Ye Shall Receive Power
“Ye shall receive power after the
Holy Ghost is come upon you.” The disciples had been
asking whether the Lord would at that time restore again the
kingdom to Israel. Christ told them that it was not for them
to know the times and seasons which the Father had put in
His own power, but He promised them that when they received
the Holy Ghost they should receive power to witness for Him
in all the world. To receive the Holy Ghost is to receive
power with God, and power with men.
There is a power of God and there is a power
which is of Satan. When the Holy Spirit fell in the early
days, a number of spiritists came to our meetings. They thought
we had received something like they had and they were coming
to have a good time. They filled the two front rows of our
mission. When the power of God fell, these imitators began
their shaking and muttering under the power of the devil.
The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon me and I cried.
“Now, you devils, clear out of this!” And out
they went. I followed them right out into the street and then
they turned round and cursed me. There was power from below,
but it was no match for the power of the Holy Ghost, and they
soon had to retreat.
The Lord wants all saved people to receive
power from on High--power to witness, power to act, power
to live, and power to show forth the divine manifestation
of God within. The power of God will take you out of your
own plans and put you into the plan of God. You will be unmantled
and divested of that which is purely of yourself and put into
a divine order. The Lord will change you and put His mind
where yours was, and thus enable you to have the mind of Christ.
Instead of you labouring according to your own plan, it will
be God working in you and through you to do His own good pleasure
through the power of the Spirit within. Someone has said that
you are no good until you have your “I” knocked
out. Christ must reign within, and the life in the Holy Ghost
means at all times the subjection of your own will to make
way for the working out of the good and acceptable and perfect
will of God within.
I was holding a meeting, once, in London,
and at the close a man came to me and said, “We are
now allowed to hold meetings in this hall after 11 o'clock,
and we would like you to come home with us. I am so hungry
for God.” The wife said she, too, was hungry, and so
I agreed to go with them. At about 12:30 we arrived at their
house. The man began stirring up the fire and said, “Now
we will have a good supper.” I said to them, “I
did not come here for your warm fire, your supper or your
bed. I came here because I thought you were hungry to get
more of God.” We got down to pray and at about 3:30
the Lord baptized the wife, and she spoke in tongues as the
Spirit gave utterance. At about 5 o'clock I spoke to the husband
and asked how he was getting on. He replied, “God has
broken my iron, stubborn will.” He had not received
the Baptism, but God had wrought a mighty work within him.
The following day, at his business, everyone
could tell that a great change had come to him. Before he
had been a walking terror. The men who laboured for him had
looked upon him as a regular devil because of the way he had
acted; but coming into contact with the power of God that
night completely changed him. Before this he had made a religious
profession, but he had never truly entered into the experience
of the new birth until that night, when the power of God surged
so mightily through his home. A short while afterwards I went
to this man's home, and his two sons ran to me and kissed
me, saying, “We have a new father.” Previous to
this these boys had often said to their mother, “Mother,
we cannot stand it in the home any longer. We will have to
leave.” But the Lord changed the whole situation that
night as we prayed together. On the second visit the Lord
baptized this man in the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit will
reveal false positions, pull the mask off any refuge of lies
and clean up and remove all false conditions. When the Holy
Spirit came in, that man's house and business and he himself
were entirely changed.
When the Holy Spirit comes in He comes to
empower you to be an effective witness. At one time we were
holding some special meetings and I was out distributing bills.
I went into a shoemaker's store and there was a man with a
green shade over his eyes and also a cloth. My heart looked
up to the Lord and I had the witness within that He was ready
to change any condition. The man was crying, “Oh! Oh!!
Oh!!!” I asked, “What's the trouble?” He
said he was suffering with great inflammation and burning.
I said, “I rebuke this condition in Jesus' name.”
Instantly the Lord healed him. He took off the shade and cloth
and said, “Look, it is all gone.”
At one time a lady wrote and asked if I could
go and help her. She said that she was blind, having two blood
clots behind her eyes. When I reached the house they brought
the blind woman to me. We were together for some time and
then the power of God fell. Rushing to the window she exclaimed,
“I can see! Oh, I can see! The blood is gone, I can
see.” She then inquired about receiving the Holy Spirit
and confessed that for ten years she had been fighting our
position. She said, “I could not bear these tongues,
but God has settled the whole thing today. I now want the
Baptism in the Holy Ghost.” The Lord graciously baptized
her in the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will come when a man is cleansed.
There must be a purging of the old life. I never saw anyone
baptized who was not clean within.
I remember being in a meeting at one time,
where there was a man seeking the Baptism, and he looked like
he was in trouble. He was very restless, and finally he said
to me, “I will have to go.” I said, “What's
up?” He said, “God is unveiling things to me,
and I feel so unworthy.” I said, “Repent of everything
that is wrong.” He continued to tarry and the Lord continued
to search his heart. These times of waiting on God for the
fullness of the Spirit are times when He searches the heart
and tries the reins. Later the man said to me, “I have
a hard thing to do, the hardest thing I have ever had to do.”
I said to him, “Tell the Lord you will do it, and never
mind the consequences.” He agreed, and the next morning
he had to take a ride of thirty miles and go with a bag of
gold to a certain party with whom he dealt. This man had a
hundred of cattle and he bought all his feed at a certain
place. He always paid his accounts on a certain day, but one
day he missed. He was always so punctual in paying his accounts
that when later the people of his form went over their books,
they thought they must have made a mistake in not crediting
the man with the money and so they sent him a receipt. The
man never intended not to pay the account, but if you defer
to do a right thing the devil will see that you never do it.
But when that man was seeking the Lord that night the Lord
dealt with him on this point, and he had to go and straighten
the thing the next morning. He paid the account and then the
Lord baptized him in the Spirit. They that bear the vessels
of the Lord must be clean, must be holy.
When the Holy Spirit comes He always brings
a rich revelation of Christ. Christ becomes so real to you
that, when, under the power of the Spirit, you begin to express
your love and praise to Him, you find yourself speaking in
another tongue. Oh, it is a wonderful thing! At one time I
belonged to a class who believed that they had received the
Baptism in the Spirit without the speaking in tongues. There
are many folks like that today, but if you can go with them
to a prayer meeting you will find them asking the Lord again
and again to baptize them in the Spirit. Why all this asking
if they really have received the Baptism? I have never heard
anyone who has received the Baptism in the Holy Ghost after
the original pattern asking the Lord to give them the Holy
Ghost. They know of a surety that He has come.
I was once traveling from Belgium to England.
As I landed I received a request to stop at a place between
Harwich and Colchester. The people were delighted that God
had sent me, and told me of a special case they wanted me
to pray for. They said, “We have a brother here who
believes in the Lord, and he is paralyzed from his loins downward.
He cannot stand on his legs and he has been twenty years in
this condition.” They took me to this man and as I saw
him there in his chair I put the question to him. “What
is the greatest desire in your heart?” He said, “Oh,
if I could only receive the Holy Ghost!” I was somewhat
surprised at this answer, and I laid my hands on his head
and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Instantly
the power of God fell upon him and he began breathing very
heavily. He rolled off the chair and there he lay like a bag
of potatoes, utterly helpless. I like anything that God does.
I like to watch God working. There he was with his great,
fat body, and his head was working just as though it was on
a swivel. Then to our joy he began speaking in tongues. I
had my eyes on every bit of him and as I saw the condition
of his legs I said, “Those legs can never carry that
body.” Then I looked up and said, “Lord, tell
me what to do.” The Holy Ghost is the executive of Jesus
Christ and the Father. If you want to know the mind of God
you must have the Holy Ghost to bring God's latest thought
to you and to tell you what to do. The Lord said to me, “Command
him in My name to walk” But I missed it, of course.
I said to the people there, “Let's see if we can lift
him up.” But we could not lift him, he was like a ton
weight. I cried, “Oh Lord, forgive me.” I repented
of doing the wrong thing, and then the Lord said to me again,
“Command him to walk.” I said to him, “Arise
in the name of Jesus.” His legs were immediately strengthened.
Did he walk? He ran all round. A month after this he walked
ten miles and back. He has a Pentecostal work now. When the
power of the Holy Ghost is present, things will happen.