[2]
Editorial: GOD'S JUDGMENTS, BUT GOD'S MERCY

The Irish Republican Army attempted to destroy the entire British Government by the planting of the bomb in the Grand Hotel at Brighton. This dastardly deed which resulted in many murders and many serious injuries, and hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage shows the diabolical nature of Republican terrorism.

God judges nations and in His judgment He uses evil men as a scourge to inflict punishment upon those that turn from His Word and discard His ways. Sometimes by direct Providential intervention and other times by the blight and sorrow of war God deals with national apostasy. We have seen God's hand in the lightning that struck Yorkminster. An infidel Bishop blasphemed the Son of God, seeking through denial of His Virgin Birth to make our Lord a bastard and His Virgin mother a strumpet. When the church had no real protest about this blasphemy God intervened and the ancient Cathedral was shattered. So dramatic was that lightning which struck the Cathedral edifice that even The Times in their Editorial said they could not help but be reminded of Elijah calling for fire against the false prophets of Baal.

Now this bombing and this attack on the whole British Government is a further sign of God's judgment upon our nation. How good, however, it is to know that God in wrath has remembered mercy, and that the objective of these diabolical murderers was not achieved. The Prime Minister and most of her Cabinet escaped as by a miracle.

The whole nation ought to have a Day of Thanksgiving to thank God for such a great and wonderful deliverance. What would have been the result if [3] the whole Government had been wiped out? And what would the second line of leadership in the Conservative Party have brought to our country if power had come so quickly to them?

We believe that a great calamity has been averted, and we turn to God and render to Him our thanksgiving and our praises. We do trust that as God's judgments are upon the earth our nation shall learn wisdom, and that there will be a return to the old paths and the good ways so that God's blessing that maketh rich and addeth no sorrow may come again to this great and most blessed nation of ours.

Every believer should turn to the Throne of grace and unceasingly call on God that once again revival fires may burn amongst us.

*

On the third to the sixth of October the first European Conference of the World Congress of Fundamentalists was held in the Martyrs Memorial Church Belfast. The meetings drew an average of some seven hundred each evening and best of all precious souls including Roman Catholics were won to Christ. Two messages appear in this issue delivered by two of our Guest Preachers at the Conference.

[4]
PROTESTATION: A Sermon Preached in Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church
on 3rd October 1984 by Rev. Dr. Peter Trumper (Wales)

I would like to turn your attention tonight to one of the most remarkable chapters in all the Scripture, it is the twenty-third chapter of Matthew's Gospel (and I wonder when was the last time you heard a man of God preach from this much neglected chapter). It concerns the whole question of Protestation, and I want to ask tonight, in the time that we have at our disposal, the actual Biblical principles laid down for Protestation. There is much misunderstanding, I would not think that this is so about Ulster so much, it is certainly in Wales and in England, and perhaps parts of Scotland. God's people are being told that they must not protest; that we must never be negative; that we must always be positive, although how we can possibly preach the Gospel without ever being negative we are not told. I want to suggest tonight that here we have in this remarkable chapter our Lord Jesus standing before the priests of His day, and He is laying down for us in our generation three very important principles. Praise God for these principles! Here He is standing before them, and I would like to turn your attention perhaps particularly to verse thirteen (here is the crux of the whole matter), "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in".

I don't need to remind you, dear brothers and sisters, that there are very serious attempts, and the tragedy is even among God's own dear people, there are serious attempts to undermine the glorious Reformation. We even hear people who claim to be born of the Holy Spirit saying that the Reformation is something of a mistake; that we now shall have a new approach; that we must forget the past. I want to bring your attention tonight to this chapter, to shew you that our dear Lord Jesus was most angry. It was, of course, a righteous anger; it was the anger of full Deity, and I believe that we have His example to follow; that we have need in these days to be angry, righteously so, I hasten to add.

Spiritual Protestantism

When we talk about Protestation we are not talking about bullets and bombs, we are talking about a spiritual Protestation; we are talking about Protestari - for a testimony - for a witness. [5]

The first reason why our Lord was so angry is this. Here these men that He was confronting had altered the Word of God. You may remember that when our Lord Jesus was tempted of the Devil forty days and forty nights He stood against Satan himself, and Satan had the audacity and the subtlety even to quote Scripture. We have been reminded tonight, have we not, that it is a possibility that we can know the Scriptures and yet still not know God. Satan knows the Scriptures, and he sought to tempt our Lord, and there in Matthew chapter 4 and verse 4 we find our Lord Jesus again quoting the Scriptures. You will find that when you read the Gospels that the Word of God was ever streaming out of our Lord. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God". You cannot raise the Word of God any higher than that. Even there He is not being original because He is quoting Deuteronomy chapter 8 and verse 3. There is our Lord's attitude, the Word of God, and He stood firmly upon it.

That woman that came up to Him on one occasion and admired Him but started to praise His mother. There are millions doing that these days, are there not? "Ah," she said, "Blessed is the womb that bare Thee, and the paps which Thou hast sucked". Our Lord's reply is evident, "Nay, rather, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it".

Here are men who had tampered with the Word of God in the fourth verse of this very chapter twenty-three of Matthew, the challenge of our Lord against the scribes, "They lay heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers". What had happened? Why, the original ten commandments had been added to, another 603 commandments. Every orthodox Jew to this very day is seeking to please God in the flesh by living up to 613 commandments in the law. Imagine it? God gave to Moses on Sinai ten commandments.

Oh, my brother and sister, you and I know that in the flesh it is impossible to live up even to the ten commandments. Try living up to another six hundred and three on top of those.

Adding To The Word

This had not happened overnight, it had happened over centuries, but it happened, and the Word of God was added to, and when you add to the Word of God you automatically subtract from it. That is the very battle today, is it not?

You may remember in Romans chapter 7 when the apostle Paul said, "There was a time when I was alive without the law". You know what he means. You have met people who are alive without the law, happy as the day is long, can't see what all the fuss is about. I knew a man once who lived in Pembrokeshire, he was a lovely fellow, an agnostic, he said he did not believe, and on the Sabbath when I would come home from Sunday [6] School in the summer he would be mowing his lawn, waving to me, smiling, and I used to say to myself, "There's a man who doesn't believe and yet he seems as happy as the day is long". He was alive, but without the law. There may well be some here tonight like that; the law of God has never been applied to your heart by the gift of God the Spirit. You have never seen yourself as God sees you.

When I was preaching in Scotland, I had the nerve to quote Robbie Burns, "Ah, the gift to gie us to see ourselves as others see us". I said, "Poor Robbie Burns, you are wrong again". "Ah, the gift to gie us to see ourselves as God sees us". When God applies the ten commandments to your soul, my dear friend, by the Holy Spirit's power you will say like the apostle Paul, "There is nothing wrong with the law, it is holy, just and good, it is me that is wrong". "I'm sold unto sin, I'm carnal. It slew me" says the apostle Paul.

There are some here tonight who are yet unsaved, have you ever been slain by the ten commandments, my dear friend? Have you ever been brought into that state of weeping and repentance before a Holy God, as we have already heard tonight? Or, are you merely alive without the law, and you do not know? You don't know what all the fuss is about, and you even enjoy meetings like this, and you are still unsaved. My dear friend, what a tragedy that is! What a tragedy it is to sing the hymns of Zion and still be unsaved! What a tragedy it is my dear, dear friend here tonight to have loved ones who are saved and you yet remain unsaved; to come to this wonderful place of God and to hear the Gospel and still be alive, yet without the law! "Oh," says the apostle Paul, "oh, wretched man that I am, who can deliver me from the body of this death? I praise God through Jesus Christ my Lord". So though the ten commandments, when applied by the Spirit of God, we are brought under conviction, we tremble before a Holy and an Almighty God. Imagine, picture the scene, another six hundred and three commandments added to the original ten, our Lord is angry, "You have tampered with the Word of God. You stand in the way of Heaven, you are not getting in yourselves."

The Yorkminster Lesson

My brother and sister, are you angry? Righteously so! You live in an age when the Word of God is tampered with even by those who claim to be Christian.

Remember what happened in York Minster not long ago? An apostate Bishop daring to tamper with the Word of God, blatantly, and they do it blatantly, heretics walk the length and breadth of the land, and my brother and sister, most of God's people do not even say anything at all.

I don't know what you think of Mary Whitehouse (she is not here, is she?). I can't help but admire her courage anyway whoever she is or [7] whatever she is. She took a man to Court for blasphemy. Oh, that somebody truly born of the Spirit might do just that!

At that very time - a week before, maybe a week after - there were men in St. Paul's Chapiter House blaspheming the Name of our Blessed Redeemer, they denied His Deity, and they wrote a book about it called "The Myth of God Incarnate", and there it stands no doubt in University Libraries and Technical College Libraries and schools. I remember at the time all those famous evangelicals, the vast majority said nothing, except a few.

My brother and sister, I know that I am speaking here in Ulster and I know and praise God for you, and pray for you constantly, and I know that you are much misunderstood even by the Lord's people, and praise God for this dear brother here. I have said over many years in Wales and over in England, I have said, "Enough criticism of the dear saints in Ulster, praise God for the dear saints in Ulster. Enough criticism of them. Now let us pray for them, they need our prayers."

Oh, my brother and sister, how angry we must be, and I mean righteously angry, I'm not talking about something carnal and vicious and violent, I'm talking here about the Word of God, it is tampered with.

Nothing New

You see, one of the great tragedies here was this; not only had these scribes and the Pharisees over a long period added to the Word of God, but they were upholding traditions. My brother and sister, there is nothing new under the sun.

Do you remember what Jesus says in Mark chapter 7? He says, about these very same men, "full well ye reject the commandment of God that ye may keep your own traditions".

May I quote you from the Council of Trent of the Sixteenth Century, "These traditions have been preserved in the Catholic Church by continual succession, are to be received with equal piety and veneration with Scripture. And whosoever shall knowingly and deliberately despise these traditions is a curse."

How does it feel to be a curse? Because you are, and whatever the Roman Church may like to simper these days, you and I are a curse officially, and we have been since the days of the Reformation. They are seeking to uphold the Word of God plus traditions, and they have been doing it now for centuries, and, brother and sister, do you not see? I'm sure you do, that this is the very same battle that our dear Lord Jesus faced when He was here in the flesh. "Full well ye reject the commandments of God that ye may keep your own traditions". Do you not see what it means to be a fundamentalist? It means to have the Word of God and the Word of God only. None of tradition! [8]

600 Years Ago

Six hundred years ago this year the great John Wycliff died. Let me quote him, "To ignore the Scriptures," he says, "is to ignore Christ".

Brother and sister, you and I must be people of the Word of God. That sounds a cliché, but in these days we are in great need, are we not, of upholding that first principle above everything else, that we are people of God's Precious Word, the Authorised Version, the Authorised Version! Oh, how they have tampered with the Word of God, it grieves me. Have you noticed these days? Of course you have noticed, oh, has it not among the people of God, how the Mass has crept in even among the people of God, have you noticed?

I know some dear brothers who go to East Anglia, Walsingham once a year, and there this Roman Catholic shrine to Mary, and there they stand every year on the pavement and they sing, "Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His Throne", and there they wait for the procession to come. Thousands come to Walsingham each year in bus loads, and there they are processing down the High Street in this beautiful English village, singing praises to Mary, and think of the shock when a few years ago heading the procession was a supposed evangelical, the Bishop of Norwich, imagine it! Bishop Sheppard has been there too.

My brothers and sisters, I don't need to tell you what the Mass is. It is a dangerous deceit, it is a blasphemous fable. Oh, my brother and sister, when they elevate that wafer they literally believe that it is the body, the soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord, "If that wafer should break," I heard one person say, "it would bleed, it is my Lord's Body". Oh, it is still a biscuit, nothing more and nothing less, transubstantiation - a change of substance, but there is no change of substance, it is all a lie, my brother and sister, it is a lie, and the poor people bow down to what is nothing more or less than a biscuit. We do not criticise these dear people who do it, it is what they are trained to do, poor things, and our hearts go out to them. This is why our Lord Jesus was so angry here, He loved the people, He loved the Jews, they were like sheep without a shepherd. It was because He loved the Jews He put them as it were behind His back and protected them from these men that would drive them into a lost eternity. It is because you and I love the Roman Catholics that we desire to preach the Gospel to them. It is not because we hate Roman Catholics, it is not true to say the Protestants hate Roman Catholics, real Protestants I mean. Men and women of God who love God and they love the Gospel, they love Roman Catholics, and they grieve in their very hearts when poor Roman Catholics are led, and others too, into a lost eternity by those who have tampered with the Word of God. It makes us angry, very angry indeed.

Oh, brother and sister, when we hear of men and women being taken in by the Mass, it grieves us indeed. When we hear of men and women being taken in by Mariolatry, it grieves us indeed and makes us angry. [9]

Righteous Anger

I would remind you of what the present Pope said about Mary. You know better than I do, he said it at the Knock shrine. This is what he said, "All those who have come here to the Knock shrine have received blessing through the intercession of Mary. By entrusting yourself to Mary you receive Christ". Does that not grieve you? Does it not hurt you? Does it not make you pain within?

It is interesting to note incidentally that when the Pope was shot, he went to hospital. I would have thought he would have gone to Fatima for healing, or to Lourdes. He went to hospital.

My brother and sister, I'm angry, and I believe you are, and I trust that it was for the same reason our Lord Jesus was angry as He stood in front of these men who were leading others to a lost eternity.

That is the first principle. It is the most important principle. It is the Word of God, and when we see it altered, when we see it mocked, then we have every reason to be angry.

The second reason is this, it is historical. Here in verse 29 of Matthew chapter 23 we notice it, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous. And say, if we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets".

Do you get the message?

The Message

Not long ago I was in Chester at the Memorial to that great man of God, George Marsh, and when a dear brother came to lay the wreath, I noticed at the very base of the Memorial some new printing in fresh gold letters. After the service I went up to the Memorial and I moved the wreath for a moment and I looked behind and I realised what they had done, they had added more names, and these names, of course, are not Protestants they are so-called Roman Catholic martyrs, and I was reminded of this particular verse here, and this charge levelled by our Lord Jesus, for you see, just outside Jerusalem there were shrines to the prophets, and these priests seeking to take in the people were pretending to admire the prophets, and they would be seen to go to the shrines and garnish them with flowers. Jesus watched this hypocrisy, "You hypocrites, you are the very children of those who killed the prophets. You have denied the teachings of the prophets, and now in order to be seen of men, you pretend to uphold the teachings of the prophets in order to take people in".

Brother and sister, the same thing is happening tonight, is it not, where we are told that 'Roman Catholic martyrs, so-called, are on an equal par [10] with our brothers and sisters of the past who laid down their lives for Christ'. My brother and sister, let me remind you that on the 25th October, 1970 when the late Pope Paul VI canonised the 40 English and Welsh martyrs, not one of them in their day appeared before an ecclesiastical court, they were not put to death for being Roman Catholics, they were put to death for being traitors. Every one of them appeared before a Civil Court, and the attempt was at the time to try and bring so-called Mary's dowry back into the Roman fold, and they have been trying ever since. Do you not see the historical reasoning here? Nothing is changed. Our Lord Jesus stands here before these men and He exposes them for their pretence.

History

Brothers and sisters, what a wonderful history we have; what a wonderful heritage we have. We read these wonderful history books and see the way in which God has blessed these brothers and sisters; boys and girls also gave their lives for what many of God's people today would consider merely but 'a point of doctrine'.

You know, when I read the lives of men like Luther and Wycliff and Calvin, I have to confess I find myself rather mellow, mellow in my attitude I fear compared to them; mellow in my speech compared to them. Do you know how John Wycliff described the Pope of his time? "The hinge on Satan's door; limbs of Lucifer; monsters, men blowing with Satanic pride". It makes me feel quite mellow, but they knew the issues.

Martin Luther said this, "Satan most horribly dallied in the death and destruction of souls through the Pope". In his commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, he calls the Roman Church, "A slaughterhouse of consciences and the very kingdom of the Devil".

Oh, how we have changed, brothers and sisters, from those days, how mellow we have become in our outlook. Why? Because we have become sentimental in our approach concerning the Word of God. How mellow we have become. I am calling upon you yet again, dear brothers and sisters, and I do praise God for you and your faithful dear Pastor, and I do praise God for the wonderful things with which God has blessed you, I do praise God for your zeal, I do praise God for your insight, I do praise God for the way in which He has anointed so many of you with the power of His Holy Spirit, and you can teach so many of us in Wales so much, because I believe that God through your sheer hard experiences of the past fifteen years particularly, God has told you something about what the battle is all about.

The Pope's Visit

My brother and sister, two years ago (was it so long ago?), the Pope of Rome came to Britain, not here, not this part of it! He came to Wales, came [11] to England, came to Scotland. I have to say with great grief in my heart, the great areas of good men, men that I know and love in the Gospel, they issued a statement. Let me mention them for a moment, let me call a spade a spade, The British Evangelical Council, The Evangelical Movement of Wales, "Let the Pope come," they said (and here I quote), "To propagate his views lawfully".

I can think of John Calvin's words, "To some", he said (and I quote), we seem slanderous and petulant when we call the Roman Pontiff Antichrist, but those who think so perceive not that they are bringing a charge of intemperance against Paul, after whom we speak (and he is expounding II Thessalonians)".

How we have changed! "Let him come to propagate his views lawfully".

My brother and sister, oh how we need for God the Spirit to come, He Who guides into all Truth, how we need for Him to stir us up in these days, and to remind us of the mighty stand that the Reformers took in terms of doctrine and in terms of attitude, and in terms of true protestation. They stood for a witness, and many died for what they believed. I'm reminded of those godly Bishops Hooper, Bradford, Latimer, Ridley. Latimer said, "Why are we arrested? We are arrested and condemned for Christ's Gospel preaching and because we would not go a-Massing". And they stood there in the cell in the Tower of London (they were Greek scholars as well as saints), and they gathered together and they said one to another, "We are going to die, is it worth dying for? Can we find the Mass anywhere contained therein?" They came together after their further study on the subject, and they said, "We cannot find the Mass in the Word of God, therefore, we are prepared to give our lives for that."

Hypocrites

1982, "Let him come to propagate his views lawfully". Oh, brothers and sisters, it seemed to me at that occasion that those who claimed to be Reformed were being told by Almighty God, "All right, you claim to be Reformed, now here is a Reformation situation, now what are you going to do about it?" I cannot help but feel that in Wales and in England certainly we let Him down.

Here is our Lord, you see, pointing Biblically and historically to the fact that these men tampered with the things of God, and were proven hypocrites.

There is a final point, a brief point. Notice in this chapter, by the way, the little personal tricks that these men were up to (has anything really changed?). Notice their love of vestments, verse 5 here in Matthew chapter 23, "But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments". How they [12] love dressing up! Our Lord condemned it. The phylactery, that little box on the forehead which contained some part of the Word of God. How they love the vestments to be seen of men. How they love the titles too, verses 6-9. You see there is nothing new under the sun, is there? This is all part of protestation. Verse 6, "And love the uttermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greeting in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your Father, upon earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven."

Think of it, The Pope of Rome, 'Holy Father' they call him; 'The Pontiff', 'Vicar of Christ on earth', and shrouding himself in appalling blasphemy. The very name whereby our Lord Jesus addressed the Heavenly Father. One man calls himself by that Name. Who is the Head of the Church? It is God the Son. Who is the Vicar of Christ on earth? It is God the Spirit.

My brother and sister, I hear some of the Lord's people admiring the Pope. I hear even men like Billy Graham saying, that "when Revival comes it is going to come through the Pope". My brother and sister, are you angry? The very centrality of the Gospel message is tampered with today.

Unsaved One

If there is anybody here tonight who is unsaved, may I say to you, hang unto that little word "Once", "As it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment, so Christ was once offered to bear the sin of many". "By one offering", that is a most important little word my brother and sister. My Saviour died and that salvation of mine rests entirely upon the fact that His work is a finished work, it cannot be added to nor indeed can they subtract from it. My whole salvation rests upon the fact that my Saviour died but once and rose again but once and ascended up again but once, and that wonderful word is unrepeatable. Let nobody ever tell you or suggest otherwise. He died once, and your salvation rests on that!

My brother and sister, I must close now, but I am sure you are angry, righteously so. Let nobody tell you that we must never protest. We have the principles here in the examples set us by our Lord, a Biblical principle, an historical principle and a personal one too.

May God bless you continually and encourage you in the coming days, and may we who do not have to put up with what you have to put up with day by day and for the past fifteen years, may we ever be found in prayer for you, and may we ever praise God for the Protestant stand that you have made, and are making, and will, God willing, ever make!

AMEN AND AMEN!

[13-20 MEDITATIONS FOR THE MONTH]

The Pope
The Man of Sin
Sermon by Rev. Franco Maggiotto (Converted R.C. Priest, Italy)

II Thessalonians 2-3, Hosea 13, 4:8

If we look at the history of the people of God in the Bible, we see that it is punctuated by certain crises of a spiritual nature, in which the nation had to choose between the true worship of God and the false religion of the heathen round them.

This choice may appear to have been a straightforward one between good and evil, truth and falsehood - but it may not always have seemed so simple in the actual historical context. Evil and error rarely present themselves in their true colours in real life, and the problem rarely confronts people suddenly - the wiles of the Devil are more subtle than that - Evil insinuates itself slowly and imperceptibly into society - Error spreads gradually in a church.

When the Church loses the capacity to point clearly at the sin creeping into society, it is at the mercy of the Devil, and like a cancer destroys it from within. In this situation it will be extremely difficult to see in the Incarnation of God, that is our Lord Jesus Christ, the solution, the salvation, because the unaverted sin will obscure and confuse it with its half truth and [21] appealing corruption and the Church becomes the salt that has lost its savour. The people and the minister will bite each other giving the world the impression you have when you see a dog biting his own tail instead of showing the world the image of a company of people clothed with the mystical Humanity of Christ.

On our hard road to evangelisation we must bear in mind all the sources of sin, all its manifestations.

The Dimension of Sin

The structural, social and political dimension of sin - which does not exhaust the whole message of the Bible about sin - leads us to discover again a dimension which cannot be forgotten: sin occupies a space, it has a presence in the structures of the world as it has also in the heart of men. Our faith rooted in the Word of God, born by the Spirit from above but growing from below, must always be reformulated and given a fresh foundation, that is, it must seek to verify its Biblical roots.

For this to happen it is necessary for our faith to be able to speak to us of sin and to point sin out to us; a faith which is unable to point out sin and give it a name is lacking in maturity and depth. It does not announce the whole of God's Word concerning history and man, and I cannot see how it can speak of salvation in terms of the Gospel. Silence on this point is fatal, and would constitute an unforgiveable Biblical and theological void (vacuum). Only in this light and with this consciousness can faith lead us on to discover - He Who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).

Break This Silence on Sin

This silence on sin, this poverty of research should be dealt with as soon as possible. The rich and wide-ranging Biblical vocabulary with which the Bible identifies the various conditions of sin demonstrates a deep or lively consciousness of sin's very reality which penetrates prayer, pure wisdom and the preaching of the Prophets of the people of God. If, today, our faith is unable to point out sin and expose it, it is a sign that it does not possess Biblical roots as the faith of Israel did!

The Man of Sin

That is why the Bible points out the man of sin who condenses in himself the essence of sin and that is why the Bible gives him a name calling him the Antichrist - the one who places himself instead of Christ; instead of God. [22]

No man dare to declare himself 'the Antichrist' and still make it compulsory for salvation to look at him as Christ Himself! Only the Pope does that!

I quote the very words of the Pope: "It is necessary to be used to recognise the Church as Christ Himself. It is really Christ that lives in the Church; Thou through her teaching and government . . . We must apply to the Supreme Teacher (the Pope) the Word: - who listens to you, listens to me - (Suc. 10, 16) - Christ after having personally governed His 'little flock' during His mortal life, as He had to leave this world to go back to the Father, He gave up to the Prince of the Apostles (Pope) the visible government of all the society founded by Him."

Dear brethren, that is to mock the Risen Christ, to disappear and so to shadow the only Source of life man can have, the only Light to save themselves and the world. To put ourself instead of Christ means Antichrist.

If there is any function at all in this image of the man of sin, of the one who puts himself in this image of the man of sin, of the one who puts himself instead of Christ, literally the Antichrist, in 11 Thessalonians chapter 2 it is to be seen against this background. The Antichrist being the essence of all sins. Looking upon this man of sin we will be able to see more clearly the sin of the world creeping in even with faces of angels (Galatians 1:8) to attack the church of God even in His children.

The Pope the Essence of Sin

The Bible says clearly that the man of sin, the essence of sin, is he who puts himself in the place of Christ - so in this world the only man who dares to do so and to proclaim so, and to make compulsory for eternal salvation that you must obey him like to Christ Himself is the Pope. So, Biblically, if we want to see the very essence of sin destroying the humanity today we have to observe closer the essence of this man and of his power confronting it with the Bible.

The Essence of the Papacy - To Forget God

The Bible tells us that the essence of sin is the Papacy because the essence of the Papacy is to forget God.

All the external ceremonies and doctrinal apparatus imposed from infancy on the consciences of Roman Catholics lead to their seeing in the Pope 'the presence of God on earth', 'the gentle Christ on earth'. This, in fact, leads to their forgetting God. The Bible recognises in this forgetfulness the origin of man's fall and of every evil. The nation will no longer seek with unshakeable faith, the countenance of the Living God nor will it remember any [23] longer the wonders that He alone has accomplished, because all that appears in the Papacy attracts the devotion of the people and exhausts this devotion in itself (Ps. 105:5; Jer. 18:14-15).

God is a reality, but a spiritual reality, and must be sought with all our strength, groping after Him until He, in His time and good will, bestows on us the gift of faith. The Pope does everything he can to prevent this, presenting himself as a god of flesh to be found through a religion of flesh.

The prophets knew that idols take us away from God, attract Divine wrath to the nation, and are at the root of the disunity of the nation - the Pope, religious superstar (the more religious, intelligent, and effective, the more dangerous), attracts, as an idol, attention to himself so that the nation forgets God and takes no further notice of His law and His works. The prophets have always besought the nation not to follow false idols. Why should we abandon this responsibility now for a false sense of meaning of Christian reconciliation and forgiveness?

Before your nation an idol is presented, an idol to which salvation has been attributed, not least salvation from Communism. It is precisely for this reason that the nation will look to the Pope as an earthly saviour in whom it should trust for security, and it is precisely for this that Divine wrath will fall on your nation, because she will forget 'the everlasting God, that brought us up'.

May God raise up among you today prophets to turn you away from false gods who give false security, so that the wrath of God does not fall on you! - "Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no Saviour beside me. I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. Therefore will I be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them. I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them". (Hosea 13:4-8).

The Essence of the Papacy - To Have Some Other God

The Bible tells us that the essence of sin is the Papacy because the essence of the Papacy is to have some other god who is not God.

When Deuteronomy affirms: "Thou shalt have none other gods before me" (this can also be translated 'beside me', 'above me', 'apart from me', 'by my side', 'against me'), it is not making an abstract, philosophical statement, it intends rather to proclaim that jealousy of Jehovah (Ex. 34:14) which does not tolerate any attitude of idolatry and fosters a total love of the Lord, recognised as the foundation of the nation. One can do no greater wrong to God than to lose one's awareness of His uniqueness. Having lost [24] sight of this foundation, the nation will go inexorably toward its self-destruction. This sin inevitably brings a loss of the awareness that we are the children and He the Father, we the creatures and He the Creator. But above all, it causes us to lose the revelation that we have by faith of our radical belonging to the Lord, 'For all things are yours . . . and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's (I Cor. 3:21 -23).

Having lost this faith, man is at the mercy of every mean and ugly thing, because he gives up having a proper faith, thus losing awareness of his dignity as man, citizen and nation.

(A) The Bible presents us in Jesus (not in the Pope), the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world! But how different is Jesus from the Pope!

Let us look at Jesus today as the only Light, as the only Shepherd, therefore as the only Teacher. How rich the teaching we find in Him! We realise that no teacher has ever spoken of the love of God, with such warmth and effectiveness.

(B) Nobody ever spoke with such knowledge of the human soul as Jesus does in the Gospel! His teaching is so very different from that of the Pope, the Antichrist. Matthew says, "When Jesus had ended His sayings the people were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes". He shows Himself as the Son of God! (Matthew 7:28-29). It can be said today as it was said that "never man spake like this Man" (John 7:46). Jesus' teaching varies, as would be natural, according to places and circumstances. It can be summarised, for us too, under three heads: The coming of the kingdom of God; The announcements of the Gospel; The invitation to repentance.

(C) The Kingdom of God: we may say that this is the basic theme of Jesus' teaching. What did this expression mean to the Jews who heard it? God is King of the world and of His people - the prophets had said (Isaiah 33:22; Jer. 10: 7; Psalm 47), because it was He Who had called them to life to fulfil a mission. Israel was, at that time, the only people that awaited the day in which all men would recognise the authority and presence of God; so they lived in expectation of this with much impatience.

Jesus began His preaching, and He does this for us too, with the affirmation that the great day has come. (Unfortunately even today because of the Pope who attracts people towards him to accomplish his fleshly purposes, there exist many people who do not know, or reject or deny that God is the King Who governs, directs and provides for the life of the world.)

Thy Kingdom Come

So then Jesus announces to us that the moment to recognise God's authority and presence has come for all men because the kingdom comes in Christ. In Christ God calls all men to become His sons and to enter into His [25] kingdom. Jesus illustrates this thought to us by means of several parables known as 'Parables of the Kingdom' (Matthew 13:1 -52).

Some of these parables point out the value of the Kingdom of God ('the hidden treasure', 'the pearl of great price').

The greatest riches that men of all ages can possess is the certainty of the presence and the love of God. The knowledge that our life is a gift of God and that it is lived in His presence is the treasure or the pearl - compared with which everything else has no importance in itself. Some other parables highlight the initial smallness of the Kingdom ('grain of mustard seed'). Certainly, God is Omnipotent and great, but His presence on earth goes almost unobserved.

(If you think of the life of Jesus . . . of just what the communities of true believers are, spread throughout the world . . . of what we are!) But just like a little yeast in the dough or a grain of corn in the ground, this is God's present, and alive, and He speaks but not to your face like the Pope!

Some other parables also highlight the certainty of the destiny of the kingdom (the grain of mustard seed - yeast - wheat - tares). As yeast works in the dough and the grain grows in the ground, so the work of God is accomplished in the world. The grain which falls on the good ground is fruitful beyond all expectation. God will not allow His work to be destroyed - neither today - nor ever - but He guides our life towards the glorious goal of eternal communion with Him.


The Good News

A second thought from the teaching of Jesus is the announcement of the Gospel. What does this mean? The Greek translation of this term is "Good news". Jesus preaches the Gospel. This means that what He says is good news, a message which must provoke joy. The appellation 'Father' applied to God by Jesus frequently underlines this communion of love between God and His children. Some expressions confirm for us the wonderful novelty of Jesus' message: His presence is a gift which God has given to the world, not so as to condemn it but so that it might live (John 3:16-17).

Pope, how dare you take it out from us with your sacraments!

Pope, how dare you to take this gift out of men! You are a thief and a robber!

The joyous nature of the message of Jesus is expressed through the image of light. In Christ man regains his sight in the light of God (John 8:12-15; John 9:1-17). This message of joy can be often met with in the parables too, for example those of the "banquet" (Luke 14:15-24); the "lost sheep"; "the lost coin" and "the prodigal son" (Luke 15).

Repentance

A third thought sparked in us by the teaching of Jesus is the call to repentance. What does repent mean? It means "change direction"; change [26] mentality", "change life". Every one must repent, the Kingdom of God is present in the world in Jesus! God loves men and wants to save them! This is good news, not the Masses, not Popish appearances! In order to understand and receive this good news one's way of thinking and living must change! Jesus is adamant on this; nobody enters the Kingdom of God if he does not repent! Broad is the way of the world and every one knows how to go along it. The way of faith is difficult and hard, and the door of repentance is narrow and few (even today) are prepared to cross it (Matthew 7:13-14). John mentions a conversation between Jesus and a ruler (Nicodemus) which puts this well: In order to enter the Kingdom of God one must begin to live a second time (John 1 : 1 - 1 0).

Other parables illustrate the same thought (Matthew 21:28-32; Luke 18:9-14).

This is broad synthesis, is the teaching of our only Master, Jesus the Son of God! It is not philosophy, nor ideology, but Life! It is the touchstone which all men must refer to if they wish to teach anything credible or carry out valid act. For all men and at all times Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Precisely for this reason, dear friends, everybody who obscures Christ by attracting people towards himself is the very ruin of humanity. And anybody succeeding in hiding Christ as the Pope of Rome is Antichrist. Therefore the more intelligent and good the Pope is, the more dangerous he is and the more his sin becomes extremely sinful, because it strongly reinforces an institution and power that puts man in the place of God, which the Word of God and man's history have declared as the true sin and ruin of humanity. So let us look at Jesus! If His teaching is such weighty reality then the Words of God demands that we free the world from all Church practises and polluted lives that are not Biblical.

INSIDE INSIGHT
A page of inspirational poetry presented each month by Rhonda Paisley.

 

Occupy Till I Come

Work while it is called today,
Watch and pray!
With both thine hands right earnestly
As in the sight of God most high,
Thy calling ply. [27]

Watch! it is the Master calls thee;
Pray! it is His ear that hears;
Up! shake off thy chilly fears!
Mindful that whate'er befalls thee
Leaves thee further on thy way,
Watch and pray.

Watch! for demons haunt around thee;
Sin and harm beset thy path;
Yet be sure that nothing hath
Power to hinder or confound thee,
So thou faithfully always
Watch and pray.

Pray! lest watching make thee weary;
Pray thou shalt never fail.
Though the night be long and dreary,
Though the dawn be faint and pale,
Brightens fast the perfect Day:
Watch and pray.

H. G. Tomkins

Watch and Pray

Christian, seek not yet repose,
Cast thy dreams of ease away;
Thou art in the midst of foes;
Watch and pray.

Gird thy heavenly armour on,
Wear it ever night and day;
Near thee lurks the evil one;
Watch and pray.

Hear the victors who o'ercame;
Still they watch each warrior's way;
All with one deep voice exclaim,
"Watch and pray".

Charlotte Elliott

[28]
"LIVING ROOM"
A page for women, presented by Eileen Paisley

Christian women ought to be happy women. How detestable it is to hear a Christian wife and mother complaining about her workload, and using such expressions as "slaving over a hot stove", or "tied to the kitchen sink", instead of being thankful that she has a hot stove, and food to cook on it, and that she has a sink and a plentiful supply of water. Our cookers, our sinks, our pots and pans, our dishes, cutlery, dusters, vacuum cleaners etc. should be looked upon as blessings, not nuisances, as friends and not enemies. How much better our cleaning, how much tastier our cooking would be if we would only learn the secret of doing all to the glory of God.

Sure enough, your hands might feel chained to the sink, but your thoughts don't need to go down the drain. Psalm 139, verse 17 says, "How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand".

The Bible is full of "precious things". We have precious seed, precious ointment, precious fruit, precious stones, precious jewels, precious sons, precious vessels and precious wood to name but a few, and what lesson we could learn from each of these precious things.

In 1 Peter 2:7 we read, "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious". The Lord Jesus is the greatest of all precious things. To those who know Him as Saviour, He is indeed most precious. Our mortal lips could never express how precious He is to us; it will take all eternity to praise Him for His matchless love and boundless grace.

To us He is indeed the fairest among ten thousand. To those who have tasted of His love surely He is the chiefest among ten thousand. We can but say, "Yea, He is altogether lovely".

The most precious things in life cannot be purchased. Who can buy a sunset, who can purchase the laughter of a child? They are priceless, and you and I could never purchase our salvation. Rather Christ has purchased us, not with corruptible things as silver and gold, but with His own precious [29] blood. His love is beyond measure, indeed He is God's unspeakable gift.

All the precious things in life can be lost one way or another. There are plenty of thieves around who will soon relieve us of our possessions, or the weather might become very inclement and flood waters could penetrate and destroy our homes. How often have we watched the news, horrified at the destruction left in the wake of a hurricane. How glad I am that the Saviour can never be lost. Satan himself, the great thief of souls, can never rob us of our "pearl of great price". Let us ever remind ourselves of this great truth, "I am His and He is mine for ever and for ever". Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Christ is precious to us for the precious things He gives to us. One of these things is life. We were dead in trespasses and sins, but when we looked to Him He gave us life. Perhaps you have an unsaved husband, or your family is still outside Christ, don't give up praying for them. His power is still the same, and He can come and give life to your loved ones. He said, "I am the resurrection and the life".

Another precious thing we receive from Christ is light. He said, "I am the light of the world". His disciples are called in 1 Thes. 5:5, "the children of light" and we are commanded in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men". If every Christian wife and mother, indeed every Christian woman, no matter her status, would only let the reflected light of the Saviour shine in her life, what a change there would be.

Love is a very precious thing. "We love Him, because He first loved us". You can possess many treasures and great wealth, but if you don't have love, all your possessions are worth very little. Our life doesn't consist of what we possess, for if we have not love, we have nothing but emptiness.

Proverbs tells us, "Better a dinner of herbs where love is than a stalled ox and hatred therewith".

Again, Solomon tell us, "His banner over us was love" (Song of Solomon 2:4). The Lord says, "I have loved thee with everlasting love". Paul in his letter to the Ephesians longs that they might know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. Even death cannot separate us from the Love of Christ, indeed for the Christian death is but the gateway to heaven, and there we shall be with Him for all eternity.

We hear a lot of talk these days about liberated women. A great deal of it is nonsense, for many poor women think liberty means licence, and instead of being liberated they are chained and bound in folly and shame. But Christ gives to those who put their trust in Him real liberty. He came to preach deliverance to the captives, and to set at liberty them that are bruised. How the devil bruises those that are under his dominion, but through the precious blood of Christ we are liberated from his power, liberated from fear, liberated from condemnation. We are liberated to pray, liberated to talk with our Saviour, liberated to claim His promises which we read are "exceeding great and precious promises".

Let us ever keep our minds and hearts open to the precious thoughts which the Saviour imparts to us through His Word.

[30]
FOR BOYS AND GIRLS

Life and Adventures of Mrs. Mallard By Rev. J. P. Struthers M.A.

It would take a big book were I to tell all that Mrs. Mallard passed through in her short, anxious life. She was born in Morayshire, in Scotland, and, of all places in the world for a duck, in an oak tree! Many a time, months after, she would tell her children some of her earliest recollections. "I had no sooner got my bill through my shell," she would say, "and hard work it was, than my dear mother kissed me and gave me some food, and then, at her bidding, stretched myself and struggled out into the nest. The light dazzled me just for a moment, and then, as I was thinking what a beautiful world it was, I looked over the edge. Oh! how far away the ground looked. I was twelve feet up above it, and how was I ever to get down! I drew back in great fear, but soon fell asleep, and, when I wakened, it was next day, and the sun was shining, and I had twelve brothers and sisters. I was so happy! and was loving every one of them when my mother lifted me in her bill and laid me in a moment at the foot of the tree. Almost before I knew where I was the whole thirteen of us were scampering over the grass. But presently mother called us together, and told us we were going down to a lake a long way off, and we must do as she bade us for we might meet with enemies on the road. So she told us what to do, and well for us, for we met some cruel boys. Mother saw them first and quacked, and we little ones ran into the grass and quaked. But oh! how it vexed me to see the boys chasing mother, and she seemed lame and unable to fly. I would have run out to help her had she not made us promise to lie hid no matter what happened to her. It was a whole hour before she came back, and we were all so glad. Then she laughed and told us how she had only pretended to be lame, and had led the cruel boys on and on till their boots were covered with mud and their legs so weary that they could hardly move. Then we set off again as hard as we could go, mother counting us every few minutes, and at last we came to the lake. Oh! how big it looked. But in we all plunged after her, and we looked so pretty, just like little ships, and mother like a great big man-of-war, and we [31] caught flies and dived and splashed each other all over. But our joy did not last long. A big pike that had been watching us swallowed one of my brothers, and the very next moment, amid the confusion, a carrion crow darted in and carried off another. That left us ten girls and only one boy.

Mother was never the same after that. But she had a greater trial when October came. Father's health had broken down in April, and he had gone to a distance, so mother had the training of us all. When we fed among the rushes, eating the frogs, we kept watch by turns on the open water. Mother pleaded with us to be always faithful, and told us often how her grandfather had seen a sentinel, a soldier in the Crimea, fall down fainting as he guarded a heap of biscuit, too faithful to eat without permission. "And if a man could be so brave," she would say, "what ought not a duck to be?" Our brother looked very handsome in his dress of grey and green and blue, but he got vain and selfish. He was always cross when he kept guard. Well, one day we were in the reeds, and he outside. He had only watched five minutes when he began to cry out "Time's up." We never heeded him, and it seems he left his post and came after us. Mother bade him go back, and, just as he was reluctantly returning, we heard a noise of running on the bank. We all rose up, and in a moment six shots were fired, and my brother and four of my sisters fell dead.

Mother often spoke to us about it afterwards, and, when we girls went off early the year after to be married, her last words to every one of us were these: "Farewell; and, oh, be good and faithful."

These are some of Mrs. Mallard's recollections. I must now tell you of her own sad but noble end.

When Mr. Mallard married her, every bird that saw her said Miss Wildduck was the sweetest girl that ever came to Lindores Loch. She and her husband were very happy, and had eleven little ones that year. The year after they rebuilt their nest on the shore under a furze-bush, and had eleven large eggs. All went well for thirteen days though it was a time of stormy weather. But one day Mr. Mallard went out never to return. I believe he was cruelly shot, but his poor wife did not know that, and waited and hoped against hope for his return. The weather grew worse; rain and frost, and then wind and snow. Still she sat watching and waiting, day after day. There was no one to relieve her for a moment, and leave her nest for food she would not. She beat the snow off with her wings till her strength failed, and plucked more and more down off her breast to keep her poor eggs warm. But the wind and snow held on, and at last, still looking for her husband and loving her unborn little ones, she died. A passer-by found her next day. Her neck was stretched out, her wings a little extended, her mouth wide open and full of the drifted snow. She had remembered her mother's words, and was good and faithful to the last!