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28 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

My church in Alaska consisted of about forty people at the time that building a building for the church was necessary. All funds for this purpose came directly from God's people as The Lord put it on their hearts.

 

Amen and amen.

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Jim,

Thank you for the testimony of the the building of the church in Alaska. Your testimony is a living example of the early church and how they may have first started in homes, grew in size and faith, and were able to hold services in their own building. So, your testimony is an welcome addition to this study on the local church and encouragement to all of us.

Is it possible that you have some photos of the different add-on's of the church that you would like to show us? Or, maybe a before and after picture of the church?

Brethren,

Does anybody have a similar testimony of how a church was started at a home? or a rented office front?any pictures? I am sure that your testimony would also be a welcome addition to this study and an encouragement to all of us.

Alan

 

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Alan, as I wrote that testimony I was thinking of adding any pictures. I searched for them for some time so I could include them in that reply, but to no avail. My old computer died about a year ago and I think any pictures I had are still on it. I thought I transferred everything on the old computer, but must have missed some.

If I am able to find any pictures of the church they won't be many, but I will revisit this reply and add them. Just don't hold your breath waiting for them, it could be some time before I find them.

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23 hours ago, Alan said:

Does anybody have a similar testimony of how a church was started at a home? or a rented office front?any pictures? I am sure that your testimony would also be a welcome addition to this study and an encouragement to all of us.

We had originally wanted to start a church out of a house a few years ago but we lived with relatives and could not afford a house in the area we were called to at the time. So we rented a small 250 SQ office space with our tithe and then started soul winning and inviting. From there as we grew, we would move to larger offices in the same building. Starting in an office was a blessing because we could expand our space without constantly moving and changing the church information and only paying for the space we needed. Two years into it we made a quick video for our sending church's missions conference. 
 

Unfortunately we ended up having to move back to Michigan but God was able to open up for our congregation to merge with another church in town that needed help and we were able to help them start a soul winning program with our former members. It was also worked out so that we did not have to worry about the church property that we had in the offices because the office owner was contacted by an other Baptist group that wanted to start a church in the same location after our contract was up and they ended up being able to use it all to start a new church in the same space.

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John,

Thank you for uploading your testimony on how your sending church sent you to start Edgecliff Baptist Church and give us a living example of New Testament church planting. I appreciate your soul-winning efforts, tract ministry, using new technology (YouTube videos of your services), and dedication. Also, even though, due to health reasons, you had to go back to your sending church you merged your congregation with the other IFB church in the area to provide your members with a good church to join. 

Your testimony on starting a new church was a blessing to my heart and I am sure to other folks also.

Looking forward to other testimonies, pictures, or videos concerning a how a new church was started and eventually was self-sustaining and in a more permanent location.

Alan

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Posted (edited)
On 7/10/2020 at 6:46 AM, Jim_Alaska said:

I do understand that the word "Protestant" is used as a generic term by many. Personally I object to it simply because it implies that anything not Roman Catholic is Protestant. This is probably true for most, if not all Protestant Christian churches, but is definitely not true for Baptist churches.

The world wants to lump Baptists in with Protestants, which they are not and never have been. So, I am very cautious when someone tries to teach that Baptists are Protestants.

But I don't want to drag your thread off topic, so I will leave it with these two quotes showing why I object to the term "Protestant" in regard to Baptists.

John Clark Ridpath, Methodist, author of that monumental work Ridpath’s History of the World, in a letter to Dr. W.A. Jarrell (Baptist Church Perpetuity, pg. 59) says: “I should not readily admit that there were Baptist churches as far back as A.D. 100, although without doubt there were Baptists then, as all Christians were Baptists.”

Professor Wm. C. Duncan, of the Department of Greek and Latin, University of Louisiana: “Baptists do not, as most Protestant denominations, date their origin from the Reformation of 1520. By means of that great movement they were brought out of comparative obscurity into prominent notice. They did not, however, originate with the Reformation; for long before Luther lived; yea, long before the Catholic Church itself was known, Baptist and Baptist churches flourished in Europe, Asia and Africa.”

Brother Jim Alaska,in another thread, stated the above mentioned two quotes concerning the history of Baptists and the history of the Protestant church movement. I want to thank Jim for the quotes and for allowing me to insert these two quotes onto my "The Local Church" thread.

The quotes from John Clark Ridpath and Professor William C. Duncan are historically correct. Protestant churches came out of the Reformation Movement, typically dated from 1520, of individuals who came out of the Roman Catholic Church and started their own denominational system.

A true genuine local church is not part of any denominational system, originated from the Lord Jesus Christ, John the Baptist (hence the title Baptist), and the apostles, and have the Bible as their guide and final authority in all matters of faith and practice, never came out of the Roman Catholic Church, was in existence (whether acknowledged in a Church History book or not), since the days of the apostles, and should not be referred to as a "Protestant" church.

 

Edited by Alan
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In looking through my resource material I cam across this article from the US Census that I thought might give a good addition to your local church thread. I will include more as I search for material.

Bureau of Census for 1926 United States Department of Commerce

"It is a distinct principle with Baptists that they acknowledge no human founder, recognize no human authority, and subscribe to no human creed. For all these things, Baptists of every name and order go back to the New Testament. And while no competent Baptist historian assumes to be able to trace a succession of Baptist churches through the ages, most of them are of one accord in believing that, if we could secure the records, there would be found heroic groups of believers in every age who upheld with their testimonies and, in many cases, with their lives, the great outstanding and distinctive principles of the Baptist churches of today."

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Bro. Alan, since this thread has been ongoing for quite some time I thought it may be helpful for those who were not here when this began to link them back to a reply I made early on. If you remember it was the one where I could not post my lesson because of forum formatting messing up my text. You were able to post it in its entirety and the link to it is HERE.

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On 9/13/2018 at 9:35 PM, Alan said:

Omega,

I appreciate your thoughts.

The above quotation from you is the the same thought in one my future lessons on the local church. In one of my previous lessons I mentioned that the Lord Jesus is the invisible head of the local church: Revelation 1:11. Eventually, I hope, we will be discussing that all of the 7 churches in Asia, Revelation 1:11-3:22, were local churches. A lot of the churches in our age, as you said, are "... a little more than social get-togethers." 

I appreciate your comments. They are a helpful addition to this study.

Alan

Brethren,

As I previously mentioned, "...eventually..." we will discuss the 7 churches in Asia as recorded in Revelation 1:11 to chapter 3:22.

I am in the process of starting this study on the 7 churches in Asia.

So, please study Revelation 1:11 to chapter 3:22 in preparation for this study on the local church.

God bless you all.

Alan
 

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Revelation 1:4 & 11, “The Seven Churches in Asia.”

Introduction

“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 1:9

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The Island of Patmos & the 7 Churches in Asia

Courtesy of:

https: //holybooks-lichtenbergpress.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Bible-Atlas.pdf

The book of Revelation is a marvelous, wonderful, and prophetic, book given by inspiration of God. By a careful reading of the visions of the Book of Revelation, and a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Old Testament prophecies, and the New Testament prophecies, a saint can know the correct interpretation of the visions therein and understand the work of God from before  the creation of the universe, to eternity in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

In this study of the local church, we will concentrate on only those passages that pertain to the New Testament church in the following topics: (1) Who the Book of Revelation was written to. (2) Who the Book of Revelation was not written to. (3) The special promise given to all of the churches. (4) The calling out of the New Testament Church from the earth. (5) Specific reasons why the church-age saints are not in the ‘times of Jacob’s trouble,’ or commonly called, ‘The 7-Year Tribulation Period.’

Edited by Alan
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Who the Book of Revelation was written to.

While imprisoned on the island of Patmos, for his Christian testimony, the apostle John addressed the Book of Revelation to the seven churches in Asia, “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne.” Revelation 1:4

The seven churches in Asia are listed in Revelation 1:11 by the words of the Lord Jesus, “Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.”

The Lord Jesus is very clear that there were seven literal churches in seven literal cities in Asia (called Asia Minor in our age). Concerning the seven churches as spoken by the Lord in Revelation 1:11, John R. Rice states, “These seven churches were literal congregations in seven cites. Of course, all churches and all individuals can get help from the divine revelation here.” i John R. Rice is correct in his comments. Not only were there seven literal congregations, but we, every church and every individual saint, since the time the Book of Revelation was written, can draw help, comfort, admonitions, and direction, from these seven churches as spoken of by the Lord.

In his, Commentary on Revelation, Oliver B. Greene states that the seven churches were local assemblies and were representative of the moral character of the churches throughout the history of the church. Greene states, “The messages to these seven churches were directed to the seven local assemblies there in Asia Minor at the time John received the Revelation; but it is equally clear that they were representative of the whole Church, not only at any given moment during her stay here on earth, but also in the successive moral stages of the history of the Church up to the moment the Church will be caught up to meet the Lord Jesus in the air.”ii

All of the seven churches in Asia members were saints, or, saved people. The book, “The Trail of Blood,” by J. M. Carroll, under the section, “MARKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH,” states, “5. Its members – only saved people. (Eph 2:21; 1 Peter 2:5.).” iii

In Revelation 2:1 through 3:22 it is very clear that all of these seven churches were local in scope and authority and were independent of one another.

All of these churches were under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ as its Head. Concerning Christ being the head of the church, the apostle Paul said, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18

All of these churches were given the task of the transmission of the Book of Revelation. Hence, the scriptures themselves.

Revelation 3:13 states, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” This admonition was given to all of the local churches in every country and in every age. Therefore, every saint, in every church, should carefully hear what the Holy Spirit is saying.

The Lord Jesus is in the midst of the seven churches. “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” Revelation 1:13

The Lord Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

 

i Rice, John R., “Behold He Cometh! A Verse-by-Verse Commentary on the Book of Revelation.” (Murfreesboro, TN: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1977), page 29.

ii Greene, Oliver B., Revelation - Verse by Verse Study, (Greenville, SC: The Gospel Hour, 1968), page 41.

iii Carroll, J. M. The Trail of Blood. n.p., n.d., page 5.

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Who the Book of Revelation was not addressed to.

A careful note of who the Book of Revelation was not addressed to, nor even mentioned, will help us understand Church History, Church Authority, and to whom the Church should avoid.

In my previous study on the book of Titus here on Online Baptist, I had mentioned the biblical definition of the word, ‘Bishop.’ Here is the link to that study:

 

 

 

Here is the quote from the Titus Study on the word, ‘Bishop. “It is also of utmost importance to see that the title of elder, bishop and pastor are interchangeable terms for the same office. Please note in verse 5 Paul states, “... and ordain elders in every city...” then in verse 7, in speaking of the same office, Paul states, “... For a bishop...” And, in talking about the offices of the church, Paul in Ephesians 4:11, says “... pastors and teachers.” Please note that Paul said in Ephesians 4:11 “...pastors...” instead of the word bishop or elder for the same office.”

B. H. Carroll said, “To effectually bring about and consummate this unholy union [ a union of Church and State ], a council was called. In A. D. 313, a call was made for a coming together of the Christian churches or their representatives. Many but not all came. The alliance was consummated. A Hierarchy was formed. In the organization of the Hierarchy, Christ was dethroned as head of the churches and Emperor Constantine enthroned (only temporarily, however) as head of the church.” 1

The current tradition of having bishops or elders, like the Catholic, Presbyterian, Mormon, and other denominations, over several churches is not of the Lord. It is a tradition of man. It is not a New Testament doctrine or tradition. The creation of a religious hierarchy takes away the Lord Jesus from being the head of the church to man being the authority. Instead of following the scriptures, the pastor of the local church has to follow the dictates of the organization. Instead of the local church members owning the property, and the contents of the church, the denomination owns the property and the contents of the church. Instead of following the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the pastor and the members, must follow the leadership of the denomination and follow the religious teachings of the denomination.

Since the formation of a church hierarchy, starting with the Roman Catholic Church, the definition and office of the Bishop was changed from being the pastor of one local church to the overseer of numerous churches in an given region in order to control the local church. In this study we will call the denominational term for a Bishop as, ‘denominational Bishop.’

The Book of Revelation was not written to a denominational Bishop.

The Book of Revelation was not written to a denomination.

The Book of Revelation was not written to any religious hierarchy of any sort.

Also, there is not book in the New Testament that was addressed to, or even mentioned about, a denominational Bishop, a denomination, or a religious hierarchy of any sort. In the Body of Christ, in a local church, there are no denominational bishops, denominations, or a religious hierarchy. All of the denominational bishops, denominations, and religious hierarchies, are man-made institutions.

1Carroll, J. M., The Trail of Blood. n. p., n.d., page 16.

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