E.J. Waggoner

E.J. WaggonerEllet J. Waggoner (1855-1916) was a minister in the Seventh-day Adventist church. From around 1888 onwards, he spoke and wrote very actively about “the everlasting gospel”, and the practical way to receive “Christ’s righteousness”.

He was not alone in this work. Another man, Alonzo T. Jones, also arose at exactly the same time and in many respects their messages were in harmony, although this was not planned by them. They were believed to have a special message from God to the church, as Ellen White testified:

Testimonies to Ministers, p. 91, 92 (1895):

The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God.

Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.

Waggoner was also trained as a doctor, but spent most of his time in the ministry. He worked with A.T. Jones for some years in the field of Religious Liberty, and also ministered in England from 1892 to 1903, editing the British Present Truth magazine. Of his conversion, he wrote:

Many years ago, the writer sat in a tent one dismal, rainy afternoon, where a servant of the Lord was presenting the Gospel of His grace; not a word of the text or texts used, nor of what was said by the speaker, has remained with me, and I have never been conscious of having heard a word; but, in the midst of the discourse an experience came to me that was the turning point in my life. Suddenly a light shone about me, and the tent seemed illumined, as though the sun were shining; I saw Christ crucified for me, and to me was revealed for the first time in my life the fact that God loved me, and that Christ gave Himself for me personally. It was all for me. If I could describe my feelings, they would not be understood by those who have not had a similar experience, and to such no explanation is necessary.

I believed that the Bible is the word of God, penned by holy men who wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and I knew that this light that came to me was a revelation direct from heaven; therefore I knew that in the Bible I should find the message of God’s love for individual sinners, and I resolved that the rest of my life should be devoted to finding it there, and making it plain to others. The light that shone upon me that day from the cross of Christ, has been my guide in all my Bible study; wherever I have turned in the Sacred Book, I have found Christ set forth as the power of God, to the salvation of individuals, and I have never found anything else.

The message of Waggoner and Jones came to be known as the 1888 Message because it really came to the forefront at the Minneapolis General Conference of 1888. Their message fell into obscurity after their death, but was recovered in the 1950’s. It was the turmoil associated with the rediscovery of that message, and the opposition it faced in the Seventh-day Adventist Church that led to the formation of the Sabbath Rest Advent Church. Since their message is the foundation of ours, it is appropriate to include some of their writings on this website.



The Promises to Israel

The Promises to IsraelThis booklet was taken from the last chapters of a larger work, Prophetic Lights, but is complete in itself. It deals specifically with the promises concerning Israel, the land of promise, and the blessings surrounding the chosen nation.

Contents

  1. The Promises to Israel
  2. The First Dominion
  3. The Call of Abraham
  4. The Hope of the Promise
  5. The Rest that Remains
  6. The Throne of David
  7. The True Israel
  8. The Gathering of Israel
  9. The Dominion Restored

Who comprises Israel? How will the promises be fulfilled? How will the throne of David be re-established? These, and other similar questions, are explored and the answers drawn from the Bible are surprising, inspiring, and uplifting. 87p

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Prophetic Lights

Prophetic Lights covers the foundational prophecies from the book of Daniel: the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome and Papal Rome; the prophecies dealing with Christ’s first and second coming; the prophecies of Matthew 24; and the promises to Israel, to show how the gospel plan is unfolding in the prophetic events.

A.T. Jones contributed two chapters: “Testimony of the Centuries”, and “The Fall of Babylon”.

Contents

  1. Prophecies Concerning the Messiah
  2. The Transfiguration
  3. The Sure Word
  4. Testimony of the Centuries
  5. The Kingdom of Babylon
  6. The Fall of Babylon
  7. Medo-Persia and Greece
  8. Rome
  9. The Papacy
  10. Christ’s Second Coming
  11. The Promises to Israel

This version of Prophetic Lights includes the original illustrations and headings, and as of February 2016, the text has been fully reformatted for ease of reading. 296p

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Christ and His Righteousness

This small book is a good place to start if you’ve never read the 1888 message. It is a beautiful and concise presentation of the way of salvation. (As of Jan. 2016, this book is completely reformatted for ease of reading).

Contents

  1. How Shall We Consider Christ
  2. Is Christ God?
  3. Christ as Creator
  4. Is Christ a Created Being
  5. God Manifest in the Flesh
  6. Important Practical Lessons
  7. Christ the Lawgiver
  8. The Righteousness of God
  9. The Lord Our Righteousness
  10. Acceptance with God
  11. The Victory of Faith
  12. Bond-servants and Freemen
  13. Practical Illustrations of Deliverance from Bondage

This book, and A.T. Jones’ The Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection, set forth clearly the Everlasting Gospel that they taught from 1888 onwards. 101p

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The Gospel in Creation

This book shows how the principles and power of the Everlasting Gospel are clearly revealed in the days of creation, as recorded in Genesis.

It directs our wondering gaze to the open pages of God’s created works as the expression of the Gospel, the power of God to save from sin.

Contents

  1. The 1st Day: Creation and Redemption
  2. The 2nd Day: “Clouds are the Dust of His Feet.”
  3. The 3rd Day: The Fullness of the Sea
  4. The 4rth Day: The Firmament Shows His Handiwork
  5. The 5th Day: Birds, Fishes, and Beasts
  6. The 6th Day: What is Man?
  7. The 7th Day: Resting with the Lord

Those who thoughtfully and prayerfully study the contents of this book will see this other revelation of the Gospel, the one written large in earth, and sea, and sky; a manifestation so alive and vast that it will elevate the beholder to advanced levels of faith and will strengthen the mighty workings of God’s omnipotent power within him. 123p

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The Gospel in the Book of Galatians: A Review

When E.J. Waggoner was first called by God to bring the message of righteousness by faith to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, he found himself opposed by many of the church leaders and ministers, especially concerning his teachings regarding the law and the gospel in the book of Galatians.

The problem was caused because Adventists, who believed and taught that the Ten Commandments were still to be obeyed (including the Sabbath), found themselves faced with some difficult scriptures in the book of Galatians which seemed to say that the Law had passed away. In order to deal with these statements, they developed a (seemingly logical) argument that the Law referred to in Galatians was the Ceremonial Law, not the Moral Law. They sometimes had public debates with Protestant ministers, where they would use these arguments to support their position.

Then along came Waggoner and declared that the Law referred to in Galatians was the Moral Law! Many rashly assumed that Waggoner was “throwing out the Law”. The leader in opposing Waggoner was the then General Conference president, George Butler. Of course, Waggoner was not setting aside the Law, but arguing for a different gospel, one in which the Law, in a certain role, did cease at the new birth. But because many Adventists at that time did not understand the gospel, they misunderstood Waggoner.

This publication is Waggoner’s letter to Butler, giving the reasons and arguments to support his position. It covers the controverted points and reveals how many Adventists were in danger of building on the shaky foundation of the “righteousness which is of the law” (Romans 10:5). 90p

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Glad Tidings

This book is Waggoner’s more full exposition of the book of Galatians, verse by verse.

Contents

  1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Real Gospel
  2. Life by the Faith of Christ, the Truth of the Gospel
  3. Redeemed from the Curse, to the Blessing of Abraham
  4. The Adoption of Sons
  5. The Spirit’s Power over the Flesh
  6. The Glory of the Cross

The Epistle to the Galatians, together with its companion, the Epistle to the Romans, was the source, through the Spirit, of the Reformation of the sixteenth century, the key-note of which was, “The just shall live by faith”.

The Reformation then begun is not yet complete, and the same watchword needs to be sounded now as then. If the people of God will become filled with the truth so vividly set forth in this epistle, both the church and the world will be stirred as profoundly as in the days of Luther.

This is a verse-by-verse commentary on the book of Galatians. 144p

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Bible Studies in Romans

Bible Studies in RomansWaggoner loved to dwell on the promises and clear teachings of salvation contained in books like Romans and Galatians.

But Waggoner’s view of the gospel contained in these books was distinctly Adventist. He saw not only forgiveness, but cleansing power. And because he was an Adventist, he saw an end of the gospel work, in the finishing of the work of sanctification for those believers who lived to see Christ come in the clouds.

Unlike the Protestants of his day, he did not set aside the Law nor seek to excuse disobedience. But he understood that the Law in the form of stony tablets, had a certain role, to convict of sin and bring the sinner to Christ. After Christ was formed within, the believer had a heart in harmony with the principles of the Law, and did not need to continually struggle and fail over the same temptations. Christ’s yoke is “easy” and His burden is “light”.

It was with these ideas that Waggoner wrote out his views on Romans which are contained in this book.

Contents

  1. Romans 1 – Man’s Need of the Gospel
  2. Romans 2 – Genuine Righteousness
  3. Romans 3:1-24 – The Law and the Gospel
  4. Romans 3:19-31 – Justification
  5. Romans 4:1-15 – Illustrated by Abraham
  6. Romans 4 (continued) – The Promise
  7. Romans 5:1-5 – The Fruit of Faith
  8. Romans 5:6-9 – The Unspeakable Gift
  9. Romans 5:10-21 – The Law and Grace
  10. Romans 6 – Connected with Christ
  11. Romans 7 – Deliverance from Bondage
  12. Romans 8:1-16 – The Evidences of Faith
  13. Romans 8:17-31 – The Glory of His Grace
  14. Romans 8:28-39 – Fullness of Blessing
  15. Romans 13:1-8 – Relating to Authorities
  16. A Review – The Everlasting Gospel

I have recently reformatted this book and added meaningful titles and subtitles to make it more accessible. 204p

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Sunday – The Origin of Its Observance in the Christian Church

Sunday - The Origin of Its Observance in the Christian ChurchCatholics, historically, have no problem with Sunday being a replacement for the Biblical Sabbath. “The Church changed the day,” they say, and that settles it for them. Protestants, on the other hand, who claim to believe in Sola Scriptura (The Bible and the Bible only), must either admit that the seventh-day Sabbath is God’s designated time for rest and worship, or find a Bible reason for the change.

Some resort to throwing out the whole Law entirely. “We are not ‘under the Law’!”, they exclaim. This does not really solve the matter, as Jesus’ kingdom is one of righteousness, and how can righteousness be established by throwing out the standard of righteousness?

One other popular explanation is to say that the Apostles, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, changed the day to Sunday. They would have us believe that the change happened right away in the early Church, and was consistently followed thereafter. It is this excuse that this book was designed to deal with.

Waggoner digs into the historical records, using sources written by Sunday-keepers, to show that the change from Sabbath to Sunday was slow and gradual, and was facilitated by the Church’s increasing adoption of paganism: pagan philosophy, pagan ideas, pagan rites and ceremonies.

Contents

  1. Introductory
  2. Antiquity, Universality, and Nature of Sun Worship
  3. Apostasy from Jehovah Worship to Sun Worship
  4. Apostasy Leads to Sabbath Desecration
  5. Heathen Influences in the Church
  6. The Eclectic Philosophy
  7. Neo-Platonism
  8. Origen’s Part in Paganizing the Church
  9. Results of the Philosophical Handling of the Bible
  10. The Church Completely Paganized
  11. Pagan Response to the Church’s Advances
  12. Constantine
  13. Constantine, the Church and Sunday

For those who have never studied this history, the book provides a good overview of the forces that were at work to cause this “breach” in the Law. 102p

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The Divinity of Christ

The Divinity of ChristHere is a series of four articles on the divinity of Christ, which Waggoner originally published in church periodicals, but which I have put together into one booklet, so they are more accessible.

Contents

  1. The Words of Christ and Others Claim His Divinity
  2. The Works of Christ Prove His Divine Nature
  3. His Pre-Existence and Equality with the Father
  4. Christ as Lawgiver
  5. Lawgiver and Redeemer

It is the divinity of Christ that:

  1. exalts the Father’s love (for the Father gave not just a created being, but one of himself for us);
  2. upholds the sacredness of God’s law (transgression of the law required the death of one who was equal to God);
  3. shows the awful nature of sin (only one equal with God could pay the price); and
  4. reveals the awesome heights to which redeemed sinners will be lifted by partaking of Christ’s divine seed (to sit with Him in His throne, and hold open communion with the Father himself).

For these reasons, it is good to remind ourselves of the Scriptural evidences for Christ’s divinity, which are laid out in this booklet. 24p

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The Honor Due to God

The Honor Due to GodOriginally released in 1889, as part of the “Bible Students’ Library”, this treatise covers the topic of Tithes and Offerings.

The subject of “tithes and offerings” was also the theme of the Adult Sabbbath School Lessons for the third quarter of 1889, so this booklet may have been released as an aid to, or as a result of, those studies.

Contents

  1. The Honor Due to God
  2. A New Covenant Ordinance
  3. Offerings
  4. God’s Promises
  5. Looking Beyond the Temporal
  6. Systematic Giving
  7. Wholehearted Consecration

It explains the details of Tithes and Offerings, as well as the privileges and promises associated with generosity and cultivation of a spirit of self-sacrifice. 62p

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A Witness to All Nations

A Witness to All NationsThis series of articles appeared in The Present Truth, in the fall of 1903, and was the last larger written work by Waggoner. He continued writing health and devotional articles for The Medical Missionary magazine until 1909, but apparently not at such length, nor on this theme.

The theme of this work is the Three Angel’s Messages of Revelation 14. It starts with explaining the “everlasting gospel” and progresses through the judgment, the beast and his image, and the fall of Babylon.

It is, as expected, a wonderful blend of gospel, prophecy, and law, with many precious insights into the spiritual nature and meaning of the prophetic word. 52p

Contents

  1. The Everlasting Gospel
  2. The Hour of Judgment
  3. The Judgment of the Wicked
  4. Babylon is Fallen
  5. The Beast and His Mark
  6. Worshiping the Beast
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Baptism: Its Significance

Baptism: Its SignificanceBaptism is one of the two services instituted by Jesus (the other being the Lord’s Supper).

This small work explores Baptism: it’s meaning, when to do it, what it symbolizes, the mode, but especially does it dwell on the spiritual experience.

It’s a very nice summary for anyone who is contemplating baptism, or would like to know more about it. 12p

Contents

  1. Joined to Christ and the Church
  2. When Should it be Done?
  3. Sharing His Death and Resurrection
  4. The Steps in Conversion
  5. Trading the Old Life for the New
  6. How to Submit
  7. An Exchange of Life
  8. Living by Faith
  9. The Age for Baptism
  10. The Mode of Baptism
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The Rock and the Keys

The Rock and the KeysThis small work discusses Matthew 16:15-19, where Jesus told Peter that “upon this rock will I build my church,” and then said that He would give him the “keys of the kingdom”.

The Roman Catholic church uses these verses to support her claim that Peter was the rock, and the one who had the “keys” and therefore was the first in the line of popes in the church.

This booklet puts those claims to the test of “the Bible and the Bible only” and then goes on to explain what those verses actually mean. 11p

Contents

  1. Who is the Rock?
  2. How to Build on the Rock
  3. We are Living Stones
  4. The Gates of Hell
  5. What are the Keys?
  6. Binding and Loosing
  7. What about Peter?
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Under the Law

Under the LawHere are a collection of articles from E.J. Waggoner on the theme of Law and Grace. In particular, there are two series that cover the texts with the phrase “under the law”, and one series about the text that “Christ is the end of the Law”.

Both of these phrases are commonly used by modern Christians to excuse themselves from being accountable to the Law of God for their behavior. Especially do they wish to avoid the Sabbath commandment, and so, discarding the whole law is an easy way to accomplish that.

But Waggoner shows in these dissertations, that such a view is contrary to the real meaning of Scripture, and that such a false view ends up throwing away the ministry of the Law as a God-given agency to lead to the knowledge of sin, repentance, and salvation. 148p

Under the Law (1886)

  1. Definitions
  2. Life or Death
  3. The Galatian Problem
  4. Old and New Covenant
  5. In the Law

Christ: The End of the Law

  1. An Important Question
  2. Nature of the Law
  3. Condemned and Justified
  4. A New Creature in Christ
  5. Christ the End of the Law
  6. All Things Through Christ

Under the Law (1884)

  1. Righteousness and Grace
  2. Righteousness is Obedience
  3. The Role of the Law
  4. The Law and Christ

Related Articles

  1. Relation of the Law and Grace
  2. Logical Antinomianism
  3. The Relation of the World to God
  4. Not Under the Law
  5. Common Sense in Religion
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Spiritualism

SpiritualismSpiritualism is the belief that people have immortality in them and therefore live on after death, and can therefore be communicated with, or invoked. It was a foundation in heathen religions, and finds it’s way into various forms of Christianity through the doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul.

This book traces the connection between the immortality of the soul, self-exaltation, and the development of immorality. There are sections dealing with the rise of spiritualism (in Waggoner’s day, which now finds more popular acceptance in teachings such as “New Age”), sections on Protestantism and Spiritualism, and sections on Catholicism.

Certainly since this book was written (1888), Spiritualism has made huge strides into the so-called Christian churches through Pentecostalism. But as always, the doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul lays the foundation for this, as Waggoner carefully points out in this important study. 99p

Contents

  1. The Spirit of Antichrist
  2. Natural Immortality
  3. The Cause of Sin
  4. The Source of Idolatry
  5. Miracles
  6. The Spirits of Devils
  7. Using Good Works to Deceive
  8. Christian Spiritualism
  9. Communication with the Dead
  10. Preparing the Way
  11. Calling Evil Good
  12. Imitating the Second Advent
  13. Purgatory and Indulgences
  14. Mariolatry
  15. Mary in the Place of Christ
  16. Encouraging Wickedness
  17. Let Them Laugh
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The Law of Life

The Law of LifeFrom Sinai came lightnings, thunderings, and the threat of death. From the Rock that Moses spoke to came the water of life. These are the two ministrations that God gives, through His Law, to remedy man’s sinful condition. They work in perfect harmony.

The Law of Ten Commandments and the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, both represent God’s perfect righteousness: one applied to convict, the other applied to heal.

These precious studies open up some of the exceeding broadness of the Law. The Spirit uses the Law to search the deep things of the heart. By the law comes the knowledge of sin. And then through Christ, a life that is in harmony with those precepts is offered, so that the commands come to us as promises.

These are some of the most practical writings Waggoner ever produced. Highly recommended. 161p

Contents

  1. The First Commandment
  2. The Second Commandment
  3. The Third Commandment
  4. The Fourth Commandment
  5. The Fifth Commandment
  6. The Sixth Commandment
  7. The Seventh Commandment
  8. The Eighth Commandment
  9. The Ninth Commandment
  10. The Tenth Commandment
  11. The Law of the Spirit of Life
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The Lord’s Day

The Lord's DayJohn was in the Spirit on “the Lord’s Day” when he was given the visions that comprise the book of Revelation. Sunday-keeping Christians have seized on this phrase to support the idea that the apostolic church kept Sunday instead of Sabbath, to honor Christ’s resurrection.

In this collection of articles, Waggoner investigates the arguments used support Sunday-keeping, and brings them to the test of “the Bible and the Bible only”. He also uses Scripture to define exactly which day is the “Lord’s day”.

These were originally published in Signs of the Times magazine, from 1883 to 1884. The first two are independent articles, and the last six are part of a series. But they are all on the same theme, so I have put them all together. 49p

Contents

  1. An Authoritative Statement
  2. Reasons for Not Observing Saturday
  3. The Early Church Customs
  4. Which Lord?
  5. Which Day?
  6. The Example of Jesus Christ
  7. In the New Testament
  8. The First Day of the Week
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The Everlasting Gospel

The Everlasting Gospel“Worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” This command, part of the everlasting gospel message of Revelation 14:6-7, points to God’s power as revealed in the creation. This book (subtitled: “God’s Saving Power in the Things That Are Made”) delves into that topic, showing that the same power of God which is all around us every day, is available to work in us, to remove sin and keep us from sinning.

Waggoner wrote on the same topic many years prior to these studies, in a book called “The Gospel in Creation” (published in 1893). These presentations are more mature and developed.

These articles were all taken from the 1898 Present Truth magazine, which Waggoner published in England. There are 27 studies on the main topic, but along with these were other studies included in the same issues of each magazine, which were related. I have included these 47 articles in a section called “Related Articles”, after the main theme (these are not shown in the Contents listing below, but are included in the Contents pages of the book itself). 424p

Contents

  1. Why Was the Creation Story Written?
  2. The Beginning
  3. Power and Wisdom
  4. Power and Mercy
  5. The Spirit’s Work
  6. The Power That Draws
  7. The Light
  8. The Light of Life
  9. Clouds and Rain
  10. Rain and Righteousness
  11. The River of Life
  12. The Air
  13. The Seas
  14. Sowing the Seed
  15. The Seed Quickened
  16. All Flesh Is Grass
  17. The Power of Growth
  18. Intelligent Action in Plants
  19. The Glory of the Heavens
  20. The Animal Creation
  21. The Dust of the Earth
  22. Man’s Dominion
  23. Food Out of the Earth
  24. His Commandment is Life Everlasting
  25. God’s Rest
  26. The Beauty of the Lord
  27. The Fullness of God
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Leaves from the Tree of Life

Leaves from the Tree of LifeWaggoner wrote these articles between the years 1897 and 1909, for The Medical Missionary magazine. These articles therefore constitute some of the last known written material from the pen of E.J. Waggoner.

They are significant for a number of reasons. First, they include many articles on the topics of health and healing, which is the “right arm” of the Gospel work. Secondly, there are some rare commentaries on well-known Scriptures such as Psalm 23, 1 Corinthians 13, The Lord’s Prayer, etc., included in the “Daily Bread” section: a series of daily readings for many of the months of 1904.

The work of a Gospel Doctor is clearly displayed in these writings. Waggoner had a wonderful gift from the Lord for revealing the closeness of God’s working in the world of nature, and the application of spiritual Laws in the physical realm. This is particularly apparent in the last chapter of this book, “Spiritual Law in the Natural World.” 388p

Contents

    The Full Length Articles

  1. Himself He Cannot Save
  2. The Light and Life of Men
  3. The Spirit of Wine versus the Spirit of God
  4. Thoughts on Health and Healing
  5. Co-Workers with God
  6. Present Truth, part 1
  7. Present Truth, part 2
  8. Present Truth, part 3
  9. The Common Life
  10. Healing through Faith, part 1
  11. Healing through Faith, part 2
  12. Healing through Faith, part 3
  13. Eat That Which Is Good
  14. The True Priesthood
  15. Back to Nature
  16. Saving, Not Stoning, Sinners
  17. A Lesson for All Workers
  18. He Bore Our Sicknesses
  19. New Light and New Sight
  20. Looking Forward
  21. Workers Together with God
  22. Preparation for Service
  23. Has God Arbitrarily Limited Man’s Age?
  24. Why the Japanese Succeed
  25. Tired of Life
  26. An Incentive to Thoroughness
  27. My Life Work
  28. The Lord’s Prayer
  29. Is Any Afflicted? Let Him Pray
  30. Our Father
  31. The Holy Name
  32. After Us—What?
  33. Thanks for All Things
  34. Comfort from Adversity
  35. God’s Case in Court
  36. Justification in Condemnation

    The Daily Bread Articles

  1. The Sufficiency of God
  2. Thankfulness and Praise
  3. Our Creator is Our Saviour
  4. Psalm 23, 27, 16 & 17
  5. Psalm 30, 31, 33, 35 & 37
  6. Psalm 20, 116 & 121
  7. The Word of God
  8. Love
  9. Health of Body and Soul
  10. Spiritual Law in the Natural World
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