The TRIBE of ISHMAEL
By G. E. Jones
[Editor’s note (Leon King): I have scanned and proofed this book as carefully as I could. Some of the print was illegible, so I inserted a note with my initials (lk) at the places where I could not read the print.]
BAPTIST SUNDAY SCHOOL COMMITTEE
TEXARKANA, - - - ARKANSAS-TEXAS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Abraham’s Two Sons ………………………………………………………………………………………... 4
The Two Systems ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
The Doctrine of Depravity …………………………………………………………………………………. 6
Waiting On God …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
Man’s Extremity – Grace’s Opportunity ……………………………………………………………. 9
Resort to the Bondwoman – Reasoning Naturally ……………………………………………. 11
Religious Pride and Scorning …………………………………………………………………………….. 13
A Fighter …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14
The Born-Child – Grace Works ………………………………………………………………………….. 14
The Joy of Salvation …………………………………………………………………………………………… 16
Proof Texts Examined ………………………………………………………………………………………… 19
Acts 2:28 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 20
Galatians 3:27 and Romans 6:3 ……………………………………………………………………….. 33
Romans 6:17 and 18 …………………………………………………………………………………………. 39
Mark 16:16 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 42
Acts 22:16 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 43
John 3:5 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 44
The Blind Man Healed ………………………………………………………………………………………… 45
The Washing of Water by the Word ………………………………………………………………….. 46
Campbellites Are Blind Guides …………………………………………………………………………… 47
Campbellites Preach another Gospel ………………………………………………………………… 48
Like the Pharisees, Campbellites Condemn Shouting ………………………………………. 49
A Campbellite Defames the Character of Jesus Christ ……………………………………… 51
Campbellites Array the Scriptures against Themselves …………………………………… 57
Campbellites Oppose One Another ……………………………………………………………………. 60
Campbellites Baptize Those Ignorant of the Gospel of Christ …………………………… 64
Campbellism and the Doctrine of the Indwelling Spirit ……………………………………… 66
Campbellites Have the Wrong Motive in Baptism ………………………………………………. 69
Campbellites and Their Name …………………………………………………………………………….. 71
Mr. Webb Blunders Again ……………………………………………………………………………………. 72
Human Traditions for Doctrines ………………………………………………………………………….. 73
Mr. Webb’s Other Mistakes …………………………………………………………………………………. 74
Campbellites Wrong on Repentance …………………………………………………………………… 78
The Plan of Salvation has been the same in All Ages ……………………………………….. 82
Salvation is not of Works ……………………………………………………………………………………. 88
The Conversion of Zacchaeus …………………………………………………………………………….. 90
The Woman in Simon’s House …………………………………………………………………………….. 90
The House of Cornelius ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 91
The Type of the Passover Lamb ………………………………………………………………………….. 95
What the Believer has Before Baptism ……………………………………………………………….. 98
Campbellites are Wrong on the Kingdom …………………………………………………………… 100
Isaiah 2:2-3 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 100
Mark 9:1 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 102
Daniel 7:13-14 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 104
Campbellites Wrong on David’s Throne ……………………………………………………………… 104
Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 106
Widely known as a writer, teacher, preacher, and debater is the author of this book. To him were given many gifts which he has thoroughly developed. Humble, fearless, educated, efficient, the author expertly wields the Sword of the Spirit, defending the truth and stabbing false doctrine to death. Years of study and much experience in preaching and debating have full qualified him to write this production.
Brother Jones, in this book, neither beats the air, nor strikes at a punching bag for practice. He is itching for a real, tough fight. Poise, ad confidence are written on his countenance. His inveterate opponent defying and daring, faces him in the ring. It appears that truth has no chance to win at all. But this fight hardly lasts one round. The gong having sounded, the contenders walk to the middle of the ring and begins the fight. The walloping which Brother Jones delivers to his adversary is devastating—so devastating that the referee counts the adversary out before the gong clangs to finish the first round. He is out—out for keeps—out cold and unconscious. His friends tenderly pick up the battered man and carry him to the dressing room, where they rub and massage him, to restore sensibility. Truth, with a knock-out punch has won honestly.
Reader, you will find this book valuable. Its contents do not skim the surface. This book has depth, richness, vitality, and power. Its arguments are unanswerable. As heavy artillery in <words are illegible - lk>, and uproots the trees in a forest, so the arguments here fire a stream of shells which destroy and pulverizes erroneous doctrine and its adherent’s.
Read this book diligently. Study it. Fasten the arguments in your mind. And it will reveal the blindness, the weakness, and the sheer stupidity of heretical thinks and teachers—men masquerading as preachers of truth and righteousness, but who, in reality, are preachers of lies, deception, sophistry, and abominable doctrine.
H. TRAVIS HUBBARD
Missionary Baptist Institute.
Several years ago this writer put out the first edition of The Tribe of Ishmael. Because of the unique way in approaching Campbellite heresy the book caused considerable interest and talk among the people. Many who read it recommended it to others. For some time the supply has been exhausted and calls continue to come in for the book. Because of this the writer decided to put out a new and revised edition. The first edition contained over thirty pages on the security of the believer. Since the writer now has out a book “Once for All” that deals with both sides of this question that part of the book has been omitted in this new work. That space has been used to expand the argument against the Campbellite plan of salvation by works.
Some will, doubtless, look upon this work as an unjustified attack on the people who hold to this doctrine. But it is an attack on the <illegible – lk> people have been deceived by it. This work if rather a needed defense of the true doctrines of the Word of God. The preachers of this false doctrine continue to pour through the press and over the air, their denunciation of the belief of all others. For the past few years they have been running a series of articles in the county papers of this county seeking to show that everyone but their people are lost. These articles have been read by the public until patience has ceased to be a virtue.
We are living in a time when there is little conviction concerning doctrinal matters. Many think that it is wrong to lift one’s voice against what another teaches, regardless of how poisonous that teaching might be. If one knew that some were putting poison in the food of the people it would be his duty to warn the people. If he knew it and did not warn the people he would certainly bring on himself the indignation of the public. I ask the question, which is the most important, the physical lives of people, or the souls of men? If we do our utmost to warn people from partaking of poisonous food, then how much more should we endeavor to warn the people against that which will poison their souls and minds?
Often it becomes the duty of the servant of God to destroy before building. The Lord said to Jeremiah, “I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant,” Jer. 1:10. The prophet was to root out, pull down, throw down and to destroy before building and planting. When a field has become overgrown with briers and bushes it is necessary to do some destroying before planting. So it becomes the duty of the preachers of the Word to root out and to pull down false doctrines so that the truth may better prosper.
If this writer were seeking the praise and honor of this world he would not be writing this book. Paul said, “If I yet please men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Gal. 1:10. He is writing it before God who told us through inspiration that we “Should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints,” Jude 3. If but one soul shall be delivered from the snare and the delusions of Campbellism, this book shall not be in vain. If souls who already have the truth are made stronger in the faith and are drawn closer to the Lord, this effort shall be worth-while. Not only has the writer sought to expose the false doctrines of Campbellites, but he has endeavored to show the drift of the times and the perils that confront our own people. Many of them are drifting from what Baptists once taught and practiced. The Word of God has warned us of the coming of those with a form of godliness who are without the power thereof. We are told to turn away from such. It is as bad for Baptists as it is for Campbellites, or worse, to turn away from old time repentance, without which no one can be saved.
This writer considers Campbellism one of the greatest, if not the greatest counterfeit among us today. Because of this he is putting forth this book to enlighten people concerning the same. Read this book with an open mind and Bible. Read it carefully and prayerfully.
--G. E. JONES
Abraham’s Two Sons
“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. Gal. 4:22-31.
The Two Systems
From the above passage of Scripture we learn that the incidents connected with the connected with the truth of Abraham’s two sons are typical. They symbolize the two covenants, the one of works, the other of grace. The righteousness of the law is a system of works. “Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, that the man that doeth these things shall live by them.” Rom. 10:5.Over against this Paul describes the righteousness of faith by saying, “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Rom. 10:8-9.
From this passage in Romans we learn that the one who expects to live by what he does is under the law of works, and belongs to the tribe of Hagar and Ishmael, her son. Those who are saved by believing in Jesus Christ have the righteousness of faith, and are, as Isaac, children of promise. The Campbellites, as well as others depend on baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and other works to save them. Paul shows us, however, that works cannot be mixed with grace for salvation. “If by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace.” Rom. 11:6. So salvation must be all of grace or all of works. The two cannot be mixed. To bring in works for salvation is to rule out grace. “To him that worketh is the reward NOT RECKONED OF GRACE, but of debt.” Rom. 4:4. That is, grace is not counted or extended to the person who is working to be saved. He must give up works for salvation to come under grace. But to him that WORKETH NOT, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Rom. 4:5. In Rom. 4:5, we see one who is WORKING NOT, or has ceased to work to be saved, and has faith in the Lord to justify him. This man is considered righteous in the sight of God, not the one who is working to be considered righteous.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are not God’s works in us, but our works for the Lord. To make them the ground of our acceptance before God is to have us accepted for what we have done for God, not on the basis of what He has done for us, and in us. That <illegible – lk> out the work of Christ in our behalf. Paul asks the question, “Who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?” Then he goes on to say, “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever,” Rom. 11:35-36. So salvation is not something God gives to us in return for what we have done for Him, but it is all “Of Him, and through Him,” that He might have the glory forever. To attempt to be saved by what we do means to try to rob Christ of the glory.
Now, if we will turn to the Book of Genesis and read chapters twelve to twenty-one we will find the incidents connected with the story of Abraham’s two wives and the birth and lives of their two sons. We have already seen that Paul tells us that this is an allegory. So, we do not follow our imagination when we apply this to the true and false systems of faith and religion.
The Doctrine of Depravity
We find that God had promised to Abram (not Abraham as yet) an heir. To the natural man that seemed impossible, for Sarai (not Sarah as yet) was barren and far past the time when by nature she could expect a child. She was wholly incapacitated to bring forth the promised child. Here we have a picture of the sinner in his natural state: spiritually dead, and unable to bear fruit unto God. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God. NEITHER indeed CAN BE. So then they that are in the flesh CANNOT PLEASE GOD.” Rom. 8:7-9. This is the divine pronouncement against the natural man. Whether men believe it or not, it is the Word of God and no amount of reasoning or denying, or lack of belief will change this fact. God had said that the one in the flesh CANNOT please him and it is so. If you do not believe this statement you do not believe the Word of God. L The statement, “They that are in the flesh CANNOT please God,” is not the statement of man, but the inspired Word of God. Here in the example of Sarai, as well as this verse just quoted, we have set forth the doctrine of depravity which Campbellites hate so badly and deny. Sarai could not bear the promised child until she had been visited by divine power. So, the unsaved man cannot bear fruit unto God or please Him. He must be visited by the power of the Spirit before He can come to Christ. Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him,” John 6:44.
A man must be born again and be made a new creature in Christ before his works have any acceptance with God. “We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10. Since we must be made new creatures in Christ before we have any good works, then no work done before we are in Christ is a good work, or has any acceptance before God. “I cried unto Thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies,” Psalms 119:146. Both this verse and the one from Ephesians teach that the sinner must be saved before he can keep the testimonies of God. To have an un-renewed person to be baptized to be saves is reversing God’s order and misses the mark. That is as impossible as it was for Sarai to bear the promised child until she had been visited by divine power. The sinner’s part is to call upon God, submit to Him, and wait the visitation of His divine grace.
Sarai, in her barren state, was a subject of divine grace. If the promised child was ever to be born God must give life to her womb, and give her by His divine power the ability to bear a child. So, if the sinner, dead in trespasses and sins, ever brings forth good works, he must be quickened by God’s divine power into life. “You hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Eph. 2:1. “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS,” Eph. 2:10.
Waiting on God
Sarai and Abram had wait God's lime. No matter how much they might desire a child, it would not be born until God commenced the work by the quickening of Sarai's womb. So, no matter how much we may desire the salvation of men, nothing can be accomplished until the Holy Spirit does His office work. The sinner is blinded. "But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even until this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart," II Cor. 3:14, 15. "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the glory of the gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them," II Cor. 4:3-4, (R. V.). Here we see that there is a veil over the heart of the lost man. Now let us go back to II Cor. 3:17 and see how that veil is removed. "Nevertheless when it (the heart) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty," verses 16-17. Here we see that there is a veil over the heart of the lost man that must be taken away by the Spirit of God before the light of the gospel of Christ can dawn upon him. God must open the understanding, even as He opened Sarah's womb. "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, which worshipped God, heard us: whose HEART the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken by Paul," Acts 16:14. The removing of the veil and the opening of the understanding is the work of the Holy Spirit. "We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given unto us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true," I John 5:20. Here is a fundamental truth which Campbellites and many others ignore. They proceed upon the assumption that any man with reasonable intelligence is able of himself to understand the gospel and act accordingly. That is not true. We have seen that there is a veil over the heart of the lost man that hides from his understanding the gospel of Christ. He is in the dark. He is without spiritual under-standing. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. 2:14: Spiritual things must be spiritually understood. The lost man needs to confess this blinded condition and turn to the Lord and let Him remove the veil through the Spirit. Campbellism persuades the lost man, one to whom the gospel is veiled; and who has no understanding of spiritual things, to confess with his lips Jesus and be baptized. He cannot make a true confession apart from the Spirit of God; "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost," I Cor. 12:3. How then can the lost man be obeying the gospel by being baptized when the gospel is hidden to him and he has no understanding of spiritual things? He must wait upon God to remove the veil and give him an understanding.
Now let us see what takes place when the Spirit removes the veil. "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to GIVE THE LIGHT OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE GLORY OF GOD in the face of Jesus Christ," II Cor. 4:6. When the Spirit removes the veil from the heart of man, instantly the light of the truth as it is in Christ shines into his heart, and he embraces it and is saved. So we see that is the work of the Spirit of God to produce faith in the heart. This the Spirit does when men accept their helpless condition as God's Word teaches and turn to the Lord to do for them what they cannot do themselves. When men are stubborn, proud, self-sufficient, and unwilling to acknowledge their blindness they are left in that condition.
Man's Extremity — Grace's Opportunity
Abram and Sarai waited ten years after they were in the land of Canaan and still the promised child was not born, Gen. 16:3. Doubtless, this seemed strange to them. But God was waiting until they realized they were utterly helpless within themselves, and that they were wholly dependent on Him to perform His promises. Man's helplessness furnishes grace an opportunity. Grace cannot operate until man's works have been given up as of no value and he is ready to rely solely on what God stands ready to do. "He that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works," Heb. 4:10. Rest is found at the end of work, not in working. It comes after one quits working, not while he is working. That is true physically as well as spiritually. How slow men are to learn this truth. Paul wrote concerning the Jews, "They being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not SUBMITTED themselves unto the righteousness of God," Rom. 10:3. Their mistake, like that of the Campbellites and many others, was in working to be saved, when they should have ceased from those works and submitted themselves to the Lord to be saved. As long as man is working to be saved he has not submitted himself to the Lord to be saved. There is a mistaken idea in the world. It is that we must do our part in saving ourselves and the Lord does His part. Christ it not just part Saviour. He does all the saving. He does not need our help. He only waits for us to let Him save. Our part is to quit our works and let Him do the saving. Campbellism goes astray in that it sets a lost man to working to be saved, while grace would have him cease from those works and let Christ save. When the sinner reaches the point where he is willing to give up all his working and yield himself to Christ to be saved then the Spirit removes the veil and the work is done. He then and there is enabled by divine grace to believe in Christ from the heart. His faith is then made to stand in the power of God. Paul said his preaching was in the power of the Spirit "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the POWER of God," I Cor. 2:4-5. Thus we see that the true faith is the product of the POWER OF GOD in men's hearts. It is a supernatural work, even as the birth of Isaac was brought about by supernatural power.
This writer used to wonder why God waited so long to give to Abraham and Sarah the promised child. But he no longer wonders about it. God was waiting until they knew that God Himself must bring to pass what He had promised. We sometimes wonder why lost men will go mourning and seeking the Lord for days and weeks before they are saved. It is not that it takes God a long time to save men. He can do it instantly and does. But it often takes men a long time to get in the attitude where they will let Christ save them. He must wait until they realize that all their efforts, are of no avail and they are ready to submit themselves to Him to be saved. Whatever the length of time it takes man to reach the end of his own strength that is the length of time the Lord waits to save him. Campbellites and many others ignore this fundamental truth. Decision days and membership drives are all of the flesh. They ignore the work of the Spirit. It is to seek to go ahead of the Spirit and do that which only the Spirit can do. We cannot take out of His hands the work that only He can do. Our part is to wait upon Him.
Now, let us sum up these things. The sinner has a veil over his heart. His mind is blinded. He must realize that he cannot remove this blindness by any effort of his own. God's children need to realize that they are unable to remove this blindness. The Spirit alone can do that. When the sinner realizes this he turns to the Lord as his only source of help and the Spirit removes the veil. Then the man is enabled to trust Christ for salvation.
Resort to the Bondwoman — Reasoning Naturally
Next, we see Abram and Sarai resorting to the bondwoman to bring about the promised heir. Sarai said, "The Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her," Gen. 16:2. Here is a resort to the flesh to accomplish desired results. Abram and Sarai attempted to bring about through their efforts what God had promised to do. Here we see the workings of the flesh and the reasonings of the natural mind. In the mind of Sarai God had failed. She thought it time that they do something about the matter. So, do men reason today! There is a saying that, "God helps those who help themselves." No, God helps the helpless. The natural man reasons that he needs to be doing. On the other hand the Word of God teaches he needs to be waiting on God. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength," Isa. 40:31. "Be still, and know that I am God," Psalm 46:10.
The natural man could understand how a child could be born to a young woman. There was nothing involved in it which he did not understand. But he could not understand how a child could be born to a woman ninety years old. That required faith in the power of God to bring about what nature could not do. So the natural man can under-stand the things that are outward about religion. He can understand how a man can give the preacher his hand, confess with his lips that Jesus is the Christ, and be baptized. That is all outward and is understood by the natural man. But what he does not understand is how the grace of God works in the hearts and lives of men to make them new creatures in Christ Jesus. The Word of God tells us "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: —neither can he know them," I Cor. 2:14. Not understanding the things of the Spirit the Campbellite, and many others, resort to that which they understand naturally to accomplish spiritual results. Thus the work of the Spirit is ignored and the gospel of Christ is frustrated. Christian experience is taken out of the realm of the supernatural and brought down to the level of the natural. A long step has been taken toward modernism and infidelity. Here is the main cause of the trouble in so many churches. In the eagerness to bring about growth in the churches men have run ahead of the work of the Spirit and churches have been filled with members who have never known the saving grace of God. They are worldly minded, indifferent and live after the flesh. This writer is calling on people to get back to the Bible way of waiting on the Spirit. After we have preached the Word, prayed and read the Scriptures there is something about the matter that the lost man will never see until the Spirit enables him to see and understand. If we push him or persuade him into a mere lip profession before the Spirit has done His work we blunder.
To look to Hagar to bear the promised child was reasoning from the natural standpoint. To wait for a child to be born to the old woman required faith in God to accomplish what was naturally impossible. To depend on baptism or any outward works to bring salvation is reasoning naturally. To wait upon God through the power of the Spirit to bring a renewing of the heart of men is an act of faith. Sarai's womb had to be renewed. Thee sinner's mind and heart has to be renewed. No natural power could give Sarah strength to conceive. That took the power of God. No natural power can bring to the sinner an understanding of the truth. That takes the power of God. The reason that the religious world is in its present confused and ungodly condition is that too many have endeavored to take spiritual things out of the realm of the supernatural and bring them down to the level of natural things. If our experience is not the product of a divine power working in us then we are most miserable. The reason that some people's profession is so hard to keep is because it is all the result of what is natural. There is nothing supernatural about it. It is no wonder that so many think they can lose their salvation. What they think they have is all based on their own natural reasonings and works and not on divine power. They do not lose much when they lose it.
By resorting to that which the natural man can understand and do the Campbellite falls in line with the bondwoman, and may be said to belong to the tribe of Ishmael. Hence the title of this book.
Religious Pride and Scorning
Abram took Hagar to be his wife upon the suggestion of Sarai. Soon afterwards she conceived and it caused Hagar to become proud and scornful. "When she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes," Gen. 16:4. Here we have the spirit of pride and scorning that goes with false religions. They who are after the flesh scorn those who are after the Spirit. "As then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born of the Spirit, even so is it now." All who live in places where Campbellites are numerous are familiar with their tactics. They will assemble at the places where those who believe in the work of the Spirit preach and testify of the same and grin with a sarcastic grin of contempt. When the Lord's people are weeping, rejoicing and shouting they will make light of them, even as the Pharisees wanted Jesus to stop His disciples from shouting, Luke 19:37-40. They, and many others, think that such people are beside themselves and are excited and hysterical. In fact such conduct on the part of Campbellites in meetings held by this writer was the cause of him getting his first insight into the application of the allegory of Abraham's two sons.
In all fairness I must say that I have seen some who were members of Campbellite churches who did not manifest this scornful spirit. I believe there are some among them who at some time have really repented and have been saved in spite of the fact that through family ties they have been persuaded into lining themselves up with that system. I have also seen others who had this feeling of contempt and scorn for those who rejoice in the Spirit and manifest the presence of God in their hearts. There are Baptists, so-called, parading around today who are as ignorant of spiritual things as Campbellites. Their hearts have never been broken because of sin. They say a lot about belief, but their belief is void of spiritual power and grace, and it is no better than the belief that Campbellites require. Their services are cold and formal. No tears of joy and penitence are shed. There has been no heart-felt crying unto God for forgiveness of sins, like the publican who went up to the temple to pray. Everything has been done according to the decorum of this world and the pride of the flesh. True experience, if given an opportunity, will manifest itself in outward praise to God. When Jesus entered Jerusalem as King, His disciple praised God with a loud voice. The prophet Zechariah called this shouting. "SHOUT, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee;—riding upon an ass," Zech. 9:9. If we really have Bible experience it should show itself today as in Bible times. There is something wrong if it does not. Why people can read the Bible all their lives and fail to see that Bible saints wept and shouted and rejoiced I cannot understand.
This writer does not want to be misunderstood. He believes that true spiritual experiences bring spiritual feeling, great joy and peace. Often our cups are made to overflow and we praise God aloud as did Elizabeth and Mary, Luke 1:41-55. But he believes that our feelings must be balanced with the Word of God. True experiences are in keeping with the Word of God, not contrary to it. But, an experience that has been void of a heart felt sorrow for sin and that has not brought a consciousness of the presence of the Spirit in the heart is no experience at all. Let all who read these pages heed the admonition of the inspired Word, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves how that JESUS CHRIST is IN you, except ye be reprobates?" II Cor. 13:5. Can you prove up?
Abram and Sarai got results through resort to the bondwoman, but the result was a bond-child and not an heir. He was a source of trouble in the family until they got rid of him and his mother. Moreover, he was a wild man. His hand was against every man, and he was always ready for a fight. His spiritual descendants are always ready for a fight. Most of their preaching is simply a denouncement of those who preach and hold to the truth. They are great at burlesquing other denominations, especially the Baptists. Anyone who has heard many of their preachers know this is true.
The Bond-child Rejected — Grace Works
God rejected Ishmael as the heir. He changed the names of Abram and Sarai to. Abraham and Sarah and told them that Sarah should bear a child. God visited her and she conceived and gave birth to Isaac, the promised child. This birth was miraculous, so is the new birth brought about by divine power. While God used Abraham as the father of the child, yet the birth of Isaac was different from that of Ishmael. It had an element of the supernatural connected with it. God uses means in the sinner’s salvation. But those means are powerless in themselves. "It pleased God through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe," I Cor. 1:21. But it is not enough to just preach the Word. Along with the preaching must go the work of the Spirit of God. Paul said to the Thessalonians, "Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost," I Thess. 1:5. He wrote to the church at Corinth, "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power; THAT your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the POWER OF GOD," I Cor. 2:4-5. The birth of Isaac was the result of the working of the power of God. So the faith of the Corinthians was the product of divine power. It stood in the POWER of God. Ishmael's birth was the result of human planning and agency. The Campbellite's faith is the mere product of human works. According to their own claims the man is not saved when he starts to the waters of baptism. That being so he is still a natural man and not in the Spirit. The Word of God tells us that such a man does not know the things of the Spirit, I Cor. 2:14. Then he goes to baptism not understanding its true purpose. He goes there because he has been persuaded to do so by the Campbellite preacher. So, his faith stands in the wisdom of men and not in God's power. Ask him if the Spirit of God wrought faith in his heart and see how he answers. He makes light of such a thing.
All the efforts of Abraham and Sarah were in vain until God had visited Sarah. "And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord DID unto Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son," Gen. 21:1-2. This took place only after the son of the bondwoman was rejected as heir. As long as Abraham looked to the son of the bondwoman to be the heir, that long God waited to give Sarah power to conceive. Only when men turn away from dependence on the works they do will the grace of God work in their behalf. "If it be of works, then it is no more of grace," Rom. 11:6. Works must leave before grace comes in. Isaac could not be born as long as Ishmael was counted as heir. Neither can the Spirit bring about a true experience until works are discarded. Ishmael and Isaac were not heirs together. "The son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman," Gal. 4:30. Here we learn that God will not accept a mixture of works and grace. If we are saved by both works and grace then why was not Ishmael equally an heir with Isaac? Ishmael represents works, while Isaac represents faith. Both could not be heirs. In seeking to make salvation by both works and faith Campbellites are seeking to have Ishmael equally an heir with Isaac. But God said the bondwoman and her son should be cast out. So out goes works for salvation.
The Joy of Salvation
"And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. And she said, who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? For I have born him a son in his old age," Gen. 21:6-7.
These words are full of meaning for the spiritually minded. Here we see rejoicing when the promised child was born. Sarah said, "God hath made me to laugh." It was God's work to make her rejoice. So, God makes His people to laugh and rejoice. "When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing, Psalm 126:1-2. The work of God in the midst of His people causes them to rejoice with laughing and singing. They laugh, shout and weep for joy. How often we have seen God's people laugh when happy. A few years ago I saw a young lady who had been a church member without salvation fall upon her knees in prayer. In just a few minutes she was on her feet again with the tears coming down her face like rain, and she looked upward and laughed and laughed and laughed, and we laughed with her. Sarah said, "God hath made me to laugh, so all that hear will laugh with me." If God makes us to laugh then who can forbid it? Such as this is out of order in a Campbellite meeting and many others. Neither did any one laugh and give praise to God when the son of the bondwoman was born. The Bible does not say anything about God making anyone to laugh when Ishmael was born. Neither does God make anyone to laugh and rejoice and shout when Campbellites join for baptism and a lot of other modern converts join a church.
Notice that Sarah said, "Who would have said to Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck?" The thing that had happened was marvelous. It was beyond the comprehension of the natural man. Sarah herself could not understand all the mysteries connected with it. She could not explain it. She only knew that it was the work of God in her behalf. But there was the child in her arms as evidence that its birth had taken place. Jesus said, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit," John 3:8. We may not be able to explain all the mysteries connected with the work of the Spirit, but, like Sarah knew that the child had been born and could rejoice in that birth, so may we know that the Spirit of God works within and we can rejoice in this glorious fact. Several years ago a small boy was saved who had gone mourning for some time. After others had waited and prayed with him for a long time suddenly he broke forth into joyful laughing. After much laughing he said, "Don't ask me.to tell you how it was done, I can't tell you, but I know that God has saved me." Thank God it is not ours to explain. It is ours to experience and enjoy and praise God for giving. The mysterious part is His to do. It is ours to experience and enjoy. If men will but give up their own righteousness and submit to Him He will work in them that which will make them to wonder and rejoice. What a blessed thing that God is able to make His people to know of their salvation and rejoice in the same.
Reader, are you inclined to laugh at the above? If you are then go and read where Ishmael mocked when they made a feast unto Isaac, Gen. 21:8-9. Are you going to be found in the seat of the scornful? If you know nothing about such rejoicing, is there not a reason? God has promised to bless mourners, but He nowhere promises to bless scorners. Many a time I have seen Campbellites mock and laugh when God's people were shouting for joy. Beware! Remember how Michal scorned David when he shouted and rejoiced before the Lord when they brought back the ark, II Sam. 6:16-23.
In closing this part of this treatise let me ask if Paul does not say that the account of Abraham's two sons is not an allegory? Does he not make the birth of Ishmael to represent the covenant of works and the religion which is after the flesh? Does he not make the birth of Isaac to represent our new birth? If the birth of Isaac was brought about through the visitation of divine power, then, is not our new birth the product of a divine power? Have you experienced within your heart this divine work that brings joy and peace and gladness? Why should men be content with a counterfeit when the Lord is ready to give the genuine spiritual experience? He promised to give rest to the heavy laden if they will only come to Him.
I have just read an article in which a Campbellite denied that the Spirit of God works directly in a miraculous way on the heart of man in regeneration. This article was printed in the Morrilton Democrat, Dec. 20th, 1945. It is too lengthy to quote here. Let me ask did not God visit Sarah in a miraculous way? Let us remember that three of the miraculous gifts of the Spirit still remain. "Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three," I Cor. 13:13. The three gifts that remain are as miraculous as the gifts of healing, prophecy, and tongues that passed away. The regeneration of the soul is as miraculous as the resurrection of the body. The same Spirit that now dwells in us is the Spirit and power that shall quicken the believer's body and make it like the body of Christ in the resurrection. "If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall ALSO QUICKEN your mortal bodies BY HIS SPIRIT that dwelleth in you," Rom. 8:11. This miraculous power, the Spirit of God that now dwells in us because of regeneration, is the same miraculous power that shall give us a glorified body at the resurrection. Regeneration is as much a supernatural thing as the resurrection of the body.
Proof Texts Examined
Let us now examine the proof texts upon which Campbellites depend to prove their unscriptural plan of salvation. We shall find that when closely examined they do not teach that one must be baptized to be saved, except in a symbolic sense. Campbellites hastily glance at these proof texts and jump to the conclusion that they teach what they think. They always ignore the connecting verses and put their own interpretation on the verses they use in the face of the overwhelming plain Bible evidence which shows them to be wrong in their interpretation. When unable to face the overwhelming evidence that men are saved before baptism they ignore the proof texts that are given to prove that salvation comes before baptism by saying, "They say" this or that. In my written debate with Mr. Wilhite, I quoted Rom. 6:20-22 to prove that one must be free from sin before he can bring forth good fruit: "When ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now BEING MADE FREE FROM SIN, and become servants to God, ye have YOUR FRUIT UNTO HOLINESS, and the end everlasting life." Mr. Wilhite's answer to this was simply "JONES says only the ones free from sin can bring forth good fruit," P-9. The proof text he ignored. Does Jones say it or does the Bible say it? At the present Mr. Webb, a Campbellite, and I are running articles in our county papers. I had an article on election in the Morrilton Democrat. To prove that God elected His people before the foundation of the world, I quoted, Eph. 1:4: "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world." In attempting to reply, Mr. Webb said, "They say the ‘elect' were chosen as God's children to be saved from the foundation of the world." Morrilton Democrat, Nov. 16th, 1945. That was his reply to the Scripture, "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world." I ask, is this facing a plain Scripture fairly? Are plain statements from the Word of God to be set aside by saying, "They say" as though it was man, and not the Bible that said this? Such dodging of the truth is a plain confession of one's inability to face the proof text fairly and answer it. It shall not be this writer's policy to so handle their proof texts. They shall be faced fairly and examined more closely than any Campbellite ever examines them. In fact Campbellites do not want their proof texts examined too closely. It shall be this writer's policy, like that of the Apostle Paul, to renounce the hidden things of dishonesty. "As we have received mercy we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God," II Cor. 4:1-2.
As this is the main proof text on which the Campbellites rely to prove their false doctrine it shall be examined first. If their interpretation of this verse is shown to be wrong then their whole system comes down like a house of cards.
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." King James Translation.
"And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Revised Version.
For the present these two translations will suffice. These are the ones most generally read by the people. Others will be considered later.
Let the reader take notice to the punctuation. By means of punctuation the translators give to a passage the meaning as they see it in the original language. The punctuation must then be considered. The Revised Version has the pronoun "ye" after the word repent. It is understood in the King James. In both translations a comma follows, cutting off "repent" or "repent ye" from the next clause which is about baptism and remission of sins. Then in both translations a punctuation mark comes after "remission of sins." The King James has a comma, while the Revised Version has a semi-colon following this expression. In due time I shall quote from a Campbellite writer and show how he, in quoting a number of translations, changes the punctuation of the translators. So much for the matter of punctuation at this time.
Leaving off the first clause (Peter said unto them,) we shall proceed to examine the rest of the sentence. Three clauses are to be found in the remainder of the sentence. A. clause is a part of a sentence which has a subject and predicate. It may, or it may not have, modifying phrases or words. The first clause is; "repent ye." The second clause is "be baptized every one of you." The third is "ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." The modifying phrases are "in the name of Jesus Christ," and "for, or unto the remission of your sins." Let us examine these three clauses, and the modifying phrases.
First clause: "Repent ye." The pronoun "ye" is the subject. In English it is the plural form of the pronoun "thou" or "you." It is second person plural. Its verb or predicate is "repent." This would have to agree with its subject. This makes the predicate also second person plural. This is exactly the form of this verb in the Greek language. This cannot be denied successfully.
Second clause: "Be baptized every one of you." The subject of this clause is "every one of you." It is third person singular number. This is so in both English and the Greek. Its predicate, which must agree with it, is also third person singular. It is "be baptized." This is the Greek form. So we see that the first and second clauses differ in both person and number as to their subjects and predicates. The Campbellites’ trick is to try to combine these two clauses into one clause. They throw away the subject "ye" which occurs in the American Revised Version and do not consider it at all. A subject cannot be left standing alone without a predicate. They rob this subject of its predicate and seek to have "everyone of you" as the subject of both "repent" and "be baptized." Then they would have the phrase "for the remission of sins" modifying this compound predicate. Thus they would make repentance and baptism for the same purpose in this verse of scripture. But in making "every one of you" the subject of both "repent" and "be baptized" they would have a singular subject with two predicates, one of which is second person plural, and the other third person singular. This is a grammatical monstrosity. Anyone who knows anything about the rules of language knows that a subject which is third person singular could not have a predicate which is second person plural. So, "repent" cannot be one of the predicates of "everyone of you." We must have two separate clauses. "Repent ye" is the first, and "be baptized everyone of you" is the second. Better informed Campbellites know this but they keep the people in ignorance of this to carry their point. They never, never, tell their people about this difference in number and person. Thus they deceive the people and lead them astray.
Having found that "repent ye" and "be baptized everyone of you" are two different clauses let us take up the modifying phrase "for, or unto the remission of sins." Campbellites say this means in order to obtain the remission of sins. For the sake of argument we will let it be so. Then in which clause shall this phrase modify? It cannot modify in two separate clauses. It will have to modify in one and only one clause. If we make it to modify "be baptized" then we throw out repentance as a condition of receiving the remission of sins. This would leave baptism in this verse as the only condition of pardon. Campbellites would therefore be wrong in teaching that repentance is a condition of pardon. So down they go on the first count. If we make this phrase to modify "repent," then, since it can only modify in one clause, we have eliminated baptism as a condition of forgiveness of sins. So, we see that according to the construction of this sentence, either repentance or baptism must be eliminated as a condition of obtaining remission of sins. Which shall it be? If we throw out repentance the Campbellite is wrong as well as others. On the other hand if we throw out baptism as a condition of remission of sins we prove them wrong on that point. So they are either wrong in teaching that repentance is a condition of pardon, or they are wrong in teaching that baptism is a condition of pardon. Which will they give up?
Now, let us use the phrase "for the remission of sins" as declarative, or because of the remission of sins. In that case either repentance or baptism is declarative. Since baptism comes after repentance then baptism would be declarative. They were to be baptized then because of having their sins remitted, and not in order to have them remitted. In this connection let me say that the verb receive or obtain cannot be found in the Word of God connected with baptism. Let the fellow who thinks he can find it produce the word and tell us where it is and what is the Greek verb from which it is translated. If it could have been found the Campbellites would have found it a long time ago. The fact that they have never found it is proof that this verb cannot be found connected with baptism. Why then will they contend that baptism is for the purpose of receiving the remission of sins when they cannot once find the verb receive connected with baptism? The only place the expression "RECEIVE the remission of sins" is found is in Acts 10:43. "To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS." Campbellites would give their last dollar if they could only find where it is said that whosoever is baptized should receive remission of sins. But they cannot find it. They have to infer it.
Since the verb receive is never found connected with baptism let us see about the word manifest. John the Baptist said of Jesus, "I knew Him not: but that He should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water," John 1:31. Here we see that the word manifest is connected with baptism. To manifest means to show or declare or make known. So baptism is for a declarative purpose. Since the word receive is not found connected with baptism, and the word manifest is found connected with it, are we not rather justified in using baptism to declare something rather than to receive it?
The Third clause: The third clause in our sentence is "ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit." The subject of this clause is "ye." It is second person plural number. It is the same "ye" we find as subject of the first clause. Its predicate is "shall receive." This predicate is also second person plural in both the English and the Greek. It agrees with its subject "ye." The object of this verb or predicate is "the gift of the Holy Spirit." We see that the subjects and predicates in the first and third clauses are the same in number and person. But the subject and predicate of the second clause "be baptized every one of you" is different from the first and third. Translators have separated the second clause from the first and third with marks of punctuation. The number and person of the subject and predicate of the second clause being different required this. So baptism is not a condition of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit in this verse. It was promised upon the condition of repentance. As further evidence that this is so I cite the case of the house of Cornelius. They received the gift of the Holy Spirit before baptism, "And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST. Then answered Peter, can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" Acts 10:45-47. So the Gentiles received the gift of the Holy Spirit before baptism. This confirms the argument made above that baptism WAS NOT a condition of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. But I am not yet through. Let us read Ezek. 36:26-27. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." Here we see that the doing of the Lord's commandments is caused by the indwelling Spirit that God gives. This shows that the receiving of the Spirit comes before works and therefore before baptism.
The gift of the Holy Spirit was the main subject of consideration in the whole of the second chapter of Acts. The gift of the Spirit had been poured out on the followers of Jesus. When the multitudes heard them speaking in the tongues of all the nations the works of God they were amazed and asked what these things meant. Peter arose and told them that this was the fulfilment of the promise of God through Joel, the prophet. He said, "The promise is to you, and your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call," verse 39. So the main thought is the gift of the Holy Spirit, the promise the Lord had made, and how to receive that gift. Peter told them that if they would repent they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. As we have already seen baptism is separated from the part of the sentence that contains the command to repent, and the part about receiving the gift of the Spirit, with marks of punctuation. The construction of the verse requires that. The fact that the Gentiles received the gift of the Spirit before baptism also proves this to be so. The main part of the sentence is "repent ye and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." The other part "be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for or unto the remission of sins" is parenthetical.
There are two separate commands in this verse. One was addressed to, the whole crowd. They were commanded to repent. "God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent," Acts' 17:30. But God commands only those who have repented to be baptized. The command to repent was to all and carried with it the promise of the gift of the Spirit. The command to be baptized was to only such as should repent. So we see that it is a mistake to try to include repentance and baptism in the same command and try to make, them for the same purpose. Let me say in this connection that repentance is not a work. It is not a doing of works, but a ceasing from works. The Word of God speaks about "repentance from dead works," Heb. 6:1. The works of the man dead in sins are dead works. In repentance a man ceases from working to save himself. We shall have more about this later.
I shall now give an example of how Campbellites handle the punctuation of the translators. I shall copy word for word, punctuation marks and all from several translations from which Mr. E. R. Harper was supposed to quote. Below each translation I shall give Mr. Harper's quotation and his punctuation. I am quoting from Mr. Harper's book "Truth Vindicated" as found on pages 38-47. (I especially request the typesetter to check up on the punctuation and see that in every case it checks with it as I give it below.)
King James Translation: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Mr. Harper's quotation of the same: "Repent and be baptized every one you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." Notice the comma after the word "repent" was omitted by Mr. Harper.
The American Standard Version: "And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Mr. Harper's quotation: "Repent ye and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ UNTO the remission of your sins." We notice here that Mr. Harper omitted the comma after the words "repent ye." Is all this accidental? Let us read further.
Goodspeed's translation: "You must repent, and every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, in order to have your sins forgiven; then you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit."
Mr. Harper's quotation: "You must repent and every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, IN ORDER TO have your SINS FORGIVEN." We see that here Mr. Harper omitted Mr. Goodspeed's comma after "repent." Mr. Goodspeed's punctuation marks separate baptism from repentance and the forgiveness of sins with commas. He makes the forgiveness of sins depend on the word "repent", and not on being baptized. By changing his punctuation the meaning of his sentence is changed. Was this an accident on Harper's part?
American Bible Union translation: "Repent, and be immersed every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins."
Mr. Harper's quotation: "Repent and be immersed each of you UNTO the remission of sins." Notice he left out the comma after "repent" again. He also only quoted a part of the verse and left out the comma before the expression "unto the remission of sins." This translation also separates baptism from repentance and the remission of sins. The punctuation makes remission of sins depend upon "repent" and not "be baptized." All the while Mr. Harper is claiming that these are all with him. We naturally wonder why the change in punctuation in every case.
Dr. Williams' translation: "Peter said unto them, "You must repent—and, as an expression of it, let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ—that you may have your sins forgiven."
Mr. Harper's quotation: "Peter said unto them. You must repent and as an expression of it let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ that you may have your sins forgiven." Notice that Mr. Harper left out the dashes which Mr. Williams put after "repent" and "Jesus Christ." He also left out the comma after "and." Below I quote from a letter I received from Dr. Williams concerning the above quotation of Mr. Harper.
Tampa, Florida October 2., 1940.
Elder G. E. Jones
Dear Bro. Jones:
Yours received concerning Mr. Harper's twisting of my translation of Acts 2:38. I am glad you wrote me to clarify it. . . .
Perhaps, he did not tell the folks how it was punctuated, which gives the INTERPRETATION. He gave my translation WORD FOR WORD. But as you quoted it to me, he did not PUNCTUATE IT AS I DID.
You can see at a glance, I am sure, with my punctuation, it does not substantiate the Campbellite claim that you MUST BE BAPTIZED THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN, but THE BAPTIST POSITION (and the position of other evangelicals) that baptism is merely an "expression" or symbol of repentance and the work it does in the soul; that repentance is the indispensable condition of the FORGIVENESS OF SIN'S. The two dashes after "repent" and "Christ" separate baptism from forgiveness but make the clause, "That your sins may be forgiven," depend on "repent," not on "be baptized."
With good wishes, I am
Yours in Him Who loves us all,
Chas. B. Williams.
Dr. Weymouth's translation: " 'Repent,' replied Peter, `and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'."
Mr. Harper's quotation of the same: "Repent, replied Peter and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ FOR the remission of sins."
We notice that Mr. Harper leaves out two commas that Dr. Weymouth uses. He left one out just before "be baptized" and the one just before "for the remission of your sins."
The reader can see that in all six of these translations Mr. Harper changed the punctuation to suit himself. All of these translators have separated "repent" and "be baptized" with marks of punctuation. They knew that the number and person of these two verbs were different and that they could not be put in the same clause. By leaving out their punctuation marks where it is to his advantage Mr. Harper seeks to make it appear that these translators are with him. In these six different translations we find that Mr. Harper made 10 changes in the punctuation. After quoting from a number of translators and changing their punctuation, he says, "It's fine boys to keep company with such men." But we would like to know why Mr. Harper had to change the punctuation of all these translators to make them agree with Him. He boasts that scholars are with him. Mr. Williams, whom he brings in as one of his scholars, said Mr. Harper did not punctuate his translation as he did. He said his punctuation made forgiveness of sins depend on "repent" and not on "be baptized." I ask how can a man who wants to be fair, so handle the works of men and the truth? Does this show a desire for the truth, or to cover up the truth? If all this was accidental why did it always happen at the place where it would be to Mr. Harper's advantage? I exposed Mr. Harper on this in a debate. He claimed they were typographical errors. We naturally wonder why so many typographical errors on Acts 2:38 and all in his favor. I take these quotation from Mr. Harper's book which I have in my possession. He is an educated man. He knows that if the punctuation was left as these men gave it that his position goes down. So, to bolster a false, unscriptural theory, he changes the punctuation and jumbles the meaning of the translations. Such methods of handling the truth is enough to throw suspicion on Campbellism and condemn it as a false system. The truth does not have to be upheld by such questionable methods. Such methods are contrary to the Spirit of our Lord. It rather makes us think of the words Paul wrote about false teachers when he said, "The sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive," Eph. 4:14. Can such methods be prompted by the Spirit of God or have His approval? Do you not think that such as this needs to be exposed and the people need to be warned against it? Paul said, "We are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ," II Cor. 2:17. Now, reader, which spirit prompts such handling of the truth as seen above. Is it the Spirit of the Lord or it is the spirit of evil and darkness?
Instead of going into an analysis of Acts 2:38 as I have done above and showing how "repent" and "be baptized" are different in number and person and belong to two separate clauses the Campbellites try to make their play on the Greek preposition "Eis," which is translated "for" in Acts 2:38, by the King James translation, and "unto" by the Revised Version. They say that this preposition means "in order to" in this place and that it is always prospective or looking forward to something. They claim that it never means "because of." They claim that all scholars are with them. Well, let us see about that. In his "New Short Grammar of the Greek Testament," Dr. A. T. Robertson, A. M. D. D. LL. D., Litt. D., has the following to say about "Eis" in Acts 2:38: "Hence a case like Acts 2:38 eis aphesin ton hamartion can mean either on the basis of forgiveness of sins (cf, Mk. 1:4f. "Confessing their sins") or with a view to the forgiveness of sins. There is nothing in eis to compel either result." P-256. So, Dr. Robertson says it can either mean "On the basis of forgiveness" or "With a view to forgiveness of sins." He said there was nothing in EIS to compel either result. That being the case the whole meaning of the verse must be determined by the construction of the other part of the sentence. That is the very part that Campbellites avoid explaining. Dr. Robertson said it could mean "with a view to." To give the Campbellites the benefit of the doubt let us say that it means that here. Well, since this phrase cannot modify both "repent" and "be baptized." which shall it modify? If we make it modify "be baptized," then we throw out repentance as a condition of pardon. If we make it modify "repent" then we throw out baptism as a condition of pardon. The most sensible and Scriptural view would be to use it in the sense of "on the basis of" or "because of," and make it modify "be baptized." That would make repentance a condition of salvation and baptism a declarative act. We have already seen that the word "manifest" which means to declare, is connected with baptism, while receive is not.
Dr. John Pickering, LL.D. in his lexicon (1858 Adit. pages 269-70) says, "Eis preposition governing the accusative, direction toward, motion to, into—after; BECAUSE OF etc." (My capitals). Anthon's and Jacob's Greek Reader, p. 450, gives "on account of" as one of the uses of "Eis."
Now, let us examine the Bible itself to see how it uses this preposition. In Matt. 12:41, we read where Jesus said the Ninevites "Repented at (Gr. EIS) the preaching of Jonas. The word for "at" in this place is our Greek preposition "Eis." Let us make this word mean "in order to," then we would have the Ninevites repenting in order to the preaching of Jonas. Now, did they? Did it take their repentance to bring about the preaching of Jonas, or was it the other way around? Now, let us make "Eis" mean because of and we have them repenting because of Jonas' preaching. Now, reader, which did they do? Did they repent in order that Jonas might preach, or did they repent because of it?
Now, let us take another: "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism (Eis) into death," Rom. 6:4. Here is our same Greek word "Eis" which Campbellites tell us is always prospective. It means "in order to," they say. Let us read it that way: "We are buried with Him by baptism (Eis) in order to death." Is that the way things are done? Are people buried in order to be dead? Now, let us read it "because of" and see how it sounds: "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism (eis) because of death." Now, reader, which makes good common sense? Here we have a second example in the Bible where this preposition is used in the sense of "because of."
Here is a third example: "I indeed baptize you with water (Gr. Eis) unto repentance," Matt. 3:11. Here we have our same little Greek preposition "Eis." Since John demanded repentance before baptism he was not baptizing (Eis) unto repentance, to bring it about, but because they had already repented. So, we see that it means because of here. Campbellites feel the weight of this and say John was baptizing unto the reformation. But the word here is "metanoia." It is always translated repentance. "Repentance (metanoia) and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem," Luke 24:47. "A godly sorrow worketh repentance. (metaoia) to salvation," II Cor. 7:10. Paul said he testified to both Jews and Greeks repentance (metanoia) toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 20:21. The word for reformation is another word. It is "diorothis." It is found in Heb. 9:10 where the writer told about meats, drinks, divers washings, and carnal ordinances imposed on them until the time of the reformation. So, the word in Matt. 3:11 is repentance and not reformation. So, John baptized (Eis) unto repentance, not to bring it about but because they had repented.
Now, let us place Matt. 3:11 and Acts 2:38 side by side and look at them. I give Acts 2:38 in the Revised Version.
"I indeed baptize you with water (Gr. Eis) UNTO REPENTANCE."
"Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ (Gr. Eis) UNTO the remission of your sins."
We have the same preposition "Eis" in each verse. We have the same English preposition UNTO in both places. If we make baptism in order to receive remission of sins we also make baptism in order to repentance. If they were baptized because of repentance they were also baptized because of remission of sins.
Now one more thing before we leave our discussion of Acts 2:38. In Acts 2:37, we find that the people were pricked in their hearts. "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles. Men and brethren, what shall we do? Do about what? The empty grave of Jesus and Peter's sermon and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit had convinced these people that Jesus whom they had condemned as an imposter was indeed the Christ. Confronted with the greatness of their sins they wanted to know what to do about the thing they had done. Peter told them to repent. That would make them right with God. But they had publicly condemned Jesus as an imposter. To set that right in the sight of men they should be baptized IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. That would show forth to the world that they had repented or changed their minds and attitude toward Jesus. In their baptism in the name of JESUS CHRIST they would show forth to the world that they had repented or changed their minds and attitude toward Jesus. In their baptism in the name of JESUS CHRIST they would show that they now believed Him to be the Christ. In repentance they turned away from their former attitude. In faith they turn to Him for salvation. By being baptized they would declare to the world their change of mind and their belief that God had now forgiven their sins. Now, let us notice who was baptized on this occasion: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized," Acts 2:41. Their sorrow of heart had given away to the joy of salvation. They were no longer pricked in heart, but were rejoicing in the Spirit. They were saved before baptism.
Galatians 3:27 and Romans 6:3
I shall consider these two proof texts next. They are similar and help to explain one another. I shall quote them and then take them up one at a time.
"As many of vou as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ," Gal. 3:27.
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?" Rom. 6-:3.
Now, let us go into a study of Gal. 3:27. As usual, the Campbellites, when considering this verse, ignore the connecting verses. Let us read it with the verse above it: "For ye are all THE CHILDREN OF GOD by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." The antecedent of YOU in verse 27 is. "The children of God," in verse 26. So as many CHILDREN OF GOD as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Let us notice that expression "PUT ON" Christ. In verse 24 above, Paul said, "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." Then he said, "After that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster," Gal. 3:25. Now, let us drop down a few verses and we will see the comparison that Paul is making. "Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. EVEN SO WE, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: but when the fulness of the time was come. God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons," Gal. 4:1-5. The Roman nobleman put his son, during his minority, under tutors or governors, also called schoolmasters. At a certain time selected by the father this young man was made free from the dominion of the schoolmaster. When he was free from this schoolmaster he put on a certain outward garment called the "Toga Virilis" or manly toga. The putting on of this toga declared him to be free from his schoolmaster. There were other kinds of togas. Candidates for office wore white togas to show that they were candidates. The mourner PUT ON a black toga to show mourning. The "TOGA PICTA" was a toga adorned with golden stars, and was worn by a great general. From this has come our present custom of army officers wearing bars and stars on their uniforms to show their rank. The custom of putting on black to signify mourning has also come on down to our day.
After Paul had told about the young heir being put under tutors and governors (or schoolmasters) until a certain time he went on to say, "EVEN SO WE, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world." Here he likens their former relationship to the law to that of the young heir whom his father had put under tutors and governors. When the young Roman heir became free from his schoolmaster he PUT ON his manly toga to declare his freedom. Now, follow the analogy of Paul. When the Galatians became free from the law, their schoolmaster, they were due to PUT ON something to declare that freedom. What was it? They PUT ON Christ in baptism. Here we have the origin of that expression PUT ON. All down through the centuries people have PUT ON certain garments to declare what they were or are. Policemen, bell-hops, nurses, trainmen, soldiers, sailors, bus drivers, mourners and others PUT ON certain kind of garments to show what they are.
Having seen that the expression PUT ON is used in a declarative way and having seen the origin of it and Paul's use of the analogy I shall show that it is children of God, and not lost people, who are commanded to PUT ON something. Paul addressed the Epistle to the Romans to the "Saints," Rom. 1:7. Then he tells those saints "PUT ye ON the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fufill the lusts thereof," Rom. 13:14. He tells the church at Colosse to "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, etc.," Col. 3:12. He tells the Ephesians to "Put on the whole armor of God," Eph. 6:11. They were to show to the world that they were God's children by PUTTING ON mercy or showing mercy; by PUTTING ON a holy life; by PUTTING ON the whole armor; and by PUTTING ON Christ. So it is the child of God who is baptized into Christ and PUTS ON Christ. Again we have seen that baptism is declarative, and not procurative.
Campbellites try to make a play on the English prepositions "Into" and "Unto." They say "Unto" means a coming up to a thing, while "Into" means an actual entrance. They keep the people ignorant of the fact that both of these prepositions in the English came from the same Greek word, which is our word "Eis." If "UNTO" just means a coming up to a thing then try it on Acts 2:38. "Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ UNTO the remission of your sins." R. V. If "UNTO" is just merely an approach unto a thing and does not bring us into it then baptism would be merely an approach toward remission of sins and would not bring us into it. Now read Eph. 4:15, "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up `INTO' (Eis) Him in all things." Here we see the word INTO used. It speaks of growing up INTO (Eis) Christ. So, according to Campbellite logic, we only approach remission of sins when we are baptized UNTO remission of sins, Acts 2:38. (R. V.) We have not yet entered in. We must grow INTO Him. Since INTO and UNTO come from the same Greek word "Eis" this is just a play upon words on their part. Informed Campbellite preachers take advantage of people's lack of knowledge on this point. The Emphatic Diaglot translates Acts 10:43: "Whosoever believeth INTO (Eis) Him shall receive remission of sins." We receive remission of sins when we believe IN or INTO Him. Baptism is declarative, as we have seen. We are baptized into Christ symbolically. At that time the child of God PUTS ON the Lord and declares his freedom EVEN as the young Roman declared his freedom by PUTTING ON his toga.
Now, let us consider Rom. 6:3: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death." The Campbellites never consider this verse in the light of its connecting verses. First, let me say that this is the first place baptism is found in the Book of Romans. In all of Paul's discourse about justification he has no place for baptism until he comes to talk about how justified people shall live. He asks the question, "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" Then he answers, "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Rom. 6:2. A burial usually follows a death. Sometimes a body may not be found to bury it. Some people are cremated and their ashes are scattered to the winds. But the usual thing is for a burial to follow soon after a death. Paul goes on to say, "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life," Rom. 6:4. Here baptism is likened to a burial. It is a picture of it. Since a death must come before a burial then we must first become dead to sin before we are buried by baptism. Now, Paul tells us in this connection, "He that is dead is freed from sin," Rom. 6:7. The revised version reads, "Justified from sin." If the one who is dead is freed from sin then we are freed from sin before baptism because we must be dead to sin before we are ready to be buried in baptism. It is death and not a burial that frees a man from the aches, pains and troubles of this life. So, it is our death to sin, not our burial in baptism that frees us from the old life of sin. Life to this present world ceases before we get to the place of burial. So does our life to the old way of sin and this world cease before we reach burial in baptism. If a child of God dies, the moment the spirit leaves the body, the body is dead. That spirit does not wait around until the body is buried until it is with Christ. To be absent from the body is to be present with Christ, II Cor. 5:6. There is no purgatory or mid-way stopping ground. So the moment one becomes dead to sin he enters a new life with Christ. Death has severed him from the old life. What then is his spiritual status between the time he has died to sin and the time he is buried in baptism? He has died to the sinful state, and cannot be reckoned there any more. Is he spiritually non-existent until he is buried? He cannot be counted of the world, for he has died to it. Where then shall he be placed in the meantime while he is waiting to be buried in baptism? What separates a man from this life anyway? Is it his burial, or his death which comes before the burial? What then separates a man from his old life of sins? Is it his burial by baptism, or is it his death to sin which comes before the burial? If then, he is separated from the old life of sin before baptism, unto what is he separated? Where is he? What is he? Is he non-existent in a spiritual way? If non-existent, is baptism the power that recreates him? Let Campbellites answer this.
Now, let us see how the death to sin is brought about. "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin," Rom. 6:6. Here we see the crucifixion of the old nature to be likened to the crucifixion of Jesus. We are said to be dead with Him. "If we be dead with Christ, we believe we shall also live with Him," Rom. 6:8. We are said to have been crucified with Him. We are said to be buried with Him. Now, how was the death of Christ brought about? It was through having His body crucified. That brought about His death for sin. Then our death to sin is brought about through our crucifixion. Christ's crucifixion came before His burial. So we must be crucified with Him and dead with Him before we are ready for our burial in baptism. And we read, "He that is dead is freed from sin," Rom. 6:7. So we are made free from sin before baptism? The moment Christ died on the cross His spirit went to paradise. It did not have to wait around until the body was buried. It was His death, not His burial that ushered Him into paradise. So our death to sin, and not our burial by baptism, ushers us into a new life with Christ.
But says one, what about the resurrection? I answer that if a man dies he shall be resurrected whether buried or not. In Jer. 25:33, we read of the slain who shall not be gathered, nor buried. Will they not be raised? What about the one whose body has been burned to ashes and never found? He has not been buried. He will have no grave from which to come forth. What about the one who dies just a few minutes or hours before the Lord returns? Every hour of time some of God's children die somewhere. They will not have time to be buried. Will they not have a resurrection? Jesus raised the widow's son from the dead the same as He did Lazarus. Lazarus had been buried, but this man had not. No one will be resurrected because he has been buried, but because he has died. As surely as one dies that surely he will have a resurrection. As surely as a child of God dies he will be in the better resurrection. He may never have a burial but he will be in the resurrection of God's people. Even so our death with Christ, not our burial with Him in baptism guarantees that we shall also live with Him in a glorified body. "Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him," Rom. 6:8. The moment the body of Christ became dead on the cross, and His spirit was separated from it, that moment His spirit lived in paradise. His spirit did not have to wait until they buried His body before it entered paradise. Even so the very moment our old man became dead to sin through the crucifixion of the flesh, that moment we were spiritually alive to God. "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord," Rom. 6:11. There is an interval of time between when a man dies and when he is buried. There is also an interval of time between when we die to sin and the time we are buried with Christ in baptism. But there is no interval of time between when one becomes dead in the body and when he becomes present with the Lord in the other world. His spirit is not in the body any longer. It is dead or separated from the body. Then where is it? It certainly does not wait until the body is buried before it enters the spirit world to be with Christ. If so, the man whose body may not be found for months will have to linger a long time between the dead body and the paradise of God. So then the very moment we became dead to sin we became alive unto God. There is no interval of time between. Then we bury the man in baptism to show forth the death to sin, not to bring about that death. We bring the man up out of the water to show that he is alive unto God, not to make him alive.
Thus we see that Campbellism does not have a leg to stand on. It is unscriptural unreasonable and contradictory. Since the one who is dead is freed from sin (Rom. 6:7), then he is either freed from sin before baptism, or he is buried in baptism to bring about his death to sin. It is absurd to think that a man is buried to bring about his death. That is not the way it is done. He is first dead, then buried. Campbellites reverse the order. They would bury him to bring about his death. Only people blinded by the god of this world could swallow such an unscriptural, unreasonable theory. They are not consistent with themselves. Let one of their members die and call upon the preacher to hold the funeral service and he will preach that the spirit of that dead person is right then in heaven with Christ. He does not have the spirit waiting until the body is buried to be in paradise. But he will turn around and teach that one who has died to sin has not yet entered into a new life with God until the burial takes place. Why can people be so blinded by a false theory as to lose all reasoning powers?
From what we have learned above we see that we are buried by baptism because of a death. A burial is always because of a death. So we are buried by baptism BECAUSE OF death to sin. Who said baptism was not BECAUSE OF? John baptized them (Eis) because of repentance, Matt. 3:11. We are buried by baptism (Eis) because of death. Then they must have been baptized in Acts 2:38 BECAUSE OF remission of sins.
Romans 6:17 and 18
"But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness."
Campbellites think that baptism is in this passage. There is no hint of baptism in this verse. Let us outline the passage. First they were servants of sin. Next, they obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine delivered them. When they obeyed that form of doctrine they were made FREE FROM SIN. At the same time they were made free from sin they became servants of righteousness. They were not servants of righteousness before they became free, but they became servants of righteousness when they were made free. So, before they were made free they were not servants of righteousness. How then could they be baptized, an act of righteousness, before they became a servant of righteousness? Jesus taught that baptism was an act of righteousness. He said to John the Baptist, "Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness," Matt. 3:14. Campbellites take a lost man, an unrighteous man, a servant of sin, and demand a righteous act out of him. The verses under consideration show us that he is not a servant of righteousness until he is freed from sin. Hence he is not ready for baptism, an act of righteousness, until he is freed from sin. So, instead of this teaching what Campbellites claim, it teaches the very opposite. Strange, strange that they see backwards in the reverse order. No wonder they believe in the burial before the death. I read one time of a boy whose natural eyesight was inverted. He saw everything upside down. That is the way of Campbellites.
Now, let us go on down in this same chapter and we will clinch this argument. For some reason the Campbellites never get down that far. Yet Paul is talking about one and the same thing, that is, being made free from sin: "For when ye were servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now BEING MADE FREE FROM SIN, and become servants to God, ye have YOUR FRUIT' unto holiness, and the end everlasting life," Rom. 6:20-22. Here we see that they had no fruit as long as they were servants of sin. They had no good fruit until they had been made free from sin and had become God's servants. So the freedom from sin comes before good fruit. John the Baptist demanded good fruit before he would baptize one. "Then said he to the multitudes that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance,—every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire," Luke 3:7-9. From this we see that John demanded good fruit before baptism. From the passage quoted above we see that one has no good fruit until he is made free from sin. Freedom from sin comes before good fruit. Good fruit comes before baptism. Therefore freedom from sin comes before baptism. So, baptism is not that which makes us free from sin, nor any part of it.
Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other," Matt. 6:24. He cannot be the servant of sin, and at the same time the servant of God. He must be freed from one master before he can serve the other. If a man has belonged to one master he does not become the servant of a second master until he is freed from the first one. Therefore, he cannot serve the second one until he has been freed from the first one. Sin was our first master. Jesus is the second. We could not serve Jesus, the second, until we were free from sin, the first master. So freedom from sin must come before we can render one act of service to Jesus. So we must be free from sin before we are ready for baptism. We are not saved by service. We are saved TO service. Campbellites have a slave of one master trying to serve a second master to be made free from the first one. The Bible teaches we must first be freed and made the Lord's servants before we can serve. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, PURGE YOUR CONSCIENCE from dead works TO SERVE the living God?" Heb. 9:14. We are purged by the blood of Christ TO SERVE. The purging comes before the serving.
If a man loves God he is saved. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us," Rom. 5:5. So we must have the Spirit before we have the love of God in our hearts. The Campbellites take the lost man who does not love God and baptize him. He is still not freed from sin. He is still the Devil's servant. He cannot yet serve Christ because he is not free from his first master, the Devil. So he goes all the way to the water serving the Devil. He goes into the water the Devil's servant and serving him. He goes under the water as the Devil's servant and serving him. The preacher brings him up and presto, change, he is made the servant of God. God had nothing to do with his salvation. He went to the water serving the Devil. The preacher baptized him and he is changed. The Devil and the preacher did it all. What a glorious doctrine is Campbellism!
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
Campbellites see only the salvation of the soul in this. And then they do not believe even that. They think that he may be saved, but they are not sure about that. They think no one is saved but their people, and they are not so sure that they will be saved.
Both real salvation and symbolic salvation are under consideration in the above verse. In it we have both the substance and the shadow. We have both the tree and its figure. We learn from I Peter 3:20-2.1, that baptism is a figure. Here Peter tells us the long suffering of God "Waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. THE LIKE FIGURE whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (NOT THE PUTTING AWAY of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." The Campbellites do not like to quote the part which tells us that baptism does not put away the filth of the flesh. What is the flesh? It is the word for the old sinful lost state in which the man is who has not been born again. The Word of God reads," They that are in the flesh cannot please God," Rom. 8:8. So it has reference, not to the body, but to the unsaved man. When Peter says baptism does not put away the filth of the flesh, he is telling us that baptism did not put away the sins of the old man. "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still," Rev. 22:11. From this we see that the holy man is the righteous man and the filthy man is the unjust man.
We have seen from the above that baptism does not put away the filth or sins of the flesh. We have seen that it is a figure like unto the flood waters in Noah's day. Noah was in the ark which he prepared to the saving of his house before the water of the flood came. In Heb. 11:7, we read that Noah "Prepared an ark to the saving of his house." So, salvation was in the ark. Noah and his family were in this ark seven days before the water of the flood came and God had shut them in. "There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah. And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth," Gen. 7:9-10. "And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as the Lord had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in," Gen. 7:16. So Noah and his family were in the ark, the place of safety, before the water came. Those who did not get into the place of safety before they got into the water got in the water alright, but they never reached the place of safety. This shows that we must be in Christ before baptism. Noah was in the ark before the water came. So are we in Christ before baptism.
Since baptism does not put away the filth or sins of the flesh, and since it is a figure like to that of the flood, then it saves only in a figure. He that believeth is saved in reality. Paul said to the jailor, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," Acts 16:31. He that is baptized is saved in a figure.
The last part of Mark 16:16 reads, "He that believeth NOT shall be damned." Now, let us read this in connection with John 3:18. "He that believeth on the Son is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, BECAUSE he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God." The unbeliever is condemned BECAUSE he has not believed. The one who has believed is not condemned. So we see that unbelief is the cause of one being condemned. When he ceases to be an unbeliever and becomes a believer he is not condemned. So the one who believes is saved in reality. The one who, as a believer, is baptized, is saved in a figure.
"Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
These words were spoken to Paul by Ananias. We have found that baptism is just a figure. So Paul was to wash away his sins figuratively by being baptized. He was born again on the road to Damascus. In speaking of those who had seen the Lord after His resurrection, Paul said, "Last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time," I Cor. 15:8. He could not have referred to his first birth. He did not see the Lord then. So he was talking about his new birth which took place on the Damascus road the day he saw the Lord. That should settle the matter. Peter says that baptism does not put away the filth of the flesh. So Paul's sins were first washed away by the blood of Christ. He washed them away in a figure later. "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." The order is to first have the heart sprinkled from an evil conscience. Then comes the washing of the body with pure water. What purges the conscience? "How much more shall the blood of Christ, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." So we see the blood first cleanses the heart and conscience. Then after that comes the water.
"Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
This passage does not even hint at baptism. Christ is talking about a birth. A birth is one thing and a burial is another. While Jesus does not sav; "Except a man be baptized of water and the Spirit." we will read it that way since the Campbellites think this is baptism. If born of water in this verse is water baptism, then born of the Spirit in the same verse is Holy Spirit baptism. That would give us two baptisms. Paul says, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism," Eph. 4:5. To make born read baptism here would give us two baptisms. The Campbellites would have to have Holy Spirit baptism also to be saved. They deny that. So they must concede that Jesus is not talking about baptism here. A Campbellite said to me once "if Jesus did not mean water, why did He say water?" I said, "If Jesus meant baptism why did He not say baptism?" He did not say be baptized of water in this verse.
John was said to baptize in water, Matt. 3:11, "I indeed baptize you in water." (R. V.) But no where do we read about people being baptized of water. Born of water in John 3:5 is "Ek hudatos" and is genetive case. The baptized in water in Matt. 3:11 is "Ev hudati" and is in the dative case.
We find the water of which a man is born in John 4:10-14. Here Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water." This was not literal water Jesus was to give to the woman, but spiritual or living water. Here is water that has life. Life comes from life. A thing cannot be born of a lifeless thing or object. The water in Jacob's well and the kind in the creek was not living water. The kind Jesus was to give was living. It could impart life and bring about a spiritual birth. Jesus went on to say, "Whosoever shall drink of this water (literal water) shall thirst again: but whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but it shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." In the new birth we are born of God and partake of His life which is everlasting life. Well, Jesus said this living water in Him would be the thing that sprung up into everlasting life. 1-11 the new birth, we are born of God and receive everlasting life. So, since this living water which Jesus gives brings about everlasting life, it is the water that brings about the new birth about which Jesus spoke in John 3:3-5.
The Blind Man Healed
Sometimes Campbellites bring up the case of the blind man whose eyes were opened by washing them to prove their point. They snatch at anything to bolster a faltering cause. But as usual they get caught. We find the case of this blind man in John 9:1-38. This man was born blind. "And as Jesus was passing by, He saw a man which was blind from his mother's womb," John 9:1. This man came into this world blind, so he is a picture of the sinner who is spiritually blind from his birth. That teaches too much for Campbellites. That is old fashioned Bible doctrine of natural depravity. Jesus anointed his eyes and sent him to the pool of Siloam to wash. The man was still unable to see when he went to the water to wash. Does this represent a candidate for baptism? Then the candidate for baptism is spiritually blind. Mr. Harper in trying to answer an article of mine, said in his book, concerning II Cor. 4:3, 4: "Notice it did not say that the gospel is hid to them that are lost. He said, 'If it be hid, it is hid to them that are lost'." So you see that Mr. Harper does not believe the lost man, the candidate he has for baptism, is spiritually blind. Well, this man who went to the pool of Siloam to wash was literally blind. If this represents the candidate for baptism the candidate goes to the water in a blinded state. Will Campbellites have it? No. Will they have it that men are born spiritually blind as this man was born naturally blind? No. Mr. Harper said (page 11), "They have become blinded. They were not born that way." Well, this blind man whose eyes Jesus opened was born blind. If he represents the sinner seeking salvation then his being born blind shows that the lost man is spiritually blind from birth. Their man represents too much for them.
We notice that the water was only applied to the eyes of this blind man and it removed his blindness. His eyes were opened and he could see. This then represents the opening of the lost man's understanding, by the Spirit of God. "But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is won their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty," II Cor. 3:1.4-17. This shows us that the Spirit of God removes the veil from over man's heart when his heart turns to the Lord. So instead of representing baptism this pictures the work of the Holy Spirit in removing the blindness from the understanding of the sinner, which blindness he has had from his birth.
The Washing of Water by the Word
"Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify it and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word."
We have seen that baptism does not put away the filth of the flesh. So this is not an outward washing, but an inward cleansing that the living water about which Jesus spake in John 4:10-14 brings. It is the washing of regeneration. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost," Titus 3:5. Regeneration is an inward work. Baptism is an outward work. Jesus said the water He gave should be "IN him a well of water springing up into everlasting life," John 4:14. It is the water IN the man, not the water on the outside that produces the everlasting life. The water of baptism is not the water that shall be IN the man. So it is not the water that brings everlasting life or salvation.
Campbellites are Blind Guides
In seeking to cleanse the inside or the heart of man with baptism, an outward work, the Campbellites stamp themselves as being blind guides and modern Pharisees. The Pharisees of Jesus' day sought to be saved by outward works. Jesus said unto them, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and the platter, that the outside may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but within are full of men's bones, and of all uncleanness," Matt. 23:23-27.
From the above we see that Jesus taught that all outward works are of no value until the heart is first made right. Jesus said, "First make clean the inside of the cup and platter." The outward righteousness of man is no good until the heart is first made pure. Campbellites depend on baptism, an outward act to purify the heart within. I quote from Mr. Harper's book, Truth Vindicated, Pages 41-42. Below is the quotation from the book of Mr. Harper.
"Our next witness is not a translator but a commentator. It is Adam Clark, one who was a great Methodist scholar. In his comment on Acts 2:38, he says, For the remission of sins—that is "IN reference to the remission or removal of sins. Receive the baptism in reference to the removal of sins and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, by whose agency alone the efficacy of the blood of the covenant is applied and by whose refining power the heart is purified. It was by being baptized in the name of Christ that men took upon themselves the profession of Christianity; and it was in consequence of this that the disciples of Christ were called Christians." End of quotation from Dr. Clark.
Mr. Harper comments on the above as follows: "Here we have one of, if not the greatest Commentator on earth saying that, First, you must receive baptism; 2, you receive the Holy Spirit; 3, The Spirit administers the blood of the covenant; 4, Then you are purified."
Get the order if you please. It is the Pharisees' order. Outward works first, and the purifying of the heart last. Jesus, the greatest of all teachers, said the one who made the outside clean first was a blind guide. He said, "First" make clean the inside." I prefer the order Jesus gave. So, in seeking to purify the heart through baptism, an outward work, the Campbellites reverse the order of our Lord and become, like the Pharisees blind guides. "If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Matt. 15:14. This is why I am so against this system. It is leading many poor souls down the wrong way. I feel sorry for the people the Campbellite preachers are misleading. Their false doctrines need to be exposed even as Christ and the apostles exposed false doctrines.
Campbellites Preach another Gospel
Campbellites do not preach the gospel of Christ, but another gospel. In Acts 20:24, Paul speaks about the ministry he had received of the Lord, "To testify the gospel of the grace of God." So, the gospel Paul preached was a gospel of grace. Do Campbellites preach a gospel of grace? We will let the Word of God tell us. It reads, "To him that worketh is the reward NOT RECKONED OF GRACE, but of debt," Rom. 4:4. They preach works as a condition of salvation. God's Word reads, "If by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then IT IS NO MORE GRACE," Rom. 11:6. When works are brought in as a condition of salvation then it is NO MORE GRACE. So they do not preach the gospel of the grace of God. They must preach another gospel. Paul said, "If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed," Gal. 1:9. What a fearful judgment awaits these false preachers! In the words of Paul I ask, "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Gal. 4:16.
Like the Pharisees, Campbellites Condemn Shouting
Anyone who knows about Campbellite preachers knows they condemn shouting. In debates I have had them to refer to shouting people as crazy, hysterical, and beside themselves. Their people are never known to shout. Wonder why?
So were the Pharisees against shouting. We read this prophecy in Zech. 9:9: "Rejoice greatly. O daughter of Zion; SHOUT, O daughter of Jerusalem: Behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
We find all this fulfilled when Jesus rode into Jerusalem upon the colt of an ass. "They cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as He went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when He was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest," Luke 19:35-38. Here we find the shouting about which the prophet Zechariah spoke. Now, let us notice what the Pharisees did: "And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said, unto Him, Master, rebuke Thy disciples," Luke 19:39. So the Campbellites are like the Pharisees in that they are opposed to shouting. This also applies to any of any other faith who would frown upon the Lord's people for shouting. Now, hear the answer of Jesus to the Pharisees. "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out," verse 40. So, the Campbellites are like the Pharisees and Ishmael the son of the bondwoman.
The Lord's people are commanded to rejoice in Him and shout His praises. "Let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy," Psalm 5:11.
In Bible times spiritual experiences caused God's people to rejoice greatly. Many times they shouted aloud His praises. "But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many SHOUTED aloud for joy: so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off," Ezra 3:12-13. No one ever heard a thing like that in a Campbellite meeting. Will the Campbellites please tell us why manifestations of the Lord's blessings on His people like we read above are never seen among the Campbellites? They claim they are the only people saved. According to them all others are lost. Isn't it strange that the followers of the Lord in the Old Testament and in the New Testament times rejoiced in the Lord to the extent that they wept and shouted for joy, while Campbellites never rejoice like that, but make light of such. It seems that Bible experiences should cause people to rejoice and shout and praise God today if they did in Bible days. If the Pharisees, who were enemies of the truth, were the ones who did not want any shouting in Bible times, then it would seem that the ones who would frown upon it today would also be enemies of the truth and not the only ones who are saved. If the Campbellites are the only ones saved, as they claim, then we are confronted with a strange thing. In Bible days the Lord's people shouted, while the enemies of the truth, the Pharisees denounced shouting. But today the Lord's people denounce shouting, while the lost people are the only ones who do the shouting. So, spiritual experiences have done an about face since Bible days. Ask your Campbellite preacher to explain why this is. The shouting which Zechariah had predicted was done in the presence of the Pharisees. They had read these Scriptures over and over and were too blind to see in this the fulfilment of this prophecy. Campbellites have read over and over where the Pharisees denounced this shouting on the part of the disciples of Jesus. Yet they are too blind to see that they are doing today like the Pharisees. Some will read these pages and will go right on keeping step with the Pharisees and boasting that they are the only ones saved.
Campbellites are also like the Pharisees in that they think they are the only ones righteous before God. They will not deny that they teach that no one outside of the church to which they belong is saved. It is strange that they have never read about themselves in these words of the Master: "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank Thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, but smote on his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather than the other." Luke tells us that Jesus "Spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others." See Luke 18:9-14. The Pharisees thought they only were righteous. So do the Campbellites think they are the only ones saved. If they will just take a good look at this parable they should be able to see their own picture, if they can see at all.
A Campbellite Defames the Character of Jesus Christ
The following quotation is from an article written by a Mr. Webb of Morrilton, Ark, and printed in the Morrilton Democrat, a local paper. Dated Nov. 22, 1945. Mr. Webb calls himself a member of the Church of Christ. He is the preacher of the local congregation of his faith. Read carefully this quotation.
"Jesus Christ, from the cross, prayed, "Father forgive them: for they know not what they do," Luke 23:34. BUT GOD DID NOT FORGIVE THEM. (My caps. G.E.J.) Why? Because He had previously established a law of restoration, and He COULD NOT (my capitals) and would not change it. By obedience to this law on the day of Pentecost, three thousand were forgiven; and many more during the ensuing days. (Acts 2:41). So if the prayer of our Blessed Master will not alter a law of God, how can man presume to do so with impunity?" End of quotation.
Here, Mr. Webb teaches that Jesus Christ prayed a prayer to the Father that was not heard. This is a flat denial of the words of Jesus Himself. At the grave of Lazarus He prayed, "Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me ALWAYS," John 11:41-42. Jesus said the Father heard Him always. Mr. Webb teaches that He did not. Reader, who do you think is right? Was Jesus right, when He said the Father heard Him ALWAYS, or was Mr. Webb, a Campbellite, right when he says God did not hear Him on one occasion?
Mr. Webb teaches that Jesus, in praying for God to forgive those who crucified Him, was praying for God to alter a law that COULD NOT be changed. IF God had established a law that COULD NOT be changed, as Mr. Webb said, then, was Jesus ignorant of the fact that it could not be changed? If so, then Mr. Webb makes Jesus to be ignorant of the Father's will. Mr. Webb positively said this law COULD NOT be changed by God Himself. If Mr. Webb knows this, and Jesus did not know it, then Mr. Webb is teaching that he knew more about it than Jesus did Himself. On the other hand if this law COULD NOT be changed by the Father, and Jesus knew that it could not be changed, then Jesus was praying a vain prayer, and one He knew was not according to the Father's will. Would not that be a sin to knowingly seek to go contrary to the will and plan of God? So Mr. Webb has made Jesus out to be a sinner or ignorant, and with less knowledge on this point than Mr. Webb himself. He has also made out the Lord's statement to be false where He said to the Father. "I knew that Thou hearest Me ALWAYS."
Mr. Webb also does away with the ONENESS of Christ and the Father. Could they be one if Jesus was wanting something done that was not according to the will of the Father? So, Mr. Webb, to establish his false doctrine, would do away with the Sonship of Jesus Christ. He would limit Him in His knowledge. He would make the word of Christ to be false where He said "I knew that Thou hearest Me ALWAYS," John 11:41-42. He would array Him against the will of the Father and have Him praying for something which was positively against the will of the Father. He makes Him a finite, erring being like unto us poor sinners. If I did not have a better Saviour than that I would as soon get a stick horse and try to ride to glory on it. The Saviour I worship is not a limited, erring creature, seeking to go contrary to the will of the Father. My Christ is the Christ of the Bible who said, "I do ALWAYS those things that please Him," John 8:29. He is the Christ whom the Father heard ALWAYS, John 11:41-42. He is the Christ who said, "I do NOTHING of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things," John 8:28. He is the Christ who said, "I and MY Father are ONE," John 10:30. He was not arrayed against the will of the Father, but He was in perfect harmony with Him in all things and did always the things that pleased God. He was submissive to the Father in ALL things and did and said ONLY those things given to Him of the Father. Mr. Webb's christ is not the Christ of the Bible. He is an ignorant limited christ, praying for things that God COULD NOT and would not change. His christ is one that is out of harmony with the Father. His is an erring christ. He is one that was ignorant, knowing less than Mr. Webb, for Mr. Webb knew that God's law could not be changed while his christ showed ignorance of this, for Mr. Webb tells us he was praying for something which God COULD NOT do.
The Bible does not say that this prayer of Jesus was not heard. That is simply the conclusion of Mr. Webb, which conclusion is contrary to the statement of Jesus Christ who said to the Father, "I knew that Thou hearest Me ALWAYS." On this occasion Jesus was praying for the Father to forgive those who crucified Him. It was part of the divine plan for Jesus to be crucified. It was also part of the divine plan for those who did this to be forgiven of this act. Since Jesus said, "As My Father hath taught me, I speak these things" (John 8:28), then the very words of this prayer He prayed on the cross were given to Him of the Father to pray. It secured for those people a stay of judgment and an opportunity to repent and be saved. Many of them later availed themselves of this opportunity. But for this prayer of Jesus, "Father forgive them," the hand of divine wrath would have fallen upon them immediately. So the prayer of Jesus was heard on this occasion, for God heard Him ALWAYS.
Now, reader, this is Campbellism. What do you think of a system, that, to show that God would not hear an unbaptized man pray, defames the person of Christ and makes Him ignorant, erring, and out of harmony with the Father? Does Mr. Webb believe in the Christ of the Bible? I say he does not. He believes in a christ of his own Campbellite fiction. I ask how far is this from an open denial of Jesus Christ? It is infidelity and modernism in disguise. I have known all along that the Campbellites, those who believe and hold to what they really teach, did not believe in the Christ of the Bible. They use the name of Jesus Christ as a catch phrase to deceive the people and catch the unsuspecting.
Not only does Mr. Webb array Christ against the Father, but He has Jesus Christ arrayed against Himself. In this same article he said, "This act (meaning baptism) puts us INTO (His capitals) Christ. It is the visible line between the Kingdom of the World and the Kingdom of Christ; an action ordained by the MASTER HIMSELF." (My capitals), end of quotation. So here is a law, which according to Mr. Webb, Christ Himself had ordained and established. It was a law so fixed that it COULD NOT be changed, Mr. Webb said. Then later Mr. Webb has Jesus praying for the Father to go contrary to the law which the Master, who is Jesus, had ordained Himself. Thus He has Jesus arrayed against Himself. Surely Campbellites do not know "What they say, nor whereof they affirm," I Tim. 1:7.
But here is something amusing. Campbellites teach that the church and the kingdom are the same thing. They also believe in a universal invisible church. So, they believe in an invisible kingdom. He makes baptism the VISIBLE line between the kingdom of the world, or of sin, and the kingdom of Christ. Thus he has a VISIBLE line between two INVISIBLE kingdoms. Can you beat Campbellites for absurdities? They bury a man to bring about his death to sin. They have a visible line between two invisible kingdoms.
Some questions for Mr. Webb to answer:
1—Was Jesus right when He said to the Father, "I knew that Thou hearest me ALWAYS?" John 11:41-42.
2—If so, were you right or wrong when you taught that God did not hear Him on one occasion?
3—Did you know the passage was in the Bible where Jesus said the Father heard Him ALWAYS?
4—If not, are you a capable instructor of people, or are you a blind leader of the blind?
5—If you knew it was there why did you deliberately seek to teach contrary to what Jesus plainly said?
6—If this law of restoration COULD NOT BE changed by the Father and He would not change it, did Jesus know when He prayed that it COULD NOT be changed?
7—If Jesus did not know that this law of restoration COULD NOT be changed was He not in ignorance about this matter?
8—If Jesus knew that it COULD NOT be changed, and He was praying for the Father to alter a law which He knew the Father COULD NOT change, was He not praying a vain prayer?
9—When you said the Father COULD NOT change the law, did you know it could not be changed, or were you just guessing?
10—If you knew it COULD NOT be changed, from what verse of Scripture did you get your information about the matter?
11—Do not your people claim to speak where the Bible speaks and to be silent where it is silent?
12—If you spoke where the Bible speaks on this occasion where is the verse that tells you that God did not hear Jesus pray on this occasion?
13—If you know it could not be changed and Jesus did not know it COULD NOT be changed, then do you not know more about this matter than Jesus knew when He prayed this prayer?
14—If you were just guessing about the matter, should people take your guesses about things?
15—Was Jesus right or wrong when He said the Father heard Him always?
16—If the Father did not hear Him on this occasion, did the Father always hear Jesus?
17—If Jesus was right when He said the Father heard Him always, then did not the Father hear Him on this occasion?
18—Then are you not wrong in teaching that the Father did not hear Him?
19—When a man teaches contrary to what Jesus taught, is he not a false teacher?
20—If Jesus was right in saying the Father heard Him always, were you not wrong in saying the Father did not do the thing Jesus asked Him to do on this occasion?
21—Does this not brand you a false teacher?
22—Do you not think you ought to get right before going any farther?
Now, a word with the reader: Who do you believe was right, Jesus, when He said to the Father, "I knew that thou hearest me ALWAYS," or Mr. Webb, who tells us that the Father did not forgive the people as Jesus asked Him to do? If this law could not be changed by the Father, as Mr. Webb tells us, and Jesus prayed for it to be altered, as Mr. Webb teaches, then does this not teach that Jesus was ignorant of the fact that it could not be changed, or that He was knowingly praying a prayer which COULD NOT BE changed ? Since Mr. Webb has so defamed the character of Jesus Christ as the Bible reveals Him, do you not think he should take back what he has said? Would you want to risk the salvation of your soul on the teachings of a man who so blunders with the Word of God?
Campbellites Array the Scriptures against Themselves
Campbellites array the Scriptures against themselves and make one verse contradict another. We read in Eph. 2:8, 9, "By grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast." Here is a plain statement in which we read that salvation is NOT OF WORKS. To take other passages and seek to teach that our salvation is by works, is to try to show that the verse which reads, "NOT OF WORKS," is not true. Such is arraying the scriptures against themselves. I ask, Does the Bible teach in one place that we are NOT saved by works, and then, in another place teach the opposite, that we are saved by works? If so, is the Bible not self-contradictory and unreliable?
I positively affirm that the Bible nowhere teaches that we are saved by works. Campbellites bring in the passage from James, where it reads that Abraham was "JUSTIFIED BY WORKS" to prove Eph. 2:9, which reads that we are NOT SAVED BY WORKS is wrong. James said, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" James 2:21. They assume that James had under consideration justification before God. So they assume a position which is contrary to the Word of God that teaches us that our salvation is NOT OF WORKS. The context in James shows us that James was talking about justification before men. He said, "Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works," James 2:18. James, the writer of the Book, was already a saved man. But he said he would show his faith by his works. Show who? another man, one who claimed to have faith without works.
What James is teaching is that if you really have faith that it will result in good works. By these good works we show that we really have faith and so justify ourselves in the eyes of one another, not in God's sight. To say that true faith, one that brings salvation, will result in good works is not teaching that we are saved by those good works. Now, let us go back to Eph. 2:8-10: "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." So we see that good works follow after salvation, and as the result of salvation. They also prove one has been saved.
Paul tells us in Rom. 4:9-11 that Abraham had the righteousness of faith before he was circumcised. "The righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised." If we can show that this was before he offered Isaac then we have shown that Abraham had the righteousness of faith and was saved before he was justified by his works in offering Isaac. We read in Gen. 17:24, "Abraham was ninety years old and nine when he was circumcised in the flesh." This was before Isaac was born. ".And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him," Gen. 21:5. So. Abraham was circumcised before Isaac was born. He had the righteousness of faith and was saved before he was circumcised. Therefore he was a saved man a loner time before he was justified before men by his works in offering Isaac. When faith and works come together the application always is to those who have previously been justified before God apart from works. We read in P.om. 4:6: "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness WITHOUT WORKS."
To prove their theory of salvation by works, Campbellites will refer to Heb. 11:30: "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days:" This is some more of their bungling of the Scriptures. These people had long since been delivered from Egyptian bondage. They were now taking possession of their inheritance. The application cannot therefore be made to an alien sinner seeking salvation, but to people who have already been saved.
Another favorite passage with them is Acts 10:35, "In every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, IS ACCEPTED with Him." IS ACCEPTED is not WILL BE ACCEPTED. The working of righteousness is the evidence of being already accepted. "In this the children of God are manifest (made known) and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother," I John 3:10. While we are NOT SAVED BY WORKS, yet salvation results in good works. If a person claims to be a child of God and brings forth good works that shows us that he is a child of God. If he claims to be a child of God and has no good works it shows his claim to be false. "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him," I John 2:4. If one is really a child of God as he claims to be then his salvation has been UNTO good works. He will then bring forth good works because he is saved. If one does not it is because he is not saved. These Scriptures do not contradict Eph. 2:9, which reads: "NOT OF WORKS." They are dealing with the evidences of salvation, not the cause. But Campbellites get everything backwards. They confuse the evidences with the cause. They bury to bring about death. They have visible lines between invisible kingdoms.
Another Scripture they sometimes quote is Acts 2:40, "Save yourselves from this untoward generation." Peter was not talking about men saving their souls, but saving themselves from the influence of the Pharisees and wicked rulers of that day. In other words, refuse to listen to them. That is a long way from teaching that the soul is saved by works. By such as this Campbellites seek to prove "NOT OF WORKS" is not true.
There is still another passage I shall consider: "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling," Phil. 2:12. But Campbellites never go on to get the next expression, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." This was written to people already saved. What God had worked in them they were to work out or bring out in their lives to the glory of God. Paul does not say, "Work FOR your salvation." He means work out or cultivate the salvation you already have, which God has worked in. This is just some more of the arraying of the Bible against itself and trying to prove that Eph. 2:8-9 is wrong where it tells us our salvation is "NOT OF WORKS." I ask is this the way to interpret the Word of God? Let me ask the question why Campbellites never go on to show the people that Abraham had the righteousness of faith before he offered Isaac. They quote part of what James said and misapply that. Then they are as silent as the tomb about what Paul tells us in Rom. 4:9-11, and what the Bible teaches as to the time Abraham was circumcised and Isaac was born. By withholding part of the truth they are able to misconstrue what they do bring in and keep the people in darkness? What do you think of such a system? Is it worthy of our confidence? Should it not be exposed? I know these things to be so. For several years the Campbellites have been running articles in the Morrilton Democrat. I am offering $50.00 for an article in that paper, prior to this date. Dec. 11th, 1945, where they have ever brought the Scriptures that show us that Abraham had the righteousness of faith before he was circumcised, and where he was circumcised before Isaac was even born. They have brought the passage about Abraham being justified by works several times. If they want to be fair with the people why do they not give them all the evidence in the matter? Half-truths are no truths at all. This is how they lie in wait to deceive. Let them go and dig up the evidence I call for if they can. The papers are on file at the printing office. I have no apology to make for exposing such a system of handling the truth. False teachings brought scathing denunciations from the apostles. They should be denounced today.
Campbellites Oppose One Another
Mr. Webb of Morrilton, and Mr. E. R. Harper of Little Rock, oppose each other on when the law of restoration was given. I give below the statement of each of them on this.
"God's law of restoration is positive, divine and unchangeable: just as much so as any of the laws governing the natural universe. Prayer will not alter a positive law. Jesus Christ, from the cross prayed. "Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do," Luke 23:34. But God did not forgive them. Why? Because He had PREVIOUSLY established a law of restoration, and He COULD NOT and would not change it. (My caps.) By obedience to this law on the day of Pentecost, three thousand were forgiven."
Here, Mr. Webb has this LAW of restoration established previous to the time Jesus prayed from the cross. "Father, forgive them." So, Mr. Webb has the LAW of restoration in which every Campbellite includes baptism in the name of the Lord established before the crucifixion of Christ. But, Mr. Harper does not have this LAW given until after Christ had ascended back to heaven.
"Now under this new LAW (My caps), under this new priesthood, under this new testament that we are under baptism in the name of the Lord is given. It was NEVER GIVEN nor practiced in his name before his resurrection and ASCENSION." (My caps.) Truth Vindicated, Pages 25-26. Here Mr. Harper says this new LAW was NEVER GIVEN before the ASCENSION of Christ. Mr. Webb has it established before the crucifixion of Christ. So these two Campbellites oppose each other as to when their plan of salvation was given. In the Morrilton Democrat (Jan. 3, 1946) Mr. Webb sets forth their doctrines as a basis of unity for all Christian people. In it he quotes a song that has these words: "We are not divided, all one body we." Yet he and his own Brother Harper are divided as to when the law of pardon was given. We would naturally like to hear these two Campbellites debate the question as to when their plan of salvation was given. They could close the debate with an invitation to others to join them in their unity singing "We are not divided, all one body we." Then, Mr. Harper could try to find the Scripture that tells us that Jesus gave a commission after He went back to heaven, in which commission He commanded baptism. Over and over I asked him for it in our debates. He was as silent as the tomb. That cuts him off from Mark 16:16 and Matt. 28:18-20. That commission was given before our Lord went back to heaven. So, Mr. Harper is under a bogus commission and guilty of practicing a fraud and convicted upon his own testimony, if he cannot find where Christ gave such a commission after going back to heaven. He sure cannot find it. Surely Campbellites do not understand what they say, nor whereof they affirm, I Tim. 1:7.
Reader, such is Campbellism. Can such a system be found with more absurdities? They bury a man to bring about his death to sin. They work on the outside to make the inside clean. One has Jesus giving His law after His ascension. Another has their LAW of restoration given before the crucifixion. They exalt their wisdom above that of Jesus. They accuse Jesus of praying a vain prayer and being ignorant of the Father's will. They deny the plain statement of Jesus where He said to the Father, "I knew that Thou hearest me ALWAYS," John 11:41-42. This system discredits His Word, His wisdom, His righteousness and sets the Son at variance with the Father. Why not think seriously? Why not use your own mind a little and not sit like a little bird in the nest and swallow everything these preachers want to drop in your mouth. A system that so dishonors Christ and His Word and person cannot be of God. God did not plant a system that dishonors His Son and makes His Word a bundle of contradictions. This system shall be rooted up. Jesus said, "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up," Matt. 15:13.
We notice that Mr. Harper said that baptism in the name of the Lord was not given nor practiced until after His resurrection and ascension. In my written debate with Mr. Wilhite I asked this question: "In the days of John and Jesus did people receive remission of sins through believing in His name or through that and being baptized in His name?" Page 48. Mr. Wilhite answered, "NEITHER. (His capitals). A testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth," Heb. 9:17, Page 54. Mr. Harper says baptism in the name of Jesus was not given until after His resurrection and ASCENSION. Mr. Wilhite says they did not get remission of sins through either believing in the Lord's name or being baptized in His name. So here we have the testimony of two Campbellites that people in the days of John and Jesus did not receive remission of sins through being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. If I can prove that they did receive remission of sins in the name of Jesus and that they believed in His name then I have proven that remission of sins was received by believing in the name of Jesus, and not through being baptized in His name. Watch the proof.
1—Campbellites are witnesses against themselves that in the days of John and Jesus people did not receive remission of sins by being baptized in His name. Mr. Wilhite said they did not. Mr. Harper did not have baptism in the name of the Lord GIVEN until after Jesus ascended.
2—John the Baptist was a prophet. His father said of him, "And thou, child, shall be called the PROPHET of the HIGHEST," Luke 1:76.
3—His father, Zacharias, said of him, "Thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the REMISSION OF THEIR SINS," Luke 1:76-77. So people received REMISSION OF SINS in the days of John.
4—Remission of sins is in the name of Jesus and all the prophets give witness to this truth. Since John was a prophet this includes him. "To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him SHALL RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS," Acts 10:43.
5—They did believe in the name of Jesus in that time. "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, BECAUSE he hath not believed IN THE NAME of the only begotten Son of God," John 3:18. These are words that Jesus said to Nicodemus.
Now, let us sum up these things. We have found that all the prophets give witness that through the name of Jesus whosoever believeth in Him shall receive the remission of sins. We have found that John was one of the prophets, and that he was to give the people of Israel knowledge of salvation through the remission of their sins. We have found that they did believe in the name of the Son of God in that time. According to Mr. Harper and Mr. Wilhite they did not receive remission of sins by being baptized in His name in that time. Therefore since remission of sins is in the name of Jesus; and since they believed in His name in that day; and since they received remission of sins in that day; they received it through believing in the name of Jesus, not through being baptized in His name. We read where "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins," Mark 1:4. Since they received remission of sins in the name of Jesus through believing in His name, then, they were not baptized to receive the remission of sins. (Campbellites say John did not baptize in the name of Jesus.) So they received remission of sins through believing in the name of Jesus and afterwards they were baptized "For the remission of sins," to declare the remission of sins. If "for the remission of sins" in Mark 1:4 does not mean in order to receive remission of sins, neither does the same expression in Acts 2:38 mean in order to receive remission. Since remission of sins is in the name of Jesus and all the prophets which includes John witness that it is, then John would have had to baptize in the name of Jesus, or remission of sins could not have been received through baptism in John's day. So they could only have received remission of sins through believing in His name in John's day. So, remission of sins comes through believing in the name of Jesus just as John and all the other prophets witnessed, and as Peter preached in Acts 10:43. Then John could only have baptized "For the remission of sins" to declare remission of sins. If they were baptized in Mark 1:4 "for the remission of sins" to declare the remission of sins, then they were commanded in Acts 2:38 to be baptized "For the remission of sins," to declare remission of sins. So Campbellism has been weighed in the balances and found wanting. They are proven wrong on their own statement.
Campbellites Baptize Those Ignorant of the Gospel of Christ
According to their own claim, Campbellites baptize the alien sinner. As many times as they have debated Baptists and affirmed that baptism to the alien sinner was a condition of pardon they cannot deny this. The Bible plainly teaches that the one who is an alien from God is in ignorance. In speaking of the Gentiles Paul said of them that they had their understanding darkened. "Being ALIENATED from the life of God through the IGNORANCE that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart," Eph. 4:17-18. Here we see that the alien sinner has his heart darkened. His ignorance alienates him from the LIFE OF GOD. So, when the Campbellites baptize an alien sinner they baptize one who is spiritually ignorant. He is ignorant of the gospel of Christ. He is ignorant of all spiritual things. Recently in a local paper a Campbellite accused others of being ignorant of why they were being baptized. This verse shows us who is in ignorance. It is the one who is ALIENATED from the life of God. This is exactly the one the Campbellites claim to baptize. So, according to their own claims, they baptize the one whom the Bible tells us is in ignorance.
The Word of God also tells us that those who are alienated from the life of God are blinded in their hearts. That is the one the Campbellites baptize. The Word of God teaches us that the gospel is hidden to the lost man. "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that ARE LOST: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them," IT Cor. 4:3-4. This is in keeping with what we learned above. So the gospel is hidden to the lost man. His heart is blinded. He is alienated from the life of God through the IGNORANCE that is in him. This is the one the Campbellites baptize. He is one who is in spiritual ignorance. He is one whose heart is blinded. He is one to whom the gospel of Christ is hidden. So they take a blinded, ignorant sinner, to whom the gospel is hidden and baptize him and claim that he has obeyed the gospel.
Now, let us see how and when this blindness is removed from the heart of the sinner. The Revised Version reads: "If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish." II Cor. 4:3. This is the verb form of the word that is translated "veil" in the chanter above where it is said. "Even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is on their heart. Nevertheless, when it (the heart, just mentioned) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty," II Cor. 3:15-17. Here we see that this veil which is over the heart of the lost man and hides from him the gospel of Christ must be removed by the Spirit of God before the light of the gospel of Christ can shine in the man's heart. When the man is ready to accept the divine pronouncement as to his blinded and helpless condition and turn to the Lord in his helplessness the Spirit removes the veil from his heart. That very instant he sees the truth and embraces it and is saved. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing the sinner to faith. It is His work with him. When the man has believed the Spirit enters his heart and takes up his abode in the man as evidence of his salvation, and to help him in his life as a child of God. Campbellites confuse the work of the Spirit with the sinner bringing him to faith in Christ and His indwelling presence in the man after being saved. In fact they stay off of these doctrines unless they are pushed into consideration of them.
Campbellism and the Doctrine of the Indwelling Spirit
Campbellites never preach or write on the doctrine of the indwelling presence of Christ in the believer through the Spirit. Yet this is made the basis of the believer's hope. Paul speaks about the "Mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory," Col. 1:27. Campbellites' hope is in that they have been baptized. But the believer's hope of glory is "Christ IN him." Paul wrote to the Corinthians and said, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is IN you, except ye be reprobates?" II Cor. 13:5. How were they to know they were in the faith and not reprobates? By the indwelling presence of Christ in them. Do Campbellites make this the test? No. They never preach to their people like this. They never write like this. But the Bible makes the indwelling presence of Christ through the Spirit the test and the evidence of being in the faith. Campbellites make baptism to be the test. What does the Spirit of God produce in the heart of the Child of God? "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance," Gal. 5:22-23. Through the joy, peace and love that a child of God has in his heart he knows that he has the Spirit of God. By these things he proves whether or not he has the Spirit within. It is by having the Spirit that he knows that he is in Christ and Christ is in him. "Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, BECAUSE HE HATH GIVEN US OF HIS SPIRIT," I John 4:13. Why do not Campbellites preach and teach the Bible truths about the indwelling Spirit and the assurance His presence gives to the believer? The Scriptures can be multiplied over and over that teach that the indwelling Spirit of Christ or God is the believer's evidence within himself that he is saved. "Who hath also sealed us, and given the EARNEST of the SPIRIT in our hearts," II Cor. 1:22. "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is LIFE because of RIGHTEOUSNESS," Rom. 8:10. Why cannot Campbellites see all this? Why do they not preach on this very important doctrine? There can be but one reason. Their preachers are ignorant of the things of the Spirit. This is distinctively a mark of a lost man. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, BECAUSE THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED," I Cor. 2:14. Here we see that the natural man, or the unsaved man cannot know the things of the Spirit of God. Why? Because those things are spiritually discerned or understood. Is not this the reason the Campbellites never preach and teach the people about the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God and the evidence this presence brings to the saved? The very fact that they leave this alone is evidence that they are without spiritual discernment, and know nothing about the inward joy of the presence of God. It is no wonder that they make light of the element of feeling in the experiences of the children of God.
Does the Bible teach anything about feeling? It certainly does. Jesus said to the multitudes. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," Matt. 11:28. Does a man know when he is tired? Does one ever feel physically tired? Is that a feeling? Then there must be a weariness of soul. That then would be a spiritual feeling. Did you ever rest after being tired until your feeling changed? So there is a rest for the soul, and that is a spiritual feeling. Joy is a feeling. Love is a feeling. Spiritual love is a feeling the soul has toward Christ and the children of God. Why then do Campbellites make light of the element of feeling in the experience of God's people? There must be but one answer. Having never experienced this spiritual rest they speak evil of those things they understand not. Peter tells us about false teachers who would come and "Speak evil of those things that they understand not," II Peter 1:12. And Paul tells about the coming of those who would be "Holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof," II Tim. 3:5, (R. V.). Reader, do you know anything about the indwelling Spirit of God and the joy and peace He gives? Paul said the peace of God "Passeth all understanding," Phil. 4:7. Have you experienced this peace that passeth all understanding? If not, your profession is an empty form. Unless you have Christ in you, you are a reprobate concerning the faith. Why be content with a mere outward empty form that leaves you wondering; that leaves you joyless; that leaves you with the peace that passeth all understanding? Why go groping along through life not knowing the deep inward peace of soul and life that the Spirit of God brings and lifts you out of the quagmire of uncertainty and gives you a settled peace? Do not let yourself be deceived by blind leaders of the blind who know nothing and teach nothing about the indwelling Spirit and the evidences He brings. "It is the Spirit that beareth witness," I John 5:6. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself," I John 5:10. Mr. Borden, a Campbellite, said in his debate with Eld. Ballard. "The Spirit in actual person, does not dwell in any one," Page 60. He also said, "Jesus promised the Comforter to the apostles and to none else," Page 47. Now, watch me show him to be wrong. "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in THE COMFORT OF THE HOLY GHOST," Acts 9:31. So all the churches had the COM-FORTER and walked in His COMFORT. Campbellism denies the indwelling of the Spirit and is a false system. How easy to prove them wrong!
Campbellites Have the Wrong Motive in Baptism
Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments," John 14:16. Who did Jesus tell to keep His commandments? Those who loved Him. Such are already children of God. "Everyone that loveth is born of God, and know-eth God," I John 4:7. Campbellites teach the lost man, one who does not love Christ, to try to obey the command to be baptized. They take the things that are for the children of God and give them to dogs. (Unsaved Gentiles are classed as dogs, Matt. 15:26), "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers," Phil. 3:2. In commanding the lost to be baptized, a command Jesus gave to His people to obey, Campbellites are giving the children's bread to the dogs. They are asking an unholy man to enter into the holy act of baptism. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances set apart to symbolize our Lord's death, burial, and resurrection. They are equally holy ordinances. So a lost man, who is unholy, can no more enter into the holy ordinance of baptism, than he can enter into that of the Lord's Supper. In the Old Testament none but those sanctified, or set apart for the service, could offer sacrifices or handle the holy vessels of the temple. When Uzzah touched the ark of God he was struck dead, II Sam. 6:6-7. The Campbellites would persuade an unsaved, or unholy man, to walk on holy ground and profane the ordinance of baptism.
Since the one who loves God is born of God, then, to baptize an unsaved man is to baptize one who does not love Christ. His act cannot therefore be prompted by love. If he is lost he is in a state of enmity against God. "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be," Rom. 8:7. So they take this holy ordinance of baptism out of the realm of love and give it to the one, who in his heart, is at enmity with God. The old man must first go the way of crucifixion and become dead to the old mind and the way of the flesh before one is ready to be buried in baptism.
It is no wonder that the Campbellite does not understand the child of God who goes into the act of baptism freely, lovingly, gladly, under the impulse of love, not as a slave being driven to an unpleasant task he fain would shun if he dared, but as one who has been made free by the grace of God and delights to do His will. The child of God goes into this act because of His love for the Saviour and his desire to please Him in all things, not through the slavish motive of fear. This lifts this beautiful ordinance out of the realm of serfdom and bondage and places it in the high and holy realm of love and joyful obedience. It is no wonder that Baptists often come out of the water shouting the praises of God, a thing never seen or heard in a Campbellite baptismal service.
When Campbellites call for a candidate for baptism they ask for those to come forward who want to obey the gospel. When one has been baptized they speak of him as having obeyed the gospel. Being baptized is no part of obeying the gospel. Rom. 10:16 plainly shows us what obeying the gospel is, "But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?" Now, let us go back and read what Isaiah said: "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" Isa. 53:1. Thus we see that obeying the gospel is believing on the Lord through the enabling arm of the Lord. It is a divine revelation in the heart of man that Jesus is the Christ. When Peter had confessed Jesus to be the Christ, Jesus said to him, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven," Matt. 16:17. The child of God can rejoice in that his faith is not the result of his own actions, but it is the result of the working of the power of God in his heart producing faith in Jesus Christ. Like the birth of Isaac, the child of promise, it is the result of the working of a higher power. In Acts 18:27 we read about those "Which had believed through grace." In Heb. 13:21 we read about God "Working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight." Then we read, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him," Heb. 11:6. So, God must work in us the faith which is well pleasing in His sight. Through this faith God works in those who submit to Him, and they are enabled to believe in Christ as Saviour. This is the obeying of the gospel. There is no Scripture that even hints at being baptized as obeying the gospel. That is pure Campbellite fiction.
Campbellites and Their Name
When Campbellites are cornered on everything else they try to, take refuge under a name or title which they think is Scriptural. They speak of themselves as being "The Church of Christ." But it has not been a hundred years since they spoke of themselves as "The Christian Church." One of their debaters, Eld. Lucas, held a debate with Eld. D. B. Ray, a Baptist, about seventy years ago. In that debate, Eld. Lucas, claimed to belong to the Christian church. Mr. Borden, in his debate with Eld. Ballard called Eld. Lucas, Brother Lucas, page 106. So, Eld. Lucas was of the same faith as those who now call themselves, "The Church of Christ." If people have to call themselves by the title, "The Church of Christ," then we wonder about their people before they began to use this term.
The expression, "The Church of Christ," is not to be found in the Bible. We find the expression, "The churches of Christ salute you," Rom. 16:16. But the word is used in the plural form here, designating local bodies here and there which were churches of Christ. They use the term, "The Church of Christ," to include all people of their faith wherever found. The Bible does not teach two kinds of churches, one a local body, located at Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, or some other place, and another kind of church, a big universal church, located nowhere including all the local churches. The singular of "churches of Christ," (plural) would be "A church of Christ," not "The Church of Christ," as Campbellites put it. The term "The Church of Christ" cannot be found in the Bible. Neither can the word church be found used in the sense of including all the saved. The word church is translated from the Greek word "ecclesia" which means an assembly.
The expression, "The churches of Christ" is not a name as they think. It is simply an expression denoting ownership like the expression, "The horses of Mr. Smith." The expression, "The horses of Mr. Smith," only shows who owns the horses, but it tells nothing as to their names. So, the expression, "The churches of Christ" only denote ownership. It teaches us nothing as to a name. Baptists have always used the expression, "The churches of Christ" in referring to bodies of our faith, not in the sense of a name, but as denoting ownership. So we, not Campbellites, use this expression, "The churches of Christ" in a Scriptural sense. Neither do we use the term Baptist in the sense of a name. John, the first one sent of the Lord to baptize, was called "The Baptist," which means the baptizer. We speak of Mr. Brown, the doctor. The word doctor is not the man's name. It simply tells us that he doctors people. The word Baptist is used in the same sense. When we use the word doctors, we are talking about men who doctor people. When we refer to Baptist churches we mean churches that Scripturally baptize people. Churches that Scripturally baptize are the churches of Christ. They belong to Him.
In I Cor. 1:2, we read the expression: "The church of God which is at Corinth." Some take this to be the name by which the universal church is to be called. It would be fully as Scriptural to use the expression, "The church of God," as a name as to use the expression, "The Church of Christ." The expression, "The church of God," is found in the Bible while the expression, "The church of Christ," (singular) is not found in the Bible. But the expression, "Which is at Corinth" follows the expression, "The church of God" and shows us that a local congregation of people, nothing more, is under consideration. The expression, "The church of God," like the expression, "The churches of Christ," only shows ownership. They teach nothing as to a name. Two or three different kinds of religious bodies call themselves, "The Church of God." Since they differ in doctrine they cannot all be right. The Bible never meant these expressions as names. They simply denote ownership. True churches of Christ must be identified by the doctrines they teach and what they practice, not by a name that any heresy can assume.
Mr. Webb Blunders Again
In a recent article which Mr. Webb had printed in the Morrilton Headlight, Dec. 21st, 1945, he made a lot of other blunders. I quote from this article.
2. The New Testament Church Honors Its Founder By Wearing His Name.
"It is the Scriptural name, Matt. 16:18, and the name that will unite all Christians. It is dishonoring our Saviour, Jesus Christ, to take any other name. Before a lady is married to her betrothed, it is wrong in the sight of the law for her to wear his name, but after the marriage it is very wrong for her to refuse to wear his name. The church is the Bride of Christ, John 3:29. Before a person comes into Christ or His church it is wrong to wear Christ's name, but after he accepts Christ and becomes a member of His Church, it is very wrong in the sight of God not to wear His name." End of quotation.
Human Traditions for Doctrines
The first blunder that I shall point out is that Mr. Webb is basing his doctrine on a human tradition and custom which has no Scriptural foundation at all. He tells us that it is wrong for a lady to wear the name of the betrothed before the marriage, but that it is VERY WRONG not to wear his name after the marriage. From this he reasons that it is very wrong in the sight of God not to wear the name of Christ after coming into His church. He reasons that the church is already married to Christ, therefore it is very wrong not to wear the name. I challenge Mr. Webb to find one place in the Bible where a wife ever called herself by her husband's name. We read of Abraham and Sarah, but we never find Sarah called Mrs. Abraham. We find Isaac and Rebekah, but we never find Rebekah called Mrs. Isaac. We read of Elimelech and Naomi, but Naomi was never called Mrs. Elemilech. We read of Zacharias and Elizabeth, but we never read of Mrs. Zacharias. Neither can one verse of Scripture be found that tells us that a woman should be called by her husband's name. The calling of the wife by her husband's name is a custom that originated with western civilization. It has no Scriptural foundation whatsoever. This writer has no objection to this social custom, but it cannot be made the basis of our doctrinal beliefs and practices. So Mr. Webb's doctrine is founded on human tradition. This is not the first time I have exposed this Campbellite bubble. Reader, this is Campbellism for you. They build their doctrine on a human custom which has no Bible foundation at all. Yet they claim to speak where the Bible speaks and to be silent where it is silent. Rather, they speak where the Bible does not speak, and they are usually silent where the Bible does speak. Now, what did Jesus say about those who teach for doctrines the commandments of men? "In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men," Matt. 15:9. He also said to the Pharisees, "Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition," Matt. 15:6. Campbellites are like the Pharisees in that they teach for doctrine a commandment of men, one that has no Scriptural foundation. So they worship the Lord in vain.
Campbellism makes me think of a story I heard about some college students trying to fool their science teacher. The teacher was an expert on insects. The students took the legs of one bug, the head of another, the wings of another, and the body of another. They glued all these parts together and brought their bug to the professor and asked him what kind of bug it was. He looked at it for a moment and said, "It is a humbug." Reader, this is what Campbellism is. They take a few grains of truth, a lot of natural reasoning and patch it on here. Then they take a human custom or tradition, like the one Mr. Webb has brought, and stick it on in another place and then seek to parade the monstrosity before the world as a genuine article. It is a religious HUMBUG of the first order.
Mr. Webb's Other Mistakes
Campbellites teach that the church was not established until the first Pentecost after our Lord's resurrection. But Mr. Webb goes back to John 3:29 to find the church. Here John the Baptist said, "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom." So, Mr. Webb goes three years behind the time they say the church was established to find it married to Christ. If that teaches that the church is already married to Christ it teaches it was married to Him when John spoke these words. So, Mr. Webb either has the church in existence three years before they claim it came into existence, or he has it married three years before it was born. We have heard of a lot of young marriages, but this is the climax. He has the church married three years before he has it born. This writer has met this Campbellite blunder before. We wonder which horn of the dilemma Mr. Webb will take. Is he going to have the church in existence in the days of John the Baptist, three years before Campbellites say it was established, or is he going to have it married three years before its birth? Surely Campbellites do not understand what they say, nor whereof they affirm, I Tim. 1:7.
If the verse Mr. Webb gave to teach that the church is already married to Christ then it teaches that it was married to Him when John spoke those words. A bride is often one who is just espoused and expecting to be married. See dictionary. If John 3:29 does not teach that the church was already married to Christ when John spoke these words it only shows that the church, was espoused to Christ and expecting to be married to him. It tells us nothing as to the time when the expected wedding was to take place. We will have to find that elsewhere if we find the time of the wedding. If Mr. Webb wants to say it teaches that the church was already married to Christ, then he has it married three years before he and his people say it was born. But if the word bride is used by John in the sense of an espoused one it teaches that the church was in existence then. But it tells nothing as to when the wedding should take place.
Now, let us see when the wedding of Christ and His bride is to take place. First, I want to say Paul spoke of the church as one espoused, not as already married. He wrote to the church at Corinth. "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ," II Cor. 11:2. An espoused virgin is not a married woman. If we will turn to the Book of Revelation, Rev. 19:7, we will read about the marriage of Christ: "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready." Now, if we can prove that this is future then we have shown that the marriage of Christ and His bride is future. Jesus divides the Book of Revelation into three divisions. He said to John, "Write: (1) the things which thou hast seen; (2) the things which are; (3) the things which shall be HEREAFTER," Rev. 1:19. So, the last division of the book is concerning things that were to be hereafter. Churches had been in existence a long time when John wrote the book. In fact, it was addressed to the seven churches which were in Asia, Rev. 1:4. So the last division of the book, "Things which shall be HEREAFTER," was certainly future when John wrote the book. If we will turn to Rev. 4:1, we will find that the THINGS WHICH SHALL BE HEREAFTER start with that verse. "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said. Come up hither, and I will shew thee THINGS WHICH MUST BE HEREAFTER." So, from Rev. 4:1 to the end of the book John is prophesying of THINGS WHICH MUST BE HEREAFTER. The passage we have found about the marriage of Christ belongs then to the things which must or shall be HEREAFTER.
Now, let us go back to the parable of the ten virgins as found in Matt. 2.5:1-13. In the 13th verse, Jesus applies the parable to His second coming. "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." In the tenth verse of this parable we find that when the five foolish virgins had gone to buy oil that the bridegroom came: and they that were ready went in with Him to the MARRIAGE: and the door was shut. The bridegroom in the parable represents Christ. The coming of the bridegroom represents Christ at His return. The marriage takes place at that time. So, the Campbellites are wrong in teaching that the wedding has already taken place.
One time this writer had a Campbellite to try to turn the above argument by referring to an oriental custom. He said the custom was for the parents to marry the children when they were just small children. Then he said the children lived apart until they were grown. When they were grown the bridegroom returned for his wife whom he had married as a child. Then they began to live together as husband and wife. He said the passage in Matt. 25:1-13 and Rev. 19:7 only represents the bridegroom coming for His wife He had married as a child. I said, "Hold on, you have the church represented as a child bride living apart from her husband, and bearing children to Him all the time." I put this in in case some Campbellite preacher tries to come back with the argument of an oriental wedding.
Mr. Webb said that it is wrong for a lady to wear the name of the espoused until the wedding takes place. Out of his own mouth we will condemn him and show him to be wrong in wearing the name, "The Church of Christ." The Bible plainly shows that the marriage of Christ has not yet taken place. So, according to Mr. Webb's own word, they are wrong in calling themselves by this name. Reader, what would you think of a young woman who would go around everywhere telling that she was married to a certain man and calling herself by his name when they were not yet married? Wouldn't you call her a humbug? That is exactly the position that Campbellites are in. They claim that the church to which they belong is married to Christ, whereas the Bible teaches that the marriage of Christ is yet in the future. Wouldn't you say that the young woman slandered the man? So, do not Campbellites slander Christ when they claim their church is married to Him already, while the Bible teaches that Christ will not marry until His second coming? Would an upright man want to be engaged to a woman that would so slander him? Then do you think that Christ is espoused to this Campbellite church that makes this false pretense? Was there ever a bigger bunch of humbuggery palmed off on the people than Campbellism?
The word Christian, while being in the New Testament three times, is not of divine origin, but was a nickname placed on the disciples by the outsiders. "The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Acts 11:26. This was eight or ten years after our Lord's resurrection. If it had come through inspiration it would have started at Jerusalem. Doctrinal matters came through the church and apostles there. The question as to whether the Gentiles were to be circumcised was taken to Jerusalem to be settled. Acts 15:1-24. "As they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem," Acts 16:4. So, if this name had come by divine inspiration it would have come through the apostles at Jerusalem. But it started in a Gentile city, at Antioch. King Agrippa, an unsaved man, used the word in Acts 26:28. Peter used it the other time. He said, "If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed," I Peter 4:16. This indicates that their enemies tried to reproach them or ridicule them by calling them Christians. Neither Luke, Paul, Peter, James, Jude nor John ever addressed the disciples as Christians.
Campbellites Wrong on Repentance
The Campbellites talk some about repentance, but they come far short of Bible repentance as do many others in this modern day. Churches are full of unsaved, blind, worldly people, who have never traveled the solemn road of repentance. They are lost and without spiritual vision and the evidences of salvation. Over and over the Word of God has warned against having a mere outward form, without the inward experience. "Many will say to me in that day. Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity," Matt. 7:21-22. This is enough to make those who believe in salvation by works to shudder. What they think to be good works will be found to be evil works when they stand before the Lord. This is enough to make nominal church members wake up and examine themselves.
Campbellites agree that repentance is a condition of salvation. Since this is so, they should make sure that their repentance is true Bible repentance before they go into the act of baptism. They will have to concede that if their repentance is not genuine they their baptism is worth nothing.
Let us take a Bible example of repentance and see if the Campbellite measures up to it. Jesus said the Ninevites repented at the preaching of Jonas. "The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here," Matt. 12:41. Now, let us see what the Ninevites did. "For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes, and he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way," Jonah 3:6-8. Here we see that the preaching of Jonah brought the king and the people down in humility. They put away their pride, and they mourned, fasted and prayed. How much mourning and praying is found in Campbellite repentance? How much of this is found in a lot of other modern day repentance? Here, more than anywhere else, is where modern day evangelism misses the mark. Dry eyed sinners are called upon to coolly walk the aisle and give the preacher their hand and make a lip profession. It is no wonder that so many professing Christians never show any evidence of knowing the Lord. Others beside the Campbellites are missing it here. Many Baptists, so-called, are going astray here and filling their churches with members who know nothing about salvation. What is needed more than anything else today is to have churches evangelized and church members saved.
By discarding the old time Bible repentance that includes deep mourning and praying unto God for mercy Campbellites and others have missed the path of repentance and so their baptism is no good. They are without the evidence of salvation. They are without the deep settled peace that salvation brings. In discarding the mourner's bench they have discarded the mourning and the praying. Over and over the sinner is told to mourn. "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up," Jas. 4:8-10. We see no weeping and mourning in Campbellite meetings and very little in a lot of other meetings. If preachers will get back to Scriptural repentance they will have different results in their churches.
When Jesus told us about the Pharisee and the publican going up to the temple to pray, He said, "The publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted," Luke 18:13-14. Here we see a poor sinner humbling himself, mourning and praying to God for mercy. Jesus said he went down to his house justified. If he found justification in the sight of God he must have repented. Well, what did he do? He mourned and prayed to God for mercy. Let us try it the Bible way for a while and see the results. Campbellites denounce all this. They teach that it will do the lost man no good to pray. I would just like to tell them that on the day of Pentecost Peter said to the people, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved," Acts 2:21. Do Campbellites ever tell the people to call upon the name of the Lord? No. To call upon the name of the Lord means to invoke His name in prayer. No sinner calls upon the name of the Lord in a Campbellite meeting. So, they miss repentance and salvation. (Some few of their members have doubtless been saved in other meetings or at home calling upon the name of the Lord.) Missing the mark here they are wrong all along the line.
The Word of God speaks about repentance from dead works: "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS, and of faith toward God," Heb. 6:1. All the works that a sinner does are dead works. He has no life. He is dead in sins. Thus all his works done while in his unsaved state are dead works. All the working he does to bring salvation to himself are dead works. That is where the Jews missed it. "They BEING IGNORANT of God's righteous-ness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God," Rom. 10:3. In repentance the sinner turns away from all his works as being worthless. He must turn to something. He turns to the Lord, and His work for and in his behalf as his only hope. Real Campbellites have never done this. They have been looking to what they do to bring salvation. They cannot turn to the Lord until they have ceased trying to establish their own righteousness. In turning to the Lord, the sinner SUBMITS himself to the Lord to be saved. The sinner's part is not to help the Lord save, but to submit to Him and let Him save.
One time in a debate on the purpose of baptism my opponent said, "The Bible says if I believe, repent, confess and am baptized I will be saved. I know I have believed. I know I have repented. I know I have confessed and been baptized. But I do not know anything about this inward feeling that Eld. Jones and his people claim to have." I replied by asking him, How did he know that he had repented with full purpose of mind and heart? The Word of God reads, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jer. 17:9. Since the heart is deceitful I asked him how did he know but that his heart deceived him and he did not really repent. I said that God is the only one who knows when man has fully complied with the terms of repentance and faith. Unless God witnesses to man to this effect then man cannot know that he is going to baptism having met the other conditions. That makes the witness of the Holy Spirit necessary or the deceitful heart of men will lead them to baptism and other religious actions without having really repented. Now, the question: Does God witness to us that our hearts are right, and how does He so witness? Here is the answer. In speaking of the conversion of the Gentiles, Peter said, "And God, WHICH KNOWETH THE HEARTS, bare them witness, giving unto them the Holy Ghost," Acts 15:8. In no other way can we know that we have really repented. Campbellism leaves men in doubt about all this. Ask them if they know that they are saved and here is their answer. They expect to be saved in the end, if they keep on keeping on. It is an uncertain matter with them. They are not positive of their salvation. Is this according to the Bible? NO. The Bible reads, "Hereby KNOW we that we dwell in him, and He in us, BECAUSE He hath given us of His Spirit," I John 4:13. Here is positive knowledge, not a mere guess so. Here is solid ground, not vague uncertainty: Surely Campbellism is an empty shell. Why not turn away from it and seek the Lord with mourning and prayer until you have the witness of the Spirit that your heart is right with God? Do not let Campbellite preachers fool you. The Spirit witnesses in the heart of the believer. "It is the Spirit that beareth witness," I John 5:6. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness IN himself," I John 5:10. "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father," Gal. 4:6.
The Plan of Salvation Has Been the Same in All Ages
In order to have place for their doctrine of baptism for salvation the Campbellites have hatched up the idea that the plan of salvation was changed in New Testament days. As proof of this I quote from Mr. Harper's book, "Truth Vindicated," pages 25-26. "Now under this new law, under this new priesthood, under this New Testament that we are under, baptism in the name of the Lord was given. It was never given nor practiced in His name before His resurrection and ascension. This accounts for why those back before John did not have to submit to the command of Baptism in the name of our Lord." End of quotation.
If the reader will read pages 23-27 of Mr. Harper's book he will see that this statement was made in answer to a statement published by Eld. C. C. Bishop in which Bro. Bishop had said that the doctrine of baptismal regeneration condemned John the Baptist, and those prior to John's day. In answer to this Mr. Harper also said, "Neither they nor John were under the law that we are under today. He seems to think that we are under the same law that they were under," page 24.
From this we see that Mr. Harper seems to think that John the Baptist and those prior to his time were saved in a different way from what people are saved today. If we prove that there has never been but one plan of salvation then we have proven that men are saved today as they were in the ages past.
Mr. Harper went on to say, "Let him affirm (referring to Bro. Bishop) in debate with me that we have to do the same things they did and watch him go back to Jerusalem and offer animals for sacrifice," page 24.
Let the reader keep in mind that Bro. Bishop was talking about how people are saved, not how they are to worship. So we see that Mr. Harper has the idea that they were saved in Old Testament times by going to Jerusalem with their animal sacrifices. Let the reader keep in mind that over two thousand years of time had passed before the law of Moses was ever given. If they were saved by the law of Moses during the time of that law, by what plan were they saved before the law? Abel did not go to Jerusalem to offer a sacrifice, neither did Noah. By what plan were they saved? They lived before the law. Were they saved by the plan we have today? If so, why was the plan abolished for the law plan, which was also to be abolished, and the first one brought back again? If Abel, Noah and Abraham were saved by a plan different to the one we have today and also the law plan that would give us three plans of salvation. The truth of the matter is that there has never been but one plan of salvation. Methods of worship and service have changed, but the plan of salvation has been the same in all ages.
1—Man's Nature Has Always Been the Same.
The nature of man has been the same in all ages. It takes the same power to cleanse the hearts of men today as in other ages. It took the same power in other ages it takes today. The fallen nature of man has ever been the same. Since this is so it has always been the same power that produced love in men's hearts. David said, "Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom," Psalm 51:6. Peter speaks about the hidden man of the heart, I Peter 3:4. The writer of Hebrews tells us that God works in us, "That which is well pleasing in His sight," Heb. 13:21. In the days of the Psalmist it was the pure in heart who should ascend into the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place, Psalm 24:3-4. Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God," Matt. 5:8. So it is the pure in heart in all ages who are saved. It was the work of God that purified the heart in the Old Testament time. "The preparations of the heart in man and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord," Prov. 16:1. Peter said that God purified the hearts of the Gentiles by faith, Acts 15:7-9.
2—God's Standard of Righteousness Has Always Been a Perfect Righteousness.
God has ever demanded a perfect righteousness, "Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet," Isa. 28:17. Only the righteousness of Christ can meet this perfect standard in any age. "Their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord," Isa. 54:17. It is the same today. "But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption," I Cor. 1:30. So we see that in all ages Christ has been the righteousness of His people.
3—No One Was Ever Saved By the Law.
Contrary to the idea that many have, no one was ever saved by the law. Paul said, "If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law," Gal. 3:21. This shows that the law did not, nor could not give life. "By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight," Rom. 3:20. "What things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God," Rom. 3:19. If the law makes men guilty before God how then could it be that which saved? It could only show men their need of salvation through Christ.
4—Animal Sacrifices Did Not Save.
"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can NEVER with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.—For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins," Heb. 10:1-4. From this we see that animal sacrifices did not take away sins. The observance of the law saved no one. It pronounced men guilty before God. The blood of animals did not take away sin. What then did take away sins? It was the blood of the Lamb of God who stood from the foundation of the world as a sacrifice for man. With God the cross of Jesus Christ has been a present thing from the foundation of the world. Why will men have such childish thinking concerning God? We read in Heb. 4:3, "The works were finished from the foundation of the world." Then we read that Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. "All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," Rev. 13:8. So we see that in the mind of God the death of Christ was a present thing from the foundation of the world. The virtue of the cross has saved men in all ages.
The Old Testament Saints Were Saved by Grace through Faith
We read where "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord," Gen. 6:8. We read again where he "Became heir of the righteousness which is by faith," Heb. 11:7. We are saved by grace through faith. "By grace are ye saved through faith," Eph. 2:8. We have the righteousness which is by faith. "The promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his SEED, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith," Rom. 4:13. So Noah was saved just as we are saved, by grace through faith. The plan of salvation was the same then as it is now.
We find that "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," Rom. 4:3. We find that he had the righteousness of God which is by faith. "And he received the sign of circumcision a seal of the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE FAITH which he had yet being uncircumcised," Rom. 4:11. Then we read that it was not written for Abraham's sake alone that it was imputed to him for righteousness, but for us also. "Therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now, it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead," Rom. 4:22-24. Campbellites want to reject all Scriptures brought from the Old Testament on the plan of salvation. I want them to notice that Paul said that it was not written for his (Abraham's) sake alone that it was imputed to him; but for ours also. We read in Gen. 15:6: "And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness." Now, Paul tells us that this was also written for our sakes. So we are saved like Abraham was saved and there is sufficient information in the Old Testament to lead men to salvation which is in Christ. Paul said to Timothy, "From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation THROUGH FAITH WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS," II Tim. 3:15. Since the New Testament had not been written when Timothy was a child, Paul was talking about the old Scriptures. We read where Moses esteemed "The reproach of CHRIST greater riches than the treasures of Egypt," Heb. 11:26. So Moses was a follower of Christ and suffered reproach for His name. Then we read that all the prophets taught remission of sins in the name of Jesus. "To him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins," Acts 10:43.
Now, let us consider the words of Job: "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God," Job 19:25-26. This Redeemer of Job, who was yet to stand upon the earth, was Christ. There is one and only one Redeemer. That Redeemer is Christ. Now, how does He redeem? "Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot," I Peter 1:18-19. Since Christ is Job's Redeemer, then Job was redeemed with the blood of Christ as we are today. Only the desire to hold to an unscriptural doctrine will cause men to reject such plain teachings as this. Campbellites know when they admit that we are saved today as was Noah, Abraham, Moses and Job that their plan of salvation must be given up. So men have been saved in all aged alike and the plan of salvation through being baptized is unscriptural.
It is not the plan of salvation that has been changed, but ordinances and forms of worship. The ordinances and sacrifices of the Old Testament pointed forward to the coming death of Christ, which death has always been a present thing with God. Since He has come those ordinances and sacrifices have served their purpose and have been set aside and a new method of service has been established. The new ordinances, baptism and the Lord's Supper, point back to His death and resurrection, but they do not take away sins or save any more than animal sacrifices saved in the Old Testament days. If Campbellites would give up the false idea that we are saved by worship and service things would come right. They are crossed up in that they make salvation depend on what men do for the Lord, when salvation depends upon what the Lord did for men and does in them. Christ has stood as a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. "All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," Rev. 13:8. So His death was for Abel, Noah and Abraham as well as for us. The preparation of their hearts was the work of the Lord as same as the preparation of our hearts. They were saved on the merits of Christ. We are saved on the merits of Christ. The Lord prepared their hearts. He prepares our hearts. So their salvation as well as ours is of the Lord. Our works for Him follow after salvation. God never gave to Israel the law to regulate their worship of Him and their service to Him until after He had redeemed them from Egyptian bondage. The law of Moses was to govern the service of a people already redeemed from Egyptian bondage. It had nothing to do with the bringing about of that redemption. Just before the giving of the Ten Commandments, we read where the Lord said to Israel, "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage," Exodus 20:2. The redemption from Egyptian bondage came before the giving of the law that regulated the conduct of the nation of Israel. So the new law of worship and service is for a people already redeemed from the bondage of sin. It was given to regulate our worship and service AFTER THAT WE ARE SAVED.
The false idea that God has saved men in different ways in different ages was hatched out in the brain of those who wished to support the false theory that one has to be baptized to be saved. Admit that salvation has been by the same plan in all ages and Campbellism is blown to pieces. Let them give up the unscriptural idea of salvation by works and everything comes out right.
Salvation is Not of Works
"By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast," Eph. 2:8-9.
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," II Tim. 1:9.
"NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost," Titus 3:5.
"To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness WITHOUT WORKS," Rom. 4:5-6.
"And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace," Rom. 11:6.
Here are five plain clear cut passages that tell us that we are not saved by our works. They are plain and positive. If people want to believe what the Word of God plainly says this should be enough. As it has been previously shown to seek to teach contrary to these plain Scriptures is to array the Scriptures against themselves. The Bible does not contradict itself. It is the faulty interpretation of men that would make it so.
Now, let us go on to inquire as to why men cannot be saved by their works. First of all men have no good works until after they are saved. Then the good works they do is not their works, but the works of grace through them. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil," Jer. 13:23. From this we see that it is as impossible for the lost man to do good as it is for the negro to change his skin or the leopard to change his spots. This is in keeping with what Jesus taught, "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the treasure bringeth forth evil things," Matt. 12:33-35. "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, NEITHER CAN a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." Matt. 7:18. Here we see the impossibility of the lost man bringing forth anything that is good. He can no more do it than a thistle weed can bear figs. To teach that the lost man can do good works is to deny the Word of Christ. He must first have his heart made good and pure by the transforming power of God's grace. So good works do not come until after one is saved. That is too late for works to have anything to do with man's salvation.
The unwillingness of Campbellites to accept the divine pronouncement concerning the nature of the lost man is the source of all their confusion. Until the lost man is willing to accept the truth of the Word of God concerning his blinded, helpless condition, he can make no progress in spiritual things. When Jesus was here, He said. "For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind." Then some of the Pharisees which heard Him asked, "Are we blind also?" Then, "Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth," John 9:39-41. The Pharisees were blind for Jesus said to His disciples concerning them, "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind," Matt. 15:14. But the Pharisees refused to accept this divine pronouncement concerning their depraved state. Because of this they were allowed to stay in their sinful state. Had they been willing to accept the pronouncement of Jesus and acknowledged their blinded condition Jesus would have enabled them to see and would have taken away their sin. Like the Pharisees, Campbellites refuse to accept the divine pronouncement concerning the natural man. They claim to see, when in reality they are blind. Because of this they are left to blunder along in their blinded condition. They profess to know how to come to Christ without the enabling work of the Spirit of God. They have no experience which is the product of a divine power, even as Isaac's birth was the product of a divine power. They make light of people getting salvation. With them it is all a matter of their own doing.
The Conversion of Zacchaeus
The conversion of Zacchaeus is a concrete example of a man being saved without baptism or any outward acts of obedience. We read this account in Luke 19:1-10. When Jesus told him to come down out of the sycamore tree he came down and said, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." Then Jesus said, "This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Here we see evidence of repentance. Before this time this man had lived to accumulate for himself. Now, his attitude toward life is changed. He is now ready to give the half of his goods to the poor. Self has been crucified. He is now willing to make restitution wherein he has defrauded. Mind you, he has not yet given the half of his goods to the poor. He has only purposed in his heart to do that. But Jesus saw the motive of his heart and pronounced him saved that day. This shows that salvation does not depend on any outward acts, but the inward condition of the heart which God sees.
The Woman in Simon's House
In the seventh chapter of Luke, we read about a sinful woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears while He sat at meat in the house of Simon, Luke 7:36-50. When Simon saw the woman washing the feet of Jesus and wiping them with the hair of her head he was offended. He said within himself. "This man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him: for she is a sinner." Jesus told him about a man who had two debtors. One of them owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. When they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Jesus asked Simon which of the two would love him most. Simon answered and said, "I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most." Then Jesus said to him, "Thou hast rightly judged." Let us notice here why they loved the man. It was because they had been forgiven. So the forgiveness of sins brings with it love in the heart of the one who has been forgiven toward the one who did the forgiving. So if a person loves God that is evidence that he has been forgiven. So one must first be forgiven of his sins before he has love that will prompt him to do the will of Christ in being baptized.
Jesus went on to say about the woman, "Her sins, which were many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. Then Jesus said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace." Here we have an example of a sinful woman coming into the house where Jesus sat at meat and being saved on the spat and without baptism.
The House of Cornelius
In the case of the house of Cornelius we have a clear cut case of people being saved before baptism.
An angel had appeared to Cornelius and told him to send to Joppa for Simon Peter who would tell him words, whereby he and his house should be saved. "Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell thee WORDS, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved," Acts 11:14. This is what Peter told when he had returned from the house of Cornelius. Now, let us turn back to the tenth chapter and the Holy Spirit has shown us the very words the angel had in mind when he said to Cornelius that Peter would tell him WORDS, whereby he should be saved. We find in Acts 10:36-42, Peter tells about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Then he said, "To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins." Then we read, "While Peter yet spake these WORDS, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word," Acts 10:43-44. Keep in mind that the angel said Peter was to speak WORDS, whereby they should be saved. While Peter was yet speaking these WORDS the Holy Spirit fell upon those WHO HEARD THE WORD. What were those words? They were about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, and that all the prophets said that whosoever believed in Him should receive remission of sins. They heard, believed and received the Holy Spirit before baptism.
Now, let us read on, "And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then answered Peter. Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord," Acts 10:45-48. Thus we see that they received the gift of the Holy Spirit before baptism.
In the Bible the receiving of the Holy Spirit is the chief evidence of salvation.
1-It is the EARNEST of the redemption of the body to the believer. "Who hath also sealed us, and given the EARNEST of the SPIRIT in our hearts," II Cor. 1:22.
2—It is evidence of sonship with the Father. "And BECAUSE ye are sons. God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father," Gal. 4:6.
3—It is evidence that one has a HOPE of glory. "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ IN you the HOPE of glory," Col. 1:27.
4—It is evidence that one is at liberty and has been made free. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is LIBERTY," II Cor. 3:17.
5—It is evidence that one is in Christ, and that Christ is in him. "Hereby know we that we dwell in HIM, and He in us, BECAUSE He hath given us of His Spirit," I John 4:13.
6—It is evidence that one is no longer of the world. "I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world CANNOT receive," John 14:16-17.
7—It is evidence that one belongs to Christ. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the SPIRIT is LIFE because of RIGHTEOUSNESS," Rom. 8:9-10.
8—It is evidence that one has already obeyed God. "And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given TO THEM THAT OBEY Him," Acts 5:32.
9—It is evidence of having a purified heart. "And God which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us ; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith," Acts 15:8-9.
10—It is proof that one is in the true faith and not a reprobate concerning the faith. "Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is IN YOU, except ye be reprobates?" II Cor. 13:5.
11—It is evidence that our bodies are the temple of the Lord. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and YE ARE NOT YOUR OWN? FOR YE ARE BOUGHT with a price," I Cor. 6:19-20.
12—It guarantees our victory over the world. "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is HE THAT IS IN YOU, than he that is in the world," I John 4:4.
Since the house of Cornelius received the Holy Spirit before baptism, they had proof that they were sons of God; that they were free; that they were no longer of the world; that they had a hope of glory; that they had been sealed; that their bodies were the temple of God; that Christ was in them; that they were in Christ; that they were righteous before God; that their hearts were pure; that they would overcome the world; and that they had obeyed God in all that is required of a sinner to be saved. All of this they had before baptism.
Now, let us go back to Ex. 30:30-33, and study about the holy anointing oil. "And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations. Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosover putteth any of it upon a STRANGER, shall even be cut off from his people."
This anointing oil is a type of the Holy Spirit. We read that God ANOINTED JESUS with the Holy Spirit. "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power," Acts 10:38. So the anointing oil is a type of the Holy Spirit. Notice that God forbade Israel from putting any of this oil on a STRANGER. This shows us that the one who is a stranger to grace CANNOT receive the Holy Spirit. That is exactly what Jesus taught when He said of the Holy Spirit, "Even the Spirit of truth whom the world (STRANGERS TO GRACE) CANNOT RECEIVE." This being so then the argument cannot be gainsaid. The house of Cornelius was saved before baptism and they received the Spirit as the proof before baptism. Campbellites feel the force of this clear cut case. They try to evade the issue by saying that this was a special case to convince the Jews that the Gentiles were to have the gospel. But in taking this position they contradict the plain words of Jesus who said. "Even the Spirit of truth, WHOM the world CANNOT RECEIVE." But it matters little to these preachers to contradict the plain words of Jesus to prove their point. Jesus said the Father heard Him always. Mr. Webb, a Campbellite, teaches that the Father did not hear Him always. To uphold their unscriptural doctrine they teach that the world did receive the Spirit in this case. Thus they contradict Jesus who said the world CANNOT receive the Spirit. The type of the holy anointing oil was not to be put on a stranger. This shows us that STRANGERS TO GRACE cannot receive the Holy Spirit. So Campbellites deny the Word of Christ and the teaching of this type.
In Acts 15:1-9, we find that the questions as to whether circumcision was essential to salvation arose. Certain men from Judaea had gone to Antioch and had taught the Gentile converts that they must be circumcised after the law of Moses if they were saved. Paul and Barnabas took issue with them. Finally the matter was referred to the apostles at Jerusalem. Certain of the Pharisees who be-lived contended for circumcision. After much debating Peter made the deciding speech. He told how that God had given to the Gentiles the Holy Spirit. To him the receiving of the Holy Spirit by uncircumcised people was evidence that they were saved without circumcision. The same people who received the Holy Spirit without circumcision, the house of Cornelius, also received the Spirit without being baptized. If the receiving of the Spirit without circumcision proves they were saved without circumcision; then the receiving of the Spirit without baptism proves that they were saved without baptism.
To receive the gift of the Holy Spirit is to receive a spiritual blessing, and all spiritual blessings are in Christ. "Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ," Eph. 1:3. The house of Cornelius received the gift of the Holy Spirit before baptism. "On the Gentiles also was poured out the GIFT of the Holy Ghost." Acts 10:45. Since this is a spiritual blessing and all spiritual blessings are in Christ then they were in Christ before baptism.
The Type of the Passover Lamb
The Passover lamb that Israel killed the last night in Egyptian bondage was a type of Christ, our sacrifice for sin. Proof, "Even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."
The baptism that Israel received in the cloud and the sea was typical of our baptism. "I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea," I Cor. 10:1, 2. In this same connection we read, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition," I Cor. 10:11. So their baptism was typical of our baptism.
By studying the Book of Exodus, chapters twelve to fourteen, we learn some valuable lessons. The Israelites were sheltered by the blood of their Passover lamb three days before they were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, Ex. 12:22-23, 29-33; 14:21-22. With them the blood came before the baptism. If we follow the example laid down for us we will receive the blood of Christ before starting toward baptism. The children of Israel received the presence of the angel of the Lord in the pillar of cloud and fire before starting toward the water, Ex. 13:21-22. So, we should receive the Holy Spirit before baptism. The home of Cornelius did, Acts 10:44. The Egyptians went into the water without the blood, Ex. 14:23. So do Campbellites. The Egyptians were all destroyed. So will those who go into the water without the blood of Christ unless they see their mistake in time. The Egyptians went into the water without the leadership of the pillar of fire. The Campbellites go into the water without the Spirit of God. The Egyptians were led by human wisdom, not the pillar of cloud and fire. The Campbellites are led by human wisdom, their preachers, and not the Holy Spirit to go to baptism. The Bible reads, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God," Rom. 8:14. Campbellites do not claim to baptize a child of God, one already saved. So that proves that they do not baptize one who is led of the Spirit. Then they must be led by human wisdom, like the Egyptians. The Egyptians blundered in going into the water without the blood. So, do the Campbellites blunder in going into baptism without the blood of Christ. The Egyptians who went to the water without the blood were walking in the dark, Ex. 14:20. The Campbellites who go into the water without the blood of Christ are walking in the dark. The children of Israel who were sheltered by the blood before they started to the water were walking in the light, Ex. 14:20. So, are those who receive the blood of Christ before baptism walking in the light. The Egyptians who went into the water without the blood were enemies of Israel, the chosen of the Lord on that occasion. The Campbellites who go into the water without the blood of Christ today are enemies of the truth and the cause of God.
In the above type we find that the blood came before the water. Can we find that the blood of Christ comes before the water? We certainly can. It is the blood of Christ that purges the conscience. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, PURGE your CONSCIENCE from dead works to serve the living God," Heb. 9:14. Here we find that the blood of Christ purges or cleanses the conscience. Now, if we can find that the conscience is cleansed before baptism then our point is proven. Here is the proof. "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Here we see that the heart is first sprinkled from an evil conscience before the body is washed in water. This is exactly the order we found in studying the type of the children of Israel and their Passover. They received the protection of the blood of their Passover lamb before they started to the Red Sea where they were baptized UNTO (Eis) Moses in the cloud and in the sea. It is exactly the order Jesus gives. He said, "First make clean that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also," Matt. 23:26.
The Israelites received the pillar of cloud and fire before they were baptized UNTO (Eis) Moses in the cloud and in the sea, I Cor. 10:1-2. So, did the house of Cornelius receive the Holy Spirit before they were baptized, Acts 10:44-48. Even so are we already in the Spirit when baptized. "In one Spirit were we all baptized into one body," I Cor. 12:13. (R.V.) The King James translation reads. "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body." But the Revised Version and others translate it, "In one Spirit were we all baptized into one body." The Greek preposition in this place is "En." This word is the equivalent of our English preposition "In." The Greeks spelled it "En" while we spell it "In." The pronunciation is the same in both languages. This word is translated over 1800 times in the New Testament by our English word "In." It is the same word for "In" where it is said, "They were baptized of him in (En) Jordan, confessing their sins," Matt. 3:6 (R.V.).
The house of Cornelius had the Spirit when baptized. So are we in the Spirit when baptized. This is all in keeping with the Israelites having the pillar of cloud and fire before baptism. So Campbellism is proven to be wrong any way we take it.
What the Believer Has Before Baptism
1—He has the Spirit before baptism.
The house of Cornelius believed before baptism and received the Spirit before baptism. Hear these words of Peter, "God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and BELIEVE. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost," Acts 15:7-8. Peter said they heard the Word and believed. As believers they were due to receive the Spirit. Proof, "It is the Spirit that beareth witness," I John 5:6. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself," I John 5:10. They believed before baptism and received the Spirit before baptism exactly as the Word of God teaches in I John 5:6 and 3:10.
2—He has eternal life before baptism.
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life," John 3:36.
3—He has remission of sins before baptism.
"To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins," Acts 10:43. The expression "RECEIVE the remission of sins" is never found connected with baptism.
4—He is justified before baptism.
"By Him ALL that believe are justified from ALL things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses," Acts 13:39. We must be dead to sin before we are ready to be buried in baptism. The death comes before the burial. The one dead to sin is justified from sin. "He that hath died is justified from sin," Rom. 6:7 (R.V.). This is also the marginal translation in the King James translation.
To make baptism a condition of being justified before God Campbellites have to go contrary to all nature and have the burial before the death.
5—He has salvation before baptism.
"And He said unto the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace," Luke 7:50. This woman believed in Jesus and was saved by believing in Him without baptism. She was not baptized. Paul said to the Philippian jailor "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved," Acts 16:31. To make baptism essential to salvation one will have to add to the words that Paul used in answering the question the jailor asked, "What must I do to be saved?" Acts 16:30.
6—He is free from condemnation before baptism.
"He that believeth on Him is not condemned," John 3:18. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty," II Cor. 3:17. The house of Cornelius received the Spirit before baptism, Acts 10:44-48. So they were free from condemnation before baptism as John 3:18 teaches.
7—He has a pure heart before baptism.
In speaking about the house of Cornelius, Peter said, "God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith," Acts 15:8-9. Since they received the Holy Spirit before baptism as a witness that their hearts were pure they had their hearts purified before baptism. One with a pure heart is prepared to see God. "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God," Matt. 5:8.
Campbellites Are Wrong On the Kingdom
Campbellites are wrong in the things which they teach about the kingdom. They make the church and the kingdom one and the same thing and teach that it was set up on, the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ. As is their custom they take a few verses out of their setting and place their own interpretation on these verses and draw their false conclusion. Their main proof texts shall be examined.
"And it shall come to pass in the last 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 shall flow into 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."
Campbellites quote this passage and connect it with the place in the second chapter of Acts where the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out and the prophecy of Joel about the Spirit being poured out in the last days, Acts 2:17, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh." But Pentecost was only one of the last days. The last days were here when Jesus was on earth. Proof, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these LAST DAYS spoken unto us by His Son," Heb. 1:1-2. The personal ministry of Jesus was in the LAST DAYS, so will the second coming of Jesus be in the LAST DAYS. Proof, "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you—Ye have heaped treasure together for the LAST DAYS—Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord—Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for THE COMING OF THE LORD DRAWETH NIGH," James 5:1-8. Here we see the time of our Lord's return also referred to as the LAST DAYS. It is said that the rich men have heaped up treasure for the LAST DAYS. They have op-pressed the just. The just are admonished to be patient for the coming of the Lord is drawing near.
From the above we see that the expression LAST DAYS is not confined to Pentecost. It embraces the first and the second coming of Christ as well. The LAST DAYS commenced when the Old Testament times closed. They commenced with Matt. 1:1. They will close in the consummation of things when the new heaven and the new earth shall be brought in after the close of the 1000 years reign of Christ and His people.
With the above in mind now let us go back to the passage from Isaiah. Campbellites quit too soon in quoting from Isaiah. The passage goes on to say, "And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." The Campbellite's mistake is in dividing this passage in Isaiah and drawing their supposition from the first part without considering the last part. By this method of Bible interpretation Campbellism flourishes. Isa. 2:4 goes with Isa. 2:2-3. It shows us that when the mountain of the Lord's house is established in the top of the mountains that the Lord will be at Jerusalem in person. The nations of the earth will go up to Jerusalem for Him to teach them of His ways. At that time He will be a judge among the nations, "And He shall judge among the nations." As the result of this judging the nations will cease to make war and will beat their swords into plowshares and their pruning hooks into spears. We know this has not yet been done, so this passage did not have its fulfilment at Pentecost, but is yet future. When confronted with this Campbellites try to squirm out by saying the passage about beating the swords into plowshares is not to be taken literally. Well, let them consider this one: "Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong," Joel 3:9-10. In our day we have seen a literal fulfilment of the passage about beating plowshares into swords. We have witnessed the scrap-iron drives in the war that has just closed. In some nations church bells and iron fences were confiscated for war material. Many household and farm necessities were hard to buy. This Scripture has had a literal fulfilment in our time. Isaiah's prophecy has the process reverted. It has the war implements beat back into tools of industry. Cars are needed, cultivators are needed, washing machines and tractors are needed; so Isaiah's prophecy will have its literal fulfilment in its time. When the Lord sits to judge among the nations they will reverse the process and, instead of converting tools of industry into war implements, the war implements will be converted back into tools of industry.
The above becomes all the clearer when we read what Micah has to say about it: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. BUT THEY SHALL SIT every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it," Micah 4:3-4. Instead of sitting in bomb raid shelters, in caves and holes in the ground, as men, women and children have done in this war, they will sit unafraid under their vines and fig trees. Why? Because they are no more afraid of invading armies, bombing planes and rockets. The Lord is reigning on earth and He has caused the nations to cease to make war. "He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder," Psalm 46:9. The passage in Isaiah 2:2-4 will have a literal fulfilment and is yet future. It belongs to the thousand-years reign of Christ and His people as found in Rev. 20:4-6.
"There be some of them that stand here that shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power."
After quoting the above passage Campbellites will jump over and quote Acts 1:8. "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." The kingdom is to come with power. Power is to come when the Holy Spirit comes. The Holy Spirit came on Pentecost. Therefore the kingdom came on Pentecost, so the argument goes. But as usual the Campbellites have taken Mark 9:1 out of its connection and have ignored its connecting verses. Let us have it all.
"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the GLORY of His Father with the holy angels. And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. And after six days Jesus taketh with Him Peter and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves : and. He was transfigured before them," Mark 8:38; 9:2. Just before our Lord spoke about some seeing the kingdom come with power, He was talking about His second coming. Just after that we are taken to the transfiguration scene where we have a picture of our Lord's coming. Proof, "We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount," II Peter 1:16-18. Peter tells us that they were witness of His power and coming when they saw Him transfigured in the mountain. Here in this scene we have the fulfilment of the words that some would not taste of death until they had seen the kingdom of God come with power. Here they saw in a vision the Lord as He will be when He comes in His glory. This should be read in connection with Matt. 16:28. "There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom." The next verse introduces the transfiguration scene.
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
Campbellites connect this with the ascension of Christ back to the Father in the cloud as recorded in the first chapter of Acts. In doing so they utterly ignore the connection in Daniel. By reading the whole of the seventh chapter of Daniel we see that this is connected with the overthrow of the Little Horn and the giving of the beast to the burning flame. The Little Horn is the beast of Revelation. Both are to make war with the saints and overcome them, Daniel 7:23 and Revelation 13:7. Both are to have a mouth speaking great things, Dan. 7:8 and Rev. 13:5; both are to speak blasphemies, Dan. 7:25 and Rev. 13:6; both are to continue three and an half years, Dan. 7:25 and Rev. 13:5; both are to be associated with ten horns or kings, Dan. 7:24; Rev. 17:12, 13. John said the ten horns or kings had not yet received their power in his time, Rev. 17:13. Since these kings had not arisen when John had his Patmos vision then the prophecy of Dan. 7:13-14 had not taken place at that time and Pentecost had long since passed. The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord when the seventh trumpet sounds. "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ." So the nations or kingdoms of this world will become our Lord's kingdoms when the seventh trumpet sounds, not on the day of Pentecost.
Campbellites Wrong Concerning David's Throne
Campbellites teach that Christ is now seated on His father David's throne. But David's throne was at Jerusalem, not in heaven. "And David was thirty years old when he began to reign,—and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty three years over all Israel and Judah," II Sam. 5:4-5. The Bible also tells us that the Lord's throne will be at Jerusalem. "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem," Jer. 3:17. So we see that Jerusalem will be the throne of the Lord, and at that time all the nations should be gathered to Him in Jerusalem. Now, compare this verse with the one in Matt. 25:31-32, "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, THEN shall He sit upon the THRONE OF HIS GLORY: and before Him shall be gathered all nations." So we see that it is when He comes in His glory that He shall sit upon the throne of His glory. In Jer. 3:17 we read that it will be at Jerusalem. Both Jer. 3:17 and Matt. 25:32 tell us that all nations shall be gathered before Him at that time.
The Word of God plainly teaches us that there shall be a 1000 years reign of Christ with His saints on the earth. In Rev. 5:9-10, we find the saints in glory singing that Christ "Hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." Here is proof that the saints are to reign on the earth. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be PRIESTS of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." Here is proof of the thousand years reign, Rev. 20:6. There is something wrong with a system that has no place for the 1000 years reign. In the Bible we read that there shall be a thousand years reign. We do not live a thousand years in our natural bodies. So we will have to have our thousand years reign in our glorified bodies. This is as much a part of the Word of God as John 3:16. We might as well deny that verse as to deny this one. The person who does not believe Rev. 20:6 does not believe all the Bible. This part of the Bible Campbellites do not believe. There is something wrong with a man's doctrine when he has to throw out part of the Bible and not receive it. All truth must harmonize. God plainly says in His Word that those who have part in the first resurrection shall reign with Christ a thousand years. Campbellites have no place in their system for the thousand years reign. The Bible teaches it, therefore, Campbellism is a false system.
Recently there has risen a few preachers among the Campbellites who are advocating the thousand years reign. But they are not considered sound in the faith by the main body of Campbellites. They should go all the way and leave this false system altogether. Practically all the Scriptures Campbellites have relied upon to set up the kingdom on Pentecost apply to the kingdom at the Lord's second coming.
In closing let me ask the reader to carefully weigh the truth as it is presented in this book. Personal pride and family traditions will avail nothing when you come to meet the Lord. Many have been kept back from the truth by family ties. If I have torn up your false hope I have done you a favor, not an injury, if you will only receive it. In the words of Paul I ask, "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Gal. 4:16. Let me ask did you receive the assurance in your heart the believer is promised when the Campbellite preacher baptized you? God's Word tells us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, How that JESUS CHRIST IS IN YOU, except ye be reprobates?" II Cor. 13:5. Do you know that Christ is in you? Have you the abiding assurance in your heart that you are God's child? Do not let the Campbellite preachers deceive you. God's Word tells us that the Spirit bears witness. "It is the Spirit that beareth witness," I John 5:6. It also tells us that the one who believes on Christ has the witness IN HIMSELF. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness IN HIMSELF," I John 5:10. Here it is as plain as words can make it that the Spirit witnesses in the believer. Thousands have testified to a personal experience of grace that brought to them the inward witness of the Spirit. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God," Rom. 8:16. It is an inward witness which the believer has in himself. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness IN HIMSELF," I John 5:10. This is the Word of God and no twisting of Campbellite preachers can get around it. Through this inward witness that the believer has IN HIMSELF bearing witness with his spirit he knows that Christ is in him and that he is no reprobate. The one who cannot upon self-examination know that this witness is in him is on dangerous ground. Do not be deceived by these blind leaders of the blind. They are ignorant of the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God because they have missed the way in depending on baptism instead of Christ for salvation. The Bible tells us plainly that the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit of God. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, BECAUSE THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED," I Cor. 2:14. Because Campbellite preachers do not have the Spirit within them to enable them to discern spiritual things they make light of the Spirit of God witnessing within the believer and giving him a consciousness of his acceptance with God. They know only those things that are outward about the Lord's work and do not know how to place them. In listening to these blind leaders you have been misled. If you have never known the inward witnessing of the Spirit within, you are lost. You will certainly rue the day you ever listened to a Campbellite preacher when you stand before the Lord. Get in deep earnestness about this matter. Your eternal destiny is at stake. You cannot afford for the sake of pride or family connection to lose your own soul. Campbellism is modern Pharisaism. They belong to the tribe of Ishmael. They deny the supernatural in a believer's life and experience. So do a lot of others. The Pharisees thought none were righteous but them; Campbellites think none will be saved but them. Pharisees depended on outward works to make clean the inside of the cup and platter; Campbellites depend on baptism, an outward work, to bring the inward cleansing of the heart. The Pharisees were offended at the disciples of Jesus for shouting; Campbellites denounce and make light of shouting. Pharisees taught for doctrine the commandments of men; Campbellites teach that because women in the western world wear the name of their husband that we should therefore wear the name of Christ. They cannot find one case in the Bible where a woman wore the name of her husband. They cannot find one verse that tells that a woman should wear her husband's name. So, like the Pharisees, they teach for doctrine the commandments of men. They deny the spiritual blindness of the natural man, so did the Pharisees. If you hold on to Campbellism you do so to your own peril.
You must receive the Spirit of God to know the things of the Spirit. "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; THAT WE MIGHT KNOW THE THINGS that are freely given to us of God," I Cor. 2:12. This statement is closely followed by that statement which tells us that the natural man cannot know the things of the Spirit, BECAUSE they are SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED, I Cor. 2:14.
I have done my best to warn and instruct everyone who shall chance to read these pages, if in fact you need it. In the sight of God I have done my utmost to warn you of one of the greatest dangers of our time.
If you think this is a good book tell others about it. Give it to those who need to read it. Who knows but that God may use it to lead someone to the truth. One soul snatched as a brand from the burning is worth all the effort put forth.
This book is sent out with a prayer that the Lord will use it for His glory, and to warn those who have been caught in the errors of Campbellism. If you have not already received the truths set forth in these pages in your heart may the Lord lead you to do so. Then you will know for yourselves that these things are so. You will not be left to go groping blindly along in the dark. You will know of a surety that you belong to Christ and that He is yours. Let the words of this song be your sincere prayer:
"O send Thy Spirit Lord, now unto me,
That He may touch mine eyes, and make me see:
Show me the truth concealed within Thy Word,
And in Thy Book revealed, I see the Lord."
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726