A Scriptural Study Newsletter edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

 

 


The Four Wheels in Ezekiel


God has so arranged the scriptures that there are numerous associations that help guide us in our studies of His word. There are associations between bible numbers and specific bible subjects. There are associations between bible colors and specific bible subjects. There are associations between bible metals and specific bible subjects. Also there are associations between bible geometric shapes and specific bible subjects. In our previous studies we have shown the association between the bible number four and the bible subject of the work of the Holy Spirit. Last issue in the book of Ezekiel we examined the four faces of the living creatures (who are a type of the gospel ministry) and the working of the Holy Spirit in the gospel ministry. In this issue we will examine the association between the four wheels in Ezekiel and the work of the Holy Spirit in the church.

In the scriptures things that are round or circular are often associated with covenants. Before I retired from my secular job, my job required me to make numerous airplane flights every year. I probably averaged about twenty five round trips a year over about 20 years. I would guess I made approximately a thousand flights. Occasionally the planes would fly over the top of thunderstorms. When we did we could see the rainbows in the clouds while we were above the clouds. Above the clouds, the geometric shape of the rainbow is circular. Below the clouds, of course the geometric shape is semi-circular. In Genesis chapter nine God made a covenant with every living creature that he would never again destroy the earth with a flood and he set the bow in the cloud as a token of the covenant that when he looked upon the bow he would remember the everlasting covenant. When God looks upon the bow from above he sees a circle which is a sign of his everlasting covenant with all living creatures.

In Genesis chapter 17 God made a covenant with Abraham and his seed. As a token of the covenant every man child of his seed was to be circumcised when he was eight days old. The word, “circumcised,” literally means circular cutting (circum=circular; cision=cutting).

In Exodus, the tabernacle, the furniture of the tabernacle, and the high priests garments testify many things to us in types and shadows of both God’s covenant of redemption and covenant of worship. In the pattern God gave, rings were used to couple or link together curtains, the furniture and staves to carry them, the various parts of the High Priestly garments. Similarly, Gods covenant of redemption is linked together such that his election, predestination, calling, justification, and glorification embrace all of the elect. The religious world stumbles when they try to unlink these parts, but God’s church rejoices to leave them linked together.

In II Chron. Chapter 4 we read of a circular molten sea connected with the temple that was founded upon twelve oxen. Similarly in Eph. 2:19-22 we read, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Thus the church is built on the covenant work of God and is founded upon the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.

In Ezekiel chapters one and ten the church is described as a wheel within a wheel. The Lord’s people who worship him in Spirit and in truth are embraced by two great covenants. The first is the covenant of redemption as stated for us in Rom. 8:29, 30, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” According to Rev. 7:9 this covenant embraces “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues...” The second covenant is the covenant of worship as stated in John 4:23, 24, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Also in Heb. 8:10-12 we read, “For this is the covenant that I will make with house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” This covenant of worship embraces only those who worship him in spirit and in truth to which the Lord said, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Thus the wheel within a wheel would embrace only that portion of God’s people who worship him in the new covenant church.

Ezekiel chapters one and ten show a very strong relationship between the living creatures and the wheels. Similarly there is a very strong relationship between the gospel ministry and the church. There were four living creatures and four wheels. Each living creature had a wheel beside him. Please note the relative positions of the living creatures and the wheels. The wheel was located not under or over the living creature, but beside the living creature. This indicated they were partners in work and worship. Similarly the gospel ministry is not over the church and has no business “lording it over God’s heritage, but are to be “examples to the flock.” Also the work of the gospel ministry is not separate and apart from the church, but is a part of the church.

Next, the four wheels had one likeness (Eze. 1:16). Some people look at the great multitude of denominational religions and think that they are all part of the Lord’s church. If that were so then there would be thousands of likenesses, not one likeness. Song 6:8, 9 reads, “There are threescore queens and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. My dove, my undefiled is but one: she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her.” The Lord’s churches (wheels) have but one likeness and that is the likeness given her in the new testament and they are not to deviate from it! The way to know if a group is a true new testament church is to compare them to the scriptures. There are no Sunday schools; preacher schools or preacher seminars; salaried ministers; tithing; raising money for foreign mission work; church auxiliaries; church sponsored schools, hospitals, day care, or nursing homes; youth camps; or organizations above or apart from the local church in the new testament church.

Eze. 1:19-21 reads, “And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go: and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.” The same spirit that was in the living creatures was also in the wheels. In most of the religious world man is exalted. The preacher’s work is exalted and man’s response to their teaching is exalted. The laborers and their labor in all their auxiliaries are exalted. In the Lord’s church there is no room for man to be exalted. The preacher is called by the Holy Spirit. He learns thru the leadership o the Spirit. He is given messages by the Holy Spirit. His field of labor is directed by the Holy Spirit. He preaches in power and demonstration of the Spirit. Likewise the members of the church have all been born of the Spirit and are thus enabled to receive spiritual things. They are given listening ears to hear the gospel and the spirit within gives them hearts to praise God.  The Spirit gives them both the desire and the ability to worship and to serve God (Phil. 2:13). Therefore it is no wonder that when the gospel minister is raised up to praise the Lord and his work, they also are raised up to praise Him. Likewise when the gospel minister stands to defend and confirm the gospel, then the members of the church do also. Since the work of the gospel ministers and of the churches is under the leadership of the Spirit, then all the praise belongs unto God.

“The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color of beryl.” The color of the beryl stone is green. “Green” is associated with “life” in the scriptures. The church is compared to the “body” of Christ in Eph. 4:15, 16 “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” The church is more than just a bunch of individuals gathering to hear the gospel and then going home and going their own way until the next meeting time. Rather the church is a functional organism that grows in grace, knowledge, service; helps one another; prays for one another; loves one another; considers one another as brothers and sisters; admonishes one another; encourages one another; mourns one with another; rejoices one with another; labors together for the good of the cause; fellowships one with another. Now these things happen because of the indwelling of the Spirit. Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 12:4-7, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administration, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the administration of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”

“When they went, they went upon their four sides.” One of the biggest enemies of the church and God’s people is pride. Some people thru pride are controllers. They want to control the actions of others and to have the attention and/or the lead on just about everything. They have a big I mentality. God’s church is not to be so. All the members have gifts and works to do in the church (thus all four sides). The Spirit divided spiritual gifts to every man severally as he will. Also “God hath set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him.” All the members of the body have a function and a work to do and they all have gifts that God has given them.

“And they turned not when they went.” Just as the gospel ministry went forth under the leadership of the Spirit, so also does the church go forth under the leadership of the Spirit. When we are following the Spirit we shouldn’t ever turn back or turn away.

“As for their rings, they were so high, they were dreadful.” Rings are used in the scriptures to connect things together. We are connected to God and the Lord’s people by the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gave us spiritual life and enabled us to understand spiritual things. The fruits of the Spirit connect us to God’s love and to the love of God’s people. Thru the fruit of the Spirit we rejoice in a Savior’s love and rejoice in fellowship with the saints of God. Thru the Spirit we have peace with God and rejoice in the gospel of peace and have peace one with another.

“And their rings were full of eyes round about them four.” As the work of the Holy Spirit connects us to God and to the Lord’s people, He also gives us insight unto godly living, repentance, true worship of God, and the proper order and government of the Lord’s church.


In our next issue we will consider the four faces of the four wheels.
 
Elder Vernon Johnson




 Frequently Asked Questions About Old Line Primitive Baptist


“Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (1Peter 3:15). This booklet has been written in order that those who are honest seekers may have a better understanding of who and what we stand for. These are only a few of the most frequently asked questions given as an overview.

 Table of contents:

1. What is the difference between Primitive Baptists and other religious orders?
2. What is meant by the term “Old Line?”
3. What do you mean by the name “Primitive Baptist”?
4. How are Primitive Baptists different from Other Baptists?
5. What do Primitive Baptists believe about the scriptures?
6. Why do Primitive Baptists call their ministers elders?
7. Why do Primitive Baptists not have to train their ministers?
8. Why do Primitive Baptists require their elders to be male?
9. How do Primitive Baptists determine questions of Church practice?
10. Why do Primitive Baptists only have communion with baptized believers of the same faith and order?
11. Why do Primitive Baptists use real wine and unleavened bread in their communion services?
12. Why do Primitive Baptists wash feet?
13. Why do Primitive Baptists require baptism by full water immersion?
14. Why do Primitive Baptists re-baptize people who come and join them from other orders?
15. Why do Primitive Baptists not use musical instruments in their worship services?
16. Why do Primitive Baptists not have Sunday schools?
17. Why do Primitive Baptists not have crosses or pictures of Jesus in their churches?
18. What do Primitive Baptists believe about speaking in tongues as well as other miraculous gifts?
19. What do Primitive Baptists believe about the fall of man?
20. What do Primitive Baptists believe about unconditional election?
21. What is meant by the term “predestination?
22. Do Primitive Baptists believe that Jesus Christ died for the whole human race?
23. If a person is already “saved” why do Primitive Baptists continue to preach?
24. Why do Primitive Baptists not send out missionaries?
25. Are Primitive Baptists “Protestants?
26. Do Primitive Baptists believe in tithing?
27. Do Primitive Baptists receive a salary?
28. Why do Primitive Baptists not preach that God loves everybody?
29. Since Primitive Baptists believe that your eternal destiny is secure in the hands of God and that you as a man cannot do anything to change it, do you worry that you may be wrong?
30. If the Primitive Baptists believe that the scriptures were not written in order to save souls to ever lasting life, what do they believe they were written for?
31. Do Primitive Baptists believe in preaching the gospel to sinners?
32. Aren’t the scriptures written as a means to get someone to be born again?
33. Do Primitive Baptists believe that it is necessary to call on men to repent and believe?
34. What do Primitive Baptists mean when they refer to the gospel or militant church?
35. Do Primitive Baptists preach infants to hell?
 
1. What is the difference between Primitive Baptists and other religious orders?

The main difference is that Primitive Baptist believe salvation comes by free and sovereign grace. Basically there are two beliefs to be found among those who confess to be “Christians” in the world. One is that salvation is by grace, and grace alone, and the other is that salvation is dependant on some form of a works system. Most people say that they believe in salvation by grace, but add in to it a belief that this grace is dependant upon the will of man; such as belief, repentance, faith, baptism, or hearing and receiving the gospel as a condition on which must be done in order to receive eternal life. Primitive Baptist believe that the Bible teaches that salvation is of, and by the Lord alone, apart from any work of man, and that His grace alone, with nothing else added.

2. What is meant by the term “Old Line?” Put simply it is a term used to describe something that is very old, marked by being “strait and narrow.”

3. What do you mean by the name “Primitive Baptist”? The true Church of Jesus Christ has been known by many different names in the past until this very day. They were first “called Christians at Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Other names include Donatists, Waldenses, Albigeneses, and Ana-Baptist, etc. In 1832 there was a division in the Baptist family of churches in this country. There were those who came in "among" the Baptist people and insisted on establishing “New” Missionary Boards, Sunday Schools, as well as other non-scriptural societies in the church, these who embraced and accepted the changes were referred to as the “New School” or “Missionary Baptist.”

While those who opposed these new inventions and who continued to walk in the established “Old Paths” that became were known as the “Old School” or “Primitive Baptists.” And so the term “Primitive Baptist” refers to the “Original,” “First of its kind,” and coming from the beginning of the time of the life of Christ. They are able to trace their identity back to the first church, which He set up and established.

4. How are Primitive Baptists different from Other Baptist? In the United States alone it’s been estimated that there are well over 53 different types of those who call themselves “Baptist.” And the first thing that someone notices when they come and worship with us is the lack of formality in the services toward God. Nothing has been added to, nor taken away from the service of God, but is kept as simply as is possible, and as close to the way in which Jesus left it when He set it up (Rev. 22:19).

5. What do Primitive Baptists believe about the scriptures? They believe “that 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” (2 Tim. 3:15-16). And that God has preserved His word over the ages, and that the 1611 King James Translation is the best translation in the English language. Of all the books written from that only the King James is regarded as being scripture. This is maintained by the fact of the superiority of its manuscripts used in its translating as well as the superior scholarship of its translators.

6. Why do Primitive Baptists call their ministers elders? There are only two terms used in the scriptures referring to preachers. These are bishop and the other is elder (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1). The term reverend is used only once in the scriptures, and it has reference to God (Psalm 111:9). No man is worthy to hold such a title. As to the term father the scriptures never use it as a title, Jesus Himself commanded that we are to call no man father upon the earth (Matt. 23:9).

The term apostle is clearly used in the scriptures to mean a minister who Jesus Himself called to that office in the early Church, and they were eyewitnesses to His sufferings and resurrection. And they were given special powers that elder’s who followed do not have (Acts 8:18; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:2-4).     

7. Why do Primitive Baptists not have to train their ministers? Each Primitive Baptist Church congregation chooses from their own male members only those who are proven faithful the truth of the gospel and the church and established practices. This is shown by having each to speak for a period of time to determine if they have a gift or calling from God to preach, usually 2 to 5 years or longer. Ministers are expected to seek the wisdom and guidance of God to guide them in their studies of the scriptures. And are to seek out the counsel of experienced ministers about any questions of scriptural interpretation and matters of church practice.

Although Primitive Baptist have not objection to a minister having or seeking an education, they view theological seminary schools, and preaching seminars as being unscriptural and the invention of flawed man and are to be avoided. In this way each elder will learn totally by and through the Holy Ghost, aided by his fellow ministers, as it was from days of the apostles and the early church.

8. Why do Primitive Baptists require their elders to be male? Simply because the scriptures require it to be so ( 1 Cor. 14:35-36; 1 Tim. 2:11-12; 1 Tim. 3:2). And there are no female elders in the scriptures. And unlike those who disregard this fact due to popular opinions, the scriptures also state that a woman is not “to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence (1 Tim. 2:12).

9. How do Primitive Baptists determine questions of Church practice? All questions of practice of which the scriptures do not expressly address are to be resolved by scriptural pattern or example. (1 Cor. 11:1-2; 2 Thess. 2:15, 3:6).

Any tradition that has no biblical authority are to be considered as hostile to true worship, and only serve to puff up the flesh (Mark 7:5-13).

10. Why do Primitive Baptists only have communion with baptized believers of the same faith and order? In Luke 22:9-20, it was only with the disciples who came to Jesus and asked Him “Where wilt thou that we prepare” for the Passover that He told to go into the city and they would see a man carrying a pitcher of water, which, they were to follow to a certain house. And ask him and he would show “them” an “upper room” already prepared for that purpose. After which Jesus sat down along with His “twelve apostles,” where He then “took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “take this, and divide it among yourselves: for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”

And the Apostle Paul also said, “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body” (1 Cor. 11:27-29). People who have not believed and committed themselves to baptism have not yet examined themselves as to their Christian duty, and should not enter into the communion. And any Church who would allow such a one to enter into communion would in effect make baptism of little or no importance.

The entering into communion is to be a grave and serious matter, not to be taken lightly. Jesus also said to His disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:19-20). The proper order is, first, belief, second, baptism, third, observing all that Jesus commanded. (See also Mark 16:16; Acts 2:41-42, 8:36-37; Rom. 6:3-4).

11. Why do Primitive Baptists use real wine and unleavened bread in their communion services? Jesus himself changed water into wine during a wedding service, which is evidenced by the statement of the governor of the feast, who remarked that “every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now” (John 2:1-10). If it were grape juice, as some would suggest, it would have made little or no difference when it was served. It should also be noted that the communion took place immediately after the Passover, in which unleaved bread and wine were used (Exod. 12:3-8; Num. 9:9-11; Deut. 16:1-3; Matt. 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7).

12. Why do Primitive Baptists wash feet? The Apostle John explains that, “And supper being ended,” that Jesus “riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.” And “after that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.” Having completed this He said, “know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.”

13. Why do Primitive Baptists require baptism by full water immersion? To begin with the word “baptize” is a Greek word that literally means to immerse or dip under the water. And this is the example that Jesus Himself has left us to follow. Immediately after being baptized He “went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:16-17; Mark 1:10-11).

14. Why do Primitive Baptists re-baptize people who come and join them from other orders? In Acts: 19: 19:1-7 we read the Apostle Paul was traveling through Ephesus, and he found “disciples” who had not even “heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” And Paul asked them if in what name were they baptized, to which they answered that they were baptized by John the Baptist believing that Christ was still yet to come into the world. This was before John had told all of them to follow Jesus. And, the scriptures tell us that “when they heard this, they were baptized’ (again) ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus,” to which they received the Holy Ghost. (Acts 19:1-7).

Baptism is ordnance maintained by the Church, as a means of entering into the membership of the church body (Acts 2:41). Three things must be present in order to have a proper baptism. First, there must be a proper administer, that is a true gospel minister recognized by the church. Second, there must be a proper candidate, a believer in the true gospel of Jesus Christ. And third, there must be a body of water (Acts 8:36). Therefore any former baptism that does not meet these requirements would not be considered to be proper, such as infant baptisms, sprinklings, those outside of the church.

15. Why do Primitive Baptists not use musical instruments in their worship services? The answer to this is straight forward, because is no scriptural precedent for it in the New Testament. We do however find that there are repeated instructions to sing in the church (Rom. 15:9; 1 Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12; James 5:13).  Some object to this and attempt to refer to Psalms 137:2-3, “We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, sing us one of the songs of Zion.” But they fail read the third verse, which reads, “how shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?”

Also some refer to Psalms 150, which speaks of the use of many instruments of music being used to praise the Lord. But these are not referring to the New Testament Church, by to the old Jewish worship under the Law. And so if this be true and we are to do these things, then would it not also be true that we ought to also have animal sacrifices in the churches as well? We cannot simply pick and choose what we will add; it’s all of the law or nothing.  And again some would insist that there are many things that are found in most, if not all of today’s modern churches that are without scriptural precedent, such as electric lighting, air conditioning, carpeting, etc. but none of these things have anything to do with the worship of God.

16. Why do Primitive Baptists not have Sunday schools? To begin with there is no scriptural precedence for Sunday schools. Although it’s certain that the Apostle Paul most certainly admonishes God’s people to study the scriptures (2 Tim. 2:15). It’s a great benefit to study in a setting with a pastor with other Christian believers. However there is nothing in the scriptures that we find which instructs any New Testament Church, or for that matter in the old law worship, to separate themselves by age, sex, or any other criteria.

Some may insist that Sunday schools are necessary for the instruction of children. It has been falsely assumed by “popular opinion” that children cannot be instructed in a proper church worship service. But this is simply not true, in Matt. 11:25 Jesus says concerning children, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” And again in Matt. 21:15, we see a wonderful thing, children crying out praises to God in the temple, saying, “Hosanna to the son of David.”
In the Old Testament we find that instruction is not just a Sunday event, but an every day, from the time we rise up in the morning to the time we lay down to sleep at night event (Deut. 6:6).

17. Why do Primitive Baptists not have crosses or pictures of Jesus in their churches? To start with the scriptures forbid having any kind of images of God at all (Exod. 20:4-5). And to do so is considered to be idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 John 5:21). And so having pictures of Jesus: who is God the Son in the flesh (John 1:1, 5:18, 14, 14:8-9; Phil. 2:5-8), would also be included in this commandment. And lastly, pictures of Jesus are only products of man’s imagination. And lastly, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb.5:12).

18. What do Primitive Baptists believe about speaking in tongues as well as other miraculous gifts? They believe that there are always possibilities of miracles (Matt. 17:19-20; Mark 9:23, 11:23). And most of God’s people have been witness to having their prayers answered in most miraculous ways.

In the scriptures we find that miracles are always performed by, in the Old Testament, by the prophets, and in the New Testament, by Jesus Christ or His Apostles. Special gifts were given to and where ended with apostles. These gift were given to them in order to establish the fact that the church early church had arrived with power. That having been accomplished, and since there not apostles in the world today, any so-called occurrence of extraordinary spiritual gifts would be a departure from the scriptural pattern.

There is also evidence that these gift began to diminish even with the apostles, Paul instructed Timothy to take a little wine for a chronic stomach problem that he was suffering (1 Tim. 5:23), and he even wrote of leaving Trophimus who was sick at Miletum (2 Tim. 4:P20). Wouldn’t be reasonable to assume that he would have healed these people if he still possessed these apostolic powers?

The practice of counterfeiting miracles in the name of Jesus Christ is condemned in scripture (Matt. 7:21-23). It is done only to deceive, bringing fame and monetary gain to those who do so. And lastly it serves to discredit any true miracles that are recorded in the Bible, and takes away the belief in the power of prayer to God (2 peter 2:1-2).

19. What do Primitive Baptists believe about the fall of man? They believe The man Adam was created perfect, and that he willfully sinned in his disobedience of God’s commandment saying, “of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17). And that in his disobedience he plunged all of his posterity into sin and death (Rom. 5:12-19). And that man in his natural state is dead in his trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1) and is unable, and unwilling to recover himself by his own “free-will” (John 1:13; John 6:44; Rom. 3:10-20; Rom. 9:16).

20. What do Primitive Baptists believe about unconditional election? They believe that God choose out a people before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). And that God sent forth His only begotten Son, born into the world fulfilling all that was necessary for every one of them to be with Him in Glory.

21. What is meant by the term “predestination? Predestination is a phrase used in the Bible no less than 4 times (Rom. 8: 29-30, Eph. 1: 5, 11). It is a word that describes God’s choosing out of the world of Adam’s race a “great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (rev. 7:9) to be conformed to the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:28-30). It is said by those who object to this doctrine that it is an unfair doctrine, but Primitive Baptist understand that had it not been for God’s predestinating according to His sovereign will, the entire human race would have remained “dead in trespasses and sins” forever. Predestination is not the sinner’s enemy, but it is his friend, it brings him to a state of salvation from his ruined condition into a state of grace. Predestination is not “what” God “foreknows,” but “whom” He “foreknows.”

22. Do Primitive Baptists believe that Jesus Christ died for the whole human race? No, Primitive Baptist understand that the scriptures do not support such an idea. Primitive Baptist believe that Christ died for the elect only (Mark 13:27; 1 peter 1:2). And that the ones that He died for do not have their trespasses imputed to them and are not condemned (2 Cor. 5:18-19). Jesus said in John 6:37-39, “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” Jesus came into the world to “save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21; Rom. 8:33-34), and that He accomplished what His father sent Him to do. And that God “saw the travail of His soul and was satisfied” (Isa. 53:10-12).

23. If a person is already “saved” why do Primitive Baptists continue to preach? Primitive Baptist understand that preaching is not for the purpose of saving someone to eternal salvation, but is for the comfort of God’s people (Isa. 40:1-2, 9; Eph. 4: 11-16). Eternal salvation is a result of a direct operation of the Holy Ghost causing one to be born again from death in sin, unto life with God in heaven’s glory world (John 3:6-8). The gospel brings “life and immortality to light” (1 Tim. 1:10), but it does not produce life.

24. Why do Primitive Baptists not send out missionaries? Primitive Baptist believe that sense the gospel is not necessary to save someone to eternal glory, it is not therefore necessary to send forth men to make people ready, or to “save souls” in order for them to go to heaven. And that God’s ministers ought to go only where they are directed by the Holy Ghost and not by a missionary board (Acts 20:22-23). And that if He does cause a minister to feel that he is called to go out into a foreign country to preach the gospel, that he ought to go at once, depending on the Lord and those that he is called to serve, and not wait for someone to pay his way.

25. Are Primitive Baptists “Protestants?" No, the true Church that Jesus Christ established was before all other religious orders and institutions of men that have taken the name of “Christian” to themselves. The true Church had nothing to reform, and therefore cannot be called a Protestant Church.

26. Do Primitive Baptists believe in tithing? Primitive Baptist believe that tithing was and is an Old Testament Law requirement that is not binding today. It was given as a “tax” used to support the priesthood, and the upkeep of temple. We believe that God’s people in the Church are to “give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). And to give in secret, “and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly” (Matt. 6:4).

27. Do Primitive Baptists ministers receive a salary? No, Primitive Baptist ministers having been called by God devote their time and resources to the service of God and His people out of love. They follow after the example set forth by Jesus when He sent out His disciples to preach, instructing them to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat” (Matt.10:7-10; Mark 6:7-9; Luke 9:1-3; 10:1-4). And as the Lord blesses their labors among them, those who receive his labor contribute willingly to his needs (Luke 22:25-26; 1 Cor 9:9-14).

28. Why do Primitive Baptists not preach that God loves everybody? Because the Scriptures do not teach that He does. God does love all of His people that He has placed in Christ Jesus before the world began, and they do number the stars in the sky, and the sands on the seashore enumerable, but this does not include everyone in the human family of Adam. (Rom. 9:11-13).

29. Since Primitive Baptists believe that your eternal destiny is secure in the hands of God and that you as a man cannot do anything to change it, do worry that you may be wrong? No, just the opposite is true. There is great comfort in the knowledge that you place with God is in the Lord Almighty’s hands and not in the hands of fallible man (Titus 3:5-7).

30. If the Primitive Baptists believe that the scriptures were not written in order to save souls to ever lasting life, what do they believe they were written for? The scriptures were written for three main reasons, first, glorify God (Rom. 15:6-9), second, to comfort God’s people (Rom. 15:4), and third, “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” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

31. Do Primitive Baptists believe in preaching the gospel to sinners? Yes, by all means, because Primitive Baptist believe that it is only the born again child of God in the world who would have any interest in the grace of God toward poor and needy sinners. They understand that the dead cannot receive anything at all, but one must be born again from above in order to “see the kingdom of God,” or to enter in to it (John 3:3-5). And that he is born again as the Holy Spirit sovereignly moves (John 3:8). And the Gospel is not addressed to the dead alien sinner, but to those who are living and are burdened with their sins (Matt. 11:28-30).

32. Aren’t the scriptures written as a means to get someone to be born again? The scriptures were not written to cause someone to be born again, but it is true that we are born again by the Word of God which liveth and abideth for ever,” but this “Word” is not the written word, nor is it the preached word, but it is the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-2, 14; 1 Peter 1:23-25). The word and the gospel are two distinctly different things. Jesus and the message are not the same thing. The gospel is the “good news from a far country” of what He has done for His people. (Prov. 25:25; Matt. 11:5).

33. Do Primitive Baptists believe that it is necessary to call on men to repent and believe? Yes, they certainly do, but this message is not to the dead alien sinner, but only to one who is burdened by his sins, and he ought to repent and believe the truth. For when he does repent, believes, and is baptized he is going to be saved from the distresses, errors of confusion, and pit falls that will come his way while he lives in this sinful world (Mark 16:16) This salvation is not that which takes someone to heaven, but one which will save him while here in the world (Acts 2:40).

34. What do Primitive Baptists mean when they refer to the gospel or militant church? There are two phases of the church. This is a reference to the physical congregation of believers, which was set and established by Jesus Christ while He was here on the earth as a place of rest while they are on their way home to God the Father. In order to enter into the gospel church a person must be taught by the preaching of the gospel to follow the Lord in obedience into the waters of baptism. The gospel church is that called a “little flock” by Jesus (Luke 12:32).

While there is also a universal church which is made up of all of those who have been born again by God, which Jesus will someday present to His Father without “spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27). This church, which will be housed with Him in heaven, is without number (Heb. 11:12; Rev. 5:9, 7:9).

35. Do Primitive Baptists preach infants to hell? No, the doctrine preached by Primitive Baptist is the only doctrine that gives any hope at all that infants, the feeble-minded, and the person who has never heard, nor will be in heaven. Most other religious orders of people preach and teach that it is necessary for someone to hear, understand and respond to the message of the gospel, and must manifestly believe on Christ, in order to become a child of God. But Old Line Primitive Baptist believe and teach that everyone to whom God loves, and that He gave to His Son Jesus Christ will receive the mercy of God without the hearing of the gospel, and without fully understanding what has taken place within his heart.

If eternal salvation is dependent upon any work that is to be done by man, then the infant, the feeble-minded, and the heathen must have the gospel preached to them by man, and they must repent and believe the truth, and there would be no hope for them. And they’re being no word in the scriptures declaring an “age of accountability,” and that “wages of sin is death,” (Rom. 6:23,) then the infant who dies, is paying for its own sin. But since the sovereign grace of God is in and through the work our His Son, we know full well that He will save His own regardless of their circumstances in life. (Rom. 8:29-30, 34-39; 11:28; 2 Tim. 2:13, 16-19).

“These are only but a few of the questions that may be asked concerning the Primitive Baptist, but if you find that you have an interest in the pure and simply form of Apostolic worship, I would like to encourage you to come and attend worship services with God’s people who are numbered among the Old Line Primitive Baptist who meet and sing the old songs of Zion, pray together, and are blessed to hear the joyful sound of the gospel. These are the poor and needy sinners, who have felt the Spirit of God in their hearts, and rejoice in their blessed hope.”

Elder Thomas McDonald
 

Primitive Baptist