"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
IN THIS ISSUE:
SALVATION BY GRACE CONSUMMATED IN GLORIFICATION
THE KIND OF OLD LANDMARKER I AM
"DOING MEDICINE" IN THE HILL TRIBE VILLAGES
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SALVATION BY GRACE CONSUMMATED IN GLORIFICATION
(Eighth in a series)
By Wayne Camp"Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, THEM HE ALSO GLORIFIED."
The word "consummated" means "brought to completion or perfection." To consummate something is to bring it to its highest degree of perfection and completion.
Our salvation will only be consummated when we have been brought to the perfection of Christ in mind, body, and spirit. David wrote: "I shall be satisfied when I awake, with thy likeness." God has begun a work in every one of his elect. He will perform that work until all of his sheep have been brought into a perfect likeness to Jesus Christ.
The perfection of the salvation of the Lord's elect will come to pass when we are glorified together with and in the likeness of Jesus Christ. In this message we will consider three blessed thoughts. First, let us notice the fact and certainty of our glorification. Secondly, we will discover the source and cause of our glorification. Thirdly, we will inquire as to the nature of our glorification.
THE FACT AND CERTAINTY OF GLORIFICATION
There are many reasons that we might set forth that assure the glorification of all those whom God has purposed to bring to glory. God's promises pertaining to the glorification of the saints are based upon the everlasting covenant of redemption. This covenant is not with man nor is it in any way dependent on man. The parties to this covenant are the three Holy Persons of the Godhead. Christ is the Surety for his people and the success or failure of the covenant was dependent on his fulfilling the work that he undertook for his people. It is also dependent upon the ability of the Holy Spirit to quicken and call to salvation those given to Christ by the Father.
The reason that salvation is by grace Through faith is clearly set forth in Rom. 4:16 where Paul writes, "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; TO THE END THE PROMISE MIGHT BE SURE TO ALL THE SEED." Every seed must be brought to glory or salvation is not sure. If all men were the seed of Christ then all would be glorified. Since all are not glorified and will not be glorified then we may safely assert that all are not his seed. God said of Christ's seed: "His seed also will I make to endure forever" (Psa. 89:29).
All those who are called according to God's eternal purpose have already been glorified in the mind and purpose of God. "Whom he called . . . them he also glorified" (Rom. 8:28-30). Before the foundation of the world God set his love on a people. Their names were "written in the book of life from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 17:8) just as the names of others "were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world." In his mind and purpose God predestinated that these be conformed to the image and likeness of his Son. He called, justified and glorified these persons. How marvelous that in the mind and purpose of God every one that shall ever be saved is already glorified. Romans 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Surely, we can rest assured that we will be glorified in fact since we have been glorified in the eternal purpose of God. Is it possible that God could glorify someone in his eternal purpose and then be unable to bring to pass his or her actual glorification? Never fear! God has declared: "I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isa. 46:10-11).
There is no difficulty so great and no physical corruption so complete that God cannot raise up every one of his dear children in the likeness of his glorified Son, Jesus. Job rested in this assurance and declared, "After my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job 19:26). John had this assurance and wrote: "We KNOW that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (I Jn. 3:2).
Paul wrote of the saints' sure hope of glorification with absolute confidence in the fact and certainty of it. "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Col. 3:4). To the Philippian church Paul wrote, ". . . we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Phil. 3:20-21).
These great saints, these holy men of God who were moved by the Holy Spirit to pen these words of confident assurance concerning the glorification of every one of his people knew of what they wrote.
THE SOURCE AND CAUSE OF GLORIFICATION
As with every aspect of our salvation, our glorification is "of the Lord." We could simply stop with those words and we would have covered this portion of our subject. Man, however, does not like to give God the full glory for the salvation of the saints. Therefore, we must give more Biblical evidence than we have thus far.
THE TRINITY: THE SOURCE OF GLORIFICATION
As to the source and fountain from which proceeds our glorification we have already seen that in the mind and purpose of God the elect have already been glorified. (Rom. 8:29-30). With the one who "works all things after the counsel of his own will" (Eph. 1:11), our glorification is a settled matter. "Whom he did foreknow (know in electing love as he knows all his sheep), . . . them he also glorified." Paul referred to this purpose as "the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory" (I Cor. 2:7).
God has not only provided for our glorification but he will receive us into it. David wrote: "Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory" (Psa. 73:24). It will be wonderful to be united once again with our loved ones who are in glory. That, however, will pale into insignificance compared with the reception into glory that we will receive with God himself at the head of the receiving line. "Thou . . . shalt receive me to glory."
God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, will also be involved in the glorification of the saints. "I will come again" he promised, "and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (Jn. 14:3). When he does come and receive us unto himself "we shall be like him" (I Jn. 3:2) for he "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Phil. 3:21). It is the will of God that Christ will glorify all those whom he has given unto him. Christ has assured us that he will fully and perfectly do the Father's will in this matter. "I come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day; and I will raise him up at the last day" (Jn. 6:38-40).
God, the Holy Spirit, will be the power in our bodily resurrection. Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
What a glorious event to contemplate! The Holy Spirit will quicken our bodies, Christ will change them and fashion them like unto his glorious body, and then we will be received into the glory that God purposed and prepared for us before the foundation of the world! What a day that will be!
GRACE: THE CAUSE OF OUR GLORIFICATION
God is the source of our glorification and his marvelous grace is the cause. This is one of the reasons that several years ago I rejected the split-rapture theory. Our glorification is not dependent on our works but is wholly of grace as is every aspect of our salvation.
The mediatorial work of Christ is a work of grace and our blessed Mediator prayed for our glorification. "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am." When we are with him we "shall be like him," therefore we are correct in saying that he prayed for our glorification when he prayed for our presence with him.
Salvation is by grace, and only a grace-caused salvation is sure and certain (Rom. 4:16). Glorification is grace-caused or it would not be sure (Rom. 4:16; Eph. 2:8-10; Jn. 5:29).
THE NATURE OF GLORIFICATION
We have seen that our glorification is a sure and certain fact. We have also considered its source, which is the blessed Trinity, and its cause, which is grace. We will now consider the nature of our glorification. What does it involve?
Our glorification will involve a bodily resurrection from the grave. The reader is urged to read the entire fifteenth chapter of I Corinthians for Paul's inspired discussion of the resurrection. Within that chapter Paul declares of the saved dead, "The dead shall be raised incorruptible . . . for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (v-52-53).
Paul also reveals that our resurrected and glorified, or changed and glorified, bodies will "be caught up" when Christ returns (I Thes. 1:13-18). When we are caught up we will be changed into the likeness of God and Christ. "As for me," rejoiced the Psalmist, "I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake in thy likeness" (Psa. 17:15). Christ will "change our vile body" and will fashion "it like unto his glorious body" (Phil. 3:21). "He know that when he shall appear we shall be like him" (I Jn. 3:2). "In" our "flesh," our glorified flesh, we "shall see God" even though the skin worms have devoured our mortal flesh (Job 19:25-27).
What a glorious day awaits God's elect. When "the last trump . . . shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (the living saved) shall be changed," death will be "swallowed up in victory . . . through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Cor. 15:52-57). All the saints of all the ages will meet in the air in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. Our salvation will be brought to full fruition, perfection, and consummation. We are "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13) who will, change these vile, wretched bodies like unto his glorious body (Phil. 3:21) and we shall live and reign with him on earth for a glorious 1000 years and throughout all ages, world without end. Jesus said: "Surely I come quickly" (Rev. 22:20). We join with the beloved apostle and cry, "AMEN. Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20). AMEN! and AMEN!
BACK TO TOP
THE KIND OF OLD LANDMARKER I AM
(Ninth in a Series)
As I continue to research and write this series of editorials, I am reminded of Paul’s statement in the first verse of chapter twelve in his Epistle to the Hebrews. Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Over the years we have become cumbered with many unnecessary weights that slow down and complicate that simple Antiochian method of mission work. Paul and Barnabas were simply sent forth to do the work to which God had called and sent them. In this work they made disciples, baptized those disciples and churches were constituted of those disciples without their conferring back with Antioch on the work. It was not until they returned from their journey and called the assembly at Antioch together that the church learned of what God had done with them. Acts 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
There is not the slightest indication in Scripture that they started "missions" and had baptized assemblies of folks who were members at Antioch. Some time ago I read where one brother, without any Scripture whatever to support his contention, argued that Paul and Barnabas established missions composed of baptized believers who assembled together in various places but were really members of the church in Antioch. He then contended that Paul and Barnabas retraced their journey on the way back to Antioch and organized these missions into churches. Without any fear of being proven wrong, I am going to say he simply read into the book of Acts things that are not there.
Last month, I introduced our eighth witness in this cloud of witnesses that will be presented in support of the truth that a local church is a local church. It is an organized assembly of scripturally baptized believers who regularly assemble in one locality for services and worship. Faithful witnesses have declared that this is a necessity, not simply and option.
Once more, I want to review the testimony of the witnesses called thus far:
WITNESS 1: James Robinson Graves
"The ecclesia of the New Testament could, and was required to assemble in one place."
WITNESS 2: Elton Wilson
"How local is the local church? IT ISLOCAL ENOUGH TO ASSEMBLE. How local is the local church? IT IS LOCAL ENOUGH TO OBSERVE THE LORD'S SUPPER."
WITNESS 3: H. Boyce Taylor
"Our first reason for contending that the word ekklesia never means any thing but an organized and an assembling church is that the Lord Jesus, who is the author of the Book of Revelation, uses the word ekklesia 20 times in Revelation and every time He uses it, He refers to a local organized and assembling church."
WITNESS 4: Eld. Milburn Cockrell
"In order to have a church, baptized saints must come together in one place at the same time." "Twenty times the word church is used in the singular number, and it points to a church which meets in a certain place."
WITNESS 5: ELDER CURTIS PUGH
"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."
WITNESS 6: ELDER BUEL H. KAZEE
Just one church in one locality sent some messengers to another church in another locality for the purpose of counsel on a problem in which they had a mutual interest. They all went back to their respective churches.
WITNESS 7: ELDER BRUCE ALLEN
". . . an ekklesia is literally an assembly of people called out to a particular place to perform some particular business, and that in its Christian application it means an assembly of believers called out to worship in one place together."
WITNESS 8: Elder Joe Wilson
These three things: 1. Locality. 2. Visibility. 3. Organized for a purpose inhere in the meaning of the word. A true "ecclesia" cannot exist that does not have these three ingredients.
My dictionary says that the word "locality" speaks of"a particular spot, situation, or location." (c)2000 Zane Publishing, Inc. and Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. All rights reserved." If, indeed, "locality" inheres in the word "ecclesia," then there can be no true New Testament type of ecclesia that meets in two or more locations. Please note the definition of "locality" refers to a single and "particular spot." It means a single location, not two or more locations as some apparently believe and would have us believe.
In this message, I plan to call three more witnesses. They are Eld. Ben M. Bogard, Eld. C. D. Cole, and Eld. B. H. Carroll.
WITNESS 9: Eld. Ben Bogard
Dr. Ben M. Bogard is no stranger to Landmarkism. He definitely held to the local-church-only concept. In an article called "Do You Have A ‘Universal, Invisible" Wife and Family," Bro. Bogard wrote,
Remember the word CHURCH always means CONGREGATION, never anything else. A congregation is necessarily LOCAL. It would not be a congregation if it were not LOCAL. So, let us read it as it means: "The husband is the head of the (LOCAL) wife, even as Christ is the head of the (local) congregation. A CONGREGATION is just as local as the wife is. You cannot conceive of a UNIVERSAL LOCAL WIFE, then why try to make out a UNIVERSAL LOCAL CONGREGATION?
Later Bro. Bogard added,
A church is always local and the Bible never uses the Word in any other sense than a LOCAL CONGREGATION. (Bulletin, Missionary Baptist Church, Hayward, CA, September 3, 2000).
Bro. Bogard argued "Remember the word CHURCH always means CONGREGATION, never anything else. A congregation is necessarily LOCAL. It would not be a congregation if it were not LOCAL."
Does that sound familiar to you? This writer has said that a church cannot be a truly local church unless it meets in a particular locality. If it does not congregate in a local assembly it is not a congregation, it is not a body, it is not an assembly, it is not local. The New Testament type of assembly assembled in one place. On the day of Pentecost the church at Jerusalem was assembled in one place. Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. The church at Corinth was one body that assembled in one place. 1 Corinthians 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place . . . . 1 Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place . . . .
In the quotation above, Bro. Bogard is making an argument for the local-church-only concept based on Ephesians 5:23. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. He makes a very important point that also applies to our discussion. A husband is always local and visible. A wife is always local and visible. Then he adds"A CONGREGATION is just as local as the wife is."
Dear Reader, have you ever heard of a thing called a wife composed of a few female body parts in a location in Mississippi, a few female body parts in a location in the Philippines, and a few more female body parts in a location in Mexico? Surely no man would want a wife that is composed of widely scattered body parts! Yet, as strange as it seems, many Landmark Baptists will take a strong local-church-only stance while the "church" they pastor has a part of its membership meeting in one place, another part of its membership meeting in another place, etc. In fact, I have read where such Landmarkers ridiculed the idea of a big universal wife and a big universal church by insisting that a wife must always be local, in one single locality, not two or more localities. They deride the Catholics for the absurd notion that the Catholic Church is universal and visible—one church, one body, that assembles in many localities. They deride the Protestants for their contention that each local assembly is merely a branch of some universal, invisible thing called a church. But, admittedly on a much smaller scale, they make the same claims as the Catholics when they have a divided body with members assembling in more than one locality.
The Old Landmarker, Benjamin Marcus Bogard, insisted that"A CONGREGATION is just as local as the wife is." If you are a married man, I ask you, "How local is your wife?" If you are married woman, I ask you, "How local is your husband?" If you are unmarried but someday hope to be married, "How local do you want your wife or husband to be?" Will you be happy with a wife that is split into multiple parts located in multiple places? Will you be happy with a husband that is divided into parts some of which are located in Arkansas, some of which are located in one or more other localities?
I ask you, Brothers and Sisters, do you agree with this statement of this Old Landmarker, Bro. Ben. Bogard, when he said,"A CONGREGATION is just as local as the wife is. Is the congregation of which you are a member just as local as is your wife or husband?
In another place Bro. Bogard wrote,
". . . since an assembly means a congregation, . . . there can be no congregation or assembly unless the people come together.
The only church that has an actual existence at this time is the local congregation. (Fifty-Two Doctrinal Lessons, Pp. 22-23).
Please note carefully Dr. Bogard’s words,
". . . there can be no congregation or assembly unless the people come together."
"A CONGREGATION is just as local as the wife is."
WITNESS 10: Eld. C. D. Cole
Likewise, Eld. C. D. Cole is no stranger to our Sovereign Grace Landmark Baptists. His writings have been printed and reprinted many times. They have blessed the lives of many people. Most of us are acquainted with several of these publications. In one of these, Bro. Cole wrote,
The word church comes from the Greek word ekklesia, which means to call out for the purpose of assembling. The government of ancient Greek cities was democratic, being administered by duly qualified citizens in a lawful assembly, called together from time to time to transact business for the public good. And this assembly was called an ekklesia.
To a man in Florida who would not unite with any church or particular congregation, and who insisted that he belonged to the big church of Christ, the writer said something like this:—In the N. T. the churches could be located and written to. I would like to write to your church; please give me its address and the name of its pastor. Needless to say, he was shut up.
Bro. Cole made a powerful point to this man that bears on our study. Does your church meet in two or three localities? Does part of the congregation meet in Tennessee, another part in Mexico, and another part in the Philippines? To which address would I send a letter if I were to write to your church? If you were to answer, to the address of the assembly that meets in Tennessee. Why? Are the members that meet in Mexico second-class members? Is the pastor of the part that meets in Mexico a second-class pastor? Are the members who meet in the Philippines second-class members? Is the pastor of the "mission" in the Philippines a second-class pastor?
You may answer, "The part of the body that meets in Tennessee is the sponsoring part of the body and the bodies that meet in Mexico and the Philippines are "missions" whose members are members of the church in Tennessee." In a Baptist Church, the majority rules. What if the part of the body that meets in the Philippines out numbers the parts of that body that meet in Mexico and Tennessee? Since the majority rules, should not I address my letter to the majority body which meets in the Philippines? As strange as it may seem, as undemocratic as it is, and as unbaptistic as it is, there are "churches" that consist of very few members in one locality that rule over larger assemblies of their members who assemble in other localities. If the majority rules in a Baptist Church (I believe it does.) should not the assembly with the largest membership transact the business of the church? If not, why not? Is it because the members in the larger assemblies are second-class members and their pastor a second-class pastor?
Equally confusing is the following statement found on a Sovereign Grace Landmark Baptist WebSite."Church members should be faithful to attend the services of the church they are a member." The brother who found this wrote the following,
I was thinking about this quote that I came across the other day: "Church members should be faithful to attend the services of the church they are a member." And while I completely agree with this statement, I could not help considering how confusing this could be for those who are members of churches that practice the "mission" system. If a person belongs to a church that has several "missions", where are they to attend? Do they have the option of deciding if they will attend one of the "missions" or are they duty bound to attend the "mother church"? And what about those who belong to one of the "missions"? Are they duty bound to attend their own mission or are they at liberty to attend one of the other "missions" or even the "mother church"? Many "missions" I have known over the years have their own membership rolls, which is separate from the membership rolls of other "missions", even while they all claim membership in the "mother church". This all seems very confusing. One who is a member of such a church finds themselves in quiet a dilemma with so many options available to them. They must decide each week if they will attend the "mother church" or if they will attend one of the "missions". If they opt for one of the "missions", then they are faced with another dilemma of deciding which "mission". After making all of these decisions concerning where they will attend this week, when they finally reach the chosen meeting place, I am sure they will hear a good Biblical sermon on the doctrine of the local church. They will rejoice in these truths and say amen each time the preacher strikes out against the heresy of the universal church theory. But they cannot be completely at ease for they still have another decision to make. They are still faced with the dilemma of where to give their tithes and offerings. If it happens they have chosen to attend one of the "missions", should they give their tithes and offerings there? After all this "mission" does have its own treasury separate from the "mother church". But maybe it will be best for them to give it to one of the other "missions" that has a special need at this time. What should they do? I guess that the best and least confusing thing to do would be to hold these tithes and offerings until they someday decide to attend the "mother church". After all this "mother church" with her pope- like pastor, who is over all of the "mission" pastors and all of the "mission" work, will know better how the money should be used. I tell you this matter of "church members should be faithful to attend the services of the church they are a member" is more confusing than it might seem. And each time the "mother church" establishes another "mission" things get even more confusing. And then next Sunday these church members awake to these same choices as they must once again decide which one of their "local" church's locations they will attend this Lord's day. And these decisions are necessary for they would have to be omnipresent to attend all of the services of the church they are a member because there are services going on in different location at the same time. This makes me thankful that I belong to a church that meets in one place and each member of our church can attend each service without being bogged down with all of these decisions. I guess I still believe that "local" means "local".
Bro. Cole continues,
The N. T. never speaks of one particular assembly or church as a part of the whole, but of each assembly as "the whole church." In I Cor. 14:23, Paul says, "If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, ....". Writing to the Romans from Corinth, in his closing salutation, Paul says, "Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you" (Rom. 16:23). Speaking of the church (of Corinth, RWC) under the metaphor of the human body, in I Cor. 12:27, "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."
Bro. Cole makes a pungent and overpowering argument for the position being advanced in these articles when he writes,"The N. T. never speaks of one particular assembly or church as a part of the whole, but of each assembly as ‘the whole church’." If Bro. Cole’s statement here be true, and I hold that it is, then those churches that have two or three assemblies that make up their "whole church" are operating outside the bounds of Scripture. They claim that their "missions" that assemble in other localities are parts of the whole church. If the church is a local assembly meeting in one particular place, then, according to Bro. Cole, the New Testament never speaks of their "missions" that compose local assemblies in other localities as a part of the whole church.
Bro. Cole says further,
In the early days Christ's church as an institution found expression in one church—the church at Jerusalem. Under persecution the church was scattered, and the members went everywhere preaching the word. And wherever disciples were made a church was organized. And some years later, we read of the churches of Judea. And when the church at Antioch sent out Paul and Barnabas as missionaries, we soon read of churches in Galatia and other provinces. (Definitions of Doctrine, Vol. III, C. D. Cole, Pp. 1, 3, 4, 5).
It is obvious from these quotes that Bro. Cole did not believe that a church could truly be a New Testament type of ecclesia if it met in several localities. Note that he makes no mention of starting missions in any locality. He wrote,"And wherever disciples were made a church was organized."
Again Bro. Cole declared,
"And when the church at Antioch sent out Paul and Barnabas as missionaries, we soon read of churches in Galatia and other provinces." Dear Reader, please observe that Bro. Cole said that we "soon read of churches in Galatia and other provinces." He says nothing of reading of "missions" in Galatia and other places. He does not say we "soon read of missions and churches in Galatia and other provinces." Paul and Barnabas apparently never started "missions." If they did the Bible is totally silent on the matter. Luke was never led of the Holy Spirit to write of "missions" started by Paul and his co-workers. No! He only wrote of churches. Since the Bible is an all-sufficient rule of faith and practice, one would think we would read at least one mention of a "mission" composed of scripturally baptized believers that regularly assembled in Philippi, Thessalonica, or some other city but were members at Antioch. For some strange reason, the Holy Spirit never moved Luke or any other writer of the New Testament to mention even one "mission."
And, our tenth witness, Eld. C. D. Cole was not inclined to suggest that the scattered disciples started "missions". Nor was he inclined to suggest that Paul and his fellow-laborers started "missions." In both cases, Bro. Cole says CHURCHES came into being.
WITNESS 11: Eld. B. H. Carroll
When I think of B. H. Carroll I nearly always think of his outstanding and oft-quoted work on the church. Nearly every witness I have called quoted or paraphrased Carroll in his writing. Bro. Carroll was certainly a champion of the local-church-only position.
In this vein, B. H. Carroll wrote,Locality inheres in Ecclesia. There can be no assembly now or hereafter without a place to meet. (Ecclesia-the Church, B. H. Carroll, Pp. 21-22). Please note that Carroll does not specify that an ecclesia may exist which meets in several places. He says it must have A PLACE to meet. Note that he said, "Locality inheres in Ecclesia." Note his singular here, not "localities" with part of the assembly meeting in one country and a part of it meeting in another, and a part meeting in another. "Locality" and "place" clearly deny multiple meeting places in multiple cities, states and/or nations.
I am happy to take my stand on the nature of the church with such Old Landmarkers as J. R. Graves, Boyce Taylor, Benjamin Marcus Bogard, and a host of others who held that the true ecclesia of the New Testament type is an assembly of Scripturally baptized believers who have covenanted together to form themselves into a true church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Beware of religious innovations. They always produce spiritual deterioration. I endorse whole-heartedly the statement of that great Old Landmarker, J. R. Graves when he said,"The ecclesia of the New Testament could, and was required to assemble in one place." I endorse without reservation that argument of Ben M. Bogard, "A CONGREGATION is just as local as the wife is." And I fully concur with Bro. Milburn Cockrell when he wrote, "In order to have a church, baptized saints must come together in one place at the same time." "Twenty times the word church is used in the singular number, and it points to a church which meets in a certain place." I believe Bro. Curtis Pugh was right when he said, "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."
Our eleven witnesses have been unanimous in their arguments on this matter."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."
Let me say again without equivocation, reservation, stipulation, conciliation, or rationalization, "THAT IS THE KIND OF OLD LANDMARKER I AM!"—Wayne Camp, Editor —
RETURN TO TOP
IN THE HILL TRIBE VILLAGES
Sister Janice Lee, pictured below in a La Hu tribal outfit, is a hard working member of the group when she accompanies Bro. Bill Lee on a trip to Thailand. She is a registered nurse and very adept in her field. When she makes the trip to Thailand, she administers much-needed medicine in the various villages to which we go. Janice is pictured here in Ma Plam after we had finished a service and she, aided by Bro. Lee and Bro. Anond, had administered medical treatment to the sick in the village. She is wearing the pastor's wife’s La Hu outfit.
SISTER JANICE LEE IN LA HU TRIBAL OUTFIT (Click link to see picture)
The medicine is a very needful and important aspect of the work among the Hill Tribes where we have churches located. Some of these people never go to a doctor unless they get sick enough that they are allowed to enter a government hospital for treatment. For about $100 enough medicine can be bought at the "Big Store" (similar to Sam’s Wholesale Club) to treat the folks in a village and then leave a supply with the pastor for later treatment. After "doing medicine" Sis. Lee then instructs the pastor in how and for what the medicine that is being left is to be used.
In the photo below, she was "doing medicine" at Pa Sak in October of 2000.
DOING MEDICINE AT PA SAK (Click link to see picture)
The Raleigh Springs Baptist Church had given $1000 to be used to purchase medicine. That was just about enough for the entire trip and to leave some medicine for future use.
For any who wonder about this aspect of the work, we need to remember that Jesus "went about doing good" and this included healing the sick. Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. He not only preached the gospel when he went from place to place he healed the sick. Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
He had great compassion on those in need of physical healing and of food. Matthew 14:14-21 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. 15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. 16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. 17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. 18 He said, Bring them hither to me. 19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. 21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
On another occasion he fed a similar multitude. Matthew 15:32-38 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. 33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude? 34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. 35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. 36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. 38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.
Many of Jesus’ miracles were performed out of compassion for the sick, not necessarily to show forth his glory. Matthew 20:32-34 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? 33 They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. 34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
Peter and John healed a man at the temple gate. Acts 3:2-7 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
It seems to me that James alluded to this very question when he was discussing faith without works. James 2:15-17 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Eliphaz, in seeking to discover the sin of which he thought Job guilty charged him in a manner that I think bears on the question before us. Job 22:7 Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry.
Solomon warned against the vanity of making a show of compassion but not doing anything. Proverbs 3:27-28 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. 28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
Consider also these words from the Apostle John. 1 John 3:16-18 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Consider the practice of some of the Apostles. Acts 5:14-16 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
With the administering of medical treatment to those who are sick and/or hurting, the example of Christ is followed. Sis. Lee does not work miracles but she does what she can to alleviate the medical problems of our people over there. She does not preach. But, as the woman who anointed Jesus, "She had done what she could." "She she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. 9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
MEDICINE FOR THE CHURCHES IN BURMA (Click link to see picture)
When we met with some brethren and one sister from Burma in October, 2000, we took a supply of medicine for them to take back to Burma. We met near the border in Mai Sai. We taught them for about 2 hours, then Sister Lee went over the directions for using the medicine with them. As this is written, the border remains closed between Thailand and Burma and Bro. Anond is unable to visit and take medicine to them.
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This page was last updated Friday, March 04, 2011