Saturday, 6 October 2012

William Tyndale, Martyred 6th October 1536

How many Bibles do you have in your house? For most of us, Bibles are easily accessible, and many of us have several. That we have the Bible in English owes much to William Tyndale, sometimes called the Father of the English Bible. 90% of the King James Version of the Bible and 75% of the Revised Standard Version are from the translation of the Bible into English made by William Tyndale, yet Tyndale himself was burned at the stake for his work on this day, October 6, 1536.

Back in the fourteenth century, John Wycliffe was the first to make (or at least oversee) an English translation of the Bible, but that was before the invention of the printing press and all copies had to be hand written. Besides, the church had banned the unauthorized translation of the Bible into English in 1408.

Over one hundred years later, however, William Tyndale had a burning desire to make the Bible available to even the common people in England. After studying at Oxford and Cambridge, he joined the household of Sir John Walsh at little Sudbury Manor as tutor to the Walsh children. Walsh was a generous lord of the manor and often entertained the local clergy at his table. Tyndale often added spice to the table conversation as he was confronted with the Biblical ignorance of the priests. At one point Tyndale told a priest, "If God spare my life, ere many years pass, I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scriptures than thou dost."

For the full article, please visit this website.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Unbiblical Ecumenism Is Working

The stirring words of Bishop Nicolas Ridley's, and his remarkable testimony, should serve as an urgent warning to all Christians every where, and not least at the present time, NEVER to drop our guard against the wiles of the devil that present themselves in the guise of Roman Catholic piety and ecumenism!

Whilst protesting against involvement with the Roman Catholic Church outside an ecumenical event some years ago, one of the senior leaders remarked to one of the protesters, "Oh, are you still fighting that old battle!?"  He was referring to the involvement of the Protestant churches in this ecumenical event, and he viewed that battle as having been finished centuries ago.  The Reformation was obviously a tragedy in his view, but the modern day churches, which have no sense of history or of true biblical religion, no sense of truth or error, see this as a non-event.  How utterly foolish they are!

It is true that the Protestant/Evangelical churches have largely capitulated in the battle and surrendered to Rome, whereas Rome has not surrendered one iota! She is still engaged in her 'charm offensive' with the protestant churches, and they do not even see what is happening.

As someone very wisely stated, "We must NEVER capitulate, Never give up the fight!  Proclaim the Gospel of Salvation by Faith through Grace!"  It must be a resolute and determined "No Surrender" to ecumenism in all its forms, and not least in the fight against unbiblical ecumenism as manifested in the modern ecumenical relations with that false religion that is called Romanism.

The mainline so-called "Protestant" churches in the UK must be awakened to their error which is being constantly buttressed by evangelicals of the reformed outlook.  These good brethren will defend their churches at all costs, even at the cost of denying the true Gospel.  They have become 'firm's men' and will not allow any criticism of the 'firm' from any quarter.  In so doing, of course, they are giving undying credibility to the false ecumenism that their churches are involved in.

Brethren AWAKE! AWAKE! before it is forever too late.  Get involved in costly church reform.  Preaching the everlastring Gospel is crucial in this battle; but to preach the Gospel without attempting to apply it to church practice and policies is a denial of that Gospel.  I hear nothing today of any such reform movement within or even outside the ecumenical churches; and these churches can only go down that road because they are at heart thoroughgoing liberal churches.  Kill the mother (theological liberalism) and the child (unbiblical ecumenism) will die a death.

Are you up for it?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Church Support

P. T. Forsyth wrote: "The Church carries the individual amid much failure of his faith; there is a vicarious faith;"

This is a glorious truth that is proven in experience by Christians who are going through challenging times and circumstances.  It is simply tremendous to see the Church rising up to its responsibilities without even being asked to do so.  It overwhelms the believer who is on the receiving end of such Christian love and compassion.  What an encouragement it is to see Christian brothers and sisters serving Christ through serving those in need.  When the believer's faith fails, the Church's faith is still there to bear him up.  The Church rises to the occasion without blowing any trumpets or seeking any bragging rights for so doing.  Thank God when the body of Christ demonstrates that its faith is real and vital.

However, this is only true where the church is the Church of Jesus Christ.  When the church turns its back upon its members and servants, then she is not acting as the Church of Jesus Christ should act.  When Christians walk away from their Christian relations when times are tough, their faith is open to question.  When they know and see need and do nothing to meet it, they are failing in their duty of care.  In fact, Jesus says that when they refuse to do it to one of the least brethren of His, they are not doing it to Him either.  By failing them they are failing Him.  And Christ cannot be served and failed at the same time!

Forsyth goes on: "but what is to carry the Church if its faith fails?"  Now there's a very challenging question.  And there are numerous signs that this is in fact happening in many places where Christ was once named and loved.  Even in the most orthodox churches there is abysmal failure to show the love of Christ.  They will look after their own congregation members (maybe), but their brothers and sisters in Christ are left to fend for themselves very often.  Whether the influence of Free Masonry within the life of the church is responsible for this state of affairs is open for discussion.

This is an example of the church's faith failing.  And when this happens, who will carry her?  When her faith in the living and saving God evaporates, she is left with nothing but empty organised religion and a dead orthodoxy, both of which are quite useless. 

Martyn LLoyd-Jones' Teacher

1       One of the important theological influences on DMLJ was Congregational theologian, Dr Peter T Forsyth.  While DMLJ did not accept all of Forsyth's theological formulations, he did accept his soteriology.  Hence, his repeated emphasis that Christ died for the whole world, for the human race, for mankind, for all.
      Let Forsyth teach us in his own words:

      “Individualism has done its work for Christianity for the time being, and we are now suffering from its after-effects.  We do not realise that we are each one of us saved in a racial salvation.  We are each one of us saved in the salvation of the race, in a collective redemption.  What Christ saved was the whole human race. ... So great is a soul, and so great is its sin, that each man is only saved by an act which at the same time saves the whole world.  If you reduce or postpone Christ’s effect upon the totality of the world, you are in the long run preparing the way for a poor estimate of the human soul.”  (The Work of Christ, Hodder and Stoughton, London, c1910, p.114).  

     The Christ of God is so great and eternal and the value of the soul so immense that anything short of a cosmic salvation would be inappropriate.  Forsyth's emphasis on the cosmic dimension of Christ's death demonstrates both the awfulness of man's sin ans guilt and the utter holiness of the God against Whom man sinned.  Forsyth got it right and do did DMLJ.

     Would that those who claim to respect and endorse DMLJ's preaching saw this and followed this truly evangelistic emphasis in their preaching.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Preaching - A. T. Robertson

Prof. A. T. Robertson wrote the following:

"The greatest proof that the Bible is inspired is that it has withstood so much bad preaching!"

"God pity the poor preacher who has to hunt for something to preach - and the people who have to listen!"

“Preaching… is the most dangerous thing in the world.”

THE MINISTER - the 'Pet Lamb' Of The Flock

A good evangelical and evangelistic minister mentioned to me that he feels constrained to cater for every taste in worship songs in his congregation.  My fear is that this is an attempt to undermine and then destroy his ministry.

The questions such scenarios stir up for me are: first, where will this 'accommodation' end when it comes to the exercise of his ministry?  The 'slippery slope syndrome' comes to mind here.  Second, is there not a very real danger of worship becoming man-centred rather than God-centred?  Third, where in the Scriptures is it ever given to the people to decide how God is to be worshipped?  Surely God has determined how He is to be worshipped and only such will He accept.

My fear is that attempts are being made - and it happens in every denomination and church - to turn the minister from being the shepherd/pastor of the flock into the 'pet lamb.'  This must be resisted at all costs, in my view - and it will cost dearly.  Church people like to control the minister and feel rebuffed when they are not allowed to do so.  However,  

          churches must be governed by the Word of the Lord 
                                   the whims of the people.
I appreciate biblical and passionate ministries very much.  But care must be taken to ensure that what takes place before the message does not undermine your ministry.  This has nothing to do with my personal tastes or anything like that.  I am trying to view all things from a biblical perspective and then to order my life and thinking thereby.  This minister has an excellent God-given and God-honouring ministry which he must not allow men to undo. 

Churches seem to have a pre-disposition for destroying good ministries.  It was the church that stole my ministry from me, something that it was not theirs to steal because they did not give me my ministry in the first place - God did.  But steal it they did.  Any effective ministry is vulnerable to the same end. Weak-willed women - of both genders! - within the churches are unable to withstand such Satanic pressures, so they just 'go with the crowd.'

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Worshipful Master

If, as it claims ad infinitum, the Orange order is based on the Bible, can someone kindly explain to me where the term "Worshipful Master" comes from in the Scriptures, if not from that Source what is its origin, and what the actual meaning of this term is.

My understanding of the Christian faith is that only God is to be worshipped therefore to attach a term of 'worship' to a mere man is inappropriate if not utterly wrong.  To ascribe such a term to a mere sinful man is to be guilty of some kind of spiritual adultery, which is another name for idolatry.

Anyone help me?

Believing the Whole Bible?

While it is difficult for a minister even after 40 years preaching to deal with every verse in the canonical Scriptures, it is to be expected that every major doctrine of the Bible will be dealt with.  And there is probably no more important doctrines in the Bible that those that relate to salvation. 

Amongst those very important doctrines are those that present the Gospel in clear and unambiguous terms.  God has revealed His will towards mankind in the Scriptures through the words He decided to use in presenting the Gospel.  Many of these words are universalistic in import, for example, John 3:16, 2 Pet.3:9; 1 John 2:2; etc.

Yet how often do you hear 'reformed' preachers preach from these glorious Gospel texts that call the world to faith in the Saviour?  When was the last time you heard a 'reformed' preached preach Jn.3:16?  And did he do it without "adding to the word of this prophecy," the Scriptures?

You have heard many sermons, but when did you last hear a message from the Lord?  You may have heard many Bible studies that were passed off as sermons, but no messages from God.  You may even have witnessed the Scripture texts being bowdlerised by dogma-driven preachers, but not a clear 'word from the Lord'?

Just think of the multitudes of lost sinners who are being left to drift into a lost eternity for want of hearing a living message from the Lord.  Just imagine what the Lord will say by way of judgement to those unfaithful preachers who occupied pulpits that were dedicated to the preaching of the Gospel and who refused, for purely dogmatic reasons, to declare the life-giving message of salvation to the guilty.  It is too awful to imagine.

What makes it even worse, of that were possible, is that these dear men are convinced that God does not want all men to be saved!  God has no message for the world, only for 'the world of the elect.'  He is a compassionless Deity  and they are like their god.

But not so the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is God most compassionate, full of mercy to the lost - all of them - and desires their salvation.  Even John Calvin is criticised when he preached in His Isa.53 sermons that God is trying to save the world.  Calvin's God is a defeated God, not the god of the high orthodox.

However, the fact that these men do not really accept the perspicuity of Scripture means that they have to add to God's revelation in order for it to cohere with the credal position.  Indeed, they add in such an unfaithful way that they end up making Scripture say what it had never intended to say; namely, that God sent Christ to die only for the elect, and no one else. 

But when we remember the words of good Bishop and English Reformer, Hugh Latimer, who taught that Christ shed as much blood for Judas as He did for Peter and Paul, we find that high orthodox men are at variance not only with Scripture but also with many of the great historical figures of the church. 

No, we cannot claim to believe the whole Bible and at the same time re-write its clear evangelistic message.  Nor can we criticise Romanism for its magisterium, while at the same time adhere relentlessly to our own chosen magisterium.

Let us beware, lest we claim too much, and give no evidence that we believe what we claim.

When Does God Become 100 Percent for Us? by John Piper

I have asked the question in public, "When does God become 100% for us?" And I have given an answer that rightly troubles thoughtful, biblical people. So this article is an effort to answer their question.
In my message to the Desiring God National Conference, I answered the question like this:
What the Bible teaches is that God becomes 100% irrevocably for us at the moment of justification, that is, the moment when we see Christ as a beautiful Savior and receive him as our substitute punishment and our substitute perfection. All of God's wrath, all of the condemnation we deserve, was poured out on Jesus. All of God's demands for perfect righteousness were fulfilled by Christ. The moment we see (by grace!) this Treasure and receive him in this way his death counts as our death and his condemnation as our condemnation and his righteousness as our righteousness, and God becomes 100% irrevocably for us forever in that instant.
The question this leaves unanswered is, "Doesn't the Bible teach that in eternity God set his favor on us in election?" In other words, thoughtful people ask, "Did God only become 100% for us in the moment of faith and union with Christ and justification? Did he not become 100% for us in the act of election before the foundation of the world?" For example, Paul says in Ephesians 1:4-5, "[God] chose us in [Jesus] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ."

Is God then not 100% for the elect from eternity? The answer hangs on the meaning of "100%." With the term "100%" I am trying to preserve a biblical truth found in several passages of Scripture. For example, in Ephesians 2:3, Paul says that Christians were "children of wrath" before they were made alive in Christ Jesus. "We all once lived [among the sons of disobedience] in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."

So Paul is saying that, before regeneration, God's wrath was on us. The elect were under wrath. This changed when God made us alive in Christ Jesus and awakened us to see the truth and beauty of Christ so that we received him as the one who died for us and as the one whose righteousness is counted as ours because of our union with Jesus. Before this happened to us, we were under God's wrath. Then, because of faith in Christ and union with him, all God's wrath was removed and he then became, in that sense, 100% for us.

Similarly in Romans 8:1, there is the crucial word "now." "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." The implication of "now" is that there was once condemnation over us and now there is not. A real change in God's disposition toward us happened in the moment of our regeneration and faith and union with Christ and justification.
Notice the phrase "in Christ" at the end of Romans 8:1. This is why God's disposition toward us is different when we believe in Christ. When we believe in Christ, we are united to him—that is, we are "in Christ." This means that his death counts as our death and his righteousness counts as our righteousness. This is why there is now no condemnation, whereas before there was. Before Christ bore the curse of the law and we were united to him by faith, we were under the curse of the law. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13).

When Paul uses the language of God being "for us," he speaks of it in the context of what Christ has done for us in history. For example, in Romans 8:31-32, he says, "If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" Not sparing his Son is the act that secures God's being 100% for us forever.

So was God 100% for us from eternity because we were elect? In one sense, yes. It was 100% certain that he would bring us to faith and save us. But when I ask the question, "When did God become 100% for us?" I mean more than: "When did it become 100% certain that God would save us?" I mean: "When did it happen that God was for us and only for us? That is, when did it happen that the only disposition of God toward us was mercy? Or: When did God become for us so fully that there was not any wrath or curse or condemnation on us, but only mercy?

The answer, I still say, is at the point when, by grace, we saw Christ as a supremely valuable Savior and received him as our substitute sacrifice and substitute righteousness. In other words, it happened at the point of justification. The implication of this is that all our works, all our perseverance, all our continuing faith and obedience does not cause God to be 100% for us, but is the result of his being 100% for us.

Paul's logic in Romans 8:32 is that because God gave his Son to die for us therefore he will give us all things with him. That is, God will see to it that we persevere to the end not only because we are elect, but because Christ died for us and we are in Christ. That is the logic of 1 Corinthians 1:8-9: "[God] will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." The call is mentioned as the ground of God's faithfulness to sustain us to the end.
Therefore, exult in the truth that God will keep you. He will get you to the end because in Christ he is 100% for you. And therefore, getting to the end does not make God to be 100% for you. It is the effect of the fact that he is already 100% for you.

Glorying in the gospel with you,
Pastor John
By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: Email: Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700.