A Great Leader
The text is in the 11th chapter of Isaiah. God is talking about the coming kingdom and the things that are to happen; of the character of the King; of the quality of the kingdom and the character of His reign; and how the kingdom is to be set up when Jesus as King of kings comes back to this Earth again. In the 6th verse He says: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together”—and then these remarkable words:
“And a Little Child Shall Lead Them”
Is that not a great leader?
Is it not most remarkable, friends, that God should take the wolf and the leopard and the lion and mix them up with the lamb and the kid and the calf and the fatling; that they all should be together and that “a little child should lead them”? Only God’s own wonderful book could explain such a unique picture.
Friends, as I look at the world, I feel it is very necessary for Jesus to come back again. If God had not shown me in His own precious word four years ago that Jesus was coming back again, in spite of the way God was talking to me, I would have been forced to throw up my hands and cry: “Oh, God, I see no way out for the world. I see no plan. I see no success ahead of Christianity.”
I was raised on church gasoline as a boy. I heard the hum of machinery from the time I was born in the parsonage, and the discussion of preachers and combinations and men and methods and means, and all the click of the different springs and the tires and the tops and the wheels and the oil and all the rest of the stuff. The push and the pull I knew from the beginning. But when I looked out over a lost world I was glad to get the vision that God was not going to leave the universal recognition of His Son simply to men and methods and their selfish movements, but that finally He was coming Himself to sit on the throne of David and rule in righteousness.
Oh, when God revealed to me that Jesus was coming back to this old world; that He was the method, He was the system, He was the solution of all political problems, He was finally church and state in one, I tell you, my friends, the clouds rolled away. It is a dismal sort of doubt we have today; it is not the infidel doubt of long ago, but it is an organized doubt, a high painted, cultured, refined doubt. We are going along with money and art and culture and all these things, but the emphasis is upon that which is natural, upon man and taken away from everything that is supernatural, from Him.
Some startling deductions will come to you about this world system at large, if you will contrast it as it is with the thought of God. Three main thoughts come to me outstanding from reading in this connection Dr. Tomas’ words on “The Answer of the Physical Order.” Surely first of all a philosopher will say: “This world needs a head.”
As sure as you live by all of its actions, it has lost its head. I have cut a chicken’s head off before pot-boiling time, and the chicken had lots of energy left—more energy than it ever had before, it seemed to me, but it did not have any head, and you could tell it by the way it jumped and flapped its wings and twisted its legs.
While I see the world moving, and men seemingly making progress, yet there is no head to it. Men cannot tell you where the end is. This old world needs a head. Men talk about evolution as if little by little there was coming a supremacy of man, at the head of the race and every energy, animal creature and germ was to move at man’s beck and scientific ipse dixit; whereas, my friends, it is enough to drive a man wild when he finds out, that trees outlive him, animals and germs can lay him low, that gold and coal is preserved, down underneath the Earth, hidden away for thousands of years; no deterioration, but all preserved. Come up on the top of the Earth, and what do you find? The highest thing you can find on Earth, which is a man—a thing ought to be on the Earth that makes everything underneath it obey. God intended it to be so. When He put Adam in the Garden of Eden, every old lion and every leopard and every bear and every wolf trotted to suit Adam. There wasn’t a germ in the Garden that could have taken his life. He was absolutely safe, and in authority.
Jesus the Head
The philosopher this morning, can see if he will, that it is absolutely necessary for Jesus to come back and give us a head. Jesus proved that He was master of everything He touched when He was here. You may educate your man and bringing him up to the very heights of knowledge and culture, and yet he is very, very helpless in the face of fire, in the face of storm, in the face of flood, in the face of poison, in the face of disease—helpless, almost helpless; yet he is man.
Where is the Master?
You talk about your evolution as if the world had gone up step-by-step until the thing on top was absolutely master of what was underneath—yet the least thing on Earth will take a man’s life. It is upside down; something is wrong. You may build your house and you may plant your garden and you may stretch out your field, but tomorrow you—the man who did it—the man who waited for the oak to grow—is outlasted by the oak; the man who made the family and made the home is gone. You do not have to be very brilliant-minded to get the conception that something is directly wrong with life. It needs a head; it needs somebody to boss.
Oh, when I found out that God had prepared His Son to come down here and boss, thank God, you cannot blame me for shouting! I acted as decent as I could about it—I went out of the room and took a car and went out through Harlem and beat it up by the Hudson River, and there in the woods I shouted until I was hoarse! I found out that God Himself was coming to undertake for this old Earth of ours, going to bring it out to a marvelous climax. Oh, when you see that, then you can say: “Lord, put me in any little old place you want to—but thine is the power and the glory forever and ever!”
A New Kind
My friends, if you this morning are struggling and thinking it is man’s plans, man’s organization, that is going to set this old world right, you are mistaken. We talk to the crowds, we pass out the gospel, and God is picking out a people for His name’s sake; a new class of people who shall be rulers with Him. Jesus Christ exhibited in His own person what kind of a body their people are to have. He came in through the closed doors of that room and appeared to His disciples. He walked down by the seashore and offered them something to eat—they wondered where He got it; and He Himself took something to eat, in that body of His. He could appear to them like as He was before. He could sit on the other side of the table and they did not know Him from any other man round about them, until He said to them “Pass me the bread.” In taking the bread and breaking it probably the holes in His hands showed. But they recognized Him and He vanished out of their sight for a while.
He appeared to Mary and Mary thought He was the gardener—but one sweet word floated out on the air. Think of it! The Second Person of the Trinity on speaking terms yet—resurrected from the dead—calling Mary by name.
A New Adam
Oh, my friend, there is hope, there is joy, there is gladness, because Jesus his risen victor, and is our coming king.
When nations get into a high place their very height is their damnation and down they go. Right in the day in which we live this country is in the greatest danger it has ever known because of success. Our very success becomes our undoing, for we turn to the things that make success instead of to God. We take knowledge and set it up as if it were God. A man’s very education sometimes becomes his undoing, because he bows down at the feet of learning instead of God, who is all knowledge; instead of humbly dropping and saying: “I know a little,” he says: “I know much and I want you to pin the medals on me fast and just as fast as I know a little more, pin some more.” We bow down to men, we take what men say, instead of the sweetest things in our life being: “Thus saith the Lord.”
Perfection in Imperfection
Now in the face of all this headless world, with things upside down that man can never set right God has shown things in His creation in perfection, the most wonderful perfection. Everyone may examine a snowflake. You go to see the fish in an exhibit, and you find the most marvelous scales on them; colored, striped and spotted. Did you ever see anything in man’s art as delicate as the spots on a red-spotted trout? No artist on Earth, with the most delicate brush, can give the effect of the beauty of a spotted trout. No painter could pain the iridescent beauty of the fins of some of the fish of the sea. We do not know the art or the alchemy of it—yet God made the whole thing out of salt water!
Take a golden pheasant and watch God paint the feathers on it; and He made it all out of the yellow and the white of an egg; He split the egg open and let the thing out and the feathers come on as He worked.
So poets have dreamed and have said to themselves: “Oh, what a lovely world!” Then all of a sudden you turn around and see a catastrophe of a hell-hole, where men are in sin. You turn away as a human from the beauty of the fowls and turn to the foulness of a human heart, and a man who cannot even trot along in a class with a golden pheasant. The feathers come out on him and they are beautiful, but holiness and righteousness do not spring out naturally on any man. Oh, how man’s wicked heart needs the boss that painted the birds’ eggs and their wings and put the song in their throat.
Isn’t it wonderful to find out that Jesus is coming back to get rid of all this imperfection? Men say “We can evolve it.” No, they cannot; the heart of us is wrong and God must change it.
Master of Death Needed
After you have looked at the pheasants and at the fish and at the beautiful birds whose feathers God so wonderfully bedecks, then take a little bit of a dove and see that little spot of blood on its heart, and every little dove that comes from the egg will be like the father and mother-dove with the little bleeding heart of its breast. You see the perfection of the clouds and of the springtime and the wondrous beauty of the flowers—yet you come face to face with the awful shocking realities of life, and you quiver and cry: “Yes, God, it is beautiful,” but, oh, death, death, reeking rotten awful corruption, stares us in the face, in spite of all this beauty. I catch the perfume of these flowers, but in spite of their loveliness they remind me of these same flowers banked around a black coffin; that sweet face that you loved so much—gone—dead. Oh, friend, if Jesus does not come back and make an end of death we are of all things on Earth the most miserable. I would rather be a cow in the field than to be a human being without any hope in Jesus Christ. Nothing but death to end it all. If Jesus is not the resurrection and the life, and coming back to show His victory over death, then life is a failure dressed in crepe; the lonely widow of a dead husband.
Oh, what a glad hope, when Jesus comes and says to Mary and Martha: “I AM THE RESURRECTION.” It is not a thing—He is the new sinless head of the race. He is the resurrection. I would give you to know, says the Scripture, that Jesus Christ is head of all men. Yes, thank God, he paid the mortgage. He bought up the old debts and put it all upon Himself; He came forth perfect from death and sits at the right hand of God this morning, and from there is coming back to this old world to rule it and bring perfection here. He is coming back to take away the awful imperfection of death, and the curse that hangs over us.
Even With Sinful Mind
Now, gaze upon all the wonderful things that the mind of man—the sinful mind of man—has accomplished. See the great inroads that the mentality of man has made against decay and death and the laws of force. Niagara does not run to waste, but has been harnessed up—by an imperfect man. While I was at the Exposition in San Francisco I honored men; I was glad to honor the mind of a man who had done anything, but I refuse to lean on him: for I lean on One who can do all things. The sinful mind of man has been able to mold the iron into steel, to gather together the elements that make concrete and to put up his building so that it lasts against the storm. Modern architecture, modern building, is a wonderful achievement—made by the working of a sinful mind. Man can even drive out some diseases; he can go down into the mosquito infested country and by his science and his little instruments find out what it is that deadly mosquito does to a human being, and then do away with some of the mosquitoes and thus drive out the awful fever. The sinful mind of a man can carve, and mold, and make, can get out a printing press that will print the paper and fold it and wrap it and stamp it and off it goes; the machines that will make silk, the machines that will make carpets; the machines that will make clothing, and fabric and straw and all of these things—wonderful!—for the sinful mind of a man to do.
What Can His Sinless Mind Do?
Now listen: Do you admit with me this morning that the sinful fallen mind of a man has been able to drive back decay, to drive back other powers, to come to a place where concrete stands instead of the old board, where iron and steel are rails instead of the old logs that used to be on the road, where the automobile takes the place of the old ox-cart—do you admit that the mind of man has brought this out?
Oh, then why do you object to the fact that the perfect sinless mind of Jesus, who Himself is Perfection and has all of these things in His hand, is to come and stand among us and drive back all decay, drive back all disease, drive back all the effects of sin in all this round world?
I tell you the thing God has against us: We pin medals on Edison, we pin medals on Ford, pin a medal on Jim Hill, but the world has not pinned a medal on Jesus. But by God’s power they will do it some day; and every knee shall bow to Him!
Master of Forces
Jesus absolutely demonstrated when He was in this world that He was master of every one of these forces. He was master of the food supply. He could feed five thousand people with one little fellow’s lunch. He was master of the human heart. He knew it like a book; it was open before Him. Jesus knew the heart of that woman at the well; He could tell her about all the men who had lived with her. When Nathaniel walked up He said: “Before that Philip called thee when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.” Jesus knew hearts; He knew men’s consciences and their minds were open before Him. He was master of men.
Jesus was a master of the elements. He walked out upon the waves of the sea, and stood there while Peter and the rest of them were going north by east and south by west, and up and down, rocking all around in the little boat. Jesus stood right there on the waves—master of the whole situation. Peter walked out to Him—and as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus he kept on the water and even as he sank Jesus reached down and pulled him up. He said to the waves: “Peace, be still.” The men on the ship said: “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey Him?”
Laughs at Death
Yes, thank God, Jesus Christ was absolutely master of this world. He walked before Lazarus’ open grave. They protested with Him, and said, “By this time he stinketh.” But Jesus said, “Didn’t I tell you that IF YOU BELIEVED you would see the glory of God?” They said to Him that they knew there was going to be a resurrection; but Jesus absolutely turned that down. Resurrection is not a thing; it is not a force—it is a Person. And it was all made for Him and by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made! That is the Christ of God. This old Earth spins today in the grip of my Jesus. He turns to that grave and says: “Lazarus, come forth!” and bless God, out he comes. Master of death—and before He had ever gone into it!
The New Crucifiers
I say to you, my friends, the preacher of our day who dares to stand in the pulpit and does not believe in the miraculous, has no Christ. It is pretty nearly time that some of us drew our swords and separated from the infidel crowd of our day who are posing as believers in Christ, yet deny everything that shows His deity. I would rather be tied up with the worst bunch of saloon-keepers in the city of Chicago than to be tied up with a crowd like that. Thank God, I don’t have to be tied up with either. They have their knives out—what for? To cut the vitals out of Jesus. The old crowd crucified Him, the new crowd by criticism is cutting Him away piece by piece. Oh, they may not bow down to Him, but thank God, in Him is hidden all the fullness of the Godhead bodily—bodily!Everything is possible in Him.
Why Not Ask Him Back?
If Jesus Christ did all these things why is it that the world is not busy to get Him back? He is what we need. Isn’t it strange that men will hear the story of a Christ that walked on the sea, that fed the multitude, and yet do not cry out to God: “Oh, send Him back again!” How foolish the Christians of this age have been, that they have not gone to the ends of the Earth to do quickly what He told us to do, in order that He might come back again quickly. All you people who are spending your time in a round of reformations ought to be out in the open fields telling folks about Jesus. You are spending your time building sewers when you ought to be getting folks into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. There are folks who know nothing of Jesus who can attend to that. You are spending your time trying to drive back disease, good as that may be, but Jesus is the cure of the whole business, if we can bring Him back. When Jesus comes back to reign, He comes back as master of the whole situation. Certainly a wolf will not howl; a bear will not growl; a lion will not roar—there won’t be anything open its mouth unless He wants it open. There will be no sting in any kind of an insect, no poison in a snake; the lion shall eat straw like the ox; it will not be a death dealing world, a world where one kind lives on another, but God will let the grass and the herbs grow that will feed them all.
And God says that then a little child shall take its place for “Except ye become as little children, ye shall in no sense see the kingdom of God.” Those who are to rule with Christ will be master over every animal, over the storms, over the sea, over the clouds, over the Earth. Redemption puts men joint-heirs with the Head. Every living thing shall be under His feet. Listen: God said, “If you suffer with me, you shall reign with me.” He will put us back, those who are redeemed by His precious blood—back into the headship of the race, with Him and thank God, we will police this same world. He will cover the world with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea. No man will have to say, “Tell us about God.” They will all know about Him. If they don’t they will have a messenger from glory at their side instantly.
In His Plan
Friends, God has a plan, and the best thing you can do this morning is to get into it and find out what God has for you, and live according to the power of Jesus Christ. He is master of all these forces, and our chief end should be to take Jesus Christ and try by prayer and by our life and our works to spread the Gospel to bring Jesus Christ back again as Head into this old world. Then, thank God, the roses will be everywhere, there will be nothing that makes a noise that God doesn’t want, and nothing, He says, “That shall destroy in all His holy mountain.”
God Makes Big Changes
Somebody says: “But Mr. Rader—this will be such a big change.”
“But it cannot be because God does not make sudden changes,” you say.
You know that is all a bluff of the devil. You know God does make sudden changes, has made catastrophic changes, and this old world, of nature, does make sudden changes. We have had a little of it this last week. It does not flow on smoothly like a song. Answer me this: How could water, that can drive a steam engine, in five minutes be lowered to such a degree that is becomes a chunk of ice? I don’t know—but God knows. And when He can make a little jug of water do that, I tell you, all this world needs is the presence of Jesus and things will dance when he comes back. Not half has ever been told of His glory; not half of the joy has ever been told, not a millionth part of what you can experience has ever come across your vision yet. But, thank God, when Jesus shall come and say to the waves, to death, to trouble: “Be still”—and stand in the midst of His own people and His own world—then, bless God, we will have that peace that passeth all understanding. Praise God, since He has taken all the enemies of my soul and subdued them and can say, “Peace, peace, be still,” and can sit on the throne of my heart, thank God, I know He can sit on the throne ruling everything less than human life.
Let Him Be All to You
Let Him be your millennium this morning! Let Him conquer; let Him, in the form of the Holy Spirit, sit on the throne of your heart, now. He will come in His person—perhaps before this service is over, perhaps before the night comes, as a glorious King—but NOW in the form of the Holy Ghost, the third person of the Trinity, He can abide in your breast and make a millennium, thank God.
Let Him do it, so that old lion in you and that old bear that you are at home, lies down—so that the little child which He can make you, will lead. Some of you folks in here need your menageries attended to. Some of you are a foxy crowd, but thank God, all that dies down when Jesus comes in to reign. Oh, let Him this morning speak to your heart, and subdue the tempest and the waves that are within you, and give you the wonderful soul-rest of peace! And the little child life shall lead. Then with a soul full of hope you will wait for the day when at His coming “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together and a little child shall lead them.”