MY PREACHING IS BASED on the expositional method. I am a preacher of the Word. In spite of all opposition I announce my headings and seek to bring forth the sweetness, strength and sustenance from the passage which is before me. This is why the message retains its freshness for it is the pith and marrow, the cream and essence of the inbreathed Word of God. "Man cannot live but by every word of God is the truth which my Master has taught me."

In this volume the whole range of expositional preaching is demonstrated and illustrated from a text to a type, from the Decalogue to a Doctrine and finally to a whole Book.

The Bible is the inexhaustible Book. Its mines of gold have never been fully mined. I present in these sermons some of the treasures I have found therein.

February 1996

Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church, 356-376 Ravenhill Road,

Belfast, BT6 8GL

Northern Ireland

1. The greatest gathering of all time

An exposition of Genesis 49:8-10 delivered to 4,000 people at the opening of the Fourth World Congress of Fundamentalists in the Founders Amphitorium on the Campus of Bob Jones University, Greenville, South Carolina, USA.

I CALL YOUR ATTENTION to Genesis 49:9-12—a death bed scene.

Ungodly men hate to contemplate death. Godly men love to contemplate death.

To the former, it is the door to darkness, doom and despair.

To the latter, it is the gateway to life, life more abundant and life indeed!

Herein is the difference between the other Gospel of the so-called Modernists and the Gospel of we Bible-defending Fundamentalists, who stand in true apostolic succession.

The perverted Gospel of modernism holds forth an assignment to men—it proclaims: "Behave like Christ and succeed."

The pure Gospel of Fundamentalism holds forth an atonement to men—It proclaims: "Believe on Christ and be saved."

The key to the first is example by life. The key to the second is expiation by death. The bloodshedding of Christ Crucified marks the great Divide. It is the Cross which makes them separate by an unbridgeable gulf.

Death in Scripture then is vital to the Saints of God. This is one of the paradoxes of the Bible.

The first human death in Scripture was glorious. It was the death of the first Fundamentalist martyr, Abel—a victim of anti-Biblical Unitarian Cainism. It was a death whose bloodshedding became a blood speaking. It spoke so loudly from the ground that God in the highest Heaven heard it.

The first human death recorded in the last book of the Bible is the death of yet another Fundamentalist martyr—Antipas (Rev. 2:13).

The supreme weapon of the devil—death—he is a murderer from the beginning—has been taken by God and has been transformed into the vehicle, not of our destruction but of our deliverance. Out of the womb of death has come forth the wonder of life. This is the mystery of the Cross and the demonstration of the wisdom and power of the Almighty.

0 death, where is thy sting? Where? Where? Where? Search for it. Can you, dear child of God, find it?

0 grave where is thy victory? Where? Where? Where? Seek it but you will never find it believing soul.

But you say, surely preacher, the sting of death is sin. I can find sin. Yes, but in the memory of God forgiven sin cannot be found.

Mel Trotter used to preach a great sermon on Isaiah, chapter 43, verse 25.

"I even I am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."

He used the following outline. Our sins are all blotted out.

  1. From God's Book.
  2. From God's Hand.
  3. For God's Sake.
  4. From God's Memory.

But preacher does it not say the strength of sin is the law? Yes, but it also says, that Christ is the end of the law to everyone that believeth.

C. H. Spurgeon, as a boy preacher, had a great friend, an elderly preacher named Sutton. In Volume One of his autobiography Spurgeon records the following:

"Well, my dear sir, how are you?" was my salutation to him, one morning.

"I am pleased to see you so well at your age."

"Yes, I am in fine order for an old man and hardly feel myself failing at all."

"I hope your health will continue for years to come, and that, like Moses, you will go down to your grave with your eye undimmed and your natural force unabated."

"All very fine," said the old gentleman, "but, in the first place, Moses never went down to his grave at all, he went up to it; and in the next place, what is the meaning of all you have been talking about? Why did not the eye of Moses wax and dim?"

"I suppose sir," said I, very meekly, "that his natural mode of life and quiet spirit had helped to preserve his faculties and make him a vigorous old man."

"Very likely," he said, "but that's not what I'm driving at. What's the meaning, the spiritual teaching of the whole matter? Is it not just this? Moses is the law and what a glorious end of the law the Lord gave it on the Mount of His finished work; how sweetly its terrors were all laid to sleep with a kiss from God's mouth? And, mark you, the reason why the law no more condemns us is not because it's eye is dim, so that it cannot see our sins, or because of its force, with which to curse and punish us, is unabated; but Christ has taken the law up to the Mount and gloriously made and end of it."

But I digress. Of course I can plead apostolic example—going everywhere preaching the Word.

Here is a death bed scene. One of the strangest but sublimest in the whole history of the human race.

Jacob is not dying in the land of Promise, but in the foreign land of Egypt. He has come a long way from the day of his birth in the tent of his grandmother Sarah whom he never had the privilege of knowing.

J. Wilbur Chapman, in his masterly sermon entitled: "A Broken Family Circle", described Jacob's pilgrimage thus:

"Through sunshine and storm he has come to the victorious end of a great life. By the way of deception practised upon his father, and deceit of which his brother was the object, also by the way of his passionate devotion to Rachel, until he claimed her as his own and by the way of the struggle at Jabbok's Ford, we find him reaching the place where he is a changed and chastened man, and limping out of weakness into power, he comes forth from the shadows into glorious light. His closing days are days of peace and the end of his journey is exceedingly beautiful."

Around the bed are his twelve sons—the sons of his four wives, Leah and her maid, Zilpah, Rachel and her maid, Bilhah.

'Tis a strange gathering of an even stranger family. The whole of the world's history is compressed here. The whole of redemption's history is condensed here. It is a holy place—the stage of history, the pulpit of prophecy and the room of mystery.

Look at those figures around the ancient patriarch—Reuben to Benjamin. It's the last time on earth Jacob will cast his eye upon them and call them by their names.

His staff, (the staff which was his only possession as he left his home at Rebecca's contrivance and Isaac's command, to seek a wife in his mother's family but really to escape the murderous wrath of his red-headed elder twin brother Esau), supports him as he utters one of the greatest prophecies in the whole Bible.

He uttered these, as Henry Law so pithily said: "When his eyes were closing to the speck of earth and opening to the expanse of heaven of boundless being."

Indeed the Heavenly glory, for a moment, overcame the earthly gloom and he saw and uttered things that only Heaven could reveal.

Note the three-foldness of its contents: (1) Compressed History; (2) Concentrated Prophecy; (3) Condensed Mystery.