King James Version (KJV)
19 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
The human body has been called the microcosm of the universe, a little world of wonders and a monument of divine wisdom and power, sufficient to convince the most incredulous mind of the existence of the Great Designer. There are enough evidences of supreme skill in the structure of the human hand alone to prove the existence, intelligence and benevolence of God in the face of all the sophistry of infidelity. The records of creation teach the importance and dignity of the human body. When God had made all other parts of the material universe, before He formed the human frame He called a solemn council of the Trinity, and with the most majestic deliberation He decreed, “Let us make man in our image after our likeness,” and it is added, “The Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” All the infinite wisdom of the Trinity was concentrated in his creation and the kiss of the Almighty awoke his higher nature into consciousness and life.
The reason why God has so honored the human frame is made very clear in the subsequent revelation of Jesus Christ and the great mystery of the incarnation. It was because the human body was designed to be the ultimate climax of the whole creation and the eternal form of the incarnate God Himself. Always, it would seem, that the Lord Jesus Christ had purposed to become embodied in a human form, and to link the creation with the Creator in His own wonderful Person. Therefore, the human body was designed, in the beginning, as the pattern and type of this sublimest form of being which ever should exist. Have we ever fully realized the stupendous fact that, down to the latest ages of eternity, as often as from the distant worlds of space, another and another new inhabitant shall come to the great metropolis of the universe to gaze upon the face of its Lord and to behold the wonderful God to whom all creation owes its existence, and to celebrate His yet more wonderful glory and grace in the redemption of a sinful race of which those ages and realms are forever to hear as the most marvelous story of the eternities, they shall gaze as they enter the celestial gates and approach the jasper throne upon the face of a man, upon a form like yours and mine, upon the human frame and countenance of Jesus! Oh! may we not still say, “Lord, what is man that Thou hast set such honor upon him!“ Our hearts sink in amazement and adoration at the infinite grace which has so glorified the human body. Shall we wonder, therefore, beloved, that God should require it to be made worthy of such a destiny and sanctified wholly unto its high calling! For, seated by the side of that wondrous Man, we, too, shall share His glory, and be the objects of the wonder and love of the ages to come.
One of the gravest errors of all the centuries has been to depreciate the body. Today the old form of Gnosticism has been trying to establish the doctrine that matter is not real, that the human body is not real but a fiction, or, as they are pleased to phrase it, “a wrong belief,” and this “wrong belief” is the cause of all our physical troubles. The aim, therefore, of their long-ago exploded philosophy is to do away with the body, or, rather, the belief of the body, and to reduce man to a simple combination of mental faculties.
This is wholly contrary to the teachings of Scripture, and, in fact, would seem to be the antichrist of which the Apostle John declared that it should deny that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh. Another ancient error was that the body was essentially evil and the great source of temptation and sin, so that the true aim of life in the struggle after sanctity was to get rid of the body, or, at least, to reduce it to the lowest possible condition and render it as incapable as possible of injuring the soul and spirit. One of their favorite methods was the mortification of the body through physical penances and privations until it became reduced and emaciated, so as to cease to be the instigator of evil. The ascetic idea grew out of this delusion, the essential principle of monasticism being the denying of the body in order to the higher culture of the spiritual life. A still grosser form of delusion taught that the true way to purify the body was to indulge its grossest passions to the utmost excess, thus wearing them out by their own abuse and making their theory prove its extreme folly in the fact that while professing sanctity it really led to every kind of sin.
The blessed Holy Spirit has taught us a more excellent way, and Christ has made provision for the sanctification of the body as well as the soul and spirit. Let us ask once more what is a sanctified body, and the first answer will be
I. IT IS A SEPARATED BODY.
It is essential in order to the true sanctification of the body that it be cleansed from all impurity and physical sin. There are bodily transgressions as distinct as those of the soul and spirit.
Surely it is not necessary to say that a sanctified body is a body cleansed from gross, sensual indulgences. And yet this is one of the things of which the Apostle most frequently speaks in those epistles which rise to the sublimest heights of spiritual exultation, and speak most freely of our high place in the fellowship of Christ and the life of the Spirit. Those who dwell in heavenly places are not exempt from watching diligently against the sins of the flesh.
Beloved, are your bodies thus separated from all unholy use and all abuse?
The sanctified body, we need scarcely add, is a body cleansed from the indulgences of the appetites in every excessive or unnatural form. It is a body that abhors the coarse sin of gluttony and the pampering of its tastes. It is a body that regards the question of eating and drinking, not as a matter for the delectation of the palate, but as a natural and divine provision for its strength and nourishment, that it may glorify God by the use of its powers for Him. It is a body that abstains from the gross and abominable indulgence of the drunkard. And we believe truly, that, in this day, a wholly sanctified body will be kept from even using that which becomes to such multitudes the very poison of hell and the cause of wreck for time and eternity. It is a body that avoids unnatural physical appetites, whether they be the opiate, the cigar or the wine-cup.
Beloved, are your bodies thus sanctified and separated from all evil?
The sanctified body is one whose hands are clean. The stain of dishonesty is not on them, the withering blight of ill-gotten gain has not blistered them, the mark of violence is not found upon them. They have been separated from every occupation that could displease God or injure a fellow-man.
A sanctified body is one whose feet are cleansed from every false way and unhallowed step. They go not in the paths of sinners and the promenades of worldliness and folly. They are not found in the great procession that throngs the theaters and keeps time in the dance to the carnival of folly and earthly pleasure. They walk not in the broad road that leads to destruction, but have turned aside from every forbidden way to walk in the footprints of the Lord, to carry His messages and to do His will.
A sanctified body is known, as physical health is known, by the appearance of the tongue. Your physician asks to see your tongue when he calls, and there is no surer test of a sanctified body than the condition of its tongue. A sanctified tongue is a true tongue. It is cleansed from every form of falsehood, equivocation, deception, and lying, whether it be the daring perjury of the criminal, or the polite prevarication of fashionable society. Along with this it has also abandoned profanity in every form, the oath of the blasphemer or the polite jest that plays and puns on sacred things and makes light of the holy and the divine. It is a tongue that is free from folly and frivolity. It does not shrink from the spirit of genial and innocent humor when it is controlled by sense and kindness, but it has repudiated foolish talking which is not convenient, and seeks, in everything, to speak in the sight of God as the instrument of His thought and will. And, above all other forms of abuse of the tongue, it has put away evil speaking, the abominable gossip of society, the habit of repeating all that one hears, and especially the evil that affects another. It dare not give publicity to an unkind report or an unfavorable whisper respecting another’s character, or even utter that which it knows to be false, unless under the stern necessity of protecting another’s soul from danger, and then only when it has first spoken freely and plainly to the offending one directly. A sanctified tongue is also cleansed from all needless speaking. It has learned the golden habit of stillness and finds its greatest blessing in its own supression and habit of silence and communion with God.
Beloved, has God sanctified your tongue? Are you willing that He should? Will you give to Him the reins of this member, and, henceforth, relinquish to Him the right to hold it in suppression, to keep it from idle, evil, false or foolish speech, and use it wholly as the instrument of His will and service? Solemnly and forcibly has the Apostle James said: “The tongue is a world of iniquity, it setteth on fire the whole course of nature and is set on fire of hell.” Almost every chapter in the book of proverbs flashes with sentences of fiery warning against this lively member of the human body, whose control the Apostle has said is the real test of perfection and entire sanctification. “For if any man offend not in tongue, the same is a perfect man and able also to bridle the whole body.”
The sanctified body has also been cleansed from the sins of the eyes. It has purposed that it will not look on evil nor on vanity. It refuses to see the faults of others or to dwell upon the spectacle of temptation or the fascinations of vice. It declines to read the doubled-leaded or double-inked lines that flash, through our daily press, the foul deed of a fallen world before the eyes of the public, and keeps the spirit pure by closing the shutters of vision and keeping out the foul images that pass before the windows of the heart for all that will allow them to attract their attention. It is a great thing to learn to turn away your eyes from beholding vanity and to remember the injunction of the wisest preacher: “Let thine eyes look right on and thine eyelids straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet and let all thy ways be established.”
Beloved, have you sanctified your eyes and separated them from evil unto the Lord, or will you do so from this moment as the light of conviction is passing even now through your soul? Shall you not say,
“Take my eyes and let them see
Only that which pleases Thee”?
A sanctified body has cleansed its sense of hearing and put up the curtains upon its ears against all the sin that assaults our senses from without. It refuses to hear evil as much as to speak it, and puts gossip and slander to flight by looking boldly in its face, and demanding, “How dare you?“
Beloved, are you one of those of whom it is written, “He that shutteth his eyes to the seeing of evil, and his ears from the hearing of evil, he shall dwell on high; his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks”? Thine “eyes shall see the King in his beauty, they shall behold the land that is very far off.”
The sanctified body is one whose dress is free from worldliness and sin, and marked by that modesty and simplicity which neither attracts attention by its being either excessive or defective. The truest dress is that which the ordinary observer is less likely to notice, and so controlled by simplicity and propriety that most persons should fail to remember anything special in the appearance of the wearer, and of which it could be as truly said that the wearer was equally unconscious of her dress. There is much in this that speaks for God or the world. Dear friends, is your dress sanctified to the Lord? Is your person a simple, earnest, modest witness for Christ?
The sanctified body is one that has been purified from intemperate work, and immoderate and excessive service of any kind, and also from the needless neglect of the simple laws of nature and of health. While these efforts should not bind us where God’s work or will requires us to go to the extreme of toil and self-sacrifice and self-denial, yet where such denials are needless, they are wrong; and especially is it a physical sin for men and women to violate every principle of prudence in the pursuit of pleasure or selfish gain, and receive the sad retribution in worn-out bodies and premature disease and death, in pursuit of the fancied prize.
The sanctified body has been, or at least should be, separated from disease. We do not say that disease is a voluntary sin, but we do say that it is a blemish and a physical impurity. It is a form of corruption in the flesh. Under the ancient dispensation it disqualified priests from ministering at the altar. It was a defilement or blemish, and so still it is a hindrance to the highest spiritual state and to the most effective service for God. No doubt He can overrule it for much good. He can make the invalid’s chamber a beautiful example and testimony. But this does not make the disease the more pleasing to Him nor the less a blemish; an abnormal condition; an impurity in the human system; something from which Christ has come to separate His people; something which He bore upon the cross that we might not bear it, but “by his stripes be healed.”
Beloved, have you been separated from disease, from the malarias and humors that defile your blood, depress your liver, drag down your spirits, cloud your brain, irritate your temper and overshadow all your future life and work, besides holding you back from service for God, and occupying your existence with a morbid self-consciousness and a struggle that is dragging you down when God wants every power engaged in service for a suffering world? Are you willing to be sanctified from disease, and is it valuable enough for you to throw your prejudices away and accept the salvation which Christ has come to bring for spirit, soul and body?
II. A SANCTIFIED BODY IS A DEDICATED BODY.
In the twelfth chapter of Romans the Apostle Paul beseeches us to present our body a living sacrifice, and in a later epistle he speaks to the Corinthians as not their own but bought with a price, therefore expected to glorify God in their bodies which are His. It is impossible for the spirit and soul to be consecrated to God while the body is still held in our own hands, in some measure at least. This is as incongruous as a house presented to a friend while we retain the title deed to the lot on which it stands, or a precious jewel while we retain the key of its casket. The dedication of the body implies the setting apart of our entire physical being, with every organ and member, as the property of God, to be the object of His special care and the instrument of His special will and service. While it may be done in one great comprehensive act, once for all, yet it adds great force and definiteness to it to make it explicit and to recognize every individual member as particularly yielded to His ownership and control. Millions have probably been helped to such a consecration by the eloquent but yet simple hymn of Frances Ridley Havergal:
“Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.”
We are so prone to generalize things that it is extremely wholesome for us to make our spiritual acts explicit. A consecrated body is one that recognizes itself as the property of God and recognizes Him as the Guardian and Keeper of all its interests and needs. He is responsible to take care of us, and, like little children, we look to Him for all. It is a body which has learned to regard every sense and organ, not as a minister of our own pleasure, but a channel for His life and a weapon for His work. This, indeed, is the word used by the Apostle when he says, “Yield yourself unto God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as weapons of righteousness unto God.” The hands are presented to Him to work for His glory, whether it be in our secular calling or in our ministry for others. This, of course, implies that our works are consecrated, that our greetings are consecrated, and that even the grasp of our hand speaks for Christ.
It means that our tongues speak only at His bidding and for His glory; that we regard every word as a trust or service, and that our speech is always with grace seasoned with salt and for the edification of others. A consecrated tongue will not speak even the commonest word without waiting upon God for His direction, and looking to Him for His approval. Consecrated ears will be very attentive to all that He would have us hear, as well as dead to all other voices. Consecrated eyes will see a thousand opportunities which others pass by unheeded, a thousand beauties and meanings in things which others miss. Consecrated feet will find the path of duty always easy; the highest stairs, the most lonely walks, the most repulsive journeys, the most self-denying tasks a willing service for their Lord; and the errands on which they run will be doubly effectual because they are the Lord’s feet which carry the Lord’s messages. A consecrated voice will have a new power to sing and speak, which natural tones and cultured elocution or music could never accomplish.
Beloved, are your bodies thus consecrated with all their powers to work and walk and speak, to see and hear, to give of your means and to use your whole external life as a glad and sacred ministry for Christ?
III. A SANCTIFIED BODY IS A BODY FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST.
“Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost?” So the Master is asking of us all, and there are many who have received Him into their hearts whose flesh has not become His entire abode. None of us yet fully realize to how great an extent our physical frame may become the abode of the Lord Jesus. We have sometimes seen a human face light up with the glory of God in some hour of spiritual elevation, on some mountain top of spiritual experience, or in the light of the borderland, until it seemed as if the body had become transparent and the light of heaven within was shining through the windows of a palace. This may give us some conception of how God can fill even this earthly vessel with Himself. We are told in the New Testament Scriptures the reason is that Christ has become the Head of the human body, and that even in this life “the Lord is for the body and the body for the Lord.” He is, it is true, the source of physical strength and health, but there is something far higher than divine healing, and that is divine health. It is one thing to have the Lord touch us until we are delivered from our infirmities, but it is another thing to have Him possess us with His life, and our life become His life manifest in our mortal flesh.
This is the teaching of the Apostle in the fourth chapter of the Second Corinthians: “We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.” The vessel may be very frail, but if the life of Christ possesses us it fills it with strength as well as divine sacredness. This is what he means when he speaks in the verses that follow of being cast down but not destroyed, perplexed but not in despair, always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also might be made manifest in us. This life will carry us above our physical infirmities on the high tide of a supernatural vitality which is not dependent upon our organic conditions, but elevates us above them and becomes a heavenly nourishment to all our conscious life and work, so that we can truly say, “We live not by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” and that “in him we live and move and have our being.”
This is really a foretaste of the future life. The frail vessel of clay cannot bear it all as the resurrection body will be able, but we can receive and reflect all that we can hold, in this present mortal life, of the very life of our living, immortal Head, the Second Adam who has been made a quickening Spirit.
Beloved, have you received this mystery, this new and glorious secret, which all may receive in a cleansed, consecrated, and receptive vessel? It is waiting, like the light, to come in wherever there is room to receive it. And this blessed filling not only holds and strengthens, but it endues with power for service, and enables our body to become a vehicle of the Spirit and the instrument of the higher nature for the noblest ends.
This great and glorious truth which we have been unfolding is not without a parallel and a parable even in the natural realm. We can often see in the lower world how a piece of clay can be so filled with a higher principle as to be transformed and to be endued with higher properties than its own nature was capable of expressing. Take, for example, that rough mass of iron ore out of the dark mine. It is but a lump of earth.; but smelt it, and melt it, and cleanse it from all its dross, and draw it out in malleable form into the supple wire which girds, in millions of miles, the whole circle of the globe today, and then fill it with the electric fire, and lo! the earthen vessel becomes the electric wire and speaks the messages of business and affection to all mankind. What a mighty power a piece of clay has become! So God can take your vessel of earth and cleanse, develop and prepare, and then fill with His holy presence until it shall speak to the millions of earth and the ages of eternity of Him and for Him.
Or, look at these two or three chemicals: prepare them, and bring them into chemical adjustments and positions, and then attach suitable wires to form your circle; then let the battery play, and lo! you have the magnificent system of the electric light; and those two little bits of clay suspend between them that most perfect form which science knows today, and which is illuminating our streets, our factories, our buildings, with a radiance which defies the revolving earth, or the changes of day and night, to affect man’s luxury or comfort. So God can take the earthen vessel, and illuminate it with a touch of His glory until it becomes itself the very light of the world.
Or, again, take this little handful of sand and melt it, and cast it into your mould, let it cool, then polish it into a concave lens, and then take it to yonder splendid observatory on Mount Hamilton and put it into the greatest telescope in the world, and then look into the converging lines of heaven which meet in its bosom, and lo! the whole heavens are revealed, the distant worlds of space have stooped down to meet your eye, and that little bit of clay is filled with the vision of immensity. You can see the distant hills of the moon, the rings of Saturn, the nebulous clouds of space, divided up into their innumerable stars and systems; and the whole universe becomes a wonder all through a little bit of clay filled with something higher than itself.
So, beloved, you can be polished and filled until you, too, shall shine with the reflected glory of heaven and become a channel for the Spirit of vision and revelation, disclosing the very secrets of the Lord and the wonders of His Word and works. Or, shall we take another example in that piece of common charcoal? Shall we carry it through all the stages of mineralogy until it becomes crystallized carbon and the rough diamond? Shall we then take it and cut down its rough sides and polish it into facets until from a hundred angles it flashes back the rays of light and the glories of color like a little sun or like a rainbow and sun all combined? It is but a bit of clay filled with light.
So, beloved, these bodies of ours, these earthen vessels, may receive a treasure, too, that will so shine from them, when cleansed and completely sanctified, and when all the Master’s discipline has been completed, that will make them like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. For the day is coming when the wondering universe shall look upon us in the image of our glorious Lord, and shall wonder which most to wonder at, the Heavenly Bridegroom or the Heavenly Bride, which has received all her glory, from her more glorious Head, and is all the more wonderful because of her humble origin and because of her dark and sinful past. Oh, let us yield ourselves unto God; let us receive Him into every pore and fibre of our being; let every chord and every member be a channel for His indwelling and inworking, and our whole spirit, soul and body sanctified wholly and presented blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and then shall these bodies leap into that higher plane and rise to that nobler destiny of which He has given us now the earnest and the foretaste even in this mortal flesh.
“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
People give much attention to what material clothes they should put on, but the New Testament tells us what spiritual clothes to put on. First, we are to be “endued with” power from on high. This Greek word (enduo) is normally rendered “put on.” That is, we are to put on power, and this is imparted only by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), according to Christ’s departing promise.
“Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. . . . put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:12, 14). “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
Along with this, we are to “put off concerning the former conversation the old man,” and then to “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22, 24). Then we must “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).
These items of spiritual clothing—the power of the Holy Spirit, the light of God’s presence, the new man in Christ, the resurrection life of the indwelling Christ, His imputed righteousness and holiness and all our spiritual armor—provide the foundation clothing for beautiful spiritual jewels and accessories. “Ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: . . . Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; . . . And above all these things put on charity |love|” (Colossians 3:9-10, 12, 14). HMM
The Institute for Creation Research
“For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.” (2 John 2)
The word “truth” occurs more in the gospel of John than in any other book of the New Testament, and it occurs in the first epistle of John more than in any other book except John’s gospel. Then, it occurs more in John’s two one-chapter epistles (2 and 3 John) than in any other New Testament book save John and 1 John. Surely one of the great themes in John’s writings is truth!
God is, indeed, the God of truth, and His written Word is “the scripture of truth” (Daniel 10:21). “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth” (Psalm 33:4). The Lord Jesus Christ is, in fact, the very incarnation of truth. “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” He asserted (John 14:6).
Surely truth dwells forever in Christ, for He is Himself the Creator and is thereby the very definition of truth. But how can it be that truth dwells in us and shall be with us forever? This is certainly not the case with the natural man.
It can only be by the Holy Spirit, of course, and this is what Christ—who is the truth—has promised. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17).
That being so, with the Holy Spirit of truth indwelling us forever, our words, and deeds, and our very lives should be characterized by truth and complete consistency. “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor” (Ephesians 4:25). “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (1 John 1:6). HMM
The Institute for Creation Research
Read Luke 4:1-20.
Our precious Lord Jesus has everything for everybody. Forgiveness of sin, healing of diseases and the fullness of the Spirit all come from one sourcefrom the Lord Jesus Christ. Hear Him who is the same yesterday, today and forever as He announces the purpose for which He came: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he bath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he bath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Jesus had been baptized by John in Jordan, and the Holy Spirit had descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him. Being full of the Holy Ghost., He had been led by the Spirit into the wilderness, there to come off more than conqueror over the arch enemy. Then He returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee and preached in the synagogues, and at last He came to His old home town-Nazareth, where He announced His mission in the words I have just quoted. For a brief while He ministered on the earth, and then gave His life a ransom for all. But God raised Him from the dead. And before He went to the glory He told His disciples that they too should receive the power of the Holy Ghost upon them. Thus, through them, His gracious ministry would continue. This power of the Holy Ghost was not only for a few apostles. but even for them that are afar off. even as many as our God should call (Acts 2:39) even for us in this twentieth century. Some ask “But was not this power just for the privileged few in the first century?” No. Read the Master’s great commission as recorded by Mark, and you will see it is for them that believe.
After I had received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost (and I know that I received; for the Lord gave me the Spirit in just the same way as He gave Him to the disciples at Jerusalem), I sought the mind of the Lord as to why I was baptized. One day I came home from work and went into the house and my wife asked me, “Which way did you come in?” I told her that I had come in at the back door. She said, “There is a woman upstairs and she has brought an old man of eighty to be prayed for. He is raving up there and a great crowd is outside the front door, ringing the door-bell and wanting to know what is going on in the house.” The Lord quietly whispered, “This is what I baptized you for.”
I carefully opened the door of the room where the man was, desiring to be obedient to what my Lord would say to me. The man was crying and shouting in distress, “I am lost! I am lost! I have committed the unpardonable sin. I am lost! I am lost!” My wife said, “Dad, what shall we do?” The Spirit of the Lord moved me to cry out, “Come out, thou lying spirit.” In a moment the evil spirit went, and the man was free. Deliverance to the captives! And the Lord said to me, “This is what I baptized you for.”
There is a place where God, through the power of the Holy Ghost, reigns supreme in our lives. The Spirit reveals, unfolds, takes of the things of Christ and shows them to us, and prepares us to be more than a match for Satanic forces.
When Nicodemus came to Jesus he said, “We know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” Jesus said to him, “Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus was impressed by the miracles wrought; and Jesus pointed out the necessity of a miracle being wrought with every man who would see the kingdom. When a man is born of God, is brought from darkness to light, a mighty miracle is wrought. Jesus saw every touch by God as a miracle, and so we may expect to see miracles wrought today. It is wonderful to have the Spirit of the Lord upon us. I would rather have the Spirit of God on me for five minutes than to receive a million dollars.
Do you see how Jesus mastered the devil in the wilderness? He knew He was the Son of God and Satan came along with an “if.” How many times has Satan come along to you this way? He says, “After all, you may be deceived. You know you really are not a child of God.” If the devil comes along and says that you are not saved, it is a pretty sure sign that you are. When he comes and tells you that you are not healed, it may be taken as good evidence that the Lord has sent His word and healed you. The devil knows that if he can capture your thought life, he has won a mighty victory over you. His great business is injecting thoughts, but if you are pure and holy you will instantly shrink from them. God wants us to let the mind that was in Christ Jesus, that pure, holy, humble mind of Christ, be in us.
I come across people everywhere I go who are held bound by deceptive conditions, and these conditions have come about simply because they have allowed the devil to make their minds the place of his stronghold. How are we to guard against this? The Lord has provided us with weapons that are mighty through God to the pulling down of these strongholds of the enemy, and by means of which every thought shall be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ and His mighty name are an antidote to all the subtle seeds of unbelief that Satan would sow in your minds.
In the first chapter of Acts, we see that Jesus gave commandment to the disciples that they should wait for the promise of the Father, and He told them that not many days hence they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Luke tells us that he had written his former treatise concerning all that Jesus began both to do and teach. The ministry of Christ did not end at the cross, but the Acts and the epistles give us accounts of what He continued to do and teach through those whom He indwelt. And our blessed Lord Jesus is still alive, and continues His ministry through those who are filled with His Spirit. He is still healing the broken-hearted and delivering the captives through those on whom He places His Spirit.
I was traveling one day in a railway train in Sweden. At one station there boarded the train an old lady with her daughter. The old lady’s expression was so troubled that I enquired what was the matter with her. I heard that she was going to the hospital to have her leg taken off. She began to weep as she told that the doctors had said there was no hope for her except through having her leg amputated. She was seventy years old. I said to my interpreter, “Tell her that Jesus can heal her.” The instant this was said to her, it was as though a veil was taken off her face, it became so light. We stopped at another station and the carriage filled tip with people. There was a rush of men to board that train and the devil said, “You’re done.” But I knew I had the best proposition, for hard things are always opportunities to get to the Lord more glory when He manifests His power. Every trial is a blessing. There have been times when I have been pressed through circumstances and it seemed as if a dozen road engines were going over me, but I have found that the hardest things are just lifting places into the grace of God. We have such a lovely Jesus. He always proves Himself to be such a mighty Deliverer. He never fails to plan the best things for us.
The train began moving and I crouched down, and in the name of Jesus commanded the disease to leave. The old lady cried, “I’m healed. I know I’m healed.” She stamped her leg and said, “I’m going to prove it.” So when we stopped at another station she marched up and down, and shouted, “I’m not going to the hospital.” Once again our wonderful Jesus had proven Himself a Healer of the broken-hearted, a Deliverer of one that was bound.
At one time I was so bound that no human power could help me. My wife was looking for me to pass away. There was no help. At that time I had just had a faint glimpse of Jesus as the Healer. For six months I had been suffering from appendicitis, occasionally getting temporary relief. I went to the mission of which I was pastor, but I was brought to the floor in awful agony, and they brought me home to my bed. All night I was praying, pleading for deliverance, but none came. My wife was sure it was my home call and sent for a physician. He said that there was no possible chance for me-my body was too weak.
Having had the appendicitis for six months, my whole system was drained, and, because of that, he thought that it was too late for an operation. He left my wife in a state of broken-heartedness.
After he left, there came to our door a young man and an old lady. I knew that she was a woman of real prayer. They came upstairs to my room. This young man jumped on the bed and commanded the evil spirit to come out of me. He shouted, “Come out, you devil; I command you to come out in the name of Jesus!” There was no chance for an argument, or for me to tell him that I would never believe that there was a devil inside of me. The thing had to go in the name of Jesus, and it went, and I was instantly healed.
I arose and dressed and went downstairs. I was still in the plumbing business, and I asked my wife, “Is there any work in? I am all right now, and I am going to work.” I found there was a certain job to be done and I picked up my tools and went off to do it. Just after I left, the doctor came in, put his plug hat down in the hall, and walked up to the bedroom. But the invalid was not there. “Where is Mr. Wigglesworth ?” he asked. “Oh, doctor, he’s gone out to work,” said my wife. “You’ll never see him alive again,” said the doctor; “they’ll bring him back a corpse.”
Well, I’m the corpse.
Since that time, in many parts of the world, the Lord has given me the privilege of praying for people with appendicitis; and I have seen a great many people up and dressed within a quarter of an hour from the time I prayed for them. We have a living Christ who is willing to meet people on every line.
A number of years ago I met Brother D. W. Kerr and he gave me a letter of introduction to a brother in Zion City named Cook. I took his letter to Brother Cook, and he said, “God has sent you here.” He gave me the addresses of six people and asked me to go and pray for them and meet him again at 12 o’clock. I got back at about 12:30 and he told me about a young man who was to be married the following Monday. His sweetheart was in Zion City dying of appendicitis. I went to the house and found that the physician had just been there and had pronounced that there was no hope. The mother was nearly distracted and was pulling her hair, and saying, “Is there no deliverance!” I said to her, “Woman, believe God and your daughter will be healed and be up and dressed in fifteen minutes.” But the mother went on screaming.
They took me into the bedroom, and I prayed for the girl and commanded the evil spirit to depart in the name of Jesus. She cried, “I am healed.” I said to her, “Do you want me to believe that you are healed? If you are healed, get up.” She said, “You get out of the room, and I’ll get up.” In less than ten minutes the doctor came in. He wanted to know what had happened. She said, “A man came in and prayed for me, and I’m healed.” The doctor pressed his finger right in the place that had been so sore, and the girl neither moaned nor cried. He said, “This is God.” It made no difference whether he acknowledged it or not, I knew that God had worked. Our God is real in saving and healing power today. Our Jesus is just the same, yesterday, and today, and forever. He saves and heals today just as of old, and He wants to be your Saviour and your Healer.
Oh, if you would only believe God! What would happen? The greatest things. Some have never tasted the grace of God, have never had the peace of God. Unbelief robs them of these blessings. It is possible to hear and yet not conceive the truth. It is possible to read the Word and not share in the life it brings. It is necessary for us to have the Holy Ghost to unfold the Word and bring to us the life that is Christ. We can never fully understand the wonders of this redemption until we are full of the Holy Ghost.
I was once at an afternoon meeting. The Lord had been graciously with us and many had been healed by the power of God. Most of the people had gone home and I was left alone, when I saw a young man who was evidently hanging back to have a word. I asked, “What do you want?” He said, “I wonder if I could ask you to pray for me.” I said, “What’s the trouble?” He said, “Can’t you smell?” The young fellow had gone into sin and was suffering the consequences. He said, “I have been turned out of two hospitals. I am broken out all over. I have abscesses all over me.” And I could see that he had a bad breaking out at the nose. He said, “I heard you preach, and could not understand about this healing business, and was wondering if there was any hope for me.”
I said to him, “Do you know Jesus?” He did not know the first thing about salvation, but I said to him, “Stand still.” I placed my hands on his head and then on his loins and cursed that terrible disease in the name of Jesus. He cried out, “I know I’m healed. I can feel a warmth and a glow all over me.” I said, “Who did it?” He said, “Your prayers.” I said, “No, it was Jesus!” He said, “Was it He? Oh, Jesus! Jesus! Jesus, save me.” And that young man went away healed and saved. Oh, what a merciful God we have! What a wonderful Jesus is ours!
Are you oppressed? Cry out to God. It is always good for people to cry out. You may have to cry out. The Holy Ghost and the Word of God will bring to light every hidden, unclean thing that must be revealed. There is always a place of deliverance when you let God search out that which is spoiling and marring your life. That evil spirit that was in the man in the synagogue cried out, “Let us alone!” It was a singular thing that the evil spirit had never cried out like that until Jesus walked into the place where he was. Jesus rebuked the thing, saying, “Hold thy peace and come out of him,” and the man was delivered. He is just the same Jesus, exposing the powers of evil, delivering the captives and letting the oppressed go free, purifying them and cleansing their hearts. Those evil spirits that inhabited the man who had the legion did not want to be sent to the pit to be tormented before their time, and so they cried out to be sent into the swine. Hell is such an awful place that even the demons hate the thought of going there. How much more should men seek to be saved from the pit?
God is compassionate and says, “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found.” And He has further stated, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Seek Him now, call on His name right now, and there is forgiveness, healing, redemption, deliverance, and everything you need for you right here and now, and that which will satisfy you throughout eternity.
BLESSINGS IN AUSTRALIA
Sister Winnie Andrews, N. Melbourne, Australia, writes: “Our Brother Wigglesworth landed here February 16th, and had a meeting that very night. The dear Lord was present and that to heal. A little girl of six, having never walked, after she had been prayed for, walked out of the front door with her mother, who was full of joy for what the Lord had done for her little one. Another man who had been suffering with bad feet for years and walked only with the aid of a stick was instantly healed and has been along several times to testify to what the Lord has done for him. Many deaf people have been delivered in answer to the prayer of faith. One night a dear man and his wife whom he brought to the meeting in a wheel chair, were both healed. He had been suffering from deafness for 20 years and she had not walked for over 6Y2 years. After prayer she got out of her chair and walked to the station, with her husband pushing the empty chair. He, too, was rejoicing in that he was now able to hear perfectly. O what a wonderful God we have. Blessed be His holy Name!
“At the Sunday afternoon service, a dear young woman who had been suffering with tuberculosis for 13 years and who was in the last stages, came leaning on the arm of a friend and was prayed for. At once she received new life and was perfectly delivered. The terrible burning sores which were eating their way into her bones have dried up and are peeling off, and she is looking so well and happy and is as strong as can be. Glory to God! Last night a young man suffering from consumption was prayed for and was instantly made whole. O, our hearts overflow at the glorious things God is doing in our midst!
“Many have been healed of neuritis, heart and lung trouble and stiff joints. One woman who had not walked for 22 years and could not as much as turn her head-after prayer-got out of bed and walked, Praise God!” ––Pentecostal Evangel, April 15, 1922
For those who wonder if I believe in the power of healing the answer is quite simply yes, I do. Have I seen it? Yes, I have even experienced it.
Last year I had a bad fall, down my back steps and landed on my back. I was hurting so bad I thought my back was broken. My first thought was to call my Pastor and be put on the prayer line. I called him and he began praying for me over the phone. Before he hung up, most of the pain was gone, and I, a sufferer of Degenerative Joint Disease, was almost totally pain free. Since that time, almost nine months, I have been more pain free than I have in the last twenty years. I was in pain so bad at the time of the fall that I could think of nothing except the pain and listening to my Pastor pray.
This is not the only intercession that I have been part of and I would recommend prayer for anyone and anything. There is scientific evidence that prayer changes your DNA, and there is scientific evidence that prayer heals. Why would anyone turn down the opportunity?
Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.
Scripture reading: Galatians 6:1-10
We are privileged to be able to gather together to worship the Lord. The very thought of Jesus will confirm truth and righteousness and power in your mortal body. There is something very remarkable about Him. When John saw Him, the impression that he had was the He was the “lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:19). When revelation comes, it says, “In Him dwells all the fullness” (Col. 2:9).
His character is beautiful. His display of meekness is lovely. His compassion is greater than that of anyone in all of humanity. He felt infirmities. He helps those who pass through trials. And it is to be said about Him what is not said about anyone else: “[He] was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).
I want you, as the author of Hebrews wonderfully said, to “consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Heb. 12:3). When you are weary and tempted and tried and all men are against you, consider Him who has passed through it all, so that He might be able to help you in the trial as you are passing through it. He will sustain you in the strife. When all things seem to indicate that you have failed, the Lord of Hosts, the God of Jacob, the salvation of our Christ will so reinforce you that you will be stronger than any concrete building that was ever made.
Paul was an example for the church. He was filled with the loveliness of the character of the Master through the Spirit’s power. He was zealous that we may walk worthy. This is the day of calling that he spoke about; this is the opportunity of our lifetime. This is the place where God increases strength or opens the door of a new way of ministry.
Thought for today: If there is anything in your life that in any way resists the power of the Holy Spirit and the entrance of His Word into your heart and life, drop on your knees and cry aloud for mercy
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. –John 14:12
“You will receive power” (Acts 1:8a). “Eagerly desire the greater gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31a). Anything that God has ever done for a soul He will do for anyone else, if the conditions are met. The Lord who blessed these men that I spoke about, and the thousands who followed them but whose names are not known, is willing to do the same for us as He did for them.
Unbelief says: Some other time, but not now; some other place, but not here; some other people, but not us. Faith says: Anything He did anywhere else He will do here; anything He did any other time He is willing to do now; anything He ever did for other people He is willing to do for us! With our feet on the ground, and our head cool, but with our heart ablaze with the love of God, we walk out in this fullness of the Spirit, if we will yield and obey. God wants to work through you!
The Counselor has come, and He doesn’t care about the limits of locality, geography, time or nationality. The Body of Christ is bigger than all of these. The question is: Will you open your heart? The Counselor, 121.
“This thought is very convicting, Lord. I know I’ve been guilty of praising You for Your power and goodness, while secretly doubting that You were really going to work in my present situation. Forgive me that duplicity, Lord, and give me faith to believe You for Now, for Here, for Me. Amen.”
Many tender-minded Christians fear to sin against love by daring to inquire into anything that comes wearing the cloak of Christianity and breathing the name of Jesus. They dare not examine the credentials of the latest prophet to hit their town lest they be guilty of rejecting something which may be of God. They timidly remember how the Pharisees refused to accept Christ when He came, and they do not want to be caught in the same snare, so they either reserve judgment or shut their eyes and accept everything without question. This is supposed to indicate a high degree of spirituality. But in sober fact it indicates no such thing. It may indeed be evidence of the absence of the Holy Spirit. Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality. Faith is not a mental habit leading its possessor to open his mouth and swallow everything that has about it the color of the supernatural. Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God, and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be. Try the spirits is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious as by rejecting the genuine. And the current habit of refusing to take sides is not the way to avoid the question. To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world. And the more as we see the day approaching.