Clarence Anderson – Red-Letter Days – Speed Convention – Australia – 1986 

Hymn 133 “Oh, for a closer walk with God”

If this convention could enable us to have a closer walk with God it would not be in vain. In Exodus 33 God said to Moses, “Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock.” That is where I would like to stand. When we are there, it will enable us to see things as He sees them and hear His voice more easily and God wants us to be close to Him, upon the rock; and if we are on the rock, we have something stable under us. We are thankful for that great Rock foundation on which our feet were set with sovereign grace.

The thought that came to my mind this morning when I awoke was that verse we have in the Psalms “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Life to me is made up of days and there are days that are like red-letter days, outstanding, because of certain things that took place. In your life and mine there are some red-letter days and we thank God for them. The day that we listened to the gospel and when God revealed His way, that is a red-letter day in your life and mine. There are other days that you can think of as well as I do, that are outstanding days in our experience. 

Jacob had red letter days in his life. Do you remember when he spoke to Pharoah, and Pharoah asked how old he was, and Jacob answered him saying the days of my pilgrimage have been short and I have not attained to what my fathers had attained. There were some red letter days in the life of Jacob and they were outstanding because they enabled him to have a closer walk with God and God would like to help us so we could have a closer walk with Him, and we look back to those days in our life when God helped us to choose, to make choices that we are very thankful for today; when we were passing through experiences that made the secret place an absolute necessity because we knew of no one else to go to that would understand our heart’s deep need. He has never failed us and the longing desire of my heart is to be loyal to Him, loyal to my brethren and loyal to a perishing world. I enjoyed the prayers this morning and I realise more than ever I did; it is not the length of our prayers that count with God but it is the depth. God is anxious and desiring when He hears the prayers, that what goes from our lips comes from the very depths of our hearts.

We read of different prayers that were short but there was depth to them. Prayers that are outstanding prayers because of what they asked for. We are thankful for those prayers. I think of the prayer that Ezra made when he asked that God would grant “a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.” That was a prayer that God heard from heaven and it is something that God will reward us for today if we ask in all sincerity that He would grant us a right way for us, a right way for our little ones and we value the little ones among us. We value youth among us and we also value the aged. We are thankful that there are some pillars amongst us, those who have stood the test and stand upright and have kept the faith through dark times and bright.    

I like that hymn we sometimes sing “Ages have not dimmed the record of the souls who did their best…and we have their simple message though they’ve entered into rest.” We are thankful we have such that we can look back to. Ages have not dimmed the record. I like that verse that tells us God can make a man more precious than gold. You can think of different ones and their testimonies, and God made them more precious than gold. Some have entered into their rest but we have their simple testimony and we can never forget them. I remember the words of an old brother who lived amongst us a good long time. I sat in a meeting when I was just a young man and he said in that meeting, never despise authority. Those that have authority from God. And never despise the old, and never despise those of another race. God doesn’t look on the outside, God looks on the heart. I have been privileged to labor among the Latin people for the last fifty years in South America, in Cuba, In Central America, in Mexico, and though they may be of a different color God has put into their hearts the same love, and the same desire, and the same willingness.

We are thankful for those simple prayers. Jesus said “I thank, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Except we become as little children we can in no wise enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Children do not hold grudges. There was a little girl one time and she had a very good friend which she liked to play with, but one day something went wrong and she went into her mother and say, Margaret was one of the meanest girls I have ever known, I don’t like her. The mother said that is too bad I thought you were good friends. No, she said I’m not going to play with her again. The next day her mother said you can have a party and I will make a cake and you can call in your friends. She made a list and showed it to her mother and to the mother’s surprise, Margaret’s name was the first one on the list. She said, I thought you were so angry with her that you wouldn’t have anything more to do with her. Oh, she said, that was yesterday! She didn’t hold a grudge. Something every one of us must do as God’s children. 

Some visitors came to Mexico and they were admiring the park and different statues there. One said to a little boy, I expect some big shots were born here. He said no sir, everyone born here is just born as a baby! In the Family of God there are no big ones born, we are born little children and if we can ever keep that spirit, the spirit of a little child, we are God’s little children. How many times when John wrote his epistle he said I say unto you little children, they never became big, they always kept as little children. As long as a mother and father live, and no matter how big their children grow, in their own family they are still my little boy or my little girl. We would always like to retain that kind of spirit also.

In a prayer it is something which must come from the very depth of our hearts. I thought of four ingredients to prayer – first of all, the love for God. That we would express in our prayers to Him that we love Him. David never forgot that; I love the Lord. That is the first ingredient of a true prayer that would reach the heart of God. Then there is an overflow of thanksgiving. Thankfulness in our heart and we would desire to continue to thank Him for the many favors He has showered upon us. Then there should also be an overflow of thankfulness. There was a brother in Argentina, he was a man given to drink and didn’t take care of his family, just about as low as could be and on the rocks. Then the gospel came and he listened to it and it changed his whole life. His home became a home where God’s honor dwelt. I heard about the man and he was coming to the convention where I was and I was anxious to meet him. remember he gave his testimony and it was not very long. We remember short testimonies a lot better than we do long ones. When you get too long, we begin to wonder when you are going to stop. Good when it is short and to the point. This brother stood to his feet trembling and said, I don’t have much to say but I have an awful lot to be thankful for, and he sat down. If we can bring into the meeting the spirit of thankfulness for all that God has done for us to help us, and then there should be praise. We would praise His name. Praise is something we give because of what a person is. It is what we give for what others have done for us, and both thanks and praise belong to our God.

Then there should be that fear of God. Not a fear that we are afraid, but a true fear in our hearts, a respect. I had an awful lot of respect for my father and mother but I wasn’t afraid of them. They were the best friends I ever had in life. Oh, if it had not been for them… They managed to control the home with an iron hand but it was covered with velvet. My father and mother never saw each other and never saw their children but they kept the home and they brought up their children, two boys, in the fear of God, the respect for God. I am thankful for the hand that controlled the home. I used to think when young that it was a bit harsh, but I don’t think so today. I feel very thankful that he was a father that controlled. 

There was one day I came home from school and I had a promise to meet my friends to play baseball. I rushed in and threw my books on the bed and gathered my mitt and started out again. My father said, where are you going son? I said to play baseball. No, he said, I am expecting you to go out and hoe those cabbages. I knew I had to do it. I went out into that cabbage patch and did I ever make that dirt fly! I was thinking to myself, they’ll be sorry they ever brought me into the cabbage patch, I will have them all so full of dirt, they’ll be sorry. I was so mad and I got through it so quick, and then Dad said, now you can go and play. I felt kind of sorry for what I’d done. Later on, we cut those cabbages and put them in the basement. One day Mum said, go down and bring up a head of cabbage. I was feeling kind of worried, and when she cut down through the middle and I looked for the dirt and it was just as white as snow and no sign of the dirt, and I was puzzled and wondered where did that dirt go to? I asked my father and he said, son, you didn’t need to worry about that, you scared the bugs away throwing that dirt around like you did, but the Lord doesn’t work from the outside in, He works from the inside out, and no matter how much dirt you throw, not one bit of it would go into the cabbage. We don’t need to worry today no matter how

much dirt will be thrown, it won’t hurt you one little bit, unless you allow it to come in. God wants us to keep a pure purpose and desire in our hearts and if we do that all will be well.

I was reading the Psalms and noticed the Psalms where each one began with the word Blessed. Blessed is the man. The Lord is very much interested in us as individuals. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly. Blessed is the man whose sin is covered. We are thankful the Lord covers our sin and what God covers no man will ever bring it to light. Blessed is the man whose sin is covered, and God WILL cover it. What we try to cover up God will uncover it, but what God covers, no one will ever find it and bring it to light. Blessed is the man whom thou choosest. We are thankful the Lord ever chose us. We did not choose Him; He chose us and He wants us to fill our place and fill it humbly. Who hath be our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? There we have God’s order. First of all is the report. Who hath believed the message? A lot of people believe it is the truth and can sit in meetings and meetings and meetings and still as blind as ever. Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? God reveals, and if God doesn’t reveal it, we will never see it. It comes by revelation. God revealing to us, This is the way, walk ye in it. I remember as a young boy of 20 years of age as I listened to the message I recognised and it came very clearly to me as we read in Isaiah 30:21.

Now some 60 odd years have gone by and I never have had a single doubt regarding the Way. I have had some doubts about myself, whether I would be able to do it. Jesus is the same and ever will remain. I feel a thank-fulness in my heart for that. “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee”. We cannot do this in our own strength. To those who received Him, gave He power to become the sons of God. We cannot do it alone. Paul said having received help from God, I continue to this day. I like to tell about a man who talked to his son and said, out in the driveway there is a big old log, it’s been there a long time, and I would like you to move it because it is an obstacle in the way. The son went out and it was so heavy, and he tried and struggled, and he couldn’t move it. He went in and told his father it’s too heavy I just can’t move it. The father said, son you can do it. He went out again and put every ounce of strength he had into it but couldn’t budge it. He went into his father almost in tears now, and said, I have used all the strength I have and cannot do it. He said there’s one thing you didn’t do yet son, you didn’t ask me to help you. He said, well why if you will help me then I’ll be able to do it. And we can remove these obstacles in the way, with the help of God. He can give us help so we can do it.

Psalm 94. “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, 0 Lord, and teachest him out of thy law.” The one whom you correct. Correction is not punishment Correction is to keep us on the course. The astronauts that went to the moon, every little while they had to have a course correction. If they were off less than a millimeter, they would never have reached the goal, they would have been lost forever. That course had to be corrected and correction is the avenue to perfection. I remember an old Model T that I bought. I almost had to push it around. But that is way out of date now, they have been correcting it and correcting it and correcting it until it is a whole lot different to that. Correction is the avenue to perfection. 

I am thankful it tells us in the 101st Psalm that we are in the way of perfection. Two times it tells us in that Psalm about the way of perfection and I am thankful we are in the Way the Lord can perfect us. We don’t have to be perfect to go to heaven, but one thing we do have to be is right, right with God and right with our brethren. We don’t have to be perfect but we must be right, to keep right with God and walk in His pathway and serve Him.

I enjoy the blesseds we have in the Book of Matthew. We are all so well acquainted with them in chapter 5 that Jesus spoke to His disciples. He opened His mouth and taught them, but there are seven other blesseds recorded and they have meant a great deal to me. First of all, in that 5th chapter, Jesus seeing the multitudes went up into a mountain. We don’t read of Him inviting a single person, He put the mountain between Him and the multitude but His disciples came unto Him, they didn’t need an invitation, they feel I need to be there. How many of you received an invitation to come here? You received the date and felt, we have to be there. I must overcome every mountain that looms up and obstacle, I have to be there. Jesus opened His mouth and talked to them, and spoke to them only the things that were most important and most necessary. 

He taught them the most important things and if we practice the first six, it will make us the seventh. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are they that mourn. You cannot be in this world and see the condition the world is in without having a mourning spirit. Blessed are the meek and they which hunger and thirst after righteousness. Blessed are the merciful, and the pure in heart. If we have those six blesseds in your life and my life, it will make us a peacemaker. That is what God wants us to be, peacemakers. Those who bring peace into the meeting. Being a peacemaker and we are thankful that the Lord still looks for those, and He is anxious to help us.

I would like to mention those other seven. The first is in 11:6 “Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” That is one of the greatest blessings. It is easy to take offence. Peter thought he would never be offended. He said even if everyone else gets offended, I won’t get offended but he didn’t know how weak he was. Blessed are they. ” Peter learned the lesson. Tells us over in John’s Gospel that many who listened to Jesus’ talk, “Except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood you can have no part with me” and it says many were offended and walked no more with Him, and He turned to Peter and said will you also go back? Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter was sure there was nothing to go back to and everything to go on to. When we were crossing over the ocean to come here, the captain called over the loudspeaker about midnight and he said, we have reached the place of no return and it kind of gave me shivers! What he meant to say was, it is closer to go ahead than to go back. How far have you gone? Peter reached the place of no return the only thing for me to do is to go on and keep on going. I remember Nichol Jardine, our old brother and one morning he came downstairs in the home he was staying and I happened to be there at the time, and he said, I have just made a new hymn. We said we knew his brother Jim made a lot but didn’t know you wrote hymns too Nichol. He said, I made a good one and I will sing it for you. He started singing — “Go on, go on, go on, go on….” He said there are a hundred verses and they are all the same! I never forgot it. That is what God wants all of us to have riveted in our minds. There is everything to go on to, nothing to go back to.

The next one is 13:16 “Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” One of the greatest blessings we could have. As I was telling you, my parents were both blind but if I heard them say it once I heard them say a hundred times, thanking God for the day He opened their eyes, not their human eyes but the eyes of their understanding. We can be thankful, for it is a great blessing. It is good when we have ears to hear what the Lord would say to us, and in hearing that we would be willing to do it. 

Matthew 16:17-18. Jesus had just fed the multitudes. He fed that great crowd of people, 5,000, with those few loaves and fishes. I like to think of that little boy that was there. It doesn’t give his name. We have a good many different ones in the Bible who were willing to serve and their names are not given but their names are written in heaven. We are thankful for those. This little boy was willing to give the few loaves and fish he had and Jesus blessed it. Sometimes when preparing for a meeting and we try to catch a fish and think we have something and then during the meeting it seems to get smaller and smaller and hardly worth giving it out, and we are ashamed of it. But He fed the multitude with so little.

He talked to them saying, whom do men say that I the son of man am? They had their ears open, they were passing it around. At this time, Jesus was the creator and the disciples were the waiters. The Lord is the creator. In a resultant they have good cooks and provide a good meal, but they are very much interested in the waiter. You could have a very good meal but if they had poor waiters that just threw it on the table and didn’t show a nice attitude at all, people wouldn’t go back again, or not clean and it didn’t appeal. You can go to a place and the meal not so good but good waiters and very attentive and serve nicely and put it on the table in such a way that it appeals to a person. I have felt I would like to be a good waiter in God’s Kingdom. Putting things on the table in a way that would help others/ appetites. Jesus presented the things of the Kingdom to that woman of Samaria in such a way that she said, Lord give it to me, give me that water.

Give me a drink, He said. She said, how is it that you being a Jew talketh to me a Samaritan, for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered “If thou knewest….living water.” She said the well is deep. She had something to draw with from the waters of this world but as she looked upon Jesus, He had nothing to draw with and that is the way we see God’s servants today, they have nothing to draw with, they have left everything. People in the world have something to draw with of the waters of this world. The water I will give you shall be in you. It is something God puts in us. She got an appetite and said, Lord give it to me. I want it. We would like to present these precious things of God in such a way that would open the appetite. I want it, give it to me. He told her the conditions, but she did not get offended. She said you seem to be a prophet. She first had seen Him only as a Jew. Then, you are telling me things I didn’t think knew.    

Later it was revealed to her more and more and then she finally decided when Jesus told her God is looking for the true worshippers that would worship Him in spirit and in truth and she was confused. She said, I know the Messiah is going to come and will declare unto us all things. Then Jesus said to her “I that speak unto thee am he.” Don’t you think it took a lot of faith to believe that. This man, dusty, hungry and to believe that He was the Christ. She was willing to accept it. She went into the city and spoke to others and said “Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” “Whom say ye that I am?” and when Simon Peter answered and said “Thou art…” Jesus said “Blessed art thou, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” “And I say unto thee upon this rock I will build my church..” It was not upon Peter but upon the revelation and if we don’t receive true revelation we are not building on the Rock. God wants us to build on that solid rock. 

I come from Mexico. A little over a year ago now they had a very big earthquake and over 2,000 buildings went down. There was one building there, 44 stories high, and they were three years laying the foundation for it. They went down till they got to solid rock, three years night and day. When that earthquake came, that building stood, and the engineer that built it and made the plans, sat in his office and he saw all those buildings around him going down but that building stood because it was built on the rock. It was built according to the specifications and that is how we must do, we must build on the solid rock, we must build according to the plan that is given to us.

Matthew 21:9 “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord;” tells us about Jesus coming and He sent two disciples to release the colt and if anyone would ask why, they were to say the Lord hath need of him. It was a colt that had never been broken, but he was willing to submit to the control of the Master, Jesus. What doest thou? God desires to lose us, from anything that is holding us from making progress. That is something the Lord would like to help us in, that we would be faithful. We think of that woman who for eighteen years was bent over, could not raise herself. Tells us that she was loosed and immediately she could straighten up and she was able to see the things that before she could not see. Her eyes were lifted to a higher level. We long to have our eyes lifted to a higher level. God desires to lift us so we can make progress. It is not how long, but how far we have gone in God’s Way.

There is a little story I tell, of two men who went across the river in their boat to buy provisions. After they had bought their groceries, they called into a tavern on their return to the boat and it was dark when they finally staggered their way back. They got into the boat and both took oars and they rowed and rowed and rowed. They got tired and just went to sleep in the boat. The sun was shining in the morning when they awoke and they looked around and said, where are we? They found they were still in the same place! Why? Because they had never untied the boat. There are a good many people in the world today who are tied. The Lord wants to release from anything that is hindering us from making progress.

These blesseds that are mentioned are becoming more and more precious to me. The last one is 24:46 “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” Giving meat in due season. That is our duty. To give meat in due season and feed people. It is a wonderful thing seeing people being fed upon the bread of heaven. 

Then there is the last one and the best one: 25:34. “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.” The best one of all. That is something that is within the reach of every one of us.


Clarence Anderson

Some years ago, I was in a convention up in Canada, and I remember the testimony of a little boy. He said “My father gave me a new Bible, and I was so proud of that Bible I went to him and said, I will take such care of it, I will never wear the gold off the edges. My father said to me, if you never wear the gold off the edges you will never find the gold that is on the inside.” If we are going to find the gold that is in God’s word and God’s way, we must be willing to wear the Bible out. God desires to help us so that we can have the best. God puts before us the very best, and that is what He wants us to aim at.

I heard about a man one time who had a chicken house, laying hens, and he was trying to produce as many eggs as possible. One day he took an ostrich egg and showed it to all the chickens and said “this is not to discourage you, this is just to show you what they are doing in other places.” The Lord sets before us the very best and wants us to aim at that. One time a school teacher asked the pupils to name the flower they liked the best. One boy got up and said, “teacher, I like the lily the best.” Another said the pansy, another boy said he liked the violet the best, another boy said the chrysanthemum. Then the teacher said “I want you to go out to the blackboard and write the name of the flower you like the best.” The one who said the lily easily wrote that, and then the pansy, and the violet, that was quite easy. Then the little fellow who said “chrysanthemum” was fumbling with the chalk in his hand, and he looked around at the teacher and said “teacher, I think I like the rose the best.” He was willing to settle for something that was a little bit easier. Sometimes we want to settle for something that’s a little easier. 

A little friend of mine where I used to visit, used to say “I’m going to be your companion one day.” I came back a little while after, and said “Are you still thinking of being my companion?” And he said “Yes.” Another time I went back when he was about 13, and he said “Yes, I’m getting myself ready, I haven’t changed my mind.” I came along when he was about 16 or 17 years of age, the time was getting a bit closer, and he said “Well, I’ve been thinking. You don’t have any home to live in, or anyone to cook, so I was thinking that maybe I could have a home, and I could give you a good meal.” I said to him, “Do you know how to cook?” He said, “Maybe I’d have somebody who could cook.” The Lord wants to help us to see the best, and is anxious to help us to choose the best, choose now as we would choose when time and seasons are no more.    

I like very much what our sister Ruth was telling us about, and I was looking at that same verse in Ezekiel 46 v 9, “But when the people of the land shall come before the Lord in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.” They were to enter by one door and to go out by another. We can enter this convention with a life stained by sin, but we can go out clean. We can enter broken-hearted and we can go out healed. You know, folks, I am very thankful that we have a good physician and that He has balm for each one, because sometimes we get some awful bumps. There’s an awful lot of difference between a boost and a bump. We value those who give us a boost to help us on our way, but sometimes we get some bumps, that almost take us off the road, and leave us wounded, but we are thankful that we have a physician who knows just exactly what we are in need of and there is balm for each wound. That is what we have in the Book, and I am thankful for it.


We can come into the convention ashamed, but we can go out rejoicing, ashamed of our failures. Every one of us, there is not a person here but has suffered a fall, and the reason we are here is because we have got up from the last fall, from the last time we failed. When a person falls what is the first thing you do? You get up, and then you look around and think “I hope no one saw me,” and then we go and get cleaned up. We are thankful that the Lord is a God who is interested in helping every one of us. I chose that hymn “Rich are the moments of blessing” because it was the first hymn that I listened to when I went to fellowship meeting. My

father and mother attended the meetings before I did. At 17 years of age I prayed that the Lord would send His messengers, I prayed and asked the Lord if He had a way in the world and showed it to me I would do it with all my heart, because I was confused. My father was a Baptist, and my mother was a Methodist. Two doctrines contrary one to the other. First, we went to the Baptists, then mother said “Now it’s my turn”, and we would go to the Methodists, so sometimes I went to the Methodists, and sometimes to the Baptists. I knew they could not both be right and I was confused. I prayed “If you have a way in the world and you show it to me I will walk in it with all my heart.” The Lord didn’t answer that prayer right away. We should never, never feel that when God delays, He denies. He is preparing the way. 

Three years went by, and I had then finished school, and I was working in the lumber yard, as a book-keeper, and was relief manager, and things were going pretty well, and prospering. I had hopes that I was one day going to be the manager of the lumber yard, and I had kind of forgotten what I had promised to the Lord. Then that tent was put up and invitations for gospel meetings, each night except Saturday, were given. I went home and sat at the table and said “Seems there is going to be a tent meeting.” My father said, “That’s strange, they didn’t announce it in the church.” I said, “Dad, you go to anything that comes along, Pentecostals, or anything.” My father said, “I know that what I am in they are not doing what they should be doing, but I am all right, but the way I am in is not like the Bible, and maybe I can find something that is like the Bible.” Mother and father were both blind, but my father could go to any place in town, and he didn’t need anyone to lead him. My mother would hook into his arm, and they would go off together, and they never missed a meeting. 

I began to realise that something is different now. I asked Dad, “What kind of preachers are they?” He said “There is something different from what I have ever seen before, and it has me concerned. It’s like the Bible teaches.” I would come home and find my dad on his knees, praying, and I tiptoes out. I recognised that there is something there that is troubling Dad. I remember after they attended meetings for some five weeks my father told me, “Son, we are not going to church this morning.” I said “Where are you going?” That was a bombshell to me, because Dad never missed. He said “These men who have the meetings in town have invited us to what they call a fellowship meeting, and we are going out into the country. It is four miles.” I said “How are you going to go?” He said that another deacon and he had professed, so that old Baptist church had an awful shaking. Our Sunday-school teacher professed also, and my companion, Roy Taylor, who wrote that hymn “God is faithful to His chosen” – I never sing it but that I think of Roy. He was far more religious than I was. We went to school together, and I used to like to have him near. He even had the nick-name of “Deacon Taylor” because he would never take part in anything. I loved sports, I would rather kick a football around than anything else. I saw Roy come back from the country. When we were going to school I used to see Roy coming into the school grounds sometimes, and he would say “Let us pray in the hayloft, and pray so the Lord would help us to have good grades today.” We would kneel down and he would pray, and I would just say “Amen.” 

We went to those meetings together, and after Mother and Dad said they were not going to church any more, I met Roy, and I said to him “Do you know where Mother and Dad are going?” He said “Yes, I know, I have listened to them a lot, and they go just like the Bible teaches, they don’t have a name, they don’t take any collections, just like Jesus sent in the beginning.” I said “Shall we go out and see what they have to say, and what they are going to do?” Roy said “You mean not go to church?” I said “I would like to see what Mother and Dad are doing.” He said “I will tell you that you cannot do what the Baptists say and do what they say.” Roy had already the desire to be a Baptist preacher, and he was registered with the Moody Institute of Theology to train to be a Baptist preacher, and he was going in the September, and this was August. We went out there and I remember entering that door, and they were singing that hymn, “Rich are the moments of blessing, spent in communion with Him.” That hymn left an impression on my mind that I have never, never forgotten. We went in and sat down and the meeting was already started. The one leading the meeting said “This meeting is different to the meetings we were having in town. In those meetings we were trying to show the difference between God’s way and man’s way, the right way and the wrong way, but here we are gathered for fellowship. In the town we did all the praying and all the talking, but this morning we want to hear the prayers from those who have made their choice to follow Jesus. We don’t want any Pharisee prayers.” 

The man who became our elder , and in the church he could use such holy tones, but that day as they prayed, it was oh so different, thanking God for sending Truth. I heard my father pray, and it touched me deeply. I had not got down on my knees yet, but then my mother prayed, and she thanked God and she also prayed for her boys, mentioning me by name, and I got down on my knees, for it touched my heart deeply. One by one they prayed. Roy prayed. He was used to praying. They were waiting, and I thought I have to say something. I said then “Lord, if this is the right way help me to see.” Mother and Dad didn’t know I was in the meeting until then. After the prayer was over there were some humble testimonies, and the overflow of gratitude for truth. After the meeting was finished, I went over and held Dad’s hand. He said “What are you doing here?” I said “I came to see.” He said “I don’t want you to do this just because your Mother and Father are. If God doesn’t show you it is His way, then there is no point at all in you doing this.” That night Roy and I went back to the Baptist church to usher people in, and to take up the collection, but before it was all over we both left and we never went back to the Baptist church again. 

About and a half years latter we were in the work. years later we both went into the harvest field. I remember talking to my father and said, “Dad I am just at the place now where I could be a help to you, because you and Mother have sacrificed in order that we could have an education, and now I could help you so your home could be better and things could be a little easier for you, and if I go into the harvest field I cannot do anything.” He said “Son, don’t worry about that for a moment, don’t you think about your Mother and me if the Lord lays it on your heart to go. My prayers will follow you all my days” and he did that. When I left, Dad spoke some words that almost made me shiver. He said, “Son, if you get sick and come back we will do all we can to restore you to health and strength, but if you quit for any other reason don’t show up at my door.” I thought it hard but it has kept me going. I thank God for fathers and mothers. We think of those going into the harvest field, and it costs those who go, but I tell you I value the fathers and mothers who have sacrificed their sons, and glad to see them go and see them in the harvest field, and have encouraged them, even though they missed them at home. There is sacrifice for those who go, and sacrifice for those who stay behind, and the Lord is anxious to help us so that we keep faithful and loyal to Him until the end of the journey. That is what the Lord has asked us here for, to help us.    

In John 10. I would like to share a few thoughts. We read about the good shepherd in this chapter, and about five things that are a very important part of this work. First of all the door. “I am the door to the sheep fold; I am the door to the sheep.” If He is the door, what does that make you and me? You and I are to be door-keepers. David said “I would rather be a door-keeper in the house of God, and a day in thy courts is better than a thousand”, better than enjoying all the things of the world. He recognised that that was his responsibility, to be a faithful door-keeper. That is what God would like to have us to be, faithful door-keepers in the things of the kingdom. The Lord is interested in helping us that we could continue, so we can be real door-keepers. And it also tells us “I am the light of the world” and if He is the light of the world, what does that make you and me? Doesn’t that make us reflectors? We should be reflecting this truth and light, a faithful reflector.

“I am the foundation.” If He is the foundation, we should be lively stones in this building of God. That is what the Lord would like to help us to be. He said also “I am the way” and if He is the way what does that make you and me? That makes you and me wayfarers, we are pilgrims and strangers, wayfarers in the way. “I am the Truth.” If He is the Truth, we should be believers, to believe this Truth with all our hearts. He said “I am the life”, the life that God wants us to have within.    

I remember my companion down in Mexico, and we were studying 1 Corinthians 12, where it tells of all the members of the body and every member having a part. I asked my companion after we had studied it together, “Dan, if you had opportunity to choose whatever member you would like to be, what would you choose?” He said “I think I would like to be the liver.” “What! That floppy thing?” “Yes” he said, “I want to be one of those who lives this thing.” That is what the Lord is anxious to help us to do, to be faithful in these things that correspond to us, that we would be faithful. 

In John 10 v 1 “Verily, verily, I say unto you he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” We think about the sheepfold, and that is the next thing to be. There is one-fold, as it tells us further down in this same chapter, in verse 16. “There shall be one-fold and one shepherd.” He said “Other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and them also I must bring.” We were having meetings in one place, and the lady of the home where we were having the meetings was doing the dishes, and I was wiping them for her, and she didn’t ask my companion because he was older. One day she said “Doesn’t it say that there are other sheep which are not of this fold, so that would mean that we don’t have to be just in that one group that you have?” I knew that verse was there, and I prayed a short prayer. 

There are different prayers. In the morning is the time when you open the door and you keep that door open all day long, and there is many and many a prayer that has been offered up over a dish pan, and many and many a prayer been raised to Heaven in the workshop and in the school, the door is open. When Nehemiah stood before the king that day and the king asked him “Why are you sad, and what is it that you want?”, he said “I prayed to the Lord.” He had the door open, it was not a very long prayer, but he prayed to the Lord and he asked of him just what he needed, that He would grant unto him time, grant unto him provision, grant unto him material by which he could build It is good when we can from the beginning in the morning open the door and keep it open all day long, so that when there are struggles and your heart is burdened down, you can lift a prayer to God – “Help me.” That is the reason I mentioned in the first meeting, the many times we have in our hymns “help me, help me” and I never read the hymns but I put a little mark under those two words, and I am surprised how many have those two words, prayers offered to God in quietness, and those other things the Lord is anxious to help us in. 

The next thing is, the one that climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep, I was reading something about the old shepherds, that when the sheep were brought into the fold, this man wrapped himself up in the blanket and lay down in the door. He said “anything that enters through the door must pass over my body.” He was willing to lay down his life for the sheep. 

I like very much that verse we have in Jeremiah 3 v 15, “And I will give you pastors according to my heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” When a person has an understanding, that is something that stays with you. Emotion is something that doesn’t last very long. False religions in the world today depend a great deal on emotion, getting people stirred up, and they can hardly contain themselves, almost jump out of their clothes. Emotion soon passes. He said “I will give you shepherds that will feed you with knowledge”, knowledge of His way and understanding. God wants to give to us a clear understanding of the truth, and an understanding of His way, and when we receive an understanding, it will help us. 

Then we read about the porters. “To him the porter opens.” Who is the porter? We as God’s shepherds cannot open the door. The porter is the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is the one that opens the door. We can bring people to a knowledge and understanding of the truth, but only the Holy Spirit can open the door, and He openeth the door to those who have a good and honest heart, who are willing to receive these things and obey them, and to do the things that would bring joy to His heart. We read in the Bible a great deal about the shepherds, different kinds of shepherds. 


We read of some shepherds in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 34. It tells of some bad shepherds. The responsibility of a shepherd. It says “They have not fed my people, they have fed themselves.” That is a terrible picture, of those shepherds who were feeding themselves and making merchandise, and scattering the sheep, and did not warn them. This is something that we need to be faithful in, in warning people, warning of the danger to come. I was in one place for convention, in South Dakota. It was raining for days, and they had an earthen dam, and that dam carried all the water for irrigation. It was filling up until it was overflowing and they feared. The policeman came out to where we were out at the convention place, and he said “You won’t need to worry, you are on higher ground.” There were 300 house trailers below the dam, because it was such a nice cool place and they enjoyed it down there. The police warned them that they had better get out. They didn’t pay much attention to it. 

The dam had never broken all these years, but one night that dam broke, and when it broke the waters rushed down and took away over 300 trailers, and they don’t know how many deaths there were. There were three reasons why that took place. First of all, they were depending upon a manmade security. It was not something that God made. Another thing was that they had built at a low level, and the third thing was that they did not heed the warning. The warning was given to them but they didn’t pay attention to it, and many were destroyed. God wants to help us so that we could realise that we should not be depending on a man-made security. There are a great many religions in the world today that are only man-made, and many people are trusting in a man-made security, and building at a low level, and they fail to take the warning that God’s servants give. 

When God sent His messengers to Abraham, I have a feeling that it could have been the same message that his father, Terah, had heard, and that message to Abraham was “Get thee out.” Abraham left all and went out, he received the message and he obeyed and God honoured him for it. He said “I will bless you and make you a blessing” and that is the purpose of God today, to bless us and make us a blessing, and it is good when we can go from this place and be a blessing in the church, a blessing in the home and a blessing in the neighbourhood. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others.

It tells us about David when the ark was brought back that he rejoiced, and it says he returned to bless his home, but he was returning to an angry wife. She did not like it all, but he returned to bless his home. It is perhaps that we will be returning to circumstances that are not very nice, but if we can return and be a blessing in the home, in the church and a blessing to those outside, it will be good. 

Then it tells us about the sheep “He calleth his own sheep by name.” It is good when we can try to be a good sheep. Some think that all sheep are good sheep, but I learned after I went in the work, I did not know much about sheep before, but I learned more. There are some unruly ones, they like to jump the fence and get on the outside of the fence. There was one sheep a man told me about that always managed to get out somehow, he would let him back in but the next day he was outside again. When feeding time came, he was outside again, but wanting to get back in. One time he didn’t let him in, he fed the rest and didn’t give him anything. He kept bleating even until midnight, and then he let him in. We have a good shepherd.    

In verse 9 “I am the door, by me if any man enter in he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture.” He will be satisfied and find something to feed on, and we are thankful that the Lord will continue to feed us. He said “I am come that they might have life.” We read of different reasons why the Lord came. When Jesus was before Pilate He said “For this reason was I born, and for this cause came into the world, that I might bear witness to the truth,” Pilate said “What is truth?” He did not realise that standing before him was the truth of God, and he turned him down, and said later “I find no fault in him” but he consented for him to be crucified. It tells us that he came not to condemn the world, but he came to save the world. I am thankful that this is not a work of condemnation, it is a work of salvation. 

We had a family who professed in our meetings down in Mexico. The husband was searching for truth, and it didn’t take many meetings. He had tried this and that, and then he went back to the Catholic church because he had not found anything better. He met with one of our brothers, and he had a wonderful way of talking to people, and this man believed it, and received it. Afterwards he said “I am very thankful that when you came you did not condemn what I had, but you showed to me something that is better, and that is what convinced me. If a man had a shirt that was dirty and torn and it was not his size, and you began to find fault with that man’s shirt, just criticise and talk about it, that man could get angry because it is the only shirt he had, but if you would bring to that man and show him a new shirt, and tell him it is exactly your size and is clean and you can have it if you like it, then I’m sure he would take off his old shirt and throw it away because he has something better.” I am thankful the Lord has shown us something better. He did not come to condemn, but to save, and to show to the world something that is better, and to help us.    

Verses 17 and 18 “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life.

that I might take it again. 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.” That is the power that you have and that I have. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have it, but I have got it. I have power to continue to lay down my life, and Jesus said “for this my Father loves me because I have continued to lay down my life.” We are thankful for our brothers and sisters who continue laying down their lives, laying down their lives for Jesus’ sake, and the gospel’s sake, the same as Jesus, and we are thankful for you folks who continue to lay down your lives in being willing to say from your heart “Not my will, but thine, be done.”