1934 Bakersfield Convention Notes
Bakersfield 1934 convention notes show some of the lies of the older brothers and specifically Jack Carroll regarding their ministry and also shows that they are a for-profit organization, and make a living by preaching and should be filing income tax .
Bakersfield Convention 1934
Many of you have been asked questions during the past year about your preachers, and a number have found it difficult to give satisfactory answers to these questions. Some have conveyed the impression there are things about the ministry they are not prepared to tell others, and possibly have left the impression in the minds of their friends that this is some kind of secret or semi-secret fellowship that they have been brought into. I would like to dispel once and for all any such impression, to that you will feel absolutely free to answer any questions your friends may ask about God's people or about His servants, for we hold nothing in secret that we are not prepared to teach openly. We hold nothing that we are not prepared to tell you from this platform, and are quite indifferent as to whether or not what we say is listened to by those who are not yet numbered amongst us, for everything that we hold and everything we teach is to be found within the pages of God's own Word, which are open to all men.
I want to talk to you very frankly and freely, to make you feel we are anxious to take you into our fullest confidence and tell you all that is in our hearts, for as I grow older I recognize more clearly and fully that our fellowship with and confidence in each other depends to a very large extent upon us being absolutely frank and open, so that there is no room for any misunderstanding.
I propose to answer four questions that have been asked at different times during the year. They may not have occurred to you or they may, so I am going to anticipate this possibility and endeavor to answer these four questions this afternoon. They are perhaps more practical than spiritual, but it is important that we be clear in our minds with regard to each and all of them.
You can see that these four questions are very practical, and I will try to answer all of them just as simply and clearly as I can.
First: What is the fundamental difference between the New Testament ministry and all other kinds of ministry that we are familiar with? During the year some of you received a questionnaire dealing with the New Testament ministry. A number sent in answers, many of which indicated that there were a good many things in connection with the ministry that you were not exactly clear about. So that when questioned by your friends you were embarrassed and instead of clearing their minds and satisfying them your answers tended rather toward irritating and causing them to feel, "I don't want to have anything to do with your ministers or with the fellowship into which you have been brought." The impressions given, to a very large extent, were that there were certain things we did not want to tell people, that there were certain little secrets connected with the ministry that we wanted to keep to ourselves. There is nothing so irritating to the average man or woman as to feel that they are being deliberately left out of a matter, and if they feel that there are things in connection with your religion which you are afraid to talk about they don't want to have anything to do with it at all. What I wish to say is intended to encourage you to be absolutely open and frank in speaking to your friends and answering their questions, and to encourage you to do so more helpfully and more scripturally than in the past.
The physical needs of the true ministry and the false are exactly the same. True ministers need food, clothing, shelter, and as a means of exchange they need money. False preachers need food, clothing, shelter, and money. When the question is asked, What is the difference between your ministers and ours? The reply that is usually given is, "Well, their needs are the same, we admit, but the difference lies in how those needs are supplied. Your preachers preach for a salary --ours don't. Your preachers take collections -- ours don't. Your preachers appeal for money -- ours don't. Your preachers have homes of their own -- ours don't." While these differences are true and help to distinguish the false from the true ministry, yet none of them , nor all of them together, give us the actual, fundamental difference between the true ministry and the false.When some of you are asked the question by your friends, "How then, do your preachers live?", the answer you give is, "Our preachers live by faith." While this answer is true, it needs a lot of explaining to some people. Or some of you say, "The Lord takes care of our ministrs." Both answers are in a sense true, but they do not give any light to those who question you. You leave them just as much in the dark as they were before.
Some have answered this question with, "I don't know." I heard of one of our brothers having a discussion with the preacher with who he had previously been in fellowship. He was telling him of the wrongness of taking up collections, and having a salary, and a home of his own. The preacher turned to this brother and said "How then do your preachers live?" and this brother answered, " I really don't know." That wasn't exactly true. He did know, but he did not know exactly how to answer that question.
I was discussing this subject last year before quite a company of people and asking questions dealing with the New Testament ministry, such as: "How do New Testament preachers live, etc.?" A brother sitting in the front said, "I have been the the Way for seven years, and I haven't found that out yet." I was back East a few weeks ago and was told there of a man who approached one of the workers and asked him this question: "I would like to know just how the workers get their clothes and money to travel with." That man had been professing for fifteen years."
I have been glad to hear of people asking these questions, because it proves that the workers everywhere are very slow to discuss this subject. They would rather leave people absolutely in the dark than to convey the impression that they were selfish in their motives or in their ministry, or that by discussing these things they wanted anything for themselves.
The Old Testament is very clear with regard to how in Old Testament days the priests and the Levites were cared for, and the New Testament is equally clear with regard to how God's servants are taken care of today. I want to emphasize in answering this first question what to me is the actual and fundamental difference between the New Testament ministry and every other ministry. Jesus taught that the laborer is worthy of his hire. That is often quoted to us, and Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:14 said "The Lord hath ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel." We make no secret of the fact that as God's bondservants and handmaidens we "live by the Gospel," and the reason we "live by the Gospel" and are justified in so doing is because we have fulfilled the conditions that Jesus laid down in the Gospels. No man is justified in living "by the Gospel" apart from fulfilling these conditions.
When your friends ask you the question: "How do your preachers live?" The proper answer to give is, "Our preachers live by the Gospel." "but," they say, "our preachers do that also." And then very gently and with grace you should go on to explain to them that the reason why our preachers live "by the Gospel" and we love to make it possible for them to do so, is because they have fulfilled the conditions that Jesus laid down in the Gospels for the New Testament ministry, and it is a pleasure to minister to them food, clothing, shelter, and as a means of exchange, money in His Name.
When you answer questions with regard to the New Testament ministry simply, frankly, and without unnecessarily reflecting upon those whom your friends support, in nine cases out of ten instead of irritating you will have enlightened them and awakened in them a desire to hear a little of this for themselves.
Jesus labored as a carpenter and lived by the work of His hands as a carpenter for eighteen years, but for three and a half years He lived "by the Gospel" and got His bread as a preacher of the Gospel just as honorably as he did when He was a carpenter. Jesus did not live on charity. Those that live on charity give nothing in return: Jesus always gave more than He received. If He accepted hospitality from Matthew the Publican, from Simon the Pharisee, or from Lazarus the brother of Mary and Martha, He always gave more than He received and in this He left for us an example that we should follow in His steps.
We do not live on charity. If any of God's professed people came to us and offered us food, clothing, or shelter as an act of charity, we would refuse it, for we are not living on charity. But if they come to us in His Name and as an expression of their love and interest in the furtherance of the Gospel, recognizing we have fulfilled the conditions that justify us in living by the Gospel, it is our duty to accept, knowing that a cup of cold water given to one of the least of God's servants will in no wise lose its reward on that Day.
Only those who have fulfilled the conditions laid down by Jesus for the New Testament ministry are justified in living by the Gospel. This is the fundamental difference between ministers that God used to bring you into the Family and Kingdom of God and all other kind of ministers that we know of in the world.What, then, are the conditions that Jesus laid down in the New Testament which He expects those to fulfill who want to have a part in this ministry? I would like to think that we are very clear on what it costs our brothers and sisters to go forth into God's great harvest field. There are no people on earth that demand more sacrifice on the part of those who minister to them than the people of God, and this is Scriptural and in line with God's plan. An article appeared last year in an issue of "Good Housekeeping", written by a professor of Harvard University, entitle "The Cruel Promises of Jesus." It rather surprised me to find this man of the world recognized that a large portion of the teaching of Jesus was applicable only to the ministry; and that it was very difficult to face, and because of this difficulty it had been more or less explained away or watered down until it became absolutely meaningless.
We do not wish to hide from anyone what Jesus taught with regard to the initial step into the ministry. Not all are called to enter the ministry, not all are called to become bondservants and handmaidens of the LORD; but none can have a part in the ministry without fulfilling the conditions that would justify them afterwards, and which alone could justify them in living "by the Gospel;" for any man who claims to be living by the Gospel without fulfilling the conditions laid down by Jesus in the Gospel is receiving money under false pretenses, and will one day come under the just condemnation of God.
What are these conditions? I will present them in the form of questions. The first is: Are you prepared to sell all? Are you prepared to make yourself poor? Are you willing, as the very first condition, to have fellowship with Jesus in His poverty?
In connection with the New Testament ministry there is a very real equality. No one of us makes a greater sacrifice than the other. We each make equally the same sacrifice. We each sacrifice all, and it would be a very dishonorable thing of any of us in after years to suggest that our sacrifice was greater than the sacrifice of the brother or sister laboring by our side. In this matter of fulfilling the very first condition there is an absolute equality amongst us, so that we are all placed on the same level.
In order to illustrate this point, a few years ago three young men who had volunteered for the work came in to see us. All three of them were young, and I well remember the scene--the three boys sitting in a row and we questioning them with regard to their purpose. We asked them if they were willing to fulfill this very first condition, to sell everything, making themselves poor, and to have fellowship with Jesus in His poverty, and of course they said yes. The first boy said he didn't have very much to sell. We asked "What is it?" And he said, "An old Model T Ford." We asked him what it was worth and he said about $35.00.
We asked the next boy how he stood, and he said he had about $150.00 in the bank. We told it had to be scattered that it could never be gathered up again. The third boy said, "All I have is one hog." He was the youngest of the three and had put everything he earned into helping his mother at home. Now she felt she was able to get along without him and was delighted that her boy was going forth to preach the Gospel. We told him to give the hog to his mother and go and preach the Gospel. It didn't matter whether that first boy had a Pierce-Arrow or a Model T, whether the second had $150,000.00 or $150.00 in the bank, it had all to be scattered so that they would have nothing to go back to. The first condition laid down by Jesus had to be faced and fulfilled by all.
The second condition has to do with being homeless. Are you willing to be homeless for life? That is a very serious proposition. Some of us have been preaching for a good many years and are still homeless. One one occasion a man came to Jesus and said, "I will follow Thee." He volunteered for the work, and Jesus looking at him just applied this second condition. He said, "Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head." We never hear of that young man going out into the work.
To be homeless for Jesus' sake is a very real thing. It is just as well for those who are thinking about filing a place in the ministry to recognize this, for six months after you have left home you may suffer from a very common disease--homesickness. There are those here who have been homesick during the past year; but Jesus insisted that those who were to have a part with Him in the ministry must be prepared to be as homeless as He was and be able to say as a minister of the Gospel, "Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head."
The third condition is: Are you wiling to put the preaching of the Gospel before the claims of your own flesh and blood, living or dead? Sometimes when I think upon this it seems to me to be the most stern of all the conditions Jesus put before candidates for the ministry. When one man said to Jesus, "Suffer me to go and bury my father, " Jesus said, "Let the dead bury their dead." What He meant to say was that no man was fit to preach the Gospel if the claims of His own flesh and blood, living or dead, were more important to him than bringing the message of Christ to those who were dead in trespasses and sin. Another man said, "Lord, I'll go, but suffer me first to go home and say 'goodbye' to my friends," and Jesus turned to him and said, "No man having put his hand to the plow and turns back is fit for the Kingdom of Heaven."
Instead of Jesus bribing men to enter the ministry it would almost seem as though He were trying to prevent them. Instead of promising them a nice living, good prospects, and lots of time for reading and social fellowship with others, or encouraging them to believe that in the ministry they would climb up in the social scale, He did the exact opposite. Instead of making it easy for them, He made it hard. Instead of making it a pleasant thing, He made it the very opposite; for He wanted to test the depth and sincerity of the purpose of those who expressed a wish to have a part in the ministry. Do you appreciate that?
The fourth question is: Are you willing to go forth without having any individual, or group of individuals, pledged to take car of you, and preach the Gospel without money and without price, wherever you have opportunity. If we knew that any one of use ever lifted a collection, or asked for money, we would immediately see to it that that one would be excluded from our fellowship as a preacher of the Gospel. We are glad to know that throughout the whole world God's servants have been able to go forth in His Name and are preaching the Gospel in many different lands, and making that Gospel as it was in New Testament days, without money and without price. The men and women who are preaching the Gospel would scorn the very thought, would rather die in their tracks, than leave it open to any one to suggest that they were selfish or mercenary in their motives or in their ministry.
The fifth question we would ask is in connection with that verse dealing with the corn of wheat. Are you willing to be as the corn of wheat which falls into the ground and dies? Are you wiling to let death work so that life may be wrought in others? Are you willing to be dead to what is honorable and legitimate for others?
The sixth question is: How far are you wiling to go in preaching the Gospel? It would be nice if we could remain in California for ever, where the sun is always shining; but when Jesus called men into His harvest field He would accept none who would set any limits to their ministry. Whenever we become settled or rooted in any field, sooner or later death begins to work. There was no such thin as a fixed or settled ministry in New Testament days. None of us are in any one State for life. There must be a willingness to accept and obey the commission Jesus gave to His disciples. "Go ye forth into all the world, teaching all nations and baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost."
There is another question we sometimes ask those who are desirous of going forth: Are you willing to go with any one of your brethren? Those who have the responsibility for arranging this matter look upon it very seriously, and do not lightly undertake the arranging year after year of those who are to labor together. When the Lord sent out the first twelve He did not do it lightly; and when He sent the seventy out later He did not do that lightly. When others later went out in His Name this was not looked upon as a light matter, and we would like to say that it is the custom of those who have this responsibility to seek for the wisdom of God and His guidance, so that during the year the labors of God's servants may "turn out unto the furtherance of the Gospel."
Only those who have fulfill the conditions which I have enumerated are justified in living by the Gospel. But those who have fulfilled these conditions and are preaching the Gospel earn their bread just as honorably as when they worked with their hands at their different trades, for no servant of God lives on charity. They are worthy of their hire, and it comes to them in God's appointed way.
We are not ashamed of the fact that Jesus lived by the Gospel. We are not ashamed to teach others to live by the Gospel, and we are not ashamed to proclaim to the whole world that we live by the Gospel; and the reason we are justified in living by the Gospel is that we have fulfilled the conditions laid down in the Gospel. Some of us were having a little discussion some months ago and the question was raised by one of the workers: How much should we tell in Gospel meetings about how we live as ministers of the Gospel? Someone answered, "We shouldn't tell anything." I took the opposite view and said, "I am prepared to tell them everything." If a man asked me any question regarding the ministry and desires an answer, I am prepared to give him that answer and to prove from the Scriptures that my answer is according to the teaching and example of Jesus.
The second question I would like to answer is: Why do these New Testament ministers travel so much? They seem to be always going somewhere.
When Jesus was preaching in a certain city in Galilee, the people of that city wanted Him to settle down and remain in their midst, but He said, "I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also; for therefore am I sent." The reason the workers travel so much is because they could not be New Testament ministers if they did not; for Jesus did not say stay and preach, but "go and preach." His commission was "Go ye into all the world and teach all nations." The New Testament ministry is essentially a traveling ministry. There are those in the church who assume a little responsibility, whom we speak of as elders, men who live in their own homes and are settled there. But the ministry I am speaking of is a moving ministry, and it could not be the New Testament ministry apart from this.
The third question I would like to answer is: Why is it necessary for workers who have gone to foreign fields to return home again after a period of years abroad?
I heard of a man some time ago who after a meeting went to a friend and said, "I am very glad Jack explained that to us this afternoon, for I used to look upon it as an unnecessary expense for workers to go abroad and spend several years there and then come back again." He was looking upon it from purely a viewpoint of dollars and cents. It is just as necessary for workers to return to us as it was for them to go forth from us.
No worker now in the regions beyond was sent there by any other worker, or by any group of workers. There is no group of workers that I know of that would assume that responsibility. Those who are in different fields in China, Japan, India, all over Europe, and all over Africa are not there because any of us sent them. They are there because God moved upon their own hearts and caused them to lift up their eyes to behold the fields white unto harvest. he awakened an interest in their hearts in people in other lands, and so moved upon them that they expressed the desire of their hearts to launch out a little further into the deep, and if we had any part in their going it was in deciding their qualifications.
Many have volunteered to go whose health would not justify them in going. Many have expressed a wish to go whom we would never think of encouraging to go, and those who have gone are there by their own choice. They can have the glad assurance that God sent them there, and when the devil discourages them they can fall back on this thought, I am here not because any individual sent me, but I am here because God moved upon my heart, and by my own choice I am seeking to carry out His work in this land. We would not like any servant of God to lay his hands upon any brother and presume to say, "You go here, or you go there." It would indicate we were out of God's plan if we presumed so to do.
Why is it just as necessary for workers to come back to us as it is for them to go from us? First, for the sake of their health. That in itself ought to be sufficient. Some live under conditions which are not conducive toward health or longevity, and it would be a cruel thing if we were satisfied to leave them there to live or die. So for the sake of their health it is necessary for them to come back for a change.
The second reason is that most of them have fathers and mothers whom they love, and who would not like to see them and whom they would like to see. This is not a human fellowship. It is a spiritual fellowship, but it has its human side as well as its spiritual side. There are fathers and mothers who have boys and girls in foreign lands laying down their lives for Christ's sake, and these children are interested in their parents and look forward, after spending a reasonable time in these foreign lands, to returning home again to tell the story of their labors to those whom they love.
The third reason is that all of them were tried and tested before they left. They have friends in the Gospel for whom they are still responsible, whom they would like to see and who would like to see them.
The fourth reason and the most important is That it is necessary for the unity of the people of God. This fellowship that is ours is more wonderful to me the older I get. Here we are, a body of people absolutely unorganized, and a puzzle and mystery world. They are prepared to leave us alone and we are content to be left alone. We are satisfied to be as the mustard tree, a shrub in a man's back yard to which no one would give very much attention.
God's method of uniting and holding His people together in one is by the coming and going of His bondservants and handmaidens. The constant coming and going, their traveling from one State to another, from country to country, and from continent to continent contributes to the fulfillment of the purpose of God in uniting His people into one Family, one Fold, one Fellowship, one Kingdom, so that we can truly say we are one in Christ. Our brethren in South America have asked me to go down and visit them. It don't think it is going to be a pleasure trip by an means, and I don't intend to make it a pleasure trip. My purpose in going is to help link our brethren in South America to their brethren in North America, to endeavor to add a little to the foundation that has been laid by others, and to build up on that foundation not wood, hay and stubble, but gold, silver and precious stones.
Those who have read the book of Acts will have noticed how little groups of God's servants were continually on the move, going from one country to another, from Europe to Asia. It seems to me that this was God's simple and wonderfully wise way of uniting His people, so that regardless of their race or nationality, color or language, they would be one people and that in a measure at least there would be answered the prayer of Jesus on that last night of His life, that "they might all be one" in Him. So that when we welcome some of our brothers from China, Japan, and other countries their coming will awaken in us a new interest in those countries. Those who have gone to other countries and return to us will bring Sweden, Norway, Germany, Denmark, a little nearer to us and make us feel that we are indeed one Family and one Fellowship, striving together for the extension of the same Kingdom.
The fourth questions I would like to answer is: Where does the money come from that enables the workers to live, to travel foreign countries and to return?
When you talk about the workers coming and going, your friends tell you all this takes money, and it does. When they ask you where the money comes from, you say "O the Lord provides it, " but why not tell them plainly just where it comes from? It just comes form you. Money as a means of exchange is used to enable workers to live, to travel to foreign countries, and it comes as the spontaneous, unsolicited, freewill offering of God's children. You don't minister in this way because you have to or are solicited to. If you don't love to do it the Lord doesn't accept it, and we wouldn't if we knew.
When workers go forth they get rid of everything they possess. Money thus surrendered is scattered so that it can never be theirs again. It is gone for good and is used to minister to our brethren abroad, or to bring them back from the foreign field, or to send others there. Occasionally God's children who set their affairs in order and whom the Lord takes home remember individual workers with gifts of money, or sometimes they leave them a piece of property. But that money is scattered in the furtherance of the Gospel and that property is sold and the money it brings is scattered in the same way; so that no gift can ever enrich any individual worker.
When you are asked, then, by your friends, "What is the fundamental difference between our ministry and every other? Why do workers travel so much? Why is it necessary for those who go from us to return again? Where does the money come from?" I hope you will feel free to be frank and candid with them, so that you won't convey the impression that this is some kind of a secret society you are in. We teach nothing in private that we are not prepared to proclaim from the housetops to all men, for everything we teach can be read by all men in the pages of God's own Word.
Evidence - Home|
True Ministry Claim
Craig Jacobsen's Letter
Howard Mooney Started
2007 Convention Assignments
2007 Oregon Preps
2009 OR Special Meetings
2x2 Convention Notes
2x2 Testing Meetings
Oregon Worker Boundaries
Articles about 2x2s
Evidence from Questions
|To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. - Jesus Christ speaking to Saul, see Act 26:18, see Salvation through Jesus Christ.|