“MOUNTAIN MEN”–MO December, 1969 No.B–GP
1. PSALM 34 –Relating to an incident where some of the Children of God were arrested by police for merely witnessing to groups of kids who gathered around them during a Frontier celebration in the Rio Grande valley of Texas across the border from Mexico.
2. Matthew 5 –Great difference in mountain & multitude. Mountain is opposite of multitude. Jesus left the multitude behind. The mountain peaks are never crowded. I climbed many mountains & I was almost always alone. Why?
1) It’s hard work.
2) Not very many people desire to climb mountains.
3) It’s lonesome.
4) You have to forsake all to do it.
5) It’s apt to cost you your life.
6) Lots of scratches & bumps.
3. Long after the valley was in darkness I could still see the sun. There is more light on the mountain. The valley is almost always dark–full of people & things, but usually in darkness. The mountain is windy & cold but thrilling. You really have to have the feeling that it’s really worth dying for!–Any mountain–the mountain of this life, the mountain of accomplishment, the mountain of obstacles, of difficulty–if you’re going to climb them, they have to be worth dying for, to brave wind & cold & storm, symbolic of adversities. But on the mount alone, you feel so close to the Lord! The voice of His Spirit there is so loud it’s almost like it’s thundering! The voice of the multitude is so loud in the valley, you can’t hear the voice of God. The silence on the mountain peak is deafening! You get a real “high” on top of a mountain! It’s a thrill! It’s almost terrifying!
4. Of course, it’s extremely dangerous. You’re never so near the abyss as you are when you’re on the brink! One little misstep will end you right down at the bottom again. You’ll hit bottom so hard. Strange thing about mountain climbing–one reason that it’s so dangerous is it’s much easier to climb up than back down again. Once you’re up you may never get back–one of the prices you pay for climbing mountains. Most mountain climbers who were lost were lost in the descent because when you are climbing up, you can see where you’re going, but when you’re going down you can’t see. How many people who go back really see what they are getting into? They think they’re going back to the easy way, but they never realise what they’re getting into by going back. A terrible let-down! You have a peculiar feeling like you don’t want to leave the mountain, there’s no inspiration to going back down. Whereas there is a certain drive–almost a spiritual thing going up. You’ll risk anything. But going down?–No inspiration, no goal, no accomplishment. You’re just sliding back down into the slough–back into the morass of humanity & the mire of the multitude.
5. Only pioneers climb mountains–people who want to do something that no one ever did before–people who want to get above the multitude–beyond what has already been done & accomplished. Pioneers must have Vision–vision to see what no one else can see; Faith–faith to believe things no one else believes; Initiative–initiative to be the first one to try it; Courage–the guts to see it through! But on the mountain you are the first to see the sun rise & the last to see it set! You see the full circle of God’s glorious creation! You see the world in its proper perspective with range after range to be conquered & a world beyond the horizon of normal men! A world beyond their vision & their horizon! You see distant peaks yet to be climbed! You see distant valleys yet to be crossed. You see things that the men in the valleys can never see.–Can’t even comprehend because they can’t see it! And you can see the 360 degree circumference of the total horizon–the entire scope! It’s like seeing all of life from its beginning to its end & understanding. You feel like you’re living in eternity; whereas, down below they’re living in time.
6. You get over here in this little make believe of mammon & you can’t see anything but time & creatures of time & things of time, which are soon to pass away, but you thrust your head above those around you in that multitude & you yourself become a mountain in their midst & they resent you & they resist you & fight you because they can’t understand you & don’t want you. They don’t even want to know there are mountains! They don’t want their children to hear there are mountains. They don’t want their children to have a breath of fresh air from that crystal peak. That clear water you drink up there is so delicious! But when you appear to be on a mountain while they are in the valley, they hate you because it’s obvious you are above them & they don’t want anyone to be above them. They want to keep you stuck in the mud like the rest of them. They don’t want it to be known that there is any place else to go. They don’t even want their children to know there is anything else or any other place to go or a way to get there! They want to keep them shut in down in the valley & in the mud & in the mire!
7. Do you realise that since time immemorial, wars have often been fought between the people who lived in the valleys & the people who lived on the mountains? That’s history, believe it or not. There have always been wars between the mountain people & the valley people. The mountain people are always tougher, huskier, hardier, but fewer. But they survived, because they always had their mountains to flee to & the valley people would never follow because the valley people weren’t tough & husky enough to climb, so they would chase them up a little way & let them go. They just wanted to get rid of them. They didn’t want to conquer mountains. They just wanted to get rid of the mountain people. The mountain people were just thorns in their flesh & pricks in their side. They proved someone could live somewhere other than in the valley. Something they said was impossible.
8. Did you know that the Israelites were a mountain people & that ancient secular history viewed the Israelites as barbaric tribes living in their mountain fortresses making frequent guerilla raids on the valleys? That was how ancient civilisations looked at Israelites. History is full of examples of mountain people conquering valley people, but seldom of the valley people conquering the mountain people. But the danger has always been, that when the mountain people had conquered the valley people, they themselves settled down in the valley. So therefore it is better for mountain people to be at war with the valley people–unending, continuous, inflexible war with the valley, lest the valley get them too. The danger is when you make peace with the valley, when it becomes safe for you to go down into the valley, the greatest danger is safety & security, because then you lose that freedom & liberty of the mountain–the wild freedom of the wildness of the mountain!
9. The valley land is Man’s country–the high lands are God’s country. Man dominates the valley–only God dominates the mountain, & the men living on the mountains know this. But men living in the valleys–they think they are God, because they dominate themselves. Can you see it? But those on the mountains live so close to God & the things which are so frightening & terrible & dangerous that they have to live close to God. The men in the valleys have become so secure they don’t need God because they have forgotten there is any God for they can’t see the sky any longer.
10. It’s a rough & a rugged road, a hard & a heavy load & the people you meet aren’t always kind–on the way up. But they’re even worse down in the valley & in the valley they will do everything they can do to discourage you from climbing the mountain. They’re aren’t many places to live on the mountain–little rugged shelters, lean-tos. Not much to eat, it’s cold & windy, but it’s a thrill even to die there. It’s better to die on the mountain than to live in the valley. Whoever read in the newspaper about the man who slipped & fell on the city street, but the man who dies on the mountain, even in far off Switzerland–you’ll read about it in the newspapers here! Because at least they dared to try.
11. Pioneers like Caleb, one of the two spies, the only two older men who survived in the wilderness were Joshua & Caleb. They must have been close to the same age. Joshua conquered a nation, & at 80 years of age Caleb as good as said, “Let the rest of the weaklings take the valleys”–he was still a fighter & a pioneer. He said, “I’ll take the mountain, I’ll take the mountain.” Beaten paths are for beaten men, but mountain peaks are for the mighty. Mountain peaks are for the mighty pioneers.
12. If you take the mountain, you’ll leave the multitudes behind, & then you’ll know who the disciples are! Only His disciples came unto Him. When He went up into the mountain, the only ones who had the priceless privilege of hearing the world’s most famous sermon–the only ones who really heard from Heaven that day were the ones who left the multitudes & took the mountain–the ones who followed Jesus all the way.
13. I wonder how many tried to go along with them for a while & got left by the wayside huffing & puffing. I’m quite sure it weeded out all the people who were looking for the loaves & fishes & “What’s in it for me?” because the price was too great. “What’s the use of climbing this big mountain with those crazy nuts. They’re fanatics anyway or they wouldn’t be climbing this mountain. They’re fools. Don’t they know it’s never been climbed before? Don’t they know you can’t do it? Why should we go up there & risk our necks even to see a miracle or get another fish sandwich? No use wearying ourselves with this mountain! Let’s sit down here & see if they ever make it back down again. We’ll sit here & twiddle our thumbs & enjoy a nice rest while they climb the mountain. Wait & see if it can be done first.”
14. You never hear about the people who wait to see if it can be done. You only hear about the people who either made it or died trying. You never hear about those fancy tourists down on the fancy ski slope somewhere. You just hear about people who either made it or tried. But when you make it, the mouth of God will be opened unto you. He’ll speak to you face to face & will teach & reveal to you the greatest of His secrets!
15. The greatest laws ever given to Man whereby most of the civilised world is still ruled were given alone to one man on a mountain! The basic law that rules the world was given alone to one man on a mountain, & the greatest so-called sermon ever preached was given to a handful of mountain men by the greatest mountaineer of all, Who finally climbed His last mountain–mount Calvary–Golgotha, & died alone for the sins of the world, & that was a mountain that only He could climb for you & me–but He made it!
16. So what do you hear on the mountain? You hear things that are going to echo around the world. What do you hear in the stillness? Whispers that are going to change the course of history. Eight people came down from one mountain–Noah & his family from the Ark on Mt. Ararat–& they were never the same & the world was never the same! One man, Moses, came down from a mountain & a whole nation was never the same & they changed the world! And Jesus & His disciples came down from this mountain & changed the world! They were never the same.
17. What changed them that changed the world?–When they heard the voice of God teaching them things that were completely contrary to what was being said in the valley! In the valley they were saying, “Blessed are the Romans–the proud, & haughty & powerful. Look what they’ve done. They’ve conquered the whole world. It pays to be a Roman.” But Jesus was saying on the Mount, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, (the humble) for theirs is the Kingdom!”– Mat.5:3 . Simple, little, illiterate fishermen were listening to a Carpenter tell them something that would make them greater rulers than the Caesars of Rome!–Rulers of a greater empire than Rome! “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”–Poor little, old, ignorant & unlearned disciples–for theirs is the Kingdom that is going to rule the Universe!
18. “How dare you intrude upon our valley & tell us things said upon the mountain? We have no king but Caesar! How dare you tell us that there is any other king! Away with you! We have no king but Caesar!”–And when they crucified them they merely promoted them to the Kingdom of Heaven which will obliterate the valley kingdom.
19. “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.”– Mat.5:4 . Blessed to mourn? More blessed to have problems & sorrows? Yes, because you will be comforted. In the valley they are saying, “More blessed to rejoice & be happy & have a parade. This is our rejoicing. How dare you come among us with warning!”–But you will be comforted & they will be cursed! “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” Those that don’t fight back are going to win the greatest battle of all–that for the whole world! Those who have to go to jail, take it on the chin & be persecuted for their faith are the rulers of the next world, the world to come!
20. The poor in spirit are a mountain people. They that mourn dwell on the mountain. The meek are from the mountains. “Blessed are they which do hunger & thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.”– Mat.5:6 . The people on the mountain hunger & thirst & only God can satisfy them. The people down in the valley can’t see any further than the end of their nose & are satisfied with themselves & are full–& He sends them empty away! The merciful are from the mountain. “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.”– Mat.5:7 . You never heard of any St. Bernard dogs in the valley. The most famous dogs in the world are mountain dogs, they rescue & have mercy on the mountain people. They are the ones that obtain mercy & glory & fame!
21. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”– Mat.5:8 . There is no condemnation on the mountain. Melted snow is the purest water in the world, distilled water, completely pure straight from God! “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool!”– Isa.1:18 . Pure in heart. King David wasn’t always pure, but because he loved the Lord & knew what he was & obtained mercy, God counted it unto righteousness & he was pure in heart. There is no smog on the mountain. The air is pure. The water is pure. The people are pure in heart. They see God!
22. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”– Mat.5:9 . Peacemakers with whom? Make peace with the enemy? Peace with the valley people? Peace with the Devil? Peace with the liars? Peace with the deceivers? How can you be at peace with them? How can you be at peace with the valley when the valley refuses to be at peace with you? You come to make peace & preach peace but what happens? They are for war! You cannot make peace with those who want war! Who then can you make peace with?–Peace with God & peace with the peacemakers. Peace with those that want peace: & the angels sang, “Peace on earth toward men of good will.” Not good will toward men, but as the Catholic Bible says, “toward men of good will.” How can you have peace toward evil men & men of evil will? With them it is impossible. No peace to the valley people.–Just war. The only thing you can do is conquer them, the easiest way to do that is to let them rot in their own iniquity–become weak & lazy, corpulent & fat & sick with their own sin. Then they’re no match for the mountain people! This is history for thousands of years. Mountain people always conquer the valley people. Always! There is never peace between them because they don’t even begin to understand each other. But the peacemakers shall be called the Children of God!
23. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake.”– Mat.5:10 . They come down from the mountain & offer the peace of the mountain to those in the valley & they are mobbed & jailed & crucified!–But they are blessed! It is more blessed to be mobbed & jailed & crucified, when you know you’re from the mountain, & you have the truth, & you know you’re right, than it is to live a lie in the valley in leisure & security. More blessed? Doesn’t seem like it, does it, but you are more blessed tonight sitting here studying the Word of God than is that evil chief of police trying to sleep with his evil conscience in that town where he arrested you falsely. “Blessed is he that is persecuted for righteousness sake.” You are persecuted because you are right & they cannot stand the right! The valley people have been in darkness so long the light blinds them & they cannot stand to find out you are right & they have been wrong. They don’t want to be exposed!
24. “For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” We end where we started. The poor in spirit are the persecuted, & both wind up with the Kingdom of Heaven! “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you & shall say all manner of evil against you falsely.”– Mat.5:11 . “You are disturbing our false sense of security, disturbing our peace.” What you were really trying to do is give them peace!–Really disturbing their confusion. You were bringing in a peaceable atmosphere in the midst of confusion. They don’t even see things like you do. To them confusion is peace. That’s the kind of peace they understand. It disturbs their peace. They hate for you to come along with real peace because it reveals to them that they don’t have real peace. So they’ll lie & deceive & say all manner of evil against you falsely. But “rejoice & be exceeding glad for great is your reward in Heaven!”– Mat.5:12 . Not here always. Of course, if you live in the continual Heaven of His peace & joy, you get a lot of that reward right now, don’t you? You’re already in Heaven in Spirit. “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you”, so great is that reward of Heaven in your heart, & great is your reward in the Heaven hereafter.
25. “So persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” All my life I read that & took it to mean, “So persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” What it really means is: “So persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”–Those other prophets like you. A whole lot of difference how you accent things. Other prophets like yourselves. You, too, are prophets. This proves you are prophets. This is a part of your reward because they persecuted them too. You have attained the ranks of prophets when you receive persecution for your prophesying & “great is your reward in Heaven!”
26. “Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing, but to be cast out & trodden under foot of men!”– Mat.5:13 . These churchy folks that think they are the salt of the earth! There was a time in the early days of the first church when they were haunted & hunted & persecuted & crucified! They were the salt of the earth! But now those mountain men have come down to live in the valley & they have lost their savour, & now they are going to be trodden underfoot of the men of the mountain!
27. The rugged ones are living up here in the mountains of Mexico–& when the time comes–when they have a chance–they are going to invade that Rio Grande Valley & all its rich! All they need is the opportunity & weapons & guns & signals & leaders. And the mountain men will again conquer the valley, because these poor persecuted poor up here know more about the real prospect of living through poverty & hunger than the rich & fat who are drowned in their own luxury & can’t see anything but the little road around them! Those rich down there in the valley are sneering at these up here on the mountain right now. The valley people are sneering at the mountain people now but one of these days soon the mountain people will be sneering at them with their blood & guts under their feet! Trodden under foot. What is going to be your vow?–Like Caleb, “I’ll take the mountain” or would you rather live in lush luxury of the Rio Grande Valley with the dead valley people who got as far as the river & didn’t want to go any further?
28. Mexico City, 7,000 foot elevation!–Only the strongest, independent & most powerful of all the tribes of the Indians of Mexico lived in the mountains!–The Aztecs, Incas, & Mayans–& Mexico City which is in a sense the conquering state of Mexico, which rules all the rest of the country, is on the mountaintop! The plain people live on the plain, but the mountain people are mountin’ the mountain!
29. Did you know what nations have stayed free longer than any nations in the world–Switzerland in the top of the Alps, & Afghanistan & Nepal in the top of the Himalayas! Other civilisations have come & gone & they are still here! They may not be very numerous or powerful or very famous, but they are still here! One reason they are still free is that they don’t have much anybody else wants. Nobody wants their mountains but them. “I’ll take the mountain.”– Eze.17.22-24 .
30. Power & greatness were symbolised by mountains, never valleys in the Scriptures. “Mountain of the Lord’s house.” God’s house is a mountain. You are a mountain. He speaks of the Kingdom of God as a mountain that becomes so great it fills the whole earth! It speaks of Zion as a mountain. “Out of Zion shall go forth the Word of the Lord.” Word of the Lord shall go out from the mountain of the Lord’s house. The whole earth shall come & worship at the mountain of the Lord’s house–Zion. Jerusalem is in the top of the mountains, believe it or not. It was one of the rare mountain cities of the world & the Hebrews were a mountain people. Where are the Phoenicians today? They were rich & powerful but they lived in the valleys. All those who lived in the valleys are gone, but those who lived in the mountains live to this day! Are you a mountain man or a valley villain?
31. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.”– Psa.23:1,2 . Where have you pictured those pastures? I’ve always pictured them as mountain meadows with beautiful little crystal mountain pools. “Restoreth my soul…Leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.” What is His path like?–A narrow & rugged mountain path! “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death!”–There’s death in the valley! Life is on the mountain! Get out of the valley!”–“Flee as a bird to the mountain, ye who are weary of sin!”