10 June 2007

The gift of prophecy.

Published in the Pentecostal Evangel, August 25, 1923.
Ever Increasing Faith, chapter 16. (Published 1924.)

In 1 Corinthians 12.10, speaking of the diversities of gifts by the same Spirit, Paul writes, "To another prophecy." We see the importance of this gift from 1 Corinthians 14.1, where we are told to follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that we may prophesy. We see also that he that prophesieth speaketh unto man to edification, and exhortation and comfort. How important it is then that we should have this gift in manifestation in the church in order that the saints might be built up and made strong and filled with the comfort of God. But with this as all other gifts we should see that it is operated by the Spirit's power and brought forth in the unction of the Spirit; so that everyone who shall hear prophecy, as it is brought forth by the Spirit of God, shall know that it is GOD who is bringing forth that which is for the edification of those who hear. It is the Spirit of God who takes of the deep things of God and reveals them, and unctionizes the prophet to give forth that which is a revelation of the things of God.

Utterance in prophecy has a real lifting power and gives real light on the truth to those who hear. Prophecy is never a mind reflection, it is something far deeper than this. By means of prophecy we receive that which is the mind of the Lord; and as we receive these blessed, fresh utterances through the Spirit of the Lord the whole assembly is lifted into the realm of the spiritual. Our hearts and minds and whole bodies receive a quickening through the Spirit-given word. As the Spirit brings forth prophecy we find there is healing and salvation and power in every line. For this reason it is one of the gifts that we ought to covet.

While we appreciate true prophecy, we must not forget that the Scriptures warn us in no uncertain manner concerning that which is false. In 1 John 4.1 we are told, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." And John tells us how we can tell the difference between the true and the false, "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God but this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come." There are voices which seem like prophecy and some have got into terrible darkness and bondage through listening to these counterfeits of the true gift of prophecy. True prophecy is always Christ-exalting, magnifying the Son of God, exalting the blood of Jesus Christ, encouraging the saints to praise and worship the true God. False prophecy deals with things that do not edify and is designed to puff up its hearers and to lead them into error.

Many picture Satan as a great, ugly monster with great ears, eyes and a tail; but the Scriptures give us no such picture of him. He was a being of great beauty and his heart became lifted up. He is manifesting himself everywhere today as an angel of light. He is full of pride, and if you don't watch he will try to make you think you are somebody. This is the weakness of most preachers and most men—the idea of being somebody! There are none of us who are anything, and the more we know we are nothing, the more God can make us a channel of His power. May the dear Lord save us from all these pride side-lines—they are the devil's traps. True prophecy will show you that Christ is all in all, and that you are in yourself less than nothing and vanity. False prophecy will not magnify Christ but will make you think that after all you are going to be some great one. You may be sure that such is inspired by "the chief of the sons of pride."

I want to warn you against the foolishness of continually seeking to hear voices. Look in the Bible. Here we have the voice of God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, and hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son. Don't run away with anything else. If you hear the voice of God it will be on the line of the Scriptures of truth given in the inspired Word. In Revelation 22.18-19 we see the danger of attempting to add to or take from the prophecy of this Book. True prophecy, as it comes forth in the power of the Spirit of God, will neither take from nor add to the Scriptures, but will intensify and quicken that which already has been given to us of God. The Holy Ghost will bring to our remembrance all the things that Jesus said and did. True prophecy will bring forth things new and old out of the Scriptures of truth and will make them living and powerful to us.

Some may ask, "If we have the Scriptures, why do we need prophecy?" The Scriptures themselves answer this question. God has said that in the last days He will pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh, "and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy." The Lord knew that in these last days prophecy would be a real means of blessing to us, and that is why we can count on Him giving us, by means of the Spirit, through His servants and His handmaids, true prophetic messages.

I want to give you a warning concerning listening to voices. I was at a meeting in Paisley in Scotland and came in touch with two young women. One of them wore a white blouse but it was smeared with blood. They were in a great state of excitement. These two girls were telegraph operators and were precious young women, having received the Baptism in the Spirit. They were both longing to be missionaries. But whatever our spiritual state is we are subject to temptations. An evil power came to one of these young women and said, "If you will obey me, I will make you one of the most wonderful missionaries that ever went out." This was just the devil or one of his agents acting as an angel of light. One of these young women was captured immediately and she became so excited that her sister saw there was something wrong and asked the overseer to allow them to be free for a time.

As she took her into a room, the power of Satan, endeavoring to imitate the Spirit of God, manifested itself in a voice, and led this young woman to believe that the missionary enterprise would be unfolded that night if she would obey. This evil spirit said, "Don't tell anybody but your sister." I reckon that everything of God can be told to everybody. (If you cannot preach what you live, your life is wrong. If you are afraid of telling what you do in secret, some day it will be told from the housetop. Don't think you will get out of it. That which is pure cometh to the light. "He that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.")

The evil power went on to say to this girl, "You go to the railroad station tonight, and there will be a train coming in at 7:32. Buy a ticket for yourself and your sister. Then you will have six pence left. You will find a woman in a carriage dressed as a nurse, and opposite her will be a gentleman who has all the money you need." She bought her ticket and had just six pence left. The first thing came right. Next, the train came in at exactly 7:32. But the next thing did not come. They ran from the top to the bottom of that railroad train before it moved out and nothing turned out as they had been told. As soon as the train moved out the same voice came and said, "Over on the other platform." All that night until 9:30 these two young women were rushed from platform to platform. As soon at it was 9:30 this same evil power said, "Now that I know you will obey me, I will make you the greatest missionaries." Always something big! They might have known it was all wrong. This evil power said, "This gentleman will take you to a certain bank at a certain corner in Glasgow where he will put all that money in for you." Banks are not open at that time of night in Glasgow. If she had gone to the street this evil spirit mentioned, therc probably would not have been a bank there. All they needed was a little common sense and they would have seen that it was not the Lord. If you have your heart open for these kind of voices you will soon get into a trap. We must ever remember that there are many evil spirits in the world.

Were these two people delivered? Yes, after terrible travail with God, they were perfectly delivered. Their eyes were opened to see that this thing was not of God but of the devil. These two sisters are now laboring for the Lord in China and doing a blessed work for Him. If you do get into error on these lines, praise God there is a way out. I praise God that He will break us down till all pride leaves us. The worst pride we can save is the pride of exaltation of self.

Paul wrote at the commandment of the Lord, "Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted." If you are not humble enough to allow your prophecy to be judged, it is as surely wrong as you are wrong. Prophecy has to be judged. A meeting such as this one that Paul suggests would certainly be the greatest meeting you ever had. Praise God, the tide will rise to this. It will all come into perfect order when the church is bathed and lost in the great ideal of only glorifying Jesus. Then things will come to pass that will be worth while.

Coupled with prophecy you will have the fruit of the Spirit that is goodness. They were holy men who spoke in prophecy in days of old as the Holy Ghost prompted them, and so today the prophet who can he trusted is a man that is full of goodness, that goodness which is the fruit of the Spirit. But when he gets out of this position, and rests upon his own individuality, he is in danger of being puffed up and becoming an instrument for the enemy.

I knew some people who had a wonderful farm, very productive, in a very good neighborhood. They listened to voices telling them to sell everything and go to Africa. These voices so unhinged them that they had scarcely had time to sell out. They sold their property at a ridiculous price. The same voice told them of a certain ship they were to sail on. When they got to the port they found there wasn't a ship of that name. The difficulty was this, to get them not to believe these false voices. They said perhaps it was the mind of the Lord to give them another ship, and the voice soon gave them the name of another ship. When they reached Africa they knew no language that was spoken there. But the voice did not let them stop. They had to come back, broken-hearted, shaken through, and having lost all confidence in everything. If these people had had sense to go to some men of God who were filled with the Spirit and seek their counsel, they would soon have been persuaded that these voices were not of God. But listening to these voices always brings about a spiritual pride that makes a man or woman think that they are superior to their brethren, and that they are above taking counsel of men who they think are not so filled with the Spirit as they are. If you hear any voices that make you think that you are superior to those whom God has put in the church to rule the church, watch out, that is surely the devil.

We read in the Revelation that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. You will find that true prophetic utterance always exalts the Lamb of God.

No prophetic touch is of any good unless there is fire in it. I never expect to be used of God till the fire burns. I feel that if I ever speak, it must be by the Spirit. At the same time remember that the prophet must prophecy according to the measure of faith. If you rise up in your weakness, but rise up in love because you want to honor God, and just begin, you will find the presence of the Lord upon you. Act in faith and the Lord will meet you.

May God take us on and on into this glorious fact of faith that we may be so in the Holy Ghost that God will work through us on the line of the miraculous and on the lines of prophecy, where we will always know that it is no longer we but He who is working through us, bringing forth that which is in His own divine good pleasure.

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02 June 2007

The power to bind and to loose.

Preached at 70 Victor Road, Bradford, England.
Published in the Pentecostal Evangel, February 3, 1923.
Faith that Prevails, chapter 3, “Spiritual power.”

Bible Reading, Matthew 16

The Pharisees and Sadducees had been tempting Jesus to show them a sign from heaven. He showed them that they could discern the signs that appeared on the face of the sky, and yet they could not discern the signs of the times. He would give them no sign to satisfy their unbelieving curiosity, remarking that a wicked and adulterous generation sought after a sign and that no sign should be given to them but the sign of the prophet Jonah. A wicked and adulterous generation stumbles over the story of Jonah, but faith can see in that story a wonderful picture of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

After Jesus had departed from the Pharisees, and had come to the other side of the lake, He said to His disciples, "Take heed, and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." The disciples began to reason among themselves, and all they could think of was that they had taken no bread. What were they to do? Then Jesus uttered these words, "O ye of little faith!" He had been so long with them, and yet they were still a great disappointment to Him because of their lack of comprehension and of faith. They could not grasp the profound spiritual truth He was bringing to them and could only think about having brought no bread. "O ye of little faith! Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?"

Do you keep in memory how God has been gracious in the past? God has done wonderful things for all of us. If we keep these things in memory we shall become strong in faith. We should be able to defy Satan in everything. Remember all the way the Lord has led. When Joshua passed over Jordan on dry land he told the people to pick up twelve stones and pitch them in Gilgal, and these were to keep the children of Israel in constant memory that they came over Jordan on dry land. How many times had Jesus shown to His disciples the mightiness of His power, and yet they failed in faith right here.

At one time Jesus said to Peter, "What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?" Peter said, "Of strangers." Then Jesus said, "Then are the children free. Nevertheless, lest we should offend them. go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them, for me and thee." Peter had been at the fishing business all his life but he never had caught a fish with any silver in its mouth. But the Master does not want us to reason things out—for carnal reasoning will always land us in a bog of unbelief—but just to obey. “This is a hard job,” Peter must have said, as he put the bait on his hook, “but since You told me to do it, I'll try,” and he cast his line into the sea. There were millions of fish in the sea, but every fish had to stand aside and leave that bait alone, and let that fish with the piece of money in his mouth come up and take it.

Do you not see that the words of the Master are the instruction of faith? It is impossible for anything to miss that Jesus says. All His words are spirit and life. If you will only have faith in Him you will find that every word that God gives is life. You cannot be in close touch with Him, and you cannot receive His Word in simple faith without feeling the effect of it in your body as well as in your spirit and soul.

A woman came to me in Cardiff, Wales, who was filled with ulceration. She had fallen in the streets twice through this trouble. She came to the meeting and it seemed as if the evil power within her purposed to kill her right there, for she fell and the power of the devil was rending her sore. She was helpless, and it seemed as if she had expired. I cried, “O God, help this woman.” Then I rebuked the evil power in the name of Jesus, and instantly the Lord healed her. She rose up and made a great to-do. She felt the power of God in her body and wanted to testify all the time. After three days she went to another place and began to testify about the Lord's power to heal. She came to me and said, “I want to tell everyone about the Lord's healing power. Have you no tracts on this subject?” I handed her my Bible and said, “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—they are the best tracts on healing. They are full of incidents about the working and power of Jesus. They will never fail to accomplish the work of God if people will but read and believe them.”

That is where men lack. All lack of faith is due to not feeding on God's Word. You need it every day. How can you enter into a life of faith? Feed on the living Christ of whom this Word is full. As you get taken up with the glorious fact and the wondrous presence of the living Christ, the faith of God will spring up within you. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

He gives life, not leaven. God has separated us from the leaven of denominationalism, and we dare not go back to it again. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Beware of the unbelief and worldliness that has gotten into and is corrupting all the denominations. God has made us a separated people, and we must keep separated if we are to retain our power. You cannot go back without being corrupted. If we go back, we will lose our power. If we go on, satisfied with being without the camp, even as He was, we will see more of the power and glory of God in our midst.

Jesus asked His disciples what men were saying about Him. They told Him, "Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets." Then He put the question, to see what they thought about it, "But whom say ye that I am?" Peter answered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to him, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." It is so simple. Whom do you say He is? Who is He? Do you say with Peter, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God"? How can you know this. He is to be revealed. Flesh and blood does not reveal this. It is an inward revelation. God wants to reveal His Son within us and make us conscious of an inward presence. Then you can cry, “I know He’s mine. He is mine! He is mine!” "Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him." Seek God until you get from Him a mighty revelation of the Son, until that inward revelation moves you on to the place where you are always stedfast, unmoveable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord.

There is a wonderful power in this revelation. "Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Was Peter the rock? No. A few minutes later he was so full of the devil that Christ had to say to him, "Get thee behind me, Satan; thou art an offense unto me." This rock was Christ. He is the Rock and there are many scriptures to confirm this. And to every one that knows that He is the Christ He gives the key of faith, the power to bind and the power to loose. Stablish your hearts with this fact. God wants you to have the inward revelation of this truth and of all the power contained in it.

I had been preaching on tnis line in Toronto, endeavoring to show that the moment a man believes with all his heart God puts into him a reality, a substance, a life; yea, God dwells in him, and with the new birth there comes into us a mighty force that is mightier than all the power of the enemy. A man ran out of the meeting, and when I got home that night he was there with a big, fine, tall man. This man said to me, “Three years ago my nerves became shattered. I can’t sleep. I have lost my business. I have lost everything. I am not able to sleep at all and my life is one of misery.” I said to him, “Go home, and sleep, in the name of Jesus.” He turned round and seemed reluctant to go: but I said to him, “Go!” and shoved him out of the door.

The next morning he rang up on the telephone. He said to my host, “Tell him I slept all night. I want to see him at once.” He came and said, “I’m a new man. I feel I have got a new life. And now can you get me my money back?” I said, “Everything!” He said, “Tell me how.” I said, “Come to the meeting tonight and I’ll tell you.” The power of God was mightily present in that evening meeting, and he was greatly under conviction. He made for the altar but fell before he got there. The Lord changed him and changed everything in him. He is now a successful business man. All his past failures came through a lack of the knowledge of God. No matter what troubles you, God can shake the devil out, and completely transform you. There is none like Him.

"Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." God is pleased when we stand upon this Rock and believe that He is unchangeable. If you will dare to believe God. you can defy all the powers of evil. There have been times in my experience when I have dared to believe Him and I have had the most remarkable experiences.

One day I was traveling in a railway train, and there were two people in the car that were very sick, a mother and her daughter. I said to them, “Look, I’ve something in this bag that will cure every case in the world. It has never been known to fail.” They became very much interested, and I went on telling them more and more about this remedy that never failed to remove disease and sickness. At last they summoned up courage to ask for a dose. So I opened my bag, took out my Bible, and read them that verse, "I am the Lord that healeth thee." It never fails. He will always heal you if you dare believe Him. Men are searching everywhere today for things with which they can heal themselves, and they ignore the fact that the Balm of Gilead is within easy reach. As I talked about this wonderful Physician, the faith of both mother and daughter went out toward Him, and He healed them both right in the train.

God has made His Word so precious that, if I could not get another copy, I would not part with my Bible for all the world. There is life in the Word. There is virtue in it. I find Christ in it; and He is the One I need for spirit, soul, and body. It tells me of the power of His name and of the power of His blood for cleansing. The lions may lack and suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

A man came to me at one time, brought by a little woman. I said, “What's up with him?” She said, “He gets situations, but he fails every time. He is a slave to alcohol and nicotine poison. He is a bright, intelligent man in most things, but he goes under to these two things.” I was reminded of the words of the Master, giving us power to bind and loose, and I told him to put out his tongue. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I cast out the evil powers that gave him the taste for these things. I said to him, “Man, you are free today.” He was unsaved, but when he realized the power of the Lord in delivering him, he came to the services, publicly acknowledged that he was a sinner, and the Lord saved and baptized him. A few days later I asked, “How are things with you?” He said, “I'm delivered.” God has given us the power to bind and the power to loose.

In another place a woman came to me and said, “I have not been able to smell for twenty years; can you do anything for me?” I said, “You shall smell tonight.” Could I give anybody that which had been lost for twenty years? Not of myself, but I remembered the Rock on which God's church is built, the Rock Christ Jesus, and His promise to give power to His own to bind and loose. We can dare to do anything if we know we have the Word of God behind us. In the name of the Lord Jesus I loosed this woman. She ran all the way home. The table was full of good things, but she would not touch a thing. She said, “I am having a feast of smelling!” Praise the Lord for the fact that He himself backs up His own Word and proves the truth of it in these days of unbelief and apostasy.

Another person came and said, “What can you do for me? I have had sixteen operations and have had my ear drums taken out.” I said, “God has not forgotten how to make ear drums.” I anointed her and prayed, asking the Lord that the ear drums should be replaced. She was so deaf that I do not think she would have heard if a cannon had gone off. She was as deaf as it was possible to be afterwards. But she saw other people getting healed and rejoicing. Had God forgotten to be gracious? Was His power just the same? She came the next night and said, “I have come to believe God tonight.” Take care you do not come any other way. I prayed for her again and commanded her ears to be loosed in the name of Jesus. She believed, and the moment she believed she heard. She ran and jumped upon a chair and began to preach. Later I let a pin drop and she heard it fall. God can give drums to ears. All things are possible with God. God can save the worst.

Discouraged one, cast your burden on the Lord. He will sustain you. Look unto Him and be lightened. Look unto Him now.

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Apostle of Faith

  1. “First the blade…”
  2. An helpmeet for him.
  3. “Then the ear…”
  4. Endued from on high.
  5. After receiving the Baptism.
  6. The ministry of healing.
  7. In labors more abundant.
  8. Miracles in Australia and New Zealand.
  9. Visits to Switzerland and Sweden.

Ever Increasing Faith

  1. Have faith in God. (12/22)
  2. Deliverance to the captives. (2/23)
  3. The power of the name. (1/23)

Faith That Prevails

  1. The faith that comes from God. (9/22)
  2. Like precious faith. (10/14/22)



I started this site ’cause I took a Pentecostal history class in grad school, used several Wigglesworth articles for a paper, and rather than just throw away my source materials, I stuck ’em on the internet. I’ve been adding to them since. Thanks for the encouraging feedback!

Yes, the Wigglesworth articles are edited for spelling, punctuation, paragraph breaks, and verse references. But that’s all. Most of the source materials are transcripts of what he spoke aloud, so I believe such alterations are justifiable. I’ve included scans of the original publications in case you wish to compare. Any further typos are because the OCR software made them and I didn’t catch them. Sorry.

If you come across another version of these articles with significant differences (including in print!) it’s because their editor decided to take further liberties with Wigglesworth than I would. There comes a point when such editing becomes less about Wigglesworth’s own words, and more about editors wishing to reshape Wigglesworth to suit them. Or the times. There are certain things Wigglesworth said and taught where I personally can’t agree, and honestly don’t believe the scriptures back him up. (You want my view, visit Christ Almighty.) But as an historian I’m posting what he said, disagreements or not. I wouldn’t appreciate it if people bent my words in like manner, and I’m not editing him for anyone’s theological sensibilities—neither mine nor yours.

You have my permission to link to this blog, and make fair-use quotations of it. But as for republication, the rights don’t belong to me. Thanks to Disney’s continued lobbying for copyright extensions, they won’t be out of copyright in the United States till 2042—if ever. So the copyrights belong to Wigglesworth, the respective publications, and their successors. All rights reserved.

Bible links go to good old Bible Gateway. Wigglesworth used the Authorized (King James) Version, and any discrepancies are because he impressively quoted from memory.

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—K.W. Leslie

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