Archive for April, 2019

How Do We Know “Break Bread” In Acts 20:7 Is Referring To The Lord’s Supper?

April 25, 2019

Acts 20:7 reads “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” How do we know the phrase “break bread” in the verse is referring to the disciples coming to together to eat the Lord’s Supper (take communion) and not just a common meal to satisfy their hunger?

First, we can establish from I Cor 10:16 (“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ: The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”) that the breaking of bread at least sometimes refers to the communion.

Second, we see that I Cor 11:21-22,34 (“if any man hunger, let him eat at home”) condemns eating a common meal (to satisfy hunger) in the church assembly, and since Acts 20:7 is referring to disciples coming together congregationally, therefore Acts 20:7 cannot be referring to just a common meal. So it must be referring to the Lord’s Supper.

Conclusion: Congregations today should eat the Lord’s Supper when they come together on the first day of the week, just like the first century congregations did.

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The Two Reasons Jesus Told Peter To Put Up His Sword

April 18, 2019

In the midst of Jesus being taken for trial, John 18:10-11 says “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. … Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” So one reason Jesus told Peter to put up his sword is because Jesus did not want to defend himself as that would tend to defeat the very reason He came to this earth – to be crucified for our sins.

But in Matt 26:52 Jesus gives a different/second reason “Then said Jesus unto him (Peter), Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” This reason in one broad stroke proves that self defense is wrong for a Christian. If we take up the sword to defend ourselves or others as Peter did, then Jesus condemns the action by asserting such will “perish with the sword.” Jesus is not intending to make this instruction optional; he commanded Peter to “put up … thy sword ” because “they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Wouldn’t the same apply to us if we “take (use) the sword” against another human being for any reason? Yes, we would come under Jesus’ censure “they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” for so doing. Anybody who “takes the sword shall perish with the sword”; that is a denunciation of doing so, not an allowance.

Does The Prohibition Against Women Preachers In I Cor 14:34-35 Not Apply Today Because Miraculous Gifts Have Ceased?

April 12, 2019

Since I Corinthians chapter 14 is filled with regulations regarding the miraculous gifts, and those gifts have ceased (I Cor 13:8-13), many Christians conclude the prohibition against women speaking in church in I Cor 14:34-35 does not apply today. Notice how gospel preacher Keith Storment expressed this false position in the magazine “Faith And Facts”:

· … the instructions in vs.33-35 would not apply to any assembly where … miraculous spiritual gifts cannot be exercised. Specifically, they would … apply to none of our general assemblies today (unless we align ourselves with the Charismatics and begin speaking in tongues!) [Apr 99]

· The overall context of this passage deals with the proper use of miraculous gifts that the Spirit gave to Christians in the first century. With the exception of the discourse about the Lord’s Supper, everything from the beginning of chapter 11 to the end of chapter 14 centers around this theme [Oct 98]

But this reasoning would prove the Lord’s Supper shouldn’t be practiced today, because:

· as Keith says, I Cor 11:17-34 (which discusses the Lord’s Supper) is also within Paul’s discussion of spiritual gifts

· also, Paul’s Acts 20:7 sermon was likely inspired and therefore that assembly can’t be duplicated in all respects

Wouldn’t the principle of speaking one at a time taught by I Cor 14:27,30-31 apply today to uninspired teachers? Even Keith teaches (Jul 99) I Cor 14:40 (“Let all things be done decently and in order”) applies today. Keith got it right when he said: “we can (not) just wave the magic wand of ‘miraculous spiritual gifts’ over these verses and dismiss everything they contain as having no relevance for us today.” (Oct 98)

I Cor 14:34-35 itself does not say one word about miraculous gifts, and therefore most certainly does still apply today. Let’s comply with it.

Regarding Extra Biblical Sources Like The Church Fathers

April 3, 2019

II Tim 3:16-17 reads “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” So the scriptures make us complete – “thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

This clearly would mean non inspired writing should carry no weight when determining religious truth/doctrine. But the Catholics have weighted Church Tradition and Church Leadership up to the same level as scripture. And now many denominationalists and even some Christians are weighting the writings of the early Church Fathers almost the same as scripture. But if we truly believe Isaiah 55:8-9 (“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”), then we will understand that what the Church Fathers said is not even a tinsy smidgen of the standard we go by in determining God’s will.

What the uninspired “very early Christians believed” carries no weight because the difference between being inspired or not inspired is the difference in God saying something and man saying something. The difference between God saying something in religion and man saying something in religion, is far greater than the difference between Einstein saying something on the theory of relativity and an ant saying something on the theory of relativity. What the ant says should carry absolutely no weight.

If letting something extra Biblical (like the Church Fathers) carry weight leads us to the same conclusion we would have concluded from the Bible alone, then the extra material is absolutely unnecessary / superfluous. If on the other hand, that extra Biblical material leads us to a different conclusion than what we would have concluded from the Bible alone, then that extra Biblical material has led us astray. Therein lies the grave danger. We are to only contend for the “faith” (Jude 3), not for anything we learn outside actual scripture.

Passages like II Tim 3:16-17 teach the scriptures are our sole authority in religion. Period.