We will quote from an unknown author the following unscriptural dogmas of the Romish sect, and the date of their origin:
Prayers for the dead A.D.200. Worship of saints, angels and martyrs 350. Worship of Virgin Mary developed 431. Worship in unknown tongue 600. Papal supremacy 606. Worship of images and relics imposed 788. Baptism of bells 965. Obligatory celibacy of priests 1000. Infallibility of church 1076. Sale of indulgences 1190. Transubstantiation officially decreed 1215. Auricular confession officially imposed 1215. Cup kept from laity officially sanctioned 1415. Purgatory officially recognized 1430. Romish tradition put on level with Scripture 1540. Immaculate conception proclaimed 1864. Papal infallibility proclaimed 1870.
These dogmas are without Scriptural authority. They are only the traditions of men, and is it any wonder that the pure light of the gospel of the Son of God was dimmed when such blasphemous doctrines were substituted? Besides these, in the papacy originated many other erroneous superstitious doctrines that have been handed down and perpetuated through Protestantism. One of the most general is that of
This ceremony is wholly without Scriptural foundation. We have previously shown the true object and mode of baptism, and who are proper candidates. We asked a mother recently, whose babe had just been "christened," as she termed it, by a Methodist preacher, "What benefit has your child derived from this ceremony?" Her answer was like this: "None at all, but I had it done because others do it." And so it is with many other traditions and customs of men. Many a parent has their babe "christened" merely because it is a custom, or the preacher has said so, never searching the Word of God to know the reason why. Had she searched the Word of the Lord to know something of this doctrine she never would have found the object of her search. As we look upon the "christening" of an infant we are reminded more of heathendom than of the kingdom of grace.
The word "christen" we have not been able to find in the Bible. Nowhere since the ordinance of baptism was instituted have we a commandment to baptize infants, and nowhere in all the evangelistic work of the apostles is there an instance of infant baptism recorded. If it is as important as some teach, even the child's eternal destiny depending upon it, do you not think there would have been some plain commandment in the teaching of Jesus and his apostles to that end? One command would be sufficient, but we have none. Infant baptism originated in the confusions of the apostasy. John refused to baptize some because they bore no fruit of repentance. Repentance, therefore, must precede baptism. This was plainly taught by Peter. "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus." Acts 2:38. A little child can not repent, and needs no repentance.
Does baptizing an infant prepare it for heaven? If so, give one text as proof. If an unbaptized infant dies, will it be damned? If so, give one text as proof. Does baptism make the child any more religiously inclined, and will it not go into sin the same as unbaptized children? Give one text showing what is effected by infant baptism. Thousands are having their children baptized, and they do not know the reason why any more than that it is a custom. Thus we behold the meaninglessness, looseness, and carelessness of professed Christians. Just doing things because others do them. They have no conviction from God nor the Bible. God wants us to be able to give a Scriptural reason for all we do in our form of worship.
Some have taught that circumcision of the Old Testament typifies infant baptism. This is a gross error. The circumcision of the Mosaic law is typical of a broken, penitent heart. "For he is not a Jew, that is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." Rom.2:28, 29. A man was made a Jew under the old law by circumcision. He is made a spiritual Jew by the circumcision of the heart under the New Testament. It was only the male children that were circumcised according to the law of Moses. If circumcision be typical of infant baptism, it is only the boy infant that would be Scripturally baptized. You may ask, "What harm can result from such ceremony, even if it accomplishes no good?" It leads the child into error, and blinds his understanding to the true mode and object of baptism. To be a light in the world is to be and do just as Jesus did. To be in error concerning any doctrine of the Bible is to be to that extent in darkness.
The baptism of infants is wholly without Scriptural foundation, and is one of the erroneous teachings of the apostasy, a doctrine that aided in darkening the pure light of the gospel.
Sprinkling And Pouring.
These forms of baptism originated among the heretics of the second century. "Ego men baptizo humas en hudati." Mat.3:11. To give this a true literal translation, we have: "I indeed immerse you in water." Immersion is a mode of baptism, and the only Scriptural one. We have no account of sprinkling and pouring until the third century. The Novatians practised it in the third century. When we understand the true object of baptism, and what it represents, we find that sprinkling and pouring would be altogether inappropriate.
This is another doctrine of the apostasy. We have before stated that baptism represents a burial. Rom.6:4. We can at once see the inappropriateness of three immersions. So far as we know all trine immersionists immerse forward. This does not fitly represent a burial. The baptismal formula of Mat.28:19 is the trine immersionists strongest proof-text. "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." These three, we are told, are one.1 John 5:7. There are three personages in the Godhead, but these three are one. It does not require three acts of faith for pardon, yet we are told to believe in God, and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, etc. To be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is to be baptized in the name of the full triune God, because in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead. Col 2:9.
The disciples well understood the Savior in his commission in Mat.28:19. They baptized under his direction before the commission. One act in the name of the Lord Jesus is all we can find them practising. "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." Acts 10:48. "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." Acts 19:5. "They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." Acts 8:16.
Tertullian in the third century in writing on the subject of baptism says, "We solemnly profess that we disown the devil and his pomp and his angels. Hereupon we are thrice immersed, making a somewhat ampler pledge than the Lord has appointed in the gospel." -- The Crown.
Trine immersionists make use of such historical records to establish the doctrine of trine immersion. Instead of being in its favor, it is against them. They were at this time under the delusions of a heresy. Apostate teachers had elected exorcists in what they called the church, whose business it was to expel the devil from the candidate for baptism. This is an awful heresy. Those of whom Tertullian writes disown the devil under the hand of these exorcists and are then thrice baptized. Tertullian understands, however, that this heresy is performing more than the Lord Jesus had appointed. Sprinkling, pouring, and trine immersion originated under the apostasy. Single immersion is the only Scriptural mode of baptism.
To-day the teachers in Babylon and their subjects are in darkness concerning church organization. The election of officers and their framing of laws, and the location of the ministers by the annual conference are all human authority, and belong to the apostasy. The Holy Spirit is the sole organizer in the church of the Bible. There are a few texts in which the Holy Spirit is spoken of as working in conjunction with man, or using man as an agency. This is very limited. Conferences claim to work in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, but we have no such instances in the Scripture. One minister told me he trusted the Holy Spirit to direct conference to give him the proper appointment. This is popish -- man not able to be directed by the Holy Spirit himself, but has a mediator.
Our space will prevent our telling of the adding of tradition to the Scripture, and of the rejection of much of the Word of God. Catholicism and Protestantism largely deny the doctrine of holiness. Some of the Protestant teachers teach holiness to a degree, but very few, or none of them, teach true Bible holiness. By far the large majority of sectarians reject the doctrine of Christian perfection, heart purity, or freedom from sin. Is it any wonder they are a great object of darkness when they are living in and can not be free from the very element of darkness? There is no light in them. The vast majority of the beast worshipers reject the doctrine of divine healing. As plainly as it is recorded in the Bible, they in the darkness comprehend it not. The whole of the sectarian world denies the unity of God's people as taught by the Savior, and as experienced by the church in the morning light. Nearly the whole of mystery Babylon and her harlot daughters reject the sacred ordinance of feet-washing. Some of them deny all the ordinances, and the others have misused and misapplied them so as to make them without meaning. But few sects that practise the lifting up of holy hands, and the greeting with a holy kiss.
The humble ordinances of feet-washing and greeting with a holy kiss are very repugnant to the generality of proud-hearted sectarians. They look upon these ordinances as being degrading to morality. They call it an "act which public decency abhors." Here they are mistaken: it is not public decency that abhors it; it is a proud heart. A holy kiss is not indecent, whether it be public or private.
Proud, sensual hearts have very depraved ideas of what is true decency. We will here give an authentic newspaper account of a scene which all the pure in heart consider a public indecency, moral degrading, Christian disgracing and soul damning.
"Buffalo, Feb.4 -- A lively row is in progress at Burns, a little town about twenty miles from Buffalo, growing out of a new money-making scheme, introduced at a church social held there in the Lutheran church parlors. The church is heavily in debt, and the ladies advertised a social in the church to raise money to pay the preacher and buy some coal. The men of the congregation had all been seen and informed that the women had a big surprise for them.
"Across one end of the room was a curtain. For an hour the guests chatted after the old-fashioned church social style. Then the curtain was suddenly withdrawn. There in a row stood six of the prettiest women in the congregation, blushing and smiling, each bearing upon her bosom a placard, on which were the words, 'You may kiss me for 25cts.'
"It was fifteen minutes before the device began to work; but when it did, the silver quarters fairly showered into the young ladies' circle. Old and young rushed eagerly to the front to exchange coins for kisses. The show lasted only a short time, when the curtain was drawn. Then the storm burst. The women were jealous of their husbands, and a dozen or more family fights were started at once."
Similar scenes, and still more degrading ones, are occurring daily in the aristocratic religious denominations. The sect parties and socials, the fashionable balls, the obscene theatrical performances, are enjoyed, and admired, and applauded, by thousands so low in morality that they feel no shame. Their hearts are so naturalized and inclined to lewd ways that sin can scarcely bring a feeling of shame. It is only holy and pure things that are repugnant to their dispositions and inclinations.
A large majority of the sectarian world reject the scriptures that teach plainness of dress, that condemn revelry and fleshly lusts. There is not a sect upon the earth but what rejects some portion of God's Word, and taking them all together, probably there is not a text in the Bible but what is rejected or perverted by them. Sectism to-day presents a deplorable picture.
I would ask the reader to look at the plain, simple truths of the Bible as taught by the Savior and the disciples. Picture to your mind, by what knowledge you have of Scripture, the life of Christ and the apostles and the church in their day. Notice their humility, their equality, their care for souls, their privations, their persecutions, their holiness, their faith for healing the sick, their oneness, their unselfishness, their love for each other, their separation from the world, and their belief of the whole truth. Alongside of this place a picture of the religious denominations of to-day with their proud, highly educated and high-salaried ministry, rejecting much of the Bible; denying holiness and the humble ordinances, no healing faith, assuming proud titles, building fine temples, living in ease and luxury, joined to the world free from persecution -- their greed for money, their revelry, the pomp and show -- and, oh, what do you see of the church of God? Truly, this great dark beastly sect religion has darkened the pure church of God.
We can scarcely forbear mentioning and exposing many other false teachings of the denominational world, but will console ourself with the hope that the reader will thoroughly acquaint himself with the Word of God and try every spirit and doctrine by the same. There remains yet one almost universal false and dangerous doctrine, which we deem but justice to the reader to refute. I refer to the doctrine of the
This is not a Bible word, nor a Bible doctrine. It is a word and teaching of the apostasy. The word is used to denote a thousand years. The most general teaching of the millennialist is that there will be a personal reign of Christ upon this earth of a thousand years after his second coming. There are very many theories respecting the millennium. This of itself is enough to make the doctrine very questionable. If there is such a doctrine in the Bible it should be so sufficiently clear as to not admit of so much disagreement. The millennial doctrine as taught by sectarian teachers we emphatically declare to be wholly without Scriptural foundation. It is a purpose of Satan to cause man to place what should be a present realization to some time in the past or future.
In the days previous to the coming of Christ the Jews were in great expectation concerning the kingdom of God. They looked forward with great joy and anticipation to the coming of Christ, their King, who should set up a kingdom which should never be destroyed. They expected him to reign in a pomp and splendor that excelled the Caesars. The kingdom of God came, but their proud hearts and high mind overlooked it altogether. The same is true to-day. The cold formal professors in Babylon see in the Bible a glowing description of the kingdom of God, and they, failing to come to its present and blessed realizations, have come to the conclusion that it must be in an age to come.
With perfect confidence we say there is not one text in the Bible speaking of the glory of Christ's kingdom but what is fulfilled here in salvation or in the eternal glory world above. There is no intervening state of peace and righteousness. We will briefly notice some of the principal texts used by millennial teachers, and we will find almost every one, if not every one, refers to the wonders of salvation here in this life. Mr. Talmage, in a sermon in October 1898, said in referring to Isa.35:6: "In the millennial the lame man shall leap as an hart." Where can we behold a greater exposition of Bible ignorance? There is not a sentence in the whole of this chapter but points to the blessings of grace in this gospel day. Did not the lame man leap as an hart in the days of Christ and the apostles? Why will man be so unfair or so blind as to place the fulfilment of such prophecies in a millennial, when every word has been fulfilled, and is being fulfilled to-day, in those who are possessing the fulness of Christ's kingdom?
A text quoted by millennial teachers everywhere is found in Isa.11:6-8: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den." In the next verse you will learn where this peacefulness shall reign.
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain." It is in God's holy mountain where they shall not hurt nor destroy. What is God's holy mountain? It is Zion, the church. "And it shall come to pass in the last days [the gospel days] that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations [both Jew and Gentile] shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye; and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Isa.2:2, 3.
This is surely too plain to need comment, Zion is the Lord's mountain. The wolf dwelling with the Lamb is figurative language, and never will be literally fulfilled, but has been spiritually and figuratively fulfilled throughout the whole of this Christian dispensation. It shows the wonders of God's grace. Jesus called Herod a "fox." Luke 13:32. He certainly did not mean that he was truly a fox, but that he had a thieving, dishonest, foxlike disposition. Paul says, "Beware of dogs." Phil.3:2. He is not giving us a warning against this literal animal, but against men that have a fierce and doglike nature. Jesus again says, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Mat.7:15. Here we learn that men are inwardly ravening wolves; that is, they have a devouring, wolflike disposition. Thus we could continue.
In Isa.35:9 it says that no lion shall be in the highway of holiness. In a Christian's holy life there is no lionlike nature. God's salvation saves men from such dispositions. And the whole of Isa.11:6-8 is a prophecy relating to this present time, when the salvation of Jesus saves men from all wolf, bear, lion, and leopardlike natures, and fills all with a peaceable nature, that an innocent child shall lead them.
Please read the first verse of this chapter. Do we not find its fulfilment in Christ? Also read the tenth verse. Does it not point to the Savior? It all relates to the time when Christ shall come and the Gentile can be saved as well as the Jew. The ninth verse is often misquoted. Many say that in the millennium "righteousness shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea." Such is not Scripture. But in this ninth verse it is said, "The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." This relates to the coming of Christ, when not only the Jews shall have the Word of God and a knowledge of him, but every nation is granted the Bible and salvation.
One strong text for millennial teachers, as they suppose, is Acts 3:21: "Whom [Christ] the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." A text they use to teach there shall be a thousand years in which restitution is to be made, makes no such intimation. In fact, it teaches to the contrary. Let us carefully examine it. Christ was taken up to heaven. He will some day come again. Acts 1:11. The positive teaching of this text is that the heavens will retain the Lord Jesus until everything is restored to the Father. Christ came to restore all things. Mat.17:11. Full restitution for sin was made by the Savior. The Holy Spirit all through this dispensation is leading men to the blood and restoring them to the Father. The day will soon come when the Holy Spirit has gleaned out the last one and all has been restored to the Father that will be restored. This then is the full restitution of all things. Then the heavens will retain the Son of God no longer. He will come to claim his own. Instead of this text teaching that restitution is to be made after Christ's second coming, it teaches that the restitution is to be made before he comes the second time.
We will now ask the reader to read the only text that speaks of a thousand years. This is found in Rev.20:1-10. If you will open your Bible and read, we can by the help of the Lord show you that this can not possibly mean a thousand years of Christ's reign upon the earth after his second coming. This language is figurative. Satan is an evil spirit and can not be bound with a literal chain. After the thousand years have expired, Satan is to be loosed, and shall deceive the nations. After Christ reigns here a thousand years in righteousness shall Satan be loosed and deceive the nations? Who can look forward to such an end with joy? How do you know but you will be one that will be deceived? If you are building hopes upon a millennium you are already deceived, and this deception is among the deceptions which are to come after the thousand years. This thousand years is in the past. This may be a startling statement to one who has been educated to believe in a reign of Christ in person here upon the earth in some future age of a thousand years' duration. Reader, will you please notice that the devil and Satan, that was to be bound a thousand years, is also called the dragon? Now the Scriptures do not always mean Beelzebub when speaking of Satan. Jesus upon one occasion, because Peter was remonstrating with him concerning his death, said, "Get thee behind me, Satan." Christ did not mean to say that Peter was the devil, but he addressed him as Satan, because the devil was using him as an instrument to persuade the Savior to escape the death he came here to endure for all. So Satan and the devil spoken of in Rev.20:2 does not refer to the personal devil, the prince of evil spirits, but to some great power antagonistical to gospel light and truth as revealed in the church of God.
Now we feel ourself under obligation to the reader to give him the correct interpretation of this binding of Satan a thousand years, and of his being loosed at the end of that period. The term "dragon" is used to represent a state power, which gives power to some religion antagonistical to the religion of the Bible. However the original and real fundamental dragon power was Rome, when she supported a heathen religion, and when the world on the whole was so under the seducing charms of idolatrous worship that it knew not the one true God and his relationship to man. The Syriac New Testament, in speaking of this dragon in verse two, says, "Who seduced the whole habitable world." The binding of Satan refers to some time when the delusive charms of heathenish worship were largely cleared away and there became a greater universal knowledge of the true God. At the end of that thousand years, or long period of time, which time we have reached, the true God and the pure religion will be lost or unknown to the generality of mankind, and heathenish rites and customs and ceremonies will be the universal religion. Do we not read that at the end of the thousand years Satan shall again deceive the nations? We understand by this that the world on the whole shall be reveling in the delusive seductions of a lewd, lustful, idolatrous religion, making the times like it was in the days of Noah. Let me again say we are now entering these times, and this world is swiftly passing under awful and blinding delusions. So great are the delusions that if possible the very elect should be deceived.
The religious teachers of to-day on the whole are in ignorance concerning the binding of Satan. We will give you a sample of the ignorance of these teachers. In the Gospel Messenger of March 25, 1899, the Querist Department in answer to a question asked concerning the binding of Satan, said: "Satan will then be bound, cast into the bottomless pit, and there will be a chance to convert the unrighteous and lead them to accept Christ as the Savior."
A subscriber in search of knowledge asked the Querist Department to give a scripture to prove the last clause. He received this answer: "It seems to us that it is one of those self-evident views that needs no proof. If the Bible teaches otherwise let us have the chapter and verse. The Querist Department does not pretend to know everything."
There are many other chapters and verses that teach otherwise. "Now is the day of salvation." "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" The wicked shall be resurrected to damnation. John 5:29.
Conclusion Of Part Second.
We have now passed the noonday. The reader, no doubt, fully comprehends why it was dark. The morning was light because the whole Word of truth was taught and experienced by the church. All were under the immediate control of the infallible Holy Spirit.
The noonday was dark because the leadings and teachings of fallible man were substituted for the Holy Spirit and Word. A thousand errors were brought in, the Word of God rejected. The faith once delivered to the saints was lost, sin and iniquity abounded and their love waxed cold. The preachers divined for money, and sought places of affluence, and thus the day was dark over them. Sectism to-day is a mass of worldliness. Infidelity abounds and every abominable work. If you desire a perfect description of sectism as it appears upon the scene to-day, read that given by the angel in Rev.18:2.