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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, So many Christians do not know why they believe what they believe. If we do not know why we believe, and if our foundation of faith is not solid now, it will be shaken. Paul warns about unsound doctrine in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, which says, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” Because our faith is based on specific truths, modifying or distorting it can have detrimental and eternal impact. The gospel is the basis for our salvation; therefore we need to “watch [our] life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1Tim4:16). It is essential to ask ourselves on what we truly believe as a Christian and why we believe them. Get equipped as you study the foundations of Christian faith in the series ‘We Believe’. In the article ‘Fair, Just and Right’ MacDonald clarifies that the truth of God’s righteousness is designed to have a practical influence on our lives. If God is just, fair, and impartial, we must be, too, especially since we are His representatives. One of the marks of a Christian is the practice of righteousness (I John 3:10). Petersen in ‘Meeting Needs’ says that marriages are going down the tube, not because of what the spouses are doing but because of what they’re not doing! A marriage is happy only when both partners are giving as well as receiving— when both are unselfishly meeting each other’s needs. A must read for keeping a healthy husband-wife relationship. Our sincere appreciation goes out to Bishop Subodh Mondal and Bishop Daniel of Methodist Church in India, for their excellent leadership in coordinating the Pastors Equipping Conferences in Partnership with Back to the Bible in Delhi and Hyderabad respectively. Praise God for the encouraging response received from the Pastors who attended this Conference ( see page–28 & 39). There is a need for finances to print the Daily Devotional books in Hindi, Marathi and Telugu, (see page–33) we will appreciate your gift towards this cause. Those who want to send a donation in Memory of your loved ones (can share their names to be printed in the book to be published). Get involved in this daily ministry of the Word and be a blessing all through the year. We are Happy to announce that ‘Back to the Bible Chapel Hall’ is open for conducting meetings at the GNBS head office premises. Kindly contact the office on how you can make use of this new facility (see page–2 & 30). God bless you
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3 Designed For Your Need 5 God Hates Sin! Do We?
1 Corinthians 3:9
6 Striving for Holiness 7 Young Challenge
8 Tell it to Jesus — Thought on a Hymn
23 The Sacredness of Everday Living
30 Dedication of Back to the Bible Chapel Hall
9 Letters from Readers
25 YOUTH | Follow to Lead
32 We Believe — The Church
11 Fair, Just and Right | Shared Attributes
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13 Oil in Scripture 15 Meeting Needs 16 A Call to Parents 19 Bio | Amy Carmichael
Christians also have the divine anointing or unction of the Holy Spirit upon them. This gives them spiritual understanding and knowledge.
26 Be Active in Encouraging 28 Pastors Equipping Conference
34 Resource Page 35 How to Get on Target? 36 Creative Bible Learning
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Engaging the Bible Everyday July – October | 2019
here must be no misunderstanding of what God’s wrath is. It should never be confused with man’s wrath, which is sinful. God’s wrath is not a sudden fit of temper; neither is it a desire for revenge. These things are sin, and we cannot attribute sin to God. God’s wrath is a fixed attitude of opposition toward all unrighteousness. This attitude never changes. It will culminate in righteous judgment on all who finally and completely reject God’s offer of love. God abhors sin, but He loves the sinner. This was clearly manifested when He made a way for the sinner to escape the consequences of sin and provided such a wonderful salvation in Christ. God’s attitude toward the sinner is seen in such passages as John 3:16: “God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son.”
tolerate it, regardless of the circumstances. If a sinner continues in sin, refusing to accept God’s gift of eternal life, then God’s unchanging attitude of wrath towards sin will be revealed against the sinner. This is the truth stated In John 3:36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God (His unchangeable attitude against sin) abideth on him.” In other words, when the sinner clings to his sin and refuses God’s offer of mercy, then sin and the sinner are one so far as the wrath of God is concerned. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). CL
His attitude towards sin, however, is entirely different. Sin is of the devil, and God in His wrath is against it. He will never GET
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From the Series:
“Rediscovering the Holy Spirit”
not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works n our pursuit of holiness, how in you both to will and to work for do we obtain it? What is our role His good pleasure.” and what is God’s role? If I can reduce that important Since the Holy Spirit is key to our teaching to one easy line, I would sanctification, this should lead us to state it this way: an obvious question: do we simply wait for the Holy Spirit to bring Fear God enough to make your about holiness in our lives – or is holiness a top priority, and you can there something we must do? Some be assured you will succeed in this people will argue that all you need to enterprise because God has taken do is “let go and let God.” Others will the initiative in your holiness. He counter with Hebrews 12:14, which creates in you a desire for holiness, commands us to strive for holiness and He gives you the power to strive – that is, to make every effort to towards it. become more Christ like. From that, we can come to a very So, when it comes to our important conclusion: we cooperate sanctification, is it ultimately our with God in our sanctification! Now it work, or is it God’s work? is true that we do not have an equal role with God. It is not as if we are The answer, I think, is found in both “doing our part.” But, rather, it’s Philippians 2:12-13, where Paul on the basis of what He has done writes, “Therefore, my beloved, as that we also “do”! you have always obeyed, so now, “Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11)
Numerous scripture verses indicate that you must expend effort to be holy: “Strive for holiness” (Heb. 12:14); “Abstain from immorality” (1 Thess. 4:3); “Let us cleanse ourselves!” (2 Cor. 7:1); “Make every effort” (2 Pet. 1:5). But how do we do this? The simple answer is that God provides means of grace in reading the Bible, prayer, worship, and fellowship with other believers. There is nothing new here. But here is the warning: if you neglect these timeless, biblical practices, you do this to your peril. Neglect these – and I promise you – sin will come back with a vengeance. Remember Psalm 119:11. It says, “Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” There is a means of grace. Do you see it? You need to read, memorize and meditate on scripture to win the battle against sin. God has provided you with weapons to win the fight. July – October | 2019
Simply uttering trite statements like, “I am just waiting on the Holy Spirit to do that” is pointless. You must be active! I know there are people who say inane things. “Lord,” they pray, “Send your Spirit to break the power of this habitual sin that keeps rearing up in my life.” And then they complain that nothing happens, while they continue to walk according to the flesh.
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But just as silly are those people who simply try harder. “I will expend more effort to defeat sin!” That does not work either. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit has provided the means whereby sin, evil and fleshly desires are defeated. You must use the weapons of your warfare! You must set your mind on the things of the Spirit – and that includes the means of grace the Spirit has given. Application: Keep on asking the Holy Spirit for renewal, revival and an outpouring of His power. As you do, you will find that the Holy Spirit is creating in you the very fruit He promised: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. You’ll find those will be yours in greater abundance than ever before. So be encouraged – you are on the winning side! CL
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A Devotional Thought on the Hymn...
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”(Heb. 4:16)
ave things that once were joys to you changed to disappointments and heavy heartedness? Did you talk it over to Jesus?
Have things not turned out as you expected? Do you find yourself completely filled with grief over present circumstances? Have you talked to the Lord Jesus about it? Do tears slip down your cheeks when you want more than anything to display control and composure? And your sinful past - does it haunt you at times until you feel completely defeated and frustrated? Do you then turn to Christ and pour out to Him your true feeling? You face situations where you manage to put up a good front and pretend you are not in the least bit concerned, but deep down there is a tremendous amount of fear. Then what? Do you tell it to Jesus?
And honestly now, aren’t there times when you dread the thought of death? Have you ever confessed this to your Saviour, the Friend of sinners, the Friend who keeps all your secrets, all your confidences? When you took the step of faith for salvation, you completely settled the sin question in your life. Now that your trust and hope is in Christ there ought to be many “tell” sessions between you and God. In days of tremendous joy, or deep sorrow, tell Him. He has a listening ear. But how often He patiently waits and waits and waits for some word from you, a member of His family. Tell it to Jesus. CL
July – October | 2019
Letters from Readers... 6 Thank
you very much for sending me the Confident Living magazine regularly. We are praising the Lord for your anointed articles as well as supplying Bible Study materials. Moreover, I deeply appreciate the book you sent me ‘Let there be India’. — Mpamei A Kadi, Manipur
6 I am so thankful to you for sending the Bi-monthly magazine. We do appreciate the services you are rendering at GNBS; the articles comfort us and encourage us to live a godly life. We pray that you will be a blessing to many more. — Sam Sanjeev, Guntur
6 I am your Faith Partner from 1980 onwards. I was really benefited by your Radio programmes on those days. Now I am 76 yrs and enjoying my retired life in reading your literature and magazine. Please pray for me. — K.A.J.Prakash Rao, Chekkapalli
greetings to you. Thank you very much for the lovely Confident Living magazine. I am receiving it regularly and really blessed spiritually. God bless you to be a blessing to many. — Mrs. Dr. Anila Nayar, Visakhapatnam
6 Praise and thanks be to our Lord and Saviour for the good works you have been doing all these years. May He continue to bless the work of your hands and enable us to learn and grow in Him. We do pray for you. — Mrs. R.C. Satyavrata, Pune
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Righteous are You, O LORD, And upright are Your judgments. — Psalm 119:137 God is absolutely righteous. He always acts with fairness and equity. He invariably does what is right. In fact, an easy way to understand righteousness is to concentrate on the first five letters: r-i-g-h-t. That’s it. God does what is right—without exception. Daniel spoke eloquently of the righteousness of God: O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.. .Therefore the LORD has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works which He does though we have not obeyed His voice (9:7, 14). July – October | 2019
Here the prophet vindicated the Lord for all He had done, even if much of it had been bitter medicine for the people. He said, in effect. “Lord. You are righteous, and You have acted fairly and honorably. We have received exactly what we deserved!” The Lord said, Tell and bring forth your case; Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A just God and a Savior: There is none besides Me (Isa. 45:21). Just is a synonym for righteous. The Lord is a just God and a Savior. No other God can be compared with Him. Paul loved to dwell on the righteousness of God. In Romans 3, for instance, he explains how
the gospel plan of salvation solves a divine dilemma. It tells how a righteous God can justify ungodly sinners and still be righteous in doing so. He does not condone sin or excuse it. He pays the full penalty of sin in the substitutionary death of His beloved Son. Now God can justify all those who receive His Son as Lord and Savior. This solution to the divine dilemma is told poetically by the hymn writer Albert Midlane: The perfect righteousness of God Is witnessed in the Savior’s blood; ‘Tis in the Cross of Christ we trace His righteousness, yet wondrous grace. God could not pass the sinner by, His sin demands that he must die; But in the Cross of Christ we see How God can save us righteously. The sin on the Savior laid, ‘Tis in His blood sin’s debt is paid: Stern Justice can demand no more, And Mercy can dispense her store. The sinner who believes is free, CONFIDENT LIVING
Can say, “The Savior died for me”; Can point to the atoning blood, And say. “This made my peace with God.”
our dealings. We will be scrupulously honest; our word will be our bond. We will avoid anything in the way of shady deals, income tax evasion, bribery, cheating, lawbreaking, or false weights and measures. We will be impartial, causing our benefits to reach the just and the unjust. We will not judge by appearance; we will judge with righteous judgment. We do not pad the expense account, and we swear to our own hurt and do not change (Ps. 15:4). That is, we follow through with agreements, contracts, and business dealings, regardless of what it might cost us.
The psalmist said. “Mercy and truth have met together: righteousness and peace have kissed” (Ps. 85:10). Whether he knew it or not, the psalmist was anticipating Calvary. There mercy could flow out freely to believing sinners because all the demands of truth had been met. There peace could be offered through faith because the sin question had been handled righteously. At the Cross, in a very special way, the attributes Then, too, we should adore of God met together in loving and God’s righteousness. We should joyful union. be thankful that He saves us righteously. He continues to forgive The truth of God’s righteousness is us righteously after we are saved designed to have a practical influence (I John 1:9), and He is righteous in on our lives. If He is just, fair, and all His dealings with us. Even if He impartial, we must be, too, especially afflicts us, He is righteous in doing it. since we are His representatives. It is an unspeakable blessing to know One of the marks of a Christian is that our God is infinitely righteous. the practice of righteousness (I Jn. 3:10). We must always strive to have God’s righteousness is practically a conscience that is void of offense synonymous with His justice.*and toward God and others. This will this involves serious implications for mean that we will be righteous in all the unsaved. When the Lord sits on
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Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness My beauty are, my glorious dress; ‘Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed. With joy shall I lift up my head.
Notes * “Righteous” and “just” generally translate the same group of Hebrew words in the Old Testament and the same group of Greek words in the New. CL
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the great white throne, His judgment will be absolutely righteous, His verdict will be based on the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. He will show no respect for persons. His judgments will deal with people’s secrets as well as with their sins of commission and omission. His decisions will be based on perfect knowledge of everything and will be completely impartial. No sinful person should ever ask God for justice. If we received justice, we would all be doomed and damned. What we need is grace! As Count Nicolaus von Zinzendorf so aptly phrased it,
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Bible Bible Times Times and& Customs
il was a product that had many uses in Bible times and lands, the majority of which are foreign to our concept of “oil.”
the skin from filth and impurities. As a missionary in Morocco, I discovered that I could remove grease and persistent dirt from my hands more readily with olive oil than with almost anything else, and nothing There are four Hebrew words left my hands feeling more pleasant in the Old Testament for oil, none afterward. of them signifying a petroleum product. To interpret Deuteronomy The “soap” referred to in Jeremiah 33:24 as a prophecy about the 2:22 definitely signifies a mixture of petroleum resources of the Middle potash and oil, which was doubtless East is a farfetched interpretation a standard type of soap used in and is unsupported in the passage. Jeremiah’s day. The word “oil” here is the word used to signify olive oil. The statement in Luke 7:46, “My head with oil thou didst not anoint.” Professor Arthur B. Fowler said, indicates that such anointing was an “Oil in the Bible almost always means act of great courtesy on the part of olive oil, perhaps the only exception a host to his guest. It was a gesture being Esther 2:12, where it is the oil of graciousness and signified the of myrrh.’ ” Even the sacred anointing fondness of the host for the one oil, frequently translated “ointment,” whom he thus anointed. This typifies though it was compounded with a our spiritual anointing by the Holy mixture of spices and perfumes, was Spirit. basically the oil of the olive. I will always remember the prayer What may appear to have been of a godly old veteran missionary a purely cosmetic use of oil in Bible who prayed in my presence, “O Lord, times was really more than just that. we thank Thee for the gracious Oil was used to cleanse and purify influences of Thy Holy Spirit upon July – October | 2019
our lives.” Many times since hearing that prayer I have thanked God for that gracious influence of His Spirit in the lives of believers. Then I have asked that it might be profuse and abundant in mine. When we went to North Africa, it seemed unusual to be using olive oil in all food preparations that required shortening. Even pie crusts had to be made using olive oil as the shortening ingredient. Significantly, in recent years various types of cooking oils have become more widely used in Western countries, largely displacing the old fashioned use of lard and even butter. Of all the types of oil used as a food ingredient, I feel that olive oil is the most healthful. Not only was oil used in the preparation of foods, it was also used in the actual cooking or frying of foods. One of the delicacies of the Middle East is leavened bread dough fried in deep olive oil. There was an abundant supply of oil in Canaan, a fact which demonstrated the richness of the land. CONFIDENT LIVING
Throughout the Scriptures, oil is symbolic of divine resources, especially as these relate to the Holy Spirit. Christ is the Bread of Life and the living Water, but it is only as the Holy Spirit reveals Him that the hunger of the soul is satisfied. The honey and the meat of the Word must be mixed with faith and wrought by the Spirit in order to profit those who hear it (Heb. 4:2). It is the Holy Spirit alone who serves the food of the divine Word to our minds and hearts. Jesus alluded to the use of oil for medicinal purposes in His parable of the Good Samaritan. When this man of compassion saw the victim of the robbers lying by the roadside, he “went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine” (Luke 10:34). Shepherds habitually used oil to anoint the wounds and bruises which sheep acquired. References to the use of oil as a cosmetic are fairly frequent in Scripture. Note such passages as II Chronicles 28:15 and Luke 7:46. The word for “oil” is sometimes translated “ointment” in the Old Testament, signifying a perfumed and spiced oil. In Psalm 104:15 we read about oil’s making the face shine, a significant reference to the use of oil as a cosmetic. Oil was apparently used for various cosmetic purposes: to produce fragrance, to cause the skin to “glow” and to soften it. Often after bathing, people would massage their entire bodies with olive oil for both health and cosmetic reasons. The symbolic meaning of this use is clear. The Holy Spirit brings fragrance and radiance into the life of the man who allows Him to fill and use his life. There is a glow and a spiritual fragrance about the life of a person who is Spirit filled that is unlike anything found in natural man. The
beauty of divine holiness ought to their work. be radiated from all Christians. It is always seen in the lives of those who The word “Messiah” means literally are truly controlled by the Spirit. “anointed one,” and it was this title that indicated the fact that Jesus A very necessary and notable Christ was anointed by the Spirit for use of oil in Bible lands was as a fuel His earthly, redemptive ministry. He for lamps. Lamps were the prime combines in Himself all the offices source of light in dwelling places, and functions of prophet, priest and as well as in the tabernacle and king. He is greater than any of the temple. Ordinary lamps were little priests of the Aaronic priesthood and clay vessels so constructed that a greater than all the Old Testament wick lying in the oil and supported prophets. He is the “King of kings, at one end in a sort of spout or and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16). At trough consumed the oil and gave the time of His baptism. His special off light. More sophisticated lamps anointing by the Holy Spirit for His for wealthier homes and for use public ministry was further indicated in the tabernacle and the temple by the appearance of a heavenly were made of brass and were highly dove and the voice of the Father ornamental, yet the basic principle speaking from heaven. was the same. Christians also have the divine The symbolic lesson is quite anointing or unction of the Holy obvious. The Holy Spirit sets the Spirit upon them. The unction Christian’s heart aflame with divine referred to by the Apostle John (1 truth and love. Then He supplies John 2:20,27) is a general unction, all that is necessary to keep that which all believers have. This gives flame alive in the life. Only as He is them spiritual understanding and permitted to bum within us can knowledge. any true light be diffused from our lives to the dark world around us There are also special anointings (Prov. 4:18). He alone can supply the which the Spirit gives for special illumination we need for ourselves tasks to be performed in the service and for directing the feet of others to of the Lord. The Christian needs this Christ (John 14:6). sort of unction when he witnesses to a lost soul, the preacher needs it Perhaps the most significant when he steps into the pulpit, and use of oil in the Bible was in the the missionary needs it when he anointing of notable men to specific presents Christ to the heathen. CL high offices. Priests (Ex. 28:41; 29:7), prophets (I Kings 19:16) and kings (I Sam. 10:1; 16:12,13; 1 Kings 1:39) But just as He were anointed before they began who called you is their sacred tasks. Men chosen of God and appointed to these offices required the wisdom, guidance and power of God to equip them for the discharge of their duties. They were anointed with oil to symbolize the fact that they had already been chosen and anointed by the Spirit of the Lord for
holy, so be holy in all you do,for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” — 1 Peter 1:15,16
July – October | 2019
Look,” I told him, “your marriage is going down the tube, not because of what you’re doing but because of what you’re not doing!” This man wasn’t beating his wife. He wasn’t hiding her shoes to keep her home. He wasn’t even indulging in any extracurricular activity. Actually, he was a very solid citizen with many admirable qualities. Their friends considered them an ideal couple. Even their children were unaware of any serious problem. No quarreling, no shouting, nothing in bad taste—yet both felt their marriage was on thin ice. And it was—not because he was doing all the wrong things but because he wasn’t doing the right things! Everyone has four main areas of need: social, sexual, mental and spiritual. In a married person’s life, these needs are met to a large extent by his partner. And that is where this man was failing. It never crossed his mind that he was expected to meet her needs. Like most people, he assumed that a marriage would automatically be happy unless someone deliberately tossed in a monkey wrench. Not so! A marriage is happy only when both partners July – October | 2019
are giving as well as receiving— As to her mental needs, many housewives have felt completely when both are unselfishly meeting stunted since the birth of their each other’s needs. children. Encourage her to get out How is a man supposed to meet to something every week—may be his wife’s needs? First, there are to a Bible study group. And take time her social needs. Never forget that to sit and talk—about your work, a woman attaches tremendous politics, world affairs, anything. Read importance to little things: birthdays, together. Grow together. anniversaries, little gestures that to a But what about spiritual needs? man may seem totally superfluous. Is there any way we can help each Remember how it was when you other in this area? Obviously, nothing courted her? You may not believe it, is more private than our relationship but this is the very same girl! with God. Deeply concerned as we And she’d respond in the same may be, none of us should hope to regulate our partner’s spiritual life. way if she had the chance. And if we try, we run right into a Also, a woman usually feels the stone wall. Yet nothing is more basic need for togetherness more than a to marital happiness and parental man. She often wants more of her wisdom than a strong, steady faith husband’s time and attention than in God. The Bible makes it clear that he really feels like giving her. If you no person can ever lay any other real want a happy marriage, you’ll make foundation than Jesus Christ (1 Cor. definite plans to do things together 3:11). regularly and often. And how can you lay that To meet her sexual needs, keep in foundation? Christ must become mind three things: First, don’t resent your personal Saviour, Master and the mood swings that stem from Lord. Your home, your marriage and her monthly cycle. Next, remember your children must be committed that her response will depend to Him. Let His giving and forgiving mainly on your love and tenderness love rule your words and actions. He throughout the day. And third, be can make your marriage strong, solid sensitive to her desires which she and satisfying. CL may hesitate to confide. CONFIDENT LIVING
OD had only one Son and He sent Him as a missionarymartyr to this world. If you have two children you have one too many to give away to serve the Lord! Jesus was most precious to the Father. The Bible here and there mentions about Their love relationship from eternity past. In Proverbs we have an interesting reference: “When He prepared the heavens, I was there... I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in His inhabited world, and My delight was with the sons of men” (Prov 8:27-30). The Father was ready to sacrifice His daily delight for the sake of the “sons of men” because He “so loved the world!” (Jn 3:16). There was nothing more precious to God than His Son. But He spared Him not! (Rom 8:32). Can we do less to save our fellowmen who are otherwise lost? Isaac was the sole joy of Abraham and Sarah. Their material possessions meant nothing to them (Gen 15:2). The name Isaac means “laughter!” He was the daily delight of that old
couple. But God demanded that they would sacrifice their laughter on the altar. Abraham hesitated not a moment because he loved God more than he loved his son. Do We? Abraham was rewarded. He got back Isaac now as a sanctified laughter! Isaac became a type of Christ. “Now we, as Isaac was, are children of promise” (Gal 4:28). Anyone who leaves anything for the sake of the Gospel shall receive a hundredfold (Mt 19:29).
Manoah’s wife was barren. The Angel of the Lord promised her a son. Manoah’s immediate anxiety was to know what they must do for the child so he would fulfill God’s plan in his life. He asked “What will be the boy’s rule of life, and his work?” (Judg 13:3,8,12). Do we try to thrust our own selfish dreams on our children or pray without bias to find God’s will for each of them? God told Moses, “Set apart for Me all the firstborn,... it is Mine” (Ex 13:2). If only Christian parents the world over have given away their firstborn to serve the Lord, the world would have been evangelised long long ago. Our failure has delayed the coming of the Lord too.
Hannah’s barrenness grieved her so much that she began going without food. She cried out to the Lord and poured out her soul before Him. When God gave her a son, she gave him away immediately after weaning him! She did not delay to give God what was dearest and We are two boys to our parents. nearest to her breasts and bosom (1 I am the eldest. The famous Sam 1:7,15,24). Dr. Mrs. Vedabothagam of St. Luke’s Hospital, Nazareth (India) was “Behold, children are a heritage my Godmother (I come from an from the Lord, the fruit of the womb Anglican background). She was fond is His reward. Like arrows in the hand of the ministry of Dr. E. Stanley Jones of a warrior so are the children of and in those days there had been one’s youth” (Psa 127:3,4). What are a famous British soldier by name arrows for? Release them from your Stanley. So she named me Stanley bow so they may deliver people with the prayer that I must grow to from the hand of the enemy and the be a preacher and a soldier for Christ. gates of hell (Psa 127:5, Lk 1:71). Incidentally my daddy was an officer July – October | 2019
in the Army. After my studies I was working as a hospital engineer in the Christian Medical College and Hospital founded by Dr. Ida Scudder in Vellore. When I told my mummy in 1975 of my decision to leave my profession to serve the Lord fulltime she broke into tears. She hugged me and said, “My long desire is fulfilled today!” She had dedicated me to the Lord’s service even when I was a baby and she had been praying for over 25 years to see its fulfillment. She is now with the Lord. I shall “rise up and call her blessed” on the Resurrection morn! (Prov 31:28).
you desire your son to become an engineer and your daughter a doctor and so on? Don’t you plan his or her high school studies itself to fit into your desire? Don’t you even sell your property to pay heavy capitation fees to join your son in a professional college? If you can thus influence your child for a secular career, why not for a spiritual ministry? I ask, why not?
You ask, “How can I send my son or daughter to the ministry without a call?” Did you get a call through a vision or a voice to make him or her a doctor or an engineer? Why this The influence of my parents on partiality when it comes to God and me was not small. I have watched His Kingdom? mummy walking several kilometers each day, especially in weekends, History abounds with examples to reach villages, slums, homes and of great heroes of faith who became hospitals with the gospel. She would so by the influence of their parents. not consider it below her dignity Even before he was born, the parents to go to Christian homes to collect of Hudson Taylor had prayed that if money for missionary work which God gave them a son he should go to she so dearly loved. She did that till China as a missionary. Fanny Crosby, the day when her hand could no the author of over 8000 Christian more write and her legs no more hymns, opened her heart to the Lord walk, due to cancer of which she in the arms of her grandmother. died in 1981. Daddy was selling John Paton was watching his father Bibles and Christian literature house pray and he desired to grow up to house till the day prior to his death to be a man of God like his father. in 1973. Some of his customers paid When Amy Carmichael committed the money to me after his death! He her life to the Lord she said, “God was responsible to erect a Church answered the prayers of my father building in Kottaiyur near Karaikudi and mother.” Most of the nineteen where there was no church. My children of Susanna Wesley entered brother and I would be blowing the Christian ministry because of her bellows for daddy’s harmonium for godly influence on them, of whom hours together to sing some favorite John Wesley and Charles Wesley choruses again and again. Little are well known. No name is more wonder I get lost in worship today! revered in the Salvation Army than My unmarried aunt would take me that of Samuel L. Brengle, for there to every preacher to have him pray has been no soldier more saintly nor that I would one day serve the Lord. officer more spiritually effective than this quiet-spoken prophet of God. While I write all these I hear Left fatherless by war, one Christmas someone saying,, “We should not eve his mother knelt beside him and influence our children like this. We led him to Christ. should let them choose what they want.” Wait a minute, dear parent. Choose missionary names for your Don’t you keep telling at home that children. When people give names of July – October | 2019
runners and players to their children, why don’t we select names from God’s Hall of Fame? The athletes and players win one day and lose the next day. But I am talking about prayer warriors, pioneer missionaries, Bible translators and revivalists who were always winners and overcomers! Don’t say. What’s in a name? In the Bible times, names were given with a meaning and purpose. Put your vision into the name you choose and everytime you call your son or daughter by that name, remind yourself of the dedication. We have only one daughter. We have named her Evangeline after our passion for evangelism. She once came back from the missionary convention of Friends Missionary Prayer Band saying she had committed her life for fulltime service. Our joy knew no bounds. What is greater than to be on His Majesty’s Service? There was never a time in the history of the Church when there were too many missionaries or preachers. The harvest is always plenty and the labourers always few (Mt 9:37). In every field of God’s work there is always vacancy. When your son passes M.A. in literature why go to college after college and be turned down by the “no-vacancy” board? Why not apply to Bible translation societies? The Bible was completed 1900 years ago, but there are still more than 2000 languages without a single line of Scriptures. It has taken 2000 years to translate the Scriptures, atleast a portion of it, into about 2000 languages. Are we going to take another 2000 years to complete this task? If you believe in Revelation 7:9, send your literature graduate son or daughter for Bible translation training immediately. Faith without corresponding action is dead! Give your best to God. Motivate the most intelligent and industrious CONFIDENT LIVING
child to go for ministry. God’s work is no ordinary thing. God says, “Cursed be the deceiver who has in his flock a male, and makes a vow, but sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished —for I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts... When you offer the lame and the sick, is it not, evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you?” (Mal. 1:14,8) Even if your doctor son or doctor daughter does not become a fulltimer in the ministry, why not encourage him or her to work in a rural area or a tribal village where there is no doctor? Teach your son or daughter that the medical profession is not a business for collection but a ministry of compassion. The moment a man or a woman enters medical profession with the sheer motive to make money, he or she does the greatest injustice to this noblest of professions. A Christian doctor whose main concern is his purse rather than people is a selfcontradiction. Eighty percent of Indians live in villages. A Christian doctor in an unevangelised village will be the best tool to bring the Good News to the entire community. Everyone respects a doctor.
missionary slogans. Arrange to receive regularly missionary periodicals and prayer letters. Get missionary biographies for your children. Converse missionary news in the dining table. Include a missionary item each day in the family prayer. Write to missionary organizations and invite missionaries to spend a week or so of their holidays with you at home. Keep the children of missionaries with you for a vacation if they are not able to join their parents in the field from the school. Motivate your children to give one of their best dresses to the missionary child. Encourage them to correspond with each other. When you go for Christmas shopping, let the whole family agree to make the first purchase for a missionary or his kid. Never speak anything negative about God’s workers before the children. Hold the ministers in high esteem. That is how I believe Timothy’s mother and grandmother influenced his thinking for his future career (2 Tim 1:5,6). You can spend a vacation with your family in a mission field. It will be eventful and thrilling. There is nothing like seeing the fields (Jn 4:35). Give each of your children a savings box to save for missionary work. Giving must be taught at the earliest.
It is your responsibility to create a missionary atmosphere at home. In India marriages are generally Hang a world map and a country arranged by parents. Beware of map on the wall. Keep wall texts of seeking a bride or a groom who is
otherwise minded for your son or daughter who is missionary minded. Seek the help of mission leaders in this area. Die to casteism, status and the like. Don’t marry your ox to a donkey (Dt 22:10). Zacharias and Elizabeth were childless till their old age but they kept on praying for a child. Finally God blessed them with a boy baby who was a “joy and gladness” to them and for many. That was John the Baptist. But the parents did not keep the child for themselves but let him “go before Him... to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Lk 1:7,13,14,17,80). John prepared people for the first coming of Christ. Shall we let our children “go” all over the world to prepare people for His Second Coming? Let there be missionary going forth from each family! CL
“God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours.” — David Livingstone
July – October | 2019
Bible Times & Customs Biography
et me describe some of the During the last twenty years of things she did, and then allow her ministry, she was practically an you to answer the question: invalid, directing the work from her “If she were a missionary from your room. church, would you support Amy Carmichael?” My guess is that the average church would never have supported She spent nearly sixty years in the this kind of a missionary. She was too field and never once came home to unpredictable and too independent. report to her board or to the people And perhaps the average mission who supported her. board would have dropped her from their ranks after her first term. We While she went to the field under like ministry work to be carried out the authority of one board, she in such a predictable way that there pretty much did her own thing and can be no surprises, no changes, no eventually started an organization of unexpected decisions that pioneer her own. new territory for the gospel. It might upset the donors. She went to the field to carry on one kind of ministry, but within a But Amy Carmichael was not put few years was carrying on an entirely together that way. She simply did different ministry that often got her not fit into our modern world of into trouble with the law. At one interchangeable parts, because she time, she was in danger of serving was unique. She knew what God seven years in prison for “assisting in wanted her to do, and she did it. the kidnapping of a child.” She was not a rebel; her board and co-laborers were lull partners in the The reports that she sent out were ministry. But she was one of the often not believed by the people Lord’s special servants, and He used who read them. “Such things simply her to accomplish a miracle ministry can’t be!” they argued, but they in Southern India. were—and she proved it. Amy Carmichael was born on She did not ask for financial December 16, 1867, in County Down, support, yet she saw every need met Northern Ireland. Her father, along right on time. When people offered with her uncle, owned and managed to sponsor part of her ministry she several flour mills, so the family was suggested they support a different fairly comfortable. They came from mission. Covenanter stock and took the July – October | 2019
things of the Lord seriously. Amy had a happy childhood, and, while a student at a Wesleyan Methodist school in 1883, she trusted Christ. Changes in the milling business forced the family to move to Belfast. Amy’s father died in 1885, and this greatly altered both the finances and the future of the family. Mrs. Carmichael was a woman of strong faith; in fact, much of her “apostolic spirit” rubbed off on her daughter. One particular incident illustrates this, It was Sunday morning, and Mrs. Carmichael and the children were returning home from church. They met “a poor pathetic old woman” who was burdened with a heavy bundle. Instantly, Amy and her two brothers relieved the woman of her bundle, took her arms, and helped her along. At first the icy stares of the “proper Presbyterians” embarrassed them, but then the Lord moved in and the whole scene changed. Into Amy’s mind flashed Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 3 about “gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble... the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (vv. 12, 13). In later years Amy wrote. “We went on. I said nothing to anyone, but I knew that something had happened that had changed life’s CONFIDENT LIVING
values. Nothing could ever matter the downcast and rejected, to love that the missionary community was again but the things that were them, win them to Christ, and build separated in every way from the eternal.” them up to help others. people they were trying to reach. In September 1886, some friends invited Amy to Glasgow, where she attended meetings along the lines of the Keswick Convention. For many months, she had been struggling with the problem of how to live a holy life, and she found the answer at the Glasgow meetings. It was not the message of the two speakers that got through to her but the closing prayer of the chairman. He paraphrased Jude 1:24; “O Lord, we know that Thou art able to keep us from falling!” Those words brought light into the darkness, and Amy Carmichael entered into a life of faith and victory. But holy living was not a luxury to her: it meant sacrifice and ministry. She had no time for Christians who went from meeting to meeting and soaked up Bible truth hat never reached out to share Christ with others. Amy was burdened for the girls who worked in the mills, and she had already started a ministry for them at one of the local churches. But the work was growing and in some ways interfering with the church’s program (Amy always was one to raise dust). She decided that, if God wanted her to start a special work, He alone could provide the funds and the laborers; so she began to pray. Little did she realize that this experience with The Welcome (the hall that she built) would prepare her for years of ministry by faith alone. God did provide the funds, and a building was put up just for ministry to the girls at the mills. Many came to know Christ, and many were protected from lives of sin because of the influence of the ministry. This would be Amy Carmichaels emphasis for the rest of her life—to reach out to
In later years, Amy said that there were three crises in her early life: her conversion, her entrance into the life of faith, and her call to be a missionary. That third crisis took place on January 13.1892, not in some dramatic way, but simply as she waited quietly before the Lord. He made it clear to her that she was to give her life to Him as a missionary and permit Him to direct her just as He pleased. There were obstacles, not the least of which was her commitment to help care for elderly Robert Wilson, an old friend of the family and the chairman of the British Keswick movement. She shared these concerns with her mother and Mr. Wilson, and step by step, the Lord began to open the way. On March 3, 1893, she sailed for Japan, the first missionary sent out by the Keswick Convention. She had some remarkable experiences in Japan, ministering through an interpreter: but Japan was not to be her permanent field. A serious illness forced her to go to China for rest, and then to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Can you imagine a church foreign missions committee discussing her situation and wondering if she could be trusted? By the end of 1894, she was back in England: but a year later, on November 9, 1895, she landed in India, and there she remained until her death on January 18, 1951.
While in Japan, Amy had adopted native dress (as Hudson Taylor did in China) and had sought to identify with the people. But she had not come to India to create problems; so she went on with her work, always seeking tire mind of Christ in her decisions. Then something happened that dramatically changed Amy Caramichael’s life and ministry. On March 6,1901, little Preena, a seven year old girl, fled from one of the temples into the mission compound and begged to be protected. It was then that Amy uncovered one of the ugliest hidden sores on “Mother India’s” body, the secret traffic in temple girls. She learned how fathers and mothers sold their daughters to different gods, turning the precious girls into temple prostitutes. . Infuriated by what Satan was doing to these dear girls, Amy declared war. How many battles she fought on her knees, wrestling for the bodies and souls of these helpless children! How many times she and her associates risked their lives, and faced arrest and imprisonment, in order to snatch some pleading child from the jaws of defilement and destruction. One by one, other girls found their way to Amma (the Tamil word for mother”), and she courageously protected them. By 1904 there were seventeen children under her care, and then the Lord opened the way for her to receive and minister to babies. In 1918 they opened the boys work, for the money-hungry idolaters sold boys to the temple gods just as they sold girls.
Amy was under the authority of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society, so she entered into their ministry with zeal. But she noted that many of the missionaries reported no converts—in fact, If you want to enter into the expected none. She also noticed excitement of pioneer missions, then July – October | 2019
read Amy Carmichaels Gold Cord, the story of the Dohnavur Fellowship. Frank Houghton’s excellent biography, Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur, contains many of the exciting stories that grew out of the new ministry of saving temple children. Both books have been reprinted by Christian Literature Crusade: in fact, many of Amy Carmichael’s books are available from that publisher.
and his armies attacked the people and the ministry at Dohnavur in ways that make these experiences read like events from the hook of Acts. The secret of victory? The Word of God and prayer!
Amma and her associates practiced John 15:7, trusting God to guide them by the Word and provide for their needs one day at a time. I think it would be good for some of us to get acquainted with Amy Amma greatly admired the work Carmichael’s principles for prayer: of the China Inland Mission, and, in (1) We don’t need to explain to many ways, patterned herself after our Father things that are Hudson Taylor. She did not solicit known to Him. funds. When, people asked to have the privilege of sponsoring a child, (2) We don’t need to press Him, as if we had to deal with an she refused their help. All funds unwilling God. went into the mission account to be dispensed as the Lord directed. The (3) We don’t need to suggest many workers God brought to her to Him what to do, for He side were not paid salaries, and the Himself knows. mission never borrowed money or went into debt. While Amy did not If all of us took these principles to criticize ministries that had other heart, think of the religious speeches policies, she preferred to work as the that would be silenced in many Lord had led her. prayer meetings. She was especially careful about selecting workers. That was one reason for the no-salary policy. Many Indians would have gladly been baptized and worked for the mission in order to make a living. “Guard your gate” was one of her favorite warnings, and she heeded it herself. Some of her friends and supporters often were surprised when she rejected applicants who, to them, seemed ideally suited for the ministry; but later events always proved her right. She prayed men and women into places of service, trusting the Lord to prepare them, provide for them, and protect them. Protection was especially important, not only because of the Indian climate and unsanitary conditions, but even more because of the idolatry and demonism. Satan July – October | 2019
Amy Carmichael cautioned her helpers to “leave a margin” in their lives. We have all been reminded to “beware of the barrenness of a busy life.” As I read Amy Carmichael’s books, I am amazed at the broad scope of her reading, not only in many translations of the Bible, but in the mystics, the church fathers, even the Greek philosophers, To her, reading was an enriching experience, a time for relaxation and renewal and not just escape.
she directed the work of the mission through her capable associates. In 1948 she experienced a second fall, and from then until her homegoing she was confined to her bed. But she was constantly at the throne of grace, and God answered her prayers. God is still answering those prayers, for the Dohnavur Fellowship continues to minister effectively in Southern India. Amy Carmichael wrote thirty-five books of various kinds—the story of the fellowship, poems, stories about the children who were rescued, devotionals, and messages for those who suffer. Many of them have been republished by Christian Literature Crusade and should be available in your local Christian bookstore. Not everyone takes to Miss Carmichael’s writing: in fact, I must confess that it took me many years to learn to appreciate her style and message (I was the one who had to grow.). Her book titled “His Thoughts Said... His Father Said” is excellent for times of meditative pondering. “Thou Givest... They Gather” is another fine devotional book, compiled from her writings after her death. Two encouraging books for suffering people are Candles in the Dark and Rose from Brier. When the book “God’s Missionary” was published, it upset many people because of its emphasis on devotion and personal discipline. It still upsets readers— but perhaps they need to be upset. Books about Indian women reached through the Dohnavur ministry include Mimosa, Ponnammal, Kohila, and Ploughed Under. Edges of His Ways is a daily devotional book that is intellectually stimulating and spiritually rewarding.
On October 24, 1931, Amy Carmichael suffered a serious fall. Other complications set in, and she had to end her usual activity. She was physically confined to her room and an occasional veranda stroll, but that did not limit her ministry. “We were committed to things In the next twenty years: she wrote that we must not expect everyone thirteen books and many letters, and to understand” was the way Amma CONFIDENT LIVING
explained her ministry and was also the reason why some devout evangelicals kept at a distance. “The work will never go deeper than we have gone ourselves” was her explanation of why some workers did not remain and why others refused to come. She did not try to please everybody or solicit anybody’s support. The work was God’s work, and he alone could prosper it. No high-powered machinery, no Madison Avenue promotion, no attempts to compete with other ministries either for funds or personnel.
texts superstitious, but they would have to confess that she was a woman led by God blessed by God. She exercised a simple-hearted faith in God nurtured by a wholehearted love for God, and her Father saw to that she was cared for.
Amy Carmichael depended on God for day-by-day and hour-byhour direction. God spoke to her through the Word, through the pages of her dog-eared Daily Light, through the impulses of the heart; yes, on occasion, even through dreams. Seminary professors who write learned books about how to interpret the Bible would probably call her use of Bible texts or parts of
My Constraint: Thy love. O Christ, my Lord.
With that kind of devotion and dedication, is it any wonder that Amy Carmichael was misunderstood by believers, persecuted by unbelievers, attacked by Satan, and blessed by the Lord?
Unpredictable? Yes—but not Here is a “Confession of Love” that unblessable! We could use a few she drew up for a group of Indian more like her in Christian service girls who banded together to serve today. CL Christ. Perhaps it best says to us just what Amy Carmichael believed about Christian life and service. My Vow: Whatsoever Thou sayest unto me, by Thy grace I will do
My Confidence: Thou art able to keep that which You have promissed. My Joy: To do Thy will. O God. My Prayer: Conform my will to Thine. My Motto: Love to live—live to love. My Portion: The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance.
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There is no work better than another to please God; to pour water, to wash dishes, to be a cobbler, or an apostle, all is one; to wash dishes and to preach is all one to please God.—William Tyndale
ong-held habits do not die easily. It will take intelligent thought and a great deal of reverent prayer to escape completely from the sacred-secular psychology. For instance, it may be difficult for the average Christian to get hold of the idea that his daily labors can be performed as acts of worship acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. The old antithesis will crop up in the back of his head sometimes to disturb his peace of mind. Nor will that old serpent, the devil, take all this lying down. He will be there in the cab or at the desk or in the field to remind the Christian that he is giving the better part of his day to the things of this world and allotting to his religious duties only a trifling portion of his time. And unless great care is taken, this will create confusion and bring discouragement and heaviness of heart.
believe that He accepts them. Then hold firmly to that position and keep insisting that every act of every hour of the day and night be included in the transaction. Keep reminding God in our times of private prayer that we mean every act we do is for His glory; then supplement those times by a thousand thought-prayers as we go about the job of living. Let us practice the fine art of making every work a priestly ministration. Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.
A concomitant of the error which we have been discussing is the sacred-secular antithesis as applied to places. It is little short of astonishing that we can read the New Testament and still believe in the inherent sacredness of some places. This error is so widespread that one feels all alone when he tries to combat it. It has acted as a kind of dye to color the thinking of religious persons and has colored the eyes as well so that it is all but impossible to detect its fallacy. In the face of every New Testament teaching to the contrary, it has been said and sung throughout the centuries and Lord, turn the routines of work into accepted as a part of the Christian celebrations of love— Unknown message, the which it most surely is not. Only the Quakers, so far as We can meet this successfully only my knowledge goes, have had the by the exercise of an aggressive faith. perception to see the error and the We must offer all our acts to God and courage to expose it. July – October | 2019
Here are the facts as I see them. For 400 years Israel had dwelt in Egypt, surrounded by the crassest idolatry. By the hand of Moses they were brought out at last and started toward the land of promise. The very idea of holiness had been lost to them. To correct this, God began at the bottom. He localized Himself in the cloud and fire, and later when the tabernacle had been built He dwelt in fiery manifestation in the Holy of Holies. By innumerable distinctions God taught Israel the difference between holy and unholy. There were holy days, holy vessels, holy garments. There were washings, sacrifices, offerings of many kinds. By these means, Israel learned that God it holy. It was this that He was teaching them, not the holiness of things or places. The holiness of Jehovah was the lesson they must learn. Then came the great day when Christ appeared. Immediately He began to say, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time . . . but I say unto you” (Matthew 5:2122). The Old Testament schooling was over. When Christ died on the cross, the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom. The Holy of Holies was opened to everyone who would enter in faith. Christ’s words were remembered, “The hour CONFIDENT LIVING
cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father...... But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21, 23-24). Shortly after, Paul took up the cry of liberty and declared all meats clean, every day holy, all places sacred and every act acceptable to God. The sacredness of times and places, a half-light necessary to the education of the race, passed away before the full sun of spiritual worship. We can do little things for God: I turn the cake that is frying on the pan, for love of Him; and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before Him who has given me grace to work; afterward I rise happier than a king.— Brother Lawrence., The essential spirituality’ of worship remained the possession of the Church until it was slowly lost with the passing of the years. Then the natural legality of the fallen hearts of men began to introduce the old distinctions, The Church came to observe again days and seasons and times. Certain places were chosen and marked out as holy in a special sense. Differences were observed between one and another day or place or person. “The sacraments” were first two, then three, then four, until with the triumph of Romanism they were fixed at seven. In all charity, and with no desire to reflect unkindly upon any Christian, however misled, I would point out that the Roman Catholic Church represents today the sacredsecular heresy carried to its logical conclusion. Its deadliest effect is
the complete cleavage it introduces between religion and life. Its teachers attempt to avoid this snare by many footnotes and multitudinous explanations, but the mind’s instinct for logic is too strong. In practical living the cleavage is a fact. From this bondage reformers and puritans and mystics have labored to free us. Today, the trend in conservative circles is back toward that bondage again. It is said that a horse, after it has been led out of a burning building, will sometimes, by a strange obstinacy, break loose from its rescuer and dash back into the building again to perish in the flame. By some such stubborn tendency toward error, fundamentalism in our day is moving back toward spiritual slavery. The observation of days and times is becoming more and more prominent among us. “Lent” and “Holy Week” and “Good” Friday are words heard more and more frequently upon the lips of gospel Christians. We do not know when we are well off. Christianity is neither contemplation nor action. It is participation. Contemplation is looking at God as if He were an object. But if you participate in God in the sense that you let yourself be penetrated by Him, you will go to the cross like Him, you will go to work like Him, you will clean shoes, do the washing up and the cooking, all like Him. You cannot do otherwise because you will have become part of Him. You will do what He loves to do. —Louis Evely In order that I may be understood and not be misunderstood. I would throw into relief the practical implications of the teaching for which I have been arguing, i.e., the sacramental quality of everyday living. Over against its positive meanings, I should like to point out a few things it does not mean.
It does not mean, for instance, that everything we do is of equal importance with everything else we do or may do. One act of a good man’s life may differ widely from another in importance. Paul’s sewing of tents was not equal to his writing of an Epistle to the Romans, but both were accepted of God and both were true acts of worship. Certainly it is more important to lead a soul to Christ than to plant a garden, but the planting of the garden can be as holy an act as the winning of a soul. Again, it does not mean that every man is as useful as every other man. Gifts differ in the body of Christ. A Billy Bray is not to be compared with a Luther or a Wesley for sheer usefulness to the church and to the world; but the service of the less gifted brother is as pure as that of the more gifted, and God accepts both with equal pleasure. Where is the church at 11:25 on Monday morning? The church then is in the dentist’s office, in the automobile sales room and repair shop, and out in the. truck. It is in the hospital, in the classroom, and in the home. It is in the offices, insurance, law, real estate, whatever it is. That is where the church is, wherever God’s people are. They are doing what they ought to be doing. They are honoring God, not just while they worship in a building but out there.—Arthur H. DeKruyter The “layman” need never think of his humbler task as being inferior to that of his minister. Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry. It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it? The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act. All he does is good and acceptable to July – October | 2019
God through Jesus Christ. For such a man, living itself will be a priestly ministration. As he performs his neverso-simple task, he will hear the voice of the seraphim saying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory’” (Isaiah 6:3). Lord, I would trust Thee completely; I would be altogether Thine; I would exalt Thee above all. I desire that I may feel no sense of possessing anything outside of Thee. I want constantly to be aware of Thy overshadowing presence and to hear Thy speaking voice. I long to live in restful sincerity of heart. I want to live so fully in the Spirit that all my thoughts may be as sweet incense ascending to Thee and every act of my life may be an act of worship. Therefore I pray in the words of Thy great servant of old, “I beseech Thee so for to cleanse the intent of mine heart with the unspeakable gift Of Thy grace, that I may perfectly love Thee and worthily praise Thee.” And all this I confidently believe Thou wilt grant me through the merits of Jesus Christ Thy Son. Amen. CL
Young ACHIEVERS 1. JESSLIN HEPZIBAH 2. ALBINA GELSY. A 3. EVANGELINE NAOMI — HOLY TRINITY CHURCH SUNDAY SCHOOL, BENGALURU
Follow to Lead ~Douglas K. Erlandson~
Bible Reading: I Corinthians 10:23—11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (I Cor. 11:1, NIV).
I remember that as a little boy I’d watch my dad pay his bills, balance the checkbook and carefully file his financial records. Today I pretty much do the same. In fact, I do a lot of things my dad did. He set a good example. I followed. You set an example every day of your life. The older you get, the more people you’ll influence with your example. You can set either a good example or a bad one. If you want to set a good example, follow the example of Christ—just as Paul did. How do you do this? By knowing Christ’s teachings and following them. If you follow the example of Christ in your life, you will positively influence others. They will follow what you do and will grow in their faith. Think About This: Read your Bible. That’s where the teachings of Christ are found. CL
July – October | 2019
ncouragement is defined as “the act of inspiring with courage, spirit or hope.” It means to give help or patronage to someone. In missions, sometimes encouragement is the best thing you can give. All of us occasionally need this ministry. Someone said that a friend will strengthen you with his prayers, bless you with his love and encourage you with his hope. Frontline missionaries need friends who will pray for them. They need friends who will love them. And they need friends who will love them. And they need friends who will encourage them with hope. Barnabas was an encourager. In fact, his name means “Son of Encouragement.” He knew the value of being a friend. Barnabas encouraged his fellow believers with gifts of financial help (Acts 4:36-37). Financial support is a sure way to encourage missionaries. But there are many other ways the early Christians encouraged one another.
Front-line missionaries need encouragement like everybody else. Behind-the-lines missionaries are in the perfect position to provide that encouragement. Let’s see how.
and something Paul would never forget. You can give your front-line missionaries that same kind of sendoff. Pray with them. Hug them. Be there for them.
Send them on their way
Greet them on arrival back home
If you have never left home knowing that you would not return for months or years, you can’t appreciate what missionaries feel when leaving home for the first time. You can have a significant behindthe-lines ministry by being there when missionaries embark on their front-line ministry. Just be there. Show them you care.
Equal in importance to a sincere send-off is a genuine welcome home. Acts 21:17 says, “And when we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.” Jerusalem wasn’t home for Paul, but it seemed like it. He spent much time in Jerusalem before he was saved and with the Jerusalem church afterward.
Paul spent more time as a missionary in Ephesus than in any other city. His departure from there was a tender moment. Acts 20: 36-38 says, “And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.”
When you call a new pastor to your church, what kind of a welcome do you give him? Sometime ago I was filling the pulpit of a church that had just called a new pastor. His wife and family were to arrive with him at the airport the next Friday evening. I suggested to the church family that as many as possible should plan to be at the airport to greet their new pastor and his family. Remarkably, more than 50 percent of that congregation showed up at the Those Ephesians knew how to give airport to form an official welcoming a send-off. It was genuine, emotional committee. July – October | 2019
Imagine how encouraging that must have been for the new pastor. Returning missionaries need that same kind of encouragement. Do what the Jerusalem church did when Paul arrived. Receive your missionaries back with gladness and a little fanfare. They deserve it.
the effort; make the contribution.
Write letters of support
One of the best ways to encourage front-line missionaries is by writing them letters. If you don’t have the opportunity to visit them in person to encourage them, why not begin regular correspondence to Uplift them after encourage missionaries you know? difficulties It’s always great to get news from Front-line missionaries are real home. people Surprised? Sometimes we treat them like they’re “supersaints,” If you don’t encourage your without normal problems or feelings. missionary friends, who will? But even veteran missionaries occasionally have a difficult period Paul wanted to confront paganism of ministry. How can you encourage at Ephesus, but many Christians them? expressed their concerns about his plans. Acts 19:31 says that some of Paul had been beaten by the the officials of Asia Minor, who were Philippians and thrown into jail his friends, even sent letters pleading with Silas. After an earthquake there with him not to go into the theater was an eight-point Richter scale of Ephesus. There would surely be conversion that night. Great rejoicing trouble. followed. Still, it had been a difficult experience for Paul and Silas. Was It doesn’t cost much to send a there anything the behind-the-lines letter to a mission missionary. Send missionaries of Philippi could do to your church bulletin, clippings encourage them? There certainly from the newspaper or Christian was. Acts 16:40 says, “So they went magazines or cassette tapes of out of the prison and entered the messages that were particularly house of Lydia; and when they had inspiring to you. Update your friends seen the brethren, they encouraged on what’s going on. That’s a way to them and departed” encourage front-line missionaries from behind-the –lines. Doubtless Paul and Silas had to encourage the Philippian The pen may be mightier than the believers because of fear of what sword, but today the word processor may happen to them as a result is mightier titan the discouragement of the prison incident. But these of distance. Keep that letter-link with two front-line missionaries needed your missionary friends. It’s much some encouragement, too, and the more important to them than you Philippians were just the people to may think. do it. They were the closest of all churches to the apostle Paul. They Be present in times of were the natural ones too. need Presence is the most powerful of And who will encourage your all statements. Your mere presence missionary friends? behind-the-lines with a retired missionary says to that ministry, it’s a valuable contribution faithful servant, “Thanks for serving you can make to the missionary the Lord so well. You are important enterprise around the world. Make to me, even now.” July – October | 2019
Think of all the times the New Testament pictures people, many of whose names we don’t even know, lending support to the missionary enterprise around the world just by being there. When Paul was under house arrest in Rome, the last two verses of Acts say, “Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him” (28:30-31). Imagine if Paul had been in a private dwelling for two years and no one came to see him. How would he have felt? Perhaps like a lot of retired missionaries who have returned from the field feel right now—neglected, unloved, unappreciated. Your presence is a powerful statement of your appreciation. Paul commended Onesiphorus, who had come to Rome to minister to him behind-the-lines (2 Tim. 1:16). We don’t know what Onesiphorus did exactly, but Paul said he often refreshed the sidelined missionary. Paul had served the Lord faithfully and well. Now he was facing Nero’s sword, and not many people encouraged him. But Onesiphorus did. What a wonderful ministry this man had as a behind-the-lines missionary. Be an encourager like Barnabas, like the Ephesians, like the Philippians, like Onesiphorus. Don’t miss your opportunity to be a genuine behindthe-lines missionary. CL
Be encouraged to be an encourager. It’s a spiritual art that everyone can learn. And mostly you learn by practicing it. CONFIDENT LIVING
Bible Teaching Conference for Pastors & Leaders: HYDERABAD-PUNE: February-2017
n line with the Vision of Back to the Bible to provide sound Bible Teaching, God has enabled to conduct the Pastors Equipping Conference in Partnership with Methodist Churches in India. This took place in the month of June 2019 in the cities of Delhi and Hyderabad. Over 300 Pastors and Pastors wives and lay leaders participated in the Conference and were equipped through the expositional Bible teaching by Dr. John from the book of Philippians. Our heartfelt appreciation to Bishop Subodh Mondal of Delhi Epsicopal and Bishop Daniel of Hyderabad Epsicopal for their excellent leadership in coordinating this Pastors Equipping Conference. We are grateful to Bishop Subodh, Bishop Daniel, Rev. Ryder Kumar, Rev. Das, Ben and Bro. Upender for their valuable bible teaching imparted to the participants in these Seminars. It was indeed such a joy to meet with Pastors and Leaders in this Seminar. Our sincere thanks to all the participants for making this a fruitful one.
@@ The introduction given about the epistle to Philippians is very useful to me, especially I learnt many things about Paul and his missionary journey. I learnt that Christ should be my priority. I suggest you to conduct these conferences in the future also. Mrs. Laveena Anil, Moinabad @@ -The topic on “Partnering together in Christ” was @@ I have learnt about Paul’s ministry and history of the early church. If you could conduct seminars very good, the introduction to Philippians was like this in Guntur, it would be helpful to many very informative. pastors. We will help you in coordinating this. -Topical Preaching was very much useful to me. I will pray for BTTB ministry, this conference has helped me to rethink about my call and -I learnt to read the Bible passage 4 to 5 times for rededicate myself to the ministry. the preparation of a sermon. Pastor. R. Moses Prashanth Raju, Guntur -BTTB seminar is very useful in my ministry. It helps in strengthening my spiritual life. -Please inform me about you future Bible @@ I will endeavour in Equipping our church to share the word of God with friends to spread the Training Program. Gospel of Jesus. I am thankful for BTTB ministry Rev. P. Rajarathnam for their valuable teachings they gave us from Methodist Church, Chittigadductfhu the word of God and equipping me in several areas of my spiritual life to be effective in the @@ The expository Bible teaching on the book of ministry. This conference has helped us to realize Philippians is very good. Now and then we need the importance of Pastors Work in teaching the this type of meetings. word of God in the Church. Pastor.M. Das Kumar, M.C. Chinnamangalaram Rev. Shashi Kapoor, CMC, Roorkey
July – October | 2019
See what the Delegates said: @@ I have been encouraged through the Expositons on Philippians by Dr. John. The foundation of the Church was first laid by the apostles and the prophets. We as preachers should follow them. Two things to remember that Paul taught to Timothy the ‘Mandate’ & ‘Message’. I learnt to preach the gospel according to the word of God. Rev. A. Vandana Babu, Moparru, Guntur @@ I learnt that the role of a Pastor in the Church is to preach and teach the Bible as the only authority. I will practice the principles learnt from the book of Philippians and apply them in my ministry to be better equipped for the ministry. Rev. Vivek Simon Chand, CMC, Guloothi
July – October | 2019
Dedication of Back to the Bible Chapel Hall Praise God for the inauguration of the Back to the Bible Chapel Hall at the GNBS head office. Our Bibleteacher Dr.John had dedicated the Back to the Bible Chapel Hall for the Glory of God. The occasion was blessed by the presence of local Pastors and Partners of the ministry. This Chapel Hall has built-in Acoustics with Aircondition and is equipped with excellent Public Address System to suit the specific needs. Our sincere thanks to all those who have contributed towards getting this Hall ready for use. We are happy to announce that this beautiful facility is now available for use and please feel free to contact the office at 9492440070 for more information.
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‘Strength for the Journey’ in Hindi, Telugu, and Marathi.
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believe that the church of Jesus Christ is the universal company of God’s redeemed people. His body, of which He is the head, His Bride, whom He loves infinitely, and His temple, in which He dwells. The universal Body of Christ is visibly expressed in local assemblies whose purpose it is to glorify God through worship, fellowship, instruction in God’s word, observing the ordinances and training in service to the world. The supreme task in the mission of the church is to make disciples for Christ in all the nations through the proclamation and teaching of the Gospel. The church is also to demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ, through word and deed, in an alienated world. 1 Pet. 2:9, 10; Eph.1:22,23; 5:2527; 2:19-22; 1 Thess. 2:14; Eph.3:6-10; Acts 2:42; Eph. 4:11-13; Heb.10:25; Matt. 28:18-20; 26:26-29; 1 John 4:17)
The first point stresses the basic spiritual; nature of the church of Jesus Christ. It is the universal company of those redeemed by Christ throughout the world, the people of God in this age (1 Pet. 2:9-10). It constitutes a distinct community from the world by virtue of its special spiritual relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ.
nature of the Church. The Church is the Bride of Christ, whom He loves with infinite love and for whom He gave Himself to redeem (Eph.5:2527). As the Bride, the Church awaits its final union with Christ when He returns to the earth (2 Cor. 11:2; Rev19:7, 8). The Church is also the temple of God, where He has chosen to dwell (1 Cor.3:16; Eph. 2:19-22). The people of God, therefore, have The second point elaborates the living God in their midst. further on the spiritual nature of the Church by drawing attention to the The fourth point introduces the most descriptive figure in the New concept of the visible, structured Testament used for the Church. The church. We recognize that some Church is described by the Apostle of those who profess to belong to Paul as the Body of Christ, not in Christ and who are members of a a literal sense, but as an analogy congregation may not actually be emphasizing the life relationship part of God’s redeemed people. that the people of God have with Nevertheless, a large part of the risen Christ (1 Cor.12:27). Jesus Christ New Testament was written to is the Head of the Church, for He is its local assemblies of professing source of life, and it lives under His believers with the assumption direction (1 John 5:12; Eph 1:22,23; that these assemblies as a whole Col 1:18). visibly expressed the spiritual Body of Christ in a particular locality The third point adds two (1Thess 1:1; 2:14; 1 Thess 1:1). It is not significant figures from the New always possible to make the same Testament describing the spiritual assumption today ( 2 Tim. 4:3, 4). July – October | 2019
The fifth point stresses the purpose for which Christ formed the Church. That purpose is to glorify God. Churches are unique and different from other social institutions in that they do not exist primarily for the sake of their members, nor even for the sake of the society in which they are planted. Even as individual believers are redeemed through Christ order to bring glory to God. ( Eph. 1:6, 12, 14), so the Body of Christ gathered into local assemblies of believers for the glory of God. (Eph. 3:6-10). The sixth point states the most important functions of the local assemblies in expressing the spiritual nature of the universal Church and in fulfilling its purpose is to glorify God. Worship, fellowship, instruction in God’s Word, observing the ordinances and training for service are seen in the New Testament as primary functions of the assembly of believers (Acts2:42; 12:1, 2;20:7; Eph. 4:11-16; Heb 10:25). We do not attempt to define a biblical structure or organizational pattern for church assemblies.
The seventh point draws our attention to the two ordinances that the Church observes on obedience to Christ. We reject a strictly sacramental view in which baptism and the Lord’s Supper becomes mechanical means of God’s grace to His people. They are, rather, meaningful symbols of the central spiritual realities of the believer’s and the Church’s relationship to Christ. Believer’s baptism was commanded by Christ and practiced in the Church from the beginning (Mat. 28:19; Acts 2:41; 8: 36-38). The Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ the night before His death (Matt 26:26-29; 1 Cor.11:23-26). We do not attempt to determine the forms in which the ordinances should be administered. The eight point focuses on the supreme task in the mission of the Church to the world. The task is to make disciples for Christ in all the nations through the proclamation and teaching of the Gospel (Matt.28:18-20; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 1 Pet.2:9). We understand the Gospel to be the good news that God sent His Son on
to the earth to redeem people from their sins, the benefits of which are received through repenting of sins and placing personal trust in Jesus Christ. The task takes precedence over all other tasks that the Church may do in the world. We believe that the Great Commission that Jesus gave His disciples before He returned to heaven is directly applicable to the Church throughout this age. (Matt.28:18-20). The ninth point adds the further note that the mission of the Church in the world includes other ministries of love and concern. We recognize that there are social implications in the missions of the Church that are secondary to the supreme task of proclaiming the Gospel. In this, we are following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who not only preached the Gospel but also went about doing good, healing the sick and otherwise showing compassion for people in need ( Matt. 4:23, 24; 9:35. 36; Luke 4:18-21; 1 John 4:17). CL
To be Continued...
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‘Strength for the Journey’ Daily Devotional written by our Founder -Bible Teacher Theodore H. Epp has been translated into 3 languages.
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We request your Prayer and Financial Support to Print these in HINDI, MARATHI & TELUGU. Thank you in advance. A.P.Anil Kumar, Associate Director
July – October | 2019
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July â€“ October | 2019
Bible Customs JustTimes Good &News
ANG! “I can’t believe it! How could I have missed?” Imagine the disappointment that you would feel if you lost a shooting competition, because you missed the final shot. You would wish that you had done something differently. Perhaps your sighting plane was slightly off the mark, or perhaps you were distracted by outside circumstances beyond your control. It really wouldn’t matter, because the winner had a perfect score under the same conditions. You might wish that you could take your shot again, but no one gets a second chance. The judge will not accept any excuses. You would have lost the competition and the reward that goes with it. Friend, there is a close similarity between this scenario and losing at life.
NO SECOND CHANCES
According to the Bible, you only have one life to live, and God, your Judge, will not allow excuses or give you a second chance. “... it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27) “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36)
MISSING THE MARK
As a shooter, you might find it interesting to know that the meaning of the word “sin” is missing the mark. July – October | 2019
According to the Bible, everyone has missed the mark of living a perfect, sinless life. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23) Because of your sin, you will not be allowed to enter into Heaven when you die. “And there shall in no wise enter into it (Heaven) anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie...” (Revelation 21:27) Instead, you will be cast into a lake of fire where you will experience everlasting torment and separation from God.
AIMING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION
has done to give you salvation. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:22) Jesus Christ, who was God in the form of man, lived the perfect sinless life, and died a bloody death on the cross as a substitute to pay for your sins. He is the only way to Heaven. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) God has promised you, “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.” (Romans 10:9). If it is your desire to be saved, please pray this prayer, or one similar to it: Dear God, I admit I am a sinner, going to hell. I know that I cannot save myself. I repent for my sins and put my faith in the blood that you have shed for me on the cross to pay for all my sins. I now accept you as my Saviour and trust you to take me to heaven. Thank you for saving me. Amen.
If you are like most people, you desire to go to Heaven; however, you are aiming in the wrong direction. The Bible states, “... wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:” (Matthew 7:13) You may try to be worthy of Heaven by living a good life. This is simply an attempt to establish your own righteousness, but the Bible says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according Have you hit life’s target? Have to his mercy he saved us...” (Titus 3:5) you believed God’s Word? “He that believeth on the Son hath HOW TO GET ON everlasting life: and he that believeth TARGET? not the Son shall not see life; but the Would you get on target if you wrath of God abideth on him.” (John knew how? The Bible teaches that 3:36) CL you must stop looking at what you can do to earn salvation. Instead, you must by faith look at what God CONFIDENT LIVING
We are happy to introduce this Creative Bible Learning method of studying your Bible book by book. Send the correct answers with your Name & address to receive a Special Gift from ‘Back to the Bible’. Study One book at a time.
2 Thessalonians – Kindly Answer the Quiz with Bible References (NIV) 1. God is __________: He will pay back ___________ to those who _______you.
18. Who else was with Paul when he wrote this letter to the church of the Thessalonians?
2. God will punish those who do not obey the 19. Never be tired of doing ___________. _________________. 20. Do not associate with the person who does not 3. The secret power of ___________ is already at work. _____________. 4. ___________ sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 5. Whom does the Lord overthrow with the breath of His mouth? 6. Work of Satan is displayed in all kinds of counterfeit ___________, ____________& ___________ 7. God called you that you might __________ of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8. People perish because they _________________ and so be saved
10. God chose you to be saved through the ______________ of the Spirit and through the belief in the _________. 11. Stand firm and hold on to the ______________. 12. Paul asked for ___________ so that the message of the Lord may be spread rapidly and be honoured. 13. The Lord is _______________ and he will _____________ and protect you from all evil one. 14. Paul commanded the believers to keep away from one who is ________. 15. May the Lord direct your hearts into ____________ and ___________. 16. Paul worked day and night labouring and toiling, so that they would not be a _______________ . 17. “If a man will not__________________ , he shall not ___________.” CONFIDENT LIVING
22. The coming of the ___________________ will be in accordance with the work of the satan.
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9. Those who have not believed _________and have delighted in wickedness will be ________.
21. Paul appreciated the church in Thessalonica for their _______________and ___________ in all the persecution and trials.
The next quiz will be from Galatians (NIV)
Quiz Answers: 1 Thessalonians (1) Macedonia and Achaia. 1:7 (2) Praise. 2:6 (3) nursing mother. 2:7 (4) Jesus.1:10 (5) the gospel of God, their lives. 2:8 (6) believe. 2:13 (7) satan. 2:18 (8) Thessalonians. 2:19-20 (9) Timothy. 3:2 (10) faith. 3:7 (11) sanctified. 4:3 (12) impure, live a holy life. 4:7 (13) lead a quite life, to mind your own business, work with your hands. 4:11 (14) fallen asleep in Him. 4:14 (15) a loud command, the voice of the archangel, trumpet call of God. 4:16 (16) Dead, rise. 4:16 (17) still alive and are left. 4:17 (18) day of the Lord. 5:2 (19) awake, sober. 5:6 (20) faith, love, hope of salvation. 5:8 (21) work hard, over you, admonish you. 5:12 (22) idle and disruptive, disheartened, weak, everyone. 5:14 (23) rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances. 5:16-18 (24) them all, good, evil. 5:21-22 July – October | 2019
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July – October | 2019
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July â€“ October | 2019