1 Thessalonians 5 vs 21 says “Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.” It is therefore our responsibility to examine all doctrines and teachings brought to us. As such we encourage you to question us and ask us for a Bible answer for the things we teach and practice.
The questions below are common questions asked of us:
- How do we know that the Bible is the word of God?
- Do we deny the work of the Holy Spirit?
- Can one be saved without baptism?
- Do we accept the Old Testament?
- Who is a Christian?
- Does the Bible say who should be baptized?
- Will the good people of all the churches be saved?
- Is it ok to choose the church of my choice?
- Why vocal music only?
Answer : There are many reasons and ways the Bible has shown itself to be
beyond any human capacity. Among these reasons and ways are:
- The character of the Bible: there is an everlasting, perpetual, timeless relevance about the Bible which is beyond human intelligence. The Bible speaks to man’s sin, greed, hate, lust, immortality, disobedience, and rebellion as vividly and relevantly today as it did 2000 years ago. The acts of worship and the conditions of obedience are practicable anywhere, anytime, in any culture, today as they were 2000 years ago without any revision up-dating, or adjustment necessary. This is beyond human wisdom, vision and ingenuity.
- The indestructibility of the bible is another proof of the bible or demonstration that the bible is of divine origin. Few, if any, books have had so many powerful enemies through the ages. Additionally, few books survive 50 years; less survive 100 years, and less still survive 1000 years, but the bible, in spite of its powerful enemies through the ages, have survived 3500 years because He who protects it is more powerful than its enemies.
- The influence of the Bible that is the effect of its presence on human life and upon society. No other book or writing, neither the “Dialogs of Plato”, the “Republic of Socrates”, the “Analectels of Confucious” nor the “Quran” of Mohammed, have had the positive, powerful, transforming effect upon lives and society as has the bible.
- But one of the most powerful ways in which the bible proves that it is not the product of mortal man, is the way it treats or deals with its religious, godly and spiritual heroes. The divine author of the Bible lays bare and open to the world, the evil, vices, wickedness, failures, influences, and sins of some of its greatest heroes, men such as Noah, Abraham, Lot, David, Peter, etc. This is completely contrary to human nature, characteristic, experience and behavior, however objective, educated, civilized, and advanced. We like to and are inclined to keep our heroes sinless, flawless, and evil less, perfect, and without the presence of any failings. Sinful, ungodly, imperfect, humanity cannot accept or tolerate failures and imperfections in its heroes. Only a holy, just, and wise God can, while setting goals and principles whereby we can be holy, flawless and perfect, still praise and honour those who are trying to please Him, in spite of their failings.
Answer :We accept the work, importance, and the necessity of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians, in the Church, in God’s revelation (the Bible), and in Christians understanding God’s truth. To accept the gospel is to accept the work of the Holy Spirit because He is the revealer of God’s truth and it (the gospel) is the sword (1Corinthians 2: 10; Ephesians 6:17).
- Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or his living in us living in our lives we are spiritually empty and dead, and do not belong to Christ – Romans 8:9-14; 1Corinthians 3:16; 6:19.
- This indwelling of the Holy Spirit, in the lives of every true child of God, begins or takes place at baptism or at the time the person becomes a Christian (Acts 2:38; 5:32). It is the indwelling which is here referred to as “the gift of the Holy Spirit”, meaning the Holy Spirit as a gift to us.
- One does not have to tarry for this gift or indwelling. The apostles of Christ were the only who were told to wait at Jerusalem for the baptismal measure of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:4-49; Acts 1:5). Christians today do not receive the baptismal measure of the Holy Spirit as the apostles did (John 3:34; Ephesians 4:7). It is for this reason the apostles of Christ could do things (miracles) which ordinary Christians could and can not do (2 Corinthians 11:13; 12:12; Acts 2:43; 5:12; 8:18). Notice the phrase: “by the hands of the apostles”.
- While we accept and believe in the work and activity of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians and the work of God today, some things, behavior, and activities which are attributed to the Holy Spirit by religious men and women who are ignorant of the Holy Spirit, are contrary and false in respect to everything which God has revealed about the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is the falsehood, errors and lies about the Holy Spirit which we reject and deny. For example, the Holy Spirit never makes anyone act or behave irrationally, disorderly, uncontrollably, or causes people to roll on the floor or in the dirt; a demonic spirit does this, not God’s Holy Spirit (Mark 9:17-20; Act 16:16-18; 1 Corinthians 14:32-33, 40).If a person is falsely told that he must become a Christian, then afterward tarry for the Holy Spirit, that man or woman would still be lost, be in sin, and would not be a child of God, while tarrying for the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9) because he who does not have the Holy Spirit is not a child of God.
Answer :No man or woman can be saved without being baptized. It is the Almighty God who, through Christ, cleanses, forgives, sanctifies, and saves us. Therefore, he is the only one who can tell us the terms and conditions upon which he will forgive and save us which he has done in the New Testament. Since the New Testament Christianity came into existence on the day of Pentecost, 32 AD, the inspired apostles of Jesus Christ and the early church preached, demand and practiced baptism as an imperative condition for forgiveness and salvation.
- Jesus Christ made faith (belief) and baptism conditions for forgiveness and salvation (Mark 16:16).
- Jesus Christ and the inspired word of God tell us that baptism is the counsel (will, purpose, plan, determination) of God (John 7:30), and that God’s counsel is immutable or unchangeable. (Hebrews 6:17). No one is so foolish as to think that he can reject the immutable counsel of God and still receive God’s forgiveness and salvation (Psalms 107:11-12; Proverbs 1:25-26).
- A person is saved in Jesus Christ. Baptism is the act of obedience, the only act, which puts the sinner in Christ and in Christ death (Romans 6:1-5; Colossians; 2:12; Galatians 3:27). No man or woman can be saved outside of Jesus Christ because all spiritual blessings are in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Baptism puts one in Christ’s death and places the penitent person, under the influence or the power of the blood of Christ and thereby washes away or removes our sins (Acts 2:37-38; 22:16).
- God’s inspired word tells us that baptism saves us now. (1 Peter 3:20-21).NOTE: That the baptism which God accepts is a burial under water; it is an immersion. This is the baptism that God commands and sanctions, and this is the one He will accept (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). Only after we have obeyed him in faith, repentance and baptism will we receive his promise of forgiveness and salvation (Hebrews 10:36). Note: “after ye have done the will of God…promise will be received.” Baptism is his will; forgiveness and salvation are his promises.
Answer :Yes we accept both the Old and New Testaments as the word of God – that is, God’s revelation to man. But in doing so we have to accept what the Bible reveals about itself. It reveals that in the O.T. God was not speaking primarily to us but to those who lived before Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2). But in the N.T. God is speaking primarily to us today who live after the death burial and resurrection of Christ (John 1:17; Acts 17:30-31; 2 Corinthians 3:6-11; Galatians 1:6-9; Hebrews 8:7-9; 2 john 1:9-11). So while we accept the O.T. and N. T., God has informed us that he is speaking to us today primarily through the new covenant or new testament (2 Corinthians 3:6, 11) and the teachings of Christ as given by the Apostles (Acts 13:28-29; John 17:20; Galatians 1:6-9) He is speaking to us through Jesus Christ not primarily through the O.T. prophets (Hebrews 1:1-2). The O.T. spoke primarily to the fathers. In the N.T. God through Christ is speaking primarily to us through the writings of the apostles (1 John 4:6).
Question :Who Is A Christian?
Answer :The Bible reveals that a Christian is a follower of Christ (Acts 11:26). A Christian is not merely a religious person. There are many religious persons in the early Church and in the times of the apostles who were not seen as, called, identified as, or considered as such by God. From the scriptures, we learn that a Christian is one who has given up his/her sinful, disobedient, ungodly ways, and through faith, repentance from sin, confession of Christ name, and baptism (immersion), have submitted himself to Christ and His teaching. The word Christian as used in the N. T. was not used to praise, compliment or criticize someone; it simply stated a fact – namely, that the person identified as a Christian has submitted him/herself to the teachings of Christ as given by the apostles (Acts 2:37ff; Acts 3:26ff). Religious Jews attempting to serve God according to the Law or on the basis of the O.T were never at anytime called or identified as Christian. A man or woman must first comply with Christ’s terms and conditions for the removal of sin before he is considered a Christian by God. Those who Peter identified as Christians (1 Pet 4:16) had to first obey the truth of the Gospel (1 Peter 1:22-25).
Question :Does The Bible Say Who Should Be Baptized?
Answer :The inspired word of God, the bible, makes plain to us who is the subject of baptism, or who should be baptized. A. Jesus Christ, in Matthew 28:18-20, taught us that the subject of baptism must be teachable – that is; a person who is sane, rational, sensible, and mature enough to receive, absorb, and assimilate instruction, and to be able to exercise faith in or reject that instruction, Notice that the Master and Saviour informed us that the person to be baptized must first receive teaching or instruction (Matthew 28:19) before baptism, and teaching or instruction after baptism.
When one observes how the apostles and the first century church carried out this commission (Acts 2, 8, 9, 10, 16, 18, 19) it will be noticed that, without exception, every prospective convert or subject of baptism received instruction and exercised faith before he or she was baptized. This naturally EXCLUDES infants, and intoxicated person, or an insane person.
Question :Will The Good People Of All The Churches Be Saved?
Answer :Consistent and repetitive in the teachings of Christ and the inspired writers is the fact that only those men and women who receive and submit to the right and correct teaching or doctrine of Christ will be saved, and that those receiving false, man-made teachings will be condemned and be lost: (Matthew 7:21-23; 15:1-3, 9, 13-14; 16:6,12; Galatians 1:7-9; 2 Timothy 6:3-5; Romans 16:17; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 1:9-11).
When one studies the holy scriptures, honestly and with an open mind and compares the teachings and practice of the first century church and the teachings of the inspired apostles with the teachings and practices of the churches and denominations of our time, it will be clearly seen that there are some vast differences. For example, apostles and Bible baptism is a burial in water (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12); in the New Testament church of the Bible, baptism is essential to one’s salvation (Acts 2:37-41; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21); in the first century church of Christ, it was wrong and sinful to use or wear man-made unauthorized names to identify the Christians, or to name the church after men (1Corinthians 1:10-12). In the New Testament church, Christ only commanded vocal music in worship (sing) (Ephesians 5:19; Col 3:16) to praise and honor God, not instrumental music to provide entertainment for men. In the New Testament church of the Bible, no church leader was ever called or addressed as “Reverend” or “Most Holy” or “Most Holy Father”. Only God is Reverent and Most Holy (Psalm 111:9). In the true New Testament church of Christ, Jesus Christ is the only head of His church, and it has no earthly headquarters (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23. In the true New Testament church, Christians are informed that the Old Testament Jewish Law justifies no one, and that Christians are not under the law which was given to Israel (Acts 13;38-39; Romans 3:20-22; 7:1-6; 2 Corinthians 3:6-14; Galatians 3:24-25; 4:21-31; Hebrews 7:11-12, 18).
These above examples are but few of the many areas in which God’s guidance and directive to man are ignored, disregarded and disobeyed, at their peril and the peril of those who are a part of these churches. Men and women therefore who are members of the various denominations which continue to disobey the word of God can never be saved. These people are victims, and are spoken of by Christ in Matthew 15:14; 7:21 and are the churches of which Christ spoke in Matthew 15:13. Plants refer to man-made churches.
It must be kept in mind that we are not going to stand saved and justified in God’s sight by our goodness, but by submitting to Christ and obeying his teaching (Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46-47; Hebrews 5:9). The religious teachings we receive, accept, and live by determines what we are spiritually and religiously in the eyes of God. If the teaching we receive represents the traditions, ideas, concepts and religious philosophies of men mixed with the word of God, it becomes the contaminated perverted gospel, which places us under condemnation (Matthew 16:6,12; Galatians 1:7-). Therefore, however good and innocent a religious man-made teaching may seem in the eyes of man, in the eyes of God it only contaminates and damns the souls of men (Matthew 15:9; 2 Pet 2:1-3). It is for this reason that, with all the sincerity, commitment, and dedication of Apollos, it was absolutely necessary for him to be corrected, be properly taught, and be brought to conform to the pure New Testament truth of the Jesus Christ, if he was going to escape the condemnation and stand saved in the eyes of god (Acts 18:24ff). It is also for this same reason that the people in Acts 19:1-5, even though they had previously been baptized, because they were incorrectly taught or given the wrong religious doctrine, had to be corrected by being properly taught and baptized over. This was not because of Paul’s narrow mindedness, but because, like us, God would not save them in their religious falsehood, however sincere they were. Too, the concept of multiplicity of churches, other churches, or being saved from different churches is completely contrary to God’s will and purpose, what He has revealed about the place and the how of man’s salvation. The just, righteous, and holy God has informed us that He is not going to save us as divided people identified as either St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Apollos, Baptist or , Methodist, (1 Corinthian 1:10-13), but in one church or one body (Ephesians 2: 15-16; 4:4). If the Almighty God is not prepared to save the Jews and the Gentiles in two different churches (Ephesians 2:16; 3:6), what twist of logic would lead us to believe that he will save us in two or three hundred churches or even in the church of our choice. Ephesians 4:4-6 is teaching that in the very same way there is but one true God among the many false Gods, there is also but one true church (body) among the many false churches.
Question :Is It Ok To Choose The Church Of My Choice?
Answer :Sinful men and women do not have a choice of the church anymore than we have a choice of the savior (1Timothy 2:5). When there is one of anything we have no choice. There was but one River Jordan, therefore, Naaman had no choice in what river he would be cleansed of his leprosy; even though there were other rivers in his country (2 Kings 5:12). There was but one river Jordan, to which God had limited himself. So it was in the time of Moses when the children of Israel sinned and were being killed by poisonous snakes; God instructed Moses to make a brass (fiery) snake and set it in the midst of the people (Numbers 21:5-9). There was but one fiery serpent; therefore, the Israelites had no choice in the matter or could choose the snake of his or her choice. In Ephesians 4:4-6, we are taught that there is but one true God among the many false gods (1 Corinthians 8:5-6), one true Christ among the many false Christ (Matthew 24:24); and one true church of Christ (Matthew 16:18) among the many man-made churches. The church of my choice or your choice is as ridiculous, unscriptural, and contrary to God’s will and purpose as the Christ of your choice. In the same way we do not have the choice in one; we do not have it in the other. Jesus Christ is the head, and the church is His body (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). In the same way we can not have a choice in the head, we can not have a choice in the body; and if we have our choice in one, we can also have our choice in the other.
Question :Why Vocal Music Only?
Answer :The church of Christ uses only vocal music in its worship because this is the example left us in the teaching of the New Testament in respect to worship. In guiding and directing man, when God uses specific words to direct how or what we do or give, that specific noun or verb excludes and forbids anything except that which is specified. When God in Genesis 6:14 specified that “gopher wood” be used to build the ark that directive excluded all other timber. When the New Testament writers specified “singing” (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Romans 15;9; 1Corinthians 14:15; Hebrews 2:12) it excludes “playing”, “blowing”, “picking”, “beating”, etc. It must also be kept in mind that instrumental music was never introduced into New Testament worship to please God but to satisfy and provide entertainment to man…..