"I GLORIFY MY OFFICE"
Maurice M Johnson
Los Angeles, California
March 12, 1961
The first boy or girl under 15 who finds 2 Thessalonians 1:11, read it please, stand and read it. (gap on tape) Isn't that a wonderful expression. Let's all read it, 2 Thessalonians 1:11,
Wherefore also we pray always for you.
Every time I read a statement like that from the apostle Paul, I'm convicted, because I don't pray always for anybody. I do with some regularity, but I wouldn't say at all that I pray always for anybody. I should. My the heart of the great apostle Paul. He said, "Our heart's enlarged. Be ye also enlarged." That's the only enlargement of heart that's healthy.
Wherefore also we pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling.
We're ... admonished in Ephesians 4 you know to walk worthy, aren't we. "I beseech you brethren, I the prisoner of the Lord Jesus beseech you that you walk worthy of the calling wherewith we're called." That you walk worthy of it. That's the same truth of course that Paul mentions briefly here. 2 Thessalonians 1:11,
Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.
We're hearing a good deal today not only in the technological realm, not only in atomic energy, with atomic energy in the atomic field and the hydrogen bombs and cobalt bombs and jet planes and all like that, we're not only hearing a great deal about power in those realms, and there's a power being let loose, unleashed, and only God knows when itís going to be: turned loose with death dealing instruments as never before in the history of mankind. But the power that God's people as such are interested in is the power of goodness, the work of faith with power, the work of faith with power. We read in 2 Timothy 3 you know that one of the characteristics of the last days will be that people will have a form of godliness but deny the power there of, the power of godliness.
I think the Lord put on my mind, Iím sure the devil didn't, the night before Mrs Hartmann's funeral ... we refer to it that way, we should be very careful of course to distinguish between what the world thinks of and the sectarians in carnality think of in referring to the funeral of a Christian, we should distinguish between what they obviously thinking of and what we should think of. As I said at both brother Bear's, near the casket in which his body lay, and near the casket a few days later in which Mrs Hartmann (of course brother Bear and sister Hartmann), her body lay, I said, "I didnít ... the undertaker, mortician came to the house too late to get brother Bear, the Lord had already been there, and took him. And the undertaker, mortician got to the house too late to get Mrs Hartmann, the Lord had already been there." I'm glad I believe that. It makes a difference between a funeral characterized by blinding tears and a sort of memorial service with nothing but the vacated corpse, usually dressed in extra nice clothes, lying in a comparatively, sometimes very expensive, casket on the one hand, and the acknowledgement, recognition, delighting in the fact that "absent from the body is present with the Lord."
And it certainly has happened ... I know of it a good many times ... it was true in my case when my sister Helen breathed her last breath on earth in her pain racked body, knotted, very abnormal in appearance and all with multiple sclerosis, when l heard that she was gone, I was glad the Lord didn't let her stay in that pain-racked-worse-than-useless body any more. I'm glad He took her away, took her out, took her above. Similar with all the Christians who have departed this life.
Two deaths in our immediate midst as has happened in the past two weeks should be sobering certainly to all of us who are not far- from saying good-bye to this veil of tears and our living loved ones, others, then it should be sobering. "Boast not thyself of tomorrow for them knowest not what a day may bring forth. Ye that say today and tomorrow I'll go in such and such a city and buy and sell and get gain. Thou fool, what is thy life but a vapor. Whereas thou shouldest say, If the Lord will." We read that in the book of James, you remember, "The Lord will."
I'm sure the Lord brought to my mind I was starting to say, not the devil, the night before Mrs Hartmann's service... around her body, I'm sure the Lord brought this to my mind, I was thinking about the fact that some who probably I thought would be there, and they were: Mrs Claire Johnson was there, Wilbur and Lyman's sister-in-law, she was there, my brother and sister-in-law, Leonard and Blanche Johnson were there, John Hearne and his wife Stella were there, Olive Grove was there, the Hawkins that used to come, some of you .., more of you don't know who they were were there, none of whom will come to hear me preach without a corpse being in the midst.
I know that God knows I don't want to be ugly, even in my thinking or talking or both. I also know God doesn't want me to be blind and stupid. We're told to try the spirits. To me it's worse than ... merely, merely bad, it's almost blasphemous for people to attend a funeral when they know they're going to sit and act, visibly act decently while the man's preaching though they will never come to hear him preach when there's not a corpse present. That's paganism and heathenism; carnality to say the least, and that of course covers everything that's not spiritual.
But I was thinking the night before that they ... some would probably be there including those that had heard, sad to say, as both Clarence and Ruth said, and then they quoted Mrs Hartmann too saying, "That the folks that were ... would probably come and did come from the Pasadena City Church had heard", Clarence and Ruth said, "a lot from us we're ashamed to say about you, how bad I was, how ... whatever, you know, narrow, fanatical, unloving, and of course you're a bunch of brainwashed Johnsonites, things like that have been said."
What would you have done had you been allowed and admonished to speak at a funeral like that with those people there? Well I felt God wanted me, I was sure God wanted me, to be faithful to their souls. And say anything about myself personally, my flesh, but my ministry.
I have a tape recording of something that J. Vernon McGee, minister of the Church of the Open Door organization, sect, said in his present series of studies. on Ephesians. He said, "Paul ... these Bullingerites", he said. He said, "Now... they used to say that the church began around Acts 10, and then they moved up to about Acts 13, now", he says, "they say the church which is Christ's body didn't begin until after Acts 28". Now that's the same kind of indiscriminate attack and smearing that the late H.A. Ironside used in his book called, is it Rightly Dividing? (sic).
"There are some who teach that the book of Acts church is not the same as the Ephesians church, Colossians., Philippians, church which is Christ's body, there are some who teach that the church in the book of Acts from Acts 2 to Acts 28 is, a different church from the church, Ephesians and Colossians, who teach universal salvation." Everybody's going to be saved including the devil and Judas. And for a man to mention that fact, "These Bullingerites", he said "they don't all go into this extreme, but there are some that do." Well that frightens people that won't check up for themselves you know, sway "'Now is this teaching that the church which is Christ's body was something given to Paul separately and distinctly as to its character, the church of Christ's body, is that teaching, does that teaching logically lead to universal salvation, everybody going to be saved including the devil and Judas?"
Now he said, "These Bullingerites, some of them, they gave up on the water baptism", but he said ... "then they gave up the supper too, later on." Well he's being bothered. He said that "I get Letters", (well I haven't written him) but he said, "I get letters from people trying to straighten me out", but he said, "I'm too old to be straightened out". I have a record of that tape recording. He said ... he's being bothered by letters from the various kinds of dispensationalists who teach that the church which is Christ's body does not practice, is not given by God, physical ordinances. So the easiest way to attack the truth on that subject is to associate those... whom he cannot answer with those whom he can answer, and put all in the same bunch and smear us all together. That's viciously unfair.
And I'm giving you this my friend to help you because... Larry Hankammor's down there now, going to the C.O.D., and he's supporting that sort of thing. He said, "Now these Bullingerites they tell you that Paul was given the revelation of the mystery and only Paul." But he said, "Now let's read in Ephesians 3."
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery,
a sacred secret, something not know before,
(as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).
He said, "Now I want you to notice that parenthesis." He said, "These extreme dispensationalists, these Bullingerites, tell you that the apostle Paul has a unique position, and to him only was given the revelation of the mystery." Now there he mixed the truth with a falsehood. Because I have never read from a Bullingerite in my life, Bullinger included, that Paul was the only one who ever knew of the mystery.
And now watch. He said, "I want you to notice this parenthesis here." The last sentence of the ... or the last line of the 3rd verse and all of the 4th verse. He said, "I want you to notice that parenthesis." He said, "Why that's devastating against this doctrine that Paul was unique. Paul said, "Incidentally as I wrote afore in a few words, whereby when you read you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ."
Well after... his program was over, I thought, "Well I'm going to check up on a few of these parentheses". Of course I knew that was only prejudicial, and that he knew better than a think like that. As though the parenthesis, a parenthetical expression, means-that it's unimportant. Look back at the 2nd chapter, for instance, just to call attention. The 2nd chapter of Ephesians and the 5th verse, no, let's; begin at the 4th,
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace are ye saved).
Now.... is that a parenthetical statement and meaning by that, that it's unimportant and insignificant? That's as important as anything in the whole book. That's devastating. That's devastating.
Now I'm going to try to make some of my observations, that maybe just rather not searching so far, helpful as to why I'm quoting McGee. McGee has a bad conscience, and everybody that has been a Christian (so far as I know he's been saved for years, I don't doubt his salvation), everybody that has been exposed to as much truth as McGee has and goes on observing Christmas and Easter, water baptism and the supper, and a man-made church, has a bad conscience. Only God can give a good conscience, and God doesn't give anybody that trifles with truth a good conscience on the subject. Thank God! for that. God doesn't give anybody a good conscience.
Why doesn't ... is it that God is the one ... the Creator is the one that made us physically so that when we eat a lot of green apples or something else that's not good for human food we get a tummy-ache. We've got all kinds of sedatives and all kinds of aspirin and what have you to dull the pain, to dull and deaden the pain and to put out the red lights that God gives, but if we didn't have any of those red lights, if we didn't have any of those pain from time to time, we'd all be in the grave before now. They are wise warnings from the Creator.
I plan on using some of that maybe if and when I speak on capital punishment. Governor Brown and others who are championing ... doing away with capital punishment, that means the death penalty you know for anybody according to the court, the death penalty by the court, they are saying that Warden Laws (?) of Sing-Sing and other men of many years of experience, prison criminals, say that the death penalty is not a deterrent, it does not in any sense stop crime.
I plan on saying ... I'm thinking about that now. I'm sure that we ought to do away with all pain. Begin giving babies aspirin and Anacin and Bufferin and something... to deaden the pain so its mother will never know it's got a tummy-ache, and then do away with the pain ... us older ones too so we'll never know we got a pain. If you think you're beginning to have some troubles with your teeth, why take aspirin and Bufferin and something else, get drunk on liquor or something, forget your troubles you know. And also never have a warning, skull 'n cross going on any medicine or any other kind or tetrachloride or... don't ever have any warnings on the curve, "Danger Curve". That's not a deterrent, people get killed. So let's remove all these warnings because the psychologists they tell us today, is... proves that capital punishment isn't a deterrent to crime. So, the danger of busting through that guard you know, that curve and being dashed to death below that warning is of no deterrent, won't slow you down at all. Not even calculated to. That's some of the wisdom of men, wisdom of men. And it's foolishness with God. And it's foolishness with all godly people too.
Now let's come back now to... (thank you) Ephesians 3. Now there's just one verse, Among many of course, that gives the truth against those lies. That... and don't forget this; so far as Iím concerned the thing that we should use in dealing with Seventh Day Adventists, Rutherfordites (so-called "Jehovah's Witnesses"), and Armstrong, and the Universal Reconciliationists, first, and above everything else is: Who died on Calvary? Who died? Now, don't forget that.
One reason I want to go over these things is that it's more and more obvious to me that we canít get the unsaved today to come to public meeting, with the rare exception. I've tried it in the last two years with the best advertising I know how, I mean prayerfully, in advertising subject matter that used to attract people by the dozens years ago. Tried it in Ft Worth and Dallas and Virginia, clear across this country. And we're living in the days when people will not endure sound doctrine. They turn away their ears from the truth. I believe we're living in a time of famine of hearing, a famine of hearing.
Now I remember when we first had street meetings here in Southern California, why we had crowds, over and over again we would have crowds, with some consistency. And so, since I'm convinced increasingly ? that I have no reason to expect crowds, and can't get them in San Luis Obispo. I don't expect to get ... and the radio over and over again is being closed, and people... that when weíre not put off the radio, how do you suppose how many tune out? when they sense the spirit thatís in them that energizes carnality. You think the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience doesn't recognize when somebody's contending for Christ? I donít know how many people listen to me. I get some response occasionally from different radios.
But I'm saying this primarily to remind you of this: I want to help you in your God-given capacity, so you can deal with people that woní t come to hear me, and Wilbur, and others of us who, preach publicly.
Back to Ephesians 3. I was quoting from 1 Corinthians 2, a brief statement regarding the mystery, and I mentioned there in 1 Corinthians 2:9 wasn't it that the princes of this world didn't know this mystery truth. Had they-known it they wouldn't have crucified the Lord of glory. The Lord was crucified. Peter say's in Acts 2... 3, "You killed the prince of life." "You killed the prince of life." Well that wasn't a mere man, a mere man. No sir. Remember that that could be true because death doesnít mean annihilation. Death doesn't mean extinction of being. Death doesn't mean cessation of being. Death is separation. Now we can't understand how God the Son could be separated from God the Father and from God the Holy Spirit. I don't understand it, but I read it and I believe it. And it's consistent with other teachings of course in the Word.
Now continuing in Ephesians 3:5, 3:5,
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.
Now there, McGee, he orated. Said, "Don't you see, Paul didn't say that he was unique. He doesn't say this was given only to him. He said, "Itís given to me and to these others." Hasn't been given before,
as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.
Well I don't doubt that; I accept that without a moment's hesitance. Of course, because it's a plain statement in the inspired Word. But who was given the position, who was first given these truths, and what was his position? The apostle Paul. McGee doubtless knows, and everybody can know, certainly every Christian should know sooner or later in their Christian growth, that Peter never mentions the word 'body' in connection with the believers being made one body, Christ the head. Peter doesn't mention it in one of his three sermons recorded in Acts 3, 4, and 10th chapters. Peter doesn't mention it in his first epistle's, 1 and 2 Peter. John doesn't mention it though John wrote 1, 2, and 3 John long after Paul died, so far as we know. John doesn't mention in 1, 2, and 3 John and the book of Revelation, he doesn't mention the word 'body' as describing the church of this present age. Neither does James mention it nor Jude. Only Paul was given, led to describe and reveal, and give the revelation of the church being the body of Christ. That was Paul's unique ministry.
Now again. This mystery was not ...
in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.
What is the mystery?
That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Chris by the gospel.
You should have heard McGee when he tried to bring in the apostle Peter as understanding the mystery in Acts 10. But instead of giving the truth that's there, he said, "Peter went over to Cornelius' house and he said, "Why Cornelius, the Lord told me that I shouldn't say that any body that's unclean." "And he completely ignored the fact that God said to Peter when Peter wouldn't eat... the contents of that sheet you know, he was hungry and carried away in a vision, trance, saw a sheet knit in four corners let down from heaven that had in it birds, reptiles, four-footed beasts, and creeping things: the kind of things that Gentiles ate when they wanted to. And a voice said, "Peter arise, kill and eat." And he said, "Not so, Lord. Nothing common or unclean': ever entered my mouth." And Christ said what? "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common or unclean."
In other words, "Peter what you have been taught" ... and McGee made it that it was just narrow Judaism, narrow Jewish bias on Peter's part. Because he can't afford to bring out clearly the distinction between Jew and Gentile and the transitional period of the book of Acts, he can't affor... just like ... on the 2nd chapter of Ephesians. It was ... amazingly disgusting and confusing what he brought out on Ephesians 2 the middle wall of partition. He said that middle wall of partition, the law of commandments, contained in ordinances, enmity between the Jew and Gentile was done away with. And he said, " ... in other words ... God said... none of those things ever did save anybody. They were no good at all. He said, "You can join the Church of the Open Door and be... stubbornly and deliberately on your way to hell. That none of these physical things ...", as though Paul was talking about the physical things that men gave. The laws of commandments contained in those ordinances are referred to, Ephesians 2 ? They're the law of commandments contained in ordinances that Almighty God gave. They were the law of commandments contained in ordinances that distinguished Jew from Gentile. And on this side, the people were ceremonially and nationally clean, they were close, they were nigh. And on the other side of that law of commandments contained in ordinances, middle wall, they were unclean. And God showed Peter, told Peter, "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common or unclean."
And when Peter went to Cornelius' household, you remember what he said? McGee said the other day that Peter said, "What have you sent for me for?" Well that's in the Book ... Bible. Cornelius said, "Well, I don't know what, but the Lord told me to send for you." And he completely ignored the statement that Cornelius said, "i was praying and the Lord told me to send over to Joppa and a house and a certain street and get a man who would tell me words whereby I and my house could be saved." Completely ignored that.
When I see men try to cover up their carnality, their carnal doctrine, try to explain their carnal doctrine away, then I see sure enough their carnality because they're not smart even. They're not even smart. You let McGee preach on the things that fit in with the doctrine of the Church of the Open Door and he's profound. I've heard him speak with great clarity, and then I would say with profundity, if I'm capable of judging that. But... on Easter and Christmas and those things, he's as weak as water poured on the ground. And thank God for that. I'm glad. I'm glad that somebody can't be... strong in error. Not strong when ... if we measure it by the Word of God, they've got to vacillate and conflict themselves, and ...
But now back to Ephesians 3. Now what am I giving this for for you? McGee gave this over the radio to thousands, I don't know how many thousands of people, and he's giving it in the C.O.D. and others are giving it. And you meet them. You're going to meet them if you let your light shine at all. You're going to meet people who are poisoned with it and think that we're supporting, we're embracing doctrine that's as clear as mud. When by the grace of God we're embracing doctrine that fits God's program, it's what He's doing.
What has God been doing the last 1900 years? Has He been building the kingdom on earth? That's what that poor fellow Kempin tried to prove Thursday night a week ago. The church is, the kingdom. Well it's a magnificent kingdom isn't it. Read ... read the Bible prophecies and the description of the kingdom of God and then try to make the church the kingdom. Is He building a city? Abraham went out, left Ur of the Chaldees, went out looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. Is it Rome? The eternal city - I would say the infernal city, Rome is the infernal city. It's been sacked by heathen, other heathen, more than one time. It's going to be again, plenty. But has God been building a city? Why of course not. Where are the great cities of the world? They're gone. I mean in the past, a few hundred years ago. They're gone. You think the Lord's building the city of the angels? Ugh, neither do I. You think the Lord's building New York City, Chicago? Not building any city on this earth, my friend.
What's He been doing? Has He been outlawing war? Now ... I'm asking these questions because I think they're timely, they're relevant and the answer to them is very helpful. Oh, I want to encourage you to be so certain in your thinking, to be so correct in your thinking your life of course, that we'll all be a tribute to the glory of God.
Every once in awhile I hear, and of course I know these things happen, I hear some one of Johnson's men or Johnson's boys that was crude or harsh, unloving, rude, boorish. Well, Johnson doesn't have but one boy, but I know generally speaking of whom such remarks are made. But did you know there's a sense in which I'm glad Maurice Johnson gets the discredit for that sort of thing rather than Christ. But there's an indirect sense in which Christ does because Maurice Johnson is not presenting himself. I'm trying to encourage you to believe we're one in Christ and ... I mean believe it more intelligently and to want to demonstrate the fact that we're one in Christ, to be courteous and be careful and "wise as serpents and harmless as doves", to adorn the doctrine with Christian graces. You employers, to be godly employers, both for the unsaved employee and the Christian, if you have some. And you employees to be godly employees toward your employer whether he's a Christian or not as we read especially in Peter's epistle. If you give good service to those that are froward, stiffnecked, they're hardheaded and unfair, if you give good service to them that's thankworthy we read in Peter's epistle.
God wants you... to be living epistles every day of every week. He doesn't want us to celebrate Easter, the resurrection of Christ once-a-year, so-called. He wants us to demonstrate it all year long, doesn't He. Not celebrate it but demonstrate it all year long. I haven't had a celebration for my heart-beat as time yet cause I want it to beat regularly and... I don't know which beat's more important than the other one. So 1 don't celebrate it, heart-beat.
Let's continue here please in ... Ephesians 3. This mystery was not known in other ages to
the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by that Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.
do not believe that Peter knew a thing in the world about Ephesians 2, this part of it, I don't believe John and James knew a thing about this until Paul was given it and revealed it to them, or gave it to them, that the middle wall of partition was broken down, the law of commandments contained in ordinances enmity between the Jew and Gentile, for. I think Peter knew about it in Acts 10. It's broken down, no doubt about that. And all the apostles when they came together at the conference in Jerusalem. The apostles knew that God was receiving Gentiles without physical ordinances, because it wasn't any doubt in the apostles' mind who convened in Jerusalem. It was the Pharisees that argued these Gentile believers have got to be circumcised and keep the law. The apostles disputed with ahem, so they came together, all the apostles and elders:. But I believe that the purpose for breaking down that middle wall of partition, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, doing away with physical religion, meats and drinks and different baptisms., carnal ordinances, the purpose for that, God's purpose for that, was given to Paul and revealed through Paul first. I think he's referring to that here and he certainly did in the 2nd chapter. I mean that this middle wall of partition, the law of commandments contained in ordinances was done away for to make of the twain, Jew, that had those physical ordinances given of God, and the Gentile that never had them from God, that now the believing Jew and the believing Gentile no longer to be regarded as separated by those God-given ordinances.
Well, what's God doing now? Why He's taking the believing Jew that used to be on that side of the ordinances' wall, He's taking the believing Jew and the believing Gentile on this side of the ordinance wall, the ordinances wall having been done away with for to make of the twain one new man. One new man in Christ. And... the works that Christians are to do now are works that are all in what realm? My question may not be very clear, I mean to you, so you don't know what the answer is though you may know the answer. My question isn't worded ... What's the realm in which a Christian lives?
(answer from audience) In the Spirit. In the Spirit. What?
(answer from audience) Heavenly. (answer from audience) In Christ.
In Christ. That's what I wanted first because that's in the immediate context, Ephesians 2:10. "We're created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained we should walk in them." In Christ.
When I saw the truth, briefly, clear... not comprehensively of course, when I saw the truth that the Christian today is in Christ, members of the body of Christ, then I began to think, "Wait a minute. How can I... as one of the members ..." Let's suppose now here, watch, the church is Christ's body, Christ is the head, now I thought, "How can say five members of the body of Maurice Johnson show forth the death of the head till he come?"
Is it too close in here this morning? Seems to me it's close. Can you have fresh air some way? I want you to get this. Some of you are pretty foggy. I don't believe I'm putting you to sleep. It's important.
Some of you heard me refer to General Patton being criticized angrily by some mamas who heard that their boys were fainting out in the desert the other side of Indio in the training camp. But the report then was and later on after the campaign in Northern Africa and the Sahara Desert, so forth, was that General Patton was a military man of experience and reality, and he wanted the boys to faint, if they're going to faint, he wanted them to faint over here in the training field rather than faint in the presence of Rommel's German army. He wasn't training them for a ping-pong tournament. He's. training them for terrible battle. And so he won the... respect of those who realized that in military affairs and war, it's dead earnest, training in there.
Well I want to help you to be trained for the battle. It wasn't accidental my dear friends that Christians have started out, different groups of people apparently sick of denominationalism and profess to be separate unto Christ and then pssst, fizzle all out. God said in and through Joshua, "Here's a generation of people of Israelites that do not know what happened in Egypt and in the wilderness." Experimentally they were brought up later, don't know.
Brother Ross, you and I ought to be some of the best soldiers you and I know anything about, because we were tested way back yonder ... I was telling somebody the other day; who was it? Berl I guess, about when you came with Nels Thompson when Nels Thompson was at your store. Nels stopped because Ross had first met him ... brother Ross had his own jeweler department and a glass repair, optometry, and a watch repair, and his wife was helping him some. Well Thompson thought then ... that brother Ross had a million dollars stowed away somewhere, or something, a lot of money, so Nels really parked on Ross. So one day he drove up to Ross' place and began to talk about me in an unspiritual way. And brother Ross said, "Brother Thompson you have taught us, "Against an elder receive not an accusation except in the presence of two or three witnesses." "Maurice isn't an elder, he's a novice.,""' Brother Ross said, "Well a, is brother Paul Holsinger an elder?" "No, he's a novice." "Brother Joe Kirk(?)?" "He's a novice." "Brother Norton Goodman?" So there wasn't but one elder by the process of elimination and that was Nels. So brother Ross said, "Well maybe brother Johnson is at home down at the Tabernacle", for we hadn't got rid of it yet but we'd repudiated the name and organization. "I'll close up the store and go with you to see him. Can I call?" And ... well Nels didn't have the nerve to back out then because Ross was willing to .. and so Ross called me and thank God I was there and Roy Purington was there. And so Ross closed his business place and went with Nels; came to Nels to see me. Ross told me later, he said, "Only God knows what was going on in my mind as we were driving from my place to the Tabernacle. I thought, "Both brother Johnson and I got the glorious truth of separation under Nels.. And it looks like there's going to be a breach here. What am I going to do? I'm indebted to ... under God to brother Thompson. But when we got together," brother Ross said, "when I got together and saw you bring up the question of the supper and Nels got mad, he said, "The boys have told me that I worship Maurice, that I thought too highly of you," he used the first person," he said, "It's too bad, Iíve been out of the denomination twenty years... I found you three years ago a Methodist preacher, and so forth. Too bad I can't teach you anything'', I told some of you this the other day, but I don't want to be ... I said, "Brother Thompson, you know that isn't true. You've heard me say... in Glendale, heard me say in Los Angeles, heard me say in Santa Barbara, in Sacraments, in Gervais, in Oakland, in Tacoma, in Seattle, and in private places, that I'm indebted unto God to brother Nels Thompson for the glorious truths that moved me out of denominationalism." And I said, "If you give me the truth of God on the supper now instead of Plymouth Brother tradition, I'll accept it... I'll accept that."
But I've had experience with Methodist bishops who tried to force me. And when brother Ross witnessed there, Nels Thompson when he was trying to contend for his Plymouth Brother supper, rather than the walk in Christ Jesus the Lord. And brother Ross heard me contending for what he acknowledged then and still does, I'm glad, the truth of God on the subject. He had to take his stand, or keep his stand for the truth. We've been together ever ... that's about right isn't it brother Ross?
And it was hard back in those days. How many people were standing ...? Listen, what a handful. We used to meet in that Tabernacle, capacity, seating capacity, was 900. And we had nine: Grace and Lucile, and the Brissey sisters, and my wife, and oh boy what a handful. Did you ever see a couple of peas in a big ol' dried pod? You can rattle them easy you know, with that little handful. And then the Depression hit about then.
What do you believe and why? And what's it meant to you? You young people... are you walking in your own faith now? You're old enough to, a lot of you. Do you believe for yourself? Do you believe for yourself that there's one body? Do you believe for yourself that it's awful ... Carolyn Johnson in her senior year I guess this year majoring in English I think. Has one year here, one year up in the college in Westmont, and then a year in ... Oxford, I mean Glasgow in Scotland, and this year she's smart, Leonard's older girl. She said, "Oh, daddy's just taking a more and more important portion in the Pasadena City Church. He's just so busy, so occupied, and all like that." My brother Leonard, and his wife.
Why have they left meeting with us? Maybe partly this falls, maybe partly some of you... but they haven't perfect flesh over there. But they do know that here we have come out against such things that are highly esteemed among men as Christmas, and brought out that they're abomination to God. And such things as Easter, highly esteemed among men, and brought out that the things that are highly esteemed among men are abomination to God. And that sectarianism, taking a man-made name and a man-made organization, no matter how small it is ... they say they're undenominational, Pasadena City Church. That is a polite religious lie. They're not undenominational at all. You ask any one of them if they'll let me come and preach over there. Like Larry Hankammer said the reason he quit coming here was because neither Wilbur nor I would invite him to preach. He's going to C.O.D. where McGee and the elders invite him to preach every other Sunday.
No, it's a thing we've seen over and over and over again: People will pretend that their reason for breaking away is something they think they can support, but we'll see later on it's because they did not love the truth. Because they go and support and embrace and have a part in things that they formally pretended to believe were Biblically wrong.
What will you put up? Suppose you were to hear that I stole a watermelon yesterday. I saw some watermelons and I like them; already early from somewhere. Suppose you heard I stole a watermelon. What you'd say, "There're you is" [They're yours(?)], and you would give up what I teach on water baptism and the Lord's supper and Christmas and Easter ... ?
(comment from audience) I would go help you eat it.
Now I'm afraid I'm leading into too much levity here. But now watch; let's come back. What would you put up? What do you put up at home? I'm sure brother Lyman's wife never found a flaw in him, or she would have pffft! divorced him. No, I'm not sure of that. I expect she's found one or two flaws, Lyman. And she 1oves him so she's put up with him. Wilbur's wife never found a thing and ... brother LaForce, your wife never found a flaw with you, Sister Morey never found a flaw with Clarence Morey. And oh! isn't it wonderful, they've lived together these years.
Listen my friend. We have to put up with each other. We do if we love each other. We're told in the Word of God that "Love is the bond of perfectness", "love is the bond of perfectness". "The end of the law is love shared out of a pure heart." That's what God wants. "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if you have love one to another." "If you love them that love you, what thank have you." We're to love the unlovable, we're to overlook our weaknesses. Not smear them ... not wink at them. "But if the Lord should mark iniquity, who'll stand?"
Now back to Philippians 3, please.
(comment from audience) Ephesians.3.
I mean Ephesians 3. I don't know how I'm getting Philippians 3. Ephesians 3, 7th verse,
Wherefor I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given.
Does he seem to single himself out there? Why certainly he does.
Unto me, who am less than the Least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.
That may mean, and probably does mean, things you can't find in the Old Testament Scriptures. So you can't find in the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Peter. You can't find three things that were given to "me", the unsearchable riches, But anyway, let's continue.
Unsearchable riches of Christ. And to make see what is the fellowship of the mystery. To make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery.
Brother Wilbur spoke of stopping in Phoenix; visiting there. And I told you about already having heard about it from some kinfolks both physical and spiritual in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mrs Bill Nichols' mother and father, the Davis' in Tulsa. I believe some of that is fellowshipping because they know something of the mystery. Fellowshipping in Christ. Fellowshipping because we're one in Christ. The fellowship of the mystery.
It's so sad for any of us to begin to look at each other's weaknesses, I mean in the sense of pick at, magnify, instead of pray for one another. Why is it... that the smartest religionist and the most intellectual... the best theologically trained preachers as a whole have concluded, "You've got to organize"? Listen carefully to me please. You think I don't know that... if the Lord doesn't come in and catch us all away, that there are going to be other breaks, other splits among us. "Offenses will come, but woe unto him by whom they come", we're told in the Word of God. I quoted the other week, other month in Tulsa, I said, "When I think of the children, your children Richard, and others' children here, when I think of the effect of this ... these breaches, accusations, the effect in the children's minds, I'm reminded of that scripture, "Whosoever offends one of these little ones that trust in Me, it ..."
(end of tape)
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