apostolic Bible-Christianity.” They stood solely by the “New Testament,” practiced adult baptism, believed that God in his love had sent an angel to earth who at his baptism became God’s Son. They rejected unscriptural tradition, had no clergy-laity distinction, refused to revere the cross.
Then there were the Waldenses from the twelfth century forward, who had much in common with the previous Paulicians in rejecting all false tradition such as purgatory, the mass, and so forth, and adhering closely to the Bible, although they did not limit themselves to the so-called “New Testament.” The only two ceremonies they recognized were baptism and the Lord’s evening meal. They strictly followed Bible principles regarding morality and refused to celebrate popular religious holidays such as Palm Sunday, Easter, All Saints’ Day, and so forth. Typical is the statement of one of them, who was martyred, that ‘the Cross should not be prayed to but loathed as the instrument of the Just One’s death.’
Many were the Arians, Paulicians and Waldenses, not to mention others, who because of their Bible-based religion suffered martyrdom. Not that this in itself or together with their beliefs, as noted in the foregoing, indicated that all of them had God’s approval. Why not? Because time and again not a few of these took up the sword to defend themselves against Roman Catholic crusades in violation of Matthew 26:52.
The foregoing facts therefore would appear to demonstrate two things: (1) That through all the centuries from the time of Abel to modern times there were those who adhered so closely to God’s Word as to be considered God’s witnesses that had his approval. (2) That the number of them must have been small. This would be in keeping with the limited number composing the body of Christ as well as with the fact that comparatively large numbers of these appeared at the sowing and at the harvesttime.
Jehovah God progressively reveals his purposes to his servants. Though the Bible has contained the written word of God for centuries, it is in our time that large numbers of its prophecies are being fulfilled and are, for the first time, being clearly understood. The Watchtower magazine is published to aid interested persons to benefit from these truths. During March, Jehovah’s witnesses will continue to offer to all persons a year’s subscription for this outstanding Bible-study aid, with three booklets, on a contribution of $1.
A DEFENSE AGAINST BIBLE SKEPTICISM
In a world of mounting skepticism toward the Bible, you need a real defense, one that accurately portrays the Bible for what it is, God’s inspired Word written for the benefit of lovers of righteousness in all ages but particularly for us on whom the end of the present systems of things has come. The book “All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial” provides all this and more. It is a hard-bound book of 352 pages, the same page size as The Watchtower, containing 78 chapter divisions. Send for your copy today. It is only $1.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
April 18: Who Will Be Resurrected—Why?, ¶1-33. Page 165.
April 25: Who Will Be Resurrected—Why?, ¶ 34-49, and Our Own Twentieth-Century Generation and the Resurrection, ¶1-17. Page 171.
May 2: Earthly Opportunity Opened Up by Resurrection, ¶1-23. Page 177.