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The Great Debt

By Charles H. Stalker


      Message Delivered at Mansfield, Afternoon Meeting, January 31st, 1919

      "I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians, both to the wise and to the unwise. So as much as in me is I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also."

      You will find an experience here that shows the great, radical and supernatural change that had taken place in this man's heart, and I do not believe it was simply for the Apostle Paul, but I believe it comes to all who are conscious that their sins have been forgiven and that the Holy Ghost has come to abide in their hearts. There are a great many things in which people differ, but the supernatural work is the same in every heart. There may be a difference in the personalities and in the dispositions, but the work of grace is always the same. Those who are really saved from sin, praise God for salvation, and those who have received the Holy Ghost have an inexpressible gratitude in their hearts for all that God has done for them.

      The revelation of Calvary always brings with it the revelation of the need of humanity, and these revelations, given by the Holy Ghost, will last through time and through eternity.

      Now it is fatal to go into this thing without going in for life and with life. You cannot realize how much there is in it until you get into it. So many people do not see anything in it because they are not in it, but some are getting so much out of it because they are all in it.

      The first impression that came to Paul after he received the Holy Ghost was his great indebtedness to the human race. He saw more than the few he had left on the road to Damascus, or even the crowd of Athenians. The vision of God goes clear beyond the vision of man, and just where humanity stops, divinity begins, and when you have seen as far as your eyes can see, then the Holy Ghost takes you into the realm of the supernatural. The depth is always beyond man and beyond the measurement he has used, and when Paul said, "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God; how unsearchable are His judgments, and His way past finding out," he was trying to express something that went right beyond all language.

      We use language as the expression of thought, but in speaking of the supernatural, words fail to convey any idea of the divine supply for the need of humanity.

      First of all the Holy Ghost shows you your own need, and then, when you know your sins are forgiven and the Holy Ghost has come, He can never again show you your need, but He will show you the need of others, the need of a lost world. If you never feel a burden, you will never be a blessing. The burden on the hearts of the saints always brings blessing to the sinners, and the unction on the saints always brings conviction on the ungodly. I just simply mention it. It is always the same. These things do not change, they are the same in this country as in America, they do not change in a hall, they do not change in a cathedral. Where there is no burden, there can be no blessing. That is the reason why the prayer meetings are dying out, the burden is gone and there is no blessing. The saints must carry a burden if blessings are to be brought to the sinners.

      When there is no burden and no vision the people perish. Why is it that so many souls are without Holiness? Because some people have not seen enough in it to live and die for it. Thousands of people would get the experience in a few moments if they saw as much in it as they see in other things, but they do not see it. You can preach about it, and witness to it, but the Holy Ghost has to show it to that man out there or he will never see anything in it. If I told you something and you believed it, and then someone else came along and told you something, you would go off with them. That is the reason why the devilish errors have gained so much ground. There is the desire for leadership. When God tells you something and you believe Him and allow Him to do a work in your heart, you will be able to stand.

      Just think what a vision Paul had. He did not receive it at the feet of Gamaliel, he did not get it at college. It came as a revelation from the Holy Ghost. He was hurrying people to hell and persecuting the Christians until he was saved and sanctified. A great many people never have a vision and they never have a burden for lost souls. When God gives you a vision you are never the same afterwards. Paul said, "I am debtor." He was saved and sanctified and he realized he was indebted to the Greeks and to the Barbarians, to the wise and to the unwise, to the people who do not know much, and who do not enjoy as much as others. You can give your whole lives to God and go out and help somebody and God will have all the glory.

      When we get this vision God begins to show us the need of other hearts. If we were to be saved and sanctified and do nothing we would be of all men most miserable, but it is not so. I do not want people to pity me, I would rather they prayed for me. I saw something that I cannot tell, the Holy Ghost showed it to me and it has been getting bigger ever since; I saw a lost world and I have a burden for lost souls, it has been increasing all the time. The Holy Ghost not only showed Paul the need, but He showed him the great supply. Then he wrote to them and told them how he longed to come to them that they might receive a second benefit. He prayed for them night and day, and he saw something for the Romans, and for the wise, too. He had the dose that would do for all of them He had the real message of God and he was longing to carry it to them.

      He said he did not know how many more beatings he would have, but he was coming to them, and he was coming in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. It did not matter how many prisons he had to enter, or how many beatings he had, they could not take away the vision he had on his way to Damascus, and they could not take away the burden. He kept it until they took off his head. Just think what a debt we owe to this lost world. Some of them do not know that the promises of the Bible are for them, some of them do not know "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." They have not heard that "Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord." What are you worth if God does not put something in your soul? This is not the work of man, but the work of God.

      Get into harmony with God and give your life for Holiness. On every other line you will find competition. If you prepare yourself for farming, you will find competition. Advertise for one, and fifty would possibly come. I do not know what they are doing today. If you prepare yourself for teaching there are plenty of competitors, but no one can fill your place in the thought of God. If you do not fill it, it will be vacant for time and for eternity.

      People who are filled with the Holy Ghost can be a great blessing to others and yet be unconscious of the fact. Is there Bible for that? Yes. Jesus said, in reference to some characters, "When saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

      They were doing the very thing and did not know it. When you had that prayer meeting and took that "Holiness Messenger," it blessed somebody although you did not know it. God pronounced a blessing upon it. If you do not fill your place it will never be filled, and you will be met at the judgment bar by souls who will be doomed and damned because of your neglect. If you fill your place then "thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee."

      Paul learned wonderful things at the feet of Gamaliel, but they had no effect on him after he had the revelation from God. He counted all those things but dung, he was willing to sacrifice everything, to suffer the loss of all things that he might know God. He did it for the glory of God and for the good of souls.

      When Jesus was here He was so much alone. No doubt there were many who thought they would follow Him, but when He told them that "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head," that killed them and He never heard from them again. He knew their thought and He saw their purpose. Another time they were asking who should be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? You get a place as a gift from God and nobody else can fill that place.

      Give your life to God and see how He will honor it. Think of the places Paul could have filled in Gamaliel's crowd. He could have had a salary, he could have had honor and popularity and position, but he was willing to suffer the loss of these things, and he chose the stones and the prisons and the beatings. He did it because he had a vision from God and he never lost it. When he went before the king you would have thought that he took notes, but he said, "Oh King, I was going towards Damascus and I saw a light. I wish you could see that light too, it was brighter than the shining of the sun, and I have never forgotten it." He could have preached to him, but he just told him he saw a light. I can imagine that king saying, "He has seen something that I never saw, and this is the first man that has ever stood before me in my authority and my position and told me a thing like that." It was so special that it has been put on record, and you and I can read all that was said.

      There is no competition on this line. Why? Christianity does not need support from this old world, it is supported by the people who believe in it and have given their lives for it. Christianity is no pauper, and people who are filled with the Holy Ghost never go begging. A few people who are saved from all sin, and cleansed by the precious blood will always support Holiness.

      When we think of what we have to take to this lost world, we see immediately why we should take it. We have the only message that will save lost souls. We have the only message that will make a soul ready for heaven, we have the only message that will satisfy a human heart, we have the only message that will give comfort in the time of sorrow, and the message that will give wisdom to the ignorant.

      Just think what a tremendous thing it is. People come in here and the first thing they say, is, "He does not preach like our preacher." That is nothing against them, but they see the difference at once. Thank God we have something to take to the people. Paul said he was debtor to the whole bunch. We have the message for which the world is dying. The message of the Holy Ghost is the only message that has Divine authority, Divine affection, Divine illumination, salvation, and Holiness in it. God help us to see it and get it too. It is going to take faith and sacrifice, it is going to cost somebody their life, but it is worth all it costs.

      I believe everybody ought to get a vision that will bless somebody else. Has anybody ever told you that your life was used by God to save them; has anybody ever told you that you were the means in God's hands of making them hungry for the Holy Ghost. God will put someone on your heart and He will wake you up at night and speak to you about them and that burden is going to take blessing to them. Have something that satisfies your own soul and then you can take it to others. It must be practical, it must be spiritual, and it must be supernatural. You can live on the faith of others and be encouraged and inspired by others, and be blessed in meetings, but until you have something that will work away from meetings, you do not bring much to the meeting. Until you have something that works when you are alone and that satisfies your own soul, you cannot be a blessing to others. I believe it is possible for everybody to be a soul winner. The Holy Ghost will use you to be a blessing to someone whom no one else could reach. That leaves a place for everyone of us. Nobody wants any other place when they fill the place God has for them.

      In taking this message of the Holy Ghost, we are up against tremendous difficulties. We have to get through the tradition, the indifference, the lethargy, carnality and formality, and it takes nearly a lifetime to do it. People look out of the corner of their eyes and they will let you walk on up the road, thinking you are fools. People have looked at me and said, "Oh, if you would not preach that way, if you would not talk about hell and preach about Holiness." They do not see the necessity. God help us to see it and be true.

      Paul was not only willing to preach, but he was willing to die. Anything that is worth living for and dying for will put conviction on this lost world. Conviction is the work of God through holy lives and holy characters. Your life brings conviction and your death will bring conviction. When the Boxers were causing so much trouble, some missionaries were placed in a stone house until relief came from Shanghai. The rescuers gave orders for the walls to be torn down, they could hear the cries of the missionaries, but they could not locate them. The walls were taken down and they found three who had been made prisoners. They brought them out into the light and sunshine, but two could not speak and they very soon died. The third was almost dead, but he could say "glory."

      He did not say anything against the Boxers, he did not say anything about the lack of fresh air, but he just said "glory." It made a great impression upon me. He died with "glory" on his lips and in his heart, and he is in glory now. The forces who had come to the rescue were on their way back to Shanghai and the leader thought of that missionary who said "glory," but did not say a word against the Boxers. He saw there was something in a religion like that, and he gave his heart to God. Mrs. Stalker and I met that man and he told us he could not get away from the fact that the missionary had something in his heart beyond ordinary or he could not have said "glory" in those circumstances.

      Beloved, you will never know how much there is in a word or in the lifting of a hand when you have abandoned yourself to the Holy Ghost.

      If you allow the devil to have a place and begin to say, "I can't do this," your life will be a failure. God wants to put something in your life and then stand you out perfect and complete in all His will. He wants you to be so conscious that you are in His will that come life or death, things present or to come, nothing shall be able to overthrow you. Do not stop with a little feeling, but have the unction of God on your soul, have a vision and a burden and get into the realm where you have victory in your soul all the time.

      I believe to a great extent, that the supernatural will make up for many of the deficiencies in the physical and mental and even in the speech. Many times God has made up for the lack of these things in a marvellous way. I have been glad many times that my head was empty and my heart was full when I started out with God. I had a conviction that the power of God would work, but people said it would not. Some time after, I was staying in a home. I was praying in my room and I thought I would go downstairs. I knew the gentleman of the house was in the room below. We said a few words, and then he said, "You do not know much, do you?" And I said "No." Well, you know, it was rather strange, and it struck me, but you do not know how much it blessed me. Soon afterwards, I went back to my room and I really thanked the Lord I knew I did not know anything.

      A few days later I left that place and went away a few hundred miles. Then I received a letter from that man, and he said, "You remember staying in our home?" Of course I remembered. Then he said, "You remember I said to you, 'You do not know much, do you?' and you said 'No.' If you will be at New York on a certain date, I will take you to Palestine, and then you will know a little more." I believe I should never have gone on that trip if I had known much, it blessed me nearly to death. Only God could have put it into the heart of that man to do that thing. On the way back I stopped in this country, and I suppose that is the reason I am here today. I could not have come this time if I had not come then, this trip is in connection with that, and I have been tripping ever since.

      Someone says, "Well, you do not think He would do those things for me? " I simply give it as an illustration of what He can and does do. That was about all that man said to me, and that was about all I said. I used my five senses and tried not to think any more nonsense than I could help. I say these things because they come out of the supernatural, they came because the Holy Ghost came.

      The education I have had for years has been the result of observation and travel, and I use it for the glory of God. He has arranged it that way that I might study geography. My teacher would have had me learn geography with my head, but the Holy Ghost has had me study it with my feet; that is the difference. We have the Bible for it. "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon shall be yours. You can see how a great many people get maps in their heads, but they never travel ten miles, and they never put two and two together and make four in the Holy Ghost. That is the thing.

      There is an intellectual conception of the Bible and the blood, but it never reaches the heart. Do you believe the Bible? Yes, where? Up in your head or in your heart? There are people that receive the doctrine of Holiness intellectually and have an intellectual conception, but if you take off their heads they would have nothing left to take them to heaven. The Holy Ghost knew that and He said, "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." God begins with the heart and goes to the mouth. Do not think of your limitation, but abandon yourself to the Holy Ghost and let Him have His way for the rest of your life. There is no competition and the Holy Ghost will give you victory. If there are some here this afternoon who do not know that they are saved from every sin, come and seek it with all your heart and ask God to forgive you. And if there are those who have not definitely received the Holy Ghost, receive Him now.

      I say nothing against what you have been taught but you have never taken any action in your life that has brought so much blessing to you. He will destroy carnality and bring purity and victory. The crowds are outside and millions are in need, but you can be cleansed from all sin and filled with the Holy Ghost now.

      Let us pray.

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