CHARLES DAVID ALEXANDER was born in Liverpool on January 1 1904 of Scottish parentage. He grew up in the city and was saved by God's grace on 7th March 1921 at the age of 17, although he often related in his later life how that he did not know but that he had possibly been converted at his mother's knee.
He began a journalistic career and quickly demonstrated that talent for the written word, which was to distinguish his later pastoral career. He rose eventually to become the Editor of the Bootle Times, and the Birkenhead News, both provincial newspapers. It was not as a journalist, however, that the Lord had destined that Charles Alexander should serve him.
In his late teens he began to preach in the 'open-air' in the city centre. His diaries record how that each evening several, and sometimes many, would be saved. Whether these 'decisions' were genuine or spurious, we cannot tell, but this experience awakened in Charles Alexander's heart the desire to serve God in the ministry.
His initial longing was to work on the mission field, and it was to China that his heart was drawn. He approached the then China Inland Mission and progressed in his application as far as the medical. It was at this stage that the Lord made plain that this was not for Charles. Inexplicably, for the first and only time in his life, he fainted and failed the medical. Distraught at the thought of this avenue of service being closed, he returned to his journalistic career, while becoming a prominent local preacher.
Always an early riser, 5 a.m. being the norm, he threw himself into his studies of the Word, and slowly God began a mighty work in His servant's heart. He was turned from the prevailing Arminianism of the day, and found himself imbibing the glorious doctrines of grace, then largely unheard of.
The Lord had plans for His servant. He married his dear wife, Marjorie, in 1928 and they had four children. He took on the honorary pastorate of Fabius Chapel in the city centre in 1938 and served faithfully during the war years, before moving to Dundee in 1949.
In 1954 he returned to his home city to take up the pastorate of Norris Green Mission Church. This obscure little work, later to be known as Norris Green Independent Baptist Church, had been founded in the centre of a sprawling council estate by a number of unemployed men during the depression years. It had only known one pastor, Rev William Hudson, a fire and brimstone preacher of Arminian persuasion. It was in this unlikely place that the Lord would have his servant labour, and there he continued until his retirement due to failing health in 1977.
The 1950's were still days of powerful preaching and full churches. Mr. Alexander and his dear friend and colleague in the ministry, if not in his theological position, the Rev. Albert Chillington were sometimes referred to as Aaron and Moses, such was their standing. Although Charles Alexander's pastorate may, in the world's eyes, have been an obscure one, yet many benefited from his powerful and, in many ways, unique ministry. He often quoted the Lord's words from John chapter 5 verse 39 "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me," as being the watchword of his ministry. It was as though the Lord had given him a particular insight into the connectivity of Scripture, and how Christ is spoken of throughout, and it was this insight, which was to bring him an international audience.
In 1966 his dear wife was called home, being buried in Inverness on the 'Hill of the Fairies.' Following his wife's death a new ministry opened and several times in the early 1970's he visited North America for extended preaching tours lasting several months, sometimes preaching three times a day. His ministry was appreciated as much in the obscure churches of the Carolinas as in the theological colleges, while his copious and entertaining correspondence home was much enjoyed by the fellowship in Liverpool.
The Lord had meanwhile further plans for His servant, plans that would wed his journalistic prowess with the theological acumen, which become his hallmark. He wrote and preached extensively on the contemporary scene of the 1950's and early 1960's, particularly in his work with the National Union of Protestants and gained a national reputation. In 1965 an opportunity arose for a written ministry, which would in time bring him the international reputation already mentioned, and which, far more importantly, would bring tremendous blessing to countless of the Lord's people throughout the world. A friend and colleague of Charles Alexander, John Wesley Walker of Kent, founded the Bible Exposition Fellowship in association with Charles. Its appointed goal was a more serious approach to the exposition and understanding of the Word of God. Rapidly this became a vehicle whereby the ministry of Charles Alexander was circulated internationally. It was and remains 'committed entirely to the doctrines of the Reformation of the 16th century and the upholding of the historic creeds of the Christian Church.' It believed and still holds that 'the evangelical doctrines restated at the Reformation should be reinforced by a thorough exposition of the Doctrine of God as expressed in those historic creeds.'
Charles Alexander began a series of expositions, which were published in 'Broadsheet' and pamphlet format and dispatched, free of charge, all over the world. There were series on 'The Gospel of John Spiritually Understood', 'The Problem of Evil', as well as defences of the heroes of the faith known as 'Heroes and Hawks', and many publications on the subject of Israel and its position in the purposes of God, as well as many other publications. He commenced a commentary on the 'Song of Solomon' but this did not get past chapter 2 of the book before failing health brought this ministry to a conclusion.
He was called home in 1991, after hospitalisation, and his mortal remains were laid beside those of his wife in Inverness, though, as he often remarked when taking the funerals of believers, for him 'the trumpet sounded on the other side.'
Perhaps his greatest contribution was the work, which has been published here, 'Revelation Spiritually Understood'. Originally published in pamphlet form in 25 parts it has been of tremendous blessing to many of God's saints. It is a powerful attack on the twin errors of Dispensationalism and Post-millennialism, and is a compulsive and compelling defence of the Amillennialist position. However it is more than a theological treatise, though it is very much that. In language reminiscent of the 19th century, it is a warm setting forth of the glories of Christ and His Church in her march through history to the consummation.
Demand has been constant that this work should be published, but conventional publishers have been unwilling to pursue the project. It has, therefore, fallen to the Bible Exposition Fellowship to embark on its publication.
The work has been edited to remove unnecessary repetition caused by its original pamphlet format. Also some of the more dated references to events then contemporary have been removed or reworked slightly, as have some of the digressions, often sometimes so wonderful in the original, but which are not germane to the central thrust of the argument.
Thanks are due to Ray Nash for helping with the editing and for getting some impetus into the publishing process. Also thanks are due to our publisher, Mr Michael Kimmitt of K&M Books, Trelawnyd, for his faith in the project.
It has taken a great deal of time and effort to finally produce this work. It has been our constant intention to produce a volume, which will honour the memory and work of God's dear servant, and which will be intelligible to modern understanding. It is our earnest prayer that we have faithfully discharged that duty, and if the reader finds that we have erred in our efforts, we can only humbly apologise.
John C Lowery
On behalf of the Bible Exposition Fellowship