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         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.

Beliefs


DougA
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1 hour ago, fastjav390 said:

Are you really "laughing out loud"? 

Yes.  I find the beliefs of Mormonism absolutely hilarious and when I think of people actually believing it and taking it seriously, it makes me audibly laugh.    Then I remember that those people will go to Hell for having those beliefs and I stop laughing.  It's a cycle.

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On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 5:00 PM, DougA said:

Jesus even said in the New Testament when the disciples didn't know what to name the primitive church He told them to name it after Him because if it's named after a man then it's a mans church. If it's named after Jesus the son of God it's His church and His doctrine which all Christian's should follow.

I don't understand where you found this in the New Testament? Not confrontation, I just wanted to know where "Jesus said in the New Testament...to name it after Him because if it's named after a man then it's a mans church."

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Some other weird LDS doctrines:

    Jesus appeared in the Americas after his resurrection to speak to the remnants of the Israelites living there.

    They have an old Egyptian papyrus that they call the Book of Abraham, which is actually a copy of a well-known document from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. They insist it is the writings of Abraham and the drawings in it illustrate things about his life, even though the document is well-known as desribes the supposed journey of the soul. To this day, even though it is clearly disproven, they still insist this is what it is, even declaring that while the WORDS may say one thing, the MEANING was given by God so that Smith understood it a different way.

   Jehovah has physical sex with Mary to produce Jesus, (ignoring the Bible's clear truth that it was the work of the Holy Ghost, a spiritual work, not physical.) And of course, that God the father dwells in a body of flesh, despite the clear teaching that God is a Spirit and has no physical body.

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It's much easier for a rebellious sinner to follow after a man than having faith in God through Jesus Christ.  This is why Satan has created so many man-made religions and all are based on a works-based salvation.  Some folks just cannot fathom having to answer to their Creator and believe they can establish their righteousness before a Holy God on the day of their judgement!  What fools!  Instead, they'll be on their knees before a thrice Holy God before being tossed into the Lake of Fire.  How terrifying a thought!

The most terrifying words in the bible, "...I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” - Matthew 7:23

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You have asked some good questions. You have raised several points that are difficult to fully explain on a forum, but I think I can help you find some of the answers. I am an exmormon as well, and understand it's not easy to find a new faith without some doubts.
 
I think the first several questions are bothering you more than they should, because your LDS theology seems to have become a little rusty since you left.
 
 "Everyone that I know in the Baptist Church has said that Jesus was pre-ordained to save us from our sins but no one wants to take knowledge that He was there before the world was formed. Also the fact that Genesis states there was more than one dirty speaking in the garden to Adam and Eve. It states Man has now become like us. We shall make man in our image. Who is God talking to if Jesus wasn't born yet? The Bible if you look up the names of Jesus in Hebrew states that Jesus was the one who Moses spoke to on mount  sinai."
 
Let's start with the pre-ordination of Jesus to "atone" for our sins. Mormonism also teaches that Jesus was pre ordained (although distorted) to be the "Savior". One of the first "gospel principles" of Mormonism is the belief that every person on earth existed as spirit sons and daughters as a Heavenly family before we chose to come to the earth as a trial of Heavenly Fathers "Plan of Salvation". When our Heavenly Father called a council in heaven our spirit brothers Jesus and Lucifer both volunteered to to come to the earth to be our Savior, but Jesus ultimately was chosen as the pre ordained winner. (This belief is found in the book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price).
The official teaching of the LDS church is that Jesus is the Jehovah of the Old Testament (Heavenly Father is referred to as - Elohim). Jesus is considered the creator of the earth and all physical life as we know it, but Mormons believe he still has a father superior to him (Elohim). When God is speaking to men in the Bible it's Jesus himself (Jehovah). Heavenly Father is only believed to speak to men when he is affirming that Jesus is his "Only begotten Son"...for example when Jesus was baptized and at Joseph's Smiths First Vision. For more details about the LDS Jesus I recommend going to the Church's official online store (store.lds.org) and buying a copy of Jesus the Christ by James Talmage.
 
" Jesus even said in the New Testament when the disciples didn't know what to name the primitive church He told them to name it after Him because if it's named after a man then it's a mans church. If it's named after Jesus the son of God it's His church and His doctrine which all Christian's should follow. How exactly is it wrong. "
 
Like the others who replied before my post, I am unaware of any New Testament verse where Jesus discusses the name of his church. The official name of a church is really irrelevant in the grand scheme. We do not gain salvation through a "church"...we are saved by faith alone in the God-man Jesus of Nazareth. A church only becomes a "church" when there is an assembly of born again believers that meet and worship there. 
 
Anyway, I hope this at least helps a little.
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On 2/4/2017 at 1:47 PM, fastjav390 said:

Let me clarify. The letter was allegedly written to discredit Joseph Smith but in their zeal to reveal him for the fraud he was the author(s) of the letter made up some fanciful tales themselves. At least this is now what is claimed. You see, the LDS scholars actually believed the letter to be authentic until people began to use the letter to show how loony of a man Joe Smith was. Then all of a sudden they claimed it to be a forgery. 

Correct. The letter was proven to be a forgery and the man (I can't remember the forger name, Mark Hoffman maybe?) was arrested for selling other forged documents and admitted the Salamander letter was a fraud.

Regardless the incident revealed two important things about the LDS church. 1. Their Prophet wasn't able to foresee that it was a scam before authorizing a large payment for the letter. 2. It reveals how quickly they try to cover up their often embarrassing past by buying up all the available records to hide forever in their vault.

On 2/6/2017 at 0:31 PM, Ukulelemike said:

Some other weird LDS doctrines:

    Jesus appeared in the Americas after his resurrection to speak to the remnants of the Israelites living there.

    They have an old Egyptian papyrus that they call the Book of Abraham, which is actually a copy of a well-known document from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. They insist it is the writings of Abraham and the drawings in it illustrate things about his life, even though the document is well-known as desribes the supposed journey of the soul. To this day, even though it is clearly disproven, they still insist this is what it is, even declaring that while the WORDS may say one thing, the MEANING was given by God so that Smith understood it a different way.

   Jehovah has physical sex with Mary to produce Jesus, (ignoring the Bible's clear truth that it was the work of the Holy Ghost, a spiritual work, not physical.) And of course, that God the father dwells in a body of flesh, despite the clear teaching that God is a Spirit and has no physical body.

Mormons acknowledge that Jesus is the same as Jehovah in the Old Testament. They believe the Father of Jesus (and us all) goes by the name Elohim and he is the one who came to have physical sex with Mary.

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On ‎3‎/‎31‎/‎2017 at 7:17 PM, Disciple.Luke said:

Mormons acknowledge that Jesus is the same as Jehovah in the Old Testament. They believe the Father of Jesus (and us all) goes by the name Elohim and he is the one who came to have physical sex with Mary.

Well, sort of. It kind of depends on wich prophet you read, or which of their 'authoritative' books you read. Some claim Jesus to be God, Himself. Somce say he is Adam. Some say he is only ONE of the billions of spirit children of Elohim, as is Lucifer. Their doctrine is such a mess, because every 'prophet' of the church is allowed authority to write, or re-write, what has been written, as part of their progressive revelation. Even the book of Mormon declares unequivocably that there is only ONE God who is everlasting, and that Jesus IS God, while Doctrines and Covenants clearly says otherwise, as did Bring'em Young.

In fact, when compared, there is more true doctrine in the Book of Mormon about God than any of their other books, which disagree terribly one with another. It is amazing to me that ANYONE can be so stupid, or willingly ignorant, as to fall for it.

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On 2/2/2017 at 1:07 AM, Jim_Alaska said:

This is just an observation, it does not speak to the subject at hand. many times we confuse issues and others when we say things like, "Jesus was there in the beginning". I am not picking on you Swath, just trying to correct a common misconception.

There was no Jesus until he was born in Bethlehem. Before his incarnation he was The Word. "In the beginning was The Word".

To clarify more...

“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. John 8:58

The very same person "Jehovah Saves" or "Jehovah is Salvation" was in the beginning. The Bible says He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world"  and the Bible says "the word was God". 

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On 4/3/2017 at 10:18 AM, Ukulelemike said:

Well, sort of. It kind of depends on wich prophet you read, or which of their 'authoritative' books you read. Some claim Jesus to be God, Himself. Somce say he is Adam. Some say he is only ONE of the billions of spirit children of Elohim, as is Lucifer. Their doctrine is such a mess, because every 'prophet' of the church is allowed authority to write, or re-write, what has been written, as part of their progressive revelation. Even the book of Mormon declares unequivocably that there is only ONE God who is everlasting, and that Jesus IS God, while Doctrines and Covenants clearly says otherwise, as did Bring'em Young.

In fact, when compared, there is more true doctrine in the Book of Mormon about God than any of their other books, which disagree terribly one with another. It is amazing to me that ANYONE can be so stupid, or willingly ignorant, as to fall for it.

I agree with your assessment that LDS theology has changed. Yes, Brigham Young taught the Adam-God doctrine, but that belief died shortly with him. The problem is that the Mormons are trying to appear more orthodox to the public, but under the surface they still hold to many of the past beliefs. President Joseph Fielding Smith is widely considered to be the "authority" of defining LDS doctrine. My first calling in the LDS was  2nd counselor in the Sunday School Presidency, and my responsibilities (along with the 1rst counselor) was to learn LDS doctrine, and keep a watchful ear for false doctrine being taught in the Sunday School classes and report back to the Sunday School President. It's in these classes where most non-mormons won't hear the actual doctrines being taught.

Your comment about there being "more true doctrine in the Book of Mormon" is also accurate. In fact, the break away group, now called the Community of Christ are trinitarian because they rejected Brigham Young as successor and do not hold the Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Convenants as scripture. Interestingly, this is the group that Joseph wife, Emma followed and Joseph's Smiths children were considered his rightful successors.

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We are p[raying about obtaining the old LDS church building here in our town, to use for our building. In it, they have left tons of their own books, sunday school lessons, from the earliest to the oldest groups. I hope we can because I'd like to keep a copy of each to read from their own manuals what they actually teach today. And burn the rest.

It drives me nuts, they only want $89,000 for the building, easily worth that much, but we just don't have it. The Lord would have to pretty much give it, or the money, to us, as we could afford payments or the utilities and insurance to keep it open, but not both. No, I'm not hinting at anything here, bby the way, I am quite certain that's not something anyone could do, anyways, lol.

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