Saturday, August 6, 2011



In our last chapter we had the first ray of hope and in this one we have Christ, the resurrection and the life. You see that there is not only hope, but thank God there is help and not only help, but there is help at hand, for you can see at a glance that if Christ can’t do something supernatural there is no use in His going to Bethany, for the man there is dead. You see that Lazarus is beyond turning a new leaf or making new resolutions for he is cold and stiff in the arms of death, but Christ is in the village and has already declared Himself to be the resurrection and the life. This statement from the lips of the blessed Son of God gave these heart-broken girls a double hope, and so it does us. How gloomy the grave would look if it were not for the statement of the blessed Son of God, that He was the resurrection and the life.
He proved His doctrine to be true before night. The grave has no terror for a fully saved man and for proof of that fact you go to a big camp meeting and just listen to the holy people testify, sing and shout and see them dance before the Lord, just as if there was not a grave on all the face of the earth. The holy people are not looking down at a hole in the ground, they are looking above the clouds and shouting, and when they do look at the grave they only look at it as a kind of a gateway to something better. The apostle Paul said, Oh death, where is thy sting, oh grave, where is thy victory. Some fifteen hundred years before the sad day in Bethany Job had asked a question and it was this: “If a man die shall he live again?” and the question had never been answered and could not be answered until it was answered by the blessed Son of God. When He went into Bethany and said I am the resurrection and the life, a new doctrine had been borne to the world and a new hope had sprung up in the hearts of the little family at Bethany and from that day to the present the doctrine of the resurrection has been settled in the minds of all true believers, for if there be no resurrection of the dead, says the Apostle Paul, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Then he adds, ye are yet in your sins, if the dead rise not.
All Bible Christians believe that when a sinner repents God pardons him; that when a believer consecrates, God sanctifies him; that when a saint is resurrected God glorifies him; The sinner is resurrected from the state of moral death when he is converted, and the believer is purified from a state of carnality when he is sanctified, and the saint is resurrected from a state of physical death when he is glorified. There is nothing hard about that to a man that believes the Bible and is on his way to a home in the glory land.
Now just at this moment Christ walks up and declares Himself to be the resurrection and the life, and if He can’t do it He is going to get Himself into trouble, for He said that He could, and all the town of Bethany is full of higher critics and every eye is on Him and it is up to Him to do something. His bitterest enemies were there and they watched him as a hawk would watch a chicken. Up to that day they had denied every claim that He had made and rejected both Him and His doctrine, and now He makes a claim that goes far beyond anything He has claimed up to date – that he is the resurrection and the life. But I believe He can do it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011



Now, reader, we come to the first ray of hope as we discuss the history of this remarkable man. What was it? Well, look and see for yourself. Jesus, who is the hope of the world, appears on the scene, and when Christ comes to a world, or to a city, or a village, or to a single individual, they can never be the same again. From the night that the angel band swung low in the heavens and the shepherds heard them sing, Peace on earth and good will toward men, the world has never been the same, and can never be the same, for a Savior has come, and thank God has called for us, and there has been new hope and new desires and new expectations, and new prospects, and our up-look from that night until today as a world has been all that was needed; and when we look at that thing that we call future we see a Savior before we see the other end, and then we sing, “There will be no dark valley when Jesus comes, to gather His loved ones home.” as Christ was the first ray of hope to this dark sin-cursed world so is He the first ray of hope to the poor, lost sinner for He is the light of the world.
When Christ appeared in the little village of Bethany four days after the death of Lazarus, there was a ray of hope that settled down over the village, and he had no sooner reached the village than Martha was out to meet Him. When she saw Him she told Him at once that if He had been there her brother had not died. That shows the confidence and the faith that she had in Him although everything goes to prove that she had no idea on earth that Lazarus would ever be resurrected until the end of time. Such a thing, that Lazarus would be resurrected that day, was undreamed of with her. It seemed to be enough for Martha just to know that the Master had come, and when she had unburdened her heart to the Lord she seemed to think that something was going to happen, though she did not know just what it was. As the burden rolled away from her own heart, she at once turned and ran for Mary and said to her, The Master has come and calleth for thee, and we read that Mary arose and went to the place where Jesus was. He had not yet come into the village, and you can see her as she hastens through the village to meet Him; when she met Him she fell down at His feet saying, Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not died.
Now, reader, you can see at a glance that neither of these girls had any idea of what the visit of the Master had in store for them. Their poor hearts had been buried with Lazarus, or, in other words, their hopes had. How many times in my meetings have I heard mothers raise a shout because a wayward son had heard the voice of the Son of God and was coming home. I say thanks be unto God for a Christ that will visit a community, lift heavy burdens, comfort sad hearts, lift up the downtrodden, revive the drooping spirits, speak peace to the troubled soul, and revive the hopes of those in despair. And as our blessed Savior walked into the little village of Bethany you can hear Him say, Lift up your heads oh ye gates, and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. Now just think of the honor of having the blessed Son of God to visit our town or village. Would we ever get over it? Just think of you and Jesus walking the streets of your own town together. The first thing He did when He got to Bethany was to comfort the broken-hearted. Well, the old Book says of Him that He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him. We read of Him in Isaiah, 61:1-3: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” it seems like the above Scripture was written for the little family at Bethany.
We see that Mary and Martha are to be comforted and that their broken hearts are to be bound up and that Christ is to pour in the oil of joy and to give them beauty for ashes, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; and as Lazarus was dead and in the prison of death he was to be set free. You see death had taken him captive and bound him and put him in the tomb of death and Christ said that He was to open the prison to them that were bound. We thank God that when Christ arrived in Bethany, One was there who could handle death. So, dear sinner, there is hope, if the Son of God will only come into the community. Bless His name for the thought that He ever came into the settlement where I lived. I will never let Him hear the last of it, for I, like Lazarus, was a dead man and a bound man and in the tomb and putrified and hopelessly lost, but now I live. Glory to God!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011



We now have before us Lazarus, the putrified man, and in this stage he represents the old sinner in the last stage of sin just before he drops into the pit of eternal despair. We have seen him first, a sick man, second, a dead man, third, a bound man, fourth, the entombed man, and fifth, a putrified man. These are the five steps in the life of the sinner, from the crowing babe with the carnal mind in its heart, to the old sinner, reeking in sin and vice and dropping into the pit.
The reader will notice that there is no physical soundness left in Lazarus; he has corrupted throughout – no soundness at all left in him, and when the old sinner comes to the last stage of life he has corrupted throughout and there is no moral soundness left in him. He is now qualified and prepared by the devil to commit any crime that is known to the human family, and anything that the devil will dictate, he will do. He is as corrupt morally as Lazarus was physically. I know some may draw back and say that I have overdrawn the picture, but I feel that I have not in the least, and for a few minutes let’s look at Isaiah 1:6, and see what the old prophet says about man in his last stage: “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores; they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”
Now reader, don’t you see that the old sinner is in the same condition, morally, that Lazarus was physically? You just think of a man full of wounds and bruises and putrifying sores and of course it has reference to his moral condition, and not his physical condition, for no man could live if his physical man were in the condition that is described in the above text. But just look at the man as he walks the streets of the city, and you will see the saloon, the gambling house, the race track, the ballroom, the theatre, the circus, bawdy house, the calaboose, the county jail, the state prison, the gallows, a broken heart, and a wrecked life, a ruined home, a lost soul, and the grave of the drunkard.
The old Book says that the child of God is to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; but the same Book says of the sinner that the last stage of that man is worse than the first. Don’t you see Lazarus in all of the different stages in which we have followed him? When Lazarus first died you could wash and dress him and shave him and put a new suit of clothes on him, and pin a bouquet of lovely flowers on him, and he looked nice and respectable after he was dead; and so did your boy. After your boy chose sin and died he could hold a cigarette between his thumb and fore-finger, and draw the smoke down into his lungs and blow out through his nose, and some people thought that he was alive; but from the standpoint of morality he was as dead as Lazarus was physically.
Again, when you look at Lazarus now you see a man that you can’t handle. There was time when you could handle Lazarus, but it is not now. He says to you, Hands off, gentlemen, without saying a word to you, and you obey him and keep your hands off of him. Well, why can’t we handle him now? somebody may say. Because he has putrified, and that means hands off. How much like your son that is. When your boy first went into sin, you could handle him pretty well and he seemed to have some sound streaks left in him, but just look at him now. He says, Hands off, mother, and she has to obey him. You see that just after he went into sin he seemed to have some respect and some regard for the will and wish of his mother, but not so to-day. See his manhood and money and health and friends are gone, and he is called by some people a bum, by others a jail bird and by others a criminal. He is now growing in sin and the knowledge of the devil and is making his last run for the pit and outer darkness.
He is now a graduate from the school of sin and holds in his possession a diploma signed by the devil. On the face of his diploma the devil himself says of this man that, he is qualified to commit any crime that is known to the human family; he further says of this man that he has no time to waste on old men and women and if you can’t make him up a class of boys and girls that he will have to go on to the next village, for his time is precious and that he must catch the youths of the land before they get their eyes open; that he is prepared to teach all youths the latest arts in any line of sin that they may choose; that if you don’t think that he can commit the blackest and most devilish crimes that are known to the human family, all he asks is that you give him one chance only, and if he doesn’t convince the most skeptical mind of his ability to commit crime then he will give it up. That is a fair proposition of its kind, but the man is indeed stupid that would deny the above statement of the devil. Think of an American woman that would persuade her husband to have his life heavily insured and when all of the papers are fixed up and made payable to her at his death she slips into the room while is asleep and with his own razor cuts him to pieces, cutting him seventeen times in the face and neck and over the heart until she sees him struggle to death in his own blood. I was in the city when the trial was going on, Of course any thinking man knows that the scheme was hatched out in the pit, and was among the first brood that the devil hatched off.
Somebody might say, why on earth would a woman do such a thing? Well, don’t you see that Lazarus has putrified? Don’t you see that that woman was as corrupt morally as Lazarus was physically? Don’t you see how ghastly Lazarus looks? Just turn and look at that old sinner as he goes down town to his trial. He has committed some crime and the officers are on the way to jail and to trial with him.
Matthew, Mark and Luke all describe a fellow that stayed out in the tombs. Now this fellow that is on trial here in the city stays down in the slums, and is a slum runner when he is out of jail. You can look at the fellow and see he was born with the carnal mind in him; that his disease proved fatal, that he died, that he was bound, that he then went into the tomb of despair and that he has now putrified and is as corrupt morally as Lazarus was physically.
We have now covered the five stages of sin and the five stages that we have seen Lazarus in are a type of the sinner from the day of his birth until the day of his death. You see Lazarus sick, dead, bound, buried, and putrified, and you see the sinner in all of the above conditions, from the screaming child to the old sinner with the rope around his neck, as he was swung off of the gallows and went out into eternal despair without one ray of hope.

Monday, August 1, 2011



We have come to the fourth chapter of the history of this remarkable man and we have seen Lazarus, the sick man, Lazarus, the dead man, Lazarus, the bound man, and now we have before us Lazarus, the entombed man. Just think of it – sick, dead, bound and buried – a type of the lost and ruined sinner. Lazarus, the sick man, is a type of the child that is born with the carnal mind in its heart. Lazarus, the dead man, is a type of the child when it comes to the years of accountability and chooses sin and dies and becomes dead in trespasses and in sins. Lazarus, the bound man, is a type of the child when it goes into a life of sin and is bound by its habits and the devil leads him captive at his will; and now, Lazarus, in the tomb, is the type of every sinner when he gives up all hope as you have seen them. Oh my, I have seen sinners by the thousands give up all hope and go into the tomb of despondency, and, spiritually speaking, they were as much in the tomb spiritually as Lazarus was physically. All hope was gone and at a glance you could see that they had gone into the tomb of despair; and if a lowly Nazarene doesn’t come by and call them out they will stay there forever and forever. The land is loaded down with men and women who used to have hope and the devil has swept them off their feet so often that today they are in the tomb of despair and every hope has fled, every friend is dead; they have an empty purse, and aching head, and an empty stomach, with no Christ, no God, no salvation, and no hope of heaven. Where are they today? Oh, my friend, you can answer in the tomb of despair. Look at them and hear their sad wail as they march through this world without one ray of hope, homeless, friendless, and penniless, without one ray of sunshine over their door.
You remember when Lazarus went into the tomb Mary and Martha lost all hope, and when Jesus appeared on the scene their hopes were as completely buried as Lazarus was, and there are millions to-day with every hope in the tomb. The burial has already taken place, and despondency has settled down over them and they are ready to-day to take their own lives. They are doing it by the tens of thousands. Why do they do such a thing? somebody may ask. Because they have given up all hope, and when hope goes there is nothing to build on. But, somebody may ask, why don’t they get up and get a move on them? Well, just simply because a dead man can’t get up, a blind man can’t see, a dead man can’t hear, a bound man can’t walk, the man in the tomb is a hopeless man, and so we can just make up our mind that if a Christ doesn’t come along, Lazarus will never get out of the tomb, and the sinner will never awake out of his dead state of guilt and condemnation. I have known some men to be converted and start off well and run for a while and then the devil would sweep them off their feet. In a few months they would get reclaimed and make a fresh start and run pretty well for a while and finally backslide again; the next time it was several years before you could get them to make another start but their friends would plead with them and pray for them and by and by they wold make another start and run for a while, and to their surprise they find the same old enemy in their heart; as they struggle with it they almost give up hope and finally go to their pastor and consult with him and ask him if they can be delivered from that awful uprising in their breast. He tells them that they cannot; that he, himself, has the same kind of struggles that they have; that there is no remedy and, that if they will be faithful till death the Lord will give them a crown of life.
While they fight the beast on the inside the devil laughs at them and tells them that they had just as well give it up at once and be done with it forever, and about this time he comes up to the fellow and tells him he had just as well take a dram, for he can’t hold out anyhow and the poor fellow yields to the tempter and gets on another big drunk. When he sobers up and sees his condition he gives up all hope and goes down into the tomb of despair, and he is as much in the tomb as Lazarus was. He was sick, he died; he was bound, he went into the tomb of despair, and there he will stay until some outside power calls him out.
Again I have met people, by the tens of thousands, who, at one time hoped to be well off some day and they have fought poverty and low wages and high prices and their hardships bravely, and each year they have run behind a little and maybe could not pay their bills; they would almost give up all hope, but they would take fresh courage and buckle down to it a little harder and think that they would come out ahead next year. Sure, but to their surprise the next year they were further behind than they were the year before, and finally they gave up all hope of ever owning a home of their own, and they have settled down to the idea of living in a little rented cabin all the days of their lives. To-day their names are legion that have given up all hope of ever being anything but a cheap day laborer. Their wives are half dressed, their children are uneducated, and they are American white slaves and their hopes are in the tomb. Their prospects in life are as completely buried as Lazarus was.
Again, I have seen people who were on their beds of affliction and for weeks and months and maybe for years they were in great hopes of some day being well; they fought pain and suffering with a brave heart. In the face of afflictions they would see themselves well and out in the fields, in the woods, on the creeks, and on the mountains, as they used to be. They hear of a great medicine that is supposed to cure all diseases that are known to the human family, and of course they send for it and take it according to directions. To their sad surprise they get no relief, and then they hear of something else that cures all of the human ills. They send for that and take it in great hopes of soon being well again, but find no relief whatever, and after a while hope, that blessed hope the stay of life, takes its everlasting flight, and today they are on their beds by the tens of thousands and they never expect to get off of that ded (sic) until they go into their box. All hopes have gone into the tomb and they are as completely entombed as Lazarus was. No more of this world’s pleasure for that man; no more days out in the beautiful sunshine; no more days to sit out on the porch and feel the soft wind play on his withered cheek; no more days to spend at the house of God; that poor man is bound by the cords of afflictions and he is in the tomb of despair. Every hope has left the country where that man lives. Yonder he lies on his couch, helpless and hopeless, so far as his world is concerned, and he may be friendless and homeless and penniless also. Thousands of them are, and they lie in the hospital up and down the land by the thousands. How sad!