Page images
PDF
EPUB

ize a human system, call it a church, and these systems are but images.

It may be asked how people become deceived as a result of this fire which came from heaven, or spiritual reformation. I answer as follows: Speak to any of the various sects today whose work started in a spiritual reformation, and invariably they will point to such reformation as an excuse for the existence of their sect. In this they are deceived. The various branches of Methodism today, which number nearly one hundred, will, when interrogated on this subject, point back to the work of Wesley and the spiritual reformation of his time as an excuse for the existence of their sects. In this they are deceived. While the work of Wesley was spiritual and fire from heaven fell under his labors, yet Wesley and his work gave no excuse whatever for the modern sects oalled after his name. The same is true of the Lutherans. With all their dead formality and lack of spiritual godliness and vital salvation, if you speak to them about coming out of and forsaking the formal institution in which they live and hold membership, they will point you back to the work and reformation by Martin Luther as an excuse for the existence of their sect. In this they, like the Methodists, are deceived; for the work and reformation effected by Luther is no foundation nor cause for the existence of the Lutheran sect.

Not all the sects of Protestantism, however, started with a spiritual reformation. Many of their founders claimed to be effecting real reformation in the earth, whereas these were only pretensions. Fire from heaven upon Elijah's sacrifice was the attestation of his divine mission; the falling of the fire confirmed the fact that Elijah was God's prophet. Many of the sects of today will point to some fanatical movement stimulated more by excitement than by real Holy Spirit fire, as an excuse for the existence of their institution. Such is true of nearly all the modern holiness sects, tongues movements, etc. As Bro. F. G. Smith, in his work, “The Revelation Explained,” says: -The pretentious miracles and mighty works done in the various movements of our day have resulted in the deception of multitudes of people and the creation of new sects. Only a few of the Protestant sects of today were preceded by a reformation that was truly spiritual and of God, and the salvation-work done among them before their lapse into sectarianism, I can not attribute to this false prophet. For lack of sufficient light, however, they also submitted to human organizations just as did those who were deceived in movements wholly deceptive and false from the beginning. But in that case they did not thereby become false worshipers, and those of that class who retain their spirituality are the ones whom the Lord denominates his people. When the voice is heard calling them out of Babylon, the numerous communicants of Protestantism, its great revivals so called, its financial enterprises, its missionary efforts, its civilizing effects on barbarous nations, its social, moral, and intellectual influences upon the race-all these mighty works are brought forward to prove that the system is of God. But in this they deceive themselves, for this is not sufficient to show that this beast is a true prophet, when on account of the deceptions practised God has denominated him a false prophet.'

True, the term “false prophet” with reference to the beast includes both the religion and the institution of Protestantism; but, in reality, the beast in Revelation 13, which is said to have brought fire from heaven, refers more to Protestantism as a religion than to the sectarian institution, for this is clearly referred to as an image made to the first beast. So while the sects of Protestantism that have been the outgrowth of spiritual reformations have brought real fire down from heaven, those that have been the outgrowth of man have never done this, but have been wild-fire, fanatical movements filled with more excitement than spirituality, and, as Brother Smith says in his work, have “only pretended to bring fire from heaven.” In both cases, people have been deceived, and so they point to such spiritual reformations or such seasons of excitement and false enthusiasm as an excuse for the existence of their various institutions. All these systems are but images to popery.

As soon as these images were formed, the next step was to mark their subjects. The poor blind Adventists suppose that this mark is keeping Sunday, but this is folly and ignorance. This mark signifies the instilling of the doctrines of the various sects into the minds of their adherents. The members of every sect organization are indelibly marked. You can not become one of them without solemnly agreeing to be lieve the doctrines taught in their disciplines, accepting the government of their man-made institutions, subscribing to the rules of faith that originate with the sect. This shows how its members worship the beast. The mark in the right hand may signify the right hand of fellowship, which takes them into these institutions. It is further said “that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Jesus said to his ministers, "Freely ye have received, freely give." Paul says that he made the gospel of Christ without charge. God's ministers received the everlasting gospel which they preach, from the Lord. They receive it free. The anointing teaches them; they are taught of God. Hence they give the gospel out free. But in sect-Babylon the ministers make merchandise of the gospel and of the people. They traffic; that is, buy and sell. What they preach costs them considerable. They must take a certain course in order to get the theology they are to preach to the people. So after they obtain it, they hire out and sell it for so much a year. “They can never have enough .all look to their own

« PreviousContinue »