Mr. Rader’s Anniversary Sermon
About a year ago at this time I was choked with emotion, and now I am choked again. I never will forget the night as long as I live, when I walked into the lecture room of The Moody Church and saw the dear friends gathered there who had elected me pastor of The Moody Church. Nobody on earth was so much surprised as I was. I could not believe it; I could not see how God could take a man who had been what I had been, and allow him to be the pastor of such a Church. But, friends, it was only God’s grace, that is all; and I stand here this morning to preach to you for no other reason than because Jesus, with His tender, precious hands, picked me out of sin and set my feet on the solid rock, Christ Jesus. I know what I am outside of Him, and, hallelujah! I know what I am inside of Him, and it is all Jesus, and nothing else; I have no other claim, no other plea, nothing else in this world but Jesus.
God has helped us all the way, this blessed year. It has been a wonderful year to me. It has been a year of splendid times with God in prayer, in proving what He can do through faith.
A year ago, before I decided to take the pastorate of the Church, I did not know whether the Lord wanted me to or not—I was afraid it was a temptation. I knew what the Lord had said to me when He picked me up and I started to preach on the streets of New York, and I said to myself, if I become the pastor of The Moody Church, the devil will make me think I am somebody; and I told the Lord, “If I am ever going to get the big head and become anything in this world but a humble sinner, saved by grace, kill this thing now, and kill it quickly.” But He didn’t kill it; so I said, “All right, it will have to come to pass then.” Four months before you took me as your pastor, not a single member knew I was on the earth. So it is all of God.
The Lord gave me a verse of Scripture then. I use it as a text this morning—you see I get my texts a long while in advance; I got this one a year ago, so you see I am not “preached up” yet, but I am a year behind. I read it to you the night I was elected pastor. We had just finished some blessed weeks together watching God work.
The 18th chapter of First Kings, 36th verse: “And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice”—or, as the original has it, “at the offering of the sacrifice”—“that Elijah, the prophet, came near and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and of Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have done all these things at Thy word.”
Now, friends, my only ambition in this world is simply to be a servant of the living God, an ambassador for Jesus Christ, and whatever I do, let folks know that God brought it to pass. That is as high an ambition as I have, and thank God, it is high enough—just to be a servant of Jesus Christ, so that whatever is done folks will say, “Prayer did it; God did it; Jesus did it. The Lord is working.”
At the Offering of the Sacrifice
Elijah came near, “at the offering of the sacrifice.” Friends, I never in my life saw or never read about a real spiritual work that didn’t start “at the offering of the sacrifice.” If God has done a great work in your life, you can go back to this text and say, “It came to pass at the offering of the sacrifice.” No man ever did a great work for God who hadn’t had an hour in His life when he laid himself down upon the altar and said to God: “Lord, anything, anywhere, any time, but let me work for Thee alone.” If God has meant anything to your life this morning, it is because you have come to the time of sacrifice. It you are bound, this morning, if you are grumpy, and you don’t feel the freedom and the joy of the Holy Ghost living in your heart, I say to you, let God lead you to the place of sacrifice this morning. Let Him take you—all that you are, all that you expect to be; and at the time of the sacrifice, my friends, the fire of God will fall.
God had a great many things in store for the world. God had righteousness for the world, God had righteousness for every man who would accept it; but it never became real until the hour of sacrifice on Calvary. When Jesus dropped His blessed head, and said, “It is finished,” then, thank God, all heaven could be opened, and every spiritual blessing could come our way. The veil of the temple was rent; we could go in to God, and God could come out to us. Man could be righteous, white, in the precious blood.
So your Christian life will commence at the hour of sacrifice. You will never see Jesus until you see Him first on Calvary’s cross, for your sin, and new life will have its starting there. Then when you come to service, service will never commence until you reach the place of sacrifice. The joy of living a spirit-filled life will never come until you have gone down to the lowest degree, until you have been crucified with Christ, and can rise and say, “Nevertheless, I live—yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life that I now live I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Some people think that because Abraham was a faithful man, that he was righteous; but friends, Abraham wasn’t righteous—God just counted him righteous; He reckoned him righteous. God said that because of his faith He “counted it unto him for righteousness.” No man could be righteous until Jesus had paid the debt for sin. God just handed Abraham a check and said to him, “Now, when the death train comes in you will get your trunk of righteousness.” May I put it that way. “When Jesus dies, then you can be redeemed. But Sheol, ‘Abraham’s bosom’ (that Jesus spoke of), will be your place until He dies; then everything will be opened; Jesus will lead captivity captive; then, Abraham, you will be really righteous and you can come into the presence of God. Jesus will open Paradise and you can go up. The veil will be really torn asunder.”
No man could come into the presence of God until that debt was paid. Then God could come out, and man could come in. One man has put it beautifully; he said it was a check for righteousness which God had given to these older ones; then when Jesus died, Jesus took the veil of the temple, which was the check, and tore it from top to bottom, and said, “There is no more need of the check—it is all yours now.”
“At the offering of the sacrifice”—it all started then; grace, the hour of grace, the day of grace, started at the hour of His sacrifice, when Jesus rent the veil of the temple. God in the Holy Spirit could come forth at Pentecost, because the blood had made believers righteous.
Jesus said, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Friends, if fruit is to come to your life, it will start “at the time of the offering of the sacrifice.” If God is to manifest Himself in your life, it will have its beginning “at the offering of the sacrifice,” at the hour when you say to Him:
“Yes, Lord, forever Yes—
I welcome all thy blessed will,
And sweetly answer Yes.”
If that hour has come in your life, this morning, you are ready to show God to the world—not yourself, but just to be a shop window in which people shall see Jesus, see the power and the life and the glory of Jesus Christ, so that they may love Him, that they may know Him and turn to Him through your life—not to you, but to Him.
Elijah the Prophet Came Near
“Elijah, the prophet, came near.” That is the next part of the text. God is pleased to use men. Oh, I am glad of it this morning; I am glad the Lord doesn’t allow angels to do it all. Isn’t it wonderful that God can pick up the worms of the earth, men who have been sinners and rebels against God, men and women whose hearts have been scarred in the devil’s service, and cleanse them and use them. Think of a man like Paul, openly rebellious against the plan of God, a persecutor of the Christians—and how mightily God could use him. God uses anything He can get His hands on; He will use you, if He can get His hands on you. He has to catch the sacrifice; some of you He has been grabbing after a good while, but you get by somehow.
I remember how the devil taught me to be slick and avoid the sacrifice. The Lord saved me from hypocrisy, and I know a great many men and women of my day who need to be saved from hypocrisy, from a professionalism that is on the outside, instead of having a real life sacrifice on the inside. Maybe you need that this morning, my friend—need to have the hour come in your life when you will stand still before God and say, “Lord, I will never be slick with you again, never oil myself again, never use my wits with you again; I will stand, I will take the knife, I will take the cross, I will take the death, Lord, that you may live within my heart.” Jesus can live with you then. God can mightily use you. I do not believe there was anything especially pretty about Elijah; I do not believe he looked like a mighty man to the world. He had all the weakness to which humanity is heir; but God uses a trustful, yielded life, and He used Elijah; and He will use you if you will let Him.
Now comes Elijah’s prayer. Oh, it is a prayer that moves things!
Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and of Israel
What does he say as he comes up to the altar? “LORD GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND OF ISRAEL.” Isn’t it wonderful that God allows Himself to be called the God of Man? You wouldn’t think it, would you? These great big learned earthy fellows want to call Him the “God of Nature.” He will not call Himself that, though that is true.
They want to call Him the “God of the Universe.” God will not call Himself that, though that is true.
They want to call Him the “God of Science.” God will not call Himself that, though that also is true.
What is He? He is the God of Humanity—thank God! He is the God of sinners—the God of sinners. He calls His name the “God of Abraham, and Isaac, and of Israel.” Glory to God, that is lovely to me. I don’t have to match up with the sun in order to have Him for my God. I don’t have to sparkle like the stars in order to call Him mine; I do not have to flash like lightning to get His attention.
He is the God of poor, weak, fallen, undone humanity. He is the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Israel.
The God of Abraham
When you think of Him as the God of Abraham, you think of His fidelity. Oh, when I get a little bit downcast by the devil, I love to go back and just sit around Abraham for a while, and hear God promise him great big wonderful things. The things God promised Abraham are as long as life, too big for any human brain to take it in. God, when he didn’t have a chick nor a child, promised him men and women as his seed who should cover the earth—a multitude like the sands of the sea. God promised to bless every nation through his seed. Jesus was to come through his child Isaac.
And there was poor old Abraham—just a common, ordinary man—man. He wasn’t an angel; he wasn’t Michael; he wasn’t Gabriel—just an ordinary man. He just had faith in God, and God— think of it!—promising a man something. Oh, He is the God of humanity; He is more interested in you than He is in any stars, or in all scientific phenomena in the world. The world thinks this morning that God is interested in the test-tube; is interested in what the Rockefeller foundation might discover. That’s old to God. He would rather let folks know today what one drop of Jesus’ blood can do, than all that one grain of radium or all of men’s discoveries can do. He is the God of humanity, and He can deal with you this morning. He is faithful; He has never failed; He has never broken a promise.
I said to Woolley last night, and the tears came to my eyes: “He has been faithful this year, hasn’t He? He has never left us a minute, nor forsaken us.” “Lo, I am with you all the days.” There have been dark times, problems to be settled—certainly, or it wouldn’t be worth anything—but Oh, He abideth faithful. Men might fail, organizations might fail, but God never fails. He is faithful.
That is the kind of God Elijah called on—the God that was faithful in His promises and covenants to Abraham. Hundreds of years have gone by, and God is right up to date on every promise made to Abraham. He has paid everything up to date, just as He told Abraham He would. And there is something else that is coming in fulfillment of these promises: Jesus Himself back on this earth, to rule and to bless all the earth, praise God! Oh, God is faithful.
The God of Isaac
Let us look at Him as the God of Isaac, and we think of Him as the God of the miraculous.
All the miracles done by the Jewish prophets had their beginning in their father Isaac. Isaac himself was the miraculous son of Abraham and of Sarah. There wasn’t a chance in the world from a human standpoint for Abraham to have a child of his own by Sarah, but God in His miraculous power gave them a son. God—“But God”—what a text! Throughout the Scripture it says, “This happened, that happened; this weakness”—then the Scripture says—“BUT GOD!” Abraham and Sarah—no hope for posterity—“BUT GOD”—the God of the Miraculous—this child Isaac born, brought forth by the direct working of God.
Remember, when you think of the God who calls Himself the God of Isaac, that in that line come such men of miracles as Moses, who could come to Egypt and wield the rod of God, and trust in the God of Heaven to send the plagues, and lead the Israelites through the Red Sea and the wilderness, obeying the God who could give a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day to lead them. That is the God who is our God today, willing to do mighty things in this city when men believe Him as the God of miraculous power. Oh, this is a day in which we are believing in men, but if we stop that and begin to believe in the God of Isaac, mighty things will comes to pass. Hear Him plead with us: “Call unto me and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things that thou knowest not.”
We have men who are criticizing the Word and who do not know this God. We have men in science today, talking wonderfully of their scientific knowledge—but they do not know this God; this miraculous God who brought forth Isaac in the old age of Abraham and Sarah; a boy whose posterity brought Jesus into the world, brought Moses, and this man Elijah. No wonder that the knowledge of this our God put courage into Elijah’s heart, as he walked up to that sacrifice, with water all over it, all around it, with the prophets of Baal howling around there, falling on their faces, cutting themselves, and their blood gushing out upon the altar. No wonder that mighty man of prayer put up with the hardest test for his God; the God of Isaac! If God could bring into being the child Isaac, after nature said it was impossible, then He could be depended upon to put to rout the prophets of Baal. The God of Isaac heard. The God of Isaac let the fire fall. Oh, praise the God of Isaac!
Oh, I believe in the miracles more this morning than I ever did; and I am hungry to see more people with faith in the God of Isaac; I thank God for those I have seen in my life. I have seen men and women wonderfully healed because people still believe in the wonder-working power of Jesus. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.”…In this day of –isms, you don’t have to turn to any –ism—Jesus is just the same today as He ever was. He is the God of Isaac—that is the reason. Oh, friends, if the work isn’t done in our time it is only because we don’t walk up today in faith, as Elijah did, against the heathenism of our times. Elijah never said anything about himself, he only said: “I come up to plead the name of the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Israel”—plead that name and that is enough.
He is the God of Abraham of fidelity, and He will do all He promises; and then, as the God of Isaac, He will do the miraculous. It is looking unto such a God that begets faith in those who see Him.
I have seen a good many folks who talk about their faith, but you look at this faith of theirs for a while and you will find some pretty poor material, and all shot full of holes. They say, for instance, “I have a lot of faith, but I am just so discouraged.” It is as sensible to say, “I have lots of dinner, but Oh, I am just so empty!” If you have lots of faith, you won’t be discouraged. Friends, we don’t know what we are talking about, If we talk about faith like that. Faith believes and counts the thing done in God.
Elijah, as he walked up to this humanly impossible proposition, wasn’t talking about his faith, he wasn’t talking about his power, but he was magnifying the God of Abraham and Isaac, the miraculous God. He knew all that had come to pass through Moses, and the other men and women in that line. He was calling upon the living God though the crowd was all against Him, and the God of Isaac heard, and answered by fire.
The God of Israel
Then Elijah calls Him the God of Israel. I am glad in this case he doesn’t say “Jacob” but “Israel.” He is not only the God of fidelity and the God of the miraculous, but He is the God of regenerating grace.
He can take an old crooked stick like Jacob, and straighten him out and call him Israel. Think of a God being called by the name of Jacob—Jacob the speculator, Jacob the crooked, Jacob who lived by his wits and was trying to outwit the promises of God, with a mother helping him in the scheme—yet God straightened him out; God changed him so that He calls Himself by Jacob’s changed name of Israel.
When I was at Grand Rapids the other day, I listened to that bunch of crooks, and thugs, and penitentiary convicts up there in conference as superintendents of rescue missions, and they looked like arch-angels, the tears falling down their cheeks and praising God for what He had done for them; I tell you, when you get into an art gallery of grace like that, you are lost in wonder—you can’t do anything but praise God. I sat there with the tears rolling down my face, while one little fellow got up and said: “About so many years ago today, I had handcuffs on me, and they walked me down to the jail, and I had blood all over my face; and I never took a drink in my life, but was just a mean little devil. I was just doing my game—and how I hated folks! I had something in my brain that always bored like a knife. I went into a mission to get warm one night, and I got warm. Oh,” he says, “I got awful warm, I thawed out; and I am not a snake any more, I am a son of God!”
And he looked it, too. He has born the test of the years, and is a prince. There wasn’t a cop anywhere around who could believe that fellow for a minute. They watched him for years because they thought sure he would turn back to the old game. But no, God took all the crooked out of him! He is the God of Israel, that is what He is this morning—the God of this Jacob changed by the power of God.
So Elijah faced his problem with this kind of a God. Friends, we faced this year, this last year, with that kind of a God. We have a right to undertake a great proposition like this Tabernacle campaign for the salvation of souls when we have a God like that. If we have the puny Christ of the false teachers, the Christ of uncertain birth and resurrection, of doubtful miraculous power, the Christ with an if before and after His name, we might stand back; but having a risen Christ, now at the right hand of God where Stephen saw Him, and with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven to call men to Him, we dare face our problem as Elijah did, in prayer and faith. Thank God He has answered by fire, and salvation waves are rolling.
So He is the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Israel—a faithful God; a God who does the miraculous; and the God that deals with sinners, makes them whiter than snow, straightens them out and sets them on the path. He has been doing wonderful work in this Tabernacles because He is willing to work if we will just believe Him.
In the next part of the text Elijah says: “Let it be known this day that Thou art God.” Yes, get people away from this intolerable thing of today of just talking about a supposed God. To know Him, that is enough. “This is eternal life that they should know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” Know this, and all problems unfold as easily as steel filings come to a magnet. Know this and the compass turns heavenward and the heart sings on its journey. Oh that men knew Him this morning: “The One altogether lovely.” His name shall be called Wonderful and Wonderful it is. If we could but see all He had planned for us, we would be on our feet shouting for joy. Earth could not attract our hearts. “Father, Father,” we would cry. “Let us come to Thee.”
“Let It Be Known That I Am Thy Servant”
Next Elijah prays: “Let it be known that I am Thy servant.” Elijah was very anxious about that. I am very anxious about that this morning. I do not care what men might put up in the way of complaints, or say about the work, so long as they admit this. There is just one thing I want to know—“Lord, am I your servant?” I want people to know it, that I am God’s servant; I am not serving men, I am not taking my salary from men, I am not taking my orders from men, but I am the servant of God, and thank God for a Church that won’t put any fetters on a man, that wants to mind the Spirit’s voice. I don’t think there is a preacher in America that is any more bound to his flock than I am, and yet as unfettered; thank God, I am bound to you by the cords of love in the gospel of Jesus Christ—bound, bound to Him, and that ties us together, sure. If I am tied on one of His hands, and you are tied on the other, we are tied together, aren’t we? That is the way the Lord wants to tie us as servants, servants of the living God. Untied, unfettered; no man has ever come to me in all the time I have been here and told me I couldn’t preach certain things. Now, I tell you, friends, that is something to rejoice about in Christ Jesus this morning. This being a servant is a very high calling, and to this blessed life He calls us all this morning.
A little fellow got into trouble, and they had him in the juvenile court. His mother died when he was about fourteen. She had to go out and make the living, for the father was a drunken fellow, and would only come around once in a while and then only to demand money of the mother, and that was all the boy ever saw of him.
The mother had talked to him while he was a little fellow, about Jesus and His love, and read the story of the gospel to him, but the boy got into evil tricks himself. While his mother was sick at the hospital he got in with an awful gang. She died and with no check he ran deep into sin. He committed a crime, and escaped to another town, but was brought back and served his time in jail.
He had been in jail once before, for a few days, and heard what the men talked about, learned their tricks, and now was back again to learn more; but this time he heard somebody tell the story of the prodigal son. When his time was up, and he was free again, he returned to the city from which they had taken him, and there the poor boy almost starved; he didn’t know how to make a living, he had gone without food, without any place to stay; and one day he walked out on the roadside, just discouraged and worn out.
As he sat there by the roadside, an old eccentric lawyer of this town rode by; he took a look at the boy, and paid no attention to him, but a little farther down the road something happened to his conveyance. The boy ran up and tried to help him fix it. “Get in here,” said the lawyer, when the buggy was fixed. The boy got in, and the lawyer began to talk to him, as they drove along.
“Who are you?” The poor young fellow was scared; he told the lawyer who he was; and when he got to the end of the road he jumped over the wheels and was gone. He wandered around to another part of the city, and sat down underneath a tree. He pulled out of his pocket a little tract that someone had given him when he left the jail, and he began to read the story of the prodigal son again.
When he came to the place where the prodigal son said, “And make me as one of thy hired servants,” he thought of all the things his mother used to say to him, of the abuse she had taken, the way his father had treated her, and it flashed into his mind that his mother was a “servant” of Jesus Christ; and that that was how she could keep her mouth shut. That’s why she had said to him at the hospital, “He will bring you back to Himself.”
He got down on his knees against the old tree, and cried his heart out to God. He said, “Jesus, if you will just take me, and put me in somewhere, and let me work for you, I’ll be a servant. I promise you I will be a servant, I will serve you like mother did. That is all I can do. I don’t want my way any longer. Mother said you talked to her, and you’ll talk to me, too.” Jesus came into his heart and he had fellowship with Him.
He started to walk to the main street when here behind him came the lawyer, yelling, “Stop there! Come here! Look here, I have been hunting you all this time—where have you been?”
The boy looked up at him, and said, “I was talking to my master, sir.”
“Who is your master?”
“I couldn’t tell you about it, sir.”
This old infidel didn’t believe in Jesus, didn’t believe in God; but somehow he liked the looks of this young fellow. He asked him to get in the carriage with him, told him he wanted a boy to wait on him, and took him to his home. The boy told him all the trouble he had had, and the old lawyer, so used to the story of the unfortunate, believed his story and in spite of his record of crime hired the boy to wait on him.
He used the boy as a valet; had him handle his liquors, his tobacco, and any meals or luncheons served at odd times. Only a few hours passed until the lawyer’s bitter temper showed itself. He would talk to the boy like a dog, but in spite of it all the boy would smile. He grabbed him by the hair one day, and said, “Look here. What in the world is the matter with you? Haven’t you got any spunk in you at all? Didn’t you have fights down there in that town where you were? Well, why don’t you fight now, and talk back to me like you were a man?”
“Why,” the boy said, “I thought I was a servant.”
“Well, you can talk back, can’t you?” he shouted at him. “Haven’t you go any spunk?”
The boy said, “I used to fight, and I came near going at you once, but I promised him I would be a servant.”
“Well, he says, “my master.”
“Who is your master? I am your master.”
“No, sir, the one I promised is my master,” the boy’s eyes were filled with tears as he spoke.
“Well,” the lawyer said, “you have me guessing. I think you are insane, myself; you are a big fool, anyhow, but after this don’t stand there and smile and look sweet—if there’s anything that makes me mad it’s looking sweet when I’m going to pieces. I want you to brace up and be a man.”
The boy said, “All right, sir, I will.”
The next morning he came into bring the lawyer’s coffee. The lawyer railed about something, threw his arms in gesture, hit the coffee, and knocked it all over the boy’s suit and his own. “I am awfully sorry,” cried the boy, and began to brush off the lawyer’s coat with a fresh napkin.
“Why didn’t you brush it off your own?” yelled the lawyer. “It is all over you and it’s burning you.”
“Well, sir, I can tend to that later. I was trying to take care of you.”
“I never saw anything like you in my life,” the lawyer yelled. “How do you forget yourself?”
“Sir, I am a servant. I promised to be.”
“But where in the world did you get this change from what you were?”
“The master gives it to me.”
“Who in the world is this master? He has you mastered, certainly. Are you obeying him?”
“Where does he live?”
“In this house? Why,” yelled the lawyer, growing grave, “there is nobody living in this house but myself and yourself and the help. You dirty little whelp, you, I believe you are a Christian. I never thought of that before. Well, I can soon find out,” and he drew back and slapped the boy’s cheek and made it ring.
The boy’s fists clenched, then unfolded. The lawyer stood braced for a struggle, but the boy said, “Say that was kind of a hard one, wasn’t it? I never got it quite that straight before—you never struck me quite so hard—but it’s all right.” And he smiled at him.
“Did you take that from me?” shouted the lawyer, “or are you a cur and have I got you scared?”
“You see I’m not afraid of you, and I think I could have knocked you down if my fists hadn’t have come undone.”
“Well, then, hurry and tell me. What made you take it?”
“My master made me take it.”
“Who is your master?”
“Why,” the boy said, “Jesus. He died for me, and I told Him I would let Him live in my heart, like He lived in my mother’s, and I would just be a servant, and serve Him; and I would just show you He was alive.”
The old lawyer grabbed the boy by the shoulders, and dragging him to his knees, dropped beside him. “My boy,” he said with a tremble in his voice, “God has helped you to show me, something outside of humanity, stronger than humanity, able to save humanity. I know it all. I have fought it all, oh, so desperately from my youth. Now tell me how to get Him.”
The boy said, “I have just a little tract upstairs—I haven’t saved money enough to buy a Bible”—and he ran up and go the tract and read him about the prodigal son: “Make me as one of thy hired servants,” he repeated again and again when he had finished the tract. “Have I been a servant, sir?” he asked.
“My boy, you have been a servant all right; and you have led me to Jesus.”
I tell you what Chicago needs, it is a few more people who will serve Jesus, who will let Jesus into their hearts, and show what He can do. This He can do, He can prove to the folks you live with and work with that you are a servant.
“According to Thy Word”
Elijah was very sure the Lord would prove to those people he was a servant of the living God. He said, “I have done all these things according to Thy word.” Friends, in our year of work here we have tried our best to do the things that God would have us do, to live by His Word, to do whatever we saw in the Word. As far as money was concerned, we tried to get it and to use it in the way that would please God according to His Word.
We have felt it was our business to go out and catch the fish, as Jesus told Peter to do, and that the fish would have money in their mouths for the work of God. I believe that the children of God have all the money that is needed today for the work of God. Let me ask you something—are you a servant in that regard this morning? Does your money serve Him? If not, let Him make you a servant; give until you feel it pulling upon that which you thought was all your own. Some of the sweetest men and women I have ever known have had the greatest blessing in the world from giving all; I have seen some of them give their last dollar for the Lord. The Lord will greatly bless you. How can you know how much God can bless you until you bring in all God tells you to bring? Then He will pour out upon you. I know money is the last thing people like to talk about, but we don’t try to raise it by church suppers and other schemes. We have tried to put Jesus before you so that you have learned to give to Him, and for Him, and His work. We have done these things according to His Word. In the Committee we have always said, “What is God’s will? What does God’s Word say about it?”
That is all we ask from the Lord this morning, that we may let people know we are His servants, and we are acting according to His Word; and praise God, then the fire will continue to fall. It has been a wonderful year, for it has been at the feet of Jesus—and to God be all the glory and the praise!
Praise God the fire has burned and consumed the sacrifice, and we know it. It is going on, and I believe thousands of people are going to drop down at His feet all over this city. I believe God has the fire spreading out and out and out, until the people will cry, “The Lord, He is God!” I believe it.
I have said to the Lord, “Lord, won’t you come into the city of Chicago and work there as never before, and let me hold You up until the people before whom I talk can see that the most attractive thing in the world is Jesus Christ.” I have preached the best I knew how with all the strength I have, just to hold up Jesus; and men and women will have to admit that the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ has filled our church today. And men and women walk out of their homes gladly, night after night, to the Tabernacle, to hear the gospel. These men and women, these ushers, these personal workers, this sacrificing choir, are here night after night to publish the gospel of Jesus Christ, the blessed old gospel. People said to me, Mr. Rader, if you build that Tabernacle and preach every night, they will come for a few nights and then get tired. It will become an old story. But we have found that the last week is always the best, and the future is bright.
Praise the Lord, you may get tired of me, but you won’t get tired of Jesus Christ. You are not tired of the old gospel. It is the newest thing in all the world. We have the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Israel, Father, Son and Holy Ghost—and to Him be all the praise now, and forever more. Amen. Amen.