Jack Carroll - Sidney, Manitoba Convention - Friday Morning, November 6, 1914

One of the weaknesses in the testimony is the result of lack of diligence in seeking to get to know the scriptures.  There is a slackness in this direction even among workers.  I believe if we are going to be useful saints and workers we must be diligent in the matter of searching the scriptures for ourselves.  There was a reason for writing all the epistles.  I have been surprised to find how much there is in the epistles to the saints that is helpful for workers.  I dug out what Paul said in his epistles about his own work.  The Hebrews were Jews.  They were brought up in the Jewish way and were encouraged to believe in the temple and synagogues which were not of God.  The synagogue system was an invention introduced after captivity.  It never was authorized by God.  The day of Pentecost there were thousands of Hebrews came from all parts of the world.  The people that came were the cream of the people and had a hunger after God.  There were three million or more gathered at the City of Jerusalem and Peter preached and thousands were brought to God.   The work spread rapidly in Jerusalem.   But a great persecution broke out and Stephen was stoned and the disciples were scattered abroad.  They went everywhere preaching the word.  This epistle was written to the Hebrews that were scattered abroad.  The persecution that began when they first professed continued.  It never died out and some of them were losing heart, getting discouraged and began to contemplate giving the whole thing up and going back to the Jewish Church.  This epistle was warning them against taking such a step and encouraging them to be true even to death.

 

When Paul wrote to the Galatians, the trouble was not that they contemplated going back, but it was a matter of being tempted to mix the Jewish way with Jesus’ way, mix the new and the old so that they might escape suffering the shame that was attached to the name of Jesus.  Teachers began to encourage them to be circumcised.  Paul said, "If you do that, you are fallen from grace."

 

Some people say it is pretty hard now, but they have a kind of hope that some day the world will pat us on the back and this persecution will one day die out.  Don’t deceive yourself.  The truer you are, and the more determined you are to let your light shine, the more you will taste of the shame that is attached to the name of Jesus.  Instead of being disheartened, we are to rejoice and leap for joy.  The Lord wants to make us feel that we are men and women that have something to rejoice over.

 

“Call to remembrance the former days,” etc.  Suffering saints are always joyful saints. It seems contradictory, but suffering and gladness are one.  Jesus is called the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief but the peace of God sustained Him in every hour of temptation and difficulty.  At the end He said, “My joy I give unto you.”  The peace and joy He had was the result of abandonment to the will of God.  He would allow nothing to hinder Him.  He set His face to go every step of the way towards Jerusalem.

 

When I went out to preach, I thought if the Lord gave me any converts how I would protect them from every storm.  I would have hothouse plants.  But I have learned not to put my trust in anyone until they have been tested; take them out to the firing line where they will have to do or die and there is a little hope that at the end you will have something to comfort you.  Some saints live in a kind of a shell, never have done anything, never can do anything and never will try.  You never can be a happy, joyful saint unless you give your testimony to your neighbours.  Every one of us is our brother’s keeper.  Babes in Christ will follow you anywhere, but when they get old and cute, they are not so keen to suffer for His Name’s Sake; therefore they don’t know the joy and satisfaction.

 

“Partly whilst ye were made a gazing stock,” “Partly whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.”  The result of fellowship with the servants of God brings suffering.  These Hebrews had suffered an awful lot through being identified with Peter, James, and John.  They took joyfully the spoiling of their goods.  Call to remembrance the early days and cast not away your confidence.  We are not of those that draw back but of those that believe to the saving of the soul.   It was all to encourage them to go on regardless of everything, and as you read it with this in your mind, it will be a source of comfort.  It is very easy to drift and lose confidence.  When you lose confidence in God then you become a prey to the enemy.  That is what happened in the wilderness.  Hebrews 10, Paul draws a parallel between them and the Children of Israel and warns them lest they should let the things they had heard slip.

 

“How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation.”  You remember the story of the bringing home of the Ark.  The Ark was typical of the presence of God.  David said, "I am going to bring home the Ark."  He wanted to have it in the City of Zion.  He got all the great men together and told them what he was going to do and they decided to bring home the Ark in an up to date way.  They would select oxen and two of the most careful drivers. They were having a high old time when Uzzah put forth his hand to steady the Ark and dropped dead.  There was no more rejoicing.  David could not understand it.  He did not take it home but left it with Obed-Edom.  He was doing the right thing in the wrong way.  The house of Obed-Edom was blessed so David begins to enquire and search his own heart.  God gave Moses directions for carrying the Ark and David discovered the mistake he had made and that it was to be carried on the shoulders of men.  So the second time he went down, it was taken home.  God will not tolerate any willful departure from His revealed will and way.   Isn’t it a sad thing to see any man or woman losing confidence in God and becoming a prey to world, flesh, and devil, beginning to think the new cart way is as good as any way?  How is it with you?  Are you strong in faith and confidence or are you growing weak?  Wake up and get your eyes fixed on Jesus and that He gave us a perfect revelation of the mind and will of God, and anyone that plays fast and loose with it will one day pay the price.  He gives them a long list of men in other days who fought the fight and got the victory.  Look at Abel.  He put his thoughts to one side and came before God with a lamb.  Cain could not see the need of that.  He worshipped and served God according to his own imagination. It is very easy to allow the spirit of Cain to creep in.  Naaman went down to Israel with thousands of dollars worth of clothing and money.  Because the prophet didn’t treat him according to his liking, he got mad and said, “I thought.”  He wanted to get rid of the leprosy in his own way.  You have to take God’s way or perish.  What God wants is men and women that have the spirit of little children, that no matter what He says they will do.  Enoch had this testimony that he pleased God.  There were two Enochs — the son of Cain and the son of Jared.  Enoch, the son of Cain, was a man of the world.  There are two possibilities in every life — either following Enoch the son of the man of the world or Enoch the son of the man of God.  I believe we all suffer from lack of confidence in the living God.  We look on Him as one that is far, far away instead of one in whom we live and move and have our being. He is not an absentee God.  It is good sometimes to bow our heads and close our eyes and lay hold on this eternal truth that God is here now and that I can talk with Him and enjoy His presence and fellowship.  God’s presence is just as real as our presence here today.   Noah believed God and obeyed God.  He built the Ark when everybody was laughing at him.  He didn’t get tired; he kept on and on.  He built the Ark to the saving of his house.  Abraham is known as the father of the faithful.  When God spoke, he obeyed.  He went even in the dark and obeyed God when he didn’t understand.  I have found that the secret of getting to know is getting a move on.  We cannot increase in the knowledge of God unless we begin to move.  Obedience is the organ of spiritual sight.  The eye is the organ of physical sight.  The faith of Abraham was manifested by his obedience.  Faith and obedience are linked together.  As he obeyed God, he increased in knowledge, power, and usefulness.

 

Hebrews 12:1, "Seeing we are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that doth so easily beset us," the sin of unbelief that causes us to lose our confidence in God’s way and truth.  Run with patience or endurance.  Look to Jesus and consider Him.  I would to God today that we could get every man’s eyes riveted on Jesus.  We see in Him nothing to cause us to stumble.  We may find fault in others, in the best man or woman in this building.  I don’t want to find it or even look for it.  I get rest when I look at Jesus.  The Lord wants to lift us up and put us on a higher plain where we can sit in heavenly places, above everything that would cause us to be cast down.  Don’t be among those that look back and above all with those who draw back unto perdition.  I believe the Lord wants to give us a fresh vision so that He may become to us the fairest of ten thousand, the altogether lovely One.