THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT
THE CASE OF SORE TOES
(Korah, Dathan & Abiram, Numbers 16)
Maurice M Johnson
January 31, 1955, A.M.
2 Thessalonians the 3rd chapter,
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.
The church at Thessalonica was, so far as I gather from both epistles of Paul, remarkably fervent, pure, spiritual, though very young, church. And pray
that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: not because we have not power.
In other words, Paul is saying it isn't Godís specific order that all apostles and prophets and evangelist, pastor, and teachers should engage in carnal ... or physical work in order to take care of their financial needs.
Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
In other words, here's a man, presumably, hypothetical case, in Thessalonica, that refuses to obey the command to avoid the ones referred to up there, see. "Who is Paul?" Or suppose in the days of Timothy and Titus, "Who is Timothy? who is Titus? I'll not do it, see. I love the Lord." Oh, the pious impudence and blasphemous infidelity thatís palmed off often under the wording, "I acknowledge only one Lord, one Master." Weíll read more about that directly.
And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may he ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
You see, but that won't nullify the previous verse "have no company with him", "have no company with him that he may be ashamed." Now any time you or I or any Christian thinks he's sweeter than the Spirit of God, thinks he's more charitable than the infinitely holy Lord God, the Savior, and Builder and Head and Foundation of the church, we, I or you, or both of us, if we should be guilty of that at the same time, are very impudent. Anytime that I think that I am more genteel, more loving, more patient than the Lord Jesus Christ, in fact anytime I think I'm more patient and gentle and loving than the apostle Paul, I'm really recommending myself highly, am I not?
And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Now the Lord of peace.
Do you think that belongs right in this immediate connection? After discipline? After pointed, and severe, and very, very effective discipline? "Now the Lord of peace." Why certainly. We read back in the Old ... in the Psalms, "Righteousness and peace have kissed each other." We read that "the work of righteousness shall be peace," quietness, and so forth. The work of righteousness, not the work of pussy-footing, not the work of compromise, but the work of righteousness. We read in the last two verses of the 5th chapter of Romans that grace is reigning today, undeserved goodness. But we're not told that grace is reigning period. We're told grace is reigning through righteousness by Jesus Christ our Lord. The only reason God can pour out unmerited favor, undeserved goodness upon the godless family of Adam or even us saved sinners, is because of what His dear Son did when God spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, the dust for the unjust; when God made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. All of which passages of course enable godly people studying and listening to them to recognize that they who say or anyone who says we are saved today by the grace of God but not by Christ bearing our sins in His own body are teaching damnable falsehood.
Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means.
Can you and I have peace within when there's turbulent storms and trouble without? Why of course. Because it's the peace that the world doesn't give but the Lord gives. And He said, "Your joy no man can take from you." What is it that disturbs your peace? I'll tell you. You. You. I can't disturb your spiritual peace when you have spiritual peace because I didn't give it to you. And the One who gave it to you maintains it when we're humble before Him. "Great peace have they which love Thy law and nothing shall offend them." I wonder how many here this morning this last week have made adverse criticisms against some other professed Christians, maybe some that you profess to be Christians, you've made adverse criticism of them in a petulant, peevish manner, and are trying to excuse yourself for your carnality by calling attention to somebody else's supposed carnality? Even if they are carnal, what's that got to do with upsetting your spiritual joy? What's that got to do with getting your eyes off of the Lord Jesus Christ, see?Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
"The Lord be with you all." Who is my Lord this morning? Who is your Lord? When I know Jesus Christ at a given time, given experience, when I know Jesus Christ as my Lord, you think you can disturb me? Never. Never. Because you're rot my Lord. When I let you get me upset ... now a carnal Christian can't distinguish between a Christian who's angry in obedience to Ephesians 4 and a Christian who's just mad in the flesh. But a spiritual Christian, if he has opportunity to observe properly, he can distinguish, often, between someone who is angry without sin, "Be angry and sin not," we read in Ephesians 4, "Be angry and sin not; let not the sun go down on your wrath," and then the anger, the wrath of a fool (I'll read directly, as you read with me, about that), whether you beat him or bray him with a pestle and mortar, with the wheat, or not, you can't change his foolishness. He won't respond to rebuke. "Rebuke a wise man and he'll love you, rebuke a scorner and he'll hate you."
You know once in awhile people just write out their character never dreaming that they are just drawing the picture of themselves with amazing accuracy. When we who can read the Bible with godly honesty, read it and look at their drawing, their writings, their statements, say, "I know who this person is at this time. I know who he is."
Let's go ahead with me now.
Now the Lord of peace.
"The Lord of peace." Oh what a beautiful title. The Lord of peace. What could the devil the prince of the power of the air do in upsetting, capsizing that little boat in which He, the Lord of glory, lay asleep with His disciples now frightened as they saw the angry winds and the waves, what could the prince of the power of the air do in successfully ... his efforts to successfully capsize that boat? When the Lord Jesus decided to get tip and do something about it, He said, "Peace. Be still." Be still. And what happened? "Immediately there was a great calm." Immediately there was a great calm. Isn't that beautiful? Immediately there was a great calm. Have you ever recognized that One on the deck of your little boat when it got all, you know, just flipping like a cork on the angry sea, ocean. Oh your life, your spirit, it's just all upset, upset, upset, the frothy waves of experience. You were under the circumstances. Then if you're ashamed, then let the Lord Jesus speak His word. If you know Him as your Savior, then let Him be your Lord day by day, hour by hour.
Now the Lord of peace himself give. you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. The grace
of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Now back to the 133rd Psalm, please.
"behold", look at it, think about it, fix your attention on it,
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity:
Can anybody else dwell together? They can be under the same roof, they can be under the same steeple, they can be inside the same bunch of stained glass windows, they can be sitting in the same pew, and they can have a hireling preacher who's trying to keep them together. But you can't keep together folks that are not together. "How can two walk together when they're not agreed?" we read back in Amos 3:3. We're told in Ephesians. 4 as children of God, saved sinners, members of the church which is Christ's body, that we should earnestly endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit. Keeping, because it already exists. Itís a fact, a glorious reality. God's people are one.
If the Lord Jesus Christ should come right now, in the clouds to catch away His own, we would all, all the saved sinners, would be instantly, in a moment, a twinkling of an eye, caught away. And thank God weíd leave everything that has presented a spot or a wrinkle on the church of Jesus Christ so far as-we're concerned. Well that would mean all Christians to he caught away, so everything that has brought a spot or wrinkle in the eyes of the unsaved, a spot or wrinkle on the church of Jesus Christ would be left down here, thank God. Left down here with the world, and with the nice sectarian meeting houses. I think most of them go right ahead with very much the same program theyíve had since they were hatched. But Godís people to be caught away, and all spots and wrinkles that have to do with our flesh, and sad to say our carnal nature when we allow it to get in the ascendancy, all that to be gone, we'd be clothed with immortal bodies, and the church would be presented by the Lord to Himself as He says He's going to in Ephesians 5. The church would be presented by the Lord to Himself without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.
Thatís a glorious prospect isn't it? I'm going to be there, Iím going to be there. And Iím not going to be in the peanut gallery either. Iím going to be one of that company because I am already one of that company. Thatís the blessed hope. The blessed hope-which, when possessed by a man, possesses the man, possesses the man. That's the hope that changes men, Christian people I mean. Iím just using 'man' in the generic.
Back to Psalm 133, or back to look at it.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.
Well, what's that? Who was Aaron? Was he a nice, sweet, easy-going, namby-pamby, hired boy that decided to listen to what the people wanted, and then did his dead level best, dead level (Iím using those words advisedly), did his dead level best to appease the people that hired him? No.
No, turn back to the 16th chapter of Numbers, and letís read about Aaron now, and think about this in connection with "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Itís like the precious ointment that came down on the head and on the beard, even Aaron's beard." Letís read about Aaron now, and unity, and the lack of it among the people of God back here, way back in Numbers 16.
Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi,
young priest himself, you see, from the tribe of Levi,
and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men.
Are you one that can be "took" by somebody? Now that may he incorrect grammar, but it's correct doctrine that Iím referring to. Are you one that can be took? We read sometimes of people that were taken for a cleaning. The police know about it you know, the bunko squad. Somebody's been taken for a cleaning. I read the other day where a rich man was taken by that, that gypsy prophetess.
How much money? She told him if he'd throw his cash in the ocean then he'd get blessed by a whole lot more. And she worked a fast one on him you know, and wrapped up his bundle of cash, presumably in a newspaper, and switched it on him, and he threw what he thought was his bundle of cash in the ocean. It was just a bundle of papers, and she kept the cash, but finally somehow or other the bunko squad got with her, and she's just been sentenced. He was took, wasn't he. That poor fellow was took.
Now here are some excellent fellows so far as racial standards go, and so far as their religious position, originally given them by God. They didn't excel Moses and Aaron in God's order but they were ... they were charming young fellows I want you to notice now.
and they rose, and they took men: and they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel,
with certain of the children of Israel,
two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the assembly, men of renown.
You talk about an august assembly. You talk about an imposing array of devices. These fellows are really going to get something done, I want to tell you, because they haven't made any quick plans, their plans ... they really function. You don't think 257 members of the congregation could he wrong do you? Well God's thoughts are not our thoughts, He says.
Two hundred fifty princes of the assembly,
now this wasn't the assembly of the Amalekites, or the Hivites, or the Jebusites, or the Moabites or Hittites, this was the assembly of Israel. This is the assembly of God's people. Don't forget this now.
Two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown. And they gathered together.
We read over in the book of Jude, "These be they which separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit."
It's very, very interesting to some of us, though it's very sickening to observe the pattern, or to see some go by the pattern that we've seen, the devil's pattern, we've seen it, some of us for a good many years, and we can prophesy almost infallibly, what course, direction this split-off is going to take. They can prophesy almost infallibly. They tell me that police of years of experience know a good deal about the psychological pattern and the conduct that will be followed by certain types of crooks. If a man has murdered another one and they can't find the guilty one before the funeral of the murdered, one thing I've read about is, that the police say it's a very common thing for the murderer to go to the funeral.
If not in the immediate congregation, heís out behind the cars somewhere. And the police, knowing the pattern of certain types of criminality, will follow the pattern and oft times catch the man. The pattern.
These men took to themselves, and they gathered themselves,
They gathered themselves against Moses and against Aaron.
Did they gather themselves against God? Of course not! Of course not! Horrors! perish the thought! No-o-o! We're going to hear them saying beautiful, amorous, mushy, cotton candy words about God. You listen to them now. Oh no, these are not infidels, atheists, nor even agnostics. These are pious leaders.
They gathered themselves together against Moses, against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy.
I imagine I can just see the purring of some of the congregation. I remember years ago Mrs. Boston Smith coming up to John Hearne at the park, Verdugo Park at the edge of Glendale, and saying, "Aren't they going to let my favorite preacher preach today?" And did John like that, did John like that? If any of you people listen to John Hearne on the Pasadena radio now, I say that because several have asked me if I've heard him, and you don't have a holy revulsion in your soul, you're a contemptibly shallow professor as one who professes to believe in the unity of the Spirit. You certainly don't have any godly respect for me and those that are here where we stand together for the headship of Jesus Christ. And as we maintain by the grace of God, for many years some of us, a clear clean cut consistent testimony for the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and the unity of God's people. Without ever refusing, I wouldn't think of refusing John Hearne the privilege of coming and sharing time anytime he wants to. You get him to let me come to his meeting house and I'll be there next Sunday morning God willing to share time with him.
My friends we are very foolish if we deliberately turn from nominal sectarianism and give an open testimony against nominal sectarianism and at the same time don't love the Lord Jesus Christ as the head of His church. Don't love Him in that capacity. And if we at the same time do not say from the deeps of our heart, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." If your heart doesn't say amen to that this morning, then you got no business being here, though I hope and pray you'll get converted. If you're not here because in spite of physical weaknesses, we're still in the flesh, I mean so far as having an earthen vessel, we have the treasure of the new life in Jesus Christ in an earthen vessel that the excellency of the glory may be of God and not of ourselves. And Paul says, "Though we war in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. But the weapons of our warfare," the weapons of our warfare, we're in a fight!
Sometimes I hear dear Christians say, "I just can't stand controversy." You're just past due for heaven, except for the fact that the first thing you will be conscious of when you get there is the judgment seat of Christ! And then you'll see every bit of your evasiveness and cowardice in refusing to accept God-given responsibility in dealing with Christians with sore-toes and tummy-aches. Oh how many times these sterile, spiritual ... now don't you misunderstand me you single men and single young ladies, you may be in the center of God's will.
Paul wasn't married. You may be in the center of God's will so far as marriage relationship is concerned. But I'm talking about another type.
These sterile eunuchs in the religious realm. Their life is as fruitless for Jesus Christ so far as anything and everything we who know the best can think. Looking at them from the telescope of God's Word and the microscope of God's Word, their lives are sterile, spiritually sterile. As I said in the meeting in the Ceramic Decorating building when I was meeting ( ? ) Homer Ruyle in joint discussion, and John Hearne and his wife were there, and Earl Grove and his wife were there, I forget others who were there. And I said then, referring to Homer Ruyle, John Hearne, and Earl Grove, as being, so far As I have been able to observe, spiritually sterile. I said as sterile spiritually as eunuchs are in the physical realm. And do you think anything has happened in those years intervening between that then and this morning to make me think for one second that I was unwise or hasty or inaccurate? No! Only further confirmation.
My dear friends, people who know what it means to suffer for Christ's sake with sick children, people who have a father's heart, don't fly off the handle and break fellowship with God's people and deny the Christ whom they profess to love over some little thing. They're worthy ... just like a mother worthy of the name and a father worthy of the name doesn't get up and leave home ... every once in awhile we read of some who do, but they're not worthy of the name. A mother that's worthy of the name doesn't get up and leave home because the little baby had cholic. What kind of a father would get up at 2:00 in the morning with a baby screaming with cholic and put on his clothes and his hat and go to town, because he just can't stand controversy, just can't stand controversy. He just can't stand a baby with sore toes. Oh, may God give me (and He wants to) more and more of the compassion, the patience, the tenderness, the love, and the godly strength ... I should have begun with that. You think you can be patient without strength? No! It's a shallow stream that blab-badab-blabble-babbles you .know, and sings maybe, but it's awfully shallow. The deep current doesn't make plot of noise in the sense of that babbling type.
But now back again to this please. Numbers 16. Some of you say, maybe are thinking, "Now there he goes. Could any spiritual end be reached? Could there be any godly purpose? Is there anything edifying about him going back and mentioning the name Homer Ruyle with John Hearne and Earl Grove and those here? Yes! Yes! Is there any godly purpose served in the Spirit of God having David's sin recorded for billions of people to read about it? Yes! Was any Biblical, godly purpose, spiritual purpose to be realized by God having Moses write about this sin of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, Nadab and Abihu, Uz ... and another write about Uzzah? Yes, yes. Millions and billions of people have read of the impudent shame of these young Fundamentalist priests. God called their names.
Some of you remember when I gave a series several years ago over the radio on "God's Pitiless Publicity", because God doesn't pity when pity isn't the attribute He wants to manifest. God didn't pity the sinner when the sinner's sins were all focused on the sinless head of the Son of God's love. "God, without pity, spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up." And He was the laughing stock and the object of the jeers and the cursing and the reviling of the mob at the Calvary, and God still allows it to go on all over the world, ridiculing Christ and all. God's pitiless publicity. But one of these days thank God as we read in Philippians 2 ...
By the way, I've been appreciating that last week as I never have before. That those descriptions of praise that'll be given to the Lord Jesus, to be given to the name Jesus, in Philippians 2. They're all to come as the result of the humiliation of God's dear Son, Philippians 2. God ... Christ thought it not robbery to be equal with God, or not a thing to be grasped after -- equal with God, because He was equal with God, He was in the form of God, but He humbled Him ... emptied Himself, came down here, found in fashion as a man, and even then He humbled Himself, made Himself of no reputation, and became obedient unto death. Not disobedient in His death as has been blasphemously proclaimed recently by one or more of our ... physical number anyway, I wish I could believe spiritual number. But He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore, God hath highly exalted Him. And it is determined that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He's Lord, the result of all ... I mean the cause of all the future acclamations of praise and glory to Jesus Christ are going to come as a result of what He has done and not what He's going to do. Itís already done. The glorification, the fruitage of that good grain falling into the ground and dying. Thank God.
Back to Numbers 16 please. Three again, 16:3.
"These young fellows, famous in the congregation, gathered 250 princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown, and they gathered themselves together."
Every once in awhile, of course off and on for 28 years and more, I have heard the cheap chatter and the dishonest accusation that those who agree with me are Johnsonites. That's such a cheap accusation, Johnsonite. It's very, very interesting to me as I look hack to see who the real Johnsonites have been. They've been the same kind of Johnsonites as those Paulites referred to in Acts. Remember when Paul and Barnabas came preaching among them, those heathen came and said, "These are gods; they're gods come down from heaven, and let's worship them." And they wanted to worship you know, and to build sacrifices to these two men Paul and Barnabas: going to worship them! And then Paul and Barnabas refused that worshipful, heathenish, blasphemous attitude toward them rather than the godly recognizing them as men of God. And when Paul and Barnabas repudiated that worship on the part of those Paulites, what did they do? They murdered him. Did the best they could, you remember. Dragged him out of the city, stoned him, left him for dead. And I have a lot of poor little mud balls thrown at me by former Johnsonites. I'm sorry there's ever been a Johnsonite, because he's a pitiful life, it's a pitiful life.. Probably not as surely to be condemned as a Paulite, because Paul completely, I believe, renounced himself consistently, kept himself down. I wouldn't claim Iíve always done that. But I know I want to, I know I want to. And I know that my ministry by the grace of Almighty God is not conducive of building Johnsonites. No.
(comment from audience)
It's wrong to be a Paulite. But I said the Johnsonites are probably not as guiltless ... I mean as guilty because Paul gave them no occasion to follow him as a mere man, and I probably have given some occasion from time to time. For all of which I want to be deeply ashamed, and get rid of anything remotely akin to a tendency for giving occasion for somebody to be a mere follower of me as a man. But to follow me as I follow Christ, yes! thank God.
And of course there are some as I mentioned a good many times that say, "I don't follow any man. I follow Christ. He's my Master." That of course is the very height (or the depth) of pitiful egotism. Its contemptible egotism. The man on earth who doesn't follow any man spiritually is the man who admits he's number one in the Christian parade. He's just jambed right up against Christ, and all of his brethren in Christ are behind him somewhere down the line; because he doesn't follow any, theyíre all behind him. "I don't follow any man, I follow Christ."
Paul could truthfully say, and did, "Follow me, as I follow Christ." I'm glad to admit my friends, glad to say, that I follow, I don't know how many men. I don't know how far I am back in the procession following Paul. I'm sure it's way back, and I'm not trying to parade humility, Iím sure I'm way back. I don't claim that I've walked like Timothy walked, or Paul said, "I have no man like Timothy who will naturally care for your estate, for all men seek their own."
I think of that verse every once in awhile these days, when I see so many of us get bagged down in things, and we just don't have time. Read that in Philippians where Paul said, "I have no man like Timothy who will naturally care for your estate for all men seek their own." Isn't that an awful accusation. All men seek their own. What are you in business for? What's your big job? All men seek their own. As I mentioned this morning, most all of our life is in the future. Compare this little flash in the pan of ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy years with seventy trillion years, and then more trillion and more trillion. This is just a little day of preparation.
Now gird up the loins of your mind and listen carefully to what I'm giving. Because I know it's needed, and I'm sure it's Christ centered, and will help you if you're an honest listener, and will rebuke you if you're not. We're told to "comfort the feebleminded, and warn the unruly," as we give things that'll edify all those who are in that condition to be built up. But God never builds on a rotten foundation, you know. If there's anyone here on a false foundation, if you have sins that you are too cowardly and too stubborn to confess, if you have wronged some of your brethren in Christ, falsely accused them, and haven't honestly confessed it, then you can read the Bible morning, noon, and midnight, and you'll only be guiltier and get more false doctrine.
Suppose I'm all upset as I was a couple days ago (pardon this personal expression, physical), I was all upset in my digestive system a little while ago this last week was, and when some nice breakfast was prepared and offered me, "Iím sorry, I just thought it wouldn't be wise to eat it," see, to take in good food on an upset condition.
Well I'm quite sure that that's wise in the spiritual realm, because it would just be poison to you, just poison. When we're dishonest, and haven't humbly acknowledged where we should have acknowledged. I've seen it work many a time, my friend. I believe it absolutely, as sure as I believe anything in our most holy faith: that we've got to confess our sins to he right with God. Nobody can be taught the things of the Spirit of God whose out of fellowship with the Author. I'll put it a little differently. Nobody can understand the Bible, the spiritual teaching of the Bible, whoís out of fellowship with the Author. If I'm out of fellowship with the Spirit of God, and then open His Word, do you think He will guide me? "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him." "The fear of the Lord is clean." A single eye ... "If your eye is single, your body will be full of light." Otherwise, messed up, frustrated, in darkness.
And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said, Ye take too much upon yourselves, seeing all the congregation are holy, everyone of them, and the Lord is among them.
You talk about taking the name of the Lord in vain. That was a case of contemptible profanity. Were they acknowledging the Lordship of Jehovah then? Exactly the opposite. "You take too much upon you Moses and Aaron."
All the congregation is holy, everyone of them, and the L-L-o-r-d is among them. Wherefore lift ye up yourselves among the congregation of the Lord? ... above the congregation of the Lord?
And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face.
No one of us is worthy to lead this ... ? thinking that he's humble toward God, who doesn't have the same attitude that Moses had first.
He felt upon his face: and spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even tomorrow the Lord will show who are his, and who is holy; and wilt cause him to come near unto him.
Isn't that beautiful? That Christians can just say, "Well, God will show..." For 28 years since last April I have heard prophecies from friend and ... nominal friend and lots of folks, "Sooner or later you'll organize. You can't ... that's all right, I know, you think you're the first one, and blah-blah-blah-blah-blah." And I have said with increasing conviction, it's increased with some degree of regularity, I've probably had my downs as well as some ups, but my friend I stand here this morning to say that I am absolutely sure that I am indescribably farther from starting a new sect this morning than I was 28 1/2 years ago.
I'm indescribably farther, immeasurably farther from starting a new sect, or helping to maintain one that was already started than I was years ago. Because I have more and more appreciation of the spirit that starts sectarianism in religion. It's the spirit of self. It isn't necessarily false doctrine, as such. It's a false personal attitude toward Jesus Christ. Remember what I began with awhile ago, Christ's statement, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself," let him deny himself.
You know, one of the characteristics of a deceived person is that he's deceived. He doesn't understand what he's doing, and what he's saying. Sometimes doesn't remember. He's deceived, he's a victim. "Willingly taken captive of the devil at his will," we read over in Titus 3, but he's a victim, and also in 2 Timothy 2. He doesn't know what he's doing and what he's saying. That's one of the tragic characteristics of course of a deceived person. But ... to pretend to believe in the headship of Jesus Christ and the unity of God's people, and then get all miffed and peeved because of an imaginary personal injury. What pitiful deception of the devil is that, see.
Let's continue here. They gathered themselves together, remember that. And Moses spoke unto Korah ...
spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even tomorrow the Lord will show who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.
We can wait on the Lord. We can afford to wait on the Lord. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." They'll renew their strength. They'll mount up with wings as eagles. The young men run and get tired, no matter how fine and well trained athlete they are, they get tired. "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." Mount up with wings as eagles, we're told in the 40th chapter of Isaiah, isn't it?
This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company,
all his company, his company, his company,
and put fire therein, and put incense in them before the Lord tomorrow: and it shalt be that the man whom the Lord hath chose ... doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.
Now to a carnal listener, I imagine that sounded like just two ... "You're twice what you call me." "Yeah, yeah, you're one too." Did you (?) rather it's the man of God not allowing the hecklers and pestilent party-makers to deflect him one iota from his God ordained position. Suppose Moses had said, "Well, it just looks like I would better resign."
Bob Thompson preached last Sunday night in a Baptist meeting house in Haltom right out of Ft Worth, Tarrant County. Brother Toy Arnold's brother, I believe he's been out here and his daughter too and wife, brother Toy Arnold's brother I believe it was invited Bob to preach. Said, "The majority of the congregation voted asking the preacher to resign, and he refused to do it. He refused to resign. And they took it to court, and the court backed up the majority, and made the preacher get out. Went to the law before Caesar, and Caesar said the majority rules, where they fired him, and let the majority ask Bob to come and preach." And I told some of you why he called me long distance and said, "Request prayer, by the grace of God ..." And I heard some things about brother ... who was it, brother White from Borrego came by. He was there last Sunday, and went with them down there.
But now, suppose Moses had said, "Well Aaron, what do you think? What can we do? These 250 princes, men of renown, and they got a bunch of people with them there. You know ... they say weíre taking too much authority. What do you think? Maybe we'd better just... not take so much authority? Huh? Wait a minute, where did we get this authority? Did we take it? Or did Almighty God give it to us? And... Aaron; have you and I gone on that basis beginning with the time that God spoke to me back in the Midian desert in Egypt, and told me when I questioned that I could be used of God, I said, "The people won't believe me." "Throw your rod down on the ground, Aaron," and Moses threw his rod down, it became a snake. God said, "Take it by the tail."" He took... the tail and it became a rod again. "Now put your hand in your bosom." Moses put his hand in his bosom. "Take it out!" And it was leprous. "Put it back in." Put it back in. " "Take it out!" " And it was heated clean, clean pure again. Moses said, " "I stutter, I stutter." God said, "Who made your mouth? Who made your mouth?" My friends, Moses knew that God had called him, and that God had promised to be with him. God said anyway, I'll let Aaron be your mouth. You're the man I want; I'm going to use you","." And so, did Moses say, "Well those prophets you know after all Moses said, "'Tomorrow God will show who He's called, God will show."
I believe in my position as a God-given evangelist, pastor, and teacher. I can be just as resolute, I can be just as spiritually confident, and just as bold as Moses was, and that God wants me to be, and that my confidence is that Almighty God will cause everybody, saint and sinner, carnal and spiritual, to recognize. They may not admit it in so many words. I said last Sunday afternoon or week ago up to Pershing Square, two weeks ago today, we were reading at Pershing Square, Mike and I and Mark, Mary I believe ... All right, three weeks ago. I said, "You know, I thank God that I believe that some of these rankest and most vulgar ..."", yes it was brother Southall with whom I was talking, two weeks ago on this particular point, but Iíve done it with others before. I said, "You know brother Southall, I thank God that I believe, and have joy in believing, that some of the rankest atheists down here in Pershing Square, vulgar, filthy-mouthed, communistic, atheist in some cases, and other-wise ungodly hecklers and all, that some of them who have seen us and heard us, different ones of us for years, have respect in the depths of their soul for us.
And I said the same thing Friday night after we were leaving the street, those Roman Catholic boys, "Ah-h-h, you don't know what you"re talking about." Well they wouldnít have stayed until, after 11:00 if they'd have thought that what we were giving wasn't worth listening to at all. The poor boys and Roman Catholic young people, I think they just kept hoping that they could get something on us, you know, and "Well, what are you? Why don't you tell us what church youíre in? What religion?", and so forth. And in the deeps of their heart ... Claude was telling about the one that he called away, one of those big husky fellows that was so smart-aleck in the crowd. Pulled him away, you know, and talked to him until just 11:30. And Claude said, "When I got him by himself, he said, "Well, I donít know anything else. I been taught this all my life." And he said, "Anyway you fellows, got to hand it you, youíve got something to get out here on the street like this." Claude said he just was a different fellow.
Certainly belief ... because thank God my friend we can prove. Paul said, "Timothy, make full proof of thy ministry."" And God said back in the Old Testament, "Whether they will hear or whether they will forebear, they'll know that a prophetís been in their midst."
Now back here to this, Numbers 16, and that applies in the place where God's given you to you, everone of us, because see... everyone is given grace according to the measure of gift of faith. Everyone of us in the body of Christ has a gift, something to be and to do for the Lord Jesus.
I haven't wanted anybody to recognize me as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, like I said over the radio yesterday when somebody wrote me a question, said, for Saturday, "If you're not a Reverend, Doctor of Divinity, how can you perform a marriage ceremony?" I didn't give as much as I would like to have given because questions were coming in a drove then, and I was afraid I wouldn't get to them. But I brought out that for years, I have dared to believe, and have believed, and have contended that I can prove to Caesar all I need to prove that I'm a minister of Jesus Christ. Without any badges or buttons or anybody's license given me by a sect. And I've performed a good many marriage ceremonies. A good many of you young folk here are not married (and some of you been married several years), you're not married if I'm not a preacher. A minister of Jesus Christ, because I've signed the marriage certificates over and over again. I've signed them ... "Say you're a minister. What denomination?" "Minister of the church of Jesus Christ."
When I performed the marriage ceremony for Alden and Helen, my daughter Helen, as I've told some of you, I signed, "A minister in the church which is Christ's body, Colossians 9 and Ephesians 2." And I got a comeback. Said, "You didn't state the denomination. It's necessary." I wrote back, "I stated the exact fact. I'm not in a sect or denomination. I'm in the church which is Christ's body." I got a ? , license back that "It's necessary, if you're a minister, to state what particular denomination. You must be in a denomination." I wrote back, "Not according to the constitution of the United States. Have you the right to tell me I must be a Roman Catholic minister, or a Lutheran minister? You have no such right. I think you may have observed that the bride in this particular marriage is my daughter. I can assure that I'm very anxious. that this wedding be legal." ? we don't have to let any of these (?) altogether glorious, sometimes it's quite frightening, see, when I get careless or something of the sort. That's the only obligation that is absolutely unbinding, irrevocable, immutable, authoritative. Except for these little Mormon "elders". Poor little fellows, hardly begun to shave fuzz off their chins you know. Haven't any family at all but they're elders in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (probably ĎEveryday Aint'sí is what it is, but anyway). I've had them ask me, "What authority do you have for preaching? What authority? Have any apostles laid their hands on you?" Yes, the only living apostle, or the only living apostolic authority, the Word of God has been laid upon me by the Spirit of God. Yes.
This do; Take you censers.
I imagine Korah, Dathan, and Abiram are maybe looking around and maybe some of their followers are saying, are they going to let Moses tell them what to do? That's just what theyíve been saying they're not going to do anymore." Well, you're just mistaken bud. You're just mistaken. You listen to the men of God that speak to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, or you'll answer to God your impudent self! I say with nothing in the depths of my heart but sorrow and grief, along with that (I don't mean this is "nothing but"), along with that, joy in the Holy Spirit, that the split-offs and the break-ups, started by people who have left us, have been ignominious flops, because it's a corporation of sore toes, corporation of sore toes.
the man of God said to these impudent upstarts, who have a place in the programs of God, young priests, but they were not Moses and Aaron, high in the leadership.
Take you censers, Korah, and his company; and put fire therein, put incense in them before the Lord tomorrow: and it shall he that the man whom the Lord hath ... doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi. And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them?"
See, they were ministering priests, but not the high priests.
And he hath brought thee near to him, and all of thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?"
You see, they were not doing what God wanted them to do, that's why they got envious, and jealous of somebody who was doing what God wanted him to do. We read from Paul's inspired pen, or rather his lips and written by an inspired historian Luke in Acts the 20th chapter, "I know that after my departure shall grievous wolves enter in among you not sparing the flock; even of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves. If As I said (was it last Sunday?), any time any humble God-fearing person comes to believe that I'm preaching something, or Wilbur's preaching something, or Earl Lifework, or Mike, or brother Stevens, or anyone else among us is preaching or teaching something that's contrary to the Word of God, and you do not have a spiritual desire to come to us before you have made it appear that there is a break that you must make because we're false, when you haven't given us a godly opportunity to sit down with you and study. My beloved Christian brethren, donít be fooled by that contemptible divisive spirit. When somebody comes to you and says, "Do you agree with that?" Say, '"Well pardon me, have you talked to brother Wilbur about that? Let's go to him now!" "Do you agree with what Mike has preached?" "Well, have you talked to brother Mike about it? Letís go to him now!" "Do you agree with what Maurice is preaching?" "Well, have you talked to Maurice about it? Letís go to him now." What sort of cowardly, divisive, proud spirit of Korah, Dathan and Abiram could it he? Humility isn't to do with that attitude, that spirit, not think of their people, think different ones ...
Why I thank God [for] the people that have come to me. I have been helped many a time, Iíve been ... had things called to my attention that I had overseen or not seen. Thank God for many, many years my friend, I have with some degree of consistency refused to get up in the pulpit and preach things that I hadn't first studied, probably more than most anybody in the audience. Now that isnít egotism, that's what should be true, that the things I preach publicly I should have studied more maybe than most anybody else in the audience. And when I get up and give something that I know I've studied over very carefully and prayerfully for years and years, and gone out to various commentaries and commentators and others to let God use them to correct me if ... after I've already gotten what I believe is the truth in the Word. I don't go to sectarian commentaries and commentators to get spiritual teaching, havenít done it for years. Because when I know ... just like I quote from Charles Hodge, and A.A. Hodge, and I quote from Lewis Sperry Chafer, and I quote from Darby, and William Kelly, and F.W. Grant, and C.H. Mackintosh, and others. But my friend, the moment I can't become convinced to know that a Bible teacher or preacher or expositor or commentator, no matter how much truth he has, isnít walking endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit, I do not recognize him as a safe teacher. The man whose teaching, whose truth, hasnít gotten down into his own feet to make him want to walk worthy of the calling wherewith he's called is a dangerous teacher, and the more truth he teaches the more dangerous he is. If the truth that Iím teaching, my friend, hasn't first gripped my heart sand my mind to where I want to walk in it and endeavor to live it out, you shouldn't listen to me if you're convinced that's a fact. You shouldn't listen to me. "Cease my son from the teaching that causeth thee to err," weíre told back in the Old Testament. Paul said, "Mark those which w-a-l-k, which walk as you have me for an ensample, for many walk of whom Iíve told you often, even tell you now weeping, they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose God is their belly."
Iím thinking of rewriting a message that I got out in mimeograph form (poor mimeograph work, I did it myself, years ago), "Belly Worshipping Preachers." Itís kind of a coarse expression isnít it, but it's God's coarseness. You know doctors, medical doctors, in diagnosing cases in referring to illnesses and all, sometimes they use awful words. But they're accurate, they're awfully accurate. And accurate in describing an awful condition sometimes, and, some of the time anyway, theyíre important, they're necessary language. Belly worship ... preachers who go the way that seems right rather than what they know is right, what God says ... "...enemies of the cross of Christ... whoís God is their belly." And ... that's in Philippians 3, then in the 16th chapter of Romans, "Who serve not our Lord Jesus Christ but their own belly, and with good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."
Eleventh verse, Numbers 16:11.
For this cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the Lord: and what is Aaron, that you murmur against him?
You see Moses said, "You got the issue all wrong boy. You're not gathered together against Aaron and me, you're gathered together against the Lord."
And what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?
You see, Moses wouldn't let them continue to cloud the issue. It's the devilís trick my friend to cloud and confuse the issue. See, that's the devilís trick, confuse the issue. Every once in awhile I hear of or know of some pitifully defeated sore toe that hasn't had the human courage much less godly courage to come out in the open and fight for his own sore toe openly, anymore maybe, after he's been dealt with in a fashion. Then he gets a chance to side in with somebody else with a sore toe, and becomes a loving brotherly champion of the other sore toe. I donít know any more contemptible and despicable case of littleness than that. And by the grace of Almighty God I stand ready to help all honest God-fearing people that need to know anything about a case like that to get the issues straight.
And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up.
That's fine, they weren't going to let Moses be God, were they? No, because they weren't going to let God be God. Moses was just God's servant you know. And if they rejected Moses they rejected God, because Moses wasnít out for himself, see.
Is it a small thing that thou has brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness?
Anybody here this morning that says, "Well I thought that when I left the Baptists, or the Presbyterians, or the Methodists, or the Pentecostalist, or the so-and-so, and came here, that I was coming among the people that loved each other and that didn't quarrel or fight or ...". Is that so? My friend, every saved soul here this morning has the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Spirit and "he that loveth not knoweth not God." But because we are gathered together here in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ so far as those in authority and responsibility for the meeting is concerned, because we are gathered together here in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ doesn't mean that our flesh isn't here, and it doesn't mean that the devil isn't allowed to intrude. He can't get into the church, thank God, because the only church we're recognizing is the church which is Christ's body. But he can come in among us. As I quoted last Sunday two weeks ago, or a week, ago ... two weeks this morning, from the 11th chapter of I Corinthians, "There must also be heresies that they which are approved may be made manifest." God's determined it you see. He lets the enemy come in among us, that we may have opportunity to use our spiritual armor and take orders from the captain of our salvation. He wants us to have opportunity to prove that we are good soldiers of Jesus Christ. He didn't call Timothy and train him and equip him as a soldier to go out and win a ping-pong match, or a tiddly-wink tournament. "Timothy, endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." And he calls names of some false preachers there in that 2nd chapter of 2 Timothy. And he calls the name of Alexander the coppersmith who "done me much hurt; be thou aware of him also," and so forth. "Timothy, war a good warfare." Beautiful things aren't they? to the spiritual mind.
They said to Moses, Dathan, and Abiram, those who were carried away with Nadab, they said,
Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of the land that floweth with milk and honey,
oh, Egypt was a wonderful land according to them now,
to kill us in the wilderness?
They just loved Egypt now. Isn't that interesting how they loved Egypt. All of a sudden Egypt becomes beautiful. Want to go back and make brick under Pharaoh? My friend, there's no telling what you'll take up when you begin to champion capital '!'. That may he incorrect grammar, but it's tragically sound doctrine in some cases. When you begin to take up for capital 'I', there's no telling what you'll believe; what you'll do. The essence of sin is self.
Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of the land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?
"You're not only going to kill us out in the desert here, instead of leaving us down in Egypt with milk and honey, but you're going to kill us out here, and in addition to that you want to make yourself a prince over us. Well, who do you think you are? Well, Iíll tell you who we are: we love God; we're going to be true to God." Well let's see.
Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey.
Well it wasn't Moses and Aaron's fault. Moses and Aaron are willing to go on over with Caleb and Joshua.
Moreover thou hast not brought us into a Land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men?
"Who do you think you are? You may think you're a big shot but we're not blind, we're not blind." This sounds Like it's written yesterday, this morning, this morning. "You've got a bunch of Johnsonites around there that'll swallow what you say ... Diotrephes. But there are a few of us that are not blind." You remember what Christ said to those Pharisees who said, "are we blind?" And He said, "Because you see, you're blind. You think you see." In their egotism they were not blind men. Christ said, "That proves you are blind. You're a whole lot worse blind ... you're a whole lot worse seer than those fellows who are physically blind."
Moreover thou hast not brought us into the Land, and so forth, and now you want to put out our eyes, the eyes of these men? we will not come up. And Moses was very wroth.
What do you think about that? I think it was beautiful. I think it was like that bush on fire a Little while ago. It didn't burn him up, though, this anger. This is beautiful anger. Moses was wroth, and said unto the Lord, Respect not their offering.
How you like a prayer like that? Moses said, "Lord, don't respect their offering." How do you like a prayer like that? When I was. a Methodist I used to hear Methodist preachers from time to time say, "Now personally I don't care for the imprecatory psalms." You know, they like the, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want," "I hope I get a better pastorate in the next conference," and things like that you see. But they did not like the psalms, "Do not I hate them that hate Thee, O Lord. Yea, I hate them with perfect hatred." Read that in the Psalms.
You know you can tell , what you are spiritually ... or I can, if you'll tell me honestly your preferences in the Bible. "Well you know, the 23rd Psalm is my favorite psalm. The Lord is my Shepherd. He prepares a table in the midst of mine enemies. My cup runneth over ...". Now I'm not belittling that psalm, don't misunderstand me, but that psalm you know can be said ... claimed truthfully by those who believe the 22nd Psalm, "Eli,Eli,lama sabachthani? which being interpreted is, My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" You've got to take the 22nd Psalm, the Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep, before you can claim the 23rd Psalm, "The Lord is my Shepherd," or before you'll ever be able to rejoice in the return of the Chief Shepherd, the 24th Psalm. That's what I'm trying to bring out.
I'm going to close pretty soon now. Numbers 16th chapter. And Moses said, Lord, don't respect their offering.
I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them. And Moses said unto Korah, Be thou and all thy company before the Lord, thou, and they, and Aaron, tomorrow: And take every man his censer, and put incense in them, and bring ye before the Lord every man his censer, two hundred and fifty censers; thou also, Aaron, each of you his censer. And they took every man his censer ...
You know, far as I know, it was just Almighty God that made those rebellious smart-alecs do what Moses told them to do. Notice here.
And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron. And Korah gathered all the congregation against them, oh-oh,
unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. Well now that's just an awful condition. I imagine I can see Mr. Milktoast and his last wife, I imagine I can see ? , "I don't know if ... I wish we hadn't come." There's Moses and Aaron you know, they're in the tabernacle of the congregation gathered over there in opposition. "I don't know, I just don't ... maybe ? is, you know."
And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron,
that splendid contempt on the part of Jehovah for those upstarts. You remember when God told the three false comforters of Job who came to him with offerings. The Lord said, "You go to Job and take your sacrifices, and he'll pray for you. He'll pray for you. I don't want to hear you! You go to the man that you belittled. You haven't walked softly before Me to know what's wrong with Job and all. You tried to tell him, you smart-alecs. I won't receive your offering. You go to Job, and he'll pray for you." Isn't that great. The last shall be first and the first shall be Last.
The Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?
My beloved Christian brethren this morning here, the reason I'm taking up these things, the immediate reason, of course the all inclusive reason is to glorify God by preaching, expounding some of His Word, but the immediate reason is that some of you unsuspecting souls may be fortified and Biblically, spiritually prepared to take your stand when and where it's necessary in disciplinary measures.
Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. And they fell upon their faces, and said, God, the God of the spirits of all flesh.
Who is it that's going to pray for these young upstarts? The men that they're ridiculing. Who was it that helped Lot, that rescued him from victorious heathen kings? The man that he left in order to pitch his tent toward Sodom. Abraham is the man that God uses to help his carnal nephew. The best friends that some of you have are the ones that you are trying your dead-level best to discredit and belittle and hinder and frustrate and bog down in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. They're the best friends that you have and you're so stupid in your own egotism that you don't know it. They've borne with you and suffered for you and prayed for you and they want to help you, and you're wrong to those that will put sweet smelling talcum powder on a malignant cancer! Some of us refuse to do that. Like Moses and Aaron refused to deal with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram in any such quack doctor method. As Jeremiah in his Lamentations, said, "They heal the hurt of the daughter of my people lightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace." That's what's wrong with the world today, peace, peace, peace, where there is no peace. "Righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Righteousness and peace. And Moses is dealing with righteousness here with a God of righteousness, or the righteous God.
O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation? And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the congregation, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
If you don't refuse to be identified with this insurrection, this rebellion, then you will be a part of the whole thing. That's what I read to you from 2 Thessalonians, that chapter [3:14]. "If any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and have no company with him that he may he ashamed." My friend, the one thing ... you know the Modernists, and the Bolshevists, one of the things for instance that a good many thoughtful people are saying is impossible, is (what is it, peaceful existence? no, what's that? coexistence, yeah, coexistence), a peaceful coexistence between the bloodthirsty anti-God communists and others. Peaceful (?) coexistence. Unrighteousness and righteousness have a 'kissing bee', see. That's the best the world can do because, "The way of peace have they not known," have they not known.
Speak unto the congregation,
I'm reading Numbers ... Numbers 16:24,
Speak unto the congregation, Get you,
He'd already told Moses and Aaron,
Get you up from among the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And hoses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.
Thank God for that. I started to say a minute ago, we have unity in the family of God, is what God wants for ... asks for, and desires. And we have discipline in the days of Israel, "And all the people say, Amen!" see. All the people said amen. Unanimity. I started to say that the psychologists of today, the educators of today, and a lot of the modernistic preachers are saying, "We must live together peaceably; we mustn't quarrel. We must live together peaceably. Let us have interdenominational, let us have the World Council of Churches. Let us ... we can agree to disagree agreeably." Agree to disagree agreeably on the things that Almighty God's spoken, see. If you think Christ is born in Constantinople, though the Bible says He's born in Bethlehem, well that's all right. I won't cause to divide, but agree or disagree agreeably, just give God the lie, you give him the lie and I don't, we shake hands because we're so broad and loving and tolerant. My friend, what God wants today, as I said this morning, not in these words, but on the radio, maybe will go on with Wednesday: God wants in the first place each individual to have a single eye, "If your eye is single, your whole body is full of light", "Set you affection," singular, "on the things above", "The fear of the Lord is clean." He wants you and me not to have divided minds, divided hearts; a divided mind is unstable. He wants us to have the single eye, the single affection, the single heart, the single love, and with ... then staying together with one mind and one mouth, one spirit, striving together for the faith of the gospel, and in nothing terrified by adversaries.
A family where the father... the husband and the wife are together. And then God blesses the union with children, and where the husband is the father in act, in practice and reality, and the wife is the mother. And father and mother stand together in discipline with the children, and the children respect the unity there between father and mother, they respect it. They never see division in the home: It's suicide, it's anarchy, it's vicious, it's contributing to the delinquency of your children when father disciplines children and mother butts in. A man that's worthy of the name 'man' won't stand for that, and he's a contemptible weakling, a sissy! A man that will allow his wife to butt in when he's administering discipline.
(from audience "Or even the grandmother")
Or even the grandmother. Don't even talk in such a way that anybody might think they know what ... but anyway. But now watch, please. And it's exactly the same, except on a lower plane, when the mother disciplines the child and the father goes contrary to it in the presence of the child. It's... maybe boss-ism all right, but it isn't godly headship. Mother and father should get away from the child's presence and talk about it where the discrepancy ... they're not together on discipline, and pray God! that they'll be together and contribute to their children's unity. And then in the larger family, unity, unity, unity.
As I said 'while ago, not meaning to be unkind, but meaning to be severely honest and accurate, they who have caused me the greatest heartache and sorrow, and given occasion for more trouble than any other child that Iíve dealt with are people who almost universally don't know what spiritual harmony is in their own home. They don't know what spiritual unity is in their own home. Which means of course they don't have it in their own heart first. And sometimes they come from a broken home, and frustrated, and held down, and maybe where they can't blow off at home without getting their ear knocked down or something, and they'll find some sore toes publicly (I mean in the larger group), and cause trouble. But God wants unity.
Look at this now. Look... this is written for our learning, profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect. These things are written that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you away from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.
Weren't they grovelling conformists to Moses? No! They were dear men of God. Elders in the congregation, following God's leadership in following Moses, because God had given Moses his position.
And he spake ...
Imagine, can't you imagine those elders starting to follow Moses after God had spoken to him, and here's this divisive crowd over here, 250 men of renown, princes., and when these elders start following Moses, ? said, "Look at them, they're following Moses. Anything Moses does, they do. Hee, hoe." Listen boys, your laughter's going to dry up pretty quick. Your ridicule is going to dry up pretty quick. These men are following Moses because Moses is taking order from their God.
And he spake unto the congregation, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men,young Levites, Fundamentalist preachers, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins. So they got up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side, thank God for that, and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I've not done them of my own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited with the visitation of all men; then the Lord hath not sent me. But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open up her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertaineth unto them, and they go down quick into the pit,living into the pit,
then ye shall know that these men have provoked
Moses and Aaron,
have provoked the Lord. And it came to pass, as he made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave,
it just cut wide open,
the ground clave asunder that was under them: and the earth,
that was just a particular, specific earthquake. It didn't quake where Moses and Aaron and those folks on Godís side were standing at all. Just quaked right over there, just split right open close to these fellows.
and the earth opened up her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and their goods.
There's some earth swallowing going on right now that Iíve heard of. Sorrow, defeat in the home, crack-up, and only God knows what the end's going to be. And He does know.
They, and all that appertained unto them, went down alive into the pit.
But what kind of a life? A God-less life.
And the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.
They were men of renown, weren't they, famous -- for a little while. "Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not."
And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.
And that's the same result that we find obtaining from the discipline in the 5th and 6th chapters of Acts. After Ananias and Saphira were stricken dead under the disciplinary judgment of the apostle Peter. "Of the rest durst no man ... Great fear came upon all the Christians, and of the rest durst no man join himself to them.1f They said, "If liars are going to have their ? that lies look out in public and then stricken dead, we won't join this crowd anymore. We don't like them anyway. We just donít like them. We just don't like Fem, Simon Peter, and that crowd with him." You mean when the light of Almighty God is turned on your crookedness, you don't like it.
And they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. And there came a fire out from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
Oh-oh, that crowd that followed these divisive young preachers, they too were dealt with by Almighty God.
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak un...,
well that's all Iíll give this morning. Now remember that these are written for our learning we're told over in Romans 15:4 and I Corinthians 10:13 and 2 Timothy 3:15-17, "profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness, man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished to all good works." Read the church epistles, especially Timothy and Titus, and see God's order for the family of God today. And God's men that were to set things in order, and Titus rebuke with authority. 'Timothy, "Them that sin, rebuke before all, that others also may fear." God wants fear in the Christians in this present dispensation just as surely as He wanted fear in the Israelites back there in the days of Moses and Aaron and Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, Nadab and Abihu. Letís not forget that.
Shall we stand and sing.
(congregation, led by Maurice Johnson, sings second verse of "My Faith Looks Up To Thee")
Before someone closes in a word of audible prayer, let me say that probably at not a distant date I will be more specific as to some things that I have unquestionably referred to indirectly during this meeting this morning. Someone close in prayer if you have burden to do so, audibly.
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