Letters

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For a number of years we subscribed to a Christian Newspaper. From time to time I would write a ‘Letter to the Editor’, and I thought some might find them profitable to read. They are here presented as they were originally written, as sometimes they were edited for publication – as is the editor’s prerogative. Most, though not all, were published, and some were never sent – although looking back on them I wonder why I didn’t send them. They are all quite short, as a word limit for letters is imposed which encourages the writer to try and put his argument or comments as succinctly as possible – which is no bad thing.

For ease of reference I have numbered them and given each a subject title; also where necessary I have given a brief introduction regarding the context in which they were written.

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1  -  ‘Duty Faith and Duty Repentance’ : 1st Letter

This letter was written in response to a book review of a ‘Banner of Truth’ publication on the life or writings of Andrew Fuller – I can’t remember which – the author of a book entitled ‘The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation’.

February 15th, 2008.

Sir, I read in your last issue that Andrew Fuller believed it was the ‘duty’ of every man and woman to exercise faith in Christ.

Does this mean that it is my duty also to regenerate myself? To quicken myself into life and raise myself from spiritual death? To convince myself of sin contrary to natural inclinations? To call myself out of my beloved darkness into God’s all exposing light? What? Did Mr. Fuller never know ‘the condemnation’, John 3:19,20, Rom. 3:10-18? Is it my duty to draw myself to the Son? To take the stony heart out of my flesh and give myself an heart of flesh? To cleanse and purify that deceitful and incurably wicked heart by my own faith, applying the blood of sprinkling, successfully purging my own conscience?

To ‘grant’ myself repentance unto life and bestow upon myself the ‘gift’ of saving faith? To take of the things of Christ and reveal them to myself? – as well as to reveal him in me? To teach myself savingly of him, and glorify him of myself? To give myself assurance of salvation withal! while, as a matter of course, proudly and presumptuously ‘claiming all the promises’ as well, witnessing with my own spirit that I am a son of God?

Yes, and when I’ve finished all that no doubt God is duty bound to bring me to glory, he being in my debt to reward ‘works’, thereby casting aside any notion of grace for salvation – formulated in an eternal covenant by the Godhead according to the eternal purpose of the Same! What an overturning of Holy Scripture; of divine sovereignty; of the counsels of Jehovah; and of the work and omnipotence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And this is reckoned ‘great theology’? Nay, it is blasphemy!

But, Mr. Fuller, I know something of the depravity of my own heart as taught of the Spirit – a life-long lesson hard to learn – which leads me daily to ‘cry unto the Lord’, Psalm 86, none of these ‘duties’ being in my power to perform. Therefore this gospel you preached – which no apostle of the Lamb ever uttered – far from being ‘worthy of all acceptation’ must be ‘another gospel’ altogether, which can only bring, as it ever has brought, the curse of God down upon those propounding it, Galatians 1:6-9. It is a grief to many to see how far the ‘Banner of Truth’ (surely now a misnomer) is falling.

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2  -  ‘Duty Faith and Duty Repentance’ : 2nd Letter

March 20th, 2008.

Sir, May I reply to those who commented on my previous letter regarding ‘duty faith’ and ‘duty repentance.’ The main contention used against me was Acts 17:30. I believe there is confusion regarding ‘preaching’ or ‘testifying repentance’, ‘calling men to repent’, declaring God’s command to repent. At ‘the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God’ both John the Baptist and Jesus preached to Israel under the old covenant saying, ‘Repent, and believe the gospel’: the old was about to pass away the new was come. They, as the professed people of God, were to turn from the one to the other, from Moses to Christ. No Gentile was exhorted thus. Then Peter on the day of Pentecost, by the Spirit, simply preached the truth of what both God and men had wrought in regard to the death and resurrection of Christ a number of weeks earlier. No mention of, or exhortation to repentance was heard until certain were ‘pricked in their heart and said… Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent’, which was a command not an offer; the true gospel preacher should only ever call such to repent – those evidently under a God-wrought conviction of sin, who all will repent: as Jesus said, ‘…and they follow me.’

But Paul on Mars’ hill spoke differently. As none were so evidently wrought upon he didn’t call any to repent, but only declared that ‘God’, not Paul, nor any preacher, ‘commandeth’, which He alone has right to do; nowhere did Paul speak of the Athenians’ duty. But, Acts 20:20,21, the apostle never tired in ‘showing, teaching and testifying repentance toward God’, explaining the doctrine of repentance to all who would know, which is a long way from indiscriminately appealing to men’s so-called duty (remember, there is false repentance as well as true, 2 Cor. 7:8-11, Matt. 27:3-5); but even in the light of Acts 14:15 and 26:20, still, a dead man is duty-bound to do nothing! How can ‘the work of God’ be the duty of man.

Then there is the repentance that Christ calls His people to: Rev. 2:5,16, etc. I suspect ‘duty repentance’ adherents only believe repentance to be a one-off act at the beginning which only applies to the lost to ‘be saved’; but ‘repentance toward God’ as well as ‘faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ’ is a life-long exercise, as all taught of the Spirit know.

But to those who still believe it their duty at God’s command then there is only one thing to say: Go on then, Repent! All of you, Acts 17:30. That sin which doth so easily beset us? Repent of it. That rebellion against the revealed will of God that often arises within, and the seeking of our own will instead? Repent. Unbelief? Repent, for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. What of that short temper? or that pride – which secretly delights to think that we are not as other men are? Repent. Ambition? Lust? Envy? Covetousness? the desire ‘to have’, which is idolatry? – all heart sins, Repent. The love of, or merely the friendship of the world, Jas. 4:4, that we may like to indulge in? Repent. Oh, in the light of Luke 9:23, 14:27, Rom. 12:1,2, Repent.

And when we find that although ‘to will is present’ we cannot ‘perform that which is good’ then, casting off (our natural) false ideas of ‘duty’, and by the mercy of God we begin to realise that repentance is indeed His gift to bestow and work within us (as honest David knew, it was the LORD who must ‘restore his soul’), then, praise be unto God! we will find that it must indeed be all of grace!

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3  -  ‘Irresistible Calling’

Sir, Agreeing with your correspondent’s call for the necessity of regeneration one is bound to say, Come unto Jesus Christ and be saved. The call of the gospel, although heard by many, is only effectual in the regenerate, who, by the effectual work of the Spirit within, hear ‘words of eternal life’ and are attracted to the Saviour.

The gospel addresses certain cases. Those whom the Father draws the Son calls by irresistible grace, speaking his word into their hearts; the Spirit convicts of sin under a broken law, revealing their lost state and spiritual bankruptcy; thus they find themselves poor in spirit, heavy laden through their striving (and failing) to establish their own righteousness, and hungering and thirsting after the living God and his salvation. To such what gracious invitations there are, and the gospel preacher can freely declare that none who come to Christ in this state will ever be cast out; all who believe on him shall be saved; those repenting of their sins will find that they have been blotted out; and, perhaps the best promise of all is that they will find rest for their souls.

The regenerate are encouraged to look to the precious blood of the Lamb shed on the cross for sinners, and, because the Saviour hears and answers the prayers of his people, presently they will receive the witness of the Spirit with their spirit that Christ died for them, and that they are the children of God! Blessed are all truly born again, for they shall see the kingdom of God. Jesus promises that!

[Never sent]

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4  -  ‘Solitary Trees’

February 14th, 2009.

Sir – Regarding your editorial on ‘solitary trees’. I do not disagree with the necessity of God’s people ‘assembling together’, but when being called out of a ‘modern’ evangelical church into a relatively ‘solitary way’, I often had Hebrews 10:25 quoted at me, as though it meant ‘you must always go to church – whatever.’ But the key word in that verse is ‘together’, in a spiritual union as ‘the church which is in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ’, in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. But what I have found is that the unity into which many people gather is sometimes not much more than ‘faith in Jesus’ (which, by their doctrine, is often evidently not the right faith or the right Jesus, 2 Cor. 11:4), coupled with smiling and niceness – which is supposedly ‘love’; or into one of a denominational party spirit, around a ‘confession’ or ‘articles’ of faith – i.e. the traditions of men.

But the Lord has promised to ‘gather together the outcasts of Israel’ into his solitary church, Psalm 147:2, by way of a strait gate, onto a narrow way; which outcasts, by definition, none of the above churches can retain; they having been called out of the world, out of a life of habitual sinfulness under the law, out of a false or dead profession of Christianity in the flesh or in the letter, and from thence ‘unto Christ.’ How profoundly solemn Matthew 7:21-23 is – churchgoers all! Anyway, I think one time solitary trees like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, the man born blind, ‘and they cast him out’, Paul, ‘no man stood with me, but all forsook me’, and, indeed, He that was ‘despised and rejected of men’, would all disagree that ‘solitary Christians tend not to thrive’, for, ultimately true thriving is in the world to come as their ‘way’ alone ‘leadeth unto life’, and, said Jesus, ‘few there be that [call him Lord] find it.’

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5  -  ‘Tyndale’s New Testament’

May 15th, 2009.

Sir – After seeing the review of a book about William Tyndale in your paper, may I encourage your readers to obtain Tyndale’s New Testament published by Wordsworth, ISBN 1-84022-129-1. In many ways it is even more simple and fresh than our beloved Authorised Version – which is about 90% Tyndale. A savour and anointing remains on the great man’s translation; surely God raised him up to give us His word in our own tongue, and I doubt there has been a version since which has been so precious – the very fact that it cost Tyndale his life puts it in a class of its own. Most of it reads easily to modern eyes and there are very few truly archaic words: look out for debite, arede and gobbets! As Tyndale didn’t break the text into verses it reads all the better for it, highlighting more the flow of the inspired writer’s narrative. There is an interesting introduction and Tyndale wrote a prologue to most of the books.

An example of the blessedness of his work is found in Matthew 14. After John the Baptist had been beheaded the AV states that Jesus ‘departed thence by ship into a desert place apart.’ But Tyndale originally wrote, ‘into a desert place out of the way.’ A simple phrase but my heart leapt when I first read it!

There is much grace in Tyndale’s marginal notes too: by Galatians 2:16, ‘Deeds of the law justify not, but faith justifieth. The law uttereth my sin and damnation, and maketh me flee to Christ for mercy and life. As the law roared unto me that I was damned for my sins, so faith certifieth me that I am forgiven and shall live through Christ.’ And by 1 Corinthians 7:25ff, ‘If a man have the gift, chastity is good, the more quietly to serve God. For the married have oft much trouble. But if the mind of the chaste be cumbered with other worldly business, what helpeth it? And if the married be the more quiet-minded thereby, what hurteth it? Neither of itself is better than the other, or pleaseth God more than the other.’

O that the Lord would again raise up such gracious souls full of the Spirit of Christ.

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6  -  ‘Atheist’

June 8th, 2009.

Sir – Reading that the ‘Archbishop favours atheist Pullman’s books’, reminded me that the word ‘atheos’ only occurs once in the Greek New Testament, Ephesians 2:12, where it is correctly rendered ‘without God.’ Therefore an atheist, according to the Spirit, is one without God regardless of whether or not he says he believes in Him. This might explain why one atheos likes the writings of another; but then reading such passages as Luke 13:24-28, James 2:18-20, Heb. 3:12-4:2, 2 Cor. 11:12-15, etc., would suggest that there are rather more ‘atheists’ than we might suppose.

[Never sent – but see Letter No. 11 below which was published]

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7  -  ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Corrupt Greek Text’

Sir, During a recent visit from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, where, despite constantly holding John 8:24 before them, they stubbornly refused the deity of the Lord Jesus, as is their wont, I told them that their New World Translation used a corrupt Greek text – Westcott and Hort; in consequence Revelation 1 subtly transfers ‘the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last’ from referring to Christ as found in Tyndale/AV to their ‘one person only’ God. At which point they immediately and without hesitation replied that that was why they preferred the W&H Greek text! Why can’t the readers and upholders of the wretched NIV et al see it!

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8  -  ‘Holiday Bible Clubs’

Sir, Recently you reported on Richard Dawkins’ atheistic holiday clubs for children – teaching them songs like ‘Imagine there’s no heaven’, as opposed to ‘Shine, Jesus, shine’! But free-will Arminians have been lying to children for decades in their Holiday Bible Clubs, telling them that God loves them, Jesus died for them, if they will only believe it. In fact the latter type of club is in some ways more abominable than Dawkins’ efforts, for children know there is a God, Rom. 1:19, and most will reject the atheist – but because they are fallen and naturally desire a path of works to get them to heaven, they will more likely embrace the HBC message – reject the sovereignty of God in salvation, deny their own total depravity, and thereby damn their own souls. Most Holiday Bible Clubs, like Dawkins’ clubs, fail children in depriving them of the truth of the gospel; the more dangerous because they are done in Jesus’ name.

[Never sent]

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9  -  ‘The Rapture’

Sir – As a sidelight on the recent discussion on the ‘rapture’. There is apparently now a machine in America – where else! – which can project from space a giant hologram of Christ appearing in the sky, big enough for millions to see, together with a raptured church being caught up in the air to meet Him. Seriously. Many ‘left behind’ who’d thought to have been gathered in the event would likely have their faith shattered. This may not be so far fetched when we remember that in the last days ‘that Wicked’ whose ‘coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders’ will be revealed who shall deceive many, 2 Thes. 2, and modern technology will be his to utilise.

Better to keep to the plain teaching of scripture. Jesus said His coming again will be ‘as it was in the days of Noah and Lot.’ Both these saints were ‘raptured’ immediately prior to the judgments of their day, Luke 17. Peter’s ‘as a thief in the night’, 2 Pet. 3, speaks of an event both sudden and unexpected, not secret. The church must pass through and endure growing and great tribulation ‘until the day’ that judgment comes finally to save it, and take the rest away.

[Never sent]

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10  -  ‘Democracy’

January 7th, 2010.

Sir – With a General Election not far away I have been pondering the Christian’s relationship to the ‘democratic’ process in the light of Christ’s prayer to his Father – surely answered – that his people, although being ‘in the world’ should not be ‘of it.’

What is democracy, and whence it’s origin? As far as I can determine it means ‘supremacy, power, government, lordship even, in the hands of the people’, and would seem to be the antithesis of ‘Theocracy’: ‘government acknowledged to be in the hands of God.’ Thus in a democracy the people become their own lords, thereby denying God’s governance.

This spirit was seen in the children of Israel when they asked Samuel for a human king to reign over them instead of Jehovah. And because of their democratic stubbornness God gave them over to their will. But the spirit of democracy was first manifest in the garden of Eden in the serpent’s beguiling Eve: ‘Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil’; in other words, ‘take the government of your own affairs into your own hands and throw off God’s authority and supremacy’; after all, ‘Hath God said?’

It is the stated aim of the powers that be, aided by the politicians and media, to bring in, through democracy, a one world government. But ‘the serpent’ made it evident that democracy is a lie. ‘We the people’ only have the elusion of power with our votes and ‘freedom of expression’, for it is the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air who, now working in the children of disobedience, seeks global power in this up-coming (albeit temporal) ‘new world order.’ This process is happening before our very eyes, cannot be reversed by voting UKIP or the like, however ‘tempting’ that might be, and must be fulfilled before the end. So, do we exercise our ‘right’ and vote? What saith the scripture? Be ye ‘in’ a democracy but not ‘of it’; rather, ‘watch, pray, wait, and look up’ when ye see all these things begin to come to pass; and, saith the Lord, ‘be ye separate.’

[This letter was written a year before last year’s ‘Arab Spring’ designed to oust ‘dictators’ and bring in… democracy! Just keep listening to the news…]

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11  -  Nick Clegg

May 27th, 2010.

Sir – I was rather disgusted at one of your correspondent’s description of Nick Clegg as ‘a rabid, God-hating atheist’, and at the report of the Liberal Democrat leader’s ‘stumbling replies’, ‘incoherent answers’ and ‘repeated vacillation’ over why he is ‘not a man of faith’. When asked plainly on Radio 4’s PM programme why he ‘did not believe’ he gave a ready and honest answer – in short, that faith had not as yet ‘happened to him.’ It is not that he did not believe in God, as such, but that he didn’t know whether or not there was a God. That seems closer to ‘lethargic agnosticism’ than rabid atheism. But is not this the state of us all until God begins a good work in us? Nick Clegg’s admission bears clear testimony to the truth of scripture that we are dead towards God until he regenerates and causes us to seek after him, giving us the gift of saving faith in Christ as the only Saviour.

But all this highlights the general misunderstanding of the origin of the word ‘atheist’. It comes from the Greek compound atheos which means ‘without God’, and in the NT is found only in Ephesians 2:12. Therefore all those outside of Christ are ‘atheists’ in the scriptural sense; some, like Mr. Clegg, are honest, while many pretend not to be, or are deceived into thinking they are not, even while they profess the name of the Lord! Matt. 7:21-23.

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12  -  John Stott on Adam’s ‘Origin’

June 8th, 2010.

Sir – It was astonishing that your reviewer finds it ‘interesting’ that John Stott ‘remains neutral whether Adam was a product of divine creation or that he was created out of an existing line of hominids’. I’d at least call it ‘dreadful’. Genesis 1 says that God created man ‘in his image, after his likeness’, and chapter 2 records that Adam was formed ‘of the dust of the ground’, ‘for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return’, 3:19.

I fail to see how anyone with a love for the truth of God’s word – which God has ‘magnified above all his name’ – and who hungers and thirsts after righteousness in this barren day would want to do anything other than avoid the writings of a man who is clearly awry on man’s origins, no matter how well he may comment on other parts of scripture. There are enough ‘liberals’ undermining the truth without ‘respected evangelicals’, as I suppose John Stott to be, doing the same.

[Never sent – John Stott has since died]

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13  -  ‘What is an Attack?’

This is part of a private letter sent to the Editor regarding an advert for my book ‘Concerns Over the Traditions of Men in Denominationalism’ which he refused to carry. The book eventually became ‘Contentions Against…’ which can be read elsewhere on this site.

June 14th, 2010.

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your phone call in regard to my advert. You have set me thinking about the meaning of the word ‘attack’ – you asked ‘is my leaflet an attack on the Gospel Standard?’ In answering all I can say is, Was not the whole of the ‘Protestant Reformation’ an ‘attack’ on the Roman church? Was not ‘the just shall live by faith’ an attack by Luther on Indulgences, Purgatory, etc.? Was Tyndale’s desire for the word of God in English not an attack on the bondage and superstition the popes, bishops and priests held the benighted people under? I’m no Luther, but I’m questioning the very principle of denominationalism and the slant of a certain denomination, that those therein might see the error of some of their ways, repent and reform. Alas the probability is that my leaflet will issue in a hardening of heart by those which uphold the tradition of the elders – the only other option being to amend and, in effect, destroy their denomination, which I am sure none would want to do.

The bringing of the law, Rom. 7:7-11, the preaching of the truth of the gospel and all ‘revivals’ in the history of the church have been brought about by people being ‘attacked’; in that they have been called out of lethargy, deadness or idolatry back to God. I know from my own experience that having my conscience ‘attacked’ by the truth has at once slain me, shaken me, humbled me, regenerated me, and caused me to ‘fall’ under the mighty hand of God. In this sense the word ‘attack’ cannot be viewed in a negative way.

My desire is not only for the ministers but the people also to be able to read it. If you have time to read it you will find that it is not just an attack on the GS but, as I said, on the very principle of denominationalism which I think is relevant to many outside the GS – I would say the majority of church-goers today have never heard of the GS anyway – and so in that respect it may be of benefit to them as well.

Finally, I hope that if you do read it you will find it profitable to your own soul for, actually, there is much ‘gospel’ in it.

Yours very sincerely,

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14  -  ‘Pitch it Within and Without with Pitch’

October 29th, 2010.

Sir – A correspondent speculates in your last issue as to ‘why God told Noah to ‘pitch’ the ark on the inside as well as on the outside’. The answer is spiritual and not for the benefit of his ‘modern sceptics’ who will never believe the testimony of God’s word, regardless of any clear evidence. Noah is a figure of Christ, the sole ‘rest’ of his people, Gen. 5:29, Matt. 11:28. The ark is a figure of the church which Noah/Christ builds, Matt. 16:18, by preaching righteousness, 2 Pet. 2:5, Ps. 40:7-10. The ark/church is ‘pitched’, lit. covered – the figure of the blood of Christ – ‘within and without’, so that it, as a complete body, might be brought safely through the judgment of God’s wrath upon sin.

The pitch/blood has to be applied within as well as without because a mere outward belief in the blood is not sufficient for salvation. Many have a ‘letter’ belief in the blood which they claim from the pages of scripture, or receive in the intellect from Confessions of Christian doctrine, but this is only the same, in type, as the old covenant blood sacrifices, which ‘could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience’; but the blood of Christ must ‘purge your consciences from dead works to serve the living God’, Hebrews 9. After all, God looketh upon the heart and not the outward profession, cp. Isa. 66:2, 57:15. Indeed ‘within’ must be covered/pitched for God in three Persons comes and dwells there: ‘Come thou into the ark’, Gen. 7:1, John 14:23, Rom. 8:9-11. So if we do not have this interior application of the blood in the heart and conscience, then we have not the Father, nor Christ, nor the Spirit, and all our outward believing is presumption.

Thus when Noah and his family were safely in the ark they had the interior witness to that covering without which, together, was the sole means of their salvation.

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15  -  ‘Noah’s ‘Invitation’?’

December 9th, 2010.

Sir, Regarding your correspondent’s ‘invitation’ to all those outside the ark: no such invitation appears in the scriptural account. Noah is often portrayed as standing on the gangplank crying, ‘Judgment is coming! Come into the ark and be saved!’ and this is supposed to be Peter’s meaning of Noah being ‘a preacher of righteousness’, 2 Pet. 2:5. But Genesis 6 shows clearly that from the beginning, before Noah started building, God told him that he only and his immediate family would be saved, vs. 18; indeed, he built the ark ‘to the saving of his house’, Heb. 11:7, Gen. 7:7. So as ‘Noah did all that God commanded him’, nowhere do we read that he tried to get others to come in.

As to Noah being ‘a preacher of righteousness’: he had long been that, for we read that he ‘was a just man and perfect in his generations’, and not only in that last generation. To preach righteousness is not to try and ‘get people saved’, but to declare the righteousness of God: his holiness, absolute authority and right to command total obedience from his creatures, rendering them accountable to their Creator; and to declare God’s just condemnation of all who rebel. It is to preach the fulness of ‘the doctrine of Christ’, 2 John 9, which is ‘Jesus Christ, and him crucified’, who brought in the righteousness of God by faith – without the law – by his blood, Rom. 3:21-26. Noah, a man who likewise walked by faith, had constantly declared this in word and, toward the end, in the building of the ark.

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16  -  ‘The Godless Output of the BBC’

Sir – Seeing that the general output of the BBC is so godless, as regularly recorded in your newspaper, the only proper thing to do by those professing godliness is to remove the television from their homes and stop supporting the Corporation in the paying of the licence fee. Wringing our hands about what is after all ‘the way of the world’, however moral our tone, is nothing but hypocrisy by those who continue to help fund it.

One may argue that there are some good things broadcast from time to time; but it was the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which brought, and still brings, the fall of man. The Spirit of God led the apostle John to write clearly that, ‘If any man love the world,’ which is what that tree signified, ‘the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world…’ which can be found on the BBC, ‘… is not of the Father’, 1 John 2:15,16. May God’s people be given grace to fall under the word, and then be kept from saying in their hearts, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, I don’t have TV.’

[Never sent]

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17  -  ‘The Authority of Scripture’

This letter must have been written just after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

March 19th, 2011.

Sir, I have noticed recently a number of references to the phrase ‘the authority of scripture’, especially in relation to the 400th anniversary of the AV. But what authority does the AV actually have over its supporters as it declares there to be only one church, when so many of them are found in various denominations and churches which can never gather in the unity of the Spirit, as each hold so tenaciously to their own defining doctrines? Surely their only unity is a closed AV!

But the truth is that the risen Lord Jesus declared that ‘all authority’ has been given unto him, Matt. 28:18, and not to the written word; which authority was immediately exercised in his sending the disciples to go into all the world to preach the gospel. Later Saul of Tarsus fell under the same authority on the Damascus road, always referring to this calling from heaven as his only authority to preach and never to his having merely read the commandment on the page – after all, ‘My sheep hear my voice’, not, ‘My sheep read my words’.

All preaching without this immediate divine calling is ‘of the letter which killeth’. In the absence of Christ’s authority men take a verse or two from the scriptures which has suited their desire to preach and counted it as their authority. As a result the gospel comes in word only, and not in power, in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance, and Christ’s sheep are starved, for they, being hungered, are given no meat. A withdrawal of truly sent ministers from a land is a judgment far greater than an earthquake or tsunami.

Is there any one else who grieves over these things, who pleads with the Lord to raise up preachers to feed the flock with food convenient for them?

[Never published]

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18  -  ‘Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem’

April 7th, 2011.

Sir – I would like to comment on the verse ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…’ Ps. 122:6, which is regularly quoted in your paper in reference to ‘Jerusalem which now is’. Surely in the context of the whole of scripture the Psalm is referring to ‘Jerusalem which is above’, ‘the heavenly Jerusalem’, that is, the church, Gal. 4:25,26; Heb. 12:22-24. Spiritually speaking Jerusalem is where ‘the house of the LORD’ is situated, Ps. 122:1. The house of the LORD is where he dwells, and he dwells in his church, Ps. 132:13,14. Verses 3 and 4 of Psalm 122 answer to Ephesians 2:13-22, esp. verses 21,22. ‘The testimony of Israel’ is the gospel of our salvation, and ‘the name of the LORD’ is Jesus Christ.

As it is a Psalm of David then the ‘David’ he is speaking of in verse five must be his ‘Son’, Matt. 22:42. Both Psalm 89:1-4 and Ezekiel 34:11-31 speak of Christ as ‘David’, and of the blessings of the gospel to his people ‘Israel’. Peace can only be ‘within thee’ by the indwelling of the Prince of Peace who has made peace for them by the blood of his cross. The Lord’s people pray for the peace of this Jerusalem, the body of Christ, by their mutually indwelt Spirit; and thereby they ‘prosper’, or, are caused to be at rest. How low then is the ‘carnalization’ of ‘Jerusalem’ in prophesy, and how degrading to the gospel and church of Jesus Christ under the new and everlasting covenant.

[I don’t think this letter was sent, I can’t remember it being published]

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