By Charles H. Stalker
Message Delivered at Leicester, Monday Morning, April 21st, 1919
"Jesus came and spake unto them, saying: "Go!"
The words of Jesus were always very impressive, suggestive, and comprehensive, they were never understood by carnality. After He had spoken all they could stand or understand, He said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." It seems that His heart was stirred because He could not express Himself to them.
Now, you never find that word "go" amounts to anything or means anything until after the Holy Ghost has come. When people attempt to go before He has come to their hearts, the result is failure and fraud, deception and discouragement, waste of time and money. But there is something very special about the word after the Holy Ghost comes, it is the only word that is necessary after a person has consciously received Him. This word, only two letters, coming from the heart of the Son of God, sets the whole life aflame in sacrifice and service.
One thing that makes this word very impressive is the way and the time it was spoken, and the people to whom it was given. It was never to be carried out until they had tarried and received the Holy Ghost; and, I say again, beloved, the failure of this hour and the tragedy of the present time is the result of people going before the Holy Ghost has come. Why have you. been defeated in so many places? Because He has not come. The Holy Ghost, in any place, in any hour of the day or night, in any test, in any trial, is always triumphant. A person filled with the Holy Ghost always has the consciousness of victory.
I want you to get these thoughts this morning because the destinies of thousands may depend upon you receiving them.
A great many people think that a mental conception of the truth is sufficient, but that is not so. The instantaneous work of God in the conversion of a sinner is supernatural, the instantaneous work of God by the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire is also supernatural, and then God sends us forth to demonstrate the fact.
Many see the supernatural and hear about it and believe in it, but they never reach it, and never live in it. You can go over this country with this message and plant Holiness here if you go in the supernatural, but if you go without it you had better stay at home. People can get an intellectual conception of these things and they go as far as they can see, they go as far as they can hear, they go as far as their friends will let them go, or as far as tradition will let them go, but only one in a thousand ever go out with the Holy Ghost.
Paul did not commence his work until God had finished His; Paul never preached a sermon until the Holy Ghost had finished His work in his heart. After he fell in the mud and the scales fell from his eyes, he lived in the supernatural and he died in the supernatural, and under no circumstances could they thrust the darts of hell into that man's life. When you touch the supernatural, you are not striking a little emotion or a little physical exercise, but Divinity, and it lasts through time and through eternity.
You have the experimental, a number of you have been saved from sin and baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire, but unless you go on in the thought of God and live in the supernatural, mentally and physically, financially and spiritually, you will be dissatisfied, discouraged, and defeated. I say again, that no intellectual conception is sufficient for the realities of this hour, we must go further, we must so abandon ourselves to the Holy Ghost that we will be at His disposal and we will be under His instruction, and then one will be able to chase a thousand, and two will put ten thousand to flight.
This will take you beyond the limitations of your family, and from the people who spell their name like yours, and it will press you out, and you will not understand all the ways God will lead because "His ways are past finding out." There are some here this morning who will never see the supernatural, but there are others who are going to live in it, and God is going to bless them. In a great many places people have their emotions stirred, and they are satisfied, but I want you to see that if you stay with your own blessing and your own emotion it would have been better for you if you had never been blessed. The thought of God revealed to the heart of man gives him an experience and prepares him to go through at any cost.
I am not thinking this morning of the isolation as much as the revelation that is given for a life that is abandoned to the Holy Ghost. We have tradition, we have education, we have our preconceived notions and it takes holy fire to burn them out, but the Holy Ghost goes right beyond all these, and when Jesus said "Go," it was not for a little sport or a little play, but it was a divine commission. It is the message for this hour. I do not say that everybody is ready to go, I know some of you are not. There are but few who have a vision from God and are ready to go. Some may go and give their testimony, and some may go for a little while, but I am thinking of those who go and never stop, those who go and carry the message and plant Holiness in this lost world so that hell cannot defeat it.
"And Jesus said unto them, Go." He knew the suffering it meant, He knew every hungry heart it would reach, the greatest privilege that Divinity has given to humanity is to carry this message to a lost world, and when you take it, you take something that they will hear, and some will heed, and God will get glory and honor to His name. I am always deeply impressed when I hear people talk of going, there is always something very touching about it. You have no idea what it means until you go and I would warn everybody never to go with uncertainty, never to go with a doubt, it will damn them and others too. Never go to anybody until you have victory in your own soul, never go to a doubtful world that is nearly damned unless you are full of faith and the Holy Ghost. I would stop you before you start. I would have you know beyond a doubt that the Holy Ghost is a reality and a personality, and that He has charge of you, and you expect Him to abide in you for time and for eternity.
I was in the mission field and I saw missionaries die and curse the people who sent them there; they were buried under the hot sand and under the burning sun. I want to tell you that what this world needs is the message of the Holy Ghost. It has had everything else, and when I heard those people curse those who sent them out, I said, "Thank God, I am glad I never walked the gangplank until God gave me the Holy Ghost." Now I will go anywhere with this message. You think it a light thing, but when you take a person from the place of plenty and send them out to have fever several times a year, and they backslide and die, it is tragical. And that is being done. When God wanted me to go round the world, I found backslidden missionaries, I found people who had broken their covenant with God, and I found scores who had never received the Holy Ghost. I found people who wept like babies and said they were so glad somebody had come to tell them about the supernatural.
I have the world on my heart, and I am expecting some of you to get a burden and a vision you have never had before. You must see more than the people who have been raised like you and educated like you, you must take this message to the corners of the earth.
God will give you His plan, and it will go beyond your families and your friends and you will see a lost world. "God so loved the world," not a few white folk, not a few of the different nationalities. No, God loved the world. His heart was too big to center it on a white man or on a millionaire; His heart was too big to center it on a class or a country. He loved the world.
The Holy Ghost was sent to reprove a few at Jerusalem? No. He was sent to reprove the world. The Holy Ghost had a plan to start me out and He has kept me out; I am out now, and I say it for the glory of God. He can take anybody from any place and put them in the will of God, and if they choose to stay there, the devil himself can never take them out. He is able to do it.
When I lifted my hands from the plow handles, the purpose and plan of God was uncovered, and if I should live to the age of Methuselah, I could keep traveling in that plan, there is no end to it. If you will go far enough in God's plan, the passing waves will not strike you. Before we go over the bar, the little boats are all around, they cannot stand the rough sea, and they cannot cross the bar, only the ocean steamer, with plenty of fuel can do that. Many have gone as far as the little boats could take them, but God wants some to get on a liner and leave the gossip of the centuries and He will take them to their desired haven.
I want you to see His plan and His thought in the word "Go." He wants some "Goers." When the Holy Ghost came He told me to go. It seemed I had nothing with which to go; I had no education I had not been able to learn anything at school, but He said "Go." I went to my neighbors and I went to the school house and I went further, and it has just been "go" ever since. This morning the "Go" is bigger than it has ever been, there is more in that word now than when I started. It is a divine "go." "Jesus said unto them, "Go."
Now there is a thought in this that I would not have you lose, there is something so fascinating and inspiring about living in the supernatural that when the hundred and twenty touched it the devil could not make them give it up. I believe today that it is a very rare thing for a man or woman who is baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire to break their covenant with God. Hundreds may have a mental conception of Holiness, but I am speaking of the real heart experience. They went through fire, they went through water, they were stoned, they were beaten, but the powers of hell could not beat it out of them. They could not saw it out with an old rusty saw, and I believe God wants to baptize somebody with the Holy Ghost and fire so they will know it is done, and it will last.
The natural has its limitations, but when you get into the supernatural, time is the same as eternity. We look at the clock because other people use it; we hear it strike and we wonder.
When I heard the clock strike last night I thought the opportunity was gone and I might never have another chance to preach to these people. The very striking of that clock sent daggers of inspiration to my soul. The meeting is set for a certain time, but we must stop when the Holy Ghost is finished, never before. A meeting will last more than an hour. The people of the world can go to the dance and dance all night, and they can go to the theater and stay out late, and we can have a meeting that will last more than an hour and the people will not be sleeping. We never find that God spoke about time when He was making the plan of redemption; we never read that the hundred and twenty spoke about time when they were passing through persecution. Paul never spoke about time when he preached all night and the man fell out of the window, and he raised him up and then went on with the Holiness meeting. I want to tell you, beloved, that when you live in the realm of the supernatural time goes over the edge into eternity, and eternity goes over into time, and God has charge of both. Meetings have been closed when God wanted them to be continued, and people have run away just at the point where God was going to bless, and cords that God was going to drop down to humanity have been eternally lost. I am not thinking of taking the clock down, but time is only to be used for God, and when it becomes a burden and a pastime, the meeting is not a meeting in the Holy Ghost.
Not only is time nothing in the realm of the supernatural, but distance is nothing. Ten thousand miles is no more than ten miles. When God says "Go," He is at the back of it, and He is in the "goers," and He takes charge of the distance. I must go thousands of miles in the next few months, but that is no more to me than walking along the street, and that ocean is no more than a river in the eye of God. He made it, He formed it, He fathomed it, He has control of it, and He can take care of the goer as he goes across. You say you cannot go there. You can go anywhere. "Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go." Thank God for the privilege of going with the Holy Ghost.
There is another thing that impresses me, and that is that people think when they have given of their time and means, that they can do no more. But when the Holy Ghost comes we give our all. No stingy or lazy man ever received the Holy Ghost, if he did he would be too lazy to keep Him. Some people are too lazy to know God, and too lazy to get the secrets from the Holy Ghost, and some people are too stingy to get an answer to prayer. You may not know them, but God does.
Not only is it a great privilege to go, but it is a great honor. God says, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." "My presence shall go with thee." "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee." He says, "My God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus." He tells us so many things after we have started that we are so glad we obeyed Him.
The secrets of God are found in the lonely places of the earth, and the very heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Men have bowed for honors, they have compromised and begged for honors, but the people who are filled with the Holy Ghost never ask this old world for anything. They never expect to receive anything from it, and they are not disappointed. We are not going on our own charges, but we are going with the honor of God and that is enough to satisfy anybody. Not only is it an honor, but there is to be a great reward for those who will abandon themselves to the Holy Ghost and leave home and father and mother, brothers and sisters, and everything for His sake. Read the promises that are given, and they are worth their weight in gold.
When God says "Go," there is always a purpose in going and a place to go to, and there is a reward for going. Be careful you do not miss the reward that God has promised. I have scarcely known what home is since the Holy Ghost came, I am away about ten months of the year, but that is all in the covenant. The reward comes by keeping the covenant and obeying God.
While I was at school, examination day was always an easy day for me, I was so easily examined. My brothers and sisters were so bright that it took them a long time to do their work, but I was always the first to reach home, and the last day was always a delightful day to me. Then the teacher had the last day, and she said something that meant more to me than anything else I had heard at school. She spoke to her scholars, and she said, "I have taught you all I can, I have been interested in your lives, but now I am going to do what God wants me to do, and I hope you will all do the same." That struck me, and I said, "I will." I put my head down on the desk, and I thought if that teacher can do it, I can. That was the last day, I never had another.
Do you know what it meant for her? God called her to go as a missionary. Her mother was not in favour, and her father opposed it, and said she should not go, but she went. The day came for her to go to the little station and to go to New York on her way to Africa. She thought her father would certainly consent when the last day came, but he went in and put on his best clothes and went out through the door, across the fields. She looked out of the window and saw him hurrying away, and she went out and called after him, but he would not answer. She ran to overtake him, but he ran and he never came back. She went back to the house brokenhearted, and with tearstained face, and she said to her mother, "The Bible says, 'When thy father and mother forsake thee, then the Lord will take thee up.' " They finished packing and the mother went with her to the little station, and she saw the train take her away. She went to New York and sailed for Africa. She lived for God and Holiness for five years, and then the cable came that she had gone to heaven. That is what it meant. She not only said she would do what God wanted her to do, but she did it.
"And Jesus said unto them, Go." That is the final word, and where did they go? They went into the darkest places of the world, they faced hell's artillery, but they went through in victory. It means something to go. I could take a dozen from every meeting who would like to travel, but God wants people to go with a burden and a vision, with unction and with a message. When He says "Go," you can go, and there is no limit to the going. He said unto them, "Go," and they went, and not one of them died a natural death, but there were no regrets, and the reward is sure. There is salvation by faith and there is reward for service. People talk about the rewards of this world, they talk of a few letters written by some authority, and they talk of a few gems, but what are they compared with the reward of the faithful. I want you to notice another thing, the reward is only to the faithful. It is not to the successful, to the rich, or to the learned, but to the faithful. "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."
If we wear the crown of victory we will wear the crown of glory by and by. We shall have a white stone, and in that stone a new name which none will know but those who have it. It will be a God-given name, and He will call you by that name. Other people know the name your mother and father gave you, but He will give you a new one. Only those who have the Holy Ghost will receive it.
I say again, that the reward is to the faithful and it is for sacrifice and service. Do not think that the person who spends a little time and prays a few prayers is going to receive the same reward as the one who gives his life. There will be a time when the sweat drops upon our foreheads will be of greater value than all the jeweled crowns of the centuries. We are not following cunningly devised fables, and the reward is to the faithful.
Beloved, if you have uncertainty, if you have a doubt, if you have carnality, it will wither your life and it will bring darkness and damnation. You can never be the same after you have been under the divine touches that have been given in this convention. Something has taken place and God alone knows all that has been accomplished. I believe that some people have resisted light, and possibly they will never have light again. I feel there is a finish to this meeting, and I have a burden I cannot express. God is speaking the last word and giving the last look to more than one soul.
He said unto them, "Go!" And the message for this meeting this morning is "Go!" But you cannot go until you have received the Holy Ghost, you have no message to carry, you have no victory to take, and you have no commission to go. I would not have one of you miss the thought of God in the hours of this supernatural trip, I would not have you miss it for the world, lest you never have another opportunity. We do not know what there is in the future, but do not go out of that door until there is a finished work done in your soul by the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, and you know that He has come to abide for ever.
Beloved, we go out to responsibility, we go out to sorrow, we go out to test and to trial, before we go, let the Holy Ghost come. It would not surprise me if the finishing touches are being put upon some and they will slip into heaven shortly after this convention; and it would not surprise me if some are having their last light and they are preparing for hell. It would not surprise me if somebody goes from this meeting to carry a broken heart, it would not surprise me if the cloud of sorrow should settle down as never before. Are you ready for it? If not, do not leave this place of prayer, but seek the place of mercy. If you are not conscious that you are living a life in the supernatural and that the Holy Ghost has entire possession of you, just throw away the fraud and the dust and get down to where you know the work is done, and thousands will be made glad. Go to a lost world, go to the people in prison, go to the blind, go to the rich, go to the poor, go to every class and every company with this message, and you will have a hearing. I am going. I am not asking you to do what I am not prepared to do myself. I am going to follow. I never followed until after the Holy Ghost came, but I have never stopped since He came.
Do not miss the thought of God, do not miss this God-given opportunity or you will regret it through all eternity. "Jesus said unto them, Go!"
Let us bow our heads in prayer.