The Signs of the Times, vol. 11


The Signs of the Times, Vol. 11


January 1, 1885

“Punishment of the Wicked” The Signs of the Times, 11, 1.

E. J. Waggoner



1. How many classes of people does the Bible recognize as existing in the world? Matthew 13:24, 25. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.1

2. What are these classes? Verse 38. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.2

3. How long do they remain mingled together? Verses 28-30. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.3

4. When is the harvest? Verse 39. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.4

5. Is there any class between these two? Matthew 12:30. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.5

6. Can one be in both these classes at the same time? Matthew 6:24. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.6

7. When will the separation between these two classes be made? Matthew 25:31-33. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.7

8. Briefly describe the character of these two classes? Verses 34-45. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.8

9. What will finally become of them both? Verse 46. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.9

10. When it is said that the righteous shall go into “life eternal,” what is meant? Luke 20:35, 36. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.10

11. Define the words “everlasting” and “eternal.” SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.11

12. How much difference in duration will there be between the reward of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked? Matthew 25:46. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.12

13. What is to be punished with the wicked? Romans 6:23. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.13

14. Since their punishment is to be everlasting, or eternal, what can you say of the death which is the wages of sin? SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.14

15. What is said of the punishment of those who do not obey the gospel? 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.15

16.From whom does the apostle say the everlasting destruction comes? SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.16

17. What is it that comes from God and destroys the wicked? Revelation 22:9. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.17

18. Will any wicked person escape the wrath of God? Nahum 1:3. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.18

19. How many of earth’s inhabitants have never sinned? Romans 3:23. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.19

20. Then how will it be possible for anybody to escape eternal death? 1 John 1:7. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.20

There are innumerable classes of people in the world, according to a human reckoning, but according to God’s standard-the Bible-there are only two. These are the righteous and the wicked. God made man upright, and designed that he should remain so; but the enemy came in and marred the handywork of the Creator. Since the fall of Adam there has not been a time when there have not been wicked persons on the earth. Indeed, so great has been the contamination that there has been no man since that time who was not to a greater or lesser extent a sinner. It is evident, then, that if at that time the tares-the wicked of earth-had it been plucked up, there would have been no wheat left. Both are to grow together until the harvest-the end of the world. Then a separation will be made by the only one who is able to distinguish between the good grain and the worthless matter. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.21

From these facts two things are evident. 1. There are only two classes. Christ said: “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30. There is no provision made for people who are “as good as the average.” To be only as good as the average of mankind, is to be very bad. The standard is-good. Anything different from that is bad. 2. None receive the reward until the Lord comes. In the end of the world-the harvest-the master sends for his angels, and they “sever the wicked from among the just.” The farmer does not reap one portion of his wheat-field in the spring, another in midsummer. And still another in the fall. There is a special harvest-time, and then all his grain is reaped. So the Lord has not been all the time gathering from this field that he has sown, but has “appointed a day in the which he will judge the world.” “The harvest is the end of the world,” not the beginning, middle, and end. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.22

From Matthew 25:35-45 we learn that the Lord weighs not only actions but intentions. Those to whom the king says, “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom,” etc., have not an opinion of their merit. They have had such exalted ideas of right that their humble deeds seem as nothing in comparison. But love to Christ is the mainspring of all their action, and that glorifies every deed however small. Christ identifies himself with his people so closely that whatever is done to them is accounted as done directly to him. On the other hand, we learn that no act, however worthy in itself, is of any value in the sight of God unless done for love to Christ. The heathen did many good things. Their philosophers taught what they called “virtue,” some things in which were really good. But all their boasted virtue was only for the exaltation of self. Selfishness was the motive that prompted all their deeds; and since a fountain cannot send the forth at the same time both sweet water and bitter, neither can a good accompany evil, it follows that even their seeming good deeds were really evil. On this same basis, whatever is done “In order that we may have eternal life,” with the idea that good deeds are going to make one worthy of reward, is all in vain. Love must be the ruling motive. If we serve God because of gratitude to him for his love that has already been manifested to us, his love will be still further manifested in giving us eternal life. His love will always be as much greater than ours as he is greater than we; consequently the utmost efforts that our love can prompt will fall infinitely short of compensating for his benefits to us. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.23

“And these [the wicked] shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life the eternal.” Matthew 25:46. The words of “eternal” and “everlasting” are from the same word in the original, and mean the same. We know that in this case they mean “without end,” for Christ tells us that those who obtain that world, cannot die anymore (Luke 20:35, 36); hence eternal life means life without end.Then eternal or everlasting punishment means punishment without end. This will be the fate of the wicked. But mark; this verse; does not tell the nature of the punishment; only tells us that the punishment will be inflicted, and that it will last eternally. Romans 6:23 tells us what the punishment is to be: “The wages of sin is death.” Then Matthew 25:46 might very properly be paraphrased thus: “And these-wicked-shall go away into eternal death; but the righteous into eternal life.” This is exactly what the text teaches. In harmony with this Paul says of those who know not God, and do not obey the gospel, that they “shall be punished with everlasting destruction.” This cannot be the case if they are never destroyed. The agent of this destruction is to be fire, which is to come “from the presence of the Lord.” See 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 20:9. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.24

“The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.” Nahum 1:3. No guilty person can escape the wrath of God. How then can anybody escape eternal death, since “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”? Only by having their guilt taken away by the blood of the Lamb of God. If we do not come to Christ, we can never have life; but if he is “made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification,” he will also be unto us “redemption.” E. J. W. SITI January 1, 1885, page 6.25

“Fate of the Wicked” The Signs of the Times, 11, 1.

E. J. Waggoner


The prophet David had in his lifetime an experience similar to that of many others. That to which we refer is recorded in the seventy-third psalm. He thought things were very unequally and unjustly divided. He saw that the wicked were as a rule in better circumstances than the righteous; and in contemplating this, he came very near making shipwreck of this faith. Said he: “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death; but their strength is firm. They [are] not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.... Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression; they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.... And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.” Verses 2-12. SITI January 1, 1885, page 8.1

As he contrasted his condition with theirs, he concluded that the service of the Lord didn’t pay. His words were: “Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.” Verses 13, 14. How many people we have heard reason in the same way. “If God is just,” they say, “why does he allow Mr. A, who is a humble, devoted Christian, to suffer so much of poverty and sickness, while Mr. B, his blasphemous neighbor, has an abundance of everything, with nothing to trouble him?” It is short-sighted reasoning, as David himself found out, although not from his own reasoning as to what God ought to do. He continues: “When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.” Verses 16-20. SITI January 1, 1885, page 8.2

In these verses we find a striking confirmation of the texts which have before been quoted as proving the final utter extinction of the wicked. Their present security is only apparent, not real; they are in slippery places, and are to be cast down to destruction. As in a moment they are to be brought into desolation. More than this, when the Lord arises to take vengeance on his adversaries, they are to be as a dream when one awakes from sleep-vanished into nothingness. As elsewhere expressed, they are to be “as the early dew that passeth away.” SITI January 1, 1885, page 8.3

All this the psalmist found out when he went into the sanctuary of the Lord. Let us then, go in with him, and see for ourselves what is there taught concerning the fate of the wicked. It is evident that we must consider that part of the sanctuary service which has to do with sin, if we are to learn anything concerning the end of the wicked. This service is given somewhat at length in the fourth chapter of Leviticus. We will quote enough of the chapter to bring the matter directly before us:- SITI January 1, 1885, page 8.4

“And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering. And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar. And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the Lord; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him.” Leviticus 4:27-31. SITI January 1, 1885, page 8.5

With some modifications, of a minor character, this was the ceremony to be performed when sin had been committed. The victim to be offered might be a bullock, a goat, a lamb, or a pidgeon, according to the rank or wealth of the sinner, the poor not being required to bring so costly an offering as the wealthy. But in all the principle was the same, and that principle is so simple that a child can easily grasp it. The sinner, by laying his hands upon the head of the offering, transferred, in figure, his sins to the victim, which represented Christ, “who his own self bear our sins in his own body on the tree.” 1 Peter 2:24. The offering having thus, in figure, received the sins of the transgressors, was slain, thus prefiguring Christ, who was “delivered for our offenses,” and who “died for the ungodly.” When this was done and the blood or flesh of the victim had been carried into the sanctuary, the man’s sins were forgiven him. If he remained penitent until the day of atonement, his sins were blotted out entirely when the sanctuary was cleansed. Leviticus 17. In all this reference was had to Christ, who “appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.1

As a victim, when it had in figure received the sins of the transgressor, was slain, so Christ, when the Lord had laid on him the iniquity of the all, “poured out his soul unto death.” He died for us, “the just for the unjust;” thus showing what would be man’s fate had the offering not been made, or should he not accept it. And so, in the figure, the penitent Jew, as the victim bearing his sin was slain before his eyes, was reminded that “the wages of sin is death.” The victim was then burned to ashes, thus showing both the instrument and the completenesss of the sinner’s destruction; and so the penitent was taught in a manner that he could not misunderstand nor forget, “the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs; they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.” SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.2

Now no one can deny that these sacrifices typified Christ’s sacrifice, nor that Christ himself did really die for sinners, unless he denies the truth of the Bible. Then the conclusion is unavoidable that if Christ had not died all men must have died, for all men are sinners; and further, since “he was manifested to take away our sin,” thus saving us from death because he saves us from sin, it is just as evident that those who do not wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb, will in the end perish. Their fate will be the same as though no sacrifice had been made. This is what David learned when he went into the sanctuary of the Lord, and this made him content with his hard lot. SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.3

One text more must suffice for the direct testimony concerning the destruction of the wicked. We give it because the contrast between the righteous and the wicked is so marked. It is Psalm 37:37, 37: “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the end of the wicked shall be cut off.” Note the contrast: The end of the upright is peace, but the end of the wicked shall be cut off. Dr. Barnes says that the word rendered “end” means properly “the last or extreme part; then, the end or issue of any thing, that which comes after it; then, the after time, the future, the hereafter. Isaiah 2:2; Micah 4:1; Genesis 49:1. Daniel 10:14. It may, therefore, refer to anything future; and would be well expressed by the word hereafter.” The Septuagint has engkatateimma, the meaning of which is, according to Liddell and Scott, “a reminder.” Substituting this meaning in the place of the word as translated, we get the full force of the text. Thus: “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the remainder of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the remainder of the wicked shall be cut off.” And this agrees with what the psalmist says in the earlier part of this, and in the seventy-third psalm. The righteous, although they may be plagued and afflicted in this earth, will, in the new earth, “delight themselves in the abundance of peace” all the remainder of their lives, which will last to all eternity. But the remainder of the wicked, who now have all that they desire, shall be cut off. Nothing could more clearly express their other extinction. “The end [remainder or hereafter] of the wicked shall be cut off;” i.e., there shall be no remainder to their lives. E. J. W. SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.4

“The Lord’s Supper and the Laying On of Hands” The Signs of the Times, 11, 1.

E. J. Waggoner

The following earnest letter of inquiry to the editor was recently received from a reader of the SIGNS, in Iowa:- SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.5

“To-night I have finished the second reading of your work, ‘Thoughts on Baptism,’ particularly that part relating to trine immersion. I bitterly opposed the Adventists here in Iowa, for nearly two years, but now I inquire of them. Baptism has been the hardest point to yield, so far. (I was a trine immersionist.) I have been looking up your references as far as I am able, and so far I have found them correct. I have compared yours and J. H. Moore’s tract, and as the light comes in, I believe more and more in single immersion. I believe your tract [pamphlet] will settle the difficulty with me. But there are other things that I do not yet understand. SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.6

“Why do not the Adventists observe the Lord’s Supper? as it is evident the Lord with his apostles partook of a full meal. John 13:4. And in 1 Corinthians 11:20, Paul speaks of the Lord’s Supper, and if a hint that it, as Paul gives, shows that such a thing did exist, why are not the Dunkards right; partaking of a full meal? They (the Dunkards) also lay hands on the baptized, that they may receive the Holy Ghost. Acts 8:17. Why do not the Adventist do so? SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.7

“I write this verily for information and explanations of the Scriptures referred to. Please don’t delay. I desire to be in harmony with Christ and his people before probation closes. Yours fraternally, in hope. J. J. E.” SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.8


Our brother is mistaken in supposing that Adventists do not celebrate the Lord’s Supper. We judge, however, that he does not regard the ceremony which will serve as being really the Lord’s Supper, because it is not an ordinary, regular meal. That the Lord’s Supper as celebrated by Adventists, and Christian churches generally, is identical in the form with that instituted by our Lord, and that to making it an ordinary meal is a perversion of the ordinances, can be easily demonstrated by the Bible, to the satisfaction, we think, of our inquiring brother. SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.9

1. It is true that Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, does speak of a full meal in connection with the Lord’s Supper, but only to condemn the practice. In this first epistle the apostle corrects many errors of the Corinthian church. After rebuking certain other unseemly practices, he takes up their manner of celebrating the Lord’s Supper, and says (1 Corinthians 11:20, 21): “When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating everyone taketh the before other his own supper; and one is hungry and another is drunken.” That is to say, “Although you profess to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, you do not take it in fact, because you eat and drink to satisfy the demands of appetite.” No stronger evidence than these two verses is needed to show that those who partake of a full meal under the impression that they are celebrating the Lord’s Supper, are grievously mistaken. In astonishment at their obtuseness, the apostle continues: “What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise ye the house of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.” SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.10

2. Although the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was instituted on the night of the last Passover, it was entirely distinct from that meal. This is apparent from an examination of the records of the evangelist. Matthews says: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Chap. 26:26-28. Mark’s words are almost the same. Luke says (chap. 22:19, 20): “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.11

From these texts we learn (1) That it is only the bread and the wine that commemorate our Lord’s death; and (2) That these emblems were partaken of “after supper,” i. e., after the Passover meal. Both these points are very clearly made by Paul and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, after he had shown the Corinthians what the Lord’s Supper is not. We quote: “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped [“after the eating of the evening meal”], saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.” SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.12

This is too plain to be misunderstood. Paul did not depend upon hearsay for his evidence, but received it directly from the Lord himself. All that they were to do in remembrance of Christ, as showing forth his death till he should come, was to break and eat bread, and drink of the cup; and this memorial was instituted after the supper was over, and was entirely distinct from it. The Lord’s Supper consists simply in partaking of the bread and wine, emblems of the broken body and spilled blood of Christ; whatever more is added is a perversion of the ordinance. Since the institution of the memorial was entirely distinct from the Passover Supper, and had no reference to it, there is no more reason for having the celebration of the Lord’s Supper preceded by a full, ordinary meal, than there would be for introducing it by the performance of some other act of Christ on that day. SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.13

More proof might be given on this subject, but it would seem that these Bible statements of what the Lord’s Supper is, and the declaration by Paul that the eating of a meal is not the Lord’s Supper, should be sufficient to settle the matter. SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.14


To the question why the Adventists do not lay hands on baptized persons, that they may receive the Holy Ghost, it would be sufficient reply to say that no such act is commanded. The gospel commission (Matthew 28:19, 20) says nothing of the laying on of hands, in addition to baptism; consequently we have no authority for such a custom. SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.15

More than this, we find that the Holy Ghost was not given in a fixed, arbitrary manner, even in the apostles’ time. In the case cited, and in Acts 19:6, we learn that the apostles laid hands on baptized persons, who then received the Holy Ghost; but in Acts 10:44, 45 we have an instance where the Holy Ghost fell on a room full of people who had not been baptized, and without the imposition of a human hand; and in the case of the conversion and baptism of the eunuch (Acts 8:26-40), which is related with great minuteness, we have no intimation concerning any act of laying on of hands. When the apostles laid hands on those whom they baptized, it seems to have been in view of an especial work which they were to perform. SITI January 1, 1885, page 9.16

With these facts before us, and others that might be cited, we think that might be cited, we think that Adventists would be acting in a very presumptuous and unwarranted manner, if, in partial imitation of the apostles, they should lay hands on people in order that they might receive the Holy Ghost. E. J. W. SITI January 1, 1885, page 10.1