Dale Spencer - Ministry Without a Home - Williams Covention, Western Australia - 2004

There are 2 vital points of doctrine that Jesus taught: the New Testament Church, that the world doesn't believe: the church in the home. Jesus taught that and every time, I believe, you read about a church meeting, it was in the home of God's dear children. The church in the home was one of the vital doctrines that Jesus taught and the world has never received it. They believe the church should be in a building where you go out of your home into the house of God that they have built, and worship and serve God there. The Lord taught: in your homes — not only on Sunday morning, Wednesday evening but every day in your homes; worship and serve the living God. What a marvellous benefit. No expenses like the world with their buildings, but gathering quietly day by day to worship God.

But that wasn't what I wanted to stress this morning. The other doctrine is the ministry without a home. Now the world doesn't believe in that, either. They believe the first thing we need to do is have a parsonage for the parson, that he and his family will dwell in a home; and that's the way to honour God: to make a home for His servant. But God's philosophy is heavenly and so different.

My text this morning is six tens. You will say "What ever is six tens?" I have found some interesting things in regards to this ministry that Jesus established in the first 6 books of the New Testament and in the 10th chapter of each book. That's 6 x 10's isn't it? There's not a boy or girl, man or woman in this tent today that doesn't know very well that Jesus sent His servants two by two; and He sent them into all the world. Now everyone here knows that God's servants dwell not in their own homes. So when someone asks you, what do you say? "I know that it's in the Bible," but that's as far as your can go; and we hardly know how to answer someone sensibly. Then you say, "Well, that's how our preachers go and we know it's the right way." And they say, "Where do you get that in scripture?" 
Sometimes we are speechless. The 6 chapters that speak about the ministry helped me to answer this question and I would like to take you through these 6 x 10's, and maybe it will give you a clearer idea how this ministry Jesus established got its order.

I like that verse about Jesus, the little child, being born: a child was born; a Son was given and He came into the world as a child to order and establish the kingdom of heaven which would last for ever. Now from the cradle to the
ascending we read about Jesus establishing this kingdom, ordering its service and work. He knew full well when He left His disciples in the world that if the faith that He brought from His father was to be in the world, it would have to
be sent forth into all the earth. That's why He called the apostles and said, "As the Father sent Me, so send I you." And now He's sending forth His apostles and it's upon this foundation of apostles and prophets that Jesus would build His church. He knew in those three and a half years of His ministry He could only give them a pattern and example; and if it continued it would rest on their shoulders. We appreciate their lives, their sacrifice; and we love our workers, don't we? I have appreciated some of you I have already met; and very happy to be here this week with you.

Let's look at Matthew 10 where Jesus sent forth the 12 apostles, and here are their names: Simon, who is called Peter and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee and John his brother; Phillip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus and Lebbaeus; Simon and Judus Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And I noticed they were all paired up. Someone said that this must have been the first Workers' list. Then verse 5 "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them saying, '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. And as ye go, preach saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"  These are elementary things but I will mention a few things that appeal to me.   Early in my ministry we were in a place and a nice number of people decided because of the help of the Lord and the good preaching of my companion. But there was a minister in that area that lost a number of his flock because they saw the truth and began to follow Jesus. Well, he became very angry and called us some bad names; one of the bad names was 'those old go preachers.' I didn't feel too bad about that, because Jesus said, "Go and preach." The preacher said, "I will stay with my flock but they will go off and leave them." And of course he had quite a point there, but Jesus said, "You go." And God's servants are continually going: going into all the world. It was His last commission He gave them — "To every nation, and lo, I am with you always." We know He told them what to do — "Preach the gospel; teach them all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Jesus said to his servants, "You go and preach the gospel."  That's what I got out of that 10th chapter: the travelling ministry that Jesus ordered and established in the world.

You know all my young life I was looking and searching, "Where are men who preach like Jesus?" — From the age of 12. I don't know where this came from, but something came to me and said, "Some day you are going to be a preacher like Jesus." Well, I know later that the devil said a lot of things to me, but he didn't say that to me. My brother was younger than I and we slept together, fought together, and he said to me one day in his wrath, "All you have ever done in your life is look for God. I am not going to waste my time looking for God."  And he filled an early grave and I don't think he wasted any time looking for God. He went out into eternity not knowing one thing about the God of Heaven.  But it was the patience of my heart, "If I could find preachers like we read about." I looked world-wide and one day I was brought to a Convention like this and met God's servants. I was astounded; didn't know they were in the world. An Aunty brought me, and said, "You need to come and hear our preachers." Now she
was 25 miles away and I was across the city in Denver. And I said, "No, I don't." "Yes, you do." "No, I don't." Finally she said, "Yes you do and I'm coming over right now" and then I heard a click as she hung up the phone. My Dad
asked me, "What was all that about?" So after I'd told him, he said, "You don't want to hear those preachers." He knew all about them and I didn't know that he knew. But this Aunt and Uncle were their very best friends when they got married and after they professed there was a great gulf between our family and Uncle Frank's.

So I went and was so astounded in that meeting and I was just sitting there it was Thursday afternoon; the congregation all got up and went out. I was so stunned I just sat there and sat there. I don't know how long, but finally I woke up and noticed that everyone was gone but me and the tent was empty; and I thought, "Where did everybody go?" I was astounded; and here for the first time in my life were God's true servants. I went out into the sunlight and saw them all, and walking up to them, I asked, "What is this?" Finally, a young boy came and said, "Your Aunt is looking everywhere for you." My Aunt introduced me to a worker who said, "You need to stay for supper," and they took me down and sat me at the worker's table. So I had heard God's true servants and just felt that these men were the servants of the most High God. Then Saturday night I made my choice and Sunday morning I offered my life for the work but they didn't need anyone just then.

Now turn to Mark chapter 10 where we read of this man who was a rich, young ruler.  They had the rulers of the synagogues then: the preachers and the readers. We would have called them ministers. But he was working in the Pharisee's or Sadducee's religion; and he came running, kneeled down and asked, "What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" So the Lord told him all about the law but what was it he said in verses 20 and 21? "Master, all these have I observed from my youth." Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, "One thing thou lackest; go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross and follow Me." Well, what did this young ruler do? He should have said, "Thanks Lord, I'm ready to do
that." But because of his riches, he turned sadly away; and I am glad I didn't turn sadly away when I heard the preachers.

Well, that's quite a thing for a young man. I was 24 years old, had accumulated a bit, had been in the army and had a brand new car; and you can do a lot of things. I was pretty proud of that car but felt I would have to sell it so I  went home to Dad and said, "Dad, I'm going out to preach the gospel." He replied, "Aren't you going to travel a bit?" And I think he'd turn over in the grave if he knew I was here in Australia. I replied, "Yes, I will be travelling." He said, "Don't sell your car." But I said, "Dad I'm going out like Jesus." And he said, "Son, where are you going to get your donkey from?" That was his problem! Sell all that you have and give it away to the poor. You'll be surprised to know that young couples have come to us in the ministry and said, "We'd like to serve the Lord because we've read about this young man; but the Lord told to sell all he had; and we have our little children and don't see how we can sell all and go out like that." Well," I said, "The Lord wasn't talking to you in the home with your children, but to us who have no home." It was only written for the ministry. It was so elementary but people didn't know the Bible was written to 3 classes of people: - to the sinner on how to become a child of God; to the saint on how to live godly in this world; and also to the preacher.  What was written for the preacher didn't apply to everybody else.

There was this true lady who had lost her husband early in life and they had a farm in the poor part of the country where it didn't rain; and it got very, very dry. In those days there was a terrible drought and she was trying to raise her 3 children. In the mornings she would read to them from the Bible, and she came across that verse, "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body. What ye shall put on." And she said to her children, "I just can't do that as everyday I wonder how I'm going to feed you and put clothes on you. I don't know what to do. We will have to go to a lost eternity because I don't have that kind of faith." Well not long after 2 servants came and she listened to their meetings; she invited them home and then asked the elder brother about that verse; and he said, "That's not written to you, lady, it's to us who go forth to preach the gospel. We sell all and take no thought about tomorrow: the servants of God never give it a thought because it's all provided." The greatest life in all the world! We are so glad we can spend our lives in this wonderful ministry, so we take no thought for tomorrow.

There's another thought: I used to hear every Sunday morning in the church we attended; when the preacher came to a particular part of the sermon, he changed his voice and said more ceremoniously, "Now we are going to raise the offering so will the ushers come forth." I'd put my nickel in when the place came around and then he would say, "You have received freely, now give." When Jesus spoke those words, friends, He was sending forth His apostles, and He said, "As freely you have received, now you go out and freely give it." When Paul and the others went out, they went out freely: it was written to the preacher not to the congregation. I thought of my Dad; what he had, he didn't get it free.

The third one is in Luke chapter 10:1 where Jesus sent the other 70, and He sent them forth to preach. We have in the scripture a number of places where Paul and Barnabus were called; and James and Jude the Lord's brethren were called as apostles. We were in the home of a nice young fellow in his twenties; after coming to a meeting, he invited us to his house. I think I'd quoted that verse, "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession Christ Jesus." And our young friend said, "That's not in the Bible." And I replied, "It is." Well he had been in a big congregation with it's big buildings, had a big name, and they were teaching their people there were only l2 apostles; and you don't have to go like Christ taught — they just went any way. So I asked, "Where is your Bible?"  And I read in Hebrews chapter 3, "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus." I love that singular word — the Apostle. Jesus was the Apostle; He was the example, He was the first Apostle and the true Apostle but He wasn't the only one as all God called after that were the apostles. Then the young man said, "Why, they never did tell us that!" Well I guessed not but there were a lot of other things we could have told him. He believed there were only 12 apostles but Jesus sent forth His servants and He called them apostles.

In John we have some interesting discourse here. Verse 11, "I am the good shepherd:  the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth because he is an hireling and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd and know My sheep and am known of Mine. As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep." Now Jesus
compared the true shepherd of which He was, with those who were only hired. And you people in this country would know the difference between a shepherd and a sheep herder. You might hire somebody to watch those sheep, but it's not the same as the shepherd whose sheep they are: who loves those sheep because he is the shepherd and he gives his life. Jesus said to His servants, "You don't go forth as a hireling," and that's the comparison between the true and the false.  The hireling is concerned about their watch. I heard someone say, "I just got a call to go down the road to the other church." But his call was to a bigger house, a larger congregation and a better car. And sorry to say the call had a $ sign on it. But the Lord's servants will go to the poorest places and lay down their lives. We are talking about God's ministry that Jesus taught and established. Was I ever happy to find, after a long search, that those servants were still in the world preaching the gospel.

Acts 10 is one of my favourite gospel subjects: I love to tell about Cornelius; that great Roman army in Caesarea, in the head quarters when they were occupying the holy land. The last job I had in this world I was an army officer. I know what it is to be an army officer; to be stationed in army land after the treaty was signed: I know what it is to be in a foreign land. But this man Cornelius feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him and saying unto him, "Cornelius."

One time we had an interesting audience where 5 couples came together and wanted to hear. They had been to 2 weeks of meetings then asked us to come over to their house on the Saturday as they had some questions. My companion who had been raised in the truth, and a powerful worker today, asked, "What are you going to tell these religious nuts? Why they think they are all saved: what do you think you are going to tell them?" I nearly felt like going back but said, "I have seen sicker cats than these get well." Do you know they all professed and all have meetings in their homes — and many others have come because of them?

Another visit we had: my young companion came down in a submarine and went back in an aeroplane. I hadn't told him what I was going to speak about, but he said, "You should have seen them; the scales fell off their eyes and I could hear them clanking on the floor." The scales! They didn't know but when they got to the meetings they quickly caught on and became dear saints and dear friends.  We asked them after we read about Cornelius, about what sort of a man he was? Was he a Jew or a Gentile? A big man who was the ring leader said, "Why, he was a Jew." And I said, "Very good, Ron," and he puffed up. Then I asked them, "Was he saved or unsaved?" And he said, "Saved." And I said, "Wrong!" And we read where the angel said to Cornelius to send whereby you and your house shall be saved. And I said, "Was he saved? No, he wasn't saved." Oh my, he wasn't saved; and that's just where they were. You know before that visit was over, that man said, "I am not saved, if what you are saying is true, and I believe every word of it; and what's more I never have been saved." That's when the scales were clanking on the floor. Then Mike spoke up — he was a good Church of Christ and Ron was trying to be a Baptist; and Mike spoke up and said, "Well, I am not either." Well, the girls and his wife were making the supper. Earlier the girls said, "Why don't we ask them to stay for supper?" And Ron said, "They won't stay as they don't think we're saved." Darlene was raised in Chicago, the rough part of town and was going to the university, and she stuck her head out of the kitchen and said, "Me too."  They were all saying they were not saved. Well, the Lord can open the eyes of the blind and He sent forth His servants. Why didn't the angel preach the gospel? Because God sends His servants.

In Romans we read, "Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." In a place we were, a man's wife wanted to hear the preachers. She asked, "Do you like apple pie?" And I said, "Yes." And so she prepared for us. 
Well she asked us about our work but after a while she said, "We don't have to hear yooouuuuu to get saved — she was heavy on the `you.' We said, "Did we say that, Mrs. Creamer?" "My Bible says whosoever comes and whosoever will." But she said, "You don't have to hear preachers to get saved." So then I asked, "Do you know the next verse, Mrs. Creamer?" She said "No," as she got out her Bible and wiped the flour off her hands on her apron. So I read out, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." She then said, "Yes, Yes..."  Then I read, "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written. How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things." And I could see her going under the table, just about disappearing out of sight. It did say, "Whosoever believes
shall come," but how are they going to hear that preacher? Jesus knew and He sent forth His servants just as His Father sent Him. We are glad, though the world doesn't believe there's a church in the home; and the minister going forth without a home.  We do and are very glad.