Youth in the Truth
Welcome to "Youth in Truth" website. Having professed as a small boy I know what is like to try to go to school with people that misunderstand and bully you. Your parents have sheltered you from movies, sports, discussions about sex and violence etc. You cannot talk with your class mates about such issues. You cannot explain the name of your church to them. You think you should be "growing more in the Truth". You leave meeting feeling guilty because you said something at school and/or participated in something that you think will send you straight to hell. LET NO MAN DESPISE THY YOUTH!!
I am reminded of quite a few young people in the Bible who were very useful in their day, and today they have left us a wonderful example of being obedient to their parents, and the parents having that wisdom from above to guide those young people right. Young professing people in 1982 were equated with those in the bible. Biblical verses will be used to encourage young people to follow the rules and respect the workers. Let us consider Isaac, Gen. 22. We do not know how old Isaac was when God asked Abraham to offer his son; some think he was just a little boy, but I rather believe he was a young man because when his father laid the wood on him to carry up the mountain for that sacrifice, it would have been a little more than an ordinary person could carry. He must have been really strong, but when they reached the place of sacrifice, Isaac willingly submitted to his father -- such faith, such confidence he had in his father and the Lord. God had asked Abraham to offer his son and Isaac was willing to give his life. I don't suppose anyone would know what it meant for that man Abraham and his wife Sarah to offer that sacrifice. You people here who are fathers and mothers might know a little better than I what that would have cost. I feel today that you fathers and mothers and you young people have a similar battle. Willingness and sacrifice are 2 words that the workers preach often in meetings. Also "the cost".
For a father and mother to consecrate their lives to God, and to have their little children different than other people's children in the neighborhood and at school, and see them face that reproach and scorn of the world, takes courage. Professing parents encouraged to have children who LOOK and ACT different from unprofessing or worldly children. Good and bad children who don't belong to the truth are all put in the same category though he don't want to be that direct at this moment.
It is difficult for the little ones too, but because they love the Lord and have a reverence for Him, they are willing to do it for Jesus' sake if the parents encourage them in that direction. Willingess, being different, parents upholding the standard before their children, and all of this is seen as reverence to Jesus!
There was a young mother in Ohio who was quite angry when I went there for a visit. She said to me "When my little girl ( five years old) goes to school, she is going to be like other little girls." She told me about her parents, how hard they had made it for her. Twelve years later it was my privilege to visit the same mother who sat in the same rocking chair. Tears were streaming down her face when telling me about her 17-year-old girl. She was just like other very rebellious girls and now the mother wanted her to be different. Can I impress upon you tonight that the time to start giving those little children a reverence for God is when you hold them in your arms! You who have those little ones in our trust, I hope you can give to them the same thing that Abraham gave to his boy. Then we get the picture of when he was ready to go through with what God asked him to do. The angel of the Lord said " Abraham, lay not thy hand upon the lad...for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me." There was a ram caught in the thicket and they offered it there together. When I think of those people in the Bible, there is a similarity today, because this world is very wicked. It is only Christ in you that is going to help you that have the courage and love in your heart toward your children and others, also a forgiveness in your heart toward everyone, no matter what they do to you. Then you will have the presence of God with you and you will know the joy of His salvation and have the power that will enable you to do what you can't do in any other way.
Then we think of Joseph at 17 years of age. There are quite a few here at that age. It wasn't very pleasant in the home when his brothers hated him. His father had known what it was to wrestle with God and to submit to God in a way that left a mark on him. Jacob was able to put into Joseph a love for God and a reverence for His Kingdom. Because his brothers hated Joseph, they sold him as a slave. I don't know if you can get a picture of gentle Joseph when they pulled him up out of that pit. I hope you will read the story in Gen. 37. This boy was sold as a slave; his master saw that God was with him. It wasn't so much what he said. His master saw God was with him. Can other people see that God is with you? That is the main thing, children. (Pardon me if any of you don't like that word. But it is used in the Bible. You seem like children to me. It just seems yesterday when we were holding some of you as little ones.) Why was God with Joseph? Because he had no hard feelings toward his brethren. They didn't do him right. The next thing he was in prison because of Potipher's wife. She wanted him to commit adultery, but he didn't yield to temptation. The prison keeper saw God was with Joseph, and when he was brought before Pharaoh, the ruler of the land noticed immediately he had the spirit of the living God. That is what they saw, and I can't emphasize enough how important it is for you and me to live so closely to God that his very virtues are seen in us and people will associate us with Him. When Joseph saw his brethren there was only one thing in his heart, and that was to help them. You young people will have a very hard battle because wherever you are -- school or work -- people will want you to be like those in the world and you must make a decision. No one else can make it for you. If you consecrate your life to God and serve Him, he will give you the needed help to keep true and glorify His name.
I am only going to mention a few, but I feel personally if you look up about the young people in the Bible and read of their trueness to God, it will inspire you to give your best. Samuel was a faithful young man, 1 Sam. 1:24. It was a time that was very, very dark spiritually when Samuel was born. The people were so distressed when they went up to offer a sacrifice to God because of Eli's wicked sons. They didn't do what God asked them to do and here they were the leaders. When Samuel's mother went up to Shiloh, she made a vow from the depths of her heart that if the Lord would give her a man child, then she would give him unto the Lord all the days of ??his/her?? life. Samuel was born and after he was weaned (wean means to detach or alienate the affection [text obscured] when he learned obedience and was over being pouty, etc., Hannah took Samuel to Eli's house. Then Samuel ministered before the Lord, grew on and was in favor with the Lord and with man. We read "And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was [text obscured]". God spoke to Samuel who became a true messenger and priest. Everyone knew Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord. Could you think about what that father and mother put into that young boy before he went to the house of Eli that kept that young lad separated from the defilement that was in that home. I hope you can understand that this is the power of God and that power can be in you and me to keep us consecrated to do His will.
David was another one I thought about. We notice he was prepared, herding sheep and being true to God and having an explicit confidence and faith in God. When he went to visit his brethren and saw that great giant who defied Israel, he remembered when God had delivered him from the lion and bear, and he said, "I will go." What made him feel so badly was that this man defied the name of God and he was willing to go so that "all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel." It wasn't for any fame of his own, but to prove to others that there is a living God. Every one of us here tonight have that same privilege of consecrating our lives so that God can work in and through us and other people can see by our consecrated lives that there is a power that they don't know anything about. A few people interested in their soul's salvation may ask you about your faith and you can point them to the way that leads to life.
Daniel and his companions were of the King of Judah's seed, intelligent young men with the ability to learn the Chaldean language, and the Babylonian king took them to minister to him in the palace. It says of Daniel that he "purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat." Dan. 1:8. I don't know what that meat consisted of -- perhaps all the entertainment that went on in the palace, as well as what he was to eat and drink. Daniel asked if they could be put on trial, with only pulse to eat and water to drink. This they did, and at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat, and it wasn't too long until the king knew they were serving the living and true God. Do you feel this way when you go to school, that you are not going to be defiled with the things of the world? It is very hard also when you go to work. I remember when I started to work with rough men who made fun of me. One of my friends worked in that same factory; he went to meetings, but he couldn't take the reproach and wanted to be one with the men and listen to their dirty stories and enjoy them. I couldn't understand. On my lunch hour, I would eat by myself. It is not hard to see why that man didn't continue long in the truth. We can't serve God unless we have a power in our lives to be separate from the world and consecrate ourselves to worship Him and Him alone.
I would like to mention the parents of Jesus and John the Baptist. Jesus was brought up in a place with no reputation; one man said, when he heard that Jesus came from Nazareth, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Here God entrusted His son with a woman who found favor with God and a man who was just and upright -- ones who would shelter and guide that young life. When Jesus was twelve years of age, He uttered those words, "... wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" Start with the children when they are tiny and you can put into those little children a reverence for the one you serve; you cannot do that unless you serve Him in spirit and in truth yourself. Of John's parents we read, "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." The other priests weren't that way, but Zacharias and Elisabeth were -- consecrated to God. As young men Jesus and John kept consecrated, and then when the time came they were shown to Israel, about thirty years of age. John was able to prepare the way for Jesus and the Jesus came on the scene. It is wonderful what we read, "The people sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up . " Do you know what it is to sit in darkness? But, "They which sat in darkness saw a great light." Why? Because He was radiating His Father in heaven. Everyone could see that John the Baptist was a prophet sent from God. These are just some. There are others I would like to mention, but I must go on if I'm going to answer these questions.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING BORN AGAIN AND PROFESSING? There is a lot of difference. When people are born in the world they get a nature and act like human beings because they have been born into a human family. When people are born again into God's family, they receive a new nature. How does that come? A person hears the Word. He is convicted in his heart that he is wrong, acknowledges it to God and purposes he is going to forsake all wrong and begin to walk in the light. Then God in heaven gives that person a new life, and life has power. Even with the tiniest blade of grass, the seed is planted in the ground and germinates and the plant pushes out of the ground in spite of gravity. If one is born again, it is similar. God gives him life, and he is able to say, "No, no, no, I don't want the old life." But how long will a baby live if you don't feed him? Not too long. How long will you live when born again if you don't start to feed? When you pray and worship God in the secret place, you have a relationship with God, you get a power -- life and strength. It will enable you not to be moved by the things around you. So many people who have made their choice, when it came time to start to worship God, they knew they should pray, but they couldn't humble themselves to do it and they had no power. They had no courage. We have an example in Peter. He denied Jesus because he didn't have the courage to confess him, but a marvelous thing happened. He went out and wept bitterly. What do you read in Acts 4:3, 12, 31-33? "Peter, full of the Holy Spirit...." He was able to speak and he didn't fear what the Roman Empire or the Jewish nation would do to him. He declared that Jesus rose from the dead and that there was no other nation under heaven whereby men could be saved. When did he get that courage? When he was full of the Holy Spirit. Every person in this meeting can have this life if he earnestly prays, and then he will have the sweetest fellowship with God. "Profess" means to declare or admit openly. When a person makes a profession in the truth and he neglects to pray and worship God, he dies quickly, receiving nothing from God. You can be in meetings, but if you don't pray and have a desire to read His Word, you get nothing.
WHAT DO PEOPLE MEAN BY HAVING A CONVICTION AND HOW DO WE GET IT? Webster's definition of a conviction is: "State of being convinced, especially of sin. A strong persuasion or belief: as, to live up to one's convictions." When a person is born again, he has convictions. You have the mind of Christ and start to think differently -- you know right from wrong -- and you start doing what is right in the sight of God. If you don't have any convictions, that is tragic. I don't know how to help people without convictions. They are jellyfish, wishy-washy. But just as soon as a person begins to serve God, he has convictions. This is what I am going to do and this is what I am leaving behind."
DOES GOD ALWAYS SPEAK TO US BY NAME? I think most of us have sat in gospel meetings and felt, "This is for me." Whether our name is spoken audibly or not, we have been spoken to many times, even when not in a meeting, perhaps when praying. I will never forget the time when I was spoken to when I felt I couldn't take another step in the ministry. I will never forget the help God gave me at that time when I earnestly prayed.
WHY DON'T PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT GOD PLANNED JUST ONE WAY TO PREPARE PEOPLE FOR EVERLASTING LIFE? John 12:40, II Cor. 4:4. If a blind person was up here and I said, 'There is the table and my hymnbook and Bible, can't you see?' No, he can't see. He can feel it. If Satan has blinded people's minds, they can't understand. This is the purpose of the gospel. 'To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light.' I am sorry that the person who wrote this question is like I was when I first started in the ministry. I thought anybody could read the bible and know what is true. Now I understand that people can read the Bible but can't see the truth, but when we live consecrated lives they can see God is working in us, and that is their hope.
WHEN SOMEONE ASKS IF WE THINK WE ARE SAVED AND THEY BELIEVE THEY ARE, WHAT IS A GOOD ANSWER? God is the judge. Remind them of what Jesus said in Mt. 7:21: 'Not everyone that sayeth unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name cast out devils? In thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity. What do you tell people when they ask if you believe this is the only way? I tell them what Jesus said in John 14:6 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.' My purpose is to follow Jesus in His true way.
IS IT ALL RIGHT TO READ BIBLE REFERENCE BOOKS? Bible dictionaries give us quite a little information about different nations, customs and people. If you want to learn about the temple service you can read quite a bit about it there, but if you want to look up the New Testament church, you can't find it. God has hidden that from the wise and prudent and revealed it unto babes. Only the people who are born again can see His Kingdom, as He told Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." We must be careful what we read and study. Does it agree with the teaching of the Holy Scripture? Why do we use the King James version of the bible? We believe it is the best translation of the Bible. There are other translations that might help us to understand some verses better, but according to brother and fellow worker, Anton Koutsourelis, who was a professor in English before he began in the ministry in Greece, the King James version is the best translation.
IS MONEY REALLY IMPORTANT FOR THE FURTHERANCE OF THE GOSPEL? I think it is the same today as it was in Jesus' day because in Luke 8:1-3 we read of the women who "ministered unto him of their substance." We read about Paul when he wrote to the Philippians in ch. 4:15-17. These people sent little gifts to Paul. We don't get gas for nothing--we have to pay for it. People loan us a car. When we go to the store, we don't beg for what we get. Our people--and only our people--have the privilege of ministering to us. If people get too far in debt and can't meet their obligations, we would rather they pay their debts than give us a gift. One man in Indiana told me when we stopped at his gas station to announce our meeting that one of our friends went to the gospel meeting on his gas--he never paid the bill he owed for gas. We then told our brother it would be better for him to stay home and pay his bills so that man would know he was honest. God's people have the privilege of helping us. We are responsible how we use the little we receive to not waste it. What we don't use we share with others and we can get along, but it is nice when people see the privilege of ministering. I grew up in a very poor home, but my parents told us we shouldn't spend any thing on luxuries except for company; we saved as much as we could so we could minister to His saints and servants . If you have an open home and entertain, it costs you something in dollars and cents. Any person, young or old, was welcome in our home if they behaved themselves. If they didn't conduct themselves right, my father or mother never hesitated to tell them, "We don't allow that in this home," and if they got angry and left the home, they said, "Good riddance to bad rubbish." They didn't want people in our home who were not respectful to the kingdom of God. Do you teach your children to sacrifice or not? Do you invite others to your home? It is a wonderful thing to do because you are helping your children see the privilege of laboring with Christ. The Philippian church helped Paul because they wanted him to go and help others.
HOW DO WE GIVE MONEY TO THE WORKERS? Mt. 6:3-4, "'When thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thy alms may be in secret." When should we start? The only people who have the privilege of giving God's servants money are the ones who are consecrated to God. Have you parents taught your children to sacrifice for the Kingdom, or do you just want them to keep everything for themselves and get all they can out of this world? When you help God's servants, you give it as unto the Lord and if we don't use it right, that's going to be against us because that is your consecration to God. My needs have been meet and I am not asking anything for myself. There were times when I wished I hadn't spent money when I was with other boys, just to treat them, as it could have been used better. I know what it is to sleep outside in a haymow or empty building, to not have much, but that was a sweet experience. The hardest thing in the work is to be around people who profess to be serving God and are indifferent, false accusers, fault-finders, who don't want to go to meetings, they don't care much for the fellowship, they are just living for themselves. It is the deadliest thing to the workers. I hope you will be filled with zeal to live a more consecrated life to God.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN ABOUT, GIVING ALMS (TITHES) TO THE CHURCH? IS THE 10% WE READ ABOUT STILL NEEDED TODAY? The tithe (10%) was asked of the Children of Israel, and this is the reason. Their were 12 sons of Jacob and each sons family became a tribe. We read of them coming out of Egypt and entering the promised land which God gave them. In the last twelve chapters of Joshua, we read of the children of Israel getting their inheritance in land, etc., but the tribe of Levi was not to have an inheritance in land except for cities in which to dwell. What did the Levites do? The Lord said in Numbers 18:20-21 "... I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation." Then the Levites would be getting about the same as the other tribes. The reason we don't tithe is because it is not necessary. God's love in the hearts of His people moves them to minister to His servants. When Clara Yeates had surgery, God's people ministered willingly. When she left the hospital, there was about two dollars left after all the bills were paid. The year before I was with Lloyd Watkins in 1930, he and his companion went to a certain community to have a tent mission. There was no apparent interest and they wanted to move to another town, but they didn't have any money. While waiting, they continued the meetings and a young family moved across the street and started coming to the meetings. That young family decided. Three weeks later, someone sent a gift and they moved on. They would have missed that family if they had had money to go when they wished. Only God's chosen people have the privilege of ministering to God's servants.
WHY DON'T WE HAVE SUNDAY SCHOOLS? It is the duty of parents to teach their children. So many people send their children to some school and they don't know what kind of a teacher is teaching. Some parents don't take their responsibilities. Some men want to sit down and read when they get home, or do what they want to do, and some mothers don't take time to teach the children. Dt. 6:5-9. I wonder, do you take interest in your children? I read a little quip in a paper that said, "If we gave our gardens as much care as we do our children, all we would have is weeds." In this world today, people are anxious to have a nice home. It is good to make it comfortable, but if children are disciplined with love, and the father and mother love one another, it is a wonderful atmosphere in which to raise children. Many children in the world today have everything but love. I am glad today that my parents took us with them all the time until we got old enough to be on our own. When you are with your children and you are teaching them, they will know what God wishes for them to do.
HOW DO WE EXPLAIN TO OUTSIDE FRIENDS WHY WE DON'T SPEAK IN TONGUES? That is simple. I Cor.14:1 9. This word "tongue" in the King James version just means languages, and if people who claim to speak in tongues went to Japan they wouldn't have to go to school to speak Japanese, but we notice they go to the language schools the same as our fellow-servants. Paul said he could speak in languages more than they all, but "I would rather speak five words with my understanding than 10,000 in an unknown tongue." That is how you can explain it to other people. In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit was present. The people there spoke in other tongues (languages) as the multitudes represented 15 different regions. "And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold are not all these which speak Galilaens? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" I can't explain this last part -- they spoke one language and the people heard in another. God did the miracle.
WOULD GOD PHYSICALLY HEAL SOMEONE IN OUR DAY IF IT WAS PRAYED FOR WITH ENOUGH BELIEF? Yes, I believe God could heal today, but the reason God healed people in Jesus' day was to prove that Jesus was the messiah. All the healings Peter and others did were to prove that Jesus was the Christ. God gave Moses the commandments, the Old Testament law, and everybody received it. Then Jesus came to fulfil the old and introduce the new. How were people going to believe? He performed those miracles so people would believe that Jesus was the Christ.
WHAT ABOUT WHERE PAUL HEALED ALL THOSE PEOPLE IN ACTS? AREN'T THE ACTS STILL CONTINUING TODAY? Phil. 2:25-27. Paul didn't heal Epaphroditus who was sick nigh unto death. The healing Paul did was to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was with those servants who represented Jesus in the world, but people today have a selfish motive. They are trying to patch up the old body that is going to deteriorate as we get older. II Tim. 4:20, Paul didn't heal his companions, because there wasn't any purpose in it --they believed and followed Jesus.
WHAT SHOULD WE SAY WHEN WE ARE ASKED THE NAME OF OUR CHURCH? You just about have to give your testimony. It's hard because we don't have a name -- the New Testament church didn't take a name (Acts 9:2), but it was called many names by others (i.e. church of God, church of Christ, church of the firstborn.) It is all the same -- it belongs to God. John. 8:31-32; when Jesus stood before Pilate, He just spoke of the "truth." Jesus was the clearest declaration of truth the world ever saw.
WHAT IS THE CONCRETE FOUNDATION OF OUR BELIEF? The New Testament is the foundation of our belief. Mt.5-6-7 are the fundamental principles of our belief.
WHY DO WE MEET ON SUNDAY? That's the day of Jesus' resurrection. We celebrate His resurrection, the greatest miracle in the world, and this gives us a hope beyond the grave. We commemorate that day by the breaking of bread, Lk. 22:19, I Cor. 11:24-25.
WHY DON'T WE KEEP THE SABBATH? Jesus said He was the lord of the Sabbath, He is greater than the Sabbath. That is the day Jesus met with His disciples after the resurrection.
WHERE IN THE SCRIPTURE DO WE READ THE ORDER OF THE FELLOWSHIP MEETING? I Cor. 14. We read of singing in the spirit, praying in the spirit and speaking in the spirit, and we read about the breaking of bread. I Cor 11:17-34.
HOW DO WE EXPLAIN WOMEN PREACHERS? In Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost, Peter said this was a fulfilment of Joel, "I will pour out of my spirit on all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit and they shall prophesy." This is absolute proof that some of the daughters, handmaidens of God, prophesied. The definition for prophesy is in I Cor. 14:3. Our sister workers do not usurp authority over the men. I Cor. 14:34-35.was for the married women.
WHY AREN'T THE ELDERS GIVEN THE TITLE DEACON OR BISHOP LIKE IN I TIMOTHY? The two words elder and bishop are synonymous. Paul wrote to Titus about ordaining elders in every city. "For a bishop must be blameless as a steward of God." Titus 1:5-7, Acts 20:17. Paul sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church; vs. 28, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves and unto all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the flock..." Those are the elders, or bishops. We don't use the term bishop so much today, perhaps because in the religious world it pertains to the head of a denomination. The deacons were helpers to the elders and had the same qualifications as did their wives. It would be good for those of you who are elders and deacons to read over the qualifications every once in a while, and the wives should read what pertains to them.
WHAT IS A SCRIPTURAL ANSWER TO THE QUESTION, "HOW WILL CHRIST RETURN?" Acts 1:6-11. When Jesus was with His disciples just before He ascended, He asked them to be witnesses. When He finished speaking to them, He ascended and the angel came and said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." He is coming back the same way He went; that's all I know.
DOES ONE HAVE TO TAKE PART IN PRAYER AND TESTIMONY IN FELLOWSHIP MEETINGS? Some feel they can't, though they desire to. It is necessary. Rom. 10:7. The definition of "confess" is to acknowledge or own, as a fault or debt; To acknowledge faith in." If you acknowledge it with your tongue, it is necessary to talk, and if you can't talk, you use sign language. In the Sunday morning meeting, you have the privilege of making confession to what the Lord was to you through the week -- the help He was to you, and that will be a help to others. It is not necessary to give a big sermon. Some people are timid. A little girl decided in our meetings who was an A student, but the poor little thing didn't have the courage to give thanks at the table. We said, "Just give thanks for the food, don't make a long prayer." She did that. Then she was afraid to pray. We said, "Just thank God you have the privilege to be in the meeting, etc." She didn't have the courage to take part in meetings. We said, "You enjoy reading the reading the scripture, don't you? Just read a verse and say this is what you want to do." We must grow and we must have the courage to start. However, there is the possibility sometimes of taking part in meeting and not being helpful. We saw a nice little church formed; they were quite a distance from any of our friends. We went to preparations and received a letter saying that they had had an awful meeting. We wondered what had happened. They were getting along pretty well when we left. We asked later what had happened in that terrible meeting. It was harvest time and everybody was busy working and each one thought the others would have something for the meeting . They all went to the meeting, but no one had prayed or gathered food from God, which made the meeting empty. We were glad they learned that lesson when they were babes. Everyone has a real responsibility, whether young or old. If you are lazy and you don't want to do it, you will miss your reward.
HOW LONG SHOULD WE SPEAK AND PRAY IN MEETINGS? I don't like to put a time limit on this, but I will say if you are going to the same church every Sunday and you speak over five minutes, you soon won't be appreciated by the church. When I was a little boy, we had two and sometimes three who each spoke 20-30 minutes and the meeting lasted two to three hours. They gave a thought and repeated it over and over, just as if we hadn't understood. To be appreciated, be brief, but have a nice complete thought, which has been a help to yourself.
SHOULD WE START OUR PRAYER WITH "OUR FATHER? That is what Jesus taught us in Mt. 6:9, "our Father which art in heaven..." it is also important to end a prayer in Jesus' name, Jn. 14:13-14, Jn. 16:23.
SHOULD WE SAY "AMEN" ALOUD TO OTHERS' PRAYERS? Amen means "so be it." Jesus used it in Mt. 6:13. It is good to say this.
PLEASE EXPRESS YOUR VIEWPOINT ON ATTENDING THE WED. EVENING BIBLE STUDIES AND GOSPEL MEETINGS. The wed. evening Bible studies are to give people a little help in studying the Bible and listening to the testimonies of other people. You have the privilege of encouraging people in that little meeting. Some people don't go to the Wed. night meeting -- they don't feel their responsibility of helping other people. I am very sorry for that. But those of you who are interested in the church will make it a practice to be there and if someone comes weary, you can speak a word in season to them. Dear friends, you will never know what those Wed. night meetings meant to me when I was working in the factory, living with ungodly men. It just seemed to me I got a drink of heavenly water in those meetings. One man told me the reason he didn't go was because he never got anything out of the meeting. He had decided in our meetings so I asked him if he ever took anything to the meeting. He replied, "I think you are right." If you go with a prepared heart, you will go away with bread. Some people don't go to gospel meetings -- maybe their business requires their time. I remember one place many years ago where we had only a few friends. One man was very anxious for us to have gospel meetings where he lived and worked. All the time we were there he came only on Sunday night when his business was closed. One day he offered me some money and I said I didn't want to take it. He said, "What is the matter?" I replied that I thought he needed it because he didn't come to the gospel meetings during the week. He said he had to take care of his business. If he couldn't close his business for an hour-and-a-half to be at the meeting, his money meant more to him than the meetings. He didn't like it and he never ministered to me again. Let me tell you, I would rather work with my hands than to ever stoop to have to take money from people who haven't their heart in this fellowship.
WHEN CHILDREN PROFESS YOUNG, BETWEEN NINE AND TWELVE, SHOULD THEY BE ENCOURAGED TO WAIT UNTIL OLDER BEFORE BEING BAPTIZED? WHEN SHOULD THAT PERSON START THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT BAPTISM? I don't like to see children baptized much before they are 16 because that is the time when a child -- boy or girl -- starts to understand the pressure of the world, the desire of the human nature and the lusts of the flesh. Are they willing to die to the world, flesh and devil? If they die to these things and are buried with Christ, then God will give to them the risen life of Christ to demonstrate to the world. I will never forget what Jack Carroll told me at Santee. There were two sisters who wanted to be baptized, one was about 11 and the other 12. I went to him and told him I felt it wasn't the right time because I feared they didn't realize what baptism meant. He said, "You don't have to take all the responsibility. Talk with the parents. They would know whether the children feel their need to pray, and the need of separating from the world." The parents would know better if the girls were ready for baptism than we would. The father spoke up and said the one was ready because she felt her need to pray, and had broken with the world, etc., but her sister didn't feel her need to pray and they had to keep talking with her about separation from the world. The older one said, I will wait for my sister," and she did. I don't like baptizing real young children. If you baptize one and not the other, they can't understand. We have baptized some people and they hadn't died. It is against the law in California to bury anybody who isn't dead, and we shouldn't baptize people if they aren't dead to the world and the lust of the world and the pride of life. Jesus died to the world, the flesh and the devil, and lived true to His Heavenly Father.
WHAT DO YOU ANSWER SEVEN AND EIGHT YEAR OLDS WHEN THEY ASK IF THEY CAN PROFESS? Children differ greatly. Some little children are very serious and God has dealt with their hearts. I could never say no, but I do talk with them of their responsibility to obey their father and mother. Some children profess because other children do, but they won't get help doing it that way. I don't know how to answer that question generally. Parents should take responsibility in guiding them. One little girl said, "But I am old enough to die!" You couldn't say no to that one, could you?
WHAT KIND OF THINGS SHOULD YOUNG PEOPLE PRAY FOR? I appreciated this question. It helped me to study a little about prayer. Mt. 5:44, "Pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you." Can you do it? It's wonderful if you can. It's a struggle for me, but I must put forth more effort to practice this. Mt. 5: 9-13 is the sample prayer of Jesus. Are we interested in His kingdom coming, His will being done in earth -- in our life and in the lives of others? "Give us this day our daily bread." Daily bread could mean our strength to face this critical world where there is so much reproach toward people who reverence God. Mt. 9:38, "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.": I won't ask for your hands, but I would like to ask how many of you have prayed that prayer today, or this week? You who are naming the name of Christ, Jesus taught, us to pray that the Lord would send forth laborers, after looking upon the multitudes of people without God. Jesus also said in Mt. 25:41, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation." Col. 4:3-4, "Pray also for us, that God would open unto us the door of utterance that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak." I have never felt the need of help more than in these last years. I hope you will remember to pray for the servants of God so they will make the truth manifest as they ought to speak. You tradesmen, as you get to the end of your working days, get expert in your trade, but in our work, we never learn how and we must always depend upon the Holy Spirit to teach us. James 5:13, "Pray one for another." Before you go to meeting, do you pray for every one in that little church? It will do you good if you do. It will make your little church close and harmonious.
IS IT GOOD TO PRAY THAT GOD WILL MAKE A CERTAIN THING HAPPEN TO LET US KNOW HIS WILL IN A PARTICULAR MATTER? We read of some people in the Bible doing this and I have heard of others doing it, but I don't remember ever doing it myself. I would rather have faith and be like a little child and let Him lead and guide me.
SHOULD YOUNG PEOPLE BE ASKED TO GIVE THANKS AT MEALS BEFORE THEY PROFESS WHEN THEY ARE SOFT AND TROUBLED? This responsibility should be that of the parents in the home. Sometimes people include their children when they sing grace at the table; sometime they ask the children which grace they want to sing.
HOW CAN PARENTS ENCOURAGE THEIR CHILDREN TO SEE THE NEEDS OF THE KINGDOM, APART FROM PRAYING FOR THE HARVEST FIELD AND SHOWING THEIR LOVE FOR GOD'S SERVANTS? If you are sacrificing for the kingdom and your life is consecrated to the Lord, it will have an influence. I didn't think about the work while I was in high school. I decided at 19. When I saw the fellowship we were enjoying in Christ because of a servant of God being willing to leave his widowed mother, his occupation, his country, and come to our poor part of the country to bring the truth which changed the whole future of our lives, it made me so grateful Thinking of his sacrifice and other people wanting to know the truth, the only thing I could think of then was to give my life. I didn't have the best health, I could hardly pray in meetings and it was very difficult for me to give my testimony. But, hearing Dad and Mother rehearse over and over their joy in knowing the truth and being in God's family helped to move me to go into the harvest field. When Archie Turner was with us in San Francisco in 1960 on his way to the Orient, I told him he was the 13th worker to leave for the Orient that year.
It was then he told us that in 1905 there were 52 young men and women who left Great Britain, going to South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and USA. Those servants invested their lives in God's kingdom, and that is why we are enjoying the truth. Archie said some of the people who were serving the Lord had very nice homes. They sold their nice furniture, heirlooms, etc. and gave the money to help the 52 young men and women to go to the different parts of the world. That's how the gospel came to us. When I was in Italy, I happened to mention this at a convention. Florrie List, one of the workers who is hardly able for the work now, told me when she got through school and was working, she wanted to buy some nice furniture for their home, as they had a fine home, but just had second-hand furniture. Her mother said, "Florrie, we used to have that kind of furniture, but when the workers were going to other lands, we sold it so we could help them go. We don't want that kind of furniture now, we just want to help in this great kingdom of God." How could those people have invested their lives and money better? I just thank God for those early servants of His who were willing to sow their lives as seed and for those people who labored with them in the gospel. I love working with you people in California and appreciate your interest in this Kingdom. We want to keep that interest kindled and alive. It will help your children if you keep showing them how much you value the truth, your desire to help others, and the sacrifice the servants of God made to bring us the gospel.
I was about 19 when I decided and then I began to pray and worship God. A year or so later, when thinking of the sacrifice of God's servants that brought the truth to our family and seeing that the harvest was great and laborers few, I was moved to give my life to help those who were lost. Dad and Mother often told us about the servant of God who left his widowed mother, his occupation and country, coming to our part of Michigan, making it possible for us to know the truth, which resulted in a happy home. With this upon my heart, I couldn't pray that the Lord would send other people unto the harvest which was great and laborers so few, when I wasn't willing to go. My keen interest in learning a trade and getting ahead in life evaporated and I couldn't be happy in doing anything but going into the work. My experience was like this. When I was 22 years old, I was anxious to learn a little about the work, so I visited with our older worker in Michigan. He spoke with me a little about his experience in the harvest field. After convention he wrote me saying if I wanted a place in the work, a companion was waiting for me. Then the impact came of leaving all -- everything, even what the future holds out to all young people. This was a terrific struggle because this is a choice for life. When young men and women offer to lay down their lives to carry the gospel, we know their struggles. Workers are not freaks of nature. God created a man to desire to have a wife and a woman a husband. Every day we die to these desires so we can be better able to help in the Lord's great work. We hope when young men and women leave all to enter the work you will pray for them and write to them. I treasured those first letters I had from our friends in Michigan; they helped me over my many struggles. How many of you are praying as Jesus said, Mt. 9:37-38, "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." How many of you prayed that prayer this week? Have you ever prayed it? I hope you will.
HOW DO WE GET INTO THE WORK? If that's in your heart, speak with some of the workers, and usually they tell me about it. Then we would like to talk with you a little and help you see a little of what the work is like and how you can prepare yourself to be useful. If one feels called to the work, what is the best way to prepare ? I don't know anything better to tell you than to learn how to be a good, willing servant, and when people ask you to do something, don't resent it, and if people correct you, don't resent it. Thank them for it if they think that much of you and that will help you. Abraham's servant was wanting to get a wife for Issac and was looking for a woman who would serve. He asked Rebecca, "Would you give me a drink?" She said, "Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also." Ten camels! I used to think it was something to pump water for ten cows. If you want to be successful in the work, serve! When Jesus saw strife among his disciples over who would have the greatest place, He said that was all right among the Gentiles. Lk. 22:24-27, "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them, But if shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant." That is what Jesus did at that passover feast, His last feast with His disciples. It was the custom for one to wash the feet of the guests. Nobody took that humble place. Maybe Peter thought it was John's place. After the feast was over and everybody had had a chance to serve and nobody had been willing, "Jesus laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet." "He that is chief among you, let him be as your servant." If there is anything that humbles me, it is the humility of my Lord and Master, and I want to have more willingness to submit myself to my Master and to serve my brethren.
The most effective servant is neat in his appearance, his suitcase is neat and his room is neat. It is very necessary for a boy to be masculine and a girl to be feminine, then they can be a real help in the kingdom of God.
HOW CAN YOU LET HONORABLE THINGS, SUCH AS AN OPEN HOME, AN HONEST MARRIAGE -- USEFUL IN THE KINGDOM'S CAUSE -- TAKE FROM GOD FIRST PLACE? L. 10:11, they had an open home, but at this time Martha was hindered because she was complaining about her sister's service. Ananias and Sapphira seemingly had an honest marriage -- they agreed -- but they agreed to lie against the Holy Spirit. In spite of what may have been a good marriage, they died because they lied against the Holy Spirit. You might get along well with your husband or wife, but how are you living? Does God get first place? "Useful in the kingdom's cause," made me think of Solomon. "They made me the keeper of the vineyards, but mine own vineyard have I not kept." Song of Solomon 1:6. A tragic experience came into Solomon's life when he was careful about the affairs of the kingdom and neglected his private life with God.
WHY DO WE TAKE THE BREAD BEFORE THE WINE IN SUNDAY MORNING MEETINGS? Mt. 26:26-28, Mk. 14:22-24, Lk. 22:19-20. "Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." His body was broken and then His blood was shed, so naturally the bread would come first. Who should give thanks for the emblems? How about the young kids who have been baptized? We would like to see people mature spiritually giving thanks for the bread and wine.
WHEN IS IT BETTER FOR A PERSON NOT TO PARTAKE OF THE BREAD AND WINE? When we have unforgiveness in our hearts, it is best to not take part in breaking bread. This is what was happening in the Corinthian church, I Cor. 11:17-18, the people were coming together for the worse instead of for the better. In the 28th verse, Paul said, "Let a man examine himself and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." The breaking of the bread is a memorial feast and every time we partake of these emblems, we should think about the sacrifice of Jesus who purposed to fulfill God's word and pour out His life so we could be redeemed. The twelve apostles all partook of the bread and the fruit of the vine, but only Judas partook of it in the wrong way. The eleven disciples were prepared to lay down their lives with Jesus, but fear caused them to forsake and deny Him. Judas premeditated what he did and it would be wrong for us to partake of the bread and the wine if we do not plan to obey God's word. If you don't mean to be true to God, don't partake. Some say, "So and so is getting by." Forget it; you are standing before God. Remember the words in Col. 3:25.
Older folks are supposed to set the example. However, there are some who seem to find fault with everybody. I thought we are supposed to help and encourage, not put others down. Yes, I agree, and I can't understand why some people find so much fault with others, but they do. Jesus said, "Judge not that ye be not judged... And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" A beam -- a great big 2 x 4. Here we are, we judge, and we don't think about ourselves and our shortcomings. Sometimes my spirit hasn't been good and it has separated me from God. Others may have the same experience. I don't say your mistakes are right, but I can feel for you, and I hope our older people will be an example to our younger ones who are following us. If we really love our brethren, we don't advertise their faults, but try to help them.
WHAT ARE YOUNG PEOPLES' RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE OLDER FOLKS? If you can be courteous and perform favors with politeness, that would help a lot. Paul gave Timothy this advice in I Tim. 5:1-5, "Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. Honour widows that are widows indeed." Just be nice and polite and willing to serve. Is it asking too much to give the friends where the meeting is a call when not coming, or when more people are coming? Personally, I think it would be very kind to do so.
HOW CAN WE HELP THOSE WHO DON'T PROFESS OR WHO ARE HAVING SPIRITUAL PROBLEMS, BESIDES PRAYING FOR THEM? The best way we can help other people is to manifest charity, I Cor. 13, the love of God. Charity suffers a long time and is kind, etc., is not envious or emulous, wanting to be above other people, isn't puffed up, boastful, isn't selfish, doesn't seek her own, is never irritable, never broods over an injury, etc. Forgive people instead of brooding over their wrongs.
HOW CAN WE GET HELP TO TAKE CHASTISEMENT, ESPECIALLY FROM OLDER PEOPLE, WITHOUT BITTERNESS? Simply be being humble and exercising ourselves in the love of God. It's a little bit easier for children who have been taught discipline when young, before they have a good memory. When you teach a child discipline, be sure you love the child -- the two go wonderfully together. What will help us to not murmur? By possessing the love of God (charity), I Cor. 13.
WHAT ABOUT CHRISTMAS CARDS, GIFTS AND TREES? Have you ever analyzed the word "Christmas? It means "Christ's Mass". In other words, a mass for Christ. We don't have a mass for Christ at that season; we worship Him all the time. The Christmas tree is an idol in the false churches. It belongs to the world, not to God's people. Jer. 10:1 tells of cutting down the tree, decorating it and then worshipping it. Sometimes our people get their children clothing or other things they need at the holiday season.
WHEN YOUNG PEOPLE GET TOGETHER, DO YOU PREFER THAT THEY AVOID LARGE GROUPS AND GET TOGETHER IN SMALLER GROUPS? WHAT ARE THE PITFALLS AND DANGERS TO AVOID WITH EACH KIND OF GATHERING? There were three women in one area and they were bent on getting the young people together. They all had young people and thought it would help them spiritually if they had social times together. Sometimes they had big gatherings, and when I heard the police were called in to try to quiet them down, it grieved my heart. I told them what a shame and reproach they were in the neighborhood. There should never be large gatherings for young people unless there is someone there to control them. If young people can get together and act like ladies and gentlemen, that is nice -- once in a while, but not too often, maybe every two or three weeks. Too much familiarity breeds contempt and bad things happen.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUNG PEOPLE GETTING TOGETHER AT A PIZZA PARLOR AFTER GOSPEL MEETING? WOULD GOING TO A HOME AFTERWARDS FOR REFRESHMENTS AND A SHORT WHILE TOGETHER BE AN ALTERNATIVE? There is a possibility of losing the inspiration we received at the meeting if we have a gathering afterward. However, if a person went to a home for a short time to visit about the meeting, it might prove helpful. There's a danger of being too familiar. It is a good habit when a person can go to their room and in prayer thank God for the help they received.
SHOULD WE INVITE NON-PROFESSING FRIENDS TO COME TO SOCIAL EVENTS WITH THE FRIENDS? I think it is better for our young people not to be too involved with non-professing friends. However, there can't be a law as some might like our fellowship and they are not trying to contaminate our faith. Some may be seeking help for their soul.
IS IT OK TO HAVE GATHERINGS ON SATURDAY NIGHT? Absolutely no. Do you know what you can be doing Saturday night? You can be getting ready for the meeting Sunday morning, trying to get a little bit from the Lord to feed God's people in the Sunday morning meeting. It is tragic to spend your evening any other way, unless you have to work.
ARE THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES FITTING FOR GOD'S PEOPLE -- MOVIES, PLAYS, MASQUERADE PARTIES, MOCK WEDDINGS, ROCK CONCERTS? We just question anyone's salvation who would desire these things -- they are feeding on flesh. A sheep or lamb never feeds on flesh.
WHAT KIND OF BOOKS, MAGAZINES, PAPERS, MUSIC ARE ACCEPTABLE? Sometimes you want the new. Some magazine articles are not edifying. Phil. 4:9-11 "Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things." If we can think on constructive things, it will help us to strengthen our spiritual life. Some books will corrupt us, others are educational. One must be very careful with music in order to have our heart and soul in tune with God. We stayed in a home once where they didn't even have a curtain on our bedroom door. They played the radio from about 5 a.m. until midnight. When we went to pray, all we heard was worldly music. When I did get a little quiet place to pray, those crazy tunes would come into my head and also the words. When you can sing the songs of Zion, there's a response in your soul that will edify; the other songs can be dangerous to our spiritual life.
WHAT ABOUT GETTING INVOLVED IN EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AT SCHOOL -- SPORTS, DRILL-TEAM, BAND ETC.? Before I made my choice, I loved to go to games, but I felt guilty when I spent money for my own pleasure when I could have used the money in better ways. In the sport world, there are idols -- the ones at the top. Sometimes we have seen pictures of those idols in saint's homes -- which is not good, also beauty queens in girls' rooms, but those girls are not with us now. If we are serving the Lord, He is the one we worship. This will separate us from the sport world. I have yet to see anybody really spiritual involved in sports.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT DRINKING WINE? Some of our people who once took a little wine became alcoholics. The world uses it so much. I feel it is best to avoid all appearance of evil. When I see people take wine in the homes, I am afraid. I have seen people who took a little wine and I don't think the parents were bothered, but I know what it did to the children, some are alcoholics. Now the parents are responsible because they had it in the home. In the world people drink and call it a good time. One man who decided in our meetings said: "This is the first time we have ever enjoyed the holidays because we won't have sore heads."
WHY CAN'T PROFESSING BOYS AND GIRLS GO OUT TOGETHER JUST AS FRIENDS? Professing girls get labeled as boy-chasers, too serious, just wanting to get married. Therefore, the boys don't take them out. Because of this, the boys date outside, and the girls date outside because they get tired of waiting and sitting at home. We had our problems when we were young too. I was so interested in getting ahead in the world that I wasn't interested in dating anybody, but we had an open home and girls and boys came and some of those girls were too aggressive. One lady was so anxious to tie me up with her daughter that I could hardly stand the girl. One lady said, "None of the boys will go out with my girl." I could understand, because she wasn't a lady. A boy who is hearty in the truth wants a girl who is true to God, and a girl who is hearty in the truth wants a boy who is true to God. If girls want to fix up like the world, the good boys won't want them. If you are thinking about getting married, be serious. If you get a partner who is true to God, you are getting a prize. I will say to you, don't make a decision quickly. Pray to God. he might lead you into a more useful life. I would like to mention Arnold Scharman. There was a brother, Percy Smily, who lived in a divided home. Arnold liked that man and told him he was thinking about having an open home. Mr. Smily said, "Well, that is nice, but suppose it turns out like my home? I can't have the workers come. Have you ever thought about the harvest field and prayed about it??" He hadn't, but started to and the next thing, he was in the work. Today Arnold is in Germany giving the last ounce of his strength. He has been such a comfort to many in Europe and throughout the world and to our family as well.
AT WHAT AGE SHOULD GIRLS AND BOYS BE ALLOWED TO DATE? My parents think 16 is young enough, but I know of some dating younger. I know of some who have been very sorry that they dated young. Sixteen is too young as far as I am concerned, but you might not be in agreement. I know some who married just out of high school, and the woman took off and left her little ones -- too tired, washing diapers, sitting up with babies, working all day, and wanting to be having a good time. She started dating at fourteen. The boy was left holding the sack. Some girls get in trouble and they are ruined. There is cleansing and forgiveness, but you live with conscience. I preached with a young man who said, "Oh, I wish I could be like you boys. I know God has forgiven me, but my conscience is so seared, and I think of things...." It was his relationship with women. He was scarred. He said, "Oh, if I could get free." He was plagued. It wasn't that God didn't forgive him. God is merciful, but the devil never forgives and wants to torment you all the time for your past failures. Rev. 12:10. DO YOU HAVE POINTERS REGARDING A COUPLE GOING TOGETHER -- HOW THINGS SHOULD DEVELOP FROM ACQUAINTANCE TO FRIENDSHIP, COURTSHIP, ENGAGEMENT, AND THEN MARRIAGE? HOW LONG SHOULD THE ENGAGEMENT BE? I think you should ask somebody who has gotten married. That is out of my category. Find a couple who gets along really well together, who are kind to one another and love one another, and ask them! WHAT CAN AN ENGAGED COUPLE DO TO PREPARE FOR A MARRIED LIFE THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO THE KINGDOM? Phil 1:27, "Only let your conversation (manner of life) be as becometh the gospel of Christ: and whether I come and see you, or be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel." Should a couple show affections in meeting (like holding hands)? Absolutely not! That is not what the meetings are for -- do that in private if that's what you want to do. WHAT KIND OF WEDDING SHOULD A PROFESSING COUPLE HAVE? One that would become the gospel of Jesus Christ. What would you think of a girl who has gone through school and stayed separated, been humble, a real princess, and then she has a worldly wedding? She is throwing the whole thing overboard. Have a humble little wedding. Invite people afterward -- fine. Whatever you do, keep it so it will be a blessing in the kingdom of God. SHOULDN'T WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS BOTH BE PRIVATE, MEANINGFUL AFFAIRS? I would say that they should both be meaningful affairs, but such depends on the family. There's a lot of difference between a wedding and a funeral. Ecc. 7:2-3, "It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart." A wedding is usually a time of feasting and if conducted humbly it will become, or befit, our humble fellowship meetings. A funeral usually is a time of mourning and it sobers our hearts. We do appreciate your love for one another. When Ed Hernstedt passed away recently, many attended his funeral because of the help he was to so many in having convention on their farm for twenty years and a meeting in their home. WOULD YOU DISCOURAGE MARRIAGE BEFORE GRADUATION FROM HIGH SCHOOL? Absolutely yes, and maybe for a little time afterward. We would like to see the boy saving up a little money so he would be able to take care of his wife, and the girl should learn how to cook and keep house. There was a girl who had a good mother. She came home from college and said, "I am getting married." Her mother didn't say no, but, "If you are getting married, you are doing the cooking and housework. I don't want any girl to leave my home who can't cook and keep house." After two weeks, the girl said, "Forget it!" WHEN YOUNG PEOPLE QUIT SCHOOL, THINKING THEY CAN COMPLETE IT LATER BY CORRESPONDENCE COURSES OR A G.E.D COURSE, AREN'T EMPLOYERS BOUND TO THINK OF THEM AS DROPOUTS AND QUITTERS? I suppose they would. I think employers want to see young people ambitious. If they quit school and get a job, they would wonder if they would be a profitable employee. G.E.D. courses can get you a diploma, but a drop-out is a poor advertisement for getting a job. WHAT ARE YOUR OBSERVATIONS OF THOSE WHO HAVE MARRIED OUTSIDE THE FAITH? Most are not with us today. John Porterfield took a census of this and found that over a period of 45 years in Arizona, out of 69 who married outside, only 13 are in the truth today. A man gave his testimony who heard the truth in Los Angeles. His wife went along with him, but never made her choice. He spoke about separation it brought into their homes after he decided. The first year he went to convention he found himself drawing closer to God and further from his wife. Every year the gulf grew bigger between him and his wife. He said, "Everything she was living for, I was trying to die to, and everything I lived for, she was dead to." Some have felt they could be a help to someone outside if they married him. Once in a while they are, but we have seen some very tragic things. A promising young woman about 20 felt sorry for a divorced man who was lonely. We heard they were going together, but she said, "No, we aren't, we're just friends. He is lonely." All at once something happened and she was in loved and they married. Love is blind and marriage is an eye-opener. That woman had a very sad life.Remember when you marry, you make a lifetime According to the vow. words of Jesus in Mk. 10:11-12 and Lk. 16:18, people who divorce and remarry commit adultery. Some people who have done this say they are having fellowship with God. Prov. 30:20, "Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness."
WHY IS REMARRIAGE AFTER DIVORCE FORBIDDEN IN THE NEW TESTAMENT? Because the words of Jesus, Mt. 5:32, Mt. 19:9, Mk. 10:11-12, Lk. 16:13, I Cor. 7:10-11,39, Rom. 7:2-3, "Whosoever putteth away his wife and marrieth another, committeth adultery.
WHY ISN'T DIVORCE PART OF ONE'S FORGIVEN PAST? When people divorce and remarry, they commit adultery and every time they have relations as man and wife, they commit adultery. These people continue right in their sin. Only if they forsake their sin and put it away can it be forgiven. Prov. 28:13. 'He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.'
ARE THERE ANY CAREERS THAT WOULD BE ADVISED AGAINST FOR A CHILD OF GOD? There are some that would be very hard for you, like music. I know one man who played in an orchestra; he was good. After he decided, he went back to Milwaukee to some big party where they wined and dined. When he came back, he asked if we could make him an outline where to go and what to play. We said we could, but it wouldn't do any good. We told him, "You have something better. You have the Holy Spirit. When you feel uncomfortable there, don't go back, or don't play a piece of music if you aren't comfortable -- quit!" Two weeks later he resigned and everyone of his old friends thought he was crazy. If you have the Holy Spirit within you, there are some kinds of work you can't do. One of our Mexican brothers got a job as a janitor. He advanced to quality control. They wanted him to be dishonest, but he couldn't. Do you have that kind of conscience? You can't be dishonest and serve God.
COULD YOU EXPLAIN WHY IT'S WRONG FOR WOMEN TO WEAR MAKE-UP OR USE HAIR COLORING? I hardly think any of you people would do that. You know what is the beauty of a woman -- a meek and quiet spirit. It is a marvelous thing in a man also. When Peter wrote about wives, he said, "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel...." The only woman in the Bible who was painted up was Jezebel. She was a wicked Zidonian princess, an enemy of God's people, one who killed a number of God's servants. If any person wants to flirt with the world and be like the world, that is where they are going to end. If you want to keep true to God and be a light in this world, honest people will admire you.
WHAT ABOUT GIRLS TRIMMING THEIR HAIR, OR HAVING LONG HAIR EXCEPT FOR BANGS? The scripture says if a woman prays or prophesies with her head uncovered, it is as if she were shaven, and her hair is 'given to her for a covering.' Long hair is a glory to the woman. If you really want to obey God and do it willingly, you will have a reward, but if you want to get around it, you can, and maybe nobody will know it but God. Partial obedience is not acceptable to God. God is no respector of persons. Be honest with God. One woman coming to our meetings saw all the women had long hair and asked why. So we read her I Cor. 11:5-6, 15 to her "... a shame for a woman to be shaved or shorn. She said, "I must have bangs", but she never cut it again. Two years later I was teasing her. She said, "You will never know how many times I had the mirror and shears," but something in her would hurt and she couldn't make the shears work. There was a boy born into that home. When he was two years old, one day he went quiet. His mother tiptoed around to see what was happening and their wee lad was by the davenport with a book open, on his knees praying. Who taught him to pray? He was doing what he saw his parents doing. The Holy Spirit will teach you what is best.
IS IT ALL RIGHT FOR LADIES TO WEAR DIAMOND RINGS, OR GOLD PINS? A person who uses these things is craving what belongs to the world. If you want to be a representative of the family of God, live a modest life and have a meek and quiet spirit. One woman told me that her husband had given her her engagement ring. I said, 'The scripture teaches that if we love one any more than Christ, we are not worthy of Him.' Mt. 10:37-38. I didn't know that there were some in our fellowship who have diamond rings who have meetings in their homes. I don't approve. I wouldn't be true as a servant of God if I held up another standard than what the scripture teaches. In the world, sure, that is the custom, but not in God's kingdom.
HOW DO YOU ANSWER WHEN ASKED WHY OUR WOMEN DON'T WEAR PANTS? Dt. 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 who do that are an abomination unto the Lord thy God." That is scripture. A young girl was going to school with two of our girls. Our sisters were the only ones in the high school who wore dresses. This girl asked her mother if she could have a dress. The first day she wore a dress, all the girls said, "You are going feminine now." Sure, that is what girls should be -- feminine, and boys should be masculine. Remember, you serve either the Lord Christ, the world or yourself. Which one are you serving?
WHAT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE APPAREL FOR GIRLS TO WEAR SKIING, HORSEBACK RIDING, JOGGING, ETC.? Some things are pretty hard to do and be a Christian, and if you don't deny yourself anything, it is pretty hard to fulfill scripture. "If any man will come after me let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.'"
IS THERE A SCRIPTURAL REASON WHY WE DON'T GIVE SHOWERS OR SALES PARTIES? When people are invited to a shower, they are expected to bring a gift, which is simply asking for a gift. This isn't even polite. At the shower, everyone knows what the others gave. Jesus taught in Mt. 6:3, "... let not your left hand know what your right hand doeth." That's why we don't approve of showers. A sales party is given by a person who profits by inviting others to their home and it is making merchandise of God's people. The kingdom of heaven is built only on sacrifice and if it wasn't for this sacrifice of Jesus and our fellow-workers and friends, you wouldn't know one another. It looks to us like people taking advantage of the blood of Jesus just for natural gain.
I would like to thank all of you for your interest in the kingdom and for your presence here. Any time we can be of help to you, we are only too glad to do so. We love you and we need you. We hope you will have God's help so you can be a real help to others in the kingdom. NEW PROFESSING TEEN CHATROOM BELOW! ATTENTION: Somes popular names require passwords so you should try an alias with 3 or more letters that are NOT VOWELS (A E I O U) ! For example an alias like KHG or LMJ.