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    July 11, 1895

    “Feeding on the Word” The Signs of the Times, 21, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Feeding on the Word. —Whatever a man eats that is not real food, is not only useless to him, but is a positive injury, since it taxes the digestive organs without adding any strength. Therefore anything that one eats that is not or cannot be assimilated, and does not go to build up the system, is only a damage.SITI July 11, 1895, page 417.1

    Even so it is with our reading. If we read that which is not useful,—that which does not tend to build us up, and make us stronger mentally and spiritually,—it is only an injury to us. It is even worse than eating that which is not good food. It is both a waste of time and a wasting away of the faculties.SITI July 11, 1895, page 417.2

    It is much the same if we read even good matter, and do not think as we read. To be sure we are not having our minds poisoned, as when worthless trash is read; but the mental powers are not strengthened by such reading, but vitiated instead. Such a manner of reading weakens the memory, and is little better than dreaming. In short, if we do not get positive nourishment by what we read, our reading is, to say the least, of no benefit to us.SITI July 11, 1895, page 417.3

    Apply this now to our reading of the Bible. If we read it simply as a story book, we get no real benefit, except that we are kept from reading, something that is not good. If when we read the promises, or the record of victories which were gained through those promises, we see nothing more than the bare fact that certain men had certain experiences, then our reading is. Like swallowing lumps of food that is in itself good, but which is not digested nor assimilated.SITI July 11, 1895, page 417.4

    The Bible is the language of the Spirit of God spoken through men. Consequently it is not the language simply of the men who perused it. The Spirit of God, who knows the human heart and its needs, as well as the divine gifts, has put language into the mouths of certain men, which may be used by all. So when we read the words of David, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, ... who forgiveth all thine iniquities” (Psalm 103:1-3), we are to appropriate that language as our own. If we do so, we shall understand the Scriptures, and shall be benefited by them. But if we are content to read it simply as David’s experience, it is the same to us as though it had not been written.SITI July 11, 1895, page 417.5

    Let us learn to read the Scriptures in this way, and the Bible will soon be a new book to us. The reading of it will be a delight. When we read reproofs and warnings, we shall know that they mean us personally; and when we read the promises which always accompany reproofs, we shall rejoice in them as much as though we were addressed by name. When we read the statement of experience, we shall adopt it as our own, and realize all the benefit of it.SITI July 11, 1895, page 417.6

    Until we learn to read the Bible in this way, we cannot be said to really believe it. We may indeed believe that God spoke to and blessed David and Paul; but if we do not make that language and blessing our own, we do not really believe the word, for it is addressed to us. If you wish to know if you really believe the whole Bible, you may test yourselves by this text:—SITI July 11, 1895, page 417.7

    “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and 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.” Galatians 2:20.SITI July 11, 1895, page 417.8

    If you read this merely as Paul’s experience, then you have not learned to believe the Bible. But if in reading it you can speak that word “I” as meaning yourself, and can repeat the text intelligently as the language of your own heart, as the Spirit of God meant you should, then you really believe not that verse alone, but the whole Bible, and the joy of God’s salvation is yours. E. J. W.SITI July 11, 1895, page 417.9

    “Bruised and Healed” The Signs of the Times, 21, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Our little child has fallen and bruised herself badly. The flesh is black and blue and swollen. Her eyes fill with tears, her lips quiver, and her whole body is trembling with the pain and the fright. Her countenance and her very attitude are a pitiful appeal for help and sympathy.SITI July 11, 1895, page 419.1

    What is to be done in such a case? Every parent knows what is the first impulse, kiss what brings the most speedy relief. Some soothing remedies may be applied, but the greatest relief comes from the folding in the parent’s arms, and the loving kisses of sympathy that are bestowed. The little one settles down quietly, the strain is relaxed, the trembling ceases, and soon the pain is forgotten.SITI July 11, 1895, page 419.2

    What a common occurrence this is, and yet how slow we are to learn the lessons suggests. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” Psalm 103:13, 14. We are but children. Compared with God we are far more helpless than our children are compared with us. God deals with us as sons, and we are his children; and his love and pity for us are as much greater than ours for our children as God is greater than we are.SITI July 11, 1895, page 419.3

    Think of that statement, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” He pities them in just the same way, only infinitely more. That is to say, he takes us up in his arms, if we will but come to him, knowing that he is our Father, and he soothes the pain and heals the bruise. For “he healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3. Christ says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” The Spirit of the Lord is upon him “to heal the broken-hearted,” “to set at liberty them that are bruised,” “to comfort them that mourn.”SITI July 11, 1895, page 419.4

    That is just what we need. We have fallen and are sorely bruised. We are “laden with iniquity,” “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores.” Isaiah 1:5, 6. Our need is desperate.SITI July 11, 1895, page 419.5

    Believing that the Lord is indeed our Father, we come to him, and find that his arms are stretched out to receive us. He says, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13. What does this mean but that he will take us up in his arms? How else does a mother comfort her babes? When Jesus was on earth, he took up the little ones in his arms, and in so doing he was but manifesting the love and tenderness of the Father.SITI July 11, 1895, page 419.6

    We are sadly battered and bruised by sin. But “He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4, 5. How blessed is the assurance that—SITI July 11, 1895, page 420.1

    “There is mercy with the Saviour;
    There is healing in his blood.”
    “For the love of God is broader
    Than the measure of man’s mind;
    And the heart of the Eternal
    Is most wonderfully king.”
    SITI July 11, 1895, page 420.2

    These things are real. They are not figures of speech. They are as real as God himself. To doubt the reality of God’s comfort, to doubt that “underneath are the everlasting arms,” and that God does as really fold us in his embrace as the earthly father does his child, is to doubt the reality of the existence of God. We cannot know anything of God except as he reveals himself to us. To doubt that he is just what he declares himself to be, is to doubt that he exists at all. But in all his word he has revealed himself as the tender, pitying, loving Parent.SITI July 11, 1895, page 420.3

    Let us then come to him believing that he is, and that he delights in mercy. Then, having tasted that the Lord is precious, we shall say, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for thy love is better than wine.” Why not allow the Lord to be as real to us as he actually is?SITI July 11, 1895, page 420.4

    “If our love were but more simple,
    We should take him at his word;
    And our lives would be all sunshine
    In the sweetness of our Lord.”
    E. J. W.
    SITI July 11, 1895, page 420.5

    “How Moses Knew” The Signs of the Times, 21, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    How did Moses learn about the creation? There was no man living when the heavens and earth were created, so he could not have learned the story from man. Those who assume that he compiled the narrative from various existing documents, do not help the matter at all, for no man who lived before Moses had any better chance to learn about creation than he had. Even Adam had no more personal knowledge of the facts of creation than Moses had; for creation was complete when Adam first saw the light. He saw nothing of the process himself. Then how did Moses know what to write? Did he imagine it?—Not at all; he wrote just what he knew, because the Lord God told him. He who created the heavens and the earth “made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel” (Psalm 103:7), for the Lord spoke to him mouth to mouth. Numbers 12:8. This is the way the entire Bible was written, “for no prophecy ever came by the will of man; for men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Ghost.”SITI July 11, 1895, page 420.6

    Not an Allegory

    Some people like to strike a happy mean between the idea that the first chapters of Genesis are actual history, and the theory that they are pure fiction, by claiming that they are allegorical. Of all such it may be said, “They know not what they do.” They do not realize that any view other than that those chapters describe actual occurrences is a denial of the whole Bible, and of the very Gospel. The third chapter of Genesis tells how sin came into the world, and contains the first promise of the Saviour who should die for the sin. To deny the literalness of that account is to deny the story of the cross. Upon the first and second chapters of Genesis the fourth commandment is based. If they were not literal history, the Sabbath would be gone. This indeed is why those chapters are discredited. But they who discredit the story of creation, and the Sabbath, do not realize that in so doing they are denying sanctification. God says, “I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” Ezekiel 20:12. Without the knowledge of creation and the Sabbath there can be no knowledge of perfect sanctification. “Thy word is true from the beginning.” Psalm 119:160. It is all “profitable for doctrine, for reproof for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.SITI July 11, 1895, page 420.7

    Creation and the Cross

    The eternal power of God is clearly seen in the things that he has made. Romans 1:20. Creation is the measure of God’s power. Not that any one save God can measure it, because it is infinite; but the power manifested in creation is the same power that saves men from sin. Romans 1:16, 17. So that the Gospel is simply creative power applied to sinful men. See Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17. But the preaching of the cross is also the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17, 18, 23, 24. Christ crucified is the power and the wisdom of God, and so it is the Gospel. On the cross Christ shed his blood to reconcile us to God, in the forgiveness of our sins. Colossians 1:14; Romans 5:9, 10. The blood of the life (Leviticus 17:11, 14), so that it is the taking of the life of Christ that reconciles us to God. But we have redemption through his blood, because in him were all things created. Colossians 1:14-16. He is the source of the creation. Revelation 3:14. All created things sprang from his life. So that the power of the cross, by which we are saved, is the power by which the worlds were made. Thus it is that if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, or a new creation. Only as we consider the power of God as manifested in creation, can we learn the wonderful power of the cross. David said, “For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work, I will triumph in the works of thy hands.” And Paul wrote, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And both of them gloried and triumphed in the same thing. E. J. W.SITI July 11, 1895, page 420.8

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