THE GIFT OF POWER
“BUT ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8). The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the most wonderful, crowning gift that God ever gave to a soul this side of the Pearly Gates. To look on His face will be wonderful, but it is Heaven below to have the Trinity abiding in your heart as you walk the streets or in your home. It is the mighty gift of power upon the clean, sanctified life.
You receive the Spirit at justification and He leads and teaches you, and at sanctification He leads you deeper into God; but when the Comforter Himself comes in and takes up His abode, the glory of God is beyond words to express. We magnify the name of Jesus, that we could ever attain unto this great blessing, and possess it.
A Sanctified Heart
You must be sanctified wholly in order to receive the baptism. The Blood of Jesus Christ applied to your heart destroys the inbred sin. Then God comes down in mighty power. He is not pouring out His Spirit on unclean vessels. He is not giving the gift of the Spirit contrary to His Word. No one can receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire unless he is wholly sanctified. It is not enough to be living without sin. (You are not saved unless you are living without sin.) But the inward depravity, the root of sin, must be destroyed. The nature of sin must be eradicated, and your life yielded wholly and forever to God.
When your heart is really cleansed, the Holy Ghost will come in. He will come in if you will have faith in God. The power of God will fall upon you speedily.
The Promise of the Spirit
The baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire was promised in the Old Testament (Joel 2:28, 29): “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy”; and in the New Testament (Matthew 3:11): “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” It was promised by our Lord Jesus Christ (John 7:38, 39) as “rivers of living water” (which should come after He was glorified); and after His resurrection He said in His parting words (Luke 24:49): “Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
The Promise Fulfilled
“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 where 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).
God baptizes today with the Holy Ghost and fire, just as He did on the Day of Pentecost. He will always baptize according to His Word. The same manifestations of the Spirit will follow, and you will speak with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.
He comes not only into the soul and heart and life, but into the very flesh. Many doubt, on account of their previous teaching, that the Spirit comes into the heart and body and takes possession and speaks for Himself. Those who have not received the baptism of the Holy Ghost cannot understand it. The one who is not sanctified wholly cannot understand what the sanctifying grace is upon the heart, how it works and how it circumcises the heart, and how the Blood of Jesus penetrates and the fire of God falls upon the altar of the consecrated life. It is an experience that cannot be explained to a justified soul. Just so the baptism of the Holy Ghost passes all understanding, and cannot be wholly understood except by those who have received it.
The Holy Ghost that came down filled not only the disciples but all the place where they were sitting (Acts 2:2).
Gave Boldness and Power
The Spirit who came down from Heaven on the Day of Pentecost put a boldness in the hearts of Peter and the Apostles that could stand against every onslaught and opposing force of the enemy, and declare the whole counsel of God. God has given us today as He gave His disciples – the gift of the Holy Ghost, power to witness, to cast out devils, and to lay hands on the sick for their recovery.
The moral man, the drunkard, the fallen woman, the dope fiend, are saved and testify in these meetings. Surely God has sent the Holy Ghost down on men to raise up witnesses of the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ. God’s people should have power to pray the prayer of faith, and see the sick healed and demons cast out, for Jesus said, “In my name shall they cast out devils; . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16: 17, 18).
Sacred Altars in the Heart
God is striving to put the faith back into the Church. He works individually first to get every soul into a condition that He can set up a temple in his heart. The Tabernacle of old had, first, a court in which was the Brazen Altar; second, the Holy Place, in which was the Golden Altar; and third, beyond the beautiful veil, the Holy of Holies, in which was the Ark of God. These were all types of Bible experiences for the child of God.
The Brazen Altar
God first sets up the Brazen Altar in the heart, which represents salvation from sin. On the Brazen Altar in the Temple the offering was made for sin. There was also the Laver where the priests always washed before they entered the Holy Place, a type of water baptism according to the Word of God.
The Golden Altar
Then He will lead you into the Holy Place, a type of sanctification by faith. It was also called the “Altar of Incense.” The moment the altar is built in your heart, the fire begins to burn and the incense to ascend. There was also the golden candlestick burning beside the Golden Altar, a type of the glory and light of the sanctified life. And there was the table with the twelve loaves of fresh bread, which represent the Bread of Life on which your soul feeds daily. There is no sanctification without the fire upon the Golden Altar and the praises of God ascending. God is calling His people to build these sacred altars in their heart.
The Holy of Holies
Through the Blood of Jesus we enter the Holiest (Hebrews 10:19). He leads us through the beautiful veil, which represents the riven body of Jesus on the cross. There was no altar in the Holy of Holies. No one can enter but those who have been cleansed from all sin – both from actual committed sin at the Brazen Altar (a type of salvation), and from inbred sin, by the blood upon the Golden Altar (a type of sanctification). Through His Blood that flows over our souls, we enter into the presence of God and receive the wonderful baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire.
There was no light burning in the Holy of Holies, no light of candle or sun; but it was lighted from Heaven. The glory of God burned over the Mercy Seat, a miracle of the power of God. It will burn in your soul when you reach that place. The power of God comes down and saturates and fills your whole being. Words cannot tell the glory of God that comes down upon the soul that is baptized with the Holy Ghost, and the communion there is between the soul and God.
The Faith Once Lost
God had been striving for centuries, before He sent the Latter Rain, to get the faith back into the Church, after it was lost through the Dark Ages when the Church went into darkness.
The popular churches of today have rejected the Holy Ghost, who comes as a person into His temple when He baptizes with the Holy Ghost and fire. They have rejected the outpouring of the Spirit. Therefore they are cold and powerless. The Jews rejected the Son of God, and He took His Spirit from them. But there were a few who did receive Him; and there are a few who have received the Spirit that He sent from Heaven in these last days.
“The Promise Is unto You”
God has this mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost for every hungry soul, for He is no respecter of persons. Thousands in these last days are baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire and witnessing in the power of the Spirit. Yield your life by making the supreme consecration that God requires, and you will receive this mighty gift. God will plant that holy purpose in your soul that you will have this great gift at any cost – the enduement of power upon your life. You cannot get along without the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. It is just as necessary for you as your salvation or sanctification.
You must have this enduement of power to be ready to meet the Lord in the air. The “wise virgins” had the “oil in their vessels,” and they went in to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The oil is typical of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 25: 1-13). And if you desire with all your heart to be ready to meet Jesus, seek the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
“For this 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 2:39).
There is something so wonderful in consecration, mingled with faith – a faith that will believe the Word and stand upon it. After the foundation is laid in our heart – justification, sanctification (the second work of grace), and the mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire – through consecration we go on unto perfection; but that perfection can be wrought only as we yield our lives to the perfecting hand of God. He permits to come to us just the thing that is best. There is nothing so perfecting to the heart of the child of God as the trying of our faith, or manifold temptations.
Ridicule and slander for the sake of the Gospel, are hard to bear. “On their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” We would, many times, be glad to lay down our lives for the Gospel’s sake; but it is another thing to be willing to live for the Gospel and bear anything God permits to come into our lives. Our growing in God and perfecting our lives daily, wholly depend upon how we receive the trying of our faith.
One of the greatest ways by which we grow in grace is through consecration. The outward consecration comes first. Then there is a deep inner consecration that God requires of those who want His best. In your heart you yield all to God, day by day, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, and, as it were, crucifying and putting to death within you the self-life in every form.
Make the secret, inner consecration that God requires of you, and it will cause you to launch out into God, in spite of everything. God will move you out into the harvest field. You will enjoy the blessings of reaping for the King. We have never seen one who would consecrate, devote his life willingly to God, but that He would use that soul, if he had only one talent. It is better to be humble with one talent, than to have ten talents and not be humble.