A Message from the Author
The Challenge and the Good News
1) Peter in his second epistle, 2:14, spoke of taking certain loving and faithful actions as long as he was "in this tent", knowing he must shortly put off that same tent.
And this with what a looking forward, as Paul expresses it in II Cor. 5, "for we know if our earthly house, this tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens," and he stressed that the burden to be supplied was not to be unclothed, but "further clothed, that mortality might be swallowed up in life." I rejoice in this coming resurrection (I Cor. 15, Isaiah 26:29, Psalm 16), and have stood for its base in Christ's bodily arising as Saviour and Redeemer, against many, including one entire national denomination, as it is a privilege profound, a gift sublime and a tenderness of divine thoughtfulness that Christ is risen and offers this breach of death to all believers, when that dynamic dénouement comes. It is a a glorious thing wrought by the power of Christ's resurrection which rubbished rotting, and gifted entirely by grace to His believers, whom He has known before any fall before the creation (Colossians1:4,19ff.), desiring all to come home, and manipulating none.
As now it may be growing near to my own time in this tent, coming somewhat nearer to its completion, there are some things I feel personally desirous of saying. I forgive all, all things, for who am I to judge, when God has appointed His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, as in Acts 17:31, to be the One who "will judge the world in righteousness"! Indeed, Paul declares, "He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." The parallel statement is found in John 5:19-23 (cf. Romans 1:4). The word of God is not thereby annulled, but announced, and it applies as the Lord allots but none of His will ever be lost (Romans 8:29ff., John 5:24), nor any ashamed who believe in Him.
Indeed, even those who begin to vary, or mutate in spiritual things, have a rock at hand, so that one may entirely cast oneself upon it. Thus if anyone comes to want to add to the word of God, to bring in any other source for doctrine (contrary to Proverbs 30:6), then that is no reason why such a person should cease to hear the word of God distinctively as it is. It is both pure and purgative, and is the only writing given through man on earth, which has implicit divine authority. Even then, this may still the fluttering heart. It is time to return indeed to the rock from which you are hewn, and to avoid fancy footwork or the bowing to the idols of secondary authority, for that is what they can readily become when able to displace or contend with the very Word of God.
Nor was any more emphatic on its divine distinctiveness than Jesus Himself, the Christ (cf. Matthew 5:17-20, cf. I Corinthians 2:9-13, Isaiah 34:16-17, Psalm 119, I Peter 1:11-12, 2:16-21). The prophecies, says Peter, are absolutely sure, light in a dark place, revelatory of reality, for no mere thought from the mind of man begot them, but the writers were borne along as by a wind, surging into spiritual truth beyond any mere human invention. But look also at I Thessalonians 2:13, Luke 24:25-26. Failure to realise and believe "all that the prophets have written" here becomes a basis for being called "foolish ones." Of this name for it, the exemplar is Jesus Christ.
My endeavour has been to be true in all things to the written word of God for the sake of the living Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and faithful in doing my duty by it, and in Him, for Him, in whatever circumstances or in the face of whatever attack, and to propel the Gospel as I may and teach and reach with the word of God. Paul gave the call by His own example as in Philippians 1:7, in pursuing "the defence and confirmation of the Gospel," and spoke of "casting down imaginations and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ," II Corinthians 10:5. Truth demands an outing; the saving truth of Christ requires it.
He was an apostle, we are but servants; yet the intent at each level is for the honour of the Lord and the blessing of His people, as well the saving of many, through the love of Christ (John 3:15-36). When we all, though merely disciples, who are called to such work, have finished, and the Lord has made clear what He wants, whether at some stage or phase of history, amidst hatred or obstruction, or murder or cruelty, dispersed needless muddles or set woeful misuse of the word of God into disarray, or in the light of revival has aroused millions, then the word of God, fixed and faithful, remains. Whether for those who will heed or not heed, it remains.
The word of man, which in its sultry and rebellious rebelliousness, even in some of what are called churches, passes like Summer grass. At any cost, by the grace of God and in accord with my ordination undertaking, I have been moved to rebuke, expose, confront. This call has been operative, whether it has been*1
against the presentation of the gross distortion,
undisguised and continual assault
on both Old and New Testament as was made by misled Staff
at Ormond College in Melbourne,
seminary for the PC of Australia in Victoria; or
to clash with the Canadian PC in one basic point,
in its direct and central failure to adhere
to the word of God as required in their adherence
to the Westminster Confession, where fallibility of the same
is not the meaning of infallibility;
to expose in Assembly and out of it, the ecclesiastical dissociation
from the reality and centrality of the bodily resurrection
in the failing PC of NZ; or
to reprove looseness for a time in the RPCES, in Freemasonry -
leading in time to blessed arousal; or
in confrontation with the distorting distancing from the clear record in Genesis,
concerning creation, where 'poetic' diminuendos were illicitly brought
into a broken account of the creation.
The word of man passes. But neither the creation of God, nor the sin of man, nor the glory of the God who speaks, pass; though in Jesus Christ, the salvation swallows its guilt for His people as they believe, and in His condemnation, the earth and heavens will be replaced.
His own word in its beauty remains (I Corinthians 2:9ff.,), in its inveterate majesty and truth undefiled, magnificent, unchanging and secure. In our generations we have in particular sought to keep clear and secure what past all generations, He will keep, that invariable Gospel, mercy and truth, just as He keeps that which is by faith personally committed to Him by His servants, "against that day" (II Timothy 1:12), the soul of man itself, till like a container unit, His resurrection of the body, discloses our own, eternal gift from the temporal and passing world (Isaiah 51:6, I Corinthians 15, Hosea 13:14).
Therefore, my calling has remained throughout all, to proclaim the Gospel, to preach and teach the word of God written whether in Canada, the USA, whether in NZ or in Australia. We have a "faithful Creator" and it is delight to serve Him (I Peter 4:19), until in the resurrection of the body, mortality is swallowed up in immortality (I Cor. 15). How warmly kind of the Lord meanwhile to call me continually to this work on the Web over the years, and then to help and counsel me concerning so much during the thousands of hours that past during the task...
Who could fail to love such a Lord as this! (Psalm 18). No wonder Psalm 103 bursts into song of heart, blessing the Lord. No wonder throughout thousands of years, His testimony has been upheld, swept on into lands like surging seas, inspired the servants of Christ and brought relief to a self-destroying world, where it will receive it.
How reliable His word as He calls to repent (Mark 1:15), and believe the Gospel, assuring "the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out," (John 6:37), while declaring "I am the door, he who enters by Me will be saved," (John 10:9), and calling such His sheep, declares
"I give them eternal life and they will never perish," John 10:27-28.
2) GOOD NEWS
The sickness now has been mitigated and a stability seems to have developed. so that perhaps a little like the case of Hezekiah (Isaiah 38), there is to be a longer period in which one can minister, and if so as appears, then one praises God for His mercies, and much for this, that the Lord is enabling among His people, for His kingdom this extension. Accordingly, volume 235 has been commenced, with Chapter 1 entitled:
THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD AND DYING
The Christ, the Christian Church and the Council of Chalcedon
It is good to depart and be with Christ, but it is great to be enabled to finish His work first, as Christ so stressed (John 4:34). This follows on from volume 234, Pith of Spirituality and Glory of the Gospel, which includes a number of essentialising, summarising Chapters, covering a broad area. Ah the joy of serving One who is neither brash nor over-reactive, but responsible in all His ways, and forgetting nothing, loving, apt in doing all things well, conscientious with heart, to bother!
See for example, the following:
1) the first.
2) the second.
3) the third.
4) the fourth, with excerpts from Life Story, and
5) the fifth.