American Sentinel, vol. 12


American Sentinel, Vol. 12


January 21, 1897

“‘The Law Is Spiritual’” American Sentinel 12, 3.

E. J. Waggoner

E. J. Waggoner, in Signs of the Times

“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.” AMS January 21, 1897, page 46.1

God is Spirit; therefore they that worship Him must do so in the Spirit which He supply. He provides the means, and does not ask us to worship Him in our spirit, or in our conception of His law. AMS January 21, 1897, page 46.2

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 nobody 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. AMS January 21, 1897, page 46.3

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 worked in us that which we do not know ourselves. AMS January 21, 1897, page 46.4

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 fullness of any command which is in joined 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 realize himself to be. AMS January 21, 1897, page 46.5

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. AMS January 21, 1897, page 46.6

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. AMS January 21, 1897, page 46.7