May 10

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In this last article under the above title the subject of authority will be addressed. In the first place, no “search for the ancient order of things” can truthfully be made if the authority for “ancient order of things” is unknown! For an example of what happens when the authority is lost, the following is given.
“And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, saying, (4) Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people: (5) And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house, (6) Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house. (7) Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully. (8) And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. (9) And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD. (10) And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. (11) And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying, (13) Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us” (2 Kings 22:3-13).
The point being, you cannot obey the law if the book of the law is lost! Notice the last words from the above text: “the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us!” It should be clear to all, that when we have 1,200 (or more) religious bodies, denominational churches, all claiming to be following and obeying the the one Book, that “the words of the book” have been lost! In Josiah’s time, the book had been literally lost, while in our time we all have “the book,” but its authority has been lost. For example, in the denominational churches it cannot even be agreed upon as to “what baptism” is: is it sprinkling, pouring, or is it a burial? Never mind the following words appear in the inspired text with the word “baptism;” “buried with him by baptism” (Rom. 6:4), and “Buried with him in baptism” (Col. 2:12). Then, with these words a resurrection from the water is expressed: “baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4) and “wherein also ye are risen” (Col. 2:12). Baptism is, according to the authority of Christ, a burial and resurrection. It should be clear the authority of Christ has been lost in some denominational churches who teach that baptism is sprinkling or pouring!
Then, it appears that most denominational churches are unable to agree that baptism is necessary in order to be saved. This is in spite of the following inspired words: “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. (21) The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 3:20-21). Was Noah and family saved by water? Yes, if one accepts the authority of the New Testament! Does baptism now save us? Yes, if one accepts the authority of the New Testament! Yet, very few denominational churches believe this.
Now, one must read the above with the understanding that in the case of Noah and in the case of those who are saved today, that Peter is not teaching that Noah was saved by water alone. Was the ark necessary? Yes, of course the ark was necessary to Noah and his family being saved. The same is true with baptism today. Peter was not teaching baptism only, nor baptism of regeneration. But, as in the case of Noah, other things were necessary; such as the building of the ark, the taking of the animals on board, getting the family onto the ark, were all necessary! Yet, these other necessary things do not change the fact that Noah was saved by water! So, in the case of baptism, it is absolutely necessary, but it is not the only thing necessary. Peter fully understood that belief (faith), repentance, and confession, are necessary before one is saved. He himself, by the Holy Spirit, on the great Pentecost day, said to those believing Jews: “… Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
Friends, every time you put a New Testament verse against another New Testament verse, you are wrong every time! The authority of Christ must be found and put into the heart/mind, if “the ancient order of things” is to be restored among religious people of today!

— Frank R. Williams

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