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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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12 minutes ago, Jerry said:

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.

Actually John the beloved taught repentance as you see in Revelation 9, the Andersonites have not discovered this yet.  

And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
(Revelation 9:20-21)
 

 

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5 hours ago, Jerry said:

he denied that repentance was part of salvation

He clarified his position on repentance, stating he always held to repentance and that acknowledgement of sin was important in repentance to salvation. What he has always disagreed with was promising not to sin for salvation and works salvation.

 

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5 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

In fact there are many in youtube who already mix that pauline dispensationalism to Andersonism doctrine. 

Granted you can have people try to mix doctrines from various teachers but that doesn't mean it's what others believe. There doctrine would then be their own doctrine and not the groups they got bits from.

Also, simply stating the fact that the Book of John doesn't say "repent" or "repentance" isn't mid-Acts doctrine. The point is to show that when John says "Believe" it is the SAME act of Repentance that ALL of the Gospel books and Apostles teach.

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10 minutes ago, John Young said:

Granted you can have people try to mix doctrines from various teachers but that doesn't mean it's what others believe. There doctrine would then be their own doctrine and not the groups they got bits from.

Also, simply stating the fact that the Book of John doesn't say "repent" or "repentance" isn't mid-Acts doctrine. The point is to show that when John says "Believe" it is the SAME act of Repentance that ALL of the Gospel books and Apostles teach.

Would you agree that it is also the same doctrine of repentance in the Old Testament such as Isaiah 55: 7?  

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20 minutes ago, John Young said:

Granted you can have people try to mix doctrines from various teachers but that doesn't mean it's what others believe. There doctrine would then be their own doctrine and not the groups they got bits from.

Also, simply stating the fact that the Book of John doesn't say "repent" or "repentance" isn't mid-Acts doctrine. The point is to show that when John says "Believe" it is the SAME act of Repentance that ALL of the Gospel books and Apostles teach.

John, this is the kind of thing that led to my wife and I leaving the "Missionary Baptist" sect years ago. There is a constant need to read into people's beliefs what they BELIEVE the other groups believe. I'm not saying that the MB's don't have many great people in them, because they do. There's just to much inference into what other people believe, and far too many hypotheticals brought to the table. There is also the Landmarkism....Endless geneologies.

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8 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

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.  

Thank you for clarifying.  It just appeared to me that your opening post did not necessarily acknowledge that some dispensationalists do not hold to a "different gospel for different dispensations" position.  Thus I expressed my contention.

8 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

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.  

As I stated in my earlier posting, I myself do firmly stand against and have firmly (fiercely) contended against any such idea concerning "different kinds of gospel."

22 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.

There is ONLY one gospel unto eternal salvation from sin, from the beginning of human sin unto the end of time - It is the gospel of repentant faith in the grace of God through the saving work of His Messiah/Christ.  (Not every dispensation has had all of the revealed details of historical event or soteriological doctrine, but every dispensation has possessed this foundational gospel.)

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3 hours ago, John Young said:

He clarified his position on repentance, stating he always held to repentance and that acknowledgement of sin was important in repentance to salvation. What he has always disagreed with was promising not to sin for salvation and works salvation.

 

Thus Anderson twisted the meaning of repentance saying that if it is about sin then that repentance is work and he used Jonah 3:10 to support his belief.  If it is a change of mind from wrong it becomes work, so if a man changes his mind from wrong driving to right driving, that becomes work.  This is what all his followers teach also

 

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1 hour ago, BrotherTony said:

John, this is the kind of thing that led to my wife and I leaving the "Missionary Baptist" sect years ago. There is a constant need to read into people's beliefs what they BELIEVE the other groups believe. I'm not saying that the MB's don't have many great people in them, because they do. There's just to much inference into what other people believe, and far too many hypotheticals brought to the table. There is also the Landmarkism....Endless geneologies.

The good thing about local and autonomous churches is that there is freedom of convictions and belief yet through fellowships there is a sharing of what is commonly believed according to the bible.  That is what missionary Baptists believe.  Though missionary Baptist are also independent Baptists, yet those who call themselves independent Baptists vary much in teachings from local church to universal church idea, and there is not much unity in beliefs.  As Baptists, we have the freedom to express what we believe, to compare beliefs in light with the Bible, as Baptists are champions of interpretation of the bible and religious liberty.  

 

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2 minutes ago, mbkjpreacher said:

The good thing about local and autonomous churches is that there is freedom of convictions and belief yet through fellowships there is a sharing of what is commonly believed according to the bible.  That is what missionary Baptists believe.  Though missionary Baptist are also independent Baptists, yet those who call themselves independent Baptists vary much in teachings from local church to universal church idea, and there is not much unity in beliefs.  As Baptists, we have the freedom to express what we believe, to compare beliefs in light with the Bible, as Baptists are champions of interpretation of the bible and religious liberty.  

 

Nobody is denying that fact..there are many different "flavors" of Baptists here in the Nashville, TN area in the United States. We have Free Will Baptists, Independent Fundamental Baptists, Independent Baptists, Fundamental Baptists, Southern Baptists, Missionary Baptists, and several other offshoots of these groups. I wouldn't want to negate any of their beliefs. But when dealing with hypotheticals on doctrine and Scripture...I don't go there. I don't find Christ doing this either. As stated both in PM and on the forums here, I have been in the Missionary Baptist movement in two different "fellowships," the ABA (American Baptist Association) and the BMA (Baptist Missionary Association), both of which kept trying to enforce endless geneologies, implied doctrines, hypotheticals AS doctrine, and other such things. These are some great reasons for our leaving that particular sect of Baptists.

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11 hours ago, BrotherTony said:

Nobody is denying that fact..there are many different "flavors" of Baptists here in the Nashville, TN area in the United States. We have Free Will Baptists, Independent Fundamental Baptists, Independent Baptists, Fundamental Baptists, Southern Baptists, Missionary Baptists, and several other offshoots of these groups. I wouldn't want to negate any of their beliefs. But when dealing with hypotheticals on doctrine and Scripture...I don't go there. I don't find Christ doing this either. As stated both in PM and on the forums here, I have been in the Missionary Baptist movement in two different "fellowships," the ABA (American Baptist Association) and the BMA (Baptist Missionary Association), both of which kept trying to enforce endless geneologies, implied doctrines, hypotheticals AS doctrine, and other such things. These are some great reasons for our leaving that particular sect of Baptists.

I don't get what you are trying to say with hypotheticals on doctrine and Scripture.  If ever I am very detailed as I search out a matter or in my personal study about doctrines, it does not mean that every Missionary Baptist or pastor is like me and there are many Missionary Baptists who just believe simply because it is in the Bible. I think every man has his gift from God regardless of which Baptist does he belong, there are many good preachers and debaters in every Baptist group.  However it seemed that you are saying that Missionary Baptists doctrines are based on hypotheticals or that there are many pastors among Missionary Baptists whose make hypothetical as doctrines.   That means you are saying that there are not pastors among the Independent Baptists who make hypothetical as doctrines.  If such proposition you have is true, then there should not be too much divisions and variations of doctrines among Independent Baptists.  If your statement is true, and that the reason why you leave Missionary Baptists and joined the Independent Baptists is because there are no people in Independent Baptists who make hypothetical as doctrine, then why are there so many variations of doctrines and beliefs among Independent Baptists?  Why do some believe in Universal Church and others local church only?  Why do some believe like Steven Anderson and others do not?  Why are there so many variations of definitions of repentance that others believe that repentance of sin is a work or quit sinning while others do not but believe repentance of sin is a change of mind about sin, not a work.   Why do others practice closed communion while others open communion and all these calling themselves as Independent Baptists.   I think your proposition and reason cannot be proven that there are no heretical among independent Baptists such as Steven Anderson who teaches heresy.  Independent Baptists are also divided concerning gap theory and 6 day creation.  Is it your proposition that pastors in the Independent Baptists just believe what is stated in the declaration of faith and do not make further study of Scriptures in more details?  I don't get what you mean by hypothetical and if you are saying that there is no such persons among Independent Baptists.  

If you made such judgement because I am so detailed, I just want to know the opinion of others because we are commanded in the Scripture to search out a matter.  We usually search out a matter when false doctrines come out, and so we seek deeper, to find out the truth, and the Bible tells us to compare spiritual things with spiritual.  We are commanded in the Scripture to study to shew thyself approved unto God... and to compare spiritual things with spiritual.  Because I have been engage in various discussion of doctrines, that is why I have to prove every doctrine if such belief is not contradicting to Scriptures but is harmonious.   We are told to search the Scriptures.   If a person's belief is indeed Biblical, he will always have the right answer that is not contradictory to the Scriptures, but Scripture is explained by Scripture.  

 

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Posted (edited)

There is no doubt different gospels in the scripture but only one gospel we preach now, i.e. the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and simple faith in him. Refusal to recognize and delineate the differences between these gospels will lead to heresies in this dispensation of the grace of God. 

Acts 2:38 is NOT the gospel we preach today no matter how much you use the "original languages" or Baptist doctrine to wrest the verse.

Edited by SureWord
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Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

There are not multiple gospels of salvation in the Bible. Some passages need to be studied out and compared with other passages to clarify them at times.

Repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, be baptized because your sins are remitted through belief in His death for your sins, burial and resurrection. Also, the Holy Spirit is given to every one that is born again - though there was a transitional period first where the Holy Spirit first indwelled the Jews, then the certain Gentiles, then everyone else (see Acts 2, 10, 19).

God allows seeming Bible difficulties to discourage the willing lost from receiving the truth - but allows true believers to understand and clarify the meaning of His Word continuing in it.

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8 hours ago, SureWord said:

There is no doubt different gospels in the scripture but only one gospel we preach now, i.e. the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and simple faith in him. Refusal to recognize and delineate the differences between these gospels will lead to heresies in this dispensation of the grace of God. 

Acts 2:38 is NOT the gospel we preach today no matter how much you use the "original languages" or Baptist doctrine to wrest the verse.

To this I respond with my earlier posting:

On 8/9/2021 at 12:14 PM, 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."  

21 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

As I stated in my earlier posting, I myself do firmly stand against and have firmly (fiercely) contended against any such idea concerning "different kinds of gospel."

There is ONLY one gospel unto eternal salvation from sin, from the beginning of human sin unto the end of time - It is the gospel of repentant faith in the grace of God through the saving work of His Messiah/Christ.  (Not every dispensation has had all of the revealed details of historical event or soteriological doctrine, but every dispensation has possessed this foundational gospel.)

 

 

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I consider myself a Dispensationalist, I have no issues with holding to 3 "Gospels". As long as you understand they are at different times. 

C.I. Scofield mentions 4.

There is only 1 gospel for the Church Age, or "Dispensation of Grace", and it is found in 1 Corinthians 15 starting in verse 1. 

Steven Anderson is strongly against Dispensational Theology, and is a part of the Documentary titled "Dispensation of Heresy" on Youtube produced by Bruce Mejia. He is completely against Scofield, Darby, and Larkin. Possibly as far as you can get from a Dispensationalist. 

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On 8/8/2021 at 11:58 PM, 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.  

One Gospel.  

One , Two, Three, Four, or more Dispensations.   No worries in truth.  

No contradiction. (unless added by man, demons, doctrines, whatever).

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34 minutes ago, Martyr_4_FutureJoy said:

One Gospel.  

One , Two, Three, Four, or more Dispensations.   No worries in truth.  

No contradiction. (unless added by man, demons, doctrines, whatever).

My question is are there many kinds of gospel not many dispensations.  

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