May/June 1990

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Contents

THE BLESSED HOPE
by D. M. Martin

THE EPISTLE BY JAMES
by E. R Bower

VITAL VERITIES
by E. W. Rogers

THE MILLENNIUM
by J. E. Todd

THE UNRIGHTEOUS MAMMON
by The Late W. J. McClure

THE SECRET OF EFFECTUAL SERVICE FOR GOD
By The Late George Muller

TRIED . . . FOUND UNTO PRAISE
(Selected)

ELECTION AND THE GOSPEL
by D. M. Clark

MY CONVERSION AND CALL
by T. H. Matthews


THE MAN WHO DIED FOR ME

My pilgrim days are waning, the voice of Him I love
Has called me to his presence, to my Father's house above,
Long, long by faith I've known Him, and now I go to see
The Man who sits in Heaven, the Man who died for me.
 
But ere I left the desert, I longed that I might know
What joy His blessed Presence would give me here below,
These few short fleeting moments, Oh, I would nearer be
To Thee my precious Saviour, the Man who died for me.
 
He gave me all I asked for; yea more than I can tell,
He filled my soul with rapture, with joy unspeakable,
The hand of Jesus on my soul seemed laid so tenderly,
I have for my Companion the Man who died for me.
 
To fall asleep in Jesus, 'tis that I think of now,
To be forever with the Lord, before Himself to bow,
Ah! yes with Him who called Zacchaeus from the tree,
With Him who hung upon the cross, the Man who died for me.
 
To be alone with Jesus Himself to gaze upon;
To see the Man I've read about oft' in the eighth of John,
To leave this scene of sadness my wondrous Lord to see,
The glory of His presence, the Man who died for me.
 
It is the Man Christ Jesus, with whom I'm going to dwell,
The weary Man of Sychar who sat upon the well,
Whose matchless love filled that poor heart, and gave new eyes to see
That He was God's anointed One, the Man who died for me.
I'm going to be with Jesus, who in this world of pain
Gave back the widow's only son, outside the gate of Nain,
His heart was moved with pity, His words caused death to flee;
I'm going to see Him as He is, the Man who died for me.
 
To leave this world that cast Him out and be with Him up there,
Enjoy His glorious Kingdom where; He the crowns shall wear,
Oh! blessed Man of Sychar, it is Himself to see,
He calls me to His presence, the Man who died for me.

—John McGarvie.

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THE BLESSED HOPE

by D. M. MARTIN, Dorset

VII—The Restoration of the Jews

There is nothing more certain from the Word of God than that the Jews, who are now dispersed throughout the world, will be restored to their own land: for, "He that scattered Israel will gather him and keep him" (Jer. 31.10).

Old Testament prophets who prophesied of the Exile, also told of a restoration to Israel. We who are privileged to live in the twenties century have been privileged also to witness the rebirth of Israel as a nation in 1948. Figures were recently published of the numbers of Jews who returned to Israel from Russia, in recent years the numbers have dwindled from thousands to a few hundred each year. It seems an enigma that the fervour of the first years has lapsed and many Jews have left Israel for other nations.

In the full sense the restoration is yet future. Though the Jews had Jesus' interpretation of the prophecy of Malachi, the disciples asked on the eve of the ascension "Lord wilt thou at this time restore, again the kingdom to Israel" (Acts. 1.6) Jesus' answer discourages them from speculation about matters which do not concern them, but, it does not deny that there will be a restoration. The fullest reference come in Acts. 3.19 — Here Peter looks for 'times of refreshing' which he associates with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ (verse. 20.) who is in heaven 'until the times of restitution' (that is restoration) of all things! From one point of view the restoration awaits the return of the Lord.

It is true that a small remnant, mainly composed of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin (Ezra. 10.7-9) was permitted to return to Jerusalem during the reign of Cyprus, the account of which we have in Ezra and Nehemiah; but this was in no way a national restoration, nor the full accomplishment of God's purpose, for Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi all prophesied after this period, and speak of the time of national blessings as yet future. (Hag. 2.7-9; Zech. 9-14; Mal.3 & 4.) Indeed from the time of the Zerubbabel return to Jerusalem until the birth of our Lord, so far from being an independent nation, they were always in subjection to Gentile power. The object of this partial return would seem to have been that Christ might be born among them, according to the predictions of the prophets, and be presented to them as the Messiah. This took place, and the gospel of Matthew, which especially deals with this subject, gives us in full the results. He was utterly rejected. They thus deliberately renounced the hope and glory of their nation, rejected their Messiah in their wicked desire to secure the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth: and from that day to this they have been suffering the consequences of their fearful crime, as outcasts and bye-word, among the nations of the earth.

But God, whatever the sin of His people, cannot deny Himself, and in the death of Him whom His earthly people rejected (for He died for that nation - John. 11.52), He laid the foundation for their future restoration and blessing. The evidence of this is so abundant that it is difficult to know where to begin or end; but a few scriptures may be selected, leaving our readers to trace out the details at their own leisure. (Isa. 11.11,12: 25.6-12: 26: 27.6: 30.15-26: 35.10:49.8-21: 54: 60: 61. etc.,)

The language of Jeremiah is no less distinct; "Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, behold they shall come, saith the Lord, and they shall no more say, the Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, the Lord liveth which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries where I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land." (Jer. 23.7. & 8. Read especially chapters, 30,31 & 33). There is scarcely a prophet, that does not comment upon the subject; and in such plain words that, had not Zion been confounded with the Church, no one could have doubted God's intention towards His earthly people. If, the testimony of the prophets had been less exact, the argument of Paul in Romans 11, should have sufficed to teach us that He will never forgo His purpose of grace and blessing towards the seed of Abraham, for, after showing that God hath not cast away His people (Israel) He says "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye, should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written. There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." Two things, are clear from this scripture; that blessing is reserved for Israel, and that their Deliverer shall come out of Zion; showing that they must be in their own land previously to the blessing here described.

There are, however, several stages in their restoration before this full result spoken of by Paul is reached. A portion will return to Israel in unbelief. This is certain from the fact that Zechariah describes their conversion in the land by the appearing of the Lord. (Zech.12.10-14). While in their unbelief they will build a temple;, and seek to restore their sacrificial services; and thereby pave the way for the setting up by the antichrist of the abomination of desolation in the holy place, of which our Lord forewarned His disciples in (Matt. 24.15. See also Rev. 11.1,2. & Isa. 66.1-6) There will be, however, a remnant in the midst of their unbelieving brethren who will stay themselves upon God, who not yet knowing their Messiah, will cry to the Lord in their distress, and will be preserved from the abominations into which the mass of the nation will fall. These are the elect remnant whose experiences are so largely developed in the Psalms, and in some of the prophets.

The ten tribes thus brought back, we are told, that they will be united! together with Judah under, the happy and glorious sway of their Messiah; "they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more," and that God's servant "David (the true David, Christ) shall be their Prince for ever" (Ezek. 37.21-28) We see that God has not forgotten His covenant with Abraham (Gen. 17.4-8) for while Israel failed in responsibility, and forfeited all claim upon God, yet He in faithfulness to His own word, and in the wonders of His grace, will do all that He has spoken. And the time draws near when Israel, once again restored to their own land, "shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit". (Isa. 27.6) For "thus saith the Lord: If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; then I will cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abra-ham, Isaac and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them". (Jer. 33.25,26).

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"THE EPISTLE BY JAMES"

by E. R. Bower.

Chapter Two—A Living Faith PROVED by works.

vv.1-13. "Assembly" (v.2.) - synagogue; "evil thoughts (v.4) -evil reasonings. This rather lengthy section in which we see again a hint of the Pharisee is really self-explanatory. It is faith in practice; faith relative to others; a name to live. The gaudy gar-ments and the partiality shown indicates a superiority in social standing; the "all things common" of Acts 1 has been left behind. The teachings of the Law had been (conveniently?) forgotten. See Lev. 19.15; Col. 3.1-17. The obvious and essential lesson of these verses is that we are all one in our Lord; one body. (John 17). There should be (but there are) no distinctions of any kind other than in function. Where ever we go we see obvious distinctions in our churches - as distinct from the church. Cliques do exist despite the Royal Law (Lev. 19.13). To break the Law is sin. Again we find the hidden warning against the dangers to be found in riches, either in their possession or in the desire. One-upmanship and keeping up with the Jones's is just as much a disease among the believers of this generation, as it is in the worldling. See Matt. 13.19,23; Mark 10.17-23. Do we need reminding of the "Go, and do thou likewise" of Him who is exemplified in the Good Sa-maritan (Luke 10.25-37)? James is very strong here (v.7). Blas-phemy is not always found in words! Respect of persons is sin, and we are convicted already. Blasphemy? Working Sin? Con-victed? "Whosoever (and how wide in its application this word is!) shall keep the whole Law, and yet stumble (see 3.2.) in one point, he is guilty of all" (v.10). See Matt. 5.19. "If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another," (John 4.11), and love shows no partiality (1 Cor.13). If the Law places a responsibility upon us, how much more the law of liberty (v.12); the perfect or complete law (1.25). "Speak... and do, as those ABOUT TO BE JUDGED by the law of freedom." This is the judgement without mercy. James has particularized some essential works and the lessons to be learnt from them, but he now leads on to some reasons why works are so necessary to faith.

v.14. A workless faith shows no profit; faith alone will not save him from judgement by the law of freedom. If faith shows no mercy, judgement will also be without mercy. See Matt. 5.7; 23.23-24;

vv. 15-21. Works are proof of faith. James repeats his question, "What profit ?". Words unsupported by deeds are valueless; faith unsupported by works is dead; dead for lack of support. Cf. Lev. 19.9-10. James' readers are reminded of their daily prayer, the Schema (Deut. 6.4-5). "You believe that God is One; this is good, but the demons also believe and shudder." (Lit. "their hair stands on end in fear"). The demons believe, but is their 'believing' faith? To express ourselves as believers is vain, empty and unless supported by the outworking of faith. A workless faith is, as some texts have it, idle. How apt! As with the Law, so with faith; it is the DOERS who are just before God (Lev. 19.37; Rom. 2.13). Doing, however, must be activated by love, and not fear. See Rom. 3.27-4.25, where the Apostle speaks of faith outside or part from the Law. "Let us be honest with ourselves. It is easy to humble ourselves before God and use pious phrases in prayer, but humility before other people is the evidence, and the only real evidence of our humility before God." (Alan Redpath). Another writer (C. C. Ken) says, "Real, practical, working faith included consecration. Consecration and faith may be two ideas separable in thought, but in practice they are both to be embodied in the same individual. Many disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ have never practically reckoned with the fact that Christ is Lord as well as Saviour". "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling".

vv .22-23. Works perfect or complete and complement our faith. Abraham's faith was evidenced by his works. Show me!

vv.24-26. Works quicken or make alive, faith. The two per-sons named here are illustratives of faith's outworking, but they could not be more apart in their social structure. Abraham, 'friend of God' Rahab the 'harlot'. Works are the kiss of life to a comatose faith. "Belief and action cannot be separated..true faith is always a working faith." In short, works demonstrate the vitality, the practical living out of an inward faith.

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VITAL VERITIES (9)

by E. W. ROGERS

The Atonement — Part 1

Under the item of "Atonement" in a famous Encyclopaedia the following remarks appear:—

"Atonement is the name given in (English) Christian theology to the work of Jesus Christ as the Saviour of sinners. The word occurs only once in the New Testament (A. V. Rom. 5.11 and there the more correct rendering is "reconciliation" as in the R. V.); another important Biblical term is propitiation. It is common, however, in the sacrificial language of the Old testament law; and the New Testament looks back to that language when it treats the death of Christ as a sacrifice—and an atoning sacrifice."

This statement is good.

What the "work" is to which the comment refers, whether it is His life, or His death only, or both combined, we shall ascertain later, but whatever the way, the Person who effected atonement is our Lord Jesus Christ.

The passage alluded to, Romans 5.11, is interesting as showing an earlier use of the word "atonement." Actually the word rendered in the A. V. " should read "reconciliation" (as given in the R. V. and all good translations). The matter is not disputable, though it is interesting to enquire why the scholarly translators of the A. V. used the word "atonement" there instead of "reconciliation." When they translated, the word etymologically meant at-one-ment (a meaning which it does not possess to-day) and it will readily be seen that since "at-one-ment" was equivalent to "reconciliation", the translation then made was correct. The English language has changed in its meaning of this word, as in the case with other words, since the production of the A. V.

In confirmation of this we may cite Archbishop Trench:— "... from the fact that the word 'atonement' by which our translators have rendered 'katalage' on one of the four occasions upon which it occurs in the New Testament, namely Rom. 5.11, has gradu-ally shifted its meaning. It has done this so effectually that if the translation were now for the first to be made, and words to be employed in their present sense and not in their past, it is plain that it would be a much fitter rendering of 'Hilasmos,' the notion of propitiation which we shall find the central one of this word, always lying in our present use of 'atonement.' It was not so once; when our translation was made it signified, as innumerable examples prove, 'reconciliation,' or the making up of a foregoing enmity; all its uses in our early literature justifing the etymology now sometimes called into question, that 'atonement' is 'at-one-ment' and therefore — reconciliation; and consequently then, although not now, the proper rendering of 'katalage.'"

Indeed, a reference to a good dictionary will show the verb "atone" to be compounded of "at" and "one" often found in such phrases as "to be at one" — "to set at one," and its meaning is given as " to agree or accord; to make reparation, amends, or satisfaction as for an offence or crime; to expiate; to answer or make satisfaction for, to reconcile as parties at variance."

The reader has but to spend a few moments in considering these various meanings in relation to the Cross of Christ to dis-cover that a wondrous work it is: it is the basis of the reconcili-ation of the sinner to God; it is the means by which the damage of sin has been undone; where satisfaction has been made both for God and for the believer, it is there where expiation for man's guilt was accomplished; and the Sinless Lamb of God answered for, and made satisfaction in respect of, the guilty and condemned sinner.

But it is not from a word dictionary that we can discover the Bible; doctrine of the Atonement, though it is ever necessary to be assured that we rightly understand the meaning of any English term we employ.

A comprehensive view of the matter is to be obtained by a consideration of the various Hebrew and Greek words employed, and the way they have been translated into English, and the cir-cumstances of their occurrence.

This we will do, but before embarking thereon it may be ob-served that, perhaps the ...

CLEAREST TYPE OF ATONEMENT

... is to be found in Gen. 3. where the word is not actually used. The guilty pair has attempted to cover themselves with aprons of fig leaves, which covering was both inadequate and corruptible; but God in His mercy replaced them with coats of skin, which were both sufficient and durable. From whence was the "skin" obtained? Was it not the result of the death of an innocent victim which occured in the interests of the guilty pair? Here is substitution and atonement.

For the Hebrew word "Kaphar" translated "to make atonement" actually means "to cover," and wherever atonement is found in the Bible a covering of one sort or another is in view. In Genesis 3. the "covering " was of man's nakedness from the searching eye of a holy God, and of the person from the wrath of a righteous God. This covering was provided by death and that the death of the guiltness. Could type of the cross and its wondrous issue be clearer?

But a little closer investigation reveals the fact that this Hebrew word "Kaphar" is used in a variety of ways in the Old Testament.

In Gen. 6.14 this verb occurs—

TRANSLATED BY THE WORD "PITCH"

... and the circumstances are illuminative considered typically. The "windows of the heavens were opened" and "the fountains of the deep were broken up" and the ark was exposed to the fury of both. But Noah and his, inside that which by faith he had "pitched," were effectively covered from both. The "windows of heaven" doubtless tell of the wrath of God, and the "fountains of the deep" speak of the malice of men. The ark speaks of Christ, in Whom all who by faith place themselves are effectively covered. He was exposed to both.

This same verb occurs again in Gen. 32. 20, "I will appease him with the present that goeth before me."

THE VERB "APPEASE" IS

... the English translation of the Hebrew word "kaphar." It has been rightly observed that whilst we cannot over-estimate the love of God, oftentimes we have under-estimated the anger of God. He is "angry with the wicked every day," and He looks not indifferently at man's disobedience to His laws, defiance of His claims, and repudiation of His rule. It angers Him. Something of that anger against sin is to be witnessed at the Cross, when He Who was God's greatest delight was forsaken by Him, and His sword was unsheathed against Him. If, then, God is angry at sin, how can the sinner be covered therefrom? Or, how can God be appeased?

What—to use Jacob's word—"present" can we bring? Surely no better "present can be brought than the antitype of that which Abel brought (the word "offering" in Gen. 4. 3 is the same Hebrew word as that rendered "present" in Gen. 32. 20) namely, our Lord Jesus Christ in the efficacy of His death.

Another English translation of ...

THE WORD "KAPHAR" IS "RANSOM,"

... found in such phrases as that of Job, "Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom," and again, "Because there is wrath beware, lest He take thee away then a great ransom cannot deliver thee," and again, "No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him." It is this word that is used in connection with the half shekel of silver paid by all Israel as a "ransom" for them, calling to mind Peter's famous passage "Ye have not been redeemed with corruptible things such as silver or (even to go on a higher plane) gold, but with blood, the precious blood of Christ." In all of these instances the thought of Judgement obtains and a costly covering against it So too, the death of Christ who gave Himself a "ransom" for all is an effective covering against the Judgement of God in the case of all who believe.

Light is thrown on this word by considering Exod. 21. 30. In the case of the owner of an ox "which was wont to push with his horns in time past," he is held responsible for the death of a man killed by his ox. The ox is to be stoned and the owner thereof is to be put to death. But "if there be laid upon him a sum of money (the phrase 'sum of money' representing the Hebrew word Kaphar—covering, or atonement) then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him." That sum of money becomes the covering or protection of his life. It is a ransom or an atonement given to the one who has been wronged in lieu of the life of the one who was guilty.

Then too, this word "kaphar" is frequently translated by the ENGLISH WORD "ATONEMENT".

Why did the translators translate this word so, since, as we have already seen, when the Authorised Version was produced the word atonement meant at-one-ment? Surely the reason is, that the translators mentally argued that he who was covered from God's judgement must be at-one with God, and in consequence they put the result (at-one-ment) instead of naming the cause (viz. covering). Take but one of a multitude of instances, Lev. 1. 4. "And it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him." This might better read "And it shall be accepted for him to cover him." The victim dies in his stead and the offerer is covered. He is at one with God since the substitute offered has been accepted.

Another translation is by

THE WORD "SATISFACTION"

found in Num. 35.31. "Ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer." Nothing that the criminal might do or pay was to be accepted in lieu of the victim. Life for life. The murderer himself must die. What a contrast when at Calvary Barabbas, a murderer, was spared, the Central Man being accepted for him as a "satisfaction." The passage cited from Numbers is Law. This incident from the Gospels is grace—(to be continued).

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

In every desert of calamity God has an oasis of comfort.

We invite defeat by forgetting what we should remember and remembering what we should forget.

Only the fear of God can banish the fear of men.

Quiet hours with God build up resources for future emergencies.

What we call adversity... God calls opportunity; What we call tribulation ... God calls growth.

—Anthony Orsini, Florida, U.S.A.

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The Millennium — (7)

by J. E. TODD

The Kingdom

Mankind's greatest affront to their Creator has been the rejection and murder of His Son. 'Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were gathered together' (Acts 4:25-27, quoting Psa. 2:1-2). The great purpose of the millennium is to nullify this supreme insult to the majesty of the Father and the Son. 'Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and tilings under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father' (Phil. 2:9-11). The millennial reign of Christ will ridicule the arrogant rebellion of the human race against their almighty Maker, 'He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision' (Psa. 2:4, note the context).

In His foreknowledge God promised to Abraham that He would have descendants who would form an earthly nation for the Messiah (Gen. 15:5-6). God promised a land for them to live in (Psa. 105:9-11). Also a king of David's line to rule over them (2 Sam. 7:18-29). The nation of Israel still exists 4,000 years after the promise. They have now, in this generation, returned to that land after an absence of nearly 2,000 years. The King has been raised from the dead and lives in the power of an immortal life for 2,000 years (Heb.7:16). The conditions are fulfilled ready for the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What will be the characteristics of the millennial reign? The prophecies in the Psalms, such as 2, 72, 110 and 132, give us glimpses of its main features.

Firstly, it will be universal in extent. 'Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession' (Psa. 2:8). 'He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth' (Psa. 72:8). The four universal empires of Daniel's visions (chapter 2 and 7), which were Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome, were only universal in the limited sense of the then known world. But the Lord's dominion will control the entire globe. 'And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth' (Dan. 2:35, see also verses 44 and 45). It is only in the twentieth century that this world's communication technology would enable the entire globe to be governed from one centre. 'For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation' (Psa. 132:13).

Second, it will be a reign of peace and prosperity. 'In his days shall the righteous flourish; and the abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth' (Psa. 72:7). 'May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruits be like Lebanon; and may men blossom fourth from the cities like the grass of the field!' (Psa. 72:16 R.S.V.). Military forces and wars will be abolished, for the nations of the world will be as one nation under one ruler. 'The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever' (Rev. 11:15). Satan's rule over the nations will be abolished, 'That he should deceive the nations no more' (Rev. 20;3). The problems of pollution, overpopulation, famine, disease and poverty will be solved by divine wisdom (Psa.72).

Third, it will be a reign of justice. Sin will not be eradicated from the human heart, but the human race will be under an all-wise and all-powerful discipline. 'Who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron' (Rev. 12:5, see also Psa. 2:9, Rev. 2:27 and 19:15). Crime and injustice will be severely curbed, but human sin will fuel a final rebellion (Rev. 20: 7-10).

Fourth, the millennial kingdom will endure until the end of the world. The Lord Jesus Christ will rule over the earth until it passes away. 'From whose face the earth and the heaven fled

away; and there was found no place for them ......for the first

heaven and the first earth were passed away' (Rev. 20:11 and

21:1, see also Psa. 72:5, Jer. 31:35-36 and Luke 21:33).

In the purpose of God, as defined in scripture, the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ is the climax of the world history, but even that is but the prelude to the Lord's eternal reign over the new heavens and the new earth (Rev. 21:1 to 22:5). As the apostle Peter expressed it, 'We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness' (2 Pet. 3:13)—(concluded).

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THE UNRIGHTEOUS MAMMON

by the Late W. J. McClure

"And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of the unrighteousness; that when it shall fail, they may receive you into eternal tabernacles."—Luke 16. 9, R.V.

We remember when this verse presented a great difficulty to us. We were not able to reconcile what it seemed to imply, with the blood and the blood alone being our title to heaven, for undoubtedly "the eternal tabernacles" and heaven are one and the same thing. Whatever it might mean, we assuredly know that our works had nothing whatever to do with getting to heaven. The help which we got we now seek to pass on to others. Our Lord had just delivered on the parable of the Unjust Steward, and the exhortation to His own is based upon the parable. The steward had just received notice, that his services as a steward were no longer needed. This seemed to be something which he considered as unlikely to happen, and he had not prepared for it, by purchasing an annuity, and now he is in a dilemma and proposes to himself the question, "What shall I do?" A bright thought struck him. He was yet in charge of his master's goods. Why not by means of them make friends who will receive him into their houses when he leaves his present position? So calling one of his master's debtors unto him, he enquired, "How much owest thou my Lord?" The debtor replied, "A hundred measures of oil."

"Take thy bill and sit down quickly and write fifty." Then another is asked the same question, and he says, "An hundred measures of wheat." "Take thy bill and write fourscore." Now for this lib-erality with what was not his own he counts on them taking him into their homes.

This forms a text, so to speak, from which the Lord speaks to His own people. He uses this man's action as an illustration of what believers ought to do. Like that steward they are entrusted with what does not belong to them; all belongs to Him. But what was unrighteous in that steward, will be the fruit of grace in the believer now. It was self interest that moved that man, it will require grace to lead the believer to act thus.

But to return to our verse. How can we make friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness. And how do they receive us into eternal tabernacles? We shall just use two illustrations, though many more may suggest themselves to the reader. A dis-trict where there has been no simple gospel preaching, is laid on the heart of some servant of Christ. But there will be considerable expense connected with preaching there. Some of the Lord's steward's hear of what is on that brother's heart, and without any appeal on his part, the money necessary is forwarded. The result is that a number get saved. Their joy and gratitude to that brother, for bringing the message of life to them, is unbounded. But he might tell them, "It is not me you have to thank, but so and so; their fellowship made it possible for me to come." Had they the opportunity, they most surely would thank that one. Take the other case: A child of God, old and infirm, lacks many comforts that a little money could procure, but he has not that little. Some steward of the Lord's money hears of the case, and ministers to it. Some sunshine has been brought into a drab life, the burden eased, and perhaps no chance has ever occurred of the two meet-ing. Time passes on and the steward goes home to heaven. Some of those helped have gone before, and as this dear steward ar-rives, there is a warm greeting for him; the friends made by the unrighteous mammon, are delighted at this, their first opportunity of thanking the one who had been used in bringing blessing to them, and of welcoming them to the mansions of light. Were this not so, then the believer would know less, and be less grateful in heaven than on earth. But, says one, "We shall be so occupied

with Christ, we'll not think of one an other." Who is most grate-ful to the one whom God has made an instrument of blessing to them? Surely it is the one most occupied with the Lord. We'll ever praise Him as the source, but we'll thank believers who have been the channel of His bounties.

In view of that time, let us ask our hearts, which will in the end yield most joy, squandering it on ourselves, or making friends for eternity by means of it?

The Lord follows up this injunction with three very telling comparisons. First, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much" (ver. 10). We believe the contrast here is mainly between God's truth and worldly means. Gold is not much in God's sight, though it is the big thing with men. But there is the other in it also. The one who will not be faithful with pence or dimes would not be faithful with pounds or dollars. He who makes poverty an excuse for not giving according to his ability, would not give of his affluence. God's Word is right, and again and again we have seen it confirmed.

2nd. "If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches." (the knowledge of God), (ver.ll). The low state of intelligence in the knowledge of God, which is so manifest today, is, we believe, explained here. God tests His people in the lesser things, and He certainly will not commit the greater things to those who fail in the lesser.

How are we to understand the words "true riches?" Just this way, the riches of earth, the unrighteous mammon, is not true or real. Take a very old testimony from the wise man. "Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven" (Prov. 23. 5). Paul speaks of them as "uncertain riches" (1 Tim. 6. 17). If there is one thing that both the church and the world have been learning of recent years, it is the truth of the Word of God as to riches. Many believers regarded themselves as on "easy street," and all at once stocks dropped, the bottom fell out of business, and banks failed. The only solid comfort for the believer who has means is to regard himself and herself as just a

steward of what belongs to God, thus he can look up and say, "My God, all is thine, keep it that it may be used in Thy blessed work." He can guard what is His.

3rd. "And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who will give you that which is your own?" (ver. 12). I think that this is the most solemn of the three comparisons. "Another man's." And who is that man? Jesus. The Lord Jesus holds all by creation right (John 1. 3). Also by redemption right (Matt 13. 44). No matter what we may possess, whether acquired by our own industry, or coming to us as a legacy, all, all, belongs to the Lord Jesus. It is sometimes in the heart of the child of God to speak like Nabal in 1 Sam. 25. 11, "My bread, my water, my flesh, my shearers.' But when David, who had the right to some of those good things which Nabal holds, asks for a present, his claims are ignored. How very differently David speaks to God, in 1 Chron. 29 14. "All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee."

"Your own," Only the rewards we may win, and which we shall obtain at the Judgement Seat of Christ will be our own, to hold and enjoy forever, in contradistinction to our stewardship, which death or the coming of the Lord must end. And that end may be soon, and the words may be spoken of us, "Give account of thy stewardship." May this thought stir us up to diligence. Surely it were but common honesty to be faithful in its discharge.

It is our thought that the Lord meant most of our stewardship to be transacted while in the body, according to to that word in 2 Cor. 5. 10. "Deeds done in the body." But in some cases at least, much will remain to be disposed of by will. I have tried to imagine an angel present at the reading of the will of some departed saint.. He would hear the names of various ones, closely or remotely related, and the amount left to each. At the close he might say, The nearest of kin has been forgotten. The nearest of Kin. Who is that? The Lord Jesus. Oh, but He is not in need. No, not personally, but what about his work? In order to have a church to share His throne, He stooped from glory to the Cross of Calvary. The work of gathering out that church is now engaging Him more than all else in this world. So true is this, that He assures

those he has sent forth on that work, that He is with them all the age, or till the church complete. How it must gladden His heart to see a saint, who has been a fellow helper in that work in life, making provision for its continuance in death. On the other hand, can we doubt that it grieves Him to see one who has tasted of His love, leaving the world, thinking of relatives, near and remote, some of whom are unsaved, and so far as any provision for the work, so dear to his heart, His name is not in the will, to the extent of a penny.

Whether it be during the course of life, or making provision at death to show fellowship in the work of gathering out and ministering to the church, there is a word both glad and solemn in 2 Cor. 9. 6. "But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." Take a parable of two farmers. One looks at his seed. He says, "it is good seed, but I'll not put much in the ground, just a few handfuls; of course in the harvest there will be a big increase. I shall have the rest of the seed ground and it will make some nice cakes, which I can enjoy now." So he scatters a few handfuls. The other farmer says, " the harvest is sure, and I want a large crop," so he sows bushels where his neighbour sows handfuls. The harvest comes and he has a large crop; the yield is an hundredfold.

The other man has a crop, but Oh, what a disappointment it is to him. He says it is not worth while putting the reaper in . Just scattering stalks, which from the fact that they were alone, exposed them to the effects of wind and weather, whereas the other man's crop being so heavy, each stalk had mutual protection of the others. Each man got just what he went in for. 2 Cor. 9. 6 is a principle that will always hold good.

Which farmer would you, dear believer, like to imitate? Do you wish to save seed and spoil the harvest? But the seed is not saved when held back. It will be according to that little verse.

"There was a man, though some did count him mad, The more he gave away, the more he had."

This will be no enigma to the child of God, who has learned the truth, that what is given to God is just "laid up," banked, not lost.—{Reprinted from Believer's Magazine).

We have, through the Lord's goodness, been permitted to en-ter upon another year, and the minds amongst us will no doubt be occupied with plans for the future, and the various spheres of service in which, if our lives be spared, we shall be engaged.

The welfare of our families, the prosperity of our business, our work and service for Lord, may be considered the most important matters to be attended to; but, according to my judgement, the most important point to be attended to is this—Above all things, see it that your souls are happy in the Lord.

I—Acquaintance.

Other things may press upon you; the Lord's work, even, may have urgent claims upon your attention; but it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek, above all other things, to have your souls truly happy in God Himself. Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life. This has been my firm and settled conviction for the last five-and thirty years. For the first four years after my conversion I knew not its vast importance; but now, after much experience, I specially commend this point to the notice of my younger brethren and sisters in Christ. The secret of all true effectual service is— joy in God, and having experimental acquaintance and fellowship with God himself.

n—The Scriptures.

But in what way shall we attain to this settled happiness of soul? How shall we learn to enjoy God? How obtain such an all-sufficient soul-satisfying portion in Him as shall enable us to let go the things of this world as vain and worthless in comparison? I answer, This happiness is to be obtained through the study of the Holy Scriptures. God has therein revealed Himself unto us in thy face of Jesus Christ.

In the Scriptures, by the power of the Holy Ghost, He makes Himself known unto our souls. Remember, it is not a god of our

The Secret of Effectual Service for God

By The late George Muller.

thoughts, or our own imaginations, that we need to be acquainted with; but the God of the Bible, our Father, who has given the Lord Jesus to die for us. Him should we seek intimately to know, according to the revelation He has made of Himself in His own most precious Word.

Our souls should feed upon the word. We should read it—not for others, but for ourselves; all the promises, the encouragements, the warnings, the exhortations, the rebukes, should be taken home to our own bosoms. Especially let us remember, not to neglect any portion of the Bible: it should be read regularly through. To read favourite portions of the Scriptures, to the exclusion of other parts, is a habit to be avoided. The whole Divine Volume is inspired, and by stages should be read regularly through.

But to read the Bible thus is not enough; we must seek to become intimately and experimentally acquainted with Him whom the Scriptures reveal, with the Lord Jesus, who has given Himself to die in our room and stead. Oh, what an abiding, soul-satisfying portion do we possess in Him!

III—Obedience.

But another point here needs especially to be noticed: it is that we seek habitually to carry out what we know; to act up to the light that we have received; then more will assuredly be given. But if we fail to do this, our light will be turned into darkness. It is of the deepest moment that we walk with a sincere, honest, upright heart before the Lord. If evil be practised, or harboured and connived at, the channel of communication between our souls and God (for the time being) will be cut of. It is all-important ito remember this. Infirmities and weaknesses will cleave to us as long as we remain in the body; but this is a different thing from willingly allowing evil. I must be able, with a true, honest, upright heart, to look my heavenly Father in the face, to say, "Here I am, blessed Lord; do with me as Thou wilt." IV—Stewardship.

Then let us remember that we are His stewards. Our time, our health, our strength, our talents, our all, are His, and His alone. Let us seek to remember this, and carry it out this year, and then what happy Christians shall we all be! It is a Divine principle,

"To him that hath shall more be given" (Mark 4.25); and as assuredly as we seek to make good use of that which is confided to us, more will be imparted. We shall be used of the Lord, and shall become increasingly happy in His own most blessed service.

Brethren, we have only one life—one brief life; let us seek, with renewed purpose of heart, to consecrate that one life wholly to the Lord—day by day to live for God, and to serve Him with our body, soul, and spirit, which are His.

Let it be our unceasing prayer, that, as we grow older, we may not grow colder in the ways of God. As we advance in years, let us not decline in spiritual power; but let us see to it that an increase of spiritual vigour and energy be found in us, that our last days may be our best days.

Our holy faith does not consist in talking. "Reality, reality, reality," is what we want. Let us have heart-work; let us be genuine. Brethren, we should live so as to be missed, missed both in the Church and in the world, when we are removed. Oh, how rapidly in time hastening on! We should live in such a manner as that, if we were called hence, our dear brethren and sisters might feel our loss, and from their in most souls exclaim, "Oh that such a one were in our midst again!" We ought to be missed even by the world. Worldly persons should be constrained to say of us, "If ever there was a Christian upon earth, that man was one."

V—Experience.

In the Scriptures, through the teaching of the Holy Ghost, we become acquainted with the character of God. Our eyes are divinely opened to see what a lovely Being God is; and this good, gracious, loving, heavenly Father is ours, our portion for time and for eternity; and our adorable Lord Jesus, who gave Himself for us, is that blessed One to whose image and likeness we shall be conformed; and to serve Him shall be our greatest joy and privilege as long as we remain on earth.

But then, when trial and affliction come, when God deals with us as though He were not the lovely, kind, and gracious Being presented to us in His Word, shall we murmur and despond? Ah, no! Beloved in Christ, let us trust our Heavenly Father, let us, like little children, hang entirely on Him, reposing in the sweet

assurance of His unchangeable, eternal love. Let us remember how He acted towards His saints of old, what His dealings were with them; let us remember what is recorded concerning their history; for now, as He has ever done, God will most surely act according to His word.

This intimate experimental acquaintance with Him will make us truly happy. Nothing else will. If we are not happy Christians (I speak deliberately, I speak advisedly), there is something wrong. If we did not close the past year in a happy frame of spirit, the fault is ours, and ours alone.

In God our Father and the Lord Jesus, our souls have a rich, divine, imperishable, eternal treasure. Let us enter into practical possession of these true riches; yea, let the remaining days of our earthly pilgrimage he spent in an everincreasing, devoted, earnest consecration of our souls to God.

About five or six years ago, when staying in Birmingham for a short time in the service of the gospel, I was asked by some Christian friends to go to Dudley, in Worcestershire, to see Robert P., a great invalid, a Christian. I consented to do so, and shall never, I think, forget my visit. It has been my lot in former days to see very much suffering in connection with the most painful diseases; I have seen the poor body tortured and racked by pain and anguish that neither the pen or tongue of man could describe; I have seen limbs distorted and certain organs destroyed or rendered, useless in one or other poor patient by painful diseases: but I doubt if I ever saw (save perhaps in one case) such an instance of accumulated sufferings of the most terrific kind in any one person, as I found in R.P. At the time of my visit he was 38 years of age, and had been ill for 18 years. He evidently had been a large, fine man; but to the eye of nature it was pitiable to see the "outward man" as I saw him. He was bent down almost double, his face turned in toward his chest, with his chin pressing hard

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Tried . . . Found unto Praise

upon his breastbone, so that for two years he had seen nothing but the light. His jaws were so locked that he could only take food the thickness of a penny, which had to be slipped in between his teeth. His limbs were not only deformed, but perfectly useless to him. He could only move two fingers when I saw him; all the rest of his body was as immoveable as if it had been a wood carving, save his tongue. This his Father was pleased to leave him the full use of, and as he had a heart completely at rest and fully satisfied—for he had CHRIST there—he used the member left him to speak of the love and mercy of that gracious God who gave His Son for sinners, and of that blessed Lord Jesus Christ who had filled his soul with sunshine. Some time after I had seen him, his God and Father, to fill up his cup of sufferings, was pleased to cause even the eyes, which could before see the light, to fail before the ravages of that direful disease, so that, physically, he was to sit in darkness for the rest of his days on earth. Besides this, the two fingers that he had been able to move, became as rigid as the rest of his body. When in this state it was that he called some one to him to write down from his lips the good matter which his heart was inditing, and he spoke as follows:

Once I could see, but ne'er again

Shall I behold the verdant plain,

Jewelled with flowers of colours bright,

Bathed in a flood of golden light.

The birds, the brilliant butterflies,

These all in thought before me rise;

The shining rivulet, whose song

Comes sweetly murmuring along;

The sky, the clouds, the grass, the trees,

All waving, glancing in the breeze—

I see them pictured in my mind

But there alone, for I am blind.

Blind, did I say? how can that be? Since I, by faith, my Saviour see Exalted on the throne above, Beaming with mercy, grace, and love. A view like this is better far Than sun, or moon, or glittering star,

Or glowing landscape, sunny skies, Or sight that's fair to mortal eyes. I THANK my God that He has put A veil before mine eyes, and shut All earthly objects from my sight, And Christ revealed in glory bright. Henceforth my word shall ever be— Once I was blind, but NOW I see.

Dear reader, I need say but little more. R.P., beloved of the Lord, has gone to be for ever with Him whose he was. Converted from the darkness and evil of Unitarianism—chastened, not in wrath, but in love, he enjoyed that which of faith he possessed. HE HAD CHRIST—his heart was satisfied. And are you now unsaved? Then you are unsatisfied; your experience proves to you what the word of God declares in so many ways, that the world is not big enough to fill your heart. Do you know the plague of sin? Then the Saviour, Jesus, whom God sent, is waiting to bless you, and satisfy tour heart

"Only believe"

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ELECTION AND THE GOSPEL

by D. M. Clark (Stoney Creek)

There are two truths in Scripture that run parallel with each other, much as the two tracks of a railway line. They are seem-ingly irreconcilable but as we lift our eyes and look ahead the tracks merge. So it is with God's election of man to salvation and man's responsibility to accept it. These truths appear to be irrec-oncilable, as well, but in fact are both true. This is called an antinomy. (Antinomy means: conclusions that appear to be dis-crepant but each is logical.) In this paper we shall consider each of these truths.

Election

Election is that act of God, in Sovereignty, in which, for His own purpose, He elects, from among the condemned of this world, those who are to be saved. The Greek word "eklegomai"

means to "choose out for oneself, e.g. Luke 6:13, "And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles."

The new Bible Dictionary (Pg. 316) puts it this way: Paul presents divine election as a gracious, sovereign, eternal choice of individual sinners to be saved and glorified in and through Christ. Election is a sovereign choice prompted by God's good pleasure alone, Eph. 1:5 - "according to the good pleasure of His will." and v.9 - "according to the good pleasure which he was purposed in Himself," - and not by any works of man, accomplished or foreseen, Rom. 9:11, "For the children being not yet born, neither having done good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth," - or any human effort to win God's favour (Rom. 9:15-18.)

Man's Position

To understand why God's election alone avails for our salvation we must understand man's ruin. Man's spiritual condition is "dead in trespasses and sin," Eph. 2:1, and "And ye, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh," Col. 2:13. That is a description of the condition of all of Adam's race who are without Christ, for God has said to Adam, regarding the fruit of the tree, "in the day thou eatest thereof dying thou shalt die, "Gen. 2:17, (Interlinear translation). Rom. 5: 12, "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; so death passed upon all men for all have sinned". Man is seen, therefore, as incapable of doing anything to please God because he is dead towards God. God has judged man as a sinner and has pronounced His judgement, he is "condemned already" John 3:18. 2 Cor. 4: 3,4, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

We see amongst men, some whom we assess as being "good" and some we deem to be "bad". In this assessment we are making an evaluation of sinners, some are less sinful than others. Some may even do the things that God commands but since all have a sinful source for these actions then the results will not be pleasing to God.

' For example: if you hold a ball in your hand, you overcome the effect of gravity but when you release it it will fall down, not up! Man without Christ is under the influence of sin just as the ball is under the influence of gravity, for although he is free to will his will is not free. Man cannot therefore "will" to be saved but as James 1: 18 says: "Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth." Adam had a free will and could chose to do good or evil, he chose to do evil. Since then man has only been able to do more or less "evil", but not "good", in the sight of a holy God. Only the Lord Jesus could will to do only good and not evil, for He had no sinful nature such as you and I have.

Man's Responsibility

God foresaw the inability of man to work for his own salva-tion and therefore conceived a means of providing salvation for him, by giving His Son to be the sacrifice for his sin. This salva-tion is unto all (but only) upon all them that believe," Rom. 3: 22. Thus demonstrating man's responsibility.

Now we have man pronounced guilty and incapable of doing anything toward extricating himself from the condemnation his sins deserved. On the other hand God has provided a sacrifice to meet man's need. Now then can man receive this salvation? He must hear the message of the gospel! For those who give out the message there is the assurance that there are some who will be saved because of God's plan of election.

Man's responsibility before God varies according to the light he has, "And that servant, which knew his Lord's will, and pre-pared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes, But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whosoever much is given, of him shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more," Luke 12:47,48.

How Can Man be Saved?

It is necessary for God's Holy Spirit to bring life to man that he may exercise believing faith and accept this salvation, John 3:8, "so is everyone that is born of the spirit." The gospel is preached to those that are already condemned. By God's sover-eignty and election, under the work of the Holy Spirit, certain of

mankind respond, and are saved by God-given faith. Eph. 2: 8, For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of our-selves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast

God has shown us what He requires of man if he would earn his salvation, he must keep the law in its entirety. None can attain to the perfection that God requires. Now, however, God places a way before him marked "whosoever", so that entering in he may be saved. He is responsible for the sin that keeps him from enter-ing, for if he entered he would read on the inside of the door: "elect according to the foreknowledge of God."

Some Explanations

God will have (i.e. desires — it expresses His preference not his intention) all men to be saved, (1 Tim. 2: 4). He elected, called, justified and glorified people in His sovereign purpose, (Rom. 8:28-30), so that they might be saved.

Predestination means that God has planned beforehand the destiny of those that trust His Son. This becomes operative upon believing and should not be confused with election. No predestination is involved for those remaining in sin for they are condemned already.

Election is God's choice of individuals, whereas predestination is to a blessing. Believers are predestinated to the adoption of sons according to the purpose of God. Eph. 1: 5 & Gal. 4: 5.

In this connection we should note the difference between God's decretive will and His preceptive or permissive will. In His directive will He decrees those things that will come to pass (sov-ereignty); in His preceptive will He states the duties that it be-hooves His creatures to preform (man's responsibility). In our verse in 1 Tim. 2: 4, we have God's mind and willingness stated, not His counsel, nor His decree.

It may be helpful to include a quotation from the book by Arthur Custance entitled, 'The Sovereignty of Grace": "While God is sovereign, He does not always exercise His sovereignly in all matters and upon every occasion. Sometimes He permits what

He might otherwise forbid. He thus exercises the sovereignty of His will in two different ways: absolutely overruling the will of man where it does not conform to His own intention or design, but permitting it to express itself when nonconformity to His own intention is of no consequence or is more acceptable than the alternative use of compulsion." He further slates: "What God intends, he decrees; what God permits, He has foreseen. And thus by a combination of foreordination and foreknowledge, His will remains sovereign, while man retains sufficient freedom to be held accountable — always for his motive, but sometimes for his actions as well."

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MY CONVERSION AND CALL (7)

T. H. Matthews (Brazil)

(My Testimony and Exercise as to serving the Lord)

I was born in Lurgan, N. Ireland, but spent the early years of life in Dublin where my Father was employed. Being reared in a Christian home, I was taught the Scriptures both in the home and in the Sunday School. Almost from infancy I had an interest in the greater matter of Salvation . Sin and Hell were solemn realities to me even as a boy. I professed to be saved in childhood, but as I grew older I had some doubts as to the reality of this. Being a Lurgan family we often visited our relatives there and at such times we attended the meetings in the Gospel hall. Quits often in the Sunday night Gospel meeting, one of the preachers would relate the story of his conversion, and as I listened to such, it sometimes occured to me that they spoke of an experience to which I was a stranger.

A crisis came on 26th December 1957. That night I attended a meeting in a village called Donacloney where a series of meetings was in progress. The meeting proved unforgettable. Both preachers seemed burdened about the danger of a false profession and as I listened, all that I had seemed to crumble to

dust. God had spoken and I made my way to where I was staying in a deeply troubled state.

In the five difficult months which followed, one thing became established on my mind and heart. I wanted to have what the believers had. I wanted to have their assurance of salvation and their evident joy in it. It was clear to me that until such joy was mine, I could never be truly happy. The world had lost its charm.

One Thursday evening as I thought over these matters, I felt that I could continue no longer without having the great matter settled. Thus before God I resolved to turn to Him and His Word that my difficulties might be solved and my soul truly saved. The following day was 16th May 1958. All events of lesser importance which occured on that day have long since faded from memory, but the final events leading to the great moment of salvation I clearly remember in detail. At about 7 p.m. I was alone in my bedroom with Isaiah 53 open before me. I felt that there was a message for me in that chapter and I read and re-read it. I was like a thirsty soul coming to a great fountain. I asked myself for whom Christ had suffered, and the thought came to me that it was for me, the sinner, and that all had been done; there was nothing left to do but rest in a living Saviour and His finished work. Never until that blessed moment had I seen so much in the Lord Jesus and in His death. The rest was sweet and the joy deep. It seemed almost unbelievable that at last I too was among the number of the saved and could now sing their hymns and rejoice with them in "mercy obtained".

God's salvation was no disappointment to me. The early joy in salvation was precious indeed. How good it was to drink from the well of water that springs up into everlasting life!

On 6th June 1958 I was baptised and was for some time in fellowship in a small assembly at Ranelagh, Dublin. In October 1958 my loved Father was suddenly called home. His passing brought changes to our family, one of which was our removal to Lurgan in the early part of 1959. Here I perceived that there was much spiritual help available. There were two Bible Readings each week, as well as many conferences throughout the year, and that within travelling distance. As young believer I revelled in it all, and in the company of those fitted to lead me on in the things of God.

I was encouraged to seek God's face as to His plan for my life and this I sought to do over a period of years. Missionaries often visited Lurgan and a number had gone from the assembly to the foreign field. Gradually I became somewhat attached to the small band of missionaries which laboured in the extreme south of Brazil. At the beginning I had no thought of joining them, but took an interest in their labours.

Bye and bye some of these dear brethren made it known that I would have their fellowship should I think of joining them in the work. I was reluctant to take the matter seriously as what little experience I had in Gospel work made me very conscious of inadequacy for such a work, and indeed I can recall moments when ] decided quite definitely against ever giving all my time to the Lord's work. Yet an exercise began to take shape within my soul, and a burden was felt as to the matter. One Saturday night in October 1966 as I lay in bed, I mused on what I felt were God's dealings with me over the few years since I was saved. At that moment the links which had been formed with the brethren in Brazil and their work were uppermost in my mind. Just then a verse from Phil. 2:13 seemed very helpful. The verse was: "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure". The verse seemed to explain something of the course of events up to that time.

After further exercise in prayer, it appeared to me that the time had come to take steps and thus seek confirmation of the Lord's will in the exercise. Thus early in 1967 I approached the overseeing brethren of the assembly, putting before them something of the exercises of my soul. Within a few weeks they assured me of their fellowship.

As the way began to open up more and more, I was conscious of a change in my approach to the whole matter. Earlier I had considered myself as a sort of volunteer, but now I felt that I had become a conscript. I had to go! This lead to deep conflict of soul. In those difficult days one found comfort in the Saviour's words in Matthew 11:29,30: 'Take my yoke upon you ... and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Thus, assuredly gathering that this was the Lord's path, I left for Brazil on 31st July 1967 in company with Mr. and Mrs. John

McCann. The grace vouchsafed in the promises of God during those days of deep exercise has been made good in abundant measure during the years in which it has been my happy portion to serve the best of Masters.

In September 1972 I was married, and my wife and I continue in the Lord's service with an ever increasing appreciation of the goodness of the Lord and of His beloved people who have upheld us over the years.

What powerful, mighty Voice, so near Calls me from Earth apart, Reaches, with tones so still, so clear, From th' unseen world, my heart?

'Tis His. Yes, yes; no other sound Could move my heart like this— The voice of Him that earlier bound, Through grace that heart to His.

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