Holiness And Biblical Separation
I. The Importance Of Holiness
A. Lev. 11;44 … ye shall by holy; for I am holy,…
B. II Cor. 7:1 … let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
C. Heb. 12;14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
II. Holiness Of The Spirit
A. Gal. 5:22-23 But the fruit or the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.
III. Holiness Of The Mind
A. Phil. 4:8 Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report; if there by any virtue, and if
there be any praise, think on these things.
Iv. Holiness Of Conversation
A. I Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.
B. James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
V. Holiness Of Dress
A. Deut. 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.
B. I Tim. 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.
C. I Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance or evil.
Vi. Holiness Of The Hair
A. I Tim. 2:9 … not with braided hair …
B. Isaiah 3:16-24 … and instead of well set hair baldness…
C. I Cor. 11:4-15 … if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him. But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
VII. The Authority Of The Man Of God In Defining Holiness Standards
A. In Lev. ch. 13 and 14, the priest was given the wisdom and authority to determine whether or not a person had leprosy (a type of sin) on their body, in their clothes, or in their home.
B. Matt. 16:19 … whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
C. Matt. 18:18 … whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
D. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you.
E. Eph, 4:11-12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints….
By: David Wilkerson
It is high time to speak out against all the Hollywood holiness and show business salvation that is now contaminating the house of God. How sad the heart of God must now be to see so many who call themselves Christians corrupting and defiling themselves at the devil’s table. There is a cancer of
worldliness growing in the church.
God has not called me to clean up the church. I am not some kind of super-saint sitting in judgment against others who do not live up to my personal standards. I am just an ordinary, simple Christian who is appalled by all the soulish, sensuous, worldly influences creeping into the church. It’s time to judge righteous judgment and expose the ungodly trends that make a mockery of holiness. And, God help me to do it in love without purposely hurting any particular person or group.
Let me begin by reminding us all of what God demands of those who claim to be born again. God’s Word commands us to “break away”, and “come out” from the spirit of the world.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”
There are Charismatic Christians who claim to be filled with the Holy Ghost, who still drink their beer, wine, and whiskey. The tongue that “speaks in heavenly languages” is soaked in alcohol, and smothered in smoke. Smoking is a debilitating habit, yet many Christians still refuse to lay down this habit. Drinking by “Christians” is damning many young people who are confused by double standards. My Bible says: “. . . dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (II Corinthians 7:1).
Pot smoking, pill popping teenagers come to me with the question, “How can those people who smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol put us down for smoking grass or dropping pills and acid? They have their own habits and they’re just as bad. They are the worst kind of hypocrites. Get them to clean up before you try to preach us out of our brand of habits.”
What bothers me most of all is the terrible influence the habit-bound ner-Charismatics have upon young converts. I meet these confused kinds all over the nation. Young Christians with refrigerators filled with beer. Some of them chain smoke cigarettes. Others lay around promiscuously, indulging in sex outside marriage, And when you rebuke them for their loose standards they point a finger at all the preachers the Catholic
and protestant Charismatics who carry Bibles, talk in tongues, and still drink and smoke.
Thank God for the majority who have sanctified themselves and have quit their old habits. But, there are still hundreds who attend conventions, seminars, and prayer groups who are still addicted to the habits of the flesh. The Holy Ghost has shed enough light on this subject that only blind, deaf Christians can ignore it. The church needs a Holy Ghost mouth wash. God will no longer allow worshippers to fill His upper room with smoke, or defile their offerings of praise with breath reeking of alcohol.
Yes, I am greatly bothered by Spirit filled Christians who drink- even wine! Partly because two million kids are now on the brink of becoming alcoholics. And because Americans will spend ten million dollars on booze this year while thousands starve for food. Because wine is a mocker! Because the tongue that praises God should not be pickled in alcohol. Because it is such a horrible example to young people, showing a total lack of self-control and wisdom. But most of all, I am bothered by the fact that drinking Christians are living in unbelief. They do not come under His wing for purging of their appetites. They aren’t satisfied with the Spirit’s new wine, alone. They want the world’s wine, too, Jesus will say-
“I filled your soul with my heavenly wine- why did you not allow that to satisfy you fully? Why did you have to tarry at the cup, red with wine? Why did you play with the mocker? Why the fleshly rage in your life for strong drink? Could you not have come to and “drunk freely’?”
Hollywood holiness is promoted by celebrities who claim to be born again but who continue to live a double life. They bounce back and forth between prayer meetings and night clubs. For a substantial fee, they perform for Christian audiences, then turn around, and collect fat pay checks from gambling casinos, worldly concerts, night clubs, and drinking establishments.
You find these Hollywood Christians from Nashville to Beverly Hills. They claim that Jesus has called them back into the old world so they can “be a witness”. They move with great ease among the jet set; they love their association with movie stars and celebrities; they yearn for the attention and respect of other performers and high society. Yet, they also want the fellowship and respect of God’s people.
What a shame! What an insult to the intelligence of a holy God! The truth is, these half-in, half-out Christians are using religion in a self-serving way. And, religion is using them, to make money and draw crowds, no matter how many good things happen-it is still deadly wrong to be a mixer with the world and attempt to be a Christ-witness at the same time. He that is a friend to the world is an enemy of God.
The Hollywood Christians hang on to their old life because of the good money, the power, and influence, and the glory. Otherwise, they would be willing to bear the reproach of the lowly Nazarene who said:
“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you and cast your name out as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.” (Luke 6:22) Come out of those night clubs! Break away from the playboy crowd! Quit performing in those dirty bars and casinos! There can be no more mixing of salvation and show business. A reckoning day is coming soon!
Hollywood has been enlisted to help promote certain religious TV specials. Well-known evangelists produce programs featuring Gospel preaching along with appearances by some of the most ungodly celebrities in the nation: One star appeared in a whiskey ad one week; the following week he was being advertised in the same ad with an evangelist promoting his “Christian special”. What a stench in God’s nostrils. What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? What right do the sons of Belial and the children of the devil have appearing on the same program that purpots to glorify Christ?
Saints of God, don’t be deceived! It’s terribly wrong! And God will not let it go on much longer. These ministers who so love the adulation and friendship of the Hollywood crowd have deceived themselves. Pray that God will convict these evangelists and bring them back to the simplicity of the pure Gospel. We dare not question their sincerity or desire to win souls. But their judgment must be called into question.
The danger is this; Christians may be applauding when they should be weeping. Is it possible we are receiving into fellowship those whose works are an abomination to the Lord? Are we praising as some great new work of the Spirit, something that is a stench in God’s nostrils? Have we become so enamored by the majestic outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit that we can no longer discern between that which is wicked and that which is righteous?
“BORN AGAIN” Christians who become confederated with the world are guilty of spiritual adultery. They are guilty of falling back into Egypt, from which they testified they were once delivered. They visit and embrace that which should be hated by all who truly love Jesus.
This is not the time to be aligned with ungodly men in ungodly places. This is a time to realize our God is a jealous God. It is a time to disengage from the world and all it stands for. It is possible to be active for God in this busy world without letting the world get into you. What spiritual impudence so many new converts display. They praise our Lord with zeal and childlike sincerity, then turn right around and prostitute themselves with alliances with children of the devil.
The church has experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Now the church is going to experience a purging. Jesus is going to separate the wheat from the chaff.
“Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:12)
The Truth About Holiness
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are
become new. And all things are of God . . . ” (II Corinthians 5:17, 18). When a person repents and comes to Christ there is an evident and immediate change in his life. This is not to say that he immediately becomes perfect, but he does turn from his sinful deeds and embarks on a beautiful life, separated unto God.
This life of separation is referred to as a life of holiness. Scripture also uses the terms perfection and sanctification in speaking of holiness.
Christian’s Call to Holiness
To deny that Christians are called to holiness is to deny scripture itself. From the calling out of Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, to the calling home of His church, God expects separation from the things of the world by His chosen people. God expressed it to Abraham this way, “I am the Almighty God, walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Genesis 17:1). Paul spoke of Jesus’ intent for His bride (the church), “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27).
To have followed the gospel plan of salvation, which is repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues (Acts 2:38) is not an end in itself. To stop there without presenting your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God is to fail to fulfill your reasonable service unto God (Romans 12:1).
Having been filled with God’s Spirit, man has a great responsibility to both God and man. Paul felt this responsibility and expressed it unto Governor Felix, “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men” (Acts 24:16). Paul admonished the Corinthians, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you! If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (I Corinthians 3:16, 17).
Jesus told his disciples they were the light of the world and that they should let their light shine as an example unto others so that they might glorify God (Matthew 5:14-16). The holy life of a Christian is an essential part of their witness and testimony to others. “Be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world”
To claim to be a Christian and to live like the world is an insult to Christ. Those who do are hypocrites and are not of God. Jesus let it be known that some would profess without possessing, but He also gave a truth by which to tell the difference, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:20, 21). It is His will for man to be holy because He is holy (I Peter 1:16). Therefore, “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (II Timothy 2:19).
God emphasized the importance of holiness with the children of Israel by commanding it of them on several occasions, “Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). “For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine” (Leviticus 20:26). These are but a few of the Old Testament scriptures on holiness. But they are indicative of God’s emphasis on the importance of the truth of holiness.
The New Testament also stresses the importance of holiness by recording many commands of God for it. However, it goes even further by putting it bluntly, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). God’s demand of holiness carries with it strong repercussion for disobedience. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (II Corinthians 6:17).
What is Holiness?
Since scripture proves that holiness is an essential part of the life of the believer, the next step is to investigate what holiness is. Holiness is a divine attribute of God. Holiness is the quality or state of being set apart to the service of God. Holiness in reference to man is a separation of
A man who has come to Christ is made a new creature in Him, and conscientiously tries by the help of God’s Holy Spirit to live a life pleasing before God. Holiness is not being conformed to the world but being transformed by a renewing of the mind to a life that takes on the obtainable characteristics of God and His Word (Romans 12:2). These characteristics are exhibited both in body and in Spirit (I Corinthians 7:34). Holiness is bringing oneself in obedience to God’s Word.
True holiness covers both the inward and outward man. To clean up one, without the other, is a contradiction. Such was the case of the scribes and Pharisees upon whom Jesus pronounced woe and called them hypocrites. He accused them of cleaning up the outside. of the cup but leaving the inside full
of extortion and excess (Matthew 23:23-27). As a man strives for perfection in Christ Jesus he MUST think honestly, justly on pure things, on lovely things, on things of good report (Philippines 4:8). He must dress modestly, decently and not in expensive clothes (I Timothy 2:8-19). He must also make sure that his speech is not corrupt, but good (Ephesians 4:29); that he tell no lies but only truth’ (Revelation 21:8), and that his
members are not yielded in any way as instruments of unrighteousness
or sin, but unto God and righteousness (Romans 6:13).
Is Holiness Obtainable?
Since holiness is referred to as perfection and sanctification at times, some try to rationalize that holiness is unobtainable and therefore should no be striven for. God would no command His church to do the impossible. God expects holiness from His people because, with the help of the Holy Ghost in an individual, they can obtain it. In fact, men both in the past and in the present are living holy and acceptable lives before God.
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared god and aschewed evil” (Job 1:1). Such was the state of a man in the Old Testament who did not have the opportunity of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. God presented him to Satan as an example of a perfect man (Job 1:8).
In the New Testament, Cornelius who did not at the time possess the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, provides an example to others, “A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway” (Acts 10:2). How much more should those who have repented, been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and filled with His Holy Spirit be able to obtain holiness in God’s eyes. Paul did. As Paul’s end drew near he wrote to Timothy, “I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness . . .” (IITimothy 4:7, 8).
It is true that the holiness of the believer is not the same as God’s. His is absolute and perfect. The believer’s is relative and should constantly be worked upon. The believer’s perfection and holiness is positional. A new convert would not necessarily possess the same degree of holiness as a minister who was rooted and grounded in God’s Word and had years of holy living behind him. Just as a seed, even though a perfect seed, does not exhibit the same qualities as a perfect tree. However, the new convert should progress in his holiness just as a seed develops into a strong tree, plant, or flower.
Finally, upon obtaining heaven, the believer will ascertain his ultimate perfection (Ephesians 4:13). Until then, his duty is to press toward the mark! And until then temptation to sin will be present. But through God’s Spirit a believer can become an overcomer of temptation. God will not allow man to be tempted beyond that which he can endure (I Corinthians 10:13).
Holiness is a privilege that is available and expected of a new creature in Christ Jesus. It should not be considered as a hindrance to becoming a Christian but a reward for becoming one. To be separated from God in a sinful state is a curse. But to be a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people (I Peter 2:9) unto God is a blessed experience to be desired of all.
The reason for being a holy people is because of God’s holiness (I Peter 1:16) and because of God’s mercy, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” Romans 12:1). As long as the Christian bears in mind the Holy God of creation, robed Himself in flesh, and died on a bloody cross for his individual sin, holiness unto God should be a natural consequence and honor. Jesus died a vicarious death for him; it is only reasonable that he should live a holy life for Jesus.
The Evidence Of His Presence
“I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles and set up my standard to the people.” – Isaiah 49:22. These words lend credence to the thought that an extended hand is dependent upon our willingness to accept a standard. The Lord is simply saying to the Gentiles, “You can have my hand, if you will embrace my standard.”
In the realm of human relationships, an extended or uplifted hand symbolizes four significant things: Welcome, Leadership, Approval, and Marriage. This is precisely what God offers to the Gentiles in extending His hand. In reality, this is a directive to the Gentiles to subject themselves to God’s leadership. When properly done, the result follows that God will choose from among the Gentiles a bride. However, to reject God’s Standard is to make void the offer, for it is the condition that makes the offer possible. In light of this truth, the Standard becomes a thing of tremendous importance.
At this point let us take another look at the word “Standard” as it is used in Isaiah 49:22. In this verse, it was
translated from the Greek word “nes” which means The Evidence of His Presence. This knowledge should be very provoking. Some people point to material prosperity, other’s point to emotional displays, each claiming his own assets to be the evidence of God’s presence. Thank God for the standard of this Church, as recorded in our Articles of Faith. That standard includes the plan of salvation and also Christian conduct in dress, attitude, and behavior. We must begin to take this standard seriously, for when it is adhered to, It Is The Best Evidence We Can Have That God Is With Us.
I am forced to look with skepticism at many of ourtalented displays, when there is no evidence of a standard.
Talent is sometimes erroneously labeled the anointing. A well planned program “turns the crowd on,” but something quite different creates a move of God. As the measure of the presence of God increases, so does the evidence. Standards become visible. There are some conditions that God will not manifest Himself through. If your dress, attitude, or behavior directs and freezes attention to yourself, it bears no evidence of God’s presence. Instead, it testifies to your lack of God.
Our Standard must forever remain non-negotiatable. When the enemy seeks to inundate us, the Spirit of God raises up the evidence of His presence (a standard). The implication here is that the enemy is frightened off when he discovers that God is present. I have noticed that holiness preaching scares some
people away. On the other hand, those who are “Kingdom minded,” take heart when the banner flies highest.
These are days of transition. The devil would like for us to sacrifice hard earned values on the altar of expedience. We are actually seeing the enemy set up their ensigns for signs. The result is that we see not enough of our signs. Psalms 74:4-9. I do not use this as a blanket indictment against this generation. I know many people who still hold to the old-fashioned idea of holiness. At the same time, I must admit to an inward fear that dangerous trends are developing in our young people. Effeminacy and exposure have a sinister way of dominating styles. I am also convinced that too much emphasis has been put on dress. There is nothing wrong with looking nice and neat, but we are seeing the extremes of gaudiness and worldliness to a degree that is alarming. I wonder where these trends will lead us if they are not soon checked. Our sense of values can be destroyed. A church is never more than one generation from total extinction. By the grace of God, we must continue to stand for those things that made this church great. Let us never reject His Standard, lest we forego the blessings of His Hand.
“Hand in hand, we walk each day
Hand in hand, along the way
Walking thus, I cannot stray
Hand in hand with Jesus.”
A close study of history will reveal that no minority group has ever been able to unshackle itself and to know real victories without a martyr. Governments and pressures have never been able to restrain those people who believed something enough to die for it. Chronicled in our past is the story of many preachers, brave and strong, who lived and died for Holiness. They would be grieved by some of the things we witness today. Something tells me that too many are living dangerously in the wrong kind of way. The fact is we will never shake this generation with yesterday’s sacrifices. Holiness today needs a martyr, maybe several! If you will have His hand, you must love His standard.
Imitation Or Separation
Nathaniel A. Urshan
Never before has the church of the living God meant so much to the world in which we live. If ever there was a time when the church needed to take it’s position in relationship to Almighty God and become that unusual, unique channel through which God meets with then, this is that hour. I sometimes think that a great many are not aware of the important role that the church plays in regard to the work of God. Many people think of the building on the corner as just a building of brick and mortar. Many people think about the church as related to some denomination and fail to recognize that there is a very unique and remarkable body of people that are called the church of the Living God; who are the spiritual entity. They have been pulled out of the world of sin to live a righteous life before God. People who have been born again of the water and the Spirit; people who have found that Jesus Christ is a real Saviour. They have given their lives to Him in full consecration; they have obeyed the great truth of baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ; they have understood that the Holy Spirit that was poured out on the day of Pentecost is still poured out today. In the midst of doubt and unbelief the Lord is outpouring His Spirit.
This body, this ecclesia, the called out church, plays a specific role in the plan of God. The church is a place of prayer. When I talk about the church again let me point to this body of people who have obeyed the Word of the Lord. This people prays and seeks God; and through their prayers they hold back the flood tides of judgment that can come upon the world in which we live. The church must also hold up standards of righteousness and holiness if she is to survive the onslaught of present permissiveness.
Recently in the Indianapolis Star, an editorial appeared on the theme of churches that hold the line on strong moral conduct, convictions of Christianity, and the fundamentals of the faith. The article in it’s editorial expression stated that these churches are thriving and growing. Then on the other hand, the article explained, while those whoyielded to the weakness of humanity and trend toward liberalism and ideas of such nature, are losing numerically as well as spiritually. Then they pointed out that it is a very unusual and unique thing to note that it is the need of the church to take a stand where it represents a real meaning of spiritual life for the people.
With that, I would like to bring to your attention the statement of the Apostle John as he wrote to the New Testament believers many years ago. I John 2:15, “love not the world, neither the things that are of the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (I John 2:15-17).
Now this beautiful expression from the Apostle John’s writings was given many years ago. But it points up to you again the great call that is placed upon the church. The church is not to mix with the world. The church, under misguided attempts at shaping things is in the compromising attitude of aping things.
You see, friend, the church is not called to imitate the world, but to separate from the world. The church is not called nor ordained to do the things that the world cannot do. The world can do the natural things, but it is the calling of the church of our Lord to do the spiritual things. The world cannot do the spiritual things; it knows nothing of the things of the Spirit. It should be that the church should not be found amongst those doing the natural things, but the spiritual things.
The church is His body for the indwelling and the outworking of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has no other dwelling place, but he church in the time now present. The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. This is emphatically declared in the book of John. It is declared in the book of John. It is declared that the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth him. But ye know Him, for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you. The ignorance of the world is the true inspiration of the church.
If the church had continued to walk in the Spirit, as it began, in the beginning, the world would have attempted the imitation of the church- rather as it is now, the church imitating the world.
In the Old Testament, it is rather amazing to notice, Moses did not attempt to imitate the things of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, but the Pharaoh and magicians did attempt the imitation of things that God was doing through Moses. It is not likeness to the world but unlikeness to the world that gives the church power, and prestige. The church is poor at imitation; but note, powerful in separation. The world has done about everything to amuse the church; now the church is doing about anything to amuse the world. But the church is a poor substitute at amusing or in the amusement enterprise. To furnish amusement has been the world’s business, and it can do that very well. If the church would amuse the world, it has to be that it will abuse the world. It is well for the church to leave the amusement business to the world. The church will find the world too strong a competitor.
A certain minister in a certain city thought he would attempt the attraction of a greater number of people to his evening service in the summertime. So he announced that he would serve lemonade each Sunday evening, and he did. Some came in to drink. One night he distributed cards to get an expression as to how the services could be improved. Among some of the suggestions was one of a little boy who wrote on the card he had received, “Put more sugar in the lemonade.”
He is a foolish man who does not know that the world can put more sugar in it’s lemonade than he can. He is a foolish individual who does not know that the world will drink the lemonade and take nothing else. He is a foolish person that does not know that if he gets a dozen to drink there will be a hundred who will stay away because there is nothing for famished souls to drink. O foolish man, he who thinks he may get a score more into eat when scores are scores are going somewhere else because there is nothing to eat; no bread from the Father’s Book. Man, yours is a cup, but not a cup of lemonade or nectar. Yours is the cup of salvation. Press this to human lips. The world has no such cup; and when you press this beautiful cup of salvation to human lips you will have no competitors.
It is yours to set a table, but not as they who banquet at the table of this world. Yours is the table of the Lord. He is the Bread and the Drink. Call men to this feast and the world will not be in competition with you. They have no table. This is to be found at the communion table of the saints and there only. This cup is in your hands. The hands of the world cannot have this cup. Why imitate when there has been committed to you the eternal things that forbid and exclude all imitation?
Paul said he was separated unto the Gospel and so are you and every Christian. Let this be sufficient to make you fully efficient. Have you been a mimic, or a minister in your city or community? Have you been an ape, or an able individual of the New Covenant? Have you amused the people and abused the privilege God have you to make known the truth from Heaven of which this world knoweth nothing except the preacher publish it?
May God, Who called us unto the ministry, save us from mimicry. May He give us again that great rejoinder of the faith that was spoken in years long ago. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: But he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” Here is our great opportunity to show men and women everywhere, the power and presence of a real and powerful gospel within the framework of the ecclesia, God’s called out church. I adjure you in the name of the Lord, to lift up blood stained banners and see the beautiful role that the church plays today.
The gospel is of such power and force that when it is used in its fullest sense, it has the ability to open doors and meet the needs of a generation, without the aid of worldly enterprises. Without the aid of the world’s facilities, mass media, channels; you name it. This is the church and its effectiveness through the gospel. A force second to none.