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Home arrow 50 Yrs Among The Baptists arrow Questions and Answers-Part 11
Questions and Answers-Part 11 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sylvester Hassell   

 

Preaching

Q. Will any persons be saved unless the gospel is preached to them?
A. While it is true that the ministry is to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, as the Spirit of God may direct them, and as the providence of God may open the way to them, and it is the duty of other members to help them on their way after a godly sort, and those to whom they minister in spiritual things should minister to them in carnal things, as the Scripture teach, it is at the same time true that all the elect and redeemed people of God, both infants and adults, will be saved. (Psalm 33:12; Isa. 35:10; 45:17; 53:11; Jer. 31-34; Matt. 1:21; 11:25-27; 16:16,17; John 5:25; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; 17:1-3, 24; Rom. 8:28-39; I Cor. 1:26-31; 12:3; Eph. 1:1-14; I Pet. 1-5; Rev. 5:9,10). Jesus is the Great Preacher, and, by His omnipresent Spirit, He preaches His gospel savingly to His people (Isa. 61:1-3,10,11; Luke 4:16-30; Heb. 2:11,12; Psalm 110:3).

Q. Who were "the spirits in prison" to whom Christ preached? (I Pet. 3:18-20).
A. The spirits in the prison of hell when Peter wrote his Epistle, but alive in their bodies on earth when Christ by His Spirit in Noah preached to them. (I Pet. 1:11; II Pet. 2:5).

Q. Ought women to preach?
A. They may teach privately (Acts 18:26; 21:9); but they should not preach or teach in the churches. (I Cor. 14:34,35; I Tim. 2:11-12).

Q. Was any woman ever sent by the Saviour or the early churches on a public mission?
A. The women who followed Christ from Galilee, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Joanna and Salome, were sent by Christ, after He had risen from the dead, to tell of His resurrection to His disciples, and that He would go before them into Galilee. (Matt. 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 23:55,56; 24:1-11; John 20:11-18). And Phoebe seems to have been a messenger from the church at Cenchrea, near Corinth, to the church at Rome. (Rom. 16:1,2).

Q. May a sister talk on religious subjects at a social meeting?
A. Yes; but she is not to teach or preach in a church. (Acts 18:26; 21:9; I Cor. 14:34,35; I Tim. 2:11,12).

Q. Does "prophesying," in the New Testament, mean "preaching?"
A. It means speaking religious truth, whether spiritual or future, under Divine influence. Men, called of God for that purpose, were to prophesy both privately or publicly; but women, so qualified by the Divine Spirit, were to speak only privately and not in the churches. (Acts 2:17, 18; 18:26; I Tim. 2:11,12; I Cor. 14:34,35).

Q. What does Paul mean when he says "help those women who labored with me in the gospel?" (Philip 4:3).
A. He refers especially to Euodias and Syntyche, to whom he had just alluded (Philip. 4:2), and herein he enjoins upon his "true yoke-fellow," probably the pastor of the church at Phillippi, to help to a mutual reconciliation these sisters, who were somewhat at variance, and who had sympathized with and ministered to him and had aided him privately, by word and by deed, in his humble, laborious, and self-sacrificing ministry.

Q. Were the schools of the prophets spoken of in the Old Testament theological schools?
A. "Schools of the prophets" are spoken of nowhere in all the Scriptures. In the books of Samuel and Kings, "sons of the prophets" and a "company of the prophets" are spoken of a few times. There is absolutely no Scriptural evidence to prove that Samuel or any other prophet could teach or did teach any one else to prophesy. If the prophets taught these "sons" or "companies" to do anything, it seems to have been the use of musical instruments in the singing of psalms (I Sam. 10:5); and the wicked King Saul and his messengers were among these so-called prophets (I Sam. 10:10-13; 19:20,21; and Saul acted with great indecency in his so-called prophesying (I Sam. 19:24). May the Lord mercifully deliver His true people from such "prophets."

Q. Outside of the Primitive Baptist Church, do you believe that any ministers are called, qualified, and sent of the Lord to preach His gospel?
A. I feel sure He has, among the Covenanted Baptists of Canada, and the Strict or Particular Baptists of England, Australia, and New Zealand, and some among other denominations in our and other lands, just as the prophets and apostles were Jews, and as there were true Anti-Catholic preachers in the Dark Ages - advocates of a Divine, a spiritual, a gracious, a holy, and an everlasting religion.


Prophets and Apostles

Q. Were there many prophets of the Lord besides those whose writings are in the Bible?
A. While the most of the books of the Old Testament were written by prophets, yet Elijah and Elisha, two of the greatest prophets, did not commit their discourses to writing; and Obadiah hid in caves, from the murderous wrath of the idolatrous and wicked Jezebel, a hundred prophets, whose names are not given, and he fed them with bread and water (I Kings 18:4). And no doubt there were, before Christ, many other prophets whose names are not given, and whose writings, if they wrote, have not been preserved; and so there were, in Apostolic Age, prophets who spoke by the Spirit, and who occasionally foretold the future, as Agabus (I Cor. 11:27, 28; 21:10,11), and who taught, exhorted, and edified believers in Christ (I Cor. 14:3,4).

Q. In Matt. 11:13,14, Christ calls John the Baptist Elias or Elijah; and yet, in John 1:21, John the Baptist says that he was not Elias; how are these statements to be harmonized?
A. The language of the angel Gabriel to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist before the birth of the latter, explains the apparent contradiction. John the Baptist was not Elijah personally or literally come back in the flesh, but he went before Christ "in the spirit and power of Elijah."

Q. Was Paul the wisest or most learned Apostle?
A. He seems not only to have been better educated, naturally, than any of the others, but also to have been more fully instructed, by the Holy Spirit, in regard to predestination and election, and the difference between the law and the gospel, and the fulfillment and end of the shadows of the ceremonial dispensation in the perfect and eternal realities of the work of the Son and of the Spirit of God.

Q. Why was Paul kept a prisoner at Rome two whole years (Acts 28:30,31) without being tried?
A. To await a convenient time for the Emperor Nero to try him. This first imprisonment, or mild confinement, of Paul in Rome was probably from A.D. 60 to 62. He was cleared at his trial; but was arrested again, it is thought in A.D. 64, and confined more closely and securely (only Luke remaining with him, all others but Christ forsook him), and he was condemned, probably for bringing in what was called "a new and unlawful religion," and beheaded A.D. 64 or 65, or 67 or 68, on the Ostian Way, the road from Rome to its port, Ostia. The Emperor Nero, one of the most wicked monsters that ever lived, was condemned by the Roman Senate and fled four miles from Rome and committed suicide, June 9, 68, A.D.

Q. Who are the false teachers, among the Lord's people, that were to bring in ruinous heresies and pernicious ways which many would follow? (II Pet. 2:1,2).
A. The Apostle Peter says that, as there had been under the Old Testament dispensation, among the people of Israel, false prophets (see I Kings 22:11,12) so there would be, in the New Testament dispensation, among the professed people of God, false teachers (Matt. 24:11; Acts 20:29,30; Jude 4) who would stealthily bring in, along with some truths, destructive errors, destructive of the fundamental principles of the gospel, contradicting even the Lord who they claimed had redeemed them, denying either His divinity or His humanity or His mediatorship or His messiaship or His atonement or His saving power, and who would bring upon themselves and their followers sudden destruction; and these false teachers are described, in the same chapter, as covetous, presumptuous, vain, corrupt, sensual, and unclean, like dogs and swine. Paul, in Acts 20:29,30, describes these same false teachers as grievous wolves, destroying the flock, and speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them. The Apostles Paul, Peter, and Jude warn us solemnly and earnestly against all such false and highly injurious teachers.

Q. What is the meaning of Eccles 4:8? "There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother; yet is there no end of all his labor, neither is his eye satisfied with riches, neither saith he, For whom do I labor, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail?"
A. Solomon here in a few words shows the utter stupidity and wickedness of a selfish, worldly, covetous life of the miser (a word which means a miserable man), who lives by himself and only for himself, who works himself almost to death day and night, and denies himself almost every comfort, stints and pinches himself, scrapes and hoards every cent he can get, cares nothing for God or any of his fellow creatures, cares nothing for eternity, and finally dies and leaves every bit of his idolized money behind him to relatives or heirs who will not even thank him for it, because they well know he would never have given them anything if he could have helped it, but would have kept all of it for himself.

 

Prayer

Q. What does Jesus mean when He teaches us to pray "Thy kingdom come" (Matt. 6:10)?
A. That God's reign of grace in the hearts and lives of His people may be increased, until His holy will shall be done as lovingly, perfectly, and perpetually on earth as it is done in heaven. The preposition used by Christ before earth is "on," and before heaven is "in," as it is precisely rendered in the oldest (Syriac) version of the second century, and in the latest (Revised) version of the nineteenth century. And in the phrases, "Hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," the verbs are all in the imperative, and not in the indicative mood. The words form a prayer, and not a declaration. No one who has a becoming reverence for God's word will dare to change the imperative mood of these verbs to the indicative mood. If God's name is no more hallowed, nor His kingdom come, nor His will done in heaven than it is now on earth, heaven is not a place of perfect reverence, grace, and holiness; in other words, the heaven of ultimate glory as set forth in the Scriptures, is not a blessed reality, but it is a vain imagination. Sin did not come from the most holy God, who, in the original creation, made everything very good, and who, though now, for some wise purpose, He suffers sin on earth, yet utterly hates, forbids, threatens, and punishes, and will completely and eternally exclude it from that "holy city" of His immediate and fully manifested presence, into which shall never "enter anything that defileth, or worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, but those who are written in the Lamb's book of life," and who are thus shown to have been freed forever from these hateful things (Rev. 21). Such is the perfectly pure character of God's coming heavenly and eternal kingdom.

Q. What were the "greater works" which Christ said His apostles would do after His death, resurrection and ascension, and the outpouring of His Spirit upon them (John 14:12)?
A. Gathering in more converts to Christianity by the more plentiful effusion of the Holy Spirit. It would seem that less than a thousand were converted to Christianity during Christ's ministry; but three thousand were converted on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:41). Natural, temporal miracles are only feeble types of spiritual and eternal miracles. It was the Divine Spirit who was to do these greater miracles under the ministry of the apostles. (John 14:12; 16:7-14).

Q. Was the thorn in the flesh given Paul (II Cor. 12:7) figurative only?
A. It was both literal, (because it was "in the flesh") and also figurative. Lest he should be unduly exalted by the great revelations that had just been given him, the Lord graciously and wisely allowed him to receive from Satan (as Job did) a very painful and humiliating bodily affliction, and thus his natural pride was crucified. The exact nature of this physical affliction is not revealed in the Scriptures, and of course no human being now on earth knows what it was.

Q. When were written records first made?
A. No human being now on earth knows; but probably at least two or three thousand years before Christ.

Q. Did the twelve Apostles ever take any action with regard to Paul as an Apostle?
A. The New Testament does not say that they did, although they recognized him as a divinely called and qualified minister, especially sent to the Gentiles. (Acts 9:26-30; 15:1-41; Gal. 1:15-24; 2:1-10).

Q. Why did prophecy cease with Malachi so long (400 years) before the gospel was preached?
A. The Scriptures do not say, but it may have been for several reasons. First: because the prophecies from Moses to Malachi, when applied by the Holy Spirit, were sufficient, in the Divine wisdom, to teach men their need of a sinless, suffering, and triumphant Saviour, and to lead them to look to and trust in Him. Second: because the Lord would thus teach the Jews, His chosen national people, by the vanities and follies, the fables and abominations of the Apocrypha, the 16 books written by the Jews during this period, the certainty of their departing from Him in both doctrine and practice, even after they had all His ancient oracles, unless He restrained them by a divinely qualified and authorized messenger - the New Testament apocryphal writings of the early centuries of the Christian Era proving the same to be true of heretical professors of Christianity. Third: because it is proved, by this interval of 400 years, that there was no collusion, no fraudulent cooperation between the Old Testament prophets, who foretold the life and sufferings and glory of Christ, and the New Testament apostles, who testified that all these prophecies were exactly fulfilled in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. And fourth: because the Lord thus taught His spiritual people to look away from man to Him for salvation, and to wait upon Him for it. When Joseph and Mary carried the infant Jesus into the temple to present Him before the Lord and to offer in sacrifice, as the law required, not a lamb for a burnt offering, and a dove or pigeon for a sin-offering, but, as they were too poor to buy a lamb, to offer two doves or two pigeons for a burnt-offering and a sin offering, not for the child but for the mother (Lev. 12:8), the humble and devout Simeon, who had been waiting for the consolation of Israel, the Messiah, and to whom it had been revealed by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ, came by the Spirit into the temple, and took the holy Child up in his arms, in wonderful faith, and blessed God, and said, "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel." (Luke 2:21-35). And Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable counselor, who also had waited for the kingdom of God, when Jesus had been crucified, begged His dear body of Pilate, and wrapped it in fine linen, and laid it in his own new rock-hewn tomb until it came out, in divine power and glory, on the third day, morning, and after forty days ascended to heaven. (Mark 15:42-46; 16:6; Acts 1-11. "It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord." (Lam. 3:26). "They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isa. 40:31). As Old Testament saints waited for the first coming of Christ, so let us wait for the calling of our spirits to God who gave them and for the redemption of our bodies.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 October 2006 )
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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.