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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.

John Calvin Had It All Wrong


Calvary

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  • Advanced Member

I'm thankful I was saved and matured (not that I'm fully matured, only that I matured in the Lord prior to) before I ever heard of Calvinism or Armenianism or the "I'm not either one" folks.

 

 

So was I.  When I heard somebody preach on How God chose JacOB over Esau and how Paul used it to show how election works in Christians, I could feel my blood boil, and thought "How dare he?"  However studying scripture on the subject, I realised I was wrong.

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Were Abraham & his descendants chosen by God?

 

Deut. 7:For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

 

Neh. 9:Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;

And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:

 

But is even that choosing selective?

 

1 Kings 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

 

Romans 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,

Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

 

 

 

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I've never had a prOBlem with the word "elect" according to Jesus Christ's own words.

 

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

 

From our creation He gave us free will, all of us, not part of us. If we receive Him we are in the "elect."

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Chosen for what purpose though - the important point that Calvin and his followers ignore.......

No one denies that God makes choices, but the Bible clearly says that salvation is a gift offered to all men, not just a few.

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Chosen for what purpose though - the important point that Calvin and his followers ignore.......

No one denies that God makes choices, but the Bible clearly says that salvation is a gift offered to all men, not just a few.

 

I take your point Dave, but it also says no one can come to Jesus unless the father calls him.  Christ also quotes Isaiah to say that he spoke in parables so that not all would believe and be saved.

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I take your point Dave, but it also says no one can come to Jesus unless the father calls him. Christ also quotes Isaiah to say that he spoke in parables so that not all would believe and be saved.


Not the way Calvin states it.
Salvation is available to all men. God did not and does not choose whom He will save in Calvin's way.
There is no such thing as Calvin's total depravity, nor Calvin's unconditional election, nor Calvin's limited atonement, nor Calvin's irresistible 'grace', nor Calvin's perseverance of the saints.

Much of it is close but not close enough.

Calvinism, or 'the doctrines of grace' as those who don't want the association put it, are a false system teaching a false Gospel.

Yes, Calvin got it wrong, and his teaching leads many to hell.
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And the church.

That's right. Jesus, angels, Israel, and the Church all have a jOB, and purpose. Jesus came to Earth, performed miracles, "went about doing good", shed His blood on the cross and rose from the dead. Part of His "work", his "jOB" was finished on Calvary. Now He makes "intercession for the saints" and will one day do something else when he comes in the clouds to get us, then fights with the sword of His mouth and stands upon the Mount of Olives, and reigns a thousand years....see what I'm saying?  Likewise the angels, Israel and the Church have a purpose/function/jOB as well. Point being; Jesus is "elect" but that doesn't mean God "chose" him in the sense that he "picked" him...He has always existed and has always been God.

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Dave,

 

I don't want to get into this whole thing so I just have one narrow question to ask you.

 

What do you mean by "his teaching leads many to hell"?

 

Thank you.

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Dave,

I don't want to get into this whole thing so I just have one narrow question to ask you.

What do you mean by "his teaching leads many to hell"?

Thank you.


See Galatians 1:8,9
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What is the Gospel?

1Co 15:1-4

(1) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

(2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

(3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

(4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

 

What does the Gospel do?

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

 

How is salvation attained?

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

What saves under Calvin's system?

Unconditional Election:
God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21).

 

No mention of the blood of Christ, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

 

And you won't find these things mentioned in most outlines of the five points of Calvin.

They will often mention the death of Christ under “Limited atonement”, but only the fact that it isn't sufficient for all – some will say effective for all, but they twist that too.

 

Now John, I don't know about you, but my salvation is based on the free gift of salvation through the shed blood of Christ, and was attained by me by grace through faith.

 

Any other way of salvation is another Gospel, which is not another.

 

Therefore to do as the Calvinist does and base salvation, not on the blood of Christ, but upon the choice of God, is another Gospel which is not another.

 

I believe that many people amongst Calvinistic churches are fooled by the doublespeak of the Calvinist teachers, and have actually believed the surface preaching without understanding the redefinition of words that they use.

But anyone who actually understands and follows Calvin's teachings, is basing their salvation on something other than the blood of Christ.

And that means that they are not saved.

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

Calvinists are like many other cults – they redefine words, jump through linguistic hoops, and make leaps of logic all so that they can re-understand what the Bible says.

 

But if you base your salvation on anything other than the blood of Christ, you are not saved.

And the Calvinist bases his salvation on the choice of God not the blood of Christ.

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I've never heard anyone we might call Calvinists (other than those few hyper's I've encountered online) that present any Gospel other than the one we read of in Scripture.

 

Even if we take into account possible false professions, the numbers who were said to have been born again in Christ through the preaching of men such as Spurgeon, Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards are in the tens of thousands; and that's not even counting those who later professed Christ from reading their sermons and such. Given the historical record of changed lives it seems exceedingly unlikely these folks believed a false gospel and went to hell.

 

Those I know of who would fall under the "Calvinist" umbrella have testimonies of salvation the same as yours and mine. Their lives bear evidence of salvation. When they go soul winning they use the same sort of tracts, point to the same verses of Scripture as we (non-Calvinistic Baptists) do.

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You asked, I gave an answer, feel free to ignore it.

But remember that Calvin would have killed Spurgeon as a heretic for his teaching of free will.

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Thank you Dave. I appreciate your taking the time to answer my question. I'm not going to ignore what you said, I simply haven't seen evidence of Spurgeon, Edwards, Whitefield or the Calvinists I know of ever presenting a false gospel.

 

Spurgeon pointed out that what we might call hyper-Calvinists were an aboration and not faithful to Scripture. That of course would lead back to the whole "what does or doesn't election and predestination mean in Scripture".

 

So, sticking to the focused point, I don't see how "Calvinism" is leading folks to hell outside of those who take the hyper approach which is somewhat of another side of the coin where some folks practice "quick prayerism".

 

Again, I do appreciate your response. I now know what you meant, even if I'm not currently seeing it. Thank you.

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You can't see that the system of Calvinism teaches another Gospel?
Stop confusing the system, which teaches a false Gospel, with men who used the name.
As I mentioned, Spurgeon taught free will far more than he taught the 5 points.
Put his faithfulness and "success" down to that.
Calvin would have condemned his preaching.
And this fur fee of "hyper-calvinism" keeps coming up.
If you look at what Calvin taught, then what men today call hyper-calvinism is simply not - it is Calvinism.
But many people don't like things like "double predestination" so they step back from it in spite of it being EXACTLY what Calvin taught.

Calvinism is a pernicious doctrine that leads people to hell, for it teaches salvation through God's choice, not the blood of Christ.

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Matthew 5

43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

 

God ain't no hippocrite and he doesn't expect us to do better than He does Himself: not gonna happen.

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      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
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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
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      I, AM A DAUGHTER OF ABRAHAM SINNER BY BIRTH
      A HAND MAID OF LOW ESTATE USED HERE ON EARTH
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      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                               2
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      THE ANGEL OF GOD SPOKE OF GOD’S PLAN
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      PLEASE TRUST HIS WORDS AND NOT THE GREAT WHORE
      HER BLACK ROBE PRIEST FILL THEIR LIPS WITH MY NAME
      WITH BLASPHEMOUS PRAISE, DAMMATION AND SHAME
      THERE ARE NO NAIL PRINTS IN MY HANDS, MY BODY DID NOT ARISE
      NOR, AM A DEMON OF FATIMA FLOATING IN THE SKY
      THERE IS NO DEITY IN MY VEINS FOR ADAM CAME FROM SOD
      FOR I, AM, MOTHER OF THE SON OF MAN NOT THE MOTHER OF GOD
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, SO TRUST ME NOT
      6
      FOR MY SOUL WAS PURCHASED BY GOD UPON THE CROSS
      FOR MY SINS HE DID SUFFER AN UNMEASURABLE COST
      I WILL NOT STEAL HIS GLORY WHO ROSE FROM THE DEAD
      ENDURING SPIT AND THORNS PLACED ON HIS HEAD
      YET, IF YOU WISH TO HONOR ME THEN GIVE ME NONE AT ALL
      BUT TRUST THE LAMB WHO STOOL IN PILATE’S HALL
      CALL NOT ON THIS REDEEMED WOMAN IN YOUR TIME OF FEAR
      FOR I WILL NOT GIVE ANSWER NEITHER WILL I HEAR
      AND WHEN THE BOOKS ARE OPEN AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE
      I AMEN YOUR DAMNATION THAT TRUST NOT HIM ALONE
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, O’ SINNER TRUST ME NOT

                       WRITTEN BY BRO. WEST
       
      · 0 replies
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