Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 1, 1959

"God Is Able Of These Stones"

Pryde E. Hinton, Dora, Alabama

When I was a very young preacher, and evidently visibly discouraged, a wonderful "mother in Israel," Sister Mimie Reid, said to me: "Why are you so discouraged? God is able to raise up one who is now an infidel to help you, if need be. He will, too, if it is necessary, and you are faithful. Do you believe this?"

John wanted the Pharisees and Sadducees to understand that their being the fleshly children of Abraham did not guarantee their entrance into the kingdom of heaven. In Exodus 32, God said to Moses, "Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of thee a great nation." Again in Numbers 14, God promised to make of him "a nation greater and mightier than they". God could have destroyed all of the Israelites but Moses and still have kept His promise to Abraham. He did not need them. "God is able" of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." He is STILL able!

God has repeatedly shown His power by choosing men who had nothing of material, earthly value in their hands. What kind of an army and weapons and visible power did God provide for Moses and Aaron, when He sent them before the mightiest King on earth at that time? Imagine a brace of men, without weapons, or worldly influence, or any kind of an army, going before such a king and DEMANDING the release of more than two million valuable slaves!

And to Gideon, an obscure, frightened, little man, God said: Your army is too large. "The people that are with thee are too many." How many? 32,000. When did any modern leader ever think that the people that are with him are too many? No, we glory in numbers. "I heard five thousand sing!" But did God hear the "five thousand sing"? How many did God permit Gideon to take with him to defeat the uncountable number of well-armed Midianites? Three hundred! "God is able" now, just as in Gideon's time. "Believest thou this?"

Through humble men of faith God has won great men and mighty kings to His people's aid. Through seemingly foolish, unwise things and acts God has through these humble men worked His wonders to perform. I insist that God still works in that same way, with the same kind of means. All other ways and means, if depended on by God's people will lead to worldliness and spiritual poverty.

God needed the mighty Pharaoh to fulfill His promise of Genesis 15, made to Abraham. Abraham's seed must be moved into Egypt, prosper, and then be enslaved. Whom did God send? HOW did God send him? He sent a seventeen-year-old boy. Sent him in the clanking chains of slavery. Then permitted this young man, so faithful to God, to be falsely accused, and sent to prison. Who did this? Joseph said, "And God sent me before you to preserve you a remnant." Then he told them that it was not they, but God "that sent me hither". Was there any visible sign or evidence that God sent Joseph to Egypt? How does God give the increase today? We can't ever hope to succeed until we have a beautiful building "that will be a credit to the cause of Christ"! It takes at least fifty thousand dollars to even begin a congregation in any great city today — most Christians think. WHO gives the increase, anyway?

The three Hebrews changed the word of the great universal ruler, and won his support to the aid of God's people. How? All God needed from men then was FAITH. All God needs from men NOW is faith that worketh by love. Don't talk to me about what great things are being done — millions are hearing the gospel, etc. WHO said GREAT THINGS are being done? What is SUCCESS? I often say in the pulpit: "The measure of my success as a gospel preacher will be made known in that Day, by the number on the right hand of the King, whom I have by my preaching and life caused to be there. It cannot be determined by the number who hear me, or by how many I baptize."

God needed another great king's aid in rebuilding the fallen walls of Jerusalem. Whom did he send? Did God seek out a great name man? No. God sent a humble captive, and used him in the course of his daily work. But God used this man because of his great faith and deep love. When Nehemiah heard that the walls were broken down, the gates burned, and the city was lying in waste, he said, "I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven." Wept certain DAYS. Prayed. For what? That God would give him the opportunity to make the tremendous sacrifice, and face the terrible dangers, of rebuilding those walls. God NOW uses only such men to accomplish His work. Perhaps, only eternity will reveal these men and women.

What kind of physical equipment did Peter, John and "the rest of the apostles" have when they "filled Jerusalem with (their) doctrine"? Did they not have the all-important building that did credit to the cause of Christ? I've been told that we cannot hope to ever succeed in a foreign land, such as Japan, until we shall have established a "Christian (?) college". I read recently in the Firm Foundation that they want a tremendous sum to build a church house to hold 1,000 people, in order to have all the congregations around meet there for "fellowship meetings" — whatever those are! Is that success? What kind of success? The reference is to F. F. May 20, 1958: "The dozens of churches in this area need some place where they can meet together. Our largest church building seats only 300, but the last fellowship meeting was attended by 650 Christians. Japanese Christians love to use national holidays for joint worship services." The writer wants to know: "How could $50,000.00 be better invested than in providing adequate facilities for the Omika Church, in the fastest developing area in Japan?"

Does the foregoing about the work in Japan remind you of the clank of Paul's chains as he "he abode two whole years in his own hired dwelling .... preaching the kingdom of God" (Acts 28) ? God is still ABLE without Man's devices!