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How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 14

By Reuben Archer Torrey


      It is often necessary to do personal work with those who are really Christians, but whose Christian experience for one cause or another is unsatisfactory.


      There are many who are professing Christians who are not making an open confession of Christ as they ought. The experience of such is of course always unsatisfactory. No one can make satisfactory progress in the Christian life who is not confessing Christ openly before men. One of the best passages of Scripture to use with this class is Matthew 10;32-33:

      "WHOSOEVER THEREFORE SHALL CONFESS ME BEFORE MEN, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."

      The meaning and application of this verse is so plain as to need no comment.

      Another excellent passage to use is Romans 10:9-10:

      "IF THOU SHALT CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and WITH THE MOUTH CONFESSION IS MADE UNTO SALVATION."

      According to this passage, our very salvation depends upon the confession of Jesus Christ with the mouth. There are many who say that they are Christians and who believe that they are saved, because in their hearts they believe in Jesus and have accepted Him as a Savior. They will tell you that they do not regard a public confession of Christ as necessary. The passage just given will show them how utterly unscriptural is their position. A short time ago a man who called himself a Christian, and who entertained the hope that he really was a child of God, but who lacked joy in his experience, approached me with a question, "Do you think it is necessary that a man should publicly confess Christ in order to be saved?" I replied, "It is a matter of very little moment what I think is necessary, the great question is, what does God tell us in His own Word?" Then I gave him Romans 10:9-10 to read. "Now," I said, "that is what God says." The meaning and application of the passage were so plain that the man had nothing further to say, but promised to make an open confession of Christ before the world.

      Another helpful passage to use is John 12:42-43:

      "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."

      In many cases I have found that where these other passages did not seem to lead to decisive action, Mark 8:38 did:

      "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."


      There are many today who make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and of whom doubtless many are saved, who are making little or no progress in the Christian life because of neglect of the Bible. A good passage to use with such is 1 Peter 2:2:

      "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby."

      I was once calling upon a member of the church. I put to her the question, "How are you getting along in your Christian life?" She replied, "I am not getting on at all; my Christian life is a disgrace to me, a disgrace to the church, and a disgrace to Jesus Christ." I then asked, "Are you studying the Word of God daily?" she replied that she was not. "No wonder then that your Christian experience is not satisfactory," said I. A little baby was lying in a carriage close at hand. I pointed to the child and said, "Suppose that you fed this baby every two hours today, once every six hours tomorrow, not at all the next day, three or four times the next day, and then let her go two or three days without feeding at all, how do you think the baby would thrive?" She replied, "I do not think the baby would thrive at all, I think she would die." "Well," I said, "this is the exact way in which you are treating your soul." This point is emphasized by the passage just given.

      Another passage to use with this class is Acts 20:32:

      Other helpful passages are:

      "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." James 1:21-22.

      "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, WHICH ARE ABLE TO MAKE THEE WISE UNTO SALVATION through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:13-17.

      "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:17.

      "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto ACCORDING TO THY WORD. ...

      "THY WORD I HAVE HID IN MINE HEART, that I might not sin against thee. ...

      "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." Psalm 119:9, 11, 130.

      "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the low of the LORD: and IN HIS LAW DOTH HE MEDITATE DAY AND NIGHT." Psalm 1:1-2.

      In the use of the last passage especially emphasize the second verse, "His delight is in the law of the LORD; And in his law doth he MEDITATE DAY AND NIGHT." In a similar way you can use Joshua 1:8:

      "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt MEDITATE THEREIN DAY AND NIGHT, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for THEN thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."

      A passage which is useful as emphasizing the need of DAILY searching the Scriptures is Acts 17:11:

      "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures DAILY, whether those things were so."

      In urging upon others the daily study of the Scriptures it is always well to give them a few simple directions as to how to study the Bible.


      One of the commonest causes in our day of an unsatisfactory Christian experience, is neglect of prayer. A personal worker will often find those who complain that they are not making satisfactory progress in the Christian life. In such a case the worker should always inquire whether they make a regular practice of prayer and to what extent. When it is found that prayer is being neglected, the following passages will be found useful:

      "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, BECAUSE YE ASK NOT." James 4:2.

      In using this passage, emphasize the seven closing words:

      "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit TO THEM THAT ASK HIM?" Luke 11:9-13.

      "Is any among you afflicted? LET HIM PRAY. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. THE EFFECTUAL FERVENT PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN AVAILETH MUCH.

      "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit." James 5:13-18.

      "And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and PRAY, LEST YE ENTER INTO TEMPTATION." Luke 22:46.

      The last passage is especially helpful as emphasizing one of the most important purposes of prayer. Another exceedingly instructive passage along this line is Isaiah 40:31:

      "But THEY THAT WAIT UPON THE LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

      A passage which is useful as suggesting the need of regular seasons of prayer is Psalm 55:17:

      "Evening, and morning, and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice."

      Other passages which are useful in dealing with people of this class are:

      "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." Mark 1:35.

      "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime." Daniel 6:10.

      "And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray." Mark 6:46.

      "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." Luke 6:12.

      "PRAY WITHOUT CEASING." 1 Thessalonians 5:17.


      There are many whom one would hesitate to say are not Christians at all and are not saved, but whose lives are not out and out for Christ as they should be. In dealing with such, the following passages will be found particularly useful: 2 Corinthians 6:14--7:1; especially emphasize in these verses the words, "Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate."

      "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON." Matthew 6:24.

      In the above passage, dwell upon and drive home the closing words, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

      "LOVE NOT THE WORLD, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever." 1 John 2:15-17.

      "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that THE FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD IS ENMITY WITH GOD? whosoever therefore shall be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

      "But He giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." James 4:4,6-8.

      "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14.

      "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." 1 Peter 1:13-19.

      "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" 1 Peter 4:17-18.

      "And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are CHOKED WITH CARES AND RICHES AND PLEASURES OF THIS LIFE, and bring no fruit to perfection." Luke 8:14.

      In using the above passage, dwell upon the thought contained in the words, "choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life."

      "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Luke 21:34-36.

      "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching; verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants." Luke 12:35-38.

      "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1-2.

      "And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Romans 14:23.

      "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:7-8.


      A large proportion of the professing church today is doing little or nothing for the Master. The personal worker who shall succeed in getting other Christians to work will be accomplishing at least as much for Christ as the one who leads the unsaved to Him. The Bible abounds in passages which can be effectively used for this purpose. The following will be found useful: Mark 13:34-37 (emphasize the words "to every man his work"); Matthew 24:44-51 and Matthew 25:14-30. A verse which is useful in showing idle Christians that every professed follower of Christ ought to be a witness for Him and a soul winner is Acts 8:4:

      "Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word."

      Ephesians 4:14-16 is also useful:

      "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted BY THAT WHICH EVERY JOINT SUPPLIETH, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."

      In using this passage, point out the words, "that which every joint supplieth," and explain their meaning. Other verses that will be found useful are:

      Ephesians 5:14-21.

      "She hath done what she could." Mark 14:8.

      "Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." James 5:20.

      "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." Daniel 12:3.

      "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, TO GIVE EVERY MAN ACCORDING AS HIS WORK SHALL BE." Revelation 22:12.


      There come to all Christians, and especially to all young Christians, times of special temptation and trial. At such times they need, and should have, the counsel and encouragement of other Christians. We should bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2.) Here is a large field of usefulness for the personal worker. The following passages will be found exceedingly useful in strengthening the brethren when under trial and temptation.

      "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:2-4.

      "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." James 1:12.

      "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." 1 Peter 5:8-10.

      (It is well when possible to use the R.V. of the last passage.)

      {8 Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, 9 whom withstand stedfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ, after that ye have suffered a little while, shall himself perfect, establish, strengthen you. (1 Peter 5:8-10 ASV)}

      "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13.

      "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

      "Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

      "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13.

      "I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one." 1 John 2:14.

      "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word." Psalm 119:9.

      "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young man shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:29-31.


      Many professed Christians fail in the hour of persecution who would have stood if they could have had a few words of counsel from some fellow Christian. The following passages are useful in giving the needed word of counsel and encouragement.

      "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matthew 5:10-12.

      "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." 1 Peter 4:12-14.

      "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." 1 Peter 4:16.

      "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." 1 Peter 2:21-23.

      "For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." 1 Peter 3:17-18.

      "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Timothy 3:12.

      "Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22.

      "And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

      "And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." Acts 5:40-42.

      "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." Hebrews 12:1-4.

      "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Revelation 2:10.

      "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32.


      When times of affliction come to Christians, especially to young Christians, a few words fitly spoken by a fellow Christian are oftentimes of great help. Not infrequently they save the afflicted one from years of darkness and barrenness in their Christian experience. There are many today who are of little or no use in the church, who would have been of use if some wise worker had come to them in the hour of affliction and given them good counsel from God's own Word. We should all be constantly on the lookout for opportunities of this kind, and we will find them round about us almost every day of our lives. No thoughts of our own can possibly be of as much help in such an hour as the promises and encouragements of God's Word. The following passages will be found useful and sufficient, if wisely used in the power of the Holy Spirit.

      "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?..."

      "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." Hebrews 12:5-7, 11.

      "To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:4-7.

      "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7.

      "God is our refuge and strength, A VERY PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof." Psalm 46:1-3.

      "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Psalm 23:4.

      "And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." Psalm 50:15.

      "The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles." Psalm 34:17.

      "The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. For IN THE TIME OF TROUBLE HE SHALL HIDE ME IN HIS PAVILION: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

      "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." Psalm 27:1-6,13-14.

      "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:28-29.

      The one who is to use these passages should first read them over and over again with himself alone, and think of their relation to the specific trial of the one whom he proposes to help.


      The ministry of comfort to those whose homes have been invaded by death is one of the most blessed of Christian ministries. It is a ministry that is open to us all, but the attempts of many well-meaning persons in this direction, who try to comfort with their own fancies rather than with the sure Word of God, oftentimes do more harm than good. But the one who knows his Bible, and what it has to say upon the subject of death and of the future, will be able to bind up many a broken heart. Jesus declared in the synagogue at Nazareth, that God had anointed Him to heal the broken hearted, (Luke 4:18), and every follower of Jesus should seek an anointing for the sam blessed work. The Bible abounds in passages which are useful for this purpose, but the following are among those which experience proves to be most effective:

      "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.

      "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:1-3,27.

      "Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter." John 13:7.

      "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10.

      "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." Revelation 14:13.

      "And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 2 Samuel 12:22-23.

      "But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ASV.

      (I have found this the most comforting of any single passage in the Word of God.)

      "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord; (for we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:6-8.

      "I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better." Philippians 1:23.

      "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

      "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

      "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

      "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:42-44,49, 53-58.

      The worker must make a study of each individual case, and decide which of the passages given above will be most helpful in the specific case. Sometimes it will be found well to use them all. They should not be merely read, but dwelt upon, and their meaning explained and applied, wherever necessary. In all the reading and the explanation and the application, we must depend upon the Holy Spirit for His wisdom and power.


      There are many professing Christians in our day who have not definitely received the Holy Spirit. They have not entered into the fulness of joy and peace and power that there is for us in Christ. They are practically in the same condition that the disciples in Ephesus were in until Paul came and put to them the question, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost?" (Acts 19:2) and the position that the believers in Samaria were in until Peter and John came down and "prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: for as yet he was fallen upon none of them," (Acts 8:15-16). There are many today who are inquiring what they must do that they may receive the Holy Ghost, and there are others that ought to be asking this question. The personal worker should know how to show any one who has not received the Holy Spirit just what he must do that he may receive the Holy Spirit. The following are the steps that should be pointed out:

      1. The one who would receive the Holy Ghost must depend for his acceptance before God upon the finished work of Christ alone, and not upon anything he himself has done or can do. To make this point clear to the inquirer use Galatians 3:2:


      This passage is often interpreted to mean that we receive the Holy Spirit by simply believing that we are going to receive Him. This is not at all the meaning of the passage as found in the context. The Christians in Galatia had been told by certain false teachers that came in among them, that in order to be justified it was not enough to simply believe on Jesus Christ and His finished work, but in addition to this they must keep the Mosaic law regarding circumcision. Paul in the passage before us shows them the folly of this position by appealing to their own experience. He calls to mind the fact that they had received the Holy Ghost not be keeping the Mosaic law, but simply by the hearing of faith, that is by believing God's testimony regarding Christ and His atoning work, and resting in that for pardon.

      The first step then, toward receiving the Holy Spirit is to turn our eyes entirely away from ourselves, and anything we ever have done or can do, and fix them upon Jesus Christ, and His atoning work on the Cross, and depend upon that finished work of Christ for our pardon and acceptance before God.

      2. THE ONE WHO WOULD RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST MUST PUT AWAY ALL SIN. To make this clear to the inquirer use Acts 2:38:

      "Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST."

      This passage makes it clear that in order to receive the Holy Ghost we must repent. Repentance is a change of mind about Christ and a change of mind about sin. It is a change first of all from a Christ-rejecting attitude of mind, to a Christ-accepting attitude of mind. This is involved in what has been already said regarding the first step, but there must also be a change of mind regarding sin; a change of mind from a sin-loving and sin-indulging attitude of mind to a sin-rejecting attitude of mind, that is, we must renounce all sin. One of the commonest hindrances to the receiving of the Holy Spirit is holding on to some sin. The worker should deal very faithfully at this point with the inquirer. Find out whether there is not some sin in the life that is not renounced. Find if there is not some sin in the past that has not been confessed and straightened out. Instruct the inquirer to go alone with God and ask God to search his heart, and to show him anything in his life that is displeasing to Him. If anything is thus brought to light, insist that it must be renounced. Tell the inquirer that every known sin must be given up. Dwell upon the fact that the Holy Spirit is the HOLY Spirit, and that He will not manifest Himself in His fulness in an unholy heart, that is, in a heart which holds on to sin.


      "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given TO THEM THAT OBEY HIM."

      This passage shows that God gives the Holy Spirit to them that obey Him. Show that the essential thing about obedience is the attitude of the will, and that real obedience involves the absolute surrender of the will to God. Hold the inquirer to the necessity of such an absolute surrender to God. This is the point of difficulty in very many lives. Perhaps more people are kept out of the blessing of the conscious receiving of the Holy Spirit by a lack of absolute surrender than by any other one thing. In many an instance the Holy Spirit is given at once in fulness as soon as one is led to an absolute surrender of the will to God. If one will not thus surrender, there is no use of trying to go further, God will accept no compromise at this point.

      4. THE ONE WHO WOULD RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT SHOULD ASK GOD FOR THIS DEFINITE GIFT. To show this to the inquirer, use Luke 11:13:

      "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit TO THEM THAT ASK HIM?"

      This tells us plainly that God gives the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. It can be illustrated by the use of Acts 2:1-4, cf. Acts 1:14; Acts 4:31 and Acts 8:15-16.

      "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house were they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:1-4.

      (Compare Acts 1:14. "These all CONTINUED WITH ONE ACCORD IN PRAYER and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.")

      "And WHEN THEY HAD PRAYED, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, and they spake the word of God with boldness." Acts 4;31.

      "Who, when they were come down, PRAYED FOR THEM, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (for as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus)." Acts 8:15-16.

      The inquirer should be led at once to definitely seek the filling with the Holy Spirit. It is well to pray with the inquirer then and there for this definite gift.

      5. THE FINAL STEP IN RECEIVING THE HOLY GHOST IS SIMPLY FAITH. There are many who take all the steps mentioned thus far, and yet fail of the blessing simply because they do not believe. Mark 11:24 can be used to make this clear:

      "Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, BELIEVE THAT YE RECEIVE THEM, and ye shall have them."

      The R.V. of this passage is particularly suggestive.

      "All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, BELIEVE THAT YE HAVE RECEIVED THEM, and ye shall have them."

      The inquirer should be instructed not to look to his feelings, but to the Word of God, and to believe that he has received whether he has any sensation or experience or not, simply because God has promised in His Word. In a very large proportion of cases, people receive the Holy Ghost simply by believing God's Word, and that their prayer is heard, without any feeling; and afterwards what they believe they "have received" they do actually obtain in personal experience as a conscious possession. Great help will be found in showing the inquirer how to receive by faith, in 1 John 5:14-15:

      "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, IF WE ASK ANYTHING ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, HE HEARETH US: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE THE PETITIONS THAT WE DESIRED OF HIM."

      Make it very clear to the inquirer by the use of this passage that when we ask anything according to the will of God, we know that He heareth us, because the passage says so, and when we know that He heareth us, we know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him, WHETHER WE FEEL IT OR NOT.

      Then show the inquirer that when we pray for the Holy Spirit we pray for something according to the will of God. The following passages make this clear:

      "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Luke 11:13.

      "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." Acts 2:38-39.

      "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT." Ephesians 5:18.

      Then have the inquirer kneel down and definitely pray for the Holy Spirit. When he has offered this prayer, ask him if he has received what he sought. If he is not clear about it, open your Bible to 1 John 5:14-15 and lay it before him and have him read it, and then ask him if he has asked for something according to God's will, and when he says he has, ask him, "What then do you know?" and hold him to it until he says, "I know that God has heard me." Then have him read the 15th verse and ask him, "If you know that God has heard you, what further do you know?" Hold him to it until he says, "I know that I have the petition that I asked of Him." Then ask him, "What do you know you have received?" and hold him to it until, resting upon the simple naked promise of God's Word, he can say, "I know I have received the Holy Ghost." Many are waiting for certain ecstatic experiences of which they have heard others speak. In dealing with an inquirer, do not deny the reality of these experiences, for they doubtless are real in many instances, but show the inquirer that there are no such experiences described in the Bible, that the manifestations of having received the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Bible are a new joy and peace in Christ,

      "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23,

      and a new and clearer knowledge of Christ,

      "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." John 15:26,

      and especially new power in service for Christ,

      And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. ...

      "But YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:4-5,8.

      "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken were they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And WITH GREAT POWER gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all." Acts 4:31-33.

      Also make it clear to the inquirer that the manifestations that result from receiving the Holy Spirit are to be expected not before we believe, but after we believe, after we take by simple faith God's Word. God's way is not first experience and then faith, but first faith resting upon the naked Word of God, and then experience, "Believe THAT YE HAVE RECEIVED, and ye shall have."


      There are many professed Christians, and doubtless many who are really saved people, whose lives seem to be lives of constant defeat and discouragement. In dealing with such a person seek to find out what is the cause of defeat. It will be found in one or more of the following points:

      1. BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT LEARNED TO REST ABSOLUTELY IN THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST FOR PARDON AND PEACE. The church is full of people who are looking to something that they themselves can do to find acceptance before God. No one can have a clear, satisfactory and victorious Christian experience who has not learned to rest entirely in the finished work of Christ for pardon. If this is found to be the cause of failure, use Isaiah 53:6, Galatians 3:13, 2 Corinthians 5:21 and similar passages, to show that our sins are pardoned not on account of anything that we have done or can do, but on the account of what Jesus Christ did when He bore our sins in His own body on the Cross.

      Next show the inquirer that the pardon and peace thus purchased by the atoning blood of Christ, become ours on the simple condition of our believing on Christ. To show this, use the following passages:

      "Therefore BEING JUSTIFIED BY FAITH we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1.

      "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, HIS FAITH IS COUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Romans 4:5.

      "But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; BEING JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God; for the showing, I say, of his righteousness at this present season: that he might himself be just, and THE JUSTIFIER OF HIM THAT HATH FAITH IN JESUS. (Romans 3:21-26 ASV)

      "And be found in him, NOT HAVING MINE OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is of the law, BUT THAT WHICH IS THROUGH THE FAITH OF CHRIST, the righteousness which is of God by faith." Philippians 3:9.

      In the last passage the Revised Version brings out the thought more clearly than the Authorized.

      {"And be found in him, NOT HAVING A RIGHTEOUSNESS OF MINE OWN, even that which is of the law, BUT THAT WHICH IS THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST, the righteousness which is from God by faith: (Philippians 3:9 ASV)}

      2. BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT SURRENDERED ABSOLUTELY TO THE WILL OF GOD. This is the cause of failure in a very large proportion of cases. If this is found to be the cause of failure in any specific case, use Acts 5:32, and Romans 6:13,19.

      "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but YIELD YOURSELVES UNTO GOD, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. ...

      "I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so NOW YIELD YOUR MEMBERS SERVANTS TO RIGHTEOUSNESS unto holiness." Romans 6:13,19.

      3. BECAUSE OF NEGLECT OF THE STUDY OF THE WORD. If this is the case, use 1 Peter 2:2, Psalm 119:11 and Ephesians 6:17:

      "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11.

      "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," Ephesians 6:17.

      4. BECAUSE OF NEGLECT OF PRAYER. Where this is the case, use 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Luke 22:40 and Isaiah 40:29-31:

      "And when he was at the place, he said unto them, PRAY THAT YE ENTER NOT INTO TEMPTATION." Luke 22:40.

      5. BECAUSE OF FAILURE TO CONSTANTLY CONFESS CHRIST BEFORE MEN. The one who would lead a victorious Christian life must be constantly witnessing for Christ. Make this very plain, and for this purpose use Matthew 10:32-33:

      "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."

      6. BECAUSE OF NEGLECT TO WORK FOR CHRIST. One who would lead a victorious life must be constantly at work for the Master. If the cause of failure is at this point, use Matthew 25:29:

      "For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath."

      Explain its meaning by the context. The evident meaning of the passage is that one who uses the talents that he has in the Master's service will get more, but the one who neglects to use the talents he has will lose even those.

      7. BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT. There are very many today who are leading lives of constant failure where they might be leading lives of constant victory, simply because they do not even so much as know that it is the privilege of the individual believer to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If this is the case, use Ephesians 5:18, the last half of the verse, and Galatians 5:16,22-23:

      "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and y shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. ...

      "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

      Then show the inquirer how to receive the Holy Spirit as explained under the former heading.

Back to Reuben Archer Torrey index.

See Also:
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 1
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 2
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 3
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 4
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 5
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 6
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 7
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 8
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 9
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 10
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 11
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 12
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 13
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 14
   How to Work for Christ: Book 1: Personal Work, Chapter 15


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