By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
“And now ye know what with holdeth 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 ‘
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. ), 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
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!
Rather than assail the Church and ‘men of God’ who proclaim the truth, ‘homosexual and abortion groups’ should be thanking God for the prayers and godly lives of born-again Christians! Gamblers, druggies, drunks, adulterers and pornographers, should be thanking God and Evangelical Churches for their faithfulness, instead of ‘dumping on us’ their diatribes of hatred and derision! Modernist, compromising preachers and corrupt politicians should repent and humble themselves, and give glory to God for His saving and protecting grace, despite their sinful living! And the pagan should receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour!
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)
If Jesus told the truth - and we know He did - here is the scenario which could easily happen if the Church were still here, when Satan makes his last big move to rule the entire world: The fact is that God has given us the power to cast out devils, therefore, Spirit – filled believers could bind the devil’s ability, rendering him powerless to perform his evil acts, since he would be encapsulated within the body of a political leader – the Antichrist!
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.”
One of America’s greatest soul winners was D.L. Moody who founded Moody Tabernacle and won hundreds of thousands for Jesus Christ in the USA and Great Britain, stated: “I firmly believe that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and self-seeking and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Ghost will come and fill every corner of our hearts; but if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and self-seeking and pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God.”
Moody continued: ‘If God were to fill us as we are, we would become vain as peacocks. The secret of the Holy Spirit coming in power to the believer is in the individual’s complete surrender to the Savior.”
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 McNeill, 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
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!
The very heart of the Church was becoming terminally ill, and the greatest battles being fought were not against Satan, sin, and evil, but against the very Word of God - the Holy Bible – and the doctrines of the Church!
And the bulk of this diabolical evil was coming from within! Schools of Theology were on a campaign to brainwash thousands of impressionable and earnest young men and women with Satan’s poison, against the veracity of the Bible and the authority of Jesus Christ! A fifth column, if you please, was hijacking – through so-called higher criticism - Christian Seminaries, Bible Colleges and Churches, for their own sinister, sensual and humanistic purposes!
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 ,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 ‘
“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
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 ‘
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!
“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
SATAN STEALS THE WORD!
Jesus said: “Hearken; Behold a sower went out to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched: and because it had no root, it withered away.
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some a hundred.” (Mark 4: 3-8)
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 a 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 a 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.
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
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
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
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:
1 June 1545
Pastor Severn Schulze
Venerable Sir and Pastor:
“The tax collector in Torgau and the counselor in Belgern have written me to ask that I offer some good advice and help for Mrs. John Korner’s afflicted husband. I know of no earthly help to give. If the physicians are at a loss to find a remedy, you may be sure that it is not a case of ordinary melancholy. It must, rather, be an affliction that comes from the devil, and this must be counteracted by the power of Christ with the prayer of faith. This is what we do, and what we have been accustomed to do, for a certain cabinet maker here was similarly afflicted with madness and we cured him by prayer in Christ’s name.
Accordingly, you should proceed as follows: Go to him with the deacon and two or three good men. Confident that you, as pastor of the place, are clothed with the authority of the ministerial office, lay your hands upon him and say’ ‘Peace be unto you, dear brother, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ’. Thereupon repeat the creed and the Lord’s Prayer over him in a clear voice, and close with these words: ‘O God, almighty Father, who has told us through Thy Son, “Verily, verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you.”, who has commanded us and encouraged us to pray in His name, “Ask, and ye shall receive”, and who in like manner hast said, “call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.”; we unworthy sinners, relying upon these Thy words and commands, pray for Thy mercy with such faith as we can muster.
Graciously deign to free this man from all evil and put to naught the work that Satan has done in him, to the honour of Thy name and the strengthening of the faith of believers; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.’ Then, when you depart, lay your hands upon the man again and say, ’These signs shall follow them that believe; they shall lay hands upon the sick, and they shall recover.’
Do this three times, once on each of three successive days. Meanwhile, let prayers be said from the chancel of the church, publicly, until God hears them. Insofar as we are able, we shall at the same time unite or faithful prayers and petitions to the Lord with yours. Farewell. Other counsel than this I do not have.
I remain, etc.
- Note: Original text in Latin. W.A. Br. (letters) X1, M/112
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
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
For Martin Luther, it seemed like YESTERDAY that our Lord was crucified! And the resurrection of Jesus was near to his heart! It felt like TODAY he had been at His empty tomb! As he meditated upon Christ’s promise to return, Luther was convinced that there was no time to waste. If Christ was coming TOMORROW, he had less than 24 hours, so he poured himself into God’s work!
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.
“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
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
“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.’ ”
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
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 (
“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
From the same book, I quote: “Some years ago, Dr. F.B. Meyer visited Esthonia, one of the Baltic provinces of
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 EARLY & THE LATTER RAIN!
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
“Be glad then, ye children of
“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: , 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 , 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
“The news of this miraculous
“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
“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
“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 into 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 schoolhouses, 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
“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
“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 signs 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 , His Divine Names and mission in 9:6-7, His passion, death and victory for us through His atoning sacrifice on
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
“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). Amen.