1914-11-09 – Monday Evening
Q. Is it right for a saint to have his life insured?
A. This is a question men and women must settle for themselves. It must be a matter of liberty. If it hinders your fellowship with God, then don’t do it.
Q. Why is John spoken of as the disciple whom Jesus loved?
A. He was the youngest and perhaps entered most closely into fellowship with Jesus. He perhaps had more intimate fellowship with Him. Yet I don’t believe Jesus loved Peter any the less but you would scarcely think of big, rough Peter leaning on Jesus’ breast. It is possible to enter more into heart fellowship with some workers. I believe the heart of Peter longed for that which Jesus was able to supply. Peter and James might have been more inclined to hide their hearts, but John allowed his to be revealed.
Q. What is sin unto death? I John 5:16
A. Sin unto death is the deliberate rejection of Jesus as Lord and Master of heart, home, and life. Some of the people John was writing about had committed the sin unto death and had gone out altogether. They went out that it might be made manifest that they were not of us. No man or woman that is truly born of God can commit the sin unto death. We know there are sins not unto death. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. The temptation of the Hebrews was to give up Christianity. The temptation there was establishing more up to date methods of serving God, using the name and sayings of Jesus and taking another way. The antichrist is spoken of as a deceiver. In order to deceive, it would be necessary to imitate the true. The nearer anti-Christianity is to true Christianity, the more deceptive it is.
The key word in the first epistle of John is “beginning.” It is simply an appeal to the saints to be true to the revelation they had at the beginning in Jesus. The old man sees the tendency for numbers of people to depart from the true faith and establish another faith, depart from a true Christ and follow a false Christ. We have more anti-Christian religions today than we ever have had, the true religion brought down to suit the people. Darkness is everything in the world that is religious and unlike Jesus. Some of them went out and said they had no sin. They had improved on the Jesus way and on the revelation God had given, I John 1:8.
Sin is missing the mark. If we say we don’t come short of what Jesus was, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we say we have not come short, we make Him a liar. John was dealing with the position of those who had gone out. They still maintained God was working in their hearts. They had gone forward and made progress and boasted of a deeper experience than the children of God. The word “liar” means a corrupter of the truth of God. This has reference to Satan the father of all lies. They said, “We are abiding in Jesus,” and yet not walking like Jesus; you know they are talking nonsense. If you are truly born of God, the last thing you will think of is resisting God’s way as revealed in Jesus. There is no use praying for a man who has been so highly privileged and turned his back on the revelation God gave by His Son in the beginning. But it is right to pray for our brethren when we see them overcome, and if it is necessary to talk to our brethren to do it considering ourselves.
Q. What would presumptuous sin be?
A. David got into a source of trouble through presumptuous sins. I believe the Lord is interested in keeping people back from presumptuous sins. If a person’s thoughts are right, they won’t likely commit presumptuous sins. This may refer to sins of the flesh. All sin originates in the thoughts and that is the place to check it. When we begin to trifle in our thoughts and minds, there is no end of where we can get to. And when we presume and kind of trifle, there is nothing for it but to fall and learn our folly by bitter experience. Every sin is a presumptuous sin.
“Lead us not into temptation.” The Lord may lead you into trials to test your faith, but not that you may be overcome. James 1:12 -15 gives the distinction. The Lord tried the children of Israel in the wilderness, but He didn’t tempt them. If they were tempted, they were drawn away of their lust. There is always the way out of temptation. No man is tempted beyond what he can stand, but if you begin to trifle and be enticed, you are courting defeat and down you go.
I Corinthians 10:12-13, there is always the open door. After all, there is no excuse. You may be weakened by another’s failure, but that is no excuse for you to fall. It is all the more reason for you to go on. I would hate to think that your going on depended on my going on. I may be a help to you by going on, but if I drop out, it should stiffen your backbone rather than weaken, and cause you to say, “I don’t care, I will go on anyway.” We stand together but we stand as individuals, and as individuals, we are going to be measured on that day. Joshua had lots of trouble and near the end of his life he is conducting a great convention. He puts two ways before the children of Israel. He tells them of the past and shows them of the time when they wanted to give up. “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” You are perfectly free to do as you like, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. You may go back if you like. The one that is going to be useful is the one that learns to stand on their own feet and fight their own battle and have a fixed purpose to go on anyhow.
Daniel 11:35, Matthew 24, the love of many was waxing cold. Iniquity working without the Testimony is bad, but inside, it is worse. The enemy within is always more deadly than the enemy without. The Lord can purge and purify us without it being necessary for us to fall. Peter fell and went and wept bitterly. That is the mark of one being born of God. Judas went and hung himself. That shows the difference. I suppose Peter was cleansed by his fall. It caused him to lean less on the arm of flesh.
Matthew 13, the seed falling on the stony ground was tested when the sun was up and withered away. The seed on the good ground was tested just the same. Some had root and some had not. Job said, “Why persecute me seeing the root of the thing is in me?” There is no use persecuting a child of God. It will only cause them to grow brighter and root deeper. If the root is there, tribulation won’t do much harm. Saints that are enduring very little persecution won’t make much progress. That is the reason saints in the cities don’t make as much progress as those in the country where they are well known. The very fact that they are lost in the crowd makes it difficult for them to go on.
Mathew 5:23-24, how can a child of God that wants to go on cherish a spirit like that? The Lord won’t have much to do with you or your gifts if you cherish a wrong spirit, a spirit of bitterness, revenge, or hatred towards anyone. It is a great relief when you get rid of it.
Q. What is the meaning of God speed?
A. It means God bless your work. It has reference to a false prophet coming to your door having books or tracts or wanting to teach you. You take him in, entertain him, listen to all he has to say, perhaps buy a book or two, tell him you are glad to see him and invite him back again. It has reference to entertaining the messengers of Satan, those that don’t teach what is revealed in Jesus. You are not to let him feel that you are one with him.
Q. What is meant by drinking waters out of your own cistern?
A. Don’t be eternally running to your neighbors for everything you want and then never repay it. This has reference to a man overreaching his brother and taking that which is not his own. Be satisfied with what you have.
Q. Is there any use talking to a man that doesn’t believe the scriptures?
A. There is, if you are living out what the scriptures teach. A man may not believe the scriptures, but he may believe in you. God has given us three or four different Bibles. He has given us the book of nature. Jesus was this Book lived out. Jesus intended that we should in our day and generation be the same. Then we will be to them the light of the world and the salt of the earth. People must see some parallel between you and what the scriptures teach. Nothing is so helpful to people as to make them feel that we are now living out what the scriptures teach or what is seen in the word of God. We as saints are seeking to live the same kind of life as the Ephesians, Philippians, and Thessalonians. Jesus asked the disciples, “Whom say the people that I am?” Not the Scribes and Pharisees; He knew what they said, but the common people with whom He had mixed. And Peter said, “Some say Elias, some Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Don’t you think that gladdened the heart of Jesus that the people were beginning to see some little parallel between his manner of life and message and that of the prophets that had preceded Him? They could see some likeness between Jesus and the men they read about in the Book. When Paul went to Berea, they searched the scriptures daily to see if those things were so. They didn’t reject them because they were strange. When they discovered they were living the same as the servants of God and had the same message, they said, “We are going to be the same.”
Laying on of the hands of the presbytery. There are two ways you can lay hands on a man. Timothy had the fullest confidence of the brethren at Derbe and it was a great comfort to him when he went forth to preach. He left a good testimony in his home and church. No man or woman is really fit to go forth unless they have fought the battle in their home and world and church life. A man that has never been much good in the world would never accomplish much in the work. We would never encourage anybody to go forth to preach unless they had the mark of being able to fight the battle, hold down their job, and have the mark of stick-to-it-iveness. If a man or woman has done their best and put their best in the work and discovers that owing to their temperament they would be more useful as saints, it would not be dishonorable for them to take their place in the church. He that putteth his hand to the plow and looking back, etc., has reference to turning back altogether.
It has been said that worry kills more people than work. An old man, wishing to leave something by which he could be remembered, had carved on the mantelpiece, “I am an old man now. I have had lots of trouble and most of it never happened.” What is the use of building a bridge across a steam you are never going to cross?
Psalm 37 is the “Don’t worry” chapter in the Bible. Why should we worry about evil doers? The Lord will deal with them in His own good time.
Verse 7, “Rest in the Lord.” The margin says, “Be quiet.” Be still before the Lord that you may collect your thoughts. The best thing to do when you are inclined to worry is to go alone to your room, throw yourself on the bed, relax every muscle, collect your thoughts, think of all the Lord has done for you, etc. Some of us suffer a tremendous lot unnecessarily. Some psychologists say that a fit of anger will do a man more harm than getting drunk. It will do more damage to his body. He turns his blood into poison. Keep control of your tongue and temper and you will be a well-balanced man or woman. Most of our troubles and difficulties are imaginary.
God is a trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Man is a trinity: body, soul, and spirit. Our bodies were given to us for a purpose. They are made of dust and are supported by dust and return to dust. Dust has to be handed to me by the vegetable or animal, but all I get is dust. All the nutriment that we take in order to support this body comes from the dust, yet all the chemists could not produce one ounce of food from the dust. The cabbage is able to do it. You can see how dependent we are on God. If God was to cut off all vegetable life today, humanity would die of starvation very shortly. Paul calls our bodies the earthly house of this tabernacle. We can let God into it or we can shut God out of it. It was given to you to be a home and to be God’s home. We have perfect control over it that we might of our own free will and choice give it to God for a home. Glorify God in your body and spirit which are His. Has God found in us a home?
Paul said to the Thessalonians, “I pray your whole body soul and spirit be preserved blameless.” A blameless body, a body set apart for God, a body in which God works and dwells and manifests himself to the outside world. Paul says he keeps his body under because it is animal as well as human and the animal desires and instincts, if in control, would wreck his life.
Romans 12, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice.” How many of us are willing to do that? My hands, my feet, every faculty of my body I present as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, because of His lovingkindness, longsuffering, and because of the fact, He gave His best for you and me to make it possible to have the black and guilty past blotted out, never to be remembered anymore by the mercies of God.
I like that word “present.” Leviticus 1, the children of Israel were to be a whole burnt offering of their own free will and the same thought is in the word present. I think God is very like you and me; He likes to receive a present. There is something about getting a present that does you good. It comes with the best of wishes, from a person’s own thought and selection and they never want it back again. God’s heart can be gladdened by obeying.
Romans 12:1, everything yielded to be His forever; that is the object of our coming together. If we don’t make a present to the Lord of all that we are and ever hope to be, we won’t bring much joy to Him. He doesn’t force you nor bring any undue pressure to bear upon you. In the Old Testament, the fire was never to go out; the offering was to be there morning by morning. If you want to make progress, see that you present your sacrifice every morning. Let your sacrifice be bound to the horns of the altar and joy that is unspeakable will be yours.