Deuteronomy 11:18-21, “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. that your days be multiplied, as the days of heaven upon the earth.” We read of a “heaven-on-earth” home life. God planned that the homes of His people would be a duplicate copy of heaven above, a controlled environment, a solid fortress. We know homes like that, and we hope you will, too.
A good study is “thy house” in the book of Deuteronomy. You dear folks know how much you enjoy and it thrills you to tell about your workers, men and women following the truths of Jesus in the 20th century. By the same token, the opposite is true. We meet people and tell them about 20th century Christians like you, the product of this ministry – and it thrills us to tell about people like you, who make the scriptures so up to date. You know, there’s just a lot I don’t know about home life. Now you know that I know that there is a lot I don’t know about home life; however, I lived in a home for 20 years before I entered this ministry. We spend more time in the homes of others than other people do. The Creator has given us two eyes, two ears, and a spirit to discern, so I’ll just skim off a jar of cream and share it with you.
John 2:11, Jesus performed His first miracle at a wedding. Every move Jesus made had meaning. If there is a time a miracle is needed, it is at a wedding – an excellent object lesson of God where not the spirit of the world but the Spirit of God can turn a natural human marriage into a spiritual, divine marriage.
Ephesians 5:22-23, we read of marriage in the eyes of God. Husbands read this, not for what the wife should be, but for what he should be. Wives should read this, not to see what the husband should be, but for what she should be. Wives submit to your husbands and husbands love your wife. If Christ has used the marriage union as a picture of Christ and His espoused bride, it must have been intended for marriage to be a wonderful relationship.
Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honorable in all,and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” God believes that and we believe that. Marriage is only for married people. Unspeakable urgencies among us that would make your hair turn white burden me terribly. Another meaning of “whoremongers” is “fornicators.”
Galatians 5:19-21, one of the 17 sins listed there is fornication. Those who commit fornication shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. Another rendering puts it, “Those who champion fornication and subsidize fornication shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
I’ll read to you from God’s mind. Romans 1:13-32, a long list of sins: “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Don’t quote me. Learn the word of God. Quote the word of God. God says if I do fornication, I’m worthy of death. The Bible was thought of long before I ever was – and the Bible will be here long after I’m dead and gone.
Young folks, older folks, I repeat: marriage is only for married people. Parents have pleaded for these things to be mentioned so they would have the backing of the ministry. Parents: We want to help you. Children are your gold mine and you don’t have much time to work it. We know you will be skillful budgeters and get your children to bed on time so there is time to read from the Bible. Use your opportunity. It’s nice to go for a walk with your children and point out God in nature. Leo Stancliff’s father always told his children bedtime stories from the Bible. We know a child’s attention span is limited, but use what there is. Keep your children in the backwaters of the rivers of ungodliness – find the quiet eddies and coves. We know you have to go into the stream, and go to horrible nightmare schools – places of skull and crossbones. There’s the old teaching in the world: “Give me a child until he is 7 and his character can be formed for life.” If they can do this with false religion, what more can we do with Truth! Parents, say what you mean and mean what you say. If you don’t say what you mean and mean what you say, a spirit of unrest will, undoubtedly, prevail in your home. One father said that children would try the patience of 17 Jobs! Parents, if you say something severe, cool down and let your good judgment rule. You don’t have to shout, but rather, speak quietly. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Mothers, stand by your children’s father; and fathers, stand behind your children’s mother. Subconsciously, children learn to lord it over their parents, and then lord it around their teachers, and lord it over the boss, and then lord it over the judge, and then try to lord it over prison bars. Remember, effective discipline is necessary for good character and a good future for your children.
In the days of railroading, a guard one night dozed off in his shanty and was awakened by the whistle of the approaching train. He grabbed his lantern and ran out to see that a cloudburst had washed out the trestle guardrails of the track, and the river below was a raging torrent. He ran to warn the train but it was too late. The engineer and the train with the dying and injured ended up in the canyon below. Lawsuits later and the guard appeared before the judge. “Did you know the trestle was weakened?” “Yes.” “Did you try to wave your lantern to warn the train?” “Yes,” he replied. Later, going down the steps outside of the courthouse, the guard was heard to say, “I sure was hoping they wouldn’t ask me if my lantern was lit.” Parents, I hope the Light of Christ is burning before your children. Oh parents, parents, please, from the bottom of my heart, for God’s sake, for Christ’s sake, for the sake of the teachings of Jesus, please don’t sacrifice your children as idols on the altar of parental pride. I repeat: Oh parents, parents, please, from the bottom of my heart, for God’s sake, for Christ’s sake, for the sake of the teachings of Jesus, please don’t sacrifice your children as idols on the altar of parental pride.
II Corinthians 6:16-18, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God has said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ ‘Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate,’ saith the Lord, ‘and touch not the unclean thing; And I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters,’ saith The Lord Almighty.” Chapter 7:1, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” “Holiness” means separation. I am trying to wean myself from saying, “Paul wrote”; I want to keep the fear of God alive in my soul. God says He can’t have agreement with idols. God’s people are a separated people. “Come out from idol worship; don’t touch that unclean thing.” Son-ship is based on receiving His Spirit and separating ourselves.
In the days of Elijah, a disaster happened. I Kings 19:18, it says that 7000 hadn’t bowed to Baal. How about the rest? If you figure up a census in I Chronicles 21:5, the military was 1,570,000; and then multiply that by 5 (a conservative number for a family with only 3 children). You get a bit under 8 million people; and to be double conservative, cut this down to 7 million. So if 7,000 out of a total of 7 million hadn’t bowed to Baal, that means only one out of a thousand! Can you understand the pressure against those who were separate? Some were promising the blessing of Moses without obedience to the commandments of God – so deceitful and deceptive. The same thing can come in to us today. We could think we have the blessing of the blood of Jesus without obedience to the teachings of Jesus.
Some praying parents do their best, and children bring them sorrow until their dying day. One time a godly mother had two teenage daughters who stayed out far too late for decent young women. That mother laid awake. Children, your parents don’t sleep when you’re out late. When these girls came home, their mother heard one of them say, “Why can’t we enjoy the world like others?” The other girl replied, “As long as we have a praying mother, we will never enjoy the world like other young people do.” Parents, pray, pray, pray!
I want to thank you children, first for being so quiet at this convention. This is not flattery. I know your legs are short and they go to sleep, and you don’t whimper. If you want to stand up when I’m speaking, that’s all right. Thank you, children, for obeying your parents. God loves you and God says things to you children in the Bible. Colossians 3:20, “Children obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” That pleases the Lord. When you’re naughty, it hurts your parents as much as it hurts you when they correct you. A young worker tells of the time he was corrected by his mother and taken into the bedroom. She handed him the belt and said, “I’m not going to whip you. I want you to whip me. I want to teach you how hard it is to punish someone you love.” Thank you, children, for being kind to your parents. Make it as easy for them as you can. In one home last winter, a little girl about 5 or 6 went and turned on the porch light and said to her mother, “Mommy, I turned the light on so Daddy would know we’re expecting him.” The day you were born, 100,000 others were born too; but you were born in a home where God’s Truth was known. Ask your workers here, who weren’t raised in a professing home, about the dark tunnel they were in, not knowing the purpose of life. It is so dark. They didn’t know God’s heaven-sent answering service that you know. Jesus is God’s heaven-sent answering service on earth. Jesus has all the answers.
What happens to people who play with fire? People who play with fire are cremated! Thank God you have parents who say, “No.” You may think you are missing something out there in these cesspools around us because you were born in a home where God’s Truth is known, and you are right! You are missing something – a rotten, open sewer! You are missing all the rotten sewers of sin out there. Please don’t think your parents are old fogies. They do understand teenagers. If they say, “No” to you, it’s because they know there are two-legged serpents out there that are very slick and clever at hypnotizing you. This world is a snake pit, full of two-legged serpents. One of the brothers tells the story of a huge king snake he happened upon. It had its beady, hypnotizing eyes on a frog. The frog was squealing and squealing in stark terror, but it kept jumping right into the jaws of death. Your parents know those cunning snakes can get their eyes on you. One girl told me, “I built my altar the first day I went to high school.” She was the only child of God among 585 students in her high school. Deuteronomy 11:20, Jesus Christ is in God’s heaven-on-earth home. It’s nice when the words of Jesus are written all over these pillars. It’s nice when fathers and mothers have the words of Jesus written on their hearts and minds. A door is the port entry and exit of the home. Everything that comes into the home should pass the censorship of the words of Jesus..”Thus saith the Lord.” Everything that leaves – that is spoken, that goes out in a letter or on the phone – from that home, should pass the test, “Thus saith the Lord.” Your telephone knows you’re saved, doesn’t it?
Does the word of God say, “It’s all right” for every place you go? If so, your home is a controlled atmosphere, a fortified fort inside the fortress of the church. Deuteronomy 7:25-26, “The graven images of their god shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God.” A graven image is made with the hands of men. God said, “You burn it.” That’s thorough. Some say, “I’ll screen the educational part.” But God says the silver and gold – the valuable part – is the snare. The snare of death has its seat in human reasoning. It offers a cruel, merciless, death sentence. Some, we know, live in a divided home and can’t force their conviction on their partner; but it is nice when there is respect for the heart conviction of the professing mate.
Marriage: A “paradise home” versus a “fool’s paradise.” One young couple we visited told us this about their parent’s home: “The home I was brought up in had 100% consecration and 100% dedication on the part of my parents.” This is urgently necessary. If the Spirit of God is in your home then your home is a heaven-on-earth paradise home. If the Spirit of God is not in your home, then it is a “fool’s paradise.” The husband is the head of the home and the wife is the heart of the home. I Corinthians 11:3, God is the head of Christ. Christ is the head of man. Man is the head of woman. If a wife is so fortunate to have a husband whose head is Christ, bow your knees and give thanks to God. You have heard the old cliche, “The husband is the head, the wife is the neck, and it is the neck that turns the head!” If you want something in the lighter vein to relax, that’s all right, but it’s not scriptural. The scripture teaches that the husband is the godly head of the home, and the wife is the godly heart of the home.
Don’t ever degrade the place of a wife and mother in the home. That belongs in the bottomless pit where it came from. The place of a wife and mother in the home is far above that of presidents and premiers; and they would be the first to say so.
Permanency in marriage: Husbands, you will remember your marriage vows when you said, “I do” to this question, “Do you take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, for rich or for poor, for better or for worse, so long as you both shall live?” This was said before the divine authority of the Lord God Almighty, before the civil authority vested in the civil magistrate, before two witnesses, before your bride-to-be, and before your own conscience. That means, SO LONG AS YOU BOTH SHALL LIVE.
Wives, when you said, “I do” to this question, “Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, for rich or for poor, for better or for worse, so long as you both shall live?” This was said before the divine authority of the Lord God Almighty, before civil authority vested in the civil magistrate, before two witnesses, before your husband-to-be, and before your own conscience. That means, SO LONG AS YOU BOTH SHALL LIVE. Malachi 2:15-16, “…therefore, take heed to thy spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth, for the Lord God of Israel saith that He hateth putting away: ‘for one covereth violence with his garment,’ saith the Lord of hosts, ‘therefore take heed to your spirit that ye deal not treacherously.'” Read this again with “husband” exchanged for “wife!” “100-100” versus “50-50:” A husband gives himself to and for his wife 100%. A wife gives herself to and for her husband 100%. Have you heard someone say, “If you meet me halfway, I’ll meet you halfway. If you don’t meet me halfway, I won’t meet you halfway.” Friends, love is a total commitment; each partner doing more than their share. If each one wants more than their share, there is war!
Kindness: Husbands, be kind! Wives, be kind! I Corinthians 13:4, a double layer of kindness cake: human kindness and divine kindness. Leave out the “digs.” The grave of love is dug with a lot of little digs! We have seen the grave of love dug. We are in some homes and an unkind remark is said and I think, “Oh, why? Oh, why should that have to be said when so many kind things could have been said?” The hot fire of love is kept burning with the fuel of little kind things. One time two youngsters were going through the family treasures in the attic and they came across their parents’ love letters of their courtship days; and one remarked, “These aren’t the names they call each other now!” They should have been the names they were calling one another now. One time, a young couple were pinching pennies to get a new car. When they got their new car, the husband told his wife, “If you ever get into an accident, there is a letter I want you to open in the glove box.” Time passed and the day came when she was involved in a little accident. And, pulling herself together, she remembered the envelope in the glove compartment. She opened it and read these lines, “Remember honey, it’s you I love, not the car!” In that glove box would have been an accident insurance policy, but also there was insurance against love damage.
Luke 10:5, Jesus sent out 35 pairs of young ministers and told them to say, “Peace be to this house.” One woman told my companion and me, “You always bring peace into our home.” My companion and I come into your home after visiting the unsaved, sometimes until the late hours of the night – facing the legions of the bottomless pit all day – and we come into your home – a haven of peace. And oh, we appreciate that! Thank God for the havens of peace in the paradise homes of God’s people. Down in California there was a man and his wife. One day she set a bucket with a welded top behind the garage and forgot she had put it there. Later, she backed out of the garage and cut a gash in the gas tank. When her husband came home, she told him what had happened, feeling badly. “Well, dear,” he replied, “You forgot you left it there.” She knew for the 50,000th time, she had married the right man. What if you folks looked across the table at us as companions saying unkind things to each other. You would weep and say, “The ministry is going wrong;” and you would be right. Now how do you think we feel when we sit at your table?
Good Communication: An “open-heart marriage.” This is when the husband feels free to talk to his wife at any time, and the wife feels free to talk to her husband at any time. They use the velvet spirit, not sandpaper.
Appreciation: A husband appreciating his wife; a wife appreciating her husband. It is easy to let appreciation degenerate down to the level of expectation. There are lots of thoughtful things a husband can do: for one, he can thank his wife for the meal. One husband at the office, impulsively wrote his wife a letter thanking her for all she did. After he mailed it he thought, “How silly. What did I do that for?” After the welcome home he got the day it arrived, he knew he’d done the right thing! God has endowed women with many feminine ways of letting her husband know her kindness and love for him. The happiest marriage is where both parties believe that each one has the best of it; that each one adores the ground the other one walks on.
Honey: I hope there is a lot of sweetness in your hive! Two givers: A good marriage is the unison of “two forgivers.” Bright Times versus Dark Times: A photographer who excelled in pictorial journalism made the statement: “It is only after my prints come out of the dark room that I judge the quality.” Keep your hearts and conscience exposed to Christ. One time a man and wife were driving in the car and she remarked, “Things aren’t like they used to be, dear.” He replied, “I haven’t moved!” Last year my companion and I were going to meeting with a couple of our friends. The little girl said, “Are you going to sit in the front?” The other said, “Oh, I think I’ll sit in the back and let Mom and Dad sit in the front. They always sit close together!”
When the Titanic sank in 1912, there were three young couples on board who had been newly married. It was a centuries-old law that the women and children would leave a sinking ship first. The time came when the brides must leave their husbands to get into the lifeboats, but they could not part; and when they were last seen, they were gripped in each other’s arms. When we were calling on doors, we visited a lady who had recently been bereaved of her husband. She told us that when she looked at the body of her deceased husband, “I remembered all the unkind things I had said to him. I thought of all the loving things I could have done for him. The pain was so great.” She was forever too late. Willie Jamieson told of a man in Manitoba who, soon after his wife passed away, saw Willie. “She’s gone, Willie. She was far more my sweetheart the day she died than the day we were married.”
I Peter 3:7, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge.” Give honor unto the mother of your children so the children will give honor to their mother. It must thrill you to see your mate pray. I Peter 3:6, “Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him, ‘lord,’ whose daughters ye are as long as ye do well and are not afraid with any amazement.” Amazement means terror. Sarah has lots of daughters. She called Abraham “master.” He earned that; it didn’t come cheap.Someone told us about a couple who had been married over fifty years and had never had an argument in their years of married life. The wife decided that if any time they had a disagreement, she went out for a walk and cooled down, and then came in to talk things over, she wouldn’t say something unkind to the man she loved so dearly. The husband, likewise, said that if they had a disagreement, he went for a walk and cooled down so he could come back and talk it over and wouldn’t say something unkind to the wife he so dearly loved. There was a case in northern Wyoming. For 12 years the man looked after his wife after she had lost her mind. At night sometimes, he would pin their night clothes together lest she would wander away in the night. The children wanted to put their mother in a convalescent home, but their father wouldn’t hear of it. “Momma has always been kind to me; I can’t do that,” he said.
Some words to the workers on my right and my left: I appreciate the younger ones coming up. They are budding pillars. Keep a love for this Work in your heart. Don’t make any major decisions when you are in a valley. You’ll be glad 50 times over that you did hang on, when the cloud is passed. John 4:35, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, ‘Lift up your eyes and look on the fields;’ for they are white already to harvest.” Jesus said this after a mission where one soul was saved. Isaiah 6:8, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” I knew these verses very well in my youth. The joys of the ministry do increase with the passing of years. Stick with it! Keep the love of God in your souls, and keep the love of a shepherd’s heart in your heart. Stick with it!