July 15th,1962 “A Holy God” LATE MR. N. DANIEL
ISAIAH 6:5 "Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."
This prophet at this stage was still under training. A prophet is a masterpiece of God and interprets the Word of God to man. No man with light-heartedness can become a prophet. It is a dangerous thing for a prophet. Many want to preach the gospel. But they are not properly purified and hallowed to handle the Word of God. This prophet came into the presence of God. It was the Holy of Holies he entered. He cried out as though struck by an arrow. He could not stand the sight of God. I am glad he did not die. Some of us can die in such a presence of God. We may profess conversion. But when we come into His presence like this, we will fall down dead. Ananias and Sapphira died like this. They did not know that they were in a Church hallowed by God. They were playing the hypocrite there.
24 years ago a young man came to live among as. He said that he was converted. I told him, "Be careful, this house belongs to God." He began to pick the pockets of the members of our congregation. It was easy to steal money, because people did not expect a thief in their midst. I warned him. He left us suddenly saying he was going home. 'There in his house he was struck by paralysis. He was a young man of 20 years. We must not go into the midst of God's children with light-heartedness. This prophet did not know the measure of his spiritual life until he came there. Many come to us and profess conversion. If they are sincere and humble, one day they will cry out like Isaiah. Many did cry out like this. They received mercy from God. Isaiah said, "Woe unto me for I am undone." This was because he felt he was about to die. Our body is unfit for heaven. We can't enter into heaven with this body. Elijah entered into heaven- transformed on the way. Jesus alone was fit to be in heaven and also in the Holy of Holies on earth. There was no sin in Him- not even in His thoughts and imaginations. People who walked with Him did not understand Him fully. Judas undervalued Him and followed Him and he perished. I know many people who wanted to be with saints and perished. It is dangerous to move freely with them. It is easy to be with them and dine with them. Beware of the holiness of God. There are certain wires which carry high-voltage electricity. You dare not go and touch them. Even if you go near them it is dangerous. You will die. Around the wire is a mighty force of high horsepower. Be careful about moving light-heartedly with God's children. If you want to see God be very careful. When Sundar Singh saw Jesus he said, "It is enough. I can't bear to see more of this vision." Some fall unconscious.
Here is a prophet tested of God. He entered into the presence of God. Angels were there but even they hid their faces. The whole building was shaking. We must know that He is an Almighty God. When He came to this earth, how He limited Himself! His mother was holy. Otherwise she would have died. Their home was a sanctified one. His father was led of the Holy Spirit. Angels should have freely visited that home. Isaiah sees God in all His glory. One day we will see Him like that, provided we are so sanctified that we can stand it, without being destroyed. In such a situation it would make us more alive and aware of the heavenly glories. Then we will not say, "Woe unto us for we are undone." We will say, 'I am happy. The blood of the Lamb has cleansed me and made me fit for this place.' Angels sing, "Glory to the Lamb". It is the prerogative of every child of God to believe in the blood of Christ. We will understand clearly what we see. Now we understand 'as a child'. A child's understanding is very limited. When I was in Cannanore, the sun was setting behind the sea. My little son was alarmed that the sun was sinking into the sea. I could not explain to him astronomical distances or the spherical nature and the motion of the earth. I told him the sun had gone in as for a bath and would be up again in the morning. My son was satisfied with that answer. How else could I explain the phenomenon to a small child? We also are like children. Those who are in heaven sing of the blood that washes us, and of the Lamb who is worthy to open the book. The elders fall down from their thrones and worship the Lamb. We will also fall down and worship. One day you will see this King on the throne. He will say of you, "This man is purified to preach the Word of God." We must be sanctified. Oh! that helpless cry must come from us: "Oh I am not sanctified. I cannot do without sanctification." Isaiah was a converted man. He waited on God. When you wait on God you march forward like pilgrims who once walked and completed their course. 'They marched towards heaven and angels welcomed them into heaven. When he cried, 'I am undone', angels came and touched his lips. You might have been converted but this is a deeper experience.
God did thus with Moses and Daniel. He wants to do this to us. Every time we preach, we need a fresh touch of be Lord. When you preach you must not mingle His thoughts with earthy spice. For that your lips must be touched. Many pastors came to help me. Part of their talk was good, but their counsels were earthy. If I had followed their counsel this Fellowship would not be in existence. God said to me, “It is I that called you, and I will lead you.”
At Wellington I was praying and weeping for the churches. One pastor wrote to me, "Brother, co-operate with the churches. Fall in line with the churches. That is the best way." What a superficial and light-hearted advice! I wrote back, "Were you led by the Holy Spirit to write to me like this?" Remember formidable forces are working against us. Is there any man to shed tears for the churches? How many clergymen can we find who weep for their churches? How many missionaries can we find who weep for their congregations? Light-hearted talk is easy. Travailing in prayer is not easy.
Peter's lips were touched and purified by holy fire. He understood Jesus as the Messiah. It was not the grasp of his human mind or wisdom. It was the holy unction of God. Jesus said, "My Father revealed it to you and you are certainly qualified to handle the keys of heaven. God has begun to reveal Himself to you." But when Jesus told Peter about His death, he played the role of a senior man to Jesus. He was indeed senior in age, by earth's counting. But his counsel was wrong. Peter received a rebuke. Satan had prompted Peter. He had no revelation of the Cross from God. And Jesus saw Satan in that counsel. We are also like that. We think all our ideas are right. Our grandfathers told us many stories. We believed them. We tend to measure God's power against that knowledge. We have a knowledge of God in part. God wants to increase it until at last we begin to know His mind. Then we eliminate the thoughts which are not of God. Until then we are in danger. Many do not know the Bible. They do not study it carefully They do not know their hearts either. From the ill-informed parts of the heart, thoughts which are not of God are born. Your heart is very deep. Many thoughts spring up from the mindset of your ancestors. "I live among people with unclean lips," said Isaiah.
V. 10 "Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed." They do not understand the Word of God. We must cleanse our heart layer by layer. We do not know what is in the depths. We have imbibed false ideas from the surrounding religions and from our traditional church. Poor Luther also had to fight against this. When you read about his labours, you cannot but weep. What cruel attempts were launched out against him! The pastors must be cleansed first. Adultery is seen among the clergy also. In such a state how can our children be good? How can there be holy marriages? What is the use of saying 'The temple, The temple of the Lord'. Jeremiah 7:4 "Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, 'The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these." What you think is gold, may be inferior metal and worthless. Wesley discovered this. Pastors were drinking and living in sin but did not want Wesley to preach the gospel. Many saintly and holy young women and men gathered round him and saved England. People truly converted can lead nations to Christ. We must not think just by manipulating conversions and giving baptisms the work of the Lord can be built. This way we destroy souls.
A certain medical student stopped coming to the Fellowship when someone said he was not converted. Shortly after that he ran away with a girl. When we live such lives, can we preach to others saying Jesus saves? They will call us hypocrites. Go and save your church, they will say. I wish all of you have that experience of Isaiah. The feeling that from head to foot there is sin Who will make you cry the cry of the prophet? Isaiah's cry must be the cry of every Christian. Can you say with Paul, "I am the chief of sinners?"
We must be careful how we preach. One sentence of your message may be from God. But the others may be from the devil. I met an evangelist. He was covetous. When I corrected him he said, " A child of God cannot sin." Take care of your thoughts, and deep-rooted ideas. Do not say, "My church is good, no matter what it does." Do go to your church- but cry and weep for it. I did it with my church. I wept for my pastor. Seek the experience of a prophet. Weeping for the church is your work. In January 1935 a brother came to me and said that he wanted to build a place of worship for the ministry. I prayed about it and in April the Lord revealed His mind that the prayer hall should be located in Madras and run on the lines of faith. The work would start on July 15th, God said. But I felt that my faith was not sufficient. It does not mean that if God calls you, you have the faith to do his work. To maintain my family and the work on the lines of faith was a new venture altogether for me. Would my faith stand or fail? To make sure my faith would stand, my wife and I and Miss Jamayamma went alone to fast and pray for one month. I took my money to pay for the expenses. But the fleece I laid out was that all the money spent should be sent us by God before we left the place. We told this to no one. We prayed for a month in Kodaikanal for all that lay before us. Sis. Jamayamma said that God told her the money would come in the last moment. We never asked others to give us money. On the last day, we packed up, locked the house and went to see a beautiful chapel- of tourist interest- and prayed once more before leaving the town. Then the money came. For the last 27 years God has been faithful. You know the history of this Fellowship. Through prayer God brought it into being. He supports it and energizes it. Let us march forward as a righteous nation.