Willie Donaldson - Being Clothed - Barbados Convention - 1981

Revelation 1:7 , “Behold, He cometh with clouds...” This is an account of a Sunday morning meeting and I wish we had a lot of meetings like that. John said, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day....and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” This is the Lord’s day; it is the day that meant so much to the early Christians from the day Jesus rose from the dead till He comes back again. The seventh day commemorates the Creation but the first day of the week commemorates the resurrection of Christ, and we appreciate all Christ did in His life, for if He had not risen from the dead, we would not have much hope. The resurrection was the crowning day. The life and teachings of Jesus is our guide in the world today, and we dare not depart from that or we would have nothing. Then we think of His death. He died for the sins of the whole world. He was the perfect offering for sin and John says in that verse we heard about, “Unto Him who loved and washed us.” John had a song of praise for all that Christ did on Calvary and he adds a little more to it – “and has made us kings and priests.” That is the other side. We are very glad for all Christ did but what has He done for us or made out of us since we heard the gospel. Are we kings and priests? A king has a little kingdom to reign over and we have one, too. There are many members in this little kingdom. A very small member in this kingdom is the tongue. If a man or woman could control his or her tongue, they would be a perfect person. It is a wonderful thing to have control over our words.

My mother had a little piece in a book that I read after she died. It said,

“Keep watch on your words, my brother,

For words are wonderful things;

They are sweet like the bee’s fresh honey,

And like bees they have terrible stings.

Keep them if they are cold and cruel,

With lock and bar and seal;

For the wounds they make my brother,

Are always slow to heal.”

It is a wonderful thing when a person can control their words and use them right. It says in Isaiah that “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I may know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.” Isaiah had learned that. We are living in a world of weary people today. They are getting weary with life. We sing in one hymn, “Weary with life’s long struggle full of pain.” Wouldn’t it be nice if we could speak a word in season to those who are weary?

I was with an old couple before they died. I went to see them in the last days before one of them died. He kept giving his testimony every day. It was not vain repetition. It was lovely to hear it. He said, “You know, I was in business and another man who was also in business, came to me one day. I soon realized that he came to do something else besides business. He came to tell me what came into his life and home. I felt I would like that in my home; I would like my wife, my son and me to have that.” That man spoke words of life to me. "Unto him who loved us, washed us and made us...”

This year do you know what is going to count? It is how much we are able to reign over self and our surroundings. There are surroundings, or powers in this world that would like to have the mastery over us, but then “...Unto him that loved and washed us...” Reigning... That is what people are doing in Eternity, and John got a little look into Heaven, and do you know what they were singing? They were singing that song, “Unto him that loved us.” It is a lovely thing to see people who have God’s control. That is one of the things we have to add to our faith – temperance, which just means God giving us control over self.

A priest is one who brings a little offering to God. Somebody asked me how you can be in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. I said, “If you practice hymn 125, 'Begin the Day With God,' every day, you would be in the Spirit when you meet on that first day of the week and then you could speak a few words that would be spirit and life." An elder in Jamaica said to me one time, “We have a lot of people in our church who speak too long, who take up too much time on a Sunday morning and maybe deprive somebody who wouldn’t be too long.” I said, “What are you going to do about it?” He said, “I suppose the best thing would be a good example myself.” So I told him, “You try it out and see how it works.” I asked him three months later and he said, “Yes, it is working very well.” When people see the elder speak a few words, they take a little lesson from it. We can all learn better from an example. That church went very well afterwards. He, his wife, and two daughters are gone into eternity now. There is no church there now.

And heard behind me a great voice.... And I turned to see the voice that spake with me.... I was in the isle that is called Patmos...” That little island is just off the coast of Asia—it’s 10 miles long and 6 miles wide. Prisoners were banished there in those days. John said, “I was a prisoner there, but you know what took me there—the Word of the Lord and the testimony of Jesus.” What a wonderful reason why he was there! Here on the first day of the week, he was in the Spirit and said, “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks One like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” It is a lovely thing when God can turn us. We always need a lot of turning. John got a little picture of Jesus among those churches. Those churches had things within them that shouldn’t have been there, and we have things amongst us that shouldn’t be there, either. But you know, God’s Son was still moving amongst those churches. He was trying to remind them, “If you are going to be an overcomer, there is a great future in it." There is a wonderful promise in being an overcomer and an angel of the church. I don’t know who he was, but a Greek brother who died at convention last year in the States said that the angel of the church is the elder. I say the elders have a great responsibility and I like to see elders having responsibility—it is not preaching at the flock but having a godly interest in them. We value homes that are dedicated to the church and we value the people in those homes; we value godly elders too, but sometimes they are a scarce commodity. Everything is deteriorating so rapidly. The world is short of leaders of nations today, and we pray for nations. I pray for this country and for the man who is controlling this country. I am always praying for him because the Lord told us to pray for those who are in authority, that we may lead quiet and godly lives. Do you know what we pray for? We pray that the liberty of the gospel could continue and that men in high positions could be guided to make right decisions. We are asked to pray for the leaders of the land. I don’t like hearing people complain about those in authority although some countries may have a reason for that. We don’t get anywhere by complaining. We should be thankful we have liberty of meeting together on Sunday mornings and have the liberty of meeting unmolested. Some of our brothers in other countries cannot do that. We had a man visiting us this year. He wrote me and said, “When I got out I breathed a sigh of liberty.” He was in Russia where they don’t have the liberty we have. If you want to find fault there are plenty of faults you can find, but where do fault finders get—nowhere!

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.... and saw the Son of God clothed with a garment down to the foot.” Very little of the human was seen. He clothed human nature. Human nature is a very ugly thing when it manifests itself. We all need to be clothed, to put on the beautiful garments that are spoken of in Isaiah. Jesus was clothed with every garment of Heaven. When He was a little babe lying in a manger, He was clothed in swaddling clothes. These were the clothes of a poor child. He came into a poor home, the home of a carpenter. I thought of Him one time being the Lord of Glory in Heaven. We heard that verse, “...though He was rich, for our sakes He became poor that we through His poverty might be rich.” It takes a lot of grace for a rich man to become poor. It doesn’t take any grace for a poor man to become rich. I thought of Jesus having all the riches of Heaven yet laying His garments aside and all the glory of Heaven to make Himself poor so we through His poverty could be rich. That is why God makes all His servants poor, for the Gospel’s sake. Not that we take, like the Catholic Church, vows of poverty, but we do make choices that way. I am willing for this for the Gospel and the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake.

When Jesus was a boy of 12, He was clothed with submission and obedience. Don’t we read about Him when He went down to Nazareth and was subject to His parents? We would like to say to you children, if you have a Godly father or mother, it is best to submit to them. We are in the age when 2nd Timothy 3 is often fulfilled. These are perilous times when men will become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Disobedient to parents... We would not like to see that amongst us. We would like to see children obedient to their parents. I know my father often wanted me to do things and there was a little rebellion inside me, yet I did it because he was my father and I knew I would suffer for it. Discipline is going out of the world today. A disciplined life is a safe and happy life; an undisciplined life is an unhappy life. The happiest people in the world are under the control of Christ, and in His Kingdom. He was also clothed with the understanding of Heaven. He was in the temple with the chief priests and religious leaders, listening and answering some of their questions. They marveled at His understanding. It is a lovely thing to see parents bringing up their children like that. I was in Brazil this year when 16 university students started to serve God. One lad, who was my companion in Australia, went out in that part. He came from a great family. They were not very rich but they were not poor either. These parents had three sons and four daughters. Those three sons and two daughters are out in the work today. Two of the sons are in Brazil. This boy heard at University that there were having Bible studies being held and anyone could go and bring somebody with them. He met one of the students and asked if he could go along. “Yes, you sure can,” he replied. You know what he was able to do? He answered a lot of their questions and they began to have some meetings nearby. He invited those students and they went. I met them – some were doctors, teachers, and so on. I can’t say much about them, but I admire their zeal. They used to be Roman Catholic. They wanted to give me their testimonies and I wanted to hear them. They have the fear of God in them. Well, that is God’s work in the world today.

....clothed down to the foot.” John saw a picture of Jesus. There were two things in that meeting that should be in every meeting: 1) the voice of God, and 2) a vision of Jesus. It is lovely when you meet on a Sunday morning, to have some little message from the Lord and to have a little picture of Jesus. John said, “I fell at His feet as dead.” That is how we feel when we see ourselves at convention in the light of Christ. We feel I want to keep dead; I want to keep at His feet. One woman in Jamaica wanted to be baptized so she said to Mr. Cook, “How dead do I have to be to be baptized?” He said, “You have to be real dead, with no kick left in you!” We must not kick against the will of God. I hope we will be found at His feet praying we’re dead. “Help me Lord to daily die.” We sang that hymn several times this year. Whenever I sing it I say to myself, “Help me Lord to daily die.” I hope we will.