Published in the Pentecostal Evangel, January 17, 1942.
In the first chapter of Mark we read of John the Baptist who was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb. Because of this mighty infilling there was a mighty message on his lips. It was foretold of John by the prophet Isaiah, that be would be the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He was to lift up his voice with strength, and cry to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”
And so we find John as he pointed to Jesus, crying out, “Behold the Lamb of God,” proclaiming Him the One of whom Abraham prophesied when he said to his son Isaac, “The Lord will provide Himself a lamb”—the Lamb of God and God the Lamb.
John was so filled with the Spirit of God that the cry he raised moved all Israel. This shows that when God gets hold of a man and fills him with the Spirit, he can have a cry, a message, a proclamation of the gospel that will move people. The man who does not have the Spirit of the Lord may cry for fifty years and nobody take notice of him. The man who is filled with the Spirit of God needs to cry out but once and people will feel the effect of it.
This should teach us that there is a necessity for everyone of us to be filled with the Spirit of God. It is not sufficient just to have a touch or to have usually a desire. There is only one thing that will meet the needs of the people today, and that is to be immersed in the life of God—God taking you and filling you with His Spirit, until you live right in God and God lives in you; so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, it shall be all for the glory of God. In that place you will find that all your strength and all your mind and all your soul are filled with zeal, not only for worship, but to proclaim the gospel message, a proclamation that is accompanied by the power of God which must defeat Satanic power, discomfit the world, and redound to the glory of God.
The reason the world today is not seeing Jesus is because Christian people are not filled with the Spirit of Christ. They are satisfied with going to church, occasionally reading the Bible, and sometimes praying. Beloved, if God lays hold of you by the Spirit, you will find that there is an end to everything of the old life. All the old things will have passed away, and all things will have become new—all things are of God. You will find that as you are wholly yielded to God, your whole being will be transformed by the divine indwelling. He will take you in hand so that you may become a vessel unto honor.
Our lives are not to be for ourselves, for if we live for self, we shall die. If we seek to save our lives we shall lose them, but if we lose our lives we shall save them. If we through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live, live a life of freedom and joy and blessing and service, a life that will bring blessing to others. God would have us to see that we must be filled with the Spirit, every day live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit, and be continually renewed in the Spirit.
Study the life of Jesus. It was quite a natural thing for Him after He had served a whole day among the multitude, to want to go to His Father to pray all night. Why? He wanted a renewing of divine strength and power. He wanted fellowship with His Father. His Father would speak to Him the word that He was to bring to others, and would empower Him afresh for new ministry. He would come from those hours of sweet communion and fellowship with His Father, clothed with His holy presence and Spirit, and anointed with the Holy Spirit and power He would go about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the enemy.
When He met sickness it had to leave. He came from that holy time of communion with power to meet the needs of the people, whatever they were. It is an awful thing for me to see people who profess to be Christians lifeless and powerless. The place of holy communion is open to us all. There is a place where we can be daily refreshed and renewed and re-empowered.
In the 4th chapter of Hebrews we are told, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works.” Oh, what a blessed rest that is, to cease from your own works, to come to the place where God is now enthroned in your life, working in you day by day to will and to do His good pleasure, working in you an entirely new order of things.
God wants to bring you forth as a flame of fire, with a message from God, with a truth that shall defeat the powers of Satan, with an unlimited supply for every needy soul. So, just as John moved the whole of Israel with a mighty cry, you too by the power of the Holy Ghost will move the people so that they repent and cry, “What shall we do?”
This is what Jesus meant when He said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God... that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” If we only knew what these words mean to us, to be born of God! An infilling of the life of God, a new life from God, a new creation, living in the world but not of the world, knowing the blessedness of that word, “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” How shall we reach this place in the Spirit? By the provision of the Holy Spirit that He makes. If we live in the Spirit we shall find all that is carnal swallowed up in life. There is an infilling of the Spirit which quickens our mortal bodies.
Give God your life, and you will see that sickness has to go when God comes in fully. Then you are to walk before God, and you will find that He will perfect that which concerns you. That is the place where He wants believers to live, the place where the Spirit of the Lord comes into your whole being. That is the place of victory.
Look at the disciples. Before they received the Holy Spirit they were in bondage. When Christ said, “One of you shall betray Me,” they were all doubtful of themselves and said, “Is it I?” They were conscious of their human depravity and helplessness. Peter said, “Though I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee.” The others declared the same; yet they all forsook Him, and fled. But after the power of God fell upon them in the upper room, they were like lions to meet difficulty. They were bold. What made them so? The purity and power that is by the Spirit.
God can make you an overcomer. When the Spirit of God comes into your surrendered being He transforms you. There is a life in the Spirit that makes you free, and there is an audacity about it, and there is a personality in it—it is God in you.
God is able to so transform you and change you, that all the old order has to go before God’s new order. Do you think that God will make you to be a failure? God never made man to be a failure. He made man to be a son, to walk the earth in the power of the Spirit, master over the flesh and the devil, until nothing arises within him except that which will magnify and glorify the Lord.
Jesus came to set us free from sin, to free us from sickness, so that we should go forth in the power of the Spirit and minister to the needy, sick and affiicted. Through the revelation of the Word of God, we find that divine healing is solely for the glory of God, and that salvation is walking in newness of life so that we are inhabited by Another, even God.