George Walker - "A Very Special Meeting" - March 18, 1973 - T17

I wanted to come to Brooklyn and have a meeting with all here and many from Jamaica whom I met many years ago, before I leave this world. When I came to America I spent my first night at Erie Basin. It wasn't like it is now. These people didn't have a great apartment. These people had a heart. It was in my heart to come to America but we didn't have more than five dollars at the time and knew that was not enough. We decided that if it was meant for us to come the Lord would see to it, and He did. We had no organization to sponsor us. We were asked by the Ellis Island officials what we intended to do. We explained our work, and that we gave our service free. The official said, "We need you." We were just trying to decide where to get a room when I heard my name called. Here was a family who heard we were coming. They had said amongst themselves that they didn't want to identify themselves with us. They knew how we lived and preached. They had a position now in a religious sect and were up in the world, but the man said he heard a little voice telling him to come and meet us. Did you know your heart has ears? It were these ears David referred to, and Jesus also when He spoke of those who closed their ears. It were the ears of the heart. The conscience has to be very honest, the heart has to be very true for the ears of the heart to work and hear what the Holy Spirit speaks to us. These people who met us later decided. This was our experience in Brooklyn nearly seventy years ago, seventy years in September.
 
When I think of meetings like this and convention meetings, I'm conscious that I maybe don't have the physical and mental strength to preach like I did years ago, but the thought came to me that it wouldn't be in vain if I just give my testimony to the people. Maybe it would help them to understand God better and have more faith in God. I must say that today no special part of the Bible came to me, but there are a good many portions of scripture that have meant a lot to me. If I just mention these portions and it can cause you to read and meditate on them, this meeting would not be profitless.

I am glad that I was brought up in a home where my parents believed in God. They didn't just understand fully as we do today how to serve Him, but they believed there was a God. I'm glad for impressions made on my mind in my pre-teen years, in my boyhood, I got the impression there was a God. I heard my sisters and my mother talk about Abraham, that he was a friend of God. That made an impression on me. Abraham, a friend of God. I had in my mind that God is the One Who controls all, and when you leave this world you go to another world. In the other world there are two places. In the one place you would be very happy, in the other place would be all suffering, torment. He is the One Who decides to which of these two places I go after I leave this world. I thought how nice it would be to be a friend of God. If you were a friend of God, He wouldn't send you to that place of torture. These are impressions that came to me in those early years. They say the boy is the father of the man. They say impressions made in early years, preteen years, stay with you. Even since being in the harvest field these thoughts have had an influence in making choices by the deep conviction that there is a God, there is a hereafter. Children today are encouraged to think about the good time they can have now. I'm glad I was made to think about the hereafter and had a conviction of who God is. I was made to think about this when I was eleven years old. We had an awful snow storm on the eleventh day of March eighty five years ago. It tied up everything, it was so bad. The reason I remember this is because of one fact in my mind, my mother died. That Sunday morning when I was eleven I went into the bedroom where my mother was on her deathbed, suffering from that common disease, tuberculosis. She told me that day what to tell the teacher at Sunday school when they would be asking about her. That Sunday afternoon I stood in the doorway looking at her face still in death. It made an impression on me. I wished I hadn't been so mean sometimes, hadn't been so contrary. I felt sorry for the things that I had done that had grieved her. As I looked at her face still in death, I began to think about where I would be if I was in that condition. I took the first chance I had after that to make a confession, I was told that was how I should do it. I got an awful disappointment. I thought there would be a change and I didn't change. I was the same as ever. I tried again in a revival service. I didn't have that experience that I felt should be there. I knew those preachers weren't like the New Testament teaches. I was in that kind of suspense until I was twenty-one years of age, when the Lord in mercy brought me in touch with those who were trying to preach the way Jesus sent His disciples and live the way the disciples did.

You know you parents may be sowing seed and you don't see much encouragement. One little girl in Philadelphia told me recently that she wanted to go in the work. I remember her grandparents. They didn't have much to encourage them in their children. The grandparents had the meeting in their home. One Sunday morning the man wasn't feeling too well about his children and he gave his testimony, he wasn't glowing, he said that he had been thinking the past week that he didn't deserve any reward at all from the Lord but one thing made him glad, that twenty years before, when he heard the gospel preached,he made his choice. Now his family was all grown up and he didn't feel he had accomplished anything. He had a heart for the Lord, he has gone into eternity now. So don't feel discouraged if you don't see much accomplished now and all seems a disappointment, there are impressions made! Jesus prayed for His followers, "I have given them the words Thou gavest me." I have given unto them eternal life, I have given them the words You gave Me, "this is eternal life that they might know Thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." He that believes the words of Jesus, this is eternal life. "Know thee the only true God." The greatest thing in life is to get to know God. What is there in college today? Knowledge, knowledge, knowledge! But what kind of knowledge? The important knowledge is to fit us for the world to come. This is life eternal, to know God. How do we get to know God? Luke 10:21, "As Jesus looked at Peter and the others He said, 'I thank thee O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto babes,'" those who had obeyed and become babes in spirit. Luke 18:10, "The two men praying in the temple. The sinner praying, 'God be merciful to me a sinner,' he cried for mercy." Remember that story of the woman whose son was brought before the judge. She pleaded that the judge would have mercy on her son. The judge said, "He doesn't deserve it." The mother said, "Judge, if he deserved it, it wouldn't be mercy." That sinner appealed to God for mercy because he knew what it meant to him.

Remember one of the first things God told Moses to make preparation for was the mercy seat. The ark held the ten commandments, "Thou shalt not, thou shalt not, thou shalt not." Those ten commandments tell me that if I break one of those commandments, I would be a sinner, that's in the heart. There was the mercy seat, the cherubim and the wings that mean to say that though you have broken my commandments, God will be merciful. Don't forget the ruler of all, the one who holds the seven stars in His hand, the Creator of all things. Don't forget the reverence and come with that attitude. There is the danger of taking the wrong attitude toward the Lord, the Lord would maybe leave us alone.

Someone who recently visited Israel saw a people who were taking all the credit to themselves for making their land a great place, even had songs composed and were singing about their greatness. "We did it ourselves." God had nothing to do with it! One time a million Midianites came against Israel. God didn't let them use the huge army of six hundred thousand but reduced it to three hundred men. In the morning the whole army of the enemy were corpses. Hezekiah sought counsel of the prophet Isaiah when a difficulty arose. The answer was, "Leave it to the Lord." There is an old poem I remember written by Lord Byron that says:

For the angel of Death spreads his wings on the blast
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed,
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill
And their hearts but once heaved and forever grew still.
 
People didn't listen to Jeremiah nor Isaiah, and they didn't listen to Jesus, the greatest prophet of them all. Deuteronomy 28, they are told exactly what would happen if they wouldn't listen to God. Paul tells us that a true Jew is one that worships God in spirit and glorifies Jesus, not boasting about themselves. Hezekiah did well for many years but toward the end he began to boast about all his possessions to the enemy. It put a blot on his testimony. There is a danger of doing well for many years then allowing something to hinder us. Paul spoke about all he suffered and what he went through, but he wasn't boasting about it. To lead a successful life spiritually, we need the right attitude toward God. Pride, rebellion, stubbornness can prevent us from having the right attitude. The man who Jesus referred to said, "I have everything I need, I'm increased in goods, I can retire, I've got it made!" The answer was, "Thou fool." God has chosen the poor in this word, rich in faith. What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul. I was told when going to Sunday school that one boy had attended Sunday school and became Lord Mayor of London. That is what I was told might be my portion if I was a good boy. What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? I knew of two businessmen, brothers, who had become very successful but were very sorrowful because they were so unhappy, no contentment, unhappy homes broken up. One rich man who owned a castle with a lake, one of the friends worked for him, one day the wealthy man talked to him and told him about his dream. He dreamed he had died and he reached the pearly gates but the devil was there and motioned him to go on to where he could see forms of people suffering and he wasn't allowed to go through the pearly gates. But of course, he said, "It is only a dream, but I'm afraid it will become a reality."

I'm glad I made my choice seventy-five years ago. I was on a train with other people, but I didn't hear what they were saying, I was talking to myself, "If I make my choice, I won't be popular in this life, I'll lose the fellowship of my sisters, it will destroy my social life, I'll disappoint my father." Then the thought came to me that someday it will all end and what will I have? I came to the conclusion it would be better to make my choice and be with the Lord. When I got off the train I walked down that platform and I made my choice in my heart, "I don't understand it all, but I'm willing." There was a feeling of peace that came into my heart but I thought what will I feel like in the morning? I thought it would be like all the other experiences. The next morning I still had that peace inside. There was a leader of a great band, Sousa, over forty years, and great sayings about him. When asked about his success, he said, "Many people could have done the same thing for a while." Many people can do wonders for a while, but Jesus said, "They that endure to the end will be saved." The secret of enduring to the end is in that verse in Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint."

Hoover was once asked what he thought would cure the attitude of the children who were so wayward and he quoted Proverb 3:5 and 6, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths." It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.