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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.

farm animal information needed


Rebecca
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

If we wanted to begin the homestead life with 16 acres part wooded, part field, and a small pond and a house with no fence except around the property, what should we do first? What are the best farm animals (mention your preferred breed of animal, not just species) for beginners and why? What kind of containment and housing would each of these animals need? (location: Missouri)

 

Random trespassing neighbors cow...fences may need repair, also shutting the gate might help. What kind of cow is this, maybe a Jersey or mix?

IMG_1488.thumb.JPG.bfd9ab31dc1c00fb74b42c5e7ac999de.JPG

 

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It's been almost 40 years since I worked on the dairy and veal farms, so I couldn't tell you what kind of cow it is. Most of my work on farms and small homesteads with friends has been very limited. I know that FB has a site called "The Reformed Homestead" that has a lot of good information. We signed up because we had considered starting a small homestead ourselves....doesnt look like that's going to happen, though.

 

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4 hours ago, Rebecca said:

If we wanted to begin the homestead life with 16 acres part wooded, part field, and a small pond and a house with no fence except around the property, what should we do first? What are the best farm animals (mention your preferred breed of animal, not just species) for beginners and why? What kind of containment and housing would each of these animals need? (location: Missouri)

 

Random trespassing neighbors cow...fences may need repair, also shutting the gate might help. What kind of cow is this, maybe a Jersey or mix?

IMG_1488.thumb.JPG.bfd9ab31dc1c00fb74b42c5e7ac999de.JPG

 

I'm not a farmer but I do have the internet and I think that's called a "Red Poll". It's raised mainly for it's meat or for "conservation grazing". It's the oldest registered breed in the USA.

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Rebecca,

my wife knows quite a bit about homesteading. It is not something that interests me, so I asked her for her input into what you asked. She does not post on the forum and I wanted to reply to you with any help I could give, but unfortunately, I don’t have information of this sort except in a very limited sense.

It seems like the answers to your questions are very complicated. This is due, in part, to you not knowing just what to ask and her not knowing all the details of your specific situation.

Her first reaction to your questions was that without knowing your situation, plans, goals and ability, it would be hard to impossible to reply in any kind of helpful manner, simply because as people we are all different. This is not a “one size fits all” situation.

First, I will start off with probably the best piece of information she told me about, that she thinks would help you the most. She suggested that you go to YouTube and put in the word “homesteading” or “homestead” and she said it will bring up a host of articles from homesteaders, in video form that can help you a lot.

I’ll try to remember the things she talked about in regard to your questions, but I may miss a few just because my memory is not all that great. Her first reaction was one of uncertainty because there are as many different goals in homesteading as there are people. Any helpful answers will depend on you and your situation. Here are a few questions that need answers before anyone can help you:

1. Do you intend homesteading to be full time, permanent?

2. How will you finance this endeavor?

3. Do you work at a job?

4. Do you intend homesteading to produce income?

5. Have you considered doing only certain aspects of homesteading? Or incorporating parts of that lifestyle into your present lifestyle.

6. Do you have land already, or will it be purchased? Will it be just land, or land and house?

7. Are you married or do you intend to marry? (Important because it adds another person)

8. Do you have any experience with animals, or farming/gardening?

9. Do you have any building or other trade type skills?

10. Have you ever hunted or fished? Are you familiar with firearms?

11. Are you familiar with properly cleaning and taking care of meat, fish and vegetables?

12. Do you have any mechanical skills?

13. Do you have finances sufficient to hold you through building a lifestyle from the ground up, one project at a time?

14. How and where will you live until you can live at your homestead?

15. Have you thought to ask yourself why you want to do this?

16. Do you intend to heat with wood and have you ever used a chain saw, bow saw or ax, or cut and split wood?

17. Are you able to do hard, physical work?

18. Are you comfortable with living alone and not near other people?

19. How will you handle safety and personal protection issues?

20. Do you intend to be “off grid” and are you comfortable with the aspects of having no electricity, or alternate sources?

21. How will water requirements be addressed if you are off grid?

22. Are you familiar with alternate means of suppling water for your needs?

The subject of homesteading is highly personal and unique to each person. It is about more than just “what animals are best to start with”. That question is totally dependent on your preferences and choices. What I might consider for animals may not interest you, or be something that you would even consider, want or need.

Animals are only one small part of homesteading, if they are even considered or wanted at all. But if you do choose to have animals you have a lot to consider; not the least of which is what you want animals for. Before you can choose or even consider animals you should understand that you need a goal for even wanting them. For instance, do you want an animal for meat, milk, packing, as in carrying loads, protection, breeding to sell the young.

 Even then there is a lot to be considered, such as, initial cost, cost for feed, medicine, upkeep, housing, fencing, visits to the vet, the list goes on and on and none of it is cheap. My wife raised Nigerian Dwarf Goats, she had them for milk. One visit to the vet for a sick goat was $450, with nothing special done like surgery.

Not knowing exactly what you want to do can be very costly in both time and money. You can spend a lot of both only to discover that either it didn’t work or it was the wrong thing, or you don’t want or need whatever it is.

I think you need to do a lot of research and study before trying to make any kind of firm plans. As you can see from what I wrote, there is a lot to consider. I lived in Alaska for forty years and once considered homesteading, actually that was what I went there for. But for me it never happened for various reasons. I found that in Alaska many homesteaded with no intention to keep animals or gardens. They intended to live off of the land; a hard thing to do. I threw this in to show that there are many different types of homesteading, it just depends on the person and what thy want for their lives and their means.

I hope this gives you something, or a lot to think about, because it can be a big undertaking.

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Thanks for the in depth reply, Jim, it's very helpful to have things to consider that I may not have thought of! I'll try to answer the questions best I can. For some background, the property I'm talking about belonged to my parents, once my dad passed away, my younger sister quit her job and moved back to Missouri help care for our mom, who has recently decided to move into town. My sister and I decided we would continue to care for the property rather than sell it off, with my sister being the one in charge since I will mainly be in Taiwan and only be able to physically help when I am back in the States. 

40 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

1. Do you intend homesteading to be full time, permanent?

Currently, it would just be a side endeavor, maybe some day in the future it would be a permanent thing, but not now.

2. How will you finance this endeavor?

My sister just got a job and once finances settle she will be able to fund things a little at a time. We're not jumping into it full throttle, it will be a slow process.

3. Do you work at a job?

My sister now has a good job. I'm a missionary, so not exactly conducive to homesteading!

4. Do you intend homesteading to produce income?

Not for a long time. Once we know what we're doing and know what we can do and cannot do, that will change.

5. Have you considered doing only certain aspects of homesteading? Or incorporating parts of that lifestyle into your present lifestyle.

Yes, we just have to figure out what works best for us.

6. Do you have land already, or will it be purchased? Will it be just land, or land and house?

Yes, the land has been in the family for 20 years. There is a house, garage, and a few sheds.

7. Are you married or do you intend to marry? (Important because it adds another person)

Neither of us intend to marry anytime soon, but who knows what the future may bring.

8. Do you have any experience with animals, or farming/gardening?

No experience with livestock or proper gardening. We have only had experience with raising pets.

9. Do you have any building or other trade type skills?

No

10. Have you ever hunted or fished? Are you familiar with firearms?

Never hunted. My sister may eventually get a gun and learn to use it properly since there are coyotes in the area, but as long as I am traveling between the States and Taiwan I personally will not own a firearm. I have done some fishing, not a fan, don't enjoy eating fish, so no reason to go fishing.

11. Are you familiar with properly cleaning and taking care of meat, fish and vegetables?

Yes, but only in limited amounts. I've never had to clean or store bulk amounts of meat or vegetables. 

12. Do you have any mechanical skills?

No. I can and have driven a tractor to bush hog, but couldn't fix one without someone to show me what to do. Fortunately I have a great brother-in-law who has been a help with the tractor, lawn mowers, weed eaters, chain saws, etc. So if something breaks down we have help.

13. Do you have finances sufficient to hold you through building a lifestyle from the ground up, one project at a time?

Soon, but not yet.

14. How and where will you live until you can live at your homestead?

My sister will live at the house on the land. When I'm in the States I will stay in the house as well.

15. Have you thought to ask yourself why you want to do this?

Life long dream.

16. Do you intend to heat with wood and have you ever used a chain saw, bow saw or ax, or cut and split wood?

The house has central heating and a/c, but because of last winter being so bad, my sister is looking at alternative heating, wood being one of the things she's thinking about. We've used a regular saw, I'd rather get a log splitter than use an ax.

17. Are you able to do hard, physical work?

To an extent. Willing to do the hard physical work, but not used to it, so it will take some getting used to.

18. Are you comfortable with living alone and not near other people?

Absolutely.

19. How will you handle safety and personal protection issues?

Baseball bat. Guard dogs (already have two). Pepper spray. A very strong blinding flashlight that can double as a bludgeoning tool. 

20. Do you intend to be “off grid” and are you comfortable with the aspects of having no electricity, or alternate sources?

Zero plans to go off grid. But have thought of solar panels anyway, just as another level of preparedness.

21. How will water requirements be addressed if you are off grid?

We have a well.

22. Are you familiar with alternate means of suppling water for your needs?

If the well ever dries up, we're in trouble! The pond may be useful, but it's a dirty mess. 

 

Personally, I want nothing to do with milking cows or goats. My sister thinks differently on that one. The goal I would have for livestock is for meat. Although I do want a pet Highland cow (it's not practical, I know). For growing vegetables, I was thinking of doing raised beds. We have fruit trees, but they're struggling so in the future we may not get anymore. Our dad raised bees a very long time ago and we've thought about getting back into that.

I do follow some homesteaders on youtube, but the ones I like to watch already have established hobby farms. I've learned a lot, but really it's not helpful for beginners. There are some that claim to help beginners, but they're either not likable and boring to watch or they're condescending or they don't explain things well. 

We're still in the research phase of this. It's going to be difficult especially since I will not actually be there to help most of the time, but it's been something both of us have wanted since we were children but never had the opportunity. 

 

Here are two of the dogs playing in the pond.

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I understand a lot better now Rebecca. Given you not being there most of the time does not sound practical for you. I forgot probably the most important thing if you plan to have animals.

Animals are a tremendous responsibility. I say that mainly because if you have farm animals you are tied to the farm. This might not sound like much on the surface, but it has implications far beyond what most people think of. You are literally married to it because of your responsibility to your animals. No vacations, or even going away for a few days. Those animals depend on you for food, water, shelter, protection. So you have to be there for them each and every day.

This is just one of the reasons that  don't like this sort of thing. Even when my wife had her goats it affected me. We always had to plan everything around the goats and their care. Even if you were just going to town to do shopping you had to consider feeding and milking times, no exceptions.

There is a bright side to what you explained. You already have the land, and house, that is a big plus. After that it all depends on how much you are willing to commit to the project. It sounds like your sister will be the one to do most of it since you will be away. She will have to be sure she is up to it and really wants to do this.

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