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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      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.

The 7th Shemita is here


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My sins are forgiven and I'm going to heaven....fearing God and nothing else to fear.  I know a lot of people are stocking up and hunkering down...it looks like judgment and persecution are coming....  I'll just keep my armor on and ready...the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, my feet shod with the gospel of peace, the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, my loins girt about with truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the Lord will deal with His enemies and keep me safe from them.

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Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Get right or get left (behind).  The Rapture/"catching up"/"harpazo" is imminent.  It can happen at any time.  No prophetic signs need to occur in order for the Church to be "caught up to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess. 4:16-17)  We need to be looking for "that blessed hope", not for any Shemitah to happen.  Shemitah is for Israel....rapture is for the Church/the Body of Christ.

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The Shemita was for national Israel... not for Gentile Churches.

 

That said, there are many predictions around the world that the Rapture will take place in late September immediately on the heels of the Shemita.  For the sake of all those making and teaching the date of the Rapture, I hope they are right.  Otherwise, they will all prove themselves to be false prophets.

 

we should never set dates.  Looking for a date for the Rapture takes focus off of the fact that Christ could return any moment.

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There are many Christians dieing around the world who's faith is so strong that they choose to die rather than deny  Christ.

I run a family quarry. I have seen God bless our company when the shemita has come since 1966. I never knew what a shemita was till Johnathan Chan's book "The Mystery of the Shemita"  but I new if we got an unusually large Job the rest of the economy was probably going to go into decline.

Who is of Israel? Is it by blood or is it of the heart which follows Christ?

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Eric,
First of all, Israel is not the Church and the Church is not Israel.  The Shemitah was part of the Mosaic Law.  Are you under the Mosaic Law, Eric?  The Law was given to Israel, not the Church or the Gentile nations (Psalms 147:19-20)  Are you an Israeli?  The year of release was for Israelis living in Israel during the dispensation of the Mosaic Law, not the Gentile nations or the Church.

From the Berean Call radio broadcast Search The Scriptures 24/7 (9-26-2014):
"Well, the Hebrew word Shemitah actually means “release,” and so what happened is just as in the law God set aside the seventh day of the week as the day of rest, He also set aside the seventh year as a year of rest for the land, so there was not to be any planting or harvesting during the seventh year. And in preparation for that, it was actually a year of blessing, because in the sixth year He caused the land to produce three times what it normally would so that it would carry them through the seventh year and then on into the eighth year until the harvest came. So another thing that happened was that at the last day of that seventh year, debtors were to be released from the debts that they owed to their creditors, whoever they had borrowed from was to wipe the slate clean, and so they were released. That’s where the word Shemitah comes from: they were released from their debt. And so that began to be applied to that day, and then applied to the whole year, that seventh year. So when we talk about Shemitah, we’re actually talking about the Sabbath year, one year every seven years when the land would rest and debts would be wiped clean."  (David James   http://www.thebereancall.org/content/what-shemitah-david-james-part-1 )

So, who did you "release" from work when the "shemita" came?  Did you cancel all debts also?

Better to stick to the Scriptures rather than Jonathan Cahn.  Jonathan Cahn also uses the Kabbalah (Zohar) for some of his "false" prophecies.

Here are the 4 Scripture verses (all in Deuteronomy) where the "Shemitah" is found:

Deuteronomy 15:1 At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. (shemitah)
Deuteronomy 15:2 And this is the manner of the release: (shemitah)  Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD'S release. (shemitah)

Deuteronomy 15:9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, (shemitah) is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.

Deuteronomy 31:10 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, (shemitah) in the feast of tabernacles,

 

  

 

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Jonathan Cahn teaches from the Kabbalah (Zohar).  The Kabbalah (Zohar) is Jewish mysticism....not inspired Scriptures!

Published on Apr 10, 2013

THIS IS THE VIDEO CLIP JONATHAN CAHN DOES NOT WANT THE WORLD TO SEE! TO FIND OUT WHY HE HAD IT CENSORED, READ COMMENTS BELOW IN IT'S ENTIRETY.

You will have to follow the youtube link for the comments.

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First of all, fearing the future is sin.  It's obvious that the world is heading for some climatic judgments and Christians who have been protected by America are probably going to lose that protection. 

Second, Cahn's heretical teachings and Jewish mysticism practices or ties do not change historical facts.  God judges nations according to how they treat the Jews, He always has and always will.  The events Cahn points out in recent history and their parallel of Jewish special seasons and times is undeniable.  From what I have gathered, the prediction is that something big is expected to happen around September 28th (I think it will be the fall of the Dollar, complete collapse of US economy as the Dollar is replaced from being the world standard currency, and I hope I'm wrong...or maybe an event similar to or worse than 9/11 which would severely cripple North America....I am not too concerned about what is going to happen....I have read the script, I know how the show is going to end and Jesus has me saved from it all). 

 Some people want to whine about this being a "false prophecy" or "setting a date for the Lord's return" (which neither I nor anybody I know of has done), or "seeking a sign" as if it's wrong to believe God is indeed warning of judgment and His warning is plain in His word as well as evident in current events.  Those "seeking a sign" people act like it's sin to read the newspaper and say, "wow, God is warning America" when Islamic terrorists took down the Twin Towers within 24 hours of a big land for peace deal being pushed on Israel by Bush.   You can believe God is warning America and the world of severe judgment coming or you can bury your head in the sand and say "who cares?  I live by faith and current events mean nothing to me"  The chain of events, historical and undeniable facts, is so astounding it made the fuzz on my bald head stand on end when I looked at them.  I really don't care about Cahn's teachings and none of that is necessary...just look at the historical facts of things that have happened, and the dates they fell on. If you can't see God is warning America to repent and return to God or fall hard under God's  judgment, and in turn the world spiraling down with no steadying protection of American leadership into greater and greater chaos leading up to the reign of Anti-Christ, you are either willfully burying your head in the sand or have a mental block for some reason.  I honestly hope the predictions around 9/28 are misguided and we enjoy the stability we have until the Lord returns, but it seems like one month in this world is enough time for it to blow to bits, let alone the three months leading up to 9/28.

I'm living the time God loans me in fear of Him and nothing else no matter what trials and persecutions come.  Nero in Rome burned Christians as human torches, and there is little preventing another Hitler from taking power in America and doing such things  to Christians now.

Now is the time to do everything we can while we have the freedom to do it to spread the gospel, sow seeds of the word for the Lord.  I always appreciate being encouraged to witness for and serve the Lord, and encourage others to do the same.

Arguing about Cahn is a waste of time.  Heretic of not,  the man deserves  credit for highlighting the recent events in history and how they  go so far beyond coincidence indicating  God's finger pointing at America and the world warning of judgment. 

Praise the Lord!   ....and the Spirit and the bride say, Come. 

Even so, come,  Lord Jesus.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen.

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There are many good, biblically sound refutations of this whole contemporary shemitah, blood moon, Cahn and associated stuff online and elsewhere.

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 Mat. 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:  

 

Luke 11:29  And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.

 

 Mark 8:12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

 Rom. 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 

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 Mat. 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:  

 

Luke 11:29  And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.

 

 Mark 8:12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

 Rom. 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 

cliche'....it's simply observing what is happening, not seeking a sign for proof of faith of the Lord's return or anything like that.  This kind of response is a cheap general insult taking a whole scriptures out of context and  combining them for some strange reason.

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cliche'....it's simply observing what is happening, not seeking a sign for proof of faith of the Lord's return or anything like that.  This kind of response is a cheap general insult taking a whole scriptures out of context and putting combining them for some strange reason.

In case you didn't notice Saintnow, These were not cliche's, they were Scriptures. The strange reason might just be because "some" Christians do "seek after signs".

I am sorry if you were insulted, but the Scriptures I provided were not out of context. The context of this thread was the Shemita, and how some saw it as a "sign" that the Rapture was soon to follow.

If you were insulted I am sure that with the Lord's help you will get over it. After all, I didn't write it to purposely insult you.

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In Matthew 24 Jesus makes it clear His return will be sudden, with nothing going on beforehand to signal He's about to show up. We are called to be faithfully living for Christ each day so when Christ does return we will be found in such a way.

Some will slack off and they will get caught up in things other than what Christ has called us to.

The rest of the world will simply be going about their lives as usual, oblivious to anything concerning Christ.

Most of the world will not be ready for His return but when He does return, we will all be impacted.

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In Matthew 24 Jesus makes it clear His return will be sudden, with nothing going on beforehand to signal He's about to show up. We are called to be faithfully living for Christ each day so when Christ does return we will be found in such a way.

Some will slack off and they will get caught up in things other than what Christ has called us to.Like the foolish virgins

The rest of the world will simply be going about their lives as usual, oblivious to anything concerning Christ.

Most of the world will not be ready for His return but when He does return, we will all be impacted.

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all the pomp about "thou shalt not seek a sign" is misplaced.  This is only about observing recent natural and historical events which strongly indicate that God is giving clear warnings of coming judgment.  When people go off changing it into a debate about trying to pinpoint the day of the Lord's return I just about want to puke.  I don't know of anybody who has tried to name a date or use current events as proofs of the time of the Lord's return.  He could come back before you read this post and then you know you were never born again because I will be gone and you will be reading this.  That's not the topic.

Really, I think people who are afraid to admit God is giving warnings are simply afraid it's true and prefer to keep their head buried in the sand saying "I live by faith, no by sight".

I enjoy watching things day by day lining up more and more for the fulfillment of end-times prophecy.  It is a strong witnessing tool to many who will not listen to any other approach.  I was talking to a couple guys today, one is an atheist or existentialist who will not listen (yet) to the gospel or any warnings about Hell.  Both of those guy listened and discussed things in light of Muslim terrorist attacks in America.  They listened well as I explained the Biblical roots of the current hatred of Islamists against Israel.  I believe some seeds got planted there that could not be planted any other way.  I witnessed to both of them before, but they never seemed to listen so much as when they realized Biblical rooted conflicts could hit them personally now. 

Christians have been asleep, retreated into their churches and televangelism and Christian radio programs...and Christian websites...and God is sending wake up calls.  I doubt we will turn back tides of judgment that are rising, but if the Lord tarries we sure can do something better for him than to have stupid little arguments about signs.

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