For the Poor Sermons

*Abernathy, Buddy

ForSermon Nevertheless what God's Word says, I'll do

*Abernathy, Everett

ForSermon The House Of Him That Hath His Shoe Loosed

*Altom, M. A.

ForSermon There Is No Spot In Thee by Elder M. A. Altom

*Altom, M. R.

ForSermon A Properous Man

ForSermon Give Thanks unto the Lord

ForSermon He shall not fail

ForSermon I Pray For Them by Elder M. R. Altom

ForSermon It Is Enough

ForSermon Make us a king

ForSermon The Comforter

ForSermon The Living Word

ForSermon There is a river ...

ForSermon Who hath believed our report? . . . It is a good report!

*Angle, S. E.


*Attaway, R. H.


*Austin, Larry

ForSermon Washing my Net

*Barnett, Clinton C.

ForSermon The Simplicity That Is In Christ

*Bibler, James




*Birch, Mr.


*Bishop, W. A.




*Blackmon, W. J.

ForSermon The Twelve Sons by Elder W. J. Blackmon

*Blackmon, W. S.


*Boen, Freddy

ForSermon We Must Needs Die

*Bolinger, C. J. L.


*Bradley, Ernest


*Bradley, Lasserre

ForSermon Joseph

ForSermon The Scarlet Line In The Window


*Brantley, Kenneth

ForSermon Encouragement

*Broome, L. R.


*Broughton, Allen

ForSermon Pop Test

*Brown, A. E.


*Brown, Barry

ForSermon Faith, Hope, Charity

*Brown, Paul A.


*Bryant, Sammy

ForSermon A Chosen Generation

ForSermon A Spiritual Warfare

ForSermon Be ye holy; for I am holy.

ForSermon Commitment

ForSermon Communion Memorial

ForSermon Continued Stedfastly

ForSermon Humility

ForSermon Is He Alive?

ForSermon Love Must Reign

ForSermon Perfect Love

ForSermon Truth Makes Free

*Burch, J. M.





*Burke, J. L.

ForSermon Bramble (1979, October, November)


*Burris, David

ForSermon Love the Written Word

ForSermon Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

*Buttrey, Frank

ForSermon At the marriage in Cana

ForSermon Behold What Manner of Love

ForSermon Blow The Trumpet

ForSermon Equal Parts

ForSermon Faithfulness established in the heavens

ForSermon God Given Authority

ForSermon God's Binding Oath

ForSermon Help in Prayer

ForSermon I Am Not Ashamed Of The Gospel Of Christ

ForSermon Is accepted with Him

ForSermon It will do to buy but not to sell

ForSermon Many Members - One Body

ForSermon Mercy and Truth; Righteous and Peace

ForSermon Received it; and wherein ye stand

ForSermon Some things God can not do

ForSermon The Calamity Of Moab

ForSermon The Eternal Sonship of Jesus

ForSermon The plight of the lepers

ForSermon The three necessities in Church Worship

ForSermon The Wilderness and the Red Dragon

ForSermon Types

ForSermon When we come up out of these graves, we will know and realize where we are.

*Cagle, Edward

ForSermon Elijah the example

*Caraway, Bill

ForSermon Bones

*Cartwright, Howard

ForSermon Desire For Israel

*Cayce, C. H.





ForSermon An invitation to the hungry and thirsty





ForSermon Behold, I Stand At The Door, And Knock!







ForSermon Faith, Hope, Love

ForSermon FEAR GOD








ForSermon I AM READY




ForSermon Living Water











ForSermon The Fundamental Fact of Christianity



ForSermon THREE LAWS by Elder C. H. Cayce







*Cayce, Hartsel

ForSermon A Contrast in Prayers

ForSermon Better Country

ForSermon Casting all your care upon Him

ForSermon He expounded unto them the things concerning Himself

ForSermon He took our infirmities

ForSermon His Mercy Endureth Forever

ForSermon I Am With You

ForSermon King Solomon by Elder Hartsel Cayce

ForSermon Lord, he whom thou lovest is sick

ForSermon Our Friends Are Yearly Dropping

ForSermon Seek Ye My Face • • •

ForSermon Solomon the Gatherer

ForSermon Some Better Thing

ForSermon The Elect Lady and her children

ForSermon The Vine, The Husbandman & The Branches

ForSermon The Vineyard

ForSermon The Wonderful Works Of God by Elder Hartsel Cayce

ForSermon Uncleanness of Man (1980, February)

ForSermon We Believe . .

ForSermon Wept and Shouted For Joy!

ForSermon What does the Lord require of thee?

*Childers, Paul

ForSermon Be Ye Reconciled to God (1971, June)

*Clayton, J. S.


*Clevenger, Leon H.




ForSermon THE JEW

*Collings, J. L.


*Collins, Bobby

ForSermon Identity Of The Church by Elder Bobby Collins

*Collins, J. C.

ForSermon SEE JESUS!

*Conley, John

ForSermon Total Depravity

*Cook, W. T.


*Crisp, Tobias



*Daily, Earl


*Daily, J. Harvey




*Daily, J. R.


*Dale Jr., J. P.


ForSermon The Struggles Of The Soul


ForSermon What will ye do with Christ?

*Dallas, S. J. B.

ForSermon It Is Enough (1998, May - June)


*Daniels Jr., W. R.

ForSermon That which was written aforetime

*Darity, Cecil



*Denny, S. B.


*Dove, Corvin



*Fay, W.


*Fowler, W. W.


*From Gospel Standard


*Fuller, Loyce

ForSermon God has gloriously triumphed

ForSermon See we have this ministry...

*Fulmer, Deward (H. D.)


*Gadsby, William










ForSermon THE LOVE OF GOD (1954, January)


*Garner, A. H.


*Goble, C. I.


*Golston, H. L.

ForSermon GRACE


ForSermon NOW

*Gosden, J. H.



*Gowens, Clifford

ForSermon Conscience Void of Offence

ForSermon Leprosy

ForSermon Men ought always to pray

ForSermon Singing As A Church Practice

*Green, Adam

ForSermon We see Jesus

*Green, Mark

ForSermon It Is True

*Green, Roland


*Gross, Floy


*Guttrey, David

ForSermon Jesus Christ our High Priest

ForSermon Whose House Are We

*Guy, Frank


*Halbgewachs, Richard (Dickie)

ForSermon Making mention of you in my prayers

*Hall, A. B.

ForSermon Goodness And Mercy

*Hall, S. J.


*Hanover, G. F.


*Hardwick, J. W.



*Hargett, E. W.

ForSermon GOD'S PLAN

ForSermon ONE WAY

*Harlan, Robert

ForSermon The Moral Law of God by Elder Robert Harlan

*Harris, John R.

ForSermon EVIDENCES OF A CHILD OF GOD (1952, August)


*Harter, Gus

ForSermon Defeating Worry

ForSermon Ethiopian Eunuch

ForSermon Fear of old age

ForSermon Free Grace Vs Free Will

ForSermon Free Grace Vs Free Will (1988, March-April)

ForSermon Free Grace vs Free Will (1988, May-June)

ForSermon Free Grace vs Free Will (1988, July-August)

ForSermon Free Grace VS Free Will (1988, September-October)

ForSermon Raising Children

*Harvill, D. D.


*Hatten, W. C.

ForSermon Discouragement

*Hatton, Mr.


*Haymon, J. R.

ForSermon Feed My Sheep by Elder J. R. Haymon

*Hemington, C.


*Henry, Leslie


ForSermon TWO WAYS

*Herd, Elder


*Hildreth, Joe

ForSermon Put That On My Account

*Hill, E. V.

ForSermon Pig Pen Trail

*Holder, J. D.


ForSermon BACCALAUREATE SERMON by Elder J. D. Holder





*Holmes, W. A.


*Hopper, J. L.

ForSermon God Created A Full Grown Earth

ForSermon His Children Shall Have A Place Of Refuge

ForSermon The City

*Houk, A. J.

ForSermon THE KINGDOM OF GOD (1943)

*Houk, H. P.





*Huckaby, Bill

ForSermon My Witness Is In Heaven

*Huckaby, Sonny

ForSermon City of Refuge

ForSermon Consider Him

ForSermon Cycles

ForSermon Encourage Joshua

ForSermon Esther

ForSermon Evidence, Sealed & Revealed

ForSermon It is well!

ForSermon Mercy

ForSermon Rise Up

ForSermon The Elect Lady

ForSermon There is no new thing under the sun

*Huffman, Orvin J.

ForSermon A Great Wonder In Heaven by Elder Orvin J. Huffman (1971, April)

*Hunt, Guy

ForSermon Adoption

ForSermon Blessed is the People

ForSermon Five Senses

ForSermon Green Pastures by Elder Guy Hunt

ForSermon He was born your Saviour

ForSermon In hope of eternal life

ForSermon Jesus of Nazareth

ForSermon Peace

ForSermon Right Thinking

ForSermon The right mixture — Faith and Works

*Hunt, Harold

ForSermon Adoption (1988, March-April)

ForSermon Covenant of Grace

ForSermon God Proved Abraham

ForSermon Have You Suffered An Earthquake In Your Life

ForSermon Job an Eye Witness

ForSermon Mary and Joseph

*Hurst, Doyle

ForSermon A difference between Egypt and Israel

ForSermon Unhappiness Can Be A Blessing

*Isaacs, B.


ForSermon Eternal Life (1993, November - December)

ForSermon Saved Us And Called Us by Elder B. Isaacs

*Isaacs, James

ForSermon A Principle of Sequences

ForSermon Confirmation

ForSermon Drink from the Spring

ForSermon God hath spoken unto us by His Son

ForSermon How Do We Become The Sons of God?

ForSermon How shall we escape

ForSermon Perfecting of the Saints

ForSermon Sanctified

ForSermon When You Pray. . .

ForSermon Who Shall Separate Us?

*Ivey, Mike

ForSermon The Financial Responsibilities of a Christian

*Jackson, Steve

ForSermon Baptized into His death

ForSermon Whosoever Believeth

*Johnson, J. E.

ForSermon Unsearchable Riches

*Johnson, Vernon

ForSermon Repentance (1999, January - February)

*Judd, Cecil

ForSermon Patterns

*Kitchens, J. E.





*Land, Avery


*Lassetter, Turner

ForPoor EXPERIENCE (Turner Lassetter) (Not a sermon - too good to not index IMO)

*Lawrence, Ronald

ForSermon Book of Job by Elder Ronald Lawrence

ForSermon Predestination & Providence, Perseverance & Preservation by Elder Ronald Lawrence

*Layne, D. A.

ForSermon Like Unto A Wise Man by Elder D. A. Layne

*Lewis, G. W.


*Lillard, Milton

ForSermon BE STEDFAST, UNMOVEABLE! (1958, January-February)

*Lord, Ben

ForSermon IT IS DONE

*Lord, J. B.

ForSermon Bite, Chew and Enjoy It by Elder J. B. Lord (1979, December)

*Lowrance, V. F.



ForSermon High Places

ForSermon Precious Things



ForSermon THE GOSPEL OF THE SON OF GOD (closing remarks by Elder L. C. Swanner on "Gospel Brings Life To Light"

ForSermon The Prodigal Son

*Lowrance, Virgil


*Magers, Dale

ForSermon I beseech you brethren

*Massey, H. V.



ForSermon ON A HILL



*Maughmer, R. E.


*McClellan, J. L.

ForSermon Come And See

*McWhirter, Grady

ForSermon The God of All Grace

*Metzinger, W. R. (Randy)

ForSermon Esther Was Made Queen

ForSermon The Love Of Christ

*Milholen, Elmer


*Mills, C. M.


ForSermon A New Covenant


ForSermon The Coming Of The Lord


*Monsees, J. A.


ForSermon I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT by Elder J. A. Monsees



*Montgomery, Mike

ForSermon Bread, Wine, Washing Feet

ForSermon Hope Deferred Maketh the Heart Sick

*Montgomery, Tim

ForSermon Press On

*Mozingo Jr., Lonnie

ForSermon Baptism

ForSermon Crosses

*Mozingo Sr., Lonnie

ForSermon Jonah, you can run, but you can't hide

ForSermon Prayer

ForSermon Suicide

ForSermon What is the second death?

*Mozingo, O. R.


*Murray, W. L.


*Myers, J. M.

ForSermon Afterwards, He Appeared

ForSermon An Earthquake by Elder J. M. Myers (1979, November, December)

*Nall Jr., Wayne

ForSermon Jeremiah Sunk In The Mire

*Newman, Jerry

ForSermon What Think Ye Of Christ

*Newton, John





*Norman, M. A.


*O'Neal, J. H.


*Parker, Danny

ForSermon Teach Us To Pray

ForSermon The Word

*Parks, Guy

ForSermon Be a witness to Christ

ForSermon Jesus Is Something

ForSermon The Storms Of Life by Elder Guy Parks

*Patrick, Houston

ForSermon If a man seem to be religious

ForSermon Repent And Be Converted

ForSermon What Is Worship?

*Patterson, Jeff

ForSermon Spiritual Warfare

*Payne, Glenn

ForSermon Bringing Up Our Children

ForSermon Every man did that which was right in his own eyes

ForSermon Power Over All Flesh

*Pearsall, Mr.

ForSermon TAKE HEED (1949, August)

*Phillips, Mitchell

ForSermon All Things by Elder Mitchell Phillips

ForSermon The Joy of the Whole World

*Pilkington, G. L.


*Popham, J. K.




*Potter, Lemuel


*Pyles, David

ForSermon Charity

ForSermon The Pharisees

*Pyles, Sonny

ForSermon Covetousness

ForSermon Education — Free Grace — Common Sense

ForSermon Salvation and Deliverance

ForSermon Soul Saving

ForSermon The Time of The Second Coming

ForSermon To Whom Do We Preach And Where Do We Preach?

*Rakes, J. R.

ForSermon As far as the East is From the West

ForSermon Beautiful for Situation

ForSermon Fellowship (1992, May - June)

ForSermon He also Called

ForSermon He that is Least in the Kingdom

*Ratcliff, C. L.


*Respess, J. R.


*Richards, Mark

ForSermon Very Christ

*Riggs, W. R.


*Rinehart, C. P.

ForSermon God Saw, Wondered, Brought, Sustained by Elder C. P Rinehart

*Ritch, Armond

ForSermon Rise Up, My Love

ForSermon Why is it important to sing the truth?

*Ritchie, Thurman

ForSermon Why Jesus Came

*Robbins, John

ForSermon An Afflicted And Poor People

ForSermon My Kingdom Is Not Of This World

ForSermon Our God

ForSermon Sound Words by Elder John Robbins

ForSermon The Coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ

ForSermon The Less Is Blessed Of The Better

ForSermon The Time of my Departure is at Hand

*Sammons, Wiley


ForSermon Election, Justification, Redemption, Sanctification, Glorification

ForSermon Search The Scriptures



*Sandage, Charles

ForSermon Accepted

ForSermon Appointed unto men once to die


ForSermon He Shall Appear the Second Time

ForSermon It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth

ForSermon Tell No Man

ForSermon The Will

ForSermon Who makes the tree good?

*Sanders, W. J.


*Shutt, W. A.


*Smith, Marty

ForSermon Be Thankful — Be Faithful— Be Prayerful

ForSermon High And Lifted Up

ForSermon Would Have Beens Of The Bible

*Speir, Roy

ForSermon An Incorruptible Inheritance by Elder Roy Spiers (1980, January)

ForSermon Have you been through the fire or warmed by it?

*Staten, Carl

ForSermon Dwelling together in unity

*Stephens, G. A.


*Stephenson, George


*Stump, Ernie

ForSermon Behold I stand at the door and knock . .

ForSermon Happy Are Ye If Ye Do Them

ForSermon I Came As A Spy

ForSermon Psalm 46:1

ForSermon Teaching

ForSermon There is a river

ForSermon What Shall I Render Unto The Lord?

*Sumsion, Sydney

ForSermon OUR ROCK

*Swanner, L. C.

ForSermon A CHARGE


ForSermon Begotten us again unto a lively hope



GOSPEL BRINGS LIFE TO LIGHT (At end of sermon by Elder V. F. Lowrance on ForSermon THE GOSPEL OF THE SON OF GOD)

ForSermon Grace and Salvation


ForSermon Repentance (2000, January - February)

ForSermon The Kingdom

ForSermon The Lord hath chosen Zion

ForSermon THE TESTIMONY OF OUR LORD by Elder L. C. Swanner


ForSermon 'TIS A WONDER!


*Tate, George T.


*Thomas, Gene



ForSermon THE LORD PASSED BY (1954, February)

*Thomas, Mark

ForSermon Lovest Thou Me?

*Thompson, F. E.


*Tilson, C. N.



*Tindall, R. A.

ForSermon Resurrection

*Tolley, Thomas

ForSermon JESUS: THE AUTHOR OF OUR SALVATION by Elder Thomas Tolley

ForSermon Keys of the Kingdom

*Upchurch, R. F.

ForSermon ATONEMENT (1959, March)

*VanSickle, Billy

ForSermon Blessed are they that mourn

*Walker, G. M.


*Walker, George D.

ForSermon Sovereignty of God

ForSermon Zacchaeus

*Ware, C. N.



*Weaver, Elmer

ForSermon The Eye of The Lord Is Upon Them by Elder Elmer Weaver

*Weaver, H. B.

ForSermon Milk, Butter, & Pot Roast by Elder H. B. Weaver

*Webb, C. E.





*Webb, Claud Raymond


*Webb, T. L., Jr.

ForSermon An Handful Of Corn

ForSermon Are you Mourning in your Soul?

ForSermon Do It

ForSermon EVIDENCES OF A CHILD OF GOD (1952, September)

ForSermon Few Days

ForSermon In due season, we shall reap

ForSermon In thy presence is fulness of joy

ForSermon Look unto the hills from whence cometh our help. (Psalm 121:1)


ForSermon NOW (1986, July-August)

ForSermon The Way of the Lord is Perfect

*Webb, T. L., Sr.

ForSermon ATONEMENT (1946, November)


ForSermon COME! COME!










*Wells, James

ForSermon A GOOD MAN

*West, A. D.



*West, Ariel




*Wiggins, Leon

ForSermon Remembering

*Wilcockson, A.


*Wilkinson, Steve

ForSermon Whom say ye that I am?

*Williams, Glen

ForSermon The Lord Interceded

*Wilson, J. R.

ForSermon God's Way Is The Best!

ForSermon Study, Apply, Divide!

*Wilson, R. E.

ForSermon SOWING AND REAPING (1947, October)

*Winston, James

ForSermon God so loved the world . . .

ForSermon Great High Priest

*Wood, A. D.








ForSermon THE KINGDOM OF GOD (1947, January)

*Woodruff, Cecil

ForSermon Ye must be born again

*Wright, W. E.


*Yarbrough, J. D.

ForSermon Will Ye Also Go Away?



A sermon preached by Elder C. H. Cayce, July 28, 1940,
At Sardis Church, near Rolla, Ark.

Brother Clayton quoted an expression from Isaiah which, somehow, arrested my attention. It is found in the sixth verse and ninth chapter of Isaiah. I want to read the fifth, sixth and seventh verses of this chapter, and, if the Lord willing, will try to talk and say some things in connection with the language there recorded. "For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but, this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."

In the fifth verse we have brought to our attention something about the battles that are fought by men in the wars that are waged here upon earth among human beings. This language was recorded several hundred years before the Lord Jesus made His advent into the world. We have not only here something in regard to the battles that are fought by men in the natural wars, but our attention is called to a battle that is different from any of them. "For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood." No one can comprehend this just like one can who had experience main army in a war. There are very few living today who had experience in what is called the Civil War. Most of those who served in that war, either in the Northern or in the Southern Army, are gone. I have heard soldiers talk, telling some of their experiences, who were' in that war and of the confusion and noise in time of battle and of the garments f the slain rolled in blood. Sometimes the dead lay upon the battlefield so thick you could walk over most of the entire battlefield without putting your foot upon the ground, walking on the bodies of those that were slain. "Garments 'rolled in blood." That war would be considered and has been considered as very light in comparison with what was called the World War about twenty-one years ago. Up to that time, perhaps, that was the worst war of modern times. Great numbers were slain and that war, great as it was, was light in comparison with what has been going on in the old country in the last several months, We do not know yet whether this nation of ours will become involved in it before it is over. "Confused noise, and garments rolled in blood." In the battles that are fought like that the captain and officers at the head of the army would be and are absolutely powerless without the aid and assistance of the soldiers who are enlisted in the army. The head of the army, the general, the captain, lieutenants, sergeants, all the officers combined would be utterly powerless and unable to gain a single victory over the opposition without the aid or assistance, the bravery, and the valiancy of the soldiers who are enlisted under them. When the world war was fought and the armistice was signed, if General Foch had said, "Boys; I have fought the battle; I have gained the victory, and I, will give you the benefit of it," the last one of them could have said, and doubtless would, "You did not do any such thing. You did not gain the victory. It is true that you were the general who directed the movements as to what should be done, but we did it and had it not been for our going forward carrying out the instructions and orders as given, the victory could not have been won by you or by the allied army. It was by our work and by our fighting and our valiancy in the army that the victory was won, and the glory of it and the praise for it belongs to us, just as much as it does' to you." In battles of that sort, all of them, the victory over the enemy depends upon the soldiers enlisted in the army.

But here is one that is different from that. "For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood." But this is one that is different. Here's one that is unlike any of them. There has never been any other battle just like this and there will never be another just like this. "But this shall be with burning and fuel of fire." Here is a battle that is not fought by the soldiers who might be enlisted under the banner! Here is a battle that is not fought by the multitude! Here is a battle that is not to be fought by the people! The great Captain, the great General is going to fight this battle alone! He is going to gain the victory all of Himself! The victory being gained in this battle will not depend upon the valiancy, upon the bravery, upon the doing of anything by the people. He shall fight the battle alone! He said of the people there was none to help. They did not help him in fighting this battle. They do not help Him now. This is a battle that now has already been fought. That war is over! There are some people who do not know yet that the war is over—but this war is over ! It has been over nearly 1,900 years. After about 1,900 years there are some people so ignorant they do not know it is over. The battle has been fought and the great Captain of your salvation fought the battle alone! There were none to help!

When the time came for this battle to be fought none of the disciples were there to help Him. The apostles had all forsaken Him and fled. The battle was so fierce, it looks like they. got scared and ran. They had all forsaken Film and fled. I guess the last one of them might have been called deserters right at that time, and one of them was so frightened about the matter that when he was accused. of being one of this Man's followers he said, "I know not the man." They accused him again. A girl came up to him and said, "You are one of them. Your speech betrays you." He cursed and swore and said, "I know not the man." Denied the great Captain of his salvation.

Sometimes we think we are brave. If we were to have trouble similar to that around us today what would we do? Suppose we knew the authorities in
the law would have the right and could arrest us and put us in jail for assembling here today, as we have, to preach the doctrine we try to preach and serve God the way we try to serve Him. Where would you be? Do you think you would be here? I do not know whether I would or not is because I have not been tried. There might be some of us that would say, "we know not the man." But here is the great Captain of our salvation. He fought the battle alone and of the people there was none to help! This battle is different from any other. In order that the victory be won in this battle, it was necessary that the great Captain of your salvation have the power and be faithful and possess the wisdom to know how, and be able and to stay right with it until the victory was won. It has been said that the darkest hour is just before day, and so the darkest hour through which our great Captain went in fighting this battle was just before the day broke. In every natural war we may say that the battle is won, the victory won in the last hour of the battle.

Suppose the last hour just before the surrender of the German Army in the war, the allied forces had turned their back to the enemy and had flown, would they have gained the victory? The gaining of that victory hinged upon and depended upon the final analysis of it in the last hour that the fighting was done. When our blessed Saviour went to the Garden of Gethsemane, just before His crucifixion, He knelt in prayer to the Father three times: "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, let not my will but thy will be done." Suppose He had faltered; and suppose, He had proceeded no further; suppose He had there surrendered and had given it all up, victory would have never been won. The victory was gained in the last hour while He was hanging on the Roman cross—even the Father in glory turned His face away from His darling Son and refused to help Him—He cried out, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me." Then He said, "Into thy hands do I commend my spirit," and bowed His head and gave up the ghost. He was laid in Joseph's new tomb, and at the appointed hour, on the third morning, His body, which had been laid in the tomb, burst the cords of death asunder. He broke open that tomb and came forth therefrom a mighty conqueror over death and the grave.

A battle fought by the great Captain of your salvation alone! Here is a battle that was fought with "burning and fuel of fire," different from any other battle that has ever been fought or ever will be. Now your Captain has fought the battle alone and has gained the victory and gives His little children the benefit of it. "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." He gives you the victory over sin and all that troubles us here in the world.

I grieve many times over the way people do. I grieve many times on account of the way the world does. I grieve many times over the way the Lord's professed followers do when I know that trouble causes division and discord in the church of God. I grieve about it. I mourn on account of it. But what grieves me most and what gives me more sorrow than anything else in the world is my own sin, my own shortcomings, my own misgivings. I get impatient and so many times manifest it, frequently do that, unthoughtedly show my impatience, manifest it. I get impatient at home. I get impatient with our workers in the office. I get impatient with my family. If there is a man in the world that has a woman that is patient, I do. Sometimes I get impatient with her. I confess my own shortcomings, my own misgivings, but thank God, if I am what I hope I am, the Lord will finally give me complete victory over my sins. I cannot gain the victory over them. It has been a battle all of these years. Here is a warfare with the child of God that will continue with him as long as he lives in the world. It is a warfare all along the line. It is a battle. It is a fight every day that we live in the world and we ought to fight that battle valiantly. We ought to be faithful in that.

But, thank God, the victory over sin and over death and everything that is contrary to the happiness of the child of God in the glory land will be given to you and is given to you. Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

"For unto us a child is born." The prophet speaks of this as though it was right then, and yet it was hundreds of years before the blessed Saviour was born into the world. How could he speak of it as present? By revelation and by inspiration of God he could look down through the coming ages and see the event as plainly and as surely and as certainly as though it were already done, and hence he said, "Unto us a child is born." Notice that little word "us." "Unto us a child is born." Not unto everybody, but unto us. Special, in that there is,. has never been a child born into the world but what that child was born into a special family. A little girl was born over there in Thornton this morning, and I am grandpa now. That little girl was not born into every family in Thornton. No, she was not. That child born in Thornton this morning was a girl, but here is a child that was to be a boy. "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." The very first thing that child did this morning was to cry, began to squall, began to cry. If you have ever had a child born into your family, you know when that child cried you were glad. You knew then the child lived. You knew it was a living child and right then rejoicing set up. "Unto us a child is born!" And the child lives!

What family was it rejoiced when that child was born into your home? Would every family rejoice? Other folks might hear about it, and they might have curiosity enough to ask if it were a boy or a girl. But who is it, what family is it, what kinfolks are they that rejoice when they get the news of the birth in that home? Somebody that is kin to other folks? No, those that rejoice are those who are akin to the family. They are the ones who are glad and rejoice when they hear of the news of the birth of that child in the home. "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." Who is it that is made to rejoice and made glad when they hear the news of the birth of this child? It is the kinfolk, It is the family. And this child was born, not to all the families of the earth, but into the family of God. The news brought to the shepherds that kept watch over the flocks by night by the angel, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Now you have got to limit that expression "all people," for it was not glad tidings to King Herod, but to all people that are in that family. "Which shall be to all people." "For unto us a child is born, unto us"—get that, not unto everybody is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord—"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." He was born of the virgin Mary in Bethlehem Judea, The angel said unto Joseph concerning this matter, "She shall bring forth a son." "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." "She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus." That word means Saviour. "Thou shalt call His name Jesus." "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." "Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins." "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." Unto you is born this day. There is fulfillment of it. It is no longer in the future; it is no longer prophetic, but the prophecy has come true; the prophecy has been fulfilled] When? At the right time. "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law." To fight the battle, to gain the victory.

"His name shall be called Wonderful." How many names are applied to Him and every one of them are suitable? Never a name applied to Him but what suited. "Wonderful!" That is one name that belongs to Him. So wonderful that His birth in the world was supernatural. Nothing in all the realm of nature before that nor since, nor ever will be just like it. Born of a virgin who was overshadowed by the power of the most high eternal God. His spirit condescended to come down to Mary of low estate in the world and she was overshadowed by the power of the spirit of the eternal God and brought forth a Son in Bethlehem Judea. Wonderful! He was man. And at the same time He was man, truly and verily man, He was God, God manifest in the flesh, both God and man! "Wonderful!" We cannot explain it! We cannot comprehend it! Our finite minds are too weak. The mind of humanity is too weak to comprehend the great mystery that He was God as well as man. Heaven and earth met together in the person of the Lord Jesus. Wonderful! That heaven would come down, so condescend as to prepare a body in the body of that virgin and combine in Him the divine as well as the humanity and thus make Him a suitable mediator between God and men and lay upon Him the iniquity and sins of all His people, and make Him able to bear them and put them away by the sacrifice of Himself.

He was wonderful in that He was able to manifest Himself hundreds of years before His birth into the world when the Hebrew children were cast in the fiery furnace. It was so hot that those that cast them in were destroyed. Look into that furnace and those that threw them in were burned. The old king looked in and said, "Did not we cast three man bound into the midst of the fire?" "Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." Wonderful!

Not only Wonderful, but Counsellor, one that gives counsel and He never made a mistake in the counsel that He has given. The mistake that is made in regard to the counsel He has given is by us not following the counsel, nor following the instruction that He gave. How many times are you perplexed? How many times do we encounter things that are puzzling? How many times do we, in our travels along the way, meet with and come in contact with things and we wonder how we should do, the way we should go? Brother, the best thing in the world we can do is to find what the Lord has counselled. A Counsellor that has never made a mistake. He knows all about every trial and every circumstance and every condition that we meet with in life. The counsel He gave and does give is always right! We sometimes get into trouble, and we go to some brother for counsel. He may give you the best advice he can, and yet he may be mistaken about it. Not so with this Counsellor. Oh, how I miss the counsel, the advice of my precious father and mother. Father was called away thirty-five years ago the fourth Sunday in next month. So many times I have gone to him and asked for counsel and advice. I would not know what to do. I would not know what would be best to do. Father always gave good counsel and good advice, the very best he knew. Many times I went to that precious old mother and asked for counsel and advice. Mother was always ready to give the best counsel and advice she could. But, father and mother might have been mistaken. I miss them yet, and I suppose I will continue to miss them as long as I live in the world. So many times, when I would start away from home to go on a preaching tour, and when I would tell mother goodbye, she would put her arms around me and say, "Be careful what you say and be careful, what you do." Counsellor. But here's a Counsellor that has never made a mistake! Here is one whose counsel is always good and wholesome. If we would always follow that counsel, the counsel He has given, how much better off we would be.

"The mighty God," and yet He died on Calvary's Cross. But let me tell you that He laid down His life, He, Himself. He said, "I lay down my life." "No man taketh it from me, but I lay, it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." Pilate and Herod and all that wicked mob that were gathered together against. Him, that desired to take His life, they did not do it. It is true they crucified Him, they nailed Him to the rugged cross between two thieves, one on the right and one on the left, but when they came to the thieves they were not dead, but when they came to the mighty God He was dead already. "I lay down my life." Able to lay down His life and take it again. The very fact that He rose again is a manifest evidence and undisputable fact that He was the mighty God, more than man. God manifest in the flesh, the Son of God! There is not a man in the world, I don't care who he is nor what his attainment may be, nor what his research may have been in the realm of science, there is not a man in all the wide world who can dispute the resurrection from the dead a living man! And He proved He was raised a living man. The mighty God. "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given." Does the news of His birth bring gladness to you? If so, you are a member of the famly. He is given to you, the mighty God, crucified for you, laid down His life for you, went down in the tomb for you, ascended for you and is making intercession for you.

"The mighty God, The everlasting Father." Not just an earthly father, but an everlasting Father. He gives you everlasting life and He said while He was in the world, "Because I live you shall live also." While John was on the Isle of Patmos this mighty God appeared to him and said, "I am He that was dead. Behold I am alive forever more." He arose from the dead, victorious over death and the grave. He fought the battle alone, gained the victory. "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." "The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Peace, peace. Can you tell me what is sweeter and more delightful than peace? There are some people that are strange folks. It seems the greatest delight they have is when they are in a fuss with somebody. But, there are some of us in the human family that there is nothing greater than peace and quietude. When there is peace in a community, neighbors are not fighting, they are not quarreling with one another. That is a good community in which to live. I delight to live in a community where they are in peace. A home that is in peace is a good home. The furniture may be out of date ; the dishes may be somewhat dilapidated and broken, but if there is peace in that home it is a delightful place. The house may be old; the roof may leak; there may be cracks in the wall where the winter wind comes through so it is hard to keep warm in the winter time, but if there is peace it is home; and it is delightful. You would rather be in that home than any other place in the world. Peace and quietude. How delightful that is! How pleasant it is! It is peace! Peace in the state and peace in the nation and peace in the world. Lord, grant to give us peace. Oh, may the Prince of Peace give peace to the world. May He grant to continue to give peace to our nation. Peace, peace and quietude. "My peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." He is the Prince of Peace, the only one that can give peace that passeth understanding.

When the blessed Saviour found you, the first time you remember to have ever realized in your heart that He was your Saviour and after He has come to you in the person of His Spirit along life's way when dark clouds come to you, what peace filled you, what joy filled your heart! Peace, peace with God. Peace with heaven. Peace with His humble poor. How delighted you were! How happy you were! When troubles come, when sorrows come, when afflictions come, your head swims and you are dizzy and sick and all that, but the blessed Saviour comes in the power of His Spirit and whispers peace to your soul. It is all right. Praise be His name! He is the Prince of Peace!

When you stand around the bedside of loved ones an 1 death is preying upon the moldering frame and hovering, as it were, between life and death, wondering if the Lord will spare the sick one, you are made to feel: "I want to be reconciled to Him. Thy will be done." Peace, Peace. When loved ones are taken away and you follow their bodies to the burying-ground, and we see them confined to the narrow limits of the tomb, we go away from that place, heart-broken and sad, but peace comes. Peace. The Prince of Peace. There will be seasons of peace along life's pathway while you live in the world. Thank God, in yonder world the peace will be uninterrupted—no sorrow and no trouble, no heartaches.

In heaven above where all is love
There'll be no sorrow there.

Peace everlasting. Your voice will be tuned to sing His praise "not unto us but unto thy name." "For thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." May this be your happy ldt. "Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." May the Lord bless you.



A sermon preached by Elder J. M. Burch, of Eudora,
Arkansas, at San Marcus Church, Luling, Texas, June 4, 1948

As I come before this people, this afternoon, to try to speak to you in the name of our God, I come in behalf of the interest of San Marcus Church and that only. If indeed and in truth, the Lord is in the matter, then, I am happy to return again to worship with you, while we live on this earth. I have enjoyed this meeting up to now. Right now I am thinking of what I heard Elder Willie Blackmon say. I want to say it in just a little different way than the way he said it. He said, "If you can, I ask an interest in your prayers that if it can be God's will that I may preach to you. He said, "some of you might not want me to preach and if you don't want me to preach, I know you could not pray for me to preach." Now, if you can't pray for me at this time, that if it can be God's will that I speak to you, in the name of God, I pray that you can at least pray, that God's will be done. If you are, at this time, in such a condition that you can't pray for God's will be done, I pity the condition that you are in. That is all I want to say about that.

I remember a statement I heard Elder Cayce say one time. He said as he came before the people that he didn't need a text. He said he needed a subject matter and the grace of God to enable him to treat upon that subject matter. I have a subject matter and I trust that it shall be the will of God, that I can speak Scripturally upon the subject matter. Before I begin I want to read something--if I haven't. forgotten where it is. I might be able to take a Scripture and go most any place ; if you will allow me to do like I have heard some do, preach another gospel which is not another but a perversion of the gospel. I want to show you that, but before I do that, it doesn't make any difference what I may say to you, unless I say it in accord with the teachings of the gospel. But if I am able to do that, and you live up to it, then we might have a profitable waiting before the Lord. I read in the Bible about a man that the Bible says "went straightway and hanged himself." I read in the Bible "go and do thou likewise." I have heard some things—I am after nobody but my people, and I am not after them, I trust to hurt them, and I have heard of some things taught, and I am not referring to this place either-- that would have just as much consistency in it :u that. That is the reason that the church becomes divided, because men do that thing.

I heard a song awhile ago that arrested my attention. Somebody said "I love Jesus." When I heard that song I remembered something in the Bible that brought the teachings of the Bible to my mind. You might not want me to say it, hut if you say that I ought not to say it, somewhere, then I might say that it ought not to be in the Bible. Don't you get the idea that I think that I ought to say it, now, to be just saying something. I don't; think that any man is justified in that, but if I say what I say, for the benefit of the church of God, then I can stand justified before God for the saying and in the saying of it. "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother," what does the Bible say about that person? What did the Bible say I was? How many know what the Bible says that he is? "If a man say, I love God and hateth his brother, he is a liar," that is what he is. There is no use to studder, to try to say what I am, it says that I am a liar. You know that Burch did not put it there ; Burch found it there, and I believe that it is God's Eternal Truth. If I say that I love my God and I hate my brother, the Book says that I am a liar, that's what I am. You might fool me, you might fool your pastor, you might fool everybody that you come in contact with, but you do not fool God. Don't you mistake that. The Bible says that man looketh on the outward appearance, and you can easily see me that way, but not so with God. God looketh upon the purpose and intent of the heart and judges men according to it.

Now I want to tell you this, sometimes my wife and I talk about these things, when we don't have anything else to talk about. I was glad Brother Kyle mentioned, from a numerical standpoint, about the work that is being done in the land, the people, whose names he called, are not the only people that are looking to the numbers. There is that group of people, in what we call the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, doing the same thing. We need men that will be straightforward in what they do, and do it so we can have perfect confidence in the things they are doing. Have confidence, also, that what we are doing are the things that the Lord would have us to do and the way He would have us do it. I wish we would! That thing was put to a test one time. Sometimes we might become just as they did in that day. The Lord had dirrected a man to deliver His people. They were engaged in a warfare. The church is, has been and will be engaged in a warfare. The thing I would have you brethren understand is: In the church of the 'Lord Jesus Christ we will have to wage it in our day, we will have to wage the warfare and we will have to do it by faith. On that occasion there was an army that was numerically above their strength. The Lord looked upon His servants' army and said that you have too many. You have got too many soldiers. He put them to a test. He looked upon them the second time and said that you still have too many. You can speculate on that all you please. I don't care anything about your speculation. I am only interested in the subject matter in the lesson. He told them, by inspiration, what to do —just like He tells all the rest of us. He looked upon them and said again that you still have too many. I want to get this over ; and I am especially interested, right now, in these servants of God, that we, as a people, may agree. It was necessary that they, in that day, agree. They looked about, as to say, "What does He want us to do." Listen, my brother, He told them, He has told me, He has told you, and He tells His people in every age, as a child of God what to do, not only has He told us what to do, He has told us exactly how to do it. He told us in this Bible—to build according to the pattern shown us. Brother West, when we do these things I am not afraid of what men may say or do to us. Now don't think that I have not been tried; I have. But "if God be for us who can be against us ?" There is but one way that you can answer that question and that is, if God be for you, there is no man that can be against you. That is exactly what He is teaching. In that thing, He told them what to do, and, after telling them what to do, He told them how to do it. In telling them how and what to do, He told them that they might know that they were not fighting their battles, but that He was fighting the battles for them. Now, the truth about these things are: We ought to be up and doing the things that God has told us to do. Brethren, as long as we come in our own strength we will lose our battle; but as long as we come in the service of God with an eye single toward God for our good and. His glory we will not lose the battles. We are not going to lose that kind of a battle. I am not uneasy about it, because one person, by the help of God, can put a thousand to flight ; and two can put ten thousand to flight. I do not care anything about their strength in a numerical standpoint. One time a preacher came to me, and tried to get me to agree to do what he wanted done. I would not agree with him. He said, "You know that I have the strength of the church." I said, "What do I care about your majority, I have the Bible and you know it ; and I am standing by it, God being my helper." I said, "The majority took and crucified my Lord." What do you think about it? There is no use of going over and over these things, for the Bible says "let patience have a perfect work." You know what the Bible says about these kind of fellows. I will not hear you saith your God.

I remember reading, one time, about a counsel in the Bible, where a group of people wanted to do away with the apostles ; and there rose up a man and said, "Refrain from these men, and let them alone : for if this counsel or this work be of men it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot over throw it ; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God." You know that I had to look at that for my own personal benefit since I have been a member of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I remember, one time, a man was teaching the people of God and said, "Some," and I have found this out by experience, "Preach Christ even of envy and strife ; and some also of goodwill: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds," some in pretence or in the truth, nevertheless Christ is preached. , Now, people, I have a personal interest in this thing. I want to get the benefit of it while I am doing it. That is what I am interested in and should I come to San Marcus Church and preach Christ for envy or if I should preach Christ for any other reason, I would be preaching Christ. Would I not? If not, why not? Because He is the Truth, the Way and the Life. If I preach Him under the conditions mentioned before, would I not be preaching Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life? Will I get the benefit out of it while I live? No. I will not need the enjoyment after while. I need it now while I live.

I have had folks to tell me it could not be this way —and .one of them was a Primitive Baptist preacher. He said it could not be like what I am about to read to you, and I didn't believe it then, and I still don't believe it. I believe it can and ought to be as the Book says it is. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord." We need not guess how Paul got in that. He was called in that fellowship. That's the way he got in there. I remember reading in connection with this call that "the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." Now I want to tell you something else: There are not enough preachers in this world to get anymore in the call than the ones He called. The Bible tells us that He is faithful. I had an uncle that gave me a lot of books to read, when I was a little boy. I was vitally interested in my uncle; one of his legs was shorter than the other, and for that reason he had to hop along when he walked. I began to read the bible ; and I began to see people not acting like the Bible taught. They were acting like the Lord's ways were unequal. Did you ever see anybody act that way—like they did not think the Lord's ways were equal? Well, I can tell you how you can find out when they are doing that. They do not believe that God will do what He says He will do. That's what they are acting like when they begin to say that the Lord's ways are not equal. I read in the Bible where God says that your ways are not equal. The Lord's ways are equal. We may do something today in the service of God and turn around and do something tomorrow, but God does not do that. Don't you try to get it off on Him either, because He is of one mind. Because He is of one mind, as the Bible says He is, His ways are always equal. He will do just exactly what He says He will do every day. There are some things in the Bible that He tells us to do ; and some things He tells us not to do. Some things He says He will do. When we do what He tells US to do, we can expect Him to do for us what He says He will do.

I want you to remember that one of my preacher brethren said it couldn't be this way. I am not saying that it is that way, but I am saying it ought to be that way in the church, and when the church is doing what God told them to do it will be nearer like that than any thing I can conceive of. I want to read where Paul says "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light." Now when did Christ promise to give light? When the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ awakes from the dead, from any condition or inactive state she is in and does the things God requires of her hand. I was glad that, the brother mentioned something about the Bible awhile ago. Now I want you to get this and gel, it just as it ought to be : The Bible contains the things for, you and for me to do. I am wondering if it were just sufficient . for Him to give us the Bible, if we do not ever find out what there is in it, that we ought to do ? Why certainly not. God was not only so good to give us the Bible, but, also, the things by which we may be benefited by doing the things it teaches. I found a student, one time, more interested in the Bible than most folks are today, because I found him reading it. God was interested in him, too, to such an extent that He was ready to assist him. He had a fellow go down there to do what was needed. He had a minister there. It was needful for him to be there. I have heard more complaints of churches following ministers in Texas than any place I know of. I have never complained of them following the minister, but it has been so much of the time the kind that they follow. That's what I am complaining about. It is all right for a church member to follow a minister, as long as he follows what the Bible is teaching, and, if you will stay awake, you can see when the man leaves the teachings of the Bible, if you have ever been introduced to it. When the preacher leaves the blueprint, you leave the preacher ; I don't care how long he has been preaching ; for when he leaves the blueprint, he is not going to do you anymore good. You stay with the blueprint. When this minister got in the chariot that the child of God was riding in, and he was reading his Bible, the apostle asked him, "Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man guide me?" Then how needful it is that the people of God be guided correctly, for they need instruction and guiding. No wonder the apostle should say, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

Now, "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship." "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you ; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." It can be that way, but it is not that way. It can be that way, and it ought to be that way. The reason that it is not that way: We are not letting it be that way. We are to blame for that. If we are not to blame for it, then is it not of a truth that God's ways are unequal? It is of a truth that His ways are unequal if He is to blame for it. God is not the blame for it because His ways are equal, and there is but one place that you can put the blame for it; and that is on the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, the only thing that we can say is that we are to blame for it. We ought to be perfectly joined together hi the same judgment ; and there ought not to be any divisions among us. There are divisions and there will be divisions, 'because the preachers and the churches have left the blueprint of God—that is the reason for it. When a preacher comes, I don't care where he comes from, if he does not have his eyes singled on God, but that somebody follow him, he is not in the service of God for the benefit of the children of God, but for himself. I remember that a minister in another state was excluded from his home church. I read in a book that he was going to set up him a new church. I became very interested to see what it would be like. I remembered that Christ set up the church when He was here on earth and gave her the laws to be governed by ; and if we stay within the teachings of those laws we will be benefited by the same. I know that is right.

Now there are but two subject matters to my mind, and I am talking about the subject matters that are of greatest importance to the children of God. One of them is how we become the children of God. The other one is how we ought to conduct ourselves in the church of God, as the children of God. I think the last one is the thing we stand in the greatest need of today. To my mind there is but two reasons laid down in the Bible why the children of God should study. I would not know which of the two to put .first, but for me this one is of the greatest importance: The Apostle Paul said, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." That is for the minister to do, that God has called. He should study the Bible to be able to rightly divide the Word of truth when he treats upon a subject matter. Then, while he is treating upon the subject matter he should use such soundness of speech that the mouths of the gainsayers may be stopped. Make it so sound that it cannot be denied. Now the other reason is that we may know how to behave ourselves in the house of God. As I told my folks back home, this is one of the most needful things for us to do in this crucial age. This is not only applicable to the ministry but to every individual ip the church. But it is especially to the minister, so he might know how to conduct himself in the house of God. I am thinking right now of some advice that an older minister gave a younger minister in an early day ; if it were applicable in that day, it is in this day : That I should make full proof of my ministry. I have thought of that thing, as I have other things, and that I may be correctly informed about it. One time I was in a conversation with a minister on this thought. and he seemed to think that all that was needful was: How to behave in the stand. You know I can make full proof of it sometimes by having a little patience: by relating an experience of grace; and, also, by not trying to have my way in everything that comes up. There are somethings that are needful. One is that we contend earnestly for the faith, if we have to stand alone in that thing. The Apostle Paul said, "That at my first answer no man stood with me." It is needful at times that we stand that way, and let patience have a perfect work. I think that we ought to recognize the fact that the minister is held accountable unto God.

If I come to San Marcus Church, and, in my coming, I have not the glory of God uppermost in my mind, do you think God will pay me off? If I begin to dig a ditch for my brother, it will do for me just exactly what the Bible says it will do for me. I have had people to dig ditches for me. You may not have had them dug for you. I did not get scared when I saw them. I may have had some dug that I didn't see. I didn't get scared, either, because I read in the Bible : He that diggeth a pit shall fall in it. I have seen these pits dug, and I have seen the fellows that dug the pits fall in them. Every man that digs a pit for his brother is going in it, don't you forget that. If you dig a pit, do not tell me that somebody else will fall in it, for I know better. You may dig a pit and try to tell me that you did not dig it, and try to fool me, but there is one thing sure : You can not fool God. You can not fool God, and when you dig the pit, you are going in it. Did you know the Bible says that it is better to suffer for doing right than to suffer for doing wrong? Did you ever read that?

I want to read you another text, and it is just as contrary to nature as it can be. That is one reason I get so much good out of it! "Be ye happy and exceedingly glad when men say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name sake." You know when people say things falsely about me, I want to do something about it. If I would let nature have its work that is exactly what I would do. I would take it into my own hands and go to doing something about it. Suppose now that Lelon gets after me, contrary to the teachings of the Bible. Now, I, by the understanding of the teachings of the Bible, know Lelon is going to fall in if he does not change his course. Now Lelon continues in the course that he is pursuing, and that to do injury to me. After awhile God begins to take vengence against him, and God is going to do it, don't you think He will not. Suppose, when He begins to take His vengence, and pay Lelon his just reward I stand back ; I am so glad of it, I don't know what to do. Do you know what the Bible said about that? How many know what the Bible said about that? It tells me to beware lest God take it off of him and put it on me ; and don't you think He won't either! Now the thing I ought to do is to feel sorry for him, and ask the Lord not to lay the sin at his charge, for he knoweth not what he doeth. If I was as faithful with him as I ought to be, I would go to him and try to save him from the error of his way, and not tell it to everybody in the country. Then I would stand justified before God. Then I can say : I have saved a soul from death and hid a multitude of sins. Do you mean save a soul from Hell? Why, certainly not. He is going to die spiritually if he persistently does the things that are contrary to God.

You know I have seen everything—if I haven't, I don't want to see anything anymore in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have not been living a long time, but I have been watching for a good while, the workings of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know something about what they will do when they get into the flesh. I have seen them in the flesh. Yes, I have seen that; and I read in the Bible where : "They that are in the flesh cannot please God." It does not make any difference how long they have been in the church, they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Now as long as they are in that condition they will not be doing the things that are pleasing unto God. But if they will come back and humble themselves in the service of God, get their Bibles and go to work at the things that pertain to the kingdom of God, they will have rejoicing with themselves and not another. You know I want that for it will do me good while I live in the world. Now, I am interested in this church. When I come back I want to find it still here. I don't care how long it is before I get back, I want to find this church here. There is another thing I want to find, when I get back down here. I want to find the church members here—living in fellowship one with another. If I cannot come down here and find you in fellowship with one another, I had just as soon not come— that is the way I feel about it. I would not get any benefit out of it, and you would not get any enjoyment out of the service of God.

There are some things that are needful for me to do in order for me to be in fellowship with God. Somethings that I need to do every day I live in the world. One thing, let me take heed unto myself—do that first "and unto the doctrine ; continue in them ; for in doing this thou shall both .save thyself and them that hear thee." Now the only reason that a man will find himself out of the conditions of that text is because he did not take heed to himself. That is exactly why he gets lost. If he has taken heed unto himself and unto the doctrine and continued therein, it does not make any difference if there is not a person in the world that has listened to him ; he has, at least, saved himself. He has done that much any way. I believe that; and I expect to be saved just as long as I am doing what is taught in the text. Just as long as I take heed unto myself, unto the doctrine, and continue therein, I am going to save myself. I am not going to become a child of God by doing the things of that text. Why, certainly not. Not long ago I was in conversation with a brother with whom we have not been agreed, when it comes to the doctrine and practice of the church. After discussing these things, we were not as far apart as we thought we were. It was just, mostly, a little misunderstanding. A great portion of our troubles are just little imaginary things anyway. How many here know Elder Markham? I remember a lesson Elder Markham, from over here in Texas, taught one day about what a brother had said about a preacher brother ; and later denied saying it. Brother Markham was kind of a large fellow, and looked like he might do what he wanted to with a little fellow. One day the brother, a little fellow, got between where Brother Markham was plowing and his house. Brother Markham had to go right out by him for lunch. He did not want to do it. He plowed so long that he could hardly stand up from being so hungry. So he said, "I am going to take out my mule, and go over there and give that fellow the whipping of his life. That is what I am going to do." He went over to where the fellow was and said, "What in the world is the matter with you?" He said, "Brother Markham, what in the world do you mean ?" Brother Markham said, "In about three minutes, instead of whipping that old fellow, I had him in my arms." He just had an imaginary trouble all the while.

You know that is the truth with most of our troubles. We get something in our mind and we go somewhere else—we want to talk about it. I remember a man said one time : That most of us do not have sense enough to tell what the other fellow said, anyhow. Do you all agree with that? Most of us do not have sense enough to tell what we hear somebody else tell. That is the reason things get so big when folks begin to talk. Let something get started in the church that does not amount to a thing in the world, and let it make two or three rounds—Fellowship is broken in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. You can not bring a thing up in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ but what you can find the cause for it, and the answer of how to get rid of it. If you have something that is troubling you, and it just keeps on troubling you, it is because you don't try to find out the means to get it out of your ranks. It will tell you how to do it. That is the trouble about that. The Bible says that "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out." Did you ever read that? "Where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth." If you have any talebearers around here, and there is strife in the church, you can get rid of them by dealing with them like the Book says. You get the talebearers out, and, just like where there is no fuel, the fire goes out, strife will cease. I. remember being in conversation with an old preacher, who was pastoring a church where the members were not doing just like they ought to have been doing. He was preaching and trying to get them to do right. He had been preaching duty for four or five months. The patience of the people, on this thought, was beginning to wear out. Near the close of one of his discourses and old sister rose up and said, "Pour it on them. They have been talking about me." She was the one who had been strewing the strife all the time. Did you ever see anyone get in that position ? In a conversation with an employer the other day he said that one of his employees began to talk about another member of the firm; telling him how bad the man was, and what he was doing. The employer became a little vexed. He handed this man a pencil and paper, and told him to write his charges down and sign his name to it. The employee said, "No." The employer said, "Well then close up your mouth and quit talking about the man, for I am not going to say anything to him unless I can substantiate the charges." This fellow knew so little, that he would not put it down in writing, and that is the way the church ought to do. If I start to talking about one of the members of my church, the church ought to expect me to prove what I say. If I am not prepared to do that, I ought to keep my mouth shut until I can do it.

I will tell you about a little incident that happened over in Arkansas. I am sure it would not have happened to anyone down in Texas. A fellow was going to build a house. He went out into the woods on a hot summer day to rive him out some boards. You folks down here in Texas may not know what he was doing, but he was getting material to cover his house. He went over there one day to get his boards, and he found a member of his church carrying the boards off. Now what do you think he ought to have done about that? He did not say a word about it then. So in about ten years after that, the man was brought up in church on the charge of stealing. And this man, who saw him take off his boards, said, "Now what about my boards you stole ten years ago?" If we would practice the spirit of that, we would have less strife in our churches today. If I begin to talk about a brother, to someone, and he ask me to prove what I say ; and I tell him I can not, he ought to tell me to keep my mouth shut. Now, if I hear something on my brother and it is of such a nature that I can go to him and talk to him about it and correct the thing, that is what I ought to do about it. If I get it corrected, the other members do not need to know anything about it. That is the way it ought to be. If anyone is doing any other way, they are not doing according to the blueprint laid down in the Bible.

Now, if I have made you mad and what I have said is unscriptural or out of place or out of time, I am willing to apologize to you. But I tell you one thing, what I have said has been strictly in the interest of San Marcus Church. No other reason on earth have I said it. I make mistakes and have made mistakes, for I'm not perfect ; and I know the other man is not either. I am interested in the welfare of this church. I remember one time some one had something to say about the little foxes ; and he told somebody to do something about them. The reason he wanted them to do something about them was because he knew that when he went to gather the fruit, there would not be any, because of the little foxes. It is the little things like that, that we allow to come into the church that destroy our joys, our peace, and our happiness. I know that is right. He says, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman." "I am the vine, ye are the branches :" and "every branch in me that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh it away." That is what the Bible says about it. If we continue in the service of God, we must bear some fruit, because God is not slack concerning His promises as some men count slackness. Now listen, if you are here and not a member of this church, and you have the opinion it does not matter what we teach, or what we say, or what we do just so we are in some kind of service, I will ask you one question : If there is not a false vine, then why did He say, "I am the true vine ?" He says, "I am the true vine" and that teaches emphatically, to my mind, that there is a false vine. Now if, by the grace of God, I am enabled to see the true vine, and I get into the true vine and He abides in the true vine, it is of necessity, if I stay in the true vine, I must bear some fruit. God will be honored and glorified in this, and I will have rejoicing to myself. I love the true vine. I heard Elder G. A. Banks, of Newton, Mississippi, say, "If I did not feel like right now I was in the true vine, I would begin looking for it, but inasmuch as I am in the true vine, the blueprint is laid down in the Book what for me to do."

One time one of my friends, at home and he had a reason for coming to me, came to me and said, "You know the church is not functioning as she ought to, according to the teachings of the Bible." You know Brother West, I could not answer him, for my life, because you know we are not functioning like we ought to. He then said to me, "Jesse, why don't .you turn it loose and come on and go with us boys." I said, "If I had not found any Scriptural reason for not turning it loose, I would come along and go with you boys, but if I am what the church of God says I am, I am commanded, in the Bible, "to strengthen that which remains." That is what God has enjoined upqn me and I am willing to do that. I am interested in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to see her prosperous ; I want to see her at peace ; and I want to see the members of the church doing the things they ought to do unselfishly. That is what it takes in the service of God. If I become selfish in it, that I am looking out for Burch's interest and not in interest of the church, I will destroy myself and all that go with me. Now, listen folks, the Lord Jesus Christ has taught you; He has established His Church in the world; He has given unto us the Book of instruction where it is ; and, also, how we can enjoy the things of it while we are living in the world.

I am going to quote a Scripture. I am not going to try to preach on it now. Jesus asked this question: "Whom do ye say that I the Son of Man am?" Do you know that question is being asked today, both, by practice and by words? The Bible tells us of folks that went for miles to profess God, but by their works denied Him. Have you ever seen that in your life-time? I have. I have seen it in the world, and I have seen it in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. He asked them the emphatic question : "But whom say ye that I am?" "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." That is what Peter told Him, and that is perfect knowledge. That man could say that by faith, believing that He was the Christ, the Son of the living God. Those that come to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder to all those that diligently seek Him. You know that is the only man that can follow Goal—the one who diligently seeks Him, and that is every day of our lives. That is not in a half-hearted way; that is not in the lukewarm way, but he serves Him diligently, wholeheartedly, and unselfishly every day of his life, believing that He is the rewarder of all those that diligently seek Him. He will serve Him as long as he lives in the world.

Now, there is much to be accomplished in service and there is much to be accomplished in prayer. Suppose that I approach God in prayer with enmity or jealously in my heart toward my brother, do you think God will hear my prayer? He says, "If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses ?" What do you folks think about that? If ye forgive not your brother, his trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you, yours. Now if I expect God to forgive me of my trespasses, I must, of necessity, forgive my brother, his trespasses against me. Now what I am about to say, I am not saying it to make you laugh, but I am trying to get a point over to you concerning the forgiving spirit manifested in the Church of God, in my day. My wife has a grandfather, and she has an uncle, and they were the "old school rough type." That is what they were. When they could not settle anything peacefully, they would settle it that old way. Now they went along this way for about sixty years of their life. After awhile they fell out ; they had a little misunderstanding between themselves. I heard Grandpa say one day, he sat in a clay root all one Christmas Eve Day, with his hat over his gun to keep the powder dry, so he could shoot Uncle Nat when he walked by. He said, "Uncle Nat walked through a crack in the fence about three hundred yards from where I was sitting, and I didn't get to shoot him." But immediately after that, Uncle Nat was taken sick. There was a preacher in that country, there is always one ; and he went to talk to Uncle Nat, for he didn't want him to die that way, for he was certain that Uncle Nat would go to Hell, if he died with that spirit. He went over there one day to prevail upon Uncle Nat to send for Grandpa. Uncle Nat did not want to go to hell either. The preacher got him a little bit scared. The doctor had already told him he would die, that he could not get well. Everybody in the country said, "I would have to die, and if I had any business to attend to that I had better get at it." The preacher kept prevailing on Uncle Nat to send for Grandpa. So he finally agreed to do it. Grandpa came over and they talked over all their troubles. About sun down Grandpa had to go home. He walked over to the bed and said, "Uncle Nat, you don't know how glad I am that we are able to settle our troubles before you die." Nat said, "I am glad, too. Now, if I die it stays just like we have fixed it today, but if I get well, it is like it has always been." Have you ever seen any Primitive Baptists act like that? Have you ? Suppose, Dr. Fowler and I have a misunderstanding. I don't say anything about it. Dr. Fowler comes over to my house and we have an understanding; we forgive each other for it. After awhile Dr. Fowler begins to be mean to me again ; and I go way-back-behind the first misunderstanding and I bring that up, too. Did I ever forgive Dr. Fowler ? No, I just played a down right hypocrite. If Primitive Baptists do that way, that is what they do, too. If we have a misunderstanding and we forgive each other for it, it can never come up again. If it does come up again, you just play the part of a hypocrite, and did not forgive him in the first place. Now we ought not to be that way. We ought to be able to forgive and forget it. May God bless you.


A BRIDE AND A WEDDING SUPPER! (1996, January - February)

A sermon preached by Elder C. M. Mills, Charlotte, N. C.,
at Cane Creek Church, Thornton, Ark., April 30, 1950.

"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee ; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine. the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them to the brim. And He saith unto them, draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (But the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse : but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory ; and His disciples believed on Him."—Joh 2:1-11.

Now, a thought is express! When I think of a marriage—I think of a bride and groom coming together—in that sense a wedlock. I have wondered why He mentioned the third day. I believe you will find that two days had elapsed before Jesus came—two dispensations; two years. One year was the old Antediluvian world that had past and gone, and the Law World which Christ came at the end of to put a way sin. Now, the third day this wedding took place—but they had run out of wine. I do not think this lesson teaches that Jesus ever taught anything that would encourage over-indulgence—this lesson does not teach that, do not think of it in that way. Please let us get our minds above that. Wine has never given life. It only stimulates life.

You take back under the Antediluvian days. They had the promise of God. That warmed them up; stimulated their life. Even under the law days, ,they had the law services in which they exercised their faith in God, manifested at different times, and were looking forward to the coming of Christ--that warmed them up; stimulated them. But, even in all of that it was not the comfort we have today. God said, "In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou halt had no pleasure."

The time had come for God to make a change of things. These men who were in the light realized that. Of course, I do not know how many or them were in the dark. I am not talking about the darkness of death. I am talking about the darkness of ignorance. There are two kinds of darkness. One is the darkness of death. Only the light of life can move the darkness of death. Nothing short of that. But the darkness of ignorance, the light of truth often does that. There is a vast difference between the darkness of death and the darkness of ignorance.

Now back to this wedding. You will find later recorded in the Bible there is a Wedding Supper. Just as sure as there is a wedding supper, there is a wedding. I believe the Lord came to His bride—He had a bride. God gave her to Him. "Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife."—Re 21:9. Well, if He has a wife, He is already married to her. You can not have a wife and not be married to her. When did the Lord marry her? He was engaged to her before He came. You know, that is going to run right into election sure as the world. There is no way in the world to get away from it. Well, there was an agreement made. I think that when people get married, there is an agreement to that end. there is the old covenant. But, as long as the man is only engaged to his bride, even though he may love her ever so much, the law cannot demand him to pay her debts, so long as he is only engaged to her. But you let him marry her, and see what takes place.

His bride—this woman that He was engaged to —was in trouble. He did not marry His bride because of what she was, but He married her to make something out of her—just reverse of what we do. We marry a woman for what she is—and ought to be. But He married His bride to make something out of her. As long as they were engaged the law could not demand payment of her debts. In this life, whatever debt the bride has hanging over her, the law can demand that her husband pay-off. Now, we realize He loved His bride, notwithstanding the shape she was in. Did He just begin to love her? "I have loved thee with an everlasting love." When did He begin to love her? There has never been a time the Lord did not love His bride, and there never will be a time. He loved her, even before the world was. He knew before He came. What trouble was His bride in? It was sin, corrupted by sin, even in a state of wrath. Don't get the idea that because He knew it, that brought the thing about. He knew what He was getting entangled with; He knew He could get her out of it by suffering for her sins Himself, but knowing what sin is and the great wrath it brings had nothing under heaven to do with getting His bride in sin. Knowing a thing doesn't make you a party to it.

The Lord knew what His bride needed. Not only that, but He knew what she needed beforehand. That had nothing to do with getting her in trouble, but He knew what to do, and arranged to get her out of that ruined condition. She never would, have been redeemed and glorified for Heaven, unless that debt was paid. He knew that.

"Then said I, Lo, I come : in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, 0 my God : yea thy law is within my heart."—Ps 40:7-8. The law of justice demanded payment. His bride was in trouble. He came to the rescue of His bride, lie did not come too early! He did not come too late! "He came in due time"—at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. When He came into this world, Ho manifested Himself unto His bride. Brother, I believe that. He came unto His own and His own received Him not. His own in what sense? They were already His own in a covenant sense. God the Father gave them to Him. Why did they not receive Him—that is to recognize Him as the Son of God, the only Saviour of sinners, recognize Him in doing and practicing the very thing the Lord God said? They lost sight of the Son of God, in offering up the sacrifices and offerings that the Lord God said for Israel to do under the law, which they were very careful to offer each year. They thought they were being cleansed from sin. They were making the offering. But, the trouble was: They were doing it for the wrong purpose. They had the wrong motive in view.

It is true, God said do it. It was to be done to point to Christ ; to honor Christ, and to make manifest that they believed in the coming of the Son of God, and that He would put away sin. They are doing what He said do, all right, but they got to thinking that was putting away sin. Hence, they did not need Christ. You know, we can do the right thing, but for the wrong purpose.

Nevertheless, when Christ came, they did not recognize Him. The prophet said that He would be born a King! And He was born a King. "A' king shall reign in righteousness." Not reign in wickedness. Charge that to somebody else. "Reign in righteousness, and princes shall execute judgment." He was a King!

The Jews could not realize or recognize the fact that this man, the God-man, born so humbly, commonly called by the Jews a child born out of wedlock, born down there in an ox manger—they did not know anything about it ; there was no "great-big-to-do ;" no big brass band playing, and all that gala; no great billboards plastered all over the country that He was born. No, they said that just was t the fellow they were looking for. He was no meek and lowly ! They could not think that the Messiah, who was to reign, who was to conquer death, and who was to redeem Israel could be so humble and meek, and might say, so quiet. Such a man of sorrow; without any nobility as far as the world was concerned; without anything of splendor. You know, the Jews were actually ashamed of Him. Some of God's children were ashamed. That was a lamentable thing, but nevertheless they were. When He came along telling them: Through me, of me, by me only, people are saved from their sins and will see God.

The Jews thought like this : What we are doing---is it all going to be stopped and some other service take the place of all of this? God said do this. Who are you to tell us to do something else? You know, little children, it takes something besides nature to enable us to change from the Jewish law service and economy to the gospel day and its services. The Lord said, "Behold, I make all things new." He did not say, "I will' make all things new." But, "I am doing it now! I am talking about now." What is there in the gospel service that was brought over from the old law service? It is a new day. If you can not see this new day, little children, you are liable to get off on the wrong idea. For I have made all things new." Now, when He came down from heaven, His bride was tangled up with all kinds of ideas, wrapped up with every kind of suggestion. The Jews were divided up into about Fourteen sects of the Pharisees—One the Epicurias, Sadducees, Essenians, and the Herodians. I do not know all the kinds of schisms and divisions among the Jews; no unity ; everything in confusion.

You know, there have been fellows before who said they were the Christ—"I am the one who does it, and I am doing it." Everyone of them came to naught. ;That would you have done had you lived in that day? lien Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch, the Jews said : "Tell us plainly whether thou be the Son of God or not." He says, "I have told you, and you believe not." You know, He told them why. It is best to tell the truth! He just covered the thing entirely. He told them why they did not believe. Well, what was the reason? "Because ye are not of my sheep." Now, He knew what He was talking about. Does any man know more than He knows? I don't think so. A lot of people could not see that He was the Son of God—humble, kind, never even laughed on the face of the earth. Did you know the Son of God never laughed? He rejoiced once, in soul, but He never laughed on earth ; a man of sorrow, and acquainted with grief. What would you have done, had you seen a man coming along, poor man ; and he had just two hands, two feet, two ears, two eyes —the same as any other man by nature—would you have leaned on him, and depended on him alone to get you to heaven? By nature, you never woad have done it. By nature, no man does it now. Somebody saw Him as the Son of God! Somebody saw Him as the Way, the Truth, and the Light! But, they saw Him with different eyes than natural eyes. Somebody fell at His feet, and said, "Thou art the Holy One of Israel." Somebody said, "Thou art the Son of God." While others said He was a deceivr, and deceived the people. What would we have done,e had we lived then? Had God not revealed Him to us, we would have ignored Him just like they. No man can say that Jesus is the Christ, but by the Holy Ghost.

It is clear to me that it all depends on the anointed of God—this One Man! "None can come to the Father, except through me." Many of those Jews rose up in opposition. He said, What, "doeth this offend you?" That was the question He asked. "Doth this offend you?" They could not see this by nature. You know, when we come to think of it, it is a great subject or thought: Of Him, by Him, through Him, and of Him alone that we will behold God in glory, and be like Him, and be satisfied forever ! Can you see Him that important? Can you see Him that great? Can you see that the whole thing depends on Him?

It is Jesus or nothing! Can you see that? Can you feel that? Do you believe that? Then, you have some other kind of eyes besides natural. You see some beauties that the world has never seen. You have seen something, and God has revealed something to you. And that is, He came to the rescue of His bride.

You know, speaking concerning that bride, the Lord set forth parables. He spoke and illustrated by parables. But I do not think of one parable that teaches regeneration. Regeneration, certainly is taught in the Bible; it is illustrated by the Lord Himself. I am going to call your attention to one thought: Not one time was a dead man ever brought to Christ! He always went to the dead! A lot of sick folks were brought to Him. I can see a great difference between a dead man and a sick man. Regeneration is taught, and this lesson illustrates it. When Jairus' daughter was lying on the bed dead, He went up to where she was, and He only suffered five people to go with Him—John, James, Peter, and the father and mother. When He went into where she was, He did not turn to His apostles and say : "Boys, we have a job to do, let's get busy." He never asked help of anyone. He had no need of help. I wonder why He took them alone ?—So that they could testify to what He was doing: Ye are my witnesses.

They could testify that they did not do anything. The mother could testify: "It was not what I did—I did not do anything." Well, who did? The Lord did it! You know, He reached down with His mighty arm: "Mine own arm bath brought salvation,"—"mine own arm!" He took hold of that child and said, "Damsel, arise." Then He turned to His preachers and said, "Give her something to eat." You know, there is the use of the gospel. It did not have a thing to do with raising the dead. Would not those preachers have had a hard job trying to feed that child before the Lord gave her life. If a man wants that job, he can have it. I have found something better than that. Do you know why the damsel needed something to eat? Why, she was alive and ready to eat—but no food on earth gives life! It comforts, it feeds, it sustains life. You know, those men, who were on the outside, did not see what went on, but they had to recognize that she was alive.

Perhaps some said: The preach was there. Maybe, he had something to do about it. That is guessing. I think there is a lot of guessing in the world today. But the true witness will tell you the fact: The Lord did it! The Lord called His preachers to feed her after He gave her life. I believe there is somebody talking that way today. Maybe, there is somebody telling you those things now. That is a lesson of regeneration.

You know, over there a little bit later, there was a wedding supper. The Lord sent out His servants to call somebody to this supper. There had already been a marriage. There was no doubt about that. That wedding supper is the old gospel supper. That is the wedding supper.

The governor of the feast was astonished to see the best wine saved to the last. Children, you have the best wine of any dispensation until now ; far above what they had before the old Antediluvian world closed out ; far above what Joshua and all those men had, even down through the law world. You have the best wine of the third day ! That is the gospel day. It stimulates life, encourages you. Whenever you sit under the proclamation of the gospel, doesn't it encourage you to take hold and go on in the service; because, your labor is not in vain in the Lord. I would not say it would not be in vain if you were laboring to get in there, but if you are in there, your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

The Kingdom of Heaven. Wonder what He is talking about! Can you see any difference between Heaven itself and the kingdom of Heaven? The kingdom of Heaven is a kingdom that is heavenly in nature, set up by the authority of Heaven, and is here on earth. Because, the Lord said it is like a mustard seed.—I hope eternal Heaven is not like that, because there won't be enough room for all of us. I do not think He is talking about the size of it. The kingdom of Heaven like a mustard seed—one mustard seed—that a man sowed in his garden ! How long do you think it would take to find one mustard seed in a garden? Now, if you just took a whole handful, and go out there and scatter them, you might find some. He did not say "mustard seeds," but one grain of mustard seed. I'll tell you : You would have to have something besides natural eye to ever find that one seed in the garden, just one of them.

"My love, my dove, my undefiled," is but one. The Lord does not have a dozen or so brides. Well, now you know how to find the old church. Once I was in New York City. I looked through all the telephone directories, and all through the directory of the newspapers, but did not find the church. No one seemed
to have heard of an Old Baptist Church. There are some around there, but nobody seemed to know where they were. I enquired around for four days. You take it from a numerical standpoint, "the least of all things," the Lord said—ye little flock. We are little. Everyone of the sects and orders of the world are bigger than this: "The least of all things."

You know, He put that seed in His garden, and it came up. The church started functioning. It was like a mustard seed—it grew up. You know, that thing grew into a great big tree; the fowls of the air lodged in its branches. I wonder what the fowls represent. There is a lesson. That teaches something. You know what I think it is? I believe that is the old preacher. I do not believe He will find a place in the world for lodging, excepting there.

I knew a man one time who said he got tired of the Old Baptists. He said, "I am going over to another people. I want to preach this doctrine over there." He went over there and joined them. They took him in. They said, "Now, we are glad you came, but you will have to lay down that doctrine. We will send you to school. We will tell you what to preach." He said, "If you are going to do me that way, I am going back to where I can preach it."

Preachers, you will never find lodging anywhere else in the world, but that place, the branch of that mustard. No other place in the world to preach it. Right here is the branch of that thing ; right here! You know, we haven't any people in Arkansas, historically speaking, that recognizes, from a numerical standpoint, this little sect as the bride of Christ. When Paul was carried down to Rome in bonds, some of those fellows down there wanted to hear him. For, as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against. It is just a faithful few. Rejoice ye little flock, for it is my Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom, the Church of the living God, that is established here in the world; the militant kingdom; the organized church! I would not tell you by any means it includes or makes up His bride in a broad sense. There will be some in heaven out of every land, kindred, tongue, and nation and people under-heaven; nations who had gone out of existance before the flood; before a word of this Bible was recorded; before there was ever a word of it penned down; people who died even before Moses wrote a word. Nations went out of business. Nations passed on. But, the Lord God said they would be out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people under heaven. There were nations right here in
America. You can go right over there in the Western States around Colorado, and find the old ruins. Nations have lived there. There is not a man on earth who knows what became of them. There will he some of that people in Heaven. God knew they were there, knows what became of them. There will be people in Heaven right out of there. God knew they were there, and God had a people among them. White man did not even know they were on the earth. If God was depending on man to look out for them, when they did not even know they were there, it would have been a miserable end for them—but the Lord God knew they were there! He knew what He had done for them! He knew what it would take to get them to heaven, and He did it! He loved His bride! I tell you: Whenever He presents His bride to the Father, she is not going to be peg-legged; she is not going to be one-armed—that body will be intact; a glorious body without spot or wrinkle. It will take everyone of her members to make that glorified body. If there is one member left, the body will not be glorified.

"Here am I, Father, and all the children Thou hast given me." That body will be intact. He is married to you. You have a husband. You have support. A husband means support. When we look to Him, we have something to draw from, everything we need! In Him is the fullness of grace. We need redemption; in Him we have redemption! "In whom we have redemption," "even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." He is our righteousness! He justified us! He is our life! He is all that we need! He is the resurrection! We know just as sure as He loved her then, He loves her now.

There is a wedding supper going on. It is taught in the lesson of the ten virgins. You know, those fellows tried to walk right on in the light of the law. But that day was past and gone; the light went out. Somebody was alert, while others were asleep, foolish. Many of the Jews believed on Christ, but were scared to let it be known; scared they would be turned out of the synagogue; didn't they act foolish? They certainly did.

Did they eat the Gospel Supper? No, Sir. The door was shut. I am talking about the gospel door; it was shut. The kingdom was taken away from the Jews, the law worshipers. There was the man whose light went out. He was under the light one time, but that day is over, the light went out. The others had oil in their lamps, watching for a new day ; watching for the coming of the Kingdom; watching for the King; watching for that glorious day; and when the Bridegroom came, the cry was made, "Go ye out to meet Him."

John said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" Here is the Bridegroom. Here He is. He came for His bride. The wedding is taking place. When He laid His hand in hers, she became His; thereby redemption ; became His by wedlock. She was His in covenant, She was His, engaged to Him. She was His because the Father gave her to Him.

When He went back to heaven, He said, "Occupy 'til I come." She has a home to live in. She has something to be doing. She has something to eat, at this wedding supper. Little Child, when He sent these servants out to call them—His children among the Jews—to the wedding supper, one of them said, "I cannot go. Please have me excused." "I have bought a yoke of oxen. I have to go out and prove them." We have some new preachers. We have left the old sacred things. We want to see what they have. We are following them.

Another said, "I have bought some land. I have to go see about that. I have changed positions. I am over here in another place. I have an excuse." Another said, "I married a wife, therefore I can not come." "I have taken up with something else." When they came back, He said, "They shall never taste of my supper." "Go ye out in the byways, and the hedges, and bring them in." They went out in the byways and hedges. And as many as they found they brought in, and there was yet room. Where are the byways? He did not say to go out yonder in that field where that man is working, and bring him. No, that man is satisfied—leave him alone.

When you see a fellow walking down that road, carrying a little bundle, traveling around, he is not satisfied! He is not settled down somewhere! He is not occupied in something! He is milling around! There is many a little child hungering and thirsting, desiring to know what is the right thing to do? I am just a lonesome pilgrim; just a stranger traveling around; have no place to sit down to call my own; I have no field to be laboring in; just walking around. Byway means a path ; a lane, a lane where people travel. Many of God's little children are milling around in the desires of their own bosom: "Oh, God, where is thy church?" "Where is thy place of abode?" "Where are thy children?" "Where is thy wedding supper?"

Many a little child is milling around. Bring that one in. That is the very one. He did not say I go to some other country, but right here in your land. Right there he is. And you know, when He did that, there was still room. He said, to go, out and compel them to come in. That did not mean by using force, but by the constraining influence of love; by the constraining influence of kindness. The man that tells you the truth is not your enemy. He has an interest in you. The truth is so valuable—you could not buy it, but it is freely given to you. I tell you, children: A man that has an interest in the child of God will tell you the truth. He will defend the truth. There is something in his soul that, will witness with it.

Taking something from a child that is not the truth, sometimes, frets the child. Is as standing before a man's fireplace one morning,shaving. He was using a straight razor, and I was using a safety. He laid that razor down in a chair. A little child, about three years old, picked up that razor. The mother threw her hands up, and just screamed. I knew that child had something that was dangerous. I just picked up the mirror, held it before the, little child. He saw his own reflection. I picked up the razor then, apd put it on the mantle. If I had not gotten that child's attention, I would have, probably, had to wrestle with him to take that razor.

Little child, the old preacher will come along and show you something better than error. And while you are looking at that, he will take that error away from you. You won't miss it much. But, preachers, do not try to take an error away from him without showing him something better, because you will have to wrestle with him. Probably, he will get aggravated with you, and think: "Well, I have something, and if you take that away from me, I won't have any thing at all." Give him something better, and the little child will hold to it and the other thing will just vanish away. That is in a doctrinal and practical sense. I believe it, with all my soul! I tell you, when we come to this, bride : There is a wedding supper going on. Day by day the bride is waiting for the return of her husband.

He gave her something to keep house with. He provided all she needed ! And He said, "Occupy until I come!" And occupy with what I gave you. What would you think if a man left home, and when he came back all the furniture had been moved out? Something had been put in its place. Yet all that she needed was provided. You cannot say the Son of God is not a goo provider! He certainly is ! All of those original thing, had been moved out; something else was in their place. What would be the first thing to come into your mind ? That wife does not respect her husband. Just as sure, little children, as this bride, the Lamb's wife, gets tired of what her Husband has given her to keep house with, it shows she has lost respect for Him. It shows she does not reverence Him. Everything He placed in the church she needed. She needs humbleness. Have you ever seen humbleness get a man in trouble? He clothed her with humbleness. Have you ever seen honesty get a man in trouble? He has given her an honest disposition ; an honest heart. He has given her everything that she needs to get along in this world. I tell you: The things the Lord God gave you, the world does not covet—only, just the name, not the things. The world does not covet that humble attitude. The world does not covet these sacred and solemn services of the Lord. The world does not covet the doctrine that gives all the honour and glory to God. They want part, if not all, the glory themselves. They do not covet the doctrine of unconditional election by the grace of God. They do not covet His sovereign power to raise up out of death and sin to a state of life and standing in Christ Without conditions on the sinner's part. When the Church uses the things given her, the glory will be given to her Husband. The world is not interested in Him. All they want is only His name to take away their reproach. To call a cat Fido will never make it be a dog. To claim something is the bride of Christ will never make it so. The good works that the Church does and should do, is not the cause of them being the children of God. Who does that doctrine belong to? Who preaches it that way? The bride of Christ!

Now, getting on with this supper. When the servants went out, He told them to bring them in. Compel them to come in. Not physical force, but the constraining force of love. Any little child, traveling around, milling around, without any place to locate to call home, that is the one to bring in. There is a home, child, for you to live in while you are living here. The Lord did not' save you and then turn you loose like a rabbit to go out and feed for yourself. You have a home to live in here. The only place on earth you can dwell, and be in your own land, be with your kindred, live with your own family, and worship your God ! It is like He said: "Occupy 'til I come again."

To that bride, He is coming back! He is not coming back to see what went on while He was gone, either. He knows what is going on. He visits her in Spirit. He is with her in soul! He is coming back in body!

Where do you want Him to find you when He comes back ? Would you want Him to find you down in some house of folly ; would you be ashamed? Well, did you ever think: If you are His, He is in you; and He sees you right there. Can you get out of His sight? Can you get out of His reach? Can you get out of His presence? Sometimes, we might think, "Oh, well, I'll wait until it gets dark. Maybe, I can get some of my meanness over." There is no night with Him. Darkness does not hinder Him. He knows everything--not only what goes on, but the secret intents of our hearts. That is the King that you have to give account of everything you do. He is coming back after awhile. You may be laying out here somewhere in the dust of the earth, but He will know where you are. Not only will He know where you are, but He will do something about it!

He is not going to send back for His bride. He is coming back for her! He loves you, and I believe you love Him. You know, one of the worst things that a man can do in the world, or a woman either, naturally speaking, is to start flirting with some other man or woman. I have never seen a home broken up, but what first there was a little flirting. Just as sure as that flirting starts, it will grow. The first thing you know, there will be a great big breach. Let me tell you, little children, when the Lord gave you something to do, He gave you something to keep you busy, seven days a week. There is no other contempt greater than for a husband to be off flirting with some other woman; or a woman to be off flirting with some other man. Does the Son of God flirt around? No. He distinctly loves His bride. He is not flirting around! He is honest! He has a purchased possession! He has one bride!

Follow Him. You have one Lord! There is one Lord ; one faith, one baptism. We can not give part of the honor to God, and part of it to somebody else, without flirting around, child. When it comes to our salvation, deliverance from sin it is only Him! It is not Him and something else.

Let us live virtuous ! Let us live honest! Let us live devoted! Let us live consecrated to our Husband—because He is coming back! He knows what to do ! He will get it done! I love to think about it. We do not have a right to live here, it is true. I am sad over that, sometimes. But I can not say it is not right, because everything He has done is right. Sin is condemned in the flesh, and die we must. Through His death, and suffering and shed blood, I believe I have a right to live in the world to come. And I believe God in regeneration has given me this life that will live forever. And I believe I have it now! I believe I will be raised with this life that God gives us now. Because, you are partakers of His heaven_ ly nature. You can not partake of a nature without having life. There is no known way of partaking of nature without a life from which it comes. When He says that we are partakers of His Divine Nature, there must be divine, spiritual life from which such a nature is derived. It has never been derived any other way than from life. So, little children, you have the life now. You do not wait and get it after awhile, you have it now! You have it now! If the same Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies. It is by the same spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead, that shall also quicken your mortal body, your dying body. That same life will raise you from the grave.

In conclusion, a man, who operated on my mother some few years, perhaps five years, before she died—one of the ablest physicians we have in Charlotte, said, "Preacher, do you mean this body will come up out of the grave, after it has wasted away, perhaps has been cremated, and scattered to the four winds of the earth? I said, "Yes, Sir." He said, "Tell me how." I said, "Haven't you got a body now?" He said, "I have." I said, "Where did you get it?" "Where did you get the body you now have?" He said, "I don't know." I said, "Well, how in the world would you expect me to explain the other ?" He said, "Now, that is something to think about." I said, "It certainly is. Now, where did you get this body?" "The Powers of life took the substance of earth and developed your body."

Well, how come you to have two arms, two hands, two eyes? Human life develops that kind of body! I low come that tree to have that kind of body? That is the nature of that kind of life. That will raise up that kind of body. You know, the bodies of cats were put on four legs. That is the nature of that life. This life of ours has the seeds of death in it. It is imperfect. Well, if an imperfect life will do this good of a job developing a body, would not a perfect life raise up a perfect body? There is the resurrection! What kind of life is it? It is a Heavenly Life; the life of God that He gave you. He gave you this life! You will enjoy it perfectly after a while. Do you know that His bride will be without spot or wrinkle, because that kind of life does not put that kind of product out.

There is the resurrection! There is the life of Christ! Our mortal body will be fashioned like unto His glorious body. Your nature will be after the nature of His life. Hence a heavenly nature, and you will be without spot or wrinkle. You will be home after awhile. Because the Bridegroom is coming back after His bride. He married her. He paid off her debt. She belongs to Him. "You are not your own, you are bought with a price." Let us behave ourselves! He knows what we are doing. Let us behave ourselves, by living an honorable and respectable life, obeying Him, as His Church, which is the identity of His people. His militant Church is not all of them —just a little remnant of them. But they will all be alike in the resurrection. There will be no "big I's" and "Little You's." There will be no cripples; there will be no blind ones. We have our afflictions here, and all the suffering of man on account of sin. But there will be no sin there! There will be no suffering there.

Brother Webb, I love to think of this: You won't have to wear that earphone there. You can lay that walking cane back. Mother, you might have gone, perhaps, bent over—a poor sister in my country is almost bent double. She can not go to church at all, now. I was talking to her. about that perfect day. The poor old soul clapped her hands, she said, "I know I am suffering now, but there is a better day." Eternal day! A Glorious Day! Are not you glad the Son of God is married to you? Are you ashamed of that marriage contract?

Let us live and show Him respect! Lot us honor Him in a quiet, devoted, consecrated life! You can not honor Him by hanging around a beer joint, or hanging around houses of frivolity, or places of amusement —just to entertain the carnal mind. The only way you can honor God is to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Him, which is your reasonable service. Live just like the Son of God was looking at you all the time, because He is. Then you will think, "Well, I can not get by with that, because He will know it." Keep that in mind. Paul says that we have the mind of Christ. Remember : Not one thought can you have; not one deed, but what the Lord knows all about it. Then, we will do well to keep this thing in mind: "Well, I cannot get by with that." It will just constrain us. May God bless you. The Bridegroom is coming back for His bride. Thank you.



Substance of a Sermon Preached by Elder B. Isaacs. Rosebud, Ark., at the Funeral of W. W. W. W. Fowlkes, at Mt. Vernon, Ark., on
May 6, 1942.

Brethren and Friends:

At the request of the bereaved, it becomes my duty to appear before you for the purpose of speaking words which I trust may be of comfort to those whose hearts are torn and bleeding on account of the passing of their loved one and my friend—Brother Fowlkes. Brother Fowlkes was a. man greatly admired and much beloved throughout a wide circle of friendship and I considered him one of the best friends that I have in this world, one of the best men I have ever known.

I well know that anything that I may be permitted to say to you today will not heal your bleeding hearts, but T. trust, by what is said, that you will receive the greatest measure of consolation possible under the circumstance in which you find yourselves at the present moment. Having passed through a like experience as you children are now involved in. I want you to know and feel that my heart is touched at your grief and my tears are mingled with yours. Fifteen years ago this evening I witnessed the death of my father, so I know by experience what your sorrow is.

For your consolation I desire to read a few verses of God's Word, written by the Apostle Paul, and found in the fifth chapter of 2 Corinthians, beginning with the first verse(2Co 5:1). I shall comment briefly on each verse as read, and these comments will constitute the remarks that I shall make for you today.

"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." Our earthly house as used refers to our mortal body. A house is a dwelling place, a home in which we live; so also is our body a house, or home, in which our spirit, or life, dwells as long as we have what may be called world consciousness. When this house (body) is dissolved, as is now the case with our precious brother, we lose world consciousness, but gain consciousness of a heavenly environment. If we could only pull aside the veil which separates earth from heaven and could view our precious father dwelling in his new home, that house not made with hands, surrounded by a heavenly host of kindred spirits, rejoicing in the presence of God and free from all pain, sorrows and cares, it would dry our tears away and cause us to not want him to be back here living in his earthly house, in which there is groaning and pain.

"For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven." This clearly teaches that God's children have a conscious state of existence apart from their bodies, and while we speak of Brother Fowlkes as being dead, it is only his body that is dead. The old house is dissolved, torn down, and when we look upon his dead body which lies in the casket here you should remember that it is the old vacant house in which he formerly lived. He is not living there now, he has moved out and left the old house vacant. He has moved into a new house, a house in heaven, a house in which there is no groaning nor pain. You children who have witnessed his suffering and pain while he lived in this earthly house should rejoice today because he is out of reach of pain. It can never afflict him any more, he is a conscious, living entity, living in the presence of God in heaven.

Paul uses strong language in affirming this fact. He says, "We know," and he did know, for he had seen with his own eyes. (2Co 12:2-4.) Paul, in describing his vision, declared that he was caught up into the third heaven, which he also called paradise, and while there he heard things not lawful for him to tell. This place, i. e. the third heaven, or paradise, is the place where disembodied spirits live. In Lu 23:43, Jesus, in speaking to the dying thief, says, "Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." So from this quotation we learn where the house not made with hands is located—in paradise, and Paul had been there in a vision, therefore he declares that he knows where the departed saints live, and he also tells us in verse six that, while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. And in verse eight that, when we are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord. Brother Fowlkes is now absent from his body, and, therefore, he is now present with the Lord. What a wonderful experience! What a joy! What a sensation to move out of this earthly body and to occupy an abode in the presence of the Lord.

Brother Fowlkes had many friends during his abode in the body, but in his present home he has better friends. In this life our friends may forsake us, but our heavenly friends will never prove false. Our heavenly associates are our Lord Jesus Christ and the spirits of just men made perfect. (Lu 23:43 and Heb 12:23.) No wonder the apostle declares his willingness to be absent from the body, even all of God's children who have the earnest of the Spirit, when led by this Spirit, share this willingness with him. They are assured in their hearts that to depart and be with Christ is far better (Php 1:23) than to abide in the body.

We, then, who are left behind should not be overcome with overmuch sorrow. Knowing that we, too, shall soon join in spirit our loved ones who have gone before, and have this glorious experience for our very own. And not only this, but the body which lies here in death today shall live again, not as a natural mortal body, but as a spiritual body, fashioned like unto the glorious body of our blessed Saviour. I want you to know that our bodies belong to God, they are His property. He bought them at a high price, even at the price of His own blood. Therefore, be assured that He will come and get them. "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." 1Th 4:16-17. How wonderful to meditate upon this glorious event! How glorious to visualize the bodies of our loved ones, coming out of their graves! What a wonderful victory! "0 death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory?" Praise our adorable Lord who giveth us this victory and will take us home to live with Him in all eternity where sorrow and death can never come and where sad separations and disappointmens will be no more, where "shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

Now, in conclusion, I wish to say to all the bereaved, and especially the children, your father's moral life should be a light to guide your footsteps aright during your journey of life in this world. He has left a record of honesty and integrity irreproachable as an example worthy of emulation. May the good Lord grant unto all of you His Spirit to enable you to serve Him acceptably in this life, and finally, in the sweet bye and bye, gather each of you home to live with father and all the redeemed throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity, is the prayer of your friend and unworthy servant. May God's richest blessings rest upon you. Amen!


A CHARGE (1951, December)

A charge given at the ordination of Hartsel Cayce to the office of a deacon, at Cane Creek Church, Thornton, Ark., by Elder L. C. Swanner, November 4, 1951.

We are assembled here today for the purpose of ordaining Brother Hartsel Cayce to the office of a deacon. The questions have been asked and answered and I am in accord with the things which have gone before. I certainly feel my inability to deliver a charge. I need your prayers, and, above all, the help of God. I must be brief and pointed so as not to be tedious in this: Yet I do not wish to hurry through.

I feel the charge is given to the deacon. But, I have felt for some time it should be three-ford: To the deacon ; to the church, and to the wife of the deacon.

There was a specific reason for deacons in the early days of the church. "And in those days, when the number of disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration." The disciples had increased in numbers so that the twelve could not attend to all of their duties and look after the widows of the Church, as had been their custom before: To provide them with the things the church had given the twelve to place in the hands of the widows. "Then the twelve called the multitudes of disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the Word of God, and serve tables." A condition existing in the mother church, trouble in the church, murmuring and complaining. I used to think the old Church did not have any troubles. But I have found out by reading, and to my further sorrow by experience, that she has had little troubles—some larger than others—all along and will continue to have little difficulties—but there is a solution in the Word of God. The church in the beginning was having these little troubles and troubles have come down through the ages. Now, here is the solution the apostles gave to the church, that is, the solution the twelve gave: "Then the twelve called the disciples together and said: "Look ye out among you seven men of honest report." Honesty in the house of God should be one of the things that every member should possess. I do not care if it's a deacon or a deacon's wife or just a member of the church, all should possess that quality of being honest, but more especially should the report be of a deacon that the deacon is honest; because he is being appointed to a particular work that is going to involve some things that people are going to talk about—I am going to get to that in a little bit. He is going to be appointed or he is appointed and ordained to look after the tables which pertain to the house of God, and are in the house of God.

There was a reason the apostles desired that they  look out them seven men—and the seven men here means that number of one, two, or three, or a half a dozen; it is just a number which refers to the individual in the church, a complete number of brethren who possess these qualifications. They were going to set them apart for this work in order that the apostles might give themselves--Now you see--that they might give themselves unto the work! Why ? Because the number of disciples had multiplied, They said: "It is not reason that we should leave the Word of God"—that is forsake the study of the Word, or leave our own studying off, and look after these—"serve tables."

So, "look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost," too. This is another qualification that they must have: Full of the Holy Ghost—and I am not going into all these things. But men of honest report be appointed over this business —the business in the Lord's house, not that they are going to appoint them over business out in the world, but this is a business proposition. If our people, the church of God, I say this without reservation, if they had been looking out after their business in these lines for years, our Cause would not be suffering today as it is. Full of the Holy Ghost so as to be able to use wisdom and discretion in the Lord's house, over the Lord's business. "Whom we may appoint over this business!"

I am going to ask you some questions and let you answer them in your mind—I do not expect you to answer them out loud. I would not expect to ordain this brother, lay my hands on him, to an office of a deacon without expecting you to give him something to fulfill this office with. Now, do you expect to carry it out? Are you going to make the necessary arrangements—this is where the church comes in—that he might use the office of a deacon in the way which the Bible teaches?—You know we have had deacons a long time; the first deacons were put in office not many years after Christ set the church up or the church was first organized. For years and years I did not know what they were for. All I ever saw them do was to pass around the bread and wine at communion time. But after more study I find they are to look after the tables and that the church is to provide the necessary things for them to carry on their work.

Now, the members of the church may ask themselves this question: "What business is it of mine?"

"What business is it of mine?" The apostles teach us, in no uncertain terms, concerning the collection of the saints. The collection of the saints to be this way: "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." So as you purpose in your heart, and as the Lord has prospered you, then give accordingly. Most people I have heard discuss this point generally wait until meeting time and if they have anything left, after all their details were cared for, if any left would give some then. (The Lord's people have been very generous to me and I am grateful for this.)

But, "on the first day of the week." When is the first day of the week? I think the first hour of time you are blessed with something. Let it be the first day, or second day after meeting time—the very time you are blessed with, something, lay a portion aside that you have been prospered with and you have purposed in your heart to turn over to the deacon, whom you have ordained, that he may be able to use it as the Lord directs him in the service of God.

You may ask: How much am I to give? I am not going into all the technicalities here—You answer that yourself, as you have purposed in your heart.

How much to give! Some might say : "Might I purpose a dime?" Yes, you might. I want to leave a point here. If you have five dollars and you purpose a dime, you had just as well keep the dime in your pocket, because you are not going to enjoy a blessing in giving it. Maybe I should not have said that ; I do not want to apply wrong construction here, because you have acted and proved that you were blessed with five dollars and you purposed to give only ten cents. Well, go ahead and give the ten cents, but you won't receive the blessing out of it that you would have if you would make it a point to purpose to do more! That is what I am trying to get out.

There rests a responsibility upon you and your companion. I have listed a few things that the church members should do. There are a few other things I want to mention. It becomes his responsibility to visit orphans and widows of the community—not only to visit here but primarily his visits lie with the membership of the church. His first obligation in visiting, is to visit the membership of the church, to see how they are faring in their homes. If he hears of some one being sick or afflicted it is his place to go, and administer financial assistance if he feels they are needy —not out of his own pocket, but out of the affairs of the Church.

I ask this question with fairness, Brother Lowrance. Have you ever read in the Bible where it is any more of a responsibility for a minister to visit the membership of the church, than it is for the membership to visit the minister? I believe it is a mutual thing. (However), I know he is to be an example.) Here to the deacon: He is to visit these places to find out, and to inquire into the welfare of the members of the church ; and, also, in the home of the minister. Here is one place I feel the church has fallen down. In days past and gene, they have thought too much in their own heart and mind and acted accordingly, that if we do that we will be too much like the other fellow. This condition is much better today than a few years ago.

But let the members give so that the deacons may have something to act with when they go there. Theirs is a business affair. I think it is legal, and it is right, that they enter into this in a business-like way. Some people might say: You believe in too much formality. There is a certain amount of business that pertains to the Lord's house, to the office of a deacon, to the church of God, which he is a member of, that should be kept, whether it is formality or whatever it is, a record should be so kept that people might see where the money comes from and where it is dispensed.

When we have funds paid into the treasury—and you will find it Biblical, Mark xii. 41, the word "treasurer," men who are appointed to look over the Lord's business. So it is necessary that they have something to act with—he should receive the contributions or donations and make a record of it. Then he can say: "Here is the record, brethren. Here is the record I have of moneys turned into me; and here is the way I have dispensed with the moneys. Here is your business; it pertains to you. It is yours. I am looking after it for you." I feel that when he has done these things, the church ought to show him the courtesy of going to that record, and looking into it. And if he has done a good job, compliment him for it. And if you feel that he has erred somewhere, don't go off somewhere to criticize him, but go right to where the brother is. Meet him face to face in a loving manner and say: Brother, I feel that we should have done this way; and start from there, instructing him in a way so that he can go forth with confidence that the church of God believes he is honest in heart; honest within himself; that you will not go off and criticize him.

I want to say this to this young brother: That in this work that you are now being set apart in; which to me is that next to a minister, it is one of the most serious things the Bible sets forth or has enjoined upon a young man or old man or a man; and while it is serious to you, it is, or should be, serious to your companion. That is the reason I said awhile ago that it is necessary then that the charge be made in such a way that it involves the church, involves the one being ordained, and involves his companion who must walk with him. I have thought of this in my little experience—I am young in the ministry—that the wife of a deacon means as much to him as the wife of a minister is to him. I will put it this way: Ofttimes he is going to feel—and he will feel the responsibility more as he grows older—when he goes into a home to visit some of the orphans or the widows of the families of his church, or into homes who do not belong here, it is going to be her responsibility to go along with him. Why? In order to maintain the integrity the man has ; in order to maintain the integrity of the church of God; in order to maintain the integrity of his home. When she turns aloose from the cares and things of the home—sure, she may feel in her heart: What is the use of me going? Listen, Sister Jo Ann, turn aloose from the cares and go with your husband, that you might protect the virtue of the home. Not that he will be immoral—but the first thing you know in visitations somebody may say that he is going places he shouldn't go. Being with him, you can stand up in his presence and in the church of God and say: I was with him! I know what he was doing!

Now in regard to this thing. It is needful that you do these. The cross is going to be heavy for both of you. I know that you are going to be criticized—not only by the people of the world, but by some of the members in the church of God. You want to do something, and you feel in your heart you are doing right, but the other fellow is not going to look at it that way. But, take courage, brother. God, Himself has enjoined upon you the responsibility; and you are responsible to the church of God and to God Himself. So, fear no man in this. Fear not what they say, but look unto the One, who was crucified, buried and rose to redeem you, to give you strength and courage to go into this work that is now set before you, which is next to that of the ministry in the service of God.

Now to the church of God, here at this place. Let me say this: As a minister, as one who has come in and out before you for sometime, so far as I know, you have put forth every effort in every case to meet the circumstances to the best of your abiltiy when our people have come among you—you have done these things. Let me go into this, this way: You may have had deacons in the past that, maybe, in the service of God they did not see all things eye to eye. It may be that way with you, my brother. But, listen, do the very best you can in the service of God, looking after the business of the Lord's table here. Study the Word of God that you might know what is your duty; and when your duty arises—this day you have something enjoined upon you, not only here but every place that you may go in or out of the service from now on your responsibility is greater right now in the service of God than it was yesterday. I have found it that way with me, Brother Lowrance, in the ministry, and as I grow older it seems the responsibilities grow heavier in the service of God. How true it is—I read years ago, in studying the blessed Bible: "lie that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." I would ask how can that be? To my understanding as I delved into the secrets of this Book, I feel to know you are going to gain knowledge by studying the Word of God, but pray to God to give you wisdom; and it is going to increase your sorrow in your very soul when you see the many things among the Lord's people being neglected—seeing how sinful, neglectful, forgetful and unworthy and unthankful most of us are—your sorrow is going to be increased.

The laying of hands on this precious brother will not make him a deacon. It only sets him apart to that office that you feel that God has called him. It is your responsibility to enable him to carry on the office of a deacon; and if you do not expect him to carry out the office of a deacon, and if you do not expect to enable him to carry out the office of a deacon, for goodness' sake! call in your work right now. Do not go any further with it. But, believing you have, in your mind and heart, purposed that he carry out this work —the work of deacon—then go ahead, and then purpose to stay with that work which you have now done.

Certainly, as a young brother, he is going to feel the need of the aged fathers to go with him and counsel with him in regard to these things. I think counseling is good. But, first, study! If you need wisdom, ask God who "giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not." But it is all right to see if your convictions or teachings of the Bible are in harmony with the other brethren; and you might find something that the other brethren have not thought of or found. Then, brethren, after you have studied these things and have learned some things the others have not thought of, then reason together, and counsel one with the other that you might know more how to wait upon these tables here in the service of God!

In regard to the charge, the Apostle Paul said: "I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things"—here is where your charge comes in—"I give the charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession." Now look where your charge is! Before God and the Christ Jesus, who witnessed a good confession before Pilate's Court. So, then, see that you "keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ," until the appearing of the great King who is the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, the only Potentate, Brother. He is the One you are to keep the charge before. He has called you now, you keep it without spot, and unrebukeable until the appearing of the great King.

Listen, you may not be living when He comes the second time without sin unto salvation, but you keep this charge until He calls you from the walks of men. "I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that you observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality." There is where, sometimes, in the house of God our people have erred, in days! past and gone. They have preferred some things above another. You must study to know how to do. As a young man, entering into this sacred work, you here are receiving this, this charge, from one of the poorest of the poor, one who loves you, Hartsel. Let me admonish you to study these things. Search the Word of God. Go forward! To you, his dear companion, he with him and share in all of his troubles. His troubles are going to be your troubles ; his sorrows are going to be your sorrows. Share them with him in order that you might help him in the things right here in the service of God. Think not what the world is going to say. Be mindful of this one fact: The King of kings, the Lord of lords, who set you apart by His Spirit and called you to this work, says for you to do these things unrebukeable and keep them without spot. This Kink that has called you is the only One who has "immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto ; who no man.hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting."

There arose a need for deacons in the days of the apostles; certainly, the church of God needs deacons today as badly as in any time in the past. Those men who are honest; full of the Holy Ghost and of the Spirit of God, and wisdom. Look over the Tables, the Lord's business. Dispense with the funds as' you feel the Lord directs you. Caring for the tables: The ministers, the poor, the afflicted, the distressed.

May God enable the church, and his dear companion, and enable him to carry out the solemn duties that are now resting upon him, is my prayer.

May you ever keep Jesus Christ, the Crucified Saviour in your mind as you attend these things in the house of God. He is the One you will have to answer to in the final analysis. Keep your records. To the church : inspect the records; then pass your compliments on to him; reason with him.

Thu reason the disciples needed these deacons was so that they might give themselves wholly to the Word. That is, the Study of the Word. How needful it is that all the business and transactions of the church, financially, go through the hands of the deacon; a perfect record be kept ; that the minister might be blameless for these things.

The church, one and all, May God help us to come to a fuller realization of the things that are enjoined upon us all in carrying out the duties laid down in here (the Bible) for us all to abide by, is my prayer.

REMARKS: November 4, 1945, Sunday morning, the first Sunday in the month, the dear Lord saw fit to call Elder Cayce home—that heavenly, peaceful home.
Six years to the day and the Sunday, a number of Baptists and friends, many, many of the same ones who came and administered to us in our great sorrow and grief, came to Cane Creek Primitive Baptist Church to be with us in our services, and to be at the ordination to the office of a deacon of our youngest son, William Hartsel Cayce. A very sweet and impressive service. Mind's eye looking back, felt the pain and grief of November 4, 1945; looking at the present day, rejoiced that the Lord is merciful, is great, and that His people are still marching on, carrying the blood-bought banner high ; looking forward to a happy meeting, some day, with all the redeemed, to be in the presence of our Lord and Saviour forever and forever. —MRS. C. H. C.

A Chosen Generation

A Chosen Generation (2003, January - February)

Sermon preached by Elder Sam Bryant of North Carolina, at the South Arkansas Union Meeting held at Sardis Church, near Malvern, Arkansas, March 29, 2002. (This tape, Tape Number 064.076, can be ordered from Jo Ann Cayce's Tape Service for $5.00, postpaid, P. 0. Box 38, Thornton, Arkansas 71766-0038)

I'm certainly thankful this morning for the opportunity to be at this meeting, and very thankful to share the time here in the pulpit with Brother Ersel (Tillery). I was hoping that I would be able to attend this meeting. I saw it announced in the papers, and mentioned it to Nelda, and she said her dad said he didn't feel like he was up to coming today, but I'm glad he waited on the Lord and was given the strength to come, and I enjoyed his message this morning, and appreciated his humble attitude and his faithfulness to the truth. I hope you'll continue to pray for me as I endeavor to speak to you this morning.

I'd like to call your attention today to a lesson that is recorded for us in First Peter chapter two, beginning in verse...well, we'll begin looking at verse six. First Peter chapter tw0 and verse six. "Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence: even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." (1Pe 2:6-8)

I think the verses I've read to you thus far have reference to our Lord Jesus Christ. He was indeed the chief cornerstone and He is precious to those that believe. He became a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to others.

But now in verse nine, I want to notice with you what I'd like to try to preach on this morning, the Lord being my helper. "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light..." It's a beautiful description there of God's children that God has saved by His grace. Peter says that we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, and I don't think that has reference just to God's people among the Jews, but to His people in all the nations of the earth. "that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out 0f darkness into His marvelous light..."

The apostle Peter uses that expression "called" a good bit in this first epistle. Over in verse 15 of chapter one, he would say, "But as He which hath called you is holy, s0 be ye holy in all manner 0f conversation..." And I think the call there has reference to God calling us in the new birth. "But as He which hath called you is holy..." It's a heavenly call, it's God calling His elect from death in sin to life in Christ.

Later on in this chapter, notice again here in verse nine, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him wh0 hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light..." Don't you like the way that reads? He hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. And I think that's another way 0f describing the new birth, 0r the work of regeneration that God does on His people.

In verse 21 of this chapter, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps..." So, a number of times in this epistle, the apostle Peter tells us that it is God that has called us, we didn't call Him, we didn't look up His number and decide to try to get in touch with Him and see what we could do about 0ur condition. But God called us. And when God calls His children, it is a sovereign call. It is an effectual call. That means that the call gets through, and God accomplishes what He intends to accomplish with the heavenly call. And so we have been called of God. "But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation..." (1Pe 1:15) "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light..." (1Pe 2:9): "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps..." (1Pe 2:21)

You know, in each of these three instances where the apostle Peter talks about us being called, he tells us why God has called us. Why does God call us from death in sin to life in Christ; or out of darkness into His marvelous light? Why does God call His children in this present life and give us this new life? He does it for His own glory. He does it so that you and I can live holy lives. He does it so that you and I may show forth the praises 0f Him who hath called us. He does it so that we might follow in His steps.

God doesn't just call us to be calling us, but e calls us with a purpose in mind. God calls us and gives us Spiritual life in order that we may live holy lives, in 0rder that we might show forth the praises 0f Him in this world, that we might follow in His steps. That's why God calls us. And I trust the Lord will help us as we look at this subject this morning.

Now, notice again in verse nine, "But ye are a chosen generation..." God's people, in grace, in Jesus Christ, are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people. Now, we know the Bible teaches us in many places what we are by nature. What we are in Adam. What we are in our sinful condition. What we are left to ourselves. We are wretched sinners. That's what Paul said in Ro 7, "Oh wretched man that I am!" (Ro 7:24) And that's what he was by nature. He said he was the chief 0f sinners by nature. He would say in Ro 3 that we're sinners, that we've all sinned and come short of the glory of God. By nature we are sinners, we are wretched, we are worthy of going to eternal hell, by nature we are. And we need to remember what we were by nature. That needs to be studied and that needs to be preached on, on a regular basis.

But, oh, my friends, I like the rest 0f the story. I like to see what I am by grace. I like to hear what I am in Jesus Christ, not just in Adam, but in Jesus Christ. And by grace we are a chosen generation. By the grace of God, we are a royal priesthood. By the grace of God, we are a holy nation and a peculiar people unto God. And how we do rejoice in that fact today.

And I want to tell you the Bible says, "we are His workmanship..." (Eph 2:10) And when somebody has been worked on by God, marvelous things begin to happen. A great change takes place.

You know what the Lord said to the apostle Peter that day over in the Acts of the Apostles when he was asleep up on the rooftop and the Lord wanted him to go down and preach the gospel to the Gentiles. And the apostle Peter, by tradition, had been taught to have nothing to do with the Gentiles. They were considered dogs. Do you remember the woman of Syrophenicia, who came to our Lord Jesus and she wanted a blessing and Jesus said is it right for me to take the meat from the children and to give it to dogs? (Mr 7:26-27) Now, that's how the Jews looked 0n the Gentiles, as dogs. Now, that dear woman had a very good attitude, didn't she? She said, Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table. (Mr 7:28)

Well, the Lord is coming to the apostle Peter and is telling him to go and preach the gospel to the Gentiles, to feed them the gospel feast. And Peter didn't want to go. He looked down on the Gentiles. He knew what they were by nature. But you know what 0ur Lord said to him? Call not thou common nor unclean that which I have cleansed. (Ac 10:15) God says don't do that, whether it was Cornelius, or Sam Bryant, or Ersel Tillery, don't call common or unclean that which God has cleansed.

And I can tell you it is a blessing when 0ur eyes are anointed to see the new person we are in Jesus Christ. Not just to see what we were by nature in Adam. Oh, what a blessing it is to be able to see what we are in the Lord Jesus. To see that we are a chosen people, to see that we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, that we are the heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, that we are a new creation in Christ. I like what Paul said: if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. (2Co 5:15) And the Devil wants to keep bringing up what we were in Adam, because he wants us to keep living like that. He wants us to keep living in the flesh, but the gospel brings us to the point where we are blessed to understand what we are in Jesus Christ 0ur Lord. And we're not just common and unclean, but we have been cleansed by the blood.

And you know it's interesting that the Lord did not say to the apostle Peter, I want you to go down to Cornelius and clean him up. No, He said, I've already cleaned him up, I want you to go down and tell him about it. That's the purpose of the gospel today. We can't clean God's children up for heaven, God does that, but the gospel news is: you have been cleansed by the blood 0f the everlasting covenant. And, oh, what a blessing it is, dear friends, to see what God can do with a sinner in this world. Oh, let me tell you, I can't do anything with sinners. I can't even do anything about myself, I'll tell you. But God, God never met a sinner yet that He couldn't change. Do you all believe that?

I remember when our Lord was on the Roman cross and dying, there were two thieves, one 0n either side, one on this side and one on the other. Both of those thieves railed on Jesus, both of them obviously despised Him and mocked Him. But all of a sudden a change came in one of those thieves, and he began to talk in a different manner. And he looked at the Lord Jesus and he says, "Lord, when thou comest into thy kingdom give me what I deserve..." Is that what he said? Now, I'll tell you what, there's a lot of preaching in what that dying thief said to the Lord Jesus. In the first place, I want to know how he found 0ut that Jesus was Lord. A few minutes ago he was railing on Him and saying, "you've saved others, yourself you can't save." He looked on that 0live-complected Jew covered with blood, covered with spittle, crowned with thorns, hanging there in naked shame and all 0f a sudden he understood this Man is not just another criminal dying, but He's the Lord of heaven. I believe God revealed that to him. And he turned to Jesus and said, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom..." (Lu 23:42) How did he know Jesus had a kingdom? Jesus didn't have anything in this world, materially, but the robe on His back, and they stole that from Him and gambled for it at the foot of the cross. And yet this dying thief all of a sudden is able to understand this Man in the middle has got a kingdom somewhere beyond this world and he wanted to be a part of it, and he said, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom."

You know what Jesus did? Well, let's first of all see what He didn't do. He didn't turn to that dying thief and say you low down scoundrel, you've made your living on this earth stealing from people, stealing from the poor and the widow and such; you think I'm going to share my home in glory with you? Is that what our Lord said? Oh, I want to tell you by nature that thief was getting exactly what he deserved. I want to tell you stealing is a low form of life on this earth.

You may not think much about stealing and thieves, you may not think so hard of them until they steal from you. Well, let me tell you what, if a thief came and stole everything you had worked for all of your life and your family had to be 0ut on the street, you'd then think about stealing in another light. I want to tell you, the Romans didn't think highly 0f thieves, they crucified them. And he was getting what he deserved. You know what he said to the other thief? He said, you and I are getting what we deserve. (Lu 23:41) And he was right. Capital punishment is not condemned in the Bible, it's held up. And Jesus didn't contradict what the man said. Jesus did not say, you low down scoundrel, you're getting what you deserve and you'll never see heaven. No, Jesus turned to him and said, "To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Lu 23:43) He was a chosen generation, he was a member of a royal priesthood. He was an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. And that's what God can do with a dying thief. Oh, my friends, let me tell you! God's grace has never found a sinner that He couldn't save if He chose to do so.

And then look what Jesus did. After that He turned and says, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Lu 23:34) Now, as far as I know, that thief had never mistreated Jesus except to rail on Him. But Jesus now shows the unspeakable love in His heart for those that had nailed Him to the cross and said, "Father, forgive them..." I think He's talking about the Roman soldiers and those that had cried out and said, "crucify him, crucify him." That shows the unconditional, irresistible, eternal love of God that is perfect for His children. And Jesus Christ said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." And if Jesus asked God to forgive them, d0 you all reckon He did? I believe He did, my friends, and many there 0n that very day will be in yonder's world some, glorious morning. I know Calvinists would choke on that thought, but, 0h, I want to tell you, I rejoice in it, my friends. God's amazing grace can save the very soldiers that nailed Jesus to the Roman cross. Now that's grace! That's mercy. That's God's grace and God's mercy. And I don't think that you and I are capable of that kind of grace and mercy, but God is. Oh, look what He did to those thieves. And if you and I are saved today, we got saved the same way the thief got saved, or the same way the Roman soldiers got saved.

And look at Saul of Tarsus. I'll tell you, there was no worse creature on earth. When Paul said he was the chief of sinners, he was probably right! But I want to tell you, his sins did not keep God's grace from saving him. Oh, God's amazing grace. That's why people love "Amazing Grace" so much. "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me." I want to tell you, by nature Saul was a wretch, he was a rebel, he was a persecutor of the church of God. By nature he deserved the wrath 0f an angry God, but by grace, my beloved friends, he was the chief of the apostles; by grace he served the Lord faithfully; wrote 14 books of the New Testament; ministered to the saints of God until the day they cut his head off in Rome. He was a chosen vessel unto God.

I want to tell you, God's grace is amazing. And we need to understand what God has done in us and for us, and who we are in Jesus Christ our Lord. And, you know, if the saints of God never hear that part of the gospel, if all they ever hear about is their depravity and all, then, really, Satan has got a great advantage against them. I remember in the Old Testament when Israel came to the banks of the Jordan River and they chose 12 spies to go in and spy out all the land. The 12 spies went in and they all came back with a good report that it is a wonderful land flowing with milk and honey. But ten of the 12 spies were filled with unbelief. They were keenly aware of their own weaknesses, without being aware of God's mighty power. And they said, why, we're like grasshoppers in the presence of these great giants, the sons of Anak. Nu 13:33) And did you know that attitude, that we're like grasshoppers, caused them to turn back into the wilderness and stay out there 40 more years! I'll tell you it's sad when God's redeemed people, saved by grace, born of the Holy Spirit, look on themselves as grasshoppers. That's not what God said about His people.

You know Israel's problem? They were more focused on themselves than they were on God. And I'll tell you what, any time you get all wrapped up in yourself, it's no wonder you're going to have low self-confidence and self-worth and self-value and just consumed with your own failures and your own weaknesses. But I'll tell you what, if you and I can get our eyes off of ourselves and on the God of our salvation, we'll have courage and we'll have strength. As our brother preached to us this morning, "they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles..." (Isa 40:31) They won't be going around like chickens, scared to death and intimidated by the enemy, they will mount up like eagles and soar 0n the wings of God's mighty power. Would you all agree with that today?

Oh, it's so important that we know who we are in Jesus Christ. Oh, it's so valuable that we understand that. You know, when David went out to meet Goliath, he didn't go out there trembling like Saul. Saul was head and shoulders taller than any man in Israel. He was the king, he had his armor, he had an army behind him, but Saul was intimidated by Goliath. And so was the rest of the army of Israel. They were trembling like leaves in the wind the Bible says. You know that was sad, that was so sad. And you know what David said when he got down there...he took some food down for his brethren, he was just a shepherd of his dad's sheep, that's all he was, a humble shepherd, he wasn't trained for war. I want to tell you one thing, David had been alone with God in that wilderness. And if you're going to be a giant slayer, brother, you've got to spend time with God. You've got to get acquainted with God! Don't dwell 0n yourself. I'll tell you, all this introspection would destroy any of us. If I sat around and thought all day about Sam Bryant and my failures and my weakness, I'd be so depressed I couldn't get out 0f bed in the morning. What I need is to look to God.

You know what David said? "who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies 0f the living God?..." (1Sa 17:26) And with a slingshot, he went out and brought the great giant down. You know, I think Primitive Baptists today need to know who they are in Jesus Christ. We are the church of the redeemed. We are the church 0f the living God. And underneath us are the everlasting arms, and we've got a foundation that cannot be shaken, and God said "I'll never leave you nor forsake you." And God will make a way where there is no way. And the church of Jesus Christ today, though she may be small in the world and not educated like the world, and not highly armed and financed like the world, I want to tell you the church needs to see wh0 she is in Jesus Christ. Would you all agree with that today?

Now, why does God choose the weak and why does God choose those that are feeble in this world, like he said to the Corinthians? Why does God choose people like us? I'll just say it that way. You know there's not many mighty among us. There's not many noble, "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are..." (1Co 1:27-28) Why has God done that? Why has God worked that way? So that "he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." (1Co 1:31) That's why God does that.

You know, as I said earlier, if I wanted to sit around and think about my past and think about, you know, how weak I am in the flesh, and where I came from, the piney woods of middle Georgia, and the baby of a large family, and hardly any education and things of the world, brother I could just be so intimidated by the Devil until I'd never speak again in the name 0f our Lord Jesus Christ. But many years ago God opened my eyes to see that my strength is not in me, but it's in the Lord.

Paul said to the Philippians, "I can do all things" - how? "through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Php 4:13) And that's what God's people need to do -- is keep their eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to remember where we came from, but we need to remember we're not there any more. By God's grace, we're 0ut of that condition now, and we're on our way to heaven's pure world, and by His grace we can follow in His steps. By His grace we can show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. And by His help and strength and grace, we can live holy lives in this world. And when the Devil comes to you and tries to get you to do things that are not pleasing in the sight of God, you tell him, you remind the Devil you don't belong to him any more, you've been bought with a price. Am I connecting with anybody in the house today? You all are listening, I hope.

We are bought with a price! We've got a blood-bought right to enjoy our lives in this world and we have been bought with a price and we are to glorify God in these bodies and in these Spirits which are His. I am not an instrument of the Devil. I'm not to belong to the Devil, to be used by him at his will. But, oh, by the indwelling Spirit of God I can live a holy life. I can show forth the praises of God who has called me by His grace and I can follow in the steps of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, it's a blessing when we find 0ut who we are in the Lord Jesus.

I remember in the Old Testament there is a story, a touching story, of a young man named Mephibosheth. He was royalty. He was the son, the grandson, of the king of Israel. Royal blood flowed in his veins, but when his father and his dad were killed in battle, his nurse panicked and she dropped him and he was crippled as a little boy, and he ended up in the land of Lodebar. And the word Lodebar, I understand, means a land without pasture. Oh, it's a pitiful land in an agricultural society like Israel was, to be in the land where there was no pasture. It was a desolate land. And there was a crippled boy in Lodebar, in the wilderness. That's where we were by nature. That's where we were in Adam. But, you know, David came to the throne and David had a covenant relationship with Jonathan. And David said to his servants, "Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" (2Sa 9:1) And those brethren said, there's one boy left, his name is Mephibosheth and he lives in Lodebar. And David said, go fetch him. Oh, that's what I'm here this morning to do, and that's what God's servants ought to be doing, bringing the news to God's crippled children in the wilderness of this world, that you are royalty, my friends.

And when they got down there and told Mephibosheth, oh, it's the most pitiful attitude he had about himself. Do you remember what he said? He said, what am I but a dead dog that I should sit at the king's table. Well, I want to tell you, he was a dead dog by nature, but not by God's grace he wasn't. No, my friends. He was a royal priesthood, a chosen generation. He was God's child. He was the son of royalty. Kingly blood flowing in his veins. And I want to tell you what, David saw to it that he was brought to the king's table. Those crippled legs were hidden by the king's table, and I want to tell you, all of us have crippled conditions. We've all failed along the way, oh, we've all got a history about us that's sad. But I want to tell you my friends, God's grace is amazing and you, this morning, I want you to know, my friends, that the Devil is a liar. The Bible says he is an accuser 0f the brethren. If you'll let him sit on your shoulder and whisper in your ear, he'll have you thinking you're not capable 0f anything in the house of God and in this world, and he'll have you s0 despondent, you'll want to get in bed and pull the covers over your heads.

But I'm here this morning to tell you that God loved you before the foundation of this world, and He marked you out by sovereign choice. And not only is Jesus precious to us who believe in Him, but we're precious to Him. Don't tell me that Jesus Christ died for somebody on that cross that isn't precious to Him. We're all precious to Him, even that dying thief. And, you know, I don't know, but I sometimes wondered if that dying thief could have lived another day, he'd have looked somebody up and said I want to be baptized. Oh, let me tell you, I believe he'd have wanted to follow Jesus. Now, he didn't go to heaven by his baptism because he was never baptized. He didn't go to heaven by his good works because he didn't have any, my friends. Let me tell you, if you're today, by the grace of God, blessed to see who you are in Jesus Christ by God's grace, you ought to be looking up a preacher somewhere before the day is over and saying, I want to be baptized. I want to come home to the church.

Oh, I was so happy a couple of Sunday nights ago. My youngest daughter came around before the church and she was weeping and she wanted to join the church, and I told her she had an opportunity to speak. And she said, "Dad, I can't say anything, but I want you to speak for me." And I said, "Well what do you want me to tell them?" And she said, "I'm just ready to come home." Oh, let me tell you, you've got a home today if you're a child of God, and it's in the Old Baptist Church, and if you've been saved by His grace, my friends, you belong in God's house. God didn't call us by His grace to continue on in the flesh. Would you all agree with that today? He didn't call us all the way from heaven to this earth just s0 we could go back to sleep. He called us, my friends, that we might follow in His steps.

I remember when my oldest girl was real little, I think it was before my second child was born, I was so touched one day when I heard her singing to herself in the den, "Footsteps of Jesus? I don't know if you all sing that 0r not, oh, that's a beautiful song. And she was maybe three years 0f age, and I thought, "Lord, do help her to follow in the steps of Jesus!" That's why we've been called in this world, my friends, to show forth the praises of Him that hath called us by His grace.

You know, Jesus Christ was not here very long in the flesh, 33 years, that's not very long. I remember when I turned 33 years old, I thought to myself, "My Lord only had 33 years to live on this earth." I'm now 53. I've been here, what is that? Twenty years longer than Jesus was here. Jesus wasn't here very long in the flesh and while He was here He didn't travel very far. Maybe no more than 100 miles from His birthplace. Jesus Christ never covered much geographical territory while He was on this earth. e wasn't here for very long in the flesh. Not many people got to see Him.

But He's called us, and done a work of grace in us, and given us the Holy Spirit so that we might be a reflection 0f Jesus Christ wherever we go in the earth today. And I believe I've seen Jesus. Oh, I haven't seen Him in the flesh yet, I'm looking forward to that when I see Him face to face, but I believe I've seen Jesus Christ here in this world. I believe I've seen Him in Brother Ersel Tillery, his kindness, his humility, his love. Oh, Jesus, brothers and sisters, is amongst us today. You know, it's Christ in us, the hope of glory. What you and I need to do is crucify the old flesh and let this light shine out and follow in His steps. Jesus wasn't here very long in the flesh, but He set up a church before He left, and He began to call men and women to His service in this world.

And there's a difference in the new birth, that is, the heavenly call, the effectual call, and the gospel call. I believe there's a big difference in that. Now, some would have us to believe it's all the same, but I don't think so. A brother wrote me a while back and wanted to know what I thought about the text, "...many are called, but few are chosen." (Mt 22:14) And I'm just going' to give you all what I think about it this morning, and it's pocket change understand. I mean I'm not going to live or die by this interpretation, and if you all got more light, I will appreciate it after the service is over. But I'm just going to give you what I believe about that today. I believe the "many are called" has reference to the gospel call. Not all of God's elect will ever hear the gospel call in this world. Many of God's children will live and die and never hear the sweet name of Jesus fall from mortal lips. I believe that. Many that die in infancy will never hear the gospel, but they're God's children. Many in the foreign parts of this world that have never heard the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, never got the gospel call, but they got the heavenly call. I believe that. You know, God calls directly, He doesn't call through preachers when it comes to the new birth. Oh, let me tell you, my friends, there is a gospel call. And I'm trying to give that this morning, you know. Many are called, many 0f God's regenerate people are called by the gospel, but only a few are chosen to serve, because only a few are willing to live up to their spiritual potential. That's right, many of them choose to live in the flesh rather than in the Spirit.

You know when Gideon was going against the enemies of Israel, he had a large army. Many were called to serve in Gideon's army, only 300 were chosen to fight in that army because 0nly 300 were willing to d0 it God's way. And if you're going to be in God's service, you're going to have to do it God's way. You can't d0 it in the flesh, you can't do it in yourself. Three hundred men were chosen, only a few to destroy the Midianites.

Now, if God has called you by His grace...I mean if you've been born 0f the Holy Spirit, if you've received the heavenly call from death in sin to a life in Christ, now you're receiving the gospel call and many 0f you received it 0ver the years. I received it for a year in my life before I was 0bedient to that heavenly call. I wasted a year of my life. I'd sit there in rebellion, I listened to the Devil. Oh, you know, he said to me, "Why, you know, those brethren wouldn't have you." I was 14 years 0ld, I saw myself as a wretched sinner, highly unqualified in every way to be in the church. And the Devil sit there... Let me tell you, my friends, that's not humility, that's nothing but the Devil's ploy to disarm us and cripple us and hinder us in the service of God.

When people say "Oh, I joined the church, but I'm not worthy..." Let me tell you, friends, that's just another way of expressing your rebellion and your disobedience to God. None of us are worthy in the flesh. Paul certainly wasn't. Ananias knew it too, didn't he? He didn't want anything to do with Saul 0f Tarsus. He was going to pack up and leave town when he heard that Saul was coming. But, I want to tell you, Saul's worthiness was not in himself, but his worthiness was in God's grace and God says, I have chosen him, he's a chosen vessel unto me.

Let me tell you this morning, my friends, your worthiness is not in yourself. We need to get our eyes off of 0urselves and on the One that has washed us in His blood, redeemed us and empowered us, and by grace we can live the kind of life God would have us to live.

You know, John Newton is such a classical example of what I'm talking about this morning. A slave trader by nature, buying and selling human beings and selling them like animals. And he was a wicked man, and I've read in his biography that his profanity, his cursing in the tavems of London was so bad that even the harlots would blush when that man cursed. He was a wicked man, a tyrant, a monster of evil and sin. But he didn't intimidate God. I want to tell you, God's grace got ahold of him and made a change out of him. And he wrote the national anthem of the Primitive Baptist Church. Oh, you know, people want to. sing that, don't they?

Nelda and I went to my brother-in-law's funeral the other day. I have a sister, she's a precious, precious, sister in the flesh, but she never was able to see the truth that salvation was by grace. And she joined a denominational church that thinks you have to work your way to heaven, but her husband never would cooperate. Now, he was a hard working man. They raised six children, and I'm telling you, he was a good provider, he worked hard, he was honorable in many ways. He was faithful to her in their covenant vows, an honorable man, but he just wouldn't go to church, just never would get around to going to church. My sister's children were brought up in that teaching that you've got to accept Jesus to go to heaven. And last year my brother-in-law, well, two years ago, he was critically ill, and one of his sons said, "I'm so glad dad didn't die, because he still hadn't accepted Jesus." You know, that's so sad. That is so sad. And they called on my brother, Dan, to have the first part in the service, which was a surprise to all of us. And my brother Dan got up and I've never heard him blessed any more. And he said, "You know, God didn't call preachers to preach funerals. He called preachers to preach the gospel." And he said, "I'm here today to preach the gospel." And, bless your heart, for about 12 minutes, he preached the gospel. Now, he didn't preach it in an offensive manner, but he just preached the gospel. He preached "Amazing Grace."

And then they had a man to get up...I never have been too crazy about solos until that funeral. I don't care if that man sung it at my funeral. I have never heard... it touched me, it moved me to tears, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound." My precious sister loved that song enough to choose it to be sung at her husband's funeral, and yet, somehow, there is still a blindness over her eyes. As Brother Ersel says, "Part of the gospel they understand. Oh, wouldn't it be a blessing if they could see it all?" And then the pastor of my sister's got up, and I couldn't be offended with him because he preached exactly what his church stands for, and he did a masterful job. I'm telling you, he wove those Scriptures together in a mighty way, but it was so burdensome to my heart.

And I did something I have never done in a funeral before, and I'm not real sure it wasn't the flowers, I have a lot of allergy problems, a good bit of trouble with my voice. I got to coughing. I had to get up and go out. Some of my family accused me of walking out because the doctrine he was preaching was so impossible to endure. But, you know what? I don't know. I really don't. I had to leave because of the coughing. I don't know if I got choked on the flowers or the message that was being preached. I don't know. But, I'll tell you one thing, it is sad, it is so sad, to hear a man with an open Bible get up in the presence of a corpse and indicate that this man is not in heaven because he didn't accept Jesus. Oh, my friends, you and I have got a big job on our hands trying to teach this gospel in a world that has bought into the systems of men. And, of course, we can't teach it unless God helps us.

What a blessing it is to know that God's amazing grace can not only save John Newton, the slave driver, it could save my brother-in-law. Now, if my brother-in-law was a child of God and born of the Holy Spirit, he missed out on a lot in this world, by not being in the church and having a church family. I do believe God's children miss out on a lot by not being obedient to the heavenly call. Oh yes, you miss out on a lot in this world, but you don't miss out on heaven. God's grace is amazing. It is amazing. But when God calls us, He calls us to repent of our sins. And, you know, that's what John Newton did. And he began to follow in the steps of the Lord Jesus.

Let me ask you today, little children, are you following in His steps? Listen to this text in closing, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps..." (1Pe 2:21) Are we following in His steps today? Are we doing as He would do? Are we talking as He would talk? Are we forgiving as He would forgive?

You know, in Acts chapter ten, to me the greatest commentary on the earthly life of Jesus was given by Luke when Luke said, concerning Jesus of Nazareth, that he was anointed of God to go about doing good. Wherever Jesus went He just did good. No show about Him. And when He would work a miracle, He would tell the brethren to tell no man, but He never found a hungry man and left him hungry. He never found anybody naked and left them in that condition. Jesus never found the weeping of this earth and didn't comfort them. Jesus Christ would minister to the broken-hearted. And I want to tell you today, that's what the church needs to be doing. There's a lot of broken-hearted people in this world.

We have a dear sister in our church now, just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And I've heard for years it's incurable and extremely, excruciatingly painful. What a joy it is to see the church family rally around that sister and her husband and daughter. She has a son that cannot come, he's away in prison.

Oh, let me tell you, my friends, there's a lot of broken hearted people in this world and you and I need to follow in the steps of Jesus. We need to slow down. I've got a turtle on my desk at home, it's a little old thing I bought years ago. A little old ceramic turtle, I guess it is made out of ceramic. And it's there for a purpose, to remind me every day to just slow down. Do you all ever get in the rat race? I've been in it. I finally figured out the rats were winning and I was so busy until I wasn't enjoying much. A friend of mine told me his doctor told him to get out of the fast lane; he said, you're holding up traffic. Oh, let me tell you folks, a lot of us are living so fast until we don't know what life is all about. You know, I have never in the Scriptures, and I've read the gospels many times, I've never read anywhere where Jesus ran anywhere. Have you all ever read that? He walked. He didn't run anywhere. And, brother, when He found somebody that was in trouble He always had time to stop. That woman of Syrophenicia, He talked mean to her. I'll tell you, if I'd have been her and in the flesh and He'd a told me I was a dog, brother, that would have been the end of the conversation. But there was something in her that knew that by nature, yes, I am a dog, but by God's grace I want the crumbs. And Jesus gave her one of the greatest compliments He ever gave anybody on the earth. He had time to talk to that poor woman, that widow, that woman, that Gentile woman, Jesus had time to talk to her. And He said, greater faith I have not seen, no not in all Israel. The woman with the issue of blood, all she had to do was touch Him and He stopped. Did you know the Roman legions could not have stopped Jesus if He had not wanted to stop? I know He was a man by nature, but I want you to know He was God in the flesh, He still had all power, both in heaven and in earth, and all the Roman soldiers in the world could have come against Him and not stopped Him if He hadn't wanted to. But a poor woman in need stopped Him. He always had time for the needy and the broken and the wounded of this world.

May God help us to slow down and follow in the steps of Jesus. Oh, it would be good, wouldn't it, to follow in His steps and not care if what we do is known or recognized. Jesus didn't seem to care, did He? As a matter of fact He said don't tell anybody that I've worked this miracle or that miracle. Quietly, humbly, He lived out the most beautiful life ever lived among men, and now He's calling on you and me to follow in His steps. I'm so far behind, until, I'll tell you what, I could get so discouraged I'd just quit. But, I like what one man said, "I'm not what I want to be, and I'm not what I ought to be, but I sure thank God I'm not what I used to be." And I know where I was last year. Hopefully, I've made a few steps down the road. Don't let critics, and enemies and the Devil and the flesh get you so discouraged that you'd just quit. The gospel encourages us to wait on the Lord and renew our strength and He'll give us help. And if you've fallen, the Bible says that a good man may fall, but God will lift him up. And if you have fallen, brother, just say, "Lord, I'm sorry." Get up and brush yourself off and get back on the road again. Would you all say amen to that today?

May we encourage one another. I want to encourage the brethren and the sisters to live like Jesus lived. That's a big calling, isn't it? But we can do it by God's amazing grace. I thank you for your good attention today, and I hope that you will remember that you're not grasshoppers and you're not a dead dog. By God's grace, you're God's children, you're the sons and daughters of royalty. You're saints, you're heirs and joint heirs and you're destined for heaven's pure world. If somebody should ask me today who I am, you know what I'd tell them? I believe I'd tell them, I'm a sinner saved by grace, and I'm on my way to heaven's pure world because God loves me, but right now I'm struggling with an old sin nature that gives me a lot of trouble. And I'm looking forward to the day when I shall lay it down, but I am a child of God saved by His grace.

Thank you for your good attention this morning.

A Contrast in Prayers

A Contrast in Prayers (1993, November - December)

Sermon preached by Elder Hartsel Cayce at Cane Creek Primitive Baptist Church, Thornton, Arkansas, (Tape #001.254, can be ordered from Jo Ann Cayce's Tape Service, P. 0, Box 38, Thornton, AR 71766, for $3.00 postpaid.)

We are glad and thankful to see each one of you who are here and glad to be here, Frank, sort of gets on to me a little bit sometimes, I guess, He said he wanted to hear me tonight, I said, Oh, I will say Amen a little louder so you can hear me, I was enjoying it, I enjoyed the prayer. I enjoyed the things that Brother Frank has brought before us and brought to our mind. I hardly know how to follow what he said. It will have to be, I trust, along the same line or thoughts.

I'll use the expression that Brother Frank referred to in the gospel according to Luke, 18th chapter, beginning with the 9th verse, the account of the Pharisee and the publican and their prayer, In the ninth verse talking about our Lord speaking in regard to giving this parable. "And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves."

"He spake this parable unto certain," Certain individuals, a class of people, that class of people are still present today. There are still people today that trust in themselves. Now, if we realize and recognize that in ourselves we are nothing and can do nothing, we will not be trusting in ourselves, in regard to this expression of Scripture. In the Old Testament in the Book of Proverbs, the writer says: "Confidence (or trust, if you will) in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken foot, and a tooth out of joint." (Pr 25:19) I quote that that way sometimes. "Is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint." "Confidence in an unfaithful man," That is confidence or trust in one who is not able to perform or to deliver. One whose merit or worth is not that of God, that great I am.

You know I love this expression in that connection. "For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen." (2 Cor, 1:20) They are yea and amen, Such an One you can put confidence in. Such an one who is of one mind and cannot be turned, and cannot change, and cannot be changed, the same yesterday, today and forever, such an one you can have confidence in, or trust in, But these certain ones did not trustin Him, they trusted in themselves.

"And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous." Now such an individual would not come before God in fear and in trembling, It is very evident in this parable as the Master speaks it. Now this man that trusted in himself, that he was righteous, did not come before God begging His mercy, realizing that he was bankrupt, that he had no merit to plead; but rather, he trusted in himself that he was sufficient, And that he could approach unto God on equal standing, and equal ground. He could demand of God that that he deserved, and that that he desired, And "certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous."

Oh, how sad it is, but yet how true it is that this next clause that the Lord used fits with that same class of people, and He says: "and despised others." "And despised others." Why if I didn't have any more than that publican had, if I didn't have any more than what these other people have, they don't have what I have, I would be ashamed, you know. I would be busy. I would attain unto something greater than that. Despised, looked down upon, That is what it is saying. Not that they perhaps couldn't walk with you in many ways, or many avenues of life, but they look down upon you, My friend, anytime anyone stands and looks back at the church, and a poor trembling child of God, a beggar at mercy's door, and looks down upon him, in the sense of this expression, of despising him, he has got his prerogatives wrong, he has got his perspective wrong. He is calling up, down; and down, up, He is calling evil good, and good evil. He is calling that that is last first, and that that is first last.

But here it says: The Lord spake this parable. The Lord is not fooled in the matter, you see, Sometimes we stop and we look, and we see those who make great boasts or claims of living so well and doing so much, and accomplishing so much, being full of zeal and very zealous for the Lord. Verily, they think perhaps they are doing God's service and God needs their help, We stand back and look upon that, and we think, well; we become down cast. I do, don't you? I look around and about and I see us sitting down perhaps on the stool of do nothing, some thing of that nature, and I look, and see others so busy and so engaged in all of this and I wonder where our zeal has gone? I wonder where our compassion has gone? I wonder if we are not interested in these things? But we are swallowed up it seems like, with discouragement, downsettings, and disappointments, realizing and recognizing that we can't do. So we cease to do that that we ought to be doing, But let me encourage you and admonish you, my friends: you have a rich Almighty Friend. You have One that is not fooled, and not led astray, and it is not clouded or hidden from His view, the very thought and intent of the heart. You hear what I am saying? The very thought and intent of the heart of many who profess to have compassion and love. That compassion and love turns only within them when you get right down to the bottom of it. Afraid they will go to hell, afraid they will burn in an everlasting torment, if they do not do, if they do not meet the qualifications and help the Lord get the matter done. That is not trusting in God, that is not confidence in God. That is trying to save your own hide, that is about all that amounts to. It is a sacrifice that is unacceptable before God. But nevertheless it is not hid from God's eyes. It might be hid from ours as I was trying to say but it is not hid from God's eyes. "But all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." (Heb 4:13)

He understood and knew the very thought and intent of this man that professed to be praying. He was as one praying on the street corner that the Master used the parable about; to be seen of men, to have the praise of men. Then the Master said: "Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." (Matt, 6: 5) If that is the reward that you want then do it that way and you will get the reward that you want, The Master says: When you pray . , ,"When thou prayest, enter into thy closet," (Matt, 6:6) That is; don't do what you do to be seen of men. "Pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly," And I hasten to say, at the same time He teaches us to pray in secret, He also teaches us to pray with and for one another. But when we do that in a public way, a public manner in the church, and sometime maybe we are guilty of it that we endeavor to pray to be heard of men, to be able to speak fluently, words that would appease, or be pleasing, unto men's ears. But, my brother, when we come before this place to pray, even publicly we are not speaking to please men but praying unto God. We might pray in an unknown tongue, we might pray in an tongue that is not understood and still have that communication with Almighty God. Though men around us, people around us, might not be able to understand what we are saying God is a discerner of it and can hear it and can answer it.

There is a sense in the which, in connection with that of praying in public, we would be asked of those — you know what I am getting it from, do you not? From the Apostle Paul's lesson to the Corinthian brethren in speaking in tongues. And every time, in the lesson in First Corinthians, every time in the lesson the unknown of that Scripture is in italic meaning it is supplied. A supplied word to make the reading smoother, or easier to be understood, It is not an unknown tongue, or something that means nothing, but it is in a language. It is in a voice, the way/ that we communicate one with another, one to another. That man that might come before us speaking in German, Italian, French, Korean, or whatever, unto me it is an unknown tongue. And that is all that it means and that is what it means. It doesn't mean some kind of gibbering and jabbering that means nothing, Every voice and every sound the apostle said , .. I want to get away from all of that, I don't want to dwell in the tongue business at this time. You can read it, But every sound has a meaning to it. Brother Frank, in your sermon here, (during the 100th Anniversary of The Primitive Baptist paper in June of 1986) the trumpet unless it gives a certain sound we will not know how to flee or how to prepare for battle, or whatever that the sound instructs us to do, or encourages us to do.

But nevertheless these things are known of our blessed Master, they are open and naked before Him, As we pray, and as we say unto Him this great and wonderful expression from the Apostle Paul in the Ephesian Letter. He says: "Now unto Him" (unto Him, Him who?), unto Him whom we are praying to: "Now unto Him," this One that hears our prayer, and answers our prayer, "Unto Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end." (Eph 3:20-21) Why? Because "unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." (verse 20) And that power that worketh in us, that gives us the unction of prayer, the desire to pray, the realization, the recognition of the need of prayer, is God, The Spirit of God that he (Frank) read about to you in the eighth chapter of the Roman Letter. "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think."

We might have a hard job, a hard time expressing our needs in words, but when you get them thought, or when you get them felt, or when you get them expressed, you can't ask Him anything greater than what He can do exceeding abundantly above that that you ask. That that you need, you see. That that you need. The every pressing need that you might have right now you can't go beyond or surpass God's ability to give it to you. Now, my friends, there is no bounds to that, there is no limit to the mercy, and the grace, and the benefits, and the blessings that is wrapped up in that little short expression.

Poor, weak, and worthless though we are, though we might feel to be worms of the dust; God is rich, my friends! Rich, has love and compassion upon you—the elect of God. He loves you, my friend, and He will give you. . . .

You know here in Luke and in the other gospels, it says: "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children." (Lu 11:13) He uses in Luke a little different language than they do in the other gospels but any way one of them says: "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?" (Lu 11:11) Luke uses that expression or part of it a little differently than the other gospels but if you know how to give good gifts unto them, unto your children, how much more your heavenly father is able to give good gifts unto you that ask Him. (verse 13)

Well, now, my friends, just how good of gifts? Above what we are able to ask, above what we are able to think. He knows what we need, does He not? And His store house is boundless, He has all to give unto you, and you abound; the apostle says, that he is glad that you abounded, he is glad that you had all.

But He said this man, these "trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others,," Then he goes on: "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican," (Lu 18:9-10) The Pharisee (supposedly) was a keeper of the law, He was one that the law had been delivered to. He was verily one that thought in keeping the law, that in keeping the law he had earned heaven and immortal glory, And if anyone didn't keep the law, he would never see it. Not only that, if he wasn't a Jew he wouldn't see it any how, He didn't even have a shot at it: a chance at it, I am thankful that he had that much of it right, didn't have a chance at it because it is not on the chance system. But you see he was on the negative side "not having had a chance at it." Just no hope for him.

But one of them was a Pharisee and the other one was a publican, a sinner. A sinner ,.. he didn't have anything to plead before God. Not at all in his work, in his righteousness as evidenced in his prayer. You notice some one as they pray. Have you ever heard a hipo . , ., a pharisaical, — I almost said a hypocritical— Have you ever heard a pharisaical prayer? Did you ever hear a pharisaical prayer? I have, I think, a few times. Well, did you ever hear a publican try to pray. I think I have a few times. Sure do! I have heard brethren pray here at this church, I have heard brethren pray years ago here at this church, back before many of you ever knew about this church even being here. But I have heard some of the faithful brethren of old kneel down in the front of this church and declare that they were sinners before God, And that they didn't pray that God would grant them justice, but grant them mercy, What does a Pharisee pray for?. He doesn't pray for mercy, he doesn't pray: Lord have mercy upon me, but that the Lord would look upon him and recognize what a great man that he is, and how much he has done, and how that he has done thus and so, Even thankful that he is not as other men, even this publican. (Lu 18:11)

How do you suppose that this publican, if he could hear that prayer, how do you suppose that made that publican feel? Oh, I could just place myself in the congregation, say here at Cane Creek Church, and someone that felt as this Pharisee did, certain, trusted in himself that they were righteous, and pray and say unto the Lord, and pray to the Lord: "I thank thee, that I am not as other men are." "I thank thee that I am not as Brother Cayce is", when I am already feeling there like prostrating myself on the ground. That sounds to me like some body that is wanting to lay grievous burdens on somebody, and not so much as taking a finger to lift those burdens off. (Mt 23:4) But you know somebody, when I am smoting upon my breast, and somebody comes along and says, Brother Cayce, as you smote upon your breast, there is a God in heaven that knows the thoughts of your heart, and the intent of your heart, knows what you need while it is afar off. He is able to answer your prayer even while you are praying unto Him. He never forgets, and never leaves, and never forsakes. Then that might cause me to lift my eyes up and to cast my cares and troubles upon Him anew and afresh, and try to go on for another day.

But one was a Pharisee and the other a publican. I can identify with the latter one much better than I can the first one. The latter one I can identify with much better in my feelings, But "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself"... "thus with himself." He stood and prayed thus with himself: "God, I thank thee." I thank you God. What did he have to thank God for? Listen to what he thanked God for, "that I am not as other men are." Well, there is a lot of understanding, a lot of interpretation, we need to thank God that we are not as other men are. But we ought to realize with the Apostle Paul: "by the grace of God I am what I am." (1Co 15:10) I started to quote someone else other than the Apostle Paul, not a Bible character: "there but for the grace of God, go I."

But this man says: "I thank thee, that I am not as other men are." He is boasting in his works. He is boasting in his zeal. He is boasting in his faithfulness. He is boasting in what he has done. "I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican." (Lu 18:11) Now in saying, whatever we might say about the matter, it doesn't say that we ought to go out and do the things that the man was boasting of that he hadn't done, or wasn't doing, not at all. But it does qualify you, my friends, to say: I am what I am by the grace of God. It does qualify you to say: That if it were not for the grace of God there go I. It does qualify you to say with the Apostle Paul: If any man stand let him take heed how he stands. It does qualify you to pray: Lord, deliver me from temptation. It does qualify you to pray: "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." (Matt, 6:13) But it doesn't qualify us to rare back and say: I thank thee that I am not this, or even as this publican. Then he says: "I fast twice in the week." You beat that don't you Jo Ann. You fast and diet, "I fast twice in the week." I don't know, I am hung up on that matter any how. Somebody right then, they want to declare a day of fasting, and a day of prayer all over the land by Primitive Baptists for a certain matter, I don't eat that, I don't drink that. I don't taste that. If somebody has got to tell you when to pray, and how to consecrate yourself unto God, you can forget it. Do you understand what I am saying in that? Don't need to set apart ... we ought to be praying all the time. We ought to be praying that God will deliver, that God will preserve, that God would bless, and that God would send us and give us the things that we need, Just set aside .. . the thing came in a letter to us, and the brother offered you know, if God hears one man, well then if a dozen or all, a hundred or something would pray, God has got to hear! That is exactly the very same thing. The man was praying to God because of his worth, his righteousness, and if we all would take the trouble and take the time, and remember and set our clock to pray at 1:00 o'clock on a certain day, for something; we are not doing a thing but trying to coerce God, Frank, I would like to hear you sometime. Amen? (That's right, amen,) We are not trying to catch up with somebody else, We don't have to pattern after somebody else, We have got a better thing, We have got something better, we don't need to try to swap it off for something that's not as good.

But anyway he says: "I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess." (Lu 18:12) Ain't a thing in the world wrong with giving tithes, But there is something wrong when you go glorying in your giving tithes, And giving of tithes is not taught in the New Testament, I might just throw that in there too, It is an Old Testament law, Giving oftithes, a tenth of what you earn or what you made, that is an Old Testament law, But in the New Testament it is silent about the matter. But we are commanded to give as the Lord prospers us, and as we purposed in our heart, "On the first day of the week let every one of you lay by Him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come," (I Cor, 16:2) It also teaches "Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel," (I Cor, 9:14) It also teaches us that we ought to take care of the widows, who are widows indeed, (1Ti 5:3) It teaches us we ought to bear one another's burdens.

Well, maybe that is where I ought to have gone, Maybe that is what I ought to have talked about in all of this, But in as much as we have two brethren that we have called to set apart for the work, the office work of a deacon, there must be a job for the deacons, or we wouldn't of had any in the church. It wouldn't have been given there, In order for them to do their job, that is required of them it is necessary for them to be supplied something from the church members to give them (the deacons) to do the job. You know you don't ordain deacons to finance the church, to carry on that matter, that is to do all the contributing and all the providing, is what I am saying. But still it is not done as a matter of law, as the Old Testament tithe.

But this man gloried in that he tithed. I don't know whether I ever, in all of my life, I am old, I have been here awhile now, you know, but I don't know if I ever in all of my life that I have ever heard of anyone glorying about what they had given in the Old Baptist Church. Right now I don't know of one that I have heard of. Have I heard of one? Now there might be two reasons for that, there might be two reasons for that. You know? Frank told me one time, not too awfully long ago about what he read about an experience that daddy had, Some man came up to daddy and said he had been a member of the church for so many years and it had never cost him but fifty cents, Daddy said, God have mercy and pity upon your stingy soul, That might be one reason I have never heard no body glory about it, or boast about it, But the primary reason, I hope and I trust is, that they gave it willingly and out of the abundance of their heart, they felt they wanted to do, And so often times we are told, they wanted to do more but just couldn't do more.

But this man tithes and he's boasting of that that he had done for the Lord, You know there is a lot of people who have the idea and the impression, I guess, that is what they , , . Frank says, you know, if they say it I am not ashamed to say they said it. Well, I will tell you, I will give them the benefit of the doubt, if there is a doubt. I believe that they believe it or else if they don't they are preaching something they don't believe, Now you tell me which would be greater? Which would be worse? That if the tithe is not given, if the offering is not made, if enough money is not there, then the gospel can't go or be sent and get people saved.

Brother Carroll Lee told me up at Sardis today, he said he was talking to a brother up there at Malvern some years ago, a black brother. He said he knew who this black brother was, he was a member of a Primitive Baptist Church up there. He was a deacon there and his daddy was a minister there. But Brother Carroll said he didn't know me. He said we got to talking and so I just tried to make him think I was the most rank Armenian that he ever met, And he said, I got to telling him about Sunday School, Do you have Sunday School? No, we don't have Sunday School, Brother Carroll said, Why my look how many souls you are not getting saved on account you don't have Sunday School. This black brother told him, he said, Humph! I can't save the sole of my shoe and you can't either much less your soul.

You were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, the Apostle Peter says in his First Epistle, first chapter. "But with the precious blood of Christ," (verse 19) Money was paid to get Him to shed the blood all right, Judus' thirty pieces of silver. The value of Him, that they placed upon Him, thirty pieces of silver.

This man was boasting that: I give tithes of all that I possess. "I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven." (Lu 18:12-13) Which one of these fellows, which one of these men, which one of these, brethren, fits your case the closer, the nearest? The publican standing afar off, standing afar off. I wonder what he meant by "standing afar off?" Not worthy to approach unto the temple. Not worthy to come before — feeling that. .. verily feeling it, my friends, "Standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven," Again that feeling of unworthiness to do so. Unworthy to look up, to look upon the face of God, fearing the presence of God, to speak before Him. Job said, you know, if I could just have an audience with Him I would argue my case (Job 23:4). Then the Lord talked to him a little bit, Job said I will put my hand over my mouth, (Job 40:4)

"Would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast," (Lu 18:13) I don't think a person has to do like that (laying his hand upon his breast) to smote upon his breast, but the very feeling of doing so, and prostrating oneself down before God; who knows all, sees all, is Holy and righteous in toto. "But smote upon his breast" and this is his cry, and this is all of his prayer: "God be merciful to me a sinner." "God be merciful to me a sinner."

The other man doesn't even know he is a sinner, The other man's plea is completely opposite of that: God be merciful to me a sinner. But you know, if we set both of their lives up one beside the other, I wonder how much better life that Pharisee might of had (lived) than the publican?

I remember a rich young lawyer, in the nineteenth chapter of Matthew is where-I am getting it from, came to the Master. He said: "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life." (Mt 19:16) He said, you know the commandments, the Lord renumerated a couple of them, he said, "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." (verse 21) We find out in that that the man hadn't kept all of His commandments, He hadn't loved his neighbor as himself.

They asked the Lord one time: which is the greatest commandment? Which is the greatest commandment? The greatest commandment is this: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it," the Lord went one step further than he asked Him to,. "And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets," (Matt, 22: 37-40)

The Apostle Paul in the Galatian Letter, he said, the law was comprehended (or fulfilled) in one word. "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Gal, 5:14) The thirteenth chapter of the Roman Letter says: "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law," (verse 8). This man hadn't fulfilled it. I am going to say this Pharisee hadn't fulfilled it either, this one here hadn't.

But this publican said: "God be merciful to me a sinner," I can relate to your feelings, Brother Ederington. I can relate to the expression you made as you started to word our prayer: "If I am not able to continue on, one of you brethren pick it up." You know, God some how, some way, supplies us many times with His strength, with that that we need to say, I believe He impresses us, not that we just open our mouths and the words come out, But I believe He indites it in the heart to follow those inditments. That is what He told the apostles: "But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak." (Matt, 10:19) That is true in you and in me. In the members of the church, as you step out on the promises of God not knowing how to serve Him or what to do. Not having the strength for the next step, perhaps, but God supplies our needs as we need them —as we need them. Doesn't give them all to us and us store them up to use next year.

Some of that is embraced in His prayer: "Give us this day." "Give us this day." (Mt 6:11) It is embraced in many other lessons that the Lord gave us. "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take though for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Mt 6:34) It is also embraced in and taught us in that lesson of the children of Israel as they gathered up the manna. They gathered it as they needed for each day. The next day as they ventured to use what they had gathered up the day before and didn't go out to gather up for that day, remember it had worms in it, except on the days preceding the Sabbath day, then they gathered up two days supply and on the Sabbath day it was just as good as it was the day previous.

He gives unto us what we need, Over and over again we find ourselves to be poor and needy. Though we might go to Him in time of need and time of trouble and find that grace to help, as beggars, we must return day by day and time after time. We are indeed strangers here on this earth, and travel, often times, as travelers or pilgrims, lost, dreary, in a desert land, then come upon an oasis, and there find cool refreshing waters, Maybe that doesn't mean very much to you. Good news is as a drink of cool, clean water to a thirsty soul, We live in a desert land and the blessings of God are poured out upon us when He opens the windows of heaven in His service, in His church, in mediations unto Him and His blessings are as a cold drink of water, It is as, and Cane Creek Church is as, to me, an oasis in a desert land, I don't want to stray very far from that oasis, I want to keep it in view. As I have told you before and I will tell you again, when I go downtown, when I go across town, when I go to Fordyce, or something, often times I just drive by here just to see. I don't worship the building, but it looks pretty to me, it is a pretty place. It is an oasis. It has been in my life, I hope I can drink from the waters as long as I live.

I will say again, as I have told you often times, as Ruth of old: "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." (Ru 1:16-17) We ought to feel that way toward the church and toward one another.

God bless and keep you is my prayer. Once again I say I enjoyed you brethren, the Lord upheld you in it, blessed you in it, delivered in a quiet, meek and humble way. God bless and keep you is my prayer.

A difference between Egypt and Israel

A difference between Egypt and Israel (1994, January - February)

Sermon preached by Elder Doyle Hurst, of Hendersonville, Tennessee at The South Arkansas Association held with Hampton Primitive Baptist Church, Hampton, Arkansas on Friday afternoon, September 17, 1993. (This tape #066.003 can be ordered from Jo Ann Cayce's Tape Service, P. 0. Box 38, Thornton, AR 71766-0038 for $3.00 postpaid.)

I am glad to be at the South Arkansas Association. This is just the second time that I have been blessed to be here and I certainly have enjoyed it up unto this point. I also realize that you have been sitting for a long time this afternoon after having a good meal. I certainly stand in need of your prayers at this time that the Lord would be with not only me but with each of you, that the things that we might say might be to His honour and to His glory that we might be able to be edifying unto the body, by the Word of God. That is our number one purpose in preaching is that we glorify God and edify God's people and that is what my intent is this afternoon: will you pray that the Lord be with us. So I do stand in need of your prayers.

What I have witnessed, what I have felt, and what I have heard since the beginning of the meeting last night, I want to talk to you about that but I am not going to go over those sermons. We remember those sermons that were preached last night, this morning and the one that we just heard, but there is something about those sermons that we heard that we can't explain. If we were ask to go out on the street, there is something about each of those sermons that we heard that we couldn't explain that to save our lives. But we all understand what it is talking about. When I get through this afternoon the thing that I want to try to speak to you about, I trust that you are going to know what I am talking about, but I am still satisfied that you are not going to be able to understand it. Now you say, wait a minute, you have already lost me here. The Apostle Peter said in 2Pe 3:15, Peter was talking about "our beloved brother Paul," that he had written some things to you and he said: and in those writings there are "some things hard to be understood." (verse 16) Now Peter said Paul wrote some things to us that was hard to be understood. Don't expect Brother Doyle to come along and clear up what was hard for Peter to understand. There is no way that I can do that. Paul had preached things that we understand what he is talking about but it is still a great mystery to us. There are a lot of different places that we could go to for a starting point. Most all preachers know what I am talking about. There are literally hundreds of verses of Scripture that all tie in to one source. But where I would like to go to just for a starting point this afternoon is in II Samuel, the 23rd chapter.

It starts: "Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said." Now he goes on and says: "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." Now here is the verse that I am actually looking for: "And He shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain." (2Sa 23:4) And really I am just wanting the first portion of that verse, where it says: "And He shall be as the light of the morning." Now we all understand that he is talking about Christ. "And He shall be as the light of the morning." I don't think that he means here that He is going to be the light of the morning like the sun that is shining out. I know in Malachi He is referred as the "Sun of righteousness" with healing in His wings. (Mal 4:2) There is another entirely different sermon in that but it all ties in together the same way that all of this ties in together. When he says that "He shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds." (2Sa 23:4) That light that he is talking about, I believe is the light of the knowledge of the Son of God. He shall illuminate, He shall reveal those things concerning Himself. He is the Light of the morning. John had it right when he said over in the first chapter of John when he said He was the Light of the world "which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (verse 9) Now that doesn't mean that He is like a flashlight to every man that comes into the world and that He will light up your way like that. He is the Light! He is the knowledge! He is the knowledge, as the Spirit of God gives unto men.

Now over in the eleventh chapter, the eleventh chapter of the Book of Exodus, now remember he says He is the light of the morning , the knowledge. And here is where I want to start getting into the part that I can't understand, and that I can't explain to you. But it is a Bible teaching and we are not able to understand it. You remember in the Book of Exodus after the children were delivered from the Egyptian bondage, or right prior to them being delivered from Egyptian bondage there were a lot of different plagues placed upon the Egyptians. There was one plague of darkness that was placed upon them. (Ex 10:21-23) Now the plague of darkness, it was said it was so dark that they could even feel the darkness. And when God reveals His Light as the light of the. morning. When God reveals the Light of Christ, it is a light that is not so dark that you can feel it, but it is a light so bright that you can feel it.

Now when these children of Israel were in bondage and Moses had come to Pharaoh and one of the plagues, not the last plagues, but one of the plagues that was placed upon them was darkness. The children of Israel all had light in their dwellings and all the rest of Egypt were in darkness. Now that is hard for me to understand. That is hard for me to really understand if you get right down to it, that all the children of Israel had light and the Egyptians had darkness. Now these things in the Old Testament are written for our understanding. They are written for our benefit. If there is absolutely no way that I can apply this to me in this day and time I don't understand fully why it was there. But I believe it can be related to over into the New Testament. Jesus said "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."( Joh 5:39) All the things in the Old Testament are concerning Christ. I have always felt that you can better understand the New Testament if you have a good understanding of the Old Testament. You can better understand the Old Testament if you have a good understanding of the New Testament because they all tie in together. Now there was a plague of darkness where the children of God, Israel, had light in their dwellings, they could see. But the Egyptians were blinded.

Now you go on down to the last plague in the eleventh chapter it is talking about the plague of the first born being smitten in Egypt. Now listen to what it says: "But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how the Lord," now listen real close we are beginning to get to a part of what is that mystery that we are talking about. "But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord," I didn't put this in here, the Lord put this in here; "That ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel." (Ex 11:7)

He said He put a difference between them! Now these people that go out and say that God loves everybody exactly the same, they haven't read all of the Bible. What they have done is followed after the doctrines of men. Jesus comes along and says: that ye be not be tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine. (Eph 4:14) He says in one place that they teach for doctrine the commandments of men.(Mt 15:9) Jesus had led us away from this.

Now don't get totally down on everybody about this because this is where that mystery starts coming in. There is a great mystery in this. But he says, He does put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. Now I believe that difference between Israel and the Egyptians represents the difference between the world, what we refer to as the world, and what we refer to as the children of God. Israel represents the children of God and those that represent the difference that God put between the children of God and the rest of them is represented by Egypt.

Now you go on down to the fourteenth chapter. In the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Exodus it says: "And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them." (verse .19) Now notice it didn't say a pillow, like the pillow that we slept on last night, it was a pillar of the cloud, and this represented God. I don't believe that it looked like a little light fluffy pillow out there, I believe this pillar of the cloud extended toward heaven. That is what it represented —, that God from heaven was always looking down and caring for His people. Even though sometimes I wouldn't have blamed God at all for just taking His thumb and just snuffed every one of them out.

We were talking about that this afternoon after we had eaten lunch. Why God is so long suffering with His people. The grace of God! The brother told us why. It is all by the grace and mercy of God that we might approach that throne of grace, that we might boldly approach that throne of grace to find grace and mercy to help in time of need. We have a loving God and we don't deserve it. The children of Israel here, the pattern they were in is the same pattern we are in now. We receive blessings of God, then we are ungrateful for it sometimes even later that day, sometimes we are ungrateful for it. Or surely by the next day or the end of the week we find ourselves not truly being grateful for the grace that God has bestowed upon us.

"And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of lsrael; and it was a cloud and darkness to them." (Ex 14:19-20) Listen, now listen real close, you are going to have to listen close because I can't explain to you what this is when ever we get through. You are going to have to listen real close, but this is clear Bible teaching. "It was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night." Now you got a pillar of a cloud that was between the Egyptians and the children of Israel, and it was darkness, this same cloud, this same cloud was a darkness to the Egyptians, but it was light to the children of Israel. Now if you can explain that to me whenever I get through I will be glad to sit down and listen. Now you can explain to me that that same light, I mean that same cloud was light to one and darkness to the very next one; light to one and darkness to the other.

Now turn over here to the 40th chapter of the Book of Isaiah. Isaiah sets us up here for what we want to continue to talk about. We are already into it but it is so deep that there is absolutely no way that you can get through it all in just a short period of time. In the 40th chapter of the Book of Isaiah, and we are all real familiar with the first two verses of that. That is part of the greasy section in the Bible of Old Baptists, the 40th chapter of the Book of Isaiah. But we don't always go much further than that. But, my friends, this whole Bible is full of gold nuggets, and riches and treasures, all the way through. We should not dwell on the very same verses of Scripture that everyone of us know by heart. There is so much more in this than just that. But I am going to read the first two verses of the 40th chapter.

"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God." Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Sounds good, doesn't it? That is good food for a hungry soul. "Blessed are those that hungry and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." (Mt 5:6) "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins." My friends, that sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Not anybody that understands that who wouldn't rejoice to be able to hear those, and to receive it and to understand it. But I want to tell you something. There are other people that you can read the very same two verses of Scripture that I just read to you, and it doesn't do one thing whatsoever for them. The very same verses, the very same men can stand up here at this pulpit and preach to one person and they rejoice in what they hear, and another person it might harden their heart. It might not have one effect whatsoever upon that person. Now he set you up for what he is fixing to say.

"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." (Isa 40:3) Talking about John the Baptist. There is something coming, there is something on the horizon, that is about to happen. There is something that we have been talking about over here in the Old Testament: what is light to one man is darkness to another man. What it all boils down to is that God said I put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. There is a difference out there. We can't explain that! But we know that there is a difference between the elect and the non-elect. We know there is a difference between the world and of those who have been born of the Spirit of God. That is why, Paul says we don't speak the wisdom of this world. We speak the wisdom of God. How does he say we speak the wisdom of God? In a mystery. We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery.

Over in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew, whenever Jesus had just taught the disciples a parable. It was a parable about the sower. Then they said, what do you mean by this parable? You speak to us in parables quite a bit. Now just what do you mean by speaking to us in parables? He comes right out and says this. Now somebody that is a believer in God, somebody that believes in Christ, knows what He is talking about. But the other person is still in total darkness. He says, it is because it is for you to know. I speak to you in these parables because it is for you to know it. But, He says, it is not for them to know. (verse 11) Now that might sound cruel, doesn't it? But I am not the one that came up with that idea. If I could do it, I would probably reveal all these things to everybody that was ever born into the world. I am a firm believer that if everybody that was born into the world whether they be an elect or a non-elect, if they lived according to this word it would be a better world for every last one of us while we are here. Some of the people that understand these things act like they don't, act like they have never heard it before in their life.

I feel like Brother Mozingo this morning, you can preach grace all you want, but that does not mean, that does not give you a license to go out here and be disobedient and unfaithful to the things that God has commanded us to do. I believe whenever grace is fully preached and fully understood, that that ought to be the most motivating thing that could ever come into the heart of a child of God to cause him to want to do good. James says: "Shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." (Jas 2:18)

Now listen to what he says: "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain." (Isa 40:3-4) He is not talking about the valleys, a literal valley that you might go through. If you were driving through the mountains and before you get to the mountains or in the middle of the mountains you go through a valley. I don't think he is talking about that kind of valley. I think he is talking about the valleys that God's children have been going through for a few thousand years. He says, this valley is going to be raised up. Listen to what he says. "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low." He says we are right on the horizon of something that is about to happen.

Let me just go ahead and tell you so I won't lose you. And he says in the fifth verse: "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed." "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed." They had been longing and waiting for that day for thousands of years, it had been talked about. Now it is a great mystery. Then when it does come it is a great mystery. He was teaching things concerning the kingdom of God. He said it was for you to know and not for these.

My friends, if you have ever rejoiced in the preaching of the gospel you need to get down on your knees and thank God, that God revealed those things to you. Whenever those things are revealed to you, it lets you, and should assure you, that God has put a difference between you and the rest of the world. And whenever He puts a difference between you and the rest of the world there are duties and obligations that go along with that.

"And every valley shall be exalted." Up until this time and it talks about the poor in Spirit. Remember what Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Mt 5:3-4) The ones that feel themselves to be poor, undone sinners, whenever the gospel, this mystery, is revealed to them, they are going to be raised up. They are going to be raised up! But the ones that come along . . . look who he was talking to when He said it is for you to know and not for them. (Mt 13:11) Who were that "them?" Who were the people that were the religious leaders of the world in that day? You had your Pharisees. The Pharisees, they had set themselves high on a mountain. They were up above everybody else. They looked down, in fact they began to make rules that the people that were even above and beyond what God even instructed them to do. They were high on the mountain. But whenever Christ came into the world, when He began to preach His own gospel it was darkness to them. They didn't understand what it was.

Over there in Corinthians where he said, that I preach the mystery of the kingdom of God, he said: "Which none of the princes of this world knew, for had they known it . . ." (1Co 2:8) Here was the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He said "For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." God was manifest in the flesh right before their eyes and they didn't know it, so they went ahead and crucified the Lord of glory.

"Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain." (Isa 40:4) Those things that are hard to be understood, those things that were prophesied of ahead of time, those things that were being revealed now, those rough places are being smoothed out; we are understanding what Christ meant, or what the prophets meant about the birth of Christ. We understand the teachings of what salvation by grace is, but not everybody understands that.

"And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed." "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed." Now that is something that I can't explain to you. Whenever we talk about the glory of God and we mention the word glory, you know what we are actually saying? What we are actually admitting is that we don't have the words to explain the majesty and the glory of God. Whenever we say the glory of God, we are just more or less saying we are at the end of the line. I don't have another adjective to describe how wonderful God is when we talk about the glory of God. And he said: "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed." (Isa 40:5) He said it was going to be revealed. Now we say glory because we don't have any other word for the majesty of Christ. He said, now the glory of the Lord is going to be revealed. There is going to come a time when that glory is going to be revealed to you.

The things that Paul said about it, Peter said, our beloved Paul wrote about it, but they are hard to be understood. Jesus said it was for you to know and not for them to know. Paul, time after time talks about the mystery of the kingdom of God, the mystery of the gospel. I preach to you not the wisdom of this world, but the mystery of God. Even Paul, when he is talking about the kingdom of God, says that this is a mystery and not everybody can see it. And he goes on and says: "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us." (1Co 2:9-10) He didn't say the preacher did it, did he? He didn't say that a missionary was going to go across and reveal this to the heathen. He said: "But God hath revealed them unto us" how? "by His Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."

Over in the 27th chapter of the Book of Matthew, I am going to try to hurry up because I know that you have been sitting a long time, I have been sitting a long time before I got up here and I am about wore out, to tell you the truth. Over here in the 27th chapter of Matthew, you remember at the crucifixion of Christ there were some strange events took place then and it had different effects on different people. "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." (Mt 27:51-53) Now they skipped over some time here and then he goes back. He skips a little time and then he goes back. Because those that rose from the dead, rose after Christ. Christ was the first resurrection and then those that rose after Christ came after Christ, in other words is what I am trying to tell you here.

"Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God." There was something revealed to that soldier standing there that witnessed the crucifixion of Christ that caused him to say: "Truly this was the Son of God." There was something happened to him, there was something that was revealed to him, that wasn't revealed to the others. While one man was breaking down and said, this must be the Son of God, the others" were probably celebrating, because: we have gotten rid of this man. We got rid of this old babbler that was just doing nothing but causing trouble among all of us. We had a good thing going here until this man came along and now we have gotten rid of Him. They still never felt like that He was the Son of God even after all those things took place, but that centurion said "Truly this was the Son of God." He saw something that nobody else could see.

Whenever the brother was talking about, I don't remember which brother it was now. I have already heard enough that I am confused about who said what. You leave an association, they say who preached. Well you name off who preached. And they .say what did he preach? I don't remember if it was him or this other one that preached that. I am already at that point where I am confused. But one brother was talking about the Apostle John whenever he was exiled on the isle of Patmos. While John was exiled over on the isle of Patmos they thought they were getting rid of this man. That is why they put him over there, to get rid of him. While John was there, I believe something happened to John that the rest of them couldn't see. He said: "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day." (Re 1:10) "And there came unto me one of the seven angels *** and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain." (Re 21:9-10) I will tell you while John was traveling to a great and high mountain and others came round and about, they had no idea what had happened to John.

Whenever you come out of a meeting where you have been filled by the Spirit of God and you walk down the street and you wish you could just tell everybody how you felt, how the Lord lifted you up in times of trouble, how you were able to approach that throne of grace and find mercy and grace to help you in time of need and they would see you, they have no idea; you just look like an ordinary person walking down the street to them because there is a difference between you and the rest of the world. Now I am not saying all those people aren't children of God, God know who they are. But I know we are manifested by the fruits that we bear. But whenever we are manifesting those fruits of God, other people, some of those, they still can't see that. They can't see what we felt. That is what he is talking about over in the 40th chapter of Isaiah when he said: "Comfort ye, comfort ye ." That this is a comfort to you and whenever you are being comforted by that it is because the glory of the Lord is being revealed to you.

Whenever Stephen was being stoned to death, there was an angry mob around Stephen, they were literally stoning this man to death, but he saw something that they didn't see. I think if they saw what Stephen saw that they might have laid their stones down, they might have got on their knees and began to pray. But while Stephen was being stoned the heavens were opened and he saw the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. (Ac 7:55) What was light to one man was darkness to everybody else. Stephen was there and he saw the light. He saw the heavens opened, but none of those accusers of him could see that. The Bible says that "the glory of the Lord shall be revealed." (Isa 40:5)

Have you ever read a mystery novel? I am sure you have. Well maybe not, I don't like to read. I never liked to read until I started studying the Bible. I basically read the Bible. But I know how people get enthused over a mystery novel. Now can you imagine what it would be like to be reading a mystery novel and you have gotten so interested in it that you are up at 3 o'clock in the morning. You say, I am just going to go ahead and finish this. This suspense is killing me. I am going to have to read it, I am going to have to find out how it ends. You finally get to the last chapter in the book, you can't wait. I have got to get up and go to work but there is absolutely no way that I can set this down, I am in the last chapter right now. I am in the very last chapter, well, you still don't know. My goodness, how am I going to know. Then you get to the last paragraph, can you imagine? Getting all the way down to the last paragraph and then not knowing still, not having any idea whatsoever what the mystery of this mystery novel is. You get down to the last sentence, and you say, it has got to be here. The mystery has got to be here. You read the last sentence and you are still scratching your head. Can you imagine how disappointed you would be? To go through an entire novel and when you have read it all still not even understand or have any idea what the mystery was? I don't mean to be cruel by this, but there are some that can read this Book right hem, go through the entire thing and get to the end of it and still not have a bit more idea than anything of what it was talking about.

But Jesus said and Paul taught that there was a mystery in the gospel. There is something there that can not be explained. There is something there that is revealed to one, that is light to one and darkness to another.

Listen to what he says "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ." (Eph 3:8-9)

He said there is a fellowship in the mystery. I am going to tell you, you can be in yourliving room, you can be driving down the road, and you can feel the presence of God and you can be blessed by that. But that will never compare with the experiences that you have whenever you gather together with the children of God and whenever God showers down His blessings from heaven. They can never compare whenever you are all alone, that is what Paul is talking about. "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ." (Eph 3:9) The mystery of the fellowship!

I will tell you what that is but I can't explain it, and you can't explain it either. Whenever God lifts you up, whenever under the preaching of the gospel which is a miracle, the preaching of the gospel is a miracle. You remember whenever John got in doubt: Was this really Christ? You know he was the one who said: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (Joh 1:29) He pointed right to Him and said He was the Lamb of God, He is the One that takes away the sins of the world. But then troubles came along and John is cast into prison, doubts and fears beset John and he wants to know "Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another?" "Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them."

All of those things that He mentions were miracles. The sight being given back to the blind, the deaf hearing, the lame walking, all those were miracles. Now He didn't say, now I am going to add something else. The preaching of the gospel is a miracle of God! Whenever you are able to understand that, when you are involved in that, it is like he was talking about over in the Songs of Solomon the second chapter: "He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love." (verse 4) Now that sounds wonderful too, doesn't it? You are being fed by the gospel. But he said that the banner that was over me was love. I will tell you when something is being revealed to you that is not revealed to other people, when He sits you down in that banqueting house and He has that banner spread over you, that banner of love, and whenever you are able to see what that love is, whenever the canopy of heaven is rolled back, whenever you are like Stephen and you are able to look into heaven, when God pours down His blessings upon His people.

I heard a brother say not long ago, whenever you go outside that ... it might have been Brother Huckaby. My son mentioned that, Brother Huckaby or some preacher was saying whenever you go outside you are bombarded by radio signals, satellites. Do understand how the satellites work? How you can see things that are happening on the other side of the world? We are being bombarded every day, even in this building, but if we walk out of this building we would be literally bombarded by signals coming off of the satellites, radio signals coming off the towers, whenever we step out. Whenever we are under the sound of the gospel of the Lord heaven is open. In order for you to receive those signals that are out there you have got to have a receiver. God has given us a receiver so whenever He starts showering the Spirit of God, and the blessings of God down from heaven, those that have a receiver receive those things, but nobody else can see it. Just like the radio (or television) waves, they can't see it, but somebody that has got the right channel and the right station, they are able to tune in to it.

Now what I can't understand is whenever somebody is receiving those signals from heaven why they try to flip the channel. What I try to do is tune them in even stronger. I don't want to have any static in it. And there are times whenever God reveals that to you, when He does bring you into the banqueting house and sits you down and the banner over you is love, that is when He opens up the canopy of heaven, those signals from the Spirit of God are coming down and when He says the banner over you is love, you are looking up toward that banner. He says the banner over you is love and what you are seeing up there that natural man can't see. "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (1Co 2:9) Heaven, you are not able to see, nobody else is able to see heaven. What you are able to see in heaven is the Son of God.

Now you explain . . . you go out here down the street and you explain that to somebody — they will look at you like you are crazy. Paul says it is a mystery and Peter said it is hard to be understood. I will say "amen" to that. But I thank God that He has revealed something to me that even though I can't go out and explain it to everybody . .. you know some people get frustrated if they are not able to share something with somebody else. You learn something, you want to go tell somebody. Some people get so frustrated that they just get fed up completely. I get frustrated sometimes, I will admit. When I first started seeing grace, I thought everybody would want to be just as enthused to hear it as I was. But just because I can't convince it and show it to everybody else, I still don't want the Lord to take it away from me. Just give me more, give me a little more just here and there, line upon line, precept upon precept. Lord, I won't be able to go out and tell it to somebody else, I won't be able to explain it to anybody else, but I thank you that you have revealed that to me.

Now I want to tell you something. That is an evidence that God is dealing directly with your heart. Whenever, God didn't put a big screen up here, then everybody sees that, whenever you are able to see, and to feel, and have those things revealed to you, it is because God is coming directly to you. You are not understanding it because somebody else had more knowledge about it than you, you are understanding those things because God is revealing it to you. "But God bath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." (1Co 2:10)

So you see all this whole Book is tied in together, this whole Book is a mystery. But I will tell you what is good about this Book . . . If you had a bicycle and you wanted to put it together what would be the best book that you would need? You would need a manual, wouldn't you? It would tell you how to put it together. You get a car. What is the best book you can get to go along with that car? The owners manual, because it tells you how, it tells you all about that car. It tells you how to take care of it, it tells you how to maintain the maintenance on it, where you can get the most out of it. And if you bought a car, you wouldn't want a bicycle hand book, would you? The reason you wouldn't want a bicycle handbook, the reason you would want the car manufacture to give you a book, because they are the ones who know the most about that car. This Book here is our manual, to us. And we want this Book because the One who wrote this Book knows more about us, because He created us, than anybody else in this world. You are not going to go to a man that has spent years in college and study, you are not going to go to a man that knows more about you than what this Book teaches. Sometimes people have to have counseling. I don't have any problem with that but I will tell you a good clue. Go to a man that whenever he starts counseling, the first book he opens up is this Book right here. Because the author of this Book knows more about you than anybody else in this world will ever know. I will say "amen" to that!

May the Lord bless you.


A FOUNTAIN OPENED (1949, November)

Sermon preached by Elder C. H. Cayce,
on July 20, 1940

I want to read one verse, the first verse bf the thirteenth chapter of the prophecy of Zechariah. That song you sang just before the prayer made me think of this text. At least when you began singing that song, this song came to mind, "There is a fountain filled with blood." I began thinking about a fountain, what that means. "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness."

In connection with that I want to read the eighth verse of the fourteenth chapter, "And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be." If I felt physically able and the Lord should continue to bless me with a fruitful mind, and you had sufficient endurance to listen, and I had the strength to continue to talk, I might preach on this language for a solid week and then would not tell all that is embraced in it.

I want to notice some of the words that are included in the language read, the first verse of the thirteenth chapter, and more especially the text that I want to dwell on, "In that day." That is, during that day. Not just before, not just after-that day, but in that day; and that day is a certain day. It is a specific day. Not in those days, but in that day. We find the expression sometimes used in the Bible, "in those days a thing shall come to pass." "Those days" referring to the matters that are written about, but in this place it is "day" in the singular--not "days," plural. It is a particular day, not sonic-where near that day, nor somewhere near that time, but "in that day there shall." The word "shall" is sometimes used in the giving of a command. IL is sometimes used in the statement of a fact, But Sometimes it is used in the sense of a determination, not only a statement of fact, but a determination of the fact. It is so determined. It is so fixed, and sometimes it may signify that the matter under consideration is unalterably fixed. I don't think the Bible teaches that everything that transpires was unalterably fixed. In fact I know the Bible does not teach that. There are some things that transpire that I know are not unalterably fixed, but there are some things that were unalterably fixed and, of course, if they were unalterably fixed they were fixed by the fixer, the one who fixed the matter. The word "shall" as used in this text is used in the sense of determination. It has been so determined, so arranged and so fixed that it is going to be brought to pass at a certain, particular time and during a certain time.

"In that day there shall be." 'There shall be." Somebody or some power, some authority, some being has so arranged the matter and has so fixed it and has so determined it that He is going to bring this matter to pass—not just when somebody may be willing, or when somebody may consent to it, but the time has been set by Him; the time has been definitely fixed by Him and He knows just what time that is—and yet it was hundreds of years before this was spoken by the prophet; a little more than 400 years before this occurrence came to pass. This was determined and fixed in the mind of One who was able to bring to pass that which He determined. Now we are not always able to bring to pass what we determine. We sometimes determine that we will do a certain thing, but when the opportunity presents itself we are unable to do what we determined to do. Sometimes we determine to do certain things and before the time comes which we have set in our mind to do that, some unforeseen circumstances intervene; something over which we have no control, and we are unable to do what we determined to do. Sometimes we determine to do certain things and circumstances unforeseen by us present themselves and we decide that it would not be prudent to do what we determined to do. Therefore we change our minds about it and decide not to do the very thing we had determined to do. You may sometimes think you will go to a certain place, on a certain time. Before that time comes circumstances cause you to change your mind and you go somewhere else. I did that last week.

But not so with this One who determined this matter. He knew all the circumstances that would intervene. He knew everything that would ever transpire. no unforeseen circumstances would cause Him to change. Neither has it been true, nor will it ever be true that He has been or ever will be rendered unable to do what He determined to do.

"In that day there shall be." He is determined to do this and bring it to pass at this certain, particular, specified time. He is not going to bring it to pass before that time. He is not going to fail in bring it to pass at that time! What time is that, "In that day." And "that day" is God's own good time. I have heard people talk about Primitive Baptists advocating the idea that the sinner must and will have to sit on the stool of do-nothing until God's own good time to save him. A fellow told me that and I said, "Can you tell me a better time for a sinner to be saved than God's own good time?" Could you tell me a better time for this matter to transpire than the prophet here tells us about, than God's own good time?

"In that day there shall be a fountain opened." The Lord has determined that this fountain shall be opened and He set the time. At the very time that He determined it should be done was when it was done. Now remember ! Don't forget, please, the Bible does not teach that God determined or .set the time for everything to transpire, that ever has or ever will transpire. Don't forget that. Some things have transpired that God did not determine to transpire. He had nothing to do with it. But there are some things which have transpired that the God of heaven did have something to do with! Some of those things that God has had to do with He determined that they should transpire at the very time they transpired. He brought it to pass. I don't think God purposed that you should do everything you have done. I am sure that He did not purpose everything that I have ever done. I have done some things that God has most positively and emphatically, in His blessed Book, forbidden to be done. I may not have much sense but I have too much sense to think that God would forbid me to do a thing and then determine that I should do it.

My Bible tells me that God has said "Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand." In another place He said, "I have purposed it, I will also do it." He did not say, "I have purposed it and you shall also do it." But He said, "I will also do it." God purposed it and He does it. He does not leave it to you to do. Well, God purposed this, "In that day there shall be a fountain opened." God purposed it and He said, "I will also do it!"

Let me get this thought right here. Sometimes some have argued that King Herod, Pontius Pilate and the wicked men who assembled together to crucify the Lord of glory, that they carried out the Lord's decree in the wicked things they did at that time. But God said "I have purposed it, and I will also do it," and the prophet said "a fountain" will also be opened. They did not kill the blessed Saviour. They did not take His life. They nailed Him to the cross all right, but they did not take His life. God purposed that His Son should die, and the Son laid down His life. He laid it down Himself. They did not take it. He did not let them carry out His purpose. He did not let them carry out His predestination. He never will let wicked men and devils carry out His predestination. "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David." Not to all the world, not to all the race of Adam, not to all mankind, but "to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem." It is a special thing that is going to be done ; a particular thing that is going to be accomplished, that is going to transpire; and this shall be done to a special, particular, certain people, the house of David and to the inhabitants or Jerusalem. This teaches the doctrine of election. However, I am not going to branch off on that—but as this fountain is opened to a special people, a certain people, a particular people, not to everybody in general and to nobody in particular, but to a particular, a certain, specific people, it follows that the One who opened the fountain opened it to a special, a particular, a certain people. He made choice of that people to whom the fountain shall be opened.

Everything that God does is a special thing. All of His work is special, I mean from a spiritual point of view. That is what I am talking about. It is always special! It is always a particular, special, certain thing that He does, and He does it on purpose! God does not work haphazardly. He does not do things without intention. Brother Pilkington, you work at a place where some of those folks you have under your care do things without any purpose, don't they? We have places to keep those who do things without purpose. You know who I am talking about, don't you? There is no telling what a crazy fellow will do. But everything that is done by a person with a sane mind, unless it is accidental, is done intentionally. If it is a sane act it is done on purpose. God does things on purpose, does not do things accidentally. He purposed to open this fountain.

The fountain opened to the house of David. Notice that little word "to." "Fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem." The fountain is not opened up somewhere and it becomes necessary to go and hunt the people up and exert some kind of influence and persuasion to prevail upon them to come to the fountain. The fountain is opened to them—not part of the way- to them; not most of the way to them; not brought to where it may be within their reach, where finally by them working and all pulling together they get to the fountain where they may have the benefits of it. But the fountain is opened to them wherever they are! David, the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. This occurrence from a literal point of view means the Jews; but as this was a spiritual matter, and not literal or natural, it means to those of the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem—not natural Jews, but spiritual Jews. It is not a Jew "which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly." In spirit, in heart and not in the literal sense. And so it is in this Israel, spiritual Israel, spiritual Jews.

This fountain is opened to them for their benefit. It is opened all the way to them! The benefits and the efficacy of it is to reach somebody; has reached somebody, and will reach somebody in every nation that has ever been or ever will be on earth! That is in harmony with God's promises unto Abraham. His blessing to him was to him; and to his seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. There have been nations in existence that have become extinct who never saw a Bible; they never saw a preacher; they never heard the name of Jesus named—yet there are some in that nation embraced in that promise to Abraham.

Notwithstanding that the nation has become extinct and that they had no Bible or preacher, that same promise was made. "In thee and in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed." Now, I may not be embraced in that number. It may not reach me ; it may not include me, but I know as certain as God lives and reigns in glory it takes in some of my kinfolks, whatever their religion or wherever their homes may be.

The same promise was made again in language like this, "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Again, it may not embrace me. It may not take me in, but it will get some of my family. Families have lived and died and gone the way of all the earth long before the blessed Son of God made His advent in the world ; and before God said that to the old prophet in ancient times, but though they had lived and died some of them were embraced in it.
"A fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem." "It shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out -from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea." The efficacy of that fountain could and did reach back to the morning of time and embrace the ancient worthies, all of the old prophets of God and every lover of God who had lived in the world prior to that day ! It embraced righteous Abel, who offered an offering unto God in faith, slaying a beast in making the offering and sacrificing the shedding of blood, pointing to the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ who would die on Calvary's cross. From the day that He expired on Calvary's Cross the efficacy of that blood has reached the case of our ancestors, made them free from sin; purified them from their sins; and thousands of them that have crossed over the river, as a result of it, from the benefits of that fountain, are in spirit today living in the presence of God in glory!

"Half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea : in summer and in winter shall it be." The fountain is just the same in the summer time as it is in the winter time, and it is the same in the winter time as it is in the summer time. "In summer and in winter shall it be." The Lord can save sinners in the winter time just as easy as He can in the summer time ; and He can save them in the summer time just as easy as He can in the winter time. It is just the same all the time. "A fountain opened." Not an imitation of a fountain ; not something that just looks like a founain, not something that's just named a fountain, but a fountain opened!

Down there where I live around Thornton we have some ground that I suppose you would call it seepy. In times of wet weather you may see something that looks like a fountain. It will run all right in wet weather, but every dry season, in the summer time, the thing won't go—it is all dried up. We have those things in different parts of the country. I have heard them called "wet weather springs." They will not run or flow except in wet weather—but this fountain does not go dry in the drouth or in time of drouth or dry weather ! It flows all the time! You can not tell by looking at the fountain, it does not manifest the fact that it is dry weather. The fountain flows just the same! In the winter time and in wet weather it is just like it was in the dry season. You know you have some wells that go dry in dry weather. The reason is that they are not supplied or supported by a fountain. Then you have some wells that you cannot tell any difference in the whole year 'round; the water is just the same—supported by a fountain in summer and in winter. "A fountain opened." This is not a wet weather spring. It is a fountain that does not go dry in hard times. It does not cease to flow when troubles conie. The benefit of it does not fail when tribulations or woes or sorrows sweep down over the soul like billows. The fountain does not fail when the heart is overwhelmed with grief. The eyes are blinded with tears of sorrow, the heart is broken and sad; it seems that everything is against you--the fountain is just the same. It does not fail you then!

"There shall be a fountain opened"—not an imitation of a fountain. In our towns and cities we see what they calk fountains, but each are supported by some power outside of themselves, sustained by some outside power. Let that outside power be shut off and the fountain ceases to flow. That is not a fountain. The fountain is supported by no power outside itself—self-sustaining and self-supporting! In our so-called fountains, in the towns and cities, when the severe winter weather comes on that outside power, which sustains the fountain, is cut off ; and that is well enough to do that ; for if that is not done this imitation fountain will freeze up and they will have a plumber's bill to pay. But the fountain does not freeze up! It does not become necessary to shut that fountain off in order to save a plumber's bill! It goes on just the same in the winter as it does in the summer!

There is something else about a fountain. A fountain is self-purifying. If you go to a fountain, a spring, and put poison in that spring, in the course of a little time that poison will be removed and the fountain is still just as pure as it was before that poison was placed there. It is self-purifying. But not so with the imitation fountain. That imitation fountain is not self-purifying. Put poison in the imitation fountain and the thing is ruined. But here js one that is not an imitation! It is a fountain, self-purifying! I am so glad that it is.

"Opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." There is what we need. Something to remove our sins ; something to purify us from our sins; something to remove, take away all uncleanness. Unless that is done for us, heaven we never can see. We can never live with God in glory unless that is done for us. We may reform our lives—if we have been doing wrong we ought to do that. Every sin that we have ever committed whether by word or deed, has left a stain on our lives. Unless that stain is taken away we can never live in heaven. We can never dwell with God in the glory world.

An illustration of that, that I frequently use: There was once a little boy. His mother gave him a hammer and some nails. She pointed out a tree to him and said, "Son, every time you do something bad, drive a nail in that tree; and every time you do something good, pull a nail out of the tree." The little fellow was rather mischievous. So, he soon had the tree 'most covered with nails. He thought : "I must reform. I must change. I must go to doing good things and pull the nails out of the tree." In a few days he had all the nails pulled out of the tree. He said, "Mother, come. I want to show you something." He pointed to it. "Mother, see! Look at the nail marks in that tree. You told me every time I did something. good to pull a nail out of the tree. I have pulled them all out, Mother. I have been a good boy. I did just like you said for me to do. I have been a good boy!" "Yes, my son, but there is one thing you have forgotten. Every nail mark in that tree stands out as a living monument to the fact that you have done something bad. You cannot take away the nail marks." Every sin has left its mark on our lives. We cannot take away the nail marks. We cannot take away the stain. Unless it is removed, we cannot live with God in the glory world.

"A fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." I believe it was quoted on yesterday that John heard the redeemed host singing in the glory world. "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto Jesus and His Father ; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever." "For sin and for uncleanness." This fountain was opened to them and it washes and cleanses and purifies from sin. In the heavenly world, when you shall have gathered around the great white throne of God in glory, you will stand before God as pure and holy as though there had never been a sin committed in this sin-cursed world.

"A fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." In that day when the blessed Saviour came into the world He came on time—not a moment too 'soon or a moment too late. ''When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." He came in the right time, just on time. The work that He did while He stayed here in the world in person was done on time! It was sufficient and efficacious and no failure in it!

When He was at the grave of Lazarus He said with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth," and he came forth. When the poor leper, afflicted with a disease of the worst type, the disease of sin, came to the Saviour, worshipped Him, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean," Jesus reached forth His hand and touched him. No other man dare do that. He said, "I will, be thou clean," and immediately his leprosy was cleansed!

We see Him feeding the hungry! We see Him feeding the multitude ; unstopping the deaf ears; loosing the tongue ; making the lame to walk; healing the withered hand and restoring the minds of those that were insane! Oh, we see all of these many wonderful works! We see Him establishing a kingdom here in the world, a home and a resting place for His poor, heart-broken, heavy-laden children as they journey along here in this low ground of sin and sorrow. A kingdom where they can assemble together and engage in His glorious service and for a little while forget their sorrows and trials, conflicts and burdens of life. We see Him as He comes near to the end of His pilgrimage on earth—just before the betrayal—eating the last supper with His disciples. He took the substance of that supper and gave us the Sacramental Supper ; gave us something to keep in remembrance of Him. We see Him going down and washing the feet of poor, sinful men. We see Him -betrayed when He is yonder in prayer to His Father in the garden of Gethsemane. We see Him suffering and bearing your sins and my sins—so great was the suffering that He sweat, as it were, great drops of blood. We hear Him say-, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death." No suffering has ever been endured or ever will be endured equal to soul-suffering. The worst suffering that poor mortals can endure is soul-suffering. "My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death."

We see Judas coming, leading that wicked mob, saying, "Hail, Master," and betrayed Him with a kiss. They took Him and He submitted Himself into their
hands. They falsely accused Him. They smote Him on the face. They spit upon Him. They platted a crown of thorns and put it on His loving head. The thorns pierced His lovely brow. He bled from the wounds in His head, made by the crown of thorns, to satisfy for the sins of your head and my head. They placed upon Him a purple robe that we may wear His robe of righteousness in glory and stand before God holy, sinless and white.

We hear the judges of the court: "I find no fault in this man." Yet they cried out, "Crucify Him." The judge of the court washed his own hands saying: My hands are free from the blood of this just man. "Then answered all the people, His blood be on us and our children."—The reason why the Jews have been cut off as they have all these ages is because His blood is upon their heads and upon their own children; and they will have to be grafted in again before they can enjoy gospel privileges. They cried out, "Crucify Him." We see them as they leave the judgment hall, placing the cross upon His shoulders. We see Him as. He climbs Golgotha's hill, bearing the weight of His cross. We see Him as He falls beneath the weight of the load.

Sometimes I have felt if I had been living and had been there I believe I would have gone to where He was and would have taken hold of that cross and would have endeavored to make some little lift and helped bear the burden He was bearing for Poor sinners. But I falter by the way; I fail to do what He has commanded at my hands so many times—but we see Him as He reaches the top of the hill. We see Him stretched out upon the cross. We see nails driven through His lovely hands, those hands always ministering to those around Him. We see nails driven through His blessed feet, traveling the path of duty and never going astray. We see Him as He is raised on this cross. That cross goes down into the hole that has been dug for it. It falls into place. The weight of the body of the blessed Son of God bearing our sins is thus placed on those hands and feet, and the nails that were driven in them making the blood ooze from His hands and feet to satisfy the sins on our hands and feet.

See that mother standing yonder looking upon her son! She could not go to His help. He cried out and said, "I thirst." Not a friend to administer to Him. The mother could not go to His help in His sufferings. In our sufferings and our distresses there is always someone near to administer to us—but no one to administer to our Saviour. He said to His mother, "Woman, behold thy son." That is all she could do was to look upon that Son with streaming eyes and bleeding heart. Not even the Father in glory to help His Son in that trying hour. That was something He must do by Himself so He could sit down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. His Father turned His face away from His darling Son. Darkness reigned over the earth from the sixth hour to the ninth hour. He cried out: "My God, My God, why halt thou forsaken me?" And then He said, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit," and He bowed His head and gave up the ghost.

"A fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." When the Roman soldiers placed thieves, one on the right and one on the left, they killed them ; but when they came to the blessed Saviour He was already dead. They did not take His life, but they thrust the spear in His loving side and "forthwith came there out blood and water." Such a thing never was before and never has been since and never will be again! Something opened:

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel's veins,
And sinners plunged into that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
I hope that blood was shed for me,
And washed my sins away.

Brethren and sisters, that is all I have to rely upon. It is my meat and drink to live upon in all these years. The end of the way is nearly reached by me. I realize I have not many more years to stay here, but if I die before the sun goes down, I am willing to die relying on that. Somehow I have a sweet hope. Though I cannot join in singing here, in yonder world my tongue will be tuned to sing the praise of my blessed Master—I trust His blood was shed for my sins and yours. I bid you farewell. I hail you happy in the Lord, hoping that you will be there to share the glories of that heavenly world.


A GOOD MAN (1946, January)

(Extracts from a very long sermon, by Mr. James Wells, Copied
from Zion's Advocate, August, 1860)

Paul tells us that he was sent to declare the unsearchable riches of Christ, and he blessedly did it; which proved his mission to be of God. But laying down a round of duties for the believer to perform and exhorting him with the precepts without showing how they are fulfilled, is not declaring the unsearchable riches of Christ; but is, in effect, saying, that although God has given us, salvation, yet we cannot have the joy of it, unless we merit it by our wonderful works. Mongrel Calvinists, as well as Arminians, are guilty of bringing this bastard forth, sometimes, towards the end of their sermon. When they are almost spun out, they begin to strike a wonderful bustle about good works, as they term them; however, these gentlemen have their end in view; for they well know they have some fleshly professors who, being dead in sin, cannot feed on the truth: indeed,, the real truth is offensive to them; the man in the box (pulpit) being aware of this—and as he would not wish to offend them (I leave you to guess why), and he knows the real truth would offend them—therefore he brings them a little "fuller's earth," they, being earthly, like that best, this sends them away rejoicing, not in the truth, but in the wonderful piety of the man: thus they rejoice not in Christ, for they are strangers to Him, but in the blind charity of the man; thus they walk after the flesh, and feed on ashes, while the gentlemen of the letter walks in craftiness, and handles the Word of God deceitfully; but, thus saith the Lord, "Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully." (Jer 48:10.) And what is there but deception in these systems? not one of them make their boast in the Lord. The Socinian thinks more of his wisdom than he does of Christ. The language of the Arminian is, "Stand by, for I am holier than thou," thus his supposed holiness, not Christ, is his boast. The language of the Antinomian is, "Stand by, I am sounder than thou"—and the language of the mongrel Calvinist is, "Stand by, I am more pious than thou." Thus they all unite to glory in the flesh, and eclipse the gospel, while many of the Lord's little ones are entangled in their shackling systems—these blind guides having brought up an evil report of the land of gospel rest, that while they enter not into rest themselves, they hinder them that are entering—not that they can finally stop them, they only keep them lingering about in the market place of legality, until they experimentally find they have got no money—then necessity compels them to join the poor of the flock, which the great Shepherd feeds without money and without price. These poor in spirit are blessed, "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." This leads me to consider the words of the text.

First--Notice what is a good man in a gospel sense. A good man is a man that is born of God, whose soul is the habitation of God—hence it was said of Barnabas, that "he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." (Ac 11:24.) Nothing short of this can constitute what the Scripture calls a good man. Let men say what they may in praise of human nature, God's testimony of it is, that "there is none good, no not one." Sin was so infused into our nature by the fall, that it fulfilled the awful declaration, "The day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." Thus man became dead in sin, a wilful transgressor against God, and a willing slave to the devil. Man, being in this state, does not desire the presence, but the absence of God—so that he does not fear God, nor love Him, nor seek Him, nor know Him—neither does he wish to know Him while "the thoughts of his heart are evil, and only evil, and that continually." Our stock of religious thoughts with which we are born into the world, runs thus: First—We think we are not so far fallen but that we can help ourselves if we like, but God says, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil." (Jer 13:23.) Secondly—We think we have, such a freedom of will as to come to God or to leave it alone, but truth says, "No man can come to me except it were given him of my Father." (Joh 6:65.) Thirdly--We think that God loves the whole race of Adam, and that He would save them all if He could, but through their acting so contrary to His desire, He cannot do as He desires, but truth says, "And what his soul desireth, even that he doeth." (Job 23:13.) Fourthly—We think that Christ has died for all, and that they might all be saved if they would but accept His offered help, but truth says, "It shall be given to those for whom it is prepared." (Mt 20:23.) Fifthly—We think that a righteous life before man distinguishes us before God, and that God loves that person most that behaves best, but truth says, "The children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth. It was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger, as it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." (Ro 9:11-13.) Sixthly—We think that God is not so irrevocably determined to save any but what they may twist themselves out of His hand, and be lost at last—but truth says, "My sheep shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." (Joh 10:28.) Seventhly —We think it an act of injustice for God to save one part of the human race, and leave the other to perish-- but truth says, "Who art thou, 0 man! that repliest against God? shall the thing formed say unto Him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor?" (Ro 9:20-21.)

Thus we see man's aversion, to God's truth. Well might the Lord, say, "My thoughts are not your thoughts." Neither can anything short of almighty grace quicken his soul, illumine his mind, and give him such a knowledge of himself as 'to cause him to feel himself to be such a sinner as God says he is, viz., that by nature he is spiritually dead, blind, helpless, in bondage, earthly, sensual and devilish. When grace quickens the soul it gives the man a super-natural knowledge of himself, such as he never had before—while in the light of this divine life he sees his blindness, feels his deadness, learns his weakness, finds his bondage, and is ready to acknowledge before God that he is the vilest wretch out of hell; and in order to please God and silence his own conscience, not knowing, the gospel plan of mercy, nor yet his own weakness, he begins to make what he calls "good resolutions, promises, vows," etc., that, he will repent, and pray, and keep the Sabbath, and be very moral; on which ground he seems to have some hope that God will be merciful to him for his past sins, seeing he is determined to be very strict for the time to come: thus the soul is quickened. Here are the motions of life; although he talks childish, he will know better when he gets older, there is plenty of room for him to grow, and when he becomes a man he will be glad to put away these childish things. However, to work he goes, or at least tries at it, as he thinks he can run alone; so off he starts towards Sinai, for he does not know the way to Zion yet, thinking he shall find every needful accommodation; such as his' deficiences made up—infirmities forgiven—that God will be merciful, and he will be moral—and that he will make his peace with God as well as he can: but being taught by the Lord, who makes all His scholars wise unto salvation, he begins to feel, notwithstanding all his external consistency, that he is still in possession of evil thoughts, evil inclinations, unbelief, hardness of heart, pride, envy, malice, anger, rebellion, hypocrisy, peevishness, presumption, self-will, self-consequence, covetousness, yea, a cleaving to self; while the commandment comes with a sin-convincing power, and shews the sinner that the law is spiritual, but he is carnal, and held in bondage by the power of sin. This slays his pharisaic hope--sweeps away his refuge of lies, and makes him feel that he is on a road, and in a place, where there is no life for the dead, no strength for the weak, no mercy for the miserable, no pardon for the guilty, no justification for the condemned, nor any liberty for the prisoner, for the law worketh wrath, it being the ministration of death and not life, of condemnation and not justification. This creates an army of slavish fears, while he is shut up in prison, waiting to know his doom. Thus necessity compels him to "stand still and see the salvation of God," with the Egyptian battery on his right hand, viz., the wicked one with all his artillery, the rock of unbelief on his left hand, a sea of trouble before him, a host of sins behind him, and the eye of Justice looking down upon him; while, like the publican, he dare not look up, for it appears to him that God is angry with him; neither can he go forward into gospel liberty, until truth divide the sea of iniquity within him; he feels his nature is like the troubled sea that cannot rest, but casts up mire and dirt. He cannot go to the Lord of life and glory until grace melts the rock of unbelief; neither can he obtain victory until the lion of the tribe of Judah remove Satan from his right hand—neither can he go back and face the great host of his sins. In this state he can enter into the feelings of the publican when he said, "God be merciful to me a sinner." Thus he hath sorrow, because his hour of regeneration is come. But when he is delivered from his bondage he remembereth no more his anguish, for joy that the man child, Christ Jesus, is born in his heart the hope of glory. Thus the Holy Spirit makes conscience a faithful witness against him as a sinner. Although he has endeavored to bribe this witness, yet he cannot silence his testimony—for a conscience made alive by the Holy Ghost can never be silenced by creature works. Thus 'tis

The Holy Ghost that gives the wound,
And makes the wounded whole.

While conscience continues to appear in the character of an adversary, and leads him to Moses, the magistrate, who hales him to God, the Judge—the Judge delivers him to justice, the officer—he being found guilty by this four-fold witness, namely, law and justice, God and conscience, the officer shuts him up in the prison house of the law, in which he finds nothing but hard fare; his feet put in the stocks, so that he cannot run away; his head in the vail of darkness, so that he cannot see himself a child of God—in this sense he is blind. The law says run, but he finds his feet are in the stocks; yea, that he is broken-footed, and cannot move; broken-handed, and cannot work; crook backed, and cannot walk uprightly; a dwarf, and cannot reach up to the stature of the law; a fiat nose, and cannot smell the sweetness of gospel truth; a leper, and therefore is not fit for the king's presence; yea, he is so far broken, that he cannot beget one good desire. (Le 21.) Therefore he dare not suppose himself able to officiate in any part of the high priest's work. Thus he is made sensible of the following truth, namely, that if ever he obtain pardon, justification, victory, liberty, adoption, acceptance, etc., it must be by free, unmerited, eternal and almighty grace. While in this condemned cell, his language is, "Enter not into judgment with thy servant, 0 Lord; for in thy sight (by creature works) shall no flesh living be justified." Thus he owns himself a lawful captive, justifies God, glorifies the law, and sees his distance from God, and his need of a Mediator, while God sustains him, tries his patience, yet makes him wait, amidst all the tossings of his mind, until the appointed time to favor him. Thus God waiteth his own appointed time to make manifest that he is gracious, as it is written, "And therefore will the Lord wait that He may have mercy upon you; for the Lord is a God of judgment; blessed are they that wait for Him." (Isa 30:18.) When grace takes the sinner in hand, he must wait; he cannot run away, grace will not let him—it shall be his song all the way to heaven, and when he gets there

'Tis grace that kept me to this day,
And will not let me go.

The Holy Spirit having quickened his soul, and taught him his need of the gospel in the school of the law; and as His (the Holy Spirit's great business), in the economy of grace, is to glorify the Lord of life and glory, He blessedly does it. First. By convincing the sinner that he is a sinner from top to toe, inside and out; for as Mr. Hart well observes

He never moves a man to say,
Thank God I am so good—
But turns his head another way,
To Jesus and His blood.

And as his attention is, by the Holy Ghost, turned to the covenant provision of a triune God, he is led by degrees to discover that infinite wisdom has contrived a plan of mercy on such terms as engages every divine perfection, secures every claim of justice, maintains the honor of the law, and renders the promise sure to all the seed. The union of the two natures, divine and human, perfect God and perfect man, is the house which wisdom built, in which all fullness dwells; while his own attributes are the pillars that bear up and preserve the house and them that are in it. The glorious doctrine of grace are the maidens that wisdom hath sent forth to tell the sinner of Zion's provision; one tells us that wisdom hath furnished her table—the gospel of grace is the table, but the grace of the gospel is the food; however, they all unite to describe Zion's provision; of which I cannot now speak particularly, suffice it to say, one speaks of eternal love, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jer 31:3) ; another speaks of atoning blood, "Ye were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ" (1Pe 1:19) ; another speaks of justifying righteousness, "He shall be called the Lord our righteousness" (Jer 23:6) ; another speaks of predestination, "Having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will" (Eph 1:5) ; another speaks of eternal election, "He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world" (Eph 1:4) ; another speaks of certain calling, "thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power" (Ps 110:3) ; another speaks of certain victory, "Her warfare is accomplished, her iniquity is pardoned, and she bath received at the Lord's hand double for all her sins" (Isa 11:2) ; another speaks of certain perseverance, "They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God" (Ps 84:7) ; another tells us how we persevere, "He hath begun the good works in you, will carry on to the day of Jesus Christ" (Php 1:6); another speaks of gospel liberty, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not again entangled with the yoke of bondage" (Ga 5:1) ; another speaks of eternal salvation, "Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation" (Isa 45:17). Thus this body of heavenly sisters, in the hand of the Holy Ghost, with one harmonious voice attend the Lamb's wife, and proclaim the love of His heart; the native dignity of His person as God: the stability of His person as God-man; the perfection of His suretyship work; the fullness of His grace, the freeness of His mercy and the stability of His covenant, of all which were wrapped up in that precious yea and amen declaration, "Because I live ye shall live also." Thus the gospel comes forth arrayed in covenant authority, on the high terms of "I will," and "they shall." This is the high place of the city, so that salvation is unconditional, as Mr. Burnham says:

The gospel scorns conditions,
And breathes salvation free as air.

When the sinner is brought by divine teaching, to a discovery of the truths, the language of his soul is, "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord, the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple." However, .the Lord in His own good time leads the poor prodigal to the banquetting house, Jesus Christ. Here he is entertained with the royal bounties of heaven; eternal love displays its conquering power, gains the heart, moves the affection, charms the soul, delights the mind, casts out his fear, removes his doubts, fixes his attention, engages his thoughts, informs his judgment, turns his prayer into praise, his night into day, his bitter sorrow sweet, his sorrow into joy, and sends the voice of love through every faculty of the soul. Thus faith lays hold of the rock, love embraces the truth, light adores the Lamb, repentance lies at His feet, humility submits to His righteousness, zeal is devoted to His service; wisdom makes choice of His ways, godly fear cleaves close to the Lord, gospel hope blossoms with pleasure, holy anticipation burns with fervency, spiritual desires run with rapture, expectation enlarges, divine consolation abounds, while the soul is overwhelmed with wonder, and filled with the astonishment, that ever he should be called to a knowledge of such precious truths and find that dear refuge where he is safe and all is well. Here he may sing with the poet

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Thus he has received the spirit of adoption, whereby he is favored to claim the subsisting relation, and say by happy experience, my beloved is mine, and I am His. In this large room of gospel liberty he is sweetly assured of his eternal election of God, rejoices in Christ Jesus, and has no confidence in the flesh. Here he feels the benefit of atoning blood which heals his diseases, speaks peace to his soul, gives rest to his mind, victory over his enemies, and nearness of access to the Lord; thus he is washed from his sins in the blood of the Lamb, while he stands justified, and beautified in the royal apparel of Zion's house. Being thus washed, justified and sanctified, he is made meet to a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light. This child of light, while passing through the wilderness of this world, is taught of God, kept by almighty power, him and all his affairs, both spiritual and temporal are all controlled by infinite wisdom and grace, followed by goodness and mercy, and sometimes delighted with the presence of the Lord. Thus grace makes a good man.

Secondly—This good man, the text says, "shall be satisfied from himself." It does not say, he shall be satisfied with himself, but from himself. The one who has been traveling the path I have been describing, hath a five fold satisfaction from his own experience.

1. He is satisfied not only that he is a wretch, but a vile wretch, "Behold," says Job, "I am vile."

2. He is satisfied that God is a just God, and that He will not, yea, from the perfection of His nature, He cannot shew mercy at the expense of His justice.

God is merciful, 'tis true,
But He is just and holy too.

3. He is satisfied that Christ is natively God, properly man, and truly God-man in one mysterious union of two natures; and that He has, by His obedience and blood, established the law, wrought salvation, and brought life and immortality to light.

4. He is satisfied with the character and relations of Christ. Is He the believers life? He is eternal life. Is He his light? He is an everlasting light, a sun that will never go down. Is He his justifying righteousness? He is an everlasting righteousness that will never wear out. Is He his exceeding joy? He is an everlasting joy that will never leave the sinner to lie down in sorrow. Is He a Saviour? He is a great One; His salvation is everlasting, and shall not be abolished. Is He a prophet? He is infinite in knowledge, and teaches with authority. For

Oft He commands their fears to fly,
Removes their doubts and brings them nigh;
Doth charm their souls with love divine,
And they can say, my Lord is mine.

Is He a priest? He hath put away their sins by the sacrifice of Himself, and pleads their cause with His own meritorious obedience and blood. Is He a king? He has obtained victory, confounded His foes; and made a footstool of His enemies; however, a footstool is useful in its place, and so are the enemies of the cross—and when He has done with this footstool, He will drive it down to perdition, seeing it is fit for nothing but the fire. Thus the Lord is King, and goes forth, in the purpose of His heart, and takes the object of His love captive by His grace, brings them to Zion, clothes them with royalty, crowns them with honor, fills them with wonder, and delights them with His presence; while they are brought under the high character of kings and priests unto God, their royalty lies in covenant relationship, they are king's children, by Him they conquer, in Him they live, and with Him they reign; they are called priests to God, because their eternal employment will be to offer the sacrifice of praise, and ascribe salvation to Him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever. Thus the believer is abundantly satisfied with the goodness of the Lord's house, even His holy temple.

5. He is satisfied with his own experience that he is an heir of salvation, the Holy Spirit bringing the gospel home with power, unfolding the beauties of the dear Redeemer, and enrapturing the heart with the melody of truth, witnessing to his spirit that he is a child of the most High.

Thus a good man is satisfied from himself. However, this last part of his satisfaction, namely, his evenness with Christ is a summit of spiritual delight which the Lord does not favor all His people with; no, not to the day of their death, as they are not all brought the way I have described, and indeed all their experience are marked with divine sovereignty, for although they are all the same in matter, yet they all differ in manners as our natural faces are all alike with respect to their members, yet differ in their features, so it is with the children of God, the Lord blessed them with eyes to see, a nose to smell and approve of the truth, a mouth to pray, and feed on the royal dainties of the gospel. We do not much wonder they should so differ in features, when we consider that, although all come into the kingdom of grace by regeneration, yet one is brought in by the north gate of severe conviction and law terrors; thus he is driven by the storm; another comes in by the south gate of attracting mercy, and perhaps can give scarce any account when, where or how, or by what means the Lord was pleased to begin His work. However, John, who was drawn by love, and Paul, who was arrested by terror, stand with their faces Zionward, both forsake Moses, fly to the Lamb, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Indeed, it is a good thing we do differ in the features of our experience, for what a confusion would there be in nature if all faces, voices and statures were alike; we should not know one from the other. What confusion then would there be in the church if every experience were exactly alike. It is hard to discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not as it is; and if all were alike, the doctrine of experience would go forth as one equivocal creed, which might be learned by any novice. We should be worse plagued with hypocrites than we are now. Behold, then, the wisdom and goodness of God in this branch of His covenant conduct also. However, let them differ where they may, they are all brought to see the spirituality of the law, their distance from God, and their need of Christ. So that the one who comes in by the south gate of gospel light, shall go out of self into gospel liberty by the north gate of tribulation, and the one who comes in by the north gate of law terror shall go into gospel liberty by the south gate of covenant promise. Thus they are brought to a knowledge of, lawand gospel and God and themselves, while Jesus surrounds them behind and before, on the right hand and on the left, goodness passeth before them, and leads the way; mercy follows after them to lift them up when they fall, divine power on the left hand to keep them from the errors and snares of the world; salvation on the right hand that leads to God (Eze 46:9-10). This is their right hand subject. Thus "a wise man's eyes are in his [covenant] head, and his heart at his right hand" (Ec 2:14; 10:2). As Christ is their treasure, their heart is there also. Thus they are enclosed by Zion's walls, dwell on high, and have for their defence all divine perfection of a Triune God, while their employment is to contemplate the high towers of eternal truth, the bulwarks of covenant promise, and the palaces of divine glories. Thus God hath appointed salvation for walls and bulwarks, yea, the Lord hath chosen Zion, He hath desired it for His habitation, "Here will I dwell," saith Jehovah, "this is my rest forever, for I have desired it, and whatsoever His soul desireth, that He doeth in heaven and in earth."

In heaven the plan of grace was fixed
Before the world began;
'Twas Jesus came to do the work,
And live to make it known.

A Great Wonder In Heaven by Elder Orvin J. Huffman

A Great Wonder In Heaven

A sermon preached by Elder Orvin J. Huffman, Asheville, North Carolina, at Mountain Home Church, Asheville, North Carolina.

Speaking with Brother Herman recently on the telephone he mentioned that he would like sometimes, if I might read and preach from Re 12. I would like to say this, Brother Herman, that when you said that I realized how unworthy I feel to be to get into some' of these Scriptures that are so full of symbolisms, metaphors and so forth, And as I mentioned there are so many who have studied more on these things then I have. At that time I thought, perhaps, I would have a little time to read and study some of Dr. Gill's writings on this subject. I know that he has had much to say on just about every verse in the Bible. Of course he has studied many of the versions of the Scripture be­sides our own. He has studied the Syriac, Arabic and numerous other versions and manuscripts, and, of course, the so called "Bibles" of other places, like the Koran and some few others that I couldn't name right now. However, I would like to read this, this morning, and give some of the thoughts that have occurred to me that may be of some help. I hope that they will, but if not, at least I hope that it will not cloud anybody's mind, but, rather, leave your minds as they are; seeking the truth in the hope that the truth will come.

In this connection I would like to say the Bible says: "Everyone that asketh receiveth." "Everyone that asketh receiveth." This of course means if you ask rightly. It doesn't mean if you ask amiss, because in one place in the Bible it says: "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." Now one of the ways in which we may consume the truth on our own lust is to take that truth, so to" speak, and try to argue somebody else down with it. Now I don't believe that the truth has ever been put out for argu­ment sake. I don't believe that it does good in the king­dom of God to bandy the Word of God around as if it was a bail and you were batting it back and forth. Now, to me, that is not. beneficial. But the truth is that which God has given us. One place in the Bible it says: "What is truth?" In that very place in the Bible, if you will recall, there was no answer given. Hive you ever wondered why? I have. I've wondered why, and I believe I know the answer. At least for me this is answer enough. Jesus is the truth and we ought to just know that. He says: I am the way, the truth and the life. So, if you want to know what the truth is, it is Jesus. Too many times people are looking for a technical truth instead of the great Spiritual Truth, which is Christ.

Now let us read if any of you have your Testaments or your Bibles with us, turn to Re 12 and we will read. "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained, to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a nun child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him, And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death, Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a. time, times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. Arid the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Now that is reading Re 12. Whether the Lord may bless me to say anything of benefit is not so much the point as it is our hope that the Lord has blessed this reading. One place here in this Bible it says: blessed are they which read and understand. There is one thing you can understand about this, if no other; you can understand it is talking about the glory of God. Now let us get into some of the mechanics of the Scriptures. And you must, in order to understand any Scripture there are certain parts, mechanics I call them, meaning: words, phrases, statements which you must understand for what they are, in order to understand the greater truth of the Spirit.

First of all let me mention the word heaven, h-e-a-v-e-n. Now, we know, according to the Bible, there are more than just one heaven. You remember in this very book it tells us that John was called up to the third heaven, and saw things that were un­speakable. So, if there be three heavens there must at least be two before the third heaven, isn't that right? Stop and think. If there is a third heaven, aren't there two more somewhere else? Bound to be, that's plain logic. There couldn't be a third heaven and no more, just but one heaven. It's a third heaven, Now, where it speaks of the word heaven in this chapter, we must continually ask ourselves this question: Is this the third heaven. is it the second heaven or is it the first heaven? Now, we want to know what are or what could be the other two heavens under consideration. If the third heaven is that great eternal heaven which is above, then what are the other two heavens?

In one place in the Bible we read these words: "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Alright, if H e hath raised us up and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, he is talking about right here in this common world of ours, there is a heavenly place in Christ Jesus. Well there is certainly a heaven right here on earth, and you know there is a little song we sing sometimes, it says, "where Jesus is is heaven to me." Wherever we may find our Lord, there is heaven. We may not have anything but a stone for a pillow but if Jesus is with us that is heaven, my children. We may have persecutions and trials in this world, but if when we come to die, we can look and see that great third heaven opened up, and see the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God as Stephen did, then we can say right there where we're dying is another heaven. It's a heavenly place in Christ Jesus. And everyone of the Lord's children that are obedient unto Him: the Lord has raised them up and made them sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Then we may say: what is another heaven? Is there another heaven we can speak of besides the gospel church and the third heaven up yonder? I can think of one immediately and that is the Garden of Eden. For surely, if there was a place where a man was in tune with the God His creator, it would be that first heaven, the Garden of Eden. For they walked and they talked with God and is there a more heavenly place than that? Can you name one? Cer­tainly not upon this world, now could you? Where man of flesh, he wasn't even a spiritual man yet he hadn't been born of the spirit of God. -But he was of the flesh, he was natural flesh and yet he walked and talked with God and how did he do that? Because he had no sin. God created him good and very good and all 'of these things in that great Eden of God were perfect as far as goodness are concerned. And God gave the man a law and said unto him to keep this law. He said unto him, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." So then this law was given in that first heaven and it was given to a person who was able to keep the law.

But now we find something in this first heaven. Something that is called the old Serpent. The old Devil, Satan. He was there in this first heaven. And we find that he tempted Adam and Eve, causing them to sin. And what was the commandment which God said unto the Devil there in the garden of Eden? He said, "Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life." So then he was cast out of that first heaven wasn't he? Certainly he was. And the Bible says not only was the devil cast out but our parents were also cast out., Adam and Eve, were cast out of that first heaven. They were cast out and the Bible says that God placed at the east of this Garden a flaming Cherubim, with a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life. Now just why did God place that Cheribim there with a Mining sword? He says "lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" in his sin. So, you can see by that, that it was by the grace of God that the man was cast out of that first heaven along with the old devil.

We find, here in Re 12, something else. Notice. He said "there appeared a great wonder in heaven." Now heaven in some sense has existed even from the Garden of Eden right on down to the time of Christ. Heaven has existed here in the world in some form, some shape. I know because there were prophets who walked and talked with God. There were men who ware able, like Joshua, when he commanded the sun to stand still. There was old Elijah, who called fire down from heaven to consume those enemies of his. I know there were prophets of God. There was Moses who stretched out his rod upon the Red Sea and the waters divided like a wall. I know that there was heaven here on earth in some form or some shape.

But now he said, "there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." Now I want you to know that I don't believe this to be the gospel church whatever. This is talking of the Jewish dispensation. Because, it was of the Jews that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born. It was of the Jewish dispensation that He came forth into the world. Now this woman is a representation, just as in many places a woman represents something besides just a physical female human being. So this woman represented the church of the living God as it came down out of the Garden of Eden through all those thousands of years up until the time of Christ. And it says, a woman clothed with the, sun. Now this clothed with the sun means that she had the righteousness of her Son which clothed her. She had the righteousness of God, she had the righteousness of Christ, that clothed her. Now there were some changes that had come about in the old Jewish dispensation that is true. These changes were brought about by the old Devil and Satan.

Now notice, it says, "And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered." Now let us think about this just a bit. I don't think this was talking in particular of Mary, the physical mother of Christ. I don't think it was talking of her, but I think it was talking of the Jewish dispensation.

And there was some four hundred years that elapsed, or past, from the time of the last prophet until the time of Christ. There was a darkness there upon the land during which they didn't have a direct revelation from God. They didn't see the glory of God or hear of His prophecies for four hundred years, just prior to the time Christ was born. So by that time the good old Jews — there were some good ones. Lots of people think all Jews are bad, but let me tell you there are some good Jews. There were some good. Jews there who were looking for the coming of Christ. Just as Simeon. We read of him' the other day in the Bible where he picked up the Lord Jesus, the little baby, in his arms and said: "Lord, now lettest thou thy Servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation." He had been looking for that. Then there was that prophetess, Anna, you remember her. She had been looking for Christ and she came in and she glorified God because of the things she saw here., So there were good Jews who were looking for something good. They were looking for the coming of Christ. They were just like the woman travailing in birth, she was paining to be delivered. It was time, my children, for Christ to be born. And so there was that time of travail.

Then he said, "there appeared another wonder in heaven." Now the wonders here means things that are above the ordinary gaze, and this wonder in heaven was not in that eternal heaven. I want you to keep that in mind. This old Devil was never up yonder in that eternal heaven. The Bible says nothing. that Can defile can ever enter there. I know this, if that old Devil was ever up there in the first place he might get there in the second place and maybe a third place and maybe a tenth place, but he'll never get there because he's never been there, child, and he never will be in that eternal, third, heaven above.

"There appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon." Now I don't know why he said a red dragon, do you? Unless he meant it was going to cause some blood and some suffering. Somehow or another I feel that this old Herod had something to do with this. Definitely, because when ever Jesus was born to the world, what did he do? He sent out a rule, an edict, he sent out this commandment, saying: all the little babies from two years old and under were to be killed, to be put to death. Oh, wasn't that terrible. Just think of the blood of those little babies that was shed. That brought to pass a Scripture that had been foretold long before that time. That Scripture says, "In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." Oh, her little babies had been taken away from her. Sometimes, you know to me it seems like one of the hardest things to bear, to be for a mother to have a little infant baby torn from her breast and killed' right before her very eyes. Oh, my precious children, whenever you hear, and those things are happening in this world today, I want you to understand. You may think that human beings are good, but I'm going to tell you, without the grace of God there is not a good human being anywhere and they'd just as soon kill somebody as not. But, if you find somebody that doesn't love to kill, if you want to find somebody that loves righteousness you're going to find somebody that has the grace of God in their hearts. There's a difference there, child, and God makes the difference.

Let's read a little more about this great red dragon. He says. and "having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads."' Now I thought I could speak just a little about those but all I can say right now is this: it has to do with kings and rulers and principalities and powers in this ordinary world in which we live. The old Devil has control over these heads of state. The old Devil had control to cause them to do his bidding. Then he says, "his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth." I don't believe that the tail of the old Devil can reach up 'to this sky above us and grab stars out of that sky and cast them down to this physical earth in which we live. I don't believe that is one particle of the truth in this, God's Word.

Oh, but I want you to know this. I wonder if he's talking about dragging the stars out of heaven, it must be the heaven right here in this world that he is talking about. The stars here are God's children, Many of them, my precious ones, are those .who are not established or grounded in the truth and that's the reason that the old Devil is able to do something with them, Because they didn't study the word of the Lord, they didn't apply themselves, they didn't obey the Lord and do the things that they ought to do and that's the reason he was able, with his tail, to draw them out of that heaven, so to speak, and cast them down to the earth. I can see no better explanation or example of that than to see, many times, the Lord's children that start out in the church, it seems, like with great zeal with great vim; with great desire to serve the Lord; Oh, but then suddenly they turn aside and start serving the things of the world again. Isn't that being cast down to the earth? Surely, it is. And so, his tail drew the third part of the stars and cast them down to the earth.

"And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was barn," Now don't you see what I said about old Herod, how he somehow fits into this. I don't think that just he alone is the red dragon but he was a representative of the red dragon. Because the red dragon had the powers and the principalities under his thumb, so as to speak, and under his control. He had old Herod there. Herod was watching for Christ. Yes sir, he was watching for Christ to come. But for a different purpose than what you and would be looking for Him. Instead of looking for something good he wanted to kill Him, That's what he wanted to do with Christ. You know he ask those old wise men back yonder at what time Christ should be born? Oh yes, he says bring me word again that I may worship Him also. Why, the old liar, the old deceiver, all he wanted to do was get down there and kill that little child. Blessed be the God of our fathers, He didn't suffer that to be,. but He warned those wise men and they went another way to their country. They just didn't go back there. When old Herod saw what they did he was very angry. He became wroth, that's what the Bible says, wroth, which means very, very angry. So he sent out this edict and had these little babies killed and put to death. Yes, he was ready to devour the child.

But listen what happen to Jesus in that time, do you remember? Those of you who read your Bibles, do you know what happened to Jesus in that time? He wasn't there to be killed, was he? Why? Because an Angel came. An angel came and told Mary and Joseph to take that child and flee into Egypt. Get on down yonder out of the way. Don't you stay here, you get out of the way. You know the beautiful part of it is they obeyed the voice of the Angel. They listened, they heard and they were glad to do what they heard. They knew that there was something that had to be done. So they took the young child. The Bible says that Joseph took the young child and his mother by night and fled into Egypt. Whenever I think about them fleeing, I don't think they tried to. take all their belongings with them either. They were just anxious to get out of that place. Anxious to do what the Angel had commanded them to do. So, they got out of there.

Here it says, "and she brought forth a man child." Well, this is the Son, don't you see? And like I say, Mary is not necessarily the woman that is here but she's representative of the worm. She was of the Jews. Jesus was born a Jew, of the race of the Sews. Yes. Bat, she was ready to do whatever the Angel commanded. "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron."

What does that rod of iron mean? That means the rod of correction to make them right once more. Let me tell you this, all the nations of the world have been gathering into the Lord's kingdom. You may say: well, now, I don't see that. But have you stopped to think that right here, in the United States of America, is what is called the melting pot of the nations? Sometimes it seems like it's hard for us to assimilate other nationalities and races. Just look at the trouble we have with the Negroes and the blacks, even the Orentials, the Indians and so forth. We have our troubles, that's true, but right here in the United States we have all nations represented. Did you know that in the old gospel church, which I believe is mainly represented by Primitive Baptist, I'm not going to say that they are the only ones, but it is many represented by Primitive Baptists, you are going to find all nationalities of the earth represented, blacks, whites, reds, yellows, browns, whatever color they may be.

I heard an old Comanche Indian preach one time. Let me tell you about that just a bit. An old Comanche Indian. Did you know that the Comanche was one of the most blood-thirsty Indians that there ever was? They are not like these red Indians like the Cherokee or some of these others, they are almost white like we are. A little darker skin, perhaps, but they are big people. This Indian stood, I guess, a good six and a half feet tall. Oh, to listen to that man stand and preach the everlasting gospel of God and to realize that here was a man of a race that once was feared and yet the very people, the descendents of the people that feared his ancesters, loved him because of the gospel that he preached. He told about one time that he was preaching the gospel at a meeting. At the close of the meeting, you know just like we Old Baptists do a lot of times, they come around shaking hands and put their arms around one another out of sheer joy and love for one another. He said at the close of that meeting there was an old Cherokee Indian that rose up back there and came forward and put his arms around him, Nobody, he says, in that congregation knew what happened, at that time but him and that old Cherokee Indian. That was the first time in over four hundred years there had been any love shown between those two tribes. What brought this about? Just the preaching of the gospel? No! It was the grace of God, my children, that worked upon the heart of this old Cherokee Indian and a1so upon the tongue of this Comanche and his heart, too, enabled him to preach in such a way that the other one could receive it, and rejoice in it.

I just wanted to tell you this little bit to let you know that all nations are represented here in the United States. All nations are flowing into the church of the true and living God. Don't you make any mistake about it, the Bible is true, it is coming to pass. He is "to rule all nations with a rod of iron and her child was caught up unto God; and to His throne."

You may wonder just exactly how this happens and when. Let me tell you this that whenever prophecies are spoken of in the Bible sometimes it speaks of those things not yet done as though they had already been, and this is one of them. He had not yet ascended up on high, but let me tell you something it was just as sure at that moment as if it had already come to pass. Caught up unto God, and His throne. God knew that He was coming.

(Continued in May, 1971, FOR THE POOR)

A New Covenant

A New Covenant (1988, November-December)

Sermon preached by Elder C. M. Mills of Charlotte, N. C. (now deceased) at the Cincinnati Annual Meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1964. (Tape No. 204.002) This tape can be ordered from Jo Ann Cayce's Tape Service, P. 0. Box 38, Thornton, AR 71766 for $2.50 postpaid. See 1989 Catalog for complete listing.

Something that is on my mind, if a man doesn't talk about something that is on his mind, I don't know what he would talk about. Something that our Lord said and something that the old prophet said a long time ago. The Apostle Paul reiterates or quotes what the old prophet said. Sometimes people come to the place they don't just get the lesson, maybe we are the one that is not getting the lesson, but anyway there is something that we want to talk to you about this and will you please ask the Lord to strengthen us in mind and give us an understanding heart.

We want to read something that this man of God quotes, Paul, writing to the Hebrew brethren. We might well take this in thought, the Hebrews were a race of people. The word Jew is a sect or a denomination. That is well to remember. Now the Hebrews were a race of people and God had people among them and Paul wrote this epistle to them and he was of this nature: not wanting to antagonize them, which they were so bitter against him, ne left his name off this epistle.. But he laboured extentsively to point out to them what God had promised to do for He had fulfilled in their day and was showing all the things that the prophets talked about was actually being fulfilled in their day.

You know it would be a bad thing to try to worship under something that has done been set aside nearly two thousand years ago. Men wouldn't get veryfar on that. Now we know that whenever we take the Bible in hand we want to always notice who did the writing, whom it was written to and then the subject under consideration. By so doing we will get a broader and, we might say, better understanding of the lesson involved.

Now this man of God wrote in the eighth chapter of Hebrews something and they had already been reading this very language, if they had been reading their Bible, because word for word, almost identical words, are quoted by the prophet over in the olden days, Jeremiah. And he said the day will come, showing that he is pointing to the future. He quotes here, the Apostle Paul, from that very text. We go back here just a little bit, to the eighth verse I believe it is. "For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come" .... not going to be in days on further down. Now the old Prophet Jeremiah said, "the days (will) come." (Jer 31:31) Now Paul says: "the days come." It is here on hand. "When I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah."

Now we have before us the word covenant or covenants. We won't deal with that too lengthy. But we just want to let you know the Bible teaches more of them than just one, and you know that. God made a covenant with His Son and whenever David saw that and penned it down for the benefit of God's people in that day, which is yet ours. "I will make Him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth." (Ps 89:27) Who could He be talking about other than His own Son? "My mercy will I keep for Him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with Him." (Ps 89:28) Now that is the covenant, or agreement, God made with His Son. It embraced His people. That covenant was not made with you, that covenant embraced you but it was not made with you. Now, whenever God delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage and He did it with His mighty and outstretched arm, after they had already been delivered and been traveling for a little while over in the wilderness, God made a covenant with them. But that was after He delivered them so there is not a thing in that covenant that caused or was instrumental in God delivering them because that had already took place.

Now that was a covenant regarding how they were to worship God in that dispensation. And God would not accept no other service. You can't serve God on your terms — you are going to have to do it on His. Now that is something that we want to remember. God made His covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah after delivering them. So there wasn't anything in that covenant that brought about deliverance because that was already over. The word deliverance or that of a figure of being delivered from the bondage of sin, the tyrannical yoke of sin. He delivered part of the people and didn't deliver part of the people. So that teaches something too! He didn't make the other fellow any worse He just left them where they were at. Now God delivered His people. And after they being delivered why surely there was certainly a need for them to have a rule to govern them and certain laws to keep and certain things to be doing because an idle mind is the most miserable person in the world .... a man that has nothing to do.

A friend of mine not long ago, he is just a little older than I, he is retired. He looked for that for day in and day out toward the last when it was getting up close. After he had been retired about thirty days I met him on the street, I said, How is the man of leisure getting along? He said, I would give anything in the world for a job. A man that has got nothing to do and no motive in life is just something a-drift. A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder: just adrift. God didn't leave His children just adrift they get into enough mischief without it.

But the thing of it is that He told them what to do, how to do it and where to do it and they agreed this will we do. That is the covenant and the Mosaic mode or code of worship was that covenant. Now that don't have a thing to do about the covenant ofgrace because that was made with His Son and that embraces every heir of promise. But this covenant was not made with the Gentiles that He made with them when He took them and led them out of the land of bondage, that was made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. That is why they had strict laws governing their whereabouts, how to live, where to live, what to do and that was binding, without any excuse under heaven. There is no alibis with God. You may have one that suits you but try to pan it off on God. Now that is of a necessity that we pay attention to what He said for them to do in that day. Now I will tell you this .... when they did what God said do they fared better than any nation on the earth. But when they turned their heel against their God and served other gods they fared worse than any nation on the face of the earth. So is that not worthy and serious that we should take notice?

Now after they had went on a long time and every thing they did had to be done over and over year in and year out, but the day will come when all of this will stop. I will make a new covenant —with the same people though. Not only that that was a covenant with them in the flesh. This new covenant is a Spiritual covenant hence it was Spiritual Israel. So then Spiritual Israel reaches out and you know he is not a Jew which is a Jew outwardly but one inwardly. (Ro 2:28-29) There is a circumcision that is going on, little child, that is not of the flesh but of the heart and that makes every child a Jew spiritually that had been circumcised in the heart and God alone can do that circumcision. That is done in regeneration. You know, little child, the seal of the covenant was there manifested to Abraham, but the covenant was made with him before he was ever circumcised, but that was a seal of the covenant. Now that is concerning the everlasting covenant. This I am talking about the covenant of service now .... going back to that.

But now I want you to notice this .... that there was only one place in all the earth, of all the territory in the world, that the children of God could live and be at home. He never gave them no place but the land of Canaan to live. He never promised them one bit of protection no where else and He didn't protect them no where else. The Lord has not promised to protect you no where else other than in the spiritual land of Canaan which is the Old Baptist Church. Now you can try somewhere else but God has not promised to take care of you there. You are on your own. You will be a victim of whatever comes along .... better stay at home. Not only stay at home but do what the Lord says do, it keeps you busy and keeps you out of mischief.

Now when it comes to this we know that he comes on in this: "Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the Land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all 'shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." (Heb 8:9-13)

Now the Jew knew something about the old covenant, how they were, you might say, of a necessity and was obligated to carry that out, but the day come that it ceased. It was then a necessity of a new way and manner of worship to be brought in. You can point to a thing as long as you are going toward it you can point to it but when you get to it if you keep on pointing you are pointing direct away for it. So everything the Jew was doing in the old covenant was pointing to Christ. But whenever they got there now they just keep holding on pointing on the same way they would be pointing away from it. So then you have got to repent, turn around, point back. That was why everything in this covenant must be changed. He didn't say I will overhaul and remodel the old covenant, bring part of it over, it is an out and out new covenant. You know all the things that they had over there they had to leave over there you can't bring them over in the new day.

So now when it comes to this he says now: They shall no more teach.(Heb 8:11) Well now the Lord hadn't just, we might say, barred something or other in the things they can do, but why? They could teach God's children in that day what the law required of them but they couldn't teach them to know God in the pardon of their sins because the atonement hadn't been made yet. Because those offerings had to be made year in and year out and if they got results it wouldn't have had to be done anymore. A debt paid cannot be paid again. But every year they would acknowledge that debt. Acknowledging a debt don't pay it. When they come up and offered their bullocks they acknowledged their debt in that.

You know I went to a synagogue, somebody said today about going to a synagogue, when I was in trouble and looking for some place. I found the Jew's name in here (the Bible) I went down to the synagogue. Went there to take a look, went in, I knew lots of them, I had done business with lots of them, sat down and a man came to me, he said, Where is your hat Slim? He used to call me that, my nickname used to be that, Slim. I said: I didn't bring a hat. He said, We can't hold service until every man's head is covered. I said what is the idea? Well, he said, I will tell you later didn't have time then. He went and got me a little black skull cap from the priest and put it on my head and they had service. But I got my curiosity up. Sometimes you know you will delve into something and curiosity will carry you a long ways. I asked them: Now I am serious, Why does every man have to have his head covered? I never would have known what Paul meant over in the writings to the Corinthian brethren: it is a shame for a man to worship with his head covered, had I not went there. (1Co 11:4) That says the Messiah hasn't come yet, the debt has not been paid, there is something over us .... hanging over us. I said, that is all you know. The Lord has already come, the debt is paid, there is not a thing between us and our God. You worship your 'God with your head uncovered — there is nothing between you and your God. You talk about a man being behind the times, he is nearly two thousand years behind. You know they laugh at the Old Baptist being behind the times — somebody else better look around.

But you know, little child, he says now, thou shalt no more teach every man thy neighbor, nor thy brother, saying, Know the Lord. (verse 11) We are not trying to teach you what the law demands of and your knees just shaking and trembling in fear, we have got something better to tell you than that. We are telling you that the Lord has already come, that the debt has been paid, you have been freed from that thing. If you have got something in here (the heart) that will bear witness to that it is the sweetest news in the world.

But now some things: that was why that was forbidden any more. Now why: the grace of God! He says "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts." He says "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men." (Tit 2:11) That means Jew as well as Gentile. And what (or who) is not Jew is Gentile. So that takes care of "all men." Somebody in every land, kindred, tongue and nation. And the grace of God does something .... one thing it does — it brings salvation. Another thing it does —it teaches something. And that is some teaching that God only can do. "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." It didn't say we shall: It says we should. That is our duty, that is our obligation. That "we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." (Tit 2:11-12.) Now the grace of God taught you that. "I will write my laws in their hearts."(Heb 8:10) Now that is why He says you can't keep that kind of thing and you need not try. All teaching has to come after birth, let it be in the realm of nature, it is after birth. In the realm of grace it is after the Spiritual birth. All teaching comes after birth. Now that is one thing that we are right upon.

Now when it comes to this the covenant was changed and in this new covenant that very thing is instilled in your heart a duty, an obligation, that the grace of God taught you and that is God's mercy and favor bestowed upon you in making you conscience of these things.
Now over here in another place we have some Scripture that our Lord taught and sometimes brethren may begin to get, I might say, their hank tangled, and we don't want to get in that shape. Whenever He says here in the latter part of the 28th chapter of Matthew. This we want to think a little of the circumstances under which He made this statement and to whom. He had already been crucified, He had already been buried, He had already been raised from the dead and appeared to His children by many infallible proofs. (Ac 1:3) He was with them forty long days before going into heaven there being received alive to appear before God for us. You know I am glad when the Lord says: "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (Joh 14:18) It would have been a pitiful thing for Him just to arose from the grave and put on out for heaven and left us to stagger in the dark wondering what became of Him. Wonder if He arose, wonder what did become of Him. But you know, little child, He come up out of the grave alright but He was with His children at different intervals for forty days and over five hundred saw Him at one time. Paul said, "of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep." (1Co 15:6) But most of them were on hand then. But now the thing of it is what joy they had when they saw their living Lord who had been through death, who had broke its chains. He said: "Your joy no man taketh from you." (Joh 16:22) Maybe five hundred, it could be a thousand, it could be a million people rise up and say He has not risen; we know better, we have seen Him. You know, little child, that is where He says I will not leave you comfortless, I will come again. He did that very thing.

But now, after being raised from the grave and you know He had said this to His eleven men, twelve I believe present at that time. "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Mt 10:5-6) That is where Peter got the idea that there would be nobody in heaven but the Jews, natural Jews, because they were forbidden to go preach to the Gentiles. Why? Because that covenant had not yet come to an end, that covenant with the Jews. Up until the vail of the temple was rent—right there is where that thing stdpped.(Mt 27:51) That is where it ceased, right then and there. All of that was over never more to be used. The thing of it to be remembered was that the thing that broke, or split, that vail from top to bottom come down it didn't come up. That thing was a quilted piece of material about two inches thick, make out of flax. I doubt whether six yokes of oxen could have split the thing. And yet that thing, the day our Lord died, was split from top to bottom. No more Jewish offerings to be made on Jewish altars. No more. Why? This One got results .... no more need for one. That is where He hath forever perfected them that were sancitified, or set apart to that end.

Now then, this is when the middle wall or partition was broken down between Jew and Gentile. They are both on equal footing today. The Jew has not one preferance over the Gentile today. Not one promise in the New Testament to the Jew over the Gentile. No, the difference why is: the middle wall or partition has been broken down. It is a new covenant we are living under. If you think the Jew has preeminence you are living under the old covenant. Are you ready to live there or do you want a new covenant? Then give up that idea. You know, little child, we can get ideas, we may hash them up but that don't make them so. The new covenant, little child, was made for Spiritual Israel. Little child of God, every one who is born of God Spiritually is a Spiritual Israelite, Jew or Gentile, no difference. The middle wall or partition is broken down.

Now as we see this, He says to them now, the very ones whom He had told not to go by the way of the Gentiles, not to go to the Samaritans, after being raised and there appeared to these eleven and He hails them like this: "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Mt 28:18) Now there is where He sits today: on the throne of His Father, glorified with the glory that He had with His Father before the world was. (Joh 17:5) He laid aside that glory and one place in the Bible it says: "I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on?" (Song 5:3) The Lord laid aside all of His glory and come down the poorest of the poor, right where we were. He took off His coat, how is He going to put it on again? Our blessed Lord said this in prayer. "And now, 0 Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." (Joh 17:5) Now I leave the world and go to my Father. How could He that said: do not I fill heaven and earth, say: I come into the world. He come in the bodily form of man and how did He leave it (the world)? By the door of death. He left this world and He was received to His God alive and now He is in the glory that He had with the Father before the world was. He put His coat back on. He put it back on.

Now when we come to this we see that He had power and that glory given to Him because He had done everything the Father required of Him and now exalted or raised up and was a living receipt that the debt for sin had been paid. You will have to preach that Jesus is in the grave yet or you are going to have to say Jesus ransomed His people, one or the other. Now one or the other has got to be acknowledged. Either He is in the grave and part of that debt is yet to be paid or He is out of the grave and the debt is paid in full. There is no half way ground in that thing.

Now He says after He had broken down the middle wall of partition, put Jew and Gentile on equal footing, no preferance. You read the eleventh chapter of Zechariah. You will see what took place back there, what the Lord God said He would do about making the separation, how in that sense there would be no more separation. But now going on just a little farther.

Now because that He had come into His glory, conquered the grave, met the enemy death and was victorious over him (Satan), He reigns today the Lord of lords and King of kings. He says to the eleven men .... if you want to name this thing specifically this is the Apostolic Commission. It was given to the apostles, and not given to the church because they can't constitute one hundred and twenty on the day of Pentecost, but eleven preachers were present and everyone of them were apostles. You just remember this is the Apostolic Commission and whenever He says: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations ..." I am not just barring you at the Jewish race or people now because the middle wall or partition is broken down; you are going out further. That is why He said go ye into all nations (all who are not Jews are Gentiles). And didn't say send. He said "Go." "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Mt 28:19) Why so? You know we said all teaching comes after birth and never in order to be born. Someone might say if you found any where in the Bible that it required one dead in sin to perform any conditions in order to become in procession of life you would leave the Old Baptist Church? I said, I would have to because it would tear down everything I have got. I said what is your trouble? He said: It is just not to be found. Well if there is not a thing like that in the world, little child, why preach that kind of doctrine? That is the reason I don't preach it. There is nothing like it taught in the Bible, and if there is nothing like that why are you believing it? The Lord, child of God, gives life. He is the fountain of life and He gives His children eternal life and it is worth something to them because it will last forever. Now that is what the Lord does. Now whenever He comes to this he is sending these men out to report to you what the Lord has done and teach them things. As we said teaching comes after birth never in order to.

Now when we come to this that is why that this new covenant has got something better than what the old had. They were pointing to Christ in all of their services but it never ceased it was to be done over and over and over and over. They had to come and bring all of those beasts that had to be slain. Every service that they entered into in the old covenant required death. Every time they come to serve God it meant death. It meant the death of that sacrifice, why? We are a poor, guilty people subject to death, and if we get justice we will have to suffer it, death. There is a death every time they come to serve God. But He says He brought in a new and living way in which He consecrated in His own flesh. (Heb 10:20) Every service today points towards life, a living Saviour. We are alive. We are exalting in this life now. Every service we enter into points towards life. Why? Jesus has abolished death and now the gospel brings life and immortality to light.(2Ti 1:10) But you couldn't bring something to light that was not there. Now that is certainly so. The gospel tells you what the Lord has done and the effects of it and we are to teach God's little children to observe all things whatsoever He has commanded. (Mt 28:20) In verse 19 he says "baptizing them'in the name of the Father." Why so? Because of what God has done for you. I will tell you one thing He did for you, He elected you to salvation. He did that much for you. That is why that He should have honor in this. When did He do it? A long time ago. How do you know? Because He purposed, an eternal purpose, in His Son. If it is an eternal purpose then it was before time began. (Eph 3:10) "According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Now if His Son was on hand before the world was you are going to have to admit that God could do something in His Son before the world began. Now you know why that the world today wants to destroy the eternal Sonship of Jesus Christ? If you can destroy the eternal Sonship of Jesus Christ you have destroyed the doctrine of election. Because if He (Christ) wasn't back there hence God couldn't chose us in Christ. But if He was back there you better watch out because He certainly could have done it and not only that — He certainly did do it! Now that is the thing of it and that is why we preach that doctrine, that is why we believe it, you have got a right to believe it. But who gave you a right not to believe it? You know, child of God, we take a privilege a lot of time we got no right to do. Who gave any man the right to call God into question? You know, little child, I am not taking that on myself. No. If the other man wants to that is his business.

But now when it comes to this, He marks you out. He loved you. How do you know He loved you? Listen to what our Lord said: "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you." (Joh 15:9) How long has the Father been loving His Son? In the seventeenth chapter of John we find Christ saying this to His Father "for thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world." And now: "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you." He loved you before the foundation of the world. Hence you see why He was making arrangements to take care of you later. There is your election. That is what God has done for you. Don't you believe that we ought to honor Him? And say: I am dead to everything else and be buried to the world, in the likeness of His death to be raised to walk in newness of life? (Ro 6:3-13)

He said be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son. Why so? The Son came, as He agreed to come and suffered in your room and stead and brought you out from under the law and freed you from the damning powers of sin. Therefore "much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved." (Ro 5:9) He didn't say I will fix it where it can be; He didn't say I will make it possible to be. He did better than that. He said, "Being justified by His blood, we shall be" Shall be what? "Saved from wrath through Him." That is what He accomplished and that is why we, today, reverence the Son of God in baptism: in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son and in the name of the Holy Ghost.

What has He (the Holy Ghost) done? He must have done something. If not why so baptize in His name? You know when it come to this: God sends forth His Spirit into your heart. "But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus dwell in you ...." (Ro 8:11) The Spirit of Christ, or the Spirit of the Father, it is one and the same; it is the Holy Spirit. And what does God do? God sends forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. What is the result? Crying Abba, Father! And if you can call God your Father then you are His child. But the sending of the Spirit took place first and everything that was done God did it. What He did He sent the Spirit, and He sent it into the heart. Until last Thursday, I could not have said I had been into this house but after I come in then I could say I have been into the house. He did not say He just sent it to the heart but He sent it into the heart. That meant on the inside of the heart. What was the result? The child began to cry and all crying is after birth. All crying is after birth!

Long time ago, I believe about thirty-eight years ago one September morning after prancing up and down the hallways that morning, I heard a little shrill cry. No one had to tell me whether that little boy of mine was alive. I said, Doc is he all there? Is he alright? And he said, He was a fine bouncing young boy. No one had to tell me whether that child was alive or not, that cry proved it. The very fact that you begin to cry Abba, Father, the Lord has already done something. When He sent that Spirit into your heart that was the result, the crying came after what He did and that is when you are born of God's Spirit. That is what the Spirit of God did for you. Brought you out of alienation to a state of life in Christ, created you a new creature in Christ.

And let me tell you this, that is a hard job: to create something. That is to take nothing and make something out of it. If you want the job go ahead. Now that is creation. Only God can create. A man asked me one time after I had been preaching along some of these thoughts. He caught me by the arm and said, Preacher, can't a man create a fuss? I said, No, sir. He can just stir one up. He has got the ingredients to start with. You know creation is to make something out of nothing. And it is a creation to make you a child of God — then it is bound to be God's work. It is of God that you are in Christ Jesus. (1Co 1:30) It is of Him that we are in Christ Jesus. Now that is the work of the Holy Spirit —bringing you the virtue of that shed blood applying it to the heart. And then and there you become in vital union with the Father, even partakers of His divine nature. And for such a thing to be bestowed upon you and done in you and for you, don't you think the Spirit ought to be given some consideration in that? That is why we baptize in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. This is why.

But now if the gospel is employed in the quickening of the sinner, you would have to baptize in the name of the gospel. It would certainly deserve that honor, that is it would have that right. But it (the gospel) is not employed (in the quickening of the sinner) — hence it is not named. These alone , the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, are employed in the election, or making choice, or marking out the child to be taken care of later, and the Lord to buy and redeem him.

You know the Lord redeemed His people. Have you ever just stopped to think about what the word redeem means? You couldn't redeem something you never owned before to save your life. Redeem means to buy back and get in title or in right and title something you prior had ownership of or had ownership prior to that time. You know that is going to run back some piece just as sure as the world. These were the Lord's people. God gave them to Him. The Lord said He did. But they had fallen under the condemnation of the law and the law had claims ' on them. You may have a piece of property, and it may become, or have an indebtedness against it, a mortgage or bond and you go pay off what is against it and you redeem your property. The right and title is solely invested in you then. Redeem means to get in your possession something that you have had prior ownership of but there was an indebtedness that came upon it. And whenever you paid off the debt then the title and right was solely invested in your hands. That is why He says ye are not your own. "And ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1Co 6:19-20) He redeemed us by His Mood. He bought back and got in ownership again fee and simple right and title and you belong to Him now without any claims against you — that is redemption.

And you know atonement is mentioned one time in the New Testament: "By whom we have now received the atonement." (Ro 5:11) That means by Jesus Christ. He made full and cornplete satisfaction for all the sins of all of H eople. And while I am speaking about that there is three positions all men can take: either Jesus died for all the sins of all the people, or He died for part of the sins of all the people, or He died for all the sins of part of the people. Ain't but three things you can possibly take, now which one?

If He died for all the sins of all the people then every human being on the earth will be in heaven because nothing damns but sin. Then if we are not going to take that for He is going to say to somebody: "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Mt 7:23) Now we will have to lay that down that covers too much territory. There is a people that wants to hold to that but he has a hard time using the Bible hence he don't use it very much. You watch a man teaching some kind of error: the Bible don't mean a thing to him, he has got his opinion above it. You want to know a man that respects the Bible he will teach you the truth. And if a man can't see that there is going to be somebody to whom the Lord is going to say: "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." He knew them in the broad sense of knowledge —but "I never knew you." "I didn't know you when I was suffering and dying." "I didn't know you when the election was made." In that sense He didn't know them. But He knew them all in the broad sense of knowledge but I am talking about in a special knowledge.

Now, there is another position: if He only died for part of the sins of all the people — nobody will be saved. So I wouldn't want that, and I don't think you want that. So then it only leaves us with one, if we want to stay with the Bible, and we surely ought to do that: He died for all of the sins of part of the people. And "The Lord's portion is His people." (De 32:9) It could be nintynine percent and be a part. So I wouldn't begin to tell you how many, but the Lord knows.

And you that have been down on the seashore .... I was down there with some friends this fall, was called back for the funeral for the postmaster there in a nearby town but anyway they kind of cornered me down there. I said, Well, I want to ask you a question. He would say to me: Oh well your doctrine just gets me and my wife, my son John and his wife, us four and no more. I said it is broader than that. I said, Now the Lord says they are "as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable." (Heb 11:12) We were standing there and there were miles and miles up and down the Atlantic Ocean, we could see this great body of just sand. I said, I want to ask you a question and I will give you all day to do it: just take one gallon bucket of this sand and count how many grains of sand is in there in a whole day. He said: I wouldn't undertake to do it. I said, Why? He said there are too many of them. Well look at all that way, look all this way then you can begin to get an idea of the innumerable host that will be in heaven after awhile. Somebody out of every land, every kindred, every tongue and nation and even out of every family. God told Abraham this: "And in thy seed (having reference to Christ who would spring from him) shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Ge 22:18) And whenever you are going to just go right down to that, little child, there is somebody, there are not many families but what has got some little ones along the way somewhere. Now you can argue about what a family is but there is going to be somebody out of every family there because the Lord God said so. That is the reason I believe it! Now the thing of it is, I don't object to that doctrine and if I did it wouldn't make a bit of difference it would still be so. Now the thing about it and the thing of it is: it is true, so let's believe it and let's support it while we live here in the world.

And now little child, God knew what He was doing when He sent His Son. That Son hanging on the Roman cross with one arm stretched out this way: that went back and covered Abel's sins, that is what went with Abel's sins the Lord put them away with His own blood. It rolled on forward. He bore our sins all the days of old reaching on forward and covering the last one of His children of promise. And He didn't die hanging there ignorantly: Well, I am doing the best that I can maybe I will get them and maybe I won't. He knew exactly what He was doing. "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities." (Isa 53:11) If He justified you that means He freed you from the damning powers of that law. That is why we rejoice in Jesus.

Now this covenant has been brought in and you are embodied in it, little child of God. So then if you want to know what is to be done read the New Testament and what the Lord says do, do it and don't argue with Him. You know, little child, there is a tendency here in the world by God's children: Well why not do this ....? Little child, whenever you are saying that you are wasting your time. The Lord didn't say, I will make some kind of compromise with you. You are going to have to serve God on His terms. There wasn't but one way to serve God under the old law covenant — that was do what He said do. And there isn't but one way to serve God in this day and age and that is — just do what He said do.

You know I believe with all of my heart, soul and body, God will do what He said He would do. My home in heaven hinges on that! But I do believe my happiness, in a great measure, in a church capacity, hinges on whether I do what He told me to do or not. But thank God if I fail He don't fail. Now that is one of the things to thank God for. We may fail to do what He told us to do. A man made this statement to the Lord one day. He came up to Him and his son was in distress, you know that was a dumb spirit and His apostle had failed to cast him out. "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe" He said, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (Mr 9:24) You know there was a man there, a believing unbeliever, an odd character, but there is such a thing and a lot of God's children today are believing unbelievers. Characters that are odd but I find them along the way. But sometimes I even have those kind of temptations myself but better leave them alone. You know it is not everything that is pretty will be beneficial to you.

About the time, I learned a lesson a long time ago and I will mention it, about the time these new iceboxes, the automatic refrigerators come out, a friend of mine was selling them. I went up to see him one day and he had the prettiest apple laying on the counter, and my appetite was just getting whetted good. I reached for that apple with the full intention of eating that apple but when I touched it it was cold as stone. My eye fooled me but the sense of touch didn't. Little child of God, ninety percent of your temptation comes through the eye. You can be deceived with the eye but the sense of touch don't. A little child knows what is bitter and sweet. A little child knows that and that is why your feelings should be consulted, little child, your heart felt convictions. There is no deception there. Your eye, your ear may deceive you. Ninety percent of the temptation we receive today comes through the eye. That is why the Lord said, Satan, get behind me. (Mt 16:23) You know, little child, there is something we might as well keep in mind .... but going on with the thought here.

Whenever He says: "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Mt 28:20). There was teaching them, or sending them out to teach and over here He says: "They shall not teach." (Heb 9:11) Why? Because the thing that the Lord God teaches, He only can do it and for you to under take it is only a waste of time. But the things that you can teach, little child, is to teach those who already have ears to hear and an heart to understand. How could you teach a man that has ears and could not hear, had eyes and could not see, had a heart and could not understand, how would you be able to impart to him knowledge? Man may say, Oh well you might appeal to his conscience. This Bible says even their conscience is defiled. (Tit 1:15). He is so far off the gospel can never reach him but God can and whenever God opens his heart, gives him an ear to hear and a heart to understand and eyes to see — then the gospel can reach him and does. And it comes to you telling you what has already been done. The gospel doesn't come to do the things the Lord has done but comes to tell you what the Lord has already done. If you can see that with the eye of faith you can rejoice with Him. And that is why He said go teach them "to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." (Mt 28:20) The Lord didn't say what I would like for you to do but what I have commanded you to do. Little child of God, we better ought to carry out the ordinances. You know when it comes to this He says, If ye love me, follow me. You know the brother one place quoted here, If you do whatsoever that is required .... you keep my commandments you are my friend. He didn't say I will be your friend, but you will be mine. He has already proven He has been our Friend. And whether we show Him kindness and friendilness He has already been a Friend to us. But wouldn't it be, we might say, the more absurd and I use that word because I think it is about fitting for someone to redeem you from having to suffer as long as you are guilty, and that would be forever and ever. And not only redeem you and save you from such an end — that in itself should be enough for you to spend a life time in the service of thanks and reverance and respect for your Almighty God. That in itself would be enough but the man that don't believe there is any punishment for the wicked in the hereafter he don't have a thing to be thankful for and hence he isn't going to serve God much either. He might argue with you about it but he ain't going to serve God much. And you needn't expect him to. Why? There is no occasion for him. But if you have seen your lost and ruined condition and you knew if justice was poured out on you that would be your end; then you would think enough of Him and appreciate Him enough to bend your way to the house of God to thank Him.

Not only has He done that for you but look what He has made you an heir of. Whenever this world fades and everything is gone you have got a home. When you come to die your spirit is not going to have to go out in darkness and wander around. No, He is there to receive you to Himself, alive. You have got a home. Do you appreciate it? Do you think that you ought to thank Him and do you think that you ought to show Him respect? Then keep His commandments. "Ifye love me, keep my commandments." (Joh 14:15) "Every one that loveth is born of God." (1Jo 4:7) "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Why? The Holy Ghost, that Spirit of God, the grace that is in you teaching you "that denying ungodliness and worldlylusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." (Tit 2:12) That is what the grace of God teaches. The Lord done His teaching first, then the preacher has got a job but the Lord is first.

I want to just ask you this. Who taught you to cry? Even in nature that was an inbred quality that you had and you received it in birth without any conditions on your part. Who taught you to hunger? Who taught you to thirst? These are some things that are not received by tuition in this world, it is an inbred quality. Whenever you were born of God's Spirit you began to hunger. Who taught you to hunger? That is God's work in the soul. Who taught you to thirst? That is the very effect of grace. Who taught you to cry when that Spirit was sent forth into your heart crying, "Abba, Father?" God does His teaching first and then sends the preacher out to teach but don't try to waste your time trying to do the things the Lord said He would do. You do the things He requires you to do and you will enjoy life and you can just enjoy each other.

I just want to say this in conclusion. There are three ideas. These three ideas we might illustrate like this: There is an idea over here that all he believes is, yes, the Lord will do what He says He will do. Oh, yes, I believe that. But, he says, He is also going to do what He told me to do. He has got it all fixed, I can't help it and I am going to have to do it. Well, he has got nothing to worry about — he can just go off whistling along the way. If you want to know something that will bred idleness: that is it. And idleness will breed contempt toward God. He believes half of the truth alright but he fails to believe the other half.
There is another fellow on this side of the question: Oh I believe we ought to do what the Lord said do and we are so uneasy that the Lord won't do what He said He would do we are out trying to help Him. Now that is another idea. He has got half the truth but he don't have the other half. And half a truth is not enough! About the worst confusing thing in the world is a half truth. That is why they are out here running to and fro trying to help the Lord do what He said He would do, because they don't believe He will get it done otherwise. He believes he ought to do what he should do. He has got half of it but he is off on one aide on it. He will wear his life out and never accomplish a thing. There is something better to be doing than that.

Now if I could just take half of what he has got, and half of what the other fellow has got and put them together I would have a good thing wouldn't I? Now that is what the Old Baptist have got! We believe that we ought to do what God told us to do. We certainly believe that! And if you believe it much you will be up and about it. You know "faith without works is dead." (Jas 2:20) It didn't say the child was dead but the faith is dead. That means that dormant inactive faith. Some of God's little children get kind of, you might say, off to the right. They don't want to move and they don't want anyone to move them. That is a bad disease and you know that God's children get that sometimes. No wonder they need a healing balm. No wonder they need to be taught. But God will do what He said He would do. I would hate to believe that He wouldn't do what He said He would do. If I held to that I would be just putting on a public exhibition that I didn't believe the Lord. I believe He will do what He said He would do. I am glad He will because the things that He said He will do cannot be done by anybody else, it is Him or nothing.

A Principle of Sequences

A Principle of Sequences (2002, September - October)

Sermon preached by Elder James Isaacs of Magazine, Arkansas, at the South Arkansas Association Union Meeting, held with Sardis Church, near Malvern, Arkansas on March 30, 2002. (Tape No. 128.027 can be ordered from Jo Ann Cayce's Tape Service, P. 0. Box 38, Thornton, Arkansas for $5.00, postpaid.)

I thought I would get up early, in case I might get bumped again this morning. I appreciate the opportunity to be with you. It's a wonderful blessing to be engaged in the service with you once again. Brother Paul Cayce mentioned to me a minute ago wonderful memories that we share, and I thought about that a minute and then I looked at Brother Charles and Brother Hartsel and thought, "My goodness, if Brother Paul and I can talk about memories that we have and what they mean to us, what must it be for those who have been in the service a lot longer than we have, and a lot more memories that have accumulated over the years."

I do earnestly and sincerely beg you to pray this morning that the Lord would bless with liberty. It's my purpose to move slowly and deliberately this morning and try to cover the ground well I have mapped out . I may not be able to do that. Some of you are from an agriculture background and would know what cuttin' and coverin' is. That's when you break ground with a turning plow and you leave a little strip when you make your pass and you don't turn that little strip of soil over and then that works all right. You can make the field look good when you go through cuttin' and coverin', but next spring, when you come back and try to disk it, there's a hard streak about every, well depending upon how wide the turnin' plow is. Every few feet there is a hard strip through the field, it makes a mess. So I'm bad to cut and cover in my preaching and I am going to try to move slow this morning, I want to turn it all, if I could, and get this subject matter that is on my mind before you so that you can see the whole, uh, now I'm not going to cover the whole book you understand, but the whole of what I'm going to try to cover, I want to get it turned over for you to look at it from both sides.

For a point of beginning, we'll go to the second chapter of the Book of Titus. Paul said "The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that e might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Tit 2:11-14)

Now, I'm particularly, this morning, interested in that last expression. "That He might purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." That's the part that I want to fasten on and try to get before you. But, in order to do that, I want you to understand and look with me for a minute at a principle that runs through the Scripture, and it's a principle of sequence. That the Bible sets forth the idea that things must be done in a certain, sequential, order. Now, we understand that in nature. You have to plant before you harvest. Siinple illustration. The Bible is full of exainples of a sequential order that inust be followed. Now, example: In 1Pe 1, Peter said, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth trough the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently." (1Pe 1:22)

There's an order there. Ye have obeyed the truth through the Spirit. Now, that being true, is it possible that you obeyed the truth before you had the Spirit? Impossible! The order must needs be that God give the Spirit, then you obey the truth through the Spirit, unto the result of obedience is unfeigned love of the brethren.

Now, I'm going to take the position, based on that expression, that no man or woman ever had true unfeigned love of the brethren before God gave to them His Spirit, and they began to obey the truth. Now, that's the order of that. Now, I'll illustrate the principle of sequential order. There are many others, but we're going to try to notice a couple of them as we go. Let's go to the fourth chapter of Galatians, and we'll notice one there. Galatians chapter four, probably about the sixth verse I think. No, I don't want to be that far down in the chapter yet. Let's start with the fourth verse, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woinan, inade under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Ga 4:4-6)

Now there's a principle, there's an exception. We're going to get the principle, we're going to look at the exception. I'll try to cover that here. Now, the principle of sequential order is that God sent His Son. After God sent His Son He redeemed you from all iniquity. Question: Did Jesus redeem anybody from all iniquity before God sent Him into the world, made of a woman, made under the law? No He didn't. He didn't redeem a soul, not anybody was ever redeemed before God sent Jesus into the world, made of a woman, made under the law. Now, let's follow this.

The second step. God sent His Son, He redeemed us. Step three, that you might receive the adoption of sons. Now, granted, that before time was, God predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son. It is true that He predestinated us unto the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ unto Himself. But now God predestinating that, is not the same as our receiving that. God predestinated that before He sent His Son. We receive it after He sent His Son. His Son came because God determined that we are to be conformed to His image because God determined before that we are to be adopted, and that God predestined that we should receive the adoption of sons. Predestinated, I think I said that word wrong. And I'll leave what I just... a foolish thought just went through my mind, I'll leave it and won't infect you with it.

Now, God predetermined, God foreordained, God decreed, God covenanted with Himself that these things are to be. God set the time, in the fullness of the time. The time, you know, I hear people talk about the fullness of the time. You don't want to leave that "the" out of there. When the fullness of the tiine. What time? The time the Lord set! When that time came, God sent forth His Son and He redeemed us. That happened. Now, I believe that brethren. I believe He redeemed us. I believe He redeemed every individual the Father gave Him. I believe He redeemed us from all iniquity, all of it. "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins." (Isa 40:1-2)

You know, I've heard folks say, "well, there's that unpardonable sin. The Lord didn't put that one away." Well, you know if it's unpardonable the Lord didn't put it away. Then you start talking to folks about what that unpardonable sin is. "Well, that's refusing to accept the Lord." Well, that's not in this book.

I'll tell you my friend, there are folks in this world who have never heard the name of Jesus who have been redeemed from all iniquity. There are folks who have heard of the work of Jesus, who have been redeemed of all iniquity but who have never believed it in this world at the time at which they die, but the Lord redeemed them and they will go to be with God in glory in spite of their unbelief. In spite of their failure to accept that which they have been told.

But the order is that He redeemed and we receive the adoption of sons. Now, if I understand what Paul is saying there in Galatians four. He's saying redemption is absolutely essential to the reception of the adoption of sons. Now what does it mean to receive the adoption of sons? What are we talking about? To receive the adoption of sons.

Is that what happens down at the courthouse? You know, if you adopt a child you have to go down to the courthouse to take care of some legal work. But you don't, at the courthouse, and the child doesn't, at the courthouse, receive the adoption there at the courthouse. Where does that happen? Probably around the family dining table. Probably in the home, not at the courthouse, but where you live, in that daily interaction there's probably more a reception of the adoption by the child.

Now, this receiving of the adoption of sons by us here is a little more dramatic and a little more instantaneous than that. Because God, because we are sons, sends forth His Spirit into our hearts crying, that is His Spirit crying, but it's in us now crying. You know what that does, don't you? Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. When the heart in us is crying out Abba, Father, abundantly, there'll be some of that coming out of our mouths. Now, I didn't say we'll all be as diligent in crying to the Father as we ought to be. Brethren, I'm convinced that when the Spirit of God takes up its abode in our heart and our heart, then, is made to cry out "Abba, Father," there'll be something come from our mouth that will reflect what's in our heart, if we're able to say anything with our mouth. It'll show up somewhere in our lives, in some of our actions. Now, you can take that to an extreme, and if you want to talk about the stillborn baby, well, yes sir, they're children of God, the Spirit of God took up its abode in their heart and you didn't ever see it in their life, but, you know, that's the exception there. It might have lept for joy, one did. One did, and others inay have.

Well, but there's a big exception to the order of things here, the sequential order. And outside is my exception Abraham. Abraham lived in this world, was born again, and died and went to heaven before the Son of God came into the world. I've taken the position this morning that you have to be redeemed before you can be born again. I've got Scriptural warrant for that exception, if I can get enough bookmarks gathered up here to get me by.

Let's go back to the third chapter of Romans. Ro 3:24, well, let me read verse 23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Well, that's a Sunday School text. Verse 23 now, "Being justified freely by His grace..." that's not much of a Sunday School text, "through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." All right, that's OK. "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood..." Let's stop. We've got to get this faith taken care of here. If He is a propitiation when we have faith in His blood, He's never been a propitiation for many folks. But that's not talking about my faith in His blood. He is a propitiation for our sins and not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole w rld, John says. Now, that's talking about that world that He loved and gave Himself for, that He died for, I think. Now God set Him forth having faith, God having faith, God's faith is not the same as my faith and your faith. Our faith may allow doubts. God's faith allows no doubt. God has faith that equates to God's seeing future things. God saw the end from the beginning. He knows exactly what's to come, but when He acts based upon that which has not yet occurred, which He of certainty knows shall occur, the Bible uses the expression "faith" to give basis for what God does. So God through His faith, God's faith, in the blood of Christ, in the work of Christ, set Christ forth to be a propitiation for us. Now, "to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past." Now know if that's talking about my sins that are past, that's wonderful, but it goes a lot farther back than that. This, my friends, is talking about sins that folks like Abraham and Noah and Moses who lived and died before Jesus came into the world. But now notice, that God, through faith in His blood, in Christ's blood, sets Christ forth to be a propitiation and to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

Now, let's look at this forbearance just a minute. What does forbear mean? Well, forbear means to wait a while longer for something important to be accomplished. Now, it has to do with God's waiting on the blood of Christ to be shed for the remission of the sins of those who died, the elect who died, before Christ came into the world. Now I want you to get this thought clearly established in your mind. When Abraham died his spirit and his soul went to God in glory. Actually, nothing had been done to put away Abraham's sin, but God knew full well that what was required to put away Abraham's sin would be done. He admitted Abraham into heaven, my friend, based upon the fact that Christ would die. That's forbearance on God's part.

Now, I don't have any idea, but you know I don't believe these stories about folks knocking on the pearly gates and Peter answering the door. I don't even like to tell those jokes, it's not the heaven that I visualize. But I don't think God said, "Well, Abraham, you're a sinner but I'm going to let you in because Jesus is going to die for you." You don't think that took place, but if it had taken place, it would all be true. "Your sins have not been redeemed, you have not had anything done to pay for your sin debt, but it's going to be done, and I'm going now to account that it has been done because I know it will be done and you're going to be born again and admitted to glory based on what I know Jesus will accomplish in your behalf." That's the most wonderful forbearance that I can imagine.

You know, Ford Motor Company is letting me drive a pickup truck at home. Through their forbearance they know I'm going to pay for it. But you let me be a day late and see if they don't check on it. Yes sir, they'll check right up on that if I'm a day late. You see, their forbearance doesn't run very long, and there's not much tolerance.

I tell you God's forbearance, through the forbearance of God, "To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He inight be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (Ro 3:26)

Now I hope I've established my order. That in order for us to receive the Spirit we must first be redeemed, or, at the least, God must account that we are to be redeemed. And in our cases, living after the tiine of Christ, we must needs have been redeemed. We cannot be born again prior to having been redeemed. And we can't believe the truth until we've been born again. Now, I hope you followed this. You can't believe the truth, that being true, until you've been redeemed. Is redemption a result of believing the truth? It can't be. It can't be.

Now, until you start seeing folks build houses rafters first, foundations last, you need not tell me that God quickens sinners before they are redeemed. All right. Now, I got the order of things there, I hope, set forth.

Let's go back to the beginning, into Titus. "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Tit 2:14)

Now, it's important that we understand redemption, but I want to deal with this purification. Let's go to First Peter chapter one and look at that. "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers \scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." (1Pe 1:1-2) Now, what do we have here? Well, let's look at this a little bit. There's an order here. He said you are elect. You are elect. You're strangers, you're scattered out there through various parts of the country. I don't expect that Peter's writing to churches here, he's writing to strangers. And I rather believe these folks are strangers to the gospel Peter's writing this letter to principally. But they are strangers that God loves. They're not Old Baptists, but they're folks God loves out there in the world. Peter's writing them a letter. Now, this is a little bit unusual kind of address. He doesn't call them brother and sister here, but strangers, but elect strangers. "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father..." What does that say? Foreknowledge came before election. God loved you before He chose you. And now he says, "through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience..." Now if that's Christ's obedience, the order is all mixed up here. You can't keep your order together and make this Christ's obedience. The Spirit doesn't sanctify us to redemption, and our redemption comes as a consequence of Christ's obedience. The Spirit doesn't sanctify us to redemption, the Spirit sanctifies us because of redemption. This obedience is our being in a position of being able, willing, and to some measure, though it may be small, obedient to God.

Now, you are elected by God to a position that will enable you while you are in this world to obey, to some degree, the laws and commandments of God. Now, let me notice the language with you very carefully. That you, "through sanctification of the Spirit..." Sanctification means setting apart. When is it that the Spirit sets you apart? When e calls you by His grace out of darkness into His light. That's when the Spirit sanctifies you. And what is the effect of that? It makes you able to obey. You can't obey God before that! Need I prove that? Go with me to Ro 8:7. The carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. That ought to pretty well wipe out the obedience at that point, hadn't it? If I'm not subject to the law, can't be subject to the law, how in the world am I going to obey that law? Can't do it. But now I can, if the Spirit has set me apart unto obedience.

Now, just put your thumb there, if you're trying to follow. Go with me to the third chapter of John, Gospel of John. Let's get an expression there beginning in verse four. Nicodemus said to the Lord, "How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" That sounds like a foolish question, but it's not. It's the earnest and sincere question of a man who's seeking the truth. It's the honest and sincere question of one who knew enough to come to our Lord to ask Him some questions about himself. Questions of a little, trembling child of God, who's in confusion, in question, in doubt, but he's asking and he's gone to a good place to ask. And I'll tell you my friend, we ought not consider the questions of those who come asking of the things of God to be foolish questions. We ought not discount them. I'm glad the Lord didn't discount the question of Nicodemus. He dealt with him, He gave him a fair, straight up, honest, understanding answer to his question. Jesus answered, He didn't mock, and say "well, man, don't you know better than that? That's a physical impossibility." He didn't do that, He answered the man's question. "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)

Now, I know folks kick that water around there and try to make it this and try to make it that. But let me give you my thought on it, you can take it or leave it. But if we're going to agree, you are about going to have to take it, you know, that's about the way that is. The word "and" here means "even." Even. All right, thank you Brother Rakes. Except a man be born of the Spirit, even the water. Even the water. Now, I turned the order around, didn't I? Because if things are equal you can reverse the order. Except a man be born of water, even the Spirit, same thing; water and Spirit. That's not two different births here, that's the same birth described in two ways.

Now, let's go back to Titus, if I can find which bookmark that is. That's the wrong one, and that's the wrong one. I've got one in it. There it is. I lost that other one. Now let's notice a little order, a little sequence. Titus chapter three verse three, just six verses down from where we were in chapter two. "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that..." Well, I declare, there's the order. After that. What came next after that? That's an important question. Brethren, I tell you there's an awful lot of theology wrapped up right here in this expression "but after that." What came next? What came next? "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared..." What's the order? We're living in malice and envy, foolish, hateful, hating one another, deceived, disobedient. The next thing: the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards sinners appears. What goes between our living in hatefulness and hating one another and malice and envy and God's love and mercy coming to us? Nothing my friend. Nothing comes between. This idea that I did something to get the love and mercy of God to come, no sir, I was living in malice and envy, deceived, disobedient, serving divers lusts and pleasures and then God came. That's the order. Step one, step two. Don't try to slide a 1-a in on me on that one, there's no room for it. No lapse of time here, no gap in between here. Paul says "after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done..." Well he sure hasn't described any works of righteousness there, had he? No, those works are not righteous works. But according to His mercy. Well, I'll tell you, read what Paul said about himself up there in verse three. He needed mercy, didn't he? I can say that about Paul and it won't even hurt Paul's feelings. He needed mercy. I needed mercy. I still need mercy. Do you need mercy? Oh, I tell you, mercy! It ought to move us to tears to think about God's mercy to us. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy e saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost..." (Tit 3:5)

Now, there is a washing in regeneration. I wonder why in the world when the Lord is talking about being born again in John three, He calls it being born of water? What do you folks wash in? Water. Now, this washing doesn't come before the new birth, this is part of the new birth. Regeneration and the new birth are one and the same. Is that going to fly? You can't put a sequence and have regeneration today and being born again tomorrow. The washing of regeneration is a part of the new birth. Born of water. Born of the Spirit. They're the same, you see. Born again cleanses us.

Let's go to Eze 36. A classic description of the new birth we read from Eze 36. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in iny statutes..." (Ezek.
 36:26-27) That sounds like obedience, doesn't it? Let me read that again, "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you..." How does e cause you to walk in His statutes? By putting His Spirit within you. "I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God." I think that's in a manifest sense, and I think that comes after the new birth. And if you'll let me, just suppose a little, I suppose it comes a while after the new birth. If it doesn't come a while after the new birth I don't know why Peter said over in one of his epistles that may the God of all grace, who brought again our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, after that ye have suffered a while, strengthen, stablish you. (1Pe 5:10)

You know, being born again doesn't feel good. Now, I've never hung around the delivery rooin at the hospital very much, but I do have three children, and two grandchildren, and none of them came into this world laughing. Being born again, my friends, is a dramatic experience. That's what Peter says when he writes to these brethren over there. He said God raised Jesus from the dead, and after you've suffered a while, I pray He'll strengthen you and stablish you. You say, suffer? Being born again? You read about Saul of Tarsus. You know what happened to him when he was born again? Knocked him down in the dust of the road, took away his vision, he was blind and begging for mercy. I'll tell you, being born again didn't feel good to him. I believe being born again is good for you, but it's traumatic. When a man's going along full of himself, pride, envy, thinks he's on top of the world, got the world by the tail on a downhill pull and the Lord shows him he's a sinner. Has no merit of his own. That's a shocking experience. You talk about a come down, that's a take down, brother. Thank God when He takes us down He'll raise us up. That's what Peter prayed for, that the Lord would raise you up, strengthen you, after you have got over the shock. Well, He does. You know, I think a shock is good for us. I didn't say it was fun, I didn't even say it felt good, but I say it's good for us.

So I've read over here in Ezekiel now, before I got all hung up on that obedience. I was trying to prop up my point in 1Pe 1:2, in case you missed that. My points need a lot of propping, if I can think of another prop I'll give it to you, that's just the only one I've got right now.

We have this classic expression about regeneration, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." (Eze 36:26) Could I back up one verse? We won't quote that one near as much as we do this 26th one, the 25th one. But you know how in the Bible, a lot of places when God makes a really important point, He'll say it one way and the next line He'll say it another way? If you're not familiar with that pattern, I'll tell you what you do, you go read Romans five. There's a really major point over there and God gave it to us six times, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and didn't hardly put anything in between the six times. Now, in case you're wondering why God put it in there six times, He meant for you to catch it. He meant for you to get that point when you read through that chapter. Did you ever tell your children, "I've told you twice, I'm not going to tell you again?" Or maybe, "I've told you three times, I'm not going to tell you again." Why in the world would you have to tell them twice before you quit telling them? You thought they might have missed it first trip, didn't you? So you tell them a time, or two, or three before you draw the line and say, "I'm not going to tell you this again now, you know what I said." God, in Romans Chapter five tells us the same thing six times. You see, God's not hiding this over in a corner from us. Brother it's there! He that hath an ear, let him hear. Or I'd say, "You can read," let him read.

It says in verse 25 of Eze 36, the Lord tells us once, in verse 26, He tells us again, in verse 27, He tells us again. Three times here in Eze 36. But notice how He puts it in verse 25, the first time He says it, "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: froin all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you."

This time of year, for the last 15 years, has been a real tough time of year on me. Days....This is going to be a little tacky, but days are getting a little long, and I have time when I get home from school in the afternoon to do a little farming. So I bail out, put on my overalls, run out to the farm, get hot and sweaty, then I have something I have to go back to school for at night. So I come home from work, I put on my overalls, I shower, go back to school, come home, sometimes it's still daylight, so you know what I do? I put my overalls back on, get out and get real hot again, come home, shower, go to bed, get up the next morning, shower. I about scrub my hide off this time of year. Now, if somebody could just sprinkle a little clean water on me, just sprinkle a little water on me, and get me dean from all my filthiness, it'd save a lot of trouble. But, you know, it just doesn't work very well that way for me. It takes quite a bit of water to get me clean. Now, Brother Cayce probably wouldn't take near as much water, but it takes quite a bit of water to get me clean.

Look what the Lord says, "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean..." Now, that's sure not water that came out of the creek or the well. This water's going to cleanse you from all your filthiness. This is going to reach into your inner being. It's going to clean you up from all your filthiness and from all your idols. It's going to tear down idols. Why is that? Because it's going to show you there's a true and living God. What are we talking about? What are we talking about, I'm going to, sprinkle you with clean water? The same thing He's talking about over there in John chapter three when He says ye must be born of the water. Same thing we're talking about when we talk about in First Peter one, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. I'll tell you my friends, when the Spirit sets you apart, it does it by sprinkling you. Now, I believe there's a sprinkling that comes in the gospel as well, but this sprinkling that we're talking about here is a vital application of the cleansing efficacy...we don't know what that word means, I don't even know, I don't know why I say words when I don't know what they mean. Cleansing effect, cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ.

Now, please, brethren, I'm not too smart, but water with a little Tide in it will get out a lot of stains. I never tried to wash anything, literally, in blood yet. But the blood of Jesus from a legal standpoint, legal standpoint, has a tremendous cleansing effect. And when there is an application made to us through the Spirit of the effect of that, sprinkling clean water upon us, taking away the hard and stony heart, giving us a heart of flesh, putting a new Spirit within us, that's all a vital effect of the redemptive work of Christ.

Now, if the redemptive work of Christ had only it's legal phase and never its vital phase, could we live in heaven? Could we live in heaven? We could be dead in heaven, but we've got to be cleansed, we have to be made alive, our lives have to be renewed, that means made new, or we have no life in us.

Now, let's go back to that text in Titus chapter three, verses four and five; I guess, "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 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..." Now, I could quit, but I'd lose my reputation for being long-winded, so let's go, uh, to, uh, uh, Romans chapter five and we'll notice a point here. Right along this line...if I can find Romans. It hasn't moved. Romans chapter five, verse eight, now this is above those six times that I told you about a while ago, those start in verse 12. "But God commendeth His love toward us..." I like that expression, God commendeth His love toward us. God manifests, God chose, God makes known His love toward us, "in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. , Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." I reckon Paul said that and looked at it and figured that needed a little clarification. I figured that, I don't know that. But he tells us it again, "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son..." That's what redemption did, it reconciled us to God, "much more..." "much more..." We were reconciled and there's more than that! And not just a little more, but much more. Much more. Being reconciled, step one, "being reconciled," "we shall be saved by his life."

Somewhere Jesus said, it's in Joh 14, I think, "because I live, ye shall live also." In that expression He's talking about after the resurrection of Himself. I know He said it before He died, but He says, because I live after I'm crucified, ye shall live also.

Are you alive this morning? Spiritually, I'm talking about. Are you alive? If you are it's because Jesus is alive. If you need proof Jesus is alive, look at yourself. You don't have to see into heaven to know Jesus is alive, look at yourself. Has something happened in your life to make you alive spiritually? Can you, with the apostle, say, those things that were gain to me I count them but loss that I may win Christ and be found in Hiin? Well, if you can say that, brother, you've been sprinkled
with clean water. Somebody gave you a new heart. Somebody put a new Spirit within you, and God wouldn't do that until He redeemed you.

But now, notice, "we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Oh, there's a wrath! There's a wrath to come. The Bible talks about it in one of the Thessalonian letters about a wrath to come. That's hell! That's that hell that's hot. That's that hell where the worm dies not. That's that place of eternal torment. But being reconciled, we shall be saved! We're not going there. You know why Old Baptists don't talk about it very much? We're not visiting with the folks that are going there very much. They're not my concern this morning. I want you to know what you've been delivered from, but I don't want to spend no amount of time telling about what you've been delivered from, I want to think a little bit about what we have. Most of the time if I could, I don't want to sit around thinking about what I missed, what I've been delivered from, that's needless oppression, really. We've been delivered from the wrath to come. We shall be saved from wrath. Through, ,through - - -And then the apostle gives us a complete and thorough list of everything that's necessary for us to be saved from wrath. The whole list, in order, alphabetized, set down in black and white. I just love a list that's alphabetized, in black and white, that I can see and memorize and get in my mind and get it fixed and know just how it goes. Paul gives it to us right here. H-I-M. Him. Through Him. That's not a long list, is it? It's the complete list. The most precious list that has ever been written. Through Him.

I thank you for your kind attention.

A Properous Man

A Properous Man (2002, January - February)

Sermon preached by Elder M. R. Altom of Irving, Texas, at the Annual Meeting of Sardis Primitive Baptist Church near Malvern, Arkansas, July 10, 1999. (This tape #075.027 is not available at the present time.)

I feel it to be a great privilege and honor to be able to be with you one more time, and also to occupy the pulpit with Brother Webb. I wish, and I said this one time down at Thornton after Brother Webb had preached: I wish I were kind and gentle like Brother Webb, but I am just different. I hope that you will pray for me. I feel it to be an honor to even be able to shake your hands, embrace you, and I am very thankful that I am still an Old Baptist.

The older I get, and the afflictions that I have had in my life, makes me stronger in the doctrines of grace and in the promises of God. I have believed for many years, what God has promised, He is also able to perform. No matter what we might meet with in life, God is able to help us in the time of trouble. He is a God at hand, and not a God afar off. e is not far from everyone of you, and He is a present help in time of trouble. He knoweth them that trusteth in Him. Like a brother said one time, Aren't you glad that you have got a God like that? He knows all about us, knows our needs, and is able to supply our needs. I hope that I can learn more about this Man they call Jesus Christ. I want to know more about what I already know about this man from Galilee, the sinners friend.

I want to kind of connect on with what Brother Webb spoke to us about. It is a wonderful story about Joseph, a marvelous person, and he was what he was by the grace of God. God was with him.

I remember years ago when I was in my teens when I joined the Missionary Baptist Church. I was always used to wearing overalls and going barefoot on the farm. I never was made to go to church, I always loved to go. We lived in the country, less than a half a mile from a Missionary Baptist Church, constituted back in the 1840's, good country people, good folks, kind, good neighbors. When I joined the church, my daddy bought me a new suit to wear to church. I often look back on that. I had two brothers that were younger than I, they were jealous of me because my dad had bought me a suit of clothes.

In the life of Joseph it was a case of jealousy by his brothers. They hated him. Several times it is mentioned they hated him the more. The more he told them about the dreams and the visions that he had, they hated him the more. You know the Lord, they hated Him. There was no fault in Him, but yet they hated Him and what He taught.

I am glad this morning that you and I do not hate the Lord. I am glad by the work of God in our hearts that we love God. It is because He shed abroad His love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which has been given us. A man will never love God until God manifests His love toward an individual. Love is of God! He is all we need in this world, in our troubles, trials and difficulties: God is our God and He is our Heavenly Father! He has done so much for us, and still does in this time world. God is still our God. It is so wonderful to realize that the Lord came down here into this world, lived a perfect life, and died upon the cross at Calvary to save sinners from their sins. I am just confident this morning as I stand before you, those that e died for, He put away their sins for ever. Every one that He loved, that He died for: He redeemed them from hell. Now it boggles my mind to think about the love that God had toward us. "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." (Ro 5:10)

You know, sometimes we are accused of being hard shells and etc., but I am a "hard shall" because I believe in the shalls of God in the Bible. Whether it has to do with times eternal, or with our blessings here in this world, if we serve God acceptably God will bless us. But it said: "If ye forsake Him, He will forsake you" (2Ch 15:2) Sometimes God's children are like the lost sheep that go astray. You know David said: "Before I was afflicted I went astray." (Ps 119:67) But this God of all grace, and mercy, and compassion, corrected him and brought him back to Him. I believe that most of us today have experienced the chastening rod of God.

Now in connection with what Brother Webb has said, and I certainly couldn't improve, and don't intended to try to improve upon what he said. Joseph was a type of Christ in many ways. He was blessed of God. You know he said to his brethren, you meant it for evil but God meant it for good to save much people alive. (Ge 50:20) Now he didn't give them life, but God in His wisdom and knowledge knew that a famine was coming, and God has always had a man where God wants that man, and when God needs a man He calls and then He sends.

Now if we could understand today more fully what God has done for us. We can never appreciate to the fullest of God's grace and mercy to us in saving us from our sins and keeping us by His power, until we learn by the teachings of God how corrupt and evil we were by nature. We were without God and without hope in the world; we were sinners, and yet God, because He loved us before we were, sent His Son into the world to save us from our sins.

When He died on the cross and said: "It is finished", that was the only atonement that ever was made, or ever will be made, that put away sins: the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. I am so glad today that I believe with all of my heart that if I am a child of God it has been by the grace of God. Not by what I have done, thought, or planned to do, but because of what Christ did, and He did everything well. He finished the work that the Father sent Him into the world to do.

Reading in the 39th chapter of the Book of Genesis notice these words. "And the Lord was with Joseph." (verse 2) People have the idea today, you know, people have got to be with the Lord to assist the Lord, to help the Lord to carry on His plan to save His people. But it is different to know and to believe that God is with us. And if God be for us, who can be against us? (Ro 8:31) If God is against us, who can be for us? There is no one else to help us. But God is for us, He goes before us, and by His Spirit He dwells within us. He is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Pr 18:24) That is the God of the Bible! May God help us this morning to realize where we were, and where we are, and where we will be when this life is finished down here on earth.

"The Lord was with Joseph." Ge 39:2) But notice this: "And he was a prosperous man." The reason that he was prosperous was because God was with him. That is the reason that Christ, when He was here in the world, that His work prospered. "He (God) shall see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied." ( Isa 53:11) What He does shall prosper because God was with Him.

Oh think this morning about how God knoweth everything, and how God is able to bring to pass that which He has promised. God had promised eternal life before the world was. What God has promised, He is able to perform. God will do, and is doing, and will continue to do what God has promised. "For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Heb 13:5)

"And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him." (Ge 39:2-3) See, there was evidence in Joseph's life, and the things that God was doing for the Egyptians on account of Joseph. My friend, I want to tell you this morning, the reason you and I have been saved by the grace of God, is because Christ was prosperous! He was a prosperous man, Christ was. This God-Man, Christ, every thing He did was prosperous. He never tried to do a thing and failed to do it. He opened the blind eyes, He unstopped deaf ears, loosed stammering tongues, delivered the crippled to walk, and gave life to the dead. If one can't give life to the dead, He can't help me. But Christ gave life to the dead, therefore He has been my Helper! Some day the power that raised Lazarus from the dead, is the very power that quickened us, and made us alive when we were dead in sin, the same power. And that power when the resurrection morning comes is going to be the same power that is going to raise our bodies from the dust, change them, fashion them like unto the glorious body ofJesus Christ. (Php 3:21) "And so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1Th 4:17) Think of that! He is with us down here by His Spirit, think what it is going to be like when we are with Him! When we are going to be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. "And so shall we ever be with the Lord."

You know there are three purposes of Christ's death, His life on earth, and His death. He died that we might live through Him, that we might live for Him, that we might live with Him, because of what He has done.

You know when Israel was over there in the wilderness and God blessed them, guided them, led them. Other nations saw that God was with them. I ought to be, should be, we as children of God manifest in our life while we are living here in the world that people might know that God is with us. It should move us, motivate us, stir us up to serve God for what He has already done for us. He has done for us great things, and it is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord. You know I am some times just so ashamed I don't feel like I am as thankful as I ought to be, and I bow my head in shame. I experienced what Brother Webb spoke about, a moment ago, I know what it is when the heavens become brass (Duet 28:23), my prayers won't go through, I cry out from the depths of my soul: Is thy mercy clean gone for ever? (Ps 77:8) David said: "Why art thou cast down, 0 my soul?" (Ps 42:5) Here is the answer: "Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him." We might have the mulleygrubs today, being in the dark, but it is not always going to be that way. You see, God tries us. He bring us through the water and we are not drowned. Brings us through the fire, and we are not burned. But one thing it does: it rids us of the chaff that we carry around with us in our lives here in the world. God chastises us, He corrects us, that we might be a partaker of His holiness.

"And his master saw that the Lord was with him." (Ge 39:3) There couldn't be any greater thing that I can imagine this morning than that God is with us. What do you think about it? God is with us. Not only, He is for us, for what He has done for us, and that great work of grace that has been done in our hearts by the Spirit of God. Then it says: "That the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand." I know you realize that you and I have been put in the care of the Son of God. In the covenant of grace God chose us in Him before the world was. Notice, e is our Guardian, we are in His hands. We are engraved in His hands. He said, "No man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." (Joh 10:29) All of them that the Father gave Him shall come to Him. He said: "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." (Joh 6:37) Think of the security of the children of God, it is not in us, its in Him. He is the keeper of our soul. He is our Guardian, my friends. He guards us, guides us, and directs us while we are living here in this world. How much happier our lives would be if we followed Him and did the things that He has commanded us to do. We get ourselves in trouble.

David said: "I have gone astray like a lost sheep." (Ps 119:176) We are always straying here and there. Sometimes we cross the strait and narrow way, but He said this is the way, walk therein. (Jer 6:16) We do that by obeying what the Lord has said. We are even going to have trials there but the Lord will deliver us out of them. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." (Ps 34:19) All through our lives we have been delivered. And our troubles, our sorrows, and our griefs, hearts broken, God was with us, my friend, or we could not have borne the things that we have experienced in the world.

Remember the writer said: No man's sorrow is like unto my sorrow. (La 1:12) Christ was a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief. (Isa 53:3) Oh, if we could understand the agony, the pain, and the grief that He suffered in His body and in His soul for you and I, unworthy individuals. If He had not died for us, redeemed us, saved us, we would never see His face in peace. But I believe this morning with all of my heart that everyone that Christ died for will some day see His face in peace.

Paul said: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;" he said "of whom I am chief." (1Ti 1:15) See the Lord didn't come to make a plan for man to save himself. Christ is the Saviour Himself, and He is able to save. He does save! He does keep! One day all that He died for are going to be with Him in eternal glory.

Now Prosper: you know I have done many things in this world that didn't prosper. Some times it seems like life has been a failure. I thought, lately, I am too old to try to start over, but thank God Christ is all I need, and all I will ever need in this world. "Having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." (1Ti 4:8) I will be glad when we will be in that place where I will never grow old, no sorrow, no sickness, no pain. Won't be in any hurry anymore. You know down here we are in such a hurry, we get confused, get in a hurry and not get no where, always busy, always planning. But, my friends, when we get there we are not going no where, we will be there for ever because Christ died on the cross. We won't need anything. I am glad we won't take any of this garbage with us when we go to meet Him, every thing is there because He is there, and He is the One that we need! He supplies all of our need.

Do you ever get tried of rushing? You know when you get older you can't rush as fast. Get ready to go anywhere, it is a burden for me to have to get ready to go to church. Do this, do that, have to sit down and rest. While I am sitting down resting I forget what I was going to do next. Got to be sure you have got all of your parts, go to church and leave some of them at home. But, my friend, there is a better day coming because of what the Lord has done for us, we are going to be there in that better place for ever and sing His praise for ever.

Now, I am going to be real brief on this. "And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand." (Ge 39:4) Now all of our hope, all of our joy, all of our peace, all of our comfort, is in Christ's hand, and we are in His hand. Think of it! We ought to be at . . . oh when we get our old age check, I call it. You know they have kind of sweetened that up a little, they don't call old folks old folks no more, they are senior citizens. Senior citizens are old folks. You know you get your bank account, you be sure and check to see that the check got there. You check your bank statement to see if you have got any money in there. But, my friend, I want to tell you. we have, we ought to look in that bank account that Christ covers for us and find the debt is paid and we have got spending money. We are still living on grace! We will until He comes again. We ought to check on that, find out how rich you are in Christ. Oh, the sin debt is paid, paid in full. We have got the receipt: the Spirit in our heart testifying to the fact the sin debt is paid, paid in full. It is good to be out of debt naturally. How wonderful it is to be out of debt to God. The debt has been paid. Christ satisfied the law in our place, in our steed, and His righteousness has been imputed to us.

Well, you know it is common today, and has been I suppose all along the way. You get out of debt: don't you feel good! Get your car paid for, your house paid for, you feel good. But you turn around and get back in debt, get right back in debt. But I want to tell you this: Christ put away our sins, past, present, and future. Even though that be so, if we sin against. God, God will correct us, my friends, while we are living down here. I am glad He does. I don't believe you can be any closer to God than when He chastises you for doing wrong. You know He is close. You see, sometimes we don't really understand. God is God! And because of what Christ did we can address Him as Father. You know, He owns the world, and all things in it. and we are His children.

Now, "And it came to pass." You know you can get that word all through the Bible: "And it came to pass." "And it came to pass" something has gone on before hand, and it really came to pass. "And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake." (Ge 39:5) Our sins have been forgiven us for Jesus' sake. That is the reason we have been forgiven. Jesus died, He died for sinners, to save the sinner from his sins. How do you like that?

Now John said, in the Epistle of John: "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake." (1Jo 2:12) Without Him there is no forgiveness of sin, but with Him sin has been forgiven. Because Christ did what we couldn't do, He fulfilled the law to a jot and tittle. His righteousness is imputed to us as our righteousness, all because of the grace of God.

He can take a sinner vain and wild, and make him as a little child. You know I have often thought, you know, folks think God has such a time with sinners, some of them resist, refuse to come to Him, but there never was a problem, God never has had a problem. Paul would have been one. But the Lord didn't have a problem with him. No, sir! The high exalted Saul became a little child. "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Ac 9:6)

Have you ever noticed about the life of Joseph, they had been eating his corn and didn't know who was feeding them. Today a lot of God's children are eating corn, they don't know who is feeding them. It is good When you understand the truth. You know who the feeder is, it makes the food a whole lot better. They didn't deserve it. You know they went in, there he was, and they didn't recognize him. There he was feeding them. They couldn't buy his corn, they put the money back in the sack. You can't buy grace, it is free! We don't have the money. If it were for sale, we couldn't buy it! We are bankrupt. We are broke, a thousand talents in debt, with nothing to pay. But He voluntarily, freely, willingly, for the joy set before Him, paid the debt in full. Brethren, we ought to live like that in our lives that we have been set free. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free." (Ga 5:1) We are free folks. People talk about freedom. Brethren, this is a glorious freedom that we have by and through and in Christ! And you know they didn't know him until he said: "I am Joseph," whom you sold into Egypt. You notice what Christ said to Saul: "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." (Ac 9:5) I want to tell you, when the Lord speaks He can get your attention one way or the other. There was no man there to introduce Saul to the Lord. The Lord did that, and God still does that. The same way the first sinner was ever saved is how all of them are going to be saved: through the grace and mercy of God.

I want to go back, one more verse I want to read, and then I am finished. "The Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field." There are blessings everywhere, in the house and in the field. Why? Joseph was there, and God was there blessing him. All that Jesus did prospered! Then one more: And the Lord was with him that which he did the Lord made to prosper. Brethren, the pleasure of the Lord prospers in the hands of Christ. He obtained eternal redemption for us by one sacrifice when He offered Himself without spot to God for ever. There is no more sacrifice for sin because sin has been atoned for, been put away, by the one sacrifice that Christ made upon the cross, for those that were given to Him by the Father. Helped by Him, preserved in Him, led by Him, fed by Him, guided by Him, enlightened by Him, taught by Him; everything is in Him. It is in Him that we move and have our being. Without Him we are nothing, we are lost, ruined for ever. Thank God we have Him and He has us, and He is going to keep us until He comes again.

I thank you.


A REMNANT (1946, May & 1958, November)

Sermon Preached by Elder C. H. Cayce, at Thornton, Ark.,
March 4, 1944

A little while ago I did not have anything on my mind that is recorded in the Scripture but the same language I tried to use a week ago ,today at Elizabeth Church, and I turned to it; but since then there is another expression by the same writer, Paul, recorded in another place, I believe in Romans, "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace." (Ro 11:5.) Think about that expression and then think about the number of our members that are present here today, and the number that are enrolled. I thought maybe there was a remnant here. The minute shows that at the time of our association, third Sunday in September, we had forty-six names enrolled. Of course we have lost some since then, six in all. There is a very small fraction here, over one-third of the members, just a remnant. A remnant is a small portion of the whole and fifteen out of forty is a small portion of the whole number.

"A remnant according to the election of grace." That is in perfect harmony and in perfect accord with the election of grace. There is nothing there that is contrary to the election of grace, but it is in harmony with it, in line with it. There was just a remnant of the Israelites in the prophet's day who rendered faithful, devoted service to God. The prophet thought he was left alone. He must have been in a worse fix than I am today. I see a few, but the prophet did not see any of them that were faithful and devoted to the cause of the Master, and Israel had persecuted him. They had wandered off after strange gods, worshiping idols, and rendering service to them that are no gods—only idols, persecuting the prophets. They got after him and he fled for his life, and hid in the cave. Sometimes I feel like hiding. I imagine sometimes I can think I know a little something about how he felt. I don't know whether I do or not, but I imagine I do. He hid in a cave, and then went to the only One that he knew to go to, and the only One that could give him any solid relief—to the Lord in supplication and prayer, and in that he confessed the sins of his people; acknowledged their sins and said, "Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life." The Lord answered him. Perhaps He did not answer him in the way that he would have been best pleased, in the way that perhaps he would have preferred being answered. The 'Lord said to him, "I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal." I wish I could just bring out the full meaning of that expression. "I have reserved to myself." Here was something that was God's doing. "I have reserved to myself." The Lord saw to it that, though the witnesses were few, there were enough in the prophet's day for the truth of God to be maintained in the world, and for His service that would honor and glorify His name, and give Him the praise and adoration that was due Him. He is still engaged in that. He was not left without witnesses in the earth. The same thing the apostle tells us was true in his day, "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant," a remnant who would witness for the truth, and who would stand upon the true principles of doctrine and practice that God had given in His law that we find now in His Book. A remnant. These people who engaged in that true service of God and who stood for and upon the principles of truth and righteousness had to do that in suffering. It is true that the Bible abundantly teaches that God's faithful and true servants, whether in the ministry or otherwise, who render service to Him, standing in their places in the camps of Israel and in the service of God, enjoy blessings that cannot be attained to or enjoyed in any other way in the world—only in that way and in that place. But at the same time that there are blessings therein, there are also afflictions. God's humble followers, His faithful servants do not sail through this world on flowery beds of ease.

Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His name?

Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sail through bloody seas?

There is a fight to be engaged in. There are foes within and foes without. To stand upon the principles of truth and to engage in the service of the Lord in that way that His Book teaches that His people should serve Him and honor Him, they have to stand as it were between cross fires of the enemy within and the enemy without. It is an inward contest all the time, as well as a contest against the enemies that are without. The soldiers in our army who are enlisted in the army of our nation today, as a rule, have to face the enemy on one side. Sometimes the enemy may slip around and some of them get behind the army and then there is double exposure—exposure from before and behind. They get surrounded. Not only is that true with our own boys in the service, but it is true with the army on either side. That is what the Russians did with some of the Germans over there. They got around and had them surrounded and had them cut off from the main army. And that is the way they overcame many of them, and that is a hard place to be in. You know if an army or a portion of an army is thus encircled there sure enough has to be some hard fighting.

The child of God has to fight against the foes within, as well as the foes without. In order to gain the victories under such circumstances as this, there has to be some hard fighting done. You are not going to win the battle or the fight by laying down on the job. We are not going to get anywhere in fighting battles when we thus have to fight two ways by surrendering either side. Suppose I do feel and realize my own unfitness and my own insignificance, a continual battle within all the time against my own sinful inclinations, and because I do realize this, I surrender, give up to that and quit the fight, if there is an obligation that the Lord has laid upon me to meet with His people in public service, (and that is an obligation that He has laid upon them—"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together") and the obligation is resting upon me, and that obligation was given to me by the Lord of glory, sing praises to His holy name; but on account of this enemy that is within, I quit, I won't sing, and won't meet with them. There is an obligation laid upon them to pray with and pray for each other. That does not mean for one person in the number to do all the praying. How are you going to pray with each other if only one does the praying? Can you tell me how that could be? But suppose on account of your feelings, you give up to that and surrender and will not engage any more in that service, would you think you had won any battle or any victory? Suppose the preacher feels his 'unworthiness and unfitness, and suppose all of them that feel that way would quit and give up to that, do you think he would get any victory? Do you think he would get anywhere? How much do you think he would accomplish? How much do you think he would be worth to you or to the cause? Do you think he would be worth anything? I don't much think he would. What do you think about it? Suppose I quit; would I amount to anything more than just a corner? What do you think about it? Suppose we all quit; just give up; suppose we surrender; I feel like it sometimes, don't you? Lots of times I feel like I would just as well, but I can't make up my mind that I want to, do you?

Then there are foes without, as well as foes within. The true followers of the Master are going to be persecuted. Now there is a difference in being persecuted and in being prosecuted. If any man lives in Christ Jesus, he shall suffer persecution ("All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.") Not only will he suffer persecution from the outside world but he is going to suffer from persecution from those that are within. The worst foes that a man can possibly have in all this wide world are those of his own house. Paul tells us something of the trials and conflicts that he endured. He was traveling sometimes on the sea, on the ship at sea, storms would arise, the winds would blow and the lightening flash and the waves rolled high; and so severe were those storms at times that he said thrice was he shipwrecked. The ship upon which he was sailing, traveling to go from one place to another, to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ, the works of God, and to teach and admonish God's people how we should live to honor and glorify the name of the Master, went down in the sea three times. But he did not stop on that account; when he went down once he did not say, "Now I better stay off that sea. I will not get on the sea any more. I am not going to go through with danger like that again." But he went again and again and the third time he went down he still did not stop enduring this from without, but not only did he endure that but he was arrested by authorities of the law of the land. That is the kind of work he was engaged in when the Lord arrested him, persecuting the saints. He had letters of authority from Jerusalem to Damascus to bind those who called on the name of the Lord.

The Lord called him by His grace and put him in the ministry. "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ." The Lord by His grace called him out from among men and put him in the ministry, made a minister out of him, or made him a minister. The Lord did that. Who does that now? If the Lord has any ministers now, the Lord made them. Now men may make ministers, but when they have made them, they are their own and are not the Lord's. There are some folks who had prophets in ancient times, besides the Lord. One time I think old Satan had four hundred prophets to the Lord's one. It looks like if the Lord's prophets and the false prophets were at war and at variance with each other that certainly old Satan had enough majority, four hundred to one, that the Lord's prophets might all be put down and destroyed and the truth of God wiped off the face of the earth forever. But numbers have never counted for anything in this particular. The great majority of mankind in the world in every age of the world have been opposed to truth of God and have been against those that preached it. The true servant of God has always had that opposition to contend with. Suppose they ground arms and quit and surrender. Would it have been right for the prophets to have surrendered on that occasion or at that time? If it would not have been right or was not right for them to surrender and give up, what about it in this age? When the blessed Master made His advent in the world and during His personal ministry on earth, in the establishing of His kingdom. He put twelve men in it as ministers, and then seventy, and sent them out there against the whole world. Was it right for them to obey the Master and serve Him? Was it right for them to do that in the face of all that opposition and persecution? If it was right for them to do that in that age, what about it now? Is it npt still right? The apostle said something about what he had preached, and the things that were to be attended to in God's house. He said to Timothy, "The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." Faithfulness is necessary, and required in the house of God. I believe it is said that Moses was faithful in all his house. Faithfulness was needed then. It was needed in every age of the world and it is needed yet. Surely Moses had temptations all right. Think of this as a temptation—brought up as the son of Pharaoh's daughter, that great king Pharoah in Egypt. His daughter adopted him, Moses, and thus he was brought up as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. Being the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter; he was heir to the throne of the king of Egypt. Think of that greatness and wealth, the pomp and splendor that he would have enjoyed had he been king of a great, wealthy rich country like that was. This was Moses' right as the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter. If you had the opportunity, you could even get to be representative in the state legislature, and give up, neglect, and forsake the service of God for a little place, for filling the place of office in the legislative hall; if there is trickery practiced anywhere, it is in the legislative hall. Sam Jones used to say that when a man gets so he is not fit for anything, they send him to the legislature. I have lived in Tennessee. In that state when a man was elected to the legislature, he had to surrender his credentials. I have known some in Tennessee to lay down their credentials and serve in the legislature. I was asked to make the race.

One time people came to me and wanted me to make the race for the legislature. I guess at that time if I had made the race, I could have gotten the nomination in the primary, and the nomination in that county was equivalent to election, for at that time the Old Baptists had the balance of power in that county. There were just enough of them that they had the balance of power. Other candidates might be put out, but if the Old Baptists would unite on their man he would be nominated. But I did not want it. I did not want to surrender this.

Think of that great opportunity that stood before Moses. He choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. Though he might have been king and ruler over all that great land, yet rather than stay with that he chose to suffer affliction with the people of God than to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake." When you suffer affliction, when you suffer persecution and trials for the sake of Jesus, for the cause of the blessed Master, it is by the grace of God that you are given to suffer for His sake. It is given to you, and then it is by His grace that He looked down upon you in mercy and in tender compassion, and brought you into divine relationship with Him, and by His grace gave you a desire and will and inclination to serve Him and to honor and glorify His blessed name. Thus in service to Him and in praising Him and in standing for and upon His blessed truth, you might be persecuted by the world and thus shine as a true servant of God, whatever your station may be in this life. Paul suffered. He was put in prison and in the inner prison at one time. You read about how that Paul and Silas, not one of the apostles, but a minister, were arrested and put in prison. There was an inner prison and an outer prison. The outer cells in that prison were for the criminals who were not so great, not considered so bad, but the vilest and worst of those that were so considered, were put in the inner prison, fastened in stocks; their feet, were fastened and hands were fastened and their heads fastened, sitting in this position no way to move, no way to change position, no way to rest. And on this occasion that I have in mind when Paul and Silas for the transgressing, awful crime of preaching the gospel of the grace of God, at the hour of midnight they sang praise to God.

"For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake." It is by the grace of God. The grace of God had made them faithful and true to the Master, as they had to suffer for his sake, and in the midst of that suffering and torture and torment, at the hour of midnight they. sang praise to God. The foundation of that old prison was shaken, the doors of the prison were thrown open wide, and the stocks in which they were held fell from them. They were loosed. Not only did this old servant of God suffer from the outward enemies thus, by being in prison in the dungeon sometimes shut off from the light of day, dark and dismal dungeon, but he was stoned. How many times was he stoned? Thrice he was shipwrecked and three times he was stoned. In that age mobs would gather as they do sometimes now and not taking the course of legality, but the wicked, mad rabble took the matter in their own hands, and took it upon themselves to destroy those that were in apposition to them if they did not do as they thought they should. One time they thought they had killed him and he was taken up for dead. He suffered persecutions from without, perils by land, and perils "by sea, in perils by robbers, in perils of his own countrymen, in perils among heathen; and after all that it was not the end of it—in perils by false brethren. My humble judgment is that was the worst of it all. Perils by false brethren. The brethren would speak mighty well to his face; and in his absence do what they could to destroy him and his influence, not only the influence of his preaching, but the influence of his life. Perils of false brethren. Brother, I would rather endure affliction for a whole month from the outward avowed enemies of the church, than one day from those that profess to be followers of the Master in the church. All this from without, but he did not surrender; he did not give up and quit. After enduring all this for a lifetime and as the day of his stay on this earth drew near to a close, realizing that he would soon step off the stage of action, his mouth be hushed, closed, his tongue stilled so he would speak no more either in singing praise or preaching, his hand would cease to move so that he would pen no more letters of instruction and consolation for the benefit of the Lord's little children in the world, he says, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand." The time had come for him to leave this world. But he expressed no regret. He did not say he wanted to live a little longer to accomplish something that he had left undone. He said, "I am now ready to be offered. *** I have fought a good fight." He fought the battles within; he fought them without. He shunned not to declare unto them the whole counsel of God in things that God's blessed truth has in it. He had not shunned to declare to them the whole counsel of God, though by shunning some things he might have been praised.

"I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." May the Lord help me to keep the faith by word and deed, not only in what I say, but in the way I live;' and not only by the way I live, but by what I say. "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, 0 Lord." There must be harmony here if it is worth while. If there is no hypocrisy in the matter, there is harmony. He had not only kept the faith, but his life had been con formed to it. That is what we need to do, to conform our lives to the truth, as faithful valiant soldiers to the cause of Christ, whatever place we have been given to occupy. We must do what we have been given to do. Everyone stand around their place about the camp. Whatever trials he has to go through, persecution, there is peace and quietness of mind that cannot be attained to in any other place in the world.

May the Lord bless you.

Amongst things to be taken heed of among private Christians is a bold usurpation of censure towards others, not considering their temptations. Some will unchurch and unbrother in a passion; but distempers do not alter true relations. Though the child in a fit should disclaim the mother, yet the mother will not disclaim the child.—Sibbes.



Sermon Preached by Elder C. J. L. Bolinger, Ralls, Texas,
at The South Arkansas Association, September 17, 1943

Brethren and sisters (if one so unworthy and so little would be permitted to call you by such a precious, sweet name), if I am not the worst deceived mortal on earth, I am glad to meet with those my blessed Saviour called "The salt of the earth." When I come to tell what the Lord means to them I am just too little; I am just too weak; yet I know that, through His blessed grace, He can take just a baby and make it praise His blessed name, even before that baby would know how to say. papa or mama. And He is so great that He can take the lunatic and clothe him and put him in his right mind, and He can cleanse the leper, and He is so great that He can spit on the ground and make clay out of the spittle and anoint the eyes of the blind and they can see, and can stand in the presence of that God that changes not, the same yesterday, today and forever.

I hesitated--in fact, I told my precious boy a few days before we left home to leave me and go on; yet I had a desire to come. I don't know why. I did not know whether it was of the Lord or not, and don't know yet. I know I have been bountifully fed and well paid for my trip; but, oh, have I brought something to you that is harmful? I hope not. God help me that what I might say might be seasoned with grace, that it might adorn the doctrine of God, that I could go home feeling that the Lord remembered a poor weak worm of the dust and that you could say in your heart, "I am glad he came."

I have never had the privilege of asking Brother Cayce to pray for me, and I am going to ask him, together with everyone here, to pray for us and for each other. Brother Cayce:


Most heavenly Father, it is once more that we are permitted, as poor unworthy creatures which we realize ourselves to be, to bow before thee in an attitude of prayer and supplication. We desire to come in thy presence and approach thy throne of grace in such way as would be pleasing in thy holy sight; but we are unable thus to do unless thou wouldst lead us and direct us and give us that preparation of heart that is so necessary for us to have to serve thee with reverence and godly fear, and wouldst thou help us to humble ourselves before thee and approach thee as our heavenly Father who art rich in mercy, great in goodness and good in greatness; lift up thy countenance upon us in such way that the same might be made manifest to us at this time. We pray thee, our Father, that thou wouldst bless us out of the plentitude of thy mercy and grace, and especially would we beg that thou wouldst be with us at this hour, both in hearing and speaking. In mercy grant that thou wouldst draw near to this, our precious brother in the Lord, and help him to speak in that way that would be for the good of thy cause, for the advancement of thy kingdom, and for the benefit of thine humble poor who are present, and especially to the glory of thy blessed name. We pray thee, our Father, that thou wouldst be with us in hearing. We have realized in past experience that, though the gospel  may be preached in our hearing to the glory of thy name and in power and in demonstration of thy Spirit, unless our hearts are made ready with that preparation that is necessary, we fail to hear. Lord, grant us a hearing ear and an understanding heart, that the words that may be spoken may reach our hearts; that the seed sown may' be sown in honest hearts; that our hungry hearts may be fed from the fountain of gospel grace and truth. Grant that what may be promulgated by thy servants, that we may be fed with knowledge of thy blessed gospel and truth, and help us to conform our lives to the same, that we may have thy approving smiles, that we may have the evidence in our hearts of the renewed manifestations of thy love. We beg thy blessing, our Father, to rest upon the families that have been broken up, loved ones taken away by the cruel hand of death. We pray thee, our Father, that thou wouldst bless our boys that are in the camps or in foreign fields; encircle them in thy love, and if they fall in battle, we pray that thy Spirit be with them, that they. may rejoice in thy love and that they will live with thee where there are no more wars. We beg thee to bless those wives, fathers and mothers whose hearts are bleeding on account of the cruel war. We beg thee that thou wouldst bless those who are on their way back home, mangled and crippled; grant that thy sweet presence may hover over them. We thank thee for thy mercy and grace in sparing their lives. We pray thy blessings on this community. Bless this meeting to thy glory. Reconcile us all to thy providential dealings while we remain in the world. Be with us on life's uneven pathway. At last receive us into thy presence above, and we trust that we shall be there permitted to praise thee more perfectly in that world that has no end. Amen.


If I talk to you this evening I will have to talk to you along the line of good works, or the practical side of salvation. If I understand this Book that we call the Bible, it sets forth a salvation in which we, as the posterity of Adam, have not got a thing in this wide world to do with, in bringing it about, and I am glad of that fact. I am glad that God laid help upon one who was mighty and able to save to the uttermost. I am glad, I trust, that I believe in a God that is able to take care of us here and of them out yonder, and is able, dear mothers, fathers and companions, to take care of that boy over yonder in the foreign fields; but while the cannons may roar and the airplanes may drop their bombs, yet he can look through the clouds of smoke and see that blessed Saviour. I am glad that blessed eternal salvation is taught in the Bible. He is mighty to save to the uttermost. While I am glad, I trust, of that salvation, I also trust that I am glad that there is a salvation for God's people in doing the things that God has commanded them to do. The reason why I am glad of that salvation is because, I trust, I have witnessed in my heart that this poor boy felt to be saved by that thing when it looked like I did not have a friend on earth in a human being to whom I could turn for comfort or help. In trying to fight the battle against ungodliness in the church, God gave me calm and peaceful hours when man could not do it. From that standpoint salvation in obedience is in the gospel of the Son of God. I would not take the world for the joys I have obtained from that salvation. The apostle begins an address to the church of God, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God." If there was not another text in the Bible that said God did have a house, or church, in the world, here I would say and affirm that God has a house, or church. He said, "The time is come that judgment must begin." Where? "At the house of God." Now, then, from a literal or natural standpoint, many times in my life I have found that my judgment has been so poor and so weak and so ignorant that after awhile I would have to back up and say that I did not use the right kind of judgment in that thing. I wonder if that could apply to the church in our day. I think so. The apostle said that judgment must begin at the house of God. It has its beginning at the house of God, and "if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" One time a man in our country, in talking to me and in his preaching, said that the fellow who did not obey the gospel went to the eternal regions of woe without any sort of redemption. I did not believe it then and I do not believe it now. Now, "What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" What shall the end be of them? If I could find some Bible characters that obeyed not God, and if I could tell the trouble they got into and how they were delivered, and you could take it to yourself and say in your own heart, "That is me," then it would be worth something to you. I would not give you anything for the gospel which God's little children could not take and feel in some way that it applies to them.

"What shall the end be?" God preached the gospel' to some folks under the law. There was a disobedient servant of God who was told to go to a certain city, but he did not do as God told him to. "What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" I want you to weigh that thing. What is going to become of the person who obeys not the gospel of God? I am going to bring you some Bible characters so you can see what the end of them was. Did they go to the eternal regions below? No. Some of the children of God have experienced in their poor hearts what the end shall be of them that obey not the gospel of God. They have many trials and troubles in this life. The Lord told Jonah to go to Nineveh. He was just like this poor boy feels to be many times. If I ever felt the weight of preaching the gospel it was when I was fourteen years old, but I was nearly forty-four when I really started preaching. I opened services some, but still would not give vent to my feelings, and I know by experience the school Jonah went to. It was a rough one. "What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" Jonah, you know, paid his own fare. Jonah was doing the paying. God was not in the matter. When he started out over yonder he got kind of easy. Generally, when I get easy I go to sleep easily. This old fellow started out on his journey, and he got on a ship, and he went to sleep on the ship. There was a storm that arose while he was asleep. You need not tell me that when you go down that road that you are not going to have some company that will rob you and leave you half dead. Those on the ship cast lots. It was a kind of way of finding out who was guilty, I suppose. I wish the Old Baptists would cast a few lots to find out the cause of the storm. The lot fell upon Jonah. He plead guilty. "Yes, I am guilty. Throw me overboard and all will be well." He did not do like some Old Baptists—plead guilty and yet try to stay in the church. But Jonah said, "Cast me overboard and all will be calm." I wish we had more Jonahs from that standpoint. I hope it is according to God's Word and that you may be stirred up in good works. I may have given some of you a slap, but let it go where it will. May God help us.

We find when Jonah was cast overboard he was swallowed up by a great fish. God prepared that fish. It did not just happen to be there. If you think, dear child of God, that the world is not ready to swallow you up, you go like Jonah did and you will find it will swallow you up. He went down to the bottom of the sea. Jonah was in torment. I am going to let the fish represent the world. You let the genuine Old Baptist preacher or a member get to living the way Jonah did, in open rebellion to God's gospel, and the Old Baptists should get sick of him and cast him overboard and let the world swallow him. He will get like Jonah—tired of the world (fish) and the world sick of him and vomit him up. He will pray and God will hear his prayers. I thank God today that God's ears are not deaf. That is the kind of a God that I want to preach to you here in Arkansas. That is the kind of a God I trusted in when I slept out on the ground with a saddle for my pillow and the stars above me for my cover, in my young days. The Lord heard Jonah's prayer, and Jonah said, "I will. pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord." I will say that salvation is of the Lord, plain out. I am going to say that even the gospel salvation that Jonah spoke of was God's salvation. If God is not in it, you have no salvation. Salvation is of the Lord.

That fish got sick, or I guess he did. I never did vomit until I got sick. I think Jonah was sick of the fish, and the fish was sick of Jonah. When he vomited he put him on dry land, not neck deep, or waist deep, but clean out on dry land. Then God told him to go to Nineveh and "preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee." "What shall the end be?" I will say that that salvation is of the Lord, as all deliverance is of God. This Book, the Bible, is your counsellor and your guide to guide you, from a practical standpoint. People tell me it is a waybill from earth to heaven, but I do not believe it. It is a waybill to tell all of us how to act while we are here in the world.

I wonder if I could find somebody else that obeyed not the gospel of God and find what their end was. We found Jonah and how God saved him, even though he went to the bottom of the sea. I am glad that we have a God to look to to save us, both in time and eternity. David was said to be a man after God's own heart. When he lived like he ought to he could cry out boldly like this, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters." David was under the law. The law forbade him having another man's wife. He was a man after God's own heart, a child of God, but what did he do? He had a fellow put up in front of the battle to be killed so that he could have his wife. He thought he had that thing hid. "What shall the end be?" The prophet came up to him and David pronounced his own sentence of death, just like every little child of God will do. The prophet said a poor man had one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up, and there came a rich man who had plenty, but who took the poor man's one little ewe lamb. The prophet said to David, "What shall be done to that man?" And David said, "The man that hath done this thing shall surely die." He pronounced his own sentence for the prophet said, "Thou art the man." The prophet had nerve enough to stand for the truth. He had nerve enough to say, "Thou art the man," not knowing the consequences. We see David had pronounced his own sentence of death. Let us see what David says after he had done this crime. "Is His mercy clean gone for ever?" That did not sound like, "the Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want"—quite a contrast in David's own language. "0 Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath; neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure." That was not talking like praising the Lord. He sought Him then on bended knees. "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation." A fellow in our country did not know the difference between the joys of salvation and salvation. David was wanting the joy of salvation. David just lost the joy of his salvation by not obeying what God, by His law, told him to do. Somebody might say, "Well, preacher, if that is the case, you do not believe, then, that David was eternally lost?" No, no; but I do believe that he was lost to the joys of God's house, the church. Brethren, you better be careful—you cannot build in God's house with your hands bloody. A hint to the wise is enough.

"What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" There is a scarce salvation in that. I read somewhere in the Bible where it speaks of 'an abundant salvation. Can you tell the difference between an abundant thing and a thing that is scarce? Our government has rationed some things because of a scarcity. Other things we have an abundance of. Here is a salvation that is scarce, and here is another that is abundant. There is no scarcity in the salvation that Jesus wrought on the cross. It is in no way scarce. He can take the insane and save them, even in their insanity. He can take the idiot and the babe and the most wicked sinner that ever walked and save them. When God delivered the children of Israel, the first thing He did was to have Moses kill a lamb and take the blood and sprinkle it on the door posts, and the destroying angel said, "When I see how good you fellows have been, I will pass over you." Is that the way it reads? No, the Lord said that for His own name's sake He would deliver them. He had promised Abraham four hundred and thirty years before this that He would deliver them, pass over them. In this we see the resurrection of our mortal bodies set forth, because the bones of Joseph, who had been dead many years, were taken up and delivered with the children of Israel. They did not have to put a man at his grave. He came out just the same.

"What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? and if the righteous scarcely be saved." Where is your scarce salvation in this deliverance of girls, boys, little babies and all? I know there were babies eight days old that crossed the Red Sea. A preacher called my hand on this. I asked him, "Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe that two and two make four? "Yes, of course," he said. "All right. After they started on their journey, which was three days' journey from the land of Goshen to the Red Sea, God told Moses to circumcise all the male babies eight days old and older on the banks of the Red Sea, So some of them must have been five days old when they started on that journey from the land of Goshen." The salvation in that journey was not scarce. I believe that there was not a one of the children of Israel left in bondage, and I will go home and quit preaching for the Old Baptists if you can find where just one of the Israelites was left in Egypt. There was no scarcity in that salvation. That was typical of eternal salvation.

But I want to get to the scarce salvation. There was a great army of those on whose door posts the blood was sprinkled, and who crossed over the Red Sea. Of all those who were delivered, there were just two who got over into the land of Canaan. That was a scarce salvation. God said, "You go over there and possess the land; it belongs to you." But they did not obey Him, and consequently they all died in the wilderness, except two.

"And if the righteous." Who are the righteous? They are those who do what God told them to do. That used to trouble me. It used to be in my way. I realised that sin is mixed with all I do. I wondered about that. But I read in the Bible that righteousness was imputed unto us, and you are counted righteous. Righteousness was not left for us to do. "What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?" You folks begin to answer that in your hearts. When I was sixteen years old I had had only six months of school. I had to go every day thirty-two miles, but I finally got to the fourth or fifth grade. I am not bragging about it, but feel ashamed, but I know enough to know that the gospel salvation is scarce. The little baby knows that papa don't mean mama and mama don't mean papa. That fellow I referred to awhile ago said that the ungodly and sinners -were going to appear in a burning hell. As ignorant as I am I have something better than that. Where will they appear? The Bible tells us that they will appear in outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. I wonder if poor old David was not wailing and gnashing his teeth. "Lord, restore unto me the joys of thy salvation." I wonder if he was not at that kind of a place. I have been in a lot of torment in my life, what we would call a light degree of hell, at least. Old Jonah felt bad. when he was in the torment side of it. He appeared on dry land, and he did not have a thing in the world to do with that appearance, but he did have something to do with appearing in the belly of the fish, the belly of hell.

"What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved." You have got a daily work. You must crucify the old man daily, with his deeds. You have got trouble on your hands. None of you are so great but what temptations will come your way. You need not expect flowery beds of ease.

Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease;
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?

An Old Baptist told me one time, "I am about ready to quit because you have so much trouble." There is a battle for you to fight, and one of the greatest battles for you to fight is to crucify this old man daily. "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." He is not talking about keeping sinners out, but he is talking about the way one is standing. I would be standing in the way that sinners are standing if I were to be found in a "honky-tonk," or some other vile place. I would be acting just like the wicked do. Paul said, "But I keep under, and bring my body into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." Paul realised that thing. "If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." The old fish was the adversary of Jonah, and Jonah was delivered from it. There is your eternal salvation.

I trust you folks have been comforted somewhat. Oh, that I could comfort some in these sad hours. The world is full of gloom. There is scarcely a place you can go but what some mother is crying, "Where is my boy tonight?" Not long ago I was talking to a mother of a boy in the service. She was not an Old Baptist but she had confidence in one that was. She said, "I want some comfort. What if my boy dies over yonder?" I asked her, "What were the last words the boy said?" She said, "He said, `God will take care of me.' " I told her, "Don't worry, dear mother, if your boy dies over there, heaven will be his home."

God has been good to me. He has given me all my children, but one, to live with me in the church. If I were to hear of his death while here, knowing as Old Baptists know that you do not have to belong to the church, but because of the evidence left me, I know that heaven would be his home. I know that we have a building eternal in the heavens. May He bless each and every one of you. May you have a sweet association and may my coming among you not cause you any trouble. God be with you till we meet again.

A Spiritual Warfare

A Spiritual Warfare (2005, January - April)

A sermon preached by Eider Samuel Bryant, then of Allentown. Georgia. at the Rich Mountain Association. held with Old Union Primitive Baptist Church. near Hot Springs. Arkansas. on Saturday a. m., August 19, 2000. (We are sorry but this tape in no longer available. — H. C.)

I would like to say again how thankful 1 am for the opportunity to be in attendance here at this meeting here this weekend. It has been a blessing to me in
lot of ways, and I thank the Lord for it. Now I believe this meeting has been an example of how Primitive Baptists should behave themselves. You know David said. "Behold how good and how pleasant. it is for brethren dwell together in unity." (Ps 133:1) I just have not heard a note of discord in this meeting.- All of the ministers have been preaching the same gospel, and the same Spirit; what a blessing that is to be in the fellowship of brethren and sisters, who love God, and love one another, and love the cause of the Lord Jesus. That is something we ought to all labour for in the kingdom.

When Brother Sonny told me before services that he was going to ask me to speak again it reminded me of the first time I ever went to Miami, Florida. I was sixteen years old and they called on me to try to preach on Friday. And on Saturday they asked me to preach again. Elder C, Crawford, who was the pastor of the church took me aside, He said, Brother Sam, we have a practice here, at the Pilgrim Rest Association, that if a man is not blessed to preach the first time, we give him a second opportunity. I wonder if that is not the situation here.

At breakfast this morning some of the ministers were talking about some of their failures over the years. It reminded me, I think, of the most awful effort I ever made. There have been a lot of them, I was in Augusta one time trying to preach, and I made a complete flop, That church records every sermon that is preached there, So when the services were over I went to the brother who was in charge of the recording, and I wanted the original, the master tape, I didn't want any copies made. Coming back home I listened to it, about a two hour drive, and it was worse than I had imagined. When I got to the Ogeechee or Occonee River, I stopped on the bridge and I threw it off in the river. I don't want anybody to ever have to sit through that again.

I thought the brethren this morning would be sympathetic with me, one of the Montgomery Brothers, I think they are all capable of this kind of a statement, but one of them said, Did you notice any dead fish? No sympathy at all! Preachers aren't given to too much sympathy.

I told them about another incident, Brother Garry Hall, tried to preach one time, and didn't feel like he had any liberty. Coming home he was complaining to his wife, hinting for a little encouragement, she said, Garry, I have heard you do worse.

So it is a real struggle to try to preach the gospel in this life. It is a joy to be among people that you love and you feel comfortable with, and you can laugh with, and cry with, and feel safe with. That is such a blessing. I count it such a joy to be here at this meeting, and be with people that I know love me and that I love. We are pulling for one another, not being picky or critical of one another, We could do that you know very easily. You pick on me, and there is a lot to pick on, I am sure we could all do that, But it is a blessing to be in the house of the Lord and feel safe, feel like peace is reigning from heart to heart.

I want to call your attention this morning to the 10th chapter of Second Corinthians, and verse 3. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thoughts to the obedience of Christ." This verse describes to us in some detail the warfare that we are engaged in, in this life.

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh," The warfare that God's people are engaged in is not with flesh and blood. It is not with flesh and blood, It is not with our fist. You may have your black belt in karate but it will not help you in the warfare that I want to try to talk about this morning; it is a Spiritual warfare. So this apostle says: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)" So he says "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but" "they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations." Reasonings, natural arguments in our minds, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every though to the obedience of Christ."

Now you talk about a challenge, that is one for us in this natural world full of evil and sin to be able to bring into captivity every thought unto the obedience of Jesus Christ, I must confess I am a long way from arriving at that point.

I want to notice with you this morning over in Ps 139, a beautiful prayer that David prayed. In Ps 139, the latter part of this prayer, David prayed to God and said in verse 23: "Search me, 0 God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me,, and lead me in the way everlasting." What a request for David to pray to God for. He says, "Search me, 0 God." He is not talking about being searched physically like you would if you are going to the airport, and they search with metal detectors for weapons. That is not the kind of search he is talking about. "Search me, 0 God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts," We get in great trouble, beloved, when we try to hide from God, And it is such a wonderful thing when the child of God can turn himself over to the Lord and sincerely pray: "Search me, 0 God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

David is talking about himself, wanting God to search him and to try him, and if there was any wicked way in him that God would lead him in the way everlasting. You know, in this life we all need to learn that the only person we can really have any control over is ourselves. That is the only person we can really have any success with as far as trying to control in this life. I love the serenity prayer, It has meant a lot to me in recent years. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference," He is asking for serenity, he is asking for courage, he is asking for wisdom. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, You know there are a lot of things in this life, you and I just cannot change.

I had some brothers years ago who were in the cattle business when the bottom fell out in the cattle market, there was nothing in the world that they could do about that, With their little herd, there was no way, there was no way they could affect the world market for beef, My brother always said, he could buy five cows and flood the world market.

You know it just looked like when he got into something like that the price would go against him, But there was nothing he could do about the price of cattle. But there was something he could do, he had to have the courage to get out of that and stop losing a tremendous amount of money. There is always something in this life going on that you and I cannot change. I remember when my father died, that was the first time that our family circle had been broken, it was 1966, It brings me great pain even now to think about it. But you know that was something I couldn't do a thing about. I prayed. I begged God for mercy, for an extension of his life, I wasn't nearly ready to say goodbye. But when I was eighteen, I had to say good-bye, and I had to accept that fact. There are going to be things, that are going to be in your life, that you just can't do anything about, you are going to have to accept them. God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, You may have a child that is on dope, alcohol, or something of that nature, some terrible chemical addiction. You may have spent a long time trying to fix them and change them, but you can't do that.

You know that prayer came out of the alcoholic recovery program because people who were involved with alcoholics finally had to come to realize, I can't change the alcoholic, All I can do is change me. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, I will tell you that is a hard job. When you love somebody, you care for somebody, and they don't love you back, they don't care for you, you don't want to accept that, it is very hard in this life to accept it. We have to ask God to give us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Now I like the new version of that prayer that I read a while back. God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that person is me. Now I tell you, you may waste a life time trying to change everybody else in the world and when your life is over you will have failed miserably, You can't change other people. Now you can have an influence, if they want to be influenced. I think that is what preaching is about when we come to meetings like this, we come to hear the word of God, and we want to have an open heart, we want to receive the word with readiness of mind, and we can be influenced by the preaching of the gospel, But a preacher cannot take hold of your heart and make you accept the truth, and the Word of God, Preachers are very limited! People have a choice as to whether they are going to receive the Word or not! So. we can have an influence on people, and people can have an influence on us, if we want to be influenced, but we cannot change people. But we can change ourselves if we go to God in fervent prayer and ask Him for help. Now I want to say this right up front, beloved: I found out I have got a full time job just keeping Sam Bryant half way straight, and I would appreciate no amen's on that, I am afraid Brother Sonny would really amen that! I will tell you it is the truth, folks. I have got a full time job. My home church, I hope has learned that we have got a full time job keeping Cool Springs Church half way straight without trying to straighten out all our Sister Churches.

Now that is something Old Baptists need to learn, and we need to learn it now. This is just a bad habit we got into trying to draw lines, bar people, and force people to change by trying to intimidate them, You can't do it! The best chance you have got at influencing them is to love them for Jesus's sake, That doesn't mean to cover their sins, or excuse their wrongs, and point them out in love, you can't change other churches. You can't change other ministers, You can't change anybody in this world that doesn't want to be influenced, We need to learn that. And if we all would take care of ourselves, and our home churches, we would all be a lot better off in this life. Oh, dear friends, how we need to learn that in the house of God.

David is praying here a personal prayer, and saying "Search me, 0 God, and know my heart," (Ps 139:23) He is not talking about everybody else in Israel, he is talking about himself. David struggled, as we struggle. I will tell you there has been a lot of preaching this weekend from the Psalms of David. I have leaned on the Psalms for years, and they have spoken volumes to me over these years, David struggled, he was a human being, and a sinner, and he made a lot of mistakes, So here he is coming before God and asking Him "Search me, 0 God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts."

Now Paul said, we ought to be able to bring every thought into captivity under the obedience of Jesus Christ, (2 Cor, 10:5) You see the battle we are fighting is not a flesh and blood battle, it is a battle of the mind. The only access things have really got to us is through our mind, our thought processes. That really is the only way Satan can get to us by attacking us in our minds, That is why the mind needs to be surrendered to God, and I need this. You know, if I didn't preach on anything except something that I didn't need, I wouldn't have much in the Bible to preach on, I preach to Brother Sam as much as I do to anybody else in the congregation, I want to say that up front.

Now, he says: "Know my thoughts." How many of us today would be comfortable to be in a meeting like this if we had a little screen over our heads that would print out in English every thought that went through our minds, How many of you all would like that kind of little contraption over your head today? Raise your hand, I would like to meet somebody that is that far along in total mind control, Ah, friends, we are a long way from being all that we ought to be in God's service. That was the situation, I would say I would crawl under the rug, but there is no rug on this floor, Well, there is a little one in the pulpit here.

But you know, beloved, David was sincere about this prayer, He wasn't playing games with God, That ought to be our prayer, and we ought to be labouring for that in our life, "Search me, 0 God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting," (Psa, 139:23, 24) Oh, what a prayer, that David would open himself up to God and be so transparent, and so visible, and so open to God working in his life. I tell you when you pray that prayer and God comes in, there is a lot needs to be changed, there is a lot that needs to be worked on in our lives, and will be till the day that we die in this life.

You know in the Book of Isaiah, the Bible talks about God's thoughts vs. our thoughts. I would like to notice that thought just a minute, Isa 55 and verse 8. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts," The Bible plainly tells us that our human thoughts are so low compared to God's thoughts. His thoughts and His ways are as high above our ways as the heavens are above the earth, in our natural state, But as God deals with us in the new birth and gives us the ability to begin to think in a spiritual way how we ought to labour to set our affections and mind on things above and not on things on this earth.

I need to be in meetings like this where my pure mind is being stirred up on a regular basis. I need to be around people who quote the Bible to me and keep my mind stirred up in the things of God, Oh, it is a blessing in this life to think that by the grace of God, we can begin to walk spiritually in this world. Now as long as we live we will never be able to conquer all of the sinful nature that is in us in this world, but by God's grace, I believe we can grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in this world. What a blessing that is for us to do.

Now notice, I want to go back a moment to this passage in 2Co 10: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds,)" (verse 3,4,) I believe Satan does set up in our minds strongholds, if we allow him to do that over a period of time, brick, by brick, day by day, thought by thought, he begins to take control of certain areas of our mind. Strongholds, Satanic strongholds, can be set up in the mind of a child of God, Where in that area of his life, he has become captive to Satan, and Satan can take him at his will.

I would like to mention some of the strongholds that I have observed over the years. One of the strongholds that I have encountered in talking to God's people is they just cannot believe that salvation is alone by the grace of God because they just can't imagine God loving them unconditionally. There is one reason, I think, probably more than any other reason why many people never come to understand and believe that salvation is by the grace of God and it is this fact. Somewhere in their childhood they were trained and it was instilled in their mind that God's love had to be earned, that God's love simply could not be free and unconditional. Have you ever heard anybody say, when you have explained to them salvation alone by grace, their comment is: That is just too good to be true! Many times people never knew what it was to have a loving father, or mother that loved them unconditionally. They loved them conditional and they had to do this, or make a certain grade in school, or make enough touch downs in the football game to be approved or accepted by mom and dad, They grew up with all of this conditional love, and some times they could never do enough to gain the approval of their parents. Then you try to tell them that the Heavenly Father loves them unconditionally, and that is just something that they cannot receive. This stronghold is in their mind that love is something you have got to earn. They just can't believe that God's love can be totally unconditional.

I want to tell you what I believe about God's love. 1Jo 4, John says: "Perfect love casteth out fear." The only perfect love in the universe is God's love, and when you understand God's love, it will cast out fear in your life.' What about God's perfect love? I want to tell you that God's perfect love is unconditional, and it is never ending. It is eternal! I want to say this this morning. If you went to meetings like this the rest of your life, every weekend, say you went to every meeting within a hundred mile radius of your home for the next fifty years, I mean you were in church, .you visited with all of the nursing homes, all the hospitals, gave all your goods to feed the poor, read through your Bible once, a month, spend four or five hours daily in fervent prayer, did you know that after fifty years of that kind of devotion to God, He wouldn't love you a bit more than He loves you right now. Did you all understand that about God's love?

Oh, you would get some blessings in it, because I believe there are blessings in obedience to God, hut you wouldn't cause Him to love you anymore than He loves you right now, God, forbid, if you never read your Bible again, never went to another church service, never visited another sick person, or gave a dime to the poor, never even prayed again. and became a back slider, did you know that after fifty years God wouldn't love you a bit less than He loves you right now?

The world doesn't understand that aspect of God's love, folks. They think surely some way I have got to earn the love of God, that stronghold is in their mind. And before they will ever be able to understand and appreciate salvation alone by God's grace, they are going to have to be able to pull down that stronghold and rejoice in the love of God. I am so thankful today that I have been blessed for many, many years to feel safe in the love of God, that He is not going to cast me off, He is not, somewhere down the road, going to stop loving me, Now human love is not that way, Many people in this audience that I met the first time I came to Arkansas, thirty six years ago with Elder Darity, I met Brother Charles Sandage and his wife, they were nice to us, That was the tail end of a ten day trip, and I was already home sick, and I was already crying in my room at night, but Brother Charles and Sister Virgie took me in, and I have never felt any safer in my life, Never felt more welcome in anybody's home and I have loved them ever since. My love for them has grown over the years, Human love can grow, Many of you in the audience I love today more than I loved a year ago, or ten years ago. And sad to say, human love can be diminished, Don't tell me people can't destroy your love for them in this world, folks, Ah, let me tell you, people can take your heart out by the roots and stomp it in the ground, and your affection and love for them can be diminished in this world. That is human love, not God s love.

He said, "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." (Jer 31:3) Jesus Christ said in Joh 13: "Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them to the end." (Verse 1) To the end of what? to the end of His life. He loved us all the way to the cross. On the way to Calvary, He didn't decide, Well, Father, this is too much, I can't go through this. I tell you the love of God constrained Him, and He died for us, and He will love us when this world is on fire, He will love us a billion, million years from now, you are safe in the love of God! Oh, don't let anybody, don't let anybody tell you anything else don't let anybody ever tell you anything else about God's love.

Paul says in Ro 8: "For I am persuaded," you know in that chapter he asked a lot of questions. He got tried of asking questions and decided I am going to tell them what I am persuaded of. Are you persuaded today? "I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God." Oh, I wish I could preach. Oh, brother, when I get to thinking about that love of God it makes me want to preach! Oh, how glorious this love is! And don't let the Devil rob you of that precious assurance of your salvation.

I tell you, I shouldn't say .. . well, I want to say it. I tell you, friends, I am scared of Calvinism. I know John Calvin had a little truth, and he certainly didn't come up with it either. I don't think he originated any truth he had, he got it out of the Bible. But I want to tell you, friends, Calvinism, if you buy in to that religion, you will end up doubting your own salvation, and every body else's in this world. There is no blessed assurdance in that. Oh, no, my friends.

Now listen, I don't think we ought to preach the love of God in a way that it is going to exdcuse us and our sins. No, sir. "For whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth." (Heb 12:6) Let me tell you, when the Lord gets a hold of you, you know you have been whipped. I know what it is, brother, I have been to the wood pile with my Heavenly Father, and I know what it is to be chastened by the Father. But every stripe is an evidence of His love, It doesn't cause you to doubt your salvation, Oh, no, my friends, when the gospel is preached it gives God's children blessed assurance in this life, The Devil wants you to doubt your salvation, You know why? Because if he can get you to doubting you are a child of God, he is pretty close to getting you acting like you are not a child of God, I want to preach in a way that encourages God's people to think: I am one of God's children, and I want to behave like one of them, If I do, I know that my Heavenly Father will take care of me.

So, don't , , , you know if you were brought up in a home or a childhood where there wasn't much love, may God help you to understand that that is not representative of the love of the God of this universe, I can't phantom His love. How can God love a sinner like me. Oh, friends, that is beyond comprehension.

Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus and said, he bowed his knee and prayed, do you know what he prayed for the church at Ephesus? That they "may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height: and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." (Eph, 3:18, 19) The church, if there is anything the Old Baptist Church needs more than anything else today, it is the comprehension of God's love for us, We need to know the dimensions of His love, which can't be known, You know you can take a tape measure and measure this lovely building, you all have got here, and soon somebody can tell you the dimensions of it: how high it is, how broad it is, how deep it is, how long it is, You try to measure God's love.

Paul says: I want you to comprehend that which is incomprehensible, What about the length of His love? How long is it? Well, brother, it stretches from one eternity to another, How deep is His love? Deep enough to love the vilest of sinners. Oh, my brother, how broad is it? It is broad enough to love a people out of every nation, every kindred, every tongue, and every tribe, How high is His love? Well, you won't ever get above it, I can assure you of that, Oh, thank God for His love! I hope maybe this little comment on the love of God might today break down a stronghold in somebody's mind this morning, Whoever lives in fear, that is somewhere down the road God is going to cast me off and stop loving me, no, my friends, He never will! I know that rejection is a painful emotion in this world, I have experienced it, I know what it is, brother and sister, in this life to feel rejection. but I will tell you, you will never feel it from your Heavenly Father. No, sir, He will never reject you, or abandon you, You know what He said? "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee," (Heb, 13:5) Oh, I love that one! I love that one.

Now, He didn't say He wouldn't hide His face from us on occasions when we get in mischief, But, ah, He will never stop loving us in this life, So, He is saying that we are to cast down these imaginations in our minds.

I will tell you another stronghold that the Devil likes to set up in people's minds is hoarding money, Do you know anybody that hoards money? Oh, a lot of people that came through the depression years when they hardly had enough live on, finally got through the depression and started making some money and they weren't able to enjoy the labor of their hands because of that depression mentality.

I read about a woman last year that died in Boston, Massachusetts, she died from exposure to the cold weather. She wouldn't turn the gas on enough to keep her little apartment warm, When she died they found out that she had over a million dollars in the bank, That woman had a stronghold set up in her mind. She couldn't enjoy what she had.

I don't think we ought to throw away what God blesses us with, But, friends, if we can't enjoy some of what God has given us, why have it in this world? I told my children there are four things about Toney I wish they could learn, One is you need to learn how to make some of it, Thank the good 'Lord, my oldest one is out of college, and I feel like I just got a big raise, Oh, let me tell you, she got her a part time job now, She paid her automobile insurance for the first time last month. You talk about happy, she wasn't that happy but I was, My youngest daughter, bless her heart, she has decided she wants to go to-school now, I am thankful for that, Yes, sir, we all need to learn how to make some money, Then we need to learn how to spend it wisely in this life, Then we need to learn how to save some of it. You know there is nothing wrong with saving money. There is something wrong with hoarding it, but there is nothing wrong with saving it, Then we need to learn how to give some of it away, Amen! I got an amen on that one even, I will tell you that is progress for us Old Baptists, We are moving up, folks, Got an amen on giving money, That is a good thing in the house of God. It is a blessing to learn how to give some of it away, You know Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Ac 20:35)

Elder Pat Byrd one time, one of my old father's in the ministry, Elder Hardwick Mennear gave him a hog one Christmas. I mean he had it butchered, and wrapped, and froze, all he had to do was to go get it. The next Christmas nothing was said about a hog, Brother Byrd said to Brother Hardwick, he said I am worried about your religion. Brother Hardwick said: .., he is a very serious man, he had a zero sense of humor. Brother Byrd said, 'Well, I am worried. Last year your religion was at a high point, You gave me a hog free of charge, and nothing has been said about a hog this year. And he says, you know the Bible says, It is more blessed to give than to receive. And I want you to get the greater blessing, Brother Hardwick," How most of us fit into that pretty good, don't we? We want somebody else to get the greater blessing.

But I want to tell you, I have lived long enough to know that the greater blessing is in the giving! Don't let the Devil set up a stronghold in your mind, and make you think if I can just get another million I will be safe. How much money would it take to really feel safe? I don't believe you can get that much. The only way to feel safe in an uncertain world is to trust in God! That is the only way to feel safe in this world. Because it doesn't matter how much you got, brother, you can lose it. It can get away from you. I see that a lot among the older people, and it is tad. It is so sad to see people that are so well off financially, but they can't enjoy it, They don't even give to the children and grandchildren, and what a blessing it would be to them to share it with their children while they are alive, and get the blessing out of it!

Give to the cause of Christ .. I say somebody has been in a giving spirit here at Old Union. You couldn't have this tabernacle, this beautiful, lovely building, air conditioned like it is, without somebody giving, You are to be commended for that, Thank God for that. You know it has been my observation in the churches I have pastored some times those that are the most able to give, give the least. Some times it is the few dollars of the widows that keep the kingdom moving. Don't let Satan set up a stronghold in your mind of covetousness, which the Bible says is Idolatry, Break through that asnd learn there is plenty more where what you have got now came from, God is able to do exceeding. abundantly above all that we could ask or think, for in this world. (Eph, 3:20)

Oh, friends, I will tell you another stronghold that I have seen over these years, is the stronghold of jealousy, Have you all ever seen that in the church? I will share this experience, When I was fifteen years old, Brother Cecil Darity was my pastor. He was the most loving, nurturing, kind, promoting pastor a young preacher could ever have. He took me with him every where he went, when I could get off, He took me to Jacksonville, Florida one New Year's Eve for a meeting. They called on me to speak, In our country we have a practice of liberating to the stand. I don't know if you all do that over here or not, But I will tell you , , .You all do, okay, you understand this. A lot of folks don't. But my home church hadn't liberated me to the stand. So down there they just thought the pulpit was another part of the building, probably they are a lot closer to the truth than we are. But if the traditions are not killing you, I don't reckon it is too bad to hold on to it. But, brother. I wasn't about to go in that pulpit, I figured my home church would exclude me if I went in that pulpit. The pastor did his best to get me to go in and I wouldn't. I stood out on the floor and I talked about ten minutes. They carried on like I was the apostle number thirteen. You know how people will be by a young gift. Elder Byrd used to tell me, he said, come here, Sammy, let me rock the baby. He said, you know, they will idealize you when you are young, they will criticize you when you are middle age, and they, will scandalize you when you are old. That is not a lot to look forward to as a preacher. But anyway they had me thinking I was a preacher. This brother had a reel to reel recorder. I had never seen one in a church house. He said, I will send you a tape. I couldn't wait to hear myself preach. We got it one day, and I borrowed a reel to reel recorder from some- body, My mother and I was sitting in the hall way of our house, I just couldn't wait. They carried on so about my preaching I couldn't wait, It was about ten minutes, and if I said 'oh yes' one time in that sermon, I bet you I said it a hundred times in ten minutes. I know God could anoint 'oh yes' and bless His people with it, I understand that, He can bless `ahh' and bless people, I mean ... but any way back to the subject. I set there, and told my mother, well that is it, I will never make another effort. I was so down and out. I was sick literally, I just got nauseated. She said, Well, if you can quit go ahead. My mother wasn't much of a comforter either, She knew if you could quit, you hadn't been called probably.

Ah, but brother let me tell you, the Devil got on my shoulder, and he started whispering in my ear every time I would be with Brother Cecil. Brother Cecil could just preach the shingles off any time he got in the pulpit. It was a sight to hear that man preach. I came up under his ministry, I guess, when he was at the very height of his liberty and gift, Oh, what it was to sit and hear that man preach the word of God in such power and liberty. He had loved me, and nurtured me, and been kind to me. After I heard that pitiful little effort I made, the Devil would sit on my shoulder when I would hear Brother Darity and whisper in my ear and say: Don't you wish you had that gift. Don't you wish you could preach like that, And I found myself being jealous of the best friend I ever had in the gospel ministry. Thank God Almighty those roots didn't dig deep in my soul and that stronghold wasn't set up. But, brother, I know what jealousy could do to a minister of the gospel. It will eat your lunch. It will destroy you in the house of God. I would want all of us today, if any jealousy is in us, to dig it out by the roots and get rid of it, because there is no place in our hearts for jealousy in this world, I will tell you jealousy . , , you can't enjoy anything when you are jealous, The Bible says: it is crueler than the grave, (Songs of Sol, 8:6) A jealous man would be better off dead and in the grave than jealous.

I don't mean to be too humorous this morning but this came to my mind. There were two men that were going to go coon hunting, one of them was a very jealous man, Very jealous, he thought his dogs were the best. This other guy ordered a real special dog, when he brought it on the coon hunt the jealous man said, "that is the ugliest dog I have ever seen." He said, "Yes, but he can coon hunt." Then he said, "he is so small." And the man that owned him said, "Yes, but he sure can hunt." Well, they got out . . . I said a coon dog, it wasn't a coon dog it was a bird dog. And when the first duck was shot that little dog run across the water and got that duck and brought it back - just walked on the water. The jealous man said, "I wouldn't have a dog that was so lazy it wouldn't swim," I want to tell you, brother, that man was eat up with jealousy. He couldn't even appreciate a dog that could walk on water.

Now you can get in that shape if you want to in this world, folks, and it will ruin you the rest of your life. You can be jealous because somebody is prettier than you, or somebody can sing better than you, or somebody has a nicer house, or more money, or a better job, or they are taller than you, I mean there are a lot of things in this world you can be jealous about. The Devil loves to fill us with jealousy in the house of God, and I would venture to say, that a large percentage of the trouble among Old Baptists from day one has been coming from Jealousy. Now you can masquerade it anyway you want to, you can call it anything you want. But you dig down to the root of it, a lot of it is that we are not esteeming one another as better than ourselves. We think we are not getting quite enough thunder, quite enough attention.

Oh, may God help us to pull down those strongholds of jealousy that Satan may have set up in our mind here in the world. Ah, there are so many others that I could mention but it is dinner time.

I want to mention this. Listen folks, we are all poor sinners in this world, we understand that. And we are struggling, trying to live a Christian life but it is hard. We live in a fleshly body that is sinful. we live in a world that is evil. and always appealing to the flesh, and we have got an enemy called the Devil who as a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour, We have got three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the Devil, And it is only by God's amazing grace any of us has gotten this far without completely apotheosizing in this life. But I want to tell you, friends, when you do wrong, and when you slip and fall, and Satan gets advantage of you, instead of trying to hide, why don't you go to God like David did and say: Search me, 0 God. "Search me, 0 God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Ps 139:23-24) You will be amazed how pitiful God is to us. You will be astonished at His grace and mercy. The father of the prodigal is a good example of our Heavenly Father. When that prodigal came to himself, by the way you noticed that father didn't go looking for him, he knew he had to come to himself, and when came to himself, he said, I know what I will do. I will arise and go to my father. and say. I am no longer worthy to he called a son. He knew he left home saying give me. give give me. He is coming back saying make me, make me. make me. Make me just one of your servants. When you sin. why not just come before your Heavenly Father plead the blood of Jesus, and say: Father cleanse me and make me whiter than snow. He said, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just.

I have got an illustration of that, and I know it sounded like I am trying to be humorous this morning, but I am not, I don't want to belittle the pulpit, but I will tell you what, I believe our God has a sense of humor, I really do. After all He made us. You know when Jesus said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom. Can you see a camel trying to get through an eye of a needle? There is a lot of humor in this, The Bible says, that "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh," Ps 2:4) Brother Byrd used to teach me, and he lived to be ninety, and he was a standard bearer among Old Baptist,
and faithful to the end. Didn't get married until he was 58 years old, because he was so committed to the churches of southeast Georgia that had been devastated by the progressive moment, he gave his all to the kingdom of heaven, But he used to tell me, Sam, be scared of people that don't have a sense of humor, he said, that has been my survival kit in this world. Brother, you have got to be able to laugh at yourself first of all. That is the best laugh you will ever laugh at, Just get to where you can laugh at yourself and not be so self conscious, You know that is another stronghold you can have in your mind, he so self conscious. Yes, sir, sense of humor is a blessing to us here in this world. I don't mean we ought to just laugh about everything, But I will tell you what, there are a lot of lesson learned in humor.

I like this story about this little boy, John, and his sister, Suzy, they went to visit their grandparents, out in the county. Granddaddy gave Johnny a sling shot and told him to be careful and not shoot at any of the animals, or at the house. Well, the first thing Johnny shot at was grandmama's favorite duck, and it hit him and killed the duck immediately. Well, Johnny took the little duck, he done wrong. instead of going to gran dmama and confessing it. he took the duck and hid it in the wood pile. Well. that night after supper, grandmama said, "Suzy, I want you to help granny with the dishes," Suzy said. "Grandma, I believe Johnny wants to help you with the
dishes." Johnny said, "No, no, I don't want to help with the dishes." And Suzy said, "Johnny, you remember the duck." So Johnny had to wash dishes, The next day, granddaddy said, "Johnny, let's go fishing." Suzy wanted to go, and grandmama said, "No, Suzy has got to stay and help me with dinner." Suzy said, "Grandmama, I believe Johnny wants to help you with dinner." I am telling you she is getting a lot of mileage out of that dead duck. Johnny finally got tried of being intimidated by that, and he finally went to his grandmama and confessed.

In this world you can't hide from the Lord. The best thing to do is confess it, ask forgiveness, and ask grace to do better. We are just stumbling, slipping, and sliding, the best of us are, But oh, brother and sister, by His grace maybe we can keep fellowship with Him, and with one another in this world. Lets be kind and tender hearted one toward another. Let's be long suffering with others as we have been with ourselves. I will tell you if I am as generous with you all, as I am with me, I will cut you all a lot of slack in this world. May God help us in this life to pull down the strongholds.

Thank you for your good attention.


A VICTORY (1947, April)

Sermon Delivered by Elder C. N. Ware, at Ideal Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, September 23, 1945

We appreciate the brother's introductory, and we de sire that you continue your prayers while We try to talk for awhile, and try to talk from the closing of the fifteenth chapter of first Corinthians. "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." The apostle asked us to thank God for a victory. And when He spoke of a Victory, you may know that a battle has been fought, and a victory won. And in order to obtain a victory, you must have power over the enemy that you are engaged against.

I have said many times that if all the armies from Napoleon's day down to this moment had been engaged against this enemy, they could not have obtained a victory for all that they could do was to kill and destroy; but this victory is a victory over sin, and a victory over death. The enemy that has arisen against the human family is sin and death. By one man sin entered the world and death by sin. Death is passed upon us and we do not have to prove this for the apostle said he had proven to us that all were under sin. And before we can live in heaven with God and with the saints, sin and death will have to be destroyed. Therefore the apostle said, "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." This is a given victory. And it was obtained by the greatest Conqueror that has ever gone to battle. It was the blessed Son of God. The prophet that prophesied "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save;" and when Jesus hung suspended between the heavens and the earth, that was the greatest Conqueror that has ever gone to battle—greatest soldier.

And as I said, sin has arisen against the human family, and sin has brought death, and sin and death being against us, it must be destroyed before we can reach heaven. We couldn't do that we are too weak. We can't destroy sin, neither can we- destroy death. But the blessed Son of God came to this world possessed with all power. One apostle says, "As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him." In another place He said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." He came with power over sin and death. And you know that they put the Son of God to death, and they said, "That deceiver said, while He was yet alive, after three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night, and steal Him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can." Going to fit it where the Son of God couldn't get out---in other words. But I am satisfied the old king thought otherwise, for he said, "Make it as sure as you can." There was doubt; "Make it as sure as you can." And when they had crucified Him, they placed Him in Joseph's own new tomb.

Sometimes we talk about being poor in this world, but He said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man bath not where to lay His head." And when He pillowed His head, it was in Joseph's own new tomb—not even a place to call His own in death. The Roman soldiers guarded the -secret place where the Son of God was laid. They were placed there to guard the sepulchre of the Son of God to see that He was not stolen away by His disciples. But by a power more than mortal, on the third day the stone was rolled away, and Jesus rose, conqueror over death and the grave, and we poor, little preachers have been trying to preach that glorious gospel ever since. "0 death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which.giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Death has lost its sting, the grave its victory. What was the victory of the grave? It was the body.

But first, let us talk about the things they tried to say here. They said that while we slept, His disciples came and stole Him away. "While we (the guards that were placed there) slept, His disciples came and stole Him away." Blessed children of God, they were talking at random; because had they been asleep, they would not have known what happened to Him. Do you all ever go to sleep and know what was going on at that time. "His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while - we slept." Had they been asleep, they would not have known what happened to the Son of God, and had they gone to sleep on duty they would have been court martialed. Here were the soldiers of the Roman Emperor, who had conquered the known world at that time—and on the third day the stone was rolled away, and Jesus rose, conqueror over death and the grave.

It is sweet to tell that now. "0 death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory?" What is the victory of the grave? It is the body. I believe it was the Saviour that said to the thief on the cross, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." While the body goes back to the grave, the spirit returns to God that gave it. The body returns to the dust, and the spirit unto God who gave it. So, death is just separation of soul and body—that is what death is—separation of soul and body, and the spirit goes home to God, and the body returns to the dust from whence it came. The spirits of our deceased brethren and sisters are now around the throne of God where angels cast their crowns around His feet crying, great God Almighty, where joy is unspeakable. And I have thought so many times if we could just pull back the curtains and look over yonder and only see what God has in store beyond this vale of sin and sorrow, I sometimes think we would just desire to go on to that blessed home where no more tears will ever be shed. Oh, so many times we have doubts and fears and tears flow unbidden, but I feel all tears will be wiped away. There will be no more heartaches, no more pains nor afflictions in that better home. No wonder the apostle said, "Thanks be to God which giveth us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Suppose our President today said, "I give you victory." It would be an insult to every man that has tilled the soil that we might support the armies; it would be a reflection on the great amount of work that has made it possible with guns and ammunition to defeat the enemy; it would be an insult, and a great insult, to all the men and boys that have gone into foreign battlefields, in the navy, in the marines, and in the air and under the water—an insult to the countless numbers of our boys that have been called to go into all parts of this world. It is not his to give—it is our victory, through the combined efforts of the boys and girls, and men and women, the industries and everything that has turned one hand in order that the victory might be won. And I feel assured that this was a given victory. We were not able to obtain this victory over sin and death. But thanks be unto God. Let us join in with the apostle in thanksgiving to this great and glorious God, that One would come that had power over death and power over sin, and was able t destroy death and able to destroy sin that His little children might be raised and fashioned like the glorio s body of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and live with Him in eternity. That is enough to thank God for. It was not our efforts; it was not your efforts nor the other fellow's efforts. The apostles here thank God for this victory. "Which giveth us the victory;" how? "Through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

There is a victory over sin and death and assures that we will be with God in eternity. The vile bodies of the men and women that fall in every place in the world—in the air, or in the seas, or at home—wherever they may be, that victory is sufficient that they will be raised and fashioned like the glorious body of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We should give thanks to His great and good name. The vile bodies of men and women will be changed and fashioned like the glorious body of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I love the truth. These vile bodies will be changed and fashioned like the glorious body of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The very body that goes down in death will be the very body that will be raised in the resurrection. It will be a changed body. It will be sown a natural body; it will be raised a spiritual body. It will be sown in corruption; it will be raised in incorruption—the very same body that is sown is the same that is raised.

That little infant that was born of the virgin Mary grew up to be twelve years old, and as it is the custom to go up to Jerusalem to the custom of the feast (or passover), He tarried three days with the lawyers and doctors, and they were astonished at His questions and answers, He being only twelve years old. That same body grew to manhood; He turned water to wine at the wedding feast—the marriage. The water was turned to wine. He healed the wounded; He cured the sick; He gave sight to the blind. The leper was raised at His command; uncurable diseases that had never been cured yet by men or doctors and the dead was raised up at His command. That same body went down to the heart of the earth, and that; same body rose the third day. The very same body that was born, and was laid in the grave, was the same body that rose on the resurrection morning. And we hear Him saying, "Because I live, ye shall live also."

There is a victory. Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ —victory over the grave—the body raised triumphant over death. This is what I believe the Bible to teach. On the other side of death, the redeemed family of God will sing the songs of redeeming love. You know I have said a few times, that while we live here in this life, and how many times we have come to the church, and our poor cast down souls have been fed with the gospel of the Son of God, how many times in our afflictions and in our homes when death comes—we need that sustaining grace; how sweet has been that thought of peace. You know I have come out in the darkness of night, where none but God could hear and poured out my fears unto the great Giver of every good and perfect gift. What a relief, what a comfort that has been in this world. But we will not need to pray any more in the very presence of God and His holy angels—on the other side of death. We won't need to pray any more. What we have engaged in here today in the singing, we will continue to sing—in eternity we will sing, and join with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the blood-bought throng and sing the songs of redeeming love on and on. I think that is one thing we will carry on with us that we engage in here.

Now I am just as satisfied about the boys that have fallen in the seas, or on the islands, or in the jungles, or wherever they have gone, because God says the seas shall give up their dead. My boy just came home the other day, with a little over 300,000 service men. Some mother's boys sleep in the dark blue, but the eternal God is a refuge here in this world. All the little children of God will be fashioned like the glorious body of the Saviour in another world, by that God that giveth us the victory. Now, "My beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." So let us, as little children of God, continue in the service of God; walk as He has commanded us to walk, and do the things He has commanded. This continue, and you will receive the blessings that God has in store for you. May God bless you is my prayer.



(Copied From Letters and Sermons by John Newton,
Published in 1798)

In this dark and declining day, when iniquity abounds, the awful tokens of God's displeasure are multiplying around us, and too many professors, not duly sensible of the real cause of all the evils we either feel, or have reason to fear, are disputing, instead of praying; may the Lord bestow upon you and me, and upon all who fear His name, a spirit suited to the times! that the words of David, "I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved," may express the very sensation and frame of our hearts. Permit me to keep this expression in my view while I write, though it may perhaps give my letter something of the air of a sermon.

The Hebrew word answering to "I was grieved," signifies such a kind of grief as is mixed with dislike; such a grief as a believer must feel when he has a sense of his own corruptions. It is frequently rendered, as in Eze 20:43 to lothe: "You shall lothe yourselves in your own sight." We are not required, strictly, to hate ourselves, but the evil that is in us. So, when we look at transgressors, we are not to hate, but to pity them, mourn over them, and pray for them; nor have we any right to boast over them; for by nature, and of ourselves, we are no better than they. But their sinfulness should cause a dislike, an holy indignation: as it is recorded of our Lord, who though full of compassion and tenderness, so that He wept over His enemies, and prayed for His actual murderers, yet looked upon transgressors with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts.

A feeling of this kind seems essential to that new nature which characterizes the children of God; and where it is not in habitual exercise, it is a sufficient evidence, that the soul, if truly alive to God at all, is at least in a lean and distempered state. Who can avoid being grieved and hurt by that which is in direct opposition to what he most loves? Believers love holiness; and, unless when stupified by the arts of Satan, can hardly bear themselves for what they find contrary to it within their own breasts; and must therefore, of course, be grieved with the sins of others. Like righteous Lot, and from his principles, they are "vexed with the conversation of the wicked." Can they who reverence the name of God be easy and unconcerned when they hear it blasphemed? No; their ears are wounded, and their hearts are pained. Can they who are followers of peace and purity, behold, unmoved, the riots, licentiousness, and daring wickedness, of those who have cast off both shame and fear? Can they who have bowels of mercy and compassion, be unaffected when they see the iron hand of oppression grinding the faces of the poor? Or can any who love the songs of Zion, help being shocked with the songs of drunkards? I trust there are many, who, upon these accounts, are daily crying, "My soul is among lions;" "Woe is me that I dwell in Mesech!" "0 gather not my soul with sinners." The thought of being shut up for ever with the ungodly would be terrible as hell to a gracious soul, though there were no devouring fire, no keen sense of the wrath of God, to be feared.

They are grieved likewise upon their Lord's account; for they have obtained a spark of zeal for His honor and glory. With Elijah they are "very jealous for the Lord of hosts." They feel their obligations to Him, and know He well deserves to reign in every heart. But when, on the contrary, they see almost everyone in a conspiracy against Him, despising Him to His face, trampling upon His laws, rejecting His authority, and abusing His patience; their eyes affect their hearts. What man of sensibility could brook to see everyone about him contriving how to affront and injure the person whom he most loved? Now the Lord is the believer's best friend, the beloved of His soul; and therefore He is grieved and troubled when He "beholds the transgressors."

This emotion is likewise heightened by compassion to souls. Grace gives some view of the evil of sin, the dreadfulness of the wrath of God, and the vast importance of that word eternity. Thus instructed in the sanctuary of God, they would be stocks and stoned, were they capable of beholding sinners rushing upon destruction without being grieved for them. But they cannot bear it. They cannot but give and repeat a faithful warning, though they have little reason to expect any better return than scorn and ill treatment, for what the world accounts an impertinent officiousness.

But who then are believers? Who are thus on "the Lord's side?" If these sentiments are common and radical to all who are born of God, can we make no abatement? or must we unchristian perhaps the greater part of professors at this time? for it is too evident, that many who bear the name of gospel-professors, discover but little of this concern. In general, I think, this subject affords no improper test for the trial of our spirits. The effects of grace, in similar circumstances, are uniform; but if any, who think themselves possessors of it, feel no grief for the aboundings of sin, and the obstinacy of sinners, they differ from the saints recorded both in the Old and New Testament; and it will be their wisdom to examine and take heed lest they be deceived. It is easy to call Christ, Lord, Lord; but a criminal lukewarmness of spirit, where His cause, honor, and gospel are in question, will one day meet with an awful rebuke, and be treated, in those who make mention of His name, as high treason against His person and government.

But if we allow, that, through the contagion of the times, and the power of Satan, it is possible for true Christians to sink into this indifference, and for the wise as well as the foolish virgins to sleep, when they should be watching unto prayer; even these have much to fear, lest they should largely participate in the sufferings which the provocations they connive at have a direct tendency to bring upon a sinful people. When national sins draw down national judgments, the Lord has given us a hope, that He will fix a mark of protection upon them who sigh and mourn in secret before Him, for the evils which they are unable to prevent. To these He will be a sanctuary; He will either preserve them unhurt in the midst of surrounding calamities, or He will support them with consolations superior to all their troubles, when the hearts of others are shaken like leaves in a storm. But none have reason to expect to be thus privileged, who have not a heart given them to lament their own sins, and the sins of those among whom they live.

Surely the Lord has a controversy with this land; and there hardly can a period be assigned in the annals of ages, when it was more expedient, or seasonable, for those who fear Him, to stir up each other to humiliation and prayer, than at present. What is commonly called our national debt, is swelled to an enormous greatness. It may be quickly expressed in figures; but a person must be something versed in calculation, to form a tolerable idea of accumulated millions. But what arithmetic is sufficient to compute the immensity of our national debt in a spiritual sense? or, in other words, the amount of our national sins? The spirit of infidelity, which for a time distinguished, comparatively, a few, and, like a river, was restrained within narrow bounds, has of late years broken down its banks and deluged the land. This wide spreading evil has, in innumerable instances, as might be expected, emboldened the natural heart against the fear of God, hardened it to an insensibility of moral obligation, and strengthened its prejudices against the gospel. The consequence has been, that profligate wickedness is become almost as universal as the air we breathe; and is practised with little more reserve or secrecy than the transactions of common business, except in such instances as would subject the offender to the penalty of human laws. 0 the unspeakable patience of God! The multiplied instances of impiety, blasphemy, cruelty, adultery, villany, and abominations, not to be thought of without horror, under which this land groans, are only known to Him who knoweth all things. There are few sins which imply greater contempt of God, or a more obdurate state of mind in the offender, than perjury; yet the guilt of it is so little regarded, and temptation to it so very frequent, that perhaps I do not go too far in supposing, there are more deliberate acts of perjury committed amongst us, than among all the rest of mankind taken together. Though some of the Roman poets. and historians have given very dark pictures of the times they lived in, their worst descriptions of this kind would hardly be found exaggerated, if applied to our own. But what are the sins of Heathens, if compared with the like evils, perpetrated in a land bearing the name of Christian, favored with the Word of God, the light of the gospel, and enjoying the blessings of civil and religious liberty and peace, in a higher degree, and for a longer continuance, than was afforded to any people of whose history we have heard?

The state of the churches of Christ at this time affords likewise ample cause for humiliation and grief. The formality, conformity to the world, the want of love, the intemperate, and unprofitable contentions, which prevail among us, shew how faintly the power of the gospel is felt, even by many who profess to have embraced it. The true and undefiled doctrine of Jesus is not only opposed by its declared enemies, but wounded and dishonored in the house of its friends. And though the sins of those who avow subjection to the institutions of Christ, may not have so gross a stamp of profligacy and immorality, as of those who set Him openly at defiance; yet they have, in some respects, an aggravation, of which the others are hot capable; as being committed against clearer light, and peculiar acknowledged obligations. From the consideration of both taken together, who, that has a spark of seriousness and attention, and that has learned from Scripture and history the sure connection between sin and trouble, can forbear trembling at that alarming question, so often proposed to the consciences of ungrateful Israel of old, "Shall not I visit for these things? saith the Lord: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?" especially when we see the dispensations of God's providence so awfully corresponding with the threatenings in His Word.

How much is it to be desired, then, that all who truly fear the Lord,' instead of wasting their time in useless squabbles, may unite in earnest prayer; and, with deep compunction of heart, bemoan those evils which, unless repented of and forsaken, may bring upon us, as a people, such distress as neither we nor our fathers have known! If He is pleased thus to give us a heart to seek Him, He will yet be found of us; but if, when His hand is lifted up, we cannot or will not see, nor regard the signs of the times, there is great reason to fear, that our case is deplorable indeed.

A few, however, there will be, who will lay these things suitably to heart; and whom the Lord will favor and spare, as a man spareth his only son that serveth him. That you and I may be of this happy number, is my sincere prayer.


ABIDE IN HIM (1951, March)

A sermon preached by Elder Claud Raymond Webb, Carthage, Ill., at Hazel Creek Association, Greentop, Mo., August 22, 1950.

As we announced last night, our two Brother Webbs (father and son) will preach for us this morning. I believe you have arranged that Brother Claude Raymond will preach first. Nearly all you people have heard Brother Raymond preach. You know his age; something about the time he has been preaching. I think you know something about the way he feels, that without the presence of the Lord he just can't do it. But, I am glad to know there is a power that can give him the ability to preach. I feel we have met together this morning to worship the Lord, and we came together asking for these things. He said: Ask and He would give to us. I am sure He is going to give us this morning of His Spirit. I think we have a right to come together expecting, this blessing. As Brother Claude Raymond comes before us let us not just pray a little bit, tut may it be in the depths of our hearts the desire, and that is prayer, may it be the sincere desire of our hearth that he will continue to preach to us until he is through, and that he will continue to enjoy it, and that we might continue to hear, and receive these things and be blessed by them. Brother Claude Raymond, come on. (The foregoing by Elder C. 0. Johnson.)


My Dear Brethren: I do believe you are my brethren. I heard some one say not long ago that the Lord's ministers did not have any people. They were God's people. But I like to think of you as my people. Like Ruth, when she was going with Naomi, she said she wanted thy people to be my people, and thy God my God. Perhaps, if you have ever felt the need of a friend, or help, you understand better what I mean. It is nice to have friends, friends in the world, but when you need a true helper, it is nice to have one to depend on. We have lots of friends all over the country, wherever we have gone, but there are no friends in any place like my brethren. That is a fact.

"And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and be not ashamed before Him at His coming." As Brother Johnson has told you, most of you have known me all of my life, or all of yours. So, you know what help I need. Please don't forget me in your prayers. You know what a child I am in understanding the gospel and what great help I need from the Father in trying to preach to you this morning. I have been sitting here with the thought going through my mind, time and time again, that I am going to fail this morning. I don't know. Maybe I shall. But, if it is God's will I shall try to speak to you.

Little children are my favorite people, those I love most, I think. I love my parents. I love my friends, but I love little children. And when I see people in the Old Baptist Church, I think I see people who are truly little children; not in years, necessarily, but in feeling; in their emotions. When I come to the Old Baptist Church it pleases me, somehow; it gives me great pleasure to be able to comfort God's little children, my people. To tell the little children of the Lord wherein lies their comfort, their consolation, is one of the most pleasant things that ever fell to. God's ministers.

It is easy, sometimes, to preach. Sometimes, though, the minister feels to have need of comfort himself. Then, perhaps, finds, as I am this morning, somewhat of a burden when it falls his lot to try to comfort the Lord's little children. Nevertheless, no matter what the burden, I find in preaching the gospel there is a pleasure, a blessing I do not want to lose; nor do I want you to lose. For I am persuaded it is for you and it is for me.

We have heard, recently, different ministers speaking of the purpose of the gospel, and to whom it is given. Everyone of them have said, and I think they have proven it to you, that it is to God's people. And if they have not given you this idea, I would like to now. I am going to be more explicit. I know that in the world there are a great many people —I would not undertake to tell you how many—who are God's children, and many of these people cannot accept the Bible. They do not believe it. They will not accept it. So I would like to limit the gospel to those who have a sincere interest in the welfare of Christ's kingdom. And that I believe, in many cases, is a much smaller number than those we think of when we think of all of God's children throughout the world. I am persuaded that there are those even in the Primitive Baptist Church who are not capable of understanding those things we call the vital principles. The very things our church is based upon. The gospel is for them if they have a sincere interest in the church. I am persuaded, in the world there are those of God's children who have been led, perhaps, by parental instruction, perhaps instructed by friends, or religious training by different teachers, or many powers that be. They have been led in ways that are contradictory to the way set down in the Bible. If there is anything I want to do throughout my life, if I can be a faithful minister of the Lord, it is to exhort His children to abide in Him, as this language I read to you: Little children, abide in Him.

We have thought of the Lord's coming to His people, every time that they have thought of the need of Him. We cannot separate the two ideas. When there is a child in need, there is a helping Hand—the hand of the Lord. When there is a child weeping, there is the hand of God which wipes away the tears. When there are clouds of discouragement, there seems also to be a pillar of fire. That flame of faith which, I think, is in the heart of God's child. The Lord put it there. When we see a child of God, we find God. That is the point I want to make. So, when we think of the Lord appearing to His children I believe that through the witnesses, with which we are continually surrounded, the great cloud of witnesses the Apostle Paul spoke of, we have the witnesses we need to persuade us. The Lord does appear to His people.

The age of miracles certainly has not passed. We are living in an age, perhaps, when the greatest of miracles are taking place. We have thought of how far back the world has progressed since the days when Jesus walked here—perhaps I should not use the word progressed — but, at least, what a great change has come about. We are not living as they lived then. There are just about two things that have not changed. One of them is the nature of mankind, and the other, God. That is about all in this world that has not changed.

When we think of these two things, we see the two chief powers of the earth. I believe, firmly, that here between these two powers in our day is the battle spoken of by the divine writer—right against wrong. I believe in the lives of God's children, by His help, the right overcomes the wrong. In the world there are great miracles. There are things which you and I cannot understand. Some have been brought about by the imaginations of men. We thank the Lord a great many of them have been brought about by the love and kindness of our Father in heaven. We think back on these things we have read and heard of—the times when the ministers had to come to church horse-back, perhaps, or walked in the mud and snow. Now we are able to travel in our automobiles a hundred miles or so, comparatively easy. But, the gospel is the same! I think the enjoyment is the same! The blessing is the same! God has not changed!

The means of travel have changed and, perhaps, as we compare the ministering brethren we might even say there is a difference in the style of preaching. I am satisfied the thing that counts, which is the gospel, itself, is still being preached to the poor. The age of miracles is not passed! The more I think about it, the more I believe in this day, rather than in the day gone by, would require a greater power now to accomplish those things than it would have then. It seems to me that there are so many things now present in the world to confuse the mind that were not present then. So many more things which will distract from our service. So many more things which seem pleasant to us, but which are not right, nevertheless. Whatever the occasion, whatever the age, whatever the circumstance God's child finds himself in, we find that God's grace is sufficient for them in that time of need. His gospel still comforts the Lord's people; still instructs 'them; still leads. His people to come forward before mankind, even to give their bodies a living sacrifice not as though they were being dragged from their seats by some unseen hand, but- He puts His law within their very hearts. The expression has been made that "Our religion is the only one which claims God dwells within me." We not only claim it, but we believe we have positive proof for it. Men in the world advance many theories, but I tell you, you cannot persuade me this is just a theory. This is a fact. God works miracles, yet, today.

And now, little children, I think it is not needful for me to go into all the things that surround us and tell you of them. You know what they are. You have seen them. But I do want you to be aware of the times and the seasons. I wouldn't have you ignorant of it, nor, if we study the Bible, will we find any inclination on the part of the divine teachers that anybody be ignorant, neither of the times and the things that are occurring about us, nor of those things that have occurred in the past, nor of those things that are yet in the future. God has never hidden from His children the things which would benefit their cause or help them in any way in their walk here. He- has never held from them anything that might be a blessing for them.

We think, sometimes, if we could only have a better picture of what heaven is like, perhaps, we might be better able to preach about it. But I want to tell you that in our present state we are not capable of understanding heaven. We will only be able to do that when God has made a great change in our bodies. I know that God has told us of heaven, and He has told us of earth. These things, which He has told us, we find sufficient. I have thought, in studying the Bible, what little I have studied it, that if I have a good idea, whatever the idea, if it is good there is proof for it in the Holy Word. There is a direct statement to substantiate every truth. It is there, if we will only search to find it. You may say you can find certain things which were not told of in the Bible. Perhaps they are not mentioned by name, but they are there just the same. I don't care what, the truth is there, whether or not we are able to find it. God's work is a perfect work! His Word is all sufficient for His child in time of need!

Sometimes, when I come to this part of the service, I think I cannot find anything to preach about, or tell about. But it is there. The trouble is with me and not the gospel. The age of miracles is certainly not passed. You people, who, after all, are little children in the Lord's kingdom, have been blessed with adult minds. You have been blessed with Spiritual minds. You are capable of reasoning about many things. I believe you are capable of dwelling in the house of the Lord!

I want to emphasize that word "dwelling." The world at large, the religious world I mean, has a habit of drawing people into its organizations — putting their names upon the books. Church membership, baptizing them into this orgainzation or that, but there is a great difference when we study their life in the church, and then come to God's house and see how the Lord's people dwell in his house! It isn't such a . thing as coming into the house of the Lord and then, after having your name upon her books, going and doing whatever pleases you best. The Lord's people want to dwell here, live here! They want to have a part in this family! They want to abide here! I know when I think of what we are, our limited understanding of all things about the earth, we cannot always know what is God's will. I. believe the will is given, but we do not always see it, and so we do not always abide by the Lord's will.

I want you to understand me on that. I know that when God has said something will come to pass, it will come to pass. I believe that God does not just want to do something and then have to wait upon mankind to do it. I believe that He has ordained men to good works; that He has placed His commandments where they may be seen and understood of men; and that it is within the power of a man, who has been enlightened, either to walk according to that command or go into other ways. So we must need preach good works, which is the fruit of the spirit—not the cause of it. But, it is the result of the power of God working in you. The apostle said that we are saved through faith. We believe that through faith we do many things. Some might be inclined to think: "Well, I have faith. I'll be a good child." And think because we can come to church, we've spent some litle energy in coming to church, perhaps, some expense, that we can pat ourselves on the back, so to speak, and think that we have done a good work.

The Apostle Paul did not stop when he said what he did about faith. He said that faith itself is a gift of God. So, before you begin to build yourself up, because of your faith in Him, because you have been able to come to church and enjoy the things that other people have not been able to do, let us remember that even in your coming, even in my speaking, even in my ability to do that which God has given me to do, I must give thanks to God for that. For the strength which I now possess, for the breath which I breathe, for everything, my very being, I must give thanks to God for it. All that I have; all that ever expect to possess, I must give thanks to God for it.

My brethren, aside from eternal life, you are the most precious possession I have. I have a family, but that could be taken from me. I have a home. It's possible for my home to be destroyed. I have friends in, the world. Since I have grown up, the Lord has blessed me and my family that we have never been hungry. We've never needed to worry too much about finances, and all of those things. But I am confident that I could. The time might come that I might, but here is something that God has promised shall never be taken from us, and that is: I am His child and you are my brethren! I believe this is something that is mine to keep. The Lord will not remove that which He has given. Now when we think of abiding, I want you to know I meant while we are living as His servants. While we abide, there is an obedience for us to follow after.

Little children, I am confident that you and I will do things which we must receive chastisement for. But, also, I am confident that we have the faith; we have been given the strength and, the grace, and I want to talk about it. Yesterday, when we came over here—I have an admission to. make. I think, when I came to this association, it was about the first one this year that I did not feel particularly like going to. Just two days before I had been so happy all the way home. The people who were with us, just counted the minutes until we got home. For we knew the brethren there were having services, and we wanted to go home and go to church with them. We just felt like going to church.

Then, somehow, I didn't feel so good yesterday, or the day before. The more I thought about it the more I just wondered if it was worth the trouble. Then we came to the house of the Lord's yesterday —I think the Lord lead us here. I believe He did. And when we came into the house, we sat here listening to the preaching; a brother came and put his arm about me and wanted me to come with him. I felt, perhaps, that the joys of my salvation had been returned; because I was happy all over again. If you had asked me at that moment what I had to say I would have wanted to thank the Lord for His love, for His mercy. I believe that God loves His children and that even though it requires sometimes a great effort on their part, what seems to them like a great effort, when they go to the house of the Lord, they find blessings that they did not know about.

Brethren, my brethren, I have found in your presence that I have a home. It has not been so . always, when I have come here before. I am going to say almost up to this association time or these associations, which we have been enjoying, when I met with you I always felt like a visitor. I always felt like someone who just came and, though I might be a visitor, just a little bit on the outside, but when you take me into your midst and let me dwell with you, I feel at home.

Now I have another confession to make. I feel that you are more than a friend. You are my brethren; and I can dwell with you. I can't do it unless you share your troubles with me; unless you tell me the things which are bothering you. I can't do it unless you let me share your joys and your troubles and sorrows. Perhaps, I can't help you. Perhaps, I can only point the way. Until you take me into your arms in that way. I will always be just a visitor. I can tell you something that your service has done for me: It has made me more than just a visitor. I have found another home to visit with.

Little children, abide in the Lord. If I could point to you anything on earth that would be greater, I would do so. The Lord is an ever-present help in time of trouble. He is an ever-present help in time of joy. Have you thought of it that way? I have come to the house of the Lord, sometimes, when I was not able to put my happiness into words. I've even stood before you, sometime trying to speak, and all I could do, almost, was cry. I was happy, but I couldn't tell you about it. You know we need the Lord's hand just to help us to tell about the joys of His salvation. Those are the things that are pleasant and beautiful in the house of the Lord. I want to present to you, if I can, the beauties of the Lord's salvation. While we may recognize in the church a group of people who help in time of need, I want to present, also, a place where we can enjoy the service. The house of the Lord was not intended for sadness, always. I know it is a place where we can bring our heartaches and the Lord lightens our burden. But, it is a place where we can worship God together. Bless His name! And receive from His hands the blessings which we want so much. I told you the other day, when I put my hand out for you to clasp—I wanted you to clasp it—I needed your help. When I come to the house of the Lord, there is something here that I need. It isn't always that I need my burden lighten, because I don't always feel to have a burden. Sometimes, I just want to praise the Lord—and perhaps that might be a burden.

Little children, there is something about you and about me which sometimes might make us ashamed of what we do or how we serve the Lord. The language which I have read to you, admonishes us to serve the Lord and abide in Him and have confidence in Him and not be ashamed! There is nothing at all in God's service that we need be ashamed of. Are you afraid to tell anybody in this world that you are a Primitive Baptist after you have come to this church and you have seen the blessings of the service? Are you ashamed to go out and tell people, when they ask you, what you are? and why you are what you are? Are you afraid to say that you are a Primitive Baptist? Sometimes, it is a hard thing to say, but, by the grace of God, we don't need to be ashamed of the way we worship. We certainly should not be. There is something about it that is so important, so wonderful that we should never, never, be afraid or ashamed, should I say, to admit it. No, I think I would not be ashamed to pronounce before the world that "I am a Primitive Baptist." We may be a little group, but we are a strong group! We may be a poor people in this world's goods, but we are the richest people on earth. You tell me, brethren, of something that is more important than having one of God's little children come and put his arm about you, and clasp your hand and tell you that he loves you! Brother Clyde told me he loved me a while ago. That feeling is mutual. I want you to know that there is nothing on earth that I prise more highly than, the love of the Lord's people. I pray to God that I may never do anything that would merit their shame and cause them to be ashamed of me.

And now, little children, as we abide in the house of the Lord, there is something else which we have. I want to go, just for a moment, just outside of the house of the Lord. Just outside the doors. Isaiah spoke of the outside this way : "Go through, go through the gates. Cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones." What a wonderful thing for the. Lord's ministers to think about. Here, in the service of the Lord, there is a pleasant way. Perhaps it is what David was speaking of when he wrote the twenty-third Psalm. He must have been feeling a blessed moment, when he wrote it. But, there is something just outside the gate. There is a highway to be cast up. You say.: Oh, I thought the Lord did that. I thought He made the highway. Any highway I have ever known was never made by just one man. The Lord planned your path for you. That is to say He sets a path and you go following the hand. I am going to say He did it this way. In the words of the song: "Footprints of Jesus, make the pathway glow." Jesus found stones in the pathway and so do we. But, He left a pathway for us to follow, and He, also, left the instructions. As we go through the gate, which is simply an entrance into something else, we go out onto the highway. We spend most of our time on the highway. We are traveling, all of us, to that place. We are on a highway and here we are to cast up the highway. The Lord has left the instructions. I am going to say, also, He has left the building material. He has left the tools which we use, and we are to lay hold upon those things. Lay hold on eternal life, if you want to call it that, say it that way. We make use of the gifts of God and we cast up the highway.

I have seen and you have noticed, of course, men building roads. Were they building them for themselves? God planned the road which is before His people. Did He build it that His Son might walk there or His little children? When the road is built, even then we find the stones in it, sometimes. Remove the stones, and the highway continually needs to have signs along it. It needs to have people posted here and there as guides along the way — and we have them! God has given them to us!

We have a highway. We are building the highway not just for ourselves, but for someone else. Now, whom would we be building a road for? We heard yesterday of how this church has stood for over a hundred years—not this building, but the church —and, as we think of it, we know that there has been building back in those years; there have been struggles down through the ages. Not only in the years of this church, but ever since Christ organised His church, the struggle has been here in the world. Men and women and children have been engaging in it. They have been casting up a highway. When we, people who are interested 'in a' highway, find ourselves in darkness today, we look for the ways in which our fathers traveled before us. I have been reminded several times, and many of you have told me of it, how fortunate I am to have a father who was interested in me. I realise that fact. And when I sit and listen to his preaching, I realise he is capable of teaching me, and I hope I am thankful. Perhaps, I can take, from him, instructions that you other brethren and sisters cannot give. Perhaps, He feels closer to me, somehow—at least I feel closer to him. While I have a natural father I also have people who have gone before me here, and so have you, and they have left instructions. They left a way which has been proven not only by experience, but by the Bible: It is the right way. They have removed so many stones from my path ; sometimes just by telling me the things which I need know. They removed stumbling stones from my path because they loved me.

Little children, abide in the Lord, not only because God, in His infinite love and mercy, is good to His obedient children by blessing you with His peace; but, here in the house of the Lord and traveling upon the highway, we have companions who go with us, who go before us ; and, something, just a little bit more, we have those who are coming after us. The promise is not just for you, but to your children and to all them that are far off, even as many as 'the Lord our God shall call. Everyone of them afar off in the distant future as long as time shall last, we want to plan for them. So, I admonish you children to abide in the Lord! To walk upon the highway! Do not be fearful about going through the gates! Be very careful to be diligent in removing the stones.

Little children, love one another. May you always be able to look one another in the eye, straight in the eye, just like little children do. Not being Afraid because there is something behind the eye, in the mind, saying:. "Aren't you ashamed?" May you have a clear conscience. May you live in all good conscience, Godly, throughout your entire days. May you dwell together in peace and harmony, that your children, and the little children of God who are lifted up, can walk in this way and find the stones removed, many of them, and that they may be able to teach their children and even to those who are far off, those things which you have taught them. May they know what is right. May they learn, from watching you, the way wherein the Lord blesses them and then may they walk in this way! May they see the fathers who have gone before us; may they see in you examples of people who are walking, even in dark places, even people who might be called upon to go through the fire, to wade through the deep waters, that God does not forsake His children there. He said: "I am thy God, fear not. I am with three, be not dismayed. I am thy God," and they will not fear to walk.

We have seen hesitant people, and noticed the people around them were not quite so confident in them; and we notice the leaders, even in the world, who are bold and resolute, go out teaching, and doing certain things. They are very courageous and resolute, and draw men after them. May you be like that in the ways of the Lord; that your confidence and courage, which is not an earthly thing, be your faith in God. May the children of God, after you, follow in the steps wherein God has lead you; that they may be followers of you as we are those who have gone before us.

I want to tell you just one more thing. He shall appear. He shall appear! We are expecting, some day, for God to appear and we shall see Him in a perfect way! We count that time dear in our anticipation, and by faith we recognise it. We know it. We realise it—But God appears many a time. I find in the Lord's children and in myself somewhat of Samuel's experience. When he was a. little child the Lord called to him. He didn't know what it was. We see, on the edge of the congregation, people who can sit and listen who love the things which they are listening to, but they don't quite understand. It has been my blessed privilege, and I am going to say: It has been my deepest pleasure, in the last few days, to have two come up and ;put their arms around me and ask for my help. That encouraged me, I think, more than or as much as anything that has ever happened to me. They need my help and I want to give it. But there are some who need a little more encouragement; need a hand to lean on; need a little bit of instruction. We must point them the right way, the Bible way.

Sometime we think about Christianity and what it is; how important it is! It is important enough that the Saviour said, unless we are willing to forsake houses and land, father and mother, those that we love, unless we are willing we are not worthy, we are not worthy children. We are not worthy to receive the blessings of the kingdom, unless we are willing to give up those things. Did you know when the Lord calls upon a little child to give up those things, it is surprising, when they come forward, not afraid to enter into his kingdom, that all these other things are added to them! Just exactly as the Saviour promised it would! Isn't that surprising? Perhaps, we think that we are forsaking our fathers and mothers and our houses and lands. We find a wealth, a treasure here. We find a blessing here that is far, far greater than we expected. So many times we find a new aspect on the part of the father or the mother or friends when they see before them people who are willing to let the Lord's service come first; a people who love His truth, His church enough that they would give themselves for it. I think one can, sometimes, by going forward, prove to people of other denominations, other faiths, where the church is and they can see the truth as we can see it. Think about these things. I pray to God that these things may be proven to you, not just once or twice, but as often as you need.

Day by day throughout your entire life, may God and His grace go with you! May you be saved through the trials of the way! May you find that the stones are not so hard when you have a brother to lean on. You have a great Helper to always turn to. May you find that God always loves you, and that He always keeps His word. He will never forsake you! May you find the joys of your pathway far; far greater than any of the trials you find along the way. So much greater that you will want to praise His Holy name all your life. I thank you for your attention.



A sermon preached by Elder A. D. Wood, Glen Rose, Texas,
at Union Church, near Ruth, Miss., on
April 23, 1943.

I desire to state that I appreciate this privilege and opportunity of being with God's people that are here today. For some reason or other my mind is exercised with the subject of the church. Elder West may get tired of me talking about the subject of the church, but I did not come down here to especially preach to him. Anyway it seems that is all I have on my mind, and I am going to discuss it again, the Lord being my helper.

Sometimes, the subject of the church presents itself to my mind in this way, as to what the apostle taught on some particular occasion or day as it is mentioned, and sometimes I have a text that presents itself to my mind with the subject of the church in connection with that, but at this particular time it seems that the things that were taught on the day of Pentecost has presented itself. , I want to say in the very beginning of my remarks, I honestly believe that it was an Old Baptist congregation that was there on the day of Pentecost. The reason that I take that position is because of what I have learned about what the apostles taught on this occasion. Notice in the very beginning of this chapter that "when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

I desire to drop you a thought about the tongue of our text. Notice the expression, they "began to speak with other tongues." That to my mind proves that they were already speaking in a tongue, but that there were other tongues that they were to speak in. In my opinion, the word tongue and the word language, as it is used in this chapter, used interchangeably and mean the same thing. Notice that we find an expression in this chapter, "And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born ?" It seems to me from this expression together with the other expressions, the people who were there on the day of Pentecost heard and understood what was said in the other tongues ; and if I am right on this particular point, it proves beyond a doubt that it was not that jabbering that some are doing today and calling it a tongue ;hut it was something they heard and understood. Sp that proves that the church of God did not speak in the tongues or the jabbering, we might say, that some folks are doing today. So the people of God did not preach and serve God from that viewpoint.

Notice that when this was noised abroad that the multitude came together and a part of the multitude that came together said that these men were full of new wine, but the Apostle Peter denied that. He said, "For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day." These men were a part of the multitude that accused these men being full of new wine. They mocked the apostles. I get from that expression that they were not prepared to receive the gospel of the Son of God, but there were some there that were prepared for the gospel of the Son of God.

Now the reason that I am working along this line is to get the thought before you that there were two classes of people on the day of Pentecost. I believe that there were saved folks on the day of Pentecost and there were unsaved folks there. At least the evidence that we have here is that there were some saved and some that were not saved. Now we want you to look at it this way just a minute. Here's the folks right here that mocked the apostles and said they were full of new wine. That's class No. 1. But on down we hear Peter preaching like this, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart." Let me stop there and ask You a question. Who was pricked in the heart? Peter said it was the house of Israel. They were pricked in the heart. That was class No. 2 ; they were there on the day of Pentecost. These folks who were spoken of as being the house of Israel were pricked in the heart by the gospel that the apostle preached. I believe the reason why they were pricked in the heart is because of the fact that the Lord of glory had done something for them. I know that we find people in the world who claim the gospel of the Son of God has about the same effect on every man—that is, if he will accept it. But you will notice that there is a difference in that kind of preaching and the kind the Apostle Peter preached. He claims here that the gospel of the Son of God which he preached pricked somebody in the heart, and some other folks who heard the same preaching on the same day mocked and said these fellows were full of new wine. So I desire that you watch this thing a little while. could anyone here prove that the house of Israel of our text embraces the Adam family in a universal sense? I don't think that you could establish that position. I do not believe that the word Israel is found anywhere in the Bible where it is applied to the Adam family in the universal sense, but it is applied to God's people in the world, and the ones who were pricked in the heart in this text are the Israelites.

I want to notice a text that is found in Chapter 7 of Acts, "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised-in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost : as your fathers did, so do ye." Somebody was described in this text as being uncircumcised in heart and ears and says they always resist the Holy Ghost. -I am of the opinion that every time you find a man in the state of nature, uncircumcised in heart and ears, as these folks were, you are going to find somebody that always resists the Holy Ghost. What do you mean? I mean they never will receive the gospel of the Son of God, that is, the Holy Ghost, they never receive that. Paul said, "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." He cannot know them for his carnal mind is not subject to them. Is it not a fact that he always turns that thing aside? In other words, he would not know it if he were to see it. Now I am talking about the spiritual Israelites or a Jew which is one inwardly and not outwardly, who are Israelites to whom belongeth the adoption, the covenants, the giving of the law and the service of God and the promises. Notice that Paul says that these things that we are talking about in our text belongs to the house of Israel; and it is the house of Israel that were pricked in their hearts by the gospel of the Son of God. They were not only pricked in the heart but Paul said that it belongs to them. If it belongs to the spiritual Jew, or the Israelites of our text, are you going to tie it over to another thought and try to get it or give it to somebody else? If you do you are going beyond your bounds. You are doing something the apostle would not do on the day of Pentecost. If I can prove that on the day of Pentecost it was God's people that obeyed, then you ought to believe it and accept it. There are a lot of things said about things preached on the day of Pentecost. In the seventh chapter of Acts, it says there were folks that were uncircumcised in heart and ears, and that they gnashed upon a preacher over there and they were cut to the heart ; they took him out of the city and stoned him to death. The Apostle Paul was in that crowd and all the evidence we have of him on that occasion shows he was an unsaved man ; and it is the unsaved man of our text that is cut to the heart by the gospel of the Son of God. I believe that we will read this expression, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ : for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." What do you want with that.? Here is what I want you to get. Here are two classes of people on the day of Pentecost, and the same gospel that Peter preached cut one to the heart and cut one in the heart. Which one of these characters here is the Gospel of the Son of God salvation unto? You will have to agree that it was the power of God unto the Israelites, because you could not prove that it was the power of God unto the other folks, because not a one of them obeyed the gospel
of the Son of Cod. They did not hear it or believe it in the sense of the gospel, so it was not the power of God unto the unsaved man, but to the saved man. Paul preached this way and it is in harmony with what Peter preached. lie says, "We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks
foolishness ; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." Well, this text states that his preaching was
the power of God unto the man that was called among the Jews and among the Gentiles. If the apostle was right, then it carries with it the idea that these folks that the gospel called on the day of Pentecost were folks that were already called by the Lord Jesus Christ. You might ask me, why I believe that? Paul in talking to Timothy: "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." I want you to look at it this way, we see these folks as we come on down to the day of Pentecost and you cannot prove that these folks that were pricked in the heart obeyed the gospel of the Son of God until the day of Pentecost. Let us apply this text to these folks: "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works." Now if you place that text with these folks that were pricked in the heart and finally obeyed the gospel of the Son of God, you will have to do it before they go to work, won't you? Because the text says saved and called not according to their works. This I believe proves the doctrine of grace and that God had beat the preacher to these folks and prepared them for the gospel of the Son of God, and that is the reason why it is the power of God unto them.

"Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling." He speaks of them in this text as being partakers of the heavenly calling and he speaks of them as being brethren in the Lord Jesus Christ. If we apply this text to these folks on the day of Pentecost it will prove that they are related to the Lord of glory in a spiritual sense before the gospel of the Son of God was power of God unto them. The natural man cannot comprehend and understand and enjoy these things, but here is somebody that did enjoy them. That itself proves that they were not in a state of nature but they were born by the Spirit of God. So these folks that believe the gospel and obeyed the gospel were spiritual characters, I mean by that they were born of the Spirit of God.

They cried out to Peter and the other apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" I have thought that the way that Peter preached to them he told them exactly what they were to do. My belief is in perfect harmony with what Peter preached, if I know what I believe. He said to these folks, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you." Now we might ask who he had under consideration in the pronoun "you" in the text. Inasmuch as the house of Israel were pricked in their hearts, I just believe that that is who is under consideration. If that is right then the Apostle Peter said to the house of Israel, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Now the thing that is promised the house of Israel or the child of God in our text is that they will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. I know that there is a lot said about the gift of the Holy Ghost and some people can't see a thing in it except they will be able to speak in an unknown tongue, but I am of the opinion that it means something else, at least a portion of the time. It says, "Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" It did not say they would receive the Holy Ghost but that they would receive the gift of that. Now suppose this book was mine and I would give this book to you. That would be a gift from me, but it would not be me. I have already tried to prove that these folks were already born of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, but yet they can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by doing something, and he cannot receive the gift in this text without doing the things of the text.

"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." I believe that the word "Christ" in our text means anointed. He was anointed for the remission of sins. "Repent. and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ (a nointed) for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Let us read a couple of texts to prove to you that the remission of sins is in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Lord on one occasion gave the disciples the cup and blessed it and said, "Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of s ns." So the blood of the Son of God was in order for the remission of sins. H the blood was shed for the remission of sins then repentance and baptism are not in order for that. If the text means to teach that repentance and baptism is in order for the remission of sins that would mean that repentance and baptism are for the same thing. The blood is in order for the remission of sins, but it is in perfect harmony one with the other. "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off." You might think I have read too much but I have not read quite enough. We are going to read the text as it is in the Bible. "The promise is unto you, and to 'your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." The text says the promise is to everyone that the Lord has called. If it is to everyone that God has called and there is someone that God has not called, is the promise unto him? No, but the promise is limited to the man that is called of God, and I have already proved by the Bible that these folks were already called by the Lord Jesus Christ before Peter called them. So he comes on down here and is affirming that the promise is to that man that God has called. Right on this point I want to read that expression Paul made, "We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness ; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." So the preaching Peter did was the power of God unto these folks that were called and he says "the promise is unto you." The word "even"in our text means verily or exactly. "The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even (verily or exactly) as many as the Lord our God shall call."

"Then they that gladly received His Word were baptized." Somebody here on the day of Pentecost gladly received the Word of God. The question you wanted to ask me: were they children of God or were they not children of God? They were God's elect folks that were saved by His grace. Let us read from Paul's letter again to the Thessalonians, "Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God." "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction." These folks, on the day of Pentecost that received it gladly, were the elect of God and they enjoyed and received the gospel gladly to the extent that they were willing to endure the affliction of the gospel of the Son of God. "Having received the word in much affliction." That proves to me that the man that receives the gospel of the Son of God will have to endure some of the afflictions that pertain to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner : but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God." Nobody in the world can be partaker according to the power of God, except somebody that knows something about the power of God. Our text says he is the man that is called. So the gospel of the Son of God was preached too late in the day of Pentecost to save these folks with eternal life, but God had already come to them some time before the gospel was preached and prepared them for the gospel. When they heard it they received it and walked in obedience to that. John, the great apostle, said, "He that is of God heareth God's words ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." The man that hears in the sense of understanding, in the sense of our text, is of God. You can't get around that. It proves that the man that can hear is of God. God dwells in him and he in God. So the hearing and believing of our text could not be in order for them to be in God, because the man is already in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is something that we desire for you to meditate and study upon, because it is possible that we might be wrong in our explanation of these texts. But I am going to read a little bit more.

We notice that there are many texts in the Bible that are inviting folks to come to the Lord Jesus Christ. I speak of it as an invitation. I know that Isaiah commands you to come ; but I speak of them as being invitations to come to God in this text. Isaiah said, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." Now the word "ho", in our practical way, just means for you to stop and consider something right here and that is what I want to say on this particular point. Everyone that is thirsty in the sense of our text, Isaiah says to stop and consider something right here, something that you can buy without money and without price. You could not prove that it is eternal life because the text says, "Buy wine and milk," and only if they like milk and wine and want the benefit of that. To the man or woman that has life that is food; and it just looks ridiculous to me to think about cornbread and chicken giving life to something, but I tell you it is mighty good for that man or that woman that already, has life. That food is for the benefit of that life and not bring life into existence. The Lord of glory gave them eternal life or spiritual life before the gospel of the Son of God was the power of God unto that man.

You might be thinking about this text while I read it for you in Joh 3:16, 'Tor God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Soo, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Notice the text, "For God so loved the world." The world of this text cannot be applied and used for the Adam family in a universal sense. Why? Sornebody asks. If I could find somebody in the world
that the Lord Jesus Christ did not love I have found somebody out of the world in our text. Paul said, "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." At least there is one in the world that is not embraced in our text. For no other reason than this the Lord of glory loved the world of our text and gave Himself for it that He might present it unto the Father without spot and without blemish. I can prove by the Bible that their sins were taken away. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Another text that has got the word "world" in it is, "He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Look at it just a minute. Who is that class of people in the text "not for ours only?" There is one class of people of our text "Not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." If the expression "whole world," in our text, embraces the Adam family, who are the other folks in the text? We can't always apply the word "world" to the Adam family as a whole, but many times it has reference to God's chosen people. "The whole world Beth in wickedness." If the whole world lieth in wickedness and that means the Adam family, then there was not one saved until the preaching of Joint, then the whole world lieth in wickedness, and continues to do that if the whole world embraces the whole Adam family. "'We are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness." The word "world" is sometimes applied to the wicked and sometimes to God's people. "According as He bath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." There's the world that the Son of God died for. There's the world that the Lord of glory shed His blood for the remission of sins and everyone of them are going to live with God in the glory world.

"When He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God." Not a part of the kingdom but every bit of the kingdom, the kingdom as a whole. So we can see that God did not only send His Son to die for them, representing them on the cross but in time He has conic to then, and saved them by His grace, prepared them to serve God in spirit and in truth, and He is sending the gospel of the Son of God today to feed those who are hungry and thirsty. "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." Who is the thirsty man of our text? "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness." If these folks on the day of Pentecost received something that Luke said they received gladly, yet they were not thirsty for it, that is not good common sense, but the man must be hungering and thirsting for it that believed and heard it and received it gladly. It looks to me like God's people ought to see it today as they did on the day of Pentecost. Thank you.


Accepted (1988, January-February)

Sermon preached by Elder Charles Sandage of Donaldson, Arkansas, May 5, 1985, at Harmony Church, Donaldson, Arkansas. This sermon is available to you in cassette form and can be ordered from Cayce Publishing Company. The cost is $2.50, postpaid. The number of the tape is 007.005.

In the 35th verse of this 10th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles we find the word "accepted" embraced in it. I want to use that word as a basis of the things I want us to consider this morning. "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of persons: But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him."

In the religious world today we hear so much said about accepting. But in all of that that we hear the idea is advocated that Christ is begging people to accept Him. That it is people that have the right and the privilege, the obligation and the responsibility to accept Christ. And that if anyone will accept Christ then, as a result of them accepting Christ, they become a child of God, they belong to God, they are born of the Spirit of God and finally heaven will be their home. I have never found in the Word of God, either in the Old or the New Testament, where the idea is advocated that Christ is offering Himself to any individual. No where have I found that the Word of God teaches that it is up to individuals to accept Christ and as the result of it become a child of God and be permitted to live with God in glory.

The only place that I am acquainted with in the Word of God where Christ offered Himself to anyone will be found in the ninth chapter of the Hebrew Letter. Beginning with about the 24th verse, we read two or three verses in this ninth chapter of the Hebrew Letter: "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." (verses 24-26) Here is the only place in the Word of God, that I know anything about, where Christ offered Himself to anybody. This says that He offered Himself without spot to God. Yes, Christ offered Himself one time, but He offered Himself to God; and God accepted that offering. When God accepted that offering, He accepted everyone that was represented in Christ . . . everyone that Christ was made to be sin for. When God accepted Christ He accepted everyone of them. Let me take just a few minutes more along this line of thought. I know as a body of people I am talking to those of you that already understand this principle of truth but many of God's people don't understand it and I wish that they would.

But now coming back to this expression, this 34th and 35th verses of this tenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, let us consider, for just a moment: Why did the Apostle Peter make this statement? Here he says: I perceive of a truth. Now it had been a truth for thousands of years, but the Apostle Peter didn't know it. He has just now come to understand this principle of truth. This principle of truth is this: That God has accepted every individual, in any nation, in any kindred, and any tongue on the face of the earth, who has .a reverential fear of God in his heart and that works righteousness. Now I want to point this out: The Apostle Peter didn't say that God accepted these individuals because they fear Him, and because they were working righteousness. But he said that this is evidence that identifies anybody that has been accepted. The Apostle Peter didn't think that God had accepted anybody among the Gentiles up until this time. The Apostle Peter and all of the other apostles thought that God only loved the Jews and didn't love the Gentiles. But here, after the experience that the Apostle Peter had of which that I just briefly made mention of, you read this tenth chapter, in the beginning of it you will find that there is one Gentile named Cornelius ... I believe I will just take the time to read it to show you what kind of an individual this man was. "There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway." (verses 1, 2) Now here is a description of a man that had not yet heard the gospel. He didn't know anything about Christ Jesus. He was a Gentile. Up to this point of time the gospel had never been preached to the Gentiles. They had never heard about Christ and His death on the cross. But look what kind of a man he is. He is a man, a devout man, and one that feared God, and that gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God. These things are characteristics of a child of God. You show me an individual that has a reverential fear of God in his heart, a devout man, one that fears God, and that prays to God, and I will show you a child of God. I will show you one that is already born of the Spirit of God.

That is the reason, when the Apostle Peter finally got down to this man's house and this man told his experience, that is the reason the Apostle Peter made this statement: "Of a truth I perceive." I am glad that it wasn't necessary for Peter to know that truth in order for it to be the truth. I am glad, my friends, that it is not necessary for God's people today to know the truth in order for it to be the truth. I am glad it is not necessary for God's people to know the truth in order for them to be born of the Spirit of God and to live with God in glory. I am glad it is not necessary, but yet on the other hand I am so glad that we do learn about it. I am glad the Apostle Peter learned about it. I am glad that you and I have learned about it. I wish that God's people everywhere could learn about it in order that they might be enabled to rejoice in the truth. The truth won't change the work of God one bit. That is our knowing the truth or not knowing the truth will not change the work of Christ, it will not change the destiny of God's people. But I will tell you what it will do. The truth will change your feelings and my feelings and our regard to God. It will change that completely. It will change our life. It will change our attitude toward God. It will change our attitude toward the worship of God, when we are able to know the truth. Now then . . . I am trying to come back specifically now. I have taken more time along that line already than I intended to.

But coming to the word "accepted" . . . The very fact that we find the word accepted carries with it the idea of rejection, also. If there are some people in the world that God accepts and some that He doesn't then there must be some that He rejects and the Word of God tells us that, also. Just another word to emphasize the principle that is set forth here: "But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him." The word accepted is in the past tense which shows that it has already taken place. The Apostle Peter again, I emphasize, is not saying if you will do this you will be accepted — but you are already, accepted.

Now turn with me to some more very familiar expressions of Scripture, to Primitive Baptists, at least, that will be found in the first chapter of the Ephesian Letter. I want to read, quickly, there the only other place in the New Testament where the word accepted is used in the sense that we are dealing with now. Now the word acceptance and accepted is used in other places and I hope to mention a few of those but I want to call this one to your attention right now. Beginning with the third verse, the first chapter of the Ephesian Letter: "Bless be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved." (verses 3-6) Ah, here it is the apostle is saying that the spiritual blessings that you and I receive in life come as a result of the fact that we were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. And, also, that we were made accepted in the beloved, in Christ.

The Word of God teaches us plainly, in many places that we could never be accepted, that God could never accept us, by our own righteousness — as the result of our own doing. In fact, as we look at the word reject from a natural standpoint . . . factories produce different kinds of products, and different items, and you know sometimes the item when it comes out at the finish end of the line there are flaws in them sometimes, and they are rejected. They are not used, they are rejected. And so, my friends, if it is true from a natural standpoint that even the product of man — that it can't be used if there is something wrong with it, think about it from a spiritual standpoint. God is not going to accept anybody that has any kind of a flaw. Ah, we hear it said sometimes that God keeps a record and if the good that we do over balances the bad we are going to hear that invitation, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Mt 25:34) Listen, I want you to see, my friends, that even if it were possible that the good that we do over balanced the bad it still wouldn't permit us to enter there on that basis. In fact if it were possible for an individual to live and only sin one time that, my friends, would bar him from eternal glory with God because it demands perfection.

I hope some of you, at least, are familiar with the old passover lamb that was used by the Jews to typify the deliverance from the Egyptian bondage. But it also pointed to the coming of the Son of God. That lamb ... one had to be selected of the firstling of the flock, and it had to be without spot and without blemish. In fact it was put up for fourteen days to be viewed to see if there was any blemish of any kind upon it. If it was it was rejected, my friends. It had to be one of perfection. So, my friends, if you and I ever see God in peace it will have to be on the basis of perfection itself. How does that come? The only way that you or I can be accepted of God is that we be clothed in the righteousness of the Son of God Himself. He is our righteousness, or else we have no righteousness to be accepted. And, incidentally, again we can see in these two expressions that God is the One that is doing the accepting, it is not you or I. It is not man. Notice: "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Eph 1:6) If any individual of the Adamic race is ever accepted of God it has to be through the imputed righteousness of the Son of God and not by our own righteousness.

One other place that I want to call your attention now that shows the fact that there are some that are rejected. Go with me to the twelfth chapter of the Hebrew Letter and- here we read about one that was rejected. Beginning about the 15th verse of this twelfth chapter of the Hebrew Letter we read: "Looking diligently" ... let's just drop back up to the 14th, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." See, in that expression it says that it must be through holiness, if we ever see God it will be through holiness. Who is that individual in this world that is free from sin and holy before God? There is none.

"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; lest there by any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau." Now Esau is brought to our attention and I want you to see this principle. "As Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." Ah, here is a man, the Bible tells us in another place, that God loved Jacob, the twin brother of Esau but that He hated Esau and this on the basis of God's choice and His election, as the apostle used this example to teach it (election) in the ninth chapter of the Roman Letter. So, I think that you can see, in this, my friends, that there are some that God rejects. Those that God rejects are those that must stand before God in their own righteousness and none will be able to see God in peace from that standpoint. Now much more could be said along this line in regard to being accepted of God. As I have already stated I wish that God's people could be able to see that their home in heaven doesn't rest upon them accepting Christ or accepting God, but whether or not God has accepted you, has accepted them. The only way, I say again, that an individual of the Adamic race can ever be accepted in God's sight from this standpoint is to be accepted in Christ, Himself. That familiar expression again from the 21st verse of the 5th chapter of Second Corinthians: God made Christ to be sin. The fact that the Son of God became our sin and His righteousness became ours. Then in that we are acceptable in God's sight and that is the only way that anybody can ever be acceptable in God's sight from this standpoint. But now then . . .

This brings another question to our mind. If that is the way that we will be able to live with God in glory, clothed in the righteousness of the Son of God and our righteousness has nothing whatsoever to do with our living with God in glory: then what is the importance of us trying to live right, trying to live godly, trying to live righteously and do the things that are right while we live in this world? Now I hope that I have been enabled by the grace of God to show you that in order to live with God in glory, He must accept us but He will accept us, has accepted us, through Christ. Is that the only kind of acceptance that is taught in the Word of God, is that all that we should be concerned about? No, my friends. The Word of God teaches us that we should try to be accepted of God while we live in this world. There is a sense, there is a way in which that we can live that God will accept us, or He will reject us as children of God.

I want to make it clear now what I want to talk to you about and what I want to embrace myself in for the rest of this morning it is not whether or not that I will be enabled to stand justified before God when this world is no more but whether I will be accepted in God's sight while I live in this world. The Word of God plainly teaches us that, also. The Word of God teaches us that we can live in such a way that God will reject us —and that is what' I don't want, my friends. That is what I don't want of (or for) you. I want you, and I want myself, to be acceptable in God's sight in the service of God while we live.

Let me go, first, to some expressions found in the eighth chapter of the prophecy of Hosea and I want you to see some things here in this expression. First of all I believe I will go to the fourth chapter of the prophecy of Hosea and about the sixth verse. I want you to notice something in the sixth verse, it says: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Now who is it that are destroyed? He said: "My people." This is talking about God's people. This is talking about something that belongs to you and I today. He says those people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. And I think that we, even though this was spoken in olden times, spoken to the nation of Israel, the principle applies to us today. Many of God's people are destroyed today for lack of knowledge. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge." Yes, it is possible for you and I to reject knowledge. It is possible for you and I not to want to know the truth — when the truth is presented to us to reject it and not receive it. What is going to he the result if we do? "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee." Look at it here. He said in that day because those people rejected knowledge He said I am going to reject them.

I say, my friends, if you and I reject the Word of God when the Word of God is preached to us, when it is taught to us, if we reject it there is a sense in which God is going to reject us. That doesn't mean, now, that we are going to miss heaven but it does mean that we are going to feel the chastening rod of God upon us. We are going to lose some joy and blessings and some happiness while we live here in this world. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." He said, talking to some people that had His law and they have turned from it and they have forgotten it, and He says: and I will forget thy children.

Then going on over into this eighth chapter of the same book in the prophecy of Hosea we find him speaking again of rejecting somebody. I can't find the particular expression right quick that I wanted to call to your attention there in that expression. But again there is a warning that if God's people turn from Him and don't follow after His ways that He is going to turn from them and He is also going to reject them and to reject their sacrifices and offerings. In other words the principle that is held forth in it would apply to us today that if we turn from the Word of God, if we refuse to obey the Word of God that He is going to turn from us.

Now let us, quickly, for just a few moments, turn to some expressions in the New Testament that brings this principle out, I think, very clearly. Go with me to an expression that will be found in the fifth chapter of second Corinthians and in the ninth verse. In this ninth verse of the fifth chapter of second Corinthians, it says: "Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him." This tells us, as the apostle wrote to the church at Corinth, there is a way whereby that we can be accepted of God and it tells us that we should labour to that end, that we should strive to be accepted. How can we be accepted? My friends, the only way that we can be accepted in this sense is to understand the Word of God, to study the Word of God, to learn, to obtain knowledge of the Word of God as to how we should live, how that we should honour our God, and how that we should worship Him, and what it is that we should do that would be honouring to God, and then endeavor to the best of our ability to do it. Then we would be labouring to be accepted of Him and I believe that He would accept us then.

Now we can go to one other expression, in fact going back to this same twelfth chapter of the Hebrew Letter that I read to you a little while ago where that Esau was rejected even though, it said, he sought it with tears there was no place found for repentance. Why? Because Esau was not embraced in the love of God. Therefore God had not granted repentance to him and he could not find it, therefore he was rejected from that standpoint.

But now then in the closing verses of that twelfth chapter of the Hebrew Letter, I want to read several expressions there where it says: "For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more." (verses 18, 19) What is he talking about here? He is talking about Mount Sinai. He is talking about the children of Israel when Moses went up on the mountain to receive the commandents and God gave him the commandments. But God . . . it was such a fearful place, the smoke and fire of that mountain was such, to such a degree, that if the children of Israel touched it they were killed, my friends. That was terrible to look upon, and that represents the law. That represents the condition that you and I are in by nature when looking at God's just and holy law. But now the apostle said, for ye are not come to that. We have come to something far better, the church of the living God. It is not as the law of God as given to Moses, we do not need the carnal commandments there but we need something else. And so he says: "(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) but ye are come unto mount Sion." The church of the living God is right opposite to that old mountain of fire, and smoke, and condemnation.

"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. And to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." (verses 22-24) Ah, here is what we have today, my friends, we have the church of God and which holds forth the sacrifice of the Son of God that made us accepted and that we were accepted in Him. But it goes a little bit farther and says: "See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh." See that you refuse Him not. Who is he talking to? He is talking to the people of God, saying: see that you don't refuse Him. How can we refuse Him that spoke? By refusing what He has told us to do. Just as sure as we refuse to do what He has told us to do we are refusing Him. Not from the standpoint that He will no longer be our Saviour, mt from the standpoint that as the result of it that we will not see God in peace. But if we refuse Him, my friends, we are going to miss something in this He. We are going to be refused ourselves.

"For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain." He then closes with this statement: "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace. whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire." (Heb 12:25-29) Yes, my friends, there is a way in which we can serve our God acceptably and that is our obligation and our responsibility. How can we do it?

As we go to the twelfth chapter of the Roman Letter we find in the first verse here is the way that it is set out when it says: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." He tells us it is just a reasonable service. God never has required anything unreasonable of the people of God. But this is God's people that are under consideration. This is not somebody that has not been accepted in the beloved. But to those that have been accepted in the beloved, to those that have a fear of God in their heart, to those that have a desire to do the things that are right in God's sight and have compassion upon their fellow man and desires to honour your God: to you, whoever that you might be, here is what you are obligated to do: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice." Under the old law it was dead sacrifices. But, my friends, we are commanded today to present our bodies a living sacrifice. That just simply says that we are to make ourselves available in the service of God in what ever time and what ever way and in what ever opportunity that we may have to serve our God we are willing. As Saul of Tarsus asked, after he was struck down upon the road to Damascus: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Ac 9:6) That should be the mind and the purpose and the desire and the intent of every one of us. We should ask the question: Lord what is it that you would have me to do? And search the Word of God to see what it is that He would have us to do and then willingly and obediently do it. In that we are presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice. We are presenting our bodies as "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Born. 12:1, 2) There is an hours discourse in that one statement.

Look at it! "Be not conformed to this world." That tells us that we cannot present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, if we conform to the world. We just can't do it. We may even have our names . . . we may come to the church, may be baptized, may have our name on the church role but if we conform our life to the world we are not presenting our bodies a living sacrifice holy, acceptable unto God.

But here is how we can do that: "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed." We can be transformed. How? "By the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." What our minds are intangled with or what it dwells upon as the result of that we are going to manifest it in our lives. If our minds are completely and totally immersed in the world and the things of the world that is what our life is going to be like. But is we renew, if we turn our minds to God and to the Word of God and search His Word and find in there what He would have us to do and then do it we can be transformed. That doesn't mean that we become new individuals that we become born of the Spirit of God for it is only those that have already been born of the Spirit of God that can do this and that the command is given to.

One other expression and I will dose. As we go to the second chapter of the Apostle Paul's' second letter to Timothy we find the apostle making this statement. "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." (2Ti 2:10) Now the apostle didn't say I endure all these things that have happened to me in order for somebody to get eternal glory but he said there is a salvation in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. And that is for God's people while we live in this world. Yes, there is a wonderful salvation through the preaching of the gospel, receiving of the gospel, obeying the gospel. There is a wonderful salvation with the child of God, or for the child of God, with that eternal glory that is in Christ Jesus. But I want to get on with the next expression. "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him." (2Ti 2:11) This is the same principle that I have been trying to talk to you about —that if when Christ died on the cross, if we were in Him, if our sins is what went to judgment in His body, we died with Him, we are certainly going to live with Him in glory. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him:" but look at this next expression, "if we deny Him, He also will deny us." Now is that saying that He is going to deny us in eternity? No, my friends, that is sure. That is certain. It comes as the result of what Christ did for us. But if we deny Him in this life, He will deny us. In what sense will He deny us? Christ sits as our advocate today pleading our cause to God the Father. He is our lawyer, our interceder, our go between and the only way that you and I can approach God's throne and beg mercy and get mercy is through the interceding of the Son of God Himself. But, my friends, if He doesn't intercede for us we won't get the mercy, instead we will get the chastening rod laid upon us. So, if we deny Christ — and how can we deny Him? By refusing to do what He tells us to do. And if we deny Him, the Scripture says that He will deny us. So, if we want Christ to be our advocate, our interceder, our go between: let us search the Word of God to find what it is we are suppose to do, how that we can live that we can be acceptable unto God. And in doing that Christ will intercede for us, will be our go between and we can be accepted of God in our service, in our daily lives, in the way that we live, and in that we will receive a wonderful blessing of peace of heart and mind that cannot be had any other way. So, if we find ourselves without that it must be that we are not presenting ourselves in the way that we should.

I haven't been able to present this like I wanted to, like I feel that it should be. But I hope that you have been enabled to understand at least to the degree that you can understand there is an acceptance when God accepted us but there is a way whereby that we should live in order that God would accept the offering that we offer in the service of God.

May God bless you is my prayer.


Adoption (1984, January-February)

Sermon preached by Elder Guy Hunt of Holly Pond, Alabama, on the 5th Sunday in July, 1983 at Big Harpeth Church, Franklin, Tennessee.

It is good to be able to be with you again this morning. We certainly enjoy¬ed the visitation with you on last evening and the love and fellowship that was shown in the good home and the feeling of fellowship that I have in being with you. How important it is.

As I looked upon this congregation this morning, I was just meditating upon how God directs His people, knowing that in a congregation of this size that there are afflictions; that there are, no doubt, other things that beckon for your attention this morning, and yet from all walks of life and from different sections of the hills and valleys around this area, God has impressed you individually to meet together as the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. And I began to think of the wonderment of it. I know we recognize the beauty and the power of the gospel of Christ as we are taught in the Scriptures of the great power thereof, but yet there is no power like the power of our God in directing His people and impressing them to turn out to hear the gospel which is still the very power of God.

I thought, well how many of these gathered this morning are members of the Old Baptist, and how many are not? I have no way of knowing, as I look upon this congregation. I cannot look in your face and tell whether or not you are, but did you know the Lord told the Apostle Peter. cave him directions to feed His sheep and to feed His lambs. He didn't say to put it out in a special manner to those who might be followers of Him in that manner, but He said: Feed my sheep. and feed my lambs, So, when the ministry come forth they recognize that they have been called and called of the Lord. and if they are called of the Lord, they have been called to feed the children of God, the sheep of the Lord. Then, as I oftentimes meditate, well, how do you feed them. In life, as we feed the babies, the mother feeds them or they are fed by a bottle and then as we get older, you know, we start using a spoon, spoon feed, and then use a fork and knife. You know, children are usually a pretty good age, or ours were, before we would let them have a sharp knife, you know. It would be dangerous to the eyes they might flip it around and stick themselves. Yet I think the best answer was given of the Lord there that the sheep and the lamb can eat from the same trough, as far as spiritually speaking. It doesn't hurt the sheep, they can eat from the same trough the lamb does. So you don't raise the trough up for the sheep, you just put it down so that they all eat out of the same trough. So we, as, if indeed, servants are a little peculiar about the way we come before the Lord's people. While we try to read and meditate upon God's Word and we might have a verse of Scripture upon our minds and yet when we get to the church house, there may be something else that. as the saying is, somewhat arrests our mind and fills our mind so that is what we speak upon. Because we do depend upon the Lord. We don't write anything out. I don't make any notes or outlines or anything like that in order to follow. If I am following the Spirit, the Spirit might be leading me one way and the outline might be leading me another way. So you have to be careful about that sort of thing. And then as we come, we recognize that I don't know. There is no way in the world, since I don't know you as an individual; don't even have any hint as to what would be best for me to speak to you about this morning. Even if I knew you, I'm not able to look into your heart as God is. But God is able to impress and does impress His ministers to preach the things that the People of God stand in need of. Many times I have come before the Lord's people and have preached and, I believe, with the blessing of the Lord, and someone would come around and tell me: you really got on my case today. You know, I didn't know any thing about their case as far as that personal revelation. Only the Lord is able to tell, and to cause a person to feel in their heart and soul that this is a message from the Lord; that that is not just Brother Guy, that is a message that God has given him and it is directed toward me because they feel it within; they feel the witness within saying: that is me, that is my God, that is my condition, that is what I need to do and so, therefore, the effectiveness of the gospel of Christ. That is the reason why that in the proclamation of the gospel of Christ that it is warm and it is Spiritual, and that it is refreshing; whereas, if you box something up, you know, after a while it gets stale. Even in a freezer, you know, after a while it seems like after a few years, it sorta loses something. So it is important to be directed of the Lord. He sends His ministers to feed His people. You say, well, how do we know that. Well, the Bible tells us "there was a man sent from God, whose name was John." (Joh 1:6) May we never forget that when someone is a proclaimer of the gospel of Christ and it has been revealed unto them those things that are neces¬sary for His people, that they were sent from God. Not from another source, but sent from God.

Now the reason that I come that way this morning (and you may say where in the world is he going, where is he headed), is because there have been about three different things on my mind this morning. I began to meditate and wonder and ask the Lord to bless me that my mind be upon some particular thing that might be profitable unto the people of God, and that I might be blessed of Him to bring it forth in the demonstration of the Spirit and of the power of God. To add to my dilema, as I came before you this morning, and, of course, as you read and study the Scriptures and then you begin to meditate upon something, sometimes you will go back and read it again and then again. Sometimes, you will be reading the Scriptures and the Lord will reveal something to you as you read. I had the dilema this morning: as I picked up the Bible and began to read in the Old Testament, I thought, well, is this the very thing, is this what the Lord is possibly directing me in this morning? There being two different subjects in that particular chapter, I thought, well, I will turn over in the New Testament and read a while. I got over in the New Testament and began to read and there was the same two things in that particular chapter that was taught and yet there is not a way in the world to preach on all of them in the limited time that we have.

But, I trust it is of the Lord. I have tried to talk upon the subject before that I would like to introduce to you. It is something that is very precious. Reading from the 4th chapter of the book of Galatians and beginning with the 1st verse: "Now, I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." Then the apostle goes on in instructing the Galatian brethren of how that they had turned from these things the Lord has given them unto the weak and beggarly elements of the world. But I think that he pointed out to them just where their substance and their life came from and what the Lord had done for them and what the blessings were as a result of what God had done. Last night, as I attempted to speak of the death of Christ and the effect of that death and how different it is from the ef¬fect of our death, I would like to meditate this morning and think upon those blessings that are a result of what the Lord has done, because I think they are special and I think as we study the doctrines of the Bible and begin to un¬derstand more about the doctrine of Grace and how it affects His people and how the blessings do flow solely from the hand of God, we become to be in a better attitude and a better mind to give God the praise and the honor and the glory that is due unto His name.

I think that in a particular sense this morning. I would like for you to notice that he said, "when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law." Made of a woman, made under the law. When the fulness of the time was come. I think we should always point out to the Lord's people that this thing is in the hands of God. It had not been turned over to someone else. He said, "when the fulness of the time was come." Repre¬sentative that God had said that this thing would come to pass. It is revealed in the Old Testament Scriptures in the types and shadows and figures of Old Testament times about. how that God would come and how He would be born into the world and the effects of His birth and of His death and of His resurrection In fact, it is so clearly written as to the coming of the Lord that when Herod the Icing had heard that this thing. that something, had happened that a King was born in Bethlehem of Judea. he sent for the Scriptures and had him read to find out how He would come and where and what was the prophecy of old. Even though I don't understand him to be a believer of the truth. he had enough respect for those Old Testament Scriptures and the prophecy of them that he felt like he could find out something about how He would be born. Now; he thought he could change it. He felt like that if this thing had happened, I can change it. If a King has been born then I can take His life because I have got all this power. But I think that is something that sometimes people begin to overestimate their power. Herod the King is not the only one that ever overestimated his power. Many of God's children in the world today overestimate their own power as to what they are going to be able to do, not only for themselves, but for other people. I think this is very detrimental to the peace and happiness and the welfare of His people in the world: I have always felt like we should study and beg of the Lord that we would know something about how God had dealt with His people; what the Lord had done and at the same time to know what we are able to do and not to think that we are able to do the things that t he Lord can do and especially not spend cur time trying to do the things the Lord had already got done. Now I think it is important for us to recognize these things.

So he said, "In the fulness of time." That let's me know, as I said and I emphasize again, that God was in charge. That He sent forth His own Son, born of a woman, and born under the law. Born of a woman that He might redeem those that were under the law. Now we recognize that He kept the law. as our saying is, to a jot and a tittle; that He kept it in its completeness. He came and He fulfilled the very things of the law. As we begin to meditate, then, and to see that He came, and there is a reason He came. Sometimes people say, well, I don't understand why He came. Well, tell you exactly why He came and what was behind every bit of it. That was the love that God had for His people. This is the reason why. There was that covenant that was made that He would come into the world in the time appointed of the Lord, the fulness of time. When that time came He would be born into the world, born of a woman. that He might redeem those that were under the law. So this is in the hand of God.

We read in the Scriptures where He tells us that He has predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto Himself and that to the praise of His glory. So we see, then, that predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, as we read in another Scripture, predestinated unto the adop¬tion of children. Did 'you know that means the same thing? As far as the fulness of that thing is concerned, to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus and to be predestinated unto the adoption of sons, means the joys and the pleasures are the same in each category. Now they have some difference in meaning as far as that is concerned; as far as our understanding of them is concerned because the likeness of Jesus means something in a particular sense and I trust we will be blessed to speak some words concerning that.

He spoke in a particular sense here. He said, "to redeem them that were under the law." "To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." "To redeem them that were under the law." To pay the debt, to bring those that were in bondage who had sold themselves, the Bible says, for naught. He says you have sold yourselves for naught and yet we, selling ourselves and selling ourselves under sin, as we fell under sin in the Garden of Eden and being sold for naught, and yet He said He had come to redeem us. He came to redeem us, and we know that there are the laws that God gave to those individuals in the garden. We recognize that there are laws of service that God gave unto Moses and told them how they should worship Him and how, that the Jewish nation should worship the Lord and keep His laws and follow in His commandents. We recognize all of those things. But he says here that I have done this "that we might receive the adoption of sons."

I think it is important, this morning, for us to recognize that Jesus did something and He did it for a cause. He did; He redeemed us that we might receive the adoption of sons. Then doesn't it stand to reason that if He had not done this then we would not have received the adoption of sons? I think that they must go together. I think that we must recognize that had He not done what He did, we would not have received the adoption of sons. There is not a way in the world that we would have had that closeness with God.

As we begin to meditate and to think about the reception of the adoption of sons, I think that it is good that we begin to think about the adoption of children. How that comes about. How that it is brought about. Now, we understand something about the adop¬tion of children as far as this world is concerned. There, very possibly, in a congregation of this size, are some adoptive children in the audience, I don't know. I think it is a very beautiful doctrine. We read in the 8th chapter of the book of Romans where, I believe, maybe it is even here in this chapter in Galatians where He talks about the Spirit of Adoption. It is in the 6th verse, I believe it is, where He tells us that He has given us the Spirit of Adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Now that is a condition in which we are in, brethren. We have the Spirit of Adop¬tion. We recognize what God has done and what it means to us because of what He has done, by His death, as we talked about last night, His great love and His death, His burial and His resurrection and what we have received as a result of His coming here into the world. It is important, then, that we recognize that we have received something as a result of what Christ did.

Now there is a lot of thought been given, that Christ did all of this and He just really did all He could and if we are going to ever receive something, then there is something for us to do to receive it. Now this is something we received because of what God did. He did this that we might receive the adoption of sons. Doesn't mean now that you are going to reach out and take it or anything like that, but when He did it, we received it. That is exactly what He is talking about. Exactly what He is talking about. We received the adoption of sons because He came here into this world and bled and died. You might say; well how in the world, then, did we receive it? You know, we receive everything from the hand of God. We were found . .. the Lord's people and the objects of His love were found worthy to receive the adoption of sons because of the works of Christ, because of the works of Christ and no: according to the works of man. Now I think that it is important for us to remember that the work of adoption had already begun; that not only was it predetermined of the Lord that we would be adopted but that it is also the pleasure of the Lord that we have the Spirit of Adoption while we live here in the world. why we cry, Abba, Father.

We are also taught in the 8th chapter of the book of Romans about the final adoption, when "the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Ro 8:21) I think that it is well and important that we recognize that what the Lord has begun, He will carry out and He will finish it unto the very end. I wouldn't want to tell you this morning that the adoption hasn't started. Though I know that it hasn't been completed as far as the full work of God is concerned. Oftentimes, individuals and possibly we may become confused, and possibly it is the fault of we ministers sometimes, because when we talk about what Christ said on the tree of the cross, when He said: It is finished, it is finished, we are talking about the work that the Lord had given Him to do at that time; that He had completed that work and that in His death He had finished the redemption of that of His people. But, we are not talking about or saying that there was nothing else that the Lord would ever do. No, because I think you recognize that there was that time when old Stephen was stoned to death that he saw the Lord standing at the right hand of God on high. Yes, we are taught in the Scripture that He sat down, but this time, old Stephen saw Him standing. I want to tell you that the work of the Lord is not yet over because we are not yet in the eternal embrace of heaven and all that it will mean after a while. But I want you to know that the work has begun and that the Lord has carried it out accoring to His plan and according to His purpose and that it is carried out over the head of all opposition; that there was none to help; that there was none that He could look upon; that in dealing with His people, He didn't send a message by someone else. He said, "I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, and I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live." (Eze 16:6) to let you know that He is the One that carries out His work. He is the One that does it.

Now, as we begin to study this, since the adoption is not completed and it is already done, what in the world are we talking about? Well, we are talking about the benefits of adoption. That is what we are talking about. We are talking about the benefits of adoption now. The Bible tells us how that we are born of God. We know that there is a difference in being born into a family and adopted into a family. We recognize that difference. We don't have to go into the details of the difference of it but those that are adopted into a family, we know that they have a different physical make-up. They have different blood that flows through their very being. We recognize that as far as our natural parents are concerned, we are bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh so there is a difference and I think that we need to recognize this difference. I don't suppose there has probably been any young child in the world that has grown up in a family, a large family, but what he has the thought: I wonder if I was adopted. Especially if they felt like they were having to do a little more work than somebody else. I think some of those fairy tales, you know, over the years, where someone really didn't belong to someone so they gave them all the dirty work, but, brethren, that is not the doctrine of adoption, at all. I want to show you, in a moment, that that is not the doctrine of adoption for a child to be adopted into a family, naturally, here in the world. That is not the way of adoption, in a natural sense, when a family brings a child in the love and admiration that I know that families bring children in as adopted children. I think that it is important for us to recognize this. You know, as far as being born is concerned, we may be born into a poor family or we may be born in to a rich family. You know, we don't have any control over that. We didn't choose our parents, naturally, here in the world. We didn't choose our father and we didn't choose our mother, but we were born into that family. I suppose most of us have known the poverty of our youth. I remember, oftentimes, you know, you think about people that are rich and all of that, but how well I remember times in my life when my father would give me the last dime that he had for me to get some paper in school or something like that, but you know, how rich that was —even in the poverty and I wouldn't have exchanged him for all the riches there are in the world. When it comes to that of the family of God and we begin to talk about_ adoption, we remember that we were born into this world and born of the very flesh of Adam; that sin dwells in this very being of ours; that as David spoke of it in the long ago when he said, "I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Ps 51:5) to let us know that we are just little Adamites here in the world; that as far as our relationship with God is concern¬ed, it takes the same power of God to bring us from that, that natural to the spiritual. It takes the power of God to bring us from the natural to the spiritual and there is a difference.

He said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (Joh 3:6) I want to recognize something here: that we were poor as far as those things that really mean anything, but the Bible tells us of the Lord, that He made Himself poor that we might be rich. (2Co 8:9) He made Himself poor that we might be rich. I want you to see the very work of the Lord. He said He redeemed us from under the law that we might receive the adoption of sons. What he is telling us is: He died, He made Himself poor unto death that we might come from the poverty of this condition unto the riches that there is in the Lord. And so it is. We oftentimes think, then, when children are naturally adopted here in the world, adopted into a family, and I remember one of the things that we always investigated, you know, was to make sure, always ordered and directed an investigation to find out if those prospec¬tive adoptive parents were able to care for that child to give them the things of life that they stood in need of, whether they were financially and morally able to provide for them the things that they would stand in need of that they might grow to be a good citizen of our land. In an investigation, you must investigate that to find out because you certainly don't want a child's condition — bringing him from an orphange or somewhere, putting him into a family to make their condition, their latter condition worse than the first. But I want to tell you right now that when we begin to investigate this thing as far as the Lord is concerned, we find that their condition is better. They are brought from poverty to riches. They are brought from a need of everything to a place where they have a lack of nothing.

Oh, how much different it is, how much different it is to be brought from a lack of everything, from a need of everthing, to having a lack of nothing; to be brought from poverty to be brought to riches; be redeemed into the family. And, oh, the spirituality of it. I have seen them come down the aisles of the grand old church rich in the grace of God; showing forth the things that the Lord had given them. Maybe they were a young couple rearing their children in the world, but they come as poverty-stricken individuals and yet those who received them recognized that they were rich in the Lord. Why do they come in that . why don't they come with their chest out and boastful, saying, Oh, I've done this for the Lord, I'm going to be able, if you'll just take me into the church. I'll do all this glorious work. Well, brethren, I'll tell you, it has something to do with the richness of the Spirit within. The Lord said "he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." (Mt 23:12) Yes, there is something that God gives within an individual that allows him at the same time to see the beauty of their King and of their Saviour and they are also able to see that they are nothing without Him. You talk about something that will keep somebody humble. I'll tell you that will do it. When you see that you are nothing without the Lord and you are everything with Him, I'll tell you, you are not going to get very boastful of yourself.

I'll tell you what right now, you can do some boasting, alright and it's alright to do it. I believe it was David who said, "In God we boast all the day long." (Ps 44:8) You know, that is as long as we live. "In God we boast all the day long." So then, the attitude of this individual is the same kind of attitude that was exhibited when David the King inquired if there was one from the House of Saul that he might be able to show them mercy for Jonathan's sake; that he might be able to do them good for Jonathan's sake. Do you know what that means? That means when we receive the blessings of the Lord it comes through Christ. All the blessings God gives us is for the sake of Christ, and not for something that we have done. I don't care how close we may walk to those things that are right, when we receive a blessing from the hand of God it comes through Christ, we don't come to deserve something from the very hand of God. Mephibosheth, you know, they said, yes, there is one over there. He is just a little cripple boy. I can just see that now, saying, oh, you don't want to send for him, he's not ... if there was one that was tall or something like that, well maybe you would want to send for him. but this is a little crippled boy. He said, go and fetch him. And that little fellow . . you know, back in that day and age when one king, a lot of time, took over from another king, they would not only kill the king but all of his sons and all of his daughters. They would kill all of them. I can see that little boy now, He said, they ain't going to do me in. He sent for me and he is going to do me in. He came in very fearful and he bowed down to the king. The king said, thou shalt eat bread at the king's table all the days of thy life. The little fellow said, "What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I," that I would find mercy and be fed at the king's table? 2Sa 9) Oh, the attitude of an individual, coming from poverty and having need of everything to be brought in the spirit of adoption, as it were into the King's house, and to be told that you would be fed at the King's take all the days of your life! Now, if that won't cause you to rejoice in the Lord, if that won't cause you to want to live in the Lord's church, to live faithful unto the cause and the kingdom of God and live humbly here in this world, I just don't know what it would take. It's a glorious view. It's the best view in the world that the Lord's child can ever have is to see themselves in poverty as far as the flesh is concerned; separated from God in every way and every manner, not even worthy of the very least of God's blessings and then to be brought from that into the family of God in that manifest sense and to be blessed with the riches of God's blessings and to be blessed to live in the King's house.

David said, upon one occasion, and let me just throw this out, I believe it will cause you to feel good because David said, "Blessed is the man whom thou (the Lord) choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee." He said, "We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house." (Ps 65:4) "Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest and causest to approach unto Thee." "We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house." So we see that the Lord has chosen. We see that He has caused us to approach unto Him in only the way that the Lord does, and then he says, "We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house." When I look and see what I am by nature, when I look and see how poverty stricken and how unworthy I am by the nature within me and I am blessed to turn and to see the riches as I enjoy the fellowship with His people and I am able to see those views from the top of Zion's Hill and I trust to enjoy communion with God, when I feel peace within my soul, I tell you right now, what a wonderful and glorious view it is. What a wonderful blessing it is just to realize then that because of what the Lord did, we received the adoption of sons.

Now, it sounds like, as the Lord was talking about the fulness of time, as he goes on in the next verse then, it sounds like that we received something because we are something. Well, in fact, that is exactly what he says. "And because ye are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Ga 4:6) "Because ye are sons." Because the Lord has loved you with an everlasting love; because He died for you upon the tree of the cross, He sent forth His Spirit into your heart, crying, Abba Father. Did you ever stop and think about that? That the Spirit of God that He sends forth in the manifest¬ation of His love to us is because that we are something in the Lord. Not to make us something, but because we are, He sends it forth, manifesting it to us. We are born again characters, manifested as to what we are spiritually and by adoption rather than what we are by nature. You know, I need to have those views of what I trust I am by the adoption into the family of God. I have a lot of views of what I am by nature, because if you begin to think about it sometimes and you are out in the world and you are working for a livelihood, about how much more time you spend out there in the world and hearing the things of the world and dealing with the things of the world than you do in the House of God; just how much difference there is in the time. Just very little of our life that we really spend in the House of the Lord. That is the reason why we just don't need to miss. Because, at the very least, we spend very little time in the House of the Lord.

So, as we go on and begin to notice and begin to think about the adoption, then, and we know then that he told us that he bought us by the redemption that we might receive the adoption of sons which is something that is extra¬ordinary; something that is special. Adoption is something that is special. It is not something ordinary, it is some¬thing special. When the adoption comes about, it doesn't mean that when we are adopted into a family and say, as an example, that when we are brought from poverty to riches, doesn't mean that when we are adopted into that family that all the riches of that family are dumped on us at one time. We couldn't take it. We just couldn't take it if all the riches of the glory of God was put upon you when He manifested Himself unto you. You couldn't take it and I couldn't take it. How do I know? Well, I don't have to go very far, to find that out. Go over to old Moses over there, he said, "I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory." Lord, just let me see thy face. Oh, he was up in the mountain. He said: Let me see thy face, and the Lord said, No one has ever seen my face and lived, but He said, "I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen." (Ex 33:18-23. Those things that have already come to pass and those things that have already been revealed. I will let you look upon those. And Moses looked upon the hinder parts of the Lord there and when he wen: down to the Camps of Israel they said: Put a veil upon thy face. Ex 34:29-35, Oh. the glory that was upon his face. We wouldn't be able to handle all the riches if God poured them out upon us at one time. but I want to tell you right now, He tells us that He has given us "the earnest of our inheri¬tance.- He said. "until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory." (Eph 1:14) Yes, he says, "ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest of our inheritance." "Which is the earnest of our inheritance.- I'm going to tell you this morning. those who are adopted into the family of God don't have to wait for the glory world to receive some of the blessings. because they are right here in time, no more than, as I saw many times, those children adopted into those fami¬lies and maybe they were just a little babe, sometimes they were small chil¬dren, but those parents didn't open up their bank accounts and say we are gonna give you everything we have got right here and right at this time. As I said, -they wouldn't be able to take it. If you could see the glories of heaven this morning, if you could see the glories of that heavenly world, you wouldn't want to stay one more moment here in the world. If we could see the beauties of heaven as it is, we could face death a whole lot better, but we are able to look through a glass darkly (1Co 13:12) and. brethren, that is all we can stand, to look through a glass darkly. In the same manner that we cannot look at the sun for very long without being blinded by it. we could not look at the glory of the Lord except through a glass darkly. But, as I said, when those children are adopted into that natural family, then they begin to receive the goodness of that house: begin to receive, as Mephibosheth, begin to sit down at the king's table to have plenty to eat. Many children are brought or adopted into a family who had been without very much to eat and they. maybe, being mistreated in life often¬times, and brought into a family where there is love and where there is plenty to eat. Oh! how much better it was. I want you to know that there is provision made for them when they grow older in life, There are provisions made when they become of the age of majority in most families and especially in rich families. There is something special about the adoption decrees, those adoptions in our state, and I suppose the same way in the State of Tennessee, are based upon Biblical principles and there is . . . you know, when you have children that are born to you naturally in the world, many times, when the will is made and it is brought before the court, there may be one of those children who has misbe¬haved or something and they may be left out of the will; they may be left out because parents have the right to leave whatever they have worked for and whatever they have accrued, to whom¬ever they please. But when that adoption decree comes up, that adoption decree is very specific and it states that they agree that this adopted child shall inherit as if it were their own children and they cannot disinherit. So I believe that God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that there would be someone come along sometime that would say, Oh, the Lord can disinherit a child that is born into His family just like we could, but He strengthened that thing by the doctrine of adoption, to let us know that, I'm the One that chose; I chose you to be my child; I brought you into my family. Yes, I know you have been born of fleshly parents here in the world, but I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have provided a way so that the finality of the mortality of your flesh will not end our relationship. I have provided a way that I am going to deliver you conqueror over death and the grave into the bright and glorious realities of heaven.

Yes, as I begin to look at it then, begin to see the beauty of that adoption cannot be disinherited. I want you to know that is the doctrine of the Bible. The Lord said, speaking of that, disin¬herited, he said, though we deny Christ . . . "if we believe not, yet He abideth faithful; He cannot deny Himself." (2Ti 2:13) What is He talking about? We are within Him. If He denied one of the objects of His love, He would be denying Himself. The Bible don't say that He may; it said "He cannot deny Himself " Oh, the beauty of adoption then. We cannot deny a child that is adopted into our family because if we do, we deny ourselves, as it were. As I said, that adoption doesn't mean that all of these riches come into the storehouse at one time. The parents, oftentimes, will set up their wealth in that of a trust. You know what that trust is? That trust means at that time when they are able to fulfill their obligations of majority, that they will be able to handle all of the riches of the parents' house, all of the things that they may have been blessed with . . . well, I want to tell you right now, they will leave that thing in trust. They will say, now they can live off the interest of it. We will allow them to live off the interest. We will provide for them while they are growing to their majority. The Lord has provided for His people while they are growing to that majority; that time when the harvest time shall come when death shall claim these vile bodies of ours, God has provided for us until that time. How do I know? David said, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread." (Ps 37:25) "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." (Isa 49:15) Oh, I know that He has provided.

A precious old sister in the nursing home there, she will soon be 99 years old. How many times, I remember, as a child, and my mom and dad, we would stop by, we didn't have telephones back then, and they would ask her, said, "Aunt Nett, do you want to go to church?" She would say, "give me just a minute." She always told us, said, "all I've got to do is get behind the door and turn my dress over and I'm ready to go." I go down there to the nursing home and she is just lying there now, but the thing that brings peace to her face and you can tell joy to her heart as you begin to talk to her again about the _grand old church and the goodness of the Lord and I can tell you that in her afflictions, the Lord has not forsaken her. He is still blessing her with that peace and that refreshing of soul. Oh yes, I know, that the Lord provides and He provides richly, but even that precious old sister and all the sweetness of her life is not yet able to take all that of the great riches of God. No, but some day soon she will. She will be at rest with the Lord to await that grand and glorious morning as all of us will await if we are not still alive and remain here when the Lord shall come back to gather up those of His jewels. The point I want to make is when I tell you that the great riches of the Lord, that we are not able to receive them here while we are in this body of flesh. I don't want you to think that you don't have enought; I don't want you to think that you don't have plenty. I want to tell you, young man and young woman that are rearing your children in the world, the Church and the gloriousness of the blessings of God is enough. Oh, I know you go through tribulations as you try to adjust to the problems of life that you have, but I want to tell you that it is enough —I want to tell you, it is enough. The Lord . . . because I've walked those paths. I know it is enough. When the little children are born into the family my wife and I have a special blessing. I suppose that you would Look at it in having a little retarded girl born into our life and into our family, but oh how it has made us appreciate the greatness of God in hearing that little girl sing the grand old songs of Zion. Oftentimes, when brethren haven't heard her sing and they sit by her and remember one Communion Service there were those that were not members of the Church sitting back in the back of the house with her and they had never heard her sing those old sons and as they sang those old songs in the Communion Service, that little clear voice singing them with all the beauties of a choir from heaven, but it will let you know, brethren, that yes we have afflictions here in this world, but the Lord still provides. I'm not going to tell you you won't have afflictions. I can't tell you you won't die with cancer. I can't tell you that you won't have sorrows here in this world, but I want to tell you this morning that God provides enough. He gives you of His grace. He said, "My is sufficient." (2Co 12:9) He didn't say it would come a little bit short, but He said it is sufficient, brethren. I recall old Brother Jacob in the long ago, when he thought that his son, Joseph, was dead. You remember how the other boys did him? They said, when they brought his coat of many colors, they said that surely the animals have killed him and so all of these years old Jacob thought, "my son is dead." But when the boys came and they told him that "Thy son, Joseph, is alive." He said, I won't believe, I can't believe this. They said, low, the wagons and they were loaded with the bounty. He said, "It is enough." (Ge 45:28) It is enough, I see the evidence now. When we are blessed to see the evidence of the blessings of adoption that we are blest to see ourselves as being heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ and in all our afflic¬tions, we must say, "it is enough." "It is enough!"

But, you know, as I began to notice. as far as the blessings of the Lord, and I have alluded several times to the fact that we are not able to handle all of the wealth of the family because we haven't reached the age of majority. We are just not able to handle it so it is left in trust. You know what that means? We can't waste it. I want to tell you that you have an inheritance in heaven, the Apostle Peter spoke about, that you can't waste. I know there are a lot of people in the world that think by wrongful living here in the world you can waste your inheritance on the other side. I tell you what you can waste is the interest and the foretaste of it, you can lose it all, you can turn your back upon the Lord and you are not going to get the interest of it, but your inheritance is on the other side and just as sure as you are adopted into the family of God, if you waste all the interest, when the time of majority comes, you are going to get all the riches.

Well, the Bible tells us if we are heirs of God, we are joint heirs with Christ. Do you know what joint heir means? That don't mean equal, now. I know some of the new versions of the Bible that people have written speaks of it as equal heirs. But I want you to remember that that is the reason why you need to stay with the King James _Version. There is a whole lot of difference in being equal and joint. If you had 160 acres of land and four children and you left every one of them 40 acres, at your death, they would be equal heirs. Every one of them would have 40 acres. But, if you have 160 acres and four children and you say: children, I'm going to leave all of you the 160 acres. All 160 acres of it belongs to all four of them. When the Lord said you are joint heirs with Christ, just means whatever be¬longs to the Lord also belongs to us in that heavenly kingdom after while. That is the reason why we can't waste that inheritance. The Apostle Peter said, "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 resurrec¬tion of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." (1Pe 1:3-4.) Bre¬thren, that just means it can't be lost. He said incorruptible, undefiled and that fadeth not away. It is sure. It is sure.
There is something else that I think is very beautiful. I, many times, and I for twelve years in my county, signed adoption papers. I don't know how many times I put my name on the decree of the court to give authenticity to adoption into families here in the world. How well I remember the times of the tears in their eyes and the joys that it brought about. I would like to remember this morning that the things that the Lord has done for His people are things of joy, they are things that bring joy to the hearts of His people, it is a time of rejoicing. We don't need to go around with long faces. Even when I come to look upon my own father and my mother, cold in death, it was a time of tears and sadness, but not a time for long faces because I knew it wasn't the end; that there was something better on the other side. At the same time we have tears of sadness, we have joys of gladness. Oh, what the Lord does for us. But, you know, of all those decrees that I have signed, I was never ever able to change the blood in that child to be the same kind of blood that ran through the veins of the adoptive parents. I didn't have that power, but I want to remind you that God does have the power. He is able to take that that is fleshly and that that is nature and make it spiritual. He is able to change that, not exchange it. We read in the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, he said, "It," this body, "is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body." (1Co 15:42-44) The Lord is able to change it. I didn't have the power, but He does. That is the reason why heaven will be populated by the objects of His love, because He is able to change them. Did you know that the Bible says "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (heaven)." (1Co 15:50) That means that as long as the filthiness is there, heaven will not be our home. Even though we have that purity within which we spoke of last night, the purity of heart which is Christ within us the hope of glory. But I joy in the very fact that all of that that separates us, between us and our God will be left behind in the grave; that all sin and iniquity, that all of those things that have troubled us, the afflictions of the body or mind, I'm certainly happy and glad this morning that I believe the Bible to teach that though we be afflicted here in this world, whether it be of mind or body, brethren, I want to tell you that right now, we are not going to need any special education folks on the other side; we are not going to need any crutches or wheelchairs and you are not going to be old enough to need a rocking chair, because it is a land where we will never grow old. Oh, it is a land of perfection. It is a land where the Lord is and all the riches and all the glories of the Lord will be revealed unto His people on the other side.

I'm glad though that we have the evidence of it while we journey along. You know what the earnest of our inheritance is? We sell a few houses down there once in a while and they will say, well, how much earnest money do you want? You may say, well, a thousand or five thousand dollars. You know what that means? That seals the deal. Lets everybody know that the deal has been made and every little child of Grace here in the world that has ever felt the closeness of the Lord and a desire toward the Church. a desire to live there among the Lord's people — that is the earnest of their inheritance., lets :hem know that the deal was made: the Lord died for them and they have an inheritance on the other side. You won't ever draw any interest or earnest here in this world off of an inheritance unless you have got it over there. If you believe you can draw some interest off some money and not have any (money), you just go down to the bank tomorrow morning and tell them: I want my interest, in a bank where you don't have an account. and I'll tell you, they will tell you . . . they will call the law because they will figure you are fixing to rob the place or something. They will think you are crazy. Well, I want to tell you right now, that is the reason why that if you have ever felt the need to pray; if you have ever fell upon your knees and said. Lord. be merciful to me, a poor sinner: if you have ever felt the need to pray for someone; if you have ever felt something special when you walked into the Church House and sat under the sound of the glorious gospel — I want to tell you: you have got an inheritance! You have got a home in heaven. This is the evidence of it to you while you live here in the world.

May we always remember that this body will not be exchanged, but it will be changed. It will be changed and I glory in the very fact of how it is coming about. I know that there is a lot of confusion in the world today about how it is going to be when the Lord comes back. There are a lot of people who feel like He is going to come here and reign on the earth a thousand years, and He is going to do this and that. My Bible, from the book of Thessalonians, tells me exactly how it is going to be: that He will "descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so we shall ever be with the Lord." (1Th 4:16-17) Didn't say a word about coming back down here it said: "So shall we ever be with the Lord." Brethren, I want to tell you, when my Lord descends from heaven with a shout, that means that these old bodies, wherever they are, in the cemeteries, whether we know where they are or not, the boys that were buried in the depth of the sea, will come forth in the likeness of sweet Jesus and there is not going to be any more troubles; not going to be any more sorrows, but it is going to be perfect bliss for those, everyone of them, who have been adopted into His precious family. They are going to have the riches of that inheritance. They are going to be able to sing praise to the King and live with Him evermore.

May the Lord bless you. Come to see us when you can.

Adoption (1988, March-April)

Adoption (1988, March-April)

Sermon preached by Elder Harold Hunt of Maryville, Tennessee, at the Cincinnati, Ohio Meeting, October 1987. (This is tape #062.007 and can be ordered from Jo Ann Cayce, P. O. Box 38, Thornton, AR 71766. The price of the cassette tape is $2.50 postpaid.)

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath Messed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." (Eph 1:3-5)

I can not think of a subject in the Bible that forever so long I had more difficulty in understanding than the subject of adoption. But for that matter I doubt that there is a simpler subject in the Bible than adoption. The problem that arose in my mind in trying to understand that principle is: if we are born of the Spirit of God, then why is it necessary for us to be adopted. My wife and I have four natural born children and the thought of adopting those children has never entered our mind. If I were to tell somebody that is what we wanted to do folks would go around talking about Harold Hunt. But the Bible does teach that we are born of the Spirit of God and the Bible does certainly teach the principle of adoption. Now I will not tell you that it took me a long time to figure that out because I am not entirely sure that I have ever figured out anything about this Book. You know I read a lot, I pray and I meditate, and I read and I pray and I meditate then one day the light dawns. Those things that I put together usually fall apart. But, after awhile, sometimes, some things fall into place. Now the problem that I had was simply this: adoption is a much bigger subject than I was able to put in the little cubbyhole that I had provided for it. After awhile I discovered that outside of the subject of God Himself that the subject of adoption is probably the broadest subject in the Book. The adoption began in eternity past it will be concluded in eternity to come and it involves every thing that God does for His children in between. What is adoption anyway? What does it signify for a child to be adopted? Adoption simply signifies taking out of one family and being put into another family.

Now we are by nature the children of Adam. We are the descendants of Adam. We are all descendants of our great, great, great, great granddaddy Adam and for that matter we are all by nature kinfolks. We are all partakers of the same nature. All partakers of the sin of Adam. You know I have thought several times if a person has kinfolks that are rich or famous, very often, it will very conveniently come up in their conversation to mention some of their famous kinfolks. Well, I will tell you I have got some mighty famous kinfolks. You remember old King Pharaoh, who had all those little Hebrew babies killed? That was a distant cousin ofmine. Very, very, very distant but he was kinfolks. King Herod had all the little babies from two years old and under killed. He was kinfolks. He was your kinfolks too. Adolf Hitler, a distant cousin of mine. You see you and I came out of a mighty rough family. But we are, by grace, taken out of that family and we are, by grace, members of God's family.

Now let me ask you: In adoption, what is the very first act of adoption? After you have determined to adopt a child the very first act of adoption is that you chose the child to be adopted, or the children to be adopted. Could you imagine that my wife and I might decide to adopt children and we would put a notice in the paper: To whom it may concern, Harold and Doris Hunt intend to adopt a child, anybody interested in being adopted be at the Blount County Court House next Tuesday morning at 9:00 o'clock. This is not the way it is done. That is not the way it is done. But I hear folks talking as if that is the way God does it. No, that is not the way God does it either. You see election is the first act of adoption. The first act of adoption is the choice of the child to be adopted. You see adoption is the huge framework in which all the rest of it fits. That is what he starts out with here in this passage.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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: having predestinated us unto the adoption ." You see the choice of the child, Election, is the very first act of adoption.

Now then involved in any adoption there is some legal work that has to be taken care of. You can not just drive down the street and see an attractive little child walking along and decide well I think I will adopt that little boy and you invite him into your car and you drive off. That is not the way it is done. That is not the way it is done. There is some legal work that has to be taken care of, the natural parents claim has to be satisfied. Two of the most unhappy people, I think I ever knew were two people there in Maryville who took a little boy to raise without ever adopting him legally. His mother didn't care any thing about him, she didn't care much about herself, and she gave this little boy to this couple to raise. They were very poor people. They were just barely able to provide for themselves. But they provided this little boy a place in their home, they showered him with their love and they provided him with every thing they were possibly able to provide for him. But one day his mother had changed her ways, she changed her mind about the little boy and she came to get him. They would have just as soon cut off their right arm as to give that little follow up but the adoption was never legal and binding. The claim of the natural parents had to be satisfied. When she came to get the little boy all they could do was to give him up.

Now there were some claims that had to be satisfied. That is what the Lord Jesus Christ was doing on the cross of Calvary. He was taking care of the legal work of our adoption. Isaiah said: "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied." (Isa 53:11) Every attribute of God is satisfied in the salvation of His people. The love of God is satisfied because everyone that God loved will be there. The love, the mercy, the grace of God will be satisfied because every subject that He has loved, every subject of His grace, every subject of His mercy will be there. But the justice of God will be satisfied because every sin will have been paid for. I hear some folks preach as if God sacrifices justice in order to be merciful. I hear folks preach as if God says to justice, Now justice you be still, justice don't you say a word, justice I am going to save this child and there is nothing you can do about it. The justice of God is satisfied in the salvation of His people.

Now you may go blazing off down the interstate at ninety miles an hour and after while the patrolman catches you and pulls you over and writes you a ticket. Then you go before the judge and you say, Now Judge I don't know why I did that I don't make a habit of driving that way I have never driven that fast before, and, Judge, I promise, I promise if you will let me off I will never do this again. And the judge tears up the ticket and he says that is alright don't you worry about it we will take care of it. Now that is mercy but there is not an ounce of justice in that. I hear people preach as if that is the way that God saves people, as if God said: now don't you worry about it, that is alright, I am going to fix it. Now God is not a judge off out there somewhere fixing speeding tickets. The justice of God is satisfied in the salvation of His people. There is no chance that on that final day the justice of God will step forward and say that child is mine lie owes a debt to me, I have a claim against him: I demand what is mine. There is no chance, you see. You see the justice of God is satisfied. It is satisfied in the salvation of His people. That is what the Lord was doing at Calvary. He was taking care of the legal work. He was taking care of the legal aspects of this adoption.

Now there is some expense involved in adoption. Adoption is not free, there is some legal work necessary and the legal work has to be paid for. That is where redemption comes in. Paul talks about that in the Galatian letter, he said: "When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." (Ga 4:4) Do you see the redemption was the expense of our adoption? To redeem means to buy back, to pay the price and that is what the Lord Jesus Christ was doing on Calvary, He was taking care of the expense of it. He was paying the price. "Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body; and in your spirit, which are God's." (1Co 6:20) God bought us, He paid for us, He paid the redemption price and He is going to have what is His. Every now and then you and I pay a price and we don't receive entire value for our purchase price. But I will tell you God is going to have what He paid for.

The purchase price that the Lord Jesus Christ gave on the cross of Calvary was the most expensive transaction this old world has ever known. For "you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ." (1Pe 1:18-19)

You know when God created this old world it did not tax His energy in the least. I use to think that God rested on the seventh day because He was tired. He didn't rest on the seventh day because He was tired, He rested because He was through. Now God could have created ten million worlds like this and never taxed His energy in the least. When God created this old world He just created so much gold and silver. There is not a bit more gold and silver in the world today than there was the day He created it. Gold has always been a unit of exchange. But God could have created ten million worlds like this, if He had chosen to, and He could have made every mountain on every world of gold and God could have given ten million worlds a solid gold mountain for my redemption and yours and that would have been such a small price, such a small price to pay compared with the price that He did pay for our redemption. God gave the very best that heaven had for my redemption and yours. God could have given ten million worlds of solid gold mountains and that would have been a bargain basement price, that would have been pocket change compared to the price that He did pay. There was some expense involved in our redemption, our adoption, and the Lord paid that price.

Now then when you or I adopt a child we are somewhat limited in what we are able to do for that adopted child. We give that child our name. We give it a place in our home. We shower that child with our love. We do everything that we conceivably can for that child but there are some things that you can not do. You cannot give that child the color of your eyes. You can not give that child the color of your hair, the shape of your nose, the cut of your chin, the sound of your voice. You know it is in the nature of children to look like and to sound like their natural parents. I have three daughters and they, every one, to some degree or another sound like my wife on the telephone. Sometimes when I call home I have to ask who am I talking to. That use to be very confusing to my son-in-law before he became my son-in-law. Sometimes he would call and he would say, Hi! what are you doing? My wife would answer the phone and she would say watching to-le-vision. After awhile he always became suspicious and wanted to know exactly who is it I am talking to anyway. Well now it is in the nature of children to walk like, to talk like, to look like their parents. And we, in our old carnal nature, we walk like and we look like and talk like our great, great, great granddaddy Adam.

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh;" -- but there is another side of it — There is another side of it! "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (Joh 3:6) Now you and I cannot give an adopted child our physical characteristics. But God is not limited in the way that you and I are and right here is where the new birth fits in and it is part of the adoption you see. It says: "To redeem them which were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Ga 4:5-6) Because you are sons by choice you are made sons by birth. Now we cannot make that adopted child look like us. He was born of his natural parents, and he looks like his natural parents but God adopts His children who are born of Adam and He looms us again to look like Him. We are made partakers of the divine nature. (2Pe 1:4) And in spirit we look like our heavenly Father, look like our brethren and sisters in Christ Jesus.

I remember over there in Hebrews, Paul said about the Lord: "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy follows." (Heb 1:9) I find another text over there in the sermon on the mount which says: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." (Mt 5:6) Do you notice the family resemblance? You know I have seen a lot of people that if nobody had told me I knew that this had to be that man's son, either his son or his brother, because they looked just exactly alike. You know God's children have a tendency to look alike. I am not talking about the color of their eyes or the cut of their chin, I am talking about the expression on their face when you talk to them about the good things of the Lord. You know when you talk to somebody that is born of the Spirit of God about the good things of the Lord and sometimes -- you notice their face begins to take on color, sometimes their eyes begin to fill up, maybe run over, and every now and then a chin will start to tremble, I can see a family resemblance there, you see. You know there have been a lot of people down through the years that have tried to paint pictures of the Lord. They don't know what He looks like. I know that those pictures don't look like Him because they all have long hair, and my Bible says, "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?" (1Co 11:14) I don't believe He went around with long hair. I don't believe He wore a beard. One text says something about Him shaving with a borrowed razor. (Isa 7:20) I don't believe He went around barefoot. John said the latchet of His shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. (Mr 1:7; Lu 3:16; Joh 1:27) The pictures I have seen don't look particularly Jewish and according to the flesh He was made of the seed of David. Those pictures I have seen look noticably Caucasian. You know the Lord was so typical in His physical appearance, was so typically Jewish, His appearance so natural and normal to everybody else that even though He might stand before a crowd and preach to them for a long time when finally His voice fell silent and He quit preaching He could walk back through the crowd and they wouldn't know which one He was. He looked so much like everyone around there. But I believe I know a little bit about what He looked like, not in His physical characteristics, I am not talking about that, but I find a verse over there in second Corinthians, which says: "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2Co 3:18)

Once in awhile it happens in nature, you may have seen it, it doesn't happen often but once in awhile it happens. When two people are married so long, many, many years heart answers to heart until finally in their old days, finally face answers to face. I was up in northern Virginia a few weeks ago at a meeting and the folks that we stayed with looked so much alike. Even my wife, my wife can be a little skeptical sometimes, but even after we left there my wife commented about how very much they look alike. She said, they could have told me they were identical twins and I would have believed it. Once in awhile, not very often, but once in awhile it happens in nature. For years and years, heart answers to heart until finally in their old days face answers to face. While that only happens once in awhile in nature, it happens as a rule in the Spirit. The more that you follow your Lord, the more that you endeavor to serve Him, the more you listen to Him and walk in His precepts -- the more that you look like Him. Now, I don't know a lot about His physical characteristics but I believe I know this about Him: I believe that when He stood there and preached the gospel of His grace, I believe that the expression of His face was that same expression that I can see on your faces here this morning. And I believe that that expression that I can see just now on your faces, I believe that is the expression that I am going to see on the face of my Lord on that morning when I see Him there in that eternal day.

God is not limited as you and I are. We cannot give those children the color of our eyes, the cut of our chin, we cannot make them look like us. But in regeneration we are made partakers of the divine nature, you see. We were born once of our parent Adam. We are born again of His Spirit and we are made partakers of the divine nature.

Now every adoption generates some papers, if there is no paper then the adoption is not legal and binding. Now this adoption generated some papers. Now our adoption is not written with paper and ink and for that matter it is not even carved in tables of stone. But Paul says: "Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit." (2Co 5:5) Now you brethren that have been involved in real estate can teach me more than I can ever imagine about earnest, the principle of earnest and earnest money. But they tell me that an earnest is a thing of value, that there is witness to a transaction. And God has given us that earnest, you see, in our hearts. Can you imagine a little boy in an orphanage, he is so lonely. The people that run the place do the best that they can to take care of him but that is not like having parents that can take him in their arms and just love him as their own. And can you imagine that one day he hears that he has been adopted by the richest, kindest, most gentle man in that town and the adoption papers are on file. Do you have an idea that while he is waiting, and that is what we are doing —We are waiting for the adoption to wit the redemption of the body. (Ro 8:23) — Can you imagine every now and then while he is waiting he would kind of like to go up there and look at the adoption papers and see if his name is there? Don't you think he would appreciate it if somebody would try every now and then they would show him the adoption papers. That is what I have tried to do this morning. I hope you can get a glimpse of the adoption papers. "Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit." (2Co 5:5) A thing of value that signifies a transaction.

In Romans chapter eight he says: "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." (verse 15) You know the very first words that children learn to say are mama, papa, dada, or abba. I never have entirely figured out whether the little children learn to say mama and papa first because we teach them to say that, or whether it is just natural for them to say that and since it is just natural to say people over the years have just learned to call themselves that because they wanted that to be the first thing the little fellow would say. I don't know and I am not going to worry about it. But you know there are a lot of ways in which there is a resemblence between natural parents and our heavenly Father. God hasn't given us again the spirit of bondage to fear but He has given us the Spirit of adoption and the firstreactionis to say "Abba." "Abba," how simple a thing to say. How simple, even the little child can say, "Abba, Father."

Verse 23,, "Not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit," you see we have already got the papers. These papers are written not with paper and ink, not even carved in stone, but written in the fleshly tables of the heart. We have "received the firstfruits of the Spirit." In the old days the Jews had a feast which they called the feast of firstfruits. That meant that the full crop was coming after awhile. And that is what this is. This is the firstfruits. We are going to get the full crop after awhile.

Somebody said, Brother Hunt, do you believe we know anything in the world about what heaven is going to be like? I believe we know something about it. I believe that it is going to be a whole lot of what we get a little bit of down here, you see. These are the firstfruits. You know if you had never tasted apple pie if you had gotten one taste of it you would know what the rest of the pie tasted like. And I will tell you what . . if God's Spirit has ever stirred in your heart I believe you know something about what heaven is going to be like. "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting" . . . waiting . . "waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." (Ro 8:23)

Somebody says, Brother Hunt, adoption is going to take place in the resurrection. No, that is when it is going to be completed. You see it has been going on all along. It started a long time ago. It started a way back yonder when God determined, the first act was when He chose. You see He has chosen us, did the legal work, paid the price, born of His Spirit, born us of His Spirit, and now we are waiting. Now we are waiting! I am enjoying the wait. I am enjoying the wait! I use to say that I would like to live to be ninety years old and preach twice a day from now until then. But I don't believe I would quite stand up to that. I wouldn't mind to live to be ninety years old and preach once a day. I am enjoying the wait! Paul, the apostle said, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Php 1:21) I am not in any hurry to leave this old world but I tell you the older I get, the closer I get to the end of my journey, the more I think about that day when my heavenly Father is coming for me and for you. We are waiting. The last act of adoption is when the adopting Father goes and gets His little child and takes him to live with Him in that big house on the hill. I am looking forward with fond anticipation to that good day. I thank you.



(Copied from Letters and Sermons, by John Newton,
published in 1798)

I confess myself almost ashamed to write to you. You are pinched by poverty, suffer the want of many things; and your faith is often sharply tried, when you look at your family, and perhaps can hardly conceive how you shall be able to supply them with bread to the end of the week. The Lord has appointed me a different lot. I am favored, not only with the necessaries, but with the comforts of life. Now I could easily give you plenty of good advice; I could tell you, it is your duty to be Patient, and even thankful, in the lowest state; that if you have bread and water, it is more than you deserve at the Lord's hands; and that, as you are out of hell, and made a partaker of the hope of the gospel, you ought not to think anything hard that you meet with in the way to heaven. If I should say thus, and say no more, you would not dispute the truth of my assertions; but, as coming from me, who lives at ease, to you, who are beset with difficulties, you Might question their propriety, and think that I know but little of my own heart, and could feel but little for your distress. You would probably compare me to one who should think himself a mariner, because he had studied the art of navigation by the fire-side, though he had never seen the sea. Yet I hope, by my frequent converse with the Lord's poor (for I live in the midst of an afflicted and poor people), I have made some observations, which, though not strictly the fruit of my own experience, may not be wholly unseasonable or unacceptable to you.

Whether the rich or the poor, who live without God in the world, are most to be pited, is not easy to determine. It is a dreadful case to be miserable in both worlds; but yet the parade and seeming prosperity in which some live for a few years, will be no abatement, but rather a great aggravation, of their future torment. A madman is equally to be pitied, whether he is laid upon a bed of state or a bed of straw. Madness is in the heart of every unregenerate sinner; and the more he possesses of this world's goods, he is so much the more extensively mischievous. Poverty is so far a negative good to those who have no other restraint, that it confines the effects of the evil heart within narrower bounds, and the small circle of their immediate connec tions: Whereas the rich, who live under the power f sin, are unfaithful stewards of a larger trust, and l y their pernicious influence are often instrumental in diffusing profaneness and licentiousness through a country or a kingdom; besides the innumerable acts of oppression, and the ravages of war, which are perpetrated to gratify the insatiable demands of luxury, ambition, and pride. But to leave this, if we turn our eyes from the false maxims of the world, and weigh things in the balance of the sanctuary, I believe we shall find, that the believing poor, though they have many trials which call for our compassion, have some advantages above those of the Lord's people to whom He has given a larger share of the good things of the present life. Why else does the apostle say, "God has chosen the poor?" or why do we see in fact, that so few of the rich, or wise, or mighty, are called? Certainly He does not choose them because they are poor; for "He is no respecter of persons;" rather I think we may say, that knowing what is in their hearts, the nature of the world through which they are to pass, and what circumstances are best suited to manifest the truth and efficacy of His grace, He has in the general chosen poverty as the best state for them. Some exceptions He has made, that His people may not be wholly without support and countenance, and that the sufficiency of His grace may be made known in every state of life; but for the most part they are a poor and afflicted people; and in this appointment He has had a regard to their honor, their safety, and their comfort. I have room for but a very brief illustration of these particulars.

Sanctified poverty is an honorable state; not so indeed in the judgment of the world; the rich have many friends, the poor are usually despised. But I am speaking of that honor which cometh from God only. The po r, who are "rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom," are honored with the nearest external conformity to Jesus their Saviour; who, though He was Lord of all, was pleased for our sakes to make Himself so poor, that He had not where to lay His head, and submitted to receive assistance from the contributions of His followers; Lu 8:3. By this astonishing humiliation, He poured contempt upon all human glory, and made the state of poverty honorable; and now "he that reproacheth the poor, despiseth his Maker." And as He was, so were His apostles in the world. They were not only destitute of rank, titles, and estates, but were often in hunger and nakedness, and had no certain dwelling-place. To infer from hence, as some have done, that riches, and the accommodations of life, are unsuitable to the state of a Christian, is the mark of a superstitious and legal spirit. There were in those days several believers that were in a state of affluence; as for instance, Theophilus, whom Luke addresses by a title of honor, most noble or excellent, the same which Paul ascribes to the Roman Governor. But we may safely infer, that that state of life in which our Lord was pleased to converse with men, and which was the lot of His apostles, and most favored servants, is honorable in the sight of God.

Again: Poverty is honorable, because it affords a peculiar advantage for glorifying God, and evidencing the power of His grace, and the faithfulness of His promises, in the sight of men. A believer, if rich, lives by faith; and his faith meets with various trials. He himself knows by whom he stands; but it is not ordinarily so visible to others, as in the case of the poor. When ministers speak of the all-sufficiency of God to those who trust in Him, and the certain effect of the principles of the gospel, in supporting, satisfying, and regulating the mind of man, the poor are the best and most unsuspected witnesses for the truth of their doctrine. If we are asked, Where do these wonderful people live, who can delight themselves in God, esteem a day in His courts better than a thousand, and prefer the light of His countenance to all earthly joy? we can confidently send them to the poor of the flock. Amongst the number who are so called, there are some who will not disappoint our appeal. Let the world, who refuse to believe the preachers, believe their own eyes; and when they see a poor person content, thankful, rejoicing, admiring the Lord's goodness for affording him what they account hard fare, and, in the midst of various pressures, incapable of being bribed by offers, or terrified by threats, to swerve a step from the path of known duty, let them acknowledge that this is the finger of God. If they harden themselves against this evidence, "neither would they be persuaded, though one should arise from the dead."

And as poverty is an honorable, so it is comparatively a safe state. True, it is attended with its peculiar temptations; but it is not near so suitable to draw forth and nourish the two grand corruptions of the heart, self-importance, and an idolatrous cleaving to the world, as the opposite state of riches. They who are rich in this world, and who know the Lord and their own hearts, feel the wisdom and propriety of the apostle's charge, "Not to be high-minded, nor to trust in uncertain riches." If poor believers consider the snares to which their rich brethren are exposed, they will rather pray for and pity, than envy them. Their path is slippery; they have reason to cry continually, "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe:" for they live in the midst of the hurries and vanities of the world, are engaged in a large sphere of action, and are incessantly exposed to interruptions and snares. The carriage of all around them reminds them of their supposed consequence; and, by the nature of their situation, they are greatly precluded from plain dealing and friendly advice. But the poor are not surrounded with flatterers, nor teased with impertinencies. They meet with little to stimulate their pride, or to soothe their vanity. They not only believe in their judgments, but are constrained to feel, by the experience of every day, that this world cannot afford them rest. If they have food and raiment, and grace therewith to be content, they have reason to be thankful for an exemption from those splendid cares, and delusive appearances, which are the inseparable attendants of wealth and worldly distinction; and which, if not more burdensome, are, humanly speaking, much more dangerous, and greater impediments to the progress of a spiritual life, than the ordinary trials of the poor.

The believing poor have likewise, for the most part, the advantage in point of spiritual comfort; and that principally in two respects. First, As they are called to a life of more immediate dependence upon the promise and providence of God (having little else to trust to), they have a more direct and frequent experience of His interposition in their favor. Obadiah was a servant of God, though he lived in the court of Ahab. He, doubt' less, had his difficulties in such a situation; but he was not in want. He had not only enough for himself in a time of dearth, but was able to impart to others. We may believe, that he well knew he was indebted to the Lord's goodness for His provision; but he could hardly have so sweet, so strong, so sensible an impression of God's watchful care over him as Elijah had, who, when he was deprived of all human support, was statedly fed by the ravens. Such of the Lord's people who have estates in land, or thousands in the bank, will acknowledge, that even the bread they eat is the gift of the Lord's bounty; yet, having a moral certainty of a provision for life, I should apprehend, that they cannot exercise faith in the divine Providence, with respect to their temporal supplies, so distinctly as the poor, who having no friend or resource upon earth, are necessitated to look immediately to their Father who is in heaven for their daily bread. And though it is not given to the world to know what an intercourse is carried on between heaven and earth, nor with what acceptance the prayers of the poor and afflicted enter into the ears of the Lord of hosts; yet many of them have had such proofs of His attention, wisdom, faithfulness, power, and love, in supplying their wants, and opening them a way of relief, when they have been beset with difficulties oh all sides, as have been, to themselves at least, no less certain and indisputable, I had almost said no less glorious, than the miracles which He wrought for Israel, when He divided the Red Sea before them, and gave them food from the clouds. Such evidences of the power of faith, the efficacy of prayer, and the truth of the Scriptures (preferable to mountains of gold and silver, and for which the state of poverty furnishes the most frequent occasions), are a rich overbalance for all its inconveniencies. But,

Secondly, I apprehend that the humble and believing poor have, in general, the greatest share of those consolations which are the effect of the light of God's countenance lifted up upon the soul, of His love shed abroad in the heart, or of a season of refreshment from His presence. By such expressions as these, the Scripture intimates that "joy unspeakable and full of glory;" a description of which, those who are strangers to itcould not understand. This joy is not always the companion of faith, not even of strong faith; but it is that which a believer, whether rich or poor, incessantly thirsts after; and, in comparison whereof, all worldly good is but vanity and disappointment. The Lord imparts this joy to His people, in season and measure, as He sees fit; but His poor people have the largest share. They have little comfort from the world, therefore He is pleased to be their Comforter. They have many trials and sufferings; and He with 'whom they have to do knows their situation and pressures: He has promised to make their strength equal to their day, and to revive their fainting spirits with heavenly cordials. When it is thus with them, they can say, with Jacob, "I have enough;" or, as it is in the original, "I have all." This makes hard things easy; and the burden light, which the flesh would otherwise complain of as heavy. This has often given a sweeter relish to bread and water, than the sensualist ever found in the most studied and expensive refinements of luxury. Blessed are the poor who are rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God has promised to them that love Him. They often enjoy the most lively foretastes of the glory which shall be revealed.

Have not you, my friend, found these things true in your own experience? Yes; the Lord has sanctified your crosses, and supported you under them. Hitherto He has helped you, and He will be with you to the end. As you have followed Him upon the earth, you will ere long follow Him to heaven. "You are now called to sow in tears, there you shall reap in joy, and God shall wipe all tears from your eyes." In the meantime, be thankful that He honors you, in appointing you to be a witness for the truth, and power of His grace, in the midst of an unbelieving world.

It is true, that even where the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. You have sharp trials, which, for the present, cannot be joyous, but grievous; and you have doubtless felt the depravity of your nature, and the subtlety of Satan, at some time prompting you to impatience, envy, and distrust. But these evils are not peculiar to a state of poverty; you would have been exposed to the same had you lived in affluence, together with many others, from which you are now exempted: for riches and poverty are but comparative terms, and it is only the grace of God can teach us to be content in any possible situation of life. The rich are as prone, to desire something which they have not as the poor; and they who have most to lose have most to fear. That a man's life (the happiness of his life) "consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth," is an aphorism founded upon the highest authority, and confirmed by universal experience and observation.

In a word, you are not poor, but rich. The promises are your inheritance—heaven is your home—the angels of the Lord are ministering spirits, who rejoice to watch over you for good; and the Lord of angels Himself is your sun, shield, and everlasting portion. It is impossible that you, to whom He has given Himself, His Son, His Spirit, His grace, His kingdom, can want anything that is truly good for you. If riches were so, He could pour them upon you in abundance, as easily as He provides you your daily bread. But these, for the most part, He bestows on those who have no portion but in the present life. You have great reason to rejoice in the lot He has appointed for you, which secures you from numberless imaginary wants and real dangers, and furnishes you with the fairest opportunities for the manifestation, exercise, and increase of the graces He has implanted in you. Influenced by these trust you can cheerfully say,

What others value, I resign:
Lord, 'tis enough that thou art mine.

I commend you to the blessing of our covenant God, and to Jesus our Saviour, "who, when He was rich,, made Himself poor for our sakes, that we through His poverty might be rich."

Afterwards, He Appeared

Afterwards, He Appeared (1986, November-December)

Sermon preached by Elder J. M. Myers of Ruth, Mississippi of the Amite Association of Mississippi, at Enon Church, Tombigbee Union Maeting, fifth Sunday in May 1982.

If we know our heart this morning, we are thankful to God for this privilege of being with you in this part of God's moral vineyard once again, His church.
We trust you will pray for us while we endeavor to talk to you from the Word of God. We declare unto you that if God blesses us to preach, we want eveybody in this house to hear us and if you have a little difficulty in hearing what we have to say, if you are interested and want me to turn up the volume just a little bit, would you be so kind as to just hold up your hand and we will endeavor to do that. When it comes to preaching the gospel of the Son of God, if God blesses me to preach, I am like the man that used to sell potatoes in a little town in south Mississippi. He had a little one-horse wagon and had a mule hitched to it and he had sweet potatoes and he would come into a residential section and begin to holler `tarters.' It wasn't potatoes, it was `taters', and he was hollering 'taters', `caters', `taters'. One housewife came out and said: Why in the world are you hollering so loud, everybody in this section of town can hear you. He said: That is exactly what I want. I have got `taters' to sell. Well, friend, this morning, if God blesses me to preach, I have got some news for you and it will do you good if you hear it, but if you can't hear what we are saying, then I might as well be speaking in an unknown tongue or not speaking at all.

I want to start this discourse by commending you, and I will confess to you that this is apostolic. I don't do this just to flatter you. You are too smart a people for me to try to flatter you. If I were going to try to flatter people, it would be somebody else besides Primitive Baptists, I wouldn't undertake to flatter them. But, I will say from my heart, I don't think any preacher in the world has the privilege and opportunity to stand before a more beautiful congregation than I have this morning, and that is from my heart. And before we have finished, I trust that we will actually be able to claim kinship with everyone of you, in the Lord, friends. That is what I want to do.

Paul commended the church at Philippi, and in the absence of your pastor, I want to commend you. You see, because Paul told the Church at Philippi in 2 and 12, "As ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation."

When individuals read the Word of God and when they have jumped to the conclusion that every time the word salvation in the Word of God has got to mean in the next world, they meet themselves coming back. There is no way to harmonize the Scriptures and teach just one salvation. We preach salvation in heaven and immortal glory by the Son of God and the Son of God alone, but friends, there are things that we save ourselves from and there is a salvation for us while we live in this world. When Paul was actually preaching on that subject of the Resurrection, it was for the purpose of saving some from the erroneous doctrines of men. That is exactly what he was saving them from. That is what his heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel was, as we look in his letter to the Church at Rome, 10 and 1, when he said: "My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved." And, friends, that salvation there wasn't talking about eternal salvation because the same writer (Paul), said, "All Israel shall be saved: as it is written." (Ro 11:26); "Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation." (Isa 45:17) We can see that, but this lesson says, "I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." Friends, that is where our subject comes in this morning.

I want you to consider some of the things that ministers are confronted with and we are not setting them apart. God has set them apart. We don't have to set them apart. God calls a man to the work of the ministry and if he will do exactly what God tells him to do, God won't only bless his labors, but I believe He will show him the field to work and he won't have to go around trying to root somebody else out of the way to get a job. Now that is just wonderful if we will just leave that in the hands of the Son of God. That is His and you can't take it away from him, friends, and if you are trying to, you are just fighting a losing battle, any way you look at it, because the Son of God, as He walked among men, declared this very thing when He said, "the laborers are few," but He said that "the harvest is great;" "pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest . . ." Who is sending them today, Brother Anthony? If God is not sending them, I feel sorry for the congregation where they go. Now you just think about that for a little while.

On Wednesday of this past week, we had, again, the responsibility of being at a funeral. In the thirty-two years that I have been trying to preach, this year has been ... my services called to preach more funerals already this year than any year that I've been in the ministry, and we must take this opportunity to show some of the truths of God in respect to the person that we are actually speaking the last words over in the life that they lived. especially if they are church members. We were waiting for the body to arrive and there were some men who had never heard the name Primitive Baptist before. They were public accountants from the City of Vicksburg that came there and when they drove up on the church yard, the sign out there said established in 1856, and by the way, my grandpa deeded the land to that church, and by the way, he was a Primitive Baptist preacher, too, but it wasn't by accident, though. It wasn't by accident. But, then, this gentleman came to me and he said, "Will you tell me what the difference is between Primitive and regular Baptist?" Now, friends, in a few words that is a great challenge. I knew that I had his attention for about thirty seconds. That is all I could expect to have. I am not professing myself to be wise, but I just use that which God has already given me. I said, "Simply, sir, in the briefest form I can tell you, that we differ on the purpose of the gospel." "My religious friends that call themselves Regular Baptists, they believe God's way of populating heaven, is to have the gospel preached, but the Primitive Baptists say it is for instruction to God's children while they live in this world and the gospel does not make a child of God, but it instructs the child of God." That is about the answer I gave him. He dropped his head and said, "You know, I had never thought of it like that before." But, now, friends, if I just made that statement and couldn't prove it by the Word of God, then my time was wasted and his because the Word of God says: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1Th 5:21) This morning I don't ask you to believe one thing that I say just because I say it, but you had better give it consideration if I tell you it is from the Word of God. Will you listen? Because this is God's message to us, friends. Without it, we wouldn't even know who we were, we wouldn't know what we are, we certainly wouldn't know where we are going and we wouldn't even know why we are here. Now, we would be in a bad shape, wouldn't we? Well, you consider that. Just for an illustration, an individual came to me sometime ago and she said, "Brother Meyers, will you tell me why God did not let us know a little more about the hereafter and what death is going to actually be like." And you know, this question made the rounds pretty soon after one of those modern movies came to town about "Beyond and back," I believe that is what they called it. Somehow or other, they thought that our generation was the only generation that had ever been "beyond and back." This brother, this morning, called to our attention about some folks that had actually been beyond. Friends, they had not only been beyond, but they were dead, and one in particular, Lazarus, had been dead for four days. That is exactly what his sister said. His sister told the Son of God, yes, we "know that he shall rise again in the resurrection." But here is One that said, simply, to them, "I am the resurrection." (Joh 11:24-25) Will you look at Him this morning? If we preach the gospel to you, it is going to show you Christ Jesus as the resurrection. Not just as a representative of it or a type of it, but He is it, friends. Oh, yes, we will use that little pronoun there again, IT. In that respect, there are a few places in the New Testament, the word IT refers to the third person in the Trinity. Most places, the third person in the Trinity is referred to as HE, but in a few places, it is referred to as IT, but at no time, does it leave us to doubt who the IT is that is under consideration. We will leave that right there.

To this individual, I said, "Did you know that God knew just how much to let me and you know." If He had let me know one bit more about what is beyond this life, I would not be content to stay here any longer, neither would you. If God had wanted us to know it, friends, He could have had Brother Lazarus to write another book and it would have been another book in the New Testament and Lazarus could have told us all about what it was going to be like dying, but He didn't want us to know that, did He? This we must look at this morning, and friends, all the individuals in the world that confess that they have got to walk by sight while they live in this world, cannot walk by sight down this pathway. They will have to travel it by faith, won't they, brother? The Word of God tells me and you, while we live in this world, all of us, "Walk by faith, not by sight," (2Co 5:7) and God has so decreed it that way, and "without it (faith), it is impossible to please God." (Heb 11:6) Friends, if God ... I wouldn't want you to doubt the power of God for one minute. God has got all the power and He could have so fixed it that He could have said every word through my mouth that I am going to say this morning, but that would have relieved me of any obligation. I could have just got up here and opened it and anybody could preach if it had been that way, couldn't they? But, you see, we are responsible to God ana we are His workmanship and we are to describe His greatness, yet in our efforts to praise Him, any mistakes that we make we cannot blame God with them. We have to accept them as our responsibility and as being part of the human race and subject to all the frailities of all mankind, but I am ready to confess to you this morning, as I come before you, that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Php 4:13)

I want to talk to you from the Word of God. I have said this much and would love to say some more, but I have got to get the subject before me. Brother Rhinehart assured me that all the time is mine. I appreciate that. I don't know whether I need it or not, but you see, if God had blessed me to have known exactly what I was going to say before I got in this pulpit: Could I have been walking by faith? 'Would I have been trying to lean upon Him? Would I have been begging that He deliver me once again? I must confess to you that every time I come before God's children I pray the prayer that Samson prayed after he was made blind and was led by the little lad. Sampson told him to just carry him to the two main pillars and he placed one hand upon one and one hand upon the other. (Jg 16:26-30) To me, this morning, friends, that represents the two covenants that God has made with man. If I lay my hands upon anything else than that as I come before you, you just as well get your Sears & Roebuck Catalog and go by it, but I want to talk to you from these two things. But there he prayed that God would give him strength one more time. I pray for that strength when I come before God's children. I can, by the Word of God, yes, actually slay some of the Philistians which are the enemies of the truth of God. I want to see them fall flat on their face. Oh, the truth of God is the only thing in the world that will do God's children any good while they live in this world. God's children can go through a lifetime believing a falsehood and it never will make it the truth. I wouldn't ask you to accept that unless I briefly point you to the Word of God. Those brothers of Joseph, they took that coat that had just set their jealously on fire and they dipped it in the blood of an animal. And, yes, they carried it to their daddy: Is this not the coat of your son, Joseph? And the Word of God said that old man bow( ' his head in sorrow. Friends, he believed for years that Joseph was dead. (Ge 37:23-35) If believing something made it so, old Jacob would never have gotten to embrace that sor 'gain, but you see, believing something doesn't make it so. But, if we believe the truth, it will be the truth when we believe it, it will be the truth if we don't believe it, it is still the truth. God help us to see that.

Now then, in the Gospel, according to Saint Mark, in the Sixteenth Chapter and the fifteenth verse, you just read with me for just a little bit and we are going to show you something. These are some of the final  words of the Son of God, friends, before He left this world and went back to His Father, Brethren, this morning, I am happy that I believe He is coming again and I believe it will be a short work. It is not going to take Him a thousand years to do what He is going to do when He gets back here. Can you not rejoice in that? Surely so. But here is what He said. He said . . . the fourteenth verse . . . He said, "Afterward He appeared." This word afterward simply means this is another way that He appeared after His resurrection. He appeared unto certain individuals. He did not appear unto the whole world, brother. He surely didn't. Paul said, concerning His resurrection, at a time that he could witness to that very thing. Now then, anybody living today, they can't witness in the sense that they witnessed there, because they saw, friends. Now, then, I think that is important in the truth when we begin to think about what are we witnessing to, and who can we witness to, and what can we witness? The only thing each one of you can witness to, that is under the sould of my voice, for example, when you see your pastor again, and Elder McWhirter is your pastor, you can tell him a little bit about this meeting. You can tell him who was here. You can tell him, yes, and by experience he will know, if the Spirit of God is here, the very feeling, but he will wind up just like my children: When we get home, they will say, Daddy, I guess you were in the best meeting that you have ever been in? I will say, yes, children, you just ought to have been there. So, then, if you witness to it, you have got to be here. So you are witnesses to this fact this morning of this service. But now then, Paul said that there were above five hundred that saw the Son of God at one time after His resurrection. (1Co 15:6) The Son of God Himself said of these eleven that He is talking to right here, whom He upbraided because of their unbelief, because they believed not the report that He is risen. Listen to what the Word of God says about that. When those three Marys came from that tomb, yes, they said, I am happy to believe that they used the word "brethren." The reason that I am saying that is because the Word of God says that Jesus Christ Himself was not ashamed to call them brethren. So, then, they said: He is risen. And the Word of God said these words seemed as idle tales in their ears, friends, one of the eleven said, when the other ten said yes, brethren. Let me go a little bit further with this. Yes, Thomas, you were not there, but we saw Him. You know, Thomas looked at the ten and he said to them: Lest I see for myself the nailprints in His hand and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. (Joh 20:24-25) Now then, friends, I want you to get this thought: nobody had to run and tell Jesus what Thomas said. Nobody has to run and tell Jesus what you say. Nobody has to run and tell Jesus what you need this morning. Listen, nobody has to acquaint Jesus with any of our sorrows or any of our griefs. Listen, as we look at Paul's letter to those Hebrew Brethren, he says we have a high priest who can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. (Heb 4:15) The reason He can be touched is because He was in like manner, in every way, that we are tempted, the Son of God, Himself, was tempted first, friends. So then, He can be touched, and He knows exactly all of our sufferings that we are confronted with. But this, may we be reminded this morning, is just for a moment, friends. Really, that is what it is just for a moment. It might seem like an eternity. Sometimes thirty minutes might seem like an eternity. Sometimes thirty minutes might seem like an eternity. Sometimes, five minutes might seem like an eternity. Bless his heart, an old deacon out near McGee, Mississippi, eighty something years old, been a deacon about fifty-five years, and he said, "Brother Meyers, when I was a plowing in the field, I taken out at twelve o'clock and went for dinner, and he says, if you run ahead past twelve, don't mind if I take out." I am just going to leave that. So then, five minutes might seem like an eternity.

But listen, my Father's little children, here in the Word of God. We see from the Word of God this morning, what it is He is talking about. And he said unto them: "Afterward He appeared unto the eleven." (Mr 16:14) Now, when Thomas saw Him. He didn't have to do what he said he would do. (Joh 20:24-29) Listen. Listen, my Father's little children, he could have because the Son of God gave him the invitation and told him to do it, but all I can read from that is that he just fell down and he said, "My Lord and My God." (Joh 20:28) Now if he had just stopped there, we could have said and surmised or supposed that he done it, but, listen, Jesus didn't say, Thomas because you have handled me, ye believe, but what did Jesus say? "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed." Not touched, but seen. So then, what did he say? "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Let me say this in my way ... and have not yet seen. We haven't seen Him yet, friends, but praise God, we are going to. Not because I said it, but because God's Word substantiates it and declares it to be. Not only that, but by the mouth of the prophet said, even those that pierced Him shall behold him. (Zec 12:10) Isn't that sufficient? So then, this Son of God ... it wasn't only Thomas but the whole twelve, the eleven, the other ten just couldn't believe that He had come forth from the grave. May I use it this way for emphasis, brethren? You have heard the expression: Just too good to be true. But it is. Yes, He came forth from the grave. He sure did and it is true. I want to affirm it to you this morning with all the authority that God gives me.

And go it was "after" . . . yes, He came forth from that borrowed tomb .. . that He appeared unto them to show them and convince them that He was the resurrected Saviour. Without that, this morning, our meeting is vain, our preaching in vain, our hope is vain, our belief is vain. But, friends, it is not in vain because He came forth. And, listen, there might be, it might be, yes, someboy's scheme to raise money down through the generations of time that they made a place in the side of a mountain in the old country and point to it and say that is the vacant tomb. Whether that is the exact place that the Son of God was placed is immaterial with me. I know He came forth, friends. The grave could not hold Him. I would affirm to you, this morning, a resurrected Saviour just as the Word of God declares; just as David saw it in his day when he said, "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Ps 110:1) How we could look at that word and not accept the fact of the finished work of the Son of God in the salvation of sinners, is beyond my comprehension. Why? Because we look in the morning of time and He spoke a whole world into existence and the Word of God says He finished His work and on the seventh day He rested. (Ge 2:2) Now then, let us think about the word rested and look how many applications it goes through in the Word of God. Just for an illustration: One time, after five straight week-ends of being in three-day meetings and them running over five days, was still three days, you know, I told my wife: I finally decided the epitaph I want you to put on my tombstone. She looked with amazement. She said, what in the world do you want put on it? I said, just put one little word, resting. R-E-S-T-I-N-G, or Resting in Jesus. So then, friends, the point I want to get over to you is that God rested from His work. That means that it was completed. I want to tell you not one thing had to be added to what God did in the morning of time, as far as creation is concerned. Listen, it is so perfect, brother, that man can tell you now, if time rolls on, exactly the second that the sun is going to rise one hundred years from this morning, if they so desire and they so want to. How do they do that? According to the knowledge that God gave them. That is exactly it.

Now then, we will come back to this because when David said, "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies Thy footstool," friends, do you think that God would have told the Son to sit down before He got through doing what He told Him to do? Certainly not. He wouldn't have been, according to the pattern of things, He wouldn't have been ... yes, equal in power as the Son of God as we believe He was and He is, friends. What does that mean? It simply means, to me, that God was telling the Son that when you have finished what I have sent you to do, you can come back and sit down in my presence. Friends, that is where He is. I am not saying, this morning, that He is doing so much resting, but He is in the presence of God and the Word of God says there He is making intercession for me and for you. (Heb 7:25) Surely that is what He is doing.

So then, He is making intercession for us this morning just as He made intercession for that mob of people that were standing around there as He looked down upon them from the Cross of Calvary and He prayed: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Lu 23:34) Now then, praying to forgive them. Yes, my Father's little children, it is wonderful to know, this morning, that you have a representative in the eternal halls of eternity representing you that is so powerful and so complete that He has never lost one case that He ever handled. He never tried to do anything, being God the Son, the second person in the Trinity, He declared when Ile came into this world, He did remind these men of this very thing as He walked before them just before He went back: "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world," (Mt 28:19-20) You will find those words in the gospel according to Saint Matthew. It is just a little different here in Mark and we want to read in your hearing this morning ... but, friends if I don't see and understand that He has got all power, then I doubt I am qualified to go.

Listen, could I believe He has got all power and then go and try to tell God's little children that He would like to get something done, He wants it done, He would if He could but He can't? I declare unto you this morning, friends, He has got all power. He speaks and we find David, God speaking by the mouth of David, when he said this, "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." All in the world He had to do was ask for them. Do you believe He did it? He asked for everyone that God the Father gave Him. Because when He prayed in that Garden of Gethsemanee ... and we read in the Gospel according to Saint John, seventeen and one, "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify Thee." And, friends, it takes the same blessing of God for us to glorify God in a public worship service today. The Son of God showed the necessity of that. You and I should and we ought to. If we don't, we are gonna get an_ important lesson. We will find we just can't do it by ourselves. I am not like this man that wrote that song: 'No help wanted' ... Friends, I need help when I come here. You can do what you can, but then that is all you can do and you will have to leave the rest to Him, when we come to serve we acknowledge that He has all power. So then, He said to them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mr 16:15) Now, who did He say this to? I beg you to read it again and consider it. Friends, He did not say this to the church. He said this unto the eleven men. He did not give this to the church, but He gave it to the eleven and those that come after them that He is still calling and qualifying and laying on their heart and directing them to go and preach. We believe that as the Son of God said to them, "And as ye go, preach." (Mt 10:7) If you don't preach 'til you get there, there isn't going to be much preaching done, is there? Just go preaching.

Brother Rhinehart, I wonder if your wife has ever commented to you like mine does to me sometimes? I don't say this to embarrass her. She is the sweetest woman on earth. Sometimes we will drive for miles and I won't be saying a word and she will say: "It really doesn't do you any good for me to go along." She says, "you are just wrapped up in your thoughts." I said, "Just to know you are there. It means so much to me, just to know you are there." But, I want to tell you, preachers are not the best company in the world. If we can acknowledge that, we might try to improve ourselves just a little bit. Now, I guess I have got a right to talk about them, Brother Rhinehart. But it is in love that I talk about them, in love of the Word of God, Let us go. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Well, what is the gospel for, friend? What is the gospel? Is it the life? No, we say it is the water of life. There is a difference, isn't there? Why? Because if the life is not there, the water won't do it any good.

Now, wouldn't it be wonderful if all of God's children could recognize that today? They think the water does it all —some places. But, you see, the life ... we say that with all love, Brother Rhine-hart. We don't say this to be ugly. If the life ain't there, the water won't do any good, friends. Where does the life come from? Will you come bow with me at the feet of Jesus? He is the source of all life, friends. Not just spiritual. The Word of God, from Genesis to Revelations, declares that great thing. You see, men have never been able to manufacture life. Just a quick example of that. We were told during the Hitler regime in Germany, yes, some of the smartest men he had collected in the field of science, and, brother, they even made a synthetic egg and they said when you broke it, you couldn't even tell it from one the hen laid, but the thing they couldn't understand, an old settin' hen could set on it for an eternity and never a little biddy would come out of that shell. See what we are talking about? We are talking about life. Just a small thing like that, you see. Men can't generate that, friends. Will you come with me and let us bow at the feet of One of whom this Word testifies: "the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life." (Joh 6:63) Will you come and help me praise One who declares as He walked among men, "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." (Joh 14:6) Friends, I don't care how many smart men come and go, and one man that is so noted in the world that you and I live in today, said in one of his recent crusades, and again, we don't say this to be ugly, but he said he wanted to spend the first thousand years in eternity shaking hands with the people he got there. Oh, when the Word of God ... I don't say this to be ugly. I am in seriousness this morning. The Son of God Himself as He walked among men instructed those there and told them to: "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: And they are they which testify of me." (Joh 5:39) Where is the life? Again, in Jesus Christ. In Jesus. Let me show you this. We have already heard that, yes, when He said, "Glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory I had with thee before the world was." (Joh 17:5) Friends, can you see that the Son of God Himself which declared that He was with God the Father, and that is in keeping with Joh 1:1 when he starts it off by, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Joh 1:14 said, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." No wonder the word of God says, God speaking in a certain time: "This day have I begotten thee," (Ps 2:7), and that one, when he said, that angel of God . . . may I change that — I want to say it this way, that virgin said, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Lu 1:34) The angel said, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." (verse 35) He was born of God. He is God's Son, friend. He came into this world and acknowledged that very thing. "Now, 0 Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." And He said, "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh." Friends, this brother called to our attention this morning that all flesh, it could be, yes, poor sinners that are without God and without hope in this world; it could be individuals as, yes, Lazarus was that was in that tomb and they said his body decayeth, he stinketh by now, but He still had power over it. He could call him back. And this in John says, "As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life . . ." will you listen to this ... "to as many as thou hast given Him." (Joh 17:2)

When we say this in our part of the country, somebody says, oh, there you go with that narrow doctrine again. Friends, I want to tell you. That is the broadest thing in the world. Because, you see, anybody that wants it, they don't want it because they lack it, but they want it because they have already got it. Oh, how good He is! How great He is! Oh, let all men everywhere that call on His name praise Him and acknowedge Him as God.

Now then, I want to follow this thought just two steps further. "As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him." Friends, again, can you see? The gospel tells this great news. Individuals today think that the gospel is the means by which individuals, yes, are put in a position that they would be transported from this world into the very presence of God, but again, the Word of God does not substantiate that and this lesson does not teach it.

Will you pray for me for a little while as we deal with this? He says, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mr 16:16) Now then, if you want to run this believing and this being baptized and this salvation as putting folks in heaven and immortal glory, we are going to have to agree there is no other way for folks to get there than to do that. Will you agree with me that there is just one way to heaven? There is not more than one because if there is more than one, when you got there, you would have to look up the one that got you there so you could praise him. But you are not going to be bothered with that when you get over there, friends. Just One to priase over there. Will you let me tell you His name again? Oh, I want to tell you: His name is Jesus. The Word of God declares that. Why? "For He shall save His people from their sins." (Mt 1:21) It did not say He wanted to, or He would like to, or He would if He could, or if you would give Him a little help, or a little money He would get this done; but He just came and did it all, as far as heaven and immortal glory is concerned. We can praise God for that very thing.

But, now, this salvation: "He that believeth and is baptized." (Mr 16:16) See how men dishonor God when they say this is talking about folks believing, then being baptized in water, in this world, to get to heaven? Now then, in this instance, one is just as important as the other, or we haven't got a thing in the rules of language to go by, have we? One is connected by the conjunction, and, and if we put the and as a little pedestal that we are going to put the plank on and this one and this one — it is going to have to balance out. One is just as important as the other, the believing and the being baptized.

Now, I couldn't tell you his name if my life depended on it, but about nine or ten years ago, one Saturday afternoon, we were having church in my home church at Ruth and we had just finished supper and the sisters were clearing away the table and I saw a car drive up on the yard and it was a stranger. I went and met the car and I said, Sir, we are just fixing to put up the food. If you haven't had supper, come and eat with us. He said, I haven't had anything to eat today, but I don't want to put anyone to any trouble. I said you will just help these sisters, they won't have quite as much to put back in the basket if you will just come and eat. So he came and ate supper with us. He went in and he said that somebody on the other side of the county told him there were some Primitive Baptists over there. This man had pastored a church in New Jersey for seventeen years. He was selling magazines and asking, or really, he was preaching just like just about every individual that God has ever called and revealed these great truths to, regardless of what he is doing, he is just going about preaching, Brother Anthony. That is what he was doing and he was telling his belief. He sat and listened to our services and he went home with me and set up until 2 o'clock talking and asking questions. In our conversation he made this confession. He said, for seventeen years, I preached. Told me what seminary he graduated from. (That is not important to me, I just say that in passing.) But he said, one night a young lady who was 18 years old joined our church. For seventeen years I had preached that an individual had to be baptized in water or they just couldn't go to heaven. He said, when this individual offered herself, she was accepted, and so the congregation began to sing while the baptistry was being filled. He said the young lady went in the room to dress to be baptized and there she died with a heart attack. She came that close to being baptized, he said. He said everything that I had preached for seventeen years fell to the ground, and he said, me with it. He said, I told them that night: "Get somebody to be here next Sunday, I can't come back to this pulpit, because I don't believe that anymore." He said, this girl was saved by the grace of God, though she didn't get to the water; the blood covered it all. I reached and got his hand, Brother Rinehart. He is my brother. He may not have identified himself . . . I have never seen the man since. He told me where he lived and gave me his number. When I called him to try to contact him, that recording came on, and I don't say this ugly about the Telephone Company, they have been good to my daughter back there and they have been good to me because it has gotten me a lot of messages and I have gotten a lot of messages, or they say: it has helped me reach out and touch folks, as they say. That sounds like a commercial, and I apologize for it. They don't pay my salary, but I'm just telling you. That is life, you see. But, when I called him, it said, "sorry, this number has been disconnected." But, you know, I just go through life wondering about that boy —what happened to him? But I know one thing: me and him are related, because I believe just what he believed. Sinners are going to live in heaven and immortal glory; not because of what men do, or may, or may not do, but because of what Jesus did that we could not do for ourselves.

Friends, if you find me guilty of preaching Jesus Christ as a complete and full Saviour of poor lost and ruined sinners: I plead guilty. I am guilty. There is no other way. There is no other name under heaven and among men whereby we must be saved except Christ Jesus, our Lord. So many times we spend so much of our time talking about other things. You turn to the Book of Revelation and you will find that one of those things that the Son of God pointed out which was wrong with that church, one of them. He said, you have left your first love. Brethren, let us not do that. Let us acknowledge our first love as Jesus. He has got to have the preminence in all things in the church. May I say this for emphasis. He will not play second fiddle to nobody. Brethren, He is first. If we don't let Him come first in our lives, He is going to deal with us as a father does a son. Brother Anthony, it is wonderful that HE is not going to send us to a devil's hell. He isn't going to disown us and say we are not His, but He will let us know He disapproves of it. He is just that good to us, is He not?

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mr 16:16) There are a lot of folks who want to stop here, but now I want to go one step further because, you see, we can't stop there because the Scripture doesn't stop there. It says, "But he that believeth not shall be damned." Now, this damnation is going to have . . . if the salvation is putting folks in heaven . . . this damnation is gonna . . . It is going to be just as long as the salvation, isn't it? You can't separate it, can you? You can't say one is for a little while and the other is for an eternity. Rules of language won't let you do that. The salvation and the damnation in this text is of the same duration. We believe it is in time here, friends. We will read you a Scripture from the Word of God to prove it. We see the Son of God weeping over Jerusalem, He didn't tell them they were going to burn in eternity. What did He say? "Oh, Jerusalem; Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Mt 23:37-39 also see Lu 13:34-35) If the Jews ever do that, why will they do it? It won't be because some man _ convinced them that it was the thing to do, but it will be according to God's word, friends: that the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. I don't know whether that will be this side of His second coming or not, Brother Rhine-hart, that is in the hands of God. But, friends, I do assert this: if they ever do, it will be just as the Word of God says, "The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentence." (Ro 2:4) God will show it to them.

Now then, one step farther. We are going to look in two places. In the Acts of the Apostles, the second chapter, on the day of Pentecost: Who was it that heard the gospel that day? Friends, I want to tell you: it was not an individual that you could describe as a dead alien sinner. Anybody that can hear the gospel has got life. You don't hear it in order to get life and, you see, if that was the way it worked, Jesus could have simply stood at the tomb of Lazarus and said, Lazarus, if you want life now, just come on out here and I will give it to you. But, you see, Lazarus was dead, friends, and the Word of God said he came forth bound hand and foot. He was brought out of there by the power of God. That is just the way every sinner will ever be brought out of the grave. That will be the way any sinner is ever drawn out of nature's darkness into the marvelous light and liberty of the Son of God, just the same way. All right, but, you see, he said this: on that day they were gathered at Jerusalem, the Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Are you going to step up and say they were not there? If you do, I am going to tell you what the Word of God says. It says, "Let God be true, but every man a liar." (Ro 3:4) If you contradict God's Word, then you have identified yourself from the Word of God. I didn't make you that. Here is the Word of God. I want you to see what it says.

I may have told this one time in this country before, but I'll tell it again. My daughter sitting back there, in high school, she was blessed with a talent that she could bounce that ball called basketball and the judges rated her one of the most important players in just about every tournament that she ever played in, in Junior College and Tri-State. The judges confided and the coach said, we chose that young lady before the game ever started, she would be one of the most important players. They said she came out on the court with such poise and looked like, will you let me use what the Word of God says, I believe she "rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race." She had run that before, Brother Rhine-hart; she knew what was in front of her. She not only possessed that, but she tried to pass it on to the other members of the team. But what I was saying about this, when it come to . . . her coach was an English teacher and she probably stayed in our house almost as much as Pattie did those two or three years that Pattie was playing for her. One night about 10 o'clock, I said, "Mrs. Guy, you being an English teacher, I want you to diagram a sentence for me from the Word of God." She said, "All right, I will." I quoted her that text that I just quoted to you, "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation." (Ac 2:5) When I read that to her, she said, "Mr. Myers, I know what you folks believe and I am scared to diagram that sentence for you because I am afraid I will hurt your feelings." I said, "You don't worry about my feelings, I am looking for the truth. Will you please diagram the sentence for me?" She sat down at the desk and began and she wrote just a little bit and she stopped and she looked at me. She said, "Mr. Myers, I've never seen that before." "Never seen that before." Listen to what I'm telling you, friends: Who was it that had the gospel preached to them? They were supposed to have been serving the Lord under the law for years. They were devout men. They were there. They had the gospel preached to them, and, you see, friends, my neighbors that think that folks have still got to go and preach the gospel before the end of the world comes; that happened two thousand years ago — and they say we are the ones who are behind the times! I don't say that to be ugly, Brother Rhinehart. They brought an end of the world. It was the law world and the grace dispensation must have been on that very day when the gospel was preached and the Word of God said "there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews devout men, out of every nation under heaven." And I will affirm it, friends, because everywhere that man has ever gone, somebody has been there before them. I have got news for you: God has so fixed it that the preacher can't get ahead of God. If he gets there before God does, he don't do nothing. Paul said that very thing. Let us acknowledge the truth. Though we preach, "we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called" ... called of whom? Called of God, friends, "both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and wisdom of God." (1Co 1:23-24)

When these men heard this on the day of Pentecost, they had a feeling, they felt like they ought to do something. Friends, if you have got that feeling today, I want to acknowledge to you and tell you where it came from. We will go to Philippians, now, and tell you. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." (Php 2:13) Not what some little preacher like me gets up and wants you to do. Now, I am saying to you, this morning, just as the mother of Jesus said to those servants at the marriage feast when the Son of God began His active ministry and performed His first miracle, she said to those servants: "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it." (Joh 2:5) That is all we want you to do today.

If we endeavor to do more, we will put ourself in the class that those apostles talked about up at Jerusalem when they had biblical counsel. We better leave it that way. Because some men rose up and began to teach that somebody had to do something in order to get to heaven and it disturbed the apostolic church. It still does, doesn't it? It still does. That is why I could tell the man what I told him last Wednesday. Those men when they handed down their decision, they said, "Why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" (Ac 15:10) For we perceive they are saved. How? By the grace of God, the same as we. (verse 11) All right, this early church over there . . . that was from the fifteenth chapter of Acts there.

Now, we will come back to the Second. I didn't intend to throw you that curve. I jumped that far and didn't tell you, but in the second chapter, these folks who were pricked in their heart cried out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do? And he said, "Repent and be baptized everyone of you." (Ac 2:37-38) This morning, if you have ever cried out from your heart, "What must I do," friends, that is of God. He goes on and he says, "and with many other words" he said unto them, "Save yourselves from this untoward generation." "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and them that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." I want you to get that "as many." That is the way it was over there. "As many as Thou hast given Him" (Joh 17:2) Jesus says: I have got the power to give them eternal life! Who is going to keep Him from it? It will be done because Jesus said so.

Now then, we are coming to the thirteenth chapter of Acts of the Apostles now, when Barnabas and Paul waxed hold. I feel only in the Spirit of God can His humble servants wax bold today, brethren, and we ought to wax bold. We ought to tell God's children these truths and ought to be trying to tell it everywhere somebody will listen to us. And my immediate family, who is my precious wife, she said, "Daddy, you have just got a one-track mind. If they talk about the Bible, you are alright, hut if they leave that, just immediately you are like you are in another world." Well, I don't want to be that way, I want people to know I am interested in them.

But you know we just feel like we tool away so many precious moments of our time. God help us to be conscious of this and try to be Christ-like, even to the expression when Jesus said Himself to His precious mother, Know ye not that "I must be about my Father's business." (Lu 2:49) Oh, my friends, I don't want to idle my life away. I want to spend it with God's little children in the service of God. I am so happy that I understand these things. Now, I am not working for a crown nor stars in my crown in the next world. I have got it all here. Oh, listen to this. Friends, just look in the Book of Revelation, you will find it.

Let me read that because I want to show you where Paul and Barnabas waxed bold. You talk about a farewell address, he made it to those Jews right here. He looked at them all and he said, "It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you." (Ac 13:46) I wanted to talk to you about the gospel this morning. I haven't done much at it, but that is what I have been trying to do. There were more places I wanted to go, but time has run up. But he said, it was necessary that the gospel first be preached to you. That is according to God's plan, brethren. This morning, we cannot call God in question, we just affirm that which God has laid down in His Word. I am not trying to add to it, nor take away. And, again, to let you know that I go along with most of our people today saying that we will j take the Bible as it is and they can matte any kind of revised versions they want to and they can say they are going to condense it and cut out the unimportant part — well, if that man will step up and show me, by the Word of God, that he has got the authority to take anything out of here, I will tell him he has got authority to just throw the whole thing away. He can't do it, not by chapter and verse. This is it, brethren, right here. want to tell you that I fee! like the world that we live in today, so many of the plagues that we are having to put up with ... will you agree with me that cancer is a plague. It is a disease, but it is an awful plague. It said "If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book." (Re 22:18) The Word of God speaks of a cancer as a canker (2Ti 2:17) if you want to know it. And when it gets ahold, it grows and grows and grows. In that day they didn't know what to do with it. Man can just do so little with it today and we are told now, believe, that it is the number one killer in our nation today. But, you see, it is a plague if we try to add to it. The plagues written therein shall be added unto 112.. Friends, where is our remedy? Where is the cure? Is it not in Gilead? (Jer 8:22) Here it is! It is in the House of God and in the Word of God, Let me point it to you. Let me show you. Alright, the Son el God, it is according to His plan, He didn't change it, friends. When He called the first twelve and He named them xxxs ties, He didn't just turn them loose and say just go anywhere you want to, and teach anything you want to, and do anything you want to do. He didn't do it that way. He said, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles," (Mt 10:5). You read it. "And into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

That is why Paul and Barnabas could tell these Jews over there in the thirteenth chapter of Acts of the Apostles, "It was necessary." That is the way God fixed it. "That the Word of God should first have been spoken to you." One or two of my close associates in the ministry, they were having a discussion, and I say this to emphasize this lesson, and they said that the Gentiles got the gospel preached to them on the day of Pentecost with the Jews. I said, you had better back up off that position. I am going to tie your hands, now. I am not smart, but I am going to read the Word of God to you. Would you say that was the first gospel discourse preached on the day of Pentecost? The Son of God preached it before then and these men preached it, but it was . . . I want to use this expression, it was the first Holy Ghost, God-inspired discourse. There it is. And the Word of God described just how the Holy Ghost came upon them. Friends, I beg you to read the Word of God and study that again and see what it did over there. The Word of God tells us not to quench the Spirit. Paul told the Church at Rome, 8 and 14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Not going to be but are the sons of God. Leave it right there.

Yes, "Lo, we turn to the Gentiles." Back to the thirteenth now. And it said "When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad." Now if it had stopped there, we could have said only the Gentiles were embraced, but now let us see God's plan. "And as many," there is your word again, "And as many." "And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." You can just take that any way you want to, but the Word of God — it is right there. Now then, somebody says, yes, preacher, you have got to believe because you just said that: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mr 16:16) Now, the reason I know that is not talking about eternity, there is going to be folks in heaven and immortal glory that never believed in the Son of God. The Word of God declared that very thing and tell us Gentiles in his letter to Rome, don't you condemn those brethren as . . . listen, "As touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes;" "as concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes;" But still . . . but still, they are beloved of God, you see. (Ro 11:28) That is why Paul could say, as we read in Ro 3:3 over there, "What if some did not believe?" The doctrines of men would tell you that there was no chance for them, you see. But he said, "Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid!" Will you listen to what God's Word said? "God forbid!"

Friends, I want to tell you something. I thank God this morning that He has blessed me to live in a generation when men could more conveniently and safely, with security of admission, meet as you have met and worship God and praise Him for His amazing grace, but I am happy to believe that in every generation somebody has been ascribing this kind of grace to our God. He blessed us above all other people in the world. He has blessed us above all other nations in the world. Again, I join with Brother McWhirter, I simply believe it is because His church and people are located in this country. I want to spend and be spent, I want to liowe, I want to die with these folks. I want to encourage them to keep on keeping on. Because, where can we go but to the Lord? Let us continue to ascribe greatness unto our God and tell His little children that everyone that God the Father gave God the Son will be saved in heaven and immortal glory because of the grace of God, but the happiness of God's children while in this world depends on you and I doing as God would have us to do and to let our light so shine before men that they, seeing our good works, would honor and glorify our Father which is in heaven. (Mt 5:16) It is people that believe in the Lord that encourages me to want to serve Him more and I trust, in some little way, by my coming this way today, it will encourage you to just keep on keeping on.

Would you let me read just one ... I know I am just about run past 'taking out time,' but let me read just one verse here. He said, "Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us." (2Ti 1:8-9) Friends, here it is, "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, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." (verses 9, 10) Now, if you have been made to rejoice in this news this morning, will you take it as more assurance to you that God has enlightened you, that He has given you life.

There is just maybe one more lesson I want to read in closing. Paul says this in his letter to the Church at Corinth. "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God" . . . listen to this, friends, "should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2Co 4:3-6) We sat with Brother McWhirter this morning and we reminded him that there is a syndicated program that you may have heard on your local radio station that gives the "thought for the day." This morning, as we sat in our daughter's home and turned the pages of God's Word, we read this, and we told Brother McWhirther, we knew he knew where it was, but we just felt like it was of the Lord and we turned to this particular chapter and read it this morning, and I said to Brother McWhirter: "As I read this, I thought of you." He says: "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2Co 4:7) Worthy friends: Will you rejoice in this! Yes, "We are troubled on every side." Listen to me. "Yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair." (Verse 8) Oh, He is still on His throne! May we remind you of that! He says, "Persecuted, but not forsaken." This was in the song that we sang this morning: "Cast down but not destroyed." Why? Because Jesus has destroyed all the enemies that can plague us. May God bless these truths to your heart. I thank you.

All Things by Elder Mitchell Phillips

All Things (1983, February)

Sermon preached by Elder Mitchell Phillips of Albertville, Alabama at the South Arkansas Association held with Bethesda Primitive Baptist Church, Camden, Arkansas, Friday night, September 18, 1982.

I told somebody, I forget exactly who it was, I wasn't going to bring anything new to you people. I don't really think you want to hear anything new. Well, I don't know anything new, if you know what I mean. You know Paul said on one occasion: "For I determined not to know any thing among you (the brethren at Corinth), save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." (1Co 2:2.) Thal. is sufficient, brethren. Sufficient. The Lord is sufficient. His grace is sufficient. His grace is sufficient to not only land us in heaven, and I believe it will without the loss of one, but God's grace is sufficient to sustain us, uphold us, strengthen us, and give us those things we stand in need of as we sojourn here in this world. I don't want to stand before you a great length of time. I want to hear Brother Weaver preach. You know when somebody comes before somebody else they can get out of the way just about as soon as they want to. I trust that you will pray for me for awhile. Like I say I won't take up a great deal of time.

I talked this afternoon, about what a great God He is. And He is, isn't He? He is a great God. Thanks be unto God He is our God. You know we not only belong to Jesus but Jesus belongs to us. When we say He is our Saviour that means something. David said in Ps 23: "The Lord is my shepherd." Brethren, one of the greatest blessings in this world, today, if not the greatest blessing, is for that individual to be able to say that and truly, indeed, mean it from the inner-most part of the soul: The Lord is my shepherd. I felt His presence, I felt His power. I felt Him in me. What a great blessing to be able to say that and mean it! What a great blessing it is to be blessed to enter into the joys of our Lord from time to time in the simple capacity as we have it here this weekend, when the saints of God assemble themselves together to render that proper praise, honor and glory to the matchless name of Jesus; to sing those glorious old songs that we have been singing for so many years that, extols the matchless name of Jesus. Nothing new again. We don't need anything new and we don't, want anything new. We are satisfied. Brother, I am satisfied with the work of Christ. I am satisfied with the work of the Lord Jesus when He came here to this world, lived a life of perfection, perfect. He is the only perfect man. He was in fact man and God . . . verily man, verily God. That is hard for me to understand. I don't know if I understand that truly or not. But I believe it. I believe it. because God's Word says it. You know we ought to believe the Word of God. Because, as the brother quoted today: "All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God." (2Ti 3:16.) Those things are profitable brethren. They are profitable that we might grow in the grace and knowledge of God. I am going to read some Scripture — you talk about something not being new — and this is about all I have got right now. The eighth chapter of the book of Romans. Maybe, I think, Brother Isaacs touched on some of it today, and I want to read some of it. I hope the Lord will bless me to expound upon some of it, I don't know. I told one of the brethren I approached the preaching service exactly the same way every time, exactly the same way —sacred to death. Brethren, let me tell you something: I wish you could stand in these old shoes ever now and then. I am going to tell you something, there would be a lot more praying going on. There would be a lot more praying going on and there would be a lot more petitioning done toward the throne of glory, brethren, that we might, as the ministry, be blessed of the Lord by His grace, to be endowed by that power and the unction of the Spirit of God to be able to preach. Brethren, you can't preach without the Spirit of God. You just can't do it. You might get up here and mumble a few things and put out a few words but as far as preaching and edifying the body of Christ: one must be in the possession of the Spirit of God. I believe that. Brethren, preaching is easy but I am going to tell you something: trying to preach is terrible. You ought to try it sometime. Trying to preach is just plain awful I am going to tell you, it is terrible. Whenever the Lord blesses you with the Spirit to preach His everlasting doctrine it is glorious. It is something that satisfies the soul of the ministry. There is nothing, brethren, that gratifies the minister of the gospel anymore than to be delivered in the Book. As I said we approach this scared to death hoping and praying that God Almighty will deliver us. We have got to be delivered. Approaching a funeral service I just have to pray: Lord deliver me, give me words of wisdom that I might be able to comfort, and edify, and encourage the bereaved. You have got to be delivered, brethren. Every circumstance of life you have just got to be delivered by the Lord God Almighty. We trust not in ourselves. We trust not in the arm of the flesh, there is no need to. We don't owe the flesh a thing in the world. All the flesh has ever done for us is get us in trouble and it is going to continue to get us in trouble if we walk after the flesh. But we are trusting in something better than that, something far superior to that.

In the eighth chapter of the book of Romans, beginning with the 28th verse (Ro 8:28) . . . Like I said I am not bringing anything to you that is new. You brethren know, for sure, this is not new. "And we know," Paul sounds rather persuaded in this thing, doesn't he'? "And we know." You know on one occasion Paul said: "For I am persuaded . . ." "For I am persuaded." You know that is a good word, Persuaded. Paul said, I "am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." (2Ti 1:12.) Brethren, he was persuaded. Are you persuaded?  I am going to tell you something: when a person in in that state of being persuaded he ought to be happy within himself as far as his eternal salvation is concerned. He ought to be satisfied with it: Resting in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Does that mean that he is satisfied with himself? No. I am not satisfied with myself. I have got a lot of growing to do in the grace and knowledge of God. If people didn't need to grow the Apostle Peter wouldn't have talked about growing in the grace and knowledge of God. There is a need for us to grow, brethren, in grace and knowledge of God. There is a need for us to grow, brethren, in the grace and knowledge of God that we might be better servants, better disciples of the Lord. I don't believe we preach enough on discipleship. Discipleship: dedicated, devoted, brethren, to the cause of Christ here in the world. We ought to be devoted to it. We shouldn't let just any thing stand in our way of going and being at the Lord's house whenever the meeting time comes. You know we can pray whether we are at the meeting house or not. We can always keep praying. If we can't go let us pray that the Lord will bless those that do go. That He will bless them with an out-pouring of blessing that they wouldn't be able to contain it. That they would be blessed in such a manner that they would even be blessed to shed tears of joy and thanksgiving. That they would be able to go away from the meeting house saying it was good to be in the house of the Lord one more time, and I hope and pray to God that I will get to go back. Brethren, I am going to tell you something: It is hard to think of, but this might be the last meeting that we are ever blessed to enter into the joy of our Lord here in this body. I hope it is not. But it is a possibility and it can be a reality for some but we hope and trust that it is not. That is why we should take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way in regards to the kingdom of God.

Paul said: "And we know that, all things work together for good to them that love God." Brethren, that already sounds to me like singling out a particular group of folks . . . "that love God." Does everybody love God? No, Brethren, I want to tell you everybody does not. love God. They don't love Him. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Those who are "Called according to His purpose," brethren, love the Lord. They love the Lord because the love of God has been instilled within their very soul, brother. "We love Him, because He first loved us." (1Jo 4:19.) "And we know that all things work together." Now, brethren, I am not going to tell you that all things that ever happen to a person here in this life is for his good. I am not going to tell you that because I don't believe it. Brother, if I go out here and stub my toe going down the sidewalk out here and can't wear my shoes tomorrow and have to go bare footed that is not for my good. That would be an inconvenience and a hindrance to me. I am going to tell you that. But that is a little bitty tiny thing we are talking about. There can be some things happen to us that are very, very bad and they are not for our good. And they are not the "all things" that are under consideration here, by no means, Don't ever believe that.

You know I work with a man. He is a good man, happens to be of another religion persuasion. We can't see eye to eye on religion. You know we really ought to just have a mutual agreement that we will never talk religion. That is really what we ought to do. Because we can't really relate to one another all that much. He used this text the other day and used it in the sense that things that were coming to pass in his life, and my life, were involved in this (timely, temporal things here in this world). I don't believe a word of that. I really don't. I really don't. I believe in Divine intervention, or Divine providence, if you please. I believe in that and you do too. I surely do. But that is not what is under consideration in this text.

"And we know." We are confident. The Apostle Paul knew it and I believe he was persuaded about it. "And we know that all things work together for good." There is nothing bad, there is nothing detrimental about those things _ whatsoever. They are all for good, every last one of them.

"To them that love God." To this particular group of people "to them who are the called according to His purpose." You know lots of folks don't like to think about the purpose of God. Brethren, it was God's purpose to elevate a people to the throne of glory, by the work of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ came and died for us. The Holy Spirit is sent into their hearts, they are quickened and made alive and they are born again. Those are the individuals we are talking about.

He said: "For whom He did foreknow." Foreknow. He foreknew these people before they ever had an existence in the world. I don't believe in the eternal existence of God's children, either, in reality but in the mind and purpose of God they were His children.

"For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate." Predestinate. Brethren, can you predestinate anything? I can't. Man has not the ability to predestinate a thing in the world, Brother Isaacs, but God can. Why is that so? The reason it is so, brethren, is because He has the power. Predestinate, brethren, is a word that is accompanied by power. God is the only One that has the power to predestinate. And He predestinated that this group of people, who love God, who are the called according to His purpose, "be conformed to the image of His Son" Jesus Christ, That is what is predestinated. I wasn't predestinated to stand behind this pulpit right here at this present time, brethren. I came because the Lord instilled the desire in my heart to come and be with you dear brethren. But God didn't predestinate me to be here. In other words I had a choice in the matter, brethren. Brethren, you can talk about free will if you want to, there is a certain extent of that true, Brother Weaver. As far as the free will of the ceature, the dead alien sinner exercising that free will in order to obtain life, we don't believe that. But we do believe in the responsibility of the born again child of God. We believe that. "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword." (Isa 1:19-20.) That is directed toward the heaven born soul there, you see. "He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." (2Co 9:6.) That is to the individual who knows, I believe, something about the kingdom of God. If he puts something into it he is going to receive something from it. I don't know how much cotton they grow in Arkansas but we grow a lot down home. Brethren, we can't plant ten acres of cotton and expect to go gather twenty. You can't, no way in the world.

"For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son." That what? "That He might be the firstborn among many brethren." Brethren, "For whom." Whom ... whom is the objective form of the word who, you see. Who acted upon becames a whom. These are people. These are people, individuals, particular individuals, brethren. Who are they? Those "that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." You see? God has not predestinated the dastardly deeds of men here in the world. He is not the author of evil. He is not the author of sin. Yet, there are people who charge Old Baptist with believing such heretical doctrine as that. We don't believe that. Any sound Old. Baptists never has believed that. But we do believe in predestination. We believe in the predestination of the Lord's people to heaven and immortal glory and it is a glorious doctrine. Why do I say that? Brethren, it is the most glorious doctrine that can be preach from the lips of man here in the world. Why do I say that? I say that because had it not been for the predestinating grace of God there would not have been a single soul in heaven. Not a one! The predestinating grace, the electing love of the Father, redemption in Jesus Christ by the shedding of His blood and then the setting apart or the sanctification by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn't invite anyone to get eternal life. The Spirit enters the heart of the natural man here in the world and it just isn't any natural man either. Everybody that has ever been born of the Spirit of God, brethren, was elected by the Father. Everyone that has ever been born of the Spirit of God was redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Every single one of them. God doesn't go about this thing in a hap-hazard manner. It is not a hit or miss situation. He knows exactly what He is doing, "according to His purpose," brethren, and His purpose is going to come to pass. You can count on it. You can count of it.

"He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." "Many brethren." I don't know how many many is. But it is a lot of folks. John the Revelator talked about the multitude which could not be counted. You know we have means by which to count great quantities of things in this world today. We have all sorts of computers and everything else, brethren. But John said this group of people could not be counted, brethren. I dare say you couldn't count them with computers and everything or device man has, it doesn't make any difference. They are as numerous as the sands of the sea, and the stars of the sky, brethren. This is a large crowd of folks. It's a handful! It is a handful! Whose hand is it? Is it mine? No, It is the hand of God. God's hand is big enough to house them all, brethren. This big multitude, you see. God has done that. God has predestinated His people to be conformed to the image of His Son. Can you find any thing wrong with that? I can't find a thing wrong with that. But I can find a lot of things in it to rejoice about. I rejoiced in knowing and realizing had it not been for the predestinating love of God there would have been none of us get to the glory world. None of us. None whatsoever, brethren. He has done this for us.

"Moreover whom He did predestinate." He had predetermined the outcome of their destiny, brethren. That is what it means. Predestinate, predetermine. Like I said before, God is the only One who can predestinate because He is the only One who has ample power to bring it to pass. I can't even predestinate my arrival at home. Can I do that? Well, of course not. I may have a car wreck, hope I don't — but it is possible. But is the arrival of the Lord's children in heaven and immortal glory a possibility? There is no possibility about it. That is like the brother I was telling you about a while ago. I ask him: Does grace make salvation a possibility, or a reality? He said: A possibility. I said: That is where me and you differ. The grace of God is sufficient, brethren, to house His children in heaven. Everyone of them, without the loss of one. Brethren, let me tell you something: if God is going to lose some of His children, and some are going to back slide and get into that state whereby they are not saved anymore, and, if they die in that state and go to the bad place — what kind of confidence do we have in a God like that. There is no room for confidence. No room for trust and dependence up on a God like that. We would be saying that our destiny, our eternal salvation is really dependent upon us and not God, you see. Paul said, if it is by works, then it is no more grace; if it be by grace, then it is no more of works, brethren. You just can't mix the two together when it comes to the eternal salvation of the Lord's people. But, brethren, as far as salvation here in time is concerned I believe you can take the grace of God and mix it with a few works. In fact with a lot of works. Whose works? Your works. And "save yourself from this untoward generation." (Ac 2:40.) "Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate." (2Co 6:17.) "Save yourself from this untoward generation." That is a salvation, brethren. We can work in that thing. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Php 2:12.) Why? Because God has given you the capacity to work it out. He has given you the desire, inside this very soul of yours to love Him, to serve Him, and
honour Him as you live here in the world. Live according to the precepts and examples of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

"Moreover whom He did predestinate." Those that were predetermined to go to the glory world, He called them, brethren. We know about the calling. It is an effectual call. The Spirit is not inviting or beckoning the sinner to do something whereby He may put God into a state of obligation to save him. No! He sends His Spirit into our hearts whereby we cry, "Abba, Father." You know, we find in the Galatian letter where it says "because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Sons how? sons by choice, sons by election, brethren, those are the sons that the Spirit enters the heart and they are quickened and born again. "And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." (Eph 2:1.) "Were Dead," not now, but you were. Now we are alive in Christ. "For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph 2:10.) He didn't predestinate or predetermine our works brethren, those works are something we are going to have to do. But He predetermined the walk, brethren, that we need to walk in. There Is a highway established, Brother Cayce, for the Lord's people to walk in. A highway of holiness and God has given us that ability, I believe, to walk therein, that we might honour Him, and that we might find rest for our souls.

"Whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified." We know, Brother Isaacs, we are justified by the merits of Christ and not ourselves. There is no way in the world for me to justify myself. You can't justify yourself. As I said earlier today, it wouldn't do you a bit of good for me to go to the cross and die for you. I am just a poor sinner. Same way with you toward me. But Jesus came, brethren, and condemned the very thing that condemned us and that is sin. Sin. We were under the law of sin and death, now we have been redeemed and delivered out from under that law by the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Them He also justified: and who He justified, them He also glorified." God is not through with this thing yet, I believe one of these days we are going to be like Jesus. We are going to be satisfied with it. I don't know exactly how it is going to be but I am going to be satisfied. You know, we, humans, cannot be satisfied here in this life. There is always something that is troubling us or bothering us some way or another. We are always reaching out, grasping for something else. But, brethren, we can't even imagine how it is going to be to be completely satisfied. We can't even comprehend that. I can't. I don't believe any man can comprehend how it shall be: to be completely satisfied, brethren, and be like the Lord Jesus.

Paul says then, "What shall we then say to these things?" Now the things there, brethren. are exactly the same things up in Ro 8:28. Things! What are we going to say about these things that are enumerated here: That God has predestinated people, they have been called, justified and finally glorified; what are we going to say about those things? He is going to say: "If God be for us, who can be against us?" God has done all of these things in our behalf. If God has done all those things in our behalf. He must, undoubtedly, be for us. And if He is for us . . . if God be on your side, who in the world is going to be against you? We know and realize that nothing can stand up to the Lord. Nothing, brethren, can pluck you out of the Lord's hand. There is no way in the world that such could be done.

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things'? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect," (a brother quoted that today). "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" Brother Isaacs, there is but one answer to that. There is nothing, there is no one, nor anything that can charge God's elect. There is no charge that can be laid to them. Why? Because God has justified us. You tell me how anything that God has justified can become unjustified. How? How can that be. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?" Same case there. "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Here is something that I use quite often at funerals. I believe it is a very consoling thought. It is something that I believe encourages the Lord's people. It encourages those who truly may not know the fullest extent of the truth. You know I believe that a funeral is one of the greatest places in all the world for an Old Baptist to make an impression on somebody. You know what I mean? We don't really get up there and just hammer, hammer, hammer doctrine every time. But I will tell you this, we do try to strengthen, we do try to comfort the bereaved whereas a lot of ministers of a lot of other orders, I am going to tell you, they are going to create more fear, they are going to do more harm than good, and they are going to create more pain in the bereaved in addition to what is already there. That is not my purpose. My purpose is to try to comfort those who are already hurting and mourning.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." Paul says here that He is persuaded again. "For I am persuaded." In other words he knew these things. There is no doubt in his mind whatsoever about the things that he is penning down right here. "For I am persuaded, that neither death." Brethren, death does not separate us from the love of God. There is no way in the world. Whenever we lay the body of one of our loved ones in the ground, brethren, that doesn't separate them from the love of God. No, no, no, a thousand times no. No way in the world. "Nor life." I want you to get this. "Nor life." Some people have the idea that you can separate yourself from the love of God by the way that you behave yourself. Is that not a manifestation of life? This says, "life." Any life, I don't care what kind of life it is it can't separate you from the love of God. You can't separate yourself from the love of God. Now you can separate yourself from the fellowship of God, to some extent, I believe that. You can separate yourself from the fellowship of your brethren in the church by the way that you behave in this world, I believe that. I believe that everybody here in this very building today are in a state of unity about the belief of that. Let us tell you something: whenever the Lord Jesus Christ enters the heart of an individual that is a perfect work and we believe that work is going to continue until the day of Jesus Christ and there is no way for a man to backslide and go to the bad place. Paul says in the Philippian letter, "that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Php 1:6.) We believe that, we surely do! Brethren, we have got a God that we can place confidence in. I realize we don't always behave ourselves like we ought to. We are not as stedfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord like we ought to be but aren't you glad that we have a God that doesn't think like we do? He is not like a man. He is not like a man, you see. His ways are far above our ways, you see. His ways are past finding out, that is what makes Him God, you see. We know what we are. We are mere people, puny, sinful, bankrupt man. We know what we are. We know that our only hope is in the grace of God. We know that. It is all I have got, is hope. It is hope. I am going to tell you something. Hope is not a wish. Hope is an earnest expectation of a successful conclusion, brethren. We are expecting something. We are expecting to live with God in glory. We are expecting that, brethren. But it is not because of us, it is because of Jesus. He loved us enough to come and die for us and redeem us from our sins.

Paul said: "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come," that covers about everything, don't it? No! Paul said, just in case I will keep on, something else: "Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Brethren, you talk about the eternal security of the Lord's people, That is it! You just can't get separated from the love of God. You know Jesus said: "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me." Let me go back a little further, let me back up a little bit. Here is a Scripture that I am going to quote, brethren, that you are going to hear part of it in the religious world, you are going to hear part of it. "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." Is that where we start? No, let's back up one more — "All that the Father giveth Me shall come, to me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." (Joh 6:37.) You know the rest of it, there is no need of me quoting it, brethren. But "All that the Father giveth Me." Giveth Me, when? before the foundation of the world, in the everlasting covenant of grace. That is where it all took place. Brethren, we cannot charge God with any unrighteousness. We can't question the work of God. Do you believe that God does something because it is right? Brethren let me tell you something: Whatever God does it is automatically right. God can do anything He wants to do and who are we to question Him. Whatever God does is automatically right, whether we understand it or not, or whether we ever believe it or not. It is right because He is the Sovereign Ruler of the heavens and the earth and He is righteous, absolutely perfection, brethren. Who are we to charge unrighteousness with God? Paul knew they would ask that question, didn't he? What was his reply? "God forbid." God forbid that we would as much as think of such a thing. But, brethren, there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. That being so, us having confidence in that fact, let us live for the Lord. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (1Co 15:58.) Brother Weaver come on. May the Lord bless you is my prayer.


 AN ABIDING FAITH (1951, September)

A dedication sermon preached by Elder S. B. Denny of Wilson, North Carolina, at Asheville Church, Asheville, North Carolina, April 9, 1950.

I am indeed glad to be here this beautiful morning. I feel like thus far God has answered our prayers. I prayed that we might have a beautiful day; that we all might have a safe journey ; that we might be enabled to sit together in heavenly places in Christ, and that we might be able to forget the things that disturb us in this life and rest beneath the shadow of His wing. I want to make a few remarks before I enter into my discourse. My favorite Hymn, as many of you know, is "God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform."

Ten years ago I paid my first visit to this lovely city and to the home of Elder L. L. Huffman during the life of dear Sister Huffman. Four years later I came back to this city and that night Sister Huffman asked me to speak in their home and pray for her son who, at that time, was in the Merchant Marines. After speaking and praying in that home she said, "Brother Denny, I want to ask if you have any literature and books that I could send to my son in the service, which would help him to search and study God's Word." I went back home and sent him an unabridged concordance of the Holy Bible. I have learned since that he carried it through the service and into several countries. I trust it has been a blessing to him up until this hour. Shall I say that I have a certain amount of pride? If I did not say that I would not be truthful.

I have traveled the highways this week alone and yet, I hope, not alone. I asked God that He might bless me to speak to your comfort, to His glory and honour, and that He might give me a sweet message to deliver this morning to His praise, If you will all bear with me, I want to take my time, and if God will bless me with His spirit I would like to preach three sermons in one in about thirty or forty minutes.

I would like to call your attention to Mic 4:1-7. "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills ; and people shall flow unto it." While I thought about these beautiful mountains as I drove up last evening, my mind was carried back to the statement of one of old who said, "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people." As I think about the church of the living God, I love to think of it as being above the earth ; I love to think of it as being on the top of the mountain. I love to think of it as being the church of the living God, the very pillar and ground of the truth!

I receive sweet comfort and consolation to think that this is entirely different from nature. I was reared, many of you know, in a mountain country and am now living in Easter North Carolina. I have watched these streams as they flow down through my section of the country. They start small and gather as they pass through the low grounds and into the sea. But I want to call your attention to something entirely different here. These flow up. I want you to notice, Brethren, entirely different. I want to say, lest I forget, that God's ways are just as far above our ways as the heavens are above the earth, and unaided by His divine spirit we cannot fathom them. We cannot understand them. This is a great mystery, and without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness.

But, "In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountain, and it shall be exalted above the hills ; and the people shall flow unto it." Of whom is He talking, Brethren? His people! He is talking about a living people, a people who know the truth and who know something about the impartation of His spirit into their hearts. And by virtue of that fact they long and yearn for the higher and nobler things of life. And by virtue of this life forget the material things of life and labor, as it were, for the higher and nobler things in life. He says, "And many nations shall come, and say," that is a sweet thought. Not the Gentiles only, not only the Jews, or Greeks, not the Assyrians only, but many nations. Notice what He says, "And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob." Many nations, Brethren. I want you to notice that.

We, as Primitive Baptists, have been accused by some people of preaching a narrow doctrine. But I am happy to tell you that- we preach a glorious doctrine! One that embraces every nation, every kindred, and every tongue! I believe, with all my heart this morning, that God has a people in every land, in every nation, every kindred, and every tongue who know Him, whom to know is life eternal! I am happy to say again that our God is no respecter of persons. But in every land, nation, in every kindred and tongue, he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted. of Him—not will be. The world teaches that we are accepted of Him if you will accept the overtures of His mercy, but here He says accepted. Already accepted. The living characters who know something about the truth as it is in Jesus.

"And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways." Who is going to teach you, Brethren? God teaches His people! He takes away that hard and stony heart! He gives you a heart of flesh! He implants this good matter in your heart! He kills you to the love of sin! And He makes you alive unto righteousness! By virtue of the fact that you have been made a living character, you have been killed to the love of sin, and have been made alive unto righteousness, there is a desire implanted in your heart, if you be a child of God. You desire above everything else in this life to magnify, honor, adore, and exalt His name above every name! So, "He shall judge among many people." God shall judge! Sometimes we judge and our judgment is not correct. Here is One who judges correctly! Here is One who knows what you stand in need of, oven before you approach unto Him! Here is One, Friends and Brethren, who has promised to supply your every need according to the riches in race by Christ Jesus our Lord!

"And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off." God rebukes the nations of earth,—Sometimes I have been made to wonder if we, as a nation—a boasting nation, if you please—if we stop, think, and appreciate the blessings that God has so wonderfully and graciously, so bountifully poured upon us, as a people and as a nation.

A Christian preacher stopped me on the streets this week and said, "Wait a minute, Brother Denny. I want to ask you a question. What does it take to constitute hell? Just out in the open and above board. I said, "Well, do you want my definition just off-hand without giving it much thought?" He said, "Yes." I said, "When God withdraws His presence from me, then I am in the very depths of hell and David said : From the depths of hell I cried out unto the Lord and He heard me. When I cannot behold His face in righteousness and when I feel that He is clean gone forever, I grope in darkness and wonder if I am mistaken in the whole matter. As the last ray of hope is almost vanishing out of my sight and I am made to cry unto Him, why then, and not until then, am I made to rejoice as David was made to rejoice when God made Himself manifest to him, lifted him out of that horrible pit and placed his foot upon a rock, established his goings, and put a new song in his mouth." Why, then David could come forth and say: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." In one place you remember he said, "Hath God forgotten to be gracious-" and "Is His mercy clean gone for ever?"

"And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." I just stopped and meditated and wondered about that. As we are living in this progressive age and as we hear talk from almost every hilltop and mountaintop concerning the atomic bomb, the hydrogen bomb, and all these new developments or discoveries that have been made, I have been made to wonder that after this struggle is over, if the time will not come that the nations will be glad to lay down the implements of war and live in peace one with another. I just offer that as, a thought. The distruction, in my honest and candid opinion, will be so great that it will be hundreds and perhaps thousands of years before a nation will be equipped or able to go to war against the nations of earth.

He is talking about the latter days. That time has not come yet, Brethren, but we do not know. I am confident—and I belive these brethren will bear me out— that we are living in the last day. The time is ripening for the destruction of this earth, naturally speaking. I am not going to tell you it is tomorrow; becauuse, I read here that one day is as a thousand years with the Lord and a thousand years is as one day. Here we see in part, know in part, and prophesy in part. This morning we look as through a glass darkly, but we have an abiding hope in our heart—did you notice what I said? I said an ABIDING hope in our heart—that one day when this glass that Intervenes between us and God, will 'be removed and we will be able to see Him as He is, be like Him and be satisfied!

As a boy I used to think that I would reach a station in life that I would be perfectly satisfied. I used to think as that prodigal son, remember, he went to his father and desired his portion from his father's house; then went into a far country. He went into the field to feed the swine. I hear him saying: Behold, how many hired servants at my father's house have bread and I starve with hunger! He did not say much about his father's house and the comforts of it until he had been deprived of those things and brought down to a sovereign throne of grace. When he had been stripped of all his self-righteousness, brought down, and had spent all of his substance upon riotous living, then he was brought to say that if I could just go to my father's house I would be perfectly willing to say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight and I am no more worthy to be called thy son. But just make me as one of thy hired servants!

"But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid." Why so? Because "The mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it." The time will come when we will be willing to abide at home, abide in this humble calling, abide in the place that we hope and trust God has directed our feet, and that we will be willing to worship God under our own vine and under our own fig tree. How precious it is to think that He has promised to protect us and enable us to do that unmolested. Notice what He said. "But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it." The question I want to bring to your attention is this: When God makes Himself manifest to you and you are enabled to behold His face in righteousness, and when you can behold Him His very presence disperses all gloom! It is a new heaven and a new earth, old things are passed away and all things are become new! Hence, you come testifying—not of the works of your hands, but of the wonderful virtues in Jesus and what you hope and trust the Lord has done for you, whereof you are glad!

While I was driving along the highway with a colored man, who has been working with me about eight years, someone was preaching over the radio. He said, "You know, I am just as confident, I am just as well satisfied that I will go to heaven when I die as if I had already spent a hundred years there. I am perfectly satisfied about that, no fear whatever. I know I am going to heaven when I die." I turned to this colored man and said, "Brooks, what do you think about that? We are going out here to a city a few miles from Wilson. If I tell you, as we journey, that I know we will reach Lucama safely — I might have told my party I know we will get into Asheville perfectly safe. I seriously doubt whether they would appreciate that or not." The colored man bowed his head and said, "Boss, he ought to have said, I hope I am going. If you would say, I hope I will reach Lucama, I think it would sound much better than saying, I know we are going to reach the city." So, I want to say here: We know in part, see in part, prosphesy in part, and we look as through a glass darkly.

But let us notice again: "In that day, saith the Lord," but let us go back here. "For all people will walk every one in the name of his god." This is g-o-d in small letters. Men and women unaided by the divine spirit of God are all just alike. That is the reason, Brethren and Friends, I have tried not to cast stones at those who do not know the truth, who do not understand these sacred truths. Because, I remember a time when I was a stranger to the commonwealth of Israel, without God and without hope in the world. I find the first man Adam was of the earth earthy, hence in nature we are just alike. We are Adam multiplied, and if there is any difference in us it is by virtue of the fact that He has taken up His abode in our hearts and killed us to the love of sin. So, "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven," a quickening spirit.

"All people will walk every one in the name of his god," but notice this, Brethren: "We will walk in the name of the Lord our God." He is talking of a different people here. He is talking of the elect family of God, the chosen people of God. And they will walk in the name of their god. Brethren, let me ask you a question. What do you leave home for, and why do you go into the service? Do you go to testify concerning the works of your hands? What you have accomplished in life? What you know from a natural standpoint? Or do you go in the name and strength of Israel's God? And do you go desiring to testify to what you hope and trust the Lord has done for you; How He found you as He found Jacob of old? How you hope and trust He has led you about, instructed you? He brought you, also, to His banqueting house and He placed His banner over you, which is love. Now, do not let me get started on LOVE. They say over in Eastern North Carolina that Brother Denny preaches too much love. I want to leave that.

"In that day, saith the Lord, will I assemble her that halteth." Do you know anything about a people who have been halting? Hardly a day or week passes with me that I do not meet someone who knows the truth, but they are not established in that truth to the end that they are made willing to go home to the church. How often they come and say, "Brother Denny, I love what you preach and I love the doctrine that the Primitive Baptist proclaim, but I am halting, I am doubtful, I am fearful." He talks about a people here who are halting, doubtless not established in the truth as they should be, and walking in darkness. "In that day, saith the Lord, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out."

You remember how certain nations were not reckoned? They were driven out and not reckoned with the nations of the earth. As we go back under the law dispensation we find for four thousand years how the Jewish nation made their sacrifices and their offerings, yet all the offerings that they made for four thousand years, if you please, under the Jewish dispensation could not and would not make the atonement perfect!

Then we find Jesus here. He said that He came—What for? He came for the express purpose of breaking down that middle wall or partition that existed between the Jew and the Gentile. When Jesus came and broke down that middle wall or partition, then He said in that day—having reference as we understand to this our day,—gospel day that no man should go about teaching his brother nor his neighbor saying, know ye the Lord, for they shall all know Him from the least even unto the greatest. I want to say, we have a great Teacher here. My father who occupied this sacred stand for fifty-four years, used to say nearly always in his preaching, "One that never sleeps nor slumbers but watches over His flock by day and by night." Now notice again, "And I will gather her that is driven out, and her that 1 have afflicted." Are you not glad of that? You become afflicted sometimes. I used to think that the best things and the greatest blessings in life would be having the material comforts of life. But I have not so learned Christ in that manner. I think, sometimes, we learn great lessons in afflictions.

One of old said, "Before I was afflicted I went astray." And "it is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes." So then, afflictions, though they seem severe, are often mercy sent. He remembers those who are afflicted and those who are cast out. He said, "I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that cast far off a strong nation: and the Lord shall reign over them in mount. Zion from henceforth, even for ever." I am going to make them a strong nation. I am going to bring the Jews and Gentiles of all the nations of earth in this last day ! I believe that is true! He will bring them. Maybe I had better prove that. He said, "And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven."

And I want to quote again, before I turn to the next thought. Over here in speaking about this river —Brother Monsees, I heard you preach the most beautiful sermon you ever preached, concerning this river. And He showed me a pure river of water of life clear as crystal proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb. Here is a wonderful river and I am happy to believe this morning that this river flows in every land and every nation and every kindred and every tongue! I am almost persuaded to say I believe from the depths of my heart that every individual who has, does, or ever will feel the need of a Saviour's love will be enabled someday to partake of this water that shall make glad the city of our God!

Now, notice again. "There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God." You know something about the natural water. We may partake of this natural water and we will thirst again. Jesus talked to that woman of old, who came to the well, and, as He talked to her, He asked drink of her. She said. "The well is deep and you have nothing wherewith to draw." Jesus said, Woman, if thou had asked of me, I would have given thee living water. Now you can partake of this water and you will thirst again. But the water I would have given thee would be in thee a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Then she asked drink, you remember. Jesus talked with her awl she wanted to know something about the worship and service of God. Jesus said, "Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father... But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth : for the Father seeketh such to worship Him."

I hope and trust that this house will be dedicated to those like subjects who desire to worship Him, magnify Him, honour Him, and adore His name above every name! I received several letters before coming here—one from Miami, Florida—and they said, "Brother Denny, I hope you will preach just what you preached two years ago while you were in our city." They did not know about the circumstances of the service. I told you in the outset I would like to preach you two or three sermons in one. So now I will leave that and come over here.

Since this is Easter I feel I would like to bring a few beautiful thoughts concerning this day. I would bring you to Mt 28:1 "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it." Notice here, "His countenance was like lightening, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men." You who are Bible readers remember this beautiful story. "And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified."

These faithful women had toiled all night long in preparing those spices and ointments to anoint the body of the Lord Jesus. And as they journeyed early on the Sabbath morning to the sepulchre we hear them talking one to the other saying: Who shall roll the stone away because the stone is great? I wonder, Brethren, as we go into His service if we are made to say: who will roll away that stone, because the stone is great? They knew something about the law and that Roman seal which had been placed upon the stone, and how Jesus had been crucified; how He had been placed in Joseph's new tomb; how the seal had been placed that was death for any man to break. Yet we find here, "And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified."

My brother, Elder 0. J. Denny, preached in our church several years ago. He referred to the fact that if you will search the Bible you will find that Matthew, Mark, Luke and maybe John, referred to this and each one of them spoke of it in a slightly different manner. One of them refers to one angel.
Read it and see if I am not right and if he was not right. Another refers to it as two angels and another refers to having seen three angels. I used to think that these angels which were under consideration were spirits, and that might be true. But as I search God's Word I find that God's called, anointed servants were often referred to as ministering angels. Now if I am wrong, Brethren, tell me when I get through.

When I was preaching a few days ago, I ran across something that I had never noticed, though I have run across it hundreds of times. I ran across where Jesus became angry, not only in the temple—I remembered that—but at this place it referred to Jesus as being angry. So, I took my concordance and looked. I saw where He became angry on five different occassions. I was sitting there meditating and I said in my heart: How can this be true? How can I fathom this; how can I harmonize it? A voice seemed to speak within my heart and said: If what you preach is true, He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin." There was no guile found in His mouth. He was separate from sinners. And lest I forget, my kindred and friends: when you get ready to plead your poverty, your meanness, your imperfection, I want you to go and search and study the life of the Lord Jesus. You will find that you have 'never had a trial, a conflict, persecution or disappointment that He did not bear, because He was tempted in all points as we, yet without sin.

Let us notice again: "He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." How did this angel know? How do you know, Brethren? Do you know by research or do you know by a sign, or do you know by faith? I believe it was by faith the.worlds were framed, by God's almighty hand. And I find that servant of old went forth by faith—not knowing whether his journey would be prosperous or not but God spoke to him and told him to go forth, and "in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore."

Listen, Brethren and Friends, if you think the invisible church of the living God is just a remnant, then if you can count or enumerate the sands by the sea, you can number national Israel; and if you can count the stars in heaven, then you can number the invisible church of the living God! So, this angel speaks to those women, who had labored and toiled all the night long, and said, "He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

Elder Monsees remembers my older brother, we were in busines together a number of years. He was preaching seventeen years ahead of me. I have heard him say dozens of times, "I wish I could have lived during the life of Jesus. I wish I could have walked with Jesus and talked with Jesus and communed with Jesus." I said, "Brother, you could have lived during the life of Jesus and you could have walked with Him, talked with Him, and mingled with Him, but unless He had seen fit to reveal Himself to you, you would not have known that it was Jesus." Am I right or am I wrong? You remember Thomas said, I just cannot believe ; I have heard how He has come forth from the tomb and how He burst the tomb asunder, but unless I can see for myself I am not going to take just hearsay about this matter. I want to know something about it.

You who are Bible readers remember how Jesus came into that room. My Bible tells me the windows and doors were closed. Jesus made Himself manifest there. He speaks to Thomas and says; "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing." Some people say he did not thrust his hand in His side. Brethren, I have not been able to find that in the teachings of God's word. But when Jesus made Himself manifest, Thomas said, "My Lord and my God." And that is enough! When Jesus makes Himself manifest to you, why prisons become as palaces, old things pass away, all are new. It is a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwell peace and love and righteousness!

"He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you." He made Himself manifest to those people, you remember, as they journeyed along the highway and talked with Jesus. I want you to notice they said to Him, "Art thou a stranger in Jerusalem," and have not heard how they have come and with wicked hands slain the one in whom we hoped and trusted would one day redeem Israel? Jesus made Himself manifest to Mary and she reached hither her hand to touch Him. Here is a beautiful thought. Jesus spake to her, and called her by name, and said, "touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." Do not touch me. I am happy to tell you today—if I know anything about the teaching of God's Word—that He is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high and is making intercessions for His people. He knows your needs and understands the very breathings of your heart. He sees you afar off and—listen! Last, but not least.-He has promised to supply your every need according to the riches in grace by Christ Jesus our Lord. "And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word."

You might wonder why I wanted to embrace this other. Several years ago when I was in Elder Huff-man's home and I questioned them concerning a house of worship, I said, "If God blesses me with health and strength and a reasonable portion of mind I am going to see or help you all build a house of worship in the city of Asheville." The reason I said that: I was burdened with that thought. I am not boasting when I say this. I am just giving you facts and figures: This is the fifteenth Primitive Baptist Church that I have endeavored to assist in building and erecting in this country. I must say without criticism and without censoring anyone that I have devoted more time, energy, and means in the erection a this little house of worship than all the other fourteen. doubtless, put together. When Brother Orvin and members of this church would call me and say, "Brother Denny, what shall we do? We are out of funds." I said, "Do most anything you can except one thing: Remember Lot's wife; do not look back! Because, I have an abiding hope in my heart that God will let me live to see a house of worship in this city of Asheville, North Carolina." I see the fulfilment in the building of this house something that I never expected to live to see.

I read over when the disciples were here the people sold their possessions, their belongings, and brought the proceeds and dropped them down at the feet of those disciples. They had all things as it were in common. Here is what I am blessed to see: When I came here some three years ago and went to see A Bank and Insurance Company, they said to me, "Brother Denny, how many members do you have?" And they continued to question me and finally one of the outstanding officers said, "Brother Denny, if you had a hundred members we would loan you money to build the house." I said, "If I had a hundred members in the city of Asheville I would nbt ask you to build a house, we would build it ourselves."

So, I came back the next year and asked the Bank about making a loan in order that we might finance this and build this house. They turned the proposition down, just a small matter so to speak. Here is what I want to tell you: I saw the wives of the members of this church. Everyone of them gathered one morning over at Brother Huffman's and they said, "Brother Denny, we are willing to mortgage our homes and everything that we possess in this life in order that we may have a house of worship." What for? "For our children and grandchildren, and for those who would follow after us!" Do you wonder, why Brother Denny appealed through almost every 'paper in this country? "No," it did not make me falter. I just said, "Tomorrow, God being my helper and giving me the strength, I will endeavor to continue to press on." I see Brother Johnson in the congregation, pardon me. I was sitting at my desk one day and I said, "If God blesses me to see the fulfillment of my desire in Asheville, then I am going to wash my hands and retire from building Old Baptist Churches. I am just going to say, I have done my part." Then I received a letter. I opened it and Brother Johnson said, "Brother Denny, we are considering building a house of worship over at Cool Springs, near Greenville" and he told me about friends outside of our church, doctors, lawyers, and business people who said they would assist them. So God being my helper I want to see another Old Baptist Church built in this country and Brother Denny is ready if God will bless me with the strength to do everything I can.

I want to say something else. I am not begging. I am not a good beggar for myself—yes, I am a beggar, naturally speaking; but I am thinking about begging for natural funds. God has blessed me to this day so that I have never had to ask anyone for a dollar for the necessities of life. But I do not mind begging for the church of the living God! Those people whom I love better than life itself ! I represent one of the nicest memorial firms in the south. I want to say tc this audience before I forget, if any of you need a memorial, or should need a memorial, if you will get in touch with Brother Denny, and if I can serve you, I will tell you what I will do to show you that I want to see this house completed to the glory of God and the comfort of His people. I will give you ten percent of my commission for every dollar's worth of business that you will send me until this house is completed.

"And, behold there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law, then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now °Iettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation." I say again, and I am not boasting, God has written in my heart with an indelible pen to such an extent that I believe, with all my heart, with all my strength, and with all my mind that certain things would not take place until God blessed me to behold those things. And by an eye of faith I looked forward. I was made willing to press onward and upward toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God as it is in Christ Jesus. God enabled this 'servant to say: I do not believe I will ever see death until I shall behold the Lord's Christ! When the Babe was only eight days old, by an eye of faith, I can see old Simeon bowed with age, grey hairs upon his head. Doubtless tottering as he came in. And what do I see here? I see him as he takes the Babe in his arms, he blesses God. What did he say? "Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation."

Brethren, I do not know many of you in the flesh but I hope I know you in the spirit. My heart's desire and prayer to God is that He will enable us by grace to so live and so conduct ourselves in this life, that our walk and our conversation will be seasoned with grace; that when we come to the end of life's journey and are called upon to fold our hands in death that we may be enabled to say with the apostle in the eighth chapter of Romans—my favorite chapter in all the New Testament Scriptures—"If God be for us, who can be against us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Blessed be the thought!

In conclusion, just so certain as God reigns triumphant above every power, one day He will bring His loved one from every land, every nation, every kindred, and every tongue. We will be enabled to spend eternity in His presence and all the honour, all the praise, and all the adoration will be due Him for- ever and forever. Amen.

An Afflicted And Poor People

An Afflicted And Poor People (1986, September-October)

Zep 3:12

Sermon preached by Elder John Robbins of Knoxville, Tennessee at Collierville, Tennessee Church in 1984.

"Poor and afflicted, Lord are Thine,
Among the great unfit to shine;
But tho' the world may think it strange;
They would not with the world exchange.
Poor and afflicted, yet they trust
In God, the gracious, wise and just;
For them He deigns this lot to choose,
Nor would they dare His will refuse.

"Poor and afflicted oft they are,
Sorely oppressed with want and care.
Yet He who saves them by His blood,
Makes every sorrow yield them good.
Poor and afflicted — yet they sing,
For Christ, their glorious, conquering King,
Through sufferings perfect, reigns on high,
And does their every need supply.

"Poor and afflicted, still in Him,
Our wealth and riches all will be.
For Thou art all our righteousness
And will the poor and needy bless.
Poor and afflicted, Christ our friend,
Our first great cause and last great end.
How sweet to know that He will be,
The Christ in all eternity."

I want to think just a few moments, this morning, about the Lord's poor and afflicted people. They are people in the midst of all of His people, You can read in the little prophecy of Zephaniah in the Old Testament day, the Lord is speaking. In one sense every thing that is contained in the pages of God's Divine, Inspired Word is God speaking to His people: in the prophecy of the Old Testament day, by apostles and others in the New Testament day, But the Son of God, Himself, speaks to His people in these last days that we are living in.

There are a people that God spoke about through the mouth of the Prophet Zephaniah, He said: "I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord." (Zeph, 3:12) God blessed His people beyond measure in the Old Testament day, as He kept them, blessed them, sent them manna from heaven, raised them up prophets that talked to them about a better day that was to come, Every patriarch and every child of God that you read about in the Old Testament day, that recognized the poverty that they had by nature and the afflictions that were theirs, as they viewed the grace of God they were blessed to look to a better and a brighter day than they were living in during that Old Testament day.

Abraham, that one that God spoke of when He said through the mouth of the Prophet Isaiah one time, He said: "Abraham my friend." (Isa, 41:8) May it be said of you in your journey here that you were God's friend. That you were one that was poor and afflicted like Abraham was, Abraham was a mighty man. Abraham was a man of much wealth as far as the things of this world was concerned. Abraham had cattle, and land. So when he was down in the land of Ur of the Chaldees, God called him, God calls His people. He is the only One that has a voice that they can hear when they are dead in trespasses and in sin, The voice of the preacher just can't reach dead people. These servants of God sitting about have preached many, many funerals, I am sure. There has never been a dead man, corporally speaking, that ever heard the funeral discourse that was delivered over him, Preachers just don't have the power to reach those that are dead, As they have not the power to deal with those that have come to that hour of departure that we in our poor way tried to speak a little bit about last night, they have not the power to reach that one that is dead in trespasses and in sin, There is One that God gave power over all flesh, Brethren, He meant just what He said by that, God gave His Son power over all flesh, and Jesus Christ as the poor and afflicted Son of God. Christ is our example in all things as the words of the poet says: "He is our first great cause and our last great end," Jesus Christ did not come in pomp and ceremony as so is the custom to men and by men, and that men expect, When we see leaders of the world, when we view those that entertain high positions in religions in the world, there is always a great pomp and a ceremony that associates and accompanies their traveling, When Jesus Christ, that One that holds the very wind of heaven, that One that Abraham was blessed to see: that in Issac shall thy seed be called. So great was the faith of Abraham that when God called him from the land of Ur of the Chaldees it afflicted Abraham's soul, Oh! how we need to afflict our souls and have our souls afflicted when we come into the land to possess it, Look, some times, in the book of Leviticus as Moses spoke to God's children, God Himself speaking to them through the mouth of that prophet, and he said, Afflict ye your souls, wither thou comest in to the solemn assembly. We come to a solemn assembly this morning. I recognize there is a great joy and an uplifting in God's house. But it is an uplifting of those that have come in the affliction of their souls, The very first message that we hear the Master of glory teaching and preaching as He came here in this world, nineteen hundred and something years ago, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, He took His disciples aside on a little mountain and set them down, I am glad to feel, brethren, this morning, that we have been sitting on a little mountain, Separate and apart from the world, unseen and unobserved, and not considered by those that feel to be esteemed and wise in their own conceit and own design, The very first thing the Master said to them in those some nine blessings of the beatitudes that He gave in the sermon on the mount: "And He opened His mouth and taught them saying." There was something in my soul, even as a little child, when I heard old brethren say: "He opened His mouth."

Some how that caught my attention, I I wanted to hear things that Jesus talked about, That One that came as certainly as a Babe in the manger, I tell you that the old Prophet Isaiah saw more than a Babe in a manger. We are approaching a time of the season when there will be much said about the Babe in the manger, Isaiah prophesied of His coming: a virgin would conceive and would be with child. The angel Gabriel came to Joseph and said: "Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: For that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost, And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins." (Mt 1:20-21) I think it was Brother Bradley, that preached on yesterday, that quoted from the glorious prophecy of Isaiah when he said: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder." (Isa 9:6) The government of the church is not resting upon the shoulders of some ecumenical council of some group of men, Jesus Christ has not delegated nor relegated the authority and power of the church to men here in this world; the government rests upon His shoulders, Isaiah: "His name shall be called Wonderful." (Isa, 9:6) I can assure you that one that is not poor and afflicted finds little joy, if any, in viewing the name Jesus as a wonderful name; that name that is spoken so sweetly in our hearts and souls when He that has the voice of the Great Shepherd of the sheep comes to us where we are, shines the light from heaven.

I am glad to feel that God is still shining the light from heaven, The world about cries out that things are gone completely astray: God is concerned, Jesus Christ is not satisfied, things are completely out of sorts, But I am glad to tell you this morning that this One that was poor and afflicted, this One that came to do the will of God, turning not to one side or to the other, whose name was called Wonderful, It is spoken of Him in the Old Testament day that "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied," (Isa 53:11) I can assure you that this One that came by the Divine and glorious power of God, that opened His mouth upon the little mountain as He gathered His disciples together, somehow I feel as they sat about Him that their eyes were intently upon this One. This One that is spoken of in the Old Testament time that: Shiloh would come, that the Messiah would come. And now He stands and says: "Blessed are the poor in spirit." (Mt 5:3)

You know I don't know how it is with all the people that you may deal with or work with in the world but I find very few people in the world about us
that have any interest at all in a man that is poor in spirit, They want to have someone that is very out-going and very \strong and dominant in his nature, I can tell you the strongest people that has ever walked on the face of this earth are those that are poor in spirit, poor and afflicted and seeking something,

I read Isaiah in the forty-first division and the seventeen verse when he says: "When the poor and needy seek water" . . . that is a limited text, brethren, Sometimes we talk about limited atonement and certainly Jesus Christ atoned for all that the Father had given Him in that great electing covenant of grace even before the foundation of the world. This text "When the poor and needy" it is limited to just those: the poor and the needy. Notice what it says, it tells us something else about them, "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them." God has promised never to leave nor forsake His people but go with them, 1 am satisfied that the disciples, in their poorness, and in their affliction, even after Jesus Christ had ascended back to the Father in the glory world.

There had never been a man that spake like that Man did, Peter stood one time in the midst of a raging sea casting his eyes upon Jesus as the little ship had been tossed to and fro through the darkness of that night, Alas, the Master came to them in the midst of that raging storm and comforted them. Peter said: "Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water," Jesus bid him, "Come." Peter walked out in the midst of that raging storm. I know, brethren, this morning, that the church can stand in the midst of all the storms, all the winds, all the false doctrines that Satan may unlease about her as long as she is looking to Jesus Christ. In her poverty and in her affliction, poor in spirit seeking water, her tongue failing for thirst, looking unto that One that stood there in the midst of a raging storm and said: Peace be still, There were those that observed that in that day that when they saw the wind and the waves obeying Him they said: "What manner of man is this," (Matt, 8:27) Has it not overwhelmed your soul from time to time when you studied God's Word, when you prayed in the early hours of the morning, maybe when you pulled off beside the way side as a poor, and afflicted sinner, Have you not all but been overwhelmed within soul from time to time when you consider what manner of man is this that even the wind and the waves obeyed His will, that He commands and it is done, He speaks and it stands fast, it stands forever? That gives me a great comfort to know that what Jesus Christ says and does stands forever!

The Prophet Zephaniah spoke farther of Him when he said: "I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord," In the seventeenth verse of that third division of Zephaniah He says: "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty," Not only is He a wall of fire around about the poor and afflicted and the poor and needy that is seeking water, but Ui is also in the midst of them, John saw Him so in the Isle of Patmos, he said: "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion," (Re 14:1) The poor and needy looking unto Him, the poor and afflicted desiring the words that would fall from His precious lips.

He "is mighty, He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy, He rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing," I believe with every thing that I have to believe in that He is rested in His love, If God is rested in His love ought not the poor and afflicted children likewise be rested in His love? I can remember as a little boy when storms would come up the actions of my father had a great influence on how I preceived that raging storm. I knew some children that were about us in the school system — if we were in the classroom and a great raging storm came up, some of them would just get scared to tears and the teacher would have to try to comfort them and deal with them, But, as a little child I learned, by observing my father, that there was not a need to have a great fear of the storm about, When we view our heavenly Father, though we may hear men telling us to be afraid of the consequences of sin; that unless we do this, thus, or the other, that we will be devoured finally and destroyed in that eternal punishment, separated from God, But when we see God resting in His love, when we see Him sitting upon the throne controlling the wind, having the very power He demonstrated unto His children, even unto this day: I am not a bit uneasy that the wind of heaven is not going to be blowing on Zion's hill in this day, ten years from now, or when we have gone the way of all the earth and our children are filling the places that we are filling this morning on Zion's hill. God will still be sending His Spirit in the midst of the poor and afflicted that dwells here upon the face of this earth, thirsty, separated and apart from all the world.

One of the most serious charges God ever gave Israel in the Testament day was that they were not like other people, Israel was a special and a chosen people unto the God Abraham and of Isaac and Jacob, and not only were they a chosen, particular, special people unto Him but the land that He gave them as an inheritance particular, special and chosen land that God gave them in that day to live in and to dwell in. He didn't choose because they were mighty. But He chose them by His own mercy, by His own grace, according to ills own love and according to His own design blest them that they could see that was a difference in the dark land  Egypt that they had dwelled in for four hundred and thirty years and the land over here that He had promised unto Abraham and to his seed after him. This is a land that I will give thee, not only will I give it unto thee, Abraham, but I will give it unto thy children and thy children's children, God blessed Abraham to see the strength of that land and, by type and shadow, blessed Abraham to see the day that you are living in right now. Abraham saw the New Testament day, When he saw it, the Scripture says that, ho was persuaded by it and embraced it and made a confession, (Heb 11:13) Each one of us needs to confess daily that we are strangers and pilgrims here in this world. I confess that freely before you this morning: I am a stranger and a pilgrim here in this world. I am n ashamed for my friends, for my family, to know that I am just a traveling; just a little while here in this low ground of sin and sorrow, that this world is not my home, I am only passing through.

The Lord's children, in the Old Testament day, many times, were considered to be nomads. They set up tents here and there as they traveled, I can tell you that God bless them to come into the richness and the glory of Canaan's land which was a type of the church that Jesus Christ would set up when He came here into this world nineteen hundred and something years ago, Abraham said: I am a stranger here in this land, am persuaded by that that I see. Was it not se some where in your journey? You may have been just a little child, you may have been farther on in your years, it may have been that you spent years with some order of people somewhere, but God blessed you to see that there was a poor and afflicted people here in this world that were trusting in the name of the Lord, that was seeking the sweet waters that flow from heaven. When they seek that water he saes: "I will open rivers in high places," (Isa, 41:18) I am interested in high places this morning.

Isaiah said on another occasion: "0 Zion," Somehow I love the sound of that! If we didn't read anything else he said that sounds good to my poor ears. "0 Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountains," (Isa 40:9) That tells me something about the Lord's church. All of her tidings are good tidings. "0 Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountains," Even there on the Isle of Patmos, when John was in the Spirit, the Lord spoke to him and said: "Come up hither," John and I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife. Brethren, in order for us to be blessed to see the bride, the Lamb's wife, we have got to come up hither. The bride, the Lamb's wife, is not cast into the valleys of denominationalism here in this world, Sometimes I hear some of our own brethren refer to the Primitive Baptist denomination, If I understand any thing at all about the teaching of this good Book there is not one address ever given to God's poor and afflicted people as being a denomination, They are always referred to as the church, the bride, the elect, separate and apart from all others in the world, The church has never protested anything. I was in a dilemma with that when I got up (in age) and started to have to fill out forms and back then they gave you about three options when they wanted to know what xou were: Protestant, Jewish or Catholic. I couldn't mark any of those. There just wasn't any place on the form that I could mark, in a good conscience

The church of Jesus Christ, the poor and the allicted, that seek that river that has been opened in high places, "and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water, I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together," Isa 41:18-19) Who would ever expect to find such in a wilderness land? What did he say in another place: "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose." (Isa 35:1) As dark as times have ever been for God's children there has always been a rejoicing spot 'in the wilderness. As dry as the land may have appeared to have been, from time to time, we are not in the dark night of Egypt or the land of Pharaoh where God's children had to sit on the tread mills, He reminded them of that when He brought them to Canaan's land. He said this is not a land like the land of Egypt where thy feet were on the tread mill to supply thy water. He said this land is a land of rivers, and a land of springs, and a land that flows with milk and honey, How many of our precious forefather have afflicted their soul in entering into the service of God seeking but one thing, desiring but one thought and that was to sit in the Lord's house amongst the poor and afflicted here in this world and pray that they might hear from heaven? The church needs to hear from heaven, brethren, That is where her great Head is, Has it not been such during these nineteen hundred and something years that in every day, every week, every month, since He set her up, those many years ago, that every generation has had a poor and afflicted people: that they wouldn't have anything else, You know a lot of times if people find out that something they think they want is a little difficult to come by, that there is a little hardness to endure, a little labor to be exercised in order to attain it — then most of the time they will seek out a substitute, "Well," they say, "I will do something else. I can be pleased with something else," But there is a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a chosen generation here in this world that they don't know any substitute, The only thing they want to hear is salvation by grace.

I want to say this about the teaching and preaching of salvation by grace: sometimes I hear it said that the Old Baptist have been lulled to sleep on the doctrine of salvation by grace, I don't believe that this morning! I don't believe the doctrine of salvation by grace has ever lulled a poor and afflicted sinner to sleep. But when it comes in the very power and purity from heaven itself: it is a motivator, it is a stirrer-up of that which is dwelling in the heart and in the soul! When grace is declared from the top of Zion's hill, and I hasten to say unto you this morning, that the only place in the earth where grace has ever been declared is from the top of Zion's hill.

Brethren, if we have anything at all today we have the truth that God gave to His people and that His friend Abraham saw it and was persuaded by it, He said something about it, he said: I am seeking a city whose maker and builder is God, (Heb 11:10) God is the maker and builder of His cause and kingdom, He is the foundation under her, He is the light that shines in her midst, We need not the light of Old Testament oil and prophecy that we might look forward to a day when the Messiah will come, There are so many of God's children that are looking for the Messiah to come to set a kingdom up, I don't want to be blinded to anything as concerns the truth but if I know my soul I believe that I am standing in Zion's City on this very day, separate and apart from men; hid from the world, hid from the wise and the prudent, but, thank God, revealed unto babes. That is why He seeks those to become as little children.

When I was a little fellow I believed every thing my daddy told me. When he told me something, I believed that. If we are that way as little children toward our earthly father, oh! how much greater we ought to be when our heavenly Father speaks. Was it not Paul to the Hebrews, his own brethren, said, "See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh *** from heaven." (Heb, 12:25) That One that speaks from heaven with all power and all authority, forms the land and He told His children in Old Testament time that His eyes are ever upon the land. There is never a time that God is not looking down on His little church, I have thought about that in the last months, as so many of our brethren have been burdened over the falling away state of Zion. Certainly, we ought to be concerned, rightfully so, when we see that falling away. But the only thing I know, brethren, that would cause an increase in Zion's kingdom is for God to roll back the windows of heaven and send down that rain from on high! It would cause a few, I don't ever expect thousands and thousands and millions to come across Jordan into Canaan's fair and happy land. But I am not discouraged, nor pessimistic to the point that I believe that He has forsaken Canaan's fair and happy land. A land that He loves. A land that His eyes are ever upon. When I feel to be dry and in the valley I have learned many, many, many has been the time that when I go down in poorness and in affliction and cry by day and cry by night: God be merciful unto me a sinner, there is going to come a time, it may not be that day, it may not be next week . . . maybe it is not that way with these preaching brethren, but so many, many, many is the time it seems that my efforts have been as a dry cornstalk with a cold winter wind rattling in it, But I know something from Divine experience that God gives us as we live here in this world that there is going to be a river, there is going to be a spring, there is going to be a place somewhere where I can again taste the milk and taste the honey.

The more I see of the world the greater the riches appear in God's kingdom, If a man is satisfied in the things of the world, I can tell you he is not going to have much interest in what these poor and afflicted people that God has left in the midst of, as He has raised them up, not only raised them up from the elements of the world and sat them in Zion's kingdom, but He raises them up as they have been brought low in the dust of the earth and blesses them: The taste of grace. Don't you know when one is born again of God's Spirit he may never have heard the gospel trumpet blowing, but I will tell you one thing, when he hears it blow there will be a response within. His mind may tell him: I wouldn't have that, I just wouldn't believe that principle or that doctrine of sovereign grace as the brother made mention of. I have had people sit under the sound of preaching in funerals where there is a mixed congregation. Maybe some of you have heard me tell this before. I went way out into a little rural county in eastern Tennessee a few years ago to preach a funeral that a brother requested as the results of having been listening to a little radio program, I didn't know him. didn't know his family, didn't know anybody there that day. After the discourse was over and we were standing waiting for them to load the coffin in the hearse for the ride to the cemetery, this little precious old sister on a cane, appeared to be well on in her eightieth year, she came making her way toward me with tears streaming down her face and she said: I want to know who you are. I said, Well, that is not so important who 1 am. She said, Well I want to tell you something, She said, I've lived (she told me how many years, eighty something years) and she said I have read that Book that you are holding in your hands and I decided that God didn't have the people here in the world that I felt like that Book was talking about. She said, You told me something today that when I was a
little girl in that hollow (she pointed back towards where she lived), she said: when I was a child there was something told me that God had a people here in this world that believed His power, that believed that Jesus was the Saviour. I didn't know whether I would ever see her again or not but in about two years her family called me to come and preach her funeral.

I can tell you that when God afflicts the heart and soul of His people the only message that will feed the soul is sovereign grace. The only good news that they will ever hear is when an Old Baptist preacher called by God's grace stands, as the old prophet in the Old Testament day said: "He shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it." (Zech, 4:7) My what a joy it is to live and dwell in a time and in a land and amongst a people that believe in grace, grace, grace. What a joy that in their affliction and in their poorness that they turn their eyes toward Zion's hill and say: Lord, come in our midst, walk in the garden, feed amongst the lilies, let us taste the sweet waters from heaven again.

Zechariah says: "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David." (Zec 13:1) Brethren, He opened the fountain. He is the fountain head of all mercy and all grace. I want my children to drink from it. I want your children to drink from it. My mother and father raised six children, two of which are in the Old Baptist Church. I can tell you those other four can't get near it except they cry their eyes out. Poor and afflicted, knowing that there is something here in this world that God has blessed abundantly and richly, a land of hills and valleys of springs and rivers, a land where the sun never sets. Oh, what must it be.

Sometimes, there has been much darkness in our lives, sometimes the valleys have been deep. But I can tell you, I know a land, brethren, where the sun is always shining, where the river ever flows, and the springs are always open in the valley. I wonder, sometimes, how old Elijah must have felt after God had blessed him with such glory and power when he looked up and saw a chariot coming down out of heaven. I know that sometimes people don't like to think about death n Zion. I don't know all together how it is with you but I know there has been times when God so blessed my poor soul that I would be glad to see a chariot coming, to step up in His light from a world of cares, and toils, and sorrows, but on the other hand also a land of great joy and a land of peace where He said: "Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river." (Isa 66:12) May the poor and afflicted, the poor and the needy always turn to Him and they will, Zephaniah said that: "And they shall trust in the name of the Lord."

Men that are rich in their own righteousness and have had their mind polluted by the doctrines and ideas of men and trust in false riches, they will not trust in the name of the Lord. they are trusting in something else. But I feel thankful to be in the midst of a people poor and afflicted, trusting. Trusting in the name of the Lord, the sweetest Name that has ever been said.

May He bless you as you come in life's journey and find that when you have walked your last mile, when you have sung your last song. and prayed your last prayer, may you leave the world with the great joy of the poor and the afflicted.



Substance of Sermon preached at Grover Memorial
Chapel on 12th April, 1957.

"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death."
Php 3:10.

It is evident that this great desire of the apostle's arose from a real knowledge of Christ; which is a principle. If we know the Lord Jesus in any measure, we shall know that there is so much more to be knpwn of Him as will make us long to grow in the knowledge of Him. It was not ignorance in the apostle to have this desire, this consuming desire. He had known so much of Christ, seen so much of His excellency, tasted so much of His grace, as made everything sink into insignificance by comparison. And wemay, if rightly exercised, look into our own cases and look back on our own experience, if we have one, and see how the least inkling, the least manifestation of the Lord Jesus has had the same effect. Everything loses its attraction, the glitter of this world is dull in comparison with the Lord Jesus; gold is sordid dust. Oh, but how little we know, and yet how essential for salvation and for real enjoyment is the knowledge of the Lord Jesus! We may sing sometimes, I hope not without some real sincere feeling and experience:

"To know my Jesus crucified,
By far excels all things beside ;"

but the desire to know Him for ourselves, the hunger and thirst after Him, and the lack of enjoying Him, can be and is, at times, really painful. For the longing that you have to know Him, sometimes you may feel "an aching void the world can never fill." We may know a good deal about the Lord Jesus Christ logically, verbally, from reading the Bible, which is not improper. If we reverently read the Bible and have a measure of faith to mix with the truth, it will be a mercy to us; but it is not knowing about Him so much, as to know Him and be acquainted with Him, that the living soul desires.

Well, the apostle had many privileges as a Hebrew of the Hebrews, as a zealous religionist, and as a blameless man in the law, but he renounced all these things; all the natural qualifications that he had, even his scholarship,—everything comparatively he counted as dung and dross for this one consuming desire: "That I may know Him." Oh, what a thing it is to have in the heart this absorbing desire! "One thing," said David, "have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after ; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple." Acquaintance with the Lord Jesus is what every convicted, Spirit-taught person will increasingly want when healthy in soul.

And first of all, that I may know Him in respect to His Person. It may not be the first thing in experience, but it is the first thing in importance, as we shall come to know as we proceed in the spiritual life. And, oh, what a mercy it is to be brought into a knowledge of Christ's Perot by the revealing of the Holy Spirit! When Peter made confession of Christ and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," the Lord Jesus pronounced him blessed, and declared that that knowledge came from the revelation of God, and this is of great importance. None can know the Lord, or call Him Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. True faith in the Son of God is the work and life of the Spirit in the soul, and this is what every living soul wants to know—to know Him as God the Son. Oh, if you read, by the Spirit's living light, in that 17th of John, the Saviour addressing His divine Father, you may find in your heart a solid knowledge of that doctrine of Christ's Person that nothing can demonstrate except the Holy Ghost. The doctrine of Christ is a secret doctrine, a sacred doctrine, an all-essential doctrine, and if any here are exercised on this particular point, I would humbly say to you, ask the Lord to reveal Himself, to teach you that doctrine. When the good man whom the Lord had healed was asked by Him, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" he said, "Who art Thou, Lord?" and the Lord said, "Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that speaketh with thee." Then he said, "I believe," and he worshipped. That is always the result of a real revelation of Christ: it produces worship. You can never really know the Lord Jesus and not love Him, and cleave to Him, trust in Him, and worship Him; and there is no saving knowledge of God apart from the Person and work of the Lord Jesus, God's incarnate Son.

But for a moment let me name the truth of His eternal Deity and Sonship. A few weeks ago, I think I saw and felt a little sacredness and glory in the Person of Christ. I hope I had seen it before, but it was brought afresh to me where the Lord Jesus speaking to His divine Father, praying to Him said: "And now, 0 Father! glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." Oh, what proof is there! What a mystery is there,—the eternal Son of the Father in truth and love, incarnate in human nature, praying that in His human nature He might be glorified with the Father with the glory which He had with Him before the world was! You may say, but that doctrine is heaven-high above us, it is abstruse, it is a mystery we can never understand. That is true, but what carnal reason cannot understand, faith can embrace in love. And if we never know that Person,—I do not say if we never can enunciate that doctrine,—if the Lord Jesus is not the Son of God in His human nature, then there is no salvation for us. All that He did, all that He suffered, and all that He is now doing as the great High Priest, Mediator, and Intercessor, depends for its virtue and validity upon who He is. In the second chapter of this epistle, Paul speaks of Him: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a Servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a Man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." It is because He is what He is, that all that He did, and became, and suffered is so wonderful, and beneficial, and profitable, and so attractive to a poor convicted sinner. And truly none but convicted sinners can have any desire to know Him, much less know Him.

"That I may know Him." And this knowledge of Him is by precious faith; not by sense, but by faith. He is revealed to faith by the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures. Oh, what a mercy to be made a believer in the Son of God, and thereby a worshipper of God the Father in spirit and in truth! "The Father seeketh such to worship Him." says the Lord Jesus in the 4th of John. But who are they that worship the Father in spirit and in truth? Those who are convicted of their lost condition, and are brought to see by faith how salvation is procured by the suffering death of Christ. Only saved sinners, only convicted believers, can really worship God. Worship, and conviction of sin, repentance and salvation from sin, are inseparably connected in the Scripture and in experience. Is not that so with you? Some of you may be heavily burdened with your guilt, you may look back over your lives to innumerable black sins; you may feel they are such a mountain, the guilt is so heavy you cannot bear the weight, and yet you may have an inkling in your spirit how these sins can be removed and you be saved from the consequences of them, and cleansed from the pollution of them, and all this through the knowledge of, and contact with, the Lord Jesus Christ. You hear a report of Him and say in your heart, "Give me that Christ, or else I die; let my conscience be purged with that precious blood, let me know the peace that the atonement is. Oh, that I may know Him!" Not know about Him. Many religious people seem quite contented with a. verbal theoretical acquaintance with the Scriptures concerning Christ. I do not want to depreciate the value of the Holy Scriptures. Every Word of God is pure. They should be treated with reverence. But you may realize, some of you, the difference between knowing about the Lord Jesus in the Bible, and knowing Him in your heart in the efficacy of His precious blood, its cleansing virtue, the peace that flowed through His atonement, and reconciliation with God in and through Him; and it is this latter experience that you will want, and for the want of it, everything else must go. Nothing can take the place of this knowledge. Eternal life is in the knowledge of Christ. Ignorance of Him is spiritual death; eternal death is inseparable from final ignorance of Him. Oh, says the sinner, "Give me Christ, or else I die; give me to know and feel in my very conscience that He laid down His precious life for me, give me to feel in my heart His dying love, give me to be clothed in His righteousness, and to have communion with Himself." "That I may know Him."

Well, He does make Himself known, He does visit sinners still. Though throned in highest bliss, He by His good Spirit visits sinners, speaks to sinners: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." Perhaps some of you are saying, "Lord speak to me, let me know Thy voice, be pot silent to me." Well, if that be the language of your heart, it was language of the Psalmist David. He prayed: "Be not silent to me," and he got what he wanted. He knew, he heard, he enjoyed the Saviour's voice, and presence, and love, and so will every seeking soul. If you cannot do without Him, I would venture humbly to say, the day will come when you will know Him as your Redeemer, your Surety, your Saviour, your great High Priest, your King, and your All. He will be all or nothing. I believe that, and I believe He makes everyone of His people willing to lose everything if they may but win Christ. And yet He gives Himself freely. Both His blessings and Himself are "without money and without price." When He creates this desire for Himself in the nearts of His people, making them feel their deep need; He does so in order to satisfy it. "I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord." If He has given you the desire, then the day will come when you will be satisfied. But the more you are satisfied with Him, the more you will want of Him. The more your appetite is gratified with the Lord Jesus in partaking of Him as the Bread of heaven, the more your appetite will be increased. Is not that so?

Now perhaps some of you have known what His blessed presence is, have heard His voice, have received into your heart a sacred sense of His redeeming love and blood, have felt in your consciences deliverance from the guilt of your sins, and you have rejoiced in Him. What a favour that is for those of you who have been granted it! But though that is a wonderful favour to be cherished, you will not be able to live upon that past experience. The Lord will correct His people for that. There is such an error in experience. We may fall into it, and grow very slothful and formal, if we live upon what is a real experience past and become unexercised. The Lord will send something to quicken us in desire. Without Him we cannot rest. There is no rest for a sinner but in the Lord Jesus, no satisfaction for a living soul away from the Lord Jesus. Earthly things, even religious things, are unsatisfying without Him. And He has promised to make Himself known in His ordinances and in the assemblies of His people. Have not some of you occassionally felt His presence in the sanctuary, felt something more than a round of religious service—a little sacred worship, your heart warmed with His love, dissolved into contrition, your hope enlivened that one day you will see Him as He is and be like Him? It is a wonderful favour so to know Him, to get this glimpse of Him through the lattice of truth and go out to Him in adoration, worship, trust, and praise.

And this will be the very core of your religion, the very quintessence of it. Without this, all is formality, and with this you can be satisfied with the meanest of providence. To know Him is to be rich. To posses an interest in Christ is to posses eternal life, and is to know Him who has illimitable resources in heaven and in earth. You cannot be poor if you know Christ. You cannot be without a friend, an unchangeable Friend, if you know the Lord Jesus. Desolation, and change, and decay we see and feel all about us, but if you know Christ, you know Him who is unchangeable, unfailing, and who has all power in heaven and in earth, power to fulfil the promises, power to save to the uttermost, power to reconcile the soul experimentally to God, and power to bring the sinner through the mazes of this world into eternal rest. "That I may know Him."

"And the power of His resurrection." Now this seems to me to express among other things, the maintenance of our faith. Faith depends for its maintenance upon its Object. When you first believed in the Lord Jesus with a living faith by the Holy Ghost, Christ was very real, very necessary, very precious, and you fixed your hope and trust in Him. Yes, I believe wherever living faith is in a convicted sinner's heart, there will be the fixing of the hope and trust in the Person and work of Christ, and when faith is active upon Him, the soul is sustained in believing, and hope is maintained in lively exercise, together with love to a revealed Christ. But, oh, how dead we often get! How our faith seems to languish, how entangled we become, how carnal, and how withered! If you read in Hosea, you will see how dry Ephraim became, not because of the Lord's deficiency or unfaithfulness, but Ephraim's backsliding. Alas for us that we often deaden our own spirits, nourish our own unbelief, become withered in our experience, bankrupt in our souls, far off, and almost dead! Very solemn, and very alarming! If people talk about duty-faith, and tell you you "ought" to believe, and scorn your doubts and fears, they only mock you. Truly unbelief is a deadly sin, but we have to prove every solemnly that the power of faith resides in the Bord Jesus, the Author and Finisher of it, and only as He exercises that power by His Spirit in our hearts, can we feelingly and prevalingly believe.

How many times in the Scripture you find the people of God, the Psalmist particularly, begging of the Lord to revive him, to quicken him. What did he mean? He meant he felt his lifelessness. Men may talk about duty-faith, but it is truly useless for salvation. This is the very thing we want to know, to feel and experience again and yet again—the power of Christ's resurrection. Blessed be God, that power can never diminish, the Object of faith can never change or fail! But we need the constant exercise of that power by the Spirit in our hearts, and I believe this, it is a wonderful thing to feel it: Every real motion of faith, living faith, working by love toward and upon the Lord Jesus Christ, is a proof of union with Him. It is power of Christ's resurrection in your soul, raising you up in lively hope, as Peter says: "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." It is a power that only Christ can exert, and it brings contact with Him, union to Him. That is the difference between living faith standing in the power of God and exercised by His Spirit in the heart, and duty faith, notional faith; and this power is what we want to feel again and again. It is a power from heaven exerted in the heart, making the Lord Jesus afresh precious, bringing Him near, making Him substantially real, and you feel after Him to embrace Him : "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection."

And the power of His resurrection also is this. It is acceptance with, and access to God. What did the Lord Jesus do when He rose from the dead? He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, He entered heaven with His own blood, and is there on the right hand of God, ever living to take intercession for His people. You doubtless know what it is to be unable to find access, to find your prayer shut out, to feel your unbelief fetches back your prayer, and you get from your knees and say, "I have not prayed," and then again on occasions you may find a sacred power within that enables you to find access. Faith pierces through the veil and anchors in Christ. You find that that draws you up to Him, and you take hold of His strength and feel that you have hold of Him, and there is demonstration in the heart; you feel you have access to God, acceptance with God through the meditation, the intercession of His dear incarnate Son now glorified. Oh, that will make you feel Him to be precious! And if you think of Richard Dore, you may feel enabled in some small way to say with him : "I believe in the Lord Jesus, a Man, a real Man in heaven; I believe He is my Redeemer." You look up to Him and trust in Him, cast your care upon Him, commit yourself to Him, and are strengthened for your pilgrimage. But the power of all this comes from heaven. It is not a natural religious fervour, it is a spiritual power exerted by the Spirit of Christ in the heart, and this is what you want. Oh, in a moment sometimes you may feel it! You may be so deathlike, so glued to the earth, so benighted and entangled, and then the Lord may come in the power of His Word and Spirit into your heart with life, love, and liberty, and you will look and behold by faith the Lord Jesus on, the right hand of God, and you trust in Him and go on your way rejoicing that He lives, and lives to bring you to heaven. "The power of His resurrection." It is the power of an endless life. And there is this about it too—very wonderful doctrine, but blessed experience. As sure as Christ is risen from the dead, and death will have no more dominion over Him, so shall not sin have dominion over those who by grace are brought to believe in Him. Now that will nerve you for the fight, enable you to resist evil, sanctify your soul, support you in trouble, and enliven your hope of getting well through, and not being overcome.

How many promises there are in the Scriptures to overcomers! We read of those who reach heaven, that long line of witnesses spoken of in the Hebrews and in the Revelation, they died in faith and overcame through the blood of the Lamb and the Word of His testimony. But how shall we overcome? By the victory of Christ comunicated to us, by His resurrection power exerted in us, overcoming death in us, taking away the sting of death, sub-, during our iniquities. Oh, we do need power for this! "Sin shall not have dominion over you," is a wonderful promise inscribed in the 6th of Romans. "Oh," you may say sometimes, "I wish I might have an interest in it!" Well, there are two ways experimentally. The first is in having the promise made to you, and the Lord by His Spirit does with power at times make over promises to His people on earth. Oh, there is a power in the promise sometimes! Not always perhaps do you feel the same power, but there may be a sacred influence, a vital influence in a promise in your heart, that strengthens and enables you to believe that one day you will overcome all sin and reach heaven. This is only because Christ has overcome. But sometimes you can feel that power in your heart, subduing sin, bringing every thought and faculty into submission to Christ, His Kingly power. We read of Him, that He is a Priest upon His throne, a crowned Priest, a Priest to intercede in heaven to present there His one illustrious sacrifice, and a King to reign in His people. Oh, do you pray for that? That is the power of His resurrection. "With authority He asks, enthroned in glory now;" and with authority He works in His people. If you have enemies within, sin, unbelief, mighty forces of evil, this is the power that will overcome them—the power of His resurrection.

That is a promise in Micah. He was in great trouble on account of the low state of the church and some reproach under which he lay; but he trusted in the Lord and waited for Him, and then in prophecy he said: "He will have compassion upon us, He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." It takes the power of Christ's resurrection to subdue sin in a poor sinner's heart, and is not that needful and desirable? Oh, what threatenings we have sometimes of indwelling sin overcoming us! But the Redeemer is strong and lives after the power of an endless life. And you know how the Lord Jesus promises, declaring concerning His sheep: "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." That is power to keep. It is not a power exerted as it were abstractedly, but a power exerted in a sinner's heart through faith. That is how men get through. Peter explains it of that inheritance that is laid up in heaven. He says, it is reserved for those "who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." Oh to persevere to the end, we must have vital union to Christ, and yet from time to time press after that union by the power of the Spirit enabling us to believe! Said Paul: "We are not of them who draw back unto perdition." Have you been afraid of that, afraid your faith would fail, that you would make shipwreck of it and come short at last? What a shudder you may sometimes feel within at the very thought! I do sometimes shudder lest I should come short. But there is one thing that will ensure our enduring to the end, and that is the victory of Christ. "Our Captain stood the fiery test, and we shall stand through Him." We need a powerful religion, not a noisy one, but that secret power of the resurrection of Christ.

"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings." It seems sometimes too much, too sacred, to even think of the fellowship of His sufferings, and yet my dear friends and fellow-sinners, if we are to reach heaven and enjoy God for ever, it will be in consequence of the sufferings of Christ. But the fellowship of His sufferings—He suffered for sin, not His own, but His people's sins. He suffered the curse due to them, He suffered the unmitigated curse of a broken law. We shall never suffer that if we are His people, but rather, though we suffer through temptation and by guilt on account of our sin, we shall from time to time enjoy the sacred fruits of His bitter sufferings, and know that in all the vicissitudes of life, the trials, and afflictions, and losses that we have, there is no curse because Christ took the curse away. "The fellowship of His sufferings."

But take it in this way. It is not to be taken lightly, but if the Lord leads us into it, it will have a sacred influence in our trials and temptations. When we are tempted, we are sinners. Christ was sinless. Temptation was real to Him. He suffered, being tempted; and we suffer and have many questions. If you are in some affliction, some trial, and are tempted concerning your interest in Christ, and the Lord enables you to cry to Him, He may bring you into some sympathy with Himself when He was tempted, and when He was deserted. On one occasion in my life, I felt a little sacredness in this, the temptation of the Lord Jesus. Pure and innocent as He was, the enemy said, "If Thou be the Son of God;" and I a poor afflicted sinful worm, tempted to conclude I had no part or lot in salvation, when that word dropped in with sacred influence: "Though He were a Son yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him." Oh, how precious, how real, how efficacious are the sufferings of Christ! And there is nothing like some apprehension of those sufferings in the heart, to produce contrition, humility, repentance, and to strengthen faith. It is an honour to have a little fellowship with Christ's sufferings.

"Being made conformable unto His death." What is this conformity to Christ's death? Well, Christ died unto sin. It was for sin that He suffered, and for His people laid down His life. And what are His people to do and to reckon, as united to Him? To reckon themselves to be dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God through Him. Is that an aim of yours? Do you pray that you may know this being made conformable to Christ's death, have grace enough to reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Him; reckon yourselves to be a debtor, "not to the flesh to live after the flesh; for if ye live after the flesh ye shall die, but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live?" I feel that this in some measure would accomplish in the heart this being made conformable unto Christ's death.

"If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." The apostle looked out beyond this life, he looked into eternity. There was not only a knowledge of Christ here below by faith, but to know Him as He is, to be for ever with Him and like Him. That is the great objective. Have we a hope of it? Oh, my friends, have we a hope of being one day where Christ is? Is that hope well-grounded? If so, it is because we have some real knowledge of Him here, and some communion with Him by faith and love here. We shall not know Him for the first time when we reach heaven. Oh, but we have to come down, not to renounce our hope, but come back to earth and struggle on. What for? To know more of Him, to know Him to be our Counsellor and our Guide, and especially day by day to know Him as the King of grace on the throne of grace. Oh, that is the point in experimental religion! "Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." There the Saviour sits, a great High Priest, passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, a precious Saviour, Redeemer, the Friend of sinners. Is He your Christ? He is the Christ of all who believe. Writing to the Corinthians, the apostle said: "To all that call upon the name of the Lord Jesus, both theirs and ours." That is a common ground for union, that is the unity of the Spirit. All true believers, all the people of God flow, as it were, to the throne of grace. There is the place of union. All prayer, all confession, all worship, and all praise, go up from the church below trough Jesus Christ to the Father. And worship is really heaven on earth. If you have known a few moments worship, you have known the nature of heaven. Oh, it is sweet to worship! But presently when through grace we get to heaven, there will be worship purer, sweeter, tireless worship. But it is good to get a little worship when the Lord is with us, when His presence is like a pavilion, an atmosphere. I wish it might be with us more; but struggle on, my friends, if this be your attitude, to know the Lord Jesus, to be acquainted with Him, to be conformed to Him, to trust in Him, to be assured of an interest in Him, and to be with Him at last.

It will need eternity—I said to the Lord the other day, if I reach heaven as a sinner saved by grace, I shall want eternity to bless Him for that favour; and so shall we all. The Lord help us to follow on to know Him and to practice what we know.

From Gospel Standard,
Landsdowne Hill,
West Norwood,
S. E. 27—England.

An Earthquake by Elder J. M. Myers

An Earthquake

Sermon preached by Elder J. M. Myers of Ruth, Mississippi, at the Antioch Association, held with Bethel Church, McKenzie, Alabama, Sunday, September 21, 1975.

In one way I am now thankful in a special way to follow this precious elder (Elder J. M. Burks, October, 1979 FOR THE POOR) that has just talked to you. Even if I couldn't say a word but just stand up here and say, brethren, remember and meditate upon the things that he has said. Elder Burke, never have I heard a discourse so timely. I just say: may God bless it. I just know it was of God. Brethren, we ought to take it home with us as an individual. Now I want to tell you, put it in our lives. I got so many wonderful thoughts. You know, I thought about the thing that may cause us disturbance sometimes is we get some news by the way of the "grapevine" and it won't stand up. Not even the news will stand up. The truth is okay. The truth is alright,. But, there are some things that we get by the "grapevine" that we ought to leave alone. This is embraced, too, in this message that we have heard this morning. If I were a preacher that didn't believe in associations, I wouldn't have the. face to stand in an association or even visit it. But you know, and I know, that some have got so much brass on their lace that they will go to an association to fight an association.

We are here because we do appreciate your love and  fellowship. We just, don't see how we can emphasize the fact enough, but brethren, God approves of meetings like this. We feel in our hearts, and we have seen the testimony of His approval. We have seen the individuals laboring as they have labored to care for this association. I will just tell you I have never been to one that I think has been cared for better. I don't know how many individuals told those brethren just how to fry fish yesterday afternoon. But they took the instructions right from somebody, or they knew what was right before they started and knew what to do before they put the fire under the grease. It was a wonderful job. All of this goes to making up an association, every bit of it. I don't say you have got to have a fish fry every time you come, but somebody has got to be fed; somebody has got to do some work and individuals may think that goes unnoticed, but there is a God in heaven. He says our labors of love are not in vain in Him.

I want to read to you two or three verses of Scripture found in the 13th Chapter of the Gospel according to St. Mark and the first one we are going to read is the 5th Verse (Mr 13:5): "And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive, you." Now this brother brought to our mind this morning how the bramble does deceive and how, in reality, he is just a half-brother and here is the Son of God warning His children of the very thing that is going to .happen in the world. As we look a little further, we find that the Apostle Paul said that he knew that after his departure, grievous wolves would enter the flock, not sparing the flock. We find the Word of God telling us what the true shepherd is and what a hireling is. The hireling will flee when he sees the enemy approach because he careth not for the flock. He doesn't care for the sheep at all and that is why he runs and here is the Son of God using this expression here, "Take heed lest any man deceive you." Why? He says, "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." Now if he would just plainly stand up and say I am Jesus, he wouldn't deceive very many of God's little children would he? Because the Word of God is so plain and so many of God's little children, by teaching and by the experiences that God Himself lays in their minds and hearts, realizes and makes them understand that there is just ONE Saviour. His name is Jesus and the Word of God says that there is no other name given under heaven or among men whereby we must be saved.

But now, why is it that God's little children are deceived about even this thing, of salvation itself? Because, this expression must bring this thought to us as we think about it, He says, "Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ." Now surely an individual that is preaching the gospel of the Son of God, and it even might be, if you will let me use the expression, a perverted gospel, but he approaches the individual or the congregation with the name of Jesus and he will tell them that Jesus saves in one breath and in another one he will say I am here to help Him do it or your possession, or chance of getting to heaven is to accept the proposition that I am about to give you and they begin to deceive individuals. Now then, you and I understand that the Word of God does plainly teach that an individual is born of the Spirit of God and Jesus told Nicodemus that that moves or takes place as it pleases God, not when the preacher of the church gets ready for the job to be done, but at the time and purpose that God Himself gets ready to born one of the objects of His Spirit, the work is done. Now then, he might be sitting under the sound of the voice of a minister of God when that takes place and he might go out of the building saying, "surely that preacher saved me," but God saved him and the preacher was enabled to tell him about it and he got the joy of it, but the preacher didn't give him the salvation but the preacher brought it to light and he brought him the joy of it by him hearing the gospel of his salvation. It was something to his heart and caused him to rejoice a nd when he rejoiced in it, he was led to think that was when he got it, but the preacher didn't give it to him.

Now, if you'll let me tell this story to you to get the point over, I want to show you how it works. I heard this from an old elder that went to church before the day of the automobile and he was riding in a buggy and he got cold and he got out of the buggy and started walking behind it. He had left home early that morning and there was frost everywhere. As the sun came up and as he looked in the edge of some woods in a great big old dead tree there was a big old hawk up there. All he had in his hands was a buggy whip. When he got to the place that if he had had a gun he just said, "Oh, I wish I had a gun so I could kill that hawk," and when he got to the place that he would have shot the hawk if he had had a gun, he raised the buggy whip and he said "pow" and the hawk fell out dead. Now, what happened? There was a man on the other side of the hill that had a gun and at the time the preacher said "pow," his gun said "pow" and that is what killed the hawk. So when a preacher thinks that him preaching the gospel gets people to heaven, there is a Man on the other side of the hill who has got the power. The gospel minister tells God's little children that this is the way it is. So then, let's not praise man for this thing. Here is what Jesus said: some of God's little children were deceived about the thing. I know and you know and we have heard people say, and they are just as good as we are, if not better, and maybe a lot more sincere: if it had not been for Brother so and so, I never would have got saved. It may have been the case that he was sitting in the church house and this preacher preached and some preachers are foolish enough to let some folks believe that and here are those who bring dishonor upon themselves and fail to honor the King.

Now, may I bring this lesson again to you to get it over where life comes from. Surely some of you have heard many say this before, but I want to say it to show you that life is from God Himself. Jesus said, be not deceived about this thing. Alright, there is a precious woman going into a delivery room and there is an attending physician and when the little child is born, the doctor has a little method of finding out whether it is alive or not when it is born, they used to, I don't know whether they still do or not, but they might and there might be a doctor in the congregation this morning — some nodding their heads no — but he spanks that baby and the baby cries. Now does every baby he spanks cry? If they did, the undertakers could do away with these little short boxes, Brother Willis, but you walk in the cemetery and you will find many little short graves and you will see long ones. I wanted to go to the cemetery this morning and I went, up to Elizabeth, because I had been there before. I wanted to visit Elder Tolbert's grave for a few minutes. I wanted the brother with me to see that church that was do close by. Surely these things cause us to understand. In that cemetery we saw some little short graves up there alright. Now, why was it that there was some short ones there? Because there were some little babies, when the doctor spanked them, they didn't cry, brother, and the reason that they didn't cry was because they were born dead. Oh, isn't it wonderful to know that this Jesus that you and I have come to worship today made provisions for those little infants that never saw the sunlight of one day in this world? There were individuals in the world when Jesus walked among men that actually thought that they didn't need a blessing, but, my friends, the little infant is going to live in heaven the same way an adult is going to live in heaven. They are going to live in heaven because of the Grace of God. They had a Saviour and His name was Jesus and He took them up and He even rebuked those that thought they didn't need a blessing, and He said, "Suffer little children," and I believe Luke's gospel said infants. They brought infants and little children unto Him. He took them up in His arms and He blessed them and He said, "Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of heaven." This came to my mind this morning as Elder Burke told us and reminded us that the man that stayed close to the earth from whence he came seemed to do a better job of preaching the gospel of the Son of God. Brother Burke, I've seen that man close to the earth by getting on his knees. My friends, there is not a doctor that has ever got his degree and a license to practice medicine that would stand and try to convince a mother when her little child was born dead that he would give the baby life. But there are some men that are standing behind the desk who are supposed to be preaching the gospel of the Son of God who will try to get folks to believe that unless they come to their city and preach the gospel that there will be some of their children die and go to a devil's hell because they didn't get there to preach to them. They got a degree, but we are not going to brag about that. "Take heed lest any deceive you" and he said, "And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must need be; but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginngs of sorrows." Now, I realize as I read this that we would have to read in other places in the Word of God, and it is in this chapter too, I believe, if we read a little further, that the Son of God, after saying these things, said that all these things shall come to pass before this generation shall pass away. We see that He was talking about the destruction of Jerusalem. He was talking about the falling of the powers and He said when He came out of that great temple and said, "See this great temple?" There is not going to be one stone left upon another that is standing here. Then He went a little further and He said, "Destroy this temple" . . . . in another place, as He stood outside of a temple, "and in three days I'll raise it again." They thought He was talking about the great edifice that had been built there for public worship, but He wasn't even talking about that thing. He was talking about this body of His that was going to go back and be raised again in three days. That is what He was talking about. What are we saying here? To get this lesson to you, that there are some people that are preaching this very gospel here and using these expressions to try to scare people today and say these things are yet to come, when God said all these things have already been as we see when we study this Word of God. Now then, for a moment, I want to impress upon you . . . I wish sometimes that I had knowledge enough to just talk about all of these things and time, too, but I don't have knowledge enough but there are just a few things that I want to mention in passing here to get it over to you the greatness of our God.

I was shown how great God is this morning by the time I got out of the automobile I came to this place in. I remember the brother's name. He introduced himself to me when we got out of the car, but I will not call his name lest I embrass him here, but I told him my name and he said, "I hope God knows the people here better than I do." He was talking about so many people here. You know, I just preached a great lesson in two words, Brother Dave. I said, "He does." He does. I know He does. Surely He does, but you see how great God is. I went a little further and I said, He says the names of everyone of them is engraved in the Father's hand. He knows them all by name. It has never been necessary for some preacher to come along and introduce one of God's little children to God. Oh, surely, as I looked over this congrega­tion, for example, yesterday and I saw old Brother Bell's son I knew it was Brother Bell's son. When I finally got a chance to speak to him, I said, "Hi there, little big Bell." That's what I called him, but now, suppose that I had said to that brother, "come around here, I want to introduce you to somebody" and I would have had an all serious face and everything and I had brought him up to this Bell and said, "Brother Bell, I want you to meet this man here" (his daddy) and Brother Bell would have looked at me, I'm sure, as he had thought I was sincere, Brother Dave, he would have followed me back home or would have told these brethren that came with me, "You watch him until he gets back home and you see if you can't get something done for that Brother Myers, he is in bad shape." Think about trying to introduce a man's son to the man himself. Oh, can you not see it's not necessary for us to try to introduce an individual to God?

I want to talk about my Saviour to you who know something about Him. Because you that know the Lord are the ones that have been begotten of God, you are born of the Spirit of God and by having this life, you desire and want to know more about Him each day that you live in this world. Surely, to me, this is one of the purposes of the gospel. These brethren have already helped me out and mentioned that the preaching of the gospel brings life and immortal­ity to light through the preaching of the gospel. It never brings life, but it brings it to light. Here is where God's little children hear the proclamation, surely, of their salvation. And it is all in the Son of God Himself, the Saviour of poor, lost and ruined sinners, that came into this world. So then, surely, I thought of this in many ways since. I've walked on this ground these last two days — I just got here two days ago. I thought about it this way, because there has not been a famine in this land. There is not a famine in this meeting because you have had the gospel preached to you. Would you go home with this one thing renewed in your minds that your God, and I trust mine, is still on the throne and He is still reigning and He is still calling men and blessing them to preach the gospel of the Son of God. I am not so much dis­turbed right now, Brother Willis, about a natural famine in the land, but I don't want a famine to come among God's children. I want them to be fat. I want them to have the gospel preached to them. The Word of God said, "If I shut up heaven and there be no rain." Friends, we, as God's children, have got the key to it because God's Word tells us what to do. Yes, we, His people, that are called by His name, and I want to tell you today, with all frankness and in all sincerity, and thank God for it: I believe that you are the people that are called by His name. I believe that and I thank God for it. Brother Willis, at one time in my ministerial life, I didn't think the Old Baptist had a Pharisee in the congrega­tion. But, you know, one morning I got up and I looked in the mirror and I thought I saw one. It was me, Brother Dave, it was me. That's right. So then, God help us to think about this and ask ourselves, too, is we are a bramble. Are we a bramble? God help us, yes, to think about it.

But now then, I thought about the earth­quakes. The earthquakes that the Son of God was talking about and telling these very men that they themselves were going to see. Now notice, there are two that I just want to mention briefly in bringing my remarks to a close and try to apply this to us as an individual that we can experience this thing ourself.

As the Son of God hung on the tree of the cross, there was the first earthquake that was recorded. That was it. When He said, "It is finished," brethren, that is a lesson in itself. Again, those that know the truth are the ones that actually know what He is talking about when He said, "It is finished." Isn't it easy for us to proclaim this morning that we understand the Scriptures to teach that the work of salvation, everything that was necessary to house every individual that will ever . live in heaven and immortal glory was completed when the Son of God said, "It is finished"? He bowed His head and gave up the Ghost and the Word of God said there was a great earthquake. Yes, and let us see what happened. Let us see some things. The rocks rent and the graves were opened; that great veil in the temple was rent from the top to the bottom. You know, somebody has told us this, Brother Burke, it might have been you, but I read it in one of the commentaries, that those old Jews tried to sew that veil back together and it just wouldn't hold. It just wouldn't hold. But, now there is the first earthquake. And, my friends, I want to tell you, I am happy to tell you this morning that just shook up enough things, it did enough that every individual that is going to live in heaven and immortal glory was set free in that earthquake. We are of the earth earthly and surely these graves were opened and it said that the dead arose and went with Him into the city after His resurrection. But they stayed there until after His resurrection, then they went with Him into, I believe it said, the Holy City. Just let me leave it there. Here is evidence that this Son of God is not only the God of those that live and move and breathe on this time earth, but He has the power over those that are sleeping in the grave. The gospel of the Son of Cod says, and we believe, when He gets ready, the grave is not going to hold them. We can look, as we look at the rocks in the earth today, as a testimony that the Son of God bowed his head. Here is evidence of that.

Oh, my Father's little children, the next earthquake that we want to talk about, you find it in the Acts of the Apostles when they threw two of these men in prison. Oh, let me talk to you about this for a minute. Because, you see, the teachings of men is that if you will surrender your life to the Lord, if you will just do this and if you will just do that, you can just sail through this world on flowery beds of ease, you will never have any troubles and you will never have any heartaches. My friends, I can't read it in the contract, Here is the contract. It just wasn't that way. But here is the promise we want to read in the contract: ''Lo, I am with you all the way." Isn't it wonderful that we feel we have the Son of God with us today? Brother Morgan, I couldn't come up here if I didn't rely upon that promise. I just couldn't stand before God's children if it wasn't for that promise. Oh, but this last earthquake I wanted to talk about for a minute: these two old apostles were in prison. The jailor had a charge from those of his superiors to be careful and keep them and not let them get away. Having received such a charge, he put them into the innermost prison and locked their hands and feet in shackles, but at midnight they began to pray and sing. My friends, there was an earthquake. Old Baptist, will you join with me and let us have this kind of prayer meeting today? Many of God's little children in our land and country are shackled with the doctrines and teachings and commandments of men. We need an earthquake to shake them loose. They need the gospel preached to them to tell them who made them free. Let them come home to the grand old church and join hands with us to praise God. My friends, if we, inside the church, would live as God commanded us to live, we would see the earthquakes happen. Oh, let's pray for an earthquake. Now, you know, I am glad you understand what I am talking about there in that sense. I don't want you to go off and say the preacher was praying for a great disaster. But I want to see God's children shook up and they would move out and they would find themselves at the House of God. They would look at themselves and see if they were a bramble.

May God bless all of you and come to see us when you can.


AN EXAMINATION (1952, October)

Elder C. H. Cayce's examination of 0. R. Mozingo in his ordination to the work of the ministry, at Ideal Church, Hattiesburg, Miss., March 22, 1942.

This is of vital importance. In fact, I look upon this as being one of the most important things that is ever done in the house of God. One who is occupying the place of a minister of the gospel in the house of God occupies the highest place that is possible for mortal man to occupy in this material world; and the man in that place occupies the place where he can do the most good, or the greatest harm that a man can do in this material world. As Brother Mozingo has al-already said, the church and those engaging in this work today should be careful. How true 'it is that in a proceeding of this kind, we should be careful not to be in too much of a hurry either to begin the procedure in the ordination, or to be in too big a hurry to get through with it when you do begin. There are reasons for this. One reason is the importance of impressing upon the mind of the brother to be ordained the importance of the work; the importance of the exalted position that he occupies ; the importance of the way he should live, conduct himself in that place, and the importance of impressing the mind of the church, the membership of the church, of being careful as to putting one in that position, that they should, on every occasion of this kind, as well as on other occasions, have the fact impressed upon their minds that they cannot make a preacher by ordaining a man. This is a work that the eternal God has not delegated to any man or set of men. It is God's work to put men in the ministry. That does not mean that every man who occupies the place of a minister was made a minister by the Lord, but it does mean that God Himself has made all His ministers.

It is also true that when the Lord has made a man a minister, put him into that place, there is an obligation resting upon I he church that they recognize that gift. A great responsibility rests upon the church in recognizing that gilt not only in recognizing it, but setting him apart to the work of the ministry by ordination, and in taking care of that gilt as a blessing from high heaven. You can nourish and cherish that gift and esteem that gift as a blessing from God, or you can destroy that gift. You will not, find anywhere in God's Holy Book where (hat has promised to bless any body or people, whether in the church, or in the nations, in destroying that which God has blessed you with. God's blessed Book teaches us to lake care of that which God has blessed us with, and so it. leaches the church to take care of the blessing God bestows upon you as a gift. These are things of great importance—there are other things along that same line, but I do not have time to mention all of them.
There is one question which I have always asked when I was called upon to help in ordaining one to the work of the ministry, and I would ask that question today, but I have learned that the question has already been asked of this church. But in case there are some here today that were not present at your last conference, I want to ask it again. That question is this: Would you be willing, in case it were necessary, to use Brother Mozingo as pastor of your church? Those of you, who are willing, raise your hands. Hands down. If there is one who did not note, raise your hand. It is unanimous.

I knew of a man that was being ordained, and that question was asked the church ; the church said, No, they would not be willing to use him as pastor; but they went on and ordained him—I would not have done it.

Brother Lewis, in introducing the service, read, seven verses of the third chapter of First Timothy. In those verses in which he read are recorded some of the qualifications that are necessary that a man have to be set apart to the work of the ministry. The word that is used in this King James' translation is bishop, but that does not mean a higher place in the ministry than other ministers, as one office in the ministry above another, but the bishop, Scripturally speaking, is an elder, one and the selfsame thing. I want to read these and then ask questions and perhaps make some remarks in connection with these requirements.

"This is a true saying." It is not true because it was said, but it was said because it was the truth. If it had not been the truth before the saying was made, it would not have been the truth after it was made. Saying it did not make it true, but it being true it was for our good and for our benefit that it was said that we might know the truth and conform our lives to it, and be governed by it. "This is a true saying." A particular speech, saying a thing which has been said, which the apostle here calls attention to, and he calls particular and special attention to it for the simple reason that it is a very important matter, one that we should keep in mind, remember and not forget, and always be governed by it! "If a man desire the office of a biship." Now, the word desire as here used does not mean that if a man decide to enter the ministry and engage in the work of the ministry as a man would decide to engage in some vocation of life or profession, as a livelihood, as one would decide to enter the profession or the practice of medicine, or the practice of law, or as he would decide to enter the vocation of farming, or the mercantile business. He desires a good work in that it is a desire that springs from a principle that is higher and nobler and more grand and glorious than all the affairs of this life, not a desire to enter this work or engage in this work for a livelihood or for a name among men and in the world, but a desire to honor and to serve and glorify God from the feeling sense in his heart that the God of heaven requires this work at his hands; and in answer to that requirement a desire to obey his heavenly Master and glorify His name. What a. responsible thing it is! How solemn! 1 think I know how to fully sympathize with you, precious brother, this day, and my heart goes out to you, my dear brother, in love and sweet fellowship. I begin this work trying to make this examination, not because I don't love yon, lint. because I do, and if not deceived in my own poor heart, riot only do I love you and have sweet fellowship for you, but if I am not mistaken I love the cause of my Master more.

"If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work." Notice the word work in that expression. This, my brother, is something to work al.. There is much work to do. The apostle calls it work here, and in his instruction, or sonic of it, to this preacher (Timothy was a preacher), the apostle said to him: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed." A workman is one who works at something. "He desireth a good work." There may be many works that are not good, and those works which are not good should not be engaged in, but those works which are good should be engaged in. Hut it is not the business of every man in the world to engage in the good work of a bishop, Or a minister, hut it is the business and obligation of every man hi engage in that work that Cod requires to thus engage. H God has pia Ms matter in your heart, and you have in your heart a hurtling zeal and desire to tell of His goodness and the riches of His grace, the riches of your Master, it is a work that God requires at your hand, and you desire a good work.

Now, what is necessary as a requirement that one engage in this work? I am satisfied there are many of the Lord's people who have the spirit of preaching that cannot preach. I was reminded of that before was ordained by a good brother deacon, member of the church where my membership was. He said to me one day, after our service, and when I had tried to preach : "Brother Claud, I have wondered about it many times why I can't preach like you and others of my brethren. I want to preach. I have the spirit of it just as much as you have, but I can't do it, and I know I can't." I said, "Why, Brother Tucker ?" He said: "Well, I just discovered the other day why I can't preach. It is because I don't have the gift. I have the spirit of it all right, but I don't have the gift." That is the one thing we start with in order that one be a minister of the gospel—he must have that gift. Brother Vance, do you recognize in Brother Mozingo the fact that God has bestowed that gift upon him?

Answer: I do.

You know the Lord ascended upon high, and "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers ;" and this was all for the work of the ministry, a bishop.

Notice the next word is one that is imperative; it is a universal truth in this matter : "A bishop then must be blameless ;" that is, without blame, not guilty of doing something that renders him blameworthy; his life must be right! Do you, Brother Vance, recognize Brother Mozingo as filling this qualification?

Answer: I do.

"Must be blameless, the husband of one wife." Now that does not mean that he must necessarily be married. If it meant that it would exclude Paul himself who was doing this writing—and right here let me digress a little. A good sister wrote to me one time that she felt that she ought to preach; that she just felt like God required it of her. She asked me what I thought about it. I answered: "If you can fill the requirement in the second clause in the second verse of the third chapter of First Timothy, by all means your church ought to ordain you." Now regardless of how wrong we might be on any other matter in this wide world, the Old Baptist Church is right on this, because there is not a woman who can fill that one requirement: The husband of one wife. That does not mean that if he should be married one time and, either by death or the law of God, should lose his wife that he should never marry again. It does not mean that; for, when he has lost that wife he does not have a wife. If there is no other regulation laid down in God's Book, this regulation does permit him to have a wife, but only one at a time, not two at a time. It not only permits him to have a wife, but if he has one it requires him to be a husband. Notice that part of it too, please. The husband, not just simply a man claiming to have a wife, but a husband of one wife. We might enlarge on the matter as to what that word husband carries with it and how much it means. Oh, my Lord, how many times have I felt in my own heart, am I truly and indeed a husband as God's law requires? How much that means, brother ! As a husband, one is required to fill the place as the head of the family, and lovingly care for that bosom companion that God has blessed him with, nourish her and cherish her as a gift of Cod to him. Brother Vance, do you recognize in Brother Mozingo that qualification: A husband of one wife?

Answer : I do.

"Vigilant." I have thought that word vigilant might be somewhat akin to the word diligent, energetic, not lazy and slothful and indolent. Do you recognize him as having that qualification, Brother Vance?

Answer : He has that qualification.

I have said and I believe I will say it again just here : A real lazy man will never be a good and successful preacher in the kingdom of God. The fact is, a lazy man won't make a good Christian, much less a good preacher. There is too much to do, and a real lazy man will be diligent in doing just one thing, and one thing only, and that is doing nothing.

"Vigilant, sober." That word sober means so much. Of course, if one is sober he is not drunk; and if he is drunk he is not sober. There is more than one way for a man to get drunk. Some of them may get drunk on new wine, as those mockers thought that the apostles were on the day of Pentecost. They .said they were drunk on new wine. One may get drunk on malt and spirituous liquor. When they get drunk that way they won't walk straight. I suppose the reason why they won't walk straight is because they can't walk straight. I used to hear it said that some folks would get drunk in the legs and some would get drunk in the head—they did not talk straight. I have seen fellows in my younger days that would try to walk straight but they would wobble. I hardly deem it necessary to ask if Brother Mozingo gets drunk on liquor. I am satisfied that if he had been doing that and this church had found it out on him, we would not be where we are today. But, there is another way to get drunk and that is on doctrine. They get drunk on false doctrine; and when they get drunk on false doctrine they begin to wobble and walk crooked, and they begin to talk crooked. How necessary it is and how important it is that as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ that man be sober; sober in his conversation; sober in his everyday conduct, in his dealings with his fellow-man; that his walk be upright and circumspect before the people with whom he comes in contact; that nothwithstanding the world may hate, despise and abhor the principles which he loves and which are as dear as life to him, yet they will say that he is a good man, sober. Brother Vance, is Brother Mozingo living up to that requirement?

Answer: In every respect.

"Sober, of good behaviour." Oh, how important that it! This apostle, in this same letter, if I am not mistaken, says, "These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly : but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." Is Brother Mozingo one of good behavior in the house of God, as well as in the walks of life?

Answer: He is.

"Given to hospitality." Does he enjoy having his brethren visit him in his home? Does he enjoy entertaining them?

Answer: Yes, sir. He takes a delight in it.

"Apt to teach," having the ability and qualification to teach. There are many men who know things but they do not have the gift or qualification of imparting that knowledge to others, teaching others. He must not only know something himself, but have the ability to impart instruction, teach others, to give others to understand where he occupies ,and the reason why these things are so; show it to them that they may learn these principles that are dear and precious to him. Does he have that qualification: Apt to teach?

Answer: Yes, sir.

"Not given to wine?"

Answer : Not given to wine.

We have covered that already in the expression above, "sober," but I would gather from this that the apostle in that first expression, "sober," had a special reference to being sober in the matter of doctrine and order ; and now he comes down to this: "Not given to wine." He must be sober in that respect, too. Let me digress a little again and put a little charge right here. Brother Mozingo, on this very point, "not given to wine," do not keep that stuff in your home; and when men and your brethren come to your home, do not, put out the bottles and wine glasses and ask them to have a toddy. You may not all agree with me, but that is exactly where I occupy on that point. Let that stuff alone. it does not belong to one who occupies the high and exalted place of a minister of God. I have been to homes where they would do that, and frankly, when I see it I am disgusted with it.

"Not given to wine, no striker," hit back. Brother Mozingo is not a striker, is he?

Answer: No, sir.

"Not greedy of filthy lucre." Greedy, can't get enough. That is the thing he is after first in life—for filthy lucre. That is money. That does not mean that one who is a minister should not endeavor to provide things for himself and family that they need. It does not mean that. "If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." It does not mean not to provide things honest in the sight of all men, but it does mean that he is not to demand these things of the world, filthy lucre. That is not to be the first thing in his life; that is not the thing of most importance to him. Is Brother Mozingo greedy of filthy lucre?

Answer: No, sir.

"But patient." How necessary and how 'important that qualification is—patient. Many times in the work of the ministry, as in no other work in the house of God, will a man's patience be tried—in the midst of contention; in the midst of wrong doing; in the midst of neglect of the brotherhood; in the midst of their carelessness and indifference; in the midst of their contentious nature that some of them will manifest, not only in wrangling and fussing among themselves, but they will pick at him; and if he is not patient, if he does not mind he will be a striker. It is necessary that at all times he be patient. He may decide sometimes that things ought to be done and done in a hurry, when if he would patiently wait it will come around all rigtht. Is he patient?

Answer: He is patient.

"Not a brawler?"

Answer: No, sir.

That means a whole lot. A brawler raises a fuss and disturbance; doing something to stir up trouble; saying something; may not say much, but one that is a brawler can insinuate and thereby stir up a brawl; and one that does that is a brawler.

"Not covetous?"

Answer: No, sir.

Covetousness is a bad thing. It is classed as idolatry. I believe the apostle says it is idolatry. Now, if I were covetous I would be an idol worshiper. It is more important that the minister of the gospel fill these qualifications that are required, because he is an ensample to the flock. The apostle labored with his own hands that he set the right example that they be diligent and have something to administer to those that were in need.

"One that ruleth well his own house." Does Brother Mozingo rule well his own house?"

Answer : Yes, sir.

That does not mean to rule with the rod of iron, nor as a dictator, but rule in love, have the respect of his family that they will observe and do his will and his wishes out of respect and love for him. That is one that rules well. Notice the word well. One might rule his own house and not do it in the right way.

"Ruleth well his: own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity." I do not know that it would be necessary for me to ask that question for my own personal knowledge and information, but I ask it as it is laid down here. Does he have his children in subjection?

Answer : Yes, sir.

I saw that manifested and proven Friday evening. We stopped at his place over there and was in his home. I saw that proven. I did not have to ask you to find out, but it is laid down here.

"For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?" That is a stronger way of saying that he cannot. No man who does not know how to and does not rule his own house can take care of the church of God. He cannot do it and he won't do it. You may say: Well, that brings in the idea that he is to rule the church; no, he is not to rule the church as lord and master of the church, but to rule the church in setting right examples before them, showing them how to do, and leading them in the right way that they will love and respect him and have the assurance in his life and the teaching of God's Word that he is following the Lord; and they will follow him as he follows Christ.

"Not a novice." That is one that is newly come into the field. One that is a novice to be put into this world, is liable to be lifted up with pride and "fall into the condemnation of the devil." He is not a novice?

Answer: No, sir. He is not a novice.

"Moreover." Here is something in addition to all this. If we just think about bringing God's work in connection with it, we might say that is enough. But, in God's sight it is not enough! Here is something more. In addition to all of that, and this is imperative, it is a universal requirement. There is no exception to the rule. He must have it! How many times have I seen men occupying the place of a minister that did not have it. Right here, before I go any farther on this, if Brother Mozingo does have it today and you set him apart to the work of the ministry, and if the time should ever come when he does not have it, it is your indispensable duty to depose him from office. He "must have a good report of them which are without." His neighbors, even though they may make no pretention to Christianity, even though they may be an infidel and declare there is no God, the requirement is that this man's life be such that that enemy of truth and righteousness, that infidel, may say: "He is a good man." Does Brother Mozingo have a good report of them that are without?

Answer : He has a good report. I never heard anybody speak otherwise.

"Lest he fall into reproach, and the snare of the devil." He would fall into reproach and then it is liable that he will fall into the snare of the devil. The devil has snares set and he will have them set all along your pathway in life. It is absolutely necessary; it is an indispensable requirement that the minister of the gospel have a good report of them that are without; that he shun the snares that the devil has set In his pathway. You need not doubt but what he will have plenty of them set. I might describe a snare as being a trap, and it is hid. It is camouflaged. It is covered up with something that you will not see it very readily, and by not seeing it so readily you are liable to step into it. When you step into it you are already caught. There is no such thing as stepping into one of the devil's snares and then getting out without being caught. You have a scar that will remain with you as long as you live in the world. How important that the minister thus live above reproach, having a good report of them that are without. He must have it! I believe I will repeat it thus : Brother Mozingo has that today ; but if one year from now or five years from now he lives and conducts himself that he does not have a good report of them that are without it is the indispensable duty of the church to depose him from office. So many times they have let men go on in the ministry when they did not have a good report of them without—just because they did not want to hurt his feelings, as though they thought more of him than the cause of Christ. The cause of the Master should be above everything else in the world!

These questions in regard to these qualifications have been answered to my satisfaction. Now I come —not to get the opinion of the church, the view of the church as to the qualifications—to examine Brother Mozingo personally. It is my desire that this examination be as thorough and as full as my little ability will enable me to make it, and yet to do this in all tenderness and love for Brother Mozingo. I have thought sometimes in asking the questions that I do, when I go into these matters as I do, that the brother that is being examined may feel that I do not esteem his feelings, that I want to try to pick some flaw in him, but that is not it. It is because I love him and love the cause of the Master. It is true that if Brother Mozingo is not sound in the faith, the best time there will ever be from now henceforth to find it out would be right now. That is true, but of more importance than that is this : For the protection of Brother Mozingo hereafter. If he is questioned today on the points of doctrine which have characterized our people as being distinct and separate all along the ages of time, and it is brought here that he occupies safe ground and stands on those principles of truth, that if it should ever be said in the future that he does not stand where he used to and where he once stood, this record will show ; and if Brother Mozingo lives to a ripe old age, or even to my age, and he has not shifted positions, he can say that he believed that way when they laid hands on him. It is for his protection.

Brother Mozingo, do you believe that this Book which I place on your hand is the revealed Word of God to men?

Answer : I do, if I believe anything at all.

Of course, I do not mean to ask you that every word as translated in the King James translation is without error, but as it was written in the original language, the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, that it is the express will of God toward men.

Answer: I do.

Do you believe that Book was given by inpiration from God; that is: That God breathed into men who did the writing and moved them to write just what they did in the original language?

Answer : I do.

Notice, please, the way I framed that question: That the Spirit of God moved them to write, not simply that the Spirit of God moved upon them to write, but that the Spirit of God moved them to write. I hold this book in my left hand. My right hand is moving upon that book. That book is being moved upon by my hand. but the book is not moving. Now that book is not being moved upon by my hand but the book is being moved by my hand.

Answer: That is the way I understand it, Brother Cayce.

So the Spirit of God moved those men to write just what they did write, so that what was written in the original language, the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, was just as true as though it had been written by the finger of God Himself.

Answer: Absolutely.

Believing that then, Brother Mozingo, do you believe that there was and is an eternal, self-existent, all wise, all-powerful, omnipotent being who has always existed and who always will?

Answer : Brother Cayce, I believe that from the standpoint of the Bible and my experience has taught me that.

Thank the Lord for that. That being a fact, Brother Mozingo, you would believe that if there had been no Bible written?

Answer : If there had never been a Bible written.

Brother Mozingo, do you believe that this eternal, self-existent being ever changes?

Answer : Never changes.

Do you believe that He is, always was and always will be all wise?

Answer : Yes, sir, I do.

Do you believe then that He has never learned anything, never will learn anything, and never forgot anything?

Answer : Never forgot anything.

Do you believe that He has ever been disappointed in anything?

Answer : No, sir.

Do you believe that in the morning of time that this eternal God spoke this material world into existence?'

Answer : I do.

Do you believe He made all things that are made and He made or created them out of nothing?

Answer : Out of nothing.

Do you believe strictly and literally in the Bible account of creation?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Brother Mozingo, do you believe that in creation the Lord made first a little infinitesimal something, I believe they call it protoplasm; some little something that evolves out of nothing by the power of God, that had a spark of life in it that divided and subdivided in harmony with the law that God gave, and then kept building and evolving up to the vegetable kingdom and then the lower animal and then the higher order of animals and finally into man. Do you believe that is the way God did it?

Answer : That is not according to my understanding of the Bible.

Let me say this, Brother Mozingo, the so-called science—you know Paul said beware of science falsely so called—the so-called scientist is so smart that he does not know that God could make him, a full grown man, that He did not have to make him a monkey and let him grow up to be a man. Do you believe that in this work of creation, the eternal God said: Let it be so and it was so?

Answer : Yes, sir.

He said: Let there be light and there was light. He said: Let the waters be divided and they were divided. He said: Let the dry land appear and the dry land appeared. He said: Let the earth bring forth and the earth brought forth. It brought forth herb yieling seed after his kind. Do you believe that expression: "Yielding seed after his kind," which carries with it the idea that everything in all the realm of nature produces after its kind?

Answer: Yes, sir.

And as everything produces after its kind, do you believe that every thing partakes of the nature from that from which it springs?

Answer: Yes, sir.

You don't believe, Brother Mozingo, that you can take pumpkins from a cornstalk?

Answer : I have never seen it nor heard of it. No, sir.

If the so-called science be true you might expect to gather pumpkins from the cornstalk as well as an ear of corn. Brother Mozingo, do you believe that when the Lord had made all the other material things, that He then formed man of the dust of the ground?

Answer : Yes, sir.

And when the Lord God formed that man, He formed him a complete man so far as outward formation is concerned. Do you believe that when the Lord thus formed that man that the Lord presented some proposition to that man which he might accept and become a living man?

Answer : No, sir.

Did the Lord require that man to do anything in order that he might have life or obtain life?

Answer : No, sir.

But you understand that man did become a living being?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Do you think that man became a living being by the operation of the divine power of the Creator?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe that man had to be willing for the divine power° of that Creator to operate upon him?

Answer: No, sir.

Do you believe that when the Lord had made that man, formed him of the dust of the ground, that God had breathed into his nostrils the breath of life of a living soul?

Answer: I don't believe he could have gotten it any other way.

Do you believe that man was wholly, totally and entirely passive in receiving that life?

Answer: Yes, sir.

When the Lord had thus made that man, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, became a living soul or being, do you think that was carrying out what God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness?" Do you understand from the Book that when God said: Let us make man, that the pronoun us, in the plural number, more than one, do you understand that when God said that that He was talking to old Satan?

Answer: No, sir.

You don't think then that in this work the Lord entered into partnership with Satan?

Answer : No, sir ; none whatever.

You don't think Satan had any hand in that?

Answer : None whatever.

Do you understand then this to mean that the Father as the first person in the trinity in the Godhead spoke to the Son and said: "Let us make man in our image?"

Answer : That's right.

Do you understand an image to be a picture?

Answer : No, sir.

Do you understand a likeness to be a picture?

Answer : No, sir. (He answered in the affirmative later.)

Yes, you do. Let me illustrate. Here is a picture of my daughter. That is not my daughter, but it is a likeness of her. Now "make man in our image," make him in our likeness—a picture. Now, let me explain a little along that line. God is represented as having a head, as having ears. Man has ears. God can hear. He is represented to us as having eyes—He can see. Man has eyes—he can see. God is represented as having a nose—He can smell sweet smelling savors. Man has a nose. He is represented as having a. mouth. Man has a mouth. God is represented as having a neck. Man has a neck. God is represented as having hands, and man has hands. God is represented as having a body. Man has a body. God is represented as having feet. Man has feet. So there is a picture. There is a likeness. But he is not only a likeness but in the image of God. In the very first clause of the Old Bible, the fourth word, "In the beginning God." In the Bible that word that is translated God is from a word that denotes a plurality, not a plurality of gods. You don't believe that there is more than one God, do you?

Answer : Just one.

But this one God is composed of more than one. The word does not signify bow many, but more than one. There must be as many as two, and there might be four, if we had no instruction as to how many, but it is one composed of more than one. Now, Brother Mozingo, how many compose that one God?

Answer: Three in one.

A trinity—Triune God! We go to the New Testament to find how many. John says there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. Do you believe then that there are three in that one God?

Answer:  Yes, sir.

And as there are three in the one God and man is made in the image of God, then how many constitute the man?

Answer : The same thing.

The soul, the body and the spirit, and it takes the three to constitute the man. Do you believe that man can divide between the soul and the spirit?

Answer: No, sir.

Do you believe that there is One who can?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Permit me to digress a little again. I might forget it later on. No matter how many years you may live; no matter what place you may be called, never undertake to divide between the soul and spirit. You may be asked to do it; but when they do ask you, you tell them that you are not the Word. Men can't do it. You can divide between soul and body but you cannot divide between soul and spirit. But though you can divide between soul and body, do you think you can tell what the soul is?

Answer: No, sir.

You cannot tell. Men have tried to discover what the soul is. They have tried to find what part of the body the soul dwells in; how heavy it is and how large it is; but with all their scientific instruments they cannot tell. One thought he could with a very fine scale. There was a man dying and he requested that he might get his exact weight and see what he weighed before he died, and then when the soul was gone from the body, he weighed it again, and the scale stood just exactly the same. Do you believe that the Lord gave this man (Adam) a law?

Answer : Yes, sir.

"Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat." He put that man in the garden. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Do you think God gave that man that law and the penalty of that law was death?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe that man had to violate that law?

Answer: No, sir.

Do you believe the law was just?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Notice these two questions: Man did not have to violate the law, as Brother Mozingo answered, and he answered that the law was just. Those two questions will get the matter going either way. If the law was just the man did not have to violate it. He could have kept it. If the man could not have kept the law and had to violate it, then the law was not just. A just law can be kept. And to say that the man could not have kept that law and had to violate it, is to judge the eternal God with injustice in giving a law that was unjust! If He did that, the justice of His throne is tarnished and God is dethroned and God is not God! Brother Mozingo, do you believe that when the man violated that law, which I am sure that you believe that he did, that the life that man lived became poisoned and contaminated with sin?

Answer : Yes, sir.

The life he lived became contaminated with sin and that man was sinful in all his parts?

Answer : Yes, sir.

And that is what you mean in the expression: Total depravity, that man was depraved in all his parts?

Answer: Yes, sir.

As you have already said, everything produces after its kind and partakes of the nature of that from which it springs, then do you believe that all of the offspring of this first man and woman are born into this world with a life that is poison and contaminated with sin?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Do you believe that before time there was such a thing as a covenant existing between Father and Son?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe that in that covenant that God made a promise to His Son and gave to Him a people, though they were yet uncreated?

Answer : Yes, sir.

And that people to be His inheritance and His bride.

Answer : Yes, sir; positively so.

That people were given to Him but you don't believe they existed, do you?

Answer: No, sir; they did not exist then.

Do you believe that any have ever been added to that covenant?

Answer: No, sir.

Have any been taken from it?

Answer : No, sir.

Do you believe that covenant was a blood covenant?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Being a blood covenant, do you believe that the covenant required the blood of that people that were given to the Son?

Answer : No, sir.

Do you believe that covenant required the blood of the Son?
Answer: Positively so.

Do you believe that by the blood of that covenant it was an everlasting covenant that this people, who were embraced in that covenant as given to the Son, were brought out of a state of sin and they were set free by the blood of that covenant?

Answer : Yes, sir.

You don't think they have something to do in order to be set free?

Answer: No, sir; none whatever.

Brother Mozingo, do you believe that this people that is given to the Son were a definite number, though no man can number them?

Answer: That's right.

Do you believe that everyone embraced in that covenant that were given to the Son in that covenant will be finally landed on the sunny shores of bliss and glory?

Answer : Positively so; yes, sir.

Brother Mozingo, do you believe that in harmony with the fulfillment and according to that covenant that the Lord Jesus, the second person in the Trinity, came here into this world, made His advent here?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Did He come in the nature of angels?

Answer: No, sir.

Do you believe that He became man?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Do you believe that at the same time that He was man He was God?

Answer: Yes, sir.

That He was God manifest in the flesh?

Answer: That's right.

Do you believe that He took on Himself the seed of Abraham and was made in all points like unto His brethren, except sin?

Answer: Yes, sir.

There is a reason why, Brother Mozingo, that we can say that He was born of woman and yet without sin. I deem it unnecessary to go into that. I will say this: Joseph was not His father, but God was.

Answer: That is right; and a woman was His mother.

Heaven and earth came together. Do you believe that, as this people were given to Him before time to be His bride, in this covenant and gift that this people were espoused to Him to be His bride?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe, then, as the espoused husband of this bride, that He was from then and did thereby become responsible for all her debts and obligations?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe that when He came into the world, took upon Himself the form of man and became man that He came thus to represent His bride and stand in her room and place and in her stead?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe that in His sufferings and sorrows, trials and afflictions here that He was bearing their sorrows?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Their troubles and afflictions and when He was in Gethsemane and His suffering was so intense that His sweat was as great drops of blood, that His exceeding sorrow and suffering was suffered in their stead?

Answer : Yes, sir.

And when He bore the most intense suffering that it is possible to bear, when He said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death," that it was for His people?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe, Brother Mozingo, there was any one in all this wide world that could help Him in that sorrow?

Answer : None whatever!

He had all of it to bear alone. There was none to help. Brother Mozingo, when He was brought before Pilate's court and they placed upon Him a purple robe, denoting shame, and a crown of thorns—they spit upon Him! they smote Him with their hands; He opened not His mouth—was there any one to help Him?

Answer : No one at all.

Even that outspoken apostle cursed and swore and said: I know not the man. When He was nailed to the cross, hanging between heaven and earth, could His mother help Him, as she stood and looked upon the scene, with streaming eyes, and He said to her : "Behold thy son!" could she help Him?

Answer : No, sir ; she could do nothing.

Did the Father in glory help Him when He cried, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Answer : He did not help Him.

Is it not a fact that the Father turned His own face away from His own Son in that trying hour and the Son was left alone, without help, to bear the terrible curse in the behalf of His poor sinful, wicked, rebellious children?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe the Saviour cried: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit," and bowed His head and gave up the ghost.

Answer : Yes, sir, that is what the Bible tells us.

Do you believe, strictly and literally, the truthfulness of the expression of the apostle in the fifteenth chapter of first Corinthians: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins."

Answer: Yes, sir.

I have heard some say it was not Christ, it was Jesus; but it was Christ that anointed Son of Goa that died for our sins.

Brother Mozingo, I must pass over many things that are really important. Do you believe that this body that was left hanging on the tree when He gave up the ghost, is that same body that was born of the Virgin Mary, and was the same body that was taken down from the cross by Joseph and laid in Joseph's own new tomb?

Answer: That is right.

Do you believe that they put a stone over that tomb, that sepulchre, and the king's seal placed upon it for the purpose of keeping that body?

Answer : Yes, sir.

But in the record we find that on the third morning, when two women came to that grave, the body was gone. Do you believe that same body that was placed in the tomb was raised again a living body?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe that He exchanged that body for another?

Answer: No, sir; it was the same one. That is where I get so much sweetness out of the resurrection—that it is this body and not some other that will go to heaven.

While this Saviour was here in the world, do you believe that He established a kingdom?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Do you think that He put everything in that kingdom that would be needed?

Answer : Everything that is needed.

Do you think that times and circumstances and conditions may so change and so improve and so advance that they may need something in that kingdom that was not put there, that was not there when He organized it?

Answer: No, sir. I think everything was put in it that we need in it.

Do you think that He put anything in that kingdom that should not be used?

Answer : No, sir.

Do you think that as long as the kingdom stands that He put one thing in there that will not be necessary to use?

Answer : No, sir.

You think, then, that everything He put in there should be used and nothing should be put in there that He did not put in there?

Answer : That's right.

Do you believe that this kingdom is ruled over and governed by a King?

Answer : King Jesus.

Do you believe that He gave all the laws and rules and regulations that were and ever will be necessary for the government of that kingdom?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Then, if we endeavor to enact some law that He did not give us in the Book, would that be acting in submission to the kingdom?

Answer : No, sir.

Can you find anywhere in the Book that the Lord Jesus in the establishment of this kingdom instituted or authorized, gave either precept or example, command, admonition or exhortation for any other institution to be organized and carried on in connection with that kingdom?

Answer: No, sir ; none whatever.

Do you believe that people have to unite with that kingdom in order to get to heaven?

Answer : No, sir.

You don't think they have to unite with that kingdom in order to become children of God?

Answer: No, sir.

Do you believe that the land of Canaan was a type of this kingdom?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Do you believe that the Jews were God's chosen people, as a nation?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Do you believe that they had to do what God' commanded in order that they become His people?

Answer: No, sir.

Do you believe that they had to do what God commanded in order to enter in the land of Canaan and enjoy the blessings of the land?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Then you believe that God's people have to do what God says do, obey His commandments in order to enter into this gospel Canaan and enjoy the blessings in the kingdom?

Answer: Yes, sir.

But if one does not do it, if he stays out of the church, do you believe that God fixed it from eternity that he had to stay out?

Answer : No, sir.

Do you believe that all this people that were given His Son will finally be saved in heaven?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe that God purposed before time that He would save them in time?

Answer: Yes, sir.

The Book says that He shall save His people from their sins! Do you believe that it is their sins that they are saved from?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe that God predestinated and purposed to save them from their sins?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe that God predestinated that they should be sinners?

Answer: No, sir.

You don't believe that God predestinated that they should be saved from His predestination, do you?
Answer : No, sir.

Now, remember that. If at any time in the future anybody should ever say that God predestinated sin, you remember the answer.

Answer : I have been chastised for my sins too many times to believe anything like that. God did not predestinate man to sin and then whip them for it.

I have said before now that if God predestinates them to sin and then chastises them for it, that God is meaner to His children than man would be to his. There is no loving father or mother that would command a child to do a thing they knew the child could not help doing and then chastise that child for it. A man that would do that is not fit to raise a child. God is not meaner than we are. Do you believe, Brother Mozingo, that the nearer to the Lord and the more humble and obedient the Jews were in the law dispensation in the land of Canaan, that the more blessings they enjoyed?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Then do you believe the nearer we live to the Lord, the more obedient we are that we enjoy more blessings today, that we cannot enjoy any other way?

Answer: I know that by experience.

I believe that almost covers the ground, except one thing. Do you believe, Brother Mozingo, that this gospel, this truth, these precious principles by the grace of God, will be believed and held to by somebody somewhere in the world?

Answer : As long as it stands, I do.

But after while, you believe this old world and all that belongs to it and pertains to it will end?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Do you believe that when that time shall have come that the Lord Jesus, that was born of the Virgin Mary in Judea, who was crucified on Calvary's Cross, His body laid in the grave, came out again and ascended to its Father in Heaven—do you believe that same Jesus will come back to this world again?

Answer: The same one; yes, sir.

You don't believe He will come back as a sin bearer then, do you?

Answer: No, sir.

Do you think, Brother Mozingo, that there will be some people living then?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Though there are some people that shall be living, when He comes back, do you believe that the first thing will be His children whose bodies are lying sleeping in the dust that those same identical bodies will come forth?

Answer : The same ones. He has the power to do that, as He took the dust of the earth and made the first one.

So you believe that He had power all along the ages and quicken poor sinners to divine life from a state of death in sin to a state of life in Christ. When that is done that is a new creation and He will raise these same bodies. Will they come forth mortal bodies?

Answer: Fashioned like unto His own glorious body.

Made immortal?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Not made to be a spirit, but made to be spiritual?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Do you believe that anything will be able to hinder any one of them?

Answer: No, sir.
Do you believe that they will live on earth as some people claim for a thousand years?

Answer : No, sir.

Do you believe that immediately, not only those that are dead in Christ shall be raised, changed, but all of the dead?

Answer : All of the dead; regardless of where they are.

Those that were not His Children, they will be raised. And do you believe that then all men shall be gathered before Him out of every nation; every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, that has ever lived and died, they will all be brought before Him, do you believe that He will then divide and separate them?

Answer : Yes, sir.

Do you believe that one of His might be overlooked?

Answer: No, sir.

In that dividing and separating, do you think He will get all of His and put them on His right hand?

Answer : Yes, sir.

"In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." He put them on His right hand where there are pleasures for evermore. The others, they being separated as, or in like manner, "As a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats." The goats on the left hand. You know there was one good woman asked that a c