December Questions & Answers
The following questions are taken from emails and are printed below exactly as I received them. Names and contact information has been removed. The answers are in note form (sorry for any of my grammar errors) to be studied through. You’ll have to examine each Scripture below to see the points. Please be mindful that there are often circumstances and details to every question that could potentially change the answer.
1. “What Vestment is proper for clergy?”
The terms “vestment” and “clergy” are foreign to faithful Christians regarding the doctrine of Christ. The only time I can find, in the King James Version, where the English word “vestment” is used is in II Kings 10:22 wherein garments were provided for the worshipers of the false god Baal when Jehu was destroying them all (II Kings 10:1-28). A modern perversion uses that word in verses such as Ezra 3:10 and Zechariah 3:4 (ESV). Other versions may, but I did not check many. I cannot find the term in the New Testament in several versions I checked.
The Hebrew word in II Kings 10:22 (Strong’s # 3830) is translated elsewhere as “clothing, garment, apparel, vesture, clothed, put on, and raiment”.
The English word “vestment” means this: “1 a : an outer garment; especially: a robe of ceremony or office; b vestments plural : clothing, garb; 2 : a covering resembling a garment; 3 : one of the articles of the ceremonial attire and insignia worn by ecclesiastical officiants and assistants as indicative of their rank and appropriate to the rite being celebrated” (Merriam-Webster).
The word “clergy” isn’t in the KJV. In English it means: “: a group ordained to perform pastoral or sacerdotal functions in a Christian church. Members of the clergy have been invited to participate in an interfaith service. 2 : the official or sacerdotal class of a non-Christian religion Buddhist clergy” (Merriam-Webster).
In the Law of Moses, which is done away in Christ (Romans 7:1-6, Ephesians 2:11-17, Colossians 2:14, and Hebrews 9:1-10:21), the priest wore special garments (Exodus 28:1-43).
Now, under the Law of Christ that will judge us (John 12:48), no one is supposed to wear special garments or be set apart in those ways that carnally indicate “rank”, etc. (Matthew 23:1-11). In fact, the idea of what a Christian is supposed to be clothed with (I Peter 5:5) teaches us not to dress in a way that exalts one above another. Such a mindset often leads to problems anyway (James 2:1-12).
The right response to exalting men in such a way can be seen in Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:8-18). See also: I Corinthians 3:1-11; 4:1-13
If you really desire to be a student of the Scriptures and a disciple of Christ, set aside the denominational terminology and speak as the oracles of God (I Peter 4:11).
2. “What do you think about Churches that charge for parking and sell tickets for services?”
What I think is irrelevant (Isaiah 2:22, Jeremiah 17:5-6, I Corinthians 4:1-6, and Colossians 2:18-23).
The Scriptures are our standard (Matthew 4:4, Colossians 3:16-17, II Timothy 3:15-17, and II Peter 1:3-4).
The Scriptures only authorize the local church to collect funds on the first day of the week (I Corinthians 16:1-4). The funds given are not to be a bill, but rather a choice of the giver (II Corinthians 9:7).
Any other “fund raising” is an addition to the Scriptures. Adding to the Scriptures, under both the Old Law and the New, is damning (Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:5-6, Galatians 1:6-12, and Revelation 22:18-19).
Any so-called “church” that is selling goods, services, parking spots, etc.; would greatly anger the Lord (John 2:13-17).
Those churches have no relationship with the Lord (II John 1:9).
3. “In the Gospel of John Chp 6 it was asked what shall we do, that we might work the works of God. Then in the next verse Jesus told them that the works of God is to believe on Him whom the Father has sent. ( verses 26-27 ). Why say more than that? Believe is enough, right? You were right about institutionalism that is IT. But teaching that a requirement for salvation is BELIEVING that baptism is necessary makes your church a cult and you a false teacher. You don't have one single Bible verse to back this false teaching, yet you teach it as an essential doctrine. If the water pipes broke and the baptistry was bone dry, would my salvation have to wait until the plumber showed up?”
Do you know the context of John 6:26-29? Go back and start reading in from John 5:1. The “works of God” they wanted to do was not salvation, but the miraculous abilities (John 6:2) that Jesus put on display for a reason (Acts 2:22; cf. Hebrews 2:1-4). Jesus answered their request to “do the works of God” by telling them to believe on Him (John 6:29). They missed the point of the miracles. He wasn’t telling them what they needed to do to be saved. He was telling them where to begin. He did not say that would save them or that such would be the only thing required of them.
You asked if belief is enough. The Scriptures say faith only does not save anyone. Even the devils believe and tremble (James 2:14-26).
I perceive that even you do not believe in your doctrine of faith only. If you did, you would not be studying “Institutionalism” to agree with anything. If you believed in faith only, you would not care what I or anyone else teaches outside of believing in God. If faith alone was enough, there would be no possibility of sin aside from not believing. For, saying I must believe or teach the truth on anything else is a contradiction of saying all I need to do is believe. Can’t you see that?
What do you mean by, “teaching that a requirement for salvation is BELIEVING that baptism is necessary”? The fact is, believing that baptism is necessary is not far enough. An alien sinner must be baptized, not just believe in baptism. Consider...
If a person is a sinner, meaning a transgressor of God’s will (I John 3:4) and is capable of hearing and obeying the Gospel (i.e. James 4:17), that person must be baptized to be saved. You are right in that there is not “one single” verse that teaches sinners need to be baptized to be saved. There are many. The Scriptures show that pattern whether you or anyone else likes it or not (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:36-41, Acts 8:5-13, Acts 9:1-18, Acts 10:1-48, Acts 16:13-40, Acts 18:8, Acts 19:1-7, Romans 6:1-6, Galatians 3:26-29, Colossians 2:12, and I Peter 3:20-21).
Your “water pipes” and “baptistery” stupidity is ridiculous. Baptism doesn’t require indoor plumbing. Any place wherein a person could be immersed is sufficient (Acts 8:25-39 and Colossians 2:12).
For the sake of any honest bone in your body, if there is one, let me also state that in addition to faith and baptism, there are many other things one must do to be saved in the end as well. You make this about faith only, which is false (James 2:14-26). You infer that I think baptism is of the utmost importance. That is false too. Baptism, even if coupled with faith, is not enough to save someone. Please consider that there is more to salvation than faith and baptism (Matthew 13:3-23, Luke 13:1-5, Luke 14:25-33, John 8:31-32, Acts 26:18-20, Romans 10:9-17, I Corinthians 12:14-27, Colossians 1:23, Colossians 3:1-17, Titus 2:11-14, Hebrews 10:22-25, James 4:6-10, I Peter 1:13-16, I Peter 2:1-11, Revelation 2:10, etc.).
Regarding your charge: “your church a cult and you a false teacher”. I do not have a church. I am a member of the church Christ established (Matthew 16:13-18, Colossians 1:12-18, and Hebrews 3:1-6). People have referred to us, whom are part of the body of Christ, in terms such a cult or otherwise for along time (Acts 24:1-5; 28:17-23).
Throwing out charges is easy. Standing before the Lord, that is a different story (Romans 14:11-12 and II Corinthians 5:10). You are not even near ready to be judged. Please let me help you get there.
4. “We were taught last Sunday not to call the communion the Lord’s Supper because the Bible doesn’t say that? I dont think it is such a big deal. Can you comment please.”
It is a “big deal” because the statement is false. Both “communion” (I Corinthians 10:16-21) and “Lord’s Supper” are right (Luke 22:19-20 and I Corinthians 11:16-33).
The person who taught that, whether by mistake or not, taught error. You need to have such corrected (Acts 18:24-28).
If the person who taught that refuses correction, you need to deal with that person in accordance with the Scriptures (Romans 16:17-18).
5. “Did Jesus cause division? Is that a true statement?”
Jesus did and does cause division (Matthew 10:34-37, Luke 12:51-53, John 7:40-52, John 9:1-41, John 10:1-21, etc.).
There is a natural division between light/darkness, sin/righteousness, God/Satan, the faithful/unfaithful, etc. (Psalms 37:27, Psalms 97:10, Psalms 101:3, Psalms 119:104, Psalms 119:163, Amos 5:15, Matthew 12:30, Acts 26:18-20, and I John 3:1-10).
A careful study of the Scriptures show that it is actually hypocrisy to try and keep an unnatural false unity between sin and righteousness (Romans 12:9).
6. “We are told that Elijah the prophet will appear in the future to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children (Malachi 4:5). When will that be?”
Malachi 3:1-4 and Malachi 4:5-6 refer to John the Baptist preparing the way for Christ (Matthew 11:13-14, Matthew 17:10-13, Luke 1:13-17, and Luke 7:26-28).
Note: The name “Elias” in the New Testament is from the Greek Translation of the Hebrew term that the Old Testament translates “Elijah” (Strong’s # 2243).
This one was easier to answer because the Scriptures show us the answer clearly. For the sake of helping you in further studies of the Old Testament here is a principle to consider when reading Old Testament prophesies. If it is written in the Law of Moses, whatever that prophesy may be, know that it was fulfilled at the latest in the first century. For, our Lord said all those things would be fulfilled before the Law ended (Matthew 5:17-18), and it ended in the first century (Romans 7:1-6, Colossians 2:14, and Hebrews 9:15-10:22).
© 2017 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager