“And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch”
To all Christian Watch Members
We greet you in the Saviour‟s blessed and holy Name. By His mercy and favour we are spared and would acknowledge and be thankful for the many blessings and tokens of His goodness which we constantly receive. One feels our indebtedness to the Lord for all He continues to do for us each day. Not only does He provide for our providential needs, but He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve, and He has maintained His precious Word to us and the Throne of Grace where, as enabled, we can draw near to our God to make our requests known with thanksgiving.
We are pleased to report that we had a good meeting in the House of Lords recently and the two addresses by our speakers were excellent. Dr. David Allen of the Trinitarian Bible Society clearly explained the superiority of the King James AV Bible and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Barry Shucksmith then spoke about the relevance of Biblical prophecy for today. Both addresses were very instructive and we are hoping to publish them shortly in booklet form.
Because of the excellent publicity, celebrations and acknowledgements of the Lord‟s goodness in preserving and maintaining to us, for 400 years, the King James Authorised Version Bible, it is little wonder that the Church of Rome are now claiming that they contributed to its preparation and publication. They are doing this in spite of the fact that they were responsible for destroying the lives of so many people who read and prized it, plus the martyrdom of William Tyndale – who contributed greatly to its translation. We include an article on the subject by our South African friend and colleague, Shaun Willcock of Bible Based Ministries, entitled, A Brazen Claim that Rome had a Role in Producing the King James Version! In this Mr. Willcock clearly shows the fallacy of the claim and identifies many of the devilish endeavours of the Church of Rome to prevent its publication.
It is important for us to monitor the various developments taking place in the world which appear to be the fulfilment of Scripture. We are told in Luke 21 of some of these events and in verse 36 told to be watchful and prayerful that we may be accounted worthy to escape all the things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. The various countries located around Israel continue to recruit the support of other nations in their opposition to Israel‟s geographic, God given, position. We include a copy of a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron by Melanie Phillips, published by SPECTATOR.co.uk on the 5th May entitled, An open letter to the Rt. Hon. David Cameron, MP, which requests the Prime Minister to clarify his own and the Government‟s position concerning events currently taking place in the Middle East.
Another development we need to carefully and prayerfully monitor is the endeavour of some groups and governments to form a World Parliament. We include an article entitled, Creation of a World Parliament suggested at World Social Forum, recently published by CEUNPA News.
The persecution of Christians continues around the world with increasing violence being shown by some other religious faiths. We include a report by the Barnabas Fund entitled Anti-Christian attacks threaten worse to come. The goodness and mercy of the Lord preserves many of us from extreme persecution at present, but we need to be aware of the growing threat of some Muslim communities, who are increasing numerically in the United Kingdom as well as in many other countries around the world.
We include a poem by the late John Newton entitled Satan’s Glass which emphasises our personal need to be constantly on our guard against Satan‟s temptations. It also highlights the importance of our reading and learning from the Word of God and our complete dependence upon the Lord to preserve us in times of temptation.
As professing Christians, we carry a particular responsibility, which the Lord has placed upon us, and for which we shall have to give account, in that day when we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). In the article we include entitled, Christian Responsibility by Andy Clark, emphasis is placed upon some very important aspects of a real Christian life, particularly with regard to our love for the Lord. Although we may feel at times we do not love as we would, can we not say with Mr. Burnham in his hymn, “O could I know and love Him more”?
Finally, we include a spiritual item entitled A PERFECT SAVIOUR by the late James Calcott, which was published in the Gospel Standard magazine in 1919. It is Christ exalting and deals with various aspects of His life, sufferings and death, which He undertook for the sole purpose of redeeming His sinful, condemned people from an eternity in Hell, to be with Him in glory for ever.
We have recently lost the services of Andy Clarke who has felt constrained to accept the offer of a responsible position with the Trinitarian Bible Society. Andy will, however, continue to contribute articles for inclusion in our Newsletters. We record our appreciation for all the work Andy has done whilst with us and wish him the Lord‟s blessing and support in his future work. We are pleased to record the Lord‟s goodness in constraining Mr Michael Hobbis to join our Management Committee and also to accept the position of National Campaign Co-ordinator. He has considerable experience in many aspects of commerce and is a member of the Free Presbyterian Church at Lewes, where he preaches periodically.
We record our thanks to those Members who have contributed financially in support of the Christian Watch Local Group in Nigeria and their School for orphaned children.
Thankfully, the Lord has preserved their lives, but the persecution of Christians continues, particularly in the north of that country.
We are thankful for your support and value an interest in your prayers. It is a wonderful mercy that we have a God in theHeavens who has all events at His command and whose ear is always listening to His people‟s prayers.
May the Lord bless you with the riches of His precious grace.
I remain, yours in His service,
Mr D Boyd; Mr M Brockes (Hon Treasurer/Co Secretary); Mr D Crowter (Chairman);
Mr I Henderson; Mr M Hobbis; Mr D Lawson; Mr M de Semlyen; Mrs J Cummins (Secretary).
A Brazen Claim that Rome had a Role in Producing the King James Version!
By Shaun Willcock
This really – really – takes the cake. A travelling Bible exhibit, called “Passages”, which is set to open in the Vatican in October, claims that the Roman Catholic institution made a significant contribution to the production of the King James Version of 1611; the most accurate and faithful Bible version of all time and the Protestant Bible!
[tooltip content=”USA Today, April 8, 2011″ url=”” ]“The announcement [about the exhibit] was made at the Vatican Embassy [in Washington, DC] to highlight the Catholic contribution to the best-loved English text, the 1611 King James Version, which draws about 80% of its majestic language from an earlier translation by a Catholic priest.”[/tooltip]
Read that statement again! This exhibit claims that the great King James Version is based on an earlier translation of the Bible by a Roman Catholic priest! “How in the world could anyone claim such a thing?” you say. “How could they possibly dare to make such an absurd claim?” Here’s how: according to the exhibit (and to Rome), it was William Tyndale who was the “Roman Catholic priest” who gave us 80% of the King James Version! But this is shocking falsehood.
Yes, it has been accurately estimated that between 80% and 90% of the King James Version is the work of William Tyndale; for the KJV translators used about that much of Tyndale‟s own English translation of the Scriptures when they produced the KJV. His work was so accurate that the KJV translators could carry over that much of his version, lock stock and barrel, into their own matchless translation!
And [tooltip content=”For further information on William Tyndale, see, for example, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe (various publishers; The History of Protestantism, by J. A. Wylie, Mourne Missionary Trust, Kilkeel, N. Ireland, 1985; and God’s Outlaw, by Brian H. Edwards, Evangelical Press, Welwyn, UK, 1976.” url=”” ]Tyndale[/tooltip] had been (at one time) a Roman Catholic priest. But what‟s the historical truth? It is that this godly man, whom Rome now wants to hold up as her own faithful priest who did so much for Bible translation, became converted to Christ; ceased to believe or preach the doctrines of Rome; ceased to practise as a priest in communion with Rome; directly disobeyed the law of the Roman Catholic “Church” by translating the Bible into English; and had to smuggle copies of his Bible into England because of the violent opposition of the “Church” authorities! He was so loathed by the “Church” of Rome for daring to translate the Bible into English, that it had him strangled and burned at the stake when he was finally betrayed and caught![ii] This was Rome’s contribution to the production of the King James Version!
In all Rome’s excitement about the “Passages” exhibit, what is very conveniently overlooked is that after his conversion to Christ, Tyndale branded the pope of Rome as Antichrist, and wrote much against Popery; including a book entitled The Practice of Prelates, in which the corruptions of Popery were powerfully exposed; and other books in which he also exposed Popery, such as The Obedience of a Christian Man; the Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount; a commentary on the Epistles of John and A Treatise Upon Signs and Sacraments. Were such works the writings of a priest of Rome? Hardly. He hated the harlot “Church” and loved the Word of God; and longed to see it in the hands of every Englishman. Never trust Tyndale‟s immortal, soul-stirring words be forgotten, spoken in a debate with a Romanist priest who said that it would be better to be without God‟s laws than the pope‟s laws. To this shocking statement, Tyndale replied: “I defy the pope, and all his laws. If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth a plough shall know more of the Scripture than thou dost.” Was this the language of a Roman Catholic priest? – a man who defied the pope of Rome and all his laws? No – this was the language of a true, Bible-loving Christian, whose eyes had been opened by the Holy Spirit to see that Popery was the devil‟s own religion, which sought to hold back the Word of God from the people.
Rome had no intention of ever giving the Scriptures to people in their own languages! – and loathed Tyndale with all its might for daring to do so. They burned his books; the Romish bishop of London burned copies of his Bible translation; and they hunted for him tirelessly so that they could have him put to death. Eventually they were successful. Tyndale was betrayed by a Papist Judas, cast into prison (during which time Romish priests had many disputations with him), and finally strangled to death; his body then being burned.
This was how the monster “Church” of Rome “contributed” to the King James Version!
Indeed what Rome did to Tyndale and his Bible version reflects Rome‟s attitude to the Bible through the centuries. Its entire history has been one of hatred for the written Word of God. Throughout the centuries it burned copies of the Bible, and burned those who translated it; for centuries it kept the Bible in Latin, which hardly anyone could read; it even placed the Bible on the Index of Forbidden Books in the Vatican! Long before William Tyndale, when John Wycliffe produced his English version of the Bible, he was condemned as a heretic by Rome for doing so; and their hatred was so great for him that, decades after his death, they dug up his bones and burned them. Rome forbade the reading of his translation. And during the next hundred years people were burned alive, with Wycliffe‟s Bible tied around their necks. As we have seen, they later brought about the death of Tyndale. And then Tyndale‟s associate, John Rogers, who produced the Matthew‟s Bible, much of which was substantially Tyndale‟s work, was also martyred for his work. And then the Geneva Bible, which was the most popular version in English before the KJV came into being and superseded it, was produced not in England but in Geneva, because of the persecution of Christians in England at the hands of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary, known to history as “Bloody Mary”.
And then, just a few years before the publication of the KJV in 1611, Rome‟s Jesuits tried to blow up King James and his Parliament in what became known as the Gunpowder Plot, and is commemorated annually as [tooltip content=”See Gunpowder, Treason and Plot (pamphlet), by Shaun Willcock, Bible Based Ministries. Available from www.biblebasedministries.co.uk. Also various historical works.” url=”https://www.biblebasedministries.co.uk/” ]Guy Fawkes Day[/tooltip]. If they had succeeded, doubtless the production of the KJV would have been derailed, as the plot involved setting up a Papist on the throne of England after James was killed. In the words of a brother in Christ who wrote to me about these things, “The Whore on the Tiber has really taken the cake this time. With her mouth dripping with the blood of Tyndale and Rogers… she claims she contributed! With the smoke of the Gunpowder Plot still reeking in her skirts, she fails to recollect that if she had had her way, there would not have been much of King James left to ever see or give his name to the version/translation of the Scriptures begun with his approval!”
This was Rome‟s true contribution to the production of the English Bible! How could a religious system – which so hates the Word of God – now brazenly claim to have had a positive role in the production of the wonderful King James Version? She can do so, knowing she can get away with it because of the utter ignorance of history of most of the world today!
A little bit about the exhibit itself. It is a multimillion-dollar, high-tech, interactive museum of the Bible, consisting of thousands of biblical manuscripts and texts. It is sponsored by [tooltip content=”World, April 1, 2011. www.worldmag.com.” url=”https://www.worldmag.com” ]Steve Green[/tooltip], an American businessman, whose family has amassed the world‟s largest collection of ancient biblical manuscripts and texts. Green, described as an “evangelical” and a Baptist, nevertheless evidently had no scruples about making use of the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C. for the announcement of his museum, nor of (perhaps ignorantly) falsifying history by permitting the claim to be made that there was a Roman Catholic contribution to the production of the KJV. He made it clear that the museum has no theological agenda, saying, “It‟s a museum, not a ministry.”
So how did it come about that the Vatican came to be associated with an interactive museum put together by a Baptist? Scott Carroll, the director of the Green Collection and of the travelling exhibition, said the collaboration with the Vatican came about through his friendship with a former Vatican official, and because he discovered an aspect of the collected artefacts that captured the interest of the Vatican. And what was that? “I thought of something that we have that the Vatican Library does not have. It was the KJV,” he said. Furthermore, he said he discovered several items within “Passages” which (according to him!) show the Roman Catholic contribution to the King James Bible! He said one of the more remarkable aspects of the collaboration is that it reflects on the ecumenical premise of “Passages”. The translation of the KJV in 1611, he claimed, is [tooltip content=”NewsOK, April 3, 2011. https://newsok.com.” url=”https://newsok.com” ]“largely considered a Protestant event, but it’s not. Many Catholics read the KJV.”[/tooltip] What an outright falsehood! The Roman Catholic institution had absolutely nothing to do with the production of the KJV, but plenty to do with seeking to prevent it ever seeing the light of day! And as for many Papists reading the KJV, this is simply false. Some may read it out of curiosity; some may read it for its contribution to the English language or for some scholarly purpose as part of research; but any Roman Catholic who reads the KJV as if it was an acceptable translation of the Holy Scriptures would be directly violating his “Church‟s” teaching.
Carroll added that Vatican leaders were very interested in hosting the travelling exhibition in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the King James Version being observed this year. Of course they were! What an opportunity for Rome to falsify history and claim what is not hers! The Vatican officials must have been licking their lips in anticipation of the ecumenical mileage they could get out of hosting this naïve Protestant‟s exhibition.
In this, the 400th anniversary of the publication of the Protestant Bible, the magnificent, matchless King James Version, Rome is seeking to take the credit for it! What brazen wickedness! We urge all true Bible Protestants to make known the TRUTH about the King James Version, by acquainting themselves with its true history, and making the facts known as widely as possible. There are various books and pamphlets which can be obtained, containing this true and remarkable history; get them, read them, familiarise yourselves with the truth, and pass them on! Don‟t let Antichrist take the glory for what belongs to Christ Jesus alone!
Bible Based Ministries – April 2011 – www.biblebasedministries.co.uk
An open letter to the Rt. Hon. David Cameron, MP
From: Melanie Phillips SPECTATOR.co.uk – 5th May 2011
Dear Prime Minister,
I was interested to read that, when you met Israel‟s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, this week, you said: ‘Britain is a good friend of Israel and our support for Israel and Israel’s security is something I have described in the past, and will do so again, as unshakeable.’
I wonder, therefore, if you make a habit of threatening your friends? For you also said that unless Israel ’engages seriously in a meaningful peace process’ with the Palestinian Authority, the more likely it is that Britain will endorse the „State of Palestine‟ for which the PA is expected to seek recognition at the UN in September.
This is not the behaviour of a friend so much as the kind of intimidation that is more reminiscent of a Mafia protection racket.
First of all, you have incomprehensibly decided to pressurise the victim in this conflict to make peace with her aggressor, even though the victim is the one party that constantly tries to make peace while the aggressor does not. It is the PA which has refused to negotiate with Israel, not the other way round, on the spurious grounds that Israeli expansion of Jewish homes beyond the „Green Line‟ is a bar to negotiations.
I wonder whether you might explain to both Britain and the Jewish people why you do not insist that Mr. Abbas „engages seriously in a meaningful peace process’ by unambiguously renouncing – in both English and Arabic – his repeated assertions that his people will never accept Israel as a Jewish state, the casus belli of the entire conflict?
I wonder also if you might explain to both Britain and the Jewish people why you implicitly endorse the racist ethnic cleansing inherent in the putative ‘State of Palestine’ which the PA says it will declare – a state in which Mr. Abbas has repeatedly declared that not one Jew will be allowed to live – but which you have now threatened to support? I‟m sure the British people in particular would be interested to know when you decided that racism and ethnic cleansing were part of your modernising programme for the Conservative Party.
Next, I wonder if you might clarify for us exactly why the British government has welcomed the alliance entered into between Hamas and Mr. Abbas’s Fatah, and why you believe that this will advance the cause of peace. As you know, your government still regards Hamas as a terrorist organisation. More than that, Hamas is explicitly committed to the destruction of Israel and the genocide of the Jews; a platform from which it has explicitly stated this week that it will not withdraw from. And, as you know, following the killing of Osama bin Laden, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, condemned the ‘assassination of a Muslim holy warrior’ – while for their part the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the terrorist department of the Fatah organisation that you do not appear to think is an obstacle to peace, called bin Laden‟s death ‘a catastrophe’ and vowed to step up the jihad to establish the dominance of Islam in the world.
I’m sure we are all agog to learn why you, a Conservative Prime Minister and the supposed ally of America in the defence of the free world, have chosen not only to applaud and promote a coalition which includes genocidal fanatics who are in bed with both al Qaeda and Iran, but why you are also threatening their victim, Israel, that Britain will endorse a state run by this genocidal coalition unless Israel itself enters into negotiations with it. To carry on with the Mafia analogy, this is akin to threatening someone that if they do not put a gun in their mouth and pull the trigger you will set the Mob on them to achieve the same result.
I’d be grateful if you could explain to us why you support the killing of the leader of al Qaeda, as well as sanctions against Iran on the grounds that both represent an unconscionable threat to the free world, and yet at the same time demand of Israel that it makes concessions to a coalition made up of the allies of Iran and al Qaeda. I’m sure we’d all like to know, if this is how you treat your ‘friends’, how you would treat your enemies.
I realise, Prime Minister, that before you achieved high office your knowledge of, and interest in, foreign affairs was hovering around the zero mark. As a result, it is likely that your only knowledge of the Middle East comes from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which has a history of virulent antagonism towards the Jewish people. I would also expect, however, that you have an eye to your own place in history, and that you would probably like to be viewed by future generations as the British Prime Minister who stood shoulder to shoulder with the victims of genocidal aggression against their destroyers, rather than the other way round.
If you are to get this the right way round and thus avoid such posthumous infamy, it is vital that you come to realise the key point about the Middle East impasse. To arrive at a solution, it is imperative first of all correctly to identify the problem. The problem in the Middle East is not the absence of a state of Palestine. Were that the case, the problem would have been resolved when such a state was first mooted long before World War Two. The problem is, instead, that the Arabs wish to destroy the State of Israel. The solution, therefore, is to stop them from continuing to try to do so. And to achieve that, it is essential that the West stop rewarding them for their attempts.
For the single most important reason for the never-ending nature of the Middle East impasse is that, uniquely, for more than nine decades the West has rewarded the Arab aggressors and punished their Jewish victims. And from the start, the Western leader of this infernal process, I‟m afraid to say, was Britain.
It was the British who, out of sheer breathtaking malice against the Jewish people, first incited the (hitherto mainly benignly disposed) Arabs against the Jews returning to their ancestral homeland in Palestine in the early years of the 20th century. It was the British who set out to undermine and reverse their own government‟s policy to reestablish the Jewish national home in the land of Israel. It was the British who reneged on their internationally binding treaty obligation to settle the Jews throughout Palestine – including the areas currently known as the „West Bank‟ and Gaza – with the result that they kept out desperate Jews trying to flee Nazi Europe, causing thousands to be murdered in the Holocaust. At the same time, they encouraged Arab immigration from neighbouring countries and turned a blind eye to the pogroms carried out by these Arab newcomers against the Jews whose land it was supposed to be – thus laying the groundwork for the false claim that the Arabs were the rightful inheritors of the land. And all the time, the British cloaked this vicious treachery in the honeyed fiction that they were the true friends of the Jewish people and had their interests at heart.
The history of the British in this terrible conflict between Jew and Arab is not merely a chronicle of the utmost perfidy and malevolent Judeophobic bigotry. It is also directly responsible for the continuation of the conflict to this day. For Arab aggression against the Jews has been rewarded and encouraged from the start, by robbing the Jews of their rightful inheritance and giving great chunks of it to their aggressors. But if aggressors are rewarded, the inevitable result is more aggression until they achieve their final terrible aim.
And that very same process is in evidence today, with Britain‟s grotesque endorsement this week of the coalition for genocide and your government‟s unconscionable pressure upon Israel to negotiate its own destruction with its mortal enemies. Prime Minister, the virus of Judeophobia is now rampant once again throughout – let alone in the Arab and Muslim world. And the fuel for this fire is the set of genocidal falsehoods about the Arab and Muslim war of extermination against Israel; a Big lie which has turned victim into aggressor and vice-versa. Appallingly, the British government is helping stoke this vile inferno by endorsing many of these falsehoods – and now, worse still, by actually promoting the coalition of genocide and turning the screw on its victim. The similarities with the 1930s and 1940s are uncanny and horrifying – similarities not just with what was allowed to develop in Europe, but also what happened in Palestine itself, the source of today‟s terrible impasse.
Prime Minister, if you are not very careful indeed, history will judge that you reestablished a direct line back to the malevolence of the British in Palestine; back to that terrible time when Britain so foully betrayed the Jewish people and became a party to genocide; back to the approach which gave genocidal fanatics hope that victory was within their grasp. To stand up against all this – the defining madness of our times – would demand of you, I know full well, the utmost statesmanship and moral courage. But the alternative is to earn the contempt of decent people everywhere and the scorn of posterity. The choice, Prime Minister, is yours.
Creation of a World Parliament suggested at World Social Forum
The establishment of a World Parliament elected by the world‟s population was proposed at an event in the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal. “A democratic and representative World Parliament would be an institution with unprecedented political legitimacy. It is needed to bring globalisation under democratic control”, explained Jo Leinen, one of the speakers at the event and a Member of the European Parliament from Germany who co-chairs the advisory board of the international Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. “It is neither possible nor desirable to reverse globalisation. But those institutions that control the process to a large degree such as the World Trade Organisation or the international financial institutions exclude the citizens of the world from their decision-making. This is no longer acceptable”, Mr. Leinen continued.
“The people of the world want to have a say in the affairs that affect them. As more and more important decisions are taken at the global level, this aspiration cannot stop at national borders. Global democratic representation is needed. The goal is to create a directly elected assembly”, said Manuel Manonelles, director of UBUNTU – World Forum of Civil Society Networks.
The Senegalese representative of the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, Mamadou Ibrahimia Fall, elaborated on the campaign‟s proposal. “We suggest a gradual approach. Initially, the Assembly could be composed of representatives from national and regional Parliaments. Over time, a transition to direct elections could take place. Its powers in the international system could be extended gradually as well. At the beginning, the function could be largely consultative.”
Coura Ndiaye, an advisor at the Economic and Social Council of the Consultative Assembly of Senegal, expressed how important the activities of civil society are to give initiatives but that a Parliament is necessary to take decisions.
Several participants from Uganda, Sierra Leone, Benin, Great Britain and Norway stressed the importance of building up democratic representation at global level. It was felt that a more direct connection between the world‟s peoples and global institutions is needed. The proposal of the UNPA received much applause and support.
The World Social Forum is a major global meeting place of social activists and movements that promote solidarity, democracy and a fairer world. It is considered as a grassroots counter-event to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, at which the global elite of the political, financial and economic world come together on an annual basis.
CEUNPA News, February 2011
Anti-Christian attacks threaten worse to come
(Barnabas Fund – 14 April 2011)
Recent incidents of brutal anti-Christian violence and persecution suggest that vulnerable believers are facing a menacing upsurge in such attacks across the world.
For example, in Afghanistan, the Muslim Taliban have beheaded an Afghan Christian, Abdul Latif, in Heart Province. A video of the murder sent to Barnabas Fund shows one of the killers saying:
All praise be to our creator almighty god that he helped and blessed the holy warriors … so that we can implement the commandment of god on this infidel … so that he is punished according to his wrong deed; he is punished according to the commandment of god so that it is a warning to other infidels.
They shout “Allahu Akbar” (“god is great”) over and over again during the beheading – and they bring an execution notice to hang on the wall.
The life of Christians is cheap in areas of the country controlled by the Taliban, but Christian converts are also in danger from the Afghan government as it tries to prove its commitment to Islam. Last year many were arrested; and some remain in prison facing possible execution for apostasy.
In Nigeria, in the latest of several recent incidents, a group of attackers stormed three mainly Christian farming villages in the Bogoro area of Bauchi State, in the predominately Muslim North of the country. At least two people were killed and a number of houses were set on fire.
The episode was reminiscent of an eruption of anti-Christian violence in Bauchi two years ago, when nine Christians died at the hands of Muslim militants and churches and homes were destroyed. Then, as now, the authorities failed to ensure the safety of Christians in the State.
In Egypt, a Christian mother-of-two, Heba Adel, disappeared on 6 April after walking her young son to school in the El Maadi suburb of Cairo. When her mother called her at 9 am, she said she was returning home. She never arrived, and when the family called again, her phone was switched off.
Heba‟s husband, Fadi, believed that his wife had been kidnapped and her disappearance was reported to the police immediately, but they were reluctant to investigate. Many Christian women and girls in Egypt are abducted, raped and forcibly converted to Islam. But, as in this case, the security forces are often slow to respond; and the attackers are rarely brought to justice. Relations between Muslims and Christians have worsened rapidly since the fall of former President Mubarak.
In China, at least 160 Christians were arrested when they attempted to hold a worship service in the open air. Most of the believers from Shouwang Church, Beijing, which had already lost its indoor meeting-place owing to government pressure, were later released, but the pastor and his wife remain in custody.
These latest incidents, which are only a few examples of many, also occur against a background of growing international instability that further threatens the security of Christian minorities. As Islamist groups manoeuvre for position in Egypt, civil war rages in Libya, and unrest breaks out in many other parts of the Muslim world. Christians are often left without protection against attacks by the hostile majority. In Egypt, some Christians have even been killed by the army that should have been defending them.
Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:
At this time of turmoil in many parts of the world, our brothers and sisters are even more vulnerable to hatred and violence. Often the authorities cannot and will not protect them, and sometimes they even join in the anti-Christian attacks.
Please strengthen our hand to support the victims with practical help.
By John Newton
1. Sin, when viewed by Scripture light,
Is a horrid, hateful sight;
But when seen in Satan’s glass,
Then it wears a pleasing face.
2. When the gospel trumpet sounds,
When I think how grace abounds,
When I feel sweet peace within,
Then I’d rather die than sin.
3. When the cross I view by faith,
Sin is madness, poison, death;
Tempt me not, ‘tis all in vain,
Sure I ne’er can yield again.
4. Satan, for awhile debarred,
When he finds me off my guard,
Puts his glass before my eyes,
Quickly other thoughts arise.
5. What before excited fears,
Rather pleasing now appears;
If a sin, it seems so small,
Or, perhaps, no sin at all.
6. Often thus, through sin’s deceit,
Grief, and shame, and loss I meet,
Like a fish, my soul mistook,
Saw the bait, but not the hook.
7. O my Lord, what shall I say?
How can I presume to pray?
Not a word have I to plead,
Sins, like mine, are black indeed!
8. Made, by past experience, wise,
Let me learn thy word to prize;
Taught by what I’ve felt before,
Let me Satan’s glass abhor.
Part 3 – Your Prime Responsibility
When speaking to the London‟s Bank Prayer Union in 1864, the well known nineteenth century preacher C.H. Spurgeon quoted a philosopher who said that if you were guaranteed 30 years of life, it would be wise to ‘spend twenty of those years mapping out a plan of living’, because if you did this you would do more in ‘ten well arranged years than with the whole of the 30 years spent in random’ (Emphasis added). Spurgeon himself continued…
“Possibly I address myself to some who have, up to now, lived haphazardly and, if so, I invite them to a more hopeful method of living. To have a great many aims and objectives is much the same thing as having no aim at all, for if a man shoots at many things, he will hit none, or none worth hitting. It is a grand thing to know what we are living for and to live for a worthy objective with the undivided energy of our being. Shall we, when the end comes, have made a success of life? Has our objective been a right one and has it been wisely pursued? Are the results of our conduct such as we shall wish them to have been when the conflict of this mortal life is over?”
Even the most wealthy and influential people still have limited time, opportunities and resources in which to conduct their lives. Therefore, focusing on what is worthy and right is of prime importance to all Christians if they are to avoid a life spent pursuing the temporary and decaying instead of building up eternal treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:20). Again, Spurgeon sums the need up well when he states a simple truth – “A man will do little by firing off his gun if he has not learned to take aim”.
As with all worthy attributes the Lord Jesus Christ provides the perfect example of a focused life to consider and follow. Indeed, so intense was the Lord‟s focus upon His task that nothing and no one could side track Him from doing the will of the Father. Satan could not entice Him (Luke 4:1-13); Peter could not stop Him (Matt.16:22, 23); the authorities could not silence Him (Mark 3:6, Mark 11:18, Matt. 22:15, Matt. 27:1); inattentive and faithless disciples (Matt.16:8), along with unbelieving family and friends, could not discourage Him (Matt.13:54 – 58); the ‘cup of suffering’ could not dissuade Him (Matt. 26:36-44). Not even the prospect of the separation and wrath of God the Father could turn the Lord Jesus Christ aside from His single-minded pursuit to glorify the Father and save to Himself a people.
Dear Christian, you cannot plead ignorance on the matter of priorities as the Lord Jesus Christ in His goodness and mercy makes it plain. When asked ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?’ the Lord replied, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’ (Matt. 22:36-39).
The Lord is clear and emphatic……the prime purpose and responsibility in life is ALL about loving God. This is to be the Christians grand maxim in life – to „love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind’.
So how are you to love God?
God‟s Word demands that we are to have ‘no other gods’ (Ex. 20:3). The love of God is to be a ‘first’ love above ALL else. Before self, food, clothes, shelter, family – and even your very life. To love God is not just about ‘going to church’ and performing your religious duties, or to ignore your earthly duties and responsibilities by hiding in a monastery, but rather it is to do ‘as to the Lord’ (Col. 3:23) every hour of every day, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It is ALL about loving God and putting Him FIRST (Matt. 6:33).
‘If ye love me, keep my commandments’ (John 14:15). The Lord reinforced this command a few verses later when He said ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:’ (John 14:21). The love of God the Son to God the Father was expressed in the Son’s obedience to seek not ‘mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me’. Oh how distant is the sacrificial love of the Scriptures compared to the love of ‘self’ the apostate world of ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ Christianity teaches – a love (so called) where God is supposedly ‘loving’ and ‘accepting’ of all, regardless of their sin and wickedness. Be not deceived by this dangerous teaching which is so appealing to the human heart, because the true love of God is expressed through obedience to God’s Holy, inerrant and infallible word and not through mankind‟s feelings and desires or vain babblings and philosophies!
This love cannot be partial or negotiable in any shape or form. It is to be an all-consuming love involving every facility of your being – heart – mind – soul – and bodily strength (Matt. 22:37-40, Deut. 6:5). This love is not a hobby, or ‘extra-curricular’ activity or something that can be taken up and discarded at will. Rather it is to be the prime all-consuming passion and desire of your life.
By the power of His word God created all the heavens and the earth and everyone and everything in it. Yet despite His awesome power and majesty the Lord can read the very thoughts of your heart and knows your every need better than you do yourself. As a loving Heavenly Father, God Almighty has promised to provide for your every need and that ‘…all things work together for good to them that love God,’ (Rom. 8:28). The Lord demands that you forfeit your proud and independent spirit and become totally, absolutely and completely dependent on Him in every circumstance and in every way (Matt. 6:25 -34).
Love is not emotive feelings and beautiful words but is best expressed through your ACTIONS. We read in chapter fifteen and verse thirteen of John‟s Gospel that ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’. Once again the Lord Jesus Christ provides the perfect example for us to follow by giving ‘his life a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45). Remember, dear believer, that you do not merely have the good fortune of having another human being sacrifice their life for your temporal or worldly liberties but you have God Almighty willingly suffering and dying so that you may live. Your very soul has been purchased with nothing less than the infinitely precious shed blood of the one and only begotten Son of God. Surely, believer, actively obeying One such as this should be without question and prove no burden to one who claims to love God?
How are you doing, dear Christian? Do you love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength? Are you aiming to live a ‘well arranged’ life with the love of God as your prime objective, or has your life become a hive of pointless activities lived in a haze of uncertain and unsettled priorities? Are you so busy you never seem to have any time to consider what your purpose in life is and whether you are pursuing ‘a worthy objective with the undivided energy of your being’, as Spurgeon suggested? Sadly for many Christians this is all too often true and they are taken aside from their prime responsibilities by chasing the temporal and meaningless ‘things’ of this world.
I hope this is not true of you, dear reader, but if it is, I trust the Lord will apply this short article to your heart and keep you ever mindful – to keep the main thing, the main thing – and love not the world or thyself, but ‘love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind’.
Yours, in Christ‟s service,
A PERFECT SAVIOUR
By James Calcott
“For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:10)
“For it became Him” – His covenant engagement, His honour, love, truth, promises, prophecies and justice, to travel through the vicarious path with its legions of afflictions, persecution, and sorrow from both men and devils. As God they were all well known to Him, but as Man He must experience them. “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved them” (Isa. 63:9). By these things He becomes a friend that the poor wayfaring man may go to in prayer, and spread his heart before a loving sympathetic Saviour, for He has felt the same; the only place where the wounds of the soul are healed, sorrow sanctified, weakness made strong; for it became Him as the great Physician to be made perfect through suffering, seeing that all who have soul trouble must come to Him.
“For whom are all things” – The wicked, upon whom the wrath of God will rest for ever in the awful torments of the bottomless pit, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, and Satan will be for ever bound in chains of darkness, in the lake that burneth with brimstone and fire; for the Captain holds the keys of Hell and of death.
“For whom are all things” – The righteous: “This people have I formed for Myself; they shall shew forth My praise.” (Isa. 43:21) – for sending the justice of God into their hearts, to humble their souls with a sight of the holy light of the law, and the black catalogue of their sins; which makes them cry for mercy, as the Holy Spirit leads them to the feet of Jesus, to be breathed upon by the Lamb of God, cleansing them in the Fountain open for sin and uncleanness, putting a new song in their mouths, even praise unto God.
“And by whom are all things” – “All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” The whole works of creation; the wonderful providence of God in supplying the needs of all living; the perfection of the whole chain of nature from the least to the greatest of all animal life; the upholding and sustaining power, make the life of some the food of others; a volume which fills the world with the greatness of God. “All Thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord, and Thy saints shall bless Thee.” (Psalm 145:10).
“Perfect through sufferings” – His perfect humiliation in taking our nature is the great mystery of the gospel, the astonishment of angels, and the wonder of saints. By this loving act He became a Brother born for adversity, and the church became His sister and spouse. Without this humiliation there could have been no salvation, for as man fell, so must man redeem. The wisdom of Christ in finding out a way between the justice of God and the sin of man, makes manifest one of the brightest beams of the Godhead. Thus Christ took our nature that He might take our sins, the wrath of God, the curse of condemnation of the law. “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all;” yet “He opened not His mouth.” From the manger to the cross His humiliation bowed beneath all imputed to Him by the Father. “A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Through all the malice of men, and the bitter attacks and the legion of shafts hurled by Satan, He passed onward to the great atonement. He manifested a loving silence; “He opened not His mouth” in His own defence, but willingly suffered every pang He had engaged to undergo for His bride. His humiliation reached deeper depths than the vilest sins of men, of Manasseh, Saul, Mary and the thief. His arm was underneath them, that He might raise them to glory and present the whole church faultless before His Father‟s throne. Thus the crown of His glory arose from His humiliation.
His perfect poverty – Christ was born poor, lived poor and died poor, as far as this world‟s goods are concerned, that the poor of the flock might have a sympathising Friend; “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9). His love to the poor was tenderly manifested when He wept at the grave of Lazarus. His poverty was seen in that He had not a penny to pay tribute to Caesar, yet that demand proved Christ to be God as well as Man, by a wonderful miracle: “Go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them for me and thee” (Matt. 17:27). His companions were poor, His preaching was to the poor, but “to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My Word” (Isa 66:2). The glories of heaven and the riches of the world were His; yet He said” The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head” (Matt. 8:20). Christ passed through the valley of humiliation and the narrow path of poverty, that the household of faith might bring all their trials and sorrows to Him.
His perfect sufferings – “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” He had not a friend in the world until He made them such: nor could heaven or earth help or alleviate Him of one single atom of His pungent sorrows. He came “travelling in the greatness of His strength,” with perfect knowledge of all the anguish that awaited Him. The justice of God lay hard upon Him, with all its exacting demands to fulfil every jot and tittle of the law. “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with Me” (Isa. 63:3). The curses of men rolled upon Him in torrents of abuse and vulgar epithets. Christ suffered only in His human nature; His Godhead supported His soul under His great grief. “He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities”. The wounds and bruises bespeak that He was crushed by the severity which the sins of the church brought upon Him; His agonies showed themselves in drops of blood, from the enormity of His sufferings and desertion. In His grief He bowed beneath the curse of His Father‟s condemnation by the law, and in His immeasurable sufferings, He said, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?” “His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form than the sons of men.” Never since man dwelt upon the earth was there ever seen such an unutterable combination of every sorrow placed in one soul and body, as that which the innocent Lamb of God endured. The stern justice of God never wavered, never pitied and never withdrew one single demand, but with inflexible firmness demanded payment to the last drop of blood for the sins of His elect people. For this purpose He came into the world to suffer and to lay down His life for His bride to bring her, clothed with a wedding garment and the diadem of beauty, into Paradise.
From the Gospel Standard – 1919
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