20 April 2008

The substance of things hoped for.

Published in the Pentecostal Evangel, October 25, 1924.

Read Hebrews 11. This is a wonderful passage; in fact all the Word of God is wonderful. It is not only wonderful, but it has power to change conditions. Any natural condition can be changed by the Word of God, which is a supernatural power. In the Word of God is the breath, the nature, and the power of the living God, and His power works in every person who dares to believe His Word. There is life through the power of it; and as we receive the Word in faith we receive the nature of God Himself. It is as we lay hold of God’s promises in simple faith that we become partakers of the divine nature. As we receive the Word of God we come right into touch with a living force, a power which changes nature into grace, a power that makes dead things live, a power which is of God, which will be manifested in our flesh. This power has come forth with its glory to transform us by divine act into sons of God, to make us like unto THE Son of God, by the Spirit of God who moves us on from grace to grace and from glory to glory as our faith rests in thIs living Word.

It is important that we have a foundation truth, something greater than ourselves, on which to rest. In Hebrews 12 we read, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” Jesus is our life and He is the power of our life. We see in the 5th chapter of Acts that as soon as Peter was let out of prison the word of God came, “Go speak... all the words of this life.” There is only one Book that has life. In this Word we find Him who came that we might have life and have it more abundantly, and by faith this life is imparted to us. When we come into this life by divine faith (and we must realize that it is by grace we are saved through faith, and that it is not of ourselves, but is the gift of God), we become partakers of this life. This Word is greater than anything else. There is no darkness at all in it. Anyone who dwells in this Word is able under all circumstances to say that he is willing to come to the light that his deeds may be made manifest. But outside of this Word is darkness, and the manifestations of darkness will never come to the light because their deeds are evil. But the moment we are saved by the power of the Word of God we love the light, the truth. The inexpressible divine power, force, passion, and fire that we receive is of God. Drink, my beloved, drink deeply of this Source of life.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Someone said to me one day, “I would not believe in anything I could not handle and see,” Everything you can handle and see is temporary and will perish with the using. But the things not seen are eternal and will not fade away. Are you dealing with tangible things or with the things which are eternal, the things that are facts, that are made real to faith? Thank God that through the knowledge of the truth of the Son of God I have within me a greater power, a mightier working, an inward impact of life, of power, of vision and of truth more real than anyone can know who lives in the realm of the tangible. God manifests Himself to the person who dares to believe.

But there is something more beautiful than that. As we receive divine life in the new birth we receive a nature that delights to do the will of God. As we believe the Word of God a well of water springs up within our heart. A spring is always better than a pump. But I know that a spring is apt to be outclassed when we get the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. It was a spring to the woman at the well, but with the person who has the Holy Ghost it is flowing rivers. Have you these flowing rivers? To be filled with the Holy Ghost is to be filled with the Executive of the Godhead, who brings to us all the Father has and all the Son desires; and we should be so in the Spirit that God can cause us to move with His authority and reign by His divine ability.

I thank God He baptizes with the Holy Ghost. I know He did it for me because they heard me speak in tongues and then I heard myself. That was a scriptural work and I don’t want anything else, because I must be the epistle of God. There must be emanating through my body a whole epistle of the life, of the power, and of the resurrection of my Lord Jesus, There are wonderful things happening through this divine union with God Himself.

“God... hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” By this divine Person, this Word, this Son, God made all things. Notice that it says that He made the worlds by this Person and made them out of the things that were not there. Everything we see was made by this divine Son. I want you to see that as you receive the Son of God, and as Christ dwells in your heart by faith, there is a divine force, the power of limitless possibilities, within you, and that as a result of this incoming Christ God wants to do great things through you. By faith, if we receive and accept His Son, God brings us into sonship, and not only into sonship but into joint-heirship, into sharing together with Him all that the Son possesses.

I am more and more convinced every day I live that very few who are saved by the grace of God have a right conception of how great is their authority over darkness, demons, death, and every power of the enemy. It is a real joy when we realize our inheritance on this line.

I was speaking like this one day and someone said, “I have never heard anything like this before. How many months did it take you to get up that sermon?” I said, “My brother, God pressed my wife from time to time to get me to preach and I promised her I would preach. I used to labor hard for a week to get something up, then give out the text and sit down and say, ‘I am done.’ Oh brother, I have given up getting things up. They all come down. And the sermons that come down stop down, then go back, because the Word of God says His word shall not return unto Him void. But if you get anything up it will not stop up very long, and when it goes down it takes you down with it.”

The sons of God are made manifest in this present earth to destroy the power of the devil. To be saved by the power of God is to be brought from the realm of the ordinary into the extraordinary, from the natural into the divine.

Do you remember the day when the Lord laid His hands on you? You say, “I could not do anything but praise the Lord.” Well, that was only the beginning. Where are you today? The divine plan is that you increase until you receive the measureless fulness of God. You do not have to say, “I tell you it was wonderful when I was baptized with the Holy Ghost.” If you have to look back to the past to make me know you are baptized, then you are backslidden. If the beginning was good, it ought to be better day by day, till everybody is fully convinced that you are filled with the might of God in the Spirit. Filled with all the fulness of God! “Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit.” I don’t want anything else than being full, and fuller, and fuller, until I am overflowing like a great big vat. Do you realize that if you have been created anew and begotten again by the Word of God that there is within you the word of power and the same light and life as the Son of God Himself had.

God wants to flow through you with measureless power of divine utterance and grace till your whole body is a flame of fire. God intends each soul in Pentecost to be a live wire. Not a monument, but a movement. So many people have been baptized with the Holy Ghost; there was a movement but they have become monuments and you cannot move them. God wake us out of sleep lest we should become indifferent to the glorious truth and the breath of the almighty power of God. We must be the light and salt of the earth, with the whole armor of God upon us. It would be a serious thing if the enemies were about and we had to go back and get our sandals. It would be a serious thing if we had on no breastplate. How can we be furnished with the armor? Take it by faith. Jump in, stop in, and never come out, for this is a baptism to be lost in, where you only know one thing and that is the desire of God at all times. The Baptism in the Spirit should be an ever-increasing enduement of power, an ever-increasing enlargement of grace. Oh Father, grant unto us a real look into the glorious liberty Thou hast designed for the children of God who are delivered from this present world, separated, sanctified, and made meet for Thy use, whom Thou hast designed to be filled with all Thy fulness.

Nothing has hurt me so much as this, to see so-called believers have so much unbelief in them that it it hard to move them. There is no difficulty in praying for a sinner to be healed. But with the “believer,” when you touch him he comes back and says, “You did not pray for my legs.” I say you are healed all over if you believe. Everything is possible to them that believe. God will not fail His Word whatever you are. Suppose that all the people in the world did not believe, that would make no difference to God’s Word, it would be the same. You cannot alter God’s Word. It is from everlasting to everlasting, and they who believe in it shall be like Mount Zion which cannot be moved.

I was preaching on faith one time and there was in the audience a man who said three times, “I won’t believe." I kept right on preaching because that made no difference to me. I am prepared for a fight any day, the fight of faith. We must keep the faith which has been committed unto us. I went on preaching and the man shouted out, “I won’t believe.” As he passed out of the door he cried out again, “I won’t believe.” Next day a message came saying there was a man in the meeting the night before who said out loud three times. “I won’t believe,” and as soon as he got outside the Spirit said to him, “Because thou wouldst not believe thou shalt be dumb.” It was the same Spirit that came to Zacharias and said, “Thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words.” I believe in a hell. Who is in hell? The unbeliever. If you want to go to hell, all you need to do is to disbelieve the Word of God. The unbelievers are there. Thank God they are there for they are no good for any society. I said to the leader of that meeting, “You go and see this man and find out if these things are so.” He went to the house and the first to greet him was the man’s wife. He said, “Is it true that your husband three times in the meeting declared that he would not believe, and now he cannot speak?” She burst into tears and said, “Go and see.” He went into the room and saw the man’s mouth in a terrible state. The man got a piece of paper and wrote, “I had an opportunity to believe. I refused to believe, and now I cannot believe and I cannot speak.” The greatest sin in the world is to disbelieve God’s Word. We are not of those who draw back, but we are of those who believe, for God’s Word is a living Word and it always acts.

One day a stylishly dressed lady came to our meeting and on up to the platform. Under her arm, going down underneath her dress, was a concealed crutch that nobody could see, She had been helpless in one leg for twenty years, had heard of what God was doing, and wanted to be prayed for. As soon as we prayed for her she exclaimed, “What have you done with my leg?” Three times she said it, and then we saw that the crutch was loose and hanging, and that she was standing straight up. The lady that was interpreting for me said to her, “We have done nothing with your leg. If anything has been done it is God who has done it.” She answered, “I have been lame and used a crutch for twenty years, but my leg is perfect now.” We did not suggest that she get down at the altar and thank God; she fell down among the others and cried for mercy. I find when God touches us it is a divine touch, life, power, and it thrills and quickens the body so that people know it is God and conviction comes and they cry for mercy. Praise God for anything that brings people to the throne of grace.

God heals by the power of His Word. But the most important thing is, Are you saved, do you know the Lord, are you prepared to meet God? You may be an invalid as long as you live, but you may be saved by the power of God. You may have a strong healthy body but may go straight to hell because you know nothing of the grace of God and salvation. Thank God I was saved in a moment, the moment I believed, and God will do the same for you. God means by this divine power within you to make you follow after the mind of the Spirit by the Word of God, till you are entirely changed by the power of it. You might come on this platform and say, “Wigglesworth, is there anything you can look up to God and ask Him for in your body?” I will say now that I have a body in perfect condition and have nothing to ask for, and I am 65. It was not always so. This body was a frail, helpless body, but God fulfilled His Word to me according to Isaiah and Matthew—Himself took my infirmities and my diseases, my sicknesses, and by His stripes I am healed. It is fine to go up and down and not know you have a body. He took our infirmities, He bore our sickness, He came to heal our broken-heartedness. Jesus would have us to come forth in divine likeness, in resurrection force, in the power of the Spirit, to walk in faith and understand His Word, what He meant when He said He would give us power over all the power of the enemy. He will subdue all things till everything comes into perfect harmony with His will. Is He reigning over your affections, desires, will? If so, when He reigns you will be subject to His reigning power. He will be authority over the whole situation. When He reigns, everything must be subservient to His divine plan and will for us.

See what the Word of God says: “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” “Lord!” Bless God forever. Oh for Him to be Lord and Master! for Him to rule and control! for Him to be filling your whole body with the plan of truth! Because you are in Christ Jesus all things are subject to Him. It is lovely, and God wants to make it so to you. When you get there you will find divine power continually working. I absolutely believe that no man comes into the place of revelation and activity of the gifts of the Spirit but by this fulfilled promise of Jesus that He will baptize us in the Holy Ghost.

I was taken to see a beautiful nine-year-old boy who was lying on a bed. The mother and father were distracted because he had been lying there for seven months. They had to lift and feed him; he was like a statue with flashing eyes. As soon as I entered the place the Lord revealed to me the cause of the trouble, so I said to the mother, “The Lord shows me there is something wrong with his stomach.” She said, “Oh no, we have had two physicians and they say it is paralysis of the mind.” I said, “God reveals to me it is his stomach.” “Oh no, it isn’t. These physicians ought to know, they have X-rayed him.” The gentleman who brought me there said to the mother, “You have sent for this man, you have been the means of his coming, now don’t you stand out against him. This man knows what he has got to do.” But Dr. Jesus knows more than that. He knows everything. You have no need to ring the bell for doctors. All you have to do is ring your bell for Jesus and He will come down. You should never turn to human things, because divine things are so much better and just at your call. Who shall interfere with the divine mind of the Spirit which has all revelation, who understands the whole condition of life, for the Word of God declares He knoweth all things, is well acquainted with the manifestation of thy body, for everything is naked and open before Him with whom we have to do. Having the mind of the Spirit we understand what is the will of God. I prayed over this boy and laid my hands on his stomach. He became sick and vomited a worm thirteen inches long, and was perfectly restored. Who knows? God knows. When shall we come into the knowledge of God? When we cease from our own mind and allow ourselves to become clothed with the mind and authority of the mighty God.

The Spirit of God would have us understand there is nothing that can interfere with our coming into perfect blessing except unbelief. Unbelief is a terrible hindrance. As soon as we are willing to allow the Holy Ghost to have His way, we will find great things will happen all the time. But oh how much of our own human reason we have to get rid of, how much human planning we have to become divorced from. What would happen right now if everybody believed God? I love the thought that God the Holy Ghost wants to emphasize the truth that if we will only yield ourselves to the divine plan He is right there to bring forth, the mystery of truth.

How many of us believe the Word? It is easy to quote it, but it is more important to have it than to quote it. It is very easy for me to quote, “Now are we the sons of God,” but it is more important for me to know whether I am a son of God. When the Son was on the earth He was recognized by the people who heard Him. Never man spake like Him. His word was with power, and that word came to pass. Sometimes you have quoted, “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world,” and you could tell just where to find it. But brother, is it so? Can demons remain in your presence? You have to be greater than demons, Can disease lodge in the body that you touch? You have to be greater than the disease. Can anything in the world stand against you and hold its place if it is a fact that greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world? Dare we stand on the line with the Word of God and face the facts of the difficulties before us?

I can never forget the face of a man that came to me one time: His clothes hung from him, his whole frame was shrivelled, his eyes were glaring and glassy, his jaw bones stuck out, his whole being was a manifestation of death. He said to me, “Can you help me?” Could I help him? Just as we believe the Word of God can we help anybody, but we must be sure we are on the Word of God. If we are on the Word of God it must take place. As I looked at him I thought I had never seen anybody alive that looked like him. I said, “What is it?” He answered with a breath voice, “I had a cancer on my chest. I was operated on and in removing the cancer they removed my swallower; so now I can breathe but cannot swallow.” He pulled out a tube about nine inches long with a cup at the top and an opening at the bottom to go into a hole. He showed me that he pressed one part of that into his stomach and poured liquid into the top; and for three months had been keeping himself alive that way. It was a living death. Could I help him? See what the Word of God says: “Whosoever... shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith." God wants to move us on scriptural lines. On those lines I said, “You shall have a good supper tonight.” “But,” he said, “I cannot swallow.” I said, “You shall have a good supper tonight.” “But I cannot swallow.” “You shall have a good supper; go and eat.”

When he got home he told his wife that the preacher said he could have a good supper that night. He said, “If you will get something ready I’ll see if I can swallow.” His wife got a good supper ready and he took a mouthful. He had had mouthfuls before but they would not go down. But the Word of God said “whatsoever,” and this mouthful went down, and more and more went down until he was full up. Then what happened? He went to bed with the joy of the knowledge that he could again swallow, and he wakened next morning with that same joy. He looked for a hole in his stomach, but God had shut that up when he opened the other.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith is the Word. You were begotten of the Word, the Word is in you, the life of the Son is in you, and God wants vou to believe.

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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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