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Members on the rolls of local churches belong to what theologians have called since the 4th century the visible church. Augustine loosely defined it as a mixed body of wheat and tares, as described by Jesus. People who respond to an outward call of the Gospel join visible church communities for their teaching, guidance, and fellowship.

The visible church can been seen and experienced, so its existence is readily apparent and not in dispute. However, an invisible universal church isn’t readily apparent to everyone. In fact some visible church members say an invisible church is pure nonsense, and they don’t believe it exists.

People who don’t believe in an invisible church know little to nothing about the Scripture, the Protestant Reformation, or the classic Protestant distinction between the visible and invisible church.

The distinction does not mean that the Lord Jesus has two separate churches. Scripture teaches there is one bride, one body, and one church of regenerated, born-again believers. The terms “invisible” and “visible” are used to draw distinctions between the two groups in the universal church.

All born-again Christians are members of the invisible church, but not all professing Christians are members of the invisible church even though they are members of the visible church.

The visible churches can’t save unregenerate sinners from God’s condemnation and judgment, and their sacraments and rituals can’t give life to unregenerate sinners who are spiritually dead and alienated from God.

Only Jesus Christ can save sinners from judgment, and only the Holy Spirit can give life to spiritually dead sinners.

The clearest description explaining the Scriptural doctrine of the invisible and visible church was penned in the mid seventeenth century by the Westminster divines in Chapter XXV of The Westminster Confession of Faith.  

Of the Church:

I. The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all.[1]

II. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion;[2] and of their children:[3] and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,[4] the house and family of God,[5] out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.[6]

III. Unto this catholic visible Church Christ has given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world: and does, by his own presence and Spirit, according to his promise, make them effectual thereunto.[7]

IV. This catholic Church has been sometimes more, sometimes less visible.[8] And particular Churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the Gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them.[9]

V. The purest Churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error;[10] and some have so degenerated, as to become no Churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan.[11] Nevertheless, there shall be always a Church on earth to worship God according to his will.[12]

VI. There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ.[13] Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.[14]

Scriptural Support:

[1] EPH 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him. 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. COL 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

[2] 1CO 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 1CO 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. PSA 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. REV 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. ROM 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. 10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. 12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

[3] 1CO 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. ACT 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. EZE 16:20 Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, 21 That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? ROM 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. GEN 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

[4] MAT 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind. ISA 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

[5] EPH 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God. 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

[6] ACT 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

[7] 1CO 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. EPH 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. MAT 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ISA 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.

[8] ROM 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. REV 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

[9] (REV 2-3 throughout) 1CO 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.

[10] 1CO 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. MAT 13:24-30, 47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind.

[11] REV 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. ROM 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

[12] MAT 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. PSA 72:17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. 102:28 The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee. MAT 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

[13] COL 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. EPH 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.

[14]MAT 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 2TH 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. REV 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

I.M.Kane

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This video is a rare version of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Grand Inquisitor produced by the Open University in 1975. The Grand Inquisitor selection is taken from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Book V:  Pro and Contra, Chapter 5.

The chapter opens with Ivan explaining to his brother Alyosha his fantasy poem of The Grand Inquisitor, which is really an unwritten prose story:

“You see, my action takes place in the sixteenth century, and at that time, as you probably learnt at school, it was customary in poetry to bring down heavenly powers on earth. …He comes on the scene in my poem, but He says nothing, only appears and passes on. Fifteen centuries have passed since He promised to come in His glory, fifteen centuries since His prophet wrote, ‘Behold, I come quickly’ … My story is laid in Spain, in Seville, in the most terrible time of the Inquisition, when fires were lighted every day to the glory of God, and ‘in the splendid auto da fe the wicked heretics were burnt.’ …

He came down to the ‘hot pavements’ of the southern town in which on the day before almost a hundred heretics had, ad majorem gloriam Dei, been burnt by the cardinal, the Grand Inquisitor, in a magnificent auto da fe, in the presence of the king, the court, the knights, the cardinals, the most charming ladies of the court, and the whole population of Seville. …

He stops at the steps of the Seville cathedral at the moment when the weeping mourners are bringing in a little open white coffin. In it lies a child of seven, the only daughter of a prominent citizen. … [T]he mother of the dead child throws herself at His feet with a wail. ‘If it is Thou, raise my child!’ she cries, holding out her hands to Him. The procession halts, the coffin is laid on the steps at His feet. He looks with compassion, and His lips once more softly pronounce, ‘Maiden, arise!’ and the maiden arises. …

[A]t that moment the cardinal himself, the Grand Inquisitor, passes by the cathedral. He is an old man, almost ninety, tall and erect, with a withered face and sunken eyes, in which there is still a gleam of light. He is not dressed in his gorgeous cardinal’s robes, as he was the day before, when he was burning the enemies of the Roman Church-at this moment he is wearing his coarse, old, monk’s cassock. …

He stops at the sight of the crowd and watches it from a distance. He sees everything; he sees them set the coffin down at His feet, sees the child rise up, and his face darkens. He knits his thick grey brows and his eyes gleam with a sinister fire. He holds out his finger and bids the guards take Him. And such is his power, so completely are the people cowed into submission and trembling obedience to him, that the crowd immediately makes way for the guards, and in the midst of deathlike silence they lay hands on Him and lead him away.

The crowd instantly bows down to the earth, like one man, before the old Inquisitor. He blesses the people in silence and passes on’ The guards lead their prisoner to the close, gloomy vaulted prison–in the ancient palace of the Holy, inquisition and shut him in it.”

On one level, the story attacks the Roman Catholic Church and the Grand Inquisitor’s hierarchy. On another level, the story is a prophecy of the totalitarian state that intends to establish “universal happiness” through a form of positive Christianity to bring about a unanimous and harmonious world order.

In Ivan’s story, the Inquisitor makes his case that as long as man is free he will choose to satisfy his individual needs and not the collective needs of society, which means that a stable, perfect social order with necessities for all mankind is impossible. Only when men renounce their freedom and submit to the hierarchy’s plan for the universal happiness of man will they be free.

“Hadst Thou taken the world and Caesar’s purple, Thou wouldst have founded the universal state and have given universal peace. For who can rule men if not he who holds their conscience and their bread in his hands? We have taken the sword of Caesar, and in taking it, of course, have rejected Thee and followed him.” – the Grand Inquisitor

 

I.M. Kane

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I have done some research on James White. In addition I have watched or listened to several of his debates with Dave Hunt, Chris Pinto, D.A. Wait, and others. What I have found is that White is pushing ecumenism by endorsing modern textual criticism and promoting modern Bible versions and the Roman Catholic, Gnostic manuscripts from which they are translated.

Mr. White has (either inadvertently or intentionally) aligned himself with the Roman Catholic Church state and its Jesuit henchmen to destroy the authority and credibility of the King James Bible that came out of the Reformation. Scripture alone is the final authority for the Christian faith, not the Pope, not White, and certainly not some motley crew of textual critics.      

Over the last four centuries, the Roman Catholic Church and its Jesuits have been working to undermine the authority and to destroy the credibility of the King James Bible and to abolish biblical Christianity in favor of a world religious system headed by the Roman Church state. White and the textual critics are helping the RCC achieve its goal.

Throughout the centuries, the Roman Catholic Church and her Jesuits used coercion, torture, and murder in their effort to destroy the Scripture as the sole authority for the Christian fatih, but Rome’s heavy-handed tactics of fear and intimidation didn’t work as planned and drove people from the church instead of keeping them in it. So she shifted her strategy to using indoctrination techniques and focused her Jesuit counter-reformation forces on infiltrating Protestant seminaries and secular colleges and universities. 

She lauded Westcott and Hort and the Revision Committee of 1881 for discrediting the Textus Receptus Greek texts of the New Testament and for undermining the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible as an inferior, untrustworthy translation. Westcott and Hort not only discredited the Textus Receptus and dethroned the KJV, but they also cleared a path to call for ecumenical unity between Evangelical Protestants and Rome.  

What is most disturbing about the defense of modern Bible versions by “Christian” scholars and apologists the likes of White, Daniel Wallace, Bruce Metzger, and Norman Geisler is that they seem to be intentionally keeping their sycophants and followers in the dark about Rome’s ties to the corrupted manuscripts and her influence on the “science” of modern textual criticism.

I have yet to see written or video documentation of White calling on Roman Catholics to leave the Roman Catholic Church, or of White echoing the Reformers condemnation of the Roman Church state as the Whore of Babylon and its vicars as antichrist. However, White has condemned King James Only advocates as cultists, many of whom are Reformed or Calvinist as White himself claims to be. 

It’s the Roman Catholic Church state and not Reformed Protestantism that benefits when Protestants like James White undermine and discredit the King James Bible and endorse modern Bible versions based on corrupted Roman Catholic and Gnostic manuscripts.

As long as White doesn’t call upon Roman Catholics to leave their church, and as long as he endorses Rome’s manuscripts and modern Bible translation over the King James Bible, he’s an unregenerate Christian and an appeaser to the cause of the Roman Catholic Church state.

In case anyone is interested, Chris Pinto has made three documentaries (about three hours each) addressing the history of the Bible and the modern translations issue. A Lamp in the Dark https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmXBj2N9fhY; Tares among the Wheat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe3CMDXeG4w; and Bridge to Babylon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukRCVDmiAts.

They are well worth your time.

I.M. Kane

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Unregenerate Christians are self-idenfied and not God-identified, therefore, they hate the doctrine that God has sovereignly elected some people for salvation. They misrepresent what Scripture clearly teaches, which is that God calls many, and of the many called a “few are chosen.”

To their way of thinking, a God who sovereignly chooses to save only the few and punish the many is not only an unjust judge but is also an evil monster. They say a God who saves only the elect and damns everyone else is unfair and unloving and bears a closer resemblance to the pagan deities of antiquity than to the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.

If Scripture is God’s written Word and the Christian’s authority for all matters of faith and practice, then what it teaches about God is what is true, regardless of what people understand or believe is fair, just, and loving.

According to Scripture, God destroyed everyone in the world except for Noah and his family; He also destroyed everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah and surrounding cities except for Lot and his daughters. The question unregenerate Christians must answer is how can God destroy the entire world and its inhabitants, annihilate the cities on the plain and everyone in them, save only a few chosen people, and remain a loving God?

Scripture also says that God chose Israel above all people to be His treasured possession and servants on the earth, and He knows only Israel among all the families of the world. The question facing unregenerate Christians is how is it fair for God to choose Israel over all the nations and the Israelites over all people on the earth and make them His people, His servants, and His witnesses?

The Scripture is clear that God does not love every person equally. Paul writes in Romans that God loved Jacob and hated his brother Esau before the twin boys were born and had done any good or evil. In addition Paul writes that God decreed the elder would serve the younger, and that He elected Jacob instead of Esau to receive his father’s blessing when the birthright really belonged to Esau as the elder brother.

Paul clearly says that God cursed and hated Esau before the boy had been born or had done anything evil, so that “the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.” The question for the unregenerate Christian is how is it right and just for God to hate and punish an unborn child before he’s born, and has done anything to warrant it?

In the same chapter of Romans Paul writes that God raised up Pharaoh to destroy him; and He hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that God’s power and name would be known and declared throughout the world.

It’s clear from Romans that God does what He pleases and no man can call Him to account or make Him responsible for anything He does. God is accountable to no one. He is bound by nothing. He has “mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”

Paul writes the potter has power over the clay to make from the same lump a vessel for honor and another for dishonor. Man was created to glorify God, and God is glorified through the vessels He has made. Everything God created is for His pleasure.

God is sovereign creator; what He does is just for nothing can constrain Him, and no law is above Him. God’s defining characteristic is holiness, not love; He is righteousness and justice. Who can hold Him responsible and say He is wrong in what He does? “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.”

The law is man’s taskmaster, not God’s. God is bound by nothing, no law constrains Him. He created the law. He cannot be judged by it. God is judge, and His judgments are righteous.

Man has no rights to which God must acknowledge and acquiesce. “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou?”

The truth is the unregenerate Christian’s interpretation of Scripture is a direct assault against God’s sovereignty, and he can’t believe what the Scripture clearly teaches because the unregenerate “receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

I.M.Kane

 

 

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The gospel messages documented throughout the book of Acts and the Epistles are not identical. Most Christians fail to discern the differences in the New Testament gospel messages preached by the Apostle Peter and by the Apostle Paul.

“[T]here are two Gospels, each dependent upon the Blood of the Cross. The one Gospel is earthly (Kingdom), the other is heavenly (Grace). Both Gospels are “according to Jesus, ” and present only one way: by faith.

One Gospel was ministered by Christ on earth, during His pre-Cross humiliation, and was exclusively addressed to Israel regarding her Millennial Kingdom. The other–altogether “new creation” other–was ministered to Paul by the glorified Lord Jesus Christ; after Calvary, from heaven, exclusively to and for His Chosen heavenly Body.

John the Baptist’s, Jesus’, and the Apostles’ Gospel concerned the Messiah and His Kingdom–specifically and repeatedly referred to as “the Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matt. 4:23; 9:35; 24:14; Mark 1:14; Lu. 9:2,6). The other, “the Gospel of Grace of God,” was neither preached nor mentioned until Paul went forth to declare it (Acts 20:24; Rom. 3:21; Eph. 3:1-3).” Miles J. Stanford, Pauline Dispensationalism, pg 5.

 

 

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If you’ve been taught that all Bible translations are basically the same, and it really doesn’t matter which version you read because they all say the same thing but in a different way, then you need to hear this presentation from the Underground Christian Network’s, Theo Hikmat. Hikmat provides answers for where the new Bible translations came from, who compiled them, how they were translated, and what they teach. Hikmat’s presentation is clear, well researched, and Biblically sound.

 

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Does the Bible Forbid Ordination of Women? By Gordon H. Clark

http://gordonhclark.reformed.info/does-the-bible-forbid-ordination-of-women-by-gordon-h-clark/

Professor Gordon Clark’s article refutes the current arguments for women pastors and church officials. Clark writes, “If we accept Scripture as our norm, it is forbidden to seize one verse and misinterpret it to the detriment of other explicit passages. The more obscure must always be understood in the light of what is clear and indisputable. … In the New Testament there is no authority for or example of a woman elder or minister. And we are bound by the Scriptures, the infallible and only rule of church government. We dare not add, subtract, or alter.”

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