George Walker - 1918

(George Walker lived to be 104 years of age. Died about 1985.  A special message for us today!)


A good many people reading about those seven different churches in Revelation imagine that they are the same as the buildings and the denominations that we have around us today. A woman out in North Dakota, some years ago came in touch with some of the preachers who were out seeking to walk in God's True Way, and she got a little interested in their message. She was a devout Presbyterian, but sincere in her desire to serve God. She could not understand them when they taught that the different denominations and sects in the world at this present time are not of God and have no foundation in the Bible. One day, when reading this second and third chapter of Revelation, she thought she had found something to combat them with, and drew their attention to the fact that here were seven different churches mentioned, corresponding to the different sects of today. But they were able to show her that these were not seven sects, different from each other in doctrine, etc., and having different names, they were ONE church. They all taught the same doctrine, they all walked in the same Way, they all worshipped the same Lord, and were all one. The only reason it spoke of the seven is because they were in seven different parts of the country. There was absolutely no division and no parallel between them and the denominations that are in the world today.

You hear some people who try to talk about being one. That is a great theme today, and they try to make people believe they are one. But how different it is, how different it is from this message. I was at a place out in the West where they tried to carry on a little Sunday school, and they had ten members who helped in the work. The ten were professing to be Christians and professing to serve God. Those ten people meeting there in the Union Sunday School represented five different forms of belief. One man was a Presbyterian, one was a Methodist, another was a Quaker, another was a Campbellite, and I think the other was a Holiness person. Those people would teach children and were supposed to be interpreting the Bible. The Superintendent of the Sunday School did not believe a person could go to Heaven unless he was baptized in water. He was a Campbellite, and according to their teaching, if you are not baptized you are not a child of God. The Secretary of the Sunday School was a Quaker and he believed it was a sin to be baptized in water, (that was one of the old forms that God had delivered us from). We are supposed to do away with that. How do you think they could ever teach a child the True Way of God when they went two opposite directions? They represented two different beliefs.

Now, friend, the churches in the Bible were not like these denominations or sects. The Bible says that sects are of the world and of the flesh. What is the meaning of the word flesh? It simply means men following their fleshly thoughts and their fleshly ambitions and their own ideas, and getting a few followers after themselves. That is the meaning of the so-called religious sects of today. But the true child of God turns against that and walks a very, very different path from that. This morning before coming to the meeting I was wondering if, in the short time we have together here, it would be possible to point out the difference between God's True Way of service, and the false way that the Devil and men have always followed. From the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation, we read of two different ways, two different roads, two different paths, which are supposed to lead to Heaven.

We know that Cain and Abel represent two different ways. We know that Cain is typical of the false way all through the Bible. We know that the New Testament speaks of those who were walking in the way of Cain, and we know even in our day people are going in the way of Cain. Then we know that Abel is typical of the right way. It says in Hebrews that "He being dead yet speaketh." He is mentioned as one of the first who walked the Way of Faith. Now for instance, you might almost put it this way: this is the Way that leads to Heaven and it is the Way of Faith, the Way that Abel walked, the Way that Enoch walked, the Way that Abraham walked, the Way that Moses walked. The Way of Faith means believing what God has said, and doing what God has said and never questioning it. That is how Abel got saved. And the ones that go to Heaven as Abel did and serve God as he did and will be with the Lord in Heaven are those who are willing to believe what God said. When they have done that, then that is the end of the whole matter to them. That does away with  traditions, it does away with their own thoughts, with past teaching, it cleans up  everything. "It is enough that God has said it. I believe it and do it." That is what it means to walk in the Way of Faith, you are willing to forfeit everything in this life for it.

Now the other way is a wide way, a way that looks very good, and that seems right in the eyes of men, but it is not the Way of Faith or the Way of believing in God. It is walking in your own way, it is doing what looks good in your own eyes. In other words it is like the tree of knowledge which was a tree of good and evil. It is a mixture of the two. You know, sometimes people go to the meetings and listen and think to themselves, "It is true." Yet in their hearts they say, What is different? What is the difference in this way of serving and worshiping God and any other way? I have known people to sit all through meetings and I have known them after the meetings were over, when asked what they thought about it, to say, "Well, it was very good and I have nothing against it, but I don't see as it is very different from a lot of the other ways." Well, friend, if you get to looking into the inner parts of it, if you are one of those who have God's understanding or perception, you will recognize that there is a mighty gulf between the two ways, there is the distance of a mighty sea. As the difference between night and day, darkness and light, so is the difference between the two.

Now God's true church is all these churches you read about here. I might say this it the beginning of the church of God. We have scripture for this, we do not have to speculate. We read in a number of the epistles where it says the foundation that God has built on is the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone. There are a great many people today who say they are building on the right foundation, and they can go to church and then they can go out and go their own way and think their own thoughts. But the Scripture says that the true foundation we are building upon is the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, and all the other stones are knit in together. That means to say that Jesus is the One that is the rule for the building, the plumb line by which all is measured, and the others are those who go out and live their life in the way that Jesus sent his disciples. Now do you believe, friend, that there is any likeness between the modern preacher that preaches for a sect or denomination and the apostles we read about in the New Testament? Is there any similarity in them? Could you believe that, friend?

Did you ever try to look up the scripture and see the description that is given to us of a false preacher and the description that is given to us of a true preacher? And then did you ever try to say, "Which of these is the manner I believe in?" I wonder if any of you could tell us what chapter in the four Gospels describes for us very plainly the outstanding characteristics of a false preacher? Some of you have read that often, maybe you are very familiar with it. Can any of you tell what chapter in the Gospels most clearly describes the characteristics of a false preacher that does not walk in God's True Way, and yet preaches? What is it? (Matthew 23) Can any of you tell a chapter in the Gospels that describes a true preacher? (10th chapter of John, 10th chapter of Luke and the 10th chapter of Matthew) Yes, there are three chapters that describe a true preacher, Matthew 10, Luke 9 and 10 and then there is John 10. There are quite a number of others also that describe a true preacher. I wonder if any of you took the trouble to look up and see which of these you belong to, and say to yourselves, Which does the one I believe in come nearest to?

Matthew 10 tells you about people going out to preach. It says they went out not having any worldly possessions, they went out as sheep among wolves, they went out misunderstood by the world, they went out to give their life and give it gladly. Jesus told them, "If any of you lose your life for my sake and the Gospel's, you will keep it unto life eternal." I have told you often before that when I was a boy, I had a notion of being a preacher and I started in that way. If I had kept on, I believe I would have been one, but I am awfully glad I did not. I got the notion to be a preacher when I was in my teens. I started in to study that line, and got some encouragement in it, and the ones who encouraged me were the leaders of the denomination I belonged to. And all of a sudden I began to draw out of it. Something began to trouble me and tell me it was not all right. I did not know why I was drawing out, but I thought I could not go on. Then they began to appeal to me and wanted to know what was the matter, and said I ought not to stop. But not a one of them appealed to me as Jesus  appealed to the men that he wanted to become preachers. Some of them showed me what a nice job it would be, what honor I would get in it. Some showed me that even though there would not be as much money in it as you could get in business, it was a high position in the world and everybody would look up to you. But none of them said the words to me that Jesus said,  "Go out and preach the gospel and lose your life, get nothing, have no money, have no place in the world, have no honor, have nothing but to be disappointed and be rejected, and then you will inherit in Eternity." They could not say anything like that to me because they were not doing it themselves. They were in it for what they could get out of it, the high offer and the high place in the world.

But you read on then in those other chapters we spoke about. Take for instance, the 10th chapter of John's Gospel. It shows you that one of the special things that is noticed about a true preacher is he gives his life for the sheep, he never holds anything back. Jesus said of Himself, "I am the good Shepherd, the good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep, the hireling fleeth because he is an hireling and careth not for the sheep." He is in it for his own gain and his own interest, but Jesus said, "I give my life for the sheep, I don't seek anything for myself."

You might say, "Does anybody else except Jesus lay down their lives?" If you don't believe they did, read the record of Paul, Peter, John, James and the others, and you will find that those men could say, "I don't seek yours, but I seek  you." They could say to their converts, "I was not only willing to preach the Gospel to you, but I was willing to give you my own life, because ye were dear unto me." A true preacher of the Gospel is one who goes out walking in that lowly way, willing to be nothing, willing to be misunderstood, having no place in this world, glad to live their life as Jesus did, glad to make their life of no account down here, with the sure and certain hope in their heart that they will receive the reward on "that day." If I lose my life now, I will preserve it unto life eternal and get my reward in Heaven.

But when you come to Matthew 23, there you get a picture of what the mark of a false preacher is, and you can read it for yourselves. It tells that they love the salutations in the market places, they love to have the chief seats when they go to the synagogues. It says they like to have prominent places when they go to the feasts, they are after what they  can get for themselves and only put burdens upon people where God meant them to be burden bearers. Instead of relieving people of their sorrows, they only made them worse. Now you can see friend, the mark of the two, and these two are as far apart as the Poles are from each other. You might put it in this respect: Look at the man who fills the highest place in Christendom today. You know what his name is, and you don't have to speculate in any way to know where he sits, you know he has his home in Rome. He sits there in a palace and he has windows in his palace for every day in the year. He sits in a golden chair, and you know he has honor and glory and power over the kingdoms of this world and he rules in the world, and you know how they all more or less have to  submit to him. He makes them believe that that is the right and True Way.

Well, friend, if you want to know whether it is the true way or not, I ask you to look at Calvary. Look at that lowly man that was born in a stable and laid in a manger. I ask you to look at Him who walked this way, despised and rejected, who bore the cross and died there, and was nobody and nothing. Well, you say, that was just for Him, He did not mean for His followers to be like that. Did He not say, "If any man will serve me, let him follow me?" Let him be the same as I am. Didn't He say, "It is enough for the disciples to be as their Master, and the servant to be as his Lord?"  Did He not say, "You have got to live your life as I have lived mine?" Didn't He say, "If ye were of the world, the world would love it's own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you?" You will have no place and be nothing in the world. I wonder if it is clear in your minds what is really in these two foundations. To begin with, the preachers are wide apart. The one seeks for place, honor and recognition in this world, and some of them do it very honestly and sincerely, perhaps as sincerely as Saul of Tarsus did it. They think that is the way to do God's work. They are filling a high place and getting honor and recognition at the expense of God, and people think that is the way to get to Heaven today. The other preacher takes Jesus as his pattern and says, "I want to be in this world as my Master was, I don't want to own a home as the clergyman does, I don't want any of this world's goods, I only want to live my life as Jesus did and suffer for Him.

Now, as there is a difference in the preachers, there is also a difference in those who profess to believe in the preachers, because after all, what we believe in is a very particular thing, and anybody who puts very much stock in what you talk about and believes in it, if that belief does not work some change in their heart and life and manner of living, there is not much sincerity in their heart. No  honest person can believe a certain thing without it making a radical change and alteration in his whole life. Jesus put that very clear, too. He said that the  tree is known by its fruit, and if you make a tree good, the fruit will be good also, but if the tree is bad, the fruit will also be bad. As is the tree, so also is the fruit, and as are those who follow Jesus, so also are those who believe in them. Likewise, those who believe in the preachers of the world will be like them, because a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Jesus said, "Ye shall know them by their fruits."

They say, "What is the difference in this Way of worshiping God and the world's way? What is the difference between having a building put up to worship God in, and you worshipping God in the home? What is the difference in having a preacher who is paid to say what he does, by some organization made by man, and you meeting together as a family?" Well, I will tell you the difference. One is God's revealed Way, and the other is a way made by man to suit his own selfish desires. That is the difference in the two. You have often noticed in reading the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, how it speaks about high places, and you remember they always sought to get to those high places in the world. You remember how it tells of Balaam whom the king of Moab sent for to curse the Children of Israel, because he heard that whom Balaam blessed was blessed and whom he cursed was cursed. And when Balaam refused to go the first time, he sent to him princes more honorable than before with a promise to promote Balaam to great honor in his kingdom. Then, when Balaam went, Balak took him up into a high mountain to offer up sacrifices and to curse the Children of Israel. But something kind of moved Balaam and he could not say what he wanted to, and instead of cursing the Children of Israel, he could only bless them. God was angry with Balaam because he sought the high place and went along against His will, and it tells that he was afterwards killed when his country was at war.

The false ways of worshiping God have always filled a high and prominent place in the world. And it is the same today as it was in New Testament times. Matthew 23 tells about the false preachers who always filled a high place. They always had an honored place. They were always trying to make more money and working to get more recognition in the world. But of those in the True Way of God it can be said, "The world knows us not, because it knew Him not." They don't recognize them or take any stock in them because they do not understand it. The true Children of God in this world mind their own business. They are always loyal citizens of whatever country they live in. They are never law breakers or disturbers of the peace and they are never outwardly bad. They are always obedient to the rulers and governors of the countries, but at the same time, they are never very much taken stock of as a people and they never fill a very prominent place in the world. They do not fill it because they look for honor from God, they look for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. They look for eternal things.

What is the True Way preached in the world today for? Well, it is presented in the hope that when the devil has done his worst for this world, they will only have prepared the way for Jesus, the Son of God, to come again and reign on this earth and bring His own people with Him, and children of God do not have the same interest in politics or in the world and all of those other things of the world. They do not take the interest in the things of the world or have the enthusiasm that others have because their hope is not in these things. Their heart is set on the things of eternity, their hope is in the world to come. A great many people hope for great things from this war in the world, and it would be a very sad thing to think that so much blood has been shed and so many lives lost and so much suffering borne and no good come from it. I believe myself that there will be an improvement along certain lines. I believe there will be some wrongs righted and in some respects it will be a blessing. But it makes no matter what the outcome is, it will not bring about what God has His heart set upon, because that never can come about until Jesus Christ Himself reigns upon this earth, and that is what the true Christian looks forward to.

It is a sad thing to see many people, when we speak about that, more filled with morbid curiosity which leads them to be wanting to speculate as to when He is coming, in what year He is coming. They long to know the details. Whenever you see that manifested in people, you know they are not of God's building, they have lost the plan of God in the subject. The Bible tells us it was never God's will to reveal to people the details of when He would come and all the exact facts. Way back in the Book of Daniel, it tells of Daniel having the desire of looking in and wanting to learn a little more than what God showed him. And the Lord said that he should shut up the words and seal the book even to the time of the end. These things would happen in the appointed time, and you will stand in your lot at the end of days, and you will get your reward. Then, in the New Testament times, we have evidence stronger than this, because Jesus said, "It is not given to you to know the times and seasons." It is not God's will that you should pry into that. Your part here is to know how to live faithfully and bear the true testimony and have the hope in your heart that He may come when you live, but if He does not come then, it will not make any difference. If I do have to live my life here and die before He comes, I know from the Scriptures that when He does come, I will be raised, for it says, "Those who are dead in Christ will be raised first and then those who live and remain unto His coming."

There are two ways in which we can show our folly, the worst way is the folly of that morbid curiosity that pries in to find out things that God did not mean for you to know. The other is that I ignore it and forget it altogether and miss the encouragement. We have been speaking, each one of us in the meetings, about how needful it is to keep before us what we are living for and what is ahead of us. It is "an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you." How sad it is when we get down to think we are just serving God because we want to escape hell. My friend, there is something more than that. When Jesus wanted to encourage His disciples, He did not give them great promises of what they would get in this world. When Peter, one day, said, "Lord, we have left all and followed Thee, therefore, what shall we get for it?" Jesus said, "You that have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye shall also sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." That is what is before them, it tells over and over again. In another parable you remember He said that when He came back and found that faithful servant who gave the portion of meat in due season, "Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing, He will make him ruler over all that he hath." The servant also who had received the five talents and earned five more talents was told, "I will make thee ruler over many things, because thou hast been faithful in a few things, enter into the joy of thy Lord." He encouraged them in this way. There is a day when you will get the fullness of your reward when you will live and reign with Jesus.

Do you think it is strange that some of us today do not take stock in acquiring property in this world? Do you think it is strange we don't ever fill any political position or other high position in the world? Do you think we are troubled because we have been despised and rejected and looked down upon and been nobody in this world? Do you think we are troubled about that? No, we are not, for like Moses, we have "respect unto the recompense of the reward." One day, the tables will be turned. Now it is the high place the others fill, the high places of the world, and the Lord's Way is the low down, despised place. But this Book teaches that there is a day coming when Jesus will come to reign, and those who suffered with Him will reign with Him, and they will fill the high place, and those who took their own way, who followed their pride and folly, will have no part in it at all.

We sometimes say that God is working in us, and He is working in us to perfect that character that would make us fit to be useful in His kingdom. What use do you think God will have in His kingdom for a proud, selfish, greedy, scornful, worldly, headstrong person? Do you think He would have any use for them? Do you think He could put them on a throne to reign with Him? Do you think He would have any use for somebody like Paul was, before he got saved, or a preacher who loves honor and pleasure and likes to have a big name in this world, do you think He would have any use for that kind of person? The two angels told the disciples, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven." He will come back the same as He went away and will be the lowly One, the humble One, the meek One. Then the one who has none of these great places in the world is the one who will reign with Him, they are the ones who let Him reign and rule in their lives, and were willing to be nobody in the world. If you want to have a place in the Millennium, get your heart set upon the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus and seek to be like Him.

Now I say that there is a great difference between the two ways, as there is also a difference between the ones who walk in the two ways. One keeps Jesus Christ as their pattern in the world, and the other keeps the high places of the world, the fame and glory of men and the great men of the world as their pattern. There is also a great difference in the manner of worshipping God in the two ways. One seeks recognition in the world and a worldly building, and in the other way they gladly meet in the lowly place. Did you ever notice, friend, that after you get saved in God's Way, you are tempted at times to be ashamed of the way you are walking in? Perhaps they will ask you where you are going Sunday. What are you going to say? What sort of a church do I belong to? And then you try to stumble around in a mincing kind of way, trying to explain what church you are with, and where you are worshipping Him, and you kind of feel ashamed and don't know what to say. They say, "You must be an odd one, you must be mighty lonesome in that church, meeting in the home, what kind of preachers do you have, and what do you do?"

I have seen people, after they get saved and it took an awful lot of courage for them to introduce even the preachers, to some of their high-up relatives. It was not so hard to introduce the good looking preachers, but some of the more common looking ones, it was awfully hard to introduce them. I have seen them turn color and you could see the blood begin to come up, and when you see that, you realize they are covering something over. Why is it that that should be so? Why is it that that man should be so bold and big and brave as he goes around and tells, I believe in this sect and that sect, and why should he feel so ashamed of the True Way? Why should he be so weak, and why should it be that those who walk in the Lord's True Way sometimes feel a reproach when they are laughed at and mocked by the world?  It should be, friend, because the Bible says it should be. What does it mean when it says, "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God?" It says He bore the reproach for the joy that was set before Him. He was willing to stand the reproach, for He knew He would sit down at the right hand of the throne of God for doing it.

You should be glad to be in something where you are not in a high and honored place in the world and where you are being despised for God. That is part of the reproach that belongs to the cross, and if we don't have the reproach of the cross, we will not have the power of it in our lives, and I hope we will be glad even when we feel that dirty, mean feeling coming over us that makes us feel like backing out some way. You can say, "It is the test of my faith, I will not yield to it, I will confess His name." That is the way to overcome it.

Now in speaking about the difference in the saints, there is a great difference even in the way you start in the two ways. It has been spoken of in the meetings already and it is hardly necessary to repeat it. In starting in the false way, it is a very easy thing. One brother here was telling this week of some of his unsaved friends, when he began to walk in God's True Way. They did not like it. They were not very religious, he said, but they did not like that. They said, "If you had gone and joined some of these other sects, we would not have said a thing. Nobody would have thought a thing about it. But to be identified with, and go in with people of that sort, you have made a fool of yourself." They did not like that and could not understand it. There is a great difference in the way you begin. You can join the wrong way and join any sect and there is no reproach connected with it. There is no strong opposition and no battle in your heart. But to begin in God's True Way, friend, there is awful strong opposition sometimes, on behalf of your choice from your own people. There is an awful fight that has to be fought getting the victory over your own old pride and selfishness and human nature and bringing your members into subjection to God. And when you start to walk in it, there is a great difference, because, as has been said a great deal in these meetings already, the Way of the Lord, the True Way of the Lord is always a way of sacrifice, and the false way is a way of pleasure and pleasing yourself.

The Way of the Lord is always a way of sacrifice, it begins by sacrifice and ends with sacrifice. You have to "present your bodies a living sacrifice." It begins by taking up the cross and you have to continue taking up the cross right to the end of the journey, and you have got to continue to sacrifice. When you cease to sacrifice, then there will not be anything in your life. We heard about a woman once who professed in the True Way and she went to the meetings for a while. She used to come to the Sunday morning meeting, and used to give her testimony, and the principle thing she emphasized in her testimony was that she was so glad she had found God's True Way and come into it, because she said when she belonged to the Methodist church she had to pay one dollar a month, and in God's True Way it never cost her a cent. She was very delighted over that. Well, if it doesn't cost you in cents and dollars, it will cost you in something else more than dollars and cents. It will be a very expensive way. Don't you be led to think it is an easy way or a cheap way. You will find it is a very expensive way if you are true with God the way the Gospel teaches. It goes down to the very root of your life. You put yourself upon God's altar, you and all of yours, and every day keep giving yourself to God.

We spoke the other day about these different sacrifices and what they meant, and you will notice that when the children of Israel honestly and truly offered these sacrifices, they had joy and gladness in their hearts and had the blessing of God. I used to sometimes wonder why it was that there was a difference in the different sacrifices. Sometimes they are spoken of as offerings, and sometimes as sacrifices. They say that the word sacrifice is only correctly used when blood was shed and animals were killed, and that offering, while it included blood, referred more to when they offered it as a meal offering or fruit offering. Now you remember that the burnt offering was the one that went up in smoke to God. The priests did not share any of it and the Levites did not get any of it. Most of the other offerings were to be divided with those who officiated, but the burnt offering went up entirely to God. All went up in smoke to God. Now that has a great many lessons in it for us. It may speak of the fact that He offered His life wholly to God. But one way it speaks to me is that it means the first of all offerings, the first of all relationships, the first of all claims, my attitude towards God, towards my Father.

In the world today there is a great deal of talk about service for your fellow man. That is all right, that comes in its proper place. But those people talk about service for your fellow man as though you are excused from giving service to God. I was talking to a fellow last winter and he was very bitter against the Truth, he was trying to be a Campbellite preacher. He would not face up anything in the Bible about it, but one thing he would use to prove he was right was that he did a great deal of Red Cross work and other good work of humanity and that was proof they must be serving God. Don't you know, friend, you don't need to be a Christian at all to do that? Don't you know that, if you have an ordinary human nature, you will know it is right to support the Red Cross and it is right to help anything that relieves the suffering of humanity? You will know enough to do that without being a Christian. Any ordinary human being with any human feelings at all would be willing to help another man who is starving or suffering. And when a man would talk about being a Christian and not do that, he surely would be a poor type of man. He would not be worthy of the name of human or citizen of a country, much less of a Christian. But he was trying to make that an excuse for not obeying God.

Now the whole burnt offering means, I give the first place, I give the best place, I give myself, to God. I seek to live in fellowship and communion with God, I lose my life for God. That is the first offering. After that came the meal offering, then came the peace offering you have read about, and the others. These offerings were supposed to be divided with the priests and Levites. They got a  share. That means to say that when a person is offering themselves to God, it manifests itself. It expresses itself in their dealings with their fellow man. If a man today says he loves God and does not love his brother, he is a liar. If a man tells you, "I have given the whole burnt offering, I love God, but I have no interest in my brother and sister, if any one of them were sick, I would not take the trouble to go and visit them. I would not pray for them, I have no interest in them to help them." It is just a lie, that is what the Bible says. "He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God Whom he hath not seen?" Not only that, but you could not live for God and not have a heart for the unsaved. It says, "Do good to all men," do anything to help them that you can. The first thing is giving yourself as a sacrifice to God, yielding all to Him. Then you begin to  serve Him.

It speaks of some of these other offerings as heave offerings, and calls some of them wave offerings. The meaning of a wave offering was that they took it and waved it back and forth before the altar, and that was symbolical. That meant to say, in this thing that I am giving to the priests, I recognize the claim of God's altar, I will put it on God's altar first, and then I will give it to them. Then, when the priests took it, they recognized the same thing. Do you know, friends, all that you ever do in helping others, in helping the servants of God and the saints of God that does not have the mark of being waved back and forth before the altar, will never bring blessing to yourself or never bring any reward from God? If you don't have in mind, "I did it unto God, I will do it unto God", you won't find much of a reward. Every servant of God you read about had in his mind, "What I receive of you I don't receive it as though you were giving it to me personally. I don't need to receive of your hospitality nor take whatever you give to me or do for me alone, I receive it because it is done unto God, and you do it to honor and glorify His name." It might be well to emphasize that, I would like you all to hear it before we go on, because a great many people start in God's True Way and make a terrible mistake along this line, and the result of it is, after a while they give it all up, discouraged and disgusted and they become worse than they were before.

We recognize, friend, that nothing that you give to God's servants through a servant, or to a saint which is not given as unto the Lord, it means nothing for you, and that while you do a great deal for some you like, or people that flatter you or please you, it only feeds your own selfishness and instead of bringing blessing it brings cursing to you. Now when people get slack in these things, then you will find out that they failed to have God in their lives. You know it is possible for us to start out all right and start out making the offering and all that, but it is another thing to continue. It is another thing to keep it up. I would not hesitate to say that all the trials that have come into our lives during the past year have been the result of us not putting ourselves every morning afresh on God's altar, yielding ourselves up fully to Him again. I would not hesitate to say that because we have not been willing to give the offerings and yield up all we have to God, and keep yielding to Him, that is why we have lost victory. That is why other things have crept into our lives and we have failed to bear the testimony that we might have borne.

When you read the history of the children of Israel, it is awful to see how slack most of them became. Even in the wilderness, they grew slack. You remember that when Moses went up into the mountain to get the Commandments and had been there almost forty days and got the tables of stone written by the finger of God, you remember God had to tell him to go down the mountain, for those people have corrupted themselves. And when he went down the mountain, he found that they had made a golden calf and they danced around it and amused themselves, and he broke the tables of stone and ground up the calf and made them drink the water he had mixed it with. You remember how Paul referred to that instance, he says that "the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play." Now I wonder if we could get home to our hearts what that means to us? Is it possible that any of us in this room today can look back at the time when we were all right, we offered the whole burnt offering, we look back at the time when we kept nothing back from God, nothing in our lives, in everything we recognized His claim, and is it possible that then as we went on for a while and got into the wilderness we drifted into "The sitting down to eat and drink and
rising up to play?" We began to indulge our own selfishness, we began to amuse ourselves in it, we went to meeting and there was nothing in it. There was no real sacrifice in it, it cost us nothing. We gave our testimony but it cost us nothing. It had not the mark of the cross upon it. It did not mean anything to us at all. We were only running along to please ourselves.

One of the brothers told that one of the things that helped him after he started out in the Lord's Way, was he had been told that a very good way to measure whether things were pleasing to God or not, was to go across your own flesh, to ask what was pleasing your own flesh. And I am just as sure as I am alive today that a child of God that wanders around  now, led you might say, by their nose or by their appetite or human desires and just please themselves, it is nothing in the sight of God but idolatry. And some of us become idolaters, and that is why our hearts become as they do, that is why God has to say, "You have a name to live and are dead." You go to meetings as it pleases you and give your testimony as it pleases you, and it drops down to be nothing more than pure selfishness. How sad it is when you see those who should have given an example of God's True Way and think they have nothing but their own selfish desires, their own pleasures in their hearts and never think of saying, "I will keep putting myself upon God's altar and gladly sacrifice until I have nothing more left, until death takes all." But they keep on going in their own way until they get into the condition the children of Israel were in, where God in His mercy caused the calf to be ground up and mixed it in the water, and I expect it was pretty bitter drinking, and God in His mercy might wake you up and make you drink some of the fruits of your own doings. But if you keep on trifling, He will not do that. You read in the Bible that in the wilderness the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, they were buried in the pit, which meant a grave of lust, and a grave of lust means, I have become a prey to my appetite, my natural desires for pleasing myself.

You know, Paul talks about people who are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. And some people think they can make God's service a kind of pleasure to the flesh, where they come to have a conversation together, a little amusement and pleasure, and they mix things in like that and it eats up all the sacrifice that is ever made for God and it has a bad  ending. I tell you, friend, don't trifle with this matter. If you have started in the Way, you will find there is a great reward if you just keep along the line of sacrifice. If you will deny your own flesh. But if you get in the way of running around as it suits you best, and making a little holiday and picnic out of it, God's judgment will fall on you and it will be an awful thing when it does fall on you. We have known a lot of people who trifled like that and were only serving their own flesh, but the devil soon had them where they belonged. I knew a man who went out to preach and seemed to be a very hearty fellow for a time. He thought of nothing but serving God. By and by, the man kind of began to wriggle off the altar and something else came across his path and he began to trifle, and the devil had a good offer for him. I tell you, the devil knows most people's price, whether they know it or not. He knows just how much he will have to give to get you. And I remember at that time he gave up preaching and wrote how he could earn $12 a day. Previous to the time he went preaching I suppose he had never earned a dollar a day in his life, now he could earn $12 a  day. He thought it was wonderful the money he was making and he was getting on well. There is what you can have if you take your own way. A few years afterwards, I saw another letter he wrote and it was along a very different line. He said, "Now I have seen what it means. Now I have begun to pay the price." He says, "When I went on wholehearted for the Lord, I had some suffering at times and did not always have a comfortable bed, I did not always have enough to eat, but I received joy from the Lord, I had delight in His service, but now I suffer with the convictions of what I have done in leaving God's Way. I have thrown away the things of God for the things of the world." Don't think it is an easy way to get off at all.

All the way down through the scriptures you see this same thing happening. You read about it in the first chapter of Isaiah, and one of the worst conditions we stand exposed to today is people who have come into God's testimony, who may be hearty at first, but by and by they allow this dirty selfishness and covetousness or other kind of thing to come in, they lose control of themselves, and they run in that way and not only destroy themselves but they damn others, too. Paul said to Timothy, "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee." Others will be saved. Did not Paul say of the others, "They corrupt whole houses" they cause them to run and gad about, you might say. He says, "For of this sort are they which creep into houses and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts." They are not under the control of God at all.

A dog may be a very useful animal when it is controlled by his master, when he is a good watch dog. Dogs have been man's friends, they say. There are different kinds of dogs. Some of them will take and follow up a trail by scent and keep on it for days, and there are others that go by sight. There are some very useful kinds of dogs. But what is worse than a dog that is running around and is of no use to anybody! I heard a man out in the west tell of a way to wipe out hog cholera. He said there was just one way to stop that. He said the dogs were the ones that carried the disease around. They would get the germs on their feet and run around here and there and carry it to another place and spread it. He said there is a way to cure a dog of that so he won't carry it around any more. You can cut a little piece of his tail off and he is sure not to carry it any more. But  be sure to cut the piece off just behind his ear. I tell you when you become a kind of stray dog that is not under the control of a master, and you go around that way, you go around to hinder and destroy others and deny others their privilege, and upset every little church that you go among.

Do you think of keeping in the way of sacrifice, friends? Are you as whole hearted today, if you have been five years in God's Way or ten years in God's Way, are you as whole hearted today and willing to say, "I want more than ever in my life, this coming year, to be always on God's altar, offering myself a burnt offering to Him, doing His will, and I want that to be expressed in my service to my fellow man, the children of God and the world, that I will have something to give to them and be of some use to them." If that is your desire, friend, you are saved. If it is not, you are on the road to destruction, and it is not, friend, what you are saying today, it is what the deepest purpose in your heart is. Are you going away with that kind of thought, "I don't care for what is preached, I know my own mind?" I have known people who sat in the meetings and when people asked them what they thought about it, say, "Oh, I did not take much notice. They are about the same as the others." My friend, you can sit in the meetings and sit all through the meetings where God manifests His Spirit through the lives of others, but you cannot expect deliverance or salvation if you go forth and wait to see what a few years will bring forth.

The Lord told Ezekiel, "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel, therefore hear the word at My mouth and give them warning from Me. When I say unto the wicked, 'Thou shalt surely die,' and thou givest him not warning nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his life, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but  his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul." He said that you are not responsible for their blood, their blood is off you, you have warned them and they have not heeded it. Where do you stand, friend, in this matter today? Have you begun in God's True Way? "Yes," you say, "I met the preacher that I believe corresponds to the Bible, I heard his message, I got baptized in God's True Way." But where do you stand today in this matter? Are you beginning to wriggle off the altar and let other things creep into your life?

Another thing you will notice, if you read the history of the children of Israel, is that they got careless regarding some of the very things that God had planned to be their greatest help. You know God planned to have three feasts every year, a feast of the Passover in the first month, Pentecost in the beginning of Summer or the end of Spring, and then a feast in the month of October, when they reaped their crops and gathered in their harvest. All these had a deep meaning, and when they joyfully and whole heartedly kept the feasts, they got blessed and they were useful to God. But you read the record, how they got awfully careless about it, and even the feast of the Passover, which was typical of coming together on the first day of the week, they got careless about it. It was on the night when they commenced the Passover that Jesus broke the bread. That feast of the Passover, you might say, was typical of when you meet on the first day of the week, and when you examine your heart, when you put away all that is wrong, when you  break the bread and take the wine in remembrance of what the Lord has done for you.

But you know the children of Israel did not have much of a heart for these things when they met at these feasts. They went through the form, some did, and some did not bother coming at all. You know you often read in the Bible about this condition. It says in the 23rd chapter of Second Kings that Josiah, King of Judah, began to see how things were going  wrong and he started in to help them. It says there never was such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the Kings of Israel, nor of the Kings of Judah as this passover. And you know, friend, we can have Sunday morning meetings and Sunday morning meetings, but if you do not have the honesty and sincerity of a whole-hearted sacrifice in your heart, it will never do very much good. The feast  of Pentecost was the second of the yearly feasts, when they offered some of the first fruits and it was typical of when they brought forth some fruit to God in their lives. Then came the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month, when the harvest was all gathered in. They were to cut
down branches and gather them and make little booths for themselves to live in and they lived in those booths for about a week. It was to remind them that God made the children of Israel to dwell in booths when He brought them out of the land of Egypt and made them travel through the wilderness.

If you read Nehemiah, you will find that in Nehemiah's day, they began to open the book and read about that. It says that they had never done it since the days of Joshua, and the children of Israel had gone on for hundreds of years without doing this. Even in the days of Samuel and David, so that from the days of Joshua until the days of Nehemiah, they had  never truly and fully observed this matter of dwelling in these booths and of keeping that feast as directed. It was that one suggestion to us that it is very easy to get slack. Maybe that feast would have some resemblance to the convention, because you have to leave your own home to come to it. Some of you don't have to, but you don't get as much out of it as the others. Some of you are foolish to think it is wonderfully nice to have the convention near your home. Then you say, "We can attend the meetings, sleep in our own beds all the time." Yes, it is nice, but some day when you go away from it to another convention, you will find it different. You will find that the people that left their homes and home comforts, and put up with a few of the hardships and slept on the hard bed and put up with more than they would have to in camp life, get more out of it than you did. Dwelling in the booths, got the children of Israel away from that. It is a very good thing for the saints. It reminds us we are only pilgrims and strangers on the earth.

It was these little things that led the children of Israel finally to Babylon, to the land of their captivity. I tell you, friend, when you get a little careless about the feast of the Passover, about the breaking of the bread, about the Sunday morning meeting, when you get a little careless about that, when you go at it in a dishonest way, a haphazard careless way, and then by and by get a little careless about the convention, you don't care much to go to the conventions, then in time you will fail. These little things are small things. You say, "Couldn't I be a Christian and not do that?" Yes, maybe, but then these little things all lead in a certain direction and they will lead you through Babylon's captivity, where you will lose the smile and presence of God, and soon have God out of your life. I hope, friend, we have not only begun to learn the secret of our duty to God in these matters, but that each one will take from the meeting today, take home with us the thought, "If I don't every day walk the way of the cross, if I don't every day offer myself and gladly sacrifice to God, if I don't every day seek to be of service to others and a help to others, well, then I will drift, and drift, and drift, and drift, until I have drifted out of it. But if I, every day, seek to be of service to my brothers and sisters in Christ's service in the coming year, if I lay myself afresh upon God's altar every day, if I yield myself fully to Him, if I put myself in His hand to do His will, if I seek to keep the fire burning in my heart, the fear and love, and if I am faithful in those things, I will go on and get the crown at the last day, and will hear, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant.'"

But don't forget, friends, we are living in perilous times. We have read of the perilous days, and don't be surprised if you see many people go the way you read about in the New Testament. Jesus says, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." It tells of others that will wax wanton towards God. Don't be surprised if you see others whom you thought were better than you, let the things of the world get the best of them. If they are waxing cold and wanton and running about, only a curse instead of a blessing, don't be surprised. But I will tell you what to do when you see that. Pray for them, pity them, and let the purpose be more strong in your heart to give to God gladly, and, "I will be one of those who will try to keep the temple clean. And if all others may not have a sense of their duty, I want to be worthy to walk with Him in the coming days, and be with Him when He comes to reign on earth." I trust that will be our desire and purpose in the coming days.

It is hardly necessary to speak about the passing around of the bread and wine. Most of us have heard it spoken of before and know what it means. They know that the bread is typical of His body which was broken for us, and they know the wine is typical of His blood which was shed for us. Nobody ought to take the bread and wine unless they have begun to walk in His Way, and then nobody ought to take it who has begun to walk in His Way, unless they are willing to examine their hearts and see if they discern the Lord's body, and put out of their hearts everything that is against the Spirit of Christ, every grudge, every ill will and every impurity, so they can be with Him.

There may be some in this room this morning who have not yet taken their stand for the Lord, who have not yet begun to walk in the Lord's True Way. Well, we won't encourage you to take the bread and wine, because it won't help you. It might even be the opposite, it might hinder you. We will not encourage you to take it, but you do not need to leave the room, you do not need to feel embarrassed. Just let it pass by when it comes to you. But there is something even better than that that you can do before it comes to you. You can make that surrender to the Lord in your heart and then you could take it with that true condition which is necessary in your heart, "I have said yes to Jesus, I have decided in my heart to yield myself to Him, wholly and truly." And each one that is a child of God here, let us, as we bow our heads in prayer, let us, as we turn from our thoughts to God, let us have a little moment of communion and fellowship with God. Let us just look a little bit at the inside too, and examine our hearts. Let us say, "If there is any brother or sister that I have any wrong feeling towards, it is just the time I am going to get the victory over it. I know I have only love in my heart and good will towards  all men. Then let me think of what it meant to Him, who gave His best, and let my heart be filled with more of that gift. Think of the sacrifice for me, and let a fresh purpose be in my heart to honor and glorify God in the coming days." If we do this, it will bring blessing and not cursing.

Let us all bow our heads.