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There is really no official Theology in the Zion movement of Mr. Dowie, although there is a more or less definite body of teaching resting upon certain conceptions of philosophy and psychology. "The basis of his Theology is practically the ordinary doctrines of Scotch Christianity as taught by Scotch Presbyterians, with less emphasis upon high Calvinism and more upon a personal Deity and personal Devil in mundane affairs, including human beings, than in this age is commonly heard in Christian pulpits." *

In founding the church Mr. Dowie required (1) That all members recognize the infallible inspiration and sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures as the rule of faith and practice. (2) That they recognize that no person can be members of the church who have not repented of their sins and have not trusted Christ for salvation. (3) That such persons must also be able to make good profession and declare that they do know in their own hearts that they have truly repented, and are truly trusting Christ and have the witness in a measure, of the Holy Spirit. (4) That all other matters are matters of opinion.

This was the first platform upon which his followers were to unite and is printed upon every application for membership to be subscribed to by new members. There are few Evangelical churches but what could acquiesce in its statements, as they are so very general, but Mr. Dowie in a later deliverance, says in speaking of the question of inspiration: "In regard to this, I say, that if I am God's minister in this


* J. M. Buckley, Dowie Analyzed and Classified.




matter, and I write to you something that is in accord with Scripture, then you are bound to receive that just as much as if the Apostle Paul wrote it. You will please to observe my qualifications. If I write to you something that is in perfect accord with the word of God, I have just as much right to write that as the Apostle Paul had to write. Not to add to the word of God, but to explain and apply it." * This seems definite enough to indicate (a) that Mr. Dowie regarded himself as God's special minister, (b) that he regarded himself as thoroughly competent to explain and apply the Word of God, or to thus practically add to it whatever was needed for the carrying to completion and for the administering of his organization. Subsequent events have shown that he has


* Mr. Dowie claims that his paper, Leaves of Healing, is the Word of God. In Leaves of Healing, October 23, 1897, pages 830 and 831, he says the following things regarding the paper:

(1) "We have never written a line without the sweet consciousness of the overshadowing of the Power of the Highest." "And that power also entered into us." Of course this includes the falsehoods and slander of which he has been guilty.

(2) He says, "Leaves of Healing are inspired by God."

(3) "Leaves of Healing are again being written by God."

(4) He says, "Therefore, these Leaves of Healing are God's own work, as much as any of the six Gospels preceding." (By the six Gospels preceding, as we see by the context, he refers to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts and the Revelation.)

(5) He says, "He (God) is writing every hour and every day and every week and every year, another Gospel, and every way like unto all the Gospels that have preceded, which were written by Matthew, and Mark, and Luke and John, the two latter of whom wrote the Acts of the Apostles and the Revelation respectively. The Seventh Gospel (Leaves of Healing) is in every respect a continuance of the things 'that Jesus began both to do and to teach,' as Luke puts it in the Acts of the Apostles. "

(6) "And so we close the Volume of the Book which God has caused us to write in His Name, and we do so in the words which John in Patmos used in opening his writing:

"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things that are written therein: for the time is at hand." - The Ram's Horn, Chicago, Ill., March 3, 1900.




been absolutely intolerant of any but his own ideas and interpretations, and has made many of his notions practical tests of continuance of membership in the church. (c) Anyone who came into the movement he was then organizing would thus practically admit his being inspired, or at least so capable of interpreting the Word of God as to amount to the same thing. *

During the February 5, 1896 conference (L. of H., September 10, 1904, p. 178), a Mr. Calverly made an address in which he said, "Now in regard to that inspiration idea, I am particularly interested in that. I do not know what your impression has been when you have been listening to the doctor, but my impression has frequently been that he has been in close touch with that same power of the Holy Ghost which fell upon Peter on the day of Pentecost, and that same Power is what I understand in regard to the inspiration, as ever present in the church." That Mr. Dowie intended to be and has been ultimate authority for his people there can be no question. He edited these reports of the conferences of the organization and this speech of Mr. Calverly's was just the kind to put him in the place of inspiration for the church. A former member said to me in an interview: "Mr. Dowie would often say in public address, 'It doesn't matter what you say or think, it doesn't matter what I say or think; it is what God says.' He would then proceed to demand of us that we do thus and so. Why every one did not sense the fact that his arbitrary will was what he wanted, although giving a semblance of divine authority, I can not understand. We were read out of the church for insubordination when we were within the strict letter of the agreement and confession we signed when entering." ** I have seen and heard practically


* Zion people's reverence for the L. of H. as I have talked with them has been in many cases scarcely less than that for the Bible.


** His formula has been, "You say you believe I am the Messenger of the Covenant?" or later, "You say I am the Prophet Elijah?" "Yes sir." Then do what I say.

At other times after he had instructed his people to follow him only so far as he followed Christ, he would say, "You promise to follow me as I follow Christ?" In unison they would reply, "Yes." "Well, if a doubt should arise who would be most likely to know whether I am following Christ?" "You would." "Then do what I say."

Papal infallibility is not to be mentioned in comparison with this, and it was not only the theory, but the practice of Zion before Mr. Dowie's overthrow.




the same thing when visiting his services at Zion City and wondered that the people didn't protest that they had not subscribed to any such requirements as he was making.

It is clear that Mr. Dowie aims to start with the Bible as a code of authority, eschewing in his interpretations any reference to the ordinary canons of historical criticism. Any statement the Bible makes is regarded as the infallible Word of God and the ultimate explanation of any matter, whether scientific, ethical or religious. This is the view-point held and to which appeal is made in case of controversy, although considerable personal liberty is taken with individual texts to make them yield the desired teaching.

There is a strange inconsistency about literalists in Scripture interpretation. Most of them utterly ignore those portions unsuited to whatever system they may be advocating. Mr. Dowie in L. of H., Vol. 3 No. 27, says: "Sometimes I think we have too much written. I almost wish sometimes that Paul's Epistles were lost. I am sometimes tempted to wish that I had more Gospel and less epistle." This outdoes the most radical critics, who only ask to let go what is not historically authentic, if any be such. Mr. Dowie has laid himself open to heresy trial upon the accepted standards of his Zion movement.

One of the Zion officers gave me twelve reasons why he left the Baptists and why he believes the C. C. A. C. in Zion is the true church.  Among them are these: "Faith once for all delivered wasn't the Bible nor a system of doctrines, but an active living principle which moved early Christians to




witness martyrdom and to perform miracles." "The denominations say the Bible and Bible alone is our religion. We say that the church is built on present revelation and Word of God, spoken by real Apostles who have the signs of an Apostle and the authority of an Apostle, speaking in accord with the Word of God in other ages." This vitiates the first article of the Zion agreement on doctrine as to the infallible and sufficient Holy Scriptures, but was said in the interests of a specific Zion apology for the supremacy of Mr. Dowie, as it was upon that point I was crowding him.* These were statements which he had written down, however, as he had evidently apprehended the true significance of Mr. Dowie's assumption of the Apostolate. The rank and file would not agree in theory with him, although during the history of the church they have done so practically.

It is not deemed a matter of enough importance to discuss at any great length the method of the Bible interpretation employed in Zion. An Elder told me that the idea of prophecy Zion held is one which "writes history before it comes to pass."  This was said apropos of a conversation in which the prophesies which they refer to Mr. Dowie as "Messenger of the Covenant," "Elijah the Restorer," etc., were being discussed. Should you present them the view that the prophets were preachers of righteousness with a message to their contemporaries and that they did not have a vision of all coming events they would regard you as an atheist or infidel.

Their theory of inspiration would come under the designation mechanical, and their method of interpretation literal and dogmatic. When a member of Zion says "it is so, because God says it is so," he means that the words of the Bible, uncriticised, but colored by the concepts current in Zion, originating from Mr. Dowie, say it is so.

Mr. Dowie, claiming to get his conception from the Bible,


*  The tendency in Zion at present is to lop off all Mr. Dowie's whimsies as they would be called and get back to the Word of God. This was the drift of a short address by Mr. Voliva, April 24, 1906, which I heard.




speaks of Satan as the Defiler and Jesus as the Healer. He would hold that a God of love who made the world with all its beauty and brightness does not make wretched, foul, destroying, disease. That is the work of the Devil.

Here is a dualism in thought as well as in practical attitude.  Practically all people feel a distinction between good and evil and have a system of values; things pronounced good they strive to attain, and their opposites they seek to shun. But Mr. Dowie conceives of origins thus-holiness, salvation, health, the good, come from God; while evil, destruction, disease, sin, are the work of the Devil. An array of scripture texts are brought forward to establish this. "He that doeth sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sinneth from the beginning;"  " For this end was the son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil;" I John 3:8; " How that God anointed him with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed of the Devil, for God was with him." Acts 10:38.

Although the Devil is the author of sin and sickness in Mr. Dowie's thinking, he finds no inconsistency in saying, "God over-rules all things and will ultimately triumph;" The contest he sets forth as follows: "Satan had a pre-existence before man was created. Satan, perhaps, with his host, once dwelt upon this earth, because I have never believed since examining the subject, and the Scriptures do not teach, that man was the first inhabitant of this earth. ... When God created Adam and in due time Eve, and put them in the garden of Eden, what was his first command? 'Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.' The inference is clear. The earth had once been full of inhabitants; otherwise it would have been absurd to use the word  'replenish.' My own contention is that, in all probability, Satan had at one time with his host, inhabited the earth, had been ejected from it, and he, with a host of disembodied spirits, came up again from the depths of hell into which they had been cast, * 


* One notices the ancient abandoned cosmology, of Dante, for example.




determined to repossess themselves of this earth, and they have been at it for six thousand years and have very largely succeeded in dominating the earth and deceiving man first of all. In what way? By means of Satan himself. The first woman was deceived by means of Satan, who broke through the heavenly watch. ... Since that time Satan is called in Scripture ' The Prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. 'Our warfare is therefore as Paul the Apostle wrote' not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places,' or as it might be read, 'against the hosts of evil spirits in the upper air.'... Satan seeking earthly embodiment became embodied in the beast (serpent), and became the chief tempter and seducer of mankind. ... He was nearly ejected from the earth at the time of the flood, but he deceived Noah, and when Noah had been taught to plant the vine, Satan also entered into the planning, and turned the sweet and innocent juice of the grape into a hellish poison by showing men how to arrest the grape in its process of decay. ... Satan devised this sweet rottenness and so transformed the fruit of the vine as to make it the means of the damnation of millions. Satan has been seeking to possess man, body, soul and spirit, through all the ages, and has succeeded is possessing himself, first of the spirit, then of the soul, then of the body. ...  The struggle between Satan and God is first of all, for the possession of the spirit of man. There are three parts in man, not two. Man is composed of spirit, soul and body. The spirit alone is immortal, not the soul. The soul dies. Christ himself said 'My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.' The soul of the man and the soul of the beast are alike. But the distinguishing thing in man is the spirit. God is the father of our spirits and our spirit is immortal because it owes its origin to God. ...

The Son of God was manifest that he might destroy the works of the Devil. What works did he destroy?  'God




anointed him with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of God?'  Answer, 'No.' 'Of the Devil?' Answer, 'Yes.' Why?  'For God was with him.' In Matthew 4:23 it is written 'And Jesus went about in all Galilee ... healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness among the people.' Nineteen centuries ago every kind of sickness and every kind of disease was healed by Jesus. Peter declares that all whom he healed were oppressed of the Devil; if that is true, then nineteen centuries ago every kind of disease and sickness was the work of the Devil. Can it be God's work today?  Answer,' No.' Whose? Answer,' The Devil's.'   'It must be so unless you are going to prove that God is doing the work today which the Devil used to do nineteen centuries ago. Now the lie that God wills diseases has crept into the churches, is embalmed in their songs, and taught from their pulpits, that God blesses humanity by laying his hand, full of corruption upon it and making the people sick. I tell you this as God's minister today, there are things that God can not do. ... It is impossible for God's hand to communicate disease. ... It is impossible for a being who is without disease to communicate disease. It is impossible for God to make people sinful or sick or unclean or miserable, for if he did he would then be a fountain of sin and disease. It is impossible for any disease to come from heaven, for in heaven there is no sin, no disease, no death, and therefore it is impossible for any of these things to come from there. No possibility exists that God can be the author of disease. ... Disease is the result of sin, and would not have been in the world but for sin. To make disease a part of the plan or purpose of God is to make God the father of sin and that would be to transform God into the Devil."

The foregoing has been presented thus at length to indicate the method of accounting for sickness which Mr. Dowie has thoroughly drilled into his people, and also to show his general style of argumentation. Without endeavoring to refute




his logic it might be well simply to notice that the entire argument goes upon the presupposition that the thought-forms used by the Bible writers of Old and New Testaments are in themselves truths of revelation, that all their terminology, irrespective of historical or literary relationship, corresponds to reality. It indicates absolute innocence of any knowledge of modern cosmography or cosmology. It would hardly suggest the knowledge of the theory of Copernicus and is as naive as it is presumptuous, for to the statements of Scripture, the results of an uncontrolled imagination are added and made synonymous with truth. There is no answer to such an argument starting with the presuppositions which Mr. Dowie and his people all accept uncritically, unless we can find an array of contrary texts, or texts which lend themselves as proof of contrary propositions when reinforced by a little personal imagination or fancy of our own.

This position with regard to disease is not new, or is it held today by Mr. Dowie alone. In the tracts of Evangelist J. J. Scruby, of Dayton, Ohio, * who carries on quite an active propaganda we find the same literalism, the same trichotomous psychology, the same dualism in philosophy. In one of these tracts the statement is made "as we read the story of creation we would be impressed with the fact that God did not make sickness, on the contrary all was very good. There was a condition of soundness and health and freedom from mortality and pain, so that God looking upon it could say it was' very good.' We would come to look upon that as the ideal condition of life, and as we followed it on we would find it was going back to that at last; that the goal and hope and prophecy is a world where there will be no disease. Our natural conclusion, therefore, is that disease was abnormal and unnatural, that it was something that must have sprung


* In these tracts various persons, ministers and laymen, express their views, finding a sort of clearing house in this way for their kindred ideas, so that they represent the thought of quite a large group of persons.




from a more deep, malign evil not in the constitution of  nature. ... It came through the fall of Adam."

Again in discussing the "Manner of the acceptance of the doctrine of Divine Healing," we find the statement from Mr. Scruby that "the personality of the Devil must be recognized. This is a most important requirement. Freedom implies the existence of bondage, victory the existence of an enemy. The Devil is a person. He is powerful. He is the author of physical suffering, as we see in the case of Job,  Job 2:7; of those who were the recipients of Christ's healing power,  Acts, 10:38, and the mention of the woman healed in Luke 13:11-16. "

Both Mr. Dowie and Mr. Scruby hold that sin and sickness are realities and the vast majority of us hold with them in this as against Christian Science. Yet neither would hardly be conscious that he has a philosophy of suffering.

Somewhat different is the explanation given by the teacher of theology in Zion, although he aims to follow Mr. Dowie all too slavishly. He says, "There is scarcely developed yet a scientific body of doctrine in Zion. We are 'restoring' old scriptural doctrines where they have been lost sight of in the church. But we hardly think of psychology or theology or trichotomy. In a certain sense we are presenting a sort of dualism, and yet not so, for God is preached as the superior of Jesus. Satan is put as the opponent of Jesus and to be overcome by Jesus so that the one GOOD power is transcendent and sovereign and the Devil is to be out of the ring soon, and some day Jesus is to hand back the kingdom to God. (1 Cor. 15:28). Dualism contends for two powers and both equal. Persian Dualism says the conflict is unending, but ours is a more transient conflict between good and evil, with the certainty of a comparatively speedy victory for right and truth. We start with God. Satan is a created angel who fell into rebellion and inveigled the human race into that rebellion. Jesus, who himself contends that "my Father is greater than I," is superior to the Devil, therefore I could




hardly call our philosophy a dualism. We do believe that man's will is free and that God has permitted man's will to accept the evil and we lay at the door of evil powers the evil in the world, but it has been permitted by God and is overruled by Him in His infinite sovereignty for the good of man, but we insist on the distinction between permission and commission. If God permits man's will to act freely you could hardly put man therefore on an equality with God in a dualistic conception, nor can we do so with the Devil. He is permitted to act freely in temptation and man is allowed to act freely in accepting the offers of evil or rejecting them, but God is Sovereign. We see evil as a practical reality and can't get back of it, so it is practically infinite, or to state it in another way, what we can see and can't see over is as good as the infinite.

"I think you get your conception of Dualism from the fact that we insist on laying disease and disaster to the Devil. God is a God of law. He keeps those laws in operation for the good of man. But if man goes across the law, God does not change the law. Man must suffer and man must repent and come into harmony with the law or continue to suffer. The Devil's business seems to be to tempt man to disobey and as in the case of a burned hand the consequences of perverted relation to specific law are felt. Man's problem is to learn God's laws and willingly obey them. God is working out this problem and when he gets it finished God will be all in all and man's freedom will be unimpaired. But we say God did not burn the hand, although it was His power operating in the law. God is legally but not morally responsible, or, as Dr. Dowie puts it, He permits but does not commit these destructive acts, they are morally the Devil's. We do believe in the fall of Adam, although Dr. Dowie has not strongly expressed himself on that question. ... He has expressed his belief in a pre-Adamic race of some sort on the earth and believes that the earth was 'replenished.'... I hold to the essential truth of the Adam story of the fall. All that I know about the Bible




and about salvation fits with perfect consistency into that view. There is nothing in print that I think of at present about the Adam question."

Mr. Dowie's psychology or three fold division of man is not an entirely new theory. He sets it forth for practical purposes in his preaching in a pamphlet "Sanctification of Spirit, Soul and Body." Theoretically it is represented graphically thus:


spirit soul body

This he says shows the tripartate nature of man and the in dwelling nature of God. The Holy Spirit is represented as the center of all. The three words in speaking of man's being are pneuma (spirit) psyche (soul) and soma (body). The line connecting the circles is used to illustrate the flowing of the Holy Spirit through the entire three-fold nature of man thus sanctifying him wholly and preserving him without blame.




"We are not a duality composed of soul and body, but we are a trinity composed of spirit, soul and body. This is a divinely revealed construction of man. Human philosophy and ordinary Christian pulpit teaching have made man to have only two parts - soul and body - and confounded soul and spirit. Now what is the difference between the soul and spirit?

I must, at the risk of being charged with being technical make plain to you some very neglected teaching in this matter - teaching which the church of God almost wholly misses.

In doing this we have to show, first of all, how God made the lower creation and then how God made man. If we study by the light of Holy Scripture, we shall see the difference between the lower creation and man, and thereby make clear the tripartate nature of man. Take your Bibles and read the twentieth verse of the first chapter of Genesis.  'And God said let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life.' The margin says that word 'life' is 'living soul' in the original tongue. Then you see that this passage teaches that the fish of the sea all have souls. It does not say that they have a spirit, but they all have souls.

Let us go to the thirtieth verse: 'And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth wherein there is life.' Margin again says the Hebrew is 'a living soul.' This passage teaches distinctly that every beast of the earth and every fowl of the air has a living soul. You are sometimes asked, what is the soul? These passages supply the answer. The soul is the animal life. The soul is not spiritual at all. One of the most stupid things the Christian can do is to argue for the 'immortality of the soul.'

I shall presently show you how right it is to argue for the immortality of the spirit, but, let me warn you, never argue for the immortality of the soul. You will plunge yourself into a sea of confusion if you do and give your adversaries an essential advantage which will put you to shame. Christians make a tremendous blunder by confounding soul and spirit.




If you refer to the Epistle to the Hebrews you will see that it is the Word of God which makes this distinction, a distinction unknown for the most part, to Christian theologians who are very largely teachers of false theology. They are as blind as bats to the essential difference between spirit and soul and talk about the salvation of the soul when they mean the Spirit. What does it say here? 'The Word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of the soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.'

It is the Word of God then that shows the division between soul and spirit. ... Look at the second chapter of Genesis, seventh verse: 'And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground.' That is the body. Do not make any mistake about it. Our bodies are dust, and the vainest woman who carries a millinery shop on the top of her head, and the most foolish woman who purchases her complexion in a paint shop, or the silliest dude, is only a bag of dust. Let us consider the other two parts. 'And God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.' The 'breath of life' which God 'breathed' into man is the spirit; and the 'living soul' which man became is the soul or animal life, distinct and separate in all respects from the spirit. God imparted to man His own spirit and nature. God is the 'Father' of man's spirit. He is the Father of the spirit, but not of the soul. He is the maker of the soul and body, but not the Father of it. ... In Christ the perfect man we see a perfectly pure spirit: as scriptures say 'a life-giving spirit.'... In Christ you see the perfection of this three-fold nature. ... First, the body of Christ was like our bodies, a human body. It was pure and sinless because of God's origination. Second, His soul was a merely human soul, but His spirit was divine." *


* As has been indicated, all these views are the result of wrong views and use of Scripture. For corrective principle, see W. N. Clarke, "The Use of the Scriptures in Theology"




It is scarcely necessary to quote further to be able to see the process of argumentation by which the belief of Mr. Dowie in trichotomy is supported. So far as I know all believers in Divine Healing are trichotomists in psychology and have a rather sharply defined distinction between the three parts of man's nature. They of course hold to the literal veracity of the Word of God which is synonymous with the letter of the Bible.

A somewhat unusual position of Mr. Dowie is that with respect to the doctrine of immortality. He is a believer in the death of the soul but of the immortality of the spirit. It seems to come logically out of his psychology, and his ideas with regard to the origin of man, and makes a sharp distinction between God acting directly, and through nature. The soul is temporal and not eternal. This he supports by showing that the soul of Christ died. "The prophet Isaiah said that God would make his 'soul a sacrifice for sin,' that He would 'pour out His soul unto death.' Christ himself said, 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death.' Then his soul died. He said Himself  'I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.'  The word translated 'life' there is Psyche, Soul. In the tenth chapter of John the word 'life' should be translated soul. 'The Good Shepherd giveth His soul for the sheep.' There is no question about it. 'Christ poured out His soul unto death.'... Some of you all your lives have been defending the 'immortality of the soul,' and you have been taught to do so by your ministers, who do not like to confess that they have been teaching error. ... Many serious errors have crept into theology because of this. Christians have been arguing for the immortality of the soul, and the infidel has been flogging you with the Bible every time. The infidel quotes Scripture at you, and flings at your head 'The soul that sinneth it shall die,' and asks, 'How can a thing be immortal that can die?'... I want to settle this question as to the separation of soul and spirit: for this separation gives




answer to an error, the doctrinal error which is called 'conditional immortality.' There is no more dangerous falsehood. I may grieve some persons by saying it, who may be true Christians, but there is no more dangerous falsehood than the falsehood which teaches that man is not essentially immortal, but that man is only conditionally immortal, and that therefore, a man, if he is not saved, will be annihilated utterly; that his spiritual nature will pass away like his psychical and physical nature, and that, unless he is a Christian he will not live forever. I want to tell you that it is a dangerous lie for this reason: If a man sees that he can die like an animal, he will in thousands of cases live like an animal. When you tell a sinful man that he is to die like a dog then he says, 'I will live like a dog.'... Let that man see that there is no hereafter, and no penalty for sin, and he will live a life of such abounding wickedness that only hell itself can find an equal to it. Conscience would be almost annihilated. ... I call attention to the fact that every one of those who were disobedient in the days of Noah were living in the days of Christ. For more than three thousand years their miserable spirits lived in the hope of Christ's redemption. And he came to them in the fullness of time, as is shown in 1 Peter 3:19, 20. He descended into Hades. He 'preached to the spirits in prison, which aforetime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God had waited in the days of Noah.' They had been in hell for thousands of years. They were not annihilated even tho damned. They were living. The spirit lives beyond the grave. The spirit of the just man is made perfect in heaven, even as the spirit of the evil man may be made viler in hell. ... But I tell you this in Christ's name. God is the Father of this spirit; the spirit of man shares the nature of the Father. Therefore since God is immortal so are we; since our Father is eternal so are we. But if on the other hand if our spirit is not immortal, neither is God's because we have his nature, 'we are his offspring,' and we share his nature."




We must remember that all this discussion is not purely academic, although it is in the region of dialectics. Mr. Dowie is simply trying to enforce the idea of the sanctity of the body as the dwelling place of the spirit of God and insists in keeping it clean and free from sin and vice. In order to do this he thus at length treats of the nature of man.

Hardly more than a mention need be made of some of the more peculiar teachings of Zion, as among a people of such rigid literalism in Scripture interpretation almost every vagary that unlearned exegesis has suggested finds favor with one or more individuals as coming under the head of "all other questions are matters of opinion." But no one has been allowed to print a tract or treatise of any kind which could not pass the rigid scrutiny and meet the favor of Mr. Dowie. * The Ecclesiastical Secretary may keep Saturday as the Sabbath, Jew fashion, and eat no meat, but he is not followed in this by any considerable number of Zionites. Another officer may have certain ideas of his own about a glorified body, and soul sleeping, but all he can do is to talk it privately or in a small group of persons of similar belief.

A peculiarity with respect to the Zion doctrine of atonement simply needs to be mentioned as in most respects as has been said their teachings would be loosely classed as evangelical.

They hold that Divine Healing rests upon the Atonement of Christ. That "He hath borne our griefs (sicknesses) and carried our sorrows, ... and with His stripes we are healed," which was declared to have been fulfilled in Jesus in his ministry of Healing (Matthew 8:17) shows, that the atonement of Christ provides for health and healing as well as salvation.

All those in Zion so far as I know are Premillenialists, and believe in the spectacular Second coming of Christ, but there is no official program of the events of the future of an


* Mr. Voliva has stated that the Leaves will be open for those who have anything worth printing. We will wait with interest to see what this will bring forth.




apocalyptical nature to which all give assent. * All believe in the restoration of all things, but there is hopeless confusion if you begin questioning around among the people as to what they mean by the expression. There is a medley of notions on such subjects and to sift out the generally accepted is hardly possible unless one could formulate propositions and secure a vote, for or against.


* Mr. Dowie puts it thus in his pamphlet, " Sanctification of Triune Man:"


Lord Jesus, Come!

The BRIDE, the Church, with longing eyes

Looks through the gloom to yon bright skies,

Where radiant shines her home above,

And thus she chants her prayer of love:

"Sweet BRIDEGROOM, come! 'tis midnight hour,

And virgin souls await Thy power."

Lord Jesus, Come!

Lord Jesus, Come!

Thine answer sweet our spirits hear,

It soothes our grief, we cannot fear.

It came to him on Patmos Isle,

Who loved and lived on earth awhile;

It comes to us - "I QUICKLY COME."

Yea, "Even so, Lord Jesus, Come!"

Lord Jesus, Come!




He will put down all rule, all authority and power, and will reign and rule in every heart. The kingdoms of this world shall no longer be at strife and at war, for they shall "become the Kingdom of our God, and of His Christ."

God, hasten the time. Hasten the time when spirits redeemed, and the souls that Thou has purified, and the bodies that Thou hast made Thy temple shall go forth in millions to tell others that there is a God of purity who can make the vilest sinner clean, and is willing to make you and me pure in spirit, and in soul, and in body.

That is all my message. I have no other.

But I demand, as God's Messenger, that you shall seek Him, and Him alone, and do what He tells you, and no other.




The matter of demon possession deserves some attention, as it is closely related to the question of divine healing. It, like all other ideas, comes from a literal interpretation of Scripture. The popular terminology is followed here by Mr. Dowie who speaks indiscriminately of "devils" and "having a devil." He does not stick as closely to the original of the Greek New Testament here as in the discussion of some questions. The New Testament knows of but one Devil, spoken of as a personal being by the writers who use the masculine article with the word diabolos, Devil. The uniform New Testament conception is demon possession not devil possession. (cf. Matthew 8:31, Mark 5:12, Luke 8:29, in R. V.).

Mr. Dowie regards all the world as being under the dominion of the Devil, who is being disempowered by the Son of God who began the ministry during His earthly life when "He was manifested to destroy the works of the Devil." This conception is usually coupled with that of the imminent return of Christ. "All disease is the oppression of the Devil, but there are some which are possessions by the Devil, or by Devils," he says, * after quoting Luke 13:11,  "And behold there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years." "Not an infirmity you will notice, but a 'spirit of infirmity.'"

After commenting upon this for a time he quotes further the words of Jesus, Luke 13:16, "And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, lo, these eighteen years, he loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?"  Of course all this is so general that it is difficult to be certain in what sense Mr. Dowie and Zion hold to demon possession as such, in spite of the numerous references to devils making people sick or subjecting them to evil habits and the like.

All this, however, is a piece with primitive conceptions wherein all obsessions or dreams and visions were regarded


* Pamphlet, "Doctors, Drugs and Devils."




as visitations of a spirit or the entrance of a spirit into the person.

"Ancient psychology, survived still, according to which manifestations of the mysterious inner life of the soul, mental processes, were the manifestations of some external agent. In ancient times 'it was not we ourselves, but a demon, an angel, or a spirit that was the efficient cause; sometimes this agent is conceived of as intimately connected with our soul, but at others he is an entirely extraneous being. Here we have the origin of the conception not only of demoniacal possession, but of that of the Holy Spirit.' (Wernle, Beginnings of Christianity, Vol. 1, p. 6)." *

There can be no doubt that Jesus spoke of demon possession and held to the idea that an alien spirit could enter and inhabit a human body. At least so his biographers represent him in the Gospels. He healed many persons by driving out the demons which had caused various diseases and disorders especially of a neurotic sort. **

Whether we are to regard this as a final explanation of disease, especially of certain kinds, is perhaps the same kind of a question as to whether we are to think that the biblical statements about the earth and the sun, for example, are final in astronomy. It is a question as to whether the meaning of the New Testament is necessarily the teaching of the New Testament.

Mr. Dowie is within the meaning of the New Testament when he speaks of demon possession causing disease and the casting out of the demon, a cure. It is to be doubted if he could show that all disease is of the devil even from the conceptions current in New Testament times, as reflected by its writers. That is another question, however.

J. L. Nevins, in "Demon Possession and Allied Themes," has shown by an extensive search for examples that demon


* G. B. Foster, Finality of the Christian Religion, p. 78. Note 2, who quotes Wernle.


** Cf.  Foster, op. cit p. 408 ff., for discussion of this subject.




possession of the same sort as is found in the New Testament is found today quite extensively in Shantung, China, and in India, Japan, and even in Christian countries. He accepts the biblical theory of accounting for such phenomena and says. * "The Bible recognizes not only the material world, but a spiritual world intimately connected with it, and spiritual beings, both good and bad, who have access to, and influence, for good or ill, the world's inhabitants." This is true and from Mr. Dowie's standpoint of authority he is perfectly consistent in believing in demon possession in spite of the fact that modern psychology explains these phenomena, such as obsession, epilepsy, or any form of "possession" differently.

The polity of Zion has really been the policy of Mr. Dowie. True he has sought a scriptural authority for most of his ideas with regard to the church. It is now decided that the regime under Deputy Overseer Voliva will retrench or reorganize even along ecclesiastical lines and endeavor to get back to the simplicity of the organization as it was at the beginning in 1896. There will be no apostles, at least for the present, and prophets are also under the ban, although theoretically all the gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:28 are to be restored to the church. "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues."

Mr. Dowie was well under way in the work of restoring the gifts and offices to the church as the C. C. A. C. in Zion when the revolt came. We have noticed in the Introduction, the different officers he had already arranged for and who were administering the ecclesiastical and commercial work of Zion. It is not known just what form the organization will henceforth take as circumstances will have much to do with it.

It is quite clear now, however, from the utterances of Mr. Voliva that the Bible will be the sole court of appeal as a standard of faith and practice and the interpretation will be


* p. 243.




based upon the same philosophical and psychological presuppositions in the main, as were held by Mr. Dowie in his earlier ministry.


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