In 1 Cor. 12:1 we read, “Now concerning
spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”
There is a great weakness in the church of Christ because
of an awful ignorance concerning the Spirit of God and the
gifts He has come to bring. God would have us powerful on
all lines because of the revelation of the knowledge of
His will concerning the power and manifestation of His Spirit.
He would have us ever hungry to receive more and more of
His Spirit. In times past I have arranged many conventions,
and I have found that it is better to have a man on my platform
who has not received the Baptism but who is hungry for all
that God has for him, than a man who has received the Baptism
and is satisfied and has settled down and become stationary
and stagnant. But of course I would prefer a man that is
baptized with the Holy Ghost and is still hungry for more
of God. A man who is not hungry to receive more of God is
out of order in any convention.
It is impossible to overestimate the importance
of being filled with the Spirit. It is impossible for us
to meet the conditions of the day, to walk in the light
as He is in the light, to subdue kingdoms and work righteousness
and bind the power of Satan unless we are filled with the
We read that in the early church they continued
steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship,
and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. It is important
for us also to continue steadfastly in these same things.
For some years I was associated with the Plymouth Brethren.
They are very strong on the Word, and are sound on water
baptism, and they do not neglect the breaking of bread service,
but have it every Lord’s Day morning as they had it
in the early church. These people seem to have everything
except the match. They have the wood, but they need the
fire and then they would be all ablaze. Because they lack
the fire of the Holy Spirit there is no life in their meetings.
One young man who attended their meetings received the Baptism
with the speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.
The brethren were very upset about this and came to the
father and said to him, “You must take your son aside
and tell him to cease.” They did not want any disturbance.
The father told the son and said, “My boy, I have
been attending this church for twenty years and have never
seen anything of this kind. We are established in the truth
and do not want anything new. We won’t have it.”
The son replied, “If that is God’s plan I will
obey, but somehow or other I don’t think it is.”
As they were going home the horse stood still; the wheels
were in deep ruts. The father pulled at the reins but the
horse did not move. He asked, “What do you think is
up?” The son answered, “It has got established.”
God save us from becoming stationary.
God would have us to understand concerning
spiritual gifts and to covet earnestly the best gifts, and
also to enter into the more excellent way of the fruit of
the Spirit. We must beseech God for these gifts. It is a
serious thing to have the Baptism and yet be stationary;
to live two days in succession on the same spiritual plane
is a tragedy. We must be willing to deny ourselves everything
to receive the revelation of God’s truth and to receive
the fullness of the Spirit. Only that will satisfy God,
and nothing less must satisfy us. A young Russian received
the Holy Spirit and was mightily endued with power from
on High. Some sisters were anxious to know the secret of
his power. The secret of his power was continuous waiting
upon God. As the Holy Ghost filled him it seemed as though
every breath became a prayer and so all his ministry was
on an increasing line.
I know a man who was full of the Holy Ghost
and would preach only when he knew that he was mightily
unctionized by the power of God. He was asked to preach
at a Methodist church. He was staying at the minister’s
house and he said, “You go on to church and I will
follow.” The place was packed with people and this
man did not turn up and the Methodist minister, becoming
anxious, sent his little girl to inquire why he did not
come. As she came to the bedroom door she heard him crying
out three times, “I will not go.” She went bark
and reported that she heard the man say three times that
he would not go. The minister was troubled about it, but
almost immediately after this the man came in, and, as he
preached that night, the power of God was tremendously manifested.
The preacher asked him, “Why did you tell my daughter
that you were not coming?” He answered, “I know
when I am filled. I am an ordinary man and I told the Lord
that I dared not go and would not go until He gave me a
fresh filling of the Spirit. The moment the glory filled
me and overflowed I came to the meeting.”
Yes, there is a power, a blessings, an
assurance, a rest in the presence of the Holy Ghost. You
can feel His presence and know that He is with you. You
need not spend an hour without this inner knowledge of His
holy presence. With His power upon you there can be no failure.
You are above par all the time.
“Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried
away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.”
This is the Gentile day. When the Jews refused the blessings
of God He scattered them, and He has grafted the Gentiles
into the olive tree where the Jews were broken off. There
never has been a time when God has been so favorable to
a people who were not a people. He. has brought in the Gentiles
to carry out His purpose of preaching the gospel to all
nations and to receive the power of the Holy Ghost to accomplish
this task. It is of the mercy of God that He has turned
to the Gentiles and made us partakers of all the blessings
that belong to the Jews; and here under this canopy of glory,
because we believe, we get all the blessings of faithful
“Wherefore I give you to understand,
that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus
accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord,
but by the Holy Ghost.” There are many evil, deceiving
spirits sent forth in these last days who endeavor to rob
Jesus of His Lordship and of His rightful place. Many are
opening the doors to these latest devils, such as New Theology
and New Thought and Christian Science. These evil cults
deny the fundamental truths of God’s Word. They all
deny eternal punishment and all deny the deity of Jesus
Christ. You will never see the Baptism of the Holy Ghost
come upon a man who accepts these errors. Neither will you
see a Romanist receive. They put Mary in the place of the
Holy Ghost. I would like you to produce a Romanist who knows
that he is saved. No man can know he is saved by works.
If you ever speak to a Romanist you will know that he is
not definite on the line of the new birth. He cannot be.
Another thing, you will never find a Russellite baptized
in the Holy Ghost; nor a member of any other cult that does
not put the Lord Jesus Christ pre-eminent above all.
The all important thing is to make Jesus
Lord. Men can grow lopsided by emphasizing the truth of
divine healing. Man can get wrong by all the time preaching
on water baptism. But we never go wrong in exalting the
Lord Jesus Christ, giving Him the preeminent place and magnifying
Him as both Lord and Christ, yes, as very God of very God.
As we are filled with the Holy Ghost our one desire is to
magnify Him. We need to be filled with the Spirit to get
the full revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s command is for us to be filled
with the Spirit. We are no good if we have only a full cup;
we need to have an overflowing cup all the time. It is a
tragedy not to live in the fullness of overflowing. See
that you never live below the overflowing tide.
“Now there are diversities of gifts
but the same Spirit.” Every manifestation of the Spirit
is given that we might “profit withal.” When
the Holy Spirit is moving in an assembly and His gifts are
in operation, everyone will receive profit. I have seen
some who have been terribly switched. They believe in gifts,
in prophecy, and they use these gifts apart from the power
of the Holy Ghost. We must look to the Holy Spirit to show
us the use of the gifts, what they are for, and when to
use them, so that we may never use them without the power
of the Holy Ghost. I do not know of anything which is so
awful today as people using a gift without the power. Never
do it God save us from doing it.
A man who is filled with the Holy Ghost,
while he may not be conscious of having any gift of the
Spirit, can have the gifts made manifest through him. I
have gone to many places to help and have found that under
the unction of the Holy Spirit many wonderful things have
happened in the midst when the glory of the Lord was upon
the people. Any man who is filled with God and filled with
His Spirit might at any mo- have any of the nine gifts made
manifest through him without knowing that he has a gift.
Sometimes I have wondered whether it was better to be always
full of the Holy Ghost and to see signs and wonders and
miracles without any consciousness of possessing a gifts
or whether it was better to know one has a gift. If you
have received the gifts of the Spirit and they have been
blessed, you should never under any circumstances use them
without the power of God upon you pressing the gift through.
Some have used the prophetic gift without the holy touch,
and they have come into the realm of the natural, and it
has brought ruin, caused dissatisfaction, broken hearts,
upset assemblies. Do not seek the gifts unless you are purposed
to abide in the Holy Spirit. They should be manifested only
in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord will allow you to be very drunk
in His presence, but sober among people. I like to see people
so filled with the Spirit that they are drunk like the 120
on the Day of Pentecost, but I don’t like to see people
drunk in the wrong place. That is what troubles us, somebody
being drunk in a place of worship where a lot of people
come in that know nothing about the Word. If you allow yourself
to be drunk there you send people away; they look at you
instead of seeing God. They condemn the whole thing because
you have not been sober at the right time. Paul writes,
“For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God:
or whether we be sober, it is for your cause” (2 Cor.
5:13). You can be beside yourself. You can go a bit further
than being drunk. You can dance, if you will do it at the
right time. So many things are commendable when all the
people are in the Spirit. Many things are very foolish if
the people round about you are not in the Spirit. We must
be careful not to have a good time at the expense of somebody
else. When you have a good time you must see that the spiritual
conditions in the place lend themselves to help you and
that the people are falling in line with you. Then you will
find it always a blessing.
While it is right to covet earnestly the
best gifts, you must recognize that the all important thing
is to be filled with the power of the Holy Ghost Himself.
You will never have trouble with people who are filled with
the power of the Holy Ghost, but you will have a lot of
trouble with people who have the gifts and have no power.
The Lord wants us to come behind in no gift, but at the
same time He wants us to be so filled with the Holy Ghost
that it will be the Holy Spirit manifesting Himself through
the gifts. Where the glory of God alone is desired you can
look for every needed gift to be made manifest. To glorify
God is better than to idolize gifts. We prefer the Spirit
of God to any gift; but we can look for the Trinity in manifestation,
different gifts by the same Spirit, different administrations
but the sane Lord, diversities of operation but the same
God working all in all. Can you conceive of what it will
mean for our Triune God to be manifesting Himself in His
fullness in our assemblies?
Watch that great locomotive boiler as it
is filled with steam. You can see the engine letting off
some of the steam as it remains stationary. It looks as
though the whole thing might burst. You can see saints like
that. They start to scream, but that is not to edification.
But when the locomotive moves on, it serves the purpose
for which it was built, and pulls along much traffic with
it. It is wonderful to be filled with the power of the Holy
Ghost, and for Him to serve His own purposes through us.
Through our lips divine utterances flow, our hearts rejoice
and our tongue is glad. It is an inward power within which
is manifested in outward expression. Jesus Christ is glorified.
As your faith in Him is quickened, from within you there
will flow rivers of living water. The Holy Spirit will pour
through you like a great river of life and thousands will
be blessed because you are a yielded channel through whom
the Spirit may flow.
The most important thing, the one thing
that counts, is to see that we are filled with the Holy
Spirit, filled to overflowing. Anything less than this is
displeasing to God. We are commanded by God to be filled
with the Spirit, and in the measure you fail of this you
are that far short of the plan of God. The Lord would have
us moving on from faith to faith, from glory to glory, from
fullness to overflowing. It is not good for us to be ever
thinking in the past tense, but we should be moving on to
the place where we dare believe God. He has declared that
after the Holy Ghost is come upon us we shall have power.
I believe there is an avalanche of power from God to be
apprehended if we will but catch the vision.
Paul wrote at one time, “I will now
come to visions and revelations.” God has put us in
a place where He expects us to have His latest revelation,
the revelation of that marvelous fact, CHRIST IN US, and
what this really means. We can apprehend Christ fully only
as we are filled and overflowing with the Spirit of God.
Our only safeguard from dropping back into our natural mind
from which we can never get anything, is to be filled and
yet filled again with the Spirit of God and to be taken
on to visions and revelations on a new line. The reason
why I emphasize the importance of the fullness of the Holy
Ghost is that I want to get you beyond all human plans and
thoughts into the fullness of vision, into the full revelation
of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you want rest? It is in Jesus.
Do you want to be saved from everything the devil is bringing
up in these last times? Receive and continue in the fullness
of the Holy Ghost, and He will be ever revealing to you
that all you need for all times is in Christ Jesus your
I desire to emphasize the importance of
the Spirit’s ministration and of the manifestation
of the Spirit which is given to every man to profit withal.
As you yield to the Spirit of the Lord He has power over
your intellect, over your heart, and over your voice. The
Holy Spirit has power to unveil Christ and to project the
vision of Christ upon the canvas of your mind, and then
He uses your tongue to glorify and magnify Him in a way
that you could never do apart from the Spirit’s power.
Never say that when you are filled with
the Holy Ghost you are “obliged” to do this
or that. When people say that they are “obliged”
to do this or that I know it is not the Spirit of God, but
their own spirit moving them on to do that which is unseemly
and unprofitable. Lots of people spoil meetings because
they scream. If you want to do that kind of thing you had
better get into some cellar. That is not to edification.
I believe that, when the Spirit of God is upon you and moving
you to speak as He gives utterance, it will always be to
edification. But don’t spoil the prayer meeting because
when you ought to stop you go on. Who spoils the prayer
meeting? The man who starts in the Spirit and finishes in
the flesh. Nothing is more lovely than prayer, but a prayer
meeting is killed if you will go on and on in your own spirit
when the Spirit of God is through with you. You say as you
come from some meetings, “That was a lovely message
if the preacher only had stopped half an hour before he
did.” Learn to cease immediately the unction of the
Spirit lifts. The Holy Ghost is jealous. Your body is the
temple, the office of the Holy Ghost, but He does not fill
the temple for human glorification, but only for the glory
of God. You have no license to continue beyond a “Thus
saith the Lord.”
There is another side to this. God would
have the assembly as free as possible, and you must not
put your hand upon the working of the Spirit or it will
surely bring trouble. You must be prepared to allow a certain
amount of extravagance in young and newly baptized souls.
You must remember that when you were brought into this life
of the Spirit you had as many extravagances as anybody,
but you have now become somewhat sobered down. It is a pity
that some do get sobered down, for they are not where they
were in the early days. We have to look to God for wisdom
that we do not interfere or dampen the Spirit or quench
the power of God when lie is manifested in our meetings.
If you want to have an assembly full of life you must have
an assembly full of manifestation. Nobody will come if there
is no manifestation. We need to look to God for special
grace that we do not move back to looking at things from
a natural viewpoint.
The preacher, after he loses his unction,
should inwardly repent and get right with God and get the
unction back. We are no good without the unction of the
Spirit of God. If you are filled with the grace of God you
will not be judging everybody in the assembly, you will
rather be trusting everybody, you will not be frightened
at what is being done, you will have a heart to believe
all things, and to believe that though there may be some
extravagances, the Spirit of God will take control of things
and will see that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is exalted,
glorified, and revealed to hungry hearts that desire to
know Him. The Lord would have us wise unto that which is
good and simple concerning evil, free from distrust, entering
into a divine likeness to Jesus, that dares believe that
God Almighty will surely watch over all. Hallelujah!
The Holy Ghost is the One who magnifies
the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who gives illumination of
Him. If you are filled with the Holy Ghost, it is impossible
to keep your tongue still. Talk about a dumb baptized soul!
It is not to be found in the Scriptures or outside of the
Scriptures. We are filled with the Spirit in order that
we may magnify the Lord, and there should be no meeting
in which the saints do not glorify, magnify, praise, and
worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth.
I would like to give one word of caution,
for failure often comes through our not recognizing the
fact that we are always in the body. We will need our bodies
as long as we live. But our body is to be used and controlled
by the Spirit of God. We are to present our bodies, holy
and acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service.
Every member of our body must be so sanctified that it works
in harmony with the Spirit of God. Our very eyes must be
sanctified. God hates the winking of the eye. Front the
day that I read in the Proverbs what God had to say about
the winking of the eye (Prov. 6:13 and 10:10) I have never
winked. I desire that my eyes may be so sanctified that
they can always be used for the Lord. The Spirit of God
will bring within us a compassion for souls that will be
seen in our very eyes.
God has never changed the order of things
that first, there comes the natural, and then the spiritual.
For instance, when it is on your heart to pray, you begin
in the natural and your second word will probably be under
the power of the Spirit. You begin and God will end. It
is the same in giving forth utterances under the Spirit’s
power. You feel the moving of the Spirit within and you
begin to speak and the Spirit of God will give forth utterance.
Thousands have missed wonderful blessings because they have
not had faith to move out and begin in the natural, in faith
that the Lord would take them into the realm of the supernatural.
When you receive the Holy Ghost you receive God’s
Gift, in whom are all the gifts of the Spirit. Paul counsels
Timothy to stir up the gift that was within. You have power
to stir up God’s executive within you. The way you
stir up the gift within you is by beginning in faith, and
then He gives forth what is needed for the occasion. You
would never begin unless you were full of God. When we yield
to timidity and fear we simply yield to Satan. Satan. whispers,
“It is all self.” He is a liar. I have learned
this, If the Spirit of God is stirring me up, I have no
hesitation in beginning to speak in tongues, and the Spirit
of God gives me utterance and gives me the interpretation.
I find that every time I yield to the Lord on this line
I get a divine touch, I get a leading thought from the Spirit
of God and the meeting is moved up on the line of faith.
You attend a meeting in faith, believing
that the Lord is going to meet you there. But perhaps the
evangelist is not in harmony with God. The people in the
assembly are not getting what God wants. The Lord knows
it. He knows His people are hungry. What happens? He will
take perhaps the smallest vessels and put His power upon
them. As they yield to the Spirit they break forth in a
tongue. Another yields to the Spirit and there comes forth
the interpretation. The Lord’s church has to be fed,
and the Lord will take this means of speaking to His people.
Pentecostal people cannot be satisfied with the natural
message. They are in touch with heavenly things and cannot
be satisfied with anything less. They feel when there is
something lacking in a meeting, and they look to God and
He supplies that which is lacking.
When a man is filled with the Spirit he
has no conception of what he has. We are so limited in our
conception of what we have received. The only way we can
know the power that has been given is through the ministration
and manifestation of the Spirit of God. Do you think that
Peter and John knew what they had when they went up to the
temple to pray? They were limited in thought, and limited
in their expression. The nearer we get to God the more conscious
we are of the poverty of the human and we cry with Isaiah,
“I am undone, I am unclean.” But the Lord will
bring the precious blood and the flaming coals for cleansing
and refining and send us out to labor for Him empowered
by His Spirit.
God has sent forth this outpouring that
we may all be brought into a revelation of our sonship -
that we are sons of God, men of power, that we are to be
like the Lord Jesus Christ, that we are to have the powers
of sonship, the power to lay hold of that which is weak
and to quicken it. The Baptism of the Spirit is to make
us sons of God with power. We shall be conscious of our
human limits, but we shall not limit the Holy One who has
come to dwell within. We must believe that since the Holy
Ghost has come upon us we are indeed sons of God with power.
Never say that you can’t. All things are possible
to them that believe. Launch out into the deep and believe
that God has His all for you, and that you can do all things
through Him who, strengthens you.
Peter and John knew that they had been
in the upper room, they had felt the glory, they had been
given divine utterances. They had seen conviction on the
people. They knew that they had come into a wonderful thing.
They know that what they had would be ever increasing and
that it would be ever needful to cry, “Enlarge the
vessel that the Holy Ghost may have more room within.”
They knew that all the old things were moved away and they
had entered into an increasing and ever increasing knowledge
of God, and that it was their Master’s wish that they
should be filled with the Spirit of God and with power every
day and every hour. The secret of power is the unveiling
of Christ, the all-powerful One within, the revelation of
God who comes to abide within us. As they looked upon the
crippled man at the Beautiful Gate they were filled with
compassion. They were prompted by the Spirit to stop and
speak with him. They said to the lame man, “Look on
us.” It was God’s plan that the man should open
his eyes with expectation. Peter said, “Of silver
and gold we have none. But we have something and we will
give it to you. We don’t know what it is, but we give
it to you. It is all in the name of Jesus.” And then
began the ministry of God. You begin in faith and you see
what will happen. It is bidden from us at the beginning,
but as we have faith in God He will come forth. The coming
forth of the power is not of us but of God. There is no
limit to what He will do. It is all in a nutshell as you
believe God. And so Peter said, “Such as I have I
give to thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise
up and walk.” And the man who had been in that way
for forty years stood up, and began to leap, and entered
into the temple walking and leaping and praising God.
“For to one is given by the Spirit
the word of wisdom.” I want you to keep in mind the
importance of never expecting the gifts of the Spirit apart
from the power of the Spirit. In coveting the best gifts,
covet to be so full of God and His glory that the gifts
in manifestation will always glorify Him. We do not know
all and we cannot know all that can be brought forth in
the manifestation of the word of wisdom. One word of wisdom
from God, one flash of light on the Word of God, is sufficient
to save us from a thousand pitfalls. People have built without
a word from God, they have bought things without a word
from God, and they have been ensnared. They have lacked
that word of wisdom which will bring them into God’s
plan for their lives. I have been in many places where I
have needed a word of wisdom from God and this has been
I will give you one instance. There is
one thing I am very grateful to the Lord for, and that is
that He has given me grace not to have a desire for money.
The love of money is a great hindrance to many; and many
a man is crippled in his ministry because he lets his heart
run after financial matters. I was walking out one day when
I met a godly man who lived opposite me and he said, “My
wife and I have been talking together about selling our
house and we feel constrained to sell it to you.”
As we talked together he persuaded me to buy his place,
and before we said good-by I told him that I would take
it. We always make big mistakes when we are in a hurry.
I told my wife what I had promised, and she said, “How
will you manage it?” I told her that I had managed
things so far, but I did not know how I was going to get
through this. I somehow knew that I was out of divine order.
But when a fellow gets out of divine order it seems that
the last person he goes to is God. I was relying on an architect
to help me, but that scheme fell through. I turned to my
relations and I certainly had a wet shirt as one after another
turned me down. I tried my friends and managed no better.
My wife said to me, “Thou hast never been to God Yet.”
What could I do?
I have a certain place in our house where
I go to pray. I have been there very often. As I went I
said, “Lord, if You will get me out of this scrape,
I will never trouble Thee on this line again.” As
I waited on the Lord He just gave me one word. It seemed
a ridiculous thing, but it was the wisest counsel. There
is divine wisdom in every word He speaks. I came down to
my wife, saying, “What do you think? The Lord has
told me to go to Brother Webster.” I said, “It
seems very ridiculous, for he is one of the poorest men
I know.” He was the poorest man I knew, but he was
also the richest man I knew, for he knew God. My wife said,
“Do What God says, and it will be right.”
I went off at once to see him, and he said
as he greeted me, “Smith, what brings you so early?”
I answered, “The word of God.” I said to him,
“About three weeks ago I promised to buy a house of
a man, and I am short 100 pounds ($500). I have tried to
get this money, but somehow I seem to have missed God.”
“How is it,” he asked, “that you have
come to me only now?” I answered, “Because I
went to the Lord about it only last night.” “Well,”
he said, “it is a strange thing; three weeks ago I
had 100 pounds. For years I have been putting money into
a co-operative system and three weeks ago I had to go and
draw 100 pounds out. I hid it under the mattress. Come with
me and you shall have it. Take it. I hope it will bring
as great a blessing to you as it has been a trouble to me.”
I had had a word from God, and all my troubles were ended.
This has been multiplied in a hundred ways since that time.
If I had been walking along filled with the Holy Ghost,
I would not lave bought that house and would not have had
all that strain. I believe the Lord wants to loose us from
things of earth. But I am ever grateful for that word from
God. There have been times in my life when I have been in
great crises and under great weight of intercession. I have
gone to the meeting without the knowledge of what I would
say, but somehow or other God would vouchsafe the coming
forth under the power of the Spirit of some word of wisdom,
just what some souls in that meeting needed. As we look
to God His mind will be made known, and His revelation and
His word of wisdom will be forth coming.
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth
JESUS AS LORD, and shalt believe in thine heart that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”
“For TO THIS END Christ died and
lived again, THAT. HE MIGHT BE LORD of both the dead and
the living” (Romans 14:9).