Harry Holland - Crawford Special Meeting - November 17, 1948

Exodus 23:29-30 .. There was a time after I professed to be a child of God when I thought the promised land was a type of heaven, but I found that position was one that no person as far as I could see could really hold because that land was full of enemies. After a time I got to see that land was a very clear picture of this human soil. As Paul said in writing to the Corinthians, 3rd chapter, "know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?" As the margin says, "ye are God's house, ye are God's tilled land." We are God ' s dwelling place and what was in that land where the children of Israel had to go in and fight battles and bring nations into subjection and destroy certain things in that land is just what we find in this human soil.
 

There were the Philistines in that land and they were terrible enemies of the Israelites. There were some terrible struggles to keep them in subjection and they would always rise up every generation. The word Philistine means ' wanderer. ' I don ' t know of a more desperate enemy in this human soil than the Philistine enemy. Wandering thoughts and desires is an enemy that every child of God finds in this human soil and we have to battle against. Paul said, "Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Bringing our bodies under is not as hard for me as it is to bring my thoughts and desires under and bringing them in subjection and obedience to Christ. I have always found that a hard battle and I believe every child of God has this in our human soil. When they fought the battles in that land, it made it possible for them to subdue certain enemies and they began to inherit things God wanted them to inherit. It is in these human lives where the fruits of the spirit must be produced as far as we are concerned individually and collectively.
 

Then there were the Canaanites. Canaanite means a low dweller, I don ' t know how you feel about this enemy in your life and experience. It is always natural for us to dwell on the human level and bring things down to the human level. That is easy for us. It is a battle every child of God has had in every age of history. We will never face any temptation that wasn't common to God's people in the ages past. We have all lived in the same world and have the same kind of human body to live in. The same tests and troubles are common to all men and women.
 

There were enemies on the outside, too, but they were on the very border. They were deadly enemies. Remember the Midianites and the Amalakites would try to take away from God's people what they had fought for. The word Midianite means ' strife-ite.' If there is any deadly enemy that could be on the outside of our lives for a while and still be inside and that can rob us of the fruits of the spirit, it is this deadly enemy of strife. Remember how Abraham dwelt with this enemy. "Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen for we be brethren." In the last days of Jesus before He went to the cross, it tells us in the various gospels that there was a strife amongst the disciples as to who would be the greatest. This is in the human soil and it doesn't take much to encourage it to grow and rob us of a lot that could make our lives fruitful and acceptable to God.
The Amalakites were a very good type of the flesh. The Lord said, "I will have war with the Amalekites from generation to generation until I blot out the remembrance of them from heaven." It is what we would like to be naturally and the flesh lusts against the spirit and spirit against the flesh and they are contrary one to the other so we cannot do the things that we would naturally want to do if we want to please God.
 

I want to take a little line of thought that has been very helpful to me the last three or four months of my life. That is the side of our bodies service to God. As Paul puts it in Romans 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." 'By the mercies of God ' - if we leave that out of that verse the whole thing would be hopeless. There is no service that God has called us to that God could ever accept any other sacrifice than a living, wholly acceptable sacrifice. The religious world like for God to accept a dead, unholy sacrifice.
 

I like to think of this body that God has given me. I am well satisfied with it. The old and the new Testaments teach about the body God gave Jesus. "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened..........Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me. I delight to do thy will O my God; yea thy law is within my heart." God gave Jesus a body and Jesus came into the world in that body to do the will of God. God has given you and me a body. Have we come to do the will of God in this body? I am quoting from Psalms and Hebrews 10 and other places where it is referred to "sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire etc." One time Jesus was talking to the Jewish people and said, "Destroy this temple (meaning His body) and in three days I will raise it up again." When he was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered Him saying this. There was never a human body in this world where God's will was so completely and perfectly done as in the body of Jesus. That little babe that was born in a stable and laid in a manger, that was the human side of Jesus. That was the body God prepared. He came down form heaven, not in a measure, about in His fullness. That human body was the humanity of Christ. That was the temple in which were offered the most pleasing sacrifices that were ever given in this world in a human life. We often think of Jesus as our high priest, our prophet and our king. The service of the priest was to present the people's cause before God. The prophet's part was to present God's part before the people and He gave the sacrifice on calvarys cross to make it possible. He died for the sins of the whole world. We can have a perfect sacrifice because God provided a perfect Saviour.
 

There are four miracle births in the bible. The birth of Isaac. No possibility of his ever being born into that family. There was a miracle from the hand of God. The birth of John the Baptist was a miracle birth and then the birth of Jesus was the greatest miracle of all times when God was reincarnated in the flesh. And then there is the other miracle birth of ANY person being born into God 's family.
 

Did you ever think of John 17, that prayer of Jesus a few hours before his agony? Did you ever think of the incense that was ascending up to God was the sweetest incense ever offered by any priesthood this world has ever know? Did you ever think of Jesus hanging between those two thieves on the cross of Calvary and saying, "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do." Did you ever think of that sweet incense? Did you ever think of the time He said to Peter, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren."
 

For years I never gave too much thought to the visible temple that Jesus ministered to God in, the temple of His own body. It was in His own body that he died on Calvarys cross. Think of the visible temple Jesus ministered in. God has given us a body and we can minister in this temple. We are responsible for keeping this body clean. An old thought came to my mind yesterday as I was driving along the road. I thought what if I should stand flat against a wall and tell someone to draw a line around my body with a pencil. Every thing within that line is what should concern me. It's not a real large space but every thing within this body is my chief concern. I am responsible for what is done in this temple. I can be a help to others, that is true, but personally I am responsible for keeping right within this body and keeping this body what God intends it to be. It wouldn't matter where I was put or where other men and women were put, what others thought or what the world teaches; all they can do is kill the body. We could have victory because we kept right within ourselves. The right thoughts in the mind, taking the right steps in the world. God has not given us a great big field but it is just in this life of ours.
 

I have lived in this world for over 70 years and I have always had another tenant in this life of mine. I always had a wrong spirit, a spirit of rebellion and a spirit of selfishness and a spirit that wasn't under the control of God. A wrong spirit had access in this body for over 30 years. I have to keep my spirit in subjection to the spirit of Christ. If I do not, God will not dwell in a divided home. The greatest privilege I have today is the privilege of saying yes to another and submitting to the will of another and whenever I do that, I have a lot of satisfaction.
 

One of the greatest days for me was the day when I recognized my past was forgiven and blotted out through the precious blood of Christ. I still have that same consciousness. I am not worrying about the past. I have the present to be concerned about. I am not worrying about the future. I am responsible for this body that God gave me, the kind of seed sown in this life and the kind of fruit produced. Paul said that we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be judged for the deeds performed in our bodies. This service of God is not scattered out in a great big area. The kingdom of God is within you. I thank God for that. If I had a great big area I wouldn't know what was going on throughout the area. One member wouldn't know what was happening to the other member. I never murmur any more about the body God has given me.

 

Did you ever think of the dual purpose of the body? It is the material body that God gave to a life to support life itself. It is true in the material body life makes itself felt. Life is an inward power, an internal power. You cannot see it. It makes itself felt through the material body. That is true in the animal kingdom and in the plant kingdom and in the human kingdom. You never saw any human being clothed with any other body but this human body. When God created sheep, He gave that sheep a visible body and it has dwelt in that kind of a body ever since the dawn of creation. That is a wonderful thing in itself. Every seed bringing forth according to its own kind. That is a wonderful thing in the natural universe and in the spiritual universe.
 

One of the most wonderful things to think of is God in heaven coming down and dwelling in these human bodies to make His power known and visible and understandable to men and women in the world. Not only is it a temple for human life but that very body through the choice of the tenant within, through my own choice when I hear the Gospel, as I am willing to repent and be open before God, I can get forgiveness and cleansing and the wrong tenant can be cast out and my spirit can come into subjection to the spirit of Christ, this body becomes a servant and Christ becomes Lord and Master in this temple. I think that is a wonderful thing, the dual purpose of these bodies. Wouldn't it be a terrible thing if we murmured against our bodies and wished we had another body? When I think of the 30 years of my life I lived without God and I think of what a perfect servant this body was to serve sin. When it served sin it was free from righteousness. As it says there in Romans, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, His servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness."

 

It is a hard thing for a person to yield their will to the will of another. I find it a hard thing to do and did in the first place and there is nothing else could have gotten me to do it but the power of the Gospel. I think of this body, what a faithful servant it was to sin and now I think of this body what a faithful servant it can be to do the will of God and to obey the tenant who is on the inside. There is one thing that if you and I give to God, that is the will, the willingness to do, God will give us the grace and power to do it. Ye will always have to go across the will of nature.

 

When I think of Jesus on that last fatal night in the garden of Gethsemane when He said, "Not my will Lord, be done, but Thine," there was His will struggling. Why wouldn't I have to struggle with this will when He had to struggle with it. That was God's purpose. "Come boldly before the throne of grace that ye might obtain help in the time of need." That means to come with courage. God will give us the power to help us in the needy days.
 

God will never take untested material into heaven. He will test every bit of material before we enter into the Heavenly Jerusalem. In the natural Jerusalem every bit of material was made ready and fit before it ever landed on the ground. This was God's workmanship.
 

I thank God that even though I was born into this world and lived without God for years, without hope, I thank God for the day the gospel came and I thank God I had the grace to struggle against my own will. I would have missed a lot if it had been any other way. There are just these two eyes, these two ears, etc. that are channels through which wrong things can come in. They can be put out or they can be allowed to work inside and bring about wrong things inwardly. Jesus did not allow one single thing to come into that God-given temple, He did not let anything defiling or any blot or blemish to have any place in that God-given temple. We sometimes say Jesus was tempted in all points as we are. That is very true. We say He has the very same body as we have.... He did have the same body as we have but don't force that point too far. Our body is different in this sense. We were victims of sin and did allow wrong in these lives of ours. It could not be said of Jesus what David, who is a form of Christ, said about himself. "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." He fought a good battle in spite of weakness. That could never be said of Jesus. The fact that Jesus died for us shows that from Adam on we were all dead in trespasses and sins. Whether weak or strong, great or small, God has a great love for each of His children.


The blood of Christ made it possible for God to put away our sins. "As far as the East is from the West, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us." Into the sea of forgetfulness, He puts them behind His back never to remember them against us any more. I thank God for that. I thank Him for these bodies.
 

Daniel and the other three kept right regardless of what others were doing. The victory was in themselves. I thank of Joseph in the home and being sent out after his brethren and put in the pit and then sold as a slave and carried down to Egypt and prospering in spite of everything and then innocently being put into prison. In spite of all this, everything he did, God made it prosper. It was that rightness inside. It was that battle inside, no matter where he was, no matter where God put him, he fought the battle inside. Paul said in Romans 8, "We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us."
 

Victory is within each of our lives. . . . . . . . .