Well, I want to give a little introduction, for our Brother Keith Daniel this morning. I guess I would have to say, first of all, that he comes recommended by Brother Gerhard, and most of you know Brother Gerhard. And Brother Gerhard said, "He's my friend in South Africa. " And so because Brother Gerhard said he's a Godly man, that we should listen to him, we were praying about asking Brother Keith to come and share with us. He was here in the United States, nearly a year ago now, at the prayer advance, and some of our men were there to hear him, and we were blessed by his ministry. He works with the African Evangelistic Band in South Africa, I think, for twenty-five years. And it's a sister organization with the Faith Mission, which is where Brother Gerhard comes from. And so he's an evangelist. He's not a pastor, he doesn't have a church back in South Africa, but he moves around to different places, and God uses him to minister the Word. I want to recommend him to you, as he comes to share with us. He is a faithful man. He's faithful to the Word, and he's faithful to God. And we found it a real blessing to have him in our home for these few days and his dear wife, Jenny, and one of their boys, young Samuel. They have two other sons also, back in South Africa. So, we'll ask brother Keith to come at this time. I know that you'll pray for him as he ministers. God Bless you, Brother Keith.
(Brother Keith Daniel)
It's a great joy to be here today. A great privilege. And I do bless God for all of you. For the lovely singing, the lovely word to the children, a lovely message from the Psalm, that we all love so much, and burned into our hearts. It's a great joy for me to be with a very Godly man. And a tremendous privilege to see how God can honor a family, and be with a family, as this family. So I am so grateful to be in your home, brother. To meet your children, your godly wife, and the lovely ministers that serve along side of you. And it's a tremendous joy to be here with you this morning. Just to sense God with you.....to hear the men praying as they did, before the service. That was a privilege in itself. And the way you sing everything, even this lovely message in Psalm, by these godly young people and family. I do bless the Lord to be here. And I thank God for the privilege of bringing my wife. For seventeen years, or eighteen years, she never left our home, she was always there when I left her, and she's never left the children. This is the first time she's come to your land and it took quite something to make her come, but I'm glad she came, particularly the first time to your land, to this church, and to you very lovely people. So thank you that I can be here. I've been looking forward to coming. I thank God for the man you've spoken of, Gerhard Du Toit; and I've worked with him in Canada quite a lot. I've gone across that lovely land. And I'm so glad now that, through his friendship, I've met you dear people. Can we bow before God for a short prayer please?
"Our Father, we praise Thee, for the Word of God. The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. And we look to the Holy Spirit to take this Word, that God has given to man, alive. Come, Thou Spirit of God, and speak through the Word of God, illuminating into our hearts. Keep us under the Blood of Jesus Christ, safe from the powers of darkness. And in mercy, come visit us, this day, this hour, with Thy presence, and with Thy voice, speaking to the depths of our hearts. Come Lord, in mercy, stand beside me in this pulpit and speak through me. We all ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, God, Saviour and our dearest friend. Amen."
In the Holy Bible, there are many passages that we come to love above other passages, if that's possible......And one passage, all of God's people, will begin to walk with God and go through with God, and get understanding of what it is to walk with God in Truth. One passage, that all of us slow down at, and all of us co me to love, is John 15, where the dear Lord Jesus speaks these words, "I am the true vine,". He calls himself the vine. "I am the true vine, my father is the husband-man, (The keeper of the vineyard, the one who tends and works in the vineyard) "I am the true vine, my father is the husband-man. Every branch in me...." Now suddenly, he looks at you and I. Suddenly He points to us, to you and me, and he calls us branches. "Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit" Is that you, young man? Is that you lady? That Christ suddenly looks at , and I believe with a broken heart, would say this about anyone sitting here today.......No fruit.....Oh, I can't think of anything more tragic that God could ever say about in my life. I can't think of anything I would hate more, that God would ever say this of me. Does He say it of you? As he looks at you.... "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away" Now I don't know what that means. I'm a preacher. I've preached at ministers' conferences where there are hundreds and hundreds of ministers, who preach from the Word of God, and I've said to them, "I don't know what that means, I don't know what that means". So all I'm going to do today, is leave that between you and God. I won't preach on it. Forgive me, I can't . But I leave it between you, and your God, who said these words. Just you....you work it out what God means, please; if this is what God says of your life, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away. And every branch that beareth fruit......" Now suddenly, He looks at you and I who are vitally real with God. You and I who, He can write across our lives the words of 2 Corinithians 5:17 without any shadow of a doubt.... "If any man be in Christ (anyone of you sitting in this building) is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold all things have become new." "Look!" God says, to the whole world, "All things have become new!" There's fruit! You're real! You're vital with God. He, for God, can say to your enemy, "Look! All things have become new in this man's life." And your enemy won't have one word to argue, as God speaks to him louder, than any preacher ever spoke from a pulpit, to one life , and no man can argue. All things became new! Oh....."Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away. And every branch that beareth fruit....." is reality, is life! You can say to the whole world! To your wife, to your children, to your father and mother! It's fruit! And no one can mistake it! No one will argue with God! No one will not recognize it! "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away. And every branch that beareth fruit....." What does He do with us? "......he purgeth it." Not one month after you come to God, but the moment there's life. The moment He sees you're real. "He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." God says. "That it may bring forth more fruit." The moment you're really saved; the moment there's vital reality in your life, God said, "...he purgeth it". Now that's not a popular message. That's something you won't hear much in the pulpit of God anywhere in the world today because people will run! "....he purgeth it", that word, some of the new translations that they bring out say the word means "cleanseth it". The moment there's life, he "cleanseth it". But that's not true. There's only one true translation, of any of the originals that will bring out any true meaning to what Christ said - it's a cutting word. There's something that hurts! Can God be saying that to you and me? Does God say that in the Bible? The moment I'm real, the moment I've turned in truth, the world can see I'm real! Saved! There's something going to hurt! He cuts! There's something of a pain, a wound about to come! Is this God that would do this to man? Who gives his life to Him? Oh yes.....oh yes...., "..he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." That's not a popular message. Today, you'll hear people crying out "prosperity preaching". Loud and clear, "Come to Christ and you'll prosper sir!" No wonder they come to Christ! Who wouldn't want to prosper? "Come to Christ, you'll have no difficulties financially", they cry out, "You'll never suffer. You won't have persecutions. You will never suffer physically. You won't have any sorrows or wounds. Come to Christ! We'll pray for you if you're sick", they say, " you'll be healed! If you're not healed, it's sin in your life, or unbelief," they say. "Come to Christ! It's heaven on earth!" But beloved, that's not the truth! That's a lie! When these poor people come to Christ in their difficulties and find that they're not prospering, then they become bitter in the millions, against God and Christianity. And they find they're not healed; they're bitter! And things go wrong! And we need to cry out loud and long, and loud and clear, "There's no such a thing, as heaven on earth! Heaven is coming, but "in this world you shall have tribulation...." All who will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution! There's so much crying out, of that which would be hard; that is about to come on us when there is vital reality, in our lives, that God allows, that it may bring forth more fruit! "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it..." Immediately! He purgeth it in His perfect wisdom! In His perfect love! In His perfect longing! For the best! No wasting of time here; there's no time to waste! ".....he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit". You go to the vineyard....you and I who are perhaps ignorant of vineyards, you watch the keeper of the vineyard, the worker and what he does to the branches on the vines. There's a ruthlessness that you and I would stand back stunned! Literally, stunned! He will not spare anything that shouldn't be there, cutting.....cutting......anything - that shouldn't be there! There's no wasting time as he can work.....cutting! You and I look, and think, "Will this thing ever survive, there's nothing left in the end, just a stump! Will it ever survive this ruthlessness?" But he has wisdom and love that doesn't spare. He has wisdom, perfect wisdom in his understanding, that as he stands there being so ruthless, he knows what you and I don't know. This will bring forth fruit that this would never have seen, had it not been treated thus! And you and I need to trust God, when things go wrong. You and I need to trust the wisdom of God when everything isn't "Heaven on Earth". When everything isn't prosperity and perfect health and perfect love from everybody, even your enemies. No....we need to trust God, when God says to us, "The moment I see fruit in your life, in any reality, don't be stunned.....when upon you comes trials. Think it not the strange thing, when trials come upon you", God says. These things must come upon you. "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it that it may bring forth more fruit." Now when God purges you and I, and especially me, it's not easy. I wish I could say I shouted "Hallelujah!" every step of the way in the thirty years I've walked with God. But I would be a liar. I wish I could stand here today and say from an honest heart from the pulpit, "I praised God all the way through every trial, everything that ever came upon me. I just worshipped, I praised and I shouted, "Hallelujah!" But I would be a liar in the pulpit of God. And beloved, the day you lie in the pulpit of God, you lose the right to stand in the pulpit of God. Get out of the pulpit if you're going to lie. You're useless to God and man if you're going to lie. Tell the truth for God's sake, while you have a chance. I didn't shout, "Hallelujah". If you did, you're a better man than I am. I groan, I've know what it is to groan, as a Christian. I've known what it is to weep. Does a man stand up in 1997, in this world, in the evangelical church, and dare to say that, "I wept, as a Christian....I've groaned, and longed....with the whole creation that groans, for God to take me to Heaven, away from all this." I wish I could say I've shouted, "Hallelujah", but I've groaned, beloved; and I have to leave the pulpit if I don't tell you, loud and clear, no matter what you think of me. I wept at times, and groaned. When the trials came, when sorrows, like sea billows roll. Oh it's not easy, it's not easy when this comes upon you.
I remember the deepest trial of my faith I ever faced in life, was about five years ago. Had you told me thirty years ago, when I first came to Christ that these things would come upon my life, I would have been so stunned, I think I would have lost heart. But at some point, God brought upon me such fires, such trials, that I would never have believed God would bring upon someone who named the name of Jesus. Where sorrows just came, like sea billows.....you know the old hymn. One wave comes - you can't believe such a thing is happening, and you're down in the dust. And you try and get up and then suddenly here comes the next wave, the next sorrow, the next tragedy. And you're down, and you get up again, and here's the next, smashing you down..... the next..... you're scared to get up in the end. I remember that terrible, terrible time, five...almost six years ago, and I hardly could get up. I was so down, so broken. It was like there was nothing left for God to take. It was like there was nothing left for God to touch! I was so confused, my mind was in a whirl. And I was so stunned that God could do this to me, that I was scared to stand up again. And I remember one day in this stunned, confused, groaning before God, "Why, God, why?" The telephone rang and I heard my whole family had been in an accident, in the car. And they were taken to the hospital. And when I put that phone down, still numb from all the other fires, all the other trials, all the tragedies, all the sufferings that I'd been enduring going on, as I put the phone down, I went down on my face in my office! I cried a prayer I never knew I could cry! "God let me die!" And I meant it! "God let me die!" Job was not the only one to pray that, godly people! He was the godliest man on earth! In case you don't think the godly will cry that from their heart, "Let me die!" Jeremiah, Ezekiel...... "Let me die!" And you and I will know moments like that when we're vitally real with God! But now in case you're all sitting there, thinking, " This man is going to bring nothing but negativeness to us...." Here comes the positiveness, so grab it with both hands, okay? There's always the end of the storm. There's no such thing as a fire never ceasing, when God allows it to come on your life. There's no such thing as God allowing the storms and the tragedies and the trials of your faith to so break you that you never rise. You may think you'll never rise, but God knows when to stop. There's always the end to the storm, trust Him, whatever you're going through, I don't care what it is, I guarantee you this. God is so perfect in His dealings with us. There will be a moment, this God, this Holy God, the Refiner with the gold.... Where he'll let the fire come on the gold, and he sees the dross, the rubbish, rising... that's all that was that God was dealing with. It's terrible for a preacher to admit after all those years, there are still things in my life that God has to take out, that are hindering Him, and the rubbish, the dross in the gold, the only way it will come out is the fires! Job cried out, "When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold from the fire..." He knew, deep in his heart, there's something to trust, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him." There's no such thing as God being unjust to you, God being cruel to you. God is perfect in His dealings to you. You must believe that! There's always the end of the fire; there was a moment when God said suddenly, "Stop, enough for now." The fires, heating the gold, coming upon this precious, precious metal. "For the trial of your faith is more precious than gold, that perisheth, though it be tried with fire." The trial of your faith, beloved. Trust God when He says, "it is more precious than gold, that perisheth,though it be tried with fire," this is precious in God's eyes....what He sees is about to happen, the rubbish being dealt with. But there's the moment, He says, "Stop! Stop! Enough for now!" And Satan and all the evil people in this earth, cannot touch you. Whatever He stood back and allowed up to that moment, from the moment God says, "Enough!" Not all the powers of hell and darkness, not every evil man on earth, no matter who it is, will be able to touch you again, until God allows them. Nothing can come past God's command, "Stop!" In His perfect wisdom, this refiner, with the gold, knowing , "Now is enough, now is enough, stop!" And He is perfect when He stops the fires. There's a perfect timing, trust Him, trust Him in it.
I'll never forget, when God, at the end of that terrible, terrible time He allowed me to endure when I didn't think I could ever rise again, but God knew I would rise again. I look back and I look at that moment when suddenly God lifted me out of the dust. Oh I got up slowly. Before, through all the years, whatever the devil did, I got up and I charged back, I remember, charging back into the battle, no matter what the devil did. But now, I got up so slowly, I've never got up like that before. And I prayed, from my heart a prayer I'd never prayed before, "God, if I'm to take another step, it will be by Thy grace alone." All confidence was gone in self. Even that God won't tolerate in you, child. He's got to take it away, that you know, without Him you can't take another step! And I prayed from my heart, "Oh God, if I'm going to take another step, it's by Thy grace, otherwise, I'm not going to be able to step on in this life." And suddenly, as God lifted me up out of that dust, and I stood up so slowly, with all the self-confidence I had in life gone; God began to honor me. He opened doors in pulpits, that he could never, ever allow me in before. You know why? Because I would have touched the glory. But now, I couldn't. Now God could bring forth more fruit, because I knew I was nothing now. And he was everything. Even my next step had to be through God, His grace. And the whole world looks, as He lifts you out of the dust, and sees a person broken of self, relying on God for grace...they see something they've never seen before... "God's trusting that person, because he knows, now this man won't touch the glory." "Not even a sideward glance at it, will he be capable of....." Spurgeon says, "when God's dealt with you." Not even a look at the glory anymore, let alone touching it, pondering it....gone! Not even a sideward glance at the glory. I remember turning to my wife, who is in this meeting, my darling wife. I don't know, if you'll forgive me for saying that. And I hope she forgives me, because I've never, ever preached this in front of her. She doesn't know what's coming here. But I say it under the Blood of our Lord. My darling wife. I turned to my darling wife, whom I respect more than any other human I know on earth, because of her life; I do hope you can say that of your wives, brethren. I say it for my wife. I never deserved her, and I mean that. That God gave her to me. I turned to my darling wife, and I said to the person I respect more than any other person on earth, that I know, I said to her, "Jenny, why, why would God have allowed this to happen to me? I have served God with every breath in my body! You know that Jenny! The children know it, the world knows it! I have served God with every breath in my body! Why would God turn on me like this and do all this Jenny?" And I shall never forget what my wife said to me. I shall never forget for all eternity, what my wife said to me. Tears came down her face, as she looked at me and she said, "Keith, I don't have all the answers, but this I know. God was perfect in His dealings with you Keith. Keith, I see in you now, something I've never seen before. I see Jesus. I see Jesus. And I know, Keith, that God was perfect, in what He's done for you, and to you, that I now see what I see in you. God was perfect in what He's done, Keith, perfect." You know what I said when Jenny said those words? She doesn't know it. I looked at her and I prayed a prayer. I said, "God, I would be willing to go through everything again, starting right now, to hear my wife say those words to me." No one knows you like your wife, sir. But the person who knows you better than anyone else on earth, to look at you and say, "I see Jesus". I said to God from my heart, "I would go through it all again, start now, God, just to hear my wife say those words to me." Oh, "Every branch in me that beareth fruit, he purgeth it that it may bring forth more fruit." Trust Him! He knows what the world will see, what your wife will see, what your children will see, what your enemy will see, that they would never see, never say, if He doesn't have His way; if you don't trust Him through the fires! Trust Him! Spurgeon was the only man they called the Prince of Preachers. No other preacher on earth was ever called a prince, of all preachers. From the time of Paul to this day, one man, the world dared to call the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon. Now I don't like giving labels to a man; I fear labels handed out to men whom God uses. As I read Spurgeon's writings, my heart sank, as I realized why the world called this man the Prince of Preachers. Oh I don't know of a man who took the Word of God and broke it so simply that a child could be gripped and the man of God who's walked with God for fifty years would be equally gripped and broke in the same sermon, as this man's ability to take the Word of God and break it open.... He was the Prince of all Preacher's, there's no doubt of it. No doubt of it. But do you know what he said in his old age? What Spurgeon, the man, that is acknowledged by all preachers as the greatest preacher that ever lived. In his old age, Spurgeon stood up, and he just said once to the world why God used him. And I think we need to listen carefully, again. There's something we don't hear today, we're too scared to preach it and too scared to believe it. Spurgeon said these words, "If it wasn't for the fires, if it wasn't for the tragedies, if it wasn't for the sufferings, if it wasn't for the trials of my faith, I would be poor as a preacher. I would be poverty-stricken in the pulpit of God. I would be poor as a preacher, I would be poverty-stricken to man, if it wasn't for these things." Spurgeon says, " you cannot weep with those that weep, unless you've wept yourself! You will judge the man who falls! You will judge the man who groans! And if you've groaned yourself, you'll weep! You cannot weep with them that weep, unless you've wept yourself! You cannot comfort people with any comfort unless you comfort them with the comfort, wherewith you were comforted. When you were in the fires," Spurgeon says, " what burned into your heart, in the deepest trials will burn from your lips as a preacher. What burns from your lips as a preacher, will burn into the hearts of all who hear you. What doesn't burn into your heart, will not burn from your lips, will not burn into the hearts of anyone you preach to. Only what burns into your heart!" Spurgeon said, "Eighty percent of this book, (the Bible)" I don't know how he worked it out but I don't doubt him, "Eighty percent of this book was not given, in the Old Testament, just for historical records of the treatment of God towards His people, the Jews. Eighty-percent of this book, Old Testament and New was given primarily by the heart of God for one reason, to take His people through dark passages, through fires, through trials, when there's no hope to give them hope! When there's fear, to give them faith, to give light in darkness, to heal when they're wounded." Eighty-percent of the book is dead to you as a preacher unless it burned in your heart when you.....Oh preacher, if it isn't for the fires, you're going to be poverty-stricken to God and man in the pulpit. Trust God when He let's you be comforted in your deepest trial, because you suddenly, you like Spurgeon, will comfort them that need comfort, with the comfort wherewith you were comforted. Oh, trust Him! "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit (believe him) he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit!" God says. Verse three, "Now, ye are clean, through the word, which I have spoken unto you." Are you? I love these words that Christ said, "Now ye are clean, through the word..." Not through the Blood. There's that cleansing that you cannot get another step towards God unless you've gone through the Blood. But do you know, the cleansing through the Word? "Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy Word is truth." You know, that cleansing, that sanctifying power of the Word; it cleanses your life, it changes your priorities, your values, everything in life changes, through the Word! Nothing else is going to do that! Don't just say it's the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit uses the Word to change every single priority you have in life! Have you been so changed and so cleaned from that which is wrong in God's eyes? "Now ye are clean through the Word, which I have spoken..." All the words of Christ, recorded and illuminated and expounded on through the New Testament. Everything cleanses you, of God's Word! You're clean through it! And then in the next verse comes the most important words God has ever said to a Christian in the whole Bible. There's no verse in the entire Scriptures which is so vital, held out by God to you and I the moment we find vital reality. For unless this verse is the reality in my life, then the fires won't do anything but bring bitterness. They'll make me the most un-Christ like person on earth if this isn't the case! You see, this is the vital thing now. Because without this, even God's deepest fires won't do anything but ruin you and destroy you. This is the crux....to bring forth fruit. Verse four, "Abide in me," Do you? Do you do the one thing that matters more than anything else in life? Listen carefully, "Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine. No more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in Him, the same, bringeth forth much fruit." Trust Him, he knows. If He promises you that the one thing that will bring forth fruit, in the fires, in the deepest trials, in the tragedies, in the sufferings that will come upon you, believe me, the one thing will happen if He promises you and I, He says, "He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit. For without me, ye can do nothing." Trust Him. Preachers, without God you can't do anything. You have to abide in Him. Verse six, "If a man abide not in me," here comes the tragedy, no matter what God does, or longs to be done, he trusts you with hardships and difficulties. "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered. And men gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned." Now I don't know what that means. I've heard preachers, preaching on these verses, and I had to get up and walk out, weeping, at what they were trying to tell men God was saying there. I can't preach on these verses, forgive me. I just leave this between you and God also. That's all I'm capable of doing. I haven't got the ability to preach what God means here, forgive me. And no preacher ever challenged me for saying this, no preacher on earth. And I say to you, I don't know what it means, but I leave it between you and God. "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch," You can be sure of it. "it is withered. And men gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If ye abide in me, my words abide in you. You shall ask what you will, it shall be done unto you. Herein is my father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." This is what glorifies God. The fruit that comes in your life! That is result of abiding in....now I want you to turn, to the same writer who recorded in John, the gospel according to John, now he expounds on what Christ said, about abiding in Him. In 1John, the first epistle of John, the first letter ofJohn, he takes which he recorded word for word, that we've been reading what Christ says and now he expounds. And he tells us what Christ meant, by abiding in Him. And why Christ told us this is the most vital thing for anything of any reality to come in your life, no matter what God does, the one thing you've got to do is abide in Him. Otherwise, there's no fruit. The one thing He expects of you, the one thing He can't force you to do, the one thing you must do and why; listen to what God says through John as he expounds now what Christ meant. Let's start in 1John 2:3, "Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that sayeth I know Him and keepeth not His commandments is a liar. That's not me saying it sir, that's God. You're a liar. Tragedy is, you're lying to yourself. And that's a tragedy. But if God says this is the truth. Don't argue with Him. "Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that sayeth I know Him and keepeth not His commandments is a liar. The truth is not in him. But who so keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected. Hereby know we that we're in Him. He that sayeth he abideth in Him," Here comes this verse, this word, that Christ said is the one thing that matters to you to survive, for you to bear fruit. For this terrible thing not to happen upon your life, that I don't even understand, if you don't abide in Him. He that sayeth, he does the one thing that matters, do you say you do that sir? Do you say that you abide in Him? "He that sayeth, he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." He that sayeth in this building, that I do the one thing that matters in God's eyes, from my side, the one thing that matters in Christianity once I'm born again. You can say there's ten things, I say there's one thing. If you do the one thing, " He that sayeth, he abideth in Him," I'm doing it! "ought himself also so to walk even as He walked." Do you, in your home? Do you at your church? Do you at your work? Do you toward your enemy? Do you walk even as He walked? Do you walk as Christ? "He that sayeth he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked." When we turn in the same chapter to the last verses, verse 28, "Now little children, abide in Him", here it comes again, "Abide in Him", why? He always tells us why. "That when He shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him in His coming." Beloved if you're not abiding in Him, you will be ashamed before Him in His coming, otherwise the Word of God is not true. If you don't think that's possible, what is God speaking about? If you're not doing this, you will be ashamed! God says. Otherwise, you're calling God a liar. " Little children, abide in Him," do this one thing that matters, this great priority for all God's people, "that when He shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." Chapter 3, verse 6, "whosoever abideth in Him, sinneth not." There's no victory in Jesus Christ outside of this one thing. There's no such thing. You can come out a thousand times, and weep at the front of a building, but until you do the great discipline of abiding in Christ, you will never know victory over the things that are a causing you to fail, and taking the wind out of your testimony. Taking away the right for you to cry to the whole world, that you belong to Christ. Oh, but if you abide in Him, God says there's victory. "Whosoever abideth in Him, sinneth not." That's an amazing verse from God. "Whosoever abideth in Him," this abiding in Christ is not an act of faith. Where I say "I'm in the body of Christ and by faith I accept I'm in Christ. I'm in the body of Christ." It has nothing to do with faith. This abiding in Christ, every word Christ uttered, every word John is uttering about what Christ said, this abiding in Christ has nothing to do with faith. This is a discipline! A discipline that will cost you more than anything else in life! Because Satan, has more fear of this one thing that he will find in you than anything else he will see in you. He will fight this daily, every opportunity, every moment to keep you from this abiding in Christ. The discipline of communing with God. We boil it down to the quiet time. Without the quiet time, there's no foundation to abide in Christ , to commune with God in a consistent way. The quiet time; this abiding in Christ is a discipline, that Satan will fight to keep you from, all your life ‘til the day you die and that makes it cost! Let me tell you, it's not the easiest thing on earth for most of us, to make that time real with God. To find God. How vital are you with the quiet time? How vital are you in abiding in Christ? Do you know what a quiet time is? Many people think, "Get into a room, shut the door, read your chapters, have your time of prayer and then you get up and go." That was your quiet time. That's not a quiet time. A quiet time, beloved, is when you get alone with God in your most private chamber, room, perhaps people see there, that can't be helped if you live in a home; but you're there for God, not for men's eyes, never, not once. Otherwise, you grieve God, being there. And you stay there with God, alone in that room, and you soak yourself in the Word, hearing His voice, primarily, just to hear the Word......Never open the Bible unless you open it expecting God to speak to you; otherwise you open it wrongly, even if you're a preacher. You commune with God, you spend you're time with God. The quiet time is when the Holy Spirit says to you, no one else, and you know it's God himself speaking, "Now my child, you may rise. For now you will walk with me, through this day." A quiet time is not getting up and leaving and saying, "I had an hour with God, or two hours." A quiet time is getting up and opening the door and saying, "Now as a result of this, I will walk with God." If that isn't the case, you didn't have a quiet time. This has to be the most protected, guarded, nurtured, time of your day, everyday of your life. And if it is not the most loved, cherished, protected, guarded, moment of your life, everyday, then you're backslidden. If there's anything else that's more guarded or protected or loved by you, if there's anything that comes near the time you have with God, if there's anything; if this isn't the most guarded, protected, cherished, nurtured time, everyday of your life, then you're utterly backslidden, not a little backslidden. You are a grief to God, if this isn't you're greatest priority in life, everyday of your life. You measure how real you are by the quiet time, nothing else. How real are you communing with God? How vital is it with you? How precious is it to you? You can't measure anything else by how vital you are with God, but you're quiet time. You're as real as your quiet time. Don't doubt it. You're as real as the time you spent with God, that makes you walk with God, and nothing else. Nothing else you can attribute to the fact that you walk with God, other than the time you discipline to lay everything down, nothing will keep you from it.
You know, my father, was one of the godliest men I ever knew in my life. If I have to name on my one hand, the holiest men of God I ever knew in my life, my father was one of them. I say that from my heart. I thank God for him. Oh, daddy walked with God. I remember as a young fellow when daddy came to God, when he was saved, how faithful he was to the quiet time. Nothing ever kept him from God. Nothing ever kept my father from God, no one, nothing kept my father from God. No matter what the devil did. I shall never forget the first time we had visitors, that my father did this to us, that he so shook us, my mother began to choke at embarrassment at what my father did when he found God, in reality. We had guests; and he did this through the years, but the first time was the shock, when none of us knew what was coming, or what was happening. It was always a certain time, it was never a different time. If the guests stayed a bit longer then they ought to, you know what daddy did? He stood up. And that first night, he stood up, shook us, and tears came down his face, he didn't find it easy, he wasn't putting on a show, he said, "You've got to forgive me, I want to be excused. I'm not being rude, I don't want to offend you, please stay with my wife and my children, but I have to be excused. You see, I have to go be with Jesus. And I have to spend so much time (he gave a time) with Christ, otherwise, I can't sleep. My conscience won't allow it. And if I don't finish the quiet time at this time, then I won't be able to get enough sleep to get up at this time, (he gave a time)I won't be able to spend the time ( he gave how many hours he needed) that I need to spend with God, and then I won't be able to walk with God, as I know I ought to. The only reason I'll be able to walk, as I know I ought to with God, is the time I spend. Please forgive me for excusing myself, but I cannot miss the time with God, now or tomorrow morning. And for that reason, please forgive me." And he turned and walked out. Here my mother choked from embarrassment that he did that to her in front of our guests; we had to help her literally to stop choking! But I'll never forget how he stood up again and again, never failed. And mommy would stand, and I looked at my mother's face through the years, she stood as my father stood and she looked at him with respect! She looked at him with no argument, with utter respect, because she knew, "This is why my husband walks with God!" She knew! I watched people, some of them world-renowned preachers in our home, who stood, when my father said those words, and I've never seen a person not having tears coming down their eyes, as they met a man, sometimes for the first time in their lives, that nothing, no one, no matter who it was, no one was more important than God! No one would keep him from God! From the time he had to be with God to stay real, to not be a grief to God, to guard and protect. This time that makes you able to not be ashamed, before Him at His coming if He comes today. Nothing else will be reason that you are not ashamed. My daddy was real, through the quiet time. How real are you? You are as real as your quiet time.
I remember my children. My children, before little Samuel was born, I had two other boys, Noel and Roy; they're big boys now. When they were little also, quite a few years ago, they knocked at my door when I was praying. There I came to the door and I looked at my two boys and I said, "What is it?" And they said, "Daddy, it's late, you've got to come. We're going to be late!" And I said, "But we're not going to be late; I know what time it is." "But Daddy," they said, "it is late, you must come now. How long are you going to stay in there? Don't stay in there so long, please daddy, come!" And I looked at these boys and I said, after a little prayer, I said, "Listen Noel and Roy, listen carefully to daddy. Until the day I die, I don't ever want you to knock on this door again, unless it's a matter of life or death. Now don't ever forget that. And I want to tell you why my boys; I can take you to the homes of preachers across this country, of South Africa; I can take you to the homes of preachers who preach the gospel - preach what daddy's preaching; whose children weep, because their fathers can preach, but can't live. I don't know how many children in preacher's homes, who've bowed beside me and wept their hearts out because of the ugliness in their daddy's life. My boys, the only reason you won't weep through me, is this time. The only reason I will ever be able to be for you, what you would want from a father, what God would want, is this time! Don't ever hurry me again boys, or you'll be weeping, through this man, though I preach! Boys, the only reason you'll ever see your mother not weeping through me, is this time. I can take you to the home of a few hundred preachers, whose homes I've been in boys, whose wives weep daily." Is that possible, you say? They weep because of their husband's life. He can preach, he can find time to prepare sermons that stagger the crowds, but he can't live it, because he doesn't find time for God; he's too busy with God's work to find time for God, and so his family weeps. That's a tragedy, you preachers. I hope it's not your case. "Boys, if you don't want to see your mother weeping, through this preacher. Don't hurry me with this time, because this is the only reason I can be what I need to be to you and your mother. Don't ever hurry me again boys." And they never did. Not once, have they ever knocked on my door again, when they knew I was praying. No matter what came, no matter how late they thought it was. Oh, how real are you? You're as real as your quiet time. You're as vital as you're quiet time. You're as safe as your quiet time. I hope you know that. I'm going to say something, that will shock you now. And some people don't believe a person should preach this, from the pulpit of God, but I'm going to. One of the things that has hurt me more than anything else, that aged me, more than anything else on earth, is how many preachers are falling into sin across the world, of the evangelical church. Do we dare tell the world that's happening? Oh, let me tell you, it's on some of the front pages of the newspapers. There's not a person in town, no matter what town it is, that isn't speaking about it; don't tell me not to preach about it and tell them why....we need to tell the world why! Why do some of our greatest preachers fall into sin? And there's not a denomination left where some of the greatest, and many of the denominations, their greatest preacher, they ever had, of Evangelical Holiness Churches, not only South Africa; I guarantee you - across your land.... There's not a denomination that can point a finger and say, "It's your crowd; you're all superficial!" Why? One of the things that has aged me, is that in this time, in the last few years, a good few years, when preachers fall into sin in my land and also other countries I've been in, they somehow get a hold of me, this poor man, and they say, "You're coming." And I say, "No, please. I sat at that man's feet. Forty-thousand have come to God through his ministry. I could never walk into him and tell him what to do now." "You're coming!" I've argued with God about it, "I don't want this Lord!" And they get me there, and do you know what they do? Always; put me in the room, shut the door and then everybody goes. There I am alone with this preacher that the whole world is staggering over; people who he brought to Christ in their thousands and thousands through the anointing of God in his life. Now all stumbling over the man, stumbling, staggering over the man. Now he's blasphemed upon God's name, the man who was used so mightily, now the devil's using! Through what was happening! Fall into sin, terrible shameful sin! And everybody's staggering across the country through the man that once stood up for the Bible! And there I look at the man, and do you know what I do? I weep. I weep every time. I just weep and weep. And then for the first time, some of them start weeping, they haven't got the tears no matter what's happened and they start weeping. When they see someone weeping so for them..... And I've looked at these men and I've never, ever asked them what went wrong, I've never ever said, "What went wrong?" I've always told them what went wrong. "You neglected God! Or this would never have happened. You neglected God for God's work! And the work of God became sin. You're sin was not this woman.... This woman would never have happened, if you didn't have a greater sin." Oh sir, the devil cannot touch you if you're faithful to the quiet time. I can't give you much that I can guarantee, but one of the few things I can hold out with a guarantee, is Satan cannot touch you if your quiet time is the greatest priority of your life. Guard and protect it, nothing will ever keep you from it. Your children know it, your visitors know it. The world knows it! Satan can do nothing but bide his time. "And sir, when God anointed you as he did to lead so many to Christ when you were with God in the pulpit, I guarantee you were real with the quiet time, otherwise God would not have been with you like that. And Satan looked at you and all he could do was bide his time. "I can do nothing with this man; no good sending a woman, saying, "I want spiritual help", but all she really wants is you. No good sending such a woman; no good sending women dressed wrongly, he'll be disgusted. No, he's faithful to the quiet time. He'll never ever fall for such things." "Satan can do nothing but bide his time. And he bides, he bid his time, all these years, guarantee you, Satan looked at you and saw something happened that he set up. Saw you missing the quiet time. And Satan said, "Aaaaaah! Now I'll get him! Now I'm going to get him!" And he got you sir. He got you." You know what the men do? I don't know one of the ministers, I won't tell you how many I've had to pray with, in these last years, of how many have fallen into sin that I've prayed with, not one, did not get on their knees some on their faces and weep out loud, "God it's true! Oh, God, thou didst send this man. This is why I sinned! Never, until I got too busy for God himself, did these things happen! Only when I got too busy with God's work, that I didn't meet with God! I then neglected God! That became my sin. That's why all this has happened. Lord, I know it." Every single one acknowledged, that it was when they started neglecting the quiet time, sin came. Even if you're a preacher in the pulpit, even if you're David, who God was with to bring a nation, to victory. I don't care who you are. Neglect God, and the world will be staggering over you. Neglect God, neglect your quiet time, neglect the communion with God, if that's not the greatest priority in life, you're in trouble sir! I don't care who you are, I don't care if you've got twenty degrees behind your name, even if you've led forty-thousand people to Christ, sir, you will bring shame on Christ soon if you're neglecting the quiet time for God's work, I guarantee you! I guarantee you that. The greatest miracle you will ever see in your life is not to see someone in this building right now, who is stone-dead, raised from the life, and we all stand here shouting, "Hallelujah!" The greatest miracle you will ever see in your life, is if you're neglecting God, and you're not in sin. That's the greatest miracle I think you'll ever see in your life, because that's a miracle to me. You're as safe as your quiet time. You're as real as your quiet time. And Satan cannot touch you; he cannot touch you if your quiet time is the greatest love of your life and everybody on earth knows it; because you won't neglect it for anyone. You will never neglect God, for anyone. A quiet time.
My brother was saying here this morning, as he read Psalm 23 to us, have you ever prayed through the Psalms? You know what Luther said? Luther said, "If I can't pray through, then I sing the Psalms!" And he said, "I learned something, the Psalms are the schoolmaster of how to pray. I learned how to pray as I began to sing. And not once, did I ever get on my knees, and start singing the Psalms, as prayer to God that I wasn't lifted into the presence of God! I was lifted into the presence of God, as I sang the Psalms!" You know, Wesley said the same. I heard my daddy singing one day. He sang there in his quiet time, he didn't know I was listening. Singing the old Wesley's hymns. The hymns born in revival, not these superficial hymns. Born when men were dying for their faith and doctrine. It cost to believe in truth. And they wrote it! And sang it ! And triumphed in our belief, as God swept through the nation because we stood for truth, they wouldn't compromise, not even in our hymns! I heard my daddy singing, and I said to him one day, "Daddy, do you always sing? How much of you're quiet time do you spend singing?" He said, "Only when I battle to pray." It's possible you're going to battle to pray; it doesn't mean you're backslidden. But you're going to learn, you're going to nurture, you're going to guard this is the most important thing in life! This works! Do what works! Daddy said to me, "It worked for Luther, it worked for Wesley, it worked for Andrew Murray, all of them did it when they couldn't get through, they sang; so I sing, and it works for me! I get through to God - if I can't pray, I start singing and I get through to God!" Luther only had the old Psalms, which are rich enough to make us giants with God if we take them to heart! But the hymns, are our heritage, that Luther started writing. They're there! Wesley's hymns.... Do what works! If you get on your knees in the morning and you fall asleep, don't get on your knees! Don't do what doesn't work! Don't lie to yourself; two hours on your knees asleep is wasted! Rather, half an hour with God in vital prayer, standing up! Than two hours lying to yourself and God, that you're getting through to God! Don't do what doesn't work! If you get on your knees and you fall asleep, don't ever get on your knees! Get up! Rather, wash your face! Have some tea or coffee! Do a bit of exercise, young men, if you find you can't keep a clear mind. Do something, but do it for one reason.... Everything ! Get to bed! Get to bed when you know you should, so you can get up, so that you don't neglect God in your quiet time! Don't let people keep you! There has to be times you're late, it's true. God doesn't stand over you and whip you, when you make a mistake, when things have been out of your hand. But discipline your whole life around the quiet time, where nothing is done that you're not thinking of the time with God! Even the time you go to bed! Even what you do when you wake up! I've met an old man, a godly old man, who used to win thousands and thousands to Christ, Bertram Friend, in his old age, I saw him walking in our country in South Africa, there was blood flowing everywhere. It was dangerous to walk out in the streets; dangerous to walk out in the countryside, and there in Cape town, we have this magnificent mountain, and here was this old, godly, Bertram Friend, walking along the road, all the lonely trees, the beauty of our trees, but lonely, and I pulled the car up next to him, and I said, "Mr. Friend, what are you doing here?" He said, "I'm going to Harp Bay." I said, "Sir, you're going to get hurt, they're killing people! You can't be out here in this area." "Oh, but I want to walk." "Please, Mr. Friend, get in the car, you're going to get hurt." And he turned to me, this old man, and tears came down his face, he said, "Keith, I'm praying! I'm talking to Jesus! I can't get on my knees anymore because I fall asleep in my old age. The only way I can pray with a clear mind is if I walk! And so I walk! One reason......I'm talking to God, I'm in touch with God boy! You're disturbing me! Go!" And I went. Do what works! Do anything, but make sure it works! Don't lie about the quiet time. Don't say you're having a quiet time if you're not! Don't lie to yourself! Get through with God! Soak yourself in the Word of God, but if it doesn't work, pray! Andrew Murray said, "Ten minutes, ten minutes praying, that God will bring me into the right mind, that I can accept His voice, that I can be in touch with His voice, that I don't lose it....I only after ten minutes, begin to read, of intense prayer with God, that I will be prepared to accept from God's heart for me, what He has for me today. Oh, be real with the quiet time! It's all that matters, is abiding in Christ, so that as a result of the quiet time, you don't leave God behind, but you open the door and you walk with Him through the day. That is abiding in Christ, nothing else.
I want every single one of you sitting here today. I don't care if you're preachers. I don't care if you've led forty-thousand to Christ. I don't care if you've read books, written books, in the name of Christ, that people have written. I don't care if you're elders, I don't care if you're youth leaders, I don't care if your testimony, how great it is, will stagger people, of what God's done for you.... I ask every single person sitting here today, woman and man, children, who name the name of Jesus, everyone of you that God is speaking here, you have neglected God. You are sitting here and you know God is seeking you out and saying, "The one thing that matters, you're neglecting." Preacher, even for God's work you're neglecting it, you're not spending the time you should, with God! God's work is keeping you from God! That's your sin! The other things of your failures would never be there; there wouldn't be the other sins if you didn't have this sin..... I want every single one of you sitting here today, who knows that God is confronting them, with the most vital thing in life, once you name the name of Jesus, and you're guilty, and you desperately need to say, "God, it's me! I stand in shame and I have neglected God! Even if it's for God's work; I neglect God, I have not made the quiet time, I've not protected it as I should! I neglect it Lord! And I want mercy, I want to be washed in the blood from this sin, that has been the cause of all the other sins. I've asked for forgiveness as they've come, all the others, but this is the one sin I need to cry out now for mercy for God. And I want to vow this day, I want to vow to God in the sight of men, in the sight of the devil who's watching me, whose tried to keep me from Thee, I want to make a vow here, that by Thy grace, God, by Thy grace, and I know it's there, I will never neglect the quiet time again ‘til the day I die. Not for anyone, for anything! I'm not neglecting my children or my wife, by spending the time I must, with Thee. I can spend so much time with them, that they will curse! But if I don't neglect the time with Thee, the little time I spend with them, they will regard as precious in their memories for all their lives! I won't neglect the duties of my life, but Lord, nothing, even my wife, even my children, my work, my preaching, will keep me from God himself, in vital reality, everyday, that I may walk with God. I vow, to Thee Lord, this day, that I will never, by Thy grace, I will never neglect the quiet time again. By Thy grace, I will discipline the whole of my life, that this will be first and everybody on earth will know it, that I may walk with God." Every single person in this building, I don't care who you are, that is guilty, and they're desperate; not a shallow, superficial, little cheap calling on you to make a stand; it cost's to admit this. It cost's. But think of what it will cost if you don't let God deal with it. I want those of you that need mercy for this terrible sin; it is a terrible, terrible sin in your life, that needs the blood. It's caused more grief to God then the other sins you're thinking of. Those of you that need to be washed in the Blood for the neglect of God himself, even if it was for the work of God, and to vow these words to God, that "By Thy grace, I will never, ever neglect the quiet time again, Lord, not one day of my life, ‘til the day I die, by Thy grace." Those of you that desperately need to say that to God, I want you to stand. I only ask once. And those that stand, I'm going to pray for. Those that are standing, would you bow your heads please. This is between you and God, not me. Everyone of you standing, would you pray these words, out loud, after me,
"Father, wash me in the Blood, from this terrible sin. That has been the cause of all my other sins. Forgive me, for neglecting God. I vow, that by Thy grace, through the day I die, I will never neglect God again. In Jesus Christ's name. Amen"
(Closing prayer from another brother)
"Father, in Jesus name, we bow to you Lord. Oh God, we thank you....Thank you Father this morning, you are, yes, you are calling us, the Shepherd calls us this morning, to come to His side and stay there and walk with Him and follow Him. Father we opened our hearts to you this morning and we asked you to minister to our needs.....You did.....Oh, thank you Father, thank you. God, I pray, yes let us go and find a quiet place, God. Let us go there quickly, and be alone. Oh, Father..... what could happen here Lord, if all of us, would find victory in this area. Oh, what could happen God. How you would be glorified. God I pray, have your way Lord. Have your way Father, in everything God. We just commit our lives into your hands, we commit the next days into your hands, Father, we pray, Father, that you would guide and direct each one of us. Lord as we find that place, that lonely place today.... In a closet, out by a road somewhere, in a car, Oh God, come, come to us. Sit with us there in the car, the closest, and deal with our hearts on this subject Father. We are trusting you to do that Lord. You have your way Lord. We thank you, Oh, we thank you, for speaking to us God. And we acknowledge your Word, your voice, in Jesus' name. Amen.