By Charles H. Stalker
Message Delivered at Leicester, Sunday Morning, April 13th, 1919
"I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning: and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt."
To a great many people God is not a personality -- He never has been and He never will be. Others have a mental conception of Him, and they believe He is in heaven, and that He has all power, but He is nothing to them. There is no reality. There is a great deal of difference between thinking about a crucifix and having the Christ; and while so many have these vague impressions they will never receive anything from God. To many, He is a God afar off and very difficult to reach, their only way of approach is by means of the priest or through forms and ceremonies. They have no thought of the nearness of God, or of what He could and would be to them if they would trust Him.
These conditions have brought disappointment and dissipation, and I do not think we ever came up to Easter with more infidelity and unbelief than at the present time. It seems that the great majority have sought for everything but God, and they have found almost everything but God. To the preacher in the pulpit and to the man in the pew the most unsatisfactory vision presents itself. There is very little said about the personality of God.
When God speaks, He always speaks as a person, and He speaks to persons, and not into space. When people get that thought in their hearts they have a foundation for present reality and present victory. God says, "I have seen, I have seen." He did not wish them to be uncertain about it, and so He repeats it, "I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them."
So God has eyes, and when you think of God as having eyes, and having them for the purpose of using them, it is a great inspiration to His children. Think of what God has looked at during the past centuries, think of what God sees this morning, think of what God sees in the human heart, think of what He sees in the human race. Think of what God sees this hour, after man has become the biggest devil out of hell, and the greatest disappointment of all His creation. He has made a fool of himself and nearly damned a world under his touch and under his fall. God is looking at it and He sees it. The only time God refused to look at sin was when His Son was dying and offering Himself up for a sinful world. He has seen everything else and everybody else. His eye has carefully and scrutinizingly looked into the details of creation and redemption, humanity and eternity.
Just think of man, made out of mud, becoming so deceived by the devil and so nearly damned that he will shrug his shoulders and shake his head in the face of God. It is abominable. He has a little sense and it deceives him, and he has enough of sin to lock him up in hell. He has looked down in the bowels of the earth and dug up treasures, and he has reached beyond the stars and brought down the currents to accommodate humanity, but he has missed the mercy seat. He will make his bed in hell because he would rather believe the lie than the truth. There is enough of pride in the heart of humanity to damn souls eternally, and what do we have to be proud of in this hour, but a wrecked world? There are more broken hearts and disappointed lives than ever, and the pressures, mentally, financially, and physically, placed upon us by the devil are indeed heavy. No power, no hand, no scepter, no authority can lift them, they rather increase them. And think of a man walking the streets of this city, or the paths of this country, and opening his eyes to the beautiful sunlight this morning, or the silent star last night, and closing his eyes without a prayer and without God.
"I have seen." God is never in a hurry. In the quiet of eternity He made the plan of redemption. He never asked an angel to stay awake and watch, and He never waited for fallen humanity to agree with it. And then man steps around and kicks the dust off his feet and laughs in the face of Holiness. It is an insult to the Almighty, and it seems that it will damn humanity. "I have seen." Get that thought into your mind that God is watching you, and. it will be worth a world to you. I have not received a letter for months without the call to pray. Why? Because God's eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth.
We become interested in a little spot and a few faces that we will meet at the judgment day, but what does God see? "I have seen." What did He see? A hell-bound king, the glistening sand, the burning sun, a people down there making bricks without straw. What does He see today? People resisting Holiness, a powerless pulpit -- not sufficient power to convict a grasshopper, theaters and moving picture shows, and lustful devices of hell that are placed on every street corner. Formality, carnality, and infidelity reigning supreme.
They say they will not have Holiness, they will have nothing to do with the Holy Ghost. They will let the people die and be damned before they will allow Holiness to be brought over the threshold. That is what God sees. They are getting ready for Easter, but they have no message, they are preparing to meet depraved and fallen humanity, but they have no reality and no victory. God have mercy upon them.
"I have seen." "I am not taking the words of another, I have not sent an angel down to write out the report and to read it to me, I have seen. His eyes went right down to the glistening sand and He saw them when they were trying to make bricks. He saw the whole thing. Just begin to think what God sees and you will see it matters very little what you see. A man needs not to be bright and brainy to get the secrets of God out of the Bible.
God has taken plenty of time, He has not been in haste about this thing, but He has it all planned out, and I want to tell you that if you think the plan of redemption and the incoming of the Holy Ghost a little thing, you are wonderfully deceived. You are face to face with the greatest thing that God ever sent to the heart of man. You cannot tell God of a thing that He does not see, you cannot think of anything that He does not see. He sees it all. He had a photograph of you before you were born, and He has a plan for your life, but the devil has made such a fool of you that you have missed it.
God always speaks very pointedly and very practically, and when He sees a thing, He sees it just as it is. There is never any coloring to it, there is never any covering over it, and God speaks of it just as He finds it.
I am glad, this morning, that when He looked down upon the fallen condition of humanity He saw the need. When God looked down He saw the need, when you look up you can see the supply. And, He said, "I am come down to deliver." He came to seek and to save that which was lost. God is always looking down and when man is looking up they see each other. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
When Jesus fed the five-thousand they had only five loaves and two fishes, but He saw their need, and they looked up and there was the supply. He saw the blind and they looked up and received sight; He saw the deaf and they looked up and they could hear; He saw the man who was sick of the palsy and he looked up and was healed God's eye is always looking down, and you have and need that cannot be supplied if you will look up. Somebody says, "I do not believe it." Well just keep looking down, but you will never get anything by looking down. You cannot find satisfaction by looking down. Nothing that Divinity offers to humanity can be obtained by looking down. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights." You can come down, but you must look up; you can kneel down but you must look up.
Of course if I were to tell you that everything for time and for eternity was to be obtained by looking up, some of you would not believe me. But it is true. You have been in the habit of looking down so long that you find it difficult to look up.
What is this world looking at? Confusion, the result of the tragical war. While they look down they see trouble, if they would look up they would see God.
Now when God sees a thing He does not minimize it. One reason why people see so little in Holiness is because they minimize sin. You cannot minimize sin and make people hungry for Holiness.
God is a personality, and He not only sees but hears. He says, "I have heard their groaning." He did not hear much rejoicing, He did not hear much singing, but He heard groanings.
There is something very peculiar about a groan. When the Holy Ghost comes to abide, He "makes intercession with groanings." The groanings of the Holy Ghost always have divine attention, and that is the reason why everybody should receive Him. God heard. The burdens were so heavy that the groans came out, and then He heard their groanings. Just think of the helpless and extreme condition. The devil makes things extreme and man spoils everything he touches. He has spoilt this world until it is hardly fit for a person to live in.
The need was there and God saw it. I do not say He did not pay any attention before, but He records the fact that He heard their groanings. Think of what goes up to the ear of God from the broken hearts of the human race. I do not believe there is a cry from a broken heart or a needy soul, from any corner of, this earth that God does not hear. There is nothing imaginary about this. You can go into a little secluded spot and cry to God and get an answer to prayer. It does not matter about the kind of room, it does not matter about the architect who made the plans, and it makes no difference how it is ornamented, but from the place where you call, God hears you. "If we know that he hears us, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
Now He heard their groanings. When you get to the place where it is useless to ask the help of man, then you find it is a special time to ask God. While you are content to ask man for things, God will let you go on, but when you are helpless, then you give God an opportunity to do something for you. That is the reason why I believe God is going to do something special in these last days. The case is urgent and the time is short, but God is hearing and He is going to answer prayer. So many are still expecting to hear from a formal church and a backslidden ministry, but they are getting nothing to satisfy their aching hearts. Never expect to find satisfaction in formality and carnality because you will be disappointed.
Now, after God sees and hears it matters not what the need is, or how great it is. The scepter may be in the hands of man, but God will hear and answer prayer. It matters not about the ignorance on the throne, the need is there and God will meet it. The ignorance about the reality and the personality of God in this hour is truly appalling. Machines and other things have been invented for destruction, everything has been done that rains could do, but God is left out and souls are going to hell. You say that is pessimistic. That label will not stick at the judgment day. This message must be carried and someone is going to get the light. All that man can do is being done, but I want you to notice the silence O God. He is just letting the devil go to the limit because his time is short. God has a plan and He is interested, although He is silent. He is watching and a plan is being carried out. The devil means it for destruction, but God means it for salvation. He is likely to appear on the scene at any time and take charge of affairs. Some people think things are about to be finished, but they are just about to begin. God will come down some of these days and He will let them know that He is almighty and that He can do the impossible things.
He says, "I am come down." It always means a great deal when God moves. It does not matter what direction He takes, whether it is to the hungry multitude, to the sick person, or to the dead man. When God moves, it always means the carrying out of His plan. Everyone knows the record of what took place after He came down. People think the case is hopeless and nothing can be done, but notice that the limitations of man afford an opportunity for God. When conditions are such that man can do no more then God comes down and takes charge and does everything. I know it is often said that God helps those who help themselves, but you will find that God does the most for the helpless.
Many times our actions hinder the thought of God for our lives. We think we can put a few finishing touches, but we spoil the whole thing. Many a time God has sent a dagger into somebody's heart and another has come along and made a few remarks and eased the conviction and the devil has had a jubilee in hell.
God looked down and He listened, then He came down and you know the result. You know how they were led and how they were fed, you know how the skies, at the command of God, gave them bread. He did not need any authority, He did not need any help. He could take a cloud and lead them by day and He could take a star and lead them by night. It is a wonderful thing when He comes down. What would He do if He came down now? I am not concerned about the Holiness Movement, it will go up in the air and never return. God is not limited. At this extreme time we can still depend on what He says. It has been a long time since I worried about anything that God had taken in hand, that I scarcely know how to sympathize with those who do; it has been such a long time since I had a care that I scarcely know what to say to those who still have cares. He said that as far as I was concerned, He would take care of me, and I have just trusted Him to do it.
Now the action that God takes is always final, there is never any higher authority, so you see how important it is for people to get to the place where God can deliver them. God came down, not to see the thing, but to deliver, and I want to tell you, beloved, when God says He is going to deliver a' person, they are going to be delivered. There is no question about it. God always means what He says. Deliverance is a very important thing, and God did not stop until they were taken from the Egyptian sand into the land where there was plenty, and where they could eat bread without scarceness.
People are so easily affected by hearing others say, "God cannot do this and that." I do not know anything that God cannot do except save a sinner against his will or baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire the Christian who is not willing to walk in the light. God cannot save you against your will. You can live in selfishness, carnality, and formality if you wish, or you can place yourself at the disposal of the Holy Ghost and live for ever.
I have heard people say they did not like our country, but that is no more to me than a little dog barking at the moon a thousand years ago. In the first place, they say it because they do not know it, and then they say it because they know nothing about it, and would you take their testimony? I was born there, I was brought up there, I have traveled from one ocean to the other. I have been on its mountain tops, and I have been in its valleys, I know its people, it is my country, and for anyone to say they do not like it -- what is that to me? My home is there, I was saved there, I received the Holy Ghost there. I can go to other countries, but that is still my country. It has just the same relations, just the same inspiration as it had before they said it.
Once in a while I hear people say that there is nothing in Holiness, they do not see anything in living without sin, and they do not believe a person can be sanctified wholly. What do they know about it? Where have they been? I have been saved, I have received the Holy Ghost, I have had answers to prayer. They can say what they like and they will die and be damned because of their unbelief, but I am going to heaven.
When I heard that the Holy Ghost could come into my heart and abide for ever, I believed it. People have looked on and they said it would not work, but it has. God has a thought as large as heaven and as boundless as eternity. This meeting is timed for an hour, and we are here. But, beloved, you can get into a realm this morning and go no more out for ever, if you will walk in the light when God speaks to you. God has a thought for your life, and you are a fool if you miss it. There are just a few of us here and what would it mean if you pass into the realm of the supernatural? It may mean the salvation of thousands of souls What does it mean if you miss it? Those thousands will possibly be doomed and locked up in a devil's hell and you will be responsible at the judgment bar.
"I am come down to deliver." He did not come to simply give them water from the rock, or bread from the sky, but He came to deliver them. These little things were tokens of His presence, their deliverance was His chief purpose.
You may have had many little touches and you may have had a drink by the way, but when the Holy Ghost comes you can cross right over into the promised land and live there and always have plenty. You will be sanctified by faith and set perfectly free from sin. Someone says, 'I do not believe there is such a place." Well, you can stay just where you are, I am not going to urge you, but God says He has come down to deliver. His thought was not just to make people feel better but to save the sinner from all his sins and to baptize the believer with the Holy Ghost and with fire, and put him in a place where he can stay for ever.
God is a personality and a reality, He has eyes, and He sees; He has ears, and He hears; and He has come down to deliver.
Now there is another thought I want you to get. It is one of the supreme thoughts. He says, "And now come, I will send thee into Egypt." He is pleased to use human instruments. He uses humanity to carry out the thought of Divinity. He says, " I am going to use you, I am going to depend upon you, take the shoes off your feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." To be sent as a deliverer is the greatest honor that has ever been conferred upon humanity. You must be delivered first, and then you can be a deliverer. You must first be saved, and then you can go and save others; you must receive the Holy Ghost and then you can go and take the message to others.
I am glad, this morning, that Divinity can control humanity for time and eternity, and use it in sacrifice and service. This is your opportunity. All that has preceded and all that is in this meeting and all that will follow after ought to make this the most wonderful day we have ever known.
Do not miss a ray of light, do not grieve the Holy Ghost, and do not miss a single thread that He wants to weave into your life during these days. He is able to deliver you now, and to baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire -- completely destroying the works of the devil from your heart.