Landmark Independent Baptist Church - Proofs Reviewed - Church Prior to Pentecost

I have been asked to review the twenty reasons used to prove that the Landmark Independent Baptist Church existed prior to the day of Pentecost. This is needed if Baptists have authority to use John the Baptist as its originator. The Landmark Independent Baptist Church's proof are in red and my commentary is in black.

Jesus said that without being born AGAIN of Water and Spirit or Water and the Word you CANNOT, SHALL NOT enter into His kingdom or rule which is the Ekklesia or Christian synagogue or school of the Bible. The seven "spirits" of Isaiah 11:1-4 which would rest on the BRANCH are all related to forms of spiritual knowledge. Jesus said "My Words are Spirit and Life." Therefore, you might join a venue for Rock and Roll peddled as "worship" but Jesus Christ WILL NOT be your free-of-charge Teacher until He washes your spirit or mind. Only then do you have access to the seven spirits represented by the Menorah or Candlestick which gave LIGHT to the Holy Place along with the table of bread and the incense altar. Each Christian "priest" must look into the Most Holy Place with their own prayers. Then, you can enter into the Most Holy Place to meet God. Jesus said that the ONLY new PLACE is the human spirit as it gives heed to the Spirit of Truth through the Word. Don't believe the lie that "musical teams" lead you into the presence of God: that makes them claim to be God standing in the Holy Place. Not in the vilest pagan temple could singers and musicians enter into the holy precincts on the penalty of death. Don't follow people making "Christianity" viler than paganism. If you are part of the 5 out of 13,000 congregations then you have become a laughing stock just like the musical idolatrs at Mount Sinai which forfeited and continues to forfeit the Covenant of Grace.

People who refute this have a "spirit" which intends to hurt you real bad.

1. The literal meaning of the word church (ekklesia). From ek, meaning "out" and kaleo meaning "to call." Jesus called out His disciples from the disciples of John early in His public ministry, forming the church or called-out assembly (John 1:35-51).

This was before God had validated the claim of Jesus as Messiah:

And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. Luke 1:51

This was before the establishment of the church

AND he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. Mark 9:1

This was before the church had been purchased:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Ac.20:28

This was before anyone had been saved by that shed blood:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark16:15

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16

Jesus called out only the twelve who would lay the foundation by preaching the gospel:

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; Ephesians 2:19

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Ephesians 2:20

Christ would not become the chief Cornerstone until He was rejected by the Jews:

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Acts 4:11

2. Christ said He would leave His "house" on earth when He went on a "far journey. (ascended back unto heaven) (Mark 13: 31-37). The church is identified as His "house" (Heb. 3:1-6; 1 Tim. 3:15; Eph. 2:20,21; 1 Cor. 3:16). Christ ascended prior to Pentecost (Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9-11).

This was a parable about watching but it cannot be used to prove that the church was in existence. God does not live in houses because He is God or full Deity (Colossians 2:9).

For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Mark 13:34

Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Mark 13:35

If the parable is not understood it may mean that it wasn't spoken to some. Jesus promised to return in Spirit very soon (John 14:16-18).

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. Matthew 13:13

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: Matthew 13:14

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: Matthew 13:14

All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:Matthew 13:34

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will opMatthew 13:35en my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

Matthew 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

3. Christ spoke of His disciples as a "flock" prior to Pentecost (Luke 12:32; Matt. 26:31,32). The church is identified as the "flock" of God (Acts 20:28,29; 1 Pet. 5:2,3).

A flock is a collection of sheep or people who need care and feeding. Flocks existed before the church came into existence:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2:8

The little flock was discussed in a parable concerning many things but the "little flock" did not yet have the kingdom:

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

As proof that the writer does not believe that this describes the truth we may ask whether he has obeyed the next command:

Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. Luke 12:33

The "flock" which is the church was to be shepherded by elders or senior men and not directly by Christ:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Acts 20:28

Again, the church did not begin to collect until it was purchased by the death of Christ to redeem those who would believe, repent and be baptized as evidence that they "did not reject the counsel of God for their lives."

4. They preached the gospel prior to Pentecost (Mark 1:1; 3:14; Matt. 10:14; Luke 10:1-17).

As Luke took up pen and paper to record his research from eyewitnesses to write Acts as a history of that which was mostly past-tense, Mark took up his pen to record how the gospel or good news of Jesus began:

THE beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; Mark 1:1

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Mark 1:4

And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. Mark 1:9

Mark did not write his "gospel" or account until long after the death of Christ.

The "gospel" simply means "good news." It was "gospel" when they learned that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus came preaching good news and the Jews repented and were baptized. However, it was not the gospel in the sense of "the death, burial, resurrection" of Jesus in the first paragraphs of His book. Mark simply records how the good news from future-tense to past tense took place.

5. They had Holy Spirit power prior to Pentecost (Matt. 10:5, 19,20).

The seventy disciples on the limited commission went out to tell the good news that the kingdom was near them. Anytime the King is present the kingdom is near. In another sense, the kingdom was approaching and will be at hand soon:

And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 10:7

Eggizo (g1448)  eng-id'-zo; from 1451; to make near, i.e. (reflex.) approach: - approach, be at hand, come (draw) near, be (come, draw) nigh.

For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. Matthew 10:20

The builders of the Tabernacle had Spirit power or technical knowledge more than a century before Christ. And Israel is even called "the church in the wilderness" but it was not the church of Christ or bride of Christ. This same Spirit created the universe and directed Israel even under the Law of Moses but this was not the New Testament Church, the body of Christ purchased by His shed blood:

God, the Spirit, "laid aside" His glory and took on the form of a man. Whey you saw the Son you saw the father because as God's ARM Jesus exercised Spirit power.

Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1 Peter 1:11

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19:10

6. They baptized prior to Pentecost (John 4:1,2).

Naaman was baptized to obey God's command so that he would be saved from leprosy but the church of Christ did not exist then and Naaman did not become a member. All Gentiles who wanted to become part of the Jewish nation were baptized but they became proselyte Jews but they did not become Christians and they were not in the church of Christ.

7. They received the Lord's Supper prior to Pentecost (Matt. 26:26; Luke 22:17-20; Mark 14:22-26).

No, they ate the Passover feast which was a Jewish institution which would be fulfilled in Christ. After the resurrection, they would show forth the Lord's death rather than the death of a lamb. See 19 below.

8. They had an ordained ministry prior to Pentecost (Mark 3:14; cf. 1 Cor. 12:28).

There are several fallacies here: First, the church does not need an "ordained" ministry in order to be a New Testament church. Gospel preachers simply obey the command of Christ issued to them to "go preach." They prepare themselves and if anyone will listen they are ministers (if they are not masters) and are "ordained" in the process of having listeners.

The ordination is called appointed ot selected and the word does not mean "ordain" in the modern sense. For instance, the word is used as follows:

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife Mt.1:24

Jesus simply pointed them out and said "follow me." In Paul's letter, Titus is to point out or identify those senior males who "are already laboring to the point of exhaustion in preaching and teaching." They were performing the job before the "ordination" or they were not fit for the service.

9. They had church discipline prior to Pentecost (Matt. 18:15-17)

This is a simple teaching which can be found in every civilization where good order is to be maintained. Like all of Christ's verbal instructions they necessarily took place before His Ascension and therefore before the church was purchased. After the church came into existence Christ would return as another Comforter in an invisible presence (John 14:16-18) but still identified as "Jesus of Nazareth whom thou persecutest" to Paul to whom He promised the same guidance into all truth.

10. They had Christ as their "head" prior to Pentecost (John 13:14; cf. Eph. 1:22,23). 

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one anothers feet. John 13:14

The Word or Spirit Who dwelled in Jesus was always the lord. However, I cannot find any hint of the church because the church did not exist except in plan and preparation. It is elementary that Jesus did not become head of the church until after His Ascension and He assumed all power envision in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That is, He was now recogneied under the name Jesus in Whom dwelled full Deith (Col 2:9).

Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Ephesians 1:20

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: Ephesians 1:21

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Ephesians 1:22

Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Ephesians 1:23

This did not happen until Christ's ascension:

He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) Ephesians 4:10

11. They had a membership of 120 prior to Pentecost (Acts 1:15; note, "names").

These were not believers but disciples.

And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Acts 1:15

A disciple is simply a learner. At Pentecost, when the disciples believed Peter's preaching they asked what to do and Peter told them to repent and be baptized. Only afterward are they identified as believers.

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; Acts 2:44

12. They had a business meeting and elected officers prior to Pentecost (Acts 1:15-26).

Again the writer is "making the church in his own image." It really is possible to have a church without a "business meeting." They did not "elect" but they allowed God to "select" a replacement Apostle. There are no apostles in the modern church.

13. They had a treasurer prior to Pentecost (John 13:29).

Sure enough, Judas had the bag and Judas was a thief and Jesus knew that he was a thief from the beginning.

The Judas Bat was a little box "to keep the mouthpieces of wind instruments." Psalm 41 prophesied that Judas would not "triumph over Jesus." Triumph means to "blow the wind instruments" and this was outlawed when the Israelite congregation came together (Numbers 10:7). The New Testament church in 1 Corinthians 14 and in 2 Corinthians 8, 9 did not have a Treasurer and did not regularly "take up a collection" except for their own poor. The notion of a treasurer comes from these passages but Paul makes it very clear that this was not a command to give. To declare a "law of giving" makes the proclaimer a terriorist:

Judas: "one of the Twelve Apostles, notorious for betraying Jesus. Judas' surname is more probably a corruption of the Latin sicarius ("murderer" or "assassin") than an indication of family origin, suggesting that he would have belonged to the Sicarii, the most radical Jewish group, some of whom were terrorists. Other than his apostleship, his betrayal, and his death, little else is revealed about Judas in the Gospels. Always the last on the list of the Apostles, he was their treasurer. John 12:6 introduces Judas' thievery by saying, ". . . as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it." Britannica

14. They "added" 3,000 on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41).

See 16 below:

15. They had the "Great Commission" prior to Pentecost (Matt. 28:19,20).

We also had a Declaration of Independance before we had a nation.

Remember the procedure: "Get ready, get set, go." The selection of the Apostles and training them was in preparation. The command to go was given before the death of Christ but they didn't "go" until after Pentecost.

Yes, they had a commission but they had not yet gone and would not until after Pentecost.

AND he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. Mark 9:1

After the transfiguration,

And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. Mark 9:9

And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean. Mark 9:10

16. Christ was "building" His church prior to Pentecost (Matt. 16:18).

The text does not say, "was building" but will build -- all future tense.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 28:19

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. Matthew 28:20

Jesus would go away and return as "another comforter." This would be in Spirit form (John 14:16). In our limited sense, He could not empower the Apostles and live with and eat with us in the kingdom in His physical body which He specificially limited (John 6:62-63)

Will "build" does not mean keep on constructing. Rather, a good contractor finds a good, solid place and then he begins the contruction process. The foundation upon which the church would be built was the fact that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. This means that the church is built upon the fact, belief and confession that Jesus is God. Then, one begins to construct.

The foundation would not be complete until Jesus was actually resurrected to prove His full Deity (Colossians 2:9). After that process, the Apostles had supernatural power beyond that which they were given in the limited commission to the Jews.

The keys of the kingdom which Paul preached on Pentecost had not yet been given to him:

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19

People responded as they were convicted of their sins. The adding took place throughout the day. As people believed they were baptized:

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:

The antecedant to them in the last part of the verse is the they in the first part:

and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Acts 2:41

See # 20 for a fuller proof:

In the days following Pentecost:

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

Furthermore, they were not added to a pre-existing church but to the Lord. Jesus had personally cleansed the Apostles by His word and if they "did not reject the counsel of God for their lives they were baptized by John's baptism."

And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) Acts 5:14

17. They ("us") had been in existence ("companied with us") "from the baptism of John" (Acts 1:21,22).

Click here for evidence which shows that the witnesses were men who came up from Galilee and were the twelve Apostles. To keep company does not prove that the New Testament church existed.

18. The Bridegroom was with His Bride (the church) prior to Pentecost (John 3:29; cf. Eph. 5:22-33; 2 Cor. 11:2).

John speaks of the bridegroom in a parable to prove that He was not the Christ. Ephesians, of course, speaks in none parable language to show that the church is the bride of Christ.

The Jews were "married" or under bondage to the law. It would be polygamy for them to be married to two at the same time

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Romans 7:4

19. Christ sang in His church prior to Pentecost (Mark 14:26; in fulfillment of Psalm 22:22; see Heb. 2:12).

Jesus "singing" was fulfilled when Paul and others preached the gospel.

Jesus chanted a hymn or a Psalm specificially chosen to celebrate the Passover. The Passover was an Old Covenant Institution which would be fulfilled only when the "Lamb" was chosen, sacrificed and the blood shed. The Passover, like John's baptism, looked forward to the Kingom while the post-Pentecost baptism looked back to the finished work of the cross. If the "church" existed, it was not the kingdom of God, of Christ or of heaven:

And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. Mark 14:16

And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Mark 14:24

Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. Mark 14:25

Only after the resurrection or the "saving of" Psalm 22:21 from the rabbi or Jewish clergy would Jesus sing unto the brethren.

Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen. Psalm 22:21

I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Psalm 22:22

Just as in Paul's other letters, the teaching or confessing is to others while the "singing" or melody is directed toward God. To direct the talent to the "audience" is changing the Christ-ordained direction of information flow. The result was to speak to the god (generic word used) which was just to speak into the air. From the classical writers we know that the demons or angels inhabited the air and that people sang or spoke in tongues to them..

Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister (public servant) of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: Romans 15:8

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. Romans 15:9

Again, this was accomplished in Paul preaching the message of Christ as the Apostle to the Gentiles. This was too late to be before Pentecost.

This was a prophecy that Lord Jesus Christ would "sing unto the Gentiles." It would be outrageous for the Incarnate God of the universe to bring in a band to help teach the gospel. He used a form of "singing" which was speaking in a style which would carry to the outermost edges of the crowd. This was called cantillating. It was reserved for the collective assembly. This "singing" happens when anyone ministers the gospel:

That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:16

We know that Jesus chanted the traditional psalms during Passover (a family institution) but He never "sang" nor did He play instruments and He wouldn't dance to the clergy's tune.

This was also God's message to the Jews. The singing was not to the "congregation" but to the Lord as the result of teaching His Word to the congregation or the world. Much of this inspired sermonized and versivied material is presented in an easily-remembered form of poem or song:

O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name:

make known his deeds among the people. Psalm 105:1

Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things;

let this be known to all the world. Isaiah 12:5

However, God had already condemned the people with Zemar which was to prune the vine:

I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it." Is.5:6

One of the reasons was, according to Amos, their daily religious festivals at which they worshipped their own appetites:

And (you have) the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts:

but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands. Isaiah 5:12

For a fuller discussion of Jesus Singing to the Gentiles

20. There is NO Scripture anywhere to indicate that the church began at Pentecost.

Sometimes we just have to use our common sense and put 2 and 2 together.

Prior to Pentecost Jesus said:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16

On the day of Pentecost the preaching began after the apostles received power:

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Acts 2:37

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38

Joel's prophecy was not fulfilled prior to Pentecost:

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. Acts 2:39

The adding took place throughout the day. As people believed they were baptized

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:

The antecedant to them in the last part of the verse is the they in the first part. The first people were baptized with at least twelve men to baptize them. After the first "round" othrs were added:

and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Acts 2:41

The Greek texts did not have colons and the NIV uses a comma:

Those who accepted his message were baptized,
and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Acts 2:41NIV, RSV

And those who believed Peter were baptized-

about three thousand in all! Acts 2:41LIV

In the days following Pentecost:

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

Pentecost is the birthday of the New Testament Church:

The Apostles did not have Christ's Spirit prior to Pentecost; they had power at Pentecost

The church is not mentioned prior to Pentecost; it was in existance at Pentecost.

People were not saved prior to baptism on Pentecost; they were baptized and saved at Pentecost.

People were not added to the church prior to Pentecost; they were added at Pentecost and thereafter.

Conclusion: the church of Christ did not exist until the day of Pentecost when Christ's Spirit power was poured out to give the Apostles the courage and skill to preach the gospel, in Jesus Christ's name.

Because the Apostles had no standing as "clergy" the gospel had to be spread just like the "street preachers" where they would most assuredly be taken as the common peddlars of drunken songs, poems, magic or dances.

There is no mention of the church prior to Pentecost.

People were saved and added to the church at Pentecost.

Therefore, the church must have begun on the day of Pentecost.

There is no Scriptural or logical reason for denying it.

If the church was begun by John the Baptist then one might wear his name as his bride.

If the church was begun by Jesus Christ then we should wear His name. In history and in the Scripture, the name is bound up in His Spirit nature as Christ and not His human name of Jesus:

Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings. Romans 16:16

While the term "church of God" is more common, "God" is a generic name while Jesus Christ is the specific name of our Jehovah-Saves God. After the resurrection of Jesus:

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. John 20:28

And Paul confirmed it:

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that

God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified,

both Lord and Christ. Acts 2:36

History has acknowledged that the term "Christ" sums up the fact that Jesus is fully God (Colossians 2:9).

If my wife used the name of the person who introduced us and refused to use my name I would probably find another bride.

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