George Walker - McCordesville, Indiana Convention - 1978

I do not enjoy speaking when I do not know if some cannot hear. If you are not able to hear, stand up to give me a hint. But don't too many stand up or it will discourage me.



The last few weeks there has been four chapters in the gospel of Luke I have been enjoying; my brother, Tom, reading it over to me. They are chapters that gave a good deal of teaching to the men He called to be His apostles. First to the twelve and afterward to the seventy. He was meaning these to be the foundation and would be carrying on the work He had been doing, when He was no longer in the body.

It is good for us in the harvest field to keep right our­selves, because it would be a sad day for us if we, who were preaching, would get in the way of getting something to preach. We would soon become like these false prophets because that would not be practicing at all. It would be sad if I would tell you things, it would be a sad day for me and for God's people too, if I did not practice it.


If we would want to get the beginning of what Jesus taught the disciples, we
would go to the chapters in Matthew 5 - 7. After Jesus saw the multitudes following Him as He was preaching - in the 4th chapter, He went up a mountain. I don't know how high it was. It says the disciples followed. It does not tell us how many of the multitude came. Then He sat down. You know men put the words at the top of these chapters. "The sermon on the mount." Jesus did not have to have a sermon. He was just talking out of the fullness of His heart.


It says, "He opened His mouth, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit.'" Poor in
spirit just means 'blessed is the person who feels their spiritual need, who has realized by the Holy Spirit of God.' Jesus had to talk to people who did not feel their spiritual need because of their unbelief. They were all right. They were Abraham's children. Jesus was glad when He got some who felt their spiritual need.

 

"Blessed are they that mourn. Blessed are they that hunger." Blessed is the person who has wakened up to the fact, "I am a sinner. I am not fit to live here, much less in heaven." When you feel your spiritual need, the other things will follow. There will be mourning when you feel what you lack. Then you will become meek, and hunger and thirst after righteousness. Then you will be merciful to others. Then you will become pure in heart and the result of your being a peacemaker wherever you go you will not be a trouble maker. Then you become a light in the world. You will not be a light of the world nor the salt of the earth if these things have not become a part of your nature, no matter how much you can talk. These are vital truths for servant and saint.


Then it tells you in this 6th chapter of Luke, you read of Him going into the
mountain again but He did not take anybody with Him. He went to have a talk with His Father. He had a very important thing to do. He had to select 12 and make them apostles to carry out the work when He was gone. It tells us be­fore that verse, "It was the Sabbath day." He went into the corn fields. That means wheat we grow and the disciples were rubbing the corn in their hands and had their breakfast. Then the Pharisees found fault.

Then He went up in the mountain and the next day, He selected the twelve. There was a difference in them. Peter and John were fishermen. Then there was a man sitting at the receipt of custom. He was maybe putting money in his pocket. Then there was a zealot. Jesus took them from every walk in life. Now He chose those 12 and they were different types of men but they all became one. God has a variety. God has a plan for all people if they are only willing to fit in.

Then He said, "Blessed are ye poor." If you will read on in that chapter, you will find in that 6th of Luke the very same illustration used. This chapter was like a continuation of what He spoke on the other mountain. What Jesus said was worth repeating. Jesus did not hesitate to repeat. He repeated a great deal of what He said on the mountain. Now they were spoken especially to the twelve. One of our brothers was speaking to a man. He was mentioning Matthew 10.  He said, "That has nothing to do with us today. It is all for the Jews. The gospel of Luke is just for the Gentiles." "Blessed are the poor." The man said, "You are quoting Matthew's gospel." You said Matthew was not for the Gentiles but this is in Luke.

Remember those men had left all. Matthew could say, "I left that good position I had." They had nothing now for He wanted to become like Him. When you
become poor in spirit, it is not hard to become poor in pocket. That was the terms of becoming a preacher in Jesus' day. "Blessed be ye poor; for yours is the kingdom of God."


Now you go and read down in that 6th chapter of Luke and you will find it is
just a continuation of Matthew. You know toward the end of Jesus' life, He says, '"I chose you twelve." You know when we get a president he chooses a cabinet. He said, "I chose you twelve and one of you has let the devil put thoughts in your mind." And then he let the devil come in and now he was a devil. God had a purpose in that and Jesus saw the purpose. And you know maybe the nicest words Jesus said when He looked on the men that last night, "Ye are they who have con­tinued with Me through My temptations." Only those in the harvest field can appreciate those who have stood by them through days of despair. Jesus was tempted just the same as we. "You continued with Me and you helped Me and My Father loves you because you have done that."


There is one verse in this chapter. It is that verse you find in the 6th chapter. Give, give, give. And if you give, men will give more to you than you can take in. (Verse 3) If you give first. That is not a popular thing in the world to­day. There are more people in the world today that want to get all they can from the government. It is the last straw that breaks the camel's back.

You remember what Paul said? He could write those Thessalonians, he said, "I was not only willing to preach the gospel to you freely (I Thessalonians 2:9)," but he said, "When you Thessalonians decided I had an affection for you, I have the same affection for you as that mother did when she brought forth that child into the world. When I saw how you turned from idols to God." I have seen that affection.

I have been encouraged by my brothers and sisters who labor with a different colored skin. They had a love for them. When those obeyed the truth the servant of God had a love for them. He not only had a love for them, he would give his life for them. Paul wanted to preach to the Jews. "They won't listen to you. I want you to go to the Gentiles." He said, "The love of Christ led me to go." Some of our sisters were preaching down in West Virginia and one of the preachers heard what they preached. He said, "I would believe that if I saw a sack of flour come down from heaven." God has put it in the hearts of men to give. Love begets love. That little baby did not understand what it meant for it to be brought into the world. If that baby lives, you must give.

 

I got a letter sometime ago from a sister not very far from the century mark. She is not able anymore to preach. She said, "I am proving the truth of those words in Luke 6. I am getting all my temporal needs supplied. I am getting love and kindness. I am ashamed. I am getting so much and not able to give anything back."

 

One of our brothers died down in Alabama and of course he was a stranger and had not been there very long. God's people were giving him a funeral. A young clergyman saw the notice in the paper. He said, "I thought there would not be many there, maybe I could be a pall bearer." He said "I never saw a people show such love, such affection and him a complete stranger." I thought of what he said to his congregation, "Why don't you have that love for me?"

 

He did not know it meant giving something first. Giving the gospel freely, give love, give service. Maybe some would say, "You are giving so much." I want to give. But we don't receive from those not in fellowship with us. How are our natural needs supplied? Give. Give. It is not signing a contract. Jesus said, "Those who have forsaken houses, brethren, sisters, father, mother, wife, children or lands, for My name's sake shall receive an hundred fold." God's' servants are proving that today.

Then you go to Chapter 9 that tells you about taking those twelve and send­ing them out to preach. Some say He sent them out two by two, but the Bible says He sent them two and two. Two by two is wood and God's people are not wood. They went out on that mission. It was like a little trial to increase their faith. God said "Don't take any food with you." Later on they said, "We lacked nothing." They made that mission. I don't know how long it was. Their needs were fulfilled. I believe that chapter ends up with three people who wanted to be servants but Jesus only gave encouragement to one.


"Lord, I will follow you whithersoever Thou goest." Jesus said, "The foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head." I want you to know who you are going with. You won't have a comfortable room. Jesus could read people's minds. Jesus told the next one to follow Him and the man said, "Let me go first and bury my father." He did not censor him. He said, "Let the people who are dead to God bury those who die." He must have seen in him a more hopeful man. The third said, "Let me first go and bid them farewell which are at home at my house." Jesus said, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back etc. You will not make a servant." He will be looking back. You can't do that thing - looking behind. You know the words are terribly misused in the world.

 

I don't know if you have seen that book written by a priest. It is called, "The People's Padre." He tells he had spent twenty years to be a priest and the day came when he was to be ordained. They brought him into a hall to make him feel holier. He said there were 13 of them. He said everywhere you would look were these words "Thou art a priest after the order of Melchisedec." Those are the words spoken of Jesus. And under that were the words, "He that puts his hand to the plow, and looks back, is not fit for the kingdom of God." He said that inside twelve years, four had ceased to be priests and more would have left had they felt they could get suitable work. After they left, all the Catholics would try to keep them from getting work.

Some people would take that to mean, "If you went out in the harvest field and left then you would not be fit to be in the kingdom of God." But we don't believe that. In the day of Pentecost, there were some who went out but later they be­came very faithful saints. We do rejoice when some of our brothers and sisters were not able to continue to preach for some reason or other, they were examples of a saint. Some have finished and we love them for what they did as a saint. Their children were a credit to the gospel and they were and example to those in the community. Their heart for this work had not changed. They were the best helpers we ever had because they understand the temptations of the servants of God. They know what it means to be true helpers. They have an understanding.  It means suppose you were born in America and grew up here. Suppose they sent you to another country to preach but your heart is in America and you are looking back because where your heart is it is your treasure. A man's foes are those of his own household.

 

You might go farther and say the servants of God who have gone out to preach, they need to be careful about those who are true saints of God. As mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers, they are very careful, too. We know Jesus said at the age of twelve, "I must be about My Father's business." And even after that, He went down and was subject to His father and mother. Remember after He went out to preach, Jesus' mother was there and they had no wine. Remember He said, "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" He was not disrespectful to His mother. When He was at home, "I was under you, but now I must get My instruct­ions from My heavenly Father.”  Remember His brethren said, "Why don't you go to the feast?" "Well," He said, "You can go. I must get my instructions from my heavenly Father.” Even your best friends could hinder. We were hearing last night the terms of a disciple. You can't look two ways at the same time. You are double minded and you won't get anything from God.

 

In this state, I had the privilege of saying a few words at the funeral of a brother. He had been in the harvest field and his health failed. One of the children said, "Our father left us something we value most. He gave us an example." This is the true riches. Now don't misapply that. Those who were in the harvest field and they did not continue for reasons we do not understand - I mentioned this in a convention. One woman came up to me and said she was glad. "I am glad they have gone out for they have done more than we ever did." We' know the special temptations that come to those in the harvest field, thinking you are no good. You are wasting your time. That is Chapter 9.


It seems now Jesus had picked out 70. Jesus chose twelve. 12 tribes. Seventy the Sanhedrin. What was impressing me was what He said to them when
they came back. They were elated. It was easy to get that way. They said, "The devils are subject to us." He said, "Now don't rejoice because the devils are subject to you. Rejoice because your names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life." He said, "I saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven." We have enough in the Bible that tells us that he was one of the highest of the angels but he fell from heaven. He was lifted up and he fell down. You know we are told in the scriptures, "Don't appoint a novice lest he fall into the condemnation of the Devil." (I Timothy 3:6)  What does it mean? He might be taken up with the place and not the power to fill the place. And you know you are in a safe place when you dwell on the thought, "My name is written in the Lamb's book of Life." What made us worthy? Because He loved us and gave His blood for us. When we get elated by what we have done the devil can work on that.

Jesus made it clear to the disciples now that those twelve men were not chosen because they were college fellows who had more brains. No, "the reason I have chosen you is because of what I taught you in Matthew." You know He said, "Father I thank Thee that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes, for so it seemed good in Thy sight." It is not your college education. Not the great brains you glory in having. It is your taking the right attitude toward Him. It is you are poor in spirit.

One time when Jesus had preached to the multitude, one asked Him "Why do You speak to them in parables? Why don't you speak to them like You do us?" He quoted from Isaiah, "That crowd had hardened their hearts and they could not understand it." This is a mystery of the kingdom of heaven. You don't get it by the revelation in your head. He said to them, "I am not keeping secrets from you. I believe it is in you but it is not in the others."


Remember when He talked the last night, "I will rise from the dead." One of the disciples said (I believe it was the other Judas), "Why don't You manifest
Yourself to others?" Jesus said, "If a man love Me, He will keep My words and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him." Maybe you and I could understand that. Maybe some close friends you can depend, go you tell them the secrets of your heart, maybe you have another friend but you just shut your mouth. Jesus said, "Don't cast your pearls before swine." These unsaved people cannot understand.


One of our brothers was preparing for a convention in Canada. One of his neighbors was a religious man, maybe a Seventh Day Adventist. He would come over and talk. One day he said, "That faith you have it is all like a mystery to me. I can't understand it." My brother said, "You must be a wise and prudent man because the Bible tells us He has hid these things from the wise and prudent." The chapter ends with Martha and Mary. They went into that house. Martha went to make Him a dinner. He appreciated her doing that, but He said, "Mary has chosen the better part." You know the effect in her mind. Even Martha got the revelation that Peter did. When her brother was dead, she said, "I know that Thou art the Christ; the Son of God, which should come into the world." God appreciates the least service. It is the spirit in which they give it. If one made a great advertisement of giving you something, you would not appreciate it. It is the spirit that moves them.


The man who received the two talents was told the same as the five. The two talents - we can't go and preach. We do what we can and our reward is the same. My thought of the reward in heaven is hearing that "well done." Some try to speculate what the rewards are. To hear a "well done" would that be enough to hear?


When Jesus was giving this message to these twelve and the seventy, they were to be like foundation stones. One of our brothers was telling us of this chapter. This begins with a tomb and ends with a temple. You were dead in trespasses and sins but it ends, "You are a temple for God to dwell in." You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone. Maybe most of you have had experience with building with rock and you know how important for those stones to be in line with the corner stone and you know how important it is that every stone would be a lively stone. And as you pass by later and saw one of those stones had gotten one of the diseases that stone would cause the house to sag. "Well," he said, "This true church is built on the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone." You remember Jesus told them how they were to be like those true prophets in the Old Testament. They had inspiration from God. That is why they could tell us so much about Jesus. Jesus Christ the chief corner stone.


I am glad it was impressed on my heart when I was young if I was to be a
help to God's children, it would be that I would be like the corner stone. It also comes to my mind, if you don't have the compassion that Jesus did when preaching to the people, it would be only like sounding brass; and if you don't have a love for the saints of God, no matter how faulty they are, and even make excuses for them. Remember when He was praying in the garden and remember when He came back the third time and finding them asleep He was disappointed. "Could you not watch with Me one hour?" He said, "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." He said, "I know you love Me." Jesus sometimes looked for excuses.

 

We see faults in some and make something of them. That is what the old human would do. One day, I was saying goodbye to a man. I was on my way to N. Falls (?), I was expecting to say my last goodbye. He wanted to say something to me that involved the three of us. "The first year after I decided I had an awful problem. You know my wife is a very religious woman. I have been thinking if I could get a separation maybe I could bring the children to the meeting." We advised him to go home and pray. It wasn't long after that his wife professed and was even stronger.

 

Well, we said the last goodbye to him. We come down and she said, "Here is the little room where we meet. I am naturally inclined to be a little critical. Every time I made a comment Harry had just one comment. Jesus took those rough fishermen and by the kindness and love and patience He made them the best men. He made them foundations of the church." He said, "If I can't help those who come here and have true love for them and kindness - that always silences her." Now friends, let us keep in line with the corner stone that is Jesus. We have heard a lot about that in these meetings.

 

Now Luke 12 was in my mind as a personal memory of when this opened up to me long, long ago. It tells of confidence in those innumerable number of people. They did not have seats to sit on. He opened His mouth first of all and said to His disciples - and you will notice in the first part of that chapter He used the word, "Beware." That is a strong word. If you are passing by a gate or a door and you see the sign, "Beware of the dog." What was the first beware? "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy." They have learned but they do not do. Especially in the religious world, they don't do it. They will be found out. It might even come in this world that they will be found out. They are saying nice words and they are only empty because they were only manifesting the opposite. An actor, he is saying the words another said, he had no feeling. Beware of making a pretense and being found out. We see that in the world coming out in people, and even in the heavenly kingdom. Abide in the vine and keep our hearts fed. That is the only thing against it.


It says, "Don't be afraid of what man can do to you." They can do a whole lot to you. Maybe they will get you out of your job because you are like salt to them - condemning them. In your home, don't be afraid of it and you out in the harvest field, don't be afraid of it. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them if forgotten before God? But even the very
hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. "Don't you know you are worth more than sparrows?” Don't be afraid. Fear is a strong emotion. It depends on who we fear. "The fear of man bringeth a snare." We heard of those who went through the fire because they feared God. It is a wonderful thing. "The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever."

 

It tells farther on in the chapter about sinning against the Holy Spirit. That sometimes troubles some. If you sin against the Son of man you will be forgiven. "But if you sin against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven." What is the difference? You know Jesus is the Son of man. He was the only perfect man who lived in the world. You can speak against Him. That Galilean, they despised Him in Jerusalem. I was preaching in a place one time. I thought he was interested. He said, "I can't listen to your way of talking.” I think he called it a brogue. That man said, "You know I don't believe what you are saying.” The Pharisees said that was not the Holy Spirit doing those miracles. And also was against what the Holy Spirit said through Him. It was the devil who raised Lazarus from the dead.

 

“Speak to my brother that he divide the inheritance with me." Sometimes we get disappointed after meetings. We think we are saying some very serious things but their minds are on something else. Jesus said, "Man, who made Me a judge or a divider over you?" He was very disgusted. The covetous love, something just for the world. The rich man was a very successful farmer and what was in his heart, he was planning for the end. "Say to my soul, 'Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry.'" But God said, "Thou fool." I suppose that man would get a funeral, and they would say, "What a successful farmer he was." One night, he died and left it all. Don't be presumptuous and think you can make provision for the future. Remember you have no guarantee on your life. A successful man in the eyes of the world but God saw him a fool. "And so is everyone that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." James tells us they are rich in faith, confidence in God, those are true riches.

 

Then remember Jesus went on - not to be worrying because they had not pro­vided for the future. They had left all to follow Him. Look at how God could clothe the grass, Consider the lily, He fed the birds. God provided for everything in the animal kingdom and you are worth more than they are.


There is one verse in Chapter 12. When I went out to preach, I had
some good friends. The preacher who had been very kind to me in my teen years. I felt I would go and have a talk with him. He was nice. He says, "I am very sorry for you. That means starvation and there is no such thing, it can [not?] be done." The only thing I could hang on to like a line sent to a drowning man, "Seek the kingdom of God, put that first and don't worry about what you have to eat or the clothes to wear."

 

I would not want any eulogies at my funeral. Exercise the thought we be­lieve in Jesus and in His promises and we have put it to the test. And if I could see those people I would tell them, "I have been proving it for seventy-nine years and I haven't starved yet."

 

The last part of the chapter gives us solemn warnings. It could apply to all of us, saints and servants. Don't be like the foolish virgins. He may come when you are not looking for Him. He may come in the first watch, or the second watch. It gets harder to keep awake as the night goes on. Do you think you can get taken up with this covetousness? He says if you do that He will come in a time when you are not expecting. Be ready whenever He knocks. Peter was the spokesman. He said, "Do you mean that for all? Is it especially for us?” And Jesus gave him the answer, "Who is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household and give them their portion of meat in due season?" A steward was an ordinary servant. The Lord had committed much to him and expected much from him.

 

But if that servant say in his heart - he is not saying it with his lips ,"He is long in coming." Remember Peter was near to the Christ and they were saying, "Where is the promise of His coming?" He is as much as saying, "Will you find you stood faithful?" “And he began to beat his fellow servants." And he says in his heart, and because he says that in his heart, it asks his head. There was an outward show. He begins to satisfy the human then begins to beat his fellow servants. As He said to Peter, "Feed My lambs and sheep."

 

He sets two ways before you. One leads to life, the other to destruction. Now you say, "Which of the roads are you going to take?" Did you ever think in these meetings the Lord is saying to both servants and saints. He set two roads before you. Think of where they end. I hope the Lord will save us from saying that in our hearts.  Be loyal, kind, oil in our lamps; not like the foolish virgins and then we will have life for all eternity.