Willie Brown - Norwood, South Australia, Special Meeting - 1948

( Passing through on his return to Syria.)

 

It is 27 years since I was last here in Adelaide, and that was when I passed through on my way to South Africa.

 

Before I sing to you this hymn, “My Saviour, I would cross the brook with Thee,” I want to tell you that I have been to the Brook Kidron, about which it was written.  I would like to tell you a little about it, so that you will be able better to appreciate and understand the words of the hymn.   The Brook Kidron is near Jerusalem – about half an hour’s walk from the city.  Jesus crossed that brook many times.  It held many memories for Jesus, for He crossed it on many outstanding occasions in His life, both happy and sorrowful.  I know that I am speaking to brothers and sisters tonight who have passed through difficult experiences, and through dark and bright experiences.  They can look back upon them as times when they crossed this Brook Kidron with Jesus.  Jesus had to cross the Brook Kidron every time He left Jerusalem to go up to the Mount of Olives to pray.  He had to cross the Brook each time He went to that sacred home of Mary and Martha and Lazarus in Bethany.  He had to go down into the valley and cross the Brook Kidron every time He entered into Gethsemane.  We know He went there often to pray, and to go apart in quietness with His disciples, because it tells us that “Judas also, which betrayed Him, knew the place” and he led the soldiers there.  On that night of sorrow, when He was betrayed, He crossed the Brook and entered into Gethsemane for the last time, and there He fought that terrible battle to submit His own will to the will of His Father.  His sweat was as great drops of blood; and while He agonized in prayer, His disciples slept.  David too, crossed the Brook Kidron when Absalom took the Kingdom from him; and we read of him going up the Mount of Olives, barefooted, and with ashes on his head, weeping as he went.  If we would walk the path of Jesus, we will all be called upon to cross the Brook Kidron, and it leads to many and varied experiences.

 

Solo:        Tune:  “I’ll walk beside you.”

 

"My Saviour, I would cross the brook with Thee, Where lies the Garden of Gethsemane,

There thou didst drink that bitter cup for me, and poured Thy soul out in Thine agony.

 

My Saviour, I would cross the brook with Thee.  Oh, help me watch one little hour with Thee.

My flesh is weak, but grant me grace and power To be found watching in temptation’s hour.

 

My Saviour, I would cross the brook with Thee.  I long to prove my love and loyalty

To thee, my King; though by the world disowned, Thou art forever in my heart enthroned.

 

My Saviour, I would cross the brook with Thee, for where Thou art, there shall Thy servant be.

I’ll gladly share in Thy reproach and shame, in life or death to magnify Thy name.

 

My Saviour, I would cross the brook with Thee.  As King in all Thy beauty soon I’ll see.

Thou wilt return, and to Thy kingdom come, awake me, should I sleep within the tomb."

 

Deuteronomy 11:10–12, “For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the  land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs:  but the land whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of Heaven:  a land which the Lord thy God careth for:  the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.”

 

I must say that I count it a very great privilege to be standing here tonight before so many of God’s people, the majority of whom I have never seen before.   Sometimes I feel I owe such a deep debt to God and to His people that I hardly know how I am going to face it up.   But there is one perfect way in which we can prove our gratitude to God and to His people, and that is by not withholding anything from Him or from His service, but giving that service without condition and without reserve.

 

I would like to speak a little about some of the mountains, and perhaps about some of the valleys mentioned in the bible.  You will notice in the portion of Scripture I have read that God reminded His people that the land He had called them into was not like the land of Egypt out of which He had called them.  As perhaps you know, I have spent eight years in Egypt, and about seven years in the Promised Land – up in Lebanon – and I don’t think there could be two countries of greater contrast than Egypt and Lebanon.  It is striking, the difference in these two countries.  One of these differences is that Egypt is as level as this table, but everywhere you look in Palestine there are hills and valleys.  Another contrast is that in Egypt the people are never looking up to Heaven for rain.  They don’t need it.  They don’t want it, for it spoils their irrigation plans.  They are always looking at the earth, and they water it by foot.  This speaks of a different walk.  The land of Egypt is very, very fertile, with soil 30 feet deep, yielding up to three crops a year.  This is made possible by the hot sun and the water from the Nile.  (Description given of foot irrigation, which propels the water up the furrows.)  But who waters the Promised Land?  It is God.  It is God who controls the water from heaven, and His people are not looking down to the earth for their maintenance, but up to Heaven.

 

In 1938, I and my companion first went to Palestine from Egypt, and started to learn the Arabic.  Later on, when we began to speak it a little, people would say to us, “But you have been to Egypt.”  We asked, “How do you know?”  They said, “By your tongue.”  Our speech will testify to what country we belong.  God can take our tongue as a result of us being in harmony with His will, and then these tongues will not remind people of Egypt, but will make plain to them that we seek a city whose Builder and Maker is God.

 

“The Land, whither ye go to possess it, is a Land of hills and valleys.” The first of these mountains I’ll speak of tonight is Mr Ararat, a 17,260 ft peak, in the mountainous country of Armenia.  It is the mountain on which Noah’s ark rested when the waters of the Flood subsided.  We will call it by a very nice name – the mountain of rest.  God has promised His people rest.  We need never be perplexed if we see that the control and plan of man is a failure.  That need never perplex us, for we see the promise God has given His people – the promise of rest, like the bow of promise Noah saw in the clouds on Ararat.  There is one picture of Jesus and His disciples that I like to dwell upon.  Oh, I like to think of the Master looking on those people whom He loved from the depths of His soul, and saying, “Come ye yourselves apart and rest awhile.”  There was another time when He thanked God His Father that He had hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes;  and then He turned to the people and said, “Come unto Me, all ye who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  Then He told them how to get it.  “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”  Let us allow Him to lead us into that rest.  You know Satan is out to do his best to rob us of the rest which is the portion of the true child of God.  He is active to keep us in a state of ferment.

 

Why did God put one family in the ark?  Because He wanted one family in the earth, and one way.  As the waters rose, the ark rose.  There was only one place of rest in the whole of the world, and that was in the ark.  There were only waves and trouble and death outside.  There was only one family saved.  There was only one place of safety.  Where is it in the world today?  In the Family of God, and only there.  But there is the possibility of some little leakage – something coming in from the outside to take away the rest, and then there is trouble, and anxiety is caused.  But there is rest in the fold, there is rest in the ark.  God rested the seventh day.  The first day of the week should be something very, very precious to us – something different from all the other days.  It is the day of partaking of the emblems which remind us of God giving Heaven’s very best for us.  It is the day when we look away from material, legitimate things of life that take our time.  The children of Israel tilled the land for six years, and then the seventh year was a year of rest when it lay fallow.  It was to remind them that this world is only temporal, and that God has promised a better rest of which this was only a shadow.  Just think of the temptation to put in the plough during the seventh year!  Ah, friend, there are temptations for the children of God today.  How good to give the legitimate, material things their rightful place, and not let them rob God.  There is something we needs must give to God.  It is a word of four letters – T.I.M.E.  We must give time to God.  Another four letters added to it makes it ‘overtime.’  It is difficult sometimes for me to give God time, but every time I do it, I am made very, very glad.  Give God time.  Give Him a little more and a little more.  And yes, I’d say, “Give God overtime, too.”  In industry workmen demand extra rates for overtime.  God gives recompense.  You give Him overtime, and He’ll pay you double time.  When the reaping time comes you will not be sorry for any overtime you have given to God, or for anything you have put into the service of God.  There is something about this word “rest” which appeals to me.  Don’t let Satan rob you of your inheritance.  You get “rest” when you give time to God.  Don’t allow something to come into the ark, something to come into your life, something to come into the church which will rob you of this promise of rest – the perfect rest of God.

 

The next mountain is Moriah, which is the mountain of choice.  I like to speak to young people very much.  There are young people in the meeting tonight, and I would like to speak to you now for a little while.  Some of you know nothing yet of some of the things which it is far better for you not to know.  I am glad that in my tender years, when I was 16 years of age, I was sitting on Mt. Moriah, the mountain of choice, and first got on my knees and said, “Lord, if there is anything in my life which you can use, I give it to you.  You can have it, and have it forever.”  I like to go into homes where there are young people who, in their tender years, have given their hearts to Christ.  After you have done that, the Devil will start to tell you that you have never gone out in the world and proved it for yourself, and stained your garments with sin as others have done, and then been redeemed, so you can never appreciate your salvation, and you cannot have a testimony as others have.  That is the voice of Satan.  The best little Boy the world has ever seen was that One in the carpenter’s shop in  Nazareth, who left untouched everything that would spoil His life.  I like to think of the lines of that hymn,

 

“The many standards earth has set, the joy it offers warily, you left untouched, I’d be like Thee, O noble Youth of Galilee.”

 

Don’t think that you are missing something by not going out and experiencing the world and what it holds, but be thankful to God that He has given you shelter from it all, and has preserved you from its blighting power.  One woman, the mother of three children, said to me, “I don’t know whether it would be better to let my children taste the world and have a real experience of their own.”  I said, “Would you like to give your children three drops of Lysol on sugar three times a day? Or would you make it five drops?  No, you wouldn’t.  You wouldn’t even like to give them two drops.”  That’s what the worldly pleasures mean – poison.  I love to think of those young lives that the world has never touched.  Samuel was one.  He owed a great debt to that praying mother of his.  There were Timothy and others – those who made their choice for God while they were young.  Maybe there are some here too who would like to go in a little for the world.  You need never regret that you have not experienced it.  If I would shed any tears at all over having left the world untried, it would be for joy because of what God has saved me from. You young people in whom is the hope of the gospel in future years, be thankful to God that He has saved and sheltered your lives from much that would only spoil and defile, and that He has kept you so that the world has never touched you.  Would you go to Hannah and say, “Wouldn’t it be good for you to cut your little boy’s hair just a little bit?  Cut it just a little shorter, it would do no harm.”  Hannah would say, “No, he is a Nazarite to God."

 

At 20 years of age I was on Mt. Moriah again, face to face with the second great choice of my life, which was to go out into the Harvest Field.  I am awfully thankful I made that choice.  Three and a half years later, I was again there to make another choice – to go to another country.  That was when I came to New Zealand in 1919.  About 18 month’s later I got a letter from a brother worker asking would I be willing to go to South Africa, and I wrote to him and said,  "Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go, anywhere with Jesus in this world below.  Anywhere without Him, every joy must fade; anywhere with Jesus, I am not afraid.”

 

That was in 1921.  I was there for nine years.  That choice led me through some dark, difficult experiences and very lonely days.  But I am glad of all those experiences gone through in seeking to do the will of God.  We learned the language, and started meetings.  There is a 28 year old boy who was born just after his father and mother came to those meetings we held when we were first there, and now he is in the Harvest Field.

 

After this, we went further into South Africa.  Then in 1931, we went into Egypt, to Port Said.  This is a very dark land.  Another boy and I started to learn the new language.  Very little was accomplished for a long time, and we have to say very little is accomplished even yet.  But the desert has begun to blossom.  In 1938, Willie Phyn and Fred Quick came to us.  Most of you here would have heard of how the Gospel has opened up to the Greek people.  I and my companion left Egypt and went to the mountains of Lebanon.  The Arabic is a very difficult language, but we learned it (in 18 months).  When the ship came into port in this new land, we went to our hotel room, and I prayed God to guide us, and God heard my prayer.  There was only one person we knew there, and that was an Armenian who was friendly.  We experienced great loneliness, but I said to my companion that I felt sure we were to be in Lebanon.  We felt very much that we were strangers in a strange land.  This Armenian had a house up on Mt. Lebanon, and invited us to visit him.  Then we took a couple of rooms there.  The next day we went out for a walk, and as we went up a little hill we heard some people singing, “Tell me the old, old story of Jesus and His love.”  We met these people, and among them was a young woman who had for six years been a missionary in that country.  Another morning as we were going by for a walk, we saw that young woman sitting under a tree reading her Bible.  Each morning as we passed that way we saw the same thing.  One morning she asked would we not like to sit down and talk with her about these things.  We did, and after that we had many, may long talks sitting there on three stones under that tree.  She told us her sad life’s story.  She was broken-hearted and disappointed, and after listening to our testimonies, she said, “Oh that I could have an experience like that!”  It was one of the sweetest experiences of my life as we sat and talked to this needy soul under that tree in Lebanon, 3 miles from Beirut.  One day she asked, “Could we have a Bible reading?”  We said, “Yes” and we read from Ephesians 4.  I and my companion prayed.  That young woman started to pray, but she burst into tears.  She said, “All my life I have been in darkness.”  She said how thankful she was that God had sent her light and life.  She sat there on that mountain of choice.  Then the war came, and she had to leave the country and go back to her own country – Germany.  We didn’t hear of her for seven years.  We wondered often what became of her, but we could get no news because the war had cut us off.  After the war some very sad letters came through.  She wrote, “My clothes, my bible which you gave me, and all my other possessions were taken from me, but I was very, very glad that that something I heard on the mountain said, that which you gave me there, could not be taken from me.”  She had nothing left besides the clothes she stood in, but nothing could rob her of the riches she had found in Christ.

 

From this place on Mt. Lebanon, we went further, and got into an Arab village.  Ten Arabs decided there.  The time came for us to move on, and we returned for a time to South Africa.  An old Arab in that village said he was very sorry we were going, for he was very old, and we knew he hadn’t long to live.  He was 84 years old, and when he died he wanted us to bury him.  I told him I thought I would see him again.  When we returned from Africa, and visited this village again, these Arab friends turned out to greet us, and there was this old man sitting at his tent door.  I will never forget the great joy on his face, and the warm welcome he gave us.  A few days later he was very sick.  We gathered round his bed, the ten of us.  We read the portion in Luke 2 where Simeon said, “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy Word.”  Then raising himself and sitting up on his bed, the old Arab said, “For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.”  These were practically the last words we heard him speak.

 

Our lives can be divided into three parts – the morning sacrifice, the midday sacrifice, and the evening sacrifice.  Do you consider that the first one, the morning sacrifice costs the most?  Or perhaps you think that the noonday sacrifice, offered in the heat of the day, costs the most?  I am inclined to think that it is the evening sacrifice.  You see that when some souls reach old age the evening sacrifice of their lives costs them a great deal, and brings a great deal of suffering.  The Scripture speaks of Judah as the lion in three stages – in three degrees of victory.  Genesis 49:9, "Judah is a lion’s whelp. Judah is a lion, a strong lion.  Judah is an old lion; who shall rouse him up?”  At the zoo, you see the little whelps, irresponsible, just gambolling, knowing nothing of going out into the jungle.  It is nice to see young lives surrendered unto God, even though they are not yet able to bear much responsibility.  We can’t expect boys and girls to be men and women.  They are something like the lion’s whelp.  Then there are the young people, who can be likened to the young lion.  The young lion has more courage than wisdom.  Sometimes the young ones are like that. They have a heart for God, and courage, but have not yet learned much wisdom.  They might act like Peter did when he cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest.  They are not always wise in what they say and do.  They are not very good agents, but they have a heart for God, and they go on from that to better service and ability.

 

Then it speaks of Judah again as an old lion.  Who shall rouse him up?  They say an old lion will never spring until he is sure of his prey.  Wisdom and experience has taught him to have this attitude – “I’ll wait.”  He hears the wind blowing and the leaves rustling and the hyenas crying, but is he moved?  Who shall rouse him up?  Those things leave him unperturbed.  If there is anything we should seek unto God for more than anything else, it is for the guidance of God in our lives.  There is much that goes on around us, and many disturbing circumstances, but we can remain, like the old lion, unmoved by these things and moved only by the Spirit of God.  You might say, “But I have a bad temper; I was born like that.”  Yes, but you were not born again like that!  “But,” you say, “My father had it before me.”  Yes, but your heavenly Father has not got it!

 

May we know what it is to sit on this mountain of choice and let God guide and help us?  Oh, you young people, I envy you for God!  There is much in the world to prevent you from making that wise choice for God in the first place, and to seek to hinder you from making the right choices right to the end.  Abraham felt it very much when he left Ur of the Chaldees.  It meant a sacrifice in the beginning, and all along his journeyings he left many heaps of ashes from the sacrifices he made – each one representing a right choice which he made.  Then in the evening sacrifice of his life God said to him on Mt. Moriah, “Take now thy son, thine only son whom thou lovest.”  Abraham’s servants had accompanied him on a long journey to Mt. Moriah, but now he left them behind as he approached the mountain, and he and Isaac went on alone.  Perhaps he was afraid they might try to discourage him from giving the sacrifice God required, or that they might even try to prevent him and stay his hand.  So he left these young men behind.  Don’t let any friend rob God of your sacrifice.  Don’t let your friends come too far or too near.  “Don’t be led captive by friend or by foe.”  Abraham left nothing to chance, but went on and offered his evening sacrifice, and it was very precious to God.

 

Old Jacob was told, “The price of bread is Benjamin.”  It was the evening sacrifice in his life.  He had made many other sacrifices, but this one touched a very tender spot in his heart.  It concerned his youngest son, Benjamin.  Joseph, down in Egypt, had said that his brethren could have no more corn until they brought Benjamin to him.  Jacob said at first, “I will not let him go.”  Jacob sent an offering of balm, and honey, and spices, and myrrh, and nuts, and almonds, but he did not have bread.  Sometimes we will give anything but the most important thing.  We may have many things to offer, but no bread.  When did the bread come?  When he did not say, “Take this, and take that,” but “Take Benjamin.”  He said, “Take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels; take also your brother, Benjamin, and go again to the man.”  Have you a little Benjamin in your heart tonight?  If we want to get God’s best, we must be prepared to let our best go.  We must be prepared to let Benjamin go.  Why was Benjamin so loved by Jacob?  Because when his mother died at his birth, Jacob was both father and mother to that little baby boy.  Sometimes we see fathers and mothers in the evening of their lives encouraging their children to go into the Harvest Field, when they could well do with them at home.  This is a sacrifice of great price in the sight of God.  We can imagine Jacob thinking perhaps that the demands of God were cruel, but he let Benjamin go.  When he went back to his home after seeing his sons go, he would be alone, but the price was worth it when, after 22 years separation from Joseph, they were reunited.  When the brothers brought Benjamin to Joseph, he sent wagons and provisions to his father, and we see the old man getting upon the wagon and going to Egypt and meeting his son whom for so long he thought was dead.  Then there was bread in his life.  Joseph broke bread abundantly to him.  I would like to impress on you the need of sacrifice – the need all along the way of making these choices.

 

I will tell you of something I saw with my own eyes.  It was in the Belgian Congo, a land where the grass is up to 12 feet high.  We were going along speaking of the things of God.  I looked ahead, and said to my companion, “Henry, see what is on the road.”  It was an eagle with his claws in his prey – a big iguana, a kind of a lizard about four feet long.  As we approached, the eagle didn’t want to leave it, but he had to leave it, and he went with his wings trailing.  Henry said, “If its eyes are gone there is no hope.” It was with feelings of relief that we drew near and saw the little dark eyes of the iguana gleaming.  The eagle tries to claw out the eyes of its victim, but we had come in time.  It was wounded, and dragged itself slowly and painfully to the side of the road, but it still had its eyes, and so still had a chance of life.  This spoke deeply to my heart in a way that I’ll never forget.  There are eagles of the world hovering over your life – eagles of worldliness and prosperity.  There are eagles of the flesh which will destroy your life.  There are eagles of the spirit, hovering over young lives and old, to fall upon their prey and take away your spiritual eyesight.  Some of us are conscious of having been wounded in the battle, but the spirit of God is hovering over your life also.  He wants to preserve your heavenly vision.  Only by God’s mercy are we kept in His way.

 

The third mountain is Mt. Horeb, or Sinai, which is the mount of preparation.  God looked on His people and saw their need.  He looked on Moses, and saw something in him that He could use to meet the need of His people.  He took him to Horeb to begin to prepare him for His work.  God looked at his feet and saw something there that had to be taken off.  One thing we need to be careful about is our feet.  God told Moses to look to his feet.  “Put off thy shoes from off they feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.”  As we go in and out of the homes of God’s people, and move and walk and talk among them, we want to remember it is holy ground.  Looking around at the Blackwood Park Convention grounds today, I thought, “This is holy ground.”  When I go into your homes where fellowship is held, and see the emblems of Calvary’s sacrifice, I say to myself, “This is holy ground.”

 

After the deliverance from Egypt, God led His people out to Horeb, away out in the desert.  It is the desert mountain, but it is there that we get to know God.  Here it is called Mt Sinai, and on it the Law was given.  Sinai means “craggy” or “rugged.”  It was the Mt. of Revelation.  Moses got a revelation of God.  God revealed His mind to Moses and the people.  When I was in that country a man asked me would I like to go out and see the desert.  I said, “Yes, I would.”  So we went out into the desert which was nothing but sand dunes.  Miles out, he said to me, “Do you see that mountain in the distance?”  I said, “Yes.”  He said, “That is Mt. Sinai.”  As I looked at that mountain, I thought of an old man of 80 years, climbing that mountain and speaking with God, then going down again to tell the people to sanctify themselves.  It means something to climb up sometimes, but it is there we get vision.  I will mention here two of the valleys of Scripture – the valley of vision, and the valley of decision.  The place of vision is the place of decision.  Sinai is a high crag from the summit of which one can see clearly far around.  If God brings us to the place where we see clearly, He wants us then to make up our minds and decide to be true to that revelation.  He shows us a vision, and then wants us to make the choice of being willing to do His will.  God led His people away into the desert place, and there He revealed to them His will, and made Himself known to them.  He called Moses apart up into the mount, and there revealed His mind to him, and fitted him to lead His people.  The Law was given there, and the first Law was, “Thou shalt have no other God but Me.”  Anything or anyone else coming into your life to take the first place that God should have is idolatry.  “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

 

The next mountain is Mt Zion.  (This is not Mt.Sion.  They are two different mountains.)  We will call this Mt. Zion, the mountain of confidence or trust.  In those days of darkness and sin it is good to climb that mountain and go into God’s presence and get confidence and trust in the Lord.  Zion, the city of David.  Psalm 125, “They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mt Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever.”  A few thousand years have passed since that was written, but Mt. Zion still stands.  Many times men have betrayed our confidence, but they that put their trust and confidence in the Lord shall never be moved.  They shall abide forever in Jesus.  I have put my confidence in men and have been disappointed.  Some I felt I could trust to the uttermost.  Don’t put too much confidence in any man.  “Blessed is the man who maketh the Lord his trust.”  There is something in the Bible to show us that some of God’s best have put very deep confidence in some men.  Paul wrote of Timothy, in Philemon 2:20, “I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.”  Paul had a very implicit faith and confidence in that young man.  There are some who inspire this trust in us, but such confidence can be betrayed.  We could act in such a way that others would fail to have that confidence in us.  I think of those two men, Paul and Timothy, and of the perfect bond of trust and fellowship that was between them.  Sometimes as I grasp the hand of my fellow-servants, I feel, “Oh, that there might be something that would bind us together as one, that we might know that true fellowship which is not seeking its own.”  Paul wrote that he had no other man likeminded as Timothy, “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.”  To my mind, Paul and Timothy stand as two of the stones of the Great Pyramid of Egypt.  It was built 5,000 years ago, and still stands as one of the most mathematically perfect buildings in the world.  You couldn’t put a post card or a pen knife between any two of the stones.  I want to ask you a question:  Is it possible for someone to come along and put something between you and your brother or sister?  Something that will spoil the unity?

 

Elijah and Elisha had this spirit of confidence between them, and it was never betrayed.  David and Jonathan were such close friends.  Jonathan had a very great love for David.  It says that he loved David as he loved his own soul.  They made that covenant between them.  When Saul’s anger rose against David, it resulted in two seats being empty at the King’s table.  But when David most needed a friend – when he was rejected and outcast – Jonathan said, “David, there is trouble brewing; Good-bye David.”  And he left him!  He left him when he needed him most.  He left the Lord’s anointed.  It was the relationship with the one on the throne, his father that held him back.  Let me ask you a question.  Is there someone or some relationship in your life that is holding you back from going outside the camp to have fellowship with the rejected Master?  There are some very nice people in the world, but they are not willing to go “outside the camp.”  Don’t let them hold you back.

 

The next mountain – Mt. Sion or Herman.  (Mt. Sion and Mt. Herman are the one mountain, Deuteronomy 4:48, “Mt. Sion, which is Hermon.”  This is the mountain of fellowship.  Psalm 133 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  It is as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”  This is the psalm of fellowship.  How very much I appreciate the fellowship I have with the children of God!

During the war we were cut off from fellowship, and for 15 months we didn’t even get a letter.  During that time our consolation was that in the place of prayer, we could have fellowship and contact with the children of God, and remember them there.  We knew we were remembered also by them in prayer.  We had fellowship in prayer.

 

During the war, we were, on one occasion, going to South Africa by ship.  The Japanese were still in the war then, and it was necessary for us to have a convoy.  I looked on our right hand, and there was a destroyer.  I turned and looked on our left hand, and there was another destroyer.  What were they there for?  They were guarding us.  I looked up, and overhead there was a plane.  It was there to protect us.  The destroyers were armed with guns.  Why?  For our protection.  The guns were not for me, but for my enemies.  As I walk the way of God I look on one side of me, and I am glad to see there a fellow ship.  I look on the other side of me, and see another fellow ship.  Then I look up into the face of God, and see His love for men, and am glad He is our Father, and that He is watching over us to protect us.  The Mohammedans Koran, which is their Bible, contains 90 different name of God.  He is called “The wonderful One,” the “Compassionate One.”  He is called by many beautiful names, but there is not one word in the whole of the Koran which spells “Father.”  We are thankful that we can look into the face of God and call Him “Father.”  “Fellowship” is a wonderful word, but we can only have real fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ when we have real fellowship with God our Father.  So Mt. Sion is the mount of fellowship.

 

We might speak of Mt. Hermon as the mount of blessing – the blessing which results from fellowship with God – “the dew of Hermon.”  Mt. Hermon is 19,000 feet high, and is snow-capped all the year round.  It is called “the mountain of perpetual snows.”  When we climb up to the summit, we can see the whole of the Promised Land, the inheritance.  The dew of Hermon is a symbol of the blessing that God promised His people – the dew that gave fruitfulness.  It was here on this mountain that Jesus took three of His disciples, and was transfigured before them.  They saw Moses and Elias talking with Him, then a cloud passed over them, and when it was lifted, they saw no man any more save Jesus.  They heard God’s voice from the cloud, “This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him.”  On the mountain they learned to get their eyes on Him alone.  Jesus promised His disciples fruitfulness as they continued to abide in Him.  There is a very fertile plain at the foot of Mt. Hermon.  The dew falls, and the snow melts and runs down the mountain, and makes the land fruitful.  How can you and I be fruitful in the service of God?  Is it not when the water and dew from Hermon is flowing from our lives, and waters the flock of God?

 

There is that mountain mentioned in Matthew 5, where Jesus sat and taught His disciples.  We could well call it the mountain of exhortation.  It was there that He spoke those wonderful words of exhortation, “Blessed are the poor in Spirit,” and so on.

 

There is the mount of temptation, the “exceeding high mountain,” where the Devil tempted the Son of God with all the kingdoms of the world.  We have all been there on the mount of temptation.  Not one of us can say we have always come away unwounded and unscathed by the enemy.  We have all failed there, but our Master never failed, and in our times of defeat He has never failed us.  David, after many years of victory, sat down and asked concerning his enemy, the one who had done him so much wrong and had caused him so much suffering, “Is there any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness?”  “That I may show the kindness of God unto him?”  The servant who was called, said, “Jonathan hath yet a son, who is lame on his feet.”  It was not Mephibosheth’s own fault that he was lame.  When he was five years old, his nurse let him fall as she took him up and fled at the news of the death of Saul and Jonathan.  We are lame.  It is not our own fault.  It is not our fault that our lives are marred, for we were born so of Adam.  David didn’t blame Mephibosheth for his lameness.  He sent and called him to him.  The king watched him limp towards him, and his heart was soft and filled with pity.  He said, “I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathon thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.”  There was the promise – “You shall sit at the King’s table as long as you live.”  If you want to show kindness to someone, show it to the one to whom you would be least inclined to, naturally.  Show it to the one you wouldn’t have much time or tolerance for.  Show “the kindness of God” to that one.  The kindness of God is a great thing. You may have failed; you may be sitting in the meeting lame, fallen in the battle, but I’d like to reassure your heart that you can sit at the King’s table as long as you live.  God will show His kindness to you.  You may be lame, but you can keep going.  The following poem concerning one who slipped in the race, but got up and limped on, though with aching ribs, etc.  Limped on to rank among the brave whose aching wounds will be healed.  The exhortation is, not to lose the struggle, but struggle on until the prize is gained:

 

“LIMP ON” by Sandy Scott

 

He slipped, he fell, the fall was sore,

With aching limbs he rose

Undaunted courage spurred him on

Towards the goal he chose.

 

His speed ‘twas not as ‘twas before,

The fall had left him lame;

Hope kindly whispered to him said –

Limp on, lose not the game.

 

‘Tis true he limped, but limping on

Ranked him amongst the brave;

Would he have gained if he had made

That fallen place his grave.

 

Time’s balsam heals the aching wounds

Of all who fall but rise

And limp and struggle on and on,

Until they gain the prize.                                                   

 

You may have fallen, but limp on, and on.  Time heals the wounds of each one who has fallen.  Two things linked with the love of God is to be long suffering and kind – so clearly seen in David.

 

Mt. Carmel is the mount of victory.  It was the scene of Elijah’s triumph over the prophets of Baal, and also where he restored the Shunamite woman’s son to life.

 

Mt. Gilboa – the mountain of defeat, where Saul and Jonathan fell.

 

Mt. Amana – (meaning "fixed") the mountain of purpose.  “Look from the top of Amana” with purpose fixed.

 

There is another mountain in Revelations 21.  John at the end of his life was upon that mountain.  God carried him away in the spirit to "a great and high mountain" and there showed him the New Jerusalem descending out of Heaven from God.  God carried him there, perhaps because he was too old to climb it, being then about 90 years of age.  This one we will call the heavenly mountain.  John was carried away from the earth, and lifted above earthly things; and got a heavenly vision.  One old woman, when she decided, said to me, “I am finished with the world.”  I said to her, “Oh no, the world is finished with you.”  The Devil has a big scrap-heap, and, when most people are old, he casts them on it.  There are many people on it, cast there by him after he has got the best out of them.  When you give your life to God the world considers you are on the scrap-heap.  But God carried John away from all things of the earth to heavenly things.  On this heavenly mountain he saw the New Jerusalem with the glory of God within her, and having a great and high wall with twelve gates and on twelve gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.  To this old fisherman of Galilee who had followed the Lamb of God as He walked upon the earth, God showed the twelve foundations of the wall of the city, each having written on it one of the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.  Don’t you think John would be a happy man that day?  His heart would be filled with joy as he realised his name was written by the finger of God on one of them, written there in that city which would never pass away.  God showed John what was going to be his portion.  In Revelations 18 another city is spoken of – Babylon, of this world, whose pride and power was destroyed and desolated in one hour.  Let us invest in the Kingdom which will never pass away.  There are those in this meeting who are getting old and are living the last years, the evening part of their lives.  I would like to think that God would be able to take them up onto this heavenly mountain, and show them the beauties of His Kingdom in a way they have never seen them before.

 

Now we come to the last mountain – Mt. Calvary, the mountain of sacrifice.  This is a very touching study.  Jesus’ life finished with a valley and with a mountain.  The last pages of His life were pages of suffering.  On that last night Jesus left the city with three of His disciples, and took that half an hour’s walk down into the Valley of Hinnom, and crossed the Brook Kidron.  He entered the Garden of Gethsemane and fought a terrible battle in prayer.  He went back to where He had left His disciples, a stone’s throw away, and found them sleeping.  While they slept, He went away again and prayed, and His sweat was as drops of blood.  Some of God’s dear children, when they near the end of their lives, suffer terribly:  it is the evening sacrifice.  So Jesus at the end knew a great battle and intense suffering.  He left the Garden weak physically, but strong in the spirit.  Some of His greatest battles were fought when He was the weakest physically, but strong spiritually.

 

The next day He walked from the city up Mt. Calvary.  The little group of His disciple’s followed afar off.  He had been scourged by the soldiers and crowned with the thorns.  He was terribly weak.  The blood was streaming down His face and from His wounds.  It would be a struggle to get to the top, yet at the top of that hill of suffering He got a convert – the thief on the cross – a man forgotten by the world.  He said to Jesus as they hung there on the crosses, “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom.”  Jesus answered, “Verily I say unto you, today thou shalt be with me in paradise.”  As Jesus looked down from the cross, He looked on one of the most beautiful pictures any man could.  He saw His disciples and John, then a young man, and Mary His mother, standing by the cross of Calvary.  Sometimes people think it is something weak and feeble to be associated with the suffering and rejected Christ.  But as I look into my brother workers’ and saints’ faces, I am glad that without a shadow of a doubt I am in fellowship with the cream of the earth.  Let us finish our lives with sacrifice.

 

In 1935, I went home to Scotland.  In 1936, I went into my father’s room where he lay sick.  I took his hand and said “Goodbye,” and left him for the last time.  I felt a kind of loneliness as I left him.  Going away in my brother’s car I began to think of Jesus and His sacrifice.  I hadn’t been long in Cairo when I remember going one day with Fred Quick and opening that little post office box, 1147, and taking out a letter which told me that my father had passed away.  I felt that I had lost something very, very precious that never could be regained.  A few years ago I went back home, and his place was empty.  But he left something evergreen – his life and his testimony.  My mother has been forty years serving God.  She is now eighty years of age.  Six weeks ago I walked into her room and said “Goodbye” to her for the last time, and I know I shall never see her again.  On parting from her I was glad that this world is not our home.  When we are in this relationship with Christ, we are never “at home” in the world.  I am not telling you this so that you will think that my sacrifice is anything, but these relationships are evergreen, and last for ever and ever.  When we think of Jesus and the home He left, and the fellowship with His heavenly Father that He left, and when we compare our own sacrifice in leaving home with that, ours seems so little.  Jesus’ life and example are evergreen before us.  This world is not the finish, this world is not my home, and so I count it worthwhile to go on and sacrifice as He did.

 

There are other valleys in the Bible, but I can only mention them briefly tonight.  There is the valley of dry bones, where God found every one of us.  The spies who were sent out to view the land brought back great bunches of grapes from the valley of Eschcol, which would be the valley of fruit.  David slew Goliath in the valley of Elah.  When David was in the hold he thirsted for some water from the well at the gates of Bethlehem, and three of his mighty men fought through the hosts of the Philistines when they were encamped in the Valley of Rephaim – “the valley of giants.”  Jesus drank from the well of true fellowship.  Psalm 84 speaks of the Valley of Baca, which is the valley of weeping.  “Blessed is the man – who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well.”  I know some of you have passed through sorrow and weeping, but have you made it a well?  In Scotland, we were told it was weakness for a man to weep.  There are tears and tears.  But tears are no disgrace, for the best Man who ever lived shed tears of which record has been left.  When He saw those two sisters, Mary and Martha, mourning at their brother’s grave, Jesus wept.  When he looked down over Jerusalem, the city which had despised its day of visitation and the things which pertained to its peace, Jesus wept. In the days of His flesh, He offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears.  If sometimes your eyes are moistened by tears because of what you have to pass through, remember that God will wipe those tears away for all time when you pass through that last gate into the home where there will be no more tears and pain.

 

I will never see many of you again.  I will be passing on, but while speaking to you I would like to tell you something you will be glad to hear.  In 1928, my companion and I were working among the diamond diggers in South Africa.  Two men and their wives who heard our message, made their choice for God.  We left there in 1930, and some time later we got a letter from one of those friends, saying, “My dear Willie, you will be very sorry to hear that our brother, ‘So-and-so,’ is a leper.”  When we were there, he had little blotches on his skin, but we didn’t think it was leprosy.  But a man who saw him said it was leprosy, and called in a doctor, who verified it.  He couldn’t believe he was a leper, but it had to be faced up.  He had a wife and five children.  According to the law he had to leave home. When the authorities’ car came to take him away, he was on his knees, and he was reading that verse in Psalm 39, “And now, Lord what wait I for? My hope is in Thee.”  He greeted his wife and children for the last time before he left home, never to return.  He was taken to an institution for lepers in Pretoria, in which there were 900 blacks and 300 white people.  He still had his sight then.  What did he do when he got there?  He didn’t sit and grumble, but began to speak to those other inmates of the love of Jesus.  He soon had one convert.  Then he went to a man who had no legs and only one arm: he had lost the three limbs through the leprosy.  Fannie said to him, “Don’t you think it is time for you to start to serve God?”  The man said, “No, I’m tired of life.”  A few days later Fannie went to him again, and said, “Will you accept a New Testament?”  The legless man said, “Yes.”  Fannie said, “Will you read it?”  He said, “Yes, I will.”  Not long after this Fannie and the first man, and a coloured man who had also given his heart to God, were holding a little meeting together, when the legless man came hopping along on the ground with the New Testament between his teeth because he had no hands to hold it with.  He levered himself along somehow with his one hand.  He said, “I would like to make a start to serve God.”  A wonderful change came over that man.  His nurse said, “He used to be our most difficult patient, but he has changed.”  She, too, decided, though sad to say, she never went on very long.  But she was moved, just the same.

 

After Fannie had been in the Lepers’ compound for some time, I got a letter from him which was typewritten.  He said, “My dear Willie, I have gone blind.  I can’t see to write, so I am typing this letter.”  He wasn’t taken up with his own afflicion, but went on to tell me about the others there, and how they were getting on, and what interest was being shown in the things of God.  I went to see him as soon as I could.  When we greeted each other I couldn’t shake hands with him because of the leprosy, nor could he shake hands with me.  He said, “It is good to hear your voice, but I can’t see you.”  We sat down and had a fellowship meeting with those few souls who were professing there.  We sang a hymn which Fannie chose:  

“Oh, for the peace of a perfect trust, my loving God, in Thee:

Unwavering faith that never doubts, Thy choice is best for me.

 

Best, though my health and strength be gone, tho’ weary days be mine:

Shut out from much that others have :  not my will Lord, but Thine.”

 

As we sang, I looked around and saw that my companion was weeping.  I wondered how I would ever get courage to speak in the meeting that morning.  I hoped then that I would never be found by God to be grumbling about anything again.

 

The legless man didn’t live very long.  About 20 were at his funeral.  The Government offered the lepers a radio each, and the only two who didn’t accept were Fannie and the coloured man, and they were both blind.  But someone came and read to them for half and hour each day, and they were thankful for that.  They could have had any literature they wished, but they chose the Bible.

 

One day I thought of going to the camp.  My companion said he was busy that day; he had some letters to write, so would not come.  So I went to see the lepers by myself. I found Fannie alone.  The first man was in the hospital sick, and the other coloured man was dead.  The authorities asked me would I like to bury him.  I did, and at the funeral I asked Fannie would he like to say a few words.  He did, and in speaking of this coloured man with whom he had had fellowship, he said, “It is wonderful how you can love someone you have never seen.”  Those words flashed into my mind immediately, “Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, ye love.”  (1 Peter 1.8.)

 

Six lepers decided there in that compound through the faithful witnessing of that man, and they have gone on to be with Christ, which is much better.  The time came when Fannie also died, and there were 200 friends at his funeral.  At the grave-side our elder brother, Alec Pearce, said, “God could trust him as He could trust very few, even though it was under such circumstances.”  God entrusted him with that mission in the lepers’ compound.  The circumstances were not easy, but God was able to work.

 

This land to which you journey is a land of hills and valleys.  It is a land of ups and downs, but it is watered from above.  I’ll close with this verse:

“O Saviour, we plead for Thy mercy and grace every day.

Lord be near as we pass through each valley, till we get to the end of the way.”

 

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