Lecture given by Mr. W. K. WALLER (Derby) at Evington Chapel on December 12th, 1964.
When I looked at the syllabus of these Protestant lectures I was more than ever convinced that a clear call of teaching and warning should be given concerning the issues of true Protestantism at the present time. I would remind you that the horrors of the teaching of Romanism and its appalling blasphemy, a system of religion which can only have been developed by the craft of Satan, is spreading more and more rapidly in an age when the distinctions of vital religion are forgotten or completely unknown.
The evidence of Holy Writ reveals the system of Roman Catholicism as the great Antichrist, and in Rome the marks of spiritual wickedness are clearly seen. That is where I wish to begin, for the simple reason that the falsity of Ritualistic “Worship” everywhere is the child of Roman Catholicism. I speak in dependence upon, and realisation of, the mercies of God; for as I stand before you this evening … I realise that, but for the grace of God, I might well have been garbed in the vestments of the High Church priesthood. There was every possibility that I should have been bowing before the shrines of Anglo Catholicism and fully absorbed in all the sensuous activities, beauty (Yes, there is a form of beauty in such forms of worship), and the attractions of a carnal religion.
Needing the help of God in speaking, I wish to speak to you from my heart. I could have come to you this evening with lengthy and varied quotations and pointed out to you the awful snare of worship of an evil kind, but, in the Name of the Lord I desire to speak, in the hope that we may, under His blessing, be brought to Â“A closer walk with God”.
A Living Christ
May I say that I firmly believe in a Living Christ. The words may seem strange, but Why? The sacred record of Holy Writ is based entirely upon the fact that Christ is alive, that He not only “Died for our sins” (I Cor. 15, 3), but “was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4, 25), and “Ever liveth to make intercession” (Heb. 7, 25). This is indeed the hope of every child of God, taught of the Spirit of the Lord. That blessed Man, risen and interceding for the Saints is the one hope of the children of God. Surely by Him is the very means of worship; through Him the worshipper and his worship are made acceptable to God, and to Him all praise and majesty belong. True Protestantism is true witness. I love the expression of an old battle-scarred soldier of the Cross who was asked on one occasion to define Protestantism. He said, “What is Protestantism? Oh, it is ‘Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints’.” (Jude 3). In few words that is true Protestantism.
Definition of Worship
What is Worship? If we looked in the dictionary we should find an extensive definition of the word “Worship”. There is a kind of worship which is given to certain persons. A mayor of a town or city is addressed as “Your worship”, and in civil recognition various officers of the realm will receive “Worship” due to them. I am not concerned with such expressions, nor would I play with words. Our great concern, as a body of professed Christian people who speak the truth, is religious Worship. To whom true Worship is due? How it is to be exercised? When and where?
In consideration of this great subject from many aspects I am brought to this, “What does the Word of the Lord say?” We desire to speak as “Thus saith the Lord”. Where can we discover the will of the Lord as to worship due to Him? Most surely from the Holy Scriptures, and not from the contradictory statements of the “Church” or the “Saints”.
Who shall we worship?
When I am asked whom I worship I immediately answer, God and God alone. It is the Holy One that we should seek to worship. The great controversy, is where we differ from those who worship not according to the simplicity of faith’s expression, the difference between Ritualistic worship and that which is truly Protestant. A visitor in the home of one of my friends recently said to me, “Why are there so many Protestant denominations?” I would say that there are two points upon which denominations arise; one is the mode and manner of worship, the other is doctrine; and invariably the former is influenced by the latter. I am not speaking here of those who separate from others because of their lust for power, who are of no benefit to any cause, or company of any kind.
Yes, I contend that sound doctrine is essential if we would worship God aright, “With reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12, 28). When we speak of God, if we truly believe in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, we believe in God the Father, God the Son and
God the Holy Ghost, ONE GOD; and a declaration of faith in God signifies belief in the absolute supremacy of Divine Sovereignty. In wonderful and deeply mysterious Unity these three eternal and blessed persons are One. Truly here is a Holy Oneness. The Father is never contrary to the Son, nor the Holy Ghost contrary to the Father. The Eternal Son of God, the sacred Lamb, the hope of every blood bought child of God, will ever be the subject of the abiding love of the Father; and the powerful witness of the Holy Ghost will ever be concerning the same Blessed Son of God.
So I turn your attention to the Scripture quoted on the syllabus of these lectures. Exodus 20, 3/4, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”. Truly, God knows the heart of man. He knew that in this year, 1964, men and women and quite young children would be bowing at shrines and to idols. We have often sung, Â“The heathen in his blindness, bows down to wood and stone”, and, I fear, there are more “heathen” in this land today, in that sense, than in any other day since the Gospel was first preached here. What a demonstration we have here in Britain of “The heathen in their blindness bowing down to wood and stone”. But God, when He spoke these words to and through Moses to Israel, went further, for He saw the sinful and depraved heart of man in all its dreadfulness of iniquity and adds, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them” (ver. 5).
Worship, Bowing Down
In this verse, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them”Â—the Hebrew word translated “Bow down”, “Sha-chah”, is the same word that on about one hundred occasions in the Scriptures is translated “Worship”. “Thou shalt not Â‘Worship’ them”. The word is most emphatic in its description of worship; it is a bowing down, or a bending down thyself, before them. Roman Catholics and Ritualists will say, “One moment, we only use the image as an aid to memory; to the prompting of the mind. We do not really worship the imageÂ—the statue; we do not really worship the image of Peter in Rome when we kiss the toe of the image, we are worshipping beyond and through that, we are worshipping God”. But God says, “Thou shalt not make any graven imageÂ—thou shalt not bow down to them”. It is as simple as that. Let us turn alone to Scripture for satisfaction of any doubtÂ—to God’s Word alone. Do not heed the opinion of man, look alone to the Holy revelation of God, “Thou shalt not bow down”. When I was in Africa a friend of mine asked me to visit the Bishop. I have only twice, in my life, visited a Bishop and the first one received me very kindly, but this man treated me as a very strange and obnoxious creature, one better to be ignored. When I went to see him my friend kissed his “apostolic” ring, but when he offered it to me and I shook hands with him he turned away with every evidence of dislike and walked out of the room. I had not “Worshipped” him, that was the trouble.
It is useless for the Ritualist to suggest that he does not mean to worship when he bows, he means it to man, and to the image, as much as true Protestants mean it when they bow in a place of worship before the Lord alone. Worship is “Bowing down”Â— bending self downÂ—and great indeed is the mercy of the Lord to us when we are brought to the place of true worship, where self is bowed and broken before the Almighty and One True God; where man in his helplessness and wretchedness through his sin is cast down, broken before the Lord, that all crowns shall be cast before Him, “Lost in wonder, love and praise”.
Who shall we worship? The general opinion today is that the Ritualist is engaged in the worship of God. God is indeed that alone true and real object of worship.
Idol worship disallowed
If you carefully examine the types of tabernacle and temple worship in the Old Testament records you will never find that a creature, or anything made by a creature, is ever commanded to be worshipped or allowed to be worshipped. But the Ritualist will say at once, “What about the Cherubims over the Mercy Seat upon the Ark?” (See Ex. 25, 17-22). This has ever been a favourite appeal for the image worship of the Ritualist. These cherubims are veiled; their eyes are turned to the place of mercy. They speak of those who truly worship GodÂ—whether angels or men; they are the figure of that true worship, the “Holiness that becometh the Lord”. How wonderful to see in the types of Tabernacle worship that all-gracious eyes, and hearts, are directed to the One object of true Worship, the One True God revealed in Jesus Christ. Those who thus worship indignantly repudiate all suggestion that they themselves should be worshipped. (See Acts 14, 15).
Before the Mercy Seat is the Altar, and before appproach can be made to the Altar the priest must wash at the Laver and these are necessary in all true worship. There must be the cleansing, there must be the blood, for the Mercy Seat is a Blood Sprinkled Mercy Seat.
The woman of Sychar and worship
I would remind you of a woman who was rather remarkably taught in a religion of tradition. The record is in John 4. The woman of Sychar found One sitting at the well of the city, who said to her. “Woman, give me to drink”. What! a Jew asking water of a Samaritan. “The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans”. This woman was no novice in the knowledge of her traditional religion for as she speaks of the comparison between the “Worship” of Jew and Samaritan she says, “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship”. Who do we worship? You will answer, “God”. Then why is it that there is a worship in Jerusalem and another in Samaria? Why not all come together and break down the barrier between Jew and Samaritan? Is there no room for Ecumenicalism in the world today? Look more closely into the matter of the Holy One who alone is to be worshipped, and it can be clearly seen that,
to the man and woman who is taught by the Holy Spirit, the Holy Nature of the One who alone is to be worshipped, Ecumenicalism is an impossibility. Christ never suggests in His conversation with he woman of Sychar that the Samaritan worship can be equated with the worship of Jerusalem. The worship of Jerusalem was by Divine revelation, that of Samaria was of man. (See John 4, 22). Truly, before the Lord these were irreconcilable. Are there any present who are enamoured of Ecumenicalism, of the World Council of Churches. May you be brought, by the Holy Spirit’s teaching to see the necessity of true separation of loving and loyal souls to he revelation of God’s grace and will in ChristÂ—a way of separation which, though truly narrow and rugged, yet does glorify God in he exaltation of His dear Son as the Eternal Word.
Degrees of Ritualistic Worship
Whom do we worship? In Roman Catholic worship there are three “Grades”Â—”Latria”, “Hyper doulia” and “Doulia”. I am quoting Dr. Blakeney, a master in the study of Roman Catholicism. “Latria” is the worship of God alone, that is the way the ritualist would go into the presence of God, the highest form of worship. Somehow he would present a higher degree of worship to God, though he would allow varied degrees of worship to others. Â“Doulia” is the lowest form of worship of the Roman Catholic, which is given to those who, by the boasted power of Rome, called Â“Canonisation”, are “made” heavenly powers though they have been creatures who owed their being and life to God. Between the worship of “Latria” and the lowest degree of “Doulia” there is a degree of “Hyper doulia”, which worship is reserved for the virgin Mary. She has a position midway between the highest and lowest order of “Worship”. None of these degrees have any substance in the teaching of Holy Scripture and have been repudiated insistently by true Protestants. This must ever be so. (See 1 John, 4, l).
When the Roman Catholic worships the Virgin Mary he places something, other than the Mediator, Christ Jesus, between God and Man. This, as with all other imagined forms of mediation, is a gross contradiction of the truth of Holy Scripture which clearly teaches that “There is ONE God, and ONE Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”. (1 Tim. 2, 5). If you have some sentimental leaning to Roman teaching and practice you will lose it for ever if, by the Lord’s grace, you shall see this dreadful error of complete contradiction of the teaching of God’s Word.
When the Virgin Mary is thus worshipped she is acclaimed as a Mediatrix, one that “stands between” God and the sinner, and on behalf of the sinner, which is the rightful position and glory of Christ. Somewhere lower there are reputed to be numerous canonised saints who are to be invoked and adored as their assistance is sought in prayer, “Holy Saint Â—Â—, pray for us”. Nor does this satisfy, for virgins who have died are invoked similarly, “Holy virgin, pray for us”. This is “Doulia” worship. Contemplation of his awful system of Christ dishonouring worship does indeed sicken one’s heart. (See also Col. 2, 18).
Let me read to you part of the “Psalter of Mary” that there may be shewn to you the dreadful sin of this aspect of Roman craft. Here is a part of the First Psalm in the “Psalter of Mary”:
“Blessed is the man that loveth Thee, Virgin Mary. Thy grace shall strengthen his heart as a fertile spot watered by the water-springs. Thou shall plant in him the fruit of Righteousness. Blessed art Thou among women for the believing disposition of thy Sacred Heart for in the beauty of Thy person Thou surpasseth all women. There are excellent angels and archangels in the advancement of holiness and Thy mercy and grace are everywhere told forth and God hath blessed the operation of thy hands”. Do I need to read more? Such expressions wound my heart as I read them. What a parody of the Truth.
God alone the Object of Worship
God will be worshipped in the Sanctuary. God and God alone. In 1 Chronicles 16, 28/29 we read a convincing and final statement as to who shall be worshipped. “Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His Name, bring an offering and come before Him. Worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness”. Who will you worship? Man? St. Peter? You who are motorists, will you worship, according to the ritual of this dreadful system, St. Christopher who, the dupes of Romanism believe, will look after those who carry his medal as they travel on the road. How futile and wicked is such idolatry.
Who will be worshipped but God alone, for in Him consisteth all things. Paul declares, “In Him we live and move and have our being”. (Acts 17, 28). In Athens Paul found the large proportion of the population completely absorbed in idolatry, so much so that they were worshipping “The Unknown God”. “Him whom therefore ye ignorantly worship”, said Paul, “Him declare I unto you”. (Acts 17, 23). With desire that there may be found the true marks of the servants of God in us we would declare Him, and Him alone. Roman Catholicism has developed its false worship in idolatrous practice until at last the culminating evil is the Evil of Mariolatry, the worship of the Virgin Mary. Every title which is rightly ascribed to the Lord Jesus Christ, that title has been attributed by this Anti-christian system to the Virgin MaryÂ—and on what authority? About 1840 a council met (but failed to agree) under Papal jurisdiction to promulgate the “Doctrine” of the bodily assumption to heaven of the Virgin Mary. (Dogmatic DefinitionsÂ—1950, Pius XII). Then added to this was the declaration that she was without sin, hence the dreadful dogma of the “Immaculate Conception”, 1854. From these actions have rapidly developed all the attendant horrors of Mariolatry. What is now being taught by the advocates of this system? “Jesus is King, Mary is the Queen of Heaven. Jesus is a Mediator, Mary is the Mediatrix. Jesus is the Advocate. Mary is also an Advocate. Jesus is the Guiding Light to heaven, Mary is the guiding light that leads to heaven’s gates”. What dreadful
evidence of false worship, worship of that which has no warrant from the revelation of God in Holy Scripture, and let me remind you that all these evidences bear the mark of Antichrist.
Antichrist is not something only opposing Christ. One could, if that was the case, look at Communism and say, “There is Antichrist”, it is against Christ. Antichrist is something that is put in the place of Christ; taking the place of Christ; dethroning Him and sitting in His place and occupying His position; possessing His royal rights and power. Rome is nothing more or less than that very thing, the Latin Church puts itself in the place of Christ. These things that I have attempted to shew you concerning the Church of Rome are not a slander of its enemies but the very teaching of the strongest supporters and advocates of the system, Rome’s friends.
Now, I wish to turn from this morass, this darkness, and bring to you some things concerning Christ, and look with delight upon that word, “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His Name” (1 Chron. 16, 29). Ritualism never brings glory to the Name of the Lord. I was brought up under the darkness of Laudism, the teaching of that wretched Archbishop who sought to drag the Establishment to the very state in which we see it today. Many good and gracious Anglicans are being obliged to leave the church of their childhood for this very reason. May the good hand of the Lord deliver them from the prevalent ritualistic snares that are around us today and in their own peculiar distress.
The attraction and power of ritualism, and its defeat
I remember sitting many times in the church of my childhood. We called it a church. We were never taught that the Church was made up of living stones, wrought by God and bought by blood. We were never told that those who were partakers of Christ’s grace constituted the true Church of Christ. Atoning blood was never taught in my hearing then, so that we might know the secret of the Lord’s mercy to sinners. Instead we were brought to bow at the Altar. As the gold cross was carried past us in the hands of some sinner he would place it in position and bow to it himself. I remember the great wood cross above the chancel steps and, with fear, the passage of the procession. Truly, as a child, these things made a powerful impression upon me and the time came when I MUST embrace this religion for it was not intended that I should escape. Any attempt to escape would only entail the wrath of the priest. So I had to attend instruction prior to confirmation that I might take upon myself vows made for me by my godparents years before. But, I ran away, and believe it was one of the great days of my life when I did so. O, to realise that there is but one God and He only may be worshipped, not with a bowed body merely, but with a broken heart.
The Presence of God
In Psalm 95, 2 we read, “Let us come before His presence”. You can never truly worship God until, in your soul, you come before His presence. So if I ask, “Who do we worship?” and we
reply, “Even the Lord, High in Glory, One God, even God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost”, I must also ask. “How do we worship Him?”
First, we must know that we are sinners and as such can never draw near to God in self will. A person once said to me that he could worship God in the fields just as well as in a house of prayer. That he did not need to go to chapel to be religious! Let me say that if you stay away from chapel there is every reason to think that you will become increasingly “Religious”. You will probably become filled with religion, the religion of self. You will be like the Tailor who is an expert, you will fit your religion to suit yourselt to perfection, and it will continue to fit you to your dying day. BUT on your last day it will be found to be but rags. In Isaiah 64 we read, “All your righteousnesses are as filthy rags”Â—every one of them. You may tailor your life to suit yourself, but in the endÂ—filthy rags. How can I worship God? The ever blessed Son of God said to the woman of Sychar, “They that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”. (John 4, 24). How will you worship? How will you bow down? We bowed our head at the commencement of this meeting but where was our heart? Did we worship God?
“Let us come before His presence”. Some may say that we worship when we sing hymns of praise but, is it unto Him? How sad it is that multitudes can gaily sing their way to hell. It is a solemn hour when a sinner is brought to confess that all these things he has done from his youth up, but not in Spirit and in Truth.
When we come to Evington Chapel do we come without guile; not to hear the voice of man or to meet our friends, but to hear the voice of the Lord speaking through our Pastor? Do we always pray that he may speak to our souls as he speaks in the Lord’s Name? As I open the Scriptures do I always seek for the inbreathing of Divine utterance? Do we always mean the words we repeat or sing, and pray not to be deceived by mere musical exercise? What an occasion for mourning may a faithful answer be to these questions, for even when doing “Good” evil is present with us.
How can I worship “Thou who holy art?” Having stripped the Ritualist of his glory and all vestige of his hope, what shall be put in its place? Is it not the work of the Holy Spirit to strip man of all his own glory and good and prove to him that all worship in self will is foul by reason of his sin? If as I bow, pride, self-righteousness and iniquity is in my heart, even if I have fitted my religious garments to my own satisfaction but my lips are false to my heart as I brazenly speak words to the praise of God, then what condemnation is mine.
Worship is truly something more than singing or music; more than coming to the house of prayer with the utmost regularity. True worship is worshipping the Lord in the beauty of Holiness (Ps. 96, 90). We are not holy; left to ourselves and of ourselves alone we cannot thus worship Him. What is it that prevents sinners from
worshipping God? SIN. What abounding evil and desperate folly there is in that “Worship” that would utter “I thank thee that I am not as other men are”.
True worshippers are indeed sinners. Sinners who, in the knowledge of their ruin by sin, “beat upon their breasts” and cry, “God be merciful to me, for indeed I am a sinner”. May we all be found, with Toplady, where we confessÂ—
“Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling”.
There is but one way in which sinners can worship God. It is where Mary was in position and heart, at the feet of Jesus. O, to have that grace in possession to choose that good part, that “Dear Redeemer, dying Lamb”. I love to hear of Thee!
Have you ever thought of Calvary as the place of worship? Your ritualistic neighbour has often been reminded of a Calvary for he regularly goes to Mass, that dreadful “Blasphemous fable and dangerous deceit”, where the wafer becomes, according to Ritualistic teaching, the body, and the wine the blood of Christ, a Calvary of human superstition and a dreadful denial of the complete sufficiency of Christ’s one atonement for sin. What sin is here, in the eyes of the One who was “Once offered for sin”. (See Heb. 9, 28). Only once, and why? That He might become the atonement of His chosen and dearly loved people. The worship of the tabernacle and the worship of the heavenly host, together with the worship of living souls meets at that one place. In the book of the Revelation a great throne is described with a LAMB in the midst of the Throne. Before this throne bow angels, elders, beasts and all the mighty host of redeemed souls. There, upon the Throne is “A Lamb as it had been slain”. (Rev. 5, 6). O, Blessed Lamb. You can never worship God, sinner, outside of Jesus Christ; it is impossible without that blessed faith and hope in the Christ of God. You can only truly worship God when the truths of Isaiah 53 are really known and held in the heart, “When thou shall make his soul an offering for sin” (v. 10). Yes, “He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied”.
The creature bent under load, burdened with iniquity, wretched, shameful; butÂ—There is the Cross, the precious Christ, the sacred Lamb and that soul, bowed there, is worshipping God as he is prostrated in spirit and pleading the dear Lamb, “Once slain”.
In this day when many are being soothed by the “peaceful” utterances of “unity” and “forgetfulness of the past”, let it ever be remembered that it was for “the denial of the mass”, the “hyper-doulia worship of the Virgin Mary” and the “doulia worship of the saints” (all of which were and are created by Roman authority)Â—for denial of these things the beloved Martyrs were tortured or burned at the stake in Britain; that multitudes were hounded through EuropeÂ—(read the “History of the Waldenses”)Â—and many were deprived of lands and livings.
Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead and CHRIST shall give thee light. (Eph. 5, v. 14).
We have asserted, this evening, that “there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be savedÂ” (Acts 4, 12), and through whom alone God will be worshipped. All true worship is in Christ and through Christ. The child of God is never instructed by the Holy Ghost to act in any way contrary to or different from the teaching of the Word of God. How shall we worship? Through Christ alone.