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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.

Clarence Larkin - The Spirit World


Alan
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Brethren,

I would like to do a review of the book written by Clarence Larkin, "The Spirit World." For those brethren who do not have a copy, a free PDF copy can be obtained by the following website:

http://www.earnestlycontendingforthefaith.com/Books/Clarence Larkin/TheSpiritWorld/ClarenceLarkinTheSpiritWorld01.html

I would suggest that those who obtain the PDF copy "The Spirit world" to read the foreword. 

The material contained in Larkin's, "The Spirit World," both written and how he presents it on the charts, is, except for a few notable exceptions, excellent material  for a better understanding of the scriptures. In my previous study on Larkin's, "The Book of Revelation, " I brought out some of the issues I disagree with. One of the notable exceptions is that, on rare occasions, Larkin will use a different version of the scriptures. The brethren at the website, 'Earnestly Contending for the Faith,' removed these corrupt versions and inserted the KJV text.

Looking forward to some good discussions, questions, comments, and good fellowship in this study.

Regards,

Alan

 

 

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12 hours ago, Ronda said:

Brother Alan, I would very much be interested in a book review on Clarence Larkin's "The Spirit World".
I've not (yet) read it myself, not knowing it existed... but have now found a free copy online and plan to read it (God willing). 

It would be a very timely study, since spiritual warfare is a major issue in the life of believers. (Eph.6:12). I just started the first chapter, and it looks to be an excellent read. 

Maranatha! 

Sister Ronda,

Very happy to hear that you found a free online copy of Clarence Larkin's, "The Spirit World." I moved your post from the Revelation thread to here as we will conduct the study on this thread (unless the moderator's decide differently).

Thank you for your reference to Ephesians 6:12 is appropriate to this study. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Every believer is in a spiritual battle.

As you read through the book please feel free to comment as your are lead. We do appreciate your thoughts and comments.

Alan

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A Brief Overview of the Contents of The Spirit World

Clarence Larkin published the book in 1921. In his Foreward he states that it was due to the rise of "Spiritism" as of communicating with the dead that prompted him to write this book. He stated that he had the hope that those caught up in "Spiritism" would see the truths of the scripture concerning the spirit world.

Larkin deals with 19 aspects of the spirit world: from an overview of the beings in the spirit world, the Trinity, Satan, Fallen angels, the death of a person, the resurrections, the judgments and other matters in the spirit world.

These 19 aspects of the spirit world are divided into 19 chapters. We will discuss each aspect of the spirit world as we discuss each chapter.

Included in the book are 28 pictures depicting Bible scenes related to the subjects that he discusses. Unless necessary to the discussion, I will probably not discuss the pictures, nor photograph them, in this study.

Included  among the various chapters are charts. The charts are invaluable. Clarence Larkin had the ability, the gift from God, to put in chart form an accurate flow of the history of the subjects that he discussed. As in the book overview of Larkin's "Book of Revelation," we will discuss the charts as needed.

I would encourage all of your to read chapter 1of The Spirit World, called, "The Spirit World," before I begin the Overview of the book.

Alan

 

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Brethren,

 

I will give a brief overview of the various chapters and the charts that I deem to be helpful. If there is any part of the book, whether or not I refer to it, that you want to discuss, please do so.

 

Due to the many subjects of the spirit world, Larkin does not attempt to comment on every verse in every subject.

 

There is a chart called, “The Prophetic Earth,”after the Foreword and before Chapter 1, that some find interesting. I find it unusual. But, Larkin does not comment on it. So, decide for yourself. I will forgo commenting on the pictures within the book.

 

Alan

 

Overview of Clarence Larkin's, “The Spirit World.”

By Alan

 

Chapter 1

“The Spirit World.”

There is a common saying, “Can't see the forest due to the trees.”Larkin brings our a very important fact about the scriptures that is very obvious, but, somewhat neglected. Larkin states in his first sentence, “The Scriptures are full of the “Supernatural.” Larkin begins to give a broad overview of the spiritual nature of the scriptures and some of the “Spirit Beings; particularly, Micheal, Gabriel, and Satan. Except for a quotation of Ezekiel 1:4-14, and, “John's Living Creatures,” Rev.4:6-8, with an accompanying hand drawn picture, there are not charts in chapter 1.

Chapter 2

“The Tri-Unity of God.”

Larkin brings out some interesting facts concerning trinity of the Godhead. He brings out some interesting facts both from the scriptures, from the natural realm, and the trinity of man. There are no charts in chapter 2.

Chapter 3

“Satan”

Larkin clearly shows how Satan is a person, his origin, and brings out some important notes on Isaiah 14:12-20 and Job 38:7. Larkin has a well-thought out section on, “The Problem of Evil,” which should be read by every saint and sinner.

 

Larkin clearly brings out Satan's present location, his kingdom, his methods, how he is an adversary to the saints of God and his doom.

The Chart

Satan - “The God of This Age”

is found on page 9

 

image.thumb.jpeg.b2492efe52b341a8ae630656e50df5f9.jpeg

Photo by Alan

 

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Brethren,

I am in the process of writing an overview (not necessarily a detailed lesson), on Chapter IV (four), called, "The Fallen angels," and Larkin's Larkin's belief that, "fallen angels," and "the sons of God" in Genesis 6 are one and the same. This coming lesson is one of the issues that I do not agree with Clarence Larkin. As I do not want to turn this overview of, "The Spirit World," into a debate on the Genesis 6:1-8, I would like to direct the reader's to study John Young's' thread. It is found in: (Home\Forums for independent fundamental baptists\IFB Biblical Issues\The Sons of God are not the Angels. John Young exposition on Genesis 6:1-8 is excellent and I agree with him wholeheartedly.

Here is the link to John Young's thread:

I want to thank all of you for reading this overview.

Alan

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                                                                        Chapter 4 – The Fallen Angels
                                                                                             Overview
Note # 1: There is no chart for this chapter. But, he does refer the reader to the Chart in the chapter, “The Underworld.” Therefore, I will use quotes from Larkin to show his train of thought and bring out my own comments.

Note # 2: Most of the answers to Larkin's interpretation on Genesis 6:1-4 have previously been answered in the John Young thread on, “The Sons of God are not Angels.”I will limit my comment on the 2 Peter 2:2 4 & 5, Jude 6 & 7 reference to the fallen angels and the “sons of God” section. 
                                                                           2 Peter 2:4 & 5 and Jude 6 & 7 
2 Peter 2:4 & 5, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” 
Jude 6 & 7, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” 

God brought judgment on the individuals in Noah's day for the same reason He is going to judge the world in the Tribulation Period: the ungodliness of the people. 

Larkin combines 2 Peter 2:4 & 5 with Jude 6 & 7 and then states that all of the above scripture verses to angels, or the sons of God, became fallen angels when they had intercourse with women during the days of Noah in Genesis 6:1-4 Larkin believes that the angels in Jude 6 are the individuals that gave themselves over to fornication in Jude 7. This is not so. Jude 6 and 7 are referring to two different situations. 

Jude 6, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” The first estate, or habitation, of these fallen  angels was heaven. An estate, or habitation, is a location or a place of residence. Like Satan,Isaiah 14:13 &14, they willingly left their first estate,their habitation, and God punished them. The sins of these angels was not cohabitation with women on the earth.

The punishment was to be kept in everlasting chains unto the judgment of Revelation 20:11-15 The King James Version translators called this place hell. No matter whether you call it hell, or Tartarus, the result is the same. These fallen angels have been in hell, or Tartarus, since the day they rebelled against God and cannot leave. Satan is not currently in hell, but these angels are. 

Jude 7, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” The apostle Jude is clearly referencing to the individuals of Sodom and Gomorrah and not to the situation in Genesis 6:1-4. “… and going after strange flesh.” is a clear reference to the sin of Sodomy, or homosexuality, as the Apostle Jude is referring to: Genesis 19:1-26 In Leviticus, “strange flesh” is also when the intercourse is accomplished with a human being and an animal: or bestiality, Leviticus 20: 15 & 16 

Therefore, Jude 7 is not referring to angels but to the men of Sodom committing sodomy and possibly bestiality.  
                                                                                                            The Sons of God
Larkin refers to John 1:12; Romans 8:14-14; Galatians 4:6; 1 John 3:1 & 2 and states that the sons of the God of the Old Testament are are not the sons of God (a person who is saved), in the New Testament. 

Larkin states, “The title “Bne-Ha-Elohim,” “Sons of God,” has not the same meaning in the Old Testament that it has in the New. In the New Testament it applies to those who have become the “Sons of God” by the New Birth. John 1:12; Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:6; 1 John 3:1-2. In the Old Testament it applies exclusively to the angels, and is so used five times.”i 

Larkin then states, “A “Son of God” denotes a being brought into existence by a creative act of God.”ii Larkin creates his own definition for a “Son of God” for the Old Testament and his own definition of the “sons of God,” in the New Testament. I do not accept his arbitrary definitions and stating that the meaning of each word is different in the two Testaments. 

Larkin refer too, but does not quote, Luke 3:38, which clearly tells us  Adam was referred to as a son of God (I understand that the phrase “the son” is in italics: I will italicize the words as recorded in the King James Version as the translators italicize the verse) “Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.” Luke 3:38 The King James translators were correct to add the italicized words, “the son” in their respective places in Luke 3:38. 

Therefore, Adam was called, “a son of God” in the Old Testament and the phrase, “sons of God,” as a reference to a righteous person, a saved saint, is both proper usage of the word in both the Old and New Testament and is not exclusive to angels in the Old Testament. Adam and Eve willingly accepted the punishment given by God, and willingly, by faith, accepted the garments to cover their nakedness.   Adam was not only a created being but, by faith, was righteous, a son of God, in the sight of God. 

Furthermore, the Holy Spirit clearly worked in the hearts of the Old Testament saints, and clearly led Moses, the prophets, the Judges (Joshua and Judges), clearly led, and spoke to King David, King Solomon, and others, so, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14 Therefore, as the saints in the Old Testament were led by the Spirit of God, the saints in the Old Testament can be referred to as, “sons of God.”

When a Gentile is saved in the New Testament he is “grafted,” or, “adopted,” into the saved Israelites in the Old Testament and we (saved Gentiles), can become, as the saved Jews in the Old Testament, a child of God, or one of the, “sons of God.” “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Romans 8:15 & 16 

Therefore, the Old Testament usage of the term “sons of God” is not exclusive to angels.  

Edited by Alan
formatting grammer twice had to re-italicize luke 3:38
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Clarence Larkin – The Spirit World

Chapter 5 – “Demonism”

Overview

The chapter on Demonism by Larkin is very good. Although it does not have a chart, Larkin's comments on Demonism and Spiritualism, is very good. I would like to quote the first paragraph as it sets the tone for the chapter, “We are reading a great deal in these days about “Spiritualism,” or the communication of the living with the dead. What is called “Spiritualism” is DEMONISM, and is forbidden in the scriptures. Lev.20:6, 27. Deu. 18:10-11. Isa 8:19 R.V. The “Familiar Spirits” of the Old Testament are the same as the “Demons” and “Seducing Spirits” of the New Testament.”i

Larkin has a section dealing with, “The Power of Demons over the Human Body,” that is very good.

Larkin spends a considerable time with a section on, “The Spirit of Samuel,” and the prophet Samuel's appearance with King Saul in 1 Samuel 28:3-25. Larkin goes into great detail in explaining that God took the matter out of the hand of the medium, the witch of Endor, and allowed the prophet Samuel to sternly rebuke King Saul for his disobedience. I agree with Larkin in the interpretation of the passage. I would recommend anyone who is in doubt on what really happened with King Saul,the witch at Endor, and the appearance of the prophet Samuel to read the interpretation by Larkin.

Chapter 6

The Underworld”

Clarence Larkin begins the chapter with the Hebrew Old Testament words for Hell, the Grave, the Pit, etc… and corresponding Greek words of Hades, Hell and the meanings of Sheol and Hades etc… in relationship with the spirit world. Larkin then proceeds to give some appropriate (not all), scripture verses as examples.

Larkin has a chart to help explain the various Hebrew and Greek words and their locations.

The Heavens”

 

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Page 49

Photo by Alan

Larkin explains the various Hebrew and Greek meanings, and related scripture passages, and their locations as depicted on the chart. Larkin clearly explains why the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Luke 16:19-21, is a true story and not a parable. His explanation on Ecclesiastes 9:5 & 10, is also noteworthy for those who need help in dealing with Jehovah's Witnesses.

 

Larkin has a section on, “Purgatory,” the, “Restoration Theory,” that is helpful for those who deal with Catholics. In dealing with the subject of purgatory and the Mass, Larkin has a section called, “A Defective View of the Work of Christ on the Cross.” In his comments Larkin adequately explains how the Catholic view of the purgatory and the mass are contrary to the real meaning of, “The Lord's Supper,” as a memorial for the work of Christ on the cross. Larkin has a good chart dealing with the Priestly work of Christ that is helpful in understanding the Prophetic, the Priestly and the Kingly work of Christ.

The Two Comings”

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Photo by Alan

Larkin has a section on, “Annihilationism”and a section on “Future Punishment Eternal,” that is very helpful. In his comments on annihilationism he brings out the correct interpretation of the word “destruction” as it is used in the scriptures.

 

i Larkin, Clarence The Spirit World, (Glenside, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate), 1921, page 37

Edited by Alan
grammer changed chapter 4 to 5 and 5 to 6
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Invicta,

Thank you for looking closely at the chart. I appreciate your participation.

I do agree with Larkin though that the Judgment Seat of Christ is separate from the Great White Throne of Judgment.

Brethren,

I briefly mentioned the subject of the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Great White Throne of Judgment in the Revelation Chapter 19-22 Study on page number 1, 3, & 8 Here is the link to one of the studies.

On 3/7/2015 at 9:22 PM, Alan said:

Revelation 19: 7-10, “The Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”

Verse 7, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Verse 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Verse 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Verse 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow-servant, and of the brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Very Important notes: At this point in our study of the prophetic events in the Book of Revelation we need to make sure of four key points in the interpretation, and order of events, of prophecy:

  1. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 All of the various religions, cults, false prophets, et al, can ‘divide’ the scriptures; but they do not have the spiritual discernment to ‘rightly’ divide the scriptures. “ 1 Corinthians 2:13 & 14, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” The confusion concerning the fulfillment of the prophetic prophesies of the prophets is due to corrupt doctrine in the churches, denominational bias, and of evil influences. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33

  2. “Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:32. Concerning prophecy, there are specific promises and prophesies given to the elect sons of Israel; specific prophecies concerning the unbelieving Gentile nations, and specific promises to the elect in the church of God (believing Jews and Gentiles in the Church Age).

  3. “… for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10 Amen!

  4. The prophetic prophecies by the prophets in the Old Testament concerning the restoration of Israel, the coming of the Messiah, and the times of ‘Jacob’s Trouble,’ (the Tribulation Period)and the prophesies of the Lord Jesus, particularly Matthew chapter 24 & 25, the prophecies of Paul, Peter and John are not always written in the order of sequence. The proper order of sequences of the prophecies is ‘revealed’ in the Book of Revelation. Because God is the God of order, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:10, God gave us the proper order of prophetic events clearly delineated in the Book of Revelation.

“…the marriage of the Lamb is come…”

In the Old Testament the wife of Jehovah is the Jewish nation of Israel. In the Church Age the nation of Israel is pictured as an adulterous wife: Please study Jeremiah and Hosea.

The Lamb is the Lord Jesus Christ. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

In the New Testament the wife of the Lord Jesus is the church. I must add; the church is comprised of born again Jews and Gentiles who are saved, not those necessarily belonging to some, ‘church.’ The book of Ephesians gives us an in-depth description of the spiritual relationship between the church and the Saviour. Particularly: Ephesians 12:4, 22 & 23; 2:6 & 7, and 5:23-33

“…and his wife hath made herself ready.”

The ‘wife’ is the church. The reason why the church is not mentioned during the events of the Great Tribulation Period, or the ‘Times of Jacob’s trouble,’ is due to the fact that the church has been in heaven since Revelation 4:1. The church, during the Tribulation Period, Revelation chapter 6-18, has been being made ‘ready’ for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Almost without exception, every bride, in every country, in every age, is secretly taken away to be made ‘ready’ for her marriage. In Revelation 4:1 The church was secretly taken out of the world at the ‘Rapture,’ in order to be made ‘ready’ for her bridegroom.

This being made ‘ready’ is primarily a reference to the cleansing of heretical doctrine in the church and the giving of rewards to the Church Age saints at the, ‘Judgment Seat of Christ,’ as spoken by Paul in Romans 14:10-12, 1 Corinthians 3:8-15, and 2 Corinthians 5:10. Salvation and service are two different aspects in the Christian life.

Paul wrote this testimony shortly before his death, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.” 2 Timothy 4:6

And, “That he [Christ] might sanctify and cleanse it [the church] with the washing by the word.” Ephesians 5:26. Brethren, please take this lesson as a friendly word of warning. If you are not going to be cleansed from your sins and from corrupt doctrine while you live on the earth by the word of God, the Lord Jesus will personally cleanse every Christian of the corrupt doctrines, corrupt Bibles, corrupt associations, and corrupt behavior, at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The Lord Jesus performed one act at the Temple of God at the beginning of His earthly ministry and at the end of His earthly ministry that all of the saints need to take very careful heed. The Lord Jesus ‘cleansed’ the Temple of God. One day the Lord Jesus will again ‘cleanse’ the Temple of God. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19

“…for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”  

  1. Righteousness in Salvation. When a person believes on the Lord Jesus as Saviour he is made ‘righteous’ in the sight of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

  2. Righteousness in Daily Holiness. In our daily walk with the Lord Jesus we need to be ‘righteous’ in our thoughts, our behavior, our companionship, and relationship with our fellow man. 2 Corinthians 6: 11-18, 2 Timothy 2:19-21, and the rest of the writings of the Apostles in the New Testament. 1 Peter1:16, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Some of the saints on God’s green earth are not holy and therefore, not ‘ready.’ All of us though will be made ‘ready,’ or ‘holy,’ in preparation for our marriage with the Lamb. Glory Hallelujah!

    The Lord Jesus wants a ‘chaste virgin’ for His bride: 2 Corinthians 11:2

“…which are called…”

Every person who has answered the, ‘call of salvation,’ will be ‘called,’ to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The ‘calling’ of the saints to the marriage supper was made when the Lord Jesus ‘called’ the saints into heaven. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16 & 17

“…See thou do it not…”

The Apostle John mistakenly fell down to worship this man of God. The man of God, as any true man of God, told him not to do it. If the Pope, the Cardinals, and the Priests of the Roman Catholic Church were true men of God (which they are not in any sense of the word), then they would not allow people to fall at their feet. It is Satanic for a man to allow another man to fall at his feet in worship and not to correct him for his error.

“…for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

All of the prophesies of the Old Testament, and, the prophesies of the New Testament, point to some aspect of the character, work, testimony, and person of the Lord Jesus as the Messiah.

 

Alan

 

Here is the link: http://www.onlinebaptist.com/home/topic/23115-revelation-chapter-19-22-study/?page=1

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Brethren,

I appreciate all of you who are following this overview of Larkin's, 'The Spirit world.' There is a lot of information on the charts that I have not discussed as this is just a broad overview. So, as you either read something in the book, or see something in the charts that you are not familiar with, or you disagree with, please bring it to our attention. It is my intention to bring out that I feel that his books (as a whole not in its entirety), are useful to give the diligent student of scripture  a proper understanding of the work of God throughout history. And, in this overview, some of his subjects can help us understand the false teachings, and spirit, of the Catholics, spiritualism and Jehovah's witnesses.

Any others thoughts, areas we need to discuss, or questions that need to be discussed, before I start the next lesson?

Alan

 

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Bro. Alan. I am behind you in my reading of Larkin's work. But since you stated that you would like other's comments as thoughts came to them I thought I would make a short comment on something that I have often taken exception with.

It has to do with Larkin's observations in his section on the Tri-Unity of God. I speak specifically of his assertion that The Trinity was present at the Baptism of Jesus.

While I do believe that The Trinity was present at the Baptism of Jesus and that this is a strong proof verse for the argument that there is a Trinity, I take strong exception with Larkin and most others teaching that the "HOLY SPIRIT" was present in the form of a "Dove." Mat 3:16-17.

While my views in opposition to this teaching are not something that I would break fellowship over, I do believe that for the sake of clarity and proper "rightly dividing" I have always taken exception to this teaching regarding the form the Holy Spirit took in this Scripture.

John clearly says that he saw The Spirit of God "descending like a dove." To me this speaks expressly to the manner in which The Spirit of God descended, not the actual form He descended in.

I hope my observation and understanding does not seem too "picky', but this has always been my point of departure with the teaching of most on this subject. It is because of this one verse that we see The Holy Spirit depicted by most teachers and writers as a dove in picture form in their work.

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Hmmm.

"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:16 & 17

Larkin stated, "The "SON" was present in Jesus. And the "HOLY SPIRIT" was present in the form of a "DOVE." This quote is found on page 5.

Jim,

Very happy that you made this comment about the Holy Spirit descending like a dove. I do not feel it is nit-picking.

I had thought of what you are saying, but I am not mentioning every detail that Larkin states as I do not know what subjects are of interest to everybody and what subjects to comment on and what subjects not to comment on.

The scriptures does state the the Holy Spirit, "... descending like a dove..." and then, "... lighting upon him..." The scriptures does not say, " in the form of a dove " as you brought out. Some have thought though that since the scriptures say, "and lighting upon him" indicates not only the descending manner but also a form of a dove.

Either way, I appreciate your participation and I appreciate your observation, and comments, concerning the Holy Spirit.

Alan

 

P.S.

I have not noticed this subject previously being discussed on OnLine Baptist.

So, as Larkin did make this a point in his book, and if there is anybody else, or if Jim wants to continue this discussion on Matthew 3:16-17 and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove, please do so.

Alan

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9 hours ago, Alan said:

Hmmm.

"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:16 & 17

Larkin stated, "The "SON" was present in Jesus. And the "HOLY SPIRIT" was present in the form of a "DOVE." This quote is found on page 5.

Jim,

Very happy that you made this comment about the Holy Spirit descending like a dove. I do not feel it is nit-picking.

I had thought of what you are saying, but I am not mentioning every detail that Larkin states as I do not know what subjects are of interest to everybody and what subjects to comment on and what subjects not to comment on.

The scriptures does state the the Holy Spirit, "... descending like a dove..." and then, "... lighting upon him..." The scriptures does not say, " in the form of a dove " as you brought out. Some have thought though that since the scriptures say, "and lighting upon him" indicates not only the descending manner but also a form of a dove.

Either way, I appreciate your participation and I appreciate your observation, and comments, concerning the Holy Spirit.

Alan

 

P.S.

I have not noticed this subject previously being discussed on OnLine Baptist.

So, as Larkin did make this a point in his book, and if there is anybody else, or if Jim wants to continue this discussion on Matthew 3:16-17 and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove, please do so.

Alan

Thanks Alan. 

I don't think it matters either way.  The main point is that he saw the spirit descending. Was it Jesus that saw, or John?

  In Acts 2 the Spirit appeared as cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

  • Luke 2:2-3 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
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Invicta,

Thank you for your comments and bringing Acts 2:3 to our attention.

Brethren,

Any other thoughts, or comments, on other passages of scripture pertaining to the subject of the baptism of the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove?

Alan

 

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Chapter 7
“The Spirits in Prison”
Introduction

There is a doctrine called, “Second Chance,” that uses 1 Peter 3:18-20, and many other verses, as  proof-texts to teach that once a person dies, and descends in hell, he is offered a “second chance” to hear the gospel, repent, trust in Christ as Saviour, and is then able to leave hell (Hades or Sheol), and enter into heaven.

If you want to see how these false teachers manipulate the scriptures, use the Greek and Hebrew words (Hades and Sheol), for the afterlife, malign the King James Version with alleged 'mistakes,' and use human reasoning throughout their belief system. And, you have the 'stomach' to read through 15 pages of heretical teaching without being confused, you may visit the following website: http://www2.biglobe.ne.jp/remnant/hades.htm 

I would like the reader to remember one verse if he reads the material in either of the two websites that I am referencing to in this chapter. Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” All false teachers use 'human reasoning' or 'philosophy' in order to twist scriptures into a heretical belief.

The 'Worldwide Church of God, founded by, Herbert W. Armstrong, teaches a 'second chance' for the eternal salvation of the soul. http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/armstrong.htm

Although the Roman Catholic church does not teach that their belief in Purgatory is a 'second chance' belief; for all practical purposes it is a 'second chance' to enter heaven after death.
                                                                                                                              Overview
Clarance Larkin wrote this chapter in order to refute the doctrine of a “Second Chance,” to escape hell (Hades or Sheol), and be saved after death and enter heaven. Larkin bases this chapter on 1 Peter 3:18-20 There is no chart for this chapter, but Larkin does refer the reader to chart on, “The Underworld,” in chapter 6, page 49.

1 Peter 3:18-20, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a-preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” Larkin believes that the,  “spirits in prison,” were angels that had sinned in the days of  Noah and uses 2 Peter 2:4 & 5, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” And then Jude 6-7 coupled with Genesis 6:1-4 I had previously commented that I am not in agreement with Larkin.

Larkin then relates that these 'fallen angels' are in “Tartarus. Larkin had previously brought out this belief in Chapter 4, “The Fallen Angels.” And, that when the Lord Jesus went to the 'Underworld' during the time between His death and resurrection He went to the “Paradise' section and emptied it of the 'righteous dead.' 

Larkin then proceeds to express his belief that the Lord Jesus personally did not preach to the 'spirits in prison' but that the Holy Spirit, through Noah, actually did the preaching to the 'spirits in prison' during his earthly ministry. Larkin then uses Genesis 6:3; 2 Peter 2:5 and gives the illustration Paul the apostle using a similar thought in Ephesians 2:17 and Acts 20:17-27

An important note in this series of belief is needed to be brought out; Larkin notes that 'preaching' does not necessarily mean 'preaching the gospel. Larkin does note that 1 Peter 4:6, “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”  Larkin states that this is referring to the time that Noah preached to the fallen angels when they were alive and not when they were dead. 

In my thoughts while reading and studying for the chapter, I feel Larkin could have better refuted the false doctrine of a 'second chance' of escaping hell (Hades or Sheol), using other passages in the scriptures. 

Edited by Alan
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Alan in reply to your above post I would just add the verse

  • Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment

Regarding Armstrongism,   There is a group of the WWCOG near here  I had not realised that till one of their members began to come to our church then our seniors lunch club. He said that after Armstrong's death that they dropped all his teachings but they still met on Saturday's but they don't have to.  He also said at that time the membership dropped from 130 to 25.  I asked him if they still believed that the British are the lost ten tribes?  he said "No." but after a while said, "But I do,"   After we mentioned this sect some time ago, I received loads of ads on the site for the CCG, the  Continuing Church of God who still keep all his teachings and reissue his book.  

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On 11/8/2017 at 7:52 PM, Alan said:

Larkin spends a considerable time with a section on, “The Spirit of Samuel,” and the prophet Samuel's appearance with King Saul in 1 Samuel 28:3-25. Larkin goes into great detail in explaining that God took the matter out of the hand of the medium, the witch of Endor, and allowed the prophet Samuel to sternly rebuke King Saul for his disobedience. I agree with Larkin in the interpretation of the passage. I would recommend anyone who is in doubt on what really happened with King Saul,the witch at Endor, and the appearance of the prophet Samuel to read the interpretation by Larkin.

Brother Alan, I also agree with brother Larkin's assessment of 1 Sam.28 in regard to the spirit of Samuel. Verse 12 shows us she (the witch of Endor) was clearly taken aback "when the woman saw Samuel". 

Not to derail the study, but rather to focus for a moment on this part of scripture, and ask a question.

It's clear that Saul had been anointed of God. And even David did not slay Saul, (though numerous times he had the opportunity to do so) because David recognized that the Lord had anointed Saul. Yet Saul did sin greatly against the Lord and disobeyed Him. Saul was also jealous over David, and had sought his life. 

The question would be pertaining to 1 Sam.28:19 "Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines." 

There we see Saul's physical death foretold by Samuel. Yet Samuel said " to morrow thou and thy sons be with me".

The question would be, when Samuel said "be with me", did he mean paradise? In essence, was Saul sent to be with Samuel in paradise?

I am presuming he did. (But would like to hear your thoughts on this). I've also taken into account the numerous sins David committed. And God allowed bad things to happen to David because of those sins, and yet He called him "a man after his own heart" (1 Sam.13:14).

Thank you for your time. And I am enjoying this study. While I (also) did not concur completely with all of brother Larkin's writing in the book "The Spirit World", I did find it edifying and did find agreement scripturally in much of it. Thank you also for posting the review.

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27 minutes ago, Ronda said:

The question would be, when Samuel said "be with me", did he mean paradise? In essence, was Saul sent to be with Samuel in paradise?

I am presuming he did. (But would like to hear your thoughts on this). I've also taken into account the numerous sins David committed. And God allowed bad things to happen to David because of those sins, and yet He called him "a man after his own heart" (1 Sam.13:14).

Thank you for your time. And I am enjoying this study. While I (also) did not concur completely with all of brother Larkin's writing in the book "The Spirit World", I did find it edifying and did find agreement scripturally in much of it. Thank you also for posting the review.

Ronda,

Thank you for your comments.

The question, when Samuel stated, "... be with me..." is referring to paradise to be with Samuel, or, did Samuel mean to die: like Samuel was.

In my own mind, I think the Lord had Samuel deliberately phrased it so we could not know for certain.  Personally, I lean towards the thought that the phrase, "... be with me ..." refers to the fact that Samuel was dead and that the next day King Saul and his sons would die in battle.

I also agree with you, and I have brought out several times, that in Larkin's "The Spirit World," I am somewhat disappointed in some of his thoughts.

Alan

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The Spirit World

Chapter 8 Overview

“Natural Law in the Spirit World”

I do need to bring out an aspect of the chapter that is obvious if one reads the whole chapter and that may not be obvious if a person just reads this overview. Larkin only talks about the resurrection of the body of the righteous and does not reference what type of body, or spirit, that the lost will have. As one reads the chapter Larkin is trying to show how God will give us (the saved), a material body in heaven that is adapted for living in heaven. There is not a chart in this chapter neither does Larkin reference any other chart.

Larkin is trying to show that as we have a natural body in this life that is adaptable to live on this earth we (the saved saint), will have a spiritual body that will be adapted to live in heaven at the resurrection of the dead.

Larkin states that our physical body in much the same as an animal. After mentioning Genesis 2:7, Larkin states (caps and bold print are Larkin's), “While man differs from a beast in having a “Spirit,” yet he is as to his body only an ANIMAL. That is, his body is formed on the same general plan, and governed by the same laws, and its organs, and functions of respiration, digestion, and assimilation, are the same as those of an animal.”i I feel Larkin is not completely correct. Man was made in the “image of God” (Genesis 1:26 & 27), while all other creatures were not and man was made on the sixth day instead of the fifth day. Man was made upright, and has other characteristics, that place him distinctly different from animals.

Larkin gives this explanation concerning the “natural” body(caps and bold print are Larkin's), “When the Apostle Paul speaks of the “Natural” body (1 Cor. 15:44) he refers to the “Animal” body, and when he speaks of the “Spiritual” body he means a MATERIAL BODY adapted to the realm of the “Spirit World,” for the “Spirit World” is just as much MATERIAL as the “Natural World” in which we dwell. We cannot imagine heavenly beings and places without material forms and substances”ii

Larkin then comments on 1 Corinthians 15:39-40, within parenthesis marks in the verses, to explain his thoughts (caps and bold print are Larkin's), “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of MEN, another flesh of BEASTS, another of FISHES, and another of BIRDS. There are also 'CELESTIAL BODIES' (Spirit bodies), and 'BODIES TERRESTRIAL' (human bodies); but the glory of the CELESTIAL is one, and the glory of the TERRESTRIAL is another.”iii

Larkin then explains how the flesh of all animals are adapted to the environment to which it lives in. He states, “From this we see that our “Human” body is adapted to this physical world in which we now live, and at the resurrection we shall receive a body adapted to the “Spirit World.”iv

The rest of the chapter deals as there are Laws of Physics here on earth there will be Laws of Physics in heaven and Larkin then gives examples of his meaning.

i Larkin, Clarence The Spirit World, (Glenside, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate), 1921, page 65

ii Larkin, Clarence The Spirit World, (Glenside, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate), 1921, page 65

iii Larkin, Clarence The Spirit World, (Glenside, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate), 1921, page 65

iv Larkin, Clarence The Spirit World, (Glenside, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate), 1921, page 67

Brethren,

Looking forward to any comments.

Alan

Edited by Alan
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    • By Alan
      David Cloud has a very good book (I am attaching the E-book from David Cloud's website), concerning the beliefs of Pastor Steven Anderson: https://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/downloads/What_About_Steven_Anderson.pdf
      Brother Cloud goes into some detail concerning Anderson's heretical beliefs concerning numerous important subjects in our age (to name a few): Repentance, Quick Prayerism, the Nation of Israel, Replacement Theology, the Coming of Christ for the church (the rapture), and others. Brother Cloud handles the issues involved in a scholarly manner, without rancor, and with a good spirit. 
      Brother Cloud points out that some of the brethren in independent Baptist churches are being swayed by his beliefs.
      I would recommend all of the brethren to read David Cloud's book,"What About Steven Anderson."
      Alan
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