The following was given to me by Ted Ripley a week ago last Thursday. Just five days before God called his faithful servant home. Ted’s words speak volumes about his heart and faith. As you read, I encourage you to rejoice in the hope that we like Ted may share in Jesus. Yours in Him, Gareth (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)
Dear Ridgeway Church
As many people know, I have been suffering for some time from pulmonary fibrosis. It’s not ‘fixable’ unless the Lord heals me. I had hoped to share this with you from the pulpit, but that’s not possible at present. I wanted to say what a blessing and privilege it has been over the years to be part of Ridgeway. So much has happened and there is so much more to come.
I’m now over 90 and have been very blessed by having had two Godly wives, a loving and caring family and caring church fellowship.
In the end it comes to simple faith. Jesus said, among many things, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. The one who believes in Me will live…even though he dies and he who lives by believing in Me shall never die.” I believe that. I trust in Him.
There is a future ahead of us all that is wonderful beyond our comprehension while we are here but is secured in the Cross and by the promise of His Word.
I’m very encouraged by all that is happening at Ridgeway Wallingford and Didcot and I continue to pray for much blessing in the days to come.
I’d like to share a passage from a book I have found helpful over the past months; ‘Mysteries’ by Jonathan Cahn. It’s written as a teacher sharing truths with a student.
Much love to you all, Ted
Extract from Mysteries, Jonathan Cahn
The Land of Beyond
The teacher led me into the Chamber of Scrolls, but instead of unrolling a scroll and sharing, he began the sharing with no scroll.
“I’ve told you of the mystery of Shemini Atzeret,” he said, “the last of the appointed holy days, when the scroll of the Torah reaches its end, and its last words are read…which are all about the end, the end of the wilderness journey. Of what does all this speak?”
“About the end,” I replied “the end of earthly existence, the end of this creation”
“Yes,” said the teacher, “but Shemini Atzeret speaks also of what comes after the end. And there is another scroll. One scroll ends…but another begins.”
He then led me over to one of the shelves, removed a scroll, laid it on the wooden table, and unrolled it to its beginning.
“This is the other scroll…the Book of Joshua. For the children of God, what comes after the end? When the wilderness journey ends, the Book of Joshua begins. And what is this book about? It’s about leaving the wilderness, crossing the Jordan to the other side…to that which is beyond the wilderness…to the Promised Land…And so for the child of God, when the old is finished, a new book begins. When the old creation is no more, a new creation will come. And when the old life is finished, a new life begins. And we will cross over to the other side. Do you remember what the word Hebrew means in Hebrew?”
“One who crosses over.”
“And so on that day you will cross the Jordan into the land beyond. And as it was for the children of Israel when they finally entered the Promised Land, so it will be for you…That which you had for so long hoped for, longed for, and believed in by faith, you will then see with your eyes and walk with your feet…the Promised Land. And who was with them in the Promised Land, who had walked among them in the wilderness? Joshua. And do you know what Joshua is in Hebrew?”
“Yeshua…Jesus. And so when all has passed away, the old world and everything in it…He who led you through this life will lead you in…into the Promised Land. He who has held you, who kept you, and who never left you…in every moment of your earthly journey…and who loved you before you were…will be with you every moment…to the end…and beyond the end…forever.”
The Mission: Ponder the day you’ll cross over into the Promised Land. And give thanks that He Who will be with you then, is with you right now.
Deuteronomy 8:7-9; 26:15; Joshua 1:1-4; 1 Peter 1:3-4; Revelation 21:1-4
The Mystery of the Eighth Day I – III