House Church Talk - Re: Baptisms and Administrations

Bruce Woodford bwood4d at
Sun Apr 4 13:14:06 EDT 2004

Hi Ross,

You wrote:"Regarding the wise men, they came from Persia where Israel had 
been in captivity and where there was still a substantial Jewish population 
who never left. So their information would have come from the Hebrew 
population in their homeland and/or copies of Israel's sacred writings and 

How do you know they came from Persia?  Scripture simply says, "the east".  
They testified that the reason they came was NOT "for we have heard 
prophecies of his birth from Israelites in Persia"!, but rather, "for we 
have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him."   They were 
unaware of his prophesied birth place etc !  So what makes you think they 
had gotten their information from the Jewish population in Persia???

Re. Sir Robert Anderson's "The Coming Prince", you wrote:"I have skimmed 
through parts but have not read it through. Do I think that Anderson is true 
to his own stated principles or do I believe that he has intentionally 
"pulled the wool over" the eyes of most of his "unsuspecting readers"? I can 
not believe he intentionally bamboozled his readers. I put checking it out 
on my list of things to do! ;^) I would be disappointed if I found out he 
was trying to pull the wool over his readers' eyes!"

Brother, read that volume carefully, note Anderson's stated principles and 
then compare his own dealings with scripture with those principles, check 
all his calculations with a calculator and see if he is consistent with his 
own principles. Personally, I was very disappointed with him and realized 
that he knew very well what he was doing, but also knew well that few would 
"check up on him" but would rather accept what he wrote as "Gospel truth"!

You wrote:"ALL the 12 had a responsibility to baptize, but do we? Where is 
it explicitly stated that WE are to go and water baptize? The command was to 
a specific group who also were instructed to do other things and of which 
specific signs would follow. We are not seeing those signs today! Paul the 
apostle to the nations (since Israel would not serve God), UNLIKE the 12, 
was NOT sent to baptize, so why should we? There are no explicit statements 
that everyone should baptize, only those immediate disciples of Christ's 
earthly ministry were instructed to do so."

Brother, with David A., I am left to wondering what (if anything) that Jesus 
taught and commanded his disciples, you think applies to us today??  
Preaching the Gospel, praying in His name, loving one another, remembering 
him in breaking of bread, etc etc???  As for me, the Lord Jesus' statement 
to them in Mat thew 28 makes it perfectly clear: "make disciples of all 
nations, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded 

You also wrote:"We have no responsibility under the New Covenant, it was not 
made with the nations, it was made with Israel. Since Israel has not 
properly accepted Messiah, there is yet to be an actual (legal?) 
implementation of the New Covenant. Neither Israel nor the nations are under 
the New Covenant now. There is no New Covenant responsibility today. But 
there will be when Israel is restored in the future. The blessings that the 
nations enjoy today are based on Christ's work even as the New Covenant is, 
but we receive them purely by GRACE and not by Covenant; the only 
responsibility that entails is righteousness and conformity to Christ, not 
ANY typical shadows now past and yet to be fulfilled."

Dear brother, when Jeremiah and the writer to the Hebrews write:"I will make 
a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah...etc", 
   they are NOT saying that God had no intention of also making that 

The Lord Jesus' command, "This do in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19) 
involved partaking of the cup of the new covenant in His blood!  This was 
one of the commands which they were instructed to teach disciples of all 
nations to observe.

Also Paul,  in II Cor.3,  wrote to Gentile believers at Corinth concerning 
the new covenant written in THEIR HEARTS!

Dear brother, when you wrote, "There is no New Covenant responsibility 
today. But there will be when Israel is restored in the future.",  it seems 
that you are not reading the same "new covenant" that is stated in my Bible! 
  The old covenant (the ten commandments which Israel promised to perform) 
placed major responsibilities upon Israel which they could never keep, and 
that is why that covenant brought them into bondage, just as God intended it 
would!  But the keeping of the seven promises of the new covenant are ALL 
GOD'S RESPONSIBILITIES!  It is completely a one-sided covenant as far as the 
responsibilities for keeping it are concerned!  Not one promise or condition 
of the new covenant is made to be a responsibility of new covenant 

The seven promises of the new covenant are as follows:
1. I will put my law in their inward parts,
2. I will write it in their hearts;
3. I will be their God,
4. They shall be my people.
5. They shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his 
brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least 
of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: *
6. I will forgive their iniquity,
7. I will remember their sin no more.

* "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, 
and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." John 17:3

There is not a single term of the new covenant which places any 
responsibility on new covenant believers!!!  That is why it is an eternal  
covenant which we cannot ever break!

You had written:"If individuals wanted a relationship with God, they 
formerly had to come through the covenant nation of Israel. Are there not 
instructions in the Law for how those of other nations are to approach and 
worship God? Were they not required to come and conduct themselves in 
respect of the covenant people?"  to which I had responded: "Where in 
scripture do you find this idea taught? What sort of instructions, subjects 
or contexts come to your mind relative to these things?"

Your response was:"These actually apply to those foreigners joining or 
travelling with the congregation of God and not to outside nations. While I 
don't want to exclude a relationship to the God of Israel outside of Israel, 
such seems to be rare and atypical. Any relationship with God back then 
seems to find a connection to Israel one way or the other. But with respect 
to other nations relationship to Israel, they had to respect Israel as God's 
elect nation, as well as, their destiny as God's people."  You then quoted 
quite a number of instructions GIVEN TO ISRAEL relative to stranger or 

But brother, I am talking about those of other nations who (as far as we 
know) had no contact or interaction at all with Israel!  God had personal 
dealings and revealed Himself to Adam, to Cain, to Seth, to Noah, to Abram 
etc long before Israel ever existed!  Then after He had chosen a family and 
a people to Himself, He revealed Himself to Job, to the Magi etc apart from 
any indication that they had any contact with Israel, with their prophets or 
their scriptures! And yet it is clear that Job had volumes of God's truth 
revealed to him which is in perfect agreement with the scriptures of the 
Hebrew prophets!

So I cannot at all agree with you in your statement:"If individuals wanted a 
relationship with God, they formerly had to come through the covenant nation 
of Israel."   Scripture never teaches such an idea nor does it even infer 

This idea, as well as the one that "water baptism has nothing to do with 
belivere today" are the results of a similar approach to scripture as that 
taken by Robert Anderson, i.e. coming to scripture with a pre-supposition 
never stated in scripture and seeking to prove such a presupposition by 
dishonest dealings with what scripture actually SAYS!  The presuppositions 
that require such dishonest dealings with the Word of God are the very 
tenets of dispensationalism which are never taught in scripture! If one 
purposes to teach what scripture SAYS, they would never teach what is 
commonly referred to as "dispensational truth"!   If it is the truth, it 

Your brother in Christ,


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