“And now ye know what withholdeth that he (Antichrist) might be revealed in his time; For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only He who now letteth will let (restrain), UNTIL HE BE TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2 Th. 2:7-8)
The purpose of this book is to announce to the Church and the world at large, that the person of the Holy Spirit is very much alive and in control!
Some time ago, in a religion column for the ‘Edmonton Sun’, I wrote: “Pope John Paul II calls himself the ‘Vicar of Jesus Christ’. This is impossible because Jesus Christ - the head of the Church - appointed the Holy Spirit as His representative here, nearly 2,000 years ago. I’m sorry John Paul, I didn’t know the Holy Spirit has taken early retirement!”
St. Paul stated that the Antichrist has not yet been revealed because:
1. THE STAGE IS STILL BEING SET FOR HIS APPEARANCE.
2. THE HOLY SPIRIT - CHRIST’S REPRESENTATIVE - AUTOMATICALLY BARS HIM FROM ASSUMING POWER, SO LONG AS THE CHURCH AGE LASTS!
And the Church, which is the ‘Body of Christ’ is too powerful for Satan or the Antichrist to defeat, because we are blood-washed and baptized in God’s Almighty Holy Spirit and have been given power over him!
The word ‘let’ in the King James Version is old English and means ‘restrain’. The Holy Spirit, Who now RESTRAINS THE ANTICHRIST will continue to restrain him, until He (Holy Spirit) is taken out of the way! When He resurrects the “dead in Christ”, even as He raised Jesus from the dead (Rom. 8:11), we shall be ‘taken up’ and depart this earth together with Him!
THE HOLY SPIRIT - being omnipresent - cannot leave this world, since He is God and everywhere present. But He will not function as He now does, since the Church will then be in Heaven! After the parousia (Christ’s return), the Holy Spirit will do as He did prior to the Day of Pentecost, and COME UPON people whom He desires to work through!
SALT IS A PRESERVATIVE!
Jesus Christ stated, “Ye are the salt of the earth...” (Matt. 5:14) What did our Lord mean? The Church is preserving the earth from corruption, because of our godly lives. We are holding back evil, thus keeping the world from going totally insane! We are also holding back God’s holy judgment from falling upon a wicked and corrupt world!
In like manner, God pledged to ‘hold back judgment’ upon Sodom and Gomorrah, if there were a mere 10 righteous folk there! Another classic example is God ‘postponing His judgment’ upon Ninevah for 490 years, because they repented at the preaching of Prophet Jonah!
Religion is taken from the words,‘ re’ and ‘ligio, which means to ‘again hold back’ something. True religion holds back evil, wickedness, sin, error, perversion, immorality, abortion, violence! It keeps the devil ‘at bay’! It can also mean to ‘bind to’ something. As Christians, we are bound to the cross of Christ. We are love slaves (gr. doulos) of Jesus Christ, bound to Him eternally by the cords of love and devotion!
All Christians desperately need to make a definite and permanent re-commitment to serve the Lord Jesus Christ with our entire being, until He returns for His Church!
Salt is a preservative and we, the Church - all those who are born again by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit - are holding back ‘The Man of Sin’!
Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world…” (John 8: 1) Without contradiction, Jesus is the Light of the world! Yet, He said: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5: 14, 16)
Satan is darkness personified, and cannot function in the light! All that is necessary to drive away the darkness is to turn on the light! That is why Satan - wise as he is - WILL NOT COME DOWN to this earth to reside in one man (Antichrist), jeopardizing his entire end-time program, until the Blessed Holy Spirit and the Church of the Living God is gone!
WHY IS THIS?
Jesus Christ gave His power and authority to His 12 apostles, 70 disciples, 120 in the Upper Room, and to His Church which consists of all believers: “And the seventy returned again with joy saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name.”
He answered: “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold I give unto you power (authority) to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:17-19)
SATAN WOULD NOT CHANCE such a move, until the Holy Spirit is out of the way! The ‘parousia’ opens the door for Satan, the false prophet - who will miss the rapture - and the Antichrist to make their move!
Satan, who is the prince of the power of the air, will then come from his sanctuary in the air - the atmosphere, stratosphere and space - to make his temporary headquarters on the earth! He is now called the “prince of the power of the air.” (Eph.2: 2)
For seven years he will terrorize, brutalize, brainwash and deceive those who remain here after the “harpazo” - the catching away of His blood-washed, Spirit-filled Church! Satan will permanently possess a political ruler who is called the Antichrist in imitation of the infilling of Jesus the Son of God, by the Holy Spirit!
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT ARE NECESSARY!
The ‘Gifts of the Spirit’ are necessary for evangelism and spiritual warfare, in the life of a vibrant and healthy Church!!
There is no substitute for the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, in His Body! The “Gifts of the Spirit” should be ‘mandatory issue’ for all “soldiers of the cross”! Without the Holy Spirit’s anointing, leading and supernatural wisdom, the Church is adrift in a sea of uncertainty and prone to bareness and discouragement. And even worse, error and false teaching!
It must offend our Lord, when Christians in general and Ministers in particular, show such disrespect for the Blessed Holy Spirit - Who has been given to the Church by Christ Himself – that they ignore and marginalize Him, and minimize His empowering spiritual gifts!
The Free Methodist ‘Course of Study’ states: “The Church cannot accomplish its spiritual mission without the Gifts of the Spirit.” Dr. A.B. Simpson, founder of the ‘Christian and Missionary Alliance’ wrote: “First Corinthians the twelfth chapter is a pattern for our present day churches.”
BILLY GRAHAM wrote in his ‘Bethelgram’, 1981: “We have learnt much about the power of the ‘Holy Spirit’. You know, we have looked a bit askance of our Pentecostal brethren because of their emphasis on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. I wonder if one of the secrets of Pentecostalists and the Assemblies of God, cannot be learned by our mainstream churches with the great emphasis on the Holy Spirit.
“I want to tell you that I believe that the time is come to give the Holy Spirit His rightful place in our preaching, in our teaching and in our churches: We need to go back and study what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, “Be filled with the Spirit.”
A.W. TOZER stated: “It is a sad fact, but nevertheless true, that were the Holy Spirit to be absent from our church services, most of us would never
recognize anything different.”
R.A. TORREY, in ‘What the Bible Teaches’, wrote: “The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is an operation of the Holy Spirit that is distinct from and subsequent and additional to His regenerating work: An impartation of power, and the one who receives it is fitted for service, not merely for the apostles, not merely for those of the ‘Apostolic Age’, but for all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. As well, it is for every believer, in every age of the Church’s history.”
R.A. TORREY, a close associate of D.L Moody, was stopped by a friend on his way to a convention, who said: “I see you are to speak on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Tell the people not to pray for the Holy Spirit.” Torrey replied: “I shall certainly not tell them that, for Jesus said: “How much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.” (Luke 11: 13)
G.H.C. MacGREGOR writes: “God will fill us with His Spirit. Upon the contrite, penitent, waiting, obedient soul there will fall – as there fell at Pentecost – the gift of the Holy Ghost. Victory over sin, impossible before, will become possible. Sin shall not have dominion over us, because He has cured it, and in Him we are more than conquerors.”
GREATEST NEED IS HUNGER AFTER GOD!
Our greatest need is a deep longing and intense hunger and thirst after God
and His spiritual graces and gifts! Catherine Booth, wife of the famous General of the Salvation Army, shares her understanding of this crucial fact: “God never gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to any human soul who has not come to that point where he would sell all he had to obtain it.”
JONATHAN GOFORTH, one of the world’s great missionaries, declared: “Nothing can clothe with victorious might but the baptism of the Holy Ghost and with fire, and no one can possess such a baptism, without knowing it.”
F.B. MEYER wrote: “The Pentecostal fullness, the enduement of power, the baptism of fire, are all within our reach. Let us be inspired with a holy ambition to get all that our God is willing to bestow.”
England’s renowned Baptist preacher, C. H. SPURGEON admonished his thousands of parishioners: “Let us not be satisfied with the sip that saves, but let us go on to the baptism which buries the flesh and raises us in the likeness of the risen Lord: Even the baptism into the Holy Ghost and into fire which makes us spiritual and sets us all on flame with zeal for the glory of God.”
Dutch Reformed theologian, ANDREW MURRAY, exhorted: “Brother, what we need is to pray in the name of Christ to ask that we may receive, that our joy may be full, for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.”
Noted Bible scholar A.J. GORDON, insisted that the ‘Baptism of the Holy Spirit’ is a definite experience, subsequent to conversion: “It seems clear from the Scriptures that it is still the duty and privilege of believers to receive the Holy Spirit by a conscious, definite act of appropriating faith, just as they received Jesus Christ.”
Scottish Evangelist JOHN McNEIL, once remarked: “Full salvation consists in receiving the promise of the Spirit in addition to being justified.”
The beloved Baptist preacher, VANCE HAVNER noted: “There is something lacking among Bible Christians today. If you are aware of it, I need not describe it: if you are not aware of it, you would not understand it if I did describe it. You may call it the ‘filling of the Spirit’, full surrender, consecration, the victorious life, revival. Whatever it is, most of us haven’t it.”
WHY THE LACK OF SPIRITUAL POWER?
I was well aware of God’s healing power - because of my mother’s dramatic healing in Norway, even though I was raised in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. I was unaware, however, of the Pentecostal experience of Martin Luther, the great reformer and founder of our church!
That I learned later, as I discerned ‘the lack of spiritual power’ in most churches and the almost non - existence of the Holy Spirit’s presence in divine worship services! It was as though Satan had blinded the eyes of ‘Church leaders’ through an invisible, yet real, unholy conspiracy to render the Church ineffective!
And he was doing a good job, as our nation was plunging into modernism, materialism and the post – Christian era, and churches were emptying through wholesale backsliding and apostasy, due to a dearth in the area of prayer, witnessing, soul winning and missions!
I came to the conclusion, that two wrongs had been committed: First, Church leaders had usurped the power and authority that belonged to the HOLY SPIRIT, and placed it into human hands. They had rejected His authority as the only true representative of Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church (Eph.5: 23; Col.1: 18) Secondly, they had rejected the Word of God, which the Holy Spirit Himself had anointed!
Jesus Christ, Who is the head of the Church, (Eph.4:15) sent the Blessed Holy Spirit to teach, lead, guide, correct, encourage and work with the very Word of God and through His Church (John 14,15,16; 1 Cor. 12: 1,7,28,31; 14: 1) And unfortunately, there has been deep disloyalty to and infraction against Him by a large segment of Church leadership, world-wide!
PROBING THE HISTORICAL RECORD!
In his Pentecostal message, St. Peter stated unequivocally: “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 far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2: 38,39)
THEOPHILUS, writing circa 170 A.D. states that the word ‘Christian’ comes from the Greek word for oil (chrism) which means ‘anointed one’. The reason for that, was because Christ’s followers were anointed with the Holy Spirit, he declared!
TERTULLIAN, who lived in the second century, wrote: “The Baptized, when they came up out of the bath, are anointed with the holy oil, and then the hand is laid upon them with the invocation of the Holy Spirit. Again he notes: “In baptism we do not receive the Holy Ghost, but being cleansed…we are disposed for the Holy Spirit under the hand of the minister.”
This chain-of-events is similar to that practiced by the ‘Early Church’. After the great revival conducted by Phillip in Samaria - where multitudes were saved and baptized in water - and many were miraculously healed and delivered from demon powers, Peter and John were sent to lay their hands on them so that they might receive the Holy Ghost!
“Peter and John…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.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:4)
URBAN the First, one of the earliest bishops of Rome, circa 225 A.D. stated: “All faithful people ought to receive the Holy Spirit by imposition of the bishop’s hands after baptism.”
CYPRIAN, writing at about the same time, reported on how Church officials prayed for new converts after their baptism in water, to be filled with the Holy Spirit: “The faithful in Samaria had already obtained baptism; only that which was wanting, Peter and John supplied, by prayer and imposition of hands, to the end the Holy Ghost might be outpoured upon them.”
He notes: “Which (the Holy Spirit) also is amongst ourselves, when they which be already baptized are brought to the rulers of the church to obtain by our prayer and imposition of hands the Holy Ghost.”
EUSEBIOUS, an ‘Early Church’ historian from the third century records an incident of one NOVATIUS, who was baptized while he was ill, but did not receive prayer to receive the Holy Ghost. On this account writes Eusebius, Novatius was censured by the Bishop of Rome!
HOLY GHOST BAPTISM: GOD’S SEAL!
PACIANUS, who died in 390 A.D. recorded these words: “In baptism our sins are cleansed, in confirmation the Spirit is poured upon us.”
GREGORY, in circa 370 A.D. wrote thusly concerning the ‘laying on of hands’: “We therefore call it a seal or signature, as being a guard and custody to us, and a sign of the Lord’s dominion over us.”
RAVANUS MAURUS, as late as 800 A.D. wrote about the anointing service to receive the Holy Spirit: “In baptism the baptized was anointed on the top of the head, in confirmation on the forehead; by that was signified that the Holy Ghost was preparing a habitation for Himself.”
ST. PAUL wrote: “In Whom (Christ) ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed, ye WERE SEALED with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance UNTIL the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.” (Eph. 1: 13, 14)
The Bible teaches three things: First, when a sinner receives the ‘word of truth’ and believes the gospel message of God’s great salvation, the blood of Jesus Christ immediately cleanses that soul and makes him ready for Heaven! He is born again and a new creation in Christ Jesus! (John 3: 3, 7; 1 Cor. 5: 17)
Second, when that new convert in Christ reaches out by faith and has hands laid upon him or is anointed with oil in Jesus’ name, our Lord Himself will baptize that person in the Holy Ghost and fire! (Luke 3: 16)
Third, every believer that is filled with the Blessed Holy Spirit is SEALED by God, UNTIL the day He calls us Home to Himself. The Blessed Holy Spirit guarantees our salvation! He personally is the guarantor of our salvation! The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the earnest (DOWN PAYMENT) of our inheritance in Glory, paid for by Christ Jesus! It is just a taste of what Heaven will be like; a little bit of Heaven to go to Heaven in!
St. Paul declares: “…ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise until the redemption of the purchased possession.” What is he talking about? What or who is the purchased possession? WE ARE THE PURCHASED POSSESSION!
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price.” (1 Cor.6: 19, 20); “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.”(1 Cor.7: 23);
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.” (Act 20: 28)
In this parable, Jesus made it plain that when the Word of God is sown, immediately the devil comes to steal the Word. (v.15) Our Lord stated that Satan came to “steal, kill and destroy”. (John 10:10)
The seed that was sown on STONY GROUND speaks of those “who have heard the Word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward when affliction or persecution ariseth for the Word’s sake, immediately they are offended.” (v. 18,19)
The seed sown AMONG THORNS refers to: “such as hear the Word, and the cares of this world. And the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (v.18,19)
And finally, the seed that fell on GOOD GROUND are: “such as hear the Word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” (v. 20)
JESUS DOES NOT RECOGNIZE AS GENUINE BELIEVERS, those “who receive the Word with gladness, but fall away” or those who “hear the Word and become unfruitful” because of the cares, pleasures and lusts of this world!
Interestingly, our Lord also separates believers – “such as hear the Word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit” - into three groups: “some thirty fold, some sixty and some an hundred.”
Jesus is adamant that we bring forth fruit! There is no excuse why we should not do so! JESUS DESIRES FRUIT in His followers! He stated: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He PURGETH it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
“Abide in Me. and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15: 1-6)
Jesus places believers in three categories: thirty percent, sixty percent and one hundred percent! The famous American Evangelist, D.L. Moody said: “The FIRST CLASS, are those who got to Calvary and there got life. They believed on the Son and were saved, and there they rested satisfied. They did not seek anything higher. You might safely say, I think, without exaggeration, that 19 out of 20 Christians…have just got life and have settled down, and have not sought for power.”
The SECOND CLASS, Moody calls, ‘a better class of Christian’ asserting, “The secret of the Holy Spirit’s coming in power to the believer is the individual’s complete surrender to the Saviour. And we do not need to wait upon God to do something for us. He is waiting for us to yield ourselves to Him.” Moody points to John 7: 37,38 where we read: “out of whose belly (innermost being) shall flow rivers of living water.” He says: “This is the BEST CLASS; this is the kind of Christian we ought to be.”
A number of years ago, Rev. Ray Brubaker of ‘Good News Behind The News’, wrote the article, ‘God’s Message to This Generation’, in which he gave his personal testimony of being miraculously healed and filled with the Holy Spirit! He quotes great preachers - many of whom I have referred to in this book - who have been used of God, because they were empowered through the infilling of the Blessed Holy Spirit!
PENTECOST: ONLY A SPECIMEN DAY
BRUBAKER says: “As Moody stated, ‘Pentecost was only a specimen day’. Moody calls attention to the fact that for thirty years our Lord lived in obscurity in Nazareth. Then, there came a day when we read where Jesus was “full of the Holy Ghost.” Coming back to Nazareth after His victorious encounter over Satan in the wilderness, we read where He entered the temple and read from Isaiah…the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. From thence, “for three years we find Him preaching the kingdom of God, casting out devils and raising the dead…”
MOODY concludes: “If the Son of God has got to be anointed, do not His disciples need it, and shall we not seek it, and shall we barely rest with conversion?”
When there were those who took exception to Moody’s reference to receiving the Holy Spirit, or his messages on the baptism of the Spirit, TORREY relates how Moody would reply: “Why will they split hairs? Why don’t they see that this is just the one thing that they themselves need?”
GOOD POINT, MOODY! We will follow your advice, as well as that of other great leaders of the Church! In a German Church history, Souer’s ‘History of the Christian Church’, vol. 3, page 406 we read: “Doctor Martin Luther was a prophet, evangelist, speaker in tongues, interpreter, and in one person, endowed with all the gifts of the Spirit.”
In Luther’s Works, concerning prophecy, he says, “If you wish to prophesy, do it in such a way that it does not go beyond faith so that your prophesying can be in harmony with the peculiar quality of faith’. He goes on to write that ‘one may prophesy new things but not things that go beyond the bounds of faith…’ (Oswald nd. 25: 444-451)
Martin Luther was a great man of faith and used greatly in the healing ministry of our Lord! In ‘Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel’, we read Martin Luther’s personal letter, advising a pastor on how to pray for healing of the sick:
Luther’s detractors asked the great reformer: “Where will you be when the whole world is against you – the Pope, the Emperor, the Nobles, the Bishops, the people? Where will you be then, Martin Luther?”
The Reformer smiled and answered: “Then, as now, I will be in the hands of God!” He was a great power for God during the dark days of the ‘Middle Ages’! I never fully understood how one man - standing alone - could change the course of the world by standing up to a corrupt, evil and perverted religious system that was pretending to be the Body of Christ on earth!
MARTIN LUTHER stated: “I live as though Jesus Christ died yesterday, arose today and is coming again tomorrow!” When I read that, I understood his heart. He was sold out to God and lived only to do His will. He feared neither the ‘Bloody old Vatican Wolf’ nor the Emperor of Rome! He was radical in his prayers to God and in his declaration of the Gospel, and he spoke directly from his heart!
I learned what Luther’s ‘PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY’ was when he said: “I live as though Jesus Christ died yesterday, arose today and is coming again tomorrow!”
The Gospel of Christ was a reality in his life! He believed in and communicated with the RISEN CHRIST, instead grovelling around in the dust of history, with higher critics who were stuck on the ‘The Historical Jesus’ aspect of theology! He didn’t suffer fools gladly and he didn’t play Church. He lived the Gospel every day, like St. Paul who stated: “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil.1: 21)
DID MARTIN LUTHER
SPEAK WITH NEW TONGUES?
The question many are asking is: “Was Martin Luther Baptized in the Holy Spirit? Did he speak with other tongues, according to Acts 2: 4?” Anyone who has studied the ‘Protestant Reformation’ and the life of Martin Luther would surely believe, that he had God’s power in his life to have had the courage to stand up to the corrupt and blood thirsty Roman Catholic conglomerate and the Emperor!
In a well-known German work, ‘Souer’s History of the Christian Church’, vol. 3, page 406, this factual statement answers that question: “Dr. Martin Luther was a prophet, evangelist, speaker in tongues and interpreter, in one person, endowed with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” This quote is taken from page 92 of ‘What Meaneth This?’ by Carl Brumback, who spent more than two years in research on his book and had access to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
TONGUES THROUGHOUT HISTORY!
In the same book by Carl Brumback, regarding the supernatural gift of speaking in other tongues, he states on pages 90 and 91: “Dr. Phillip Schaff, the well-known church historian in his ‘History of the Apostolic Church’, Book 1 Section 55, writes: ‘The speaking with tongues, however, was not confined to the day of Pentecost. Together with the other extraordinary spiritual gifts, which distinguished this age above the succeeding periods of more quiet and natural development, this gift also, though to be sure, in a modified form, perpetuated itself in the apostolic church. We find traces of it still in the second and third centuries.”
He writes about Irenaeus who lived from 115 to 202 A.D. thusly: “He was a pupil of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the Apostle John. He wrote in his book ‘Against Heresies’ book V, volume 6, these words: ‘In like manner do we also hear many brethren in the Church who possess prophetic gifts, and who, through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of men and declare the mysteries of God, whom also the apostles term spiritual.’”
Tertullian, lived from 160 to 220 A.D. Here’s what Brumback says about him: “He invited Marcion to produce anything among his followers such as was common among the orthodox Christians:
‘Let him exhibit prophets such as have spoken not by human sense, but with the Spirit of God, such as have predicted things to come, and have made manifest the secrets of the heart; let him produce a psalm, a vision, a prayer, only let it be by the Spirit in an ecstasy, that is, in a rapture, whenever an interpretation of tongue has occurred to him.’ He also gives a full description of a certain sister who often spoke in tongues. See Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 4, page 3310.”
Regarding Pachomius who lived from 292 to 348, Brumback writes: “According to A. Butler in his book, ‘Lives of the Saints’ published in 1756, Pachomius, after seasons of special prayer, was able to speak the Greek and Latin languages, which he had never learned, under the power of the Spirit.
THE GIFT OF TONGUES!
“Augustine, 354 to 430, wrote, ‘We still do what the apostles did when they laid hands on the Samaritans and called down the Holy Spirit on them by the laying on of hands. It is expected that converts should speak with new tongues.’ ”
Still quoting from ‘What Meaneth This’ by Carl Brumback: “Alexadria Mackie, in his book, ‘The Gift of Tongues’ (p.27) says: “From patristic times until the power of the Reformation had made itself distinctly felt, the gift of tongues, is an almost forgotten phenomenon. The attention which the Reformation drew to the Scriptures is the reason for the re-appearance of the gift…
‘Men do not usually have the gift of tongues unless they know there is a gift of tongues. The revival of the Bible made also necessary in some minds a revival of states of mind and actions such as were those of the men who lived in Bible times and who were esteemed holy. During the long silence of those weary centuries there was evidence, however, of those psychological and physiological tendencies and action which we find go hand in hand with the appearance of the gift in the history of the Corinthian church.
‘But even in the Dark Ages, God gave some gracious revivals. From the Twelfth century to the Fifteenth century there were revivals in Southern Europe in which many spoke in other tongues. Foremost among these revivalists were the Waldenses and Albigenses. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that the glossolalia was present among the mendicant friars of the thirteenth century.’ ”
On page 92 of ‘What Meaneth This’, Brumback writes: “Francis Xavier, who died in 1552 is reported to have had a remarkable exercise of the gift of tongues, according to Schaff and The Catholic Encyclopedia. The Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 22, page 283, tells of tongues among the Jensenists, and early Quakers, the converts of Wesley and Whitfield, the persecuted Protestants of the Cevennes and Irvigites.’
“Dr. Middleton once wrote: ‘After the apostolic time, there is not, in all history, one instance either well attested, or even so much as mentioned, of any particular person who had ever exercised that gift (tongues), or pretended to exercise it in any age or country whatever.’ ”F
Have you heard such nonsense from a so-called learned man? John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church protested his statement with a strong rebuke! Here it is in ‘Wesley’s Works’, Vol. V, page 744): “Sir, your memory fails you again…It has been heard of more than once, no further off than the valleys of Dauphin.”
Thomas Welsh wrote in his diary on March 8, 1750 thusly: “This morning the Lord gave me a language that I knew not of, raising my soul to Him in a wonderful manner.”
In W.C. Braithwaithe’s book ‘Message and Mission of Quakerism’ (page 17), he quotes from Burrough’s ‘Preface to the Great Mystery’ as follows: ‘While waiting upon the Lord in silence, as often we did for many hours together, we received often the pouring down of the Spirit upon us, and our hearts were glad and our tongues loosed and our mouths opened, and we spake with new tongues as the Lord gave us utterance, and as His Spirit led us, which was poured down upon us, on sons and daughters, and the glory of the Father was revealed. And then began we to sing praises to the Lord God Almighty and to the Lamb forever.”
Many have asked: “What about D.L. Moody and his meetings?” Let me quote from ‘Trials and Triumphs of Faith’ (1875 edition), by the Rev. R. Boyd, D.D. (Baptist), who was a very intimate friend of the evangelist: “When I (a Y.M.C.A. member) got to the rooms of the Young Men’s Christian Association (Victoria hall, London), I found the meeting on fire. The young men were speaking with tongues, prophesying. What on earth did it mean? Only that Moody had been addressing them that afternoon! What manner of man is this? thought I, but still I did not give him my hand…
“Many of the clergy were so opposed to the movement that they turned their backs upon our poor, innocent Young Men’s Christian Association for the part we took in the work; but afterward when the flood gates of God’s grace were opened, Sunderland (near London) was taken by storm. I cannot describe Moody’s great meeting; I can only say that the people of Sunderland warmly supported the movement, in spite of their local spiritual advisors.” (What Meaneth This? pages 93-94)
From the same book, I quote: “Some years ago, Dr. F.B. Meyer visited Esthonia, one of the Baltic provinces of Russia, where he found some simple peasant congregations of Baptists. He wrote to the ‘London Christian’ of the wonderful work of the Holy Ghost that he saw among them.
He stated: “It was very remarkable at a time when the Lutheran Church of this land has lost its evangelistic fervor, and is inclined to substitute forms and rites for the living power of Christ, that God raised up a devoted nobleman, Baron Uxhall, to preach the Gospel in all its simplicity, and is renewing among the peasantry those marvelous manifestations which attended the first preaching of the Gospel when God bore witness to the message of salvation with signs and wonders and gifts of the Holy Ghost.
“To have come across a movement like this is intensely interesting. The gift of tongues is heard quite often in the meetings, especially in the villages, but also in the towns. Here in Reval, the pastor of the Baptist Church tells me that they often break out in his meetings. They are most often uttered by young women, less frequently by men. When they are interpreted they are found to mean, ‘Jesus is coming. Jesus is near; Be not idle.’
“When they are heard, unbelievers who may be in the audience are greatly awed. A gentleman who was present on one occasion was deeply impressed by the fact that those who spoke were quite ordinary people until they were uplifted as it were by a trance, and then they spoke with so much fluency and refinement.”
(Please note: Much of the above has been gleaned from the book, ‘Did Martin Luther Speak With New Tongues?’ written by Melvin Peter A. Livingstone, who was greatly influenced by Pastor Gordon K. Peterson.)
The great outpouring of the Holy Ghost that was prophesied by Joel, began on the Day of Pentecost nearly two thousand years ago. And as you have read, God has continued pouring out His Spirit upon all those who have sought after Him with pure a heart and worshipful spirit!
According to the Scriptures, the outpouring of the Holy Ghost would come in two stages: The early rain and the latter rain! I believe, verse 23 prophesied the Day of Pentecost’s outpouring, and verses 28 and 29 point to the second stage of the outpouring that began on January 1, 1900. And is now literally sweeping the world for Christ!
“Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
“And it shall come to pass AFTERWARD, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit.” (Joel 2: 23, 28)
DAY OF PENTECOST: FIRST
STAGE OF OUTPOURING!
Here is the fulfillment of the first stage of God’s great outpouring: “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 where they were sitting.
“And there appeared unto them cloven tongues as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with new tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2: 1,2)
As the people asked: “What meaneth this?”, Peter stood up with the eleven and said: “This is that which was spoken by Joel the prophet; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out of My Spirit.” (Acts 2: 16-18)
THE PROPHET STATED: “And it shall come to pass afterward…” After the first outpouring! And directly after the last great outpouring, God will send judgment upon this world: “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord shall come.” (Joel: 2: 28, 29)
That the Holy Ghost outpouring, with speaking in other tongues and the gifts of the Spirit, would continue until our Lord returns is confirmed by this Scripture:
“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 a far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2: 38, 39).
OUTPOURING OF HOLY SPIRIT!
In his book, published in 1954, Melvin Livingstone wrote: “During the last 21 days of the 19th century a band of earnest, hungry-hearted ministers and workers, ministers and Christian workers in Bethel Bible College, Topeka, Kansas, U.S.A., called a fast, praying earnestly for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which, to their joyful surprise, came upon them in the early hours of the morning, on January 1, 1900.
“The people were heard speaking in other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance, just as it happened on the day of Pentecost in the year 30 A.D. A great revival immediately broke forth, which soon reached to the State of Texas, and thence went to Los Angeles, where in the year 1906 it centered in an old building on Azusa Street.
“The news of this miraculous Los Angeles revival spread quickly, drawing thousands from far and near. The talk of the nation was that of a “rushing mighty wind from Heaven” was visiting California.
“None were urged to attend; yet the meetings were crowded. No church organization was sponsoring this heavenly program. As one entered the meeting, he realized that the Holy Ghost was the leader. Many from various states found their way to the headquarters on Azusa Street. There they found a two story whitewashed building. In this upstairs there was a long room with chairs and three California redwood planks laid end to end on backless chairs. No one would have expected such an outpouring there unless he remembered the stable in Bethlehem. But, nevertheless, this latter rain was falling there. The meetings were attended largely from ten o’clock in the morning until about twelve o’clock at night.
“When the altar call came, no one was urged to come; still the altar was filled at every meeting, and many fell prostrate under the power of God before they could leave their seats, often coming up speaking in tongues.
“Ministers and evangelists gathered in Los Angeles from every section of the United States and Canada and missionaries returned from foreign fields to learn more about this new experience. Many who came were soon filled with the Holy Ghost. From here it spread throughout the whole earth, penetrating even into heathen darkness in India, Africa, China and the isles of the sea.
“With the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Word of the Lord became a new book. Truths which had been hidden for many years were made clear.
“One of the witnesses of that great revival wrote: ‘We stand for the Bible truth without compromise. We recognize every man that honors the blood of Jesus Christ to be our brother, regardless of denomination.’
“In that old building, with its low rafters and bare floors, God took strong men and women and broke them to pieces, and put them together again for His glory. It was a tremendous overhauling process. Pride, self-assertion, self-importance and self-esteem could not survive there.
“This ushered in a new era for the Christian Church; it was a duplication of the day of Pentecost, the first showers of the latter rain. Men and women fell prostrate under the power of God and were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in other tongues. Many of these people were called to preach and went in to the many states, and some into foreign countries, thus the revival spread over the world.
“Most of the men whom God called to carry this Latter - Rain message were common laborers and farmers with very little learning; for all that, they preached the glorious news which God had revealed to them in that distinguished assembly. Few of these ministers ever received living expenses from their ministry; nevertheless, they went forth under the power of God and preached in school houses, empty store buildings, barns, brush arbors, tents and private homes. God did intensely bless in these humble places, pouring out His Spirit upon thousands who were searching for Calvary and willing to find it through the upper-room experience. These ministers were talked about, falsely accused, and looked down upon by most citizens and so-called churchmen. They understood that profound injunction of the Apostle Paul, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” They not only understood, but realized the blessing in suffering for Christ; therefore they could rejoice, even as the prophets who were before them had in their persecutions. It was through this type of ministry that thousands became baptized with the Holy Ghost here in our forty eight states, during the first score years of this century.
“We rejoice in this hour that it is the privilege of every believer to be filled with the Spirit. Not only was it for the day of Pentecost, or later in Samaria and at Cornelius’ house but it has been found that it reaches unto this hour.
“For me, there is nothing more joyous than to share with every receptive heart this message of truth, which opens the very flood gates of Heaven and keeps the impartial love of God aglow in our hearts for all mankind.”
THESE SIGNS SHALL FOLLOW
THEM THAT BELIEVE!
Jesus gave definite instructions concerning the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, before He ascended to Heaven: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned. And these sign shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; They shall speak with new tongues…” (Mark 16:15-17).
The Book of Isaiah is aptly called the ‘Gospel of the Old Testament’ because it has within it the great doctrines of the Church! The virgin birth of Jesus is found in 7: 14, His Divine Names and mission in 9:6-7, His passion, death and victory for us through His atoning sacrifice on Calvary in 53:3-12.
His gift of power and rest through the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is also found there: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to His people. To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest: and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” (Is. 28: 11-12)
Here is Jesus’ invitation to receive the Holy Spirit Baptism: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying if any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly (inner most being) shall flow rivers of living water.
“But this He spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet give because; because that Jesus was not yet glorified”. (John 7: 38-39)
There are two things that the Church of the Living God desperately need, namely: The power of God and the fire of God! Here is his Word promising us these two gifts:
“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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
“John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latches of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire.” (Luke 3: 16)
My heart cries for the lost and dying of this world and for the sick and suffering among us who need healing and deliverance. I am burdened for the Body of Christ that today is much like in Bible times when Jesus saw the nation of Israel in tremendous spiritual need!
The Holy Record states: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and HEALING EVERY SICKNESS and EVERY DISEASE among the people.” (Matt. 9: 35).
He was “moved with compassion upon them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd.” That is exactly what we have to do as well. We need to heal the wounds of the people through the Gospel of Jesus Christ! And how are we able to do that? Only through the POWER of the Holy Spirit and the COMPASSION OF JESUS that drives us to our knees in desperate prayer for the needs of our fellowman, as well as our own families!
He said: “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few: Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.” (Matt. 9: 36-38)
JOHN THE BAPTIST stated: “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” (Luke 3: 16)
“Jesus said: “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem and Judaea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1: 8)
I believe that the two greatest mistakes that the Church has committed down through the centuries are these: No. 1 - Taking the leadership out of the hands of the Divine Paraclete (Holy Spirit) and placing it into the hands of men, and No. 2 – Rejecting the authority of the Word of God (Holy Bible) which He has anointed!
THE TWO GREATEST NEEDS IN THE CHURCH TODAY ARE: No. 1. - The power of God and, No. 2 - The Fire of God! Both of these are promised to us By Our Lord Himself and supplied by the Blessed Holy Spirit!
Our Lord commanded: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel (Good News) to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe;
“In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents (like St. Paul on Malta – Acts 28); and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16: 15-18).
PLEASE NOTE: This is the first installment of my NEW BOOK on the ‘Mighty Works of The Holy Spirit’! Ω