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Alan last won the day on September 19

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  • Birthday 12/16/1952

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  1. Alan

    The Local Church.

    Brethren Besides the work of the church, I am now involved in the collecting, and double-checking, of a series of lessons that I did previously here on Taiwan, in Chinese, on "The Biblical Gift of Tongues" in order to print the series into book form in Chinese. It is a daunting task that is taking up almost all of the time that I can spare. I have not forgotten this study on the local church. I hope to continue this study next week. Regards, Alan
  2. I will forego giving you any particular 'signs' of the end times. But, I will give you a passage of scripture that the Apostle gives us to show us a preview of the 'perilous' times that we live in. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, false accusers; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." 2 Timothy 3:1-4 "lovers of their own selves" would include the narcissism attitude of President Clinton, Obama, and many, many others in our world today. "covetous" would include the inspirational preachers, the Charismatic preachers, and many other men, and women, in the ministry for wealth and fame. "blasphemers." If a person would search the scriptures very carefully, starting from the Kings of Israel to the multitude of reprobates, heretics, internet theologians, and many others in our age, "blasphemy" includes false doctrine. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, blasphemy includes false doctrine. In our age, as in no other, every doctrine in the scriptures is being questioned, changed, and twisted by multitudes of men and women. ""without natural affection." Is not the wilful death, abortion, of ones child 'without natural affection?' "false accusers." Check out any newspaper, in any country, for an example. "incontinent." The meaning of 'incontinent' is: lacking self restraint, not under control. Our churches are filled with saints and sinners who lack self-restraint in their clothing, their character, their filthy mouth, their slanders against the pastor, their ungodly music (called CCM), multiple marriages, and a lack of personal integrity and character. We are living in the day of age of where even the saints (much less the sinner), and some pastors in the Contemporary Movement, cannot even dress decently and modestly in church. "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God." The church is filled with saints and sinners who love the pleasures of this world more than God. In fact, if you checked out the stadiums of the world on any given Sunday, you will probably find many of the church members filing the stands of the stadium instead of filling the pew at church. We are living in the perilous time that the Apostle Paul spoke of.
  3. Alan

    The beauty of creation

    Missouri - Highway 60 Big Spring Park, Van Buren, Missouri State of Missouri
  4. Alan

    The beauty of creation

    In south east Missouri, in Mark Twain National Forest, near Highway 60 next to the small town of Van Buren, lies 'Big Spring.' 'Big Spring' is one of three largest natural springs in America. 'Big Spring,' depending on the day, has an average of 285 million gallons of water rushing through the bottom of the spring, through an underground cavern in the mountain that it flows under. The drive to the Big Spring area is scenic and the park area itself is scenic. Big Spring Mark Twain National Forest Van Buren, Missouri https://www.nps.gov/ozar/planyourvisit/big-spring.htm Photo by Alan The river that Big Springs creates Photo by Alan
  5. Alan

    The Local Church.

    I appreciate your comments Jim. In a study like this one the maps are useful. I would recommend all of the brethren get a good Bible atlas. I have noticed before (in this study and others), the blatant disregard by para-organizations, denominational material, inspirational preachers, numerous Bible scholars, internet theologians, and many others, of the clear words of the writings of the Holy Spirit in scripture on a doctrine. God bless all of you.
  6. Alan

    The Local Church.

    Acts 8: 1-3 and 9:31, “Persecution against the Local Church” Acts 8:1-3, “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” “… great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem;” After the martyrdom of Stephen, Acts 7:54-60, Saul, with the direct authority of the Jewish religious leaders, enacted a period of great persecution against the saints at the church at Jerusalem. As the saints went into hiding, even in their homes, Saul brutally persecuted them. “… and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” Except for the apostles, the saints from the local church at Jerusalem scattered. The Meaning, and Description, of a “Local” Church A local church is where Christians assemble for the preaching, teaching, fellowship and evangelism. A local church is “regional.” The Region of Judea and Samaria Map is the courtesy of ConformingToJesus.com When the saints fled from the persecution of Saul some of them went to the region of Judea and Samaria. Judea is the region that surrounds Jerusalem and Samaria is north of Judea and Jerusalem. The saints that fled Jerusalem in the area surrounding Jerusalem preached the gospel and established churches in the various cities in the region surrounding Jerusalem. The saints that fled to the northern region of Jerusalem preached the gospel and established churches in the northern region. The assemblies of the saints were local, or regional, in location. The Apostle Paul, and Regional, or Local Churches “For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s line of things made ready to our hand.” 2 Corinthians 10:14-16 The Region of Corinth Map is the courtesy of https://bibleatlas.org/corinth.htm On his second missionary journey, the Apostle Paul left the region of his local church in Antioch and traveled to the region of Corinth to preach the gospel and start a church. “To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you.” Every New Testament Church is “regional,” or “local” to the area that it assembles in. The church at Corinth was a regional or local church that was limited to its own area or region. The apostle Paul knew that the influence of a local assembly, in this case Corinth, was limited to a particular region; or local in scope and authority. The Churches, Plural, are rested from Persecution Acts 9:31, “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” In Acts 9:1-30 we witness the dramatic conversion of Saul the Persecutor to become Paul the Apostle. The scriptures are abundantly clear that the “churches,” plural had rest from persecution. The scripture even names some of the regions that the churches were located: Judea, Galilee and Samaria. Two of the locations, Judea and Samaria, were mentioned previously with the third location, Galilee, the region north of Samaria, mentioned. The scripture is devoid of remarks concerning a “Universal Church.” The Universal Church and Acts 9:31 The King James Version reading of Acts 9:31 is very clear, “churches.” “Church” is singular and “churches” are plural. As mentioned before, the King James Version not only says “churches” but it also lists three distinct regions that the churches existed: Judea, Samaria and Galilee. The website, ‘gotquestions.org,’ article, a strong Universal Church proponent, on the question, “What is the difference between the universal church and the local church, states, “In Acts 9:31, the King James rendering of the plural word churches should actually be the singular church, which describes the universal church, not just local churches.”[1] The article does not specify a particular writer, nor does it specify a particular version, nor a particular Greek manuscript. The website creator is a para-church ministry of Mr. S. Michael Houdmann. Houdmann is a graduate of Calvary University and Calvary Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO and uses the modern versions extensively. F. H. A. Scrivener’s Greek translation of the Textus Receptus, in Acts 9:31, gives the plural translation of the Greek word: plural: αἱ … ἐκκλησίαι .[2] Therefore, the King James translation is correct by word and description: the ‘churches’ plural, had rest after the persecution by Saul ceased. [1] “What is the difference between the universal church and the local church?” GotQuestions.org/universal-local-church.html [2] Scrivener, F. H. A., M. A., The New Testament, (The Trinitarian Bible Society: London, England), Cambridge University Press 1894 and 1902. Page238.
  7. Alan

    The Local Church.

    One of (there are several), the reasons why I started this thread is that I noticed two things. One of the reasons lies in the word "corporate." 1. Corporate. Denominations are like corporations. Businesses are operated in a "hierarchical" manner in order to grow a business. The "headquarters" of a denomination or a business is to run the church or the business. The Lord Jesus, and the Apostles, never started a denomination. All denominations are "hierarchical" in nature in order to perpetuate the denomination. A businessman understands the how, and why, a denomination operates. Baalam, heretics, the cults, denominational heads, inspirational preachers (men like Joel Osteen), are "covetous" and are are in the "religious" business. "And through covetous shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you. whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." 2 Peter 2:3 These men, and women, are in the churches trying to promote themselves," merchandise," and their doctrines. One of the main reasons why inspirational preachers, and the Charismatics, have experienced great growth is they they realized that a lot of people want to be entertained in a religious or Christian environment. And, one of the main reasons why it is hard to convince the Charismatic brethren that their doctrine,and belief of the Holy Spirit is in error, is due to their emotional involvement in tongues. The denominational heads, and inspirational preachers, use this emotional involvement to make huge amounts of money. Alan
  8. Alan

    The Local Church.

    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
  9. Brandon, You do not need to hear the physical voice of God. The scriptures are the complete word of God. If you want to hear God speak to you then you need to read, study, and humbly follow the written words of God. The Holy Spirit, the author of the scriptures, speaks through the scriptures. The audible voices that the charismatic brethren refer to are not the audible voice of God nor the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the Authorized Version of the scriptures, commonly known as the King James Version of 1611, is the only preserved word of God in written form. Kindest regards. Alan
  10. Alan

    The Local Church.

    Brethren, We will continue the study of the local church (churches), in the book of Acts by discussing Acts 8:1-3 and 9:19-31Both of these passages are connected with Saul /Paul before he was converted and after his conversion. As before, we will be looking at the context of the passage to determine the meaning of the word 'church' and 'churches.' Alan
  11. Alan


    Bubbles by Alan As one goes through life, troubles, like bubbles, arise and flow, Turmoil and woe, Friend and Foe Alike flow like bubbles, Bubbles, like troubles, are the woe on man, The curse of sin, Bubbles, like time, wax and wan, rise and fall Though big and complex, like the throes of life, meet man alike Bubble like troubles, are strong and weak to all they meet A wind shall carry, all alike, from start to finish. Though alike in form, the end is not norm, for all bubbles. To prove the fact, the truth may be known All bubbles are not the same. Though flimsy and flighty, the race is not in the bubble, 'tis the wind. Though not swift, nor strong in might, 'tis the wind. 'Tis wind my friend, the determines the end, of the bubble. ' that the race is not, to the swift,' 'tis the wind. Ecclesiastes 9:11 Photo by Mrs. Alan
  12. Alan

    The Local Church.

    Jim, I appreciate you mentioning Matthew 11:11 and your comments. Alan
  13. Alan

    the KJV translators

    Jordan, As per your request, I did check out your posting concerning the KJV thread on the Baptist Board. I still see that the brethren in the Baptist Board are still giving you a hard time. Keep up the good work. Alan
  14. Alan

    The beauty of creation

    Jim, Hmmm? I wonder that if you uploaded a photo of your Coastal Blacktail deer our Whitetail does may be interested. Rebecca, Keep those photos coming. Alan
  15. Alan

    The Local Church.

    Acts 2:41-47, “The Church at Jerusalem” “Then that that gladly received his word was baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:41-47 Baptism “… was baptized:” The converts were baptized with physical water, being fully immersed, after salvation. Baptism after Salvation Baptism is a solemn picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ; Romans 6:1-5 Baptism is one of the two ordinances given to the church. The church at Jerusalem is a perfect example of how baptism is to be accomplished after salvation, not before, and not a sacrament for salvation. The sacrament of infant baptism by the Roman Catholic Church, and the practice by the Church of Christ in order to be saved, are both grave errors and are not a New Testament church ordinance. John the Baptist “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone.” Ephesians 2:19 & 20 John the Baptist, as a prophet, and the forerunner, and baptizer, of Jesus Christ, is included as the foundation of the church. The Apostle Peter in Acts 2:22 stated, “Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” The Apostle Peter, and the other apostles, clearly followed the teachings of John the Baptist concerning baptism. The baptism of John was by immersion: Matthew 3:13-17 and Acts 8:26-40 A New Testament church will follow the baptism of John. The practice of sprinkling, or pouring, by the Roman Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church, and any other church, is not a New Testament church method of baptism. Those churches that reject the baptism of immersion as practiced by John the Baptist are going against the practice of the first church at Jerusalem. Furthermore, they are like the Pharisees who rejected the baptism of John the Baptist and therefore rejected the counsel of God. “And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” Luke 7:29 & 30 Therefore, to reject the baptism of John the Baptist, immersion, after salvation, is a rejection of the counsel of God. Furthermore, the name of the individual who baptized the Lord Jesus was John. The title of John was, “the Baptist.” For a New Testament church who decides to fully follow as a disciple of John, and Jesus Christ, and call them themselves, “the Baptist Church,” is a good statement of where the church stands in relationship with John the Baptist and in doctrinal matters. “about three thousand souls” The first church at Jerusalem was a soul-winning church. A New Testament church is a soul-winning church. A church that is not a soul-winning church is not following the example of the first church at Jerusalem “in the temple“ Also, “ … and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.” Acts 5:12. Solomon’s porch was part of the Temple at Jerusalem. The first church at Jerusalem met in the Temple at Jerusalem. The Temple was a physical structure, ordained by God Himself, for public worship. For a local church to met in a building, a physical structure, for the worship of the Lord Jesus as the head of the church is following the practice of the first church at Jerusalem. Therefore, the first church at Jerusalem assembled in a building. The common practice of Baptist assemblies calling the physical structure that they meet in a “Temple” is also in accordance to the assembly location of the first church at Jerusalem. “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” ‘Church’ is in the singular as there was only one church in Jerusalem at the time of Acts 2:41-47 Therefore, the Jerusalem assembly was local. The preaching of the gospel, and the salvation of souls, and the addition to these souls to the church, continued on a daily basis. “apostles’ doctrine and fellowship” As a part of the foundation of the church, the Lord gave the apostles the doctrines of the New Testament that the assembled church was to believe and follow. As the New Testament was not fully written, the apostles were the instruments that the Lord Jesus used to keep the early church doctrinal correct. The So-called, ‘Apostles Creed’ The so-called, Apostles Creed, is not the “apostle’s doctrine,” as written in Acts 2:42. The Apostles Along with the other Apostles, the doctrines of the early church are more developed as Paul, Peter, James, and John, write their epistles through the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the General Assembly, the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, brethren called saints, the church as part (not replacing) of the elect of God, are more fully developed, and understood, as the Apostle Paul reveals these other aspects of the church more fully. Until the complete New Testament is written, the local assemblies listen, and follow, the teachings of the apostles. Not one time do any of the Apostles refer to a ‘Universal Church,’ or a denominational headquarters.