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

CHAPTER VI.

 

THE OFFERINGS OF THE GOSPEL-AGE

PRINCES (CONTINUED).

Num. 7: 48-65.

 

THE OFFERINGS OF ANTITYPICAL ELISHAMA. OF ANTITYPICAL GAMALIEL. OF ANTITYPICAL ABIDAN. BEREAN QUESTIONS.

 

IN NUM. 7 the princes of the three tribes to the west of the tabernacle are described in their offerings after those of the tribes to the south of the tabernacle are described. The three tribes to the tabernacle's west, constituting the camp of Ephraim, are Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin. The standard of this camp, typing God's justice as we have seen, likely had as its symbol the ox or bullock. We have already seen that Ephraim types the Lutheran Church, Manasseh the Congregational Church and Benjamin the fanatical churches, especially the Quakers. The stewardship doctrine of the Lutheran Church is justification by God's grace through faith in Christ's merit. It therefore pertains to justice. The stewardship doctrine of the Congregational Church is the equality of rights on the part of all the brethren, expressed in church government of, by and for all the brethren—also a matter of justice. And the stewardship doctrine of the fanatical sects, i.e., the Quakers, the holiness people, etc., is right living Godward and manward as opposed to all formalism—also a matter of justice. Thus we see that God's attribute of justice is the central idea of the figurative tribes to the West of the antitypical Tabernacle, even as the three corresponding typical tribes seem to have had on their standard the representation of an ox or bullock, the symbol of justice (Ezek. 1 and Rev. 4).

 

(2) We have in these columns shown that Ephraim types in the tabernacle picture the Lutheran Church, while the Ephraimites type the Lutherans. In the

 

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Gospel-Age picture the Lutheran Church and people are typed by Jacob's son Levi in connection with Jacob's begetting and Leah's bearing him. But because the Levites were taken as the sacred tribe in the tabernacle picture, and because Joseph and Benjamin, in connection with Jacob's begetting them and Rachel's bearing them are used to type the Little Flock harvest movement and people and the Great Company movement and people respectively, and because Joseph's two sons were given separate tribal standings, we in the tabernacle picture must regard the Lutherans with the Congregationalists and the fanatical sects, being not in the picture of Jacob's sons in their begetting and birth, as being the antitype of these three tribes—the two tribes of Joseph's descendants and the tribe of Benjamin. Ephraim, the most important of the three, would naturally type the Lutheran Church, by far the most important of the three denominations under consideration. The idea of the priesthood of the consecrated giving color to the church government of all three of these denominations also shows them to be of the same camp. The precedence of Ephraim and Manasseh over Benjamin causes us to conclude that the Lutheran and Congregational Churches are typed by the first named; and the inferiority of Benjamin suggests that the fanatical sects are typed by the tribe of Benjamin. In this way we harmonize the difference in the antitypes of Jacob's sons at their begettal and birth for Gospel-Age purposes and of the tribes about the tabernacle for Gospel-Age purposes.

 

(3) In the first part of this chapter on The Offerings Of The Gospel-Age Princes we desire to discuss those of the prince of antitypical Ephraim (Num. 7: 48-53)—the crown-lost leaders of the Lutheran Church. Their type is Elishama, the son of Ammihud. Elishama means God hears. This name characterizes the crown-lost leaders of the Lutheran Church from the standpoint that justification by God's

 

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grace through faith in Christ's merit guarantees a favorable hearing from God on behalf of those who in living, childlike trust in Christ's merit for acceptance approach God for forgiveness of sins and the imputation of Christ's merit. Ammihud means my people is majesty, i.e., glorious. It seems to indicate the high honor in which, according to the crown-lost Lutheran leaders, the faith-justified are held by God and those in harmony with Him. The following are the main crown-lost leaders who co-operated in perverting the Little Flock movement started by Luther into a sect and maintained it as such: Jonas, Bugenhagen, Chemnitz, Andreae, Gerhard, Calov, Quenstedt and Hollaz. But while considering Luther the Little Flock originator of, and Melanchthon as his Little Flock co-laborer in, the Little Flock movement that was later perverted into the Lutheran Church, we must in justice admit that they were as parts of blinded antitypical Samson more instrumental than all others, except the Protestant princes of Germany, in perverting this movement into the Lutheran denomination.

 

(4) The doctrine which God made the special stewardship teaching of the Lutheran Church, and which its crown-lost leaders applied and defended, is justification by faith. If we should briefly state this doctrine in its main features, we might put it as follows: Justification by God's grace through faith in Christ's merit. Several things are implied in this doctrine: (1) that the justification of a human being is not by good works, either under the natural or under the Mosaic law; for justly condemned and imperfect man cannot by his fallen powers under the natural law or under the Mosaic law act sinlessly and perfectly, and hence cannot satisfy the demands of justice by his own works (Rom. 1: 16—3: 20; Gal. 2: 16, 21; 3: 10-12); (2) that God in grace—unmerited favor—provided His Son to be a propitiation of Divine justice on behalf of Adam's sin and all others'

 

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sins resulting from Adam's sin (Rom. 3: 21-26; 4: 25; 5: 7-21; Gal. 4: 4, 5; John 3: 15, 16; 1 John 1: 7—2: 2; 4: 10); (3) that Christ freely gave Himself up to death to satisfy God's justice for the life of the race and fulfilled the Law to work out a righteousness for man (Matt. 20: 28; 1 Tim. 2: 5, 6; Rom. 5: 15-19; 1 Cor. 15: 21, 22; Gal. 3: 13); (4) that God by the Word offers gratuitously justification to the repentant sinner who will heartily believe His promise that for the sake of Jesus' merit He will forgive him and account him righteous in Christ's righteousness (Luke 24: 47; Acts 3: 19; 13: 38, 39; Rom. 3: 25, 26); (5) that the repentant sinner who heartily believes this promise is freely forgiven and receives the imputed righteousness of Christ as his righteousness (Rom. 4: 2-8, 22-24; 10: 4; 1 Cor. 1: 30; Phil. 3: 9); (6) that justification is therefore God's act, not ours, and is therefore declarative and reckoned or imputative on His part, and not actually effected by and in us, i.e., we do not justify ourselves, and our justification does not actually make, it only reckons, us perfect (Rom. 8: 33; 4: 5-8; 3: 20, 26; Gal. 2: 16; 3: 10-12, 21, 22; Phil. 3: 9; 1 John 1: 7—2: 2); and (7) that in justification faith is imputed as righteousness because, holding Christ's righteousness as its own, it is the only requirement for justification asked by God from the repentant sinner (Rom. 3: 28; 4: 3—5: 1; 10: 4, 10; 1 Cor. 1: 30; Gal. 2: 16, 17). In harmony with the above propositions antitypical Elishama applied and defended the propositions that God is the source and effective cause of justification, that Christ is its meritorious cause and that faith is its instrumental cause. Certainly this is a true and Biblical doctrine, and because of what its constituent elements are, it is one of the most important doctrines of the Bible. Its very nature caused its reformatory propounder—Luther—to give the papacy the hardest blow of any delivered by the Reformers.

 

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To make this statement apparent it will be well for us to look at several pertinent aspects of the papacy.

 

(5) The papacy in its organization, teachings and practices cannot be properly understood, unless it is recognized as Antichrist. As Antichrist it is Satan's counterfeit of the Christ's organization, teachings and practices. In other words, Satan depraved in counterfeit forms the organization, teachings and practices of the Christ in their entirety. Among other things, he has in the papacy counterfeited the entire Millennial arrangement for man's recovery and has counterfeited the time of its operation, putting it into the Gospel Age. The Scriptures clearly teach that after the Christ's merit in the Millennium has freed the world from the Adamic sentence, the world through the priestly, kingly, prophetic, mediatorial, parental, healing and judging ministry of the Christ will gradually attain actual—not a reckoned—justification, and that by works, while for Gospel-Age purposes they teach that justification is by faith, apart from works. Such papal changing of "times and laws" brought in its train a multitude of errors, all in more or less opposition to justification by faith. Thus the idea of the Catholics justifying themselves by works and through them receiving forgiveness of guilt and of the penalty of sins, is in itself a counterfeit of certain Millennial trespass offerings, and of course, is an error from the standpoint of faith justification as now operative. The cancellation of the Millennial world's Adamic condemnation is counterfeited in papacy's water baptism, which is held to cancel the Adamic guilt and its resultant sins committed before baptism. The Millennial Christ as Priest, King, Prophet, Physician, Parents, Mediator and Judge, is counterfeited by the pertinently claimed offices of the papacy. The mass counterfeits the sacrifice of the Church as a part of the Sin-offering. Purgatory counterfeits the kingdom stripes purging

 

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from more or less of wrong-doing. Penance counterfeits the real contrition for, confession of and satisfaction for wrongs Millennially. The monks and nuns counterfeit the Millennial Ancient and Youthful Worthies. The former's vows and asceticism counterfeit the consecration vows and self-denials of the latter. The beatified counterfeit the Millennial Great Company; and the canonized counterfeit the Millennial Little Flock. The so-called good works of the papal laity—fastings, prayers, pilgrimages, alms, deeds, contributions, etc.—counterfeit the good works of the restitution class. Papal prayers to the saints counterfeit the restitutionists' prayers to the Millennial Church, while papal prayers to Mary and Peter probably counterfeit prayers made to the two at our Lord's right and left. The intervention of Papal saints counterfeits the mediatorship of the Millennial saints. Indulgences counterfeit the Millennial forgiveness of weakness and ignorance. Confirmation counterfeits the Millennial strengthenings of the restitutionists. The papal Lord's Supper counterfeits the Millennial Memorial symbol of Christ's and the Church's death and of the benefits conferred. Ordination counterfeits the making of priests of the Gospel-Age consecrated. Extreme unction counterfeits the final help given by the Christ to the restitution class before the Little Season. The ceremony of matrimony might counterfeit making the world one with the Christ (Is. 62: 5). Tradition as part of the rule and source of faith and practice is the counterfeit of the Millennial revelations on faith and practice. The papal idea of faith as only belief counterfeits the Millennial faith, which will not be one without sight. Papal reverence for relics, pictures and images of saints counterfeits the reverence of the restitution class for the acts and characters of the real saints. And papal feasts counterfeit the experiences of the restitutionists in the blessings wrought by the Christ in

 

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His various memorable acts. As one looks at these features of the papal counterfeit, he will see more or less of a relation between them and the papal doctrine of justification by works; for all of these things are in the papacy so taught as to be made use of to secure forgiveness of sins and eternal life by the papal laity. Therefore the entire papal scheme of salvation runs athwart the doctrine of faith justification. If the former prevails, the latter falls. If the latter prevails, the former falls. Hence the Divine wisdom in beginning through the teaching of justification by faith the Protestant Reformation assault on the papal way of salvation—justification by works.

 

(6) The member of antitypical Jacob through whom the reform movement having as its keynote the doctrine of justification by faith was inaugurated was Martin Luther, who was also at the same time the hero of the entire Reformation. He was born at Eisleben, Saxony, a state of Germany, Nov. 10, 1483, and died there Feb. 18, 1546. His father was first a miner, then a slate cutter. Young Martin was educated first at Magdeburg, then later (1498-1501) at Eisenach, where singing for his food, as was then the custom of poor students, he was favored by Mrs. Ursula Cotta with a home. In 1501 he entered the University of Erfurt as a law student, graduated in 1505 and began to lecture at this University. The same year, against his parents' insistence, he became a monk of the Augustinian Order. He became a priest in 1507, and in the next year became professor of philosophy at the newly founded University of Wittenberg, Saxony. He visited Rome in 1510 on business of his order. In 1512 he was made a Doctor of the Holy Scriptures, which entitled him to lecture and write on the Bible anywhere in Christendom. Henceforth he lectured on the Bible at the University. Oct. 31, 1517, he nailed his 95 theses to the Castle Church door at Wittenberg, as a protest against Tetzel's infamous

 

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indulgence traffic. These created an immense sensation throughout Christendom and started the Reformation. They were condemned as heretical by the papacy. In 1519 he debated with Dr. Eck, Rome's champion, on the powers of the papacy, and in the year 1520 he published two works that greatly forwarded the Reformation: (1) An Address to the Christian Nobles of the German Nation; and (2) The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, which latter called forth a royal reply from Henry VIII, answered crushingly by Luther. In 1520 he answered the papal bull of excommunication, by burning it and a copy of the canon law before the University's faculty and student body and the entire citizenry of Wittenberg, declaring the papacy to be Antichrist and renouncing it and its cause. Cited to appear before the Imperial Diet at Worms to answer before the emperor and the estates of the empire, he made, in a long address, April, 1521, a most humble, clear and heroic defense of his doctrines, ending with the memorable words, "Hereon I stand. I can do naught else. So help me God! Amen!" He—the papally excommunicated heretic—was now outlawed by the emperor. After leaving Worms he was, as through an understanding in which he shared, ostensibly captured by some disguised knights and taken to the Wartburg, where he remained with intermittent absences until March, 1522. Here he translated the New Testament into German from the original Greek.

 

(7) Had Luther died at the Wartburg, there would have been no shadow on his reformatory work; but here he concluded that his reformatory movement would be crushed, if he would not become a partner with the friendly princes and estates of the empire; and henceforth he became increasingly the captive of the Protestant nobility as a part of antitypical blinded Samson grinding out the meal for the antitypical Philistines, sectarians. From here on Luther became

 

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decidedly more conservative and compromised not a few of the logical conclusions of his principles in the interests of the shortly to be formed sectarian body named against his will after him—the Lutheran Church. More than all others, apart from the rulers, was he instrumental in sectarianizing the noble Reform movement that he had inaugurated. But despite his shortcomings, he is easily the hero of the stupendous drama called, The Reformation; and also despite his shortcomings he was adorned with very many noble qualities of the first order. He united a sublime faith and courage with a deep humility and simplicity. His self-oblivion and his generosity were as great as his companionableness and loyalty were strong. His unique firmness and aggressiveness were matched by a remarkable love and forgiveness. His mental, moral and religious qualities and his practical ability in securing wonderful results from his efforts made him a genius of the highest order, placing him among the foremost of the twenty greatest men that have ever lived. His reactionary and sectarian spirit from 1522 onward have often raised the question in our mind as to whether he retained his place in the Little Flock. From the Samson type and from the fact that he did not revolutionize against the truths that he saw we believe that he did, yet we were not without misgivings when we considered that he sectarianized his reform movement, co-operated in uniting Church and State, fought the Zwinglian truth on the Lord's Supper, the Hubmaierian truth on exclusive adult baptism and the Servetian truth on the unity of God, and invented various errors against these truths. But he could not properly be called revolutionizing on these subjects, not having ever seen the Truth on them. He was undoubtedly loyal to the great truth entrusted to him to expound, apply and defend. And he did this decidedly more ably and fruitfully than any other Reformer did with his special stewardship truth;

 

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and he is the only Reformer who succeeded in stamping his stewardship truth on the other Reform movements and churches. Therefore he is the most universal of the Reformers, and is by all Protestant sects given the first place among the Reformers. We fully agree that this pre-eminence is his from the standpoint of mental, moral, and religious qualities, and of practical genius.

 

(8) While we will not trace the course of Luther's life after his return to Wittenberg from the Wartburg, as we did before that return, it would be helpful to an understanding of our subject to point out how Luther was led to see and use the doctrine of justification by faith. On the one hand, by heredity and development he had a very tender conscience, which condemned the slightest recognized imperfection in his disposition, thoughts, motives, words or acts; yet, on the other hand, he had the deepest cravings for peace with God and for the sense of His approval and fellowship. Therefore under the legalistic spirit of Rome he feared and dreaded God as a hostile and revengeful Judge, whom in some way he must placate. His Church pointed to its sacraments and good works backed by the intercession of saints as the means of obtaining peace with God, and made him believe that he could best accomplish this through the meritoriousness of monastic life. Hence, despite parental objections, he became a monk, hoping by the "good works" of the Augustinian Order to obtain the coveted peace with God. Accordingly, he fasted until he was almost a skeleton and became a semi-invalid. He prayed often the whole night in agony for the desired peace. He did the most menial work for his brother monks in order to attain his quest. He begged from house to house for his order in the same hope. He performed accentuated penances with the same object in view. Thus he could truly say of himself, "If there was ever a pious monk, it was I" But he found no

 

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peace by these exercises. Always the monitor within faulted him in his best endeavors and works. And if he, imperfect as he was, could see condemnable things in himself, so he reasoned, how much more could God do so. His pathetic sighs, groans and cries for God's approval were sympathetically heard by his brother monks, one of whom sought to comfort and pacify him with the words, "Bro. Martin, do you not believe the words of the creed, 'I believe in … the forgiveness of sins'?" Thus did Luther's struggles continue for years, his Church being unable to bring peace with its "sacraments and good works."

 

(9) But in due time God had mercy on this deeply distressed monk, through the doctrine of faith justification. His study of the Scriptures brought him to meditate very deeply and often on the Lord's word in the passages, "the just shall live [gain life] by faith" (Gal. 3: 11) and "the righteousness of God [the righteousness that God in Christ's merit provided for man] without the law [apart from the works of the law] is manifested … even the righteousness of God which is by the faith [fullness] of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference; for all have sinned and come short of the glory [character-likeness] of God, being freely justified by His grace through the redemption [deliverance] that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3: 21-24). Gradually, like the dawn, the light began to arise on his heart until, like a sunburst it filled his soul with peace and joy. Now he realized that while none of his works, which at best were but imperfect, could satisfy God's justice and thus effect peace between God and himself, yet God in marvelous love arranged for Christ's death and righteousness to satisfy God's justice for him, and that to get the benefit of this all he had to do was heartily to believe that God graciously for Christ's merit forgave his sins and accounted him righteous. This Luther, with all the

 

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strength of a powerful mind and heart, seized upon as true, and from such a faith received the coveted peace with God, as a veritable sunburst from heaven after a dark and stormy night of distress. Henceforth he triumphed in the thought of Holy Writ, "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 5: 1). This account of Luther's experience shows that he proved by his life's experience the falsity of papacy's way of salvation "through the sacraments and good works" and the Truth of God's way to justification—faith in the grace of God manifested in Christ's merit. Henceforth this doctrine became the center of Luther's life and teachings. Hence when Tetzel came to the neighborhood of Wittenberg selling his indulgences, he impinged against the darling doctrine of Luther's heart, and out of that impingement sprang first the 95 theses and later the Protestant Reformation. "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform." And so closely related to faith justification is Luther's life and character that we naturally think of him when the doctrine of justification by faith comes to mind. Probably his ablest discussion of this doctrine is in his second Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians.

 

(10) Let us pause awhile and contemplate how this doctrine as a veritable stump-rooter tore up the entire tree of papal error on justification and related matters. One does not usually, especially not at once, draw all the logical conclusions implied in one's principles. This was true of Luther in connection with his belief on justification. It was about 1510 when he attained peace through heartily believing God's promise of gratuitous forgiveness through faith in Christ's merit. But so far as we know, he did not draw from these premises any conclusion against any papal doctrine until the fall of 1517, when the Dominican monk, Tetzel, began in the vicinity of Wittenberg to hawk indulgences for sins at so much per.

 

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In the confessional Luther, who insisted on his penitents exercising repentance toward God and faith in Christ as the conditions of absolution, learned that, without repentance and faith, solely on the basis of having paid Tetzel for indulgences, his confessants demanded absolution. This Luther refused to give on such a ground. A papal indulgence is a full or partial grant of remission of sin and its penalties in this life or in purgatory by virtue of the so-called treasury of the saints' merits, deposited with the papacy. The papal theory is that the saints merited more than their own salvation required. This surplus merit consisted of what is papally called works of supererogation. On dying, these saints bequeath these surplus works to the Church, which, keeping them in its treasury, can apply them to its members who lack sufficient merit to escape present and purgatorial punishment. Indulgences originated during the Crusades and were offered to those who would undertake a crusade against the Moslems. Then, because some could not go, they hired substitutes and thus obtained the coveted indulgences. By and by it came about that the money that was wont to go to a substitute, if paid to the Church, would effect the same purpose. Later, sins were variously catalogued at so much per, dependent on the means of those seeking indulgences. Thus the people got and lived out the thought from the indulgence hawkers that they could sin at will, if they paid for the privilege by way of indulgences. Not infrequently they would purchase indulgences for sins that they were contemplating committing in the future. Such an indulgence Tetzel sold to a nobleman, and he himself proved to be the one against whom the nobleman intended to sin in revenge for a wrong that Tetzel had done him. With this intent the nobleman asked how much an indulgence would cost granting him remission for a contemplated act of physical injury on, and robbery of, an enemy. Tetzel's price struck the

 

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nobleman as too high, so he "jewed" Tetzel down in the price. Finally the lowered price was acceptable to the nobleman, and paying for, and receiving the indulgence that supposedly pardoned him from the guilt and punishment of his contemplated sin, he left Tetzel. Sometime later he waylaid Tetzel, beat him up famously and robbed him of the contents of his treasury chest. Tetzel appealed to the courts, but confronted with his indulgence and pointed out by the nobleman as being the enemy meant by him when he bought the indulgence, Tetzel could obtain no redress!

 

(11) The traffic in indulgences is characteristically papal, and is as revelatory of papal corruption as probably anything else in that system. No wonder that Tetzel's shameless trafficking in them shocked Luther through and through, and led him at once to question the merchandising of indulgences. Later on, through a logical deduction from the doctrine of faith justification, the whole idea of indulgences became repugnant to him, and he rejected them entirely, as contrary to God's gratuitous forgiveness through Christ's merit received by faith. When Dr. Eck, as against faith justification, defended indulgences and also the absolute authority of the pope as proven by tradition, Luther was led to reject tradition as a part of the source and rule of faith and practice in favor of the Scriptures as the sole source and rule of faith and practice. Soon the doctrine of justification by faith led Luther to reject the mass as repugnant to the merit of Christ received by faith alone; for papacy teaches that Christ's death covers only original sin, and the sins prior to water baptism, but that the mass takes care of all sins of the living and dead committed after baptism. Hence justification by faith with one stroke of the word, as a besom of destruction, overthrew the whole structure of the mass. It was but another logical step to deny purgatory; for if Christ's merit forgives all our sins (1 John 1: 7), there can

 

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be no purgatory where a believer's sins are made good for. The meritoriousness of fasting, praying, pilgrimages, crusades, penances, vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience to ecclesiastics, alms-deeds, endowments of masses, churches and other papal projects, etc., as means of obtaining forgiveness of sin's guilt and penalty, fell to the ground in the face of justification by faith in Christ's merit. This led Luther to reject monasticism; and his own marriage, and that with an ex-nun, put the seal of practice on such rejection. Of course, justification by faith did away entirely with the idea of the saint's merit being necessary for the believer, as it led to the rejection of the ideas that they intercede for us and that we should pray to them. Consequently their relics, pictures and images lost caste with the believer, who will ever appreciate the characters and deeds of real saints. Justification by faith soon put down the Virgin Mary from her place as queen of heaven and the special intermediary of believers in approaching God and Christ. It set aside the thought of the satisfaction of Divine justice through penitential works. It dispensed with the papal priesthood and hierarchy in their capacity of intermediary between God and the consecrated believer, who is a priest, and rightly exalted Christ as the sole Priest Godward for them. Justification by faith destroyed papal sacramentarianism, whereby the mere external use of the sacraments is supposed to convey grace. It also overthrew the papal idea of the Church and of the Romish Church as being the Church. In a word, the whole papal institution and its method of gaining life were set aside by this one doctrine. Surely it was the stump-rooter, tearing up the entire papal tree. As we see this result we marvel at God's strategic wisdom, which smote papacy with a mortal wound by that part of the Sword of the Spirit treating of justification by faith.

 

(12) While Luther saw many of the features of

 

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faith justification clearly, there were others that he did not see. He did not see the distinction between tentative and vitalized justification. He knew nothing of tentative justification. Nor did he realize the function of faith justification in God's plan as the preparatory step for the high calling; for he thought that it made one a priest, whereas this was done in consecration and spirit-begetting. He believed that it entitled one to heaven, instead of making him acceptable for the high calling, faithfulness in which prepares for heaven. His emphasis on faith justification apart from works as entitling one to heaven, made him fail to do justice to the passages that teach that the overcoming of the consecrated and their attaining the heavenly reward are dependent on their faithful fulfillment of their consecration vows (Rev. 2: 10, 25, 26; 3: 21; 2 Pet. 1: 5-10). For these deficiencies we are not to fault Luther; for the full Truth on faith justification was not due before the Harvest; and no one can give a truth either in part or in full until it is due as such. Rather let us praise God for the large amount of light that He gave Luther; for when we consider the deep papal darkness in which Luther, like others, was enveloped, we marvel at the amount of clear light that he saw and spread.

 

(13) As said above, Luther himself was, next to his rulers, the chief one who sectarianized the noble reform movement that God inaugurated through him. Returning to Wittenberg from the Wartburg in March, 1522, with the thought that he must have the support of the civil power to retain and increase the gains of his reform movement as against the papacy, he first had to overthrow the fanatical and disorderly movement at Wittenberg led by Carlstadt, one of his fellow professors, in fact the University's rector. Carlstadt held that everything papal must be set aside. Hence he cast out the mass, the Latin language in the services, relics, images, pictures, vestments and every other

 

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papal symbol from the churches. This was accompanied by much disorder and rioting. Luther, a great conservative, was repelled by this course and left the Wartburg without his ruler's consent, to oppose this fanaticism. In eight discourses, on as many days, he set forth his views of the matter, won over the entire community and put an end to the disorder. This result pleased his ruler, Frederick the Wise, who sympathized with Luther, but as far as Luther's cause was concerned also tried to keep on good terms with the pope and the emperor. Luther still continued a reform work, but on much more conservative lines than before he went to Worms. Before many years had passed he had won from Rome about nine-tenths of Germany, as well as greatly furthered the Reformation in other lands. To minister to this ever-increasing following, under his ruler's general direction, he organized the Lutheran Church, giving it its order of service, its hymnals, its catechism, and with Melanchthon's co-operation, its ministry and its earlier creeds. This course and its implications led him into many controversies with those who taught differently from the creed of his Church. He always recognized his ruler as the highest official of his Church, and was used by the latter to give advice and advocacy to the policies and teachings agreed to. His activities, literary, epistolary, professorial, pulpit, pastoral, traveling and social were enormous. Few, if any, have ever done more within the same number of years as constituted the period of his reformatory activities, 1517-1546, in all about 28 years and 3⅓ months. He was literally a slave to his sect, and was the first member of the larger antitypical Samson to be captured, to have his powers taken from him, to be blinded and thus made to grind out the meal for the sectarians—the antitypical Philistines. While he shared very ably in the last three exploits of the pre-captive larger Samson, typed by Samson's three exploits done just before

 

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his captivity set in—overthrew (1) the new forms of papal doctrines; (2) the new forms of papal practices set forth to counteract the Reformation, and (3) the papal attacks on his doctrines; yet he slaved more and more for the antitypical Philistines from the Wartburg on; and this slavery was largely responsible for the growing irritability and intolerance of his later years. Almost every blot on his otherwise most praiseworthy course was due to this slavery. We glory in the free Luther; we weep for the enslaved Luther; and we hope for the best for the departed Luther, i.e., that he is in the Little Flock.

 

(14) The galaxy of scholars that the Lutheran Church has marshaled in its universities and churches in application and defense of her stewardship truth—justification by faith—is, at least, equal to that of any other Church. We even doubt whether the equals of Chemnitz, Gerhard and Calov, the three ablest crown-lost leaders of the Lutheran Church, can be found in the ranks of any other denomination as appliers and defenders of their pertinent stewardship truths. Of Martin Chemnitz the Lutherans have the saying, "Had Martin [Chemnitz] not come, Martin [Luther] would not have stood." This was said with main reference to Chemnitz's great work, "The Examination Of The Council Of Trent," the ablest anti-Catholic work of all Protestantism, written as a check to the counter-Reformation movement led by the Jesuits. Bellarmine, the ablest of Rome's anti-Protestant writers, while answering Protestants in general, put forth his very hardest and ablest efforts to refute this work of Chemnitz, and failed. From the small Gospel-Age picture we gather that Chemnitz was a Little Flock member until after the publication of the above-mentioned work. Thereafter he devoted his labors to sect building amid the controversies that led up to the preparation of the Formula of Concord, the last of the general creeds of the Lutheran Church, and mainly

 

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Chemnitz's work. In connection with this work he seems to have lost his crown. John Gerhard is the ablest of all Lutheran dogmaticians and probably the ablest dogmatician of all Christendom. Chemnitz wrote before Bellarmine, and Gerhard after Bellarmine; and when Gerhard was through with Bellarmine's arguments they were on the scrap heap. Chemnitz, though a voluminous writer, was not so much so as Gerhard, while Calov was even a more voluminous writer than Gerhard. Calov seemed to be unable to rest comfortably, if a year should pass without his having written and published at least a thousand-paged quarto—a book almost the size of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary! In a preceding paragraph we mentioned other Lutheran crown-lost leaders than these. Many others could be mentioned; for the Lutheran Church is generally recognized as being the Church of theologians. These crown-lost leaders have prepared classics on justification by faith; for it was their favorite doctrine. Gerhard's treatise on this subject in his chief work, Theological Topics, covers about 500 quarto pages of rather small type. His application and proof of this doctrine and his refutation of objections, is indescribably thorough, final and complete. Catholic theologians who have attempted to battle with it found that they were biting at something harder than adamant.

 

(15) These crown-lost leaders have on this doctrine offered their charger—corrections of bad qualities and conduct. They have shown that this doctrine is peculiarly adapted to put aside pride; for it shows that fallen man can do nothing to make himself acceptable to God. They have shown that it certainly corrects self-righteousness; for it proves all our righteousness to be as filthy rags. They have thoroughly proven that it corrects self-confidence; for it proves that we have nothing of our own on which we can trust for acceptance before God. They have clearly

 

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shown that it corrects every man-made scheme for self-atonement and self-justification as improper inventions of sinful humans and as making God a Falsifier in His Word. They have used it to correct man's self-sufficiency for his relations with God; for it proves that no one is able to redeem himself. They have also used it to show the folly of man's trust in his ability along evolutionary lines finally to make himself perfect; for it implies man's increasing depravity. They have used it to rebuke the insults given to Christ in seeking the intercession and merits of saints to make one right with God. They have also used it to correct the conduct that looks upon God as a hardhearted monster who seems to delight in the punishment of the wicked. They have used it to correct the arrogance of priestcraft in setting itself forth as the intermediary between God and the believer. They have used it as a correction of hierarchism as controlling man's relations to God. They have used it to correct the wickedness that would sin that grace may abound. They have used it as a correction to unbelief that would not accept God's provisions on man's behalf. They have used it to correct the despair that some have felt because of sin. They have used it to correct the lovelessness of some toward God, who has made such gracious provisions for them; and to correct some who have despised weak brethren for whom Christ died, and who have been favored by the participation in His imputed righteousness. They have used it to correct the spirit of fear that some exercise toward God because of their sense of guilt, and the spirit of ingratitude that others show toward God in not appreciating His goodness toward them. They have used it to correct the indifference of some toward others who have experienced faith justification. They have used its graciousness to correct the unkind and covetous spirit that some have exercised. They have used it to correct the spirit of those who love sin.