Validating the Protestant Reformation: Was God in it?

JeffLogan's picture

Being that this is a Protestant forum I thought it beneficial to cite some reasons for the existence of the Protestant Faith by reviewing the basis for its emergence upon the religious world in an environment hostile to new ideas. And, most of all, to demonstrate by facts that God was definitely at work moving it forward and sustaining it.

I want to establish a basis by quoting an excerpt from THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE, page 419.

    II. Principles of the Reformation:

    1. Its Basis.

    The movement started with the practical question, How can the troubled conscience find pardon and peace, and become sure of personal salvation? It retained from the Roman Catholic system all the objective doctrines of Christianity concerning the Trinity and the divine human character and work of Christ, in fact, all the articles of faith contained in the Apostles' and other ecumenical creeds of the early church. But it joined issue with the prevailing soteriology, that is, the application of the doctrines relating to Christianity, especially the justification of the sinner before God, the character of faith, good works, the rights of conscience, the rule of faith, and the meaning and number of the sacraments. It brought the believer into direct relation and union with Christ as the one and all-sufficient source of salvation, and set aside the doctrines of sacerdotal and saintly mediation and intercession. The Protestant goes directly to the Word of God for instruction, and to the throne of grace in his devotions; while the pious Roman Catholic consults the teaching of his church, and prefers to offer his prayers through the medium of the Virgin Mary and the saints.

    2. Three Principles of Protestantism.

    From this general principle of Evangelical freedom, and direct individual relationship of the believer to Christ, proceed the three fundamental doctrines of Protestantism-the absolute supremacy of (1) the Word and of (2) Principles the grace of Christ, and (3) the general priesthood of believers.

    Source on CCEL: THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE @ CCEL

Recall from scripture that when God instructed Moses to build the wilderness tabernacle He said to him, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” Hebrews 8:5. The pattern shown to Moses was that of heaven’s sanctuary and, along with the feasts, was a shadow of the true. (cf. Hebrews 9:23,24). The Psalmist said, "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary." Psalm 77:13. It was God's purpose that the Sanctuary model be a lesson book to the Hebrews to help them understand His plan of salvation. The typical things were to teach them concerning the anti-typical. The shadows to help them comprehend the reality. Therefore, I will be using the Sanctuary model to demonstrate how God used the Protestant Reformation to bring to the forefront His model, His Sanctuary model, to bring light upon His plan of salvation which had been lost sight of over the centuries.

Please note that this topic is not listed under the "Interdenominational Discussions Room" with the intent that the focus will be on the merits of the Reformation rather than contrasting conflicting viewpoints.

JeffLogan's picture

Sanctuary Restoration Article 6: 1800's The Ark (part 1)

In the post about the wilderness and the Sanctuary being cast down (http://www.ccel.org/node/25413/58052#comment-58052) we learned that every article of furniture, which were shadows of heavenly realities, was cast down to the earth. Instead of pointing us to the work of Christ for us in the heavenly Sanctuary all of that work was brought low, to the earth, during the Dark Ages.

The Book of Daniel tells the story this way:

    Daniel 9
    9And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 10And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. 11Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. 12And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. 13Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

We have been most interested in looking at the restoration of those things which were cast down. We've followed the Protestant Reformation beginning with the Lollards in the 1300's, progressed to the Lutherans in the 1400's and 1500's, moved on to the Presbyterians in the 1500's, then onward to the Baptists in the 1600's, and finally to the Methodists in the 1700's. Now it is time to take that final step. We have one last article in the sanctuary to restore which will complete the restoration. We have come to the 1800's. What do we find? What movement did God raise up in the 1800's to restore the last article of furniture which had been cast down to the ground (or earth) during the Dark Ages?

The last article of furniture, the 6th piece, is the Ark of the Covenant. Inside the Ark was Aaron's rod that budded, manna, and the Table of Ten Commandments. On top of the Ark was the Mercy Seat. Over top of the Mercy Seat were the two angels with wings overspreading the Mercy Seat. Above the Mercy Seat and between the angels appeared the Shekinah Glory--the presence of God.

The Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Most Holy Place. No one was allowed inside the Most Holy but the High Priest. And he could enter but once a year and only with atonement for himself and the people. His duty was to cleanse the temple of the sins of the people which had been symbolically placed there throughout the year by means of the sprinkling of the blood of animals. Now the cleansing did not involve wiping away the blood with rags but rather it represented God's final blotting out of all record of our sins which His blood had pardoned.

This is where we are going to end part 1. If you wish to read more please see Leviticus 16 in the Old Testament, for the shadow services are explained there. But all these shadow services have their reality in the New Testament--which I hope we can also cover.


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“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."




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