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I JOHN IV. 2-3.

Dear brother And Sister Allison: – Your request of me is a great one, involving the history of nineteen centuries, for there have been many antichrists. John said, verse second, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God,” and then he laid down the infallible rule by which the spirits may be tried, whether they be of God. The reason given is, “Because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” But notwithstanding the many false prophets this ample rule is sufficient to fry them all, for the Spirit of God is always true to all the divine attributes of the God of truth in the perfection of his holy nature as Father, Son and Holy Ghost; and whatever doctrine militates against this unity of wisdom, power and holiness, proceeds from an opposite Source.

The trial of the spirits consists in a comparison of the doctrines and commandments of men with the doctrine of God our Savior, which finds its only true expression in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in grace and truth. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Hence the standard of measurement or balance in the true sanctuary is recorded in the third verse: “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God.” No other rule is needful when this one is faithfully and judiciously applied. We have now the broad platform, Jesus Christ and him crucified, in the foregoing premise as the only foundation of the sinner’s hope, and to detract anything from this foundation comes up from the spirit of error, or antichrist, and from the month of the false prophet, including all ungodliness in all ages. This false prophet, or man of sin, after the working of Satan is multiform in all his manifestations, and therefore it is said, “Many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

All religious falsehoods propagated in the name of Christ proceed from the spirit of antichrist, under whatever disguise may be assumed by the teachers of heretical doctrines. It matters not about the profession of superior piety or holiness, it matters not though they profess to be wiser than Daniel, meeker than Moses, more righteous than Job, and to know whereof they affirm, being personally righteous and sinless in the flesh, professing to have done great things in the name of the Lord; nevertheless insomuch as they detract by their professed knowledge, goodness and sanctity from the glory of Christ as the Savior of sinners, they are antichrist, denying the Father and the Son.

“Thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.”‘ Were no other words spoken by the angel at the conception of Jesus Christ in the flesh, at the dawn of the kingdom of righteousness? Yes, he said, “That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” He was made of a woman, made under the law, that we might be redeemed and secure the adoption of sons, being born again of incorruptible seed, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. Thus we are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ, to an inheritance which is undefiled, and which fadeth not away, and which is reserved in heaven for these who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. This, brother and sister, is the doctrine of God, and not of antichrist; giving, as it does, all glory to God and to the Lamb forever. The resources of the children of God through the Spirit spring from the immortal Fountain, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is come in the flesh, and in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John further says that this is the true life that came down from the Father; therefore the saints are heirs of God through Christ.

For four thousand years the world groped in darkness, without a ray of the true light, until Jesus Christ had come in the flesh, being the only begotten of the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness or shadow of turning. Not a man was there who could penetrate into nature’s darkness and hail the rising Sun of righteousness till Jesus Christ, the seed of the woman, came in the flesh to redeem the sons of Zion and purify them by the shedding of his own precious blood, by which he obtained eternal redemption for them, having entered once into the holy place, an offering and sacrifice pleasing to God. The law of Moses could only condemn the sinner, to the glory of God’s justice and judgment. Thus the letter killeth. The sword of divine judgment fell on the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh for his people, even as his name implied, for “he shall save his people from their sins.” This gives the true status of Christ to his people, and of his people to him, in this world of flesh and blood, as that of sinners saved by grace. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation.” Whatever spirit teaches otherwise is that spirit of antichrist which ye have heard should come into the world, and is even now in the world.

Now, my dear old brother and sister, let us together fall down before the throne of righteousness and judgment, the throne of God our Father, at the feet of Jesus, and confess our sins, never daring to offer another plea than that Jesus Christ has died and risen again in behalf of poor, perishing sinners like ourselves.

Your brother,
I. N. NEWKIRK.

Signs Of The Times
Volume 73, No. 12
June 15, 1905