The Bible Our Only Safe Guide
DEAR READER: - If our appeal to you is earnest, it is because the subject upon which we address you is an important one. It is a subject upon which hangs our eternal destiny. The perplexities of the present evil world and the greed for gain of the temporalities of life so engross the minds of this generation that the great vital question of the life that is to come is thought but little of, and the masses are recklessly rushing headlong into perdition. You, like many others, will perhaps impatiently answer, "It is no use talking religion to me. Look at the confusion there is in the world. What is the use for me to trouble myself in trying to understand a subject that our wisest men cannot agree upon?" We confess your words have considerable force, in view of the confusion there is in the religious world at the present time. The common people who, by the exigencies of an evil state of things, are kept busy providing for the necessities of life have little time to study the subtle and technical questions which divide and confuse the churches of Christendom; and they are given to understand that these are matters to be left to the "clergy" while the "laity" are to accept the situation, asking no questions, but putting their trust in their leaders that in some way, they are not supposed to know how, all will end well. If you are disposed to think for yourself, you will not be satisfied to blindly follow the dictates of men, but you will want to know that you are upon safe ground, and that the road you are traveling will lead to the haven of rest which many weary travelers are earnestly seeking.
THE GOSPEL FOR COMMONPLACE PEOPLE
Did it ever occur to you
that God in providing His beneficent plan of salvation so arranged it that it
would be more nearly within the reach of the poor and commonplace people of the
world than of the great and the learned and the opulent? Honor belongs to Him
who is the Great Creator, in whom we live and move and have our being.
Therefore the honor and submission given to the so-called learned leaders of
men are misplaced. It would be strange, would it not, if God had revealed a
plan of salvation which, by the very mystery of its nature, must necessarily
become a monopoly in the hands of a few men who happened to be thrown into
circumstances admitting of a technical theological education.
This would have made the salvation of the masses dependent upon the few favored
ones in a worldly sense. And since these very-few comparatively-seriously and sometimes
violently disagree among themselves, what a hopeless plight we should all be in
were we dependent solely upon them for guidance in the way of life. What is in
our day considered learning is familiarity with the mysteries of the darkness
SEEK FOR THE OLD PATH
I am not presenting to you a new thought, nor advising you to pursue a new course, though to you, possibly, it may appear so. I am simply asking you to remember the words of the prophet who said, "Thus saith the Lord, stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old path, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls'' (Jer. ). To do this you must "not put your trust in princes nor in the sons of men, in whom there is no help" (Ps. 146. 3), but you must realize that "not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence" (I. Cor. 1: 26-29).
THE BIBLE THE ONLY AUTHORITY
There is only one authority for us all in relation to the problem of life; and, God be thanked, there is free access to that in our land and in our times for all who will avail themselves of the privilege. While the world's wise are disputing and fighting about the "wisdom of the world" let the humble seeker after truth search the old paths that lead to the grand old book of the ages, which has withstood the severe tests of times of darkness, wickedness and cruelty and yet brightly burns as a beacon of light to every way worn and footsore traveller. "Familiar spirits" have multiplied in our times because of the barrenness; of Bible teaching. The prevailing ignorance of God's Word admits of their tricks and turns in deceiving the hearts of the simple. Let me appeal to YOU dear leader, not to allow yourself to be deceived "when" the warning so clearly and loudly cries out, "When they shall Say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? Why should you seek unto the dead concerning the living (Septuagint rendering)? To the law and, to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. , 20).
EVIL OF POPULAR DISPARAGEMENT
To say that there is barrenness of Bible teaching may astonish you in view of the boasted claims of Progress in the study of Bible lore: but it is a sad fact that the boasted progress is rapidly reducing the Word of God to an object of contempt and ridicule. The very highest leaders of the schools are doing with God's Word what Judas Iscariot did with the Son of God. It is being sold to the enemy – infidelity - while its professed friends are impressing upon its pages the betraying kiss. The more flaws their flaunting “scholarship” can find in the Bible, the more they pretend to like it. What matters it to them if the Son of God himself sealed the divinity of Moses and the prophets with his life's blood, if they can persuade their dupes that through their deep researches (?) in the darkness of superstitious antiquity, and their masterful detection of verbal peculiarities and imaginary distinctions they can pose before their admirers as men and masters of great profundity. The traps and snares that are being set for the young and unwary the theological schools of our times are among the great evils of the century, and if we look not well to ourselves we shall be carried down to oblivion with the great destructive popular wave of skepticism.
PREVAILING IGNORANCE OF THE BIBLE PREDICTED
Familiarity with the unerring Predictions of the Word of God will remove any cause for surprise that there is such prevailing and widespread ignorance of the real teachings of the Bible. If it were otherwise prophecy bearing upon our times would be a failure. Let me quote here a few testimonies which you will readily see foretell the present state of things in relation to the subject in hand
Amos - Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.
Luke 18: 7, 8 - And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he shall avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
II Thes. 2: 3-12 - Let no man, deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God, Remember ye not that when I was with you I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who doth letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming; even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie.
I Tim. 4·: 1-3 - Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
II Tim. 3: 17--This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their ownselves. covetous, boasters, proud blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebrakers, false accusers incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than followers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.
Verses 12, 13 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
II Tim. 4·: 3-4 – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
A WIDE-SPREAD APOSTASY FORETOLD
Now, dear reader, not only do these testimonies foretell a departure from the truth, but they show clearly that the apostasy would be wide-spread, and be the prevailing character of the latter times. The question asked by the Saviour, "Shall he find faith on earth?" referring to His second coming, warns us that the true faith would scarcely be found; and this agrees with what He says upon another occasion in the awful words, "Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Malt. 7: 13, 14) - And, again, "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24·: 37).
THE WORLD NOT GETTING BETTER
My object in dwelling upon this unhappy state of things is to remove the delusion which has largely led the people to believe that the world is getting better and is being "converted" through the agencies now at work. This claim is in direct opposition to the testimony of God's Word and to the real facts in the case. The testimonies speak for themselves and cannot be ignored nor gain said. If so-called Christendom is what it claims to be God's word in declaring a great apostasy has failed, and all the predictions and warnings have proven false. These testimonies of Holy Writ cannot be harmonized with popular claims. Which will you believe? If you believe the latter you must deny the former, and then you will surely be in the "broad way;· that leadeth to destruction. If you believe the testimonies, then you must turn from the highways of popular so-called Christianity in order that you might enter the "strait gate": and the "narrow way which leadeth unto life." Are you still inclined to give credence to the popular claims of present world conversion, then look at a few facts that some of the religious periodicals are frank enough to publish.
INCREASE, OF CRIME
On the increase Of Crime we quote the following from THE TRUTH:
The San Francisco
Examiner calls attention to the statistics of crime which the Chicago Tribune
carefully collects and publishes every year. The record shows that murders are
increasing far beyond the growth of the population, and that this so-called
Christian country with its boasted 20,000,000 of Christians, far surpasses
increase of murder in the
This awful record of
slaughter, a record that shows an annual loss of life by knife and pistol,
equal to the loss by almost any of the great battles of history, is an
indictment of our civilization. It is a record that cannot be matched out of
[Even though over 100
years have passed since the writing of this book the
WORLD CONVERSION A FAILURE
Some of the editors of religious papers are being compelled by the force of cold facts to confess that in the efforts to convert the world there is utter failure. Here is what the editor of The Truth says;
The ablest statisticians estimate that the Pagan and Mohammedan population of the earth has increased during this century 250,000,000. The number of professed converts to Christianity- can be set down at 3,000,000. It is claimed that that there are 20,000,000 Christians in this land, that is, one out of every two or three of the adult inhabitants, whereas not ten ever attend church; but admitting the extravagant and foolish claim, there are 50,000,000 more remaining to he converted than at the beginning of the century. In other words, the increase of Christians does not begin to equal those who are not Christians; and at this rate, when will the world be converted? Many will reply that the result is sure according to the Word of God; but is not a single promise that the end will be reached by the agencies, instrumentality's and means now employed.
WORLD CONVERSION IS IN THE AGE TO COME
If God is not converting the world through the agencies now at work, what is his purpose in sending the gospel? you may ask. His purpose is ultimately to convert the world, that is, the world consisting of the survivors of the calamities of hastening vengeance to be visited upon the people of this ungodly age. But the honor and the power are His, and belong not to "man whose breath is in his nostrils" and who is puffed up with pride in his ability to form society here and society there for this and for that. When the appointed time arrives "The Lord will make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations: and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God" (Isa. 52 :10). It is when God's "judgments are in the earth,. the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness" (Isa. 26: 9). Not till then will the veil that has been drawn over the eyes of the people be torn off, and, coming to see how they have been deceived and deluded, the Gentiles will "come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit" (Jer. 16: 19). In the meantime however, the door is not closed against any honest seeker after truth. The gospel is doing the work it was foretold it should during these dark days of Gentile times; for we are assured that God's word "shall not return unto him void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isa. 55: 11).
THE GOSPEL IS NOW TAKING OUT A PEOPLE
It is now clear that we must seek for the way of salvation, not in the popular systems of the world, but aside from these, and in the "old paths" which lead to the "strait gate and the narrow way,'' to walk in which requires that we be "converted and become as little children" if we would enter into the kingdom of God" (Matt. 18: 3). To this end it is necessary that we come out from the world, for true disciples are those who are chosen out of the world, and are not of the world (John 15: 16-19). Hence the gentiles are not visited by the gospel to be converted en mass, but through it God is "visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name'' (Acts 15: 14)) and when "the fullness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11: 25), Christ will "return and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up." Then it is that the "residue of men shall seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom his name is called" (Acts , 17).
THE GOSPEL MUST BE BELIEVED AND OBEYED
Since the gospel is sent out for this purpose it must be evident that its conditions must be complied with by those who would share in the blessings it offers. Here is another growing evil in our day, in the delusive stupor that many honest people allow themselves to pass into with the thought that it makes no difference what our belief is if we do our best. The greatest danger of this lies in its plausibility and in its adaptability to the likings of the flesh. Dear reader, deceive not yourself, but awake to the importance of seeking for life in the way - the only way- the wisdom and goodness of God have provided. You cannot hope to be much better in "doing your best" than was Cornelius of Cesarea. It is testified that he was "a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always" (Acts 10: 1, 2). Notwithstanding this, his salvation depended upon a correct faith. The Apostle Peter is therefore sent to tell him what he must do before he can he saved. "He shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do" says verse 6, and Peter tells him "words where by he and all his house should be saved" (chap. ). This is in strict harmony with the commission given to the apostles, in the words, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 25: 29). The people must be taught the truth of the gospel; for it is "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved but he that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark ).
ONLY ONE SAVING GOSPEL
This does not allow us to believe what we please or be indifferent as to whether we have any particular belief. When some in Galatia became "foolish" and "bewitched" in departing somewhat from the true gospel the Apostle PauI wrote them in the strongest terms of warning saying, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel; which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1: 6-9). The absolute necessity of believing the one true gospel and rejecting all others is thus made clear, and our duty to stand firm and earnestly to contend for the truth is further sustained by the following testimonies:
Isa. - To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
John 6: 45 - 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.
Rom. - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.
Rom. --So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Heb. 11: 6 - But without faith it is impossible to please God.
I Thess. 5: 21 - Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
I John 5: 10 - He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believerh not the record that God gave of his Son.
Jude 3—Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation. it was, needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.
THE SCRIPTURES NOT READ AND STUDIED
It is a well-known fact that the Scriptures are read but very little these days, and as for a careful study of them it is out of the question. The example for this deplorable neglect of God's Word is set before the people by their leaders; for the Bible scarcely enters into modern popular sermons A single text is sometimes quoted and then left, while the speaker rambles into the fields of politics, "philosophy" and fiction.
You may not be fully aware of the extent and evil of this departure from the reading and study of God's Word, and may shrink from believing that it is possible for the leaders of the people to be so remiss, but a glance over the customs of the so-called evangelism and revivalism of the day will show what little use is made of the Scriptures and what cunning devices men are resorting to stir, not the sober intellectual faculties, but the impulses and excitement of the natural man.
It is not a new thing for the ways and traditions of men to supplant God's words. It was the crime of the first century, and from the predictions we have quoted it will be seen that it was to be that of the latter days of Gentile times. Let not, therefore, the fear and awe of pomp and flaunting "learning," or pious pretences in high places daunt you or deter you, dear reader, from resolving to turn earnestly and persistently- to the reading and study of God's Word; for remember what is said in the "warning" of the first century, even to those who read the Scriptures in a formal way more than their successors do now. Pause over the indictment of the "learned" in the following testimonies:
Matt 15:3 But he answered and said unto them. Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Mark 7: 7, 9, l3 - Howbeit in vain do they worship me: teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups; and many other things ye do and he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. * * * (verse 13) making the word of God of none effect by your tradition.
Col. 2: 8 - Beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
The danger of neglect of God's word caused
serious and imperative warnings to be given
Deut. 6: 7; 8 - Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest in the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. But thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
Jos. 3: 9 - And
Joshua said unto the children of
Ps. 50: 7 - Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee; I am God, even thy God.
Ps. 78: 1 - Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
"The carnal mind is enmity against God," but when it is subjected to the spiritual mind, which can be done only by the power of God's word, then there is a real hunger and thirst for the Word, from which flows the utmost satisfaction and the sweet peace of mind "which passeth all understanding."
THE WORD WILL ILLUMINATE
Ps. 119: 105--Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Prov. 6: 23---For the commandment is a lamp and the law is a light, and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.
II Pet. 1: 19 - And we have the word of prophecy made sure whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shineth in a dark place until the day dawn and the daystar arise in your hearts; knowing this first that no prophecy of the Scripture is of private interpretation (R. V.).
I John 2: 8 - Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you; because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
THE WORD IS PURE
Ps. 12: 6 - The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Ps. 119: 140--Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
Prov. 30: 5 - Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
John 15: 3 - Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
THE WORD IS PERFECT AND TRUE
II Sam. 22: 31 - As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried; he is a buckler to them that trust in him.
Ps 19: 7--'The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple. The fear of the Lord is clean enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Ps. 91:5 Thy testimonies are very sure, holiness becometh thine house O Lord forever.
Ps, 119: I28 - Therefore I esteem ; all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and hate every false way.
Verse 142 – Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is truth.
Verse 151 - Thou art near, O Lord, and all thy commandments are truth.
Verse 160 - Thy word is true from the beginning; and every one of thy judgments endureth forever.
Prov. - Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee.
Eccl. 12: 10 - The preacher sought to find out acceptable words; and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
Is. 25: 1 - O Lord. thou art my God; I will exalt thee. I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
John 17: 17 - Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.
John 21: 24--This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.
Rev 19: 9 - And he said, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
Rev. 21: 5 - And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write; for these words are true and faithful.
Rev 22:6 - And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true; and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
THE WORD IS POWERFUL AND EVERLAS'I'ING
Deut. 32: 2 - My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.
Is. 55: 10, 11 - For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Jer. - Is not my word like fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces.
Ps 119: 144--The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting; give me understanding and I shall live.
Verse 152 - Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them forever.
Is 40: 8 - The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever.
Luke 21: 33 - Heaven and earth shall pass away but my word shall not pass away.
John 10: 35 - If ye call them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken, Etc.
I Pet. 1: 25 - But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
THE WORD DIVINELY INSPIRED
II Sam 23:2 - The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.
II Kings - And the Lord spake unto his servants the prophets, saying. etc.
- Thou camest down also upon
I Cor. 2: 4,5 - And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of mans wisdom. but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Verse 13 - Which things also we speak not in the words which mans wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
Gal. 1: 11, 12 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
II Tim - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
II Pet 1:21 - For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
1 John 5:9 -If we receive the witness of men, the witness of god is greater, for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
Now, dear reader, we have given these selections of testimonies from God's Word to offset the disparaging assertions of those who profess to be the friends of the Bible, but who, like the rulers of the Jews in the days of our Lord and his Apostles, are making it of none effect by their traditions and vain philosophy. Ponder over these words of Holy Scripture, and, we beseech of you, make up your mind to thoroughly examine your faith in the light of Divine truth; and if you already are in possession of the one saving faith, you will be strengthened; and if not, God grant that the eyes of your understanding may be opened and your heart prepared to receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your soul. It is with this hope that we ask you to follow us in what we shall, the Lord willing, set forth in chapters to follow, carrying with us that unshaken confidence in God and in his word, which finds such forceful expression in the words, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8: 38, 39).