Description: Description: Description: Doctrinal_FAQs

 

Josiahs Scott, Josiahs@trueconnection.org, www.TrueConnection.org

Created around late 2006 or early 2007; Many, many heavy revisions were made, but they were not recorded until: 10/19/09; 1/9 – 1/16/10; 1/18/10; 4/30/10; 5/19/10; 6/1/10; 6/19-6/21/10; 7/5/10; 8/7/10; 11/13/10; (11/23/10 technical); 2/14/11; 7/31/11 (relocated sinners to sin lists); 8/20/11; 11/23/12; 11/27/12; 1/1/13; 2/27/13; 6/12/14; 8/6/16 (small updates)

 

>> TODO/ Additions!

 

Contents

Preface. 2

Feedback. 2

FAQ Webpage and PDF. 2

Links. 2

Real Questions Used. 2

Scripture. 2

Old Testament 3

New Testament 5

Trinity. 6

Salvation. 6

Salvation Defined. 6

Freewill and Predestination. 7

Eternal Security. 7

The Purpose of the Church. 8

Church Leadership. 8

Elder – Presbyter. 9

Elder/Overseer, Used Interchangeably. 9

Elder/Overseer, Used Distinctively. 9

Shepherd – Pastor. 11

Priest 12

Summary of Church Leadership. 13

Gifts of the Holy Spirit 14

Government and Gifts. 14

Gifts are for Today. 14

Gifts Given to us as they were to the Apostles. 15

It is Against the Bible to Forbid them.. 15

We are Commanded to be Zealous for them.. 15

They Need to be Done in Order 15

We are commanded to “Stir them Up”. 15

They Define us as parts of the Body of Christ 15

The Gift of Apostleship. 15

Apostolic Age – Whatever Happened to Apostleship?. 15

Clarifying Variations of “Apostleship”. 16

There Were More than 12 Apostles in the Bible. 16

Proofs of Apostleship. 17

Defining and Addressing Cessationalism.. 18

Women in the church. 19

3 Reforms. 20

(1) Salvation. 20

(2) Prayer 20

(3) Love the UNPOPULAR Truth of Jesus. 21

Sacraments/Ordnances. 21

Communion/The Lord’s Supper/Eucharist 21

Baptism.. 22

Moral, In General 24

Abortion. 24

Homosexuality. 25

Divorce and Remarriage. 25

Summaries. 27

Summary of Very Basic Beliefs. 27

Summary of Distinctive Beliefs. 27

Disclaimer 28

Terminology Used. 29

Bible Lists. 30

House Church. 31

Stars. 31

Sinners Go to Hell 31

 

Preface

Feedback

I appreciate any feedback and help with making this a more effective FAQ web page. Feedback goes a long way, and is deeply appreciated.

Email: Josiahs@trueconnection.org, with corrections, suggestions, comments, reactions, or other feedback.

 

FAQ Webpage and PDF

This FAQ resource is available as a convenient web page full of links, but a formatted, printer-friendly, PDF is also available:

 

Web Page – www.trueconnection.org/BibleStudies/FAQs.html

PDF – www.trueconnection.org/BibleStudies/FAQs.pdf

 

Links

As a convenient web page full of links, this document has both internal and external links that cross-reference and support various points communicated throughout this work. Most of the links are internal within this web page, while most of the links that are external open in new windows.

    The primary way to use this FAQ document is to click on the links in the contents almost like a dictionary to answer questions you might have.  However, it is also designed to work if you read it straight through.

 

Real Questions Used

Most of the questions presented here are based on actual questions that I have been asked throughout the years.

Scripture

What is your view of Scripture?

 

Scripture is the totally inerrant, infallible, perfect and trustworthy Word of God, in written form. I accept everything as Scripture which is authenticated by Jesus Christ Himself, as well as the others He approved of and used to write Scripture (including especially the Old and New Testaments). Anyone who is not ignorant recognizes that the infrastructure of these resulting “books” has been strategically built so that each book reaffirms 100% of every other book in this collection to be the perfect and literal Words of God.

    I was raised a “Good (Protestant) Baptist Boy,” and have found that God confirms this zeal for the perfection of ALL of the Scriptures far more than even this denomination does (see 2Tim 3:15). However, although I accept what is called “the Standard Protestant Cannon” of 66 books, at the same time, I do not like most Protestants, at all reject as Scripture those books referred to by many as “the Apocrypha,” which are otherwise more accurately called the “Deuterocanonical Books” since they are authenticated by the same principal as the other 66 books (see below).

 

It is all too clear that every Scripture considers every other Bible verse to be the very perfect Words of the One, True and Living God:

 

What is “Scripture”: Mat 5:17, 7:12, 11:13, 22:40; Luk 16:16, 24:44; Jn 1:45, 10:35; Act 13:15, ← 17:2-3 → 24:14, 28:23; 1Pet 1:10-12;

Also: Jn 15:25 with Ps 35:19; 69:4; 109:3; and 1 Cor 14:21 with Is 28:11

And compare “God speaking” verses: Mark 12:26; Act 3:21, 7:6, 13:46; Heb 13:7

It is inspired by God: 2Tim 3:16; 2Pe 1:20-21

 

Old Testament

The Old Testament is Authenticated by amazingly Fulfilled Prophecy (This is merely a representative sample of countless others):

Psa 22:5-24 [hundreds and hundreds of years before Rome and their (“cross and nail”) crucifixion existed]; Isa 52:7; 52:13 - 53:12; Dan 12:4

For those who are sensitive to History, it is a striking reality that throughout the Book of Daniel the History of major World Empires is laid out thousands of years before these things existed, or had even begun to take place; (especially see Chapters 7-12).

    No other nation in all of history has ever been scattered and re-gathered even once in the way that Israel has been many times. The Bible is the key instructor that prophesies this over and over, and the fulfillments of these specific prophecies can be clearly seen even as late as 1948 when Israel was re-gathered (again) during our age, just as was spoken by Isaiah 11:9-12. This is only one example of the many many times that the Bible predicts this unique principal that showed itself in 1948. Others include: Jer 23:3-7; Ezk 37:11-22, 25; (38:8); Luke 21:23-24

    This is most profoundly understood with an awareness of History and how specifically this speaks of our time period when “the nations” (that is, the non-Jewish people or “Gentiles”) would believe in the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. The idea that the (pagan) nations would embrace Israel’s God was an absurd idea and vain hope, had it not been done by the supernatural hand of God.  But both this as well as the re-gathering of Israel happened just as God said in the Bible.

    The Old Testament is also amazingly accurate in scientific terms far beyond the humanly observable facts of their day:

Job 26:7; Isa 34:4; 51:6; Psa 102:25-27

    Also consider the Mosaic Health Benefits that the Law of Moses enforces (Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy) contrary to the Egyptian misconceptions of health that all Israel was surrounded with before their exodus out of Egypt.

 

The “Apocrypha”/ Deuterocanonical Books

What Protestants incorrectly (but commonly) call the “Apocrypha,” (or more correctly, the “Deuterocanonical Books”) are the removed, “extra,” books that were originally part of the standard Greek Old Testament, used by Christians and Jews alike, which are now no longer included by the Jews or the Protestants. Among the many writings of “the Ante-Nicene Fathers” of the early Church, there are “over 300 quotations from and references to the deuterocanonical books,” (A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, p. 207, “Deuterocanonical books”), not to mention that they are commonly used and referenced by the New Testament itself as well.

    These Deuterocanonical books were removed by the Jews around 90 AD in their anti-christian reforms of Judaism, which not only included the official excommunication of all Christians from Judaism and their synagogues, but also ruled out any and every book that they did not have a Hebrew original for (that is, the “Apocrypha”), some of which they had lost in one way or the other (until a number of fragments were rediscovered with the findings of the Dead Sea Scrolls).

    These reforms also changed the rules to say that no works after Ezra and Nehemiah were Scripture, so that they retroactively “shut the door” and made for themselves a “closed cannon,” from anything that looked particularly “Christian.” This was not only because they wished to entirely cut off the plausibility of the Divinity of the New Testament writings altogether, but it was also done to exclude as many of the Old Testament (Deuterocanonical) books as they could, since they seemed to speak directly of Jesus Christ (example: the book of Wisdom chapter two) and were used by the Christians as such.

 

In reference to the general changes that the Jews made to the Old Testament, Justin Martyr says:

“And I wish you to observe, that they have altogether taken away many Scriptures from the translations effected by those seventy elders [that is, the unique passages included in the original Greek Old Testament (LXX) but not in the Hebrew] who were with Ptolemy [King of Egypt], and by which this very man who was crucified is proved to have been set forth expressly as God, and man…  but I proceed to carry on my discussions by means of those passages which are still admitted by you.”

(Chapter LXXI)

 

“for it is only a short time since they were cut out…”

(Chapter LXXII)

 

“…said I, ‘it does seem incredible. For it is more horrible than the calf which they made, when satisfied with manna on the earth; or than the sacrifice of children to demons; or than the slaying of the prophets.’”

(Chapter LXXIII)

 

(Justin Martyr, “Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew”; 1.07.10 in e-Sword)

 

In reference to the rejection of the Book of Enoch specifically, and the Deuterocanonical books in general, Tertullian says:

“But since Enoch in the same Scripture has preached likewise concerning the Lord, nothing at all must be rejected by us which pertains to us; and we read that “every Scripture suitable for edification is divinely inspired. (2Ti_3:16) By the Jews it may now seem to have been rejected for that (very) reason, just like all the other (portions) nearly which tell of Christ. Nor, of course, is this fact wonderful, that they did not receive some Scriptures which spake of Him whom even in person, speaking in their presence, they were not to receive. To these considerations is added the fact that Enoch possesses a testimony in the Apostle Jude.”

 

(Tertullian, Part Fourth, end of Chapter III; 4.01.02 in e-Sword)

 

In reference to the specific example of removing the Deuterocanonical account called “the History of Susana,” Origen says:

“But probably to this you will say, Why then is the “History” not in their Daniel… [that is, “the History of Susana,” usually included at the end of Daniel] …The answer is, that they hid from the knowledge of the people as many of the passages which contained any scandal against the elders, rulers, and judges, as they could, some of which have been preserved in uncanonical writings (Apocrypha).”

 

“Wherefore I think no other supposition is possible, than that they who had the reputation of wisdom, and the rulers and elders, took away from the people every passage which might bring them into discredit among the people. We need not wonder, then, if this history of the evil device of the licentious elders against Susanna is true, but was concealed and removed from the Scriptures by men themselves not very far removed from the counsel of these elders.”

 

(Origen, “A Letter from Origen to Africanus,” Number 9; 4.01.02 in e-Sword)

 

Note: Please keep in mind that I do not quote these early writers as spiritual authorities, but only as historical references.

 

All of this change and omission took place during what people usually call, “The Council of Jamnia,” or “Council of Yavne.”

 

These anti-christian rulings against the Deuterocanonical Books (and a number of others like them) did not integrate into the christian church however, until long after the Protestant Reformation, the very beginnings of which started when Luther himself not only tried to remove these same books from the Old Testament, but also tried to remove James, Jude, Hebrews, and Revelation from the New Testament.

 

As a small point of clarification: Due to many details in my long-standing research on these books, I am not sure yet that the “Additions to Ester” and “Bel and The Dragon” are legitimate originals in the Greek Septuagint, however, I do accept the “History of Susana” as being original.

 

These removed “extra” books, can be found in many locations, including the original 1611 KJV, and many other ancient and or non-standard versions.

 

They are available on the web at:

www.riseisrael.com/apocrypha.htm

 

For use in e-Sword see:

www.e-sword.net/bibles.html#kjva

or even:

www.e-sword.net/bibles.html#drb

 

New Testament

The New Testament is authenticated - The very simple principal to acknowledge here is that if the Old Testament is true, it is unavoidable then that the New Testament is also true, since this is the very thing that the Old Testament sets out to point us to. If the Old Testament is true, it has the credentials and authority that one simply cannot rationally ignore as it makes claims of Divine preparation and authentication for the imminent comings of the Messiah (Jesus’ first advent on earth) and the New Covenant that He would bring with Him:

 

Jer_31:31-34 – New Covenant

Jesus: Due_18:17-19; Act_3:22-24; Act_4:31; Joh_1:45; Mat_5:17;

The 12 Apostles: Mat_10:1-4/Mar_3:14-19/Luk_6:12; Mat_19:28; Act_1:1-3, Act_1:21-26; Joh_15:16; Mat_19:27-28/Luk_2:30; Luk_11:49; Joh_14:26; (Mat_28:20); 1Co_14:37; Eph_2:20, 3:5; 1Th_2:13; 2Pe_1:16-21, 2Pe_3:2;

Paul: Act_9:1-19/ Act_22:3-16/ Act_26:9-18 (Especially: Act_26:18 - Open Eyes of the nations; Act_9:15 - Chosen vessel for the nations; and also: Act_22:15)Act_15:22-26; 2Pe_3:15-16; 1Co_9:1-2; 1Co_15:3-11; 2Co_11:5; 1Co_12:11; Gal_2:7-9, 11; 1Th_2:13; 2Ti_1:11;

Inerrancy and Perfection of Scripture: Psa_12:6; Pro_30:5-6; Rom_3:4; 2Ti_3:15-17; 2Pe_1:21

 

It is also a very simple matter to see, that if Jesus made claims to fulfill all of the Old Testament claims about Messiah (Christ) then it goes to naturally figure that the Old Testament likewise cannot be untrue if Jesus was true, since He based His entire identity and His statements about coming into the world on the basic understanding of the Old Testament Scriptures being the very Words of God (Joh 5:38-40; 10:35-38). So we cannot actually embrace one without proving the other.

    For those who are uninformed, it is vital to understand the massive implications of what is referenced above: The Old Testament is obviously Scripture because of amazing prophecies that even tell of these days. Since The Old Testament specifies “Jesus” as Christ and God in the flesh, this seals His Words as the very Words of God through His own mouth. Jesus authenticates the Old Testament by receiving it’s testimony, and proceeds to ordain “The 12 Apostles” and “Paul” (including Hebrews) as writers of Scripture under the New Covenant, and they intern authenticate James and Jude (the half brothers of Jesus) as well as Mark and Luke.

 

Also See: Summary of Very Basic Beliefs; [Also see Apostles]; [Back to Contents]

 

Extra Biblical Books

10/11/16

Sola Scriptura self-destructs and collapses in on itself

 

Est_10:2 WEB  All the acts of his power and of his might, and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?

Est_10:2 CAB  And as for his strength and valor, and the wealth and glory of his kingdom, behold, they are written in the book of the Persians and Medes, for a memorial.

Est_10:2  καὶ τὴν ἰσχὺν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀνδραγαθίαν πλοῦτόν τε καὶ δόξαν τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ, ἰδοὺ γέγραπται ἐν βιβλίῳ βασιλέων Περσῶν καὶ Μήδων εἰς μνημόσυνον.

 

Sola Scriptura says: only what God has already said is what God will ever say. Only things that have already been accepted as the Word of God are cannonical as the Word of God. -- i.e. God can’t speak anymore perfect words of prophecy through humans beyond what has already been said -- we are off the hook: we no longer have to be spiritual or test Apostles and prophecies to see what God is saying now, even though our only Bible says we do…

It is breaking the very Bible that it claims to “solo”.

 

Trinity

Do you believe in the Trinity?

 

Yes (Gen 1:26; Num 6:24-27; Is 48:16 1Cor 12:4-4; 2Cor 13:14; Eph 2:18; 1Jn 5:70)

 

Also See: Summary of Very Basic Beliefs; [Back to Contents]

 

i believe in the original, biblical-historical, ancient teaching about the Godhead before the apostacy of niceia in 325ad. This teaching was what was eventually called the "trinity" especially after being somewhat "artificialized" by apostating christianity in order to protect a psudo-orthodox transmission among unsaved christendom. Because of this, I believe in the absolute divinity of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, but do not include with this the fleshly, non-mysterious, predicable teachings of psudo-orthodox christendom.

 

A feshly trinitarianism insists on "well organized" easy to understand distinctions amog God "as three persons," which even lost people can reproduce and teach. The biblical "trinity" presents an incomprehensible unity of God that defys the imagination, so much so that it embraces the interchangability of the God head (i and the Father are One/ if you have seen me you have seen the father) while somehow maintaining their distinct and particular qualities. Unsaved people will never endure with great truth like this indefinitly, because they demand a mold that they can understand and academically boast in.

 

---------------

 

Interchangeability

10/27/16

>> Isa_7: MT: everlasting Father…

 

Isa_22:20 WEB  It will happen in that day that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah,

Isa_22:20 CAB  And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah;

Isa_22:20  καὶ ἔσται ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ καλέσω τὸν παῖδά μου Ελιακιμ τὸν τοῦ Χελκιου

Isa_22:21 and I will clothe him with your robe, and strengthen him with your belt. I will commit your government into his hand; and he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.

Isa_22:21 and I will put on him your robe, and I will grant him your crown with power, and I will give your stewardship into his hands; and he shall be as a father to them that dwell in Jerusalem, and to them that dwell in Judah.

Isa_22:21  καὶ ἐνδύσω αὐτὸν τὴν στολήν σου καὶ τὸν στέφανόν σου δώσω αὐτῷ καὶ τὸ κράτος καὶ τὴν οἰκονομίαν σου δώσω εἰς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔσται ὡς πατὴρ τοῖς ἐνοικοῦσιν ἐν Ιερουσαλημ καὶ τοῖς ἐνοικοῦσιν ἐν Ιουδα.

Isa_22:22 I will lay the key of the house of David on his shoulder. He will open, and no one will shut. He will shut, and no one will open.

Isa_22:22 And I will give him the glory of David; and he shall rule, and there shall be none to speak against him; and I will give him the key of the house of David upon his shoulder. And he shall open, and there shall be none to shut; and he shall shut, and there shall be none to open.

Isa_22:22  καὶ δώσω τὴν δόξαν Δαυιδ αὐτῷ, καὶ ἄρξει, καὶ οὐκ ἔσται ὁ ἀντιλέγων.

Isa_22:23 I will fasten him like a nail in a sure place. He will be for a throne of glory to his father's house.

Isa_22:23 And I will make him a ruler in a sure place, and he shall be for a glorious throne in his father's house.

Isa_22:23  καὶ στήσω αὐτὸν ἄρχοντα ἐν τόπῳ πιστῷ, καὶ ἔσται εἰς θρόνον δόξης τοῦ οἴκου τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ.

Isa_22:24 They will hang on him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, every small vessel, from the cups even to all the pitchers.

Isa_22:24 And everyone that is glorious in the house of his father shall trust in him, from the least to the greatest; and they shall depend upon him in that day.

Isa_22:24  καὶ ἔσται πεποιθὼς ἐπ᾿ αὐτὸν πᾶς ἔνδοξος ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ μικροῦ ἕως μεγάλου καὶ ἔσονται ἐπικρεμάμενοι αὐτῷ.

Isa_22:25 "In that day," says Yahweh of Armies, "the nail that was fastened in a sure place will give way. It will be cut down, and fall. The burden that was on it will be cut off, for Yahweh has spoken it."

Isa_22:25 Thus says the Lord of hosts, The man that is fastened in the sure place shall be removed and be taken away, and shall fall; and the glory that is upon him shall be utterly destroyed; for the Lord has spoken it.

Isa_22:25  ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ-- τάδε λέγει κύριος σαβαωθ--κινηθήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος ὁ ἐστηριγμένος ἐν τόπῳ πιστῷ καὶ πεσεῖται, καὶ ἀφαιρεθήσεται ἡ δόξα ἡ ἐπ᾿ αὐτόν, ὅτι κύριος ἐλάλησεν.

 

Jesus: if you have seen me, you have seen the Father

 

Who looks at the sun and seeks to distinguish the rays shining out of the sun from the body of the sun itself?

Although it is possible to distinguish the sun from its rays, it is not practical when it comes to looking at the sun, as though you could even visually tell the difference.

This parable of the sun was used by the early church, and in fact, it is used in Hebrews when it describes Jesus as the brightness of his Glory (Wis_7: or Wis_9: ??? ), (which in turn comes from the “apocrypha” book of wisdom).

>>Scrip: /\/\/\

 

Salvation

 

Salvation Defined

Please define what it means to be a Christian. What are the necessary criteria?

 

A Christian is someone who abandons everything in their life (sin, ambitions, desires etc.) to follow and obey Jesus. A Christian is one who turns from sin unto obedience to Jesus and faith in His name, to the saving of the soul from sin and hell. This includes bearing fruit that is worthy of repentance (Luk 1:76-77; 3:8). Spiritually, salvation means dying to the world and becoming engaged to Jesus (Rom 7:4; 2Cor 11:2). For salvation to be completed the person must endure to the end, (Mat 24:13/ Mar 13:13) while practicing sanctification along the way (1Cor 1:2, 30; 6:9-11; 1 Thes 4:3, 6; Heb 12:14). By turning unto obedience we obey everything that is put in our lap to do by God until our life here is done, whether that is as short as the thief on the cross (Luk 23:42-43) or as long as Methuselah (Gen 5:27). Simply put, salvation is initiated when we “Repent and believe...” (Mk 1:15) and preserved and maintained when we “work [it] out with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12).

 

[Back to Contents]

 

Freewill and Predestination

Do you believe in Freewill?

 

Absolutely.

 

Do you believe in Predestination?

 

Absolutely.

 

Also See: Eternal Security; [Back to Contents]

 

Eternal Security

Where do you stand on “Eternal Security”?

 

1.      I do not believe in “Once Saved Always Saved” but I do believe something close to “Perseverance of the Saints.” - I believe in the “Perseverance of the Elect.” (ie. The Bible teaches that it is impossible for the elect to end up in Hell).

2.      At the same time, the Bible positively teaches that one can fall away from God unto condemnation: Mat 13:3-9, 18-23; 25:1-13; Act 1:25; Gal 5:4 (“Christ has become of no effect to you...you have fallen from Grace”); 1Tim 1:19-20; 6:10, 21; 2Tim 2:18; Jas 5:19-20; Heb 6:4-6, 10:26-39, 12:14-17; 1Jn 5:16; 2Pet 2:20-22, 3:17; Also compare 2Cor 13:5 and 1Cor 9:27 (Same word used: αδοκιμοι Strong’s G96); also see: Ezk 18:24-29; Ps 119:118; Pro 19:27

3.      These two concepts are not antagonistic to one another.

4.      “Eternal Security” is found in the fact that God sovereignly chooses (or “elects”) people from before time, for Heaven or Hell, and does not change His mind later on: Mat. 24:24, Mat. 24:31, Mar. 13:22, Mar. 13:27, Luk. 18:7, Rom. 8:33, Col. 3:12, 1Ti. 5:21, Tit. 1:1, 1Pe. 1:2, 1Pe. 2:6, 2Jo. 1:1, 2Jo. 1:13; Mat. 20:16, Mat. 22:14, Luk. 23:35, Rom. 16:13, 1Pe. 2:4, 1Pe. 2:9, Rev. 17:14; Mat. 24:22, Mar. 13:20, 2Ti. 2:10; Rev 3:16

5.      Salvation is a wonderful occurrence that happens in an instance in time (Rom 5:9-10; 1 Cor 7:20, 24; Eph 2:5, 13; 1Jn 1:9), and works out throughout a person’s life (2 Pet 3:10), and is therefore obviously not the same event as election. [Note: one is outside of time, the other is inside; one involves a person’s choice, the other is irrespective of a person’s choice (Eph 1:4).]

6.      The only way to eternally assure ourselves of Heaven is to continue in obedience to God’s commands, trusting in Him to keep us. [Mat 10:22; 24:13; Mk 13:13; Rom 2:7; 11:22; 2 Pet 3:10; Heb 3:14; 6:4-6; 10:26-29]

7.      I wholeheartedly believe in Free Will because the Bible teaches it, (I am not a Calvinist). [compare point 2 above; Rev 22:17 etc.]

8.      I wholeheartedly believe in Predestination because the Bible teaches it, (I am not an Armenian). [Eph 1:4-12 , Rom 8:28-33 , Act 4:28 & 1Co 2:7]

 

Two crucial verses on all of this are:

 

2 Pet 1:10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling2821 [used as “salvation” as in Rom 1:7] and election1589 sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall

 

Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called,2822 and chosen,1588 [“elect”] and faithful. (KJV)

 

Definitions

“called”: 2821/2822 - Same word used for salvation;

“chosen”: 1588/1589 - Same word as “elected”

and even Strong's confirms this...

 

G2822 κλητός klētos klay-tos'

From the same as G2821; invited, that is, appointed, or (specifically) a saint: - called.

G1588 ἐκλεκτός eklektos ek-lek-tos'

From G1586; select; by implication favorite: - chosen, elect.

G1589 ἐκλογή eklogē ek-log-ay'

From G1586; (divine) selection (abstractly or concretely): - chosen, election.

(Strong's)

 

[Back to Contents]

 

The Purpose of the Church

What is your understanding of the nature and the purpose of the church?

 

The Church is the necessary corporate means of relating to God. She is Jesus’ betrothed bride, who aims to please God by saving souls while preparing and waiting for her wedding to Jesus. This includes the most earnest care and discipleship given to the members of her body, as well as evangelism. The Church is about Jesus' body- in Heaven and on Earth.

 

[Back to Contents]

 

Church Leadership

What is the role of Deacons, Elders, Bishops etc.?

 

Servant – Deacon

First, an elder is not the same as a deacon, (as often disarranged in some churches). The very word “Deacon” in English is a representation of “διάκονος” (diakonosG1247) in Greek, and is actually the word for servant (not “leader” per say), and comes from another word that means “to run” – “διώκω” (diōkōG1377) and so implies “to run errands” as a “servant.” At the same time, it is also an officially recognized position in Jesus’ Church, and like the word Elder, it must be interpreted specifically or generally with a close eye on context.

 

G1247 διακονέω diakoneō dee-ak-on-eh'-o

From G1249; to be an attendant, that is, wait upon (menially or as a host, friend or [figuratively] teacher); technically to act as a Christian deacon: - (ad-) minister (unto), serve, use the office of a deacon. (Strong’s)

 

It should be noted that, though servants (deacons) have a position of service, we are strongly exhorted to submit to such who serve fervently: see 1Co_16:15-16, where “διακονιαν”G1248 (diakonian) is used, but is typically not translated consistently as deacon, and because of this we might miss the “official Church position” aspect of this verse.

 

Additionally: Despite the trouble of many self-professing (so called) “conservatives,” the Scriptures are extremely clear (especially in Greek) that Women can be Servants of the Church (Deaconesses).

 

So if a Deacon is to serve, then what is an Elder?

 

>> God’s picked and commissioned ones get to pick there own commissioned ones

Gen_12:4

Kind of like Moses getting Aaron as his ‘prophet’, and much moreso like Moses picking out Joshua as his attendant

 

Acts -- where they set up decons

Acts -- the HS said set apart for me Paul and Barnabas… but they took John Mark!

 

This is the same as:

The Father Picked Jesus, Jesus Picked Apostles, Apostles picked Decons

 

>> This is one of those ‘do what’s in your heart’ type of things…

 

Elder – Presbyter

The church term, “Presbyter” is simply a transliteration (a Greek term represented with English letters, rather than a translation of the term into English) of the Greek word for “elder”: “πρεσβύτερος” (presbuterosG4245). Elders are to rule and or help rule in the Church (unlike servants, or “deacons,” who are the official servants of the Church) and some Elders preach:

 

1Ti_5:17 MKJV Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in Word and doctrine.

 

2Jn 1:1 - John was one

1Pet 5:1 - Peter was one

Phm 1:9 (πρεσβυτης); 1Ti 4:14 → 2Ti 1:6 - Paul was one    

Tit 1:5 - Paul had authority to appoint them

Heb 13:17 - We are commanded to submit to them (Also compare 1Pet 1:1, 5)

1Pet 5:2 - They are to feed the flock and take oversight

1Pet 5:1-4 - They are under-shepherds (“Pastors”) representing the Chief-Shepherd, Jesus

Tit 1:5, 7 - They can be synonymous with “overseers” (“Bishops” from Greek; and also see below)

 

They helped the Apostles rule the entire early Church body:

Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22, 23; 16:4

 

And for some deep spiritual correlation, there are 24 of them in heaven:

Rev. 4:4, 10; 5:5, 6, 8, 11, 14; 7:11, 13; 11:16; 14:3; 19:4

 

Elder/Overseer, Used Interchangeably

Tit 1:5, 7; Act 20:17, 28; 1Pet 5:1-2 (where “πρεσβυτερους” and “επισκοπουντες” are used)

 

Elder/Overseer, Used Distinctively

I find no direct Biblical reference to distinctions between an Elder and a Bishop, however, it is indirectly understood that though every elder is a type of Bishop, (Tit 1:5, 7; Act 20:17, 28; 1Ti 5:17) not every Bishop is properly an Elder. An example of this is where Titus, who was apparently a younger man (Tit1:4), was delegated authority to appoint Elders (Tit 1:5). Titus would have been considered at least a Bishop (if not an apostle) in such a position, but not an “Elder.”

A more specific example (though not more weighty) is that unanimous testimony of the early Church from the very beginning. They also used the two terms interchangeably as the Bible does, and they particularly specified The Bishops to be the primary leaders that were directly (and successively) installed over the early Churches by the Apostles (as in 2Tim 2:2). This became an extremely important issue to them as the Apostles eventually all died (mostly by martyrdom). Through the succession of Bishops as their primary local leaders (which many churches call “pastors” today) the early church zealously carried on the authenticated authority, legacy and traditions from the Apostles, and this is one of the primary means from which we got our New Testament – preserved from the pollution of Heresy and handed to us in Truth, faithfulness and purity. All Church leadership was important, but the primary common denominator throughout the entire early Church was the Overseer (Bishop), who was the essential (successive) link back to the Apostles, and their primary means of legitimacy as a Church. Faithfulness and submission under each Overseer meant obedience to the Apostles and their doctrine, and even, to the faith of Christ Jesus, and the saving communion in the body of Christ.

All of this is to say that there were those specific men appointed to oversee the church (which we often call “Pastors” or “Bishops” in English), that were the primary overseers, and in addition to this there were elders who also helped oversee under the main overseer in ruling the church.

 

Overseer – Bishop

Act 20:28; Phi 1:1; 1Tim 3:2; Tit 1:7; 1Pe 2:25

 

Our English word Bishop was once pronounced Bisceop in Old English, which is a little closer to the Greek source word “ἐπίσκοπος” (episkoposG1985 – “overseer”).

 

From Greek we have this definition:

 

G1985 ἐπίσκοπος episkopos ep-is'-kop-os

From G1909 and G4649 (in the sense of G1983); a superintendent, that is, Christian officer in general charge of a (or the) church (literally or figuratively): - bishop, overseer.

(Strong's)

 

The above definition shows us that ἐπίσκοπος (episkopos) comes from two words, G1909 and G4649: “ἐπί ” (epi) and “σκοπός” (skopos) which would function as someone who looks upon or over someone or something. So the term episkopos most directly means overseer, and is applied and used throughout the New Testament and Church History as the primary leader of a Church, who “looks over” or “oversees” (and leads) a given congregation or group of congregations. From this, terms like Episcopal and Episcopate are derived, but the most common representation of this in English is Bishop.

Throughout the Greek Old Testament ἐπίσκοπος (episkopos) is usually originally used and applied as a term for keeping people accountable to their actions. This word is often used as “looking upon” people for what they have done in “a day of remembrance,” (and translators such as Brenton often represent this word as “visiting” people in this way). So this word gets used to speak of one who keeps people accountable for their actions as the one who looks over (oversees) a person or people group.

This “overseeing” may be in the sense of “visiting” the sins of people back upon their own head, (bringing judgment for past sins) or for deliverance and reward, or it may simply speak of general overseeing:

 

General Oversight

Exo_30:12; Num_4:16; Num_7:2; Num_14:29; Num_26:22; Num_26:43; Psa_109:8

 

General Judgment

Job_31:14; Job_34:9; Pro_29:13

 

Punishment

Lev_19:20; Num_16:29; Job_6:14; Job_7:18; (Job_24:12); Isa_10:3; Isa_29:6; Jer_6:15; Jer_10:15; Eze_7:22; {Wis_3:13 (“the visitation of souls” = “oversight” [ἐπισκοπῇ] of souls)}

 

Reward

Gen_50:24; Gen_50:25; Exo_3:16; Exo_13:19; Job_10:12; Job_29:4; Isa_23:17; Isa_24:22;

 

Some peculiarities are...

- In Num_4:16, the Priest is called (and equated with) an Overseer.

- The Apostles understood this Old Testament word to be directly and prophetically connected with the New Testament usage: Psa_109:8; Act_1:16-26.

- In Act 1:20 the Apostles were referred to as holding the office of Overseers, (that is, “ἐπισκοπὴν,” and see how it is also used in 1Tim 3:1).

- In 1Pe 2:25, Jesus is referred to as the Pastor (ποιμένα) and Overseer (ἐπίσκοπον) of our souls.

 

Shepherd – Pastor

The term to Shepherd from Hebrew basically means to feed and is often translated as such throughout our English versions. In Greek the concept is applied in the same sense, with at least the following verses indicating the “feeding” concept:

 

Jn 10:2-3, 9; Lk 17:7; 1 Cor 9:7; 1 Pet 9:2; Jude 1:12; Rev 7:17

 

The terms Pastor and Shepherd (from Old French/Latin) found in our English Bible translations represent the exact same word throughout the Old and New Testaments. The only real reason we have so much of a distinction in English is because the term has been creatively reapplied as a specific, primary word for a church office. It is used at least 173 times in the Old Testament, and 18 times in the New Testament. Both apply the term literally, to leaders of sheep, as well as figuratively, to leaders of people, (Jer 3:15). The term was never intended, as it is so often used today, apart from the “shepherd-over-the-sheep” analogy, and was used as a general term for leaders, rather than a specific one for the primary leader of a congregation. The variety of positions it is used for in the Bible is referenced out below:

 

General use of shepherds: Mat_9:36

In Joh_21:15-17 Peter was commanded to pastor/shepherd/ lit. "feed" [βόσκε (v. 15, 17)/ ποίμαινε (v. 16)] Jesus' lambs/ sheep [ἀρνία (v. 15)/ πρόβατά (v. 16, 17)].

In 1Pe_5:1-4 Peter commands elders/overseers to shepherd/ lit. “feed” [ποιμάνατε] God’s flock [ποίμνιον (v. 2)/ ποιμνίου (v. 3)] (just as he himself was commanded in Joh_21:16).

There are also the Elder/Overseer/Pastor Verses: Act_20:17, 28; 1Pe 5:1-2  (where all 3 terms are applied to the same group of leaders).

But more than any of these, Jesus is highlighted as the head-Shepherd countless times:

Psa 23:1; 80:1; Isa 40:11; Eze 34:12, 34:23, 37:24; Mic 5:4; Zec 13:7; Mat 2:6; Jn 10:11-16; Heb 13:20; 1Pe 2:25 (where Jesus is also called an Overseer); 5:4.

 

Just because the word pastor has been adapted in its use as an English term does not mean that there is something wrong with the way we use it today, but it may be helpful to be sensitive to the fact that it no longer implies the same meanings as the Biblical usage. At the same time there is nothing particularly inspired about its use nor its origin, since it is considerably clear that the term Pastor was significantly popularized as a primary title for the Overseer (or his representative over a church) by the protestants, and especially John Calvin, who was reacting against Catholic terminology, just as they did from having “sacraments” to “ordnances.”

 

In short, the term shepherd is a very general term used in Scripture for leadership, covering a wide range of offices from Overseer and Elder to Apostle and even to Jesus Himself. The word Shepherd, now often represented as “Pastor,” has come to be used as something quite specific, especially as a primary church office among most all non-liturgical churches.

 

Priest

Other dates (mostly 2007-2008, and some afterward); 10/20/16

>> contrary to the insanity and foolishness of protestants, Priesthood has nothing to do with being a “mediator”

>> a mediator of a covenant has mainly been Moses and Jesus: as long as you are not updating to a different covenant, you are not a mediator

 

Mediator

Job_9:33; Gal_3:19; Gal_3:20; 1Ti_2:5; Heb_6:17 (ἐμεσίτευσεν ὅρκῳ); Heb_8:6; Heb_9:15; Heb_12:24;

2Co_4:5

 

 

Surprisingly (to Protestants) there are actually direct New Testament verses conveying priestly (and Levitical) attributes to Church leaders. One may ascertain, as the early Church would unanimously insist, that such Church positions (or callings) make one spiritually part of the tribe of Levi. However at the same time we must also confidently insist that there is no mention of a New Testament Priest as used by the catholic church anywhere in the entire Bible. Jesus is the High Priest1 of our faith, and only mediator, and we who follow Him are all to be a kingdom of priests2:

 

(1) Heb 2:17; 3:1; 4:14, 15; 5: 5, 10; 6:20; 7:1, 26; 8:1; 9: 11, 25; 10:19-22; One mediator: 1Ti 2:5

(2) Rom 12:1; Phi 4:18; Heb 13:16; 1Pet 2:5, 9; Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6

 

Catholics may appeal to the many examples in Church history that might seem to support their practice and titles (especially in post-apostasy church history), but even the early Church conducted such terminology with a different meaning, fully supporting this “kingdom of priests2”. (Note: Usually Protestants less accurately call this “The Priesthood of all Believers”.) Only in a particular since did they refer to Church leaders as priests, as the Scriptures also agree:

 

Priesthood of all believers

2/12/16

·        Does not include just about anyone who believes in this doctrine / uses this terminology, because no one who talks about this is a believer in the truth

 

1Co 9:13-14 KJV Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

 

Rom 15:16 KJV That I should be the minister3011 (λειτουργον) of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering2418 (ιερουργουντα) the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

 

·         The terminology “offering up” refers to the imagery of a priestly sacrifice, (As in Exo. 29:27; Num 15:19-20; 18:26; 2 Sam 24:22; 1 King 3:15).

·         I included the Greek words above because most all translations somewhat smooth over some interesting and key insights into the Greek. Notice the qualities below that Strong's and an effective understanding of the Greek draws out in the definitions of the two words used in this verse:

 

Some Greek Insights from Rom 15:16:

“G3011 λειτουργός leitourgos li-toorg-os'

From a derivative of G2992 and G2041; a public servant, that is, a functionary in the Temple or Gospel, or (generally) a worshipper (of God) or benefactor (of man): - minister (-ed),” (Strong's).

 

More Details:

This first word in question used in Rom 15:16, “minister3011” (λειτουργον), is where we get our word for “liturgy” from. When a minister (λειτουργός) ministers, this is called “λειτουργέω” in Greek (G3008), and is also commonly used with the Priestly context in the Greek Old Testament quite a few times:

 

Num 3:31; Num 4:9; Num 4:12; Num 4:14; Num 4:26; Num 18:21; 2Ki 25:14; 1Ch 6:32; 1Ch 16:4; 2Ch 13:10; 2Ch 23:6; 2Ch 29:11; Ezr 7:24; Neh 10:36; Neh 10:39; Isa 61:6; Eze 42:14; Eze 44:11; Eze 44:19; Eze 45:4; Eze 45:5; Eze 46:24; Joe 1:9; Joe 1:13; Joe 2:17 -- (25 verses)

 

[The times used without a priestly context in the Greek Old Testament are these: 1Ki 1:15; 1Ch 27:1; 2Ch 15:16; 2Ch 17:19; 2Ch 22:8; Psa 103:21; Psa 104:4 – (7 verses)]

 

And this “ministering” word occurs 3 times in the New Testament, and is once used with a literal Priestly context, while the other two are naturally referring to New Testament ministering:

Act_13:2; Rom_15:27; Heb_10:11;

 

This main word for minister (G3011) is used five times in the New testament, and twice* this word is used with Priestly references:

Rom 13:6; *Rom 15:16; Phi 2:25; Heb 1:7; *Heb 8:2

“G2418 ἱερουργέω hierourgeō hee-er-oorg-eh'-o

From a compound of G2411 and the base of G2041; to be a temple worker, that is, officiate as a priest (figuratively): - minister,” (Strong's).

 

More Details:

This second word in question used in Rom 15:16, “ministering2418” [ιερουργουντα], is a compound of the word “Temple” (ἱερόν - G2411) and work (ἔργον - G2041).

It is not used in the Greek Septuagint, but only in the New Testament

 

So we see in Rom 15:16, that Paul uses two “Priestly” words as well as using the priestly image of “offering up” to describe himself and his work as a leader in the Church.

Unfortunately, the early Church emphasized this more and more, and when serious corruption and full-fledged apostasy set in, they naturally emphasized it into unbiblical proportions as we can see it commonly used today.

 

Closest Thing to Clergy

1Pe_5:3

 

Summary of Church Leadership

So from all of this we can clarify the distinctions between Church leaders:

The Overseer (or “Bishop”) of a given Church was only one person (of critical importance), whereas the Elders constituted a more varied pool of leadership who also served as overseers. At times in church history there is talk of deacons serving in leadership, but never in insubordination to the Overseer. This is a solid understanding in the early Church that complements and in many ways fills in the details of what the Bible so often refers to.

Although the use of the term Pastor and the usage of priestly descriptions were applied to Church leadership in the Bible as well as carried over into the vocabulary of the Early Church, both have been adapted into terms inconsistent with the Biblical usage. While we may find the use of the term Pastor to be convenient, we should not find the contemporary use of the term Priest (with its exclusive connotations) to be acceptable in describing Church leadership.

 

In all of this basic framework addressing church government, we still have not addressed the most crucial aspect of Church leadership, which is based on Spiritual gifts. The highest order of leadership in the Church, apostleship, cannot even be accomplished by the structure we set up. If we accomplished all these framework specifics of leadership without the life of Spiritual Gifting included, we've failed our mission and accomplish nothing. Let us both set up the frame work accurately as well as give it living wings to fly.

 

Also Compare: Gifts of the Holy Spirit; [Back to Contents]

 

---------------

Googe: bb arch priests

 

Scr:

1co3 -- we are God's workmen, you are God's field...

>tsk

Paul is offering up the gentiles by faith so that they will be acceptable to God

>Tsk

 

Being an officiating (Arch?) priest has got nothing to do with being a mediator, since priests have  never required mediation to offer people up according to the mediation of another...

Mediation is the work of the high priest, and those enlisted under Him do not themselves repeate the mediation of their high priest (for example, Jesus died once for all for the sins of the people), but a high priest mediates while regular priests (and arch priests?) work on behalf of the high priests and carry out His mediation and service on the people.

You cannot simply dodge the ordenance of God and ignore the higherarchy which God ordained and set up and expect to rebelliously be connected to the right God while sinning against his priesthood and violating the higherarchy He set up.

 

The relationship here is clearly established

 

Almost all Protestants want a purely 'triangular' (Egyptian Pyramid) relationship with god, but this is a heresy that can easily curse your soul forever!

 

You received me as Anointed One...

 

Although Paul is not mediating, he is offering them up to Anointed One, and they would clearly NOT be accepted if they felt like they did not need Paul, and he assures them of their damnation throughout the Corinthian letters for apostating from believing they need Paul to go to heaven.

 

Having a high priest implies that you have, priests.

And we are not all in equal postures/ positions , because Paul offers up the Gentiles as a priest.

 

The priesthood of Aaron did not have all of the priests doing all of the exact same things, and neither does the priesthood of Jesus in the New Covenant. We do not all have the same gifts, nor do we all have the same functions, nor do we all have the same authority.

 

Plenty of times the New Testament says to obey your leaders, and the recognized those who labor over you, and it even says that they are responsible for your souls!

Now, a person cannot be responsible for your soul unless your soul is submitted to them so that they are making decisions that affect your soul in an eternal way.

 

When Paul says that he is laboring with God over the people, this is not a triangle!

 

Jesus forbids us to set ourselves above others, but He also commands us to set one another above ourselves... we should always be ambitious to lower ourselves and exalt others over ourselves. The prohibition of exalting yourself does not exclude obeying the command to exalt others!

 

rom12

Also, if God exalts us, we do not have the perrogative to 'lower ourselves' benieth what God has insistantly said about us...

 

---------------

 

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

 

Government and Gifts

Perhaps the most vital part of Church leadership is that which transcends the governmental framework discussed above, which is the leadership based on and qualified by Spiritual Gifting:

 

Eph 4:8, 11-13 KJV  …When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men…  11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 

Please note: The saints are not yet perfected in the unity of the faith and “of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” – in other words, we desperately need these gifts in the church because we are so far from the very purpose that they were given! We're not there yet, so we must see these gifts in operation or we'll never get there!

An eternal example of this that should always burn in our minds is that of the corruption of the early church around the time leading up to the council of Nicea (325 AD). By the time major political corruption had set in the church, too many of her members had already grown complacent enough to retain the structure of the government without the gifts in full operation. May this never be said of us!

I wanted to be particularly emphatic to include this aspect of leadership because without it we have a dead framework that produces lifeless converts, no matter how “correct” our church government is organized!

In a practical sense, whether leadership by gifting takes place within the governmental framework, or as a supplement to it, we would be dreadfully negligent to operate without it.

 

About the Spiritual Gifts the Scriptures have clearly spoken, and they have been so very clear that there is no room for error or for mistaking God’s intentions and declarations about how we are to live in light of them:

 

Gifts are for Today

Act 2:1-18; 38-39; compare Act 2:3 with 1Cor 12:11 (speaking of gifts) and think of 1Cor 12:4, 7:7, 17; Rom 12:4-8; Eph 4:8-13 (quoted above)

There is not one verse at all whatsoever in the entire Bible supporting the doctrine of “Cessationalism” (which basically says that some of or all of the gifts died off with the Apostles), and this point is covered further below.

 

Gifts Given to us as they were to the Apostles

They are given (and made available) to us, in the same way they were to the Apostles

Act_2:1-4, 39; 10:44-46; 11:15, 17; 1Co_12:11; Rom_12:6; Heb_2:4

 

It is Against the Bible to Forbid them

1Ti_4:14-15 - Do not neglect your gift… give yourself wholly to it

1Th_5:19-22 - do not despise prophesies (or quench the Spirit)

1Co_12:31 - Be zealous (ζηλουτε) for the greater gifts

1Co_14:1 - Be zealous (ζηλοῦτε) for gifts (esp. Prophecy)

1Co_14:29 - Let the prophets speak

1Co_14:39 - Don't Forbid Tongues, -and be zealous (ζηλοῦτε) to Prophesy-

1Co_14:31 - “You may all Prophesy…”

 

We are Commanded to be Zealous for them

And as seen above: 1Co_12:31; 1Co_14:1; 1Co_14:39;

 

Also: in Rom_1:10-11 Paul “lusts” to impart Spiritual gifts; (Compare Jas_4:2 where the same word is used in a different way for “bad lust”).

 

They Need to be Done in Order

1Cor 14:26-33; 1Cor 14:40

 

We are commanded to “Stir them Up”

2Ti_1:6 (also 1Ti_4:14-15)

 

They Define us as parts of the Body of Christ

Rom 12:3-8; 1Cor 12:10-31

 

The Gift of Apostleship

todo

Answer this need:

 

"isn't it written that to be an apostle that you had to be witness of his resurrection. Act_1:21-26"

 

1Co_15:5-8 CAB and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  6  Thereafter He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, of whom the majority remain until now, but some have died.  7  Thereafter He appeared to James, then to all the apostles.  8  And last of all, as of one born out of due time, He appeared to me also.

 

The greatest gift also answers the greatest need in church leadership called Apostleship. The office of Apostle has been set aside as the highest order of church government, and no man can structurally accomplish this, but only God can supernaturally ordain a person this way, and afterward, it is up to the rest of the church to thoroughly and Biblically test such a person to find if they are true or not (Due 13:1-5, 18:20-22; 2Co 11:13-15; 1Jn 4:1-3, 5-6; Rev 2:2).

But there is much confusion and controversy concerning men who seek to “reestablish” apostles over the church, and they have many unnerving and unbiblical suggestions about how to do this. In reaction to this there is widespread confusion among many who think that God only had apostles for a certain “age” in the past, and no longer desires to work that way.

 

Apostolic Age – Whatever Happened to Apostleship?

First, let me clarify some things: The term Apostolic Age, in theological circles, refers to the time in which the 12 Apostles and Paul exercised unparalleled authority over the unified early Church. When someone or something is referred to as Apostolic it means that it carries Scriptural, or almost Scriptural authoritativeness, almost always due to the fact that a person had personally seen Jesus, or at least one of the Apostles themselves. Though this “age” was indeed a special time in which God moved with exceptional supernatural works through chosen men, and is reverenced by even early church leaders, it is reckless and sloppy to say that God intended to stop working through apostles after the twelve died, since this would undermine so many very clear Scriptures!

While the term Apostolic has come to mean something specific and limiting, the word Apostle means nothing of the sort. In fact “ἀπόστολος” (apostolos) literally means “sent out one” (as a messenger). But because Jesus was the one who “sent them out,” and because it was God Himself in the flesh that directly approved and delegated authority to them as Apostles over the Church, the term generated some serious potency; (Compare “New Testament Authenticated... Apostles”). But if we then presume from this that God no longer wants there to be apostles, we might sort of get away with this in English, but this would be as ridiculous in Greek as simply saying that God no longer wants people to be “sent out” since this is exactly what the word means!

The danger has traditionally been that people will confuse the special unparalleled authentication that Jesus gave to the 12 Apostles, and Paul (as shown in “New Testament Authenticated... Apostles”), with the very office of apostleship itself. In other words, they will not catch the significant difference between “just being an apostle,” and being one of “The Apostles.” They will tend to rashly deny the possibility of anyone obtaining this office, forgetting that the Bible insists that having apostles is how the operation and definition of the Church is supposed to exist!

 

Clarifying Variations of “Apostleship”

Now please understand that I am not for the Catholic idea of “Apostolic Succession” at all, and neither was even one of those who immediately succeeded the Apostles over the Church. But it is made plane and obvious from Scripture that “apostles” are different from “Apostles” (capital “A”). As referenced earlier, in 2Cor 11:5 and 12:11 Paul used a term “τῶν ὑπερλίαν ἀποστόλων” (tōn huperlian apostolōn) which is translated as “the very chiefest apostles” (KJV) or “those 'super-apostles.'” (ALT). The very fact that Paul would used a term “Super-Apostle” shows that there were apostles that were not “super,” but were indeed just real apostles. This was apparently a term that Paul's readers were familiarized with at some point, which was possibly coined for just such a distinction. And if you need the specific references to these “lesser” apostles (those other than the twelve and Paul) here they are:

 

There Were More than 12 Apostles in the Bible

Other dates; 12/5/16; 1/8/17

 

Old Testament Apostles -- Before the 12

>> Abigale

>> ES Search

·        Exo 3:10, Exo 3:12-15 – Moses (LXX: ἀποστείλω σε – lit. I will apostle you)

·        Many others which are not usually translated in English

 

New Testament Apostles -- Beyond the 12

·        John the Baptist was made an Apostle [ἀποστέλλω] by the prophecies of Malachi and Jesus: Mal_3:1; Mat_11:10

·        Jesus “apostle-d” [ἀπέστειλεν] (fig. sent out) 70 (some say 72A)* other disciples (Luk_10:1, etc.), (and this is the same terminology Luke uses for the 12: ἀπέστειλεν -- Luk_9:1-2)
[Technical Source Text Variation: 70 vs. 72: Most Greek copies say 70 (even incl. Codex Sinaiticus), but some Alexandrian versions say 72 (reportedly incl. Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis). (As usual, Irenaeus agrees with 70 -- & he died c. 202 AD). As Wilbur Pickering (ThM PhD) says, “Perhaps 1% of the Greek manuscripts, of objectively inferior quality, add “two” {i.e. 72} (as in NIV, LB, TEV, etc.), (also in verse 17).”]
See:
The Primitive New Testament = Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis

·        Barnabas is called an apostle: Act (4:36); 14:14; Gal 2:9; 1Co_9:5-6;

·        In 2Co_8:23 various other “brothers” are called “αποστολοι” (apostles) of certain churches;

·        In Phi 2:25, Epaphroditus is called an “αποστολον,” (apostle), but these last two references to apostleship are not usually represented in English translations.

·        In Gal 1:19, James, Jesus’ half-brother, is associated as an apostle.

·        Interestingly, even Jesus Himself is called THE Apostle (αποστολον) in Heb 3:1.

 

 

After all, if there had only been 12 apostles intended by God from the beginning, then the Church in Ephesus, for example, would have never needed to test other men claiming to be apostles (Rev 2:2), since it would have been as simple as determining that the man in question was not one of the twelve, and this would have been common knowledge. But since they did need to test people to find if they were apostles, this means that it was quite a bit more complicated than saying, “well, you’re not one of the twelve, so we know you’re not an apostle.” The fact that there was a need to test people claiming to be apostles means that the possibility existed of them being a legitimate apostle in addition to the twelve (though subordinate to them). If there were only 12, then this statement about “testing” apostles would seem completely uncalled for.

 

>> Lat: Missiones

>> saying no more apostles is saying no more missionaries

 

Exo 3:10 WEB  Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."

Exo 3:10 CAB  And now come, I will send you to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and you shall bring out My people the children of Israel from the land of Egypt.

Exo 3:10  καὶ νῦν δεῦρο ἀποστείλω σε πρὸς Φαραω βασιλέα Αἰγύπτου, καὶ ἐξάξεις τὸν λαόν μου τοὺς υἱοὺς Ισραηλ ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου. --

 

Exo 3:12 WEB  He said, "Certainly I will be with you. This will be the token to you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain."

Exo 3:12 CAB  And God spoke to Moses, saying, I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that I shall send you forth: when you bring out My people out of Egypt, then you shall serve God in this mountain.

Exo 3:12  εἶπεν δὲ ὁ θεὸς Μωυσεῖ λέγων ὅτι Ἔσομαι μετὰ σοῦ, καὶ τοῦτό σοι τὸ σημεῖον ὅτι ἐγώ σε ἐξαποστέλλω· ἐν τῷ ἐξαγαγεῖν σε τὸν λαόν μου ἐξ Αἰγύπτου καὶ λατρεύσετε τῷ θεῷ ἐν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ.

Exo 3:13 Moses said to God, "Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you;' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' What should I tell them?"

Exo 3:13 And Moses said to God, Behold, I shall go forth to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of our fathers has sent me to you; and they will ask me, What is His name? What shall I say to them?

Exo 3:13  καὶ εἶπεν Μωυσῆς πρὸς τὸν θεόν Ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἐλεύσομαι πρὸς τοὺς υἱοὺς Ισραηλ καὶ ἐρῶ πρὸς αὐτούς Ὁ θεὸς τῶν πατέρων ὑμῶν ἀπέσταλκέν με πρὸς ὑμᾶς, ἐρωτήσουσίν με Τί ὄνομα αὐτῷ; τί ἐρῶ πρὸς αὐτούς;

Exo 3:14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM," and he said, "You shall tell the children of Israel this: 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

Exo 3:14 And God spoke to Moses, saying, I am THE BEING. And He said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, THE BEING has sent me to you.

Exo 3:14  καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεὸς πρὸς Μωυσῆν Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν· καὶ εἶπεν Οὕτως ἐρεῖς τοῖς υἱοῖς Ισραηλ Ὁ ὢν ἀπέσταλκέν με πρὸς ὑμᾶς.

 

Exo_5:22 WEB  Moses returned to Yahweh, and said, "Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Why is it that you have sent me?

Exo_5:22 CAB  And Moses turned to the Lord and said, I pray, O Lord, why have You afflicted this people? And why have You sent me?

Exo_5:22  ἐπέστρεψεν δὲ Μωυσῆς πρὸς κύριον καὶ εἶπεν Κύριε, διὰ τί ἐκάκωσας τὸν λαὸν τοῦτον; καὶ ἵνα τί ἀπέσταλκάς με;

Exo_5:23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people; neither have you delivered your people at all."

Exo_5:23 For from the time that I went to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has afflicted this people, and You have not delivered Your people.

Exo_5:23  καὶ ἀφ᾿ οὗ πεπόρευμαι πρὸς Φαραω λαλῆσαι ἐπὶ τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι, ἐκάκωσεν τὸν λαὸν τοῦτον, καὶ οὐκ ἐρρύσω τὸν λαόν σου.

 

Proofs of Apostleship

In all of this searching for Biblical Christianity, the fear concerning apostles is the same legitimate concern over all of the other wicked perversions and counterfeits dominating the majority of churches today claiming to have spiritual gifts.  Just as I rarely see legitimate tongues or any other gifts at work in my much involvement with such churches, I have similarly never seen a real apostle as the Bible calls for (as far as I know).

    After all, there are actual requirements and or descriptions that we are given as a means of testing apostles, (as seen below) that are beyond the random ecstatic claim to have been “called an apostle by the holy ghost”, as is so common in flaky polluted soul-based (emotional) churches today, according to the whims and wicked ambitions of men with puffed up imaginations, without a real call from God which would answer to the Biblical calling:

 

2Co 11:13-15 WEB  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as Christ's apostles.  14  And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light.  15  It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also masquerade as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

 

But knowing that the Biblical gifting is possible despite the discouragement we can experience from a majority of counterfeits, let us choose to look with faith toward what God has said, rather than shrieking back from truth and clinging to our contemptible experiences which are so often contrary to the Scriptures, and fully set our heart on seeing God’s kingdom come in truth on the earth, the way the Bible describes it, including the aid of apostles, along with all of the gifts. We will know that they are here in truth to serve the Church when they meet the Biblical description:

 

2Co 12:12 WEB  Truly the signs of an apostle were worked among you in all patience, in signs and wonders and mighty worksG1411.


[“mighty works,” that is, “δύναμις” (dúnamis - G1411), or “miracles” as specifically described in Mar 5:29-30; Mar 6:5; Mar 9:38-39; Luk 4:36; 5:17; 6:19; 8:44-46; 9:1]

 

1Co 4:9-13 WEB  For, I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last of all, like men sentenced to death. For we are made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and men.  10  We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You have honor, but we have dishonor.  11  Even to this present hour we hunger, thirst, are naked, are beaten, and have no certain dwelling place.  12  We toil, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless. Being persecuted, we endure.  13  Being defamed, we entreat. We are made as the filth of the world, the dirt wiped off by all, even until now.

 

This contrasts sharply with so many of today’s self-proclaimed apostles who can be recognized by their gold rings, expensive cars and big mansions. But we see here that Biblical apostles were consistently found poor, just like their chief Apostle Jesus (Isa_53:2; Mat_8:20, Mat_17:27, Mat_20:28; Mar_6:3; Luk_2:7, Luk_8:3, Luk_9:58; Phi_2:6-8; 2Co_8:9; Heb_3:1).

 

2Co_6:3-10 EMTV  We give no occasion for offense in anything, lest the ministry be blamed,  4  but in everything commending ourselves as ministers of God: in much endurance, in tribulations, in hardships, in distresses,  5  in stripes, in imprisonments, in disturbances, in labors, in sleepless nights, in fastings;  6  in purity, in knowledge, in longsuffering, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in sincere [ἀνυποκρίτῳ – un-hypocritical] love,  7  through the word of truth, through the power of God, through the weapons of righteousness on the right hand and on the left hand,  8  by honor and dishonor, by ill repute and good repute; as deceivers, and yet true;  9  as being unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as being disciplined, and not being put to death;  10  as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

 

Rom 15:18-19 EMTV  For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ did not work out through me, in word and deed, for the obedience of the Gentiles--  19  in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

 

But in all of this hardship, with the glory of the miraculous at work, when people are obedient to the faith in truth, he says to those who have believed:

 

1Co 9:2 WEB  If to others I am not an apostle, yet at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

 

Defining and Addressing Cessationalism

Cessationalism is basically the belief that some or all of the Spiritual Gifts (chárisma -“χάρισμα”) died off with the Apostles. This is a doctrine developed and totally dependent on the assumption that, “since we don't see any spiritual gifts in operation that we consider real, they must have stopped being given.” I say this because there is not one thread of Scriptural support that one can reasonably use to support this wicked error. So in defiance and rebellion to the abundant Scriptures shown above, a significant portion of old-school church theologians for the love of dead religion, have split themselves off in heresy from the normative (normal) Biblical teaching to deny the gift* or gifts of the Holy Spirit, just as it says:

 

2Ti 3:5 EMTV  having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from these people turn away!

 

[* By saying, “the gift” I am referring to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, as in Joh_4:10, Joh_13-14; Joh_7:37-39; Act_2:21-21; Act_2:38-39; Act_8:14-20; Act_10:45]

 

It then goes to figure that since Cessationalism is a doctrine totally based outside of (and in rebellion against) the dictates of the Bible, it could only be proven by experience, but the most authoritative experience would be that of the early Church. Cessationalists then claim that the Early Church experienced a cessation from the gifts, but they have based this on unauthoritative quotes from men without integrity. I invite the reader to examine the following quote from one of the most important figures in Church history, Irenaeus, and to see if they (after the 12 Apostles had all died) thought that the gifts were diminishing or had stopped altogether:

 

...Wherefore, also, those who are in truth His disciples, receiving grace from Him, do in His name perform [miracles], so as to promote the welfare of other men, according to the gift which each one has received from Him. For some do certainly and truly drive out devils, so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe [in Christ], and join themselves to the Church. Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions, and utter prophetic expressions. Others still, heal the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole. Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead even have been raised up, and remained among us for many years. And what shall I more say? It is not possible to name the number of the gifts which the Church, [scattered] throughout the whole world, has received from God, in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and which she exerts day by day for the benefit of the Gentiles, neither practising deception upon any, nor taking any reward (Comp. Act_8:9, Act_8:18) from them on account of such miraculous interpositions]. For as she has received freely (Mat_10:8) from God, freely also does she minister [to others].

 

(Irenaeus 180 AD; Chap. XXXII, Paragraph 4)

 

Notice that by the time that this was written: 1. The Apostles had all died, 2. The New Testament had already been completed and was basically in common circulation among the Church (though not bound as one book).

There are many other quotes testifying to this same thing, but I was sure to include Irenaeus since he is the most authoritative person from Church history of his time, being the third disciple from the Apostle John himself, (since John discipled Polycarp, and then Polycarp discipled Irenaeus).

There are those in history who are quoted in support of Cessationalism, but I've yet to find ONE reliable, godly writer for them to quote rather than the heretical, worldly, and later church leaders.

It is not as though “The Early Church” experienced a Cessation from the gifts, but rather that the later corrupted political “church” experienced a Cessation from Jesus.  It is only natural that some later unauthoritative church leaders seemed to think that some gifts had diminished slightly, since they had been walking away from the One who gives them.

 

Let us then see to it that we neither die as they have died, without spiritual gifts advancing the kingdom of God, nor that we sin with adulterous affinities by embracing the wicked counterfeits being promoted today in various churches.

We have got to take hold of real true Biblical spiritual gifts, from apostleship to prophecy, all the way down to tongues if we are ever going to see Jesus’ kingdom come in any way in our life time to our generations:

 

Luk 11:20 KJVR  But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

 

Mat 10:7-8 EMTV  And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'  8  "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

 

Mar 16:15-18 EMTV  And He said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to all creation.  16  He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that does not believe shall be condemned.  17  And these signs shall accompany those who have believed: In My name they shall cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;  18  they shall pick up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it shall by no means hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall be well."

 

Also See: (Personal) Spiritual Gifts; [Back to Contents]

 

Women in the church

What role do you feel women should take in the church?

 

Please see:

www.trueconnection.org/BibleStudies/Women_in_Assembly.html

 

Also See: Disclaimer; [Back to Contents]

 

3 Reforms

Name three things you would change about the church today.

 

(1) Salvation

 

Church statistics show us some disturbing and alarming realities:

·         “On average, [Protestant] pastors contend that 70% of the adults in their church consider their personal faith in God to transcend all other priorities… ” but when asked, church people confess a different story.

·         “[Out of]...those who attend Protestant churches... not quite one out of every four (23%) named their faith in God as their top priority in life.”

·         The review of these statistics goes on to say, “...The fact that the lifestyle of most churched adults is essentially indistinguishable from that of unchurched people is not a concern for most churches; whether or not people have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior is the sole or primary indicator of "life transformation," regardless of whether their life after such a decision produces spiritual fruit.”

 

(Quotes from, http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=215)

 

These things contrast sharply with the demands that Jesus has for those who would follow Him:

 

Mat 10:37-39 MKJV He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life shall lose it. And he who loses his life for My sake shall find it.

Lk. 14:33 So in the same way, whoever of you who does not forsake everything he has, cannot be My disciple.

Lk. 6:43 For a good tree does not produce bad fruit, nor does a bad tree produce good fruit.

Mat. 3:10 And now also the ax is laid at the root of the trees, so that every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Lk. 6:46 Why do you call me, 'LORD, LORD,' and don't do the things which I say?

Jn. 14:15 If you LOVE Me, keep my commands... 23 ...If anyone LOVES Me, he will obey my words... 24 He who does not LOVE me will not obey my words.

Rev 21:8 ...and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Rev 3:16 KJVCNT So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.

 

The number one thing I would change in the American church is to see it saved!

 

(2) Prayer

 

“The lowest priorities among the dozen ministries described by pastors... [included] prayer (3%).”

“...relatively few of the... pastors listed prayer as a major emphasis (4%)...”

(http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=182)

 

“Adults are typically satisfied with... the prayer in their services... half are 'completely satisfied' with the prayer. Most of the remaining adults said they were 'mostly satisfied'...”

(http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=126)

 

“...For many Americans, prayer is like snacking - we don't really think about it, but we do it out of habit and without much passion...”

(http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=93)

 

“...a survey taken some years ago showed that Christians in the United States spend, on the average, only about 3 minutes a day in prayer, and the average pastor prays for only about seven minutes.”

(http://www.be-ready.org/whypray.html)

(Also see http://unclewormwood.wordpress.com/2007/02/18/the-power-of-prayer/)

 

“...The average Protestant minister prays for 39 minutes a day, although 21% typically spend 15 minutes or less per day in prayer...”

(http://www.ellisonresearch.com/ERPS%20II/release_16_prayer.htm)

 

This type of dedication to God is horrendous! May the Lord wake up the church! This is a far cry from what God calls us to in the Bible, where the bare minimum prayer time was an hour (see Mat 26:40-41).

 

(3) Love the UNPOPULAR Truth of Jesus

 

Too often, everyone and their neighbor who goes to church claim that they believe the entire Bible, but when it comes down to it, they all say different things doctrinally. This isn’t just because we are all humans, and we all have our own opinions and interpretations. And this does not mean that we are all hopelessly trapped by our limited perceptions and paradigms. All of these things are the qualities that mere men have, and the Bible commands us not to be mere men (1Cor 3:3; 2:6-16)!

Many are crying these days for unity in the church, but they forget that the unity that the Bible speaks of, is the unity of the Spirit, not the unity of compromise (Eph 4:3; and compare Pro 11:21). “The Spirit” is truth, (1Jon 4:6; 5:6; John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13 and compare John 4:23-24; Eph 5:9; 1Pet 1:22) and if we will ever get unified in Jesus, it will be by finally loving the Truth uncompromisingly at any and every cost.

 

Also See: Disclaimer; [Back to Contents]

 

Sacraments/Ordnances

Concerning the Sacraments of the Church in general, it should be clear to all that they are not optional, but rather, they are commands.

 

Communion/The Lord’s Supper/Eucharist

 

It is necessary for following Jesus: Jn 6:53-66 (also see verses 26-69); Mat 26:26-29.

It defined the early Church (Act 2:42). Ideally, it would be done every day from house to house:

 

“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat [food] with gladness and singleness of heart, (Act 2:46 KJV).”

 

In addition to this, it should be done among “the Great Assembly” when all her members meet together in one place (Act 20:7; 1Cor 11:18-31).

There’s no question that communion should be open to all true believers irrespective of denomination, but it makes no Biblical since to turn it into a meaningless religious ceremony by encouraging lost attendees to participate as well. Communion is a serious thing that should be practiced frequently with fear and trembling (See Mat 5:23-24; 1Cor 11:17-34)

 

Including Foot Washing?

I have not had the privilege of practicing foot washing on any regular basis for most of my life, but it is in the Bible and there is no reason at all to abandon it, especially since right after communion Jesus attached such a great promise to it:

 

Joh 13:14-17 EMTV  Therefore if I, your Lord and your Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet… 17  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

 

[Back to Contents]

 

Baptism

Other dates (as seen at top of FAQs); 9/17/15

>> move to Discipleship?

Examples where Baptism does not include total immersion: 1Co_10:2; Also: Luk_11:38; -- but this refers to totally
“immersing” the hands:
Mar_7:3-4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism

 

Where do you stand on the various practices of Baptism? Include the questions of sprinkling, immersion, or both.

 

Beyond all of the problems church people always seem to come up with in managing their own religious baptisms is the fact that Paul very clearly teaches that baptism is not even worth discussing or practicing if Jesus’ death instrument (which is the basis of baptism) is made worthless, empty, and vain by apostate, fleshly preachers and church people!

 

1Co_1:17 WEB  For Christ [Χριστὸς – anointed one] sent me [ἀπέστειλέ – i.e. apostl-ed (lit. made me a stationed away one/ apostle)] not to *baptize [* βαπτίζειν – wash by immersion], but to *preach the Good News [* εὐαγγελίζεσθαι – announce a (fig. the) good message/ good announcement]--not in wisdom of words [σοφίᾳ λόγου], so that the cross of Christ [τοῦ Χριστοῦ – the anointed one] wouldn't be made void [κενωθῇ – empty, vain, useless, (worthless)].

 

If we are reverent and softhearted, we can see from this that we cannot even really begin to establish anything about “baptism” until we actually have the real Good Announcement proclaimed in the first place, and we finally repent and stop sinning!  It is clear from this that most no one in church today even has a right to discuss baptism or even have a stance on what it means since almost no one has even ever heard the real Jesus preached! But if we go on about baptism and still have a worthless Jesus and a perverted “cross” that do not save from sin, then our dirty baptism will also be polluted and demonic.

    Only once we finally preach the real Jesus and take up His real death instrument (cross) can we go on to finely dig in to what the Scriptures proclaim to us about baptism (and this is also the pattern of proclamation which Jesus ordained in Matthew 28, and Peter followed in Acts 2).  Although it is very unlikely for most readers, the rest of this sub-point is based on the supposition that you have embraced this good and true proclamation and are ready to respond to what God has commanded about baptism.

 

Mode

Factually speaking, Baptism (“βαπτίζω” from Greek) means immersing someone in water, therefore this is what we should be doing. However, I find no Scripture that would directly invalidate pouring (“πρόσχυσις”), or sprinkling (“ῥαντίζω”), and it may be worth considering that this method started early in the church as an alternative when immersion was not an option (see: Didache 1.379; 80-140 AD). Whenever we baptize, we really baptize, meaning we really immerse unto repentance in water to wash them from their sins, just as the Scriptures have clearly commanded. In keeping with very early Church teaching (as far as we know) the only time we might “sprinkle” or “pour” is if there was no option to bring a person down into water (i.e. If we cannot lower a person into water, then we might just “raise the water above the person”).

>> Jesus: I have a baptism to be baptized with

>> we are buried w Him in Baptism

>> sprinkling & puring do not “burry” someone as Jesus’ baptism buried Him in the ground

>> Paul says we are “buried w Him”, and sprinkling does not have that picture of “immersion” under the ground / water with it

 

I would not break fellowship over it, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel... (1Co_1:17 KJV),”

 

Details

The word in the Bible for baptism is “βαπτίζω” (baptizō) which is derived from a word meaning “to dip or dye,” as opposed to sprinkling, (“ῥαντίζω” - rhantízō) and pouring, (“πρόσχυσις” - próschusis). Baptizo itself also includes the ideas of something being “…fully wet… [as well as to] wash,” (Strong’s), and examples of this meaning are found in Mar_7:4 and Luk_11:38, where baptizo is typically translated as “wash/ washed” in reference to washing before a meal.

    So the word itself means to “dip” or “dye” and become “fully wet” in water, and this is a nonnegotiable fact of Greek. And this is confirmed many times over and over, especially in passages such as this:

 

2Ki_5:10 KJV And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

 

2Ki_5:14 KJV Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.