By Oscar M. Baker
"Moreover, it is required in steward, that a manbe found faithful" (I Corinthians 4:2).
Paul and his message were forsaken back in his lifetime, and have been since! Again, for newcomers, I'll give a quick resume of what happened to Paul's teaching. It is true that most people in Asia had forsaken Paul's message. Paul speaks of all Asia, but there were a few who kept faithful, and after Paul was dead and gone these people were known as Paulicans (Lightfoot's early volumes give information on these.) They persisted through many years 'till finally the Eastern Catholic Church hunted them down. They were going to kill them off. They fled to the mountains of Europe, and there the Roman Catholic Church was going to do its best to exterminate them along with others; the followers of Erasmes, the followers of Huss, of Henry Bullinger, and of course Martin Luther. I'm naming a few of the men of that time, and these Paulicans were in many ways in contact with them as well as with groups at that time stayed aloof from the Roman Church, and kept the faith! Among those were the Waldensees, and the Albigenses, the Montanists and your Paulicans made four. And Martin Luther came along just about the right time with his reformation that stopped that movement that was getting rid of these folks and killing them off. God timed it just right.
That will give you a little history of it so you'll know what has been going on in the past. It's comforting to know that there were faithful men and women throughout all the dark ages.
The truth was recovered concerning the Mystery by a man named C. H. Maclntosh, the man who founded the Plymouth Brethren Church. Yet that church has never accepted the teaching, sorry to say. Well, I can tell you this, that the Lutheran Church named after Luther has never caught up with his teaching, never! Just one matter is enough to show that, and that is concerning the immortality of the soul. They've never caught up with Luther on that, as he didn't believe in the immortality of the soul, and that's to be found in his Ninety Five Theses now in the British Museum.
I want to remind you of these things to encourage you to stand for the truth as you know it. We've had heroes in the past, men who have given their lives, both their service in their life, and ending quite often in death because of their faith. Many martyrs! I have a book here at my right hand, Fox's Book of Martyrs. It's just a good idea to remind ourselves sometimes of the faithful men of the past. And they kept faith to the death, and there's going to be a lot of crowns. Now they may not have been perfect in their doctrine as we're privileged to know maybe today, but they stood for the truth that they knew. And that's what is required to be faithful as a steward. Faithful with whatever happens to be put in our hands. We today may not know all the truth, I'm sure we don't. I think there's a lot yet to be learned.
(From T.F.T. tape 4-5-83, "Some Church History"; and T.F.T. tape 12-23-80, "History of the Mystery and After.")