Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Titus 2:13

CHAPTER V.

 

THE OFFERINGS OF THE GOSPEL-AGE

PRINCES (CONTINUED).

Num. 7: 30-47.

 

THE OFFERING OF ANTITYPICAL ELIZUR. OF ANTITYPICAL SHELUMIEL. OF ANTITYPICAL ELIASAPH. BEREAN QUESTIONS.

 

AFTER treating of the offerings of the princes of the three tribes east of the tabernacle, Num. 7 proceeds to describe the offerings of the princes of the three tribes south of the tabernacle—Reuben, Simeon and Gad. The prince of the first of these tribes was Elizur (my God is a rock), the son of Shedeur (light-spreader). Our study on the Gospel-Age Israelites (Chap. I) showed us that the tribe of Reuben represents the Greek Catholics and their Church, that Jacob begetting Reuben of Leah represents Little Flock leaders starting by the pertinent Truth the Little Flock movement that was by crown-lost leaders perverted into the Greek Catholic Church. Had there been no other sectarian movement later, we would call this sect the Catholic Church, which it was called until it was divided into the Greek and the Roman Catholic Churches. Thus its adherents originally embraced those who were under the eastern patriarchs—those of Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople and Jerusalem—and those under the western patriarch—the one of Rome; the first four after the division presiding over the Greek, and the last one over the Roman Catholic Church. It is partly because the pertinent controversies in the main broke out and were mainly fought out by the Orientals that we give the name Greek Catholic to the first Christian sect. The Greek Catholic Church has, above all other churches, developed and advocated the doctrines of the trinity and of the God-man. These doctrines as a whole and in many of their phases being grossly erroneous, cannot be the doctrines with

 

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which Little Flock leaders began the movement that was later perverted into the Greek Catholic Church by crown-lost leaders. Thus we see evidenced in the Greek Catholic Church the main stress laid on false teachings not given by the Little Flock leaders starting the movement that changed into the Greek Catholic Church. This same perverse phenomenon is manifest in the Presbyterian Church, where principal stress is laid on absolute predestination and reprobation of individuals instead of on the symbolic teaching of the memorial bread and wine, in the Christian Church where immersion for forgiveness of sins is mainly stressed instead of the unity of the Church based on the Bible alone as creed, and in the Adventist Church where Christ's return visibly in the flesh is the prominent teaching instead of chronology.

 

(2) What, then, is the teaching that Little Flock leaders gave as the vitalizing spark of the movement that was later perverted into the Greek Catholic Church by its crown-lost leaders? It was the doctrine of the office of Christ before, during and after the days of His flesh, as God's Special Representative. The Little Flock member who primarily gave by this teaching the impetus to the movement that was later perverted into the Greek Catholic Church was no less a personage than the Apostle John. All of his writings were composed in the tenth decade of the first century—between 90 and 100 A. D. In the office of Christ, they stress the Logos' existence and work of Christ as God's Representative in Creation (John 1: 1-3; 3: 13; 6: 62; 8: 5658; 16: 28; 17: 5; Rev. 3: 14). They stress His carnation to become man's Savior (John 1: 14; 3: 16; 1: 17; 1 John 4: 2, 3). They stress His giving Himself as man's propitiation in His office work (1 John 2: 2; 4: 10). They stress His ministry for the deliverance of the Church now and of the world by and by (1 John 2: 1; 3: 2; John 17: 21, 23). Thus we see that in these and in many other passages John stressed our Lord's office work before, during and

 

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after the days of His flesh. There were between 90 and 100 A. D. special errors that required John to stress the office work of our Lord from these three standpoints. Some— especially Jewish heretics—denied His pre-existence. Gnostics denied His exclusive preexistence work as God's Special Representative in Creation. Still others—the Docetists—denied the actuality of His death and resurrection as our Savior. Still others denied His present office work toward the Church and His future office work toward the world. There was a fifth set of errors by reason of which John stressed the office work of the Lord—the developing teachings of Antichrist, culminating several centuries later partly in the God-man and trinity doctrines. John's main helpers in this teaching were Ignatius of Antioch, who died at the mouth of lions about 108 or 115 A. D., and Polycarp of Smyrna, who died at the stake about 153 or 165 A. D., after 85 years of consecrated living, whose death occurred when he was over 100 years old. The office work of Christ as God's Special Representative was, therefore, the doctrine whose stewardship God entrusted to the Greek Catholic Church.

 

(3) The fact that the crown-lost leaders in the Greek Catholic Church more or less corrupted this doctrine accounts in part for the fact that they, like the other eleven crown-lost groups, are not represented in the type as bringing a silver or gold cup as a part of their offerings, the other reason being this, that Little Flock members, John, etc., presented this doctrine, offered this cup. These crown-lost leaders are typed by Elizur (my God is a rock, or a mighty rock), because Christ's office as the central work of the Lord's plan is a symbolic rock—a mighty truth (Matt. 16: 18), whose stewardship was committed to them. In this office our Lord is the wisdom, as well as the power of God (1 Cor. 1: 24; 2: 7). He and His office are the chief part in the mystery (Col. 1: 27). The name Shedeur (light

 

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spreader) is appropriate to them antitypically, because the office work of Christ makes Him the light of the world (John 1: 9; 9: 5), and those ministering to that doctrine of necessity are light-spreaders. Having the doctrine of Christ's office work as their stewardship teaching, Christ in this respect being the concentration of God's wisdom, the Greek Catholic Church is appropriately represented as one of the three denominations (the Roman and Anglican Catholic Churches being the other two) that stand for the wisdom of God, typed by Reuben, Simeon and Gad, whose camp was to the south of the tabernacle. But the Greek Catholic crown-lost leaders corrupted more or less the doctrine of the office work of our Lord by their doctrine of the trinity and of Christ's alleged God-manhood. These corruptions apply to the relation of His office work to the Father before, during and after the days of His flesh. Origen, one of the ablest of the Church fathers, a theological professor at Alexandria, Egypt, about 240 A. D. introduced the first great corruption, alleging the Logos' eternity, though still holding to His subordination to the Father. Dionysius of Rome about 262 A. D. introduced the idea of His consubstantiality and equality with the Father; and Athanasius of Alexandria about 320 became their champion as against Arius, who from 318 onward fought these errors. Despite these, antitypical Elizur offered his charger, bowl and spoon.

 

(4) Antitypical Elizur ministered the doctrine of the office of Christ before, during and after the days of His flesh, as a means of correction of unrighteousness—offered the antitypical charger. They used it to rebuke and correct disobedience by showing how Jesus in exercising His creative office as Logos shunned disobedience and thus kept Himself from disregarding the Father's creative plans, and thereby kept Himself from injuring their execution. They used His Logos activity in revealing the Word to the Old Testament writers

 

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and the accompanying arrangements, to correct the conduct of those who sought to introduce into the Christian Church errors of doctrine and life and wrongs of arrangement. They used His carnation as a correction of power-graspers who desired to exalt themselves instead of abasing themselves for the advancement of God's cause and people. They used His overcoming Satan's temptations in the wilderness and elsewhere as a rebuke to those who succumbed to his temptations. They used His humbly sacrificing Himself daily in the interests of God's plan as a correction of those who, claiming to be God's servants, were living a life of proud self-indulgence. They used His faithful giving up of Himself unto death for sin as an argument to make its terrible nature and awful effects hateful, and thus rebuked and corrected all who loved sin for prizing that which slew our Lord. They set forth His humbling Himself unto death and His exaltation unto the right hand of God as a corrector of all who sought exaltation apart from loyalty to God, His cause and people. They taught His intercessory work as a correction of impenitence, in order that such work might be obtained on one's behalf. They held up His present loving ministry as a rebuke and correction to those who by sin were despising His ministry on their behalf. They preached His zeal to cleanse by the Spirit, Word and providence of God the Lord's people from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, as a corrector of error, sin, selfishness and worldliness.

 

(5) Nor were such teachings in vain as to their effects. They proved to be a first-class means of helping many to correct their wrong lives. Remembering that centuries of heathenism had depraved the European, African and Asiatic peoples where the Greek Church labored, we at once recognize that there was much need of such cleansing work among the converts from heathendom. Such preaching helped them to put aside the awful corruption of morals incident to ancient

 

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heathenism. Such teaching put away from home life infanticide and the exposure of the aged and of the weak and deformed infants. It put aside the custom of treating wives as slaves and slaves as beasts. Parental tyranny was given up. The exploitation of the poor was ameliorated, and their sufferings assuaged. The blood-thirstiness of the populace was reformed. The terrible crimes of the arena were set aside. Cruel and unusual tortures were abrogated. Social vice was greatly decreased. Business dishonesty was reformed. Enmities were healed. Feuds were broken up. Debauchery greatly declined. Disregard for human life was largely overcome. Cruelty to the unfortunate was softened. The grind of poverty was eased. Profanity was largely banished. Conjugal infidelity greatly decreased. Slander and false-witnessing received setbacks. Plundering one's neighbor and over-reaching him in bargains greatly decreased. Thus the doctrine of the office of Christ was so presented as to correct much misconduct. Thus antitypical Elizur offered his charger, and that with much fruitfulness.

 

(6) He likewise offered his bowl—refutative teachings. Many and varied were the attacks that Satan made through his servants on our Lord's office work in His pre-human, human and post-human activities. In meeting some of these attacks, antitypical Elizur sometimes went to the opposite extreme and taught errors. In this way he developed the trinity and God-man doctrines. Nevertheless, he defended our Lord's office work in its threefold aspect against many and varied attacks. We will do well to note these attacks and the refutations that antitypical Elizur offered to them. About 170 A. D. the first decided opposition to our Lord's pre-human office as the Father's Special Representative in Creation was made, and that by a sect called the Alogians—No-Wordians. They denied that there ever was such a being as the Word—the Logos—that our Lord ever had any pre-existence. To maintain

 

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their position they were forced by antitypical Elizur's quotations from John's writings against them to deny the genuineness of the fourth Gospel and of the Revelation as coming from John, or from any other inspired writer. Thus they were driven away from faith in vital parts of the Bible, so successfully did antitypical Elizur refute them. About 190 a certain Theodosius, the tanner, who, to escape death denied Christ, began to teach that Christ was not the Lord's agency in Creation, alleging that He first came into existence when conceived by Mary from the Holy Spirit. He was refuted by antitypical Elizur with quotations like John 1: 1-3, 14; 3: 13; 6: 62; 8: 56-58; 16: 28; 17: 5; Rev. 3: 14, as well as with some from Paul's writings, like Phil. 2: 5-8; Col. 1: 15-17.

 

(7) Sabellius, an Egyptian, after 215 A. D. began to teach modalism, which denies Christ's pre-human existence as the Logos and God's Special Representative in Creation. He taught that there is but one God—one person—who appeared in three modes. Hence his theory was called modalism. According to him this one God as the Father was the Creator, and the Law Giver in the Old Testament. Then this one God, the Father, became the Son by carnation, and as the Son, died for man. Thereafter this one God who first existed as Father, afterward as Son, became the Holy Spirit to do the work of sanctification for the Church. Sabellius denied that there were three Gods or three persons in God, but taught that there were three manifestations or modes of revelation of the one God. This, of course, did away with the Logos' existence and work as that of a person separate from the Father. Antitypical Elizur refuted this by showing the contrasts in John 1: 1-3 between God and the Logos, and by presenting the Latter as the Agent of God in Creation. Some of his members did this by showing that the Logos was created by God before all other creatures (Rev. 3: 14; Col. 1: 15); and all of them taught

 

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that He then was used as God's Agent to create all other things (Col. 1: 15-17). He refuted the idea that there was no Father during the days of Christ's flesh, by quoting passages where Christ prays to the Father, like Matt. 11: 25-27; 26: 39-44; John 17: 1-26; and by stressing his sacrifice as being made to God by Christ as a Priest in atonement for sin, etc. (Heb. 9: 13-23; 7: 27; 2: 17, 18, etc.). He refuted the thought that there was no Christ and consequently no High-priestly ministry since the Spirit has been sanctifying the Church, by quoting passages proving such a ministry, like John 14: 16; Rom. 8: 34; Eph. 2: 18; Heb. 3: 1; 4: 14, 15; 6: 17; 8: 1, 2, 6; 9: 24; 10: 11-14; 1 John 2: 1, 2; etc. He likewise refuted this view by showing that Christ comes again on the Last Day, though he did not clearly see the object of our Lord's return.

 

(8) Another attack was made on our Lord's office as God's Special Representative by a doctrine called Patripassionism (the doctrine that the Father suffered and died), which began to be taught about 190 A. D. According to this doctrine there is no Son at all. There was only the Father, who came into the world and suffered and died for man. This view would require God's non-existence for three days. It was refuted in a manner similar to that used against Sabellius' modalism. The three main exponents of this error were Praxeas, a confessor (one who refused to deny Christ before his persecuting judges, and who succeeded in escaping martyrdom without compromising himself), who began his errors in Asia Minor, Beryllus of Arabia and Noëtus of Smyrna. Tertullian (who died 230 A. D.) refuted the first, Origen (who died 254) the second, and Hyppolitus (who died about 235 A. D.) the third. Beryllus accepted Origen's views and publicly thanked him for his helping him out of error—an unusual outcome of a theological controversy.

 

(9) Paul of Samosata, to whom our Pastor refers (B 292), was a staunch and powerful opponent of our

 

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Lord's office, especially as Logos. His view of Christ was much like that of the modern Unitarians and Christadelphians, and he treated the Scriptures relating to our Lord's pre-human existence and office in the same torturous manner as they do, i.e., The Logos existed as God's wisdom in God's mind only, until He was born of Mary. He, therefore, taught that there was no personal Logos, which, of course, did away with His office as God's Special Representative in Creation and in Old Testament revelation. Paul of Samosata was an able debater and a resourceful politician, and he used both of these powers to defend himself against the members of antitypical Elizur who attacked his error. The controversy raged for years (263-272 A. D.), and three large synods were held in which the subjects at issue were exhaustively debated, before it was ended in the complete defeat and dislodgement of the doughty Paul.

 

(10) There have been many other attacks made on our Lord's office in its three times of exercise, both before and since the Reformation; but antitypical Elizur has been able to meet and defeat all of them. The arguments that he framed have frequently been used by theologians of other denominations than the Greek Catholic Church, but with very little additions to those that antitypical Elizur offered as his bowl. E.g., when Servetus, who taught the Truth on the unity of God, but error on the Logos, presented his errors against Calvin, the latter, unable to meet his arguments on the unity of God, did use Elizur's arguments against Servetus' errors on the Logos, and with these certainly refuted them. Had Servetus the Truth on this subject and the whole Truth on the Holy Spirit, Calvin would have been hopelessly outmatched in his argument with Servetus, as he was in the argument on the unity of God, and in part on the Holy Spirit. Even in our day antitypical Elizur continues to refute attacks against Christ's office as God's Special Representative before,

 

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during and after the days of His flesh. So doing, antitypical Elizur has nearly throughout the entire Gospel Age been offering his bowl.

 

(11) So, too, has he been offering his golden spoon— instructions in righteousness—connected with Christ's office before, during and after the days of His flesh. Here a rich field of instruction in righteousness was opened up for antitypical Elizur's use. From Christ's pre-existent joy in creating all things they drew the lesson of our rejoicing in the Lord's work. From His doing the work of creation exactly as God outlined, they drew the lesson of obedience to God's will for their hearers' benefit. From His successful accomplishment of creation and the Old Testament revelation by using God's instrumentalities in harmony with His will they drew the lesson of efficiency as resulting from our using God's instrumentalities in His ways to fulfill His will. From Christ's willingness to leave heaven and become a human being to please the Father and carry out His plan they exhorted their hearers to abase self in order to please God and further His purposes.

 

(12) From Christ's consecrating Himself at Jordan to sacrifice Himself to God on behalf of God's plan they encouraged their hearers to consecrate themselves unto God in His interests. From Christ's faithfully serving God's cause they preached that their hearers should faithfully serve God's cause. From Christ's developing and manifesting in His office work faith, hope, self-control, patience, piety, brotherly love, charity, humility, simplicity, industry, self-sacrificingness, long-suffering, forbearance, liberality, temperance, frugality, peace, joy, meekness, obedience, zeal, gentleness, faithfulness, etc., they encouraged their hearers to cultivate all these fruits and graces of the Spirit. In these respects they held Him up as an example for imitation as to these graces, and this was a powerful instruction in righteousness. When they stressed the death of

 

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Christ for man's sin, they drew the lesson of laying down life for God on behalf of His plan. His readiness and His promptness and devotion to fulfill His office work afforded them lessons to apply to their hearers for obedience. His trustfulness at death in committing His future to, and in depositing His life-rights with, the Father served as a splendid text to encourage their hearers to do likewise. Christ's death as an expression of God's and His love they held up as an exhortation to show similar love.

 

(13) Many, too, are the instructions in righteousness that antitypical Elizur has drawn from His ministry since He left the flesh. His willingness to receive all that come to Him they applied to their hearers to use as an inspiration to receive all that come to them for such help as His office warrants their giving. His faithfulness in appearing in the presence of God for us they used to stimulate faithfulness in their hearers' calling. His interceding for them they used in urging their hearers to imitate by praying for others. His teaching people as to God's plan they used to encourage their hearers not only to respond to the call, but also to encourage others to respond to it. His justifying the repentant and believing they used as a means of helping them to encourage others to repentance and faith. His sanctifying the Church they presented in such a way as to help their hearers to stimulate others to consecrate their humanity to God, faithfully to lay it down unto death and to develop a Christlike character while laying down life for God. His bringing the Faithful to victory in the daily battles of the Christian life they applied in ways to incite their hearers to fight the good fight of faith. His promising the Faithful ultimate victory and the glorious heavenly inheritance they used to arouse their hearers to faithfulness unto death. In these and other ways they presented many instructions in righteousness from the Biblical teachings on Christ's pre-human, human and post-human

 

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office. Thus antitypical Elizur offered the antitypical golden spoon full of sweet incense.

 

(14) We have now finished our study of the fourth prince's offering—type and antitype. Antitypical Elizur had as a doctrine in connection with which he offered corrective, refutative and ethical teachings, the richest of the four doctrines so treated by the four princes whose Gospel-Age offerings we have so far studied; for Christ's office as Jehovah's Special Representative is one of the richest doctrines of the whole Bible. In it the wisdom of God finds one of its highest expressions. No wonder the antitypical tribe that has received this doctrine as its stewardship teaching is placed on that side of the antitypical Tabernacle that exhibits the Divine wisdom. Antitypical Elizur fulfilling the type of Num. 7: 30-35, was an unconscious witness to God's Book; for his activities are a fulfillment of prophecy, given in typical form in Num. 7: 30-35.

 

(15) The next set of crown-lost leaders that are brought to our attention by the type (Num. 7: 36-41) is that which perverted into the Roman Catholic Church a Little Flock movement based on the truth that there is but one Church, which in its catholicity (entirety) is the steward of the Truth, to preserve it from error and attacks of errorists and to administer it to the blessing of the responsive. The starter of this Little Flock movement was Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, who in turn was a disciple of St. John, the Apostle. Irenaeus was born between 115 and 125 A. D. at or near Smyrna, Asia Minor, where he became an apt pupil of Polycarp, from whom he imbibed a rich fund of Truth and of the Spirit of the Truth, as well as some accounts of St. John's life not set forth in the Scriptures. Later he was sent as a missionary from Smyrna to Gaul (now France) and was stationed at Lyons and Vienne, where he first became a presbyter and later (in 178 A. D.) the bishop. Here and elsewhere he labored by voice and pen with perseverance

 

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and success. After 190 A. D. no certain trace of him can be found, though a tradition that originated several hundred years later—an almost certain evidence of its untrustworthiness—says that he died a martyr in 202 A. D.

 

(16) The Greek word eirenaios, Latinized as irenaeus, means peaceable; and certainly this was a marked characteristic of Irenaeus, who seemingly is the third member of the Smyrna Church star, St. John and Polycarp being his predecessors as parts of that star. He mediated between the Oriental and Occidental Church in the controversy on the Memorial date, the Roman bishop, Victor, sectarianly disfellowshiping the Oriental brethren, because they clung to Nisan 14 as against the innovation of the Roman Church. Thus Irenaeus preserved them as a united whole—catholic—as against a division. But Irenaeus' main work was to teach the truth on the one Church as a whole in its stewardship of the Truth against the separation of the false teachers of Gnosticism, which was a combination of heathen (Persian, Indian, Egyptian and Greek) views with various perversions of Christian views. His chief literary product was a work against all heresies, in which he vindicated the Christian Truth against every error that had arisen up to his time, and that had come in contact with Christianity. It was while engaged in oral and literary work of this kind that he gave the truth— the one Church entire is the steward of the Truth—that started a Little Flock movement to preserve the catholicity—wholeness—of the Church as against separatistic movements from within and without the Church. He speaks of the Church as "the haven of rescue, the means of salvation, the entrance to life, the paradise in this world, of whose trees, to wit, the Holy Scriptures, we may eat, excepting the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." "Where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is all grace." "Who separates

 

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himself from the Church renounces the fellowship of the Spirit." "Only at the breast of the Church can we be nursed to life." "To her must we flee to be made partakers of the Holy Spirit." "Heretics are enemies of the Truth and of the catholicity of the one Church."

 

(17) But to understand clearly the particular part of the Truth that Irenaeus gave as the impulse to the movement to preserve from separatism the one Church in its wholeness, as the steward of the Truth, and as the administrator of the Lord's grace, we must recognize the twofold sense of the use of the word church in the Bible—the Real and the Nominal Church. Primarily and fundamentally the Real Church is the Body of Christ alone—those justified and Spirit-begotten ones who are Christ's faithful members— "the Church which is His Body." Secondarily, the Real Church consists of all new creatures, both the crown-retainers and the crown-losers—"the Church of the firstborn." In these two parts the Real Church has been called invisible, in the sense that no one could be absolutely certain of any other particular individual's present membership therein, apart from himself. In these two parts, up to 1917, the Church has properly been called the Real Church. But the word church is used in another sense—the nominal church—the whole company of those who profess to be the Lord's, whether they are so in reality or not. In this sense of the word not only are the Little Flock and the Great Company, but also the justified and those unjustified who profess to be Christ's—hypocritical professors—are included. Locally, such found a local organization called a church, representative of the whole Church. When Irenaeus speaks of the Church in its wholeness—catholicity—he does not mean only the Little Flock and the Great Company, i.e., the Real Church, but also all other professed Christians, i.e., he means the nominal church. But he speaks of the nominal church as the Church because of the Real Church's presence in

 

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it as a part of it. To leave the nominal church before the cleansed Sanctuary and harvest time, therefore, actually meant to leave the Real Church, if one was of it. So viewed, his advocacy of their being but one Church, which is the steward and administrator of the Truth, was the advocacy of a Scriptural doctrine. It was in this way that Irenaeus set in operation the movement to preserve the Truth as to the office of the one Church, i.e., that as a part of antitypical Jacob he begat antitypical Simeon.

 

(18) Experience and observation prove that there is a Real and a Nominal Church, which must be so defined as to make the Real a part of the nominal church up to the destruction of the church systems; for while the Little Flock left Babylon—the systems—by April 18, 1916, there will be Great Company members, who are a part of the Real Church, in the systems until they are destroyed. The Scriptures so teach. The wheat and the tares were to grow together until the Harvest (Matt. 13: 28-30, 41, 42). The tares are all the unconsecrated professors of Christ. No new creature is a tare. The field is the world in the sense of the nominal church, even as Jesus called the Jewish church the world (John 15: 18, 19). This is more especially manifest in some of the Epistles, which were written to special churches, e.g., like that at Rome, etc., as well as to the General Church. Thus Rom. 12: 1 is addressed primarily to the justified and, secondarily, to the consecrated; Gal. 6: 1 deals with both classes (the natural and the spiritual) as of the church; Jas. 5: 1-6 is evidently addressed to nominal as distinct from real Christians at the end of the Age. This is also true of Jas. 4: 4, 5 and part of 8. Fleshly Israel is a type of Spiritual Israel, Real and nominal (Heb. 3: 7—4: 2; 1 Cor. 10: 5-11). This truth is also shown in the seven churches of Rev. 1-3; for in these chapters, as parts of the Church sometimes the Lord addresses His real followers and sometimes those who merely profess

 

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to be His followers, but who are not such, e.g., certain ones who have not had their justification vitalized, i.e., unconsecrated persons (Rev. 3: 18). All of these Scriptures show that as God called both nominal and Real Israel His chosen people, so He has also called nominal and Real Spiritual Israel His Church.

 

(19) Up to 1878 God always used the nominal church as the steward of the Truth after it was given to it (Rev. 3: 10). While He always first gave the meat in due season through the Apostles and the special-mouthpiece secondarily prophets to the nominal church, the Truth was made the stewardship of all professed Christians to the extent that they could receive it, i.e., of the whole one nominal church. This stewardship implied (1) that the Church as custodian of the Truth preserve it and defend it against error and (2) that the Church as administrator of the Truth teach and spread it to the blessing of the responsive. Let us not lose sight of the thought that it was the nominal church to whom this stewardship of the Truth was given, as the seven letters to the seven churches abundantly prove. The nominal church as the container of the Real Church in each epoch of the Church is the antitypical candlestick in each epoch of the Church, according to Rev. 1—3. On this point many labor under the mistaken impression that the terms nominal and real are mutually exclusive terms. They are not: for the Real Church has been a part of the nominal church. It is to the nominal church what the hub is to the wheel. It is the most important part of the nominal church; for the nominal church consists of all who profess to be Christ's, both those who are really His and those who are not really His, though claiming to be His, i.e., the Little Flock, the Great Company, the justified and the unjustified professors of Christ. Accordingly, the thoughts set forth in the preceding and in this paragraph enable us to see how Irenaeus, by unweariedly teaching that there is but

 

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one church catholic—entire—i.e., the nominal church, which is the steward and administrator of God's Truth, set into operation a movement to preserve it from all separatistic teachers of error who would break up the Church and disable it as steward and administrator of the Truth from guarding and administering it to the blessing of the responsive.

 

(20) It was certainly an active movement, and was called into being especially on account of the efforts of the various Gnostic sects to pervert the Truth of God committed to the one Church and to break up the Church as the steward of the Truth. By Irenaeus' labors above those of any other individual was Gnosticism given its death blow. It had made considerable headway within the Church; but its overwhelming refutation by Irenaeus, whose arguments proved to be a veritable arsenal to the other teachers in the Church, very shortly drove it out of the Church altogether, and it shortly afterwards died. But Irenaeus used this truth against false teachers in the Church. He used it, e.g., to confute the Alogians, proving that their doctrine was contrary to that handed down by St. John and Polycarp on the pre-existence of the Logos. He used it to show that minor questions like the date for the Memorial should not be permitted to destroy the fellowship between the Eastern and Western Church. In fact his activities in the movement that he created deepened the conviction in the Church that the entire Church is but one and should preserve its entirety—catholicity—by faithfully acting as the steward and administrator of the Truth against all separatism of error and in favor of helping the helpable. But this movement was given a bent that perverted it into the Roman Catholic Church. And to this Church, as distinct from the papacy, which by usurpation has gotten control of it, the Lord committed as a stewardship the doctrine that there is but one Church—nominal—which is the steward and administrator of the

 

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Truth, to preserve it against errorists and to administer it for the blessing of the responsive. And while the Roman Catholic Church has gone woefully wrong on the doctrine of the Real and nominal Church, ignoring this distinction altogether, and claiming that it, a sect, is the only true Church, it has through all its vicissitudes maintained the truth that there is but one Church, which is the steward of God's Truth, to preserve it against error and to administer it to the blessing of the responsive.

 

(21) This particular truth, like all other truths, is a stewardship of the True Church, the mystery of God; for in ultimate analysis it is the Real Church, as teacher, which is the one Church, and which is the steward and administrator of the Truth, to preserve and defend it from error and to administer it for the blessing of the responsive. And it is because the Real Church is included in the nominal church that the nominal church has charge of the Truth, to preserve and administer it. Therefore, in reality, the teaching that the Roman Catholic Church has as its special truth is that of the office of the Real Church, which with its Head, as the hidden mystery of God, is the greatest expression of God's wisdom found in His plan. Thus the Roman Church as antitypical Simeon is properly typed by a tribe that dwelt to the south of the tabernacle, where that which symbolized God's wisdom was the standard. The Greek Catholic Church stressing as its special truth the office of Christ, who in His office with the Church is the highest expression of God's wisdom, had at its side on the antitypical South of the antitypical Tabernacle the Roman Catholic Church stressing the office of the Church, which with its Head is the highest expression of God's wisdom. Thus the Roman Catholic Church is very properly to the South of the antitypical Tabernacle, i.e., its special mission is to defend in reality a truth in which God's wisdom is centrally expressed.

 

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(22) In a Church of so many centuries' standing, like the Roman Catholic Church, there would of course be a very large number of crown-lost leaders, who would constitute the antitype of Shelumiel (peace of God), the son of Zurishaddai (my rock is almighty), the prince of Simeon. Among these in the earlier days are especially two crown-lost leaders who were very influential in turning into the Roman Catholic sect the Little Flock movement inaugurated by Irenaeus on the line of maintaining the one Church catholic as the steward and administrator of God's Truth. These were Cyprian of Carthage and Augustine of Hippo, both thus being of Pro-consular Africa, now called Tunesia, to the east of Algeria, then called Africa for short. Both did much in developing Roman Catholicism along the line of apostolic succession of bishops, and both of them have in many of their main positions been repudiated by the later papacy, which however outwardly professes the highest regard for them as great lights. But these two men doubtless did much to vindicate and apply to correction and instruction in righteousness the truth given through Irenaeus, that there is but one Church which in its catholicity is the steward and administrator of the Truth. Into this doctrine they wove the errors of apostolic succession and of the one Church as being based in its unity on its bishops. Cyprian came from a celebrated pagan family living at Carthage, and, at first, was a teacher of rhetoric, was converted to Christianity in 245 A.D., became a presbyter shortly afterwards and was made bishop of Carthage in 248 A. D. In 250 A. D. he had to flee before the Decian persecution to the desert, where he by letter fulfilled his office to his church. The circumstances of his times and church led him into the elaboration of the doctrine of the apostolic succession of bishops and of the unity of the Church as being based on them. Thus he is the father of the Episcopal doctrine and system of church government. The

 

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schism of Felicissimus of Carthage and of Novatian at Rome influenced him to write much on the truth that there is but one Church, which in its catholicity is the steward and administrator of the Divine Truth. He was martyred by being beheaded at Carthage in 258 A. D. He so opposed the Roman bishop as to have been disfellowshiped by him, even dying in that condition, despite which he is a Romanist saint.

 

(23) Augustine was undoubtedly the greatest and ablest of the Church fathers. He was born in 354 A. D. at Tagaste, Numidia. His mother was the pious Monica, the classic example of pious mothers of wayward sons whom their prayers pursue unto conversion. By many very able men outside the Roman Church he is considered as having had greater intellectual powers than any other fallen member of the human family. He tasted the depth of iniquity while pursuing the learning of the schools of his day. Later he became a teacher of secular branches. After a checkered career he was converted about 385 A. D. in Milan, Italy, and in 388 returned to Africa. He became a presbyter at Hippo, Africa, in 391 A. D., bishop there in 396, and for 34 years acted as the oracle of the entire Western Church, dying in 430 A. D. He carried on three far-reaching and long-drawn-out controversies: (1) against Manicheans, (2) against the Donatists and (3) against the Pelagians, besides many less important ones. It was particularly in his controversy with the Donatists that he did the most effective work of all the members of antitypical Shelumiel on behalf of the truth that there is but one Church, which in its catholicity is the steward and administrator of God's Truth, i.e., offered antitypical Shelumiel's charger, bowl and spoon. This controversy lasted for eleven years (400411) and was brought to a fairly successful issue at a conference held by 287 Donatists and 279 Catholic bishops at Carthage, Augustine being the main mouthpiece of the latter, and