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Wild Oats

Wild Oats poster

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”—Galatians 6:7-9

So many times we talk about this first verse: “As a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” but that does not mean enough unless you take the next verse, which states that the man who sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, and the man who sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

There is the flesh—we are all dead sure of that—but, thank God, there is a Spirit. Man isn’t conscious of it until God comes around and whispers into his heart. The Word of God is able to divide between soul and spirit and between spirit and flesh, and let a man know where he is sowing.

If God could pull back the curtain tonight and give us a glimpse of the spirit world, all our life would be changed in a moment. We would never think the same again. We would never be the same kind of folks if God were to take the lid off Hades tonight; show us Dives, of whom Jesus spoke. It was torment then; it is torment now. But that is not hell; it is a place where the wicked are waiting. The souls of the saints, those who are born of Jesus Christ, thank God, they went up. Paul says, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

The Under World

Those outside of Jesus Christ are yonder in Hades tonight. They have their mentality; they have their individuality. Dives, looking across the gulf, saw Lazarus and knew him as Lazarus. He talked to Abraham as a person, and Abraham talked back to him. He remembered his life on this Earth, and said to Abraham: “If you cannot come over here and do something for me, send back and do something for my brethren.”

If God tonight would take the lid off Hades, your life would never be the same. You would get away from the things of the flesh and sow to the Spirit; you would let God come in and fill your spirit. You would see that that spirit of yours is going to live somewhere forever. If death ends it all, what would be the use of preaching to you? It would be useless. Oh, in this world we may have persecution, but, praise God, it will all be over before long and we will go sailing up, to be with God and to be with Jesus forever.

If God would take the lid off and let you see heaven tonight, my friend, you might think you would fly for that, but I doubt if you would, if you do not belong to Jesus. I may declare Jesus Christ in all His beauty, I may tell you of the magnificent gifts in Christ, but you say, “Oh, the preacher sees it, but I don’t. Give me something I can see. Give me the money in my hand. Give me the pleasure I can draw today—this week—that is enough. What I can see—that is what I will take.”

Unveil Heaven

If God were to unveil heaven, every last man and woman outside of Jesus Christ in this place would be on their faces—crying out to hide themselves from the face of Jesus Christ who sits on the throne.

There is a spiritual world. “God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” God is trying to open your eyes to the fact that this old body of yours has corruption in it; this flesh of yours is doomed to corruption; and Jesus Christ has come to redeem your soul and change these vile bodies of ours and has offered us a marvelous salvation that affects our body, and affects our spirit, and our soul. He takes us, spirit, soul and body, and transforms us by His own power.

His Life

I am in this pulpit tonight because I had a father who was a person and a mother who was a person, and those two gave to me by the process of birth a personality. I am here with a face like my father’s, some characteristics of my mother, and because they lived I am here tonight, my flesh walking the Earth. My friend, if you ever get to walk around heaven, it will be because you met Jesus Christ and He put His Spirit into you. His life, His life alone, can save, and it is a gift.

So God says if you sow to the flesh you shall of the flesh reap corruption. Some man says to me, “Mr. Rader, why is this thing harmful, why is that thing harmful?” It sows to the flesh, it only enhances the flesh. I can afford to go with a beaten back, I can afford to go with my face pounded into a jelly by persecution, I can afford to starve, to go without anything decent to wear, to be called the off-scouring of the world—but at the end, praise God, I can be changed in a moment by Jesus Christ, and through eternity be His, in bliss, complete and new. I can afford to suffer persecution but I cannot afford, I cannot afford—hear me—I cannot afford—not to find Jesus and let Him make my soul alive. I must sow to the Spirit.

Take the world, but give me Jesus,
All its joys are but a name;
But His love abideth ever,
Through eternal years the same.”

Oh, friend, swap tonight. Take whatsoever may come in this life, but make dead sure that Jesus has come into your heart and changed your life; and if you sow to the Spirit you will reap everlasting life. You will have life—you surely will.

I have seen fellows come into a training camp, supposed to be athletes—fat, their eyes pudgy, living a dissipated life. And then I have seen them begin to work and to train. You say, “Better let them alone; they are in such poor condition, so out of shape, you better put them to bed.” But they begin to train and they being to change, and new life comes to them: new vim, new punch, new energy. They couldn’t run a mile when they tried it the first time; now they can hit it at a pretty good pace, and walk a dog-trot five miles and sprint at the end, and the muscles show through their skin, and the fat goes; they come forth with a new kind of life, and here is the point. They are very conscious of this life.

New Life

And Jesus says that the man who tries to seek Him, who puts out his soul after Jesus Christ, praise God, Christ will manifest Himself to him in life. If you sow to the flesh, you will of the flesh reap corruption. As a man goes on developing his body, he knows that added strength is coming to him; knows what his appetite has come to be, what refreshing sleep comes. The other fellows come around, ask him how he feels: “I feel fine.” What has come to him? New life. What was the other? Corruption.

Now he feels life, vigor, in every part of his body. Does he know it? Sure, he knows it. Does he feel it? Sure, he feels it. Do other people see it? Sure, other people see it. And I say to you, my friends, the man that touches Jesus Christ has gotten right at the very fountain of life. Will he feel it? Sure, he will feel it. Will he know it? Sure, he will know it. Will other folks know it? Sure, they will know it. Will the devil know it? I should say he would. He will roll on his back and say, “Where did that fellow get that kick?”

In the Strength of Another

Oh, it wasn’t his. He sipped it out of the cup of salvation, and is going out to battle the devil in the strength of Another, in the name of Jesus. Thank God, a good many of us are here because we escaped from the devil; Jesus gave the victory, Jesus gave the power. We stopped sowing wild oats, stopped sowing to the flesh, and sowed a big yes to the Spirit. We did not know how the life came; neither did the athlete know how muscular life was added. Little by little his muscles came—but we didn’t get it little by little. We opened our mouth and got it all in a gulp, and the old habits and the old life and the old gang went out, and Jesus started His work on our old constitutions and old souls and old brains. His Spirit witnessed right away with our spirits that we were the children of God. Do we know we have Him? Thank God, I should say we do. Oh, you can afford, friend, to go without everything else, but you cannot afford to go without Jesus Christ. He is life, life. Say a big yes to His Spirit’s pleading tonight.

There was that poor woman at the well, the poor old sinner—she was pitiful. My, she certainly had a reputation around her little village; and Jesus had her number. He said to her: “Go call your husband.” Wasn’t that sweet in Him? He knows how to get it out, the whole story. He just says, “Call your husband.”

I haven’t any husband.”

Yes, that is right, you told the truth, my dear woman, you have had seven husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband.” And in a moment the whole door was opened and she saw that her whole life was sown to the flesh. In a moment she had a look at the rottenness of flesh, of what it meant to be without God. Oh, the flesh smells to heaven, but the Spirit of God gives life.

Without Everlasting Life

Take a steer and stab him and leave him out in the pasture, and he may not smell very bad today, but tomorrow it will begin to come, and the next day it is worse. Why? There is no life in it. The life has gone out of him. Listen: You are a stabbed steer without Jesus Christ. You may not smell to heaven today. You may say, “I’m living a pretty good life,” but tomorrow the stink will go up to heaven forever. It is flesh and it is filled with corruption. There is no life in you until you find Jesus. “He that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.” The man who sows to the Spirit takes Jesus in, bless God, he kicks up his heels and runs through life’s pastures, and he is a mighty live one, I tell you.

God help you tonight to have the glory of His life within you. It is not a theory, it is the personal life of Jesus Christ coming into your heart. Man, God doesn’t care what your sin has been, Jesus doesn’t care whether it has been big or little, flesh is slated for corruption; we are born in sin, by our very nature. Why? Because “we have turned every one to his own way,” the flesh way. Take a steer and rope him, and pull the knot up tight around his neck, and give it a good twist, and somebody will come up and say: “Isn’t he a good steer?” “Yes, a perfectly good steer—but he is going to die right away.” His wind is choked off; he has to have wind to live. The man or woman who shuts Jesus Christ out of his life is just as big a fool as he would be if he tied a rope around his neck and shut the air from his lungs.


Samson sowed to the flesh. God made a wonderful covenant with him, and Samson made his promise to God. God was his strength, not himself. God let men like Samson loom up in the Bible just so you may see it was all God. It wasn’t Samson. If you get an artist’s picture of Samson, the strong man, it will be a man about eight feet tall with big muscles on him, a great big pair of calves and thighs, and a great big knotty back. Listen: There is not a thing in the book of God to substantiate it. They searched old Samson, they even put detectives on his trail, they tried to trap him in a room where somebody could get the secret out of him. There wasn’t a thing about him to show where his strength lay. They all said, “Where does he get it? What is the trick? What is the combination?” They looked at his arms and said, “It isn’t there. He is a little man, nothing to him at all. How did he carry off those gates?”

An Example

My friends, God put Samson there as an example to you and me. I don’t care how weak you may be tonight, you can take the devil’s gates and carry them to the ends of the Earth, with Jesus Christ in your heart. The devil can put up a little bit of a perfumed bunch of nothing and take you off after him if you sow to the flesh, but with Jesus Christ in your heart the victory is yours, and you can beat the devil.

Samson’s strength was in God and the keeping of his vow. Samson had made his covenant with God; he was a separated man; they all knew he was a Nazarene. His hair was long and had never had a razor on it. “But,” they said, “there is no strength in hair.” Certainly there wasn’t. Some big dunces in our day grow a lot of long hair and think there is strength in it, but you can grow hair a mile long and you would be as weak as you are now. A bald-headed man has as much chance as Samson had. It wasn’t his hair, it was in the fact that he had the covenant with God, and as long as he kept his vow with God, God kept His vow with Samson and his strength never left him until he broke that vow.

Take Heed Lest We Fall

Finally they had him down, in temptation, there in the lap of Delilah—sowing to the flesh. He thought he was somebody. Oh, how the devil gets folks to thinking they are somebody. I tell you, it is a good thing for some of you Christians to have a place to look back to, where God took you out. It will keep you from getting the big head. It is by nothing a man can do—it is simply by trusting Jesus; Jesus does the work, and, praise God, you will reap if Jesus Christ is in your life.

Now Samson is feeding to the flesh—thinking he is somebody. And all the Philistines wanted to know the secret. Samson said, “All I have to do is to just stretch up and go out and kill them; the power of the Lord comes on me and I slay them.” “But Samson, where is your strength?” So they finally drive Delilah into it; they say, “you try to help us; you get the secret from him.” He is in sin, feeding on the flesh.

Delilah says, “Samson, you tell me about it.” Samson lied to her. He said, “I tell you what you do. You get seven little green withs that were never dried and bind me with them. Then shall I be weak and be as another man.”

Then the lord of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs that had never been dried and she bound him with them. Then she said, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” Snap! went the bandages, like strings that had been burnt. So his strength was not yet known.

Playing with Fire

Samson kept on lying to her—but all the time he was playing with fire. Think of it! in the lap of a woman, playing with that secret between him and heaven, that vow that was between his father and his mother and himself and God—playing with it, fooling with it. Sowing to the flesh. Sowing wild oats.

Let me tell you, some of you young people: if you made your covenant with Jesus Christ to keep out of the world, God help you; don’t flirt with the amusements of your day. Don’t say to yourself, “Oh, I can forget it, I can get forgiveness.” Oh, the men and the women I know tonight who have been plunged into the depths of despair, who have fooled with God. “God is not mocked”—hear me! You may think you are getting by God, but God runs the world and brings this old Earth of ours around on a second of time, and God is long-suffering to us-ward, but God never will be mocked.

Listen to me, some of you young fellows that think you are getting by: God will not be mocked. “As a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Paying Today

You young bucks in here tonight, God pity your poor soul that is on its way to hell, besmirched by sin. “The man that sows to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption”—get that into your brain. Oh, how I hunger for the souls of some of you young fellows. Praise God, He will heal your body, and heal your soul, and set your going for God as you keep close to Him, and He will keep close to you. Listen: The biggest delusion abroad in the land today is this: that you think you won’t pay. We are paying today in churches for the doubts of preachers. We are paying today for the mothers’ and the fathers’ sins in a generation of amusement-mad young folks in high society, low society, in the young high school life today, in the awful conditions of sin among young men and young women. You either let Jesus pay, or you will pay. Oh, if my children had to pay tonight for my sin, I would die—but, praise God, I plunged beneath the crimson flood, and he has washed me white as snow! You may be washed.

Will the Hair Grow?

Poor old fool Samson—daring to carry that precious secret around in the lap of Delilah. But he paid, and paid hard. Finally she said to him, “You don’t love me.” How many men have gone to hell over that statement! “If you love me, you would do this, you would do that.” If you ever really love you would stand up and praise Jesus, and stick by the Lord. No woman can have a higher love than the love a man gives her when he is true to Jesus. The love of a Christian man, or a Christian woman, who really knows God and has Jesus in his body, is about as fine a thing as you can get on this Earth.

Poor old Samson ducked and went down under the pleadings of this woman, and he said: “All right, I will give you the secret. I’ll get my hair back some way. I’ll take vacation, go down to Hot Springs and stay there a year, and my hair will grow out.”

So she gets a pair of scissors and cuts off his hair, and then cries: “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” And Samson says, “What do I care? All I have to do is to shake myself. I’m the same old guy.” No, sir, now he is the little old weazened Samson; and they come on and bind him like a kitten.

Satan Binds

Outside of Jesus Christ the devil can bind any one of you tonight. I don’t care what your character is, the devil knows what you want, and he mixes the dish to suit you and lets the aroma come up into your nostrils and the color come into your eye, just to suit you—and he gets you, too. Don’t tell me—I have lived too long; I am a kitten nine days old, and I have my eyes open and know some of you; the best thing you can do is to confess your sin and know that outside of Jesus Christ the devil has you traveling straight to corruption and hell.

Samson went down. Look at old Elijah—they tried to hurt him, but he stuck. He got down on his knees and he talked to God, and God talked to him, and when all the prophets of Baal came up against him Elijah could reach his little puny withered hand of a man up into glory and get the fire of God and pull it down on the sacrifice.


And I believe that is what Elijah did—I believe in the miracles of the Bible, thank God. Do you know why? Because I have had one of the biggest miracles in the world happen right under these ribs. Yes, sir, I know there has been a new fellow put in there—you cannot beat that for a miracle. Jesus has put new life in my heart; and when He can change your life and your heart, bless God, He can certainly handle a hundred worlds. And, oh, when you have been washed by the blood, then you can pray; then you have a right to come into the presence of God; and you feel it, and the Holy Spirit urges you to come boldly. I say to you tonight, I do not know a man under God’s heaven who can pray to God who does not believe in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. He cannot do it. He cannot get into God’s presence.

Christ Died for the Ungodly”

Friends, there is nothing so disgusting to God as this idea in our age of talking about the spark of divinity in a man, saying that sin is only an accident, and that he does not have to get rid of sin to come into God’s presence; that God put us into the world, therefore God will put us into heaven. Listen: We are by nature in sin, and God says we are rebels. God has a plan in Jesus Christ; God help you to take Him tonight—just as you are, without one plea.

The Sheriff

There was a man in one of our tent meetings—a fellow who was a very wicked man in the town; he had been sheriff in the county. He came to the services night after night, and I had talked to him once or twice. He said, “Mr. Rader, I have led a pretty good life; I never cheated anybody here.” But I just went on preaching about what Jesus was. I preached a sermon about Nicodemus—tried to show what a good man Nicodemus was, but how Jesus said to Nicodemus when he came to Him that dark night, “Except ye be born again, ye cannot see the kingdom of God.” We looked for a closing moment into the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus shed drops of blood, down on His knees with His poor elbows on the rock, crying to God: “Oh, God, if there be any other way, allow this cup to pass from me!” A deathless Christ—a sinless Christ—a spotless Christ—yet He must go into the agonies of death—what for? Oh, man, in God’s name, how dare you stand there and say to God there is another way, to dare walk out of that pew and say you are saved by your own work?

And this poor fellow saw it for the first time in his life. I had not finished my sermon when he pushed back his chair and with the sweat dripping from his brow said: “Mr. Rader, let me come now, let me come now.” He turned around to the little audience, and said: “Oh, folks, if ever there was a sinner, I am a sinner”—and he dropped at the altar, and lifting his hands to God, said: “I take Jesus as my Savior—poor lost man that I am.” And his poor, haughty wife there lifted her veil and put it back over her hat and with her handkerchief in her hand and the tears streaming down she put her arms around him and said, “Oh, I am with you, I am with you.”

He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” That is the way to come. Do you dare to sow to your flesh—to say tonight, “I will walk out of this Tabernacle to make it comfortable for myself. I will not humble myself”? You will reap corruption, for you sow to the flesh. God is speaking to you tonight, God is calling to you tonight, and if you hear His call and answer back tonight, you will reap everlasting life.

God is calling you tonight—will you come? I have delivered my soul. I have told you the way. Jesus has promised you Himself. I dare you to come. Jesus will make good; if you sow to your flesh and go out to satisfy yourself, you are going into corruption. Oh, take life, tonight!