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

CHAPTER VII.

 

THE OFFERINGS OF THE GOSPEL-AGE

PRINCES (CONCLUDED).

Num. 7: 66—Num. 8: 4.

 

THE OFFERINGS OF ANTITYPICAL AHIEZER. OF ANTITYPICAL PAGIEL. OF ANTITYPICAL AHIRA. A SUMMARY OF THE OFFERINGS OF THE GOSPEL-AGE PRINCES. THE GOSPEL-AGE MOSES AND AARON AS TRUTH RECEIVER AND GIVER. BEREAN QUESTIONS.

 

THE tribe of Dan was the first tribe of the three on the north side of the tabernacle. All three of the tribes located there were descendants of Jacob through the maids of Rachel and Leah: two of them—Dan and Naphtali—being descendants of Jacob through Rachel's maid, Bilhah, while Asher was a descendant of Leah's maid, Zilpah. The standard of the camp to the north of the tabernacle had presumably on it a human face, typical of love as the quality pictured forth by the north side of the tabernacle (Rev. 4: 7). The chronological order of the birth of Jacob's sons proves that the tribe of Dan types the Baptist denomination, as we have shown in Chap. I; for as Dan was next in time of birth after Judah, so the movement that was perverted into the Baptist Church was the next to form after Zwingli's movement. The word Dan means judge and is used to show that the product of better truths (antitypical Bilhah) than those of antitypical Leah and Zilpah was a vindication of antitypical Rachel—the spiritual elective truths (Gen. 30: 6). Thus the Baptists are nearer in spirit and teachings to the Little Flock and Great Company movements than the eight denominations coming front antitypical Leah and Zilpah. Our Pastor frequently, e.g., in the B. S. M. on Baptism, expressed the thought that the Baptist Church was nearer the Truth than any other denomination, even as the type would lead us to expect.

 

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(2) The prince of Dan was Ahiezer, the son of Ammishaddai. Ahiezer means brother (ahi) of help (ezer) and is used to characterize the brotherly and helpful disposition of the crown-lost leaders of the Baptist Church. The Baptist leaders had very little of the clerical feeling in them. They were regarded, not as a clergy class, but as elder brothers of the others. Hence they were on intimate terms of brotherliness with the non-official members of the Baptist Church. This good relation was also helped along by the fact that the Baptists have had the congregational order of church government as against the presbyterial, episcopal or papal form of church government. Thus they were the helpers of their brethren's faith and not lords over God's heritage (1 Pet. 5: 3). So, too, the name Ammishaddai fits them in their relation to the Baptist people. This name means people (ammi) of the Almighty (shaddai). From the outstart of the movement that was later perverted into the Baptist Church, the involved brethren spoke of themselves as God's people. Hence the crown-lost leaders of the Baptist Church were helpful brothers to them as God's people in many good deeds.

 

(3) The main crown-lost leader of the German-speaking Baptists (for it was among the Germanic peoples that the pertinent Little Flock movement that was perverted into the Baptist sect originated) was Menno Simonis. And for nearly a century this denomination was almost entirely limited to the Germanic peoples. John Smith, who with his church early in the seventeenth century had to leave England for Holland in order to find religious liberty, started the Baptist denomination among English-speaking peoples, though he did this in Holland. A little later one of the members of his church, Thomas Helwys, returning to England started the General (Arminian) Baptist Church, and toward the middle of the seventeenth century a Brother Spilsbury started the Particular

 

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(Calvinistic) Baptist Church. Roger Williams started the Baptist Church in America. In the eighteenth century the General Baptists in England became almost entirely Unitarian, and Dan Taylor reorganized the few remaining non-Unitarian Baptists into the General Baptist Church. In addition to the above-named crown-lost leaders of the Baptist Church, we might mention Charles H. Spurgeon, the great London preacher and writer, as a prominent crown-lost leader of the Particular (Calvinistic) Baptists.

 

(4) The stewardship doctrine of the Baptist Church is not, as many suppose, exclusive adult baptism. Nor is it water immersion. While these two doctrines are somewhat related to its stewardship doctrine, and are certainly much emphasized by it, they are not its stewardship doctrine. Its stewardship doctrine is much more central to Christian faith and life than these two doctrines. Its stewardship doctrine is this: The Lord's people consist of those only who have separated themselves from sin, error, self and the world, and who have taken Christ alone as their Savior and Lord. They did not believe that those were Christians who merely repented of sin and believed that Jesus died for them. They insisted on more than these two things as constituting one a member of God's people. Including these two things they added what was in reality consecration. And their first adversaries—the Lutherans and Zwinglians—were so insistent that membership in a state-church and justification by faith alone made one a Christian that the Baptists went to the extreme of denying that by faith alone came justification, which they did because their adversaries mistakenly held justification to imply entitlement to the heavenly salvation. And from that standpoint they were right in their opposition—it does not entitle to heaven, but reckons restitution to its possessor. What the Baptist stewardship doctrine really is may be stated like this: The Lord's real people consist of the

 

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justified and the consecrated only. This is undoubtedly a truth. Justification by faith makes one no more than a nominal Christian. It does not entitle one to the heavenly inheritance; and the Baptists are right in denying justification by faith as entitling one to heaven, though they are mistaken in their denying it as a truth. They meant the right thing by their denial of it; but not seeing the two salvations or the two steps of salvation in the Gospel Age, they could not properly teach justification by faith with the implications claimed for it by their opponents, and at the same time hold to their stewardship doctrine. Indeed it was not yet due to harmonize these two doctrines. This point, too, was a harvest matter, when it was properly harmonized.

 

(5) Our Baptist brethren would not say that their stewardship doctrine is consecration alone, nor do we mean to be understood as teaching that they do so hold. Rather they set forth the thought that their central—stewardship— doctrine is conversion. But by conversion they do not mean what is popularly meant by conversion, i.e., the teaching that the Methodist Church has so greatly stressed as conversion—repentance of sin and acceptance of Christ as Savior. The Baptist includes these two things in conversion, but adds more than these, i.e., turning from self and the world and taking Jesus as Lord, which is consecration. Conversion as Biblically taught is even more extensive than the Baptist idea of it. It includes all they assign to it, plus all the parts of the Christian life implied in conforming one's character to the Lord's. In other words, Biblical conversion implies all of one's acts of turning from sin, error, self and the world, unto God until one has become crystallized in God's image. From this we can see that the Baptist view of conversion, though not complete, is nearer right than that of the Methodist Church. From their view we see that disinterested love, as well as faith,

 

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was involved in their stewardship doctrine; for the two qualities that prompt consecration are a faith that trusts while it cannot trace God and a disinterested love toward God. Therefore the Baptists are properly typed by a tribe to the north of the tabernacle—typical of Love as the fourth Divine attribute. And they are properly the first denomination at the North of the antitypical Tabernacle, because love is central to consecration and consecration is basal to all future development of love. Similarly, the Presbyterians are the first on the East side of the antitypical Tabernacle, because their stewardship doctrine—Christ's death for us and our appropriating it by faith, as symbolized in the Lord's Supper—is, chiefly of the teachings of the tribes to the antitypical East, the power of God for us— "Christ crucified … the power of God" (1 Cor. 1: 23, 24). So, too, the doctrine of the office of our Lord as God's special Representative—pre-human, human and post-human—the stewardship doctrine of the Greek Catholic Church, is the chief doctrine of those forming the mystery, as the main expression of God's wisdom, and thus gives the Greek Catholic Church the first place among the denominations to the South of the antitypical Tabernacle. Finally, the doctrine of justification by faith, the stewardship doctrine of the Lutheran Church, being the chief one of those occupying the antitypical West of the Tabernacle to exhibit God's justice, gives the Lutheran Church the first place among the denominations to the West of the antitypical Tabernacle.

 

(6) A clear recognition of the stewardship doctrine of the Baptists will at once enable us to see why they have so greatly stressed the baptism of adults only, and why they in later years came to stress immersion as the proper form of water baptism. Self-evidently an infant could not experience conversion in the Baptist sense of that word; for such a course as is implied in their use of the term conversion requires considerable

 

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maturity of head and heart, which an infant does not have. It is, therefore, self-evident that only one who has experienced conversion in their sense of the word could really symbolize it. Hence they taught that only the converted should undergo water baptism, which principle voids infant baptism. Hence from the outstart of the Little Flock movement that was later perverted into the Baptist denomination, infant baptism was denied; yea, it was denied even by some who preceded that movement, "the Zwikau prophets," in 1520, whereas the Little Flock movement that was perverted into the Baptist denomination began in March, 1523. Nor did the brethren in that movement insist on immersion as the proper symbol, but allowed the choice to each individual as to whether he would be sprinkled, effused or immersed. Immersion as the sole symbol was, and that first in England, required from about 1642 onward, after the pertinent Little Flock movement had for over a century been sectarianized. Furthermore, the two great contributions that the Baptist denomination has made to Christendom are an outflow of their stewardship doctrine—religious liberty and foreign missions; for since conversion was a heart matter not produced by external force, it was not to be sought by the use of external force like persecution, but by the preaching of the Word; and since the conversion of others is the great commission, foreign missions and domestic evangelistic work should be prosecuted. Roger Williams brought to America the principle of religious liberty and William Carey, the Baptist cobbler preacher of Moulton, England, started the foreign missionary crusade and himself began in India the foreign missionary work which became associated with the sign that preceded the Lord's return—the preaching of the Gospel by word of mouth and Bible translation in all the world as a witness to all nations (Matt. 24: 14). Doubtless the fact, too, that the Little Flock movement

 

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under consideration and its denominational perversion were more persecuted than any other Protestant Little Flock movement or Protestant denomination, had something to do with their advocacy of religious liberty, though apart from persecution their principle of conversion made its advocacy a doctrinal as their persecutions made it a practicable necessity.

 

(7) Before describing the member of antitypical Jacob who initiated the Little Flock movement that crown-lost leaders perverted into the Baptist Church, we should call attention to the fact that in starting each Little Flock movement which was later turned into a sectarian system, while the Lord used one special brother most prominently, He always supplied him with an able assistant, apparently on the principle exemplified in the Gospels in Jesus' sending out His messengers two by two. Thus St. John was assisted by Polycarp, Irenaeus by Tertullian, Luther by Melanchthon, Zwingli by Oecolampadius, Hubmaier by Blaurock, Servetus by Laelius (not Faustus) Socinus, Cranmer by Latimer, Browne by Harrison, Fox by Barclay, John Wesley by Charles Wesley, Stone by Thomas (not Alexander) Campbell, and Miller by Wolf (in Europe). And these assisting brothers were no negligible helpers, by any means. In almost all cases they wrought almost as fruitfully as their more fully used leading brothers.

 

(8) The Little Flock brother who was used to start the movement that was later perverted into the Baptist Church was Dr. Balthasar Hubmaier. He was born in 1480 near Augsburg, Germany, and died at the stake as a martyr in 1528, at Vienna, Austria. He was a learned man, and while yet a Catholic was considered, next to Dr. Eck, Luther's ablest Catholic opponent as a debater. He was a priest and professor at Ingolstadt, 1512-1516. In the latter year he became chief preacher at the Regensburg Cathedral. In 1521 he became the leading priest at Waldshut, Lower

 

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Austria, where a more liberal atmosphere prevailed than at Regensburg. In March, 1523, he publicly went over to Protestantism and immediately began to announce that only the truly converted—those who separated themselves from sin, error, self and the world, and who accepted Christ alone as their Savior and Head—constituted God's people—the Church. In that same month he visited Zurich and converted Zwingli to his idea with the consequent nullity of infant baptism. But two years later Zwingli, having seen that this would practically empty the state-church in which he was doing his reform work, receded from this position, and later became its most forceful opponent. In October, 1523, Hubmaier attended the second Zurich Conference and supported Zwingli in the debate with the Catholic theologians. At Pentecost, 1524, the city of Waldshut embraced Hubmaier's doctrines, agreeing to defend him and them against the opposition of the Austrian government, which would brook no "heresy." After a few months this opposition forced him to leave the city, but he returned again in October as the acknowledged leader of the religious and political policy of the city.

 

(9) He deeply sympathized with the wrongs that the German peasants suffered; and he had to do with the preparation of the 12 articles embodying their grievances. These were worthy of a Solon and were presented to the German nobility and public. But he counseled against the violence into which the fanatical Thomas Munzer misled them with such fatal consequences to them in the Peasants' War of 1525, in which over 100,000 of them perished in the first Protestant war for religious and civil liberty. At Easter, 1525, Hubmaier received adult baptism and later administered it to hundreds of others, which made a breach between him and Zwingli over his special doctrine and its consequent antipedobaptism doctrine. His example of receiving adult baptism was

 

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followed by almost the entire citizenry of Waldshut. Soon he and Zwingli entered into a literary controversy in which he wrote several books against the latter, who replied. Waldshut having supported the revolting peasants (yea, beginning this apart from Hubmaier's advice while he was in flight from the city for fear of Austria) against whose excesses Hubmaier protested, it was occupied by the imperial troops in December, 1525, and Hubmaier was again compelled to flee, this time to Zurich, where he was arrested. Here, from fear of being delivered to the Austrians, who wanted to burn him as a heretic, weakened by a serious sickness, and under stress of the rack's torture, he recanted, somewhat after the manner of Cranmer, and, like him, he recanted his recantation, charging that it was extorted by torture from a sick man. His recantation of his recantation greatly angered Zwingli, who, sad to say, was in part responsible for his torture.

 

(10) In July, 1526, Hubmaier found refuge in Nikolsburg, Moravia, where he gained the protection of the leading noblemen of the vicinity. Here he soon converted to his special teaching the entire population, including the ministers and Von Lichtenstein, the political head of the region. And for awhile Moravia, and particularly Nikolsburg, became a refuge and the center of activity for the sorely persecuted brethren, whom Protestants and Catholics alike persecuted with relentless cruelty— antitypical Leah and her children envious of the prospective child of antitypical Rachel's Bilhah. Here, too, Hubmaier entered into the most active period of his literary work, elaborating from various standpoints and into various directions his stewardship doctrine. His clearness and thoroughness as a thinker, writer and debater, enabled him to present his position on its central doctrine and its main related doctrines in such a way as has left almost nothing, except the arguments on immersion, for

 

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succeeding Baptists to add in favor of their views. He was the most sober and amiable of all of the reformers of the 16th century, though not so heroic as Luther, nor so influential as Luther, Zwingli and Cranmer. Early in July, 1527, he was, with his wife, captured by the Austrian authorities, and, refusing to recant, was, on March 10, 1528, burned at the stake at Vienna as a martyr. His loyal wife, the faithful companion of his many persecutions and exiles, was, three days later, drowned in the Danube and her body was burned to ashes. Thus perished the member of antitypical Jacob who started the movement that crown-lost leaders perverted into the Baptist Church.

 

(11) The history of the persecution of the adherents of this movement and of the earlier Baptist sectarians is one of the saddest, yet most triumphant, of Protestantism. Unjustly the excesses of the Peasants' Revolt were charged against them. The travesty on religion enacted in the Muenster Millennial fanaticism was laid at their door. The excesses of all radicals were used against them, because their opposition to a state-church and infant baptism marked them as religious radicals, especially as they advocated religious liberty and, consequently, sympathized with political and social liberty. Lutheran, Catholic, Zwinglian and Cranmerian rulers hounded them to the limit. So severe was the persecution in Switzerland under Zwingli's advocacy that in a few years, though for a while almost all Protestant Switzerland sympathized with the movement, there were very few "Anabaptists," i.e., re-Baptists, found in Switzerland, where some of their leaders were killed, others tortured and the rest banished. The law in Zurich exiled any family that would not, within eight days, have an infant baptized. By 1530 in Germany 2,000 of them had been led to martyr deaths. Very few of them recanted. Usually they went joyfully to their death, singing psalms and hymns of praise. By 1531

 

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over 1,000 of them suffered martyrdom in Tyrol and Goertz and 600 in Ennisheim. Later, thousands more were killed in Tyrol. Also Austria proper had its multitudes of these martyrs, and even Moravia added some to the many thousands of these slaughtered brethren. We doubt not but among these were not a few who symbolically under the altar cried out, "How long, O Lord God, holy and true, etc." (Rev. 6: 9-11)! As in the case of the early Church, the blood of the martyrs proved to be the seed of the Church, and persecution made the bulk of these brethren all the firmer in their purpose to be faithful, which in most cases they proved to be.

 

(12) The Muenster Millennial fanaticism, which was not germane to this movement, but was a grotesque parody on it, by its excesses, lawlessness, wickedness and vindictiveness, made the name "Anabaptist" one of the most shameful of appellations. It gave the blackest kind of an eye to the movement, and almost exterminated it in Germany. God's people, as these dear brethren were wont to call themselves, were so unpopular in Germany after the storming of Muenster in 1535, that they dared not show themselves in public. They were leaderless and in their hour of direst distress some of them found a degree of toleration in Holland, where arose Menno Simonis as a leader, and organized them, first, there and then in Germany, his followers henceforth being called Mennonites. He is the first crown-lost leader who perverted a spontaneous and very wide flung Little Flock movement into the Baptist denomination. His activities as such a leader began in 1537, on his being entreated by many Anabaptists to undertake this leadership. He began to write in defense of their central doctrine and besought the magistracy and people not to confound the quiet God-fearing brethren with the wild Muenster fanatics. Soon the authorities were hounding him, thirsty for his blood. His life

 

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was spent in tireless labors amid scenes of frequent danger, not free from some errors and some foolish practical opinions. He banded the Germanic Anabaptists into a denomination which remains to the present freighted with not a few unhappy peculiarities. The sectarianizing of this movement in England and America, in which latter country the bulk of the world's Baptists are found, has been sufficiently described. These people being greatly persecuted, the persecution being resented by their leaders and the assertion of their right to tolerance are in part typed by Rachel's claim to vindication at Dan's birth.

 

(13) Let us repeat a former remark—the stewardship doctrine of the Baptist Church is not the exclusive baptism of believers, nor immersion, the latter not being made a denominational test until more than a century after the Little Flock movement under Hubmaier began; but it is this: God's people consist of the converted only. This position is undoubtedly true, understanding conversion in the limited sense of turning from sin, error, self and the world, to Jesus as one's Savior and Lord. Without these steps no one could get the Holy Spirit, whose possession is indispensable to one's becoming a Christian (1 Cor. 12: 12, 13). Later, Baptists, seeing that there was something of a death, burial and resurrection in conversion as they understood it, could see in immersion something of a symbol of these and, therefore, stressed immersion as a sign of it. But not seeing clearly our death with Christ in the Sin-offering and our rising with Him as New Creatures, they could not see the fitness of the real and symbolic baptism, though they approached the Truth on this subject nearer than any other sect. Thus the crown-lost leaders of antitypical Dan were in a good position to offer their charger, bowl and spoon to the Lord.

 

(14) Accordingly, we find that antitypical Ahiezer did offer his charger, bowl and spoon, and we here

 

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with proceed to the discussion of these acts, beginning with his offering of his charger. Like all chargers, his was correction of misconduct, in this instance from the standpoint of conversion as being separation from sin, error, self and the world, and accepting Jesus as one's Savior and Lord. As shown above, conversion includes further steps, even everything that is implied in turning the character into a crystallized image of God and Christ. But as the fullness of the doctrine of conversion was not entrusted to the Baptist Church as its stewardship doctrine, its charger, bowl and spoon could go no further than to cover the points involved in their stewardship doctrine. Antitypical Ahiezer, therefore, offered as his charger, correction of conduct against conversion as he viewed the subject. This gave him a vast field to survey in his corrective work; for it involved every breach as to sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, as well as every neglect of Jesus' Saviorhood and Headship. His field of correction was even wider than that of the crown-lost leaders of the fanatical sects, since the latter could rightly correct sin only as the violation of justice, duty love. Therefore, all the corrections that antitypical Abidan offered as his charger, antitypical Ahiezer offered as a part of his charger. Having given details on this above, when treating of antitypical Abidan's charger, we will not repeat them here as a part of antitypical Ahiezer's charger, but will limit our discussions to those that are peculiar to the latter's charger—corrections of misconduct.

 

(15) Therefore he corrected the misconduct which was produced by errors, in so far as he could see them, on the subjects not only connected with his stewardship doctrine, but with some others. Therefore, he frequently denounced and corrected the evils of the clergy, in their power-grasping, lording it over God's heritage, debasing their subjects, exploiting them to their own profit, lack of interest in the spiritual

 

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interests of their dupes, fostering superstition, setting aside God's teachings, practices and organization and introducing contrary ones, seeking not the welfare of the sheep, but their fleece, using force in their favor and against God's servants, uniting church and state, regarding all members of state-churches as Christians, fostering formality, etc. All of these features of priestcraft they rebuked and corrected as flowing out of the error of the Divine right of the clergy. They also rebuked and corrected as flowing out of the error of the Divine right of rulers the course of kingcraft as it expressed itself in absolutism, chicanery, land hunger, extreme taxation, market hunger, protecting the rich and powerful as against the poor and weak, corruption, oppression, militarism, squandering state funds and resources, dishonest diplomacy, breaking solemn treaties, exploiting and despoiling weak nations, exercising might as against right, supporting corrupt favorites, persecuting God's people, supporting false religions, etc. They likewise rebuked and corrected as flowing out of the error of the Divine right of aristocrats the abuses of the officials and aristocrats, such as corruption of judges, legislators and ministers, election frauds, the spoils system, graft, boss rule, land frauds, crooked finance, stock and price gambling, watering, manipulating and frauds, legal technicalities and delays, monopolies, underselling, adulterations, subsidizing selfish propaganda, landlordism, bribery, dishonesty, tax dodging, favoritism, high finance, misusing trust funds, panic manufacturing, luxury, oppression of the laboring and peasant classes, etc. All the above abuses flowed more or less from the errors of the Divine right of the clergy, kings, and aristocrats. It was through suffering from many of the above-mentioned abuses that the fanatical and unconsecrated hangers-on among the early "Anabaptists" were goaded on to desperation and to the consequent taking up of the sword to wreak vengeance on their

 

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oppressors, resulting in the fateful uprising at Muenster in 1535—a solemn warning to all Christians.

 

(16) In addition to rebuking and correcting the above-mentioned abuses flowing out of the error of the Divine rights' doctrine and of other errors, antitypical Ahiezer rebuked and corrected the various forms of sin, error, selfishness and worldliness that hindered accepting Jesus as one's Savior and Lord. The pride that felt itself too exalted to repent of sin and to bear the cross he exposed and corrected. The love of human approval that shrank from the shame of the cross, or acknowledging one's sins he rebuked and corrected. The love of ease and comfort that shunned the self-denials incidental to the toil and hardship of the Christian worker and soldier he rebuked and corrected. The love of life that sought to save the person from the dangers of sickness, torture or death, frequently called for by Jesus' Lordship he exposed and sought to set aside. The contentiousness that would destroy the peaceableness of the true disciple he rebuked and corrected. The vindictiveness that would exact an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth from their injurers and persecutors he frowned upon and set aside. The hypocrisy that would hide one's allegiance to Christ amid threatening enemies he treated likewise. The covetousness that would keep back possessions when needed for the spread of Christ's cause he also rebuked and corrected. The love of luxury that hindered self-giving in hard service of the Truth he rebuked and corrected. Any putting of the opposite sex, husband or wife, parents or children, brethren or relatives, friends or neighbors, home or native land, calling or station, human learning or attainment, above loyalty to Christ as Lord, he corrected, as well as rebuked. Thus he offered his charger—correction of sins, error-produced conduct, selfishness and worldliness that acted against his stewardship doctrine—for the cleansing of many.

 

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(17) He likewise offered his bowl, refutations of errors held against his stewardship doctrine. These errors were sometimes used to combat his stewardship doctrine and sometimes he used his stewardship doctrine to refute opposing errors. Accordingly, he made a defensive and aggressive use of his stewardship doctrine against error, even as every other one of the twelve stewardship doctrines had to fight its way against opposing errors and defend itself against their attacks. Perforce the claims of the solifidians (the proponents of justification by faith alone) had to be opposed by antitypical Ahiezer, because they claimed that faith-justification made one a member of God's real people and was the passport to heaven. He, therefore, proved from the Word that nobody could be of God's people unless he gave up sin, error, self and the world, and took Christ as his Savior and Lord, all of which things were not done by those who merely repented of sin and believed that Jesus died for them. (Matt. 7: 14; 16: 2427; Mark 8: 34-38; Luke 14: 26, 27; Acts 14: 22; John 14: 15-17, 21-24; Rom. 12: 1, 2; 1 Thes. 3: 3, 4; 2 Tim. 2: 1012; Heb. 12: 1-3, 14; 1 Cor. 9: 24-27; Gal. 6: 7-10; Rom. 8: 12-14; etc., etc.) While he taught that repentance and faith were conditional for forgiveness, he contended that this was not enough to make one a member of God's people and insure him heaven. He was herein right and to this extent by the above passages refuted the use of justification by faith as an alleged refutation of his stewardship doctrine, though not seeing the two steps of the Gospel-Age salvation, nor that justification merely reckons restitution so that one may be thereby acceptable for sacrifice, he was quite lame in assigning a proper place to justification by faith alone, even if he was able to refute its use against his stewardship doctrine. In this he was, from another standpoint, handicapped, like the crown-lost leaders of the Lutheran Church, who, as we saw, while able to refute attacks

 

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against their solifidianism as true, were not able to meet arguments that proved that holiness is an indispensable condition for the heavenly inheritance, claiming that faith-justification was sufficient for it, which their adversaries disproved.

 

(18) To the claim that all members of national churches were Christians, antitypical Ahiezer replied that national churches were quasi-civil institutions and to be born in one of these no more made a person a Christian than being born in a state that was united with a church made a person a Christian. To the claim advanced by Zwingli, that the sprinkling of an infant made it a participant in the Abrahamic Covenant, just as circumcision made an Israelite infant a participant of that Covenant, because baptism has now taken the place of circumcision, he answered that Abraham's descendants by circumcision did indeed become partakers of that Covenant, but one must be a son of antitypical Abraham—God—and be baptized before he can become a partaker in that Covenant during the Gospel Age—a thing that only an adult can become, because only an adult can turn from sin, error, self and the world, unto Christ as his Savior and Lord, and then symbolize this course of conduct by baptism. Powerfully did he use his view of death, burial and resurrection of the Christian in defense of immersion as the proper mode of baptism, against the sprinklers and effusionists, even if he did not understand clearly the real baptism and immersion as its symbol. His insistence that a heart's conversion was the only way to become a Christian he used to refute all physical force as a means to make people accept or renounce certain opinions and religions; and he thereby strongly vindicated religious liberty against religious coercion. To the claim that infant baptism cleansed from original sin and worked faith in Christ in the infant he replied that faith cometh by hearing (understanding and obeying) the Word of God (Rom. 10: 9, 10, 14, 17), a

 

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thing that an infant cannot do, and not by water, which is to be applied only after one has already come to faith (Mark 16: 15, 16). Similarly he applied his stewardship doctrine to the refutation of the entire sacramentarian system of the Greek, Roman and Anglican Catholic, and the Lutheran Churches, implying as it does a magical effect in the sacraments. Thus his stewardship doctrine refuted every opposing doctrine and set aside every magical work in religion and rightly claimed that the personal character and attitude of the head and heart toward sin, error, self, the world and Christ, counted exclusively in real conversion, without which, he victoriously contended, no one could belong to God's people.

 

(19) Antitypical Ahiezer, finally, offered his spoon— instructions in righteousness, as a logical outflow of his stewardship doctrine. As a logical conclusion his idea of conversion as having two parts: (1) a separation from sin, error, self and the world, and (2) a taking of Christ as Savior and Lord, implied that he would instruct along the lines opposite to sin, error, selfishness and worldliness and unto faith in Christ as Savior and obedience to Him as Lord. From these standpoints we see how it was his province to instruct and exhort as to every virtue and every grace, as well as to every good word and work. And he has done this, as his writings and oral teachings prove. Therefore he held up, as things that should be developed, carried into action and made to overflow: faith, hope, self-control, patience, piety, brotherly love, charity, humility, simplicity, industriousness, self-sacrifice, peaceableness, longsuffering, forbearance, forgiveness, candor, liberality, temperance, self-respect, winsomeness, agreeableness, peace, self-defense, aggressiveness, self-preservation, tactfulness, providence, patriotism, domesticity, the family spirit; friendship, chastity, meekness, obedience, zeal, moderation, magnanimity, gentleness, joy and faithfulness. These, as the opposites

 

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of the effects of sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, in their various forms, of necessity he negatively encouraged in his hearers as he urged their turning away from sin, error, self and the world; and he positively inculcated them as he insisted on the acceptance of Jesus as Savior and Lord. His insistence on accepting Jesus as Savior enabled him to bring to faith-justification many people, despite his questionable attitude toward justification by faith alone.

 

(20) From another standpoint his stewardship doctrine enabled him to offer his spoon—instruction in righteousness. His emphasis on the character element in religion, as necessitated by his view of conversion's relation to membership among God's people, made him offer certain features of his spoon. We refer, among other things, to the spirit of tolerance that he inculcated in his advocacy of religious freedom. Knowing that if one's religious views are not a matter of his personal conviction, his religiousness is worthless before God and an evil influence to himself and others, he was by his views kept back from intolerance. Not only so, but this view of things made him winsome, tactful and persuasive, because he sought to win unto conversion. Consequently he inculcated these qualities in others as he prepared them for evangelistic work. Thus his stewardship doctrine made him inculcate the art of soul-winning and aroused to the evangelistic spirit. This likewise led him to encourage others to spread Bibles and other conversionist literature. His position, for example, naturally caused John Bunyan, one of the most famous of all Baptists, to make his book, Pilgrim's Progress, which, next to the Bible, has had the widest circulation of any book, the greatest piece of conversionist literature, in the Baptist sense of conversion, in all Christendom. It has converted, in the Baptist sense of that word, millions in its ministry of about 250 years. Similar remarks are applicable to antitypical Ahiezer's exhortations to love for souls and

 

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self-denial in their interest that have made the Baptist Church the pioneer in the modern foreign missionary crusade. Thus in these respects the central position of the doctrine of conversion in the Baptist system of thought has been very fruitful as an instruction in righteousness. Surely in antitypical Ahiezer's spoon there has been much sweet incense—an offering acceptable to the Lord.

 

(21) The above study is another evidence that we have properly understood the Gospel-Age camp and the twelve denominations of Christendom to be the Gospel-Age antitype of Israel's twelve tribes. This study has also given us further evidence that we have understood the Gospel-Age antitypes of Leah, Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah. The persecutions that the Baptists and Unitaro-Universalists have suffered from the pertinent eight other denominations of Christendom—the descendants of antitypical Leah and Zilpah—certainly corroborate our thought as to the relation of Bilhah to Rachel—type and antitype—in the family of typical and antitypical Jacob. The more the details are brought forth, the more we can see that the Lord has favored us with the light on the book of Numbers. Let us in thought, motive, word and act reflect credit upon Him for this expression of His love and favor toward us; for He certainly richly deserves it!

 

(22) Asher was the second son of Zilpah, Leah's maid, Gad being her first son. The name Asher means happy, in the sense of joyous and fortunate. In the type Leah, as the mother of six sons (for her maid's sons were legally hers), could naturally consider herself happy and fortunate, and therefore naturally gave the sixth son the name Asher (Gen.

30: 12, 13). Antitypical Asher, as we have already seen, is the Methodist Church, and the servants of the stewardship truth of that Church, just because of the character and effects of that truth, were joyous and fortunate, and very much stressed their joy and good fortune. Perhaps the