Willie Jamieson - "Isaiah 55" - 1937

The things that God sent across our pathway in the beginning to show us what is right are the very same things that He sends to show us how to keep right to the end of the journey of life. I look into this chapter and it makes me feel that it is filled with promises from God, and I am more inclined than ever to believe that this chapter is like a convention chapter to one and all of us, and that if God is in our midst, some of those promises must needs be fulfilled in the lives of all of us. We have heard that it is only in so far as God is able to speak and touch our souls and give us refreshing and quickening and bring new life to us that we can expect to go out into the future to manifest in a fuller measure the things that God has made clear to us here.

One of the things that I fear more than I ever did before is lest I might be able on any platform to tell men and women what is right and what is wrong, and after I have done that, there is no quickening in my message to give them the desire and ambition to go forth into the world to make those things practical in their lives. That is the one great difference in God's servants, these who are filled by the power of God, and the false  preachers in the world today. You have all listened to false preachers and some of them have told you perhaps the very things that you heard that night you yielded your heart to God, but their message didn't bring you any hope. Paul says, "By Grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God." The mark of God's servant is that God is with him. He is the representative of God, and if that man stands in front of any audience, God is there and He is giving to men and women what this verse speaks about, the gift of faith. I cannot force you to believe, nor can you force me to believe, but I have often been guilty of so preaching that I might try to make people believe what I say. I have listened to many preachers and their preaching could be summed up in that one thing, but that is not the mark of the servant of God. If God is here I do not need to ask you to do these things. He will put something within you that will compel you to do them, and that is the outstanding proof of having God in any meeting. It is futile to substitute anything for that, and you'll be more in darkness than ever before if you attempt it.

In this chapter we have a lot of promises given to us by God. How many of us want to believe in a dead God instead of a living God, a God that does not want to give, rather than the God that wants to give to us? Do you believe in the God whose great joy is to give? Who wants to come amongst us and pour out His blessing upon us? The very mark of a true parent is seen in this fact, and that is the kind of a God that we have. One thing that has delighted me in going from convention to convention is to recognize that there was something about the message that God gave us that people had an appetite for, and it gave them a desire and a hope they never had before. You may tell me my doctrine is not what it ought to be, but if it puts hope in your heart that you never had before it is valuable to you. I have less hope than ever for the preacher who makes you look into your heart and see the bad things that are there. If you do that, it makes you stronger in yourself. It will make you put a cloak of righteousness on your life, and that is more deadly than all the sins that you could have.

You might say that those were people Isaiah was talking to in this chapter. But if you turned your eyes to the first chapter of this book, you would find a people who from the crown of their head to the sole of their feet had no soundness in them, nothing but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores. If you had been preaching to them, you would have told them to search their hearts and see where their wrongness was, but God did not do that. There is only one kind of people who don't feel their need, and that is those who are so good that they are good for nothing. When a man gets away from that feeling of need there is no comfort to that man from the message of the servant of God.

Think of the people who from the crown of their head to the sole of their feet were covered with wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores. The message of God to those people was, "Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come, buy and eat." That is the Gospel message to needy people. The only kind of people who have ever gotten the Gospel message preached to them are those who are poor in spirit. You may be the richest man in the world today, but if you are poor in spirit the Gospel will appeal to you. When pride manifests itself, it makes me try to make you feel that you are a worse man than I am.

In Isaiah 58 we read of a certain fast spoken of there, and it was making those people smite with the fist of wickedness. One of the marks of a true fast is that it does not enable a man to hide from his own flesh. What kind of a message would you have for a people like this? The more I read it the more I say there stands a man who is a true man of God, because we do not find any other who seemed to have so much hope to impart to a people, who seemed, outwardly speaking, so hopeless. If you failed in the past, I don't believe that God wants to mock you, but He wants to tell you that it doesn't matter what you have been in the past. Here is God, My Heavenly Father, holding out to me a promise, and that is to draw near to the fountain of eternal life and drink from its waters. I cannot create or empty its waters, it was created by God in eternity. That fountain flows freely and forever in every man and woman who has the heart to drink there from. Psalm 65:  "Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it, and greatly enrichest it with the river of God, that is full of water."  Would you like your life today to be enriched like that? When I was a businessman, the one thing that I feared above everything else was that I  might come to the end of the year and not be able to pay my dues. I wanted to be rich in the sense that I could look every man in the face. That is a nice kind of richness to have, but there is something better. Your life is poorer than you would like it to be, and God wants to enrich it.

I hope that there is nobody who is saying, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." When people get into that condition, they are so sure that they have no need of anything that they begin to tell you how much you need. Those people at Laodicea said, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." That was the church that Jesus Christ moved out of, proving to us that it is the one thing above everything else that we ought to beware of. How was the earth enriched? It was by the river of God that is full of water. Are you prepared to believe that this convention can give you riches of a spiritual nature such as you have never known before? When land is dry there are big wide cracks in the ground. Sometimes it is so hard that it is like a brick, but it opens its mouth to the clouds and when the rain has fallen on it for a few hours the hard ground begins to soften. What is the mark of God pouring out his river of water upon your life? It says, "He speaketh to me and maketh my heart soft." Is your heart softer today than when you came here? We recognize that God dealing with you will make your heart soft. We have heard of the wonderful love of God, and that love is characterized by the fact that it makes people's hearts soft one toward the other. Isaiah said, "You hard hearted people, everyone of you that thirsteth, come and have your hearts filled with something that will make every little desire after God in your hearts to sprout forth." After the rain the grass begins to grow, and the ground is soon covered with vegetation. If you plant a potato you get a little bit of top first, and every day finds that top getting bigger and bigger until it comes to maturity, and by and by those potato tops will cover the whole ground. This would be a wonderful convention to us if we could go out and all the people could see from our lives this spiritual vegetation, not our human life manifesting itself, but this divine life manifesting itself in a fuller and greater measure than ever before. But this condition cannot be brought about unless God pours His Spirit down upon us.

"He that hath no money, come, buy and eat." That reveals to me that God in Heaven has such a heart of love and so desires to feed us that He comes to us and says, "Even though you know you have nothing by which you can merit this, I want you to come anyway." That thought should be a comfort to us. I am more convinced than ever that all I have gotten from God is not because I deserve it, but because He delighted to give it to me. We have a price to pay for these things, and that price is the price that is called for as a result of tasting of His love. What is it that will make me fulfill all the conditions that I need fulfilled in my life? You can try whipping me to make me come into the way of God, but it will never be any use. There is but one thing that will never fail, and that is charity or love. "Charity never faileth." If you asked me what is the greatest thing in the world today, I would say that it is love.

Do you think it is very important that we should get our minds filled up with clearer doctrine? The doctrine we see in the Bible is like the two rails on which a locomotive runs. The thing that makes the train run is the energy from the fuel inside of the engine. That is what the love of God is in the hearts of Christians, and I can show no more grace to the world than the love of Christ compels me to manifest. The mark of true growth is that we grow up into the fullness of the stature of Christ. "Come buy wine and honey without money and without price." No matter what you are today, or what the failures of the past, or what kind of life you have lived, if you will only believe that God wants to give you what He promises, you can come just as you are. Remember the song that says, "Just as I am I come to Thee, without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me." I need to sing that just as heartily today as ever I did, because these are the conditions under which God promises to give me what I need, and no other conditions will fill the bill.

Perhaps you feel like the poor beggar, that you have been begging for this thing. It talks about God being a God that lifteth the poor up out of the dust, and He lifteth the beggar from the dunghill. There have been times in my life when that pictured me pretty clearly. I was just like a beggar and could only see filth and foulness in my life. You may think that I am overdrawing the picture, but for your proof read the Psalms of David, and you'll find that David, the man after God's own heart, sometimes felt so unclean that he felt like a man who was undone. Isaiah felt the same way about himself. It tells in the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and above the throne there stood seraphim. They cried to each other, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory." Then Isaiah saw that he was an unclean man, of unclean lips, and he said, "I dwell among a people of unclean lips, for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.

Some might say that is never the language of a man, but that is the language of a man of God. Remember the voice came from God that told Isaiah these things. His lips were touched with a living coal from off the altar, and God said, "This hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin is purged." It was the living coal that touched and cleansed his tongue. There is only one thing that will ever give you a clean tongue, and that is the flame that comes from the live coal off God's altar. It is the living love of God that comes from the heart of God Himself. No man has a clean mouth who tries to make you believe that you are a bad person because that is not the evidence that his tongue has been touched with the live coal. The only people that Jesus denounced were good people, those who were so good that on one occasion they brought a sinful woman to Him and said, "We caught this woman right in the act of adultery, and Moses commanded that such should be stoned." I hope that spirit has died out from amongst us, of taking stones and stoning the sinner to death, and making him feel so bad. The Spirit of Christ is that they said to Jesus, "According to the law of Moses, she ought to be stoned." But Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her." And then He stooped down and wrote upon the ground. Jesus never wrote a book, and we never read of Him writing a letter to His own disciples. The only time that we ever read of Him writing anything was that day when He wrote upon the ground, and it does not tell us what He wrote. As He stood up, He found the woman there alone and asked her where her accusers were, and when she said that none of them had condemned her, He said, "Neither do I condemn thee. Go, and sin no more."

Those were the kind of people that Jesus denounced, and it was because He loved them with His whole heart. After He had condemned them on another location, He said, "Oh Jerusalem, Oh Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which were sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wing, and ye would not." Isn't that love? You see a mother hen with her little flock of chickens, when she sees a hawk soaring overhead she gives a certain warning call to her chicks and their instinct makes them run to her for shelter. She spreads her wings out and they all get underneath, and there they remain in safety until the danger is passed. That is what the love of Jesus would have done for these people, but they would not have it. There are some people who would rather feel sad than happy. The devil wants to make you drink wormwood and gall all the year, but what about the wine the Lord offers you? It says, "Give wine to them that are of heavy heart." If you come to convention with a heavy heart, and you are condemning yourself for what you have been in the past, what are we going to do for you? Here is what the Bible says, "Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish, and wine to them that are of heavy heart." That is God forgetting all you are, and more than that. It is you actually forgetting your misery and remembering it no more.

Psalm 103 says, "He satisfied the soul with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." A convention ought to be a time when a man's youth is renewed, spiritually speaking, like the eagle's. Drinking the something that God puts upon His table for us would make us forget our spiritual poverty and misery. Then the broken heart is healed, and the weak is made stronger, and you are sent on your way rejoicing. What is the mark that you have been filled with the wine of the Kingdom? It is that you have so completely forgotten your spiritual poverty because God has swept it out of your life. If it is still there when you leave this convention, you will take it with you into the future. The fact that you have been made rich will make you forget it. When a man has money he feels that he is somebody and has something. Spiritually speaking the very same thing ought to be true. You should go out rich and holding your head high, so that everyone will know that you have been somewhere, that some transformation has been wrought in your life, because you have drunk of that strong drink which is given by God to those who are ready to perish. Some people think that it would be a sin to shout a HALLELUJAH once in a while, but the only reason you don't feel like doing it is because you still have a little misery left in you.

When Jesus went to the wedding feast He turned the water into wine. I have noticed that wherever the bride and groom are in close fellowship there is union and harmony. When we sit together in a meeting and the Bridegroom of our soul draws near, there is something about His Spirit that is like new wine, and it makes others say, "These people have been drinking the best wine at the last." The only way that we can buy this wine is to draw near to where God says we can get it without money and without price. What about the milk? Would you like to be a babe all the days of your life? I would like to be childlike, and more so, the last day of my life than I was 32 years ago when I got saved. Don't forget that there is a difference between being child-like and childish. We read about Moses that he was the meekest man in all the earth, but you wouldn't call him a childish person. He was the strongest man among the children of Israel, and yet he was the meekest of all. He was able to take all the insults and all that was sent against him and he never fought back or stood up for himself. No true servant of God ever needs to fight for himself, because God has promised to fight his battle for him. I don't care where you stand today, in any corner of the world, you don't need to care what people say about you or who is against you, for God will prove to all  the world that He is with you. Over and over again we read of how God took the part of Moses against the children of Israel. In the land that the children of Israel were going to there was milk and honey provided for them. Peter told those that he was writing to, to desire the sincere milk of the word,  that they might grow thereby. Some of them were the people who had professed at least at the day of Pentecost, and 30 years after he tells them to desire the sincere milk of the word. I have seen lots of grown people that you might call fat, but the fatness I see beauty in is the fatness of a baby. If you want to show me spiritual beauty, I would find that it is the man who every day is feeding on the milk of the word and growing fat on that. When the disciples asked Jesus who was the greatest in the Kingdom of God, He brought a little child into their midst, and said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye be converted and become as little children ye shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." True greatness in the Kingdom consists of being child-like. David could say, "Thy gentleness hath made me great." One characteristic of a child is its gentleness. Another is that it keeps its eyes and ears and mouth open, and the only way it can learn anything is through these three avenues. The mark of a true child-like man or woman in God's family is that they will have their eyes open, their ears open, and they are forever investigating. I would not like to lose that something that will make me walk and have the same kind of a testimony as Jesus and Moses had at the end of their lives. "Wherefore do you spend your money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfieth not?" God has not taken our human nature and changed it. He has given us a new life and nature. Much of the labor and exercise that the people of God have put forth in the days past and gone has consisted of their trying to take this human nature and make it a little better. Suppose you see in this human nature that I have an awful disposition and you tell me that I ought to take it out, but if I could break myself of that awful disposition, would that make me more like Jesus than I was before?

Suppose you look at a man's horse and see it is all filthy, and you tell him that if he spends half an hour three times a day on that horse, it will make him a beautiful animal. If that man were to take half an hour three times a day and work on his horse with a curry comb and brush, that horse would soon become so proud he would not want to live in that stable with the other horses. But suppose that there was a wise old horse in the next stall and he said, "What have you to be so proud about? Are you any more a man than I am?" That horse would still be a horse and the only difference between the two would be that the groomed horse would be prouder than the other horse. Beware of that something which makes you think that you are better than I am. That is self -righteousness, not the righteousness of God. Learn to feed the new nature and starve the old nature instead of trying to change it. You may plant a few potatoes in that garden of yours, but the weeds will grow also. You'll need to pull them up and keep that land clear of weeds all the time, and you need to keep cultivating the land all the time also. That is what the Bible teaches with regard to this life of ours. It is a matter of keeping human nature starved, and of feeding the divine nature from the feed that God gives us. Then that piece of land will all be covered with divinity and not a piece of humanity will be seen.  "Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight in fatness." Do you think that you could ever fatten a baby on fresh air? Fresh air is very essential and without it we would die, but common sense teaches us that we can't fatten any human being or any animal on fresh air alone, or even on fresh air, and  water. We have to feed a baby solid food as well as fresh air, and then one day he will get fat. The Lord says, "Incline your ear, and come unto me. Hear, and your soul shall live." The reason that I need to hear God's voice every day is because I have a human nature that I will carry with me to the very grave. If I don't everyday hear the voice of God, there is no new life in me, and the life that I got 32 years ago would have died long ago if I had not continued to hear the still, small voice of God speaking in my heart everyday. Ezekiel preached about the dried bones to the children of Israel. It says, "The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them, round about, and there were many in the open valley, and they were very dry." One of the reasons why God has invited us to come to the water and drink is because by nature we got like those dry bones. As Ezekiel looked at those bones, the Lord said, "Son of man, can these bones live?" Suppose that the Lord were to ask me that question, I would have to say that I think they are pretty much alive as it is, but some of us might be more dead than we like to think. Ezekiel said, "Thou knowest, O Lord God," and God told him, "I want you to prophesy upon these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord." And after Ezekiel prophesied, there was a noise and a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. Do you think that would be necessary in a convention? The way God gives new life is in this manner. Suppose that I had my bones all dried up and somebody began to preach to them, and they began to shake and then every bone came to its bone, what would happen? That would mean that every bone took its own place. The bones in the arm wouldn't take the place of the bone that ought to be in my leg, or the bone that ought to be my first wouldn't take the place of some other bone. This convention is like Christ's body, you are one bone and I am another in that body, and as God speaks, every bone takes its own place. There are some people who say that if they were just placed here or there, they would be more to God. There are others who perhaps say that they would like to be John the Baptist. They see him dressed in a camel's hair coat and with a girdle of skins about his loins, and they want to be like that. But if you dressed like that it would make you a regular ape, and that is all. It takes more than that to be a John the Baptist. Others say that they would like to be Paul, but I would not like to be him at all. I would like to be just me, and God does not want me to be Paul, or John, or Moses, or any other man. God has given me this nature and this disposition, and all my own characteristics, and the fact that He gave them to me and put His life and nature within me makes me feel that God has a special work that He wants me to do. God gives to every man a special work. The bone in my wrist has a special function to perform, and the bone in my leg has another work to do. Every bone has its special place to fill, even down to the bone in my little finger. Bone coming to bone is the mark of all true ministry, God speaking through His servants, moves His saints to take the place that God has given them and to fill it worthily and well. I am glad to feel that your place in God's family is just as important as mine. I am glad that God called me to China, but I would not be conceited enough to think that in China my place is more important than yours is in California. God has you in your place and that is a very special place. No other man can fill it, and true preaching brings bone to bone. Every bone was in its proper place and then the sinews came upon them and tied them together. In Colossians it speaks of being knit together in love. It means that as you listen to God's servants preaching to you, that has the effect of filling your heart with the love that knit you to all. Jerusalem was a city that was built compact together, and that is what God desires for His people.

It would be a good thing if we could only drink more freely from the fountain of the love of God. Ask yourself the question, "What has the love of God done for you?" Think of His love being so great as to give up His only Son, and think of the love in His Son making Him give His life on the cross. If we drink more freely from that love it will knit us close together, and then there is nothing on the outside of this family that can do us much hurt. One of the things that I am afraid of is that we would lose that love that would knit us together so that when things attack we don't get close enough together and defend one another. There is one thing out of 7 that God hates, and that is the man who sows discord amongst his brethren.  The sinews tied the bones together in place. When my heart is filled with love, I will not be envying you your position, because I have a big job to fill my own place. Why should I be wanting to take the responsibility that God has given to you and take that upon me? It is the flesh that you have on your bones and your sinews that gives you symmetry and form. There is no body in all the world so symmetrical as the body of the Son of God. That body was so full of form that God looked down from Heaven upon it and over again said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." I hope that we will get more of that something which gives us the form of the body of Christ in the world.

Before Jesus was crucified He was at Simon's house, and Mary knew that He was going to be there. She had been saving one box of ointment against the greatest day of her life, the day when she would be betrothed to a man.  But she said to Jesus, "Here is the Bridegroom of my soul, and what I was going to give to another, I will give to Him." So she took that alabaster box and broke it, and anointed the body of Jesus with the ointment. The odor went all over the room and Judas and the rest who were there began to sniff at that, but Jesus said, "Leave her alone, she hath done what she could." The way you can have the very same testimony from the lips of the Son of God is to pour your best out upon the body of Christ today. You can keep its form what it ought to be by bringing love into your heart that will enable you to sacrifice as Mary did.

There was still no life in this carcass and God said to Ezekiel, "Prophesy unto the wind and say, 'Thus saith the Lord God. Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.'" Then they stood up on their feet, every one of them. If this convention produces in our lives the thing that God desires and delights to produce, we will be enabled to stand upon our own feet, and we will be clothed with the whole armor of God. God equips His soldiers fully, and they are like those we read of in Ephesians 6. That body stood up as an exceeding great army. Isaiah said, "He will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." That covenant was based on the sure mercies of God toward David. If any man ever needed the mercy of God, it was David. He was a murderer, and in Psalm 51 he prayed that God would deliver him from blood guiltiness. This covenant that God wants to make with us is based upon that love that can be extended even to a murderer.

As a result of this we will go out with joy and be led forth with peace, and it says, "The mountains, and the hills shall break forth before you into singing." I never heard a mountain or a hill sing, but I found that if I had to climb one, it was hard work if there wasn't a song in my heart. If you have something within you that makes you fit for climbing, you have a song in your heart as you are doing it. We have to go out and face difficulties, and the enemy will be strong against us, but they will be met with a song in our hearts and we will be able to overcome all. Then the trees of the field will clap their hands. I would like to think that as you left this convention you would go out clapping hands at one another and encouraging one another to go on with the Lord. "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree."  There will be less thorn and more fir, less brier and more myrtle tree. "It shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." It would be a wonderful convention if something took place that would be to us an everlasting sign that we will never be cut off. It would be sad if I would stand back when God offers these things and wants us to believe that they are all for us. As we go out into the future, we can make them our own in a very practical sense, and they will cause us to go on our way rejoicing. Take Isaiah 55 and study it in the light of these things, and it will give to you a little new hope in your heart for the future.