“The law … was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made” (Gal. 3:19).
Below what I’m writing here will be an article printed in the Signs of the Times called “Comments on Galatians, No. 4” on 7/29/1886. Yes, for at least two years before the 1888 Conference in Minneapolis the 1888 message was being preached. E.J. Waggoner goes into more detail here on why the coming of the Seed is the Second Coming and not the first. It is amazing that in us as a people rejecting this message in applying Galatians 3:19 to the First Coming, we are doing exactly what the Jews did, confusing the Messiah’s two Comings. They did not see the fulfillment of the promise of the Messiah inheriting the kingdom, and hence His people, so they rejected Him. We are the same. We are rejecting the Messiah in rejecting the 1888 message. We are crucifying Him afresh with our sins just as the Jews crucified Him. If we had believed that the coming of the Seed indeed was at the Messiah’s Second Coming, the Seed would have come within two years as Sister White said.
What does it mean that the Messiah inherits the earth? How will this come to pass. I’ve been thinking this through. The Promise, or the Covenant, is really inheriting the earth and is based on the righteousness of the Law which is by faith. In other words, “we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). The promise of the earth is on the condition of righteousness, and Galatians makes it clear that this righteousness comes by faith, which is by promise (not on us trying to live up to the Law). The purpose of the First Coming was for Jesus to provide His faith unto righteousness and give it to all as a gift. And this is the basis of the covenant. But the covenant has not been fulfilled. The Law has not been written in our hearts; we are under sin, and thus under a Schoolmaster to bring us to the Messiah that the covenant may be fulfilled. Then the purpose of the Second Coming is to fulfill the promise, for the First Coming only brought the basis of it–the Law in the Messiah–so that it could later be fulfilled–the Law in us by Him in us.
Hence we are to be “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:12)–hasting the day that the promise is fulfilled of the earth wherein only righteousness dwells. But instead we have been hasting unto perdition. The only means by which we can be saved from sin is to be crucified and risen again with the Messiah, for He is our Righteousness, which is life eternal. We have been hasting to both legalism and lawlessness instead, so the coming of the Seed, the coming of the day of God, has tarried.
Now I want to bring across something very amazing. How exactly does the inheritance of the earth come? We have already seen that first there must be righteousness, for only righteousness dwells in the new earth. But how is this brought about? Friends this is truly amazing… it is through the proclamation of the Third Angel’s Message given with a Loud Cry!
The curse of the covenant was Israel being scattered for a period of seven (2520 years); it was because we broke the Covenant (see Lev. 26). At the end of the period, Babylon was then taken captive (through her pope in 1798), and when Judah’s period ended in exactly 1844, the message came out “Babylon is fallen, is fallen”. On the Day of Atonement that year, the sanctuary with the Law of God in it was revealed to us. Then in the months following it was revealed that the heavenly sanctuary must be cleansed; sin must come to an end. Once accomplished, the Bridegroom comes to the marriage to receive His kingdom, the promise of the Covenant. And then quickly thereafter when the special resurrection happens, He confirms this Covenant with the 144,000 as we see in Early Writings, p. 34, and then quickly after that the Seed comes to take His people–His true kingdom–with Him to the eternal capitol, the New Jerusalem.
Since 1844, when the curse of the covenant ended, the Midnight Cry has been echoing, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him” (Matt. 25:6). The Bridegroom coming to the marriage is a present truth, for it takes place in the marriage chamber, the Most Holy Place, and it is a process. But the actual marriage cannot happen until the 144,000 are sealed with the Torah. The Covenant was restored in 1844, but we have been very slow to embrace it. But the Midnight Cry behind us is to bring us to the Loud Cry, proclaiming the glory of YAHUAH (Rev. 18:1) and the fall of Babylon (v. 2). This glory of the character of the Messiah is to enlighten the earth, and this is the true brightness that destroys Babylon and that is why the Cry includes the declaration of her fall, for she has fallen from grace that was proclaimed to her that she refused, and many nominal Adventists will go down with her because they too reject the Cry.
Remember how A.T. Jones said that the Lord does not win by might but by right. Babylon is not destroyed by force. Righteousness is proclaimed to her, the wedding garment is offered her, which would cover and protect her nakedness, but she is drunk with wine so that she cannot comprehend the Cry. So without the protection, the plagues will destroy her, and this is just what is depicted in Revelation 19. The sword in the Lord’s mouth is symbolic. The brightness that destroys her is really the gospel of the Covenant, which contains the Law as its basis. She refuses to be crucified with the Messiah, slain by the Word of God, and so her own sins destroy her. When the Messiah comes in His glory, she cannot endure the visible brightness shinging from His hands and side–the grace she rejected–and she must perish. How this process happens we do not know, but I am certain that the Lord will not use force; it is the right (not might) that she refused that destroys her. And this right has been proclaimed since 1844, but will be with much greater power when the Loud Cry has swelled and the whole earth has been enlightened.
Now can you understand what it means to hasten the coming of the Seed, and that it entails us ourselves understanding the righteousness which is by faith–the basis of the promise of inheriting the earth–and then us ourselves receiving it so that we are sealed by it and that we proclaim it to the world? Just now we are to understand it. The light is shining to our own people at this time. Though we rejected it in 1888 and have for years since, the message is still increasing. The added power of the Torah–with its appointed times for meeting and receiving latter rain–only adds to the gospel light, for the more of the Torah we see, the more grace abounds as we see our need (Rom. 5:20), and the more grace abounds, the more precious the promise of the Covenant is! 🙂
Let us be crucified with the Messiah instead of crucifying Him afresh with more and more sin which He must bear. Let us, in Him, be dead unto sin. It is only in Him. We need to be studying what it means to be in Him and what it means to have “the faith of Jesus”. This is the very heart of the Third Angel’s Message and yet how little we have comprehended it. But now is our opportunity. Light is shining forth. It must first enlighten us. And then we are to enlighten the whole earth, and this light will destroy Babylon because she perceives this light as her enemy when it is her only life, her only protection, for it is the light shining from Jesus the Messiah and Him crucified. And so this is how the earth will be acquired by God through His people. Not by might, but by right.
“This is the Word of YAHUAH unto Zerub-Babel (Out of Babylon), saying, *Not by might*, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith YAHUAH Tsebaoth (of Hosts) … Who art thou, O great mountain (referring to Babel/Babylon)? Before Zerub-Babel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, ***CRYING, GRACE, GRACE unto it” (Zechariah 4:5-7).
The Loud Cry is a message of double grace (imputed and imparted righteousness), not a message of condemnation and force. Words of judgment and destruction are given only in warning as to what the effects are of refusing such great grace. But YAHUAH does not destroy by might, but by right. The brightness of His righteousness, which comes to us by His Spirit, destroys because sin destroys. “When the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” (Rom. 7:9). The Law itself cannot directly impart righteousness nor can it directly impart death. It declares righteousness and it declares the penalty of transgression, which is death. When one hears this declaration and refuses to be reformed by the Messiah it points to, what it declares is fulfilled, “for the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Sin’s wages is death, not the Law’s wages. Sin brings death, the Law declares it. That is how the Law destroys–not directly but by declaration, and when light is refused, death must result for there is no protection of YAHUAH to prevent it.
“Before Zerub-Babel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the ***headstone*** thereof with shoutings, crying grace, grace unto it.”
“Thou sawest till that ***a stone*** was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces … and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and ***filled the whole earth*** … And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Dan. 2).
“For ***the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of YAHUAH***, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14).
“I saw another Angel come down from heaven, having great power; and ***the earth was lightened with His glory***. And He cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen” (Revelation 18:1, 2).
We are dealing with lots of symbols here, but when we connect them together we see the prophesied reality. It is the gospel message of the Covenant being proclaimed to the whole earth, enlightening it as light. Those who are receive the light receive grace unto righteousness unto the promise of inheriting the earth. Those who refuse the light receive condemnation unto damnation unto eternal destruction symbolized by the fire and smoke of brimstone tormenting them of the Third Angel’s Message (Rev. 14:10, 11); which is really the torment of the realization of the grace and blessings that they have despised. This is what ultimately will crush the wicked. God is a consuming fire. They will see Him as He is at the end of the millennium and the revelation of Him that they despised when it was presented to them on the earth, especially at the end of time, will utterly crush them. Jesus will weep for them. He and they will know that nothing can be done for them. They must perish in their sins and die the death that Jesus had already died for them, but which they despised.
Do you hear the shoutings of double grace? Do you hear the Cry? Do not despise it dear one. Light is shining forth and this light is life to those who believe. You do not need to perish in your sins. Jesus has righteousness and life just for you. Inherit the kingdom that is prepared for you! And hasten the coming of the Seed, yea the Bridegroom. Since He is your life, His kingdom is your kingdom, for you are already in Him; you just need to believe it, and then He will come, the promised Seed, the Headstone that was rejected. His Spirit comes to you with light, which you are to enlighten your spot of the earth, and then you and me and many other messengers, with the Messiah in us, will lighten the earth with His glory, claiming this earth as His and ours!
July 29, 1886
“Comments on Galatians 3. No. 4” The Signs of the Times 12, 29.
E. J. Waggoner
“Till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” There is no question of course but that the “seed” is Christ. The sixteenth verse plainly says so. Then what is the coming of the seed? Some have supposed it to be Christ’s first advent, but a little study will show that the second advent is here spoken of. The “seed” is never mentioned except in connection with the promise, and the promise is fulfilled only at the second coming of Christ. The following texts and argument will make this appear:-
In Gen. 3:15, the Lord, in pronouncing the curse upon the serpent (Satan), said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it [the seed] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Paul, in his letter to the Romans, many years after Christ had come and had ascended to Heaven, said, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” Rom. 16:20. The bruising of a serpent’s head is its destruction; but this was not accomplished at Christ’s first advent, but was something still future. The destruction of Satan begins only at Christ’s second coming. See Rev. 20.
Again, in the promise to Abraham it was said, “And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.” Gen. 22:17. This was not fulfilled at the first advent of Christ. On the contrary he was then delivered into the hands of his enemies, and they did to him whatsoever they would. He will possess the gate of his enemies only when the following promise is fulfilled: “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Ps. 2:7, 8. And this is fulfilled at Christ’s second advent, when he takes vengeance “on them that know not God and that obey not the gospel,” as is described by the revelator:-
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in Heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. . . . And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Rev. 19:11-21. Thus he possesses the gate of his enemies.
Again, another part of the promise to the seed was that he should possess the whole earth. See Ps. 2:7, 8, where the uttermost parts of the earth are promised to Christ for a possession; also see Gen. 13:14-17, and Rom. 4:13. But when Christ was on earth, he possessed not so much as a place where he could lay his head. Matt. 8:20. When, however, the seventh angel sounds (when the mystery of God is to be finished, Rev. 10:7), then it will be said: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ.” Rev. 11:15. The eighteenth verse says that this is at “the time of the dead, that they should be judged,” showing conclusively that it is at the second coming of Christ. Compare 2 Tim. 4:1.
Still further, in the prophecy of Ezekiel the promise of the earth to Christ is directly associated with his second coming. The prophet foretells the captivity of the Jews, the succession of the four universal monarchies, and the setting up of the kingdom of God, as follows:-
“And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” Eze. 21:25-27.
The diadem was taken from the king of Israel when he and his people were carried away to Babylon. At that time Babylon was a universal monarchy. Then three “overturnings” are mentioned, which reach to the second coming of Christ. Thus: The first overturning made Medo-Persia a universal dominion; the second gave the dominion of the world to Grecia; and the third overturning made the empire of Rome fill the world. This was the state of things at Christ’s first advent, and for four hundred years later, and the prophet declared that there should be no more general revolution “until He come whose right it is.” Note the parallel between this and the clause in Gal. 3:19, which says, “Till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” In the light of Eze. 21:25-27 we think there can be no question but that in the latter passage the second coming of Christ is referred to.
Once more: The promise to the seed was that in him all the families of the earth should be blessed. This of course could not be fulfilled as long as any wicked are in existence. But when Christ comes, sitting on the throne of his glory, to destroy sinners out of the earth, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34.
From the above quotations and references it will be seen that the promises to “the seed” are not fulfilled until the second coming of Christ; they all culminate at his second advent. It was willful forgetfulness of this fact that caused the Jews to reject Christ. They read the promises to the seed,-promises of glorious triumph,-and applied them to the coming of the Messiah; and when they saw none of those promises fulfilled in him, they rejected him. Let us not, like them, fall into grievous error by referring to his first advent those promises to be fulfilled only at his second glorious coming. That was the time of his humiliation, not of his triumph. Christ then came as an offering for sin, and not as the seed to whom the promise was made. When he comes the second time he comes as King of kings and Lord of lords; he comes to take possession of the gates of his enemies, whom he will dash in pieces as a potter’s vessel; he comes to take possession of his inheritance, even “the uttermost parts of the earth,” and to receive as his own a great multitude whom no man can number. Compare Rev. 7:9 and Gen. 13:16. In short, he comes as “the seed to whom the promise was made.”