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         33
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 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. 11 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.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

95 Theses Against Dispensationalism


anime4christ
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As I've heard several IFB pastors declare, "Why try so hard to place dispensations in the Bible where God never saw fit to do so and for no worthwhile purpose?"


I've heard many IFB pastors say lots of things, what's the point? Do you think the church has absorbed all the promises given to Israel or something? Edited by Rick Schworer
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I've heard many IFB pastors say lots of things, what's the point? Do you think the church has absorbed all the promises given to Israel or something?

That has nothing to do with it. One doesn't have to believe in multiple dispensations, of which even dispensationalists can't agree as to the actual number of dispensations or what they represent, in order to believe the plain teaching of Scripture.
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That has nothing to do with it. One doesn't have to believe in multiple dispensations, of which even dispensationalists can't agree as to the actual number of dispensations or what they represent, in order to believe the plain teaching of Scripture.


What do you mean it has nothing to do with it? Israel and the church is at the very heart and soul of the discussion between covenant theology and dispensationalism. You took a shot at dispensationalism, so I assume that you think we all have the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc.

Every school of thought has its in-house discussions. You pointed to an in-house discussion between dispensationalists in a thread in which the very core of dispensationalism is under attack. That would lead me to assume that you are not a dispensationalist. What do you believe about the promises given to Israel? Has the church absorbed them or not?
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What do you mean it has nothing to do with it? Israel and the church is at the very heart and soul of the discussion between covenant theology and dispensationalism. You took a shot at dispensationalism, so I assume that you think we all have the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc.

Every school of thought has its in-house discussions. You pointed to an in-house discussion between dispensationalists in a thread in which the very core of dispensationalism is under attack. That would lead me to assume that you are not a dispensationalist. What do you believe about the promises given to Israel? Has the church absorbed them or not?

We've had the dispensationalist discussion here before and all of us in the discussion made our views clear.

Why does one have to be either a dispensationalist or a covenantist? Most who hold to Covenant Theology that I actually know of don't hold to the idea that the church replaced Israel. I know that's the position the RCC and some Protestant churches that held to many of the RCC teachings hold, but beyond that it's not as common.

When I've researched dispensationalism, and I still read books and articles put forth by dispensationalists, I don't see a uniformity of belief and I don't see a necessity for one finding 7 or 9 or another number of dispensations in Scripture. There are numerous folks who hold to your general view of end-times prophecy who are not dispensationalists, and also who hold to your general view regarding Israel who are not dispensationalists.

There are also those like John Hagee who have really made some radical leaps.
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We had a precher from the Christian Witness to Israel last Lord's Day. He said the Jews thought the world would last 6,000 years. There were three ages, the first 2,000 years was the age of chaos, the second, the age of the law, the third the age of the Messiah but the Jews did not keep his commandments, so he delayed his coming. When all of the Jews keep the commandments, He will come. He told of one Jew he is in contact with, who said he tried to keep all the commandments, including the 10 commandments. And do you keep the 10 commandments? he was asked. "I am 99.9% sure I keep the 10 commandments," he replied. Our preacher said, "Well I am 200 % sure you don't, and I believe the Post Office will agree with me, as when I send you a letter, when you reply you use my envelope and write 'Return to sender, address unknown.' "

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We've had the dispensationalist discussion here before and all of us in the discussion made our views clear.

Why does one have to be either a dispensationalist or a covenantist? Most who hold to Covenant Theology that I actually know of don't hold to the idea that the church replaced Israel. I know that's the position the RCC and some Protestant churches that held to many of the RCC teachings hold, but beyond that it's not as common.


Really? Everything I've heard is that Covenantists lean towards an allegorical interpritation of Scripture and prophecy, specifically when it comes to Israel, and that Israel in the Old Testament means church in the New. I would love to read someone who wasn't like that.

When I've researched dispensationalism, and I still read books and articles put forth by dispensationalists, I don't see a uniformity of belief and I don't see a necessity for one finding 7 or 9 or another number of dispensations in Scripture.


The number of dispensations do not really matter. It's the idea behind them is where you'll find the uniformity of belief. God deals with different people in different ages different ways, and understanding this principle will help a person understand the Bible better. The reason I use the term dispensationalists is because I don't want people to mistake me for someone who believes God won't keep His promises to Abraham.

I'd much rather just say that I believe in "rightly dividing" the word, which is the primary way of studying the Scriptures. One must understand there are differences between law and grace, the Great White Throne Judgment and the Judgment Seat of Christ, spiritual baptism and resurrection and water baptism and resurrection, etc. On the surface Covenant Theology looks to be just another way of "rightly dividing" the word, except they typically blur many important lines such as Israel and the church. If Covenant Theology didn't blur those lines I could care less, and I'd claim to be both a dispensationalist and a covenantist. I believe in rightly dividing, which would not just include looking at dispensations but also studying the different covenants in the Bible.

Real covenant theology is a very rewarding study. I love how Abraham and David both had unconditional covenants with God. They were completely unilateral, and based solely on God keeping His end of the agreement. It is truly a joy to study it because it pictures perfectly the spiritual side of the New Covenant that we in the church get to partake in. Edited by Rick Schworer
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Really? Everything I've heard is that Covenantists lean towards an allegorical interpritation of Scripture and prophecy, specifically when it comes to Israel, and that Israel in the Old Testament means church in the New. I would love to read someone who wasn't like that.

You are welcome to read my posts ....



The number of dispensations do not really matter. It's the idea behind them is where you'll find the uniformity of belief. God deals with different people in different ages different ways, and understanding this principle will help a person understand the Bible better. The reason I use the term dispensationalists is because I don't want people to mistake me for someone who believes God won't keep His promises to Abraham.

I've never met a Bible believer who says God won't keep his promises to Abraham.

I'd much rather just say that I believe in "rightly dividing" the word, which is the primary way of studying the Scriptures. One must understand there are differences between law and grace, the Great White Throne Judgment and the Judgment Seat of Christ, spiritual baptism and resurrection and water baptism and resurrection, etc. On the surface Covenant Theology looks to be just another way of "rightly dividing" the word, except they typically blur many important lines such as Israel and the church. If Covenant Theology didn't blur those lines I could care less, and I'd claim to be both a dispensationalist and a covenantist. I believe in rightly dividing, which would not just include looking at dispensations but also studying the different covenants in the Bible.

Some disps don't "rightly divide" - they run amok through the Word of God. They follow Scofield who asserts:


Real covenant theology is a very rewarding study. I love how Abraham and David both had unconditional covenants with God. They were completely unilateral, and based solely on God keeping His end of the agreement. It is truly a joy to study it because it pictures perfectly the spiritual side of the New Covenant that we in the church get to partake in.

I agree. There are over 300 references in Scripture to "covenant" & only ONE to a time dispensation. Why are you so hostile against me? WIthout the blood of the everlasting covenant no-one in any supposed dispensation would be saved.
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I'm not hostile against you, Ian. Sometimes my posts maybe a little biting and I am passionate for what I believe in, but I count you as a brother in Christ and if I met you in person I'd shake your hand and probably make some lame joke about coffee and doughnuts being better than tea and crumpets.

Back to the subject matter. Of course no one will freely admit that they don't believe that God won't keep His promises to Abraham, but once you cut through all the gobilty-goop (I used a different word this time, Invicta ) that's what you're doing when you say they are all fufilled in Christ and there is no future promise of land effective for ethnic Israel. God made specific promises regarding land and physical inheritance, and Abraham understood them to be exactly what God said they were. The promise of land was given to Abraham (Gen 13:14-15; 15:18), confirmed by God to Isaac (Gen. 26:3-4), Jacob (Gen. 35:12), Joshua (Josh. 1:2-4), and Moses (Ex. 6:2-8). It was land, land, land every time. So much so that God gave them that land in Joshua 21:43-44:

Josh. 21:43-44, "And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.
44 And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand."

So it should be clear that the land grant promises were to be taken exactly how they were given: real dirt that is supposed to belong to Abraham's seed. God fufilled that promise. But they lost it. So did God fulfill His promise in Joshua and that's the end of it?

No.

The problem is the promise was everlasting. So that means the promise was only fufilled partially and that the promise is still in force for a later date. If the promise of land before was for a literal Jew (which it was) then it still is for a literal Jew. This is why the land is spoken of again after the Joshua fulfillment (Amos 9:11–15, Is. 35:10; 43:1-8, Jer. 16:14-15, 30:10, Hos. 3:4-5)

Gen. 17:8, "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."

Gen. 48:4, "And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession."

Ex. 32:13, "Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever."

Once again, as far as the argument that this promise is to be spiritualized and given to spiritual Israel, or the church, go

Jer. 16:14-15, "Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
15) But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers."

Hosea 3:4-5, "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:
5Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days."

Ez. 11:14-17, "Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
15Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the LORD: unto us is this land given in possession.
16Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.
17Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel."

Edited by Rick Schworer
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Back to the subject matter. Of course no one will freely admit that they don't believe that God won't keep His promises to Abraham, but once you cut through all the gobilty-goop (I used a different word this time, Invicta ) that's what you're doing when you say they are all fufilled in Christ and there is no future promise of land effective for ethnic Israel. God made specific promises regarding land and physical inheritance, and Abraham understood them to be exactly what God said they were. The promise of land was given to Abraham (Gen 13:14-15; 15:18), confirmed by God to Isaac (Gen. 26:3-4), Jacob (Gen. 35:12), Joshua (Josh. 1:2-4), and Moses (Ex. 6:2-8). It was land, land, land every time. So much so that God gave them that land in Joshua 21:43-44:
....
So it should be clear that the land grant promises were to be taken exactly how they were given: real dirt that is supposed to belong to Abraham's seed. God fufilled that promise. But they lost it. So did God fulfill His promise in Joshua and that's the end of it?

No.

The problem is the promise was everlasting. So that means the promise was only fufilled partially and that the promise is still in force for a later date. If the promise of land before was for a literal Jew (which it was) then it still is for a literal Jew. This is why the land is spoken of again after the Joshua fulfillment (Amos 9:11–15, Is. 35:10; 43:1-8, Jer. 16:14-15, 30:10, Hos. 3:4-5)

Gen. 17:8, "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."

As a premil YOU do not believe the land promise is everlasting - it is only for the millennium - & is populated by an extraordinary mixture of resurrected saints, & wicked & believing families, but becoming ever incresingly wicked. That is NOT the promise to Abraham.

Hebrews 11 explains Abraham's understanding of the promise:
8
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out i
nt
o a place which he should after receive for an inheritance,
ob
eyed; and he we
nt
out, n
ot
knowing whither he we
nt
.

9
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange cou
nt
ry, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jac
ob
, the heirs with him of the same promise:

10
For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

....

13
These all died in faith, n
ot
having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and
confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14
For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a cou
nt
ry.

15
And truly, if they had been mindful of that cou
nt
ry from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

16
But now they desire a better cou
nt
ry, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is n
ot
ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.


Certainly they will receive their better, heavenly country. In the NH&NE they will not accuse God of breaking his promise. They will be rejoicing in a truly eternal heritage in the presence of their Saviour God & all their promised descendants.
"I'll give you £5 for your birthday."
"Dad, you've given me £50. You've broken your promise to give me £5."

2
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

3
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and
in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
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I do believe it is everlasting. They get it during the Millennium and during the New Heavens and New Earth. Great anology on five bucks though!

In the end, you're still saying that the church is the one getting all of the land promises of Abraham, when Scripture is clear that they go to national Israel. You distort the clear teachings of Scripture.

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Really? Everything I've heard is that Covenantists lean towards an allegorical interpritation of Scripture and prophecy, specifically when it comes to Israel, and that Israel in the Old Testament means church in the New. I would love to read someone who wasn't like that.



The number of dispensations do not really matter. It's the idea behind them is where you'll find the uniformity of belief. God deals with different people in different ages different ways, and understanding this principle will help a person understand the Bible better. The reason I use the term dispensationalists is because I don't want people to mistake me for someone who believes God won't keep His promises to Abraham.

I'd much rather just say that I believe in "rightly dividing" the word, which is the primary way of studying the Scriptures. One must understand there are differences between law and grace, the Great White Throne Judgment and the Judgment Seat of Christ, spiritual baptism and resurrection and water baptism and resurrection, etc. On the surface Covenant Theology looks to be just another way of "rightly dividing" the word, except they typically blur many important lines such as Israel and the church. If Covenant Theology didn't blur those lines I could care less, and I'd claim to be both a dispensationalist and a covenantist. I believe in rightly dividing, which would not just include looking at dispensations but also studying the different covenants in the Bible.

Real covenant theology is a very rewarding study. I love how Abraham and David both had unconditional covenants with God. They were completely unilateral, and based solely on God keeping His end of the agreement. It is truly a joy to study it because it pictures perfectly the spiritual side of the New Covenant that we in the church get to partake in.

I see no need to try and find different dispensations in Scripture in order to rightly divide the Word. Whether Abraham or Paul, David or Malichi, all who are right with God are saved by grace through faith. No matter if we read Genesis or Revelation, Psalms or Ephesians, God is true to His promises.

The artificial dispensations are not found in Scripture, which is why even among dispensationalists there is not agreement as to how many dispensations there are and what each is supposed to represent.
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I see no need to try and find different dispensations in Scripture in order to rightly divide the Word. Whether Abraham or Paul, David or Malichi, all who are right with God are saved by grace through faith. No matter if we read Genesis or Revelation, Psalms or Ephesians, God is true to His promises.

The artificial dispensations are not found in Scripture, which is why even among dispensationalists there is not agreement as to how many dispensations there are and what each is supposed to represent.


There's a lot more at play than salvation. "Ages" of time are found in Scripture, so call them that. The Bible says, "For the law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Right there the Bible is giving you three distinct ages, before the law, during the law, and after the law. To ignore those three different periods in which God dealt with people in three different ways can lead to some severe doctrinal and practical errors.

To rip a promise of prosperity out of the Old Testament (like the prayer of Jabesh) and apply it to today is a result of not rightly dividing the word. Christians today are told they are going to suffer if they live godly in Christ Jesus. The servants of Christ typically in the New Testament are poor (not always, but usually) and receive their blessing from God on a spiritual level, whereas God was more likely to bless people on a material level in the Old Testament - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, Job, etc... the list goes on of filthy rich saints. Rich saints are very hard to find in the New Testament. And yet you have these prosperity gospel people reaching back and using David as an example of why God is obligated to make you rich. They do it because they do not rightly divide the Scriptures.

It is extremely important to recognize the different ages and how God dealt with people during them. To go around trying to get a sign out of God like Gideon today would be another example of not recognizing that God deals with people in different ages differently. We walk by faith, not by sight. The Jews in the Old Testament walked by sight just as much as they did by faith, if not more! Looking for signs is something that they did, we look to the Scriptures and put our faith in their principles. This is another classic example of what Charismatics do because of their lack of recognizing the different ages in the Bible and how God deals with people during them.
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There's a lot more at play than salvation. "Ages" of time are found in Scripture, so call them that. The Bible says, "For the law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Right there the Bible is giving you three distinct ages, before the law, during the law, and after the law. To ignore those three different periods in which God dealt with people in three different ways can lead to some severe doctrinal and practical errors.

To rip a promise of prosperity out of the Old Testament (like the prayer of Jabesh) and apply it to today is a result of not rightly dividing the word. Christians today are told they are going to suffer if they live godly in Christ Jesus. The servants of Christ typically in the New Testament are poor (not always, but usually) and receive their blessing from God on a spiritual level, whereas God was more likely to bless people on a material level in the Old Testament - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, Job, etc... the list goes on of filthy rich saints. Rich saints are very hard to find in the New Testament. And yet you have these prosperity gospel people reaching back and using David as an example of why God is obligated to make you rich. They do it because they do not rightly divide the Scriptures.

It is extremely important to recognize the different ages and how God dealt with people during them. To go around trying to get a sign out of God like Gideon today would be another example of not recognizing that God deals with people in different ages differently. We walk by faith, not by sight. The Jews in the Old Testament walked by sight just as much as they did by faith, if not more! Looking for signs is something that they did, we look to the Scriptures and put our faith in their principles. This is another classic example of what Charismatics do because of their lack of recognizing the different ages in the Bible and how God deals with people during them.

Just because some people misapply Scripture means we need dispensations? That really doesn't make sense. A plain reading of Scripture makes it very clear the prayer of Jabez was specific, just as was the words of Malichi regarding tithes. One doesn't need to divide the Bible into dispensations in order to see this.
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Rick

Do you believe we should evangelise the Jews, or do you believe, like some christians, that we should not 'protelise' them?

Pastor John Hagee used to preach on the need to evangelize Jews but since he's become very politically active he's changed his mind and now says Jews will be saved another way.
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I believe that John Hagee teaches a "Dual Covenant" theology....meaning that the Jews already have a covenant (Abrahamic) and don't need to be proselytized. IOW, they can get to heaven without Jesus Christ.

I'm glad that the lady who led me to the LORD didn't believe that false teaching. Jews need to be evangelized, the same as Gentiles do. The Apostle Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, went to "the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16) Praise God for born again Gentiles who love the Jews and take the gospel of salvation/eternal life to them!

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I believe that John Hagee teaches a "Dual Covenant" theology....meaning that the Jews already have a covenant (Abrahamic) and don't need to be proselytized. IOW, they can get to heaven without Jesus Christ.

I'm glad that the lady who led me to the LORD didn't believe that false teaching. Jews need to be evangelized, the same as Gentiles do. The Apostle Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, went to "the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16) Praise God for born again Gentiles who love the Jews and take the gospel of salvation/eternal life to them!

Yes, that's what Hagee has adopted, but he didn't come to this stance until he became very politically active and started working with Jewish groups.

Hagee is also a strong dispensationalist. I listened to a series of sermons he gave on this topic many years ago.
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Rick

Do you believe we should evangelise the Jews, or do you believe, like some christians, that we should not 'protelise' them?


We absolutely should try to win the Jews as well. The church I attend supports at least one missionary to Israel.


Just because some people misapply Scripture means we need dispensations? That really doesn't make sense. A plain reading of Scripture makes it very clear the prayer of Jabez was specific, just as was the words of Malichi regarding tithes. One doesn't need to divide the Bible into dispensations in order to see this.


You're hung up on the term "dispensations." It's extremely clear that there are different time periods and ages and the fact that God deals with people differently in those periods of time.

John 1:17, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."

You have three distinct periods of time there, clearly demonstrated by Scripture.

It doesn't matter if you call them dispensations or not, but there are natural divisions in the Bible and we are commanded to study the Bible according to these patterns.

II Tim. 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

The primary method of studying Scripture is by dividing it. You can wrongly divide it, and you can rightly divide it. I think you are reactionary towards the term dispensations because of men like John Hagee that have wrongly divided it. As I've already said, rightly dividing doesn't just apply to ages, it also applies to judgments. We are not judged according to our works as they are at the Great White Throne Judgment, and yet many teach that we will wind up at that judgment and that salvation is by works. If one applies the principle of correctly dividing the Scripture they will understand that a Christian will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ, in which no one goes to Lake of Fire afterwards.

Anyways, if you want to receive it, great. If not, that's fine. But rightly dividing the word is a command of God to be approved before Him when it comes to Bible study, it's not a suggestion.
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Question: Why do we have the "Old" Testament and the "New" Testament? The very words describe a difference in God's dealings with man - an "Old" covenant/age/dispensation and a "New" covenant/age/dispensation. Do we now say the KJV is wrong because it differentiates between the old and the new? The very fact that there is a difference between the two shows that God has dealt differently with man on two separate occasions. Are these the only times that God has done this? No, if we "rightly divide" then we see that this is not so. Having being confused by the "obvious" errors in the bible for years, it was only after being taught the doctrine of "dispensation" or "ages" that the "errors" become truths and the Word of God began to fit together as a whole.
IMHO ANYTHING and ANY DOCTRINE that takes away from God's grace, God's Word, causes confusion, sows dissent, does not edify the church, does not bring glory to God and caters to the world and the politics thereof is a lie and should be steered clear from!

Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
Eph 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Eph 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Eph 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Eph 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Eph 4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
Eph 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Eph 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Eph 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
Eph 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Eph 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.
Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

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We absolutely should try to win the Jews as well. The church I attend supports at least one missionary to Israel.



You're hung up on the term "dispensations." It's extremely clear that there are different time periods and ages and the fact that God deals with people differently in those periods of time.

John 1:17, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."

You have three distinct periods of time there, clearly demonstrated by Scripture.

It doesn't matter if you call them dispensations or not, but there are natural divisions in the Bible and we are commanded to study the Bible according to these patterns.

II Tim. 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

The primary method of studying Scripture is by dividing it. You can wrongly divide it, and you can rightly divide it. I think you are reactionary towards the term dispensations because of men like John Hagee that have wrongly divided it. As I've already said, rightly dividing doesn't just apply to ages, it also applies to judgments. We are not judged according to our works as they are at the Great White Throne Judgment, and yet many teach that we will wind up at that judgment and that salvation is by works. If one applies the principle of correctly dividing the Scripture they will understand that a Christian will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ, in which no one goes to Lake of Fire afterwards.

Anyways, if you want to receive it, great. If not, that's fine. But rightly dividing the word is a command of God to be approved before Him when it comes to Bible study, it's not a suggestion.

So you are in the camp that believes there are three dispensations?

Rightly dividing the Word of truth is about right interpretation and application, not the simplified version of divide we are most familiar with today as a matter of division.

There is no need to divide the Word into various sections (dispensations). God put forth the Old Covenant and with that He also pointed to the day when there would be a New Covenant. We can see this from Genesis onward. The Word flows as one, not as a fractured river with tributaries branching off here and there.
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    • Razor

      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
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    • Razor

      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
      ― Mark Twain
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      Psalms 139 Psalm 139:9-10
      9. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10. even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy righthand shall hold me. 
       
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    • Bro. West  »  Pastor Scott Markle

      Advanced revelation, then...prophecy IS advanced revelation in the context of the apostles.
      I really do not know where you are going with this. The Bible itself has revelations and prophecies and not all revelations are prophecies.
      Paul had things revealed to him that were hid and unknown that the Gentiles would be fellow heirs.
      How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Eph 3:3-9
      And I do not mean this as a Hyper-dispensationalist would, for there were people in Christ before Paul (Rom. 16:7). This is not prophecy for there are none concerning the Church age in the O.T..
      Israel rejected the New Wine (Jesus Christ) and said the Old Wine (law) was better, had they tasted the New Wine there would be no church age or mystery as spoken above. to be revealed.
      It was a revealed mystery. Sure there are things concerning the Gentiles after the this age. And we can now see types in the Old Testament (Boaz and Ruth) concerning a Gentile bride, but this is hindsight.
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        I just read your comment and you bypassed what I wrote concerning book arrangement, chapters being added and verse numberings and such. There is no scripture support for these either, should we reject these?
      Happy New Year
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    • Bro. West

      Seeing it is Christ----mas time and I was answering question on Luke 2:33 concerning Jesus, Mary and Joseph . I thought it would be fitting to display a poem i wrote concerning the matter.
      SCRIPTURAL MARY

      I WALK NOT ON WATER NOR CHANGE IT TO WINE
      SO HEARKEN O’ SINNER TO THIS STORY OF MINE
      I, AM A DAUGHTER OF ABRAHAM SINNER BY BIRTH
      A HAND MAID OF LOW ESTATE USED HERE ON EARTH
      MY HAIR IS NOT GENTILE BLOND, I HAVE NOT EYES OF BLUE
      A MOTHER OF MANY CHILDREN A DAUGHTER OF A JEW
      FOR JOSEPH MY HUSBAND DID HONOUR OUR BED
      TO FATHER OUR CHILDREN WHO NOW ARE ALL DEAD
      BUT I SPEAK NOT OF THESE WHO I LOVED SO WELL
      BUT OF THE FIRST BORN WHICH SAVED ME FROM HELL
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                               2
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      FOR I HAD BEEN CHOSEN A FAVOUR VESSEL OF CLAY
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      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                              3
      THEN MY SOUL DID REJOICE IN GOD MY SAVIOR
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      O’ THE RICH ARE EMPTY, THE HUNGRY HAVE GOOD THINGS
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      ON A BEAST OF BURDEN OUR STRENGTH NEAR SPEND
      NO ROOM AT An INN, BUT A STABLE WAS FOUND
      WITH STRAW AND DUNG LAID ON THE GROUND
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, SO TRUST ME NOT
                                                  4
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      SO WE WRAPPED THE CHILD GIVEN TO THE HEATHEN A STRANGER
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      WITH BLASPHEMOUS PRAISE, DAMMATION AND SHAME
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      6
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                       WRITTEN BY BRO. WEST
       
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