The Tangibility of the Spirit
John G. Lake
It is one of the most difficult things in all the world for people who are not familiar with the ministry of healing to comprehend that the Spirit of God is tangible, actual, a living quantity, just as real as electricity., just as real as any other native force. Yes, and a great deal more so. The life principle that stands behind all manifestations of life everywhere.
Your spirit is the life quality of you, the life principle that gives you action. Not just your mind, but the in-breathed Spirit of God, the breath that God breathed into man. That is eternal. Take this outward man and bury him in the ground, and the worms will eat him. But they will not eat the real man—the one that lives within. So few have any conception of giving that inner man his proper place, or recognize his divine right to rule and govern the whole being.
Now the secret of becoming a Christian is simply that you give God the right to come into your life and indwell your entire being. You have a spirit before God comes in to save you. It is a God-breathed spirit. The eternal, that God breathed into you in the beginning. It took that to make a man of you. That is not salvation. But when Jesus Christ comes into a soul to save a man, His Spirit is born into your nature in saving Grace. He takes possession of your spirit, your soul, and your body, and salvation is the most real thing under heaven. Bless God!
On one occasion I was crossing one of the bridges in Chicago, when a man fell into the river. That was when all the sewage of Chicago went into the river. A man with more presence of mind than I had, grabbed a rope from a dray and succeeded in getting him out, but he was unconscious. A doctor had been called and he put the fellow across a barrel and began to churn him. A gentleman said, “Well thank God, he is saved.” But the doctor said, “Not so fast. We have gotten him out of the river; now we must get the river out of him.” And he proceeded to get some of that black, inky river out of the man, and get the air into his lungs.
A lot of people in that sense are saved. They have taken hold of God by faith that when they die they will go to heaven, and live with the Lord. But there is a bigger thing than that. The salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ is in “getting the river out of you.” Getting the frog pond out of your spirit, so it is pure and sweet like the Spirit of God. Out of your mind so that it is healed, and you have thoughts of God and consciousness of God. All the dirty rotten filths cleansed out of you by the power of God. That is salvation. Jesus never taught any other kind. He taught a salvation for the spirit, for the soul, and for the body, all one glorious manifestation of the redeemed man, Bless God! My heart just rings and my soul just chimes with heaven on that conception of real salvation. That is where the world fell down. That is where the church fell down, when the conception of real salvation deteriorated from that high standard and came down the scale until it was just a squeezing into heaven, and the pungent force of His Redeeming Grace was lost sight of. It has been coming back very gradually.
We who have been following the lessons of the past few weeks in the Old Testament have been getting the foundation truths upon which the whole structure of faith for healing is based—on the experiences of the Patriarchs, on the Covenant that God made with the Children of Israel. “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God.” That is the first principle of healing—obedience to the Will of God.
My, when people get the living in harmony with God and God’s Word, they have eliminated nearly one half the causes of diseases already! A man came into my office on Tuesday and said, “O, I am going crazy,” I remarked, “Well you look like it.” He added, “I feel like going out and drowning myself.” I answered, “Sit up like a man and tell me what is the matter with you.” He told me, “My wife is trying to leave me.” I replied, “Well, the remarkable thing is that she is just trying to leave; it is a wonder that she doesn’t just go.” “Now,” I said, “I will tell you what you need. You need to get down before God and repent of your sin and get right with God. When you do you will be right with your wife and everybody else. Until then you will have hell in your home. It is you that is making it and taking it there.” Well, bless God, he did, and he is a saved man and has a saved home, and the family has not gone to wreck.
Yes friends, obedience to the Word of God is the first principle upon which relationship is established.
A lady here had a brother who was dying of dropsy. He came here and began to recover for a week or two, until conviction for sin came, and this absorbed his mind and soul. Then his body began to grow worse. He went clear down to death. Then he threw up his hands and yielded to God. His soul was satisfied. Then the virtue of the Lord came and healed him.
We are glad God undertakes to save people by any method, but the natural and normal way is to come and confess your sin, and get right with God. You are then on believer’s ground, your heart is at rest, your soul is at peace, and you have a consciousness of God’s salvation in your spirit. Then faith for healing is natural.
We were ministering to a dear man who was dying of a chronic disease. He kept on dying. After awhile he began to get anxious about his salvation. That anxiety developed until it was absorbing his sou. I said, “There is no use praying for his healing. He will never be healed until his hear comes into rest with God.” I told the brother who went out to see him to pray the power of God upon him to save him from sin. When he came back he reported that the sick man’s face was aglow. The Lord had come and saved him from his sins and then healed him. “For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” In such a Scripture as the above you have one of those wonderfully condensed statements which in a few words reveal the greatest spiritual principles. Another one is, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Still another is found in 1 Corinthian 8:6, “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” God the original, from Whose life and nature and character and subs5tance Jesus Christ the Creator made all thins. So he who prays takes of the Spirit and Substance of Christ and by his faith forms or creates his soul’s desires, whether for holiness or for health.
Men, by the action of the will, take themselves out of the control of the power of the law of sin and death, and by the action of their will place themselves consciously in union and in touch with the law of the Spirit of Life.
We read of an individual about the Sixteenth Century who was known as the Flying Monk. The peculiarity was that in certain spiritual states, the man would rise from his chair and float around the room. On one occasion when some royalty was visiting, it is said that he ascended into the air and went out the window. It has been reasoned that this man got himself in contact with some law of levitation, and it lifted him out of his chair and carried him out of the window.
Suppose he could have remained in touch with that law. I wonder where he would have gone?
Back in the Old Testament the prophets went out to look for Elijah. They said, “Peradventure the Spirit of the Lord hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain.” They were more intelligent about spiritual laws than this generation. But Elisha said, “He is not in the mountains, for when I was down by the river the glory of God came down from heaven, and he stepped into the chariot and has gone on to glory.”
We walk through the life with our minds closed, our hearts centered in this old world. How men’s hearts and lives are tied to this world. The manager of a theater sent for me, and I prayed for three people in his office. He said, “I have sixteen theaters and every morning I get a report from each institution by telegraph or long distance telephone giving me all the details of the conditions of business. I am just weighted down with it.” I said, “Dear Lord, here is a man with his whole nature absorbed in this one thing, the management of a group theaters. He has no vision of God or life or any thing. Here is a man living in that wretched little circle, and all he knows is to keep his theater machine going.”
What are you tied to, Brothers or Sisters? A little home along the highway, or on one of those streets? You cannot take it to glory with you. One of these days you are going to die, and there you will leave it and where will you be? Most of us have more consideration for the old house and lot, or a few other trifles than we have for ourselves. Jesus tried to bring that lesson to us by saying, “The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.”
The Christian stands out as the revelation of the divine power of Jesus Christ to come into the spirit of man, and change it and make it sweet and lovely like God Himself. To come into the mind of man, and take possession of all its faculties. To come into the nature of man and change it by the power of God until his thoughts are pure, holy, and lovely. To come into his old diseased body until God’s action revolutionizes every cell of the blood. I believe that when the Blood of Jesus Christ is applied to a man’s nature, spirit, soul and body, that when his sin is forgiven, the effects of that sin should be eliminated from his life. This may not be true in all Christian lives because we have not been educated in our Christian faith to believe with the same force and power for physical cleansing, as we have for the cleansing of our soul. But the Word of God says, “I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion.” Joel 3:21.
It is a small matter for God to perform that operation. The whole purpose of salvation is to stop the sin and disease process in man. Men live like animals. I do not mean coarsely or vulgarly. They eat, sleep, entertain themselves, labor, but they are not in touch with God at all. Finally man awakens. Like the old colored preacher who was telling of the prodigal son. He said, “He took off his coat and spent that. Then he took of his west and spent that. Then he took off his shirt, and when he took off his shirt, he came to his self.” We come to ourselves in various ways.
Benjamin Franklin believed he could bottle electricity. He had a conception that it was real and tangible and could be handled. He believed that the lightning was the same as electricity, so he made a kite and attached a key to the string. With his hand he drew a spark from the key. The result of this experiment revolutionized the world. Men began to study the laws of electricity and to apply them.
Jesus Christ came to reveal the laws of the Spirit and to apply them. In the heart of God there is a dynamic, a power which is great enough to save every man in the world, to heal every sick person in the world—to heal them of anything, of any degree of sin or any degree of sickness, to raise the dead, bless God. This is my conception of what went on in the mind of the Son of God: “To the extent that I can uncover the minds of men, so that they can see this and appropriate it for their benefits, I can save the world.” Anyway, that is what He proceeded to work out. So through His life, through His death, through His resurrection from the dead, step by step, He went to the throne of God and presented Himself and received from the Father the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Then He said, “Here it is,” and proceeded to bless the world with it. Acts 2. And ever since He has been pouring it out upon the world, upon whosoever would receive it. Bless God!
The Power of God’s Spirit will do for you what it has done for any one else in the world. But, beloved, you must come to God with earnestness and sincerity and faith and lay hold of it. Do you suppose that Benjamin Franklin would have discovered electricity if he had not believed there was electricity? You will not get any healing from heaven if you do not believe that there is any for you. You will never get it applied to your body, or your soul or spirit so it will do you any good, until you lay hold of it intelligently and receive it.
That is why we have people testify to what God has done, and try to tell one another of God’s action in their lives, until your soul comes into the intelligence of the faith, and you see that the redemption of Jesus Christ was not a mythical matter, but an actual scientific fact. So Christ was not a sentimental dreamer. He had His finger on the keys of the universe. He knew the treasure stored in the soul of the eternal God. He said, “I must bring this to mankind. They must see, feel, experience it. It must take hold of them and change them and revolutionize them.” Bless God!
Sitting before me is a man who was healed of rupture. The hernia would leave him in an agony of hell, and he sometimes worked all night to get the organs back in place. He suffered torture for seventeen years. Then one night some friends took him to a cottage meeting. A few saints gathered around and put their hands on him, and the fire of God, that blessing Jesus died for, that Jesus received from the soul of the Father, came down on his soul and body and he got up with his rupture healed. It’s a wonderful salvation isn’t it?