Lloyd on March 12th, 2018

RRF 2018 Spring e bulletin final draft

Lloyd on February 19th, 2018

RRF National Services 2018

Lloyd on November 7th, 2017

“STRONG DELUSIONS”

Yet another mass killing in America, this time in a small church in a small town in the big state of Texas. It was a normal Sunday morning in Sutherland Springs with a population of 600 people where the first Baptist Church was holding its morning service attended by about 60 people.

The sound of prayer, singing, music and scripture reading is suddenly and rudely interrupted by gun shots. This eerie and violent sound begins outside and could be heard walking into the church for this evil was on two legs in the form of a man, who it was later reported, was very angry with members of his family. This man lived 30 miles away but his anger caused him to leave his home then drove to this small town with the sole intent of killing as many people as he could before he is killed or he kills himself. When he left the church 26 people lay dead with scores wounded. The death toll included an 18 month old baby and a 77 year old woman. One of the deceased was about 5 months pregnant, and three of her children were killed

The narrative is very familiar only the details are different. That very night as our evening service was in progress I stopped proceedings and prayed for the safety from such evil over the congregation. Never was I thinking, as I was prompted to pray, that a church would be the arena where such evil would take place.

Later that day Republican Ken Paxton, the State Attorney General, the highest legal officer of the state said: American churches should be “arming some of the parishioners” or hiring “professional security”, “for it’s going to happen again,” he told the media in an interview.

The following day, President Trump on a tour of Asia, told reporters in Tokyo the preliminary reports indicated the shooter was “deranged.” “This isn’t a guns situation, I mean we could go into it, but it’s a little bit soon to go into it,” Trump said. “But fortunately somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction; otherwise … it would have been much worse. But this is a mental health problem at the highest level.”

Delusion is defined as an idiosyncratic belief or impression maintained despite being contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder.

Synonyms includes: misapprehension, mistaken impression, false impression, mistaken belief, misconception, misunderstanding, mistake, error, misinterpretation, misconstruction, misbelief; fallacy, illusion, figment of the imagination, fantasy, chimera; fool’s paradise, self-deception to name just some of the words that describes delusion.

If the latest killer had mental health issues then so has America because it refuses to see that the root of its problem is the gun.

The bible describes a number of characters and situations as delusional.

In Isaiah 66, God said he would “choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when he called, none did answer; when he spoke they did not hear, but they did evil before his eyes and chose that which he delighted not”. (Isaiah 66:4 KJV).

In Romans 1, Apostle Paul described the delusion of those who were engaged in unnatural practices as delusional. (Romans 1: 18-32).

In 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, Apostle Paul wrote about those who resisted the truth of the gospel but instead took pleasure in unrighteousness and of such, God has sent strong delusions that they may believe a lie and be damned.

King Nebuchadnezzar became delusional for 7 years because of pride. He lived in the wilds, his nails grew like claws and his hair grew long and unkempt. Despite his madness he still remained king for he could not see that he was behaving oddly nor would his servants acknowledge his madness.

The state of delusion will continue in America until it is prepared to accept it has a gun control problem. There are many angry people in America yet the vast majority are some of the finest people you will ever want to meet anywhere in the world.

America has some great churches, preachers and Christians; lovely and generous people. I have been to America a number of times and am taken aback at the generosity of the people. On one occasion I attended a predominantly white church in Atlanta. I did not say I was a minister or even from the UK. The pastor of the church having found out from someone in the church took me out for lunch a few days later as a way of showing me hospitality. We exchanged contact details and I was asked that if ever I returned to that part of America again to let him know so I could minister for him.

This pastor knew nothing about me other than I was a minister but it did not prevent his hospitality.

So, because there are so many angry people in America with easy access to some of the most lethal weapons in the world it is delusional not to do something about gun control. It is delusional for churches to arm itself with guns.

The modern church projects onto large screens bible texts, songs and announcements so church attendees are not carrying their personal bibles and song books with them to church. One mega church pastor who was interviewed following the latest killings in Sutherland Spring said his church banned shoulder bags from being taken into the church yet he went on, in the same interview, to advocate that congregations should carry guns into church with them just in case.

Sadly, this will happen again and perhaps worst is to come because of the state of delusion in America.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s servant  

Lloyd Denny

Lloyd on October 31st, 2017

“The Just shall live by faith”: the message that changed the world. Part 2.

The message that changed the world:-

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith”. (Romans 1:17 KJV).

Luther was not unfamiliar with the above text for remember he had studied the bible, his first degree was in biblical studies and his doctorate was in theology.

Yet in reading this verse he missed it. He concentrated on what he had to do to become righteous as opposed to becoming righteous or just by faith in Jesus Christ.

From the beginning man has sought to get right with God. This is how religion comes about.

Adam and Eve – sewed “fig leaves” to covet their nakedness. They did not hide from each other they hid from God.

Human sacrifices were made to appease the gods, please the gods and to curry favour with the gods. There was no evidence that this act worked but it was the invention of men.

Pilgrimages. The idea of travelling a long distance sometimes treacherous terrain was viewed as holy. In some religions the annual pilgrimage includes crawling on one’s stomach from home to the temple as a sign of obeisance.

God told the prophet, however, to tell Israel: “But we are all as an unclean thing , and all our righteousness’ are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away”. (Isaiah 64:6).

Martin Luther’s revelation transformed his life and the course of this world. He read from Romans and Galatians about being justified (declared righteous) by faith.

Apostle Paul got it from Habakkuk. Not much is known of this prophet. The book that bears his name has only three chapters.

In chapter 1 – Habakkuk asks God why you whose eyes are pure don’t do something about the evil in the land. Habakkuk as a man is troubled by the injustices he sees and wonder why the wicked go unpunished.

Chapter 2 begins thus: “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved”.

Note: the prophet expects every encounter with God to be one of chastening and punishment. Some children reluctantly go to parents when they do wrong and even when they don’t do anything wrong because all they get is telling off.

Some children stop laughing and playing when parents enter the room because they make the child feel bad if they are having fun. A new era was coming that would change the relationship we have with God. No matter what we did to be righteous failed. Instead of working to please God all we need do was to believe what God did for us.

The guilty in prison waits to serve his or her time. He or she may be released from prison for good behaviour however, the record show that recidivism is high even for the worst offenders.

“And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith”.

Note: the soul that is lifted up/presented to God as holy or righteous is not upright or pleasing to God: “but the just shall live by faith” .

“And he (Jesus) spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: [10] Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. [11] The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are , extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. [12] I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. [13] And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. [14] I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 18:9-14).

Was the Lord saying the sinner’s prayer is more successful than the righteous? No. But rather, “never trust in your own righteousness, and never use others as your standard”.

In Romans 3, Apostle Paul wrote: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; [26] To declare, I say , at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. [27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. [29] Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: [30] Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. [31] Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law”.

God rejected Adam and Eve’s covering but he then provided them with aprons that was a better covering for it covers front and back. This was foreshadowing the covering that Christ would provide for the believer.

In Romans 10, Apostle Paul also wrote: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. [2] For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. [3] For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. [6] But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above 🙂 [7] Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) [8] But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; [9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. [13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.

Five hundred years ago this single act was the catalyst that would bring true salvation to men and women. God told Habakkuk that the plain vision (simple message) would cause men to run with excitement. No more would one have to do things to be justified. No more would one have to flagellate oneself to be right with God and no more would one have to confess repeatedly every day to a priest in a booth then going away only to return the same day or soon to go through the process once more.

Instead, our confession would be unto the Lord as we believe with the heart. For this agrees the scripture, again as written by Apostle Paul: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. [11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. [12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. [13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”. (Romans 10:9-13).

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny

 

Lloyd on October 31st, 2017

“The Just shall live by faith”: the message that changed the world. Part 1.

Today, October 31st, 1517 (500 years ago) a penniless monk named Martin Luther posted his now-famous diatribe denouncing the corruption of the medieval world’s largest and most powerful institution, the Roman Catholic Church. His forerunners had been burned alive for similar statements, but Luther had a new tool at his disposal—the recently invented printing press.

Birth and education:

Martin Luther was born on 10 November 1483 in Eisleben, Saxony, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. He was sprinkled the next morning on the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. Historians will use the term baptism but this is incorrect for baptism is to immerse and the one day old Martin was certainly not immersed but sprinkled. His father was an ambitious man and wanted Martin, his eldest son to become a lawyer.

In 1501, at the age of 17, he entered university. Martin was very bright; God would use his intellect to propagate the message of faith and salvation. Martin would later translate the New Testament into German so the ordinary person could read or have read the bible in the local vernacular.

One must remember that the bible was in very short supply for it had to be copied by hand which took weeks if not months to do and by a number of people working flat out. Moreover, the only language the bible could be found in was Latin.

In accordance with his father’s wishes, Luther enrolled in law school at the same university that year but dropped out almost immediately, believing that law represented uncertainty. Luther sought assurances about life and was drawn to theology and philosophy.

Philosophy proved to be unsatisfying, offering assurance about the use of reason but none about loving God, which to Luther was more important. Reason could not lead men to God, he felt, and he thereafter developed a love-hate relationship with Aristotle over the latter’s emphasis on reason.

For Luther, reason could be used to question men and institutions, but not God. Human beings could learn about God only through divine revelation, he believed, and Scripture therefore became increasingly important to him.

He later attributed his decision to an event: on 2 July 1505, he was returning to university on horseback after a trip home. During a thunderstorm, a lightning bolt struck near him. Later telling his father he was terrified of death and divine judgment, he cried out, “Help! Saint Anna, I will become a monk!”

He came to view his cry for help as a vow he could never break. He left law school, sold his books, and entered St. Augustine’s Monastery in Erfurt on 17 July 1505.

Luther dedicated himself to the Augustinian order, devoting himself to fasting, long hours in prayer, pilgrimage, and frequent confession. He also went without sleep for days, endured bone-chilling cold without a blanket, and flagellating himself. As he later commented, “If anyone could have earned heaven by the life of a monk, it was I.”

Though he sought by these means to love God fully, he found no consolation. He was increasingly terrified of the wrath of God: “When it is touched by this passing inundation of the eternal, the soul feels and drinks nothing but eternal punishment.”

Luther described this period of his life as one of deep spiritual despair. He said, “I lost touch with Christ the Saviour and Comforter, and made of him the jailer and hangman of my poor soul.

Johann von Staupitz, his superior, pointed Luther’s mind away from continual reflection upon his sins toward the merits of Christ. He taught that true repentance does not involve self-inflicted penances and punishments but rather a change of heart. This simple truth though not fully grasped by Luther because of the indoctrination by Roman Catholicism it would serve him well in time to come.

Sadly, this legacy still binds Christians today. Believing its spiritual works above Christ.

He received a bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies on 9 March 1508, and another bachelor’s degree in 1509.

On 19 October 1512 (age 29) he was awarded his Doctor of Theology and, on 21 October 1512, was received into the senate of the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg, having succeeded Staupitz as chair of theology. He spent the rest of his career in this position at the University of Wittenberg.

He was made provincial vicar of Saxony and Thuringia by his religious order in 1515 (age 31). This meant he was to visit and oversee each of eleven monasteries in his province.

In 1516, Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar and papal commissioner for indulgences, was sent to Germany by the Roman Catholic Church to sell indulgences to raise money to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

On 31 October 1517, Luther wrote to his bishop, Albrecht von Brandenburg, protesting the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”, which came to be known as the Ninety-five Theses.

Hans Hillenbrand writes that Luther had no intention of confronting the church, but saw his disputation as a scholarly objection to church practices, and the tone of the writing is accordingly “searching, rather than doctrinaire.” Hillerbrand writes that there is nevertheless an undercurrent of challenge in several of the theses, particularly in Thesis 86, which asks: “Why does the pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build the basilica of St. Peter with the money of poor believers rather than with his own money?” The question was never answered instead the forces of the state would be mobilised to intimidate and later threaten Luther.

Luther objected, in particular, to a saying attributed to Johann Tetzel that “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory (also attested as ‘into heaven’) springs.” At a time of gross spiritual darkness people couldn’t take the chance of not paying the money because the departed soul of a loved one must get to heaven even if that meant being indebted.

Luther, however, insisted that, since forgiveness was God’s alone to grant, those who claimed that indulgences absolved buyers from all punishments and granted them salvation were in error. Christians, he said, must not slacken in following Christ on account of such false assurances.

The Latin Theses were printed in several locations in Germany in 1517. In January 1518 friends of Luther translated the Ninety-five Theses from Latin into German. Within two weeks, copies of the theses had spread throughout Germany; within two months, they had spread throughout Europe.

Luther’s writings circulated widely, reaching France, England, and Italy as early as 1519. Students thronged to Wittenberg to hear Luther speak. He published a short commentary on Galatians and his Work on the Psalms. This early part of Luther’s career was one of his most creative and productive.

Three of his best-known works were published in 1520: To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, and On the Freedom of a Christian.

From 1510 to 1520, Luther lectured on the Psalms, and on the books of Hebrews, Romans, and Galatians. As he studied these portions of the Bible, he came to view the use of terms such as penance and righteousness by the Catholic Church in new ways. He became convinced that the church was corrupt in its ways and had lost sight of what he saw as several of the central truths of Christianity.

The most important for Luther was the doctrine of justification – God’s act of declaring a sinner righteous – by faith alone through God’s grace. He began to teach that salvation or redemption is a gift of God’s grace, attainable only through faith in Jesus as the Messiah. “This one and firm rock, which we call the doctrine of justification”, he wrote, “is the chief article of the whole Christian doctrine, which comprehends the understanding of all godliness.”

Luther came to understand justification as entirely the work of God. He based his position on predestination on St. Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians 2:8–10. Against the teaching of his day that the righteous acts of believers are performed in cooperation with God, Luther wrote that Christians receive such righteousness entirely from outside themselves; that righteousness not only comes from Christ but actually is the righteousness of Christ, imputed to Christians (rather than infused into them) through faith.

“That is why faith alone makes someone just and fulfils the law,” he wrote. “Faith is that which brings the Holy Spirit through the merits of Christ.”

Faith, for Luther, was a gift from God; the experience of being justified by faith was “as though I had been born again.” His entry into Paradise, no less, was a discovery about “the righteousness of God” – a discovery that “the just person” of whom the Bible speaks (as in Romans 1:17) lives by faith.

The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24–25). He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).

All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Romans 3:23–25). This is necessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us … Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls (Mark 13:31).

Luther’s rediscovery of “Christ and His salvation” was the first of two points that became the foundation for the Reformation. His railing against the sale of indulgences was based on it.

Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz and Magdeburg did not reply to Luther’s letter containing the Ninety-five Theses. He had the theses checked for heresy and in December 1517 forwarded them to Rome. He needed the revenue from the indulgences to pay off a papal dispensation for his tenure of more than one bishopric. As Luther later noted, “the pope had a finger in the pie as well, because one half was to go to the building of St Peter’s Church in Rome”.

Pope Leo X, the then head of the Catholic Church, was used to reformers and heretics, and he responded slowly, “with great care as is proper.”

Note: In Revelation 2 verse 21, the bible says God gave “her space to repent but she would not”.

Over the next three years he deployed a series of papal theologians and envoys against Luther, which served only to harden the reformer’s anti-papal theology.

Luther’s boldest assertion in the debate was that Matthew 16:18 does not confer on popes the exclusive right to interpret scripture, and that therefore neither popes nor church councils were infallible. For this, Eck branded Luther a new Jan Hus, referring to the Czech reformer falsely accused of heresy who was burned at the stake in 1415. From that moment, he devoted himself to Luther’s defeat.

Excommunication:-

On 15 June 1520, the Pope warned Luther with the papal bull (edict) Exsurge Domine that he risked excommunication unless he recanted 41 sentences drawn from his writings, including the Ninety-five Theses, within 60 days.

Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X on 3 January 1521 after refusing to recant or withdraw his protests.

The enforcement of the ban on the Ninety-five Theses fell to the secular authorities. On 18 April 1521, Luther appeared as ordered before the Diet of Worms. This was a general assembly of the estates of the Holy Roman Empire that took place in Worms, a town on the Rhine. It was conducted from 28 January to 25 May 1521, with Emperor Charles V presiding. Prince Frederick III, Elector of Saxony, obtained a safe conduct for Luther to and from the meeting.

Johann Eck, speaking on behalf of the Empire as assistant of the Archbishop of Trier, presented Luther with copies of his writings laid out on a table and asked him if the books were his, and whether he stood by their contents. Luther confirmed he was their author, but requested time to think about the answer to the second question. He prayed, consulted friends, and gave his response the next day.

Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.

Private conferences were held to determine Luther’s fate. The Emperor presented the final draft of the Edict of Worms on 25 May 1521, declaring Luther an outlaw, banning his literature, and requiring his arrest: “We want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic.”It also made it a crime for anyone in Germany to give Luther food or shelter. It permitted anyone to kill Luther without legal consequence.

Martin Luther was a prolific writer, preacher and church organiser despite suffering ill health for years, including Ménière’s disease, vertigo, fainting, tinnitus, and a cataract in one eye.

In 1536, he began to suffer from kidney and bladder stones, arthritis, and an ear infection ruptured an ear drum. In December 1544, he began to feel the effects of angina.

An apoplectic stroke deprived him of his speech, and he died shortly afterwards at 2:45 a.m. on 18 February 1546, aged 62.

At no time did Martin Luther the man whose revelation on faith call upon God for divine healing nor was there any that laid hands upon him as Christ said we should do, and James wrote that the elders should do, for his healing. This is because faith is often incremental not a Big Bang. We can have strong or great faith in one area of life for example soul salvation yet have no faith for healing.

Source: the Bible KJV and Wikipedia.

To be continued in part 2.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny

Lloyd on October 31st, 2017

“THANK GOD”

Today I listened to an extended interview on the radio of a seventy plus year old woman who while a young woman had three “backstreet abortions”, euphemism for illegal abortions. This woman was well educated and from a privilege background so having the abortions wasn’t because of a lack of education or poverty the two main reasons many western women give for having abortion.

The interview was conducted on the eve of the fiftieth year since abortions became legal in the UK, except for Northern Ireland . So the interview was to tell how it was for women before abortions became legal.

The final words of the woman when asked if she had any regrets (the interviewer was a woman), her response was no, adding “thank God”. I doubt that she meant thank God that she had three abortions but I think she meant thank God that the law was changed making it lawful to have an abortion because of the dangers of backstreet abortions.

Whilst I understand the dilemma women then and now have when finding out they are pregnant and don’t want to have the baby it still is wrong to abort the unborn child.

The word abort or abortion has been sanitised because it doesn’t truly convey what is involved in the process but simply put, it’s very ugly, messy and psychologically disturbing. So disturbing is the procedure that images of what happens cannot be shown on TV or any mainstream media. The Advertising Standards Agency, the BBC and all regulators will not allow such images to be shown.

Protestors against abortions who display such images in front of abortion clinics and other public places are vilified and accused of cruelty, bullying and of being offensive. What about the unborn child who is weeping for them? Photos of the unborn child are unmistakably human. The abortion procedure includes the dismemberment of the foetus piece by piece with a sharp instrument.

If such images were shown it is very doubtful that the law would remain unchanged; there is talk of changing the law to make it easier to have an abortion in that it should only require limited pre-counselling and that a termination should be allowed to take place beyond twenty four weeks, the current maximum. There is exception to this rule if the mother’s life is at risk or there are foetal abnormalities, then there is no limit. There is also no age limit for treatment.

Will the law change in terms of making it illegal? Not in my life time and perhaps never for the argument against it is not encouraged for “it’s the woman’s right to choose” and it’s “her body”.

Abortion has nothing to do with God, indeed God disapproves, and it’s a sin because it is the wilful taking of life. The unborn child is protected by its mother in the womb where it develops for nine months and then at the appointed time it forces the mother to allow it to leave. When it is born it gets all the support of the law and cannot be neglected, abused or hurt in any way. Society is very hard on anyone who fails to look after the baby right through to adulthood. As an adult we are protected from harm and in particular any attempt to kill us. Murder is still the highest and most heinous of crimes.

As a society we have become desensitised to the act of abortion. The very word is euphemism for something very bad and ugly. Each new generation is even more insensitive to the act because the images are hidden, debate is shut down and the voice of protestors are made to appear offensive, cruel and even unchristian.

Finally, there are many things we must give God thanks for but abortion is certainly not one of them.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

 The Lord’s servant

 Lloyd Denny

Lloyd on October 24th, 2017

“SERVANTS OF HONOUR AND DISHONOUR”

[19] Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. [20] But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. [21] If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (2 Timothy 2:19-21) KJV.

It is shocking how those with a political agenda can excuse the behaviour of leaders with whom they have affinity or have preference. This is not only true in politics but sadly also in the church. To side with one political leader over another on the basis of politics is expected for this is not only normal but is logical. I support my friend and political soul mate this is what is known as being partisan, the very word is a clue.

However, when God, the church or the Bible is used then it’s shameful. Some even go as far as prophesying that support for their political person is approved by God and anyone who criticises such a one is in danger of displeasing God or bringing the judgment of God upon themselves. How ridiculous and offensive.

The bible lists many leaders: prophets, priests and kings who behaved badly and certainly was not approved by God. Ahab was a rightful king in Israel but he was an offender and was opposed by Elijah.

The prophet Micaiah also opposed Ahab yet he was supported by many prophets who all thought the king was beyond reproach and even in office with the approval of God.

In the text above, Apostle Paul writes that it’s the seal of God that identifies us as belonging to God. By belonging I mean approved by God and used by God. Then he writes all who would invoke the name of The Lord by claiming to be a servant of God, a child of God, a believer, born again or simply a Christian, must depart from iniquity (lawlessness, immorality or grossly unfair behaviour. Wickedness, sinfulness, impropriety, vice, evil, sin etc).

Then he writes about the many vessels which are in a great house that are to honour and dishonour. Some vessels are low in value, some very expensive; some used all the time and some used on special occasions.

King Nebuchadnezzar is described as a servant of God because he would be used to discipline Israel for their sins. Nebuchadnezzar did some very bad things when he invaded Israel. He later ruled over Israel with a strong arm. God did not approve of his life as a man. At one point the king lost his mind for seven years during which his hair grew, as did his nails and lived out in the open as a wild beast. I am sure his supporters excused his madness even then.

Cyrus the Great was also a servant of God also in respect of the nation of Israel. This same Cyrus issued the decree to build the walls in Jerusalem. Despite carrying out God’s plan for Israel did not mean his sinful ways were exonerated by God.

Paul then makes it clear that to be a vessel of honour one had to purge themselves from these (sin, immorality, evil, vice, unfair behaviour etc) in order to become a vessel of honour fit for the Master’s use.

When President Trump got elected I wrote that God will help him if he humbles himself. It wasn’t so much that he was God’s servant of honour, far from it, but rather God could use him despite his obvious inabilities. Its one thing to be well qualified to be president and getting into trouble because of pride but to get into trouble when one is patently unqualified because of pride is foolish in the extreme.

Pride is foolish at all levels of leadership but it’s especially foolish for those in high office because it leads to destruction. God resists the proud.

It was pride that caused king Nebuchadnezzar to live like a wild beast for seven years. It was pride that precipitated the overthrow and death of many despots and it was pride that led to Satan being cast out of heaven.

Still many Christian leaders are unwilling to let Mr Trump know he is behaving badly. Every wrong is received in silence and those who speak defend his wrong. The prophet Nathan went to King David and told him he had blood on his hands for orchestrating the death of Uriah. Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die”. (2 Samuel 12:13).  

King Ahab of Israel invites king Jehoshaphat of Judah to join him in a battle. Jehoshaphat is not convinced that the battle is justified. He suggests to Ahab that they consult the prophet to find out if God would give the go ahead. At a flash Ahab produces hundreds of prophets who give the go ahead in the name of The Lord. King Jehoshaphat is suspicious at the unanimity and asks if there was another independent minded prophet they could consult. Ahab says there is another and his name is Micaiah but he is in prison because he hates me for he never says anything good about me.

Jehoshaphat insists they consult Micaiah and he is brought out of prison. Before he is brought before the two kings he is briefed by Ahab’s servants to say what the other prophets had said. On being brought before the two kings he says what he was told to say. Ahab is surprised so he insists that Micaiah speak the truth. The prophet then went on to speak a word from God which in effect said don’t engage in this battle for if you do many will die including the king of Israel. Ahab with the support of Jehoshaphat went to war and was killed. The story of Micaiah and his encounter with Ahab can be found in 1 Kings 22.

I do hope Mr Trump will humble himself because America needs good leadership for its in trouble. The world needs good leadership for there is great uncertainty and fear. If he does humble himself and purge himself then he will not only be a successful leader but also a vessel of honour prepared unto every good work.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant  

Lloyd Denny

 

Lloyd on October 13th, 2017

“The love of money is the root of all evil”.

China is now the second largest economy in the world and is projected that within the next five years it will take over the number one spot from America.

China, a one party state with limited freedom, still communist in ideology and government has enjoyed double digit economic growth for more than a decade and even now with universal slow down, still has healthy economic growth year on year.

When I was in school in the 1970’s the USSR and China were the largest communist blocs in the world. The oppressed of the world sought refuge in the USSR and China because they welcome them with open arms. People from Africa would go for schooling in USSR and were very well looked after. In fact a number of African freedom fighters were educated in the USSR.

China then was a closed society that didn’t let many in or their people out. Those who came to the west were from Hong Kong, then still a British colony.

Both were relatively poor in comparison with western democracies. Both followed a command and control economic system; both had full employment even if that meant inventing jobs for people and both had low wages; the state provided housing and from birth to death welfare system.

There was a short time in the 1970’s and early 1980’s where more than half the world population were under a communist regime. This made the West afraid and did all it could to stop more countries becoming communist so anything that looked too left wing or socialist was a threat. This threat was met with attempts at destabilisation of the country, regime change and even assassination.

State sponsored terror is illegal and would bring a prime minister or president down if they are caught but still it happened because of the threat from communism.

In the end the USSR collapsed and the west breathed a collective sigh of relief. With the collapse came nationalism, western style democracy, market economies and soon afterwards the love of money.

With the love of money has come: prostitution, alcoholism, drug addiction, xenophobia and racism. The people of these former soviet bloc countries have not changed because of genetics or because they feel threatened by outsiders coming in they have changed because of a love of money.

The love of money makes us greedy, selfish, protectionist and evil. We build high walls around our homes not just to be safe from robbers but to keep others out. The rich entertain, they throw lavish parties and are quick to show off what they have so it’s not really about keeping people out, but it is about keeping certain people out. Certain people might include: the poor, lower classes and certain races.

In the case of China, this still communist country, has the taste of money and like it. China has more billionaires than all other countries except the USA. China straddles Africa and the Caribbean with its money buying up resources, land and status in these countries yet more and more people are saying that Chinese people are not friendly and even racist.

China is allowing visitors into mainland China but people especially black people are complaining of racism.

Saudi Arabia and many other wealthy Arab countries are some of the most racist countries in the world and again this is due to the love of money. Before they discovered oil these very poor countries of desert dwellers and nomads were friendly to outsiders. Africans and Arabs got on well as equals but not now. Despite being near neighbours the Arabs treat the African as servants and slaves.

Have you noticed how unwilling these very wealthy Arab countries are to respond to global disasters. Millions have been forced out of Southern Sudan and Yemen but no help from Saudi Arabia. Yet a much poorer country like Kenya has allowed hundreds of thousands of people from Somalia into her country and even look after them.

Donald Trump won the presidency of America with a promise to build a very high wall to keep Mexicans out. Mexico a near neighbour, saddled with debt, corruption and prone to natural disasters is vilified as rapists, bandits and lazy. A caricature designed to make Americans afraid to lose what they believe they have.

America that became a nation through immigration. A people who fled Europe and elsewhere so they could practise their faith, make a new start and get away from persecution were at first very welcoming to all. Note the Statue of Liberty.

As soon as it became prosperous it became nasty. Settlers soon turn on their hosts the Indians, and in quick time almost wiped them out.

The love of money is indeed the root of all evil no wonder Jesus told the rich young ruler to give away his riches to the poor and then come follow him and it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny

Lloyd on October 13th, 2017

“Minority Report

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”. (Hebrews 12:1 KJV).

Recently the latest British Social Attitude survey reporting on religious faith in England and Wales showed that for the first time ever more people say they don’t have a faith than that they do. Furthermore, that fewer and fewer people say they attend a church service.

The analysis throws up striking regional variations. London has the smallest proportion of people identifying as “nones”, at an average of 40%, accounted for by the capital’s large minority ethnic population. In contrast, 59.5% of people in Wales say they have no religion. Wales the birthplace of great revivals.

The report was met with glee in some quarters, indifference by some and sadness by others. When I hear such reports and comments by the usual suspects it fills me with a mix of sadness but also an urge to do more to strengthen Christian witness in this country.

The headline report that more people said they had no religious faith was music to atheists, agnostics and secular humanists in our country. Despite the headline I believe atheists are still a minority in the UK and they definitely are a minority in our world.

That said, increasingly minorities are holding the majority to ransom. After all we are in the Laodicean church age (See Revelation Chapter 3), the age of human rights.

Throughout history the minority has suffered at the hands of the majority and at times this has meant persecution and mass killing almost to genocide.

The minority was persecuted for their faith, because of their race or nationality and even because of their tribe. Persecution of minorities is morally wrong and where it is encouraged by law it’s doubly wrong. For example, the early Christians were persecuted by their fellow Jews and later by the Roman authorities.

The Roman Catholic Church for centuries persecuted and killed millions of Christians who differed from them in terms of doctrine and practice. Please read Foxes book of martyrs for information on this great persecution.

In many places in the world the minority are still suffering at the hands of the majority because they are stronger, have access to power and sometimes the law is with them. The majority also believe it has the right to enforce its will for after all in a vote or in a fight they are expected to win. I get it and I am sure you do too.

What then is the point behind this blog? Well I was praying and from my mouth came the words “the few are getting the better over the many”. I was praying about the influence the few were having on social policy even to the point of changing laws. Social change is often driven by a minority and somehow the majority is forced to go along with change through apathy, tolerance and slumber.

Take for example, the purchase and use of guns in America; the overwhelming majority believe there should be improved gun control. It’s ridiculous that a fourteen year old boy cannot buy alcohol or cigarette or even a lottery ticket, yet can buy a gun and as many bullets as he can afford.

Recently I saw a short DIY film posted on social media that said Jesus never existed despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary for more than two millennia.

The re-writing of history as in the case of holocaust deniers by some historians, or so called new findings by geologists and anthropologists of rocks dating back billions of years or fossils claiming that our human ancestors have been found in the form of some primate is not new but with social media has taken on a new and dangerous form.

Fake news can be peddled by a teenager in his room simply making things up. Fake news is also produced by media outlets with an agenda. Fake news can also be produced by atheists and secular humanists whose agenda is to turn many, especially the young, away from the knowledge of God and in particular the Bible.

The books of Genesis and Revelation are usually the target of those who want to turn people off the bible. Very few have the audacity to deny major figures like Moses, David and Jesus Christ but believe it or not there are those who are doing so and persuading others to join them.

So once again the minority is seeking to win over the majority not based on truth or sound evidence but based entirely on their own agenda. Satan is the father of lies and sadly many are willing to do his bidding. Yet Satan according to the bible believes in one God and fears and tremble yet he persuades some that there is no God.

Jesus in one of his parables said the kingdom of God (the church), would grow and grow even though sometimes wildly, to the very end.

In the text at the start of this blog, the writer of Hebrews draws attention to the many cloud of witnesses that attests to the truths in the bible. Witnesses like the prophet Isaiah who foretold the gruesome death of Messiah in gory details or Daniel who saw and made known his visions concerning the great empires of the world from Babylon to Rome in great detail. For example, he describes the rise and fall of Alexander the Great and the breakup of Greece.

There are more than 1.3 billion Christians in our world with the overwhelming majority of people having a faith so let us not allow the minority to get the upper hand in the media, educational establishments and social policy.

Much of the social woes that plague the western world are because we have turned away from God, the bible and church. We have in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way”. (Isaiah 53:6).

Neither should the majority seek to oppress the minority. Persuade yes, help yes, but no to persecution or intolerance.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny

Lloyd on October 5th, 2017

“Our thoughts and prayers”

Once again another mass killing with guns in the USA, this time in Las Vegas.

Last Sunday night the day of the mass shooting, I was in church here in Luton and we were looking at the weapons which are formed against believers and non believers which are designed to destroy and to kill. We left the service with a better understanding and a determination to be vigilant and to watch in prayer for each other.

That evening in the USA, a retired accountant who had for a number of days booked himself into a hotel with an arsenal of high velocity weapons and enough bullets to kill many hundreds of people waited for the moment when the crowd attending an open air concert at the back of the hotel had gathered. Then without any warning he started shooting and shooting indiscriminately into the crowd, stopping only to reload and to get another gun. Apparently, he had more than forty guns some modified to operate as semi automatic weapons.

It was later reported that the shooting lasted for less than ten minutes and only came to an end when he turned one of his guns on himself. Nearly 60 people lay dead, badly cut up by the many bullets which sprayed the crowd with more than 500 people wounded, some critically.

Not surprisingly the news soon travelled across the world and America is stopped in its tracks once again having to respond to the latest atrocity.

Every time such an atrocity takes place in America a number of responses can be predicted: we must do something about guns; we must ban certain calibre of guns; we must make it difficult for people to buy guns; guns don’t kill people, its people who kill people; it’s our constitutional right to carry a gun.

One other response especially from leaders especially the president is: “our thoughts and prayers” are with the victims and some add with their family.

I pray often and daily for I know God answers prayer. Jesus told me that I must ask, seek and knock. That men ought always to pray and not faint.

Through prayer I offload unto God, get clarity from God and get direction from God. It’s not the eloquence of my prayer that matters or the many words I use but what really matters is the one who is hearing one’s prayer. The Baal prophets prayed and prayed from morning to evening and nothing happened. Elijah prayed a few words and his prayer was immediately answered for all to see.

Idols cannot hear. Fictitious gods cannot hear. Prayer in the name of The Lord Jesus is the key. Peter and John prayed for a crippled man who was placed outside the temple in Jerusalem to beg. One day these two ministers healed him of his condition and were lauded by the people for they knew a notable miracle had been done to that man that day.

Peter and John refused the plaudits instead made it clear that it was faith in the name of Jesus that made the man perfectly whole. I believe in the God who answers prayer so I am committed to prayer.

Notwithstanding, too often when there is an atrocity the phrase “our thoughts and prayers” is I believe euphemism for doing nothing. The shooting in America will probably not bring any change so it’s just a matter of time till the next atrocity. Most worryingly though, is the trend that mass murderers are killing more and more people as if each must kill more than the previous.

The phrase thoughts and prayers is also true for some churches, ministers and believers. Prayer is substitute for doing something. There is an issue that needs fixing or dealing with and it’s in our powers to fix the problem many are inclined to do nothing.

How do I know this? I know this because even if God spoke we are inclined to stop doing what we started if there is no immediate results; forgetting that it took God six days to create the world and rested on the seventh day.

Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and there they stood at the shore of the Red Sea crying to Moses that they were doomed because Pharaoh’s army was in hot pursuit. Moses turns to God to find out what to do. God tells him to go forward, that is, to head towards the Red Sea. The Red Sea is parted and the people cross over on dry land.

Too many leaders would have called a prayer meeting right there and then forgetting that for 400 years the people had been praying and it was time to listen to God and go forward.

I am amazed how experienced ministers will call for a time of prayer at a time of difficulties and yet be unwilling to do anything even after God has spoken.

Faith without works, says James, is dead. There is no greater expression of faith than prayer but we must act after we have prayed. King Jehoshaphat is troubled at the news that an enemy was planning to invade his country and said he must surrender for Judah was no match for him.

The king goes into the temple and prays. An unnamed prophet gives him a word from God that he need not fight for the “battle is the Lord’s”. King Jehoshaphat went home and told the singers to get ready to sing ahead of the army.

On the night Jesus was arrested he prayed three times in the garden of Gethsemane but as soon as he got through he got up and moved on to fulfil the will of God.

In conclusion, I believe in the importance of prayer especially instant prayers. However, it must not be used as euphemism for doing nothing.

Luke the writer of the gospel that bears his name and the book of Acts begins Acts with these words: “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach”. Acts 1:1.

God is a doing God. The patriarchs, prophets, the apostles and Christ himself were doers of the word but they prayed also.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant

Lloyd Denny