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The Kaiser Said, “Let There Be Darkness”

The Kaiser Said, “Let There Be Darkness” poster

“So they cast him out of the vineyard.” —Luke 20:15

I suppose that the time has come when most men refuse to say there is no God. Men have gotten far enough in science to know that there is a God. They realize that there is an intelligence running the world, although they do not want to admit that intelligence is the God of the Bible.

Now if there is a God, then it is surely true of that God that He is able to enlighten that which He creates. Certainly the sun that brings forth the lily in your garden, coming up in the morning and going down at night, enlightens that which it draws from the soil.

There is this difference between the lily and the man—the lily is pulled up by the sun and has nothing to say about it, but the man is created with a willpower. He can turn his heart away from the revelation of God if he so chooses. It is because God has made man with a willpower, that God has had trouble with him. He is willing to have the trouble, for if He gets man’s consent, He can do wonders with him through Christ.

A Yielded Will

Love is not worth anything unless there is a willpower behind it. A love that is captured, a love that holds a woman a slave whether she gives her heart or not, is not love. Love must give its own consent, and have the chance to say yes or no; so God in His great creation, has made man with a willpower, and it is up to you, strongly up to you, as to whether or not you will take Jesus Christ that God has offered—the light of the world. It becomes your option whether or not you will take Him.

Now you may sit in your Morris chair and contemplate God and discuss God, but you will find that you might spend a lifetime thus without knowing God. You must use your will to choose Him, as He says you must choose Him. Say with your willpower, “I will arise and go to my Father, and will say until Him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven in Thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called Thy son. Make me as one of Thy hired servants.’”

You will never know Him until the little trap door of the will consents to open and allow God to reveal himself, and He cannot do it on pages of men’s philosophies. “God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth;” and if ever you come to know Him you will come to know Him, not because some man has explained Him to you, but because you have heard God’s explanation of Himself in His Word with an open heart and consenting will.

I make the assertion that a man who is converted knows more about God in the two minutes after he has accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior than he ever knew in the whole volume of his life before that time—I mean it. It is a revelation, it is a new birth, it is the opening of the eyes of that soul, and by the marvelous miracle of God He reveals Himself. “His spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.”

Now, if God is God, He can reveal Himself, but the thing that stand between men and this revelation of God, is a man’s will, and what he wants for himself, and what he is determined to get for himself. God says He has come to this vineyard and wants to get into it. He made men for His own inheritance, and wants to come in and pick the fruit of the vine, and have that joy and delight of fellowship and understanding. God has made humanity for His pleasure, and before He gets through He is going to have a good deal of joy out of it, and so are we. He will have a mighty good time before He gets through revealing Himself; but He has a stubborn generation tonight to deal with, and always has had.

Out of the crowd here and there, around through the world, black and white, yellow and brown, ignorant and learned, wealthy and poor—out of the crowd, here a little and there a little, one man here and one woman there, young and old, accept Jesus Christ, and out of that crowd, God is going to bring glory to Himself and His Son and the Holy Spirit, through the ages of the ages.

God want to reveal Himself and give light. Whenever a man seeks God, God gives him the light, and whenever a man draws nigh to God, God says He draws nigh to him.

His Word Authoritative

You will find God in our day going farther than He ever has in long suffering with men, stretching out His arms, saying, “I want to reveal Myself to you. I want to give light to you.” So God hungers and longs to reveal Himself to men, but now men walk in darkness because of their own stubborn way. They will not allow God to reveal Himself out of His Word. We have His Word out of His mouth, by which He reveals Himself.

Somebody says, “Can we believe this Word?”

Yes, my friend, you can believe it.

“Well,” you say, “how do I know it is the Word of God?”

Let us ask a question to get an answer. Is there a man in the diplomatic service of the United States, or of Great Britain, or of Russia, or of France, or any of the allies, that would rise in his place and be quoted in the papers telling what the issues of the war would be in six months? There isn’t a man that will predict it. Not one will tell you what will come to pass in six months in the world. You are familiar with your family life, and children and uncles and aunts, and know some of the traits of your wife, or husband; but there doesn’t walk a man that will dare to predict what his wife will do tomorrow. At least I never found one, and I am dead sure a woman would be mighty foolish to try to tell what her husband would do tomorrow, because she has less of an idea than he has.

Man will not predict what is to come tomorrow. I head Dr. Coburn say at Winona that he was more familiar with the history and the customs and the ways of the first century than he was with the time of the revolution or the Civil War of the United States. That is, he would be more willing to take an examination on the art, education, and the customs of the people, and the history of the world of the first century than to take an examination on the Civil War and the Revolution.

I could bring you many men tonight who could tell you about history and open up the pages of men’s books and tell what has been done in the past. The record has been kept in detail, and men have been able to philosophize about what men did in past years. We have wonderful history books telling what men did yesterday, and all up to the minute, but none go on to tell what is to be done the next hour. They cannot predict. Some men who have even taken a venture to assume that they knew what was to come in a few hours, have been contradicted by the events that came.

Here is the outstanding miracle of the Bible. This Book has been among us for all these years, and science and experience and history have bombarded it, but away ahead of time, hundreds of years before things happened, it predicted what should come to pass, and not one scientific fact or historical fact has ever been brought forth to contradict one word of prophecy in that Book—not a word.

The history of the Jews yesterday is here and his tomorrow and today. I could go back over history and divide it up, and you would see that God has put it in His own Book. It is here. Is not that a stupendous miracle?

Why, with that kind of a conclusion, can you not trust this Book? You say you will trust men scientifically educated, who have knowledge of the arts and customs of men, and knowledge of history and languages. Will you not trust, then, a Book that is not only absolutely true to past history and which has never been contradicted, but tells also of the future? This is not man’s book, the future elements prove it to be God’s Book to man.

So it rises or falls on whether or not it has predicted truly and I believe this is solid ground for any man to put his feet.

That is a splendid ground for any man who is worried today about what Higher Critics say about this Book. These wonderful predications have come to pass.

Let me read something that has been a great blessing to me, that Urquhart says. The scientific man, the man who is up to date as far as modern education is concerned, can absolutely take this Bible, and need not worry for a minute about any of the things critics are talking about. You say, “How can I sweep into the scrap heap everything the critics may say about who were the authors of the Bible?”

The men are dead who wrote it. We are not concerned with scribes. Here is the question. Have the statements that are made in the Book been fulfilled to the letter through the centuries, right straight down to now? If so, God has spoken through the writers.

Now then, only God, who can see ahead of time, could ever put together such a book as that. Here are the statements, put in ahead of time. If you want to contradict the prophecies, just take them and lay them beside profane history, and see how they compare.

Prophecies Regarding Christ

Take the prophetic picture in the Old Testament of Jesus Christ and compare it to the historic picture in the New Testament, and in that old Testament you will find just the same picture of Jesus Christ as you do in the New Testament. Contradict it if you can.

Take the life of Jesus Christ and lay alongside of what was prophesied about Him, and find how He came, and lived, and suffered, and died, and is to come again. Every bit of it was told in the old book, right into the very details of the kind of death He should die, how He would look, how He would behave Himself, and what He would do and what He would say on the cross—the whole thing. How can you get around it?

On that kind of authority you can afford to accept that Book.

Ezekiel’s Predictions

If you could catch any of the prophets you could catch Ezekiel, because he did not prophesy about one thing but many things and many towns. His prophecies about Tyre and Sidon, mentioning specific judgments to be visited upon them.

Ezekiel told how Nebuchadnezzar would come down and visit Tyre, and Urquhart says, “We will put that aside, because critics could say Ezekiel might have written that after the events happened”; but here is another that you cannot explain. Ezekiel prophesied that Tyre would be razed to the earth and demolished, and the city done away with; but that even the rocks and the ruins and the old timbers and the dust would be laid in the water.

That is stretching things pretty far, to say that the dust, and rocks, and timbers of the old ruin would be laid in the water. Ezekiel died and was buried. Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom passed away, and the Medo-Persian Empire came, and was superseded by the Grecians under Alexander the Great. Two hundred and fifty years after old Ezekiel was dead, along comes Alexander the Great to new Tyre to visit that city, and, lo, and behold, the Tyre was torn down. The city about which Ezekiel prophesied was no longer there on the shore, nothing left there but ruins, but the people of new Tyre had great vessels out in harbor, for Tyre ruled the sea. Nebuchadnezzar had come up and besieged the old city on the shore, and after thirteen years had starved them out and they had had to give up.

The remnant said, “We will never go back there,” but they owned an island not far from the mainland, which they could surround and protect with their fleet. There they settled, and New Tyre sprang up on the island, while the ruins of Old Tyre were still standing on the shore, the ruins, and dust, and timber, in a state of demolition and desolation.

Alexander the Great asked if he could not come into their city to worship, but they sent back word that they did not like to have him worship, because he stayed too long, and when he left, he would leave generals behind and they would be enslaved. They said, “If you are strong enough to come out and get our island, come and get us.”

So he came and encamped near the ruins of Old Tyre. There was the fleet in sight, and he said, “I cannot take that fleet. I haven’t ships enough to go against that city of New Tyre, but I guess I can do something else.”

He got his men together and took the timbers of the old city, and the rocks of the old city, and there wasn’t enough of them, and he even took the dust and the dirt of the old town and laid them in the harbor and built a causeway running clear out to that island, so his men could get out there, and they went and captured it.

“And they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water” (Ezekiel 26:12).

There is light in His Word.

Here is light that God wants to give to men. He does not want them to be in darkness, but wants them to have light. He does not want us to be like dumb driven cattle. Now what is the use of men following darkness?

Deutschland Über Alles?

If the Kaiser [Wilhelm II] thinks he can rule the world and be a world emperor, he had better go to this book for information. If men will look at the plan of God in the Bible, thank God they will find that no man will ever rule the world again by a conquest.

If this book tells what was to become of Tyre and Sidon, we can trust it when it tells about the trend of our own times.

The Kaiser said, “I am going out to rule,” and whenever he made it his ambition to do that, he might just as well have pulled down his window-blind and gone out of the march, for he is going into the blackest kind of night, and there will never be any success. Why? The Bible says that no emperor shall ever rule this world until Jesus Christ Himself comes to be the ruler. It is all over as far as any man is concerned. You need not worry that the Kaiser will ever rule the world. There will be a lot more trouble, but we will never have Germany Over All, “Deutschland über alles.” No man shall ever sit and rule the world again, we are through with it. The antichrist will rule, but by consent.

It is impossible for any man to ever cement the old Roman Empire together and sit as ruler of the world again. We will never have another world monarch until Jesus comes back, and then we will have a theocracy. Oh, glorious consummation!

All right, if the Kaiser said, “Let there be darkness,” it is because he pulled down the blind and shut out the light of God’s Word.

They began in Germany early to criticize this Book. Higher Criticism came from Germany. It was born and bred and brought up in Germany, and then we imported it like we did their cheese and “hot dogs” and some of the rest of the stuff, and we were mighty glad to get it.

Higher Criticism was more popular in this country than any of the “hot dogs” that ever came. Higher Criticism was then called for England and America and the reading of their books. What was the bulwark that they first attacked? They began to shoot at Daniel. What about?

They did not attack the message to this age in it, but began to shoot at the author of it, and to say Daniel never lived, that the fellow that wrote the book never knew Daniel. Why did they not take what was written in the book of Daniel and try to strike that out? But what Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar has come true to the very last hour. Simply because of that barrage fire: shooting at the authorship of Daniel, a lot of ministers, and a lot of fools like I was, began to follow in the wake of that kind of criticism. I nearly lost my soul with that stuff, but one day in the city of New York, I plunged head first into the old Book, and have been having the best time swimming around there ever since. It is a delight to find out, that God’s Word is a compass, and you can go by it.

Through the years they have all shot at it, but it stands there against the attacks and the onslaughts of men, like the rock of Gibraltar, for it is founded in our God. God has spoken, and He will make it good. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Word shall not pass away,” He says. God is a good firm, and backs up His agents, the prophets. He sends them out with the price list, and whatever He tells them to say, and they say it, He makes it good.

Let us look in the Book and see whether the Kaiser can ever rule the world. They tried to do away with this book of Daniel by attacking the authorship, but simply to pull the curtain down and shut out the fact that there is a sun, does not keep it from shining. It shines right ahead; and God’s Book is like the sun. Pull the blinds down if you will, but it keeps on shining.

Gentile Dominion

Daniel came before Nebuchadnezzar, who had forgotten his dream, and because the king’s wise men could not recall and interpret it the edict had gone forth that the wise men of the realm should die

Daniel said, “Do not kill those men yet, but wait, and perhaps God will show me the dream.”

The next morning Daniel came and said, “I will tell you what you dreamed about. A great big image, with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, stomach of brass and legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay mixed. Then you saw a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, and this stone flew and hit the toes of the image, and drove it to dust, and it blew away like the dust of the threshing floor. Then the stone grew and filled the whole earth.”

“That is exactly what I saw,” Nebuchadnezzar answered.

“This is the interpretation of it,” Daniel continued. “You saw Gentile government on the earth. You, Nebuchadnezzar, are a great king of the world empire of Babylon. You are that head of gold. And after you will come a weaker world empire.”

Belshazzar followed Nebuchadnezzar, and under his reign the Medes and Persians became conquerors, setting up their own world empire.

After them came the Greeks. You have read of the Battle of Thermopylae and Horatius in the pass, and how the little Greeks rose up and defeated the Medo-Persian empire, and the Greeks ruled the world, represented in the statue by the stomach of brass.

After them came the Roman government, represented by the iron, which overcame the Greeks and all the other governments of the world. Daniel shows that that was the last world monarchy that should ever rule and reign, for immediately after the rule of iron, there will be in the world ten kings, the ten toes of the statue, ten kingdoms in the Roman Empire, until Jesus comes out of the Glory and strikes all human government, and Himself sets up his own throne in the world.

Daniel specifically says to Nebuchadnezzar, “In the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up His own government, and there never will be an end to that government.” That stone which you saw hewn out of the mountain without hands, striking the image, drove all other governments to dust, and grew and grew, until it filled the whole Earth, and that is what Jesus is to do.

So the Roman government was the last government that became a world monarchy, and after it there shall never be any world monarchy, but kings in the earth, and in the Roman territory there will be ten kingdoms when Jesus come back to strike it and set up His government. So the outcome of this war can never put down either monarchy or democracy, and the Kaiser will never sweep over France and Great Britain and put them down.

Napoleon was a mighty warrior, and had a great empire, but was never able to cement the broken Roman Empire. For fifteen hundred years the world has been looking for another conqueror of the world, and he has never come up. The prize is still there, and God’s Book is true, and for 1,500 years, no ruler has been able to cement the old Roman Empire and sit on a throne over it.

Now let there be light, and let the light come into our hearts, and let us judge ourselves by the word.

When God saw the condition of the Babylonian empire. He let the handwriting come on the wall, and Daniel turned to Belshazzar and said, “Thou are weighed in the balance and found wanting. Your kingdom is taken from you and given to the Medes and Persians.”

“Every Man Shall Give Account Of Himself”

If God looks down the future and predicts what will come in empire and Gentile rulership, and tells us what the end shall be, then hear me—God says, “Your sin will find you out.” God says there is a hell, and God says there is a heaven, and God says that He sent His only begotten Son to His vineyard, which is this world, and now hear it—here is the question I want to ask you—Have you ever reckoned with God about His vineyard?

If Germany’s sins are going to find her out, if Rome’s sins are going to find her out, if Nebuchadnezzar went down as God said, if the Jews’ history was carried out as God said it would be, if God has done all this, God will do what He said to your soul. Hear me, there is no way for you to escape. God wants to give light, and can give light. God can give salvation. Whenever a stiff-necked man or woman turns to God and says, “God, I come, I come without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me, O, Lamb of God, I come,” God will receive him. He will take his place in your vineyard.

Make up your mind that just exactly what God said, is going to happen in your life. This Book is the needle pointing you toward heaven. The Jews tried to push it away. Sinners try to get away from it. Many are contradicting the Book.

If any man sins or has committed a crime, there are only two things for him to do, and that is either to kill the judge or the witness. Man, a man that has killed one man, has had to kill twelve to get away. A man who tells one lie has to tell others to get out of it. There is only one way for you to get your conscience clear, and that is to throw God’s Son out of His vineyard, pull the blinds down and say, “God is not speaking. I do not believe the Bible, or that there is a hell.”

Go ahead. If you are like an ostrich and want to stick your head in a hole, all right. I am talking to men, not those who have put their brains away for safe keeping in an insane asylum.

God has carried out exactly what He said He would, and in your case it is to be carried out the same way. Do not pull the curtain down and shut the sun out. The Jews tried to put it out, and Cain tried, too, but God said he was guilty, and that he had no right to bring that kind of a sacrifice, but should have brought a bloody sacrifice. In order to get rid of God, what did Cain do? Took his spite out on Abel, and tried to make himself right by getting the good man cut of the way. Are you trying to keep Christ out of His vineyard? Are you trying to get rid of His claims on you by denying the Bible?

Faithful Witnesses

You may be angry at Him tonight, but you can never make yourself right by tearing up the Bible. After that Bible is ripped, God has thousands who can stand up and reproduce it from memory. God has His witnesses, and His way of writing. He had to write it through men. But remember He will make it good.

You cannot get rid of the evidence and put out sin. Are you, like the Kaiser, going up against this inevitable proposition, and going to say, “I will take my resources. I will be a reasonably good man. I will put it over and live the life I please”? All right, then what you are saying is what the Kaiser said, “Let there be darkness,” and not “Let there be light.”

A man who wants light will come to God and say, “Lord, I am a sinner, I confess it.”

The Jews tried to shove the evidence of sin away. Paul tried to put the witnesses out of the way. He got the right from the Jewish church to put the Christians out of the way, and as he stood one day, while Stephen was getting the rocks, and held the coats, consenting to his death, he said, “I will put them out of the way. They will spoil my philosophy, but I will not pay any attention to it.” But there was something about Stephen’s face. Paul saw his face looking up into the Glory. He began to get under conviction, and God said to Paul, on the way to Damascus, “Saul, Saul, it is hard for you to kick against the pricks.”

Oh, may the Holy Ghost get some man or woman to hear His voice today, saying, “Oh, wake up, I am for you.” Do not say, “Let there be darkness,” but say, “Let there be light.”

Oh, that you might answer, “This is your temple. I have no right to run this life to suit myself. I take Jesus Christ to be my Savior.”

Won’t you do that now? Put the “I will” key in the hearts door-lock and say, “Yes, I have sinned openly, and will rise and come to God and confess Him before men.”

Come like soldiers rally under their flag, and say to Jesus, “I have been out long enough. O, God, there is no light in my heart, and I will come tonight.”

This same Jesus, rejected by the Jews, did what He said He would do to Jerusalem and to that land. This same Jesus, rejected by kings and governments, and put out of His own vineyard, will come back and judge those who are using the vineyard and take it and give it to those who will bring Him the fruit of it.

The wise men did not know a bit more than some of you know about Jesus Christ, but followed the star, not knowing where Christ was to be born, and knowing only that the Bible said He was to be king of the Jews; so they came, bringing their gold, and frankincense and myrrh, and made their way across through the night hours and through the days. What for? To find Him of whom the prophets had written, the one who owned the vineyard and had the stars as His attendants. Oh, let Him into His vineyard.