[2]
Exit Dr. Craig the Evangelical - Enter Dr. Craig the Ecumenical

The General Assembly is to have a new Moderator. Dr. Craig of Portadown, the evangelical, is to vacate the Chair in June, and Dr. Craig from Carrickfergus, the ecumenical, will take the Moderatorship.

No better way Could the character of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland he demonstrated. Since the corrupting influence of Professor J. E. Davey and the disastrous decision taken in the 1926 General Assembly to support Professor Davey's diabolical attacks upon the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Virgin Birth and finished work upon the Cross for sinners, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has gone from bad to worse. The text books used in Assembly's College are proof positive of the total apostasy of that ministerial training institution. The fact that the Presbyterian Church in Ireland is a member of the Irish Council of Churches which at the moment is in talks with the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, headed by Cardinal O'Fee, is enough proof of the ecumenical ecclesiastical power in the Church to take that Church down the Roman road. The General Assembly is also in full membership of the British Council of Churches. No National Council of Churches throughout the world is more apostate than the British Council of Churches. It has within its ranks rank infidels who deny every cardinal doctrine of the Word of God, and on the other side of the theological spectrum pronounced Romanisers who see the aim of that Council to bring about the union with the Roman Catholic system.

Although the General Assembly two years ago decided to suspend membership of the World Council of Churches, yet no attempt of any kind has been made within the Assembly to break the links with the British Council of Churches and the [3] Irish Council of Churches which are as apostate on the local and national level as the World Council of Churches is apostate on the international level.

Mr. Craig has been an exception to the ordinary run of the mill ecumenical Moderators of the past, and although we would have liked to have seen him more forthright in defence of the doctrines for which Dr. Henry Cooke in his day so ably contended, yet we are thankful that Dr. Craig of Portadown at least took a stand against the Romanising gallop of the ecclesiastical leadership of Irish Presbyterianism today. His refusal to meet the Pope and the Cardinal was a demonstration of his evangelical convictions, and also of his allegiance to the Westminster Confession of Faith and principles of the great and glorious Reformation of the 16th Century. Now Mr. Craig will finish his term of office June, and by an overwhelming vote the Presbyterians of the Irish Presbyterian Church have elected Dr. Craig of Carrickfergus. Dr. Craig of Carrickfergus is just as thorough going an ecumenist as Dr. Craig of Portadown would claim to be a thorough going evangelical.

The Church which for one year has had a Moderator who has declared himself in the camp now has a Moderator who has declared himself totally in the ecumenical camp. The new Moderator wants to open up immediate communion with Cardinal O'Fee, the Pope's representative in Ireland, although at his ordination, like Dr. Craig the evangelical, Dr. Craig the ecumenical swore to believe the Confession of Faith which states clearly that the Pope is that Antichrist, that Man of Sin and son of perdition in the Church. Dr. Craig the ecumenical has trade it clear that he is dedicated to the principles of the ecumenical movement, those principles that are embodied in the World Council of Churches. There must be something seriously wrong with the Church that in one year can have an evangelical as its Moderator and the next year have an ecumenical as its Moderator. This bears witness to that accursed system of inclusivism a system which denies the purity of Christ's Kirk on earth, and believes that every ecclesiastical bird should be included in the cage of the Church. Such a cage is the cage of every unclean and deceitful bird that is spoken of in the Book of the Revelation.

How different the history of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland would have been if it had continued in the pathway set for it by Dr. Henry Cooke. Dr. Cooke's biographer says, "Mr. Cooke would have no peace with error. He would have no compromise with Arianism, i.e. Unitarianism. Once and again he said in private and public to the preachers of peace, 'If you can [4] convince me from Scripture that Trinitarians, Arians and Socinians can form a Scriptural church and cordially unite in licencing and ordaining one another, I shall resign my present views and unite with you in preserving our present Constitution'. He felt that purity Of faith was the first requisite in Christ's church, and he resolved to secure it to the Church of his fathers even though peace should fall a sacrifice in the struggle."

Alas today the Irish Presbyterian Church has gone far from its Scriptural standards and far from the path that was trod by its founding fathers and by its greatest son Dr. Henry Cooke.

PART TWO - EVERY PREACHER MUST ENGAGE IN FOX HUNTING

"Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes" - Song of Songs 2:15


Alexander Cruden, the man who laid the basis for all Bible Concordances and gave to the English speaking people his own classic "The Concordance to the Holy Scriptures", not only listed in that concordance the places where a word occurs in the Old and New Testament but gave an interesting comment on the Biblical meaning of the various words.

Under the word 'fox' Alexander Cruden's comment is as follows:

"The Hebrew word 'shual' is used generally of any sort of fox or jackal which really belongs to the dog family. Most probably jackals are intended in Judges 15:4 as they were much more numerous and remained in packs which made them easier to capture. Although several species of foxes are found in Palestine, it is impossible to decide with certainty in any particular case which species is intended if it is not the jackal. The fox or [5] jackal of Palestine is a scavenger eating offal and carrion. It will also take small birds and mammals and even vegetable food, especially the tender shoots of the vine".

COMMENTS ON THE TEXT

George Burrows in his comment on this text says:-

"Foxes, jackals, little foxes are very common in Palestine and are particularly fond of grapes. They often burrow in holes and hedges around the gardens; and unless strictly watched would destroy whole vineyards. Their flesh was sometimes eaten in Autumn when they were grown fat with feeding on grapes. Thus Theocritus says,

'I hate the foxes with their bushy tails,
With numerous spoil the grapes of Micon's vines;
When fall the evening shades'.

And Aristophanes compares soldiers to foxes because they consume the grapes of the countries through which they pass. They here represent anything which injures by stealth and cunning the graces of those who are the objects of divine love.

The verse teaches that those who are favoured richly with grace in whom our Lord is drawing towards heaven will be careful to guard against sin and especially little sins. Heretofore we have to lament in the words of chapter 1:6, "mine own vineyard have I not kept". Now we are anxious to guard the vineyard of the heart against the inroad of anything however trifling that may corrode and destroy our graces. Too often we may have been like a boy represented by Theocritus as set to watch a vineyard but becoming so absorbed in weaving a chaplet of flowers as not to notice two foxes, one of which was stealthily plundering his food while the other was making havoc with grapes".

There is however not only a warning here for each individual believer to guard the little sins that would creep into his heart, but there is something deeper. We have the Bridegroom instructing His bride concerning the keeping of the vineyard which has been allotted to her. We must notice the fact that it does not say, "Take you the foxes" but it says, "Take us the foxes". Christ is in partnership with His people. The messenger of the church is in the hands of Christ Who walks amidst the seven golden candlesticks, and it is only by His aid that we can take these foxes which spoil the vines, for the vines have tender grapes. The preacher can encourage himself that as he goes fox hunting he goes in the company of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Benjamin Wills Newton in his little classic "Thoughts on Part of the Song of Solomon" says:- [6]

"The recognition of unbroken fellowship is strongly marked in the word 'our' - 'our vines have tender grapes' 'take us the foxes, the little foxes'. There is an implication here that the church had not been so careful as she might have been over the vines; that she had not watched as vigilantly as she might have watched against the little foxes that marred their growth and fruitfulness. It is not only the great and more open assaults of the enemy that are dreaded in the vineyards of Christ.

There are indeed occasions when the wild boar of the wood may ravage or the tempest uproot or the blast wither. The storm of persecution may rage as when the Pentecostal saints were scattered and the poisonous breath of heresy and corruption may wither as at Corinth and Galatia. Saint Paul was not without these greater conflicts with evil. At Corinth and at Galatia he found 'Travail', 'Anguish' and 'Many tears', but even when these greater dangers were not present the apostle well knew what it was to watch against lesser and more insidious workings of evil, very dangerous to growth and fruitfulness among the saints. There was much love and brotherly kindness in Thessalonica, yet there it was that some were found ready to presume on that love, working not at all but becoming busybodies. There had been a certain weakness exhibited in tolerating this evil so that the apostle had to say with apparent sterness, 'If any man will not work neither let him eat'. How would the fruitfulness of the Thessalonians have been marred if these things had not been corrected?

At Thessalonica too there had been much living appreciation of what the apostle had taught them respecting the coming and kingdom of the Lord Jesus, but the affect of that truth on their souls and characters had been impaired by their cherishing false expectancies which never could have had any existence if they had exercised their understandings duly and remembered the cautions which the apostle had given. 'Remember ye not, said he, that whilst I was yet with you I told you these things, Let no man deceive you by any means'.

The apostle never treated the slightest deflection from truth as unimportant. He knew that falsehood is falsehood and must whatever the subject, work the affects of falsehood, and therefore he earnestly set himself to withstand incipient error.

The saints at Philippi were marked by the vigour and steadfastness of their service. From the first day of their acquaintance with the apostle they had fellowship with him in his service and suffering for the truth, when even the Thessalonians forgot to minister to the apostle's need and suffered him even whilst dwelling with them and labouring for them to no necessity of the more vigilant eye of the Philippians marked and seized the opportunity. They sent to Thessalonica and ministered once and again to [7] his necessities, yet the insidiousness of evil needed to be watched against even at Philippi. There was danger lest even their earnestness in service should give rise to rivalry and cause that things, right in themselves, should be done in strife and vainglory lest they should each look upon their own things only and not also on the things of others. There was a danger lest Eudodias and Syntyche (women who both aided the apostle in his labours) should mar their service and faithfulness by not being likeminded in the Lord.

The history of the church both individually and collectively supplies many an example of the disastrous effects of these lesser agencies of evil. What watchful Christian knows not the power of little circumstances in stealing away opportunities of service or hindering in the use of them? An angry or impatient look may mar an act of grace. An unkindly word may spoil an act of liberality. A deed of devotedness may be marred by something that indicates an undue estimate of self. A little circumstance may cause fruit of the fairest promise to be spoiled of its bloom or to be marred by some disfiguring blemish. One dead fly may cause the most fragrant ointment of the apothecary to stink."

Ian R. K. Paisley

We will be going fox hunting again next month. [8]

Preachers who have influenced me: MY BELOVED FATHER

Today as I dictate this article my heart is flooded with the most happy and pleasant memories. I remember my father's love for his family and his great desire that they might get the best that God had for them. His one great goal and objective was to walk in the blessed centre of God's revealed will. Doing the will of God, for my father, was a foretaste of heaven below. He was a blessed man, for his love and fidelity to the Book remained unchallenged and unquestioned down through the years of his ministry. Each Lord's Day morning I would go to the Meeting House where he ministered God's Precious Word. I would climb a little winding stairway to an upper room above the minister's vestry, and there I would hear my father commit his pulpit work to the Lord for that particular Sabbath. Then after that time of prayer we returned to my father's small vestry where we sat until the time arrived for us to go out into the church building for the morning worship. there was one thing about that room that always impressed me, and that was a framed picture of the great C. H. Spurgeon a picture which had been signed in his own handwriting. My father was a Spurgeon man. He walked in the tradition of the Puritans and he looked upon Spurgeon as one of the greatest Puritans of them all, summing up in his sermons the quintessence of the whole Puritan theology.

I have the most happy and blessed memories of my father in the pulpit pleading with souls as one who must give account; strong in denunciation of evil; never slothful in business but ever fervent in spirit, serving his Lord. I think, however, as a preacher he excelled best in the evangelistic field. It was my joy and privilege to [9] attend hundreds of his evangelistic services in tents, in barns, in homes, in orange halls, in band halls and in church buildings. There he stood forth as God's ambassador, as though God did beseech men by him he prayed them in Christ's stead, to be reconciled to God. His zeal was unbounded. He would ride his push bicycle for hours to cover the ground in visitation before he went to the venue of the meetings to exhort sinners to come to Christ. His prayers were an inspiration and his preaching had upon it the unction of heaven. Many rose up in those services to embrace Christ so freely offered to them in the gospel. No doubt on the great judgment day those precious souls, who through my father's ministry were evident seals of God's approval, will rise up to bless the Name of the Saviour and to rejoice that God ever sent among them a man called James Kyle Paisley.

My indebtedness to my father cannot be expressed. It is beyond evaluation. He taught me how to get my priorities right. He ingrained into me the great teaching of the Saviour, that a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesses. He showed me that the secret of the ministry was neither popularity nor conformity to ecclesiastical procedures or regimes but, rather, conformity to God's Word and a fidelity to the Holy Book and the Holy Gospel. He showed me it was better to die than to lie. His righteous indignation against Romanism, modernistic apostasy and ecumenism put within me a holy hatred for those systems that tear the crown from the brow of the Saviour and seek to exalt man as the author or co-author of his own redemption. My father was zealous for the glory of the Lord. He battled hard in his day against the floodtide of apostasy that was then starting to flow strongly throughout our province. Unto the end he remained unwavering in his first love for Christ, and his fervency in opposing all that God was against and standing for all that God was for. His ministry was a lonely one. He walked the road of separation and in many senses of isolation, but he walked with the Lord in the light of His Word.

From my father's lips I learned the great truth of the absolute necessity of the new birth; that ruined, totally depraved men needed the regenerating power of the Spirit of God if they were ever to get to heaven. Nothing else but the new birth could bring them from the City of Destruction to the City that lies foursquare. My father never tired of speaking of the day when he was born again. At the age of seventeen years a Rev. David Russell an Irish Presbyterian minister, who had returned from missionary work in South Africa came to preach the gospel in a gospel campaign in the Omagh Y.M.C.A. My father attended those meetings, came under conviction of sin. When he [10] was 75 years old my father wrote about the day of his new birth. He said, "I sat through the meeting on the 23rd January, 1908, a young man of 17 under deep conviction of sin, but have no recollection of anything that was said by the preacher. However, that night over 58 years ago stands out vividly in my memory as the night when I passed from darkness unto light and from the power of Satan unto God. At the end of the meeting the preacher appealed to those who were concerned about their soul's salvation to come out to the front of the hall. The congregation sang that old hymn of invitation, "I am coming Lord, Coming now to Thee; Wash me, cleanse me in the Blood that flowed on Calvary". Mr. Russell closed each meeting with this particular hymn and it has remained with me down the years as a great source of blessing. The people sang the hymn prayerfully. I rose from my seat; made my way down the aisle, making the words of the chorus the prayer in my heart. It was there in that hall in Omagh over 58 years ago that I received the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart as my personal Saviour. I rested upon the word of God, "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name". Even to this very day the Word of God is still the ground of my assurance, 'Heaven and earth may pass away, but the Word of God shall never pass away'."

That ringing testimony and the result of that work of grace seen in a godly consistent and holy Christian life impressed itself upon me as a boy. I believe in my father's God for I saw the result of His grace and its triumph in my father's life.

My father influenced me by instilling into me a fidelity and love for God's Precious Word. My father was a fundamentalist of the fundamentalists. He believed that no other foundation can any man lay than that which is laid which is Jesus Christ, and his whole religion could be summed up in the words of Chillingworth, "The Bible, the Bible only, the religion of Protestants". He was a Bible man. He believed the Bible to be God's written Revelation to mankind. He believed that the Bible was the Infallible, Inerrant Word of the Living God, and that from the first 'In' in Genesis to the last 'Amen' in Revelation it was all God's Priceless and Blessed and Impregnable Revelation.

My father had three great loves. He loved the Word of God. He loved to read it. He loved to study it and he loved to preach it. He loved the throne of God. He excelled in prayer. He was a mighty intercessor, a fervent and constant supplicant at God's throne. He loved the house of God. He delighted in the place where the Word of God was read and proclaimed; where the praises of God were sung and where the people of God congregated for [11] public worship and praise and prayer. He delighted in the Word of God. He delighted in the throne of God, and he delighted in the house of God. The Christ of God was his great theme. The Christ of God was his constant companion, and the Christ of God was the object of his whole ministry.

My father influenced me by introducing me to the great Puritan Divines, to the works of John Owen, Thomas Goodwin, Stephen Charnock and Richard Sibbs to mention but a few; to the great Covenanting Divines - John Knox, Samuel Rutherford, James Durham and Robert Trail; to the great preaching Divines - George Whitefield, Robert Hall and above all his beloved Spurgeon. He introduced me also to the great American evangelists J. Wilbur Chapman, D. L. Moody, R. A. Torrey and to the great fundamentalist leaders W. B. Reilly, T. T. Shields, J. Frank Norris, Bob Jones Sen., and W. B. Hinston. How glad I am that I was early introduced to these great heroes of the Christian faith. Each one entirely different but each one making his own vital contribution under God for the extension of the kingdom and in defence of the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

My father influenced my life in the field of prayer. He showed me that the only way to have pulpit power was to gain it by solemn intercession. His own life of prayer was marked. He failed not in the holy art of pleading for men with God before he went to plead for God to men. He introduced me to Torrey's great book on prayer and also to his well marked copy of E. M. Bound's 'Power through Prayer'. He had learned the secret. He had learned really to pray.

My father taught me to contend for the faith and battle for the truth. He himself led me as a lad out from his own church manse to go outside the camp to bear reproach for the gospel's sake, and even in those hard and lonely days of the most bitter opposition never once did he waver in the fervency of his stand for Christ's crown and covenant. He believed, like Samuel Rutherford, in taking the wind in his face for Christ, and he would not give one hair's breadth of God's Truth away, for it was not his to give, it was God's. I bless God for his example. I thank God for his courage. To me he was and ever will be a great hero of the faith. But most of all I remember his example at the family altar. He believed in family worship. He believed that the father needed to be the king in the home to rule, the priest in the home to pray and the prophet in the home to instruct his offspring in the things of God from the Word.

This article will be concluded next month and will include a sermon outline by my late father. [12]

American Fundamentalists Honour Dr. Paisley

At the Sixth Annual Congress of Fundamentalism held in the famous Tabernacle Baptist Church, Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.A. of which Dr. Rodney Bell is the Pastor, Ian Richard Kyle Paisley was honoured by his American Fundamentalist Brethren.

The following address was made to him:

Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley - Defender of the Faith, Builder of Churches, Patriot, Statesman, Crusader Against Heresy and Compromise, Preacher. These are only a few words out of many which might describe a man who has been used of God in an unusual way in this century.

As a Defender of the Faith, you have stood with unparalleled boldness for the Fundamentals of the Faith. As a Builder of Churches you have followed the Biblical pattern for reaching the lost and edifying the saints in this age by advancing some fifty churches in Northern Ireland.

As a Patriot, you deserve to be listed with history's most noted champions of freedom. You have suffered misunderstanding and wrongful criticism worldwide and imprisonment at home because of your staunch devotion to your homeland and to the principles of civil and religious liberty. Yet, as a Statesman, you have gained the further opportunity to do something about those beliefs, having been elected to the Parliaments of both Great Britain and Europe.

As a Crusader Against Heresy and Compromise, Dr. Paisley, you have not only stood with fervour for the Fundamentals of the Faith, you are one of the few international Christian leaders who has dared with equal fervour to expose and oppose that which is contrary to Fundamentalism. You are perhaps one of the most knowledgeable and vocal opponents of Roman Catholicism in the world today.

But the greatest thing that could be said of you, Dr. Paisley, is that you are a Preacher. A preacher of the Word; a preacher in the tradition of Spurgeon, Morgan and MacLaren. A preacher unafraid, "instant in season and out of season."

Because of your faithfulness to your calling and to the Word of God; because of your inspiring leadership to Fundamentalists around the world, we wish to honor you, Dr. Paisley, during this Congress. Not only do we wish to honor you, we also wish to assure you of our support and encouragement in your [13] efforts on behalf of freedom in Northern Ireland.

Therefore, we the delegates of this Sixth Annual Congress on Fundamentalism hereby honor and pledge our support to

DR. IAN R. K. PAISLEY, M.P.

Defender of the Faith, Builder of Churches, Patriot, Statesman. Crusader Against Heresy and Compromise, Preacher of the Word.

 

A beautifully engraved plaque to commemorate the occasion was presented to Dr. Paisley. It now hangs in the Minister's Room in the Martyrs Memorial Church.

Editor's Note: "I am greatly humbled by the honour done to me by my American brethren. God took me an Ulster lad and saw fit to make me what I am. To His Name be all the glory. I'm only a sinner saved by grace."

Dr. Bob Jones, Chancellor of Bob Jones University was unable to be present on that occasion but he sent the following touching message.

Surely no other man in Great Britain or Continental Europe has done as much as Ian Paisley in contending for the Faith; in preaching the whole council of God; In building up the Fundamental testimony; and in the establishing of a strong, independent Free Presbyterian Church, which is now spreading worldwide.

He represents his constituency and the Cause of the Lord Jesus Christ in the British Parliament and in the European Economic Community. He has travelled to various parts of the globe with the message of the Gospel and the preaching of the Word of God.

He is a member of the Co-operating Board of Bob Jones University and one of my very dearest personal friends. I wish I could be there on the occasion of this program to honor him; but since I cannot, I am sending my congratulations and good wishes. He has been honoured of the God Whom he honours, and this recognition from the Fundamental brethren of America he richly deserves.

Bob Jones

[14]
Banbridge Free Presbyterian Church By Rev. Fred Greenfield

The Beginning

The Banbridge congregation came into being as the direct result of an evangelistic outreach from the Moneyslane Free Church under the ministry of the Rev. John Douglas. After a number of gospel services in Banbridge Orange Hall and from the obvious interest shown in the work, the evident need of a more permanent Free Presbyterian witness in the Banbridge district was realised. A large site was purchased on Ballymoney Hill, Banbridge in June 1970 and in the month of November of the same year services started on a regular Sunday night basis.

The Battle

As the work progressed the small congregation commenced two services on Sunday in January 1971 and the church was constituted as a Free Presbyterian Church by the Presbytery of Ulster in the same month. The year 1971, however, will not easily be forgotten by the Free Presbyterians in Banbridge. It was during that year the church progressed sufficiently to erect a beautiful temporary building on the site at Ballymoney Hill. God's people looked forward to times of Blessing in their new building but their joy was quickly turned to sorrow for on the 9th August at 11.45 p.m. (the day internment was introduced) in a province already torn by political turmoil the Free Presbyterian place of worship was razed to the ground by terrorist activity. Later at a special service on the site of the burned out church Dr. Ian Paisley encouraged God's people telling them that our great and faithful God would "give beauty for ashes". Words which were to prove prophetic words indeed.

The Building

So it was back to the Orange Hall for the Free Presbyterians. The [15] enemies thought that would be the end of the witness in Banbridge, Satan had a field day but God's word still is true "I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". It is often in the battle we find our friends. Gifts came from all our sister congregations, the people of God were greatly encouraged by the practical manner in which they were supported by their brethren and sisters in Christ. Later compensation was paid by the Government.

As the church entered a new year in 1972 Mr. Fred Buick was placed by the Presbytery as the student minister of the church. Under the ministry of Mr. Buick the church continued to grow numerically and spiritually and in August, 1973 Dr. Paisley cut the first sod at the ground breaking ceremony for the new church building.

The Blessing

Rev. Fred Buick was ordained and installed as the church's first minister in November, 1973 and as he laboured for the Lord the work steadily grew and on Easter Tuesday 1974, the foundation stones for the new building were laid.

In the month of September 1974 our moderator Dr. Ian Paisley declared the church open to the glory of God.

As the church prospered it was not long before the church which started as the result of an outreach work had extension outreach works of its own in Dromore and Gilford. The Rev. F. Buick conducted a number of successful gospel campaigns in the surrounding districts and also went further afield, right "down under" to be exact to the land of Australia on an evangelistic preaching tour. Later God was to call the Rev. Buick to serve Him in the church there in Port Lincoln, South Australia. It was only after much heart searching and the assurance of doing God's will that Rev. Buick said farewell to a tearful congregation in Banbridge in November, 1977.

After a vacancy in the pulpit the congregation extended a call to Rev. Fred Greenfield then the minister of Mount Merrion church in the city of Belfast. Mr. Greenfield accepted the call to Banbridge and was installed as minister of the congregation on 3rd March, 1978. During the past two years God has again blessed the preaching of His word and in one campaign in November 1978 eighteen souls came to Christ. Recently a children's meeting was started to complement the Sunday School work and as the attendance increases the prayers of Session and Committee is that very soon the church will have to extend. Please pray for the Evangelistic Campaign commencing on Sunday 3rd March. Pray also for Rev. Ken Elliott and Rev. Wm. McCrea as they preach the Gospel that God will add daily to the church such as should be saved. [16]

Report from DR. BILL WOODS in Brazil

I was over in Tarauaca for Christmas and stayed for 5 days only. I should have gone earlier, but I had a couple of fairly sick folks here in Cruzeiro do Sul that I did not want to leave until they were on the mend. Although short, I had a good time. Besides the Christmas activities in the church, I did 3 eye surgeries and attended many folks both with eye problems and with leprosy.

Just after Christmas the Brazilian air force flew up the last of my baggage, 2 barrels and the microscope for surgery. The latter weighed just 25 stone. They also brought me some 400 quilos of medicines.

In the next few months I have a very heavy programme. It is the rainy season and the rivers are full. This makes travel so much faster and easier. Many of our leprosy patients live along these rivers, and sometimes we hear very little about them. Of some we never hear.

Already one paramedical worker has left to travel on the rivers. He will cover five of the main rivers and will be travelling until the end of May. He is a local man who has been trained to recognise and treat leprosy. At the moment I am training another fellow, and maybe next year we will be able to cover some other rivers.

I myself will be visiting the bigger rubber Plantations on the main rivers. Some I will be travelling to by boat, but for a couple I will have to use the M.A.F. plane to get me there and back.

Then I have to revisit Tarauaca and also Feijo. In February I go off to Rio Branco, the capital of the Acre state, to do some eye surgery in the leprosy hospital there. I also have a very full programme of eye surgery. I am doing about 30 each month.

So I value prayer as I travel over the Jungle, along the rivers, and on the muddy roads. Pray too for all the opportunities I have to preach the gospel or teach the Word. [17]

THE WHITEFIELD COLLEGE OF THE BIBLE
Through the eyes of the Matron of the Halls of Residence

On October, 1st 1979, the College opened its doors for the first intake of students. This was a venture of faith with a God who proved Himself greater than all our needs and mightier than all our problems.

As a New Year unfolds we rejoice that apart from one student who has been ill, but now on the road to recovery, this Group has stood the test in making the necessary adjustments to a new way of life within a disciplined framework.

Superimposed on a very comprehensive academic course of studies an additional on-going practical work programme operates within the residence and a further series of Lectures on Home Nursing and First Aid is planned to equip each student more fully to meet whatever demand.

God's wonderful provision for all our needs is evidence in itself of His blessing upon the work of this College and we realise more and more that it is only because Christian friends throughout the Province are faithful to His command, that we in turn can truly share in these blessings.

Each gift we receive and these are too numerous to mention or itemise, is a constant reminder of the promise, "My God shall supply all your need". We would assure all those who have so generously contributed that these gifts are much appreciated and I do thank you most sincerely - with special thanks to a generous donor of potatoes who wished to remain anonymous!

Without the continuous prayerful, financial and practical support of God's people we would not have been established.

Our role is to guide, teach and direct these young people. Will you [18] continue in prayer with us that their needs will be supplied - spiritually, physically, mentally and materially and that they will be "Vessels unto honour . . . meet for the Master's use". Pray too that this term be one of challenge, joy, victory and blessing as these young lives prepare for full-time service.

If you have not already visited our College - do plan to come. Visitors are always welcome!

M. E. DENNISON

[19- 24 MEDITATIONS FOR THE MONTH]

[25]
THE TITHE IS THE LORD'S

A sermon preached in the Martyrs Memorial Church on Sabbath 3rd February,1980 By Rev. R. K. Paisley

"And all the tithe is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord. Leviticus 27:30."

Now as you are all aware today we are having special offerings to raise 12,000 for the two new minibuses that we have been forced to purchase in order to keep our bus ministry going in this house. I want therefore to speak upon the very important subject of giving to the Lord. I do not want to preach a sermon as such, but I want to comment and expound certain passages of God's Word. So take your Bible in your hand and turn first of all to I Corinthians chapter 16, verses 1 and 2.

There are some people, and when the preacher talks about money they think that he is carnal and not spiritual. I am in a happy position, of course, for as I do not receive any salary from this church, no one can blame me in having a personal interest. I do not therefore need to declare my interest. But even if I were drawing a salary from this church it would be by no means carnal to dwell upon giving. I have been told on many occasions that I am a very good beggar, and I make no apology for that. In fact, the Rev. John Wylie once said to me in a joke, "They will put on your tombstone, Ian this text "And the beggar died". I replied, "Well, as long as they complete it and say 'that he was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom' I will be quite happy about that".

The true man of God would entirely fail as a spiritual man if he did not himself practise and enjoy Christian giving, and instruct exhort and command his people also to attend to this very important part of Christian service.

There was no man more eminent in the Lord's work, more diligent in prayers, more zealous in evangelism that the apostle Paul, and yet the apostle Paul majored in the subject of Christian giving. He not only majored in this subject but he spoke of it in a very personal way emphasising the necessity of the churches to meet his financial need, and to meet that need with bounty and liberality. Although on occasions he himself worked with his own hands so as not to be under an obligation to various churches, yet he never was prepared to forego the right of emphasising the necessity of giving to the work and to the preachers of the Lord who carry out the work of God.

A Stated Day for Paying the Tithe

"Now concerning the collection". I do not think we could get a better text for [26] today than that text, "Now concerning the collection" (I Corinthians 16:1).

Paul had some things to say about this collection, "for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week". You will notice that we are to give but we are to give on a special day. God has a day appointed for the reception of the gifts of the people of God for the work of the house of God. Just as under Jewish economy, the church in the Old Testament had its stated times for - bringing in the tithes, so the church in the New Testament. There is a day specially appointed for the bringing in of the gifts and tithes to the Lord's house. It is the first day of the week.

The first day of the week is the day on which the Lord arose, and if you turn to Mark chapter 16 you will find that clearly set out. I am glad that the bible states it explicitly for that blows Seventh Day Adventism to smithereens and also Armstrongism and his 'Plain Truth' which in many respects is 'Plain Falsehood'.

I was reading an article recently by Armstrong in which he maintained that 'Jesus rose on the Sabbath Day'. What saith the Bible? Mark 16, ve.-se 9, (Mark it well!) "Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week". So the Lord rose from the dead the first day of the week. When was the full orbed gospel ushered in? It was ushered in on the day of Pentecost. When was the day of Pentecost? The day of Pentecost was the day after the Sabbath - the first day of the week. You will find that confirmed for you in Leviticus chapter 23 and verse 16. So Christ rose from the dead the first day of the week. That is the day of Resurrection - "the day that the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it". The Holy Spirit came from Heaven ushering in the full orbed gospel age of free sovereign and satisfying grace. When did He come? He came on the first day of the week. When did the early church meet for worship? Turn over to Acts chapter 20 and verse 7, and you will find that they met on the first day of the week, "And upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them". So it is quite evident that the early church had a special day - the first day of the week. The Sabbath was not changed, but the Sabbath Day was changed, for the creation Sabbath and the Exodus Sabbath were typical of another day that was to come, even the day of the Lord's Resurrection. So the apostle says, "On that first day of the week let every one of you" (Now mark that! It does not say "Let some of you" or "Let the rich and prosperous among you", or "Let the older people" or "the younger people". No, sir! "Let the ministers of the church, the elders and the deacons; the Sabbath School teachers", No, "Let everyone of you". No one is excluded and can exclude himself from the divine obligation to give to the work of God. Every person who is gathered in God's house on the first day of the week has a solemn obligation to meet. He is "to lay by him in store". Now, just underline that word "store" for that word comes from the Old Testament, and then keeping your finger at that scripture turn to Malachi and in Malachi chapter 3 [27] you will read these words, at the verse 10, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it".

Young Spurgeon at the age of twenty went to the New Park Street Baptist Chapel, it held 1,200 people. A hundred people were scattered in the pews. He preached on this text, and the people brought in the tithes and for a period of over thirty years they never ceased bringing in the sheaves. God's Word is true. "'Lay by thee in store". What does it mean? It means to bring to the storehouse of the church the gifts that we ought to give to the Lord.

How Much Shall We Give?

What is the measure of our giving? (Notice it here). "As God has prospered him". We are to give in proportion to the prosperity that God gives us. (I will be coming back to this in a moment or two). The gifts in their largeness are linked to the man's prosperity - the prosperity the result of God's blessing. As God prospers so proportionately my offering will be greater. Then he says, "That there be no gatherings when I come". What does he mean? That there should be no special offerings? No! Because he talks about a special offering in the portion that we have already mentioned, but what he means is, that the people of God should give systematically so that there would be no need for a push to be made when a need arises, for the money should be there and available for God's work.

Let us talk about the measure in which we give. Turn over to 2 Timothy chapter 3 and verse 16, (Mark this scripture, it is very important) "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works".

All the Bible is the basis for our study of any subject. The Old is not to be neglected and the New has not to be neglected, because the New is enfolded in the Old, and the Old is unfolded in the New. So the whole Bible is a basis for our study of any doctrine or commandment that God has given in His Word.

The Exact Amount Stated

Where do we first read of the exact amount which God calls His own? In Genesis chapter 14. This is a most interesting and intriguing passage for in this chapter there steps forth a mysterious figure - the figure of Melchizedek. Now Melchizedek is a beautiful type of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is not a Christophany. He is not an appearance of Christ in the Old Testament. He is a figure or type of Christ, for Christ is made a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. If Christ was Melchizedek then that scripture could not have been written. So Melchizedek is a type of Christ. What do we read about him in [28] the fourteenth chapter of Genesis. Verse 17, "And the king of Sodom went out to meet him (Abram) after his return from the slaughter of Ched-or-la-o-mer, and of the kings that were with him, and the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God, And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all". He gave him tithes of all! That little word 'tithe' comes directly by transliteration from the Hebrew. It is the word for 'tenth'. He gave him a tenth of all.

Look at chapter 15 and verse 1, (Could I just suggest to you this morning that the first thing we read about is God blessing Abram, and then when God blessed Abram, Abram gave a tenth to God's priest - Melchizedek). You will find in this first verse that after Abram paid the tithe, God is no man's debtor, and God said, "I am thy exceeding great reward". For if we give to God, God will give to us. He will give us good measure, pressed down, shaken together, full and running over. There never was a man that went bankrupt who gave to God. There never was a man who went into poverty who gave to God. There never was a man that suffered loss because he gave to God, for God always returns the gift ten times over. You give a tenth to God, God will return it ten times over. Now we should not give in order to get. Yet it is a fact if you do give you will get, for the Lord is no man's debtor.

Turn over to the 28th chapter of the Book of Genesis. Another intriguing chapter. Jacob's conversion - how he meets God at Bethel. He sees the ladder. He sees the ascending and descending angels. Never read this chapter without turning to the first chapter of John's gospel where the Lord Jesus Christ says to Nathanael, "Hereafter ye shall see the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man". Where did Christ find Nathanael? He found him under a fig tree. Where was Adam after he fell? Under a fig tree sewing fig leaves together. Nathanael is a perfect type of the sinner getting saved. The Holy Spirit finds us in sin. He leads us to Christ. Christ is the way to Heaven - the Ladder which brings us to the Glory. It is a perfect fulfilment of Genesis chapter twenty-eight.

I have not time to dwell with that, I do not want to go up a side alley way, but it is a most interesting study!

Look with me at the last verses of this chapter. Jacob is the grandson of Abraham. He has been taught by Abraham and, of course, has been taught by Isaac. Of course Jacob lived as a boy during Abraham's life, and talked often to Abraham. Abraham lived during the life of Shem, the son of Noah, for a considerable period as well. Another interesting study! Verse 20, Genesis 28: "And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this [29] way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that Thou shalt give me, I will surely give the tenth unto Thee", This was long before the Mosaic law was given, because tithing is not a law of the Mosaic economy only, it is a universal law of the whole Book as we are going to see in a minute or two. In fact, let me tell you, under every age of God's working with men, God made a reservation, God said something was His.

One Thing Reserved for God

What did God say in the garden of Eden? God said, in the garden of Eden, "There is one tree that is mine, Keep your hands off it" What did Adam and his wife do? They went and robbed God of His one tree, it resulted in the fall.

There is one part of your possessions that is not yours. There is one part of your bank balance that is not yours. There is one part of your wealth, my brother and sister, that is not yours. It is the Lord's, and that is the tenth - the tithe, it belongs to the Lord. Take care you do not put your hands upon what God has reserved for Himself. Let us go a little farther. Of course this law was re-enacted under the Mosaic economy. Could I just mention to you that the first day of Pentecost measured the fifty days from the first Passover, that was the day that God gave the law on Sinai, so God gave the law on the first day of the week, and, of course, the coming of the Holy Ghost is a perfect fulfilment of God's giving the law on the top of Sinai's mountain, for, thank God, the Holy Spirit has written the law of God in our hearts. Every type has its fulfilment in the New Testament.

Now look with me at Leviticus chapter twenty-seven, and the Lord says, verse 30, "And all the tithe of the land, (not some of it) whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: (Is it not interesting how He brings in the tree, a reminder of Adam's robbery of God in Eden) it is holy unto the Lord" Concerning verse 32, "the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord". All through the Old Testament scriptures you will find that that is reiterated. Come with me to that great third chapter of Malachi, and what a chapter that is! Look at verse 8. (May God burn it into our hearts today!) "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation".

Why is the church of Jesus Christ languishing across the world? What is one of the symptoms of a church that has not got God's blessing, that has not got God's grace upon it? It is a fact that it is cursed with a curse because it has [30] robbed God. The believers have put their hands to that which does not belong to them.

Tithing a New Testament Doctrine

Let us come to the New Testament. Turn to Luke's gospel chapter 11. You know sometimes, just tucked away in a passage of scripture there is a very illuminating comment on very important truth. Here in Luke's gospel chapter eleven where we have the curses on the Pharisees, we have just a little verse tucked in which clarifies this matter. Verse 42, Luke chapter 11, "But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done". Now underline that! Ye should pay your tithe. Ye ought to pay your tithe. These ye should have done. That is Christ's message in the New Testament mark you! These ye ought to have done, and not to leave the other undone".

Now let us turn to a great passage of scripture which gives us the New Testament comment on the tithe. Chapter seven of Hebrews. The apostle Paul goes back here in this chapter to the tithe paying to Melchizedek and he points out that the whole Christian church was in the bowels of Abraham when he paid the tithe, and we are all linked to Abraham in the paying of the tithe to the Lord. If you read that chapter (I regret I have not time to expound it) it will open to you a real understanding of the New Testament injunction for the paying of the tithe to the Lord today.

Give Bountifully

I want to bring you back to the ninth chapter of II Corinthians and it tells us here how we should give. We should give, first of all, not sparingly because Christian giving is a sowing, and if you sow sparingly you will reap sparingly. He says we should give in abundance because if we sow bountifully we shall reap bountifully. Every Lord's Day morning when I bring in my tithe I should be prepared to sow it bountifully because the offering is the real gift. The tithe is the Lord's. The offering is above the tithe, and it is the real gift that I am giving to the Lord.

Of course, Paul did not know anything about inflation, but I want you to notice that the Lord's tithe is specially cushioned against inflation because you give the tenth in every age. If your wage is small your tenth will be small but your tenth will be large by the standards of God, for little is much when God is in it. If your wage is increased then your tithe will be increased "as God has prospered you". As God has given you a better job, increased your wages, then you increase your tithe. That is, you give your tithe of the wage that God gives you. The tithe of God is immunised against inflation. The Lord has planned it so. It is [31] linked to prosperity or adversity. It is linked to raging inflation or less raging inflation or no inflation whatsoever. The Lord's tithe!

How are we To Give? 

Then look at verse 7, How are we to give? We are to give as we purpose in our hearts.

I remember years ago hearing my dad preach a sermon on tithing, and that day I purposed in my heart to be a tither, and by the grace of God I have continued in this blessing. Sometimes I have fallen behind and God has reminded me, and I have had to pay what I owe the Lord.

If you purpose in your heart to pay the tithe, see to it that you keep the purpose perfect before God.

We are to give not grudgingly. You know, some people when you extract money from them it is like extracting a bad tooth; it is a very painful business. They do not give lovingly and gracefully and happily. They give grudgingly. 'Not of necessity' (Look at this "God loveth a cheerful giver', and that word 'cheerful' is 'hilarious', a person overwhelmed with joy). Like the little boy on the marmalade jar! He is laughing so loudly that his lips are touching his ears. That is the way you are to give to the Lord. Is that the way you give to the Lord?

I trust that these scriptures and this Word will be a blessing to our hearts, and that we will give this day the tithe that God would have us give.

AMEN AND AMEN!

The whole 12,000 required was brought in as the result of the obedience of God's people to the Truth of this message. To God be the Glory!