A Missionary’s Journey

This is a guest article from Bro. Roger Jewell, missionary to the Dominican Republic. Roger Jewell’s sending church is Tabernacle Baptist Church of Lebanon, Missouri. Faith Baptist Church of Spokane is one of his supporting churches.

A Missionary’s Journey

I had a dream last night, that I was on a journey. I didn’t have the ability to make the trip on my own since I didn’t have a vehicle or the money to do so. I did, however, have some supporting pastors and friends that were going my way and helped me get started on the trip. Along the way, the person I was riding with, although the fellowship was wonderful, wanted to stop and enjoy some of the local sites.

I, however, could not stop, since I was headed back to the mission field. It was then that I saw a pastor-friend of mine and his wife who were going my way. I could ride with them the rest of the way while, while the man I was travelling with spent some time in the city we were in. I saw God’s hand each step of the journey, providing for my needs so that I could get back to Barahona, Dominican Republic.

While making this part of the journey, my Pastor friend’s wife asked me where Barahona was. I explained it to her, and she told me that she didn’t think very many people knew where it was, or knew the people we were ministering to. She told me that I should ask my supporting churches and pastors if they could find Barahona, or even the Dominican Republic on a map. She thought that if they were burdened enough to pray for the people of the Dominican Republic specifically, and support and send a missionary to these people, that they should be able to find the place on a map.

At that point, my first ride began to leave the parking lot I was in. I was sad to see him leaving. At that moment I found out that my pastor-friend wasn’t prepared to leave the city right away either, but needed to spend a few days where we were before moving on. I couldn’t wait, however. I needed to continue my journey to get back home to my family and the work I had to do. My heart sank as I saw one vehicle pulling away, and know that the friend I thought would take me the rest of the way wasn’t going to do so.

I had to get to my destination as soon as possible, but I still had a long journey ahead of me. I decided to take a Grey Hound bus the rest of the way. It wasn’t very comfortable and the people I spoke with didn’t know the Lord or understand why I was taking this journey. Many times it was cramped, and it seemed to go much slower than I was travelling before. I then realized how much I depend on our Pastors and our friends to help us along the way. At this point I awoke and decided to write down my dream before I forgot it.

We cannot do anything well without the help of our supporting churches. As a missionary, we live completely by faith. Our support comes in each month only by the grace of God. If a church decides not to help us one month with their support check, or by praying for us, we will feel the pinch. We have begun a journey together, and I hope that we will finish it together. There is a great work that needs to be done here in the Dominican Republic, and around the world. The people here are ignorant, for the most part, of the Word of God and of salvation. They are wondering around as blind men. I know that God has placed me here to help them see the truth, but it seems, at times, like they prefer their blindness to perfect sight.

It is hard work, and I get discouraged at times, but I know that our supporting pastors and churches are praying for us. We aren’t travelling alone, but have you to take the journey with us. Please keep us in your prayers. I hope you will be able to find where we live and minister on a map as easily as you could find the state you are living in. There is no such thing as a missionary that is all alone in the work. We are all dependent upon the prayers, financial support and vision of those who help us in our ministry. We are men and women of faith who have stepped out on the end of a limb to do the work of God in foreign fields because we know that you are holding onto us, and will not allow us to fall to our hurt.

I walked into the living room of my house the other day to find my 9 year old sitting on the couch with my wife. He had tears in his eyes, and was telling my wife that he wants to have friends that he can talk with (in his own language) and play with. My heart broke for him, and for the rest of my children, because I know they all want the same thing. I told him that God has brought us here to help these people get saved, and that he will learn Spanish well, and will have friends here. I could see that my wife wanted to tell him the same thing, but she knows that our 9 year old also has to sacrifice what he “could have had” to be a missionary’s kid on a foreign field.

We will be fine, but we cannot make the journey alone. We need you to help us in the journey, in fellowship, in financial support and most importantly, in prayer. The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians chapter 4 verses 10-13, “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

We missionaries can do the work, but we can’t do it alone. We need the power of God upon our lives and our ministry, and we need good churches that will help us in the journey. May God bless you for your faithfulness. Thank you for all of your help in this great work that God has called us to. I hope we will be travelling companions until we reach our Father’s house, and can rest from our journey together.

Roger Jewell




Anti-Christ

Throughout most of the last 20 centuries, separate, independent, groups of Christians, generally labeled “ana-baptist” and specifically called Paulicans, Novatians, Donatists, Henricans, Waldenses, Albigenses, Bogomils, Lollards, and many other less complimentary names, have been persecuted for holding fast the specific teachings of the New Testament. They consistently held the New Testament church to be a local, visible, autonomous body of believers covenanted together to serve their Lord and Savior. For this, they were horribly persecuted by their opponents. The fiercest of these opponents was not the pagans that they invariably lived among. Rather, it was a church that called itself “Christian” — the Catholic Church. Its head, the Pope, was declared to be the vicar of Christ by their own councils. In so doing, he became Anti-Christ. They shut up the Bible to the “common” man declaring that it would “only cause confusion,” and then proceeded to warp and twist the doctrines to insure that their followers have no chance for salvation. The list of the sins of this horrid institution are so numerous as to almost defy cataloging. Yet, the Pope is honored by the governments of today.

My how we have forgotten history!

So we will remember, the following is from J.M. Carroll’s Trail of Blood. This excerpt briefly details the falling away that led to the formation of the Catholic Church and it’s ungodly head. Many more works, such as The Martyrs Mirror, and A History of the Baptists detail it more completely.

From The Trail of Blood . . .

“During the first three centuries, congregations all over the East subsisted in separate independent bodies, unsupported by government and consequently without any secular power over one another. All this time they were baptized churches, and though all the fathers of the first four ages, down to Jerome (A.D. 370), were of Greece, Syria and Africa, and though they give great numbers of histories of the baptism of adults, yet there is not one of the baptism of a child till the year 370.” (Compendium of Baptist History, Shackelford, p. 43; Vedder, p. 50; Christian, p, 31; Orchard, p. 50, etc.)

7. Let it be remembered that changes like these here mentioned were not made in a day, nor even within a year. They came about slowly and never within all the churches. Some of the churches vigorously repudiated them. So much so that in A.D. 251, the loyal churches declared non-fellowship for those churches which accepted and practiced these errors. And thus came about the first real official separation among the churches.

8. Thus it will be noted that during the first three centuries three important and vital changes from the teachings of Christ and His Apostles had their beginnings. And one significant event took place, Note this summary and recapitulation:

(1) The change from the New Testament idea of bishop and church government. This change grew rapidly, more pronounced, and complete and hurtful.

(2) The change from the New Testament teachings as to Regeneration to “baptismal regeneration.”

(3) The change from “believers’ baptism” to “infant baptism.” (This last, however, did not become general nor even very frequent for more than another century.)

9. “Baptismal regeneration” and “infant baptism.” These two errors have, according to the testimony of well-established history, caused the shedding of more Christian blood, as the centuries have gone by, than all other errors combined, or than possibly have all wars, not connected with persecution, if you will leave out the recent “World War.” Over 50,000,000 Christians died martyr deaths, mainly because of their rejection of these two errors during the period of the “dark ages” alone–about twelve or thirteen centuries.

10. Three significant facts, for a large majority of the many churches, are clearly shown by history during these first three centuries.

(1) The separateness and independence of the Churches.

(2) The subordinate character of bishops or pastors.

(3) The baptism of believers only.

I quote now from Mosheim–the greatest of all Lutheran church historians. Vol., 1, pages 71 and 72: “But whoever supposes that the bishops of this golden age of the church correspond with the bishops of the following centuries must blend and confound characters that are very different, for in this century and the next, a bishop had charge of a single church, which might ordinarily be contained in a private house; nor was he its Lord, but was in reality its minister or servant. . . All the churches in those primitive times were independent bodies, or none of them subject to the jurisdiction of any other. For though the churches which were founded by the Apostles themselves frequently had the honor shown them to be consulted in doubtful cases, yet they had no judicial authority, no control, no power of giving laws. On the contrary, it is as clear as the noonday that all Christian churches had equal rights, and were in all respects on a footing of equality.”

11. Up to this period, notwithstanding much and serious persecutions, Christianity has had a marvelous growth. It has covered and even gone beyond the great Roman Empire. Almost, if not all the inhabited world has heard the gospel. And, according to some of the church historians, many of the original churches organized by the Apostles are yet intact, and yet loyal to Apostolic teachings. However, as already shown, a number of very marked and hurtful errors have crept in and gotten a permanent hold among many of the churches. Some have become very irregular.

12. Persecutions have become increasingly bitter. Near the beginning of the fourth century comes possibly the first definite government edict of persecution. The wonderful growth of Christianity has alarmed the pagan leaders of the Roman Empire. Hence Galerius, the emperor, sent out a direct edict of more savage persecution. This occurred Feb. 24, 303 A.D. Up to this time Paganism seems to have persecuted without any definite laws to that effect.

13. But this edict failed so utterly in its purpose of stopping the growth of Christianity, that this same emperor, Galerius, just eight years thereafter (A.D. 311) passed another edict recalling the first and actually granting toleration–permission to live the religion of Jesus Christ. This was probably its first favorable law.

14. By the beginning of the year A.D. 313, Christianity has won a mighty victory over paganism. A new emperor has come to the throne of the Roman Empire. He evidently recognized something of the mysterious power of this religion that continued to grow in spite of persecution. History says that this new emperor who was none other than Constantinehad a wonderful realistic vision. He saw in the skies a fiery red cross and on that cross written in fiery letters these words–“By this thou shalt conquer.” He interpreted it to mean that he should become a Christian. And that by giving up paganism and that by attaching the spiritual power of the Christian religion onto the temporal power of the Roman Empire the world could be easily conquered. Thus the Christian religion would in fact become a whole world religion, and the Roman Empire a whole world empire.

15. So under the leadership of Emperor Constantine there comes a truce, a courtship and a proposal of marriage. The Roman Empire through its emperor seeks a marriage with Christianity. Give us your spiritual power and we will give you of our temporal power.

16. To effectually bring about and consummate this unholy union, a council was called. In A. D. 313, a call was made for a coming together of the Christian churches or their representatives . Many but not all came. The alliance was consummated. A Hierarchy was formed. In the organization of the Hierarchy, Christ was dethroned as head of the churches and Emperor Constantine enthroned (only temporarily, however) as head of the church.

17. The Hierarchy was the definite beginning of a development which finally resulted into what is now known as the Catholic, or “universal” church. It might be said that its indefinite beginnings were near the close of the second and beginning of the third century, when the new ideas concerning bishops and preacher-church government began to take shape.

18. Let it be definitely remembered that when Constantine made his call for the council, there were very many of the Christians (Baptists) and of the churches, which declined to respond. They wanted no marriage with the state, and no centralized religious government, and no higher ecclesiastical government of any kind, than the individual church. These Christians (Baptists) nor the churches ever at that time or later, entered the hierarchy of the Catholic denomination.

And the head of the Catholic Church is honored by the rulers and governments of today. How very shameful.