ONE of the leading Spiritist journals of the world
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,
"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
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
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
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
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
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
Concerning that same gracious Gift of God, that love-moved Prince of
the Restoration, the prophet-psalmist wrote centuries before the birth
"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;
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 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]."
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
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:
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
"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.
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
"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.
 The Progressive
 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:
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