Tonight’s subject is something different. If you’re not familiar with our terminology I’m going to invite you to listen carefully. It’s always on the same theme, really, that God became man that man may become God.
In 1803 William Blake wrote a letter to his friend Captain Butts. In this letter he said that he’d just completed the poem Jerusalem, and he said, “I may praise it, because I dare not pretend to be any other than the secretary: the authors are in eternity. And I consider it the grandest poem that this world contains. It’s addressed to unborn tomorrow. It’s a sublime allegory.” Well, in this poem if you’ve read it…and may I tell you, do not take any commentaries on it, just read it. If you can’t grasp it at first, read it over and over and over again. It’s pure vision. He will use certain words that you will think, why did he use a word like this? But eventually they all come to the surface and you understand why he used these words. He wasn’t trying to confuse, he was simply writing something that would exercise the mind of man. And in this he makes the statement that “The spiritual states of the soul are all eternal. Distinguish between man and his present state.” He speaks of these eternal states; they’re all fixed forever. But man must learn to distinguish between man and his present state.
Then he makes the statement, “As the pilgrim passes while the country permanent remains, so men pass on but states remain permanent forever.” So the poor man is only in the state of poverty; the rich man is in the state of wealth; the weak man and the strong man, the man that is known, the man that is unknown, all these are but states. You and I, the man of whom he speaks, could move at any moment in time from any one state into another, and occupying it we fertilize it. We actually by entering a state make it alive, because we are the living presence. As we enter into a state, it’s like an egg that we penetrate without breaking its shell—penetrate it, fertilize it, and then if we remain faithful to it, it grows and bears the fruit that it must bear because all things bring forth after their kind.
But people now jump from this level to the other level in the same poem. He speaks of twenty-seven heavens that Los hammered out in the mundane shell, twenty-seven heavens and their churches ( Jer.,Plt.75). Bear in mind he was one of the greatest students of scripture. He could read it in Hebrew, he could read it in Greek, and he was a master of the English tongue. This is Blake who never went to school, never saw the inside of a school, but he taught himself Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Italian, and he could read the ancient scripts. So few, if any, could transcend him in the knowledge of scripture. So he speaks of twenty-seven churches, twenty-seven heavens. Now, whether he related them to the twenty-seven letters of the Hebrew alphabet—there are twenty-two original and five final; so there are twenty-two letters and then there are five extra letters, making twenty-seven in all. Whether he meant it that way or not is not revealed in his book. But this is what he did, he took the genealogy of Jesus as given to us in the Book of Luke, which begins, as you know, it comes with Adam. In the Book of Matthew it begins with Abraham, which is quite a jump. In the Book of Luke it starts with Adam, and he takes it without breaking any word that you will find in that book.
So if you don’t have Jerusalem, you can take the Book of Luke tonight and see how he starts it. He starts it with Adam, then he goes to Seth—-he skips Cain and Abel—-he goes to Seth just as the genealogy does, and he goes all the way back and he comes to Lamech. Well, that makes nine. He claims that they are hermaphroditic; this is the beginning of man’s journey, all hermaphroditic. Then he jumps to the next which is Noah, a new beginning; and from Noah he goes to Terah, that gives us eleven, Terah being the father of Abraham. But he stops at Terah. And so you have one column of nine, the second column of eleven, that gives us twenty, and these he calls…he doesn’t call them states, he means states…he calls them heavens and their churches. Then he starts the third column and there are only seven. The third column he begins with Abraham, and he goes Abraham—-that’s the last name in the genealogy of Jesus that he will use, then he goes entirely different—from Abraham he goes then to Moses, to Solomon. And, by the way, Solomon is not in the genealogy of Jesus in the Book of Luke. It is in the Book of Matthew, but not in the Book of Luke. So he goes from Abraham to Moses to Solomon to Paul, who certainly is not in the genealogy of Jesus; then he goes to Constantine, Charlemagne, and ends with Luther. Imagine that! And then he said, “After Luther, the circle starts all over again.”
Tonight, we will just simply take it in our interesting world here, and that is from Abraham to Luther. But the emphasis is on the fourth one which is Paul; for his is really vision, true vision. If you go back to Abraham, the first generation Abraham, the second is Isaac, the third is Jacob, and then the fourth as mentioned in scripture would be Jacob’s son, but it is named Judah. The fourth…he starts with the fourth and Judah is the fourth of the twelve sons. You come forward now into David, he is the fourth and the last of the sons of Jesse. He is picking out a certain mystical state in this world through which it breaks forth, Christ breaks forth into the world.
Now he picks out Paul and Paul is the fourth one he names in this series. Let us tonight look at Paul. Paul’s name was Saul. Do you know the definition of Saul? It’s a Hebrew word, we find it all through Hebrew, the word Saul, what the boy called that you and I know as Paul. Paul is never mentioned in any ancient non-biblical source; he’s only mentioned in scripture. Here Blake treats Paul as a state, not as a man as you are a man and I am a man, he treats Paul as a state. Let us see the state that is Paul tonight and see how you can enter it, if you are not now in it. I hope you are. First his name is Saul, and Saul is defined in the concordance as “desire, to ask, to seek, to be zealous to the point where you cannot bend him from his direct purpose.” You cannot turn him from his purpose, that’s Saul. His hunger was for an experience of God, and nothing in this world could satisfy that thirst but an experience of God, no argument of man…he had to experience God. The word Paul that he bears after the experience means “to desist, to stop, to come to an end.” He’s arrived at it. He came to the end: He experienced God.
So in the story of Acts, speaking now of Saul: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he replies, “Who are you, Lord?” He said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (9:4). That’s the beginning of the story of Paul. That only when that hunger comes upon man, a hunger that not a thing in this world can satisfy but an experience of God, has man entered the state called Saul. If tonight you can be satisfied with a billion dollars as a substitute for an experience of God, you are not yet at that state called Saul. If tonight fame means more to you, if tonight some great state in this world means more to you than to experience God, well, then you haven’t reached the state called Saul. But when nothing matters—-you will turn your back to all the wealth of the world, all the fame of the world, everything in this world, and you’ll be satisfied with nothing but an experience of God to prove that there is God—-then you are in the state. And no power in the world can stop you from satisfying that hunger; for God made man not for frustration but for satisfaction. This is not something that man is made for; man is the object of God’s love. Never would he have made him had he not loved him, and God became man that man may become God, and he took him through these states.
So you can forget the Adam state, all the way down to Lamech. He calls it hermaphroditic…it’s something that is a primitive state that all pass through. In the second column, you can forget that too—-that’s from Noah to Terah. He calls that by a strange way, he said, “These are the female males, a male within a female, as an ark in a curtain.” Don’t try to understand it, leave it as it is, it’s a vision. The third column, he calls them male-females. And this is the interesting point, a female hid within the male. That’s where we are now. Regardless of your present sex, we are in that state. There is a female hid within the male; because you are not female or male, you are man. You are the wearer of the garment, and whether you wear the garment as a male or a female, there is in our present state, he calls it the dragon form—-the female hid within the male. If the female is hid within me, I can bring forth the child. And it only happens within that section from Abraham to Luther. So this is the female-male state in which we find ourselves.
You don’t know, but I have had the experience of seeing the female. Let me share it with you. One night I became completely awake, more so than I am now, because in these states there is a translucency of mind—and here standing above me is this most glorious, beautiful woman. I have never seen anything before or since comparable to the beauty of this woman. And below me here is the most monstrous beast in the world, covered from head to toe in hair, a brownish yellowish hair covers the entire body, and it’s a monster. It looks like an ape. I looked at this beautiful creature and this monstrous being, and this monstrous being is calling this one “mother.” And I got so annoyed I pummeled it and it kept on calling this one “mother.” “She’s my mother” and I would beat it. As I beat it, it gloated and it had a guttural voice and yet it was an ape. And here was this thing glowing with my blows. As I would beat it, it would get stronger it so loved violence. Then, at that moment, I knew, I knew beyond all doubt here was my creation. Here was the personification, the embodiment of all of my misspent energies. Every moment in my life that I was violent rather than loving, when I was hateful, when I was mean, when I deceived someone; every unlovely act on my part made it. It became the personification of every unloving thing that I had ever done…and I knew it. Then, I can’t describe the feeling that came over me, I decided right there and then—-I made no pledge to another, only to myself—-that if it took me eternity I would redeem it. No matter what pain I would suffer to redeem it, if it took me eternity, I would redeem it.
With my pledge made and the deep inner conviction gelled, before my eyes it melted, the whole thing melted and left not a trace of ever having been present. But as it melted, the energies that it possessed came through me and I felt a strength I had never known before. As it came through me, my misspent energy returning to me, this woman glowed, she glowed like the sun, and beautiful beyond the wildest dream of man. So Blake said, in this section there is the female-male, the female within the male. So everyone, regardless of sex, in that section between Abraham and Luther is the dragon-being where they are actually carrying within them a woman made up of all the lovely things of the world. That every time man uses his Imagination lovingly on behalf of another, this one glows and it adds to the beauty of this woman that is hidden within. It is that that can bring forth the Christ child and bring him into this world.
So here, who is Paul? He isn’t mentioned in any ancient non-biblical source, and yet here next to the central character in scripture he is the most important. There is no character in the New Testament that is discussed more than Paul. In the Book of Acts, which once formed a part of the Book of Luke, sixteen chapters, the last sixteen, from the thirteenth to the end are devoted to Paul. He comes into the picture in the seventh chapter; and here in the ninth he has the vision, he has the experience of God, and he knows the risen Christ is a fact. Then the entire book from then on is devoted to this biography of Paul; then we have his letters; but who is the character? He is treated in Blake as a state, and he is a state. Everyone must experience what Paul experienced, everyone must. You reach that point and suddenly this hunger possesses you and you cannot, you cannot in any way be diverted. You have the same zeal that is Paul’s. As you’re told where the Book of John begins one of the first acts, he turns over the tables in the temple…that is, the character called Jesus Christ… the state towards which all are moving. As he turns it over, they remember the 69th Psalm, for he only comes to fulfill scripture, and the zeal of the house of the Lord would destroy him. His zeal for the house of his Father would destroy him. He would take nothing but that. And here was the story of Paul, the identical story. So everyone reaches that state where there’s a thirst beyond the wildest dream, and no matter what inducement is made you, you cannot take it, you can’t be diverted. It is something that no one can turn you from. It’s just you are moving towards the satisfaction of that hunger, that thirst.
And then you arrive there. Arrive where? To find that there is a risen Christ. I’m speaking from experience, I am not speculating. I was taken this night in Spirit into the presence of the risen Christ, infinite love, but infinite love! That’s the form that he wears. So Blake, who begins the story—-and he claims that the Savior dictated every word to him, he said, “Every morn it awakens me and I see the Savior over me, spreading his beams of love and dictating the words of this mild song.” Well, in this wonderful poem Jerusalem he makes the statement, “Then Jesus appeared and Albion knew that it was the Lord.” Take the word Paul and put it where he uses the word Albion and it brings all the sense in the world into that story. The universal humanity was Jesus. And that’s true, for every one of us will be embraced by the risen Christ, one by one, and we are the risen Christ; and we wear his form, as we’re told in that 96th plate of Jerusalem. Here, I am embraced by the risen Christ, the universal humanity, as he gathers us all together, one by one…and he had the appearance and similitude of Los. Now you know who Los is in the poem. For I tell you it is love; for when you stand in his presence you can’t think of anything but love. And when he embraces you there is an ecstasy that no power in this world could describe…the joy that is this infinite love…and you are it. You are wearing the form, the body of love.
And then he sends you. So Paul makes the statement, when someone questioned him, he said, “Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus the Lord?” Here is an indispensable qualification for apostleship: An apostle means “to be sent.” So he was sent to tell what he had experienced. And those who did not see it questioned him. But I will say to everyone who has not seen him, there’s a benediction pronounced upon all who have not seen and yet believed. You’ll find it in the end of John—the most glorious benediction for those who can hear the story, the good news of salvation and believe it before they have experienced the risen Christ (20:29).
So here, you can take this on every level. Take it from the level of being, well, what you want to be; because the whole of life is only the appeasement of hunger. That’s all that it is. Hunger comes from one level to the other. Tonight if I want to pay my rent and I’m embarrassed, I may want that more than I want any experience of God in this world. Just let me get the rent fi rst and I’ll think of God afterwards. But may I tell you, in the days of the Depression in New York City, I can see it now, I didn’t pay rent. I was sitting in the Silence all day long, just meditating, imagining myself on the ceiling and feeling myself up there looking down at the body below. I can see the landlady now. I was living on 4th Street in the Village, in old Bohemia… that’s the Bohemian area of New York City. She came in and saw me sitting in the Silence, completely out like a light—-out to her but not to myself—- and she bawled me out beyond measure because I already owed her sixty-five dollars for that month, and to her I was making no effort to get out and get a job to pay her sixty-five dollars. And I was sitting in the Silence seeking God. And so at the end when I didn’t pay her two month’s and three month’s, she could take it no longer. I said, I’ll tell you what I’ll do for you, I’ll paint your house for you in lieu of the money. Well, it was much cheaper than if she could have taken some union member, and so she got the paint, and I painted the house for her in lieu of the rent that I owed her. But it didn’t drive me to go out and wear out the only pair of shoe I had trying to find a job that was not. I simply sat in the Silence and simply contemplated God, and hungered for God, and nothing in this world could have satisfied me but the experience of God.
Well, it didn’t come that day, that year, but it came in 1959. So here, in 1959…prior to that I had had the experience of meeting God, embraced by him, but it was almost like something too green to be understood. It didn’t really come into the mind with understanding until July of ’59. Almost thirty years prior to that, yes, I met and stood in the presence of God, infinite love; but you can’t believe that you, this small, little thing, could be that welcome, could be that, I would say, graced. Because you know your limitations, you know your weaknesses, you know all that you are, and you can’t believe for one moment that you could possibly be chosen, how could you be? And so, you come back with the whole experience, and yet because you know how weak you are and how little you are, you can’t quite believe that you, of the billions of this world, could be chosen as Paul was.
Only years later you realize that Paul was a violent being, violent! He went out to imprison every one who belonged to The Way, to bring them bound into Jerusalem. And he carried letters with him to assure him that he had the authority to pick up anyone on the way as he was moving towards Damascus to bring them, men and women, bound into Jerusalem to receive the same fate that he allowed of Stephen; for he consented unto Stephen’s death, and Stephen was stoned to death. Here was this violent man, a man of zealousness, of passion…and yet he was chosen. And then it dawns upon you that God has his own peculiar way of calling us, one by one, and he brings us to the point where you’re so zealous and you’re so hungry for the experience of God that in spite of your limitations, both intellectual, moral and every other way, he wants that. As told in Revelation, “Would that you were either hot or cold. But because you are neither hot nor cold, but you are lukewarm, I’ll spew you out” (3:16).
And so, you’ve got to be hot as he was or cold; either for it with your entire heart or against it as he was. He was for the law as exercised outwardly one hundred percent, and against those who gave an interpretation to it that he had never heard before; completely against it, and completely for the law as he understood it. And you reach that point, and you go through these extremes in this world, as I was forced through it. Seven years, at the tender age of twenty-odd, in my twenties, having born a son, and knowing the joy of the love of woman, and then by some peculiar thing to swear myself to celibacy; and then knowing the joys of food and to swear myself to being a vegetarian. Well, I had not yet acquired the habit of enjoying a martini, so I couldn’t say I gave that up. But I did…no alcohol, no smoking, this extreme violence to my body. I thought violence to my body was “the way” and it wasn’t the way. But for seven years I did violence to the body by these non doings, by the giving up, a complete restraint. That was zealousness!
And then he called me. He was looking for something just like that in the heart of a man. He could trust him then. He could show him the truth. He would be equally zealous in the right direction. I was on the wrong course…but, at least, I was zealous in my approach; not a thing could divert me from these states. Dancing on the road, and I was a professional dancer, I would ask the waiter, “Is there beef stock in this soup? Take it away!” Well, no restaurant in this world would serve you any soup without a beef stock in it, not a real restaurant. They could open a can of Campbell’s and serve you tomato soup, but not really a good restaurant. And yet, I would ask them if it had it and when they said yes, “Take it away.” And a strict, strict diet for seven years; and over night it vanished from me when God called me, called me in an entirely different way, and you see how true the entire story is of scripture. Peter said, “I cannot eat the unclean thing” and then a sheet came down with all manner of food upon it, and the voice of the Lord said, That which I have cleansed, I have cleansed; slay and eat. There is nothing unclean in my world” (Acts 10:15). As Paul himself could write to the Romans: I know and I am persuaded by the Lord Christ Jesus that there is nothing unclean in itself; but any man to whom it is unclean to him it is unclean. That’s the 14th chapter of the Book of Romans (verse 14). It’s unclean if you think it unclean. We’ll, I thought all these things unclean and they were. Then he showed me there was nothing unclean.
Leave man alone. God is calling us one by one and God is the actor, the only actor in this world. He’s playing all the parts to expiate himself. It was God who actually sent himself, his creative power known to us as Jesus Christ, into this world, occupying all forms. And anyone hurt, it is God; and anyone who has to atone, it is God. God is doing the atoning, because like Job here is the most cruel, horrible experiment perpetrated on innocent man; and, therefore, he who conceived it, who is executing it, will atone for it. And he atones for it. Now, you take…if you are students of the Bible, you take the 3rd chapter of Romans, and you only have to go a few verses, the 21st through the 26th verses; and they’re not put in chronological order the way they’re put, but there are only from the 21st through the 26th verses inclusive—- and see this wonderful story of God atoning. He sent him; it was God who sent Jesus Christ. It is God. And he tells us now of the blood, the sprinkled blood of Jesus is better than the blood of Abel. Abel cries out for revenge, for retribution; and the blood of Christ cries out—which is God himself, for Christ really is the power and wisdom of God—for forgiveness and mercy. For God did it all. So what could he do to me having put me through it all?
If you can conceive of these twenty-seven heavens and their churches, and you are the temple of the living God. So “the church” is the modern way of saying temple or saying synagogue or saying tabernacle. As you are told, “You are the temple of the living God” (2Cor. 6:16). So when he speaks of these heavens and their churches, he’s speaking of us, closed and clothed as we are. So here, can you conceive of these twenty-seven through which we have passed? Anyone here in this world of ours, they have passed through them. You don’t go back and start all over again; you’re moving towards the inevitable climax which is to awaken as Jesus Christ who is God. Everyone is moving towards one and that is God. And not one will fail in all eternity, not one.
So here, I can share with you my own experience. I have experienced it. I stood in the presence of the risen Christ and he’s all love, just as Blake saw it so clearly. And strangely enough, why should I use the words of Paul? For when he asked me a question, he asked me, “What is the greatest thing in the world?” my reply came in the words of Paul. I answered from the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians…and I answered, “Faith, hope and love, these three abide; but the greatest of these is love” (verse 13). And he embraced me, God himself embraced me, and I became one with God, and wore the divine form, the form of love. And then he sent me…infi nite power sent me. He who embraced me didn’t send me; another one sent me who represented infi nite might. I stood before him, and here is power without any feeling whatsoever, sheer power. It could shatter the universe if it so desired, and it sent me into the world to do what I’m doing. So I am sent by that. So I could say to anyone today in the year 1965 “Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen the risen Christ?” And so, he comes to the end, “Hereafter let no one trouble me, for I bear on my body the very marks of Jesus.” The marks of Jesus are the experiences recorded in scripture as of Jesus: his birth; his discovery of David as his son; his ascent in a serpentine form; and the sealing of God’s word upon him in the form of the dove. And so, these are the marks. He said, “Hereafter let no one bother me and make trouble for me; for I bear on my body the very marks of Jesus.” Read that in the very end, the 6th chapter of the Book of Galatians (verse 17).
So he’s seen it. This is only a state. So everyone must enter the state of Paul, and playing the part of Paul you are Paul. You simply go out and you tell it all, just as it happened to you. That’s what happened to the state. So Blake treats it as a state. But he goes through, strangely enough, from Paul he goes through to the great emperor, the fi rst one who accepted Christianity and made it the state religion. Then he jumps to a legendary fi gure…because Charlemagne, no one knows anything of Charlemagne. All the stories told of Charlemagne are like those told of King Arthur. But, all these stories of Charlemagne, these are only states. So he picks that which is pure legend and tells us that is the sixth in the states through which man must pass in this final picture.
Well, what did Charlemagne do? You can go back to Constantine… alright, you’ve accepted Christianity as a fact, that’s Constantine. Then you go to Charlemagne, would you defend him, because all of his battles were against the so-called infidel who would destroy Christianity. There was a war all over the vast land of Europe. And then comes the last one, Luther. Well, who was Luther? What is the state? We know he was a man. They burned him at the stake for doing what he did, and yet Blake treats Luther as a state. What is that state? When you break all restrictions, all organizations within your mind’s eye that would completely confine you to an ism; when the whole thing gets upon you so thick that you can’t stand it and you see the chicanery behind, the whole thing becomes an organized political setup in the name of religion and you can’t stand one moment of it, and then you burst through the bridges as it were. Then it starts all over again…but you have escaped.
But the important one in the entire series of the seven is Paul. You start with the vision, which is the faith of Abraham. And faith to Abraham was seeing and reading the promises from afar: “He rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). This happened before the birth of Isaac, this happened before the exile and the slavery in Egypt. And then he brings in Moses, the great law-giver, who is also the one who leads every exodus in this world. When anyone moves out of something that is a tyranny, it’s the Moses leading him out. That’s Moses in him…these are states. You move out of the state of alcoholism by the leadership of a Moses who leads you out. You move out of the state of any poverty by a Moses. It’s a Moses that’s the leader in man that leads us out of one state into the other.
Then he brings us into the wisdom of Solomon. That’s the third state, infinite wisdom. No one was wiser, we are told, than Solomon, therefore, take the essence of man’s discoveries, put it all together, that’s the Solomon. Man passes through that state; for he thinks that is the only thing that, really, what man can discover by his own energies. Well, then comes Paul, the fourth one, and Paul doesn’t call it anything but revelation. He said: “The gospel that I preach is not man’s gospel. For I was not taught it by man, nor did I receive it from man, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:11). And revelation to Paul was God revealing himself in action for the salvation of man. He reveals himself, he unveils himself. So you stand in the presence of the risen Christ and discover that he is the very one that you have been opposing. “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Well, who are you, Lord?” “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:4). And then a complete transformation!
Now, let me assure you, Paul never became what the world would say a Christian. Paul never gave up this faith in Judaism. He realized that Christ was only the flower, the fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham. For in the very end, he claimed “I am of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” Did you ever look up the word Benjamin to find out what it means?—“The son of the right hand.” Well, who sits at the right hand? Are we not told that Christ Jesus sits at the right hand of the Lord? And he calls himself Benjamin the son of the right hand. So he found him, he was embraced by him, became one with him, so he sits at the right hand. For when you are embraced by Christ Jesus you’re not another; you become one with him. And from then on you have no sense of being divorced from him. Yes you are in the world of flesh and you cannot fully grasp the glory of your inheritance, or at least you cannot become fully aware of it so long as you’re still in the body. But you know at the very moment when this is taken off it’s for the last time; and you’re wearing the body, that glorious body, of the risen Christ. Until then, you simply must go on and play your part among men.
Well, tonight you can come back to any level and take the theme on which we started tonight: the spiritual states of the soul are all eternal; distinguish between man and his present state. Don’t condemn the man for his present state…he’s only in a state. He could have entered that state knowingly or unknowingly, so you must create a state to deliver man forever more. Pull him out of the state if it’s an unlovely state into another state. But the man is not the state. He’s fallen into a state, and because he is life itself, he animates it, and the state becomes alive in his world, good, bad or indifferent. And he falls from state to state to state until he passes through these eternal heavens. Then he arrives at that state where the hunger is not for money, it’s not for glamour, it’s not for health, it’s not for that, it’s only for an experience of God, and nothing in the world would actually satisfy that hunger but an experience of God. And so, when he has the experience of God he is Paul, he’s no longer Saul. For Saul was the hungry one, the desiring one for that one experience. Now the word Paul means “to desist, to stop, to come to an end.” The search is over; he’s found the risen Christ. He knows it is true, and he knows it from his own personal experience, and it came by revelation. It pleased God to reveal his Son in him…and so he did not then confer with any flesh and blood (Gal. 1:16). So when that happens to the individual, he knows who Paul is. And yet there is no loss of identity, he still remains the John Brown or Mary Smith of this world, but he has played the part of Paul.
Now let us go into the Silence.
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A: ___(??) these things will be added unto you.” That’s an actual quote, it’s a true quote. I would say, the kingdom of heaven…tell them the story, the testimony of Jesus Christ, the story as told in the gospel…just tell that story. Let them respond to it, either negatively or positively. So you tell that story; but also, don’t forget that in the same scripture, “Whatsoever you desire, believe that you have received it and you will” (Mark. ll:24). So today, once a person’s hunger is not for that…but tell it anyway…but don’t for one moment not tell them that on another level their hunger can be satisfied. They were made for satisfaction, not frustration. And so, if tonight someone wants a fortune, if someone wants some social position in this world, or a family relationship that has been broken, alright, if that’s what they want, then ask in the same way: “Whatsoever you desire”—-let this come within your desire—- “believe that you have received it and you will.”
Meanwhile, hear the story. The story must be heard by everyone and responded to. But we are in that third column between Abraham and Luther. And you aren’t going to fail because no one’s going to fail, for the simple reason “He who began the good work in you he will bring it to completion” (Phil. 1:6). So don’t think for one second you’re going to fail. You’ve been put through the mill, everyone has gone through the mill, and God in his infinite mercy has hidden from us what we have suffered. Let no one tell you you haven’t. But it all adds up, like they’re bringing out the perfect diamond, and that perfect thing is God. Any other questions, please?
A: ___(??) where the colored people in Barbados outnumber the white people ten to one. But it was wealth against the lack of wealth in Barbados, so it only lasted about twenty-four hours. All of my brothers went home with their servants and their butlers and their butchers to protect them on their way home because they represented wealth. My father said, “What? Anyone would dare touch me?” And he said to his chauffer, who was a colored man, and my father always rode in the front seat next to the chauffer. He never rode in the back, always sat right next to the chauffer. And he said to the chauffer, “You take me down to the wharf.” If you know Barbados, you could take the car in which he rode, a few strong men could throw the thing right into the Caribbean and drown them all. And they were coming by the tens of thousands with sticks and knives and everything. My father sat right next to him confidant that not one person could dare touch him. He heard a voice say “It’s the chief, let him through.” And that chauffer, nervous like a… he was like this, shaking…but he drove that car through like a hot knife through butter. And no one touched my father, yet all my brothers ran like mad. It was all within him. And he died the same way. The day he died he said to my brother Collin, “I’m going today” and he said, “No, Daddy, you can’t go today.” “Oh, yes, I’m going today. This is my day.” He went that day. He was just positive…all through his life he was like that. There was no doubt in his mind of anything. The very day he died, “This is the day I’m going” and he went that day. And he loved…he loved everyone, but he had not only respect for them he had respect for himself, great respect. And the only book he really ever read—-and he knew it, did he know it!—-was the Bible. Couldn’t argue the Bible with him; he knew it and he lived by it. And may you live by it…all of you.