49:24 “But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands
were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob...”
Joseph’s bow abode in strength. It is the hand on the bow that
determines the thrust of the arrow. I am ashamed at the lack of
thrust in my service, the lack of willingness to bend. There was much
bending in Joseph’s experience, and there was a powerful thrust
41 verse 49 “And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea,
very much, until he left numbering: for it was without number.” It
takes bending to gather by the handfuls. The thrust of his influence
went out to all the countries of the earth. It would be impossible to
measure the thrust of influence in lives that are willing daily to
gather handfuls of heavenly seed. Joseph knew that experience of
being falsely misrepresented and misunderstood—the supreme test for
many of us. In chapter 39, there was a beautiful bending in his
spirit. He kept himself from the hardness of bitterness. The thrust
of influence that went forth from his spirit could not even be
contained by prison walls. The keeper of the prison committed all
authority into his hand. The thrust of that influence has reached
even into our hearts today, and it is an example to us of bending in
our own spirit. Unwillingness to bend existed in the hearts of his
brethren and it created their problem. They brought an evil report to
their father. They could not bow to speak peaceably to their younger
brother. They could not tolerate the message of his dream that
resulted in sorrow, suffering, pain and famine. This involved their
little brother and grief-stricken father, until finally they were
brought to the place where they said, “We are guilty”. The thrust
of their influence started reaching out and their father could bless
them and see the possibility of them becoming the patriarchs of the
Old Testament. There is a tendency within us to be afraid to bend
because of the experiences of pain and suffering that might be
78:9 “The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows,
turned back in the day of battle.” They turned aside as a
deceitful bow. It is possible to have the outward appearance of
bending and not the reality of it within, and as a result, there is
no thrust, no accomplishment in the day of battle.
thought of Jesus who felt His need of an additional thrust that last
evening before He faced Calvary. It was accomplished by Him bending
both inwardly in the struggle in the Garden and also outwardly bowing
as He bent to wash His disciples’ feet. In the light of
accomplishing cleansing for the sins of the whole world, this matter
of washing the feet of twelve men would seem very minimal, but we see
the result of that tremendous thrust. Those armed officers came to
Jesus with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus said to them,
“Whom seek ye?” and they answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth”.
Jesus said, “I am he”. They stepped backward and fell to the
ground in John 18. His bow abode in strength because of His willing
spirit to bend. The momentous thrust that went forth from that bowed
figure on Calvary we cannot find words to describe, that cleansing
that still reaches and cleanses us from every stain of sin. In light
of such bending we should live in appreciation of it, so the effect
could prevail upon our hearts and help each be willing for what it
means to bend each day. Jesus was willing to completely bow so
cleansing could be brought to others.
would like to speak the words of Job, “My bow is renewed in my
hand.” May we enter more fully into the effect of such a
many things I do not know of earth's philosophy; But this I know
- God sent His Son to live a life for me. It matters not that
earth's wise men o'er words and creeds have striven, I see that
Jesus marked the Way so clear from earth to heaven. 'Tis not the
things I ought to know, or truths I ought to see, But what I
ought to be and do, which matters most to me.
many things I do now know, for "Jacob's well" is deep But
this I know that Jesus died, the Shepherd for the sheep, And if I
follow as He leads, and thus requite His love, I'll prosper in
the pastures green, and dwell with Him above. And when the gilt
of earth shall fade with every transient joy, I'll have my
treasure where no thief nor rust can e'er destroy.
many things I do not know about the stars above; But this I know
- God put them there, and at His will, they move. The last of
Adam's race will die, the gates of time be past, Before men tell
their number, or measure space so vast; And "what is man"
that such a God should of him mindful be? And such as we should
dwell with Him throughout eternity?
many things I have not learned about this world below; But I can
trace the work of God in every place I go I've seen Him in the
tropics, and in frozen northern land, In valley, plain, and
mountain height, by lake and ocean's strand. The wise man said,
"Of making many books there is no end," But I love the
Book of Nature more than all that men have penned.
cannot find identical two pebbles in the brook! Nor yet two
grains of wheat as with the microscope I look! I cannot find two
quite the same among the forest trees; Nor yet the leaves which
shiver in the gentle noonday breeze! How can each sheep in
hundreds its own lamb's bleating tell? And when it finds it by
its bleat, confirms it by its smell.
wild bird calling to its mate its answering note discerns; The
waiting wife, her spouse's step as homeward he returns. The
features are dissimilar in households of one name, And though it
scarce seems possible, no voices are the same; Nor yet exactly
like the script wherewith our names are signed, Woe to the
criminal who leaves his finger prints behind.
do not know, and no man knows, when Christ shall come again; 'Tis
not revealed to angels, much less to sons of men. Eleven sad
disciples heard upon the mountain's brow, "This self-same
Jesus comes again, just as you see Him now." And I know
He'll seek one people, and only one that day Those doing what He
told them before He went away.
love the Book of Nature and all its precious lore; I read God's
Book - The Bible - and I love it more and more. I glory not in
what I know, nor ought that I have done; I feel my education here
has scarcely yet begun; But in one thing, I do rejoice midst
earthly sin and strife That ever God wrote down my name within the
Book of Life.
that hymn (119 - “There is rest”) doesn’t apply to this
Convention when it speaks about entering the fold and so forth, but
here at this place we can enter into more fully than ever before, the
riches and promises of God’s Kingdom.
thoughts have been in Psalm 119, the longest psalm in the Bible.
Who wrote it? I don’t know. The writer was a real child of
God, a real servant of God. When we read the different chapters
in the psalm, we come to the conclusion that this man knew God, knew
the statutes and ways of God.
165 says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing
shall offend them.” It was not a theory in his mind.
He had proved that there was great peace in serving God. This
was a man who knew many things about the Kingdom and word of God.
There is no doubt that this man was a servant of God, who followed
closely in the footsteps of God.
very last verse, 176 is an unusual verse. “I have gone
astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy
commandments.” He had gone astray: past tense. Then
present tense: “seek thy servant.” When we think of this
most wonderful man who wrote all these verses, at the end he said, “I
have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant. .”
I have prayed this prayer many a time down through the years.
More than once I have gone astray but have prayed, “Seek Thy
we talk to this man who wrote the psalm and we would say, “You
never left the borders of the Kingdom. You always prayed and
sacrificed and did your part to serve God. You never left the
Kingdom or this faith or this way of Truth. How can you say
then, ‘I have gone astray . . seek Thy servant’?”
would answer, “Yes, I did go astray. I never took steps
outside the Kingdom of Heaven. I remained within the borders of
Israel, but many a time, in my thoughts, in my feelings and in my
attitude I went astray. Many times in my spirit I went astray
and I had to pray to God. I have had some wrong thoughts, some
wrong feelings, some wrong desires and had to pray, ‘Please bring
me back into the centre, right near the Shepherd. Not
physically but in my own being I have gone astray. O Lord, seek
may feel the same today. We have stuck with it through
different circumstances and tests and trials in hard and dark days.
We are still here, coming to the meetings, taking part in the
fellowship, but within ourselves we know we have gone astray many a
time in our attitude, in our judgement, in our thinking at the time,
towards others. “Lord, seek Thy servant.”
are wonderful animals. You have millions of them in Australia.
They all have this one trait, they just can’t find their way.
No animal gets lost so easily as a sheep. Take a dog a hundred
miles away. Let him loose and he will find his way. Take
a sheep a few hundred yards down the road and it won’t find its way
home. For any of us it is so easy to go astray in our spirits,
in our thoughts, in our minds; not going astray physically.
“Lord, seek Thy servant. Bring me back again to have the mind
of Christ in all matters.
is a similar thought in the Book of Psalms where we read many a time
about the harp and different musical instruments including an
instrument of ten strings.
the harp. It is often tuned. Even a piano needs tuning
from time to time. It takes someone with a very good ear for
music to get the tuning fork and get the right tone. Leave a
harp in the corner for a few days and it has to be tuned again; the
strings tightened or loosened. For good harmony there is need
for tuning all the different strings.
have come to Convention to be tuned. Our tuning fork is Jesus.
He gives the right reading, the right measured tone for our lives, to
have the right attitude in every experience. As we said in
Psalm 119, last verse, “Lord, I have got lost in this or that
experience. I need Thy help. Seek Thy servant.” I
hope, in this Convention, God can seek and find us to bring us right
near the Shepherd for future days.
sheep gets lost so easily. Other animals never get lost.
The lions and tigers, even the elephants find their way in the
jungle, where there are no tracks, no roads to follow to get where
they wish, but a sheep gets lost so easily. It is our tendency,
even in this fellowship, to get lost. We need His guidance to
bring us back to the centre of the flock. “Seek Thy
servant.” A sheep needs a shepherd.
animals, even like the cows over in Switzerland where every year they
take them up into the Alps for the summer months where the special
type of grass grows. They graze on those grasses to produce
butter and cheese and such products. But then the snows fall
and the cows come down. Every time they come down, there is
quite a procession. The herdsmen guide them down the
mountainside. Often there is music to accompany them and they
take flowers and put them on the horns of the cows. It is a
tradition in that part of the world. Usually there is the queen
of the herd. She is number one. Even other animals, wild
animals, amongst themselves they choose one to be number one; to be
the king. They take one of their own to guide them through
with the sheep it is not so. There is no king or queen sheep.
Sheep need a shepherd. They need a higher level of intelligence
to find their way. A sheep is not able to lead other sheep and
that is why sheep need a shepherd. Even David, that gifted man,
whose musical attainments were obvious to all, courageous on the
battlefield, head and shoulders above everyone else in the country:
he had ability; he had strength; he had courage, all that a man could
require, humanly speaking, yet he said, “The Lord is my
shepherd, I need the Lord. The Lord is my shepherd. I need
Him.” We need a higher power to guide us.
you know what’s wrong with Australia and New Zealand and
Switzerland and every nation upon the face of the earth? So
much turmoil, so much distress and chaos and so many upset people.
It’s because they take one of their own to be their guide.
They elect one of their own to lead the country. Every time
there is disillusionment. Things go wrong every time. We
need a shepherd. We need God. As the psalmist said, “I
have gone astray . . seek me.” I can’t find the way.
It’s not in me to find the way. I need Thy power. I
need Thy Word, I need Thy Spirit. I need all the strength of
Heaven just to find the way, to be amongst the flock; just to realise
our dependence upon Him in this place. “Bring me into the
centre of Thy will.”
need a shepherd. There is a very interesting verse in Proverbs
30:21 “For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four
which it cannot bear: For a servant when he reigneth . .”
To sit on the throne, to guide the affairs of a nation it needs a
certain amount of ability, a certain amount of intelligence and
schooling to guide the people, but when a slave (in Bible days
illiterate) who can’t read or write is on the throne, then the
country is troubled; the nation is disquieted. There is trouble
on every hand when a servant reigns on the throne.
this old Esau nature, this one who should be servant to the new
nature, when the human is serving the spiritual that is good, but
when this servant starts reigning and governing, when the old human
nature has the say in our life, there is trouble in our hearts,
trouble in our whole being, in our hearts and around us. God
must be our guide in all matters. “I have gone astray . .
seek Thy servant.”
have no real verification of this story but it seems, when the first
settlers arrived in New Zealand from the British Isles they brought
deer, pigs, rabbits and sheep. New Zealand was then a paradise
for animals. There were no snakes, no wild animals. Those first
settlers let all those animals go free.
pigs multiplied quickly and the deer multiplied quickly until there
were hundreds of thousands of deer in the whole country. Of
course the rabbits multiplied with great speed. Of the pigs,
deer and rabbits, there were hundreds of thousands within a few short
sheep all perished. No snakes, no wolves, no enemies and yet
they perished because they had no shepherd, no one to look after
them. They died. It just proved again that a sheep cannot
survive without a shepherd. We are glad that we have the
Shepherd, seeing our hearts and our need and where we are in our
spirits and in our thinking and He is there to bring us back again
into the centre of His will. “I have gone astray . . .
seek Thy servant.” We need the shepherd so much in our
my teen years, back in my home country one evening, three teenagers
and myself, all professing, all trying to find the Way in heavenly
matters, were travelling. We went this evening by car, those
three other boys and myself. One of those boys was driving
correctly but came around a sharp corner and there were five sheep in
the middle of the road. He put on the brake but unfortunately,
hit one of the sheep. It was obvious it had to be put out of
am a city boy. I made a remark to my friends, “Those stupid
sheep, those silly sheep, being on the road, putting dents in the
car.” One of my friends, a country boy said, “It’s not
the fault of the sheep. It’s the fault of the shepherd.
He should have been more careful, when evening came, that all his
sheep were in behind a closed gate and not wandering on the road.”
If there had been a court case you wouldn’t judge the sheep and put
him in prison. It would be the shepherd who would be judged,
not the sheep.
we so glad we have such a Shepherd who said, “I will pay the
price. I will be condemned. I will go to Calvary’s
cross and die for the sinners of the world.” He is a true
Shepherd who says, “I want to find them and bring them right to the
centre, the best place for their souls.” We are glad that we
have a Shepherd who cares for our souls. Sheep go astray so
73:2 “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well
nigh slipped.” It is a psalm of Asaph. This was a
man of God, a member of Israel, one who understood the things of
God. He knows all about God, the will and way of God and has
been a faithful man for many years and he says in this psalm, “My
feet were almost gone . .” “I almost tripped over.
I have been stumbling. I have had trouble in past days.
It has been rough going and I have stumbled many a time, tripped on
this and that. My feet were almost gone. I almost lost my
footing in the things of God.”
was to blame? Was it the Way of God? Was it that the Way
was so narrow or rough or steep, or was it because of others who
weren’t so true or faithful in their place?
He was stumbling and tripping over and failing to make any progress
in the things of God.
have the answer in the next verse, verse 3. “For I was
envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”
He saw the wicked flourishing, lack of discipline in their lives.
He couldn’t understand it. How could they live such a life,
turn their backs on God and prosper at the same time? He was
envious at the foolish. “They’ve got it so good. No
self-denial, free to do whatever they wish.” For that reason
he began to stumble and that made the going very hard as far as his
life was concerned. “O Lord, seek me and bring me back.”
73:16 “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I
their end.” He was going into the presence of God; going
into the sanctuary, into the place where there was always light.
There were seven lamps burning the whole night through, never
darkness there. He got the answer in God’s presence.
Sometimes we see what others are doing and could be influenced by
1:1 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the
ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat
of the scornful.” Don’t sit in the seat of the
scornful. It is easy to be scornful, to mock, to criticise, to
judge. It is very, very easy. It comes from human
nature. The easiest thing to do is to be scornful and to mock
others. Don’t sit there. Why not? If you sit
there too long you will see things as they see them. You will
get the very same way of thinking about things and judge as they do.
Who wants to be a scorner?
have gone astray like a lost sheep . . . seek Thy servant.”
That was the case in Psalm 1 and Psalm 73; people going astray inside
the Kingdom; people going astray inside
the fellowship, people going astray inside
the flock of God. “Lord I’m having trouble. I can’t
fathom it out. Why this or that? Why that unfairness?”
When that happens pray, “Lord seek me. Give me clear
understanding of the things of God. Seek Thy servant again.”
the Bible there are at least two parables of lost sheep. They
are in Luke 15 and Matthew 18. In Luke 15 Jesus was talking
with the Pharisees and Sadducees. One sheep got lost and He left the
ninety-nine to get the one lost sheep. It was the picture of
the publican folk who led a different type of life, down to the
gutter level of life and the ninety and nine were just a picture of
the Pharisees, religious people of Jesus’ day. I couldn’t
understand why the shepherd would leave the ninety-nine in the
wilderness and seek just one lost sheep. Why would he leave all
those sheep behind, ninety and nine, just for one sheep that got
those ninety-nine sheep were as concerned about that lost sheep they
would have gone too. Those ninety-nine sheep should have
followed the shepherd to find the lost one. They stayed behind
in the wilderness. They didn’t have the hallmark of the true
don’t believe, anywhere in the world, is there a people who stand
by their preachers like God’s people do. I have been in a
number of Conventions and I have heard time and time again in
testimonies, how God’s people have appreciated Gospel meetings.
Hundreds of times it has been mentioned like, “This year we have
appreciated the Gospel meetings in our district.” That is a
hallmark of God’s people. No one does more to stand by their
preachers or their shepherds than God’s people do. It is a
hallmark of a true sheep.
18. It seems to be almost the same parable but it is not: a
shepherd and a hundred sheep. The subject in this chapter is
the spirit of a little child.
took that little child and put it in the midst of them. That
whole chapter is about having the spirit of a little child.
did He find the sheep? Up in the mountains. This sheep
had strayed from the lowly place and climbed to the mountains and got
lost there. It hadn’t stayed on the plain in the fold.
This sheep was found in the high place, strayed from the place of
humility. The spirit of a little child had been lost. The
Master went to find this one who had lost the spirit of a little
shepherd and the sheep, when they leave the sheepfold in the morning,
the shepherd calls his sheep to come and the day lies before them.
The thing is to go and find grass for the sheep to feed on, a place
of shade and water; that is the part of the shepherd every day.
The shepherd never asks one of the sheep, or the sheep in general,
“Where will we go today?” The shepherd never asks, “What
shall we do today? Where shall we feed today?”
all our plans, if we are young or old or middle aged, be guided by
our shepherd and not make our own plans. I can tell you stories
about people who took their own way, never asked the Shepherd for His
answer on the matter, be it career, be it marriage; there has been
sorrow and tragedy. Remember we need the Shepherd and the Shepherd
chooses the way and we have to follow the Shepherd.
John 27 there are three little statements. “My sheep hear
my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” If there
is one shepherd and there are a hundred sheep like back in the Bible
days, if they were travelling overland, how many in actual fact,
physically, are following the shepherd of the whole one hundred?
It would be just five or six, just those who can see his heels, the
back of his legs or the back of him. They follow the shepherd
and all the others, ninety or more of them, follow the sheep.
All cannot see the shepherd’s heels. Most are following the
sheep in front of them.
spiritually speaking it can be done. We can all follow the
Shepherd. “ . . they follow me.” We must be very,
very sure about one matter. “Am I really following the
Shepherd, not just following the movement of others, but really
following the voice of the Shepherd?” If there be a hundred
or a hundred thousand or more, all can hear the voice of the Shepherd
and follow the Shepherd.
heard the voice of the Shepherd. “Leave behind thy father’s
house and country and go forth.” The Bible tells us that Lot
went with him. Abraham heard the voice of the Shepherd and
followed Him to go further. God gave guidance all those years
in the land of Caanan and Lot went with him to this point where there
were disputes between the herdsmen. Lot made that selfish
choice, that fertile land for the future, but didn’t see hidden
behind the horizon, disaster and catastrophe. He lost
everything in Sodom and Gomorrah.
never read once that God spoke to Lot. Lot didn’t make any
altars. He just followed Abraham. What were the results?
He lost everything. He didn’t follow the voice of the
Shepherd, he just followed one of the sheep.
sheep hear my voice, . . . and they follow me.” I
have been impressed at these Conventions in Australia and New
Zealand, impressed with my fellow Workers, impressed with you good
folk, with the devotion and attitude and spirit and sacrifice of
love. There is so much evidence of life and the love of God
working in the hearts of His people, but there are a few here and
there who find it hard to follow.
are straggling, on the fringe of things, drawn away by other
thoughts, by other opinions, by other doctrines, all sorts of things
out there. They are those on the fringe of things, finding it
hard to follow.
sheep follow me.” Why? Because they “hear my voice.”
Some are finding it hard to follow because they are not hearing the
voice of the Shepherd, not taking time to get alone with God, not
making the effort to pray and hear the voice of the Shepherd.
Psalm 23 we have to come to the conclusion, what a paradise for the
sheep! There is every provision and every promise. It is
just a paradise for the sheep; still waters, green pastures, cup
overflowing. The sheep who hear the voice of the Shepherd
follow. Only those who follow know this wonderful provision.
“My sheep hear my voice . . and they follow me.” It’s
not hard to follow.
in Switzerland, I parked a little car on the shores of Lake Geneva
and a big, old truck came in behind me and stopped. It was a
truck from France. The driver didn’t know Switzerland.
He asked me, “Can you please tell me where this address is?”
I said, “Sure, I know where that is. Some of our good friends
live on the same street. You get back into your truck and turn
round and turn up to the left, climb the hill, bear to the left and
right, come to another street, turn sharp left. There will be
street lights, then you will go under a passageway. Go through
there and take the second street to the left.”
look on his face showed that he was perplexed. It got confusing
for him. I said, “Look, I will get into my car and I will
drive. You follow me.” He found his destination without
one wrong turn. What a privilege to follow our shepherd!
He knows the way.
10:28 “ . . they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck
them out of my hand.” What a guarantee! What a
wonderful promise that no power, nobody, is able to pluck them out of
My hand. Those are the promises of Jesus, the words of Jesus.
Let us realise that we have the choice of being in the flock of God
or in the hand of the Shepherd. “No man can pluck them out
of my hand.” It is a promise, not for those in the flock
but for those in the hand of God.
flock graze together and there is a certain amount of unity in a
flock of sheep, but sometimes a lion can come and grab those sheep
and they perish. Even with the best of shepherds one on the
fringe can be destroyed by a wild animal. It is better to be
those in the hand of the Shepherd, not in the flock of the Shepherd.
Sheep in the flock have a certain amount of basic freedom, can go to
the right or to the left, or drag behind others in the flock, but the
sheep in the hand of the Shepherd, they cannot move.
are held. They have no liberty. They are captors, held in
the hand, but they have the guarantee that no one, nothing “shall
pluck them out of my hand.” “No man is able to pluck them
out of my Father’s hand.” Are we just in the flock of
God, or in the hand of God, to be held tightly our whole life
I said before, I have often had to pray this prayer, “I have
gone astray like a lost sheep . . . seek Thy servant.”
Like a harp we need to be brought back into harmony; need to be
we have gone astray then God is here to seek and find us.
Here's an inspiring story of two
friends who learn something special about forgiveness together. It
reflects those experiences in our lives that get us thinking: "should I
hold on to this, or just forget about it"? I hope the lesson in this
inspiring story will help you answer some of these questions, as well as
help whoever you share it with:
is good when we come to a meeting to try and retain some of the
things we hear so that in future days we can read over the passages
of Scripture spoken of. Tonight I would like to speak a little that
has been real to me the past few months. Well, I might say fresh,
because it was some few years ago when I first thought of it, but
just recently my mind has been refreshed on it because I have been
asked many times in different places the question, “Where do we go
after death?” But, first of all, I would like to say this and would
like for you to keep in mind that in this world there are many
classes of people but in God's sight there are only two: Those that
are “in Christ” and those that are “out of Christ”. I
would also like to bring before you the six periods of time: 1st,
Life; 2nd, Death; 3rd, the period between Death and the Resurrection;
4th, the Resurrection; 5th, Judgement; 6th, Eternity. Through all
these periods there are only the two classes, those in Christ and
those out of Christ.
do not have to say much about the first period,
We are all living and know just what life is. We either live in
Christ or out of Christ. There are only the two classes. Life is
often referred to as "life's little day". The time when we
are born into the world until the time we leave it, that is life. It
is this life that decides where we will be for eternity.
"What happens when we die?" Turn to Ecclesiastes 12: 5-6-7.
The latter part of the 5th verse speaks of death…”Man
goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets.”
Then verse 6 makes verse 7 clearer. “Or
ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the
pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the
shall the dust return to the earth, as it was: and the spirit shall
return unto God who gave it.”
You remember back in Genesis 2:7, when God created man, it says, “God
formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils
the breath of life; and man became a living soul”.
God took from the earth clay as it were, and made man just as a
potter would make a vessel, then He breathed into his nostrils His
spirit. Just two things coming together, one from the earth and one
from God: united, they made a living soul. So we see here in
Ecclesiastes 12:7 what happens at death…the
dust returnsto the earth as it was and the spirit shall return to God who gave
of the two things at death that were united in life. There isn't
anyone who wants to die out of Christ but how can anyone die in
Christ if they live out of Christ? I might say tonight I want to die
in this hall, but if I don't come into the hall, how can I die in it?
I might be just outside of the door of this hall yet not be willing
to come into the hall, and die on the outside. Ecclesiastes 3:21,
spirit of man goeth upward and the spirit of the beast goeth
is no work
nor device nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou
Between Death and the Resurrection.
Revelation 14:13, “…Blessed
are the dead which die in the Lord, etc..." ----- "that
they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
is the period following death to the resurrection for those who die
in the Lord. They are resting and their works do follow them. It says
of Abel, in Hebrews 11:4, that as a result
of his labours, he
being dead yet speaketh.
By his deeds, his influence still lives. That is equally true of
others as well as Abel. Do you think God would be so unjust as not to
give Abel and others a little reward
for their life speaking to us? So thus He gives them rest from their
labours unto the judgement when they receive their reward. Revelation
“I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the
word of God and for the testimony which they held.”
They were resting. Where is that altar? I am just going to tell you I
don't know, but I have a good idea it couldn't be far from where
Jesus is, and He is at the right hand of God. Paul said, in 2nd
Corinthians 5:8, “I
say, and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present
with the Lord.”
Philippians 1:23, “I
am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with
Christ; which is far better.”
I have no doubt as to where the spirit goes of those who die in the
Lord at death; they are resting, waiting
for the final judgement day. Do you think, in this 9th verse of
Revelation 6 that it means only those that were slain? I don't think
it would leave Moses, Joseph and David out of the count, and they
were not slain. I like to read that verse like this: “I
saw under the altar the souls of the overcomers.”
The reason why I read it that way is because in this same book you
read about those that overcame were clothed in white raiment. In
Genesis 49 it says of Gad, “A
troop shall overcome him, but he shall overcome at the last.”
It is those that overcome at the last that will die in Christ. In
with those that die out of Christ, read Jude 6. “And
the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own
habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness
unto the judgement of the great day”.
Read 2nd Peter 2:4, “For
if God spared not the angels that sinned but cast them down to hell,
and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto
Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to
reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished.” Is
it worthwhile being in Christ? I should say it is!
Resurrection. John 5:28, In the resurrection there are two
classes of people also. All shall come forth, but not all shall arise
at the same time. 1st Corinthians 15:23. “But every man in his
own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's
at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up
the kingdom to God, etc.” 1 Thessalonians 3:13, “To the
end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God,
even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his
saints.”; chapter 4:13 “But I would not have you to be
ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow
not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that
Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus
will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of
the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the
Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself
shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the
archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall
rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up
together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so
shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with
these words”. Then, in Revelation 20:2 and 3, Satan will be
bound and deceives the nations no more. Verse 4, See on the throne
those that were resting, souls that were beheaded or overcomers
reigning with Christ for 1000 years. Verse 5, “But the rest of
the dead liveth not again until the 1000 years were finished.”
Read in connection with verse 11, (“I saw a great white throne,
and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled
away; and there was found no place for them.” ) Matthew 25:31
to the end of the chapter.
Judgement. Revelation 20:12: “And I saw the dead, small
and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another
book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged
out of those things which were written in the books, according to
their works.” What does it mean when it says "the books
were opened"? It means the 66 books that I am holding in my
hand. If we did not have these books to teach us how to live in
Christ, there might be some excuse, but God has left us without
excuse because He has given us His Word to go by. What is the book of
life? In the human kingdom when a child is born, there is someone to
come around to register that child's name, birth, etc. in the State
Register. If you would not have been born, your name would not be in
that book; likewise in God's kingdom. When a child is born into God's
family, their name is registered in the Book of life; the deeds that
we do, etc. and in that day these books will be opened, and those who
are in Christ will find their names registered there; but those that
are out of Christ, their names will not appear because they have not
been born again. Those that are in Christ will receive their reward.
Eternity. Matthew 25:34, “Come ye blessed of my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the
world”, and to those that are out of Christ, verse 41, “Depart
from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and
his angels”. God prepared a Kingdom for everyone but for those
that disobeyed, a place of punishment was prepared. He prepared a
better place for them, but if they won't choose the better place then
He will send them to the other. I don't know any better future for a
woman, man, young boy or girl, than in God's pathway, both here and