"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
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JUNE 1, 2001
In this Issue:
SALVATION BY GRACE APPRECIATED
THE KIND OF OLD LANDMARKER I AM (Tenth in a series)
BENNY HINN THINKS GOD MAY LIE
Bouquets and Brickbats
SALVATION BY GRACE APPRECIATED
(TENTH IN SERIES)
By Wayne Camp
"Therefore it is of faith that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed;" (Rom. 4:16).
"But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation" (II Thes. 2:13).
"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints" (Col. 1:12).
One of the greatest sins committed by Christians is that of ingratitude and thanklessness. One of the characteristics of the end-time, as described by Paul in II Timothy 3:1-14, is the sin of ingratitude. He said that men would be "unthankful" (v- 2). In describing the sins of the Gentiles in the first chapter of his epistle to the Romans Paul discusses their lack of appreciation for God's blessing. "When they knew God, they glorified him not as God. neither were they thankful" (Rom. 1:21). Are we not often like the nine lepers whom Jesus healed? They did not even return to give thanks or glory to God for his blessing.
The aim and intent of this message is to awaken and stir a new sense of gratitude in all who have been saved by God's marvelous grace.
LET US APPRECIATE SALVATION BY GRACE BECAUSE OF OUR OWN WORTHLESSNESS
We are not worthy of the very smallest of God's favors. There is nothing good in us naturally that would move God to love us or to save us. We are like Jacob when he was at Mahanaim. He remembered that only 20 years before he had passed this way in his flight from Esau. The only possessions he had were his clothes and his staff. Now, after only two decades he is headed home a wealthy man. Spread out in two bands are his many cattle, servants, and family. Jacob realized that he owed all this to the grace of God. He prayed: "O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands" (Gen. 32:9-10). Jacob recognized, as we ought, that he owed all that he had to the grace of almighty God for he was unworthy of even the least act of mercy.
OUR UNWORTHINESS DECLARED
Our unworthiness of God's blessings is often set forth in Scripture. We, by nature, were "dead in trespasses and sins" and incapable of any pursuit that would or could be counted meritorious spiritually. We "walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan)" and "were by nature the children of wrath" (Eph. 2:1-3). Had God given us what we justly deserve he would have poured out his wrath upon us; he certainly had no reason outside himself to deal with us in mercy and grace.
We were ungodly sinners when Christ died for us. Yes, it is true that none of those reading these lines were even born when Christ died. But every one of you who has been saved or will be saved was in God's sight when he laid our sins upon his Son. As Isaiah described that gory scene on Golgotha's brow he said of God: "He shall see his seed" (Isa. 53:10). When God put his beloved Son on that cruel cross he saw all the seed of Christ and all their sins being paid for. Paul could, therefore, write: "When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly . . . God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:6-8).
Every saint of God that has ever lived or ever shall live is like Ezekiel's deserted infant. We were polluted, unlovely, hopeless, and helpless with all chance of rescue gone. Yet, in marvelous mercy and wonderful grace God passed by where we were in our sins. He looked upon us and our "time was the time of love;" he spread his skirt of mercy over us and covered our nakedness and we were his. In regenerating power he said: "Live." We were quickened into life, convinced of sin, and Christ was revealed to our hearts as our only hope. God granted us the gracious gifts of repentance and faith (Ezek. 16:6-14). How our hearts ought to burst forth with thanksgiving because of such love, mercy and grace by which our salvation is made sure!
God loved us and saved us even though there was no good to be found in our natural state. Our unrighteousnesses were as filthy rags (Isa. 64:4). In the flesh there is "no good thing" (Rom. 7:18). Our stench was worse than Lazarus' when he had been dead for four days. The smell of the hog pens of Babylon permeated our being. Had not God, in Sovereign grace, intervened in our calamity we would have perished without hope of any remedy. How we, who are so unworthy, ought to appreciate the gracious salvation that God has wrought in our souls!
LET US APPRECIATE SALVATION BY GRACE BECAUSE OF WHAT IT HAS ACCOMPLISHED
I am reminded of the words of Jesus in the discussion with his disciples when he said that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven. When they were fearful that no one would be saved he reminded them that what is impossible with man is possible with God (Matt. 19:23-26). God, in the various aspects of his gracious salvation, has accomplished the impossible.
We were unwilling, in our natural state to come to Christ. We could not and would not come to Christ but were as those Pharisees whom Christ charged in these words: "Ye will not come to me that ye might have life" (Jn. 5:40). Since God does not save one against his will, how then will any he saved for when the gospel is preached we "all with one consent began to make excuse" (Lu. 14:18)? If one willingly comes to Christ (none come otherwise) then something must be done to cause the elect to be willing. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power" declared the Psalmist (Psa. 110:3). We must thank God that we were willing to come to Christ. "For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). David again declares, Psalm 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts.
Even had we been willing to come to Christ, another obstacle lies in the way. In the natural, unregenerate state we were unable to come to Christ. There must be someone to cause us to come to Christ. Jesus declared, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me," but followed that statement with the declaration that "no man CAN come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (Jn. 6:44). Again, Jesus commented on verse 44 by saying: "Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father" (Jn. 6:65). Thank God that he has not only chosen you if you are saved, but thank him that he has drawn you, given it unto you, and caused you "to approach" unto him (Psa. 65:4).
We should appreciate salvation by grace because of our natural impenitence that God has overcome. It was "the goodness of God" which led us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). God exalted Christ "to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sin" (Acts 5:31). Thank God he did not limit his gracious gift of repentance to the Israelites but "hath also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18). Is it not an amazingly wonderful thing that God, by the power of his regenerating Spirit can work repentance in the heart of the impenitent? AMEN!
Repentance is toward God. There must also be faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Left to ourselves we "could not believe" (Jn. 12:39). But God graciously supplied that faith which he requires. "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ . . . to believe on him (Phil. 1:29). When we came to see that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the living God" we knew that "flesh and blood" did hot reveal it unto us but our "Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 16:16-17). We were in bondage but Christ, by God's grace, redeemed us to God by his precious blood (I Pet. 1:18-20). We can join with those whom John heard sing: "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Rev. 5:9).
We were enemies of God and his Christ. We cried in our depraved hearts: "Let us break their bands in sunder, and cast away their cords from us" (Psa. 2:3). In spite of this, God graciously reconciled us unto himself and did not impute our awful sins to us. 2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
We were without righteousness that was of any value but "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6). If we are to come before God we must have a positive righteousness. In God's gracious salvation he has not imputed our sins to us but he has laid them on Christ, and has imputed the perfect and positive righteousness of Christ to our account (Rom. 4:5-8).
We were "dead in trespasses and sins" but God graciously quickened and regenerated us (Eph. 2:1-3).
Even after we were saved God did not cease his gracious work of salvation. We are confident "that he which hath begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6). When we stumble and fall we "shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth us with his hand" (Psa. 37:24). In fact we are held in the hand of Christ and in the hand of God and "no man is able" to pluck us out of their hands (Jn. 10:27-30).
Our bodies are vile and ought to be allowed to rot in the grave forever. But grace has intervened again and those whom God has justified he has already glorified in his mind and purpose (Rom. 8:29-30). When Christ shall come for us he "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Phil. 3:21). When we shall see Christ "we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is" (I Jn. 3:1-2).
From ruin to righteousness, and from corruption to glorification grace has brought us. None of these things that we have mentioned were accomplished by our own efforts. They were accomplished by the saving grace of God. How we ought to thank him for all that has been accomplished by grace!
LET US APPRECIATE SALVATION BY GRACE BECAUSE OF ITS ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY
The purpose or end of God's decree that salvation be by grace is that "the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law (Jews), but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham (Gentiles), who is the father of us all" (Rom. 4:16).
Had God made salvation, in any of its various aspects, dependent upon the quicksand of our works it would have been sure to none. All the seed and sheep whom he gave to Christ would have been lost. The "vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory" would all perish with "the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction" (Rom. 9:22-23). Those "who were ordained to eternal life" would perish with those "who were before of old ordained to condemnation" (Acts 13:48; Jude 4). Those plants that the Heavenly Father has planted would be rooted up just as "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up" (Matt. 15:13). Those given to Christ would not come to him and would die in their sins just as others (Jn. 6:37; 5:40).
Thank God salvation is "not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (II Tim. 1:9).Since it is according to the eternal purpose and grace of God and is dependent upon the blessed Trinity only for its success then there is no way it can fail and not one of his sheep can be lost and perish. Based upon the solid rock of the eternal purpose and grace of God the salvation of every one of the seed is absolutely certain for what he has purposed God brings to pass. Isaiah 46:9-11 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Romans 9:11-18 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
Thank God salvation is of the Lord, and not of man. Jonah 2:9 Salvation is of the LORD. And thank God for his election of some to salvation or none would have been saved. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
As I write these concluding remarks the words of a hymn are running through my mind
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all people here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost."
Let us appreciate every aspect of this great salvation that is wholly of Sovereign grace. Amazing Grace!
RETURN TO TOP
THE KIND OF OLD LANDMARKER I AM
(Tenth in a Series)
In this series of editorials we have cited a number of witnesses who affirm that a true New Testament type of ecclesia is a congregation of scripturally baptized believers who regularly assemble for worship and service at a particular location. During the time this series has been running, various brethren have asked, "Where did this practice of Landmark Baptist Churches having two or more assemblies that meet in different places while still being called one "local" church begin. A dear Brother recently sent me Albert H. Newman’s account of how this happened. For those who may not know, Bro. Newman was a Southern Baptist scholar, seminary professor, writer, and Baptist Historian. He wrote a great work called A History of Anti-pedobaptism: From the Rise of Pedobaptism to A.D. 1609. It has been reprinted and is currently available from at least two different sources for $52. Bro. Newman wrote,
"Out of the simple polity of the apostolic time, in accordance with which each congregation chose its own bishops or presbyters and deacons...there was developed...a system of presidential administration in which the chief elder (or bishop) directed the affairs of the local church with the assistance and advice of a Board of presbyters. As the responsible head of the church he soon came to have chief control of the finances and such control tended to increase his relative importance. As Christian work spread from older centers the newly established congregations were kept in relations of dependence on the mother church, or rather, as integral parts thereof. Thus the pastor of the central church would have the supervision of a greater or smaller number of outside congregations over each of which a presbyter of the central church came to preside. Thus arose diocesan episcopacy... " (A History of Anti-pedobaptism: From the Rise of Pedobaptism to A.D. 1609. By A. H. Newman, p. 11.)
According to this Baptist historian, the practice of having smaller or larger congregations that were "integral parts" of the "mother church" was something that evolved after New Testament times. It was a departure from "the simple polity of the apostolic time, in accordance with which each congregation chose its own bishops or presbyters and deacons." It seems that some are not satisfied with the "simple polity of the apostolic time" but prefer an almost Episcopal type of arrangement such as described by Newman.
This "simple polity of the apostolic time" is in perfect agreement with the testimony of the eleven witnesses whom we have presented to show that a true New Testament type of ecclesia is an assembly of scripturally baptized believers who regularly assemble in one particular locality. Bro. Newman, in his statement above, affirms what one of our witnesses wrote 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 WITNESSES REVIEWED
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 IS LOCAL 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.
WITNESS 9: Elder Ben M. Bogard
"A CONGREGATION is just as local as the wife is . . . "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."
WITNESS 10: Eld. C. D. Cole
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. 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."
WITNESS 11: Elder B. H. Carroll
Locality inheres in Ecclesia. There can be no assembly now or hereafter without a place to meet.
It is now time to call our next witness. He is now with the Lord but was of this present generation. He was well known for his scholarship and love of the truth. He quotes a writer of many years past in an unpublished work on the church in which his thoughts concerning truth were expressed.
"Perish 'policy' and cunning,
Perish all that fear the light;
Whether losing, whether winning,
Trust in God, and do the right.
Some will hate thee, some will love thee,
Some will flatter, some will slight;
Cease from man, and look above thee---
Trust in God, and do the right."
WITNESS 12 is Elder Jarrel E. Huffman
In an article which he titled Landmarkism: What Is It? Eld. Jarrel E. Huffman reviewed the seven marks of Landmarkism set forth by J. R. Graves. Bro. Huffman wrote "The church is a local organization, a single congregation." (The Berea Baptist Banner, January 5, 1987).
In an unpublished work on the Church, Bro. Huffman wrote,
"Do we have a different meaning to be attached to ekklesia? Do we have as a result TWO KINDS of churches in the N. T.? Does ekklesia mean a local, visible body in one place and in another place a universal, invisible, mystical body? The answer will become evident as the passages are investigated: EKKLESIA IN ALL 111 OCCURRENCES REFERS TO A LOCAL BODY OF SAINTS IN GOSPEL ORDER." Again, Bro. Huffman wrote, "Each local body is composed of members in particular; (2) Unity and oneness in thought, doctrine, worship. This fits each local ekklesia; (3) Reality and locality. Each local EKKLESIA has tangibility, reality, locality, and can and does assemble." Commenting further on the word SOMA which is translated "body" and is used of the church, Bro. Huffman wrote, "What exactly, then, does the word SOMA mean? First, the word describes a whole or sound body, composed of parts—as the human body in I Cor. 12:12-26; second, soma suggests a oneness, unity, and organization. The human body is not only composed of individual members or parts, but these members are SET IN ORDER AS GOD DESIGNED. As one author noted, "A heap of hands, feet, arms, legs, heads, etc., on a battlefield does not form a body." Or, as another has put the matter, "A pile of lumber, bags of nails, and other building materials do not compose or form a house." Likewise, a group of regenerated persons does not in itself constitute an ekklesia. THESE MUST BE SET IN ORDER TO DO SO— conversion, scriptural baptism, and fellowship; third, the word soma suggests locality and visibility—as the body of Jesus, animals, humans, etc.; fourth, soma speaks of tangibility—something that can be identified."
This speaks for itself with little need of explanation. Note Bro. Huffman’s words, "The church is a local organization, a single congregation." Bro. Huffman says that the church has locality and singularity. A New Testament type of ecclesia is a local congregation. It is a single congregation. A church is neither a local congregation nor a single congregation when it meets in more than one place at the same time or at different times. No church that is composed of more than one congregation and meets in more than one place can meet Bro. Huffman’s definition of a church.
Again, Bro. Huffman said,"Each local EKKLESIA has tangibility, reality, locality, and can and does assemble." As strange as it may seem for Landmark Baptist Churches, there are some so-called local churches that have never truly assembled together. Part of them assemble in one place, an arm of them assembles in another place that may be half a world away, and yet another part of them may assemble in yet another place. The whole church has never assembled in one place and has never been localized in one place. I have known of cases where an alleged "local church" met in two different localities in two different countries for ten or more years and never assembled together in one place. As Newman said before, "The newly established congregations were kept in relations of dependence on the mother church, or rather, as integral parts thereof" for years without their ever assembling together in one place.
The New Testament order is for a church to assemble together in one place. That makes it a true ecclesia of the biblical type. 1 Corinthians 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
1 Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
In order to scripturally exercise discipline, a church must come together. 1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sadly, however, some churches never come together. Some of their members never meet the other members. Allegedly they are one body but the body is divided asunder, a part of it in one place and a part in another.
Oh that we could get back to that"simple polity of the apostolic time" and send forth missionaries who start churches, not missions. That is what Paul and Barnabas did. They started churches, not missions. If we could get back to the "simple polity of the apostolic time" we would not be faced with the inconsistency of claiming to believe in local churches that are truly local while having "mother churches" with branches that never assemble with them but are kept as integral parts of them.
As one of our witnesses has written,"In order to have a church, baptized saints must come together in one place at the same time." The negative inference of this statement is that you do not have a church if its "members" meet in several different places and do not come together in one place at the same time.
Another witness wrote,". . . 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."
I believe a New Testament type of assembly comes together in one place at the same time. I believe a New Testament type of ecclesia is an assembly of baptized believers "called out to worship in one place together." And, as Bro. Huffman, I believe that "Each local EKKLESIA has tangibility, reality, locality, and can and does assemble."
That is the kind of Old Landmarker I am!
—Wayne Camp, Editor—
RETURN TO TOP
Bouquets and Brickbats
ILLINOIS: Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We enjoy your paper. The series on "The Kind Of Old Landmarker I Am" must have been a real eye-opener to all who have been exposed to it . . . Thankful for the Lord’s blessings on your ministry.
WWW: Howdy, I was perusing the web and after reading some of your pages regarding promise keepers, and others that you seem to have time be against or expose, it makes me wonder if God today really wants to reach people. He seems to make it so hard, you have to be so correct.. so Biblically perfect. He seems in your eyes to now save only the tenth on the ten. That should somehow be called a victory!!! How preposteous !! I should, like you be happy to visit Grandma and other dead relatives in HELL, while while enjoying bliss in heaven!! Are you the same fudementelist heathen that believe in the "Rich man and poor man in the arms of Abraham AT THE EDGE OF HELL? How sweet!! While enjoying streets of gold I casually ask .."Whats that smoke over the hill? Why that's Grandma! You religious smug self promoter of greater wisdom. I raised two billion dollars for poor kids in third world countries, I was one of the first to break down music barriers and bring kids in to the KIngdom with a more realistic approach to music, and out reach. Today there are fifty festavals for Christ in New England, When I pioneered there, there were two. I held them both. No evangelism for you, after all your too busy defeating other ministries. To me you promote abandoning the faith as you are reaching no-one, but pleased to upset or confuse the crop of other ministries. You have been disarmed, and are no threat to the devil you are now on his side, and now left to critisize those who try to walk in light.
WWW: Dear Sir, I ask that you and your church pray for me till it please Christ to give me a new heart that I might know Him personally. O that I might know Him.....
WWW: what is wrong with promise keepers? especially an event where thousands of born again believers get together to worship. forget about who the higher ups endorse and what books they recommend. get down to the brass tax of the matter. what is wrong with promise keepers, as far as the average lay man is concerned? when they hold an event and preachers preach and men get saved, and saved men go home revived and committed to change. i dont need to hear about the history of men who are aligned with pk, or any of that stuff, i read enough about that on your newsletter. bottom line what is wrong with pk itself? i read their statement of faith, what is wrong with that? i have heard from others like you that pk changed its mission and/or statement of faith recently to not be offensive to catholics. well i've read both and i am a born again believer (certainly not catholic) and i agree with both of their statements. so what is wrong, and please dont include any info about others outside of pk, or even a guy like dobson. i am searching this thing out for myself. what is wrong with pk, if i'm an average guy in a bible believing church and i want to attend a conference?
MISSISSIPPI: Thank God you're out there! I belong to ________ Baptist Church, a fundamentalist Southern Baptist church in _______, Miss. Our church is promoting Promise Keepers like it's the best thing since fried chicken. I've loudly complained about it, stating it was of Satan. Your website has given me excellent ammunition to confront the PKs in our church.
Those PKers are fanatics. I've questioned their beliefs, and I can't tell you how they crawl all over me for having the audacity of questioning them. However, I'm a small minority in our church. Imagine that. We are considered one of the more fundamentalist Baptist churches in ________ County and my church supports PK. I guess the PKs have a new credit card: Ecumenical Express--Don't leave Rome without it.
God bless you. Again, my sincerest thanks for the website. I've added it to my AOL favorites.
FLORIDA: Can you have two landmark churches in the same city and still be one local church? (Editor’s comment: If there are two Landmark Baptist Churches in the same city there are two local Landmark Baptist churches in that city. Their being in the same city would not merge them into one church any more than two Landmark churches would be one church if they are both in the same county or state or nation.)
CALIFORNIA: Thanks for the message on Christmas. It is one that needs to be shouted to the world. I do not have a printer, or I would pass them on everywhere, If you could send me a copy or several copies I would at your permission send them on. God's blessings for your ministry, I am a Presbyterian and they need the message.
WWW: Your site has given me a lot to think about. I know in my heart that I deserve no part of salvation. I am a sinner and the only chance I have is the Grace of my Lord. I have studied the Word of the Lord and asked him to come into my heart.
I have heard many different scholars talk about every thing from Creation to the Tribulation and I have heard as many different theories. A lot of people interpret the Bible to suit their situations. There are so many different denominations, how does one know which one is right. An eternal soul is nothing to gamble with. It is easy to say, "Choose ye this day who you will serve, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord."
Salvation is thru Jesus Christ. He is our only chance.
Some times I feel like a leaf in the wind, everyone but me seems to know the way to salvation and are willing to share that knowledge with me, except none of them agree with each other.
I love the Lord and try very hard to obey his commandments.
I pray when my Master calls, I will know His voice.
WWW: Doesn't sound like you have too much hope to me. I think that the judgement day surprise for many will be those who are in heaven not those who aren't. Jesus said narow is the way but its not a tight rope walk to heaven. For you to condem Prommise Keepers, a movement that has restored thousands upon thousands of men to their God and their Families is wrong. Fortunate for you our God is more merciful than you. God Bless.
I do not wnat to get in a tit for tat with you because it would probably be a waste of both our time. I am just responding to your Web Site.
WWW: I have checked Pilgrim's Hope Baptist Church's web site and I was looking for tracts to buy. I didn't see how to order. I was wanting some on the element of the cup of the Lord's Supper. I have seen alot of tracts on this subject and nothing said about Isa. 65:8 and in Deut. 32:14 the word "pure" in the Hebrew is chemer 2561 Strong's - wine (as fermenting) pure, red wine.
Any info. would be helpful.
OHIO: I stumbled over your web site on a search for Landmark Baptist web sites. My Dad sides with Bro. Joe Wilson on the issue of "Chain Link Succession". I am sort of out of the loop, so to speak. I am not a preacher and currently do not feel as if I am called to do so. I'm 22 years old, and have little fellowship with other believers so I spend a lot of time "on-line" trying to get a understanding for what exactly Landmark Baptists are and believe. I am sure of many things such as I believe that I am one of God's predestined elect. I have been saved by, and only by God's sovereign grace, through faith- that He gave me, and not by "works" such as "inviting Jesus into my heart". I believe in "believer's baptism" and I have acquainted myself with what we in general believe about Catholics, Protestants, and so on.
I consider my self open minded. I am completely undecided about 2 main issues. One is the "end times" is it Pre, Mid, or Post-Tribulation? I have heard excellent arguments from all 3 sides! It seems as though few want to address this issue on their web sites. I think I lean toward Pre-trib.
Secondly, is this Chain Link Succession thing. I was taught to believe in it, however after hearing my wife's, side of the issue, and reading your article on this topic, I'm leaning more toward your direction. Actually, you present some very convincing arguments.
SECOND LETTER FROM BROTHER IN OHIO: I copied your paper about your stance on "chain-link" succession. I'm planning on visiting my Dad this weekend since I've got Friday off work- He'll be in Ky. I thought I'd let him have the extra copy. I used to assume that there must be a chain-link succession in order for Christ's churches to continue down through time. About 2 years ago, when Dad first became pastor of the church in ________ I asked for that church's "lineage" back to Jerusalem. I already knew that the church here in Ohio could not- which worried me. He handed me one page that very vaguely listed about 6 or 7 churches from beginning to end. As my wife then pointed out to me, "This is no proof, it's full of holes!" Hundreds of years go unaccounted for. I began to worry, obviously Catholicism and every Protestant branching off of her could not be Christ's church, and now we could not prove our own "lineage" solidly! I asked my Uncle (and then pastor) _________ if he believes in a chain-link, hoping to console some of my doubt. He replied that if he saw horse tracks on one side of a river going into the river, and a horse on the other side of the river, then he must conclude that the horse went through the river. "By faith". That says nothing about a "church vote" to "church vote" solid chain. I have been on-line studying Landmark web sites-, which say nothing about their personal church's line. I just keep being referred to Carroll’s Trail of Blood. I go to Anabaptist web sites and just end up with a bunch of Amish and Mennonite history.
I'm thankful for your web site which explained that the "chain-link" succession is not necessary to prove that New Testament-like Baptist churches continue back to the apostles.
I still have many questions about the whole thing, but I have to go to work now, so I'll just wait to ask later.
Thanks a lot for your time and interest. May God bless you.
ANOTHER LOVING PROMISE KEEPER WRITES: it appears to me that you and not promise keepers are the hate monger. it is common for small minded people who think their opinions , are Gods opinions , to attack that which they do not understand or agree with. i will be praying for your spirit of lack, and offence. promise keepers , and james dobson , have both led more men to Godly lifestyles and repentance , and deliverance from the very spirits that appear to be afflicting you , than you will ever know. your attitude of selfrighteousness,is quite biblical, i think Jesus refered to it as pharisitical in mat. 5:20 also acording to the word of God, if you think they are wrong, you should be on your knees before God praying for them , you cannot judge their salvation, therefore if they say they are christians, wheather they are or not is not your right to decide.you are in error slandering a brother or group of brothers.. you need to pray also for forgiveness for this. also don't forget to get Gods help removing the proverbial log from your own eye.......
as i said i will be praying for your spiritual growth and deleverance. yours in His love and service
ANOTHER LOVING PROMISE KEEPER: I have just finished reading your diatribe on Promise Keepers. I find it interesting that you (professing to be a Christian and one of surpassing knowledge) seem to have no love in your condemnation of an organization that is, admittedly flawed and limited, due to human failings, yet an organization whose underlying message is to all Christian men to stop being promise breakers and become promise keepers. Did Christ not say that the greatest commandment was love? And to love your neighbors as yourself? Are you suggesting that the men who attend or even lead Promise Keepers are NOT your neighbors?
It seems that the secular world is so busy taking shots at Christianity that Christians shouldn't air this kind of laundry toward which an unbelieving world points its fingers, and declares, "Look at those Christians. They can't even agree among themselves. And see how they hate each other." I'm not suggesting that PK is the paragon of Christianity, but I know, having attended several of their conferences, that the men who speak are genuinely sold out to Jesus Christ, and the proof is in the fruit. The men who attend are genuinely affected, touched and changed for the better. Is your ministry producing the same kind of fruit? My grandmother always told me that when you're throwing dirt, you're only loosing ground. Pretty sound advice. Possibly instead of ridiculing other believers, you might ask God to give you enough grace to look past the limitations and flaws and support any of the good you may see. It may be hard for you to understand, but there are actually Christians who have a different perspective from that of yours.
I will pray for you and encourage you to focus on a ministry that reconciles the believer to the body of Christ, not one that uses words like "poison" and "biblically illiterate" of your brothers in the Lord.
WWW: hello, I was at your web site reading on how you dont celebrate xmas, and I understand why you wouldnt celebrate the comercial over rated version of xmas but it is still the day of birth of you savior. You celebrate your own birthday and birthday of you friends and family, I dont understand why you would simply over look such a day. Im sorry If I have been forward or offensive, this has all been out of curiosity I suppose. Thankyou for your time.
[EDITOR’S RESPONSE] It is good to hear from you. Hope you looked around at the many messages we have on our WebSite. You wrote,"but it is still the day of birth of you savior."
It has been some time since I have read the message on xmas but, if I remember correctly, I show that December 25 could not possibly be the date of the birth of Jesus. The date was adopted by the Roman Catholic Church to appease the Pagans whom they were "converting" to Catholicism. For the first 400 years after the birth of Christ, no one, not even Catholics, pretended to celebrate Christ's birth date. You cannot read in the New Testament of Paul, Peter, James, or John or any of the disciples or churches celebrating the birth of Jesus. The bible is totally silent. It does mention their observing the Lord's Supper to remember his broken body and shed blood but no mention of a day of celebrating his birth. It was not done. It was not commanded. The date was set as December 25 to appease pagans and let them continue to observe Saturnalias, the feast to the sun god.
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BENNY HINN, FAMOUS CHARISMATIC TV PREACHER, THINKS GOD MAY LIE
By Wayne Camp
During an interview on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN [Extreme Pentecostal Cable TV Network]) on October 19, 1999, well-known charismatic preacher, Benny Hinn prophesied that thousands of people will be raised from the dead through the medium of the TBN Network. He said, "People are going to be canceling funeral services and bringing their dead in their caskets, placing them -- my God! I feel the anointing here placing them before a television set, waiting for God's power to come through and touch them. And it's going to happen time and time -- so much it's going to spread. You're going to hear it from Kenya to Mexico to Europe to South America, where people will be raised from the -- so much so that the Word will spread that if some dead person be put in front of this TV screen, they will be raised from the dead and they will be by the thousands." Hinn further declared, "Now the Lord just told me -- and I don't know whether this is true or not -- as I'm saying this, the Lord said He gave you [Paul Crouch] that word many, many years ago."
Isn't this amazing! Hinn claimed that God was speaking directly to him by prophetic revelation, yet he didn't know if what God was saying was true! The part of this "prophecy" that is so nonsensical is this statement:
"Now the Lord just told me—and I don't know whether this is true or not—as I'm saying this, the Lord said He gave you that word many, many years ago."
Hinn was referring to Paul Crouch of Trinity Broadcasting. He said the Lord had just told him that he (The Lord) had told Crouch many years before about his going to raise many people from the dead through the TBN. The problem was, he (Benny Hinn) did not know if what the Lord had told him was true or not.
Imagine that! He claimed that the Lord had just, at that moment, told him something, but he did not know if what the Lord just told him is true. He reveals in this statement the real root of his entire heretical ministry. He does not believe that the Lord can be trusted to tell the truth so he goes about setting forth his own doctrine.
This explains why so many in the Charismatic movement do not hesitate to violate Scripture in their preaching and teaching. They are not sure God has told the truth so they establish their own "truth." A good example is the woman preacher who is also the wife of T. L. Osborn, charismatic faith healer. Daisy Osborn has asked,"Is God in a woman to be subordinated to God in a man?" When questioned about male church leadership she responded: "I would never permit a few words by Paul, spoken to women of an archaic epoch, to limit my obedience to my Lord in my generation." (See 9/15/96 CC & 11/15/94 CC.)
It is readily apparent she does not believe that the words of Paul are truth for today. They may have been acceptable in"an archaic epoch" but Daisy refuses to be governed by God’s word.
The doctrines of the Charismatics are largely experience-based rather than based on Scripture. If Scripture contradicts experience that experience rules. One Pentecostal preacher once said to some Baptist Preacher, "I do not care what that Bible says, I know what I have experienced." Jesus said that God’s word is truth. John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. Paul declared all scripture to be given by the inspiration of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Peter affirmed this when he said that the Scripture came as holy men of God were born along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The inspired word of God forbids women (that includes these self-appointed women preachers) to speak in the church. 1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. Daisy Osborn rejects this inspired truth and substitutes her own "truth" in its place. She, by her statements above, indicates she considers Paul’s words to be lies today. Dear Reader, let this editor recommend that you follow Paul’s admonition to "let God be true, but every man (and woman, including Daisy Osborn) a liar".
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This page was last updated Friday, March 04, 2011