Sunday, August 14, 2011
LAZARUS AT THE FEAST.
Now, reader, I want you to see Lazarus feasting with his Lord. That is the subject of this chapter. After Lazarus was resurrected and got the strings off of him the next thing that we see of him is at the feast. He is feasting with His Lord and Master, and it is a fact, no man ever feasts with his Lord until he is wholly sanctified. How natural it is to see a man feasting with his lord after he gets all the strings off. You will notice that Lazarus never feasted with his Lord as long as there was a string on him, and neither do we. We must be powerfully converted and then most gloriously sanctified to feast with the Lord.
There is much connected with a feast, and the real object of a feast is to get full. I know that the linen is generally the best that can be secured in a great feast and the china is something lovely; the waiters are the best, and the food is the most appetizing that can be secured or the best that the market can afford. Just think of a black walnut table and the finest linen, the most lovely china and silver knives and forks, the most lovely teapots and well dressed waiters, and the governor of the feast giving orders and the waiters flying in every direction, but not one thing on the table to eat. Don’t you think that the feast would be a flat failure? Why, of course it would, because that which goes in to make up a feast was left out, and that was the food. Don’t you see that the object of a feast is to get full? The very word feast carries with it the idea of something good and plenty of it.
We see Lazarus at the feast. We read that Martha served but Lazarus was one of them who sat at the table with Him; there is no way to describe the joy and peace that comes to the life of a wholly sanctified man. About the best way to describe it is in the text, just simply feasting with your Lord, and it is called the fulness of joy. Why is it called the fulness of joy? Because it fills the man with foy [sic] and a filled man is a full man; it is also called the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ; there is the same idea of being full, or the idea of a feast.
We read that Joshua, the son of Nun, was full of the spirit of wisdom; that Stephen was full of the Holy Ghost, that Barnabas was full of the Holy Ghost and of faith, and that when the day of Pentecost had fully come the disciples were all filled with the Holy Ghost. All this carries with it the idea of being full, and so we just look around and see Lazarus feasting with his Lord. Bless his holy name, it is His plan and purpose for every one of His children to come to the feast.
On one occasion the Master said to His disciples to go out and invite the hungry multitudes to come to the feast, for all things are now ready. The business of the church is to take away the stone and get Lazarus out of the tomb, get him wholly sanctified, get all of the strings off of him and get him to feasting with his Lord. Who can tell the good that would come to this world if the church would go down before God and get the experience of Scriptural holiness, and truly go to feasting with her Lord.
Now, reader, it might not be out of place to just let your mind run back over the life of Lazarus for a few minutes and see what progress he has made. The first time that we saw him, he was a sick man; the second time we saw him, he was a dead man; the third time we saw him, he was a bound man; the fourth time we saw him he was an entombed man; the fifth time we saw him, he was a putrified man; the sixth time we saw him, he was a resurrected man; the seventh time we saw him, he was resurrected but he was still bound; the eighth time we saw him, he was a free man–every string was off of him, and he was as free as heaven; and the ninth time we saw him, he was feasting with his Lord. Now, reader, just look and see what wonderful progress this man has made all the way from the tomb to seat at the table with Jesus. What a work there is for the church to do if she was up to the place where the Lord could use her. If she would go to work and get the strings all off and get to the place where she could feast with her Lord there would be plenty of sad souls looking on who would be ready to surrender and call on the Lord for mercy if they could just see the church feasting with her Lord one time.
Now in a kind way I want to just call your attention to a church that I was in not long ago. It was a beautiful red pressed brick that cost nearly $75,000 and they had run for thirteen years and had not seen a single soul brought to God. Now don’t you see that they had not taken away the stone? Don’t you see that it was impossible for the Lord to get Lazarus out of the tomb? Don’t you see that there was no chance on earth for that church to ever have a spiritual feast? Don’t you see that Lazarus had to be called out of the tomb, and don’t you see also that Lazarus had to not only be called out of the tomb, but he had to have the strings all taken off of him before he could go to the feast? Therefore the church had stood there all these long years without seeing a soul brought to Christ.
To show you that church members are bound by the strings of this world I was in a nice town in the month of October, 1908, and there was a nice church in the beautiful city with 588 members on the roll. One night while I was in the town the prayer meeting was held and there were eleven persons present; the next night there was a church entertainment and according to the report of the town paper, there were 1,100 out. Now there was feasting, but not with the Lord. The feast of Lazarus was a type of the spiritual life that he received when he got the strings off of him; and the hope of the church is to get to the place where she will have 1,100 out to pray, sing, shout, and testify for the Lord, and let the world know that we are free and happy, that we are going through with Jesus, and that it is a much greater feast to serve the Lord than it is to serve the devil. It is a well known fact that sin can never produce happiness and the devil has no happy men and women. and those who serve him are unhappy, miserable, sad, and in despair and without hope; nothing but death, sorrow, hell and damnation looks them in the face; that is the reason so many of them are committing suicide and ending their own lives–they are deceived by the devil and led by him captive at his will. But not so with the man who walks with God.
To be called out of the tomb of sin, of despair, of despondency and the tomb of death, and to stand in the presence of the Lord with spiritual life and to know for your own self that you are out of the tomb, and that new life has entered into you is blessed. Not only that, but have got all of the strings of this old world off of you, and are heaven-born, heaven-bound, heaven-filled and the glory of God is burning on the altar of your soul; that you are now ready to go to singing the lovely little song, I am feasting with my Lord, I am feasting. I am feasting on the living word. Day by day I have a new supply, I am feasting, I am feasting with my Lord, redeemed by His blood, forgiven by His blood, and sanctified by His blood, and kept by the power of God through faith unto the end; that is, the end of our probation. We are kept here, but in heaven we will not be tempted by sin and the devil. Glory to God forever!