House Church Talk - Re: Baptisms and Administrations

Bruce Woodford bwood4d at
Fri Apr 9 01:23:18 EDT 2004

Dear Ross,

In spite of all the historical data you've given about the POSSIBILITIES of 
contact between the magi and Jews in countries to the east, there is nothing 
mentioned in the record of Mat thew 2 that suggests that any revelation they 
had received prior to their journey was received FROM JEWS!!!  This is what 
I've been maintaining, i.e. that God never restricted Himself to revealing 

Do you know anything in the old testament scriptures that would have 
indicated that a special star was an indication of the coming of a Jewish 
king who was to be worshipped?? If there is such information which Jewish 
people could have shown the magi, you might have a case. But if not, must 
you not concede that God had revealed this to the magi apart from contact 
with Israelites?

Brother, re. your attempts to exempt believers today from the commands of 
the Lord Jesus to the disciples, you have cited one example, Matt.23:1-3. Of 
course we are not bound today to observe whatever the scribes and Pharisees 
bid us to!  The reason why that does not apply to us today, but did to the 
disciples to whom it was spoken is because of the very reason why that 
command was given!  "The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: all 
therefore whatsoever they bid tyou observe, that observe and do..."

The old covenant  (the Ten Commandments given by Moses) was still then in 
force for Israel, but has long since decayed, waxed old and vanished away. 
(Heb.8:13)  Besides, I've never even met a scribe or a Pharisee, have never 
been instructed by them to do anything, so how could such ever apply to 

However, you have never adequately answered the question of how the 
disciples were to determine when the "end of the age" of which the Lord 
Jesus spoke in Matt.24 and 28 had come and thus when their commission would 
expire!  The Lord Jesus clearly described the events in Matt.24 which would 
precede the end of the age of which He spoke.

Now brother, do you honestly believe that the gospel of the kingdom was 
preached IN ALL THE WORLD for a testimony TO ALL NATIONS  (Matt.24:14)during 
the lifetime of the apostle Paul???  Almost all of the 12 died martyrs' 
deaths as they moved out among the nations with that purpose in view!  That 
task has yet to be completed! So how can you say that the end of that age 
ended during the ministry of Paul??

If I am hearing you correctly, you do not believe we have any 
- to preach the Gospel to the nations,
- to pray in the name of the Lord Jesus,
- to break bread in remembrance of Him,
- to follow His instructions like:
..."ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the 
younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve." Luke 22:26
...."A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have 
loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that 
ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:34,35

Is it really this kind of thing that you actually believe, brother???

If your brother offends you, what do you see as you responsibility if 
Matt.18:15-17 has no applicability to you today?

If a brother or sister in the company with which you gather is guilty of 
fornication, how do you deal with the situation if I Cor.5 has no 
application to your gathering today?

Do you actually believe that the only commands for which we are responsible 
are those found in the pastoral epistles????

Re. the commission of Matt.28 you wrote: "He was talking to the apostles of 
Israel. Why did He not give the apostle to the nations the same prescription 
if it is to be still followed? I am sure the statement was perfectly clear 
to those to whom it was made. It is just as clear to me that to follow the 
above instruction does not make any more sense to me than to build an ark."

Dear brother, if Paul was not instructed by God to baptize, why did He do 
so??  In what specifics do you see that Paul's commission was different from 
that of Matt.28?
Noah's commission was given to him alone and he was never instructed to 
teach others to do what he was commanded! But the Lord's disciples certainly 

You wrote:"There is no New Covenant responsibility today. But  there will be 
when Israel is restored in the future. "

Brother Ross, what new covenant responsibilities do you understand will be 
incumbent upon future restored Israel? Do not all the responsibilities of 
the new covenant rest upon God alone?  The old covenant placed 10 
responsibilities squarely on the shoulders of the Israelites which they 
promised the Lord they would do. But are not all the terms of the new 
covenant promises which GOD has promised to fulfill?

You had also written:"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."

If this is so, how could God have written the new covenant in the hearts of 
Gentile believers at Corinth as Paul testified in II Cor.3????  This was a 
fact, even though Israel as a nation was in rebellion against God!!!

Ross, you wrote:"Bruce, you were the one who said man had a New Covenant 
responsibility."  The statement of mine from which you have drawn that 
conclusion was the following: "But the subject of our discussion (the 
baptism of believers in water) a baptism which is commanded and which is the 
responsibility of men under the new covenant is the one upon which we do not 
seem to agree."

A new covenant responsibility would be one that was included in the very 
statement of the new covenant, just as an old covenant responsibility would 
be one of the ten commandments which comprised the old covenant.  But just 
as people under the old covenant also had many responsibilities OTHER THAN 
THOSE STATED IN THAT COVENANT, so too people who are under the new covenant 
are under a covenant for which God takes all the responsibility! However, 
new covenant believers do have responsibilties, but they are NOT 
responsibilties which are part and parcel of the new covenant!  The new 
covenant consists of 7 promises which God says He will fulfil. Not one of 
them is a responsibility of any man!  But until the end of the age (i.e. 
until the Gospel of the kingdom has been preached in all the world and to 
all nations) believers/disiples of the Lord Jesus are to be commanded to be 

Re. Robert Anderson and my comments about him: I was simply speaking about 
him, his approach to scripture and his handling of scripture in his one 
book, "The Coming Prince".  I was not charging all dispensationalists with 
the specific errors of Anderson. But what I do charge most 
dispensationalists with is the same error as most "covenant theologians"!  
Just as covenant theologians see covenants in scripture which aren't there 
(the covenant of works and the covenant of grace) so too dispensationalists 
identify many dispensations which are absent from the pages of scripture.

In this regard, brother Ross, would you list all the dispensations in which 
you believe? Are they all spoken of in scripture? If not,  how could you 
possibly reprove a covenant therologian for teaching "covenants" that are 
nowhere found in scripture???  How could you reprove them for teaching 
infant baptism which also is never found in the book? How could you reprove 
a Roman Catholic for embracing the doctrine of purgatory?  In other words, 
if your doctrines cannot be stated in the words of scripture, what 
consistent and objective basis do you have to challenge or disregard the 
doctrines of others which also cannot be stated in the very words of 

BTW, I think you assured me some time ago that your doctrines could all be 
stated in the words of scripture and that in due time you would show such 
statements. Do you still plan to do so? If so, When?

If, as you claim, II Tim.2:15 applies to you today... and since you claim to 
be rightly dividing the Word of truth, what is the dispensation that 
preceded "Paul's turning to the Gentiles"? When did this preceding 
dispensation begin? What is the dispensation that follows it? How long 
did/does it last?  From what scriptures do you derive this information?  If 
you are truly rightly dividing the Word of truth, you will have no 
difficulty answering these questions with specific statements of scripture. 
But if you are rather following the deductions and conclusions of men (as do 
those who teach the covenants of works and grace, infant baptism, purgatory, 
a seven ear tribulation, the imminent return of Christ, or a pre-tribulation 
rapture of the church etc) you will simply not be able to show your 
doctrines stated in the words of scripture!

It is for such reasons that I maintain that doctrines which are stated in 
the pure words of scripture (Ps.12:6), which can be stated without adding to 
the pure words of scripture (Prov.30:5,6) and which are stated in words 
which the Holy Ghost teaches and not in words which man's wisdom teaches are 
those which are truly scriptural.

Very few "dispensational doctrines" of which I am aware seem to pass such 
basic tests. So this is my main objection to the whole dispensational system 
regardless of the wide variety of variations among dispensationalists 
themselves. So that we need not associate YOUR beliefs with those of any 
other dispensationalist, would you consider stating your personal view of 
the dispensational scheme that YOU understand to be in accordance with 
scripture? How many dispensations do you see? What are they? How do you 
determine when one dispensation ends and another one begins?

If you can truly demonstrate your beliefs by scriptural statements, you will 
most assuredly convert me to your dispensational view of the scriptures, but 
if not, I see no value in seeking to confrom scripture to such a contrived 
Your brother in Christ,

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