George Walker - South Schenectady, New York - Sunday, August 25, 1918

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.

 

They say 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 say 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 is 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 its 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 worshipping 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 worshipping 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.  Matt 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 He will reign here according to the way the Bible says.  That is why the 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 want 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 who 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, and 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.