THE LIFE AND WORK
OF WILLIAM TYNDALE

Written by Steven Black on 06/09/2016. Posted in Articles

By Michael Hobbis,
CW Committee Member

Part 1 (of 3)

image001The enemy is at the gates
As I write, a Roman Catholic Cardinal has, after almost five centuries and with full permission of Her Majesty the Queen of England, engaged in a vespers service in the very chapel at Hampton Court where Henry VIII worshipped. The same Henry who, in the wonderful providence of God, dismissed Cardinal Wolsey from office as his advisor and confidant and repudiated the Pope of Rome and all his ways. Some would say that this was merely in a fit of pique because he desired a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, however, as we study the life of our subject, William Tyndale, we shall see that he had more than a little influence in this breach with Papal authority, by the grace of Him who turneth the heart of Kings; whithersoever He will (see Proverbs 21:1).

This then is surely a fitting time to remind ourselves of the goodness of God in raising up such a one as William Tyndale, now that we appear to have come to a period in our contemporary history when, once more, the darkness of ignorance, superstition and false religion threatens to envelop us again.

That the Authorised Version of the Bible, referred to by some as the King James Bible, has been that great work which has had more influence upon the religious life of this nation than any other translation of the Word of God, is surely a matter beyond dispute. This nation owes much to the work of this one man who, in his service for Christ and in the strength of His grace, brought back to this nation the pure Word of God and so laid the foundation for the prosperity of its people all over the British Empire.

It is also a generally accepted fact that 80 % (some would claim 90%) of the King James Bible rests on the original translating work of William Tyndale from 1525 – 1535.

A poor wise man raised up
What is truly amazing – and this probably says much about the self-effacing character of Tyndale – is that until the Annals of the English Bible written by Anderson in 1845 – and apart from the Acts and Monuments of John Foxe – little was known or written about him. “The poor wise man” of the little city in Ecclesiastes chapter nine delivered the city by his wisdom and no man remembered him. In comparison with the mighty effects of the grace of God through him, how little is this 16th century English poor man William Tyndale regarded either. Yet possibly no man had a greater effect for good in the spiritual life of this nation than Tyndale.
When we study his life we can trace the finger of God in providentially using his Godly servant to give to the people of this nation – and we may say the English speaking world – the Words of life and salvation in their common tongue. By means of the diligent work of mainly one man, this country in the 16th century was brought into the light by the Holy Spirit of God spreading the truth of Holy Scripture throughout the land and bringing soul- refreshing views of Jesus and His Word to the hearts of thousands, dispelling the darkness of a fetid and soul-destroying religion and also bringing the Reformation of the Christian religion in Europe to these islands.

To build up again “the waste places
As this blessed and green and pleasant land is again turning back into pre-Reformation darkness, let us in the same spirit as Tyndale seek to do what we can to remind our fellow citizens of that great Christian heritage, which came about through the mercy of God in turning back a floodtide of impiety and spiritual falsehood and bringing that Word of light and life, the Bible, to the common man. Tyndale was “a repairer of the breach, a restorer of paths to dwell in”; so by the power and grace of God may we too seek to “raise up the foundations of many generations”. Perhaps this account of Tyndale’s life of self-sacrificing service for Jesus may be an encouragement to us to go and do likewise. To fight in the might of Christ against all the powers of darkness, alone as far as human agency is concerned: but always with Jesus who said: “I am with you alway”. Isaiah 58: 12; Matthew 28: 20
Let us then examine the life of this Christian martyr for Christ and His Word: who though “being dead yet speaketh.”

The early years
Much of Tyndale’s early life is shrouded in the mists of time. However, we do know from Foxe and other researchers that he was born in Gloucester around 1490 – 1495 and there is documentary evidence that he lived at one time in the village of Slymbridge with his brother Edward, who was fined by the Star Chamber in 1530 for assisting William in the circulation of the translated New Testament with two other brothers.
Tyndale was born at a time when the priests were entrenched in their hypocritical forms of religion e.g. relics, masses, the kissing of St Thomas’s shoe, pilgrimages, worshipping the image of “Our Lady of Walsingham” and other abominations.
However, at this time of Tyndale’s early life, all forms of the pretence of reverence and faith had gone and now these evil clergy openly mocked both themselves and the credulous people for the empty rites they knew them to be. It is said that in this age when the Scriptures were virtually unknown that Gloucester was chief in England for this sham religion of deliberate hypocrisy.
From his early days Tyndale showed a remarkable gift for learning languages and it is said that he could think and converse in seven languages as if they were his mother tongue. He was also held in much esteem for his good character, even among his enemies. Sir Thomas More, no friend of his, said of Tyndale before he finally left England: Tyndale was well known for a man of right good living, studious and well learned in the Scripture. Like Daniel many years before him, men could find nothing against him – unless it be concerning his God.
We know that Tyndale went up to Oxford where he came under the influence of one John Colet, a man who, as friend of Erasmus, had travelled around Europe studying Greek and preaching the Gospel. Now imbued with the Reformers zeal, he began to teach the Epistles of Paul at the university.
By the time Tyndale attended Oxford in 1510, Colet had already left – in 1505; nonetheless his influence remained and had an effect upon the young Tyndale. What made Tyndale different from Reformers such as Latimer, Cranmer and others was his total understanding of the Gospel of grace. His spiritual perception of its truths were clear and undimmed, unlike many who came into the dawn of the Reformation with less clarity of thought – seeing “men as trees walking”. Others were cautious and conservative, whereas Tyndale was bold and valiant for the truth – and, while not careless, he was fearless. He was, it seems, greatly impressed by Erasmus and, just as this world famous scholar was, he began to have the burden on his heart that the Scripture of Truth must be given to the common man in his own understandable tongue.
It seems scandalous to us now that even the priests could not understand the Latin they intoned. And so it was too to Tyndale, who later wrote himself that many of these blind guides could not translate one line of the Lord’s prayer from the Latin. Such was the miserable darkness and captivity of mind that the ordinary man laboured under. If his teachers could not read or understand the Scripture, what hope for the common man!
Tyndale began to preach and promote the Gospel while at Oxford, instructing his fellow students in its truths. He then left Oxford for Cambridge at – it seems – the right time, for Foxe wrote that he went – spying his time. (It was quite dangerous at that time to engage in the promotion of the Gospel). At any event, arriving in Cambridge, he again came under the influence of Erasmus and Colet who had been there before him. He also made the acquaintance of Bilney who, as we know from his letters to Bishop Tunstall, was soundly converted. Both seemed to have a mutual love for the Word.
When he left Cambridge is unclear, but, it is believed to have been around 1521 and he took up the position of tutor/chaplain in the household of Sir John Walsh in Little Sodbury – not far from his own birthplace. Sir John was a comparatively wealthy man of some influence with court and in the nation. Consequently, many Abbots – and other men of renown – were visitors to the house. Tyndale, it seems, being under the wing of this powerful man, was fairly secure from his enemies – men were still being cruelly put to death for what was termed “heresy”. He lived almost as a family member and came into frequent contact with these men, often disputing with them and confounding their superstitious opinions and corruption of the truth from the Scriptures.
At this time – and as a defence of his own position – he translated the work of Erasmus – Enchiridion Militis Christiani – Manual of a Christian Soldier. Written by Erasmus in 1501, it ridiculed the ritual and superstitious observances current in religion and had become famous all over Europe.
This was the first of Tyndale’s translating efforts whereby he used his pen as his sword to bring to men an even sharper sword. He gave the book to his master John Walsh and his wife who, after reading it, closed their doors to all the monks and prelates who had been such frequent visitors and discouraged them from attending.
It appears that his master and mistress were won over by this means to Christ and true religion. He preached in and around the local villages the pure Gospel of Christ, as he had opportunity. However, his main desire to take the written Word to the populace in their own common tongue was becoming uppermost in his heart. This involved his self-imposed exile to Europe and his eventual martyrdom which we shall discuss in our next issues.

Statue of
Tyndale in Victoria Embankment Gardens, London

 

 

THE LIFE AND WORK
OF WILLIAM TYNDALE

THE BIBLE STANDS

Written by Steven Black on 29/08/2016. Posted in Articles

Every word of God is pure.

                                                                                                                                                                          PROVERBS 30:5

It cannot be otherwise. The Holy Scriptures are holy because their Author is holy. They are the “oracles of God.” An oracle is something that is spoken. Every word from the mouth of Him who cannot lie must be absolutely pure. The God of Truth has spoken. How unthinkable that His Word be tinged with falsehood! God has graciously revealed Himself. How dreadful the consequences if that divine revelation was marred with inaccuracies! J. C. Ryle put it succinctly: “Once admit the principle that the writers of the Bible could make mistakes and were not in all things guided by the Spirit, then I know not where I am. I see nothing certain, nothing solid, nothing trustworthy in the foundations of my faith. A fog has descended on the Book of God, and enveloped every chapter in uncertainty!”

Let us hold fast to the absolute trustworthiness of the Bible. No other book has been so tried and tested. “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6). The divine volume has been cast into the furnace of the fiercest criticism. It has passed through the hottest of fires; yet it has come forth without even the smell of burning upon it. “Come,” C. H. Spurgeon challenged, “search, ye critics, and find a flaw; examine it from its Genesis to its Revelation and find an error. This is a vein of pure gold, unalloyed by quartz or any earthy substance. This is a star without a speck; a sun without a blot; a light without darkness; a moon without paleness; a glory without a dimness.” Rejoice, Christian. The foundation of God standeth sure!

The Rev. Michael Patrick,
Port Lincoln, South Australia

The Word of God is perfect; it is precious
and pure; it is Truth itself.

MARTIN LUTHER

THE BIBLE STANDS

URGENT PRAYER NEEDED FOR OUR NATION

Written by Steven Black on 10/08/2016. Posted in Articles, Prayer

GUIDANCE NOTES FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION
Please circulate and share with others

      ♦ What is my own personal standing before the Lord? For Almighty God to hear my prayer for the Nation, I myself need to be in a right relationship with Him. We come before God’s Throne of grace trusting not in our own righteousness but His Mercy.

      ♦ Psalm107:34 “A fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.” Proverbs14:34 “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

      ♦ Pray most especially for the repentance of the nation and that people may come to truly know the Lord and follow Him. May there be heartfelt repentance at the neglect of His Church and His Laws.

      ♦ We have driven the Lord Jesus Christ out of our culture, out of our Government and out of the education of our children. In the void, we have replaced Him with idols, greed, carnality, materialism and immorality. We have polluted the land with pornography, profaned the sacred and sanctified the profane. No nation that does this can expect God’s blessing of protection to remain.

      ♦ Many people are increasingly frightened by events around them. This world and this country is in turmoil. Nationally, we are in a mess socially, morally, politically, economically and spiritually. Pray that people may humbly seek God’s guidance and help regarding these issues.

      ♦ Pray for the protection of the nation from acts of terrorism and that God may show mercy rather than judgement upon a nation that has rejected His Laws and Commandments. We urgently need His blessing of protection from the threats around us and within.

      ♦ A nation or society will reap what it sows. Ask that God may open the hearts and minds of the spiritually blind in order that they may see that the way of salvation, peace and safety lies in following Him.

      ♦ Pray that the Lord may raise up Godly people to take on positions of responsibility and influence. The Church is a battleship – and not a passenger liner – which means that every devout “able-bodied” Christian has a role to play in some way. Pray that Christians may recognise their responsibility to be a strong Christian witness wherever they are. Every Christian is a missionary and every unbeliever a mission field.

      ♦ Pray for the Queen, Royal family and political leaders. Pray that God will raise up more Christians to guide and direct the thoughts of the nation. The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. For example, pray that the Lord may call more Christians to be Pastors and clergy, politicians and journalists, Judges, Magistrates and law makers, teachers, Councillors, School Governors, nurses and doctors etc, in order that a Christian influence may extend throughout every strata of society.

      ♦ Pray for greater support for Christian-run charities, missionary societies and organisations both at home and overseas.

      ♦ Pray that, while being bold in our Christian witness, we remain gracious, kind and loving towards those with whom we disagree.

      ♦ Pray for those Christians who have lost their jobs or livelihood because of their faithfulness to Christ.

      ♦ Pray that the issues arising out of the EU referendum will drive us toward, rather than away, from God. Pray that God in His Providence will over-rule the events of these troubled times to advance His Kingdom.

In conclusion, as Christians, we seek God’s mercy, forgiveness, healing, restoration, protection and revival upon our nation. A true spirit of repentance will result in such blessings. Let us be encouraged by the moving promise in II Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Take heart and be of good courage. The Lord can save by many or by few – see II Chronicles 14:11. Also remember the story of Gideon and his 300 (Judges ch.7) and the re-assurance given to weary and distressed Elijah when the entire nation seemed all but lost. (I Kings 19:11-18).

Suggested Bible readings: Joel 2 v 12 onwards; Isaiah 58; Isaiah 59 v 1-8; Jonah 3; Psalm 130; Daniel 9 v 4-19

“O God, Who has graciously preserved our nation through two World Wars, and hast led us in wondrous ways; we confess that as a nation we have turned far from Thee and have neglected our national responsibilities before the world; we have misused the liberty for which men and women gave their lives; we have pursued pleasure and not the living God; we acknowledge that Thou will not bless or deliver our nation from the future enemy until we have returned to Thee. Therefore we entreat Thy Divine Majesty to turn the hearts of the people of this nation to true repentance. Purge out the sins that dishonour Thee. Give us true religion; crown our faith with righteousness, and lift us up, a holy people, to Thy praise and honour, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

Please do share these prayer topics, readings and the above information with other Christians so that they, too, can use them and be encouraged in spirit.

Rev. J. Willans,
Vicar of Christ Church, Brockham, Surrey.

URGENT PRAYER NEEDED FOR OUR NATION

Caught in the Storm

Written by Steven Black on 05/08/2016. Posted in Articles

‘But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea.’

JONAH 1:4

In Mark chapter 4 we see Christ stilling the storm that had terrified the apostles. Here we find Him sending a great wind into the sea. It is strange to see the Lord on the one hand stilling a fierce storm and on the other sending one. But as the hymn writer has noted, the wind and waves obey Him.

The Lord never sends a storm without a very good reason. In Jonah’s case it was because he was going in the direction opposite to where the Lord had sent him. He had to learn that he could not deliberately disobey God with impunity. To teach him that lesson, the Lord sent out such a storm into the Mediterranean Sea that no effort made by the most experienced sailors could avail in the unequal struggle between the waves and the helpless vessel being tossed about as a plaything.

Perhaps you are passing through stormy waters at this period of your life. You are not in the midst of the Mediterranean, but there is such a storm raging in your heart that you feel you cannot go on any longer. Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, once passed through a fierce conflict. He knew the Lord wanted him to go to the interior of China, but he was afraid to lead workers there lest the venture should fail utterly. His inner conflict was so intense that he thought he was going to lose his reason. At last Taylor was brought to a full surrender to God, and the subsequent work led to the salvation of multitudes of Chinese people.

Has the storm in your life been caused by your refusal to surrender to the Lord and obey His voice? “Go through with God.”
Rev. Gordon Ferguson,
Kilkeel, N.I.

There is no art that can elude or baffle the messengers
of Him who is the Judge of the quick and the dead.
HUGH MARTIN

(From: Eagles’ Wings Daily Devotional
Edited by: Alan Cairns)

ASCRIBE YE GREATNESS UNTO OUR GOD

Written by Steven Black on 14/07/2016. Posted in Articles

Deuteronomy 32: 1-4

By: Michael Hobbis
CW Committee Member

These Scripture verses are part of the song of Moses. It is said that this song of Moses will be sung in Heaven and are the directly inspired words given to him by the Holy Ghost; that is from the very lips of Jehovah. As David also said: “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and His word was in my tongue.”

These opening verses give us a sense of the awe with which we should approach this Scripture. Words which are meant to bring the very fear of God into our hearts and minds. Words which speak of God’s majesty and power. These words are spoken by THE WORD – even Christ the great I AM.

Give ear, O ye Heaven, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of My mouth. Who is to listen? All the inhabitants of Heaven and earth which He created; “Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.” Psalm 33: 8.

These words of instruction, for that is what they are, will have differing effects (see 2 Timothy 3: 16). The manifestations of God’s communication to men are often compared to rain in its many forms. The Hebrew here, it seems, implies the gentle rain of the still small voice of God; to the sweeping rain of tempestuous gales. From the almost imperceptible dew of the applied doctrine, the Holy Ghost silently works in the hearts of men; sometimes sealing their instruction even as they sleep: to the drops of the angry voice of God’s wrath, heavy storm drops multiplied beyond calculation. Such is the living and powerful Word spoken by God; dividing asunder the very soul and spirit of man. Hebrews 4: 12.

Christ our Rock
In the following song, the word ‘Rock’ is mentioned many times. Who is that Rock but Christ? – “For who is God, save Jehovah? and who is a rock save our God?” 2 Samuel 22: 32. That same Rock is the One who followed the children of Israel as they journeyed. The following words of the song of Moses, the man of God, speak of the goodness of God to His people in His leading, protecting and feeding them and their sinful returns to Him by their turning aside and ingratitude. The ‘rock’ of the heathen is compared to their Rock, the True God. Finally, as an epilogue to this song, and in demonstration that the very best of men are but men after all, Moses is told to ascend mount Nebo, where he is to behold the land with his eyes, but tragically will never set foot upon it because of his transgression at Meribah.

Giving to God the Glory
All this sad, but awesome and glorious song, accentuates the holiness, mercy and justice of God, set against the blackness of man’s rebellious course. Now we are commanded here in verse 3 to “ascribe greatness to God”; we must ask what this truly means. To ascribe is to attribute or assign something to a person. Firstly, in spiritual terms, it is to give unto God the glory due to His name. Moses says here: Because I will publish the name of Jehovah: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

This act of ascribing greatness unto Jehovah God is to be undertaken here on earth and it will be the theme of Heaven – we might say it will be the very atmosphere of Heaven. Revelation 7: 9-12. Natural man would never be happy in Heaven, having no capacity to see God as reconciled to him: but rather as a consuming fire. Having no delight in his Creator he will not, let’s say cannot, delight in glorifying God.

We know of men, men of earthly power and renown, who have been destroyed for not ascribing greatness to God. Herod, who after making a vain oration to the people, was destroyed by Divine visitation; because when those same people attributed divinity to him, he did not return the glory to God Who gave him breath. In a like manner was Nebuchadnezzar humbled for a season for his pride – and yet finally and happily ascribed to Jehovah the glory due to His name. Acts 12: 20-23; Daniel 4:34.

It was Belshazzar before whom God’s hand wrote out his doom upon the wall in the midst of his sacrilege and idolatry; although he had known of the humbling of his father Nebuchadnezzar for his pride. Daniel interpreted God’s message to Belshazzar telling him – “and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.” This same Belshazzar was deposed and killed, according to the writing, in the same night. Daniel 5:30. Each time you and I display pride and self–sufficiency, we are in effect stealing the glory which alone belongs to God. “I am Jehovah: that is My Name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images.” Isaiah 42: 8.

Our Joy in Earth and Heaven
Since our eternal delight in Heavenly places will be to attribute to God greatness, power and glory, then we should surely be much engaged in that pleasurable work now; remembering that all things in Heaven and earth were created for His holy pleasure, and we especially, as the Redeemed, are saved to the praise of His glory and grace for all His love, mercy and kindness to us.

In the paraphrased words of Psalm 92: Sweet is the work my God and King, To praise Thy Name give thanks and sing… We sing Psalms and hymns to His glory; we perhaps are apt to forget that the Psalms which we love so well and by the operation of the Holy Spirit give us so much guidance and comfort, are, if they are anything, essentially songs which sound out the glory and greatness of God

What is it to Ascribe Greatness to God?
As Moses says in our Scripture here, it is to publish the Name of The LORD/JEHOVAH, THE GREAT I AM, the Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (see also Exodus 3:13-15; and 34:6-7)

To ascribe greatness to God and publish His Name, is to willingly and joyfully show what and who God is, and what He has done, and what He is doing now. His Name is in all His works and ways and His attributes seen in them – His Perfection of Mercy, Goodness, Truth, Holiness, Power, Justice, Love and Everlasting kindness. Some of those are mentioned here in verse 4. It is never possible to engage in hyperbole when speaking of the greatness of our God. We may exaggerate the qualities of mere men; but never God Himself. It is not possible to exaggerate the infinite; it cannot be done; we may never fear outdoing our praise and worship of our Triune God. As Charles Wesley’s hymn sweetly says:

Through all eternity, to thee
A grateful song I’ll raise;
But O eternity’s too short
To utter all Thy praise!

The Works of the LORD are Great – Psalm 111
All the world may see, if their eyes were opened, the eternal power and Godhead of their Creator in the works of creation and providence. As David by the Holy Ghost exclaimed in Psalm 8: “When I consider the Heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained: What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” It was Job, overcome by the majesty and power of God in His works, who laid his hand upon his mouth and exclaimed: “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

It is chiefly by Christ as Jehovah the Creator that God’s wonderful works are seen. In truth, in Revelation 5: 13, it is to God the Father on the throne – and the Lamb of God Jehovah Jesus at His right hand – that greatness, power and glory are ascribed.

Jesus said that in His work on earth He came to declare the Father and this is a part of Jesus’ glory that God is seen in Jesus Christ, the very image of the Father. As our Saviour said to the disciples: “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father”, and that all men should give equal glory to the Son, to the Holy Ghost and to the Father; all three persons of the Godhead being, as the shorter catechism Q. 6 declares: the same in substance, and equal in power and glory. The redeeming and the declaring work of God in Christ Jesus is surely the central aspect in which the wonderful attributes of God are seen and supply the major motivation for the praises and worship of the glorified saints – John 15.
In the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ is seen who God is. Here He is described as The Rock and the pleasurable work of the saints on earth is to praise and glorify God through and by that same Jesus. Yet not all Christ’s redeemed are possessed of the same strength of faith as others; as faith and experience grow, so does praise. Again, the Psalmist says: “But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.” It is the knowledge and sense of His favour which opens our mouths in worship and adoration. The more we know God in Christ Jesus; so the more will we love Him and ascribe greatness to the King of Glory. Psalm 71:14.

The Testimony of our Fathers
We may also consider God’s works of old and what our fathers have told us. Whether it be the deluge of Noah’s age; the parting of the seas and rivers for the children of Israel with the destruction of Pharaoh and all their enemies; or, closer to our time, the power of Jehovah in the conversion of thousands in the Early Church; and, more recently still, the wonderful revivals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In our text in verse 4, Moses ascribes to God the greatness of His work of Judgment, Truth, Holiness – the perfection of all His ways and works. It was the Holy Spirit who also spoke by Paul, too, when he said in Romans 11: 33; O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!

The Ways of God
By the ways of God is meant His providential dealings in the world. God’s works of providence are His controlling and ordering all events in the world; past, present and future. It is said by some that a butterfly flapping its wings in South America can have an influence upon the weather conditions in the Northern Hemisphere; but whatever the truth of this theory, it is our God Who controls even the movement of the butterfly’s wings: such is the Omnipotent power of our Lord and Saviour. We may well lay our hands upon our mouths in amazement as we consider the providential dealings of Jehovah God in this world. The Book of Esther displays but a small part of the wonderful ways of God in providence and the greatness of Christ our God who upholds all things by the Word of His power. What wonders we have seen in our own nation’s deliverances from the Armada, Gunpowder Plot and two World Wars! Some today still among us have seen it with their own eyes. We have our own Purim to celebrate in praise of our God.

But, surely, when we see in the cross of Christ Jesus and by the determinate counsel of God, mercy and truth meeting together; and righteousness and peace kissing each other in our eternal salvation; and with no diminution of God’s holiness, justice and truth, but rather in the greater and clearer display of them, then in the words of Sheba the Queen of the South – there is no more breath in us!

In our ascribing greatness to God, we are in effect saying that nothing is impossible to Him and none can stay His hand. The same God who turns the heart of Kings whithersoever He will and says of Cyrus: “He is my shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure…”

If this be so, then is it not irrational, and even sinful, to be uncertain, afraid, or timid, in the service of such a Captain? And yet how sadly we seem to deny the power of our LORD to defend and keep us. We praise and worship our God for His omnipotent power, His controlling all events: yet become very concerned when we are suddenly visited with losses and afflictions.

His Truth is inviolable, yet we often fail to believe Him. How grievous a thing is this!

It is to our shame that our unbelief detracts from our praises, but even in this we see the need for the greatness of Divine mercy and grace to forgive, restore and strengthen us. And we worship God for His faithfulness.

Christ and Our Salvation from Sin
It is the motive for our love, praise and service now that the greatness of God is displayed in our complete and perfect salvation from sin, death and destruction; and as we trace the wonderful workings of God in our lives, in bringing about our reconciliation to Him with the gift of life eternal, we are quite overcome at times, and we are like them that dream when we see that our captivity has been so turned again. Every attribute of God is displayed in our redemption.
But, however wonderful the sight by faith, O the open view in glory of all that belongs to our salvation. It will be the new song in Heaven that we are the redeemed Church saved from all our sins. That the Lord Jesus Christ against Whom we committed innumerable crimes and rejected and despised for a time, loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. These are things which we often reflect on, yet know so little now of the full extent of the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. There, when we shall know, even as we are known, and when the full light of the knowledge of the glory of God shines in our sanctified hearts then – as Murray McCheyne so aptly says:

“When this passing world is done,
When has sunk yon glaring sun,
When we stand with Christ on high,
Looking o’er life’s history;
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.”

– and so praise shall be perfected in ascribing to God greatness and power and glory for ever and ever.

______________________

GOD ALL-SUFFICIENT

Written by Steven Black on 13/07/2016. Posted in Articles

By Dr. D.A. Doudney

“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by
Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

What a rich and exceedingly full promise is this! Just like the Almighty God, and so suitable to the creature; for who could supply all our need, both for body and soul, but He to whom all things belong, whose also is the power, the riches, and the glory? Should not the children of God take encouragement from such a sweet word as this, and believe that all their real need will be supplied? Yes, sure we ought; and no doubt this promise has been precious to many, while others, perhaps, fear to claim it as theirs, or as spoken to them, because of its greatness, or because they think their need to be so different from others. But that which is impossible with men is possible with God, for the need of all nations cannot exceed the fullness there is in Christ.

But what is our need – our present pressing trial? Is it the want of strength, bodily strength, to fill our position in life? Then the Lord graciously says, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be” (Deut 33:25). Looking to Him each morning for the help and strength needed through the day, we shall realise that He will supply this need; though, perhaps, like our dear Master, we may only have strength enough, and none to spare. Is it guidance we need? Are we perplexed, and know not which way to take? Let us then wait upon the Lord in prayer, and watch His hand towards us. He has said, “I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go.” (Psalm 32:8); and if, like Gideon, we are fearful of taking a wrong step, He will in mercy condescend to our low estate, and confirm us in the right way, in answer to prayer; although it is more God-glorifying, perhaps, if we can, when first assured of the Lord’s will, go forward, relying on His word, as Peter did (Acts 10:20).

Some time ago, I noticed a little girl playing at her garden gate, when all of a sudden she opened it and ran out, afterwards returning with her father. The words came into my mind, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him;”
(Psa103:13) and I longed thus to run and meet my heavenly Father, at the sound of His voice or footstep. “Draw me; we will run after Thee”(Song 1:4). But how far superior is the one to the other! “That little girl,” I thought, “may lose her father by death, and perhaps very suddenly; but not so the child of God. He is the Everlasting Father, Husband, Brother, Friend, and death will be the very means of bringing us more fully to know and love Him.”

Or, perhaps, our pressing trial may be straitened circumstances, for many of the Lord’s people, who are not really poor, may feel this; but the Lord says He will supply all our need. Will He take care of the sparrows, and neglect His own dear children, when He says the very hairs of your head are all numbered? Never! Never! He loves them too well. He may try them, but never forget them. And oh, with what gratitude do they partake of a meal which seems to have come direct from heaven, and in answer to prayer! We may safely conclude their asking a blessing at such a time is no form, though, perhaps –

“Their lips will only tremble
With the thanks they cannot speak.”

Thus the Lord gets glory to His dear Name by the gratitude of His tried people.
Is it wisdom we want? The Lord can supply this need, as He says in James 1:5, He will deign to listen to us if we ask His gracious Majesty about the most trifling things. As the poet says –

“Our life’s minutest circumstance
Is subject to His eye.”

His exalted state in glory does not make Him less willing to aid His people than when He was on earth.

Is it sorrow that presses us down – perhaps heavy family trials? The Lord says, “I know their sorrows” (Exod. 3:7); and, if He knows them, He also feels them, and will deliver, as He did in the case of Israel of old, though perhaps not so quickly as we should like. But we may pour out our hearts before Him, and sometimes even the very act of doing this brings relief.

Or, it may be, we are misunderstood. David knew this (2 Sam.10), and also David’s Lord; therefore He can sympathise with His dear people. How exceedingly painful this must have been to our dear Lord the three-and-thirty years He was on earth; for not only was He misunderstood by the world, but it seems also by His disciples (Matt. 16: 21 – 23); and if sometimes we tread the same path, may we prove it is in sympathy with our once suffering Head; and, if this trial should quicken us in prayer, bringing us more often to the throne of grace, it will be amongst the “all things” that are working for our good.

If we feel to need a broken heart, or tender conscience, or meekness, love, gratitude, and humility, the Lord can supply us with these things. “Ask, and ye shall receive.” He gives a new heart and a new spirit (Ezek. 36:26); and oh, how blessed are those who have the Holy Spirit within, the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is a holy-making Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23).

And, if the Lord supplies all our need in body and soul, through life, we must surely believe He will be with us at death, for that must be included in the “all”. Oh, yes, the Lord will help His dear children then, and give strength when it is needed: “The thing of a day in his day, as the matter shall require” (1 Kings 8:59, margin). Now we require grace to live with; at death we shall require grace to die with, and the Lord has promised both. The Apostle says, “But my God shall supply all your need,” not according to what I may wish for you, or you may wish for yourselves, for the Lord often gives exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, but “according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”(Phil 4:19), and His riches are “unsearchable” (Eph. 3:8).

GOD ALL-SUFFICIENT

VOTE ‘LEAVE’ – 23RD JUNE

Written by Steven Black on 01/06/2016. Posted in Articles

by Ian R. Henderson
(Vice-Chairman – Christian Watch)

The people of Britain have been given a referendum on whether or not we should remain in membership of the European Union. In over 40 years, we have never been asked if we wanted to be part of this undemocratic institution.
The rules of this undemocratic institution are made by unelected bureaucrats in the European Commission; they write the laws – get them passed by the almost entirely pro-EU European Parliament – and then impose them on the member States.

The whole plan is for the EU to do away with all the member countries and form just one country – Europe – to disband the Parliaments of the EU member States and let Brussels take total charge.
UK MEPs (of all Parties) are powerless to block legislation that is harmful to British interests and they cannot even initiate legislation. Only the unelected European Commission can do that.
Two fundamental principles have been destroyed by our membership of the EU.

    1. The hard-won right to elect and dismiss those who make our laws. This right has gone because we no longer elect the people who make the laws. The British political Parties have to dance to the EU’s tune.
    2. We have given the UK Parliament – and ONLY that Parliament – the right to make our laws. But this right has been given by the UK Parliament to a foreign power, without our permission, and we, in Britain, are simply powerless to change any EU law.

A Junior Government Minister was heard to say recently – “I am coming round to the Euro-sceptic point of view about the EU. Whenever I go to Brussels to negotiate the British position, I am allowed 3 minutes to make a prepared statement. It makes not a blind bit of difference. What is decided is what the Commission has already decreed long before the national Ministers turn up. There is no debate. No negotiation. It’s all a ‘stitch-up’”. So there we have it – straight from the horse’s mouth!
The EU has imposed upon us over 100,000 rules and over 70% of our national laws already come from Brussels. It costs us about £55 million every working day – money that could be better spent on schools, hospitals and the police. And remember – the money the EU doles out to us is not them being generous. It was our money in the first place and they are simply giving us some of our own money back.

Regionalisation
The EU wants to run this country by means of 12 regional authorities – all reporting directly to Brussels. If regionalisation develops as the EU wants, England will not even have the consolation of still being the name of a region! It will have disappeared. England will be split up into regions; Scotland and Wales will cease to be countries – simply regions – and the EU wants all national identities abolished – suggesting, for example, that the South of England should be merged with the North of France to form a new super region called the Trans Manche region; the western parts of England, Wales and Ireland to be joined with Portugal and Spain and eastern England joined with Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and parts of Germany.

Anti-Christian
The EU is fundamentally anti-Christian. The EU’s school diary marks all the religious festivals for Hindus, Sikhs, Mohammedans, Jews and Chinese – but NOT for Christians. Neither Christmas nor Easter is mentioned. It is no longer politically correct to use the word ‘Christian’.
It should also be noted that the move to legalise so-called ‘gay marriage’ emanated from the EU.

A single country called Europe
A European army – a single country called Europe – a European President – an unelected European Foreign Minister (called the High Representative for Foreign Affairs) – the EUs Foreign Service – 137 Embassies (plus diplomats) – the European Central Bank – two Parliament buildings (one in Brussels and one in Strasbourg) – the European Library (in Luxembourg) – the European Court of Justice – the European flag – all evidence that the European Union regards itself as a country, which is not needed, because it is simply duplicating what is already being done by member States.

Daniel’s vision
In the vision translated by Daniel, he saw the last world empire which would be destroyed at the Lord’s coming (Daniel 2 v 42–44). After Constantine adopted Christianity as a State religion in the 3rd century AD, Church and State became one, the Holy Roman Empire. But 700 years later, with the division between Rome and Constantinople, this religious Empire divided into two – Roman Catholic in the West and Orthodox in the East. Ultimately, out of this came the European Union, brought into being by the Treaty of Rome in 1957. This Empire is a mixture of iron and clay – and cannot hold together and will be destroyed by the coming of Christ. The EU is literally a mixture of the strong nations, such as Germany and France, controlling the weaker ones.

In 2007, the European Council (an UNELECTED and UN-DEMOCRATIC controlling body of the EU) met in Lisbon to set in motion a new Constitution for Europe. This – known as the Lisbon Treaty – was to modify and replace the 1957 Treaty of Rome and the subsequent 1992 Maastricht Treaty. All member States were obliged to ratify this new Constitution – some held referendums, others did not. We, in Britain, were not consulted.

Vote Leave
However, there is an Authority, higher than any political Party or Government, who can and does intervene in the affairs of men – and answers our petitions and our prayers. Ephesians 6 v 12 – “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Pray that God will intervene and bring about, not only a victory for the ‘LEAVE’ campaign, but also a strong consciousness of God throughout these islands of Great Britain.

“The force of their united cries
No power can long withstand;
For Jesus helps them from the skies,
By His almighty hand.”

(John Newton)

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VOTE ‘LEAVE’ – 23RD JUNE

A Godly Man is a Lover of the Word

Written by Steven Black on 01/06/2016. Posted in Articles

By Thomas Watson

“Oh, how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”

Psalm 119:97

A Godly man shows his love to the written Word by diligently reading it. The noble Bereans ‘searched the Scriptures daily’ (Acts 17:11). The Word shows what is truth and what is error. It is the field where the pearl of price is hidden. How we should dig for this pearl!

He shows his love by frequently meditating on it. He has not only a few transient thoughts, but he leaves his mind steeping in the Scriptures. He delights in the Word. ‘Thy Words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart’ (Jer.15:16). Never did a man take such delight in a dish that he loved as the prophet did in the Word.

The Godly man prefers the Word above things most precious: food, riches and worldly honour. King Edward VI, on the day of his coronation when presented with three swords signifying that he was Monarch of three Kingdoms, said, ‘There is still one sword missing.’ On being asked what that was, he answered, ‘The Holy Bible, which is the “Sword of the Spirit” and is to be preferred before these ensigns of royalty.’

Do we love the written Word? What sums of money the martyrs gave for a few leaves of the Bible! But alas, how can they who are seldom conversant with the Scriptures say they love them?

The Godly Man’s Picture

A Godly Man is a Lover of the Word

UPON WHICH ROAD ARE YOU TRAVELLING?

Written by Steven Black on 11/05/2016. Posted in Articles

By Augustus Toplady

(1740 – 1778)
Taken from an address on Genesis 12:5

The readers of this address – and indeed the whole world at large – may be distributed into two kinds of people: those who are travelling to Canaan, and those who are going the direct contrary way. There are but two roads: the broad, which leadeth to destruction and the narrow, which opens into life.

All mankind are ‘travellers’: and ‘travellers’ at a very swift rate. The grand point is – where are you travelling to? Are you desirous of knowing whither your footsteps tend and toward what country thy face is set? If so, have recourse to the Scriptures of truth, but study them on your knees; that is, in a spirit of prayer and with the simplicity of a little child.

Suppose, for instance, that we look at John 16:8, where Christ thus describes the office of the Holy Ghost and the effects which His converting influences have on the human mind: “When He is come, He will reprove the world of sin and of righteousness, and of judgment”; that is, He shall, first, feelingly demonstrate to them their absolute sinnership and their total helplessness, working in them a deep sense and real hatred of self and sin; and He will, secondly lead them to rest on Christ and on His righteousness alone for justification.

Now, has God the Spirit done these things for you? Has He wrought, or begun to work these convictions in your soul? If He has not, nor so much as kindled a growing desire after Christ and His salvation in your breast, I dare not give you the right hand of fellowship. I dare not salute you as one of my fellow-travellers to the kingdom of God. No, you are yet in Egypt and you will quickly be in Hell, except the Holy Ghost take you in hand and give you a new heart and lead you to Christ.

But if you have ground to hope that this work of grace is experienced by you in some degree; if, on looking at your soul in the gospel-glass, you can discern the traces of faith, love, repentance and sanctification there, you are of the number of those who have been enabled, through grace, to set forth to go into the land of Canaan – and into the land of Canaan you shall come.

Two things are particularly needful for you to observe:

    1. That the world will endeavour to turn your feet out of the narrow way. If the wicked are so muzzled by providence that they cannot bite, they will snarl at least. If they cannot do you real injury, they will probably pelt you with scandal and sneer at you for being, in their opinion, righteous over-much. But let not this discourage you; but imitate the blind man in the Gospel, who the more he was exhorted by the multitude to hold his peace, cried out so much the more, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
    2. Beware of sin. May you be enabled to shun the remotest appearance of evil. Though a truly converted person cannot fall so as to turn back finally and perish everlastingly; yet, if he is not kept watching unto prayer, he may lose his peace and joy in believing and that inward testimony of the Holy Spirit, that felt fellowship with God and that sweet tranquillity of conscience, without which living scarcely deserves the name of life. It is a sad thing when a saint is overturned on the road. Though he cannot lose his soul, yet a fall may break the neck of his comforts and make him go halting to his journey’s end. “The Devil,” as one justly remarked, “is never better pleased than when he can roll a child of God in the dirt.” Beg of the Lord, therefore, to hold up your goings in His paths, that your footsteps slip not.

Yet if you should fall, be humbled, but do not despair. May you be led to pray afresh to God, who is able to raise you up and to set you on your feet again and helped to look to the blood of the covenant and say to the Lord from the depth of your heart,

“Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee,
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.”

It has been justly observed that “it is one thing to fall into the mire and another thing to lie in it.” When the Lord has graciously restored you, you will look upon sin as the bitterest calamity that can befall you and consider those who would entice you to it as the very worst enemies you have.

Soon shall we arrive where not only sin, but every temptation to it and every propensity toward it will cease for ever. As a good man once said on his deathbed, “Hold out, faith and patience! Yet a little while and I shall need you no longer.” When faith and patience have done and suffered their appointed work, the disciples of Christ shall ascend from the wilderness to paradise. Then will they be able to say, “Called by the Lord’s effectual grace, we went forth into the land of Canaan; and, clothed with His righteousness and preserved by His power, into the land of Canaan we are come.” Even so, Amen.

“Watch Ye, Stand Fast in the Faith,
Quit You Like Men, Be Strong”

Written by Steven Black on 10/05/2016. Posted in Articles

(1 Cor. 16:13)

by John Gill

We ought to be watchful. This concerns not only Ministers of the Word, whose special business it is to watch over themselves and others, to take heed to themselves, and to their doctrine, and to take care of the flock, over which they are placed as overseers, and see to it, that they are fed with wholesome food and are not infected with false doctrine; but this is incumbent on members of Churches also; what is here exhorted to belongs to them, as our Lord said to His disciples; what I say unto you I say unto all, watch (Mark 13:37); against sin and the prevailing vices of the age, Satan and his temptations, false teachers and their pernicious doctrines. We live in ensnaring times, and therefore ought to be on our watch and guard; times of great profaneness and immorality, in which not only the men of the world, but professors of religion, give themselves great liberties and indulge to a vain conversation; and the more wicked the times are, the more cautious should we be, that we are not drawn aside by ill examples; and the more so, as they are set by such that profess the same name we do. Satan is very busy in laying snares in the way of a professing people, in using all devices, and wiles, and stratagems, to decoy them from the paths of truth and righteousness; wherefore we ought to watch and pray, that we enter not into temptation (Matt. 26:41): false teachers are everywhere lying in wait to deceive, and therefore we ought to guard against them, and be careful that our minds are not corrupted by them, from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3); and that we are not carried away with the error of the wicked (2 Pet. 3:17).

Stand fast in the faith; in the grace of faith, and in the doctrine of it, and in the profession of both: do not depart from the faith of the Gospel, though you live in times that others do; and have lived to see the times foretold, that some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits (1 Tim. 4:1); but in these departing times let it be your honour to stand fast without wavering; be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel (Col. 1:23); from the Gospel itself, and that hope which it gives of salvation by Jesus Christ, and eternal life through Him; stand fast in one spirit: let your whole soul and spirit be in the Gospel, and be zealously affected to it, and be united in your endeavours to promote it; striving together for the faith of it against the common enemy; earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints (Phil. 1:27; Jude v.3); which is attempted to be wrested out of your hands and is in great danger of being so. Let none of those things move you from your close adherence to it, which are objected to it, or you meet with on account of your profession of it. Abide by it, though the greater number of men is against it, and those the rich, the wise, and learned; and though it may be charged with novelty and licentiousness and attended with reproach and persecution.

Quit you like men; play the man; behave like men of courage and valour; be valiant for the truth upon the earth (Jer. 9:3); do as the guard about Solomon’s bed did; let every man have his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night (Song. 3:8): it is a night-season with you already and it will be darker still; you will hear the noise of the enemy, be not terrified at it; guard against the fears that may seize and surprise you; fight the Lord’s battles manfully; if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11: 3). What indeed will they have to work or build upon, or even stand on, when the foundation of all faith, hope, peace, and joy is removed? But then they should not look on as idle and unconcerned spectators of these things; what can the righteous do? They should build up as fast as the others pull down; do as Nehemiah and his people did, work with one hand and hold a weapon with the other (Neh. 4:17); a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other.

Be strong; not in yourselves, but in the Lord, and in the power of His might, in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; go to Him for strength under every trial and exercise, to carry you through every service and suffering for His Name’s sake; and to oppose every enemy, and to maintain your ground against them. Go not forth in your own strength, but depend on Him, and His grace, which is sufficient for you; encourage yourselves in the Lord your God; let not your spirits sink, your hearts fail, and be discouraged; but take heart, be of good courage; consider you are engaged in a good cause, fight under the great Captain of your salvation: you may be sure of victory in the end and that the issue will be a crown of life and righteousness: wait on the Lord; in the way of His appointments, which is your duty, with patient submission to His will, until the time of your deliverance and salvation comes, and He will strengthen thine heart (Psalm 27:14); fortify your minds against fear and danger.

Excerpt from Sermons and Tracts, Vol. 1, pgs. 78-9,82-4, by John Gill.
Old Paths Gospel Press, Choteau, Montana, USA.
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