Prove Me

Prove Me

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This booklet was printed in 1964 as Gospel Recordings rejoiced over acquiring the building at 126 Glendale Boulevard in Los Angeles.

For years we have been alert to our growing need for additional space as each new language brought into stock reduces the remaining few inches of room in our storage and shipping warehouse. We have prayed and friends around the world, conscious of this obvious demand, have joined with us.

Six years ago we put faith's seal of expectation on a small building adjoining our 146 Glendale factory and saw the near possibility of its possession snatched from our grasp. God's Word, imposed on this postponement, was: "Though it tarry, wait for it". To accept a further delay with rejoicing and undaunted faith, believing God would always do His best, was the key to any building or provision of space God alone could give us. From this we learned again that the success in failure is the gain that comes through seeming loss. We believed that in patient waiting, with thanksgiving, He would be developing within our hearts a greater capacity to receive any blessing that was to come from His hands. His promise was His covenant with us, as reliable now as though already fulfilled.

In the intervening years we have walked softly, keeping our eyes lifted to God alone, seeing Him transform disappointments into new outreaches. Rejoicing in the prospect of His best has sustained our faith in believing that He would visit us, in His time, with provision exceeding our expectation. GOD HAS DONE THAT . . . HIMSELF. He has done it His OWN WAY, that all might know, "the Hand of the Lord hath done this".

Earlier this year a commodious factory-type building was vacated in the same city block as our Glendale plant. For months our staff passed by, going to and from their daily duties, their desirous glances toward it remind-ing them of earlier days when we had gone so far as to enquire about a lease and begrudged its high cost.

But now, in July, there came a convergence of a plan in God's heart with an awareness He was at work in ours. Hope of such a prospect changed from "whispers" into action, as staff discussions multiplied. The Lord's plan began to unfold but at such an unlikely time! Were we not plodding through a financial desert and had not the drought been long and dry? Yes, it was at this hour we were to sing Israel's song of faith, "Spring up, 0 well; sing ye unto it", and to believe the underlying water stream of God was to gush as a fountain upon the whole earth.

On July 16th our Board of Directors met to confer over the purchase of this property and were of one mind to trust God fully for it. Their decision was based on the realization of the need and that this was the place and the time. This was convincingly confirmed in the Daily Light reading for that day. "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward." The next day, the Board's decision was eagerly grasped by the staff with complete har-mony. The faith of each one reached out to receive this, being fully persuaded that, "faith is the power that turns promise into performance".

Negotiations and business formalities, fitted to the terms of God's Word, were begun. A week later as we met again, many of the staff had "obtained promises" from the Word that became the foundation of this structure of our united faith. Testimonies from individual Bible searching, and the response of God's assurances, blessed us in the bold step taken with such readiness and unanimity.

It was with the zest of conviction, as we met for discussion and prayer, that some said, "faith is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us;" another said, "the land of promise so real to Abraham, in which he dwelt, was a strange country in the eyes of those who knew not the way of faith;" someone else expressed, "we need to take steps that prove we do believe," and, as Abraham of old, "we staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief."

Our workers in Los Angeles had, some months previously, made an altar of one day a month when only the staff would meet for prayer and to share confidences in the work -- subjects of trust and urgency beyond those that could be discussed publicly on our regular weekly Wednesday of prayer. This day had been given as a sacrifice of time to the Lord, wrested from our already over-busy days, so that we could enter more deeply into the concerns of God's heart for areas of most critical need in our work and in the world. And now, it was on this day, the doors being "shut," with Jesus in our midst, we gathered together in oneness of faith believing this was the hour and God was showing to us now, the object of our faith.

On this strong basis our terms of agreement were laid to pay the full amount in cash, according to the owner's conditions of sale, and together we would trust God to provide the entire sum of $60,000.00. Procedures began with the deliberations of a court hearing (September 4, 1964) necessitated by probate of the estate, at which time our offer was accepted without any rival bid, and a token deposit of $6,000.00 to be paid within two days. Even the provision of this amount at the moment it was required was proof that only that One, "Who visitest the earth and watereth it," could draw from the reservoir of His enriching river with such precision.

Our eyes were truly unto Him and now we must watch-and wait-and pray. "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, Who hath kept that which Thou didst promise him: yea, Thou spakest with Thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with Thy Hand, as it is this day." It was now September 4, 1964. $6,000.00 of our Father's entrusted money had been advanced toward a total investment of $60,000.00 on terms of agreement that the entire balance must be paid by the due date or this deposit forfeited! Could we accept the Holy Spirit's pose of quiet confidence, absent of doubt, and believe that God had already done it? Had He not spoken? And did we not know, "there hath not failed one Word of all His good promise?"

The staff had unitedly resolved, as evidence to the witnessing spiritual hosts of their trust in God, that no compromise would be made. We would trust God for the total amount of this purchase and make no allowance for expedients, even if at the last minute someone should step forward to offer an "interest-free-loan." Surely we were to PROVE GOD now.

Up to this point we had not known what the due date would be. It was now we learned that clearance of title (escrow) would be completed October 12th and the balance of $54,125.00 due at the strike of the clock. Days mounted and time diminished in which God was to intervene. Carefully we were allied to our principle of not making any need known except in prayer to God. We had, from the commencement of this adventure with God, pledged silence and secrecy, including only our Gospel Recordings Branch staffs and GOD. Several gifts from our distant Branch offices and sacrifices "unidentified" at home slipped into the Lord's treasury, including childrens' piggy-bank-coins (with tears shed only be-cause some had not more to give).

A recordist wrote, "Kindly apply everything that is credited to my account up to the time the goal is fulfilled."

And now our faith was to be challenged. Had we not asserted defiant faith in limiting God to our own terms and exactitude? NO! Had not His own Word been borne upon our heart, remembering Elijah's sacrifice? Had not he thrice poured pools of water over the burnt sacrifice for the one purpose that it be made known, "this day that Thou art God and that I have done all these things at Thy Word, that the people may know, the Lord He is God"?

We too, knew that the God of Elijah is looking for those who in this present day would be willing to be made "imitators of them who inherited the promises". Why should we not thrice lay hold of God's power to consume obstructing waters and see Him overcome the barriers of time-limits, a secret trust and a large all-cash payment? We were willing to take the risk of faith in His faithfulness.

And now ten days remained. No appreciable increase had come since mid-September. Our total hovered near $28,000.00 as though static! But while God held the ledger in balance, His Word became more real to us than the building we passed by each day, which was now only a symbol of our oneness of spirit, obedience of faith and an illustration of our two-fold purpose. Gospel Recordings is known as a Mission that builds bridges over language chasms with records of Good News in 3,200 languages. But this is only half its ministry, the greater being that of witness in an unbelieving age, that God's Word lives. The work of George Mueller had boldly proven similar aims of faith when he said, "the supreme object of these institutions is to prove God's faithfulness and the perfect safety of trusting solely to His promises . . . to lead those who are weak in faith to see that there is reality in dealing with God alone."

Impotent to meet our own great need, were we to plead with God? Were we now to doubt in the shadows what we had pledged in the brightness of faith's light? Our agreement was, "all cash by the due date, with no recourse to a loan, even to forfeiting the token deposit in event of default." Our confidence soared, we were beyond the point of no return. Again we recalled, "now faith is the assurance (the Title Deed) of the things we hope for."

If we should ask, "Why does God wait?" The answer would come "that He may be gracious unto thee", or "they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me".

Autumn calendar leaves now turned to October 2nd and the hours clocked off to mid-afternoon when the telephone rang from Wheaton, Illinois. Joy Ridderhof, away on a three months' speaking trip -- having learned that the purchase deadline had been set forward three days and that, instead of ten days, only seven days remained -- called to instruct, "Follow the Jericho pattern for these remaining seven days and cable the Branch offices to join with us".

Signals were flashed to Australia- London - Cape Town - India - Canada: "BUILDING DEADLINE OCTOBER NINTH FOLLOW JERICHO PATTERN NEXT SEVEN DAYS JOSHUA 3:5."

This was the outline of our campaign, and so the small army of Gospel Recordings in each of its outposts fell into step as individual staff and Board members at home and abroad began the march to encircle our Jericho wall. Prayer was the metronome, setting the tempo of our song of faith. The Jericho pattern was clearly outlined to Joshua and we, too, traced his guided footprints to the land of promise. "The people did as the Lord commanded" and how quickly we saw the parallel of our experiences to those of the trumpeters and priests. "You shall march around the enclosure, This ye shall do six days and the seventh day you shall march around the enclosure seven times."

Our march was a two hour cessation from our labors each day, when our entire staff met from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M. to encircle the wall by prayer, song, confession, forgiveness, praise.

We had a secret. Had not Joshua commanded the people, "You shall not shout or let your voice be heard, nor shall any word proceed out of your mouth until the day I tell you to shout, then you shall shout".

Our spearhead march began October 2nd under the banner - PREPARE TO RECEIVE. Joshua had commanded, "sanctify yourselves this day, for tomorrow the Lord shall do wonders among you". The gate to the promised land hinged on consecration and appropriation.

Encircling the wall October 3rd, faith's trumpet beat was - POSSESSING THE POSSESSOR. Set in array to reaffirm our expectation of God's fulfillment of the promised building we were to possess, there was an incident in this day's march when the spirit of desire for the "building fitly framed together that groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord" became an even greater object of our faith.

Resuming the pace of prayers' marching the third day, we reviewed some thoughts on PURSUING THE PATTERN. Ours was a simple plan lacking in strategy but with such consciousness our Captain was leading. We were aware that the object we pursued had been so surely promised, ours was but to obey His marching orders. We were to mark well our bulwarks and in doing so, recount milestones in the history of Gospel Recordings when God had done mighty miracles for His own glory in past years.

And now we had come to our fourth encirclement. Upon what theme would we go forward today? PROMISES! Yes, this day we would march with PROMISE lifted high, for had He not said, "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" then, "According to your faith be it unto you" and, "Hath He said and shall He not do it? Hath He spoken and shall He not make it good?"

And it was on this day through the triangle of unbroken communications from the Lord, to Joy Ridderhof miles away and to the staff at home, He gave the Word, "within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God giveth you to possess it". Faith finds its place of rest in uniting believing with receiving, and thus welded, God's power is forged.

October 7th - and in two days we must see the "Judge of all the earth do right". Surely today our standard must be PINNACLES OF PRAISE. His Word declared, "Thou shalt call thy wall Salvation and thy gates Praise." We believed the conquering shout of faith was the song of Victory! The piano and organ the Lord had given us this year, as 25th Anniversary gifts, resounded through our headquarters compound, and voices rang with songs such as:

Sing praises, sing praises, sing praises to the Lord
For He hath done gloriously, for He hath done gloriously
This is made known in all the earth.

We were nearing our "promised land". The hosts of Heaven were overshadowing us. The pattern of His Word said, "and Joshua looked up and behold a Man stood near him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said, Are you for us or for our adversaries? And He said, Neither, but as a Prince of the Lord's hosts am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped. And the Prince of the Lord's host said to Joshua, Loose your shoes from off your feet; for the place where you stand is holy."

We had been brought to this place. We, too, knew that hovering above were the invisible hosts of the Lord, waiting for the appointed hour. The place whereon we stood was holy. The time was nearing when the silent march of obedient faith would burst into a glorious shout.

It was during this PINNACLE OF PRAISE, "as the trumpeters and singers were as one, praising and thanking the Lord", the announcement was made of a long distance telephone call from our London Council. Proceeds from a legacy and other recent gifts which they felt must have been purposed by God for use in Los Angeles at such a time as this, were being transferred to our bank to cover the total balance required for settlement of our new "possession."

THE WALL HAD FALLEN. GOD HAD DONE IT. Overwhelmed with surprise by the source of His supply and the glory of His presence, our hearts burst into spontaneous doxology. Now we could make it known, "that they may see and know and consider and understand together that the Hand of the Lord hath done this and the Holy One of Israel hath created it".

We found ourselves reluctant to leave the mountain top from which we had viewed the approach to the promised land. And so our pattern-days continued; the sixth day entitled POWER OF PRAYER. We pondered upon the release of God's mighty power that had rent the Heavens and come down with blessing such as could not be contained. We had begun our "Jericho pattern" in Joshua 3:5 and the Lord had done His "wonders among" us as He had promised. We had begun also with the recognition that His purpose in doing this was "that all the peoples of the earth may know the Hand of the Lord that it is mighty".

Although our Jericho wall had fallen we devoted the seventh day together to POSSESS THE PROPERTY, "and they took the city". Many of the staff testified to the revival workings of the Holy Spirit in their personal lives in these days of God's power in our midst. How real and how close He made Himself to us all. He kept His covenant with us. We saw His glory. Some said they were receiving such a blessing in studying the Word and seeing the Lord reveal Himself, they felt this had transcended the miracle of His giving the building, even though so much needed. There were new steps of dedication - renewal of vows - commitments to discipleship - all were of more significance than obtaining the needed building.

It is our one desire, in recording this present day miracle of the Lord, that men and women may see and know that God IS and that He is true to His Word. He Who has promised to "prepare for them corn when He has provided for it", has given this miracle granary to feed the multitudes on whom He has compassion. He Who had no cornfields or fisheries of His own, yet could spread a table for 5,000 and have bread and fish to spare, has again performed His miracle in pledge to the 5,000 tongues.* "Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you" and that He will without fail enable us to perform the task He has committed to us. The Lord of all the earth has broadened His rivers of waters to reach the uttermost tribes.

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