Until today I had never heard of Reverend James Relly but because someone from Switzerland sent me a picture of a convert of his -John Murray – I did some reading on Wikipedia. After I share about Relly I will share some of my journey through a dark place to find the light Relly found.
I read a summary of what he preached and thought it was wonderful for I have been brought to the same conclusions by my Father God. Here it is below from the Wikipedia page .
A portion from Charles Buck’s Definition of All Theological Terms and Every Article in the System of Divinity, published about 1820, describes Relly and his theology this way:
“He believed that Christ as Mediator was so united to mankind, that his actions were theirs, his obedience and sufferings theirs; and, consequently, that he has as fully restored the whole human race to the divine favour, as if all had obeyed and suffered in their own persons; and upon this persuasion he preached a finished salvation, called by the apostle Jude, “The common salvation.” Many of his followers are removed to the world of spirits, but a branch still survives, and meets at the chapel in Windmill-street, Moorfields, London; where there are different brethren who speak. They are not observers of ordinances, such as water-baptism and the sacrament; professing to believe only in one baptism, which they call an immersion of the mind or conscience into truth by the teaching of the Spirit of God; and by the same Spirit they are enabled to feed on Christ as the bread of life, professing that in and with Jesus they possess all things. They inculcate and maintain good works for necessary purposes; but contend that the principal and only works which ought to be attended to, is the doing real good without religious ostentation; that to relieve the miseries and distresses of mankind according to our ability, is doing more real good than the superstitious observance of religious ceremonies. In general they appear to believe that there will be a resurrection to life, and a resurrection to condemnation; that believers only will be among the former, who as first fruits, and kings and priests, will have part in the first resurrection, and shall reign with Christ in his kingdom of the millennium; that unbelievers who are after raised, must wait the manifestation of the Saviour of the world, under that condemnation of conscience which a mind in darkness and wrath must necessarily feel; that believers, called kings and priests, will be made the medium of communication to their condemned brethren; and like Joseph to his brethren, though he spoke roughly to them, in reality overflowed with affection and tenderness; that ultimately every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that in the Lord they have righteousness and strength; and thus every enemy shall be subdued to the kingdom and glory of the Great Mediator.“
It would have cost James Relly a lot to break with George Whitfield and the Wesley Brothers in those days. He was considered a heretic and antinomian by the mainline Protestant ministers back then….and no doubt still would be today.
Therefore I receive James Relly as a brother of mine who carried the torch of God’s loving redemption story for all mankind. I receive him not because he was considered a heretic – but because I see in his journey my own.
I was a zealous Pentecostal for years, preaching eternal damnation in the Hay street Mall in the city of Perth every Friday and Saturday nights. I was stuck in performing and doing to earn favour from God. I did not realise it then of course. I was terrified of ending in Hell –maybe I was not holy enough, or obedient enough?
It was not until 2006 when after battling issues of sin in my life and failing over and over in that battle that I cried out to God in desperation. He led me to find Pastor Joseph Prince from Singapore who was little known then. I had never heard of him.
I listened to a 10 minute you tube sermon snippet of Prince expounding on the free gift of righteousness and the finished work of the Cross and the hard know of fear in my heart was smashed!!
I then bought every grace/righteousness message he had and bathed in pure grace for a long while.
But at the time we were attending a Fundamental Bible Baptist church who advertised themselves as non-charismatic, KJV only, pretrib rapture, pre-millennial, Calvinist cessationists! They are nice people, but they are earning their way to heaven in fear of eternal punishment.
Around that time I began seeking the Lord for His Spirit again and as a result ended up going to Uganda to preach in November 2008 where I saw 120 Muslims convert to Jesus and be baptised in Lake Victoria! Many were healed as well as the power of God manifested each time I preached. (Normal Christianity!)
My Bible Baptist pastor Jim Moore showed me the left foot of fellowship when I got back, saying that what I was now engaging in was not what he believed to be God(in other words it was the devil). So we parted amicably.
We did not join any other church straight away and later the next year in 2009 I went to India and once again saw God move saving and healing people and getting pastors baptised in the Holy Spirit. On my return after a few months I sank very low into depression. I was battling myself and the accuser constantly. I felt like I was two people at war!
In India I was attacked in the spirit as my hosts landlords were praying curses at me every day. Of course curses do not stick unless there is a cause. I gave them that cause later by forgetting who I was and what the blood of Christ had done for me.
Issues of sin dogged me and I could not shake the condemnation. At that time I began reading Daniel Yordy and Fred Pruitt two brothers who preach our identity in Christ. It helped. But I battled on seemingly alone. Well I was alone for I had not a single Christian friend to talk to and we were not going to any fellowship.
I felt abandoned by God. In fact I felt more than abandoned. I blamed Him for leaving me in such a defeated place. I felt that He was tormenting me. I felt that He wanted perfect obedience which I could not give, and He would not help me to achieve.
I thought He may as well send me to Hell now because I was already in Hell!!
I would walk a few kilometres to a wooded park every day to vent all this frustration. At first it was towards myself but by the time I got to the park I was accusing God of being my problem.
One day one of these manic attacks came upon me so strongly I went down to our back shed and stood on a chair with a noose around my neck with the other end tied to the rafters. I stood on that chair with my head exploding with the lashes of accusation and self loathing I had battled for so long.
Then a small voice squeezed through all that rage and said “Please don’t do that.”
I was jolted by the recognition of that voice being my Father’s (God). I thought of my wife and children finding my dead body in the shed. “Coward!!” I screamed internally at my stupid suffering self. Then I wondered if I was a second away from going to a lost eternity….something I had longed to do at times because I was such a failure and a bad person(the demonic tape playing in my head).
After that afternoon, I carried that ripe in my car still thinking I would use it eventually. I went out to get firewood in the forest one weekend and slung that rope over a large high branch. Once again I was being tormented in my mind with self loathing and pushed to end it all. Instead I preached a message to myself on Romans 7 and how Paul found himself in the predicament of fighting himself and how he came through it to Jesus.
The battle between believing and APPLYING by faith the message of Christ’s finished work on the cross for me and giving in to the accuser and the condemnation was intense for a long period. As a result my marriage and our children suffered as I suffered these attacks.
I began thinking that maybe there was some dark thing in my belief system that was stopping me from receiving God’s love and His grace. I asked Him earnestly if He would show me what this tare was if any.
Then in December 2011 on my 50th birthday a breakthrough happened. I had heard of J Preston Eby a year before through Daniel Yordy’s ministry. I read some of Preston’s work a year before in 2010 and I noticed that he seemed to think Hell was not forever. It didn’t worry me, but I did not believe that. The article I was reading was not about Hell, but he mentioned this.
So on my 50th birthday in December 2011 I began reading J Preston Eby’s Savior of the World series and could not put it down!! It is 427 A4 pages of explosively liberating anointed truth that obliterated the TARE of a God who demands perfect obedience while threatening to cast me away into eternal hell fire FOREVER!!
It was like all the synapses in my brain and heart and spirit and soul were all firing and pinging in joyous synchronicity! Yes!!! YES!!! YESSSS!!!!!!
A God who takes FULL RESPONSIBILITY TO SAVE ME!! A God who does not leave it up to me to save myself! My heart was melted and I basked in a new found love for my Father and for Jesus.
I saw that the all the self loathing and self accusation came directly out of this deep seated FEAR I WOULD GO TO HELL. I saw that without this Fear of Hell most churches would be empty. I saw what a driving WHIP eternal punishment is in the heart and mind of my brethren…and had been in mine. And I rejoiced that God had not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation.
With that sting removed from my heart I was able to receive His grace and to accept my many failings. Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ!!
I encourage you to download the works I have linked to above and also those on my Restoration of all things Page.
Our God is victorious and His mercy endures forever…His mercy triumph over His judgement!!