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KNOWLEDGE IS LIBERTY
When Luther discovered how fully Papacy filled the picture given by Paul, in 2 Thes. 2:3-8, and the symbols of Rev. 17, he felt justified by that knowledge, in publicly denouncing that system. The knowledge gave him the liberty to thunder the truth of God with all its power against the Vatican. God gave the liberty by giving the knowledge and Luther would have been unworthy the knowledge and the honor of being the Lord’s mouthpiece, had he been too cowardly to speak, though Papacy was the only system then recognized and respected by the world.
Knowledge of the truth and Law was the ground of Jesus’ liberty in denouncing the Doctors of divinity in his day, as “blind guides,” etc. When Paul was before the council and High priest on trial, (Acts 23:3,) though he might have known the title from the robes of office which all high priests wore, yet he answers that he did not know that he was God’s high priest. And it is evident that he was right, for when Jesus became the anti-typical High Priest (Heb. 7:26,28) the type must have ceased in God’s estimation, just as when the true Lamb of God became our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7) the typical lamb ceased to be so esteemed by God or any of His children who recognized its fulfillment. So too, it was Paul’s knowledge of Christ’s having made an end of the Law, that gave him liberty to announce the end of the necessity of circumcision in the flesh, and that authorized him to say of the Jewish holy days and Sabbaths that they were merely shadows. (Col. 2:17.)
And some wonder at our liberty in speaking of many things similar to the above, viz: That as an organization, the nominal Gospel church is rejected of the Lord as was her type the Jewish church; that we speak so confidently of the tribulation coming upon her and apply the words “Come out of her my people that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues;” that we apply some of the symbols of Revelation without a question to her; that we so unhesitatingly and fully accept the exceeding great and precious promises of Glory, Honor, Immortality and Divinity. They wonder that we brethren, are not in darkness as most are, relative to “the day of the Lord” in which we live (1 Thes. 5:4); that we lay any claim to a knowledge of “things to come” (John 16:13) which Jesus told us would be an evidence of our being sons, led by the Spirit of God.
But the liberty which we exercise is inspired by a knowledge of, and belief in the word of God. “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you FREE.” (John 8:32.) And as in Luther’s and Paul’s day, so now, those too indolent or too cowardly to express truth which they see, prove both by word and act that they are unworthy of the knowledge and consequently they are left in darkness. Jesus says “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the son of man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38.)
— December, 1881 —