Readers will probably remember that I have mentioned
Brother W. H. Bazemore a few times. He was one of the most
precious saints that I have ever known.
For some months before he died he coached me on what
to say at his funeral. In reality, at the meeting when he was
buried, I have HIS sermon. Hundreds of people heard it.
At his request the following scriptures were read:
kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal," Deut.
form the light and I create darkness; I make peace and I create
evil. I, the Lord, do these things," Isa. 45:7.
as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive," I
as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men unto condemnation,
even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men
unto justification, of life," Rom. 5:18.
this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who will
have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the
truth. For there is One God and one Mediator between God and men
the Man Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself a Ransom for all to be
testified in due time," I Tim. 2:3-6.
therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the
living God, Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those who
believe," I Tim 4:10.
"For of Him and through Him and to Him are all
things," Rom. 11:36.
Brother Bazemore knew that the King James is faulty
in its rendering of many passages, but he asked me to quote from it,
because many in the congregation have never read any other version, and
he wanted them to know that this version teaches, as plainly as does any
other, the fact that all is of God, and that He will, eventually, save
all mankind. In other words, he wanted to take away from them the
excuse for not believing in these grand doctrines. He was desirous that
they should not have any reason to think that the blessed doctrines are taught
only in some new translation.
This teaching was Brother Bazemore's "meat and
drink" for many years. Although he became almost blind long before
he died, he was, perhaps, one of the most contented men in the world,
for He regarded his plight as an act of God, and He looked forward to
the time when all will revel in the great happiness of complete
salvation and glorification. He wanted to leave, as his funeral
testimony, the glorious truth that the future of mankind is not loss and
despair, but unutterable glory, through the grace of God, and the blood
of Christ. He found joy in believing that his being shut up in
almost total darkness, physically, was not only OF God, but that it was
THROUGH Himthat He controlled itand that it would glorify Him,
and He would use it as part of His processes.
He rejoiced in the fact that when one dies it is God
Who caused it, and that He will make alive. He was calm in the
knowledge that God wounds, but that He does it in order to
He did not discount the value of believing in
Christ. Believers have special salvation. But he also
reveled in the thought that, whether or not one believes in this life,
god's love for him is no less than is His love for the believer, and
that He will not leave Him without salvation.
The special message that Brother Bazemore asked me to
give, in addition to reading and commenting on the scripture passages,
may be given in one sentence? "Don't judge God until He has
finished what He is doing."
What a wealth of wisdom is shown in this
request! Men often do things that, in the process, bear no
resemblance to what they will be when the task is completed. When
a contractor starts to build a house he first digs a holea thing
that is totally unlike a house. If I start to drive to Main street
in our town, I first go in the opposite direction, to get the car out of
the garage. A physician, in the process of curing a patient, will
first give medicine that makes him more sick. If a man is going to
wear his new suit, he does not want you to judge the appropriateness of
what his appearance will be, by seeing how he appears when he disrobes,
in the process of dressing.
I ask in all candor: Is it like God to so arrange
that human being shall be caught like rats in a trap, and then pour out
on most of them, His never-ending indignation? Does not the
passage from Rom. 5:18 plainly tell us that we are in condemnation
because of what one man did? All know that the one man was Adam,
and that he did his act of transgression long before we were in
existence. Did God arrange for it to be this way? Tell me
ONE thing that He did to prevent it? He put the forbidden fruit
where it could easily be reached; He made it very desirable; He placed
the serpent there to urge that it be eaten; He made the woman full of
curiosity, and gave the man an instinct to cleave to her. True, He
said, "Don't eat it," but he did everything necessary to
insure that the prohibition would be disobeyed.
Destruction is a necessary prelude to salvation;
estrangement, a forerunner of reconciliation. Not only does the
Lord say that He creates evil as well as peace, but He says He does it
that men may know Him, Isa. 45:7.
Correctly rendered, I Cor. 15:22 says that in Christ
all shall be vivified. This is more than merely being made
alive. But, even so, the King James rendering leaves us without
excuse to believe that any shall be finally lost, for who can envision a
person made alive IN CHRIST, and still subjected to destruction or
endless torment? The passage in I Tim. 2:3-6 says that God WILLS
all mankind to be saved. It is a question of whether or not God's
will is supreme. True, the will of man is contrary to that of God;
but the same version, (King James), ways that God works all things after
the counsel of His own will, Eph. 1:11. I have made a will
regarding the disposition of my property. Do I know that it will
be carried out? I do not, for I will be dead before the will is
probated. But God not only is able to do His will, but death can never
cut Him off; He is the One to probate His own will. Can He be so
foolish as to not carry its terms?
And I know that there is nothing more comforting than
to believe that God is the Cause of all, that He controls all and That
all shall finally glorify Him. The opposite would be unthinkable,
when we remember WHAT and WHO God is. He is the PlacerThe
Disposer. If He has created a universe in which much may occur
that is contrary to His purpose, then what promise have we of
When it was His purpose to save the life of Mordecai
He caused the king to have a sleepless night, so that he would have the
record read to him. When He would drive certain people out of
Canaan He caused hornets to attack them.
We are told that the steps of a man are ordered by
the Lord, and that He WILL delight in his ways. Not merely the
steps of a "good" man, as the King James Version says.
"Good" is printed in italics, showing that it is not in the
text. The steps of EVERY man is ordered by the Lord. There
are many of our steps in which the Lord DOES NOT delight at present, but
He will so control and use them that, SOME TIME, HE WILL delight in
Brother Bazemore believed all this, and I never knew
a man who was more contented with his lot in life. He knew that
there is a very long time in the future, (called eternity), for God to
give to him what he missed in this lifeyes, give many million-fold
more than he missed here.
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