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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Consistency and the KJV


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
Posted (edited)

I see many people make claims about the KJV as being perfect because "God promised to preserve his word". 

The argument seems to go

1. God Promised to Preserve his Word

2. God Promising to Preserve his word means perfect translation in front of me

3. The KJV is that perfect translation. 

Here is the dilemma that I see that people don't want to seem to acknowledge: 

To start, I think we need to agree that God's promises do not change. That means God's promises to preserve his word mean the same thing in 2021, as they did when the originally writers under Inspiration wrote them, and this means they meant the same thing in 1610, as they did in 1611, and they still meant the same thing in 1769.

So, if in 2020 God's promise to preserve his word=perfect translation in my language in front of me.

Then in 1610 God's promise to preserve his word also should= perfect Translation in front of me. 

Yet no one seems to acknowledge that any of the pre 1611 KJV Bible's are perfect. 

When I was in Bible College I asked one of the professors how we know the KJV is God's perfect Bible over the Geneva Bible, the answer I got was really non substantial. 

 if I lived in 1599 in Europe and I hold the Geneva Bible 1599 in my hand, I could open it to passages as the following:

Matthew 5:18 For truely I say unto you, Til heaven, and earth perish, one jote, or one title of the Law shal not escape, til all things be fulfilled.

Psalm 33:11 The counsel of the Lord shal stand for ever, & the thoghts of his heart through out all ages.

Is 40:8 The grasse withereth, yͤ floure fadeth: but the worde of our God shal stãd for ever.

Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth shal passe away, but my wordes shal not passe away.

So here's the question I have: What is the difference ,in principle, between holding the Geneva Bible in 1599 and claiming its perfect based on its promises and holding a KJV in 2020 and claiming its perfect based on its promises?

Did God's promises of preservation change in meaning in 1611 or 1769? God's promises do not change in their meaning based on time, Therefore God's promise of preservation has to mean the same thing before 1611 as it does in 2020. 

By nature claiming that the KJV is God's perfect preserved word, you have to also admit that the prior 1611 English Bibles were not perfect, But by also doing that, you have created a contradiction. Remember God's promise to preserve his word has to mean the same thing in 2020 as it does in 1610. It cannot mean perfect bible translation in 2020 but imperfect Bible translations before 1611. 

So here's my question, is the belief in the KJV as a perfect translation really simply a matter of believing in God's actual promises, especially if we are inconsistent in it's application and in light of historical reality. 

For example, My Lugbara friends over in Uganda have a critical text dynamic translation of the Bible, they do not have a formal textus receptus translation, yet their bible has many of the same promises as yours do about preservation of the word, What if they held their translation up, and claimed it was perfect based on those promises and told you that your English KJV is corrupt because it differs from their translation. How would their methodology and philosophy be any different than the current view of the KJV amongst many IFB

I will be the first to grant you that I don't think the critical text based Lugbara Bible is a fully accurate Bible, but what about God's promise of preservation? If in 2020 that means we have to have a perfect English Translation, then surely that promise must mean the same thing for the Lugbara person in Uganda? And yet the Lugbara do not have what any TR or KJV Only advocate would argue is a perfect Bible. And there are hundreds of languages that do not have the a translation that is the equivalent of the KJV in their language. Did God's promise of preservation fail all of these people who speak these languages? Or is it more likely that our understanding and application of God's promises of preservation are inconsistent and erroneous? 

I have to ask, is there any Biblical reason for giving primacy to English? and at that to a particular translation in 1611? [technically 1769 is the edition of the KJV most used] 

People make arguments about English being a popular language today and that God knew that, But God inspired his word in Hebrew and Hebrew never did become a dominate world language. This is an argument based on opinion and supposition rather than actual promise Good made. 

People make arguments about the superiority of the KJV translators using the correct text, (Which by the way I happen to agree with) but just because they used the right text, does not necessitate that their translation is perfect. 

People make arguments about the superior skills of the KJV translators, and while I agree they were great scholars, that still doesn't somehow mean 100% perfect translation. 

I guess my point is, from my point of view, believing in the KJV as being perfect really does not seem to based on a sound, and consistent application of God's promise to preserve his word, Belief in the KJV has being perfect seems to stem more from a predetermined position and then that presupposition forced back onto God's promises. 

I have yet to hear a convincing argument that explains how or why God's promise of preservation changed in 1611 and came to mean some different today in 2020 than it would have in 1610. 

If the KJV was perfect, and I am not saying that it is or isn't, Its impossible to prove that based on what the Bible says alone, because if I can't claim the Geneva Bible is perfect in 1599 based on God's promise of preservation, then I really have no consistency to claim the KJV is perfect in 2020 based on God's promise of preservation. 

The issue I see is people turn the KJV being perfect into a "faith" issue, but faith is believing what God actually promised, not what we presuppose he promised. unfortunately we have a tendency to misunderstand God's promises and to put words in God's mouth that he did not say. God promise his words would be preserved for all generations, he did NOT promise a perfect translation of that word for every language or for any particular language. There are a little less than 4000 languages without a printed translation of God's word, did God fail here? Or maybe have we misunderstand his promises?  

An interesting side note and food for thought HERE: When Jesus said his words would not pass away in Luke 21:33, what was he talking about? Was he talking about printed words in a perfect manuscript or translation? As far as I know it would have been around 20-30 years before those words actually would have been written down by any of the Gospel writers? Was the church totally without the words of Jesus for those 20-30 years between when he said that statement and when the Gospel writers wrote them down? 

Edited by Jordan Kurecki
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Hugh_Flower said:

I agree with you Jordan. I use the KJV because it’s what my church uses, and because of it’s clear showing of the word. I do however also like it’s styling, and it’s history. 
 

To be clear, I have no problem with the KJV, and I think it's an excellent translation of what I consider to be the reliable texts of the Hebrew/Aramaic Old Testament and the Greek New Testament. What I am concerned about is what seems to be almost a blind mysticism and adherence to a tradition of men that's devoid of basis in actual promises of God or in actual personal investigatory evaluation by individuals with any sort of training/education in Greek or Hebrew. 

In theory there are only 3 possible ways in which one could know the KJV is perfect:

1. There would have to be a promise in God's word: Which I demonstrated above why I think that is not the case. 

2. God would have to supernaturally reveal that to an individual, There are some Charismatics who claim this about the KJV. But this is impossible for anyone else to confirm or deny as it rests on a supposed personal revelation. 

3. Someone would have to have Hebrew and Greek training/education and would have to actually have looked at every word in the KJV and compare it to every word the Hebrew and Greek texts, and even if said person declared that every translation choice was completely accurate, they could still possibly be mistaken or wrong. Therefore even this possibility is rather impossible.  



 

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1 hour ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

To be clear, I have no problem with the KJV, and I think it's an excellent translation of what I consider to be the reliable texts of the Hebrew/Aramaic Old Testament and the Greek New Testament. What I am concerned about is what seems to be almost a blind mysticism and adherence to a tradition of men that's devoid of basis in actual promises of God or in actual personal investigatory evaluation by individuals with any sort of training/education in Greek or Hebrew. 

In theory there are only 3 possible ways in which one could know the KJV is perfect:

1. There would have to be a promise in God's word: Which I demonstrated above why I think that is not the case. 

2. God would have to supernaturally reveal that to an individual, There are some Charismatics who claim this about the KJV. But this is impossible for anyone else to confirm or deny as it rests on a supposed personal revelation. 

3. Someone would have to have Hebrew and Greek training/education and would have to actually have looked at every word in the KJV and compare it to every word the Hebrew and Greek texts, and even if said person declared that every translation choice was completely accurate, they could still possibly be mistaken or wrong. Therefore even this possibility is rather impossible.  



 

I think no.2 you listed is hard to say. What is the difference between conviction  and personal revelation? 

I am convicted that the KJV is the one I should use. God has revealed in my heart that I should turn to his word through the one faucet he has prepared for me… Now I don’t think it’s sin to use another even as I believe God has prepared me a proper version for me, in this day and age.

I suppose a question to you, is it wrong to be convicted in this manner? If so why

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Hugh_Flower said:

I think no.2 you listed is hard to say. What is the difference between conviction  and personal revelation? 

I am convicted that the KJV is the one I should use. God has revealed in my heart that I should turn to his word through the one faucet he has prepared for me… Now I don’t think it’s sin to use another even as I believe God has prepared me a proper version for me, in this day and age.

I suppose a question to you, is it wrong to be convicted in this manner? If so why

There is a big difference between what you personally feel God wants you to do as an individual, and someone claiming an objective fact based on their own “conviction”. 

I suppose the important question is what is ones “conviction” based on. 

Ones “convictions” might not necessarily correlate with reality always. Just because someone has a “conviction” does not make something factually true. 
 

Often peoples “convictions” are based on the current (and sometimes false or misleading) knowledge that we have. There are many people who have “convictions” that are nothing more than them adopting and following the examples they have seen modeled or taught to them by a respected source. These sources may or may not be correct at times. In other words we ought to be careful what we base our convictions on. 

I guess my point is personal convictions have no bearing on what is or is not true. I mean you having a conviction about something has zero binding authority on any one else nor does your conviction necessarily determine reality.

There is a huge difference between having a conviction that you should personally use the KJV and the KJV is perfect. 

You feeling like you should exclusively use the KJV is not making a declaration about truth or reality for others. I have zero problems with that. 
 

Its quite different to assert that the KJV is perfect based on a conviction and to state that conviction as if it has any kind of authority to declare reality or determine truth.

Edited by Jordan Kurecki
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Hugh_Flower said:

I think no.2 you listed is hard to say. What is the difference between conviction  and personal revelation? 

I am convicted that the KJV is the one I should use. God has revealed in my heart that I should turn to his word through the one faucet he has prepared for me… Now I don’t think it’s sin to use another even as I believe God has prepared me a proper version for me, in this day and age.

I suppose a question to you, is it wrong to be convicted in this manner? If so why

Also personal revelation would be God in no uncertain way declaring to you infallible truth. Revelation is infalible whereas ones personal convictions can be based on a number of things such as application of scriptural principle, logic, knowledge, etc. Revelation is not fallible while ones convictions certainly are fallible.

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34 minutes ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

There is a big difference between what you personally feel God wants you to do as an individual, and someone claiming an objective fact based on their own “conviction”. 

I suppose the important question is what is ones “conviction” based on. 

Ones “convictions” might not necessarily correlate with reality always. Just because someone has a “conviction” does not make something factually true. 
 

Often peoples “convictions” are based on the current (and sometimes false or misleading) knowledge that we have. There are many people who have “convictions” that are nothing more than them adopting and following the examples they have seen modeled or taught to them by a respected source. These sources may or may not be correct at times. In other words we ought to be careful what we base our convictions on. 

I guess my point is personal convictions have no bearing on what is or is not true. I mean you having a conviction about something has zero binding authority on any one else nor does your conviction necessarily determine reality.

There is a huge difference between having a conviction that you should personally use the KJV and the KJV is perfect. 

You feeling like you should exclusively use the KJV is not making a declaration about truth or reality for others. I have zero problems with that. 
 

Its quite different to assert that the KJV is perfect based on a conviction and to state that conviction as if it has any kind of authority to declare reality or determine truth.

I see. I agree. I think we are fully in agreement (on this topic of conviction) but I think you have a more fully fleshed out idea. I have more questions.

Let’s carry out another similar topic ( but very different in nature ) and I’m not trying to talk argue this, but use it as an example. 
Alcohol in the Bible is wildly different topic, but nonetheless just as argued in the conservative group of Christendom.  
This is a topic under conviction, not revelation. We find in the Bible that the Lord definitely does have an opinion on it. ( not the topic for what it is ). Now as a Christian, is this more binding or less binding? It seems we take this personal conviction as on equal terms as KJV only. As if they hold the same merit.

From your perspective, this shouldn’t be, correct? God doesn’t speak on KJV, but he does speak on alcohol.

 

please help me sort my thinking, thanks, LaFleur

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35 minutes ago, Hugh_Flower said:

I see. I agree. I think we are fully in agreement (on this topic of conviction) but I think you have a more fully fleshed out idea. I have more questions.

Let’s carry out another similar topic ( but very different in nature ) and I’m not trying to talk argue this, but use it as an example. 
Alcohol in the Bible is wildly different topic, but nonetheless just as argued in the conservative group of Christendom.  
This is a topic under conviction, not revelation. We find in the Bible that the Lord definitely does have an opinion on it. ( not the topic for what it is ). Now as a Christian, is this more binding or less binding? It seems we take this personal conviction as on equal terms as KJV only. As if they hold the same merit.

From your perspective, this shouldn’t be, correct? God doesn’t speak on KJV, but he does speak on alcohol.

 

please help me sort my thinking, thanks, LaFleur

I think this is getting away from the original topic. If you make another thread I would be willing to engage you on this more.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On 8/14/2021 at 9:34 AM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

And I was waiting for that interaction, to see in what direction it might go.

You and me both haha.

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