Nathan Mccarthy - Second Testimony - Williams, Western Australia Convention - 1986

Hymn 304.

Psalm 122, "Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord for there are set thrones of judgement, the throne of the house of David." Jeremiah 10:23, "Oh Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself, it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. Oh Lord, correct me, but with judgement, not in Thine anger lest Thou bring me to nothing." When people went to convention, or gatherings, in the Old Testament, they came to set thrones of judgement. We do not see that in the world. Here, truth does not alter, it is eternal. In the world, there is judgement for the wealthy, and judgement for those who are poorer. Even in the judicial courts, there are differences in judgement for those who are older and to those who are younger, but with God, there is truth, there are set thrones of judgement. There is nothing more stable than this, because it does not change. In the world, there is a generation gap between young people and old people, and it is quite a problem. Older people feel there is a distance between them because the young have advanced education. Recently, a young man professed who had been a Methodist, and when he went to his first fellowship meeting, there were some people there who were 80, some were middle aged, and some young people. His first impressions were that they were all together, the young and the old and there was a good feeling amongst them, and there was a blending together in the meeting. In the church where he had been, there was a gap between the young and the old.

In God's family, the judgement of truth applies for everyone, because we accept what is right, we have the courage to set a standard, to fly the flag. The young people, the rich people, the poor people, it makes no difference the standard of truth is eternal. We all know that the alteration has to come in us. We do not stretch the truth, but we bring the bricks to the line, we do not stretch the line to the bricks, for we would have a weak building if we did that. We want to accept the set thrones of judgement, to have the courage to hold the line. This is why the religious world today is weak, it is unattractive. In Jeremiah it says, "Oh Lord correct me, but with judgement." This is a mature man speaking, a spiritual man. We need guidance, we need correction, but we need it with judgement. This is not someone's opinion, but what is right. A course correction is not a penalty. The ships that sail the oceans make many course corrections, but if they do not correct them they pay the penalty. Even in good weather, there are the tidal drifts, and the captain may be hardly conscious of coming off course, but he needs to have a course correction to get on course, otherwise he will pay the penalty when the ship is on the rocks. There is no ship designed to go on the rocks.

One time a ship did go onto the rocks, and in the captain's testimony, he said that the ship did not respond. He knew where the ship ought to go, but there was a malfunction in the steering gear, and he could not bring it on course. It is wonderful to respond to course corrections, when the Lord is His mercy corrects, either in a meeting, in a gospel meeting, or on our knees. One time, I was at the helm of a ship, and when I touched the wheel, how quickly I saw the bow coming around. It is not easy to keep it constant, and I want to keep my little ship in line with truth. I said to the captain of the ship, "What is that mark there on the map?" He said, "They are hidden rocks." He knew the course to take, that mark pointed to a hazard and he kept away. When we sense that we are near danger, we need to get away. We might take a chance and we might get over, we might be able to skirt around, but every danger point is there in the book, the Bible. The message is loud and clear, correct me, but with judgement. Jeremiah was no novice, he was a mature man, and he realised he needed help.

I have been thinking of a man in the Bible aged 17, who died when he was 110; Joseph. He was in the land of Egypt, and he told his family not to leave his bones in Egypt, he did not want to finish in Egypt. We know that he physically died in Egypt and was buried, but he had this deep feeling that he did not want to leave his bones in Egypt. This was the vision he had all his life, he wanted to arrive at a safe harbour. He was willing for course correction. His bones were buried in Shechem - it is referred to as a city of refuge in the Promised Land. It was there where he had fought some battles, where he had made vows, where he had had deep experiences and that is where he finished. That is the place where his brethren were rough on him. If we begin in the care of God's love and if we are willing for correction along life's way, we will finish where we began. They were binding sheaves in the field, and his sheaf stood upright. This was Joseph's vision, his sheaf stood upright. He could look into the future and have a God inspired vision. We look at Joseph's life and we say that he did the right thing at the right time, but here he was looking ahead. He could not see the future, he was making the story, and he got a vision from God.

One time, I asked an engineer, "What is the strongest bearing strength of a pillar?" He said that any support has the greatest strength in the upright position. The poles of the tent are upright, and they are able to bear the weight of the tent. The post can lean in any direction, and it becomes weaker. To the degree that it leans, it loses its bearing strength. We have inclinations to lean, we are influenced by many things, and we lose our bearing strength, and finally the pole lies down and bears nothing. Maximum bearing strength is upright. There are many things that cause us to lean, there are pressures at school, at college, at university, in the business life, and we are drawn away by the trends in the world, there is pressure placed upon us to incline to the trends in the world. Many changes come in the world, but they are only to get money out of your pocket, only commercial gimmicks. If we lean, we are losing our bearing strength. Joseph never lost his bearing strength. He was a man of quality; he saw the standard of uprightness. There was an influence of his loyalty, honour, dignity, that lives on. There is no nobler goal that anyone could have than we aim to honour truth.

When Joseph went to the house of Potiphar, the Lord was with him, it was seen that the Lord was with him. He did not have to say that he was a Christian, but others saw that the Lord was with him, it was obvious. That is the strength to the ministry, when it is obvious that the Lord is with others, by their conduct. Sometimes people defend a certain lifestyle and they say it is only the spirit that matters, but the spirit tells its own story. If I have the spirit of God, there is no need to defend, if I have it, there is no need to tell it. In Potiphar's house, we read of this godless woman trying to take away Joseph's testimony. Immorality could affect God's people in the world today. She was not worried about Joseph's testimony. It wasn't just a matter of Joseph saying that he might lose his job, because he was a single man and she was a married woman, but Joseph said he would not sit before God. His sheaf stood upright, he was living before God, he had a conviction from God that kept him secure. Many things will seek to spoil your testimony, smear your life. It cost Joseph a lot, he finished up in the dungeon. He had a quickened conscience; he was a noble young man. He did not lose his identity in the prison; they referred to him as a Hebrew. He had been above the temptation. Sin does not mean a thing in this world, even in the religious world, as long as you do not get caught. Joseph could not go to convention like this, he could not go to special meetings, he was all alone, but he never lost his identity, he was a man who was different. He stood and identified the truth, he did not merge. Sometimes on the freeways, we see the sing, merging traffic and you see the cars clearly on the approach, and a little later, they have merged with the other traffic and you cannot tell which car is which. Joseph maintained his identity. There was many a course correction. Joseph did not lose his heart in the dungeon, or lose his heart in the dungeon, or lose his head on the throne. Later when he was before Pharaoh, he could say, "The answer of the dream is not in me, but God will give an answer of peace." He was not big time, he was a humble man and this is the key for success; God will give the answer. He was only the agent and God was able to work effectively.

Later when Joseph's brethren came, because of the famine, Joseph had a definite bargaining power; they were on the wrong side. They were starving, but he had the food, but Joseph did not think that way, because there had been so many course corrections. He did not seek personal gain, and we can see people among us, back ground people, who are in a bargaining position, but they have retracted in an experience and the victory has gone to the kingdom. This is a useful life, when you lose, and the kingdom wins. This brings joy and satisfaction. Joseph could not refrain himself, and he wept aloud, "Come near to me, I pray thee." When I went into the work, I was told to always be firm but never be hard. There will never be tears from a person who is hard. Joseph had tears and he had softness in his spirit. He did not bargain, but his words were irresistible, had a softening influence, come and they came. Joseph was a spirit guided, surrendered man, honourable man, had softness and had tears.

He had more than corn in the barn and he had love in his heart. We can negotiate far better with what is in the heart, rather than what is in our hand. We can give what is in our hand, and that brings competitiveness, but when we give what is in our hearts, it is far more effectual. This is the way to bring family unity, when we are grateful. This does not come cheaply, but those who have it, like Joseph, produce unity and we are grateful for them. Joseph's father could say about him that he was a fruitful bow by a well, the archers hated him, but Joseph never went over the wall, his life was inside the wall, but his influence went over the wall. His whole life was lived within the wall. You live within the wall, and your influence will go over the wall. It was not easy, others hated him, but his arms were made strong by the mighty God of Jacob. He had used the bow, but God gave him the strength. From thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel. Jesus was the stone and the shepherd of Israel. Jacob, an old man, could see in Joseph that he represented Christ. A young man with an eternal vision, bringing such inspiration, he represented Jesus.

Then we read of his brethren coming to him after his father had died. Forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father and Joseph wept when they spoke unto him. This was a wonderful thing, this sealed it. Don't worry, fear not, I am not God. He showed the character of God. You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. This was no small, mean thinking. Joseph had a big heart. He comforted them. He shed tears of feeling, there was a good feeling amongst them, he comforted them. Later Joseph said that he would die, and God would visit them, and would bring them out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, and Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel that they would carry out his bones from hence. Joseph died. He knew that God would not leave them, and he did not want to leave his bones in this godless environment. He was buried in Shechem where he had met his brethren, where he had faced many a struggle, where he came to the place of total surrender, and that is where he finished.