Piet Douma - All Things - Oak Lodge, Australia - 1976

We just sang that hymn, "God’s Word is so precious," and God’s word has become precious to me. I was bought up religious and I went to Sunday school. I wasn’t even five years old and I went to a Christian school and even went to church and read the Bible and that was God’s Word because we believed the Bible. It was taught to us as God’s Word and we believed it fully, but it did very little for us, but we had the fear of God and because we had the fear of God we read and heard about it and went to church. When we went to those gospel meetings, things changed. I still remember that we took our Bible and we would read over what we had heard in the gospel meeting and sometimes we felt was it in the Bible? There were people that said those preachers had another Bible, but we followed it and enjoyed it and talked about it and that never happened before.


I said we read our Bibles after our meals and that is very true, but we didn’t read our Bibles really as we had some religious books and on Sundays, we were not allowed to read other literature only the religious books. In that little book, it spoke about a preacher’s daughter and she mentioned that she was sick, she went through different experiences and then she got converted. When I read it, I was more disappointed more than ever, because I was young and I felt I did not have to get sick to get converted. But I’m glad when the preachers came, it was a different message and there was hope. I had become hopeless but we can be glad the gospel is a hopeful message for a hopeless people. The word of God became so real to us.


In Psalm 119, a lamp to our feet and a light to our path and that is how the gospel appealed to me. The Holy Spirit is to guide us, but that is the word of God that could guide us and help us and after I decided, even while the gospel meeting was going on, it became already very important to be reading the word, then after we decided and of course we were asked to have a little word in the meeting. I must confess I didn’t read, I didn’t speak in every meeting but when I didn’t speak, I was very sad. I asked God to help me that I might be able for a little word the next time. I remember I spoke in a special meeting and I don’t know what I said and something happened and the word of God became so clear and real to me and I enjoyed it so much more. We can be grateful we have the word of God that we can read it and we should not forget to read. It is good to do it in the morning before we leave home.


I think of a sister and she gave her testimony in the morning meeting. She said, "This last week, I had felt I’d better not read first. I’d better go to the shop," and she went to the shop to do her business. When she came to the shop, there was another woman, and she wasn’t so friendly to her and kind of scolded her. After she came home, she said, "I should have read my Bible. There was only one thing I had victory over and I didn’t say anything back and that was very good." How necessary it is to read the Bible because we might get something to help us through the day. It is true sometimes we read and feel there is not so much in it, but there are times it comes to us again when we need it.


It is so necessary that we read about Jesus and what He did and He used it towards Satan. In Matthew 4, Satan came to Jesus and Jesus was hungry, he said, "Make these stones into bread," but Jesus said, "One should not live by bread alone but by the word of God," and that is right. Then Satan went a little further and Satan knows the word of God, because he said to Jesus, he took him onto a temple and said, "Now throw Yourself down, as it is written. He will make you safe." Jesus said, "It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Jesus knew the scripture, but He used them in the why they should be used and how good it is when we as God's people use the scripture in the way it should be used. Not for any benefit so much when we take the word of God, but God gets first place and not to get it easy for ourselves. Satan went a little further, “All these things will I give unto Thee if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.” But Jesus said again, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve.” Then Satan left Him and we read the angels came and ministered unto Jesus. He got the angels after He had been true and faithful to God. That is what God does for us, He will give us what we need, He will protect and help us.


When I thought about this meeting, I felt that what must I speak about and I prayed to God about it and there was enough in the Bible. It is not so much what is in the Bible but what God can speak to and through us. In Perth, I opened the hymn book and my eyes fell on, “Speak to me that I may speak.” I felt, "That is very correct and that is what I want. I would like to be in the condition that the Lord could speak to me so I can speak to others and that others can get help from it." Now I thought about two words, “All things.” It is mentioned in the New Testament and Jesus used these words and even Peter spoke those words and many others.


Jesus said in Mark 10:27, “With God, all things are possible.” Jesus spoke to the rich young ruler and that young man wasn’t willing for the conditions and it says he went away sad. Jesus asked quite a lot of him, He asked him that he should sell all he had and give it the poor and come and follow Him. Jesus didn’t ask that of everyone but some He asked and they did it. I think it was Peter said, "We have left all but this young man wasn’t willing for it." He could have had joy but he went away sad and I think it tells us he went away grieved. If he had been willing for the condition, it would have bought a wonderful difference into his life. Jesus tells us plainly how hardly shall they that have riches enter the kingdom of God. Then Jesus said how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God. It tells us later on that the love of money that is the root of all evil. It is not money that is the root of the evil, but the love of money and that is the root of the evil. When it gets first place and that was the thought Jesus brings out. It seems the disciples did not understand so clearly and Jesus told them, "With God, all things are possible," and we are glad of that.


Abraham had great faith and it touched me also that he believed in God no matter if it was impossible, he believed. When God called him, he was right there and God said, "Abraham," and he said, "Here am I," even if it means even more sacrifice in his life. He was serving God along time and he didn’t change. We heard about the first time God spoke to him. He left all, it was a step of obedience, blind obedience, and he didn’t know where he would go. He believed in God, he believed in God to when his son would be sacrificed and God let him go as far as even holding the knife. God spoke out of Heaven, "Abraham, Abraham." It has been said when God called the first time he called once, that day to stop him from sacrificing he had to call him twice. Good to see what Abraham did and that it was accounted to him to righteousness and it says in him all nations would be blessed. We are part of these nations too, we are blessed in Abraham and the covenant that God gave to Abraham.


Romans verse 28, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” I remember there was a year and it wasn’t very easy and I felt what will happen and then this verse came to me. For we all know that all things work together for good and I loved God and I wanted to please God. We know how much we love God when we want to please Him, and we want to do what is pleasing in His sight. That shows our love and I wanted to please God in all things and this means working together for good. That year it was one of the best years, I mean afterwards to look back and that year we had a very fruitful year, and that year I remember it so well, this verse came to me, it became a comfort to me and that it would be good. It is as we experience it, and how we react to it, it is not so much what it is but how we react to it, this can become fruitful. If Joseph had not had that faith then all things would not have worked together for good, he would not have been able to stand, he would have lost out and wasn’t it for good? He came out very good and he was a blessing and a help to his brethren and to his father’s house, a great help. If we could only rest in it, that we can feel sure that it is for God.


I Corinthians 10:23, it mentions four times all things. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient, all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” He felt he could do all other things and it would be lawful but would it be helpful? Everything that we do has an influence for good or bad and good to ask yourself the question, "When I do this, when I do that, how will it influence the kingdom of God?" Paul did this and the things lawful for this world to do is lawful is it lawful for God’s children to do. It makes me think of Princess Margaret and remember that time when she was in contact with a certain divorced man, she was not allowed from her standpoint to take that man and the time came when she had to choose. She was a princess, she couldn’t do as other civilians do because she belonged to the royal family and she didn’t do it. I remember what was said, “Duty before love,” and she didn’t do it, she didn’t lose her place in the royal family, but she would have lost her privileges, she would have lost them and as God’s people, we are a little more than the people in the world. We belong to God’s family and we should watch what we are doing.


It says that he could do it but it wouldn’t be expedient, he could also do it but it wouldn’t edify. It would just be a hindrance and it would be breaking down things that should not be broken down. Paul was very strong in this himself and what he told others about what he had done himself and it says here that he calls his own name, "All things are lawful for me." It is good when we are a person, an individual about this. We might look to others and others did it. Well, let them do it, we can be glad we never did it, but now the standard that we don’t hold and the standard he mentions in verse 24. Let no man seeking his own and then in not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many. You say, "Why do things like that?" It says he pleased man in all things. He didn’t mean he went into the wrong direction, he went to please them so that he could help them, to be a blessing to them. Not seeking my own profit. He was not a selfish man. It makes me think of the unselfish servant in Genesis 24. The unselfish man he spoke about his master and he said he was a servant, very unselfish. He did not want to eat before he had made known his errand, his message, he wanted to see first if his master was to be benefited by it.


I Corinthians 13:7, “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth of all things and endureth all things.” That is what charity does and it is something one has to bear, it even tells us it endures it, it even tells us it hopes it and believes it. Great faith, it believes and it endures. How good it is when we have that faith, that true faith to believe it. Charity believes all things and in endures all things and it hopes. It is a living hope for the future, it is very good.


Philippians 2:14, "Do all things without murmurings." Now it speaks about doing things and how you should do things. You might be doing things but if you are not doing them in the right way, it is no help. Do all things without murmurings. You know you read about God’s people in the wilderness murmuring and they were destroyed, they had murmured, but some could have been influenced and is says some murmured. We sang a hymn, “I will go without a murmur and His footsteps follows still.” Oh, if one could say that from the heart and it means so much, "I will go without a murmur." It goes a little further without disputing or talking against, when you tell someone to do something and he talks against you.


I heard in a meeting in Canada about a boy used to keep the wood box full. They use a lot of wood in Canada. One evening, there was no wood in the wood box, and the father came home and looked at the boy and the box. The boy noticed something was wrong. He went after the wood very fast and he came back and threw it in there. Dad said, "You wait a minute." He got a hiding for it because he didn’t do it the way his father wanted him to do it. This is a little illustration also and there is something in that. You ought to do things with your heart. When I see you people here working, it brings me a joy to see how active and how willing people are and it is going so well. It is wonderful God’s people can do it.


Then in 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” If we read through Corinthians about what Paul went through, I feel ashamed how little I have been through yet. It is a privilege to labour and do things for God. It says, "I can do everything through Christ," and he gave himself no credit at all. He gave credit to Christ and he got strength from Christ. No wonder he wrote to the Christians of his day to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might and not strong in themselves. We sang a hymn, “Strong in ourselves, we surely fail,” and that is very true. It makes me think again the first year I was in Holland and I went with an older brother to the Bible study and the brother who led asked for a hymn. The friends were not so quick to say anything. I felt responsible and I gave out a hymn. The hymn was, “I am so weak and prone to go astray, hold Thou my hand.” We sang that hymn the meeting went on and 10 years later, a brother told me what a brother said about me, "That is a weak brother," but the man that had said that he didn’t go very far. He was a strong brother but he didn’t get very far, but I am still here but wasn’t that good of the friends. They didn’t tell me right away. Maybe I would have got discouraged and not gone further, when I professed and when I went in the work, I said, "This is for life," and I meant it.


Now there is one for the children. Colossians 3:20, “Children, obey your parents in all things,” not just what they like to do but obedience in all things. We heard about Jesus who was subject to His parents when He was 12 years old. And how nice when you see children are obedient to their parents and the home life is worthwhile. Although we live in a time when young children don’t want to be constrained anymore, they want to have their own way in the world, but it is nice to see children amongst God’s people who are different. The parents teach them and talk to them and love them and they feel loved of the parents and want to please them and fear them and want to do something for them. That little will be a great help to them in years to come when they come to a time in life when they have to meet different tests and trials and go forth.

 

Hebrews 4:13, “All things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” That is a wonderful verse and it makes me think that God knows all about us and when we come to convention and we feel God knows all about us, we don’t have to hide, but it is nicer that there is forgiveness and there is cleansing. I like to think not only that we can be glad He knows about us, but He knows the struggles we go through. I like to think of what it says in Mark’s Gospel, “They were toiling in the rowing and Jesus saw them.” This helped me at a convention one year and we had had a bad year and not much interest. We would go day after day and invite people to come, we tried to talk to them, you couldn’t get much headway and then it was spoken at convention, "The Lord sees all our toiling and rowing and He knows what it costs us." It says in a hymn, “Lord, teach me how to choose; I’m glad that thou dost understand the struggle of the youthful heart.” All who are upright have struggles, but God understands and He knows it. Everything is naked before Him, there is nothing hid from Him, it is all seen by Him and we will be rewarded for it to.


Hebrews 4:15, “was in all points.” In the Dutch Bible, it says, "All things tempted like we are." We sing in a hymn, “When I’m tested, tried, and tempted, keep me under Thy control.” Oh, to be under God’s control. Jesus was tempted also and it is no sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to give into temptation. Jesus was tempted and tried, but He never gave in. A young girl who spoke to us some time ago at a special meeting she said, "I’m getting so strange bad thoughts," and she cried about it. While we said to her, "You cannot hinder thoughts," and we told her what I heard one time. You cannot hinder the birds from flying over your head, you can hinder them sitting on your head. After that about a month later, she said in a letter what she read of James, “Blessed is a man that endureth temptation receives the crown of life.” Happy is the man and he is a blessed man. Well she got over that and you might be tempted and tried but don’t give into temptation. If Jesus had given into temptation, He would never have gone through it either, but He didn’t give into Satan. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve.” When we come to that place every time the Lord will stand by us and help us. It won’t hurt us, it will make us a little stronger and it is not our own strength, but as Paul said, “I do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”


II Timothy 2:7, Timothy was a good man and Paul gave him some good advice and he said, "Consider what I say and the Lord give you understanding in all things." We should take heed of what Paul said and Paul followed it by saying Lord give understanding and we are glad for this. When we see God’s people, we give them advice and counsel, but the Lord comes in and helps them and they see it from the standpoint that God has shown us. That is very good and then they do it gladly and willingly.


I John 2:23, “But you have an unction from the Holy One and you know all things.” When God’s people have that anointing. We heard about this morning the hymn spoke about to have the anointing of God that moves us in all things. He has shown us all things and we know things we have discernment. How nice it is when people have good discernment and when we have that appointing from God.


Revelations 2, "I make all things new." Nice to know everything on earth gets old and it is perishing, but nice we read about God makes all things new and we can be glad of this. A new heaven and a new earth. God’s works in our lives and He makes us a new creature and He gives us a new song and He gives us a new commandment and He has given us a new name. I sometimes say that those people that have got there, they are prepared to be in the new heaven and new earth. We can be grateful that this has happened in our lives and that we have become new and, "A new commandment I give unto you that ye love one another," and that is a great thing. That is new and God makes all things new. We can be glad we lived for this and we have our eyes set, looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where nothing will be old and will never decay anymore.