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ONE ? Yes just one.


There is ONE God, ONE Truth, ONE peace, ONE way, ONE doctrine of godliness, ONE incarnation of deity, ONE atonement, ONE triumph over death, ONE sacrifice for sin, ONE coming judgment, ONE universal rule of Christ over the earth to come, ONE church, ONE body of Christ, ONE mortality of man which ONE episode of sin brought into the world, and ONE crucifixion which has bought up SIN for every one who believes, conferring pardon.

  • There is ONE place, a book, the Bible, where the ONE doctrine conveying the mind of the ONE teacher who is master of all is presented, at the will of the ONE Father (John 12:48-50), whose creation of the universe and of man occurred at ONE brief and marvellous thrust of power (Romans 5:12ff.), the creation of this world, and has since finished ONCE for all. (Cf. Isaiah 45:12,18, Colossians 1:16, Genesis 1, SMR pp. 174ff., 190ff., 485ff., That Magnificent Rock Ch.1, Ch.7, Part E, End-notes *2 and *3, A Spiritual Potpourri Ch.9, End-note *1, pp. 150ff., Ch. 4, esp. No. 4, pp. 38ff.).
  • There is ONE salvation which occurred at ONE even briefer, and yet more marvellous thrust of power in pity, the Messianic life, that One eternal, living word of God, that co-Creator with the Father and Spirit, that same Christ Jesus (I John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:13-18, Acts 1:7-11). It is He,

"the first and the last",  who was ONCE offered on ONE cross for ONE agony and ONE sin-bearing, covering all His own, and freely and sincerely offered to all; and who in ONE resurrection of the body prepared the way for the life and individuality of mankind to be preserved, for those who receive His ONE payment for ONE redemption (Revelation 2:8,17,22:3-5, Isaiah 44:6, 43:10-11, Hebrews 9:12-10:14).

  • For those who look for Him, it is He who will come ONCE more to receive His people, and ONCE more with them to rule, before ONCE and finally, the universe is gone, and the ONE God in His ONE heaven will ONCE and for all make the home and haven which Christ has gone to prepare (John 14:1ff.), the ONE residence of all His people. He knows how to keep what has come and is committed to Him (II Timothy 1:9-12) in His ONE plan of salvation (Galatians 6:14).

There are MANY diverse gifts, offices and functions in His Church, but anything and anyone who makes there to be two or even MULTIPLE  masters, or sacrifices, or delusive doctrines of devils, or mantras based on Biblical words but ignoring the teaching they present, or multiple doctrines wrought or bought from experience or hysterical utterances or other MULTIPLE sources, so fulfilling the MANY predictions to that effect*1, are gone from the ONE truth which the ONE Lord has in ONE place situated until He comes.

So do they participate in the MANY rebellions which lie strewn like Autumn leaves - pretty to watch falling, but then soon to decay - and have bestrewn the fields of history. As to these, their colours are too well mimicking the blood and the muck of the wars, spiritual, moral and physical, filled which the MANY fraudulent claims for inspired leaders and words, which do not focus on the ONE Christ who in ONE historical setting did ONCE AND FOR ALL, all that needed to be done (Hebrews Chs. 1,9,10).

Let us, they say, have one head and master like the pope, or some of these beautiful people who slay and take the money of their religious victims, departing the camp before the death of delusion occurs. Let us have many doctrines, even all that comes for all time from what calls itself, for some reason or other, the church but is in fact a collection of fantasies in such cases, and make THEM the rule. And so the Canon Law of Roman Catholicism arises like a cancer on the body which it claims to be Christ's, whom however they cart about as bread, and place at will.

Let us, they say, have experiences and be led to know what the Lord is saying, and use the Book as a prop for experience, and be ourselves, fulfilling all the uttermost desires of the heart, and be successful, and love the world, and thrive in it, and be a superior people, whether palpitatingly Pentecostal*2 or in some other device. But Christ suffered loss on the cross, and would not even pray (John 17) for this world.

Let us, they say, build a super church, the World Council of Churches (Questions and  Answers 4), or some Pentecostal exuberance set-up (Questions and Answers 8, 10A Question of Gifts) , and let us bring the Roman Catholic body even into an evangelical list of churches on the Internet, so that we might be one, and let us forget the ONE MASTER and ONE DOCTRINE and ONE BOOK, and so have all things put together with the charismatic excesses as the ground of unity, and not the book. Let us, they say, build an Australian Christian Church and make something other than the Bible the criterion of it, while embracing all that is there with such a unity passion that will break all bounds of petty restriction.

Let us, they say, reach up to heaven with our towering power, as at Babel, and invent what we will, until the good Lord cannot but smile at our effrontery and initiative and accept us all; for as to Him, where is He, and when is He coming: but as to us, we are doing very well thank you.

But no! they say, let us not do so... or they are not all one, but many! No! say they. It is very gross and wild and turbulent and distorted to act as such people as those above: and they are right in this. But no, they continue, let us go back to the Reformation and make this the test, this the criterion, and let us make statues of Calvinism and the like, and solemnly worship there and call those who remind us of I Corinthians 3 divisive, and consider whether they are really some kind of radicals, Babel types, because it is not so written, or as to I Corinthians 3, what is that! it is only one chapter.

Let us indeed, they say,  sing Psalms only (cf. Questions and Answers 13) and make the Westminster Confession (an excellent aid and a beautiful masterpiece as it is) our definitive statement which none may depart from, and let us extinguish all this liberty on matters not essential to its teaching; and let us, while we are at it, bring in other reformation doctrines on worship and the like, and make ourselves altogether traditional until we can begin to be a thing in this world, like Rome, but smaller and more beautiful, and let us all do these things.

Now the Reformation was good and necessary in its thrust, and its betrayal is one of the gross spiritual crimes of the 20th century - the 21st may not last long before it is arrested - but it is not a focus of worship, but help - a GRAND one, but a help. If we are healed, we do not worship healing, but rejoice in health. We remember the disease and rejoice in the cure; but we do not arrest life on that as it base, lest a worse thing befall us.

Let us, again they say, for they are many... Let us not be literalistic, not biblicists, not bound to the almighty word, but while acknowledging it in principle, let us realise that without in the least becoming heterodox, we are grown up mature people, psychologically adept, diplomatically savvy, culturally sophisticated, and we KNOW how to manage men, and to bring the thrust of the Bible out without being too finicky about words.

Let us in short be neo-evangelical and unite, they say, if not with Rome, then have aid from or unite with the Southern Baptists, who acknowledge Billy Graham (cf. A Question of Gifts, p. 79, The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 7, p. 110 and Questions and Answers 8, pp. 81ff.) as one of their own pastors, thus receiving him who receives and extols Rome, an act which - in view of the unchanged structure of its ancient heresy*3 -  is in defamation of the reformation's necessary and costly correction.

Or let us be at one and at peace with others who in other things make doctrine run amok in practice and practice forbidden things (The Kingdom of HeavenCh.7). Or if not that, let us join with or have fellowship with those who rebel on small things like women elders (A Spiritual Potpourri10-11, A Question of Gifts, Appendix II) and things like them which, though they may be clearly taught against in the Bible are not really worth the gander. Or let us unite with those who are (like a whole multitude) ambivalent on the Bible, not too clear, and they may come to see better in time; and anyway, it is very interesting to talk to them!

Let us, they say,  then be grown and notable, noticeable indeed people of our Age and call those divisive who protest, and tell them that they are pettifogging and pretentious, and any other adjectives that seem apt, and so distance them from congregations and our churches, and go our own way; for why should we be a meek and humble people {Zephaniah 3:12}. Is there not in man a desire to be expansive and exciting, and why not apply this to God... Of course we will not go the charismatic way, or not yet.

We DO have our principles; but we shall be a law to ourselves in practice, and only in principle shall we be pure. What do you want! We have GOT to get somewhere, so we will call it contemporary worship, which really should allow developments mightily as they seem most statistically fitting for our growth pattern. The charismatic is contemporary {IS IT! see A Question of Gifts for a moderate because Biblical analysis of the matter.}

Let us, they say, go where the blessing is. If Rome has some of it in some charismatic fantasy, let us be real and acknowledge that there is a lot of stuff in religion, and get where the action is; for is that not what you do in business, and our business managers tell us so, and we believe it. You've got to be financial to survive: come on now! Jeremiah, as one of our people actually said, they say,  {yes a senior missionary superintendent}, HE would not have made a good pastor.


Let us divide, then from all that is ONE, and so UNITE! This they do not always say, but often DO!

But what unity is this that so unites but that of Babel ? and what loyalty is this but treachery! It is not all one. It is many. But it has ONE thing in common: the BIBLE, AS IT IS, STAYS NO MORE DOMINANT IN BOTH DOCTRINE AND PRACTICE; but convenience, desire and clever thoughts rule. That is why one mission had to have psychological testing of candidates, so that the paragons of pollution should help choose. True there can be Christian psychologists, but is this the criterion, the Christianity of those whose training includes the study of mental disease; or is it rather the case that worldly criteria are imported, here a little and there a little, as we learn from the sad secular shock-absorbers the status of stability and the like!

But where is stability but in the Lord:

"Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of your times,
And the strength of salvation:
The fear of the Lord is his treasure" - Isaiah 33:6.


Let us, in short, not receive the Lord as Lord, they say - or do not say but use as a performance principle - not as Lord of life, but as suggestion box; let us not receive the word as ruling, but as indicative; let us not go in the way spiritual, for that is for the poor;  but let us add traditions of our own and find what practically WORKS.

  • They forget that in the cross of Christ by which we are crucified to the world and it to us, we are to glory, and it is to be faithfully followed, as well as received, and that we are to take up our cross and so be led, and that the power of the resurrection is so to come, and not in any short-circuit!

So the pragmatic and the power-hungry, the delusive and the indifferent join in one multiple diversity of callow indifference to the rule of the word of God; and this becomes the intemperate, impatient substitute for possessing your soul in patience (Matthew 24:13, Luke 21:17-19), as recommended by the Lord. For what of statistical spirituality ? How fares it with Habakkuk (perhaps they agree in principle but do BETTER in practice!):

"Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines:
Though the labour of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no good:
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls -
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer's feet,
And He will make me walk in my high hills" - 3:17-19.


There is ONE faithfulness to ONE Lord whose ONE word circles the earth, grasps all history, laughs at rebellion (cf. Psalm 2), derides the pretentious follies of carnal dreams and false prophets, and does what it says without fail, and will have Him return as it is HIS word which said He would come, when He is ready, though many (Matthew 25's virgins) sleep without oil, and use the facilities of the flesh to make MANY DEVICES as Solomon put it, even in the church, even till the very elect would be deceived, if it were possible.

Let us then rejoice that even in the midst of the TEMPESTUOUS AGE and its tempests of confused conclusion, the Lord is one; and let us love one another, though not the cancers, and help one another but not the deviationists, and be strong in the Lord and in faith, and make HIM who has so spoken in ONE place for ALL time, the ONE hope and the ONE strength of our way, while in His mercy, we behold the land which is very far off (Isaiah 33:17), knowing that it  is coming near, and that His return is coming near, and that His work is ONE and not many, for it is precisely as directed, and of the body HE ONLY is the Head, who died that we might live, and redeemed a peculiar people, special and select, for Himself, whom to serve is delight, and whom to acknowledge is a delectable duty, for it is His due.


See SMR pp. 857ff., 864ff., 662, 686ff., 699ff., Barbs, Arrows, Balms 39, A Spiritual Potpourri 1, 13, Repent or Perish Ch. 5 with SMR pp. 661ff., 667ff., The Other News 5, Stepping out for Christ 5, Joyful Jottings Chs. 5,14.

There are of course various gifts, supernaturally given as Paul makes just as clear in I Cor. 12-14, as he does the exceedingly abased character, relatively of tongues (5 words of sense with the tongue above 10000 in tongues in public), its extreme need of careful limitation and control and its wholly non-glamorous character. The occurrence is, as his quotation in I Cor. 14:21  shows, predictively drawn from Isaiah 28-29, where its coming occurrence was to have something of the nature of a rebuke!

See on Isaiah here, A Question of Gifts pp. 29ff..  Like so much that has come as a corrective to too little emphasis, this has been deformed into becoming in multiplied cases:  invasive, extremist, distorted, sometimes perhaps even devious and manipulative, and in the end, it has become a pot for pollution in which Roman charismatics, existential charismatics and mantra charismatics are thrown, and where various types of alliances are forged, so that the little finger controls the heart, and the small toe the head.

*3 See SMR pp. 1056ff., 1074ff, 1072ff., 1061-1071, and for background, 1032ff., and 1042-1088H.