in it, then you must have missed the Gospel in some way, and if you have professed to believe in it, then you have been bearing false witness in your testimony.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 132.3
It may be that you have assumed the birth of Jesus as a fact so well established that you thought it was hardly necessary to prove it. “Everybody,” you say, “believes that Christ lived and was crucified.” No; there are more who do not believe it than there are who do believe it. Even in what are termed “Christian lands,” there are many who do not believe it, and we cannot rest in the assumption that everybody believes it.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 132.4
Perhaps in the very telling about it to others, there was a dolefulness in the testimony which belied it. Unbelievers coming into a meeting where professed believers were in the witness box testifying before the Judge, would often get the idea that it is a very gloomy thing to be always giving up something. There is such a sadness, such a feeling of want and dissatisfaction in many testimonies, that they would think that there was little attractiveness in Christ. This is a bearing of false witness before God; because the angel from heaven announced that this was a message of great joy, and here are those talking about it, who give the impression that there is no joy in witnessing to it, but a hard striving after something that we hoped to get but did not have.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 132.5
Then again, you have perhaps said that Jesus was raised from the dead, and have assumed that this was so generally accepted that you did not need to prove it. Some day someone may come to you face to face and ask you how you know that Jesus was raised from the dead. You may say, “Oh, the Bible says so.” But he will ask you how you know that the record is true. Here is a live question which comes to us eighteen hundred years after Christ. And were it not possible for us to-day to give just as sure evidence, and to speak just as positively as did the apostles, we should have to give up. If you do not know of positive knowledge that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, then it is not possible for anyone to know it. Surely witnesses for God ought to be as sure of their testimony as witnesses before an earthly magistrate are required to be; and that means that you know of your own personal knowledge, irrespective what others have told you. If you cannot do that, you know nothing about it, and thus stand down from the witness box.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 132.6
The Apostle Paul was brought before the magistrate on this very question at one time. He was on trial for his life, accused for saying that there was another King than C?sar, namely, one Jesus. But the Roman governor on investigation said he found it a question of religion only, about one Jesus whom the Jews said was dead, but whom Paul affirmed to be alive. . A very simple question, but one which involved the whole Gospel. Paul could stand before the court and testify under oath that Jesus was raised from the dead.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 132.7
It is a wonderful thing. You are telling men that one who was dead came to life. How do you know it? “I was reading it in a book and—” But hold, if we want the testimony of a book we will get the book; you must tell only what you know. “Well, I was at a place and heard a man speaking very positively, and he told a story which fitted together perfectly; and he made the matter so plain that I believed it.” But again you are missing the point; it is not some other man’s testimony that you are to give, but only your own. Did Jesus really die, or is this whole story a myth? Was it merely assumed that He died and rose again?PTUK March 1, 1894, page 132.8
How do we know that Jesus lives? We have talked with Him, we have heard His voice, and we can say positively that He lives at our house. Suppose that a man has disappeared, and foul play is suspected. We are called to testify as to our knowledge of him, and can say that he is not dead because he is living at our house, and we have been in conversation with him every day. That is evidence enough as to our knowledge of him. Moreover there is a record to put in evidence. The record says that Jesus was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead. Now this Being with whom we are in communion every day corresponds exactly with the specification of the records. We find the truth of the record demonstrated by Him every day.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 132.9
Here are habits of one kind and another, which might be enumerated by the score. In fact, our whole life was perverse. In spite of ourselves, we found that these habits would assert themselves and make us miserable. There was impatience, and we would say words that were wrong, and although resolving most solidly to refrain from allowing such feelings to enter the heart, we found that it was impossible to shut them out. We were helpless in the hands of these habits, and could not shake them off.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 132.10
WHAT WE HAVE SEEN
Well, we saw Jesus of Nazareth. We saw Him being led to Calvary. We saw Him crucified. Someone may say, “I don’t believe you saw that.” We cannot help it; we saw Jesus set forth crucified before our eyes, and that for which He was crucified was the sin of the world, our sin. And when He told me that “He loved me and gave Himself for me” (), I believed Him. In fact we have evidence of His love before that. He had borne witness from our earliest infancy to His love, and although we had gone our own way and denied Him, yet “He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” He did not withdraw His love and His life from us. So we had had previous witness of His love for us and His power.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 133.1
CRUCIFIED WITH HIM
So when He told us again that He loved us, and would deliver us from the sin that bound us, we believed Him, and gave ourselves to Him. He said He would identify Himself with us, and He did; although sinless, “He was made to be sin for us,” counting our sin as His. We had gone astray, and the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all. So when He was crucified, He was crucified for our sin. We saw Him lifted up, and we consented to be crucified with Him. And we knew it was a crucifixion too. It was no fancy; for when we came to giving up those evil things, we found that the whole life was composed of them, and it was giving our life. We found that the disease of sin was in the blood itself, and it was taking our very life to have it taken away. But we said to the Lord, “We identify ourself with You, as You with us,” and so we were crucified with Him. And in that crucifixion we found Him a wonderful Being, the like of which had never lived on the earth before; for although crucified, He still lived, and when we accepted His terms, and told Him that He might take our life in the crucifixion, we took His life for us, and ever since He has lived with us.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 133.2
LIVING WITH HIM
How do we know He lives? Is there any evidence that we are not dreaming? Yes; because our faith brings Him as a living Being into our heart, and that thing which we found utterly impossible is now done. We can say, “The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” . Therefore we can witness that Jesus Christ is not in the heavens, nor in the deep, but in our heart. And this is the way in which the Apostle Peter says we are to be able to give a reason for our hope. He says: “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you, with meekness and fear.” . It could not be done in any other way, because Christ in us is the only hope of glory. . He in whom Christ is not formed, has no hope at all.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 133.3
Someone says, “I should like to know this.” You may know it just as well as anybody if you wish. “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved; for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” The reason is that Christ is righteousness, and when He dwells in the heart by faith; our faith in that which is a fact, makes us know the fact.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 133.4
FAITH IN A FACT
If the story of Jesus of Nazareth were a myth, no faith that we could put in it would make it a fact. One cannot believe a lie so strongly as to make it a truth. We cannot believe anything which does not exist, so strongly as thereby to make it exist. Therefore that which through faith we find to be an actual fact, must have been a fact before we believed it. That which we seek must have existed before we saw it. Our faith in the story of Jesus, that He was born, and was crucified, and that He lives, produces an actual power in us to do that which we could not do ourselves, or which no power of man could do. And this shows that the story is not a myth, but a present, living reality.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 133.5
We did not believe in that thing because the power operated in our heart, but that power worked in us because we believed it. We saw Jesus Christ lifted up before us, and we were crucified with Him, and in that crucifixion we demonstrated the fact that He had risen from the dead. The crucifixion is because of sin, and it is a giving up of life, and all that there is of this life. But “if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” . “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” . The living is the living of Christ in us. The joy of the Lord is the strength of our life. . So let us not tell our neighbours and friends that the Christian life is a doleful one. But there is no use in our telling them that it is not a sad life, unless the joy and peace of it is seen in the telling of it, and is manifested in the life.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 133.6
GIVING AND TAKING
One part of the life is a giving up, a crucifixion. But do not tell the world that that is all there is of Christianity. We cannot persuade men to give up their sinful habits and pleasures by simply talking about giving up. “What is there left?” they will say. If they give their sinful pleasures up in Christ, seeing Him crucified, and are crucified with Him, in that very giving up they get something else. They get His life, and this life is peace and righteousness. In Him all things consist, which are in heaven and earth. Wherefore, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Each man can have but a very small portion of this world, but if a man had all the world, we could say to him: “Give this up, and take Christ, and in Him you will have all the treasures of the universe; for in Him are all things, and in Him ‘we have obtained an inheritance.’” . The Spirit of God is to make known to us “what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power” to us.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 133.7
We are to give everything we have, and what vast possessions are ours to give up? What have we? Our wretchedness, misery, poverty and blindness. We had an impatient disposition. What returns did it make to us? The dislike and ill-will of many. These pleasures we thought were yielding us something at the time, but afterwards they left emptiness or disease behind them. “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.” . Although we have not felt to the full the death, there was a certain looking forward to the Judgment; and the fear of death resulted from the continued bondage. Now the word comes, “Give up all this, and take Christ and His riches, and by His strength you will overcome the evil habits whenever they attempt to put you under the old bondage;” and your faith in that fact makes it a fact to you. Your belief in the fact that Christ is crucified and risen, makes it a fact that Christ lives in you, and brings all the joy of the universe into your life.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 133.8
We go to Calvary. We may never have seen that spot just outside the walls of Jerusalem. Not many have either the time or the means to go there; and it would not add to their faith in Christ if they could. We are glad we do not have to go to Jerusalem, either to see the place or to see Him crucified. Calvary is right here. Here is the cross set up, and we see Christ set forth crucified among us. . We see Him as Isaiah saw Him, “high and lifted up.” He is crucified for all the sins of the flesh, and they are all ours. We say, “Lord, I will go to the cross with Thee, and be crucified with Thee.” And as we see Him lifted up from the earth we see in Him some things wonderful. We see in Him joy in the midst of tribulation. We see in Him righteousness under provocation such as no man on earth ever had. There is power and attractiveness in all these things.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 134.1
LIFTED UP FROM THE EARTH
And now we believe, and are crucified with Him; and what comes to us? As He is lifted up from the earth, we are lifted up with Him from the earth. Oh, the preciousness of this fact to everyone who knows and believes that there is anything better than this earth and its sin, and who can joy in the sunlight of heaven. The marvel of it is that our belief makes us know it, because we experience the same thing, and so can bear witness that it is a fact. Then we can go and bear witness to the world that Jesus Christ is crucified and risen again. We know it is so, because we not only saw Him crucified, but were crucified with Him, and are raised to life with Him.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 134.2
And that is not the end of it. We found that although it was an unequal partnership, He made it equal. We gave our life, which had only poverty and death in it; His part was to give His life, an endless life, which we took as righteousness and peace to us.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 134.3
PEACE IN CONFLICT
This is how we know that the Bible is true, and that Jesus of Nazareth is raised from the dead. We say from the heart that Jesus is crucified for our sins, He died for us, and now He lives, and we know He lives; for our faith brings Him into our life, and faith keeps him there, so that in the midst of temptation there is peace and deliverance. Yes, even in the face of the enemy, He gives rest and assurance. “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.” . The enemy surrounds us, and is ready to make a charge upon us, but the Lord says, “Never mind them; come and let us sit down at the table, and feast our souls upon the good things prepared. Their power is gone, and they can do no harm.” So we laugh them to scorn, and delight ourselves in the abundance of His table, with the enemy raging all about us.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 134.4
Every enemy that comes against the soul to destroy it is the same old enemy that came against Jesus of Nazareth and He conquered them. They know Him; for Christ gained the victory on the cross. On the cross He completed the work, and the enemy was everlastingly overthrown, and all His strength taken away, together with all his armour wherein he trusted. When the enemies come, we know that it is only a show of armour they bring; so we say to them, “Christ is risen, and Christ lives in us.” That which we state with positiveness because we believe in it, and our belief makes it true to us because it is everlastingly true in itself, whether we believe it or not,—that fact puts the enemies to flight; for they have been beaten and overthrown by that same life, and therefore have no desire to try conclusions with it again. So we hold up the life, and claim it as ours, and it is our safety and defence. The victory is already gained for us in the life of Christ, so that all we have to do is to allow ourselves to be continually crucified with Him, that thus we may have His life in us. And thus any man who is a sinner, and knows himself to be a sinner, and desires to be free from that bondage of evil habits, may say, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our our Lord Jesus Christ.” .PTUK March 1, 1894, page 134.5
“Taking the Word as of God” The Present Truth 10, 9.
Taking the Word as of God.-No man takes the Scriptures as the word of God unless he experiences the power of the word. A man may say, “I believe that this is the word of God.” Very well, take the text, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me ... to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” Now he says he believes the Bible, but he is afraid to say that he is free. Then he does not take it as the word of God. God has spoken to him saying that he is free, but he says that he is not free. Now if he accepted that as the word of God, he would be free, because he would know that God’s word has power to give him freedom. God speaks with authority. No matter what a man may profess about the word of God, if he is not free, he simply does not believe in his heart that it is the word of God.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 134.6
“Guarding the Rest Day” The Present Truth 10, 9.
A growing fear is agitating many minds throughout Christendom, especially on the other side of the Atlantic, that the world will lose its rest day. A prominent churchman has declared that “the more we assimilate Sunday to other days by the amusements, the occupations, the teaching and reading and thinking with which we fill it, the greater is the danger that ultimately we shall lose it altogether.” So it is proposed to guard against such a loss by “every sanction which the law can furnish.”PTUK March 1, 1894, page 134.7
So far Sunday is concerned, this fear is doubtless well grounded. There is a growing tendency to disregard the religious distinction which that day has for several centuries enjoyed, and to make it a day for secular pursuits and pleasures; and there is no power on earth that can stop it. The distinction between it and other days of the week, excepting the seventh, is one which rests only upon human authority and custom, and to human authority and human power it must look for that which is to save it from being swept away. Many men have observed, and do now observe the day from conscientious convictions of duty, believing it to be the day Divinely instituted and given to man to be kept holy. But with the knowledge that it is not and never was a holy day,—now fast being disseminated throughout the religious world,—and that its claim to sanctity rests on nothing but the traditions of men, while the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord, which all men are bound to observe, as the fourth commandment declares, there springs up naturally in men’s minds a disregard for the Sunday, which the argument of law is powerless to cure. No human law ever changed the convictions of a person’s heart. The most that human law can do is to make some of those who do not believe Sunday to be a sacred day, act as though they did believe in it; that is, to make hypocrites; for all who do believe it to be of a sacred character will observe it without the law. This is the only additional guard that secular enactments can throw around the day,—a guard of hypocrites.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 134.8
But how is it with “the Sabbath of the Lord,” the seventh day? Is there any danger that it will be lost? We hear no such fear expressed. Though its adherents are very much less numerous than the number who profess allegiance to Sunday, none of them have any doubt that it is sufficiently guarded and secure. It comes regularly once in each week, and shows no tendency whatever to get lost. The masses not only of the world but of Christendom, are against it, but it is losing no ground. On the contrary, its cause is moving steadily forward, and the number of its adherents is growing in all parts of the world day by day. No human law gives it aid, no popular church party gives it sanction, no man of wealth and influence are behind to push it forward; yet it moves onward with a power and majesty which discomforts and confounds its enemies.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 135.1
The reason of this is simple. It is “the Sabbath of the Lord.” He is behind it and in it. His power is with it. Upon His word, it rests. Small wonder then that it flourishes without the aid of human laws, influence, or wealth. Human power will turn against it, but that will make no difference. It is guarded and upheld by the word of the Lord, and can no more be vanquished or lost than can God Himself.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 135.2
The only way to get the Sabbath is to get Christ. The only way to keep the Sabbath is to keep Christ. In Christ is rest; without Him there is no rest. “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Would not this gracious invitation of the Master be as good to present to the poor workingman as a law compelling him to rest (?) whether he will or no?PTUK March 1, 1894, page 135.3
In Christ, the workingman and every other man will find his rest, and he will not find it in any other way. He will find the Sabbath; for He is Lord of the Sabbath, the Creator of all things, and the Institutor, with His Father, of the day of rest. He kept it. The keeping of the Sabbath is a part of His life; and therefore those who have His life in them will keep it too. And they will not be afraid of the consequences, whether it be loss of position, loss of wealth or influence, or persecution from those who know not God. If they meet all these, they will still have as much as the Saviour had here on earth, and they ask no more.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 135.4
When Christ can be put into the heart by human law, then Sabbath rest can be given to an individual by law; and not before. Until then, it is useless to talk of throwing guards around the Sabbath by human enactments.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 135.5
“Enforcing the Law of God” The Present Truth 10, 9.
“For we know that the law is spiritual.” . Then there can be no fulfilling of the law save in the Spirit. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” Sometimes people talk about keeping the spirit of the law without the letter, but there is nothing in the Bible about keeping the spirit without the letter. By that expression men mean that they will keep what they think the law means, regardless of what it says. But God knows that the thoughts of man are vain. We are to forsake our own thoughts, as well as our own way. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” . God is Spirit; therefore they that worship Him must do so in the Spirit which He supplies. He provides the means, and does not ask us to worship Him in our spirit, or in our conception of His law.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 135.6
We are not to worship God as we think Him to be, but as He is. And no one, as stated in the text just quoted, can comprehend God, or define the bounds and limits of His will. Then no man can lay down a rule for another, or even for himself. Here is the unlimited word. No man can put a limit on the word of God, or say of any text that he has fathomed its depth, and that he has all the truth there is in it. No; the word is spiritual, and no man can fathom the depth of the mind of the Holy Spirit. For this reason no man, and no body of men, is at liberty to put any construction on the word of God, or to change it, or to hold or teach that it means anything different from exactly what it says.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 135.7
The knowledge of this shuts out everything like religious coercion, persecution, or the laying down of rules for people to follow; for true worship must be rendered in the Spirit which God alone gives. The word must be taken, not in our own spirit, but in the Spirit of God, and that must lead us into larger and larger ideas, and work in us that which we do not know ourselves. Men have secret faults of which they are utterly unconscious. Not only so, but no man knows the depth of any sin which is brought to his attention, or the fulness of any command which is enjoined upon him. It is plain, therefore, that no man can measure his own righteousness, nor his own sin. He can simply know that he is a sinner, and that the righteousness of God is given to him. The more of the Lord he knows, the greater sinner he will realise himself to be. Therefore no man or body of men, whether in church or state, can lay down rules by which a man must live; because the field of God’s requirements is as unbounded as His own life, and must therefore ever keep increasing to our vision; and though men filled the world with books in the attempt to define everything, there still would be something omitted. The Spirit of God must work its own life in every man. This takes the matter out of the realm of civil government entirely. No human authority whatever can impose the Spirit upon any man, or define the mind of the Spirit. The law of God, which is His righteousness, is the one thing which men are to seek. Christ said, “I know that His commandment is life everlasting.” . We also are to know the same thing. The law itself is spiritual; it is life everlasting. But life is not a figment, a fancy; it is real, and wherever there is life there must be something living. When we read the commandment is life everlasting, it does not mean that the written characters are life. They simply declare the fact. Everlasting life is in Jesus Christ. “As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.” . He is the fountain of life. ; .PTUK March 1, 1894, page 135.8
The commandment or law of God is everlasting life because it is His own life. Then it is the life of the Spirit of God; and putting the Spirit of God into the hearts of men puts the life of God there. It is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ, it gives freedom and peace with God. “The Spirit is life, because of righteousness;” and “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” . Nothing less than the life of Christ is the law of God; and anything contrary to the life of Christ is condemned. Then we can leave the right of any body of men to enforce the law of God entirely outside of the question. It is merely a question of power. Has it the power to enforce the law of God? Has any government on earth power to take the life of God and put it into the hearts of its subjects? Certainly not.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 136.1
Then when men do make religious laws, and enforce religion upon people, it is certain that they are not enforcing the religion of Christ. Therefore when they do that, those who are loyal to Christ can have no complicity with it whatever. It is paganism, no matter what form of truth there may be. It is but the form without the power or life. If such enforcement is put in the very terms of the Bible, it is only the more thoroughly pagan; for it is paganism trying to palm itself off as Christianity.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 136.2
The attempt to enforce the ten commandments, even just as they read, would be the greatest dishonour men could offer to the Lord. It would be saying that the law of God is no better than any man may be of himself. It is the same as saying that a man is all right if he keeps the law so that no man can find fault with him. But the man who merely refrains from the outward violations of the law may be worse than the man who utterly disregards it, and knows he is guilty. In the latter case the man has nothing wherein to trust, while in the other, the man is building himself up in his own righteousness, and thinks that he is all right as long as he keeps the letter so far as men can discern.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 136.3
But the law is spiritual, and only the power of the Spirit can work righteousness in an individual. The recognition of civil government as having anything to do with the law of God, is directly opposed to the idea of justification by faith. To lay down a rule or law requiring obedience to the law of God, with a penalty for disobedience, is to say to a man, “You could keep it if you would try; but you will not try, and so we will compel you to do it.” This is putting man on an equality with God. Anything less than the life of God is sin, and therefore for any power to attempt to enforce any of the precepts of Christ is simply an attempt to compel people to sin, and to hold them in sin.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 136.4
“Union with Christ” The Present Truth 10, 9.
Are you separated from Christ? And if so, must you remain separated from Him? These are questions which vitally concern the welfare of every individual on the earth. The consideration of them should take precedence over every other matter.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 136.5
There are two parties concerned in this matter,—Jesus Christ and yourself. If the union does not exist, is it His fault, or yours? If you have done what He has told you to do, and He has still allowed something to separate you from Him, or some stronger power than His has prevented Him from fulfilling the promise made to you, the fault is His. Otherwise, it must be your own. And though we know that He cannot break or forget His promise, and that all power has been given to Him in heaven and in earth, so that no power can stand in His way, we often excuse ourselves for the separation of which we are conscious, by charging the fault upon Him. We are not conscious that we have done anything in particular to prevent the union, and so we tacitly if not openly lay the blame upon God, and pass along as if the only thing we could do was to wait until God by some special manifestation, came and united Himself to us. This is because we do not realise what it is that keeps Him from us. It is because of the deceitfulnes of sin.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 136.6
Do you think God is far off from you because you do not see Him or hear Him? Is it because some peril hangs over you, where because you are in distress,—suffering from some calamity that has overtaken you, or in poverty, without food or sufficient clothing? These are the things that make men feel that they are separated from God, and they think so because they feel so. But God has shown us that we have something better to depend on than feeling. He has told us something on this very point which enables us to set all such feelings aside, and to know that the impression they cast over us is not the truth; for through the Apostle Paul He said and still speaks to us these words: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?.. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” .PTUK March 1, 1894, page 136.7
None of these things, therefore, nor all of them put together, can separate us from God. So if the separation exists, it is not due to any cause of this kind. It is not because we do not see or hear the Lord or feel as though we were close beside Him. The trouble is that our feelings are a part of our human nature, and are dependent upon natural conditions; and we are trying to make them serve the purpose of revealers of spiritual truths. They are in no wise fitted for such work. They are entirely disconnected from spiritual things. They can be affected by spiritual things, but they cannot themselves affect spiritual things; so that whatever our feelings may be, we are not to take them as an index of our relation to spiritual things. A gloomy or depressed feeling is no more evidence that God has withdrawn Himself than an obscuring cloud in the sky is evidence that the sun is further away than when it shone brightly upon us. In the Christian life, feelings play altogether a secondary part. Knowledge comes first, feeling afterward; and this order is never reversed.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 136.8
Men are continually trying to discover God by their natural senses. He can never be found in that way. The uncivilised pagan thinks he must have a god that he can see; so he makes an image of wood or stone; but it is not God. And why does he do this? Simply because he knows nothing about the one true way of seeing and knowing God, which is faith. His civilised brother knows better than to worship wood or stone, but he too, very often, knows no better than to think that God must be found in some way by his natural senses; and because these do not reveal God to him he thinks either that there is no God or that He has withdrawn Himself a great way off. He has planned some way in which he thinks God ought to manifest Himself if He were near by; and because no such manifestation appears, he concludes that God comes no nearer than the remote outskirts of his individual life.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 136.9
All this is the result of trying to find and know God through the various avenues of the flesh. And it is all failure, because it is not God’s way. God has provided faith as the avenue through which He reveals Himself to man, for the very reason that man could not know Him through any means of his own. Man cannot find God till they come to Him, and they cannot come to Him without faith; for “he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” .PTUK March 1, 1894, page 137.1
The testimony of faith is just the opposite of the testimony of the natural senses. When the latter declare that God, if He exists at all, is far off and only rarely if ever condescends to take notice of individual affairs, faith says that He is very near. And by faith the individual knows that God is near and takes notice of him; for faith cannot lie, since it declares only what is said by the word of God. By faith the individual can look up and rejoice in darkest trials, knowing that in spite of all contrary appearances, he is united with Christ and has underneath him the everlasting arms of his heavenly Father.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 137.2
Faith declares that God is near us; even that He is “not far from every one of us.” . The natural eye cannot see Him, but faith says He is there. When our feelings testify that He is a great way off, faith says, He is near. Faith declares that Jesus Christ has united Himself to the human family and is identified with them; for we read that “He took upon Him the nature of the seed of Abraham,” and is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” ; . So that Christ has done all that He can do to unite Himself with us, and if we are not united with Him it is not His fault but ours. But all that we have to do to become united with Him is to come into harmony with Him, that is, to agree with Him and testify that His word is true. He has made the union of Himself with each one of us complete already, except on the point of our own free will to believe or disbelieve what He says. The part left to us is to believe; not merely to nod assent to His word but to build upon it, to rest ourselves in all that we have and hope for upon it. As long as we do this, the union with Christ is complete, whatever may be our circumstances and the feelings and appearances to which they give rise. But if we fail to believe, we nullify, so far as we are concerned, all that He has done to unite Himself with us, and are no better off than as though God were really as far from us as we have imagined Him to be.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 137.3
The Lord declares that His hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear. That is not the reason His presence is not realised. “But,” He says, “you iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” . In other words, there is a lack of faith. When faith comes, the iniquities disappear; for by faith we are justified, and our transgressions, like a thick cloud, are blotted out. . Then you can rejoice because you know by faith, that you are united with Christ, from whom not height, nor depth, nor poverty, nor suffering, nor death itself, have power to separate you. And thus a bright light will shine in upon you now, this very day, if you will but let it, to illumine your darkest hours, when appearances and the feelings of your own heart are all against you, and supply that power which it gave to those of old who “out of weakness were made strong.” .PTUK March 1, 1894, page 137.4
“The Knowledge of Freedom” The Present Truth 10, 9.
The knowledge of freedom does not rest on the fact that we have escaped some temptation; but the escape from the temptation is made through the knowledge that we are free. It is not that we are to try for a time to see if we can live free lives, overcoming a temptation, and then conclude that we are free. Many think this way: They were in close places, and they asked the Lord to help them, and He did, and so now they know that the Lord hears them. But suppose it had been an imaginary need, and the Lord had not sent what they asked for? They would have taken that as an evidence that the Lord did not hear them.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 137.5
If the enemy can have his way, he will lead us to take counsel of ourselves, to put ourselves in the place of God, and find out from ourselves whether or not God is good, and whether He means what He says. The only thing that keeps anyone from knowing and seeing that he is free, is this consulting with himself. One thinks that if he can go on for a week or two living in freedom, he will then be able to say with confidence that he is free. But that is but bondage to self. It is the Lord who proclaims freedom, and He proclaims it to those who are captives, and bound. By asserting the liberty which the Lord has given, and asserting it in the face of temptation, and in the midst of bondage, the knowledge of freedom gives the victory.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 137.6
“‘Come unto Me’” The Present Truth 10, 9.
When David was a shepherd and kept his father’s sheep on the hills of Bethlehem, there came out, at one time, a lion and a bear and took a lamb out of the flock. If David had not been there the poor little lamb would have been torn to pieces; for it was altogether too weak of itself to resist the strongest of all beasts. But David went out and smote the lion and delivered the lamb out of his mouth; and he slew both the lion and the bear. How good it was that that little lamb had a strong and loving shepherd!PTUK March 1, 1894, page 140.3
But that little lamb did not need a shepherd any more than you do, for your enemy “the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour;” and he will devour you if you do not have a shepherd who is stronger than he.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 140.4
You cannot resist him yourself one moment, for he is strong and you are weak. Your mother cannot drive him away from you, or even your father, for he is stronger than both of them together. If all the soldiers in the world should come out against him in one vast army, they could not overcome him.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 140.5
But the Lord says that you can “overcome evil with good,” and that the Lord alone is good. Therefore you can overcome Satan with the Lord. You are perfectly safe if you have Jesus for your good Shepherd. He loves every one of His little lambs, and therefore loves you. He will not allow Satan to overcome you once, so long as you trust yourself to Him.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 140.6
Because you cannot be saved without Him any more than the little helpless lamb could be saved without the shepherd, He says, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.”PTUK March 1, 1894, page 140.7
“Our Worst Enemy” The Present Truth 10, 9.
You have learned that Jesus is your best Friend, that He loves you more and has done more for you than even your own mother. Through each twinkling star, through every fleecy cloud, and murmuring brook, through the tiniest creatures and flower and leaf that He has made Jesus whispers, “I LOVE YOU, AND I CARE FOR YOU.”PTUK March 1, 1894, page 141.2
What a Friend! so powerful that He made the heavens and earth and all things by His word, so wise that He made no mistakes, so kind that He fitted every creature with just the things it needs. Shall we not love and trust Him with our whole hearts? As we study this lesson we shall see more and more how much we need just such a Friend.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 141.3
We learned last week that we have an enemy as well as a Friend. An enemy is one who is not a friend,—one who does not love but hates us and wishes to hurt and injure us in every way that he can. The worst enemy that we have is Satan. He is also called Devil and Serpent and Dragon and other names. In , we read that, like a fierce lion, he walks about trying to destroy peoplePTUK March 1, 1894, page 141.4
He does not look like a lion, for, you remember, he is a fallen angel; nor does he destroy people in the same way that a lion does. Satan destroys people by causing them to hate God and to refuse to have His goodness and eternal life.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 141.5
You see no one but God has any goodness or any eternal life, and Satan knows it; so he follows us about and tries to make us afraid of God, and tries to get us to hate God so that we shall not go to Him for life. He knows that without God’s goodness we can have only wickedness, and without God’s eternal life we can have only eternal death. He therefore does everything in his power to deceive us and make us think that God is our enemy instead of our Friend. If he only can get us to refuse to have anything to do with Jesus, he knows that he is sure of our eternal death. And that is just like the selfishness of Satan; he has put off Jesus until he has lost all hope of eternal life himself, and so he does not want any of the rest of us to have it.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 141.6
He knows, too, how God loves us and how it grieves Him to see us choose wickedness and death, and thus throw ourselves away. Satan therefore tries all the more to lead us into sin, for He hates God also.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 141.7
He comes to us in different ways. He does not often come and tell us who he is and what he wants, but he slyly hides himself and talks through someone else, or makes himself look like someone else. Sometimes we do not see anyone, but we suddenly begin to think of something wrong and want to do something naughty. When we feel this way, we may be sure that Satan is near putting these bad thoughts into our hearts, coaxing and tempting us to deny our best Friend, and choose his way of death instead of Christ’s way of life.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 141.8
But we do not need to do what Satan our enemy wants us to do, even though he is so much stronger than we, and even though he is constantly going about like a lion, seeking whom he may destroy.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 141.9
How can we help it, you say? Easily enough, for there is a Friend going about seeking whom He may save, and He is so much stronger than Satan that Satan cannot overcome Him at all; he has tried it and failed every time. Can you not think who this dear Friend is?PTUK March 1, 1894, page 141.10
Yes, it is, the powerful Creator of all things. He has seen your danger and has come to your help, and says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him.”PTUK March 1, 1894, page 141.11
Oh, will you let Him in? If God be for you, who can be against you? All you have to do is to let Him come in, and let Him stay with you, and let Him drive Satan away when he comes to tempt you. Without Him you cannot overcome Satan once, but with Him all things are possible.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 141.12
Then never fear. Although an enemy is constantly going about seeking whom he may devour, a mightier Friend is going about seeking whom He may save, and He will save you if you will let Him.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 141.13
“Interesting Items” The Present Truth 10, 9.
-The French Corn Duties Bill, which increases the duty on wheat to 7 francs, and raises the duties on other kinds of grain, has been adopted by the Chamber of Deputies by 361 votes against 155.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.7
-A Frenchman claims to have discovered a substitute for silk. The threads are produced from wood-pulp, which is said to be durable, luminous, and elastic. Compressed air forces the pulp through apertures small enough to form threads.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.8
-An ice-floe in the Gulf of Finland broke adrift from the mainland, carrying off fishermen and peasants, with their wives and children, 500 in all, who were encamped on the ice at the time. They were rescued, after being adrift for forty-eight hours.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.9
-An epidemic having broken out among the children a village in Hungary, the people said it was caused by an old woman who was suspected of being is witch. The unfortunate woman was seized, and, after being gagged and flogged, was crucified.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.10
-A report from Moscow states that in the neighbourhood of Tomsk and elsewhere in Western Siberia a large number of arrests have been made of propagandists of the doctrines of the “Old Believer” sects, together with many of their newly converted disciples.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.11
-Dr. Sharpe, lecturing at the Imperial Institute on “Bird life,” said that the species of birds in the British Isles numbered nearly 400. Of these 108 are resident birds. Our feathered winter visitors number about 61, including the snow bunting from the Arctic regions.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.12
-The Italian Chamber of Deputies on Feb. 22, elected Signor Biancheri as its President. Signor Blancheri headed the list with 191 votes, against 187 given to Signor Zanardelli, twenty-three voting papers remaining blank. The defeat of Signor Zanardelli has given rise to much comment.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.13
-From Vienna it is reported that of the seventy-seven members of the Omladina Society who have been tried at Prague on the charge of high treason, sixty-seven have been found guilty, and sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging up to eight years, while the remaining ten have been acquitted.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.14
-It has been definitely decided that the Czar shall leave shortly for San Remo or the south of France, and not for Kieff as was expected. The contemplated journey is regarded as likely to be attended by considerable political importance, as his Majesty may meet some of the rulers and chief statesmen of Europe.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.15
-The Parliamentary Committee of the Trade Union Congress has decided to convene a conference of all the trade unions and friendly societies in the country, to discuss the position of Employers’ Liability, on Saturday, March 17, and a national demonstration will be held in Hyde Park on Sunday, March 18.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.16
-The Emperor of Austria is about to make a visit to France, which is looked upon as being of great significance. It is stated that M. Lozé French Ambassador in Vienna, has been instructed to ask Count Kalnoky to prevail upon the Emperor Francis Joseph to make a short stay in Paris before going south.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.17
-The women of Canada who subscribed for a pair of horses, a sleigh and furs as a wedding present for the Duchess of York are indignant that the horses were docked before being shipped, and are sending a memorial asking the Duchess to express her reprobation of the cruel practice by refusing to accept the horses.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.18
-The Argentine correspondent of the Pall Mall Gazette states that everybody there is favourable to the cause of Jabez Spencer Balfour, and the judges and lawyers assert that his arrest is illegal, and is a disgrace to the Argentine Government. Balfour himself declares that his arrest is due to political causes in England. The British Minister has presented the claim for his tradition, bet no decision has yet been taken on the subject.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.19
-The Supreme Court of Canada has decided that the Roman Catholics in Manitoba had no right to appeal to the Governor in Council against the provincial statute which abolished Catholic separate schools. Two of the judges dissented from this finding. The question has been the subject of much controversy in Canada during the past three years. The decision of the Court relieves the Federal Government from further action in the matter.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.20
-In his financial statement to the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Signor Sonnino announced that the deficit for the financial year is estimated at 178,000,000 lire, while the debt of the Treasury exceeds 500,000,000 lire. To meet this critical state of affairs the Minister proposed new taxes yielding some 100,000,000 lire, and economies in the Government services to the amount of 30,000,000, besides the conversion of certain redeemable rentes.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.21
-Some statistics have just been compiled as to the chances that man has of living in different large towns. The towns whore the greatest percentage of the inhabitants per thousand die is Rheims. The proportion is 28.62 per thousand. Then follow: Dublin, 27.05; New York, 26•17; and Vienna, 25•07. Paris occupies the next place with an average of 23•01 deaths per thousand inhabitants. In Berlin the people only die at the rate of 20.58 per thousand; in London the proportion is 19•11; in Chicago, 18•95, etc. It appears that the town in which relatively the fewest number of deaths occur is Minneapolis, in the United States, where, according to statistics, only 9•80 persons per thousand die in each year.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.22
-The exact figures of the vote on the Ontario prohibition plebiscite are given as follows: For prohibition, 192,187; against, 110,757; majority for, 81,730. Analysing these totals it is found that the most overwhelming vote for prohibition was that given in the counties-that is, the rural districts-where the poll was sixty per cent. of the total) vote, and showed 154,000 for and 83,800 against prohibition, a majority of 70,200, or almost two to one. In the cities and separated towns and tracts about forty pet cent. of the total vote was polled, and it showed 38,400 for prohibition, and 26,800 against, a majority of 11,600. The women polled thirty-five per cent. of their total vote, and were six to one in favour of prohibition. The grand total shows that fifty-eight per cent. of the electorate polled, and the vote was nineteen to eleven in favour of prohibition.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 142.23
“Hard Times” The Present Truth 10, 9.
Hard Times.-The year of financial depression has resulted in much destitution and suffering. Yet notwithstanding this, for self-indulgence in two articles alone, drink and tobacco, the country has spent over ?140,000,000. To the spenders this amount was more than thrown away; for the indulgence weakens the constitution and lessons working capacity. “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your earnings for that which satisfieth not?”PTUK March 1, 1894, page 144.1
“Fluctuating Values” The Present Truth 10, 9.
Fluctuating Values.-A South American correspondent of a missionary journal gives one remarkable effect of the prevailing financial depression. The Archbishop of Santiago has advertised a raise in the scale of rates for priestly ministrations. Masses, baptisms, funerals, etc., are advanced 50 per cent., and indulgences cost double. One would naturally expect to see the rates lower in times of depression, but the course adopted plainly confesses the mere commercialism of the whole thing. One day this merchandiser of Rome will find a buyer at any price; “for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”PTUK March 1, 1894, page 144.2
“The Model State” The Present Truth 10, 9.
Ecuador is a model Republic, being the only government in the world which grants a subvention to Peter’s-pence, and which openly protested against the usurpation of Rome in 1870. Religious orders and all Catholic works prosper there.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 144.4
Again and again Ecuador has been cited by Catholics as a model state, and so we may know very well what, according to the Papal idea, constitutes a well-ordered commonwealth. The priests are the law makers, and the country is administered solely in the interests of the Church and religious orders. So lose is the administration that no record is kept of revenues or disbursements, and when receipts fall short an officer with a file of soldiers calls on the merchants of the cities for forced loans. Bible colporteurs have never been able to get into the country, and no books can be imported save by permission of the Jesuit priests who control the customs house. No Protestant is allowed to live in Quito, even for purely business purposes. This is therefore a model state in the eyes of Rome, and all Catholic works prosper amid the ignorance and darkness. Some day the light will break even in Ecuador; for the everlasting Gospel must be proclaimed to every nation and people.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 144.5
“Perfection Yet Growth” The Present Truth 10, 9.
“Ye are complete in Him,” is the word to the believer. The difficulty in the minds of many in the way of grasping the completeness of the life of Christ is the fact that the Christian life is progressive. We are to continually grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord; but this to some seems incompatible with being complete in Christ.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 144.6
When Christ Jesus was on earth as a boy of twelve years He was perfect. But we read that He grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God. . Complete, yet growing in grace and knowledge; perfect all the time. The plant is perfect at every stage of its growth. We admire the beauty of the plant when the leaves burst forth. It is perfect when the flowers bloom, and perfect when the fruit comes. Yet keeps on growing.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 144.7
It is not that we are to grow into grace, but grow in grace. We are not to get more and more into grace, but in the grace we are to grow and increase in wisdom, complete in Him. The very statement of this fact implies that we are not complete in ourselves. There is nothing in us, but He is ours, and of His fulness have we all received, and grace over grace. Grace superbounds and fills all.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 144.8
“Experience” The Present Truth 10, 9.
Experience.-It is true of everything in the Bible, and everything that God has for us, that no one can understand it without experiencing it. Understanding is experience. This shows that the preaching of the Gospel does not consist in laying down certain arbitrary propositions to be believed. And the acceptance of the Gospel does not consist in the belief of those propositions. It is a life, and a laying hold of life. All true doctrine grows out of the life, and he who yields to the life will go on learning more and more of the wonders of God’s law; for the law of God is but the life of God.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 144.9
“Gladness” The Present Truth 10, 9.
Gladness.—“Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” When we sow a thing we expect it to multiply and increase. So the Lord has sown gladness for the believer, that it may spring up continually. When we represent Christ in us, it will be by our gladness for the truth He has given us; not what we see, but what we know; not what our reason has been able to trace out, but that which our faith has laid hold of and brought into the very life. It will not be a forced gladness, but the springing up of the joy of the life of Christ.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 144.10
“To-day” The Present Truth 10, 9.
To-day.-Many are afraid to rejoice in the Lord to-day, for fear that they will fall in the future. But the Lord delivers from all fear. His love casteth out fear. There is no danger of falling in the future, to-day. It cannot be done. To-morrow cannot be brought into to-day. And when to-morrow comes, it will be to-day. So that if we trust the Lord to-day, we can trust Him for ever. All time is present with God. So we may rejoice in the full salvation of God now, and the future can throw no cloud over to-day, to darken the way of rejoicing.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 144.11
“What a Man Knows” The Present Truth 10, 9.
What a Man Knows.-Between a man of wonderful intellect who does not know what he is talking about, and a man of feeble intellect who does know what he is talking about, it is not difficult to choose. If a man of great intellect is talking about something that he does not know, he is just as ignorant as any fool on that thing. But when a man who does not know much, really knows a thing, he knows it just as surely as anyone can know it. No one who knows the life of the Lord will be afraid to tell it. “We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen.”PTUK March 1, 1894, page 144.12
“Front Page” The Present Truth 10, 9.
The Apostle Peter gives us this exhortation: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.” .PTUK March 1, 1894, page 145.1
It is the thought that when we are tempted we are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that enables us to “count it all joy” when we fall into divers temptations. . “For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” .PTUK March 1, 1894, page 145.2
We are to overcome even as Christ Himself overcame. See . “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.” . It becomes us, therefore, to study carefully the account of the great temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 145.3
In the first place, remember that the great temptation immediately followed the anointing by the Holy Spirit. Let no one therefore think that a wonderful blessing is a pledge of freedom from trial. Rather conclude that God, foreseeing fierce temptations about to assail you, is preparing you to meet them successfully. Satan plies his temptations the most vigorously after one has been greatly helped, because he knows that he may find the soul off its guard. Uzziah “was marvellously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction.” . “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”PTUK March 1, 1894, page 145.4
The first recorded words of Satan to Jesus were, “If Thou be the Son of God.” He would have Jesus doubt His Sonship. There is no way in which Satan causes more people to fall than by leading them to doubt their acceptance with God. And these temptations are the most likely to come, too, just after a great spiritual uplifting. Satan will seek to lead us to doubt our experience, or to think that God has forsaken us.PTUK March 1, 1894, page 145.5
At such times it is a most pleasant thing to know that we have the same assurance that Christ Himself had. What was the evidence to Him that He was the Son of God?—It was the word of God that came to Him after His baptism, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” That same word comes to us, “now are we the sons of God,” and calling us “beloved.” . “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of Judgment, because as He is, so are we in this world.”PTUK March 1, 1894, page 145.6