Irvine Pearson - The Seven Pillars of Wisdom - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - 1980

I was thinking of some of the experiences we have in preaching the gospel. Sometimes we have religious folk coming and they ask the most awkward questions. We were hearing about the doctrine of Christ, a sound doctrine. Yesterday those verses in Hebrews 6:1-2 were spoken on, "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."

While listening, I was remembering a mission we had in a city. Some religious folk came along for some weeks. For the first couple of weeks we spoke of Jesus' birth, how He came in a lowly way, and of His death etc., and they nodded vigorously. After that, we began speaking of things they didn't have - a homeless ministry, the church in the home , etc., and the nodding stopped. I enjoyed telling the doctrine of Christ. In II John 9 we read, ''Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father, and the Son.

Verse 10, "If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not unto your house, neither bid him God speed; for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.'' One evening, two young men came afterwards to talk and I think one was a preacher, because I had spoken on those verses in Hebrews 6 about baptism. Why we baptize, how we baptize, and when we baptize. The preacher asked, "Did you notice that verse speaks of baptisms?'' Well, I don't think I had but I didn't say so. He asked, "What do you think it means?" I replied with a question, "What do you think it means?" He said, ''I think it means you can be baptized into your way, I can be baptized into my way, others can be baptized into their way." I replied, ''No, it doesn't mean that, the scripture teaches that there in one body, one spirit, one baptism and that by one spirit we are baptized into one body (I Corithians 12:13) so it can't mean that."

We also read of the baptism of repentance. Have you read that? Also Jesus saying He would baptize with the Holy Ghost, and the baptism of fire. Jesus gave an example of baptism. He also said, ''I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straightened till it be accomplished.'' Luke12:50. When the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus, He asked them if they could be baptized with the baptism He was to be baptized with, (could drink of the cup that He should drink of) and they replied, ''We are able.'' Jesus was then speaking of the baptism of suffering.

Another night, he came with another question about homeless preachers. He asked, "Do you know the Lord changed those conditions in Luke 22:36, when He said, 'But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it and likewise his scrip; and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.' Now, it’s alright to have a house and salary , etc.?” The Lord never changed it. The Lord Jesus asked them if when He sent them out without purse and scrip and shoes, had they lacked anything. Before that He had told Peter, "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 art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” There was something wrong. They had been converted before and now needed to be converted again. They were getting wrong again, there was something that should never have been there. Jesus asked them, “Lacked ye any thing?” They said, "Nothing." Jesus was showing them - if you're not willing to go out as I sent you and continue that way, you'll need a purse and scrip because you won't have the Lord. It was necessary for that to have happened to fulfill scripture that, ''He was numbered with the transgressors.'' Who were the transgressors? His disciples. Here Jesus was uncovering their transgression. When the multitude came to take Jesus, Peter took the sword and smote the servant of the High Priest and cut off his ear. Jesus answered, "Suffer ye thus far [and healed him]" - enough of that.

When Jesus spoke to His disciples, He told them to take no thought about what they should eat or drink but to seek first the Kingdom of heaven, and all these things should be added unto them. Jesus promised that to 'everyone that hath forsaken houses or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother or wife, or children, or lands for My Name's sake shall receive 100 fold and inherit everlasting life.' We've received more than 100 fold because we're willing to be homeless strangers.

Two years ago, we held a mission in another place, and two young men, strangers, came in, and we thought we knew who they were - Mormons. They listened with very little interest. Later they shook hands, and asked, "Where we were from, how long have we been doing this work? Do we enjoy it?" We said, "Yes." Then they asked, "Have you ever heard of Joseph Smith?" We replied that we were only interested in the Scriptures and Jesus, and quoted that verse in Revelations 22, "If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are in this book. And if any man take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." They replied that if any man did it, it would [be] so, but maybe God wouldn’t do it? I replied that we read of Jesus, "I am the first and the last, I am He that liveth, and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, amen, and have the keys of hell and death." Paul also wrote that He is the author and finisher of our faith, so there would be no one after Jesus, that I'd read the whole Bible and never seen Joseph Smith's name there. Also said, "It's 9 p.m. now and [you] could talk till 9 a.m. and never convince us." So he said good-bye and wished us God's blessing. I was about to say something similar and then remembered that verse about ‘not wishing them God-speed.’

We have something supporting us they don't have. The religions of the world are falling apart, and numbers decreasing, people are appealing for funds, for the upkeep of the churches. We don't have any churches to keep. These churches often have beautiful granite or marble or stone pillars, but God's people are supported by 7 pillars that we read of in Proverbs 9, ''Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her 7 pillars.''
The first pillar is LIFE. It is a very strong pillar, a living church, God giving us everlasting life. Without life, everything would fall apart.

The second is LIGHT. This light shines always, it was the light Paul saw on his journey to Damascus, "a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun." If God took away light, we would be in the dark. If he took away life we would be dead.

The third is TRUTH. It is also everlasting, forever settled in heaven. John wrote, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (III John 4) "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.''

The fourth is LOVE. Love covers sacrifices. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) His love supports and holds us together, without it, we would fall apart.

The fifth is MERCY. We all rest on Mercy. If mercy were taken away, what would happen to us? The Psalmist said, "I will sing of mercy." Psalms 101:1.

The sixth is RIGHTEOUSNESS. A very strong pillar. "The sceptre of Thy Kingdom is a right scepter." Psalms 45:6-7, "Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness."

The seventh is PEACE. Another everlasting pillar. "The peace of God, which passeth understanding." (Philemon 4:7) In Isaiah 9:7 we read, "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end." I think righteousness and peace are brothers , if not they must be cousins. Psalms 85:10, "Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”

I was speaking about this to my companion once and he said, "I know another pillar - submission." I said, "No - these seven things are from God's side. Submission is from our side." There are many things that must come from our side; giving of ourselves in love, submission, obedience, faith, etc.

While resting on these 7 pillars, the qualities would flow into the house and we could become like the pillars, full of all 7 qualities. In Revelations, we read of those who stood on a sea of glass mingled with fire. Glass would speak of calm peace, and fire of the presence of God. Those who stood on that sea of glass got victory over the beast and his image.These 7 pillars will support us when all the marble pillars have crumbled away.