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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.

Signs of the Times....Are we truly living in the last days?


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I was listening to a sermon on a Christian broadcasting netword, and the preacher who was speaking stated several times that ALL THE PROPHECIES that needed to be fulfilled, and all of the conditions for Christs return in the Rapture had been met...all that we were waiting for was for God to tell the Son that it was time for him to come and get us. I know that many of the Bible prophecies have been fulfilled, and that the time of his coming is near...but

are we truly living in the last days? 

Have ALL the prophecies that need to be fulfilled been fufilled for his coming? 

Is this mandate by Mr. Biden a dry run for the upcoming Mark of the Beast??

I know I've been hearing these things since I was 9 years old....I'm nearly 60 now. The apostles believed THEY were living in the last days and that Christ would soon return to take his bride home. 

Could it be another 5 years, 10 years, or even longer before his coming for us? 

Thanks for your input in advance. I know what I believe, and have studied this for many years...I just find it strange the twists that some preachers put on this.

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One of the prophecies about Jesus' return had to do with Israel coming together as a nation.

Matthew 24:32-34 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

This passage refers to Israel as the fig tree (a symbol used in various other places in the Bible), and states that they will not pass until these things be fulfilled. The word "not" is a double negative and is often indicates something that can never happen: "no, never". That seems to indicate that the generation of Israelites that came together in 1948 to form the modern nation of Israel will not completely pass away (and for the sake of the argument, seems to indicate there will be quite a few remaining, not just a couple of stragglers hanging on).

If the average age of that generation in 1948 that formed the nation of Israel were 20 years old (just using this age as a reference point), that means they would now be 93 or more years old. How much longer will they live before they can no longer fulfill the statement Jesus made that they would NOT (no, never) pass away.

If this passage has some other meaning that is consistent with Bible prophecy and symbolism, I am not aware of it (doesn't mean there isn't or can't be another meaning - just that it is not being presented or taught that I know of).

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Good insights, Jerry. Some preachers don't believe that this rebirth of Israel is what the Bible is speaking of. I don't see how they could possibly just discard the possibility that it is. It's the first time in nearly 2K years that the nation has been in place.

 

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I don't endorse Grant Jeffreys - but in one of his books, using the same calculations that Robert Anderson gives to show the fulfillment of the 69 weeks of Daniel (Jesus coming into Jerusalem on April 6th, AD 32), he shows Bible-based calculations that literally show Israel returning to their land in 1948.

I read this book like 20 or so years ago, and about 6 months back I tried to explain it as best as I could to some friends as my faulty memory could recall (copied just now from my texts to them).

Have you ever read Robert Anderson’s The Coming Prince? In the book he calculated how to show when the OT showed the Messiah would come. Using Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks (70 x 7 years, 490 years). The first 69 weeks (483 years) led to Messiah the Prince (the last seven being the 7 year tribulation period). Dating from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem - which was 445 BC - 483 years comes out to April 6, 32 AD.

He got his calculations by taking 483 years, times 360 days per year (as Revelation shows the Jewish year is), divided by our calendar year of 365 days a year.

483 x 360 = 173,880 days
Divided by 365 = 476.38 years
Minus 445 BC takes us to 31.38 AD (now add one year because there is no year 0)
That takes us to April 6, 32 AD

I also remembered the passage and the formula that comes out to 1948. I was reading Ezekiel 4 this morning.  See especially verses 5-6. Using the same calculations Robert Anderson used to calculate the date when Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on a donkey (Palm Sunday, April 6, 32 AD)

430 days - a day for a year - 430 years minus the seventy years in Babylon. Then times 7 according to Leviticus 26. If they kept walking in rebellion against the Lord, they would be punished seven times more for their sins. Only some of the nation went back to Jerusalem after being released from their Babylonian captivity. The final judgement in Leviticus 26 was for the Jews being scattered around the world in exile, in the lands of their enemies.

360 years x 7 = 2520 years
2520 x 360 days a year (for their year) then divided by 365 days a year (for our years)
2520 x 360 = 907,200 days
divided by 365 = 2485.48 (rounded up)

According to Wikipedia, the seventy year Babylonian captivity ended in 538 BC
2485.48 minus 538 gives us
1947.48 years (add one year because there is no year 0)

If this part matters, it should be easy to verify again, but from what I recall, when they were released from the Babylonian captivity, it was supposedly in the fall. 1948 and 1/2 years brings us to spring 1948.

If there is something off in the way I am explaining this or something I am forgetting to connect with it, I am sorry about that - but this shows a pretty clear calculation to the year 1948, when Israel became a nation again. (May 14, 1948)

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I'm not sure if the modern day Israel is the rebirth of the nation of Israel as mentioned in the bible.

Seems to me the rapture and tribulation could have happened at any point over the last 2,000 years but keeps getting hindered (Daniel 10:20,21). I really believe that there's always been one person on this earth that could have been the Antichrist but the battle that takes place behind the scenes in the spirit world has prevented it. Paul said the mystery of iniquity was already at work in his day. 

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4 minutes ago, SureWord said:

I'm not sure if the modern day Israel is the rebirth of the nation of Israel as mentioned in the bible.

Seems to me the rapture and tribulation could have happened at any point over the last 2,000 years but keeps getting hindered (Daniel 10:20,21). I really believe that there's always been one person on this earth that could have been the Antichrist but the battle that takes place behind the scenes in the spirit world has prevented it. Paul said the mystery of iniquity was already at work in his day. 

I have heard many preachers say that they believe that the adversary has had a person ready to take over in every generation. I believe that this could be the case. He has to be ready because he doesn't know when the Rapture is going to happen, and he has to be on top of the situation when it does. Most Messianic Rabbi's believe that this is the Israel that is supposed to be restored. I have many Jewish people in my family. Most are Christians.

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If Jesus could have come anytime in the last 1900 years, what about the prophetic portions of Revelation 2-3? I believe each letter in those two chapters also clearly represents 7 eras of church history, from the first century until the rapture of the church (see Revelation 4:1). There are two many things that are fulfilled in church history to be just a coincidence or reading into these chapters. For example, the 10 days that Smyrna will be tried historically refers to 10 literal persecutions of Christians by Roman emperors in the first three centuries, ending when Constantine united church and state in his realm in 312 AD. This is represented by Pergamos, which literally means "elevated by marriage." Right now we are in the age of Laodicea, the time of the great falling away which the NT foretold - and which Paul stated has to come first before that man of sin is revealed. He therefore could not have come in the second or third century AD because the falling away had not yet occured.

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18 minutes ago, Jerry said:

If Jesus could have come anytime in the last 1900 years, what about the prophetic portions of Revelation 2-3? I believe each letter in those two chapters also clearly represents 7 eras of church history, from the first century until the rapture of the church (see Revelation 4:1). There are two many things that are fulfilled in church history to be just a coincidence or reading into these chapters. For example, the 10 days that Smyrna will be tried historically refers to 10 literal persecutions of Christians by Roman emperors in the first three centuries, ending when Constantine united church and state in his realm in 312 AD. This is represented by Pergamos, which literally means "elevated by marriage." Right now we are in the age of Laodicea, the time of the great falling away which the NT foretold - and which Paul stated has to come first before that man of sin is revealed. He therefore could not have come in the second or third century AD because the falling away had not yet occured.

I agree. They didn't have a perfect Bible/guideposts for them to go by. They had partial knowledge, and they were the instruments that God was using to complete his word. History and prophecy are two of my favorite subjects. One minor was in history. I went to many prophecy conferences in the early years, and found that there are many varying interpretations of the scriptures. I know which one I agree with and believe is Biblical. 

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15 hours ago, Jerry said:

If Jesus could have come anytime in the last 1900 years, what about the prophetic portions of Revelation 2-3? I believe each letter in those two chapters also clearly represents 7 eras of church history, from the first century until the rapture of the church (see Revelation 4:1). There are two many things that are fulfilled in church history to be just a coincidence or reading into these chapters. For example, the 10 days that Smyrna will be tried historically refers to 10 literal persecutions of Christians by Roman emperors in the first three centuries, ending when Constantine united church and state in his realm in 312 AD. This is represented by Pergamos, which literally means "elevated by marriage." Right now we are in the age of Laodicea, the time of the great falling away which the NT foretold - and which Paul stated has to come first before that man of sin is revealed. He therefore could not have come in the second or third century AD because the falling away had not yet occured.

That's a spiritual application but the Rapture happening in, say, 500 AD would not have changed the historic truth of those 7 churches. 

The scripture can be fulfilled in many different ways. For instance, if the Jews accepted Christ John the Baptist would have fulfilled the prophecy of the coming of Elijah.

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Fulfilling of prophecy is not an application. There are specific things that are prophesied that were fulfilled historically. Those things would not have happened if Jesus was already reigning from Jerusalem.

There are seven parts to each of the letters, including the prophetic preview of church history: The names of the churches (the meaning of the name also telling us something about those churches), Jesus' description of Himself, warnings, rebukes, promises, the promises to the overcomers, and the prophetic preview of church history.

See https://ewministries.earnestlycontending.com/smyrna/

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Don't be surprised to see the nation of Israel dissolved. There's a huge push within the nation itself to either flood the nation with Palestinians and Africans at the least or totally dissolve the nation itself at the most. This push is coming from many Jews themselves including Orthodox Jews who oppose a Zionism because they do not believe the modern state of Israel was established by God. 

If this happens this would definitely shake the faith of many Christians especially those who believe that 1948 was a fulfillment of prophecy.

https://www.nkusa.org/aboutus/zionism/opposition.cfm

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Go back up a few post. There is 100% no way that God would give prophetic calculations in His Word about the nation of Israel coming together in 1948 (to the exact time of year) for it not to the same nation God has preserved throughout history and promised to bring back together. Ezekiel chapters 37-38 shows that the nation does not have spiritual life yet (and will not until He brings them out of the graves of the nations they were scattered among), AND then there's this passage:

Ezekiel 20:33-38 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

This will be fulfilled during the tribulation period. First God brings them back to the land then brings them to life, - purges out the unrepentant rebels, and then ALL remaining Israel will be saved, according to Romans 11:26.

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4 hours ago, Hugh_Flower said:

Another cool thing about the revelation of 1948, is that the Bible said the Jews would not rule yet - not until their Messiah rules. And look they are currently ran by the UN

Are they? I don't see them being run by the UN. They seem to be doing fine on their own.

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All we have to do is watch Jerusalem when the nations start turning their backs and start planning to go at war with Israel, the rapture will be very soon. You can start saying good bye to your love ones, and don’t worry about paying your bills.

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9 minutes ago, E Morales said:

All we have to do is watch Jerusalem when the nations start turning their backs and start planning to go at war with Israel, the rapture will be very soon. You can start saying good bye to your love ones, and don’t worry about paying your bills.

No man knows the day nor the hour. Your advice to not worry about our bills and other things is foolish.

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It seems to me that the nation of Israel of present is not being ruled by God. Many Jews will be in the land when the Antichrist shows up but they will be scattered to the four corners of the earth again. Next time God himself will lead them back not the British or UN.  That will be the fulfillment of Ezekiel 37,38.

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Sure, sure, just ignore the Biblical prophecy I showed above that gives 1948 as the date...

Morales, there are many times in history the surrounding nations have turned on Israel - that in itself doesn't mean that the rapture comes right after a specific battle or skirmish.

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17 minutes ago, Jerry said:

Sure, sure, just ignore the Biblical prophecy I showed above that gives 1948 as the date...

Morales, there are many times in history the surrounding nations have turned on Israel - that in itself doesn't mean that the rapture comes right after a specific battle or skirmish.

Possibly true. Can't say I totally agree with you on the prophecy, but can't say I don't either. Too many variables.

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