My Experience of Grace,
Call and Service In the Ministry
Am I born to die? Surely that was my first serious concern.
I had a dream at the age of four years; I dreamed that the devil was chasing me. I could see him as a child would picture him; I will admit that he has been chasing me ever since. That dream is as vivid to me now as it was then.
Back in the by-gone years, there was a zestful clime, with father, mother, brothers, sister, cousins, childhood friends, and home; but the hereafter haunted me through childhood.
In my teens I was restless and did some roaming in search of peace, and found none. I went to hear different denominations, but failed to find the answer to my burdened soul. I tried to persuade myself to join a certain denomination; but I was honest enough to do no such thing, unless I could prove that they had the truth, which I was never able to do; therefore, I laid that idea aside.
I do not know for whom I am writing this; but, oh, that memory would roll time back that I from my mental memoirs may salvage some cumbersome events from the history of a roving and searching mind.
Among the young folks, I was very hypocritical in order to try and hide my loathsome soul. I was said to be the life of the party, and wore a nickname very suitable to the charge. But there was a divine secret that they did not know, for in the height of my folly, I had rather been crying than laughing. Inwardly I had a sad heart, with a blanket of hypocrisy spread over it.
I married a good girl, and loved her, but found no peace of soul; yet I cut loose from my worldly friends and stayed close with my wife.
I finally talked religion with my dear old dad, and he taught me some fundamental principles and opened up some avenues of understanding.
After that, as I worked, I would sing "Amazing Grace" and "Angel Band" and weep and cry throughout the hours and days. In those strange and uncontrollable times I became a "Weeping Jeremiah". My dear old dad was watching me all this time but I didn't 'know it.
One day in January, 1921, Dad said, "Son, they are having a fifth Sunday meeting this month in Dallas. Would you like to go?" I answered, "Yes, I would."
So, we, he and I, went, and that meeting just raised me higher and higher, though I had not planned to join. Elder George Mayo took the stand, and in that wonderful discourse, he covered my life experience from start to finish, even the small tenets. I was up there giving Elder Mayo my hand before I really realized it.
The church at Dallas asked me to tell my experience of grace. I replied that Elder Mayo had already told my experience in full. The church received me without further questions. I told them I wanted Elder Mayo to baptize me at Tioga, on their next meeting day. At that time my wife joined, and Elder Mayo baptized us at the same time. I was so happy that I thought the war in my soul was over
Oh, yes, I must not forget to relate the words of my warm-hearted daddy, when we returned home from the Dallas fifth Sunday meeting: Dad stepped in trout of rime and opened the door. His first words to the family were, "Raleigh joined the church." I felt a very dear nearness to him over that.
Church services were so sacred to me that I wept all through services every time that I went to church. I was ashamed of myself and wanted to overcome it, but thousands of times since then I have wished that I could cry, but could not.
Through the rubbish, the Lord had gently led me. I had found the way, had been baptized in His name, was now a member of the church which I dearly loved, and f feasted on the preached gospel: that is why f thought the war was over.
Up to this time I was a barber by trade. I obtained a job in Tioga so wife and I moved there.
We were poor; times were very hard; and can you imagine it, we didn't even own a Bible? We borrowed one from a brother in the church and kept it all winter. Wife and I would read it every night.
Something was building up, but I didn't know it. I bought a pocket size New Testament and carried it in my shirt pocket. At any time I was idle at the shop, I took it from my pocket and started reading. My crying became worse. Someone may ask why I was crying. My first answer is because I couldn't help it. My second answer is that the sacredness of divine things melted my heart. I can remember times when I would be cutting a head of hair, or shaving a man, when I would have to lay my barber tools down, go to the back room and wipe my eyes before I could see to work.
My condition became worse. I would walk home for lunch each day; walk in and sit down at the dining table to eat; then break down to crying; shove my plate back; get up and walk back to the shop without eating. I thought I was losing my mind, and that my wife knew it and wouldn't tell me. I was astonished to learn that the war was not over. I didn't know what the next battle was for, or what was about. There were several years before and later that had very little sleep. I've sat out in the moonlight while other people were sleeping. I knew that there was a heavy burden on my soul, but I could not fathom it. Why didn't someone tell me? The first reason was that they did not know. The second reason was that God was stripping me of humanism to bring me to His feet in order to later bless me.
In those years, wife and I moved so many times that I have lost account. Yes, from house to house, from town to town, from county to county, from town to city, and back to town. I really do not remember how many times that I've lived in Dallas. I mourn the days that I moved my wife from place to place, though she went along without a word. It seems that she knew something that I didn't. I was seeking peace, but there was none. I had a torn soul and could not heal it. We would take spells of going to church, then move and quit going.
I remember on one occasion we moved to Denton County and quit going to church. One night in a vision, f saw a flash scene of my dear old dad lying in his casket. I jumped upon my knees in bed, so very frightened, and as fast as I could manage to go back to sleep, the same scene was repeated for the third time. I knew the Lord was talking to me and I was frightened. We started going back to church.
Later we again moved back to Dallas, and f went to work in the Ford Assembling Plant. We quit going to church and started spending our money going to picture shows, I can remember as many as four in one day, on off days at work.
We moved into a duplex apartment; the people in the other side were about our age, who had three little boys. They were good people of the Missionary Baptists. They owned a great big Bible that you lay on the table to read.
I borrowed that Bible and started reading again. That was before the air conditioner and television day. While my neighbor, his wife, and the three little boys sat on the front porch and had water fights in the front yard at night to keep cool, I was in our dining room with that large Bible on the dining table. I would read until bedtime eat
One day this neighbor and I were off to ourselves and he said, "Dale, you know what?" I said, "No, what?"
He replied, "Some day you will preach the gospel."
I said, "Oh, no, not me, I am not that kind of material; I have never doubted God's power, but He knows better than to call a worm like me."
He said, "But you will."
I replied, "But I won't."
Then one afternoon I was lying on the grass in our back yard; I was lying on my stomach; and my soul was burdened. My wife came out and sat down on the grass beside me. For the first time that she had ever said a word about my condition, she laid her hand over in the middle of my back, and asked me why I didn't do what I was supposed to do?
I jumped up and gave her some sharp words, and told her I was not supposed to do anything. She went back in the house without saying anymore. I wonder how I knew what she had reference to, but I did, and not believing it, I wondered how a sane person could get such an idea in mind. I thought I knew that God had not called me, and I certainly did not want Him to.
There was an association starting in Dallas, which my wife reminded me of, and said that she would like to go. After some mumbling and grumbling out of me, we agreed to drive out and sit in the car, but not go under the tabernacle. So we drove out and found a place beside the tabernacle where we could see and hear. We were sitting there watching the crowd gather in, when I saw an aged deacon,' who once held me on his knee, coming under the tabernacle, headed for the front seat. With no further thought I was there by the time he was. Then my wife came to us, and we sat down. The preaching was great; the services got a hold of me; and we never missed another service during the association. That meeting carried me higher and higher. The association broke up at Sunday noon. They began to take the camps and tabernacle down; we went home but I couldn't stay. I drove back out to the association ground about the middle of the afternoon
There was not a soul to be seen; all things were gone; it was the loneliest scene that I ever saw. I felt like Israel had moved camp and left me standing there alone. I don't remember missing any more meeting days.
Oh, how softly God led me, for the road was rough, and my feet were tender; bless His Holy Name!
There was another association coming up on the fair grounds at Paris, Texas. My wife and I and Brother J. P. mounted my Model T Ford and went to the association at Paris. I didn't push myself around for I was very quiet in those days. While there I met an elder by the name of Hershell Brown, though we had no conversations while there. I think it was on Saturday night they put him up to preach. This was another discourse with purpose, though unknown to him.
Elder Brown walked into the stand and said, "Brethren, I want to preach on my experience and call to the ministry; I have seen no angels, nor heard any voices, but this is the way it has been with me."
My, my, how that man did preach; you would have thought that I had told him all of my feelings. He shucked me down clean and convinced me that I might have a calling. But if so, I wanted to know if it was a local or a long-distance call.
As soon as services were over, I walked out of there, and I just kept walking in the same direction. I was not going anywhere; I was just coming away from some place. I walked off into the dark, on beyond the fairgrounds, into weeds as high as my head. I looked back to see if f could find my way back in case I wanted to return to the fair¬grounds. I could still see the lights.
Right there, if I ever did supplicate at the throne of God's grace, it was then. I told God all of my weaknesses, but that I had never doubted His power. If He had called me and required me to preach the gospel, then please let me know it by having someone to ask me to take part in the services; then I would do the best that I could. No one had ever asked me, and before this time I would have refused anyway. I had never opened my mouth in public services, either in reading, speaking, or prayer, or even leading a song. Neither did I want them to ask me. I was not running for a job; neither did f want to be seen.
I then returned to camp, but never told where f had been, nor what had happened. I don't remember ever saying anything about Elder Brown's sermon, not even to Elder Brown. When the association was over, we returned to our home, remembering what I promised the Lord while f was in the weed patch that night in Paris.
Then in two weeks from that time I received a card from Elder Brown stating, "A certain Sunday in the month is our meeting time at Dixie, four miles north of Whitesboro, and I wish that you would come and be with us." God's fingers were maneuvering me. I told my wife that I would love to hear that man preach again, and would try to go.
When the time came, we arrived at Dixie. We walked through the door and Elder Brown was already in the stand. I remembered what f had promised the Lord and it shocked me. I told my wife, "Let's sit on the back seat." Elder Brown went on preaching, and I felt relieved.
But when he closed services, he came in long strides back to where we were, and said, "We want you folks to go home with us for lunch."
I told him, "We would like to do that," so we went. A good group of members came in for the afternoon, and what a soul-rejoicing singing we did have.
Finally, I said, "Well, we must go home."
Elder Brown said, "Oh, no, not yet, you just can't go until I show you my garden; come on and let me show it to you." So I went with him to the garden. There was nothing unusual about it; in fact, it was a very poor one. I kept trying to move back toward the house.
But he would say, "Wait, come and look at this plant."
Then his wife stepped out on the back porch and announced, "Brethren, supper is ready."
I replied, "Oh, no, we must be going."
Elder Brown insisted, "Brother Dale, it won't take you long to drive home, and you are not leaving here until you have eaten supper."
We stepped upon the back porch; he opened the screen door, but just as I started in he closed the screen in front of me. He said, "Brother Dale, I want a word with you. Brother Jackson was sick and couldn't be at church today, so we're going to have services in his home tonight. I want to know if you will stay and help me in the services?"
I felt like I sank down into my shoes, but I remembered what I had promised the Lord, while I was in the weed patch. I was afraid to say no, and with a very short breath I said, "I'll try."
Then Elder Brown opened the screen we went in and were seated at the dining table. Elder Brown called on me to express thanks. I did the best I could, but it almost choked me.
Then we went to Brother Jackson's home, which was a very large white house on the east edge of town. Every room was filled with people. It was hard for us to press our way through the crowd into the fireplace room.
Elder Brown started the singing and after a while said, "Brethren, it's preaching time. Young Brother Dale has agreed to help me in the services tonight." He handed me the Bible and stated, "Make room for him to stand at the end of that bed."
I moved around to the foot of the bed, and there I stood like a worm with a Bible in its hand. I took for my text, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." I felt such a relief from my effort that I was happy. My world had changed.
After services, Elder Brown said, "Listen Brother Dale. I want you to promise us that you will come back one month from now and be with us again." I was in such a relieved condition that I promised that I would if I could.
I went back the following month. Before church time he carried me down the road for a walk, not so much for a walk, but a talk.
He said, "Listen, Brother Dale, you've got it in you. I want you to go in that stand and burst that book stand with your fist and get loose."
When the time came I approached the pulpit all right, but I didn't burst up any lumber. I reached over in Egypt and got the children of Israel, and in two or three minutes I had them at the Red Sea and there I forgot Moses' name. Then I could think of nothing else. I turned around a time or two, walked off and sat down. I had possibly used some four or five minutes of time. I can't remember if Elder Brown preached or not. I am sure he did, but I don't know a word he said. I cannot remember even seeing him in the stand.
Later my dear old dad said to me, "Son, do you know that you drowned the whole nation of Israel in the Red Sea?"
I said, "Yes, Pop, but I'll never do it again, for I am through." Right then and there I quit the ministry and I stayed quit for one solid week. I was hoping that no one in my home church in Dallas had heard of my efforts.
On Sunday morning at my home church no one said a word. Singing went on as usual; but when singing was over, Elder Kemp raised up from where he was sitting, came and laid his Bible in my lap and said, "It's preaching time, Brother Dale, now go in the stand." He walked back and sat down where he had been. Yes, through the grapevine, someone had tapped the wires and there I was. I went in the stand, but I do not remember the results. From that time forward I exercised every Sunday.
I was still working in the Ford Assembling Plant and God put a song on my lips. In that noisy factory, I sang that song and wept all through the day, day in and day out. That song expressed a sacredness to me that brought tears to my eyes; it also pointed out many expectations of my present and future life; then why should I expect more? It was a song of surrender, with the way marked out; though it was not so easy to interpret then, as it is since I have lived out most of it. The song is "Wayfaring Stranger". Oh, what apprehending words are in that song, notice:
I am a poor, wayfaring stranger,
While journeying thro' this world of woe;
Yet there's no sickness, toil nor danger
In that bright world to which I go.
I know dark clouds will gather round me,
I know my way is rough and steep;
Yet beauteous fields lie just before me.
Where God's redeemed their vigil keep.
I'll soon be freed from ev'ry trial,
My body'll sleep in the old church yard;
I'll drop the cross of self-denial,
And enter on my great reward.
I want to wear a crown of glory,
When I get home to that good land;
I want to shout salvation's story,
In concert with the blood washed band.
Oh, how fitting that song is to me, but I'll say more about it later.
I exercised for one year and the church licensed me; then I preached another year and the church ordained me on Mother's Day, 1932.
Later on, one day the above song overcame me and I checked in my tools and walked out of the Ford Plant. I don't know how he knew it, but the general foreman of the plant followed me down the street to a drugstore, where we sat down to drink a coke. He wanted to know what was wrong and why I quit. I couldn't tell him; all I could say was that I thought it best.
The brethren in the church seemed to be shocked about as much as the general foreman was, but I was too young to discuss it with them. I just had to let them think what they wanted to think; for there was a power moving me that I could not explain.
May I digress at this point to relate a dream. In my early ministry I dreamed that I went upon the housetop as Peter did to pray. I never knew what my great burden was, but I dreamed that my sister in the flesh, Sister Elizabeth Dale Crues, came to me on the housetop to comfort me and help bear my burden, which she did.
In the same dream I next appeared in a tall business building in some large city, which was being severely shaken. The walls of the building were swaying, the doors and windows were flying open and slamming, people were running and screaming trying to get out of the building. I was trying to catch them and tell them something, but no one would listen.
In my next appearance, I was standing on top of a pile of rubbish that had washed ashore from the sea. This pile of rubbish was about as high as a two story house and a little longer. I was standing on top while preaching to the people on the ground, telling them that sin was the cause of this great destruction. That dream has greatly governed my manner of preaching.
I then, in turn, cast my eyes upon the fields of living green in the kingdom of God. I made a few short preaching tours in Texas and also one in Arkansas. Elder Mayo, the man that baptized me, was with me on the Arkansas trip and we had a glorious time. During those trips in Texas, there were two different churches that asked me if I would pastor their church. I was afraid to try to pastor a church, so I refused them both on the grounds that I was not capable of pastoring a church. All that I was interested in was just visiting among the churches; but I can see now, that the Lord was mixing me among people, until His time to seat me as a pastor.
We again moved out of Dallas and were at my parent's home. I told my wife that I was going to overhaul our car (the famous Model T) before we made any further move to do anything. She said she didn't know the car needed any overhauling, but I answered, "Yes, I think it does."
I had already fallen into a dark despondency, a gloom that I couldn't penetrate. Unknown to me I was preparing and being prepared for a trip west. One night I could find no sleep; I could tell that everyone in the house was asleep but me. I was lying there awake and despondent; finally the thought came to me that a man in as bad a shape as I was ought to pray; so I tried to no avail. After awhile I tried the second time but no better. Then I lay there quite awhile, and it seemed that life was ebbing away. I tried to pray the third time and found relief. I then dropped off to sleep and had a dream. I dreamed I bought a ticket for a trip; I boarded the vehicle, sometimes I thought I was riding a plane, at other times I thought I was on a train, and when I arrived, there was a crowd of people on the churchyard waiting for me; I had never seen any of them before. That was the end of the dream. I didn't tell this dream, for I knew no more than I did before I had the dream, but I knew that it had a meaning, for I could not brush it off my mind. It just seemed to rest there.
Well, I went ahead working on my car. I worked on it a week. Just before I finished it, my dad came from his mailbox with a letter for me. I had dirty hands, so he looked at the postmark and said, "It says from Stanton, Texas."
Then he asked, "Where is that place?"
I replied, "I never heard of it."
At that time my wife came out, whom I told to open the letter and see what it said.
The letter read like this: "By the recommendation of our former pastor, we, Lone Pilgrim Primitive Baptist Church, at Stanton, Texas, have unanimously called you for our pastor. We will be expecting you on our next conference time."
I finished on the car and washed up. My dad said, "Son, what are you going to do about the Stanton call?"
I said, "Just forget it."
Dad replied, "Well, God told Philip to arise and go to the south, and He might tell you to arise and go west."
I said, "Not me, I don't want any part of far West Texas."
Then Dad stated, "Well, the brethren out there are due an answer."
I replied, "Well, if you think so, I'll answer and tell them no.
I answered them and told them that for different reasons f was not interested at all; for them to call someone else. As soon as I could get a return letter, I got it; but they would not take no for an answer and would still expect me on conference day. Then they asked if money was in the way, and if I needed money. I answered back that money was not in the way; that I just couldn't accept the care of their church. Then as quickly as I could receive a reply, it came, with money in it, which I handed to my wife, while I read the letter.
The letter stated that they were still expecting me on conference day, where to come to and where to stay on the way.
Then my wife asked, "Now, what are you going to do?"
I told her that I knew when I was whipped and for her to pack the suitcases.
While she was packing, my soul was mourning, for I was facing a drastic change in my life, leaving father, mother, brothers, sister, cousins, the dear elders, and brethren and sisters in the church. So many miles of dirt roads in a Model T was a long trip into the regions beyond.
Before we drive off, may I refer you back to the fact that f had baptized very few people up to this time; however, I want to mention the first candidate that I baptized. After I immersed her and as we started up out of the river, the congregation started singing:
Here in the vineyard of my Lord
I love to live and labor,
And be obedient to my God
Until the dying hour.
I love to see the lilies grow,
And view them all astanding
In the right place while here below,
Just as the Lord commanded.
That endeared that song to me for keeps. Elder Mayo had preached me into the church; Elder Brown had preached me into the arms of God; however, I was an infant in His arms.
Job 22:21 reads, "Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace:..." As I look back f can see that f was not acquainted with God; but I was getting to know Him through afflictions of my soul, and special circumstances, and now and then a sweet touch of the Holy Spirit.
Now for our journey: We bade my beloved family farewell, as if we would never see them again. With heavy hearts we drove to Dallas and spent the night.
Then in three more days that Model T rolled into Stanton. We went out to the farm home where Brother and Sister P. T. Ross and their children lived. They received us warmly. We had supper and sat up late that night talking on the scriptures, without a word being said about the church. That was on Friday night. Finally Brother Ross said, "We must go to bed for tomorrow is church day." We arose the next morning and prepared for breakfast and church.
Please notice: When I drove upon that churchground, there stood that unknown congregation on the churchyard waiting for me. At the same time that fast T. P. passenger train swooped by, while a large plane passed overhead. There we were, plane, train. and me all present at the same time. I saw the fulfillment of that dream. The Lord had laid His hand on me and appointed me overseer of this flock.
We got out of the car and met the congregation of strangers. Then we went into the church house.
These West Texas people knew nothing of the past trials and tribulations of my soul, for they were not there while the potter was molding the vessel, and they have known very little yet. The Lord had brought me safe thus far, and these people just received me as I was.
The congregation began to sing the songs of Zion from the "Harp of Ages". At the proper time someone announced that it was preaching time, stating, "Brother Dale, go ahead in the stand."
I went forward and experienced the joy of freedom in preaching.
When I finished and started to step down out of the stand, someone said, "This is conference time, go back and moderate the conference."
This I did. At the item of reference, I asked if there was any reference, to which the clerk replied, "Yes, we have a reference regarding the call of our pastor and we want to know if you are going to accept the care of the church?"
There I stood with the fulfillment of that dream staring me in the face, so f could not say no, therefore I said, "I will accept the care of the church on one condition, and that is if the church sees that I'm going to be a hurt to the church, will you please tell me and I will go back east."
They answered, "We promise that."
Seeing the Lord was guiding the affair, I accepted the care of the church without even asking where I would live, or how I would make a living.
Then after the conference minute had been approved, a brother announced that they wanted me to preach that night in the home of Pa and Ma Brown, ten miles south of Midland. We went and had a good meeting, then back to the church house the next morning where we had another wonderful service. They then unfolded their lunch tables in the churchyard, which were graced with food.
While we were eating, there was a brother who elbowed me to one side and asked if I could get up at four o'clock the next morning and catch a truck? I thought that he had found me a job. I asked him to explain. He said, "We are sending after your furniture, for you can't live out here and pastor this church with your furniture in the east."
Then I asked, "Where am I going to live, and how am I going to make a living?" The depression was on!
Then he said, "Brother Ross has a new two-room house on his place; you are going to live there, and make a crop with him."
I said, "Fine." I was just resting in the arms of God.
We left the next morning, with two vehicles pulling a traitor each. Two men and I and our three wives all went along.
By the end of the week we returned and drove up to that two-room house. Wife and I got out and went in to look it over. There we saw a sign that the Lord had been there. There was a mountain of staple groceries including cured meats, rounded up in the middle of the kitchen floor; we both cried. We set up to housekeeping, but a drought forbade any crop planting.
Now with both the depression and drought pending, all the money that the brethren had was from their produce, and conditions got tighter and tighter.
I remember one of the sisters saying one day, "It does look like this church could afford an extra twenty-five cents occasionally to have Brother Dale's suit pressed."
The song I have previously referred to has this phrase, know my way is rough and steep." I was now experiencing what God in the song had told me.
I remember preaching in Lone Pilgrim Church and other churches later, with a patch in the seat of my pants. I also remember watching my wife try to hide her worn-out shoes at church. Once a deacon called me out beside the church house and handed me money to buy my car tags. He looked right straight at me and said, "That is a lot of money."
"Yet beauteous fields lie just before me
Where God's redeemed vigil keep."
With butterflies in our hearts, we were having wonderful, meetings, that our souls could feel.
With both drought and depression pending we had nothing to do but to have services from one to two and three times a week in homes, court houses, country school houses, as well as at the church house. Members who lived at distant places called on me to fill appointments in these various places. As an effect our congregations at the church house began to grow. We had good crowds on Saturday and Saturday night as well as on Sunday.
Lone Pilgrim Church at Stanton, Texas, was really a lone pilgrim, seeing it was more than one hundred miles from its closest sister church, over sand roads and through sand beds. When I took the care of the church, there were thirty-eight members, and in spite of losing near one dozen members, the membership rose to ninety-five or ninety-six in number. I was baptizing several at a time, on and on. Yes, "beauteous fields lay just before me." We called our regular meetings "Pentecost Days".
Lone Pilgrim Church at Stanton was geographically out of the way, and with very little communication except at association time; therefore it was some time before sister churches caught on to what was going on at Stanton. People were walking and talking the gospel, and gathering for services.
We were gloriously happy, but unknown to me, there was a dark cloud gathering. On one Sunday afternoon, wife and f were returning home from a country school house appointment, and as we reached our home, my wife suddenly took seriously ill, never to be well again. She was a semi-invalid from that time on.
I cast my mind to survey the situation: there I was in a strange land away from either of our kindred, the depression on and everyone financially broke. Under a cloud of gloom my soul cried, "Oh, what on earth shall I do?" f was then living ten miles south of Midland in the same house where I preached my second sermon after I reached Stanton. There was a cow pasture that joined our yard; over in the cow pasture was a grove of thick brush, which I used as my bower of prayer. Once a day f knelt on my knees there where none but God could hear and poured out my soul to the Almighty, even though a prayer was constantly rolling through my heart both day and night.
It seemed that the only way that I kept breathing was that the Lord put another song on my lips which reads:
"On the master of love I am trusting today,
That He'll guide me along life's troublesome way.
He has promised His help when my burdens are great
And by faith I can see my sure fate."
Through a flood of tears, day in and day out, f would softly sing that song and keep breathing. Oh, yes, "dark clouds had gathered round me".
After my wife had improved some we moved into Midland. That winter I took down with strep throat, and there I stood before the gates of death. My Dr. told me that I had one foot in the grave. I had always had a feeling that I would pass away at that present age. But one day as I lay on my back on my bed, I saw a blue star form in the upper corner of my room, which I felt to be a promise. I have never set a date for my death since. I was sick 'all the winter, and very weak on into the spring and summer. In order to feel the touch of the master's hand, it was and is imperative that f be brought low from time to time.
Oh, f must tell you that we were never neglected; for the church members and friends like angels stood round about our bed, from the time of my wife's first illness on through all of this affair.
Along about this time I was called to pastor two more churches in the association. New Salem Church at Cone, Texas, offered to build a new house on the three-acre church yard for us to live in, if we would move there. They did build a new four- room house for us and we moved there. This New Salem Church also had thirty-eight members which grew to ninety-five members later.
When we moved into the new house, dark clouds gathered thicker. My wife was up most of the time by taking it easy. She took pride in ironing my white shirts, but one afternoon when I came in she said, "I had a strange experience this afternoon."
I sat down and asked her, "What was it?"
She said, "When I finished ironing your last white shirt, something seemed to say that is the last white shirt that you will ever iron."
Of course we both wondered about the impression that she had received. She served the evening meal, and later we went to bed. The next morning we got out of bed at the same time. She started swinging and falling across the room. I grabbed her to keep her from getting down on the floor. I walked and practically dragged her into the living room and laid her down on the couch. I finally got her back to the bedroom and put her to bed. She never walked again. She lived for seventy-two days, going through two major operations. I sat by her bedside both day and night through those hospital days, with only a nap now and then in a chair.
Just before she passed away, she motioned for me to come to her. I walked up to her bedside. She very softly said, "I had a dream: I saw a congregation of Primitive Baptists that reached from deep East Texas all the way to West Texas; I wish you could have seen them."
I answered, "I wish I could have seen them, too."
Then, in a moment, she moved her hand toward me and spoke her final words, "Always be good to everyone." She moved her head slightly and breathed her last breath.
The only eye and soul witness to my ministry was gone. The one that watched the potter mould the vessel and had blazed the trails of Texas with me, gone, gone.
Then it seemed that the world caved in on me and left me without a friend either in heaven or earth; yet they were all around me. But my faith was almost shipwrecked. I had prayed thousands of prayers, against God's will that He would heal her, but there was a clause which never seemed to fit in my prayers, "Thy will be done, not mine."
While the nurses in the hospital room were trying to comfort me, a precious sister, the wife of a famous deacon in my home church, led me out into the hall, stepped in front of me, caught me by my shoulder, shook me good and said, "Brother Dale, you listen to what f am going to say to you. We all loved Sister Laura, and we'll all miss her, but it was not God's will that she live. You must submit to God's will, since He may intend that you have an heir in this world, which you could not have had."
There were some five or six ministers who took part in Laura's funeral service. One of the flower girls in that funeral is my present wife. We buried Laura in the cemetery at Cone, Texas, where my present wife and I wish to be buried.
The funeral being over, the dark cloud was still there. I returned to my home under a dark gloom.
My dear daddy and mother stayed and kept house for me as long as I was single, and even longer.
I must insert here that about a week after the funeral, the deacons came and told me that all hospital and funeral hills were paid in full, and for me to never worry one minute about it. I highly appreciated the bills being paid, yet f was a ruined man, and all words of consolation seemed to have a hollow sound.
But the Lord upheld me to preach, and people began to join the church. In the next twelve conference meetings I went to the baptismal waters eleven of them. I remember baptizing as many as thirteen at one conference time. One of them is now an ordained minister, and three of the young sisters are minister's wives. On the other hand several ministers came up under my pastoral care. During the time of this great ingathering I stood in the sun rays again, even with a broken heart. I could see the beauteous fields before me. Though there were so many things in my experiences that I could not understand; yet I pressed on.
One Saturday or Sunday night, a beautiful young school teacher by the name of Louise Gibson, who was a member of our church, was seated with a group of other girls, just to my left. She attracted my attention by giving so close attention to my preaching, and I had a word or two with her after services. After that it was hard for me to keep her out of my mind.
It was a custom for the church to bring lunch on Sunday of each meeting day; then after lunch a houseful would gather at my house to talk and visit. One of such after¬noons, I was lying on my bed in my bedroom. I was sad and lonely, mourning my experiences and wondering if there was any future. So I called out for someone, and whoever it was, maybe my mother, came to my bedroom door. I told her to ask all the deacons' wives to come to my room, which they did.
I said, "I want to ask you sisters a question." They replied, "Go ahead."
Then I asked, "Do you sisters think that it would be wrong if I started keeping company with Sister Louise Gibson?"
One of the sisters spoke right up, "That is exactly what I think you ought to do." And the others sanctioned it.
So I began to talk to Louise and take her places. One day my mother said, "Listen, you two, if you are considering getting married, I wish you would do it soon." That we did.
Two weeks later I was elected moderator of the South Plains Association, which capacity I served for nine years, before moving out of the association. I, as most any other pastor, have seen power struggles arise in and among the churches, but the Lord has stood by and led me on; even though I have been like Job, having many things to learn.
I am now old and tottery, but still preach eight times a month.
Yes, I have seen dark clouds gather; I've seen the rough and steep places in life; but I have also seen the glory of God, and the gospel green fields that lay before me. The
Lord has taken care of me in a wonderful way, and still answers my prayers.
Louise, the young lady that I married, has proven to be the love wonder of my life. There are so many reasons why I love her. She is an excellent minister's wife, able in the scriptures, and knows the doctrine, discipline, and order of the church of Jesus Christ. She has borne us three children, so dear to my heart. They are all grown up and gone from home. Louise has had her afflictions, too. I like to have lost her each time with the first two babies. In the last few years she has had two varicose ulcers that took six months to cure each one of them. But she is over that, and is still my chauffeur. My wife is very sweet to me in my old age.
I have traveled a lot among the churches across the nation. I have preached two round trips from the Atlantic to the Pacific and up and down each sea coast. Louise traveled with me on two whole trips. We have many church friends from coast to coast. I have had a wonderful church life and a wonderful family life; though by the grace of God, I have been stripped of much humanism, enabling me to stand as a servant of Christ.
"The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost;" therefore, before I could touch the scepter of righteousness in His kingdom, it was and is imperative that I be shaken loose from the practice of humanism.
Has my ministry been cruel? No, not at all, for in spite of the couch and steep places, and the dark clouds, my ministry has been glorious. But I am still a poor, wayfaring stranger, and often have to say or cry, "Lord, let me pass under the rod." Then I see a beacon light that leads me on.
At different times I have met people at distant funerals, who walk up to me and say, "Brother Dale, in days past you taught me all that I have ever known."
Of course, I cannot put on these few pages what it took a lifetime to live. But for you to see how the Lord has led me, may point the way for some poor pilgrim. If you wonder what makes me tick, may I say with Paul, "By the grace of God I am what I am."
Now, since I cannot write my future, I will bid you adieu. My greatest pleasures have been the house of the Lord, fellowship with God, and my love for my family.
Lord, have mercy on me a sinner!
Many winters, many winters have beat upon my frame
While going to preach in my Saviour's name;
Through hot summers with blistering heat
I have shown no retreat;
But I've seen the invigorating spring
That made both me and the birds sing;
In the cool autumn, while the season is blighting
My soul is inditing.
I do not converse as I used to;
I'm not excited over vain things, old or new;
Wisdom has given me a mellow mind
And I wish for no other kind.
According to the song,
The road has been long;
A little here, and a little there
Before there was much to share.
Now I am old,
My mission almost told;
Spiritual cataracts gone from my eyes,
I view beyond the skies.
I have very little vocal conversation,
Either about man or nation;
I only wish to speak of the Lord
And His works, and will in accord.
O Rock of Ages,
The sand will soon cover my pages;
Then I'll be a forgotten man
On this earthly strand.
I talk very little except to true believers;
I have no words for deceivers;
I have no time to roam;
I'll soon be going home.
Written when seventy-five years of age and in the forty-fifth year of my ministry.
Elder W. R. Dale
Our Old Testament was translated from the Hebrew language into the English language. Our New Testament was translated from the Greek language into the English language; therefore, we have the King James English translation that we English speaking people can read. Words are vehicles that carry or convey thoughts from one to another. When we read our King James New Testament, we are reading words that were translated from Greek words of the same meaning. Now when we read the word eternal, we know what the word means, for the word eternal was translated from the word AION which means duration without end. Therefore, when the word AION is used in connection with either a thing or a place, the word AION expresses endless duration of either the thing or place.
Heaven is a place, and its duration is explained by the word AION eternal, AIONUS eternity.
Gehenna, or hell, is a place, and its duration is explained by the same word AION eternal; therefore, when AION GEHENNA is used in the Greek, it means eternal hell in the English, or a place of endless punishment. Gehenna is the place, and AION is the duration. The word New Testament Greek word AION.
Now, any Bible student will admit that the word HELL in the New Testament is sometimes translated from other words that do not mean Gehenna, the place of everlasting punishment, such as the words, the Old Testament SHEOL, whose equivalent in the New Testament is the Greek work HADES. But regardless of those words, the word GEHENNA, meaning a place of eternal punishment, is used many times in the scriptures.
Now, what does AION mean? It means eternal. What does GEHENNA mean? It means a place of torment. Now what does AION GEHENNA mean? It means a place of eternal torment, or endless suffering.
According to Primitive baptist History, this is that which Primitive Baptists have always believed.
The Triune Godhead is eternal life; yet God has eternal life to give without diminishing His Own life.
"The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Ro 6:23).
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2Ti 1:9).
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the DEAD shall hear, THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD: And they that HEAR SHALL LIVE" (Joh 5:25).
Usually, it seems that eternal life is thought of in the sense of everlasting duration, without end, but the point that I wish for you to notice is, that everlasting duration without end is not all there is to eternal life: For eternal life differs from any other life on the grounds of essence and quality; therefore, eternal life is a different kind of life in essence and quality, which qualifies it to be eternal.
The dictionary says, "Preterition in theology means, in the doctrine of predestination, the passing over of the non-elect." The subjects of preterition were passed over, or passed by in the election.
For as surely as God picked some from others for salvation, just that sure some were left as subjects of preterition. God's mercy is an astounding wonder, but His mercy never overrules, overrides, or curtails His justice. God is Holy, and there will be an everlasting memorial of the vileness of sin committed against Him.
The scriptures seldom point out an individual and tell us that this person is going to heaven, and this other one is going to hell; nevertheless, the scripture does say, "By their fruit you shall know them," which, I think, means that we can fairly judge the righteous. However, we do not know perfectly as God knows. And we feel sure that some of God's elect are living after the flesh, and following their natural mind to the extent that they strongly resemble the subjects of preterition. When tables of sin are listed in the Bible, it is to teach God's people to not follow the subjects of preterition down their well-trodden path.
"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they were all together become filthy: There is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Ps 14:1-3).
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: I here is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Ro 3:10-18)
The scriptures given above are a description of the fallen race of man, and not a single one was due any favor from the Holy God. And the subjects of preterition are left on exactly that same level.
Who can call the judgment and justice of God in question?
God's Eventful Grace That Saves Sinners
"There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one" (1Jo 5:7).
Among these three persons, there was and is a perfect Holy union in their divine nature and characteristics. They are attached to each other by the union of their Holy attributes, and, therefore, one God or God-head. Three persons form the union of one God-head.
Back somewhere in the ancient retrospective eternity, yes, before the world began, the three persons, or the mighty Trinity entered into a counsel, not to correct differences, for there were none, but to manifest their will in the future.
I do not know how many items there were on the agenda at that counsel, but the one that had to do with the salvation of sinners is my chief concern at this time.
Isa 46:9-10 reads, "Remember the former things of old: For I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, MY COUNSEL SHALL STAND, and I will do ALL MY PLEASURE."
Remember that in the pre-world counsel, the everlasting covenant of salvation was formulated.
From 2Sa 23:5 we read, "Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow."
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the EVERLASTING COVENANT" (Heb 13:20).
Now as to the chain of events in God's operation in saving sinners, each event springs from the everlasting covenant which was formulated by the mighty Trinity before the world was, and each event has precise limits, is definite, special and particular, as to the application of or in the event.
In God's operation of saving sinners, the last link in the chain of events will be when Jesus presents His people to the Father as a church without spot or wrinkle.
What do we suppose the first link in the chain of events to be? No, not God's foreknowledge, for that is not an act of God toward man. Foreknowledge was, and is, God's powerful ability to see things before they were, including the fall of the human race in Adam.
When God reached forth His hand of grace and picked out or selected a definite, particular number from among the fallen race to live with Him in heaven, that was God's first operation in saving sinners. No person will ever enjoy the last link in the chain of events unless he was embraced in the first link: For election was God's first step toward saving sinners.
The blessings referred to in Eph 1:3 are the results of having been chosen (picked out or selected) according to Eph 1:4 which reads, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." The word chosen cannot embrace the entire human lace; for the word chosen means to pick out or select, and even God Himself could not pick out or select and at the same time take the whole of Adam's race; for His chosen were selected from among the whole of the race. We know that God makes timely choices for timely purposes such as choosing Abraham, Moses, Aaron, and even the nation of Israel, and on through the ages including His present day gospel ministers; however, the choosing in Eph 1:4 was before the foundation of the world which shows that it was done in the everlasting counsel covenant, ofttimes called the covenant of redemption. Timely choices are not eternal, but the choosing before the beginning of the world in the everlasting counsel covenant was eternal purpose.
One man told me that he believed that Paul goofed up while 'writing on the doctrine of salvation. Therefore, we will appeal to the second witness, the Apostle Peter. 1Pe 1:2 reads, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,..." When Peter said Elect (picked out, selected or chosen), then and there he dated the election back to the everlasting counsel covenant before the world began. Yes, the selection in the everlasting counsel covenant was God's first act toward saving sinners eternally, whereas God predestinated us (the elect) unto the adoption of children.
The Image Is Man In His Natural Tri-Unity
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them" (Ge 1:26-27).
The scriptures will not allow that God was saying, "Let us make man, as having real existence of our divine essence, or divine nature, or divine spirit." God created Adam in His Own image, after His likeness, and at the same time in the same process, God created him a natural being, void of the Spirit of God. God created every component part of that natural man, including the natural spirit of man, but not the Spirit of God.
Therefore, the image and likeness of God cannot mean divine essence or the divine Spirit of God. God is a Spirit: the Father, Word, and Holy Ghost compose the tri-unity of the God-head; therefore, the image and likeness of God is the tri-unity of man, for man is body, soul, and spirit.
The spirit of man, or man's natural spirit of life, his natural soul, and his natural body, each are component parts of the aggregate man. THIS IS THE TRI-UN/TY OF MAN, MADE IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD. God did not say, "Let us make man in My image", but rather, "In Our image," meaning in Our triune image.
Now, let us notice two men, two Adams, first man, then Christ. "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth earthy: The second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: And as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1Co 15:45-49).
It seems very clear to me that Adam was created a natural man, void of a divine spirit. Adam was of the earth earthy, and we. his posterity are also earthy. Through Clod's preparation, we shall, in our human bodies bear the divine image of the heavenly, that is in the world to come.
God is a tri-unity: The Father, Word, and Holy Ghost. God made natural man a natural tri-unity, as body, soul and spirit. All component parts were natural, and not
God was the creative Father of Adam. but in creation God was not Adam's spiritual Father. .Adam hearing the Iii unity image of God, did not qualify him as God's spiritual child.
God did not create Adam in His image for the purpose of qualifying Adam as a spiritual child, but rather God's great purpose in creating man on a higher order than the subordinate creatures was that God knew how He was going to position the man.
God positioned Adam as natural lord of the earth and gave him dominion over the earth. to subdue or use it. and over all subordinate creatures. Therefore, he was due a higher quality in his being than any other creature, for man was to rule over them. Though smeared and darkened by sin. man is still the triune image of God, but that doesn't qualify man as a child of God in Spirit.
Nicodemus was a man that bore the tri-unity image of God, as all other men, but Jesus said unto him. "Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again" (Joh 3:7).
Except a man that is bearing the triune image of God, be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Except man who is bearing the triune image of God he born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit" (Joh 3:6).
Adoption with Its Related Definitions
According to the framework of God's operation, to what is the family of God entitled in His Will, which is God's Endowment, and our Inheritance?
Through the order of events, we find the component parts of salvation such as: Election, Adoption, God's Will, the Endowment of our 1 Inheritance, Redemption, Regeneration, Everlasting Perseverance, Resurrection, and Glorification. Men are wholly passive in inheriting the steps mentioned above. But, in the Adoption, God's Will or Endowment contained all blessings of this life also, in which we are active, being led by the Holy Spirit, and being empowered by God's grace, and bound by His love. "And now abideth faith, hope, charity" (1Co 13:13).
"According as He hath chosen (picked out, selected, or elected) us (the chosen ones) in Him before the foundation of the world, that we (the chosen) should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us (the chosen ones) unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will" (Eph 1:4-5).
After the adoption, the elect stood as God's children or legal heirs; however, neither election nor adoption established any vital or spiritual relation between God and His legally adopted children, only legal not spiritual. These legal heirs must be made spiritual, but neither by election nor adoption, but rather, by what was contained in the endowment that God willed to them in the adoption is that that makes them spiritual.
"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph 1:11).
In the endowment of God's Will in the adoption, we find redemption from the curse of sin; and we also find the new birth which establishes spiritual relationship. The legal heirs are still legal heirs to all that God willed to them; but 'since the new birth, they have the ability to interpret their inheritance.
Now to the believer, the inheritance- holds him spellbound as he peeps into God's storehouse of riches, according to the endowment that God willed unto him in the adoption. Unbelievers are not able to receive the timely element of the endowment which was willed to believers. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit), they are the sons (adopted sons) of God" (Ro 8:14).
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to tear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father" (Ro 8:15). The Spirit of adoption in the text has reference to the Holy Spirit, Who testifies to believers of the adoption. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Ro 8:16).
"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Ga 4:5).
Adoption is a noun, and a noun is the name of something. Now the sense is, that we might receive experimentally, something that already did exist, to wit the adoption. People were elected before they existed, and they also were adopted before they existed, and once adopted, always adopted. In this state of adoption, the endowed inheritance was and is for the chosen ones, both in this time world, and the world to come.
"That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed (sealed means to be stamped or confirmed) with that Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph 1:13). The Holy Spirit of promise is the Holy Spirit Who confirms every believer. "Which is the earnest (pledge or forepayment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His Glory" (Eph 1:14).
When the Holy Spirit seals the believer, such is the experimental earnest, or beginning of the believer's inheritance. Believing is not the origin of adoption, except experimentally, for adoption has been an existing state of affair from before the foundation of the world, but the inheritance of it is experienced by believers.
Though being adopted before the world began, believing children experimentally draw from the adoption inheritance while they live in this world, yet they wait for the final results of adoption, "to wit the redemption of our body" (Ro 8:23).
After the resurrection "our inheritance will be incorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away, reserved in heaven" (1Pe 1:4).
Then it will be home, sweet home!
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Eph 1:7).
And having made peace through the blood of his (Col 1:20).
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb 9:12).
Without the shedding of blood, the other parts or acts of the atonement would have been ineffective, and without the other parts or acts of the atonement, the shedding of blood for the remission of sins would have been useless.
This was no one minute affair. In the atonement, each act of Christ qualified Him for the next act or step in obedience to the everlasting covenant of redemption, and to the satisfaction of His Father, which qualified Him to shed His blood, the just for the unjust.
God spoke to the hearts of His people in thundering tunes when He raised His Son from death and the tomb, for the resurrection of Jesus Christ plainly said that His work was perfect and effective, and had accomplished that where unto Christ was sent.
According to the determinate counsel, and everlasting covenant, Jesus had completely satisfied His Father.
The tenor of the Holy Scriptures points to the fact that the atonement was made for a particular, chosen, elected, picked out, selected people according to God's will and purpose.
In making the atonement, Christ was our substitute, seeing that God lifted sin from the flesh and nature of His elect, and placed, or imputed the sins to flesh and nature of the sinless body and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, who bore them unto death on the cross, and shed His blood, which redeemed the elect from sin.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord!
Our faith in the firmness of this foundation (which is Christ) enables us to trust in His promises. When by faith, we see the foundation as secure, it is then that we can read our title clear to mansions in the sky. This strengthens us to trust in His promises, both small and great.
According to Webster's Dictionary, regeneration means, "The imparting of spiritual life by divine grace."
Cruden's Concordance says, "Regeneration or new birth is the change and renovation of the soul by the Spirit and grace of God" (Joh 3:5-6).
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of REGENERATION, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Tit 3:5).
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (Joh 3:6).
"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Joh 3:3).
"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (Joh 3:5).
"Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again" (Joh 3:7).
"And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph 2:1).
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever" (1Pe 1:23).
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live" (Joh 5:25).
The reason that God's people must be born again, is that regeneration is an absolute prerequisite to any form or amount of spiritual perception, or communion with God. No man can spiritually know God prior to regeneration.
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; Neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1Co 2:14).
The first man Adam was a natural man, therefore he could not spiritually commune with God. Even though Adam was created a three-in-one aggregate person, consisting of a natural soul, body and spirit, in the image and likeness of God, yet the New Testament says he was a natural man, not a spiritual man.
"And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam (Christ) was made a quickening Spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. I he first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1Co 15:45-49).
In the beginning, Adam was a sinless natural man, living in a state of innocency; he was neither mortal nor immortal. His state of innocency existed one step at a time as he obeyed God's code of moral law.
Adam, while in his natural and innocent state, transgressed and fell from innocency into mortality, and death in sin.
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Ro 5:12).
God communed with Adam as a creature on an earthly level, as He does with all other men. But Adam, you must be born again, or else you can neither spiritually converse with God, nor be a partaker of the divine nature.
May we note, that the first revelation to man as a result of regeneration is that the person spiritually perceives that he is a sinner. Let us weigh our case with that of Adam.
There came a day when Adam and Eve became consciously aware of guilt, and saw themselves to be sinners, and were ashamed; therefore, with gnashing teeth as it were, they hit for the bushes to try to patch up some fig leaf aprons for clothing. God called out, saying, "Adam, where art thou?" (Ge 3:9).
Adam answered, then confessed his sins. Spiritual perception had revealed something unto them, that nature could not reveal, and in order for them to think on the new revelation, God said to them, "Who told thee that thou wast naked?" (Ge 3:11).
From that time on, God conversed with them on both natural and spiritual things. God clothed, chastised, and promised them a Redeemer.
Never had God spoken to them on spiritual matters, until He had shined the light of life into their benighted souls, and as a result they saw themselves to be sinners. (That is regeneration.) That fits my case exactly, and yours.
God is not the Spiritual Father of all men; but He is the creative Father of all men.
God is the God of all providence, Who sends the rain upon both the just and the unjust, Who feeds the sparrow, and to whom the young ravens cry for food.
God is King over all creation and creatures, and none can exist without Him. God communes with each creature, according to the nature that He gave him. Likewise, through nature, God communes with natural man as He did with Adam in the beginning.
But, above the level of nature, Spirit-born people have a glorious communion with their Spiritual Father as their souls are fed from heaven; for they are eternally established in Christ, anointed with unction for service, and upon believing are sealed, and given the earnest of their inheritance.
The new birth comes independent of law or gospel, to the elect only.
Perseverance in Theology means continuance in grace, and the certain salvation of those chosen of God.
The scriptures teach of two different kinds of salvation, tot two different purposes, such as eternal salvation and time salvation. Please note that time salvation has nothing to do with gaining eternal salvation. A vital thing to notice is that time salvation is set forth with many "ifs" or variables. But, on the other hand, the doctrine of eternal salvation, that comes independent of law or gospel, is set forth by "constants", without a variable. Thanks to Elder f en Dalton for the last statement. However, in this topic we shall confine ourselves to the doctrine of eternal salvation.
Through a chain of events such as election, adoption, redemption, regeneration, perseverance, resurrection, and glorification, the unchangeable God exercises His promises of eternal life.
"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Tit 1:2).
"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb 9:12).
The text says that Jesus had already obtained eternal redemption for us (the chosen or elect), and we maintain that the eternal redemption shall persevere, that is, that all subjects of that eternal redemption shall eternally persevere, not the subjects of preterition, but the subjects of election, adoption, and redemption shall eternally persevere.
Let us listen to the voice of the angel who used no variables, but with the positiveness of a constant when he said, "And she SHALL bring forth a Son, and thou SHALT call his name JESUS: For he SHALL save His PEOPLE from their sins" (Mt 1:21).
People of whom Jesus shall never save from their sins, are subjects of preterition, and never were His people, and never will be, for the text positively says that He shall save His people from their sins. His people are the elect, whom the Father gave to Him, and they shall persevere. "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them" (Joh 17:9-10).
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE: AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH. NEITHER SHALL ANY MAN PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand" (Joh 10:27-29).
Seeing that Jesus gives eternal life to His sheep, (not goats) and none can pluck them from His and His Father's hand, then they certainly shall persevere. "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Php 1:6). We should perceive that this last verse quoted is completely framed in the doctrine of eternal perseverance.
The word ETERNAL itself, such as eternal redemption, and eternal life, both shout the doctrine of eternal perseverance.
Move along, poor pilgrim, heaven will be your new home!
There is the capital city, heaven, where God is, and was enthroned at the time He created the starry heaven, consisting of sun, moon, and stars, and also created the firmament heaven, that the fowls fly in. All heavens are above.
I am interested at this time only in the third heaven which Paul was caught up to, and saw and heard things not lawful for man to utter.
For as the heaven is High Above The Earth, so great is mercy toward them that fear Him" (Ps 103:11).
“Can’st thou by searching find out God? Can’st thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea" (Job 11:7-9).
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: Where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest?" (Isa 66:1).
"Is not God in the height of heaven; and behold the height hl of the stars, how high they are!" (Job 22:12).
"Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: And those that walk in pride, He is able to abase" (Da 4:37).
God in His nature, attributes, and being, is as much higher in essence, as heaven is above the earth. Therefore, His heaven must be wonderful. God is enthroned in heaven, and heaven is far above. Heaven is a place which is void of disappointments, sorrow, afflictions, and sickness, even war, famine, depression, inflation or apostasy: Where all is peace and love and glory. I want to go there, too! My hope is anchored within the veil.
Sometime after the resurrection of the bodies of the elect, they in bodies will be transported by the Lord and His angels into the glory world, heaven itself. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" (1Pe 1:25).
"So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: Thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory" (Ps 73:22-24).
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also" (Joh 14:3).
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven" (2Co 5:1-2).
"For he looked for a City which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Heb 11:10).
All of us are strongly disinclined to leave our loved ones in this world; yet our hearts yearn for heaven, where there is no war, famine, depression or inflation. Oh, heaven, that resplendently bright City!
Two Kinds of Tradition
When an effort is being made to make an oral tradition equal to law or gospel, then it is, that someone is trying to put a new patch on an old garment. Since the two materials do not agree, the rend shall be made worse.
While Christ was on earth, the Jews had many traditions of the elders which they had tried to enforce as law, with the idea of improving the law, that God gave, and make the law more susceptible to them in their day. Christ openly condemned them for such, for they had gone beyond the "thus saith the Lord."
Now for the traditions of men, let us read Col 2:8, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
"For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (verse 9).
Being spoiled by philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, has developed this world into a vulgar society, now facing judgment.
Now as we turn to gospel tradition, it is very obvious to me that the line between the traditions of men and the gospel tradition is the same line that divides Christian people from those who are not Christians; even among those who are in the same church membership; and also distinguishes between a true church, and the so-called churches of the world.
Gospel tradition is marked out thus, "Therefore brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle" (2Th 2:15 - the apostle's word or epistle).
"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly and not after the tradition which he received of us" (2Th 3:6).
The gospel tradition is very exacting, relative to our way of life, doctrine, discipline, and order; but deviates choose the broad way that leads to destruction. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughy furnished unto all good works" (2Ti 3:16-17).
According to the statement above, if a thing is right, the scriptures tell us so; therefore, why should we deviate? If we willfully deviate, then we shall surely take off after the traditions of men, of which there is no end.
AN UMBRELLA OF PROMISES
This side of God's acts of grace in His works of eternal salvation, are God's conditional gospel graces, which is an exercise between the believing man's faith, and God's promises. What does one inherit in the gospel kingdom other than the promises of God? But God's timely gospel kingdom promises are conditioned upon the faith of God's elect. However, so many of God's elect do not possess this gospel faith and are so carnal that they seem to live on the same level as the natural man.
When evangelical faith does exist in the regenerated soul, that faith or degree of faith can never experience the growth and strength of gospel faith, except that faith be exercised by the gospel. For the scripture says, "That life and immortality is brought to light through the gospel." Then, as a result, God blesses that unfeigned faith with His endowed timely promises.
Aside from our eternal perseverance, all of the joy in this life which we have above that of an alien, is the happy reception of God's glorious promises, which we inherit through an unfeigned faith and a Christian character. That is what is known as inheriting the kingdom of heaven or God's promises. Free-lance members do not inherit kingdom blessings, or promises.
Why waste our valuable time with the frivolous things of this world, when the scriptures direct us as to how we can inherit God's promises?
Let us take a look at just a few directives. For one just to be a member of the church does not assure these promises. For the inheritance of God's promises depends on one's faith and character as a member.
Let us look at Heb 6:12 which says, "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience, inherit the promises."
Heb 11:33, speaking of the many heroes of faith, reads, "Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.”
Let us take notice of Ro 9:3, "For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises." That verse proves that the promises pertain to God's Israel, but many are not inheriting them. Because of doubt, some of God's Israel seem to be ill fated and do not inherit God's kingdom of heaven promises.
2Co 7:1: "Having therefore these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
We have given a few instructive verses with the word PROMISE in the text, but there are so many places where promises are made, without the word PROMISE being used.
For instance, on the day of Pentecost, Peter said, "This is the prophecy of Joel," meaning these are the things that God promised through the prophecy of Joel.
And when Jesus said, "Except you forsake all, you cannot be my disciple," can you see a promise in that statement? Yes, indeed. Now if you will turn that statement over and look at the positive side, you can clearly see the promise; for the positive side would say, "If you forsake all you shall be my disciple." So it is on every occasion where there is a requirement, which shows that all that we shall ever wish to enjoy in this life, in a heavenly way, is to inherit God's promises, which are more than we will ever get around to inheriting. Remember that God's promises are weighed out to us according to our faith and character. Oh, the grandeur of heavenly riches! The whole scope of God's promises have already been willed, but only the signatures of unfeigned faith can check on the account and draw on the endowment.
The gospel is to point us to the promises, and teach us how to inherit the timely endowment, or the things which God has promised us on a faith level.
For instance, Jesus said, "Take no thought (no anxious thought) of the morrow, what ye shall eat or wear, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Now watch for the promise as He said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
"He that forsaketh (not possessed by) father, mother, wives, children, houses and land, (now the promise) shall find fathers, mothers, children, houses and land."
The scriptures do not teach that man must obey the commandments of God in order to obtain eternal life, but they do teach that man must respond to God in order to inherit the promises of God, which were endowed for His children, in the adoption, the promises endowed for man here in time.
We cannot be a friend to the world in revelry, which is the work of the flesh, and at the same time inherit the promises of God; for God's promises are too divinely elevated to be inherited by carnality.
While we are reading the scriptures, let us keep a searching eye for the promises, then make an extreme effort to qualify for our inheritance.
God Who cannot lie, PROMISED.
Christianity and Discipline
We are persuaded, that it is definitely certain, that belief the truth is not Christianity; however the belief is t certainly a component part of Christianity.
With the regenerated person, belief is essentially the first qualification, and yet, only a fractional portion of Christianity. Christianity is a proper reaction to true belief. Christianity is purposeful actions, guided by the eternal principle of right, Christianity by purpose, not accident. Therefore Christianity is not a feigned (false) belief, guided by alibies or excuses.
Discipline means, either to train, or to act in regard to the training, whether the training be right or wrong.
I he Catholics and Communists are two of the most disciplined organizations in the world, but their discipline is not Christian discipline. And it could be that some of our church discipline is not Christian discipline. There are ninny forms of discipline in this world. I have wondered whether our rules of decorum are expected to promote a Christian faith. The question is have they been successful in governing an undisciplined people?
It seems that some acts of discipline have been motivated through carnal prestige, for political advantages. It also seems that some acts of discipline have been motivated by stubbornness and hard talk. While on the other hand it seems that some acts of discipline are motivated by shallow thinking and light talk. Some forms of discipline will not admit repentance; while on the other hand some forms of discipline will accept almost any slight alibi as repentance
Some people have a feigned love, while others have an unfeigned love. And some people have a feigned faith, while others have an unfeigned faith.
The greatest danger that I can imagine, other than receiving an alien, is for the church to receive a person who is not self-disciplined; except it be the young who are under the guidance of good parents.
Since considering the extreme, let us now think soberly.
In order for a believer to become a Christian, their first obligation and procedure is self-discipline.
Christian discipline is at all times based on the eternal principle of right; and is guided or directed as the Holy Spirit impresses the feelings and modes of Christian minds. A believer is obligated to discipline himself in both natural and spiritual virtues of life.
The Christian has not continued to just stand in the desert land, and in the waste-howling wilderness where God found him, but has moved on, as God has led him.
A well-disciplined believer is a Christian, one who hungers and thirsts after righteousness. The quality of a group depends on the quality of the individuals that compose the group. A church group will never suffer over an act of church discipline, where each individual has been well trained in self-discipline.
Rapport and Rapprochement
Rap-port' means - relation of harmony, conformity, accord, or allinity; an intimate or harmonious relation.
Rap'proche'ment' means - a coming together; establishment or state of cordial relations.
When dealing with the electrical principle of man, we run into the field of the rap-port' of mind, where minds are brought into relation of harmony, conformity, accord, or affinity, as an intimate or harmonious relation. Please think on this until it is clear in your mind before advancing.
It is required of a Gospel minister to so qualify himself before God that the Holy Spirit will establish this rap-port' of minds between the speaker and the honest seeker. 1 trust that the reader will remember that we have reference lo a spiritual rap-port'.
For there are many ways to establish a rap-port', which would be fictitious and dishonest, such as crocodile tears, or dogmatism, or as some say bring on the rousement; but fleshly rapports are not spiritual.
I believe that the greatest way of coming into rap-port' of minds is done by establishing hope; for where there is no hope, people resist.
May we take notice of Ac 14:1: "And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed." I call your attention to the word SO in the text; the SO is the power word in the text. When the verse said that they SO spake, it means that they spake in such a manner; then the question is, what manner? The answer to that question is, in the manner that established (rap-port'). I may have preached the same words as the apostles preached on that date without success. The difference is that they were rapporters who established the rap-port', where I failed to do so. WHERE THERE ARE TWO OR MORE SPIRITUAL MINDS WHICH ARE BLENDED TOGETHER IN THE HOLY GHOST, THAT IS SPIRITUAL RAP-PORT' OF MINDS.
So many things can hinder a spiritual rap-port' of minds. I have preached many sermons that I knew were well put, according to words and understanding; but my words seemed to bounce back at me like casting slugs of magnetic steel against a brass ball which had no attraction. If the minister preaches on a subject that the congregation does not wish to hear, there can be no rap-port'. If the people have no confidence in the minister, there can be no rap-port'. Mentally his own feelings smother the import of his own words. If either the minister or the listener fails to detach their minds from the world and its idolatry, there can be no rap-port'. Maybe I should say, there can be no SPIRITUAL RAP-PORT' OF MINDS. When this SPIRITUAL RAP-PORT' does not exist between the minister and the people, something is wrong. Someone is either out of place or out of time, and such cannot be a solemn assembly. They will either turn to be a hard-hearted, dogmatic church or a politic people: FOR RAP-PORT'.
"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" (1Co 13:13).
How can I be charitable, without being flattering and deceitful?
We have no reference to social charity drives, but rather to the grace of charity in a person's heart and in the church body. Without charity I am nothing; therefore, I cannot be charitable unless I possess charity in my heart. Charity is a soft glow of unfeigned love in the heart, to be exercised toward others.
There is a question that stares me in the face. Do I want to be a cold law Baptist or do I want to be a charitable Christian? I'm afraid that I have been too much of a law Baptist trying to follow the gospel, but in the spirit of the law. The law has no mercy; the law has no charity.
How could I be longsuffering without charity? How could I ever rightfully lend a helping hand?
In 1Co 13, Paul says, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity, I become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."
"And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, ..."
"Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;"
"Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;"
"Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."
"Charity never faileth; But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away" (1Co 13:1-8).
Now to 1Co 8:1, which reads, "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth."
"Follow after charity" (1Co 14:1).
"Let all things be done with charity" (1Co 16:14).
"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; ..."
"Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."
"And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness" (Col 3:12-14).
"We are bound to thank God always for you brethren, as it is meet because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you toward each other aboundeth" (2Th 1:3).
"Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned" (1Ti 1:5).
"Flee also youthful lusts: But follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2Ti 2:22).
"But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience" (2Ti 3:10).
"That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience" (Tit 2:2).
"And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: For charity shall cover the multitude of sins" (1Pe 4:8).
"And to godliness add brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity" (2Pe 1:7).
"Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church" (3Jo 6). 1
"These are spots in your feast of charity, when they feast with you" (Jude 12).
Many times have I read over these scriptures, but with a law concept in my mind, I could not see the light. But alas' in recent weeks I had begun to pray for the Lord to show me the condition of the church.
There is a date to be marked on my calendar. On November 2,1976, my wife and I sat down at the table for our noon meal, and after giving thanks for our blessings, we raised our heads and started exchanging thoughts concerning the subject of "Charity", neither one pretending to know anything about it. But something got a hold of us, and we began to want to know something about, charity, each one quoting verses that had the word CHARITY in them. We finally finished our meal; I retired to our bedroom and laid down on the bed. Louise, I think, washed the dishes, and here she came with the Bible in her hand, and sat down on the side of the bed. Our meeting continued for quite a while, maybe an hour or two. By the time our research was over, a new world had opened up to us both.
Then I could see that the condition of the Church in our day was the absence of charity toward mankind and especially toward each other.
Charity never faileth, but without charity we are nothing. Too much of our preaching is like sounding brass III a tinkling cymbal.
A church with faith, hope, and charity shall live, but a church without charity will, regardless of the size of her membership, be dead while living.
Charity cannot atone for sin; neither does charity excuse sin. Sin has to be met, but people and churches have lost their prescription as to how to meet it. Having lost their prescription they resort to the law spirit, and the results are: They that are in the flesh cannot please God. Then membership begins to dwindle and churches begin to vanish away, and preaching becomes as sounding brass or d tinkling cymbal.
Let us examine an example or two. In Re 2, we read the message to Ephesus.
"Unto the Angel of the Church of Ephesus write: These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;..."
"I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: And thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars;..."
"Arid hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast labored, and hast not fainted."
"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love."
"Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."
"But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Re 2:1; 7).
The first thing we should notice about Ephesus Church is that they carried out all of these good works, but in the wrong way, showing that people can do the right thing in the wrong spirit. Ephesus Church had left their first love; their first love was a pure, unfeigned love which is charity; for charity is pure, unfeigned love. Ephesus had left their first love, which left them carnal and fleshly. God told them to repent and do their first works or He would remove the candlestick.
Let us not fail to notice that the Ephesus message teaches us that where there is no charity, a church cannot exist in a spiritual way. Though the membership may hold on, they are carnal and their speaking and preaching is as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. For when the candlestick is removed, they cannot receive the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven and all they can do is sit around and argue on traditional points.
For another example see 1Co 5.
Paul found that the Corinthians had fornication among them, and he further found that the church was in no condition to try the case, the Church had to be brought to repentance first, for their charity had ceased to exist, and they were carnal, fleshly. Now, let us carefully read.
"It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife."
"And ye are puffed up, (no charity) and have not rather mourned, that he hath done this deed might be taken from among you" (1Co 1:2).
Paul also told them that their boasting was not good. Paul had to break these things down and bring them to repentance, and restore charity before he could say, "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus
"To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the
Lord Jesus" (1Co 5:4-5).
Remember that Paul said in 1Co 13 that charity is not puffed up, and we see that these Corinthians were puffed up, their charity had ceased to exist.
The Church should exclude a person with the same charity that they receive one.
Now as I look back over the events that I have witnessed, the picture is very dark.
Do You Reriember?
To the people on the Texas Plains
And the foothills, with many lanes,
Do you remember how the Lord sent me unto you,
To preach things both old and new?
For 44 years I've labored in your field;
Too many trials we have had to yield.
I'm human and subject to err from day to day,
Have made many mistakes along the way;
But truthfully I have tried
As I walked by your side.
In accord with my gospel call,
I truly love you one and all.
Let this be of no alarm;
forgive every person that ever did me harm.
Let our voices blend on the county line
And sing the songs of Mt. Zion.
My Hope, After the Storm Is Gone
Born to a Dad and Mother as true as pearl,
Yet I was born into a stormy world.
I walked through childhood, through the flowers I did tread,
Yes, down the green valley, with trees o'er spread.
Finally the smiles from the face of fair heaven retired;
The peace of mind and voice of song birds expired;
The perfumes of fair Eden were gone;
I sensed a strange power that came along.
I was called to be a soldier of the cross,
Which showed me the world as a loss;
I prayed daily and nightly,
By His grace I raised the Banner, and faced the mighty.
When I look across the plains, they declare
More than four score years of warfare.
0 Zion, Mt. Zion, to glory arise,
The queen of the world, the child of the skies.
But when the battle is over and the storm is gone,
I will retreat, while my soul sings a song.
When I stand before the gates of death,
I shall remember there's a sting in death.
I hope Jesus will rule from on high
That I may have a quiet moment to die.
0 that it could be His holy will,
Aside from the sting, say peace be still.
While God by His grace is adorning,
I'll hear the trumpet sound in that morning,
And as I cross over, may He take my hand
And carry me home, among the vesper wings of the angel
In Memory of My Mother
Once upon a time there was a mother,
And for me there could have been no other.
As long as I didn't have to wear the white rose and sigh,
There was a dove on my shoulder, a rainbow in my sky.
The soft embrace of that lady was a boon to my soul;
Her eyes said, follow me, I'll lead you to the goal.
Thoughts of ever wearing a white rose made me cry;
For there was a dove on my shoulder, a rainbow in my sky.
Her countenance was clear as an angel in white gown;
The advice which she gave me was wholesome and sound;
I wore the red rose on my lapel knowing she was nigh;
There was a dove on my shoulder, a rainbow in my sky.
But something happened along the way,
This great lady, my mother, said, "I cannot stay."
I now wear the white rose since she said goodbye;
Alas the dove is gone, the rainbow slipped from my sky.
She left this world as the mother of five God-loving offspring,
And since her passing it is quite a struggle to sing.
I shall continue to weep and wear the white rose, Mother Dear,
Rather then wish you back and cause you to shed a tear.
My mother was baptized by her own father, Elder John Gotcher. She passed away November 4, 1960.
Wings and Songs
Are Death's Empty Arms
Fiery wings swept their spirits upward;
Silvery wings will return them downward;
Golden wings will waft both spirit and body heavenward;
Grave, where is thy victory, death where is thy sting?
Then the word vacancy will stand before each tomb;
The hole in the ground will be empty arms of gloom,
After earthen vaults are disturbed by a sacred boon,
Grave, where is thy victory, death where is thy sting?
0 Master of Resurrection, how long
Until we sing this song?
We'll sing when we hear the bells of heaven ding,
Grave, where is thy victory, death where is thy sting?
Oh, as our minds survey the skies,
Our spirits sing, as our faith prophesies,
While in parallel our hope closely lies.
Grave, where is thy victory, death where is thy sting?
Then since time has reached its goal,
Let timeless ages roll
With harmonious tones, as we tread the streets of gold.
Grave, where is thy victory, death where is thy sting?
1 dreamed that I heard the most beautiful rolling voice
singing loud and clear as could be;
The voice sang the big flower, my mother bought for me;
Then I awoke to reason and see.
My character is the big flower my mother bought for me:
My honesty is the effect of that which my daddy taught me.
Their works do follow them.
I Am Not the One Whom Winds and Waves Obey
If I could peep through a window, and see one, both God and Man,
If I could reach through the gate, and give Mother my hand,
If I could say, "Hello, Pop," to a noble man,
But I am not the one whom winds and waves obey.
If I could crush the head of the master of sin,
If I could quiet the boisterous minds of evil men,
If I could deliver people, who are my kin,
But I am not the one whom winds and waves obey.
If as one before, I could walk the tide,
If I could wave a wand, and make war subside
And keep my beloved son by my side,
But I am not the one whom winds and waves obey.
If I had power over death,
That my daughters live,
If I had only this to give,
But I am not the one whom winds and waves obey.
Yet most of my sorrows are borrowed in advance,
But I must be conscious that care is not luck by chance.
No, it is not luck that just fell to the free lance,
But mercy and care by the One whom winds and waves obey.
I Love God's Heroes
Enoch's three-hundred-years' walk with God,
This man was never buried beneath the sod;
Think of Methuselah's longevity of life
With no income tax, war or strife;
Noah, who sailed the universal sea,
Since God has said, let it be;
Abraham who knew that God was true,
The same is required of me and you.
Think of Moses and the burning bush that he saw,
He was the man that later received the law;
Then Joshua crossed the river for Jericho one morn,
Later to be God's hero of the battle at Beth-Horon;
David, God's prophet and anointed king
Wrote the Psalms for Israel to sing;
Elijah, the rainmaker, talked to God of rain and drought
Until Baal fell, and only God was sought;
And the educated Paul, from the Jewish Nation,
To whose vocabulary God added the word predestination.
Predestination, the word which has no meaning to the fool
Regardless of how far he may have gone in school,
A saint considers it to assure him the goal
Of which stimulates his languid soul.
Yes, and there was Samson, with hair long and muscles tight;
It is possible that he may have resembled Hoss Cartwright.
He probably couldn't preach like Elder Darity,
But he proved that one man and God was the majority.
Though floods and sand have long covered their trail;
Yet records trumpet their works, as refreshing as new mail.
To a hand high and mighty they did cling
And as the world turned, their souls did sing.
I worship only God, but to these men I shall not be mute,
For in glorious memories of those heroes, I pause to
Now as I close my eyes, I can visualize a Man who exceeded Enoch in his walk with God; who exceeded Noah in sailing the waters; who exceeded Abraham in faith; who exceeded Moses in keeping the law; who exceeded Samson in strength; exceeded King David as a King; exceeds King Solomon in wisdom; overcame Satan in the wilderness; exceeded death in the tomb; and exceeds all opposition in the resurrection: The name of this Man is "Christ Jesus the Lord".
The Prophetic King Solomon
Through King Solomon's garden, he daily strolled
Among lilies and spice beds, his wisdom did unfold.
He thought of the black skin, of the young maiden;
He sympathized with her, whose heart was laden.
He remembered that her soul was white,
To Solomon, this was a glorious sight.
He heard her cry for the flock, and rest,
And the advice, which he gave, was the best.
He thought of sheep, and also the hind's feet;
For no other animal's feet would hold so neat.
He wondered about a little sister, who had no breast;
How could it be, that she would ever find rest?
He remembered the apple tree, and thought on the dove;
He meditated on things which his heart did so love.
He cried, "Return, return, O Shulamite;"
For in memory of her, his being was affright.
He most certainly considered the status
Of the one who looked through the lattice.
He considered many women, to be sure,
But remembered a Queen, that price could not lure.
He thought on one sleeping, not to awaken
Until time for both heaven and earth to be shaken.
The chiefest among ten thousand, he thought of Him, too;
One altogether lovely, this was something new.
Solomon's wisdom was like mountain peaks in the air
So far above others, it must have been cold up there.
His wisdom was as deep as the fountains in the sea;
It is also cold down there, as one may see.
Solomon was a lonely man in the midst of others;
For all other people were like little brothers.
Now read the "Songs of Solomon".
Whether or not I live my allotted days,
Grant an interview, so I may shout thy praise.
Yes; somewhere under the rainbow's glow,
Tell the angel to swing the chariot low.
Then He will remove the cloud that hides His throne;
This redeemed sinner shall hear the chimes in heavenly tone.
Shall I experience these grandeurs? I hope so;
Tell the angel to swing the chariot low.
Oh! what a city, oh! what a place,
The power station of Amazing Grace,
While rapturous thinking, time is so slow,
Lord, tell the angel to swing the chariot low.
What will my stewardship show in the final exam?
Regardless of fault, by His grace, I am what I am.
What a transformation from things below,
Tell the angel to swing the chariot low.
Lord, when the time comes that I can go,
Swing the chariot very, very low;
Then give it the throttle through the sky;
Deliver me to a mansion in worlds on high.
Sister Emily Harrell
I'm weeping this morning
And the country is in mourning;
This morning about seven
Sister Emily Harrell left for Heaven,
Leaving a frail body here on earth
In which she had fathomed many a dearth.
As a frail person she's seen the sand cover the sod
As she walked between a strong man and a powerful God.
A frail body, which she considered no merit;
Yet she was a giant in spirit.
My friend, my sister, for thirty-eight years
Without hate, and without smears.
It is manifested by the sad faces;
Her church and county are wounded in the high places.
She was one of whom they sought advice,
Not just once, but more than twice.
but she is gone, leaving our minds in a stir,
And only in memory can we possess her.
This being the end of her chatter
I'II miss her clear laughter.
I've sat with her to spiritually dine;
I've walked with her through rain and sunshine.
After time and sand have covered the pages,
She'll praise her God in everlasting ages.
Sound and sober minds looked upon her clearly;
Spiritual minds sought her out dearly;
Another thing makes me glad,
Wife says, "Emily was the best friend she ever had."
Sister Emily Harrell, a member of Lone Pilgrim Church of Stanton, Texas, passed away August 2, 1971.
Just Louise and me.
Three children to be,
How happy were we
On our New Salem Hill.
When there were baby signs,
Small garments on the clothesline.
Meant one more to dine
On our New Salem Hill.
Two more followed suit,
Oh, so sweet and cute;
Now three in the chute
On our New Salem Hill.
Louise became Ma
Of the sweetest babies 1 ever saw,
And I the proudest Pa
On our New Salem Hill.
I asked the Lord to let me stay
Until they could make their way
I've seen that day,
Now what shall 1 say?
0 New Salem
New Salem, O New Salem, I can hear your melody;
O I can feel your harmony;
Yes, I see your people driving through the gate
Usually on time and seldom late.
New Salem, O New Salem, the church on the hill;
A church which was not just a run of the mill;
With eyes closed, I vision your congregation
Where we spoke of salvation.
New Salem, O New Salem, a house of grace
Where lovely people filled their place.
I can hear your melodies ride the western wind,
Which encourages men their ways to mend.
New Salem, O New Salem, so high was your rank
As you sang "On Jordan's Stormy Bank".
When you sang "Humble Souls Who Seek Salvation",
That was a healing balm to the nation.
New Salem, O New Salem, the church with care,
With respect and love to spare,
Whose conversations were on heaven
Striving to escape all leaven.
New Salem, O New Salem, a house of fervent prayer,
Free of idolatry and despair,
Where one knew the depth of the other's soul;
There was unity as they faced their goal.
New Salem, O New Salem, yes, and a parsonage, too,
Which was a traffic hall for members both old and new;
A castle for a singing wife as my pard
And our babies playing in the yard.
New Salem, O New Salem, like a frontier squatter.
We planted hedges, trees, roses and drank the cool water,
A place of my greatest joy, and deepest sorrow
And finally there was no tomorrow.
New Salem, O New Salem, with all of your giving,
We drove by your hill, but saw no signs of the living.
There were no footprints of the sages;
For the sands of time had covered their pages.
O'er rocks and rills,
Through storms in the hills, Grace taught me to bear the sum;
Faith taught me deliverance will come.
The sunflower is ripe and has bowed its head
With many, many seeds to spread.
1 also am in the golden age;
0 could I spread intellectual seeds like a sage.
A beautiful flower outside my window
In autumn breeze is bowing low.
I also am bowing, but to rise again
To reach my home where there's no stain.
I sense the great divide,
When I must lay my loved ones aside
Leaving them to mourn what I've meant to them,
Though I will lose my sadness for them.
As we review our life,
We've seen things alike without strife.
It's been a peaceful gale
Through which our ship did sail.
Even now as I sit and loaf,
I can't imagine a world without us both.
As long as life does not smart,
We cannot be torn apart.
The deep understanding God has revealed to us
Cannot be blasted with a thrust.
We're tied together till death do us part,
Then the survivor's heart will smart.
0 Louise, as you stand by my tomb
Under a great cloud of gloom,
And you can see nothing to mend,
I pray that God will be your friend.
Our Marriage and Religion So Entwined
If you wish to know more about Louise,
In things right she labors to please.
Our marriage and religion is so entwined,
Except Jesus and His church, I know nothing similar to its kind.
As I cope with the world and its kind,
I see that I am sinfully inclined;
But when 1 count my blessings, and pay my bill,
Surely there has been a dove on my window-sill.
Oh, the glorious church meetings we have attended
When it seemed that heaven had descended;
Yet we know within a span
The end of all things is at hand.
I'm my parents' oldest son,
Seventy-six years since I've begun.
What I have done, I have done;
Lord, forgive me of any idolatry under the sun.
Now I am old,
My life is spent or sold,
My days have been warm and cold,
By faith, I look for the city of gold.
Our cottage is not just four walls,
But rather it's a bower of affection.
It has been our family retreat;
Our bower will bear inspection.
When my life is over,
With no more to tell,
I'll lay down by the river
And bid loved ones farewell.
For to this judgment
There is no waver;
Then I'll fly away
To the arms of my Saviour.
Oh, may the white dove
Say of the black pigeon
He was honest and sincere
In his religion.
May she never in our land cease to be;
I love her courts so much, you see;
Considering her fervent love,
Surely she is the turtle dove;
She coos her graces so sweet and low;
O Lord, where else could I go?
She is not a churl;
She's the light of the world;
She's her Saviour's little bride;
As her child, with her I hope to abide.
Though her children sometimes
Make the sea turbid and rough.
Trying to say what heaven will be;
But beyond the bar no one can see.
Some seem to be more interested in loved ones
Than in knowing God's Son.
Others say, "Where Jesus is will be heaven for me'
Which gives us great glee.
If 1 recognize those who share
Will I remember those who aren't there?
Through symbols we're given a faint view
Of a paradise which is true.
Saints drink the dew from heaven
In which there is no leaven.
Saints drink from streams they do not see,
Thereby sensing what the fountain must be.
Heaven is a paradise above
Where all is peace and love.
Little echoes that charm my soul
Stir my memory of things of old;
Little echo, you sound a note of the past;
Please linger near me while my life shall last.
Little echo, my memoir's door bell,
Bring me a message that I can tell.
Little echo, please open my memory store
That I may think on things of yore.
There are echoes from each of our senses,
Even a smile is an echo of a man's inward feelings.
To be extravagant in our behaviour
Can cause one to forget his Saviour.
Without repentance all is gloom
Until you reach your tomb.
Lift up holy hands to God this day
And don't forget to pray.
God will love you along the way
As long as you stay.
Why in ignorance curtail your life,
laboring in Satan's strife?
"Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead;"
Yes, that is what He said.
My grave will hide my body from all evil under the sun;
That will be an insulation job well done.
My soul will soar to world on high,
On beyond an insulated sky.
But I need insulation now, 1 am told,
To insulate the cold world away from my soul.
In my flesh there are billows of sorrow
For yesterday, today and tomorrow.
When I am tempted in strife,
Where is the insulation for my life?
God's grace, gospel and prayer
Are mine to share.
God has plenteous grace to spare,
And that is my greatest care.
I must defoliate myself in time,
That my fruit ripen in the sunshine.
I've grown leaves like a loot
That shadows my fruit:
Leaves of sin and sorrow
That will even shadow tomorrow;
Leaves of grief and shame
Which will sap my vein.
The way that 1 am made,
My fruit will rot under this leafy shade.
Then there is a fungus growth of adversity, too,
With sap like glue.
My sinful foliage has so grown in time;
Now defoliation must be, if ever I stand in the sunshine;
However many leaves have already fallen.
No Vulture's Eye Can See
The saints of light desire the sum
To hear from the world to come.
The fold gathers in solemn prayer
And meet with great love to share.
Their minds are lifted to the throne.
Even to Jesus and home,
And they feel a great sense of mirth,
A taste of heaven on earth.
The church is the house of ecstasy
Which Christ said is here to stay.
After all it's the King's Highway
Saints of light travel each day.
Since the sky has a pearl blue hue,
We wonder if heaven is blue.
Saints of light, please do not squander,
Let's look to the true yonder.
Dedicated to Sister Mary Chaney
BY HER PASTOR, ELDER W. R. DALE
Vegetables grow in my garden and roses bloom
And will continue to, to some degree, I assume.
My neat little house with all its trinkets,
just think, my brother.
Will soon pass on to another.
I've made many a track in the sands;
I've toiled with my hands;
But since I could grow no stronger,
I could tarry here no longer.
The death angel wrapped me in his arms
And carried me to a world of charms.
I always wished to do better if I could,
But I served as long as I could.
I've heard many preachers preach
And their God, my soul did beseech.
When in despair,
I heard the songs of saints ring in the air.
Some may mourn that I broke my home
And left my companion alone,
But my mission I have finished
And now I have diminished.
Let us say so long,
For I am gone;
I'm now in a better clime;
My heart has grieved its last time.
It's autumn time with those of age;
The leaves are falling on their last page.
Please don't wait for their demand,
But steady their feeble hand.
Written after the passing of Sister Mary Chaney, June 10, 1976, who was a charter member of Nathanael Primitive Baptist Church of Colorado City, Texas, which was constituted in November, 1969. She and her sister, Sister Leona Chamblee, who passed away in August, 1973, were instrumental in the constitution of this church.
As sure as the ocean is deep,
My way has been rough and steep;
But I walked the tightrope with much zeal
And found the pearl in the field.
O, Jesus, tell me again, the reason why
A child of the earth can be an heir to the sky?
How can a child of the soil
Ever be Royal?
Four times I've preached across the nation;
I do not live near any blood relation;
I am not a cumbersome man,
Only trying to hold to the golden strand.
Yet my heart is full of glee;
O let that pearl be for me.
Now I have a glorious story
Which reaches from Eden unto Glory.
The Gliding Feather
Like a gliding feather, I ride the sea as it rolls
Over both rocks and shoals.
My" being is just such a small estate
The sea cannot feel my weight.
God's own people hardly know that I'm here.
Over this vast territory, only a few ever appear.
As I glide near the pier
There are none to cheer.
When the wind lifts me on high
The people seem to shy.
As we wait for a great catastrophe,
Our senses have ceased to be.
1 with the weight of a feather
And the church bound with the world's fetter,
How can the feather break the surface
And roll back the world's surplus?
There is something now unseen
That certainly stands between.
Oft to the cemetery, seldom to the baptismal roll,
How long will it take for the ball to unroll?
Better Are Calloused Knees Than A Calloused Mind
A servant who tries his Lord to please,
Stands before you with calloused knees.
He's ever ready your souls to greet,
As you gather around the mercy seat.
His earthly plans often fail
And his wages, on a lower scale;
Yet his mission is the greatest among men
To indoctrinate, and teach them not to sin.
O blush him not with your wayward ways;
For such would grieve him for many days;
Therefore let us not live a lie
But join hands, and look to the most High.
May I say to my gospel kin,
Grace be with you all. Amen!
Termination of A Day Depicts Termination of Life
After our evening meal
The shades of night begin to steal.
Ofttimes Louise and I
Yield to the twilight sky.
There are two lawn chairs under our carport;
We resort to those chairs for no sport,
But to see the day to terminate in a funnel
As day enters night's dark tunnel.
Stars above keep watch over the dark domain,
With the termination of life it's quite the same.
Often we're without conversation,
For we're in deep meditation.
When our conversation is curtailed,
It seems one or both have been bailed
For prayer and meditation,
Which is often followed with revelation.
Often we sit until darkness we can feel,
Even till we hear the silence of its seal.
As 1 sit with Louise by my side,
Quiet meditation rolls in like a tide.
With hope that at the end of the tunnel is a new day,
We re-enter our house without dismay.
Then our hope rainbows the plight
As we retire for the night.
Time is a great mystery
Where man's life becomes his history;
Between the lines you may glean
Where the purpose of his existence can be seen.
It took a long time to refine my soul,
Separating the dross from the gold;
But now how sweet 'twill be to grow old
After my Saviour's biddings have been told.
Then in my blissful maturity, let the ages roll
Until time has reaped its toll;
When the clock of time has marked my goal,
You may know that my history has been told.
O yes, we all must go
And when the wages of sin have lain me low,
May the angels sing me a song;
Then I'll live on.
In the glory of eternity where Jesus is,
There I hope to be His
And He shall be mine
In a world superlatively sublime.
Forty-seven years in the pulpit,
While only once have I had to sit.
I've made a host of friends, of both saints and leaven,
But most of them are now in heaven,
Including elders and deacons who have passed on,
Leaving me almost alone, with a sad song.
That's why it's lonely to be old,
As you may have been told.
Standing surrounded by a world of sins,
I now know more tombs than friends.
During my ministry great and noble saints have gone;
I can remember many of their voices in song.
Forty-seven years of friends almost gone
And others are following along;
But the longer one lives, the more friends he'll tell goodbye;
For we all must die.
Louise Had A Birthday,
December 21, 1977
My wife is sixty years old,
Poor old soul!
Sixty years since she was an infant girl;
Now she is a mellowed woman in this evil world.
She has passed the noontime of her life,
But still my loving Christian wife.
You would think that she was never sick;
But I've helped her out of many a nick.
When she grows old, if I could be her walking cane,
She would still bear my name.
I hope her many more birthdays,
If they can be happy days.
Have you seen the turtle dove?
She is His true bride of Love.
Members, who are not soggy,
Are the cells of her body.
In no way is she a slouch;
For she is a well dressed spouse.
Her raiment is of gold,
Oh, no, never to be sold.
As she is in behaviour,
The lovebird of our Saviour,
She's kept in the golden fold,
With payment of riches untold.
Do 1 have to tell you twice,
She's the church of Jesus Christ?
Her glory is the kingdom;
Her wardrobe is so nice.
Could I be clothed as a cell,
While in this sinful world 1 dwell?
She's the window of heaven,
Here in this world of leaven.
I'm just a mortal man,
Trying to do the best I can.
I love the sons of grace
And with them try to set my pace.
With them I try to meet
Around God's mercy seat.
Beauteous fields once stood before me;
Now I'm hoping to avoid a stormy sea.
My pace is growing slow
And my voice becoming low.
While here, in His service employed,
Let's remember the great gospel days we've enjoyed.
When from this life 1 am gone,
Raise your arms to heaven and sing a song.
Many of my comrades have gone astray,
But by grace will follow me some day.
Looking Through the Smog
This I must surely say
Is a cloudy and moody day.
Things don't look just right
As they do in the sunlight.
Though I've seen gloomy days before
And probably will see some more;
Yet things round about me are so variable
It seems that all things are terrible.
The economy of the world is rocking
And war clouds are shocking.
The world is rich on credit;
When you say that, you've said it.
There must be a pay day
Somewhere along the way.
Having nothing in store,
The debt will be paid in the ash bank of war.
(I know nothing positive or constant but eternal life.)
And also in meditation we two
Drink Mount Zion dew;
Then it is so simple
To look toward the Temple;
Then one doesn't feel so smart
But enters the sanctuary with a prayer in his heart.
He hears the gospel, which gives him zeal;
Then in richness he returns to his field.
When the billows of sorrow are rolling high,
Send your S. O. S. to the port of glory beyond the sky.
When your ship is in danger,
Remember the one born in a manger.
He is your dearest Friend
Far beyond the care and power of men.
He has no chance to be slim;
For the winds and waves obey Him.
Some day you'll go home
Where sinners shall never roam.
In meditation I sense that restful home
Where no sinner shall ever roam.
Heaven is beyond the mystic sea;
Yet I do not know what heaven will be.
I am told that heaven is a house of joy
And that's good enough for this boy.
My Friend that laid down His life on the tree
Will be there to greet me.
The night is dark but I see a beacon light;
Otherwise I'd be in a fright.
The darkness of humanism is upon us;
Atheism is prodding with its lust.
Society is in turmoil and strife.
Hardly anyone can qualify for true church life:
The church has few people to select from,
That is without taking a bum.
If we could only preach to them,
Repentance might show on the rim;
But we are fenced away
And cannot show the way.
How can we burst that Arminian curtain
And show the truth for certain?
O Lord in thy wrath, remember mercy!
I'm no more a rover;
Maybe my crying days are over.
There were times I couldn't see clearly;
I've shed many a silent tear.
I loved my family so deeply
The way seemed so steep.
I love those tender ones yet;
While I live, 1 can never forget.
Days of whatever sort,
Louise, I believe my time is short,
And I believe when I am gone,
You'll not have to endure this world so long.
God has blessed my hands to help you;
However He can continue to;
Let us hold in mind,
God's hand is greater than mine.
When I'm gone to my tomb at Cone to abide
When you're gone they'll lay you by my side;
There near where our children were born
We'll rest till the Resurrection Morn.
Louise, the bride of my love
Sent to me from above
Has become my crippled dove.
I try to help her through,
But I am crippled, too;
It takes us both to make one as yet,
But by faith we look beyond the sunset.
Many memories are sweet but some are sour,
Which sends me to my bower.
If I should add another sentence,
There is yet plenty room for repentance.
Holy and unseen angels, please hold me up,
Lest the evil angels disrupt.
Most of those of sweet fellowship are in the tomb
And I am too old to zoom.
That leaves me on a deserted isle
With very seldom a smile.
Many, once came to my door
But they are here no more.
What can I wish for
Before I cross the bar?
The young are caught in a net
As I look toward my sunset.
Sweet angels watch over me
Even before I cross the mystic sea
The purpose I do not understand;
Yet I will bow to His will if 1 can.
My brethren are so very few;
I'm lonely for those I once knew.
Enoch didn't come home one night,
Which caused much community fright.
Like Elijah, he was taken on a flight;
Wasn't that a glorious sight.
Another thing wherewith I have to cope,
Does my life show that I have hope?
Does my life show that I have charity,
Does it show even a parity?
If You Can Pray
After I have read,
On my pillow I lay my head;
Then after prayer is said,
1 wonder, do angels hover round my bed?
Inflation, oh, so high,
With dark war clouds in the sky,
Do we stand in Joel's valley of decision,
Facing judgment and prison?
The missiles and rockets are humming;
Third world war is coming;
Let me tell you before you nod
Cursed is the nation that forgets God,
When the antichrist makes his demand,
Where will I stand?
O brother, if you can pray,
You may find your way.
As our society curtails our church relation,
Death threatens our nation.
How can one sing,
While thinking of what tomorrow may bring?
They Coo Like A Dove
0 for wings like an angel,
1 would arise and fly
In search of true disciples,
Beneath the blue sky.
Mount above this gloomy veil,
Under the sun so high;
Not men who are under bail,
But men who repent and cry.
I'd like to find good men,
Those conscious of their own sin;
I'd look for men who are men
Regardless of their kin.
I would have to search no doubt,
Independent of bank account;
Wealth is the god of divination;
Idolatry is its station.
Love for sports but not God,
Their interest is on the sod;
Their television is their leaven,
They seldom think of heaven.
Their soundness is rocking;
Their traditions are shocking;
They don't love enough to care;
Where there is care, there is share.
I would look for those who care,
With godly experience to share;
I would look for those who love,
That coo like a dove.
I have very near drunk the cup;
I soon shall make my last round-up;
I will corral the Lord's sheep and lambs,
Not excluding the rams.
Then as I look for that better land,
I pray that God will give them another man.
I soon shall lay my sword and armour down
And leave this earthly town.
My loved habitation and churches adieu;
No longer my presence ye greet;
There awaits me a heaven new
With golden streets under my feet.
Farewell Trail Drives
For 47 years this drover rode the gospel trail,
Long journeys and received very little mail.
I think I have about drunk the cup;
I am now on my last round-up.
Future trail drives will be left to another gospel poke;
What I'm telling you is no joke.
I, Elder W. R. Dale, am retiring from the trail,
I'll just sit around and read my mail.
I've been invited back to Baltimore, as you know;
Recently I've been invited to Iowa, but can't go.
I still try to fill eight appointments you see;
This last round-up is hard enough on me.
It seems the trail boss is in a far-away land;
How I strive to find Him, if and when I can.
I've seen many gospel corrals and drives;
But now it is farewell to trail drives.
0 Lord, my God,
I call to Thee from the sod,
From the mundane side of the mystic sea;
But miles are not measured by thee.
Where there is a crying man,
Thou art ever at hand.
As I continue trying,
I keep crying.
This world is a crying booth
For the mourning sleuth.
0 Holy God in thy wrath,
Read the Symbols and Metaphors
One day there came a gospel shower
That washed me through my bower.
Gospel rain brushed me higher still
Till I landed on top of Zion's Hill.
I have thought of coming down from time to time,
But the Holy Ghost warned my life I'd have to mend.
I'm a soldier of the Lord
Till I receive my discharge reward.
I know what it means to be a servant of the Lord
Regardless of some of my discord.
That is why I must preach to you
Till you learn to drink of Zion's dew.
From coast to coast
I've stood at my post.
To My Brother J. P.
J. P., it is certainly so,
Since a long time ago,
Our traveling has been high and low,
Even on the snow,
And under the rainbow.
With a bright smile
We've traveled many a mile;
We've met men whose style
Was to beguile;
It will soon be time to rest awhile.
We've stood on the wall
Subject to call;
Then to roll like a ball,
We hardly knew our sleeping stall,
Sometimes enough to make one bawl.
Yet in our giving
We have served the living.
The Lubbock Tornado
The night of the tornado
There was no rainbow.
There was nothing between us and heaven
But a tornado engaged in leaven.
Lights, radio, television, telephone, out with a snap,
Three big trees and air-conditioner gone with a rap,
The noise like a locomotive in our yard;
It seemed that all creation was marred;
Yet we lived to see
What was to be!
There was no room to fuss,
His grace was sufficient for us.
Trials are a must;
May we cling to Him and trust.
I must take care of my mind and body the best I can;
For 78 years the Lord has held my life in His hands,
As I have criss-crossed the land,
Both in the air and on the sand.
O Rock of Ages, where art thou?
You visited me yesterday, but where are you now?
O Rose of Sharon, where did you go?
It seems that the Lily of the Valley is all I know.
0 Shepherd, am I one of Thy sheep?
It seems that I wade the waters deep;
But some happy day,
I hope to be with Thee to stay!
Louise, at one time you really had me scared;
But thank the Lord, your precious life was spared.
You didn't go away, and leave me and babies alone;
You got well, and we brought you back home;
For which we thank God from day unto day;
For how could we have ever made our way.
God has been good to me
As I can easily see:
God has been good to us, too,
Better than people ever knew;
God is good to us yet
As we look toward our sunset;
Our gospel days are about gone
And now it won't be long.
We have so much to praise God for
As we view our evening star.
Yes, we have had sorrows, too;
But God has brought us through.
0 Guilt-Laden Man
God is our reigning King
Why should His people not sing?
Too many things untold,
Too many things harbored in a man's soul,
Guilt removes music from his heart;
Therefore he has no part.
Tell it to God, and lighten your load;
Tell it to God, and read a new code.
You will never forget guilt from the start;
But if God forgives, again you'll feel music in your heart.
Then with mind and spirit in one accord,
Search diligently for the House of the Lord.
0 heaven, please give me a ring!
I want to hear King David and the host of heaven sing.
Give me a call, while I'm on my bed
Before the antichrist puts a number on my forehead.
Sometimes I listen for the bells of heaven to ring;
Sometimes I listen for the angels to sing.
What an imagination!
Yet it's a sweet meditation.
A World Not Marked By Time
Some day, some sweet day,
I'll see that eternal day.
Sometime, some great time,
I'll see that world sublime.
Soon I'll see the great divine
Where things are not marked by time.
No yesterday, tomorrow, but the eternal now
Which we reach in our final bow.
All time pieces will be left behind
Like other inventions of its kind.
Far above this world of war and labor,
Where no one will carry a saber.
Oh, that bright and dazzling home,
Where none but saints shall roam.
This I must declare
My hip and leg will be well over there.
Prone To Seek
"In my thoughts I heard a voice"
Which made me rejoice.
When the mighty billows roll
They only wash my soul.
There's a lifeguard in my heart
That's kept me from the start.
When that still small voice does speak
Then we're prone to seek.
As I sit in my chair
I hear the voice of war in the air.
I have prayed to Him on high
For a peaceful hour to die.
It may be I am not suppose to know;
So there will be no show;
Yet my soul does sweetly sing
Of my Prophet, Priest, and King.
Arise my soul and sing His praise
Even in my declining days.
There Will Be Peace
Why, oh, why, are men so dumb?
Where do these troubles come from?
Yet there will be peace in the valley someday.
War clouds may build high
And men may arise and die;
Yet there will be peace in the valley someday.
Our loved ones cannot stand by our side;
One by one they cross the great divide;
Yet there will be peace in the valley some day.
There are catastrophes in this world;
The earth may quake, and tornadoes whirl;
Yet there will be peace in the valley some day.
Whatever may be the sun
Deliverance will come,
Then sweet peace.
She adores. Him beyond measure;
Searches His word for the deep treasure;
Such as, the scriptures hold the answer to life's problems here
And in time of need, the Holy Ghost will make them clear.
The Bible shows God has answered prayers in advance,
Why should we stand in fear of reckless chance?
In memory, store the scriptures away
So the Holy Ghost can remind you to show you the way.
(I thank you, my sister, for this insight.)
Better for Her
My sister lies low on the death bed;
Soon her life will all be said.
She will be fine, I have given her up to go,
And I am a feeble man you know.
This will be a lonely world
When we give up our Sissy girl.
Regardless of the zones
There will be lonely tones.
The wind will blow
And the ox will low.
The wind will howl
And the coyotes will prowl;
But let me tell you, sir,
'Twill be better for her.
When My Sister Is Gone
When my sister is gone from her kin,
She'll be above this world of sin.
When sister is gone with no message to send,
I'll mourn as I listen to the western wind.
When she is gone beyond the sky,
She will leave me here to sigh.
When she is gone beyond the skies,
She'll- never know when storm clouds rise.
When she leaves this earthly shore,
No more will her spiritual letters come to our door.
(Sister passed away on Mother's Day, 1977.)
When I Think
When I think of Mom and Pop and their family, then I hear the low winds sighing, among the bower that waves. I think of low and lonesome sounds; then I remember that the family is being transferred to a better world.
J. P. and I are the only two left in the family, except Phallie, a cousin, whom my parents reared. I am the oldest child and J. P. is the youngest. We both are gospel ministers; but I do not believe that I have much longer to tell the story.
O brother, let us shout and sing
And make the firmaments ring;
For Christ the eternal Being
Is our everlasting King.
Who would not wish to obey
Such a heavenly Monarch in our day?
Do not let evil men abort;
For our days on earth are short.
41st Wedding Anniversary
August 10, 1979, is the 41st wedding anniversary of Elder and Mrs. W. R. Dale. I view each anniversary as a milepost along a golden pathway. 0 Louise, may God ever bless you. With fondness we look at those 41 years.
Too many miles, too many trials;
Too many sunsets, void of smiles;
But o heaven, sweet heaven
Beyond this sea of leaven.
When I am there no more to roam,
You'll be with me in that bright eternal home.
God promised eternal life before the world did begin;
Yet foreseeing I would be born in sin.
By the Lord's grace and chain of mercy I live;
When I pass through deep waters He does give.
When the love boat lands on "Treasure Isles",
I hope my name is in the files.
I'd rather have that in heart and mind
Than all the wealth of mankind.
I hear a lonesome tone;
But I know not from which zone.
Could it be premonition talking to me
Of something yet to be?
0 My Mother
0 my mother, when the work is done this fall,
Then 1 will pay you a call.
When my work is over,
That's the end of the trail for this gospel drover.
When my work does end,
Then I hope to ascend.
When my warfare is ended,
I hope to go where loved ones ascended.
When my last battle is won,
I hope to see God's Son.
I hope the trail, I have not mired;
For by now, I've grown very tired.
Beyond this world of sorrow
I look for that great tomorrow.
My little Dutch mother, if I could only see your face
And hear you tell me that heaven is a wonderful place.
Standing In the Corridor
The valley of suffering lies just before me
Before I cross the mystic sea.
As I stand in the corridor
I know I am nearing the border.
One by one I lay my trophies down
As I listen for the bugle sound.
This world is not my home;
Through it I'll no more roam.
I wave my rights to all below;
For I soon must go.
I thank my God for all blessings here below
That He has seen fit to bestow.
O please tell me
As I tread this sandy lea,
As I near the mystic sea,
What will I be?
The Church In the Dell
Oh, that great church in the dell
Where God did love to dwell.
Where people by the gospel were stirred
And voices of angelic singing and shouts were heard.
Each member having a sound mind,
They were so nice and kind.
They did watch and pray
From day unto day.
Their conversation was in heaven
Far above this world of leaven.
All having spiritual birth,
That's what we call heaven on earth.
Under each spiritual shower,
Their ministry did manifest an excellent power.
Please tell me before I bow
Where are they now?
Walking the Rosy Pathway
At my golden age, and without strife,
As I recount the days of my life,
Amid the sorrows I've held on display,
There's been a bed of roses along my pathway.
Sorrows press me to view the roses,
And see each one as it poses;
Then sorrow fades away,
But the rosebed is there to stay.
When my mind was darkened with gloom,
The Lily of the Valley continued to bloom.
Now as I stand on the crest,
I know I have been richly blessed.
God has richly blessed my church life
And has given me my white dove for a wife.
What more could a man wish for in life,
Than the church and his wife.
Our three children grew up and moved on;
But Louise and I still glide along.
When I'm gone to my grave alone,
Let precious memories be my tombstone.
I hope my religion is spiritual and sound
And will follow me to my mound.
I hope to leave a pattern behind
I hope that I have not wasted my life
In idolatry and strife.
I hope that I've been honest with others
Including my church brothers.
I hope that I have not had a lying tongue
With those that I am among.
I hope I can leave this world in peace,
With God's elect at least.
I know I have made many mistakes;
For which I mourn for Jesus's sake.
Ordination and the Straight, Narrow Way
Away down the Trinity River,
Over on Marsalis Street,
Called before the judges
And told my pathway to greet.
My pathway was long,
But trees hung full of glory,
The mountain peaks made obeisance
To the one with the story.
My mother was present,
When the presbytery ordained me;
It was on Mother's Day,
1932, you see.
Many miles and many trials,
Now life is ebbing away;
I've buried my loved ones
Along the way.
My Joyful Song
1. God was there when His Son appeared to me, (God was there,) God was
2. God was there when I saw my sinful state, (God was there,) God was
3. God was there when for mercy I did plead, (God was there,) God was
4. God was there when I heard that sacred call (God was there) God was
5. God was there when they laid their hands on me (God was there) God was
6. God was there when my soul felt peace and love (God was there) God was
7. God is here as you sing "My Joyful Song", (God is here), God is
1. There when His Son appeared to me, Oh! . . .ofttimes it causes me to
2. Ponder, ponder, ponder, God was there when I saw my sinful state.
3. Ponder, ponder, ponder, God was there when for mercy I did plead.
4. There when I heard that sacred call, Ohl ...ofttimes It causes me to
5. There when they laid their hands on me, Ohl ...ofttimes it causes me to
6. There when my soul felt peace and love, Ohl ...oft-times it causes me to
7. Here as you sing "My Joyful Song", Oh!...ofttimes it ,causes me to
1. Ponder, ponder, ponder, God was there when His Son appeared to me.
2. Ponder, ponder, ponder, God was there when I saw my sinful state.
3. Ponder, ponder, ponder, God was there when for mercy I did plead.
4. Ponder, ponder, ponder, God was there when I heard that sacred call.
5. Ponder, ponder, ponder, God was there when they laid their hands on me.
6. Ponder, ponder, ponder, God was there when my soul felt peace and love.
7. Ponder, ponder, ponder, God is here as you sing "My Joyful Song".
Sing to the tune of: "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord".
1. Oh! He found me in death val-ley,
Oh! He found me in death val-ley,
Oh! He found me in death valley,
Oh! He found me, found me all a-lone.
2. There He gave me life to live,
There He gave me life to live,
There He gave me life to live,
There He gave me, gave me life to live.
3. Then He led me in His gar-den,
Then He led me in His gar-den,
Then He led me in His gar-den,
Then He led me, led me there with Him.
4. There I saw the Rose of Shar-on,
There I saw the Rose of Shar-on,
There I saw the Rose of Shar-on,
There I saw Him, saw Him as the Rose.
5. Yea, I ofttimes have an unc-tion,
Yea, I ofttimes have an unc-tion,
Yea, I ofttimes have an unc-tion,
Yea, I ofttimes, ofttimes have unc-tion.
6. I shall join the saints in glo-ry
Based up-on the blood of Je-sus;
I shall join the saints in glo-ry,
I shall join them, join them in glory.
Sing to the tune of: "I Will Follow Jesus", page 234 in PRIMITIVE BAPTIST HYMNAL.
Elder Walter R. Dale
Elder Walter R. Dale, 79, of Colorado City, Texas, died at 5:00 a.m. April 25, 1980, at Root Memorial Hospital. Services were held at 10:00 a.m. April 27, at the Kiker-Seale Chapel.
Elder Dr. J. P. Dale, pastor of the Primitive Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, officiated, assisted by Elder Luther Porter. Burial was at 3:00 p.m.. at Cone Cemetery in Crosby County.
Born October. 9, 1900, in Farmersville, Texas, he married Laura Bell in 1921, who passed away in February, 1938. He later married Minnie Louise Gibson on August 10, 1938.
He was the pastor of Nathanael Primitive Baptist Church in Colorado City and had lived in Colorado City for 10 years.
Survivors include his wife; two daughters, Mrs. Bobby Sanders of Austin and Mrs. Bill Alldredge of Sedona, Arizona; a son, John of Dallas; a brother, Elder Dr. J. P. of Fredericksburg; four grandchildren and a great-grandson.
Pallbearers were Gilbert Chaney, Bobby Sanders, Bill Alldredge, Clarence Koen, Jake McMillon and Dalton Wright. Honorary pallbearers were all Primitive Baptist Elders.
Our beloved Pastor, Elder W. R. Dale, passed away April 25, 1980, at 5:00 in the morning at the Root Memorial Hospital in Colorado City, Texas. His devoted wife, Louise, was with him as he quietly passed on to that better place that he had longed to go for some time.
The funeral services were held on Sunday, April 27, at the Kiker-Seale Funeral Home at Colorado City. It was a beautiful service. Elder Luther Porter .and Elder J. P. Dale, Jr., had charge of the service and gave a wonderful message, describing the salvation by grace that Brother Dale had proclaimed with deep discernment for many years. The large crowd and floral arrangements gave a great tribute to a great man of God. He manifested living a life completely committed to God and His cause. He had been in ill health for several years, but the Lord upheld him to the end. His ministry was well rounded out and the Lord allowed him to be able to proclaim the truth until the end. The church here in Colorado City had communion service the 2nd Sunday in April in which Brother Dale performed his duties as a pastor with great humbleness.
We, Nathanael Primitive Baptist Church of Colorado City, Texas, feel a great, great loss as we are without an undershepherd, but we seek the Great Shepherd to send us another pastor. We beg an interest in your prayers that the Lord will direct us in this matter. Realizing we are so few in number, but the Lord is good and will supply our needs as He has promised.
It was a great honor for me to be asked to assist in the singing at the funeral. Brother Jake McMillon, Marjorie Gibson, Elder Harold Horn and I sang three of Brother Dale's favorite songs, "The Wayfaring Stranger", "My Joyful Song" (the words being composed by Brother Dale, sung to the tune "Were You There?") and "The Unclouded Day". Brother Greg Chaney and I sang "Lone Pilgrim" at the cemetery rites at Cone, Texas.
The Primitive Baptist people over a large area have responded and have shown great concern for his faithful and devoted widow, which shows the Lord is still directing His people. Not only Primitive Baptists have assisted in this concern, but people in general have been very kind and thoughtful. In this we thank the Lord.
Sister Dale is to be commended, for being truly a minister's wife. Brother Dale being in failing health for years, she has cared for him well and lovingly.
We bow in humble submission to God's will, waiting for that great day when the Lord will gather all His people and we will ever be with Him Who gave all that we might live.
Approved while in conference, May 11, 1980.
Elder Elmo Edwards, Moderator
Sister Marie Chaney, Church Clerk
At the cemetery a duet composed of Sister Marie Chaney and son, Brother Greg Chaney, sang most beautifully, "The Lone Pilgrim".
The end came much sooner that I had dreamed it would, though he had been preparing me for the past ten years that he must soon depart.
Following the funeral service of my brother, Elder E. V. Gibson, on February 16, 1980, in which my husband assisted at the Squaw Creek Primitive Baptist Church, Doss, Texas, the long hard trip and much exposure of the severe weather overcame my husband in his feeble condition and he was quite ill for a week, but the Lord saw fit to answer the prayers of Colorado City Church who met for the purpose of praying for their pastor the following 4th Sunday and he apparently recovered.
The next week he asked me to call the children and tell them that the Lord had seen fit to recover him from the sick spell he had been through, but that it wouldn't be for long. The first daughter I relayed the message to went all to pieces, so I told him I didn't think it best to relay that message on to the others. He submitted.
The following third Sunday, March 16, after the appointment at Lawn, Texas, while we were visiting in Brother Amon Aldridge's home, my husband received a fall from the porch in which he received some injury to the back of his head. We did not know at first he received this injury, only that he had hurt his lower back, which took him better than two weeks to recover from.
Then on Wednesday night, April 16, he seemed to suddenly lose in strength and I managed to get him to bed. From this day forward he began to gradually grow worse and was less and less able to communicate.
Dr. J. P. Dale and wife came the following Sunday afternoon and he labored very faithfully to help him. Apparently he was some better when they left for home at 1:00, Tuesday afternoon, but he grew worse again by night. Early Wednesday morning, we took him to the hospital here in Colorado City, where the doctor pronounced him in a diabetic coma, from which he never recovered even though the blood sugar was brought to normal. At 5:00, Friday morning, April 25, 1980, he breathed his last.
I cannot yet understand the calmness and strength that was given me in this hour, but the Lord is so merciful.
To all of you dear Primitive Baptists and friends who have ministered to us in so many wonderful ways during these hours of sorrow, we cannot thank you sufficiently for all of the goodness that has been extended to us. The beautiful floral offering was so outstanding. Eleven churches sent beautiful sprays besides the many sprays sent from family groups and individuals. We also received some beautiful pot plants for the hospital and home.
Both churches and individuals have opened their purses and sent or given generous gifts of money, including our own dear kindred in the flesh.
Many of your dear people have paid meaningful visits to the hospital and in our home. Calls have come from as far away as Montgomery, Alabama.
Ample food was brought to our home and members and friends provided and served a bountiful meal on Sunday at the. Civic Center here in Colorado City for all who attended the funeral service.
Beautiful sympathy cards and consoling letters have come in from far and near, which have meant so much to us.
For all of these wonderful blessings together with your many prayers, we are indeed grateful to our God, though totally unworthy we are, and we do pray God's richest blessings to abide with each of you.
Mrs. W. R. Dale and family