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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         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.

Titus


Alan
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Ronda said, "There is much confusion in other denominations about this (rightly dividing), and yet if you can realize which dispensation the speaker was speaking to and what time period the speaker was referencing, the bible makes perfect sense!!! Without knowing these things, a person would just apply (wrongly) everything to themselves.  Now I know ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (as 2 Timothy 3:16 states). So we can learn from all parts of the bible, however, it's important to note which parts of the bible are speaking directly to the church age and which parts are not.

Ronda is correct. A person who correctly divides the scriptures will be able to discern sound doctrine from erroneous doctrine. And, the confusion concerning doctrine in the various denominations come from individuals who cannot rightly divide the scriptures.

Ronda also correctly noted, "However, I have noticed that there are any others here refuting IFB teachings.  For instance, I wholeheartedly agree with your above statements in regard to "sound doctrine", and one being #12 (above): the literal restoration of the nation of Israel.  God has not cast away Israel! The church does not replace Israel! Romans 11 clearly teaches this! I can't even see how someone could "spiritualize" or "twist" Roamsn  [sic]11 to say anything else!!!

In our age there are numerous individuals who are trying to refute sound, IFB doctrine. As you correctly mentioned, the , Covenants, and Promises, given to the Nation of Israel by God and confirmed in Romans 11 are being twisted by brethren within the IFB movement and they are the ones causing the confusion; not the doctrinally sound brethren with the IFB movement. The "Replacement Theology,' brethren need to understand their error.

Ronda mentioned, " I've seen a few "members" who claim to be IFB and yet they are trying to teach things contrary to IFB teachings and beliefs.  I wonder what they are doing here? Obviously they are NOT here for fellowship and are here to attempt to cause discord among Independent Fundamental Baptists and try to "persuade" some to join their way of thinking.  I wonder WHY they don't just go form another forum for whatever denomination they truly are? My opinion is if they joined an IFB group should they not also be IFB???  Is sowing discord and tearing others down glorifying the name of the Lord??? Does it save any souls or spread the gospel??? I think not! If a person or persons is/are getting satisfaction from trying to disrupt a bible study don't you have to wonder what their motivation is? Is that what the Lord would have us do?  I understand that honest discussions and disagreements can arise from time to time, and I also understand that a person who misunderstands certain scriptures may need to be shown why they are in error, and new Christians may need the help of those who have studied the word of God for many years, and honest discussion and even debate can arise.  But when certain "members" who claim to be independent fundamental baptists are trying to teach things contrary to doctrine and trying to interfere with bible study on a continuous basis we need to be asking what the motivations are?

I understand your thoughts and sympathize with you. As this thread is not for discussing the motivations of brethren who believe incorrect doctrine we will not dwell on the matter in this thread. Also, whether or not they are IFB or not should be discussed in another thread.

Thank you for your posting! :goodpost:

bjshuf said:

On 2015/9/2 at 0:48 PM, bjshuf said:

Is there a difference between IFB and southern baptist? Maybe I have been away from church for so long that I just don't recognize the termonology. From what I have read on this site about IFB beliefs, it's also what I and the baptist church I attend's beliefs. Just wanting clarification. Thanks in advance.

Yes. There are several differences. I will briefly mention three.

1. Southern Baptist Churches belong to the Southern Baptist Convention, (SBC). A true New Testament church does not belong to any denomination. Also, if a church has to join a fellowhip than it is not a fellowship but a loose denomination. IFB churches have fellowship with other churches of like faith; but, they do not join in membership in fellowships.

2.The Southern Baptist Convention, and most of their churches, use a variety of different translations of the Bible. A true IFB would use only the KJV of 1611 of the scriptures. 

3. The Southern Baptist Convention supports their own missionaries with the Southern Baptist Convention. A true IFB supports IFB missionaries from a variety of churches and Mission Boards.

Thank you very much for your post and questions. All of us appreciate your participation and it is our hope we can be a blessing to you. :godisgood:

Alan

 

Edited by Alan
spelling Aug. 21, 2016
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

 9. They love money.

False teachers, and even some saved brethren, use their office, or position in the church, for personal gain, or the personal gain of their denomination. A study of Philippians 3:18 & 19 and 2 Peter 2:14 and 15 will reveal their true motives. The motive of reprobates for serving the Lord is wrong. For a more complete study or false teachers, and their motives, the reader is directed to 2 Peter 2

     10. They believe in (religious) fables.

Paul is not talking about Aesop’s Fables or the fables of the different cultures of world. Paul is talking about false doctrines, the false historical stories such as the Mormon golden tablets, Buddhist and Taoist fables, Apocrypha, goblins, witches, ghosts, and other religious stories not having a biblical foundation.

 

I would suggest the reader studies 2 Peter 2:1-22 to see examples of false teachers, the motive of the false teachers, and the end result of false teachers.

 

When I read #9 above I can't help thinking about the televangelists.  They have millions of dollars coming in and where is the money going?  They wear rolex watches, drive luxury cars, live in mansions, etc.  Yes, they need a vehicle, they need a house, but I don't see that the money coming into their ministries is being spent wisely -- such as toward the needy and in evangelism efforts.  It seems to be spent on their lifestyles.  That is not glorifying to God.

We all need to be careful of #10.  We can easily slip from doctrine to religious fables.  It starts out as a doctrine, then a grain of mistruth slips in, and before we know it we are down a wrong path.  We must be diligent about our study of the Word.

I did take time to read 2 Peter 2 and I got a lot out of it.  It is amazing how much it relates to where we are in society today.

2Pe 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

This reminds me of a televangelist who had a best selling book some years ago called "Your Best Life Now."  I knew a Christian lady at the time who lived on every word of this man.  She was struggling financially.  She was trying to get disability because her physical condition was such that she couldn't work, though she wanted to.  She bought this man's book in hopes of finding the secret to God's financial blessings in her life.  I was so sick about that.  As Christians we shouldn't be looking for our best lives now -- that comes in the next life.

2Pe 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

These two verses reminded me of this verse:

Mat_23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

we have to be very careful about what we believe, and even more about what we teach.

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After a person is saved he needs to know and believe sound doctrine. Why? Sound doctrine, from the Bible, will give the person true security, a solid foundation for life, personal holiness, good works before God and man, and a personal relationship with God.  

My husband has worked in construction most of his life and whether a structure stands or falls most often depends on the foundation it is built upon.  This brought to mind this passage:

Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

 In our Christian lives we are going to be bombarded with "rain" and "floods" and "winds" from all sides.  The doctrine we build our lives on determines whether we will stand or fall in our faith.

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.

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Tapperhoney said, "When I read #9 above I can't help thinking about the televangelists.  They have millions of dollars coming in and where is the money going?  They wear rolex watches, drive luxury cars, live in mansions, etc.  Yes, they need a vehicle, they need a house, but I don't see that the money coming into their ministries is being spent wisely -- such as toward the needy and in evangelism efforts.  It seems to be spent on their lifestyles.  That is not glorifying to God.

We all need to be careful of #10.  We can easily slip from doctrine to religious fables.  It starts out as a doctrine, then a grain of mistruth slips in, and before we know it we are down a wrong path.  We must be diligent about our study of the Word.

I did take time to read 2 Peter 2 and I got a lot out of it.  It is amazing how much it relates to where we are in society today.

Thank you for you posts and comments. Most of the televangelists that I have heard about ( as I do not watch TV I am hesitant to say all), and the Charismatics with their sensationalism, are indeed laying up treasures here on the face of this cursed earth. "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity." Ecclesiastes 1:2

Tapperhoney said, "

We all need to be careful of #10.  We can easily slip from doctrine to religious fables.  It starts out as a doctrine, then a grain of mistruth slips in, and before we know it we are down a wrong path.  We must be diligent about our study of the Word.

I did take time to read 2 Peter 2 and I got a lot out of it.  It is amazing how much it relates to where we are in society today.

2Pe 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

Yea and amen! 2 Peter 2 explains a lot what is going on in the religious world. Here on Taiwan we see the religious fables of the Buddhists, Taoists, and other Eastern religions every day. In America, the "Emerging Church," Charismatic Charlatans, and other 'religionists,' rely on 'swelling words of vanity,' and fables (religious stories) to deceive the unlearned.

Concerning sound doctrine being the foundation of our faith, Matthew 7:24-27 and Ephesians 4:11-16,  tapperhoney said, "In our Christian lives we are going to be bombarded with "rain" and "floods" and "winds" from all sides.  The doctrine we build our lives on determines whether we will stand or fall in our faith.

All of us appreciate your analysis of how sound doctrine can help up through the vicious storms of life. :goodpost:

Brethren,

So far I believe that this study in Titus is a blessing and an encouragement to all of us. I appreciate the very good posts, discussions,  and the good spirit of the discussions and questions. My hat is off to all of you that is making this a spiritually profitable study. :th_tiphat: 

Alan

 

 

Edited by Alan
spelling Aug. 21, 2016
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I see this more and more:

2Ti_4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

My husband has a friend who calls or emails at least once a week, and it's always with a new doctrinal idea.  He tosses to and fro from one theological idea to another.  Just depends on how he is feeling that week, what he is struggling with personally, what he will believe.  It is so sad.

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Many of these with itching ears are also church hoppers, and often of the sort that stirs strife wherever they go. As soon as they come to a new church it doesn't take long before they find something "wrong" and they start complaining. Sometimes they will only afflict the pastor with their complaints and demands, but others will work to stir up members of the congregation to side with them.

This usually ends in one of two ways, either the trouble makers are dealt with firm in a biblical manner and they leave for the next church, or after they get the church riled up and then they duck out the door and leave for the next church.

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On 2015/9/3 at 10:24 AM, trapperhoney said:

I see this more and more:

2Ti_4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

My husband has a friend who calls or emails at least once a week, and it's always with a new doctrinal idea.  He tosses to and fro from one theological idea to another.  Just depends on how he is feeling that week, what he is struggling with personally, what he will believe.  It is so sad.

Yes. We are seeing, even in some of our IFB churches, a departure of sound doctrine. Paul plainly said, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." The, "falling away,' is a departure of sound doctrine in the churches. Except for the IFB churches, almost all of the denominational churches, Reformed, Charismatic, Presbyterian, Methodist, et tal, have departed from sound doctrine. And, some of the practices, bible versions, filthy music, from the emerging church movement is filtering into some of the IFB churches.

Yes, it is very sad. 

Also, John81 said:

On 2015/9/3 at 10:49 AM, John81 said:

Many of these with itching ears are also church hoppers, and often of the sort that stirs strife wherever they go. As soon as they come to a new church it doesn't take long before they find something "wrong" and they start complaining. Sometimes they will only afflict the pastor with their complaints and demands, but others will work to stir up members of the congregation to side with them.

This usually ends in one of two ways, either the trouble makers are dealt with firm in a biblical manner and they leave for the next church, or after they get the church riled up and then they duck out the door and leave for the next church.

Excellent, excellent comment. Thank you very much for your comments.

It goes along with the teaching of Paul in Titus 1:10 and 11 these folks 'subvert' not only the houses of the saints but the house of God: 1 Timothy 3:15, "But is I tarry long, that thou mayest know how tho oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

Edited by Alan
spelling Aug. 21, 2016
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Alan, while I agree that the falling away that is spoken of pertains to the true church in the last days, I think you missed something with this statement; "almost all of the denominational churches, Reformed, Charismatic, Presbyterian, Methodist, et tal, have departed from sound doctrine."

None of these so called churches could have departed from sound doctrine, they never had it to begin with. All came out of RCC or some other apostate so-called church.

Sorry, I just couldn't help it. :)

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I joined this group because it's called the IFB and I expected to see IFB doctrine followed here.  I can't say in all honesty that's the case here.  I've followed several bible studies here (and they were GOOD and biblically sound bible studies such as the ones you post, Alan) and noticed a few "members" who continually try to tear down others who are actually trying to study God's word... I've seen a few "members" who claim to be IFB and yet they are trying to teach things contrary to IFB teachings and beliefs.  I wonder what they are doing here? Obviously they are NOT here for fellowship and are here to attempt to cause discord among Independent Fundamental Baptists and try to "persuade" some to join their way of thinking.  I wonder WHY they don't just go form another forum for whatever denomination they truly are? My opinion is if they joined an IFB group should they not also be IFB???

Hi Ronda. Just to respond to your comments about how you think all members should be IFB. The rules about who can join this site have been prescribed by the owner--who pays for and runs this site--and they are very clear, as given in the FAQ:

Do I have to be a Baptist to join?
No, but we do ask that you follow the rules.

This is primarily a site for fellowship between IFBs but others can join in so long as they follow the rules (which include not arguing or teaching against IFB beliefs). You can tell from each person's profile whether or not they are IFB (I'm not, for example) and you can set those that aren't to 'ignore' if you wish. There are also sub-sections of the forum that are strictly IFB-only and only those who the mods are satisfied are IFB can enter them.

I'm not trying to defend all the eschatological flame wars that, sadly, appear to have done for this site over the past few years. Just making a few observations about the rules, that's all...

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Trapperhoney: re: your husband's friend: You hit the nail on the head... it depends on how he FEELS that week. Many people try to find a church which matches with what they "feel" instead of what God SAYS in His written word. Thus, wanting to elevate themselves into God's position by determining what is right/wrong, etc.  You also made some excellent points about the televangelists who basically tell people what they want to hear instead of what the scripture says, oh they may throw a verse or two in here and there but generally they take it out of context and do not have sound doctrine, applying Israel's promises to the church, etc. Yes, I agree it is sad :(

Alan: I agree about the falling away and apostasy of churches. Yes, sadly, even some IFB chruches have departed from sound doctrine.  Matthew 6:24 tells us: "Ye cannot serve God and mammon".  And any church of any denomination who wants to please man instead of please God has their priorities backwards. P.S.Great study also!!!!

Jim-Alaska: I agree that many of the so-called churches never had sound doctrine to begin with.

Alimantado: Thanks for your help, I understand that a person doesn't have to be IFB to join here, I was upset about certain persons who specifically were attempting to teach against IFB beliefs and cause disruption. I don't want to get any more specific or name names publicly, etc. I just felt compelled to mention it since if a "newbie" were to come to this site searching for the truth and run across some of the things I was referring to, they might get confused about IFB doctrine.  

I also wanted to say, this study has been excellent so far and I'm enjoying partaking, learning, growing, and having fellowship here :)

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Jim_Alaska,

Thank you for setting the record straight.

Alimantado,

We appreciate you bringing to our attention the rules of OnLine Baptist regarding IFB and non-IFB members. We also appreciate your fine spirit and comments.

Ronda,

As usual you comments are welcomed and add to the discussion.

Alan

On the the next lesson!

The Aged Men

Verse 2, “That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

 

Paul first of all writes about, and to, the older men of the church. This is a logical place for Paul to begin as he practiced the precepts that God wrote down in the Old Testament. “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:32. We need to honor the old men, and women, that are around us. A person who is disrespectful to the aged is very inconsiderate to say the least.

The aged men in the church are men who have been saved and are not only old in age, but hopefully, mature in spiritual growth. It is an honorable and wonderful thing to be able to be old, wise and spiritually mature. “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” Proverbs 16:31

Paul writes about six characteristics that need to be found in the older men of the church.

     1. Sober.

     This is also one of the characteristics that were to be found in the qualifications of the pastor that Paul listed in chapter 1 verse 8. Again, the meaning of sober is not only limited to not being drunk with liquor, it means, “(1) unhurried; calm; (2) marked by sedate or gravely or earnestly thoughtful character or demeanor.”

      The person, who has matured in age, and grace, should have a calm demeanor about him. His character should be as such that younger people look up to him for advice and wisdom. As a person grows older he develops a mature outlook at the world, the things of God, and life in general, that normally only can be attained when a person is old.

      And, the mature person in the church needs to be unhurried about the events around him. He is very thoughtful in nature and does not rush into decisions. He very carefully thinks through a decision and learns how to hold his tongue. This is not easy and, unfortunately, this attribute, and wisdom, apart from a special act of God, can only come with age.

     2. Grave.

     Again, like being sober, being grave in character is a characteristic that is usually reserved for the aged in years and maturity. The meaning of grave is; (1) to impress or fix (as a thought) deeply; and, (2) having a serious and dignified quality or demeanor.

     As one grows older, hopefully, he thinks deeply about the events happening about him and considers all of the sides of the issue before he comes to a conclusion. He is serious in his thought, words and actions. He has a natural dignified bearing about him that is evident in his life.

     3. Temperate.

     The meaning of temperate is; (1) marked by moderation: as, keeping or held within limits: not extreme or excessive; and, marked by an absence or avoidance of extravagance, violence, or extreme partisanship.

     Even though this world is not temperate in its actions, words, deeds, thoughts, desires and pleasures, the aged, yea, every saint, should be temperate in their actions. God is willing to give the aged, yea, every saint, temperance. It is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22 & 23, says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

     We should avoid being like the world in being intemperate, or extravagant, in our desires. If the saint will walk in the Spirit, then He can give us the fruit of being temperate. This is not easy to do, as most people want to walk in the flesh. And, the flesh wants instant gratification in all things. One of the hardest things, especially for the young saints, is to crucify the flesh.

     Every saint needs to daily study, and practice, the truths set forth in Romans 8. Why? “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6. The aged person should be a living example of being temperate in the things of the world. This world and all of its pleasures, goods, and fame, will all pass away and the saint needs to be temperate in using our time, talents, and possessions. If we are not temperate in the world then, unfortunately, this world will take away our love for Christ. We cannot serve God and mammon.

     Paul said is very clearly in 1 Corinthians 7:31, “And they that use this world as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.”

     4. Sound in Faith.

     This is the fourth time in the book of Titus that Paul talked about being sound in faith or having sound doctrine, i.e., 1:9, 13, 2:1, 2. Quite obviously, Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, believes that doctrine and faith is extremely important in the life of the believer.

     I thoroughly understand that Satan, the world, and reprobates, does not consider doctrine important, but the man of God should. By the time a saint is mature in age he should be mature in doctrine. A person that is young in the faith is not expected to know the doctrines of the Bible, but, by the time he matures in age, and faith, he should know the doctrines of the Bible and be sound in the faith.

     And, after a person a saved for a while he should be able to walk more by faith, then walking by sight. The word of God was given to us so we could walk by faith. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” And, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” 1 Peter 2:2. God, like everybody else, loves babies, but, God, like everybody else, considers it unnatural when a baby does not grow mentally or physically. Even so it is like our spiritual life. All of us were spiritual babies when we first got saved. But, God expects us to mature, sound, in faith when we are aged, (old in years and in the faith).

     5. In Charity.

     “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” 1 Corinthians 13:13. Charity is mountain peak of the Christian life. God is trying to develop His characteristics in every Christian’s life. We need to know that, “...God is love.” 1 John 4:8 b. God wants His people, especially those who are mature in age and faith, to have love towards other people.

      As one grows in the faith and truly abides in Christ, Christ then develops love for others in the heart of that believer. By the time a saint has been walking with the Lord he should have love, or charity, towards others. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11

     6. In Patience.

     Patience is an attribute that takes a long time to develop nor is it easy to get. So often because we are too anxious about our problems, work, family, relationships with those about us, we get hasty in our decisions, actions and are impatient with life.

     Hopefully, by the time we get old, if God allows us live a long life, we should have patience. Being patient is an attribute of God and we need to be like Him. “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:5. God will accomplish His will according to His timing. God is very patient.

 

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The Aged Men

Verse 2, “That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

 

Paul first of all writes about, and to, the older men of the church. This is a logical place for Paul to begin as he practiced the precepts that God wrote down in the Old Testament. “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:32. We need to honor the old men, and women, that are around us. A person who is disrespectful to the aged is very inconsiderate to say the least.

The aged men in the church are men who have been saved and are not only old in age, but hopefully, mature in spiritual growth. It is an honorable and wonderful thing to be able to be old, wise and spiritually mature. “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” Proverbs 16:31 

This subject came up last night.  Our pastor spoke on Psalm 128, dealing with the husband sets the tone in his home -- if he is being a godly man, walking in the fear of the Lord, his wife and children will fall in line (generally speaking, there are always exceptions!)  Hubby did some cross referencing and said, this all leads back to discipleship, which sadly is lacking in most IFB churches, at least in our area.  Each church we've gone to over the past 15 years, we have pretty much been the youngest couple there.  Everyone else is in their 60s and 70s.  Many of these people have been saved for years (at least 50, usually) they frequently grew up in church.  In every case we sadly learn that we are the most spiritually mature in the church.  Hubby will teach on something basic, and they act like he is the greatest scholar they've ever heard.  Just a couple weeks ago hubby decided to start going through basic doctrines, and his first lesson was on God.  The people acted like they had never heard this information before.  Evidently there has not been any sound doctrine teaching in these churches for generations!  Typically they want to preach on everything that is going wrong in society, but if you don't teach a Christian to walk in the fear of the Lord, how will can we make a difference?  It was actually sad, because my husband asked me last night, "Who is there to disciple my generation?  And if there is no one, who will disciple our son's generation?"  Hubby would dearly like to have a mentor -- his father passed away when he was four years old and he grew up without a close father figure.  The one man who was most often there for him "disowned" him after he went to Bible college because hubby was "letting religion get in the way of his life."  He has gone through most of his life without an "aged man" to turn to when he has doubts and needs advice.  We have a serious dearth of spiritual maturity in our churches, and I think that has come from a neglect of stressing sound doctrine.  This is so very timely!

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This subject came up last night.  Our pastor spoke on Psalm 128, dealing with the husband sets the tone in his home -- if he is being a godly man, walking in the fear of the Lord, his wife and children will fall in line (generally speaking, there are always exceptions!)  Hubby did some cross referencing and said, this all leads back to discipleship, which sadly is lacking in most IFB churches, at least in our area.  Each church we've gone to over the past 15 years, we have pretty much been the youngest couple there.  Everyone else is in their 60s and 70s.  Many of these people have been saved for years (at least 50, usually) they frequently grew up in church.  In every case we sadly learn that we are the most spiritually mature in the church.  Hubby will teach on something basic, and they act like he is the greatest scholar they've ever heard.  Just a couple weeks ago hubby decided to start going through basic doctrines, and his first lesson was on God.  The people acted like they had never heard this information before.  Evidently there has not been any sound doctrine teaching in these churches for generations!  Typically they want to preach on everything that is going wrong in society, but if you don't teach a Christian to walk in the fear of the Lord, how will can we make a difference?  It was actually sad, because my husband asked me last night, "Who is there to disciple my generation?  And if there is no one, who will disciple our son's generation?"  Hubby would dearly like to have a mentor -- his father passed away when he was four years old and he grew up without a close father figure.  The one man who was most often there for him "disowned" him after he went to Bible college because hubby was "letting religion get in the way of his life."  He has gone through most of his life without an "aged man" to turn to when he has doubts and needs advice.  We have a serious dearth of spiritual maturity in our churches, and I think that has come from a neglect of stressing sound doctrine.  This is so very timely!

From my own experience and what I've heard from others this isn't a problem only among the IFB churches you speak of. It seems many have lost their way. Many pastors have forgotten, or never learned, their main job is to build up the congregation in the Word so they can rightly live for the Lord. Too many want to preach to the choir, as it were, only pointing out the sins of others, or preaching more of a political than biblical sermon. There are many forms of itching ears and some infect our churches as well as so many others.

Discipleship is sorely lacking. Some of this stems from the rise of youth culture and youth worship that has swept across America over the past six or so decades. Older folks, including the elderly, are often either looked down upon or simply tolerated unless they exhibit "youthful" attitudes and actions. Children and youth are exalted to levels above their station and often catered to. The same worldly influences driving the youth culture in secular society infects our churches. Children's church, youth groups, even bus ministries and the like have been elevated to the point they take precedence over other matters in the church and are conducted in a manner more conforming to the world than Scripture. The emphasis on these youth oriented programs tend to center around entertainment and fun far more than sharing the Gospel, making disciples, building them in the faith.

I can't even count the times I've heard Christians parents talking so highly of a nearby church because they have such a fun youth program and how they let the youth do so many things there, they are active and have lots of fun. In all these years I've never once heard any parent of a child/youth in those programs comment upon there being any winning those lost children/youth to Christ, of discipleship taking place, of growing in the Lord. Meanwhile, they look down upon our churches youth group for spending so much time in study and discussion of the Word.

When I attend a church service I want to hear the Word preached, expounded upon and hear how the Word should be applied in our lives. I don't need to hear about the latest Clinton scandal, the new music the church across town is using, an update on what Putin had for breakfast or what's wrong with the new Hollywood blockbuster movie. I can learn of all those from the news or hearing people talk about town. We need to hear preachers preaching the Word so we can live by the Word.

Sadly, most older folks in the church don't want to be involved with the youth and most of the youth don't want older folks involved with them. What a great loss this is when so much could be gained from godly older men teaching and discipling young boys to become men of God and older women teaching and discipling young girls to become godly women.

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Alimantado: Thanks for your help, I understand that a person doesn't have to be IFB to join here, I was upset about certain persons who specifically were attempting to teach against IFB beliefs and cause disruption. I don't want to get any more specific or name names publicly, etc. I just felt compelled to mention it since if a "newbie" were to come to this site searching for the truth and run across some of the things I was referring to, they might get confused about IFB doctrine. 

Yeah, I see your point. As far as I can see, the 2-3 topics that are perpertually under discussion here are reformed theology (Calvinism), dispensationalism and views about the millennium/rapture. Years ago, those topics would be discussed here with more grace and it seemed to be accepted that there was a limited range of views within IFB--go back to posts in the late 2000s and you will find respectful discussions. In fact, folk would regularly confess to not having a good understanding of any of those topics without their IFB credentials then being questioned. My observation (as a non-IFB) is that it is only in the past four years that people on here have been calling other people not IFB or even unsaved for not holding a particular view.

Anyway, what I really want to say is that there are many fundamentals that we don't tend to argue about on here, the Trinity and OSAS for example, and doctrines of the hour like 'open theism' tend not to come up. So that's a blessing at least. If arguments about the 2-3 topics that tend to cause stife can be contained in particular parts of the forum, as the eschatology discussions are at the moment, then that's also something, in my opinion.

Sorry for hijacking, Alan...

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Discipleship is sorely lacking. Some of this stems from the rise of youth culture and youth worship that has swept across America over the past six or so decades. Older folks, including the elderly, are often either looked down upon or simply tolerated unless they exhibit "youthful" attitudes and actions. Children and youth are exalted to levels above their station and often catered to. The same worldly influences driving the youth culture in secular society infects our churches. Children's church, youth groups, even bus ministries and the like have been elevated to the point they take precedence over other matters in the church and are conducted in a manner more conforming to the world than Scripture. The emphasis on these youth oriented programs tend to center around entertainment and fun far more than sharing the Gospel, making disciples, building them in the faith.

I think where the problem started is that IFBs began focusing solely on evangelism and let discipleship go by the wayside.  I think somewhere along the line they though that by simply being in church they will "grow" through osmosis or something.  It didn't happen.  So we ended up with a couple generations who went to church because they were supposed to, not because they really got anything out of it.  They never matured. Then their kids saw how "pointless" church was, how it didn't spill over into life, and quit going when they moved out of the house, and of course their kids weren't raised in church.  The idea that church doesn't have anything to offer has been perpetuated over the generations until we have a godless society.  A hundred years ago someone might not go to church, but they respected the building, the minister, and spoke respectfully of God and the Bible.  Not today, there is no respect whatsoever.

We need to get back to Ephesians 4. Send out the evangelists to bring in the new converts, then the teachers disciple them.  Building up the church is that two-fold process, it is a team effort.  But, of course, we need to grow those teachers....

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That is OK to a point, but is no use preaching Jesus to unbelievers if they don't know who God is,   We need to preach the holiness of God and his hatred of sin, etc before we can preach Jesus,or they will be believing in a false Jesus.

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I think where the problem started is that IFBs began focusing solely on evangelism and let discipleship go by the wayside.  I think somewhere along the line they though that by simply being in church they will "grow" through osmosis or something.  It didn't happen.  So we ended up with a couple generations who went to church because they were supposed to, not because they really got anything out of it.  They never matured. Then their kids saw how "pointless" church was, how it didn't spill over into life, and quit going when they moved out of the house, and of course their kids weren't raised in church.  The idea that church doesn't have anything to offer has been perpetuated over the generations until we have a godless society.  A hundred years ago someone might not go to church, but they respected the building, the minister, and spoke respectfully of God and the Bible.  Not today, there is no respect whatsoever.

We need to get back to Ephesians 4. Send out the evangelists to bring in the new converts, then the teachers disciple them.  Building up the church is that two-fold process, it is a team effort.  But, of course, we need to grow those teachers....

I have seen that and still hear folks talking about churches like that. The constant message is "if they are in a good church (of course, meaning their own church) they will hear good preaching and be good Christians". We (IFB) should have known better and we should know better now. Just sitting in a pew, even if hearing a good sermon isn't the same thing as being discipled.

Some of our churches also got into the "easy believism" or "1,2,3, repeat after me", "just say this 'sinners prayer' and you'll go to heaven" method of evangelism which tends to lead to many false "conversions". Along with chasing numbers (of supposed conversions) came the idea that was all that was important and with the end times upon us there was no time for follow-up or discipleship.

Bad, unbiblical moves which have given us vulnerable churches, folks who think they are saved but are not, believers  who remain babes in Christ, and now growing divisions between and among IFBs.

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That is OK to a point, but is no use preaching Jesus to unbelievers if they don't know who God is,   We need to preach the holiness of God and his hatred of sin, etc before we can preach Jesus,or they will be believing in a false Jesus.

Yes, that's the message lost sinners need to hear. That's not the message the congregation needs to hear over and over again, they need to be built up in Christ through the preaching of the Word. The Sunday school and Bible studies and youth groups should all be making disciples.

I recall one church I visited several weeks in a row when I was away from home and every sermon was a "come to Jesus" sermon. At the end of each sermon they played "Come to Jesus" over and over again while calling for someone to come to the front. It was a small congregation so the pastor should have known who he was preaching to and if there was anyone new in the pews. Even so, at the end of each service they played that song over and over and over again pleading with someone to surrender to Christ and be saved. Eventually, at each service, someone from the congregation would finally go stand at the front, they would sing the song once or twice more and plead some more, and then they would pray over that member of the congregation and finally close the service.

No meat at all for the saved congregation, and no outward soul winning, they were one of those churches which believes simply asking someone to attend their church is soul winning and their preacher preached as if the place was filled with new arrivals who had never heard of Jesus.

Absolutely, preach Christ, preach the reality of sin and the need to repent and be born again to the lost sinners. Afterward disciple the babes in Christ so they grow into mature men and women of God.

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Paul had previously said to Timothy, "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." 2 Timothy 2:2

One of the qulifications of the pastor that we read in Titus 1:9 was that the pastor was to teach 'sound doctrine.'

Alan

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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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      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.
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      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..
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      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

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      I, AM A DAUGHTER OF ABRAHAM SINNER BY BIRTH
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      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
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      O’ THE RICH ARE EMPTY, THE HUNGRY HAVE GOOD THINGS
      FOR THE THRONE OF DAVID WOULD HAVE JESUS THE KING
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      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, SO TRUST ME NOT
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      SO WE FLED INTO EGYPT BECAUSE OF HIS SCHEME
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      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                               5
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      HER BLACK ROBE PRIEST FILL THEIR LIPS WITH MY NAME
      WITH BLASPHEMOUS PRAISE, DAMMATION AND SHAME
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      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
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      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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