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Featured CHRIST HAS ONLY ONE KIND OF CHURCH ACCORDING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Alan Gross, Nov 10, 2020.

  1. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    The Church of Colossians
    By Rosco Brong


    CHRIST HAS ONLY ONE KIND OF CHURCH ACCORDING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT

    "And He is the Head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the Preeminence." (Colossians 1:18.)

    Proponents of 'the universal church idea' abuse and misinterpret the epistles of Ephesians and Colossians perhaps more than any other part of the New Testament in their vain attempts to produce some scriptural support for their fantastic theories.

    In another study, I have shown how the use of the word "church" in Ephesians corresponds to the abstract, generic, institutional, or distributive use of other singular nouns with plural connections.

    Let us now examine the same subject in Paul's letter to the Colossians.

    In the first place it is axiomatic that words ought to be understood in their ordinary sense unless the context demands otherwise, or unless the writer or speaker explains that he is using a word in a sense different from what would be naturally understood by his readers or hearers.

    The question in Biblical interpretation is not what meaning modern religionists may like to read into the scriptures, but what meaning was clearly intended to be conveyed by the original writers
    , according to the ordinary usages of language.



    Meaning of Ekklesia

    Honest translation requires that the Greek word ekklesia be rendered "assembly" or "congregation
    " - a fact attested by competent scholarship and easily confirmed by anyone who will examine the word in context in all its occurrences in the New Testament.

    The fact is so self-evident that even the most rabid advocates of a universal church are compelled to recognize a literal assembly in the great majority of all Biblical uses of the word.

    Satan's ministers, enemies of our Lord's church, needed about half a thousand years to get much acceptance of the idea of "universal" or "catholic" church in opposition to New Testament churches, and a thousand years more to sell the idea of a "universal invisible" church.

    Of course, a universal or worldwide assembly is a contradiction in terms, and even more so is an invisible assembly of visible mortals. There is no such confusion in the New Testament.


    Abstract Singulars

    Stubbornly shutting their eyes to the abstract use of singular nouns, enemies of our Lord's real churches dream of what they call "the true church" as something that exists only in imagination, something that never assembles, something supposed to include all Christians and yet leaving them all out of any definite or recognizable obligations to Christ.

    For readers whose minds are open, I cite a few of more than a dozen instances in Colossians of various singular nouns used with the definite article and with plurality of application: that is, the singular does not have an immediate particular reference, nor does it suggest anything universal; but it is to be applied plurally (distributively) according to context.

    Colossians 1:4: "Your faith" and "love" The possessive pronoun is plural; the "faith" and "love" are singular. Not universal faith and love, but individually and collectively the faith and love of all the Colossian saints.

    Colossians 2:11: "Ye are circumcised. . . in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh." Note the plural subject. The Colossians did not all at once put off one big universal body of sins, but each of them individually put off the body of the sins of his own flesh.

    Colossians 2:12: (Literally) "Buried with him in the baptism." The subject is still plural, but "the baptism" (singular) is not one big universal invisible splash; the reference is to the baptism of each individual.

    Colossians 3:8: "Your mouth." Plural possessive (genitive) pronoun; singular "mouth." Devotees of a universal church may have nightmares about a universal mouth; other readers will have better sense


    The Church The Body

    "Ekklesia," traditionally mistranslated "church," appears four times in the letter to the Colossians. The first two times, in verses 18 and 24 of the first chapter, it is figuratively declared to be the body of Christ

    Very little intelligence and only a moderate amount of thinking will be needed to discern how apt is this figure when applied to an organized assembly and how ridiculous it is to try to apply it to the imaginary "universal church." Reduce a human body to smoke and ashes, dispel the smoke around the world, and scatter the ashes across six continents and seven seas: then try to get some work done by that "universal body"!

    The figure of the church as the body of Christ is enlarged upon in Romans 12 and in I Corinthians 12. It is a beautiful and meaningful figure when we think of a real union of God's people organized under the headship of Christ, holding a common faith and purpose, bound together in mutual love, sharing one other's joys and sorrows, believing and obeying the word of God in the unity of the Spirit.

    Enemies of Christ's church are they who destroy this figure, making it ridiculous with their "invisible church" nonsense. The figurative body of Christ of the New Testament is no mere figment of the imagination, but can be found in real life wherever an assembly of baptized believers, recognizing only Christ as their Head, carry on business for Him.

    Suffering For the Church

    In verse 23 of Col. 1, Paul says he became a minister of the gospel; in verses 24 and 25 he says he became a minister of the church. There can be a difference, but Paul was both. In verse 24 he wrote of himself as one "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church."

    Perhaps we shall never fully understand this Scripture in this life. Certainly we must not confuse the meritorious, substitutionary sufferings of Christ which He alone bore for our redemption with other sufferings in which we are called upon to share.

    Whether we can understand it or not, Christ and His apostles had an interest not only in individual souls but also in the church as an institution. Those ministers of the gospel who attach no importance to the church, who imply that "one church is as good as another," who thereby despise the only kind of church that Jesus ever organized, are surely not led by the Spirit of Christ or of Paul.

    The Church in a House

    In Colossians 4:15 is the third mention of "church" in this letter: "Salute . . . Nymphas, and the church which is in his house."

    Notice: not that part of the church which is in his house, as it would have to read if the church were something scattered all over the world, but "the church which is in his house." Whether Nymphas had a very large house, or whether the church that met there was a rather small church, we are not told.

    What we are told is enough to let us know (1) that the church is not universal; (2) that a church is something different from a house; and (3) that a church may be contained in a house. All this is obvious in a single verse.

    Churches in Fellowship

    Fourth mention of the word "church" in Colossians is in 4:16: "And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea."

    The only organic connection between real New Testament churches is that they have the same Head, but this is enough. We are complete in Him. (Colossians 2:10.) Real churches cannot scripturally join together to form a higher organization, whatever it may be called, to exercise authority over them. When they transfer their allegiance from Christ to men, they cease to be Christ's churches.

    But this does not mean that churches ought to exist in isolation. On the contrary, having one Lord, one faith, one baptism, etc., we have every reason to enjoy and profit from fellowship with one another.

    No doubt there were differences between the local conditions and circumstances of the Colossian church and those of the Laodicean church, but their needs and interests were similar enough that an apostolic letter to either church merited the attention of the other.

    It is not good for a church to cut itself off from others of like precious faith. New Testament churches enjoyed fellowship with one another in the worship and praise of God, in ministering to the needy, and in missionary undertakings. If we will maintain good fellowship with our Head, we shall also have good fellowship with one another.

    ===========
    [From the Ashland Avenue Baptist newspaper, January 20, 1975, pp. 1, 3-4. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
     

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  2. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Technically the one Body of Christ which is His church singluar is not correctly a "universeal" or "catholic" church. That is simply not a Biblical term for His one church or any of His local churches.
     
  3. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    One body or two bodies?

    His "one church"? His local churches?

    Chapter I
    THE MEANING OF ‘EKKLESIA’

    In Search of the Universal Invisible Church by Milburn Cockrell


    Throughout all Protestant Christendom there prevails the teaching that the word church has a twofold meaning in the New Testament.

    They say at times it is used in the local sense and at other times in the sense of a universal, invisible church consisting of all believers.

    They make the word to have a literal sense and a figurative sense.

    Universal church people are not agreed on just what this invisible church really is.

    The strict dispensationalists would give this definition: "The true church, composed of the whole number of regenerate persons from Pentecost to the first resurrection (I Cor. 15:52 ), united together and to Christ by the baptism of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:12 -13), is the body of Christ of which He is the Head (Eph. 1:22 -23).

    As such it is a holy temple for the habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph. 2:21 -22); is 'one flesh' with Christ (Eph. 5:30 -31); and espoused to Him as a chaste virgin to one husband (II Cor. 11:2-4)." (See The Scofield Reference Bible, footnote on Hebrews 12:23, p. 1304).

    Strict covenant theologians have a much larger church than dispensationalists.

    They say: "The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all" (Confession of Faith of the United Presbyterian Church, Chap. 25, Article 1, p. 36, of the 1961-62 annual).

    For 117 years of its existence the Southern Baptist Convention had no article of faith about the universal, invisible church. In the 1950s and 1960s the liberals ceased power, and in 1962 a revised confession was adopted which said: "The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all the redeemed of all ages" (Article VI). This is essentially the strict covenant view of the church.

    The dispensationalists make the church to be the whole number of regenerate persons from Pentecost to the first resurrection.

    They would exclude the Old Testament saints from being in the church and all New Testament saints before the day of Pentecost.

    The covenant theologian has a much larger church consisting of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one.

    Nevertheless, both schools have a universal, invisible church.

    This view is so generally believed that any person who dares to reject it is branded as a "misguided fanatic."
     
    #3 Alan Gross, Nov 11, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  4. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    con't: In this booklet I shall not inquire any more as to what theologians and creeds say about the church. There is no such thing as an inerrant creed or an infallible theologian.

    The final court of appeal is the Bible. What men may say about the Bible is unimportant. The great question is: What is the New Testament idea of a church?

    Does the New Testament authorize only the local idea of the word church, or does it authorize the universal, invisible idea, or both?

    It will be my purpose to prove that when we are shut up to the New Testament alone, only one definite idea of the church rules the field. In the New Testament, the true and actual church is a local, visible body of baptized believers.

    A limited reading of the New Testament will prove that churches

    made disciples (Matt. 28:19),

    baptized these disciples in water (Matt. 28:19),

    and taught them what Christ commanded (Matt. 28:20).

    A true New Testament church received members (Rom. 14:1),

    elected officers (Acts 1:23; 6:5),

    sent out missionaries (Acts 13:1-4),

    observed the Lord's Supper (I Cor. 11),

    had regular and stated meetings (Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:1-2),

    settled disputes (Acts 15:1-41),

    excluded the disorderly (I Cor. 5:9-13; II Thess. 3:14),

    restored the penitent (II Cor. 2:1-10),

    and condemned false doctrine (Rom. 16:17-18).

    None of these things could have been done by a universal, invisible church.

    Since the term "the universal, invisible church" is nowhere found in the New Testament, I must say that we do not have much to go on in our search. But in order to make sure the word church never has any meaning other than a local church, we must examine every passage in the New Testament on this important subject.

    Let us look into the Book and see what God has been pleased to reveal. If the universal, invisible church is of the great importance which some attach to it, surely the Bible will set this doctrine forth in plain language for all to see. Otherwise, there is no need nor place for the universal, invisible church.

    The word "church" found in our KJV is a translation of the Greek word ekklesia.

    In the Greek New Testament, it occurs 115 times. In our KJV church is found 114 times.

    However, two of these times should be excluded from our study.

    In Acts 19:37 the Greek word is hierosulosnot ekklesia. This is the Greek word for temple.

    Then in I Peter 5:13 ekklesiadoes not occur in the Greek text. The word church is supplied by the translators.

    'Ekklesia is translated three times "assembly" in Acts 19.

    Hence we need to subtract two passages in the KJV (Acts 19:37 and I Peter 5:13 ) which makes 112.

    Then we need to add 3 (Acts 19:32 , 39, 41).

    Thus giving us 115 times ekklesia occurs in the Greek New Testament.

    In Search of the Universal Invisible Church by Milburn Cockrell
     
  5. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The redeemed of all of the local assemblies make up the one true Body/Church!
     
  6. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    This is not Taught anywhere in the Bible, bty, fyi.

    It is a Protestant misunderstanding since they came from The Catholic counterfeit and do not have any Authority.

    They simply play church, as if there is something like this that is of God.

    Nope.

    Jesus Founded His Kind of church and there is an enormous Body of Teaching, of 'Church Truth' that Protestants are seemingly not called to see.

    It protects The Lord's churches.

    So be it.

    They talk, but I can't see what they came up with as a second 'body' than what the word means.

    The Lord's churches have been on Earth since Jesus Founded them and Promised they would be.

    We see them, when we see Church Truth being stood for and believed.

    They are what they are.

    From what I know and have seen: No one finds them without Asking God to 'know the real truth about Worshipping Him the way HE SAYS'.

    People that believe what they are told might as well think Gore is 'President-Elect'.
     
  7. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Are just Baptists then to you local NT churches?
     
  8. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    To God.

    Based on Organization, Scripturally. Not based on name.

    There are basic distinctive characteristics of churches that would be considered Scripturally Organized.

    Authority in Baptism is first.

    'Where two or three are gathered together', IN MY NAME, is the reference to The Lord's New Testament churches.

    What are the various distinguishing characteristics you ask?

    Not if you have a hatred of what Jesus Loved.

    Jesus Loved His churches (as His Witnesses and those who multiply themselves) and gave Himself for Her.

    The concept, from The Time of their Original Creation by Jesus, of churches, has NEVER INCLUDED ALL SAVED SOULS.

    People on this forum may have several different ways of Salvation.

    That isn't what God Calls His churches to do to Worship and Serve Him.

    ...

    In a nutshell, True Baptist-type church assemblies, from The New Testament on, hold to the following:

    A limited reading of the New Testament will prove that churches

    made disciples (Matt. 28:19),

    baptized these disciples in water (Matt. 28:19),

    and taught them what Christ commanded (Matt. 28:20).

    A true New Testament church received members (Rom. 14:1),

    elected officers (Acts 1:23; 6:5),

    sent out missionaries (Acts 13:1-4),

    observed the Lord's Supper (I Cor. 11),

    had regular and stated meetings (Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:1-2),

    settled disputes (Acts 15:1-41),

    excluded the disorderly (I Cor. 5:9-13; II Thess. 3:14),

    restored the penitent (II Cor. 2:1-10),

    and condemned false doctrine (Rom. 16:17-18).

    None of these things could have been done by a universal, invisible church.
     
  9. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    mode of Baptism secondary issue to God, as there are cults to do immersion!
     
  10. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    The mode (Immersion, only),
    Authority (from God, via John The Baptist),
    Candidate (Saved),
    and reason for being baptized (to picture what Jesus has Done for them and to associate themselves with His people and Kind of churches He Built)

    are all four indispensable essential requirements, by God, TO WORSHIP HIM,
    and Bring Glory to Him, in what would need to be a Scripturally Organized New Testament church of The Kind Jesus Built.
     
  11. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    One can be immersed and still be dead in their sins, as were holding to another Gospel!
     
  12. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    Is this what you're saying?

    Chapter Three

    CHURCH CHARACTERISTICS.
    Was the First Church a Baptist Church?


    Chapter 3: Church Characteristics as seen in the First Church at Jerusalem

    But I must be brief on the other Characteristics.

    1. The First Church was Composed of Saved Persons.

    If John the Baptist had baptized the multitude who applied for baptism (see Matthew 3:7-10 and Luke 3:7-9), it would perhaps have sealed their damnation. Why? Because they were destitute of the Spiritual prerequisites to baptism, and hence their baptism could only have been in "form" or, "according to the letter."

    A man must first believe in Christ, and "whosoever believeth in the Son of God hath the witness in himself " (1 John 5:10); "hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation" (John 5:24); "has been born of God" (1 John 5:1) and "overcometh the world" (1 John 5:4-5), "is justified" (Rom: 5:1).

    Yea, he must have the blessings predicated of Repentance, Faith, Love, Confession, or baptism will lead him away and astray, and that to his own destruction. How can a man obey in Spirit without Spiritual qualification?

    If Spiritual fitness is not inquired into, then soon it will not be required. You need not expect it if you don’t enact it; if not taught it will not be sought; if not held it will not be had. If candidates go down into the water without having died to sin, and that means freedom from sin, and with no newness of life, then his baptism, so called, would be a solemn profession of falsehoods.

    Romans 6:1-11 has no reference to baptism of the Holy Spirit, or by the Holy Spirit, or in the Holy Spirit, yet it is Spiritual baptism. It is not the natural man conforming to the letter, but the Spiritual man conforming to both better and Spirit of baptism.

    (Alan Note: to picture what Jesus DID for the Baptismal Candidate)


    2. They Were Discipled Before They Were Baptized (Matthew 28:19-20 and John 4:10). Others, as a rule, believe in discipling by baptizing. See A. Campbell, and Pedobaptist writers generally, and especially their practice.

    3. They Repented Before They Were Baptized (Matthew 1:2, 7, 8; Luke 3:6, 8; Mark 1:4; Acts 13:24, etc). Baptist churches require evidence of Repentance before baptism. No others do.

    4. They Were Convicted Before They, Repented (John 16:8-9; Acts 2:37; 1 Cor. 14:26-27). Baptist churches only make enquiry about this work of the Holy Spirit. All Baptists do not, but they violate the old-time rule of Baptists.

    5. They Repented Before They Believed (Mark 1:15; Matthew 21:22; Acts 2:38 and 19:4; Heb. 6:1). Baptists believe the order is of vital importance. The order reversed is fatal to both repentance and faith.

    6. They Were Baptized When They Believed (Acts 2:41; 8:12 ; 18:8). Not when they repented, or when eight days old, etc., as the custom of some is, or when born of a believing parent or parents, as the rule of others is. When they believe, is the time. This is characteristic only of Baptist churches.

    7. They Experienced Conversion Before They Were Baptized (Acts 2:37 and 41; 10:43-47; Matthew 3:8-10). "Works meet for repentance" are the voluntary fruits of a good tree.

    8. They Were Baptized In Water, and Not With Water (Mark 1:5 and 9, etc). So say the Greek, and so translated by four English Versions out of six, viz.: Tyndale, Wickliffe, Cramner, Rheims. Also America Standard Revision and Twentieth Century. Also George Campbell, Bengal, Lange, Myer, Abbott, Bennett, etc. Roman Catholics and Pedobaptists do not baptize in water, but "with" is their rule.
     
  13. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I am saying that a Church that teaches the real Jesus and the real Gospel regardless of water baptism mode would be a local church!
     
  14. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Hebrews 12:23, "To the general assembly [singular] and church [singular] of the firstborn [plural], which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,"
     
  15. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 2
    JESUS ESTABLISHES HIS CHURCH

    [p. 7]
    We have observed the persecution of truth, first of Israel and secondly of the church. Satan persecuted the churches of Jesus Christ first by the Jews. This persecution is recorded in the book of Acts. It is also mentioned in some of the Epistles of the New Testament.

    Next, Satan used the Roman Empire to persecute the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ. There were at least ten severe persecutions beginning with Nero and ending with Diocletian. We will devote space to these in the next chapter. These persecutions resulted in the death of a very large number of Christians.

    Satan used the Roman Empire to persecute the Lord's churches while he was establishing a church of his own with which to oppose and persecute the true churches of Jesus Christ. Much of this Baptist History Notebook will deal with the development of Satan's church (the synagogue of Satan) and its persecution of the churches of our Lord.

    Christ's Church Built

    Doing this, we must begin with the church which Jesus built and observe how Satan sought to corrupt it from within which resulted in a separation by the pure churches from the corrupt churches.

    "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).

    The word "church" means assembly.

    The Lord said He would build "His" (My) church.

    This was to distinguish it from all other kinds of assemblies.

    He built His "kind" of assembly.

    That which distinguishes His from all the rest are the doctrines He gave to it.

    Those doctrinal peculiarities make it His kind of church.

    What are those marks or doctrinal peculiarities?

    Dr. J. R. Graves in his book "Old Landmarkism" lists seven.

    Dr. Clarence Walker, in his introduction to the "Trail of Blood" (page 5) lists seven.

    Dr. D. B. Ray, in his "Baptist Succession"

    [p. 8]
    lists seven. To these could be added or subtracted, depending on the historian and what his purpose might be.

    Where one would list two doctrines under one head the next may list them separately.

    I will list eight but treat primarily three in this Notebook.


    (1) The church's Head and Founder is Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18; Colossians 1:18).


    (2) Its only rule of faith and practice is the Bible (II Timothy 3:15-17).


    (3) Its members are to be only saved people (Acts 2:41).


    (4) Its government is congregational (Acts 1:23-26 - equality).


    (5) Its teaching on salvation is that it is by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).


    (6) It has but two ordinances; Baptism and the Lord's Supper, and these are symbolic (Matthew 28:19-20; I Corinthians 11:24).


    (7) Its commission is inclusive (Matthew 28:16-20).


    (8) It is independent (Matthew 16:19; Matthew 22:21).

    Wherever, in history, in whatever age, you find churches teaching these doctrines, you have a Baptist church, no matter what name it may go by.

    It matters not if we cannot, from church to church, trace it back to the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem.

    The succession is there but records may hinder or stop our search.

    What it teaches is the important thing.

    Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against His church so He guaranteed perpetuity.
     
  16. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    Those Saved in The Old and New Testament that were not Faithful in Worship as God Has Commanded are the General Assembly and those Faithful to God's Commands to Worship in The Old and New Testament are The Church of The Firstborn, His former Old Testament Wife and New Testament Bride.
     
  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Are we saved in baptist churches any more/different then in reformed and others?
     
  18. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    Negatively, to qoute from #12, above: If John the Baptist had baptized the multitude who applied for baptism (see Matthew 3:7-10 and Luke 3:7-9), it would perhaps have sealed their damnation. Why? Because they were destitute of the Spiritual prerequisites to baptism, and hence their baptism could only have been in "form" or, "according to the letter."

    Therefore, to 'baptize' infants, imagining some "and thy seed"-false Gospel, will simply leave Reformed children lost, if this is taught them and that is what they believe, vs Jesus Saving their soul.

    ...

    Positively, A.W Pink makes a case for Adam remaining lost, but I believe Jesus Saved him, though the Gospel Message of shedding blood of innocent animals to 'clothe' him with.

    Jesus is the Saviour.

    There is testimony that Ted Bundy was Saved late on death row, from James Dobson. Dunno.

    Looks like a testimony of having been Saved on his death bed, by The Homosexual Rock Hudson, in his book, to me. Dunno.

    Any human being throughout History that will have a home in Heaven, was or will be Saved by Jesus no differently.
    ...

    Rewards in Heaven are Taught as being different, for those who Faithfully Served The Lord, in this life, by His Commands.

    They are the 144,000 and that figure, as all others in Revelation is symbolic.

    As we mentioned, the Saved souls who are not Faithful to God's Commands for Worship in this life are pictured in Heaven as the General Assembly.

    The fact that Salvation is a stringent pre-requisite to being Scripturally Baptised into one of The Lord's churches indicates that the individual's Salvation is no different than anyone else in The Kingdom of God (all who are alive and Saved on Earth).

    The Family of God comprises all Saved in all times, whether in Heaven or on Earth or the future.

    They all have a Home in Heaven.

    Are their rewards all the same?

    No.

    Are there Baptises with false confessions of Faith? Of course.

    Are there Moonies that are Saved? Dunno.

    If they are COUNTING ON Selling Flowers for Salvation can they sing, "All is Well with my Soul" and have it be true?

    No.

    Same for reformed, or Catholic, of Hottentot.

    You just don't plan on standing before Jesus and saying, "Martin Luther was the head of my 'church' and expecting him to say, "Yeah, I wasn't Serious about How The Tabernacle had some details to it, in order to Worship me. How about your 'Home Office'? Are they your 'Head', too?"

    Membership in 'a church' is not related to Salvation.

    What man calls a 'church' may not be the least bit of one, in God's View, either.

    The important thing of Salvation is that Jesus is The Savior.

    from Chapter 3: Church Characteristics as seen in the First Church at Jerusalem

    Who but Baptists can boast so much of God’s grace through faith before baptism and the church?

    Who is so free as we from baptismal regeneration and church salvation?

    Do not those who believe in these heresies acknowledge our doctrine of Regenerated Church Membership when they resort to the infantile rite for "regeneration and engrafting into the body of Christ?
     
  19. Paul from Antioch

    Paul from Antioch Active Member

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    In general I agree with Alan on this point. As was already mentioned, the Greek word that's translated as "church" in our English Bibles was already in use as the "secular" word for the concept we see in the LOCAL Greek city-states. Each city had its own "Ekklesia" as its governing body, NOT some collective and/or centralized governing body. Paul likens this LOCAL organization to that of our own INDIVIDUAL "Localized" bodies. God created us as individual beings, not some vague collective human race. Where the NT likens this LOCAL institution to that of Israel in the wilderness, were those OT Jews scattered here, there & everywhere? NO, they were in the same LOCALity. IMHO, to attribute the Greek word "Ekklesia" to some gigantic human conglomeration does not do justice to that Greek word. In Hebrews the writer always refers to some one or some thing that was LOCAL in its nature, When it reads about worshipping God "in the general assembly," where is that assembly located? In ONE LOCAL place: Heaven. Almost the entire NT was written first ether to a LOCAL person or to a LOCAL church. IMHO, we do an injustice to the Bible's context when we pull out a verse and apply it to some non-LOCAL entity. Now I realize that some folks will "spiritualize" some passages to apply it to some universal person or truth, but was that the original intent of the human writer of that passage? I remember this saying that applies to this matter: "They call it the 'Invisible' Church because you won't see it in the Bible!" I know that individual Christians or organizations can (& in most cases SHOULD) come together to work for a common goal, but that's applying something that, IMHO, should not be so applied. We come together to worship, study, pray, serve, etc., but do we go to some "universal" entity when it's time to come home? I don't think so....We go to each of our individual LOCAL homes. Maybe others can see things differently about this subject....fine! This is MY humble opinion. Let's not dis-fellowship over this matter! OK??!!
     
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  20. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The Body of Lord Jesus would be the assembly of all of the redeemed dead and alive!
     
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