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The Church: Its Organization, Order and Discipline

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    The Five Steps of Apostasy

    In setting up of this “abomination that maketh desolate” (Daniel 12:11), we see that five distinct steps were taken:-COOD 76.1

    1. Forming a creed, expressing their faith in man-made phrases instead of adhering to the word of the Lord.COOD 76.2

    2. Making that man-made creed a test of fellowship, and denouncing all as heretics who would not assent to the exact wording of their creeds.COOD 76.3

    3. Making the creed a rule by which all heretics must be tried. Many were thus declared sinners whose faith was more in harmony with the direct statements of the Bible than that of those who decreed against them.COOD 76.4

    4. Constituting themselves a tribunal for the trial of heretics, and excluding from their fellowship all who would not assent to their creeds. Not content to debar such from church privileges in this world, they declared them subjects for the lake of fire.COOD 76.5

    5. Having thus kindled a hatred in their own hearts against all who did not conform to their creeds, they next invoked and obtained the aid of the civil power to torture, and kill with sword, with hunger, with flame, and with beasts of the earth, those whom they had declared unfit to remain in the world.COOD 77.1

    Then appeared on the stage of action one class of professed Christians with a head over them, actually declaring that he was “God on earth,” persecuting another class of Christians who were conscientiously following the Lord and his Word,-a class of whom it might be said, in the light in which God views them (as was said, of the ancient worthies), “of whom the world was not worthy.” Hebrews 11:38.COOD 77.2

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