Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus Christ. It's a joy to be here, to see all of your faces. It's kind of scary, too, frankly. Well as brother Mose said, I want to agree.
We've come to seek God together, that's what this week is about. God and his word, his truth, his will, his purposes, for our hearts and our lives. It's a thrill, it's a joy that over five hundred men would set aside the time to spend a whole week seeking God together. And I know that God will reward us, because he said he would in his word, "If thou seekest Me with all thy heart, thou shalt be found of me." That's what God says in his word.
I'm very exited about our subject today. I'm sure you know it has unlimited potential. My mind goes back to memories that I've had with different meetings where men sat and considered this subject before us that we have before us today, and all week long. My mind goes back to the lives that we're changed, as a man, just one man, sat in a meeting, listened to this subject, considered where his own life was at, got serious with God about there reality of the power of the spirit of God in his life, went back to his motel room, cried out to God all night long. Got touched him, changed his life, and beautiful, beautiful things began to happen from then forward. Wouldn't it be a blessing if that happened about five hundred times?
Again, you know, we come to seek God together, we. Some of us have come with problems, we come seeking answers. I know it's that way. Some of you are here with your eye upon God saying, "Lord I don't know which way to go, I don't know what to do, I'm facing situations that I am at the end of my mind on, I don't know which way to go from here," and you're just looking to God. I believe God is going to give you some answers to your questions.
Our subject at hand has the ability to answer all of your doubts, every question, and every need in your life. I hate to sound all inclusive, but we're talking about the reality of the living God in our hearts and our lives, and that does have the potential to give you all the answers, for in him is all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge and we thank God for that.
I think before we move on into this subject we're just going to stand together and have a word of prayer and just commit the week into the hands of God... Our Father in heaven we all, we come to you in Jesus' name, we come to you looking up your way. Father we look away from our selves and we look unto thee as we come to this subject of the power of the Holy Spirit. We look to Thee Father. We pray that The, the Spirit, The Comforter, the One who has come, the whom You have poured out abundantly in Christ Jesus. We pray that the spirit of the Living God will be in our midst. Lord, we don't want to study this subject without the One who is the subject. Send the grace down upon us, O God. Each and every one of us. Let the Teacher be in our midst that we'll be able to learn. Let the Illuminator sit here, and illuminate our hearts as we look into the word of God. Father we pray that You would have mercy upon us, and help us, and change us, and empower us for the work that You have given us, each one of us to do. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
You may be seated.
There are in this very day, hundreds of churches across the globe that are thriving and growing, because one man, or a group of men, came to grips with this subject. That brings a tremendous potential before all of us, because we are all going back to the places where we live, and we know without a doubt, because we have read in His Word, that it is the will of God, that it is the longing heart of God, that He raise up a testimony that will sanctify his great name among the heathen wherever we live. We know that's God's will. We know it's the longing of the heart of God. We know that God wants to do that every place. A testimony in the midst of the heathen through this subject that we have before us today. One man can go home, coming to grips with his need, of the anointing of the spirit of God in his life, and a testimony can begin to rise in a community. To be filled with the Holy Spirit, I want to say in the beginning of our lessons, to be filled with the Holy Spirit is normal, Biblical, Christian life. That is the way that I want to present it, although I don't plan to present a sub-normal Christian life, but rather raise the normal Biblical Christian life back up where it supposed to be. May God challenge all of our hearts in this. This week were are not discussing some supernatural experience that only happens to a few men and everyone else just sits there in the pew and marvels at what God is doing with this man or that man. That is not New Testament. It is the will of God that each and every child of God be anointed with the Holy Spirit and power. That is God's will.
I want to begin by reading a few verses in the book of Acts. Acts chapter 1... [let's] see how I do here, I think I got started a little late so that means I get to go a little later, right? Acts chapter 1, reading from verse 4 through 8. We're looking at the last few moments that the Lord Jesus spent with some of his disciples. Reading in verse 4, "And being assembled together with them, commanded (or He commanded, if we'd have read all of the verses), that they should not depart from Jerusalem but wait for the promise of the Father, which sayeth He, 'ye have heard of Me, I've told you already about the promise of the Father. I want to remind you again before I go. Wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence'. When they therefore come together, they asked of him saying, 'wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel?' "
They had had this in their minds for three and a half years: "Oooh, we've got us a king, he's a powerfull king, He does all kinds of wonderful things, He can break bread and feed five thousand. My have we really landed on one! We have gotten us a king! Lord wilt thou restore the kingdom of Israel now?" No, no disciples.
He said unto them, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power, but ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost will come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the Earth."
Yes, disciples, the kingdom is going to come, but not the way you think. A spiritual kingdom is going to come, but not the way you think. Ye shall receive power, after that he Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me.
And I want to look at the word Baptize here just for a moment, as we move down through this introductory lesson this morning. The word baptize, it means, "to overwhelm", it means "to fully cover with fluid", it means "to immerse in water". So when Jesus was speaking to his disciples, and he told them" I want you to tarry in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father, because ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." What he was saying to them was, you are going to be over whelmed and full covered with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. That's what the word baptize means.
Another word that we'd like to look at is the word "power". You'll notice in the New Testament (and we'll probably touch on this more through the week), the word "power" is two different Greek words. You see the English word, but it's two different Greek words, one is Dunamis, and the other is Exusia. Dunamis is the word that we're looking at here. "We shall receive power", that's where we get our English word "dynamite". Dunamis in the Greek, it means "force". It means ability, it means the miraculous, it means the wonder working power, the supernatural ability. Ye shall receive supernatural ability and force, after that he Holy Ghost is come upon you. The other word, Exusia, it also has to do with the ministry of the saints upon this Earth, but that word is "authority". And we will look at the verses in the New Testament where both of those words are in the same verse, authority and power. The right and the authority and the force and the ability to do it. And that's what God wants his people to have. The authority to do it, and the force and power to do it. Both of those working together make for a supernatural Christian experience. Amen.
Ok, I know that the word "power" has been sensationalized in this day, in all kinds of different ways, and it has been twisted and turned and it has been abused in many ways, but brothers this morning the word "power" means "power". It does mean power. It means a supernatural ability that cannot be explained by the reason of human kind. Whether it's been sensationalized and twisted and turned and abused or not, "power" still means "power", and we shouldn't be afraid of the word.
The next word we'd like to look at here in our study is the word "witnesses". "Ye shall we witnesses". What's going to happen to you after this supernatural ability comes upon you? "You will me my witnesses". That word in the Greek is Mortos, where we get or word "martyr". In fact, even in the book of acts you will find it used, sometimes it's witness, and sometimes it's martyr, but it is the same word in the Greek. When it speaks of Stephen, it is this word right here, the same one. So when Jesus said "you will be my martyrs", "After that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, you will be my martyrs in Jerusalem and in Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the Earth. Now that word simply doesn't mean somebody who dies for Jesus. It means more than that. But it is interesting that the two are tied together, and I believe there is a reason for that, because what God means by this simple word is, "Ye shall receive a supernatural ability after the Holy Ghost comes upon you and you will become my living martyrs. You will live a dying life before a lost and dying world," and I believe that's what Jesus is speaking about here. We know, just with our natural minds, there's no what that not a one of us in this room can live a dying life everyday of our life everyday except by a supernatural power. So I think it's good for us to consider that this morning we're not just saying, "Oh, we want to see the miracles of God, we want to see God do some miracle, some supernatural thing!" Dear brethren, the greatest thing that the spirit of God can do in these days is raise up a group of men who live dying lives every day. And I'm not against the other, they ought to be there to, but to live a dying life. The witnesses means more than speaking like getting on a witness stand and testifying "I saw this" or "I saw that". It means that, but it means more than that. To be a to be a witness to the character of Christ, to be a witness to the life of Christ and the way that he lived and the things that he said, and yea, to speak of Christ and his gospel to a lost and dying world, that's what Christ means when he said "Ye shall be witnesses unto me, supernatural witnesses of my character, of my ability to change a man or a woman, of my word, of my life, of my strength, of my holiness, and of my gospel changing power."
All right, another word we want to look at here is the word "be". "Be", ye shall be witnesses. It's not "do", it's "be". There's a difference between doing and being. I want to do, and I know you want to do, but I believe the proper order is that we should we be doing out of our being. And so if we will be a witness we will do things that witnesses do, and I believe that's why this verse is laid in here the way that it is, and that word "Dunamis" is placed in that verse because because, brethren, we need the Dunamis of the Holy Ghost in order to live a dying life in the midst of this American scociety that we live in. We live in America. The power to be a witness. From Pentecost on, these men who received this power that Jesus promised them, that He prophesied would come, these men, who received this power, they went forth full of the Holy Ghost that it is anointed with the Spirit of God. They went forth full of he fruits of the Spirit that is the character of God, the divine character and nature of God, and they went forth, full of the apostle's doctrine, which was the way that Jesus lived, and they turned the world upside down. Overflowing with joy, enthusiasm, and holiness, these men went forth and shook the city of Jerusalem by the grace of God. They went forth living anointed lives, speaking anointed words, and they had a tremendous effect on upon the city of Jerusalem. And dear brethren, if we go forth with anointed lives, speaking anointed words, we shall also have a tremendous effect wherever that may be. The Apostle John said at this point as he was writing his gospel, which was written much later than Acts chapter 1... he said it this way... I'll read it. In John chapter 1 John explains it this way. I John Chapter 1 verse 16 and 17,... are you there?... "and of his fullness have all we received. And grace for grace for the law was given my Moses but grace and truth came my Jesus Christ,". That's a beautiful portion of scripture, isn't it? John is writing this, he's about ninety some years old, he's been walking in the power of the anointing that he received on the day of Pentecost for sixty years, and he says, "And of his fullness have all received,".
Have mercy on us, Lord.
A whole new way to live has come my by Jesus Christ. The law came by Moses, but grace, and truth, came by Jesus Christ. Grace, that is the power to do God's will, truth, a revelation of God's will. Grace and Truth written on the table of my heart and empowering my heart bring a whole new way to live! And John so beautifully says, "And of his fullness, have we all received,". That's a good challenge for is this morning, isn't it?
Now the enemy has sown a lot of confusion and fear into this subject. He surely has. He has gotten so many people so timid, and so afraid, and so concerned, and so wringing their hands over anything on this subject that they sit for years, so powerless, they hardly have a testimony.
He has done that, it's the confusion of the enemy, there have been extremes on several different fronts, I know that, I know they're extremes. Some people say, "If you don't feel the fire burning, you don't have anything," somebody else says, "If you don't speak in tongues, you don't have anything," another even says on the other end of the extreme, "We already have it all!", but they don't have any power. Well, that's kind of how it is. There have dry, formal churches who have boldly clinged, we have revival, we live in a state of revival this very day, and that makes me shudder to make such a bold statement. Dry, dead, formal church.
But there are also other churches who claim to have the power of the Holy Ghost, the end-time revival, they're full of worldliness, carnality, and flesh. And I think that's just as much of a tremble, and and awesome thing, to stand up and claim such power as what is described in this beautiful book, and to live a carnal, lowly, fleshly life. This is also an extreme, but we brethren, we must discipline ourselves to not over react and say, "I'm just going to stay away from all of that,". No, brethren, "ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you," and that's what the Bible says, so we must return to the scriptures and go by what it says in the Bible. And we must return to historical records of heaven sent revivals in the past, that we can look at them and see them and compare them with what we see in this book and say, "This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel!" We need to do that, we need to come to grips with the reality that God has so much more that the wants to do in our hearts and our lives even this week. He wants to do it.
Now terms have been used thought history and I just want to cover a couple of those this morning. These terms, "The Baptism of the Holy Ghost", that is a term that is used and thrown around a lot... that's scriptural, there's nothing wrong with that term, it's in the Bible, "The filling of the Holy Ghost", that is also used... I have a book on my desk called "Endowment of Power", others speak about, "Baptism of fire", that comes upon you, some speak about a second blessing in there even some who believe in a third blessing. So what do you do with all of those things? Well, we could spend the whole week this week hashing all of that out, trying to divide it all, trying to discern it all, trying to figure it all out but brethren, that's not my heart to spend a whole week doing that. People have been doing that for about two hundred years. I think rather what we should do is just watch over our hearts to not overreact, to extremes of things that have come, or things that we've heard, or that things that we may even have seen. But rather just come to grips with me. Amen?
Some say it's all one work, and you get it all the moment you believe. Others say, it's a second work that comes into your life after you're born again. Some say it's a third work, getting saves is one work, getting sanctified is the next work, and getting filed with the Holy Ghost is the next work. Well, I'm not here to debate all of these things. History records powerful anointed people who believed all three of those so, let's just let them worry about that. Let's just worry about where we are. Am I anointed? Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? Amen? Well, God uses many different terms in his word. I want to look at a few of them in the book of Acts now, if we can.
Turn back to Acts, chapter 1, and let's just look at the terms these are Biblical terms so if its in the Bible, we shouldn't be afraid of it. Amen? In Acts chapter one again, in verse four, Jesus used this term, he speaks about this power of the Holy Ghost and he refers to it as the promise of the Father. The promise of the Father. Something to wait on, and believe God for. The promise of the Father. Of course, we already looked at verse 5. but consider it again. The word "baptized", "baptized with the Holy Ghost," have you been overwhelmed and covered with the presence of the living God? Have you? Acts chapter one and verse eight, "Ye shall receive power,". Same thing. Jesus is referring to the same thing. Promise of a Father, Baptize of the Holy Ghost, ye shall receive power, same thing. Just described in different ways. Brethren, where is the power? Where is the power? Have ye received power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. These are the questions that we want to consider as we go through the week.
Acts chapter two, notice this, Acts chapter two in verse four is describing what we have already read about, that Jesus explained as the promise of the Father, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and receiving power when the Holy Ghost falls upon you. Now here it is described in the reality when it came in verse 4, "now they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,". Hey, well, we don't have a problem with that, do we? We all believe in being filled with the Holy Spirit, don't we? Well there it is! These are synonymous words on the Bible. Not words that we should be afraid of.
Moving over to a little further in chapter 2, Peter after this wonderful overwhelming, covering of the Holy Ghost came upon that crowd of a hundred and twenty in the upper room, Peter stands up to explain to the multitude that gathered together what was happening. And Peter used those which I believe are famous words, he said, "this is that,", "this is that which is spoken of the prophet Joel,". Now we will read these verses again, but I would like us just to notice how he refers to it here again he refers in a different way. He's using different terms and here he says, "It shall come to pass in the last days, sayeth God, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh,". Now that's a different term again. "Pour out my spirit". What does it mean, "pour out"? How many of you think it means this: [pours a trickle of water]? How many of you think it means this, if I would take this whole glass and just dump the whole thing out? Which one do you think it means? A little trickle? Or a whole bucketful? I think it means a whole bucketful! A whole bucketful and more, and more! "In the last days, sayeth God, I will pour out My spirit,".
A little further along in verse 33, of the same sermon, Peter is preaching, explaining, relating to this crowd of people that have gathered, and he says this, explaining to them what is happening, "Therefore," (he is speaking to them about Jesus), "This Jesus hath God raised up whereof we are all witnesses and therefore being by the right hand of God, exalted, and have received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He, Jesus hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear,". Now he's using a different term, "shed forth this," we get the picture, of Lord Jesus, ascending that up to the Father after his going to the cross, after his dying on the cross, after his shedding of the blood, after his laying in the grave for three days, after his walking on the Earth after his resurrection forty days, he ascended back up to the Father, and sat down at the right hand of the Father and the Father game him the promise that the Father promised He would give Him, and He, Jesus, shed it out on us. What is it? It is the promise of the Holy Ghost. It was the promise of the Father a little earlier, now it's the promise of the Holy Ghost. Do you see the terms? It is all the same thing!
All right, now let's move down to verse thirty eight. Peter is coming down to the end of his sermon. The Spirit of God was there mightily using his words, making the Word quick and powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword, which is what the Holy Spirit is supposed to do with the Word. The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Peter has been using the Sword of The Spirit, and the Spirit of God convicted these men so much so that they just spoke out and said, "Men and brethren, what shall we do? What do we do?"
And Peter says, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ in the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,". Now that's a different term. "...ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,". The gift? A gift? [You might be thinking] Oh, I can't get it until I fast for forty days! "...ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,". Beautiful. It's a gift, brethren, it's a gift. It's a promise to be waiting for! It's a promise to be believed! It's a baptism which overwhelms us with the presence of God, and it is a gift which the Father gives! In Jesus' Name.
Beautiful words, beautiful words. Peter preaches another sermon in chapter three, and toward the end of his sermon, again he gives his little invitation in verse nineteen and says, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord,". I believe he's speaking again about the same thing, only this time, it is a "...time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord,". And truly it is! If you've ever been in your closet, and have the Holy Spirit come down upon you, and overwhelm you, and fill you, and fill your closet, yes you will say, "It is a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord!"
All right, lets move on here.
Chapter four, they have a few difficulties, they were brought before the council and the Sanhedrin and it says in verse eight of chapter four, "...and Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost," and I thought that was interesting as I studying it that every time one of these men is about to do something, it always puts that little phrase in front of it. Oh what a beautiful testimony, and you put your name in there, and whatever your name is being filled with the Holy Ghost, did this, or did that! Over and over again you'll see it in the book of Acts. So it's time for Peter to speak. They ask questions and now Peter's going to speak, and they Holy Spirit right in there, "...and Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, spoke,". Oh lord, do it again! Do it again!.
Anyway, they got in trouble, they warned them, they threatened them, which didn't mean a thing to them, because these men were totally transformed when they were filled with the Holy Ghost. It didn't mean anything to them, and they went home and gathered everyone back together for a prayer meeting. Chapter 4 verse 31, "and when they prayed, the place shook where they were assembled together, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost." Now there's that term again, so they were filled on the Day of Pentecost, and now they're filled again! Well Amen! That's what I believe in! I believe in the second the blessing, and the third blessing, and the fourth blessing and the fifth blessing, and bless God, if you've only got two, you're way behind! You're way behind! But I want to warn us, here, you'd better be full of the Holy Ghost when you say that. You'd better be. Let's not make fun of them, let's just have it, Amen? They were filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness, and it says in verse thirty three, "...with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,". And by the way that word power is "dunamis", just like he said "dunamis shall come upon you, and you shall become witnesses,", and they did. They were witnesses, and great grace was upon them all. Amen, the whole bunch of them! Great grace was upon them all.
All right. Oh, let's see, in my Bible I just took a yellow marker and every place in the book of acts it speaks about the Holy Spirit I just marked it all in yellow, so I'm just kind of going down though them here for you
But I notice in chapter six, it's giving testimony, the apostles, you know, things are a bit difficult, and the church is growing really fast, and they have the same problem that we have today, there is more work to be done than there are laborers. So the apostles told them they need to find some men, and guess what they said? "You find you seven honest men full of the Holy Ghost,". Full of the Holy Ghost? Full of the Holy Ghost like we've been reading, all the way up till now. Take that one for a while, deacons. Full of the Holy Ghost like we've been reading, up until now. "And Stephen a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost," full. What does full mean? Well this glass isn't full, it's almost full, but it's not full. Full means full! When you're full, you run over. You run over, and that's what they did. Full of faith and power, is says of Stephen.
All right, let's go on. There are several places about being full of the Holy Ghost through this chapter and let's move over to chapter eight. Now the Samaritans; persecution came, the nest was so nice and sweet and the fellowship was beautiful in Jerusalem and everybody was just enjoying it and it was so great to be together with everyone. The Lord in his wisdom allowed persecution to come. That persecution took all of those saints that were full of the Holy Ghost and scattered them everywhere, and they went everywhere preaching and teaching the word of God, full of the Holy Ghost. And some people in Samaria received the word of God. Verse 14: "And now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, and 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," (receive/fallen), "...He was fallen upon none of them, only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they they're their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost,". Now it seems to me that the apostles, and maybe others, but clearly the apostles, had the gift of imparting the Holy Ghost upon others. They had that. They came, put their hands on them , and the Holy Ghost came on those that were in Samaria.
"And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hand the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money saying, 'give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost,". And Peter rebuked him a bit they're, saying, "...thy money perish with thee, because that thou has through that the Gift of God may be purchased with money,". The gift of God; there it is again! the Gift of God!
Well, I don't know what all that means there in chapter eight but is seems to me that whatever, however those Samaritans were overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit, Simon knew it. By the sight of his eyes, he knew, something happened to those people when the apostles laid hands on them.
All right, that's enough, we could go further, but I think we've looked at enough of them, just so that when as we begin these sessions we all just come to realize there are a lot of different terms but it's speaking about the same thing. The same thing. And we don't want to get lost in the terms, we want to get lost in the God who wrote the terms, Amen? That's what we want, in our hearts and in our lives. In fact, I thought it would be good and helpful if you just go through the book of Acts and every time you see one of those terms you replace it with these terms, "the presence of the living God,", it might help you to understand what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Instead of the word "baptize, or "promise" or "gift", whatever it is, you put in there "the presence of the living God,". That's what Jesus had in mind. Disciples, tarry ye into Jerusalem until you are overwhelmed with the presence of the living God! Then, go and be witnesses unto me! That's what he told them.
Let me just give a little history here, again just to help you to see how many different way this thing can come. Many of you remember who George Whitfield is. George Whitfield was filled with the Holy Ghost at his ordination. The day of his ordination, he spent three days seeking God and fasting and prayer with God, and on the moment of his ordination, he was filled with the Holy Ghost, and from that day forward, he shook Hell with his words everywhere he went.
John Wesley was filled with the Spirit at an all-night prayer meeting with sixty other men, and from that night forward, Methodism was born, and societies popped up everywhere because sixty men had an all-night prayer meeting and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost sometime in the middle of the night, and from there, Methodism was put on the map. I know what it used to be, but we're not talking about what it is, we're talking about it what it used to be.
Peter Cartwright. He was a famous Methodist preacher. He was a dude with the power of the Holy Ghost, preaching his first sermon at nineteen years old. It so overwhelmed him the responsibility to stand up and speak the word of God, that he spent days of agonizing prayer, and when he got up in front of the pulpit to speak his first sermon, he was filled with the Holy Ghost while he was preaching and from that day forward he shook Hell by the preaching of the Word everywhere he went.
Charles Finney was overwhelmed by the Spirit of the Living God the evening after his conversion, as he found himself on his knees praying before Jesus, full of gratitude that God had saved his soul, and just laying out his life before the Lord, he was overwhelmed with the power of the Holy Spirit n the evening of his conversion, and when out the next morning and began to speak, and when he spoke, people began to weep by the words that came out of his anointed mouth. He didn't know what was going on, "What's happening to these people?" Everywhere he would go he would speak to somebody and they would just immediately fall under conviction.
Brethren, this is that.
George Muller. We know George Muller. He's the famous man who lived by faith. He took care of all of those orphans, he was also a powerful man of God, he wasn't just a man of faith who prayed down the money to feed his orphans, he was a powerful man of God. And he lived and ministered under the anointing of the Spirit of God for seventy years until way into his nineties. George Muller entered into a deeper anointing of God during a time of dying sickness. He was sick, he was laying on his bed, and he felt his life ebbing away from him. His was dying. Every day he got weaker and weaker and weaker and every day the anointing of God's Spirit got stronger and stronger and stronger upon him, and when he raised up out of his sick bed, he was an anointed man, and went forth in the anointing of the Spirit of God.
D.L. Moody was a man who was blessed by God in evangelism, and he went all over Chicago preaching the gospel and winning souls. But God was dealing with his heart that there was a need in his life, that there was a need for a deeper anointing of God's Spirit upon him, and he had two little old ladies in his congregation in Chicago, and they knew that he was needing more anointing that what he had, and they went up to him and boldly said to Mr. Moody, "Mr. Mood, we're praying for you,".
[Mr. Moody says] "Oh, good, wonderful! What are you praying about?"
"We're praying that you'll get filled with the Holy Ghost."
And he was kind of offended by that, you know, [he's thinking] What do you mean, praying for me, I'm Moody! But you know what? It took God about a year to get through to Moody's heart to realize "I don't have the anointing that I need in my life,". And after a year of crying out and seeking after God, he was filled with the Holy Ghost while he was walking down the street and New York City. He didn't know what to do, he got himself a room and hid in there because the anointing was so strong upon him as he walked down the street in New York city, and from that day forward people began to be saved everywhere that man went.
My prayer is that God will increase the hunger in our hearts. That's my payer. I don't know where you're at, but it really doesn't matter where you're at. The thing that it's important is "where are we going?", "where are we going,".
As we can see, God worked differently in each one of these examples, and we can get off and lose sight of the very thing that's most important by wrestling with and grappling with all the theologies of, when you get it, and how you get it, and where you get it, and how many times you get it, but brethren, we need it! Let's forget about all of that, and come to grips with where we are in out hearts! What we desperately need. Don't worry about what you call it, just get it. I believe the time has come that we should lay aside the debates of why and when and how and just get desperate before God, and come to grips with reality. Where am I at? Have ye been indued with power from on high? Have you been engulfed in the Holy Ghost?
All right. Isaiah 44 verse 3 says these words, I was going to read it but that clock is running on me. Isaiah verse forty four verse three says (God promising I the Old Testament), "I will pour water upon him that is thirst, and floods upon the dry ground, and I will pour out of My spirit upon thy seed and my blessing upon thine offspring," Isaiah forty four, three.
Jesus speaking in John chapter seven, let's turn and read there. John chapter seven, on the last day, the great day of the feast. I don't know of some of you know what the customs were of the Jews, but on the last day of the feast, there was a certain promise that they honored, that they looked forward to, that they longed for, and that they respected, on that last day on that great day of the feast, every year, and that was the promise of the blessing of the Spirit of God upon Israel. That was a promise, they believed in that promise, they honored that promise, and on the last day of the feast, that great day of the feast every year, one of the priests would take a cup, and go to the brook Hidron and fill that cup up full of water and run back into the temple and with that cup full of water, pour it out before the Lord. And as he poured it out before the Lord, all of the people would shout out with a loud voice and they would sing Isaiah chapter twelve. Have you ever read Isaiah chapter twelve? That's the place where it says, "Therefore with joy shall they draw water out the wells of salvation," It's the place where it says, "Cry out and shout, bowing, Inhabitants of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in front of thee,". Beautiful words, they would sing Isaiah chapter twelve as they poured that water out before the Lord in faith and expectation that some day a blessing, a promise from the Father would come.
Well, this is that day, and I don't know if they did all of that and then Jesus stood up, but nevertheless it was that day in chapter seven in verse thirty seven, "in the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, 'If any man thirsts!...'," well, I'm sure that got everybody's attention. " 'If any man thirsts, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of Spirit which they that believe on him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified. Now just picture the pouring out of that vessel full of water in light of those words that Jesus was speaking prophetically. He was speaking prophetically, moving ahead to the day of Pentecost and there is it being poured out. The very picture. And truly they did with joy draw waters of the wells of salvation that day, as they were overwhelmed, engulfed, and covered with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. These words come ringing into the ears of our hearts this morning also, "...if any man thirsts," Jesus says, "...let him come unto me," and Jesus says that personally to each one of us, "...come unto me and drink,". I want you to remember that, "...come unto me personally and drink. He that believeth on me...," and that word "believeth" means believeth, and believeth, and believeth, and believeth, and believeth, and I don't know about you but I'm believing and believing and believing and believing! I didn't just believe one time back there one time twenty eight years ago, I'm till believing today, that Jesus Christ the son of David rose from the dead, He's the Savior of the world, He's my Savior, He's seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high, and He's pouring out the gift of His grace and his Spirit, even this very day he is doing that, and I'm believing it, and believing it, and believing it, and believing it, and believing it, and that's what we need to do: believe it.
All right, I'm going to have to finish here. I'm not done, but I'm going to finish.
All right, let's turn in closing and look at John chapter four, again this is a place where Jesus spoke prophetically about this fountain of living waters springing up in somebody's heart. He's standing there by a well, a well that's been there for a long time. Jacob's well has been there for a long time. I don't know, maybe a thousand years or something like that. He speaks to the woman at the well, He talks to her about "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water shall I give him shall be in him, a well of waters springing up into everlasting life.
So, the point I would like to look at here is verse twenty three and twenty four, because Jesus beautifully ties the ministry of the spirit and the worship of God together here, He says, verse twenty three, "The hour cometh and now is when the true worshippers shat worship the Father in spirit and in truth, or the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a spirit, brethren, and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth. How do you do that? When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak with other tongues and magnify God. So brethren, there is so much more to say and I praise God I have four more days to say it, but I want us just to leave it at this point here today: God made possible that these verses could happen in our lives when he poured out the spirit abundantly in Christ Jesus. He is a spirit. They that worship Him must worship him in spirit and in truth. May God help us to understand these things, may God help us to realize where we are in out own hearts as we put the plow in all week long and say, "Lord I want everything that you can give me, and everything that you can do in me, and I want you to deal with everything in me that is not right, this week,". Let that be our prayer.
Let's bow our heads for prayer.
Thank you Lord Jesus for the blessed expectations we receive as we read in your Word, the beauty of Your Word, the beauty of Your spirit, Lord. We thank Your for it this day, and we pray Father, that You will work in each and every one of our hearts as we go through this week, Lord. We pray that You will help us to come to grips with where we are, where reality is in our lives. Father, oh Father, five hundred men, full of the Holy Ghost would be a beautiful thing. We commit all of that into your hands, and trust you, in Jesus' name we pray, Amen.