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Featured #2 What do you Teach other men that "a Church is"? What do Landmarks Teach men that "a Church is"?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Alan Gross, Jan 2, 2024.

  1. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Since my O.P., is regarding what I am qualifying to be:
    it gets to be a kind of free-for-all, as to where others
    may be getting at or coming from someone who professes
    a "church" to be something else entirely, from what I am saying.

    By saying, "The Lord's churches are spiritual bodies",
    I am referring exclusively to
    Organized Local Divine Institutions as Governing Bodies
    Commissioned to Conduct God's Business,

    as being the only kind of "church" that kind be discussed, Biblically.

    I am saying, then, that, "The Lord's churches are spiritual bodies",

    because they are the only Institutions on Earth
    (those Apostles gathered who were at the time Jesus was speaking
    "them", meaning that He was speaking to "them" as His assembled Biblical "church" Organization, as above,
    and were already Jesus'
    "church" that He had founded;
    i.e., He placed in the church, first Apostles, etc.),

    and then, it was Jesus'
    "church" that He had promised to send
    and/or pray to the Father to send, etc.,
    "another Comfortor",

    "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter,
    that He may abide with you forever;" John 14:16.

    That is the Shekinah Glory that was to permanently indwell

    Jesus' Organized Local Divine Institutions as Governing Bodies
    Commissioned to Conduct God's Business,
    as it says in that verse, "He may abide with you forever",
    "you", again being an indication of
    those Apostles gathered
    who were at the time Jesus was speaking
    were assembled as a Biblical "church" Organization of His, as above,
    and were already Jesus' "church" that He had founded.

    Jesus was promising to send another Comforter,
    to Indwell His "church(es)", "forever", until He Comes Again.

    That promise was fulfilled on The Day of Pentecost,
    just as John the Baptist had predicted,

    "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance:
    but he that cometh after me is mightier than I,
    whose shoes I am not worthy to bear:
    He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost..."
    Matthew 3:11.

    That is what is meant by The Churches that Jesus Built
    being said to be:

    We don't want to say that the Lord couldn't have His Biblical "church" Organization up and running before Pentecost
    and the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit coming upon His first church
    there at Jerusalem, to dwell within her, since that
    wouldn't be saying much for the Personal Presence of Jesus Christ
    with His Apostles, would it?

    Looks like you may be placing Jesus' Glorification at His Ascension(?)

    I think I'll put Jesus' Glorification at His Resurrection.

    At any rate, Jesus' churches have been Indwelt
    by the Presence of The Holy Spirit, fully and officially,
    since the Day of Pentecost.

    "In whom ye also are builded together
    for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
    Ephesians 2:22.

    That is were "ye" are the saints in church at Ephesus,
    who are Jesus Biblical "church" Organization,
    "builded together" and that should sound very familiar,
    "I will build My church", and they, as one of Jesus' churches

    have been Indwelt by the Presence of The Holy Spirit,
    and are,
    "an habitation of God through the Spirit."

    The Shekinah Glory Indwelling His Presence as The Holy Spirit
    is the church at Ephesus'

    Since they had been warned in Revelation, by Jesus,
    that He could remove their Candlestick, not just any "church"
    can be said to still have a "Candlestick", right?,
    if they ever did in the first place.

    "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,
    and repent, and do the first works;

    "or else I will come unto thee quickly,
    and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent,"

    (Revelation 2:5).

    That this was not restricted to the Ephesian church alone,
    nor yet to the seven churches addressed, is evident from verse 7:

    "He that hath an ear, let him hear
    what the Spirit saith unto the churches . . . "

    "And when he had said this, he breathed on them,
    and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost" John 20:22

    This was a foretaste of the event to take place on Pentecost
    with Jesus Imparting to His assembled Apostles, who certainly
    already were personally indwelt by the Divine Nature of the Holy Spirit

    where this was Jesus Enabling them with the Supernatural
    Instantaneous Miraculous Gifts of the Holy Spirit, for their use
    in the Apostles' ministries verifying their association and Source
    as being the Divine Lord God of the Universe.

    See the new thread:
    What is the Relationship of Pentecost to THE CHURCHES THAT JESUS BUILT?
    #81 Alan Gross, Jan 13, 2024
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2024
  2. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    Likes Received:
    I'm agreeing with a Scofield Bible note?

    Oh well, I guess I use a Scofield Bible don't I?

    I'm just known more for reading it from the top down!

    Instead of from the bottom up!

    Good note from him. Very good. Informative.
  3. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    Likes Received:
    I can't tell whether you are advocating what Logos1560 mentioned
    in his quotes from the link below,
    or if you are pushing for the return of casting lots(?)

    Logos1560's comments from:
    A Short Description of Historic Baptists, by Raul Enyedi Bocsa, Romania.


    Hey! Everybody!

    CJP69 says,


    "WANT TO COPY/PASTE FROM) !!!!!!!?????

    "can make a biblical case..........." (????!!!!)

    "that any church should operate under the authority of a popular vote......"


    I never.

    Lord's sakes alive!


    The Doctrine of The Church, by T.P. Simmons.


    "New Testament churches were independent and democratic in government.

    "This fact is seen in-


    "While the method used in the selection of Matthias
    is not the usual method of voting employed today,
    Luke's account (Acts 1:23-26) implies that
    the entire church participated in his selection.

    "They appointed" (vs. 23), "they prayed" (vs. 24),
    and "they gave forth their lots."

    The entire group of one hundred and twenty (vs. 15) is the most natural antecedent of the pronoun "they" in these expressions.


    "When the need arose for these seven servants of the church,
    the apostles did not assume the authority of appointing them,
    but "called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said,

    "It is not reason that we should leave the Word of God, and serve tables.

    "Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report
    full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business
    (Acts 6:2, 3).

    "And the saying pleased the whole multitude, and they chose"
    the seven men whose names are given.

    The multitude of the disciples, that is, the church, did the choosing.


    "In this we see the independence of New Testament churches.

    The church at Antioch, although it was much younger than the church at Jerusalem, acted in this matter independent of the church at Jerusalem
    and without so much as consulting the church at Jerusalem. Cf. Acts 13:1-3.

    Neither did the church consult the apostles.


    "Paul addressed the church as a whole about this matter. Cf. 1 Cor. 5.

    And in his recommendation concerning the restoration of this man (2 Cor. 2:6)
    he speaks of his punishment as having been inflicted by "many,"
    literally, the greater part or majority.

    This distinctly implies that the church was democratic
    in the exclusion of the man.

    It was not done by the elders, nor by the deacons,
    but by the many or the majority.


    Cf. 1 Cor. 16:3; 1 Cor. 8:19, 23. Paul recognized the right of the churches to have their own representatives accompany him in his travels among the churches in making up the offering for the saints at Jerusalem.

    We, no doubt, have these "messengers of the church" mentioned in Acts 20:4.

    Thus Paul was not a lord over God's heritage, but recognized their right of self-government.

    He speaks of these brethren as having been selected of the churches.

    This implies that the churches acted as bodies in their selection.

    They were not appointed by the elders.

    The only way a church can act as a body is by some method of voting.

    Any proper method of voting is an expression of democracy.


    (1) Maintain Unity of Action.

    See Rom. 12:16; 1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11; Eph. 4.3; Phil. 1:27; 1 Pet. 3:8.

    Strong very justly remarks on these passages that they are not
    mere counsels to passive submission), such as might be given under a hierarchy, or to the members of a society of the Jesuits;
    "they are counsels to cooperation and to harmonious judgment."

    (2) Preserve Pure Doctrine and Practice.

    1 Tim. 3.15; Jude 3. See also the exhortations to the churches in Rev. 2 and 3.

    (3) Guard the Ordinances.

    1 Cor. 11:2, 23, 24.

    "And we may conclude by saving
    that in no instance in the New Testament
    do we see the independency
    and democracy of the church contradicted.

    #83 Alan Gross, Jan 14, 2024
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2024
  4. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

    Oct 11, 2023
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    I'd have to admit that this is as good an argument as I've ever seen anyone present. That last point is an argument from silence (You really should try to avoid the arguments from silence that you (or whomever it is you copy/paste from) seem to gravitate toward.) and the rest relies heavily on interpretation and argument from implication but there is enough there where I can see that someone could hold to the position honestly.

    It does, however, ignore the biblical record that isn't simply implied but overtly stated concerning the selection of leaders where either God Himself does the selecting entirely on his own or the group being lead selects qualified candidates and then lots are cast to make the final selection.

    I don't have someone else's work to copy/paste from and don't have the time nor the inclination to establish that point biblically as it would be ignored anyway. Suffice it to say that I understand why you believe what you believe but that you aren't on the firmest of biblical ground and should avoid being overly dogmatic about your position here. Christ is a King not the chairman of an elder board.
  5. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    Likes Received:
    "Christ is King" is our position.

    "the chairman of an elder board" is your position, isn't it(?)

    We view Jesus Christ as being The Head of each individual independent
    local assembly, with that local body acting under His Headship
    and Lordship, as King, "covenanted together according to the Biblical pattern
    of a “one member, one vote,” spirit-led democracy."

    "Bryan Station Baptist Church is a local, visible,
    called-out assembly of scripturally baptized believers, covenanted together
    according to the Biblical pattern of a “one member, one vote,” spirit-led democracy;
    whose purpose is the carrying out of the Great Commission of Matthew 28:16-20.

    "The Bible teaches that only such a church as this is authorized
    and constructed to be able to do so."

    Just for kicks.


    I Corinthians 1:2 "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth,
    to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints

    I Corinthians 11:2 "Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

    17 "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

    18 "For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

    20 "When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper."

    23 "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:

    24 "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."

    33 "Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another."


    A Treatise of Baptism, by Henry Danvers, 1674

    Wherein the baptizing of Believers
    is proved to be the only Baptism from Apostles' Doctrine teaching the same.

    Acts. 2. 37, 38; "And when they heard this, they were pricked at the Heart, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the Apostles, Men and Brethren, what shall we do?

    "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 you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

    Acts 8. 36, 37. "And the eunuch said, See, here is Water, what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said unto him,, If thou believest with all thine Heart, thou mayst."

    Acts 10. 42; "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testified, That it is he, which was ordained of God to be Judge of quick and dead; to him gave all the Prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him, shall receive Remission of sins.

    "While Peter spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word, &c. Then said Peter, Can any man forbid Water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

    "And he commanded them to be baptized."

    Acts 16. 29; "And the Keeper of the Prison
    fell down before Paul and Silas, and said, Sirs, What must I do to be saved; and he said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy House. And accordingly he believing in God and his House, as it is said,

    v. 34. "was baptized he and all his straight way.

    "To which may be added the Apostolic Order
    in laying down the Principles of the Doctrine of Christ."

    First, Repentance from dead works.

    Secondly, Faith towards God.

    Thirdly, The Doctrine of Baptisms, Heb. 6.12.

    "Bede saith, That men were first to be instructed into the knowledge of the Truth, then to be baptized, as Christ hath taught, because without Faith it was impossible to please God. Magdeburg. Cent. 8. p. 220.

    "Erasmus, in his Paraphrase upon Mat. 28. Observeth, that the Apostles were commanded first to Teach, and then to Baptize. The Jews were brought by Ceremonies to the Knowledge of the Truth, but Christians must learn first.

    "So that doth it not from hence necessarily follow, that if the Apostles only taught, that persons should be baptized after Repentance, and Faith, according to the Commission, and that there is no instance to be found of any other teaching, that then such should be baptized, and no other.

    "And for any to introduce another practice, it is not only contrary to Christ's Commission, but contradictory to the Apostles teachings."
    #85 Alan Gross, Jan 17, 2024
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2024
  6. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

    Oct 11, 2023
    Likes Received:
    Presuming that's a real question, it cannot have been asked without having missed the point.

    The point is that God does NOT work via committees or popular vote. Yes, groups have a say and substantive input but final decisions aught to be made by a particular person (i.e. an elder) who is then held responsible for those decisions.

    One major underlying principle at work here is the fact that people are evil, by nature. While individuals man can overcome their nature and act righteously or repent if they act unrighteously, a group, on the other hand, tends much more toward displaying the actual human nature and the larger the group, the stronger that trend. Also, groups of people very rarely ever repent once they've started down the wrong road. The ancient city of Nineveh and Israel under King Josiah are the only two large groups that I can even think of who repented in the whole history of mankind. Typically, it takes a war of one kind or another to cause that large of a group to change course. In the case of a church, while not as big a problem as a whole nation, getting an elder board to change course is all but impossible as well, leading usually to church splits and animosity all over the place.

    It is better to have a leader who surrounds himself with wise counsel but who is singularly responsible for the decisions he makes and the selection of this leader is most wisely accomplished by first having the group select two or three well qualified persons and then let the final decision be made by the casting of lots, as was exemplified in the selection of Matthias to replace Judas. This keeps the politics to a minimum and helps prevent anyone thinking that they're a bigger deal than they are.
  7. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Oct 22, 2004
    Likes Received:
    How can that one person be held responsible and accountable if that person alone is given final authority in that congregation?

    In the New Testament, congregations could choose or elect their own officers [pastors/elders and deacons] (Acts 6:1-6; Acts 14:23).

    Thomas Armitage wrote: “Each of the apostolic churches elected its own pastors directly, in the exercise of their free suffrage” (History of the Baptists, Vol. I, p. 123). The rendering “ordained them elders by election” (Acts 14:23) in the pre-1611 English Bibles [1526 Tyndale's New Testament, 1535 Coverdale's Bible, 1537 Matthew's Bible, 1539 Great Bible, 1539 Taverner's Bible, 1552 Jugge’s New Testament, 1557 Whittingham’s New Testament, 1560 Geneva Bible, and 1568 Bishops' Bible] showed more clearly how congregational government is supported in the New Testament. The 1560 Geneva Bible has this note at Acts 14:23: “The word in the original is taken from the custom of the Greeks, whose manner was to choose their officers by lifting up of the hands.” The 1557 Whittingham’s New Testament has this note for the word “election” at Acts 14:23: “The word signifieth to elect by putting up the hands, which declareth that ministers were not made without the consent of the people.” Henry Dexter noted: “So Acts 14:23 retained in the English versions, until the hand of Episcopal authority struck it out, the recognition of the action of the membership of the churches in the choice of their elders” (Hand-Book, p. 15, footnote 1). The Baptist Magazine for 1871 translated Beza’s Latin rendering at Acts 14:23 as follows: “When they had created for them, by suffrages, presbyters in each of the churches” (p. 583).

    The 1677 Second London Confession of Faith by Baptists maintained that a bishop or elder is “to be chosen thereunto by the common suffrage of the Church itself,” and it cited Acts 14:23 in the margin with the comment “See the original” (Lumpkin, p. 287; McGlothin, Baptist Confessions, p. 266). The 1742 Philadelphia Confession of Faith by Baptists retained the same words that had been based on Acts 14:23: “to be chosen thereunto by the common suffrage of the church itself” (Cathcart, Baptist Encyclopaedia, p. 1320). Baptists in England in the 1600’s had based at least a portion of their doctrine of church government on the original language text of Scripture at Acts 14:23 with clear support from the Latin translation of Erasmus, the Latin translation of Beza, and the pre-1611 English Bibles.

    The Liberty Annotated Study Bible noted that the only other time this Greek word [at Acts 14:23] is used in Scripture (2 Cor. 8:19) "it has the sense of congregational selection" (p. 1694). John Owen maintained that at 2 Corinthians 8:19 “it plainly signifies election and choice of a person to an employment” (Works, XVI, p. 62). Francis Turretin wrote: “In 2 Corinthians 8:19, Luke is said to be cheirotonetheis hypo ton ekklesion to travel with Paul (i. e., elected by the votes of the churches)“ (Institutes, III, p. 229). The rendering of the 1557 Whittingham’s or Geneva New Testament at 2 Corinthians 8:19 was “chosen by election of the Churches.“ At this verse, Haak’s English translation of the 1637 Dutch Annotations noted that “the Greek word properly signifies a choice which is made by lifting up or stretching forth of hands.“ George Punchard noted: “It is clear that this word is employed 2 Corinthians 8:19, to designate such an act of the church--a popular vote” (View of Congregationalism, p. 60). George Punchard added: “No one can doubt that Titus was chosen by a popular vote, and as the same word is used in both places [2 Cor. 8:19; Acts 14:23], the inference is, that it designates the same act in both instances” (Ibid). Michael Baumgarten affirmed that “in its original acceptation, it signified an election, by holding up of the hands; and this signification is clearly established by 2 Corinthians 8:18, 19” (Acts, I, p. 456). Z. K. Hawley wrote: “The words ’ordained’ and ’chose,’ in these passages [Acts 14:23, 2 Cor. 8:19] are the same, in the original; it expresses a ’hand vote;’ and implies the action of the brethren” (Defence, p. 39). At 2 Corinthians 8:19, even Bishop Thomas Bilson admitted that “they [the messengers] were chosen by the churches themselves, not by the apostle” (Perpetual Government, p. 119).

    In the New Testament, congregations could receive members and could exclude or dismiss members or had authority to practice church discipline (Rom. 14:1, Matt. 18:17-18, 1 Cor. 5:4-13, 2 Thess. 3:6, 14, Rom. 16:17, 3 John 1:9-10, Gal. 6:1).
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Jun 26, 2003
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    I find it interesting that the early churches were called synagogues. That gets some interesting looks.
  9. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Oct 22, 2004
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    How did the makers of the KJV understand their rendering "church" at Matthew 18:17?

    In contrast to congregational church government views, advocates of episcopal church government and some advocates of Presbyterian church government maintain that the rendering “church” at Matthew 18:17 refers to the clergy or presbytery, not the congregation. They interpret Matthew 18:17 differently. In 1593, Bishop Thomas Bilson, who would be co-editor of the 1611 KJV, wrote: “’Tell it the church, that is’ saith Chrysostom, ‘the rulers and governors of the church’” (Perpetual Government, p. 153). Again Bilson contended that “the rulers and governors of the church are thereby intended” (p. 166). Thomas Bilson asserted: “The discipline and government of the church, I mean the power of the keys, and imposing hands, are two other parts of apostolic authority which must remain in the church for ever” (p. 281).

    Concerning Matthew 18:17, Francis Turretin (1623-1687) wrote: “This church undoubtedly means nothing else than a presbytery which has the power and administration of the keys, commonly called the representative in distinction from the collective church (which is constituted of the people or believers, who ought to be under the government of pastors)” (Institutes, Vol 3, p. 9). Francis Turretin claimed that the third of the three principal meanings of church is “the representative church of pastors” (p. 8). Francis Turretin claimed that “the third concerns its government or the vocation of pastors and ecclesiastical power” (p. 10). Alexander Carson affirmed: “The church in Matthew 18:17 you [Presbyterians] explain to be church-rulers, composed of pastors, and lay-elders, making a session” (Reply, p. 93).

    In explaining why he used the rendering “congregation”, William Tyndale (1484-1536) had written: “The word church hath divers significations. First it signifieth a place or house” (Answer, p. 11). William Tyndale added: “In another signification, it is abused and mistaken for a multitude of shaven, shorn, and oiled; which we now call the spiritualty and clergy” (p. 12). William Tyndale concluded: “And in this third signification is the church of God, or of Christ, taken in the Scripture; even for the whole multitude of all them that receive the name of Christ to believe in him, and not for the clergy only” (Ibid.). G. E. Duffield commented that "Tyndale knew that in current parlance the word church usually meant the clergy or the ecclesiastical hierarchy" and that "in the Bible ecclesia referred to God's people, not merely to the clergy" (Work of William Tyndale, p. xx). David Daniell commented: "Congregatio had been used by Erasmus in his parallel Latin translation for the Greek ekklesia wherever it occurred. Tyndale avoids 'church' because it is not what the New Testament says" (William Tyndale, p. 148). Daniell also noted: “Tyndale translated the Greek New Testament word ekklesia as ‘congregation.‘ Philologically, he was correct: Erasmus, no less, had done the same before him. Theologically he was correct, too” (p. 122).
  10. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    Likes Received:
    What they translated "church" is from "ekklesia" and is always a local assembly.

    "When, in His first use of the word, in Matthew 16:18, our Lord says: "On this rock I will build my "ecclesia" while the "my" distinguished His "ecclesia" from the Greek state "ecclesia" and the Old Testament "ecclesia," the word itself naturally retains its ordinary meaning...

    "Commonly, that is, in nearly all the uses, it means: A particular assembly of Christ's baptized disciples on earth, as 'The church of God which is at Corinth.'

    "We add to this class necessarily all of the abstract or generic uses of the word, for whenever the abstract or generic finds concrete expression, or takes operative shape, it is always a particular assembly." 8

    Just you said here, about Matthew 18:17;
    That is correct, of course, making all of the previous "bright ideas" of men,
    listed in your post, incorrect, who were taking Lordship over God's heritage
    and introducing their own brand on how God's business is to be conducted.

    Correct, this time, again.

    We'll go with Philologically and Theologically correct, every time.

    Christ's Church Revealed In The Scriptures

    "And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord..." (1 Thess. 1:6).

    "For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God
    which in Judea are in Christ Jesus..." (1 Thess. 2:14).

    "New Testament Baptist churches "mimic" the first church and others like it.

    "They insist on not only believing the same doctrines
    but also following the godly pattern set before us by those churches.

    "This belief that the New Testament is not only the guide for our faith,
    but also the pattern for our practice is a second principle
    which sets genuine Baptists apart from others.

    "We have no right to interject our own ideas, beliefs,
    practices or traditions into the worship and service of God.

    "To do so nullifies God's Word, for after all, He has revealed in the Bible
    everything He wants us to know about spiritual things.

    *The following verses clearly instruct us as to our obligation
    to be subject to the Bible in all things. Consider these warnings:

    (Mark 7:13) "Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition,
    which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye."

    (Deut 4:2) "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you,
    neither shall ye diminish ought from it,
    that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God
    which I command you."

    (Deut 12:32) "What thing soever I command you,
    observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."

    (Rev 22:18) "For I testify unto every man
    that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,
    If any man shall add unto these things,
    God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book."

    "It is devastatingly serious to tamper with the Word of God
    either in theological matters or in the matter of observance,
    practice and celebration."

    "Among those churches called Baptist are to be found people who have been brought by God Himself to stand upon the New Testament as their only rule of faith and practice. They see in it both precept and pattern for acceptable worship and service.

    "We believe this is the only course well-pleasing to God, the Divine Author of the Bible. If we have no Bible for either our doctrine or our practice, abandon such things as innovations of depraved mankind. On the other hand, if the Bible teaches it, we who "tremble at His word" can do nothing more or less than believe and obey it!"

    "ecclesia (ek-klay-see'-ah); a calling out, i.e. (concretely)
    a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation..." 7

    "New Testament usage, secular usage and the Septuagint usage of the word "ecclesia" indicate it was only and always used of an organized, congregating body of people in a given locality."

    "One of the biggest hindrances to a proper understanding of New Testament church truth is the notion that the word church means more than one thing."

    "B.H. Carroll (1843-1914) was the founder and first president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and for thirty years served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Waco, Texas.

    "Elder Carroll wrote the following:

    "Our Lord and the New Testament writers
    neither coined this word Greek "ecclesia" nor employed it in any unusual sense.

    "Before their time it was in common use, of well-understood signification, and subject like any other word to varied employment, according to the established laws of language. That is, it might be used abstractly, or generically, or particularly, or prospectively, without losing its essential meaning...

    "What, then, etymologically, is the meaning of this word? Its primary meaning is: An organized assembly, whose members have been properly called out from private homes or business to attend to public affairs. This definition necessarily implies prescribed conditions of membership..."

    "Multitudes have not followed the plain teachings of the Bible and have left the Lord's churches to follow some human leader. Others either lacking knowledge or unconcerned with truth, have started their own "churches" without considering or understanding the New Testament doctrine and pattern of church truth.

    "This was the case even in the days of Christ's apostles. Consider these verses:

    (2 Cor. 2:17) "For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."

    (2 Cor. 4:2) "But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God."

    (1 John 2:19) "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."

    "Many churches of our own time have been started by persons unwilling to follow historic Biblical doctrine and practice. Some openly "corrupt the word of God" and are guilty of "handling the word of God deceitfully." Others "were not all of us" and therefore "they went out from us." This has been done for so long and by so many that few in today's religious world even consider that they have no right to found their own churches.

    So, just like with everything you wrote
    about the members of each church
    selecting their own officers, by vote,

    at #89 #2 What do you Teach other men that "a Church is"?
    What do Landmarks Teach men that "a Church is"?

    the same is the case with church discipline;

    "The second mention of "church" in the New Testament
    is in Matt 18:15-18
    and clearly demonstrates the authority of Christ
    as entrusted to His church:

    "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee,
    go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone:
    if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

    "But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more,
    that in the mouth of two or three witnesses
    every word may be established.

    "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church:
    but if he neglect to hear the church,
    let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    "Verily I say unto you,
    Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:
    and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

    "Notice that neither the pastor nor some imagined board
    has authority to act in this matter.

    "The matter must be brought before the church (the membership)
    and they are to seek the mind of the Lord in the matter.

    "The decision (vote) of the church in obedience to Christ
    is binding in Heaven as well as within the confines of the church.

    "Here the church is explicitly authorized and instructed
    to exclude from her fellowship those whose behavior
    brings reproach upon the Head of each true church."
  11. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    So baed on your quote of Joseph Cross are you calling those who see an invisible church on this board heretics?
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    Likes Received:
    From the mind of an Episcopal, that is quite a surreal observation.

    You would think that it would be altogether different and that folks
    could be able to be brought to things like,
    "one body" doesn't mean "two bodies", for example,
    and see "a church", as a local assembly which is what the Greek word means
    and the same with a body of believers being a local body of believers, etc.,
    but don't bet on it.

    It's like Joseph Cross said there, first:

    "Of an invisible church in this world I know nothing:
    "the Word of God says nothing:
    "nor can anything of the kind exist."

    It is an argument from silence, no different than sayings "things evolve",
    when there is no demonstrable science of that we can observe anywhere,
    or "Faith Healers" that 'wear glasses', etc , so for me,
    there is not a whole lot that I can say that I know about nothing.

    Do you have "an invisible church in this world", in your brain, Revmitchell?

    Looks like Joseph Cross takes exception to that, in a big way, if so.

    But, I don't push the point.

    "Joseph Cross (Episcopal) in his book, "Coals From the Altar" says:
    "We hear much of the invisible church
    as contra-distinguished from the church visible.

    "Of an invisible church in this world I know nothing:
    "the Word of God says nothing:
    "nor can anything of the kind exist, except in the brain of a heretic."

    Whereas, I wasn't born to condemn people or make fun of them

    for what they sincerely believe, to a point, depending on how cocky they get.

    I did ask an "Evolutionist" yesterday that believes the Jews

    collected writings they liked, to explain where the "Bible" came from,
    instead of being from GOD!!!, etc (?) if they think they came from a monkey,
    and let that fall where it may.


    So, "my job" is not to be attacking people for their willful ignorance,
    and I just skip it.

    However, I find that there has been a lot of information disseminated on this thread that has been overlooked that is extremely important to God,
    and as much as I'd like to sympathize with people being unintentionally busted,

    and just triggered by God, by the wordings quoted of the beliefs of others,
    I have to admit, that although I restain from inflammatory insults as a rule,
    for me to have even noticed this one would have been Supernatural.

    That is because, for me to see "the invisible edible invisible" whatever it is(?),
    as being "heretical", would be the most common place occurrence of the day.

    I just didn't notice it, in the least.

    Sorry, if my posting Br. Cross's quote with regard to that offended you.

    I'm also sorry, if people reinventing God's Words with their own, offends Him.

    So, there is a balance, and I am all for avoiding both.

    Having said this about that, the reason I may have overlooked this remark
    is because my home church would invite a visitor to sit and listen, but they
    would not be considered as a candidate for baptism, or membership,
    given that they hold a position embracing "an Invisible"(?) nothing teaching.

    We do not fellowship with other religious societies which teach such a thing.

    Any member who professed this belief would not be considered to preach,
    teach a class, witness on visitation, or be involved in any church speaking.

    In the event that the individual persisted in any form of sowing discord,
    they would be censored for promoting a pure, in-stage, Bible schism,
    up to and including a recommendation for consideration of a church vote,
    with respect to Doctrinal Heresy.

    So, while in the micro-environment of The BB, where I'm pretty sure

    that telling someone, "Get behind me, Satan", would be viewed
    as "not-Christ-like", for example, I have no initiative for needlessly
    causing anyone some form of Forum Destress, on purpose.

    Maybe if it did any good, I might, but as you can see it's counterproductive.

    I'm not here to cause a ruckus. My colored fonts do that plenty enough.

    For example, my home church is Pre-Millienial. I am Amillennial.
    Do I bring it up there? Well, I slipped something out one time in a couple words

    about their former pastor
    "being an Amillennialist, NOW.... (after he's passed on)."

    Get it?

    It "didn't sit well" with their grapevine....

    It's supposed to have been an "inside baseball" joke.

    Since, now that he is with the Lord, he's been taught MY POSITION, right?

    I trust that he would have taken it just that way.

    The trick is, that you just have to be the first one that claims it, "to wins".

    Only, I didn't win that one.

    Believe that. He pastored for 52 years and they are all related...

    And you know what? They saw that as me accusing him of being a Heretic.

    I feel ya.

    Sorry, again, for the friendly fire. I take it back.

    Unless, you come our way, which you're not ready for, as we both realize.

    Then, we would have to talk.