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    September 19, 1895

    “They Can Not Be Separated” The Signs of the Times, 21, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the days of Jesus of Nazareth there were many who did not believe in him, but who professed to believe in Moses. Some of them said, “We know that God spake unto Moses; as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.” John 9:29. To the one who stood up for Jesus, they said, “Thou art his disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples.”SITI September 19, 1895, page 577.1

    But what was the actual fact? They did not believe on Moses any more than they did on Christ. He said to them: “There is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” John 5:45-47SITI September 19, 1895, page 577.2

    The highest testimony given to Jesus as the One sent from God, is this which the Lord spoke to Moses: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him;” he “shall be destroyed from among the people.” Deuteronomy 18:18, 19, Acts 5:23. It is evident, therefore, that anybody must believe in Christ if he really believes Moses.SITI September 19, 1895, page 577.3

    But there is another side. In these days we find many who profess to believe in Christ. They have no sympathy for the Jews who refused to accept him, and they wonder at the blindness of that people. But they do not profess to believe very much in Moses. Many of them openly depreciate his writings as out of date. If the authority of Moses is not openly discredited by them, he is at least slighted. Yet these same persons profess the most implicit faith in Christ.SITI September 19, 1895, page 577.4

    What is the position of these last?—It is precisely that of the Jews of old. Listen again to the words of Christ: “Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings how shall ye believe my words?” In vain are all professions of faith in Christ by those who discredit Moses. The two can not be separated. He who believes the one must believe the other also, and he who denies the one denies the other as well; for both were sent by God with the same message. To deny Christ while professing to believe Moses is exactly the same as denying Moses while professing to believe Christ. Happy will that man be who in the judgment shall not be condemned either by the words of Moses or of Jesus. E. J. W.SITI September 19, 1895, page 577.5

    “Purging the Church” The Signs of the Times, 21, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    This is the way a Church of England clergyman has proposed, in a letter to the English Churchman, to purge that body of the Ritualism which is fast making it an exact copy of the Roman Catholic body:—SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.1

    There is a “constitutional means of purging the church through Parliament,” and it is the only “constitutional means” and the only “practical means.” Secession won’t “purge the church;” moving the table to the center of the church won’t “purge the church.” It would be moved back again by the next incumbent, perhaps. But make it, by Act of Parliament illegal, under suspension or deprivation, for any clergyman to turn his back to the people, to use lighted candles except in case of atmospheric darkness, or at any time during service to make the sign of the cross, or to use a mixed chalice, or any other than pure wheaten bread at the Lord’s Supper, or any hymn during the administration of the Lord’s Supper, or to wear any vestment other than the surplice, except in the case of the bishops, the usual episcopal robes being allowed, and the academical hood and black gown in the pulpit; and then, as I have said before, no reformation would be required in our purely Protestant church, no progress in Ritualism or Romanism would or could be made, as far as outward symbols are concerned, and Ritualists and Romanistic teachers would then find that there is no scope for their purposes in the Established Church of England.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.2

    The statement that under such an act of Parliament no progress in Romanism could be made, “as far as outward symbols are concerned,” is quite safe. But what difference does it make whether any progress toward Romanism is made in “outward symbols” or not if inwardly the clergy and members are full of Romish sentiment? If the sentiment is within, it is no worse for it to find expression; and if it is not within, there is no danger. And there is no one so enamored of civil legislation for the church that he will claim that an act of Parliament can change men’s hearts.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.3

    The Jewish Church was never more corrupt than when it was most strict in all the externals. Hear the words of Christ: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.” Matthew 23:25, 26.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.4

    Read also the lists of sins recited by the apostle Paul, as being committed in the last days by those possessing “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5. The form may be secured by strict legislation, but the more acts of Parliament are depended upon for purging the church, the more will the power of godliness be denied.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.5

    Suppose that an act of Parliament were obtained, what charity could be given that it would not be repealed by some succeeding Parliament? It is majorities that make laws; and even though a majority might at present be opposed to the outward forms of Romanism, the inward tendency would not be legislated out of a single soul, and in time a majority would be found, who would reverse everything.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.6

    How then shall the church be purged, not only of Ritualism, but of every other evil? Here is the answer: “Christ also love the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Ephesians 5:25, 26. Said Christ, “Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” John 15:3. “If we walked in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.7

    Here is cleansing that is cleansing indeed. Every attempt to cleanse the church by any other means will prove as ineffectual as to attempt to stop the flood of a river with a barbed wire fence. Indeed, civil legislation for the church only increases the evil; for the only real Gospel power is the power of God; and just to the extent that the church depends on civil power, will it neglect the power of God; and where the power of God is lacking, there the power of the devil will be supreme. And thus of the legislation in behalf of religion, instead of purging the Church, will at last bring it into the condition described by the angel:—SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.8

    “Babylon the great is fallen, is falling, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” Revelation 18:2. There is only one way by which this deplorable condition can be brought about, and that is by the churches depending on worldly power, in defiance of the word of God.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.9

    “Thus saith the Lord; cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.” Jeremiah 17:5, 6.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.10

    “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is; which keepeth truth forever.”SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.11

    Parliament cannot change the heart, but God can create a new heart; Parliaments, with all their powerlessness, are subject to change, but God in His might is “from everlasting to everlasting.” E. J. W.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.12

    “‘Another Day’—‘To-day’” The Signs of the Times, 21, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To-day, after so long a time; as it is said, To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.13

    God had promised rest to the children of Israel, and he took them out of Egypt to lead them to it. Then, as now, rest could be found only by learning of the Lord. Matthew 11:28, 29. But they rebelled against him, refusing to learn of him, although they saw his works marvelously wrought out before their eyes. The promise of anything does not profit any one unless it is accepted; but the children of Israel did not believe the Lord, and “so we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:19.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.14

    But the unbelief of men can not make the faith of God of none effect; therefore there still remains a rest to the people of God. Though men believe not, yet He abideth faithful. The same promise of rest still remains-nay, the rest itself remains-and “we which have believed do enter into rest.” The rest is all prepared, and was ready even in the days of ancient Israel, for “the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” The evidence of this is found in the statement that “God did rest the seventh day from all his works.” Hebrews 4:4. When works are all finished, rest must necessarily begin. So the rest began on the seventh day of time, when “God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.15

    What were the works that were finished when God rested the seventh day?—The heavens and the earth had been newly created. A garden had been planted, in which man had been caused to rest, and the dominion of the whole earth had been given him. But through unbelief that rest was lost. Man sinned; and sin brought unrest and weariness into the world, for “the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it can not rest.” Isaiah 57:20.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.16

    Man lost the rest, but God did not. His rest is eternal, unaffected by any action on the part of man. Moreover, God did not forsake man, nor utterly take from him the rest which he had forfeited. He gave his only Son, who “is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30. “By him were all things created” (Colossians 1:16); and the Sabbath, that memorial of creation, and the proof that the rest of God is ready for men when they believe, is left to us, that we may know that he has the power to sanctify us (Ezekiel 20:12). The Sabbath, the identical rest into which God entered on the completion of creation, is the rest which was given to man in the new earth. It is God’s rest, and can be gained and kept by man only as he has faith in Christ. He who keeps it through faith in Christ, has the sure pledge of final possession of the earth again made new.SITI September 19, 1895, page 578.17

    It was to this possession that God was leading the children of Israel. But they could not enter in because of unbelief. Joshua did not give them rest. Hebrews 4:8, margin. But God had sworn by himself that the rest should be given, and so “it remaineth that some must enter therein.” Therefore since they to whom it was first preached did not enter in, he still holds out the offer to all who will accept it. If the children of Israel had been real children of faithful Abraham, the rest would have been given in their day, and so the day of salvation would have closed. But they were not faithful, and since God’s promise and oath to Abraham must be fulfilled, and his seed must be as the sand on the seashore, another day of salvation was offered.SITI September 19, 1895, page 579.1

    What is this other day? Read the first text again: “Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief; again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To-day, after so long a time; as it is said, To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 4:6, 7. That other day is to-day. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2.SITI September 19, 1895, page 579.2

    Notice the statement that God “limiteth a certain day.” In speaking of “another day” God limited the time to “to-day.” Since the ancient people of Israel refused the rest which the Lord offered, God holds out another day in which we may heed the gracious call: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” and that day is to-day. “To-day” is the only day that God has ever promised to man in which he may accept salvation. He has offered no time of repentance after death; he has not offered some time next year, nor next week, nor even to-morrow; but only “to-day.”SITI September 19, 1895, page 579.3

    There are many who hear the word of truth, the Gospel of salvation, who think that at some future time they will accept it. They do not think that they can do so to-day, because it is not convenient. Some would like to have their own way a little longer. Others have important matters of business that they think must be attended to before they can accept. They think that they must have their plans all perfected in this world, which is soon to pass away, before they can accept the other world, which is to endure forever. They are unconsciously like the child who refuses to run from the tide which is rapidly coming in, because he has not yet completed the little house that he is building in the sand. Like the child, they forget that when the tide comes in, it will sweep away the house of sand, so that it will be the same as though it had not been built.SITI September 19, 1895, page 579.4

    Vast interests center in to-day. In one day an eternity of rest may be gained or lost. Think of it! God has given us one day in which we may gain an endless day. Eternity against to-day. Why should anybody hesitate as to the choice? “This is the day which the Lord hath made.” It is a glad day, because in it righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost may be obtained. Let us therefore “be glad and rejoice in it.”SITI September 19, 1895, page 579.5

    “Come, weary soul, and here find rest;
    Accept redemption, and be blest;
    The Christ who died, by God is crowned
    To pardon on redemption ground.”
    E. J. W.
    SITI September 19, 1895, page 579.6

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