Home ] Up ] The Controversy ] Online Books ] Study the Word! ] GOD's Health Laws ] Religious Liberty ] Links ]


Chapter 7

Spiritism Anti-Christian

ONE of the leading Spiritist journals of the world[1] openly declares itself as opposed to the idea of trying to appear in the guise of Christianity while maintaining the doctrines (or philosophies) of Spiritism. It has made the declaration of its position so plain and emphatic that there is no question about its attitude, and cannot be. This is a much more consistent thing to do than to take the attitude of some Spiritists who try to wear the garb of Christianity and sail under its flag while maintaining beliefs and publishing teachings that are so fundamentally opposed to true Christianity as Spiritism is. Says the editorial in question:

"Let us be Spiritualists at all times -- just plain, straight, out-and-out Spiritualists.

"We refuse to be called by the name of Christian Spiritualists, because the word 'Christian' stands for the dogma of salvation by a man's death -- a blood atonement.

"We honor the man Christ, but we repudiate the theological system that has been built up around His name.

"And while we gladly accept many beautiful things as taught by Christ, we cannot afford to call ourselves Christians, for that would imply that we believe His blood really cleanses from sin, and we deny that."-- The Progressive Thinker, Aug. 28, 1920.

This is frank, open, and aboveboard. It declares in a straightforward way what the teachings of so-called "Christian "Spiritists declare by deduction, by inference, and by logical conclusion. Both classes of Spiritists are equally anti-Christian in fact; but the class who call themselves "Christian" are less frank in admitting the real facts in the case.

It is perfectly true that the word "Christian" stands for the dogma of salvation by a blood atonement. The Bible clearly declares:

"Without shedding of blood is no remission." "Now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Heb. 9: 22, 26, 28.

This is the teaching of the Book -- it is Christian teaching; it is in harmony with the name of the One upon whom Christianity is founded. Said the angel to Joseph, the reputed father of Jesus: "Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins." Matt. 1: 21.

To be a true Christian means to accept that doctrine. Spiritists do not accept it, neither the so-called "Christian" Spiritists nor those who stand with the Progressive Thinker. To the Spiritist the beautiful scripture which is always first brought to the minds of heathen peoples, and is a glad consolation to the hearts of all Christian peoples, means nothing:

"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life . For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3: 16, 17.

That and the other scriptures quoted in this chapter prove that eternal life is conditional upon our acceptance of Jesus Christ as both the Son of God and the necessary sacrifice for our sins -- the Lamb of God "slain from the foundation of the world." In that hope we trust, and are positive that our confidence rests upon a foundation which neither time nor philosophy nor test of any kind can ever prove unsound.

Spiritism denies this foundation; it denies the entire basis of the gospel. Upon the work and the sacrifice of Christ for man Christianity rests. Without that, it is nothing. It declares of itself that it does rest upon that basis. Whatever denies the basis, denies all that is built thereon; and if Spiritism's denial be the truth, then the whole gospel structure is a fraud from corner-stone to pinnacle. From the testimony of Spiritism as expressed through the Progressive Thinker, the two systems are diametrically opposed to each other.

Spiritism says, "We honor the man Christ, but we repudiate the theological system that has been built up around His name. Let us see if this declaration is sincere. The word "Christ" means the anointed of God, anointed to preach deliverance to the captives of sin, to open the prison house of Satan and liberate souls perishing in his cruel thralldom, and to give His life an offering for many. To honor the Christ, the Anointed, is to honor that which He was anointed to do. We cannot honor the Anointed One while we deny the thing He was anointed to accomplish,-- the salvation of man through His teachings and His sacrifice. Spiritism, in making its denial of those things for which Christianity stands, denies the plainest and most explicit utterances of the Christ concerning His mission. Let us hear Him speaking with His own lips to the learned Nicodemus:

"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3: 14-1 7.

This is the foundation of Christianity. It is not merely a "theological system that has been built up around His name." It is His own declaration of the object for which He came into this world. It predicts His being lifted up on the cross for the salvation of the soul eternally, even as the brazen serpent in the wilderness was lifted up for the salvation of men's bodies temporarily. It predicts the shedding of His blood -- His sacrifice -- for souls who, without it, would eternally perish. But Spiritists say: "We cannot afford to call ourselves Christians, for that would imply that we believe His blood really cleanses from sin, and we deny that." They declare that they honor the Christ, and in the same breath deny what He asserts concerning His mission. To be honored thus is to be disparaged and defamed.

At the last supper -- the institution of the Lord's supper -- Jesus made this declaration: "This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you." Luke 22: 20. Mark records it: "This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many." Mark 14: 24. Matthew puts it in these words: "This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Matt. 26: 28. With such a very definite statement from the Christ Himself, whom Spiritists profess to honor, Christians may certainly be pardoned for believing that the Christ Himself put into the minds of men the idea that through the shedding of His blood we may have remission of sins, and enter finally into eternal life. We do not depend upon theologians for this, but upon the most emphatic declaration of the Christ Himself, whom Spiritists profess to honor.

With these declarations of the Christ in mind, let us notice another statement from the spokesman of Spiritism:

"Spiritualism is a religion; but it is a religion free from the absurd and superstitious features that mar the system known as Christianity. Among these objectionable features I denounce the following: the vicarious atonement, the doctrine of eternal punishment, the literal resurrection of the body, the virgin birth of Jesus, the infallibility of the Bible, and the doctrine of salvation by faith only. Some of these doctrines are merely foolish, but some of them, like the blood atonement theory, are absolutely vicious, and lead to wicked and immoral living. . . . The orthodox theory of the atonement, together with the doctrine of justification from sin by faith only, are doctrines that inevitably encourage sin and immoral conduct."-- The Progressive Thinker, Aug. 28, 1920.

It is impossible to conceive of such statements being made by one who had the faintest conception of what constitute the vital principles of godliness, or had ever experienced the joy of sins forgiven, or had an experimental knowledge of the result in his own soul of an acceptance of Christ for what He says He is. The language used is a most biting insult to heaven, and to the Christ Himself -- whom the Spiritist professes to honor. Its horrible insinuation that Jesus Christ, through the system He established, encourages immorality, is the most cruel blasphemy that could be crowded into so few words. In that awful accusation the Christ is charged with promulgating the very thing which He gave up His glory in heaven and His life on earth to eradicate from the universe. Only the spirit of him who inspired the leaders of the Jews to crucify the Christ could have inspired that accusation. And none other did. If any evidence were needed to prove that Spiritism is Satanism, it is furnished in the extract I have just quoted; for, be it noted, the purpose which the Christ Himself gave for His coming into the world -- to shed His blood for the remission of sins -- is declared by this apologist for Spiritism to be "absolutely vicious" and to "lead to wicked and immoral living."

Satan is determined, on the one hand, to represent God as a tyrant, who will not forgive sin; and, on the other hand, as one who in forgiving sinners is encouraging sin. The dishonesty of such a position is so evident that it needs only to be stated to be instantly apparent. Says the divine Book: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1: 9. The confession of sins, to be acceptable to God, must be accompanied by sincere repentance for the sins committed. Nowhere in the Scripture is any hint given that men can go on in a life of sin, and enjoy the blessings of God's gracious forgiveness. He who truly confesses his sins to God, expecting forgiveness, must confess them with a heart of penitence, sorrowing for the sins committed, and sincerely purposing, with God's help, to abandon his sinful course and live in harmony with God's will. That kind of confession brings the forgiveness of God, and it does not encourage sin.

After His resurrection, in explaining the meaning of certain scriptures to His disciples, Jesus made this declaration: "Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24: 46, 47. It is repentance first, then confession, and then comes remission of sins; and when that mighty transformation has taken place in the heart of an individual, he knows that God's plan for the eradication of sin from his soul has not encouraged him to deeper sin or to continue in the sins he had repented of and confessed and been forgiven for. It is those only who have never experienced this work of divine grace in their hearts who cannot understand how God can do it without encouraging sin. But that is God's plan of operation, and Spiritism denounces the plan, denies its efficacy, and insults its Author.

As for the doctrine of "eternal punishment "-- by which the writer means "eternal torment "-- that is not in God's plan. That is an outgrowth of heathen religions and of pagan philosophies, and was introduced into the church in the days of the church's apostasy. In denying that, Spiritism is not contradicting God; it is only contradicting a tenet of the Roman Church and some Protestant churches, which they never ought to have adopted, since its source is pagan and not Christian. In flinging its denial of that doctrine at Christianity, Spiritism is therefore only beating the air.

As for the resurrection of the body of Jesus, it is enough for us that they who had been three and a half years with Him recognized the resurrected Jesus as the same Jesus who had called them, taught them,, journeyed with them, performed miracles in their presence, had submitted to an unjust and illegal trial, had expired upon the cross, and had been buried in Joseph's tomb under the Roman government's official seal. One of their number, who had not yet seen Him since His resurrection, doubted whether the one who had been seen was the same that he had known, risen with the same body; but when Jesus showed the gaping wounds in His hands and His feet and His side, this doubter exclaimed in his glad astonishment, "My Lord and my God!" John 20: 28. Jesus said unto him, "Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Verse 29. But nowhere is any blessing pronounced upon those who refuse to believe, who deny and denounce the foundation principles of His gospel.

As for the Bible's infallibility, it has demonstrated itself so completely in its divine righteousness, in its minute foretelling of events that were long future when they were written of, and in its prediction of the Redeemer who was to come and the work He was to do, that it is not necessary to enter into any elaborate defense of the Bible here. However, of Jesus when He was entering upon His ministry, the record says:

"He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias [Isaiah]. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." Luke 4: 16-21.

The fulfillment of that prophecy had come to pass in the person of Jesus, the anointed of God. But this was not the only prophecy of Isaiah that was fulfilled in the person and works of Jesus the anointed. These wonderful words also were such a prophecy, and in every letter met their fulfillment in the man Christ Jesus:

"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with 'grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.

"Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Isaiah 53.

That is a prophecy of the Christ 'who was to come, of the work that He was to do, of the way He would be received by those He had come to save, and finally of the actual shedding of His blood for the redemption of His people. The whole gospel is in that prophecy of Isaiah. He came, and they called His name Jesus (Saviour), because He was to save His people from their sins; He was indeed despised and rejected, insulted and spat upon; He was in the deepest sense a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; He was smitten, and rebuked not the smiters; He was crucified because of the insistent demand of those He came to save from sin and from the results of sin. John's record reads, "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." John 1: 11. And yet of Him John the Baptist could say: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1: 29. "And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him." Verse 32.

How fully and completely has Isaiah's prophecy of Him been fulfilled! Every detail of His ministry and His sacrifice is depicted by the prophet, and the life fits the prophecy in all its particulars. Who can deny the infallibility of a Book which speaks with such inerrant wisdom and foreknowledge?

Concerning that same gracious Gift of God, that love-moved Prince of the Restoration, the prophet-psalmist wrote centuries before the birth of Christ:

"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? . . . But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver Him: let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him. . . . Be not far from Me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. . . . I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint. . . . My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and My tongue cleaveth to My jaws; and Thou hast brought Me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed Me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed Me: they pierced My hands and My feet. I may tell all My bones: they look and stare upon Me.

They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture." Ps. 22: 1-18.

The writer of those words had a vision of Christ on the cross, surrounded by a motley throng composed of angry Jewish rulers, of scoffing blasphemers, of Roman officers and soldiers, and a few of His nearest friends and relatives. The psalmist foretells the conditions, and the disciples have written down the fulfillment. He did cry out on the cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Matt. 27: 46; Mark 15: 34. They did laugh Him to scorn, and shake the head, tauntingly jeering Him for His trust in God. Matt. 27: 39-43; Mark 15: 29-32. He did thirst, as the psalmist predicted. John 20: 24-28. They used the very words in their insults which the psalmist wrote down generations before. Matt. 27: 43. They (the soldiers) did part His. garments among them, and because His outer garment was a seamless one, they cast lots for it to see whose it should be. John 19: 23, 24.

Each of the four evangelists mentions this striking fulfillment of predictions made so many centuries previous concerning the crucifixion of our Redeemer. If these are only coincidences, they are the most striking chain of coincidences history has ever recorded.

But we shall not be content with these. More than seven hundred and fifty years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Isaiah had written:

"Hear ye now, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel." Isa. 7: 13, 14.

Matthew and Luke give the details of the fulfillment of this prediction. Matt 1: 18-25; Luke 1: 26-35. They called Him Jesus (Saviour) and Emmanuel (God with us). Matt. 1: 21-23.

The prophet Daniel predicted the time of the Messiah's birth and death (Dan. 9: 25-27), and those events took place exactly on time. The Christ was born at just the time when Daniel's prophecy said the One so long waited for should come; the crucifixion of Jesus occurred at just the time when Daniel's prophecy said the Messiah should be cut off. We cannot here enter into an exposition of this day-for-a-year time prophecy, which reached from 457 B.C. to three and one-half years this side of our Lord's crucifixion. For a detailed and satisfactory exposition of this prophecy, the reader is referred to such works as "Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation," by Uriah Smith[2]; and "History Unveiling Prophecy" and "A Key to the Apocalypse," by H. Grattan Guinness.

There can be no reasonable doubt that the prophecy of Daniel met its fulfillment in the birth, ministry, and crucifixion of Jesus; and this ex plains the reluctance on the part of many learned Jews to discuss with Christians today the prophecy of Daniel relating to the birth of the Messiah.

The prophet Micah gives one specification concerning the birth of the Prince of the Restoration which later writers confirm. He was writing about 750 years before the birth of Christ, and these are his words:

"Thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting [or, "the days of eternity," margin]." Micah 5:2.

That all Israel knew who was meant in that prophecy is shown by the answer of the Jewish leaders to Herod when "he demanded of them where Christ should be born:"

"In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule My people Israel." Matt. 2: 5, 6.

Jesus Christ fulfilled that specification; and Bethlehem (the house of bread) became the birthplace of Him who was and is the bread of life. This is another striking link in this remarkable chain of -- shall we call them coincidences? Shall we not rather call them what they prove themselves to be, fulfillments of divine prophecy?

The prophet Hosea adds his link to the chain of evidence, and in the record of the fulfillment of his prediction, history puts the name of Christ: "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My Son out of Egypt." Hosea 11:1. This, says one, referred to the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. It had one fulfillment then, but it had another when the angel of the Lord came to Joseph in Egypt, whither he had fled with Mary and the Child, and called them back again to the Land of Promise. (See Matt. 2:13-34.) He did call Israel out, and they came with a vast mixed multitude who were out of sympathy with God's purpose, and never could truly be called His children; but when He called the Christ out of Egypt, He called one who was His Son in very deed.

The prophet Isaiah, in the chapter previously quoted (Isaiah 53), foretold the nature of Christ's work among the poor and afflicted: " Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." Again the same prophet speaks of Him:

"The Spirit of the Lord 'God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." Isa. 61: 1-3.

The Christ, when He came, did all that, and declared, furthermore, that it was His set purpose and His appointed work so to do. Luke 4:16-21.

The prophet Zechariah also adds a link to this wonderful chain of prediction and fulfillment, recording it in these words:

"I said unto them, If ye think good, give Me My price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for My price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto Me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord." Zech. 11: 12, 13.

Who can question, when he reads this prophecy, that it found its fulfillment in the traitorous conniving of Judas with the rulers of the Jews, when he bargained with them to sell his Lord into their hands for thirty pieces of silver -- the price of a slave? Said Jesus to His sorrow-stricken disciples:

"The Son of man goeth as it is written of Him [or in fulfillment of the predictions of the prophets]: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed Him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto Him, Thou hast said." Matt. 26: 24, 25.

Mark speaks thus of the transaction:

"Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray Him unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray Him." Mark 14: 10, 11.

Matthew has left this record:

"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him." Matt. 26: 54-56.

Now comes the remarkable part of the transaction, which fulfills the prophecy to the letter:

"Then Judas, which had betrayed Him, when he saw that He was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood." Matt. 27: 3-8.

Let it not escape the reader's notice that even the place where this remarkable transaction was to be accomplished had been specified hundreds of years before it occurred. Zechariah says it was to be "in the house of the Lord." Zech. 11:13. Matthew says "he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple." Matt. 27:5. Zechariah says the price was to be cast "unto the potter." Matthew says they "bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. 

The marvelous accuracy with which these predictions met their fulfillment demonstrates that the hands which penned them were moved by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and not by human impulse or inclination. Spiritism, in denying the truth of the inspiration of the Bible, flies in the face of most patent facts, and denies the God through whom we live and move and have our being; and in denying the fundamentals of the only religion ever given to the people of this world by the only true God, it places itself on the side of God's enemy, leading away from the eternal light of heaven to the gloom and the darkness of eternal death.

Spiritism is at war with Christianity, and is thus at war with the best interests of the whole human race. Spiritism being thus at war with the gospel, with Christianity, the spirit behind it proves himself at war with the Author of the gospel, the Founder of Christianity, the Christ of God. It denies the infallibility of the Bible, which has proved itself true by its own irrefutable evidence , and supplies its place with the productions of automatic writers whose testimonials deal only in ethereal fancies, whose prophecies are merely guesses, and seldom if ever come true, and whose witnesses are as unable to agree as were the accusers of Christ on the night of His trial. Spiritism would take away the bread of life -- the word of God -- and give us a stone.

Spiritism denounces also "the doctrine of salvation by faith only." In so doing, it again dishonors and denies the One whom it professes to honor. Our Saviour said to the unbelieving Jews, "Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life." John 5: 40. This verse teaches that if we do not come to Him, if we do not depend upon Him for life, we shall not have it. The same teaching, again from our Saviour's own lips, is found in John 3:16, 17:

"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved."

Is not this scripture a plain declaration that if we do not believe on Him and trust in Him for our salvation, we shall perish and shall not have everlasting life? That this is the only possible meaning of the verses, there can be no question.

Strong as these scriptures are in the indirect method of teaching positive truth, we are not left to deductions, even though they be ever so plain. The Master said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." John 14: 6. Here is the man Jesus, whom Spiritists claim to honor, showing us the way into the kingdom of God, and declaring that there is no other way. He opens a door to us through which He says we may enter into everlasting life, and He declares that there is no other door. Peter, after three and a half years' instruction under Jesus' own teaching, declared to the rulers of the Jews:

"This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4: 11, 12.

The apostle Paul, against whose teaching in this matter the disciples uttered no protest, made this very definite statement:

"He [God the Father] hath made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Cor. 5: 21.

If we, then, refuse Him as the "propitiation for our sins," and depend upon ourselves -- our own efforts, our own goodness -- to see us through to the kingdom and guarantee us an entrance there, we shall fail utterly, or the teachings of the prophets and apostles and of Christ Himself are all wrong. The only righteousness that will be recognized by the great Judge is the righteousness we receive as the gift of God through faith in Jesus Christ. If we are depending upon our own righteousness, we are leaning on a worthless and broken reed. The prophet Isaiah expresses this truth of man's utter helplessness in these words :

"We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Isa. 64: 6.

Page 76

Therefore he who depends upon his own righteousness to save him will find himself taken away by his iniquities, and perishing in them.

The apostle Paul, in harmony with the teachings of Jesus already set forth, speaking of God's plan for pronouncing men righteous, uses these words:

"The righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom 'God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Rom. 3: 21-26.

That is justification by faith; it is not something invented by the apostle Paul. It is the same great truth, in other words, that was taught by Jesus Himself. The faith, moreover, which takes effectual hold of these things is a faith that manifests itself in a life that harmonizes with the righteous life of Jesus, who is our life and hope. That faith does not lead to careless, loose, or immoral living. A person with such a faith cannot lead a life of sin. Good works spring from his hands as truly and as naturally as good fruit appears on the boughs of a healthy and well-pruned tree.

In Him we trust, therefore, "who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification." Rom. 4: 25. The righteousness, therefore, in which lies our hope as our passport into "the kingdom of His dear Son," is not our "own righteousness, . . . but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." Phil. 3: 9. We do not reject it, as Spiritism does, but accept it, rejoice in it, and shall triumph through it.


[1] The Progressive Thinker.

[2] The book's current title is The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith. It is published by the Review and Herald Publishing Association (55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, Maryland, 21740, United States of America; Telex: "Randh," Hagerstown, Maryland ; WWW: http://www.rhpa.org).

The complete text is also freely available on the Internet:


Back ] Up ] Next ]