Frederick Raven – God’s Kingdom

The expression of God’s Kingdom is the Lord  Jesus Christ at the right hand of God.

Frederick Raven 1837-1903

The basis of God’s Kingdom is righteouness; righteousness accomplished and declared in the death of Christ.

The expression of God’s Kingdom is the Lord  Jesus Christ at the right hand of God.

The principle of the Kingdom is peace,

and

The rule, or law of the Kingdom is grace.

 

(F E Raven,  1898 Readings)

Christ’s Name

… or mine?

                                                                                                                 Chapters 3 and 4 (of Acts) show us the character of the apostles’ testimony; that is, that they were not engaged with their own reputations, but with Christ’s name. What marked the Christian unity was that His name was to be great instead of our name.  Wherever you find a man, be he Christian or not, who has his own name before him, he is Babylonish; he is virtually a Babel-builder. But

James Taylor Sr (1870-1953)

what marks the apostles is Christ’s name- “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”  Peter said he had neither gold nor silver, and he had no reputation, but Jesus of Nazareth had a name of renown.  Peter boldly states in chapter 4 that there is none other “name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  That is what marked Peter and John in their testimony.  Now, Satan was against that name. The injunction of the religious leaders in chapter 4 was not simply that they should not hold certain doctrines, but that they should not teach or preach in that name. But the divine intention is to maintain that name.

(J Taylor NS vol. 3 page 171.  Suggested by an English subscriber)

Golden Nugget Number 314

 Comment:

A few years ago, my wife and I were on vacation in Quebec City and took the boat over the St Lawrence.  We got talking to a fellow Christian who told us how well his church was doing and what he was doing to improve it, then gave us his business card – it said ‘John Smith* – Professional Church Planter’. That made me think of his priorities

  1. Himself
  2. His church – whatever sect it was
  3. Jesus

If  ‘me’ or ‘my church’ means more to me than Jesus, I think there is a problem.

* Not his real name

 

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Brian Deck – The Faintest Prayer . . .

The faintest prayer touches the heart that guides the hands that rule the universe.

The faintest prayer enters the ear and touches the heart that guides the hands that rule the universe.

– Attributed to Brian Deck, Motueka New Zealand (1912-1991)

Also by Brian Deck

https://adayofsmallthings.com/millions-dying-through-famine-or-coronavirus/

The Love of the Truth & other ministry
MMMMMM Brian M Deck

Percy Hardwick – A Throne that Stands

Percy Hardwick

There is a great throne…a great control above everything national and international.  Jesus is on the Father’s throne and things are controlled from there, and the throne stands.  It does not totter.  Thrones on earth totter and fall, but not there.  John says, “A throne stood in the heaven.”  It stoodSo we can be occupied with God…God has control and that is a great help to us whatever our difficulties, whatever our limitations…We are to have the supremacy of God in our hearts

(P H Hardwick,  Whangarei, NZ, 1947)  

Percy H. Hardwick was local in West Hampstead, London. He was son of the well-known Harland Hardwick.  Professionally he was headmaster of a school.  Kingson Bible Trust has published four volumes of his ministry.  Approx 1890-1962

Golden Nugget Number 307

 

J B Catterall -The Spirit is Getting the Saints Ready for Christ.

 

 Everything that makes much of Christ, washes the saints’ feet.

J B Catterall (1879-1927)’ feet.

 

It is possible to have a very great amount of light, and be very clear in our minds as to divine truth, and yet not be following Christ.

The greatest thing open to us in the assembly of God’s people, is to be like Christ.

The time has come when the Spirit is, so to speak, packing up.  He is getting the saints ready for the rapture.  He would convince our souls that the most urgent thought of His mind is to get the saints ready for Christ.

(Memorials of J B Catterall’s Ministry)

Golden Nugget Number 296 

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Spiritual Apathy – A Plague worse than Coronavirus

Why are you indifferent to that which is of vastly greater importance than plagues like coronavirus — your eternal salvation?

Please God, the worst of Corvid-19 may be over.  The death rate is falling; in many countries lockdown is being eased – hopefully soon in Britain where at the time of writing over 30,000 people have died.  But there is a deadening plague which continues and by its very nature is ignored – spiritual apathy.  How many millions have it – and those of us who have a living relationship with the Lord, how many of us just acquiesce?
This is an abridged version of a paper by Charles Coates[i].  It is undated, but indications are that it was in the late 1930’s.  Britain had come through the great depression and things were pretty good.  There were worrying developments in Germany, but they were not causing problems in Britain.  Chamberlain had a meeting with Hitler, signed a treaty and said, ‘It’s peace in our time’ (See 2 Kings 2:19).  How can you make peace with an evil man?  Yesterday we celebrated the 75th anniversary of VE Day.  Coates was taken to be with the Lord five months after VE Day;  I was born four weeks after that day.

Coates said:

Charles Coates

It has been estimated that over seventy-five per cent of the inhabitants of this country have no concern about the salvation of their souls. They are not atheists or infidels, nor do they make any profession of being saved; they are simply indifferent to the whole matter. If the thought of having to do with God comes into their minds, they solace themselves by a comparison of their own state with that of their fellows, and they conclude that as they are not worse than others, and perhaps better than many, there is no reason why they should have any concern as to their spiritual state. Any occasional alarm is speedily stilled by the thought that God is merciful — a sentiment which in the mind of an indifferent sinner means that he likes to think of God as One whose judgment of sin is not much more severe than his own. It is to this large body of people, and to each individual in it, that the following plain words are addressed.

Then why so indifferent to that which is of vastly greater importance than all these things put together — your eternal salvation? A friendly voice asks you the question which once rang on the startled ear of Jonah — ‘What meanest thou, O sleeper?’ (Jonah 1:6).
Beware! The signals of Holy Scripture are all against you, and another warning reaches you now as you speed along to eternity. ‘When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them … and they shall not escape’ (1 Thessalonians 5: 3).
In the year of the Great Plague (1665) 90,000 persons died in London. With the earliest symptoms of the disease all indifference fled. Many went mad with terror and ran screaming through the grass-grown deserted streets, as if to escape from the pursuit of death. Have you no symptoms that might justly fill your conscience with alarm? ‘The thought of foolishness is sin’ (Proverbs 24:9).  ‘To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin’  (James 4:17). ‘God shall judge the secrets of men’ (Romans 2:16). The plague of sin is in your heart; your members are yielded as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; and the end of these things is death. Have you never been astounded at the evil thoughts of your own heart? or are you so thoroughly accustomed to them as to be ‘abominable and filthy’, and to drink ‘iniquity like water’? (Job 15: 16). In any case it is high time for indifference to be thrown off as a dangerous and deadly thing.
Sad, sad, that bitter wail — ‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved’ (Jeremiah 8:20).
‘God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent’ (Acts 17: 30).
‘God … will have all men to be saved’ (1 Timothy 2: 4). It is at an infinite cost that God has secured for Himself in righteousness the title of SAVIOUR GOD. The Son has been given; Jesus has died; and the whole universe can see at the cross of Christ that God is neither indifferent to sin, nor to the need of His poor creature who has fallen under its power. Then let indifference be banished from your heart. Turn in true repentance to God, and receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. For your life hangs on a thread; the record of your sins is on high; and the blackest midnight is brighter than the darkness of a Christless grave. ‘If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved’ (Romans 10: 9).

My Comments

If 75% of Britons were not concerned about salvation in the 1930’s.  What is the percentage of spiritual apathy now?
What word is going out to people?  Are they hearing the gospel?  We don’t hear much, but then almost all the media is secular, liberal and anti-Christian.  But concerned Christians are speaking out.  They see the gospel under attack, and they are not afraid to say so.  Of course, I have not seen or read every message, but a surprisingly large group of voices are from within the Church of England – even from bishops and members of the Synod.  Others are from evangelicals – Baptists and Free Church.  What I don’t see are similar messages from charismatics and community churches.  Like Sardis (Protestantism) – ‘Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead’ (Revelation 3:1) – concerned with form, liturgy, organisation and outward works.  I have just listened to a well-known American preacher[ii]. describing the Church of Scotland as an ecclesiastical corpse.  Thank God that in Sardis there were a few genuine Christians who had not defiled their garments.
We hear platitudes.  Yes, by all means talk about the love of God.  But first lay the conviction of the need of man – lost, sinful and deserving eternal judgment.  Met by the One who died – not just a sacrifice for our sins, but to settle the whole question, knowing that man in the flesh cannot please God.
Some preacher pointed out – Preachers say ‘Chose for Jesus and pray’ – No! ‘Cry to Jesus in faith and repent’.  ‘There is joy is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth’ (Luke 15:10).

Some interesting articles:

Crisis of faith – Damian Thompson – The Spectator 13 June 2015
Andrea Williams ‘What has become of the Church of England?’  – You-tube video – Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern and general synod lay member
 

Beliefs and stand of Rod Thomas, Bishop of Maidstone –  I have spoken to Mr Thomas personally.  He told me of his early life – see Wikipedia.

–       See also. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpo8Z8SwwLo – Revd. Stephen Rae explains why in a context of increasing theological liberalism, he posted the Southwark Declaration on Canterbury Cathedral.
–       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h69JRixrNhI – A Ugandan Bishop (Alfred Olwa) commits his Diocese to the One True Gospel

Some Good News

We can thank God that there are indications that Covid 19 is causing some to turn to God.  Here are a few snippets from, the press
The number of searches on Google for the word “prayer” have greatly increased over the past few weeks as the coronavirus has garnered headlines -Jeanet Sinding Bentzen- In Crisis, We Pray: Religiosity and the COVID-19 Pandemic.
More Christians worshiped, prayed, and shared Scripture online in the past week than ever before, as COVID-19 precautions shut down in-person church gatherings across the US and around the globe. – When God Closes a Church Door, He Opens a Browser Window  – Christianity Today 15 March 2020
In the thick of COVID-19 concerns, Bible publishing companies report increased sales . . . yndale reports that engagement on its New Living Translations Facebook page – home to Bible verse memes – has tripled since last March and is up 72% from just last month.  LifeWay Christian Resources also saw an increase in sales of 62 percent last week compared to the previous year.  “We believe this is no accident, as people often go to the Bible as a source of hope in times of crisis and uncertainty,” said Ben Mandrell, LifeWay CEO. “People draw hope from Scripture because in it they see a God who is with us during our suffering – Christian Headlines 8 April 2020

Christian Zoom Meetings

In these very unusual times, we cannot gather together normally.  But the Lord

loves His church and will not let His sheep go unfed.   My wife and I have found blessing in attending ‘Zoom meetings’. They cannot be regarded as formally constituted assembly occasions according to 1 Cor 14:23 – ‘The whole church be come together into one place’ – (of course, due to the breakdown it can only be a few Christians gathering in the light of the whole).  We enjoy bible readings with up to 20 screens, or larger scale preachings.  Many recipients of this letter attend a preaching of the gospel (16:30 BST Lord’s Days) arranged by some in Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland where last week about 120 screens (maybe 300 persons) streamed in, and we were able to see one another over several pages.  Some we had not seen for a few years, from the UK and Continental Europe, North America and even Australia and New Zealand.  Also audio only –  Preachers Corner, arranged by some in Worthing, Sussex (18:00 BST Lords Day.   If you are interested in the ‘Zoom meetings, please send me a private email (daniel@roberts.at).

I trust you have found these thoughts encouraging – and comforting.  May you be kept well, and free of Covid 19.
Your brother in Christ
Sosthenes
[i] ‘What Meanest Thou’. CAC – Volume 21 – 21 A Sure Foundation and other Gospel Papers and Addresses page 7

G V Wigram – I have a Saviour

G V Wigram (1805-1879)

I have a Saviour. He is in heaven and I upon earth. He has saved, is saving, and will save me from all that He can find to save me from, until, having saved me from and through all, He will safely deliver me up faithfully to Him who entrusted me to Him, to be my Saviour, even His Father and God. Possessed of such an One, I need to have nothing in mine own hand.

I have a Saviour! Yes! I have not only a Saviour God, but God has given to me the Christ, His Christ, and He is my Saviour.

In what details, O God! my God! (in and through Jesus Christ), wilt Thou this day enable me to work out with fear and awe, the deep sense of Thy presence and nearness upon me, mine own deliverance.

For verily it is Thou only that energisest in us the being, willing, and acting energetically, according to Thine own good pleasure. (See Phil. 2:13)

Golden Nugget Number 284

(Memorials of the Ministry of G V Wigram Vol I)

Golden Nuggets are published by Saville Street Distribution, Venture, Princes Esplanade, Walton-on-the-Naze, CO14 8QD UK

J B Stoney Condensed – Establishment in Liberty

We will not make spiritual progress till we know establishment in liberty. The Corinthians and Galatians had fallen from liberty. It was the natural mind in Corinthians and religiousness in Galatians.

James Butler Stoney

We might admire truth, but we will not make spiritual progress till we know establishment in liberty. The Corinthians and Galatians had fallen from liberty. It was the natural mind in Corinthians and religiousness in Galatians.

The Natural Mind – Corinthians

Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord

2 Corinthians 3: 7 – 18

The Corinthians were led away by their natural minds, they gloried in their own wisdom, were not beholding the glory and were not in liberty.

Our Saviour is in glory, and we are drawn out of the ruin here to Christ where He is. That is the gospel of the glory. It is a ministration of righteousness from the glory. The glory of God is the expression of all His attributes. In much of Christendom the gospel does not go beyond the Passover – pardon for sins – Christ’s death on the cross. But being in the food resurrection is a step further. When I see Christ risen, I am justified and have peace with God. In Romans, the apostle brings me to the Person – that is deliverance:

As I look on the Lord’s glory we are transformed (2 Cor 3:18). Now, seeing Christ in glory, we brought into moral correspondence with Him. I cannot enjoy the gospel of the glory unless I am in liberty. The word transformed (μεταμορφούμεθα/metamorphoumetha/Strong 3339) – changed into another form or metamorphosised[i]. When I behold Him in the assembly, His things totally absorb me. It is like the queen of Sheba: when she came to Solomon and saw his glory, she was so entranced that there was no spirit left in her. So it is in beholding the Lord’s glory, self is displaced.

Merely reading the Bible will not conform me to be like Him. The two disciples going to Emmaus had a wonderful exposition of Scripture, but it was not which changed their course. Everything changed when the Lord made Himself known to them. Scripture corroborates our enjoyment.

Religiousness – Galatians

Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Galatians 4: 28 – 5: 1

In Galatians it was religiousness. They had put themselves back under the law. They had begun in the Spirit, but were now seeking to be made perfect in the flesh. That is religiousness.

When Isaac was weaned, Abraham made a feast: all in the house were doing honour to Isaac – that is all except Ishmael, a youth of fourteen, who mocked. Sarah says he must be cast out. The first great thing in is that If Christ is to have an acknowledged right to everything that I have, I have to get rid of the religious man. Nobody has liberty till he has parted with one man (Adam), and is in another (Christ). Then he is able to say, ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me’ (Gal 2:20). Nothing is more difficult than to say honestly that I have done with the old man – he is eclipsed. Man tries to improve himself, he does not like to be eclipsed.

Traditional doctrine says in effect, ‘Get Isaac to improve Ishmael’. There are beautiful traits in man but none of them acknowledge Christ. Ishmael was Abraham’s son, brought up in Abraham’s house, but he persecuted the heir of promise. Finding hat the best quality in my nature does not like Christ, is an even more painful experience than that of Romans 7,. Flesh will always be flesh: I cannot improve it . As J.G. Bellett said, ‘You may sublimate the flesh as much as you like, it will never yield spirit.’[i]

There are two things:
1. I acknowledge Christ – the true Isaac – in His place.
2. I do not tolerate Ishmael.

A person in liberty rejoices in Christ Jesus and has no confidence in the flesh; he shrinks from the flesh. Everything must come divinely. The more effective a man is, the more correctly will he quote Scripture.

I might say, If I put Ishmael out of the door he will come in at the window. However, I have the Holy Spirit within me, resisting the flesh, so as not to do fleshly things. I have a power in me that keeps the door like a policeman. It is more than self-control. It is positive: ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Galatians 6:14). There is not a word about sins in this passage, it is pure liberty – a new creation.

Conclusion

Now I can say, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me“. And now comes the practical course – “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God“, etc. It is transcendent!


[i] I cannot find the citation of this from Bellett. According to Stem Publishing, the expression was used by Charles Mackintosh and Walter Woolston . Both must have been quotes but this was not acknowledged. John Gifford Bellett predated both of the above by 25 and 50 years respectively.

[i] Strong’s note to this word: STRONGS NT 3339: μεταμορφόω

μεταμορφόω, μεταμόρφω: passive, present μεταμορφοῦμαι; 1 aorist μετεμορφώθη; to change into another form (cf. μετά, III. 2), to transfigure, transform: μετεμορφώθη, of Christ, his appearance was changed (A. V. he was transfigured), i. e. was resplendent with a divine brightness, Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2 (for which Luke 9:29 gives ἐγένετο τόεἶδος τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἕτερον); of Christians: τήν αὐτήν εἰκόνα μεταμορφούμεθα, we are transformed into the same image (of consummate excellence that shines in Christ), reproduce the same image, 2 Corinthians 3:18;

Coronavirus – A Personal Message and Coronavirus Video Testimonies

Coronavirus is giving us time to do things we would not be able to otherwise. A few days ago I got talking to a gentleman from the close opposite, He was a self-employed shoplifter so had no work. I remarked that we do not need to fear because God is in control.

Coronavirus is giving us time to do things we would not be able to otherwise. A few days ago I got talking to a gentleman from the close opposite, He was a self-employed shoplifter so had no work. I remarked that we do not need to fear because God is in control. He agreed and said that the whole affair said had brought him back to God. He was a lapsed Irish Roman Catholic, but had now realised that he needed a direct relationship with God. That really got us on to the gospel. Would that I were more evangelical!

Have you been able to meet up with Christians on-line?  Last week we ‘zoomed’ into a bible reading in Chelmsford, and to a preaching in Warrenpoint N Ireland. In this there were about 70 screens and over 200 people.

May you keep safely within the restrictions the government lays down (See Romans 13:1) – and preserve you from this awful virus.

What are your experiences?

God’s Blessings

Daniel (or Sosthenes)

Some Good Videos

Our Christian friends have been sending round videos – from You tube, on WhatsApp, Instagram – or whatever.  I have found a few myself.   Some are from people in high places – some just ordinary people, many in the health service.   If you have one you think I should post, email me or use the contact form.

Rep. Randy Weber Tearfully Begs God To Forgive America For The Sins Of Abortion & Gay Marriage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuvXgFOyn-I

Andrea Williams Christian Concern (The Church must repent of being just another club)

The Church must repent of being ‘just another club’

Scott Morrison – Prime Minister of Australia – prayer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPFxE4ykLZA

Also:

https://facebook.com/stevechong/videos/10156995176090887/?t=0

Ear nose and throat specialist Audrey tells what to do in the light of coronavirus. – Look to Jesus, trust in God and pray, pray, pray
The Day God sent a Cleaner Covid 19 Pastor Lee McClelland

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk2EnOJ9P5g

There’s also a second testimony in which McClelland encourages Christians to praise God in the midst of difficult circumstances.

https://www.faithpot.com/atheist-doctor-finds-god-covid-19/

Millions dying through Famine (or Coronavirus)

Dreadful straits; millions dying through [the Sudan] famine. [like the Coronavirus epedemic in 2020 – Sosthenes]  Is God unmindful?  He is not.  You may be assured, He will get His harvest through grace

…the masses of humanity, everyone needing a Saviour…and let our hearts share God’s feelings for men.  Dreadful straits; millions dying through [the Sudan] famine. [like the Coronavirus epidemic in 2020 – Sosthenes]  Is God unmindful?  He is not.  You may be assured, He will get His harvest through grace in all these calamities; it must be, in all things he has the pre-eminence; it is a great comfort to think of that.  God allows these things to happen and we should not do other than reflect His feelings.  We should never live remote from the needs of men.  A calamity should bring out in us sympathies and express God in them.

Oh, the relief of a living faith in a living Man who bore that load for me.  Why did He do it?  Oh that “why”;  “why hast Thou forsaken me?”  Who can answer that “why”?  We would have to tell you of the ocean of the love that lay behind the reason why Jesus died.  Love held Him there.  He could have come down.  He could have called on all those angels.  He did not.  He was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross…But more than that, as my substitute He bore the judgement  due to me because of my sins. Oh, do you not know and love a Saviour like that?  Thank God I do and I commend Him to you.

 

(Extracts from a preaching by Brian Deck, Adelaide,

1986)

From

The Love of the Truth and Other Ministry

Edited by Andrew Burr – available from Lulu

Golden Nugget Number 278

Golden Nuggets are published by Saville Street Distribution, Venture, Princes Esplanade, Walton-on-the-Naze, CO14 8QD  UK