"Satisfied With Jesus"
Zarephath Camp Meeting Address, July 30, 1995
I can remember when these chapel walls were just up and the building here wasn't finished. Ray White was standing right there with his bicycle (he liked to ride a bicycle), and I was a young fellow here. He was talking to me. Those pools of thought and Christian sensitivity looked into my heart and l assimilated from him the vibrancy of his wonderful life. Those who knew him know something of which I speak. But it is not only Ray White. It is so many saints whom I came to know and love.
In the first part of the service I was looking at Rebecca and hearing Roy, and wondering from whence all that voice comes. He has such a tremendous voice. I sense the sensitivity of Rebecca and I think of her grandmother, Anna, and grandfather, Wesley Gross. So much that I received, my early understanding of Scripture, came from Rev. Wesley Gross. He would sometimes stand before us, tears streaming down his cheeks. Anna in her gentle teaching in our chapels. . ..what wonderful lessons she shared. And then of course I know Rebecca's father and mother and have taught them, and so the roots are deep and long. If Wesley Gross were here, he'd say to us, "Never call children 'kids.' They're not goats!" Maybe he really had something. I always remember that because children are a gift from the Lord. He wanted them to be treated with sensitivity.
I could go through the halls here, and it's almost an act of grace to see the faces of people that have laid down their lives in service to the Lord. I was talking to the president of New Brunswick Theological Seminary just a week or two ago, and I was telling him who the people in the pictures were. When I came to Nat Wilson, I couldn't speak about him. He laid his life down for this place, and when the flood swept across here, he literally gave his life to save it. He essentially killed himself and never physically recovered from the zeal he had. The remarkable thing is that these people l describe had within their hearts something that every one of us can have and must have. They had a satisfaction with the Lord. That's what made the difference. There was the deep-down oneness with the Lord that comes as His gracious anointing. What we have shared in the early part of this camp meeting directly gives us impetus to he open to that anointing from the Lord.
I believe the Lord has special people that He anoints for ministries, but He has an anointing for every heart. He wants every one of you to be His dwelling place. He wants to be in us. "Christ in you the hope of glory." We are to be His temple, the temple of the living God.
When I speak about special anointings, there are those whom God has touched in wonderful ways. I was talking to Billy Graham one time. He has blue eyes, and I was looking directly at him, and saying, "The Billy Graham Association does so many things so well. What provision do you have for the person who will carry on when you retire?" He said, "I'm not going to retire. I have a special anointing from the Lord." He felt that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association would go on, but nobody would just take his place. And I believe without question he has been specially anointed.
I had the privilege of knowing a woman who was especially anointed. She was Alma White. I have pictures [ took of her. I took portraits of her. I took pictures of her in this room in her coffin. But more than that, 1 came to know her as a tremendous leader and an anointed person. This anointing of the Lord is what accounts for our particular commission as a group of people here called Pillar of Fire. "He who knows not history remains ever a child."
So let's explore just a moment. What is the key? What is the central thing about her life that makes Zarephath a reality, that it came into being, and what are those things that we who are here should receive from the Lord?
My mind was turned toward that concept when I had the privilege to interview Dr. Ted Miller who has written a good book recently called How To Want What You Have. He points out very quickly if you are always looking for the carrot on the end of the stick, you will never be satisfied. If you had asked Rockefeller what he wanted for Christmas, he would have said, "A little more money, twenty-five dollars in cash." His money was tied up, and he wanted something more.
In this book, Dr. Miller says that wanting what you have is a very interesting concept. Throughout the book, there are many quotations from Scripture, but when I interviewed him, I could sense that he was not a Christian. He didn't know what Christianity was really about. Do you believe it is possible to be able to quote the words of Jesus and know the Bible in a sense and not know the Lord? I believe it is, so I urged him to read the whole New Testament. Instead, he wrote back asking me to be a co-author with him and present his thoughts to Christianity Today. In my next letter I very carefully tried to show him that the essence of Christianity is an infilling of the Lord, not a spiritual discipline as he had called it.
That made me realize that here is a man writing about how to want what you have -- or how to find satisfaction -- yet he did not know the Source of satisfaction. I am hoping and praying that what I have shared with him will lead him to that Source.
Now the key to Alma White's leadership and the key to her being so effective in so many ways was simply that she found satisfaction for her soul needs. She found the peace that passes all understanding by the infilling of the Holy Spirit in her heart and life, first in her conversion and then through her deep experience with the Lord.
First of ail, satisfaction is what the Lord wants you to know. He wants you to have a deep satisfaction in Him, the feeling within your heart that we describe as joy. It isn't always a scintillating happiness of life, but there is within the heart of a Christian a joy that no one can take away. Jesus, facing Gethsemane, said, "My joy I give unto you, not as the world giveth," but MY joy. There is a joy that comes from the Lord, and it's related to the rightness of things. And the rightness of things in the presence of God is for one's sins to be forgiven and one's heart to be filled with the presence of the Lord Himself.
Alma White at the age of nine came under conviction. This nine-year-old began to feel within her a lack of satisfaction in her heart. Where did that come from? If you read her history, you know that they sang hymns and had biblical discussions. In fact, her mother used to sing "O how happy are they whom the dear Lord obey." Just yesterday I found in her book where that trigger came from.
Now to speak about Alma White and her history. If you look at the architecture of our buildings, did you ever notice they were made with second floors for walking? Why do you think all our buildings were designed for that? Liberty Hall -- they never got it up but they had it in mind to build a porch. They had it on the main building. It is right outside where I stay, and they were used as places for somebody to walk. That was for Alma White to walk. Here's where humanity comes in. She had a problem with her weight, and she wrote about it. She was very open. Here's what she said: "My weight has not increased during the trip to New England." That's high news, isn't it, to be written about. Here's a woman who writes about the deep Christian experiences of her life, and yet her weight was a problem. So if you wonder about our architecture, Brother Kubitz (another gift from God) built the buildings so she could walk. She wouldn't stay in bed all day. She knew she must be up. She was ahead of her times. Today's experts say that the best thing for fighting decay of the body is fresh fruits and vegetables. She was onto that.
But this is the part that is so important. She says in her third or fourth volume: "With other members of my staff, we passed through Vanceburg, Kentucky, and after disposing of much of the business, I go to Cincinnati to help with the oversight of the building enterprise there and to spend some time writing the third volume of my story. With other members of my staff, we passed through Vanceburg, Kentucky, the county seat of Louis County, where was located our old home town. While waiting at the station, a panorama of my early life came before me, and I could not but exclaim, 'What hath God wrought!'" Key to her success: always giving God the glory.
"I thought of my school days on the Ohio River, western adventures, the launching of the Pillar of Fire Movement in the Rocky Mountain Region. Now l had returned to the opposite bank of the Ohio to establish a school for training young people in the service of the Lord." There was her thriving desire, training young people for the service of the Lord. We are linking hearts now with Asbury Theological Seminary to increase our opportunity to train young people in the service of the Lord. Isn't it wonderful to carry on the initial thrust of Alma White's work?
Here is what she says. "It was truly a homecoming. From Vanceburg I had often looked across the River into Adams County where Miss Anna Harris, my teacher, had lived before she came to our neighborhood to teach in the public school. It was from her that I received my first Bible as a prize in spelling, and it was this Bible and a Methodist hymnal that had indoctrinated me and lead me to the foot of the cross where I received new birth and the inspiration to give my life fully to the Lord to be used in His service in any way He should see fit. That's what she received.
Now whoever is going to meet Anna Harris in the realms above? And all the work that was accomplished by Alma White, who gets some credit for it? Anna Harris. Now who is there who cannot give a child a Bible and a hymnbook? That's what she attributes the reason she was saved and sanctified -- the Bible given to her by a school teacher. And she writes about it -- a simple thing that happened at nine years of age.
But along with reading the Bible and the hymnbook, there was something else needed. She needed someone to show here the steps that would bring her to believing ground. For seven long years, she struggled as a child. She wanted to find that peace and forgiveness, and although her mother was singing "Oh How Happy Are They," the family might have thought, "She's a good girl. She doesn't need to have her sins forgiven. She's a good girl. She probably is a Christian," and maybe they never asked her. Yet in the heart of this child of nine was a longing and a hungering that reached the point of desperation. Can you imagine the sixteen-year-old girl now so desperate for the Lord, and those around her insensitive to it.
We find her at that point when in her first volume she tells how a Rev. W. B. Godbey (instrumental interestingly enough in some of the founding of Asbury) there in Kentucky was different. He was ridiculed. He was criticized. So were others who have held forth. And Alma White knew that. He suffered the reproach of a fire-baptized servant of God. Yet he was known for how many hundreds of people he led to the Lord.
Alma White's father brought him to the schoolhouse for a revival, and when he came, her father apologized that he had forgotten to bring a Bible. Dr. Godbey must have just gotten off the train wearing a brown suit and a soft hat. As he walked in, he said, "Don't worry about that." He knew the Bible by heart; he knew it in the Greek. He recited a whole chapter, and then took his text. I wish I could tell you all that went on, but there are some very salient points that I want to mention.
Mollie Alma was under deep conviction, yet it seemed she couldn't break through. When he was gesticulating, he hit her with his hand. She had to sit very close to the front because the place was jammed, and she even felt the Lord was in that. When she came back the second night, she made up her mind she was not going to leave the service until she prayed through if she died in the attempt. Somehow the Lord wants us to have a sense of desperation about our souls. Is that an unknown phenomenon? I don't think so, and it's especially so when God is about to anoint someone for a great work.
She says that procrastination had become a habit with her. He took the text -- Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" -- and as his sermon unfolded, God worked (and He did this particularly, I think, because of the work that was going to come As Godbey was pouring out his heart, she said, "I tried to grasp the promises, and it just didn't seem to work." She was so burdened that she fell as if under a trance.
These are her own words: "Suddenly I lost consciousness and felt I was carried away to hell. Black demons were all about me in this awful place, and lost men and women were weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth." Where would a child at sweet sixteen get such an idea as that? "Some of the latter had bodies like serpents and heads like human beings and vice versa. Serpents lashed me and wrapped their coils around me and tried to stop my breathing while the seething flames of damnation were roaring like a Niagara," she says. "My suffering and thirst were beyond words to describe, and suddenly it flashed over me that there was still hope, that this was a momentary experience from which I could obtain deliverance. I cried again for mercy, and was brought back to the world and to consciousness as suddenly as I had been taken away."
Why would God give a sixteen-year-old such a terrible trauma? Don't you know religion is wonderful, and you just need to trust the Lord? It is indeed wonderful, and you just need to trust the Lord, but sometimes we need to realize we live in a sinful world, and that we are dealing, if we are the servants of the Lord, with people either going to a boundless heaven or an endless hell. It's a terrible thing to realize the responsibility that we have.
It is my joy to broadcast
every day. I sometimes give two short sermons in three hours, and I love
the opening of the dawn and the beautiful music, and 1 invite people to
worship the Lord while listening to great music, but I also realize that
what I say can either direct someone to the Lord or lead him away. It's
a great responsibility to handle the word of God, and Godbey knew that.
Alma White was being fashioned for one to establish schools, and publishing
ministries, and radio stations that would help to take people away from
the terrible consequences of an endless hell and give them the joy and
satisfaction of a holy life. That is what was hanging in the balance in
the life of a sixteen-year-old.
"Satisfied With Jesus" by Dr. Robert B. Dallenbach, Campmeeting 1995
A relative one time told me when I preached the sermon at Kathleen White's funeral, "That is the first sermon I heard in my life." And yet she had gone through the four years of our Christian high school. It is possible for people to be sitting there and not hearing. I don't even know if you are hearing me. I hope the Lord will help you to hear Him.
Alma White at 16 came to her consciousness while praying. She writes: "I found myself at the end of the altar hearing faintly the sounds of voices in the room. Some persons were trying to arouse me." She felt so weak, and they sent for the preacher. When Dr. Godbey came, he recognized that she had been struggling and that she was one who needed to be helped into the Kingdom. He knelt by her side and repeated these lines, and asked her to do the same: "But drops of grief can ne'er repay the debt of love I owe. Here Lord I give myself away, 'tis all I that can do."
"I told him it would be useless for me to repeat those words. I had done that many times. The fact is I had passed that stage and was now up to believing ground," she says. He asked her, "Are you willing to take Jesus as your Prophet, Priest, and King?"
"I assured him that's just what I wanted to do. 'Rise to your feet,' he said. I told him that I had come to seek until I obtained salvation. He insisted. I made an effort to rise. I was too weak. As the pastor and my father assisted me, I had barely risen to my feet and my burdens rolled away. Heaven came down my soul to greet, and glory crowned the mercy seat." Why would the Lord give her such an experience as that?
"After seven years as a penitent," she said, "I at last had come to the end of my struggle and received the uncontainable blessing. It was as if I had been lifted out of hell to heaven. The faces of those I had seen before about me were radiant with heavenly light. I could tell everyone who was a true Christian, and when they saw the overflowing joy of my heart, they said, 'Shout it out!' I could not shout; I began to laugh."
She goes on to tell how that experience transformed her life. She saw someone that was at variance with the family. She spoke to him, and he was soon saved, and the great beginning of her life took place. When she was saved, she immediately wanted to preach and writes: "I wanted to tell what He had done for me, and made up my mind to preach the gospel if I had to go to a foreign field as a missionary. I was determined to prepare and go when I thought of this. The Holy Spirit whispered, 'You are needed in the homeland to give young people the help that you so much needed when you were seeking the Lord.'" And there you have the beginning of the ministry of the Pillar of Fire.
She tells how she came to know the sanctifying portion, as well, where she was not only forgiven for her sins but she was also cleansed. These two wonderful Scriptures became real for her: "Wherefore Jesus also that He might sanctify the people with His own blood suffered without the gate. Hebrews 13:12." "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body preserve you blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 5:23"
Then she tells how the Lord began to lead her. It was my privilege to know her. She soon was responsible for sixty-one branches and two radio stations and schools across the country, but the key to her life is found in the song which she wrote soon after her conversion. She found she was satisfied with Jesus.
"I'm satisfied with Jesus, In Him I now abide,
This was the beginning of Pillar of Fire, and that is why it came into being. Because she remained faithful to that commitment, and because she proclaimed that, she was satisfied. I hope that in this room there is not a soul who will be unsatisfied because they have closed their heart to the things that a little girl in Kentucky received. I think you see the importance of the work that she launched to reach young people.
When I hear her experience with hell and the graphic description of it, it sounds terrible, doesn't it? But do you read the newspaper? I have here some very recent ones.
Here is July 20th-- "New York youth killed in argument over 25 cents." The guy had a cute saying: "Give me a quarter." Somebody didn't like the way he said it, thought there was a racial slur, one black boy to another. The kid said, "I suppose you'll shoot me." The kid went home the next day and pumped five bullets into him.
This is July 20 as well-- "On the stand in Washington a ten-year-old girl tells of the Waco cult, sex, and suicide training by David Koresh." Ten years of age, being taken advantage of by that person, teaching her to put a gun in her mouth and raping her -- a terrible, terrible description. She's now fourteen. Her mother perished. Fifty-one days they stood, and this thing was going on. Why was there delay? Because David Koresh was wanting to write his interpretations of Scripture. Talk about monsters. That's the 20th.
Then you go to the 24th-- "Dad thought of beheading his son who was possessed" He cuts the head off his thirteen-year-old. The car is full of blood. They throw the head out. The police chase for forty-five minutes to catch him, and he was doing it because he thought his son was full of the devil. Is there a devil in the world? I should say there is.
Here's another-- This man is a serial killer, kills seventeen people, kept their hands and genitals and fed on them. Monstrous things are happening. Just read your newspaper.
There is a terrible, terrible enemy to us in the world called the devil, and Jesus pointed out we can be subject to him. But the wonderful thing is, God gave Alma White a picture of the awfulness of sin. What she saw in that vision of hell helped to impel her as an anointed person to raise up schools that people could come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior. I am one of those people that benefited by her anointing, and I had the privilege to know her. But more, we now have the privilege to pass that light along, that this place here founded for that purpose will go on and see many, many people saved as we link with others to try to reach as many as we can in these last times.
In order to do it
properly, we ourselves need to be satisfied in our hearts and souls. That
satisfaction is here just as Alma White found it right in the Scripture,
and you can find that today. I trust that you can say, as did she, "I'm
satisfied with Jesus." If you don't feel satisfied, come and pray, and
we'll help you find that satisfaction. It is God's great gift You may have
the joy of satisfaction in this life and in the realms to come where you
will forever be with Him. I pray that God will give you that satisfaction