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Pastor Scott Markle

Independent Fundamental Baptist
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Everything posted by Pastor Scott Markle

  1. Brother "Invicta" (I am curious about the name), I do not believe that the position of complete isolation from unbelievers (whether a family member, or not) is the Biblical position. Although 1 Corinthians 5 primarily deals with our separation from professing believers who engage in immorality (fornication, covetousness, idolatry, railing, drunkenness, extortion, etc.), in verses 9-10 it does speak concerning our separation from unbelievers, and in particular from unbelievers who engage in immorality. In verse 9 the apostle Paul indicated that he had previously written to instruct them not to company with those who engage in immorality. However, in verse 10 he added a provision concerning the matter of unbelievers who engage in immorality, saying, "Yet not altogether from the fornicators [immoral] of this world." The opening three words indicate that we are not to isolate ourselves completely (all-together) from the immoral unbelievers of this world. In fact, the closing portion of verse 10 indicates that the only way in which we could actually accomplish such a complete (all-together) isolation is to leave the world -- "For then must ye needs go out of the world." Upon this Biblical foundation, I would then have to counsel those who desire such a complete isolation from unbelievers, and even from unbelievers who engage in various and sundry forms of immorality, that they need then to ask the Lord to remove them from this world. Yet I would also have to counsel them that this is not the Lord's foundational intent for their lives. Indeed, when our Lord Jesus Christ prayed in John 17 unto the Father concerning His disciples and their relationship to this present evil world, He did not pray for the Father to remove them from this world. In fact, He very specifically prayed otherwise, saying, "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." (John 17:15) It is not our Lord's desire that we should be taken out of the world, nor is it His desire that we should have all-together no contact or "company" with the world. However, it is most certainly our Lord's desire that our character and conduct should be kept back and guarded from the evil of this present evil world.
  2. Brother "Covenanter," I thank you for your suggestion; however . . . 1. Since your suggestion is not IFB, it does not fulfill my interest. 2. I myself am convinced against the Preterist position. 3. I myself am definitely dispensational in position, although not in a hyper manner.
  3. Weekly Sermon This sermon is a companion to four previous sermons: Be Not Conformed to This World (Part 1) - Romans 12:2 Be Not Conformed to This World (Part 2) - Romans 12:2 Be Not Conformed to This World (Part 3) - Romans 12:2 Be Not Conformed to This World (Part 4) - Romans 12:2 Romans 12:1-2 reads, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” In Romans 12:1 God the Holy Spirit pleads with us to present ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. Then in verse 2 God the Holy Spirit gives us two commands that we must obey if we are truly to present ourselves to live unto the Lord our God. The first of these two commands is found in the opening portion of the verse – “And be not conformed to this world.” The word “conformed” means “to be formed together,” that is – “to be made into the same form, or to be brought into agreement.” Brethren, we are not to have the same form as this present evil world; and we are not to be in agreement with this present evil world. We are not to think like this world thinks, feel like this world feels, behave like this world behaves, talk like this world talks, or look like this world looks. We are not to have the same philosophy, the same priorities, the same purposes, the same desires, the same interests, the same habits, or the activities that this world has. Brethren, we are not to make our decisions or have our mind set like this world does. We are to “be not conformed to this world.” Yet the question might be asked – Why are we not to be conformed to this world, and how important is it to our Christian lives that we not be conformed unto this world? God’s holy Word reveals a great number of answers to this question. Already in the first three parts of this message (see above), we have considered nine of these answers. We are to “be not conformed to this world” (1) because this world stands opposed to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, (2) because this world stands opposed to true Christianity and the true followers of Christ, (3) because this world is willfully without God, (4) because this world is under Satan’s deception, (5) because this world is following Satan’s direction, (6) because this world is evil and wicked by nature, (7) because we have been delivered out of this world, (8) because we are not of this world, but of the Lord our God, and (9) because we are to be the spiritual light of the world. Answer #10: We are not to be conformed unto this world because this world will corrupt our Christian lives. In Colossians 2:8 the warning is given, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Brethren, let us take serious note of the warnings in God’s Holy Word. Let us “BEWARE!” Let us be on our guard. Let us be awake and alert to the things that will “spoil” us. “Beware lest any man spoil you.” Let us take note that we will be spoiled “through philosophy and vain deceit.” Let us take note that this “philosophy and vain deceit” is “after the tradition of men.” It encompasses the ideas and opinions of men that are “not after Christ.” It is the so-called “wisdom of men” that stands opposed to the wisdom of God as revealed in the Word of God. Let us take note that these philosophies of men, these ideas and opinions of men, this so-called “wisdom of men,” is “vain deceit.” It is not the truth of God. It is the deception of the devil. It is not healthy and wholesome for our Christian lives. It is “vain deceit.” It is empty and worthless deception. It is destructive and damaging to our Christian lives. It will “spoil” our Christian lives. Even so, let us take note that these philosophies of men are “the rudiments of the world.” The so-called “wisdom of men” that is directed by the destructive deception of the devil is the very foundation and first principles of this world’s system. Yea, let us take to heart and take heed to the warning of our Lord God’s Holy Word – that the things of this world will “spoil” us. Again I say – Let us “BEWARE!” Let us flee fast and far from these things. Let us “be not conformed to this world,” for it will spoil and corrupt our Christian lives. Furthermore, 1 John 2:15 the command is given, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. [Why?] If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Brethren, love for this world and for the things of this world will destroy our love for the Lord our God and heavenly Father. Even so, in Luke 16:13 our Lord Jesus Christ delivered the warning, saying, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon [the things of this world].” We cannot love both the world and the Lord our God at the same time. We must choose. If we “love the world, the love of the Father is not” in us. If we choose to be conformed unto this present evil world, if we set our affection upon the things of this present evil world, if we love this present evil world and hold to the things of this present evil world, then we will hate and despise our Lord and the things of the Lord. Indeed, the two words “hate” and “despise” are the very words of contrast that our Lord Jesus Christ presented in Luke 16:13. Is it any wonder that so many professing believers have so little love and respect for the things of the Lord? Is it any wonder that so many professing believers actually hate and despise the things of the Lord? Is it any wonder that so many professing believers do not demonstrate their love for the Lord by keeping His commandments? It is because their love is set upon the world. It is because they are holding to this world. It is because they are being conformed to this world. Yes, to love this world and to be conformed to this world will corrupt our Christian lives. It will destroy our love and obedience to our Lord. In fact, it will turn our hearts to hate and despise our Lord and the things of our Lord. Certainly then, we should “be not conformed to this world.” Finally, we find from God’s Holy Word that a love for this world and for the things of this world will destroy our service and fruitfulness for our Lord. In Mark 4:3-9 our Lord Jesus Christ told “the parable of the sower,” saying – “Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: and it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: but when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Then in Mark 4:18-19 our Lord Jesus Christ gave His own explanation concerning the third ground from “the parable of the sower,” saying, “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” Brethren, we are the servants of the Lord our God and Savior. Our Lord has chosen us and ordained us that we “should go and bring forth fruit.” (John 15:16) We have been called to be “steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) Yet, as our Lord declared in Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters.” We cannot serve both the Lord our God and the things of this world at the same time. By definition, it is spiritually impossible. Is it any wonder then that so many professing believers give themselves so little to serve the Lord their God and Savior? Is it any wonder then that so many professing believers bring forth so little fruit unto the glory of God? Is it any wonder then that so many professing believers bring forth “no fruit to perfection”? It is because their hearts and lives are filled with, and “choked” by “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things.” It is because their affections are set upon the things of this world. It is because they are holding to, and are entangled by the things of this world. Certainly then, we should “be not conformed to this world.” This world and the things of this world will “spoil” our Christian lives, destroy our love for the Lord, and “choke out” our service and fruitfulness for our Lord. This world and the things of this world will cause us to forsake our Lord and the things of our Lord, even as they did in the life of Demas. Even so, in 2 Timothy 4:10 the apostle Paul had to give the sad report – “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica.” Because he set his love upon this world and upon the things of this world, Demas forsook the man of God and the work of the Lord. The world corrupted his Christian life, and it will do the same to yours. Posted in Weekly Sermon, Romans, Separation, Godly Priorities, Sin of Materialism, Rebellion against God Please share this post with others: View the full article
  4. Brother Jerry, My set of questions were not intended to trick or trap you. However, they were intended to test your position, even as I am instructed to do in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 and 1 John 4:1. Throughout your engagement in this discussion, you appeared to be advocating a position of complete isolation from unbelievers. Yet I was not completely sure that I was understanding you correctly. Since Proverbs 18:13 indicates that we should not answer a matter before we seek for greater understanding thereof, I posed pointed, precise questions to you in order to acquire a more precise, pointed understanding of your position. Concerning the two categories of questions that I posed, I am aware that the true answers are to be found through the precepts and principles of God's Holy Word. However, I was not actually seeking for the Biblical answers to the matter. I was actually seeking for your answers to the matter, in order that I might more fully understand your position on the matter.
  5. Brother Jerry, Indeed, Brother Spurgeon's devotional is a great help concerning the matter in question. I just did not understand how it applied to the issue of family relationships as was posed in my questions. That your presentation of Brother Spurgeon's devotional was not intended as a response to my questions is helpful to know. In fact, Brother Spurgeon's devotional speaks concerning the case of King Jehoshaphat as recorded in both 1 Kings 22:48-49 and 2 Chronicles 20:35-37, wherein Jehoshaphat king of Judah (a righteous king) chose to send trade ships unto Ophir as a business venture in order to acquire gold. However, in this venture King Jehoshaphat also chose to join in a business partnership with Ahaziah king of Israel (a wicked king). Clearly, the Biblical account indicates that the Lord our God did not approve of King Jehoshaphat's buisness partnership with this wicked king, and that therefore the Lord our God prevented this business venture from having any measure of success. I believe that this is a great Biblical example to illustrate that joining in a business partnership with an unbeliever is an unequal yoking which our Lord forbids and disapproves. Indeed, I am in direct union with this application of the Biblical principle, as revealed through my comments in post #40:
  6. Sister Linda, God forbid! I am actually indicating the exact opposite. Grammatically, my statements includes a double negative -- "I am not allowing any room for the thought that Biblical repentance is not necessary for salvation." To rephrase this statement -- Concerning the thought that Biblical repentance is not necessary for salvation, in the questions of this thread I am not allowing any room for that thought. I pray that this helps to explain my purpose in the statement under question.
  7. Brother Jerry, Is this quote from Brother Spurgeon your answer to my questions concerning my relationship to my (hypothetical) unbelieving parents and to my (hypothetical) unbelieving wife? If a fellow believer approached you with the questions that I posed, would this quote from Brother Spurgeon (along with your added underlining emphasis) be your answer to them? Would you simply hand them this quote, and indicate that it provides the answer to their questions? When I myself am approached by a member of the flock at Melvin Baptist Chruch with the questions that I posed, is it your counsel that I should deliver Brother Spurgeon's quote to them as the answer to their questions? Brother, I am seeking to understand your intent. I asked two categories of questions, wherein was included a significant number of questions for each category. These questions, although hypothetical to my own personal life, are real to the lives of members at Melvin Baptist Church. To these questions you responded with Brother Spurgeon's quote. Is this your complete answer to the matter of my questions?
  8. The thread concerning "What is a NT Church" has recently veered off topic to the matter of repentance for salvation. I believe that is best to handle this matter in its own thread; therefore, I am presenting it here. If those who have already commented concerning this matter on the other thread wish to transfer their comments to this one, it would be of benefit. Thank you. Now, the question that I present herein is two-fold: First, what is the Biblical definition of repentance for salvation? Second, what does repentance for salvation actually look like in a real application? (Please note that although I fully recognize that Biblical repentance is regularly necessary for spiritual growth in a believer's life, I am only asking concerning the matter of repentance for salvation; and yes, I am not allowing any room for the thought that Biblical repentance is not necessary for salvation.)
  9. Brother Jerry and Brother John, Mr. Barnes' is certainly not my authority for belief and behavior; therefore, I do not bring his thoughts forward with any reliance upon them. However, his thoughts have been presented with a request for an examination of them. Mr. Barnes' third point of non-application concerning the principle of not unequally yoking together with unbelievers dealt with the matter of family relationships. Thus I ask the following of you men, in order that I might comprehend more fully your personal understanding and application of the Biblical principle: 1. If my own parents are unbelievers, how should I apply the principle to not be unequally yoked together with them? Should I have no contact with them whatsoever? Should I refuse to visit them at their home, or to allow them to visit me at my home? Should I refuse to speak with them over the telephone? Or, can/should I have some level of contact or "company" with them? If I can/should have some level of contact or "company" with them, where is the line to be drawn against unequal yoking with them? (Note: This is not actually my case; however, it is the case of various members at Melvin Baptist Church. How would you advise these members to apply the Biblical principle in their relationship with their own parents?) 2. If my own wife is an unbeliever, how should I apply the principle to not be unequally yoked together with her? I recognize that you might indicate that I should never have married her initially. However, we were both unbelievers at the time of our marriage; and now I have received the Lord as Savior, while she has not. Should I now divorce her in order to no longer be unequally yoked together with her? If I should remain married to her, how do I apply the Biblical principle in my daily marriage relationship with her? (Again note: This is not actually my case; however, it is the case of some members at Melvin Baptist Church. How would you advise these members to apply the Biblical principle in their relationship with their own spouse?)
  10. Brother Dave, Concerning Mr. Barnes' listing of acceptable involvements with unbelievers -- 1. I would agree that we can engage in "commercial transactions and professional engagements" within the market place, as long as we do not compromise any Biblical principles of righteousness or ethics, and as long as we do not enter into committed business partnerships with unbelievers. For example, not being unequally yoked does not prohibit my use of electricy from an unbeliever's electric company, or my purchase of groceries from an unbeliever's grocery store, or my ordering a burger from the unbeliever at the fast-food restaurant counter, or my working next to a unbelieving co-worker at the local factory, or my hiring of an unbeliever to reshingle my roof, etc. 2. I am a little less comfortable with the matter of partnerships in "literary and scientific pursuits," partially because I am not exactly certain what is meant by this statement. I am quite certain that believers should not enter into joint scientific endeavors with unbelievers when the matter concerns creation versus evolution in any fashion. On the other hand, I believe that a believer could work with an unbeliever in scientific realms of technology, invention, medication, etc. However, even herein a believer must be very careful to not compromise Biblical principles, since the Biblical view versus the modern view is not only in contradiction concerning "origins," but also concerning such things as the environmentalist agenda, the humanistic psychological agenda, etc. Furthermore, I would contend that a believer should not enter into a joint scientific/technological partnership with an unbeliever. Finally, I myself cannot think of any literary endeavor today wherein the Biblical view and the worldly view of literature would not come into conflict. I would certainly contend that a believer should not enter into the joint partnership of being a joint author with an unbeliever, or of holding a joint royalty with an unbeliever. These are some thoughts on the first two of Mr. Barnes' list for you to consider. I will get to the others on the list somewhat later.
  11. Concerning the Biblical prohibition against being "unequally yoked together with unbelievers," I would present the following applications: First, we must understand that this prohibition specifically concerns our relationships with unbelievers. It does not speak at all concerning our relationships with other believers (although other portions of Scripture do indeed teach some level of separation from other believers at times). Second, considering the illustrative picture of "yoking together," I would contend that this prohibition concerns those relationships wherein we would be committed (yoked) to walk together in some form of work effort. This would include: 1. We should not enter into any joint ministry effort in the work of the Lord with unbelievers. Certainly, unbelievers can engage in good religious efforts and good philanthropic efforts. However, unbelievers by defintion cannot engage in "the work of the Lord." The work of the Lord requires spiritual life, spiritual character, spiritual guidance, and spiritual empowerment. Unbelievers by definition are spiritually "dead in trespasses and sins" (See Ephesians 2:1-3); therefore, they possess none of these requirements. (Note: I believe that this is the primary application of 2 Corinthians 6:14 within the context of 2 Corinthians.) 2. We should not enter into the life-time commitment of marriage with an unbeliever. In order to develop and maintain a marriage as the Lord our God intends, a husband and wife must pursue a one-flesh relationship with one another. How can they genuinely accomplish this objective if one possesses spiritual life while the other is spiritually dead? Even so, I would also contend that a believer should never even enter into a "dating" type relationship with an unbeliever. (Parents, please take note!) A "dating" relationship by definition is an exclusive relationship between two, wherein others are not supposed to have equal access. Thus it is a type of commitment (yoking), even if present society casually views this commitment as easily discardable (That might be a new English word; thus I provide its definition - able to be discarded.) (Truly, the whole matter of "dating" relationships is a significant discussion for another thread.) 3. We should not enter into a joint business partnership with an unbeliever. This would not include business arrangements within the common market-place wherein there is simply an exchange of goods, serivices, or monies. This would include long-term partnerships wherein a conflict of spiritual interest will arise, concerning such matters as integrity of business, a godly work atmosphere, the right use of time, money, personnel, etc. However, it is to be acknowledged that there is some aspect of "grey" area in this matter. Thus I would present the truth that whatsoever is not of faith is certainly sin (See Romans 14:23). 4. We should not enter into intimate friendships with unbelievers. This would not forbid general acquaintances or interactions. However, according to Scripture intimate friends are intended to provide spiritual companionship (fellowship), comfort, counsel, and correction. As we have previously indicated, an unbeliever by definition cannot provide these things on a spiritual level. Therefore, the commitment (yoking) of intimate friendship should not be made with them. I pray that this will help to answer your question concerning application. As I have more time, I yet intend to present some thoughts concerning Mr. Barnes' commentary and listing. (Note concerning edit: Arrgh! Far too many grammatical and spelling errors.)
  12. Brother Matt, The Lord our God does indeed reward those who walk in the righteousness of His blessed fellowship, although this blessing is not always in the form of physical blessing. In fact, I often present to the flock here at Melvin Baptist that the Lord our God had set before the children of Israel a promised land, but has now promised to the New Testament believer a promised life (See John 10:9-10). Thus for the children of Israel in the Old Testament, the blessings of righteousness often related to the abundance of the land; whereas for the New Testament beleiver, the blessings of righteousness primarily relate to the abundance of the Christian life (i.e. spiritual peace, spiritual joy, spiritual guidance, spiritual empowerment, etc.). On the other hand, if we believers, as the very children of God, do not walk in the righteousness of His fellowship, then most certainly the Lord our God and heavenly Father will reproove us, chasten us, and even "scourge" us (See Hebrews 12:6-8). Concerning this matter of divine chastening, there is no exception for the disobedienct child of God. (Now, it should be understood that this matter of "chastening" is not to be applied unto the unbeliever, who is not actually one of the Father's own children.) Concerning your study, I would be more than happy to give "feedback" as our Lord might graciously permit.
  13. Brother Dave, In making your request for "examples of living separated lives unto God," are you still focusing on the original instruction of 2 Corinthians 6:14 to be "not unequally yoked together with unbelievers;" or are you also now including the instruction of Romans 12:2 to also "be not conformed to this world"? I ask because the issue in 2 Corinthians 6:14 concerns the "yoking" of our companionships, whereas the issue of Romans 12:2 concerns the confomity of our character and conduct. Therefore, understanding your intent can help in providing an appropriate answer.
  14. Brother Dave, I thank you for your encouragement concerning my material. At this time, in accord with an agreement between Brother Matt and myself, my daily (Monday-Friday) Bible study blog will continue on the auto feed. My present posting schedule is as follows: Monday - A weekly sermon, written out in paragraph format. Teusday - A thought for meditation, with supporting Scripture. Wednesday - A devotional meditation, presently in either Exodus or Jeremiah. Thursday - An Bible study outine in the Psalms. Friday - A Bible study in the Proverbs.
  15. Proverbs for Life The book of the Proverbs is often described and defined as a book of wisdom, in contrast to the way of foolish-ness. Yet the book of the Proverbs also has much to say concerning the way of righteousness, in contrast to the way of wickedness. In fact, within the context of the book of the Proverbs, the way of wisdom is presented as being directly equivalent to the way of righteousness; and the way of foolishness is presented as being directly equivalent to the way of wickedness. Even so, throughout the listing of proverbial statements in Proverbs 11, we find a number of truths concerning the benefits of righteousness (in contrast to the detriments of wickedness). 1. The Direction for the Righteous. Proverbs 11:3 – “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” Proverbs 11:5 – “The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.” Proverbs 11:19 – “As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.” 2. The Deliverance of the Righteous. Proverbs 11:4 – “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.” Proverbs 11:6 – “The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.” Proverbs 11:8-9 – “The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead. An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.” Proverbs 11:21 – “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.” 3. The Delight in the Righteous. Proverbs 11:10 – “When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.” Proverbs 11:20 – “They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.” Proverbs 11:30 – “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” 4. The Dessert (Reward) to the Righteous. Proverbs 11:18 – “The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.” Proverbs 11:23 – “The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.” Proverbs 11:28 – “He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.” Proverbs 11:31 – “Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.” Posted in Proverbs for Life, Walk in Righteousness, Spiritual Guidance, Deliverance of Our Lord, Delight of the Lord, Blessing of the Lord Please share this post with others: View the full article
  16. Are there any other Independent, Fundamental Baptist forums that you frequent and find spiritually edifying?
  17. Concerning our Lord Jesus Christ and the accusation that he was a "friend of sinners," two balancing points should be considered. 1. The Jewish leaders made this accusation in order to imply that our Lord Jesus Christ sinfully engaged in friendship with sinners (that is -- from the Jewish leaders' perspective, the publicans and sinners), meaning that He had friendship fellowship with them in their sinfulness. This implication was certainly false for Him "who knew no sin;" and it remains false today, by whatever formula it is presented. 2. However, this accusation had some validity in that our Lord Jesus Christ was friendly to sinners (even to the publicans and sinners), meaning that He came lovingly, graciously, and mercifully to seek and to save sinners from their sinfulness through His shed blood and sacrificial death on the cross. In this sense, He certainly did not remain completely isolated from sinners; for then He would simply not have come to this sinfully wicked world at all.
  18. Brother Matt, Thus far I have not engaged at all in the discussion/debate concerning the start of the local "New Testament Church." I especially have avoided any such reference in this thread because that was not your original question for the thread. I am certainly interested in having a thoughtful, Biblical discussion thereof (and have followed the comments on the other thread concerning this topic). Since at the present momentI do not have enough time to give an extended response to your above thoughts, I will simply present a very summarized statement concerning my present position: I believe that the local "New Testament Church" was conceived in the "womb" of Christ's earthly ministry, and then was birthed (empowered) unto growth in world-wide ministry at Pentecost. I also believe that Christ's baptism (that which was administered under His direct authority) was a confirmation and continuation of John's baptism, and that Christ's first disciples had actually started as disciples of John under his baptism (See John 1:29-42).
  19. Outlines in Psalms Psalm 30:5 reads, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Only as we walk in the favor of our Lord's fellowship can we experience and enjoy the abundant Christian life. Therefore, it is important that we not walk in self-confidence; for the Lord our God "resisteth the proud, but giveth grace [favor] unto the humble." (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5; Proverbs 3:34; Psalm 138:6) I. The Report of Self-Confidence Psalm 30:6 – “And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.” II. The Reality of Our Lord’s Grace. Psalm 30:7a – “LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong.” III. The Reproof of Our Lord’s Chastening. Psalm 30:7b – “Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.” IV. The Repentance of Humble Confession. Psalm 30:8-10 – “I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? Shall it declare thy truth? Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.” V. The Restoration of Our Lord’s Forgiveness. Psalm 30:11 – “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.” VI. The Rejoicing of God-Confidence. Psalm 30:12 – “To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.” Posted in Outlines in Psalms, Fellowship with the Lord, Biblical Humility, Self Dependence, Grace and Mercy of God, Judgment of Our Lord, Repentance of Sin, Forgiveness of Sin, Trust in God, Praising Our Lord Please share this post with others: View the full article
  20. Brother "irishman," To find an answer for your question from the Scriptures themselves, it appears best to consider David's divisions of the Levites as recorded in 1 Chronicles 23-26. In 1 Chronicles 23:3-5 we read, "Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand. Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were officers and judges: moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith." Now, although they are a part of the Levites, the sons of Aaron were set apart from this group of divisions, as revealed in 1 Chronicles 23:13 -- "The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the LORD, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever." Considering this, I would conclude that the Aaronic priesthood (the sons/children of Aaron) would be classified as the priests of the first order. Thus I would conclude that "the priests of the second order" are those mentioned in 1 Chronicles 23:4 who were "to set forward the work of the house of the LORD." To me, this conclusion would fit well within the context of 2 Kings 23:4; for therein "the priests of the second order" (along with the porters -- See 1 Chronicles 26) were called to "clean out" the temple. I pray that this may be of some help.
  21. Meditations in Jeremiah Jeremiah 22:21 reads, “I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice.” As I read this, it appeared to present an almost perfect commentary concerning the character of our United States’ society. Yet this commentary is not simply appropriate concerning our ungodly society, but also concerning the worldly character of so many churches in the United States. In its immediate context, Jeremiah 22:21 is included within a divine pronouncement of judgment against two kings of Judah. Jeremiah 22:13-19 presents our Lord’s judgment against Jehoiakim king of Judah. Then Jeremiah 22:14-30 presents our Lord’s judgment against Coniah (Jehoiachin), the son of Jehoiakim. Since our Lord’s judgment is pronounced against both men for the same basic reason, let us consider the issue as a single context in relation to its application upon our present-day society and our present-day churches. The Case of Prosperity In the opening line of Jeremiah 22:21, our Lord presented the case, saying, “I spake unto thee in thy prosperity.” For generations the United States has experienced an extended period of material prosperity. Certainly, there have been recession periods since the Great Depression. Yet the United States has materially recovered each time and has returned to a position of material prosperity. Even in the present economic struggles, the poor class of the United States on average in materially more prosperous than the middle class in most of the other countries throughout the world. Yea, even many of the welfare recipients in the United States today have an abundance of recreational possessions. Indeed, the churches of the United States have also entered into the experience and enjoyment of this material prosperity. Certainly then, for generations the Lord God of heaven and earth has spoken unto us in our prosperity. The Call of the Lord Again in the opening line of Jeremiah 22:21, our Lord presented His call, saying, “I spake unto thee in thy prosperity.” For generations the truth of God’s Holy Word has been dispersed throughout the society and churches of the United States. Certainly, there has been no shortage of opportunity for the members of our society and our churches to hear the call of the Lord our God. Certainly, our society and our churches are without any excuse in this matter. Yet material prosperity is a very distracting force to turn our hearts away from spiritual principles. Thus in Matthew 6:24 our Lord Jesus Christ gave the warning, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” The Characteristic of Rebellion In fact, in their material prosperity both Jehoiakim and Coniah his son rebelled against the Lord’s Word and refused to obey it. In the closing portion of Jeremiah 22:21, our Lord gave the report and rebuke, saying, “But thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice.” Yea, in Coniah’s case he had been raised through his father’s example to love material prosperity and therein rebel against the Lord’s Word, so that he walked in that rebellion from the time of his youth. Even so, both the society of the United States and even the churches of the United States have been enjoying their material prosperity and therein rebelling against our Lord’s Word for generations. Point after point after point could be brought forward in order to demonstrate that rebellion by both our society and our churches. The Cause of Rebellion So then, what is the foundational cause of this rebellion? It is the spirit of covetousness that is corrupting and consuming us. In Jeremiah 22:17 our Lord revealed this foundational cause through His rebuke of Jehoiakim, saying, “But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.” Herein our Lord even indicated that Jehoiakim was willing to engage in the shedding of innocent blood, and in oppression, and in violence, all in order “to do” (that is – to fulfill) the desires of his covetousness. Indeed, Jehoiakim has observed a more righteous way in the character and conduct of his father. In fact, in Jeremiah 22:15-16 our Lord had confronted Jehoiakim with the more righteous ways of his father, saying, “Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? Did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him? He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the LORD.” Yet Jehoiakim had rebelled against this righteous way. Rather, he had given over his eyes and his heart to only one focus and objective – “But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness.” He lived for this one thing – covetousness, the driving love for personal and material advancement. Indeed, is this not the very character of our society and even of our churches in the United States? The Curse of the Lord Therefore, in Jeremiah 22:13-14 the Lord our God pronounced His curse upon such, saying, “Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work; that saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.” Shall we continue to prosper simply because we have accumulated and do continue to accumulate great material wealth. “Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar?” Psalm 37:16-17 – “A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.” Psalm 49:6-9 – “They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) that he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.” Psalm 52:5-7 – “God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah. The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him: Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.” Posted in Meditations in Jeremiah, Rebellion against God, Sin of Materialism, Judgment of Our Lord Please share this post with others: View the full article
  22. The apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit to the exact same group of believers -- "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." In fact, according to this passage of Scripture, we are to separate even more strongly from immoral brethren, than from the immoral of this world.
  23. Thought for Meditation If we refuse or neglect to confess our sinful behavior with a heart of repentance, but deny, excuse, blameshift, or downplay the unrighteousness and guiltiness of our sin, we are by definition hardening our heart in rebellion against the Lord our God. Proverbs 28:13-14 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. Jeremiah 18:11-12 Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good. And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart. Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Posted in Thought for Meditation, Rebellion against God, Repentance of Sin Please share this post with others: View the full article
  24. Having a little bit of time this afternoon, I thought that I might respond to my own post in answering the other two questions concerning the definition of a "New Testament Church." In accord with the teaching of the New Testament, I would conclude that an "official" member, in accord with Christ's authority, of a local "New Testament Church" would be a Biblically baptized believer. This conclusion is indicated by our Lord's commission in Matthew 28:19-20 and is illustrated in the Biblical account of Acts 2:41-42. The order that we find through these two passages is first that individuals became converts through faith in Christ (believers), second that these converts were Biblically baptized, third that they were considered as added with the local church body, and finally that they continued with the local church body in assembling in order they might grow in all things whatsoever the Lord had commanded. (It is important to note here that by definition the Greek word for baptism requires immersion. Even so, any other mode that is called "baptism" is by definition falsely so-called. It is also important to note here that Biblical baptism is always administered to believers only -- thus "believer's baptism.") Furthermore, in accord with the teaching of the New Testament, I would conclude that the "work" which our Lord has assigned to His assembly, the local "New Testament Church," is encompassed under two broad categories. The first broad category is to gather for the spiritual edification of one another (See Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 10:24-25; Matthew 28:20). The second broad category is to go for the gospel evangelism of the lost world (See Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8). Thus I might present my definition of the "New Testament Church" as "a local assembly of Biblically baptized believers, called out by the divine authority of our Lord Jesus Christ to do His work of gathering for spiritual edification of one another and of going for the gospel evangelism of the lost world."
  25. Weekly Sermon This sermon is a companion to three previous sermons: Be Not Conformed to This World (Part 1) - Romans 12:2 Be Not Conformed to This World (Part 2) - Romans 12:2 Be Not Conformed to This World (Part 3) - Romans 12:2 Romans 12:1-2 reads, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” In Romans 12:1 God the Holy Spirit pleads with us to present ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. Then in verse 2 God the Holy Spirit gives us two commands that we must obey if we are truly to present ourselves to live unto the Lord our God. The first of these two commands is found in the opening portion of the verse – “And be not conformed to this world.” The word “conformed” means “to be formed together,” that is – “to be made into the same form, or to be brought into agreement.” Brethren, we are not to have the same form as this present evil world; and we are not to be in agreement with this present evil world. We are not to think like this world thinks, feel like this world feels, behave like this world behaves, talk like this world talks, or look like this world looks. We are not to have the same philosophy, the same priorities, the same purposes, the same desires, the same interests, the same habits, or the activities that this world has. Brethren, we are not to make our decisions or have our mind set like this world does. We are to “be not conformed to this world.” Yet the question might be asked – Why are we not to be conformed to this world, and how important is it to our Christian lives that we not be conformed unto this world? God’s holy Word reveals a great number of answers to this question. Already in the first three parts of this message (see above), we have considered eight of these answers. We are to “be not conformed to this world” (1) because this world stands opposed to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, (2) because this world stands opposed to true Christianity and the true followers of Christ, (3) because this world is willfully without God, (4) because this world is under Satan’s deception, (5) because this world is following Satan’s direction, (6) because this world is evil and wicked by nature, (7) because we have been delivered out of this world, and (8) because we are not of this world, but of the Lord our God. Answer #9: We are not to be conformed unto this world because we are to be the spiritual light of the world. In Matthew 5:14-16 our Lord Jesus Christ declared, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” In like manner, Philippians 2:14-16 instructs us, saying, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” Brethren, we are the spiritual light of the world; and we are to “so shine before men.” We are to be like “a city that is set on an hill,” clearly seen by all. We are to be like a candle that is put “on a candlestick.” We are to “give light unto all that are in the house” (that is – unto all those that are around us). We are to be “holding forth the word of life.” This world is a world of spiritual darkness. They need to come to the light and salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ. They need the “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” to shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Even so, we are to be points of spiritual light in this world of darkness. We are to be points of spiritual light that are filled with the light of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that reflect the light of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that point people to the light of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are to live and behave in such a manner that those of this spiritually dark world around us can see our good works and godly lives, and that thereby they might glorify our heavenly Father by receiving His Son as their Savior. We are the children of God our heavenly Father in this dark, crooked, and perverse world. Thus we are to present ourselves before the world as the children of God – blameless, harmless, and without rebuke. Certainly then, we should not be conformed to “this present evil world.” Certainly then, we should not cover our light under the bushel of worldliness and carnality. Even so, Ephesians 5:1-12 proclaims, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” Brethren, we are to be followers of God our heavenly Father, as His own dear children. We are not to be followers of this present evil world. In fact, the things of this world are not even to be once named among us, “as becometh saints” – as those who have been saved from their sins, and who have been set apart as the people of God. We are not to be partakers with this world in the things of this world. Before our salvation we were the children of darkness. At that time we lived in the spiritual darkness of this world and contributed to the spiritual darkness of this world. Yet now that we have received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior from sin we are “light in the Lord.” We have been delivered “from the power of darkness.” The Lord our God and heavenly Father has called us “out of the darkness into His marvellous light.” Thus now we are to “walk as children of light.” Those of this dark world around us must see us as “children of light.” They must see us “walk as children of light.” They need to see us bringing forth “the fruit of the Spirit,” which is “in all goodness and righteousness and truth.” They need to see us walking in the things that are “acceptable unto the Lord.” Therefore, we are to “have no fellowship [absolutely none at all] with the unfruitful works of darkness.” “The unfruitful works” of this spiritually dark world are to have no place in our lives at all, for these “unfruitful works of darkness” are directly contrary to “the fruit of the Spirit [the HOLY Spirit]” that we are to bring forth. Yea, by our godly walk in the light we are to bring reproof upon “the unfruitful works” of this spiritually dark world. Certainly then we should not, and must not be conformed to “this present evil world.” Finally, let us consider the affect that we are to have upon this world. We are not to be conformed to this world. Rather, we are to “shine as lights in the world.” Indeed, we are to have an affect upon this world. Even so, Acts 17:6 reveals the nature of that affect, saying, “And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down.” As “the light of the world,” as those who “walk as children of light,” we are to turn this spiritually dark world upside down. We are not to become like the world. We are not to stand in agreement with the world. We are not to partake in the things of the world. Rather, we are to have a powerful affect upon the world. We are to turn the world upside down. We are to turn the world from its darkness to our Lord’s light. We are to turn the world from its sin to the Savior. We are to turn this world from the devil’s deception to God’s Word of truth. We are to turn the world from the broad road of destruction to the narrow way of eternal life through faith in Christ. Posted in Weekly Sermon, Romans, Separation, Godly Witnessing, Children of God, Walk in Righteousness Please share this post with others: View the full article
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