ADOSS Newsletter – October 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord

A Personal Note from Brother Sosthenes

Not the ruler of the synagogue but a brother - depiction from an icon in a Russian Orthodox Church
Sosthenes

I started ‘A Day of Small Things’ (ADOSS) about a month ago with a view to providing my younger (and not so young) brethren in Christ with an easy-to-read summary of certain classic works (particularly to start with John Nelson Darby) which have become accepted by lovers of the Lord Jesus and His Church here, and are waiting expectantly for His soon return.   I hear comments that you need a doctorate in theology, as well as the language capabilities of the 19th century educated elite to understand JND.  I have neither.

What is needed (and I am a poor model of that) is a deep love for our Lord, for His own, a desire for the truth, and broken heart over the state of the church publicly.  Through God’s goodness I have been exposed to much good and helpful teaching in companies where there has been a general love of the Lord, the truth and where differences of opinion have been worked out in a spirit of grace and brotherly love. 

That has been mostly, not always.  When I was eight (1953) there were serious problems in the meeting.  Without disrespect to my parents, now with Christ, they were fighting worldliness and disrespect of assembly procedure.  Through outside interference they (and a few others) forced a division and broke bread separately.  What they were fighting might have been might have a bad state:  it was not evil.  What they created was confusion – which had lasting consequences – several families were scattered – and almost all in that locality were carried away by a legal sectarian system not of God 17 years later.  Clearly I regard my parents and the others’ action, however well intentioned, as wrong. Meet state with ministry of Christ.

Satan is ever trying to get saints to fall into the same trap.  May all of us use diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. (Eph 4:3).

Simplified Darby

J N Darby
John Nelson Darby

I feel a sense of blessing from doing the first seven Simplified Darby exercises, and have received positive feedback.  I trust that in response I have been able to provide encouragement in return.  That is how the self building up of the body in love (Eph 4:16) works.  I am deeply conscious of my shortcomings in undertaking this task, and welcome comments and suggestions.  One dear brother in the Chicago area for whom I have great personal affection and whose judgment I greatly value went as far as more-or-less rewriting one article!  But that’s how we learn.

The seven papers that were published in “The Faith once delivered to the Saints” (Kingston Bible Trust) were first.  I keep re-reading and re-touching them (as well as correcting them).  Meanwhile I have started work on JND’s  eleven lectures in Geneva on the present hope of the church (L’Espoir actuel de ‘l’Eglise) .  Which reminds I have started on one article in French! – Am I mad? 

After that – we will have to count on God’s direction.

Personal Relationships

I have no doubt that everybody who has e-mailed me or who have posted comments on the Adoss website is a lover of our Lord Jesus sharing the same hope as myself.  We are brethren, even if sadly (in some cases) not enjoying full Christian fellowship due to the breakdown in the public church (for which all have to own our part).  On the public website anonymity is of course acceptable – but when we come to one-to-one I am open as to my identity and I feel a sense of disappointment if that confidence is not returned.  Greet the friends by name. (3 John:14)

Spreading the Word

The last that I want to do is to promote myself, or any personal position (hence the pseudonym), so I have deliberately refrained from doing any promotional activity despite having many Christian friends who I have no doubt co-operate.  God Himself will give the increase.  However if you like to circulate anything amongst those you know please feel free to so.  If you want to do this using Facebook or Twitter use

https://www.facebook.com/adayofsmallthings

https://twitter.com/BroSosthenes

May you prove God’s wonderful blessings – the Lord’s coming to rapture His own very soon!  – As Alec Craig said in an address a few years back “He’s on His way!”  Rev 22:20

Greetings in our Lord and Saviour

Your brother Sosthenes

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