God used those seven powers pictured on that image -yes the 8th is in the making, but He used those seven to keep God’s people shaped up. I tell you, if God didn’t use something He would never have a people. When Israel got somewhat full and the rich began to come in, everything worked well naturally. They didn’t pay attention to the law and God would send Nebuchadnezzar or the Medes and Persians, etc. and skim that old Israelitish nation. And if it had not been for those tyrannical powers, there would have never been a Savior to the world. But it was those powers that kept that nation clean and pure to bring forth the son of God. Christ came from the tribe of Judah.
If God did that, then we ought to look over into this dispensation of Christ and see God using another power. The reason the R.C. church has had the power she has had for 1260 years was because she skimmed that little remnant. And, I can see old Elijah sitting by the brook being fed by the raven. At the expiration of time God sent the rain. Thank God. Won’t it be wonderful?
Therefore, God has given different men power to keep people in a purer state and bless them and accomplish His purpose. I have kept watching God. I kept watching God and saw that God was blessing, bringing people in now and then. But one thing that burned in me for a while, was people coming in and not sticking. Knowing we had the best thing in the world, I questioned the Lord one time. One day I was telling the Lord to give me some big ones. (We always want big fish.) The Lord asked me,
“What are you doing with what you have got?”
Every time we had a camp meeting they would tear it up. If one of them had a hobby or an objective they wanted to put it over. One fellow one time asked the question, “What is the best gift?” He said, ”I am going to tell you what I am going to do. I have a lot of cards here and I want you to write on it what is your opinion or what you think is the best gift.” The bell had rung for breakfast and he said, “Put them in after breakfast.” Everybody got their cards. Wherever these ‘big’ men would try to take charge I would let them have it and I got more by watching them than I would have otherwise.
So after breakfast we came back to the tent and he said “All right, bring in your answers.” Then he said, ”None of you have answered right. The best gift is—” and started to tell what the best gift was and another preacher jumped up and said, “Bless God, God gave me the message of the best gift.”
The first fellow had a suitcase going over the hill.
That was when the Lord said ”What are you doing with what you have got?”
I thought then, we had better be contented with the little ones. I tell you for a big man to humble himself down on a level with this simplicity that is in Christ Jesus it is hard for a man to do.
If anyone coming in – if God had let us know – boy if you knew just how much you have got to unload – you can’t realize it. For that reason, it is a mighty hard thing to submit.
Paul said, “I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” (2CO 11:2) I tell you that God is not a God that is trying to refine and purify things naturally speaking. He said, ”I Have chosen you in [the] furnace of affliction.” (ISA 48:10) As Jacob anointed that stone with oil, he said, “This is a dreadful place, but in none other than the house of God.” (GEN 28:17) And I tell you it is a dreadful place. I have watched men come and go by the thousands in my experience. I have seen men go out of the door of the tabernacle there at Elco, look back and holler. They were mad! Then the next thing we would hear of something terrible happening to them.
It is horrible for a man to try to work against God.
It is terrible for some men who would not submit.
I have had women to actually rise up in the congregation and talk about me and then saw them come in and sit down right in front of me and look me right in the face and said, “I am going to sit here and look at this man till can get the victory over him.” I was wondering all the time why people didn’t accept it, but God said, ”If you will choose the precious from the vile, you won’t go with them. Your mouth will be as my mouth.” I said, “Amen, Lord.”
Br William Sowders June 24, 1947