Time or Eternity? ™

The End of Days

In Spiritualism on May 22, 2012 at 8:00 am

In a chapter referring to the last days, the Lord says by the prophet, “Behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people.” (Isa. 60:2) In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness?” (Matt. 6: 23) Jesus declares of  Himself, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12)  The psalmist wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Ps. 119: 105) In the teachings of Christ, in the revelations of the word of God through the prophets, the light of God is shining in the darkness of this world. Satan, the prince of darkness, has always counterworked God’s Spirit of light and truth. Sometimes he directly opposes the work of God, and leads his subjects in open rebellion. Sometimes he unites with the professed people of God, and, by insensible degrees, leads them into error, until the very light which is in them “becomes darkness.” And then are fulfilled again the words of the Scripture which says:—“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1: 5) Satan has ever endeavored to counterfeit the work of God. Every prophecy of the Bible he fulfills, if possible, in his own way. Any method to lead the world into darkness, and away from God’s true light, is employed by himself and his angels.

The Second Coming of Christ

Satan is a close student of prophecy. With a mind while in heaven second only to that of Christ, and though fallen, yet possessing a keen and brilliant intellect, sharpened through six thousand years of cunning and deception, he can quite accurately forecast the times and seasons as foretold in the Scriptures.  He knows that the time is near when Jesus will come again. To meet and forestall the solemnizing effect of the message of this great event, he employs many counterfeits and  He cares not what they are, only that they  lead away Men from the real issue.  Some are made to believe that Christ comes at death for the purpose of taking the immortal soul to glory. To others he appears at the conversion of the sinner. To some Spiritualists the coming of so-called”new truths” answers the requirements, while to others He appears in person in majestic form, from the secret cabinet of a private seance. Each variation is made to meet the peculiar “credulity” of the individual mind. Satan cares not a straw as to which error is accepted, for all are alike false and fatal. But to the student of God’s word our Saviour has Himself laid bare all these deceptions. In His great prophecy of Matthew 24, He says:

“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Vss. 4, 5.“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Vs. 11.“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning Cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Vss. 23-27.

Satan cannot counterfeit the Manner of the second coming of Christ, as described in the foregoing verses, but he will appear in many places, working miracles, and claiming that he is Christ.

A Message of Woe.

“Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12 : 12) How does Satan know that he has but a short time? Because he studies the prophecies, and believes the prophecies, although he is able to convince the most of the world that they are untrue, that they mean something else, or, if true, they are of little moment. Why is the devil possessed of such “great wrath?” Because he knows that the end is near, and that he has but a short time ,in which to work. This fact incites him to fury, and he works for the destruction of humanity as he has never worked before in all his six thousand years of evil. What he does must be done quickly. He realizes that his race is nearly run. So with all the devices which his ages of experience in evil have given him, he redoubles his attacks to deceive the dwellers on the earth. Through Spiritualism, through the avenues of a lukewarm, fallen, and apostate church, and through the utter evil of fallen and wicked men, he pursues his victims to the limit of his ingenuity.

Fire from Heaven

“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do.” (Rev. 13: 13, 14) The miracles of Christ were presented by Him as the evidence of His Messiahship. He said, “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” (John 14:11) Elijah called down fire from heaven to consume his sacrifice, and thus proved to Israel that Baal was no true god, and that Jehovah alone was God. Miracles are being, and will be shown still more abundantly, through the channels of Spiritualism, to prove its authenticity. The supreme test of fire from heaven will yet, with other miraculous demonstrations, be used to sweep the world off its feet. Let us not make the mistake of calling these miracles frauds. The text declares that Satan has power to do them. We must be ready therefore to know and understand the source of this power.

Source of Miracle-Working Power.

“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” (Rev. 16:14)  This scripture presents the last, closing work of this deceptive power, and places the responsibility upon the devil, where it belongs. Just before Christ comes, the deceptive powers of evil will gather the nations of the earth together in one sweeping, closing, clash of arms. This is the call to the awful battle of Armageddon of verse 16. In chapter 14:19 it is spoken of as the “wine-press of the wrath of God.” In this fearful battle the carnage will be so great that the blood is described as flowing “even unto the horse bridles.”

What a climax to the six thousand years of the malignant workings of Satan and the fallen angels! What a maelstrom of horror and woe this presents for the contemplation of those who are willing to be led by this great deceiver! What a warning to the earnest Bible student! The deceptions are so cunning that there is only one place of safety for any soul, and that is in the “secret place of the Most High.” None else will escape the destruction which is soon to sweep the world. The “elect” will know and be safe, because they alone heed the warnings of God’s word, and have their abiding place “under the shadow of the Almighty.”

No True Religion but by the Spirit of God.

In The Holy Spiirt, The Spiirt of the World on May 20, 2012 at 8:00 am

Keep close to this idea of religion as an inward spiritual life in the soul; seek for no good, no comfort, but in the awakening of all that is holy and heavenly in your heart; and then, so much as you have of this inward religion, so much have you of real salvation. For salvation is only a victory over nature; so far as you resist and renounce your vain, selfish, and earthly nature, so far as you overcome all your own natural tempers of the old man, so far God enters into you, lives in you and operates; He is in you as the light, the life, and the Spirit of your soul; and you are in Him that new creature that worships Him in spirit and truth. For divine worship or service is and can only be performed by being likeminded with Christ; nothing worships God, but the Spirit of His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased. Look now at anything as religion or divine service, but a strict, unerring conformity to the life and Spirit of Christ, and then, though every day was full of burnt-offerings, yet you would only be like those religionists, who drew near to God with their lips, but their heart was far from Him. For the heart is always far from God, unless the Spirit of Christ be alive in it. But no one has the living Spirit of Christ, but he who in all his conversation walketh as He walked.

All Scripture brings us to the conclusion, that religion is but a dead work, unless it be the work of the Spirit of God; and that prayers, singing, preaching, hearing, are only so many ways of being fervent in the spirit, and of giving up ourselves more and more to the inward working, enlightening, quickening, sanctifying Spirit of God within us; and all for this end, that the curse of the fall may be taken from us, that death may be swallowed up in victory, and a real, true Christlike nature formed in us, by the very same Spirit.

The moment you cease to be moved, quickened, and inspired, by God, you are infallibly inspired by the spirit of Satan, or the world, or by both of them. And the reason is, because the soul of man is a spirit, and a life, that in its whole being is nothing else but a birth of God and nature; and therefore every moment of its life must live in conjunction, or union, either with the Spirit of God governing nature, or with the spirit of nature fallen from God, and working in itself. As creatures, we are therefore under an absolute necessity of being under the motion, guidance, and inspiration, of some spirit that is more than our own. All that is put in power is only the choice of our leader; but led and moved we must be, and by that spirit, to which we give up ourselves, whether it be the Spirit of God or the spirit of fallen nature. To seek therefore to be always under the inspiration and guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, and to act by an immediate inspiration from it, is not proud enthusiasm, but as sober and humble a thought, as suitable to our state, as to think of renouncing the devil and the world. For they never can be renounced by us, but so far as the Spirit of God is living, moving, breathing, in us.

And that for this plain reason, because nothing is contrary to the spirit of Satan or the world, nothing works, or can work contrary to it, but the Spirit of heaven. Hence our Lord said, “He that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth;” plainly declaring, that not to be with Him, and led by His Spirit, is to be led by the spirit of the world, and of Satan. Ask now what hell is? It is nature destitute of the light and Spirit of God, and full only of its own darkness; nothing else can make it to be hell. Ask what heaven is? It is nature quickened, enlightened, blessed, and glorified, by the light and Spirit of God dwelling in it. Here you may see with the utmost clearness, that to look for salvation in anything else, but the light of God within us, the Spirit of God working in us, the birth of Christ really brought forth within us, is to be as carnally minded as the Jews were when their hearts were wholly set upon a temporal Saviour. And all for this plain reason, because the soul is a spirit breathed forth from God Himself, which therefore cannot be blessed but by having the life of God in it; and nothing can bring the life of God into it, but only the light and Spirit of God. Upon this ground I stand in the utmost certainty, looking wholly to the light and Spirit of God, for an inward redemption from all the inward evil that is in my fallen nature.

Christian Science

In Chrisitan Science on May 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

Christian Science is one of the most vague and illusive of all ethical systems; and yet withal, judged by its remarkable growth, it is by no means lacking in elements that appeal strongly to many minds.

Writing for the October, 1901, number of the Metropolitan Magazine, of the spread of this new religions cult, Mr. W. D. McCrackan, chief of the Christian Science Publication Committee, State of New York, said:— “The work which Mrs. Eddy has accomplished in so short a time appears to be without parallel in history, and it has not yet received its full recognition in every quarter.” This statement seems to be justified by the history of this so-called science. But though popular to a degree, and widespread to a still greater degree, Christian Science has not ceased to be vague and illusive, and its phases and definitions are nearly as varied as the votaries of the system are numerous.

Christian Science denies the existence of matter, and teaches that there is no reality in sin, sickness, or death.  “Christian Scientists believe the existence of sin, sickness, and death are creations of the human mind, and therefore are subject to mental treatment.” Mrs. Eddy is the mother of that modern phase of mysticism known as “Christian Science.” She it is who has developed the theory as taught today, and she it is whose utterances upon the subject are regarded by her disciples as authoritative and final. We turn, therefore, to her writings for further information touching this “science.”  Mrs. Eddy has published a “Key to the Scriptures,” and in this “key” are to be found many astonishing things. For instance, in commenting on Gen. 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” Mrs. Eddy says: —”This creation consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities, which are embraced in the infinite Mind, and forever reflected.These ideas range from the infinitesimal to immensity, and the highest ideas are the sons and daughters of God.”

Of course, since in Mrs. Eddy’s philosophy matter itself is only a figment of the mind, she can not admit a material creation: “Hence the heavens and the earth created by God in the beginning are only ideas!”  The fact is, as before shown, that Christian Science denies the existence of that which is material, that is, of matter, “except as the name for the unknown, hypothetical cause of states of our own consciousness.” It is, therefore, with Mrs. Eddy an unthinkable thing that God created what we call the heavens and the earth. The things which we see are only “ideas,” which we in our low estate have mistaken for matter!  Consistently enough, Mrs. Eddy and her disciples deny the existence of disease, and treat it as an imaginary condition to be removed by a merely mental process.

Their treatment consists in denials of the reality of pain and sickness, and in endeavoring to get the patient to believe that he is not sick.   Briefly stated, Christian Science, although its followers may be most sincere, is in substance a revival of ancient pantheism, or the doctrine that God is all, and conversely, that all is God: The term pantheism is derived from the words pan, all, and thieo, God.

Pantheism teaches that God is not a person, but an essence, filling the universe. It teaches that the heavens, the stars, the ocean,the forests, man, every living creature, in fact all things, visible and invisible, are God. (See chapter on Pantheism.)  Christian Science is the doctrine of supreme selfishness deified, the doctrine of supreme and infinite egoism. Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy is considered the originator and organizer of modern Christian Science. She was born at Bow, on the Merrimac River, New Hampshire, July 16,1821.

With the Christian Scientist there is no personal God or actual heaven. With him God is but an essence, a divine principle, permeating and filling the universe. Man, being a part of the universe, and according to his God All in All. A standard and catching phrase among Christian Scientists is, “God is all in all.” This, in our present state of imperfection, is a falsehood. Christ acknowledged Satan as “prince of this world,” see John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11. So long as sin and Satan control the larger part of humanity, it is a fearful libel on the holy and sacred character of God to say that He is now all in all. By sin this world was lost to the loyal universe of God. The mission of Christ to earth was to bring it back to loyalty to its Creator. When sin is finally conquered and blotted out of the universe of God, then God will be loved and obeyed by all.

Then, and not till then, can God be said to be “all in all.” Paul understood this when he wrote, “Then cometh the end, when He [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He [Christ] shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power [the rule, power, and authority of Satan]. For He [Christ] must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His [the Father's] feet.” (1 Cor. 15:24, 25) And again, “But now we see not yet all things put under Him.” (Heb. 2:8)  These statements by Paul strike a crushing blow at the very foundation-stone of Christian Science, at least from its pantheistic standpoint. And with pantheism destroyed, the whole superstructure of Christian Science falls.

By the modern Christian Scientist, Mrs. Eddy is regarded as interpreting in our day the feminine idea of divinity, as Christ represented in His day the masculine idea of divinity; to them she stands in the place of Christ at the present time. “We have no longer a personal Jesus. We are no longer seeking to be like the sinless Jew of eighteen hundred years ago. Here let us apprehend the wise words of our teacher [Mrs. Eddy], ‘Christian Science is the second advent of Christ.’ “—New Interpreter, p. 110.  Our Savior foresaw that Satan would bring in many delusions to blind minds as to the literal, visible coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, and so gave the following ‘warning: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matt. 24:24-27)

No Personal Christ.

In the teachings of Christian Science, “Christ is only the name for that state of consciousness which is the goal, the inevitable, ultimate state of every mortal. “Jesus was only a man; that Christ which dwelt within Him was Divine Mind, dwelling more or less in all of us, but manifested in the highest degree first in Jesus, and secondly in Mrs. Eddy; and Mrs. Eddy’s Christ manifestation is “higher and more permanent” than that of Jesus.

Denies No Death on Earth and No Resurrection.

But while the author claims that there will be death in heaven, there is no death on earth. She says: “The belief that material bodies return to dust, hereafter to rise up as spiritual bodies, with material sensations and desires, is incorrect.”

No Literal Angels.

On page 195 she says: “My angels are exalted thoughts. . . . Angels are God’s impartation to man, —not messengers or persons, but messages of the true idea of divinity flowing into humanity.”

Christ Did Not Die for Man.

On page 349 Mrs. Eddy emphatically denies the death of Christ for the sins of the world. Of the stay in the tomb she says: “The lonely precincts of the tomb gave Jesus a refuge from His foes, and a place in which to solve the great problem of being. His three days’ work in the sepulchre set the seal of eternity on time. He proved life to be deathless, and love to be master of hate. He met and mastered, on the basis of Christian Science, the power of mind over matter, and over all the claims of medicine, surgery, and hygiene. “He took no drugs to allay inflammation. He depended not upon food or pure air to resuscitate wasted energies. He required not the skill of a surgeon to heal the torn palms and bind up the wounded side and lacerated feet, that He might use those hands to remove the napkin and winding-sheet, and employ His feet as aforetime.” “His disciples believed Jesus dead while he was hidden in the sepulchre; whereas He was alive, demonstrating, within the narrow tomb, the power of Spirit to destroy human, material sense.”

Not Even Worldly Science.

Neither is it the science of this world. It denies the very existence of matter, of evil, of pain, of cure for sickness. Note the following, quoted from page 38: “A mother runs to her little one, who has hurt her face by falling on the carpet, and says, moaning more childishly than her child, ‘Mamma knows you are hurt.’ The more successful method of treatment is to say, ‘O nonsense. You’re not hurt, so don’t think you are.'” Again on page 411: “The daily ablutions of an infant are no more natural or necessary than would be the process of taking a fish out of water every day, and covering it with dirt in order to make it thrive.”

We do not hesitate to affirm that these absurd, unscientific, and cruel ideas are directly responsible for the death of many, some of them helpless children, who have suffered and died without help from nurse or physician. How, then, may this be termed either Christian or science?

A Fixed Fee.

Professional Christian Science healers expect a regular fee. At the various institutions and academies where its theories are taught, the charge for a term of lessons was from one hundred to two hundred dollars, and a healer’s charge was usually one dollar a treatment, or daily treatment at five dollars a week. One healer, writes in the C/iristian Science Journal, May, 1890: “To allow a patient to decide the price would certainly be unselfish on the part of the healer, but such laxity might allow selfishness with the patient.” Another practitioner protests that the customary fee is too little. “It is a low plane of thought that goes through the community, and erects a barrier against generosity and even fair compensation.”—McClure’s Magazine, February, 1908. In the foregoing there is abundant contrast with the healing that was done by the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples. Can we imagine the Saviour healing at so much a treatment? Can we think of the apostle Peter sending in a bill to Tabitha after raising her from the dead?

Simony

There is, however, a terrible parallel in the eighth chapter of Acts. After recounting the wonderful works of Philip in Samaria, in the sixth and seventh verses, the Scripture says, “Many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called Simon, who beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.” The Scripture then speaks of Peter and John coming down and praying with the converts that they might receive the Holy Spirit. And when they laid “their hands on them, . . . they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.” Note the close parallel, for it is directly taught that Christian Science is the descent of the Holy Ghost. For on page 348 we read, “This understanding is what is meant by the descent of the Holy Ghost,—that influx of Divine Science which so illuminated the Pentecostal day, and is now repeating its ancient history.”

It can, then, truly be said, according to Christian Science teaching, that those who are learning to be healers are asking to receive the Holy Ghost,—as they interpret it, “Divine Science.” For this they pay money, and in turn demand money from their patients. The professional cards of more than three thousand paid healers appear in the columns of the Christian Science Journal. When Simon the sorcerer asked Peter saying, “Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost,” and offered him money, note the scathing rebuke of Peter to the request: “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter; for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” May this apply as well to those doing the same work in the twentieth century?

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