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The Clarion Herald

    "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words," (2 Pet. 2:1-3, New ASV).
    During the past several years there has been such an alarming tendency among some brethren to bounce from one extreme doctrinal innovation to another that one wonders where it will end. It is not surprising when a young man -- a mere novice in the way of the Lord -- goes on a temporary doctrinal binge. What is so disconcerting is to see grown men, with years in the ministry, persistently plying such a mischievous trade. They seem unwilling to learn -- even from experience.
    A few years ago a small handful of brethren suddenly discerned (?) that America was "Babylon" -- and on the verge of destruction. An effort was made to rally "the

faithful" to FLEE FOR THEIR LIVES! One brother even likened himself to the Old Testament "he goat" who was willing to lead the faithful flock in its flight. A number of people were temporarily deceived by such carnal mishandling of the scriptures. And the name of Christ was scandalized! At that time I wrote a scathing denunciation of such carnality as follows the devil's philosophy: "all that a man hath will he give for his life". Some who were shocked and offended by that article later thanked me for it -- acknowledging that it had played a definite, positive role in awakening them to the reality of their deception. (May God be pleased to use this one to the same end!)
    It now appears that some of those same "would-be leaders" are at it again -- only this time they are confusing and perverting the basic biblical doctrine of SALVATION BY GRACE itself! Once again there are earnest, devout, potentially useful servants of Jesus Christ who are being deceived and turned aside from the path of faithful, loving and obedient service to him through whose blood they have been redeemed from the inherent bondage of sin.
    Not being an apostle, like Paul, this writer does NOT feel it his

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

prerogative to deal in personalities -- calling names. It is, however, his Christian duty to uphold and sustain the principles that are set forth in the Word of God. Neither ABUSE (which has been received) nor BRIBE (which has not yet been offered) will avail in changing our previously stated and firmly established editorial policy in this matter. It CAN be stated that this particular form of perversion APPEARS TO BE EMANATING FROM CALIFORNIA. (Now I will probably get scathing letters from all sorts of folks who feel themselves implicated!) Whether advocated openly, or held under wraps (while trying to prepare a sufficient number of advocates to make an "impact"), it is a dangerous, damnable and divisive HERESY!
    This recent perversion, as analyzed from what I have read and heard, is nothing short of an advocacy of BAPTISMAL SALVATION -- a doctrine that Baptists have NEVER

"believed or taught at any period of their history. It may be summarized as follows:
    1. Believers must be baptized in order to escape hell.
    2. The blood of Christ is IN NO WAY applied outside a New Testament church.
    3. There is NO FORGIVENESS outside a New Testament church.
    4. No one can be saved unless he first hears the Gospel through a MEMBER of a New Testament church.
    5. One who has truly repented is IRRESISTIBLY DRAWN to membership in a New Testament church.
    6. One can only be BAPTIZED INTO FAITH.
    Though they will insist on being historically Baptistic (or, perhaps "ana-baptistic") to the core, one wonders whence the BAPTISM of the purveyors of this strange doctrine has been derived. It surely is NOT John's baptism, (Baptist baptism, or New Testament baptism), for AT NO TIME in the history of the people called Baptists (or the 26 or more names given to our predecessors in centuries past) have they believed or preached such Christ-dishonoring heresy. Is it possible that self - advancing "wolves in sheep's clothing" have arisen among Bible-believing Baptists in the late 20th century -- to divide God's people and hinder the progress of the Gospel in the closing days of this age?
    The scriptures clearly teach that SALVATION is purely "BY GRACE , through faith". JESUS is the Saviour! The church (generically speaking) is His BODY -- commissioned, by its life and ministry, to

prepare a people for His kingdom. It is the INSTRUMENT through which He calls men TO SALVATION. Though no life of Christian service is ACCEPTABLE, if one deliberately rejects God's "order" (which involves identity with Christ in His body), this is QUITE DIFFERENT from making salvation from the guilt and penalty of sin a BRIBE for church membership!
    Brethren, this baptismal-salvation-heresy involves a carnal, humanly devised program of LEGALISTIC PIETY that neither we nor our children shall be able to bear. Beside that, it is contrary to the Word of God, dishonoring to the Christ who died to save us from sin and leads to spiritual ruins!
    Beware of the subtle danger involved in this devilish, man-centered philosophy and devote yourself to the cause of God and truth as set forth in the Scriptures and faithfully proclaimed through 19 long centuries by an unbroken succession of witnesses who were determined to "Let GOD BE TRUE" if it condemned all others as liars!
    Let us follow in the exemplary steps of their glorious and heroic faith.
-- Eugene L. Garner


    "Timothy, a deacon of Mauritania, and Maura his wife, had not been united together by the bands of wedlock above three weeks when they were separated from each other by the persecution. Timothy, being apprehended as a Christian, was carried before Arrianus, the governor of Thebais, who, knowing that

he had the keeping of the Holy Scriptures, commanded him to deliver them up to be burnt.
    "Had I children, I would sooner deliver them up to be sacrificed; than part with the Word of God", answered the courageous young man.
    The governor, being much incensed at his reply, ordered his eyes to be put out with red-hot irons, saying: "The books shall at least be useless to you, for you shall not see to read them".
    His patience under the operation was so great that the governor grew more exasperated; he, therefore, in order, if-possible, to overcome his fortitude, ordered him to be hung up by the feet, with a weight tied about his neck, and a gag in his mouth.
    In this state, Maura, his wife, tenderly urged him for her sake to recant; but, when the gag was taken out of his mouth, instead of consenting to his wife's entreaties, he greatly blamed her mistaken love and declared his resolution of dying for the faith. The consequence was that Maura resolved to imitate his courage and fidelity, and either to accompany or follow him to glory.
    The governor, after trying in vain to alter her resolution, ordered her to be tortured, which was executed with great severity. After this Timothy and Maura were crucified near each other. A. D. 304.     How precious is YOUR faith??
    "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life", (Rev. 2:10).


    In calling men to the kingdom, Jesus warned that the way is strait and narrow; it is beset with such perils as require constant watchfulness and definite judgments.
    False prophets have always been a hindrance to God's people as well as to the progress of truth and righteousness in the earth, (Deut. 13:1-5; Jer. 2:7-8; 5:29-31; 14:10-17; 23:14-32; Ezek. 13:1-16; 22:23-31; Mic. 3:5-4:5; Zeph.3:1-9; Zech. 13:2-5; Matt. 24:11, 23-24).
    In an effort to deceive, false prophets often appear in "sheep's clothing". One may dress like a prophet, talk like a prophet, and insist on being honored as a
prophet while laying a trap to deceive and ensnare God's people. Posing as a "good shepherd" one may, inwardly, be nothing but a "ravening wolf" who is greedy and grasping -- seeking his own promotion through the destruction of the flock, (Ezek. 22:27; Zeph. 3:3; Acts 20:29; Matt. 10:16; Jn. 10:12).
    God's people must JUDGE a professed prophet by his fruits. What is the end of his teaching? The real test is: DOES IT STRENGTHEN A PERSON TO BEAR THE BURDENS OF LIFE AND TO WALK IN THE WAY WHEREIN HE OUGHT TO GO? Since the way of life is so elusive -- so "strait and narrow", surely the need of the hour is for teachers who will help in FINDING the way, not in alluring one away from it. But the false prophet is dominated by SELF-INTEREST rather than by concern for the flock. He may teach for: material gain, personal prestige or the mere transmission of his own ideas. But the true man of God will be a channel through which the grace of God may flow to others.
    There are three tests that we must all make:
    1. The FRUIT test - Matt. 3:7-10; Jn. 15:8, 16; Rom. 7:4; Phil. 1:11; Col. 1:10.
    2. The SERVICE test - Deut. 10:12; Jn. 12:26; Matt. 25:35-36.
    3. The OBEDIENCE test - I Sam. 15:22; Jn. 14:21, 23; Jas. 1:22-25; Rev. 22:14; Heb. 5:8.
    Every test must, of course, be firmly rooted in the unerring Word of truth -- the Word of God. Every professed "prophet" must pass the WORD test. Failing this, he must be rejected!      E.G.