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    February 26, 1885

    “Inheritance of the Saints.—Continued” The Signs of the Times, 11, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    THE SABBATH-SCHOOL.

    LESSON FOR THE PACIFIC COAST—MARCH 28

    No Authorcode

    THE FIRST DOMINION FORFEITED

    1. When the earth was created, to whom was given the dominion over it?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.1

    “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.2

    2. What was its condition at that time?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.3

    “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.4

    3. Did man also share in this perfection?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.5

    “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.6

    “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” Ecclesiastes 7:29.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.7

    2. What further shows that the dominion which God instructs to man must be preserved spotless?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.8

    “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.” Matthew 6:10.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.9

    “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Daniel 7:27.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.10

    5. Then until what time only, could Adam hope to retain the dominion given to him?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.11

    6. When the dominion was given to Adam, what prohibition was put upon him?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.12

    “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:17.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.13

    7. Did he heed this prohibition?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.14

    “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Genesis 3:6.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.15

    8. Since the dominion given to Adam was a perfect one, what was the necessary result of his sin?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.16

    9. By what agency was Adam’s fall accomplished?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.17

    “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Genesis 3:12, 13.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.18

    10. Who is the serpent?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.19

    “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:2.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.20

    11. Is a man is overcome by another, what is the result?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.21

    “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption; for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” 2 Peter 2:19.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.22

    12. By whom was Adam overcome?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.23

    13. Then to whom did he become subject?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.24

    14. What becomes of a man’s possessions, if he himself is overcome by another?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.25

    “How can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” Matthew 12:29.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.26

    15. Then when Adam was overcome by Satan, what must have become of the dominion which he held?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.27

    16. What title does Paul apply to the one who blinds men concerning the gospel?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.28

    “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.29

    17. What is the name of the one who performs this work of deception?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.30

    “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.31

    18. Then who is “god of the world”?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.32

    19. What other title does Paul apply to the one who works in the children of disobedience.”SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.33

    “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” Ephesians 2:2.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.34

    20. Although Satan usurped the dominion from Adam, did he become absolute ruler?SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.35

    “That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” Daniel 4:25. E. J. W.SITI February 26, 1885, page 134.36

    “Mercy and Justice” The Signs of the Times, 11, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is quite generally held that and what is termed the old, or what is termed the Jewish, dispensation, God ruled according to a stern and justice, holding men to a strict account for everything; but that in the “Christian dispensation” mercy has predominated in his dealings with men; that justice has now stepped down from the throne, and that mercy has taken its place. This idea has taken almost universal hold on the minds of people. Let each reader examine his own mind, and he will find that some time in this life he has entertained this idea. We have before us a statement to this effect, made by a Doctor of Divinity, in the Sunday-school lesson notes of a prominent religious journal. The statement is as follows:-SITI February 26, 1885, page 137.1

    “Since the days of Christ’s assumption of the mediatorial power, ‘old things are passed away, and all things are become new;’ and souls are now saved only through the grace of Him to be in whom is to be a new creature.”SITI February 26, 1885, page 137.2

    This statement may be taken as a fair representation of the prevailing opinion. Let us examine the theory, and see how well it represents the God of the universe. On general grounds we should condemn it, because it is derogatory to the character of God. It represents him as a changeable being, one who is swayed at different times by different impulses; but we know that with him there is “no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” The Lord says (Ezekiel 18:25) that his ways are equal; but this theory makes them decidedly unequal. As it is commonly held, it actually charges God with injustice; for the opposite of justice is injustice, and if at any time God should relax his justice, to that extent he would be unjust. No Christian would think of openly charging God with being unjust, yet this is exactly what is done by everyone who says that at the present time God dispenses mercy at the expense of justice.SITI February 26, 1885, page 137.3

    This evidently erroneous position is taken as a consequence of the mistaken notion that strict justice and tender mercy are incompatible. It is because men have so perverted truth that justice is hated. In short, men regard justice as injustice. This idea carried out to its extreme, makes anarchists and nihilists,-men who regard justice as tyranny. We shall endeavor to show not only that justice and mercy are compatible, but that they must exist together if they exist at all. That which would be mercy in a just man, is simply weakness and imbecility in an unjust man. God has always possessed both these attributes to exactly the same extent that he does now, and will possess them the same to all eternity.SITI February 26, 1885, page 137.4

    When God had created the earth, beautiful and in every way perfect, he gave it to man. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.SITI February 26, 1885, page 137.5

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28. Adam was given dominion over the earth and all that it contained. That is, he was made its lord or ruler. The earth was to be his kingdom, he, of course, to be subject to the great Creator.SITI February 26, 1885, page 137.6

    Since Adam was to be subject to God, there must of necessity be something to test his loyalty, and his fitness to be confirmed in the dominion that had been given to him in trust for the Lord. God created him for immortality (2 Corinthians 5:4, 5), but before he could be made immortal his worthiness for that inestimable boon must be proved. It never would have done to make man immortal, incapable of death, before his character was tested. That would have been taking the risk of perpetuating sin, the very existence of which God abhors. Should man prove unworthy, he would necessarily lose the dominion which had been intrusted to him; and since this great gift,-an eternal inheritance,-was to be the reward of his faithfulness, it was but fitting that a corresponding penalty should be administered if he should prove disloyal. Accordingly we find that God laid on him the following injunction, with the penalty attached:-SITI February 26, 1885, page 137.7

    “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”SITI February 26, 1885, page 137.8

    How long the man remained obedient, we have no means of knowing; but in the next chapter we find the record of his disobedience. And now, according to the previous declaration of God, in spite of Satan’s lie (Genesis 3:4), Adam must die. He must “pass from an animate to a lifeless state;” he must “cease to live;” he must “suffer a total and irreparable loss of action of the vital functions;” for that is what is signified by the word “die.” But “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Here the infinite mercy of God was displayed in the very beginning. Men had basically and ungratefully betrayed the trust given him; he had rebelled against God. He had surrendered to God’s enemy, and had thus become the enemy of God.SITI February 26, 1885, page 137.9

    But God had no enmity in his heart toward man. He has no pleasure in the death of him that dieth (Ezekiel 18:32), and so he provided a way for man’s escape. In the statement that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15), there was the promise of the Messiah, by whose death men might become reconciled to God. Romans 5:8-10. The penalty was not revoked, but the execution of it was stayed, in order to allow all to lay hold on the means to become reconciled to God, if they chose to do so. That penalty still hangs over the human race; and since the Son of God was given so that those and only those who believe in him should not perish, it follows that the penalty will be allowed to fall upon those who do not believe in him. In proof of this Paul states that those who know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, “shall be punished with everlasting destruction.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9.SITI February 26, 1885, page 137.10

    The Bible reveals to us the sad fact that the number of the saved will be small in comparison with the number of those who will be lost. Matthew 7:13, 14. The vast majority of mankind have chosen to remain in rebellion against God, yet there will be among the saved some of from “every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” There will not be one, however in all that vast throng, who has been saved in any other way than by belief in the only begotten Son of God, for he is the only way. “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. From the depths of his anguish Job exclaimed, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” Job 19:25. And Isaiah proclaims the glad truth that “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 53:5. Although Isaiah wrote more than seven hundred years before the sacrifice was actually made, he could justly use the past tense, since the lamb was “slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8. A promise from God, who cannot lie, is the same as though the thing were already performed.SITI February 26, 1885, page 138.1

    Thus far God’s mercy. From the fall to the day of redemption it is the same. It was no less six thousand years ago than it is now, for it was then that Christ was given for man’s redemption. It was no light thing for God, who loves with an infinite love, to consent to deliver up his only Son to be insulted and murdered. But he made the sacrifice, and did it at a time when it was needed, when destruction to man was imminent. Now since there is in the universe no greater gift than the Son of a God, it follows that God gave at the first all that he had to give, and consequently it was simply impossible for any greater manifestation of his mercy ever to be made. And so the present dispensation contains no more mercy than there was in the patriarchal age.SITI February 26, 1885, page 138.2

    No one can dispute these propositions. But some may say that God’s mercy will be suspended when, according to his word, he destroys the wicked. Few can see any mercy in the punishment of sinners, and many deny that there is in it any justice. We believe that there is both; that God’s justice, as well as his mercy, “endurerth for ever.”SITI February 26, 1885, page 138.3

    1. “Can God justly punish the wicked?” Certainly; because he has said that he will, and said it before any sin had been committed. Then the question is really this: “Has God the right to attach a penalty to his laws?” The answer must be, He has such a right, if he has a right to make laws, for a law without a penalty attached is a nullity. A law, for the violation of which no penalty is provided, has no force, and is worth no more than the material on which it is written. Blackstone, the eminent jurist, whose “Commentaries” are standard authority in both hemispheres, says:-SITI February 26, 1885, page 138.4

    “Of all the parts of the law, the most effectual is the vindicatory. For it is but lost labor to say, ‘Do this for that,’ unless we also declare, ‘This shall be the consequence of your non-compliance.’ We must therefore observe that the main strength and force of a law consists in the penalty attached to it.”-Cooley’s Blackstone, Vol. p. 55.SITI February 26, 1885, page 138.5

    That God has a right to make laws for his creatures, follows from the very fact that he is the Creator of all things. Any individual has a right to make laws for another just to the extent that that other is dependent on him. Now since in God “we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28), and are entirely dependent on him, it follows that he has, by right, the supreme control of us. Not only has he the right to make laws for his creatures, but he is bound to do so; for no intelligent creature can exist unless they have respect to some common standard. There must be something to regulate their actions, otherwise they would encroach upon each other’s rights, even if they had no malice in their hearts, and confusion if not extermination would be the result. This standard is called law. God is indeed the only one who can really make laws. Human laws derive their force from the fact that they are in harmony with the law of God. Blackstone says that we are in duty bound to violate any human law that runs counter to the law of God. The Bible teaches the same thing.SITI February 26, 1885, page 138.6

    2. Since God has the right to make laws and to affix penalties, mercy as well as justice demands that those penalties be executed if the laws are violated. If God has brought subjects into existence, and has given laws for their mutual good, and for the maintenance of the rights of each, he is bound to support and protect those subjects in the enjoyment of their rights. But if any one breaks the law, he destroys this evenly-balanced condition of things, and infringes directly on the rights of others. And now some of God’s subject are being oppressed by the rebels. Shall he let them suffer? If he does, he will justly incur the charge of being unmerciful. He must punish the guilty, in order to assure the loyal ones of his power and his willingness to protect them. Should he allow the laws to be transgressed with impunity in one part of his Government, his subjects in another part would be in constant fear lest rebellion should spring up in the midst of them, and their lives thereby be endangered.SITI February 26, 1885, page 138.7

    Take human laws for an example. Every civilized country has a law prohibiting murder. Now suppose there is a country which never punishes the murderer, what will be the result? The people will either take the laws into their own hands, or else they will flock to a country where their lives will be protected. People instinctively recognize the fact that there is no safety except in the enforcement of the laws, and the punishment of evil-doer; and a Government which does not do this, receives nothing but contempt, and soon ceases to exist.SITI February 26, 1885, page 138.8

    This enables us to understand Psalm 136. The psalmist says: “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.... To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn; for his mercy endureth for ever; and brought out Israel from among them; for his mercy endureth for ever,” etc. The Egyptians were fearfully wicked. They were in rebellion against God, and were wickedly oppressing his people. They had received warning after warning, but to no purpose. For God to leave Israel in that hard bondage, would have been cruel. But the Egyptians would not let them go until they were forced to do so by the severe judgments of God. The Egyptians had, by their obstinate and insolent rebellion, forfeited all claim upon God, and his mercy was displayed in a remarkable manner in the deliverance of his people. And so God’s mercy will be shown even in the final destruction of sin and sinners. By that act he will show his loyal subjects in all of his dominion that he has a care for their welfare, and will protect them. His mercy endures just the same, even while he is punishing the guilty; they, however, have voluntarily rejected it.SITI February 26, 1885, page 138.9

    One more question will arise in the minds of some. It is this: “Why did not God destroy the wicked ones in the beginning, when the first sin was committed, and then create a new race?” That would have been allowing Satan to triumph, and besides, the new race would also have been obliged to stand a probation, and would have been as liable to fall as was the first. But the great reason is found in God’s love to the creatures of his hand. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. They who ask why God did not at once destroy the sinner, have a very limited idea of the love which God has for his creatures. That millions will finally be destroyed, is not the fault of God, but of man. God has done all that infinite love could do. There was no necessity for any to perish, for such was not God’s will. 2 Peter 3:9.SITI February 26, 1885, page 138.10

    It must also be remembered that this earth is not the whole of God’s dominion. We must not be so thoughtless as to suppose that this little world takes up all of God’s attention. More than one world (Hebrews 1:2) owes its allegiance to the Maker of all. “The Lord hath prepared his throne in the Heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” Psalm 103:19. The telescope reveals worlds many thousand times as large as ours. And here, in this little speck of the universe, puny man has dared to lift up the standard of rebellion against God’s Government! A wonderful and a horrible thing! Think of it; rebellion against God! Shall he put it down? Most certainly; the integrity of his Government demands it. In mercy and justice to his loyal subjects in other portions of the universe, he must show that he can and will maintain order.SITI February 26, 1885, page 138.11

    But first he must let all see the terrible consequence of rebelling against his just decrees. Says Paul (1 Corinthians 4:9): “We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” This is as true of all the world as it is of the apostles. While all the creatures in the universe behold the wonderful spectacle of one province (so to speak) in rebellion, they learn “that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God;” and that God will “by no means clear the guilty;” and thus, while they learn to trust more fully in his protecting arm, and praise him for his mercy, they are effectually deterred from ever presuming to rise up against him. As God permits the rebellion to fully develop itself, they see the terrible hideousness of sin, and the justice of God in finally blotting it from his universe. And when this shall have been accomplished, “every creature which is in Heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them,” will with glad accord join in ascribing “blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” E. J. W.SITI February 26, 1885, page 138.12

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