Tag Archives: knowledge

The Kind of Christian I Am! – USTA WASERS ABOUND


BY: William Andrew Dillard
USTA WASERS ABOUND

A sobering insight is given to those with hearing ears in 2 Peter 2:20-21, “ For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” Anyway one may stack it up, it is a most serious thing to turn away from the truth presented in the Holy Word after having received and understood it.
Still, the world of ustawasers sees no decline in population. It is appalling to note that most cults report the major number of proselytes they make come from a Baptist background. Once I had some legal work completed by a rotund, jolly fellow who upon learning of my religious standing roared, “I usta to be a Baptist!” Curiously, I asked what he was now. He replied, “Now, I am a ———. I “usta” to worry about living correctly, but now I don’t have to do that anymore. I let my priest take care of that.” Believe it or not, he was serious!
Having conducted more revival meetings than most ministers in a time when such was popular, I have personally witnessed to numerous wayward, backslidden and truth rejecting people who gave an intelligent testimony of their personal salvation, but whose common chorus was “I usta.” Sadly, they “usta” to be a Baptist, or they “usta” be a faithful church member; they “usta” read the Bible, engage in private prayer, etc. What a choir they would make, all singing “I usta!”
What happens to folks who become ustawasers? Perhaps they never did achieve a good comprehension of the faith once delivered to the saints. Regardless, once exposed to the ultimate truth of the Bible, they succumb to the temptation to follow the ways of men out of desire, or out of escape mode from ridicule. The amazing thing about most of them is that they tout their former state with seeming pride. “O, yes, I usta be…..” They have forgotten, perhaps wilfully, that we must ALL stand before the Creator God of the universe and give account of ALL the deeds done in the body whether they be good or bad. To me that is most sober! There will be no acceptable explanation for having turned from the Holy Commandment delivered from God Himself to us for our belief, understanding, and code of conduct. The only ustawaser I want to be noted for is that I “usta” be a subject for a devil’s hell, but Jesus saved me by grace through faith, and praise His name, I am not that anymore! This is the kind of Christian I am, and I hope it is true for you as well!

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J.R. GRAVES Life, times and Teachings 11


METHODISM IN TENNESSEE

Nashville was then and, indeed, is still the center and stronghold of Methodism in the South. They had there their great book concern in which every Methodist preacher was said to have a pecuniary as well as a denominational interest. Their one paper published in the Southwest was there. They had other important and thriving business establishments. They outnumbered the Baptists in Nashville at that time five to one and they really claimed this territory as peculiarly belonging to them, resenting the activities of the Baptists as invading a territory which should have been left alone. Above all, they had as the editor of their paper, The Christian Advocate, a man of varied attainments, one of surpassing ability and fierce prejudices. He was regarded as unscrupulous as he was talented; and he was a cordial hater of all the peculiarities that distinguish Baptists. That this practical polemic should at once turn his guns on the young editor was to be expected, and the manner in which he would do so might have been foreseen by his attacks on the dignified Dr. Howell:

The inflated bird of Nashville, bigoted, presumptuous enough for anything; lacking only the power to be come a pope; in a state of putridity, i.e., that in morals we understand that Brother Howell is in a state of putridity.”

This reflection was passed upon Dr. Howell just after he had delivered a masterly address at the annual commencement of the Nashville University in which he greatly enhanced his already growing popularity.

Again:

We (McFerrin) understood him (Dr. Howell) to say that he does not consider it a matter of importance always to state the plain truth.”

Once more:

To deny that Baptists have asserted that they believe that there are children in hell is more than madness, if lying is worse.”

We here give only one response from Dr. Howell, to show his estimate of the man and also his manner of making reply:

What we have said is enough to prove beyond question all that we propose, and that is that Mr. McFerrin will and does adopt any expedient, however repugnant to moral principles, if he thinks he can by such means do any injury to the Baptist denomination.”

DR. GRAVES GETTING HIS STRIDE

In the course of his editorial work, Dr. Graves, having become editor of The Baptist, set forth the Baptist view of baptism, insisting upon its meaning in the original Greek. In order to enforce his argument, he quited from namy authors. Among these were John Wesley and Adam Clark.

The editor of The Christian Advocate upbraided him as ignorant and as publishing “lies” in order to mislead his readers concerning “well known and fully accepted teaching.” Then the doughty editor of the Methodist organ challenged the editor of The Baptist to show his authority, and added: “If he failed, he would denounce him as an ignoramus and a liar and prosecute him for libel.”

Many people have been led to believe that Dr. Graves deliberately and wantonly attacked other denominations, thus seeking to draw them into debate, either oral or written. This was far from the truth and the above and the above experience indicates the ordinary course. But a challenge like that, followed by such a threat, was not the sort of dare that Dr. Graves would decline to accept. He replied, giving from Mr. Wesley’s writings and from Dr. Clark’s Commentaries their own language, making the statements which he had credited to them. He gave the volume and page from the authentic works of these great Methodist leaders and copied the quotations accurately. It was thus that the conflict with Methodism began. Dr. Graves was not the aggressor, but responded to the most vicious attacks. The same is practically true concerning Dr. Graves’ decision with respect to all denominational leaders, Baptists and others, who complained so loudly at him.

DR. McFERRIN’S LIEUTENANTS

Then there was in the state the notorious Parson Brownlow, of whom little need to be said here, a desperado in politics as in religion. This turbulent man was a heart foe of Baptists and their principles. He attacked them constantly in his political organ, The Knoxville Whig. Then throughout Tennessee and Mississippi wnt two traveling lecturers and disputers whode manin work was to attack and misrepresent Baptists. One of them was named Chapman, an Irishman, who was the bitterest and most unscrupulous man who at that time wore the ministerial garb. These were the men whom Graves, the newly elected editor, had to meet in the defense of himself and the principles which he intensely loved, and he had to meet them almost alone, as his was the only Baptist paper being published in the Southwest, for John l. Waller, of Kentucky, had retired from the Baptist Banner and Pioneer and its publication was then suspended. The Christian Advocate had been transferred by Dr. Mercer to the Georgia State Convention and was merely a medium of denominational news. The Biblical Recorder, of North Carolina, had been suspended for want of patronage and was struggling to renew its existence. It will help to understand the situation if it is remembered that there was no Baptist paper being published at that time in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, or Texas. The whole Southwet was dependent upon The Baptist as a denominational exponent.

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BABBLERS AND FOOLS


Ecc 10:11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.
12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.
14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

Fools words injure others and himself.
A fool betrays his own folly by his words.
A fool does not realize that with a few words he is found out to not know what he is talking about. A fool displays wisdom when he listens more than he speaks and thereby learns.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

Our words are to be words of God because our study has been directed to find the truth instead of satisfying our predetermined minds. Without a study plan we cannot find truth. Would you notice that the unlearned are call profane and vain babblers which increase to more ungodliness. Now Paul mentions two men that were apparently called Christians at one time but Paul in I Timothy 1:20 delivered Hymenawus unto satan.

Isa 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

We find truth when we compare scripture to scripture and principle to principle.

An example: Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This passage is salvation encapsulated in just a few words. Notice it is from God. It is given because of His great love for mankind. It is given through His Son. It is available to any that believe. The person that believes will not perish but is secure in God’s salvation.

Now we can build upon this. We will not take anything away or add to it. We will simply put meat on the bones.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Every person ever born is in need of a Savior because we all have sinned. This is implied in John 3:16, yet it is not expressly stated.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All of us are worthy of death because we all have sinned and have reaped the wages of sin.

Joh 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

A statement that was not understood by Nicodemus but was clarified by Jesus in verse six comparing the natural birth and delivery when our mothers water breaks to the flesh and the second birth as a spiritual birth. Therefore the gift that John 3:16 refers to is the new birth.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Here is the means. By Grace. Whose Grace? God’s Grace. Through faith. Faith in who or what? Faith that Jesus Christ was crucified for us and shed His blood for us that we might be cleansed of our sin. That faith must extend to His resurrection. If He were still in the grave, He would have died in vain. Notice that what is very plainly stated here is, there are not any works that will get us in heaven. Isaiah said “all our righteousnessess are as filthy rags.” We simply in our flesh cannot please God. This leaves out baptism, church membership and the Lord’s supper. Notice – believe, Grace, faith. These bring salvation.

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Repentance and confessing our sin to the Lord Jesus. With heart we believe and with the mouth confession is made.

John 3:16 has it all there but study of scripture; line upon line and precept upon precept makes it clear enough for a Nicodemus to understand and for children to trust upon the Lord unto salvation.

If you have never been born again but this has been clear enough for you to understand, leave a comment. You don’t have to reveal who you are unless you want to.

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Qualities to obtain Office


“As our president bears no resemblance to a king so we shall see the Senate has no similitude to nobles. First, not being hereditary, their collective knowledge, wisdom, and virtue are not precarious. For by these qualities alone are they to obtain their offices, and they will have none of the peculiar qualities and vices of those men who possess power merely because their father held it before them.” –Tench Coxe, An American Citizen, No. 2, 1787

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340 – Dec. 06 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


He made it clear that all associations are entirely “voluntary”.
December 06, 1821 – The First State convention was formed in South Carolina, “for the promotion of evangelical and useful knowledge, by means of religious education and the support of missionary service among the destitute…and the promotion of the true interest of the churches of Christ in general, and of their union, love and harmony in particular.” And yet again, “The Convention shall recognize the independence and liberty of the Churches of Christ, and consequently shall not in any case arbitrarily interfere with their spiritual obligations.” Denominational colleges were begun rapidly in the states that followed the pattern of establishing state conventions. The first cohesive effort among Baptists began in 1707. It was for the purpose of educating its ministers and the spread of the gospel in the world. The growth of associations was very slow among the Baptist churches for fear of the assumption of power by the associations. It was 60 years after the Philadelphia Association that the Warren Association, of Rhode Island was formed. It was only after assurances from men like Edward T. Hiscox in his Baptist Directory (1866) did the growth of the associations proliferate. He made it clear that all associations are entirely “voluntary”. No church or individual was obligated to unite with them and they “can leave them when they wish.” The research by Robert G. Gardner reveals that in 1780 there were approximately 1066 Baptist churches in America and only 14 Associations, representing 286 churches which were less than 25%. However that was to change drastically when Luther Rice returned from the field from India. The birth of the Triennial Convention for the cause of missions, the development of associations and state conventions became a reality.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 508-10.

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Bible Analysis Two Rules


TWO PRIMARY RULES FOR RIGHTLY UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE.

This is the most important chapter of this book. To learn the two primary rules here presented is absolutely necessary in order for one to be able to understand the Bible, and be able to teach it without shame.

The late Ben M. Bogard said:

“Perhaps the most misleading idea people have is to think that when they open the Bible, no matter what passage they may read, that the passage applies to them, for they think all the Bible applies to them, but it is not true . . . The student may be startled to learn that much of what we know as the Bible does not apply to us in this age” (The Golden Key, p. 5).

The writer’s personal experiences verify the truths stated in the above quitation. When either a saved or unsaved person reads the Bible with the idea in mind that God does all the talking, everything in the Bible is to be practiced by the reader, the Bible seems to be a confused, nonsensical, out-dated book.

I.TWO PRIMARY RULES

There are two primary rules by which one may learn to arrive at the particular meaning of any passage in the Bible. These rules are both scriptural and scientific. The two rules are

1.the five point question rule, and
2.the proper application rule.

1.The Five Point Question Rule
This rule must be applied by anyone reading the Bible in order to interpret any passage intelligently. One does not have to study this book or this system of study in order to do this. But a study of this rule, as illustrated, will help one to be able to learn the particular teachings of the Bible much more rapidly. One may apply some ponts of the following rule, without knowing such a rule exists. But one who knows the five point rule is enabled to learn the actual meaning of a passage much more quickly than one who does not know such a scientific, scriptural system or rule for analysis of written or spoken matter exists. In reading the Bible one should find out the following five things about every passage:

1.Who is speaking or writing?
2.To whom or about whom is he speaking or writing?
3.“About what subject is he speaking or writing?
4.When or about what time is he speaking or writing?
5.What is the occasion for the speaking or writing?

2.The Proper Application Rule.

This rule is designed to teach one how to apply a given Bible truth, after the truth is determined. This concerns the “how” of applying known Bible truths. Since it has been pointed out that the New Testament and the Psalms are God’s rule and guide for man’s faith in practice today, this proper application rule enables one to know how to determine what doctrinal teachings of the Psalms and new Testament he is to practice today. This proper application rule for understanding the Scriptures has two parts:

1.The general application of a truth or deed to every person.
2.The particular application of a truth or deed to an individual or particular group.

For instance, some Scriptures are written describing the condition of all the unsaved. Other Scroptures describe the condition of particular unsaved individuals or groups. That men who are lost, wicked, shall all be cast into hell is a general application of the Bible’s teaching on the future punishment of the wicked – Psalm 9:17. That some lost people shall suffer more in hell than others is a particular truth, requires a particular application of some passages of Scriptures that tell how and to what extent some shall suffer in hell – Matt. 10:15; 11:24; 23:14-15; Luke 10:12′

II.FIVE POINT RULE ILLUSTRATED

A. One should always, upon reading any passage in the Bible, first ask himself, “Who is doing this speaking or writing?” There are at least seven classes of speakers in the Bible.

1. Sometimes God is speaking.
a. God spike to Adam and Eve, Gen. 3:9.
b. God spike to Noah, Gen. 9:8
c. God spoke to Abraham, Gen. 12:7; 22:1,3.
d. God spoke to Moses, Exodus 3:4, 14.
e. God spoke to all present, Matt. 3:17, 17:5.
f. God spoke to Saul, Acts 9:5

2.Sometimes angels are speaking.
a. An angel spoke to Hagar, Gen. 16:7-11.
b. An angel spoke to Abraham, Gen. 22:11.
c. An angel of the lord spoke to Balaam, num. 22:31.
d. An angel of the Lord spoke to Manoah, Judges 13:13-14.
e. An angel spoke to Elijah, I Kings 19:5; II Kings 1:3.
f. An angel of the Lord spike to Haggai, hag. 1:9, 12.
g. An angel spoke to Joseph, Matt. 1:20; to Zacharias, Luke 1:11-20; to Mary, Luke 1:26-37; to the Marys, Matt. 28:2-8; to the shepherds, Luke 2:9-14; to the apostles, Acts 5:9-10; to Paul, Acts 27;23-34

3.Sometimes the Devil is speaking.

It is true that both God and good angels are sometimes speaking as one reads portions of the Bible. But it is also true that sometimes the Devil is speaking. Whatever truth the Devil might relate, that is put in the Bible, was spoken by the Devil as a means of ensnaring men. The Defvil never told the truth or any truth for any good or holy purpose. The first conversation in which Satan ever engaged with man was hel to deceive man. And before he finished he lied to Eve, saying, “Thou shalt not surely die.” One should not use the Devil’s language and apply it to the Lord. In the following passages of the Bible the Devil spoke in person:

a. To Eve, Gen. 3:1-4.
b. To God, Job 1:7, 9-11; Job 2:2, 4-5.
c. To Jesus, Luke 4:3, 6, 7, 9, 10.
d. Devils (demon spirits) spoke, Luke 4:41.

4.Sometimes prophets are speaking.
From Aaron and Moses (Ex. 3:10; 7:1; Deut. 18:14) to Malachi (Mal. 1:1), every prophet of God sought to reveal God’s will. They were true prophets.

But there were also false prophets, whose words are recorded in the Old Testament. Should their words be taken for practice? (See Jer. 14:13, 14; 23:21-32; 27:8-15; Luke 6:26; Matt. 24:24-26; Acts 13:6-10.)

5.Sometimes wicked men are speaking.

Should one accept what a wicked man says at face value, as a matter to be practiced? And when the Bible quotes what wicked men have said, one should not take the words of some wicked man for his personal practice. Wicked men, or unsaved men, spoke in the following recorded passages:

a. The fool, psalm 14:1; Luke 12:16-20.
b. The harlot, prov. 7:13-20; John 4:19, 20.
c. Pilate, Matt. 27:24.
d. Man born blind, unsaved, John 9:31, 35, 36. Some use the words of this unsaved man to try to prove that God will not hear a sinner pray. Such is an abuse of intelligent interpretation of the Bible.
e. Examples in Acts 3:5-7; 6:11; 18:12-16; 24:1-9.

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SOMETHING I HAVE NOTICED


SOMETHING I HAVE NOTICED

Once upon a time – maybe that is not the proper way to begin this article, but it is the way I choose. What appears to me to be popular is to read books written by men and thereby gain our Biblical knowledge. The problem that I see is, this is not Biblical knowledge but what some one else states is Biblical.

Our fore-fathers displayed such a profound depth of knowledge in their day that it should shame us today in the shallowness of our “Jesus living.” These men, many with an education that left a lot to be desired learned how to study the Word of God. The availability of the men written books were limited and they had to pursue the Word of God and became knowledgable in the truths of the Word by direct study of God’s Word. Now our command is – “Study to whew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Tim. 2:15.

I see a great problem that is occurring at this time. People have forgotten the rudiments of studying. A simple reminder might be appropriate.

Isaiah 28:9 lays out the method of study clearly when it says – “Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 – For precept must be upon precept, precept uon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 – For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 – “To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 – But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. 14 – Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

Every time I read weaned, I remember what my father called those saved that were shallow – “BOTTLE BABIES. There are to many that are exactly what Romans 10:2 describes – “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” This is about the same as a car going down the street at top speed with no driver at the wheel and it careens at every bump it hits. That is a dangerous situation.

Will we learn to study the Word of God and not man’s opinion of the Word. May we use wise principles of precept on precept and line on line.

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ECCLESIOLOGY (Study of the Church) Lesson 2


LESSON 2
THE MEANING OF ECCLESIA

I.DEFINITION OF TERMS.
A.As previously stated, most scholars agree that the English word “church” comes from a Greek word (kuriakos) which means “the Lord’s” and joined with day (hemera) or supper (deipnon) describe exactly what is refered to as being the Lord’s.
B.When the Greek kuriakos (church) is used to replace ecclesia (assembly), it is used to define what assembly. It is not simply any assembly, It is the LORD’S.
C.I. K. Cross says, “In Acts 19:39-41 the term is used twice. Once to refer to the ‘lawful assembly’ which was called out of the citizens of Ephesus to handle legal matters in the city. The other to refer to the assembly that had been called together to run Paul and his companions out of town. In either case the assembly, or ecclesia (for this is the word used here), was a called out group, called together for a specific purpose, and local in nature. This was the common usage of the term and always the proper definition of an ecclesia. THIS IS WHAT OUR LORD SAID HE WOULD BE BUILDING.”
D.Cross continues, “If Jesus Christ had intended to build another kind of company there were other words in the language He could have used. He could have used the word ‘Synagoga,” a term without such limitations and yet designating an assembly. It would certainly have been more fitting for a ‘universal company.’ He could have also used the word ‘panagris’ if he had a solemn assembly in mind of a massive and festal nature. But these were rejected in favor of the most limiting term in the Greek language with reference to an assembly; a term that can only be properly interpreted as an assembly local in nature” (Ibid).
E.Cross in another place says, “The word ‘ecclesia’ is more than a mere assembly. The word is really a compounding of two words. ‘Kaleo,’ to call; and ‘ek,’ meaning out, or literally ‘to call out.’ Thus, an ‘ekklesia’ is a Called out assembly, implying some conditions. The Lord did not call all Christians in the area that cared to assemble into His ‘ekklesia,’ but he was very selective about it in Matthew 4:17-22; Matthew 9:9; John 1:43,44 and on until he had 120 in that assembly by the time he went back to the Father. I Cor. 12:28 says that ‘God hath set some in the church (ekklesia)…,’ not all. The same passage states that He set the apostles in the ‘ekklesia,’ and on the occasion when the apostles were chosen there was quite a congregation of disciples present of whom he chose the apostles – and Paul says the apostles, not the crowd, were set in the ‘ekklesia’” (Landmarkism on Trial, Cross, p. 7).
F.Overby concurs, “To change the meaning of a word you must have good evidence that the speaker or writer of that word intended it that way. A basic principle that all scholars recognize is that a word must retain its usual meaning as long as the word used makes good sense that way. Only when it will not make good sense are we allowed to give it a new or rare meaning. If we apply this principle in this passage (Matthew 16:18), we will see that ‘assembly’ makes good sense so we cannot agree with those who would try to change the meaning here” (Brief History of the Baptists, Overbey, pp. 26,27).
G.Roy Mason asserts, …I submit the proposition that the church that Jesus founded was the local assembly, and that to use the word ecclesia to designate a ‘universal,’ or ‘invisible’ church is to pervert its meaning, and to fall into serious error” (The Church That Jesus Built, Mason, p. 26).
H.Mason also says, “The word ecclesia rendered ‘church’ in English translations, was not a new word coined by Jesus, but a word already in current use at that time and moreover a word the meaning of which had become definitely fixed and established” (Ibid, p. 27).
I.A. C. Dayton said, “The Greek ‘ekklesia’ consisted of certain individuals who, when assembled and organized, constituted an official body for the transaction of such business as might come before them. It was not merely an assembly, but an official assembly, consisting of persons specifically qualified, and who had each his specific rights and duties as a member of the ekklesia. It was not every resident in the city who was, strictly speaking, a citizen; nor was it every citizen who was a member of the ekklesia to which was intrusted the management of public business; but the ekklesia were called out from the mass… Every assembly was not an ekklesia, nor was every ekklesia an ekklesia of Christ” (Theodosia Earnest, pp. 72, 73).
J.Again, “The Greek ‘ekklesia’ was an assembly of called and qualified citizens, invested with certain rights, and registered in the city records” (Ibid, p. 129).

II.IMPROPER MEANINGS ATTACHED TO ECCLESIA.
A.The worship service (in contrast to Sunday School).
B.The clerical profession (so used in most modern terminology).
C.Building in which Christian assemblies meet:
1.Dayton says, “…history informs us that the Chrisitans had no such buildings (church-houses) for some two hundred years after this, (the time of the apostles), but continued to meet from house to house, or in the Jewish synagogues, or wherever they might. And the word (ekklesia) is never used in the New Testament, or any other Greek book written before or during the time of the apostles, to signify a house or building” (Ibid, p. 81).
2.This usage, so common even among those who know the truth, has come about by an original misconception of the word ekklesia.
D.All of One denomination:
1.That each denomination is a “branch” off the one big church.
2.Thus, the “Methodist Church,” the “Presbyterian Church,” etcl
E.Historical sense – the whole field of ecclestiastical activity in history since the days of Jesus here on earth – “the church in history.”
F.Modal sense:
1.Terms like “a scriptural church” “church of the N.T.,” etc.
2.These terms are not unscriptural as far as teaching, but the terms themselves are found nowhere in the Bible.
G.Universal, invisible sense:
1.That all the saved are in the mystical body, the church.
2.This theory is dealt with thoroughly in a further lesson.
H.From the modern usage of “church” one can easily see that the vast majority of those who use the word are totally ignorant of the Greek ekklesia.

III.QUOTES FROM RECOGNIZED SCHOLARS.
A.Liddell and Scott (Lexicon) – “An assembly of people called together; an assembly called out.”
B.Dean Trench – “Ekklesia, as all know, was the lawful assembly in a free Greek city of all those possessed of the rights of citizenship, for the transaction of public affairs” (Synonyms of the N.T., p. 17).
C.Edward Robinson – “Ekklesia, a convocation, assembly, congregation. In the literal sense a popular, or rather assembly, composed of persons legally summoned” (Lexicon).

D.A. H. Strong – “Ekklesia signified merely an assembly, however gathered or summoned. The church was never so large that it could not assemble” (Systematic Theology).
E.Vincent – “Originally an assembly of citizens, regularly summoned” (Word Studies in the N.T.)
F.Thayer – “Take the entire range of Greek literature in all its dialects, secular and sacred, and there is not one passage in which ecclesia means an invisible and universal spiritual assembly” (Lexicon).
G.Alexander Campbell – “Ekklesia literally signifies an assembly called out from others and is used among the Greeks, particularly the Athenians, for their popular assemblies, summoned by their chief magistrates and in which none but citizens had a right to sit. By inherent power it may be applied to any body of men called out and assembled in one place. If it ever loses the idea of calling out and assembling, it loses its principal features and its primitive use” (Ekklesia – The Church. Ross, p. 7).LESSON 2
THE MEANING OF ECCLESIA

I.DEFINITION OF TERMS.
A.As previously stated, most scholars agree that the English word “church” comes from a Greek word (kuriakos) which means “the Lord’s” and joined with day (hemera) or supper (deipnon) describe exactly what is refered to as being the Lord’s.
B.When the Greek kuriakos (church) is used to replace ecclesia (assembly), it is used to define what assembly. It is not simply any assembly, It is the LORD’S.
C.I. K. Cross says, “In Acts 19:39-41 the term is used twice. Once to refer to the ‘lawful assembly’ which was called out of the citizens of Ephesus to handle legal matters in the city. The other to refer to the assembly that had been called together to run Paul and his companions out of town. In either case the assembly, or ecclesia (for this is the word used here), was a called out group, called together for a specific purpose, and local in nature. This was the common usage of the term and always the proper definition of an ecclesia. THIS IS WHAT OUR LORD SAID HE WOULD BE BUILDING.”
D.Cross continues, “If Jesus Christ had intended to build another kind of company there were other words in the language He could have used. He could have used the word ‘Synagoga,” a term without such limitations and yet designating an assembly. It would certainly have been more fitting for a ‘universal company.’ He could have also used the word ‘panagris’ if he had a solemn assembly in mind of a massive and festal nature. But these were rejected in favor of the most limiting term in the Greek language with reference to an assembly; a term that can only be properly interpreted as an assembly local in nature” (Ibid).
E.Cross in another place says, “The word ‘ecclesia’ is more than a mere assembly. The word is really a compounding of two words. ‘Kaleo,’ to call; and ‘ek,’ meaning out, or literally ‘to call out.’ Thus, an ‘ekklesia’ is a Called out assembly, implying some conditions. The Lord did not call all Christians in the area that cared to assemble into His ‘ekklesia,’ but he was very selective about it in Matthew 4:17-22; Matthew 9:9; John 1:43,44 and on until he had 120 in that assembly by the time he went back to the Father. I Cor. 12:28 says that ‘God hath set some in the church (ekklesia)…,’ not all. The same passage states that He set the apostles in the ‘ekklesia,’ and on the occasion when the apostles were chosen there was quite a congregation of disciples present of whom he chose the apostles – and Paul says the apostles, not the crowd, were set in the ‘ekklesia’” (Landmarkism on Trial, Cross, p. 7).
F.Overby concurs, “To change the meaning of a word you must have good evidence that the speaker or writer of that word intended it that way. A basic principle that all scholars recognize is that a word must retain its usual meaning as long as the word used makes good sense that way. Only when it will not make good sense are we allowed to give it a new or rare meaning. If we apply this principle in this passage (Matthew 16:18), we will see that ‘assembly’ makes good sense so we cannot agree with those who would try to change the meaning here” (Brief History of the Baptists, Overbey, pp. 26,27).
G.Roy Mason asserts, …I submit the proposition that the church that Jesus founded was the local assembly, and that to use the word ecclesia to designate a ‘universal,’ or ‘invisible’ church is to pervert its meaning, and to fall into serious error” (The Church That Jesus Built, Mason, p. 26).
H.Mason also says, “The word ecclesia rendered ‘church’ in English translations, was not a new word coined by Jesus, but a word already in current use at that time and moreover a word the meaning of which had become definitely fixed and established” (Ibid, p. 27).
I.A. C. Dayton said, “The Greek ‘ekklesia’ consisted of certain individuals who, when assembled and organized, constituted an official body for the transaction of such business as might come before them. It was not merely an assembly, but an official assembly, consisting of persons specifically qualified, and who had each his specific rights and duties as a member of the ekklesia. It was not every resident in the city who was, strictly speaking, a citizen; nor was it every citizen who was a member of the ekklesia to which was intrusted the management of public business; but the ekklesia were called out from the mass… Every assembly was not an ekklesia, nor was every ekklesia an ekklesia of Christ” (Theodosia Earnest, pp. 72, 73).
J.Again, “The Greek ‘ekklesia’ was an assembly of called and qualified citizens, invested with certain rights, and registered in the city records” (Ibid, p. 129).

II.IMPROPER MEANINGS ATTACHED TO ECCLESIA.
A.The worship service (in contrast to Sunday School).
B.The clerical profession (so used in most modern terminology).
C.Building in which Christian assemblies meet:
1.Dayton says, “…history informs us that the Chrisitans had no such buildings (church-houses) for some two hundred years after this, (the time of the apostles), but continued to meet from house to house, or in the Jewish synagogues, or wherever they might. And the word (ekklesia) is never used in the New Testament, or any other Greek book written before or during the time of the apostles, to signify a house or building” (Ibid, p. 81).
2.This usage, so common even among those who know the truth, has come about by an original misconception of the word ekklesia.
D.All of One denomination:
1.That each denomination is a “branch” off the one big church.
2.Thus, the “Methodist Church,” the “Presbyterian Church,” etcl
E.Historical sense – the whole field of ecclestiastical activity in history since the days of Jesus here on earth – “the church in history.”
F.Modal sense:
1.Terms like “a scriptural church” “church of the N.T.,” etc.
2.These terms are not unscriptural as far as teaching, but the terms themselves are found nowhere in the Bible.
G.Universal, invisible sense:
1.That all the saved are in the mystical body, the church.
2.This theory is dealt with thoroughly in a further lesson.
H.From the modern usage of “church” one can easily see that the vast majority of those who use the word are totally ignorant of the Greek ekklesia.

III.QUOTES FROM RECOGNIZED SCHOLARS.
A.Liddell and Scott (Lexicon) – “An assembly of people called together; an assembly called out.”
B.Dean Trench – “Ekklesia, as all know, was the lawful assembly in a free Greek city of all those possessed of the rights of citizenship, for the transaction of public affairs” (Synonyms of the N.T., p. 17).
C.Edward Robinson – “Ekklesia, a convocation, assembly, congregation. In the literal sense a popular, or rather assembly, composed of persons legally summoned” (Lexicon).

D.A. H. Strong – “Ekklesia signified merely an assembly, however gathered or summoned. The church was never so large that it could not assemble” (Systematic Theology).
E.Vincent – “Originally an assembly of citizens, regularly summoned” (Word Studies in the N.T.)
F.Thayer – “Take the entire range of Greek literature in all its dialects, secular and sacred, and there is not one passage in which ecclesia means an invisible and universal spiritual assembly” (Lexicon).
G.Alexander Campbell – “Ekklesia literally signifies an assembly called out from others and is used among the Greeks, particularly the Athenians, for their popular assemblies, summoned by their chief magistrates and in which none but citizens had a right to sit. By inherent power it may be applied to any body of men called out and assembled in one place. If it ever loses the idea of calling out and assembling, it loses its principal features and its primitive use” (Ekklesia – The Church. Ross, p. 7).

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THE DOCTRINES AND THEIR IMPORTANCE


What is so important about doctrine? Doctrine tells us about God. It tells us who God is, what God has done and what God will do. Without knowing God we cannot be intimate with God. When we desire to be intimate, it is a natural presumption that we know that person extremely well. The problem we have today is that there are those that have no clue about who God is nor what God desires.

This lack of understanding means that we cannot be intimate with God.

We should ask ourselves – Who Is God. There are more and more people today that accept pagan god’s that are not gods and say that these gods are all the same and we worship the same god. This statement comes from ignorance. The answer is simple – God is Yahweh, the one (Deut. 6:4), ultimate (Psalm 97:9; Isaiah 40:12-31), eternal Being (Psalm 90:2), who created (Genesis 1:1), rules (Psalm 115:3), and sustains all that exists (Job 38; Acts 17:24-28).

Countless religious substitutes divert worship to themselves. But there is only one Creator and Savior. Because He alone gives life, he deserves our gratitude. Because every heartbeat and circumstance is under His control, He alone deserves the trust that we habitually place in ourselves, our family, or our finances. Because He is eternal, no one will outlive Him. Because He is the Lord of lords, he is the only one in the universe to whom we must finally answer.

How do we know there is a God? The wonders of nature witness to His existence as Creator (Psalm 19:1-4). The inner voice of our conscience testifies to His existence as Lawgiver and Judge (Romans 1:18-32; 2:12-16). And the love of Christ reveals His existence as Savior and Friend (John 1:1-18; 15:15).

Because God has made Himself self-evident, our problem is not so much to prove His existence as to stop ignoring it (John 3:17-21).

How can we define or describe God? God is the one and only (Isaiah 44:6), unchangeable (James 1:17), invisible (Col. 1:15), infinite (I Kings 8:27), and perfect (Matt. 5:48) Spirit Being (John 4:24). He is holy (I Peter 1:15,16), loving (I John 4:8-16), and truthful in all that He does (John 3:33). he has lived from all eternity as one God in three distinct persons (Matt. 28:19), and in the course of time He visited us as God in the flesh (John 1:1-14).

He exists with or without our understanding. he can be described truthfully and adequately, but never exhaustively. he is infinitely more, and never less, than we have yet known Him to be.

The most apt and studious scholar has not plumbed the depths or climbed the highest in knowledge of God. We have not touched on those emotions of God such as love, hate, jealousy, anger and other emotions. We have not discussed the plans and desires of God, we have merely skimmed the surface. It is ridiculous to say we love God and desire to be intimate with Him when we only have a shallow knowledge of Him. 

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HOW ARE YOU KNOWN?


I Samuel 9:6
And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city
a man of God, and he is an
honourable man:…
What an honour to have a name that gendered such renown and respect. A country boy, (Saul) and a servant have heard of this man Samuel. Here was the place to ask hard questions. This man had a reputation had spread through towns, cities, and countryside. The reputation of knowledge, humility and Godliness clung to Samuel as a garment. What a blessing to carry the title – man of God. We feel proud to carry the Christian and the luster of this moniker has faded and become un-recognizable. A title of reproach that was reserved for those that diligently and faithfully followed the teaching and clean righteous living that reflected Jesus as close a possible, has been besmirch and bedraggled by being dragged through the muck and mire of unfaithfullness, infidelity and unreflective living. To be known as a man of God is an honour that few deserve. We add to this name the term – honourable man and we see one that has a superlative closeness to God.

Honor, integrity, and adhering to ethical and moral principles are the marks of an honourable man. How many would consider themselves honourable and yet not have moral principles. How many fudge on ethics and consider themselves honourable man. These are things we should all strive for and continually work on. We never attain this standard by self proclamation. Others must recognise these traits and characteristics and they will then tell others. May we desire to gain the titles – MAN OF GOD/HONOURABLE MAN.


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