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

Lloyd on October 4th, 2017

“All Israel shall be saved”

In my previous blog I wrote about a dream I recently had in which I left a question for a certain bible scholar to answer which he couldn’t. The blog was titled: “The things of the Spirit are spiritually discerned”.

The things of God wrote Apostle Paul, are spiritually discerned: his word, dreams and visions. Jesus taught by Parables which are also spiritually discerned.

The word discern means: to see, perceive, detect, recognise, notice, spot etc.

Discerned is the past tense of discern.

Therefore, spiritually discerned means to see, perceive, detect, recognise etc by the spirit. God who is Spirit communicates with our human spirit.

The born again spirit is alive unto God which is the best definition of being born again. God again, according to Apostle Paul, bears witness with our spirit that we are his children. If then children expect to be led.

Jesus asked his disciples whom do men say I the son of man am? Various names were given. The follow up question was whom do you say I am? No one spoke for this was a very big question. Then the silence broke, “thou art the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God” declared Peter.

No equivocation, no edging of bet, no sitting on the fence. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.

“Flesh and blood (human learning, intellect, brain power, guess work) did not reveal this to you but my Father (the God of all spirits, the Heavenly Father) revealed this to you”.

The word of God is spiritually discerned in that it must be understood through our spirit.

When the church was established it was characterised by various phenomena: fire, heavenly sounds, diverse tongues and miraculous healing. The detractors could not explain away the things that were being done for they happened in public and were reported on by others not the disciples. The only criticism they could level at the disciples of Christ was that they were unlearned and ignorant.

Yet these so called unlearned and ignorant men went on to establish the church: through sound doctrines, good administration and governance and holy practices.

Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1 and 2) in response to those who said the disciples were drunk declared that what the massive crowd was witnessing that early morning was a fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy concerning the universal outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Up until then if you were to have asked Peter what Joel meant I doubt he could have explained the prophecy, because the word is spiritually discerned.

Let me now turn to the subject of this blog. The word Israel was given to Jacob after he had an encounter with the angel, whom I believe was God. After this encounter Jacob was never the same again. Jacob refused to let go the angel saying he needed to be blessed first. The angel touched one of his thighs and thereafter he never walked the same again and indeed was never the same again. God then renamed Jacob, Israel which means prince of God.

Israel then is the name for the man who was changed after a divine encounter. The descendants of Israel the man were called the children of Israel. By the time of the prophets the nation was simply referred to as Israel or Judah and sometimes Ephraim.

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church at Rome bemoans the condition of his people the Jews. In chapter 10 he writes: “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 zeal of God, but not according to knowledge”.

He later gives a brilliant summary of their plight over the centuries which culminated in their wholesale rejection of Jesus as the Messiah or Christ. However, he wrote, the calamity that has befallen the Jews was not unknown to God; indeed He used this calamity to open up the kingdom to the nations.

As an analogy, a loving father builds a huge house for his nearest and dearest and their friends and neighbours. Many of his closest relatives are reluctant to live at the house preferring to go their own way. The father then opens the house to the friends and neighbours. It was the father’s intention all along to open the house to the friends and neighbours but gave preferential treatment to his nearest and dearest.

It was God’s will all along, wrote Paul for the Gentiles to enter the kingdom of God but those closest to Messiah, the Jews, were unwilling to enter so the Gentiles rushed in.

Has God forgotten the Jews? Asked Paul, no was the answer; for he too and most of the leaders in the church at the time were Jews. What will happen to the rest asks Paul? God will bring them in but through the church.

Paul entered the church at conversion and did a great deal to define and establish the church. He uses Isaiah’s words to explain. “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord”. (Isaiah 59:20).

With the birth of the church Apostle Paul goes from the future tense of Isaiah to present continuous tense when he wrote that the deliverer shall come out of Zion and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. (Romans 11:26). The key phrase is the Redeemer shall first come to Zion as our Lord did in building the church to the Redeemer shall come out of Zion.

Through Christ the Redeemer, Gentiles are brought into the kingdom of God and so too the Jews.

All Israel shall indeed be saved but this refers to the born again Jew. There are Jews who don’t believe in God and despise the name of Jesus. There are Jews who reject the New Testament and hate the church as do many Gentiles.

Jesus told the learned Nicodemus “you must be born again to see and enter the Kingdom of God”. 

So all Israel shall be saved but only the born again ones for it is written, again by Paul, “for he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: [29] But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God”. (Romans 2:28-29). 

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny

 

 

Lloyd on October 3rd, 2017

“The things of the Spirit are spiritually discerned”

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 KJV

[14] But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. [15] But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. [16] For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Last night I dreamt I was in a long and at times heated debate with a number of bible scholars about the scriptures and in particular Romans 9 through to 11.

Try as I may I just couldn’t get through to a particular person. To start with he went on and on never giving others including me a chance to help him understand that what he was saying was incorrect. The others in the debate knew he was wrong but they too couldn’t convince him he was wrong for he wouldn’t listen.

In the dream I am asking myself why wouldn’t he listen and a number of reasons are given. Top of the list was his natural mind. This man was a PHD, one who was fluent in Hebrew and Greek, I certainly wasn’t in the dream and certainly not in wake.

He was utterly convinced he must be correct because he was able to trace back to the original Greek every word in Romans 9 through to 11 and other parts of the New Testament. All I wanted him to do was to listen for a while so I could give my explanation of the scripture but no. Another scholar had sympathy on me for although in essence his background was similar to this man, in that he also was a PHD and took a very similar line to this other man at least he believed I should get an opportunity to explain the scriptures.

After some time trying to say something in my frustration I decided to walk away for I was getting nowhere and felt if I continued I would become angry.

On seeing that I was about to walk away the man who would not let me speak stopped speaking. I then asked a question with the intention of leaving it with him to ponder for I didn’t expect him to want to hear my explanation.

The question was, what did Paul mean when he wrote: “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob”: (Romans 11:26).

Try as he may he couldn’t answer the question. He went into Jewish history: their persecution, the early Jewish leaders of the church, the Gentiles getting saved because of the Jews. Many words were said and both I and the other scholar were not impressed.

I then cited Jews that I knew of who were atheists, big time sinners, some truly bad people; will they be saved I asked? For Paul said all Israel shall be saved? Again he had another go but couldn’t convince anyone and judging from his body language he hadn’t convinced himself either. The other person had a go at explaining the text but didn’t quite get it right either. Shortly afterwards I woke up and decided to write this blog.

In conclusion, I am not saying the scholar or PHD cannot understand the scriptures but one cannot approach the scripture with the natural mind no matter how educated.

Apostle Paul with all his education did not see Jesus as Messiah and that the church was of God.

It was he who after conversion would write: “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: [5] Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; [6] Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.  

[7] But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. [8] Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. 

[9] And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: [10] That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; [11] If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  

[12] Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  

[13] Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do , forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, [14] I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 3: 4-14).

Apostle Paul was willing to renounce things he had learnt about God and the study of scripture. As a Pharisee he would have studied the scriptures a certain way. A way based on intellect and not the Spirit for he didn’t have the Spirit of God.

Through the Spirit Paul has given the church and the world a deep understanding of God. His words to the Corinthians are the title of this blog.

Smith Wigglesworth the well known Pentecostal Evangelist from Bradford, England said on more than one occasion: “Some people read their Bibles in Hebrew, some in Greek; I like to read mine in the Holy Ghost”.

In the next blog I will give my explanation of the statement “all Israel shall be saved”.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny

 

Lloyd on September 21st, 2017

“Lord, help thou my belief”.

In the gospel of Mark chapter 9, it records a story of a father on hearing that nothing was impossible to him that believes after seeing the miraculous delivery of his son, cried out at his unbelieving heart: “Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief”. 

On more than one occasion the disciples of Jesus asked our Lord to increase their faith, forgive their unbelief and to help them to believe for nothing was impossible with God.

After Pentecost, the power to bear witness and to operate in the miraculous came to the early church such that their faith was relentless and unquenchable.

They healed the sick, performed miracles and even raised the dead. On one occasion a local church refused to bury a church sister who had died prematurely.

Instead, they dressed her, not for the grave but for life, placed her on a bed and went and fetched Apostle Peter who was nearby to come pray.

They would have prayed for her yet it did not stop them calling Peter to pray also.

Peter duly came, just like Jesus who came to the home of Lazarus four days after his death. Peter spoke to God and then spoke to the dead sister commanding her back to life. God heard Peter’s prayer and his faith in the name of Jesus brought the dead sister back to life. See Acts chapter 9 for the full story.

The title of the blog is “help thou my belief” because increasingly I am finding too many believers are critical of those who believe God for the impossible. Instead of encouraging or asking God to help them believe it’s easier to criticise those who believe. We must be wise, where is the power that the early church had? These comments are made by people who really don’t believe by acting but only hypothetically.

I have been in too many services where there are comments after comments, song after song all attesting to the power of God and yet there are sick folks in the midst who are ignored. The main reason for this lack of faith is the low priority given to the word of faith in too many meetings.

Too many services are dominated by singing: the moderator, choirs, the congregation and preachers so there is very little time for the word of faith. Furthermore, the word always come at the very end after hours of “other  stuff” so by the time what is passed off as the word is given the saints are tired and the unsaved want to go home. The poor preacher then is expected to give catchphrases, homilies and slogans which are insufficient to produce faith.

In my travels as a preacher, where singing is in another language and there is no choir and musical instruments I use the time to build faith and always without exception, God manifests his power to save, heal and work miracles. Sometimes the miracle is immediate but as often it is over time. The book of Revelation opens with the Apostle John being in the spirit. He is all alone, no choir or music to pump him up but he steps into the world of the Spirit.

Let us keep believing God for all things are possible to him that believes. Another reason people are sometimes unwilling to believe despite their protestations of faith is because not every person or situation we pray for will be successful in our terms.

Daniel prayed but still ended up in the lion’s den. His three brothers ended up in the fiery furnace. Stephen was stoned to death, James along with nine of the original twelve disciples were martyred for their faith. Paul and practically all the early apostles were similarly martyred for their faith. In the case of Paul he like John the Baptist before him was beheaded. How ignominious.

Jesus healed lepers but not every leper in the city or country. Jesus raised the dead but many still had to bury their dead. Jesus also raised Lazarus from the dead after being in the tomb four days but stopped short of raising others from the grave.

Let us believe God and keep on doing so but we cannot guarantee that everyone we pray for will be miraculously healed or brought back from the dead. This is not our prerogative, that’s God’s. Ours is to believe.

Make room for the word of God in our services. With the word comes faith. When faith is in the heart of the preacher, the congregation and the people we will see the power of God. No histrionics, no hype and certainly no fakery.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s servant. 

Lloyd Denny

 

Lloyd on September 21st, 2017

“To believe or not to believe, that is the question”.

There are many who believe in God but sadly will be lost. By lost I mean will end up in hell.

Simply believing without acting on one’s belief is not sufficient. Satan believes in God but is destined to be bound in everlasting chains.

Apostle Paul in his letter to the Roman church bemoans the condition of his people by saying that they were lost for they had zeal but not according to knowledge.

To truly believe one has to act or do what one is required to do. For example, to truly believe one has to first repent. To truly believe for a miracle or divine intervention one has to act.

Naaman the leper had to wash himself seven times in the river Jordan for him to be cleansed of his leprosy.

The widow had to act upon the word of the prophet by baking a cake for him first from her meagre supply.

Peter and John told the crippled man to get up and walk and he ignored his past condition and attempted to get up. As he did he found he could walk.

Jesus spat on the ground mixed his spittle in the dust and applied it to the eyes of a man that was born blind then told him to go and wash his eyes in the nearby pool. The man went and did what he was told to do and came back fully sighted.

I could go on and on but I am sure you get the point.

So, believing is important but it must be acted upon for as James wrote: “faith without works (action) is dead”.

As Apostle Paul wrote that zeal without knowledge did not save the Jewish people of his day for they needed a preacher to bring to them the knowledge of Christ people today need the knowledge of God.

There are many belief systems in our world today. People who sincerely believe but still will be lost for knowledge is important. People perish for lack of knowledge.

I hope I have convinced you that true belief requires action and belief and the proper action is based on knowledge.

Not believing or unbelief is even worse than believing incorrectly. That is why atheism and secular humanism is the single greatest danger to men and women today. This didn’t happen over night for I have traced this danger back to the Philadelphian church message in  Revelation chapter 3. In the message to the church of Philadelphia our Lord warned against “the great temptation that would come upon the world to try men”. I believe this is a reference to the rise in atheism and secular humanism. I invite the reader to read blog number 256 which provides the narrative to my assertion.

Too many young people and their parents in the West refuse to believe in God. They reject the very idea. They are unwilling to show even intellectual curiosity. They have hardened their hearts against God, the Bible and the church. Governments are the same which explains why there are no legal boundaries; as long as there is a backer, sometimes one person with media influence or parliamentary support, a law can be introduced or changed.

They can be polite but dismissive, they can he reasonable but intolerant and they can be logical but unwilling to find out. I have met teenagers who dismiss the idea of God without reading the Bible, going to a church, speaking to a preacher or even saying a prayer.

Not long ago I met a man outside our church building in Luton and I invited him to visit us one day of his choosing. I spoke about the good things that takes place in a church service he was unwilling to entertain the idea. I appealed to his rational mind by saying he could come and see for himself that if after a few minutes he found it not to his liking he could leave. I even said that if he didn’t want to come to a service he could meet me during the day for a conversation. All my appeal fell on deaf ears and a hardened heart.

Unbelief is folly and the very worst form of foolishness. Most unbelievers think they are rational and logical yet are unwilling to try Jesus or to speak to a preacher sent by God. It must be a preacher that is truly sent by God.

Logic tells us that if we use the best surgeon it is more likely that our operation will be successful. The best trial court lawyer gives the defendant the best chance of an acquittal and a preacher sent by God will help us know God.

John the Baptist persuaded many to believe in God for he was a preacher sent by God and as a result many were saved from the wrath to come.

Jesus was sent by God and countless number has been saved from the wrath to come.

As Paul identified that the answer to the salvation of the Jews was based on preaching the word of God to them so the answer to unbelief is to preach and teach the word of God.

Let us use all the modern media to propagate the gospel for as it is written: “now faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny

 

Lloyd on September 21st, 2017

“FREE INDEED”

“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. [35] And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. [36] If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-36). 

I am 32,000 feet in the air after leaving London, England five hours ago into an 8 1/2 hours flight to Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I am in tears following an in flight documentary by CNN which is titled the “Eighties”. The particular episode is about the fall of the Berlin Wall which separated East and West Germany for more than forty years.

My tears are of joy as I watched the politics of men give way to the needs of men and women for freedom. The utter delight and joy of East German citizens has they were allowed to cross the border into West Germany for they were one people with one language and but for the past forty years had enjoyed a common history.

I lived through the 80’s so was familiar with the broad historical themes but the subtle details and the human experiences of ordinary people eluded me for they were not reported on at the time. I suppose it takes reflections on history to fully appreciate historical events. Furthermore, it’s the many voices and perspectives that truly give one a clear understanding of what happened for one is too busy living day to day to perceive what is happening.

This is particularly true for the authors of the four Gospels.

Matthew and John with Mark and Luke wrote the gospels years after Jesus lived, died, ascended back to heaven and established the church.

With the benefit of time they were able to consult contemporaries, check facts and come to appreciate what Jesus taught and did during his 3 1/2 years of public ministry.

So with the benefit of hindsight John recalls an exchange Jesus had with religious leaders of his day which is the basis of this blog.

In the earlier verses in the chapter a woman caught in the very act of adultery is brought in humiliation to Jesus by a gang of men. Others also came because of the likelihood that they might witness the stoning to death of someone.

The religious leaders quoted to Jesus that according to the Law of Moses this woman should be stoned to death. Notice their unwillingness to speak about the man with whom the adultery had been committed for surely if they had caught her in the “very act” as they had said the identity of the man would not be in dispute.

Jesus in his response to them exposed their hypocrisy and pardoned the woman’s sin but told her to go and sin no more.

Jesus went on to remind the crowd as to the reasons for his coming; remind them for they ought to have known for John the Baptist had said that not only had the Messiah come but that as the Lamb of God he came to “take away the sin of the world”.

From the fall man has been enslaved by his passion. Anger as in the case of Cain who brutally killed his brother, or lust as in the case of this adulterous woman.

Sin is our slave master. Our prison guard. Our prison cell.

History has given us great liberators and freedom fighters like: Moses who liberated the Jews from Egypt. William Wilberforce and Olaudah Equiano who fought to bring to an end slavery in the British Colonies, Nelson Mandela who fought to end apartheid in South Africa and Martin Luther King who fought for the civil rights of millions of African Americans.

The greatest liberator and freedom fighter of all is Jesus Christ yet he did not throw a stone, or told his followers to do so. The freedom he offers is more than social or political, its freedom from a sinful nature.

In the words of Apostle Paul: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new”.  (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s Servant

Lloyd Denny

 

 

 

 

 

Lloyd on September 21st, 2017

2017 Youth Conference

Lloyd on June 21st, 2017

“TEACHING FOR DOCTRINE THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN”

There are preachers today who read, teach and preach the bible with great determination. They teach the inerrancy of the scriptures; they are fundamentalists in the good sense and are very faithful to the word of God. They spend time researching and studying the bible from Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek so that the best meaning of any word in the bible can be given to the people.

I for one am very glad for such theologians and scholars. Christ’s message to the church at Philadelphia (Revelation Chapter 3) commends the church for their scholastic approach to the scriptures. This is the period when learned men used their intellect to translate the bible in the language of the people. In England we had men like John Wycliffe, William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale. We also had the authorised version of the bible commissioned by King James 1.

In Germany we had Martin Luther and in France John Calvin. These bible scholars helped to bring the knowledge of the bible to ordinary folk, praise The Lord for them and others.

Sadly, one can become over reliant on intellect and learning. These are complements to the work of the Holy Spirit not a substitute. Many of the descendants of these scholars make the same mistakes as the lawyers and learned rabbis of Jesus’ day. This mistake is to teach for doctrine the commandments of men.

No one can seriously read the bible and ignore the miracles that are written therein. No one can study the New Testament and conclude that God stops healing people,  and that the days of miracles are over.

Yet there are notable preachers and churches who not only don’t believe in miracles and divine healing but speak against such things and have even coined a doctrine for such beliefs. This is known as “cessation theology”.

It’s very sad because I value so much of what they say and write for I believe most of them are sincere. However, they are wrong for it is written: “And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. [16] He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. [17] And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; [18] They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover”. (Mark 16: 15-18). 

I wish to end this blog with a New Testament story in which a man that was born blind is healed by Jesus. The story is found in John 9, which is hereby summarised below.

On seeing a blind man the disciples asked Jesus who had sinned for it was thought that such misfortune was a result of someone committing a certain sin. The disciples wanted to know if it was the parents sin or the man’s sin. The man was born blind so it clearly wasn’t his sin. Jesus corrected this way of thinking by making it clear that neither had sinned but it was an opportunity for the works of God to be manifested.

Jesus then spat on the ground and with the spittle he mixed it with the dirt from the ground and applied it to the eyes of the blind man then told him to go and wash his eyes at the nearby pool of Siloam. The man went and did what he was told and received a miracle for he came back seeing.

Needless to say the man became very excited and those who knew him also got excited for him and the miracle soon became a talking point. Soon religious leaders from the Pharisees group found out and immediately rejected the story. They refused to accept the story from the man and others who knew him. They called for his parents and they too confirmed that he was their son and indeed had been born blind. Still they refused to believe the story. They then asked the man once more and instead of accepting the story chose to say he was never born blind.

Why wouldn’t these religious leaders accept the story and give glory to God? It undermined their doctrine. To them their understanding of the Sabbath Day was such that there is no way God would heal on the Sabbath.

On another occasion these same Pharisees gave credit for the healing of a man with a crippled hand (Matthew 12), to Beelzebub instead of Jesus, again because the healing took place on the Sabbath and the fact that it took place in the Synagogue made it worst.

Cessation theology is a man made doctrine that seeks to deny the power of God. “Our faith, wrote Apostle Paul, “is not in the wisdom of men but in the power of God”. 

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s Servant

Lloyd Denny

 

Lloyd on June 21st, 2017

“TIME”

We measure a day in seconds, minutes and in hours. We measure a week in terms of days; months in days and weeks and a year in terms of days and months. A biblical day can be twenty four hours or an indeterminate period of time or it can be a metaphor for a past or future event.

Historians are inclined to segment periods of human history with reference to monarchs, precious metals and in recent times to politicians. So we read about the Victorian or Elizabethan period, the Bronze Age and the Reagan or Thatcher era.

God on the other hand speaks of a day. A day to God is an indeterminate period of time which is based not on the rotation of the sun but on His divine purposes in relation to eternity.

Time was created by God and given to man to utilise. Everything we do on planet earth is dictated by time. How much time we have is both an individual and collective question.

Individually the maximum time we have alive is around 100 years and most of us won’t live to this age. We all hope to live to 70 years or 80 years. Beyond that its a bonus and even then it’s usually accompanied by sickness and disease.

Last Sunday night we got word from the Clarke family that Elder Clarke, a member of the pastoral team in the Harrow church had died, age 87 after a short illness.

As a teenager I was very shy and avoided the limelight therefore never volunteered to speak in public or to do anything that made me the centre of attention.

One Friday evening more than 40 years ago I attended a small church service comprising less than 12 people in South Harrow, Middlesex, which is in Greater London. It was the first time I had attended this meeting. It was an outreach of the ministry and I was the only young person present.

Br Clarke led the meeting and for reasons only known to him and God he asked me to give an exhortation in the meeting something I had never done before. To give a testimony was for me excruciating not because I couldn’t speak for amongst my friends I was more than able to hold my own in a conversation.

I stood and spoke. To this day I have no recollection what I said then, immediately afterwards, and certainly not now. Whilst speaking however, the few people present were responding well with amen! And Hallelujah! I can’t remember how long I spoke for but it was short. At the end of the service people came up to me to congratulate me on what I had said, again I couldn’t recall what I had said.

By the Sunday following, what I said had been shared with others who were not at that Friday service. In the immediate aftermath of that Friday, everyone who led a service would call me to say something for its as if people wanted me to replicate what I had said that evening in Greenford.

That first step I took in obedience to a request made, albeit not my choice, was the beginning of my call to ministry. God took a shy and bashful boy and placed him into the ministry but it began with Elder Clarke asking me to give an exhortation in a small rented community hall in Greenford, Middlesex.

On Sunday evening of June 18th 2017, Elder Clarke closed his eyes for the last time on earth for his time had come to an end but simultaneously opened them on the other side where there is no night, sickness and death. R.I.P.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant

Lloyd Denny