Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    August 19, 1886

    “Comments on Galatians 3. No. 7” The Signs of the Times, 12, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “And it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” There is probably no man living who can fully comprehend this passage. We know that when God came down upon Mount Sinai, he was accompanied by ten thousands of his saints (holy ones), Deuteronomy 33:2, and that they must have had some part to act in that great event; but what part they acted, no man can tell. The details of all that was done within that dense cloud which veiled Sinai’s top from human gaze, have never been revealed to man. A parallel to this passage in Galatians is found, however, in Stephen’s address to the Jewish Sanhedrim:-SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.1

    “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers; who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” Acts 7:51-53.SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.2

    Those wicked men were uncircumcised in heart because they had not kept the law of God. See Romans 2:25-29. They had violated the law which forbids murder, although they had received it “by the disposition of angels.” To the same effect the apostle writes to the Hebrews:-SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.3

    “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” Hebrews 2:1-3.SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.4

    As we said before, it is useless to conjecture on these passages. Just what part the angels acted in connection with the proclaiming of the law, we cannot tell; we only know that in each of the above texts the statement that is made concerning the angels is made to emphasize the guilt of those who should violate the law, or should reject the gospel, which has reference to the law. With this we must leave this expression,-“it was ordained by angels,”-the only really difficult passage in the chapter.SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.5

    “In the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” Verse 20. The expression, “but God is one,” indicates that God is one of two parties between whom there is a mediator in whose hand the law was ordained. Now when we read that “there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5), the conclusion seems irresistible that the “mediator” in whose hand the law was ordained, or disposed, was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.6

    If to any one this conclusion seems unnatural, let him remember that the Son is the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his person, and that by him the worlds were made. Hebrews 1:1-3. “For by him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:16, 17. He is one with the Father (John 10:30), and therefore is worthy to be called God, and to be worshiped as God. John 1:1. “Without him was not anything made that was made.” It would be expected therefore that the active work of proclaiming the law to men should also be performed by the Son. Whatever is done by the Son is the same as if done by the Father.SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.7

    It will be profitable right here to note how inseparably the law and the gospel are united, and how impossible it is to separate, in any transaction, the Father and the Son. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1); but it was the Son “by whom he made the worlds.” Hebrews 1:2. God formed the earth to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18), and therefore man was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27); but before man was made, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Genesis 1:26. This has unmistakable reference to Him who is “before all things,” and by whom all things were created. Colossians 1:16, 17. Man fell, and thereby lost all hope of immortality, for which he was created. Then Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15); but “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:31); but he is not alone in his love, neither does he have to move a heart hardened against man; “for God so love the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. And when God spoke the law from Sinai, he said, “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:2); but we know that an angel, in whom was the name of the Lord was with the people, whom they were to obey (Exodus 23:20, 21), and who spoke to Moses in the Mount Sinai, when he received the lively oracles to give unto us. Acts 7:38. Moreover we are plainly told that it was Christ who was with them in the wilderness, supplying both literal and spiritual food and water. 1 Corinthians 10:1-4.SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.8

    Thus in everything that concerns man, we see oneness of thought and action between the Father and the Son. It is not true that “the Jewish age,” so-called, was the administration of stern justice by the Father, and that “the Christian age” is the administration of tender mercy by the Son. If the life of one man had spanned the entire interval between creation and the present time, he could say, “Goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life.” There is no change of government between the fall of man and the restoration of all things. As it was the great love of God to the fallen world which moved him to give his only begotten Son for their redemption, we are not surprised to learn that when Christ’s ambassadors pray to men, “Be ye reconciled to God,” it is God himself beseeching sinners to accept his pardon. Even so when we learn that Christ was with the church in the wilderness, that he was upon Mount Sinai, and that it was in his hand that the law was ordained, we are not surprised to hear him say, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.9

    “Is the law then against the promises of God?” Galatians 3:21. That it is not was shown by the 18th verse. It is directly in harmony with the promise, because by it men are enabled to see and forsake their sins, so that they may receive the promise. So the apostle says: “God forbid; for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.”SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.10

    Righteousness would have been by the law if such a thing had been possible. If by any means men could have received life without the death of Christ, we may be sure that that means it would have been adopted. God is infinite; his love is infinite; therefore it was at an infinite sacrifice that God gave up his Son to die that the world through him might have life. But there was no other way, for the law once violated could not by any possibility give life. It was ordained to life, but sin caused it to be unto death. “But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” Galatians 3:22.SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.11

    Blessed conclusion? “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 1 Timothy 1:13. Therefore, since all are concluded under sin, he came to save all. The provision is ample enough for all, but only those who believe can be made partakers. Unfortunately, too many will not acknowledge the authority of God’s law, and will not confess themselves to be sinners, and therefore the “promise by faith of Jesus Christ” cannot be given to them; for we are taught by verse 22, that it is necessary for men to be “concluded under sin,” in order that they may be sharers in the promise by faith. This again shows how the law works in harmony with the promise. W.SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.12

    “Satan as a Deceiver” The Signs of the Times, 12, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In our last article we showed the admission of Spiritualists themselves that the testimony of the spirits is not to be depended on; and that since they are lying spirits, they must be, as the Bible says, spirits of devils. We know indeed that the spirits that can indicate to man, and work wonders, are spirits of devils because the devils and the angels of God are the only spirits there are. But none of these are the spirits of dead men. Angels, whether good or bad, are an order of beings entirely distinct from men. The Bible declares that “the dead know not in anything;” but angels were never meant, and men never become angels. If it is asked how we know that the spirits of which we speak are not good angels, we reply, that they are lying spirits. They deny the Bible, and the divinity of Christ. A sure test is this: “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20.SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.13

    Then the question arises, “If Spiritualism is of the devil, how is it that men are often healed of diseases, and helped in various ways by it?” People will go to clairvoyant physicians, and will patronize the “mind cure,” thinking that if they are benefited thereby to any degree, there can be nothing wrong in it. Say they, “The devil wouldn’t do people good, would he?” right here is where thousands will be swept into Spiritualism in spite of themselves.SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.14

    Notice these texts: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Revelation 16:13, 14. “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Revelation 19:20. Also in Revelation 13:13, 14, we read of the power called “the false prophet,” “he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire, down from heaven on the earth than the sight of men, and deceive them the that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do.”SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.15

    These texts show that the devil performs his wonders solely for the purpose of deception. To deceive means to impose upon; to delude; to ensnare by artifice. We are deceived only by false pretenses. The gambler deceives the unwary by pretending to be his friend. Very often a man who is a thief at heart deceives a whole community, so that they trust him as an honest man. He will be very kind to them; he may do them great favors until he can gain their confidence and their property. If the libertine should always appear in his true character, he could never seduce the innocent. But he appears as a virtuous man; he talks of virtue and religion; he appears as the embodiment of virtuous sentiment, until he gains a full confidence of his intended victim. Does he practice those seductive arts that show him to be an apt pupil of his master the devil? Indeed, anyone who has lived long in this world need not be told that the worst of men often dissemble and appear to be the best of friends of those whom they would ruin.SITI August 19, 1886, page 502.16

    If this is so with men, should we be surprised that Satan, the arch deceiver, should do likewise? He is the originator of deception and deceptive arts; and wicked men and seducers are only attempting what he can do to perfection. Paul says that he appears as an angel of light. Now it would be useless for Satan to appear as an angel of light unless he acted as one. Thus we are to understand that, so far as possible, he throws aside, or rather conceals, his devilish character, and appears as a friend.SITI August 19, 1886, page 503.1

    Let it be borne in mind then that when the Bible says that the devil will work in order to deceive those that dwell on the earth, it virtually tells us that he will do things to gain our confidence and goodwill. But just as the seducer has selfish ends in view when he does good acts, so Satan has an object of his own to serve in all his deceptions, and that is the ruin of mankind. And they should answer those who say, “Well, suppose the devil is behind this clairvoyant healing and mind to cure, if we are helped isn’t it all right?” We answer, no. Just as we would not receive favors from a villain who had ends of his own to serve by offering them to us, so we ought not to accept favors at the hands of the devil. We do not care to be under obligation to him, for we are sure that for everything he gives he will exact more than tenfold in return. By means of his pretended good services, he is now fastening the chains of error around thousands. Remember, he “deceived theth that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do.”SITI August 19, 1886, page 503.2

    Then the question has been asked, “Why does God permit the devils to lay their invisible snares for the souls of men? Why does he allow them to be so deceived?” He does not allow them to lay invisible snares. His word sheds the clearest light upon them, so that none may be deceived. “We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices,” if we take heed to the lamp of God’s word. But, unfortunately, people will not heed the warning, the Bible is full of admonitions, but these will do no good unless heeded. Says the wise man: “If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.... Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.” Proverbs 3-9.SITI August 19, 1886, page 503.3

    But instead of so doing, men hate (true) knowledge, and do not choose the fear of the Lord; therefore, they eat of the fruit of their own way, and are filled with their own devices. Indeed, the Bible plainly declares that no man is ever led away by the deceptions of Satan unless he first rejects truth. Paul says that Satan works “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 August 19, 1886, page 503.4

    To those who are thinking of “trying” the spirits by personal inspection, we would say, Beware. Trust the description that you find in God’s word, and go not into their assemblies. God’s word is a better guide than human sense. Keep as far away from danger as possible; keep off the devil’s ground; in short, keep in Christ, where alone there is safety. W.SITI August 19, 1886, page 503.5

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents