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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.

Do you believe there are many kinds of true Gospel or there is just one true Gospel?


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The Dispensationalists believe many kinds of gospel and different plans of salvation such as the Steven Andersonites and many of his followers.  They think that salvation of the 12 apostles is different in requirement than that of Paul, and that Matthew Mark and Luke is teaching a different gospel and requisite of salvation than that of John.  What can you say about this.  

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The Bible from beginning to end only teaches one plan of salvation. Since the fall of man, salvation has always by placing faith in the coming Messiah, the substitute who would die in our place for our sins. The level of knowledge varied in each dispensation - and as the word dispensation itself means, there were/are different rules to live by in each dispensation (literally meaning “house rules”), but salvation has always been the same: salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary, where He shed His blood and died in our place, bearing the full wrath of God as our substitute, dying, then literally rising from the dead three days later, proof positive that His sacrificial death - His atonement for our sins - was accepted by God the Father.

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The Bible only teaches on kind of Gospel as truth, and that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Can it be presented in different ways? Of course, but that doesn't make it different a different Gospel. The Apostle Paul tells us that if anyone comes to us and preaches a Gospel other than that of Jesus Christ, we are to avoid them, and they are to be accursed. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

The Dispensationalists believe many kinds of gospel and different plans of salvation such as the Steven Andersonites and many of his followers.  They think that salvation of the 12 apostles is different in requirement than that of Paul, and that Matthew Mark and Luke is teaching a different gospel and requisite of salvation than that of John.  What can you say about this.  

I say ANY view of different gospels is FALSEHOOD.  In fact, I myself have fought firmly (some might even say, fiercely) right here on Online Baptist against the viewpoint of "different gospels for different dispensations."  

However, I must also contend against your posting above.  You open with the statement, "The Dispensationalists believe," as if ALL Dispensationalists hold the viewpoint of "many kinds of gospel and different plans of salvation."  Such is simply an inaccurate idea.  Some Dispensationalist may hold to that viewpoint (even as you provided the example of "Steven Andersonites"), but ALL Dispensationalist do NOT hold to that viewpoint.  In fact, I myself am a Dispensationalist (to some extent), but I strongly oppose that viewpoint.

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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18 minutes ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

I say ANY view of different gospels is FALSEHOOD.  In fact, I myself have fought firmly (some might even say, fiercely) right here on Online Baptist against the viewpoint of "different gospels for different dispensations."  

However, I must also contend against your posting above.  You open with the statement, "The Dispensationalists believe," as if ALL Dispensationalists hold the viewpoint of "many kinds of gospel and different plans of salvation."  Such is simply an inaccurate idea.  Some Dispensationalist may hold to that viewpoint (even as you provided the example of "Steven Andersonites"), but ALL Dispensationalist do NOT hold to that viewpoint.  In fact, I myself am a Dispensationalist (to some extent), but I strongly oppose that viewpoint.

These are all questions I heard when my wife and I were in the BMA in Illinois. They are common with the Missionary Baptist movement.

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11 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

The Dispensationalists believe many kinds of gospel and different plans of salvation such as the Steven Andersonites and many of his followers.

Andersonites aren't Dispensationalist (They teach a type of Reformed Covenant Theology) nor do they believe in multiple Gospels for salvation (they teach faith in Christ alone).

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1 hour ago, John Young said:

Andersonites aren't Dispensationalist (They teach a type of Reformed Covenant Theology) nor do they believe in multiple Gospels for salvation (they teach faith in Christ alone).

Most information I have on this group calls them a "Baptist Cult." Would you say that this is pretty accurate in your estimation? I've only had small dealings with this group of people, and I wasn't impressed.

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Steve Anderson and his followers would definitely qualify for cult status. They have some serious quirks and wrong doctrinal beliefs.

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9 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

Most information I have on this group calls them a "Baptist Cult." Would you say that this is pretty accurate in your estimation?

No I wouldn't call them a cult in the modern sense of the word. Its best just to consider them their own Baptist camp. We all do things a bit differently and they more so in certain areas. Just because one group of Baptist has different practices or doctrines than ours or another group doesn't automatically make them a cult. 

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2 minutes ago, John Young said:

No I wouldn't call them a cult in the modern sense of the word. Its best just to consider them their own Baptist camp. We all do things a bit differently and they more so in certain areas. Just because one group of Baptist has different practices or doctrines than ours or another group doesn't automatically make them a cult. 

John these people actually send members out of their Church to disrupt other Church’s mid service, I live in Wa state and they have even tried to attempt it here where I am a member of.

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16 minutes ago, John Young said:

No I wouldn't call them a cult in the modern sense of the word. Its best just to consider them their own Baptist camp. We all do things a bit differently and they more so in certain areas. Just because one group of Baptist has different practices or doctrines than ours or another group doesn't automatically make them a cult. 

I totally agree. I thought the assessment was a rather harsh one...They still, from what I could tell, preach about salvation. They just have some strange beliefs aside from that. They need to take a lesson from Christ...he didn't "hate" anyone...to do so nearly negates their completing of the mission Christ gave them to do.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Hugh_Flower said:

these people actually send members out of their Church to disrupt other Church’s mid service,

Was it actually members of their churches or non-member YouTube junkies who watch a few NIFB videos and then think they have a right to correct everyone else? As far as I know their official position has always been to respect the local church pastor and to keep quiet and respectful at any church they happen to visit. When I was pastoring in WA we would have a few from Sure Foundation Baptist Church come through on vacation or work trips and that was always the experience.

I do know of one case where the pastor of a small town church in WA invited that church in to help theirs with some soulwinning outreach and things, which they were always willing to do for small churches that needed help, but in reality had done it to pull them into a church split that was going on. I don't know much more than that though.

Edited by John Young
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My sister used to go to his church when he first started it. He actually told me on the phone that his Bible was Jesus Christ (not that it told him about Jesus Christ, but his Bible was Christ). Now, somewhere around 20 years later, I can’t remember the exact context of the conversation - but I questioned him about certain of the things my sister was being taught, that came up and I spoke to him enough to clarify what he was saying and that I was not misunderstanding him. I wasn’t. That sound like a cult to me - regardless of any of his other quirks.

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3 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

I say ANY view of different gospels is FALSEHOOD.  In fact, I myself have fought firmly (some might even say, fiercely) right here on Online Baptist against the viewpoint of "different gospels for different dispensations."  

However, I must also contend against your posting above.  You open with the statement, "The Dispensationalists believe," as if ALL Dispensationalists hold the viewpoint of "many kinds of gospel and different plans of salvation."  Such is simply an inaccurate idea.  Some Dispensationalist may hold to that viewpoint (even as you provided the example of "Steven Andersonites"), but ALL Dispensationalist do NOT hold to that viewpoint.  In fact, I myself am a Dispensationalist (to some extent), but I strongly oppose that viewpoint.

I agree completely and in total with Bro. Scott's reply. I too am a dispensationalist to some extent, but will not be classed with Andersonites or any of that, or any other heretical ilk.

In a strict definition of "The Gospel", the answer to this question becomes blatantly clear, there is only one Gospel, which is, the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Technically, any "good news" is gospel, because that is what the word means. Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom, the good news that Jesus was among them in Israel at that time-it was a true gospel, but it was rejected, and the gospel necessary then was the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Apostles were saved exactly the way the Gentiles believers were, and Peter as much as admitted it in Acts 15.

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The word gospel means good news - but the Bible uses it in reference to good news in regards to salvation - the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are not multiple “gospels” spoken of in the Bible, merely various terms to refer to the one Gospel.

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13 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

I say ANY view of different gospels is FALSEHOOD.  In fact, I myself have fought firmly (some might even say, fiercely) right here on Online Baptist against the viewpoint of "different gospels for different dispensations."  

However, I must also contend against your posting above.  You open with the statement, "The Dispensationalists believe," as if ALL Dispensationalists hold the viewpoint of "many kinds of gospel and different plans of salvation."  Such is simply an inaccurate idea.  Some Dispensationalist may hold to that viewpoint (even as you provided the example of "Steven Andersonites"), but ALL Dispensationalist do NOT hold to that viewpoint.  In fact, I myself am a Dispensationalist (to some extent), but I strongly oppose that viewpoint.

Yes that is true that not all dispensationalists divide the gospel into different kinds, but I am talking about the kind of dispensationalists that divide the gospel into different kinds of gospels.  I also believe in dispensations that God never changes but He changes His manner of dealing with men so there are 8 ages or dispensations.  However below my question I am talking about the kind of dispensationalists that divide the gospel into many kinds and say there are different kinds of gospel in every dispensation such as the Things to Come Mission, the group who call themselves rightly dividing yet are actually mid-acts Dispensationalists.  I have encountered followers of Steven Anderson who found themselves comfortable and are merging to the mid-Acts dispensationalism doctrine as they say that the gospel of John is different from the gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke.  They say that the first three gospels require repentance while John did not.  So that is the point of the Andersonites that John never taught repentance but only faith.  

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Yes, another thing Anderson was super wrong about: he denied that repentance was part of salvation (ie. repent of your sin when turning to Christ for salvation).

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13 hours ago, John Young said:

Andersonites aren't Dispensationalist (They teach a type of Reformed Covenant Theology) nor do they believe in multiple Gospels for salvation (they teach faith in Christ alone).

I have met followers of Steven Anderson, and they teach that the gospel of John is different from the gospel of Matthew Mark and Luke which preaches on repentance.  I have personally known also followers of Steven Anderson who found themselves comfortable with the mid-Acts dispensationalists who say that the gospel of the 12 apostles is different from the gospel of John and Paul, for John never preached on repentance.  In fact there are many in youtube who already mix that pauline dispensationalism to Andersonism doctrine.   There are many explanation in youtube that John had a different Gospel from that of Peter because repentance is not mentioned in John.  

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The word repentance may not be in John, but the concept certainly is!

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

John 8:11 -- She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

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