Last Updated on :Thursday, November 20, 2014







The Apostles Justified By Faith Before "The Faith" Came (con't)



But "justification by faith" according to the import of the phrase under the law, is as impossible to us as "justification through the faith" before the resurrection of Jesus was to them. Jesus preached the coming faith, but his hearers none of them understood it, because it was hidden from them. For this cause, it was styled "the wisdom of the Deity in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom". (1 Cor.2:7) Their justification was not predicated upon what was purposely hidden from them; for God is not an austere master reaping where he hath not sown, and gathering where he hath not scattered. Men's justification, whether Jews or Gentiles, is predicated on their belief of what He hath revealed. When the hidden wisdom was revealed, then "the faith came", (Gal. 3:23. See also verses 24 and 25) and men were required to believe it in addition to what the apostles believed when they were "justified by faith", before the cutting off of the Prince of the Host. Our justification does not depend on our believing what will be revealed to the nations in the millennial dawn, when the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of Jehovah [Yahweh] from Jerusalem, as testified in Isaiah 2:3. This is to us "hidden wisdom". Secret things belong to God, the things that are revealed to us, and to our children (Deut. 29:29). This was the rule for Israel, and the rule for us who would find the "righteousness of God". (Rom. 1:17; 3:21)

The revelation of the hidden wisdom or mystery of the Deity, styled in Acts 2:11 "the wonderful works of God", was the grand distinctive peculiarity of the apostolic preaching on Pentecost and forward. Nothing less than the belief of the teaching of the apostles can now justify a single son or daughter of the first Adam. He that hears them so as to believe and do what they taught, hears the Deity; and he that hears them not is not "taught of God", (John 6:45; 1 Thess. 4:9) and cannot therefore be saved, however pious he may be in his own estimation, and that of his contemporaries. This is evident from the words of Jesus, who said to the apostles, "It shall be given you what ye shall speak; for it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh by you: and he that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me" (Matt 10:19,20; Luke 10:16). And speaking of those who come to him as the result of the attracting influence of the Father, Jesus said, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me" (John 6:45). To hear the apostles, then, is to hear Jesus and the Father; and consequently to be taught of God; and all that are so taught have heard and learned of the Father, and are drawn or attracted by what they have heard and learned to Jesus.

None else "come to Jesus" in the scriptural sense of the word. All who come to him are intelligent in "the faith". There are no ignoramuses among the genuine disciples, for these are "all taught of the Deity"; and when the Deity ''teaches, His teaching "opens the eyes", turns the taught "from darkness" "into the marvellous light" of the gospel of His glory (Acts 26:18; 1 Pet. 2:9). How different this from the result of clerical teaching, preaching, ministration, or by whatever name they may designate the wordy outpourings of their cracked and truly earthen vessels! Those who "come to Jesus" in the clerical sense, are those who come to the clergy, and become members of their synagogues. They are brought to this, not by the teaching of the apostles, but by the "enticing words of man's wisdom ", (1 Cor. 2:4) which leave them in darkness as profound as the craftiest soul-dealer could possibly wish. Any intelligent believer conversing with such can easily discern that they are not taught of God, but only of the clergy; for he will find them entirely ignorant of the first principles of the oracles of God. With the prophets they have nothing to do; for the apostles they have as little use; of the gospel of the kingdom they have never heard; and the revelation of the mystery might as well have never been revealed, for any use they have for it in their system of "getting religion", and saving immortal souls from the death that never dies!

In such a system "marvellous light" is out of the question; for in every corner of it can be discovered only the murkiest gloom, and darkness that may be felt. The Father and Jesus are despised by the adherents of the clergy, because the apostles are not heard. The whole establishment is Laodicean, and the voice of the Deity finds no utterance within its pale. These are incontrovertible facts. The teaching and mandates of the apostles are not regarded in the kingdom of the clergy, and therefore, we know that the spirit of their establishments is not the Spirit of the Deity; but "the Spirit of Error" and of "strong delusion", which is the spirit of their revivals, and the spirit of which their "religion" comes (1 John 4:5,6; 2 Thess. 2:11,12).

The Pentecostian "truth as it is in Jesus" (Eph. 4:21) is "righly divided" (2 Tim. 2:15) by that skilful workman, the apostle of the Gentiles, in Rom. 16:25. In ascribing glory to the only wise Deity, he refers to the word of truth in a three- fold relation of things which may be thus stated:

    1. -- "My Gospel",

    2. -- "The preaching of Jesus Christ", and

    3. -- " The revelation of the mystery concealed from the times of the ages" - the times of the law and of the periods that preceded it.

1. -- These are the triple elements of the whole system of faith Jesus called "the gospel" and which he commanded the apostles to go forth and preach, and declared that whosoever believed it and was baptized should be saved, but whosoever believed it not should be condemned. (Mark 16:16) The "one hope" of this system Paul styled "my gospel", (Rom. 2:16;16:25; 2 Tim. 2:8) or "the gospel of me" -- the gospel preached of me, Paul. In another place he terms it "the hope of Israel", on account of which he was a prisoner in chains (Acts. 28:20). Elsewhere he alludes to it as "the gospel preached to Abraham", and which announced the justification of all the nations through faith, and the blessing of them in company with faithful Abraham. It was therefore his gospel in an especial sense, because he was separated by the Deity to declare and teach it authoritatively to the Gentiles; and whoever taught any thing perversive or subversive of it, he pronounced "accursed" (Gal. 1:6-9; 3:8,9). The clergy do not preach this gospel. Indeed, how can they! For they are as ignorant of it as though it had never been apocalypsed or revealed. Paul, then, whose image they set in niches for the ornamentation of their bazaars, not we, though we approve his sentence, pronounces them "accursed". Let the reader, then, renounce these men- pleasers whom the world hears and glorifies, and study diligently Paul's gospel of the approaching government of the habitable by the resurrected and anointed King of Israel (Acts 17:31).

2. -- When Paul's contemporaries had come to comprehend the purpose of the Deity with respect to the nations existing in the age to come -- that he intended to rule them by the Christ -- he next proclaimed to them that Jesus was that Christ. This he styles "the preaching of Jesus Christ". (Rom. 16:25) Their belief of the gospel of the kingdom and name of Christ abstractly from Jesus, would not have justified, or saved them from their sins, and given them a right to the life of the age, after Pentecost. They were required to recognize him as the Son of David, Son of the Deity, and King of the Jews; for if they rejected, or did not accept him as Lord, and received not his words, their fate was to be destroyed from among the people" (John 12:48; Acts 3:23). This arrangement has not been altered by the authority of heaven since Paul's day. The clergy have abolished or superseded it by their traditions; but God has no respect for them or their institutions. They are elements of a power "that thinks to change times and laws" (Dan. 7:25), and which speaks great things, and blasphemies, and opens its mouth in blasphemy against the Deity, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in the heaven (Rev. 13:5,6). The influence of this clerical power in all its Laodicean developments is self- deceptive, and destructive of the people who obey its behests. In relation to them "the times and laws" are changed, and a way of salvation which, in verity, is no salvation at all, established, that makes the truth of God of no effect. But all this with God is nothing. His plan of salvation is unchanged; and if any man of this generation be saved, he can be saved only as men were saved in the days of the apostles. They must believe Paul's gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ.

3. -- But a man may believe the hope Paul proclaims, and that Jesus is the Christ, and yet not believe enough to save him. He must believe, in addition, the revealed mystery in its facts and doctrine. Suppose he believe that all nations shall be blessed in Abraham and his seed; that Abraham shall inherit with his seed, Jesus and the saints, the promised land for the millennial period and beyond; that David's throne shall be established and exist in all that period; that the twelve tribes, then an obedient and faithful nation, shall occupy the land; that Jesus and his holy brethren shall possess the government of the world, as Jehovah's (Yahweh's) anointed kings and priests, incorruptible and deathless - suppose he believe all this, what benefit would it be to the man if he denied, or did not believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again -- that he was delivered for the sins of his people, and raised again for their justification? These facts, and the teaching predicated upon them, are indispensable elements of "the faith" through which men are justified. It was in the preaching of Jesus Christ and the revealed mystery, that Paul's Israelitish fellow countrymen needed to be especially indoctrinated. The gospel preached to Abraham was well known to them, for it was "the hope of Israel", (Acts 28:20) and had been preached to them in the reading of the prophets for many centuries. Not so, however, with the Gentiles. These were ignorant of the whole subject, and had to be taught everything from the beginning.

The apostles, then were "justified by faith", and preached "justification through the faith"(Rom. 3:30) to all who should "obey the truth". (Rom. 2:8; Gal. 3:1; 5:7) "Ye have purified your souls", says Peter, "in obeying the truth." (1 Pet. 1:22) The truth cannot be obeyed unless it be believed. In other words, if a man have not the faith in his understanding and affection, he cannot yield "the obedience of faith" (Rom. 16:26) "or obey "the law of faith". (Rom. 3:27) The burial of a true believer with Christ in immersion is the act of faith which constitutes obedience. None but a true believer can enact it. The immersion of an ignorant sinner is altogether out of the premises of the gospel. He that does it knowingly is a wilful, blasphemer of the name of the Deity; and the person dipped only adds to his sins by his presumption. The one faith and the one hope of the calling must precede the immersion to constitute the "one baptism", (Eph. 4:4-6) if either, or both, be wanting, the immersion is invalid. Fifty immersions will not supply the want of the faith; but, on the other hand, if the subject's faith be apostolic, one immersion is sufficient, and ought, on no account, to be repeated.



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