Bits and Pieces is a random collection of news and views compiled by Dr. Frank McClelland for Toronto F.P.C.
For the first time in 18 weeks the Toronto church will be open (DV) for public service next Sunday, July 26th. Only the morning service will be held at its normal time of 11.00am for July and August. There will be certain restrictions in place, and details of these will be sent out to those on the church mailing list in advance. The evening service, at its normal time of 6.30pm, will continue to go out on sermonaudio. The Wednesday evening prayer meeting (7.30pm) for this week will be on zoom. Those on the mailing list will be informed of any further changes.
JEZEBEL IN THE CHURCH
The church at Thyatira was condemned by the Lord because it “suffered that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants.” [Revelation 2:20].
“Jezebel is to be understood not as a woman, but as a doctrine (v24). Yet the character of the Sidonian seductress whom Ahab made queen of Israel was clearly in mind as the Lord exposed and condemned the false doctrine of the church at Thyatira.
“False doctrine is imported into the church just as Jezebel was imported into Israel. It can gain a foothold only when the church departs from the Word of God as its sole and sufficient rule of faith and practice. What enormous errors have been imported from pretended apostolic traditions, from spurious ancient writings, from heathen religions, and from science falsely so called! When a church either abandons God’s Word and turns to the opinions of men or entertains any other standard of belief in addition to the Bible, it has imported a Jezebel.
“Like Jezebel, false doctrine knows how to paint its face to appear most attractive. When the old, austere doctrines of Protestant evangelism came to be despised, it was because the church was enamoured with the painted face of a more “liberal” theology. Under the cosmetic mask, however, Jezebel remains a soul-destroying emissary of the devil. False doctrine ruins souls. We need to go beyond appearances and examine every doctrine in the light of the Word of God.
“Jezebel is always intolerant of any competition. False doctrine demands to be tolerated, but once tolerated, it takes control and seeks to stamp out all adherence to the truth. This Jezebel is hard at work in the church today. She aims to lay hold of the vineyard of every Naboth and to slaughter every Elijah. There is no room for compromise with her. To arms, Christian! Learn the truth, love the truth, live for the truth. On behalf of his Master, John says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” [3 John 4]. That is always the answer to Jezebel.” [Dr. Alan Cairns in Eagles’ Wings]
In a corner of the upstairs prayer room of the Toronto church you will see an old organ, nicknamed “Old Bessie.” She is a Baldwin instrument of doubtful vintage and, although not used today, is still in working order, but enjoying a well-earned retirement. She is the last surviving relic of the infant Toronto FPC in 1976 which started on July 4, 1976. Four weeks later Bessie was carried out of the soon-to-be-demolished church on Cosburn Avenue (more on that next week) by Frank Hinbest, his two sons, John and Bill and Winston Bennett. Like the children of Israel she wandered from place to place for many years before reaching her present home. For a while she stayed with Bill and Muriel Fraser who were amused that every so often they could hear messages from the Toronto Police coming from Bessie’s inwards!
With all the pressures of modern society, and the added Covid-19 crisis, some believers are having a difficult time sleeping. Over 50 years ago the writer attended a Christian training seminar at Dr. Paisley’s church. One of the lecturers was an old preacher, a very godly man, who also taught psychology from a Biblical perspective. His remedy for sleeplessness I have never forgotten. When you get into bed deliberately relax your muscles especially in your hands. Then repeat the words “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want’ (Psalm 23:1). Think of each word successively and individually.
Think first of the Lord, His incarnation, His life, death, resurrection and ascension. Then that He is. We do not serve a dead philosopher but a living Redeemer. Then think of Him as a Shepherd, loving, protecting, feeding and guiding His sheep. Then dwell on the wonderful thought that He is “my shepherd,” and that we shall not “want” anything. It will not be long until the cares of earth recede, and we enter into blissful sleep. “For so He giveth His beloved sleep” [Psalm 127:2].