Psalm 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into hell and all nations that forget God”
In this address the uncomfortable issue of hell is tackled, and the resistance to the idea which he encountered amongst even Chapel goers. He argues that it is only by having an appreciation of the judgment of God that we can truly come to an appreciation of God’s great love for us. Hellfire is acknowledged as an undeniable part of the gospel but the emphasis is on love and forgiveness
He also gives a short account of his own conversion.
John 20:15 Whom seekest thou?
The story of Mary encountering Jesus after the resurrection from John 21 and the feeding of the 5000 from John 6 are retold at some length. The lesson drawn is that we should seek Jesus out of love and not for what we can get out of being a Christian. The humanity and deep feeling of Jesus is emphasized thus illustrating the heartfelt love which is being commended.
Nehemiah 2:6 For how long will the journey be, and when wilt thou return
Some of the historical background of this question of the King to Nehemiah is explored but the focus is on a typological interpretation of Jesus’s relationship with God the Father as he takes the journey to earth and the struggles and sufferings he experiences there to save humanity, these are described with heartfelt emotion. This is narrative is also illustrated with the example of a man who lost his son during the first world war. Finally the listeners are challenged to use the question to reflect on how long their journey of life will be and respond appropriately
Spiritual Lessons from Apple Tree Culture
This is an address to a Christian youth organization known as Kings Own Bible Class. In it detailed use is made of Lloyd’s experience as a gardener, particularly the practice of grafting apple trees. Using verses from John’s gospel he emphasizes that Christian’s need to be grafted onto Jesus. At the beginning of the address the using of a secular subject to teach sacred lessons is justified through Jesus’s usage of parables.
A close reading of aspects of the Palm Sunday story leads to a gospel message of Jesus satisfying God’s just demands and our need to rest in that for our salvation. Particular attention is paid to the unbroken nature of the colt on which Jesus rode. This is seen as demonstrating Jesus’s control over nature and as a symbol of human willfulness which is further illustrated by a detailed reference to the bias in a lawn bowl. ‘Two ways met’ is also used as a symbol of human ties such as ‘having our own way’ which prevents us from being used for the work of Jesus
Psalm 16. In response to a signed photograph of Billy Graham in the magazine Christian Herald which quotes Psalm 16:11 an exposition of Psalm 16 is given in which the Psalm is interpreted messianically i.e. referring to Jesus. Although Lloyd is deeply rooted in the revival tradition stemming from Moody and Sankey in the 19th century and supported the Billy Graham mission he does seem to be wanting to redirect his listeners attention to Jesus rather than the individual benefits of being a Christian which, it appears, he saw as being the focus of Graham’s message. He returns to Psalm 16 two weeks later in address number 4 and makes the same point about its interpretation.
John 16:14 but based on Psalm 16
The importance of Whit Sunday (Pentecost) is emphasized because it is only by the coming of the Holy Spirit that the teaching of the Old Testament can be understood. This is particularly applied to Psalm 16 which is interpreted as looking forward to Christ in terms of prophecy, prayer, path, peace, pleasures, purpose and priesthood
John 9:7. The phrase ‘He went his way’ is used as the basis for a gospel message. The blind man who went his way in obedience to Jesus is contrasted with the people of Nazareth who refused to accept Jesus and went their own way. The address concludes with a challenge to consider which way we are going – to heaven or hell. Reference is again made to the Billy Graham mission and the bias in a lawn bowl.
Psalm 145. A gospel message arising from a story in the News Chronicle about a young woman losing her memory. The theme of memory is then developed using Bible passages from the Old Testament and Luke’s gospel: God will ever remember us but we are very much inclined to forget Him. Finally a dramatic story about egg collecting taken from an evangelistic booklet is used to emphasize the urgency of remembering God today to avoid the danger of hell.
1 Corinthians 9:24. Five months after Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile this is an exhortatory message based on the Pauline image of faith being like running a race. The members of the cottage meeting, something like what we would call a home group are finally encouraged to keep the faith. Much reference is made to his family in the course of the address, reinforcing its homely spirit.
1 Peter 1:25. Inspired by a series of question and answers by Billy Graham in the Christian Herald this address explores the ‘ground of faith in the Divine origin of the Bible’. In particular it focuses on arguments from the harmony of Scripture particularly in the recurring biblical theme of the younger being preferred over the elder e.g. in the example of Jacob and Esau. In times of greater education giving a reasonable basis for the faith is seen as being important. The address is at least in part based on the work The Scripture of Truth Its Origin, Its Languages, Its Translations by Sidney Collet
A talk based on the apostle Thomas. Using Young’s concordance the story of Thomas is traced through the Gospels, at the end it is pointed out how Thomas was welcomed back into the fellowship of the disciples even though he had at first disbelieved in Jesus’s resurrection. This talk was repeated at Witley in August 1955 and it seems likely that it was done so in order to encourage the Fellowship to welcome back an erring member of that assembly
1 Corinthians 1. 9. This seems to have been a Cottage Meeting at Woodlands cottages in Chiddingfold. The talk focuses on the word fellowship (although more prominence is given to the word partnership) and uses a number of biblical examples to illustrate how we are called into fellowship with Jesus. Jesus takes our sins upon himself and then calls us into a partnership of service, although it is emphasized that Jesus’s work on the cross is one he must do alone. The talk seems to refer favourably to some controversial ideas associated with Benjamin Newton, the early Brethren leader, about the Sufferings of Christ.
Romans 6:21-23. The final address that Lloyd gave at the Witley Cooperative Hall where the Witley Gospel Mission held its meetings. The meeting had built its own Gospel Hall in Little London, Witley and was about to move there. He picks up the theme of endings and after some personal reflections based on his experience of leaving home reflects on Jesus’s own ‘ending’ as narrated in Luke and Matthew, with particular emphasis on Peter’s denial. He concludes by returning to Romans 6 and a call to trust in Jesus for our salvation which was the gospel that had been faithfully preached in the Co-Op Hall.
Luke 10.20 Rejoice that your names are written in heaven. This is a gospel address which challenges its listeners to reflect on whether they are sure their names are written in heaven. In the course of the address a distinction between having one’s name written in heaven and in the book of life appears to be made, alongside some other theological distinctions, drawing on a booklet written by an unnamed Baptist writer, which I find it difficult to precisely follow.
Luke 19:10. I came to seek and to save the lost. This address was inspired by a conversation with someone with chronic illness who was struggling to make sense of life and why he was created by God. This question is answered from the creation narratives in Genesis and then the text analyzed in terms of the person, plan, purpose and prize achieved by Jesus’s saving work which restored our relationship with God destroyed in Genesis. It concludes with a story about the birth of his eldest son Bert who became a Baptist minister and preached in Providence Chapel
Luke 8:26-40. This talk was inspired by a comment by a brother at the previous Sunday’s Breaking of Bread about sitting at the feet of Jesus. The story of the ‘Gadarene maniac’ is evoked with dramatic word pictures and using a story from Campbell Morgan we are encouraged to spend time at the feet of Jesus. Other aspects of the story ‘being clothed in his right mind’ are then more briefly explored before it closes with a brief reflection on the lonely mind of Jesus ‘made in the likeness of sinful flesh’. In the footnotes I speculate on the possibility of Lloyd modeling his preaching on that of Campbell Morgan
Luke 13:24. A gospel message based on themes from Luke chapter 13 in which the listeners are challenged to give up ‘self-government’ and unnecessary baggage so that they might allow the leaven of the kingdom of God to rule the whole person. He also uses his gardener’s imagination to imagine a tree filling the whole garden. Mention is made of the recent Billy Graham Crusade in Scotland and London. It seems rather carelessly written and it is speculated if this presaged a period of illness which forced him to give up preaching for two or three months.
Matt 24. 39. James 4. 14. John 6. 67 & 18. 8 & Matt 25. 46. A gospel message based on the word “away” in each of the Scriptures, this theme was brought to his mind by two open air meetings in Witley and someone at the most recent of these meetings who had subsequently died. The major part of the address focuses on the arrest of Jesus as told in John which is dramatically retold, it concludes with the challenge “If you go away from the Lord who loves you, you will go to another… who has planned and purposed to drag you down to the depths of woe and misery”. Therefore it would appear to be directed more towards the issue of backsliding from a Christian commitment than calling for new commitments
This address was repeated twice in the 1960s and you can see why he returned to it for it expresses many of his most deeply held theological convictions. It was inspired by another preacher talking about the oneness of God, but this makes Lloyd reflect on what that might mean for him and the importance of our conception of God. He develops the theme by reflecting on the different conceptions of God held by the two thieves crucified with Jesus and then continues with the theme of Pharaoh and the exodus of the Israelites inspired by his Scripture Union Bible reading notes. He emphasizes that whilst judgment does inevitably come, God is above all a God of love and mercy who is forbearing with our wanderings. He concludes with a reflection on this God of love inspired by a sentimental picture which moved him to tears. In the talk he also mentions his first job in a nursery and in the footnotes a biography of his brother Jesse is shared which gives some information on his early life.
Job 28. 28. This address reflects on the use in Scripture of the words “the fear of the Lord”. It begins in Job 28 which is seen as a scientific exploration of the earth but science does not bring answers only more questions. Next it moves on to Psalm 1O3 were receiving God’s mercy is dependent on our fear of the Lord. In answer to the question what is the fear of the Lord it moves on to consider the death of King Saul in 2 Samuel 1 and its idea of fear at harming the Lord’s anointed in context this refers to the King but it is applied to Jesus as the Messiah. Next the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee in Luke 18 is used to describe the difference between the person who fears God and the person who does not. Finally the two thieves on the cross are used to make the same point and challenge the hearers to consider their own response.
Acts 3. 19. This is a long (eight pages rather than six pages) and rather intense gospel address which emphasizes the need for repentance for individuals, churches and nations. Exploring passages from Joshua (Achan) and Acts (Ananias and Sapphira) he demonstrates the seriousness of sin and the need for repentance. He goes on to argue for a Holiness message that we are saved not only from sin but also from sinning, finally he sides with modern translations over the Authorized Version to emphasize that blessing can only come for individual, church and nation after repentance. He closes with a mention of his own three years of backsliding as a young man before repentance and return to the faith. He also mentions research on the Billy Graham Crusades but criticizes it for not emphasizing the importance of repentance.
Dan 10. 1-21 Matt 17. 1-8 & Rev 1. 10-18. This talk to a cottage meeting on the vision of the glory of God in Daniel 10 and it is mainly an exposition of these words, but it is linked with Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration and the vision of Jesus in Revelation 1 as being visions which inspired the recipients in their future work. The interpretation of Daniel is affected by words from Charles Wesley’s Hymn “Vile and full of sin I am” – the glory of God is seen as making human beings aware of their sin and yet in the same movement they are touched by God’s hand which brings love and assurance.
Luke 18. 18 Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith on the earth. The question of the delay in Jesus’s coming again is addressed through the story from Exodus 32 about the Israelites turning to the golden calf when Moses was on Mount Sinai (this was the passage that was being read in the Scripture Union notes). This is turned into an opportunity not to castigate the Israelites but to consider our own hearts and trust in Jesus who is also no longer physically present. Jesus is coming again in the future but through prayer he’s present now as our living, loving, tender, compassionate Saviour.
Luke 2. 14 and 19. 38. This address just before Christmas explores the theme of peace. It embraces Christmas as a British Christian festival unlike some others such as the Exclusive Brethren, yet it seeks to set it in a wider context of the Christian gospel. Using the description of Wisdom in Proverbs 8 it celebrates the goodness of God’s creation but also laments its disfigurement by sin (using romantic anti-urban language). Yet the gulf this creates between God and man is bridged by Jesus who promises us the perfect peace of heaven.
Deut 33. 24 & 25. The talk is aspired by the greeting “Happy New Year”, a phrase viewed with suspicion by some Brethren. Lloyd is not of the same opinion but the talk goes on to explore what happiness is. The example of Asher, Jacob’s son (which means happy) is explored and the material prosperity which accompanied the tribe of his descendents. Yet from a Christian perspective the happiness of material prosperity is rejected – true happiness is to be found in having our sins imputed to Jesus and removed by his death on the cross. Worldly prosperity is also illustrated by the story of a wealthy man who built a house called “Happiness” only for him to lose his wealth and see another man live in his house, this gives a note of social criticism to talk.
It appears that Lloyd was asked to go to the Farncombe open brethren meeting (in the nearest town) in order to address the controversy of ‘Needed Truth’ which created the Churches of God who broke away from the Open Brethren in the 1890s. His approach is noncontroversialist and irenic but reasserts Open Brethren values of open communion and cooperation with other evangelicals for the sake of practical evangelism through an examination of Barnabas’s visits to the Christians in Antioch as recorded in Acts 11:19-30. In particular he asserts that the real ‘needed truth’ is that we should all seek to develop a personal, intimate relationship with God. In the footnotes I seek to indicate how I understand Lloyd to be addressing the issues in the controversy.
Deuteronomy 9:29. This talk, repeated at Witley the next month, is particularly characteristic of Lloyd’s talks. It draws its inspiration from the use of the single word “Yet”, which he traces through four separate biblical texts the meaning of which he illuminates with a quote from a gospel hymn “wonder of wonders”. The wonder is that while we were yet sinners God sends Jesus to save us from spiritual death and bring us life. This is illustrated by a story from his days in the Pioneer Corps during the First World War when he repaired the electric lighting plant for a military camp
John 15. 1-8 & Rom 11. 13-24. This talk returns to the subject of growing fruit trees that Lloyd had previously addressed in March 1954 but this time focuses on the spiritual insights that can be gained from the work of the nursery producing fruit trees. The basic theme is how the master gardener produces different kind of fruit trees for different kinds of uses, particularly by grafting useful apple varieties onto a crab stock. We all have different callings but the master gardener can produce something useful out of us all whatever our age or history.
Ezekiel 11:16. Lloyd returns to the theme of the word Yet and speaks about the excitement of searching the Bible using Young’s concordance to see how it is used. Here he focuses on a promise from Ezekiel concerning the exiles in Babylon. We are all sinners and worthy of judgment yet the blood of Jesus brings us forgiveness and new birth if we ‘give up the reins of government’ and allow Jesus to reign over us.
1 Peter 1. This address was inspired by a leaflet advertising a meeting in Godalming. Lloyd disagreed with the theology of the meeting but uses the three questions on the leaflet as a springboard for his talk. He first seeks to establish the Bible as the word of God. Secondly he talks of responding in love to the world, using the example of Nicolas Charrington who established the Tower Hamlets Mission. Thirdly he affirms a final judgment, the outcome of which will depend on our faith in Jesus
Romans 8:29-31. This address picks up five words from its text Foreknowledge Predestined Called Justified Glorified and describes them as five steps in the purpose of God. These are referred back to God’s purposes for Israel (with extended reference to the story of Balak and Balaam in Numbers 23) but a supersessionist approach is taken with no hint of a Christian Zionist position. Rather Israel is seen as having failed in its mission which is now the mission and privilege of the church. “The past is referred to but only as a background for the glorious future”, as ever sin is acknowledged but the focus is on the future to which we are called.