Orthodox — Orthopodeo — Orthotomeo

Surely every child of God earnestly desires to be “orthodox”. “Orthodox” in the Greek means to “think right”. When the word is used concerning spiritual things, it suggests that the person is sound in doctrine and perhaps earnestly contending for the faith once-for-all delivered unto the saints. Any one who questions the eternal Deity of the Lords Jesus Christ, the verbal inspiration of the Bible, the bodily resurrection of the Son of God, the personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit, and the necessity of the sinner’s new birth by faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ, is not considered orthodox. Perhaps you have heard the words, spoken in jest by the preacher who said, “Every Christian is thoroughly orthodox when he agrees with me.” The fact that there are more than 200 Christian denominations in America, is proof positive that Christians differ in their thinking. Their different thinking some time causes evil thinking and occasionally added action. Yea, even the spiritual men and women of God, who believe wholeheartedly in all of the fundamentals of the Christian faith, disagree in some of their thinking.

Now as to these differences, who is orthodox and who is unorthodox? Who is doing the right thinking? For instance, if the Baptists and Presbyterians think right concerning the eternal security of the believer, certainly the Methodists and Nazarenes are not orthodox. Again, if the Presbyterians, who think that babies should be sprinkled with a little water as a seal of the New Covenant, are orthodox concerning baptism, the Baptists, who insist that only adult believers should be immersed without any Covenant obligation, are most certainly not orthodox. Thus we see that the Church of Christ is made up of, orthodox and non-orthodox Christians. But who is orthodox? It all depends upon who does the thinking. Disagreement in thinking generally means disagreeable thinking, even though the thought may be devoted to so-called nonessentials.

When Paul wrote to the Galatians he said that Peter did not walk uprightly, according to the truth of the Gospel. Galatians 2:14. The Greek word here translated “walk uprightly” is “orthopodeo”, “ortho”, (right), “podeo”, (walk). Most assuredly, a child of God should desire to be both “orthodox” and “orthopodeo”. So much is stated in God’s Word about the believer’s walk. He is to walk circumspectly, in the Spirit; in love; in Christ; worthy of the vocation wherewith he is called. But the particular walk of Peter, to which Paul referred, was concerning Peter’s fear of Jewish believers, who were unwilling to wholeheartedly receive Gentile believers into their Christian fellowship. If they were orthodox concerning the truth, that all differences between the Jew and the Gentile had been removed, by the death and resurrection of Christ, they were unwilling to acknowledge it and obey it. It is possible to be right in the head and wrong on your feet; that is to think right and act wrong.

Of course, at this late day there is no excuse whatever for any such disobedience and duplicity as Peter displayed. But we have sympathy for Peter because it was truth not readily grasped at the time the apostles were laboring together on earth. But there is plenty of religious diplomacy today with compromise and duplicity.

Surely, today every member of the Body of Christ should desire to be “orthodox” and “orthopodeo”. But we have come to the realization of the fact that we must look to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God for “right-thinking and right-walking”, and be responsible to our Head in glory, rather than to any ecclesiastical potentates, sectarian groups, or denominational church creeds.

Now concerning “orthotomeo”, this is a word found in II Timothy 2:15: “study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” The word “rightly dividing” is in the Greek “orthotomeo”. “Ortho”, “right” or “straight”; “tomeo”, “cut” or “dissect”. For instance, the word, in Hebrews 4:12, translated “sharper” is “tomoteros”. We see, then, that the believer has no option in the matter. He must be obedient unto the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, even in the face of opposition and persecution from those who neither obey nor understand the meaning of “orthotomeo”. Those who do not rightly divide the Word of truth certainly fall under the judgment of the Lord, Ye do greatly err, not knowing the Scriptures”. It is one thing to bow to the Divine authority of God’s inspired Word and say, “I believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible”. But it is strict disobedience to II Timothy 2:15, as well as absolute folly to say, “I apply to my spiritual life and obey every commandment of God, given in His inspired Word to the saints of the Old Testament as well as to the saints of the New Testament.”

Nothing at this time seems to be causing more controversy and agitation than the consideration and discussion of obedience to II Timothy 2:15. This is God’s own principle; and those who fail to be governed by it will never understand God’s Word. But in this matter of “orthotomeo” we are asking the question, “Who is orthodox?” There must be “right-thinking” in “right-dividing”. Yes, “right-dissecting” seems to be a major operation. But let us contend earnestly for “ortho-tomeo”.

The Lord Jesus Christ in the Midst

In dealing with this subject, “The Lord Jesus in the MIDST”, we are first reminded of the two statements in the first chapter of John



We remember the prayer of our Lord Jesus, recorded in John 17:5: “Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” That One who was in the form of God took upon Himself the form of a servant, fashioned as a man. Before the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, we read concerning Him in Daniel 3:25: “I see four men loose, walking in the MIDST of the: fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” This was about six centuries before the virgin Mary gave birth to the Holy Child Jesus.

About 900 years before these three Hebrew children were in the fiery furnace; according to I Corinthians 10:4, the Israelites, on their way from Egypt to Canaan, drank of that spiritual Rock, and that Rock was Christ.

But let us turn now to the New Testament Scriptures and notice a number of verses concerning the Lord Jesus Christ in the MIDST.


“And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the MIDST off the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.” Luke 2:46.


“Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the MIDST of you, as ye yourselves also know.” Acts 2:22.


“Where they crucified Him, and two other with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the MIDST.” John 19:18.


“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the MIDST, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” John 20:19.

“And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them; then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the MIDST of them and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” Luke 24:36.


“I will declare thy Name unto my brethren, in the MIDST of the Church will I sing praises unto thee.” Hebrews 2:12. “For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the MIDST of them.” Matthew 18:20. “And in the MIDST of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” Revelation 1:13. “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the MIDST of the seven golden candlesticks.” Revelation 2:1.


“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal; and in the MIDST of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.” Revelation 4:6.

“And I beheld, and lo, in the MIDST of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the MIDST of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” Revelation 5:6.

In these Scriptures we have seen our Lords Jesus Christ as a twelve year old child in the midst of the doctors, instructing them. He was about His Father’s business. He was ever about His Father’s business. He was the great Prophet, like unto Moses, sent unto His own, and His own received Him not. He was in the holy land, Israel’s land, in the midst of Israel, and by signs and wonders God witnessed to Israel that Jesus was the Christ (Messiah). The builders rejected the Stone. The despised and rejected Man of sorrows died in the midst of thieves; numbered with the transgressors. He was there made sin that we might be made the righteousness of God. But death could not hold Him. He shewed Himself alive after His death, by many infallible proofs. He appeared in the midst of His disciples as they were hiding from the Jews who had killed the Prince of life. He invited unbelieving disciples to touch Him and Thomas to put His fingers where His death wounds were. “Peace be unto you.” That message has been spoken to millions since that day.

Next we see the Saviour in the midst of His Church. Truly He is in the midst of members of His Body. Paul said, “Christ liveth in me.” “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” We are in Him accepted and complete, blessed with all spiritual blessings.

Then we get that glorious view of our glorified Christ, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, in the midst of the elders and the heavenly host, in Revelation 4, the Creator; in Revelation 5, the Redeemer.

What a day of glory when all of His redeemed ones, redeemed by the matchless grace of God and the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, shall be forever in glory and the Lord Jesus in the midst.

Before that time the nation who treated Him with such shame and disgrace shall look upon Him whom they pierced. A nation shall be suddenly born. The Messiah, not crowned with thorns but crowned with many diadems shall be in the midst of His ancient people, and shall be Wonderful, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, reigning from David’s throne. The kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ.

Even so come Lord Jesus.

An Elementary Lesson For Bereans

“Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made.” Galatians 3:19.

“The law and the prophets were until John (Baptist): since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” Luke 16:16.

“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross . . . Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” Colossians 2:14 to 17.

“And unto the Jews I (Paul) became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law.” I Corinthians 9:20.

“Behold the days come, saith the Lord when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt . . . For all shall know me from the least to the greatest . . . He hath made the first (covenant) old.” Hebrews 8:7 to 13.

“For His Body’s sake, which is the Church, whereof I (Paul) am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God to fulfill (Complete) the Word of God, the Mystery which had been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints . . . this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.” Colossians 1:24 to 28.


God took the fathers by the hand to lead them out of Egypt about 1500 B.C. That was about 2500 years after Adam was driven from Eden. Sin entered the world by Adam and passed, with death, upon all men. Romans 5:13 to 14. The law was given by Moses. The Law entered that the offense (by Adam) might abound. Romans 5:16 to 20. The law and the old covenant were given at Sinai. God preached the Gospel to Abram before the law was given. Galatians 3:8.

The gospel to Abram was God’s promise concerning Christ, the Seed. This gospel was preached, this promise made, to Abram, when Abram was in circumcision, 430 years before the old covenant was given to Israel through Moses. Romans 4:8 to 15. Galatians 3:17. Abram was circumcised 24 years after he was justified by faith. Genesis 12:4 and Genesis 17:24. Abram was circumcised about 1900 B.C. From 1900 B.C. to the time God granted repentance unto life to Cornelius, about 41 A.D., God’s spiritual blessings for Israelites and Gentiles were on the grounds of circumcision. Acts 11:18; Acts 11:3. Up to that time it was an unlawful thing for a man that was a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation.” Acts 10:28. Several years later the risen Christ by revelation committed to Paul the gospel of the uncircumcision. Galatians 2:7 to 9. When Christ was born of Mary He was made under the law. Galatians 4:4. The Holy Child was circumcised at the same age that Abraham’s son Isaac was circumcised, “eight days old”. Genesis 21:4. Luke 2:21. Everything that was written in the law was performed for Jesus by His mother. “When they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord”. Luke 2:39. When Jesus was 30 years of age, “as His custom was, He went into the Synagogue on the sabbath day.” Luke 4:16. More than one year later Christ instructed one who received a blessing from Him, in this language: “shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded.” Matthew 8:4. Two years later, the year of His death, Christ commanded His own disciples to observe the instructions of crooked, corrupt, blind hypocritical guides, because they sat in Moses’ seat.” Matthew 23:1 to 17. Christ observed the feasts of Israel all the days of His ministry, one of His last acts being to keep the passover. Matthew 26:17 to 19.

When Christ presented to His few selected apostles, whose names were written in heaven, the gospel by which we are today saved, His death, burial and resurrection, “they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” Luke 18:31 to 34. I Corinthians 15:3 to 5. For several years the Twelve had been preaching some gospel, “the gospel of the kingdom”. Matthew 9:35 and Luke 9:6. Matthew 10:5 to 8. There was not one word in that gospel concerning salvation by the grace of God on the basis of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the saving message that God’s servants preach today. Christ was born as king of the Jews: He was saluted as the King of Israel: He presented Himself to Israel as King: He died as King of the Jews. Matthew 2:2; John 1:49; John 12:12 to 19; John 19:19. Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision to confirm promises God had made to Israel by the prophets of old. Romans 15:8. God made no promise concerning the Church, Christ’s Body, or concerning Christ’s present ministry in the heavenlies. Christ was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; “not in the way of the Gentiles.” Matthew 15:24 and Matthew 10:5 to 8. Blessings from Christ, while He was Jesus of Nazareth in the midst of Israel, were for the sons and daughters of Abraham, rather than for all the sons of Adam, as was the program later given by Christ to the apostles of the Gentiles. Luke 13:16. Luke 19:9. One Gentile man received a blessing from Christ while He was on earth, because the sons of Abraham interceded for him; because this Gentile had built a synagogue for Israel and loved that people of God. Luke 7:1 to 10. That is the only Gentile man to whom the Lord Jesus, on earth, ministered as far as the Four Gospels record. Therefore, the “whosoever” message of John 3:16 was not preached to Gentiles until after the door of faith was opened to Gentiles, according to Acts 14:27 (except the household and friends of Cornelius, the God-fearing, alms-giving, Jewloving Gentile.) All Scripture should be studied interpreted and applied as to whether it records that which took place before or after the open door of Acts 14:27.

Even the babe in Christ should know that the middle-wall of partition was not broken down while Jesus of Nazareth ministered on earth. His teachings in Matthew, Mark or Luke should be studied with the understanding that He had not yet blotted out and nailed to His cross the handwriting of ordinances. Therefore we are not to interpret Luke 16:16 to mean that the reign of law ceased with John’s proclamation of the Kingdom. The law was still in the way when Christ was on earth and overlapped far into the Book of Acts. The truth of Colossians 2:11 to 16 was wholly unknown to the Twelve in the early chapters of Acts.

The Twelve and Paul were under the law to those under the law all during the Book of Acts. Acts 10:28; Acts 16:3; Acts 20:16; Acts 21:18 to 28; Acts 23:1 to 7.

Much of the truth of the Gospel of John is pure grace based upon what Christ was to do and did on the cross, as the Lamb of God mentioned in the very first chapter and is therefore in many points compatible with Paul’s Grace Gospel.

Christ gave to the Eleven the so-called great commission. Matthew 28:19 and 20. Mark 16:14 to 18. But before He permitted them to preach to Israel on the day of Pentecost He added the twelfth apostle, Matthias. Acts 1:19 to 26. Their message was for all the house of Israel, devout Jews from every nation under heaven, including Israel that was far off. Acts 2:36 to 39; Acts 2:5; Daniel 9:7. When they had preached, by the mouth of Peter, (Acts 15:7) to Cornelius and his company, the record of their preaching ministry in Acts ceased. Then one of the Twelve died, and no successor was chosen to take the place of James. Acts 12:2. Judas died and a successor was taken. James died and no successor was chosen. After that, Paul is mentioned in the Book of Acts more than 130 times. He is the chief actor. He speaks of himself in Acts and his epistles, in the first person pronoun, “I”, “me”, “my”, nearly 1300 times. A number of times he emphasizes the fact that he was the apostle, the minister, the preacher, the teacher, the prisoner of the Lord Jesus for Gentiles, with “my gospel”, with “my deposit” (II Timothy 1:12), (original text), the unsearchable (not-to-be-tracked) riches among the Gentiles (Ephesians 3:8), the revelation to me. “the mystery” Galatians 1:11 to 17. Ephesians 3:1 to 11. In his epistles, written after the close of Acts, Paul mentions “the mystery” 12 times. He committed his deposit to Timothy, “that good thing” (that good deposit). II Timothy 1:14. The Twelve had a ministry of confirmation and preached what was in fulfillment of Scriptures, in the Acts. Acts 2:14, Acts 2:29 to 33, Acts 3:16 to 26, Acts 10:41, Acts 15:13 to 18. Paul declared that Christ’s revelations to him, committed to his trust, were truths concerning which Israel’s prophets were both ignorant and silent. God instructs students of the Scriptures to distinguish between things that differ.” Philippians 1:10 (original text). That which was prophecied must differ from that which had to be told for the first time to Paul, because it had not been prophesied. Paul had the gospel of the uncircumcision and Peter had the gospel of the circumcision. Galatians 2:7 to 9. Peter did not receive his message by revelation, but in the commissions of Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:19 and, 20, Mark 16:14 to 18, Matthew 10:5 to 20. He did receive Divine authority to go to Cornelius, by a vision; but preached to him the word which God sent to the children of Israel, which included the earthly ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Acts 2:22 and Acts 10:36 to 39. Paul was never instructed to preach concerning the earthly ministry of Jesus of Nazareth to Gentiles when he was sent to them with the gospel of grace. He never referred to the earthly ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, in preaching that gospel to Gentiles; nothing of the Lord’s prayer, the sermon on the mount, the kingdom parables; no reference to the miracles of Christ. He mentioned several times the birth of Christ, but with the same stroke of the pen immediately His death and resurrection. His was the ministry of reconciliation which took the human race (back beyond the Abraham of the Four Gospels to Adam. Romans 5:13 to 20. Christ never mentioned Adam, while on earth: for He was the son of David the son of Abraham, a minister of the circumcision, confirming and fulfilling the covenants, the law and the prophets. Luke traced his ancestry, from Mary back to Adam. In the shadow of the cross the Lord Jesus said, “This is my blood in the new covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28. Under the terms and guarantee of the new covenant, all Israel shall be saved. Hebrews 9:9 to 12, Romans 11:24 to 30. The Twelve Apostles are to sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28.

The Premillenarians teach that, beginning with the death of Christ, God postponed Israel’s kingdom; interrupted or suspended His Abrahamic and Davidic covenants, so far as the guarantee of national blessings to Israel were concerned; ushered in a new dispensation with the advent of the Holy Spirit, declaring His purpose to build that Church spoken of by Christ in Matthew 16:17 to 19, which was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3 and 4; Ephesians 1:19 to 23). They teach that God, by the Holy Spirit, put into operation on the day of Pentecost, the new covenant, which has since gone on, without interruption from the day of Pentecost down to the present and will continue until the Body of Christ is raptured when Christ descends with the shout and trump of I Thessalonians 4:13 to 18. II Corinthians 3:5 to 12. Hebrews 10:9 to 15. Therefore they teach that the Body of Christ is the New Covenant Church, but they absolutely refuse to call that Church “Spiritual Israel”, teaching that Israel is something entirely different. They claim that Israel, by the terms of the new covenant, will be saved in the tribulation and kingdom, immediately following the rapture of the “New Covenant Church”.

The Postmillenarians declare that this will mean two different “New Covenant Churches”, (ekklesia), inasmuch as Israel, under the old covenant was called the “ekklesia” more than sixty times and while they were under that old covenant they were promised the new covenant. They intelligently ask the two questions. First, if God suspended or interrupted His Abrahamic and Davidic covenants, covering Israel’s national restoration, at some point in the past, why did He not at the very same point suspend the new covenant, which guarantees national redemption to Israel, if the Body of Christ is not Israel? And second; if under the terms of the new covenant there is to be such universal blessing, and, the new covenant has gone on uninterrupted since the day of Pentecost, why interrupt it by having Christ come back? The Premillenarians, who present the above described program for Israel and the Body of Christ, call themselves “dispensationalists.”

Some other dispensationalists are called by them “ultradispensationalists”, because they declare that all three of the covenants, the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenants, with guarantees of blessings to Israel, were suspended at the same point along the line but not at the time of Christ’s death; but some years later as Israel was not set aside at Calvary, but after Acts 28:28. At that time there came the proclamation of “the dispensation of the “mystery”. Therefore they doubt very seriously whether there is Scriptural authority for calling the Body of Christ the “New Covenant Church” unless, by the same Divine authority the Church may be called “Israel”.

So far as the eternal Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is concerned and salvation by faith in His shed, blood, the infallibility, inspiration and authority of all the Scriptures, redeemed postmillenarian, dispensationalist and ultradispensationalist are agreed. And let us beware of trying to take God’s place and pronounce His anathema upon any messenger of the Grace of God whose dispensationalism may differ from ours.

Personally I am an “ultra-conservative” dispensationalist. What are you?

All Things of the Great Commission

MATTHEW 28:19 and 20:


A spiritual Christian will practice what he preaches. He should not condemn his fellow- Christian for not preaching the so-called Great Commission for this day of grace unless he is sure that He himself is practicing as well as preaching the observance of all things whatsoever Christ, on earth, had commanded His disciples. “All things” does not mean “some things” or “most things”. When the Lord said “all things” He meant “all things”. Included in the “all things”, the Lord taught His disciples: “Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.” Luke 6:30.

A very lovely Christian gentleman in Chicago, a lawyer by profession, is a very severe critic of those who do not teach and preach the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19 and 20. He condemns his fellow Christians unmercifully. He has written a book against them. And by the way, instead of obeying Matthew 10:8, “freely (for nought) ye have received, freely (for nought) give,” he wilfully disobeys that commandment of the “all things” and asks the people to send 25 cents for his printed message. He doesn’t intend to be inconsistent, but all Christians are, when they take his position with respect to the Great Commission. But as a lawyer, and a real conscientious just man, as he is, what advice would he give to a Christian whose goods had been taken away, and who sought his services in an endeavor to recover them? He would say “ask them not again”.

Now, I am going to send a copy of this message to this spiritual man of God, this man who has publicly condemned me because I do not agree with his interpretation of Scriptures, and my appeal is that he give me $100.00, or more if he is able. To be consistent, if he really practices what he preaches, he will not alibi: he will send me that money. Could any commandment of Christ be more clearly presented than this one: “Give to him that asketh thee”? When I receive the gift from this beloved brother, I will publicly acknowledge receipt and present another of the “all things” for his obedience.

How can our brother honestly and conscientiously represent his clients, under the law of Illinois, and obey Matthew 5:40, “if any man will SUE thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also?”

I can prove, by competent witnesses, that this inconsistent Christian lawyer does not obey Matthew 5:25, “agree with thine adversary quickly.”

Of course you understand I am not condemning this brother for his inability, or unwillingness, or neglect, in the matter of disobeying or ignoring these commandments; but simply calling his attention to a little lesson about the beam and the mote. Matthew 7:3 to 5. Perhaps he is trying to be honest. Then the answer must be, “ignorance” of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s method of interpretation.

How can a Christian carry a bank balance or buy houses and lots in the light of Acts 2:45 and Acts 4:34?

I would like to ask this dear brother how much time he spends at the morgue in the deathchamber or at the cemetery, practicing what he wants God’s servants to preach in this day of grace, “raise the dead”. Matthew 10:8. This is not sarcasm. This is simply a reply to his ungracious, unspiritual, unjust criticisms and condemnation of other Christian brethren who disagree with him as to the place of the commission of Matthew 28:19 and 20. He brands as “higher-critical”, “ultra-dispensational”, “heretical”, those who do not agree with him concerning the Great Commission. Included in the noble servants of the Lord who fall under our brother’s anathema, so far as the Matthew Commission is concerned, are Dr. James M. Gray, Dr. A. C. Gaebelein, Dr. Wm. L. Pettingill, Mr. John Darby, and many others. Our brother should more prayerfully meditate and hesitate before bringing his charges against men whose ministries have been so fruitful.

These servants are, or were, “grace” preachers. They would not tell a rich man to “sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor”, to be saved. Luke 18:22. They should not tell a sinner to “strive (agonize) to enter in at the straight gate.” (Luke 13:24). They would preach, “to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace but of debt.” “By grace are ye saved, through faith—not of works.”

Remember the words of the Commission, “teaching them to observe ‘all things’ which I have commanded you.” Where would our lawyer friend be; where would I be; where would you be; if we were governed by Matthew 18:34 and 35, instead of by Ephesians 4:32, “be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake, hath forgiven you.” and Colossians 2:13, “you, hath He made alive, having forgiven you all trespasses.”

Now, compare with Matthew 18:34 and 35: “The Lord wroth—delivered debtor to the tormentors till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every brother their trespasses.” This dear brother should rejoice with me that He is not with Jesus under the law, obeying the Scribes and Pharisees in “Moses”‘ seat (Matthew 23:1 to 3), but under the reign of grace, or he would land in the hands of tormentors for what he is doing to God’s faithful servants. Is our brother disobedient, dishonest, or ignorant when he claims that he is teaching and practicing the “all things” which the Son of God, “under the law” (Galatians 4:4, Romans 15:8), sent only to the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 15:24) taught in connection with the kingdom of heaven which was at hand? Let him answer concerning some of these “all things”

1. Jesus was circumcised when He was 8 days old.

2. Jesus’ custom was to worship in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Luke 4:16.

3. Jesus kept the feasts of the Jews. John 7:10, Matthew 26:17.

4. He instructed men to take a Jewish offering to the priest. Matthew 8:4.

5. Leave your gift at the altar. Matthew 5:24.

6. Sell that ye have, and give alms. Luke 12:33.

7. Jesus gave the loaves and fishes to his disciples to distribute. 5000 hungry were well fed. 12 baskets of fragments. John 6:1 to 13. “Greater works than these shall he do”. John 14:12.

8. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Matthew 10:8. And Peter obeyed,:—“sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits; and they were healed EVERY ONE.” Acts 5:16.

9. “Also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.” Matthew 21:21.

10. Take NOTHING for your journey Neither have TWO coats apiece. Luke 9:3.

11. Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth. Matthew 6:19.

12. Seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink. Luke 12:29.

13. Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. Luke 12:22.

14. Take therefore no thought for the morrow. Matthew 6:34.

15. He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none, and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Luke 3:11.

16. Under Matthew 28:19 and 20 the disciple is obligated to observe “all things”. If he observes 10-11-12-13-14-15 above, has he the authority of Christ to carry lifeinsurance, to put up fruit for the winter, speculate for profit, carry a bank balance, worry about an income, have two coats so long as a fellow-man is without one?

17. Love ye your enemies and lend, hoping for nothing again. Luke 6:35.

18. “They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.”

19. Peter walked on the water. Matthew 14:29. Peter saw Moses and Elijah in a vision. Matthew 17:4. Peter drew in the net full of fish. Luke 5:6.

20. “Ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14.

I ask for your decision. Is a brother consistent who condemns fellow-Christians for not practicing commandments which he makes no attempt to observe? I trust our dear brother will see our difficulty and why we would prefer to suffer his anathema, sarcasm and insult, rather than follow his inconsistencies. We accept every blessed truth that our dear Lord spoke on earth, and desire to practice all that is compatible with Romans 6:14, II Corinthians 5:16 and II Timothy 2;15.

We would like to ask this dear brother, if the Lord Jesus, in giving either the keys of the kingdom to Peter, or the Great Commission to the Eleven, gave to them the gospel of the uncircumcision revealed to Paul years later (Galatians 1:11 and 12 and Galatians 2:7 to 9), or the ministry of reconciliation, (II Corinthians 5:17 to 21), or the “dispensation of the grace of God for Gentiles.” Ephesians 3:1 to 6. The answer is Matthew 15:24, Matthew 10:5 to 8.

Is it not profound ignorance, in the light of these revelations to Paul, to teach that either Matthew 28:19 and 20, Acts 1:6 or Mark 16:14 to 18 were the last commissions given by Christ; or, in the light of II Timothy 2:2 and II Timothy 4:1 to 14, to say that the preachers of the “grace” gospel today have no orders or authority later than the commissions given by Jesus to the ministers of the circumcision? (Galatians 2:7 to 9). Where is the true servant of the Lord today who preaches faith and baptism for salvation, and has the signs following? Mark 16:14 to 18. Surely our brother places a big premium on ignorance. We cannot follow his stupidity. Who would preach to Gentiles, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, “bring forth fruit worthy of repentance”? Luke 3:8. Certainly no intelligent servant of the Lord would tell a man to bring forth any kind of fruit until he received the Holy Spirit, by whom fruit is produced. The dead sinner must first be made alive by grace. Ephesians 2:1 and Ephesians 2:6. Two Gentiles received blessings from Christ on earth, because of “great faith”, Matthew 15:21 to 27, Luke 7:1 to 10. In Paul’s gospel any kind of a Gentile was blessed with all spiritual blessings because of God’s great love. Ephesians 2:4. What a difference! God says distinguish between things that differ. Philippians 1:10. (Gr.)

We would ask our brother to carefully study Acts 14:27 and Romans 11:30 and Ephesians 3:8 and Acts 20:24, to learn about “Gentile salvation” and see how Paul could have worked under the “baptizing them”, in Matthew 28:19 and 20, when he plainly declared “Christ sent me not to baptize.” I Corinthians 1:17.

As to the gifts of I Corinthians 12:8 to 11, “healing”, “miracles”, “discerning of spirits”, “tongues” and “interpretation of tongues”, our lawyer-Bible-teacher will acknowledge that he has none of these gifts, although they are particularly mentioned as belonging to the most carnal Church of Paul’s day. The saints at Corinth were defrauding one another. They were walking as men. There was utterly a fault among them. They were ungracious, unkind, censorious, and even cruel toward Paul. But they had all the gifts. So those gifts were not present because of a high spiritual standard and practice. Neither are they absent today because of the lack of spiritual Christians. They are not to be found among the most spiritual. There must be a dispensational explanation of the absence of certain sign-gifts found in the Church at Corinth. We have that explanation. Our brother will only continue to encourage and abet the awful fanaticism and delusions of Pentecostalists and fake healers.

Why I Believe in Endless Punishment

No doctrine is more repugnant to the unsanctified heart than the doctrine of endless suffering of the lost. In former ages it was the general belief of Christendom, but especially in the last half century a rebellion great and strong has broken out against this doctrine. The reason of man is not a competent judge in this matter, because human reason is darkened, fallen, at enmity with God, and a malefactor is never the qualified Judge of what strict justice demands in his own case. God the impartial Judge of the Universe Himself is the only competent Judge in this matter and He has given His final verdict in His Word.

1. The tender and compassionate Saviour, who wept for our sins and died for our transgressions, has taught more about eternal suffering than any other writer of the Bible. See Matthew 5:22, 29 and 30; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 18:9; Matthew 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45; Luke 12:5; John 3:16, 36.

2. Knowing the absolute holiness of God by which He forever must react against sin the presumption is a thousand to one that He will forever react against the sinners, namely, the devil and his angels for whom he made the place of punishment, and against those who voluntarily have cast in their lot with Satan and his angels. They will always sin and consequently there must always be punishment. The devil has been sinning for six thousand years and he has not improved by God’s longsuffering. Unsanctified suffering has no tendency to soften and subdue the obdurate Satan and sinner. We have examples of wicked men in the Bible to show that the punishment of God had rather a tendency to exasperate and provoke the impenitent to greater wickedness. Such was the effect at least upon Pharaoh, Saul, and Ahaz of whom we read: “In his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord: this is that King Ahaz” II Chronicles 28:22. Solomon says: “Though thou shouldst bray a fool with a pestle in a mortar, yet will not his foolishness depart from him,” Proverbs 27:22. The damned are incurable fools, and the foolishness will not depart from them any more through the wrath of God than through the love of God on Calvary.

3. The argument based upon the etymology of the word “Johanna”, coming as it does from the valley of Hind, is puerility itself. All human language, in and out of the Bible, is based upon metaphor, and the material images are used to represent spiritual ideas. This is true even of the sublime epistle to the Ephesians. In regard to all human language the statement of the Apostle fully applies: “That was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual.” I Corinthians. 15:46. Words like understand, apprehend, comprehend, imagine, aspire, inspire, recollect, infer, deduce, inchant, capitulate, reclaim, and a multitude of words although originally drawn from the actions of the human body are now used to express actions of the mind, but the mental actions are just as real as the physical, and so also Gehenna, translated “hell”, is just as real as the physical valley of Hinnom. This dark valley served only as a background for something far worse.

4. The argument against endless punishment derived from the identification of life and death with existence and nonexistence is worthless rubbish. Not for a moment can death be identified with non-existence. A dead tree is not a nonexistent tree, but a tree that is just as really existing as a living and fruit-bearing tree. It only exists in a different way. It does not fulfill the purpose for which it was planted: fruit-bearing. A dead church is not a non-existent church, but a church that runs in line with sin and Satan away from God. A joke that fell dead simply did not tickle the risibilities. A dead capital does not enrich the owner, but it exists. It only exists in the wrong way, in the wrong place, with the wrong party, and without practical point and progress. Abraham’s body and Sara’s womb were dead, Romans 4:19, and this simply means that they lost the generative function; in the same way the Bible speaks of the dead burying the dead, Matthew 8:22; of dead works and dead faith, Hebrews 6:1; Hebrews 9:14; James 2:17, 20, 26. Sardis was dead, Revelation 3:11. The sinner is dead in trespasses and sins, Ephesians 2:1 to 6; Colossians 2:13. In another sense the saints are dead to sin and the world, Galatians 2:19, 20; Colossians 3:3; Romans 6:1 to 11. “If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death,” John 8:51; John 11:26; John 6:47 to 54. Whoever lives in pleasure is dead while he or she liveth, I Timothy 5:6. After Lazarus and Dives died they were existing in different ways with a gulf fixed between them. And so the second death is just as real as the first, but no resurrection will ever follow it. The wages of sin is death in all its fearful extent and implication, death in its three-fold form: spiritual, natural, and eternal death, and in this text: Romans 6:23 stands in the immediate contrast to eternal life. Neither do the words destruction, perish, perdition, burn, condemnation and others, used to express the doom of the lost, signify cessation of being, but always, without exception, a continued, perpetuated state of suffering and misery.

5. Of late much has been made of the word aionian. We can freely admit that this term in itself does not express the thought of endlessness. In fact it not only can be applied to something that exists, for an eon, a long period with a definite beginning and end, but it has been used in the Scriptures in that sense several times. Time and again, however, the Word uses the word aionian for something that is endless. It speaks of aionian redemption, Hebrews 9:12; aionian inheritance, Hebrews 9:15; an aionian comfort, II Thessalonians 2:16; an aionian weight of glory, II Corinthians 4:17; aionian tabernacles, Luke 16:9; an aionian Kingdom, II Peter 1:11; the aionian Spirit, Hebrews 9:14; the aionian King, I Timothy 1:17; aionian life, John 3:15, 16 the aionian God, Genesis 21:33, and so also aionian punishment, destruction, and burnings, Isaiah 33:14. And often these are put in contrast so that it is evident that if the one is lasting forever the other must be. “The things which are seen are proskaira, temporal, but the things which are not seen are aionian. If this last word were also temporal, Paul would have stated here a bit of nonsense. Then, although it is clear from the above examples that the word aionian often does mean endless, everlasting, the Holy Spirit has doubled this word in regard to the suffering of the lost to emphasize the endlessness of it. The term aionian life” is used in two senses: As a present possession and as a future possession. John generally uses it in the first sense and Paul uses it as a rule in the future sense. In Romans 6:23 he uses it as a present gift and possession and in I Timothy 6:12,19 he uses it in the sense of a future attainment and reward on which we now must lay hold by means of good works. See also Titus 1:2 and 3:7. The word aionian then has a wide range. The phrase “in the ages of the ages”, used more than twenty times, invariably denotes endless duration. In Revelation it is used fourteen times and in every case the limited and restricted sense is excluded.

6. The Bible explicitly teaches that the miseries of the wicked shall have no end. The fire shall never be quenched, their worm death not, Mark 9:44 to 46. The fire is unquenchable Matthew 3:12. The smoke of their torments ascendeth up forever and ever, Revelation 14:11. Satan is thrown into the lake of fire after the thousand years and is tormented forever and after (into the ages of the ages) Revelation 20:10, and from Matthew 25:41 we know that the wicked shall be sent into this everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Of the beast worshippers is said in Revelation 14:10 and 11 that they shall be tormented with fire and brimstone, in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb, and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever. Jude 13 says that the apostates are wandering stars “to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever,” Peter has also: “to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever II Peter 2:17. Daniel puts the everlasting contempt opposition to the everlasting life, Daniel 12:2. “And these shall go into aionian punishment, but the righteous into life aionian. Matthew 25:46.

7. The Annihilationists and Restorationists, and whatever the Universalists may be called today, misjudge all the great concepts of the Word of God. They misjudge the character of God’s holiness and vindictive justice and also the character of His punishment. They look upon punishment as simply disciplinary, but even in human justice as capital punishment a murderer is not electrocuted for his own good, but to satisfy the majesty of the trespassed law and to flash a warning into the hearts of men for the good of society. Sodom and Gomorrah were set forth for a warning example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. There is holy vengeance in the punishment of the wicked. The Lord is slow to anger, eager to forgive, long-suffering, wonderfully kind, but Nahum says twice: “The Lord revengeth, the Lord revengeth, and is furious who can abide in the fierceness of His anger?” Nahum 1:3, 5, 6. The word Wrath appears in the New Testament alone fifty-five times with three Greek words. The Restorationists neither do appreciate what it means to be justified and, saved by grace. They have never understood what the grace of God includes. What grace could there be bestowed upon people that have endured all that they deserve either in this life or in an aion to come. One that has endured his punishment may lift up his head and spurn pardon, grace and forgiveness. How would such persons need the interposition of Christ? What could Christ ever do for them? They have suffered all they deserve and have nothing to dread. They cannot have a Mediator, they need not an atonement, or a Redeemer, they need not even a Deliverer and Helper, they can fully do without a Saviour for they themselves fully propitiate and satisfy the justice of God. They can never glory in the cross of Christ, never shout the redemption songs about the cleansing power of the blood for they themselves have suffered the whole penalty of a broken law, they have paid the debt, paid it all, and all glory is to themselves. Hence Restorationism is abhorrent and utterly at variance with the gospel of grace and, glory. It has been affirmed that the Restorationists do glory in the grace of God. In the very nature of things that can not be. Their vision of holiness, justice, sin, and grace is sadly blurred.

Part 6: Studies in Ephesians


The Spirit’s part in the realization of God’s eternal purpose is now brought to our attention in Ephesians 1:13 and 14, and we find that the Father’s choice, Ephesians 1:4 realized in Christ, Ephesians 1:7, is now sealed with the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in wham also after that ye believed, (pisteusantes-believing), ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13 and 14.


When it comes to the theme of salvation, the Bible is the most dogmatic book in the universe: its terms are unmistakable; and it is readily seen that it is not planned after the wisdom of man. Hear its emphatic declaration, “all have sinned”, Romans 3:23; all are “dead in trespasses and sins”, Ephesians 2:1; and “there is no difference”, Romans 3:22. Man is dead in sin. The life cord has been severed. What he needs is not a reformation, but a quickening from within, a spiritual resurrection. If man were not dead, he would need cultivation not salvation. But God’s Word is plain. We have no goodness or life in us to be developed; but sin and death from which to be saved. There is none good but God. There is none that giveth life but God. This life has been brought to light in the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. II Timothy 1:9 and Romans 8:2. Isaiah 64:6 tells us that all our righteousness is as filthy rags; therefore if any man is saved and made righteous, all the credit and glory must and should go to God. All boasting is in the finished work of the Cross. Ephesians 2:9, also makes it plain, that salvation is not of works, lest any man should boast. And I Corinthians 1:29 states that no flesh shall glory in His presence. There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12. This is the name of Jesus Christ. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of .truth, the gospel of your salvation.” Ephesians 1:13.


Ephesians 1:13b . . . in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise”.

The language that relates to the sinner’s salvation is not only definite when the conditions for such salvation are given to man; but also when it refers to God’s own work of security to those who believe. Notice the definite steps given in this verse, “ye heard”, “ye believed”, “ye. were sealed”. In John 6:27, “sealing” is attributed to the Father, “Him (Jesus Christ) hath God the Father sealed”. In this passage we have the word that the Father seals the ‘Son’. In Ephesians 1:13 the Father seals the ‘sons’. Here again we see the Trinity in operation; the Father sealing the believer in Christ with the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Spirit answers to the blood and tells us we are born of God.


What a glorious security to be shut up by God in the Son of His love, and sealed in Him by the Holy Spirit. Who can break that seal? Who can take us out of Christ? What opposition is there that can take us from that blessed position in Christ? Thank God we are eternally secure in the Lord Jesus under the sealing of the Father with the Holy Spirit. Some would have ‘persevere’ unto the end, but we can thank God that we are not trusting in our ‘perseverance’ but in His ‘preservation’ Jude 1:1. Therefore, we can be confident that He which hath begun a good work in us will not let us be torn from the Body of Christ, but will bring us safe into the glory to display the triumph of His grace, (Philippians 1:6). The sealing of the purchased possession offers to the believer, bought by the blood of Christ, some wonderful and precious truths of deep significance.


We are a purchased possession, bought with the blood of Christ, and the Lord knoweth them that are His, II Timothy 2:19. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His.” This sealing defies the ravages of time and even death. Nothing can take us outside the pale of recognition. We are sealed for identification, yes, we are identified and made one with the Lord Jesus in death, burial, resurrection and ascension. We are sealed “in Christ”, and Christ is in heaven at God’s right hand, so the believer’s position is as secure as Christ’s. He is the Beloved and we are accepted in Him. Our lives are hid with Christ in God.


Ephesians 1:14. “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

In Ephesians 4:30, it states that we are sealed unto the day of redemption. This is the day to which we look forward in hope, we look back to the day when by faith, believing, our souls were redeemed by the blood of Christ. Now we look forward to the redemption of the body, which the sealing with the Spirit has secured for us. We have been received by adoption in Jesus Christ as the children of God, literally given, the placing of sons; and now we are “waiting for the adoption to wit, the redemption of our body, for we are saved by hope, Romans 8:23 and 24. The redemption of the Body is the hope that will complete our salvation and in this sense we can say “our salvation is nearer than when we believed, Romans 13:11. We have received salvation of the soul. We shall receive salvation of the body. The first, we received when we believed and were sealed with the Holy Spirit. The latter is to be received on the day of redemption and is as sure as the resurrection of Christ. “But 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. Romans 8:11. What a day that will be to have these bodies of humiliation changed and fashioned with the body of his glory! Philippians 3:21. Note especially the next clause in this particular passage, it is “according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Don’t fear or doubt, or have any misgivings. He has raised up Jesus and one day we shall know what is the exceeding greatness of his power which he wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead. Yes! hallelujah HE IS ABLE. He hath delivered us. He doth deliver us. He will deliver us. (II Corinthians 1:10). By the blood of His cross He hath redeemed us and when the church which is His body is caught up to meet the Lord in the glory, that will be the day of redemption; the redemption of the purchased possession. It is unto this time and blessed event, that the Holy Spirit has sealed and secured us.


In Romans 8:23, we are said to have the ‘first-fruits’ of the Spirit; and we are waiting for the redemption of the body. You can easily see the similarity between that passage and Ephesians 1:14. We have only as yet received the first-fruits of the Spirit; but this plainly implies that there are further fruits to come; and we are waiting in keen anticipation for final harvest. In Ephesians 1:14, the Spirit is the ‘earnest’, the ‘pledge’ or ‘surety’ that binds the transaction, assuring of a final settlement. This same expression is used in II Corinthians 1:22, “Who hath also sealed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” Also Chapter II Corinthians 5:5, “who (God) also hath given unto us the earnest of the spirit. We have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, witnessing to our sonship, revealing Christ’s glory, giving enlightenment in the Word, comforting, strengthening and sustaining us in our daily trials. By this we know we are ‘sealed’; the genuine subjects of salvation. We are actually the purchased property of the Lord; and this is His pledge to us that we shall enter into the full glory of the inheritance, thus completing the purpose and plan of the Godhead.


Three times this ascription of praise and glory has been given; the first time, in Ephesians 1:6, when the work of the Father had been revealed; the second, in Ephesians 1:12, after the work of the Son; and now it appears again after the work of the Spirit, coming as a grand climax to the working out of God’s own eternal purpose as it is revealed in the greatest sentence in all literature of the world. Ephesians 1:3 to 14.

Part 4: The Great Commission

In the previous installments of this series endeavor has been made to show that the Great Commission, so-called, does not stand unabridged as the marching orders for the Body of Christ in this present dispensation, although that commission may have some things in common with instructions for today. It may be asked then: Just what is the commission proper for the Body of Christ? and it is the purpose in this concluding paper to answer this question.

It will first of all be helpful to see the difference between God’s dealings today with members of the Body of Christ and with the nation Israel in the past, as well as in the future. The former is individual; the latter is national. This is not to say that God did not and will not yet deal with individual Israelites, but that primarily His promises and purposes concerned the whole nation. This fact may be seen by comparing the doctrine of salvation in the Old Testament with that of today. Very little is said about personal salvation in the Old Testament, so that we are quite in the dark about the eternal well-being of many of those characters, unless light is thrown upon them from the New Testament page, as it is in Chapter eleven of Hebrews. Instead, the salvation of the nation Israel, and through Israel, of all nations is uppermost in the Old Testament foreview; whereas just the opposite is true in this present dispensation when all national distinctions are broken down. Compare Genesis 12:2; II Samuel 7:23; Psalm 147:20; Isaiah 51:4; Ezekiel 37:22; Deuteronomy 15:6; Deuteronomy 26:19; Deuteronomy 28:1, 12, 13; Micah 4:2; Haggai 2:7; Zechariah 2:11; Zechariah 8:22, 23; Zechariah 14:16, 19; Matthew 21:43; Matthew 25:32; Matthew 28:19; Luke 7:5; John 11:48, 50, 51, 52; Acts 10:28; Acts 15:17; I Peter 2:9 with Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:14 to 18; Colossians 3:11. It is an interesting fact that the words “nation” and “nations” occur 469 times in the Bible, and only eight of these occurrences are to be found in Paul’s epistles. Paul never speaks of the Church as a nation, and the great majority of his references to the Gentiles is not to whole nations as such, but to individuals among all nations. In such passages as Romans chapters 9 through 11 where Paul digresses to discuss Israel nationally, he also refers to the Gentiles nationally. Failure to see that Paul is dealing with nations and not individuals primarily in Romans 11 has led many to believe that Paul was there contradicting his teaching of the security of the believer set forth elsewhere. Concerning eternal security, as well as many other doctrines, it may be said the believer today stands where the nation Israel used to stand. By virtue of the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenants Israel as a nation was guaranteed eternal security, although no individual Israelite had that promise (compare Genesis 13:15; II Samuel 7; Jeremiah 31 with Ezekiel 33:13). Although individual Israelites had been rebelling and sinning against the Lord and many had been punished by death; God said that “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel” (Numbers 23:21). This illustrates the standing of the individual believer today, made the righteousness of God in Christ (II Corinthians 5:21); accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6), and complete in Him (Colossians 2:10). Failure to make this distinction between national and individual relationships is bound to cause confusion in almost every field of Bible doctrine.

In approaching the subject of the Church Commission, this same distinction must be kept in mind. The Matthew Commission, which is yet to be fulfilled, is a national commission to make disciples of the nations. The Mark Commission, under which the Twelve worked during Acts, manifests its national character in Peter’s appeal to the nation and not merely to individuals. (Acts 2:22; Acts 3:12 to 26; Acts 4:10; Acts 5:31, etc.). Thus the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is seen to be a national sin committed by Israel in rejecting the witness of the Holy Ghost during the Acts ministry; and the judgments of Matthew 21:43; Matthew 22:7; Matthew 25:32 are seen to be national and not merely individual judgments.

An understanding of the distinctions thus far set down will help to explain why we have to search in vain in Paul’s epistles for any commission to the church as a whole or as an organization. To be sure, the believers are not considered to be isolated individuals having no relationship with one another, but quite the opposite. They are inseparably and vitally connected, as all being members one of another in the Body of Christ; but as; Salvation in the Body of Christ is individual, so also is the commission for service an individual commission to each member of the Body. Dr. Lewis Sperry Shafer says in his book, Major Bible Themes, page 212:

“Strictly speaking, the Church has no mission; for God has never commissioned her as a corporate body to undertake any task whatsoever. It is true that by means of the Church, God is now making known His wisdom, and will yet make known His grace to the angelic hosts (Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 2:7), but this calls for no effort or sacrifice on her part. All divine commissions are to the individual believer; and this is reasonable, since Christian service is the exercise of a personal gift in the power of the indwelling Spirit. It is noticeable that no service program for the church succeeds until it becomes a service program for the individual.”

If this be true, as your present writer wholeheartedly believes, then no commission in the Bible, be it Great or otherwise, can rightly be called the Church Commission. As individual members of the Body of Christ we must search the Bible for our instructions for service. But where in the Bible shall we search? Since Paul is the only Bible writer who mentions the Church which is His Body, and since Paul is the only one who claims to have received the revelation of the truth for the Body in this present dispensation of the Mystery, it is only logical to conclude that his writings must be searched for this instruction. And even further distinctions must be observed; for in some of Paul’s earlier epistles he makes it plain that certain changes in dispensation are to take place, as in I Corinthians 13:8 to 13, and these changes are seen to have taken place by the time the Ephesian letter was written, by comparing the list of gifts in I Corinthians 12:8 to 10 with the list in Ephesians 4:7 to 11. If one is a man (mature or perfected) in understanding (I Corinthians 14:20), he will know that the gift of tongues, although mentioned in Paul’s epistle, has no place or purpose today; for God is not now speaking to the nation Israel in tongues for a sign (I Corinthians 14:21 and 22), and neither do any of the other Pentecostal sign gifts have any place in the program of the Church today.

It would seem to be the wisest and simplest solution to the problem: What is my commission? to observe I Corinthians 11:1: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ”; and Philippians 3:17: “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.” Paul is set forth as the sample or model Christian. We cannot, of course, duplicate his experiences, but we can follow his example and instructions. And if we give ourselves over wholly to follow our God given pattern, who would dare to say that we would fall short of God’s expectations, or that we would have need to go back under the kingdom instructions in Matthew for the perfection of our lives or service? Who has ever read Paul’s last letter, II Timothy, and closed the book with the feeling that he found there no incentive for preaching the Word? We need to bury ourselves in Paul’s epistles, understanding that the instructions therein contained are not for an organization or for the clergy, but for every sinner saved by God’s grace in this present dispensation. And then we need to emerge with the Holy Spirit boldness, conviction, and determination which so characterized Paul, “to preach the Word; to be instant in season and out of season,” or more literally to be on hand for service when it’s convenient and when it’s not convenient. Let us not be as Israel, zealous but not according to knowledge (Romans 10:2), but let us be understanding what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:17) and then do the will of God from the heart. (Ephesians 6:6).

Part 1: A Scriptural Examination of Anglo-Israelism


Our Gospel is hid to them that are lost. II Corinthians 4:3 and 4. This includes all the unbelieving Gentiles and all the unbelieving Israelites, no matter to which of the twelve tribes they belong. Believing Gentiles and believing Israelites are one in Christ. Christ broke down the middle-wall of partition between them. Now these believers, in a joint-Body, constitute the One New Man of Ephesians 2:15, Ephesians 3:6. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision. Galatians 3:26 to 28. Identified with the risen Christ, who is now far above in the highest heavenlies, seated with Him and blessed in Him with all spiritual blessings, are saved Africans, Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Turks, Greeks, Italians, Germans, French, Spanish, Scandinavians, Britons, Russians, Americans, and hundreds of other nations and tribes. There are about sixteen hundred million people on this earth, according to the world census taken by the World Court. There are about sixteen million Jews; one out of one hundred, about one per cent. It has been stated that the percentage of saved Jews out of the sixteen million, is as high as the percentage of saved Gentiles out of the sixteen hundred million.

If there was any Scriptural authority for calling the saved Jews and Gentiles, united in Christ, “Spiritual Israel” before God pronounced His awful judgment upon the Nation Israel, in Acts 28:25 and 28, which is still a debatable question, certainly any Divine authority for such an appellation for the Body of Christ since that time is not to be found. About 70 A.D. God visited Israel with that unmerciful judgment pronounced by Christ, in Luke 21:20 to 24 and Matthew 22:7. Since the days of that terrible judgment we have been living in “the times of the Gentiles”, spiritually or religiously. “the times of the Gentiles” politically or governmentally began about 600 B.C.. Israel, in accordance with Deuteronomy 28:44 has for centuries been the tail and not the head. When were Great Britain and the United States the tail?

In the early Church after the death of Christ, before the Divine judgment of Acts 28:25 to 28, God’s order was “to the Jew first”. Acts 3:26, Acts 13:46, Romans 1:16. But all special privileges, of Israel over the other nations ceased with the declaration of the truth from Christ, concerning the “joint-Body”, made up of those, “who were afar off (Gentiles—aliens from the commonwealth of Israel) and those who were nigh (the commonwealth of Israel) Ephesians 2:11 to 17. Even before this full revelation of Divine truth, designated “the mystery”, God’s Word of instruction was, “give none offence neither to the Jew, nor the Gentile nor the Church of God.” I Corinthians 10:32. If there had been a fourth division at that time, “Israel”, different from the Jews, the Word should have been “neither to the Jews, the Israelites, the Gentiles, nor the Church of God.”

Yes, the Gospel of glory is hid from lost Israelites, but so far as God is concerned, there are no lost Ten Tribes of Israel. These words were spoken by Jesus, on earth: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24. Therefore, if we speak Scripturally of lost Israel, we speak of the lost Twelve Tribes. What Jehovah said of Israel, in Hosea 5:3 is still true in 1936 A.D., “Israel is not hid from me.”

If Israel is hid from Christians, it is because they have read some human theories concerning the lost Ten Tribes instead of diligently searching the Word of God. Years ago in Mexico when I was examining the ruins of the Aztecs, near the two great pyramids, I was told that the Aztecs were the lost tribes of Israel. According to traditions, the following “peoples” have been called, the lost tribes of Israel”; the Afghans, the Japanese, the North American Indians, the Nestorians and the Irish, and many others.

Now, we want you to know from the Word of God just how and where you can definitely locate all twelve of the tribes of Israel today. Study carefully the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy. In that chapter, which gives in detail God’s punishment of unfaithful and disobedient Israel, that message was for all the tribes. The whole house of Israel was addressed by Peter, on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:36. And by James, in his Epistle, “to the Twelve Tribes scattered abroad.” James 1:1. Jews from every nation under heaven were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. Compare Acts 2:5 with Acts 2:36.

Read Deuteronomy 28:28: “thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore.” Deuteronomy 28:37: “And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.” Deuteronomy 28:48: “Therefore shalt thou serve thy enemies, which the Lord shall serve against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, in want of all things. And he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck.” Deuteronomy 26:62: “And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude.” Deuteronomy 28:64 and 65; “And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from one end of the earth even unto the other—Among these nations shalt thou find no ease”. Deuteronomy 28:53: “Thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and thy daughters: Thus scattered and punished Israel is to be the tail and not the head. Deuteronomy 28:44.

Now let us bear in mind that this was spoken to all Israel. All Israel is to be saved when their Deliverer comes, that is, representatives from all twelve tribes. Romans 11:26. That Deliverer spoke of His coming as the Son of man and Israel’s redemption, in Luke 21:27 to 32. In that same chapter He confirmed concerning scattered Israel and forsaken Jerusalem that which was spoken by Moses in Deuteronomy. Read Luke 21:20 to 24. Read carefully these verses and then read in history the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 A.D., and you will read the fulfillment in part of Deuteronomy 28, as to eating the flesh of sons and daughters. If you have read; the history of Great Britain and the United States, do you know when either of these nations ever fulfill the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy? But more of this after we set forth some of the claims of the leaders in the Anglo-Israel Movement.

These statements are copied from literature sent out from the “Anglo-Saxon Federation of America”, Haverhill, Mass.

1. The Bible does not state or infer that the Jews are God’s chosen people. Judah and Israel are entirely distinct and separate entities. II Chronicles 11.

2. The Bible made these prophecies and recorded these facts concerning Israel and the Jews. Israel was to find an island home and be moved no more. The Jews were to be strangers in all lands. Israel was to constitute a kingdom but the Jews were never to be a nation, until reunited with Israel. Jews were to remain under the law and Old Covenant, whereas Israel was to be a Christian people.

3. “Israel had nothing to do with the crucifixion of our Lord, not being in the land, except Benjamin, who accepted Him.”

4. “Ephraim” is England and “Manassah” represents the United States. Manassah was the thirteenth tribe, and that accounts for the discovery of America on October 13, 1492; and the following “thirteens” in American history. Thirteen colonies; 13 bars and 13 stars (flag); 13 letters in “E Pluribus Unum” and 13 feathers, 13 olives, and 13 arrows on American coins. First American navy, 13 ships. Cornerstone of White House laid October 13, 1792. The 13th amendment abolished slavery. General Pershing born September 13, 1860 and arrived in France for participation in the World war June 13, 1917. The first letter in Manasseh is the 13th in both English and Hebrew languages. Herbert Hoover and Charles Curtis each had 13 letters in their names.

5. The Celtic-Anglo-Saxons are Israel, the chosen people of God. The British Isle inhabitants are descendants among others, from the tribes of Saxons (Isaac’s sons), the Danes of Dan, the Jutes of Judah, the Fresians, the Picts, and the Scots, and Normans of Benjamin.

6. “Brith” in Hebrew means “covenant”, therefore we have Britain, “covenant law”, British the “covenant man”, Britania “covenant ships”. “Britannia rules the waves”, controlling the English Channel, Gibralta, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, the Suez Canal, Malta, Aden, and other gates and stations. America controls practically all of the remaining gates. This, all in fulfillment of Genesis 22:17, “thy (Abraham’s) seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.” (Read Isaiah 14:1 to 8).

The Anglo-Saxons are “Christianized Israel” and are fulfilling Isaiah 49:7: “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” The Church is the priesthood of the nation.

In 1776 A.D. the Lord divided Israel into two nations, so that God’s promises to both Ephraim and Manasseh might be realized.

7. When General Allenby, the British soldier, drove the Turks out of Palestine and took possession of that land, the British were the children of Israel from the north and all lands returning to the land given to their fathers by God, in fulfillment of Jeremiah 23:7 and 8. During the centuries before this return of Israel (the Anglo-Saxons) to Palestine, God had fulfilled Ezekiel 20:33 to 35, bringing scattered Israel with a mighty hand out of countries into the wilderness (Great Britain), and the wilderness was to blossom like a rose, and be the place prepared of God where Israel should be nourished. And there Israel was to fulfill Deuteronomy 32:13, and be the lion lifting himself up with the strength of the unicorn-as a great Lion. Numbers 23:24, Numbers 24:9.

8. In this latter day the New Covenant is first for the Anglo-Saxon Israelites. As under the Old Covenant, strangers and sojourners can become Israelites, members of the kingdom nation (Britain) and partaker of its benefits. These partakers are grafted into the Israel stock for kingdom benefits. Every Anglo-Saxon who complies with the law is recovenanted to God. The law has not been set aside, only the form of circumcision. The punishment of those refusing to comply with this law shall be destruction.

The present failure of Anglo-Saxons and Americans to recognize Great Britain as the kingdom of Israel is responsible for the present misery and suffering in the two lands. Israel’s time of punishment foretold in Daniel 4:23 and 32, “seven times” has expired. A time was a period of 360 years, or 2520 years. Adding 2520 years to the time of Judah’s captivity, about 600 B.C., we come to about 1920 A.D.. One of the chief speakers for the Anglo-Israelites declares the Lord will come for His Church September 16th, of the year (1936).

9. Only Spirit-filled Christians will be saved from the great time of trouble. The rest of the Church and all Israel (Britons) will survive until Jesus’ feet stand on the mount of Olives to save His people from destruction, in fulfillment of Zechariah 14:1 to 3. (Howard B. Rand). The wise virgins of Matthew 25: are the Spirit-filled Church members who will be raptured. These will know in advance the arrival of the day of their removal. This will include only a few. 10. (Rev. Wm. P. Goard) The throne of David has come down to Great Britain through a clear line of descent and, therefore, the fulfillment of God’s promise that David’s throne would endure forever. Great Britain and America, Ephraim and Manasseh (who are to render willing obedience) are preparing the way for the coming of the King. The house of David, removed from Jerusalem in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, was brought to Ireland by Jeremiah the prophet in the person of Tamar Tephi, thus establishing the present line of descent. The Ten Tribes came from Assyria to Europe, thence to the British Isles to be joined to the house of David. God’s Jehovah throne was established in the midst of His kingdom, Modern Israel, or Britain. An ancient King of Ireland was married to a Jewish Princess from the East and their coronation was on Jacob’s stone, and the royal house of Britain has descended from that union.

10. The present King of England, Edward, Albert, Christian, George, Andrew, Patrick David is the prince descended from King David, the one hundredth generation from King David, born 1076 B.C. His name was at the suggestion of the Marchioness of Waterford, for said she, “I believe that he will be “David your prince” foretold by the prophet, under whom we shall repossess the holy land. The royal mother replied, “Baby is called David”. The present King David is on the throne and Ezekiel 37:22 to 24.

11. According to Daniel 2:44 and 45, a Stone is to come from heaven, smite all other kingdoms, become a mountain and fill the whole earth. This Stone kingdom is to stand forever. Israel is to stand forever. Jeremiah 31:35 and 36. Therefore, Great Britain is the Stone Kingdom, the forever Israel. To prove this, there are two emblematic stones, the little stone in Britain’s possession and the big stone the pyramid in Egypt. This Stone in Egypt is the altar of Isaiah 19:19 and 20, God’s witness.

The little stone now occupies the chief seat in the kingdom, the coronation chair at Westminster Abbey. The Kings of the House of David have been crowned upon this stone. During the past 130 years the Kingdom of Great Britain has expanded into the mountain and the emblematic big stone, the pyramid,, is God’s witness to Great Britain’s claim.

The Anglo Israelites decide much by the structure and measurements of the pyramid. They say “When the time arrived for the kingdom to grow into a mountain, God revealed a mountain of Stone as a witness to the kingdom people.” “Cutting the pyramid open from north to south, the diagram of the passages gives a chronological history of Israel and Judah.” There is recorded, that the transfer of the kingdom activities was from Judah to Israel, because the Jews, and not Israel, rejected and crucified Christ. Even the very time of Britain’s ultimatum to Germany and the Anglo-Saxons’ entrance into the World War, in 1914, is told by the pyramid measurements, midnight, August 4th. That was the beginning of Jacob’s trouble in fulfillment according to Jeremiah 30:7.

(End of statements.)

By this teaching the tribulation is still on, if it has not passed. But think most of us are not conscious if the millennium is here, or if we are in the midst of the great tribulation described in the Revelation.

How strange that our Apostle Paul had nothing to say about this pyramid. If this program is in any way a sign to members of the Body of Christ surely we would find it mentioned in “Body” truth, in the writings of Paul.

May we remind our readers that the Lord’s Church during this dispensation is designated “the Church which is His Body”. Ephesians 1:21 and 22, Colossians 1:24 to 28. In Ephesians 3:6 that Church is called the “Sussomos”, literally “Joint-Body”. Let us carefully study the context, with special emphasis on Ephesians 3:1 to 3 and 9: Paul the prisoner of Jesus Christ for Gentiles- —given the dispensation of the grace of God for Gentiles—the mystery of the Joint-Body revealed to him. Paul was to make known the fellowship (dispensation) of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world was hid in God. “The mystery”, mentioned twelve times in Paul’s last epistles, is always mentioned in connection with the high and holy calling, heavenly spiritual blessings of the Gentiles, as members of that Israel’s were; both silent and uninformed. Time and again the Scriptures remind us that Paul was Christ’s chosen minister to the Gentiles, though he himself was an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin, Romans 11:13 and 11:1. To be ignorant of Paul’s messages concerning the Body of Christ is to be ignorant concerning the Body of Christ.

In his message, leading up to the statement concerning the “Joint-Body”, Paul referred to the two “peoples” who were to make the “One New Man”, “the circumcision” and “the uncircumcision”, “the commonwealth of Israel and the aliens”, “those who were afar off and those who were nigh”. Ephesians 2:11, 12, 17. In referring to the new man, in Colossians 3:11, written at the same time, he refers to the “two peoples” as Gentile and Jew. Thus we see that the “Commonwealth of Israel” and the “Jew” are used synonymously and interchangeably as they are all through Paul’s oral and written ministry.

Perhaps the most inexcusable of all blunders in Bible study, is to confuse the promises which God made by the mouth and pen of His prophets to Israel, with His eternal purpose and grace given to members of the Body of Christ before Israel was ever brought into existence, even before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 3:11, II Timothy 1:9, Ephesians 1:3 and 4. To teach that “Anglo-Israel” or any other “Israel”, whose history is recorded in Old Testament prophecy, is, the Body of Christ, is worse than a travesty on sound exegesis: it is profound ignorance of the Word of God. If British Israel is the same Israel that Left Egypt, and later left Palestine as prisoners of the Assyrians, and are now preserved to be revealed as the Body of Christ, God’s chosen priesthood, seated with Christ the Head in the heavenlies, blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies, according to Ephesians 2:6, Ephesians 1:3 and 4, then all of Paul’s claim concerning “the mystery”, the unsearchable riches of Christ among the Gentiles, and His revelation concerning the “Joint-Body”, was but an empty dream. But Paul’s words were Christ’s words and Anglo-Israelism is the empty dream.

How could any servant of the Lord make known “the dispensation of the mystery” and make known Anglo-Israelism. Ephesians 3:9. Ignorance of the truth of Ephesians is responsible for every “ism” with which God’s true Church is troubled; that is, the one true antidote for all of the fallacies operating in the name of Christ’s Church is the “mystery” truth of Ephesians and Colossians.

If we should accept the foolish teaching of Anglo-Israelism that the English races are not Gentiles, then we would have to acknowledge our great blunder is having appropriated for ourselves and applied to ourselves, or rather misappropriated and misapplied all of the messages of Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, directed to Gentiles. We would have to teach that those glorious truths contained in the Epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, and II Timothy, concerning the mystery among the Gentiles, and the unsearchable riches among the Gentiles, and the eternal purpose of God in Christ Jesus, was intended for the Greeks, Italians, Turks and African Negroes, but not for us. I hope you will see the utter nonsense of their unscriptural teaching. To Paul was committed the gospel of the uncircumcision; to Peter, James and others, the gospel of the circumcision and Paul referred to them as the “Twelve Tribes”. Acts 26:7. Paul did not testify unto Two Tribes of Jews; but unto Twelve Tribes of Israel. In testifying to the Twelve Tribes of Israel, he told Israel’s rulers that John the Baptist had testified to “all the people of Israel”. Acts 13:24. Both Peter and Paul declared that it was Israel’s rulers who condemned Christ and put Him to death. Acts 13:17 and 26 and 27. Acts 4:10. “All the people of Israel”, Acts 4:27.

Peter addressed his epistle to the “dispersion”, “the Twelve Tribes”. I Peter 1:1. James addressed his epistle “to the Twelve Tribes”. James 1:1. Both Peter and James were ministers of the circumcision. Galatians 2:9. This had nothing whatever to do with the spiritual circumcision to which Paul referred in Philippians 3:3. The Twelve Tribes and “the circumcision” were synonymous. The Twelve Tribes still practice religious circumcision. God’s division is still the Jew, the Gentile and the Church of God. Israel and the Jew are one and the same in this dispensation. Read carefully Romans 9:27 and 29 what Isaiah cried and concerning whom he cried. Read also Romans 9:31 and all of Romans 10, and say whether or not Paul was referring to one or two tribes. Then turn to Isaiah, the prophet to the Jews, who used the word “Israel” 92 times, and never used “Jew” except to describe the language of his people.

Christ was the King of Israel, sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He was the glory of His people Israel. John 1:49, Matthew 15:24, Matthew 10:6, Luke 2:32. Nicodemus was a master of Israel. John 3:10. Christ entered Jerusalem as the King of Israel. John 12:13. Read Luke 1:68.

Why did Christ choose twelve apostles? If they were preaching to only two tribes of Israel would the Lord have been so particular about selecting a successor to take the place of Judas, that there might be twelve apostles on the day of Pentecost? Peter with one would have been sufficient, if numbers in the Bible are symbolic. But the record is Peter with the Eleven, speaking to all the house of Israel. Acts 2:36 and 14 and 22. And who were they? Devout Jews from every nation under heaven. Jews from every nation under heaven and all the house of Israel are synonymous.

To say that Israel did not crucify the Prince of life, after reading Acts 2:22 and 23 and 36, Acts 4:26 and 27 and Acts 5:30 to 32, and Stephen’s message in Acts 7, is to be either grossly ignorant or to handle the Word of God deceitfully. He was the Stone of stumbling for both houses of Israel. Isaiah 8:14.

A Brief Commentary on a Commentary

Dr. Lewis Sperry Shafer, President of the Evangelical Theological College in Dallas, Texas, has of late written a book on “The Ephesian letter, doctrinally considered.” The book is what it pretends to be: a brief doctrinal exposition of the Epistle to the Ephesians. It is Calvinistic and sound as we would expect from Dr. Shafer who, by the way, has written many good books. His works on Grace and on Satan are known as classics in the world of Fundamentalism. In reading through this brief Commentary on Ephesians, I was wondering what the esteemed author would say about the “one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5. Here it follows verbatim:

“There is “one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5. The New Testament distinguishes between the REAL baptism with the Spirit from the RITUAL baptism with water; and since, according to this passage, there is but ONE baptism, it is needless to inquire as to which baptism is in view. In explaining this emphasis upon the one baptism some claim that REAL baptism is so much more important than RITUAL baptism that RITUAL baptism could not be mentioned with propriety in the midst of these heaven-high verities in which the one baptism appears. Others point out that the two baptisms, like substance and shadow, are so closely related to each other as to form one baptism, and thus both are INCLUDED in the one. On the one hand, to those who believe that RITUAL baptism is in itself an individual, diverse, and unrelated procedure, having no relation to the baptizing work of the Spirit, this latter view will not be agreeable; and for these, in spite of the statement that there is but ONE, the question continues unanswered as to which baptism is indicated in this passage. TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT RITUAL BAPTISM IS BUT THE OUTWARD SIGN OR SYMBOL OF REAL BAPTISM, THERE IS NO DIFFICULTY CREATED BY THIS EMPHASIS UPON ONE BAPTISM. Apparently no one ministry of the Spirit accomplishes so much for the believer as does His baptism, by which we are joined to the Lord, and, being thus in HIM, we are made partakers of all that He is, even every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. Certainly this all-important REAL baptism is not here set aside as unworthy of consideration and as SECONDARY to RITUAL baptism that it is a unifying agency. The history of the Church is a counter-witness to this. However, the REAL baptism which joins all believers to Christ is certainly a UNIFYING agency beyond measure.”

A few questions to our esteemed brother Shafer. Does he himself obviate the difficulty of the two baptisms, where he still clings to a ritual baptism as the outward sign and symbol of what he calls the real baptism? Why still a little ritualism? Why still a sign after we have the substance? Has the Word of God not always bound up the signs with Israel the earthly nation? Even if the one baptism is symbolical and a shadow after the reality has come, is it even so not another baptism? And are two baptisms consistent with the one baptism? Why not lay aside that ritual baptism that has been so long an apple of discord among God’s dear children? Why not glorify God with the Apostle and say: “I thank God I baptized none (but a few) for God sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.”

The Salvation, Dedication and Baptism of Babes

Perhaps you, too, have asked some or all of the questions that have come to the minds of many Christians concerning “child” salvation; questions that have caused parents serious heartmeditations and sometimes anxiety, if not doubt, when a little one has been taken away by death.

We present some of the questions:

1. If none but members of the Church (Body) of Christ are sure of heaven, how does a baby become a member of that Body?

2. If, according to God’s Word, salvation is by grace, through faith; “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”, how can a baby, who is incapable of exercising faith, be saved?

3. If only those who are born again enter the kingdom of God, how can a baby, who has not experienced this new birth, get into that kingdom?

4. In the light of I Corinthians 7:14 is there not a marked spiritual difference between the baby of saved parents and that of unsaved parents? Therefore if the baby of unbelieving parents dies, will it be eternally separated from the child of believing parents?

5. Has the baptized baby a spiritual standing before God, not experienced by the unbaptized baby?

6. If parents do not believe in infant baptism, should they present their baby for public dedication in the congregation of the Lord?

7. When the Body of Christ is raptured will all the children in the world, who have not reached the age of accountability, (those dead and alive) be caught up to meet Christ in the twinkling of an eye? If so, will their resurrection bodies be “baby” bodies?


1. If there is anything clearly taught in the Scriptures, it is the fact that during this period of grace there is one and only one Church. That Church is designated “The Body of Christ”. In connection with this one Body this seven-fold unity is presented; “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace. There is one Body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:3 to 7. We emphasize the one Body, the one faith, and the one hope.

The manner and means by which members of the human race become members of this one Body is declared in Ephesians 2:8 and 9, “by grace through faith.” Now this question; if we have Scriptural authority for dogmatically affirming that there is no salvation, during this age, for any individual who is not a member of the Body of Christ, we should be deeply concerned as to how a baby can and does become a member of that Body. Recently I have heard two explanations; one was given by a Lutheran pastor who declared that a baby, presented by parents for baptism, then and there becomes a member of Christ’s Church. The other pastor who is recognized as an able Bible expositor was speaking on Revelation 3:5: “I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life.” He contended that all babies were born with their names written in the Book of Life. But when each child reached the age of accountability, his or her name remained in, or was blotted out, of that Book, according to whether or not the child believed the Gospel as soon as he or she was capable of exercising faith, Now, I am quite sure that neither of these explanations will entirely satisfy the great majority of Christians. Let us go on to the other questions as we get all the light possible from the holy Scriptures.

2. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” We may receive some help by adding the words of Mark 16:16, “he that believeth not shall be damned.” The Greek word here translated “believe not” is also translated “infidel”. Now surely a little child cannot be charged with being an infidel, or “believing not”. While the age of responsibility to God may be much younger in the life of one child than in that of another, yet every child, before reaching that particular age, is wholly incapable and irresponsible in the matter of exercising faith. We read these words in the Bible: “The Judge of all the earth will do right.” And while it is stated in the Scriptures that no unrighteous man shall enter the kingdom of God, it is also stated that righteousness is imputed by God to believers. Inasmuch as the child cannot exercise faith, and thereby obtain this imputed righteousness, surely God will no more hold the child responsible for its unrighteous doings than He will for the child’s inability to believe.

3. In His conversation with Nicodemus, the Lord Jesus emphatically stated that a man must be born again, born from above, to enter the kingdom of God. The question then is this, does this imperative apply to the baby, and. if so, how can the baby be born again by the exercise of its own volition? Now we refer to the verse of Scripture which has been used more frequently, perhaps, than any other verse in the Bible, the words of the Lord Jesus when He took the little child in His arms and said, “for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14; (R.V.) “for to such belongeth the kingdom of God.” This Scriptural plain statement of the Lord Jesus Christ has perhaps satisfied the hearts of more parents than any other statement in all the Bible; and has convinced most teachers of the Word that little children do not have to be regenerated.

4. But now we refer to a verse of Scripture which has troubled many Christians. We quote I Corinthians 7:14: For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean; but now they are holy.” After carefully studying this verse of Scripture there seems to be a difference in the spiritual standing, before God, in the children of believers and those of unbelievers. As we go back from the time of this writing, several centuries through the history of Israel, back to Abraham, we seem to find Scriptural confirmation, that there was a difference. But as we advance from this statement, penned by Paul, to the ministry of reconciliation and to his explanation of the “Dispensation of Grace”, we fail to find any such confirmation. Any student of the Bible, reading the life story of Abraham, from the 16th to the 22nd chapters of Genesis, and who then follows through the history of Israel, will be convinced that God certainly placed a difference between the children of Israelitish parents and the children of heathen, as He did between Israelitish men and, women and heathen adults. And yet, when this is acknowledged, there is no Scripture to prove that the children of the heathen, dying in infancy, died as lost sinners. There is Scripture that the iniquities of God’s people were visited upon their children. Presently we shall deal with the spiritual state of the child, as it relates to the ministry of reconciliation presented by the Apostle Paul, in chapters 5 and 6 of Romans, chapter 5 of II Corinthians, and the 1st chapter of Colossians.

One of the outstanding theologians, who is a recognized leader in his denomination, teaches that baptism has taken the place of circumcision. He printed a message on infant baptism. He acknowledged that infant baptism cannot be definitely proved by any particular Scripture; that it can only be proved by inference and implication.

There are other Bible Teachers who seek to disprove the baptism of infants by Acts 8:12—this language, “they were baptized both men and women.” Their claim is, that some of these men and women had little children, but the children were not baptized. There is nothing said about their baptism. They also use Mark 16:15 and 16 to prove that saved people only should be baptized. However, all of them include infants among the saved people. But they are unwilling to express an opinion as to whether or not the children are members of the Body of Christ, and as to how they became members. It is, perhaps, because of this uncertainty that many church organizations have stood for the sprinkling of infants, to feel a little better about the matter and by that rite have counted them members of the churches. It is even taught in some of these denominational creeds that the baptism of the child unites it to Christ; God accepting the faith of the child’s sponsor.

There are many Bible teachers, including some who are recognized as able Bible expositors, who prove by the opening verses of the tenth chapter of I Corinthians that the children of Christians should be immersed in water with their parents, because the babies belonging to the Israelites were baptized with their parents, unto Moses in the cloud and the Red Sea. This doctrine is designated “household baptism”. They also quote in support of this doctrine the following Scriptures which refer to the baptism of households. Acts 10:7, Acts 16:15, Acts 16:33, I Corinthians 1:16.

Their answer to their critics who say that a baby, incapable of exercising faith should not be baptized, is Genesis 21:4 and Luke 2:21. These two babies and many others were only 8 days old when circumcised and presented to the Lord; and therefore, were not circumcised because of their faith but because of the faith of their parents. Therefore the babies of God’s people today should be presented to God with some kind of a religious ceremony. As one mother and father urged me to such a ceremonial presentation said, “we want to take no chances”. Before we consider our next question, we quote Matthew 18:2 and 3: “And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

From these words of the Saviour, it would seem that we have the assurance that little children need not experience the Divine transformation called “regeneration”. However, it is taught by many of God’s servants that there is a difference between the “kingdom of heaven”, which Christ presented to Israel—and not Gentiles—and the Body of Christ revealed through Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles. Matthew 10:5 to 8, Ephesians 1:19 to 22. And therefore, it is imperative to get the babies of Gentiles into the Body of Christ, or else we should not be dogmatic in stating that only believers who are members of the Body of Christ are saved. By what Scriptures can we get them in? Surely we should give them the Scriptures from early childhood.

5. In the matter of “baby” salvation, what advantage hath the baptized? The answer by many Christians is, “much in every way”. With more than 200 million church members in Christendom, their christening with holy water means cleansing from original sin. Such teaching is not worthy of one moment’s consideration, because it is wholly without Scriptural authority or support, and is practiced by an order of priests who have no official place nor spiritual ministry in the true Bible Church. In that Body of Christ there are no popes, cardinals, archbishops, or special order of priests; only “members one of another”. Romans 12:5. But how about some extraordinary ecclesiastical authority or special clerical rights claimed by bishops, reverends, doctors of divinity, or some other titled officer in some denominational church organization? Have they Divine right to establish their own forms and ceremonies to add children to Christ’s Body? Is there any efficacy or merit or saving value in any rite or ceremony that they can perform in behalf of any baby, whether that baby be the offspring of believing or unbelieving parents? Bible Christians ask for Bible authority and not for the bylaws and constitution of some sectarian organization. They should say to the clergyman, “show me in the Scriptures where you received your special super-authority and where the Word instructs you to practice the ceremony that will help the baby. Is not “baby” baptism clearly taught in the Scriptures? Where? What chapter and verse in the Bible? It has been reasoned from the Scriptures, rather than proved by them, by some very spiritual “covenant” theologians, that the sprinkling of believers’ little children is the seal of the New Covenant, as circumcision was the seal of the Old Covenant. Where is it stated that circumcision was the seal of the Old Covenant? John 7:22 is the refutation of that; for Abraham was not an Old Covenant saint. What was the seal of any God-made covenant covering the salvation of children during the 2100 years from the birth of Abel to the circumcision of Abraham, at the age of 99, Genesis 17:6 to 20? Where is it stated in the Scriptures that baptism is the seal of he New Covenant? Where do we find any Divine command to do away with circumcision at the time John the Baptist began to baptize with water? Were not believers’ children being circumcised 27 years after Christ died, even after the last record in the Bible of water baptism? Compare Acts 19:1 to 6 with Acts 21:18 to 25.

Those who believe in the immersion of infants are comparatively few. They are the only “non-covenant” Christians who teach and practice infant baptism in any manner. With few exceptions the others, considered evangelical Christians, who practice infant baptism, teach that the Church of Christ is “Spiritual Israel”, made up of Jews and Gentiles, baptized spiritually unto Christ, as the seed and children of Abraham. But most of them are uncertain as to when the infant is baptized spiritually into Christ. Perhaps the Premillenarians, in these “covenant” churches, practice infant baptism because they have agreed to be governed by their church creeds and, not because of a Holy Spirit, Scriptural conviction; for any one of them will acknowledge that the baptized infant has no spiritual advantage over the unbaptized infant, and the baptized infant is no more a member of the Body of Christ than is the unbaptized infant. Infant baptism is not consistent with the Premillennialist’s teaching.

We should all be sure that an unscriptural religious ceremony is not Scriptural or of Scriptural value because it has been incorporated in church creeds and taught by church fathers for several centuries. How many times do we hear a doctrine or a practice justified or endorsed by the statement, “well our church has always done it”. Our appeal is the Holy Scriptures. It has been said many times that more than 96 per cent of Christians, play “follow the leader”, and permit others to do their religious thinking for them. And of course the majority of religious parents want to be religious with their babies and even spiritual Christian parents, much concerned about the spiritual welfare of their little ones, will follow the instructions of their spiritual advisers, and present their babies for a religious ceremony without searching the Scriptures for Divine authority. Their argument is that the clergymen and Church-leaders are supposed to know, or they are satisfied because their particular denomination has long taught and practiced the ceremony.

6. Concerning the public dedication of babies, it is as difficult to prove that it is unscriptural or “anti-scriptural” as to prove that it is Scriptural. Undoubtedly many people have been touched spiritually by the dedicatory message of some spiritual servant of the Lord in such a service. Therefore, it might be argued that, if there is nothing Scripturally wrong in such dedication, and it may prove a spiritual blessing to those who attend, why not hold such dedication services in our churches, even though the babies be not baptized, inasmuch as there are many other practices in our churches which are neither definitely sanctioned nor forbidden in the Word of God?

There are some men and women of God who believe that the Scriptures not only sanction the public dedication of babes, but definitely teach that it is the duty of Christian parents to so present their children. Of course they find their Scriptural authority in the history of Israel, under the laws and ceremonies of the Old Covenant, with Jerusalem and the temple the center of worship and the service of God. They admit, if they have searched the Scriptures, that they have practically nothing in instructions to members of the Body of Christ. The presentation of the child Samuel, in I Samuel 1:24 and the presentation in Luke 2:17 to 27 are often quoted to show that children should be dedicated publicly. Some would reason and could prove by the Scriptures, or rather by its silences that we have as much Divine authority for the public dedication of children as we have to organize a Sunday School, with primary departments and cradle rolls.

7. As to the rapture of babies when the Lord shall call the Church to meet Him in glory, what “premillenarian” has not asked the question, “what will happen to the little children? Perhaps, apart from any definite statement in the Bible, all such believers have reasoned that the Lord would not be so cruel as to rapture believing parents and leave their little ones on earth for the time of great distress that is surely coming. But how about the more than 300 million little children, under the age of accountability, whose parents are either unbelievers in our so-called Christian lands or idolators in pagan countries? If we teach that any one of these little ones, dying in childhood, will be numbered with the redeemed in the Church of God, then why will not every such one be raptured when the Lord appears for the members of the Church which is His Body? If this is to happen, it is impossible to imagine the great sorrow that will fill the hearts of mothers and fathers when they shall be separated from their little ones. We should be slow about stating only a few people will be “snatched up” when the Lord comes for His Church. Some Christians seem to think, from I Corinthians 7:14, that only the little ones of believers will be taken when Christ calls away His Church. But most of us do not believe that this verse teaches this.


Perhaps we can prove from Romans 5:12 to 21 that the reign of grace through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord, by His obedience unto death, is made efficacious in behalf of the young child not responsible for its inherent sin, not guilty of willful transgression, and not capable of intelligent faith in Christ or the exercise of volition in acting in obedience to God’s Word. If sin came to the child because of Adam’s sin, and by his offense, condemnation came to all, why should not the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign by Jesus Christ, inasmuch as the child cannot intelligently answer to God for a condition which resulted from the sin of another? Surely, we do not believe in the necessity of the washing away of original sin by a religious ordinance instituted and practiced, by a church-organization wholly ignorant of God’s message of salvation by grace, and grace alone.

The fifth chapter of Romans seems proof to most Bible teachers that Christ’s redemption provides for the baby.

“If any man be in Christ, there is a new creation.” II Corinthians 5:17, This new creation is a part of the ministry of reconciliation. God has been reconciled. Believers are cut off from Adam and the old man. This is the message of reconciliation. “The new creation” provides for the little child in this dispensation of grace rather than the “new birth”, which was associated with Israel and her covenants. Gentiles were considered a non-covenant people by Israel and by God. Way back before Israel, and her covenants, God preached a message of grace and righteousness by faith to sinners, from Abel to Abram in uncircumcision. Neither adults nor children were baptized or subjected to any religious rite during those 2100 years. Any mixture of ritualism or religious ceremonies in God’s reign of pure grace in this age has been injected into it by religious men, contrary to the will of God. No amount of water placed by any man, however pious, will avail one iota for either adult or child.