Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
From a letter to Jill, a sister who had fallen away from the faith and become a Baptist.
XIV.“Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper . . . We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer; in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, with the authority of the local church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privilege of a church relation and to the Lord’s supper, in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination. Acts 8: 36-39; Matt. 3:6, John 3:23; Rom. 6:4-5, Matt. 3:16, Matt. 28:19, Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12; Acts 2:41-42; Matt. 28:19,20, 1 Cor. 11: 23-28.”
Comment:First, Jill, there is no such thing as “Christian baptism” found in the Bible. The closest thing to “Christian baptism” in the Bible is the baptism of Apollos, described in the last verses of Acts 18. Paul’s friends took this good man and “explained to him the way of God more perfectly,” and that is what I am trying to do for you.
Romans 6:3-5 and Colossians 2:12 refer to the holy baptism that Jesus gave to you while you were praying with humble saints of God in the mountains of NC years ago. I know how harsh this sounds, Jill, but it is evil for Christian ministers to use those precious, holy scriptures to justify what amounts to crimes against Christ. What do I mean by “crimes”? I mean such things as teaching people in their congregations that water baptism is ordained by God for those who believe, instead of proclaiming the baptism that was purchased for us by the sufferings of Jesus. I can’t use any other word, Jill. It is evil for them to do that.
Secondly, the Christian ceremony of eating natural substances such as bread and wine is not what Jesus wants us to do. (How can I tell the truth without sounding angry or malicious? I am really trying.) What Christians celebrate as “the Lord’s Supper” is a tragic misunderstanding of what Jesus intended. If we were dealing with money, it would be called “fraud”. The supper the Lord died for us to share is in spirit, not in the flesh. We could be sharing meals of natural bread and wine “in his name” even if he had come off the cross.
Dear Jill, there is no such thing as “the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine”. Those words are “smooth as oil”, as David once said, but they are also “full of poison”. The best possible use of “bread and the fruit of the vine” is to give it to a hungry person. The worst possible use of those things is to use those gifts from God to mislead innocent souls. Jesus broke the bread to his disciples during his last supper with them because the spiritual “body of Christ” did not yet exist because the Spirit had not yet come. He served them wine after the meal, and washed their feet before the meal, only to demonstrate for them the holy attitude of a servant.
Paul told the saints in Galatia that Spirit-baptized believers who added ceremonies to their life of faith had “fallen from grace”. He said, in that case, that “Christ will profit you nothing.” Your participation in those ceremonies, Jill, endangers your soul. If, as Paul said, children of God who carry out ceremonies after they taste of the Spirit and its truth have “fallen from grace”, should I not feel deeply concerned for you? What did it profit you to repent and receive the baptism of eternal life that Jesus gave you if you add to that unique blessing the ceremonies of men who do not know God? You told me that our father was, as a minister of Christ, insufficient for you, so you went elsewhere. But let’s just put him to the side for a moment. What about Jesus? What was insufficient in his baptism in spirit or his communion in spirit so that you would add another baptism and communion in the flesh? That is the real issue, Jill. It is not about any one of us; it is about Jesus. How highly do we esteem him and his grace?
There are no “ordinances of Christ” in the kingdom of God, as mentioned in Article XIII above. I know that phrase sounds good, but it is non-Biblical. The “ordinances of Christ” that you have been taught are not of Christ at all; they are the inventions of men who misunderstood Jesus, and they are perpetuated by other men who do not know him. Neither Jesus nor any of his apostles ever instituted a ceremony or holy day for the saints to observe.
Jesus is enough, Jill. What Jesus does for our souls is enough. The Bible is not enough. We need the Jesus that the Bible tells us about. In order to be saved in the end, we need his baptism, his doctrine, and his saving power. The Bible cannot baptize us; it cannot teach us; it cannot deliver us along our journey.
Jill, what you are in is wrong. Get away from it before it is too late! My hope for you is that the ember of the holy Ghost fire that still flickers in your heart will come alive again. That Spirit will make you feel this truth. If there is a spark left, even if you cannot understand me, your heart will feel what I am saying. The holy Ghost that God gave you long ago will tell you that what I am saying is true. I am not your enemy; I am only a sheep in wolves’ clothing, as our father used to say.
Jesus is calling His children. He is saying, “Come out of her, my people!” In time, the children of God are going to recognize that Voice. It is not my voice. It is His Voice, and it is pleading with you. When God’s children finally hear that voice, there will be a massive exodus of the saints out of Christianity, an exodus that will make Moses jealous.
I would trade my life to Jesus for his children to understand him, to obey him, and to denounce the abomination of Christianity, a religion that has made so many precious souls desolate of the light of God. God hates it, Jill. I am telling you as plainly and as lovingly as I can, God abhors the religion of Christianity. Get out while you can. Christianity is not the body of Christ; it is not the family of God on earth; it is not of God at all; it only claims to be.
God will destroy Christianity, along with every soul within her gates, when the time comes. It is time now to escape.
Next Time: Part Seven - Article Fifteen: “Of the Perseverance of the Saints”