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Over the years I have sought to do my best to share what I have continued to learn from Scriptures. I have also attempted to model them as best I can in light of my own circumstances. I have done so because I have a firm conviction and passion concerning them. I trust that you have sensed how important these matters are to me.

I do not, however, expect any adherence to my personal understanding from those with whom I fellowship. I have no requirement that others believe what I believe, or practice what I practice. I simply desire that each follow the Lord out of a pure heart of personal faith.

Even if your own studies and convictions lead you elsewhere, I heartily welcome your fellowship. This is because there are greater principles that have preeminence – pure grace, unconditional love, genuine acceptance, individual faith and personal liberty.

Paul clearly taught that two men with opposite beliefs and practices (even if one may be “weak in the faith”) could both live their lives in honor to the Lord. Doctrine is not the basis for fellowship, nor dis-fellowship.

Now, this doesn’t mean that we could always walk with others in all things, but it does mean that we can support and encourage others to be faithful to the Lord based on the understanding that our Lord gives them.

While I trust that you will give my writings thoughtful and prayerful consideration in light of God’s Word, they are by no means the standard of faith.

I appreciate any light or insight that you may be able to share with me – one member of Christ’s body to another. We are fellows together: let us encourage and help one another.

Your brother and servant,
Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Dominion

Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith you stand (II Corinthians 1:24).

It has always been our desire to bring joy to your lives. We have no desire whatsoever to “have dominion over your faith.” The beginning of divine joy is found in freedom from domination over faith. We are the helpers of others’ joy as we assist them in their freedom from religious domination.

Paul teaches us that it is “by faith you stand.” The cycle of joy begins with freedom from religion, and finds its completion in standing “by faith.” We finish the cycle of being the helpers of others’ joy by supporting them in their own personal faith given to them by God.

To be a joy-helper, we must allow others the freedom to follow their own God-given faith. This is because greater principles deserve  preeminence in our hearts – the principles of pure grace, unconditional love, genuine acceptance, individual faith and personal liberty.

Helping others in their freedom from religion, encouraging them in the freedom to follow their own hearts of faith wherever God may lead them, will enable us to be “helpers of your joy.” It is the object of our life and ministry to bring joy to others – real joy, Divine joy.

Your servant,
Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

I’m not a “natural” reader. It’s always been one of my weaknesses. On first thought it seems odd that God would, in my weakness, make me both an incessant reader and writer. Of course, then it is not so strange, since this has often been His M.O., using men in their weaknesses.

God has birthed the reading and writing of my life out of passion, not natural ability. I read because I have an insatiable hunger to learn of Him, and a ceaseless motivation to write because of a need to remember what I have learned, and in turn, a heart-felt desire to share it with my family and loved ones. Thus, the underlying thrust of my whole life seems caught up in words: reading and writing them.

Now, I don’t read for entertainment purposes. This is by no means meant to be the slightest reflection on those who do. After all, if reading was someone’s real quality, why wouldn’t they read for entertainment? Perhaps I even “envy” those who do.

I don’t read for entertainment for two main reasons, the first being my before-mentioned weakness for reading. Secondly, since I read substantially for non-entertainment purposes, when it comes to relaxing, I actually need a break from reading. Perhaps that makes sense; regardless, this is who I am, who God had made me to be.

As a result, I really enjoy television, movies and music. I use them to relax. Granted, it seems to me that the more programming that is available, the less quality material there is worth watching. I don’t mean to be critical, because this is all partly based on my own personal preferences. What one is enthralled with I might find miserably boring, and vice-versa. What one of us would value as a great movie, or a good program, others would see as a waste of time. I suppose any particular movie or show is enjoyed and appreciated by someone, if not just those who found the satisfaction in producing it.

In this issue’s article, Interpreters of Culture, we deal with the divine value which is inherent in culture and see how Paul made wonderful use of it. In subsequent editorials I plan to highlight some of the movies, television shows and music that I have really enjoyed, and I will share the small glimpses of God and His truth that manage to make their way into them.

By His grace,
Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Awake!

Awake, O harp and lyre, I will awaken the dawn! (Psalm 108:2, Rotherham Emphasized Bible).

Among the many divine roles of David was that of psalmist. He was one of the composers of Israel’s sacred music. God had this masterful musician and songwriter up early; his job, as it were, was to “awaken the dawn.”

For decades I’ve had an affinity with David. Although, unlike David, I’ve no musical or lyrical abilities, it’s quite common for me to awaken hours before dawn with a pressing sense of divine urgency and purpose. With no clock beside me, and without any alarm, I’m up, fully awake, passionately eager for what Father has in store for the day.

Though not awaking each morning at the same time, today I was up at 3:30, and yesterday, before 4:00. My early rising has little bearing on the time of my evening retirement. I can normally be quite productive throughout the day on as little as four hours of sleep.

Funny thing, after all these years, by bedtime on some nights I tell myself, “I’ll rest a little longer in the morning.” Regardless, I regularly find myself up early – thankful and excited to begin the day.

I share this with you so that you may know a little of who Father has made me. If this was not part of the norm built into me by God, I can’t even imagine where I’d be today. The many years of morning solitude have been graciously granted to me as invaluable time to study and write. Without these added hours I wouldn’t have a hint concerning the many wonderful truths Father has taught me over this journey that I began as a zealous young churchman so many years ago. Neither would there be the numerous books I’ve written, nor the many volumes of this Bible Student’s Notebook. I’ve come to be extremely grateful for the very cycle of my days – a truly humbling experience.

Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way? (Proverbs 20:24).

A man’s heart devises his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9).

I remain your servant,

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Let Clyde read the Goodie for you!)

Much of what I teach is regarding absolute truth – it is fixed and foundational.

On the other hand, however, there’s a lot of what I share that is relative. In this area I deal with the application of absolute truth in day-to-day life. It is here, in the relative (how we relate the truth practically to our lives), that things are more difficult. This is due to the barrage of unparalleled circumstances that today’s believers must face. These circumstances are so removed from the divine ideal that we are caught in extremely difficult situations. These conflicting settings are, more often than not, less than ideal, if not in outright opposition to God and His revealed principles.

For this reason, believers frequently simply have to do the best that they can do under the circumstances. God knows all about it since, obviously, it is He Who has designed these challenges of faith. We must play the hand we are dealt.

Although, having said that, by the grace of God, utilizing divine wisdom and the courage of faith we may take advantage of the opportunity to discard and draw again – daring to cross the currents of a society that has recklessly abandoned God and His revelation. This is not an easy course, and it is one that we likely will walk alone.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Worries Concerning 2012

Many are anxious about this year. Some, because of the ancient Mayan calendar, are concerned that the last day of history will be December 21, 2012. This doomsday “end” has no merit, as God did not vest the details of His plans with the Mayans but in the Scriptures alone.

That the last month of this year is the “end,” could not be further from the truth. God has much left in His plans for the earth. Place no merit in archeology coming from heathen societies.

Another reason that many are anxious this year is that it is a U.S. Presidential election year. Those of us who know and realize that Father is in charge of all who rule can trust Him in such a restless year.

We must never forget that “the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He will” (Daniel 4:17, 25), and that “He does according to His will … among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can restrain His hand” (Daniel 4:35). It is God Who rules “over all the kingdoms of the heathen” (II Chronicles 20:6).

We know that “the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turns it wherever He will” (Proverbs 21:1); and that, in fact, “He is a great King over all the earth” (Psalm 47:2).

God rules over all nations, establishing their times and boundaries. The who, how, when and where are all determined by Him for His Own purposes.

[God] has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation (Act 17:26).

Relax, Father has everything under control.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

New: Audio Teaching!

We now have audio teaching that we will be alternating with our written Daily Email Goodies: a written lesson one day, and an audio presentation the next.

There will be three types of audios, (1) topical teaching, (2) questions & answers, and (3) expository teaching through books of the Bible.

I am personally thrilled with this renewed aspect of my teaching ministry. Bear with us through our initial audios, as we are in the process of acquiring and learning how to best use our equipment and software. The audios should get even better with time.

My son Clyde III is the great force behind these audios. He has been a constant encouragement, and is their producer – investing hundreds of hours in this important project already. My sincere thanks for his extreme dedication and love of the truth.

I am also thankful for those whom Father has moved to partner financially with me in these labors – through you He allows me the time and resources to expand my teaching ministry once again. Without you this would not be possible. I am deeply touched and humbled.

For His truth, and the honor of His name,

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

My Attitude and Writings

If any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know (I Corinthians 8:2).

I have always been a seeker of the truth. This means that I have embraced the need to be adjustable. I know people who are proud that they have held the exact same doctrinal understandings for 20, 30, 40, 50 years. This is not a badge of honor to me. I continue to learn and grow. My beliefs have continued to change drastically over the years.

Anyone wanting to see this in my own life only needs to leaf through the 20 years of Bible Student’s Notebook. They clearly attest to the flexibleness of my heart toward truth.

My books are not written in stone. I have never viewed them that way. They are written on paper – and on-demand paper at that. I do not have a stockpile of them. The beauty of on-demand printing is that I have my books printed as they are needed.

For me, on-demand printing is perfect for my lack of money for stock, and also – and probably more importantly – it allows me to make changes, adjustments, corrections, additions and/or deletions between ordering individual copies. Believe me, I have taken advantage of this freedom!

It seems that almost every time that I re-read something which I have written, there is a change that I would like to make. So, on-demand printing is perfect for me. My books go through many editions, even in a single year. I consider them “living” books, rather than “dead” set–in-stone books.

Norman Grubb (1895-1993) has written in this regard:

I don’t know if every writer on the things of the Spirit has the same problem – no sooner have I completed one manuscript than I see this … and this … and this … which could be put much more clearly, or whole areas of insights which should be added. I feel like the automobile dealers who must produce a new model each year! – God Unlimited

So, do my current writings contain mistakes and errors? Absolutely! Where? I don’t know yet. Over the years, as I see more and more truth, I correct my writings. Will you find “errors” in my writings that I do not see? Probably. Will I correct these “errors”? If you show them to me from Scripture and I can see them for myself from Scripture.

Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind (Romans 14:5).

What if you see something in my writing with which you disagree? Disregard them, if it is by faith in the Scriptures that you disagree with them; as I will do with your assertion that they are “error,” if I can’t see that they are indeed “error” by faith in the Scriptures. What will be my response if we differ? I will receive you, as Christ has received me.

Receive each other, as Christ has received us to the glory of God (Romans 15:7).

Martin Luther (1483-1546), on trial before the Diet of Worms, was asked by the Inquisitor:

Doest thou admit that these books are written by thee?

Wilt thou retract these books and their contents, or doest thou persist in the things thou hast advanced?

To which Luther replied:

Unless I can be convicted of error by the Holy Scripture, I neither can nor dare retract anything, for my conscience is held captive by God’s Word. Here I stand, I can do not otherwise; so God help me. Amen.

One day I must stand before the Lord to give an account. I can’t stand before Him and tell Him that I simply did what somebody else wanted me to do. I must stand before Him, having lived in the truth that I have seen.

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God (Romans 14:12).

My love to each of you.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
© Daily Email Goodies



Things I Have Learned

Over the years I have come to change my understanding about many things that I have learned along the way. I will sum up as briefly as I can a few of the basics of what I learned. Many of them may be alive in your heart as well.

(1) Our Father is active in His universe and “works all things after the counsel of His Own will” (Ephesians 1:11).

(2) We are but clay in the hand of the divine Potter – “Has not the Potter power over the clay?” (Romans 9:21).

(3) “We are His workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10).

(4) We are therefore “confident of this very thing, that He Who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

(5) We know that “all things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

It is all about Him! God has never lost control of His universe. He is the “All in all.”

We can see this all the way back in the Garden of Eden. Nothing there took Him by surprise. It all worked together for His purpose. God did not start playing “catch-up” with man’s rebellion. God was always in the lead. After all, it was God Himself Who planted a garden with two trees: One tree of life, and the other tree of good and evil. Good and evil come from the same exact tree! They both are of divine origin! – “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7). If we focus on good or evil we will miss life. Divine life is apart from good and evil. It is from an entirely different tree!

God created evil as a part of His divine plan. It did not sneak into His creation; rather, He put it there – right “in the midst.” It is the core of His plan to be “All in all” (I Corinthians 15:28). As with Pharaoh, “for this cause have I raised you up.” It is truly all about Him!

The believer’s life has nothing to do with the human performance of good or evil. It is rather about His divine life. It is about a different tree. It is about simply learning to live.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

These are truths that are alive in my heart with greater joy and freedom than I have ever known.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2005, 2010

For every house is built by some man; but He that built all things is God (Hebrews 3:4).

Years ago I remember standing at the bottom of the Empire State Building in New York City. I became dizzy trying to look up to the top of it. It and structures like it are simply amazing feats of design and construction.

Imagine if I had inquired with its management as to who the designer and builder was and that they responded to me with all seriousness and sincerity that there weren’t any, that it has just evolved there over millions and millions of years, and through many iterational stages of existence – presto – the Empire State Building now appears in its present form as a result of the evolutionary process.

My sons sell and repair laptop computers. These machines are amazing. Frankly I do not know what I would do without mine. When someone inquired of one of my sons as to who made a laptop they were interested in purchasing, suppose they responded that there was no manufacturer; that it had just evolved in the repair shop.

When I was a teenager I worked for a summer as a stripper. Now before we go too far here, you should know that I was stripping the paint from airplanes so that they could be repainted. Suppose I asked who had made the particular airplane on which I was working and the answer was, “No one,” that it had just evolved.

The daily news paper is delivered to my home each morning before it is yet light outside. Suppose I wanted to contact the publisher, just to have the paper-carrier tell me that there was none, and that the paper just evolved each morning, and he simply just delivered it.

That after eons of evolution the newspaper now appears with columns filled with words, sentences, paragraphs and articles, with the current date – all typeset and making sense, that tells stories of current events – is irrational beyond seriousness!

All of these are absolutely absurd propositions – totally beyond reason. A man would be a fool to suggest any of these; a man would be a fool to accept them.

The very idea that such a complex machine as an aircraft does not have a designer and manufacturer – no one in their right mind would entertain such silliness!

Yet there is a world full of greater wonders than the Empire State Building, a laptop computer, an airplane, and the newspaper. Take our human body for example: it far exceeds the grandeur and complexity of any of these things. If these other things demand a designer and maker, we demand one even more. Look all around us. Everywhere is evidence which demands a Creator: flowers, birds, rainbows, sun, moon, stars – just to name a few.

It is impossible to have a building without a builder. It is impossible to have a creation without a Creator.

For every house is built by some man; but He that built all things is God (Hebrews 3:4).

This is why the Psalmist wrote of the powerful testimony of creation:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world … (Psalms 19:1-4).

Little wonder the Psalmist also penned,

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God” … (Psalms 14:1).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 2009 Bible Student’s Press

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