House Church Talk - Re: Baptisms and Administrations

Ross J Purdy rossjpurdy at
Mon Apr 12 10:03:12 EDT 2004

Hi Bruce,

Now for the rest of the story:

Bruce wrote:

> 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
> 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
> 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??

2 Peter 3:8-16 WEB

(8) But don't forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord
as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

(9) The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but
is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should
come to repentance.

(10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the
heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be
dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will
be burned up.

(11) Therefore since all these things are thus to be destroyed, what manner
of persons ought you to be in holy living and godliness,

(12) looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by
reason of which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved, and the
elements will melt with fervent heat?

(13) But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth,
in which dwells righteousness.

(14) Therefore, beloved, seeing that you look for these things, be diligent
to be found in peace, without blemish and blameless in his sight.

(15) Regard the patience (other versions: "longsuffering" ) of our Lord as
salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom
given to him, wrote to you;

(16) as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In
those are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and
unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own

Peter struggled with the same question and explained it to the Jewish
Diaspora as above. They were expecting the immediate return of the Lord to
usher in the kingdom and implement the New Covenant. Peter refers to Paul
because it was to Paul that Christ gave a "greater commission" superceding
the so-called "great commission" to go to the nations. Thus, a "proper" end
of the age never came and this circumcision gospel never was fully preached!
The prophetic program of the kingdom on Earth was interupted by a new
dispensation of grace to all the nations apart from the channel of Israel.
The Father has promised to restore Israel and fully implement the New
Covenant and thus bring the prophetic kingdom on Earth to fulfillment.

> If I am hearing you correctly, you do not believe we have any
> responsibility...
> - to preach the Gospel to the nations,

God is not dealing with us on a national level anymore, rather it is on a
universal scale where the appeal goes out to every individual.

> - to pray in the name of the Lord Jesus,

I don't see this as having changed.

> - to break bread in remembrance of Him,

Via a ceremony? No. At every regular meal? Yes.

> - to follow His instructions like:
> ..."ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as
> 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
> 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

These principles are repeated in the instructions Christ entrusted Paul to
deliver to us.

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

Just because I say portions of scripture are not directly to us does not
mean we can't glean valid principles and apply them today. We just have to
check and see what our apostle said or didn't say about it first. We want to
follow the latest word to us from our Lord; some is still the same as what
He said long ago but some has been changed or modified. At least that is my

> 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?

Colossians 3:12-17 EMTV

(12) Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on hearts of
compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience;

(13) forbearing one another and forgiving yourselves, if anyone should have
a complaint against any; just as Christ forgave you, so you also do.

(14) But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of

(15) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were
called in one body; and be thankful.

(16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and
admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing
with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

(17) And whatever you may do in word or deed, do all things in the name of
the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

The principle of restoration can be applied but unlike then, we have no
authoritarian structure of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and
pastor-teachers through which to execute it. Love, forbearing, forgiving,
and Paul's instructions for leadership is how it is to be handled. To put it
in a nutshell, I think Paul teaches a model of respect and love between
elderly and young people without discipline or human authority. Sin is dealt
with by leadership skills and experience, not authority and discipline. That
does not mean we allow sin, leadership won't be travelling the same path as
those choosing to live in sin or offenders will not follow Godly leadership,
either way there will be a natural separation. When the offender repents,
they will come and follow the leadership and be restored to the assembly

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

Only? no. If it has not been changed or modified, it still stands in
principle if not command. But we basically see what the prison epistles say

> Re. the commission of Matt.28 you wrote: "He was talking to the apostles
> Israel. Why did He not give the apostle to the nations the same
> 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
> 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
> that of Matt.28?

In ignorance, before he was commissioned as apostle in Acts 13, he would
have baptized like everyone else. When he was commissioned, it was not to
baptize, it was rather to preach the grace of God. Before the end of Acts,
the New Covenant is the offer on the table, after Acts 28, Israel is set
aside and so his ministry was liberated of the covenant issues and focused
on an offer of pure grace.

The 12's ministry was to the circumcision in the context of Israel as the
covenant nation and channel of blessing. Paul was sent to the uncircumcision
to minister apart from circumcision and law observence.

> You wrote:"There is no New Covenant responsibility today. But there will
> 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?

I would say that God will fully enable those under the New Covenant, but
they will also be fully responsible to yield to the Spirit which implies
they shall be able to resist and grieve Him.

> You had also written:"Since Israel has not properly accepted Messiah,
> is yet to be an actual (legal?) implementation of the New Covenant.
> 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
> 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!!!

Verse 12 speaks of hope implying something yet future and verse 18 speaks of
a transformation they were undergoing but not done with yet. It was not a
done deal. I don't think it could have been while the offer of the kingdom
restoration was still live during the Acts period. Israel was not fully put
aside until Acts 28 and until then, the New Covenant was still on the table.

>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 baptized!

I believe the age was interupted and remains so until a future date along
with water baptism. God said that Israel would be restored to the land
before the full implementation of the NC and that has never happened.

> In this regard, brother Ross, would you list all the dispensations in
> you believe? Are they all spoken of in scripture?....

See my take on Eph 2-3 below.

> 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?

Again, the Bible is not an inductive primer on theology. For that reason, I
say deductive reasoning is just as valid if not more so than inductive.
Perhaps it still won't satisfy but that is the nature of the dialog
sometimes. I have provided the references, what more can anyone do?

> If, as you claim, II Tim.2:15 applies to you today... and since you claim
> 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? ....
> 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
> 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?

Brother you are trying to cast me in the same mould as a stock
dispensationalist and again condemn me through guilt by association. I've
been there and done that, i.e. been a stock "mid-Acts dispensationalist, ...
but I ain't necessarily there anymore.

Past dispensation:

Ephesians 2:11-12 WEB

(11) Therefore remember that once ("time past" in the KJV) you, the Gentiles
in the flesh, who are called "uncircumcision" by that which is called
"circumcision," (in the flesh, made by hands);

(12) that you were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the
commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise,
having no hope and without God in the world.

Present dispensation:

Ephesians 2:13 WEB

(13) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near in the
blood of Christ.

Future dispensation:

Ephesians 2:7 WEB

(7) that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace
in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus;

More might be derived but for our purposes this is sufficient for all
practical purposes. The absolute necessity is not exactly what date one
starts or finishes, but rather to understand under what administration we
are currently "But now" (the subject of which Eph 3 is concerned), and
understand that we are no longer in "time past" nor subject to past "house
law"/economies, and that we look forward to the "ages to come" when we can
expect more than we have now.

In Christ,

Ross Purdy

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