[2]
Celebration Dinner

On Thursday, 2nd October, some 250 people met for a Celebration Dinner in the Park Avenue Hotel to mark the 40th Anniversary of Dr. Paisley's ministry.

After a most enjoyable meal Rev. David McIlveen took the chair and called on Miss Hilary Haisley to sing.

After the song of thanksgiving the Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Sammy [3] Wilson, Rev. John Douglas, the first convert of Dr. Paisley's ministry in Ravenhill, Rev. John Wylie, Rev. Brian Green, Mr. W. P. Moore (Session Clerk), Rev. James Beggs, Mr. Peter Robinson M.P., Deputy Leader of D.U.P. and the Rt. Hon. James Molyneaux J.P., M.P. spoke.

Then Rev. David McIlveen made presentations on behalf of the Presbytery, in the absence of Rev. S. B. Cooke (Deputy Moderator) who was ill.

He presented Mrs. Paisley with an engraved crystal lamp and Dr. Paisley with a video camera.

The special guest speaker was Dr. Bob Jones who was accompanied by his wife.

Dr. Paisley responded.

It was a most happy and joyful occasion bringing together a lot of old friends of Dr. Paisley including many prominent ministers.


Rev. David and Mrs. Cassels (Glasgow), Mr. Arnold Perkins (General Director, National Union of Protestants) and Alderman Sandy Spence, Mayor of Ballymena and his wife were amongst the guests.

Rev. Wm. McCrea brought items of praise.

A beautiful cake baked by Mrs. Reid in the shape of the Open Bible with the Church and Dr. Paisley's text, Eph. 6:19 & 20 depicted thereon was an outstanding feature of the occasion. [4]

MARTYRS MEMORIAL FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Double Anniversary Celebrated

The Minister's 40th Anniversary and the 17th Anniversary of the opening of the Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church were celebrated at a special Service in the Church on Saturday 4th of October at 7.30 pm. Some fifteen hundred people were in attendance.

Special musical items were brought by the Ballymoney Singers, Mr. Wm. Henning who came to know the Lord through Dr. Paisley's preaching in Rathfriland some 37 years ago and Rev. Wm. McCrea M.P. The ladies of the congregation served supper afterwards to the very happy assemblage.

Dr. Paisley's Address

The Word of God at the eighth chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy.

We welcome those who have joined with us tonight as we raise our Ebenezer to the Lord for His goodness and His unfailing and unalterable grace. We rejoice as a Church that this door has been kept open since Dr. Jones opened this fine building for us some seventeen years ago. In spite of all the darkness and all the opposition and all the difficulties, the Lord has kept this door open. "A great and effectual door is opened unto me and there are many adversaries." We give the Lord thanks tonight from the depths of our heart.

THE THREE 40S IN MOSES' LIFE 

The eighth chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy. The man of God, Moses, had three 40's in his ministry. 40 years he lived in the luxury of being treated as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. Then for 40 years he learned the lesson of submission, minding sheep in the desert for his father-in-law. What a long time to work for your father-in-law! And what a long time to put up with your mother-in-law! He did that, he learned submission. Then 40 years as God's man, leading another flock through the wilderness, and the second flock was more sheepish than the first. So that was his ministry. [5]

He was not allowed into the promised land because of sin He broke the precious type, because Christ is only struck once. Calvary is once and for all, and he took his rod and struck the rock a second time. So he violated, broke and shattered the precious type and because of that the Lord's indignation was stirred against him.

When He Who was God, however, the God of the bush, incarnated Himself in human flesh and stood in glory in the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses was then permitted to be in the promised land. At that time along with Elijah he discussed the most precious place on earth - the place called Calvary. They talked about the decease or exodus which the Lord would accomplish at Jerusalem. Yes, and in Heaven one man's name and one man's name only is linked indissolubly to the Name of Christ. That name is the name of Moses. We will sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb.

So now is my text, he is coming to say good-bye. He says, 'All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live and multiply and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers, And thou shaft remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness". And if you look at verse 15 you have that spelt out for you, "Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents and scorpions and drought, and there was no water. Who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint, Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna which thy fathers knew not, that He might humble thee, and that He might prove thee to do thee good at thy latter end".

The eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, the first part of verse 2, "Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years.

MY ORDINATION 

On the 1st August, 1946 in our old Church, further down the Ravenhill Road, at the corner of Glentoran Street and Shamrock Street, I was ordained to the ministry of the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you can imagine a very thin young man, very very thin indeed. In fact they have referred to me in various ways. One, that I was just like a bean pole. Two, some people had the audacity to say "Step out of the gutter, you might slip through the grating". So you will know how thin I was. The Church that evening was well and truly filled, and this preacher, as a mere stripling of some 20 years of age was ordained to the ministry of the Word of God.

The memory of that, as the memory of any preacher's ordination, lives continually as a signal rebuke to him when he loses zeal and loses the freshness of the Spirit's anointing and as a signal encouragement to him when he seeks to be faithful in the battle for Christ and in the winning of souls.

I think of that service this evening. The ministers who took part are no longer in active ministry on earth. They have all gone to the Father's House. They have hung up the swords of their battles, and they have now been [6] welcomed to the Church Triumphant in Heaven. The Rev. W. J. Grier, who was the leader of the Irish Evangelical Church, as it was then called, now the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. He was a very close friend of mine when I was a student, and an encourager of me in those early days. He preached the Ordination Sermon. He exhorted me to be faithful, to be diligent, to be prayerful, to hold tenaciously to the great doctrines revealed in Holy Scripture, to uplift the revelation of Christ contained in the Book, to not only read the Book but to live it, to preach it, to defend it, and to be known as a man of the Book.

One thing he said, I will never forget. He related that the sturdy Covenanter, Samuel Rutherford said, "Preachers ought not to give away one hair's breadth of God's Truth, for it is not theirs to give, it is God's".

When I have been tempted, as tempted I have been, and when I have been under great pressure to lower the Gospel banner, to compromise somewhat in my stand for Divine Truth, to take an easier road in the ministry, those words have come back to me with solemnity and with great warning.

PRESSURE TO COMPROMISE 

This afternoon I was reminded (when I was speaking at that great new Church that they are building in Hillsborough for the enlarged membership of our Hillsborough congregation) of a deputation of men that met me some years ago on this Road. They were members of this Church, and after the prayer meeting one evening they met to counsel me. They professed to have great love for me. (Always be very suspicious of a person who comes professing great love to you, especially when you know that they have never [7] manifested that love all their lives). They also said that they were very concerned about my wife and my family. It was the first time I knew that they were concerned about my wife and family. They said, "What a marvellous work you could do, and what a difference it would make if you ceased your controversy with the Roman Catholic Church". They also said, "What a difference it would make that instead of being so forthright in your denunciation of modernism and ecumenism that you concentrated more in those great talents that undoubtedly you have for evangelism". I listened with a patience that paralleled the patience of Job, and then I opened the door of the room in which they were standing, I lifted up the toe of my right foot and I said, "I will give you two seconds to get out and I have only one word for you, 'Get behind me Satan'."

They did not wait to receive the boot. They got out and they never returned. Some of them today have compromised so badly that you would wonder whether they ever had a genuine experience of the grace of God.

I HAVE NO DOUBTS 

I, today, can stand here, and it is no honour to me but to my Lord. I can say, "The Gospel that I first preached on this road, I continue to preach it".

I have no doubts about the Inspiration of this Book. I have no doubts about the power of the Blood of the Lamb. I have no doubts about the glorious Gospel of Christ.

I have no doubts about Who Christ is. He is Very God of Very God, Unlimited, Unchangeable, Unalterable. Very Man of Very Man, Impeccable, Holy and without sin. He knew no sin, He did no sin, in Him was no sin. That is the Christ Whom I believe in. I continue to preach that Saviour.

What is more, I have no doubts that the most satanic system of religious systems on the face of the earth is that system that calls itself "The Holy Apostolic Catholic Church". I believe it is Antichrist, I believe it is begotten in Hell to deceive and darken men's minds, I believe its Mass is the most studied insult against the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that the Holy Ghost delineated that Church in the seventeenth chapter of the Book of Revelation, when He dictated the awful indictment MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

To my dying day I have to declare in my Master's Name unceasing war against Babylon. "Draw the bow and spare no arrow" said the prophet against this system.

As for ecumenism, it is the Roman Church's leaven among the Protestant denominations. What a sad leavening there has been! What corruption! Great preaching places now no more preach the Gospel. Famous pulpits now no more sound forth the Holy Word of God. And, alas, today Protestantism, overcome with Higher CRITICISM AND LIBERAL thinking and scholarship and science falsely so-called, has evacuated the Christian Gospel of all its power, of all its greatness, of all its glory, and of all its grace, [8] and they present a gospel which is not THE GOSPEL, and a saviour who is not THE SAVIOUR.

The theological liberals have gone through Heaven and they tell us there is no gold there. They have gone through Hell and they tell us there is no fire there. They have gone through the Bible and they say there is no inspiration there. They have gone through the Gospels and they say there is no new birth there. They have gone through the Atonement and they say there is no Blood there.

They have left mankind with an aching void that the world can never fill. I know there is gold in Heaven, and I know there is fire in Hell. I know there is Inspiration in that Book. I know there is the new birth in the Gospels. I know there is Blood in the Atonement of Calvary. I know there is Resurrection from the tomb. Praise God, I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day. So I thank God for that faithful preacher who warned this young preacher to be faithful to Divine and Holy Truth.

GODLY MEN 

My Dad to whom I owe a debt which I cannot measure, and to whom this Free Presbyterian Church owes a debt that cannot be measured, exhorted me in his charge to seek the mighty Ordination of the nail-pierced hand; to uplift the Son of God in all occasions, and to be known as a presenter, an uplifter, a finger post exalting and pointing to the Wonderful Man of Calvary.

Then the Rev. Thomas Rowan, an Irish Presbyterian minister, brought the charge to the congregation, and exhorted them to be diligent at the means of grace, diligent in prayer, diligent about the King's business and, especially, diligent in uplifting the preacher in prayer, and standing loyally behind him as he stood behind the Cross to present the Son of God.

But of all the contributions at the Ordination Service, there is one that stands out in my mind uniquely. That was the prayer offered by Professor T. B. McFarlane of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, in whose Theological Hall I studied and prepared myself for the Christian ministry. That old man well up the incline and going down the decline of life, with upraised hands commended me graciously to his Lord and mine, praising God for the privilege that he ha d that night of hearing my testimony to conversion through my mother, and my call to the Christian ministry.

He prayed God's Benediction down upon me, and the blessing of God that maketh rich and addeth no sorrow. Tonight in this pulpit I can say I am a debtor, I am a debtor!

THESE FORTY YEARS 

Forty years is a long time. I would not even attempt tonight to cast my mind over those forty years. I would not even attempt to try to stop and read [9] some milestones along that way.

I want to give God the glory. I am glad that He counted me worthy to put me into the ministry. I who am less than the least of all saints, a nobody and a nothing. My enemies say I am an upstart. I take that title, I pin it like John Bunyan on my breast. I say, "All the sneers and descriptions of men are but medals to wear proudly as bearing reproach for the Blessed Son of God".

You see, God takes the weak things. I am glad I qualify for that. He takes the things that are not. I am glad I qualify for that. He takes the things that are despised. I am glad I qualify for that. What to do? To bring to nought the things that are that no flesh should glory in His presence. Explain my ministry, you cannot in natural terms. It is not some talent I have or some ability I have, or some zeal I have, it is the grace of God. This glory is in an earthen vessel, and what a poor cracked earthly vessel it is, but the excellency of the power is not of man but it is of God.

My accreditation as a Gospel preacher is the seals that God has given me in my ministry. I look over this congregation and I see many men and women whom I knew when they walked the wrong road - the broad road to Hell. Praise God, they are not on that road tonight. They are on the narrow [10] path to Heaven. Through the uplifting of Christ from these lips of mine the wonderful work of divine grace was wrought in their heart, and the Spirit of God did the miracle of regeneration and gave them the gift of repentance unto life, and saving faith in the Son of God. Today thousands of souls in those 40 years are on their way to Glory. Many have now arrived safely. They have gone in to see the King in His beauty, and with seals in Heaven and seals on earth what could this preacher other say? "It is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes!".

MY BELOVED WIFE

I have not time to stop to pay a tribute tonight to many who influenced me in my ministry. My Dad, my Mother, my brother and my sister. I thank God for every remembrance of them. But, tonight, I want to pay a special tribute. I am not given as this congregation well knows to saying much about my family.

I am often accused of saying in the pulpit things which perhaps have a little edge on them. My family knows that we are all given to humour. In my house you have to take and give it, and the more you give the more you get. You always get good measure, in the Scriptural manner shaken together, full and running over.

For 30 years, on the thirteenth day of this month, my wonderful wife, my lover, and the mother of my children has stood with me. I know no woman with such patience. I know no woman who has been given such grace. I know no woman that has been more of an encouragement, a true helper in the Lord. Perhaps my tear tonight is the most eloquent tribute that I could pay to her. Thank God for a good wife who has stood by me. I have been imprisoned twice. I might be there again, and maybe again after that.

Thank God, she has stood by me, she has encouraged me, she has helped me to write my books and get my publications out. She has been more than my right hand. She has been my helper, my mentor. She has been in many ways my teacher, and she certainly has been my discipline at home, because she could say things to me that no one else dared to say. They needed to be said, and I have received them because they came from lips and a heart of love.

Then I thank God for my children, for Sharon. I thank God also for her dear husband John who is more than a son-in-law to me. He is as near as any son. And for dear little Lydia, this little love gift that God has sent into their home. May God open her heart early, like Lydia of old to receive the Saviour. As for Rhonda, I never thought the Lady Mayoress of this City would live in our home, but strange things happen in this City. As for Cherith, Cherith used to be the baby, that is why I forgive her for many things, I think none of the family can say things to me which Cherith dares to say. When I look at her she just smiles so sweetly that I can't say anything to her in return. [11]

Then my two boys, and what a gift from the Lord they were! Terence O'Neill announced that Paisleyism was dead. What an utter fool he was! My wife presented me with twin boys shortly afterwards. Terence O'Neill is forgotten, no one hears about him today, but I'm still in Ulster, and I will be here for a long time yet. I do not feel unwell. I don't feel tired. I do not feel like sixty, I only feel like sixteen at times, and I have a long way to go by the grace of God.

I am glad my boys love the Lord. I am glad both of them feel a calling to be in the service of Christ. I am glad Kyle is preparing himself in our own College for the ministry. I am glad Ian is active for Christ. No one knows what that means to me. It was said of Billy Sunday, he went round the world saving men and he lost his family. I believe that we need to see our family saved by the grace of God. I have one prayer, and it is this that we will see all our families in the Free Presbyterian Church all won to Christ. I would like to see every family of this Church one in the grace of God.

MY FRIENDS 

I have so many friends. I have met so many good friends along the path of life. I could not start to mention them, and I am not going to attempt it tonight. Good friends in Ulster, good friends in the ministers of the Church. Every Minister in the Free Church is a friend of mine. I know that. You know how I know it? When they are in trouble they all make a bee line for me. [12] That is how I know.

When I see them coming up my path, I say, "What trouble is he in now?"

Because I only see them when they are in trouble. Well I'm glad they know they will get brotherly encouragement. I am glad they know they will get Scriptural advice, and I am glad they know there is always a shoulder at 17 Cyprus Avenue for them to weep on. I want to, however, as I conclude this evening, pay two tributes.

The first is to my friend and brother who sits in this pulpit tonight, Dr. Bob Jones. When I was in prison this dear man stretched forth his hands of encouragement to me. He stood with me when I was being reviled, and when a vicious Press campaign was internationally organised to utterly and totally destroy me. I thank God that this brother stretched out his hands across the great ocean and said, "I am going to stand with you as you stand for Jesus Christ," and if ever a man stood by me in the international religious field it has been my warmhearted, greathearted and tenderhearted brother Dr. Bob Jones.

Thank you Dr. Jones for your affection, for your help and especially for your companionship and friendship.

MY CONGREGATION 

The second tribute and it is the all important one, I want to thank the people of my congregation.

I want to thank my elders and committee men, my Sabbath School teachers and Superintendents, bus drivers, the office staff, my caretaker, my pianist and organist, my recorders and all the people who make up this congregation.

We are one family, and there has always been a family spirit amongst us. I feel at home right here. This is my home. This pulpit is the most blessed place on earth to me. I love the Sabbath. I love to walk up these steps and I love to hear the people sing. I have often said in my heart that when I am dying and going to cross the river I just want them to play the hymn singing in the Martyrs Church on a Sunday night. That is my greatest inspiration.

Many a time when I feel lonely and sad and the devil is giving me a rough time I just put on the MARTYRS Service. It lifts my heart to hear the congregation sing, "Thank you Lord for saving my soul", and "I'll cherish that old rugged Cross".

Oh, there is no music like that! maybe people could criticise it, but there is an inspiration in it. There is something there that brings help and strength to my heart.

I am grateful to my elders. This Church has always had a very good Kirk Session. It has had a series of great Session Clerks from T. H. Watson right down to our present Clerk of Session, W P Moore, better known to us all by the initials W.P.

We have had, after a few spring-cleaning sessions, good Church Committees. [13]

SKINFLINTS

The Church Committee I had before I was married was not a good Church Committee. They were a lot of skinflints, but I never rowed with them. I was too busy evangelising. The congregation never knew what they were doing on their preacher nor did I tell them. I just took it to the Lord in prayer. I did not attend their meetings or take part in their deliberations. They decided that seeing I was away preaching the Gospel and founding Churches they should not pay my stamps during the time I was away.

At the end of one year a lady from the Health Department came to see me, she said, "Mr. Paisley, I support your stand, but when you come of pensionable age, if this goes on you will have no pension at all." She produced my Card and there were a few stamps and an omission, and then a few stamps more, and an omission. Mind you I was always in my own pulpit on Sundays but the skinflint Committee never thought about Sundays. They just thought about the week-days.

I looked at her and I said, "Just leave it with me". I then drew the hatchet, and I had a meeting and I said a few things. I said, "Would you like me to take you to the congregation?" They were then very penitent and said, "No." "Well," I said, "There will be an election shortly."

At that election one by one their seats were emptied, one by one they went away, and from that day to this we have had good Committees.

One thing that Committee did do was that when I was getting married they decided that my wife was worth ten shillings of a rise to the preacher. I had the large sum of 9.00 per week, and no Manse. They said, "We will give you 9.10 shillings." I said, "Thank you". I went home and I said to my wife, "Dear, we are going to be very rich, we are going to have another ten shillings a week". She said, "What? Is that what they think of me?" I said, "Dear, just be careful, do not be impatient. You are very valuable. For the Lord was only valued at thirty pieces of silver, and you are being valued a third as good as the Lord Jesus. You are a wonderful lady. You should be singing their praises, not denouncing them". She said, "I do not see it that way".


Well, through good report and ill report the Lord has been with us. I cannot say that of the Committee I have at present or indeed of any Committees since that day.

I have said enough. I thank God. I take courage. My ministry is not ended. It is just beginning because in Scripture forty is the number of probation. You only start doing things after you are forty. I do not know what is going to happen here, but Devil look out, Pope look out, Apostates look out. The best has yet to be and the end is not yet, praise the Lord?

AMEN AND AMEN!

[14]
Rev. David McIlveen's Remarks and Presentations

The congregation in the Martyrs Memorial have honoured me this evening by requesting me to pay a tangible tribute to the ministry of their Minister.

How do you do that?

We believe, of course, that the people in this congregation are a tangible sign and evidence of the Lord's blessing on his ministry. Many in this Church have been saved through his preaching. Many have been called out of apostasy through his ministry. Many are on the Mission Field through his ministry. The people in this Church bear testimony to the Lord's blessing upon His child. We feel that the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Lord's servant could not pass without some tangible token of our appreciation as a congregation to the Lord's dear child.

We also take great delight to identify with what he has said concerning his dear wife Mrs. Paisley. I don't think any of us who know Dr. Paisley could say anything different to what he himself said in relationship to her. Mrs. Paisley is a mother in Israel in the true sense of that word. I know in my own personal life that both Dr. and Mrs. Paisley have been as a father and as a mother to me. I owe them a tremendous debt. I certainly could not pay that debt.

PRESENTATION TO MRS. PAISLEY 

I am going to ask Mrs. Paisley if she would come to the pulpit. It is nor often that she does come to this particular pulpit, but I do want her to come. We have a little gift to present to her on behalf of the Session, the Committee and the members and friends of the congregation of the Martyrs Memorial Church.

Mrs Paisley, it does give me great personal pleasure, on behalf of the Session, and the Committee and the members of the Martyrs Memorial congregation to present this little gift to you as a very deep token of their appreciation of your presence in the congregation.

Mrs. Paisley: This is a tremendous surprise this evening. I have not been a minister for 40 years, even a minister's wife for 40 years. For the 30 years that I have been his wife I would just like to tell you something which just comes to my mind now.

Like most housewives I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. On the wall near to the sink there is a little framed text. It was given to us as a wedding present by the Pastor of the Church where I worshipped before we were [15] married, Pastor William Wilson of Grove Baptist Church, and his wife. It has three words, "He faileth not". Those words have meant everything to us. They just sum up all that the Lord has meant to us down through these years. He faileth not. He has not failed us in our happy days. He has increased our joy. He has not failed us in days of sadness and sorrow and bereavement. He faileth not. He has given us peace. The greatest joy in our lives has been to see men and women and young people won for Christ. That is the great aim of my husband and myself, and it is the great joy of our hearts and of our lives. We can testify tonight to the great fact that He faileth not. I thank God, although we have failed Him (we have failed Him over and over again I honestly must confess that), we can say in triumph He has never failed me nor failed us.

He has not failed us personally as a family or as a congregation in Church life, political life, or in family life. I am glad that I can say, "He faileth not".

So we give Him all the praise and all the glory for all that He has enabled my husband to do; for His grace that He has given so freely to me; for the salvation of our family; for our background; for the great truths that we were brought up with and for the foundations that our parents laid for us. That is my testimony tonight that He faileth not. May God help us! Thank you [16] very much again for your token of love and appreciation which I do indeed appreciate very very much indeed. Thank you!

Rev. McIlveen: We thank you very much Mrs. Paisley for those words of appreciation that you have spoken.

PRESENTATION TO DR. PAISLEY 

Dr. Paisley, the Session and Committee have asked me if I might present you, as a token of their very deep appreciation this beautiful gold watch. It is a very small token of what the congregation feel towards you. I trust that the Lord will graciously bless you as you receive this gift.

Dr. Paisley: I hope it is not a suggestion that I preach too long, David?

Rev. McIlveen: The Session and Committee have been meeting in secret over these past number of weeks. It is not often you can do anything for Dr. Paisley without him knowing. I had always a tremendous fear of Dr. Paisley coming into a meeting like that and wondering what is going on. I am not sure that we could just cope with that sort of situation if it developed.

So we have been able to present to Dr. Paisley this gold watch and to Mrs. Paisley a token of our appreciation.

There is a further gift which I want to present to Dr. Paisley tonight. I do however disclaim all responsibility for the little message that is in front of this envelope. You will understand why when I tell you what is inside the envelope. The Session and the Committee of the Martyrs Memorial thought that it would be very appropriate if we would send Dr. Paisley, Mrs. Paisley, and their family away on a holiday. We have got for them a Travel Ticket to take them to the Caribbean any time they want to go. Now we want to make it very clear, it is for Dr. and Mrs. Paisley, it is for Rhonda and Cherith, for Ian and Kyle, for Sharon, for John and little Lydia. We feel this perhaps is maybe the best possible way that we could say "Thank you" to the Lord's servant for his ministry in this congregation.

Thank you!

Dr. Paisley: David I would like, first of all, just if you would stay there to thank you for all that you have been to me. You have been a true son in the faith. God bless you!

And to my other associates, to Mr. Beggs, to Mr. Barnes, Mr. Creane, I say likewise, Thank God for faithful brothers in the Lord!

I can only say on behalf of my wife and family and myself, a very big thank you, to the Kirk Session Committee and Congregation. I look forward to having this holiday.

God bless you! [17]

Dr. Bob Jones' Sermon

I am very grateful that you let me come on this occasion. I always feel such a warm welcome here in Ulster. As a foreigner I never feel like a foreigner among Ulster people. Perhaps that is because my father's ancestors came from this land, and there is a great sense of heart answering to heart when I stay among the Free Presbyterians here. I appreciate your allowing a Baptist to stand in this pulpit also.

I first met your Pastor some 25 years ago in a meeting in Amsterdam, and God seemed to say to me at that time, "This is a man whom I intend to use," and I sensed he was God's man.

I invited him to come and speak to our students for a week at the University, and shortly thereafter he went to jail.

I said to our Board of Trustees at that time, "I would like to vote an Honorary Degree to a man who is in prison." They were rather shocked at the suggestion. They said, "We never heard of a Christian Institution conferring an Honorary Degree upon a man who is a jailbird." "Well," I said, "If you had an opportunity to confer an Honorary Degree on the apostle Paul, would you have done so?" And they had no answer to that argument.

It was my joy to see him honoured as a man who was God's servant suffering for the sake of his convictions and for what he felt was righteous. My heart has been closely knit here throughout these years. I have been blessed with fellowship with him and have been encouraged. I have been refreshed by his good counsel and by his humour. It has been a joy to be in his home and get to know his family. I feel a very close kinship, and it has been a great joy to me to know them, and I think of that as one of God's gifts to me. I am especially happy I can be here tonight.

I call your attention to just one portion of a phrase. It is in the first Book of Kings, the eighteenth chapter, a portion of the eighth verse, "Behold Elijah is here". These are the words which Elijah spoke when he said to Obadiah, "Go and call King Ahab and tell him I want to talk to him". It is wonderful how a prophet can order a king around, and how God's man can dictate to Royalty that they should come!

The first confrontation had been some years before. This time Elijah had suddenly stood in the presence of King Ahab, and said, "As the Lord liveth, before whom, I stand, there shall be no dew nor rain but according to my word." The prophet who speaks God's Word is the man for whom there is no defeat, and the man who is unassailable in the commission which God has given to him.

There had been no dew nor rain until this time when God said, "I'm going to send rain now, you go and tell Ahab". Ahab had been looking for him all up and down the land. He went one way and the steward of his house Obadiah went another way trying to find a little water or a little green grass [18] for the cattle. There was none to be had.

This man, the steward of the king's household, was a man who feared God greatly. He reminds the prophet of that, he said, "If you tell me to go to Ahab and say, The prophet is here, Elijah is here, and I make him come half way across the country to find you, you will be gone somewhere, God will pick you up in a whirlwind and move you away somewhere. Now you don't want to see me killed, I've honoured God. I've hidden God's prophets, a hundred of them by fifties in caves, and fed them from the king's table during this time of persecution. Don't do this to me." And he replied, "You can say, Behold Elijah is here," and "I'll be here when the king comes".

Is it not wonderful that God's man can know God's will and can do God's will. There are certain things that characterise the life and the ministry of every prophet. They are all different men these Biblical prophets. They face different situations, different trials, different conditions, but they are all in a sense tied together by certain things that every man who is God's man must face in his ministry.

CONFRONTATION

In the first place there must be confrontation. Some people try to avoid that today. That is why these men came to Dr. Paisley years ago and said, "Won't you try to be nice?" It is very difficult for some of us to be nice. When we try to be nice we feel guilty, because it is not our business to be nice. It is our business to declare the whole counsel of God.

God does not expect His prophet to be nice, God expects His prophet to be a courageous man. God does not expect His servant to always be liked. God expects His servant sometimes to be hated, for when men revile him and speak evil against him falsely for Christ's sake, He has promised him a special honour. He had to confront the king.

This evil man, dominated by a wife even more evil than he was, had brought paganism into this land, this land of God's people. He had destroyed the land, brought God's curse upon it, and was responsible for great sorrows yet to come.

God's man always has to face a man who is responsible for evil. If you say anything good about an evil man you are dishonouring Almighty God, for Almighty God never has a compliment for a sinner. He may in some ways be good and nice, but God has only condemnation for sinners. The only thing good God can offer a sinner is the Gospel of grace and the promise of salvation if he repents, and, thank God, that message is always going out from God's man.

He confronted this king Ahab. He confronted him boldly and courageously, and when Ahab finally comes to meet him as Obadiah brings him, he says, "Are you the man that troubleth Israel?" God's servant does not trouble Israel, it is God's enemy who troubles Israel. And the troubles that come upon any land is not because of the faithfulness of God's servant who declares the whole counsel of God, but the trouble comes, rather, by those [19] who are unwilling to be governed by God and governed by God's Word. This man was the man who could bring blessing to the land, for he had a message that promised a pouring of rain at the Word of God.

Strange is it not how the popular people these days are sometimes the people who are the weakest, who bring the most curse upon the land not those who stand to declare the counsel of God and who intervene between God and the people facing God's judgement. So first there had to be confrontation before the rains came. My friend, God is not going to send His blessings until men are fully convinced of their sins, or at least have their sins called to their remembrance.

CONTROVERSY 

There is going to be a contest between the priests of Baal and the man of God. I don't know a scene in all Scripture that appeals to me more than this. One lone prophet and a whole flock of the black priests and prophets of Baal.

What an occasion this is! All day long the priests of Baal and the prophets of Baal call upon their god, cutting themselves with knives, jumping up upon the altar they have erected, crying to Baal to send down the fire.

Listen to me, my friend, apostates can never bring blessing. Apostasy always brings a curse, and the apostates themselves are damned beyond [20] redemption, for apostates having crucified afresh the Son of God, it is impossible to renew them to repentance.

Don't waste time praying to God to convert some old apostate Bishop, just pray to God to take the old Bishop out of the way so that he will not damn others of his flock with him when he goes to Hell.

Don't ask God to do what God's Word said He will not do. The part of the prophetic gift is to know what God says and to believe enough to declare it without fear or favour and without apology. I get so sick of apologetic preaching. "If you don't repent, as it were, and change your way to some degree you might in some little sense be damned". What kind of preaching is that? That is not declaring the whole counsel of God. That is apologising for truth of the God you have been called to declare.

We will have a contest, and here they are all day. I am sure that the prophet must have grown very impatient with that spectacle. I think there is nothing in his life and ministry that gives more sympathy for him than having to stand on the side of the lines for ten or twelve hours while these men went through all their contortions. "Oh, we are going to do great things, we are going to prove how great Baal is." These Liberals are always going to do something big. They are calling big Councils, and they are organising big meetings and they are going to influence the Senate and the Congress and the Parliament, and the Royal family and Maggie and the whole rest of them. But all they do is cut themselves and make fools of themselves jumping up and down on the altar.

It finally comes the prophet's time. It always comes the prophet's time in the end. Daniel in Babylon had been forgotten during two reigns. His time came, and he is sent for to read the handwriting on the wall. He leaves that place upon which God's judgement is about to be poured out, with a gold chain about his neck and the reward of the king who had not cared whether he existed or not until the moment came when God's judgement was about to fall.

God's prophet prepares the altar. He built it up and that altar had been allowed to fall down or be torn down. He takes the stones and he builds it up. It is a new altar, but it is a new altar on an old foundation. He covers it with water three times, sacrifice, wood, stones and the trench round about. The priests have been screaming and crying, and God's prophet sitting by said, "Call him louder. Maybe he is out hunting. Maybe he is asleep."

Thank God, He that keepeth thee shall neither slumber nor sleep! Pagan gods sleep all the time, for their ears are stone and their arms are powerless, but now all the prophet says, "Let the fire fall" and down it comes. You talk about atomic explosion! What a thrill it would have been to see that fire come down! Better than the mushroom cloud going up is the power of God's glory coming down to consume the sacrifice and the wood and the stones and lapping up all the water wherewith they had been drenched.

There has to be controversy, and God's man is called to the ministry of controversy. Every time the Gospel is preached, that is the controversy with [21] Satan for the soul of the man who sits under the ministry. It is always a controversy, and any man who tries to escape it can never be a faithful preacher of the Word of God.

God's servant is called to a warfare. Our weapons are not carnal but spiritual, but we have a sharp two-edged sword wherewith we can do exploits for God. And the men whom God has used greatly are the men who have greatly known how to wield the Sword.

COMPASSION 

There is compassion in this man, and God's prophets are always compassionate men. Interesting is it not how God's man hits the Press as being bigoted and unkind, hateful and mean, and disagreeable. I have never known a great servant of God who did not have a large heart. God does not use mean hearts in men, and God's servants chosen of God are so soaked in God's grace that the heart expands. If there is anything that kills the prophet it is not the controversy but is the trouble with the enlarged heart, because sometimes the enlarged heart will pull him away a bit from the controversy because he feels such sympathy for those he must controvert.

Remember what happened when he was suffering with the people of God during the drought, because God's servant is not exempt from that which the common herd of men must go through. He too had known what it was to be in want. God had sent him down to a brook to be fed by ravens.

I can't imagine a meal being very appetising when it is brought by the dirty bills of carrion birds. I think I would rather have gone hungry for a few days. I'm sure however after a few days by the brook the prophet was hungry enough that he would let these waiters in black suits bring him bread and meat. I have always liked to think that they got that bread and meat from Ahab's table. Now I'm speculating about what is written, but this is my sense of humour. What a joke it would have been if those black birds had flown to Ahab's palace and snatched up some of the meat that he was enjoying while his people were starving, and grabbing up a bit of bread from the royal bakery and brought it down to the man for whom the king was searching and whom the king regarded as his enemy.

God took care of His servant. But the brook dried up. Brooks always dry up. Everything in life will cease, God's man has to move on somewhere else. He had to go to be fed by the widow of Sarepta.

How his heart is touched that day when her son lies dead. How tender a heart manifests itself as he takes that lifeless boy and lays him on his bed and cries to God to restore breath to the dead body. He cried in order that this woman who has given him care shall not know a heartbreak. God sends life into the boy again.

I have known many a servant of God who brought life into congregations and revived bodies that seemed to have no life in them through his tenderness and his care. [22]

One thing about your Pastor that has always touched me deeply is his love and concern and lack of hatred and bitterness in his controversy. Its always there when a man is God's man.

This man, kind but fierce, bold but tenderhearted, this man who can threaten thrones, weeps for a dead boy. This man who can call fire down from heaven can bring rain to water the dry fields and feed a hungry land. Now the rains come.

CLEANSING 

The controversy it has been faced. The confrontation has been met. The fire has fallen. I wish I could say to you that this is the fire of revival. Unfortunately it is not. Oh, the people said, when the prophet put it to them, "Is it God or is it Baal? Who is the God?" And they say, "The Lord He is God". They did not dare to say anything else after they had seen the fire come down, for the God Who could pour fire upon the altar could pour fire down upon a rebellious people as well. They did not dare to say anything else. But there is no revival there.

There had been some seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal, but where had they been? The prophet has not been able to find them. Prophets hiding by fifties, and fed from the tables of the king are not much use to God.

There is no revival, conditions go on as before, but at least there is an awareness of God and an acknowledgment of God. And there are some hearts that are strengthened to speak out and some who had faith who now put that faith into action. There is cleansing, the cleansing comes as the priests of Baal are hacked to pieces. That is a harsh ministry for God's man, but God's man must take up sometimes the cudgel. Now if there is a Liberal Pressman here tonight, he will report that I have said we have to shed the blood of our enemies in the controversy of God. You rascal, I have not said any such thing! It won't be the first time a Pressman has misquoted me in what I am about to say. They usually have the notes written before you make the remarks.

This land was God's land, and God had decreed that no priest of idolatry should be allowed to live in His land. That was God's law and God's commandment and God's sentence passed. They had been brought in. Jezebel brought them and Ahab accepted them, and they became the established church of England in Israel. "Now let us clean them out". They could not bring down fire. They are good for nothing. They took them down to the foot of the mountain by a stream and slew them there.

Thank God, God's judgement was carried out! There is no man so dangerous as the man who perverts religion and leads men into damnation by turning them from the Truth of God's Word and the Gospel of God's Son.

Your land and my land have been cursed in these days with apostates who bring their false religion and their corrupt religions and pour them out like some horrible broth from the witches of Hell across our land to damn [23] our children.

A part of the prophet's business is to say "We must clean the land." We do not do it by shedding blood. We do not do it by personal violence against the apostates, but we do it by exposing them in this day and showing them up for what they are, servants of Satan and minions of darkness and damners of souls.

"Elijah is here." Where Elijah is something happens, and where God's servant is faithful in the commission that God gives to him there will be blessing for the land. Judgement first, confrontation, controversy, compassion but cleansing. And the cloud of a man's hand's size began to appear over the Mediterranean. Seven times that poor little servant had to run to see and run back to the prophet before it appeared, but, thank God, it came and the rains fell.

"Elijah is here!"

AMEN AND AMEN!

 

PP. 31-34 IS MISSING, WOULD YOU BELIEVE!!!

[35]

Lesson LXXXIII - On Olivet - Concerning the Last Judgement
Lord's Day 30th November 1986 'We must all stand before the judgement seat of Christ.'

Read -
Matt. xxv. 31-46; Learn - 11 Cor. v. 10; Rev. xx. 11, 12.

SKETCH OF LESSON

A trial - how it interests us all! The verdict - how anxiously waited for! The sentence - what a hush while it is given!

There is a bar at which all must stand, see first text for rep. Of this also Jesus spoke that evening on Olivet.

I. THE JUDGE

Who will it be? see John v. 22, 27; Acts x. 42, xvii. 31; Rom. xiv. 10.

(a) Think of that manger at Bethlehem, the carpenter's shop at Nazareth, the fishing-boat on the Lake, the Cross at Calvary - then think of 'that same Jesus' sitting 'on the throne of His glory'!

(b) Think how He was surrounded on earth by ignorant, sick, sinful people, half hearted friends, bitter foes - then think of Him in the midst of 'holy angels' - 'all' of them (see Heb. xii. 22; Rev. v. 11) with Him.

II. THE JUDGED

Who can imagine that multitude. If all in one town together, what a crowd - here 'all nations', all generations as well. Ah, if "every eye shall see Him". His eye will see every one.

Then what will the judge do? ver. 32, 33. Is it hard for a shepherd to do this? does he make mistakes? Be sure the Great Shepherd will make none.

See parables of Tares and Wheat and of Net, Matt. xiii. And then we shall see which way each one goes, Mal. iii. 18.

'Oh that I at last may stand, With the sheep at Thy right hand'.


III. THE EVIDENCE

But why evidence at all? Are they not already 'separated'?

What sort of evidence is it?

(a) How do we judge a man's religion? see I Sam. xvi. 7- 'man looketh on the outward appearance.'

(b) How does God judge a man's religion? see again I Sam. xvi. 7- 'the Lord looketh on the heart'.

(c) What then? Why, something that will show what the hearts are like - a test. What then is the test? Works Jas. ii. 18; and words too sometimes, Matt. xii. 34 - 37. All these to be read out before all. Read out, how? see Rev. xx. 12 again - 'written in the books.'

(d) But Jesus does not tell of all this. Words and works are not always a true test, see Mat. vii. 22, 23. See what He does mention, Ver. 35, 36, 40, 42, 43, 45. (comp. Job. xxii. 7. xxxi. 19, 20; Isa. Iviii. 7; Ezek. xviii. 7; Matt. x. 40-42; 11 Tim. i. 16; Heb. 3; Jas. i. 27, ii. 14-16).

IV. THE SENTENCE

To the righteous, ver. 34. A kingdom 'prepared' for them - God had thought of them before any one of them had lived, see Jer. xxxi. 3. What is it like? I Cor. ii. 9 - inconceivable. To 'inherit' it (Col. i. 12; 1 Pet. i. 4) - how this? 'Children of God', therefore heirs, Rom. viii. 17. No wonder they are called 'blessed'.

To the wicked, ver. 41. 'Everlasting fire' who can tell what that is? - inconceivable likewise - might say of it too, 'Eye hath not seen' etc. See what called elsewhere, Dan. xii. 2; Matt. xiii. 40, 42; Mark ix. 43-48; Rom. ii. 8, 9; 11 Thess. i. 9. It also is 'prepared' - but not for them - God willeth onto the death of a sinner. (Ezek. xviii. 32; Luke xiii. 34; 11 Pet. iii. 9) - for whom then? (comp. 11 Peter ii. 4; Jude 6).

'Come' and 'Depart' - what different words. Now He says 'Come' to all (Isa. i. 18, Iv. 1; Matt. xi. 28; Rev. xxii. 17); let us not, as some do (Job xxi. 14) say 'Depart' to Him.

Do we not know that all our kind and unselfish deeds could not open heaven for us, because all imperfect, sin in all? But for our sin He died - His death our only plea - and therefore, looking forward to that Last Judgement, we say,

'Low at His cross I view the day
When heaven and earth shall pass away,
and thus prepare to meet Him.'