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Joined: 22 Sep 2009
|Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:50 pm Post subject: CHRISTIANITY * True and False Christian Doctrines
Does Water Baptism Save?
Baptism is a symbol of our change
Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
by Matt Slick
One of the most nagging questions in Christianity is whether or not baptism is necessary for salvation.
The answer is a simple, No, water baptism is not necessary for salvation.
What about verses like
...baptism that now saves you.. 1 Pet. 3:21 and ...
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins... Acts 2:38
THE REASON baptism is NOT necessary for salvation is because we are justified by faith. Romans 5:1; Eph. 2:8
not by faith and a ceremony Rom. 4:1-11
A religious ceremony is a set of activities or forms peformed by someone.
Circumcision was a ceremony where one person performed a religious rite on another person.
Likewise, baptism is also a ceremony where one person performs a religious rite on another person.
But, we are saved by faith alone and anything else we do, including ceremonies, will not help.
If we are saved by faith, then we are saved by faith when we believe, not when we get baptized, otherwise we are not saved by faith.
Furthermore, if baptism is necessary for salvation then anyone who receives Christ on his deathbed would go to hell if he doesn't get baptized before he died.
This would mean that we were not justified by faith because if we were, then the person would be saved.
Also, if baptism is necessary for salvation, then all babies who die go to hell since they weren't baptized.
Remember, when someone says that baptism is necessary, there can be no exceptions, otherwise it isn't necessary.
Now, in order to more thoroughly look at this issue, I need to lay a foundation of proper theology,
and then I'll address some of those verses that are commonly used to support the idea that baptism is necessary for salvation.
God Works Covenantally
First, you need to understand that God works covenantally. A covenant is a pact or agreement between two or more parties.
The New Testament and Old Testament are New and Old Covenants.
The word testament comes from the Latin testamentum which means covenant.
So, the Bible is a covenant document. If you do not understand covenant you cannot understand, in totality, the issue of baptism because baptism is a covenant sign.
If you do not think that God works covenantally then look at Hebrews 13:20 which says,
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant
The Eternal Covenant is the covenant between the Father and the Son before the creation of the world, whereby the Father would give to the Son those whom the Father had chosen.
That is why Jesus says things like, "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away," (John 6:37).
And, "And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day," (John 6:39).
And, "I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours," (John 17:9).
If you fail to understand that God works covenantally and that He uses signs as manifestations of his covenants (rainbow, circumcision, communion, etc.)
then you will not be able to understand where baptism fits in God's covenant system.
Second, you need to know what baptism is. It is a ceremony that represents an outward representation of an inward reality.
For example, it represents the reality of the inward washing of Christ's blood upon the soul. That is why it is used in different ways.
It is said to represent the death of the person (Rom. 6:3-5), the union of that person with Christ (Gal. 3:27), the cleansing of that person's sins (Acts 22:16),
the identification with the one "baptized into" as when the Israelites were baptized into Moses (1 Cor. 10:2), and being united in one church (1 Cor. 12:13).
Also, baptism is one of the signs and seals of the Covenant of Grace that was instituted by Jesus.
The Covenant of Grace is the covenant between God and Mankind where God promises to Mankind eternal life.
It is based upon the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the condition is faith in Jesus Christ.
As the Communion Supper replaced Passover, baptism, in like manner, replaces circumcision.
"They represent the same spiritual blessings that were symbolized by circumcision and Passover in the old dispensation" (Berkhoff, Lewis, Systematic Theology, 1988, p. 620).
Circumcision was the initiatory rite into the Abrahamic covenant; it did not save.
A covenant is a pact or agreement between two or more parties and that is exactly what the Abrahamic covenant was.
God said to Abraham, "I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you
for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you," (Genesis 17:7).
God later instructed Abraham to circumcise not only every adult male, but also eight day old male infants as a sign of the covenant (Gen. 17:9-13).
If the children were not circumcised, they were not considered to be under the promissory Abrahamic covenant.
This is why Moses' wife circumcised her son and threw the foreskin at Moses' feet (Ex. 4:24-25).
She knew the importance of the covenant between God and her children.
But at the same time we must understand that circumcision did not guarantee salvation to all who received it.
It was a rite meant only for the people of God, who were born into the family of God (who were then the Jews).
An important question here is how is it possible for an infant to be entered into a covenant with God.
There could be a lot of different answers given but the point remains:
it was done; infants were entered into a covenant relationship with God through their parents.
In the New Testament, circumcision is mentioned many times. But with respect to this topic it is specifically mentioned in Col. 2:11-12:
"In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,
having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead."
In these verses, baptism and circumcision are related. Baptism replaces the Old Testament circumcision because
1) there was a New Covenant in the communion supper (Luke 22:20), and
2) in circumcision there was the shedding of blood, but in baptism no blood is shed.
This is because the blood of Christ has been shed and circcumcision,
which ultimately represented the shed blood of Christ in his covenant work of redemption, was a foreshadowing of Christ's work.
If you understand that baptism is a covenant sign, then you can see that it is a representation of the reality of Christ circumcising our hearts (Rom. 2:29; Col. 2:11-12).
It is our outward proclamation of the inward spiritual blessing of regeneration.
It comes after faith which is a gift of God (Rom. 12:3) and the work of God (John 6:28 ).
Third, the Bible says that it is the gospel that saves. "By this gospel you are saved..." (1 Cor. 15:2).
Also, Rom. 1:16 says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."
Neither of these verses, which tell us what saves us, includes any mention of baptism.
Last edited by CJ on Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:36 am; edited 5 times in total
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
|Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:51 pm Post subject:
|What is the Gospel?
It is clearly the gospel that saves us, but what exactly is the gospel? That too is revealed to us in the Bible.
It is found in 1 Cor. 15:1-4: "Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures
that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."
The gospel is defined as the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for our sins. Baptism is not mentioned here.
Paul said that he came to preach the gospel, not to baptize:
"I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name.
(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.)
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel..."
(1 Cor. 1:14-17). If baptism is necessary for salvation, then why did Paul downplay it and even exclude it from the description of what is required for salvation?
It is because baptism is not necessary for salvation.
Additionally, in Acts, Peter was preaching the gospel, people got saved, and then they were baptized.
Acts 10:44-48 says, "While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.
The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.
For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?
They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.' So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days." These people were saved.
The gift of the Holy Spirit was on the Gentiles and they were speaking in tongues. This is significant because tongues is a gift given to believers (see 1 Cor. 14:1-5).
Also, unbelievers do not praise God. They cannot because praise to the true God is a deep spiritual matter that is foreign to the unsaved (1 Cor. 2:14).
Therefore, the ones in Acts 10 who are speaking in tongues and praising God are definitely saved, and they are saved before they are baptized.
This simply is not an exception. It is a reality.
Another way of making this clear is to use an illustration.
Let's suppose that a person, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:, believed in Jesus as his savior (Rom. 10:9-10; Titus 2:13),
and has received Christ (John 1:12) as Savior. Is that person saved? Of course he is.
Let's further suppose that this person confesses his sinfulness, cries out in repentance to the Lord,
and receives Jesus as Savior and then walks across the street to get baptized at a local church.
In the middle of the road he gets hit by a car and is killed. Does he go to heaven or hell?
If he goes to heaven then baptism is not necessary for salvation. If he goes to hell, then trusting in Jesus, by faith, is not enough for salvation.
Doesn't that go against the Scriptures that say that salvation is a free gift (Rom. 6:23) received by faith (Eph. 2:8-9)?
Saying that baptism is necessary for salvation is dangerous because it is saying that there is something we must do to complete salvation.
That is wrong! See Gal. 2:21; 5:4.
All right, so this sounds reasonable. But still, what about those verses that seem to say that baptism is part of salvation?
I will address those now, but because this subject can become quite lengthy, in fact sufficient for a book in itself, I will only address a few verses and then only briefly.
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
|Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:53 pm Post subject:
John 3:5, "Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.'"
Some say that water here means baptism, but that is unlikely since Christian baptism hadn't yet been instituted.
If this verse did mean baptism, then the only kind that it could have been at that point was the baptism of repentance administered by John the Baptist (Mark 1:4).
If that is so, then baptism is not necessary for salvation because the baptism of repentance is no longer practiced.
It is my opinion that the water spoken of here means the water of the womb referring to the natural birth process. Jesus said in verse three that Nicodemus needed to be born "again." This meant that he had been born once -- through his mother's womb. Nicodemus responds with a statement about how he cannot enter again into his mother's womb to be born. Then Jesus says that he must be born of water and the Spirit. Then in verse 6 He says that "flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." The context seems to be discussing the contrast between the natural and the spiritual birth. Water, therefore, could easily be interpreted there to mean the natural birth process.
I would like to add that there are scholars who agree with the position and some who do not. Some believe that the water refers to the Word of God, the Bible, and others claim it means the Holy Spirit. You decide for yourself.
Acts 2:38, Peter replied,
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
This verse is often used to say that baptism is part of salvation, but we know from other scriptures that it is not, lest there be a contradiction.
What is going on here is simply that repentance and forgiveness of sins are connected. In the Greek, "repent" is in the plural and so is "your" of "your sins."
They are meant to be understood as being related to each other. It is like saying, "All of you repent, each of you get baptized, and all of you will receive forgiveness." Repentance is a mark of salvation because it is granted by God (2 Tim. 2:25) and is given to believers only.
In this context, only the regenerated, repentant person is to be baptized.
Baptism is the manifestation of the repentance, that gift from God, that is the sign of the circumcised heart.
That is why it says, "repent and be baptized."
Also, please notice that there is no mention of faith in Acts 2:38. If this verse is a description of what is necessary for salvation, then why is faith not mentioned?
Simply saying it is implied isn't good enough. Peter is not teaching a formula for salvation, but for covenant obedience,
which is why the next verse says that the promise is for their children as well.
1 Pet. 3:21, "and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also -- not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.
It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
This is the only verse that says that baptism saves, but the NIV translation of the verse is unfortunate.
A better translation is found in the NASB which says, "and corresponding to that, baptism now saves you."
The key word in this section is the Greek antitupon. It means "copy," "type," "corresponding to," "a thing resembling another," "its counterpart," etc.
Baptism is a representation, a copy, a type of something else. The question is "Of what is it a type?" or "Baptism corresponds to what?"
The answer is found in the previous verse,
verse 20: "who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark,
in which a few, that is, 8 persons, were brought safely through the water.
21And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you," (NASB).
Some think that the baptism corresponds to the Ark because it was the Ark that saved them, not the floodwaters.
This is a possibility, but one of the problems is that this interpretation does not seem to stand grammatically
since the antecedent of Baptism is most probably in reference to the water, not the Ark.
But, water did not save Noah. This is why Peter excludes the issue of water baptism being the thing that saves us because he says,
"not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God."
Peter says that it is not the application of water that saves us but a pledge of the good conscience.
Therefore, baptism here most probably represents the breaking away of the old sinful life and entrance into the new life with Christ
in the same way that the flood waters in Noah's time was the destruction of the sinful way and, once through it, known as entering into the new way.
Also, Peter says that the baptism is an appeal of a good conscience before God. Notice that this is dealing with faith.
It seems that Peter is defining real baptism as the act of faith.
Acts 22:16, "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name."
Is the washing away of sins done by baptism, the representation of the circumcised heart (Col. 2:11-12)
which means you are already saved, or is it by the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:14; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 1:7)?
Obviously it is the blood of Jesus and the washing here refers to the calling on Jesus' name.
Rom. 6:4, "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."
Because the believer is so closely united to Christ it is said that the symbol of baptism is our death, burial, and resurrection.
Obviously we did not die -- unless, of course, it is a figurative usage. And that is what it is here.
The figure of baptism represents the reality of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. It is a covenant sign for us.
Remember, a covenant sign represents the covenant.
The covenant sign of baptism represents the covenant of grace which is that covenant between God and the Christian
where we receive the grace of God through the person of Christ by means of his sacrifice.
Titus 3:5, "he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.
He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit."
The washing of rebirth can only be that washing of the blood of Christ that cleanses us.
It is not the symbol that saves, but the reality. The reality is the blood of Christ.
Gal. 3:27, "for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."
This is speaking of the believer's union with Christ. It is an identification with, a joining to, a proclamation of loyalty to, etc.
In 1 Cor. 10:2 the Israelites were baptized into Moses. That means they were closely identified with him and his purpose. The same thing is meant here.
Baptism is not necessary for salvation. It is the initiatory sign and seal into the covenant of grace.
As circumcision referred to the cutting away of sin and to a change of heart (Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 4:4; 9:25,26; Ezk.44:7,9)
baptism refers to the washing away of sin (Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 3:21; Tit. 3:5) and to spiritual renewal (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:11-12).
The circumcision of the heart is signified by the circumcision of the flesh, that is, baptism (Col. 2:11-12).
One last thought: If someone maintains that baptism is necessary for salvation, is he adding a work, his own, to the finished work of Christ?
If the answer is yes, then that person would be in terrible risk of not being saved.
If the answer is no, then why is baptism maintained as being necessary the same way as the Jews maintained that works were necessary?
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
|Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:56 pm Post subject:
|* I changed the title of this thread January 2017
I am adding from several threads where was a single post
Does Water Baptism Save?
A Biblical Refutation of Baptismal Regeneration
1. The Bible teaches that to be saved a person must BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
2. The Bible teaches throughout the New Testament that FAITH and FAITH ALONE is necessary for salvation.
3. EPHESIANS 2:8-9 is a passage which God has given to answer this key question: HOW IS A PERSON SAVED?
This important doctrinal verse says nothing about water baptism.
4. Water baptism is a WORK (something that man does to please God), and yet the Bible teaches again and again that a person is not saved by works.
5. When is a person saved?
Is a person saved at the moment he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ or is a person saved the moment he is baptized in water?
Circumcision - It's relevance to the Christian
IS HELL REAL? Are we Saved merely by Believing
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Last edited by CJ on Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:40 am; edited 2 times in total
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
|Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:00 pm Post subject:
|Does Baptism Save?
By K. B. Napier
The simple answer is, no it does not. The claim, that baptism saves, is Romanist in theology and Arminian in thought,
a thought that should not even cross the minds of genuine believers.
(For an argument against the Roman position on this, see criticism of the theology of Thomas Aquinas).
Paul told his hearers that John came with the baptism of repentance.
This baptism did not save, but was an act prior to the repentance given by God to salvation.
For example, in Acts 19:3-7, we are told that “John verily baptised with the baptism of repentance,
saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
Very clearly, this shows us that John’s baptism did not save, but pointed the people toward the Messiah and His salvation.
Those who were baptised by John were brought to a realisation of their sin, but they then had to “believe on him which should come after him”.
If Jesus came ‘after’ John, then those who repented before He came could not have received His salvation at that time.
Therefore, salvation did not come through John’s baptism.
Those who had been baptised by John, later “were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus.” The two baptisms are very different.
But, does the later baptism, in the name of Jesus Christ, bring salvation? No, it does not.
Christians are baptised “into His death” (Jesus Christ, e.g. Romans 6:3,4), the baptism denoting our new life,
made alive from a state of death, caused by sin. Baptism is said only to be a symbol of this new life, and is not the creator of new life;
it highlights a new life that has already been given. Thus, it does not save, but merely reflects a life already saved.
You will note that our ‘old man’ (sin) is “crucified with him” (verse 6). It is logical, that before we are dead we are crucified.
One comes before the other. Therefore, the action that leads to new life comes before death (symbolised by baptism)!
Our death to sin is the very point at which we come alive to Christ (salvation).
One is not buried until he is dead, so we can deduce that as crucifixion brings new life,
and baptism comes after crucifixion, we are already spiritually alive when we are baptised.
This new life is not created by us, or by our own actions, not even baptism, for new life is only given through and by Jesus Christ and His crucifixion.
He passes on to those who are elect the benefits of His personal crucifixion and resurrection.
Indeed, the symbol of baptism must also, because of this, include resurrection, for, as Paul says,
Christ’s death without His resurrection, is pointless, making our faith vain.
This fact is found to be true in Colossians 2:12 where we read that we are “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with (him)”
Does this mean we are thereby saved by baptism. No, it does not, as we find in 1 Peter 3:21.
Curiously, this very same text is used as a proof text by those who claim baptism saves!
What does this text actually tell us? Does it say we are saved from death unto life by baptism?
The person who says it does, displays a distinct lack of understanding, about true interpretation,
about scripture, about salvation, and about Bible theology.
In fact, the person who says it does is being heretical.
Let us look at the text in its context:
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God,
being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
Which sometimes were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah,
while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
The like figure whereunto (even) baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh,
but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
The word for baptism in this text is baptisma. It can have a variety of meanings, including John’s baptism,
calamities that overwhelm us, and the Christian rite of baptism, by which we confess our sins and faith in Christ Jesus.
We cannot make such a confession unless we already have such faith, and faith is given as a gift to all who believe.
That is, all who are already saved!
Baptisma is rooted in baptizo, which can mean to immerse in order to change it (anything, including pickles in vinegar!),
to overwhelm, to submerge (as a ship under water). It is not the same as bapto (e.g. dipping and superficial, such as dipping cloth into a dye,
which changes the colour only and not the substance or nature of the cloth).
Baptizo means to dip once to clean and then a second time to effect a permanent change.
Christian baptism is supposed to reflect permanent change and union with Christ (not just intellectual assent), it does not bring it about.
Baptisma, not baptizo!
Baptism is a “like figure” of the saving of the ark. A ‘like figure’ is similar to something, antitupos, and points toward it,
but is not itself the thing it points toward. Thus, It is similar but not ‘the same’.
The word for ‘saved’ in verse 20 is different from the word used in verse 21.
In verse 20 it is diasozo, meaning to stop someone from perishing/to save from danger/to rescue.
Noah was, then, saved from drowning – the word does not mean eternal salvation.
So, if our baptism is a ‘like figure’, it is not going to save us eternally, but it saves us from entering into mortal danger,
e.g. continuing sin, by causing us to think and stop.
Our baptism is sozo – it keeps us safe and sound by rescuing us from danger, restoring us to a full and secure life.
How do we know that I am right? Well, the word, in context, tells us so…
but this is reinforced by the qualifying remark itself, which says that baptism does not mean
“the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God”!
Baptism, then, does not save us eternally, but only shows others (and our own conscience) that we are already new creatures.
In baptism we pin our colours to the mast and declare that we are saved eternally and wish to show it in the rite of being immersed.
“putting away” is apothesis, which means putting off or discarding, in this case, sin.
Scripture tells us that this is done by God, not by any act we perform.
We put away rhupos – filth (sin)…but this is brought about by Christ, not by us.
We cast off sarx – natural actions of the flesh, that is our nature as sinful men.
The text tells us that baptism does NOT cause us to cast aside sin or to escape our natural carnal, fleshly desires!
Rather, baptism is “the answer of a good conscience” toward God.
That is, eperotema – an earnest seeking to do what is right according to conscience – suneidesis,
the activity of the soul distinguishing good and evil.
This is brought into being by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, NOT by our baptism!
That is what the text actually tells us, so how can anyone argue against it?
Let me repeat – baptism is a symbol of our change, wrought by being made new creatures, and effected before we are baptised.
To insist otherwise, and to say that baptism is what saves us, or is part of salvation, is to lack proper understanding of salvation.
The formulation is Arminian and Romanist, not spiritual, and denies the truth of God’s word.
Last edited by CJ on Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:36 am; edited 2 times in total
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
|Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:00 pm Post subject:
|Churchianity or Christianity?
What is Churchianity?
Of course you will not find the word Churchianity in the dictionary, so why use the word and what does it mean?
I use the word churchianity because it is a good, descriptive word for the sometimes subtle, yet altogether dangerous shift of focus that frequently occurs in the Christian religion.
It is not a word of my own making, but one that I have heard used many times to describe misguided professors of Christianity.
Churchianity is a perversion of Christianity;
it means that the focus of the religion [what is supposed to be Christianity] has shifted from Christ to the church.
Instead of total reliance upon Christ for salvation, sanctification, Christian growth, and spiritual nourishment,
adherents of Churchianity rely on the church to an equal or even greater extent for these things.
The central difference between Churchianity and Christianity is that Christ is at the center of Christianity, while the church is at the center or Churchianity.
Of course those who practice “Churchianity” still consider themselves Christians and probably would deny that the word Churchianity describes their religion;
yet, when all of the facts are considered, their religion bears greater resemblance to Churchianity than Christianity because of the undue focus given to the church in their religious devotion.
So, in theory these professed Christians claim loyalty to Christ, but in practice they are actually loyal to their church.
For, when it comes to loyalty in actual practice, “churchians” would rather depart from Christ, Himself, [they would rather depart from the truth of His Word, His teachings, and His doctrine] than forsake their church.
Sadly, their church is at the center of their religious devotion; it has stolen their hearts; to it they have pledged their undying allegiance.
In Churchianity, we find the church elevated to a position far above even that of their professed Savior.
Churchianity: Who founded it?
The origin of Churchianity, unfortunately, goes all the way back to the time of the early church.
Although the earliest church, founded by Jesus and built upon by the apostles, was based upon the precepts of the New Testament,
it was not long before changes were instituted which elevated the church to a position far above that which Christ gave it.
One of the major factors which influenced this change was the institution of infant baptism (J.M. Carrol, The Trail of Blood, First period AD 300-500).
Infant baptism made it possible for the church to create Christians at will.
When an infant was baptized, he/she was declared a Christian and a member of the church.
In doing this, the church usurped the authority and the role of Jesus Christ in the conversion of sinners and effectively made itself the bearer of salvation.
This, of course, is still practiced in many churches today (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, etc).
VATICANISM is SATANISM, NOT CHRISTIANITY!
The Roman Catholic Church is a prime example of the practice of Churchianity over Christianity, for in the Roman Catholic Religion, salvation is found within the church, rather than simply within Christ.
The Roman Catholic Catechism explicitly states their position on the subject of salvation though the church:
To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church.
The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation.
The Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world
According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood” (Roman Catholic Catechism, paragraph number 845).
In the Eastern Orthodox Church (an offshoot of the Roman Catholic Church) the role of the church has been so totally perverted that a certain member I spoke with actually stated, and I quote,
“Christ did not leave us here alone. He gave us the church as Christ gave it to his apostles.
That theology has not deviated in nearly 2000 years. If another "faith" could show me that it was more valid, believe me, I would not be Orthodox.
But Orthodoxy is Christ's body. That's why we say it the one true faith. It has to be, because it IS Christ” (emphasis added).
This is the tragic result of Churchianity: The church, in the end, actually replaces Jesus Christ.
Churchianity and Me (For Gospel Truth Administrator):
Based on my current stand against the church-centered religion of Churchianity, rather than the Christ-centered religion of Christianity,
some might be tempted to believe that I am one of those people who simply does not like church.
Yet nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is, I love church. I loved church even before I was saved.
When I was a teenager, my parents had to actually ban me from spending so much time at the church (I was there Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings,
Saturday mornings for a children’s “bus ministry,” Wednesday nights for youth group, and Thursday nights for a youth Bible study).
I practically lived at the church; it felt like my true home, and I had a real show down with my parents when they banned me from attending so much.
As an adult, things were pretty much the same. I attended Sunday mornings (both Sunday school and the regular service), Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, Thursday evening
(to work in the church “print shop”), and, when I was at a church that offered Saturday and Thursday morning prayer meetings, I went on those mornings as well.
So you see, on a personal level, I have absolutely nothing against church.
One thing that does bother me, though, is that I never got saved when I was in any of the churches that I attended, and many people today, whose lives also revolve around the church, are not saved either.
The reason for this is simple:
The CHURCH does not save people!
We are saved through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, which He fully accomplished at Calvary to save lost sinners from their sins.
This is the faith that most of the professing churches have departed from; many never had it in the first place.
In most churches the departure from the true faith is so extreme, that you will not even hear their pastors mention the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, even in sermons dedicated to preaching about salvation.
Sometimes these pastors fail to mention Jesus work on the cross even when they are trying to “lead someone to Christ.”
As we proceed, I will provide ample evidence of this.
The reality is, a church without the message of the cross is really not a Christian church in any true sense of the word, and religious devotion to a church, simply for the sake of religious devotion, is worthless.
If I had died during any of those years in which I had been whole-heartedly devoted to my church, I would have gone to hell, just like every other lost sinner who dies without salvation.
Now that I know the truth about salvation, I am trying to warn as many others as I can not to trust in empty religious observances or religious devotion to church,
so that they too can be genuinely saved through the true faith of Jesus Christ.
Churchianity: Who practices it today?
The obvious examples, which I have already illustrated above (including all denominations that practice infant baptism) are not the focus of this article.
This article will focus on the LEAST likely example of Churchianity:
The church that has held out for nearly 2,000 years against the proponents of infant baptism, against the errors of centralized, hierarchical church government, against the errors of salvation by works etc.
The church that I speak of is none other than the Baptist Church, and more specifically the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church (IFBC).
The IFBC (Independent Fundamental Baptist Church) has descended into the realm of Churchianity:
As already stated, this church has stood fast against the afore-mentioned heresies of other denominations that have fallen into the realm of Churchianity rather than Christianity,
so how is it then that the IFB Church is now among the ranks of Churchians who practice Churchianity?
How did it leave its Christian moorings? What could have caused its decent into the dark reaches of CHURCH worship?
I believe that the initial stirrings of this bold decent began with the IFB church’s realization that IT was DIFFERENT
than all of the other denominations that practiced man-made religion, rather than the pure New Testament faith.
A couple of books that have circulated among IFB churches are
1) Jim Carrol’s book, called The Trail of Blood and
2) Roy Mason’s book, called The Church that Jesus Built.
These two books, while noble in their intent, have done much to cause the IFB Church to glory in its heritage, as the one true, faithful church,
rather than in the cross ALONE
God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Galatians 6:14
As soon as the IFB Church left its biblical moorings (where it gloried only in the cross, i,e, the gospel message) and sought glory in its heritage, it began its downward decent into Churchianity.
Throughout the course of this article, I will provide numerous examples of how the IFB has succumbed to Churchianity
and the devastating toll that their newfound religious zeal for the church, itself, has taken on the IFB Church and its gospel message.
My desire, as always, is not to offend, but rather to turn true believers back to the cross, to the one true foundation of the Christian church.
For others, who were converted to the church rather than to Christ, my prayer is that you will see the difference between that and true salvation.
The church has no power to save, no matter how illustrious its history or how godly its heritage.
It is vain, indeed, to build your foundation upon the church, as Christ alone, through His sacrifice on the cross, has the power to save.
IFB Churchianity I: My Personal Testimony (Before Salvation)
IFB Churchianity 2: My Personal Testimony (After Salvation)
Will some who think they are 'christian' be in hell?
I am tormented in this flame. Luke 16:24
The New Tolerance, by Josh McDowell
The church and homosexuals
an evaluation of little-c christianity and Big-C Christianity
There will be no true Christians in hell.
However there will likely be MANY christians in hell - those who believe any church saves them.
These thoughts are dully supported by scripture.
Signs and wonders - or persecution?
Last edited by CJ on Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:33 am; edited 1 time in total
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
|Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:02 pm Post subject:
|COVERING DOCTRINE is a DOCTRINE OF DEMONS
In a number of the denominations I've been involved in, including at leadership level, a "doctrine of covering" was taught and accepted.
And for many, many years, I never questioned this teaching. After all, everyone believed it; the leadership upheld it, so it must be right, right?
It is only as the Holy Spirit has impressed me to study the scriptures more deeply on this teaching that I've had to come to terms with the fact that
He NEVER originated it! In His infinite grace, He chose to wait patiently for a time when the Spirit of Truth would become dearer to me than the traditions of men.
The teaching on "covering" goes like this. Everyone needs to be accountable to someone who is spiritually his or her superior.
This someone may be your cell group leader, the head of a church department or your senior pastor etc.
In turn, these leaders receive covering from someone further up the line, for instance a denominational leader or a "recognised" apostle.
The necessity for this covering is based on the belief that believers need to be safeguarded from falling into error and/or sin.
So covering is provided by those who are more spiritual than we to protect us from such error.
At the top of this pyramid of covering there is quite often a well-known and recognised "name"
but the chances of meeting or having any kind of relationship with that person if you are at the bottom of the pyramid are fairly slim.
Currently, there are several networks offering this kind of covering to those in some form of church leadership or ministry, more often than not for an annual fee.
The annual fee usually provides for the running of the network, and conferences where you can fellowship with others under your particular brand of covering.
You may also be denied entrance from one of these networks because you don't have the appropriate credentials.
One of the strange things about this "covering" teaching is that rarely is anyone asked about their spiritual covering, until they step outside their particular church, denomination or network.
However, the minute a believer shows signs of having something important to share with the wider Body of Christ, suddenly all and sundry are interested primarily in that one important question: "Who are you covered by?"
It all sounds pretty reasonable except for one problem - it's NOT FOUND in scripture.
In fact, the early church was taught to rely on the inner anointing to discern the spiritual source of potential ministers. (1 John 2:20; 1 John 4:1)
So, where did this idea originate that believers need to be "covered" in order to serve God and minister within Christ's Body?
Are you, like many others, living your Christian life under the shadow of this fear that without "covering" you dare not minister, preach, pray
or do a myriad of other things you're called to do by the Spirit of God, because you will somehow be ministering without protection?
The purpose of this article is to shed some light on this issue based on scriptural truth.
To begin with, though, we need to understand that this need to be covered by a perceived spiritual authority,
and the scriptural instruction to submit ourselves to God's delegated authorities, are NOT necessarily one and the same thing.
Furthermore, New Testament authority as demonstrated by Jesus and the first apostles,
is servanthood-authority, upholding, strengthening, reinforcing and overseeing the Body from BENEATH,
not DOMINEERING, CONTROLLING and RULING from ABOVE.
Therefore, it is vital in examining this issue that we begin from a correct understanding of Biblical submission and Biblical authority.
'LET THIS MIND be IN YOU'
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought in not robbery to be equal with God;
but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and
being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Phil. 2:5-8
The current mindset we carry in much of the church concerning submission is quite unrelated to the submission taught and demonstrated by Jesus and the early apostles.
There is a desperate need to return to the same mind that was in Christ Jesus.
The scripture tells us that though He was equal with the Father, Jesus CHOSE to submit Himself, He CHOSE to humble Himself, He CHOSE to obey.
This is the key to Biblical submission, and the model laid down for us by both the Father and the Son.
Submission is firstly a choice; a choice that can only ever be made by the giver. Biblical submission can never be demanded or forced.
That kind of relationship is subservience, not submission. Jesus chose to subject Himself to the Father, but the Father "so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son."
Sacrificial giving and sacrificial submission are married to each other. In the Spirit, you cannot have one without the other.
If you try, you will invariably end up with control, dependence and abuse rather than humility, interdependence and grace.
The New Testament concept of submission, or subjection, is one of a totally voluntary attitude of giving, of yielding one's preference and deferring to another.
In this way, Jesus as a child was subject to His parents, yet the scriptures record that He did not even consult them when He was "about His Father's business." Luke 2:49,51
"IT SHALL NOT be SO AMONG YOU"
"Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God.
Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit." (Hebrews 13:17, NLT)
"But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all." Mark 10:42-44
"Jesus got them together to settle things down.
"You've observed how godless rulers throw their weight around," he said, "and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads." (Mark 10:42 The Message)
There is no question that the scriptures instruct each one of us to submit to God's delegated authority. It is the understanding and the application of that authority we often stumble over.
The Bible records that Jesus taught the twelve this Kingdom authority as they walked along the road to Jerusalem.
His face had been set toward the Cross, and it is certain He was keenly aware of the short time He had left with them.
Perhaps He was conversing with His Father about what were the most important lessons He could impart to them during the time that was left.
We know that He heard them disputing over who among them was the best "leadership material".
Perhaps Peter, having not long before witnessed Jesus' transfiguration, thought that gave him special status.
Perhaps James and John felt they were more likely candidates for rulership than impetuous Peter.
Shortly before, they had asked Jesus to give them special places of honour in His Kingdom. Whatever had started their dispute, Jesus certainly knew how to end it!
"Whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave....." (Matt. 20:27).
The Lord was speaking to a group of people who had grown up under the rule of the Roman Empire.
The Romans exercised their authority through forced subjection and harsh cruelty.
In fact, the literal translation of the words Jesus used in reference to Roman rule mean "to be under the power of" and "to be subdued."
Despite having witnessed Jesus using a very different kind of authority and power, the disciples had not yet understood exactly what He would require of them.
The Romans were, in the political sense, their masters.
Yet here was Jesus stating that to exercise the authority He was going to invest in them they would need to become slaves to one another, and not masters.
One might safely assume these weren't words any of them particularly wanted to hear that day!
Kingdom authority has nothing to do with titles, positions, educational qualifications or reputation.
Kingdom authority is granted by the Lord according to the measure with which He can trust us to wield it with humility.
The greatest authority in the kingdom is reserved for His bondslaves.
WHAT about ACCOUNTABILITY?
In today's church system we have confused the word "covering" with the need for accountability. Consequently many are holding themselves accountable to people with title and position, regardless of whether or not they are developing an ongoing transparent relationship with that person. In the Kingdom, it is notpossible to be truly accountable to those with whom we are not actively growing in relationship. How can I be trusted to call you to account righteously if I don't love you in Christ? How can you love me with Christ-like love and not call me to account?
Paul was able to correct the Corinthians because he had true relationship with them. He had travailed over them, nurtured them, wept for them and rejoiced with them. Therefore he was able to reprove them, for their edification and not for their destruction. (2 Corinthians 13:10)
When we turn to the scriptures for guidance on this issue of accountability, a startling fact confronts us. The News Testament mentions accountability ONLY in terms of the believer towards God. The scripture teaches that we will give accountability TO GOD ALONE in the following areas:
* stewardship (Luke 16:2)
* ourselves (Rom. 14:12)
* fruit (Phil 4:17)
* what we do in the flesh (1 Pet. 4:5)
* leaders shall give account for the souls they watch over (Heb. 13:17)
What then, DO the scriptures teach about how believers, as members of the corporate Body of Christ, are to relate to one another?
"... all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5)
In Galatians Chapter Two we read of a journey Paul took to Jerusalem. He states that he went up "by revelation", that is,
at the instigation of the Holy Spirit, in order to confirm that the gospel he had been preaching was approved by the eldership of the Jerusalem church.
He goes on to state that "those who seemed to be something, whatever they were, it makes no difference to me," had nothing to add to his teachings.
He further adds that when James, Cephas (Peter) and John perceived the grace God had shown him, he was given the "right hand of fellowship."
At the instigation of the Holy Spirit, Paul had subjected himself to the Jerusalem eldership, including Peter, for the purpose of accountability.
One may safely assume that Peter, having spent around three years day and night with Jesus, and highly regarded by the early believers, held very great authority in the church.
Paul, however did not ask Peter to cover him. Instead, he did not hesitate in calling Peter to account when Peter was later swayed to go back on his word by the fear of men (Gal. 2:11-14).
Bear in mind this is the same Peter who stated "We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29)
These men understood the nature of relationship through the Holy Spirit; ALL of you be submissive to one another, ALL of you be clothed with humility.
Each of us is accountable to one another, whatever our function in the Body, whether apostles, teachers, deacons or helpers. This is the church Christ is building.
To say that we are demonstrating accountability to a person or group of people we may briefly rub shoulders with at a meeting once or twice a week, or perhaps once or twice a year, is ludicrous.
True accountability is about how we express Christ in us - our lifestyle, our character and our integrity in families, jobs and church community.
This cannot be measured outside Godly relationships, and without a humble willingness to be in subjection one to another.
Each one of us needs to seek out and submit ourselves to those in the Body the Lord has placed close to us to provide that accountability, regardless of their position, title or function.
Each one of us needs to be willing, in humility and service, to provide that same accountability base for others in the Body.
This applies to leadership equally as it does to the newest, most inexperienced member of the Christian community.
Sadly, what we see today in so much of the church, is a frenzied jockeying for position under the supposedly protective umbrella of some
ministry name or reputation, in order to prove ourselves "covered".
"WHO COVERS YOU?" has become one of the most frequently asked questions among Christians, and too often it is the deciding factor in assessing a ministry's integrity or otherwise.
Consequently, an unsatisfactory answer to that question in some church circles can label you "outside the camp" and almost certainly not to be trusted.
Christians are judging each other's worth and relationship with God on this issue of covering, and using it to justify self-righteousness and spiritual elitism.
In Part Two of this study we will talk about what is at the root of
this distorted doctrine, and the clear choices that lie before us in order to be free from it.
".....then the LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night.
For over all the glory there will be a covering." Isaiah 4:5
"He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." Ps. 91:4
IT'S about HIS NAME
"Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders,
confronted Him and spoke to Him, saying, "Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?" (Luke 20:1-2)
As we see from this portion of scripture, the question "who covers you?" is not new.
The chief priests, scribes and elders were not simply asking Jesus where His supernatural power came from.
More than that, they wanted a NAME. "Who is he?' Come on, tell us Jesus, who is the scribe, who is the rabbi, who is the prophet who covers you?
And no more of that over-spiritualised talk about your Father. We want the name of the person who said you could do these things!"
The apostle Paul confronted a similar problem in the Corinthian church.
"For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by
those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you.
Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ." Is Christ divided?
Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptised in the name of Paul?" (1 Cor. 1:10-13)
The Lord is jealous over us concerning His Name. We were bought and paid for by His Blood, and His Name is the only Name by which we are to identify ourselves.
When believers choose to find their identity in another name other than His, the Spirit is grieved and His Name is dishonoured.
IT'S ABOUT the FLESH
"Don't ever let anyone call you `Rabbi,' for you have only one teacher, and all of you are on the same level as brothers and sisters.
And don't address anyonehere on earth as `Father,' for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. And don't let anyone call you `Master,' for there is only one master, the Messiah.
The greatest among you must be a servant." (Matthew 23:8-11, NLT)
The Corinthians were apparently separating into factions according to whom they considered was the most authoritative teacher.
They were following after men, and for that reason Paul took issue with them.
Further in his letter he goes on to challenge them by describing this kind of mindset as carnal and fleshly rather than spiritual:
"For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not CARNAL?" 1 Cor. 3:1-4
Finally, he instructs them:
"Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours:
whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come-all are yours. And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's." (1 Cor. 3:21-23)
The Corinthians had become so obsessed with the attributes of certain teachers they were idolising them.
They wanted to regard particular individuals as their "master", "father", or "teacher", but Paul wanted them to understand that in doing so they were falling short of their full inheritance in Christ.
He wanted them to see that all of these teachers, belonged to them as servant-ministers, and not the other way around.
IT'S ABOUT a SUBSTITUTE KING
At the heart of the Corinthians' idolatry was the age-old desire for a ruler, a king. The flesh would much rather fear man than fear God.
The flesh would much rather submit to the control of law than submit to the freedom of the Spirit. This principle is seen throughout scripture.
Afraid they would die, the Israelites begged Moses to be God's messenger to them, rather than hear His Voice for themselves.
"Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.
Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die." ( Exodus 20:18-19)
God desired for the people to hear Him for themselves, but they refused. Effectively, the Israelites were elevating Moses as their mediator.
The entire nation had been called as a kingdom of priests, but their preference was to be ruled by one man. (Exodus 19:1-9)
Many years later, when the prophet Samuel officiated as Israel's judge, Israel's carnal desire for a man-king surfaced again.
"Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, "Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways.
Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations." But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the Lord.
And the Lord said to Samuel,
"Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them...
However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behaviour of the king who will reign over them."
So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. And he said,
"This will be the behaviour of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots...
And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work.
He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day."
Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No, but we will have a king over us..." 1 Samuel 8:4-22
The key to Israel's demand for a human king, rather than the direct reign of Yahweh over them, was "that we also may be like all the nations, and that
our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles." They wanted a name and a face that could "go out before" them.
They wanted someone visible they could show the other nations. They wanted a symbol, a token leader who could take responsibility for how they would live and conduct their lives.
They wanted someone with a reputation they could identify with. They wanted to be like the world. They wanted human "covering."
You see, friends, there is a place for governmental leadership, there is a place for accountability within the Body, there is a place for submission to legitimate God-delegated authority.
All these are valid and in order, but only insofar as they are not permitted to substitute for the direct rule of God in our lives.
And only insofar as they are not sought out as a counterfeit for the sovereignty and rulership of the Holy Spirit within each believer.
IT'S OF a DIFFERENT SPIRIT
"You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones." (Ezekiel 28:14)
Many Bible scholars agree that God's rebuke to the "king of Tyre" recorded in Ezekiel 28:1-19 is prophetically addressed to Satan.
In it, we find that originally this fallen angel was called the "anointed cherub who covers". Some scholars believe he was especially anointed to cover the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies.
In the Presence of God, he walked back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones.
The passage states that when iniquity was found in him he was cast out of God's holy mountain, and removed from the midst of the fiery stones.
This Hebrew word "to cover" means "to hedge, fence about, shut in, block, overshadow, screen, stop the approach, shut off, cover" (H. "cakak" Strongs 05526 ).
It is a word than can be used either in relation to defence or oppression.
Beloved, Satan still desires to walk back and forth in the midst of God's living, fiery stones. He still desires to be the covering cherub on God's holy mountain,
but the covering he offers is oppressive, designed purely to hinder believers and rob them of the freedom and full potential that is ours through Christ.
The doctrine of covering is an old lie with a new name. It is fundamental to the maintenance of a false hierarchical religious system controlling many Christians in this day.
Without the power of this erroneous mindset, it is even doubtful that some sections of the "church" could survive.
"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit - just as you were called to one hope when you were called - one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is OVER ALL and THROUGH ALL and IN ALL. (Ephesians 4:3-6)
The scriptures plainly state that it is God alone who is OVER all. Only God can cover His people, and only the Holy Spirit can unite them.
The most disturbing aspect about the covering teaching is that it subtly encourages believers to look to men and women
rather than develop their own deep relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.
It upholds a man-made church built on hierarchy rather than a spiritual temple built through the unity of the Spirit.
It promotes a class system of rulership by title, human appointment and personality, and DEVALUES the PRIESTHOOD of every believer.
It negates leadership by the Holy Spirit and discourages believers from hearing the direction of the Spirit for themselves.
It is a DOCTRINE OF DEMONS being used to deceive and bind countless believers. 1 Timothy 4
Now, about that freedom we were talking about at the beginning of this article!
Don't, repeat DON'T, use your newfound liberty as a licence for rebellion against authority.
If you have been trapped in this covering doctrine be wise in how you appropriate your freedom.
There are many, many humble and faithful men and women overseeing and serving the Body of Christ with humility and devotion,
and it may well be that whoever has been "covering" you is one of them.
If you are blessed enough to be aligned with a servant-leader who demonstrates true Biblical authority, honour them, support them, and submit to them.
But don't expect them to cover you - that's not theirs to give.
False doctrines are mindsets and beliefs that can only be cast down by the Spirit and the Word together.
And ultimately, our walk in the Spirit is not the responsibility of leadership; it is our own responsibility.
It is time for each one of us to choose - do we want the rulership of kings, or do we want the rulership of THE King?
Finally, let me leave you with these thoughts:
1) Who covered Philip when He went down to Samaria and started a revival? (The apostles heard about it and sent Peter and John down to check it out!) (Acts 8:4-
2) Who covered Philip when the angel of the Lord directed him to the Gaza desert? (Acts 8:26-40) (There's no record of the Ethiopian eunuch asking him for his "covering" credentials!)
3)Who covered Ananias when he was sent to pray for Saul? (He went to pray for aknown enemy of the church and didn't event get permission!) (Acts 9:10-1
4)Who covered Apollos when he taught boldly in the synagogue, even though he had not yet received the full gospel? (Acts 18:24-25)
5)And who covered Aquilla and Priscilla when they took Apollos under their wing to instruct him further? (Acts 18:26)
6)Who covered Agabus when he travelled down from Judea to deliver a prophetic word to Paul? (Acts 21:10)
The answer is the same in each instance: The Holy Spirit covered, protected, led, and enabled. He is the only covering we need. The real question is this: is He the only covering we want?
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
|Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:03 pm Post subject:
|BornAgain2 wrote: |
|I experienced something, to SOME EXTENT, like this in my previous church - the pastor of that church got hired in 1996. And supposedly, when we moved into a brand new multi-million $ building in 2004, he had this vision of doing so since he got hired by the church.
Basically, all we heard was this all the "good" things happening to this church was HIS visions ALONE.(I guess him yoking up the church with Purpose Driven was "good" too, right? ) Next thing we know, the local seminary President who attended that church would start raving about him how he was unique b/c supposedly the average pastor tenure at a particular church is ONLY TWO years, and they would leave b/c of conflicts.
I didn't realize it then before I left in 2006, but I found out alot of things about this pastor recently. 1) In a radio interview a year later, when the interviewer asked him "What is that blessed hope?", part of his response was, "dawning of a new day" with NO mention of Jesus Christ.(FYI, dawning of a new day is a New Age occult term), 2) He also happens to be a member of that city's INTERFAITH group. I can go on and on.
Pt being that that pastor was really being hyped up by both the big whigs in the local Christian community AND the community itself. It came to a point where he was infallible, and he could do no wrong.
I mean he was doing ALL these wrong things RIGHT in front of everyone's eyes, but somehow even the SEMINARY PRESIDENT was blind to this? I'm not going to speculate whether he's a Freemason or a member of the Jesuits(although it wouldn't surprise me), but somehow, he did one heck of a job bewitching the pews and even the community around him.(ie-he also got like 2 leadership awards in the secular community)
Anyhow - yeah, the structure of this church was set up where this man was given authority, somewhat like is said in the OP. During my lifetime, the better pastors would merely fly under the radar within their churches and pews(like mine currently, it's as if noone even knows he exists).
And as for the average pastor tenure at one church being only 2 years? Uh, I don't think so - I need to research this, but just from my own eyes and observations, alot of pastors, good or bad, tend to stay at their churches for a good bit. And if they move on, it's not b/c of "conflicts", it's b/c they've gone on to missionary organizations. I have no idea where this seminary President gets his figures.
And besides, if these conflicts arise b/c the deacons and pews want to do spiritual junk like PDL and Bill Hybels, while the pastors want to stand firm in the faith, then may the Lord Jesus Christ bless that pastor even if he gets forced out for defending the faith.
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
|Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:43 am Post subject:
There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind,
the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all. 1 Timothy 2:5
Maronite Catholic Church
The world calls them christian.
Maronites are mainly in Lebanon and Syria and part of Iraq-Turkey
The Syria Maronite Church is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the pope of Rome.
The Assyrians are an ethnic group part of Iraq, part of southeast Turkey and northeast Syria, northwest Iran. Most belong to the Assyrian Church and Chaldean Catholic Church.
This is the best I can figure out.
If they regard a pope and Mary and saints they are NOT CHRISTIAN, they are pagan, idolators.
A Christian is an individual, not a church demonation or grouping, so some of these may be Christians, others not.
WHY do I have such passionate hatred for Romanism, vatican doctrines?
Because there is NO SALVATION FROM HELL there!
And Jesus hates it too! People follow a pope to eternal hell!
Salvation is in Christ alone!
Do NOT pray to ANYONE but Jesus!
Mary does NOT HEAR YOU! Like us all, her body rots in the grave!
|BornAgain2 wrote: |
|FYI - from what I understand, the Amish is also part of the Roman Catholic/Babylonian religions.
I always thought they were good, wholesome Christians who knew how to be unspotted from the world. But deeper study into them shows they are nothing more than a communistic, secret society/community(ie-those who join the Amish community end up giving up ALL their wealth to them, and pretty much work for nothing...just as long as they get food, clothing, housing, and "work together for the common good").
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