November, 1968 / Volume 8 / Number 11
MONTHLYPUBLICATIONOF THEBIOLA FELLOWSHIP
president S editor . ..
. H. SUTHERLAND
design . .
ON TH IS MONTH ’S COVER
THE NEED FOR W IN D ........ 3 EARTHQUAKES ................ 5 DO YOU KNOW? .............. 7 IMPORTANT TIMES by Vance Havner ........... 9 ESSENTIALS OF PRAYER ... .11 THE SHORTSIGHTED USHER by Al Sande rs.................14 FANEL DISCUSSIONS .........21 PARABLES AND PEARLS ... .26 STUDIES IN I JOHN by Lloyd T. Anderson ... .32
Mr. Merv Fishback, (second from left) Executive Administrator of Biola’s Phoenix Affiliate, Arizona Bible College, discusses future plans of the school with several students and Prof. Vern Doerk- sen, (second from right) who also serves as Public Relations Direc tor.
Second Class postage paid in La Mirada, Calif. Printed in U.S.A. by Church Press, Glendale, Calif. Address: Biola Broad caster, 13800 Biola Ave., La Mirada, California 90638.
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by Dr. Vance Havner
THE NEED FOR
answer. Some don’t even know what the question is. Who is praying with Isaiah today, “0 that Thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down?” Only a divine visitation can meet our need. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came with a sound from heaven, as of a mighty rushing wind. The word for “wind” and “spirit” are the same in Hebrew, Greek and Latin. Only a Wind from elsewhere will clear out our theological and spiritual smog. The Lord said, “The wind bloweth where it listeth.” The problem is, we are trying to work up something in our churches that isn’t there. We have all kinds of bellows these days blowing hot air into the assembly. All our puffing, however, cannot clear the smog; it only adds more. We must bow to the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit who divideth severally as He will. “We cannot kindle when we will, the fires which in the heart resides; the Spirit bloweth and is Still, in mystery the soul abides.” This doesn’t mean that we are to sit with folded hands. While we can’t produce or control the natural wind, yet we can set our sails and put up our wind mills, getting in the path of the pow er. Even so, we cannot produce the winds of God but we can pray for a visitation of the Holy Spirit on the Church, as well as on our own lives. One reason why a lot of people don’t go to prayer meeting is that most of the things we are doing to day we feel we can do anyhow with out God; why bother Him ? When we come to the place where we will cast our all in desperation upon Him, we will pray. To pray down the winds of heaven will take more than some little formal day of prayer where everybody mumbles the same worn 3
I T was interesting to read the newspaper accounts at our home in North Carolina about the unusually bad spell of smog in Los Angeles. An official was quoted as saying, “Only a sweep of winds from else where can relieve the pollution.” We live in a blinding haze with the world smog-bound politically, morally and spiritually. Men are groping in dark ness. A college in the east, advertising its facilities and recommending it self, made a slight typographical er ror stating, “We have three thousand students in our ‘mist’.” The “d” was left out. Too many people find them selves in just such a position today. Only the breath of God can dispell this pressure gripping mankind. Experts abound, waiting for the wind to blow. No one really knows what to do, and Washington is help less. No one seems to look beyond the cloudy covering to heaven for the answer. The smog has blinded too many who will not admit that they are blind leaders of the blind. All sorts of experiments are being tried; social reforms, political projects, leg islation, education, reformation but the smog doesn’t lift. The winds of God must move in before the plague is conquered. The real problem is sin. Science and sociology don’t have the answer to man’s iniquity. It is a sad comment to report that the Church is smog-bound, too. The religious world has never been in greater confusion. There are even those who say, “God is dead.” Such has been said down through the cen turies.. The old Book comes to life in the midst of the funeral, outliving all the pallbearers. Experts sit in symposium where they mutually pool their ignorance, but they have no
overflowing from within. Too many people “enjoy” revivals who never try to bring anybody else to share the blessings. This is selfishness of the very worst sort. When the church began at Pentecost, what a smog- bound world it faced because of the Roman Empire. The winds of heav en lifted the haze and brought spir itual victory. The Wesleyan revival found England in a polluted fog. The fresh breath of heaven cleared the atmosphere. No social reform could ever do it. Today, we are trying to air condi tion this age with education and leg islation. How foolish this is! No won der there is deadness and dryness in modern Christianity. It is not enough to deplore the smog besetting the church. We need to pray, prepare and participate. What we need is a super natural visitation from above. We must meet the conditions. The Lord has promised to bless a praying and prepared people who are willing to participate.
phrases and has no urgency or con cern. Listen to the average church member’s prayer and you will see there isn’t much agonizing there. The trouble is, the situation is des perate today, but the saints are not. Then there needs to be preparation so that men will ask the Lord to re move the sin from their lives. Too many revival prayers these days are not accompanied by revival prepara tion. There is no repentance, confes sion and forsaking of sin. This in cludes restitution and reconciliation with separation from the world and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. After this, there is the need to par ticipate. One must believe and re ceive. Those are two of the hardest words to learn how to spell. It is “ie” in one of them, and “ei” in the other. These are hard words for Christians to learn. Everything we get from God comes by believing and receiv ing. This is the law of the new birth. We are filled with the Spirit to
Members of the Biola Stewardship Department have the opportunity to meet together tor fellowship and instruction concerning matters pertaining to Christian op ortunities in multiplying investments for the Lord. In the front row from left to right are Rev. William Richards, Rev. Lawrence Cruzen, Mr. John Isaac, department director, Mr. Jack Findley, and Mr. FrankWatson. Standingare Rev. DewardLowrey, Rev. Gordon Davies, Rev. Edwin Rogers, Mr. Carl Hoferer, Mr. Theron Dabour, and Mr. Gary Boren. These men are available to counsel you concerning important stewardship and estate matters. You will enjoy their spiritual ministry as well in these important areas for Christians to consider. 4
O ur L ord told us that among the disturbances which would pre cede His return would be earth quakes. There are many of them to day which' are not just physical and found recorded on seismographs. There are political, social, moral, and religious earthquakes convulsing the world. Crime, violence, lawlessness, anarchy, bloodshed, perversion, riots, wars and rumors of wars, cause every continent to tremble in world upheaval. Unfortunately, most of the earthquakes that are shaking the world today are not the work of God. Satan is the prince of this age. Many of these convulsions are the mystery of lawlessness working up to its cli max through the antichrist. We had a major earthquake in 1917 when Communism started an upheaval. It has kept the world in turmoil ever since. Lawlessness has made streets no longer safe. Humani ty has gone sex crazy with perversion eating like a cancer. Science has had its own revolution making men so self-sufficient that they have sought to give God His “walking papers.” The church, too, is in the midst of an earthquake. Recently one of our lead ing magazines carried an article on the coming church of the future. Thank the Lord I won’t live to see it. The ecumenical movement heads steadfastly toward a colossal world church. We need the power that shook the world 20 centuries ago. The apos tolic age has the answer to the atomic age. The only way to meet this demonstration (this demonstration of demons) is with a demonstration of the Holy Spirit in power. The Gospel really started with two earth quakes. When the Saviour died on Calvary's cross (Matt. 27:51) and
when He rose from the dead (Matt. 28:2). He died for our sins and rose again for our justification. I believe those were literal earthquakes. God invaded history visiting the earth through His only begotten Son. This was the greatest double event the world has ever known. The Gospel started with earth quakes and so did the Church. The fourth chapter of Acts illustrates that. You see, God is in the earth- shaking business. These early Chris tians were in partnership with the Lord. Instead of shrinking in fear, they asked for more of the very thing that got them into trouble the first time. This was boldness. We are at the crossroads today. Shall we let the hostility of Satan snare us into becoming diplomats on good terms with the world? The ear ly Christians stirred up the devil. Our best endeavors today are usually met by a polite “yawn.” The liquor business hardly knows we are in town because too many church mem bers make it, sell it, buy it and drink it. We need to stop passing resolu tions and begin promoting “revolu tions” such as did the apostles. They had prayer meetings which ended in earthquakes. The only time some churches shake today is when they have a dance in the recreation build ing. If the emphasis were put on re -creation in s te ad of recreation, what a difference would be made. The salt of God’s people needs to be shaken out of its smug compla cency into the carcass of a putrifying society. We are not going to have a spiritual earthquake in the world until we have one in the Church. When the Gospel hurts the devil’s business, trouble always starts. When Paul’s preaching in Ephesus turned 5
the only way to get ready is to avail yourself of the provisions of God’s grace made ours through the two events surrounded with earthquakes: the death of our Lord on Calvary’s cross for our sins, and His rising again for our justification. TOO BUSY Too busy to read the Bible, Too busy to wait and pray! Too busy to speak out kindly To someone by the way! Too busy to care and struggle, To think of the life to come! Too busy building mansions. To plan for the heavenly home. Too busy to help a brother Who faces the winter’s blast! Too busy to share his burden When self in the balance is cast. Too busy for all that is holy On earth beneath the skies; Too busy to serve the Master But . . . not too busy to die. MY RIGHTS “I have a perfect right,” you say, “To do the things I do, To be with whom I wish to be: And who shall, then, dictate to me? Or say where I shall go?" But you forget . . . you’re not your own; For you a price was paid . . . A price One only could afford. And then a charge to serve your Lord Was surely on you laid. And if the things you wish to do Will cause another pain, Have you the “right” to add to grief? Should you not, rather, give relief? Think over it again. Once more: will you insist on "rights," And weak ones hindered be? Oh Lord! Do Thou our actions guard That we may never make it hard For souls to follow Thee.
people from idols to the Lord, the image makers started an uproar. It always happens that way. There is something wrong when the Church can exist in the community with all the owners of iniquity making no protest. Paul didn’t lecture on demonism at Philippi; he preached the Gospel. When people really believe the Gos pel, however, they will quit patron izing the devil. Every time Paul won a convert, the devil lost a customer. Right here is our trouble today. Too many people join churches and go right on doing business with the devil. He has too many professing Christians on his side. Too many converts of the church are still cus tomers of Satan. People often ask, “Do you think the Church will go underground?” I don’t know, but if it does, it may develop more power there than is now manifested. It was the Chris tians in the catacombs who put the coliseum out of business. We are not going to pray down earthquakes at committee meetings in church base ments sipping hot chocolate and lis tening to the minutes of the last meeting. We are heirs to a move ment that started with an earth quake. We are not going to move the world until the Gospel that shook our forefathers shakes us. The Lord is coming again. There will be one more quake which is clearly spoken of in the Word of God. Read the book of Revelation and get a graphic picture of this cata clysmic event. We are living between the earth quakes of grace and the coming earthquake of glory. Are you ready for it? I heard of an old lady who, in the midst of an earthquake, said, “I’m glad I’ve got a God who can shake this world like that.” He has done it and He will do it again. We thank God for a faith that shakes the world. If you are not prepared for this final earthquake, dear friend, 6
I T is AN amazing pact to realize that the outstanding characteristic of this intellectual age is ignorance. There has never been a generation priding itself more on its cleverness and sophistication. Although we are informed on all subjects, we are clearly marked by educated ignor ance. There has never been a time when men have been so smart while at the same time being so stupid. Will Rogers used to say, “The dumb est person in the world is an educat ed man, when you get him off the subject on which he was educated.” Men are most ignorant on the Bible and God’s will. Whatever else a per son may know, if he is not familiar with what God wants him to know, he is simply an ignoramus. Our Saviour said, “Ye do err, not knowing.” He had in mind two things, the Scriptures and the power of God. Herein are the cause and the cure for everything. God has said He has done something for us in His Son. Not knowing these two things man lives in error. While we may travel faster, what does it avail if we are going in the wrong direction ? In the last 100 years we have learned amazing things about the world in which we live. The problem is we haven’t learned how to live in it. We correct one social evil and yet jails are filled with criminals under 25. Modem man, in all his affluence, doesn’t know where he is going. It is as though he were wandering in a wilderness which can only wind up in the eternal hell. The world doesn’t realize its peril. When our Lord comes again it will be as it was in the days of Noah and Lot. The peo ple then didn’t know what time it was nor the gravity of the hour. How amused they must have been at the
strange creature who built an ark while warning his generation of im pending judgment! Today men are extremely ignorant of God’s program. The same things are happening today as they did in Noah’s time. Old Josh Billings used to say, “I’d rather know a few things for certain than to be sure of a lot of things that ain’t so.” How many people there are who don’t know things that are for certain. They know the baseball and football scores, but they don’t know God’s score- board. They listen to news commen tators while the only Book that tells them where they came from and where they are going lies neglected. On Paul’s voyage to Rome he told them that they were headed for trou ble. They listened to the mariner, however, and not to the minister. They must have said, “What would a preacher know about navigation?” The result was a tragic shipwreck. The same thing is happening today. The world doesn’t realize its real peril although it may be scared. Peo ple want to know what to do if the atom bomb falls, but not many of them are asking what can be done if God’s judgment falls. Our prob lem is not atomic; it is Adamic. It is sad that the Church doesn’t know its need. Our Lord said of the Laodicean church, “Thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing and knowest not.” They didn’t realize that they were actually wretched and miser able. The Bible tells us, “I would not have you ignorant about spiritual gifts,” in I Corinthians; “I would not have you ignorant about them that are asleep,” in I Thessalonians; “I would not have you ignorant about Israel,” in Romans. It is high time 7
cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” The wise man is the man who knows God’s Word and God’s will. Head knowledge is useful if it is sanctified by the Spirit of God. Oth erwise it is dangerous. Hitler wrecked the world because he didn’t under stand God’s program. Someone has well said, “Education gives me spokes for my wheel, but it doesn’t give me a hub.” A lot of people are learning a good many things but they have no center or hub without Christ. By Him all things consist and hold together. If you are ignorant because you don’t know the Scriptures and the power of God, you can know Him through personal faith. To “believe” does not mean an intellectual accept ance of the fact. The word for “be lieve” in the New Testament doesn’t have a verb. In English it does, Our term “believe” is not exactly what the word says in. the New Testa ment. It means putting all one’s de pendence on the Lord Jesus Christ. The bank is not going to keep your money until you push it across the counter and deposit it. So it is with faith. Don’t go around saying, “I be lieve in the bank.” That won’t keep your money. Even so, you can have an intellectual faith in Jesus Christ and yet it still won’t save you. Have you made the deposit? Do you know that you have been passed from death unto life? We know He abides in us by the Spirit which He has given to us. Here is the Lord’s cure for ignorance: know the Scriptures and the power of God. The proper place to start curbing crime is not the electric chair but rather the high chair. If you keep your face toward the sun shine, the shadows will all fall behind you.
for us to awake out of sleep. One of the real heartbreaks is that Christians do not know the Lord as they ought. The Saviour said to Philip in John 14:9, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?” After three years with our Lord, hearing the teaching and witnessing the mir acles, he still was not fully persuaded in his own heart. But don’t blush for Philip, blush for yourself. We have had 2000 years of His church, His Spirit and His Scriptures, and look at us! Some are well “over the hill,” and still don’t know Him intimately. We are so slow of heart to believe. How we need to be closely acquainted with Him! I think of a great old bishop who was told one day by a certain lady, “I have followed all the rules and read all the books, and yet I don’t seem to know the Lord very well. Does God have favorites?” The saintly man responded, “No, He doesn’t have favorites, but He does have intimates.” It is certainly a fact that sinners don’t know the Saviour. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” A woman was telling her husband when he came home from work, “Somebody knocked at the door today; When I opened it a stranger stood there. He asked me ever so abruptly, ‘Do you know Jesus Christ?’ I didn’t know what to say. I stared at him and finally closed the door in his face.” Her husband re plied, “Well, why didn’t you tell him you teach the ladies’ Bible class and are president of the women’s mis sionary society?” She sadly an swered, “Because that’s not what he asked me.” It would be a good thing if some of us would open the door on ourselves and say, “For all your religious activity, do you really know Jesus Christ?” Because of ignorance we live in error. We err because we know not the Scriptures for, “Faith 8
by Dr. Vance Havner
T here are interesting words giv en by Amos telling us, “There fore, the prudent shall keep silence in that time, for it is an evil time.” We are told in Ecclesiastes 3:7 that there -is a time to keep silence and a time to speak. It was a most inappro priate time for the kind of preaching Amos did. Business was booming at Bethel and the people “never had it so good.” It was a time of plenty and the house of God had become a house of idols. Within 50 years all the ter rible things Amos prophesied came to pass. No one saw anything wrong with religion at Bethel until after Amos came to town. As a matter of fact, the Pharisees didn’t see any thing wrong with Judaism until our Lord came to Jerusalem. It takes a prophet to show up religion when it is merely a farce rather than a force. Centuries after Amos, Paul de clared that the days were evil. Think of the grandeur and glory of Rome in those days. Why would one want to turn from all that pomp and pag eantry to this little preacher with his bodily presence weak and his speech contemptible? People could have pointed to the worldwide dominion of the mighty empire and look at her armies and her art, her cities and her culture, her language. Frankly, it is poor psychology to be saying the days are evil. Paul, however, was right. If we had been there when he was on trial before Nero, we might have wanted to take our stand with Nero. Nowadays, however, we call our dogs “Nero” and our boys “Paul.” Anybody with his eyes open, his Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other, certainly must see that the days are evil. There is no word in the English language to describe
the corruption of this 1968 moral cesspool. There is a right way and a wrong way to keep silent in an evil time. Amos didn’t mean that we are never to speak. He was actually one of the most vocal of men in his day. There are situations and conditions in which a Christian, who knows his Bible, will keep silent. He is not alarmed or afraid of evil tidings. For the Christian everything is just in reverse from the man of this world. Good news is bad news, and bad news is good news. For instance, when they shall say, “Peace and safe ty,” that sounds like good news. It isn’t for the Christian, however, be cause he knows that sudden destruc tion is coming. On the other hand when men’s hearts fail them for fear and perplexity abounds, that sounds like bad news. For a Christian, how ever, it is good news. We read that when we see these things begin to come to pass, we can lift up our heads and know that our redemption draweth nigh. I positively refuse to take part in all the howling and moaning of the times. There is no use trying to discuss the times to the man on the street if he is not a Christian and is not reading his Bible. One may as well try to describe a sunset to a blind man or to play music to a person who can’t hear. This is the same as cast ing pearls before swine; giving that which is holy to the dogs. “The nat ural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit, because they are spiritu ally discerned.” A person needs to get saved so that his heart is changed and his eyes are opened. I read the other day about a new kind of cough syrup that has an in gredient known as “silentium” in it. It is supposed to keep one silent. I 9
don’t know much about that medicine but I do know some saints who need a double dose of it as well as some churches. They are talking their heads off answering questions no body is even asking. Then, too, Chris tians have no business “whooping” it up for all the reforms and projects by which this world tries to super impose a false kingdom of heaven on an unregenerate society. We need to wait patiently for God’s time of deliverance, all the while in silent submission. Christians who know their Bibles do not ride the bandwagon headed fo r the “promised land.” They are not dem onstrating some scheme to build a new world order down here. We are looking for a pearly white city com ing down from God. We will be criticized and ostracized, however, since these programs for a counter feit millennium leave us “cold” and unimpressed. It is an evil time and we must not waste precious moments on man’s foolishness as he vainly seeks to work out his own salvation. At the same moment, however, there is a wrong way to keep silent in an evil time. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is also a time to speak. Christians who know their Bibles ought to speak out in churches today. The Word of God is being denied from many a pulpit. Good men dare not keep silent. It was well said that, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” We must cry out against the sins of society, warning men of judgment to come. Amos certainly didn’t keep silent. Alexander Mac- Laren said, “Good men become so accustomed to the corruptions of so ciety that they feel no call to rebuke them or to wage war against them.” Such silence is treason against Jesus Christ. There is a lot of high sounding talk today about not getting involved in controversial issues. It is my claim that any issue worth talking about is 10
controversial. There isn’t a doctrine in the Christian faith that isn’t con troversial. Jesus Christ Himself was a very controversial figure. As believ ers we have the only remedy for the world’s ills which is the Gospel. This can be a day of good tidings. Those lepers in Samaria had a lit tle committee meeting when the city was besieged and people were starv ing to death. Nobody knew what to do. They said, “If we stay here we will die of leprosy. If we go into town we will starve to death. There is only one direction left. Let’s go straight ahead and see what happens.” They went out and God scattered the enemy. All they had to do was to gather up the spoils. In doing so one thoughtfully remembered, “We are not doing well. It is a day of good tidings and we are holding our peace.” There isn’t any greater in iquity than sinful silence; failure to witness privately and publicly for Jesus Christ. We have been entrust ed with the good news of the Gospel. We shouldn’t be ashamed to tell it wherever we go. Old Aunt Sophie had bad eyesight. They found her one day doing per sonal work with a wooden Indian in front of a cigar stand. When she found out her mistake she said, “Well, I’d rather try to talk to a wooden Indian about Jesus Christ than be a wooden Christian and never talk to anybody about Him.” There is a time to keep silent and there is a time to speak. When it comes to supporting the useless schemes of this world, let us keep silent. But when it comes to crying out against evil in the church as well as in the world, we ought to be heard! Blessed is the man who knows when to keep still and when to speak. Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification. This is the greatest news ever to strike this planet, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
by Al Sanders
¿AAoidiah OF PRAYER
their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” This means that He does not answer the prayers of those who are still in their sins. There is only one prayer the sinner can offer which is heard by Almighty God. This is when he is willing to pray, “God be merciful to me a sinner, and save me for Christ’s sake!” The second essential of prayer is for a believer to come with a clean heart. There is something about the rehearsal of one’s faults to the Lord that gives him a sense of God’s for giveness as well as a realization of the heinous aspect of sin in the sight of Christ. The Psalmist rightly de clared, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” He knew that unconfessed sin would rob him of joy in fellowship with the Lord. Do your prayers seem to
D oubtless most people, regardless of their denominational or reli gious persuasion, would be willing to say that they believe in prayer! Such persons, without meeting the essen tials, would be like someone saying he believes in cashing checks. With out money deposited in the bank, no matter how much we believe in cash ing checks, it will do us little good to espouse this virtue. God guards the prerogatives of prayer as rigor ously as a bank guards its operation and monetary system. Prayer doesn't need to be proved; it needs to be practiced. Before his home-going, Phil Kerr used to say, “Why don’t we sing ‘Sweet Five Minutes of Prayer’ or ‘Sweet Thirty Seconds of Prayer,’ because for most people that’s about all the time they spend!” The first essential of prayer is that we must believe in God. That means not just that He exists, but that He sent His Son to this earth to redeem fallen mankind. Hebrews 11:6 re minds us that “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” A listener re cently asked, “What are the mini mum and maximum essentials for salvation?” Have you ever thought about it? The answer is that the minimum requirement is exactly the same as the maximum. It is that we must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and receive His saving grace. It is not enough to believe about Christ or about God, but we are to believe in Him, in all of the aspects of His redemptive work. In Psalm 34:15-16, again repeated in I Peter 3:12, we find that “The eyes of the Lord are over the right eous, and His ears are open unto
Mr. Roger Booth (standing), generalmanager ot Biola's radiovoicetor San Diego, KBBWstereo, checks over broadcasting equipment with Mr. Robert Me- Keehan, announcer and salesman tor the facility. KBBW stereo with 70,000 watts of power has been on the air since May, 1963, and presents outstand ing Christian programming and informative broad casts 18 hours a day.
go no higher than the proverbial ceil ing? Then it may be there is some thing in your life which needs to be made right with God. A minister had heard about a disease of the heart which affects the eyes. He con tacted a physician friend who gave him the medical term for the disease. It seems that ulcers build up on the inner heart walls with no apparent pain. The blood vessels then swell, finally breaking. As a result, some people have gone blind. His friend concluded, “The non-technical name for the problem is sometimes called a dirty heart.” Spiritual blindness is caused by a heart that needs to be cleansed by the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ. Y6u may not feel the pain. You may have become insensi ble to your ways and actions. We need to stop and allow the Lord to make our hearts and minds pure and clean. The Bible assures us that “God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us [to keep right on cleansing us] from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). The trouble is that we don’t want to stop, taking the time to make things right. It is, however, a prime essential. Perhaps you’ve heard about the man who was chopping wood and getting very little done because his axe was terribly dull. A stranger happened along who immediately rec ognized the man’s plight. He kindly suggested, “Things would go much easier if you just took a few mo ments to sharpen your axe.” The dis gruntled workman disagreed: “Don’t you understand? This job is too hard already without stopping to sharpen the axe.” Aren’t we all like that to some degree? We tell ourselves, “I’m so busy, there are so many things to do, I just didn’t have time to pray.” We’re very ready to excuse ourselves. The third essential for prayer is to come in confidence, believing that God does want to do something. In John 16:24, Christ assu res us, 12
“Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” God wants to do for us not only those things which we may desire, but also that which is far beyond our human comprehension. One of the most blessed verses in the Bible is Ephe sians 3:20. Memorize and apply it in your own heart and life. Doubtless you’ve heard the story of the little girl who joined the crowd attending the Wednesday night prayer meeting at her church where everyone had gone to beseech the Lord for rain. There had been a severe drought in the area. This trusting lass was evidently the only one who believed enough to take along an umbrella. No wonder the Lord Jesus had to say, even as He does today, “0 ye of little faith!” The fourth essential of prayer is that we come with our petitions ac cording to God’s will. During World War II a farmer in Sussex, England, along with many of the other farm ers, was experiencing a great deal of difficulty because of a severe drought which had hit his area. Not only were the fields parched for wa ter, but the crop itself was rather poor-looking. The farmer, who was a Christian, wrote to the missionary society explaining that his money had run out, and asking for prayer. Water had to come from some place. They, of course, promised to join with him. Several weeks later, an other letter came. This time he was telling how God had worked. He ex plained how that one night a German bomber was flying over Sussex. Anti aircraft shells knocked it from the sky and it fell right in the middle of his finest farm land which was completely destroyed in flames. What was even more amazing was the fact that when the plane hit and explod ed, the force was so great that it uncapped an underground sp rin g which gushed forth with sufficient
water not only for his crops, but also for those of some of his neighbors. Who would have thought to pray for a German bomber to fall in your backyard? When we come to God, so often we ask for things which we feel are good for us. Yet we should keep in mind that God can see from a viewpoint far beyond our own limited horizons. The purpose of prayer is that the Father may be glorified in the Son. In James 4:3 we read the words, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss.” There is a wrong purpose and a selfish motive so often in our peti tions. Christ has told us that “If we ask anything, according to His will, He heareth us.” Consider again these four essen tials : believe God for salvation; sec ond, come to Him with a clean heart; ask in confidence, trusting the Lord in faith implicitly, and make your petitions according to His will. Years ago in Scotland the people were quite superstitious. They fol lowed a practice of uttering what are known as ejaculatory prayers. They believed that the devil so sur rounded them that their only hope of getting a prayer to heaven was to say it so quickly that he wouldn’t have time to stop them; he’d be caught off-guard. They might be walking along and all of the sudden look heavenward to declare, “Lord, bless me!” Or working in their homes or out in their fields, sudden ly one might be heard to exclaim, “Lord, help me!” It appears that some Christians are superstitious like our Scottish friends, at least as to the length and intensity of the prayer. What, is your prayer life like? I ask my own heart this same question. “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us. And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (I John 5:14, 15).
THE POTTER AND THE CLAY
Here in Thy hands I lay My worthless, broken clay; Remold to Thy design, And in Thy way. Alas, such clay as mine Can even Thy fires refine, Thy furnace re-create And render Thine? Yet place upon Thy wheel My yielded clay, and steel My will to bear Thy stroke, Receive Thy seal. Then breathe therein and fill My vessel frail, until Only Thy life appears, Thy mind, Thy will. 0 Loveliness inwrought, 0 Wonder past all thought, That Thou should’st glorify A thing of naught. Shapely and set in glory, Fashion'd by Love untold, Nothing shall henceforth mar This heavenly mold!
Operating 24 hours a day is the switchboard and information deskon the Biola Colege Campus. Stu dents as well as several full time personnel are employedin this important part of the organization. Pictured is Jessica Shaverof La Mirada.
S ome 20 years AGO, when my wife and I were attending Biola, we lived in an apartment house in Holly wood. A Christian couple in the same building had been after us constantly to visit the Sunset and Vine head quarters of the National Broadcast ing Company where the fellow worked as an usher. (He has since become a doctor.) Those were the bright days for radio, when the fas cination of the microphone stars cap tivated the general public’s interest. It was one Saturday night when we went to the studio. I forget now what program was being aired, but our friend saw to it that we not only had front row seats, but also that we were taken on a “behind the scenes” tour of the facilities later. When the evening was over, we got into this couple’s new Studebaker. That was the year that they had come out with the car that looked the same no mat ter which way it was going. Do you remember? As we left the parking lot, there was the usual large crowd of people who had gathered around the artist’s entrance to the parking lot, held in check by an officer. These curious folks were hopefully waiting to see some of the stars who partici pated in the various network pro grams. As we drove out in the smart new convertible, the perplexed group couldn’t recognize any luminaries and one fellow shouted, “Hey, mister, are you a somebody or are you a no body?” You know, it seems that the world today hasn’t really changed much. People are still looking up to and worshipping others. It’s rather sad and pathetic when you stop to think of the type of person who has been made an idol. Have you ever heard a message on the sin of giving pref- 14
erence to one individual over anoth er? Did you know that the Bible condemns such an attitude ? The problem is that we have learned to condone such a practice without our consciences being bothered. We don’t really consider it a sin. For instance, at Christmas time, do you give every one the same gift, or do you have a tendency of giving better presents to those who have remembered you with nicer things ? While there’s nothing wrong with this, yet it re minds us of a practice which is very prevalent. The Word of God has some very explicit suggestions which all too fre quently are overlooked. If you have your Bible handy will you look with me at the second chapter of James where, right in the first verse, we find the Apostle talking about a prob lem which was very real in the church of that day, and which un fortunately is noted even today. Maybe you have heard of the man who constantly wore a long overcoat which was adorned in a most unusual manner. The front was all covered with various kinds of patches; dif ferent colors, sizes, and shapes. He would explain carefully that each one of those represented a different type of sin of his friends and neighbors. Ask him about anyone of the patches and he could readily go into a com plete discourse on the problems and iniquities of these different people. Interestingly enough, on the back of his coat he had just one small dull- colored patch and no others. Proudly he would explain, “That represents my own sin. The reason it’s so small is because I can’t see it and it never bothers me much.” If anything, the apocryphal story amply illustrates the fact that we
backfired. People became upset and many rebelled. Now there’s nothing wrong with driving a Lincoln Con^ tinental. It must be a lovely car, al though I can’t remember ever having ridden in one, much less owning one. We realize that this is an automo bile generally associated with wealth and affluence. When God’s people sacrifice to invest in the Lord’s work, they don’t expect their money to be spent unwisely on things which they themselves can’t afford. James tells us in this first verse, “My brethren, have not the faith of YOU CAN’T FOOL GOD You can fool the hapless public, You can be a subtle fraud, You can hide your little meanness. But you can’t fool God! You can advertise your virtues, You can self-achievement laud, You can load yourself with riches. But you can’t fool God! You can criticize the Bible, You can be a selfish clod, You can lie, swear, drink, and gamble, But you can’t fool God! You can magnify your talent, You can hear the world applaud You can boast yourself to be some body, But you can’t fool God! our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.” In our everyday life, in attendance at church, we recognize that there are some people who dress elegantly. They have money and social promi nence because of their success. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that. There are others, however, who may dress like the proverbial “little old lady in tennis shoes.” Per sonally, I abhor such a definition, which I think is most unfair. Yet we all probably understand w hat it means. Looking at those who, hu- 15
have a tendency to look at and con demn the sins of others. We know all about their faults and problems, while at the same time we’re so prone to overlook our own. It’s a sad but tragic fact. James is “the Epistle of right liv ing.” He underscores the fact that not only what a man believes is im portant but also that how he behaves is equally important. Notice how this first verse of chapter two begins, “My brethren.” You can mark it down that whenever any problems which arise, whenever any difficul ties need to be corrected and brought to the attention of his hearers (and certainly we all fall into that cate gory) this is the way he starts, “My brethren.” It is a term of deep af fection and meaning. As a matter of fact, this is the fourth time he uses this phrase, among the 17 times which it eventually appears in these five chapters. . Someone might observe, “Well, everybody shows preference to one person or another.” The truth of the matter is that whether it is this sin or some other spoken of in Scripture, it is still transgression of the law of God. Keep in mind that wrong is wrong, and sin is sin, even if every body does it. Why do some people try to impress others? We here at Biola are far from perfect, I know that, but as our stewardship representatives go out and contact the public, we under score with them the fact that often it is those who have so little who do so much for the Lord’s work. Not too long ago, an individual who had been employed by a Christian organi zation had to give up his job. He said that the financial situation was too discouraging and pressured for him. He had been instructed by the leader of the organization to drive a Lincoln Continental, so as to im press those wealthy businessmen on whom he would call. The idea was to show success. Evidently, the idea
manly speaking, make possible a min istry such as Biola’s, we full well realize there may be nothing gla morous or exciting as far as the world’s values are concerned. There may be nothing beautiful or that which would commend itself to the society editor of the newspaper, but we know that within this soul is the majesty of the grace and the glory of the Lord God Almighty. Keep in mind that our Saviour Himself chose the poor of this world as His disci ples. It is a generally accepted fact that riches have a tendency to de grade men, rather than to build them up spiritually. In Romans 12:16 we read the words, “Be of the same mind one toward ano ther. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.” There was the wife of a man who headed a large Christian organization; you would know the name immediately. The couple is now out of Christian service entirely. Maybe it’s understandable, for the woman made no secret of the fact that they were choosing as their friends those who were in the pro fessional field. She commented,
brashly, “We make it a point never to cultivate those who are on our own social level. We try to make friends of those above us, those who are at a higher strata of income for it will do us and our organization more good in the long run.” Based upon the teaching of God’s Word, such actions are utterly de plorable and extremely sinful. It re minds me of someone’s definition of the so-called “upper crust.” He said that the “upper crust” is nothing but a bunch of crumbs “held together by their own dough.” We don’t mean that unkindly, yet it is sad to see those who put such a premium on money as the only merit for cultivat ing friendship. James gives us in verses two and three a very practical illustration. We read, “For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile rai ment. . . .” Here we have pictured two completely and differently garbed people who visit the church. The word come in the original Greek in dicates not those who are members, but rather those who attend occa sionally. The first we see is an in dividual with a gold ring. Such an ornament indicates the symbol of au thority. It may have been a person of high political or social prestige in the community. Keep in mind that James is not attacking the right to wear a gold ring or any other jewelry. Those who do, however, should ask themselves what’s behind the use of such adornments. Is it to impress others or is it because of a certain position which requires it. This fellow also had on “goodly ap parel.” This symbolizes garments of bright colors as is suggested in verse three. It’s generally true that we are impressed by the clothes other people wear. A husband and wife attended a church service. After the meeting was over, as they headed for the car, the wife asked, “Dear, did you hap-
Linesof students are a common sight on a college campus. Pictured are a number of the freshmanclass and transfer students whichmake up around 550 of the college's student body this fall semester. The group of young people were enjoying a Bar-B-Q during the opening daysof school.
wore “vile” raiment doesn't indicate that it was immoral or vulgar in any sense. Vile in the original suggests that which is humble or lowly. In their advertising campaign, one large clothing manufacturer had as its merchandising trade mark the phrase, “Clothes Make The Man.” As far as Scripture is concerned this just isn’t, or shouldn’t, be the case. Keep in mind that it is not what you put on, but rather what you put in what you put on that makes all the difference in the world. Continuing the illustration, verse three of James chapter two admon ishes, “Ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my foot stool.” Having respect for persons as James warns means judging one another. It suggests eying others with envy. Have you ever looked at anyone, thinking to yourself, “If only I had what he has!” Do you know of those better off than y o u are ? They have a newer and bigger car; a larger and more impressive home; a better and more impressive job;
pen to notice that woman two rows in front of us? She had on the most gorgeous mink coat. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her the entire service. What did you think of it?” The hus band shook his head, saying, “You’ll have to forgive me, dear. I’m afraid I didn’t see much of anything today. You know I’ve had a hard week. I guess I slept th rough most of church.” His wife responded in dis gust, “Humph! A lot of good attend ing church does you!” That does illustrate the fact that true goodly apparel does impress people. There are some churches we have attended, where if a wealthy person came in, the first idea was to get him on the board. After all, if he had money, perhaps he’d channel some of it into “our projects.” Give this kind of in dividuals a place of importance and prestige, and surely they’ll reward such thoughtfulness with their gen erosity. It is sad to think that in this modern age of convenience there are those who have continued the sin of snobbery or giving preference to those who have more than others. James definitely condemns it as we see here in the first few verses of chapter two. But the rich man is not the only one who comes into the assembly as we see here in the illustration. There is also the poor man. Notice, it states that he came in in vile raiment. That means he had to come in his work clothes. Today, in almost every man’s wardrobe, no doubt much smaller than his wife’s, there is at least one good suit which he wears on Sundays and other special occasions. In the days of the early church, all that the poor people had were their robes in which they carried oh their daily menial tasks. They had to come to church dressed in this manner. Isn’t it sad to realize that there is nothing a man fears more than pov erty? Sociologists show that he will break every commandment rather than to be poor. That this poor man
Each year. Biota's President, Dr. Samuel H. Suther land, and his wife, host the entire seminary faculty and students for breakfast of french toast, ham and al the extras. Dr. Sutherland is shown welcoming the group to another year of preparation at Talbot Seminary.
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