The Baptist Story

Message 1

Matt. 16:18 teaches us Christ built a church, to build means to take prepared material and put it together. The church was not born, it was built out of material prepared by John the Baptist, Luke 1:17; Matt. 16:18 also teaches us there would be opposition and protection, "the gates of hell will not prevail, Christ would protect and perpetuate his church.

The story of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most dramatic story ever told. No writer could have dreamed a story as rich as the story of the Lord's church. We have a drama, a struggle, contest, great victories, great defeats, great sorrows, great joys, glorious background, and a glorious destiny. Our purpose in this study and these messages is to blend the Bible and history, both of which are directed by God.

That which is known as Christianity had its origin in New Testament times, under the ministry of John the Baptist, who came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

There were two religions present. Judaism and Paganism. Judaism was the religion of ancient Israel and had long lost its power. Paganism was a religion of many gods and idolatry. Judaism had become a religion of form and ceremony; it had no power to touch a human heart or to turn a soul to God. It was in the midst of this background that Christ came into the world and began his church.

Think of the beginning of Christianity. If Jesus had a friend in this world he had to make him. Every friend of God is a transformed enemy. Eph. 2:1- 2. Total depravity is the only explanation for the death of Christ on the cross. The reason most people have a problem understanding their need of a saviour is they don't understand what happened in the Garden of Eden. Christ met a world of enemies, Rom. 5:8-10. Every man who has not been transformed is still God's enemy.

The cause of Christ is committed to the hands of transformed enemies, men who have been born again. Only born again men are fit for the task. We need a personal conviction of truth for ourselves, not just drift along on what someone else says or believes.

These messages are aimed at your heart, to plant in your heart and life a personal conviction of what is right, biblically and religiously. Jesus Christ organized his followers, whom he called disciples, into a visible organization called my church or His church, Matt. 5:1; Mark 3:13-14; Luke 6:13. This was a mountainside beginning, Luke 6:12; 1 Cor. 12:28. These passages teach us Christ set the apostles in the first church in person; there was no church prior to this event. The family of God and Kingdom of God were in the Old Testament but no church. Many confuse the terms elect and church, a simple study of bible words will note the difference.

Let us examine some church theories: universal or invisible church theory. This teaches the church was in the 0. T. and consists of all the saved. This is the protestant answer to the universal or worldwide concept of the Roman Catholic Church. We are born into a family; we are added to the church, under the direction of the Holy Spirit after we are born again. Remember, Jesus built a church it was not born. Without Scofield's notes and the puritan writers we would not find anything like this in our bibles. The Day of Pentecost theory: Some teach the church began on the day of Pentecost. This would be the Holy Spirit starting a church. Christ immersed the church in the Holy Spirit to manifest his presence and approval, the same thing happened with the dedication of the tabernacle and the temple in the 0. T. This was his visible declaration of his presence in the nation of Israel and a signification of his dwelling place. Christ immersed the church in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit didnt baptize anyone.

What does the bible teach the word church means? The word church means an assembly, you may look at the context in our English bibles (KJV) or study the word ecclesia. Either way you look at it you must have an assembly to have a church. The word church is a little, simple word that demands an assembly. When Christ said my church he meant his assembly in this world to conduct his business, and we see that business described in the great commission. We must not confuse the church and the kingdom; we may be born into a kingdom or a family but not into an institution or a body. John 3 speaks of being born again into the kingdom of God, but no scripture language speaks of being born into the body of Christ. The church of the N. T. is a local, visible, body of saved baptized believers. Christ established his church during his personal ministry and that is the only thing he ever established.

Other churches sprang up from that N. T. church and were established after the same pattern, Heb. 8:5. The church has certain marks to go by, all churches are not the same and any church that teaches the truth is vastly different from those who do not. A church that was founded by Jesus Christ is very different from those with human founders, 1 Tim. 3: 15. Did you ever wonder why others get so mad when Baptists make claims that are validated by scripture and history? Others tell their story and we expect it, but you let a Baptist be a true Baptist and it upsets everyone.

If you can trace the history of any other church to a man for its head must be rejected. Any religious organization that doesnt require a born again membership and immerse believers only cant be a true church. This narrows it down and is a scriptural test. Baptism doesnt save but declares the truth of salvation by grace. It is a matter of obedience and service, and has been the battleground of the ages because true baptism declares faith in Christ only for salvation. Rom. 6:1-6.

Message 2

Matt 28:18-20; 26:26-30; 1 Cor. 11:1-2; 20-34; Gal. 3:26-27. The ordinances of baptism and the Lords Supper have been a theological battleground for centuries. Both teach salvation by grace but do not impart grace.

The main earmark of the Lord's church is that it has taught salvation by grace and has rejected any deviation from that doctrine. Eph. 2:8-9 cannot and must not be ignored or it will lead into heresy. If we look for the true church we must find one that teaches salvation by grace. Man is dead in sin, Eph. 2: 1-2. The Ten Commandments are not a means by which life may be obtained but a means by which life may be expressed. Baptism is a battleground and has been counterfeited many times and ways. Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, and Knox didn't really believe in salvation by grace or they would have stopped baptizing babies. Really, we as Baptists believe in grace not Calvinism. We are not Protestants and have never held protestant doctrine; we never came out of Rome, or had any connection to Catholicism except to denounce the heresy in it.

We do not make a god out of water or ritual, our Saviour is at the right hand of the Father not in a pool of water.

Another Baptist battle ground is the Lord's supper .The Lord's supper belongs to the church (1 Cor. 11:2; 1:2). The Lord's Table is inside the church (1 Cor. 11:18). Believing this doesn't mean we think other folks aren't saved, it simply means we so not believe that those who are not members of our church may participate with us. Very few people would believe the Masons or a civic organization could observe the Lord's Supper but would not turn them down if they came to church when it was being observed. We will mention this later in connection with church discipline (1 Cor. 11: 28-31).

Using the logic of the great commission we see a scriptural order to the ordinances, (1) Go preach to all nations (2) baptise them, (3) teach them (those who are baptized) to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. People must be saved and baptized in order to proceed further in the commands of obedience. Why would Christ save sinners and establish a church and then give the ordinance of the Lords Supper to the Christian world, so called?

Let us hear the historians. The Story of Baptists in All Countries and All Ages, by R. B. Cook, written in 1884, page 272, last paragraph states The almost uniform practice of the American Baptist Churches has been close or restricted communion, and here, directly after the account of their origin in the various states, it would be well to consider the grounds upon which the practice rests. If rightly understood, our practice needs no defence. The following quotes are from the above mentioned book, chapter 23 on The Supper: Bishop Simpson in Cyclopaedia of Methodism says: "It is the order of the church that persons shall be baptized before they shall be admitted to the Lord's Supper or to full membership in the church. Dr. Wall of the Church of England says: "No church ever gave the communion to any persons before they were baptized. Among all the absurdities that ever were held, none ever maintained that any persons, should partake of the communion before they were baptized."

Dr. Cathcart truthfully remarks that, "The creeds of all denominations, with the exception of a small body of open communion Baptists, are agreed in describing communicants as, Those in the fellowship of churches. Baptized persons are the only proper communicants, as they only ought to be church members. The communicants in the first churches were all baptized."

Baptists and Protestants, then, differ not in reference to the communion but in regard to baptism. Our communion is no more "Close" or restricted than theirs, but our baptism is more restricted. We believe in one and only "one baptism, that is immersion.

A Presbyterian minister once said, "you regular Baptists are fighting the battle for us all. Open communionism rests upon only a sickly sentimentalism, and if that sentimentalism carries the day in your denomination, it will soon be making trouble in other churches. May God help you regular Baptists to stand firm".

Dr. John Hall of New York City, said, If I believed with the Baptists, that none are baptized but those who are immersed on profession of faith, then I should, with then, refuse to commune with any others." End of quotes from The Baptist story, by R. B. Cook.

It would seem logical that if Baptists are keeping churches from having harmony by restricted communion then all the other denominations would get together, however this is not the case.

Baptists can only be consistent by observing the Lord's Supper with those in the local church body who are walking orderly.

The Lord's church has many counterfeits; this is due to its value. In Matt. 13:33 the woman hiding the leaven in the meal certainly fits the harlot woman clothed in scarlet and drunk on the blood of the saints, Rev. 17:1-6. This is what is wrong with Europe today; the message of this woman has poisoned the world (poisoned bread) for the last 1300 years. The entire religious struggle in the world today is between two women, the mother of harlots, and the Bride of Christ. The world is dying today from poisoned bread and we often fall for the statement, "don't say anything about what anyone else believes. When people put forth poisoned doctrine, the real thing is always against it. You can't bring a street walking woman into your home without affecting or infecting your home. God will bring into judgement all these things in time, Rev. 18:6-8. The story of this conflict represents an impassable gulf, between the Baptist position and that of the harlot woman. It is a long and fascinating story and one that needs to be told. This story is about great sacrifices and the protection of a Great God who keeps his promises.

Message 3

The word "church", water baptism compared to spirit baptism, the Lords Supper examined. The meaning of the word "Church". Matt. 16:18; Eph. 5:23. According to some of the best lexicons and writers it means an assembly or congregation of persons called out from among the people for a specific purpose. Liddel and Scott define the word "ecclesia" as an assembly of citizens summoned by a crier, a legislative assembly. Danetrench in his Synonyms of the New Testament says, "As we all know this word was the lawful assembly of all those possessed of the rights of citizenship for the transaction of public affairs."

Robbins in his lexicon of the N. T. says regarding the word "ecclesia", convocation, an assembly, a congregation, in the literal sense a popular assembly composed of persons legally summoned.

The N. T. meaning of the word church demands an assembly of believers called out from the world. Ecclesia is translated from two Greek words, ek-out of; kalleo-to call, therefore we see the word means called out. The word church is never applied to a hierarchy, whether civil or religious. This is simply a matter of honest scholarship.

The word ecclesia appears in the N. T. a sum total of 11 7 times; 112 of those are primarily to a local assembly, either in the singular or plural. We find then these facts: Christ was the head of the Church he founded and it was a local assembly; it was democratic in its government (has no power to change or legislate what is already laid down in the bible, the church is actually a theocracy, JBA) its cardinal message is the message of the new birth or salvation by grace alone. The baptism was the baptism of believers only; and as such, in church capacity alone did they observe the Supper of our Lord. The salvation of the human soul was by grace alone, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ; the only officers were pastors and deacons; the only priest they knew anything about was Christ, and the early churches believed in the doctrine of the security of the saints. They also believed in electing grace before Calvin ever came along .An example can be found by reading the "History of the Evangelical churches of the Valleys of Piedmont", a history of the Waldenses which was written before Calvin ever lived.

Christ said my church denoting his assembly and the doctrinal marks can be found in history and will be generally involved in a great struggle. The great struggle today, is between the truth of God's word and liberalism. The evidence of this struggle may be observed in the world's idea of Christianity. Anything goes for salvation, church membership no longer seems to be an important commitment, and any kind of life style may be considered Christian. Iniquity is abounding and the love of many is waxing cold. Matt. 24:12.

The doctrinal approach. Eph. 5: 25 says Christ is the head of his church; Matt. 16:18 says he is the founder of his church; John 3:1-6 says you must be born again to see God's kingdom; Matt. 18: 1 5-18 lays down the government of the church in one of many instances. Eph. 2:7-9 tells of salvation by grace; Acts 2:41 tells that believers only were baptized; Rom. 6:1-4 tells that baptism is a burial, buried with Christ in the likeness of his death. Eph 4:5 says that there is one baptism. You may as well talk about two faiths or two lords as two baptisms. There is only one baptism the church is to be concerned about, that is water baptism.

The prevailing idea today is that when you are saved you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and you become a member of the "big church" There is no such thing as the baptism of the Holy Ghost on the earth today. The bible is clear, "one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism". There was a divine purpose in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on the early church and it never was repeated. That purpose was to confirm, by signs and wonders, the faith of the early Christians. They had no New Testament to guide them and God proved his presence in the work of the church, he showed his authorization of it. 1 Cor. 13:9-12 says those early gifts ended. The prevailing idea in the world today is that the only real baptism is the Holy Spirit baptism. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Human hands administer only one baptism and that is the baptism by immersion upon the authority of a local church. In Acts 10 we find both baptisms in the same chapter and it seems that Peter still realized the importance of water baptism in verses 44-48. A close study of Acts will reveal that the Jews, Samaritans, and then the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit and we have no more record of such cases.

Doctrinally we maintain that only the church has a right, only in church capacity, to observe the Lord's Supper. 1 Cor. 11:18-33. The bible says, "When ye come together in the church", where there is no church there is no supper. The church observes it even though the individual member has certain responsibilities, which require self-examination. Let us look at some biblical restrictions: (1) Place, in the church, 1 Cor. 11:1-2. (2) Motive, it must not be a social feature, 1 Cor. 11:21-22. (3) Purpose, must discern the Lord's body. 1 Cor. 11:27-29. (4) Those who are baptized, Matt. 28:18-20. (5) To those who are church members, Acts 2:41-42. (6) Those who are sound in the faith, Acts 2:42. (7) Restricted to those who are in fellowship, Acts 2:42. (8) To those who walk orderly, 2 Thess. 3:6. (9) To people with clean lives, 1 Cor. 5:1-11. (10) To those who are of the same faith, Heb. 13:8-16. (11) To the elements used, bread and wine, Matt. 26:26. Those who wish to say fruit of the vine means grape juice have the burden of proof on them. (12) The design, always in remembrance of Jesus. Not sentiment or love for anyone else. (13) To a united church, 1 Cor. 11:16-20. (14) To those judged by the church to be worthy. (15) To those who will examine themselves to see if they can discern the Lord's body.

These are some of the marks of the Lord's church down through the ages and they go all the way back to Christ. The identifying marks are the same today. Some say we make too much of the church, if it is the pillar and ground of the truth, and it is, then we see the need to recognize and appreciate this divine institution that has been appointed by God and protected by Him to do his work. When we see error in the main identifying marks, we see the error multiply.

If we are to understand some of the things of this story we must often go back to the beginning. Matt. 28:19-20 and Matt. 16:18, makes some promises to his church, "I'll be with you until its over and the gates of hell shall not prevail." These promises aren't made to anyone else in the world and you will find Christ only where he promised to be. Christ never left us without warnings or promised blessings. John 16:33; Acts 20:29-31.

The greatest of the struggles have sometimes been from the inside. When we view the beginning of Christianity we see that only Christ could preserve his church down to this present hour. Right in the midst of Judaism and Paganism Christ started his church and that immediately opened it up to persecution and conflict. Look at the early history, Stephen was stoned to death, Matthew, the apostle, was slain in Ethiopia. Mark was dragged through the streets unto death. Luke was boiled in oil. Peter was crucified with his head down. Andrew was tied to a cross from which he continued to preach. James was beheaded at Jerusalem. Philip was crucified and then stoned " Bartholomew, was flayed alive. Thomas was run through with lances. James the less, was cast down from the temple and beaten to death with clubs. Simon, the apostle, was crucified in Persia, and Jude was shot to death with arrows. Mathias was stoned to death; Nero in Rome beheaded Paul; and Jesus Christ, the founder, was crucified on the cross. This is the beginning of Christianity. This still didn't destroy it, how else then could it be opposed? From the inside with Trojan horse tactics. The Lord's church has gone through this and continues to go through this today. See 2 Peter 2:1-3, There were false prophets also even among the people as there shall be false teachers among you". Not around you but among you. False doctrine will be slipped in as in the Antioch and Galatian churches and the problem with Judaism. Christ, Peter, and Paul saw and warned of future error creeping in the church and drawing men away. 1 In. 2:19; Gal. 5:4. Falling from grace here in Galatians means that a church may fall from teaching grace; when this starts you have the beginning of an apostate religious world. See 2 Thess. 2:1-10; Rev. 17:1-7.

While we lay no claim to Baptist being our name by divine origin, John the Baptist required salvation before baptism and Baptist seems appropriate for us today. The system of doctrine we have been presenting has been nicknamed in the past and may be again in the future. In history we read of Paulicians, Waldenses, Albigenses, Paterines, Ana-Baptists, and finally Baptists. We do find error among some of these groups just as we find error today among those who call themselves Baptists.

There were regular and irregular churches in history. The regular churches didn't compromise and the irregular churches did. Many churches are more concerned about criticism than they are about God's will. Churches today often do not mind what God thinks about them, how much he rebukes them, or how they hurt the cause of Christ as long as they don't offend anyone.

Early on the churches wanted a leadership dominated by human beings and priesthood among the clergy was formed. There is a lot of difference in a pastor taking the oversight and being a dictator, God gave the office of pastor to his churches. Each church and pastor must be free to obey the commands of Christ without hindrance from any outside source, church, or another pastor. See 3rd John. Compare Gaius, Demetrius, and Diotrephes. We must not surrender our personal convictions to another or we become their slave. When God calls a man to preach he must be under God's personal supervision and when a church begins it must be under God's personal care as well. When a church calls a pastor it is saying the Holy Spirit directed us through the vote and when a pastor accepts the call he is saying the Holy Spirit led him to agree with that call, therefore they didn't hire him and he didn't just take the job, they were led of the Lord. That's a good position to be in when the Lord is in charge.

Another error that came in is baptismal regeneration, which brought in with it the error of infant baptism and a whole new conflict.

Message 4

Review Messages 1-3

1 Jn 2:19; Gal. 5:4; 2 Thess. 2:1-10; Rev. 17:1-7; Matt. 13:33. Infiltration, 2 Peter 2:1-3.

We will look at infant baptism and its beginning. It has a background in paganism and goes back in principle and practice before Christ. Armitage's history, page 73 shows that infant baptism was practiced as a pagan rite in Norway and Iceland at least two centuries before the introduction of Christianity. "The newly-born infant was presented to the father who was to decide whether the child was to be reared or not. If he decided to rear it, then water was poured over the child, and the father gave it a name. If it was to be exposed, then the ceremony was not performed. If the child was exposed by anyone after the ceremony was performed, it was a case of murder, whereas it was not thought a crime if the child was made away with before water had been poured over it. The same people, after the introduction of Christianity, turned it into a Christian rite called scaro. Then the Dr. remarks, the analogy between the to lies in the use of water, the bestowal of the name, and the entrance into civil life through the rite.

These pagans had no standard of morality as we are supposed to have today. The father would decide whether the child would live or not and the mother would have no say in the matter whatsoever. The pagans simply brought the thing into Christianity and sold it to the world. Illustrate the Mexico version of the Virgin Mary.

The greatest crime in the world is to take away the religious freedom of an infant. You can put a bible in someone's hand and convince him of the truth, but to perform a rite on an infant and when he grows up he is already in a religion he had no choice or personal convictions about, you have robbed him of his religious liberty.

There is only one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism, and that baptism is the baptism of believers only. Men are convinced through preaching, Rom. 10:17. We never force men to conform to our standards unless the force is the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

Baptists have always been the champions of religious liberty and no bondage is any greater than religious bondage. About 251 A.D. churches began to declare non-fellowship with the erring churches; churches then began to fall away and you had your regular churches and the irregular churches. The divisiveness of the Lords church has been its preserving agent. When we can't withdraw, we lose the ability to stay with the Word of God, therefore when a church joins something outside of itself it loses its ability to say true to the word when error creeps into the organization. The regular churches began to re-baptize those who came from erring churches and some had the nickname Ana-Baptists. To be an Ana-Baptist was a shame and disgrace in the eyes of society, this was even so in the early days of America in the Massachusetts Bay colonies in the 1600' s.

2. Church and state. The irregular churches united with the state in 313 A.D. and gained the favour of Constantine who became convinced that baptism washed away sins. He logically concluded that if baptism washed away sins he should not be baptized until just before he died but he still became the protector and supporter of the false churches. Thus the erring churches became the state churches. The state or government began to permit churches to operate if they were state approved. By about 610 A.D. the woman drunk on the blood of the saints is on the rampage. Gods people have been in the enduring business, more than 70,000,000 Ana-Baptists died and shed their blood at the hand of this woman and her daughters.

As a Baptist and a Bible student I do not, yea, can not, believe in the doctrine or validity of any church established since the time of Christ or one who does not teach the doctrines of God's word but I must contend for religious freedom in order to have the right to preach myself.

Message 5

Matt. 13:33; Peter 2:1-3; 1 Tim. 4:1-3. In the third century Jewish and Pagan doctrines dominate the known world and have a great influence on Christianity. The name Ana-Baptist first shows up about A.D. 251 and means re-baptiser. The churches that stayed with the word of God began to make decrees of non-fellowship. The leaven in the meal grows and new and strange doctrines appear. Infant baptism began to be law in the fifth and sixth centuries and great persecution begins and the dark ages follow.


We try to present the truth to be the friend of all men because truth is the only thing that will set men free from error and blindness. It is possible to be true to God and the great truths of the bible and still be the friend of lost sinners, which is exactly what Jesus did in his ministry even though he did not agree with the religious leaders of his day, he was the friend of all who believed the truth or would listen to it. We are not fighting anyone by telling the great drama of the religious world. Expressing the truth in a very positive manner is not being angry or upset.

1. Humanity objected to Christ. Unregenerate humanity wanted a church that was governed by human beings and refused to submit to the authority of Jesus Christ. In Matt. 13:33, unregenerate man establishes his religious movement and has the nerve to claim it is of divine origin. Every church has to come from the lord's church or this counterfeit system.

Since the 6th century this false church has claimed to be the bride of Christ. In the 6th century she began to be a world power as well as a religious system.

About 251 A.D. strange doctrines began to show up and were advocated by certain preachers and churches who were becoming friendly with the pagan and Jewish world. Acts 20:28-31. The warning is that men will rise up among you. About A.D. 251 you began to have two sets of churches in existence, sane were remaining true to the lord and sane were departing from the faith. The divisiveness of Baptists (and the various other names they have been called) has been their preservation. The true churches could always withdraw from error without doing anything but stopping the fellowship with the erring churches.

The erring churches loved the pomp and ceremony in human palaces. They demanded the commanding position in the religious world, preferring human ideas to divine revelation. They were never willing to offer their doctrine and trust God to convince and add to their numbers. They were never willing to let free men chose their own convictions based on thus saith the Lord. We need to be cautious about doing things because we have always done them that way or simply saying "I could never do that." When we start out in life to have our own way no matter what the Lord says we begin and end in error. We are all biased, and should be in some matters, but our bias should be in the truth not tradition. The enforcement of religion always brings about bondage and despotism of the worst sort.

2. One of the first laws passed was the law decreeing infant baptism as the law of the land in 426 A.D. It became the law of the land just as any other civil law of the day. The group of people who did not believe the doctrine were soon known as Ana-Baptists or re-baptisers. The same ideas are expressed today by the terms alien immersion or scriptural baptism. Infant baptism is the bloodiest doctrine in the religious world, it has caused more bloodshed than any other doctrine.

Soon followed the doctrine of the worship of the Virgin Mary as an extra mediator. The bible says there is one mediator between man and God, the man Christ Jesus.

Next comes the doctrine of infant communion, this is consistent, if baptism brings grace, then the infant who is baptized should also be able to observe communion. This, of course, is false but consistent.

Most heresy can be traced today to baptism or the Lords Supper, we believe both of them to be ordinances of the church, and most of the religious world believes they have something to do with salvation.

3 Around the eight-century formality begins to enter into the service. Religious services are designed to either reach the heart or the eye. In this congregation, which impresses you most, the oratory ability, the clothing and appearance, the personality, or the truth the man of God preaches? Formality and cold ceremony came from the pagan world to please the eye of the natural man. This is why we have image worship and so called pictures of Christ, it appeals to eye instead of the heart. This is why people who wont go to church, will go to gospel singings, it entertains.

In A.D. 476 the Roman Empire began to decay and barbarians from the north and east over ran this territory from 476 to 610 A.D. there was no formal, existing government in Rome. People turned to the bishop of Rome for advice and decisions. One of the descendants of the Caesars by the name of Phocas began to rule or at least try to re-establish the throne of the Caesars and found it impossible to stand against the bishop of Rome and abdicated in 610 A.D. Then the bishop of Rome was declared to be the spiritual and temporal ruler of Rome. This is how the Catholic Church came to be a world power.

In or around 690 A.D. the Greeks and Romans split over sprinkling for baptism. The Greeks also continue the practice of infant communion while the Roman Catholics do not. The Greeks also have their priests marry.

The doctrine of transubstantiation was introduced. We can see that more emphasis was put on the work of certain ordinances and ceremonies, as time goes on the scripture was ignored.

Rejection of anything but biblical teaching on baptism and the Lords Supper has caused much blood shed and many of God's people take lightly the promise made in baptism and the true meaning of the Lords Supper. You can't baptize without "much water" and you can't symbolize the purity of the shed blood and broken body of the lord Jesus Christ with contaminated or leavened elements. This is why all of the old confessions of faith have wine and unleavened bread explicitly stated in their declarations. The fruit of the vine is a scriptural expression, which is talking about the final product of the grape. Wine press, old and new wines are biblical expressions and fruit of the vine means the final product of the grape.

The Passover was observed with wine, according to Gill's commentaries, and no one ever considered changing the elements until about the time of the temperance movement in this country .The Corinthians who were abusing the Lord's Supper are corrected concerning the manner in which they were taking it but the ingredients were not called into question and the scripture says they were getting drunk.

We are not drinking to be drinking a beverage when we observe the Lords Supper we are memorialising the offering of the lord Jesus Christ for our sins. It is simply a memorial service to show what a perfect offering Christ was for our sins. It has no saving power but should be observed in a scriptural manner. See 1 Cor. 11:21.

The doctrine of celibacy arose around 1123 A.D. This doesn't need much explanation to show the error and problems that followed. This is one of the blackest and most immoral blots on the history of error in the religious world. This is one of the things that Martin Luther saw which brought on the reformation and the religious revolution that followed. We shall study more in the next message.

Message 6

Matt. 13: 33; Rev. 17: 1-6. In this message we will take a brief journey into the dark ages and see the bitter persecution involved in the struggle between the two women, the mother of harlots and the Bride of Christ. One is getting drunk on the blood of the saints. We will discuss the confessional box, infant baptism as a great source of revenue. Communism is a child of Catholicism. Indulgences. Reformation. I would recommend the reading of two books that have to do with the confessional box and the immoral conduct it promotes. The books are "Fifty Years in the Church of Rome and The Priest, the woman, and the Confession, by Charles Chiniquy. Mr. Chiniquy was a French, Canadian; priest who was later saved and left the Catholic Church.

Around 1200 A.D. a revolution and rebellion was brewing in England, people were tired of religious slavery. Preachers were speaking out against celibacy and its contributions to immorality in the world. In England, at Runymede, on the Thames in 1215 A.D. on June 12th, the Common people of England forced wicked King John to give a written guarantee of their rights as free men. That document was known as the Magna Charta, which later served as the basis of our Constitution in 'the United States of America. The common people of England were tired of slavery in religious matters as well as in political matters.

Auricular Confession. In October of the year 1215 A.D. there was another important event, the inauguration of another doctrine known as confession in the ear of the priest. It became religious dogma. Everyone had to go to confession on a regular basis and confess to the priest. This had not been practiced until that year and it was instituted to head off the rebellion and to keep Rome informed of what was going on. This was simply an intelligence move on the part of the Church of Rome. This was Rome's ear to the world. People are taught from their youth to turn their hearts inside out to the priest as they confess .You are taught that you will go to hell if you refuse to answer the most intimate questions of the priest. The confessional is the means used to hold control over masses of people and learn what is going on in the world of the common man. You must do as the priest instructs you, according to the church dogma, or you will die and go to purgatory or even to hell according to their teachings.

The confession, purgatory, and infant baptism are all moneymakers. The greatest religious swindle in history has taken place legally for hundreds of years. Paying to get relatives prayed out of purgatory and the charging for getting your baby baptized are two of the greatest, but not the only, swindles in religion. The recent televangelist scandals (1980s and 1990s) in this country are nothing compared to what has gone on for centuries.

2 Peter 2:1-3. The prophecy here is concerning false prophets and false doctrine being used to make merchandise of people. Armitage's History says, "The Emperor Justin crushed out the last right of conscience in the matter of baptism in the 6th century by making it a special subject of civil legislation. He issued an edict commanding all unbaptised parents us present themselves and their children for baptism at once. Leo III issued another edict A.D. 723 demanding the forcible baptism of Jews and Montanists. Toward the close of the sixth century the baptism of infants was turned to gain in the shape of fees paid for its administration; but the charges soon became so enormous that the poor could not pay them. And yet lest their children should die unsaved, the frightened parents strained every nerve to get them baptized. This is how Catholicism gained Mexico, South America, Canada, and Europe and Asia. The history of the west and the christianising of the American Indians is a very brutal story.

As time progresses greater steps toward apostasy occur until we have as follows:
Priestly rule
Union of Church and State
Religion by law and decree
Baptismal regeneration
Infant Baptism
Infant communion
Worship of images
Praying to saints
The doctrine of transubstantiation
The doctrine of purgatory
The doctrine of church salvation
The doctrine of Auricular confession
The doctrine of papal infallibility
The doctrine of indulgences.

The doctrine of indulgences is and has been a money maker .The doctrine of indulgences simply said if you were going to be gone for 6 months you could pay in advance for your sins you would commit while you were gone from home and if you died before you got back to confession you would be absolved. This is the doctrine that stirred Martin Luther to leave the Roman Catholic Church. This brings us to 1520 and the beginning of the protestant reformation.

Our next message will deal with the reformation and the rise of various churches. After that we will pick up the Anabaptists and bring them through some of the centuries.

Message 7

Martin Luther, first successful rebel against the harlot. The doctrines and origins of Lutheranism, the Church of England (Episcopal), Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Alexander Campbell, the Campbellites.

Read 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 4:1-4; Jude 3-13

I personally do not believe the Seven Churches of Asia represent seven church ages; I believe they represent seven local churches. Protestantism did not do any thing for the truth; it still continued to hold to infant baptism and didn't break away from the Church of Rome. Reformation doesn't do any good when men try to reform error. This struggle may have helped the lord's Church have periods of freedom, however, if one will study church history closely you will find that God's people simply had more persecutors to deal with after the reformation.

The Catholic Church is not the oldest church but is the oldest counterfeit. It can't go beyond the '4th century as far as an organized or recognized religious system. In 321 A.D. Constantine accepted the apostate churches as the state religion of Rome, since that time there has been official acceptance of the harlot church.

Indulgences. Martin Luther revolted against this and other errors and injustices he saw and in 1520 he established the first successful revolt against the Church of Rome. This was the beginning of the protestant reformation. The Renaissance Period reached back about two to three hundred years prior to this period and men were beginning to think for themselves and study. This led to a rebellion against corruptions, depravities, and greed in the corrupt church. John Tetzel was given the job of peddling indulgences for Pope Leo the 10th. This Pope had expensive tastes and habits and established the sale of indulgences in A.D. 1517. Later in history Cromwell's chaplain, who tried to find good in all men, said of Tetzel, "he was a monk and adulterer, a sot and a preacher, a man without any tinge of decency, and without one worthy quality." This was the Pope's indulgence commissioner. Tetzels mode of conducting business. He and his companions would appear in a gorgeous carriage, followed by attendants finely equipped, before a city: immediately the magistrates were informed that, the grace of God and of St. Peter was at their gates. The whole population would then come out and give him a royal welcome fit for kings. Tetzel would then go to the church in the city and spread out the pope's bull on a velvet cushion with great decoration and colour. He would then begin to preach about the precious and sublime gift of indulgences and how many souls he had brought into heaven. He would also talk about the souls of loved ones being redeemed from purgatory if relatives would pay indulgences for their sins that were unconfessed. Tetzel made the claim that he had redeemed more souls than all the sermons preached by St. Peter, he also claimed there were no sins so great that indulgences could not remit. Tetzel claimed that the instant money clinked in the strong box the souls flew out of purgatory and upward to heaven.

Indulgences go back before Luther to Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century, in the 13th century John Huss denounced a papal bull because of the article on indulgences. In 1411 a papal bull was issued against the King of Naples because he refused to submit to the authority of the pope .The bull praised indulgences for anyone who died fighting in the crusade against the King of Naples. The council of Trent decreed that Christ gave indulgences to the church, divinely appointed to be used by "Christian people."

Matt.1618. Martin Luther started the Lutheran Church 1500 years too late to be authorized by Jesus Christ. Any thing started by a human is a human institution .If it has a human head it has no scriptural authority to claim to be Christ's church. There can be little doubt that Luther did much good for the religious world and God blessed any truth he preached because it was the truth. Luther continued to maintain a priestly church government and infant baptism. He also continued the idea of a state religion. These three things are the seeds of religious persecution in every age.

The Church of England came as a result of Henry the 8th and the desire to put away his wife and the Pope refused Cromwell said to him, "you are the King, write to the Pope, organize your own church, and write your own bill of divorcement." This is not verbatim but it is basically how it happened. This church also held to the same three ideas, priestly rule, infant baptism, and state religion. The persecution practices of this church put John Bunyan in jail because he refused to accept a license from the queen to preach; he would have had to stop preaching against infant baptism to get the license. So we have the Church of England since 1534. A King who wanted a religiously approved divorce started it.

Presbyterian. John Knox in Scotland, John Calvin in France and Switzerland. Both were mighty preachers and made popular what we call the doctrines of Grace. Bloody Mary, Queen of Scots said, "I fear the prayers of John Knox more than I fear all the armies of Europe." In 1541 they started a church, which kept the same three babies, priestly government, infant baptism, and state religion. It is interesting to note in the minutes of the old Westminster Assembly, which met in 1643 to 1649, that a vote was taken to determine what the Presbyterians would do concerning baptism. There were 24 votes for immersion and 25 for pouring. One vote would have caused the Presbyterians to be as cranky about baptism as the Baptists.

How this affected the Ana-Baptists. The Ana Baptists thought that all this rebellion against the Catholic Church would give them some religious liberty but what really happened was that four groups now were putting Ana Baptists in jail and laying heavy persecution on them.

Congregationalist. 1602 seems to be the year it originated in England. They carried with them infant baptism and the state church ideas and were the ones who banished Roger Williams from the Massachusetts Bay colony. From the Congregationalist movement later came the Universalist and Unitarian movements.

Methodism. John and Charles Wesley. They never intended to start a church. Francis Asbury had more to do with the rise of the Methodist "church" than did the Wesley brothers. Francis Asbury should have called himself a superintendent according to the societies in England. The Wesleys began to meet with societies to study the scriptures for themselves in 1729 and neither of them was saved at this time. According to his own testimony John Wesley was saved in 1738. Methodists never really worry about what anyone believes, they simply say come on over to our church, believe as you will and you will not be disturbed about it.

Alexander Campbell and the Campbellites. Campbell, came to America from Ireland in 1807, he was a Presbyterian. He was also an immersionist and led a group of churches to be recognized as Baptists. An old Baptist association appointed a committee to investigate them and denied them seats in the' association. Campbell then set out to teach Baptists the truth on baptism and finally started the Disciples movement or Christian church movement. This formation took place about 1812 to 1826. They eventually took the name Church of Christ. Read Isa. 4:1.

Our purpose in stating all these beginnings is not to throw anyone in a bad light but simply to show that men started these churches and these statements are a matter of history. Any church started by man can't be the real thing since Jesus Christ started his church during his personal ministry.

Message 8

Comparison of Doctrines: The Ana-Baptists and Rome. Points of Contrast. A review of the Ana-Baptist history in their own blood. Poisoned bread and a drunken woman. The world suffers.

It is necessary to leave the question of the Reformation and the Protestant churches. There is another group, which we have referred to in our messages, the Ana-Baptists, this group never had any connection to the Catholic Church and did not come out of her. The only protesting they ever did was to preach against her error . 1 Jn. 2:19. The erring churches left the true churches and actually backsliders and apostates from the Lords churches formed the Catholic churches. The falling away started in the 1st century and shows us what may happen when members leave the Lord's church. Some churches of the protestant reformation came out of the Catholic church but it is interesting to note that Baptists have no ties whatsoever to Catholicism, there is no place in history where anyone can say here is the Baptist beginning.

Let us notice the doctrines of the Protestants and the Church of Rome in contrast with The Ana-Baptists:
Soul freedom versus soul slavery.
Christ the head of the church versus human leaders.
Security and assurance versus salvation by works.
Believers baptism versus infant baptism.
Baptism of conscious believers versus sprinkling unconscious infants.
Regenerated church members observing the Lords Supper versus transubstantiation and the Catholic mass or Holy Communion.
The new birth by the spirit and word of God versus priestly rule, totalitarianism and hierarchy.
Separation of church and state versus union of church and state.
Regenerated church membership versus infant, sprinkled membership.
Liberty for men versus religious slavery for every baby that can be sprinkled.
Pastors and Deacons versus priests, prelates, cardinals, and popes

. Sole authority of the scripture in all matters versus tradition, superstition, and rules of the church.

The difference is not in clothes, nationality, or location, but doctrine.

There is an impossible gulf fixed by the scriptures and we have only touched the surface of the issues but the main one is the Bible.

Ana-Baptists. The name means re-baptizers. The groups who did not accept the authority of the Church of Rome and its baptism were known by different names but were classified as Ana Baptists because they re-baptized. Most protestant baptism is connected to Rome today and rests on unscriptural authority and false doctrine.

Protestant history gives Ana Baptist beginnings to a rebellion that took place in Munster, Germany in the 16th century .A disciple of Martin Luther, Thomas Muncer, became very popular with the common people, to the point that he was known as Luther's Absolam, and he led a rebellion against the Catholic prince of Munster .The prince was overthrown and Muncer and his followers set up a city which was identified with the peasant wars in Germany. There were, no doubt, some extravagant and extreme doctrines that arose out of this situation. Cramp's history says there was no Ana Baptist connection at all, the Catholics blamed Luther and he blamed Muncer and the Ana-Baptists.

Ana-Baptists were known by different names in different times, Montanists, Novationists, Puritans, Paterines, Donatists, Paulicians, Arnoldists, and Wasdenses, but all of them had a connection with and were at various times called Ana Baptists because they re-baptized. They were often nicknamed because of their leaders. Anyone who challenged Rome on baptism was dubbed with this name. Gradually the Ana was dropped after Luther's days and the name Baptist began to be used, our name was given to us by our enemies and we don't claim any divine origin to the name. We also do not claim that all of these groups were without error. Some of these churches didn't have complete bibles, some only had the gospels, some only had Paul's letters, and therefore they couldn't have all the instruction available to us today and must have had some error and inconsistencies.

Matt. 16:18; Matt. 28:18-20. We want to note promises, 1st, the gates of hell shall not prevail, 2nd, I will be with you always. These two promises, though not understood by the world, have brought the lord's church through nineteen hundred years of opposition and persecution. Sometimes they died like flies; they died by the millions; some have estimated more than 70 million died for their faith. The Ana-Baptists have existed since the days of Christ and the apostles and their doctrine can be found in each century.

Note the faith of sale of these people by some of the torture they endured. One method was the thumbscrew, they would put a specially designed screw on a man's thumb and tighten it in order to get him to recant or give information concerning other believers. The iron maid was like an iron casket or closet, which had many sharp spikes in the door that pierced the individual who was put inside; this was used for those who would not observe Easter. This might change our attitude about Easter and some of the other religious holidays if we knew the truth about them. Many individuals were drawn and quartered, some had hot lead poured down their throats, some had boiling oil poured in their ears, others had their stomachs cut open and packed with corn then put in pig pens with hungry hogs, some women were with child and had their stomachs split open and their children spilt on the ground while their husbands watched. Read Rev. 17:6. All this was because they believed it wrong to sprinkle infants and use the sword for evangelism.

Let us go to St. Bartholomews day in the city of Paris when 70,000 people were slaughtered in one day as a result of the plan of the Queen of France and the pope. After the pope heard of the slaughter he ordered the Catholic hymn of praise to be sung at a thanksgiving service.

Can you imagine a road 30 miles long with stakes set up with a head on each stake as the road leads into Rome? Rev.6: 9-11.

There is a Trail of Blood through the ages, the faithful saints supplied the blood and the erring churches drank the blood. Even some Catholic historians state that if any group were judged by their willingness to suffer the Ana-Baptists would be the true church. You can identify the truth by a trail of blood.

This is our story, a story about the Bride of Christ and the harlot church and her daughters.

Often when a Baptist preacher preaches about the Bride of Christ he is misunderstood to teach that only Baptists are going to heaven, what he is teaching is that Christ not only died to redeem all the saved but that he also died for the church as an institution and will one day receive all those faithful churches as his bride and give them special rewards for their faithfulness and suffering. 2 Cor11:1-2; Eph. 5:23; Rev. 19:7-9. Bride, building, body, and so forth, are all local ideas. We are saved by grace but in salvation we are not married to Christ, we are born again. 2 Cor. 11:2 says the church at Corinth was promised to Christ as an engaged woman is to a future bridegroom. Catholic means universal and you may guess where the universal church idea comes from. Church always means assembly unless it is used in an institutional sense. There was no church in the O.T. and all the saved are in the family of God but they are not in the Lord's church, it is consistent with scripture language to believe only in a local, visible, church established by Christ in his personal ministry .1 Cor. 12: 28 tells us Christ set the apostles in the church first, therefore they were the first church members. In the book of Acts the church is always an assembly of saved, baptized, congregated people. When we leave this place the church leaves but is not a church until we assemble.

Message 9

Matt. 28:18-20; Jn. 8:32. Down through the ages Jesus has been with his church and wheI1 we find free men, we find men who were willing to make great sacrifices for the truth's sake. Our history as a nation, The United States of America, has much in it that has never been taught to our children. The reason for this is many do not like to admit that this nation started out practicing religious oppression. We have an amendment to our constitution because John Leland, a Baptist preacher, lobbied long and hard to see religious freedom became a reality in this nation.

Let our story go to New England, the Pilgrims, and the Massachusetts Bay Colony. These people came to this country from England and made the same mistakes of their oppressors in England. They brought the idea of state religion; when you have the idea of state religion you have no religious freedom. During this time the Congregationalists believed in religious liberty for the Congregationalists, the same thing was true of the other religious systems of the day with the exception of the Ana Baptists. Listen to this quote from the Trail of Blood, "Before the Massachusetts Bay Colony is 20 years old with the Congregationalist Church as the State Church, they passed laws against the Baptists and others. Following is a sample of one of the, laws passed by Governor Endicott and his Congregationalists friends in Massachusetts Bay Colony, and here is the law. It is ordered and agreed that if any person or persons within this jurisdiction shall either openly condemn or oppose the baptizing. of infants, to go about secretly to seduce others from the congregation during the administration of the ordinance, after due time and means of conviction, every such person or persons shall be sentenced to banishment ."

Banishment in those days was the equivalent of capital punishment now. It meant to go beyond the borders of the colony and live with the savage Indians. Thus we see a law was passed which made it very hard on the Baptists.

Listen to a voice within the colony, that of Roger Williams, a voice for religious freedom. Several generations of people have been told that Roger Williams was the founder of the first Baptist church in America this is absolutely untrue. He did stand for religious freedom but the congregation he started crumbled in four months and wasnt a Baptist church. Roger Williams renounced his baptism later and because of his stand on issues of religious freedom was banished to live with the Indians. A history records a church was established in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1638 by John Clark, who was an ordained Baptist Minister from England.

We do owe much to Roger Williams in the interest or religious freedom but not as a Baptist. Williams was an ordained Episcopal minister who came to see immersion for baptism and opposed infant baptism, believed in a regenerate church membership, and opposed tax supported churches. These were the things the Baptists had been contending for, for centuries and anyone who would eventually be upset by the things Williams preached blamed the Baptists and labelled him an Ana Baptist. At the time Roger Williams was preaching these things there was no record that he had ever heard of the Baptists or knew anything about them.

Roger Williams had no connection with the Baptists, he was a Congregationalist preacher who saw errors in his own church and believed it inconsistent to compel men to worship when they were unregenerate, and to tax those who were unbelievers to pay for the maintenance of a state church. Williams preached these things before he was ever immersed. He finally had Ezekiel Holliman, who had never been immersed himself, to baptize him and based on this he started a church in protest against the Congregationalists. The church he started in Rhode Island disbanded in four months, this church was no more than any other church started under protest and has no true claim to the Baptist name. We do owe Roger Williams a great deal in the struggle for religious freedom but not as a Baptist.

John Clark established a Baptist Church in Newport one year before Roger Williams ever had his religious experiment in Providence. Roger Williams later repudiated his baptism and decided no one had the authority to baptize but the apostles and no one should be baptized until Christ set up his kingdom on earth and the apostles rule with him. Williams and Clark later became acquainted and laboured together (12 or 14 years) in an effort to obtain a charter from the Parliament of England for the colonization of a people where religious liberty would be granted to all people. It was in 1664 that Clark, who had remained in England to wrestle with the British Parliament, had succeeded in obtaining from those hostile British authorities the charter for the Rhode Island colony. John Clark brought back the first document of its kind to American soil. Roger Williams was not the founder of religious liberty in America, nor was he necessarily the author of religious liberty. Williams had personal convictions about religious liberty and did have much to do with the opinions of men of his day but didn't bring the ideas by himself.

In the struggle of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Governor Endicott and the Congregationalists, with the rebellion they had at the hand of Roger Williams and his banishment from the colony, brought to pass another saying written in the book of God, "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God. The hand of God was making the wrath of man to praise him in order to provide religious freedom for those who had written their history in their own blood.

Another great field of battle in the new world was Virginia. Let us move in time to June 4th, 1768, Spotsylvania County, Virginia, to the county seat. The scene is three men arrested by the sheriff, brought before three magistrates, who stood in the meeting house yard and bound them with the penalty of one thousand pounds, to appear in court two days after .On their trial they were arraigned as disturbers of the peace, the lawyer said, "May it please your Worships, these men are great disturbers of the peace, they cannot meet a man upon the road but they must ram a text of scripture down his throat." These men were John Waller, Lewis Craig, and James Childs. Mr. Waller made his defence of all three, they were offered release if they would not preach for a year and a day, they refused and were taken from the courthouse to the Fredericksburg prison. As they were moving through the streets they sang the hymn, Broad is the road that leads to death.

Through the years a story about Patrick Henry defending these men has gotten in the history books. Lewis Peyton Littles Book, Religious Liberty in Virginia, says Patrick Henry did not defend these men and Semples History of Baptists in Virginia agrees with this position. The supposed speech seems to have come from someone who purposed what Patrick Henry would have said if he had been present. The actual court records show that John Waller defended them.

Patrick Henry was not a Baptist but was a friend of Baptist and religious freedom, some record that he even wanted the Baptist to have the position of favour in Virginia by be one of four state churches. Patrick Henry said he would make Baptists respectable and accepted if they would let him.

We must ever be people of conviction and leave our standing in the world up to the Lord. This is not an excuse for us to not study and know our history and what the word of God says.

Let us go to Culpeper County and take a sketch of James Ireland and briefly see the kind of life he had in the ministry. He was jailed for preaching, enemies tried to blow him up with gun powder, suffocate him with smoke, poison him and injured him for life, drunken men were put in his cell, he was threatened with public whipping, had vulgar incidents toward him by other men, hearers were redden over by horsemen, he suffered opposition everywhere and was jailed for five months for preaching.

The state of Virginia also has the distinction of have Elder John Leland as on of its citizens. John Leland helped elect James Madison to the Virginia House because he believed Madison understood the principles of religious freedom. The Colony of Virginia was the deciding vote in the ratification of the constitution and finally the 1st amendment which states, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, ore prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, ant to petition the government for a redress of grievances. To this point the Constitution had nothing but the guarantee that no one would be barred from public office because of religion. In Virginia in 1792 the Baptists had great weight in civil society and were more numerous than any other Christian sect, yet the secured religious liberty for all.


After 1600 or more years of persecution in back of them, Baptists came out of it with a smile on their faces and still secured religious liberty for all in this country.

Lord Baltimore petitioned and obtained a charter for Maryland Colony to provide a haven for Catholics who were barred from 11 of the 13 original colonies, his charter did not guarantee religious freedom but religious toleration.

Thomas Jefferson attended a small Baptist Church about eight or ten years before the Revolutionary War and observed the way it conducted its business and was impressed that a government could best operate when it represented the people it was composed of. The mighty hand of God brought that mighty statesman away from a small Baptist Church to be used in this great land to help establish religious freedom.

What if our Baptist forefathers would have considered it too much trouble to attend two services on Sunday and one service on Wednesday night, where would we be today, perhaps under religious oppression of the tyranny of Rome itself?

May God help his people today to be revived and appreciative in our interest and service to the Lord. Eph. 3:21.

Message 10

In the previous messages we have been brief and discussed the highlights of history without going into great detail. Hopefully the hearers and readers of these messages will be stirred to read and study this subject.

We want to note in this message some doctrines involved, promises kept, the testimony of others, and some accomplishments of Baptists.

The Lord's church can be identified as saved, baptized, believers. Most of the N.T. was written to baptized people, "The Church of God which is at Corinth", and the seven churches of Asia in Rev 2 & 3. The Lord's church is always local and visible in the N .T. and was not born but built. If the Lord's church consisted of all the saved from Adam until now, then there would have been no need to promise to be with it always, the doctrine of eternal security would take care of the keeping of the church. There is no church in the 0. T., there is the congregation of Israel and a chosen nation but no church. Many believe when one is saved there is a supernatural baptism of the Holy Spirit, which makes one, a member of the universal, invisible, church and that this makes void the need for water baptism. Acts 10 and the salvation of Cornelious teaches us the emphasis on water baptism even after the supernatural experience of speaking in tongues was manifest to show these gentile believers had the same God as the Jews. Holy spirit baptism was peculiar to the N.T. and involved gifts of tongues, discerning spirits, prophecy, and so forth.

The Lord's church can always be identified by salvation by grace and personal repentance and faith in the lord Jesus Christ for salvation. The church has always been for freedom of religion and the individual responsibility of each person before God. "We preach Christ crucified" fully sufficient for salvation of all who will believe on him. No, baptism doesn't save, no, church membership doesn't save. As important as these matters of obedience are they have no saving power. Satan works to confuse any bible doctrine and change its meaning. There are many doctrines peculiar to the true church, one may sum it up by saying the Bible alone should teach and govern the lord's church. If it cannot be found in bible doctrine and practice we should not do or teach it.

Promises. In the Bible, God promised to bless the descendents of Abraham and curse those who cursed them; he has been faithful to his promise. In the N.T. Jesus promised his church that the gates of hell would not prevail and that he would be with his church through out all ages. The church's existence and power depend on the lord today just as much as in the past ages. Matt. 16:18; 28:18-20. We still have a work to do and the power of the lord to sustain us, as in ages past, Christ still keeps his promise today.

Message 11

Our glorious future. 2 Cor. 1:1-2; 11:1-3; Rev. 19:1-9; 21:9-10, 23-24. Who is the Bride? Three opinions:
1 .All the saved from Adam to the resurrection.
2. All the saved of the N. T. age.
3. All the saved, baptized, believers who are faithful church members in a N.T. Church. The latter is your speakers belief and I simply ask you to take your bibles and study and reason with me.

The Marriage of the Iamb

Rev. 19:7-9. The N.T. relation between Christ and the church is presented under the figure of a bride and bridegroom (Eph. 5). At the resurrection Christ will come as the Bridegroom to take His heavenly bride to Himself. Then that relationship that was pledged over 1900 years ago will be consummated, and Christ and His church will be eternally united. Eph. 3:21. The church is not yet the Lamb's wife. She at present is the bride-elect. The Bible tells us that the church is "espoused one husband, 1 Cor. 11: 2 .She is engaged to be married to Christ after the rapture and the judgement seat of Christ.

Where and When?

In heaven; because no other location is fit for a heavenly people. This marriage, more than any other marriage, will be made in heaven. While the earth is in the worst part of the Great Tribulation, heaven will be rejoicing as the marriage bells ring!

The book of Rev. gives the chronological order of events leading up to the Marriage of the Lamb. Rev. 19:1-6; it will be after the destruction of the great whore, and Rev. 19:11-21; before the battle of Armageddon.

The marriage will follow the Bema Seat of Christ; the bride appears dressed in the righteousness of the saints, which is reward for her faithful acts of obedience to the lord. (Rev. 19:8) The fine linen in which the wife is clothed is not the imputed righteousness of Christ, instead it is the righteous acts and works of the saints themselves, "made herself ready." The fiery test of the Bema seat will reveal what we have truly done as unto the lord. I don't believe anyone can be in the bride of Christ without, salvation, scriptural baptism, and a faithful life that has been dedicated to God's will first and foremost.

The bible refers to the bridegroom as the Lamb 27 times in the book of Revelation. While the Lamb is not always a reference to the bridegroom it is always a reference to Jesus Christ. In this wedding the attention is focused on the groom, he is the center attraction, the marriage of the Lamb gives the bridegroom the greatest honour. Rev. 19:7; Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come.

John the Baptist called Christ the Bridegroom: He that hath the bride is the bridegroom, Jn. 3:29. Christ called Himself by this title: Can the children of the bride-chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast Matt. 9:15. The Lord Jesus pictured himself as the bridegroom in the parable of Matthew 25:1-15. He did so again in Matt. 22 in the marriage of the kings son.

The Bride

Israel cant be the bride of Christ, she is the mother of Jesus Christ; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, Rom. 9:5. In Rev. 12 Israel is the Sun Clothed Woman. She is said to give birth to a man-child who shall rule the nations, Rev. 12:1-5. Here again we see Israel giving birth to Jesus Christ.

The bride cant be all the saved, four reasons for your consideration: The bride is distinguished from the great multitude in heaven. In Rev. 19:7 the us is distinguished from his wife. Heb. 12:33 shows a distinction between the general assembly and church of the firstborn. The general assembly of the saints is a different company from the church. The firstborn is a title of Christ. Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15; Rev. 1:5.It is out of context t consider all the saved to be in the church, no one was ever a member of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ who was not first saved and then baptized. The bride is distinguished from the guests. In Rev. 19 she is said to have made herself ready while others are said to have been invited or called to the marriage supper, Rev. 10:7-9. The bride is not invited to her own wedding; there are guests at this wedding. These guests are saved people who are not in a church relationship with Christ.

The bible makes a difference between the bride and other saved people. Rev. 2217; And the Spirit and the bride say come, and let him that heareth say, come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. First, there is an invitation for Christ to return, given by the Holy Spirit, the church, and a saved soul outside the church. Second, there is an invitation to thirsty and willing sinners to come to the water of life. Especially note the expression: And let him that heareth say, come. The person that hears is a sheep, Jn 10:3,16,27. He is not in the bride, but he does look for the appearing of Jesus Christ. Does a lost sinner look for the coming of Christ? N0! The person here is saved but not in the bride. In 1 Cor. 5 there is a man about to be excluded from the church for immoral conduct, yet after the exclusion he is still saved, 1 Cor. 5:5. It should appear to the careful reader that some saved people are in the church and some are not, then some are espoused to Christ due to church membership and some are not, according to consistent thinking and comparison of these scriptures.

The New Jerusalem is the future home of the bride, Rev. 21:9-10. There are some saved people outside the city, Rev. 21:24. All the saved then, are not in the bride. Salvation alone then does not make one a part of the bride any more than being a woman makes her a bride. Salvation is essential to being in the bride just as being a woman is necessary to being a bride but being a woman doesnt make one a bride.

The bride of Christ is not the total sum of all denominations. She is not Christendom with its variety of denominations and doctrines. Truth and error will not be rewarded equally.

The true Baptist churches constitute the bride of Christ, Jn 3:29; 2 Cor. 11; Eph. 5:25-32. I would not make the bride to be all the members of everything that calls itself Baptist, but would say the Lords true churches could be found among those who call themselves Baptists because everyone who calls themselves Baptists are not true to the name and teachings it has represented through the ages.

True churches are identified by their doctrine and practice, not a name that anyone may assume. The true churches have not always been called Baptists. They were called Galileans, Christians, Anabaptists, Mennonite, Albigenses, Arnoldists, Henricans, Paulicians, Waldenses, Montanists, Paterines, Donatists, Hussites, Loddards Wickliffites, Numidians, Cathari, Novatians, Tertulianists, Lyonists, Puritans, Bogamiles, Petrobrusians, and many other names. I would not say that all these people were true churches but I would say the true churches were found among them. Some of the Waldenses were sprinkling babies by the close of the dark ages, how long will it take Southern Baptist church to start doing something similar to this in our day? We already have baby dedication services on Mothers day in many parts of the USA.

The bride will be composed of that group of Spirit-regenerate men and women who have been baptized into a New Testament Church (there is no scripture that teaches anyone is a member of a church without scriptural baptism), and have lived faithful lives for the Lord (2 Thess. 3:6). They are the faithful few in the true churches. Rev. 1 9: 7 -8 says those in the bride have sane works of righteousness. Matt. 3:15 shows us that baptism is a work of righteousness. Those in the church at Corinth were all baptized in water. 1 Cor. 1:13-15

Moral and spiritual purity will have to do with who is in the bride. 2 Cor. 11: 2.

This will be a reward for those who have striven lawfully for masteries and run the race according to the rules. You can be saved and not be in the bride, you can be a Baptist and not be in the bride John the Baptist Will not be in the bride, he will be the friend of the bridegroom, Jn. 3:29. To be in the bride you must be in a church like Jesus established, in doctrine and practice, and historically.

There will be guests at the wedding, Rev. 19: 9; this may be some of the saved of all ages, possibly tribulation saints, and maybe faithful men and women who were not church members of this or some other age. It is one thing to be taught the truth and reject it and another to not know. There is no indication that rebellious or backslidden people will have the privilege of being invited to the marriage supper of the Iamb.

I believe after the marriage is solemnized in Heaven, Christ and his lovely, newly wedded wife will go to the bride's old home, the earth, for the Marriage Supper and a thousand year honey moon. The Lord Jesus Christ will rule the world for a thousand years and at the end of this time the Son and the bride will return to the Father's house and the earth will be renovated by fire and the Father and his wife Israel and his Son and Bride will return to the earth to dwell in the New Jerusalem, Rev. 21:9-14; 21:2,9. The guests will dwell outside the Holy City, Rev. 21:22-24.

One day soon Christ will say: "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away" (S. of S. 2: 10).