SOME PSALMS OF ASAPH
by D. S. Parrack
MIRACLES AT CALVARY
by John B. D. Page
WHAT MEAN THESE STONES?
by R. Reynolds
PAPERS ON PROPHECY
by W. W. Fereday
by A. D. Thropay
ASSEMBLY BIBLE CLASS
by J. Riddle
STEPS OF GRACE AND GLORY
by H. A. Barnes
MY CONVERSION AND CALL
by T. W. Wright
As we look back over another year of "Assembly Testimony" magazine work we can raise our EBENEZER and say, "Hitherto hath the LORD helped us." (1 Sam. 7.12). It is a great mercy and a wonderful blessing to know the hand of God with us as we labour for Him. We are thankful for the many encouragements received from our readers as they indicate their appreciation of the written ministry.
We should be encouraged by noticing in 1 Samuel, that "EBENEZER" comes some twenty years after the lament of ICHABOD, — "The glory is departed from Israel:" (1 Sam. 4.21).
It may be as we look around the testimony we become depressed and wonder what the future holds. With abounding, undeniable evidence on every hand of drift and departure from the word of God, we may feel like crying, "ICHABOD". However, we remember that God is gracious, longsuffering and forgiving and is a God of recovery. Undoubtedly, like John Mark, we all have experienced recovery individually; Rev. 2.5 and the letters to Corinth, indicate recovery is possible collectively; Rom. 11. 25-27 clearly shows that recovery will be known nationally by Israel. It is because of this that we can raise our EBENEZER.
To get from ICHABOD to EBENEZER seven steps are recorded in 1 Sam. 7:—
|i) v2, LAMENTATION:||"all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD";|
ii) v3, SEPARATION:
"Put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you";
iii) v3, PREPARATION:
"prepare your hearts unto the LORD,"
iv) v3, SUBMISSION:
"and serve him only:";
|v) v5, SUPPLICATION:||"I will pray for you unto the LORD.";|
|vi) v6, CONFESSION:||"We have sinned against the LORD.";|
|vii) v9, DEVOTION:||"And Samuel took a suckling lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD:"|
If we are prepared to follow these steps, both individually and collectively, we also could move from ICHABOD to EBENEZER. We cannot achieve anything in our own strength, but if we cast ourselves upon Him with humility of spirit and confession of sin, He will be gracious unto us and we will see the recovery which we so much desire. We would do well to consider the attitude depicted in each of the great OT chapters of confession and prayer — Ezra 9, Nehemiah 9, Daniel 9, — and learn the reality of returning to God and His word. The challenge of the reforming prophet, Elijah comes to us, "How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD (be) God, follow him:" (1 Kings 18.21).
It is as we move from ICHABOD to EBENEZER, that we can with real longing and anticipation proclaim MARANATHA!
May we all preserved in fellowship with Himself until we meet our blessed Lord in the air — an event which cannot be long delayed.
Some Psalms of Asaph (Psalm 79)
by D. S. Parrack, (Somerset)
v1-4 The state of the people and the things of God
Asaph starts his psalm with a pronounced emphasis on the inherent unity that exists between God and His people. Whatever happens to the Israelites reflects on the honour of God. He brings his concerns to God, shot through with pathos. "O God" and talks of "Thine inheritance — Thy holy temple — Thy servant — Thy saints." Whilst doing so however he very positively includes the utter desolation to which the people have been subjected. It is "dead bodies of Thy servants — the flesh of Thy saints — their blood — we are become a reproach — a scorn and division." So God and His people are linked together indissolubly in the tragedy that has occured.
We should remember that very nearly the same situation exists today. We may be only too conscious of the unhappy state of things amongst God's professing people, and that includes our own hearts and our own fellowship, not just 'those others'. But the Lord Jesus is as concerned with our problems as He was the
Israelites so long ago. When Paul was reproached for his violent persecution of the early Christians, the question asked him by the Lord Jesus was not, why do you treat my people like this? but, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou ME? (Acts 9.5). We cannot agree with the once frequently quoted statement, that 'the church is in ruins' because that which we sometimes call 'the universal church' comprised of all true believer of all ages, is sacrosanct and beyond hurt (Matt.16.18). It cannot be denied however that the visible church as it is seen in the world today, is in a very sorry state, the result of both external attack and internal dissension. For some believers blood is still being shed, for others, reproach, scorn and derision still abound. In the comparatively safe havens of the western world it may be that we are restricted to individual and personal problems. "The heart knoweth his own bitterness" (Prov.14.10) said the wise man who appeared to have everything (see Eccl.2.1-11). In practice that can be as traumatic as the other troubles if we are really concerned about, and care for, the well being of God's people (see e.g. Isa. 22.4: Jer.9.1).
v5-10. Cry for deliverance from the desolation into which they had fallen
We certainly do need to be realistic in our appreciation of our contemporary state but that does not mean that we should give up, throw in the towel. There is no situation which is irredeemable as far as God is concerned. It may not seem that way to us at times, anymore than it did for Asaph. "How long Lord? Wilt thou be angry forever? Shall thy jealousy burn like fire?" Whether our own circumstances involve physical or psychological persecution or self-condemnation, we should remember and lay hold of the assurance given to the Ephesians concerning "Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Eph.3.20). We may, and probably do, think of all sorts of potential happenings and methods of deliverance, but God is even above our thinking let alone what we can put into words. Mr brother, my sister, ask grace to stop your own struggling of mind and body, and trust yourself to Him alone who is able.
It is sometimes hard for us to take to ourselves some of the attitudes and expressions of the O.T. saints. What Asaph now appears to be saying is—rather than let Thine anger be demonstrated in the affliction of Thy people, turn it on those who really deserve it. "Pour out Thy wrath upon the heathen — the kingdoms that have not called upon Thy name." This approach does seem to concentrate on the people's problems rather than God's interests. "For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his dwelling place. What then should be our attitude to our oppressors, those who despise us?
First of all, "If it be possible as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men" (Rom.12.18). Whatever happens we should not put ourselves in a position where the fault can rightly be laid at out door. Secondly, "Dearly beloved avenge not yourselves", you haven't the power to do so neither is it your prerogative, "but rather give place to wrath" (Rom.12.19). That is somewhat harder but remember the all-pervasive example of the Lord Jesus who went through every kind of antagonism to the "nth" degree yet "when He was reviled, reviled not again, when He suffered He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously" (1 Pet.2.23). This non-retaliation approach is not just negative, it involves positive action. "If thine enemy hunger/thirst, feed him/give him drink" (Rom.12.20). Does that mean that whatever anyone does to God's people they are to get away scot free? No it doesn't. It just means that God's people are not to try to remedy the situation themselves, God will do that. "For it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord" (Rom.12.19). It takes real faith in, and commitment to, God's word to be willing to submit to this teaching. Does that mean then that there is no hope for God's enemies? Are they beyond redemption? No, they are not and it is just as well for us that is the case because what was said of the Colossian Christians is true of us too. "You that were sometime alienated and enemies in your wicked mind", the state all of us were once in, "yet now hath he reconciled" (Col.1.21). If enemies could not be reconciled we ourselves would never have been. It may well be the case that our acting in accord with God's word might be the channel He uses to bring them to Himself. "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" (see Rom.12.18-21).
The problems in which we find ourselves cannot however always be blamed on others. Having referred to external attacks and God's seeming holding back from their deliverance, Asaph now acknowledges their own measure of responsibility, for their sorry state. "0 remember not against us former iniquities — purge away our sins." As a direct result of such failures "we are brought very low." So low in fact that nothing short of divine action is capable of achieving anything. Because sin, in whoever it is found, deserves judgement, there is first a need for mercy and it is wanted quickly. "Let Thy tender mercies speedily prevent us." The old meaning of prevent is to come before, to intervene. Then there is the need for help, "Help us O God," and deliverance from the morass, "deliver us."
Once again, even in this unhappy situation, God is seen in direct association with His people. His coming to their relief is "for the glory of Thy name —for Thy name's sake," in order that He might be justified in the claims that He made regarding His responsibility for their eternal well being. Moses had this aspect very much in mind when he prayed to God about His dealings with the Israelites immediately after one of their most violent demonstrations of sin (see Num.14.13-20).
Asaph's line of reasoning is very much as Moses' had been those centuries before. "Wherefore should the heathen say, where is their God?" The honour of the Lord is involved and what is requested is that it will be seen to shine out. The prayer is not now just for deliverance, to be snatched away like Elijah (see 2 Kings 2.11) or to disappear from human sight like Moses (see Deut.34.5-6) but "Let Him (God) be known among the heathen in our sight, by the avenging of the blood of Thy servant which is shed." It was God who is to be vindicated not His people. They are receiving very largely what their perfidy deserved, but He is to be seen in grace and trustworthiness.
v11-12. The dual activity of God which is looked for
Although the overall requests are wide-ranging they do not go into detail as to what methods God is expected to adopt. The only plea, the only reason given, why God should respond, is the absolute need of His people. "Let the sighing of the prisoner come before Thee. "The only sort of prison most of us are possibly going to find ourselves in, is not one with stone walls and iron bars but the entrapment of our own minds and hearts. There is no use therefore in trying to work out elaborate escape plans involving tunneling or forged keys. There is only one power sufficient to liberate from such circumstances, so Asaph continues, "according to the greatness of Thy power." Let that be exercised on our behalf, for it is overwhelmingly sufficient. Indeed if such power is not brought to bear on the problem there is no remedy, no escape. The extremity of the situation is made clear by the imploring cry, "preserve Thou those that are appointed to die." It is possible for believers to be, for all practical purposes, living in a state of deadness (1 Tim.5.6) and the sort of character referred to there does not seem to have any difficulty enjoying life in this world. God is the one Person who can both rescue and preserve us, in the unhappy event of us finding ourselves in such circumstances.
The same lack of detail continues as attention is turned to those who are not God's people. "Render unto our neighbours seven fold into their bosom their reproach." This is nowhere near so seemingly aggressive as other passages of scripture demanding retribution on the ungodly. The repayment is to be on similar terms to that used by the opposition. But who has been the real object of their reproaches? Oh yes, the Israelites suffered as a result but essentially it was, "their reproach wherewith they have reproached Thee O Lord." We as believers, may sometimes act, or speak, unkindly to others and we must be prepared to suffer for it, but when God Himself is the object of venom then it is not merely unwarranted, it is totally reprehensible, and unless repented of and forgiven will reap the inevitable reward.
The psalm closes on a much softer and helpful note. The "so" however indicates that none of what follows can be possible unless the delivering and preserving of the preceding verses take place. Whatever aspirations we may have regarding our relationships with God or with His people they can only be based on the foundation of His work in us. The closeness into which we are brought is once more emphasised. "We Thy people and sheep of Thy pasture." The two spheres in which our appreciation will be shown are "for ever" i.e. eternal state and, "to all generations (from generation to generation)" i.e. in this world. Our real hopes may, and should be, centred on a coming day when we shall be with Him for ever (see 2 Cor.4.16-18) but hope which does not affect our lives in this world, both towards God and towards other people, will not be seen as very meaningful to anyone else (see e.g. Matt.5.16).
—(to be continued D.V.).
by John B. D. Page (Weston-Super-Mare)
4. The Miracle of Pilate's concession to the Jews and then his refusal:
In the course of the Lord's civil trial, Pilate told the Jews "I find no fault in Him", no less than three times (John 18.38; 19.4,6) with emphasis on the personal pronoun "I" by which he probably set himself in contrast to the Jewish fanatics who demanded unjustly the death of Jesus. The word "fault" (aitia, Gk.) may be rendered 'accusation'. Therefore, if amplified, Pilate said to the Jews, 'I, the Roman judge, find no legal ground of accusation in Him,' but his implied appeal for freeing Him fell upon deaf ears.
Realising that he could not prevail with the mobcrowd and fearful of rioting besides the possibility of the religious zealots appealing to Caesar if the guiltless Prisoner was acquitted, Pilate took a bowl of water and washed his hands, a Jewish symbolic custom (Deut. 21.6-9), declaring himself to be innocent of the murder of this just Person (Matt. 27.23f). Pilate was willing to release Jesus as he could find no reason for sentencing Him, but the chief priests and others clamoured for His death and prevailed. Therefore, "Pilate gave sentence as they required" and "he delivered Jesus to their will" for crucifixion (Luke 23.23-25). As the Jews had no authority to crucify Him, Pilate permitted the Roman centurion and his soldiers to execute Him. Hence, neither the Jews nor the Gentiles are absolved from the guilt of putting the Lord Jesus to death (Acts 2.23).
Behind this apparently ill-judged concession that Pilate made to the Jews for Jesus to be crucified, there was God in heaven who over-ruled. "Pilate . . . was determined to let (Jesus) go" Acts 3.13, at the conclusion of that unjust trial but, unknown to him, the unseen restraining hand of God kept him from releasing Jesus. By his acquiescing to the murderous demands of the chief priests for the Lord Jesus to be crucified, "God . . . fulfilled what He had announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer" Acts 3.18, N.T. This reference to Christ's sufferings is not for the sake of righteousness, of which believers may expect to partake (1 Pet. 4.13). But the sufferings of Christ on the cross were different and borne vicariously by Him for their redemption, and so Peter aptly distinguishes such sufferings by saying that he was a witness of them (1 Pet. 5.1).
If Pilate had not yielded to the chief priests' murderous demands and the Roman Governor had exercised his authority to release Jesus, Satan would have triumphed in frustrating the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. But miraculously against his personal judgment at the end of the trial, Pilate conceded for Jesus to be crucified and so Satan was thwarted and the work of redemption accomplished. Praise God!
Having wrung out of Pilate what they wanted — the crucifixion of Jesus, the chief priests were still not satisfied. Pilate's seeming weakness to placate the chief priests was soon followed this time by his stern refusal is not surrendering to their demands.
When walking to the place of executions condemned person was compelled to carry not only his own cross but also a placard hanging around his neck, giving his name and the crime committed. This humiliating custom was enforced upon the Lord Jesus (John 19.17). The wording of His indictment was according to Mark 15.26 "The King of the Jews," and Luke 23.38 "This is the King of the Jews," both of whom omit His name and give only the alleged crime. Matthew 27.37 says, "This is Jesus the King of the Jews," whilst John 19.19 says, "Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews," both of whom give His name although only John mentions the town. No doubt, the full inscription read, 'This is Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews'. John alone says that Pilate himself wrote the formal accusation (John 19.19) which, in accordance with Roman custom, was affixed to the gibbet above His head. The wording was in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, which enabled many foreign-speaking Jews in Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover to read it (John 19.20).
Reading the inscription, those callous chief priests felt incensed and resented the publicity of the indictment which indicated that they were responsible for crucifying the nation's King. Therefore, they went to Pilate and said, "Write not, The King of the Jews; but that He said, I am the King of the Jews." Ignoring their impudent demand, Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written." John 19.21L In present day parlance he said, 'I have written it, and I have no intention to alter it to please you.' Pilate's refusal to comply with their request may seem to be a mixture of obstinacy and relentlessness on his part, but more likely it was intended to be authoritative as coming from the Roman Governor.
If Pilate had agreed to change the accusation to accord with the chief priests' demand, the statement would have been a falsehood. On no occasion did Jesus claim for Himself the regal title, "The King of the Jews," which He made clear at His trial before the Governor who asked Him, "Art Thou the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Thou sayest" Matt. 27.11. Significantly, He neither replied in the affirmative nor accepted the title, but His answer indicated that Pilate himself had ascribed it to Him. He knew the title was unscriptural, and that in the coming millennial age according to the Scriptures He would be "The King of Israel" — for a fuller treatment of these two and other royal titles, besides the Kingship of Christ, read chapter 14 of Christ in the Apocalypse by John B. D. Page. It would have been preposterous for Pilate to have acquiesced, because an untruth would have been put into the mouth of the Lord Jesus, which He had never uttered. He had already said a few hours earlier in the upper room, "I am . . . the truth . . ." John 14.6, by which He meant that He is the embodiment of "the Truth" and, being eternally God, He could not lie (John 1.1; Phil. 2.6; Heb. 6.18). Once again and unknown to this pagan Governor vested with the power of Rome, the over-ruling hand of God restrained him from yielding to the chief priests' wicked demand to change the wording of the inscription on the cross which would have insinuated that the Incarnate Son of God in the hour of death had told a lie. This was undoubtedly part of the unseen conflict at Calvary when the devil, the arch-liar, attempted through the chief priests' evil request to make out the Lord Jesus was a liar. But the devil's malicious design was frustrated through Pilate's intransigence, and so God gloriously triumphed — truly miraculous! —(to be continued)
—Lessons from Joshua by R. Reynolds (Bleary, N. Ireland)
Previously we have noted the references to the stones at Jordan and at Gilgal. 3. Stones and Achan The reference in ch. 7.25,26 is most solemn. In the valley of Achor stones were heaped upon a man and his family who were privy to his sin. They were Israelites, who by their clandestine activities had brought failure and defeat into the assembly. "One man of you shall chase a thousand," said Joshua at a later date (Josh. 23. 10) but when sin was amongst the people of God, they fled from before their enemies and "the hearts of the people melted, and became as water." ch. 7.5. We can make no progress while sin is unjudged in us personally or collectively. Sin will have disastrous consequences, resulting in defilement, defeat and even death. 1 Cor. 11.30.
"Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?" 1 Cor. 5.6, Not all in Israel knew of Achan's crime but all felt the distressing consequences of it. Let us never presume on the insignificance of any foe and let us be aware of the gravity of sin in our lives and in the company. Sin will always impede our progress and impair our usefulness. Heb. 12.1.
4. Stones and King of Ai
In ch. 8.29 we find another heap of stones piled upon the carcase of one of Israel's enemies, the king of Ai. Note the totality of destruction conveyed in the language of ch. 8. "They let none of them remain or escape." v.22 "Slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field . . ." v. 24 "even all the men of Ai," v.25, "utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai" v.26. God does not expect us to compromise with the enemy. We must be aware of imitating the behaviour of Saul who spared Agag the king of the Amalekites, and "would not utterly destroy them." 1 Sam. 15.9. In return he was slain most ignominiously by a young Amalekite who "stood upon him and slew him." 2 Sam. 1.10. In these days of ecumenism we must, as never before, appreciate the distinctiveness of "the place of the Name" and in no wise lower God's standards to make the assembly attractive to those who, though their passwords are love and unity, are enemies of the truth and the gathered-out companies of God's people. It is remarkable that the Canaanite who was in the land when Abram entered it and who was not fully expelled by the victories of Joshua, will be totally banished by the Lord at His return. Zech. 14.21.
5. Stones and Altar
"An altar of whole stones" (8.31) was raised up in the valley between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim. On these stones were written the salient points of the law and subsequently Joshua "read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings." v.34. This is the order in which we find these in Deut. 28. God encourages His people towards obedience and the ensuing blessings before warning them of the costly and painful consequences of sin and disobedience. How necessary it is for us to be reminded, "if ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword:" Isa. 1.19,20. An equivalent sentiment is expressed in Rom. 8.13, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; But if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." We cannot do as we please, we cannot ignore the word of God with impunity. It is incumbent on every believer to bow to the truth as revealed in God's word and in the measure that we are submissive, in like measure will we grow spiritually and progress towards spiritual maturity. Many will argue that we are no longer under the law but Paul indicates the law is fulfilled in (not 'by') us, Rom. 8.4. Thus, while the law is not our rule of life, its moral obligations will be fulfilled by all 'who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit'. We serve now, not so much from a sense of duty but in devotion and "in newness of spirit" (Rom. 7.6), realising that we have been bought with a price. 1 Cor.6.20. Obedience ought to be a characteristic of every child of God. "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man." Rom.7.22.
Let us stand then in that great natural auditorium and listen to the chosen leader of God's people and in consideration of the scriptures, may God enable us not to be hearers only but doers of the word — "this man shall be blessed in his doing." Jam. 1.25. (R.V.). —(to be continued D.V.)
by The Late W. W. Fereday (written in 1897/98) VOLUME I
Paper 4c—The Apostasy of Christendom and the Antichrist
We will now turn from 2 Thess. 2 to some other portions of Scripture. Refer to Dan. 11.36-46. A person is here very abruptly introduced as "the king." Who is he? If the whole chapter be examined carefully it will be found to be occupied with the contentions of the kings of the North and South (Syria and Egypt) about the glorious land. Down to verse 35 the chapter has been fulfilled. The exploits of the Maccabean times are spoken of, also the intervention of the Romans, under the title of the ships of Chittim, before the first coming into the world of our Lord Jesus. Then we observe a great chasm in the prophecy, so common in the prophetic word. This whole period is passed over in silence, and we are carried forward to the last days. "The king" of verse 36 is clearly a person reigning in the land, and quite distinct from the kings of the North and South, who both make war upon him (see verse 40). It is Antichrist, but viewed, not as the leader of Christendom's apostasy, as in 2 Thess. 2, but as the profane leader of the Jewish people. The language is too similar to that of 2 Thess. 2 to be misunderstood. "And the king shall do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all" (verses 36, 37). Here we have the sadly familiar features, pride, wilfulness, blasphemy, and usurpation of God's place and title. Verse 37 is plain that he will be a Jew. No Gentile could hope to be received by the Jewish people as Messiah, heir to the throne of David. It is strange that all interpreters of prophecy do not see this really simple point.
The man of sin is introduced as "the king" with equal abruptness in Isaiah's prophecy. "For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king also it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it" (Isa. 30.33). See also chap. 57.9. "Thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell."
Both passages refer to the same solemn person, the one setting forth his doom, the other the extreme wickedness of the people of Israel in having to do with him.
Now a word or two as to Rev. 13. In the first half of the chapter we have the Satanic revival of the Roman empire, with the blasphemy of its head and his persecution of the saints of God. In verse 11 we read, "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." This is very plain. The language of this and the following verses clearly identify him with the evil agent we have been considering. He is called here a beast because of his connection with the political power. The first arises "out of the sea," i.e., out of the anarchy of the nations; the second comes up "out of the earth," the condition of things being more settled at the moment of his appearance. The second beast is the deceiver and miracle worker rather than the first. The one is characterised by great political power, the other by Satanic seduction.
How awful the end of both! They have lifted up their hands against the living God, and against His Christ, and they will feel the weight of Divine wrath in a peculiarly awful manner at the Lord's appearing. 2 Thess.2.8 speaks very solemnly of the Antichrist, "Whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming." How full of meaning is his title, "Son of Perdition," as we read these words! "The breath of his mouth" is His word (see Isa. 11.4; 30.33). One word from the Lord, and the career of these messengers of Satan is over for ever. Their power is paralysed by His appearing in glory, however great their stoutness of heart in His absence. Rev. 19.20 completes the solemn account: "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These were both cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." Pre-eminent in wickedness, they shall be pre-eminent in punishment. All other transgressors will pass through death, and be raised to stand before the Great White Throne, thence to be consigned to the lake of fire; these men are solemn exceptions. Without passing through death at all, they are cast in at least a thousand years before the mass of the ungodly.
In conclusion, a few words to the conscience of the reader. We have been considering an inexpressibly solemn theme. We have seen what will be the end of merely nominal profession of Christianity—apostasy, and the worship of the man of sin. How is it with the reader? Is Christianity with you a real thing, or a name only? If the latter, be warned in time! Do not rest satisfied with an oilless lamp, which will avail you nothing in the great day, but acquaint yourself with the Christ of God while you may. The greatest sinner He will not refuse, nor the greatest professor, if the true state is owned before Him. "He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5.12).
—(To be continued D.V.)
by A. D. THROPAY (California)
II. THE BEHAVIOUR OF GOD'S MASTERPIECE 4.1-6.23
E. Walking in wisdom 5.15-6.9
2. Submissive life 5.21-6.9
a. Wives and husbands—picture of Christ and the church 5.22-33
So: (houtos) Thus, in this way. Grammatically, this phrase may be connected to either what precedes or to what follows. That is, it may refer to the way the Lord is described as treating His own Body the Church. It may also be associated with the exhortation in the next few phrases.
ought: (hopheilo) To be bound, be obligated, or be indebted by what is due, fitting, or necessary. The word indicates a moral obligation. (TDNT) The present tense indicates that this is a continuous or uninterrupted obligation.
men to love: (agapao) The present tense indicates that this should be a continuous, uninterrupted trait. This is visible in loving behaviour repeated over and over again.
their: (tas heauton) Literally, "their own." A person's wife is to be treated uniquely in the way that is described in the next phase.
Wives: (gunaikas) This word is in the accusative case. The accusative case is the case of limitation. What he is about to state is limited to the husband's wife. Although a man is to love everyone without bias, he is to love his own wife in a unique way.
as: (hos) This word has a qualitative force and can be translated, "as being." (Expositors) This word must NOT be reduced to mean, "as if, like, or similar to." (See Expositors)
their own bodies: The Lord Jesus Christ and the husband are both "head." As the church is the body in relation to Christ, so the wife is the body in relation to the husband. "THE HUSBAND, THE HEAD, THEREFORE IS TO LOVE THE WIFE AS BEING HIS BODY EVEN AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH AS FORMING HIS BODY." (Expositors) The picture is from Adam in the garden. Eve was taken from his body. When he looked at her, he was looking at part of his own body.
He that loveth: (ho agapao) The verb is in the nominative case. This case points to an object. It can be translated "The one that loves." The tense is present continuous again indicating the habit of his life.
His wife: The accusative case is used again, limiting the one the husband loves in this way to his wife. He can be described as "the wife lover."
loveth himself: "The relation of head and body means that the wife is part of the husband's self." (Expositors) When the husband loves his wife, he is loving himself, because she is himself!
For: (gar) giving the reason for the preceding statement by an example from nature.
no man: (oudies) "no one."
ever yet: (pote) at any time.
hated: (emisesen — aorist indicative active of miseo) "To hate, detest, abhor, regard with ill-will." The active voice indicates that he would show hatred towards himself by some action, perhaps of torture. The aorist tense indicates that this would be done at any one point in a person's life.
His own flesh: (sarx) This word refers to the muscular, fleshy part of the body. The distinction is more clearly seen in the next verse. (To hate his wife, would be to hate his own muscular system which is contrary to nature).
but: (alia) this word is used when showing a contrast.
nourisheth: (ektrepho) this is a compound word made of two words in the Greek. They are "ek" = out of; and "trepho" = to feed, support, provide for (Matthew 6.26; 25.37); to bring up, rear, educate (Luke 4.16). It is in the present tense indicating continued action. "The ek. . . may point to be careful, continued, nourishing from one stage to another ... up to maturity." (Expositors) The word is translated "bring them up" in 6.4, with reference to children. (These are the only two times that the word is used in the N.T.).
and cherisheth: (thalpo) This word means literally, "to impart warmth." It is used metaphorically meaning "to cherish, nurse, foster."
It: referring to his flesh.
even as: (kathos) "in the manner that," "according as."
the Lord the Church: A man cares for his own flesh by feeding it, caring for it, and keeping it warm. The Lord treats his church the same way. Husbands are to treat their wives the same way as well.
For: (hoti) "Because of the fact that . . . ." He is giving the factual reason why the Lord treats His church as a natural man treats his own flesh.
we: Referring only to those who are saved from sin and joined
to Him by faith, are members: (melos) A member, limb, or any part of the body.
of His body: (somatos) This refers to the entire person in general. The genitive case of possession is used here. We belong to His body. The next two phrases will explain more clearly the idea he is expressing.
of: (ek) "out of."
His flesh: (sarx) that is the fleshy part of the body, and of: (ek) "out of."
His bones: (osteon) The bony part of the anatomy.
The reference is clearly to Eve, who was part of Adam's body. She was taken out of his flesh and made out of his bone, particularly his rib. Genesis 2:21-23 states, "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." This was a picture of what the Lord would do to provide Himself a Bride, the Church.
How many things does the Lord take responsibility for regarding His bride as presented in verses 23 and 30?
1. Protection (v.23) 2. Santification (conscience) 3. Cleanliness 4. Presentability 5. Beauty 6. Youth 7. Holiness (fidelity) 8. Reputation (without blemish, i.e., unblameable, or without disgrace). 9. Nourishing a. feeding b. supporting c. educating d. maturity 10. Warming and nursing.
For this cause: (anti toutou) "Because of this." He is introducing a quote from Genesis 2.24. In Genesis, the connection is with the verse prior to it which says, "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." This time Paul is quoting it directly after His reference to our union with the Lord Jesus in verse 30. Adam was only a picture of the true. Until the last Adam came (1 Cor. 15.45) the fact that Eve was taken from Adam was the reason for the present commandment. Now, with the great mystery just revealed to us in verse 30, we have the real reason for the rule.
a man: (anthropos) This word is used for any person in general including male or female. The word usually used for man in contrast to women is "aner." The context shows that this word is referring to a man.
shall leave: (kataleipsei, future indicative active of kataleipo) To leave behind, depart from, relinquish, quit. The active voice indicates that the man is responsible for making sure that these ties are severed. It is not his parents' responsibility or any one else's.
his father and mother: This suggest complete separation from all former ties.
and shall be joined: (proskollethesetai — future indicative passive of proskollao — the compound word is made up of pros = towards, used intensively and kollad = to glue, join, or bind together) To glue together, to join together, bind closely. The word is in the passive voice which indicates that this binding closely together is done by another. It is God who joins a man and a woman together. Matthew 19.6 ". . . What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
unto: (pros) "To, towards, facing"
his wife: (gunaika = accusative case of gune) The accusative case describes the extent of an action and limits it. The joining is limited to his wife.
and they two shall be one flesh:
This is a great mystery: (to muterion touto mega estin) Literally, "This mystery is great!" The word "great" is used for (1) Great in size, Matthew 27.60; John 21.11; (2) Intensity or degree, Matthew 4.41, John 6.18; (3) Position or rank, Mark 10.42 (3) Great in scope
but: (de) used for showing distinction
I speak concerning: (eis) with a view towards, in regard to
Christ and: (kai eis) and with a view towards
the church: (ekklesian)
Nevertheless: (plen) "However, nevertheless"; i.e. "not to dwell on the mystical aspect any longer." (Expositors).
let every one of you: (humeis hoi kath hena) Literally, "You, one by one." The word "you" bears emphasis, being the first word of the phrase. The words "one by one" include everyone and excludes all exceptions.
in particular: (hekastos) each one, every one separately (Wigram)
so: (houtos) "thus, in this way." It refers to the way described above. The way that Christ loves His Church.
love: (agapato = present imperative of agapa5) to love value, esteem feel and manifest generous concern for, be faithful towards, delight in, and honor. The present imperative calls for a long term way of doing something. It denotes continuous or repeated action. It means "being loving and continue to do so."
his wife even as: (hos) As verse 28. This word has a qualitative force and can be translated, "as being." (Expositors) This word must NOT be reduced to mean, "as if, like, or similar to." (See Expositors). It means, "As being part and parcel of."
himself: The husband is to love his wife, being that she is his own self.
And: (he) "or, either, also." This conjunction indicates that he is talking to the women equally as he is to the men.
the wife see that: (hina) in order that. She is to love her husband. The result will be that.
she reverence: (phobetai = present subjunctive middle of phobeo) Fear, respect, reverence, honor, admire profoundly and respectfully. The present tense indicates that this is to be a continuous ongoing habit of life. The middle lays stress on the wife as producing the action. The subjunctive indicates that Paul was not convinced that the wives were reverencing their husbands at the time that he was writing.
her husband: The phrase starting with the word "and" could be expanded to say, "also the wife, that she let herself constantly reverence her husband."
by J. Riddle (Cheshunt)
I: THE CHURCH AND THE CHURCHES No. 1 — An Introduction
Whilst Christendom certainly resembles Israel in the days of the Judges when "every man did that which was right in his own eyes", this must not lead us to conclude that God has left His people to function as best they can. His word contains all the information and guidance we need to bring pleasure to Him, whether individually or corporately. The title for this series of studies, 'The Church and the Churches', is borrowed from W. E. Vine's excellent book. Endeavour to obtain a copy: it is recommended reading!
It is most important to ensure that we understand the meaning of the word "church", and secondly, the relationship between "the church" and "the churches." Whilst our understanding and appreciation will deepen as we spend time with the Scriptures, we must at least begin with some simple definitions. It is highly dangerous to assume that everybody is familiar with basic Bible teaching on the subject.
A) WHY THE WORD, 'CHURCH?'
In our New Testament, the word "church" comes from the Greek word 'ekklesia' (hence our English, 'ecclesiastic') which has two simple parts: 'ek', meaning 'out of, and 'klesis', meaning 'a calling,' We therefore learn, immediately, that in the New Testament, the word "church" cannot refer to the building in which people meet, but to the people themselves. In fact 'ekklesia is more accurately rendered 'assembly' or 'congregation', and it's worth pointing out that this is not a denominational title (we sometimes hear people say, 'churches and assemblies'), but a good Bible word. Don't be ashamed of it! So, in simple terms, it describes people who have been gathered out from something, and gathered or called to something. The word was used generally in New Testament times, e.g. Acts 19.32,39,41. Whilst, quite obviously, there is no allusion here to "the church" in the technical sense, these references do clearly illustrate the meaning of the word. But if the people in Acts 19 had been called out of their homes and from their workshops to attend a meeting in the theatre, in what way is the word 'ekklesia' usually employed in the New Testament?
Let's answer this by citing 1 Cor. 1.2, "the church of God which is at Corinth . . . them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus." Corinth was a vile place (6.9-11), but there was a body of people in the city who were totally different. The "church of God . . . . at Corinth" describes men and women who had severed their association with the immorality and depravity of Corinth, and who had been brought into fellowship with God. In short, the church is a body of people called out of the world with its sin an immorality, with its pleasures and pursuits, and with its politics and religion, and called into sacred fellowship with God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
It therefore follows that 'people who belong to the church' (more of this in due course) ought to be different people. Different in outlook and ambition, different in attitude and behaviour, different in moral standards, and different in the way they think, speak, and dress. This is not likely to earn a favourable 'press', and 1 Peter 4.4 gives a general idea of the kind of reaction that can be expected to all this from the world.
However we are not just talking about people milling around all over the place, and behaving quite differently from everybody else. That would make the church nothing more than some kind of religious society. The church is vitally different to every other group of people in the world, for this reason — the church is made up of people united to Christ, ascended and seated at God's right hand in heaven. When a person trusts in Christ for salvation, they are immediately united to Him by the Holy Spirit. They receive the same anointing that He received: compare Acts 10.38 with 2 Cor. 1.21-22 and 1 John 2.20. In fact, they cannot be "children of God" and "sons of God" without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His", Rom. 8.9.
If, by His indwelling, the Holy Spirit unites believers to the Lord Jesus, He also unites them to each other. Remember, each individual believer receives the same Holy Spirit on faith in Christ. We have "been all made to drink into one Spirit", 1 Cor.12.13. This is quite staggering: a divine Person, in His entirety, indwells every child of God. It is this wonderful union of men and women in Christ by the Holy Spirit that is called "the church." This is why it is often said that the church is not an organisation, but an organism: it has divine life.
B) WHY 'THE CHURCH AND THE CHURCHES?'
i) The Church
Although the church existed eternally in the mind and purpose of God (Eph. 3.10-11), it actually came into existence on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2.1-4. On that momentous day, and for a short while afterwards, the church was both visibly united by the mutual fellowship and close proximity of its members, (Acts 2.44-47), and invisibly united by the common indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But persecution scattered the early Christians, and their visible union was broken, but not their invisible union. This continued to exist, and has done so for approaching two thousand years. When complete, the church will comprise 'the whole company of the redeemed throughout the present era, the company of which Christ said, "I will build My church", Matt. 16.18, and which is further described as "the church, which is His body", Eph. 1.21-22; 5.23'. (W. E. Vine). The church is therefore above time and distance, above national barriers, above cultural differences, and above social divisions. See Gal. 3.28 and Colossians 3.11. Whilst therefore, the entire church cannot be seen today, except of course in the Bible and particularly in the epistle to the Ephesians, it will ultimately be seen in all its heavenly glory, "not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing", Eph. 5.27.
ii) The Churches
But what happens in the meantime? Let's get back to those scattered Christians in the book of Acts. What did they do? Well, they preached, and as a result of their preaching, people were saved, and when they were saved, they were baptised, and met together as local "churches." In this way, the life and character of the church in its universal sense was displayed in the life and character of each local church. A segment of an orange is not the whole orange, but it has the character of the whole orange. So without destroying the overall union of all believers through the Holy Spirit, believers living in the same district met together in their respective localities. Hence such expressions as "the church of God which is at Corinth", "the churches of Galatia", and "the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus." We must notice that the Bible does not say, 'the church of Galatia', or, 'the church of Judaea.' There is no mention of a 'State Church', or of any kind of church federation. Each local church is autonomous, and directly responsible to the Lord Jesus Himself. Whilst we cannot see, at present, the universal church, we can see a local church. It consists of local Christians meeting and functioning as directed by the word of God. We ought also to notice that "the church, which is His (Christ's) body", is not the aggregate of the local churches, but the aggregate of all believers.
The New Testament tells us a great deal about "the church", that is, the church in its universal sense; and a great deal about "the churches", that is, local churches. In future studies, God willing, we intend to concentrate on various aspects of the local church, but we must first give some consideration to the commencement of the church, and ways in which it is described.
by Howard A. Barnes (England)
Nearly 30 times in the AV New Testament we read of things becoming something they were not previously: for instance, the small herb that became a tree (Matt 13.32), and greater than all herbs (Mk. 4.32); all things become new in the believers life (2 Cor. 5.17); Paul describing growing up as when he became a man (1 Cor. 13.11); the sea . . became as the blood in Rev. 16.3 etc. All the things spoken about had prior existence, but not in the new condition or circumstance. It is therefore most surprising that this same Greek word, when applied to the Lord Jesus is usually translated as "made", whereas the obvious meaning is that He became, that is to say, He entered into a new situation that He was not in before. This confusion and ambiguity is removed in the Revised Version and JND's New Translation, where the word (ginomai) is given its primary meaning of "to become" (see also Strong's Concordance where a number of other words that might also be thus translated can be found). Consideration of a simple but unrelated example is useful: in the AV we read (Luke 23.12) — "Pilate and Herod were made friends" while in JND's New Translation we find "Pilate and Herod became friends". Of course, we must always remember that when we consider each new situation relative to the Lord Jesus, we must think carefully about this compared with His previous circumstances. This is particularly important, for instance, relative to His incarnation, because He never thereafter stopped being what He was relative to His Godhead.
We are now in a position to examine the steps of grace and glory, not only relative to the Lord Jesus Christ, but also to the believer, all as expressed by this same word (ginomai).
- ... flesh. John 1.14
- ... in the likeness of men. Phil. 2.7
- ... of the seed of David according to the flesh. Rom. 1.3
- ... of a woman, made under the law. Gal. 4.4
- ... obedient unto death. Phil. 2.8
- ... a curse for us. Gal. 3.13
- ... dead, and is alive. Rev. 2.8
- ... the firstfruits of them that slept. 1 Cor. 15.20
- ... higher than the heavens. Heb. 7.26
- ... unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. 1 Cor. 1.30
- ... the author of eternal salvation. Heb. 5.9
- ... a surety of a better testament. Heb. 7.22
- ... an high priest for ever. Heb. 6.20
- ... a merciful and faithful high priest. Heb. 2.17
- ... the head of the corner. 1 Pet. 2.7
- ... so much better than the angels. Heb. 1.4
We have become:
- ... nigh by the blood of Christ. Eph. 2.13
- ... the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor. 5.21
- ... followers ... of the Lord. 1 Thess. 1.6
- ... followers of the churches of God. 1 Thess. 2.14
- ... partakers of Christ. Heb 3.14
- ... heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Tit. 3.7
Another year of disseminating the word of God through the Assembly Testimony magazine, has come and gone, and we trust the written ministry has been spiritually beneficial to many.
The past year, like any other year, had its joys and its sorrows. Some saints whom we highly esteemed in the Lord, have been called Home, and we miss them. Some have become weak in body and mind and no longer can meet with us, and we feel the loss of their presence so much.
What can we say about this world through which we pass, that has not been said many times before? A God hating, iniquity loving, Christ rejecting world, daring to talk of peace. Rather strange that a worldly John F. Kennedy once said "The mere absence of war is not peace". More importantly, the emphatic word of God stressing "There is no peace saith my God to the wicked" (Is. 57.21). May we long more and more for that Princely Man Who made "peace by the blood of His cross" and Who alone will introduce peace with righteousness.
Our faithful God continues to preserve His people in the world, graciously undertaking to meet us in all our need. This has been seen another year in Assembly Testimony work and we are grateful to all who have contributed so helpfully, our Editor, Secretary, Accountant. Those who encourage and instruct the saints by their articles, and of course those who have an input by their prayer and practical fellowship. To all such, a warm thank you for enabling us to continue to circulate the good word of God in this way.
by T. W. Wright (Brazil)
I never remember a time when I did not know that I needed to be saved. In Sunday School and in the home I was constantly reminded that the Lord would soon return and that only the saved would go to meet Him in the clouds. This caused me much concern but I always managed to put these thoughts into the background and thus continued in my sins. However I had in my mind that I would get salvation before the Lord would return. I just overlooked the fact that the Lord could come at any given moment. I remember once attending children's meetings not connected with what we know as 'Gospel Hall' work. The speaker was from England. One night he asked if anyone wanted to be saved. I immediately put up my hand, as did another lad. He brought us into another room and read to us John 3.16. He asked us if we believed it and when we told him we did, he said we were saved. I knew that it was not salvation and I did not even mention this at home.
Mr. Harold Paisley had meetings in the old gospel hall in College Street, Armagh and I attended every night. My mother never asked if I was going to the meeting, I was just expected to be ready. I was only about nine at that time but I do remember his earnestness as he preached the gospel. His opening hymn was usually number 92 in the gospel hymn book, 'There is a door stands open wide' I became very familiar with these words. I did not have serious thoughts in those meetings but no doubt impressions were made. He returned later for meetings in the new hall on the Mall in Armagh and in those meetings I was made to think about my soul but I did not get saved.
At the Armagh conference on Boxing Day 1951 it was announced that gospel meetings were going to commence in Armagh. The speaker was to be the late Mr. John Hutchinson. I remember when the announcement was made a cousin of mine came over and said to me, 'That will be it for the next month or so, meetings every night' We were not pleased, for even though I was fourteen I knew that I would have to attend nightly. The first two weeks passed and I cannot remember one single thing the preacher said. I spent the hour in the meeting counting the nails in the woodwork or away in my own thoughts, anything but listening to the gospel. On the Friday night of the second week I was planning to go to the scout meeting. I was a patrol leader and very much engaged in that movement. I knew that my mother would not give permission so I arranged for a companion to call for me. He was to be at the front door at exactly 7.00 p.m. and I was to be on hand to greet him. 1 knew that if my mother had answered his knock he would have been sent on his way. All worked out well and I slipped up stairs to get into uniform saying that I was obliged to go with him. I dressed quietly and went down the stairs without making much noise but my mother was standing at the door. There were tears in her eyes as I went out and her words were these, "Well, you have chosen the world just like the rest of them." I was the youngest of a family of five and none were saved. I went to the scout meeting but her words never left me. While I wanted to be at the scouts I did not want to miss salvation. 1 began to think that maybe I had missed it so 1 made up my mind that if there was salvation to be had then I was going to get it.
On Sunday night I was at the meeting as usual but I was there to listen. (After I got saved Mr. Hutchinson told me exactly when I started to pay attention. He could see the difference.) I was troubled for that week trying to get the matter settled. I remember on the Tuesday night when I got home from the meetings sitting looking into the fire and wondering if I was going to land in hell. It was very real. On Thursday night I waited to speak to the preacher and as we walked up the Mall he quoted various verses from the bible, but all was dark. He sent me home to read more but I could not understand how a person could be saved and know it. That night it snowed and on Friday morning I was invited to go out that night for some fun on the snow sleighs. I refused saying that I was going to a meeting. The person who asked me just walked away. I listened that night again trying to believe but getting no relief. The last hymn was :
- 'It is finished yes, indeed,
- Finished every jot,
- Sinner, this is all you need;
- Tell me is it not?'
I wanted to have another talk with Mr. Hutchinson but he told me to go home. He asked two other lads who had just got saved to go with me so that they could tell me their experiences.
It was so simple for them, 'just believe' they said. I remember trying to make myself happy, and then trying to believe but there was no salvation. We were almost at my home when one of them said, 'Tommie, it is finished, the work is finished, what more do you want? I walked on a step or two thinking on what he had said when the truth entered my soul. The Lord Jesus has finished the work. God is satisfied with what Christ has done. There and then I trusted Christ. When I reached home there was nobody there but my mind was turned to John 3.16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." As I read the words, "whosoever believeth in Him should not perish" I got the confirmation that I was really saved. Then the words gripped me, 'SHOULD NOT PERISH' I remember saying to myself, 'I will never be in hell' What joy flooded my soul. That was on the 18th of January 1952 around 9.45 p.m.
The late Mr. Boston and Mr. Kells took an interest in me and brought me to various conferences. I also started to attend the Saturday night bible-reading in Lurgan and do thank God for faithful men who taught the truth of God. The Clones conference was always attended and I remember one in particular. I was just about 16 at the time. Mr. A. McShane spoke a word on Isaiah 49.2 and his exercise was that God had saved us for a purpose and that each one, especially the young, should seek to know God's will. I went home from that meeting to get down at my bedside and ask God. 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do' I continued with this exercise and about two years later I listened to Mr. John McCann give a report on the work in Brazil. I was impressed in the meeting with the great need and I started to pray for Brazil, telling God I would go if it was His will. This exercise never left me as I tried to keep busy with tract distribution and helping and helping out in gospel meetings. After our marriage we moved to Newtownabbey seeking fellowship in Whitehouse Gospel Hall. We had five happy years in that assembly. We moved back to Armagh to open a shop for Children's Wear. I must confess that we were beginning to settle down and were set for a comfortable life but all the time the need of Brazil was in our thoughts. The business was doing well but finally we decided that God wanted us to go to Brazil and so we made our exercise known to our brethren. One brother, the late Mr. Stanley Wishart, told me that he had been waiting for years to hear such good news. In March 1974 we left for Brazil. The need in that country is still as great as ever but we are thankful for any little that has been done, and is being done in the vast land of Brazil.
HELP ME MY GOD
- Help me My God to trust in Thee,
- My Saviour crucified,
- Help me to know that by Thy grace,
- Through Faith I'm justified.
- Help me My God to trust in Thee,
- By Christ's redeeming blood,
- Help me when Satans' trials come,
- Temptations like a flood.
- Help me My God to trust in Thee,
- When doubtings fill my mind,
- Help me the sacred solid Rock,
- Beneath my feet to find.
- Help me My God to trust in Thee,
- When things in life go wrong,
- Help me to magnify Thy name,
- And praise Thee with a song.
- Help me My God to trust in Thee,
- For power Thy Word to preach,
- Help me to understand its' truths,
- And only them to teach.
- Help me My God to trust in Thee,
- For my eternal rest,
- Help me at ending of my days,
- To know Thy Will is best.
May be sung to the tune, "Crimond."
—W. Beynon (S. Wales)
THE CHURCH OF THE FIELD
Many men to-day profess that they can worship God far better on the golf-links or in the fields than in "church." One would have more faith in the sincerity of such men if we found them leading drunkards and godless and careless men to the Saviour in that "field" where they profess to worship Him. — (Selected)