"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
November 1, 1999
In this Issue:
Baptist Giants of Past Years Speak on the Nature of the Church
Bouquets and Brickbats
If Some Are Elect, What is the Good of Preaching
OUR BLESSED POTENTATE’S PRECIOUS PROMISE OF PERPETUITY FOR HIS CHURCHES
Baptist Giants of Past Years Speak on the Nature of the Church
By Wayne CampSometimes Sometimes men speak in haste concerning things with which they disagree. They do not stop to consider the ramifications of what they are saying or writing. David, when things looked dark to him, uttered some hasty words that proved to be untrue. Psalm 31:22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. He thought he had been cut off from before the Lord and the Lord was not with him and protecting him any more. But, God heard his voice and the cry of his supplications. Again David, in haste, uttered some things about his fellowman which were not exactly true. Psalm 116:11 I said in my haste, All men are liars.
One who is as strong in his belief in the local-church-only, as I am, might say that any person who holds to a universal church is neither Landmark nor Baptist. Such a declaration, uttered in haste, might come back to haunt me if I were to make it. Why? Because I have quoted J. M. Pendleton as a Landmark Baptist yet I find that he held to some concept of a church composed of all the saved. And yes, I have quoted J. R. Graves literally hundreds of times as a great Baptist and Landmarker. But, as I showed in the September issue of The GP&P, Graves, in some of his writing, advocated a church composed of all the saved of all the ages. Graves, in one instance wrote,
The church of Christ, which, in this sense, embraces the whole number of the saved, is spoken of as the (betrothed) bride of Christ, and which he will one day bring into his Father's house and present her before the King complete, perfected and glorified, and after this the marriage will be celebrated and she will become his wife." (The Middle Life, Pp. 26, 27).
In this instance Graves advocated a sense in which the church is composed of all the saved. Therefore, if I, in haste, declare that one who believes in a universal church is neither Landmark nor Baptist, then I should never quote Graves as a Landmarker or a Baptist again.
John Gill, Another Baptist Giant of Past Years
In a book on the doctrines of Grace as held by Baptists, John Gill is set forth as one of those “Baptist Giants of Past Years.” This book, The Biblical and Historical Faith of Baptists on God’s Sovereignty, was published more than one time by The Baptist Examiner and Calvary Baptist Church of Ashland, Kentucky. In 1997, the Heritage Landmark Baptist Church of Given, West Virginia, republished the copy that lies just in front of my keyboard as I write this. In the introduction to this addition the Dedication says,
“As we set out to reprint this precious book of the faith of our Baptist forefathers, we would like to turn our eyes not only on the past, but also to look to the future with hope and faith.” Note that they too classify those who are quoted in the book as “our Baptist forefathers.”
Among those “Baptist forefathers” and “Baptist Giants of past years” was Dr. John Gill, the person whose position on the church is the subject of this message. Very often Gill has been set forth as a Baptist in various Baptist papers. I doubt anyone could find a time when he was called a Landmarker, but there are plenty of cases in which he has been touted as a great Baptist, a Baptist giant, and one of our Baptist forefathers.
While, in his writings, Gill strongly emphasized the local assembly many times, he also often mentioned the church in a broader sense than the local assembly. Gill used at least three ideas to convey his broader concept of the church. We will now look at these.
THE CHURCH INVISIBLE
Consider his comment on Matthew 16:18:
And upon this rock will I build my church: by the church, is meant, not an edifice of wood, stones, &c. but an assembly, and congregation of men; and that not of any sort; not a disorderly, tumultuous assembly, in which sense this word is sometimes taken; nor does it design the faithful of a family, which is sometimes the import of it; nor a particular congregated church, but the elect of God, the general assembly and church of the first born, whose names are written in heaven; and especially such of them as were to be gathered in, and built on Christ, from among the Jews and Gentiles. The materials of this building are such, as are by nature no better, or more fit for it, than others: these stones originally lie in the same quarry with others; they are singled out, and separated from the rest, according to the sovereign will of God, by powerful and efficacious grace; and are broken and hewn by the Spirit of God, generally speaking, under the ministry of the word, and are, by him, made living stones; and being holy and spiritual persons, are built up a spiritual house: and these are the only persons which make up the true and invisible church of Christ in the issue, and are only fit to be members of the visible church; and all such ought to be in a Gospel church state, and partake of the privileges of it: these materials are of different sorts, and have a different place, and have a different usefulness in this building; some are only as common stones, and timber; others are as pillars, beams, and rafters; and all are useful and serviceable; and being put, and knit together, grow up as an holy temple to the Lord: and are called, by Christ, "my" church, because given him by the Father; and he has purchased them with his own blood; are built by him, and on him; inhabited by him, and of whom he is the head, king, and governor; though not to the exclusion of the Father, whose house they also are; nor of the Spirit, who dwells in them, as in his temple. This church Christ promises to "build".
Commenting on Gen. 6:16, Gill set forth Noah’s ark as a type of the church. He wrote:
The ark had three stories in it, as the tabernacle and temple had three divisions, which were types of the same also; and may have respect to the visible church, consisting of believers and unbelievers, the invisible church, or general assembly of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven, and the church triumphant.
Again, as he commented on Eccl. 9:14, this Baptist giant of past years wrote,
The church is often compared to a city, it is the city of God, and of which saints are fellow citizens; it is but a "little" one in comparison of the world, and, in some periods and ages of the world, lesser than in others; it is little and contemptible in the eyes of the world, and the inhabitants of it are mean and low in their own eyes; they are a little flock, #Lu 12:32; and "few" in number that are "within it": some are only of it, but not in it, or are external members only, which sometimes are many; or outward, not inward, court worshippers; they are few, comparatively, that belong to the invisible church, that are chosen, redeemed, called, and saved, #Mt 20:16 7:13,14 Re 3:4 #Lu 13:23; there are but few able men, especially such as are capable of defending the church against its enemies.
The reader is asked to note Gill again as he comments on Isa. 5:4. He wrote,
And as the invisible church is called Zion, and the general assembly, #Heb 12:22 so particular visible churches are called assemblies, #Ec 12:11 Jas 2:3 and which will be very numerous in the latter day, and well attended.
Consider also this discourse of Baptist Giant, John Gill, as he comments on Zech. 9:11.
I have sent forth thy prisoners: that is, the church's prisoners; not prisoners to her, or in her; for the church of Christ is no prison; nor are those that have a name and a place in her prisoners; they walk at large, and walk at liberty; are fellow citizens with the saints; are Christ's freemen, and are possessed of many privileges and immunities: but these design such persons as are in a secret relation to her, and yet, being in a state of nature, are prisoners; and so are such as are not members of any visible church; nor as yet converted persons and believers in Christ, who have an open relation to the invisible church; but they are such who secretly belong to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, written in heaven, whose names are in the Lamb's book of life; or are chosen in Christ, and also redeemed by his blood.
One of the most disputed passages on Scripture concerning the church and its nature is 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. Commenting on this oft-discussed passage, Gill wrote,
For by one Spirit are we all baptized, &c.] This is to be understood not of water baptism; for the apostle says not in one, and the same water, but "by", or "in" one Spirit, are we all baptized; the baptism of water, and of the Spirit, are two different things; see #Mt 3:11. Besides, all that are baptized in water, are not baptized in or by the Spirit, as the case of Simon Magus, and that of others, show; nor does water baptism incorporate persons into the church of Christ; neither into the invisible church, which is the body of Christ, and here meant; nor into a visible Gospel church state; they being indeed true believers, and baptized, are proper persons to be received into a church; but baptism itself does not put them into it, or make them members of it: persons may be baptized in water, and yet may never be joined to a church.
There is indeed an allusion made to water baptism, but it is the grace of the Spirit in regeneration and sanctification which is here intended; which grace, both in the Old and in the New Testament, is frequently signified by water, and called a baptism, or a being baptized, because of the plenty, abundance, and superabundance of it, then bestowed; and is expressed by floods and rivers, and a well of living water; and is what qualifies and fits persons for the ordinance of water baptism. Now this is wrought by the Spirit of God, and is owing to his divine power and energy; not to water baptism, which has no regenerating virtue in it; nor to carnal regeneration, or a being born of blood, or of the best of men; nor to the will of any man; nor to the will of the flesh, or the power of man's freewill; but to God, to the Spirit, who is Lord and God, and the only sanctifier of the sons of men; by which spiritual baptism, or by whose grace in regeneration and conversion they are brought into one body: the mystical body of Christ, the universal and invisible church; that is, openly and manifestatively; for otherwise it is the grace of God in election, and in the everlasting covenant, choosing them in Christ, as members in their head, and constituting them such, that puts them among that number; but spiritual baptism, or the sanctifying grace of the Spirit, makes them appear to belong to that body, and makes them meet for, and gives them a right unto, a particular Gospel church, and the privileges of it, which the Spirit of God directs and brings them to.
In this lengthy discussion of this verse, this Baptist Giant of past years clearly sets forth his belief in both an invisible church and a visible church. It is also interesting that he does not believe that baptism is the means by which one is incorporated into his invisible church nor into the visible assembly.
In another sermon on Solomon’s temple as a figure of the church, this Baptist Giant of past years said,
The holy place was an emblem and figure of the invisible church of God; or such persons as are truly spiritual, believers in Christ, partakers of the grace of God in truth, who are a royal priesthood, and built up a spiritual house to offer up spiritual sacrifices unto God.
MYSTICAL BODY AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Gill, this one who has been called by others a great Baptist forefather and Baptist giant, commenting on the final words of Jacob, recorded in Gen. 49:29, wrote,
I [am] to be gathered unto my people; the people of God, the spirits of just men made perfect, the souls of all the saints who before this time had departed this life, and were in a state of happiness and bliss; called his people, because he and they were of the same mystical body the church, belonged to the same general assembly, and church of the firstborn; the company of God's elect, who were in the same covenant of grace, and partakers of the same blessings and promises of grace.
It is obvious that Gill strongly believed that the word church, as used in Scripture, denoted both a local assembly and all the company of the elect who were in the same covenant of grace. While I do not agree with him, I will not deny that he was a Baptist on that account. Was he a Baptist giant, as some have said? I believe he was. Was he one of our Baptist forefathers, as others call him? I believe he was. Was he wrong on there being an invisible church composed of all the saved of all the ages? I believe he was but deny that that error demands our denouncing him as not even being a Baptist.
On another passage that is often used by those who hold to a universal church composed of all the elect, Gill continues to show his belief in a mystical body composed of all the saved of all the ages. Ephesians 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
That is, which church is the body of Christ; as an human body is but one, consisting of various members, united to each other, and set in an exact proportion and symmetry, and in a proper subservience to one another, and which must be neither more nor fewer than they are; so the church of Christ is but one general assembly, which consists of many persons, of different gifts and usefulness, and are all united together under one head, Christ, whose name they bear, and are made to drink of the same Spirit; and these are placed in such order, as throw a glory and comeliness on each other, and to be useful to one another, so that it cannot be said of the meanest member, that there is no need of it; and the number of them can neither be increased nor diminished; and this is Christ's body, his mystical body, which becomes his by the Father's gift to him, and by his own purchase; to which he is united, and of which he is the only head; and which he loves as his own body, and supplies, directs, and defends:
In a tract on the table of shew-bread John Gill again refers to the general assembly and church as consisting of all those elect whose names are written in heaven.
These twelve cakes, had reference to the twelve tribes of Israel : so these may signify the whole of the spiritual Israel of God, whether consisting of Jews or Gentiles; even that General Assembly and Church of the First-Born, whose names are written in heaven.
ALL THE ELECT OF GOD
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. We have already seen a number of places in which Gill referred to the church as being equal in number and persons as the number of all the elect of God. Commenting on the verse just above, Gill wrote,
The Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, "his own church"; his bride and spouse, whom he betrothed to himself from all eternity, the Father having given her to him; and is no other than the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven, even all the elect of God.
Again, commenting on anther verse in Ephesians (Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.) Gill again equates the elect with the church.
And hath given himself for us; not the world, and the things of it, which are his; not men, nor angels, nor animals, but himself; he gave away his time, service, and strength; his name, fame, and reputation; all the comforts of life, and life itself; his whole human nature, soul and body, and that as in union with his divine person; and that not only for the good of his people, but in their room and stead; not for angels, nor for all men, but for his chosen ones, the church, his sheep, his people, and when they, were sinners; in the following manner, and for the said purpose.
In our study to this point we have not had a single quote from Gill in which he used the term universal to describe the church. The reader might be like the writer. As I researched this, I was looking primarily for the expressions we have already used. Then, I remembered that I had Gill on a CD so I did searches on that of all his commentaries. Not only did I find more expressions to add to the above points, but I discovered that Gill did hold that the church is universal, being composed of all the saved of all the ages and all the elect of all the ages.
Commenting on Ex. 25:32, Gill wrote,
His shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same; not only of the same metal, but beaten out of the same mass and lump of gold; these are the several parts of the candlestick: the "shaft" is the trunk and body of the candlestick, which stood in the middle of it, and in which the several parts united; and may either be typical of Christ, who is principal and head of the church, and stands in the middle of it, and is the cement of the several parts of it, and is but one, the one head, Mediator and Saviour; or else the church universal, of which particular ones are parts: its "branches" may either signify the several members of churches, who are in Christ as branches, and hold forth the word of light; or else minister, of the Gospel, who have their commission and gifts from him, and are held by him as stars in his right hand; or else particular churches, which are branches of the church universal: its "bowls", which were to hold oil for the lamps, may denote men of capacity in the churches, full of the gifts and graces of the Spirit, able to teach others also: and the "knops" and "flowers" were for decoration, and may signify the graces of the Spirit, with which private members and believers are adorned; or the gifts of the Spirit with which the ministers of the word are furnished, and appear beautiful, publishing the glad tidings of salvation by Christ.
In his comments on Mat. 16:18, Gill again sets forth his belief in a church that is universal in its scope. He wrote,
These words do not ascertain the continuance of anyone particular congregated church, but secures the church universal, which will continue as long as the sun and moon endure, and the perseverance of everyone of God's elect; and assure that death, and the grave, shall not always have the dominion over the saints, but that they shall be rescued from them.
In his first letter to the assembly in Corinth, Paul likens the church to a human body. It is my personal conviction that Paul has in mind each local church of the Lord Jesus Christ in the verse we will consider. Gill saw it otherwise. 1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. On this much discussed verse, Gill said,
Not his natural body, which his Father prepared for him, in which he bore our sins on the tree, and which was offered up once for all; nor his sacramental body, or the bread in the supper, which is a representation of his body; but his body mystical, the church; not that the Corinthians were the whole of the body, only a part of it, as every single congregational church is of the church universal.
In these comments, Gill refers to the body as the mystical body of Christ and to the church universal.
Two more comments from Gill will suffice to fully and unequivocally establish his conviction that the church is sometimes to be considered as the universal, invisible, mystical body of Christ composed of all the elect of all the ages. Commenting on Eph. 2:22 he sets this forth once more.
As the church universal, so every particular church is a building that is compact together, in and upon Christ, as the church at Ephesus was: God is the builder of it; Christ is the foundation; true believers are the proper materials; the door, or entrance into it, is Christ, and faith in him; the ministers of the Gospel are pillars in it; the ordinances are its windows; its furniture is of various sorts, there are vessels of small, and of great quantity; and its provisions are large and entertaining. A church is a building compact together; it consists of many parts; and these are joined together, by agreement, and are knit and cemented in love; and being thus joined together, they are designed for social worship, and their great concern should be to edify one another. The phrase, "in whom", may either refer to the holy temple before spoken of, the church universal, of which a particular church is a part.
Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.Commenting on this verse, Gill wrote,
The general blessing of grace and reconciliation, which belongs to the whole body of Christ, the church universal, all the elect of God, whether in heaven or in earth, is here particularly applied to the saints at Colosse.
Dear reader, it is indisputably evident that John Gill, one of the most read commentators of the past, believed in a universal, invisible, mystical body/church of Christ composed of all the saved of all the ages. Yet, this man has been called a “Baptist Giant of Past Years,” and one of our “Baptist Forefathers.” He has been quoted many times in Baptist papers and never have I read where the editors denounced him, while quoting him, as a non-Baptist.
Gill often taught and emphasized the importance of the local assembly of the Lord Jesus Christ. He advocated that every saved person ought to be baptized and become a member of a local, New Testament assembly. For be it from this editor to denounce him as a non-Baptist and an apostate because he believed in a universal, invisible church composed of all the saved of all the ages.
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Bouquets and Brickbats
NORTH CAROLINA: Just wanted to let you know how anxiously I look for each Promulgator. In fact, all activity here comes to a halt so I can read and digest the wonderful messages. I have learned so much from the articles and am always eager to learn more. I thank you sincerely for helping me to understand God’s word more thoroughly . . . I pray that you will continue your work for many years.
CONFERENCE COMMENT: Thank you so very much for the recent very wonderful conference in your church. Thanks to Brother Camp for inviting me to preach. Thanks to all the ladies for their labor in preparing and providing the meals. The catfish was among my favorites. Thanks to the musicians and the sound men and everyone else who had a part in making this a truly outstanding conference. May the Lord richly bless you and may the preaching of the conference continue to bear fruit in your church and the others represented in the conference. Elder Laurence Justice
KENTUCKY: I am writing this letter to inform you of a change of address. I really enjoy your newsletter and would like to receive it at my new address.
FLORIDA: In my opinion you have completely missed the point. The Rock that you must move to prove your folly is not thus saith J. R. Graves but rather thus saith the Lord, “The Rock of Ages.” Rev. 20:15; Heb. 12:23; Lk. 10:20. Written when? Rev. 13:8 & 17:8; Rev. 21:1-2; all of chapt 21, & Rev. 22:14-15. Where are these non-briders
Try and move the Rock of Ages. And throw it in to a valley that He has not created. That seems to be what you in your unbelief are trying to accomplish. You may think John the Baptist or Old Testament Saints are in the church bride, but where you disagree with Scripture guess who is wrong?
I hope God will grant you repentance to turn from your pernicious, seducing doctrine, to embrace the truth. Yours for truth in publication.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: I hope none of our readers will ask me to tell them what this brother is saying. I quoted Graves in a recent article on Baptists and the Nature of the Church but was not trying to prove the local nature of the church nor the Baptist-bride position by Graves. What I did prove was that Graves held to some idea of what he (Graves) called a church-bride that was composed of all the saved from Able to the first resurrection and eventually to all the saved of all the ages. I guess he saw in the article what he wanted to see and failed to read and see what I was really saying.
My purpose in the articles on Baptists and the Nature of the Church has not been to prove one position over the other. I have repeatedly stated my position when quoting those who hold to a universal concept of the church so that no one can misrepresent me and say I am advocating a universal church unless they are bent on misrepresenting me regardless of what I say.
KENTUCKY: I have been receiving your newsletter for over three years and it has been a great blessing to me, I look forward to receiving it each month and always quickly read it from cover to cover. The reason I am writing you this letter is I would like to give you the name of a young pastor to add to your mailing list. The man's name is ___________________ and he is the pastor of the _____________ Missionary Baptist Church in __________, Kentucky. He is a Sovereign Grace Landmark Baptist preacher and I believe he could be greatly benefited from receiving your newsletter.
TEXAS: I pray that this request finds you doing well in the work of our Lord, I would like to ask if you would please put my name on your mailing list for the "Grace Proclamator & Promulgator" Thank you, and Lord bless you and the ministry there.
WWW: Very interesting article. I have had some training in Theology, end times doctrine, and I am not sure I agree with all of what you say in the article. That does not mean I discount all either. You make some interesting points of matter concerning Dr. Dobson's comments concerning the Pope and Mother Teresa. If such comments are true, they would be points of discussion with him on a radio broadcast, etc.
The one thing I did not feel you commented enough on was the teachings of the Promise Keepers. I felt you primarily attacked Dr. Dobson instead of sticking to the issues of PK. Perhaps since I missed your original comments it could be missing most of the conversation.
You do have an interesting article. I enjoyed reading it.
IOWA: Hope all is continuing to go well for you there. I am still rejoicing in the Bible conference and everyone here is enjoying the tapes and pictures. Bro. Eckstein told me that next year I have to bring the wife. Uh-oh!
WWW: What is wrong with you? You obviously know nothing about the Catholic Faith or you would know that under church law that worshiping anything but the Holy Trinity is a sin. Church Law states you are only to venerate (honor) Mary and the saints. And what are promise keepers? All I read in your article was Catholic Bashing. [Editor’s note: My Thesaurus gives as the first synonyms of the word venerate the following: revere, worship, idolize. If Catholics are taught to venerate Mary and the “saints” they are taught to reverence them, worship them, and idolize them. You do not pray to one unless you worship them.]
WWW: you guys should be out thumping your bibles instead of cuting every one down.what a waist of time to spend hours demoting orgs. after all p.k. changed me for the better. but we'll see come judgment day whos right or wrong. and if your the one whos wrong. its going to be a hot time for you. [Editor’s Note: The reader is asked to note that it was not God who changed this correspondent, it was PKs. This is a repeated declaration of PKs.]
WWW: I read your treatise on Promise Keepers and I believe that you need to visit their website and check out their statement of belief and the seven promises that they purport. Everything they say is backed-up by scripture. When you say "It [Promise Keepers] was founded by men. It is run by men, many of whom claim to get their directions directly from God, not from his word. They do not speak according to his word. They teach for doctrines the commandments and psychological babblings of men." you are obviously mis-informed. After attending "Choose this Day" (theme from Joshua 24) all I witnessed was thousands of men praising the Lord, praying for forgiveness and learning how to lead a Godly life through THE WORD OF GOD. We read many scriptures and the learned how Jesus wanted us to live.
WWW: You should heed your own words, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
I researched just one of your claims and found, just as I thought, that you have either stretched the truth or just plain lied. Here's the only example I wasted my time researching.
Here's what YOU say (on YOUR page http://www.concentric.net/~Rcamp/hatred.htm):
When Bible-Science Newsletter sent a critical letter to Dobson because of his creation beliefs, he responded that he "takes the first eleven chapters of Genesis to be poetry, not factual history" (The BDM Letter, April, 1992). He also said that he agrees "in an unqualified way" that the earth is 3.5 to 4 billion years old.
Now go and read for yourself, not some third-hand newsletter, what Dr. Dobson teaches: http://www.family.org/lote/lotelive/livepapers/A0007619.html
Again, you should really head your own word regarding false teachers!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: It is true that Dr. Dobson has an article on the Web in which he claims to believe the Genesis account of creation. But, what I reported that he said was a correct report. After he got a lot of flack from several sources, he tried to gloss over what he had said. I have a tract by him in which he subscribes to the “big bang” theory of creation, a theory that is now rejected by most evolutionists.]
WWW: You have nailed the obvious of their actions of false prophets, but not so much into the small leaven of the Pharisees which is responsible for PK flourishing the way it did. Consider this: where did Jesus ever voice confidence in man? Psalm 118:8. Is it because no matter how much the spirit is willing the flesh is weak so what is impossible with man, is possible with God? Notice how PK use the CEV which completely changed the meaning of Jesus' Words in Matt. 5:33-37 where in the KJV, He was declaring that He was going to do it? We cannot bear testimony of ourselves; John 7:18,19 John the Baptist didn't; John 3:28,30 & so did Paul; 1 Cor. 2:2. Paul did not want to be identified by the works of the law for this purpose; Phil. 3:2-10a. Yet the PK are like the believers in Gal. 3:1-3 & the Jews in Rom. 10:1-5. They forgot the warning in James 5:12 & why. Numbers 30:2 & Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 & Rom. 3:19,20. They give credence to the difference in their lives to the PK program..Matt.15:7-11,18,19 & Matt. 12:36,37 & 1 Cor. 1:29-31 & 3:10-23 & especially Proverbs 25:27 with James 4:6-10. Did Jesus ask for a commitment or a vow or any man-made bondage to Himself? No. He just said..follow me. The people asked Him that question on being a Christian to have God work in their lives & Jesus said this in John 6:28,29. How else can we receive the Holy Ghost which He sealed us for trusting Him? EPH. 1:12-14. Is it not God's Covenant declaring that He will do it? See His promise where our confidence in living the Christian life should rest in; Phil. 1:6,9-11. How else can the poor in spirit & little children be that theirs is the Kingdom of God unless He was going to do it all!!! That is why it is written over & over again that the just shall live by faith.....but the evangelicals have added onto God's Word with " & by their commitment to follow Christ. " Are we to be justified by our commitment to Christ when His standards are higher than the works of the law? Rom. 3:21-28. It is Christ that justifies us by faith in Him alone!! How can PK or those that bear the testimony of man to Christ by their commitment claim the following verses? 2 Cor. 4:5-7 & Gal. 5:1-5? Let us ask the Lord that He may enable us to preach the Word that He may recover those that are caught in the snare of the devil. The actual prophesy of PK is in 2 TIM. 3:1-13.
Hope the Lord will enable you to combine your report of these false leaders & the Gospel to reveal the dead works which will only void our faith in Him. There is another plumbline sent across the nations & it is "Holy Laughter".. another apostasy which help gave birth to PK. See the book by Hank Hanegraaff on "Counterfeit Revivals". Both of you guys work the same way in exposing false leaders, but you both should use more scriptures for this purpose; John 5:39,40 & Matt. 11:28-30 For Hank...John 6:35 & Prov. 25:28 with 1 Cor. 14:32,33 & the test of faith; 1 Cor. 13:5 & discernment John 14:16,17 with 1 John 3:23-4:7. There is no more filling Col. 2:5-10 & there is only one baptism; Eph. 4:5. Well, keep fighting the good fight! Keeping the faith!!
WWW: We just wanted to write and say how Wonderful and how TRUE is The Power in the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, Our LORD.
NEW MEXICO: The GP&P arrived on Monday. What a great work on Foreknowledge. Thank you.
TEXAS: Bro. Camp I appreciate getting your paper and though I may not totally agree with you in all things I still appreciate your standing firm in what you do believe. I truly agree with you in your stand on the so-called promise keepers. So many good men have fallen prey to their show. Hope your wife continues to improve. I can't seem to locate your Webb site. Must be doing something wrong.
MISSOURI: Greetings from Missouri! I enjoy stopping by your web site from time to time. Our industrial supply business has been very busy and I have been all over the country lately . . . At any rate, keep posting up good sermons that exault our Saviour Jesus Christ!
CALIFORNIA: this makes me sick i belong to ojai valley baptist church and we all went to p.k. two yrs ago and liked it. what i see now is division between baptist churches. i want to thank you for distroying my life. now i know satan rules baptist churches. how can you claim to be right when others fell different. if i where god i would distroy every thing and chalk it up to experiance. a bunch of foolish humans that cant agree to anything.
LOUISIANA: It has been some time since I communicated with you. I do enjoy your publication. Recently I bought disks of the publication: O TIMOTHY out of Washington. (He has recorded 13 years of this magazine and it costs $50.) What I was wondering is if you have considered doing this with the Grace Promulgator? You might just put the best of the articles in the paper.
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IF SOME ARE ELECT, WHAT IS THE GOOD OF PREACHING
By Charles H. Spurgeon
Captious and cavilling persons will object, "You say that God loves His people, and therefore they will be saved; then what is the good of preaching?" What is the good of preaching? When I say that God loves a multitude that no man can number, a countless host of the race of men, do you ask me what is the good of preaching?
What is the good of preaching? To fetch these diamonds of the Lord out of the dunghill; to go down to the depths, as the diver does, to fetch up God's pearls from the place where they are.
What is the good of preaching? To cut down the good corn, and gather it unto the garner.
What is the good of preaching? To fetch out God's elect from the ruins of the fall, and make them stand on the rock Christ Jesus, and see their standing sure.
Ah, ye who ask what is the good of preaching, because God has ordained some to salvation, we ask you whether it would not be a most foolish thing to say, because there is to be a harvest, what is the good of sowing? There is to be a harvest, what is the use of reaping? The very reason why we do sow and reap is, because we feel assured that there is to be a harvest.
And if, indeed, I believed there was not a number who must be saved, I could not go into a pulpit again. Only once make me think that no one is certain to be saved, and I do not care to preach. But now I know that a countless number must be saved, I am confident that Christ "shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days." I know that, if there is much to dispirit me in my ministry, and I see but little of its effect, yet He shall keep all whom the Father hath given to Him; and this makes me preach.
I come into this chapel tonight with the assurance that God has some child of His, in this place, not yet called; and I feel confident that He will call some one by the use of the ministry, and why not by me? I know there are not a few souls whom God has given me through my ministry, not only hundreds, but thousands. I have seen some hundreds of those who profess to have been brought to God through my preaching at Park Street, and elsewhere; and with that confidence I must go on. I know that Jesus must have a "seed." His people must increase, and it is the very purpose of the ministry to seek them out, and bring them into God's fold. Our Saviour tells us the use of the ministry is, that they may "believe on me through their word."
There is one peculiarity about this. Christ says, They shall believe on me through their word." Have you never heard people call out about running after men? They say, "You are all running after such-and-such a man." What then, would you have them run after a woman? You say, "The people go after one particular man." Whom else shall they go after? Some persons say, "We went to such-and-such a place, and the people there love their minister too much."
That would be very dreadful, but it is not so. As for ministers being in danger of being ruined by too much love in any particular place, they get too much of the reverse some where else. If we get a little sweet, somebody else is sure to put in much that is bitter. Is it not singular that Christ should say, "They shall believe on me through their word"?
Now, do God's people believe on Christ through the word of the ministry? We know that our faith does not rest on the word of man, but on the Word of God. We do not rest on any man, yet it is through "their" word; that is, through the word of the apostles, and through the word of every faithful minister.
(A tract published by Calvary Baptist Church, Ashland, KY)
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OUR BLESSED POTENTATE’S PRECIOUS PROMISE OF PERPETUITY FOR HIS CHURCHES
By Wayne Camp
Matthew 16:18 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.
Though I love good books on the history of Baptists and our forefathers known under other names, I do not need such books to believe that the Lord’s true churches have continued from the time of the establishment of the first one on earth until the present day. I rejoice in Christ’s precious promise of perpetuity found in the text above.
That promise is that the gates of hell cannot withstand the progress of the Lord’s churches as they march on toward their final glory in the eternal ages. This verse does not present the church in a defensive posture. Rather, a study of this verse in the Greek language shows that it is the gates of hell that are in a defensive position. Try as Satan has, he has not been able to snuff out the existence of the Lord’s true churches. In every age God has been glorified in Christ through the churches belonging to him. Ephesians 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
The wiles, which Satan and his cohorts have contrived against us have been many but still, scattered across this earth, there are those who continue to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Having failed to accomplish his goal in the crucifixion of Christ, Satan sought other means. Had he understood God’s great redemptive plan he would have had nothing to do with the crucifixion of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Satan tried persecuting the Lord’s churches but he only succeeded in scattering many who went into other areas and formed churches such as the one in Antioch. He used one Saul of Tarsus, not knowing that this man was a chosen vessel of God who would be regenerated and converted and would become a great missionary. Satan has tried compromise and yet there are those uncompromising churches who continued on contending for the once delivered faith. Satan tried prosperity and many were lured into the Laodecian error. Satan has tried the church growth movement and it succeeds in the mind of some but still there are those who contend on for the faith. Satan has, at various times, tried extremism and that has destroyed some churches. Some have seemingly dedicated themselves to unchurching and “unBaptisting” all the churches they can. Though some individual churches have been destroyed others go on down the road contending for God’s word as our only rule of faith and practice and rejecting man-concocted requirements in church administration.
Why is this? Jesus promised a perpetual existence for his churches. His promise has not failed. The gates of Hell cannot prevail. Thank God for this precious promise of perpetuity.
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This page was last updated Friday, March 04, 2011