‘Lord, Open their Eyes’

Australian missionaries Jocelyn and Ken Elliott, both in their 80s, had been running a hospital for some four decades in the town of Djibo in the West African country of Birkina Faso when they were captured by an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group over a month ago and are believed to have been held in neighbouring Niger. A spokesman for that country’s President said Mrs Elliott ‘was freed following mediation led by the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, and presented to the press in Dosso.’ He added that efforts to release her husband, who worked as a surgeon, were being intensified.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Dr Elliott says their work has been meeting a need physically, but their ultimate aim is to show the love of God.
The fate of Dr Elliott is not known at the time of writing (13 February) but many are praying for his soon release and ability to take up again the cause so dear to his heart.
Meanwhile Mrs Elliott has expressed her love for these poverty-stricken people and her desire to return to Djibo and restart the work as soon as possible. She joins a noble company of missionary wives determined to continue their husbands’ work. There was that other Elliot family, Jim and Elisabeth. Some 60 years ago Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully and Roger Youderian went out to reach the Huaorani tribe of eastern Ecuador. All five of the men were killed by the tribe and martyred. Elisabeth Elliot went back with Nate Saint’s sister, Rachel Saint. Elisabeth, with her daughter Valerie, stayed a short while but Rachel stayed all her life. In time they rejoiced to see the conversion of the very men who had killed Elisabeth’s husband and Rachel Saint’s brother. Their eyes had been opened.
Then there were Gladys Staines and her daughter Esther. Graham Staines, one of the Lord’s choice saints, and his little boys Philip and Timothy were martyred one night in India by an enraged Hindu mob who set fire to their vehicle as they slept in it while attending a Christian convention. Gladys and Esther went back to Mayurbhan, and for a number of years continued the work among lepers in which the family had been engaged.
Long ago, at the dawn of the Reformation, William Tyndale made a translation of the Bible into the English language of his day. For his pains Tyndale was arrested and imprisoned, tried for heresy and treason in an unfair trial, and convicted. Tyndale was then strangled and burnt at the stake in the prison yard, on 6 October 1536. His last words were, ‘Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.’ This prayer was answered three years later, in the publication of King Henry VIII’s 1539 English Great Bible – and the rest, as they say, is history.
In today’s world, ‘the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God’ (2 Corinthians 4.4). And therein lies the tragedy – that adherents of other religions, as well as adherents of none, are so blind to the goodness and love of God as seen in the labours of His faithful servants that they remain blind, ‘lost and dead in (their) trespasses and sins’, and will not see the boundless love of God in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our earnest and concerted prayers must be that the Lord will open the eyes of all who are blind in their minds ‘so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God’. We must pray that they would turn from their wicked ways to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and receive the blessings of belief; not forgetting to pray that all who labour for Him will stand firm in their faith and ‘will not grow weary in well-doing, but know that in due time they will reap a reward.’
— Bob Thomas

New Biography on Conrad Murrell, Grace and Truth

My new biography on Conrad Murrell, Grace and Truth, is scheduled to arrive from the printers in approximately 2-3 weeks. It can now be pre-ordered at a discount at the book website,  www.conradmurrell.com

The website allows only orders of 1 or 2 copies; anything more is considered a bulk order, and must be ordered from our email. We hope the book will be available at the Fellowship Conference March 24-27 here in Denton.

If your friends, family, or church know of Conrad Murrell, please let them know of the website so people can begin to order. If you have questions, please let us know. Every preacher of the gospel and every pastor should read this book, as well as young men entering the Christian ministry.

If you have any questions, please let us know. 

Please pass the website on to anyone who would be interested in the book.

God bless
Mack Tomlinson


I am His

‘I am His’. Every believer in Jesus can say it, and with full assurance, ‘I am the Lord’s’. Humbly and astonishingly, we may also say that He is ours. To the Christian, God is not just the Lord, but my Lord. It is of this bond, by which we have become His, that I want to speak.

His by creative right

This is something that is true of all people. When David writes in Psalms 24 of the earth being the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it, his reference is to an ownership that is the Lord’s by creation. It was He who made the dust from which He afterwards made the first man. It was God who from this man then made the woman who became his wife. And it is He who has given life to all their innumerable offspring. David praises God because he is fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). People may balk at it and deny it, but we are all under the possession of another. God owns us and all we have, and it is because of the sin of our hearts that we refuse to acknowledge that, and keep living as if we belonged to no one but ourselves.

His by costly purchase

‘You are not your own’, says Paul to the believers in Corinth: ‘you were bought with a price’ (1 Cor. 6:19-20). And what a price! Christ gave His very life, in order that we, who were already His by creation, might become His in a new and special way. We are talking about redemption here. By virtue of our fall in Adam, we put ourselves into the hands of very wicked powers. We became slaves both to sin and Satan. But Christ shed His blood in order to free us from that slavery. We are now God’s possession by costly purchase, His ransomed people. And Paul lays it on the line, as far as what that is to mean to us: ‘Therefore, honor God with your body’ (1 Cor. 6:20)– a call to sexual purity.

His by covenant bond
In entering into covenant with people, God ever pledges Himself to be their God. The bond by which they may call Him their own is forged by covenant. So it was under the Old Covenant and so it still is under the New. ‘I will be their God’, He says in Jer. 31:33. But that is only one part of the promise. The other is that ‘they will be my people’ (Jer. 31:33) The bond is gloriously mutual. He is ours and we are His. What priceless blessings are ours by virtue of that bond! All of us know Him, from the least to the greatest. We now love and keep His law because He has written it on our hearts. Through Christ, He has wholly forgiven our sins. And He has placed in us His fear, so that we will not turn away from Him. 

His by accepted commitment 

Think what it means to come to Christ and believe in Him. There is so much more to it than the empty hand stretched out for salvation. To truly come to Christ is to commit ourselves unreservedly to Him, not only for eternal life, but also to be His loyal servants and subjects. He who is Lord is going to be our Lord from this day forward and forever. But will He accept us? Always! It is His own promise. No one who comes to Him will ever be driven away (John 6:37). We become His when we put our trust in Him. We are His by an accepted commitment.

So we are the Lord’s possession by a four-fold cord. He is not ashamed of His possession. Anything but! He prizes every one of us. He wouldn’t part with us for anything. He regards us as His inheritance and counts Himself rich in having us. He looks forward to us being with Him and will delight in us forever. Isn’t grace amazing?

— David Campbell

The Damaging Delusion of Prosperity Faith

It has been around for awhile. I am not taking the time here to note the earliest traces of the “word of faith” and prosperity movement in America. But certainly in the beginning of the 20th century, the early seeds of the “word of faith”, prosperity doctrine movement were being planted in America. Perhaps the earliest modern figure was the pentecostal healing evangelist, John G. Lake (1870-1935). Lake, who first served as a missionary in Africa from 1908-1913, became a healing evangelist who set up “healing rooms” in his evangelistic crusades, especially along the west coast of the U.S. Lake had been influenced by the earlier ministries of such pentecostal preachers as John Alexander Dowe and Charles Parham.

It was Lake that began early in the 20th century to popularize the modern doctrine of health, wealth, and prosperity. In one sense, he was the grandfather of the entire movement, which then produced such teachers as Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, Sr. and Kenneth Hagin, Jr., Frederick K. C. Price, Kenneth Copeland, Charles Capps, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Paul and Jan Crouch, T. D. Jakes, Paul White, and Joyce Myers, to mention just a few.

Right in line with such thinking is the massive influence of Joel Osteen, who in one way, is even less biblical that all the others. Less biblically, in the sense, that Osteen doesn’t even use the Bible or preach from the Bible like the others do. Osteen is only a motivational speaker and positive-thinking teacher, right in line with the famous Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993), Reformed Church of America pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City for 52 years.


It struck me again within the past week of the serious damage that a twisted doctrine of “faith” does in so many situations. I have seen recent situations where families are convinced that they are going to see cancer healed and major injuries healed because they are “confessing it or believing it.” They won’t even entertain or talk at all about the possibility of any other alternative. God is not sovereign in the situation–their faith and confession is controlling it.

When people swallow this erroneous teaching, real spiritual damage is always done, no matter what happens with the sick person. If they improve or are healed, it affirms to people that their “confession and faith” worked, and the error is believed more than ever. But If the person doesn’t get better, the only conclusion is that God did not keep His promise, or they did not have enough faith. The health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine has caused many to reject Christianity altogether, or to believe that faith does not work at all. Either way, God is not honored, and faith is perverted.

As Conrad Murrell said–

“Faith, by which a man is justified, has become a word in the mouth of ignorant religionists and unethical charlatans that bears no resemblance to the Bible doctrine of faith. One’s ears have become accustomed to hearing such terms as “seed faith”, by which you give the preacher some money and God, in turn, makes you rich. You are to “turn your faith loose” by an act of faith. Faith, in this modern age, is a commodity which you use to ‘work miracles,’ get things for yourself, heal the sick, and raise money. It has become an accessory to Christianity that is greatly to be coveted because if one can find the secret to getting faith and turning it loose to work for them, there is no limit to how great he can become or what he can do

All of that is wicked enough, but it is not the chief mischief. The worst thing about this is that such false teaching has fouled the waters of the very fountain of life. It has clouded the most important subject of the Bible–faith. It may be well argued that love is greater than faith and that Christ is the most important person of the Bible, but the sinner has access to neither the love of God or to the person of Christ except through faith. Faith is not an accessory to Christianity, but is the very essence of true Christianity. The Christian life begins, continues, and consummates in faith. Nothing less pleases God.”

— Mack Tomlinson

People who do not go to church go to hell

Shocking statement? Unquestionably! But can it be proven? Only to those who believe the Bible to be the authoritative Word of God. To those who do not, nothing can be proven, for their own darkened mind is the only absolute they know. Nothing can be proven to them that they do not wish to believe.

Jesus Christ is the only acceptable sacrifice for sins. God has appointed His Son, the Christ, the Savior, the Redeemer, the substitute sin-bearer, to take away the sins of all who trust in Him. But there is a sin for which the blood of Christ will not avail, for which there is no sacrifice.

For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).

Now what is this “willful sin” for which there is no sacrifice? The man does not live who has not sinned since being enlightened with truth. Then are all men doomed? Will they all go to hell because they have sinned after they knew better? Assuredly not! Christ has redeemed and purchased with His blood a people for His glory. They will never perish. Sin, in the general sense, is not in view here. The preceding verse names the sin for which there is no remedy.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is . . .” (Hebrews 10:25).

Jesus Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25). The word church is translated from a Greek word meaning “called out assembly.” It is the unvarying nature of those who are called by God to salvation to assemble together. Buy nature they are gregarious. They love to congregate. There is no exception to this rule. Governments may pass laws against it; they will break them. Burn their meeting houses; they will meet in barns. Torture them and put them to death; they will meet in holes in the ground under bridges, in the wilderness. You can sooner prevent the rivers from flowing to the seas than stop the redeemed people of God from meeting. If you fancy that you have a salvation, yet no longing to congregate with others who are only pilgrims and travelers through this world, then you have a Christianity that is alien to the Bible and to Christian history. Those who forsake, abandon and utterly leave the company of the just go to hell, because they have no grace of God in them. They do not have the nature of God’s called out assembly.

Please do not think you have satisfied this criteria with the “electronic church.” You cannot assemble, exhort and comfort one another around the image of a “boob on a tube” or a bellow from a box. I will tell you why you prefer the television or the radio to the local church. You have nothing in common with the people of God, so you feel uncomfortable among them. You can salve your conscience with some generous donations to your favorite “electronic pastor” and avoid the costly, soul-searching experience of direct encounter with genuine living saints of God.

I say again, people who do not go to church go to hell. But where is the church? Is it in the “established church”? Is it the building on the corner with the steeple on the roof? Not necessarily. These may not be the church at all. But please be warned. It is most certainly not a casual visit or an occasional meeting with another professor of Christianity when the subject of religion may pop up inadvertently. The church is the deliberate and purposeful meeting of the redeemed around Jesus Christ expressly for worship and instruction in the Word. It is a gathering of those who worship God in Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3). They have a fellowship that cannot be held solitary. It must be shared.

There are, of course, those who are infirm, who cannot go where believers assemble. But if believers are near, and know of such a Christian, then they will surely come to him. Then there are those who live where there are no other Christians. When a true believer finds himself in such a circumstance, he will witness and preach until there is a church with which to worship. Then, of course, there is that slim possibility of “death bed repentance.” But the likelihood that God would then grant you repentance who have all your life rejected the gospel is indeed most precarious.

Then will I go to hell because I do not go to church? Certainly not. You will go to hell because you despise the law of God, you trample under feet the Son of God, you consider His redeeming blood of no more value than slaughter-house sewage, and you despise God’s Holy Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10:28-29).

Will going to church assure me of salvation? Not at all. Only God can save. You must be born from above. Salvation is of the Lord. You must first of all acknowledge that you are a wicked hell-deserving sinner and all you r pretenses of righteousness are useless; your excuses lie and your good works are worthless. Get your mind and heart under the preaching of a man of God who knows God and the gospel and is not afraid to preach it. Trust God to forgive and save you from your sins for Christ’s sake. And when the Lord does save you, I can tell you on the authority of heaven, you will continue to meet with the company of believers.
“But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39).

Conrad Murrell.

Rebuking One Another

Whenever necessity compels one to reprove or rebuke another, we ought to proceed with godly discernment and caution. First of all, let us consider whether the other fault is such as we ourselves have never had, or whether it is one that we have overcome. Then, if we have never had such a fault, let us remember that we are human and could have had it. But if we have had it and are rid of it now, let us remember our common frailty, in order that mercy, not hatred, may lead us to the giving of correction and admonition.

— Augustine