The Amen Test - Saginaw, Oregon Special Meetings - April, 1925

When I come to a meeting like this, I remember these people are His; they are His own, those who have been bought with His blood, and I want to speak humbly to you today about four great tests that all of God’s children are going to pass through.  They are found in the teachings of Jesus.  I am not referring to temptations, but to life’s tests.  We are being tried day by day and often we don’t know what might happen.  Temptation might come in a moment and the next thing you might get a vision of the kingdom and the first is fled.

The first is the Amen test.  Today our lives are safe if we are able to say Amen to what God says.  Revelation 3:14, “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.”  Jesus was the Amen to everything that God said and did.  When God planned for Jesus to leave Heaven, He said, "Amen."  It was no easy thing for full well He knew the treatment that He would receive on earth.  When God planned for Him to be born in a poor place, He said, "Amen."  When God planned for Him to leave that poor home, He said, "Amen."  When God planned for Him to be cast out, despised, rejected, slandered, crucified, Jesus knew God the Father had planned it so, and He said, "Amen."  This is a great test that all God’s people must pass through.  Are we able to say, "Amen" to the will of God?  The truth will always be misunderstood; His servants will always be rejected.  When Jesus began His ministry with the disciples in Matthew 6, we read that He began to teach them to say Amen to all that God said.  When He finished the prayer, He got them to say, "Amen."  At the close of the Lord’s ministry in Matthew 28, when He told them to go into all the world, He finished with, "Amen."

We should remember that those who have been in prison, that this is for Jesus’ sake and the gospel’s.  Their experiences in those lands for the gospel’s sake, has enriched them – it should have an effect on us.  It’s always easy to be neglectful.  May God forgive us and forgive us today.  We need repentance – sometimes we could have prayed and we didn’t.  Sometimes we could have had a deeper interest in the kingdom and we didn’t.

The church at Ephesus was called upon to repent and we know what for.  This was worse and harder to cure – their love was not the same as it used to be.  Who is going to rekindle that love?  Leviticus 10:1-2, tells us of Nadab and Abihu that they offered strange fire before the Lord.  Who was to blame?  Maybe others were!  Those who were supposed to keep the coals burning on the altar, maybe the coals were burning dimly and they saw brighter coals on some other fire and they brought them and put them on God’s altar.  But, God is particular!  That’s why this is different from everything else in the world.  Abihu and Nadab might be cut off, but maybe I’m to blame.

Jesus was the Amen, the true witness.  When He was with His disciples in the first days of His ministry, He got them to say, "Amen" and at the last, they were to tell His story to the world, they were to say, "Amen."  Genesis 24 gives us the story of Rebecca.  Abram sent his servant away to that land to look for a bride for Isaac.  She only knew what she had been told about him.  Finally, they said, “Let me ask the damsel.”  And there was an "Amen" in her heart.

1 Peter 1:8, “Whom having not seen ye love, in whom though now ye see Him not, yet believing ye rejoice with join unspeakable and full of glory.”  When Peter talked to the saints, these were his words and they were like Rebecca’s when she said, “Yes, I will go.”  There was an "Amen" in her heart.  The first sight they saw when they drew near was Isaac going to the field to meditate.  As we draw near to Christ, we find everything to feed our souls and our hearts and are moved to do His will.  There are many nice things in the scriptures and many nice things around us every day.  Through carelessness, we could bring a lot into our souls, but there is everything in the kingdom of God to meet the need of all.

There may come a time in the lives of the Lord’s children, when they can’t pray for themselves.  When this time comes there is One who prays for us, even with “groanings that cannot be uttered” – the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit prays for us, when we are not so worthy, perhaps, when we are prayer-less.  When this happens on earth, there is another scene in Heaven – there is another in the presence of God and He is praying for us.  In John 17 when Jesus was praying, He was proud as He said, “All, that Thou gavest Me, I’ve lost none, but Judas.”  He had done His best for them.

When Moses said to Jethro, “Come with us and we will do you good,” he also said, “You can be eyes to us.”  He was acquainted with that country and could have been a guide, but he answered, “I will not go.”  Jethro had many admirable qualities but he wasn’t willing; he wouldn’t say, "Amen."  We’ve got so many outside of the family of God, people we could admire, but they won’t say, "Amen."  Remember the story of Ruth when Naomi pleaded with her to go back?  There was an "Amen" in her heart as she said, “Entreat me not to leave thee.”  This test is going to test us all our days.

The second test is the forgiveness test – this is a test where some are going to fail.  In Luke 7, we read that both were in debt, and both were frankly forgiven.  Verse 3, “And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.”  Old Simon spoke right that time.  Verse 47, “Wherefore I say unto thee, 'Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.'”  She loved the Lord much because she was forgiven much.  There is a tendency amongst us; to talk about how good we were before we got saved.  After all I don’t know that we were so good and now, all the goodness we’ve got is what comes from Him.  There was no righteousness in the gold or silver of the tabernacle, but it spoke of Him, who came and was on the Throne, where He met with Aaron.  The tabernacle was sanctified because the Lord was in it.  The righteousness of the temple was in the One whose presence filled the temple.  Do we realize in my flesh dwells no good thing?  It is the Lord’s indwelling that makes it right.  The priests were never to put the anointing oil on man’s flesh.  Jesus saw Peter failing that day, but oh! He was the greatest of the great.  He didn’t say an unkind word to Peter but said, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”  You can see that man was weak that day.  He knew the anointing wasn’t in his flesh, but in the Christ who could help him.  The thing that makes God’s people precious is His anointing.  The Lord is in the midst and He hears and accepts.  Today, I want you to remember one thing.  First, I want the Lord to accept my message, and then I know my brethren can accept it.  The humblest word of any child of God is heard by Him and He says, "Amen."  In Matthew 18, we have another parable about forgiveness.  The man who had been so graciously forgiven wouldn’t forgive his fellow servant.  Oh, if you could have seen the sight that day!  He had been forgiven so much, yet he was so hard with another.  Verse 31, “ So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.”  The other servants were so very sorry.  We’ve always sorry when that happens.  What did the Lord say?  “O, thou wicked servant.”  I forgave you all; shouldest thou not have had compassion on thy fellow servant?  There will be people in God’s true kingdom that will not stand the forgiveness test!  They will give way to some wrong within their own breast and give way to something that will destroy them.  The Lord will always be able to remind us, “I forgave you all; can ye not forgive thy fellow servant?"

We can ask ourselves, "Can we pass the Amen test?" Then I can ask myself, "Can I stand this forgiveness test?"  If I can’t, there is something in me that will make me a wicket servant tomorrow, and I will be delivered to the tormentors.  This thing of going on with God is a bigger thing than I can sometimes grasp.  There are many kinds of flesh, things that come over the child of God, and it is best for them to keep a hold on themselves.  He is merciful to you.  He wants you to be merciful to others.

Then there is the confidence test.  I can’t doubt what I know to be of God.  It is not in vain.  Even a cup of cold water given in His name is not in vain.  A saint was speaking once after the death of his mother, and he said, “I never did anything!”  He had done much, but he thought of moments of understanding, moments of sympathy that he could have given.  There are a lot of us and we’ll feel we never did much.  The best people are going to feel they’ve done the least.  Hebrews 3:6, “But Christ as a Son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”  As we read the book of Hebrews, we realize that these people were failing and their confidence had begun to wane and other sins followed.  Ninety times in John’s gospel it speaks of believing in Jesus; your service to God is acceptable if you believe in Him.  We need to have deep confidence.  The greatest compliment we can pay the Lord is to tell Him that we believe in Him.  As we read Paul’s second letter to Timothy, we notice that he was winning in the confidence test.  “I know in whom I have believed”… was uttered by a man in a Roman prison.  Job also won the confidence test.  He lost sheep, cattle, family, etc., - what a day of darkness came to that man, but he won out. God knew he would!  After all he went through, he said, “I know that my Redeemer liveth and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.”  At any other time, it wouldn’t have meant half so much.  He could see Jesus coming back again – This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith!  If you have confidence you will finish right.  I would like to pass the confidence test.

Then, there is the love test.  The church at Ephesus was failing in this love test.  In the home circles it is hard to keep love alive; it takes more than just doing the daily duties; it takes little seeds of kindness, of thoughtfulness, etc.  We are glad for those who can keep love alive.  In talking to the church at Ephesus, the Lord was thinking of the Bride of Eden, telling of Eve’s failure, when He mentions the tree of life.  The failure of that church of Ephesus was failing to keep her first love alive.  They were told to repent and do the first works.  A bride might get to feel, "I’ll cook, I’ll mend, I’ll keep the children clean," but there’s something more.  These are the only fruit of love.  Don’t let love take wing.  This is what the Lord is talking about.  He seemed to feel that their love could be revived.

Song of Solomon 1:2 - “Let him kiss me, for thy love is better than wine.”  Here, Solomon is picturing himself as a little child running to the father and wanting to kiss him.  Verse 7, “I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hands of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.”  Here, he pictures himself like a little lamb, and he thought of the flock resting at noon.  He thought of the rest the people of God have because of their fellowship with the Lord and with one another, and he asked the question, “Why should I be as one that turns aside?”  He wanted to be with the others in Chapter 3.  “I sought Him, but I found Him not.”  We don’t always find the Lord just where we think He is.  “I got up and went about the streets,” and “I met the watchman and he said it was a little way.”  What it means is just this:  if we think we can find God anywhere, we won’t.  But he kept on till he found His and he held Him and would not let Him go.  I hope we feel towards God like this.  Chapter 5:9, “What is thy beloved, O thou fairest among women? What is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?”  “The chiefest among ten thousand, the altogether lovely one.”  He didn’t fail in the love test.  I hope our love will be renewed again in Him.